As if..

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British Tv Drama

This is a British TV drama about a group of teenagers going through life’s ups and downs. I used to watch it a teenager, but never finished it as I am hopeless at keeping up to date with TV and there wasn’t iplayer back then, so once you missed it, you missed it. I tried to find it gain a couple of years ago on Youtube, but only the first 2 series were on there. I am off work recovering from knee surgery, so I had another look and found all 4 series. Thats how I have spent my time.

as if group

It is a great show and really gritty, dealing with difficult subjects that weren’t covered before. There is humour to it as well, so it’s not all doom and gloom. It’s filmed using many different techniques and it’s not afraid of being weird. Weird is good, no not good, GREAT!! Each episode is filmed from the point of view of each person. The characters are all in their late teens going through love, college, stress, fun, drinks and trying to work things out.

jamie collierWe have Jamie who is the group clown ,with a heart of gold, who makes mistake after mistake, loves deeply and loyally, but is always there when needed.

sooz 1 sooz 2There is Sooz who is best friends with Jamie who is an art student, full of self doubt and has bouts of depression. She is different to the rest and wants to be different, but doesn’t know why? Or how? She is pretty mixed up, but her friendship with Jamie although has it’s ups and downs remains steadfast. She is my fave character and it was brilliant that depression was covered because it’s major issue and sadly a killer.

alexThere is Alex who is gay and has always known it. His friends have known for a long time, without issue, but his parents have no idea. He struggles to hold down relationships, but is the voice of reason for many, pointing out what they should do when they get into a mess, which they often do.

nikkiNikki is the rich kid, posh girl who is a complete mess. She has issues with her parents and sleeps with anyone and everyone. She never quite gets a relationship together until the end. Her relationship with Sasha is tempestuous and leads to many bust ups.

sashaSasha is the brat of the clan and will trample on everyone to get her way. She is materialistic and vain. She can be your friend one minute when she needs you, but drop you when it suits. She never really does improve although there are brief moments of humanity.

robRob is probably the weakest character and is a bit wishy-washy when it comes to women, he doesn’t know what he wants? When he has it, he messes it up. He has a bad relationship with his father which often turns out violent. This makes the struggle to build a relationship, that much harder.

The series covers topics like depression, suicide, drugs, debt, affairs, abuse. Would you see a group of people like this in real life? Maybe? I don’t have friends like that. This is a TV program that wants to send out a message, which means that a small group have to go through a lot of turmoil and happiness to get the message across. It does this brilliantly and I think there should be more shows like this now. Maybe there are? There are lots of tears, smiles, laughs throughout. The acting is brilliant although this group haven’t really gone on to do much more. You don’t have to be a teenager to enjoy it because as an adult the same problems exist.

The way it is filmed is original and I love the way each character has there say as if they are talking to you from the screen. I think people going through the same problems would have a character to relate to. I’m not sure if it is on dvd? But I would love to get it.

9/10

Some Theory

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The Theory of Everything

Some Theory

 

Motor Neuron disease has had a big impact on my family particularly my Grandmother, Aunt and my cousins, sadly because my uncle died due to the disease. I’m not going to go into that because it’s not for me tell, but it did give me an understanding of the disease first hand and it makes the story of Stephen Hawking that more miraculous to me. I’m not sure of the scientific facts behind his continued existence under the disease, but someone stated that they thought it was because he has great reason to live and his power is in the mind not the body, but then he wasn’t given much chance to test that theory because he was able bodied for such a relatively short period. That being said, I think there must be many that have a mind that they could continue to exercise and yet they still die. I can’t speak about how a person feels with the disease because I do not know? But it’s an interesting theory.

Stephen Hawking is lauded as a genius of science who changed the way many people think about the world we live in. I have to take peoples word on that because with my feeble mind I have no idea of how all those symbols explain time and everything around us. I have no idea what it all means? It’s fortunate that you do not have to, to watch this film. In fact you do not need to know much about Stephen Hawking at all to enjoy this film because it is more about his and his family’s, struggles with the disease, particularly his wife.

The film starts out at Oxford where we see a young Stephen, who lives a chaotic life and is the archetypal eccentric genius. He is not particularly hardworking and leaves everything to the last minute, but then he has no need to rush because he deciphers things so quickly. He meets and falls for Jane and before he really gains notice he is diagnosed with Motor neuron disease, giving him only a few years to live. He shuts Jane out not wanting to be a burden on her and hoping to set her free. She is a fighter and wants to fight the disease with him of course not really knowing what lies ahead and that the battle will be a long and painful one. They marry and Stephen defies doctors and continues to live on and work on his theory and then of course work on disproving his theory. We see how Jane takes on everything and struggles to cope, where as Stephen despite the illness lives quite a care free life playing with the children and working on his theory. Jane takes on everything, looking after the house, the children and Stephen. She does this because she loves him deeply. She soon has to deal with his fame and the adoration he receives while she is stuck at home. She is no dunce herself of course and is very intelligent, but it is hard for her to continue her education.

She soon develops feelings for a man that works with the family and helps look after Stephen and an arrangement is made. A new carer is brought in and Stephen too develops feelings leading to the breakup of the marriage. This being said the film does seem to make Jane out to be the bad guy. This seems unfair as it would be hard for anyone to cope with a life like this. She doesn’t walk away and continues to stand by Stephen, but he moves on. I think this caused a great deal of problems for them up until recently.

The performances from both Eddie Reymayne and Felicity Jones are brilliant and really make this a brilliant film although I believe it is not wholly accurate. For Eddie to take on the role was very brave and to take on the disease was also quite courageous. It must have been extremely uncomfortable and very hard to show the emotions when you can barely move. I think he is a sure bet for the Oscars and rightly so. He makes a good film and a good script into an amazing triumph. Felicity is brilliant as Jane, even applauded by the lady herself who couldn’t believe that it wasn’t herself on screen. That has to be better than any award Felicity may or may not receive. I thoroughly enjoyed the film having not read the book it’s based on. I think there have been a number of criticisms of how accurate the film is, but I can’t judge the film on this. I think the performances are better than the film itself, but still this is a must see.

the theory

 

8/10

Patriotic Aim

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Patriotic Aim

American Sniper

I’m not going political on this film because I would rather look at it as a film rather than propaganda as it has been labelled. I am an Englishman who is not at all patriotic and one that did not agree with the war in Iraq or in Afghanistan and I could go on and on about my feeling regarding the subject, but I don’t want to in this case. I want to look at the film itself and the performances of actors and director.

I think the political element and the promotion the film has had has propelled a good film way above what it should be. This is where the Oscars I believe have their own slant and agenda on things and will push a film when it suits them. I think this is the case for American Sniper because I wasn’t it biggest fan. When I watch a film about a person I want to know about that person, how they feel, think and what effects their lives. My opinion would be different from Chris kyles (American Sniper) in reference to the war, but I feel the film gave him a disservice. He is portrayed as a war hero and not much more and I think there could have been a greater concentration on his life. His wife barely features and it really doesn’t look at how she coped as a soldier’s wife. There is too much on the war and no real depth to the film, so I cannot understand how this could be used as propaganda? I also imagine that when you are fighting someone that you aren’t necessarily going to like them? You’re not going call them nice things? War is not always elegant and is often brutal, so I think too much has been said about the language used. There is no point making a film and covering over the cracks so as not to offend people.

The film is based on a soldier, kyle who finished 4 tours as the best sniper in war history. Between the tours there are segments of home life where he struggles to cope and feels he is still back fighting. As I said before there is hardly any footage of this. I think particularly as PTSD is not very well understood and the effects on a person and their family can be enormous, this should have been given greater time. The film doesn’t really show the soldiers human side. It rushes through life after war and doesn’t really show how the man got over the war and who he helped. In reality the film didn’t need to based on a particular soldier because as I have said before there is very little depth. I think if you make a film about a true life person you owe a lot to them and their family to portray them right and cover their life. This film tries to get through that as quickly as possible, which is a shame.

The direction and coverage of war is brilliant and well worked. You feel the tension and feel that you are there. You are part of the decision making and the emotion on whether to shoot or hold back. As a sniper you cannot afford to be wrong and that pressure is portrayed brilliantly by Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper. I think Cooper did brilliantly with what he had, but he was done a disservice by the script outside of war where he could really show his skills. I cannot criticize the war footage because it is well made and beautifully shot and this is the films strength. I need more from a film and not being patriotic makes it hard for me to relate too. Kyle is not a person I can agree with in terms of their views, but maybe I could had I known about their life beyond war? I like to reiterate that some viewers wont need this and would love the film. Does it deserve Oscar nominations? No! It’s not a great film. There have been far better films and performances in the last year. I think it’s the topic that has received the Oscars rather than the film itself.

I love writing blogs because it’s all down to your own opinion and others will agree and disagree. I am an Englishman writing about an American soldier, which means my opinion will be completely different from an American standpoint. I would love to know other peoples thoughts on this? Particularly the film more than the subject.

american sniper

6/10