Spring Cleaning in the Middle of Winter & A New Lease on Life

Seems like only yesterday...
Seems like only yesterday…

Okay, not really, it just feels like the middle of winter. Of course the added bonus of the sun shining brightly outside, even though all my toils have been “under-cover” makes my energy levels rise accordingly.

Regardless of how flaming cold it is, and will be throughout the entire month of April the helpful weathermen are saying, my energy level has sky-rocketed. I don’t have quite the high levels that, say, Superman has, but compared to my practically non-existent levels just six and a half months ago, I feel like I should be wearing a cape and my underwear on outside of my clothes. (Any references to a young Madonna will be ignored)

Part of this cleaning frenzy is down to the sunshine and down to the departure of my daughter and her fella who had been living with me. Meg has been living under the same roof as me since she finished uni.  Max was a recent addition to the household while they both searched for their first abode together. I am not intimating that they were messy, it’s just that I couldn’t be bothered to clean around half-filled boxes and piles of items that were awaiting their fate.

The other reason I’ve had this energy boost has to do with the last visit to my surgeon. While I sat there, heart pounding, (which to be fair it always does now after the surgery) we looked at each other wordlessly for a moment. He then grinned and said, “Well, it looks like the tear has healed.”

I sat for another moment, stunned by this information. I looked at him and said, “What??”

He went on to explain that as they could not do  yet another bypass operation around the injured Aorta after they’d torn it, that he decided to “take a chance” and put a couple of stitches in the tear. As he put it, “It couldn’t hurt and at any rate it wouldn’t matter if we had to bypass it later on.”

So, here we are. I’ve been given, in essence, “a break” and despite the fact that I still have damage to my veins and capillaries, etc, that will have to be monitored for the rest of my life, I can now do pretty much anything I want. Even wrestle with prisoners, although with the alarming alacrity that the Prison Service ill-health retired me, I would not want to return to their world.

Call me bitter, but that’s how I feel. I now have to attend some rehabilitation sessions (which they would not book me on before, because they were afraid they were going to kill me) and try to get some sort of work that pays me, before my one-time payment runs out.

I still don’t know what I want to do.

Wow!
Wow!

My options are many, and some, have been most surprising. The wonderfully talented Natasha Harmer over at Films and Things has asked me to be the lead in her new (and first) independent short film Once Bitten, Twice Shy. I accepted with a speed that probably made her immediately regret asking. It will be the first time in a very long time that I have stepped in front of a camera in a professional capacity (I don’t count YouTube). I am excited, nervous and very pleased. I may have to wait for a while as the project is pretty much dependant on the generosity of others for funding.

If you can afford to spare a bob or two (or a buck, guilder, et al) click here and you’ll find the indiegogo site for the film.

I’ve also just started working for the web magazine Rogue Cinema, the main guy what’s in charge Duane L Martin has thrown caution to the wind and allowed me the privilege of writing reviews for his “zine” and I’m tickled to death.

Of course I never would have gotten this great opportunity if it weren’t for Misty Layne over at Cinema Schminema so I have two lovely and talented ladies who are responsible for my life taking a new and exciting turn.

It goes without saying that you really should go and check their sites out and stop by the Rogue Cinema magazine as well. They specialise in independent film and Duane is currently working at a frenzied pace to get this month’s issue out.

Stop by and tell em I sent ya. You won’t get any special treatment if you do, but, it would make me feel good.

In the meantime, I need to cook myself some tea, and then relax. This spring cleaning malarkey is good for building up and appetite and the urge to go lay down on the sofa is becoming too strident to ignore.

Until next time, Ciao and bon appétit!!

Photo on 23-03-2013 at 16.37

Berberian Sound Studio (1012): Sounds like a Winner!

My take on this brilliant low budget British film!

Carriers (2009): The World Ends with a Cough

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As apocalyptic films go, this offering from the writing and directing duo of David and Alex Pastor is pretty damned good. In case you’re wondering why their names sound so familiar, it’s probably because they gave us the film Splinter as well as a few other gruesome films. I do mean gruesome in a “good” way.

The world has been infected with a plague. This viral (and air-borne) disease is an instant death sentence. With no cure in sight, survivors are trying to hold out until a cure can be found. The Green Brothers; Brian and Danny have teamed up with two girls and they’re heading to Turtle Beach. A place from their childhood; a place that holds happy memories and a chance to escape the disease.

Starring Chris Pine as the arsehole-ish older alpha male brother (Brian) of Lou Taylor Pucci (Danny) and the self acclaimed leader of their little band of survivors. The other members of the gang are: Piper Perabo as Bobby, Brian’s love interest and Emily VanCamp as Kate, who is maybe and maybe not, Danny’s love interest.

*On a side note here. Am I alone in thinking that VanCamp could pass as a Helen Hunt clone? She really resembles the older actress. Or is it just me? Answers on a postcard please.*

At the beginning of the film, this little band of travellers come across Frank (Christopher Meloni) and his sick daughter Jodie (Kiernan Shipka) rather than help the two by giving them much-needed petrol (gasoline) they swerve their car around and cause damage to the oil pump. They wind up going back and “taking” Frank, Jodie and their car with them.

It is the addition of these two that changes the path of the film and affects everyone in the gang of four.

Frank and Jodie; deadly cargo.
Frank and Jodie; deadly cargo.

I really enjoyed the film, despite it being about the umpteenth apocalyptic film I’ve seen this year. (Jeeze, obsession much?) I decided to give it a go, even though the trailer was a bit misleading. It looked like yet another Zombie Apocalypse, but it is not. It is an ensemble “end of the world” film that relies on the power of the story and the actors to sell it.

I think they succeeded.

All the actors delivered, no matter how small their screen time actually was. Mark Moses (Paul Young on Desperate Housewives among other great roles) was brilliant as the emotionally shattered Doctor who the group meet in Farmington. Honourable mention also has to be given to Kiernan Shipka as the “masked” Jodie. Despite not getting to see her whole face for the majority of her performance, she sold it, baby, she sold it.

At about an hour and a half running time, the film is not overly long and the story moves forward quite well.

I got a huge “kick” out of one moment in the film where the group have decided to stay in a posh Country Club Golf Course Hotel (and yes, all such “posh” places must be capitalised, thank you) and they have inadvertently put themselves in danger. The two “blondes” of the gang, Danny and Kate recreate the kitchen scene from Jurassic Park (minus the velociraptors). To me, it was a highlight in the film and showed the makers sense of humour and their movie “geek-cred.”

This is a real 4 out of 5 star film mainly because of the strength of the performances. Amazingly, even though I did not like Brian, the leader, I at least understood him. So great result from “Team Pastor” and all of their cast.

Bleach and petrol, images of a post apocalyptic world.
Bleach and petrol, images of a post apocalyptic world.

And next they’ll be introducing Chocolate Chicken Milk…

Films and Things

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Chicken milk is the latest craze sweeping the globe.

Due to an ever-increasing global thirst for milk, egg-heads have been working around the clock to find alternative sources of the white stuff.

And after thousands of experiments there was one clear winner: Chicken milk.

Chicken breast is best apparently…

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This was an April fools email I got from a company that works against factory farming. It made me laugh so I thought I’d share it on here!

April Fool 😉

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