The Oscars Nominations.

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Ladies and Gentlemen it is nearly time. That time is upon us. Please stand for THE OSCARS!

The highlight of the Hollywood calendar – The Oscars showcase the best films, actors and people involved in the industry in a night of celebration and praise. Which usually leads to some stunning frocks, tipsy antics and a blooper that takes over the year (J-Law and the steps). With that in mind obviously not everyone will be happy with the results, sometimes you are left thinking how did that happen? (Guillermo del Toro winning best Director last year and not Jordan Peele – how did that happen).

So with that all in mind, settle in for my predictions for the Annual 91st Academy Awards. Remember all of these are my opinions, you might not agree with me and that is ok. Also I am not covering all of the categories because we will be here all day. Ready?

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Best PictureImage result for a star is born

  • Black Panther
  • BlacKkKlansman
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Green Book
  • Roma
  • A Star Is Born
  • Vice

 


Actor in a Leading RoleImage result for rami malek freddie mercury

  • Christian Bale, Vice
  • Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
  • Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
  • Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

 


Actress in a Leading RoleImage result for lady gaga a star is born

  • Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
  • Glenn Close, The Wife
  • Olivia Colman, The Favourite
  • Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
  • Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

 


Actress in a Supporting RoleImage result for Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

  • Amy Adams, Vice
  • Marina de Tavira, Roma
  • Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Emma Stone, The Favourite
  • Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

 


Actor in a Supporting RoleRelated image

  • Mahershala Ali, Green Book
  • Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
  • Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
  • Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  • Sam Rockwell, Vice

 


DirectingRelated image

  • BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee
  • Cold War, Paweł Pawlikowski
  • The Favourite, Yorgos Lanthimos
  • Roma, Alfonso Cuarón
  • Vice, Adam McKay

 


Animated Feature Image result for spider-man into the spider-verse

  • Incredibles 2
  • Isle of Dogs
  • Mirai
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

 


Original Song Related image

  • “All the Stars,” Black Panther
  • “I’ll Fight,” RBG
  • “The Place Where Lost Things Go,” Mary Poppins Returns
  • “Shallow,” A Star Is Born
  • “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings,” The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

 


Visual Effects Image result for ready player one race

  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Christopher Robin
  • First Man
  • Ready Player One
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story

 


You have heard it here first. I am backing A Star is Born heavily because it was simply put, a masterpiece. Also in Visual Effects I have opted for Ready Player One – I wanted to put The Avengers due to my love for them. But I think RPO did more in terms of making a visually stunning world. As well as that, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse for best animated feature, did you see it? It deserves all the awards its nominated for.

We’ll see what the outcome is at the end of February won’t we. What do you think to my list? What are your picks?

 

 

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Read Dead Redemption 2 – The Review

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Saddle up guys and gals, we got ourselves a game review. Yeehawww.

Ok, enough of the cowboy talk, I can’t keep it up for the whole thing.

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Today I’d like to talk about Red Dead Redemption 2. One of the most anticipated games of the decade. A prequel to the 2010 classic. We were told we can expect a bigger world, more dynamic game play and stunning graphics that will make RDR2 a flagship for gamers everywhere. Well let’s be honest – it was all that and more.


The game is set at the turn of the century in 1899 – some 12 years before the first game, taking on the character of Arthur Morgan, an old dog in a newly emerging world – the age of the Gunslinger is ending and the modern world is taking over. The game is set across several vast fictional states in the old west, from dusty old town’s to a more modern up and coming cities. RDR2 takes you from the snowy mountains, across lush green countryside, through the swamps of the south and into the sand soaked deserts of Cowboys. You play along the story, focusing on protecting your camp, avoiding the law and ultimately striving to surviving the harsh world of the wild west.

Fishing

Introducing several new dynamics to the game, as well as some refined old ones. You have to treat playing this game, as if you were in Arthur’s boots. You need to eat, either by preparing your own, buying from shops or stopping at saloons for a bite to eat. The same thing applies with grooming, your hair naturally grows as time passes. Which gives you options to rock the scruffy look as you try to grow an impressive beard or take a moment to have a shave and brush up on your appearance. Little things like this really add up to the whole experience. There is something satisfying about heading into town, buying a new suit, maybe a new hat. Having a trim, buying some stock from the shop, a new pistol and then heading off to the saloon for a drink and some food. I guess some could argue it’s such a real set of activities that it could replace real life which I would say helps make the game more relatable and playable. If it was the same single combination of tasks you’d get bored. Because it’s so vast the options are somewhat endless.

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Graphically the game is beautiful, like I am talking HD photo style, I could be there it’s that immersive kind of beautiful – it’s stunning. The way the weather rolls in over the mountains, or the sun burns down over the lakes it makes so much of the game. Which also adds another layer in which clothing is important. Like in reality wearing a heavy fur coat is great in the snow, but in the blistering heat it’s not a good idea and these scenarios effect Arthur, challenging his health cores if it gets too hot, wet or cold. You have to dress appropriately.

Gameplay has upped the controls and introduced some really smart features, one that took twitter by storm is fishing. Now I have never cared for fishing at all. But something about adding it as a feature in this game made me want to try it (in the game that is) and truth be told it’s kind of relaxing, but I think partly that is because of the graphics again. Dead Eye is back and is improved by having your character smoke to replenish the ability. Some people might think this is a bad touch. But I am one of those that even against my better judgement thinks smoking is cool. Especially as a Cowboy ready to duel in the middle of town.

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Overall I am in love with this game. I can get lost in it, spending hours and hours doing so much, but then not moving the story on at all. I played for like 7 hours the other day and did two-story missions, the rest I was caught up in hunting, challenges and just loving life. Can I recommend this game? Yes! Hands down, 10/10, can’t get enough. Like honestly such a good game. My friend at work has finished it and has said I am so far from the end I don’t have to worry about the end just yet. Which shows how much time you can get out of this one game.

Let me know what you think to it if you have played it, or let me know if this has helped convinced you to buy it. Good luck out there guys, it’s a rough old world.

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Blogmas Day 11 – A Letter To Yourself About The Year.

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I found this idea and thought it might be very insightful and fun to write and even read.


Dear Ross.

It’s that magical time of year again – Christmas. We love it so much don’t we. I just wanted to write a few words to remind you of what a year you have had and just to remember at this time of year we are meant to be forgiving, thankful and full of joy.

It’s been a big year in regards to the 30 before 30 list – ticking a lot of things off it.

An all-inclusive holiday in May to Benidorm – that was so much fun. A music festival in September and then Buying a House. You are now a homeowner. Scary right. This time last year you would never have thought any of those three things would be on the horizon let alone ticked off the list.

There has been sad moments too, a funeral, a bad memory full of tears and just general life’s ups and downs. But that has made you stronger, more determined and passionate. Next year is a new adventure, you know it’s time to find a new job, sort finances out and just be more prepared for a rainy day. But there is no rush for anything. Hey kids might even be next on the list . . . did I say that out loud. Good Luck!

You celebrated a year anniversary on the blog with your awesome following. The people who read this and float about on Twitter are just brilliant. Keep it up. One day you will make this blogging thing work full-time. Everyone starts somewhere.

So here is to next year, to the new adventures and the new memories we are going to make.

Take care, enjoy the festive season, be happy and share the love.

Now let’s have some photos of these memories. Imagine Green Day’s Time of your Life playing in the background.

Peace and Love.

Ross.


 

The Haunting of Hill House – The Review.

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I am home, I am home, she thought; now to climb.

 

Recently I have been watching “The Haunting of Hill House”, or commonly known as, the Haunted House on the Hill, The Hill Haunting House, or that show that makes you poo your pants! For some reason everyone I have spoken to struggle to put the name together properly . . . maybe it’s the show that has scarred them too much.

Firstly I want to begin by saying this review will be a SPOILER FREE review. One because I don’t like being THAT guy and Two, because the show needs to be watched rather that told. I won’t be able to do it justice if I try to explain the ending, the twists and the resolution.

Image result for haunting of hill house


I went into the show, hearing so many people rave about it, sing its praises but also claim the nervous wrecks they became from it. Now horror films aren’t really my thing, I don’t think they are made these days with fear and horror in mind, but more to show special effect and a bucket full of fake blood. But I pushed on and jumped into this and wow I am so glad I did – I loved it! It is so much more than a horror show.

The premise of the show is about a family being haunted by mysterious supernatural forces within a house. The narrative jumps across about 30 years, from the family as kids moving into the house, to present day where they have all grown up in different ways after the ordeal of the house.


The main story revolves around 5 siblings who have all taken different paths in life after several traumatic experiences from their childhood. Showing different coping mechanisms from Drug Abuse, to Denial, to Over Compensation. I’ve read and agree with that each sibling in the show is a symbolic version of a step of Kubler-Ross “Five Stages of Grief” process. Which thinking back to how all the characters act and process their surroundings it becomes very obvious that theory could be spot on.

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Another aspect of this show that I loved is the cinematography and the style of shots. Most memorably Episode Six which included an 17 minute long shot. Which is beautiful. Giving the desired impression that the single shot is happening in real-time. While choreographing swift and solid movement with the cast and set to not interrupt the shot. You will know the scene when you see it and afterwards just think “Wow” – I did.

Overall the show, the feel of it and the story is superb, gripping and captivating. Even with the scares involved. The true horror I think comes more from the depiction of Human Nature and how it reacts to unreasonable events, or events you logically can not make sense of.

Please go and watch it. I can not stress enough how much I enjoyed this show and how I want everyone to witness it. True horror making at it’s best.

Image result for haunting of hill house netflix

Side note – after I had finished it, which I had started while moving into a new house (I know right), I had a small dose of paranoia set it, I found myself standing in the empty spare bedroom in the dark one morning getting ready for work, thinking about the end of the show and what it all meant. But the more I thought about it, the more my mind began to play tricks on me with sounds and imaginations of what could be behind me. Silly I know but I put this down to how good the show was, the idea and story stuck with me and played on my mind so much that I felt it could be real.

One final tidbit that I learnt when I was on about episode nine was from an article I read about the show and the missing ghosts. Take a read over HERE – I can’t promise it is spoiler free, but I can promise shock, this article goes into explaining how the show has ghosts all through it but you just don’t notice them because you don’t know where to look. The sheer amount of detail the show runners put into this is amazing. They knocked it out of the park and I for one love that.

Anyway enough of my ramblings, it’s Friday night. Pop Netflix on and start this show. You will not be disappointed.


Have a great weekend boys and girls  . . . . if you survive that long.

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Happy Anniversary!

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We’ve been together a year now. Started seeing each other in September but October 11th we became official. I told all my friends about you. Share photos of us on Instagram and started to make many memories.

We’ve bought new people into our relationship, met some great friends and loved every minute of things. Even the dark times where we wouldn’t talk for a week or so. We worked through it, we have become stronger and still as much in love as when we first started.


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My main thank you, is to you guys, the readers, the followers, the friends I have made. This year has been amazing and I have loved what we have made here. I can’t wait to see it grow, to get better and even more awesome.

Honestly I never thought when I first started that I would have met such inspirations and amazing people such as: Maud, Abbie, Lauren – and then the #BlogVengers; Colin, Gareth, Elle, Annie. These are to name a few – I could go on forever naming all the gems in this blogging world. Basically if you are reading this, you are one of them! I am so thankful! I also want to thank the brands who have trusted me and given me the chance to work with them to promote their amazing brands. I have loved every chance I have had.

To the next year!

Friendly Neighbourhood Review-Man

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So it has been just over a week since Spider-Man swung onto our screens and it’s been one hell of a week for PlayStation Fans.

Firstly let me say I am hooked, I am in love and I am amazed at what they have made – A fully immersive, free roam, open world game playing as the webslinger himself.

According to the stat bar I am approximately 50% through the game, but story wise I don’t feel like I am very far at all. Something is coming but I can’t work out what. Maybe because I have done so many side bits is the reason the percentage is so high. Regardless I’ve put some hours into it and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

The story line is set X amount of years after the origin on Spidey – there is no spider bite, uncle ben, or a coming of age tale. Pete has been Spidey for a while, he knows what he is doing. Honestly I am glad they took this approach – we all know the origins we don’t need to see it again. Pete is just a normal bloke, trying to pay rent, working a low paid job, oh and fighting crime as the wallcrawler. Just another day in the life hey.

The game play and dynamics are breathtaking, the ability to interact with the environment and open world is amazing. Imagine that feeling you got when Assassins Creed first came out and you were allowed to free run anywhere. It is like that and then some. Throw web slinging into the mix and this game is unstoppable.


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Making Spider-Man yours! The game has a tonne of features and combinations that make up how and who you play as. Starting off with Suit selections, there are 27 to pick from and unlock throughout the game; from the original suit, to the Iron Spider from Infinity Wars, to the more ridiculous suits like; Spirit Spider, Undies Suit & Vintage Comic Book Suit. All the suits have their own perks and powers that they bring to the table. Which once unlocked you can trade between suits. Then we get into gadgets, web shooters and suit mods. Which I can’t start to list because I am still unlocking them and playing about with finding the perfect combo that suits me. But again you can mix and match the whole lot.

When I first began and got into fights I was worried that the system would get very repetitive – I was so very wrong. The more you unlock, upgrade and learn new moves. The more each fight is different, fun and intense.

Currently I am running around in the Spider Punk suit – in his sleeveless denim jacket and red converse shoes, it reminds me of my youth. I have the Web Blossom Super Power attached which after ranking up focus, I can do a special move where Spidey jumps into the air, spins and fires multiple webs at once, sticking everyone to everything. It’s so much fun.

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The Bigger Picture – the world is massive and the links to other Marvel characters is just as big. I guessed there would be nods to things along the way but it wasn’t until I stumbled across Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum that I knew this would be big. I set out to find more quirks and references; Avengers Tower, Alias Investigations, Rand Industries are just to name a few. That and the cheeky Stan Lee cameo. You can’t miss it.

One word of warning though. Be prepared to see time just vanish. I jumped on the other night with 20mins to kill. Thinking I will just swing about and have some fun. An hour later I realised I was late to leave. This game will swallow time. But it is so worth it.

The story and game is just fun, all out, spandex pinging fun. If you are either working on the main story, hunting for backpacks or just admiring the world swinging through the streets, whatever it is you will be having fun doing it. I can not express the joy and awe this brings me. This is before we even mention Photo Mode. Imagine Instagram on steroids – the function is crazy full of filters, banners, stickers and a quirky cool selfie mode. Here are some examples!


Overall I love it, it’s so much fun! Let me know what you think, if you have played it, or if this has sold you to go out and buy a copy. I would love to know.

If you have liked this review also let me know as I might do more . . . Red Dead 2 is out next month.

 

 

Fear and Loathing inside Johnny Depps Mansion.

Comments 7 Standard

After spending an hour reading the Rolling Stones latest piece on Johnny Depp, his side of recent events and a bombshell shock of financial debt I’ve been left feeling compelled to write this post about him. The article can be found HERE.

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Firstly I want to start by saying. I’ve always regarded Depp as one of my favourite actors in Hollywood. His acting talent is diverse and outstanding with a huge range of films and accolades under his belt. From social outcast Edward Scissorhands to Drug Dealer George Jung and then over to rum swigging loveable rouge Jack Sparrow . . . sorry. Captain Jack Sparrow. He is diverse and phenomenal in my eyes.

Just take a moment to remember the amazing things he has done for people; Paying for Hunter S Thompsons funeral which included a huge celebration and the cherry on the top of funding the construction of a giant towering canon for his ashes to be fired into the atmosphere. Taking care of Penelope Cruz while she was pregnant on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean and also famously visiting many children’s hospitals and cancer wards dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow to help lift their spirits and just give something back, these are just some of the things he has done for people with no gain of his own.

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Even as a person, yes we are all aware of his 90s binges and partying. Thinking of that famous image of JD, John Cusack and Hunter S Thompson in a convertible with a blow up doll. He lived the rock n roll lifestyle but was still in my eyes a gent about it.

In recent years he has been dragged through the mud a bit with the breakdown and divorce with Heard and now with his financial status coming to light. The poor guy just needs a moment to collect all his thoughts and work out what is going on and how to get it all in order.

I do worry this post is already shaping up to be a bit biased in his favour. Which I will try to reel it back in.


This article repeatedly quotes Depp talking about what he considers the truth and how he is an honest guy just wanting his side to be heard. Which in any argument or story is fair to say, there are two sides to every story and without hearing an account from JD how are we to ever know what honestly happened – Not that I am suggesting his side is the truth, but adding two sides helps see the bigger picture. The article goes on to explain and talk about his looming lawsuit battle with his previous management company and how they have supposedly dwindled him out of money, applying for loans and giving money to certain people without his knowledge. One big one being his sister. They would bring him piles of papers to sign, usually for multiple documents but only present the final page so he could never know what was being signed for – which yes can be argued he should have never signed anything if he didn’t know what is was about. But then at the same time in his life, he was battling some dark moments of life. His family turning on him, his once abusive and strict mother dying and then as mentioned earlier, the stuff with Heard (who has been charged with Domestic Abuse in her past, which I just think is only fair to mention). He also talks about how people in the company tried to get him to sell his Villa, the family home his children Jack and Lily Rose grew up in. To cover loses and to recoup debts which are reportedly in the area of $650 Million. – Wow!

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So with all this going on, he took to recreational drugs and alcohol to help mask and clear the pain. Which then suggests if he was in a state of constant inebriation his inner circle should not be taking advantage of that, this surely hits along the same lines as the #METOO campaign. Taking advantage of someone and using their power and status to try to cover things up. It’s wrong. Depp is a victim. It is also clear from the article that he is dealing with a form of Mental Illness, be it depression or anxiety. Which now adds another layer to the plot – because he is a White Male Actor, it’s as if he couldn’t possibly have a mental health problem.

Reading about the amounts of money in talks and dispute is shocking and gives me chill and starts the nerves sweats. Sitting here in a £2 Primark T-Shirt eating batch bowl of pesto pasta and reading about an unaccounted for million dollar loans. I wouldn’t know what to do, it’s uncomfortable to comprehend. I would be in as much of a mental mess as he has clearly seen to have been in of late.

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The article still portrays the rock star image that Depp is known for but also shows and backs up my thoughts of how humble and kind he is. Being graceful and accommodating to the interviewer the whole time even as he tries to paint JD in a negative way with his style of writing, but this isn’t successful as JD just comes across as a troubled guy who has been betrayed and is just looking for a way to fix something that has been broken for some time without his knowledge of being so. Going on to explain how the people he kept close to him and trusted have all taken advantage, turned on or betrayed him, from family to employees to friends.

In the Twittersphere of late he has been slagged off and recently compared to a sewer rat which sadly is the way social media works now days, a band waggon is built and everyone wants a seat for the ride. Which I guess is homage to Hunter S Thompson as they take his quote “Buy the ticket, take the ride”, but sadly in this case the ticket is for Depp’s public hanging.

I don’t intend to even try to change anyone’s mind about this – because let’s be honest people are the worst and once they get stuck in their mindsets it’s hard to change them.

But I just want to try to bring an open perspective to people, to have them except that he is still a human being. A potential victim in the big spiderweb of hollywood. I know people will comment and probably generate some very strong opinions about this post. But I would like us all to bear in mind that as things currently stand he is innocent, he has not been charged or prosecuted for any wrong doings, which the internet will try to tell you otherwise. Innocent until proven guilty. Remember that.

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He is just a man hurting from several hiccups in life, but he is trying to make amends. Seeking out this interview and wanting to share his side of the story. He is still working, acting and recently he has been touring with his band Hollywood Vampires. In my eyes he is trying to put all of the past few years behind him and focus on his art.

You have to praise a mans dedication and drive right.

 

#IStandWithJohnnyDepp