Friday, 27 May 2011

27/05/11 - Modern music

I’m aware that I sound old and crotchety, but my word, there’s a lot of crap music around these days. This is nothing new, of course – for as long as people have been making sounds to entertain one another, some have always been more credible than others – but a maelstrom of ineffable laziness appears to have pervaded the hit parade, and I think it’s high time something was done about it.

There’s one song in particular at the moment that really latches onto the capra aegagrus hircus, and that’s a track named ‘Finish Line’ by an asinine identikit pop-tart named Yasmin. As far as I can tell, this is nothing more than a cross between Busted’s ‘Year 3000’ and Jamiroquai’s ‘Virtual Insanity’, with some incongruous chap saying ‘finish line’ in a deep voice at random points throughout the song. I mean, come on now... what price originality? It’s understandable that one might accidentally adopt a similar structure to an existing song (see The Flaming Lips’ lovely ‘Fight Test’, which was so inadvertently similar to Cat Stevens’ ‘Father & Son’ that the latter receives royalties for the work of the former) but really, she’s just stolen two songs and smooshed them together. It’s vacuous, inconsequential shit.

I used to be incredibly snobby about music. (More so than I’m being now, I mean.) I started to collect rarities and stuff in my teens in the mid-nineties, and my record collection is embarrassingly broad now. This made me act like the guys in High Fidelity, harshly judging anyone who I considered to have inferior musical taste. Three things have led me to mellow my views in recent years, however. One: the realisation that throwaway pop music isn’t inherently wrong. Two: the fact that I have no discernible musical talent of any kind, and can’t play a single instrument. (Even tinkling a triangle presents issues.) Three: well, it’s just sounds, isn’t it? Who am I to say that one series of sonic resonances is ‘better’ than another?
So, where I used to decry the charts for their leaning toward music I thought was shit, now I’m more annoyed by the cynical laziness of modern music. And I’ll tell you who really sums up the way I feel: The Black Eyed Peas.

My fundamental issue with The Black Eyed Peas is that they’re really, really fucking shit. But this isn’t just because I personally dislike their music; no, I despise their bare-faced lack of imagination. I might be over-egging it, but it feels like all of their recent singles have centred around a sample of some dodgy disco staple from the eighties or nineties. (I haven’t thoroughly researched this because, quite frankly, the thought of Googling them fills me with cold dread. If I learn anything more about them, it might over-write something genuinely useful from my brain. I know that will.i.am [oh, how agonisingly pretentious is that name?] is desperate for the press to think he’s boning Cheryl Cole even though he’s in an LTR with someone else, and I know that Fergie pissed herself on stage once. That’s all I need to know. Oh, and the internet would have us believe that the multi-racial group are in fact Brangelina’s kids sent back from the future.)
I just hate everything they stand for. The sound of their bilge makes me want to punch things.

...and this is true of a lot of modern music. Look at this week’s top ten: we’ve got two songs by Lady Gaga (don’t even get me started on that nauseating prick), one from famous wife-beater Chris Brown – it’s OK though, America seems to have forgotten that he was convicted for pulping Rihanna’s face, so you can buy his godawful music guilt-free if you so wish; crimes apparently don’t count if the press forget about them - some crap cod-nineties dancey thing by the appallingly-named LMFAO (ummm! The ‘F’ stands for ‘fuck’! They’re so naughty!), a loathsome dirge from Bruno Mars (YouTube the video, it sucks), a shit David Guetta thing, a shit David Guetta remix of a Snoop Dogg track, a shockingly poor number one from Pitbull, a Jennifer Lopez track that features Pitbull and a super-clichéd piece of crap from Aloe Blacc. Whoever that is.
How disappointing is that? I remember when I was a kid – i.e. when I actually gave a toss about the top ten – it was usually predominantly dross in the charts, but there was always something to be enjoyed; it was more representative of music as a whole, rather than just being cheesy dance, clichéd pop or pseudo-thuggish R‘n’B and nothing else. (And I’m not at all happy about the annexing of the name ‘R‘n’B’ either – it stands for ‘rhythm and blues’, it should refer to Sam Cooke, Elvis, the Stones, not fucking Usher. But that’s another issue.) Look back to this date twenty years ago and, yes, there’s some crap in the top ten (Cher, Cathy Dennis), but there’s also Blur, the KLF, Electronic and, er, Chesney Hawkes. So there.

Maybe there’s less good music in the charts these days because there’s less good music around full-stop. Back in my obsessive CD-gathering days (when, admittedly, I very rarely bought anything that was in the charts, because the central tenet of musical snobbery is to listen to bands that nobody’s heard of, deride people for not having heard of them, then curse the bands for selling out when they go mainstream), I used to buy three or four new albums a week. I’ve just been totting up the number of new albums I’ve bought this year as a whole, and I’m pretty sure I can count them on one hand. I’ve bought a lot of old CDs and records this year, sure, but brand-new releases? Let me think... there have been new albums by Foo Fighters, Panic At The Disco, The Pigeon Detectives... actually, I think that might be it. No, I didn’t buy the latest Radiohead album. I preferred it when they used to write actual songs.

Sod it, I don’t care. I think I’ve reached a ripe enough age that I can comfortably ignore new music from now on. If bands that I already like release new albums then I’ll buy them, but otherwise I should probably just focus on completing my collections of albums by bands from days of yore. Did you know The Beatles released twelve albums? I’ve only got four of them, and that’s just wrong. Iron Maiden have thus far released fifteen albums, of which I have five. There are twenty-one Rolling Stones studio LPs, and I’ve only managed to accrue thirteen of them. How many CDs do I have by Hendrix or The Who? Just one apiece. I don't have Nirvana's 'With The Lights Out'. So you can keep your bleepy, twiddly new music... I’ve got some work to do. In the past.

A cinematic proposal

Really rather sweet, this.

Modern Warfare 3: Fuck Yeah!

MW3 + Team America = awesome.

Literally Unbelievable

In general, people are fucking stupid. And to prove this sweeping allegation, here's a blog that chronicles the cretins that take stories from The Onion at face value - click here. Priceless.





This advert really sucks

*buddum tish*

Hi-res Madrid

Time for another super-hi-res zoomable panorama - this time it's in Madrid. Click the image to have a go.

森の木琴 - plinky-plunky woodphone

Colourful Depression

Click here for some amazing colour photos of Great Depression-era America.









Obscene-o-phone

Incredible. Want.

Cooking for Assholes

The thing about Gordon Ramsay's sweary abuse is that it isn't really credible. Sure, he effs and blinds like a docker, but it's just a character isn't it? You want to learn how to cook whilst feeling ashamed about your embarrassing lack of ability? You need Cooking for Assholes. This dude holds you in utter contempt. Click here.

Half in the Bag: The Zookeeper

Now, this is how you review a movie...

Journey of a Tampon

An ad written by a comedian and roundly rejected by all. Brilliant.

Dagenham - 'The Pool'

Lovely little thing from Nike - closing-down swimming pool transformed into epic BMX park.

The Pool - The Full Story from Nike 6.0 on Vimeo.

The fallibility of cyclists

They don't stop at traffic lights or zebra crossings, they think it's acceptable to ride on the pavement and shout at pedestrians for being 'in the way', and - look! - they think they can't be killed.

Hipster Trash Compactor - East London from jssjmsvckry on Vimeo.

Friday, 20 May 2011

20/05/11 - Falling from grace

Celebrity is a strange beast in the twenty-first century. While there will always be airtime and column inches for people who’ve earned the public’s respect through a strong body of work that stretches back across the decades (Hugh Laurie, Helen Mirren, Sir David Attenborough), and equally for those who’ve blipped onto the radar relatively recently, showing impressive promise (Simon Bird, Atticus Shaffer, er, that hair-flicking woman from Homes Under The Hammer), the prime-time slots continue to be doled out to those hapless cretins that are famous simply for being famous. Jack Tweed. Peaches Geldof. Kevin Federline. Snooki. We shouldn’t even know these people’s names, let alone have to look at them all the time.

But the convoluted layers of celebrity are not what concerns JuicyPips this week. No, today we’re looking at the, um... what’s the opposite of a Holy Grail? A cursed saucer? A damned spatula? Yes, let’s go with that. Today we’re looking at the damned spatula of celebrity: the public fall from grace. (And to spare the blushes of the ladies, we’re only looking at chaps who’ve disgraced themselves. Britney fans exhale in relief.)

Angus Deayton
He’s a true polymath, this one, being not only a presenter but also actor, musician, comedian and writer. For as far back as my childhood memories stretch, he was the face of Have I Got News For You. And while HIGNFY limps along with a random selection of guests presenters cherrypicked from the comedy pool of ‘I was available on the night...’, it’s not quite the same without scathing, chucklesome old Angus. So what went wrong? Why, after having presented the show from 1990-2002, was he unceremoniously booted out?
Well, the News of the World published allegations that he’d done a bit of cocaine and had sex with a prostitute or two. And it turned out to be true. A celebrity, interested in coke and shagging? Surely not! BAN THIS SICK FILTH!

Richard Bacon
Bacon used to present Blue Peter when I was about fifteen - too old to actually watch it, but young enough to be aware who the Blue Peter presenters were at the time - along with Konnie Huq (who, as an aside, seemed vacuous back then, but must have something about her since Charlie Brooker saw fit to marry her). Richard was the first ever BP presenter to have their contract terminated mid-season, after allegations emerged that he’d done a bit of cocaine. Which turned out to be true. A celebrity, interested in coke? Surely not! BAN THIS SICK FILTH!
Honestly, it made the idea of Blue Peter so much more interesting when you saw the presenters as real people who go out and get fucked up, rather than picturing them spending all their free time in the Blue Peter garden clearing up Petra’s shit. Or whatever.

Michael Barrymore
Interesting one, this. Before he coined the verb ‘to Lubbock’, his career was gold-plated. He presented more shows than you can count, and was a well-loved comedian. This is something I could never get my head around, because I always thought he was fucking awful; his sense of humour seemingly absent, the lame jokes he ejaculated were derivative and unimaginative, and he was almost totally devoid of charisma. Tedious, clichéd, appalling arse-gravy. Still, what do I know?
His career was strong enough to survive coming out both as a homosexual and as an alcoholic, but took a nosedive when Stuart Lubbock was found floating dead in his swimming pool, having allegedly been drugged and bummed during a party. Not good.
Speaking of ‘not good’, every time Barrymore’s appeared on TV since has been a total embarrassment. I mean, really, really cringeworthy.
It’s totally possible that he didn’t have anything to do with Lubbock’s death, and that an unfortunate incident at his house has destroyed his career and credibility forever. But even if that’s true (and if it is, it’s very sad), he’s still a nauseating prick with a penchant for shite jokes.

Mel Gibson
Oh my God, what a mental bastard. He epitomises the Hollywood truth that it doesn’t matter how muscular a body of work you have – and his was pretty damn buff, including Mad Max, Lethal Weapon, Braveheart and many, many others - if you do something truly mental, your illustrious past will not save you.
In 2006, he was arrested for drink-driving in Malibu. (The place, not the coconut spirit. Although maybe he had been drinking that too?) A pretty awful thing to do, but not a career-killer. No, what did the damage was how he behaved under arrest. Or, more specifically, what he said. The arresting officer was Jewish, leading Mel into an agonising rant about ‘fucking Jews, the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world’. He also referred to a female officer as ‘sugartits’.
So, an anti-Semite and a sexist, in the most public possible way. How do you come back from that? By being overly vocal and pro-Jew whenever any Jew-related controversy enters the media? It's not fooling anyone, Mel. Get back to your swastika den with your antique Zyklon B canisters, freakshow.

Gary Glitter
You can get away with a lot if you’re a famous rock star. Ozzy Osbourne pissed on the Alamo. Chuck Berry committed armed robbery. Marilyn Manson stripped a deaf fan naked and covered her with meat. But being a paedophile is a no-no from which there’s no coming back.
Between 1972-95, Gary Glitter had 26 hit singles and spent 180 weeks in the UK top 100. Seven albums, fifteen greatest hits compilations and more TV appearances than you can count. And then in 1997 he took his laptop to the Cribbs Causeway branch of PC World for repairs, where they found pictures of things that should never be. It also came out that he’d been involved with a 14 year-old girl some 20 years earlier. He fled to Cambodia, then Vietnam and, to compound matters, sexually abused two girls aged 10 and 11. So, no chance of using the old ‘I don’t know how those pictures got there, I don’t really understand the internet’ excuse.
A cavalcade of awfulness then, but there was one brilliant element to this story: the BBC news footage of him being led to prison (or to the courtroom, I forget which), where you could clearly hear the crowd in the background chanting ‘Up the Gary Glitter! Up the Gary Glitter! You’re going to get it up the Gary Glitter!’

Jesus Christ
It didn’t go too well for him, did it? All he wanted to do was stroll around the desert in sandals, telling people to love his dad. Was that any reason to be nailed to a plank of wood by a troop of miffed Romans?
Well, yes. You see, he was very keen to evangelise to all and sundry about the good word of the Lord, advising people what to eat and think and believe and whatnot, but kissing Judas in that park was a big mistake. Those old-timey folks, they don’t like the gays, do they?
(It’s possible that I may have missed the point of the story...)

Richard Keys
I remember him from TV-am in the eighties. He had plasticky, immobile hair like a Duplo man. Not being into football, I had no idea he was still on the telly until the whole Keysgate scandal recently; apparently he’s been on the box the whole time, I just never clocked him because I’m not a soccer enthusiast. He must have been very good at talking about sport if he managed to stay at Sky Sports for twenty-one years.
Yet with one conversation he pissed it all up the wall. I know very little about him as a person, but I think all I need to know is encapsulated within this one comment, made to Jamie Redknapp about his ex-girlfriend: ‘If you were anywhere near it, you definitely smashed it. You could have gone round there any night and found Redknapp hanging out the back of it'. I mean, for fuck’s sake. Football PR folk must try so, so hard to convince the naysayers that it’s not all one big moronic, misogynistic boys club, and this cretin pushes their efforts back years in one fell swoop. Crass, despicable oaf.

JuicyPips
[Censored due to superinjunction.]





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Horrible Bosses - trailer

Sevilla - 111 Gigapixels

This is officially the most supermassive, superawesome photo ever taken. Or something.
Click below and see, you can zoom into the whole of Seville in obscene detail.

Farewell Chis'n'Sid

I wish I'd had the wherewithal to do something this awesome when I finished school...

Clients From Hell

'A collection of anonymously contributed client horror stories from designers.' Click here for much gobsmackery.





'People Are Awesome'

...but the soundtrack really isn't. Some impressive stuff in here though.

Urban Biscuit Myths

If there's one thing the world needs, it's a Periodic Table of Urban Biscuit Myths. Click below and let all your dreams come true...

Czech his pockets!

Czech President Vaclav Klaus on an official visit to Chile, blatantly stealing a very expensive pen in full view of everyone. Cheeky bastard.

Toilet roll art

This presumably requires very steady hands...



Sci-fi IKEA manuals

Lovely idea, this. Click the image for more.

Tube etiquette

I can't say for sure, but I suspect that this kind of behaviour may generally be considered odd.

If the world were a village of 100 people...

Some interesting infographics here - click the image to see.

Stride - 'Urn' ad

So wrong it's right.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

12/05/11 - Friday 13th

We’re very lucky this week, because we get to celebrate Friday the 13th. Spurn the friggatriskaidekaphobes (look it up) and rejoice in the fact that we’re experiencing a day/date combo that only occurs, ooh, a couple of times a year, maybe. Or more. Or less. Or something. Friday 13th fans will know, of course, that you’re guaranteed to get one if the month starts with a Sunday. Something to look out for.

So, why is this date commonly perceived as being sinister and scary? Well, the Friday the 13th movie franchise has a lot to answer for. There are twelve of these films (if you read last week’s JuicyPips, you won’t be astonished to learn that I haven’t seen a single one of them), which I guess means that they’re building up to a massive Friday the 13th Part 13, presumably to debut on a Friday. Imagine that.
A brief Googling tells me that the third film was called ‘Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter’, which is kind of misleading. Like ‘The Neverending Story’, which definitely ended. But anyway, it all centres around a kid called Jason who drowned, but maybe he didn’t, and loads of people get killed either by him or to avenge him, or just to be tangentially connected to him. All sounds like bollocks really.

But this doesn’t explain why folk generally associate this date with black cats, walking under ladders, stepping on three drain covers in a row and a cornucopia of other common superstitions. I mean, we’re not all scared that Jason Voorhees (who’s the character from the movies, I Googled it) is going to come to our houses and stab our faces off. So what is there to be afraid of?
Folklorists claim that there’s no evidence of any sinister implications attaching themselves to this date before the nineteenth century. However, it makes sense that people might start to put two and two together (or thirteen and five [or six], depending which way you look at it), given that thirteen and Friday have both traditionally been pegged as unlucky; in the case of the former, numerologists see twelve as being the number of completeness – there are twelve hours on the clock, twelve months in the year, twelve Apostles of Jesus, twelve gods of Olympus and so on – while a Norse myth suggested that if thirteen people were present at the dinner table, one would definitely die. For the latter, well, Jesus was crucified on a Friday, ‘Black Friday’ refers to any number of shitty pre-weekend catastrophes (including the 1869 Fisk-Gould Scandal, the 1978 massacre of protestors in Iran, the 1945 Warner Bros. Studio riot and many others), and of course there’s that godawful Rebecca Black song.
There’s a theory to suggest that the superstition is linked to the Knights Templar, but given that this was popularised in the terrible ‘The Da Vinci Code’ (which features a definite article followed by a preposition in the title, so you can imagine how shit the rest of it is) I shan’t be wasting any time on that.

Whatever the causes, it’s certainly a problem that needs addressing. A figure I stumbled across in researching this suggests that between 17m-21m people in the US alone are ‘affected by a fear of this day’, a nicely ambiguous statement – I mean, how do you define ‘affected’? – but highlighting the very real economic impacts of people refusing to fly or drive or even go to the shops for fear of something karmically untoward happening. Statistically, according to insurance companies, slightly fewer accidents occur on Friday 13th, presumably because superstitious mentals (i.e. the sort of wacky daydreamers that tend to wander out into the road or knock over displays of bean tins in the supermarket anyway) are being slightly more careful, although it’s rather harder to quantify the long-term damage done to the hearts and nervous systems of these hapless cretins by the extra stress that the day brings on, what with them extravagantly shitting themselves every time the phone rings and so forth. So that’s a pretty tricky area to pin down too.

What have we learnt here? That it’s not entirely clear why people are so afraid of Friday 13th, and we’re equally unclear what any of this really means. Well, I hope you’ve found this informative...

Star Wars at warp speed

Oops. Mixed my space references there. Sorry. Watch this awesome video, it'll make you feel better.

What's Osama Bin Watchin'?

Another peachy slice of genius pie from Tom Scott. Click below to make Osama watch anything you want...

San Francisco in toothpicks

This man has spent 35 years building a replica of bits of San Francisco out of toothpicks. I mean, it's amazing, but... thirty-five years?

Don Cherry: Jacketwatch

I know nothing about Canadian ice hockey, but I've found a new hero in Don Cherry. The colours, children!
Click here. It'll blow your mind.







Jonny Mizzone's flying fingers

This kid is eight years old. EIGHT! Talented bastard.

Hide the Bible

A fun little game to play next time you're staying in a hotel. Click the image for more info...

Mario on Ice

...as in 'Super Mario Bros, as interpreted by ice-skaters', rather than 'Super Mario on crystal meth'. Although, actually, it could be both.

UnWhiteMe

Does the sight of a plain white screen unsettle you? Click below and do something about it.

Gaga vs Sonic

I hate Lady Gaga a little less now I can see the retro roots of her music. Actually, no, scratch that - she's a nineties Sega thief!

Visit scenic Ballisodare!

It's like a cross between Grand Designs and Homes Under The Hammer. Click here.



Stewart Lee presents... Kevin Eldon

Brilliant squared.

Ad of the week - Russian Facebook Roulette

How long before Facebook take exception to this and crush it like they did with the Burger King Whopper Sacrifice?

Friday, 6 May 2011

06/05/11 - I *have* seen Star Wars...

If there’s one social faux pas that no-one will ever escape from, it’s admitting to not having seen a film that most people assume has been seen by everyone.
What made me think of this? Well, this week it was Star Wars Day; Wednesday was the 4th of May. As in ‘May the 4th be with you’. Obviously I’m not saying I haven’t seen the Star Wars movies. Everyone has...

...you see, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. It’s easy to say that everyone’s seen Star Wars, but there’s constant enjoyment to be had from poking fun at people who have no idea what you’re doing when you shout ‘it’s a trap!’ or make a noise like a TIE fighter. The word ‘constant’ there is key – you will always be able to find someone that hasn’t seen all of (or indeed any of) the Star Wars films. Being mocked for this is something they have to endure, and we ridicule them in the knowledge that we all have our secrets, and that sooner or later we will be made to suffer for the paucity of our own cultural education.
A few weeks ago I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off for the first time. I’d managed to go a quarter of a century without getting round to it, but I’m glad I did. It was superb. You should have heard the reaction when I admitted to it though! No-one could get their heads around what the fuck I can have been thinking in not seeing it; my life must surely have been somewhat less rich and textured for having missed this vital nugget of popular culture. (To an extent, they’re right – it explains countless vignettes and asides in Family Guy, for instance.)
Exactly the same thing happened last year when I watched Rain Man and Wall Street. They made a lot of things make sense, but people’s jaws dropped when I admitted to being such an embarrassing cultural hermit. The shame of it.

Now, I’m not saying that there’s a vast number of seminal, pivotal or important films that I haven’t seen. Quite the opposite, in fact – I consider myself to be something of a film buff in my own pretentious and misguided way, having studied cinema as part of my degree. Ask me anything about early Hollywood film noir, German expressionist cinema or Soviet pictures of the forties. (Actually, fuck, don’t do that. It was a long time ago, I can’t remember a thing. Although I did thoroughly enjoy The Maltese Falcon and Invasion of the Body Snatchers; Nosferatu and Кубанские казаки – not so much.) But here are some movies I haven’t seen which I probably should have...

Schindler’s List
Not sure why I never got round to this. I mean, I love Nazis. (Not like that. I enjoy films that accurately and sensitively portray the atrocities, blah blah etc.) I’m in no doubt that I’d like it; I enjoy bold cinematography, and a heart-wrenching plot grounded in solid fact can’t fail to be compelling. But I was only eleven when it came out so obviously I didn’t see it at the cinema, and I just haven’t been in the right place at the right time in the following eighteen years. Sorry.

Gone With The Wind
I’ve seen bits of it. How could I not? It’s always on telly, and the ‘frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn’ bit is endlessly reeled out for clip shows. I just can’t be arsed to plough through the whole thing; at least, that’s how I felt right up until I bothered to read the plot synopsis on Wikipedia just now. It actually sounds quite good.

Inception
Interestingly, this seems to be the film that people say ‘ohmygodohmygodohmygod, how have you not seen that?’ more than any other. What’s more annoying is that they will always – always – then say ‘well, you should really have seen it at the cinema, it won’t be anywhere near as good on the small screen’. Well, thanks a fucking bunch.
Yes, it looks good and yes, I do want to see it, I just haven’t yet, alright? Geez.
I’d ask to borrow it from you on DVD or Blu-Ray if I weren’t concerned that you’d chastise me for not having a television the size of a cinema screen with which to fully do the special effects justice.
When I do watch it, I certainly won’t be telling anyone that I’ve done so. I DIDN’T WATCH INCEPTION AT THE CINEMA, OK? STOP JUDGING ME.

Citizen Kane
This often appears in the top slot in lists of ‘the best films of all time’ and suchlike. The original posters were plastered with slogans like ‘everybody’s talking about it’ and ‘it’s terrific’. I’m peripherally aware of what goes on – it explains much of the early Simpsons episode ‘Rosebud’ – but, in fact, I haven’t seen any Orson Welles movies. Not a single one. (Although I have seen the 1975 made-for-TV movie The Night That Panicked America, about Welles’ radio dramatisation of The War of the Worlds, which is close enough.)

Blade Runner
Nope, haven’t seen this either. Is it about robots or something? I need to get round to seeing it at some point in the next eight years as, being set in 2019, I’ll presumably need to be prepared in case whatever it is that happens in Blade Runner comes true.

Heat
...by which I mean the one with De Niro, Pacino and Kilmer, rather than the 2006 Russian comedy of the same name, or indeed the 1986 Burt Reynolds movie (although I haven’t seen those either).
Let me guess – some kind of villainy takes place with plenty of shootings and prodigious use of the work ‘fuck’?

RoboCop
What, so he’s a policeman who’s also a robot from the eighties? That sounds shit.

Psycho
Yeah, yeah, I know. Woman gets stabbed up in the shower in Bates Motel. Is it really any good though, or will it just be a massive ‘oh, I’m sure it was shocking at the time...’ disappointment like The Exorcist was?

Close Encounters of the Third Kind
I know nothing about this film. Should I?

Carrie
I really should have seen this by now. The thing is, the longer I leave it, the crapper I’m worried it’ll seem. The supernatural creepiness of the plot should be enough to carry the gist of what’s going on, but I’m just concerned about my inability to watch seventies horror without subconsciously drawing Troma comparisons. (Incidentally, are you familiar with Troma? Worth viewing for the titles alone – Rabid Grannies, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, Stuff Stephanie in the Incinerator, Surf Nazis Must Die, Killer Condom... inspired.)

Raising Arizona
It’s only my own laziness that’s stopped me watching this. I love the Coen Brothers. This is supposed to be a brilliant movie, and is well-loved by the critics. I own this film on DVD, and it’s sat untouched on the shelf for over a year. WHY HAVEN’T I WATCHED THIS YET?!
Maybe I’ll watch it tonight.
Probably won’t actually get round to it though.

Miller’s Crossing
See above.

The French Connection
I’m led to believe that this contains a rather kickass car chase, as well as being generally excellent on all levels. It’s one of those films that’s on TV pretty frequently, which always makes me think ‘it’ll be on again soon... what else is on?’, and that’s pretty dumb of me. I’d like to see it. As long as there isn’t something better on the other side.

Point Break
It really infuriates my wife that I haven’t seen this, because she loves it. I think I might be over-Keanued; much as I enjoyed The Matrix, the Bill & Ted movies, Speed and Parenthood, he is fundamentally a pretty terrible actor. I just don’t think I’ve got the stamina to watch him being a surfer dude with a gun. I think it might be annoying.

Pan’s Labyrinth
It just looks shite.

Downfall
Like I said before, I love Nazis. (Again, not like that, etc). But the ubiquity of the Downfall/Hitler Reacts To [x] meme – if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ve clearly never used the internet – means that I don’t feel that I need to see it. YouTube ‘comedians’ have killed it.

Good Morning Vietnam
I’m sure it’s good, but I just really fucking hate Robin Williams. There are plenty of other Vietnam movies out there – why watch the one with the self-satisfied goon spoiling things?

The Breakfast Club
I’m pretty sure I could relate to this one. I spent a lot of my youth in detention. And Futurama’s Bender is named after one of the characters, John Bender. I love Futurama.

Groundhog Day
If I understand the basic principle that this film centres around, do I actually need to see it? Given the number of parodies I’ve seen of it over the years, I think I’ve sort of done it. Bill Murray is a draw, obviously, but do I actually need to bother, given that it’s basically just about one quite simple theme? (These are the kind of ignorant questions that you can only ask if you haven’t seen it – I’m sure I’ll watch it one day and love it.)

Saw
I haven’t seen any of the Saw movies. There are loads of them now, aren’t there? I’ll be honest, I’m not that great with gore, so I don’t know how much I’d enjoy seeing people being brutally hacked to bits for the sake of it. Although I am pretty intrigued by the psychological headfuck involved. But if I watch one, will I then have to watch them all? Will I want to...?

Arthur
...by which I mean the original with Dudley Moore. Never seen it. But despite all the poor reviews and the I-can’t-believe-they-remade-it-ings, I went to see the new version with Russell Brand last week, and you know what? I loved it. It was hilarious, well shot and scripted, heartwarming and really rather sweet.

The Terminator
I’m not actually sure whether I’ve seen this or not. I kind of feel like I must have done, but maybe it’s just that I’ve seen Terminator 2: Judgement Day so many times that I’ve convinced myself I have. I mean, only an idiot would watch a sequel to a film they’d never seen, right?

So... actually, that thing I was saying about me being a film buff was total bollocks. Look at all those things I haven’t seen. Honestly.


Incidentally, Radio 4 fans may have noticed that the Star Wars bit earlier (and indeed much of this narrative as a whole) is thematically similar to a programme entitled ‘I’ve Never Seen Star Wars’, in which celebrities admit to things they’ve never done, much to the gobsmackery of the audience who can’t believe that Jenny Eclair has never eaten a jellied eel and so forth. Yes, this whole thing’s been a massive rip-off, but what did you expect? There have been a lot of bank holidays recently. I was busy. Shut your face.

What's in Spock's Scanner? Part 2

The eagerly-anticipated second installment of this unusual insight into the loneliness of space travel. A work of genius.

Stickers on the Central Line

Confusing commuters, one sticker at a time.
Click here.







Obama roasts Trump

...once again proving that he's the most kickass president ever.

Hi-res Royal Wedding

Were you on the Mall for the Royal Wedding? Click the image below and see if you can find yourself...

100 Movies, 100 Quotes, 100 Numbers

This must have taken forever to put together.

We Love 404

Error 404: Page Not Found.
Does it annoy you to stumble across that every now and then? It should. But thankfully some web designers are thoughtful enough to lighten the mood with entertaining 404 pages. And they're all getting archived by the benevolent folk at We Love 404.







Misery Bear's wedding

WTF Qs

This is exactly what the internet was designed for: asking mental questions. Click here.



Adam Buxton reads YouTube comments

Now, with a title like that you might not think this video would be that interesting. But it really, really is worth it. Trust me.

IKEA Hackers

Ingenious ways to customise budget furniture - click here.
I particularly like this coffee table...



Slo-mo gelatin drop

Who'd have thought this would be so compelling? Gelatin cubes dropped onto a hard surface, filmed at 6,200 frames per second and replayed in slow motion. Marvellous.

Miniature Urban Sculptures

One can assume from his work that Alan Wolfson has very steady hands and admirable patience. His miniature urban sculptures are really quite impressive - click here to see.







Online cow visits real farm

A lovely thing from The National Trust to promote their new MyFarm initiative.

Mail Rail

A wonderful bit of urban exploration here, sneaking into the Royal Mail's defunct Mail Rail service beneath London. It's like the Tube, but just for letters...
Click here for the full story.