Friday, 25 July 2008

The worst film ever?

Normally when I go to the cinema I enjoy myself. I've seen some pretty rotten films in my time. I even saw the Michael Jackson movie, Moonwalker at Hammersmith way back in 1988 and that has stood head and shoulders above the rest on a scale of cackness.

Well yesterday Moonwalker was removed from it's place of dishonour, one that it had held for 20 years, because I went to the cinema. What film could have been bad enough that I can say the best fun I had in the theatre were my futile attempts to remove the flake of popcorn that had become indelibly welded to the roof of my mouth? Mama Mia, that's what. 

In all honesty this was never going to be my favourite film, I have generally had a strong dislike for films adapted from stage shows, Chicago for example was rotten, The Phantom of the Opera was almost as bad, but I never paid to watch those, other than through my Sky subscription, and that was going to be paid anyway. I didn't pay this time either (thank god), but someone did, and really as far as I'm concerned it was BAD value for money.

Why is it so bad? Well the songs are horribly mangled by the sound department. ABBA songs have a lot going on musically, but whoever produced them made sure it wasn't overpowering, and every part of the complicated tapestry was clearly audible. Well in the film someone decided that louder was better, and everything gets turned up to the point that you can't hear anything but a wall of obnoxious noise, and even to the extent that you can hardly hear the words, not that that really matters, everyone knows the words. Even the words that Pierce Brosnan sings, if singing it can be called, because he sounds like a strangled cat, slowed down to make it intelligible.

Now the plot. Oh my freaking god, it's awful, maybe it works on stage, but in a film? Everything is made so obvious that if you can't spot what's coming up there's something very wrong with you. Oh there are plenty of things that are meant to be surprises, but when they give you clues the size of Zeppelin's, there's no surprise, there's only a horrendous wait until the obvious (and very trite) actually occurs. I have honestly never had to sit through a film where I new what was happening quite so far ahead and with such certainty. Oh, and there's a plot twist too, but it's such a twist that I could have told you it was going to happen from the moment James Bond appeared. I won't spoil it, I'll let you find out what happens half an hour into the film.

And at the end, well I WAS happy, but not for the reason the film maker expects the god-damned film was over, and I will never have to see it again. My wife, and quite possibly my Mother-in-Law will tell you that I went determined to dislike the whole experience. I didn't. I didn't have high hopes, but I went with my mind as open as I could manage, I don't dislike ABBA's music, I in-fact have a sneaking admiration for the harmonies and production even if it's not my favourite. Still this film has soured me to the whole situation, if I never have to hear dancing queen again, I'll be glad, but for some reason my wife and daughter enjoyed it so I think any respite I have will be shorter lived than I deserve.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Four Breasted women....

I am a man. I like, no I adore boobies, they are the best thing since whatever was there before boobies, and since I'm no where near old enough to remember, they are the best things ever. Now women with two extra boobies would be a great thing, all the more to play with and all the more fun to be had, I'd kind of like it.

Still there are a group of women, and I saw a load of them out shopping yesterday, who have chosen to have the appearance of four boobs and it isn't a good thing. What do I mean? Me who likes boobies so much that he would love a pair of his own in a box that he could play with whenever he wanted (marriage, he was disappointed to find, was not boobies on tap, he had to have conversations, tidy up and other things not as much fun as boobies). Well all these women seemed to be trying to squeeze a quart into a pint pot as the expression goes. More accurately they were trying to fit a gallon into a thimble, wearing a bra almost 14 sizes too small. Now a bra slightly too small can be a good thing visually, just one cup size down will give a wonderful effect, one that I personally enjoy hugely, but when you try to fit a J into a B cup all kinds of things go wrong. All that excess boob-flesh that you haven't managed to shoe-horn into the microscopic  scrap of material you believe sufficient to contain your bust spills out the top and rests there like a misshapen globule of uck. These are not the extra boobs I want, these are heinous crimes against boobdom. 

Perhaps, once upon a very long time ago you fit into a nice slinky pice of La Perla Lingerie, but now you don't, the seventeen feral kids that are gathered round your distended ankles in a swarm of snot, dummys and sagging pampers meant that you wove goodbye to your youthful figure along with your concept of birth control. Of course these women are always mothers, mothers of the worst kind, who's parenting skills are as lax as their self control in the face of sexual advances. They also  all have tattoos of the kind that may seem dangerous and a little alluring on a sexy woman, but in this case serve to mark them out as part of the tribe of women wrapped up in denial of their changing body, and under the impression that they are still a size 10. Of course they will also wear the finest jewelry that is available from Elizabeth Duke at Argos, their necks hung with hideous articulated clowns, their fat fingers adorned with sovereign rings and nine carat gold and circlets with MUM picked out in finest cubic zirconia and their ears hung with either hoops so big they could serve as the perch for a large parrot or the paper thin versions of the horrid things sported by Lilly Allen.

There seem to be a lot of these women, stomach turning in their hideousness, in the food courts of shopping centres across the UK. It really can put me off my lunch.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

The Chav Shoe Travesty....

What is it with chavs? They go around in their silly uniforms of designer knock off sportswear, being angry and dumb, trying to appear hard and dangerous and really coming across as a bunch of dislikable saddos.

I saw some today walking down to blockbusters to return some games (I was returning the games, these were the kind of chavs who would steal the box to look like they own the game). Of course these nasty idiots were dressed in the summer uniform, the three quarter length adidas trousers, the colourful Ralph Lauren/Hackett polo shirts, and some semi expensive trainers. They all looked like a pressed out production line set of fuckwits. I guess I hate chavs, but that is obvious, we all do, and thats why I'm not ranting about chavs in general.

No, it was the fact that one of these chavs had made an attempt to mark himself as an individual, which in itself shows that there is some hope for the poor little twat, not much though, because of the way he tried to do it. For some reason he had chosen to wear mismatched shoes, the same model yes, but one black, one white. He looked, in a word, stupid. In more than word he looked like the dumbest fuck ever to have disgrace the surface of the earth by walking on it in his stupid velcro fastened, remedial looking, mismatched tennis shoes. Yes they were the type of shoes that look like they have one sole built up on both feet, as if they are owned by someone too stupid to deal with actual laces. So this fool had choses some ugly shoes, and then chosen to wear them in a mismatched pair. Why? Perhaps he went to two different shops to steal the display ones, but they didn't have matching ones, and walking round in the one he had stolen already was starting to hurt, so he took what he could get. Perhaps he's blind and his mates didn't have the heart to tell him what a dick he looked. Perhaps he's just dumb. I happen to think the last one's most likely, how about you? I cannot explain in words how dumb this guy looked. Yet he was walking along like there was nobody cooler on the planet. Well if you look at him on a scale of cool with nuclear explosions at one end and outer space at the other, he'd be well and truly up there with the nukes. 

Thursday, 17 July 2008

What makes my name so very hard for other people?

Well, as I was browsing around on facebook earlier I discovered a group called something along the lines of "People who always have to spell their name for others". On this group I made a wall post describing my frustrations, and I thought it deserved to come here too... 

So here it is, fleshed out a little as, as I am thinking about it, the bile is beginning to rise...

I have what I consider to be a relatively simple name to spell, and also a relatively simple name to pronounce. I'm not talking about my first name, oh no, three letters, nice and simple, only one alternative spelling which I'm generally forgiving of when people use it. It's my surname, one that is not, particularly, uncommon, and certainly one that is well known in the Celtic corners of the British Isles. McHugh, a good solid Scottish/Irish name (and the one I share with the spitting git who was removed from big brother), but one that has unfortunately left me surprised and shocked whenever anyone spells it correctly.

When people hear my name it's always getting spelt wrong, McHue, McQue, McQueue, McCue, McKew and myriad variances of the same with a prosthetic a between the M and c. So I find myself spelling it for them, sounding out the letters one by one, including how to capitalise correctly as the requester of my name takes it down like a five year old learning to write, but not even that precludes errors. Some people seem to have it so entrenched in their minds that my name is not what I say it is that I have seen Mchuegee or McHuge being written down as I spell it. Worse still I am asked far too often as I am spelling it, "Are you sure?" as if I am the idiot, the fool and the imbecile who can't spell my simple name, which of course I frigging can, I've only had it for 33 years and have been spelling it correctly for at least 30. Or at the end of spelling it the writer says, "Ah, McHugh, I see" with the emphasis on the second syllable as if I led them up the garden path by being unable to, or willfully obtuse in the manner of my name's pronunciation, which of course I wasn't, I didn't fucking mumble, I said it the right way, it's not hard I've been doing it for years. Of course I have noticed as I am typing this that the automatic spell checker has decided to mark nearly every misspelling as correct, and the actual name as wrong, what am I to do when even the computers are out to get me.

When people read it far too many of them decide to pronounce it as though they are clearing their throat, or possibly being sick. "Mr McHcgch, the doctor will see you now" or,"Ah, Mr McHueeeegggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, do come in, I apologise for the fact I have just projectile vomited on you, you see it's your name's fault."

Let's get this straight folks, I know how to spell my name, I realise that you may not, so ask for help if you must. I also find it hard to link my name with the varied sounds of a cat coughing up a stubborn hair ball with my name, please try to pronounce it in a manner approximating a word, it's not hard. If you can manage to do these things you and I will get along a lot better...

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Grand Theft Auto IV...

Why is this game so good? Why must it dominate my life now that I have a week off work? Why must it make me stay up 'til 2 am every night?

I took this fortnight off so I could rest, it's been a while since I had some time away from the day job, so I could concentrate on rebuilding the reserves of energy that it takes me to get through a day of dealing with customers. I need to rest, I need to sleep, I need to get various things done that the wife has requested of me so I can live a short term nag free existence (it's my fault, I'll admit I should have done it a long time ago). I had a good idea that between the work and the sleeping I could play some games, so I hired GTA from blockbusters.

The damn thing has possessed me. I'm beholden to the multifarious charms of serial killing, car theft, drug dealing and casual sex. The awesome power of the game has me in it's grasp, becoming a part of the living breathing city that appears on my TV when I fire up the playstation, it's beautiful and brutal, and I think I may be in love.

What would be better if Alex would actually respond to my requests for a bit of online japery..... that's what really peeves me!

Sunday, 13 July 2008

A Shining Example of how NOT to do it....

At last a chance to combine several of my previous rants into one kind of combo super rant...

The thing that is known as Lisa on big brother stands out to me as a shining example of the things I have ranted about in some of my prior rants. In the first place she has committed the crime that is inappropriate lipstick. The ugly smear of brown (why do these women always go with shit brown for a lip colour) that mars her face extends a good centimeter outside her actual lips, which quite frankly are big enough as it stands, and is then coated with a layer of lip-gloss so thick that they gain the appearance of plastic, like false lips available from your local joke shop. Rather hideous, especially when you combine it with the other heinous makeup errors which she inflicts on her face, and therefore on anyone who has to look at her. 

Combine this with her neediness, yes I'm sure if she has a myspace page (I really should check but can't be arsed) that it features a self portrait taken with a crappy camera phone and that she has 3000 equally needy friends. How do I surmise this? Well look at her, watch her inability to cause anyone offense, watch her cook, clean and subjugate herself to the laziness of others so that they may perhaps like her slightly more than a streptococcus  bacterium infection, watch her dress like a woman 30 years younger than she is in order to make gullible men fancy her or at least look at her artificially enhanced udders, and finally look at her, she's on Big Brother for goodness sakes, no-one without an all consuming need for the approval of others EVER signs up to go on this programme.

Yes she's on big brother, little need be said, other than she's not the nutter, she's the sad case needy one.

Finally this woman has chosen to make herself appear as if she is a pre-op trans-sexual wrestler, firstly through bodybuilding in the past which has given her body the shape of a man, all shoulders and upper body strength. Please note, there is nothing less likely to make a woman attractive than bodybuilding, fitness is good, firmness and toned-ness are good, full on muscles and shoulders that look like you have had American football padding installed surgically are not. The next way she has made herself appear like a man in woman's clothing is exactly that, she has chosen the kind of women's clothing normally found on 17 year old nubile clubbers or in dance music videos, not forty plus wrestlers. In fact she has made such a good job of looking like a bloke I keep looking to see if I can spot her dick under her overly tight clothing.

I'll be glad when she's voted off into her future of 40+ men's magazine modelling...

Friday, 11 July 2008

Repeats repeats re-bloody-peats...

Channel 4, a station that I generally enjoy, has it's foibles, over long idents, a range of programs so desperate to shock to achieve viewing figures, and incessant repeats of the most popular comedy programs they show. I wonder which one is annoying me now, hmm, let me just read the title... yup... it's the repeats!

This morning I am watching Frasier, I program I rather enjoy. I am being treated to the first two episodes ever. Yesterday morning I watched Frasier, I quite enjoyed it yesterday too. Yesterday I watched the last EVER episode (not for the first time!). It was quite sad and touching watching that last episode, seeing the culmination of stories begun so long ago, saying goodbye to characters you have come to know almost as friends. I wouldn't have found it so sad and touching if I had known that the very next day, at the very same time, it would all begin again. 

The same thing happens with Friends, a comedy of which I am quite a lot less fond, and one which I find myself believing is constantly on the TV, seemingly always on C4 or one of it's many offshoots. Whenever I turn on C4, C4+1, More 4, More 4 +1, E4 or any of the other Channel four stations, their  plus one/two/twenty seven and a bit variants there seems to be an episode of friends on or just about to come on or just finished.

Are Channel 4  now so creatively bankrupt that they can't find something new to show? I doubt it, they're still transmitting some great new shows. Are the advertising revenues from Friends/Frasier/Raymond et al so huge that they must be shown regularly to keep the channel solvent? I doubt it again, the adverts they are interrupted by are of the lowest cost possible, all the insurance, price comparison or personal injury lawyer dross that fills daytime TV, and in any case if the revenues were so great the shows would be constantly on prime time. Is there such public demand that the channel must show them or be beaten down under the weight of letters of complaint and ofcom inspectors? Nope, we have all seen them far to fucking many times to really care. Unless you're odd, and think that friends is the greatest thing that has happened to comedy (there are, strange as it may seem, people who believe this, and these people should be forced to watch Fawlty Towers until such time as they understand).

No, we are subjected to these shows over and over and over again because Channel 4 can't be bothered to think about what we want to watch, they are suffering a crisis of confidence, unsure whether they can get away with upsetting the apple cart and showing say Raymond after big brother instead of Frasier, or better still showing us something we haven't seen before. People wonder why the channel isn't making a profit, whether it needs more government funding, and don't realise that it's because no one really watches it because we have all seen it before, often yesterday, and can't be arsed to press the 4 button on the remote because we know we won't be stimulated by anything new. 

Quite, quite sad really. 

Thursday, 10 July 2008

The Gran Turismo penalty system...

Those who know me know I'm a gamer, not super-duper hardcore, but pretty serious all the same. One of my favourite games is Gran Turismo, since the very first one on PS1 I've bought them all, and loved every minute of full on racing action. 

The thing is that, with this latest generation, there is now a niggle that is driving me batty. Instead of your car becoming damaged through collisions, or receiving a drive through when you gain advantage from a shortcut off the circuit proper, the game makers have chosen to implement a penalty restricting your engine power for a short while after an indiscretion. Fair enough say I, punish me for my errors.

The thing is that some of the decisions the computer takes are unfair. The system, it seems, is broken. Why should I be punished when I am on the racing line and one of my opponents rams me? Why should I suffer when I am rammed off the track onto the grass with a shortcut penalty? Why should I receive a collision penalty when a car has spun off into my path? These decisions are made worse by the fact that the computer fails to punish itself for errors on the part of AI cars.

Don't get me wrong, this is still, by a very long way, the best driving game I have ever played, but this just serves to make the problems all the more galling...

Monday, 7 July 2008

While we're talking about the bits between the programmes...

What is with all the adverts that have nothing to do with the product they're advertising? You must know what I mean, a beautifully shot/directed piece of film comes on leaving you with no idea what it's on about until the very end when the product is revealed. Of course, this carries with it a problem, generally you end up at the end of it remembering the advert but not the product.

This all started with, as I remember it, the cadburys gorilla advert. Of course, you'll be saying, you remember the product, the advert worked. Well I do remember the advert, but only because it gets discussed on the TV, internet and in the press all the time as a shining example of how to do advertising, and every time it's mentioned it is called the Cadburys Gorilla Advert, I remember the brand because every time someone mentions the advert they mention the brand. For those of you lucky enough to escape it it features a man in an ape suit miming to the drum solo from Phil Collins hit record In the air tonight, if anyone can tell me what that has to do with chocolate, please do go ahead.

The dubious success of this advert has inspired successors, all trying to usurp the reign of the gorilla king. There is the motor racing airport vehicles (also cadbury, I made a note at the end), various car adverts (one from volvo sticks in the mind, but only because you can catch a glimpse of the car every so often) and most recently one for Smirnoff Vodka (again I took notes). Seemingly the advert is telling us that we should strip the english cannel of all the detritus of the second world war, it looks like an environmentalist pitch, but no, it's to tell us how filtered the vodka is.

All these adverts are terribly annoying, they don't give you any real information, they exist just to serve the egos of the art director. Sir Allan had it right in the Apprentice, it matters not how beautiful or creative the advert is if it doesn't tell you simply and clearly what the product is. These ones would earn the responsible team a quick and nasty 'You're Fired'. 

See how bad these ad's are? I'm agreeing with the apprentice!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Channel 4 idents...

Yup, I hate the terribly annoying bits that the channel that sits so nicely between itv and Channel 5 use to remind us of which channel we are watching. The fact that the channel sits between itv, which everyone I know over the age of 20 calls three and the channel so usefully named 5, which kind of gives the game away, seems to have passed them by may be odd, but it stands as true.

These idents take two forms, both annoying, but let us first take the lesser of two evils, the ones I shall call the logo reveals. In these an executive, director or art department who is/are entirely too clever for their own good has found a way to hide the logo in an everyday sight until some kind of a pan/camera move makes the disparate parts come together into the logo we know and love. I think these are quite good really but they have one glaring flaw, they go on for what can, at times, seem like weeks. Oh it's all very good the first time you see it, but the second time, well you know what's coming and having to wait half your lifespan to see the end result gets kind of wearing.

The second, and worse kind, is based on the superstars of channel 4 answering a series of inane questions... their first car, how they'd do things differently and other such meaningless bon mots. Now these I liked at first, a quick insight into how the mind of the person you enjoy watching works. That was then, this is now. Of course there are some clever people at work over at 4 towers, and those people thought they could make the idents funny. In this attempt at humor they thought that it would be a good idea to extend one of the interviews. Well, it wasn't. We get to see the man who will forever be Jim Robinson from neighbours identified as such (like we needed reminding), we get to see the man who stars in spaced launched on a catapult and worst of all we get to see Jamie Oliver play table tennis while making spurious claims to his ability. Now everyone taking part in these has the good grace to look mildly embarrassed by taking part in these shenanigans with one exception, Mr Oliver please step forward. No, our Jamie, saviour of school dinners, hallowed be his expanding waistline, looks really into his, as if he thinks it's genuinely amusing. Well it's not, Jamie's acting is as good as my ballroom dancing, which is shit, it's as believable as, well, I don't think anything is that unbelievable, so, it's as believable as Jamie Oliver's acting, it's painful, and quite frankly should come with a government health warning. 

I really can't get over how much I could do without seeing these things again...

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Cockmobiles, courtesy of Foxtons...

They are the cars you see everywhere, or at least, everywhere I go. A perfectly normal mini lies beneath a coat of paint that marks the driver out as a complete cock, a complete cock who works for a company of complete cocks.

The foxton’s mobiles are like bacteria floating around in the arteries that are London’s roads, and they are a sight that are just as welcome. They pootle around screaming ‘My occupant is an estate agent, and what’s more, he doesn’t mind you knowing, doesn’t that just make him the biggest cock you’ve ever seen?’. I mean no-one really likes estate agents, they are kind of necessary, but dislikable all the same, what’s more Foxton’s have had some rather well publicised bad practices, so why would someone allow their company car to mark themselves out as a dislikable prick working for a company that, in business terms, force feeds small children in order to make a human foie gras from their livers.

It’s even worse that the cars have been decorated in a way that is as awful as it is, painted up as some sad case directors vision of horse racing colours. Yup, thats right, the man in charge of Foxton’s corporate image thinks that Horse Racing, the so called sport of Kings, is an ideal marriage for the image of the company. Let’s think about this, a so called sport where very rich people use expensive things (the horses) to trick the poor (the betting public) into parting with their money. Hold on, wait a minute, isn’t that just what Foxtons do with their customers? Offering them more than they can actually produce in order to part them from their cash? Why, I think it is!

The cars are ugly, with a stupid name printed on the back, spoiling what is quite a nice car. It’s like painting a dilating anus with a turd dangling from the sphincter on the bonnet of your ferrari. They are driven by fools who have the idea that working for Foxtons is a good thing and don’t mind shouting about it. It’s all quite nasty really.

Social networking sad cases...

Some people have a strange idea of how to present themselves on a social networking website. We’ve all seen them on MySpace, Facebook or BeBo with their profile picture of a self portrait taken, normally with a cameraphone, in such a way as to a) look crap, b) be very obvious it’s a self portrait, c) make them look like they have no friends. These pictures always feature poor exposure, poor composition and the distinct impression that one arm is extended.

The purpose of social networking is to network, make new friends and socialize. The best way of making new friends is to seem popular in the first place, so if we take point c as being true, their attempts at social networking should be as successful as trying to throw ping pong balls at the moon. The thing is that these people are always needy and will add anything that asks them, so they end up with three thousand ‘friends’ that they have nothing to do with. Then, of course, since they have three thousand ‘friends’ they believe they are, in fact, popular. I’m sorry to break it to you folks, but you’re not, not even slightly, because all three thousand of your friends are the same kind of needy twerps as you, and have their own three thousand self portraited needy friends who have their own three thousand..oh well you get the picture.
Realize, please, folks, that these pictures make you look stupid, sad and lonely. It can’t be hard to find a picture of you that someone else took, or if that isn’t possible a picture of someone who looks like you.

There is, however, one thing worse than having a shitty picture that you took of yourself, and that is of course having no picture at all. That just makes you look like you’re filled with such self loathing that you can’t find a picture of you that can be photoshopped into some form that pleases you, now that is sad...

I may even, if I can be bothered, go find a few examples of these pictures, or even the lack of pictures...