Category Archives: General

Movies in 2016 – thoughts

So last year (2016), I thought overall it was a pretty poor year. Especially for blockbuster type movies – which is generally the movies I watch. Especially in the cinema. Here is my regular look back at the movies released in the year.

The standout without a doubt was Deadpool. But if I am honest, there are many movies which are I am sure good but I never watched. There are a couple movies I have watched actually last couple days in 2017 which were released in 2016 so can consider them – The Accountant, How To Be Single.

The (Very) Good

So in no particular order, the good movies which I really enjoyed:

As I said Deadpool easily the best movie but also liked Captain America: Civil War.

The Good

Eddie the Eagle was quite enjoyable.

Ghostbusters – After all the “uproar” about Ghostbusters, I thought it was pretty good. Just the Chris Hemsworth character annoyed me. I know he was supposed to be stupid and its a reversal in gender role type thing but I thought went too far – too stupid to know how to use a phone??!

The Accountant was pretty good. I like the 2 lead actors. I remember when it was on and Ben Affleck talking about the movie poster – and how if it didn’t show a gun, people would be expecting a much different movie (of someone doing taxes!).

Doctor Strange – Another blockbuster movie which was are good and I liked was Doctor Strange. I knew nothing about the character really beforehand. Liked the story, acting and effects.

Deepwater Horizon – slight documentary feel at some points but when the action is going, it really gets going. Great special/visual effects.

Rogue One – was OK. I am not a huge Star Wars fan so may be a factor. I liked the characters although I thought Felicity Jones character could have been better. I much prefer Rey from Force Awakens. The last 3rd of Rogue One is particular impressive though. But overall, I liked it.

The Average

Ones which were not rubbish, but not worth going on the good list:

Star Trek – I liked this movie – although can’t remember too much about it!

The Magnificent Seven – decent movie. A solid 3/5

Central Intelligence – OK movie and only on this list because of The Rock who is awesome and Kevin Hart. Too much Kevin Hart being Kevin Hart would have been too much but I think he toned it done a bit.

Suicide Squad – don’t know why the critics (and many other people to be fair) had problem with this. It wasn’t that bad. The main bad guy of the movie wasn’t the best character ever but overall I thought it was OK. And Margot Robbie is really good as Hayley Quinn. Maybe if I knew more about the Suicide Squad from comic books etc my opinion may be different?

The Bad

The movies which are not good. But actually not expecting too much.

Allegiant – but wasn’t expecting too much so not that disappointed really.

Midnight Special – maybe a bit controversial as seen it on some lists about best movies of year etc and although was interesting story, I found it boring.

(and) The Ugly

And the stinkers. The difference between bad and ugly is that ugly movies are bad but expected much more because of either the actors, characters and the previous movies in the “series”.

Inferno – rubbish. How could a film be so bad with Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones in it

X-Men:Apocalypse – not good. Not all bad as the Quicksilver scene was good. Much like the previous X-Men movie where the best bit was the Quicksilver scene.

Jason Bourne – not as bad as Bourne Legacy.

Independence Day – can see why Will Smith turned it down

Batman v Superman – almost forgot this movie (thought it was out 2015 for some reason). Anyway, it was crap. Stupid. Overlong. I actually wrote a blog post about it and my thoughts on Batman V Superman.

Right, probably forgot some. And there are many movies which I have not seen but were either “big” movies or ones which were apparently good  (including many animation movies – I heard it was good year for animation) like –

  • La La Land
  • Hell or High Water
  • Zootopia
  • Secret Life of Pets (actually heard this isn’t good)
  • Moana
  • The Nice Guys
  • Finding Dory
  • The Jungle Book
  • Hunt for the Wilderpeople
  • Sully
  • The BFG

Anyway, now to think about 2017 and potentially some really good movies out! Will blog post about 2017 movies soon.

Reasons I am voting to remain in the EU

So its the EU referendum tomorrow. Probably the biggest political decision in a generation. And one which could effect several generations. I am sure you already know what I will be voted based on my posts but just wanted to write down, some of the reasons I am voting to remain in the EU (although in a way its more reason NOT to leave – which I go on to):

  • Living in Manchester, we have had many benefits from being in the EU such as in £100m+ in funding to support development, jobs, apprenticeships etc. This includes the new Victoria Station, funding for museums, part funding for the National Graphene Institute to develop graphene into actual products – keeping Britain, and Manchester in particular, at the forefront of its research. Back in 1996, the EU pledged £21.5m to help rebuild Manchester after the bomb – the UK government pledged £450k.
  • The EU has banned cosmetic animal testing, ended the trade in fur from cats, dogs, seals and basically improved animal welfare.
  • Being part of the world’s largest trading block
  • The EU boosts UK businesses and jobs.
  • Freedom to live and work anywhere in the EU (and cheap mobile roaming – which is always a good thing!). 🙂

European-Union

Now the Leave campaign have mentioned numerous things like immigration and about the cost of being in the EU.

  • First the cost. They are claiming it costs £350m a week to be in the EU. This is NOT true. Its £190m a week after rebates etc. And if we leave the EU, we would need to spend about this much to access the common market.
  • According to organisations like HM Treasury, Bank of England, Oxford Economics, OECD, National Institite of Economic and Social Research, leaving the EU would have a negative effect on the British GDP. So surely you would listen to all thse organisations who are experts when it comes to knowing about the economy. Unless your live Michael Gove, who ridiculously said the British public doesn’t want to hear from experts. Experts!
  • The other main thing the Leave campaign have been talking about it immigration. Now if we left the EU it would not automatically mean an end to immigration – unless we build a big, giant wall and completely close us off from the rest of Europe and the World. But who in their right mind would thing about building a big wall ….. If we do leave, if we want to remain part of the single market, we would need to allow free mobility of labour both in and out of the UK – if the deal is like Norway or Switzerland. (But if we go for a looser trading arrangement, we lose out a lot more from loss in trade and foreign investment).
  • Continuing on the point about immigration. Its worth pointing out that EU migrants over the last decade on so have paid more in taxes than they have in benefits – a net fiscal contribution of £20bn in fact.
  • Another thing is about all the regulations and stupid rules. For example the rule about the banning of curved bananas. Or about wanting to leave because of the interference of the European Convention (on Court) on Human Rights. This is a separate treaty from the EU and this whole Brexit vote would not affect it. Another example was about 109 EU laws to do with pillows – when in reality these 109 laws had ones nothing to do with pillows at all. One was to do will cereals and their shape (or something like that) and another was about some sort of “pillow air pump”.

The Leave campaign, and to be fair also the Remain campaign is at fault of this but not as bad, is lots of lies, xenophobia and scaremongering. The whole EU ref “campaigns” have been horrible and it times its like a bunch of 8 year old kids fighting in the playground. Although Nigel Farage seems very “good” at this – he always seems to have a go at someones personal appearance i.e. like a school child.

Now if are these things above were not enough to convince me (and hopefully you) to vote to Remain, look at the people/companies/countries who are on the side of Remain compared to Leave.

Remain

Obama, China, India, the EU, Sir Richard Branson, Sir Patrick Stewart, Stephen Hawking, Jeremy Corbyn,

Leave

Boris Johnson
Nigel Farage
Katie Hopkins
Keith Chegwin
Putin
Donald Trump
Griffin

David Beckham’s UNICEF Match for Children

Went to the David Beckham UNICEF Match for Children at the weekend. As soon as I heard about the match I wanted tickets and put it in the diary when the tickets went on sale. As well as it being for a good cause, it was a great chance to see some great former players play and David Beckham back on the Old Trafford pitch and Fergie in the dugout.

Here are some of the photos I took:

The match was GB & Ireland v Rest of the World. Zidane was supposed to be captaining the Rest of the World team but did not because of what happened in Paris on Friday. Also, Petit didn’t come either. Completely understandable. (A few French players did play – Silvestre and Pires).

Before the match Andreas Bocell sang. I think he sang a couple songs – we arrived to hear him sing Nessun Dorma – incredible. Here is a video which I recorded of some of it.

Most of the Class of 92 played so that was good. Also, one of the favourite United players Solskjaer played but unfortunately he didn’t play for long – injury? There were quite a few United players actually – could have made a pretty good team – although not many defenders so a very attacking formation – like a Garth Crooks team of the week team!

Van Der Sar
Neville, Silvestre
Butt, Beckham, Giggs, Scholes
Park
Owen, Yorke, Solskjaer

Subs: Van der Gouw, Fletcher, Smith

Maybe next year they can get Gary Neville to play. Rio Ferdinand was supposed to play but pulled out with injury and Andy Cole pulled out because of illness.

It was good to see some proper legends of the game such as Ronaldinho (just effortless for him) and Figo. Had actually seen Figo play in another charity match. Here is the official teamsheet:

Teamsheet

Great to see some legends of the game. It was a good atmosphere at the game and several good moments.

Loads of fans kept shouting at Phil Neville to do his stepovers everything he got the ball, whenever Liverpool players, in particular Jamie Carragher got the ball they were booed (but he seemed to take it well I think and as banter).

Here is his tweet after the match as proof:

Here is a Vine of his reaction to being booed after his 1st touch:

It was a special moment when Brooklyn Beckham came on for his dad as a sub – and also when they were on the pitch at the end at the same time. Just wish Beckham (David) had scored. Here is the moment Brooklyn came on –

And here is a video of Brooklyn taking a corner, David heading the ball – but unfortunately went over bar.

Some of the players have still got it, some not so much. It was a bit unfair for the RoW team to be fair with the GB/Ireland team having players who still play football – John Terry, Darren Fletcher, Peter Crouch, Ashley Cole. Although some of them can’t get a game nowadays but still good players (and much fitter).

RonaldinhoRonaldinho still has the skill,  Beckham still can cross a ball – could do with crosses like his in the United team, Michael Owen came on as sub near the end for about 20 minutes or so and looked sharp, some good skill and scored couple goals. He is actually only 35 but injury took its toll. Although he is a former Liverpool player so I heard maybe few boos when he came on, he did of course play for United and even though he didn’t do that much with injury etc, he did score THAT goal against City.

When I watched the highlights in the evening, I managed to notice a lot more. I actually didn’t realise that Brooklyn Beckham was in the line up at the start so was not a surprise to some people when he came on. Also, it was good how Ronaldinho kept trying to lob the ball over David Seaman – like he did many years ago during a World Cup.

I also realised that David Beckham was directly/indirectly involved in all goals.

First goal: Cross to Scholes to score. It was actually a Class of 92 move. Butt passed to Neville, Neville passed to Beckham who crossed for Scholes to head in.

Second goal: Cross to Scholes who passed to Owen,

Third goal: Passed/cross to Cole who crossed ball into box.  Owen knocked it in after mistake by keeper.

One good moment which happened during the post match press conference was when a reporters phone started ringing in front of Beckham – so he answered the phone (but they hang up).

Here is the full post match press conference – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=810Z5YsKb_E

Is it the same guy demanding refunds after bad first dates??

Read article in September about a guy who demanded £4.50 “refund” for the drink he bought, after being declined for a 2nd date. The text conversation is worth reading! Doesn’t take it well.

Well, just read about a guy who asks for a £3.50 refund for the coffee he bought his (Tinder) date, after he was declined a 2nd date. Just like the other date, he sends bank details.

Is this the same guy?? Is he in some way doing some sort of “first date trolling”??

Manchester. The best place to live (and visit)??

Now I am biased as I live in Manchester and think its great. However, recently there seems to be an article out every week with different articles and surveys saying Manchester is the best etc.

Here are a few:

As well as what I mentioned in the previous post about all the investment in Manchester.