Monday, 11 June 2012

Why the Prometheus plot holes don't bother me

There has been a lot of chatter on my timeline on twitter over the past week or so regarding the merits of the Prometheus movie. A staggering amount of vitriol and claims of 'Don't go see it dude, its full of plot holes' has echoed across my feed.

I have mostly kept my mouth shut on the topic, mainly because I felt it would be difficult to fully illustrate my feelings in 140 characters without being misunderstood. Silly me - I slipped up this morning by joining in on a conversation, and was  IMMEDIATELY misunderstood.

I just can't say what I want to say in 140 character, and personally, I hate it when people do 4 or 5 tweets in a row. If you cant say what you want to say in 1 or 2 tweets (3 max), then perhaps twitter isn't the forum for it - so here I am - doing one of my extremely rare blog posts.

Some accusations I have seen laid against the film are thus (may contain spoilers): 

Two crew members get lost in the alien tunnels despite having locators and a 3D map. But, if I remember correctly, there was a storm at the time, which is why the ship could not go rescue their colleagues, and interfered with the signal so explains why the technology did not work to get them out.  Flimsy, maybe, but the two crew members needed to get lost in order to move the story forward, so get over it!

Why do the flamethrowers work outside the ship when fire needs oxygen? When they land, someone says that the atmosphere has 20% oxygen - so it isn't oxygen free. Again, maybe flimsy, but big jets of flame look pretty on screen. Get over it!

How does the wee alien removed from Liz grow to the size of a giant? Where has the extra mass come from? These creatures don't actually exist, and if they did, they are aliens so applying our own logic to their growth rate is ridiculous. Remember this thing went from sperm to baby in less than 2 days - its accelerated growth rate was already implied. GET OVER IT!

There are many other criticisms (maybe some over zealous fan boy will write them in the comments for us), mainly centred around the technology. Prometheus has superior technology than the Nostromo clearly, while in the Alien franchise it is much earlier in the timeline. This has not sat well with some fans. I think that Scott was in a no-win-situation with this. The original movie was made over 30 years ago, and film special effects (and technology) has moved on since then. What was he supposed to do? Create a film with the same or less technology? This too would have received as much, if not more, criticism.

I am not saying there was not things in the movie that niggled a little, but movies to me are all about escapism. Its about spending a couple of hours outside your own head, and living in a world someone else has created. It is not about examining every detail of a film to the nth degree looking for the minutia of flaws.

Perhaps that is why I was one of the few people that actually enjoyed it.

One thing I have noticed, and I am not sure if this is a coincidence or not - most of the films greatest critics are authors, or writers. Perhaps it is their creative natures that won't allow them to sit back and just enjoy the ride. It is their natural ability to create their own plot devices that perhaps means that they cannot just accept the story for what it is and not look too closely at the finer points.

I am not saying that Sci-fi movies don't have to be well written, I am just saying that in a genre like this where there are no rules, where logic has to be suspended, we should perhaps be more forgiving. My greatest concern is that studio executives will one day threw up their hands and say "if we can't sell this shit to the fan boys, why are we even making it? Let's make another film about a talking animal."


Wednesday, 30 June 2010

The Silver Bullet (1985) - a review

As part of a 80’s horror revival I am currently working through, I ordered Silver Bullet on DVD. I found it on Amazon, and it was only available on PAL as a Dutch import, so although the sound was in English, there were annoying subtitles but I tried to ignore them.

My husband, Pablocheesecake to his viewers, regularly reviews our cinema viewings and while I don’t often blog, never mind review, he urged me to give it a go this time.

In case you are unfamiliar, the basic premise of the story is as follows. The small town of Tarker’s Mill in Maine is plagued by increasingly gruesome murders. The films opens to the narration of Jane Coslow, and only her wheelchair bound younger brother Marty Coslow (Corey Haim) has figured out that the culprit is a werewolf. His hero and Uncle, Red (Gary Busey), makes him a super fast petrol powered chair, named The Silver Bullet. Despite the fact Sheriff Haller ( – Terry O’QuinnLost’s John Locke) has imposed a curfew, Marty sneaks out late one night on his new chair to let off some fireworks, as the town’s 4th July celebrations were cancelled due to the troubles. He is confronted by the werewolf, but narrowly escapes on his hi-speed chair after firing a rocket into the creature’s eye. The next day he manages to convince his older sister to search the town for someone with an injured left eye as proof of his story. She is reluctant to believe him but is convinced when she runs into Revered Lowe (Everett McGill) sporting a bandage over his eye. The two of them then work together to convince Uncle Red that the werewolf is real. He makes them a silver bullet out of their jewellery, and arranges for Marty’s parents to be out of the house on the night of the next full moon, where the 3 of them lay in wait to confront the werewolf.

The story itself was based on a Steven King novella "Cycle Of The Werewolf". I can’t say how closely this film resembles the novel as I cannot recall if I have ever read it. I imagine I have, but it would have been some time ago. I had a voracious appetite for horror books as a youngster, and was particularly fond of Mr King’s work and still am to this day. Despite a few novels that kinda strayed from the path, I still count some of his works amongst my all time favourite horror novels.

When compared to more modern werewolf films such as Dog Soldiers or Underworld, the makeup and special effects of the werewolf appear quite hammy. I think there is only one scene in the film where you get to see the entire werewolf. The rest of the time, it is partial shots - a hairy clawed arm as it swipes at a victim, or a hint of a beastial head with a light spot on a malevolent yellow eye. In its defence, it was made in 1985, but I can’t help wishing that they had perhaps hired the god-like special effects guy, Rick Baker (The Howling, American Werewolf In London) as this would have given the film a much needed boost.

The relationship between Marty and his sister is not untypical of millions of young girls who are burgeoning into womanhood, yet feel embarrassed and held back having to care for a younger sibling. She makes it clear that she feels that Marty is given preferential treatment by his parents due to his disability, even claiming quite openly that “you always take his side because he is crippled”. Even Red, who basically acts as a father figure to Marty despite there being a father present, criticises his sister for molly codling the boy too much. She seems very much fixed on the fact that he is disabled, and considers her drunken brother a bad influence on Marty, yet Red is the one that seems to fire Mary’s self confidence and encourage his independence. In the closing narration, after their showdown with the werewolf, the viewer is made aware that the bond between brother and sister strengthens.

Ultimately, this film tries to be a horror film, but doesn’t quite pull it off. For instance, I find the character of Reverend Lowe more sinister as a man, than as a wolf. Rated 18 at the cinemas in the UK (cert 15 for DVD) there are a few moments where the tension builds nicely but one thing that stuck out for me, was the odd choice of language. For instance, there is the occasional ‘Fuck!’ but most of the time, they seem to substitute expletives with less offensive curse words which just don’t quite fit the mood of the scene. It is obviously highly censored and suffers for it. I think this is probably due to the fact that the US has always been more sensitive about swearwords on film and TV than in Britain. For example, Marty’s sister, Jane, after being scared by him and his friend Brady, calls him a ‘little booger’. I can’t help thinking that in the UK, they would have gone with ‘little bastard’.

The acting in this film, particularly from Haim and Busey,  is spot on. A 14 year old Corey Haim displays the promise that made him one of the go to child actors throughout the 80's. Busey is a legend as always, playing that slightly manic red kneck that he does so well.

Despite my very few criticisms, it is still a highly enjoyable film, and if you have not seen it then I recommend that you hunt out a copy. It is still one of my top 5 werewolf movies of all time.

One of my favourite scenes is where a mob goes looking for the killer after the brutal murder of a young boy, Marty’s best friend Brady. In creepy moonlit woods, with the mist swirling around their waists’ a small posse of the vigilantes are attacked and picked off by the werewolf. Local bar owner Owen (Lawrence Tierney) brings along his baseball bat with the words The Peacekeeper carved into it as his weapon of choice. When he is attacked by the werewolf, you see his arm rise from the mist with the Peacekeeper in hand, and valiantly proceed to batter his opponent. The fight pauses for a second, a small scream, and then a hairy clawed arm appears out of the mist holding the Peacekeeper which is then used to bludgeon poor Owen. Dark humour… tis my favourite kind of humour.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

I know I am not perfect but...

... I am so close, it scares me.

That was the quote that was on a t-shirt I bought on holiday once when I was a kid.  In truth, I know I am not perfect - but then who is? No one I guess, yet some people, while perhaps acknowledging their own imperfections, seem unwilling to accept that others may be less than perfect. Alexander Pope said 'To err is human.' Now, he would probably say 'it's human to fuck up'.  I fucked up. How? Well, trusting an 'ex' friend would go their own way, allow me to go mine, was my first mistake.

Recently, someone I had thought of as an online friend, whom I met through the Michael Sheen fan community, lets call her "M", stopped following me on twitter. I was a little hurt by this as there had been no explanation as to why, and I had always liked her and thought we got on. When asked, M claimed that they no longer followed Michael,nor his fansites or indeed any of his fans. This was quickly exposed as a lie. I asked why I was being lied to, and just got the brush off. Oh well - I thought - their loss, and moved on.

How naive I was to assume it ended there?

It has since transpired that the reason M stopped following me on twitter (and Facebook) was because of a conversation I had had on twitter with another friend, lets call her "C". Me & C get on quite well, she is a straight talking, shoot from the hip, no bullshit kinda gal, and she makes me laugh.   It had been brought to my attention (by M I might add) that a fan of Michael's was getting quite gushy on twitter, claiming that she was going to marry him, editing Wikipedia to add her name instead of his girlfriends... etc etc. Borderline stalker nonsense. However, it was obvious this girl was in highschool, and me & C, both being the wrong side of 30, found this amusing. Why? Probably because after life and love has kicked you in the nuts a few times, you forget what it is like to have an all-consuming-crush at that age.  Hands up - we made fun of her - but let me make this clear... IT WAS ONLY EVER BETWEEN THE TWO OF US.

We NEVER contacted the girl and tell her what we thought of her behaviour, however I do have a Direct Message sat on twitter from M saying that she had a mind to contact this girl about her tweets to Michael. She blamed 'people like her' for Michael distancing himself from his twitter fan.s I advised M not to, saying that at the end of the day, she is young and will probably be crushing on someone else in a week or two.

It seems slightly hypocritical then, that M decided to take offense on this girl's behalf and dropped me & C from her friends list. I have since that day, had a small twitter conversation with the girl in question, where she contacted me, and she agreed she was a bit over the top - we laughed about it and now we are cool.

Why did M lie to me about her reasons for dropping me as a friend? Since she dropped me & C from her friends, a few mutual acquaintances have come out of the wood work to say that she has lied to them in the past also. Glad to know I am not the only one.

As more and more of M's bullshit was revealed, C & I discussed in PRIVATE the hypocrasy of her behaviour, such as her gushing over Michael, and with other fans, and fansites (all of which she had claimed she didnt do anymore remember).  This is where I fucked up.  We should have had these PRIVATE discussions by DM, or on Facebook.

It seems that as well as a liar, and hypocrit, M was also a sneaky little spy. She was still looking at mine and C's twitter feeds.  She saw the convos.

What did she do with that info I hear you ask? She MESSAGED MICHAEL.

I mean.... what the fuck?  What kind of behaviour is that to involve a celebrity who had nothing what so ever to do with this, other than she knows both C and I are fans. She sent him copies of our tweets where we were being.. well, lets say ... less than complimentary about her.

Can I point out the obvious here.  Me & C had a PRIVATE conversation about M.  Now, I ask you, what the fuck has that got to do with Michael Sheen?  What exactly did she hope to accomplish with this. If it hadnt made me so angry I would have laughed...

Agreed, C and  I couldn't come out of this smelling of roses, but how much of tit is she making of herself?  What did she want him to do - send us a tweet telling us off?

I really dont have a clue. If she was that annoyed by our convo (that she should not have been looking at in the first place) then I would have thought more if her if she had just approached us directly, instead of being so underhand and sneaky.  The thing that really annoys me is by bringing Michael Sheen into this, she inevitably  involves my site, because all the site's visitors know that the admin of that site is me, Madnad.

But what I say on my own private twitter feed between myself and a friend is nothing to do with Michael Sheen or the site. What I say on there is me as me, not me as admin of  There is a definitive line between the two.  Needless to say, I have now protected my tweets and so they are no longer visible to people who are borderline stalkers themselves.  Just one of the stories I could tell you about M is when she tracked down a phone number to a radio station that was interviewing Michael and harassed them until they let her speak to them - needless to say, the DJ was NOT happy. 

Now, bearing in mind that I have several hundred members on the site, as well as several hundred on twitter, not to mention on the site's Facebook page, MySpace and Tumblr - thats a lot of people that I could quite easily name and shame this person to.

But I wont. 

Unlike M, I am better than that. I am not petty nor vindictive like she claims.  I just want to get back to having fun with the non-crazy fans. But be warned, I am not Bambie either.  If her harassment and deformation of my character continues - I will flame her ass all over the internet. 

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The BAFTAs; or London and Back Again part 2

Continued from Part 1

As the sky started to get darker, the lights seemed to get brighter. All the other spectators were looking as anxious and excited as I was when the first limo pulled up. Men and women walked up the red carpet to the waiting horde of PAs/Assistants that seemed to be milling around the red carpet aimlessly. I had no idea who they were unfortunately, but I believe they were the technical guys, producers, writers etc.... all the guys that make the actors look and sound good.

The crowd buzzed with rumours of who was supposed to show tonight. Some said that Uma Thurman was expected, other said Dustin Hoffman would be making an appearance. There was also rumours that Meryl Streep may even show... none of them did. Well, they didnt 'do' the red carpet anyway. I have seen pictures of Uma and Dustin at the event, so they must have snook in the back way.

The first 'real' star to show up was Anna Kendrick who generously signed a lot of autographs. She was quickly followed by Sharlto Copley who was having so much fun running around signing autographs. He was just adorable, and seemed to find as much delight in signing the autographs as those lucky ones receiving them. The number of faces started coming thick and fast. Some positively sprinted up the red carpet (Quentin Tarantino, Kristen Stewart, Carey Mulligan) while others signed as many autographs as they could before being dragged off by PAs to pose for the professional press.

Roughly in order of arrival (at times it got so chaotic, that I know that there were ones I missed), after Anna and Sharlto, we had;  Christoph Waltz, Matthew Goode, Quentin Tarantino, Matt Dillon, Noel Clarke, David Puttnam, Olivia Williams, Kirsten Scott Thomas, Jeremy Renner, Peter Capaldi, Joely Richardson, Vanessa Redgrave, Kristen Stewart, Tom Ford, Jason Isaacs, Aaron Johnson & Sam Taylor Wood, Nicholas Hoult, Armando Iannucci, Tahar Rahim, Jane Goldman, Terry Gilliam, David Baddiel & Morwenna Banks, Anil Kapoor, Claudia Winkleman, Colin Firth, Anne-Marie Duff, Andy Serkis, David Morrissey, Nick Frost, Jonathan Ross, Mackenzie Crook, Mark Kermode, James Corden, Kate Winslet, James Cameron, Mickey Rourke, HRH Prince William, and last Robert Pattinson.

Jamie Campbell Bower & Bonnie Wright whizzed by at some point, and so did Guy Pearce who was almost unrecognizable with a total shaven head.

Now... what you have been waiting for... some pictures!. I have picked out the best ones and excluded the ones that were too dark, or too blury, or someone managed to maneuver their head or arm in the way as the picture was taken. 

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Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The BAFTAs; or London and Back Again - Part 1

A few months ago,when I heard the date of the BAFTAs Film awards, I decided that it would a great adventure to go and join the throng of fans on the red carpet. I know people that have done this for the TV BAFTAs but lets face it... film is more my thing.

I had no idea who would be attending when I made this decision, although of course, I was hoping that Michael Sheen would attend, as I knew he had presented an award the previous year. Shortly after, the 'long list' of nominees was released, and I could barely contain my excitement to discover his name was listed. However, disappointment abounded when the 'short list' was finally released, and his name was sadly omitted.
Oh well - the train tickets were bought, time booked off work, and the hotel reserved. I hoped that he would still attend, but never the less, there would be plenty of other actors for me to ogle.

A few days prior to the event, I discovered that the day we were due to travel to London, James Purefoy would be appearing at the Forbidden Planet on Shaftesbury Avenue, for a signing to promote his latest movie Solomon Kane.

It was an opportunity too good to miss. Mr Madnad had already expressed a desire to go to Forbidden Planet, which I hadnt objected too but wasnt quiet as excited as him, but this news made the whole idea sound far more tempting.

When we arrived there was only a small queue, so we tagged ourselves onto the end. Would you believe it - 10 mins after we joined the queue, a guy came along and stuck a camera in our faces. 'EEK!' I cried, and immediately declined the kind offer to say a few words about Solomon Kane. Mr Madnad however, was willing to give it a go.

Yes, he is the guy with the red hair.

That excitement over, we continued to await our turn to see the Purejoy (as he is known in our house).

My copy of the Official Movie companion held tightly in my sweaty little mits, I finally got to the front of the queue. I sheepishly handed it over to James, who signed it with a smile, and kindly agreed when I asked if I could take a picture. He put on his best 'smoulder', as you can see from the picture below. Ladies, I dont know what it is that he has, but it exudes off him in bucket loads.  It certainly had me dumbstruck. Desperate to say something quick, and witty, I only managed to mumble a thank you and shuffled off. Naturally, the further away from Forbidden Planet, the more ideas I had. 'Oh, I should have said... ' etc etc.

london baftas 2010

We had a good browse around the book section, and manage to walk out with only 3 books - which for us, was pretty good.

We checked into the hotel and had a couple of hours taking it easy reading in our room, then went out for a walk and to grab some dinner. Our hotel was not far from Russell Square so there was plenty of restaurants around but in the end we plumped for something reasonably familiar and went with Pizza Express.

After dinner we headed to a nearby pub and stopped off for a drink. We didnt exactly paint the town red, but we had gotten up pretty early that morning, and knew that we had a long day tomorrow and so decided an early night was probably a good idea.

The hotel we had chosen was based on location, and cheapness. After the first few hours on a bed that had the thinnest mattress and was sat on floorboards that sloped upwards, and listening to the traffic that sounded like it was only a foot away, driving by the single glazed windows, I decided that it had been a bad move. At 6:30am, after a sleepless night for the both of us, we got up and dragged our tired asses down to the Theatre Royal to collect our wristbands.

We got there just before 8am and was surprised at the number of people already queuing, in fact several were in tents and sleeping bags - quite obviously having been there ALL NIGHT!!! I admit, I was concerned that we would not get a wristband, but we joined the end regardless, and stood there waiting... and of course, it started to rain.  Once the queue started moving, we only had to wait about another 45 mins before we got ours...... aaaaannnd relax.  The friendly security guards gave us our numbered wristband, and directed is to return at about 1:30pm, and that they would not be allowing us access to the red carpet until 3pm, so we had a few hours to kill.

By this time, the rain was pretty heavy, so we walked up to Covent Garden where we got a lovely breakfast at Tuttons. We spent the next few hours looking around the Garden, and hopping in and out of coffee bars, and pubs to dry off and get warm.

At the appointed time, we returned to the Theatre Royal, and commenced queueing ... again. At 3pm they started letting us up to the barriers in number order. Unfortunately, there were 250 people ahead of us, so we didnt get a front row spot as I had hoped. To make matters worse we seemed to be surrounded by autograph hounds, the kind that get celebrity autographs just to sell on - make a quick buck. They guarded their positions fiercely, and basically made it impossible for genuinely interested fans to get close to their heroes.

Mr Madnad and I tried to remain as positive as we could, and waited for another hour or so, before the first star arrived.

To Be Continued in Part 2.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

A 100 Reasons why I HATE Twilight.

Actually, there is only 10, but I figured a 100 would get your attention. I am sure if I could be arsed to read more than the first two books I would probably make it to a 100 no worries. Do feel free to add your own in the comments.

I also realise I have ranted about this subject before, and that what I might be doing is engendering you with an overwhelming desire to read it (if you haven't already) just out of curiosity, but I am just sick and tired of it just taking over everything.

My inbox keeps filling up with supposed Michael Sheen google alerts. I open them excitedly, only to find old news relating to him being regurgitated by the endless stream of Twilight fan sites.  Not surprisingly, most of the fans had no idea who Michael Sheen was prior to his (lamented) appearance as Aro in New Moon, and so I am subjected to constant remarks of surprise when they find him in something else – did they seriously think this was his first real job? All the others cast members were obviously hired because of their looks, (apart from Robert Pattinson who is actually an okay actor but not very braw – casting director must have been drunk that day). I think Michael was hired simply to give this one some much needed gravitas. On set, I imagine all the others watching Michael do his scenes thinking ‘wow – is that what real acting looks like – it looks hard’.

More evidence of Twilights pervasive nature is for example Entertainment sites, where I would once would get information about the latest project of celebrity A or B, have basically become Twilight obsessees, and report on the dullness that is ‘OMG Kirsten Stewart has been spotted getting a coffee somewhere’... who gives a flying fuck?

Granted, the books are quite addictive (some additive in the paper has been suggested) but I think that is because the tantalizing preface gives us the impression something really exciting is going to happen, but it kinda doesn't. During most of the climax of the first book, Bella is unconscious and so we miss out on all the action. Lazy writing?

They are in a rough ascending order, the one I feel most strongly about being no. 1. Let me count the ways...

10. It seems to me that ultimately, this book is a great big fat 'Mary Sue' - a book primarily functioning as wish-fulfilment fantasy for the author. Not always a bad thing, but so blatant in this book - particularly due to her obvious recreation of her mormonistic views towards sex before marriage, and de-fanged vampires.
9. The fans - I have to say, one of the things I find most repulsive (scary) about the books is the high level of hysterical obsession, it elicits from the fans. The books have such a hold over them. Why they fall for this poor quality pseudo-romance is beyond me. They are fiercely loyal, a trait I would normally admire, but to the point where they will form a witch hunt against any nay-sayers. Dear reader, I am taking my life in my hands by publishing this blog! It is not a romance - it is an obsessive crush based purely on (in Bella's case) ethereal good looks and that he sparkles, and (in Edward's case) because she smells nice. Not her wit or intelligence, or her humour or humanity, oh no… her scent. This kind of love does not exist, not to be called love anyway. One of many false ideals this book portrays.

8.  Is it just me that finds it a bit paedo-creepy Edward is like a 100 years older than Bella? Or, to look at it another way, why would someone with the life experience he must have at 100+ years, entertain the idea of a romance with a teenager.

7. Badly written. There are holes in the plot the size of the O2 stadium. The book is also meant to be told from the perspective of a 17 year old girl, yet the internal dialogue is of someone MUCH older. Maybe this is a ploy by the author to signify that Bella is more mature than her age... but for me it is just too forced. It is not very well written, and it seems like the author went through the first draft with a thesaurus in hand, and put in as many 'big words' as possible, rather than ones actually used in common parlance.

6. No touching. No kissing. And definitely No Sex. Just lots of frustrating angst. Bella's scent is apparently just so intoxicating that Edwards fears he will lose control. This ties in with the first book's cover showing a women holding an apple in her hands - the symbology is quite clear. Women are evil and hold temptation in their hands.

5. Everyone is so nauseatingly beautiful, with perfect hair, and luscious lips, and alabaster skin. Another false ideal, and impossible goal for teens uncomfortable with their changing bodies to aspire to
4. The Vampires are effete vegetarians with a tortured soul... and they sparkle. VAMPIRES DO NOT FUCKING SPARKLE (see a previous post - Vampires...Have they wussed out?. Also, I have to say something about the fact they refer to other fantasy characters in this series - ie werewolves. I know my friends at Werewolf News would not forgive me if I didn't point out that THEY ARE NOT REAL WEREWOLFS. I do believe that this is actually straightened out in a later book where is clearly states they are shape-shifters…but still.

3. Edward - This character is probably the most popular with the largely young, female audience, but I find him the most loathsome of all. He is so manipulative of Bella. He controls their relationship from the start, to the point where Bella - even when confessing her love for him to herself - is almost resigned to the fact, as if it wasn't her decision. He is attracted to Bella based purely on her scent, and behaves quite appallingly towards any other males that are (surprisingly) interested in Bella for reasons far more normal. He is jealous, and controlling. He decides when they take the relationship to the next level, he decides that he should perhaps leave as she is just too darn irresistible.... when does Bella get to have her say?

2. Bella - It terrifies me that girls as young as 8 or 9 are reading these books, and have Bella as a role model. She starts off a regular teenager, slightly introverted, reasonably intelligent, averagely good looking, not athletic in anyway, in fact extremely clumsy (to the point where she is a hazard to herself). Then she meets Edward, and becomes a spineless, weak willed, obsessive, who follows Edward around like a love sick puppy. She practically gives up on life when he leaves her, and becomes a ghost (see point 1). It is also made quite acceptable for her to lie to her family and ignore her friends in order to keep this love of hers.

1. Its ultimate sin is the portrayal of women, particularly the lead female, as some kind of weak-without-a-man creature who needs to be told what to do and is incapable of existing, or giving any value to themselves, without one in their life. Now, I realise that Twi-Tards (should they deign to stop by this blog) will defend it to the death. Don't bother - I have heard all your arguments. Supposedly, the story takes us back to a time where it was very important to be liked by a boy, and the feelings of first love, and how you just want a boy to obsess about you. It is just a fantasy so why should it live up to a feminist ideal? I don't think it is a 'feminist ideal' to not want our sisters, daughters and nieces to be exposed to something that is so dangerous. Don't forget Twi-Tards - that it is thanks to the feminists of previous generations that YOU are able to buy a book, by a FEMALE author, with your OWN MONEY, to read in your SPARE TIME, and that your biggest complaint in life is that someone on the internet doesn't like your favourite book.

I realise this work is considered a 'genre' piece, but because of this it does not mean that it must purely entertain, and does not exclude it from having a meaning beyond entertainment. This book is being read by (mostly) girls of an age that have yet to form opinions about love, life and themselves, and so is influencing them in a way that women of previous generations were not influenced. Yes, we had our fantasies growing up, but they were just in our heads - they were never realised into print, or the big screen to the same degree as the Twilight Saga, which serves to reinforce them to levels previously unknown.

I genuinely believe that most teens will grow out of this, and hopefully will come out the other side reasonably unscathed. There will be a few unhappy souls however, that will 'become' Bella. That will be made to feel that it is okay to have your self-worth hinge on whether someone 'loves' you or not, and lose any self respect in order to keep 'their man'. There will also be those who spend many lonely days wistfully dreaming and waiting for their very own 'Edward' when unfortunately, impossibly good looking 100 year old immature vegetarian vampires don't exist. Sadly, controlling, manipulative and obsessive men do and they are out there looking for Bellas.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Michael Sheen no longer a twitterer

So, our man Michael Sheen has confirmed that he has left twitter, for the time being at least.  After toying with the idea for sometime, I have taken the decision to remove his twitter feed from the front of the site.

I must confess, I am devastated at the news but at the same time, appalled at the criticism that he has received on twitter from so called fans. 

When I started following Michael Sheen on twitter, he had less than 50 followers. At the time, I had been getting increasingly frustrated at a fake Michael Sheen for ignoring everyone's pleas to prove his identity.  It just didn't ring true. The posts did not have his (sometimes) surreal sense of humor or his eloquent speech.  As much as I yearned for it to be him - I knew in my heart that it wasn't.  When Michael started posting it was easy for someone like me - who has watched his video interviews far too many times, and read all the press interviews until I practically know them word for word - to spot the real deal.

I would have been more than happy just to have an opportunity to read his posts, to hear his thoughts and comments. I consider us all very fortunate that he took some of his precious free-time from his busy schedule to actually reply to a lucky few.

I have listened to the interview with Simon Mayo a few times now, where he gives his reasons for his absence.  The first reason he gives, and he has mentioned this in other interviews such as the Tavis Smiley show, is that he has a tendency towards narcissism. He is a man who is willing to admit his flaws, not just to himself but to others which should be applauded in my book.  I can easily imagine that there would be a danger of a greatly inflated ego if you are being told by almost 60'000 people everyday how wonderful you are.  I actually find it quite endearing, and am grateful that he has taken this precaution as I would hate for him to become as arrogant and conceited as a lot of his colleagues in the industry appear to be.  His modesty is one of the things that I find most appealing about him.

He also mentions the fact that the press had gate crashed our little party and spoiled the intimacy of the relationship between him and his fans by basically regurgitating his tweets... along with a few embellishments. 

He was then asked if he is missing twitter, and he agreed that he was, which means that at some level he is missing the interaction he had with his fans.

His final comment, which is the one that I gather has upset a few of his fans, was that he it now means that he has time to spend with his 'real friends'.  Some people I believe have taken this 'real friend' comment as a bit of a slap in the face, as if it was meant as an insult.  I actually think quite the opposite.

I am convinced that if Michael knew that he had upset his fans by this comment he would be devastated.  I personally think that the reason he made the distinction was to mean his 'real life' friends as opposed to on-line friends.

Although, lets face it, none of us can really consider ourselves his friends so why should the comment upset anyone.  Just because he has exchanged a handful of tweets with us does not mean we are his friends.  To me, the definition of a 'real friend' is someone who I know in real life, and have met on many occassions and have a mutual love and respect for, or with online friends - at the very least shared long and heart felt conversations. 

What I am trying to say is we loved him before he was on twitter so why should him leaving make us love him even less?  We should look back and cherish the time he was there as the special perk that it was, and although we may not have the direct conduit that we used to have, we can still show our love and support for Michael and his career the way we always have done - by going to the cinema and the theatre to see him perform, by buying the DVD's, by using his characters as inspiration for art and fiction, and by trying to convert every female that we know into appreciating his considerably talents!!!

Anyway.... I am off now to cry into a large oversized pillow *sob*. Coupon Code