Blogmas Day 3 – Festive Films

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One of my favourite parts about Christmas – The Festive Films.

Films filled with festive joy, magic and fun, what more can you really ask for from the season. Plus the majority of Christmas flicks are once a year viewing. Which makes them even better – let’s be honest when was the last time you watched “Miracle of 34th Street” – oh wait. 12 months ago. Well it’s about time you saw it again.

So here is my Top 5 Christmas films (in no order) as a guide of things to watch over this festive period.


It’s a Wonderful Life

It’s time to watch this 1946 classic emotional rollercoaster that is “It’s a Wonderful Life”. A beautiful story about an angel sent down from Heaven to help a down on his luck businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he didn’t exist. You’ve probably seen it spoofed and parodied time and time again and I think that shows how significant this piece of art is. I guarantee you’ll be welling up during this viewing and it’s as effective and meaningful today as it was back in the 40’s.

Honestly if you have never seen it – Please make it a must this Christmas time.

 

 

 


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Elf

To be honest I am not sure I need to even give the rundown of what happens in this film – but for you small few who have never seen it; After being raised by Elves in the North Pole, a man heads to New York to find his real family and adjust to human life.

When you put it like that it sounds a bit odd – but Will Ferrell excels as Buddy the Elf – a hyperactive over the top man boy raised by elves. It’s genius. Throw in a splash of Zooey Deschanel, James Caan, a bag of quotable lines and an epic snowball fight into the mix and you have one happy fun-filled family must see. (Wow what a saying)

 

 


The Night Before

This entry is a relatively new film but has automatically hit the top 5 list for me. It follows three lifelong friends as they spend Christmas eve in New York City looking for the lifelong dream of “The Nutcracker Ball” an epic, drink and drug fuelled party.

It’s stuffed full of jokes, gags and references to other Christmas films that you won’t stop laughing for the entire thing. While also hitting home with an underlying message of family, closure and love. I think it’s floating around Netflix, check it out – keep an eye out for a cheeky Christmas Cameo from a pop sensation (it just works nicely).

 


 

 

Christmas with the Coopers

Like the number 3 this is relatively new to the world of Christmas movies but nonetheless I think it captures the magic of the season beautifully. It’s a set of intertwined stories revolving around a family as they build up to Christmas Eve. It’s just a feel good enjoyable watch, with a star-studded cast including; John Goodman, Ed Helms, Olivia Wilde and the beautiful Marisa Tomei.

Critically I am not sure it did very well. But it means a lot to me – I took my GF to see it when we first started dating and it’s just an ideal little movie. You might see it floating around Amazon Prime and if so, click it, pop your feet up and enjoy this gem.

 


Die Hard

Now time for the crown jewel, the cream of the crop, the BEST Christmas Film of all times (as voted by Empire Online – 22nd Dec 2016), That is a Fact!

So lets break it down (as if you don’t know) Die Hard is about a cop from New York who tries to save his wife and other party guests from a German terrorist during a works Christmas Party in Los Angeles.

HOW MUCH MORE CHRISTMAS DO YOU NEED TO GET – I can’t express how much I love this movie and even with its problems (Green Vest) it’s still a brilliant must watch festive film.

 

 


 

 

So there’s my Top Five Festive Films. (And that was hard to break it down to just 5 as there are some greats out there). Check them out, or re watch them – enjoy the holidays and let me know what you like to watch, what is a must see and what makes you feel all warm and magical inside.

Honourable mentions also have to go to: Home Alone 1 & 2, The Snowman, The Grinch, The Santa Claus, Scrooge, Office Christmas Party and Love Actually.

Merry Blogmas Y’all

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Blogmas Day 2 – Christmas Traditions

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Happy Lazy Christmas Sunday Guys. I hope you are well.

Today’s post we are talking about Christmas Traditions.


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I love Christmas and the whole festive season. One tradition I love to do, but sadly isn’t an annual thing anymore is the following – Visiting my dads house back in Lincolnshire, I’d drive up on Christmas eve and with my Sister and Old Man we would have a takeaway – I do too much cooking on Christmas Day. No need to do any on Christmas Eve right.

Then I head out into the sleepy market town to meet up with old school friends where we would go to the pub and spend the night, drinking, sharing stories, catching up and singing badly to Christmas songs. Normally taking control of the Jukebox in the pub and spamming it with Christmas hits, 80’s power ballads, screamo and pure cheese. We cover all bases.


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I have always had the vision of when I’m older having a big family Christmas. Like what you see in the American Christmas films, all generations sitting around a big table with bowls of food and festive table decorations. This is a Tradition I’d like to put together and work towards when I am older. Enjoying Christmas with family.


Another tradition that I have revolves around Christmas films, it’s like a challenge to watch as many Christmas films in the month as possible. Which means lots of lazy weekends with festive snacks and movies. Wrapping presents while watching Elf, having a beer with Die Hard or just a lazy Sunday morning with Miracle of 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life. These moments are what make Christmas Christmas to me.

Another tradition that I usually do a couple of times a year is visit the German Christmas Markets. They are just magical places filled with cute huts, beer, christmas decorations and tasty treats. Sadly they cancelled Northampton’s a few years back and now we have to go somewhere else but that makes for a cute weekend. Nottingham, Birmingham, London.

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Oh and how can I forgot Bixby! My Elf on a Shelf. Yes I am fully aware this is VERY America and aimed at the children. But nevertheless I wanted to start now in preparation for the future. The problem I might find as I hide him and move him every couple of days is the fact my GF HATES him. Not sure why – look at his lovely face, he is a little gem.

I also like the Naughty Elf snaps that people post – proper Sex Drugs and Rock n Roll style. Google them if you are not sure what I mean. Not the Child Friendly option though.


And now as we have just moved into a house I think this is the perfect time to start new traditions. But what? I would really like to know your Christmas Traditions, what is a must over this festive season? I’d love to know.

Happy Holidays!

Blogmas Day 1 – Welcome To Christmas.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls. It is finally CHRISTMAS!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and I love it. I am talking, the music, the decorations, the chill in the air and the magic twinkling in the night sky. It’s all amazing and I get so excited this time of year.

This is our first Christmas in our new house which is a magical feeling. Also it has meant more space to decorate and cover in festive cheer. We even spoke about getting TWO trees – which I think I am winning on.

First thing I did this morning, as soon as I woke up I put Fairytale of New York on and sung my lungs out. That is a Christmas Tradition for me, then I spent the rest of the day buying decorations, seeing family, friends, enjoying the first of December and walking with an extra skip in my step. I am literally like a Who from Whoville when it comes to Christmas.

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Right, down to business. The reason we are here. Today is the first, which marks the start of the festive season and for the blogging world this means “Blogmas”, 12 Glorious Days of Christmas, filled with fun, laughter and some sassy ramblings for yours truly.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next few nights (11 to be exact) I will be posting treats and gems to enjoy over the season.

I can’t wait to share all this with you.

Merry Christmas!

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.

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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.

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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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Bohemian Rhapsody – The Review.

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I am struggling to find a way to start this post. Does that happen to you guys? Do you get lost in a sea of “Hey Guys”, “Morning” and “Welcome back” – well that is me this morning. So I am going to just jump into this post.

Because last night I went to the cinema to watch Bohemian Rhapsody and I was blown away.


For the longest time I have been a Queen fan, their music, talent and story has always been a part of my life. Top three favourite bands of all time and annoyingly it took me a good week and a bit to go see the movie when it came out. But I made a point to go this weekend, we’ve been very busy as you might know with house stuff but it was time to take a break.

So me and the GF went out for dinner, then popped over to the Cinema for some overpriced ice cream and a cute impromptu date night. With Bohemian Rhapsody on the cards we were set to go.


Let’s begin. Get on your bikes and ride!

Two years ago Channel Five did a docudrama about Freddie, his life, his troubles and his death – The Freddie Mercury Story: Who Wants To Live Forever. If you ever get a chance to watch this please do. It’s amazing. In my eyes this film and that Docudrama compliment each other so well they are almost like a double feature. Then when they announced they were making this movie I was hyped and psyched.

I loved this movie, the entire thing was amazing, breathtaking and emotional.

Following the life of Freddie Mercury a young Parsis man in 70’s London being discriminated for his heritage, his style and his teeth. We see Freddie meet May, Taylor and Deacon, form the a group called “Queen”, take some big gambles, record some unique styles and sounds, then just watching their music and career go from strength to strength.

But at the same time watching his lavish and promiscuous social life take its toll on his friends and real relationships as it spirals out of control into a drug binge.

The film hits all the emotional notes you’d expect, you take the journey with the band, feeling the highs and tingle of them writing; Another one Bites the Dust or Bohemian Rhapsody, to the lows and troubles of Freddie being played, relationships breaking down and then watching him realise and get diagnosed with AIDS. The last 40 minutes of the film I had a frog in my throat, it chokes you up big time. But that is his story, the magic behind the Great Pretender.

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And what a story it is – another thing that really helped this film was the incredible casting, because for me the entire cast were spot on.

Malek obviously goes without saying absolutely nailed his performance as Freddie. But saying that the whole band were amazing; Lee, Hardy and Mazzello playing May, Taylor and Deacon bounced off each other perfectly and it’s exactly what I would imagine the real band would have been like.

Even having Mike Myers as Ray Foster the EMI exec who tries to tell the band that Bohemian Rhapsody is too long and not what the people want, claiming that no one will ever rock out and head bang in their car to that song  . . . . (Yes they made that joke and I seemed to be the only person in the cinema that laughed) was amazing casting.

Overall the film was amazing, I am still in awe of it. This morning I woke up thinking about it on so many levels and I can not recommend it enough as it’s a story you need to know and see. I can see it making an impact next February when Award Season starts. You have heard it here first!

 


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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!

Man Vs Movies – Venom Review.

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Eyes! Lungs! Pancreas! So many snacks, so little time!

This review will have two time zones in one post. This is exciting right. Currently as I write this it is 14.01pm on the 3rd (Yes today is October 3rd) and tonight we are going to go and watch Venom. But I wanted to do a brief bit before watching it because of the storm Twitter and Rotten Tomatoes have stirred up regarding how good. . . or how bad this film is.

Firstly I want to start by saying in regards to film reviews and reviewers I do not trust the words of two sources; one being Rotten Tomatoes because it’s built off the back of Joe Bloggs opinion and as we know, people behind a keyboard become a troll and just taint everything, plus film is art and art is subjective. The second source I don’t trust is Mark Kermode. But more about him another time.


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Let me start by saying (as you might know) I am a big Marvel fan. I love most of the films regardless of what studio is making what and so when Venom got announced I was pretty excited for it. A cool twist on the Villain we know from the 90’s cartoon and with Tom Hardy at the helm what is not to love. In honesty I am hoping for a dark film, along the lines of Logan or Deadpool with the adult content and dark humour. Though with it being a 15 it might end up being slightly tamer. But still I am excited to see what they do and having Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson involved (which both I rate highly) what can go wrong. See you shortly.


Good Evening – Told you, two time zones. It is now 22.02pm on that faithful October 3rd and I have just got home from seeing Venom.

Ok in three words; Not That Bad!

Obviously it is hard going into a film when you have heard nothing but bad things about it. But here I am. I enjoyed it. I thought they have made a good start and can see it growing into a pretty neat franchise. I think it needs a night to sink in and settle but as a film it was fun. It’s no MCU film admittedly but they have their stuff down. It’s like an X2 standard of film. It’s good, it has heart and potential – let’s just hope they don’t follow with a Last Stand style Venom and cock it all up.

Tom Hardy was, as always a delight. Charming, funny and badass all rolled up into his normal deadly teddy bear persona. He nailed Eddie Brock, his personality and his coping mechanisms towards Venom were brilliant. Which per the review I have to agree with – their chemistry and relationship was perfect, that slightly mad, voices in your head style bickering was spot on. Sadly I mentioned Woody Harrelson up their and without spoiler it, his part is brief. But in true Woody style it was great.

Related imageThe story had a few plot holes and a few questions or solutions that seemed to be overlooked but that is a given now days in many films so I wont dwell on that part.

Overall I thought it was a good bit of fun, a great Saturday night chilled movie. You know the type – get the gang over, grab some snacks and throw this film on. It didn’t drag, it just flowed nicely. I would recommend giving it a whirl. Also as always keep an eye out for the Stan Lee cameo. This one was smart with a cool quip that he throws at our duo.

I am very interested to see what happens next and I do hope they green light a sequel. Watch this space because I can see it growing into some kind of dark guilty pleasure. Forget what you have heard, heck even forgot this review. Go in with an open mind and no expectations and just enjoy the movie. As always boys, girls and true believers thank you for stopping by, thank you for listening and thank you for being you!