Thursday, 25 October 2012

Jolly Hollies

This was the morning... Cold, dark, wet... The usual Northern England really, BUT WAIT! What's that? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's... Well yeah actually it is a plane. It's taken me to my favorite place on the planet; Malta.

This is the view as a write this post:

Glorious no?

Yup I've finally gone on holiday this year. Or more like I've gone to my home away from home. I've been coming to Malta for 23 years (yeah, I'm 22, bonus points if you can figure that riddle out) and love the place. It's a tiny island, 16 miles by 8 miles, full of truly amazing people and places. I stay in the north of the island in an area called Qawra, Buggiba (I'm northern to the core) here I will spend most my time drinking the local brew 'Cisk' and eating as much Bigila (google it) as I can manage.
I decided to make this a sort of holiday diary rather than regular posts (solely to preserve my data allowance abroad)

Day 1: Land around 11, it's glorious, 28degrees not a cloud in sight, the only time you see weather like this in England is when you are watching T.V programmes on places like Malta! I go to sleep and wake up around 7pm, the rest of the evening is spent getting totally rat arsed in the Queens Head (aka Queen's) this place is awesome, big tv n sky sports, good beer and ale, friendly service and patrons, and best of all FREE FOOD! and I ain't talkin peanuts, check this out...

Bigila, it makes me happy...
For every drink you buy you get a free bowl of deliciousness; butter beans, sauteed potatoes, bruschetta, pasta, salsa and crackers, escargot (if that's ur thing) olives, and best of all BIGILA! Being that the owner is a family friend he made damn sure I got my bigila bowl topped up :D


Day 2: lounge about in the sun, eat at Chaplin's bar (also run by family friend, Reno) then I went to the closest Red Lion (guaranteed to be showing UK sports, and serving John Smith's) to watch Warrington Wolves play in the super league cup. I was the only person in there, everyone else was outside watching the football. I'm glad, no one saw my money face as Warrington got their arses tanned by Leeds Rhinos. Then went back to the hotel room to cry into my enormous 20" pizza.

The Pizza I cried into


 I left this momento to add to the memrobilia decorating Chaplin's walls

Day 3: swimming in the sea and working on my tan. *For once my tan did not wash of in the shower to reveal a crimson burn*

Day 4 through 7: more swimming, afew trips to the city * Malta has a DUZ its where the towns overlap to make one huge dense urban zone.* we went by bus. Here's some fun facts; Malta only installed traffic lights within the last decade, inot many people care. It's roads have mainly been dirt or gravel until it entered the EU and got abit of a needed overhaul. Malta is the scariest place in the world to drive. The people are lovely, but they are fucking maniacs behind a wheel! Several people I know who have been over there have agreed and shared their stories: sights such as people driving in the shade, regardless what side of the road the shade might be; cars drop gear and accelerate when approaching round abouts and junctions. Horse and carts over taking and cutting up vehicles. One of my coworkers even saw a bus driver having a fist fight with a motorcyclist whilst in motion!<br>
The bus rides are... Interesting; standard size buses hold roughly 100people seated and stood. Maltese buses cram people in to the point you don't need to hold on, your packed in so tight there's no need; add to that the crazy fucking style in which they drive this becomes a very intensely scary/fun experience. I was next to the driver for a while and saw him clocking 60 going round a blind bend on a coastal road in which the sea was only 2 metres away.

We also went on a cruise on a big sailing boat to the northern islands of Gozo and Comino. This was fun; all u can drink, fresh food n fruit, Sun bathing space on deck, you could dangle your legs over the side and we stopped at some utterly beautiful lagoons to jump in the sea and go swimming and exploring heuwage caves.

Our mighty vessel of fun and the Blue Lagoon of Comino

Day 8: drove all over the island in an open back jeep, the highlight of which was when we were in the middle of nowhere and could see a storm cloud afew miles out to sea "it's a while off yet" - my sisters boyfriends famous words... Literally the moment he said that a hurricane force wind threw every speck of dust up in the air the Mummy style and we had to burn Rubber and haul ass out of there. 70mph down dirt roads, dust, sand, rain and wind battering the jeep, and I had Metallic blasting out 'the four horsemen'... The words totally, fucking and awesome describe this adventure best...
Watching the thunder storm, the lightening kicked ass.

My phone's camera rocks.

Day 9: visited Mdina, a truely beautiful old town. These pictures say it all.

Day 10: come home :( it was 28degrees when I boarded the plane, it was 8 when I got off.
It's been 4 days and I still can't get warm!

Ah well, only another year before I an afford to go again!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Taken 2... The cleaners

I watched Taken back when it first came out. I was utterly blown away by it's merciless grit. The story was excellent, the acting was awesome, and the directing was superb. It is currently honoured in my DVD collection. So when I found out Taken 2 was out I was giddier than a puppy on smack. The second I got back from my holiday I made a beeline straight for the Cinema... I came to fully regret it.
What a sack of shite.

I'm a movie buff, cinema is one of my true loves, but Taken 2 made me sink to the grotty chewing gum stained overpriced Odeon "Premier" seat to point where I wanted to leave before it was even over.
Here's why. (The following contains spoilers... But tbh the directing and writing already spoiled the film so fuck it, but if you still don't want to know the plot and it's colossal flaws just skip to the very last sentence)...

The film was bearable for the first 30mins, Neeson takes his ex wife n daughter all have a Disney style protective dad, disapproving mum, rebellious kid moment then they go to Turkey, bad guys plan on kidnapping and murdering them. Neeson and ex-wife get taken. Neeson manages to sneakily phone his daughter so she could go throw grenades about, and he pinpoints his location by calculating sound speed and direction. Aside from the story being unimaginative and lame, I have 2 issues with this part of the film:
1. Why ring his daughter when he could ring the police, or atleast tell his daughter to contact the police rather than running around lobbing grenades.
2. There was no repercussions for the grenade lobbing, either immediatly or later on. That means absolutely no questioning from either Turkish or USA about a 17year old running around rooftops throwing grenades in one of the world's busiest cities.

After a while Neeson and his daughter jack a cab, shoot the police chief to death with out questioning (seems they assumed he was a crook, and not just investigating a girl throwing grenades willingly) and then  go on a crazy drive about the city, the gimmick is she's not passed her test yet. They end up driving directly at the USA embassy building, break though despite taking fire and are safe. 3 issues here...
1. The USA embassy troops unload afew 50cal. Machine gun rounds into the car. A few 50cal. Round would tear a Jeep in half, yet this car takes a dozen hits, keeps moving and Neeson and daughter aren't liquidated.
2. The USA embassy aparantly doesn't use their mandatory basic security installations in Turkey... Where were the tyre spikes, the radio operated steel bollards, the gate even?
 3. Once Neeson and daughter and jacked cab take 20 high velocity huge caliber rounds and crash dramatically through a security check building (seemingly built from balsa wood and lolly pop sticks rather than bricks and concrete) the car finally stops; here's the most annoying part...
Neeson makes a goddamn transcontinental phone call and then has a 5 minute conversation with his daughter about how he will find the men that did this, get back his ex-wife and kill those responsible; and about how he loves his daughter and about what they should have for tea tonight, who are you going to vote for this election and what's your favorite Pokemon and why... Ok maybe not all of that, but seriously, if a car in a Muslim country was driving full speed at the USA embassy, and actually got past the Yanks I SERIOUSLY don't think the Americans would take 5 minutes to do anything; that car would of been obliterated before a monologue could start.

A car at the moment a 50cal. round hits it.

Fast forward 2 seconds...Neeson is now walking the streets of Istanbul in a black leather jacket.
Well, cohesion obviously doesn't matter in this film so I won't even question how he got out of the above situation, the ramifications of the aforementioned actions or even why the Americans let this man loose on a vengeance rampage WITHOUT ANY HELP. Fuck it, I only want to know how he got the jacket; did he stop to buy one on the way to the badguys den, or did the embassy stock the exact same jacket he had from the first movie?

Neeson kills a bunch of bad guys, has a fist fight - shit choreography and camera work btw. Then faces down the boss man, gives him a telling off then says he's free to go. Boss man tries shooting him with the gun Neeson put down after the stern talk; surprise surprise no bullets SHOCK!!! Neeson is pissed about this and shoves the guys face.

Yeah, the man who kidnapped his daughter, her mother, and him then promised he was going to chop them all up and feed them to pigs, then collect the pig poo, use it to fertiliser a field of corn, then burn the field down and salt the ground out of pure hatred etc... Got his face shoved.

creen shot directly out of the film (I promise it is) Neeson slap fights badguy


The whole family is having ice cream because you know, a kidnapping, getting tortured and a the whole horrific experience is no biggy, hell the daughters boyfriend even joins in and everyone has a good old knee slap because Neeson cracks a overprotective dad joke.
Doesn't it make you blood fucking curdle? The original was an 18, it was brutal, and real. This was a 12a sell out for kids. Imagine if they made a Rambo or Terminator film (i believe the original Taken is on par) but made a sequel where there was no real violence, poncy fight scenes and Disney style family friendly jokes. Blood Fucking Curdling.

12A (PG13) certificate.

I found this quote on Wikipedia from one of the producers when asked about another sequal: "We didn't start talking about Taken 3 until we saw the numbers, But then we said, 'Oh, okay. I think we should do a third one.' And Fox wants us to do a third one. We've taken everyone we can take—it's going to go in another direction. Should be interesting."
Hopefully they'll go in the direction of making the next a good film? maybe deepen the plot? maybe make it make fucking sense?

Don't waste your money or time on this shit.