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Monday, 31 May 2010

Why I Hate the Networks (With reference to the Flashforward Series Finale)

Last night, the final episode of Flashforward was aired in the UK, just over a month after it was originally scheduled to end. What I want to know is this: What’s with all these shows getting cancelled?

Seriously, why is it that so many shows these days are cut short without a chance to wrap things up? I mean, fair enough, the networks don’t want to spend loads of money making a show that’s not getting many views, but can’t they at least give the creators a chance to tie up all the loose ends, or something? Or couldn’t the creators film an alternate finale, just in case they do get cancelled?

As you may have guessed – Flashforward ended on a massive cliffhanger, and now that the cancellation of the show has been confirmed, it means we will never see what the creators intended to happen immediately after the season comes to an end. And I just hate that.

Obviously, reality TV shows such as America’s Got Talent or the X Factor are far cheaper to make than these dramas, and get a lot more views; but do we really want the television industry to turn into nothing but reality TV and dirt-cheap soaps? Why is it that all the actual hour-long dramas are being cancelled?

because fuck you that%2527s why Pictures, Images and Photos
"Because fuck you, that's why"

This season alone, we’ve seen the cancellation of Flashforward, 24 and Lost (although I have heard from some sources that Lost was always set to end after 6 seasons – I’m just going on how it was reported when the end of the show was announced), and we don’t seem to have anything in the works to replace them. Now, granted, I haven’t been watching 24 since season 6, and have never watched an episode of Lost (only clips), so that’s not too much of a tragedy from my perspective – but I was rather hoping that Flashforward would go on a bit longer.

I mean, sure, often the writing is just plain retarded, and it’s not the best show on television; but come on – it’s enjoyable, it’s got plenty of action, and it’s intelligent enough that you don’t turn it off when a stupid moment does arise. On top of this, the way the entire season was structured leading up to the events of the original Flashforward remained suspenseful in spite of the fact that after the 7th episode (when it was proved the future could be changed) - when I was thinking “How the hell are they going to carry this on now that we know for sure none of the visions are certain to come true?” – It did carry on, and in fact got better for the most part, after this. But for it to end as it did, just bothers me so much, because now I know we’ll never find out what happens next.

Is it THIS? I Honestly don't know!

And you know what the most annoying thing is about this? That the networks do it so fucking much! Almost every show I try watching gets cancelled – and this just leaves me wondering if I should just say “fuck it”, and give up on TV for good.

WARNING: If you search for "Fuck it" on Google images, you WILL be linked to THIS!

About a week after Flashforward started airing in the UK, we also got another American show, Defying Gravity, appear on BBC. This featured Ron Livingston (from Band of Brothers) as an astronaut on a mission round the Solar System in the future, and this was also cancelled – after just 13 episodes.

Now granted, the writing on Defying Gravity wasn’t any better than on Flashforward; it cut between training and the actual mission, and always has the crew just somehow making use of the thing we see them learn in training on the actual mission; just like how in the Harry Potter books, he is always conveniently taught the exact thing he needs to know in classes just before he actually has to use it. But you know what? I like that format – because it’s not just a wild coincidence – they’re astronauts, they’ve had years of training – so we’re only shown the bits relevant to what’s happening! The show had fairly complex characters for TV, and we would see a little more of the backstory each week as the mission progressed, and it looked like the show had the potential to run for quite a few seasons. And then it was cancelled – right when we finally find out what’s going on with the mission, and learn the big secret that sets out the entire next season for us. And I was so pissed off!

The problem is – the creators of shows these days don’t like to write just one season, and have done with it. There’s too much emphasis on having a show that can just run and run. And that means that if shows want to have a complex story arc, we are always going to have cases like this where they get cancelled, and we’re only left with half, or even a quarter, of the story! Imagine if you had a DVD player (or Blu-Ray player for you rich bastards out there) that cut off whenever you got 20 minutes into a film. Would you watch films on there anymore? That is exactly how I am starting to feel about TV, because essentially we have 3 types of show these days:

1. Simple, formulaic, could end at pretty well any point because no real over-arching story.

2. Complex, grand stories that will be incredible to watch unfold; and which will never make it to the second season.

3. Show with really clever over-arching story that ends after one season, and therefore will not disappoint if no sequel is made.

Unsurprisingly, I can only think of one TV show that fits into category 3 that’s been made recently: The Wire. No other show has that style of story where you have to watch every episode of the season to be on top of it, and it’s incredible to see everything unfold, and yet you could just watch the first season, and need never watch any further. No other show does that! Sure, we have The Pacific, which ran for just one season and has no option to run on any further – but The Wire was the only show that had the same story-telling value as a one season show, but managed to run to 5 seasons and stay interesting. Not only that, but you can stop watching The Wire at the end of ANY season, and it will still be seemingly wrapped up at the end. And that’s what makes it so great.


But can you imagine The Wire being shown on any channel other than HBO? And can you imagine what it would be like if EVERY show was like The Wire? It just wouldn’t work. And consequently, we have to deal with this cancellation problem which, as I’ve already said; pisses me off!

Picture this; of the shows that I really enjoy watching, or that I make time to watch, the only non-HBO one that hasn’t been cancelled at this point is House, M.D. – I literally watch nothing else now!

27/4... or whatever that saying is.

I did watch the first season of the show “Shark” when that was on, and a couple of episodes of season 2, but that was cancelled after the second season and no-one even knows why – it had good ratings; CBS just decided they didn’t want any more episodes. But that’s fine – Shark didn’t need to carry on, because it was always wrapped up at the end of each episode, like House. But there are other shows that DID need to continue:

Take MillenniuM, for example: MillenniuM was a brilliant show which led to the creation of all these cheap, light, rip-offs such as CSI, etc. MillenniuM was one of the few shows that was truly dark in places, and told some of the best stories on television. And yet, it was cancelled after the third season, with only 200-odd days left before the turn of the millennium anyway.

Now, the ending of MillenniuM did sort of wrap things up: after all, we see Frank and Jordan fleeing to go into hiding, Emma Hollis being made a group member, and Peter Watts apparently dead in his office (although had it carried on I would not have been surprised if it turned out it wasn’t him) – but there were still so many unanswered questions, and so much they could have done with the story!

But MillenniuM again is fairly self-contained, not needing to run for any longer than it did, because it was explained as far as it absolutely needed to be. Sure, we still wanted answers, but you could leave it as it was and it still made sense. Harsh Realm, however, did not have this luxury:

Harsh Realm was another Ten-Thirteen production from around the same time (also featuring Terry O’Quinn), which told the story of a soldier who is sent into a virtual world to stop a terrorist who has taken over this world, from destroying the real world, and forcing everyone to become a slave under him in this virtual reality. It was a great concept, and I suspect that after The Matrix started doing really well soon after the show was finished, Fox regretted cancelling it, and wished they’d advertised it as being more like The Matrix. But this series was abandoned after just 9 episodes – leaving us without a clue of what was meant to happen after! Does Hobbs ever kill Santiago? Does he ever get out of the game? Is Santiago’s plan to destroy the real world successful? We don’t know!

Flashforward leaves questions just like these – but it’s especially annoying because the final episode was so clearly set up to lead into season 2! There is another Flashforward in the last couple of minutes, and we see the future once again – obviously seeing the end point of the show’s run had it been allowed to continue further. Not only this, but we see Janis being taken away by some mystery figure (or possibly it was the terrorist woman she was working with earlier? My memory isn’t really good enough to say…), and the building Mark Benford was in explode. Combined with his daughter’s vision where she says “they found him!”, this suggested to me that there was a good chance our main protagonist was going to be written out of the storyline for a while, whilst the other characters took centre stage, and I would actually be really looking forward to seeing how they handled that: If it hadn’t been CANCELLED!!!!

What’s more is that there were clues in the first season as to what was supposed to happen later in the show. Dyson Frost’s board which was wiped clean in the same episode that featured Demitri in that retarded trap that was ridiculously easy to escape compared to the way they showed in the show, had all the possible forking paths right up to 2012 on it – and it would have been interesting to see how these unfolded.

Maybe Janis just gets even MORE Emo?

Unfortunately, if you try and discuss with people what you think would have happened, you just get met by idiots who think where it says “King’s Gambit” it actually says “Cambit” (What is a Cambit, anyway? Doesn’t sound like a word to me – and Microsoft Word doesn’t think it is, either! Then again, Microsoft word thinks “colour” isn’t a word, so maybe that’s not the most reliable source), and say dumb things like “it didn't look to me like Demitri had any restraints holding him in place in that chair” – despite the fact it was CLEARLY a pressure-sensitive chair that was rigged up to the gun. Hello?

Quite Clearly pressure sensitive...

Still, maybe it’s for the best that we’ll never know what was meant to happen: After all, now I can just imagine the story as I would like it to unfold, as opposed to how the creators felt it should. I mean, for all I know they were going to have it so Mark and Demitri died in the car crash in the first episode, and they’re dead throughout the entire show. But then, there’s no way the creator of Lost and the writer of The Dark Knight would do something THAT retarded with their show, right?

picard facepalm Pictures, Images and Photos


Saturday, 29 May 2010

R.I.P Dennis Hopper - A Tribute to the Cop from True Romance (Video)

It was announced this evening that Dennis Hopper has died of prostate cancer. Whilst I am not familiar with many of his performances, I am with everyone else in mourning the tragic passing of such a fine actor. Although I never saw the definitive Dennis Hopper Movie "Easy Rider", I was impressed by his performances in such films as Apocalypse now, and even Speed. But the one scene he did which truly stuck with me was the imfamous "Sicilian Scene" from True Romance. And so, to Honour the passing of this great screen legend, I decided to release a scene from the movie "Trent Steele: The Will to Kill", which I dedicate to the memory of Mr. Hopper.

The story is simple - our Hero Trent's best friend was murdered by a Chav, who Trent sought vengeance on. The problem was, the Chav turned out to be a Muslim, and when Trent's trademark Red Bandana appeared at the scene of the Chav's murder, Muller Ahmed Al Majaffi got involved in the hunt for Steele, who had gone to stay with his murdered friend's brother, Jack Maxstack. Our story begins as Al-Majaffi and his crew find Jack Maxstack:

I'll win that Oscar yet!


Time for some silliness...

You know an article that begins “not to sound too much like Perez Hilton” is going to be terrible, unless the first paragraph also includes the caveat that you are, in fact, aware the opening line of your article makes it sound like it’s going to be shit, and thus indicates that this opening is merely an amusing comment designed to highlight the ridiculousness of the subject matter of the article, and indicate that you’re aware of how dumb it is, and are writing the article ironically. Unfortunately, I am not intelligent enough to have written such an article…

Upstaged by THIS fucking guy...

I did want to do a politics article originally, but could only come up with one line:

“Ed Milliband or David Milliband? I’d rather have Steve Miller Band…” (3 Hours of writing!!!)

So, in my desperation, I turned to Thursday’s copy of “Metro”, and discovered that Miley Cyrus is now dating Justin Bieber. I also read something about a serial killer in Yorkshire, but since I already agreed to have dinner with Peter Sutcliffe when he gets out of jail, I thought I’d best not write an article about one of his competitors… Who I have dubbed “Pepsi Sutcliffe” – on the assumption that Peter Sutcliffe is the Coca-Cola of Yorkshire-based serial killing.

"Welcome to the CHOKE side of life". See what I did there? I replaced 'Coke' with 'Choke' because he strangled prostitutes. Has it been long enough for this to be funny yet, or is that still sick?

I also considered writing about the whole “Lost” and “Flashforward” finishing this week thing, but since I don’t watch Lost, and Flashforward won’t be shown in the UK until Monday, I figured I might as well wait on that one. Except to say:

You guys remember when I was complaining about how retarded Flashforward is at times? Turns out it was written by the same guy as The Dark Knight. Finally! It all makes sense...

And so here we are, reporting on the fact that Cyrus and Bieber are now dating. But don’t worry, dear reader, I won’t squeal about this in the same way as the Tweeny mags. No, instead, I’m gonna insult the fuck out of some douchebags! Who’s with me?


In the article, Miley reveals that she has not broken up with her boyfriend Liam Hemsworth, but is instead dating both guys. Apparently Hemsworth is too much of a pussy to tell her it’s over, then sneak into her house whilst she’s asleep and strangle her sister to death with a piece of electrical cable as revenge, and get away with it when the sister’s boyfriend is imprisoned in your place because the “forensic evidence” points to him having committed the crime – and Juries are too stupid to realize that:

1. Presence of your semen at a crime scene does not guarantee you committed the crime.

2. Lack of presence of your semen at a crime scene does not guarantee you definitely did not commit the crime.

But enough about my life. I couldn’t help but laugh at the story – I mean, Hemsworth looks like he’s probably a douche, but on a scale of douchiness, he’s nowhere near as bad as Justin Bieber! Here’s a helpful scale of Douche-factor, just in case you have no idea what I mean when I say “Douchy”:

The Scale of Doucheness:

Having his girlfriend start dating Bieber, and just push him to second place without dumping him is so incredibly pathetic that I actually feel genuinely sorry for the guy. We can only hope he got a chance to tap that sweet pussy before it was too late!

Leaked image of Miley Cyrus. Probably. Oh, what do you care if it's real or not, paedo? I know you're going to jerk off over it anyway!

In light of this, I decided I would write an article on the most pathetically tragic things that can happen to a guy short of his girlfriend hooking up with Justin Bieber and not even having the common decency to break up with him. Here goes:


You’re in a happy same-sex relationship with your rich Japanese boyfriend. Then one day he tells you it’s over: He’s marrying his pillow. Fuck that guy.


You’re approaching your 2 year anniversary with your girlfriend, who is away at University. You’re aware she may well tell you when you meet that she’s become a lesbian, or something similar, and you prepare yourself for this. She tells you she’s decided to join your father’s cult, in which he is the Messiah and all the women in the cult must bear his children. Fuck that guy.


You and your girlfriend go to the zoo to look at Chimpanzees. You make a joke about something I said in my incredible “Avatar” article, and she decides to actually try dating a monkey. The two of them are married within 9 months. They send you an invitation to the wedding, but you drink yourself to death trying to drown your sorrows. The bar tender has your body stuffed and put on display “for tax purposes”. Fuck that guy.


Your wife calls you and tells you she’s been cheating on you with the guy who originally played Ronald MacDonald in the TV adverts. This causes you to crash your car, which you were driving at the time, into MacDonald’s HQ. You kill the Hamburgler, and are sentenced to 14 years for involuntary manslaughter. You only serve six, but are raped by The Burger King in the showers, as he is also doing time for wanking in the Burger King milkshakes. Fuck that guy.


You admit to your girlfriend you’re into “rape fantasies” and she tells you “you might get a surprise for our anniversary”. Predictably, she puts the details of the hotel the two of you are staying at on Craigslist, and 4 Navy Boys come round and take it in turns to plug your booty hole. After they leave, you go into a catatonic state and have to be taken to hospital for mental health treatment. Your girlfriend runs away with your psychiatrist. Fuck that guy.


You are a devout Christian, and decide not to have sex before marrying. You meet a great girl, and the two of you really hit it off. 3 years later, the two of you get married. It is the happiest day of your life. You go to Paris for your honeymoon, and you tear her dress off on the bed. She has a penis. You throw up all over her shoes, and she calls security who, being French, throw you out into the street. A homeless Frenchman mugs you for your passport and wallet, and you’re left stranded in France. You go to the British embassy, who inform you that you need €80 for a new passport. You make this money by blowing everyone in the customs office for €5 a pop. When you finally get back to the UK, you discover your wife is now famous as a Big Brother contestant, and tells the whole country on live TV that you are a virgin and were too scared to fuck her. It turns out she just had a really big clit that looked like a small dick, because you’re so used to seeing your own small dick you don’t realize they’re usually bigger. You slit your wrists in the bathtub, and drift away softly, listening to Leonard Cohen. You realize too late that this is actually a mix CD your brother made, and you die to the sounds of “That’s the way I like it” by KC and the sunshine band. David Cameron personally attends your funeral, and points out that your suit is a size too small for you. He eats the entire buffet by himself, and snatches your mother’s purse. Fuck that guy.


Your Stepdaughter finds out that you called her father late the night he committed suicide and *ALLEGEDLY* pushed him into doing it. Fuck you Bob Geldof.

Nope, it can’t be done. No matter how you cut it, there is nothing worse than having your girlfriend run off with Justin Bieber. You may as well hang yourself with your underwear, Hemsworth. Or become a serial killer and claim that Miley drive you to it – you may get your name on the poster of a decent movie then – not that it will be made until after your execution, of course…

…aaaand we’re back to Serial Killers! You’re right, Pepsi Sutcliffe – I can’t seem to get you off my mind!


I suppose I should clarify, since I've just taken what is hopefully the last exam of my law degree, that all celebrity names are used in a parodying and ficticious manner. Nothing said in this article can be verified, other than the fact that Peter Sutcliffe probably killed some prostitutes once, and that Japanese people are weird. Any images used on the Blog which you find offensive are only used for comedic purposes, and I apologise for any offence caused by my posting such an inappropriate image as Bob Geldoff's face. Please don't sue me - if you do, it might just make me more popular, and you wouldn't want that, would you?

Friday, 28 May 2010

Thoughts on Avatar (sort of possibly a review if you have a very loose definition of the word "review". More sort of rambling...) - Text.

Racism, Rape, Suicide.

3 of the funniest words in the English language – but why did Avatar make me think of these things? And why is it that, in a film in which (people tell me) the environmental message about why we should care for nature is the over-riding feature, were these 3 points the only ones that really stayed with me? Maybe they were the over-reaching features (Land Law joke. Don’t worry, it’s shit even if you do get it...), but I still want to know why they were so obvious to me, when no one else seems to have spotted them. Or, at least, not obsessed over them as the key points in the film as I have. Am I a sociopath? Probably. Is that the reason I noticed these things? Possibly. Have I set the record for the most questions in a single paragraph on this Blog? I’m not sure. What I can tell you is this: as a study of how the mind of a maniac works, this entry should be good reading. As a movie review... well...

The first thing I want to look at is the rape sequence, because this was so obvious to me on the screen that I can’t believe no-one else has brought it up! And before anyone says that I’m probably just reading way too much into the movie, and that this wasn’t some hidden subtext in there, I would like to point out that I watched “Get Carter” from start to finish without even realizing Carter’s “niece” is actually his daughter – so yeah, nowhere near being a film buff. This is why I was surprised that no-one else seems to have noticed or mentioned this scene, except the one guy who clicked “like” on my Facebook status relating to it.

Though to be fair, he could just as easily be liking that status because he’s a fan of Vin Diesel or getting graphically murdered with crowbars… First one’s more likely.

The scene I am referring to, of course, is the scene in which Sully tries to catch a dragon monster to fly on, and has to attach his weird hair extension thingy to the dragon, against it’s will. Now, whilst the smart-asses amongst you will point out that, under Section 1 of the Sexual offences Act 2003:

A person (A) commits [rape] if:
(a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis,
(b) B does not consent to the penetration, and
(c) A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

...and therefore Sully is not raping the dragon because he is not using his penis, I would like to point out that the weird thing on Sully’s head is used in reproduction (when he’s boning that Alien chick – more on that later), and if I had something that looks like that forcibly shoved in my arse, I would shout rape without concerning myself with semantics. Even if it isn’t rape, that certainly appears to be a serious sexual assault – and there is clearly no consent on the dragon’s part. What’s more – there is no way that Sully reasonably believes the dragon is consenting. The dragon quite clearly tries to fight Sully off, and even fly away, but he forces himself on the dragon, and shoves his thing in it’s receiving port. That’s “rape-rape”, even by Whoopie Goldberg’s standards! Or maybe not, given she doesn’t think anally penetrating 13 year olds without their consent is “rape-rape” (But bitching about the Polanski case is Sooooo last season!). I mean, the only way I could understand it is if the dragon had been dressed like a slut, and was sleeping with every dude at that party, and Sully had been kind of drunk at the time, and his mate Dan told him that she got off from pretending guys were raping her and would enjoy it. THEN I could understand it... Wait, scratch that. Don’t know where that came from...

Just kidding, people! This was actually from when I got arrested for not being able to do a basic Photoshop, and using Paint instead!

But as it stands, there is no way Sully thought that dragon was consenting. That makes it Dragon rape. Not cool, Sully. Regular rape will get you a beating in prison; child molesters get cut up, or even have their balls cut off. Imagine where a dragon raper lies on that scale! And yes, I know it’s “rapist”. And yes, I know I started the last 2 sentences with a preposition, but Fuck you - Grammar and Vocab ain't important, Bruv! After all, even Dappy got an A* in English...

The next point I wanted to discuss is the bestiality featured in the film that isn’t man-on-dragon action. In the story, Sully goes to this alien world, and takes control of a body that looks like one of the aliens, and then proceeds to bone Neytiri, one of the aliens, right?

At what point does that become weird?

I mean, I get she’s a humanoid, but she’s still 9 feet tall and Blue with cat eyes. Even a monkey’s closer to a human than the Na’vi are, and you wouldn’t have sex with a monkey, would you?

It then occurred to me that, a couple of hundred years ago when the British had invaded and colonised most of Africa, we probably thought the exact same thing about black women. In fact, I’ve heard the term “monkey” used as a racist insult against black people, and this presumably arose because the first white people to see black people actually thought they were a type of monkey (But what’s funnier is trying to figure out what was going through the head of the first black guy to see a white man. He’d be like “Oh, shit! What the fuck is that? It looks like a person, but it’s got weird skin and blue eyes! Blue eyes! Is it diseased? I should go find a doctor... not even animals have Blue eyes. FREEEEAAAAKKKYYYYYY!!!!!!”). So, by saying that humans shouldn’t breed with creatures from another planet that look kind of like us but with different colour skin, am I also saying that white people and black people shouldn’t mix? Of course not. But then, why shouldn’t Sully totally bone that Na’vi chick? I mean, why don’t we have sex with monkeys? Why am I not dating a chimp right now?

Damn chimps, always stealing our white Tigers!

I suspect the reason is that we can’t understand them, and they don’t have the same level of intelligence as us. So, doing a smart alien chick that can speak English should be completely fine, right? I mean, if Chimps were as smart as humans, and could speak English, is there any reason we wouldn’t be having sex with them right now?

Well yeah, there is that - we just find human females a lot hotter. Now. But think about it – a hundred years ago, Kelis would have been considered unattractive:

Actually, I just wanted an excuse to post a link to that song. I would have put it in even if the ugliest woman in the world was singing it...

But the intelligence thing also bugs me – because it’s kind of saying “people with special needs should not be loved by humans”. So maybe my theory needs a little more work? Just like how in the Scarface game Tony says “You fucked a 16 year-old crippled bitch? Hey man, I don’t need that shit in my life!” and I thought “well, he didn’t say raped, he just said fucked. What’s wrong with having consensual sex with a 16 year old girl who happens to be handicapped?”. But whatever...

The final thing that Avatar made me think about was suicide. Not because it was so bad that I wanted to kill myself – but because I realised that if I had a body I was in full control of, and felt everything that body did, but knew I would just wake up in my own body if that body died, I totally would have jumped off that massive floating mountain just to experience what falling to certain death would feel like. I’d even put an iPod on my avatar, and listen to Tom Petty’s “Free Falling” as I did (the only way to fall to your death, in my opinion). But maybe that’s just me? That’s something I liked about Groundhog day – if you realised you couldn’t die, you would just do all sorts of things that should kill you. You know, for teh lulz of it.

But insanity out the way – I want to wrap this up with some proper review-type stuff.

Story: has been done a thousand times before, but then again so have most stories. And hell, Chaucer plagiarised most of his Canterbury Tales from other sources, and Shakespeare stole half of what he wrote, so not really a problem there. Sure, it’s exactly the same as The Last Samurai, which was exactly the same as Pocahontas, which was exactly the same as Dances with Wolves, but whatever. It’s cool – as long as people don’t go own about how original and unique it is, I don’t care.

Production Value: The animation I thought was really well done – better than the trailers would have had me believe, and it felt more like watching a live action film than watching an animation for the most part (I watched it in 2D). There were a couple of dodgy bits, but nothing too major. Generally, it was really well done.

Acting: Fairly standard here. I’ve heard a lot of people complain that the Colonel was really over-acting (“chewing the scenery”), but to be honest, Army and Marine Colonels often are that crazy – and the dude fit the role perfectly. It’s amazing how much emotion the Avatars had, too – but that should probably be in the above paragraph.

Quirks: Why was Michelle Rodriguez playing Linda Hamilton playing Sarah Conner in this film? Damn it, Jim! This is Avatar, not Terminator! Stop modelling characters on your ex-wives! We’re lucky Sigourney Weaver didn’t suddenly start shooting a movie about a cop infiltrating a group of Bank Robbing Surfers halfway through the film.

Besides, Sarah Connor wasn't even Linda Hamilton's best role:

Now THAT is what I'm talking about!

And... that’s about it, really. Familiar story – some cool effects, but nothing that has you saying “Oh my God! That was incredible!”, and that’s pretty much it. Decent movie to watch, but nothing ground breaking (I suppose the CGI is, but as far as I’m concerned, it looks real or it doesn’t. Nothing else to it. Then again, I’m not so big on these “effects movies” like 2012 or Transformers or whatever, and haven’t bothered to see any of the recent ones). Probably doesn’t deserve it’s rating on IMDB, but then neither do half the movies in the top 250 list (The Dark Knight is the 10th greatest film of all time? Fuck off!)


This one’s so God damn tough, because I want to give it 50%, completely average – but I promised myself I wouldn’t do that because I give too many movies 5/10. Hence the 5 star rating system I adopt the rest of the time (Saw 6 is another I wanted to give 2 and a half). I suppose given how familiar and clich├ęd the storyline is, I should really go lower on this one, but at the same time, it’s far better than The Dark Knight, which I also gave 2 stars. So, just this once, I’m going to do it. I’m actually going to award 2 and a half stars to a movie! Putting this film squarely between “The Hurt Locker” and “Get Rich or Die Tryin’” in my books. That sounds about right.

2.5 / 5

I don't know if the 3D makes it any better... but I doubt it.


Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Science Corner - The Love Drug (Text)

It occurred to me today that when people refer to love as being a drug, they’re probably not altogether wrong. Obviously I don’t mean love in the context of “Man, I LOVE Rammstein!” or “I love muffins”; but in the context of being in love with someone, I suspect that love acts exactly like a drug does.

I was watching a show a while back about the link between dogs and humans, and at one point they were explaining why you get such a good feeling when you stroke your dog. Apparently, stroking your dog (as in actually stroking a pet canine – that’s not a euphemism. Although, thinking about it – this probably applies to THAT as well…) releases chemicals (endorphins?) in your brain, which cause you to feel happy. More interestingly, it also has the exact same effect on the dog. That’s why dogs seem to love being stroked – it makes them produce chemicals that make them happy. It also explains why only grumpy dogs snarl at you if you try to stroke them.

Naturally, I figured this is probably what happens with humans. When we feel connected to them, we feel happy when we’re around them – and the obvious explanation for this is that, when we acknowledge that someone is important to us, being around them releases these same chemicals into our brains, making us happy. This is what love is made of.

But then this got me thinking – does that mean that if I’m in love with someone I’m actually just addicted to the chemical feeling I get from being with them, and the identity of the person in question is irrelevant, just so long as they get me high? The obvious answer to this is, of course, “yes”.

This again made me wonder – does that mean that every loving relationship we are involved in is essentially the same as the relationship between a Heroin addict and a dealer? And I found this amusing enough to want to argue my case. So, here we go…

Obviously, those who believe in “true love” are not going to see things in this way, and nor are those who see love as being a very spiritual or religious experience. But, being a grumpy, relatively young, not particularly religious person, I think this analogy makes perfect sense, and shall use case studies to back up my theory that BEING IN LOVE IS LIKE USING HEROIN!

Which explains why Russell Brand only decided to settle down after he quit using actual Heroin...

You know how sex feels great, but when you compare it to love, it actually feels like crap (I know, it seems weird even typing it – I’m 21 for God’s sake!)? Like how when you’re in a loving relationship you can’t believe there are guys out there who only use women for sex, and don’t bother to stay with them and really get to know and love them? That’s because sex is producing a different chemical that, whilst very powerful when you are actually taking it, has almost no lasting effects, and the high ends very quickly. In my analogy, therefore, sex is Crack. Now, those who are into mixing things up a bit will tell you that Crack and Heroin are perfect partners (I’m pretty well just working from what Russell Brand says in “My Bookie Wook” here, so if your own personal experience varies – compare that to your views on love and sex, and see if your drug and love preferences match. If they don’t – tell me! I’ll look into it…), because Heroin has such an amazing high, but is depressive in nature, and pretty well knocks you out, but smoking Crack after you’ve done heroin is the perfect way to keep that high, and stay buzzing. This applies to love too, when you think about it.

Sure, Crack is great, but the high doesn’t last long. And Heroin is amazing – the best high ever – but boy, you just can’t do ANYTHING whilst you’re on heroin, unless you have some crack to pick you up. Now read that back substituting “Crack” for “sex” and “heroin” for “love”. And yes, I do realize I just told you to trade crack for sex in that last sentence.

Just an average Friday night for some...

Now, some guys prefer crack, and I’m cool with that. But I’ve always been more of a heroin man, myself. Possibly because the first time I did Crack was with a girl I later took Heroin with, and I realised that the high got so much better when I combined the Crack with Heroin that I never wanted to do Crack without Heroin again. But thinking about it – if you’ve only ever done crack, and never tried Heroin; you wouldn’t know what you were missing, so wouldn’t care that you weren’t experiencing what Heroin was like, right? I mean, I remember the night when I first did Crack, and it was amazing! One of those things you’ll never forget. And I can easily imagine myself cruising for Crack, looking to get my hit however possible, and feeling like king of the world – if I had never tried Heroin.

Unfortunately, I did try Heroin. And I got hooked.

This is great whilst you’ve got a supplier who can give you all the heroin you need, but turns into a nightmare when your supplier stops selling you Heroin, and leaves town. The exact same is true with love. If the person you love tells you that they’re not in love with you any more, and that they don’t want to see you any more, you feel like crap. You have actual withdrawal symptoms! Think about it – How many of you have had your hearts broken and found yourself just curled up in a ball in bed, or spent hours in the shower, not being able to think about anything else, or operate properly. Maybe you couldn’t get out of bed all day, or maybe you cried? Hell, you may have been physically sick. These are withdrawal symptoms, all right – but not withdrawal from the person you loved (or thought you loved, as you’re now saying), but rather from the chemical effect that you associate with that person. The thing is – most people can’t differentiate between the two. Your dealer leaves town and suddenly you feel really ill and depressed? Maybe you do miss the dealer – but you know as well as I do those effects are more to do with the fact you’ve lost your heroin supply!

And think about “The rebound”. We’ve all been there – you’re in a long-term relationship which breaks down, and straight after get into another relationship. This is exactly the same as you would expect from a heroin addict who just lost their supplier. You go out, and find a new supplier as quickly as you can – so you don’t lose the feeling that heroin gives you. For the lucky few, this new supplier will bring in an even stronger product, and you won’t even miss your old supplier. But for most of us, we have to cope with weaker strength Heroin when we switch suppliers, and at times find ourselves wondering whether there’s any Heroin in there at all, or has it been cut so much that there really isn’t any Heroin in this syringe, just baking soda?

The Crack, too, tends to decline. I mean, you still smoke Crack with your new supplier. Hell, you might even smoke more. But it’s not the same. You’re too used to smoking Crack with Heroin, and now Crack on its own just won’t do. What’s more – it’s not even as good as the Crack you remember your old dealer giving you. You wish you could just go back – if you hadn’t smoked your old dealer’s crack, you’d probably be loving this new supplier’s Crack! But it doesn’t work like that. So you’re stuck, with a poor Heroin substitute, and low strength Crack, until eventually, that supplier leaves town as well. Or maybe you leave town this time, hoping there’ll be some good quality Heroin elsewhere. But in the new town you move to, you don’t know any good suppliers, so have to ask around, starting with the weaker drugs first.

Dating is like Cannabis – compared to Heroin, it’s very easy to get your hands on, and although ideally will lead on to Crack, or even Heroin, you know there’s no certainty that a weed dealer will also be a Heroin supplier. The more Cannabis you do, there more you get used to spotting what a potential dealer looks like as well, and the better you get at this, the more chance you know you have of getting Crack, or even Heroin, off a dealer when you meet them. But for now, you figure you’ll buy weed off them for a while, then hope they ask you if you want some Crack soon enough. And who knows, you may get that Heroin after all.

Some guys can just get Crack without asking for Cannabis first, but for the most part, we like getting comfortable buying weed off our dealers before we ask if they have any Crack, just in case they’re a Narc, and because it’s a bit rude to jump straight to Crack… After all, most of us started on weed, and know that it’s a respectable drug to ask for when you first meet a dealer – it doesn’t sound as forceful and dirty as asking them if they’ve got any Crack they can give you. Though, obviously, what you ask the dealer for will vary on circumstance. If someone has a reputation as a crack dealer, you’re obviously going to be more inclined to ask for Crack without bothering with the weed, or at least ask for Crack on the same night as you buy the weed off them. But what’s interesting is the difference in the highs. Some people find Crack superior, because the high it delivers is so much stronger; whilst others prefer the weed, because it’s closer in effect to the Heroin, and you feel that smoking weed helps you get by between hits of Heroin far more easily that smoking Crack does.

But what happens when a weed dealer leaves? Some people aren’t really concerned; after all, weed dealers are a dime a dozen, and there are plenty more fish in the sea. But some of us find that line of thinking hard – especially when your old weed dealer starts selling crack, or even heroin, to some Douchebag you know is just going to wind up doing a rip and run on them, or going to the Narcs. This makes us angry – because if they’d dealt exclusively with us, we assure ourselves that we would never be tempted to rip them off, and especially wouldn’t seek out other Crack dealers whilst leeching their Heroin supply like a worthless prick. But we forget one thing – if she gave that douchefag crack so soon after giving him weed, maybe you didn’t want to wait and see if her Heroin is any good, because the kind of dealer who associates with that kind of guy isn’t the type of dealer you can buy Heroin from for the rest of your life. And even if her Heroin was good, are you really going to buy Heroin off a dealer with so little self respect they’re practically giving Crack away in the hopes someone will hook them up with a Heroin supply? I don’t think so! So I’ll stick with my weed for now, despite the fact that I haven’t had Heroin in quite some time now, and despite the fact that, although having had Crack more recently (though not THAT recently) I still crave it somewhat; because I know when the right dealer comes along, I’ll get all the Crack and Heroin I could want, and I’ll love it!

Until she leaves town as well…