Category Archives: For those of you who came in late…Reviews

Another decade, another Romeo and Juliet adaption

even the fucking poster is dull and brown.

Uh…. can’t wait?

Imagine my surprise when I went to the cinema to see the trailer for an all new adaption of THE GREATEST.  LOVE STORY.  OF ALL TIME.

Romeo and Juliet is one of those works that most people get quite a young exposure to.  Unlike the other Shakespeare play that people are likely to study for their Junior Cert (The Merchant of Venice) Romeo and Juliet is part of our cultural shorthand.  It’s been misinterpreted and analysed over and over for nearly 400 years and for the last century has been the most popular of Shakespeare’s plays on stage and screen.  Everybody knows the plot by heart even before they go in.  Two kids from warring families hook up, get married then kill themselves.  It’s kind of the Star Wars or Sixth Sense of Elizabethan drama, in that the twist in Romeo and Juliet is so well known that it isn’t even a twist anymore.  Starting in the first act as a comedy, the sudden shocking murder that leads into the later acts was a bit of a swerve back in the day.  Turning from jolly and light to dark and brooding, it’s not really a love story as much as it’s a story about how shit feuds are.  The lovers in this story are the pawns in the quarrels of their parents.

Judging by the flat, airy trailer this adaption is going to take itself quite seriously and play the subject matter very straight.  It won’t have the intense longing and tension of Zeffirelli’s film or the riotous over the top 90s excess of Baz Lurhmans 1996 effort.  Each version has always said something about the era in which it was made.  Particularly Baz Lurhman, whose best skill is portraying opulence and excess, as seen recently in the great Gatsby.  Romeo + Juliet also started that explosion of late 1990s classic literature adaptions set in high school- you had O (othello) Ten things I hate about you (the Taming of the Shrew) Clueless (Emma) and cruel Intentions (dangerous liaisons) among others.  A lot of these versions woefully missed the point of their source material and being loose adaptions with the original dialogue and characters changed distances them from their source material particularly with the Shakespeare adaptions.  Still, hard to believe about 15 years ago the hot trend was for adapting dusty classics into teen movies.

Overall, will this be an iconic bench mark for a generation? It’s obviously following in the footsteps of Julian Fellowes beloved Abbey, but also weirdly enough in the footsteps of Taylor Swift’s hilarious fan fic version of the Romeo and Juliet tale told via her video for ‘Love Story.’ It’s a bit uncanny.  The irony there being that the respective soundtracks for the 1968 and 1996 versions have gone on to become as well remembered as the films themselves

As well as this little unknown upstart…. <3

whether it was the contemporary pop of 1996 or the big, sweeping score of 1968.  That was the key with those versions, I think.  1968 felt big and dangerous in it’s own way- hell, Olivia Hussey who played Juliet wasn’t even allowed into the premiere, because of the rating- a rating that was high because of her own brief topless nude scene shot when she was 14.  It was edgy, man.  It still it today.  1996 felt… opulent.  It played up the hysteria of the feud and the tensions between gangland families and subtly, to the long standing antipathy between the Irish and Italian communities in the US and the tension between old and new moneyed families.  What I’m saying is both iconic adaptions did something striking.  This new one just looks.. brown.  Even the freaking poster is brown.

It remains to be seen what 2013 will look, but  I wouldn’t hold my breath. If the flat delivery and lifeless pretty faces of the trailer are anything to go by, this won’t be anything special.

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Niamh ‘Sorry I’ve been away for so long’ Keoghan

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Beyonce

This column originally appeared in the Student Standard volume 1, issue 1 on the 12th February 2013.  The Student Standard is NUI Maynooth’s independent new source and can be read online here 

published here with kind permission of Keith Broni, editor of the Standard.

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Bank Holiday Tuesday 12th February 2013

Beyonce

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Another year, another Superbowl Sunday passed with me in bed early, not willing to stay up until 5AM watching the most excruciatingly boring sport known to man (Worse than Cricket, Curling and Lawn Bowls put together because AT LEAST those sports don’t stop for a little rest every every.  single.  Play) only for the faint promise of nine minutes of Beyonce that I could catch on YouTube the next day.  No, I experienced the superbowl the way I also experienced the Late Late show’s debate on marriage equality last week- tucked up in bed with a hot chocolate, following the proceedings via twitter.

Twitter is a great medium for experiencing telly, a crowdsourced annotated commentary of whatever happens to be on.  It’s basically watching highlights that are tailored to your own personal tastes- so in my case, the Superbowl coverage I saw was mostly ‘When’s Beyonce on?’ Then hysterical tweets when she actually did come on (SHE’S SO GOOD AT WALKING!) all about the dancing, the costume, the choice of song (‘Baby Boy?’ Really?  That song was lame back in 2004.  Come on Bey, do Bootilicious, come on-OH MY GOD THEY’RE DOING BOOTILICIOUS) and of course, the fact that Destiny’s child had ‘reunited.’ When really, all that happened was that Bey got her moderately famous backing singers back.  I always liked Kelly Rowland. She reached a minor solo peak around 2003 when I first got into pop music.  Sadface.  Oh wait, now they’re doing single ladies- I have to do Single ladies on this deadly silent train now, excuse me.

The Bey halftime show was a bit of an experience for me, watching it on my phone on the train to Maynooth Monday Morning.  It was when I finally sort of ‘got’ Beyonce.  We’ve long had a complicated relationship because she just doesn’t really have a lot of songs I can groove to.  Bootilicious and Single Ladies are aggressively good and that is Beyonce at her best.  Telephone is an over produced masterpiece of pop excess.  If I were a boy and her other break up jams always felt a bit flat to me.  It never really captures the actual pain of a break-up- they’re more like revenge dreams.  I’d theorise that ‘If I were a boy’ is really a dissing of the sort of casual misogyny  that’s common in most hip hop and rap.

Beyonce isn’t particularly titillating.  She’s too fucking scary to be titillating. Compare some of her earlier videos- writhing on  a beach because Sean Paul is just too hot to comprehend (note- it was 2004 after all) in baby boy, to the aggressive dominance of the Single Ladies dance.  Single Ladies is an aggressive, iconic song.  It’s not sensual- it’s a war cry.  She’s strong and she will fucking TRASH YOU in a song if you wrong her.  She’s not pandering to sexism so much as sticking a sharp heel through it.  Men do fancy her (note-I fancy her.  everyone fancies her. don’t lie.) but she’s not for a moment subservient to any man.  She consistently out-earns her husband.  All you need do to set off any woman born between 1980 and 1993 is to go up to her and ask earnestly ‘Kelly, can you handle this?’.  You will be treated to every woman in the vicinity shrieking the lyrics to ‘Bootilicious’ at the tops of their voices.

Which brings me to the title of her new tour- Mrs Carter.  Using her husbands name on her solo tour has been a bit… confusing to people who have always seen Beyonce as a strong independent figure.  Personally, I had actually forgotten Beyonce had a surname at all.  ‘Knowles’ sort of became redundant after Sasha Fierce came out- She’s reached Cher levels of ‘first name only’ recognition.  I had also forgotten Jay-Z had a surname either, in fact I just assumed they were monarchs and didn’t have a need for one, you know?  Privately, Bey and Jay apparently both hyphenate their names, going as the ‘Knowles- Carter’ family.  Bey has said publically that when she’s stressed, she likes to go make love to her husband to chill out.  She is one of the most athletic and accomplished dancers of our generation- I’d argue her choreography will define the dance of our generation in the same way Michael Jackson defined the 80s.  In the promo for this tour she’s dressed  in a Louis the XIV style leotard and a fur cape.  She’s Beyonce.  LADS.  She is Beyonce.  Beyonce is allowed name her tour whatever she wants.

Image (Beyonce for Pope)

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Niamh ‘I don’t think you’re ready for this Jelly’ Keoghan
@Keofunkel

The Titanic drinking game

So today is an ACTUAL bank holiday Tuesday!  Wow, these don’t roll around often.  So as is often my wont, I spent the morning lying in bed, watching the 1997 disaster-histori-romantic-epic that is Titanic.  I have a little maxim which is- If you enjoy something, have the moxie to enjoy it sincerely.  I’m not into this ‘I love it ironically’ business. if you’re enjoying something for it’s badness, then that means you don’t like it- you can enjoy things you don’t like, and you can recognize that the things you do like are flawed and problematic in places.  So I enjoy Titanic.  I enjoy it sincerely, as a decent film, and yet I can also LOLz along at the sillier aspects of the production.  So here I present both my drinking game rules and my sincere fondness for Titanic.

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Type ‘Jack and Rose’ into Google images and you get a solid 5 pages of just these two.

I’ve been obsessed with Titanic since I was little; I am a bona fide hobbyist, growing up in a house filled with books all about the wreck and the social history surrounding it.  I spent many’s a long day playing in the park next to the old White Star line office in Cobh, co. Cork, and seen the rotted old pier from which the passengers of Titanic fetched their boat.  When I was five (which is the point around which I start remembering news events and film releases) the James Cameron film came out.  Back in the day, my parents went to cinema maybe once in five years and we had a collection of about 10 movies on video tape, so my nostalgia is pretty narrow from that era.  I clearly remember the night my parents went with my grandparents to see it in the pictures, and I remember countless evenings sitting down to watch the cassette tape because it was basically the only non-Disney film we had.

So I have seen Titanic countless times, from the age of 5 to 20, and I have to admit I have always wondered why it gets as much hate as it does.  I mean, I’ve heard people call it a shit movie.  I’ve heard people call it the worst thing they’ve ever seen.  I really don’t get this.  I will hold up my hands and admit that it isn’t my favourite film or the best film I’ve ever seen, but I don’t think it gets it’s dues.  So here are three broad things I like about Titanic

1. The Special effects

The special effects in Titanic blew my mind when I was a kid and while they have aged, they’re still stunning.  I would call Titanic the first film of the 21st century style- I know it was pre-2000 and pre- 9/11 but it has the sort of scale and ambition you see in a lot of later films like Lord of the Rings and particularly Chris Nolan fare.  Here the special effects are for spectacle but I think they stand out because they’re based in a familiar world and reality- one of the reasons Avatar didn’t strike me as a special effects MASTERPIECE is because that’s *all* it was.  Once you marvel at the blue people running through a CG forest for a few minutes, it gets boring.  Contrast with say, the motion capture performance Andy Serkis gave for Gollum in Lord of the Rings- the fact that Gollum is inhabiting a world that we can somewhat recognize makes it so much more effective.

2. The performances

Titanic does have something in common with Avatar in that they both have stock stories- Avatar is Pochahontas, and Titanic is a basic inter-class romance that happens to be set on the worlds most ironically marketed ship.  Where they differ is in how these stories are executed and on the basis of screenplay, Titanic blows Avatar out of the water.  It’s just a better told story, performed with better actors.  The cast here all fill their purpose- baby Leo di Caprio idealism-ing it up as the romantic lead, Kate Winslet being all repressed and suicidal, Billy Zane being fantastically evil.

Billy Zane is my undisputed king of ROFLz.

3. The Screenplay

I will defend this mother fucking script.  Fuck everyone I will.

A lot of people get hung up on the love story element of Titanic and I’ll admit, I’ve never seen why.  Sure, it’s a love story.  Is that the only reason it’s bad?  Because if it’s decently performed by an excellent cast, I don’t see the problem.  The tension of a love story usually lies on ‘will they or won’t they get together’ but here the tension is the fact that the audience knows there’s a cosmic deadline of sorts- and so the story becomes not just ‘will the forces of class and society tear them apart’ and rather ‘who’s gonna die, are they gonna live, FUCK an iceberg! etc.’

Kate Winslet gets her own category in the drinking game btw

I have heard the complaint that the film only focuses on two (fictional) people and not on a selection of passengers, like ‘A night to Remember’ does.  Well, firstly if you wanna see a Night to remember, watch freaking a Night to Remember. (no really do it’s a classic film).  I don’t mind anchoring the story on a few people out of 2200 passengers; having an inter class romance also serves to show us the contrast in conditions and lifestyle on the ship.    I’ve seen other movies based on real life disasters and histories that followed just one person- The Pianist, Life is Beautiful, Schindler’s List, the English Patient, Gladiator- and they’re all fine.  I don’t see the problem with focusing on just one set of people.  Besides, the film does have a massive recognizable cast of extras and it’s a bit of a punch when you notice each of them dying as the film goes on.

 

Now, saying I like the movie, I don’t deny it is FULL of bad lines, cliches, tropes and memetic moments.  Keeping this in mind, in the spirit of good fun, I created a drinking game to go along with the film.  Here it is in it’s entirety

THE TITANIC DRINKING GAME

OPTIONAL RULES

Every time the title of the film is mentioned in Dialogue, everyone must cheer and down their drink

Drink every time Jack or Rose get wet

Men- take a drink every time Rose says ‘Jack’

Women- take a drink every time Jack says ‘Rose’

(They say each other’s name a lot; please only play this rule if you want to get really wankered)

TAKE A SIP EVERY TIME-

The movie passes the Bedchel test (2 named women have 1 conversation about something that is not a man)

The Heart of the Ocean theme plays

The modern framing characters say something cynical

There is an ironic ‘this ship will never sink’ line

Frabizio ‘Italian-izes’ a swear word (e.g. ‘Bastardo’, Mother Funkolo’)

a real life character is portrayed on-screen (Bonus points for shouting ‘OH HI <Character’s name>!’ and waving)

You laugh out loud at a cheesy line/Old Rose says something sentimental

KATE WINSLET SHOTS (take a shot of your choice whenever the following happens:)

Kate Winslet’s American accent slips

Kate Winslet has a topless scene (Applicable to any Kate Winslet Movie)

Rose’s mother/Billy Zane say something sexist to Kate Winslet

FINISH YOUR DRINK WHEN

the script has social commentary

you hear trad music on the soundtrack

There is an epic panning shot of the ship as the music swells

 

I won’t go a long way to defend Titanic as the best movie of ALL TIME- I do think it’s got a lot of silly 90s sentimentality on it (Mostly personified by Billy Zane) but it holds up.  I can only ever see the backlash for this movie coming from the fact that it’s a love story, and I just don’t get that.  It’s a decent, if cheesy, movie, and it looms quite large in my personal nostalgia.  Maybe that’s why I’ll defend it and be fond of it, due to childhood nostalgia goggles, but in recent years I’ve still enjoyed it.

If nothing else, the drinking game is fun.

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Niamh ‘You’re not the king of the world, you’re just on the front of a boat’ Keoghan

For those who came in late: The Hobbit

The Hobbit:An unexpected Journey and Peter Jackson’s attempt to stretch out a 300 page book over 3 films. The film is a hoot, but it’s frustrating- the pacing is just terrible. It’s unforgivable. Last night a party a friend of mine said the beauty of the Hobbit is that it’s Peter Jackson celebrating the previous trilogy, and doing that again.

Let me say to this, BITCH PLEASE. Peter Jackson, you are allowed celebrate JACK SHIT about your masterpieces. That’s like me writing fan fic of my own novel. That’s bullshit. The Hobbit is a very different story to the Lord of the Rings- Essentially, it’s a heist movie written as a jaunty quest. The parts of the Hobbit that work best are the moments where it’s lighter, funnier and softer than the Lord of the Rings. This isn’t supposed to be three movies long. This isn’t supposed to be epic and about the fate of the world. It’s supposed to be one guy on an adventure with some dudes, with HINTS towards a larger world and story behind it.

This is a terrible trend I have noticed. Ladies and Gentlenerds, we have become a spoiled race. There is money in our fare, and the industry, hereafter referred to as ‘the man’ know this. They know we will shell out 15 euros a pop to see our beloved stories played out in iSense 3D with an advanced 48 framerate, from a premier seat. The Man knows we’re going to buy the overpriced box set with seven hours of special features and surround sound. They also know that we’re likely to illegally download the fucker for free once good DVD rips become available. They even know we’ll buy the special edition director’s cut DVD.

Since Harry Potter Deathly Hallows was split in two, studios have been slicing films willy nilly, in the knowledge that they will bump up their harvest crop. There is a concentrated effort to get bums back into seats again after six months to cream a little bit out of you, considering the rise in illegal downloads. This is, to me, really problematic. It feels like I’m complaining about a good thing. How can I not like getting MORE HOBBIT? Surely having 2 movies to finish Deathly Hallows was better than rushing it? What’s my problem?

The problem is that some stories need 3 movies, and some need 1. Some stories can be told in one book, while others need seven doorstoppers to get them done. All of these are valid, and they’re all good- The Sally Lockhart Quartet is a brilliant 3 books (and one pretty good book…), while Neverwhere is one cracker. V for Vendetta is a classic collected in one single edition now, while Sandman needed 13 volumes. The problem is that The Hobbit is one book. It only needed 2 films, and that was if you put in EVERYTHING. If you threw the kitchen sink and a massive dance party scene in, you’d still only have two movies. Jackson’s included bits from the apendices in this film, but it feels hollow. He did the same in the Lord of the Rings with the Arwen/Aragorn subplot, but there it worked because it was contextual. Most of the story runs along the same timeline as the main plot, and concerns one of the lead characters. It doesn’t feel clunky or too out of place- it’s a quest after all, and Aragorn’s subplot of wanting to get with Liv Tyler informs his later determination to take back his crown. It totally works there.

Bitches love the Armour

In the Hobbit however, it’s just there for padding. There was clearly no critical eye or care given to what mattered and what didn’t. It was just all thrown in. It’s an attempt to create a trilogy on the scale of the original films with the same aesthetic and vision but in trying so hard to be The Lord of the Rings, it scuttles so much of what could have made it a new beast. I don’t want to see the Lord of the Rings- I have a 12 hour long, 6 DVD boxset of the entire extended cuts, with 5 different commentaries. I don’t want Peter Jackson to pay tribute to his masterpiece- I want him to make the goddamn Hobbit!

Even bringing back the old guard- Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee and Cate Blanchett- for such substantial roles kills off any hope of attaching to the new cast. They seem to be trying to make James Nesbitt ‘happen’ as a wacky sidekick, but then he’s sidelined off so Hugo Weaving can rush in. the attempt to put The Hobbit on the scale of the original trilogy makes it fucking impossible to try and see it as anything new, which is a problem. Thoren Oakenshield is painfully boring and brooding. When it was Viggo Mortensen’s Aragorn doing the same schtick it was compelling, but here it left me cold. Martin Freeman is fantastic, as is Andy Serkis. their Riddles in the Dark scene is fantastic.

But can we please stop trying to make James Nesbitt ‘happen’?

One of the reasons Lord of the Rings films were so important is because they were huge. In 2001, people were blown away it. The scale, the ambition, the fact that it seemed to have a real talent and artistry behind it. It pretty much defined the 2000s in film for me. They were something utterly new and jaw dropping. I first watched the trilogy in 2008 on a shitty portable DVD player while lying in bed, and the Balrog blew me away. Helms deep was stunning. Shelob, Moria, the entire creation of Gollum who was the first ever completely integrated motion capture performed character in a live action film. The forced perspective that makes me believe that Elijah Wood actually is only 3’9 and therefore shocks me when I see he’s actually a fully grown man. It just blows me away. It’s a beautiful, frightening, ambitious fantastic trilogy that changed the world of film.

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My totally rational response to the latest episode of Downton Abbey

In my fan fix Lady Sybil teams up with Hannah Sheehy Skeffington, Lady Gregory Countess Markevich and Maude Gonne and they form a roller derby team and Yeats writes a rad poem about them and she gets the vote and Tom drives a flying car over Dublin bay and Sybz pronounces it ‘Dahblin’ and Ethel gets her baby back and then all the Ladies of Irish republicanism team up to break Bates out of prison with Eamon DeValera and Anna is like a trained ninja and Edith drives the getaway car and Cora out- sasses all of them with her sassy American ways and then Sybil is made the FIRST LADY PRESIDENT OF IRELAND and nobody ever dies ever and they all live happily ever after the end

Niamh I just need a minute to ease my sobbing Keoghan

Riding the Olympic Bandwagon- a reflection on London 2012

This article was originally published shortly after the London 2012 games on the Student Standard. I’m putting it up here and now because I am so swamped in economics and slacking off from economics by watching game of thrones that I can’t think of anything to write.  

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The first I heard of the Olympics going to London was actually the first time I was ever there: I was on my first ever school trip outside of Ireland back in 2005.  Back in the day tubes, buses and park benches were covered in a simple slogan ‘BACK THE BID’. All the promotion I saw around London is probably my strongest memory of the city. From that cold March day in 2005 before the bid was even confirmed to actually witnessing these long awaited games flit by in two weeks, it really left an impression on me, the most unfit and un-sporty of all people.  Even the most cynical of us seemed at least partially interested in what’s probably going to be the closest Olympiad to Ireland in the foreseeable future.

The pre-talk was mixed certainly.  From the hideous “Lisa Simpson blowjob” logo to the rampant and alarming fervour with which phrases like ‘Summer games’ and ‘London 2012’ were copyrighted and defended was largely criticised.  Indeed in the very opening days of the games the masses of empty seats reserved for corporate ticket holders sparked anger.  Truly the real triumph of the London games has come from a marriage of a well-funded public sector backed by investment and propped up at the bottom by the staggeringly massive efforts of 70,000 volunteers.

The BBC coverage of these games was immense, every single event was covered.  Waking up each day to trampoline gymnastics, diving, cycling, swimming, judo – these were just the ones I managed to catch as they zoomed past at a tireless pace.  It became a topic of conversation in the house: ‘Did you see your one who did well in the sailing interviewed?’ ‘Ah no I was watching it on BBC, they had their fellas on.’  RTÉ valiantly covered every Irish moment of the games, whether cringe worthy flops in track and field or the domination Ireland showed in the boxing ring and on the sea at Weymouth.  Our clueless host provided unintentional comedy one day by repeating referring to a medallist from the Czech Republic as ‘the Czechoslovakian girl’ repeatedly and Kenneth Egan’s wardrobe watch proved as entertaining as anything else.

It was worth watching most of all for the surprises, such as the stunning win by Chad Le Clos of South Africa over the swimmer they said would sweep the medals, Michael Phelps.  Watching the gymnastics and feeling infinitely inadequate listening to the commentary say how the girl who just back flipped five times across the floor and vaulted six feet into the air will probably score low due to being a bit crap.  ‘Bolting’ at people when they enter the room became my standard mode of greeting, as well as arguing over who was using drugs or not.  ‘Oh she’s well on the roids, look at her, COME ON.’

The Olympics managed to get even the biggest of cynics and sport phobic hooked – I will never forget where I was when I watched Katie Taylor in her first Olympic bout against Natasha Jonas.  I was in the bar of my gym, along with my mother who decided along with me to finally bite the bullet and get fit again.  Along one side of the bar is a glass window providing a viewing area to the swimming pool below, where gathered on the poolside an anxious gaggle of dads in swimming trunks craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the fight on the telly, while people mimed the scores down to them by holding up their fingers.

This has not only been an immediate games for Ireland for its proximity to us but for the success the team has had, in a performance equalling our medal haul of 1956: a stunning gold from Katie that I need not elaborate on (everyone else is), three bronze (Cian O’Connor clinches his redemption after the bitter disappointment of his 2004 gold being stripped) and a silver.  Agonising near misses at bronze and gold for Rob Heffernan and Ananlise Murphy must also be noted along with a fabulous showing from Natalya Coyle finishing ninth in the Women’s modern pentathlon and the spirit of Joanne Cuhudy pulling us up from 8th to 5th in the women’s relay.
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt’s antics were golden, from his classic BOLT pose, to his nonchalant appearance as he breaks world records he’s a riot.  Highlights include doing push ups after breaking the world record for Men’s 100m relay and making the life of one young volunteer by giving him a fist bump before he swaggered off to race.  Bolt is a classy, classy man.

It’s been the one fortnight in four years that most sports see the light of day beyond Eurosport, and long may it be remembered.  The endless drudge of English professional football, golf, occasional Rugby and some GAA eventually desensitizes a person to how thrilling sport can be.  Flicking on the TV for the last two weeks has been a lucky dip- what country is kicking ass at what excellent thing next?
London 2012 will hopefully prove the gate way drug for those previously uninterested to take more interest in sport.  While before perhaps looking inanely at the Sunday footie and going ‘this is the same every damn week’ hopefully more people will stand up and go ‘Hey… I think Imma go run a marathon/Jump on a trampoline/…dive into a body of water in tiny speedos from a great height.
London 2012 was described on RTÉ  as the Italia ’90 of this generation, and this writer is inclined to think that for once RTÉ got something right.

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Niamh ‘Still remembers Atlanta ’96’ Keoghan

My reactions to news of Mitt Romney making a tit of himself in London

Oh London 2012. You have yet to officially begin and already you provide me with this splendor. I’m still going to be very disappointed if David Tennant dressed as the tenth doctor doesn’t light the Olympic flame.

A Herp Derp

 

Woke up at about 12 noon, as summer holidaying students are wont to do

Checked twitter on phone, only to find this  lovely article surmising how Republican Party Presidential candidate is getting on with his campaign’s trip to London.  Supposedly manufactured to showcase the candidate’s diplomatic relation skillz, all it’s been so far is an utter and complete shambles.  A HILARIOUS shambles.  Imagine if you will a guest coming into your home and very loudly proclaiming your dinner is a badly planned disaster and they’re unsure how dessert is going to turn out.  That’s pretty much how Romney’s been conducting himself.  I don’t think it’s very wise to sass your hosts about their big huge international sporting event the day before it starts, as if anyone gives a shit what you think about it…

‘There are a few things that were disconcerting… The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials – that obviously is not something which is encouraging.’

My immediate reaction to this was ‘what a cunt.’ This sort of bullshit goes beyond any of my personal beef with Romney’s policies- He just sounds like an ignorant, self important arsehole.  Doing the rounds today is an extract from his 2010 book (Mitt Romney has a book, Katie Price has a book… I feel so sub par) Where Romney basically says England isn’t really very important and nobody likes it much.  Oh and it only escaped the Nazis because it’s an Island.  Sneaking fucking England, riding on the glory of being an island…

At this point (Around 12:07 PM) I’m still lying in bed with a massive grin on my face.  It’s the sort of grin you get when somebody is being self important and nobody is buying it.  I cheered in triumph when I heard David Cameron’s back-Sass to Romney

We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.

Take THAT, Salt Lake City!

I never thought I’d be rooting for Cameron in anything but compared to Romney he’s a socialist icon. When you are more elitist  and arsey than David fucking Cameron, you need to stop at once and reassess your goals.  Romney seems to have staggered into the UK on a great wave of self important arrogance, one that he has no real power to back up with.  Say what you want about George W Bush and his many gaffes, at least he was an actual head of state with nukes and an army and some reason for people to listen to him.  Romney’s just a rich idiot running for election- it’s like Dana popping over on a state visit to the Olympics OH GOD I want to see Dana on a state visit right now.

When you seem more pompous and silly than Borris Johnson you REALLY have to reassess your goals, and even the fluffy haired mayor of London got his tuppence ha’penny in against Romney slagging off London.  But really I have to ask, what on earth was Rom nom thinking?  He was a key organising force behind the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City Utah, but are the two things comparable?  Beyond the two events being major international sporting events under the olympic banner, I can’t see them having much in common logistically- At least not enough to justify Romney getting on his high horse about it.  Extra points for getting Londoners riled up about the Olympics at last.

My favourite thing about this isn’t actually the reveal that he met with the head of MI6 (something he’s not supposed to say), but his clumsy naming of EVERY SINGLE CONFLICT ZONE around the world.  That must have been a very long chat, to have discussed the problems and challenges faced by each of those regions- To even begin explaining about most of them in the most scant details would take a while.  I know he’s sound biting but it’s just so false and smarmy.

I don’t know why, I just like seeing arrogant idiots flapping in and making tits of themselves.  There’s a sort of Schadenfreude at work here.  I don’t think it’ll be particularly damaging to Rom Nom’s presidential aspirations- Casually brushing off the gaffes one of his advisers basically told they don’t give a crap what the UK thinks, they only care about voters back in America so THERE, we’re taking our ball and going HOME.  At every turn Romney seems to make a faux paus- Forgetting Ed Milliband’s name and calling him ‘Mister Leader’ as if he’s the despotic head of some backwater communist dictatorship, or revealing he met with the head of MI6, a meeting that was supposed to be kept secret.  He’s like a small child bumbling through an adults carefully planned dinner party.

My new fave quote is from another of Rom Nom’s advisers, speaking of US-British ties-

‘We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special. The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.’

All I can say is that by half past noon, I was a very entertained girl indeed.

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Niamh ‘I’m trying to make Rom Nom happen’ Keoghan

For those who came in late reviews… The Dark Knight Rises

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERZZZZZZZZZZ

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Seriously, I’m not taking responsibility for this if you get spoiled.  Snape Kills Dumbledore.

BROS

BRO FIST ARRRRGGGHHHH

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My love affair with Musicals

It all began in about 2005, when the Daily Star came with a free CD containing classic songs from musicals.  On it I first heard the following-

One night in Bangkok, from Chess

The Phantom of the Opera, From the show of the same name

All I ask of you from Phantom

One day More from Les Mis

All that Jazz, from Chicago

I think there was a song from Cabaret…

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First Reactions to: Girls

SONG WHICH IS THEMATICALLY RELEVANT TO THE FOLLOWING RANT

I was told by a few people to have a look at Girls, a HBO sitcom about a gang of twenty somethings who live in New York and have plots.  Most of the things I’ve heard about it have been mixed; One friend told me a lot of people watch it then flock to blogs to use it as a springboard for feminist discourse and another told me she found it entertaining but frustrating in parts.  Overall it was a ‘good but flawed’ sort of show, which is the kind I like.  To paraphrase Frasier Crane the best posh dinners have one tiny fatal flaw.  A perfect dinner would be fine but the flaw is something you can pick at for the rest of the night which is immensely satisfying. With this in mind I caved and sat down to watch the Pilot of Girls- Here are my reactions, as live messaged to my BFF over Facebook chat as I watched.

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