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About my collections

Art, drawing and painting. Reading (particularly classics), music that doesn't have words, and films.

I love the melancholy of tainted love and attention to the normal occasions within every day life.

I like things that are in juxtaposition; The Beauty and the Beast- Romantic Industrialism.

I like reading dystopian apocalyptic fiction, and the social and moral upheaval that ensues; along with the tempestuous relationships of the classics.

I love the surreal and uncanny.

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Recent reviews

All reviews - Movies (18) - TV Shows (3) - Books (7) - Music (1) - Games (1)

The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman

Posted : 8 years, 3 months ago on 12 July 2009 01:04 (A review of The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman)

Written by the author of ‘Withnail and I’; If your familiar with this book or film then you will already have an idea of what lies in store.

Robinson is also accredited with writing the screenplay to ‘Killing Fields’.

Here in his book he beautifully masters the art of dark humour and a sense of manic chaos with crafted story telling of difficult and raw events that occur throughout our lives; heightened by the turmoil of adolescence.
A heart-warming and darkly humorous mix of revolting revelations of a teenage boy’s secrets mixed in with the awkwardness and uncertainty of growing up in an unstable family.

The novel is essentially a rites-of-passage. It marks the developments of Thomas’ first love and first experience of death.

Told with frank and stark imagery, Thomas worms his way into many an unpleasant and ‘squirm-worthy’ situations of embarrassment, despite his often innocently curious intentions. It is these highlights to his tale that make The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman considerably funnier than the typical tale of growing up.

Robertson is an avid fan of Dickens and this shows in his grimy and frank storytelling of ambiguity and childhood misconceptions of adulthood, within a working class family in the 50’s.
The tales are often vulgar and cringe-worthy but handled tactfully with genuine responses of Thomas’ acute embarrassment.

Young Penman still fails to have full insight or understanding into his parent’s motives and strange actions. As a result the only adult in his family that he has any feelings of affiliation to is with his WW1 veteran and half senile grandfather.

Penman of course proceeds to fall in love, and it’s this infatuation with the much rumoured upon Gwen cures him of his fixations upon his own bodily functions, which grow into what is much more expected of a boy of his age.
He battles in of jealous rivalry against his best friend Maurice, as they confide in each other their feelings and desires and then proceed try to ‘get one up’ on the other, whilst of course, maintaining a front of indifference and boyish bravado .

A very surreal and enjoyable read. Victorious in its eloquence, honest and very real portrayal of emotion interjected with some great cringe-worthy and comic moments.


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Unconventional robot love

Posted : 8 years, 4 months ago on 31 May 2009 08:19 (A review of I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK)

I'm a Cyborg, But That's Ok is an unconventional love story.
It’s set in a Korean mental institute as it follows Young-goon, a young woman who refuses to eat, instead opting to be ‘charged up’ from licking batteries. She converses with lights, clocks and vending machines and take daily guidance from radio broadcasts. This is all because Young-goon believes herself to be a robot.

The film introduces you to the other patients of the institution and their psychotic conditions as Young-goon settles into her institutionalised lifestyle with the nurses who seem to have as little clue about the realities of life as the inmates.

Flash backs from Young-goons earlier life show how she was raised by her grandmother who was one day carted off to a mental leaving behind her false teeth. Ever since, Young-goon has vowed to return them to her so that she will again be able to eat her favourite pickled radish.

The film centres on Young-goon’s need to eliminate all of her human emotions, which are the 7 deadly sins of the Cyborg world in order to kill all of the ‘White-uns’ and uphold her promise to her Granny.

In order to remove feelings such as guilt and sympathy Young-goon asks Park Il-soon, a psychopathic thief to steal them from her.
As he begins his observations of her he is amazed to feel, for the very first time stirrings of compassion and concern for another being from within himself.

I found this film to be very different from any others of Chan-wook Park. Essentially it is a light and warm hearted romance, but more in the vein of his other works this storyline is also multi faceted and original in it’s approach, dealing with an ultra heightened sense of our everyday human emotions.




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'The course of true love never did run smooth'

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 8 August 2008 08:37 (A review of Romeo + Juliet)

This film is the saving grace for all students studying the play for their GCSE Shakespearian English paper. Pumping rampant life into what is often perceived as a tired old verse.

Everyone knows the age old story of ill fated love on the wrong side of the tracks, but this film spot on translates it into a modern context whereby the language barrier that exists for many just dissipates, as the talents and vibrancy of the cast render it invisible.
The cinematography is stark and contrasting in its hard edge to the unduely rose-tinted tale.

The soundtrack of contemporary, adapted and remixed songs adds yet another unexpected dimension of enjoyment to revel in.

The young cast rise to fill the big shoes laid out before them and the script flows like songs from their lips. The passion they display and the earnest portrayal of their emotions make my heart scream out to the two idiotic, lust filled youngsters each time, but alas head strong they are and to their deaths they run, and of course;

'The course of true love never did run smooth'


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Death has never been so much fun!

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 8 August 2008 08:13 (A review of Final Destination)

The teen horror of my youth.

A group of young high school students set off on an exchange to France. Full of high spirits, only Alex it seems has a fear of flying.
Put at unease by broken food tray flaps he gets himself in a bit of a flap, but forces himself to calm down as the plane lifts off and his class mates cheer.
Within minuets however the aircraft begins to shudder. In the next few minuets the plane literally falls apart as fireballs rage through, annihilating the passengers.

Alex then opens his eyes with a start drenched in sweat, he must have dozed off. This time unable to suppress his anxieties and believing the plane really will explode he is intent on getting of the plane, a few students follow him, whilst some lash out against him, ultimately those in question are removed.

Back in the terminal arguments break out amongst the students until they are interrupted by a deafening 'boom' as the aircraft explodes mid take off.

After the funerals the students try to return to their lives to normal until Alex has another freaky premonition of a death and the number of survivors begins to drop.



Filled with truly ingenious deaths that are a marvel to watch unravel. The cast try to out smart death and beat his game to ensure their survival.

As a teenager this film kept me awake at nights for months, inspecting the shadows dancing across my walls at night in case a clue to my impending coming death lay within them. To this day I check my bathroom for wet flooring and my cups for incriminating cracks...

Its a shame that so few thoughtful thriller/horror films have been made to follow suite


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Too Close for Comfort?

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 8 August 2008 07:48 (A review of Closer)

A marmite of a film, but I do love it.

Whether it is true to the gritty, depressing heart of life or actively trying to be shocking in its use of language and relational interactions it manages to be much more fresh, original and funny than any other mainstream film I have seen at the cinema in a long time.

The plot revolves around middle-class, but not quite middle aged professionals that you are openly invited to hate as you watch their twisted lies and egos rip apart the lives of those they love most before they in turn are crushed under the falling of their own self esteem.

The films boasts a great cast who do a fantastic job of painting these delightful everyday villains, almost like they too may have had a little too much practise.

Filled with dark comedy, some intelligent twists and well constructed and developed characters it is an enjoyable trip into the world of betrayal, begging the question how much can you trust your nearest and dearest...?

Thankfully come the end of the film, one can switch off and if all else fails stroke the cat.



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A new direction for the Japanese wordsmith?

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 8 August 2008 05:51 (A review of After Dark)

Spanning over the course of one single night in the vibrant, neon lit city of Tokyo. The lives of several young adults, each coming to grips with their impending choices for the future, intertwine.

The story is laid out in chronological chunks throughout the night, with each characters tale taking up previous left off to resume their own separate agenda.

Murakami again shows his strength and individuality as a writer in the details. Excelling in his delicate descriptions and casual interjections that make his work such a pleasure to read. Whilst simultaneously weaving together several fragments of seemingly unconnected storyline, cumulating in the final scene.

The reader is given the view point of a floating camera, being the silent observer within the unfolding series of events that pass. Weaving in and out the characters lives as a stealthy shadow observing what takes place as a passive force.

Right from the off, I felt that this novel was written in a different style to those I have previously read, but that of course could be due to the difference in translator.

It lacks that fantastical magical element that I felt was so evidently present in 'Kafka on the Shore' and 'Hard Boiled and The End of The World'.
Replaced instead by a gritty sense of urgency and heavy foreboding.
The novel unfolds like a detective story, offering voyeuristic snippets of clues that I at times felt uncomfortable to be privy to, not because of their graphic content but because of the underlying sense of unease and invasion of their right to privacy.

In conclusion, 'After Dark' takes a slightly different 'off branching' from Murakami's previous works.
But none the less proves to be a poignant and thrilling journey into his ever surreal and pop cultured but now also current, grounded and under bellied Japanese world.


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Unexpected punch of a film

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 8 August 2008 02:41 (A review of Shaolin Soccer)

I reluctantly watched this film with my brother, expecting it to be a vain attempt at a Kung Fu comedy. How wrong I was...

The storyline opens with a young man (Sing) who is determined to bring the importance of Kung Fu to the public’s attention, with every novel idea, including dance routines and songs, he fails.
Sing involves himself in a fight, where he single handedly quashes a gang who offend his Shaolin master.

Fung a retired and lucked out star football player, watches his impressive victory and offers to train Sing, using his devastating kick, to become the world’s number one football striker. Realising that this might be the perfect opportunity to show the practicality of Kung Fu he readily accepts the offer.
The duo then attempt to round up Sing’s old Kung Fu partners to form an unstoppable football team.

The team initially face little opposition, pummelling their opponents with their excessively outrageous acrobatic football skills.
Of course the road to victory is never smooth and soon a worthy challenge and matters of love present insurmountable obstacles.

The plausibility of this storyline is of course utterly outrageous but thoroughly enjoyable, as its special effects are surprisingly elegant and technical and well used.

Its structure, to me seems to contain remnants of ancient wise fables, competently updated and modified for an original and contemporary story. Its characters are heart-warmingly sincere and unique.

There is also a love interest that isn’t overtly ‘mushy’ and distracting from the main story line, but rather it compliments it, running alongside and helping to create the wealth of deeper meaning and substance that makes this film so much more than the action comedy I expected.


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Filmic Apocalyptic Tale Without The Clichés

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 7 August 2008 01:15 (A review of The Day of the Triffids (Penguin Modern Classics))

‘When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere’

I’m not one for normally remembering quotes but this one has stuck in my head.
Used in the opening sentences it perfectly sets up the tone for the rest of the book; an eerie misplaced and hauntingly plausible and uncanny dystopian epic.

Set in an undetermined date, man has begun to dabble with genetic modifications. The result, 10 foot high plants with extendable stingers capable of instantly killing a man with one blow.
These vegetative beasts can uproot and mobilise themselves before sinking back in their roots.
Thankfully man has rendered them harmless by regularly trimming their stingers, and most are contained within controlled research labs.

For one man (Bill Masen) fate intervenes in, when as researcher on these plants a worker gets some of their venom in his eyes and is rendered incapacitated and blind under heavy bandaging for weeks.

One morning, waking in the hospital ( on the day of his un-bandaging) Bill is overcome with the feeling that all is not as it should be. He lies still in his hospital bed trying to swallow the growing fear of uncertainty and unease within him. What ensues is his firsthand account of the unfolding of what emerges to be a worldwide disaster.

Unkempt and without humans to maintain the order of the Triffids their species now holds the advantage over the blind fumbling survivors around them. They are quick off the mark and soon beginning to feed off of the rotting corpses littering the streets.


In this novel you truly find out if ‘The one-eyed man will be King in the country of the blind’. Or if all humanity is destined to fall against the background of an increasingly wild landscape and social chaos.

Wyndham perfectly delves into the human psyche. Discussing the rationalities of fear and morality that the survivors have to adjust to within their new world.
The key success of this story for me was that it was always one step ahead.

Often I have felt disappointed by apocalyptic storylines as they try to second guess what their heroes would do and how they manage to survive whilst explaining the process of events that lead up to the disaster. In these books I have often found plot holes or solutions long before the protagonist which has left me feeling completely unsatisfied.

This book has none of those irritating little ‘nit bits’ and is beautifully filmic in its descriptions and realistic in its problems and obstacles. It kept me guessing and uncertain to their outcome right to the last line whilst simultaneously avoiding all common clichés of this genre.

My number one apocalyptic dystopian novel and storyline to date!
9/10


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Beautiful Katie

Posted : 9 years, 4 months ago on 14 June 2008 11:51 (A review of Hideous Kinky)

I have always idolised this film. I watched it as a child with jealousy, desperately wishing I was one of Kate Winslet’s children in the tale. The film follows them growing up in exotic India, experiencing everyday adventures and encountering mysterious people at every turn. I think it fuelled my young ideals of a happy life far away and my early love of Kate Winslet.

The film is narrated by the youngest daughter of a young mother, who estranged from her husband is unhappy with the grind of her life in England. She simply scraps together her savings, up-sticks and decides to relocate in India. The film is colourful and beautiful depicting the contrast of childhood innocence and naivety against that of their mother as they explore and become accustomed to a strange new land.

The originality of this film comes from the narrative and viewpoint of the daughters who are far more level headed and realistic than their flighty romanticised mother. They begrudgingly follow their mother around disliking their Nomadic lifestyle and craving stability and some consistency in their lives.

The film offers an interesting insight into family relations and growing up, as a young woman tries to provide a better life for her children according to her own desires. She instead becomes faced with the reality and irresponsibility of her actions.
Still, it’s a childhood I remain convinced I would have revelled in and loved every moment of.


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A barrel of laughs and a few tears.

Posted : 9 years, 4 months ago on 14 June 2008 11:06 (A review of The Bucket List)

The concept of this film is pretty simple, two men getting on in years but still sprightly and full of fight are diagnosed with cancer. Nicholson plays a ballsy entrepreneur who among many things owns a hospital. In a money saving regulation he enforces the rule ‘two patients to a room, no exceptions’. After being diagnosed with a progressive cancer he has literally made his bed and now he has to lie in it. He finds himself laid up alongside family man Carter (Freeman) who has also been diagnosed with a similar fate.

The film here runs at a nice pace. Allowing the two highly capable actors to explore and familiarise the audience with each other as they whittle away the long lonely and painful hours chatting over life and their very different outlooks on it.

After making it through their respective sessions of chemotherapy they are served their life sentences. Shell shocked they are faced with the choice; return to their lives and await death, or live the time they have left to the maximum. Fulfilling all the whims of their fancies that they have sacrificed in the realities of life.

The biggest draw of this film for me was the performances by Freeman and Nicholson. Without them the film would have been an easy viewing Sunday afternoon flick. Their characters spark a real chemistry together and their lines glance off one another beautifully. Nicholson with his devilish grin, cynical and guns-a-blazing attitude finds his match in the calm self assured majestic nature of Freeman’s character.

The film obviously reflects on life, death and the meaning within it, but manages to avoid the expected clichés that might have come with it. The film throughout stays sensitive and touching but light hearted. It allows the viewer to take from it what they like or simply sit back enjoy the show and leave. The film is also packed with comic Idioms which amused me to pick out.
All in all a nice feel good movie, that at times hits a little deeper and delivers a charismatic punch or two along the way.


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Posted: 7 years, 5 months ago at May 15 22:46

The Most Beautiful Sound All Over The World!


Posted: 7 years, 5 months ago at Apr 27 22:12
Thanks for the list vote (:
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Posted: 7 years, 6 months ago at Apr 6 17:54
Thanx for your vote :D
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Thanks for the vote
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thank you for the picture vote
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hey, thank you for the vote :]
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Hello, many thanks for voting. :-)
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Thanks for the list vote!
Posted: 8 years ago at Oct 14 14:28
thx for the votes!!:)
Posted: 8 years ago at Sep 24 1:07
hey, thanks for the votes! o/
Posted: 8 years, 1 month ago at Sep 14 21:47
Many thanks for your vote! :)
Posted: 8 years, 1 month ago at Aug 22 23:41
http://www.listal.com/viewimage/737250

+1 Vote please :)

(And ignore that cock below me)
Posted: 8 years, 2 months ago at Aug 17 18:00
http://www.listal.com/list/lets-play-killing
Posted: 8 years, 2 months ago at Aug 14 14:59
Thanks for the votes (& comment - it wasn't all my idea obviously but I put a lot of effort into it lol!) Much appreciated :)
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You;re welcome! Glad that I could help:*
Posted: 8 years, 2 months ago at Aug 13 13:32
Thx for your vote!
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Hey, thanks for the votes. :D:D:D:D
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Hi, thank you for the vote :)
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thanks for the votes :}
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Thanks for the votes! :)

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