Tag Archives: top 10

10 Once great actors whose careers have gone into decline

Whether it’s because of personal problems, bad film choices, laziness or possibly an over-estimation of their talent level in the first place we all know actors who once had a brilliant career but seem to have squandered their potential. Here are ten of the ones I have found the most disappointing. Read more…

10 Directors who influenced my view of the world

A while ago someone did a post on 10 directors who changed their view of the world… or something like that. I can’t find the post or remember who it was… because I am crap but I really liked the post and I wanted to do one for myself. I have to admit that I only started really noticing directors relatively recently and having not had any kind of education in film studies I operate pretty much on instinct alone. That means my choices are potentially a bit different from what people might expect and also don’t necessarily include a lot of directors that are considered to be classically great. And you’ll also soon realise that I am a big fan of aesthetics. But here goes anyway and if you were the person who did the original post and read this please do tell me so that I can give you a credit and link. Read more…

10 Game of Thrones Characters that have disappeared into thin air

With season five of Game of Thrones now behind us I have gotten to thinking about some characters who appear to have simply vanished. I realise JRR Martin has chucked about a billion characters into the mix and we can’t stick with all of them but some of these are quite major players whose fates remain a mystery to us. Are they lost forever or will they reappear in season six? I guess only time will tell… but please remember before you read any further. Here be…

Spoilers Read more…

10 great LGBT TV characters

This week is Pride Week in London, celebrating the achievements and providing a platform for the whole local LGBT . community. Every year the Pride activities culminate in a parade through London’s West End and it’s an amazingly colourful, vibrant and moving thing to behold and join in on whether you’re a member of the community or not. While many laws around the LGBT community have changed and are changing there are still a lot of social norms that need to change to provide genuine lived equality. Personally I think one of television and films’ most powerful positives is its ability to expose people to things they might not be used to and normalise them. While 20 years ago LGBT characters where almost unheard of more and more strong and interesting characters are making their way onto our screens and I’d like to believe that that’s had a lot of influence over changing attitudes. With that in mind and to show my support I bring you 10 great LGBT TV characters. Read more…

10 Great TV dads

Last month we had great TV moms in honour of mother’s day so of course today we’re honouring all the amazing dads out there on father’s day with a post about great TV dads. I am lucky to have two awesome dads in my life – my own father, Jules and my father-in-law, Alan who are both great role models while also being an enormous amount of fun. Happy father’s day to both of you and all the other great dads out there. Read more…

10 Excellent ginger actresses

After my post a couple of weeks ago about excellent ginger actors, I got a request from Vinnieh for a similar actress post. Fortunately there are plenty of excellent ginger actresses because, like I mentioned before, gingers are cool so here are my favourites. Read more…

10 Excellent ginger actors

In the past I have highlighted my favourite blue eyed actors and my favourite brown eyed actors but this time I am going a bit more controversial with m y favourite red-headed actors. For some reason the world seems to think that men with red-hair are somehow less cool. Personally I say bollocks to that (and not just because I dye my own hair red). I think red hair symbolises passion and fire and who doesn’t want that? From strawberry blonde to deep auburn red rocks, I love a bit of ginge… especially on these guys. Read more…

10 Great Road Trip movies

Having grown up in a large country with vast interior and a very limited public transport system, the road trip was a mainstay of my life from when I was very small. My grandparents lived at the seaside ten hours drive from my home town Johannesburg, which meant the whole family made the trip by car at least once a year. I applaud my parents for doing this since a car journey of that length (especially in our Renault 5 in the 80’s – a car no larger than a Fiat Punto) can’t have been that much fun with two kids under five. When I got older I went on numerous holidays with friends that involved a road trip on the way there and on the way back. Even now although I don’t drive myself, the idea of hopping into a car and heading out into the open road is something that fills me with a little frisson of excitement. I don’t think I am the only one since the road trip movie is a bit of a Hollywood staple. Here are some that I love.

Beavis and ButtheadBeavis and Butt-Head do America (1996)

Read more…

My top 10 Drag Race Queens

So tomorrow is the season premier of what is possibly the greatest show ever made, RuPaul’s Drag Race. I only discovered this incredible reality show about three months ago but I am already on my second viewing of the first six seasons. I am not sure what it is about watching a group of fieeeeeeeeerce drag queens compete against each other that is so fabulous but it just is and it’s reminded me that I really kind of wish that I could be a drag queen – curse actually being born as a woman instead of getting to be a man dressed as a woman. Anyway not all queens are created equal and these are my most loved from the six seasons so far.

Yara Sofia

Yara Sofia
Season: 3
Placed: 4th
This little Puerto Rican pocket rocket is as mad as a bag of frogs and as fishy as well a kettle of fish!
Catchphrase: Echa pa’lante!

Sharon NeedlesSharon Needles
Season: 4
Placed: Won
Sharon took flack from some of the other girls for being too, weird and out there but I loved her unique take on drag.
Catchphrase: When in doubt, freak ’em out.
“I have ‘dignity’ looks and ‘paycheck’ looks. Dignity is when I will not bend, for anyone. I don’t care if I make a dollar, I’m doin what I’m doin. Then there’s times the electric’s about to shut off so I dress up like Lady GaGa.”

Shangela

Shangela Laquifa Wadley
Season: 2/3
Placed: Last (season 2), 6th (season 3)
Shangela crashed and burned in season 2 but she came back and proved everyone wrong in season 3.
Catchphrase: Halleloo!
“They attacked me with knives. I don’t attack with knives. I attack with strategy.”

Raven

Raven
Season: 2
Placed: Second
Raven is as cool as a cucumber and takes no shit from anybody.
“I think I can sell ice to an Eskimo, but, not dressed as a fucking chicken.”

Manila Luzon

Manila Luzon
Season: 3
Placed: Second
I  loved Manila’s zany comedy and her willingness to push the envelope.
Catchphrase: WERK!
“Oh, I’m so glad you covered up your face.”

Latrice Royale

Latrice Royale
Season: 4
Placed: 4th
This ex-con is the last person you’d ever imagine would look good in a dress but damn she was fierce!
Catchphrase: Eat it!
“She is large and in charge, chunky, yet funky. Bold and Beautiful baby.”

Jujubee

Jujubee
Season: 2
Placed: 3rd
Jujubee was both fierce and hilarious and she always looked gorgeous.
Catchphrase: Do you catch my drift?
“Tyra, she believes she’s Beyonce. And she doesn’t want to hurt Beyonce’s feelings because somehow Beyonce pays her bills.”

Jinkx Monsoon

Jinkx Monsoon
Season: 5
Placed: Won
Jinkx was an underdog throughout but her incredible comic timing made her a force to be reckoned with and she was so damn charming.
Catchphrase: Water off a duck’s back.
“I tried to tease it but I just pissed it off”

Bianca Del Rio

Bianca Del Rio
Season: 6
Placed: Won
Bianca’s lightning quick wit meant she had the best oneliners but she also proved regularly that she had a heart of gold.
Catchphrase: Baloney!
“Calm Down, Beyonce!

Adore_Delano_fave

Adore Delano
Season: 6
Placed: 2nd
Adore was just so incredibly cute and dumb and vulnerable. I just wanted to hug her all the time.
Catchphrase: Party!
“I’m from Azusa. I’ll stab a bitch.”

My top 10 Oscar best picture winners

Since the 87th Academy Awards are just around the corner I’ve decided it’s time to catch Oscar fever and do some awards related lists. I’m starting with my favourite films that have been awarded the title of best picture. I have to add a caveat here that I haven’t actually seen that many of the early award winners and that my classic movie knowledge is limited. I have also realised that in very many cases I don’t think the best picture actually won… so look out for that list too.

ea4b4096a81f31cfc4e7639712d86644

The Godfather
Year won: 1972
Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan
Producer: Albert Ruddy
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Other awards: 
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Marlon Brando
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium: Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola
“Sonny: What the hell is this?
Clemenza: It’s a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.”

Silence of the lambs

The Silence of the Lambs
Year won: 1991
Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney
Producers: Edward Saxon, Kenneth Utt, Ronald M. Bozman
Directed by: Jonathan Demme
Other awards:
Best actor in a leading role: Anthony Hopkins
Best actress in a leading role: Jodie Foster
Best director: Jonathan Demme
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published: Ted Tally
“Hannibal Lecter: A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”
SchindlerSchindler’s List
Year won: 1993
Starring: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley
Producers: Steven Spielberg, Gerald R. Molen, Branko Lustig
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Other awards:
Best director: Steven Spielberg
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published: Steven Zaillian
Best cinematography: Janusz Kaminski
Best Art Direction-Set Decoration: Allan Starski, Ewa Braun
Best film editing: Michael Kahn
Best Music, Original Score: John Williams
“Oskar Schindler: Power is when we have every justification to kill, and we don’t.
Amon Goeth: You think that’s power?
Oskar Schindler: That’s what the Emperor said. A man steals something, he’s brought in before the Emperor, he throws himself down on the ground. He begs for his life, he knows he’s going to die. And the Emperor… pardons him. This worthless man, he lets him go.
Amon Goeth: I think you are drunk.
Oskar Schindler: That’s power, Amon. That is power.”

Kramer

Kramer vs Kramer
Year won: 1979
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander
Producer: Stanley R. Jaffe
Directed by: Robert Benton
Other awards:
Best director: Robert Benton
Best actor in a leading role: Dustin Hoffman
Best actress in a leading role: Meryl Streep
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium: Robert Benton
“Billy Kramer: When’s Mommy coming back?
Ted Kramer: I dont know, Billy. Soon.
Billy Kramer: How soon?
Ted Kramer: Soon.
Billy Kramer: Will she pick me up after school?
Ted Kramer: Probably. And if she doesn’t I will.
Billy Kramer: What if you forget?
Ted Kramer: I won’t forget.
Billy Kramer: What if you get run over by a truck and get killed?
Ted Kramer: Then Mommy will pick you up.”

Departed

The Departed
Year won: 2006
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson
Producer: Graham King
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Other awards:
Best director: Martin Scorsese
Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay: William Monahan
Best Achievement in Film Editing: Thelma Schoonmaker
“Frank Costello: When you decide to be something, you can be it. That’s what they don’t tell you in the church. When I was your age they would say we can become cops, or criminals. Today, what I’m saying to you is this: when you’re facing a loaded gun, what’s the difference?”

Cuckoos nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Year won: 1975
Starring:  Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Michael Berryman
Producers: Saul Zaentz, Michael Douglas
Directed by: Milos Forman
Other awards:
Best actor in a leading role: Jack Nicholson
Best actress in a leading role: Louise Fletcher
Best director: Milos Forman
Best Writing, Screenplay Adapted From Other Material: Lawrence Hauben, Bo Goldman
“McMurphy: [about shock treatments] They was giving me ten thousand watts a day, you know, and I’m hot to trot! The next woman takes me on’s gonna light up like a pinball machine and pay off in silver dollars!”

casablanca-4

Casablanca
Year won: 1942
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid
Produced by: Hal B. Wallis
Directed by: Michael Curtiz
Other awards:
Best director: Michael Curtiz
Best Writing, Screenplay: Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch
“Rick: Who are you really, and what were you before? What did you do and what did you think, huh?
Ilsa: We said no questions.
Rick: …Here’s looking at you, kid.”

American Beauty

American Beauty
Year won: 1999
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch
Producers: Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks
Directed by: Sam Mendes
Other awards:
Best actor in a leading role: Kevin Spacey
Best director: Sam Mendes
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen: Alan Ball
Best cinematography: Conrad L. Hall
“Lester Burnham: Remember those posters that said, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”? Well, that’s true of every day but one – the day you die.”

Amadeus

Amadeus
Year won: 1985
Starring: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge
Producer: Saul Zaentz
Directed by: Milos Forman
Other awards:
Best actor in a leading role: F. Murray Abraham
Best director: Milos Forman
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium: Peter Shaffer
Best Art Direction-Set Decoration: Patrizia von Brandenstein, Karel Cerný
Best Costume Design: Theodor Pistek
Best Sound: Mark Berger, Thomas Scott, Todd Boekelheide, Christopher Newman
Best Makeup: Paul LeBlanc, Dick Smith
“Salieri: On the page it looked nothing. The beginning simple, almost comic. Just a pulse – bassoons and basset horns – like a rusty squeezebox. Then suddenly – high above it – an oboe, a single note, hanging there unwavering, till a clarinet took over and sweetened it into a phrase of such delight! This was no composition by a performing monkey! This was a music I’d never heard. Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing, it had me trembling. It seemed to me that I was hearing the very voice of God.”

12 years a slave

12 Years a Slave
Year won: 2013
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender
Producers: Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Anthony Katagas
Directed by: Steve McQueen
Other awards:
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Lupita Nyong’o
Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley
“Solomon Northup: I will not fall into despair! I will keep myself hardy until freedom is opportune!”

My top 10 flawed TV geniuses

Recently I have become a bit obsessed with The Bridge, a Swedish/Danish crime series that features a detective called Saga Noren, who may or may not have Asperger’s syndrome and is able to see connections that no one else can… but she’s also a bit of a social challenge. Watching Saga’s unusual behaviour onscreen made me think of some other genius characters I love who have… issues… and so this rather unusual list was born.

SherlockSherlock Holmes
Played by: Benedict Cumberbatch
Show: Sherlock (2010 – )
Area of genius: Photographic memory, abilities of deduction
Flaws: Using others for his own purposes, destructive behaviour when bored, reveling in any crime he finds entertaining, complete lack of tact
“Sherlock Holmes: Dear God, what is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring!”

Sheldon

Dr Sheldon Cooper
Played by: Jim Parsons
Show: The Big Bang Theory (2007 – )
Area of genius: Physics
Flaws: Seeing himself as the centre of the universe and demanding that everyone else comply
“Sheldon: But then some poor woman is going to pin her hopes on my sperm, what if she winds up with a toddler that doesn’t know if he should use an integral or a differential to solve for the area under a curve?
Leonard: I’m sure she’ll still love him.
Sheldon: I wouldn’t.” 

Seven of NineSeven of Nine
Played by: Jeri Ryan
Show: Star Trek: Voyager (1995 – 2001)
Area of genius: Astrophysics
Flaws: Relating to others, being overly literal
“B’Elanna Torres: [reading Seven’s study of her and Tom from a PADD] ‘Stardate 52647, 1400 hours: Subjects quarrel in corridor outside female’s quarters. Male returns with twelve flowering plant stems, species rosa rubifolia, effecting a cessation of hostilities. Stardate 52648, 0300 hours: Intimate relations resume.’ – How the hell do you know when we’re having intimate relations?
Seven of Nine: There is no one on deck nine, section twelve, who *doesn’t* know when you’re having intimate relations.”

Saga Noren

Saga Noren
Played by: Sofia Helin
Show: The Bridge (2011 – )
Area of genius: Making connections between events
Flaws: Saying everything that pops into her head, ignoring social norms, being overly literal
“Saga Noren: Very few women fantisise about small penises.”

ReidDr Spencer Reid
Played by: Matthew Gray Gubler
Show: Criminal Minds (2005 – )
Area of genius: Photographic memory, making connections between things
Flaws: Making connections with others, being overly literal
“Special Agent Derek Morgan: So tell me, what does keep young Dr. Reid awake at night? Wait, let me guess. Memorizing some obscure textbook? No, no, no. Working on cold fusion? No, I got it, I got it, I got it. Watching Star Trek and laughing at all the physics mistakes?
Dr. Spencer Reid: Actually, there aren’t that many scientific errors in Star Trek, especially considering how long ago it was made. There are certain improbabilities, but not that many outright errors.
Special Agent Derek Morgan: Right.”

HouseDr Gregory House
Played by: Hugh Lawrie
Show: House M.D. (2005 – 2012)
Area of genius: Medical diagnoses
Flaws: Lack of empathy for anyone, excessive drug use
“Dr. James Wilson: Your real fear is me having a good relationship.
Dr. Gregory House: Yes, it keeps me up at night. That and the Loch Ness Monster, global warming, evolution, other fictional concepts.”

FlokiFloki
Played by: Gustaf Skarsgård
Show: Vikings (2012 – )
Area of genius: Boat building and just generally being ahead of his time
Flaws: Being away with the fairies, talking in riddles, taking crazy risks.
“King Horik: Floki, you have betrayed the gods.
Floki: No, King Horik. I only betrayed you.”

 Walter whitw
Walter White
Played by: Bryan Cranston
Show: Breaking Bad (2008 – 2013)
Area of genius: Chemistry
Flaws: No knowing when to stop, egomania
“Declan: Who the hell are you?
Walter White: You know. You all know exactly who I am. Say my name.
Declan: Do what? I don’t… I don’t have a damn clue who the hell you are.
Walter White: Yeah, you do. I’m the cook. I’m the man who killed Gus Fring.
Declan: Bullshit. Cartel got Fring.
Walter White: Are you sure?
[Declan looks at Mike and Mike shakes his head]
Walter White: That’s right. Now, say my name.
Declan: [quietly] Heisenberg.
Walter White: You’re goddamn right.”

Carrie Mathison

Carrie Mathison
Played by: Clare Danes
Show: Homeland (2011 – )
Area of genius: Intuition, making connections
Flaws: Mania, general lack professionalism, not knowing when to stop
“Carrie Mathison: [Saul and Estes question the validity of an asset’s intel] It’s not lost on me why people don’t trust my judgment. Why you didn’t even want me here.
Saul Berenson: Carrie…
Carrie Mathison: It’s not fair, I know, for you to have to be the one to decide.
[Carrie starts to cry]
Carrie Mathison: It fucked me up, Saul. Being wrong about Brody, it really… it fucked me up. Because I have never been so sure… and so wrong. And it’s that fact that I still can’t get my head around. It makes me unable to trust my own thoughts. Every time I think I see something clearly now… it just disappears.
[Carrie takes a moment to calm down]
Carrie Mathison: We have a chance to get Abu Nazir.
Saul Berenson: I know you want to think that. I won’t risk American lives on a hunch.
Carrie Mathison: And I would not ask you to. I recruited her, Saul, right here in this city. And it’s been eight years. I know… I know a lot of things can change. But I helped her through an abusive domestic situation. I practically saved her life. And I remember… I remember knowing at the time… that one day… she would be ready to leave here… and when that time came, she would be on my side. Look, the… the way I am now, I wouldn’t trust me, either. But the Carrie who recruited her… that one I believe. “

Moss

Maurice Moss
Played by: Richard Ayoade
Show: The IT Crowd (2006 – 2013)
Area of genius: Inventions
Flaws: Inability to actually take care of humself, understanding social conventions
“Moss: I wanna go back to being weird. I like being weird. Weird’s all I got. That, and my sweet sweet style.” 

My top 10 most anticipated upcoming 2015 releases

So as 2014 has drawn to a cinematic close, it’s time to start looking ahead to 2015 and what movie treasures might are awaiting us. After doing a bit of research I have picked these ten as the ones I am most looking forward to. All release dates are tentative and based on US release dates and synopses are from IMDB.

Still Alice

Still Alice
Starring: Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Shane McRae
Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a devastating diagnosis, Alice and her family find their bonds tested.
Why am I excited?: I am a big Julianne Moore fan, plus the fear of losing yourself is a universal one.
What’s the danger?: It’s been called overly simple.
Release date: 16 January 2015

star wars the force awakens

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Starring: Harrison Ford, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac
A continuation of the saga created by George Lucas set thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi(1983).
Why I am I excited?: Because it’s fucking Star Wars, plus J.J. Abrams, plus original cast, plus awesome new cast
What’s the danger: Well… the most recent three were pretty crap so it could go either way
Release date: 18 December 2015

Minions

Minions
Starring (voice actors): Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin, Sandra Bullock
Minions Stuart, Kevin and Bob are recruited by Scarlet Overkill, a super-villain who, alongside her inventor husband Herb, hatches a plot to take over the world.
Why am I excited?: Because it’s a Minions origins story and nothing cracks me up like the Minions
What’s the danger?: It’s always possible to have too much of a good thing and a whole movie of Minions might be too much even for me
Release date: 10 July 2015

Mad Max Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road
Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult
An apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and almost everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life.
Why am I excited?: Because  Mad Max 2 was one of my favourite dystopian movies of all time. Also Tom Hardy.
What’s the danger?: Mad Max and Mad Max 3 were both awful. Also Charlize Theron.
Release date: 15 May 2015

Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending
Starring: Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Eddie Redmayne
In the future, a young destitute human woman gets targeted for assassination by the Queen of the Universe, and begins her destiny to finish the Queen’s reign.
Why am I excited: It’s written and directed by the Wachowskis, so if it’s anything like the first two Matrix movies, it’ll be awesome.
What’s the danger?: It’s written and directed by the Wachowskis, so if it’s anything like the third Matrix movie, it’ll be terrible.
Release date: 6 February 2015

Liam Hemsworth takes a break from an action packed day of filming **USA ONLY**

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson
After being symbolized as the ‘Mockingjay’ Katniss Everdeen and District 13 engage in an all-out revolution against the autocratic Capitol.
Why am I excited?: I love watching J-Law play Katniss plus this is the action-packed finale we’ve all been waiting for.
What’s the danger?: The final book was the worst of the lot so the source material isn’t the best.
Release date: 20 November 2015

In The Heart of the Sea

In the Heart of the Sea
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson
Based on the 1820 event, a whaling ship is preyed upon by a sperm whale, stranding its crew at sea for 90 days, thousands of miles from home.
Why am I excited: The cast is excellent and the stills look epic.
What’s the danger?: It could be a really tough watch… apparently there’s cannibalism
Release date: 13 March 2015

Crimson Peak

Crimson Peak
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska
In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds…and remembers.
Why am I excited?: Look at that cast! Plus it’s written and directed by Guillermo del Toro and I love his aesthetic.
What’s the danger?: Some of del Toro’s most recent films haven’t been amazing and I don’t really like horror movies.
Release date: 16 October 2015

Child44

Child 44
Starring: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Gary Oldman
Set in Stalin-era Soviet Union, a disgraced MGB agent is dispatched to investigate a series of child murders — a case that begins to connect with the very top of party leadership.
Why am I excited?: The premise sounds very interesting, plus Tom Hardy.
What’s the danger?: Any Hollywood depiction of the Soviet Union is always going to be a gamble
Release date: 17 April 2015

avengers-age-ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo
When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.
Why am I excited?: I really liked the first Avengers movie. Also more Loki and more Thor.
What’s the danger?: I am a bit sick of Tony Stark and I have general Superhero movie fatigue.
Release date: 1 May 2o15

My top 10 2014 releases so far

With UK release dates not quite lining up with US releases I have decided to stick with my favourite films I’ve seen in the theatre in 2014 based on US release date and then sometime around the end of the first quarter I’ll do a second round based on films I’ve seen in 2015 that were 2014 US releases. So here goes!

xmen

X-Men: Days of Future Past
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman
From my review:
Days of Future Past focuses again on the relationship between Charles and Erik and their fundamentally different ideals with Charles believing in the essential goodness of humanity and Erik convinced that human nature is to destroy anything different. With this as the central theme of the film, while the effects are pretty spectacular it’s more about making a connection with the characters, which is what makes Days of Future Past something that much better than the average superhero film.
“Professor X: Charles.
Charles Xavier: Charles.
[looks around]
Charles Xavier: Is this what becomes of us? Erik was right. Humanity does this to us.
Professor X: Not if we show them a better path.
Charles Xavier: You still believe?
Professor X: Just because someone stumbles and loses their path, doesn’t mean they’re lost forever. Sometimes, we all need a little help.
Charles Xavier: I’m not the man I was.
Professor X: You’re afraid. I remember.
Charles Xavier: All those voices… so much PAIN.
Professor X: It’s not their pain you’re afraid of. It’s yours, Charles. And as frightening as it can be, that pain will make you stronger. If you allow yourself to feel it, embrace it, .it will make you more powerful than you ever imagined. It’s the greatest gift we have: to bear their pain without breaking. And it comes from the most human part of us: hope. Charles, we need you to hope again.”

Pride

Pride
Starring: Ben Schnetzer, Imelda Staunton, Bill Nighy
From my review:
All too often you hear someone describe a film as being the total package or suggesting that you’ll laugh and cry and get angry and be uplifted all in one film but when it comes to Pride this all really is true, as is the actual story. Schnetzer is an absolute stand-out as the extremely inspiring Mark and is Jessica Gunning as Sian, a miner’s wife awakened to her potential as a leader. An instant classic and a must-see.
“Steph, Stella, Zoe: [to the Tune of “Solidarity Forever”] Every woman is a lesbian at heart/Every woman is a lesbian at heart/Every woman is a lesbian at heart…
Reggie: You can’t possibly say that every woman is a lesbian.
Zoe: Why not?
Reggie: Because they’re not! Esther Rantzen isn’t a lesbian. My mum is not a lesbian.
Stella: How do you know?
Reggie: How do I know my Mum’s not a lesbian?
Ray: What he’s trying to say is, you can’t make grand, sweeping generalizations. It’s not acceptable.
[beat]
Steph, Stella, Zoe: [Resumes Singing] Every woman is a lesbian at heart/Every woman is a lesbian at heart/Every woman is a lesbian at heart/Including Reggie’s Mum!”

Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Riz Ahmed, Rene Russo
From my review:
I will come straight out and say that I loved this film. Gyllenhaal gives a career-defining performance that is absolutely mesmerising. While the true nature of Lou’s character unfolds slowly throughout the film, there is an immediate feeling that there is something off about him, something which is dark and unsettling, adding to a film which manages to be thrilling and occasionally surprisingly amusing.
“Lou Bloom: Now I like you, Nina. And I look forward to our time together. But you have to understand, fifteen thousand isn’t all that I want. From here on, starting now, I want my work to be credited by the anchors and on a burn. The name of my company is Video Production News, a professional news-gathering service. That’s how it should be read and that’s how it should be said. I also want to go to the next rung and meet your team, and the station manager, and the director, and the anchors, and start developing my own personal relationships. I’d like to start meeting them this morning. You’ll take me around, you’ll introduce me as the owner and president of Video Production News, and remind them of some of my many other stories. I’m not done. I also want to stop our discussion over prices. This will save time. So when I say that a particular number is my lowest price, that’s my lowest price and you can be assured that I arrived at whatever that number is very carefully. Now, when I say that I want these things, I mean that I want them and I don’t want to have to ask again. And the last thing that I want, Nina, is for you to do the things that I ask you to do when we’re alone together in your apartment, NOT LIKE THE LAST TIME. So, I’ll tell you what. I have the van crash on Moorpark tonight. It was a couple of stringers actually. That could lead by itself on an average night. I’d be willing to throw that in for free. So what do you say, do we have a deal?”

HTTYD2

How to Train Your Dragon 2
Starring (voice actors): Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler
From my review:
How to Train Your Dragon was one of those very few animated films I actually liked so I was anxious to see how the sequel would pan out and I’m glad to say I wasn’t disappointed. The animation, particularly for the flying scenes, is dazzling, the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless is wonderful and getting to see so many new and interesting dragons is awesome.
“Hiccup: [to Valka, about the dragon sanctuary] This is where you’ve been for twenty years?
[Valka nods]
Hiccup: You’ve been rescuing them. Unbelievable.
Valka: You’re not upset?
Hiccup: I don’t know. It’s kind of hard to wrap my head around, to be frank. It’s not every day you find out your mother is some kind of… crazy, feral, vigilante, dragon lady.
Valka: [laughs as Cloudjumper helps her down] Oh. Well… At least I’m not boring. Right?”

Grand Budapest

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Tony Revolori
From my review:
Fiennes and Revolori have magnificent chemistry and you can absolutely buy the idea that these two “alone in the world” characters have formed a weird little family of their own. Pair this up with some vintage action, a bucket load of quirky characters, a hilarious script and a star-studded cast and how could you possibly go wrong. For me, without question my favourite Wes Anderson film yet.
“Zero: [Reading a letter from M. Gustave] “My dear and trusted colleagues…”
M. Gustave: I miss you deeply as I write from the confines of my regrettable and preposterous incarceration. Until I walk amongst you again as a free man, the Grand Budapest remains in your hands, as does its impeccable reputation. Keep it spotless, and glorify it. Take extra-special care of every little bitty bit of it as if I were watching over you like a hawk with a horse-whip in its talons, because I am. Should I discover a lapse of any variety during my absence, I promise swift and merciless justice will descend upon you. A great and noble house has been placed under your protection. Tell Zero if you see any funny business.
Zero: [Finishing the letter] “Your devoted Monsieur Gustave.””

Fury

Fury
Starring: Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia LaBoeuf
From my review:
I am a bit of a sucker for a war film and this one really does not disappoint. While it might be pretty straightforward in terms of plot development it’s got heart, tension and real power without shying away from the devastation and senselessness of war.
Wardaddy: I started this war killing Germans in Africa. Then France. Then Belgium. Now I’m killing Germans in Germany. It will end, soon. But before it does, a lot more people gotta die.”

Frank

Frank
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Domnhall Gleeson
From my review:
Frank is in equal parts hilarious, touching and very sad, exploring mental illness in a sensitive and engaging manner. I loved the parallels between Jon and Frank’s home lives and the idea that the difference between mediocrity and genius could just be a touch of madness but that touch could also mean the difference between success and anonymity.
“Don: You play C, F and G?
Jon Burroughs: Yeah.
Don: You’re in.”

Edge of tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton
From my review:
I wasn’t expecting to like this movie because I’m not a big fan of Tom Cruise’s at the best of times but Edge of Tomorrow is actually really entertaining, despite a couple of plot holes, it’s fun watching Cruise play a character that needs a lot of pushing to develop his heroic side, Emily Blunt is as radiant and fierce as ever and the two have great chemistry. Even my sci-fi connoisseur husband liked it.
“Griff: Why would we follow him into combat?
Lt. Col. Bill Cage: I don’t expect you to follow me. I expect your to follow her.
[Rita Vrataski steps into the scene]
Griff: That’s the Full Metal Bitch.”

Dawn of Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Starring: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman
From my review:
Not only is the motion capture so incredibly impressive that you almost instantly forget that you are not watching real apes but the theme of two leaders just trying to do the right thing is universal. I found the decision not to push the audience to side with the humans or the apes refreshing and it makes it truly about the characters.
“Caesar: War has… already begun. Ape started war. And human… Human will not forgive. You must go… before fighting begins. I am sorry… my friend.
Malcolm: I thought we had a chance.
Caesar: I did too.”

Boyhood

Boyhood
Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette
From my review:
There isn’t anything particularly special about Mason’s life. This doesn’t matter though as his experiences are so relateable and the use of the same actors creates a connection that I don’t believe would be possible if the characters were played by several different actors. I also loved the realism within the film and the way the characters changed and grew or devolved the way real people do.
“Mason: So what’s the point?
Dad: Of what?
Mason: I don’t know, any of this. Everything.
Dad: Everything? What’s the point? I mean, I sure as shit don’t know. Neither does anybody else, okay? We’re all just winging it, you know? The good news is you’re feeling stuff. And you’ve got to hold on to that.”

My top 10 most disappointing movies of 2014

I have to say that in 2014 I haven’t seen all that many bad movies or been disappointed by what I’ve seen. For the most part I have managed to avoid things I knew I wouldn’t like *cough* Transformers *cough* and the majority of the films I did see were satisfactory if not awesome.  While not every film on this list is bad per say, they didn’t live up to my expectations and I kind wish I had managed to avoid them… disclaimer once again that this list might be updated based on UK release dates.

channing-tatum-hottest-on-screen-moments-22-jump-street

22 Jump Street
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube
Why did I think it was going to be good?: I was surprised by how funny the first one was and I think Tatum has amazing comic timing.
From my review: 
There is a tendency to get stuck on a joke and hammer it until it’s dead. For example it starts off being quite amusing pointing out the sequel cliches that they’ve decided to have fun with but eventually you just kind of think, okay… we get it. It’s also really, really dumb. I mean you know when you got to see something like this it’s going to be dumb but this is like fourteen year old boy, dumb.
“Schmidt: Say something cool when you throw it!
Jenko: One, two, three!
[throws the grenade]
Jenko: Something cool!”

Equalizer

The Equalizer
Starring: Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloe Graze Moretz
Why did I think it was going to be good?: The trailer made it look like Denzel meets Taken.. I like both of these things.
From my review:
The trailer made it look really exciting and while there is some impressive action it drags on and on. On top of this parts of it are completely implausible. I get that Robert has a background that has given him some serious skills but he’s bordering on being a superhero, which seems like a stretch for a middle-aged man. It doesn’t help that Csokas has decided to play Teddy like a cartoon character and that parts of the film have been shot like a graphic novel.
“Robert McCall: When you pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too.”

Godzilla

Godzilla
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston
Why did I think it would be cool?: Giant monster + Heisenberg = win
From my review:
It’s been almost a week since I saw this film and it was so boring that I have already forgotten most of what happened not that all that much of it made sense anyway and it was full of mega plot holes. For the most part the monsters all looked pretty cool but there was only a little bit of Godzilla and when all the monsters actually got to kicking the shit out of each other for some reason, director, Gareth Edwards, kept cutting away and showing the humans and their stupid, obviously pointless bomb.
“Boyd: Dr. Serizawa? Jerry Boyd. Just to warn you, it’s a mess. A total mess.”

Hercules

Hercules
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt, Ian McShane
Why did I think it would be cool?: The premise of Hercules faking is own myth is really interesting plus it’s a pretty good cast.
From my review:
Dwayne Johnson is certainly big, athletic and very charismatic, which is good and his bants with his crew is fun to watch, which is good and the battle with the Bree (I think) reminded me a bit of Vikings, which was good. That’s about it. The rest was not good. Hercules is only about an hour and a half long but it feels much longer and devoid of any actual mythology, there isn’t anything to stop it from just being a below average swords and sandals romp.
“Amphiaraus: No matter how far you go, man cannot escape his fate. Who are you? Are you a murderer? Are you a mercenary who turns his back on the innocent? We believe in you! We have faith in you! Remember the deeds you have performed, the labors you have overcome! Are you only the legend, or are you truth behind the legend? Now, tell me, WHO ARE YOU?
Hercules: I AM HERCULES!”

Inberweeners

The Inbetweeners 2
Starring: Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison
Why did I think it would be cool?: I loved the series and everyone said it was better than the first one (which I didn’t like)
From my review:
I think the problem is that Will and friends are bearable in twenty minute bursts but when you have to put up with them relentlessly for 90 minutes you realise what reprehensible human beings they are. I don’t have to love the characters in every movie I see but if I am expected not to hope that the world would be a better place if they just died in the desert then maybe some redeeming qualities might help.
Jay Cartwright: Why’s there always some c*nt with a guitar?”

Lucy

Lucy 
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sil Choi
Why did I think it would be cool?: The trailers looked epic, I love a bit of Scar-Jo and I was kind of hoping Luc Besson might have returned to his former glory…
From my review:
First of all Lucy is a really unlikable character after her brain capacity increases. Basically she just goes around shooting anyone who as much as looks at her funny. Apparently this is because the increased capacity cuts her off from her human emotions… but then her entire purpose seems to be to share all her knowledge with humanity. Why? If she can’t be arsed with any of us anyway, why would she need give a monkey’s about whether we knew the secrets of the universe. And what does she need Professor Norman for? She knows fucking everything. And then there’s all this weird wildlife footage interspersed with what’s happening, attempting to make it all serious when it’a really just about a fit bird running around with a gun, which should be fun. Except that it’s not. Even though Lucy is only 89 minutes long, it’s really, really boring and I wish I had never watched it.
“Lucy: Ignorance brings chaos, not knowledge.”

MM

The Monuments Men
Starring: George Clooney, Hugh Bonneville, Matt Damon
Why did I think it would be cool?: The cast is epic and I love a good war movie.
From my review:
The script is very flat, the career development is very limited and the storyline seems jerky and jarring. One gets the feeling that if George Clooney, who also directs, had not convinced all his A-list pals to star that there would have been very little to keep this “based on a true story” war film afloat. Although possibly some audiences will see his inability to resist descending into moments of “American, fuck yeah” at the end as a good thing. I guess it’s just another case of great idea, subpar execution.
“Richard Campbell: Right now, you wish that German had shot you.”

Transendence

Transcendence
Starring: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman
 Why did I think it would be cool?: It sounded like a classically great sci-fi premise paired up with a good cast
From my review:
Oh my god this movie was boring. It felt like it went on and on forever. The storyline was crap, Depp was crap, the action bits were a bit crap and both Morgan Freeman, who appears as a scientist, and  Cillian Murphy, who appears as an FBI agent are chronically underused. I can’t imagine what it cost to make this pile of poo but if it was more than a pound it was completely waste of money.
“Max Waters: This thing is like any intelligence. It needs to grow, to advance. Right now it’s settling somewhere it thinks it’s safe from outside threats. Somewhere its massive appetite for power can be met. But it will want more than that. After a while survival won’t be enough. It will expand, evolve, influence – perhaps the entire world.”

The drop

The Drop
Starring: Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini, Noomi Rapace
Why did I think it would be cool?: Are you kidding me? Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini’s last movie… a PUPPY!
From my review:
If you’re going to go for a slow burn you’ve got to have a good payoff and for me The Drop ended with a whimper rather than a bang and at the end although I enjoyed it I kind of wondered what the whole point actually was.
“Bob: Are you doing something desperate? Something we can’t clean up this time?”

what-we-did-on-our-holiday-500x312

What We Did on Our Holiday
Starring: Rosamund Pike, David Tennant, Billy Connolly
Why did I think it would be cool?: It was pitched as a kind of Outnumbered style comedy… plus Billy Connolly.
From my review:
I think it’s supposed to be a comedy but the way Abi and Doug treat each other is so horrible that there is nothing enjoyable about watching them and while Connolly and the young actors who play the children are all brilliant the whole thing just doesn’t hang together. I get that it was all about focusing on the things that matter and how lies, even told with the best intentions, can tear a family apart but it’s tonally all over the place. The best part was Gavin’s wife’s YouTube supermarket meltdown but none of it was enough to save an ultimately disappointing film that probably isn’t appropriate for family viewing.

My top 10 movie characters of 2014 – so far

As 2014 draws to a close I am looking back at the characters that have captivated me this year. Of course as I am based in the UK there will be a series of 2014 releases that don’t drop here until 2015 so there is a chance this list will get an addendum at some point next year but this is where we are so far.

Amy Dunne

 Amy Dunne
Played by: Rosamund Pike
Film: Gone Girl
Why is she awesome: Because she’s absolutely deranged and she’ll stop at nothing to get what she wants no matter how brutal or fucked up it is.
“Amy Dunne: I’m the c*nt you married! The only time you liked yourself was when you were trying to be someone this c*nt might like. I’m not a quitter… I’m that c*nt.”

frank

Frank
Played by: Michael Fassbender
Film: Frank
What makes him awesome?: He’s absolutely mesmerising that you can’t help but get sucked into his weird circle of influence but at the same time he’s complicated and fragile and damaged and probably the most realistic portrayal I’ve seen of mental illness on screen.
“Frank: [singing] Stale beer. Fat fucked, smoked out. Cowpoked. Sequined mountain ladies. I love your wall. Put your arms around me. Fiddly digits, itchy britches. I love you all.”

GBH

Gustav H.
Played by: Ralph Fiennes
Film: The Grand Budapest Hotel
What makes him awesome: He’s fabulously charismatic and dignified and at the same time pure filth.
“M. Gustave: Rudeness is merely an expression of fear. People fear they won’t get what they want. The most dreadful and unattractive person only needs to be loved, and they will open up like a flower.”

Groot

Groot
Voiced by: Vin Diesel
Film: Guardians of the Galaxy 
What makes him awesome: He’s so innocent and loyal and funny and he manages to communicate so much in just one statement.
“Groot: I am Groot.”

Katniss

Katniss Everdeen
Played by: Jennifer Lawrence
Film: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
What makes her awesome: Katniss will always been one of my favourites. She’s one of the most well-rounded complex female characters we get on screen – strong but vulnerable, brave but damaged, selfish and selfless at the same time, heroic but humble.
“Katniss Everdeen: I have a message for President Snow: You can torture or bombed us, blasted our district to the grounds. But do you see that ? Fire Is Catching… If we burn, you burn with us!”

Lou BloomLou Bloom
Played by: Jake Gyllenhaal
Film: Nightcrawler
What makes him awesome: He is absolutely terrifying despite being generally softly spoken and his ability to manipulate others is second to none.
“Lou Bloom: What if my problem wasn’t that I don’t understand people but that I don’t like them? What if I was the kind of person who was obliged to hurt you for this? I mean physically. I think you’d have to believe afterward, if you could, that agreeing to participate and then backing out at the critical moment was a mistake. Because that’s what I’m telling you, as clearly as I can.”

Quicksilver

Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver
Played by: Evan Peters
Film: X-Men: Days of Future Past
What makes him awesome: He’s just so fricking cool and his cheeky behaviour towards Professor X and Wolverine steals the whole of DOFP.
“Logan: We need your help, Peter.
Pietro Maximoff: With what?
Logan: Breaking into a highly secured facility and get someone out.
Logan, Pietro Maximoff: Prison break? That’s illegal, you know?
Logan: [Looks around and sees the items Peter has obviously stolen] Only if you get caught.”

Rita

Rita Vrataski
Played by: Emily Blunt
Film: Edge of Tomorrow
Why is she awesome?: Because she is the baddest ass female to grace our screens in 2014
“Lt. Col. Bill Cage: [while in training] Stop! Wait, wait, wait, wait! Stop! Wait a second, wait a second! I’ve been thinking… I mean, this thing is in my blood. So maybe there’s some way I can transfer it to you.
Rita Vrataski: I’ve tried everything, it doesn’t work.
Lt. Col. Bill Cage: I mean have you tried… you know… tried ALL the options.
Rita Vrataski: Oh, you mean sex? Yeah, tried it.
Lt. Col. Bill Cage: …how many times?
Rita Vrataski: Alright…
[Cage gets hit by a spinning robot]”

Mark

Hefina
Played by: Imelda Stauton
Film: Pride
Why is she awesome: She’s bold, brave and she takes no prisoners plus it’s always fun watching the elderly swear.
“Hefina: “What in the hell do you think you’re doing? Get out there and find a gay or a lesbian right now!”
Guy: “I don’t want to give them the wrong impression.”
Hefina: “Right, cause you’re so bloody irresistible!” 

original

Augustus Waters
Played by: Ansel Elgort
Film: The Fault in Our Stars
What makes him awesome: He’s the guy that we all should have fallen for when we were teenagers, you know instead of the douchebag bad boy who had a motorbike. Plus he’s endlessly positive even in the face of total uncertainty.
“Augustus Waters: I am in love with you. And I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed. And that one day all our labor will be returned to dust. And I know that the sun will swallow the only earth we will ever have. And I am in love with you.”

My top 10 TV psycho- and sociopaths

A few weeks ago I did a top 10 on my favourite movie psychopaths. This week I’ve decided to have a look at my most loved TV psycho- and sociopaths. In this case I have included some controversial choices, focusing on the manipulative aspect of characters with this particular pathology… hold on tight. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

The Master

The Master
Played by: John Simm (I’m sticking with this particular incarnation)
Show: Doctor Who (2005 – )
Psycho or socio: Definitely a psychopath
Remorse: Minimal
Killer trait: Delusions of grandeur, boldness, disinhibition
“The Master: And so it came to pass that the human race fell, and the Earth was no more. And I looked down upon my new dominion as Master of all; and I thought it good.”

t-bag

Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell
Played by: Robert Knepper
Show: Prison Break (2005 – 2009)
Psycho or socio: Total psycho
Remorse: Occasional
Killer traits: Violence, criminality and sexual deviation combined with glib charm
“Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell: That picture makes me look like a sociopath.”

Tate

Tate Langdon
Played by: Evan Peters
Show: American Horror Story (2011 – )
Socio or psycho: The psychopath next door
Remorse: Mostly faked
Killer traits: Criminal behaviour, violence, charm, lack of empathy
“Tate Langdon: I prepare for the noble war. I’m calm, I know the secret. I know whats coming and I know no one can stop me not even myself. I kill people I like. Some of them beg for their life. I don’t feel sad. I don’t feel anything. It’s a filthy world we live, in its a filthy goddamn world and honestly I feel like I’m helping to take them away from the shit and the piss and the vomit that run through the streets. I’m helping to take them to somewhere clean. There’s something about all that blood man i drown it.”

Sherlock

Sherlock Holmes
Played by: Benedict Cumberbatch
Show: Sherlock (2010 – )
Socio or psycho: Sociopath
Remorse: For a select few
Killer traits: Lack of empathy for others, heightened sense of self, disinhibition
“Sherlock Holmes: Brilliant! Yes! Ah, four serial suicides and now a note, Oh, it’s Christmas!”

Ramsay Snow

Ramsay Snow/Bolton
Played by: Iwan Rheon
Show: Game of Thrones (2011 – )
Psycho or socio: Total psycho
Remorse: Zero
Killer traits: Violence, charisma
“Ramsay Snow: But you already told me everything, remember? Your daddy was mean to you. The Starks didn’t appreciate you. One can admit, the Stark boys. They’re still alive. Wouldn’t that be a hunt to remember. You failed, but I’m a better hunter than you. Now, how about your little finger? You don’t need that for much do you? No? Good! Let’s start with that. You’ve been wondering why you’re here, how many, where you are, who I am, why I’m doing this to you. So, guess! If your right, I’ll tell you, by the old gods and the new, I swear it. You win the game if you figure out who I am and why I’m torturing you, and I win the game if you beg me to cut off your finger.”

Lily

Lily Tucker-Pritchett
Played by: Aubrey Anderson-Emmons
Psycho or socio: Little sociopath in training
Killer traits: Manipulation, lack of empathy for others, charm, meanness
Remorse: Only for personal gain
“Sal: Sorry you couldn’t come to the wedding, it was no kids.
Lily Tucker-Pritchett: It’s okay, I’ll go to your next one.
Sal: Wow.
Cameron Tucker: She just means when she’s not a kid anymore.
Lily Tucker-Pritchett: She knows what I mean.
Sal: I don’t like you.
Lily Tucker-Pritchett: [whispering] I’ll get over it.”

Joffrey

Joffrey Baratheon
Played by: Jack Gleeson
Show: Game of Thrones (2011 – )
Psycho or socio: Psychopath
Remorse: Never
Killer traits: Sexual sadism, violence, delusions of grandeur
“Joffrey Baratheon: [announcing Eddard Stark’s sentence] My mother wishes me to let Lord Eddard join the Night’s Watch. Stripped of all titles and powers, he would serve the realm in permanent exile. And my Lady Sansa has begged mercy for her father. But they have the soft hearts of women. So long as I am your king, treason shall never go unpunished. Sir Ilyn, bring me his head! “

Dexter

Dexter Morgan
Played by: Michael C. Hall
Show: Dexter (2006 – 2013)
Psycho or socio: Conscious psychopath
Remorse: Constant
Killer traits: Violence, criminal behaviour, lack of empathy
“Dexter Morgan: People fake a lot of human interactions, but I feel like I fake them all, and I fake them very well. That’s my burden, I guess.”

Delphone La Laurie

Madame Delphine LaLaurie
Played by: Kathy Bates
Show: American Horror Story (2011 – )
Psycho or socio: Complete psychO
Remorse: Occasional
Killer traits: Sadism, lack of empathy, violence, disinhibition, charm
“Madame Delphine LaLaurie: I fairly swoon when I see the look of terror register on a handsome face. It makes me feel young again.” 

cartman-just-a-little-crack-south-park

Eric Cartman
Voiced by: Trey Parker
Show: South Park (1997 – )
Psycho or socio: Impressively sociopathic
Remorse: Only for benefit
Killer traits: lack of empathy, criminal behaviour, superficial charm, manipulation, disinhibition
“Eric Cartman: I… I can’t live like this. I have to find a place where they remove living souls from your body… “

My top ten TV bitches

It’s not surprising that some of my favourite TV characters are “bitches”. I’m talking about the ladies that take no nonsense, tell it like it as and sometimes bring a level of mean we wouldn’t be brave enough to level ourselves. More often than not it’s the bitch that steals the show and keeps us coming for me. These are the ones I love.

April-ludgate

April Ludgate
Played by: Aubrey Plaza
Show: Parks and Recreation (2009 – )
Bitch style: Utterly disinterested by everything and anything
Bitch level: 3/10
Favourite target: Her colleague, Jerry.
“April Ludgate: Can you Photoshop your life with better decisions, Jerry? “

f-sookie-f

Pam De Beaufort
Played by: Kristin Bauer van Straten
Show: True Blood (2008 – 2014)
Bitch style: Blood-sucking, stone cold lesbian
Bitch level: 8/10
Favourite target: Sookie Stackhouse
“Pam De Beaufort: [to Sookie] Did I miss something? Are we girls now? Did we join a book club and read some queer chicklet memoir and now are bound together by estrogen and sisterhood or some other feminist drivel? “

game-of-thrones-films-that-controversial-nude-scene

Cersei Lannister
Played by: Lena Headley
Show: Game of Thrones (2011 – )
Bitch style: Willing to do anything for power
Favourite target: Her brother, Tyrion
Bitch level: 10/10
Cersei Lannister: [to Margaery] If you ever call me sister again, I’ll have you strangled in your sleep.”

original

Sadie Saxton
Played by: Molly Tarlov
Show: Awkward. (2011 – )
Bitch style: Delivering brutal slights disguised as”helpful” advice.
Favourite target: Jenna Hamilton
Bitch level: 4/10
“Sadie: If you tell anyone I’m having this soft side moment I swear I will cut you.”

 Red6

Galina ‘Red’ Reznikov
Played by: Kate Mulgrew
Show: Orange is the New Black (2013 – )
Bitch style: Rules with an iron fist and ready to punish anyone who transgresses.
Favourite target: Varies across seasons
Bitch level: 6/10
“Galina ‘Red’ Reznikov: Because no matter how hard you try and how much we want it, there’s the people who serve the bread, and the people who eat the bread!”

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Jackie Burkhart
Played by: Mila Kunis
Show: That 70’s Show (1998 – 2006)
Bitch style: Manipulative, spoilt popular high school bitch
Favourite target: Her boyfriend, Michael.
Bitch level: 2/10
“Jackie Burkhart: Look, Eric, just write her a letter. That’s how I broke up with Michael. I was able to take my time and come up with good synonyms for… cowardly won’t-marry-me loser, run-away-to-California jackass.”

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Wilhemina Slater
Played by: Vanessa Williams
Show: Ugly Betty (2006 – 2010)
Bitch style: Controlling, brutal and always stylish
Favourite target: Everyone
Bitch level: 6/10
“Wilhelmina Slater: Look at us! Two women of color out for a fancy lunch in the town! Isn’t this fun, girlfriend?
Betty Suarez: [laughs nervously] I guess.
Wilhelmina Slater: And that blouse is heaven! Where did you get? I love it!
Betty Suarez: No you don’t!
Wilhelmina Slater: No, I don’t. It’s hideous, like driving through Ohio.”

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Karen Walker
Played by: Megan Mullally
Show: Will & Grace (1998 – 2006)
Bitch style: Self-obsessed and mostly inebriated
Favourite target: Her boss, Grace Adler
Bitch level: 7/10
“Karen Walker: Hey I have feelilngs too you know…..
[Jack and Karen both break out laughing]
Karen Walker: Dammit, I was trying to keep a straight face.”

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Fiona Goode
Played by: Jessica Lange
Show: American Horror Story (2011 – )
Bitch style: Power hungry and completely unwilling to grow old gracefully
Favourite target: Her daughter, Cordelia
Bitch level: 9/10
“Fiona Goode: Too much? Well, I don’t know. Maybe you’re right. Then here’s my other offer: You can all just die.”

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Cordelia Chase
Played by: Charisma Carpenter
Show: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2003)
Bitch style: Completely self-obsessed
Favourite target: Her on-off boyfriend, Xander Harris
Bitch level: 1/10
“Cordelia: People who think their problems are so huge craze me. Like this time I sort of ran over this girl on her bike. It was the most traumatizing event of my life, and she’s trying to make it about her leg! Like my pain meant nothing! “

Top 10 future stars for 2014 – actress edition

After the success of last week’s Future stars – actor edition, I’ve moved onto actresses I think have the potential to rocket right into the limelight. Once again we have stars at varying levels of their careers, some who have had more roles than others but all of whom are still at least one step away from super stardom.

Adele

Adèle Exarchopoulos
What makes her stand out?: She manages to balance sex appeal with enough innocence to deliver a really powerful performance that catapulted a French film about lesbians into the spotlight.
Recent standout roles: Adèle in Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)
Interesting upcoming roles: Unknown in The Last Face
Current star rating: 20/10
“In every shoot, between the actor and the director there is manipulation. I’m not saying that negatively. It’s healthy.”

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Emily Blunt
What makes her stand out?: She can play any role – regal, tough, quirky, funny and she’s quite possibly the most beautiful woman who has ever lived. She’s on the edge of total box office domination.
Recent standout roles: Sara in Looper (2012), Rita in Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Interesting upcoming roles: Kate Macy in Sicario (2015)
Current star rating: 80/100
“The performances I enjoy are the ones that are hard to read or ambiguous or left-of-centre because it makes you look closer and that’s what humans are like – quite mysterious creatures, hard to pinpoint.”

Lupita Nyongoo

Lupita Nyong’o
What makes her stand out?: Although she wasn’t the star of 12 Years a Slave she was the beating emotional heart of the film with an ability to portray a world of emotion just in her eyes. She also won an Oscar for her first major role.
Recent standout roles: Patsey in 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Interesting upcoming roles: Unknown in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens  (2015)
Current star rating: 60/100
“There is something about acting that’s mysterious and magical because there is only so much I can do to prepare, and then I have to just let go and breathe and believe that it will come through.”

Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie
What makes her stand out?: She oozes sex appeal but still manages to deliver a powerful emotional performance that enabled her to hold her own against a legend like Leonardo DiCaprio.
Recent standout roles: Naomi LaPaglia in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Interesting upcoming roles: Jane Porter in Tarzan (2016)
Current star rating: 40/100
“I was always very dramatic – my family would probably use the word ‘dramatic’ – as a child; always putting on performances, making everyone come watch, and pay to watch. I was very business-savvy as a child.”

Mia Wasikowska

Mia Wasikowska
What makes her standout?: She defies the traditional Hollywood beauty ideal and isn’t afraid to take on really challenging roles.
Recent standout roles: India Stoker in Stoker (2013), Bertha Minnix in Lawless (2012)
Interesting upcoming roles: Edith Cushing in Crimson Peak (2015)
Current star rating: 55/100
“When I step back and look at all of these really successful people that I’ve worked with, one thing I do take away from it is how hard they work and how focused they are.”

Natalie Dormer

Natalie Dormer
What makes her standout?: She’s delicate and pretty but she can really pull off a badass bitch.
Recent standout roles: Margery Tyrell in Game of Thrones (2011 -), Sarah in The Fades (2011)
Interesting upcoming roles: Cressida in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014) and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015)
Current star rating: 25/100
“I had a period of unemployment for about nine months after my first big break, and it’s the greatest lesson I ever could have learned, never to believe you’re home and dry.”

rooney mara

Rooney Mara
What makes her standout?: She’s a chameleon who is completely different in every role
Recent standout roles: Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), Emily Taylor in Side Effects (2013)
Interesting upcoming roles: Therese Belivet in Carol (2015), Tiger Lily in Pan (2015)
Current star rating: 45/100
“I always wanted to be an actor, but I was always fighting it. It never seemed that honorable to me, and I guess I was always afraid that I might fail.”

Rosamund Pike

Rosamund Pike
What makes her standout?: Her role in Gone Girl proved that she’s more than just an icy beauty and that she really has the skills to pull off a complex, multilayered character with style.
Recent standout roles: Amy Dunne in Gone Girl (2014)
Interesting upcoming roles:  Unknown in Return to Sender (2014)
Current star rating: 60/100
“Nothing can teach you what it’s like to work on a film set, and the best education there can be for an actor is to walk up the street and observe human nature.”

Saoirse Ronan

Saoirse Ronan
What makes her standout?: There’s something kind of ethereal and understated about her plus she’s had some great supporting roles.
Recent standout roles: Agatha in The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Upcoming interesting roles: Leia in Stockholm, Pennsylvania (2015), Ellis Lacey in Brooklyn (2015)
Current star rating: 35/100
“I think it’s important that we have strong, female characters in movies now, which can really leave an impression on people – especially young people – and that they’re not ‘sexy’ or ‘cool.'”

Sarah Paulson

Sarah Paulson
What makes her standout?: She is amazing at playing characters that are somehow reprehensible and vulnerable all at once. It feels like she is always pushing herself.
Recent standout roles: Various in American Horror Story (2011 – ), Mistress Epps in 12 Years A Slave (2013)
Upcoming interesting roles: Abby Gerhard in Carol (2015), Kate Haber in The Runner (2015)
Current star rating: 50/100
“I think it’s very important for people to not judge the people you’re playing. You have to find a way to love them because their story is theirs. I just don’t think there would be any use in that.”

My top 10 movie psychopaths

According to Wikipedia psychopaths have three common traits: boldness, dishinhibition and meanness as well as a tendency towards criminality, violence and sexual offending… all born from a lack of empathy for others. Whether they channel their belief that the rules are irrelevant to them into violent murder sprees or ruthless business success there’s no doubt that some of our favourite movie villains are psychopaths. These are the ones that really give me the willies.

American psycho

Patrick Bateman
Played by: Christian Bale
Film: American Psycho (2000)
Most twisted moment: Naked chainsaw
“Patrick Bateman: There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it I have now surpassed. My pain is constant and sharp, and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. In fact, I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape. But even after admitting this, there is no catharsis; my punishment continues to elude me, and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself. No new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing.”

DK

The Joker
Played by: Heath Ledger
Film: The Dark Knight (2008)
Most twisted: His confession that there is literally no motivation for his destruction.
The Joker: I just did what I do best. I took your little plan and I turned it on itself. Look what I did to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple of bullets. Hmmm? You know… You know what I’ve noticed? Nobody panics when things go “according to plan.” Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all “part of the plan”. But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!
[Joker hands Two-Face a gun and points it at himself]
The Joker: Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It’s fair!”

gordon gekko

Gordon Gekko
Played by: Michael Douglas
Film: Wall Street (1987)
Most twisted moment: When he screws over his protege without even the glimmer of a second thought.
Gordon Gekko: The richest one percent of this country owns half our country’s wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons and what I do, stock and real estate speculation. It’s bullshit. You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing. I own. We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you’re not naive enough to think we’re living in a democracy, are you buddy? It’s the free market. And you’re a part of it. You’ve got that killer instinct. Stick around pal, I’ve still got a lot to teach you.”

hannibal

 Hannibal Lecter
Played by: Anthony Hopkins
Film: The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Most twisted moment: When he escapes from prison
“Hannibal Lecter: Why do you think he removes their skins, Agent Starling?
[sarcastically]
Hannibal Lecter: Enthrall me with your acumen.
Clarice Starling: It excites him. Most serial killers keep some sort of trophies from their victims.
Hannibal Lecter: I didn’t.
Clarice Starling: No. No, you ate yours.”

Kevin

Kevin Khatchadourian
Played by: Rock Duer/Jasper Newell/Ezra Miller
Film: We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
Most twisted moment: When he burns his little sister’s eye out with chemicals
“Kevin: It’s like this: you wake and watch TV, get in your car and listen to the radio you go to your little jobs or little school, but you don’t hear about that on the 6 o’clock news, why? ‘Cause nothing is really happening, and you go home and watch some more TV and maybe it’s a fun night and you go out and watch a movie. I mean it’s got so bad that half the people on TV, inside the TV, they’re watching TV. What are these people watching, people like me?”

Misery

Annie Wilkes
Played by: Kathy Bates
Film: Misery (1990)
Most twisted moment: The hobbling
“Annie Wilkes: [turning to Sheldon] And don’t even think about anybody coming for you. Not the doctors, not your agent, not your family. ‘Cause I never called them. Nobody knows you’re here. And you better hope nothing happens to me. Because if I die… you die.”

mr blond

Mr Blonde/Vic Vega
Played by: Michael Madsen
Film: Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Most twisted moment: When he announces to the cop that he’s going to torture him no matter what
“Mr. Blonde: Listen kid, I’m not gonna bullshit you, all right? I don’t give a good fuck what you know, or don’t know, but I’m gonna torture you anyway, regardless. Not to get information. It’s amusing, to me, to torture a cop. You can say anything you want cause I’ve heard it all before. All you can do is pray for a quick death, which you ain’t gonna get.
[He removes his razor]
Mr. Blonde: You ever listen to K-Billy’s “Super Sounds of the Seventies” weekend? It’s my personal favorite.”

nightcrawler

Lou Bloom
Played by: Jake Gyllenhaal
Film: Nightcrawler (2014)
Most twisted moment: When he beats the police to a crime scene and decides to film it
“Lou Bloom: [repeated line] You have to make the money to buy a ticket.”

s7en

John Doe
Played by: Kevin Spacey
Film: Se7en (1995)
Most twisted moment: What’s in the box?
“John Doe: [interrupts] A woman… so ugly on the inside she couldn’t bear to go on living if she couldn’t be beautiful on the outside. A drug dealer, a drug dealing pederast, actually! And let’s not forget the disease-spreading whore! Only in a world this shitty could you even try to say these were innocent people and keep a straight face. But that’s the point. We see a deadly sin on every street corner, in every home, and we tolerate it. We tolerate it because it’s common, it’s trivial. We tolerate it morning, noon, and night. Well, not anymore. I’m setting the example. What I’ve done is going to be puzzled over and studied and followed… forever.”

schindlers list

Amon Goethe
Film: Schindler’s List (1993)
Most twisted moment: Taking potshots off the balcony
“Amon Goeth: Today is history. Today will be remembered. Years from now the young will ask with wonder about this day. Today is history and you are part of it. Six hundred years ago, when elsewhere they were footing the blame for the Black Death, Casimir the Great – so called – told the Jews they could come to Krakow. They came. They trundled their belongings into the city. They settled. They took hold. They prospered in business, science, education, the arts. They came with nothing. And they flourished. For six centuries there has been a Jewish Krakow. By this evening those six centuries will be a rumor. They never happened. Today is history.”

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India Stoker
Played by: Mia Wasikowska
Film: Stoker (2013)
Most twisted moment: Having a wank over killing her high school suitor
“India Stoker: He used to say, sometimes you need to do something bad to stop you from doing something worse.”

My top 10 horror movie targets

In many horror movies the targets of the villain/monster are often no more than cannon fodder, destined to be slaughtered without the audience even really getting to know their names. But sometimes the person being targeted is just as interesting or iconic as what or who is after them. These are the ones that stand out just for me.

Birds

Melanie Daniels
Played by: Tippi Hedren
The film: The Birds (1963)
Who/what is after her?: Birds… all of them.
Badassability: 4/10
“Melanie Daniels: Close that door, quickly.
Annie Hayworth: What?
Melanie Daniels: Please.”

carolanne

Carol Anne Freeling
Played by: Heather O’Rourke
The films: Poltergeist (1982), Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986), Poltergeist III (1988)
Who/what is after her?: Lots of ghosts
Badassability: 3/10
“Diane: Sweetheart, last night, when you said “They’re here’…
Carol Anne: Can I take my goldfish to school?
Diane: Sweetheart, do you remember last night when you woke up, and you said “They’re here’?
Carol Anne: Uh huh.
Diane: Well, who did you mean?
Carol Anne: The TV People.
Robbie: She’s stoned.
Dana: Oh yeah? What do you know about it?
Robbie: More than you. Ask Dad.”

claricestarling

Clarice Starling
Played by: Jodie Foster
The film: The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Who/what is after her: Hannibal Lecter
Badassability: 5/10
“Clarice Starling: You see a lot, Doctor. But are you strong enough to point that high-powered perception at yourself? What about it? Why don’t you – why don’t you look at yourself and write down what you see? Or maybe you’re afraid to.”

Halloween

Laurie Strode
Played by: Jamie Lee Curtis
The films: Halloween (1978), Halloween II  (1981), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
Who/what is after her?: Michael Myers
Badassability: 6/10
“Annie Brackett: Still spooked?
Laurie: I wasn’t spooked.
Annie Brackett: LIES!
Laurie: I wasn’t! I saw someone standing in Mr. Riddle’s back yard.
Annie Brackett: Probably Mr. Riddle!
Laurie: He was watching me.
Annie Brackett: Mr. Riddle was watching you? Laurie, Mr. Riddle is eighty-seven!
Laurie: He can still watch.
Annie Brackett: That’s probably all he can do!”

regan

Regan McNeill
Played by: Linda Blair
Film: The Exorcist (1973)
Who/what us after her?: A demon
Badassability: 1/10
“Psychiatrist: Is there someone inside you?
Regan MacNeil: Sometimes.
Psychiatrist: Who is it?
Regan MacNeil: I don’t know.
Psychiatrist: Is it Captain Howdy?
Regan MacNeil: I don’t know.
Psychiatrist: If I ask him to tell me, will you let him answer?
Regan MacNeil: No.
Psychiatrist: Why not?
Regan MacNeil: I’m afraid.”

Ripley

Ripley
Played by: Sigourney Weaver
The Films: Alien (1979), Aliens (1986)
Who/what is after her?: Big, bad aliens
Badassability: 10/10
“Newt: My mommy always said there were no monsters – no real ones – but there are.
Ripley: Yes, there are, aren’t there?
Newt: Why do they tell little kids that?
Ripley: Most of the time it’s true.”

ShaunShaun
Played by: Simon Pegg
Film: Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Who/what is after him: Zombies
Badassability: 7/10
“Shaun: Look, I don’t care what the telly says, all right? We *have* to get out of here. If we don’t they’ll tear us to pieces, and that is really going to exacerbate things for all of us.”

SidneySidney Prescott
Played by: Neve Campbell
Films: Scream (1996), Scream 2 (1997), Scream 3 (2000), Scream 4 (2011)
Who/what is after her?: Various people all acting as Ghostface
Badassability: 8/10
“Phone Voice: Do you like scary movies?
Sidney Prescott: What’s the point? They’re all the same. Some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can’t act who is always running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door. It’s insulting.”

Yourenext

Erin
Played by: Sharni Vinson
Film: You’re Next (2011)
Who/what is after her?: Masked intruders
Badassability: 9/10
“Erin: Grab anything that might make a good weapon.”

Ofelia

Ofelia
Played by: Ivana Baquero
Film: Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Who/what is after her?: The creatures in a dark labyrinth
Badassability: 8/10
“Ofelia: Many, many years ago in a sad, faraway land, there was an enormous mountain made of rough, black stone. At sunset, on top of that mountain, a magic rose blossomed every night that made whoever plucked it immortal. But no one dared go near it because its thorns were full of poison. Men talked amongst themselves about their fear of death, and pain, but never about the promise of eternal life. And every day, the rose wilted, unable to bequeath its gift to anyone… forgotten and lost at the top of that cold, dark mountain, forever alone, until the end of time.”