Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Films That Scare Me

Horror is one of the most overused and hard-to-do-well genres in film. Every year a slew of 'scary' films are pumped out into cinemas but very rarely are these films worth much, or even remotely scary. I know that everybody is scared by something different and peoples concepts of horror all vary, but I just wanted to celebrate Halloween by sharing some of the films that I find genuinely frightening. 

I've been watching horror films since I was very young and they definitely make up a hefty chunk of the films I watch for fun. While this list is nowhere near extensive these are the five films that come to me every time I try to compile a list of decent horror films. 

The Blair Witch Project
The film that made handheld cameras scary? I first watched this film when I was far too young (around 11) and thought it was boring as hell. I watched it a second time at 18 and it scared me senseless. I think  this films main problem is that viewers get bored, and somewhat understandably so, as nothing truly frightening happens for great portions of the film. For me, the scariest things in films are those that aren't seen, the horrors that I come up with in my head, and The Blair Witch Project delivers these by the bucket load.

Essentially if you don't pay attention to the documentary portion of the film at the start, the interviews particularly, the real horror will never come across to you or have any effect. That final shot of the film is one of the most horrifying I've experienced, and it is all thanks to the incredible build up created in those early sequences.

The Orphanage
I personally feel that some of the absolute best horror of recent years has come from Spain, and The Orphanage is top of the pile. This film is horrific, haunting and heart-wrenching all at once. The seemingly simple plot is actually quite complex and works on multiple levels that when fully comprehended create a wonderful story. There are scares a plenty and a great selection of creepy images to stay lodged in your head at night.

Two other highly recommended Spanish horrors are the infamous [REC] and lesser known Julia's Eyes

This film is on the list less for it's scariness, and more for the fact that it's a horror film that is heavily underrated. The Saw franchise has suffered a free-fall in quality ever since its first sequel, but the original is truly a masterpiece. It may be responsible for the mess that is the torture-porn sub-genre, but it is an incredibly clever film with genuinely some horrific imagery and one hell of a twist. I love this film, and I wish more people would appreciate it in spite of the slew of crappy sequels it's produced.

The Strangers
Another underrated gem is The Strangers. The plot is nothing groundbreaking and the acting is nothing to shout about, but first time director Bryan Bertino created some truly great horror moments in this film and some of the most effective jump scenes I've experienced. I would greatly urge people to get the extended version of the film if they can as it feels like a much more complete film, and it also features the intense silent shot of Liv Tyler being watched, which features in the trailer but oddly enough is not in the final film, and which will never stop creeping me out. 

A true contender for the marmite of horror film awards is Insidious, which seems to completely polarise it's viewers opinions. Personally, it scared the crap out of me and I actually went to see it a second time at the cinema in a hopeless attempt to shake off its impact. The second half of the film may well seem like a completely different story to the first, but this film clearly tries to deliver every kind of scare you could want from a horror film and in my opinion it succeeds. Creepy children, gas masks, haunted houses, seances, monsters and cheerful-but-terrifying music. Everything is present and helps make this film a fantastic horror film worth multiple viewings.

So there you go, I don't expect anyone to agree with this list or even necessarily find these films scary but I think it's always good to see what other people think is good or worth watching, particularly within a genre as vast as horror. 

What are your favourite horror films? Has anything you've watched really scared you recently?

A Nightmare on Chapel Street


Did i mention that I love this holiday?

Last Saturday myself and my housemates threw a Halloween party at our house for all of our friends. We (I) got extremely drunk and everyone had a great time. This was my first proper Halloween party and so I was understandably very excited. The build up consisted of buying loads of great decorations and carving six awesome pumpkins (my two can be seen below). 

Everyone made such a huge effort with costumes and I loved getting to celebrate such a fun holiday with a great bunch of people. So this is my way of sharing some of that Halloween fun with you lot, through a collection of pictures collated from mine, Rosie's and our friends Claire's cameras. 

I got my Peter Pan costume from here along with a pair of awesome ear tips that worked extremely well from Ebay.

What are your Halloween plans? 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Of Apples and Landmarks, Day 1

As anyone who knows me is probably sick of hearing, and as I've mentioned numerous times on this blog, this summer myself and my friend Rosita spent 10 days in New York. Admittedly I intended to relay the events of each day on here a lot sooner. But with moving into my new University house, and staring my final year of study I've found myself with a lot less time than I'd hoped for. So here I, belatedly, go.

The holiday got off to a delayed start when after being loaded onto a plane, we were told it was not suitable for flight then unloaded and given a delay and a food token as compensation. Considering I hadn't been on a plane for around 8 years I was a little apprehensive but the flight was fine, only a little bit of turbulence and some pretty awesome views from the window and I also got two films watched, The Lucky One and Wrath of the Titans as well as the first 20 minutes of The Avengers before I decided I could do something slightly more productive (it was my fifth viewing, and purely based upon the novelty of watching it in the sky). We arrived in the city at around 9pm, and so got a taxi to the hotel, got acquainted with said hotel and then went to sleep. Enter Day 1.

We kicked off our first day by visiting Ground Zero. I should mention that up until this point I had (perhaps semi-conciously) been unaware of the plans for the Ground Zero memorial site and so arrived completely unaware of what I was going to see. What architect Michael Arad has created is two stunning fountain/pool hybrids surrounded by bronze parapets into which are engraved the 2,983 names of the victims. Being at the site was unexplainably surreal, but so peaceful. The sound of the water, and even the smell, create an extremely calm and relaxing place to be, which was surprising considering it's being surrounded on all sides by the loud, busy city. I could have stayed there for hours, it really is a wonderful memorial.

After Ground Zero we spent some time simply soaking up the city and visiting shops, one of which was completely dedicated to Halloween. Now, as in a few posts time I'm sure you will find out, I bloody LOVE Halloween, and so to see a store  that all year round is dedicated to the holiday was great fun. The store also had disposable plates and similar party related cutlery in almost every colour known to man, a trend that Britain definitely needs to catch on to, small things small minds and all that! For lunch we headed to a great place called Pop's of Brooklyn, where I had an incredible Berry Chicken Salad with a side of the best onion rings I have had, ever. We then made our way back towards the hotel via the High Line. An old freight rail line converted to a public park, the High Line is a wonderfully scenic route which had a halfway point with great food and drink stands and featured numerous pieces of beautiful art on the walls of the surrounding buildings. To finish the day off we headed to the nearest cinema for a showing of Total Recall, where we sheepishly discovered that we had to purchase tickets from a box office outside of the main building and found that some Americans are fond of leaving the cinema before the trailers are even over.

It was a great first day surrounded by some beautiful scenery, topped off with amazing food and decent film.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Hello, Letterboxd

I've been struggling over whether or not to write this post for a little while now. Part of me wants the world to hear about my latest discovery so it can become a truly spectacular film community. The other part is fearful of the inevitable effects an influx of the dreaded Internet youth will bring out. I'm directly referring to the fateful day when Twilights average rating of two stars shoots up to and average rating of five stars. Chilling, isn't it?

Nonetheless, here I go. Letterboxd.

Letterboxd is possibly one of the most exciting and enjoyable websites I've stumbled upon in recent times. At its core, the website is a film database which allows users keep track of ever film they have ever seen. What makes Letterboxd even more enjoyable though is the numerous functions it has on offer. You can not only log a film that you have seen, you can rate it, like it, review it and input the date that you watched it in order to build up a film diary.

As much as I love the concept of having a single spot where I can keep track of ever film I've watched, the community aspects of the site truly elevate it. Being able to view every film a friend has watched means that you are instantly able to get a verdict on a film you've wanted to see from someone you trust, as well as the competitive aspect of seeing who among your friend group has watched the most films.

The site offers of plenty of other features, such as the ability to build a Watchlist (long gone are the days of forgetting what the film you wanted to see was called, now you can add it to your Watchlist instantly). Users can also compile lists of favourite films, least favourites or of any other topic they can come up with. The homepage is also constantly updating with currently popular films, friends recent veiwings and an assortment of recent reviews, so you will be exposed to an array of new titles almost every time you check the site.

I genuinely love this website, and cannot be happier to have stumbled upon it through dumb-luck on Twitter. As a film student this site obviously carries immediate pros for myself, but I know it is a website any film lover can gain something from. The site is currently in its beta stage and by the looks of their Twitter account the team are thankfully working on a phone app.

I would recommend this website to absolutely anyone with a passion for film, there is just so much to gain from it, especially the incredible moment when you remember an obscure film you watched five years ago that you can add to your films.

You can check out my Letterboxd profile here.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Autumn Wishlist

Burgundy Cropped Belted Mac
£70 - 
So I saw this Mac while in Liverpool recently and fell in love with it. I already have two, in grey and navy, but genuinely cant find a reason not to get one in burgundy. It's now completely out of stock online and apparently is not stocked at the store that I saw it in. Hopefully it will be there when I next get a chance to go.

Zara Flame Sweatshirt
£25.99 -
Although I still cannot decide between the black or dark grey on this one, I will eventually be purchasing this 'sweatshirt'. I love the way it hangs and that it's thin and lightweight.  

Zara Leather Gloves With Studs
£25.99 -
I saw these studded gloves from Zara while in New York and desperately wanted them. I checked the UK site and they had them so decided to put them on hold until I got back. A recent re-watch of Drive has only increased my need for them. Who doesn't love a pair of driving gloves?

River Island Boat Plimsolls
£25 -
I love these shoes. They're extremely similar to a pair of loafers I've also been eyeing up on asos, but these would definitely get a lot more use. They're out of stock on asos and there is no sign of them on River Islands website so I'm just desperately hoping they resurface soon.

Red Quilted Patch T-shirt
£18 -
Topshop have turned out a high volume of really nice tees after quite a lull in quality over the past few months. It's been a very long time since I've seen anything I've wanted in their stores but this instantly got my attention. The quilted detailing on the bib looks great in person.

Cream Fairisle Jumper
£38 -
One of the reasons Autumn/Winter is my favourite time of year is the clothes. I generally layer up my outfits anyways but its obviously necessary during this time of year. This jumper from Topshop is a great print and will definitely be in my wardrobe in time for winter.

I have a vicious tendency to overspend during the autumn/winter period, especially after the initial arrival of a new student card within my wallet, so there's a high chance that I'll be posting about loads more purchases throughout the next few months.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

The House Of The Devil

Films about Cults. I have a shaky history with films about Cults. I saw the remake of The Wicker Man a few years back and hated it. I saw the original Wicker Man this year and didn't feel much more. I've seen enough horror films that have started promising and then played the 'twist' cult card for the final act to last me a lifetime. Outside of Rosemary's Baby and Martha Marcy May Marlene I have never enjoyed the depiction of cults in cinema. Outside of Rosemary's Baby and Martha Marcy May Marlene a filmic cult has never managed to scare me even slightly. For these reasons it was at least partially refreshing to see a film open with a title card proclaiming that it would eventually enter cult territory, a warning if you will, allowing me to brace for the inevitable moment where someone gets tied up and bled on.

Monday, 27 August 2012

I'm Still Here...

So ten days ago I was on a British Airways flight to Heathrow, returning from New York. I had such a brilliant time in the city, saw some amazing sights and had a number of truly incredible experiences. I fully intend to relay the entire ten day trip back to you all, through numerous blog posts filled with a handful of the 1,000+ photos I took whilst there.

We did slightly overestimate how
much alcohol would be required for
three of us.
Since I've been back in the UK my time has primarily been comprised of overtime at work. Of the ten days I've been back, I have spent seven behind a till, dealing with customers and yawning all the way through. The art of remaining conscious is something I still have to master. I also spent one day with two friends, catching up and having cocktails before they both head off on holiday soon. As a result of this I haven't really had enough time to dedicate to bringing you quality posts, but know that I have a lot in the pipeline for this little blog. I am consistently watching films in my spare time, and continuously putting together my reviews, as well as much much more.

Hopefully as my schedule clears up over the next few weeks I will get a chance to finish up as many of these posts as I can to keep this blog active after a near three week hiatus. The start of my final year at university is also drawing ever closer so be assured you can expect a number of general posts detailing my battles with a dissertation and assignment deadlines. Things are going to get crazy around here very quickly.

Until then,

Monday, 6 August 2012


So I haven't been very active on here for a while, mainly due to crazed states of panic over packing a planning this holiday.

Right now I am sat in Heathrow Airport awaiting our flight to New York. Excited doesn't even begin to cover how I'm feeling, although scared is an equally apt wording.

When I get back I shall come with a slew of anecdotes, photos and reactions to the big city, as well as more reviews too....

ta-ta for now.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012


If you're unsure about whether or not this is a film you might enjoy I'm going to start this review with one simple fact that is sure to help. Kick-Ass was the first film I had ever seen which dropped the C-bomb, it is spoken 37 minutes into the film by an 11 year old girl, moments before she massacres a room full of men with a double bladed sword. Still interested? Read on...

Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

Seven years ago Christopher Nolan unleashed a film that was to be the start of a new Batman franchise. Batman Begins wowed viewers and took them back to the dark, gritty roots of the character that had been defiled by the gaudy neon paint of the characters previous outing, Batman & Robin. Four years ago Nolan followed up his origins story by pitting the hero against his ultimate long-standing enemy, The Joker. An immaculate performance and brilliant storytelling propelled The Dark Knight to comic-movie history, securing the franchise as the creme-de-la-creme of superhero films. Nineteen hours ago I sat in my seat at my local Odeon and watched the trailers roll before the third and final film in Nolan's trilogy began, The Dark Knight Rises.

*WARNING* May contain mild spoilers.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Comic Con '12

Over the past four days, Thursday through Sunday, countless numbers of people descended upon San Diego for their 2012 Comic-Con, meeting their idols, dressing as their favourite characters and having their minds repeatedly blown with awesome news and footage of upcoming films, games and TV shows. Over these same four days I have spent 36 and a half hours sat at work, competing with complaints, the after effects of a power-outage and my own desire to sleep.

Due to all this time spent at work I have been receiving my drip-feed of Comic Con updates via various Twitter accounts and the odd blog. Several items have caught my heavy-lidded eye, and a lot of what I've read has been positive, which is always good, so I thought I would put together a collection of the updates that have got me the most (or least) excited.

1. Man of Steel.
As with most films that get a panel at the convention, Man of Steel got an exclusive poster for the event. Unlike many films that get a poster at the convention, Man of Steel's was pure awesome-sauce.
This poster alone has amped up my excitement for this new iteration of the famed boy-scout to a new high, the stylish, Nolanised footage that was apparently shown is also helping though, and I can't wait to see it. I love the simplicity of this poster, it's dark, it shows of the stunning detail of the new costume (which I actually love), and it sets an unmistakable tone for what this film is going to be. Cannot wait!

2. Ant-Man.
So ever since news arrived of Marvel pushing a film featuring their beloved hero Ant-Man, I've been more than a little underwhelmed. With a perfect (in my mind) Avengers line-up I have been fairly sceptical at the prospect of this size-altering addition to the crew. However, descriptions of the footage previewed at the panel has piqued my interest. It sounds as though the depiction of the little (or large, it depends) fellow's powers will actually be a little brilliant, and a hella funny. With Edgar Wright at the helm the comedic tone is sure to be present, I just hope Marvel isn't pushing for fully-fledged comedy after the success of The Avenger's and The Amazing Spider-Man's numerous one-liners.

3. Title Cards.
More Marvel, as the studio released the title cards for their next phase of films. Guardian's of the Galaxy has yet to do more than simply cameo on my radar, so nothing much to say on that, or the standardly basic Iron Man 3 card. Then we have the sequels to Captain America and Thor, complete with two awkward sub-titles, The Winter Soldier, and The Dark World respectively. 'The Winter Soldier' just sounds a little daft to me, losing some of the epicness of 'The First Avenger', and actually just sounds like the variant costume for a Cap action figure. Obviously the title will get comic fans super-pumped for the return of (Spoiler maybe?!) Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), but it's still a crappy title to what is an interesting storyline. Similarly The Dark World, I assume, should sound intriguing and mysterious, but is just dull and unnecessary.

4. Mondo.
So the famed art house revealed yet another fantastic poster, this time for The Dark Knight Rises, designed by Olly Moss. Not only that, but they also revealed that this particular print will be available for mass purchase, a first for the group, who specialise in collectors pieces, with the total number of purchases defining the total number of prints. As great as this is I can't help but feel the poster could be a little ...better? Don't get me wrong, I think it's a stunning design, but I just expected something a little more from Mr Moss. I'm a huge fan of his posters, the simplistic designs which play utilise colour and shapes brilliantly, I especially loved his poster for a Black Widow movie released earlier in the year. This Dark Knight Rises piece is just abit too ...I don't know. I really can't put my finger on it.

5. Buffy Turns 20.
I love Buffy. This year marks twenty years since the original film hit cinemas and so it's lovely to see that there is still enough interest to warrant a panel. The panel featured writers of both the show and the comics, along with Nicholas Brendan, Clare Kramer and James Martsers. It was essentially just a Buffy-love fest with everyone sharing their favourite moments and memories. I would have absolutely loved to have been there. I just hope this doesn't add any momentum to the proposed reboot film.

There were tons of other revelations and exciting panels this year but I won't go into detail with all of those. Pacific Rim sounds extremely interesting, Godzilla sounds just plain awesome and upcoming game Injustice: Gods Among Us is looking slightly better than I initially thought. But only slightly. Oh, and the trailer for the next half of True Blood Season 5 was epic.

Has anyone else been following the updates from the convention? Anything I forgot to mention or need to check out?

Friday, 13 July 2012

Avengers Assemble

At the time of writing this review I have seen (The) Avengers Assemble a total of four times, twice in 2D, once in 3D and my initial viewing in IMAX 3D. This film has become one of the biggest ever cinematic releases, garnering an incredible one and a half billion dollars, and has been lauded one of the greatest comic book films ever made. Here are my two cents.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Black Swan

A spotlight descends upon the figure of a young woman. She is wearing a sparkling white dress and, as she begins to dance, is joined by a male dressed entirely in black. The camera swiftly follows as the two weave in and out of each others' movements and the male transforms into a crow like figure. The girl desperately tries to flee the presence of the creature but is overcome. As white feathers fall to the ground around her the girl flutters her arms in a newly revealed swan costume. And so, Black Swan begins.

Friday, 6 July 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man

Just ten years after Sam Raimi's original Spiderman trilogy hit cinema screens Marvel has brought their most prized superhero back for a rebooted adventure. Continuing in the vein of darker grown-up comic adaptations Spidey's latest outing is an emotionally packed film full of action, humour and an exceptional cast which tries its best to distinguish itself as a completely separate entity to the aforementioned franchise.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The Adventure Is About To Begin....

Happy July Everyone!

So a couple of days ago a teaser poster made its way online. This poster is for a movie not expected until 2014. That movie is Paddington!

For any of you that are unfamiliar this this cuddly chap, Paddington Brown is an extremely polite bear that regularly gets himself into trouble. He also adores marmalade sandwiches and cups of cocoa.

Honestly, I was excited as hell when I heard the news of a Paddington Bear adaptation, and seeing a poster has amped that excitement up so much more (even with a date so far away and potentially post-end-of-the-world). I grew up watching that fluffy little fella and read a few of the books too. I am seriously a little bit in love with him.

The film is being written by the same guy who wrote Mr Beans Holiday (take from that what you will) and will feature a CGI Paddington within a live action world. I'm not sure how I feel about this as I truly think that the stop-motion teddy used in the original TV series had such a great charm, more-so than any computer generated creation could. But I can't judge just yet as there have been no official images besides this poster and CGI has come an awful long way in recent years, heres hoping for something much improved from the awfully rendered Scooby-Doo (shudder) from 2002 or Smurfs (cringe) from last year. Fingers crossed that  Paddington lives up to the hype that I'm placing on it.

Anywho, here's the poster. What do you guys think? Anyone else as excited as me? Probably not.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Two Updates and a Shedload of Plans

I've been a bit slow on the blogging front recently. I've taken a load of shifts at work to try and build up the piggy bank for New York, and I've also been generally trying to organise my life and continue writing reviews to post here. I also got a haircut!

I want to point out two features I've added to the site recently, the first being the star rating system I finally made, which is now in the right hand bar. Eventually I will write a post which goes into detail about the ratings and how I distinguish between them, but that's not at the top of my priority list just yet. I've also added a reviews index page, which I am extremely happy with. As I'm sure you'll notice there is a considerable amount of films in the index which I haven't reviewed yet, but they will all come along in good time! Basically every time I watch a film I will add it to the list as a motivation to review it and hopefully at some point in the near future the number of reviewed films in that list will outweigh the ones yet to be done. In the 27 (gasp) days that this blog has been functional I've posted seven film reviews, so I'm hopeful that the odds to get through that mammoth list of films, which currently stands at 43, are in my favour. Fingers crossed.

In other news, next week I will head back to Ormskirk for a week to begin the move from my current house to my one for next year. I'm extremely fortunate to have my current house til the end of August, which means I can move at my own pace rather than having a huge rush in a single day. This week will also feature birthday celebrations for Rosie, who is about to join me in the ranks of the 21 year olds, as well as my chance to finally see The Amazing Spider-Man, which I have been desperately awaiting for sooo long now.

I'm in the process of playing with Polyvore some more so I can try and flesh this blog out with more than just film reveiws. This time around is not so much clothes I want to buy, but more just playing around with making outfits inspired by different themes. It's actually a lot of fun, but with work commitments I don't have mass amounts of time to spend doing it, so you'll just have to watch this space.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Complete with the lead performance of an until now unheard of third Olsen sister, the vision of a debut feature director and writer Sean Durkin and possibly the most mind-bending, tongue-twisting title ever, Martha Marcy May Marlene gained incredulous amounts of hype after its power-run at numerous film festivals. Defying every blank-faced shop assistant who (cruelly) asked me to repeat the name of this film when asked for it, I finally bought and watched Mary Minnie Mia Marie this month. Here is what I thought.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


Within recent yeas a distinctive style has emerged within cinema. Made hugely popular through The Blair Witch Project, the use of handheld cameras to present a story has thrived within the horror genre, however it has also proven effective when used within Sci-Fi and Action films, as evidenced in Cloverfield. Chronicle develops upon this style, amping it up the the nth degree.

*WARNING* Features descriptions and images which contain spoilers.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Silent Hill

Back in the days of the Playstation 1, around the time I was finishing primary school, some friends stumbled upon a game that they described to me as the 'scariest thing ever'. Due, in large, to a highly uncooperative console I never got the chance to play that game in my school days. Now, 12 years later, I recently had the chance to see the cinematic adaptation, a visually impressive, yet overall sub-par horror film.

Friday, 15 June 2012

The Wolfman

In 1941 Universal Pictures released their latest horror, The Wolf Man. The film led to the character becoming one of the most iconic movie monsters of the classical Hollywood period. 69 years later the same studio produced a remake, a splendidly gothic tale of familial tensions and an ancient curse. Oh, and there's bucket-loads of gore too.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Hello, Polyvore

Courtesy of Rosita Langley I have recently stumbled upon Polyvore.

I may be a little bit addicted to his site. Having the opportunity to grab images of clothes I'm thinking of buying and put them into a nifty little collage is great fun and extremely useful. I love that I can now put together outfits, see what works, and try out other options all before I even consider pressing the 'Add to Basket' button. Hours of entertainment. At least for me.

NYC by thatdandyboy
So, here is my first clothes collage, a collection of items I'm thinking of buying for my trip to New York in August. As you can see I'm keeping everything pretty neutral, whites and greys, with bit of colour through prints and accessories.

I love the blue/brown woven bracelet and red feather neckalce. The floral detail jumper is possibly my favourite thing I've seen on ASOS this year.

I can assure you there will be plenty more of these to come.
J'adore Polyvore!


I have never seen a film from the Alien series all the way through, none of them have ever appealed to me. I'm not a huge fan of Sigourney Weaver and I'm not a huge fan of Sci-Fi films in general. Despite having no prior relationship with the Alien series, I have been hugely excited for the prequel for quite some time. Hyped up by an incredible cast and one of the best trailers of the year, I finally saw Prometheus last night.

*WARNING* Features descriptions and images which contain spoilers.

Monday, 11 June 2012

...but I want to watch it three times!

I have a confession to make. I'm slightly addicted to purchasing Blu-ray DVDs. This past week I bought three more, The Help, My Week With Marilyn and Martha Marcy May Marlene, and I noticed, once again, something that has been bugging me for a while now. None of these DVDs had a triple play feature.

When Blu-ray was just beginning to become popular it was full of inviting special features, crisp high definition, tons of disc space for extras, and the triple play function. Considering you need a specific player to watch a Blu-ray disc, the prospect of receiving a standard DVD, aswell as a digital copy of your film, is particularly inviting, making the heightened price less of an eye-sore. Unfortunately it's become apparent through recent releases that this feature does not seem likely to become the permanent feature of Blu-ray DVDs that it should be.

The lack of triple play might be forgivable if some other aspect of the product warranted the price tag it carries. Across the three films I purchased, a combined £56, there is a total of 14 bonus features. Eclipsed, in comparison, by the 20+ extras on the Extended Edition of Avatar. A release which also sports triple play. While some may argue that a film like Avatar is much more suited to the bonus features section of a DVD, I don't feel that justifies why we should have to pay such high prices to get less content on other releases.

The fact that two Oscar Nominated films and a critical darling are not deemed suitable to benefit from the full extent of the Blu-ray format astounds me. Taken to an extreme it's borderline victimisation of anyone who doesn't exclusively watch CGI-filled blockbusters. I love my Blu-ray's, but I'm going to need a lot more incentive to carry on paying the high prices for them than a pretty HD picture and underlying fear that standard DVD is going to pull a VHS and soon go extinct.

Start Spreading the News...

For around three years now I've had a hit list of places I need to visit, consisting of Paris, Barcelona, Venice, New York and Berlin. I am very happy to tell you that one of those locations is about to get crossed off of the list. This August I will be headed to New York City with the lovely Rosita Langley, for ten days of pure unadulterated tourism.

I'm genuinely shocked that possibly the biggest name on that list is the first to be ticked off, but I couldn't be more excited. New York is the setting of so many films and TV shows I adore, so naturally the list of places we're going to visit is steadily growing longer and longer. Here is a run-down of the things I'm most excited to do. These aren't necessarily huge must-see locations like the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty, but they're the things I can't wait to do when I get there.

1. Breakfast at Tiffany's
A cliche, but a given. I may substitute the bagel for a croissant and the coffee for a hot chocolate, but I will be spending at least one morning outside the infamous store eating breakfast and channeling my inner kept-woman.  It's one of my all-time favourite films and I cannot wait to live it out.
2. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
This is a fairly simple one. THE bridge. It's a focal point of the city, and will be a focal point of one day in our trip. Walking across that beast will be such a surreal experience I'm sure, but I'm very excited to do it.
3. A Day in Central Park
One entire day spent in Central Park, where we just soak in our surroundings and enjoy one of the most famous parks in the world. Its big enough that we won't get bored, and in this city there will no doubt be ample opportunity for some good old fashioned people watching. Secretly have my fingers crossed Autumn will come early so I can enjoy the orangey browns, a la When Harry Met Sally.

4. One Night. No Sleep
Again with the simple goals. We will be in 'the city that never sleeps', so it stands to reason we should take on the challenge. One whole night where we don't sleep, don't go back to the hotel, and see as much of the cities nightlife as two people can. Alcohol may make an appearance.
5. Lunch on the Met Steps
Gossip Girl. Anyone who has watched it will understand this one. I was a late bloomer with GG, in fact it was Rosie who first convinced me to give it a watch in our first year of Uni. Needless to say I absolutely adore the show, and lunch on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a must-do, along with actually going inside the museum, obviously. I fully intend to Blair Waldorf those steps. 

Of course this list is nowhere near exhaustive, the absence of Broadway alone will send off some alarm bells, but these five things will undoubtedly enrich the holiday in so many ways. I could not be more excited. Any suggestions for other things to do are welcome!

Check out Rosie's blog here.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman

Chances are while you were growing up you would have encountered at least one fairy tale, the story of a loveable rogue or dainty princess fighting the evil queens and warlocks who threaten their happily ever after. The thing about fairy tales though, is that once you grow up the fantastical stories start to lose their appeal and the Disney-esque wonderment isn't enough the entertain. Cue 'grown-up' fairytales, films that have gained substantial interest as of late, where a well-loved tale is re-presented in a darker, more pointy package. Cue, this time around, Snow White and the Huntsman.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Not With A Fizzle...

So, here I go.

I've spent the past few days reading my way through lists and articles that detail the top tips for 'starting your blog with a bang!' in the hopes of finding a piece of advice that would make writing this first post any easier. I've been advised to keep it both formal and casual, to focus solely on my blogs topic and demographic while adding bucket-loads of personality and anecdotes, and, above all, to make it interesting. Defying all advice I'm going to try and do this my own way.

My name is Daniel Carter.

I was born at 7.13AM on the 27th December 1990, the only child of Wendy and Kevin. I was raised in Broseley, Shropshire and have just finished my second year at Edge Hill University, studying Film with Creative Writing. I have four piercings, no tattoos, work in a supermarket and possess the largest scarf collection of many of my friends. I have just started a blog.

And so I introduce you to said blog: that Dandy Boy. Here I will hopefully entertain you with the ramblings of my life, as well as a constant influx of film reviews and general musings, basically anything I feel is worthy of your time.

I've been studying film for four years now and still find it such an interesting subject. I watch on average three films a week, and as I have a tendency to be quite opinionated I felt that reviewing them was the logical progression. This is my attempt at doing just that. I hope to update at least one review a week, keeping them interesting, useful and spoiler-free. I don't expect to become the next Julie Powell or Perez Hilton of the blogging world, but I'd like to think at least one person out there will find what I have to say interesting enough to return.

And so here it begins. Not with a fizzle, certainly not with a bang, just with a glimmer of hope that somebody reading this will come back soon and gain some benefit from what I have to say.

Until then,