Bad things that happened in our childhoods that does not involve anything to do with something that rhymes with Poperation GrewFree

So as until my re-introductory post earlier in the week, I hadn’t posted anything on this blog for a long ass while (or is that ‘haven’t posted’? I have no idea, grammar ain’t friend no mine of), I thought to mark my return, I’d admit to you all some of my darkest secrets as a penance for my sins for being an awful blogger. And what are these dark and mysterious secrets that I am going to broadcast all over the interwebnets? Well, there in regards to the most shameful thing that we all own: Our childhood.

But what am I talking about? What’s wrong with all our childhoods? Well stick with me I’m about to elaborate. When we were children we all had our favourite things: Be it a book, a toy, a song, a parent (admit it, you did), we therefore all had something that we thought was our favourite thing in the whole world and everything else could go to hell. However, it is because of this that we all also had something so shameful, something so unbelievably shameful, that some of us still can’t admit it now and that was of course … our favourite childhood films. Sure! Some of them are probably good like Toy Story, Shrek or The Shining (who knows, you might have had an extremely strange childhood). But there will also be other films that you liked and some of them will be absolutely dire. Yet the problem with these films is that in despite of the fact that you can watch them now and realise how ridiculously shite they are, you just can’t bring yourself to dislike them, because that sense of nostalgia tells you that your 7 year-old self really loved this film and therefore you can’t hate it (although you can quite easily hate yourself).

So what I thought I’d do in this blog would tell you five films that I at some point in my childhood really enjoyed, but when I look back I just think to myself, ‘what the chuff was I thinking?’. So without much further dillydallying let’s start shall we? Here you go! Have my least worst favourite film from my childhood:

# 5 WATERWORLD

Probably the first time ever that Waterworld has been described as the least worst film in any list (and also shows that if this is the first film on the list, then this list is going to get pretty bad, pretty quickly), but anyway, unfortunately my 7 year old self really enjoyed this film, now I don’t know why, maybe I just thought at that point in my life after really enjoying The Bodyguard (oh no, I did not just admit that), I maybe just simply thought that Kevin Costner was the greatest action hero of all time (I was 7. OK!? 7!).

# 4 INSPECTOR GADGET

This was another childhood film that I sadly enjoyed. I have no real idea why because in truth it is utter garbage. I mean I don’t even like Matthew Broderick, and he especially certainly ain’t got no shit on Kevin Costner (damn it brain! Stop regressing back to a 7 year-old state!).

However, I will give this film one thing, its theme tune is as catchy as hell! But that’s quite simply negated by the fact that the picture of Matty Brodders on the film poster makes him look like possibly the smuggest man on earth. I mean look at him:

Can one man possibly look more smug? He looks like he’s just said ‘go go gadget cock extension,’ filthy bugger.

# 3 FLUBBER

Goo a little dance? More like goo and fuck off please.

Yeah I also liked this film as well and again I have no idea why. I’ve actually not really got anything more to say about this film, it is basically just Robin Williams making green bouncy lube that looks like fat people, so congratulations Disney! Although in all seriousness what this film actually is, is one of the rare examples where Disney made a bad film (oh wait no, they’ve made loads!).

# 2 GROWN UPS

I really enjoyed this film when it originally came out…Just joking I was 19 when this film came out and I absolutely hated it.

#1: …

So hopefully you have enjoyed taking a look through some of my childhood sins, but finally I’d like to introduce to you the biggest sin of all my childhood. One of the films I unfortunately really enjoyed the first time I watched this when I was 9:

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(I am so sorry):

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Have you got any childhood movie sins? Why not share them below in the comments and remember that this is a safe place, we won’t judge you. Honest.

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Remember My Name: Breaking Bad Final Season Thoughts

I’m a bad person. I admit it. If there is a Hell (although there isn’t) I’m going there, and chances are so are you. I mean, I like to hold doors open for old ladies with shopping and all that, but I’m still heading for a date with the horned one because, as I settled down with my blueberry crystal meth muffins (I actually did have these, by the way) to watch the last ever episode of Breaking Bad, I was firmly in the corner of Team Walt, something I later learned was not exclusive to me. Walt is, by some distance, the most sympathetic villain in TV history, with a whole armada of crazed wannabe meth kingpins cheering him on as he repeatedly lied, murdered everyone who crossed him, poisoned children and other such shenanigans. Hell, I found I actually liked Walt more as he trundled along the low road every time he got the chance. He started out as a slightly pathetic wimp with a bit too much pride for his own good, but as his moral descent worsened, he only got more compelling as he continued to forge genius master plans that nobody in the audience could even get close to. You know how everyone prefers The Joker to Batman just because Joker is way more interesting? Walt is like The Joker, only he actually gets to win. All the time. Walt lived his dream in a way us scrubs on our couches only wish we could do – it doesn’t matter that his dream just happens to be making really really good crystal meth and murdering like 500 people, the guy fucking earned that dream, and in the house of perversion that is TV-land, that’s something you’ve got to respect.

 

Even as a fugitive, Walt couldn’t resist popping out for the Weezer fan convention

 

 

All of which leads me onto my thoughts on the final eight episodes of the fifth season, and, of course, that finale. After Walt committed arguably his most callous, sinister criminal act in the mid-season finale of season 5, when he ordered a hit on 10 prisoners who might inform on him, Walt ultimately decided to curtail his pride and call it a day. He was $80 million richer by this point, of course, but as we later establish, it wasn’t about the money by this point, if it ever even was. That, to my mind, is one of the big reasons why Breaking Bad is such a phenomenally good show; a lesser show might have been tempted to ramp up Walt’s evil genius tendencies even further, to have a good season or so of Walt being the king before deciding to wrap it all up with some generic shootout. The genius of Breaking Bad was to curtail Walt at just the right time, which made his fall and fall in the second half of season 5 all the more arresting to watch. Walt was trying to get out of the meth business, but unfortunately he was too far down the rabbit hole, and everything came crashing down. By giving Walt that one last shred of humanity, by allowing him to acknowledge his pride and attempt to rectify (some of) his mistakes for the sake of his family, they managed to keep Walt firmly in a shade of dark moral grey, as opposed to the black he was drifting towards.

 

Walt’s strong resistance to the meth trade during the second half of season 5 was no doubt intentional on the half of the writers, who have always done their best to muddy the moral waters. It added an extra tragic twist to what would have been, in essence, a basic rise-and-fall story (albeit one of the best ones ever told). The last 8 episodes seemed to largely be about penance, and about Walt attempting to get his affairs back in order before the death that was waiting for him since the very first episode. As Walt was trying to get out of the meth game, he immediately became a much more sympathetic character, with the writers wisely choosing to give him some very human moments, particularly with Walt Jr., but also with Hank, when Walt attempted to barter his entire fortune for his brother in law’s life. Walt’s previously unchecked slide into insane greed – often cleverly disguised amongst the impossible-to-refuse sums of money he dealt in – was at once discarded, and the fact that Walt’s attempt to save Hank was futile only helped make Walt all the more sympathetic. The genius of this moment was, if you think about it, the death of Hank was indirectly Walt’s fault anyway, but Breaking Bad is an emotive show, and in that moment the raw emotion of Bryan Cranston’s performance was enough to outweigh such rational, collected views.

 

Walt talks through his favourite Pacino scenes. “SHE GOT A GRRRRREAT ASS!”

 

Walt’s long but ultimately failed climb back to the moral high ground meant that the finale, which was probably about as close to happy as this twisted series was ever going to get, felt so fitting. I loved the Breaking Bad finale. It’s so refreshing to have a show that doesn’t feel the need to bombard you with plot twists and shocking reveals to make a statement. Breaking Bad was largely predictable but masterfully executed and provided a fitting reward for the audience and every character on the show (apart from all those who were brutally murdered, but who cares?). Walt Jr. and Skyler both got what they needed from Walt, with Skyler getting a shred of honesty and Jr. getting… erm, nothing. Jesse was freed, finally getting a clean slate to do whatever he wanted (oh, and he got to push Todd’s shit in, which was nice). And Walt got to die almost like a hero, taking a bullet for Jesse while brutally murdering his enemies, before peacefully dying in the one place he was truly happy, a meth lab. Happiness for Walt was never riding off into the sunset with his millions, because that would lead to a slow death from cancer. The clue to what Walt wanted all along was in the tagline of the final season: “Remember my name”. What more could an egotist want? He gets to die in the knowledge that he was never brought to justice, that he achieved both his goals of becoming drug kingpin and providing for his family when he was gone, and, following the deaths of Lydia and Jack’s gang, he got to go out as the only player in the game. He killed everyone who crossed him.

 

“Remember my name”. We certainly will, Walt. You win.

 

The Highlight Reel Preview: 7th October Edition

Well first an apology, this is my first post on this blog for a long time! While Chris has been pumping out posts quite regularly, I just took the lazy fool’s option of just not posting anything. I’ll be honest, I do not really have an excuse for not posting, it’s not as if I can blame being at work for not being able to make posts, because I don’t even have a job. I’m just lazy!

But anyway all that aside, I thought I’d make my return to this blog by giving y’all a quick preview of this week’s episode of The Highlight Reel that broadcasts on Sine FM tonight at one hour to midnight (a kooky way of saying 11PM, ain’t I so kooky? #Iamahipster).

So what have we got for you? Well apart from the usual mix of talk about TV and film. We have got a review of the freshly released film by the brothers of Warner, called Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. Speaking of whom, Gyllenhaal, is someone I actually like to call Gee-Gee Haal as it is an apt nickname that I created for him, simply because one of the films he’s most famous for contains him riding bareback on a horse, which he does in the extremely big gay flick…Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (What? What did you think I was referencing?) Anyway, what’s the film about? Well basically Wolverine and Jarhead are chasing a naughty bloke who has nicked a kid. Trailer below:

 

And our feature this week, sees us taking a look at the brilliant Breaking Bad, which as I’m sure you are aware BB (Breaking Bad, not Big Brother), is perhaps one of the greatest things ever created and unfortunately it ended last week. Therefore in this week’s feature we take a special retrospective look at the thing that made Bryan Cranston, or BryCra as I like to call him (yes I am trying to fit as many homemade nicknames into this preview as I can #Iamahipsterx2), one of the most famous bald(…ish) men on the planet. It’s a tribute to Breaking Bad if you will, so join us tonight at 11pm or anytime over the week on Sine FM for our weekly radio show The Highlight Reel.

…Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand Scene.

YO MISTER WHITE

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“Who are you talking to right now? Who is it you think you see? Do you know how much I make a year? I mean, even if I told you, you wouldn’t believe it. Do you know what would happen if I suddenly decided to stop going into work? A business big enough that it could be listed on the NASDAQ goes belly up. Disappears! It ceases to exist without me. No, you clearly don’t know who you’re talking to, so let me clue you in. I am not in danger, Skyler. I AM the danger! A guy opens his door and gets shot and you think that of me? No. I am the one who knocks! “

Breaking Bad: Final Season Thoughts, Predictions and More

A note before this article starts: this feature contains total, ruinous, catastrophic spoilers for the final season of Breaking Bad. Do not read this article unless you are bang up to date with everything and have caught up with the first two episodes of season 5.5, or unless you happen to have severe short-term memory loss. If you do, under no circumstances tattoo this article on your body like Guy Pearce in Memento.

 

Ok, ok. I take it all back. I get mid-season breaks now. That won’t stop me whinging next time Doctor Who has a mid-season break, because as a member of the online community it’s practically my birthright to change my opinion more often than I change my socks, but for now, I get it. And all it took to shake loose the seething hatred I feel every time I have to go months without watching one of my favourite shows was a single line of dialogue, made up of two words: “Hello, Carol.”

Yes, it is, of course, the return of what is inarguably one of the greatest drama serials of all time, Breaking Bad. Now, to say I was excited about this is something of an understatement. I was giddy about the return of Breaking Bad all day, bouncing up and down so quickly that my very molecules began to vibrate, turning me translucent and giving me the ability to pass through solid objects. You might think that’s good news for Bad, as it meant the show could have been Bryan Cranston attempting to tune a broken guitar for 40 minutes and I still would’ve loved it. However, I can assure you that in reality, the opposite is true: my expectations were so astronomically high that anything less than perfection from the word go would result in my crushing disappointment, and so invested was I in not being too disappointed that I waited until the second episode had aired to write this just so I had a clear idea of where the series was going.

Apparently it’s going to a Mastodon fan club meeting.

Fortunately, that first episode was arguably one of the best in the history of the series and seemed to set up the finale perfectly. We were once again treated to a flash-forward (the narrative device, not the tragic and long-winded US serial starring Joseph Fiennes) showing erstwhile meth kingpin Walter White, now sporting a head of hair and a full beard, visiting his home to once again collect the ricin he’s had stashed there for approximately 100 years. His house has fallen into disrepair, is fenced off, and, tellingly, has the word ‘Heisenberg’ spray-painted on the wall. This hints at a lot, but actually tells us very little, one of the genius trademarks of Bad. Presumably, Walt’s secret is out (see the reaction of poor Carol when she spots Walt) and, given the presence of the graffiti and the pesky kids skating in the back yard, has already been passed into a kind of urban legend. It’s the same reason why kids are always daring each other to visit haunted houses (so I’m told). In the space of a few months, Walt has become a ghost, his story exaggerated but also diminished by Chinese whispers throughout the neighbourhood, with only the chosen few knowing the truth. Presumably Hank is still one of that number, and presumably he is also closing the net around Walt, but the how any why of this situation are still tantalisingly out of reach.

Walt is clearly in a desperate situation, which was clearly highlighted by the second episode which aired last Sunday. Hell, everyone is in a desperate state of mind. The first episode packed a hell of a lot of plot into its runtime, and, as a result, was a constant bombardment of intense scenes. It was awesome to finally get the sweet, sweet release of Hank and Walt finally squaring up, but the question had to be asked: where the hell do you go from there, with seven episodes left? Pleasingly, even with only so long left in its life, Bad still takes time out to focus on the characters we’ve come to love so much. If the first episodes was about actions, the second was all about the consequences of those actions, and it adds a richness to the universe that’s sure to mean whenever the action ramps up (as I’m sure it will next week) it’ll be skin-peelingly intense.

Nothing more intense than a good middle-distance stare, you know.

The acting was nothing short of incredible this week, with just about everyone looking haggard, fraught and desperate, perfectly conveying that theme of decline and decay that was hinted at in the pre-season trailers. Dean Norris and Betsy Brandt in particular have really stepped up so far this season, with Hank’s near-psychotic hatred of Walt driving every move he makes, while the uptight Marie finally snaps on Skyler. It’s incredibly powerful stuff that really hits home just how sinister the character of Walt (or should that be Heisenberg?) has become by this point.

Except, of course, he isn’t really, is he? I mean, look at him. Breaking Bad is rarely simple, and here we see Walt once again reduced to the sickly, pathetic character that he started out as in the first season. His cancer has returned and he’s decided to pull out of the meth business, meaning that just a couple of episodes after Walt organises the brutal prison stabbing of 10 men, he has our sympathies once again. Walt is more frail in last week’s episode that he has ever been at any point in the series, which was no doubt a calculated move by the writers. After seeing that, it’s hard not to hope the guy just gets to leave the meth business and keep his money, living out the rest of his days with his family like he always wanted to. Prison shankings and child-poisoning be damned, we’ve spent 5 years with this guy and we hate to see him suffering like this. Or, at least, I do. After everything he did, he tried to make it right in his own way and he arrested his ego before it completely consumed him. I feel a genuine pang of regret that it was almost certainly too late.

So then, where does the series go from here? The first two episodes have been almost exclusively about the Walt vs Hank war that is steadily escalating, so it seems a little too convenient that the two wild cards, Jesse and Lydia, have been given minimal screen time. It would be typical Bad if one or both of them played a major part in the finale after the show practically begs us to ignore them while apparently sneakily setting up something big for the both of them. Both of them are on very clear story arcs, but where those arcs lead is what I predict will be the downfall of Walt, not Hank. Jesse, easily the most complex and tragic character in TV right now, appears to have big things ahead of him next week in his interrogation from Hank. With poor Jesse in the state of mind that he’s in, anything could happen. Meanwhile, Lydia is picking up the pieces of Walt’s meth business and cutting a bloody swath through the competition  while she does so. Lydia’s character is simply far too unstable not to have some sort of collision with Walt, particularly when she seems so desperate for her new product to live up to the same standard. Everyone is desperate and unstable, and it all seems perfectly poised for a combustible finale. Exactly where the series goes is tantalisingly hard to predict, but I feel confident in predict that Breaking Bad will be that rarest of beasts: a TV series with a finale that lives up to the hype.