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*.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Sheffield – A Reverie

Part of my job here at the sunny University of Nottingham, is to organise workshops, conferences, that sort of thing.  I am in the process of setting one up for November and it will be held in Sheffield.

I grew up in Sheffield. Lived in Hillsborough for a while, and went to infant school there.  My family moved when I went up to Junior school, so I went to Parson's Cross, and then onto Chaucer Comprehensive.

I have never really felt any romantic need to reminisce about Sheffield before, in fact, when I moved away at 16, I actually felt it was a good thing.  It seemed to me at the time, what with the increased unemployment and the general degeneration of the city centre, that it was a dying city. Sure, I would have liked to have stayed a little longer - I wanted to go to college with my friends (family dictated that I move to Skegness with them after my step-father was made redundant).  Even if I had stayed for college, I knew that I would not have made a career or home there. Compared to other cities at the time (circa 1986/7) I felt Sheffield was dirty, and run down, which thinking about it now, with the eyes of an adult, it probably was. 

I haven't really been back to Sheffield since about 1989.  I understand in that 20 years, there has been many changes. I have heard over the last few years that the local authorities have made an effort to revamp Sheffield and improve its appearance and reputation.  It now has a tram system, and a couple of Universities (they were only polytechnics when I was there).

I don't remember a whole lot about my time there, as I had literally just finished high school when we moved, but there are a few lasting memories.

The Sheffield Show - most large cities and towns have an annual fete or show at some point during the summer.  I remember going there as a kid, and wandering past all the stands and being give free stuff! Admittedly, a lot of this stuff was publicity and promotional items such as a pen, or hat or key ring sporting the logo of some local firm.  They used to have fair ground rides and a there was a display area that had the local dance/karate/scouts club or whatever doing some demo. There was a stage too, run by the local station Radio Hallam.  I remember one year being quite impressed they had Showaddywaddy on.  Okay - I was only about 8 at the time!

Peace Gardens – Never really knew why they were called that.  It was a great place to have a seat and some lunch in between all the busy hanging out and chatting with pals.

Rebels / The Wappentake – During my high school years – I discovered ROCK!!!  I fell in love with rock music, particularly of the heavy metal/punk/Goth variety.  Two of the coolest places to hang out if you like rock or alternative music was the Wappentake (or just the Wap to its friends) and then onto the Rebels nightclub.  Now, I was never really old enough to go into the Wappentake.  I tried to once, with some friend – all of whom were younger than me – and I was the one that got kicked out. The gift of looking younger than my true age that I treasure now, I hated back then.

Rebels however, were not nearly as scrupulous about the whole age thing, and so in the last year of highschool I was a fairly regular visitor to said establishment.  It was a dark and dingy club with one bar and a sticky floor.  The seating round the edge of the room was interspersed with the occasional speaker which meant that the whole thing vibrated.  You had to climb several flights of stairs to get in, then bought your ticket (for a whole £1 if I remember rightly) then immediately turned to your left and handed it to the guy on the door who threaded it onto a string.  There was also a tv high in a corner that showed videos of Power Hour – a late night rock show.  When I went, it was the height of NWOBHM and bands like Def Leppard were kings, so a sea of denim and leather greeted you as you walked in.  There was also the cock rock queens – fans of Bon Jovi et al, and your thrashers in their Bermuda shorts a la Anthrax.  The strange and exotic goth girls with their crimped hair and lacy collars – what I desperately wanted to be – but I usually went in jeans and a t-shirt as I had told my mom that I was just spending the night at a friends. 

The Hole In The Road – or as it it officially known – Castle Square.  This was, to a young child, a strange and magical labyrinth.  It was built as a means of pedestrians being able to navigate from one busy shopping street to another, avoiding the dangers of the traffic above.  You would descend an escalator and then walk through the hole, the top of which was open to the sky, and ascend up to your desired destination.  I don't know how many times I attempted this but never seemed to get the right set of stairs the first time.  There was a few department stores above that had display windows round the edge, but the thing I remember most is the fish tank.  There was a large fish tank embedded into the wall on one side and was always a great meeting point for friends or lovers.

In the later 80s it fell into disrepair, with damaged lighting, graffiti, and general refuse – it became a muggers paradise.  Sadly, in the mid 90s, they filled it in.  I do think that this was a big mistake and that the council could have found another way to have the tram navigate the city centre, and instead spent some cash renovating it, repairing the paving stones and creaky escalators.  It was a unique feature of Sheffield and the city and its residents are the poorer without it.

Anyway, come November, I will hopefully get a chance to have a quick nosey around and will report back.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Vampires... Have they wussed out?

Yes, I know it has been a while. Meh... I figured I would come back eventually when I had something to say.

I have something I wanted to get off my chests. There has been a lot of talk recently in the sci fi/fantasy/horror media, that Vampires have wimped out. I think, looking at the evidence, they may be right.

When I was young, I eagerly devoured as many horror books as I could get my mits on without the parental units noticing. Back then, the vampire was a thing of horror. They were a veritable creature of the night, and a true Prince of Darkness. Books like Dracula, Pan Book of Horror, and the many Hammer films starring the enigmatic Christopher Lee, or the strange atmospheric Nosferatu were the staple reading/viewing of my youth. Of course, I also had a soft spot for the werewolves and mummies etc. too ... but the vampire always fascinated and drew me in, while at the same time, made me afraid of the strange shadows cast by the Star Wars curtains in my room as the street light shone through from outside.

What drew me to the vampire I think, was the fact that even though they were a monster, they looked human, and could pass for human quite convincingly. They did not have our fear of death or disease. They had a freedom from the rat race and did not have the same petty concerns that rule most adult's lives. They were more often than not wealthy, and lived a life of luxury and darkness. The Victorian vampire epitomised hedonism. The sting in the tail, the horror, came from their animalistic, all encompassing hunger - their need to feed on the blood of humans. While on the one hand I would like to romanticise that I could consider humans as little more than cattle, but any truly non-psychotic person finds the thought of taking a human life – even for sustenance - as abhorent.

Then... along came Ann Rice. Along came her vampires who were troubled, and tormented by their nature, and resorted to feeding from animals. We sympothised and empathised with them. The Lost Boys made them a bit rock n roll, but ultimately little more than misunderstood boys looking for a mothers love. The vampire was further defanged by Buffy the Vampire slayer, who actually turned out to be more of a vampire layer. Her vampire beau had a soul, and fought evil in order to redeem himself for all the death & destruction he caused during his long. He got his nutrition from stolen donations from the blood bank.

The vampires in the Underworld franchise had all the poise and grace that wannabe Vamps/Goths imagine a vampire to be, and I had hoped that they would prove to be the comeback that vampires needed, but they got their asses handed to them on a plate by the werewolves…

This trend continued with books like Anita Blake Vampire Hunter and all its copycats. The final nail in the coffin is the Twilight series. I tried… I really did try to like this series but there are so many faults with them, some previously discussed in this blog. The thing that grinds my gears the most is the vamps of the Twilight-verse are nothing more than sparkly vegetarians. It is quite laughable really. Talk about watered down. Not real vampires in my opinion.

There have been a few glimmers of hope. Let The Right One In for instance was heading in the right direction, although I am horrified to hear that they are making a US version – for audiences to lazy/ignorant to be bothered reading subtitles. This will of course be an inferior offering because of it. The graphic novel world has tried to stay faithful. If you like gory you could check out 30 Days of Night.

This examination began when I heard Neil Gaiman proposed that vampires go underground for a couple years and re-emerge as something different. I quite agree Neil. Go away you sparkly tortured souls, and make room for the new Count Orlak, Dracula or Richard Straker.



Okay… rant over {/rant}

In other news, my tarantula Athena shed her skin yesterday. It is always a traumatic time for the spider and the owner. Thankfully, it all went swimmingly, and now she is all shiny and new. I have to wait a good 10-14 days for her exo-skeleton to harden and her innards to sort themselves out before I can feed her again, then it will be a rampage on locusts.

I have recently had one of my young nephew to stay overnight. He has been plaguing his mother & me for months to come to my house 'on holiday'. Mr Madnad & I picked him up from his mums on Saturday morning, and he was so excited he did not shut up for the first hour in the car. Constantly talking absolute drivel and finding it all hilarious, in that slightly manical and hysterical way kids can be when they are excited. He fell asleep for most of the rest of the way. Phew!

We took him to the castle for the rest of the afternoon but I think the thing he wanted to play with most was the sand pit - and this is a kid that lives on the coast. Back at mine, he got to beat my husband at wii bowling - and then got to top his own pizza. He all spent a good hour running up and down the garden ( in an effort to tire him out ). He was very good, and went to bed after his bath with no complaints or fuss. I look forward to his next stay.

Any of you that have had to tolerate me boring them about Michael Sheen will know that I am very excited at the recent news that he is to star in Tron 2. It has not been confirmed what role yet, but I am suspecting it will be the big bad replacing, or in a similar role, that David Warner held in the original film. This appeals to me on many levels as I loved the original and lurve Michael Sheen – so win win!

It also kind of makes up for him appearing in Twilight. *rolls eyes*




Monday, 11 May 2009

Twilight?

I realise the Twilight saga is very popular, but I had never really felt drawn to reading it. Partly because my time dedicated to reading had been reduced by college, revision, then the website etc, and what time I did have I was caught up in the very addictive Mark Chadbourn novels. However, some weeks ago now it was announced that Michael Sheen would be appearing as a vampire named Aro in the film of the second book in the series, New Moon.

This has prompted me to give the books a go, and I have come to the following conclusions.

I was correct in my first assumption, and that I am not the target demographic. The story is set in a high school and the main characters are around 17, or at least appear that age.

This is probably the main reason I have a problem with the book. The female lead Bella is 17, okay, thats fine, but the male lead Edward, looks 17 but is apparently about 90 years old. I then ask the question - what the fuck is he doing in highschool?

The book tells us he is from a family of vampires that do not drink human blood, and wish to live amongst humans. Maybe this is part of the pretence but it seems a bit much when they could simply say that he is homeschooled.

Also, why would someone who has walked this earth for so long be attracted to a 17 year old, let alone fall in love with one. I know that kids grow up faster these days but its all a bit peadophilic really. Let's face it - all of us at 17 thought we were grown up and knew all there was to know, and then we faced the world and realised that we knew fuck all. These two would have absolutely nothing in common.

Add to this that Bella seems to have fallen in love with Edward, simply because of his etherial beauty. He is quite obnoxious with her for quite a while, yet she still finds her self falling for his, pretty none existent, charms.

The reason for his behaviour and rudeness to her is explained by him being so drawn to feed off her, that he finds it almost unbearable to be around her - and this is her fault why exactly? If someone behaved and spoke to me the way Edward treats Bella initially, I would slap him upside the head and tell him to get lost - whatever he looked like.

Have some self respect girl!

The final annoyance is that their love for each other is demonstrated with lots of sighs and longing glances through eyelashes. There is the odd caress of the cheek, or brush of lips and although these two 'teenagers' are mad about each other, they show great restraint.

I feel that in this, the book is appealing to its demographic's false ideal of what exactly is love. Love is not really like this - certainly not between two horny teenagers who would be at it like jack rabbits lets face it. Even romantic love needs more than just a few glances from an Adonis across a cafeteria.

I don't even want to start telling you how disturbed I am over the claustrophobic, obsessive and suffocating relationship they seem to have. For any two people to be so wrapped up in each other, almost to the exclusion of everyone else, it is far from healthy.

I can fully understand now why Twilight is often referred to as the scariest fandom on the planet - it undoubtedly consists of hoards of horny lonely teenage girls all over the world, sighing and dreaming that one day they will meet their own Edward.

Sorry girls - it is just a fantasy. I suggest instead, you stop mooning over this impossibly unrealistically fantasy and go out an meet some real boys/men. They are intrinsically flawed creatures I will grant you, and will fall very short from the ideals that you have been led to expect from reading pulp like this - but then neither are we women perfect.

I actually think that the book is reasonably well written, but just think that the content is pretty formulaic. I think that if the mythology of the vampires and werewolves were a little more original, then this might have been a more interesting read.

I will however, continue on to the second book. Only because this is when Michael Sheen's character Aro, makes his first appearance.

Michael - if only you knew what I put myself through for you.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Bank Holiday Ahoy!

The first of two long weekends is looming, and I confess, I cannot wait. I have not got any plans so far, but just enjoy the fact that I can enjoy my Sunday evening, without that usual dread of Monday morning.

I am taking some steps to hopefully remedy this.

I applied for a job the other day, and have an interview shortly. I am not going to get too hopeful, but it would be quite cool if I got this new job.

In other news, Michael is continuing to twitter occasionally. When I started to 'following' @michaelsheen, he only had less than 50 followers and was still battling to remove the fake Michael. He succeeded in doing that, and now has over 4000. Great news that this is, it also sadly means that the chances of getting a response like in the early days are probably over. Oh well - I will occasionally look with fondness on the screen cap of the small virtual exchange we shared.

The site has had a few updates. We now sport a small forum. There is only a small group of active posters at the moment, but it is early days yet. If any Michael Sheen fans stumble across this post, then please do feel free to join us.

www.michael-sheen.co.uk

Thursday, 23 April 2009

May the Shinest Sheen win!

And I think... he has!

For those wondering what on earth I am Twittering on about, there has been an epic battle on Twitter between a Fake Michael Sheen and a Real Michael Sheen.

The faker made the mistake of obsessing a little too much about New Moon (the Twilight sequel that Michael will shortly be filming) and this was picked up by the many Twilight blogs out there. News of the twitter account obviously got back to Michael, so our man joined Twitter and graciously offered the Faker a chance to back off, but the stupid idiot thought this was just another faker and decided to have a pissing contest.

For us mere mortals it was amusing, the highlights were when the Real Michael posted that he was going to watch the ''making of'' docco on the Frost/Nixon dvd, which prompted the Fake Michael to tweet that the 'obsessed fan had just bought a dvd of his work'.

Calls on both sides for the other to 'fess up were trumped when the Real Michael, who had mentioned he was at the Groundlings Event being held in LA, posted a picture of himself AT the event.

To the Real Michael.... well played sir.... the fucker will rue the day he ever tried to tussle with you!

To the Fake Michael (and the other fakers) ... EPIC FAIL !!!!!!!!!!

Details of the Real Michael Sheen twitter account can be found on the website www.michael-sheen.co.uk

Saturday, 4 April 2009

The Boat That Rocked

It's official! Bill Nighy is THE coolest man in Britian.

I have just been to see The Boat That Rocked, and it is laugh out loud 'till tears run down your face funny. Bill was superb in it, and he oozed cool in that way that he does. I love it when he dances, as he throws shapes that cry out to be frozen into a Warhol picture.

There is a pretender to the throne however. The multi-talented Rhys Ifans stole scenes from the rest of the extremely talented cast as rock god Gavin, and he looked suitably dashing in his fine purple suit. Even the feathers in his hat did not make this man look silly.

I can't let my post go by with out a nod to Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Nick Frost.

The film made me miss the halcyon days of pirate radio, even though it was all over well before I was born. I think it was the spirit of anti-establishment that pirate radio represented that I miss from modern radio. DJ's these days are well heeled and over paid, and when you do get one that does something a little reckless, the Big Bad Corporation bows to the pressure of the Daily Mail massive and bans them for 3 months.

I think that Richard Curtis has an uncanny gift and has proven true to form and provided a film that everyone that sees will walk away feeling good, and possibly even a little rebellious. I will confess, that when Iron Maiden came on the radio soon after I got in my car to drive home, I cranked up that baby and wound down the windows.... and I dont even like Iron Maiden! I actually consider them a little bit 'middle of the road'. Yes kids, I am that edgy, Maiden is middle of the road for me.

In Michael Sheen news, I have found 2 fantastic videos on You Tube that shows the man is not frightened of poking fun at himself, or at least the press's opinion of him. It is in support of a worthy cause, See Africa Differently, so please take a look at the vidz here and here.

Of course, both are available to watch on my site www.michael-sheen.co.uk

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

All things Michael Sheen

I have been very lax with this blog, but I make no apologies as I have been rather busy.

It was mentioned in a previous post that I was finally getting off my arse and putting a website together, for Michael Sheen. It has been up now for a few weeks and I must say that I am blown away by the response.

There has been so many visits, and registrations, that it proves to me this was the right thing to do. I am enjoying myself and learning a lot, which to be honest, was the plan all along. I have had one or two wrestling matches with my content management system, and html can be a bit of a bitch at times, but so far I think I have come out on top.

It is quite addictive too. I find that once I have figured out one addition, instead of sitting back, I cannot help myself and start looking for the next . At the moment, I am trying to find a template that I like. Have you any idea how many there are out there? 1000's!!!

Anyway, should you find yourself with a spare five minutes, please stop by - and it is worth registering for a free account, as it allows you into the gallery and fans corner.
www.michael-sheen.co.uk

Right, so back to the usual ramble on films.

This weekend, we went to see Damned United. Okay... I hear you groan... we are back on to the subject of Michael Sheen, but - in my defence - it is a really good film. The plot bears only a passing resemblance to reality but I think it worked. Michael was channeling Clough, and managed to give a performance that was full of the ego and bravado that we all as Clough, but allowed a behind-the-scenes like glimpse to the man's fears, and weaknesses. All in all, I think it makes the man more lovable.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

The Watchmen - my review

Went to see this, with a very excited husband this weekend.

I have heard complaints that it was slow, which is true to an extent I grant you, but I think this was to try and get over the complex 'messages' that Alan Moore always puts into his novels. My only complaint would be that at over 2½ hours, it is a bit of a bum-number. I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Granted it could also be confusing for someone not familiar with the novel, for instance - the government bill banning 'masks' is very casually mentioned, but I do believe that you can enjoy it for what it is. Visually, it is splendid. Great use of colours, and I was quietly impressed with the acting.

There is an obvious danger when making a film of something that has such a large and passionate cult following as The Watchmen, is that you are never going to be able to truly please the fanboys (or girls). V for Vendetta I think suffered from the same amount of scrutiny. These kind of films always come under such fire as the fanboys always exclaim 'this character didnt say that!' or ' his hair is meant to be blond'.

If you want 100% accuracy, stay home and read the book is my response!!

As a fan of the Watchmen, the thing I was most pleased with is that they totally nailed the character Rorschach, who is definitely my favorite. The actor looked so much like the pics in the graphic novel it was spooky. Full marks also goes to Jeffrey Dean Morgan (big daddy Winchester to you Supernatural fans) as he was amazing as the Comedian. Whatta Guy!

Dr Manhattan aside, these are just a group of ordinary men and women with no special abilities that want to fight crime and make the world a better place, which is an admirable sentiment. The point that the film highlights though, is that behind the mask, they are as flawed, as contemptuous, and as misguided as the citizens they swore to protect.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Something to add to your browser favorites

Okay... so I know that I said I would finish my Lucian fanfic before I did this, but I got a bit excited and...

I am now the proud owner of michael-sheen.co.uk. Yeay!

It seemed such a shame that such an amazing actor only had one website that I could find. The existing website is also very badly organized (in my opinion) and infrequently updated.

I have wanted to do a website for sometime now, but have been lacking in inspiration for the actual content. When I spotted that there was an obvious deficiency I resolved to do something about it.

With some much appreciated (more than you will ever know girls ) technical assistance from the lovely hedgeypig and alicat1971 I have made some small progress.

I will endeavour to get my fic finished as soon as - only a few more chapters to go I think - and then I will quite literally, throw myself at the website.

I aim to include a theatre, TV and Film -ography, screencap gallery, news and also a fan art section. So all you Michael Sheen fans, get thee to photoshop, and send me any lovely graphics, wallpapers, banners, icons etc that you would like to share with the world. I intend to credit you all of course, with a link back to your LJ accounts (or other if you prefer).





Friday, 27 February 2009

DVD-athon

Since my retro crush on Michael Sheen has been reactivated after my first (hopefully of many) viewings of Rise of the Lycans, I have decided to splash out on a few DVDs of his work outside the Underworld franchise.

Last month, I managed to pick up Laws of Attraction, which is a sweet and funny story and Michael looks great as the rock 'n' roller Thorne Jamison.

Second purchase was Ancient Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire which I have not watched yet, although I have seen a few clips on You Tube which is what prompted me to buy it. I remember this being on TV, but missed the first few episodes and thought there was little point watching the rest. Just need to find the time to watch it now.

Third DVD was Dirty Filthy Love. Michael plays the lead in this emotional drama about a man with OCD and Tourette's. Poor bastard.

Final purchase was Heartlands which is about a man who goes on a journey to talk to his lover who has ran off with another man. The film is more about the journey and the odd characters he meets along the way. I am very much looking forward to seeing this, as I love odd quirky films.

I just love films if I am honest. I love to read, and I love to listen to great music - but my real passion is movies. I would watch them, write about them, think about them all day if Real Life did not keep intruding.

Anyway, all the above purchases were made for around £20 as it seems that a lot of Michael's back catalogue is a tad obscure and unbelievably, not much in demand. To be honest, this is one of the reasons why I admire him. Not just for his abilities, but for the fact he seems to actively shy away from movies that are about some handsome leading man, ROTL being the exception.

Not that I am suddenly rolling in cash, far from it, but I have already selected this month's purchases. Gallowglass and Mary Reilly should be winging their way to me as we speak dear reader, again for no more than £20.

All these DVD's to watch may prove useful - as the amount of liquid cash I have is extremely limited these days, so I can happily sit and watch these, and hopefully figure out how to cap a DVD that has a menu, in order to plonk these caps onto my forthcoming site.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Success!

Today I received a good email. Hidden away among the rest of the flotsam and jetsam that is my infrequently visited inbox, was an email from the AAT. It seems that I have passed my final exam, and am now eligible to apply for full membership therefore allowing the letters MAAT after my name.

I will not be applying for membership as I feel the use of letters after ones name these days is considered slightly pretentious. I will however be updating my CV. Although I am reasonably happy with my job, I am not too happy with the environment I work in.

I went out this weekend with my husband and a friend to a little event in town called 'The Ghoul Garden'. This is a monthly Goth night held at a city centre venue, The Maze, and they play old school Goth and Punk that reminded me and my friend of halcyon days. Everyone was very friendly, and even though I did not recognise large swathes of the playlist, there were very few that I did not enjoy.

Now there is no fear of having to go back to night school, I have decided that once I have finished my Lucian fanfic, I intend to fulfil a long time wish of starting a website.

I have always enjoyed tinkering and learning new skills, particularly IT related, but have always held off as I had no clue as to what content would fill my corner of the web. With my renewed interest in Michael Sheen, and the discovery that there is only one badly laid out, infrequently updated site dedicated to such a fine actor, I have decided to do a Michael Sheen fansite and rectify the situation.

I have some lovely friends who are far more tech savvy than me, and will harrass them mercilessy when ever I hit a bump in the road - of which no doubt there will be many in my first foray.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

A few Michael Sheen icons

I had a small celebrity crush on Michael Sheen since the first Underworld film as, apart from Viktor, I felt Lucian was the most interesting character in the film. This crush has been stimulated after I went to see Rise of the Lycans a few weeks ago (off to see it again tonight actually ;) )

It has inspired me to write a Lucian based fic, and to do one or two icons, which I will place below for your viewing pleasure. Anyone wanting to use the icons, please go ahead, but credit me at my LJ account.

01.Photobucket 02.Photobucket 03.Photobucket
04.Photobucket 05.Photobucket 06.Photobucket
07.Photobucket 08.Photobucket 09.Photobucket
10.Photobucket

Monday, 9 February 2009

The Punisher: Warzone

When I first saw the trailer for this, some months ago now, I was quite excited. Ray Stevenson? Check! The Punisher (marvel hero)? Check! How could I lose.



I was slightly apprehensive at first, as the last two film outings of this particular comic book character have not gone terribly well. The Punisher is dark, unremorseful, and headstrong. The other films fell slightly flat unfortunately. This film however, delivers 100%.



Ray Stevenson looks absolutely amazing I must confess. He is head to toe black-ops gear and brooding like there is no tomorrow. A look that I must say, does suit him very well. The Punisher delivers brutal and stylized hyper violence, with some fairly gross special effects. There is the odd bit of very black humor thrown in too, for instance when a mini rocket launcher and a free-runner collide mid air. Talk about overkill!



Another film that stars a extremely macho alpha male hottie - always a winner with me.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Lycan Lover

Today, someone called me a Lycan-lover, and I actually think that it is an appropriate phrase.

This is weird though, as I had always considered myself on the side of the vamps in the eternal Vampires v Werewolves struggle.

I think the subtle influence of the furry started with Hugh Jackman in X-Men (2000). Hugh is a great actor, but the part of Wolverine was made for him. The wolfish quality that he brought to the big screen, was undeniably sexy.

Further more, we had the tortured, misunderstood and fierce romanticism of Lucian in Underworld (2003), brilliantly played by Michael Sheen. He has since reprised this role, in the recent Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, which I must say has confirmed me as a Lycan lover.

It was the posting of some screencaps of ROTL and my reaction of 'bloody chuff!' that I think elicited the label of Lycan lover. Here is the reason for my exclaimation.



Well, dear reader, I now wear this badge with pride. Lucian, and all the others in the pack, have prompted me to write fan fic again. I am quite excited about it, and it is rattling along nicely.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Underworld:Rise of the Lycans

I am sure it would not come as a great suprise to you dear reader, if I said that I loved this film.

I am a big fan of this franchise, and it was great to see the love story of Sonja and Lucian played out in full, which is previously only referenced to in the first Underworld film. The chameleon-like Michael Sheen is excellent, and not a whiff of Tony (Blair), David (Frost) or Kenneth (Williams) to be seen. His leather costumes, piercing eyes and flowing locks do make him very easy on the eye, and his performance as leader of the Lycans is wholly believable.

If you are not a fan of this genre, or this franchise (which has suffered critisicm for having too much style over content, but I still like it) you may not like this film, but you can not deny the slick direction, the amazing sets, beautiful costumes, and special effects. I notice that Ms Mitra's lips seem to be poutier than ever. It is a shame if she has done this to herself as, IMHO, she has always been a very stunningly beautiful lady. She was the body and face model for the original Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider games many years ago and I fear that she is perhaps feeling the pressure of competing against younger actresses. This is totally unnecessary, as she has proved in this, and in Doomsday last year, that she looks fantastic in a tight outfit. She has just been signed up to do a 'reboot' (this means that they re-do the story, discounting all previous versions of the film like they did with Batman Begins and Christian Bale) of Lara Croft and Tomb Raider, which I look forward to immensely.

The ubiquitous Bill Nighy has enjoyed in the last few years, a hugh increase in screen time, which I must say I am loving as I think he is a superb actor. He has been on our TV's for many years, but really only in the last 10 has he seen commercial success on the big screen. He is inspired casting for the part of Viktor, and exudes exactly the right level of sinister power. This film was directed by Patrick Tatopoulos (Godzilla), where as the last two were directed by Len Wiseman (Mr Kate Beckinsale). Patrick has added a little more colour to the screen, and slightly diluted Len's blue wash that has become a bit of a signature of the franchise, but retained the look and feel of the two sequels.

I think this film is more evidence too, of the continued British invasion of Hollywood, when the 4 lead members of the cast are of this sceptered isle. I hope they do more, personally. I believe that while the franchise continues to make money it will continue in some form or another. It's rumoured that they are going to try to bring it onto the small screen. Whether this will include any of the original cast... I doubt it, but we can only hope.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The Wrestler

In the absence of anything else interesting happening in my life, I decided to post a review of a film I saw recently - The Wrestler. I am a bit of a fan of WWE, and have been to see them live a few times. Me and dear half like to visit our local cinematic establisment on a reasonably regular basis, and this week we thought we would see what all the fuss is about with this film.

This film is brilliant! Absolutely fab! At first, the filming style seems odd, as it's filmed with a handheld camera that follows the main character around, almost like a documentary, but this gives the film a kind of authenticity that brings the cast alive, allowing the viewer to see into the tortured soul of the main character. Mickey Rourke does a fantastic job, and I can't praise him enough. He dispenses with all vanity and gives the performance of his career. He manages to portray a character that initially appears sad, and slightly pathetic, and you feel almost embarrased for him, but with the brilliant acting and direction you realise he is actually very flawed -yet likeable, and charismatic. Rourke allows you to see the tough, but gentle man, that was only ever good at one thing - wrestling. Failed as a father, and as a lover, he feels his only success in life has been in the ring - and that the crowd are the only people in his miserable life that want him. His biggest battle is against the ravages of time, and although he sees its effects on his peers, he refuses to let this slow him down, to the detriment of his health. At times the film is brutal, and not for the squeamish, as it highlights the violence and damage that professional wrestlers subject their bodies to in order to give the audience the show they want. These guys are outside the big brands like WWE or TNA, and perform in the town halls and sport centres. They don't have the pyro and glamour that the large corporations bring to the game, and substitute this with extreme violence to get the crowds going. The crowd wants blood, and they get it in spades.

I really do recommend that you go see this if you have an opportunity, and you don't even have to be a fan of wrestling to watch it, by any means. Guys will love it for the violence, and the emotions don't get too slushy but give a deeply moving portrait that deserves the award frenzy its receiving.

Note to moms: Even if you kid loves wrestling - I would not advise you let them see this film when its out on DVD until you have seen it, as it contains extremely graphic violence, sex, and drug taking.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Sanctuary

I am sure you are eager to hear of the events of Friday night. The show was brilliant. Despite Noel Fielding and Julian Barrat forgetting their lines once or twice, which descended in hilarious adlib, the Mighty Boosh team put a flawless show. We were seated on the left hand side of stage, and had an excellent view.

On Friday, we had some of the items that had been stolen in a recent burglary replaced by the Insurance Company. Yes dear reader, we had to live with the unpleasantness that is the intrusion of one’s home & sanctuary. This, I believe, is the biggest effrontery, that some immoral imbecile had the gall to invade our privacy. The items that were stolen where, at the end of the day, just things, that are easily replaceable and no one, thank the gods, was hurt. Since this event, we have improved security somewhat, by having their point of entry, and old wooden kitchen door (an admitted weak spot) replaced by a shiny new double glazed door with multi point locking. Thanks to the kind folk at Sherwood Windows, who did a superb job, I am a little more confident that our unwelcome visitor will not make an even more unwelcome return.

I have also considered the fact that when reporting this incident to the Police and Insurance Company that I was sadly lacking in information regarding our possessions. I have since determined to redress this situation with new purchases, and the replacements. It may appear a little tiresome, but should the unthinkable happen again, then we will be much more prepared and in turn, facilitate the jobs of the police and insurance companies. I urge you dear reader, to take note of all your possessions, particularly portable electrical items such as laptops and cameras. We have chosen to record the serial numbers, and other information on a word document. I have saved this to my hard drive, along with scanned copies of delivery notes/invoices etc. Once the task is complete, I will burn this onto a CD, to be stored securely in the new safe recently purchased.

I have also being doing some investigation into Smart Water. What a clever little invention this is! I am thoroughly amazed by it. I urge you dear reader, to invest in this. I fully realise, that no amount of protection would dissuade a determined thief, but as the police pointed out to me, you only have to throw enough obstacles in their path, for them to consider searching out a softer target nearby.

I am reminded of an apocryphal tale of two camera men filming lions on the Serengeti. A male lion displays some aggression towards the intruders, then begins to walk towards them. The walk turns into a jog and he starts to get faster, as he gets closer. Both camera men drop their equipment, and turn to run. One starts to quickly put on his trainers. The other man says ‘you still won’t out run him’. The reply was ‘ as long as I outrun you….’.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Maiden Voyage

So this is my first post on Blogger. I have tried many times before to maintain some kind of journal or blog about the mundane happenings and unusual notions that pop into my head from time to time, and sadly - although the intention was great - the will has proven to be weak. I can offer no promises to you that this will prove any more successful but one lives in hope.

It seems, dear reader, that my online chronicle d├ębut is on an auspicious day, as this evening dear half and I will be going to the Nottingham Arena to see the Mighty Boosh live. This professes to be a wierd and wonderful evening of surreal and uncommon humour.

I firmly believe that comedy is the new Rock 'n' Roll, certainly in my life. Over the last few years, we have been to numerous stage performances of some of the country's best comedians, but I have not been to many music events at all. One reason I have surmised for this is that, on the most part, most of the music I like well enough to hand over hard earned cash to see live, is produced by bands that no longer tour. Yes, dear reader, I am a child of the New Wave. Although there are many new bands around that I like, particular favorites being Keane and Kaiser Chiefs, I just don’t feel the same passion about them as I did Boomtown Rats, or Sisters of Mercy. Maybe this is a symptom that I am hastily approaching a dreaded landmark in years, and that I would rather sit (not quite comfortably) in a theatre laughing at someone’s clever repartee than jumping about on a sweaty dance floor. Halcyon days they may be, but not ones I care to revisit.
 
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