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Innovative Nolan at His Best – Interstellar

Christopher Nolan is well known for his imaginative, complex but worthy puzzles where he creates this new world and the only way we’ll be able to understand and appreciate his constant growth of wisdom is to actually sit down and engross ourselves into a film close to the 3 hour mark. Inception will always be the film that everyone refers back to when having a conversation about Nolan’s work because it was just that classy and mind bending, not to mention the outstanding cast. We do now on the other hand have a new contender.
Interstellar has been the most anticipated film this year, starting it’s campaign exactly a year ago from it’s release date. This is one film where the trailer doesn’t tell you enough so the only way you’re going to know what it’s all about is to simply cosy up in the cinema screening with a large bag of popcorn and a good sized beverage because it’s one hell of a ride.

The story of Interstellar takes places on an earth we’ve never known. Crops are dying and turning into this brown dust that is just being blown around like a storm day in and day out so starvation is on the cards. After being summoned by what Murph (Mackenzie Foy and later played by Jesscia Chastain) believes is a ghost, Coop (Matthew McConaughey) aka Murph’s dad who is also a former NASA pilot, ends up at a restricted airbase where he is informed that the ‘Lazarus Project’ is in place to find a new habitat for the human race. Rekindling his old roots with his former boss Dr. Brand (Michael Caine) he accepts to pilot the mission with Brand’s daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway), a few engineers and 2 very intelligent robots TARS and CASE. Unfortunately for Coop, while he’s on the mission, the idea of relativity becomes a reality as time may be going by at a slow pace for him, but it’s actually going by in years, even decades on earth.
Nolan and his brother Jonathan had a field time exploring and playing around with black holes, wormholes, gravity, quantum physics and all of the above. Visually, Interstellar is stunning. The framing of each scene and the different angled shots were typical Nolan directing which makes him stand out. It’s quite like Michael Bay’s work. You know when it’s his movie. The shots in space and the audio to go with it really engrosses you into the film, making you feel what the characters are feeling, whether it’s cold, hot, empty, breathless. Every emotion is captured very well. Not to mention the silence that is present in space was perfectly pitched.

It is a very emotional film, especially in the moments before Coop gets sent off to space but it does carry on throughout the film. McConaughey’s on-screen father/daughter relationship with Mackenzie Foy is so touching, it really pulls on those heart strings. From the moment she gets into trouble at school and Coop goes in for a parent/teacher conference, you know straight away she’s daddy’s little girl. Progressing into the film, there is a glimpse of an Armageddon moment where Liv Tyler speaks to Bruce Willis before he has to blow himself up to save humanity. It’s not as dramatic, but the whole talking to a screen is present and its very moving.
Now it wouldn’t be a Christopher Nolan film without having the legend himself, Hans Zimmer gracing us with his presence for the score. The score is absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, the audio mixing wasn’t as gracious. Having this problem before with The Dark Knight Rises, certain scenes the score really overpowered the dialogue so it became a little difficult to hear what was being said. This was a little frustrating especially when you have an actor like McConaughey who is known for his very attractive deep southern twang and “mumble” as some call it. Hopefully his will be fixed when released on Blu-ray and DVD. Also whether this was to do with the make-up or final editing, McConaughey did happen to look very orange in certain scenes compared to everyone else.
Christopher Nolan is the master of taking you on a mind bending journey into the unknown and you always feel satisfied yet blown away with the result. Interstellar is Nolan’s most innovative story since Inception. It’s time he won the Best Director Oscar.

Star Ratings 4




BREAKING NEWS: Dallas Icon Larry Hagman passes away aged 81

Whether you have watched anything he has made or simply just knows the name J.R Ewing, the world has been sadden today by the dreadful news that Larry Hagman, TV legend, has passed away at the age of 81 after losing to a battle with throat Cancer.

According to, his Dallas co-stars Linda Gray (who played his wife Sue Ellen) and Patrick Duffy (who played his younger brother Bobby Ewing) was by his bedside at the Dallas Hospital. Gray’s agent had released a statement in which Gray mentioned that “Larry Hagman was my best friend for 35 years. He was the Pied Piper of life and brought joy to everyone he knew. He was creative, generous, funny, loving and talented and I will miss him enormously. He was an original and lived life to the full”.

Also releasing a statement according to, the Warner Bros. executive producers of Dallas, Cynthia Cidre and Michael M. Robin, along with the cast and crew of Dallas said that “Larry Hagman was a giant, a larger-than-life personality whose iconic performance as J.R. Ewing will endure as one of the most indelible in entertainment history. He truly loved portraying this globally recognized character, and he leaves a legacy of entertainment, generosity and grace. Everyone at Warner Bros. and in the “Dallas” family is deeply saddened by Larry’s passing, and our thoughts are with his family and dear friends during this difficult time.”

Dallas made its debut in 1978 on the American channel CBS, which had an amazing and memorable 13 year run. Dallas was based on the Ewing family who owned the Southfork ranch in Dallas, Texas and centred their lives on being the hot shot oil barons with a tonne of money, well J.R Ewing certainly did. This obviously brought on a lot of drama, scandals, and power hungry individuals that you can imagine.

Dallas can be said to be one of, if not the most iconic TV series of our time, even more than its rival Dynasty. Whether or not you watched the show, everyone knew about one of the most famous episodes/ one of the most famous things to be aired on television, who shot J.R? It was so good, even Eastenders had their own shot at it with who shot Phil Mitchell? It’s even more famous than the Bobby Ewing shower scene (I will not reveal everything in case you haven’t seen it and is interested in watching it… no spoilers here). The unveiling of who shot J.R was watched by an estimated 350 million fans worldwide.

Blood may be thicker than water, but oil is thicker than both

The revival of Dallas 2012 was based on the younger generation of the Ewings including setting up their own scandals and drama on Southfork. Hagman made his return as J.R, as did Bobby, Sue Ellen and some other original faces, although, the fight between J.R and Bobby Ewing was still the main focus.

Hagman was not only known for just the evil oil baron in Dallas, but also for his role in the 1960’s before Dallas as the witty astronaut who releases a Jeannie in I Dream Of Jeannie. 1965 saw the premiere of I Dream of Jeannie were Hagman stepped out as Major Anthony Nelson for a great 5 year run.
Suffering with Cancer before, Hagman was also actively supporting charities such as the National Kidney Foundation, but just last month, Hagman had announced The Larry Hagman Foundation which would fund education programmes that would promote the fine arts and creative learning opportunities for the disadvantaged children of Dallas.

Nominated for two Emmy Awards and four Golden Globes, Larry Hagman was an amazing character, on screen and off. It’s hard to say goodbye to a man who changed the face of television back then and yet is still able to have that effect on the newer, younger generation. Dallas and J.R will always be his final curtain call.


2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 48 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Lea Michele too Gleemorous for some?

Lea Michele Cosmo March 2011

Glee has been in the news for many reasons over the past few months. Golden Globe winners, Season 2 starting in the UK, Ryan Murphy and his foul language against artists who don’t want their discography to be used in the show and so on. Everyone knows I’m a Gleek, and someone like Kings of Leon need that kind of exposure because their new album isn’t doing as well as their “Sex on Fire” campaign. However, I didn’t agree with the angry rant Murphy seemed to have expressed. Not only is it bad for his reputation, but it makes us Gleeks look bad. If an artist doesn’t want to get involved, then just leave it. It’s their loss in the end. I think some artist need to remember that it’s not just about having their music in Glee. Glee is such a big platform for an artist’s music to be advertised. There are so many songs that have been used that I didn’t even know existed. Now I’m seeking out the originals and have become quite fond of them.

Anyways, other than that, Glee has been in the news for another reason. The apparent “racy” photo shoots in GQ and Cosmopolitan magazine.

Last year, the Glee cast had taken a photo shoot for GQ magazine with the tag line “Glee Gone Wild”. Reportedly a parent’s group called the photos “borders on pedophilia”. The parents television council mentioned that they were just “masquerading as a family show” and is the example of the “sexualization of young girls in entertainment”. Now I totally disagree with this. The argument here is that one, GQ magazine is not a young teenage magazine. It’s actually for the older, young adults plus. Secondly, Glee is not a children’s, family friendly show. It may be compared to High school Musical at times because of its musical aspect and that it’s set in a school but it’s not for the young ones. This is why it’s shown at 9pm in the UK. Also the actors, most of them, if not all, are over the age of 21. They are only portraying teens in the show, so whatever they do after that shouldn’t be a problem. It puzzles me how Glee can be classed as a family friendly show when it tackles all sorts of issues, such as sexuality, bullying, disability and so on and always has some sort of sexual reference, (they are teens after all, hormones will be spilling everywhere).  If the photo shoot were on a young teens magazine, then there would be a problem, other than that, I think some people are taking Glee the wrong way.

More recently, Lea Michele who plays the upfront, high-pitched Rachel Berry, is under fire for another photo shoot in the Cosmopolitan magazine. Michele, who is 24, is seen on the front cover wearing a black top with a huge plunging neckline. Fox news reported that parents of children who are fans of the show are not very happy about the photo shoot.

“New York mother Kim Trefcer told the news website: “I think Lea Michele is sending the wrong message. She plays such a ‘good girl’ on Glee and a lot of kids look up to her persona. Then she poses very provocatively on two magazine covers which makes my almost-13-year-old son very confused and offended… I find it frustrating as a parent who is trying to teach right from wrong to their kids and then you have things like this happen which is showing middle schoolers things like sex sells and all that goes along with that.” Source:

From that statement, it’s quite funny. Rachel Berry a “good girl” in Glee? I wonder how many episodes they’ve watched. They certainly missed out the episode ‘Bad Reputation’ and haven’t been paying much attention to Mercedes. Also, at the age of 13, I would expect that someone would know the difference between television and reality. If not, they should stick to cartoons. The photo shoot was of Lea Michele, not of Rachel Berry. And Glee has on many occasions shown through their episodes what the “teenagers” thought was right and in the end they find out it was wrong and learn from their mistakes, as we all do. Lastly, the magazine Cosmopolitan is actually aimed at adults. Lea Michele is her own person. What would happen if she went on to make a film where she had to do photo shoots like these? You can’t argue with it because she’s not Rachel Berry. Just like Vanessa Hudgens. I don’t hear any complaints about her new film ‘Sucker Punch’ with those outfits, yet she was good little miss Gabriella Montez in High School Musical and is 2 years younger than Michele. I believe there are other topics in the world to be complaining about other than confusing television and reality.

On a high note, Michele looks Gleemorous!

Together not forever

Barbie and Ken

One of the most famous couples of all time could be getting back together this Valentines day. She’s blonde, has had many occupations and is desired by all. He’s also blonde and erm… well it’s Ken and Barbie.

They broke up in 2004 after a 43 year run. Ken’s just turned 50 and his plan is to win Barbie back. Using Twitter and Facebook (not too sure how he does it) he’s been trying to get the world to vote at whether or not they should get back together.

To be honest, as much as they were the Brad and Angie of the “living in the toy box under the bed” world, Barbie was essentially no good for him. She played the field. Those days when she was a Doctor and had to work those “late night shifts”, really, she was over by Action Man’s house, testing out his new motor bike. When she was going horse riding, she was really going to check out Max Steele’s new parachute. Going to the beach with Shelly and Skipper was the worst excuse! Blaine was her main reason. She treated Ken like dirt. We all know, we were all there! Why is he trying so hard to get her back? Apparently, the two became close again after filming Toy Story 3. Who wouldn’t? There was chemistry between them, but too much heat can be quite damaging.

Ken has come back as a new, fresh “boyfriend material” version called “Sweet talkin’ Ken”. He basically says whatever you want him to say, typical. Ken doesn’t realise he’s being used. To be honest, Ken is to blame for the break up. He tried too hard to be something he’s not, whereas Blaine was just some dude who had nothing to do but hang out at the beach. Barbie can be too… plastic. They were forced together. In reality, he should move one. There’s so many dolls in the toy box, he’s got a great choice, in mine anways.

Find out the results on whether they return as couple on Monday. Poor Ken should have dated Cindy when she was around, I know she wasn’t the best doll around, but atleast she wasn’t always preoccupied with her career like Barbie. I’m only looking out for Ken’s best interest.