Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Your tearing me apart!

Developed a very nasty sore throat last night, I dreaded every time I needed to sneeze because I feared that I may start coughing blood and that is never a good place to be. Luckily I never got to that point and even better, my after school English lesson was cancelled so I managed to score a lift home with Mark as opposed to walking AND I got a Toffee Crisp when Mark went to refill; nice one.

Another big thank you is in order to readers old and new, this blog has finally earned Cafe Studios the fine sum of £0.01! Thank God for advertising!

I wasn't too sure what to expect from Rebel Without a Cause, for some, unknown reason I thought it would be a greaser motorbike movie (don't ask why.) What I got instead was a great movie about family values and troubled youths and provided some very tense moments and a strangely satisfying ending. I have never seen a James Dean film but this one really made me what to see more, it's actually quite scary just how much Brad Pitt looks like Dean in some angles and it was such a shame that he had to die so young.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Dodged a bullet!

Today I was fretting. Come my free period me and Josh were scrambling around preparing our History presentation on the Russian peasantry and it wasn't looking so good. Come the lesson our teacher calls upon me and Josh to pick who goes first in presenting, we naturally pick the group which has the girl who is going to Oxford to go first just so we can establish the standards of the presentation. She turns up with an argument that is broken down into 3 original points which are well explained and very coherent. 20 minutes later after she finishes me and Josh seem to be communicating telepathically about our fears for presenting ours. We are called up to the front to present ours, my hands trembling as I hand over my USB pen, it's at this point another group offers to go because their slideshow is quite short. Thank God too, after that one was done we ran out of time giving us until Thursday to sharpen our work!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Conked out

Really sorry about the fact there was no blog yesterday, work yesterday was a bit of a nightmare. I covered an 11 hour shift from 9AM to 8PM, I was on my feet all day and did the washing up for pretty much 80% of that time. It was very nice coming home though, as I was leaving by chance Dad had come to check up on me and gave me a lift back, just as well because my legs were knackered. I was so tired I thought to myself that I would have a quick lie down in bed before the blog, next thing I knew it was today!

Sunday wasn't much better though as most of today was spent doing various pieces of homework I once again left to the last minute, I should be alright though as my essay and presentation has come along a bit better than I expected. I also watched the second part of the TV adaptation of Birdsong, part 2 was much stronger than the first as it actually engaged with me almost to a similar degree as Paths of Glory. Very well filmed and acting was pretty good overall and the best part was probably the bit on the battlefield or the tunnel finale, but overall I'm glad I watched it; now I just gotta read the book.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Monkey Man

Getting psyched about going to work for the first real time tomorrow, bit nervous but also excited because I'm just glad to be in a new environment and meeting new people; I just hope I have fun working there. Film Friday was very good as for the first time ever we re-watched a Film Friday Film, an honour that is currently only bestowed to Pulp Fiction. First time we watched it was when Film Friday was a relatively small thing, just me Mark and Dan and we absolutely loved it so we felt the need to share it to everyone else; and they all loved it too! I also watched Project Nim with the family which was a very interesting documentary about teaching a monkey to live among humans with sign language, it was quite well done and did manage to tug on the old heart strings more than once.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Getting on my running shoes

Today went by rather quickly, a pair of History lessons and a Film Studies session went by in a flash. This evening though I decided to be a bit athletic and restart jogging, I've had a complete lack of energy recently likely due to the fact I haven't been sleeping very well so this should tire me out a bit and get me fit again, I'm a little out of practise at the moment but like riding a bike it's just something that's hard to forget.

I watched another Woody Allen film today, Love and Death was a spiritually surreal film about a young man growing up in Tsarist Russia. It deals with themes of war, love and mortality in a great way that is consistently entertaining, almost like if 'Duck Soup' and 'Airplane!' came together but made a historical comedy. Yes it's daft, but it's a lot of fun and definitely got me laughing out loud many times. If you want a mindless comedy with some food for thought... rendering the opposite of a mindless comedy then this is the one for you.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Unprepared Dead

It is finally here, the film you have all (hopefully) been waiting for! Our A2 Film Studies coursework: The Unprepared Dead. This film, was a nightmare to plan, film and edit but a delight to finally show to its audience. I would like to stress the violence and the swearing present in the film, however it has been Grannie approved! (despite raising more than one eyebrow at it.) Please give it a watch if you have the time, ideally tell us what you think of it in the comments section on the blog here on on Youtube as they are always welcome.

After suffering from a terrible nightmare involving a very sharp knife and my hip, today was alright, although waking up at 5AM and fearing of going back to sleep again is not the greatest start to the day. I decided to wear my new, bright red waistcoat because I though 'What the hell, just do it,' yes I was made fun of by my friends and even my tutor but it made me feel very happy for some reason. I really felt like a Woody Allen film today so I was recommend The Purple Rose of Cairo which was very brief but quietly brilliant. The premise does sound a little naff, a man coming out of the silver screen to introduce himself to a woman, but it was done very well and very sweetly. The ending is great as well and it reminded me greatly of The Last Picture Show, check it out if you like movies about watching movies and in the mood for a sweet romance.

Zombie Film: The Unprepared Dead

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Baby Snatcher

Our zombie film coursework is finally complete! We are preparing to upload it tomorrow morning, just as soon as we have a title for it that is and this brainstorm has taken a very long time...

I admittedly went into the Iron Lady with a very sceptical attitude after hearing negative things from the Internet but I was pleasantly surprised in how much I enjoyed the film. Streep was, of course, the main attraction for the film and she really shined here giving a great performance as usual and actually made me feel sympathetic to Margret Thatcher. The main issue of the film was some awkward pacing however, it continually shifted from past Thatcher to modern day, with the latter mostly focusing on her dementia which may have been focused on too much... The film did earn a oscar nomination however so if you watch a film on that ground then I will suggest checking it out, almost makes you more patriotic while watching it.

Monday, 23 January 2012


After the history exam which went quite well we, as a family went off to go see Spamalot. It was pretty good, I liked the energy and enthusiasm of the actors and the set designs, there were one too many 4th wall jokes however, some hits, some misses and I never got to a point where I laughed out loud for more than 2 seconds, which is a shame because it was a decent production.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Revising the Reich

Ah, tomorrow I will be free again. Today was mostly spent revising for my History resit on Hitler and the Nazis, and if I'm unlucky there will be a bit on East and West Germany as well. It's quite encouraging to find out just how much of the course has stuck into my head, watching Schindler's List certainly helped me get in the right mind frame and with a bit of morning revision I should be prepared to do well when the exam comes. I'll try to welcome the new week with a fresh and early morning, have a good Monday everyone!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Last day at the CFP

Today was my last day at the furniture project as I have since gotten a job for Eddie Catz and the times clash. It was really quite sad to leave since I'd grown quite attached to the people there and I really enjoyed my work, even though I wasn't paid a penny. Since I'm only a stone's throw away however I can still go see them during my lunch break while I work at Eddie Catz which will defiantly be nice. I did get a little depressed when it came to closing time because I didn't have any words to mark the occasion, I left the same way I initially came in: reluctant and socially akward.

My Dad recommend Sexy Beast to me because it was a crime drama made by Filmfour who make some great stuff. Ben Kingsley absolutely stole the show, providing a hilariously threatening performance as the mob boss, think Ralph Fiennes in In Bruges and then give him more than double that screen time, the highlight of the movie is when he's on the aeroplane which is a brilliant moment. The scenes without him however do have a tendency to drag on a bit because the pacing is a bit uneven and the other characters are nowhere near as fun to watch, but it's short and it did provide some genuine laughs.

Friday, 20 January 2012

To save a life...

I had a very short day of school and as I was walking home I decided that I had enough time to watch Schindler's List. I have recently been yearing for a truely excellent film I could get very excited about and I think the film just about hit that mark. I consider it a real triumph and achievement in film-making, just quality in every scene not to mention the raw power of some moments, the Nazi's storming the ghettos is probably my favorite section as I really did forget for a moment that I was watching a film; it felt like a documentary. It really is one of those movies you must see before you die as it will add to you spiritually, if you can forgive the slightly cosumerist ending.

Later on in the evening I sorta waltzed downstairs, looking for another film to watch (I knew I couldn't really top what I'd seen before) Unfortunatly Mum saw me eyeing up the movies and suggested we should watch one of her favorite movies: Green Card. I will admit it had a slightly charming lead with Gerard Depardieu who did give the film some personalitly, Andy Macdowell however seemed stiff in comparison and her character was desperatly boring. The film also did feel a bit padded in places I was looking at my watch throughout the whole of the second half. The film also only follows the two main characters, there was no sense of real relief from their characters so you just have to put up with their incredibly slow romance. Peter Weir didn't really have enough content to really grab onto here, his other films have been refreashingly original but Green Card doesn't really stand out from any other 90's rom-com. 

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Tough Day

After having a horrendously bad night I got up pretty early for a school day so I had plenty of time to enjoy my breakfast for a change. School begun with 2 history lessons that felt like eternal damnation, the minute hand on my watch made sloths look like race cars. I also shared a editing session with Mark that blended apathy with insanity because I could find, nor could I be bothered to find the correct sound effect for our film, it was also at this point that the Mac decided to act a bit funny which resulted in Mark and I tearing our hair out in frustration over a single sound effect.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The Birds

I felt a bit rubbish walking home today, I stupidly decided to bring my Winter coat under the assumption it would be another cold day when in fact it was quite mild. I was just getting hotter and grumpier in my bulky coat but then nature decided to cheer me up. First I saw a moorhen dipping it's toes in the water, generally unsure about whether to go in or not; this made me smile. Mere seconds later I saw a Canadian Goose come into land into the canal, but this one thought he could take out a pesky swan in his dissent, a full on collision ensued and that made me laugh. Immediatly after this I am walking through our town park and notice a drop of water coming off the trees, I go to wipe my hair, thats when I realized it that water doesn't normally smell like bird poo.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A Jagged Gorgeous Movie

We started watching the Cabinet of Dr Caligari in film studies today, I can't quite believe how impressive the film is, even by today's standards, it just has some amazing backgrounds and set designs ensuring that each shot boggles the mind. Otherwise, depressingly little happened to me today, I tried playing some more Minecraft but I keep remembering why I occasionally don't do much, I'm not very creative when it comes to building, nor do I want to ruin the landscape.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Where have all my lessons gone?

Again, I was expecting to have 3 lessons today and I only had 1, it felt like a bit of a waste of time coming into school. Back home wasn't much better, I accomplished nothing. Mark asked if me and Dan could help him clear a abandoned mineshaft in Minecraft and simply put it was one of the most aggravating things I have done all year, died so many times and  it just felt meaningless. Louis came into my room at about 9:30 claiming that 'I'm not feeling great, if I pass out then it's cool.' He just discovered he has tonsil stones which are basically some deposits of nasty stuff inside your tonsils you can easily remove, apparently it affects 10% of the population and Louis just felt a bit woozy thinking about it in great detail; in reality it's absolutely nothing to worry about.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Dressing gown (nearly) all day

With no homework, volunteer work or revision work to be done I decided to have a day dedicated to the art of procrastination and because it was very cold in my room I was wearing my dressing gown for the most of the day. I nearly went downstairs to eat dinner while wearing it until Louis, rather abruptly told me that we had guests for tea so sheepishly I removed the garment feeling that my high score had been lost.

I got a chance to watch what I think is my first Czechoslovakian film today: Kolya. It was a very sweet film about an elderly bachelor who is forced into bringing up a 5 year old child for a little while. There are some great moments of bonding in it and you can really see their relationship developing. It is also set in that 'near the end of the Cold War' era which does come into the story keeping a goal to the story. With its gentle humour and pacing, Kolya is quite a little gem and definitely watching if you want to see a film that will just make you smile.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Eddie Catz First Day

My trial day at 'Eddie Catz' was today, I basically spent an hour watching how to prepare food with the various contraptions they have there, and the rest of my time there doing the washing up as more and more piled onto me. It was quite stressful but I hope I will get the hang of it, it certainly tired me out though so I'm blooming knackered. I wasn't offered a break or any lunch though which was a bit awkward, when I arrived back at the furniture project they were happy to see me, I asked if I could have a bit of bread with butter on it and was told to help myself to anything I liked; I felt like I was home.

Friday, 13 January 2012

An exam called panic

I was having a pretty good morning revision session, getting on with my mind maps and practise papers during my lunch break in my form room, about 10 minutes later my tutor asks me what exam I'm doing, I tell her English language and her eyes widen. "The one that's in literally 7 minutes?!" A brief panicked rush to the exam hall to check times later I discovered that, in fact, I had plenty of time but all my pre-exam adrenaline had been wasted on me running rather than me working in the exam. Despite that faff I think the exam was ok, some good questions came up and I just did my best. Felt amazing when I finished though, Mark got me a burger from our local grill joint and it was amazing. Good day overall I think, Film Friday was just banter today as we couldn't quite get timings right for a movie but still enjoyable.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Last little push

Plenty of English revision today seeing as the exam is tomorrow afternoon, feeling semi-confident but realistically I feel that I should do better this time around. Close to finishing the zombie film now I think, we spent most of today fretting about where to get all of our sound effects and music, in passing I suggested to try some Left 4 Dead music, Mark's eyes lit up as he scrounged into the game's files to access every single sound clip from the game providing us with hours of awesome zombie moans, screams and grizzly deaths. After adding some sounds I really thought they transformed a pretty good film into a damn good one,if we are lucky it may well be done this time next week.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Akward moments

I'm not sure if editing with Mark today was a successful experience. At one instance in our film a character impales a zombie with a rake so I mentioned that there should still be blood on said rake as it is ruthlessly plucked from the soft flesh of the Zombie. Pointing out this inconsistency put Mark in a paranoid yet apathetic mood towards this claiming it would be far too much work and not with it in the long run. Moments later a friend sits down with us and also brings up the same issue with the bloody rake which sent Mark into a full on editing rage as he grumpily spent an hour getting the bits just right while moaning at me and Josh for bringing it up in the first place; all we could do was laugh.

My first Mike Leigh film was Secrets and Lies which I watched this afternoon and was quite impressed with. It presented some interesting characters and a consistently winding plot that took you into some of the most awkwardly tense moments put onto film. What felt satisfying about it is that it was almost done like a soap opera but you knew there would be closure within its 136 minutes and that at some point all the characters would have to fess up in the brilliant climax of the film.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Dull as dishwater

Just... nothing happened to me today. School was alright, more Fight Club theory which is kinda interesting but also quite confusing. Our lunchbreak consisted of recoreding Mark and Jenny (our zombie film actress) screaming very loudly in fear, Jenny's turned out quite well but Mark needs to re-do his; he had no pluck in the recording studio. When you feel this bored then the only thing that'll brighten your day is a good old Buster Keaton short, Convict 13 was a neat idea for a film with some good slapstick but it lacks the ridiculous stunts you can find in other of his films, One Week is probably his best short that I've seen so far so if your ever in a bit of a 'meh' mood just find it online and enjoy.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Citation needed

Our long awaited Wikipedia documentary is out, we are very sorry that it took so long but it did take a while for us to get every single fact right and make sure that we truly captured the tough working environment of working on Wikipedia in the early days; give it a watch and sorry again for the delays.

Very easy day, most of my lessons were cancelled on account of meetings and the like, I was able to revise for my upcoming re-takes in my spare time and it felt like a good way to break me into the new week. I finished off the Three Colours Trilogy today with Red which has left me wondering which was better, Red or White? Red started very slowly, after 20 minutes it definitely picked up and became somewhat similar to The Lives of Others. Many later revelations made your head spin with 'what if' scenarios and the films generally lend themselves very well to alternative interpretations, most of which can be found online, it was just nice to see someone help that poor lady with the bottle.

Wikipedia Admins Video

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Worlds easiest interview

Most of this morning was building up to my afternoon interview, my fears ranged from what to wear to where to lock my bike. Turned out that they are all really nice there and they seem quite eager for new staff members so after the formalities of the interview I was offered a training day next week; result!

I started watching the Three Colours Trilogy yesterday, Blue didn't do much for me I don't think, it was hard to identify with the main character despite her good acting but it certainly had its moments of inspiration and got me curious enough to watch White which was a different beast entirely. I think I definitely preferred White as it delivered a much more interesting character and a plot which was a little more accessible and a great moment of tension that quickly shatteres into a different emotion completly, I won't tell you what because that would spoil the moment. I would recommend this one, its a very different take on a revenge film and was simoltaniously inventive and charming.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

That was easy

I was a little bit nervous about handing in my CV today, I wasn't sure who to speak to, nor what to say but it turned out to be ridiculously easy. I just... handed it in with a smile AND got an interview for tomorrow; bit of a result there.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Panic party

After a very rushed film Friday it was due to be my Girlfriend's party, she lives about half an hour away by car and our driver (Chris) was graciously taking back peeps who lived away in Hungerford which is in the opposite direction. 30 minutes after the party officially started Chris rolls up and is ready to take us, rushing into the car we bombed down to Beenham and at the half way point I realised I forgot to bring her presents with me. We arrived an hour late for the shindig but fortunately all was forgiven and everyone didn't get my costume as the Shopkeeper from Mr Benn.

At least I thought it was cool...

Thursday, 5 January 2012

My aching head

Throughout the whole day I had the most awful headache, it felt like my brain would push out my eyeballs for some fresh air during most of my lessons. When I got home I just went to bed for 30 minutes and got up right as rain, quite a miraculous recovery really. Although Mark was ill today he has told me that our Wikipedia sketch is extremely close to finishing, Dan and I will just take a quick look at it, make any necessary changes and then upload it tomorrow morning! Keep looking out for that and hope it helps you have a good Friday!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

I never drink... wine.

Getting to sleep has gotten harder and harder recently, my brain just keeps on whirring away when I keep telling it to pipe down and get some shut eye, thankfully coffee has kept me awake to the necessary degree throughout most of the day. Speaking of, we got a new kettle after the old ones lid broke, because we don't like drinking hot, unfiltered limescale we went all the way and got a very modern looking one with a blue light. It even lets you brew to 1 of 2 temperatures 100 degree for tea and boiling water and 85 degree for coffee, I'm getting caffinated AND being energy efficient.

I felt compelled to watch the old Dracula film with Bela Lugosi tonight after enjoying Frankenstein so much but I will admit, Dracula was a bit of a let down. The first 10 minutes were pretty cool with the count in his awesomely Gothic castle with the wasps and armadillos? And the performances of Lugosi and Dwight Frye were very good but most of the other characters were very uninteresting and the film takes a very slow turn a third of the way through, it crawls along for about 50 minutes and then jumps to the climax very quickly. Regrettably I did get a bit bored watching it despite me thinking that I would really get into it, I even watched the version with additional music, which was really impressive actually and added to the film neatly. But if you want to watch and old monster movie, go with Frankenstein it just feels classier.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


Woke up late today and what with Super Mario 3D Land still in the mail I decided to watch A Streetcar Named Desire. The film had some phenomenally good performances all round in it's relatively small cast, the characters were interesting and well developed and it was difficult to predict what would happen next. My favourite character was Stanley who was both charming and intimidating at the same time, however I don't really know what his motives were at the end of the film, he's happily married and really excited for a child so he goes and does... that? Oh well, the film was so good I went back to watch one of my favourite Simpson episodes immediately after and was quickly reminded just how much I love that series and how it got me interested in film in the first place, I counted 4 references to individual films in a single episode and the scene with Homer reenacting the famous 'Stella' line laughs me to tears every time; just thinking of it now makes me giggle.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Burton's Batman

After loving Batman Arkham City I found it only reasonable to watch the Tim Burton Batman film this afternoon. I can imagine that when it came out after the cheesy as hell 60's TV series people were thinking 'wow, this new Batman is much darker in tone and geared for a more mature audience.' Watching it I though to myself 'Wow, we have since created a much darker tone in Batman with the Nolan films so this now feels a little bit campy.' Despite its campy nature though I definitely thought it was worth a watch, Nicholson's Joker was not the most intimidating but he clearly stole the show, and the atmosphere of Gotham is captured in a way that is more true to the comic books. Micheal Keaton was a hit and miss casting choice, he's pretty good as Bruce Wayne and has an ok voice for Batman, but when he is dressed in the suit we kinda moves like the Terminator and looks very goofy, more Batfink than Batman.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Slightly productive day!

Zelda has finally been completed, I'm not sure where this Zelda would rank among the others, but I have difficulty justifying it above any of the other console games, while I did like the characters, the focus on the Master Sword and some elements of the game play, ie swordplay. The main quest did feel a little padded in places and is also the only Zelda game I probably won't replay for a very long while as there are some parts which are just torture and the final boss was not what I expected or what I really wanted, but the rest  of the ending was very well done.

I wrote a review of Batman Arkham City for my local newspaper today, I sent it off, free of charge of course in hopes of getting a monthly or weekly column there, chances are admittedly slim but it would be pretty cool if I did get it and it's certainly a nice way to start the new year.

Goodbye 2011!

And hello 2012. Technically I'm writing this in the new year as I stayed up to watch the fireworks on BBC1 which were spectacular, otherwise I did very little to celebrate apart from going to a friend of the family's briefly for an Indian take away. I didn't really get a chance to reflect on the passing year as I was too busy playing more Zelda, however I feel that it has certainly been a good year for film, video games and of course: Cafe Studios! Here's to another New Year!