Category Archives: Rant

The Dangers of Grass

imagesSo apparently grass is now the most deadly factor in sport, ever. Everyone that has ever tried to play a sport on grass will know the risks of physical activity on the stuff. You can take your concrete basketball courts or ice rinks, no danger there. Real fear is playing a non contact sport on slightly damp grass, laid on soft ground.

Right that sound stupid I know but watching the BBC’s coverage of Wimbledon you would be mistaken for thinking the players were going out and playing in the kind of pearl you could only create by replacing the ball with a grenade (On a side note, did anyone ever play Sensible Soccer on WWII mode where the ball was a grenade? Was brilliant, used Cannon fonder animation as well. Ace, but I digress). The story is that 7 players have been injured today at the tennis festival and has left about three players in the tournament.  Surprisingly, the main issue is apparently the grass being  possessed somehow? One of the players even blamed it on dead grass. That right, zombie grass. In its eternal moaning for roots its been tripping the players.

Its not like the beeb to blow a British sporting even all out of context (the Olympics, Any England football match). They get really defensive as if these players and sullying the good name of Britain while at the same time trying not to piss off the same players that are moaning. Its like a dog chasing its tail watching them talk about it. The only words of sense I have heard are from Hewitt, a man who the commentators slagged every two second in his last game for being Australian, who basically said “its the same as every year, deal with it” (I’m paraphrasing here) and “Mad as a Hatter” Boris Beaker who said “its grass, it sometimes gets slippy. You are pro’s, deal with it” (again paraphrasing).

So the only why to sort this out is to play week two on ice so tennis players will work out what slippery actually mean (and it would be bloody hilarious) . I’m sure all of injuries are genuine and its sad for them to be out of a big part of their lives but it’s probably from playing a sport where a match can last four hours, on rock hard surfaces that have caused these complications and not that the courts are sponsored by Tefal this year.

Anyway, man up tennis.

Fall

Review of the Review of the Year

Hopefull-2012-WallpaperSo it’s that time of the year again where Christmas has passed and the TV big wigs are looking for cheap ways to fill up the schedules while everyone is still of work. They used to rely on rerunning all the old Christmas specials or stand out programs of the year but they have become so lazy that they now show all of that on Christmas day. tbh I’m pretty sure that bits of the queens speech were reused from last year spliced with footage of the Kings speech, not that i was paying much attention. So how to fill the void, how to entertain the masses without spending a lot of money on writing or appearance fees etc. Then one stormy evening it happened, lightning hit the roof of channel 4 tower and they made the ‘review of the year show’. Its brilliant really. There is no need to write any complex and riveting story because it has all ready happened, plus everyone has seen it happen and because of this it makes for easy viewing as the viewer knows what is coming next.

b006t8dlNow there are several kinds of ‘End of the Year’ shows. There is you review quiz, your talking heads look back, your clip show etc. All very simple telly, But what made these reviews popular? They were about years ago but never a flagship show. When did this start? Rise Sir Charlie Brooker, King of the clip show and creator of the new breed of year review. Brooker has taken a very cheap clip based format and made it his own with his unrivaled way to getting his point across and his ‘one of the geeks’ persona which gives hopeless middle of the roaders, like me, giving us hope that one day we too can own a production company and marry a Blue Peter presenter. The BBC gave Brooker his own show with Screenwipe and then the festive special of the same format and since then hasn’t really looked back. Brookers Review of the year is the tv highlight of the festive period for me. And as the years go on and Brooker himself gets more of a life and less time to publicly moan (selfish git!) we get to see less and less of him on our screens, which with the current crop of up and comers, is a real shame.

68d5bed8-1ef5-4808-89e1-825d11255ce2_625x352But its not only the BBC that used this format for cheep tv, no, channel 4 were hot on their heels with their flagship new year battle cruiser ‘The Big Fat Quiz of the Year’. I am personally a fan of 8 Out of 10 Cats which is roughly the same format with Jimmy Carr presenting. Unfortunately Jimmy Carr is about as much as I can take from the “Fat Quiz”. The show itself is not that bad, the questions are fine but they seem to only be able to attract the biggest dicks in telly land. This years tosserfest includes the moronic Jonathan Ross, the ‘as funny as a spanner to the teeth’ Russel Howard and the double headed dickheads Whitehall and Cordon. Its funny that these are the four most insufferable numpties I have ever seen. Believe it or not I will not be watching it this year!

A slightly better channel 4 offering this year is ‘2012 Mashed’. This offering shows original short films outlining the events of the last year made by the best talent of the internet. Or so they say. The show unfortunately only shows clips of these short films so really doesn’t make much sense to me, why not make the show twice as long and show the whole thing? Apparently the whole of the films are on the internet but i can not find them anywhere (well bits and bobs on Youtube). Ah well. Well worth a look if you are a fan of internet films. One of the best being a feed from the Queens Facebook, a little song about Steve Jobs and a tribute to lonesome George (below).

So in review these reviews may need review in future. At least we have “Brookers 2012 Wipe” on New Years Day, BBC2 at 10. Enjoy!

Till next time,

Have a great Hogmany and 2013,

Fall

Muse………Wtf man, wtf

So after a wee dub step bad boy of a teaser for the new album Muse release their new single Survival.

 

Yeah I know. Dam. First bit not great but after first 30 seconds. Nice. So i was excited about the new song but alarm bells went off when i was the official song of the Olympics. I have never heard a good “official Song”. So what  did we get? Well this………..

Its like Butterflies in Hurricanes meets United States of Eurasia. One of the best and worse songs I have ever heard. Actually its like Matt has decided to take Butterflies in Hurricanes and make it into a west end musical. I’m not impressed. Also lots of talk of winning and not losing fits with the tedious link to the Olympics. Mon Muse sort your shit out!

Till next time

Fall

 

Update…. the uneventful life a time waster!

Well its been a while since I have written anything. Sorry about that. First I announce that “I’m Back!” ready to write about this and the next and what happens? I did nothing. I do have a defence though! Ok if you will hear me out…..

1. I went on holiday. Not only that I came home and recognised our flat. The computer was no longer in a room I spent alot of time in. It had been punted to the spare room and with that I kinda stopped writing.

2. I have been quite busy. I happen to be in a wee band called Tag Team Champion and we have played our first gig and done some recording which has eaten up a lot of well used time. (more will follow in coming weeks about TTC) . Also small events like the Edinburgh Cup Final have kept me busy but sadly away from the computer.

3. Its summer. For those of you who live in Edinburgh you know it has done nothing but rain but because of the increase in temperature and light levels I have spent more time doing things like playing baseball and spending time with the girlfriend (which I can only do in day light hour due to……nah you don’t want to know). Also the cinema has been really shit recently so have been opting of xbox instead!

So what has happened since my last post? Has anything pissed me off or made me chuckle? Well yes.

Things such as a dog out witting half the population of the UK to win a million pounds and an old man sang a song in a country younger than he is and was told by a content that he sucked.

Jimmy Carr did a bad thing and got slagged rotten on 8 out 10 cats (if you havent seen the episode catch up on 4oD). The thing I loved about this was that Jimmy Carr took it on the chin and by the end his jokes were dark backhanded slaps about his own chops which gave the episode a edge that has’nt been seen since the Angus Deayton scandal’s coverage on HIGNFY. Only difference being I can see Jimmy Carr coming out of this relatively unscathed unlike poor old Angus.

There has also been a lot of football going down recently. There was a collective sigh of relief that could be heard from space originating from the Gorgie area of Edinburgh at about 4pm on the 19th of May. Unfortunately the resulting inhale infected half east central Scotland with Legionnaires’ Disease. Also we have the Euros running at the moment. Brilliant stuff! Well……. kinda. Some great games but a lot of really defensive teams. Personal favourite moment of the finals so far was Pirlo’s Pen against England. I know, your going to say because it put England out and yes that is part of it. But its mainly because England played such unattractive football, so defensive, and the pundits on the TV were doing my head about unity in this poor team (that’s chances were getting blown out of proportion again) and they were finally defeated by a beautiful moment of class and cool headedness which will be looked back on and marvelled at. Thats what the Euros and World cup are for, a festival of what’s right with football and not backs against the wall to win crap.

Ok so for about 75% of the people I know welcome back after skipping over the bit about football. Last wee bit I my promise that I will write at last once a week and keep updating if you promise to come back and see me! 😀

Enjoy the Euro final when it comes,

Till next time

Fall

 

Results – DCOTU Needs You!

The outcome of my social network campaign to make me popular! 

A few weeks ago I was on Facebook when something strange happened. All of a sudden hundreds of people were telling to put up posters of a Ugandan I had never heard of never mind spotted in passing. (I’m not a big fan of slapping up posters of people I haven’t meet, call me old-fashioned). Most of the people telling me to do this never knew the man, nor had they heard about him until a nice American-weirdo-film-maker got his child to guilt you into caring about the fella. Now, the Koney debate is for another time (for the record I have the “Brooker” stand point) but this got me thinking about the power of social media. If a nutter in America can get half the world to plaster an African warlords mug over every city in the developed world then surely with a short campaign I can get more followers for the site?

Now I don’t consider myself a popular-outgoing guy. I have my mates, they know how to deal with me and are aware that every now and then I drop the social ball and they look the other way. But even if I am useless at endearing myself to new people, surely I am more popular than this Koney laddie!

So the point of this little social experiment was to see if I can make myself more popular with the use of social networking sites like our crazy American friend and to a lesser extent Koney. I gave myself two goals and a four-day time frame. Goal one – Get one more follower (Ok not the most ambitious of goals but at least I just about guaranteed some level of success and wouldn’t drive me to becoming a hermit.) Goal two – To double my following from 50 to 100. (That was a bigger ask! Some may say even over ambitious). So I was covering either side of the spectrum, anything in between would be at least a kind of success.

So the results…….*drum roll*……….19 new followers……*deflated fan fare sound*……..

No. That’s not right! 19 is amazing. I was delighted with each new follower for several reasons:

1. I worded the instructions of how to “follow” really badly and I was amazed that anyone managed to decipher what I was saying. I might as well have been describing the act in crude stick figure drawings or asked a toddler to scribe what I was trying to say. So for anyone who got to the page and found the “Like” button, Go you!

2. These are people who either like my writing or didn’t want me to cry into my keyboard and electrocute myself. Both of these sentiments fill me full of joy.

3. The excitement of knowing that these people have at least looked at something that I have written and have forged some kind of opinion (positive or negative) about my work. It’s out there and being seen by up to 69 people each post.

Well maybe Koney is still a bigger talking point than DCOTU but then again I think our American viral video spreader has lost more friends in the last week than I could ever get with an unlimited campaign budget. I think I would also rather have you guys than 20,000 numpties with “Till next time, Fall” printed on their T-Shirt. So basically what I am getting at is….well….. thanks. Thank you to everyone who reads this, Thank you to everyone who has seen DCOTU and wondered what it is and thank you to everyone who has ever uttered a nice word about this site, to me or to others, every time it happens it makes my day.

Anyway, enough of the mushy stuff,

Till next time,

Fall

Day Three and Four

A quick update! My Mum visits and two long days at work. 

So this is a quick update. The good news is that it is 23.02 on day 4 so I am over halfway! I have not touched a drop of coffee or tea but dam! its been hard.

Day three started with a long day at work. During my day I started to get weird headaches which were explained to me as withdrawal symptoms. I also found at work I went from drinking loads of tea to drinking nothing. Not good. My mum then visited and we went for a meal. It was the closest I have been to giving up when I was offered a Latte at the end of my meal. But no! I was strong and still sit here caffeine free!

Day four has been easier. First day without any tea/coffee near-things first thing in the morning and the day ticked by better that the last few. But as I type I can feel my desire for coffee grow so I must now stop talking about it and submerge my mind in some trash TV to stop me thinking about it.

Three days to go!!! Possible hurdles? Running a Birthday party at work tomorrow and a day on the ticket desk on Saturday. Can my nerve withstand these trials.

Wish me luck

Till next time

Fall

Day Two

The curse of Tom McCormick

Well it is 22.22 on day 2 of my exile from the world of caffeine. It did not start well. After a good nights sleep I went into auto pilot to the kitchen, took down my superman mug and my hand drifted towards the cupboard that contains all of the tea and coffee goodies. I opened it a crack and could see my Japanese Green tea smiling at me. I had it in my hand but then I woke up a bit, I realised what I was doing and then swore for a little bit. Ah well. After this crushing disappointment I went to the gym and the pet shop to buy a new bulb for my fish tank (I have a rock and roll life style you see). All was fine. Then came the text. “On the train, will see you in a bit”.

My good friend Tom McCormick was visiting from the exotic glamour of Glasgow. We met up, had a wee drink and discussed what we were up to. I then mentioned this little experiment. Bad idea. My good friend Mr McCormick then ordered a pot of tea to tempt me (or maybe to mock me, only he will know!). Who orders a pot of tea IN A PUB? The barman looked embarrassed when he brought the pot to the table but Tom was delighted. I was incredibly jealous. Despite drinking beer, nice beer at that, I really wanted tea! So the evening went on. No more mention of caffeine until we got back to my flat. “Tom, would you like a drink. Beer, whisky?”, “Nah man, any chance of a coffee?”. He was grinning like a Cheshire Cat. I cursed him a bit under my breath and made him his coffee. Green with envy I watch him drink it as I had the last inch and a half of a bottle of coke zero. DAM YOU MCCORMICK! (tbh other than the caffeine incidents it was a lovely day as it always is in Toms company (That’s a nice wee disclaimer)).

So, 5 days to go. I wonder how many days it will take me to stop reaching for my mug in the morning!

Wish me luck

Fall

Seeing Double

A quick article about actors playing two roles in a film

With Adam Sandlers new movie Jack and Jill released, I was thinking about actors playing two parts in the same film. Does it ever work? In the case of Jack and Jill I couldn’t bring myself to hit the cinema to watch it. The trailer was hard enough to watch. I mean Adam Sandler playing is own sister and all he does is puts on a wig and talks with a high pitch lisp. Sends shivers down my spine. Also this is an American “holiday” film. Released in November over there and takes in the whole winter festive season. Just what we need in February! It also has a Rotten tomato rating of 3% (www.rottentomatoes.com) so I am going to give it a pass. If you want to watch the trailer I post it below (Good luck!).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHKTXrUnN58

 
So is that it? Are there only two films to try this? Are there no good films where the actor plays more than one part?Well…. not many but there are a few. For starts all the Monty Python films have each member playing several roles. Then again they did that on a weekly basis on the TV so  it may not really count.So what other films come to mind that use the same method. Well the first that came to mind is Eddie Murphy in the Nutty Professor where he plays the Klumps. Basically after the first film someone decided that fat suits were funny and gave a massive budget to the production team for more of the same in the sequel. But you already have the fat suit from the last one. What to do? Ah! Eureka! Lets make more characters for fat suits and buy a few more of different sizes. They then got on to the phone to Eddie Murphy asking if he could come up with more fat suit characters. And did he deliver! Old fat man who farts, old woman who farts, child that farts etc. It’s not a classic but the Nutty Professor has its child film charm I suppose. This may be the problem with Jack and Jill, that it has no identity. Is it a comedy? Is it a kids film? A family film? A frat boy film? God knows!

The one that breaks the mold is Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove. The film is one of my all time favourites and doesn’t make a big thing out of Sellers playing three of the main parts. Of course he plays the Group Capitan, The President and Dr. Strangelove himself. This is not because of a gimmick but because Columbia pictures would not finance the picture if he didn’t play at least 3 main roles. So it’s not cause Sellers would be funny playing three roles but because they were so impressed by his acting, they didn’t want anyone else for these parts. The fact it was not a comedy device makes it very different from the two films above.

So can a comedy work with this formula or will it always fall short. No. There is one film franchise that I love and one actor again plays three main characters. This being Mike Myers in the Austin Powers films. Here Myers plays the two main characters Austin and Dr. Evil, and one support part as Fat Bastard.  I suppose it is pretty obvious that it’s the same actor but I don’t think you are aware of it when watching the film. You dont suddenly think “isn’t that funny the same actor talking to himself”. Unfortunately that seems to be the main hook of Jack and Jill. The joke is that Sandler is talking to himself in drag, Nudge nudge wink wink. I think most folk just wished he had just kept that to his own bathroom mirror and not across our cinema screens.

Anyway. In conclusion, for this ponderous and not well planned out article, I feel that the actor playing more than one role can work but it needs a special mind, who has excellent comic timing and is able to bounce of dialogue which can’t be done live. In this film they cast Adam Sandler.

Till next time

Fall

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