Mental Health Awareness Week

Comments 7 Standard

This is a massive challenge now. It’s Wednesday 8th and I’ve decided to do my tiny bit to help raise awareness for Mental Health. Deciding to generate 5 posts, one for each weekday of next week – Mental Health Awareness Week.

I am not a Mental Health blogger, to my knowledge I am not a suffer of a diagnosed Mental Illness. There are so many people that are one or both of these things and within that group, some of them have found their voice and are amazing influencers and advocates for Mental Health. But there are others out there that has not found that voice, that struggle to open up and come to terms with things. These are the people I am doing this for. The scarred, the lost for words and the vulnerable. The people who want to scream from the rooftops but are so broken, shy and worried to do so that they sit in silence and let the world eat them up.

No more! Not today! Not ever!


The official theme of this week is Body Image – This is what the Mental Health Organisation have said about this topic:

“Body image issues can affect all of us at any age. During the week we will be publishing new research, considering some of the reasons why our body image can impact the way that we feel, campaigning for change and publishing practical tools.”

Mental Health Awareness Week, body image banner


But I don’t want that to stop us, I don’t want you to read this and think – my concern isn’t with Body Image, this isn’t relevant. I promise you everything is relevant. No matter what you are going through. Sit tight, buckle up and get ready for a week of informative, fun and relief. If I can change one persons life for the better than I will be proud. But I am going to need your help to achieve this.

Also check out the Mental Health Foundation website for tips, guides and articles about MH and what they are hoping to achieve this week.

All support, comments and love will be welcomed.

First steps into Mental Health blogging – I am a rookie in a Pro’s game. But I want to help. Wish me luck.


 

Advertisements

April Round-Up

Comments 5 Standard

I’m a touch late with this post. Usually, I’m fully ahead of the game and ready to drop these round-ups at the end of the month. But last month really ran away with me and now I am frantically tapping out a post to share my life with you.


Lots happened in April.

img_20190423_120546_489img_20190423_120546_485

 

 

We had a much deserved Bank Holiday weekend and my god the weather was amazing. Four days out in the sun, loving life and enjoying the moment – forgetting work and the troubles of the world, just sipping on shandies and painting the fence. We spent two days doing the garden, putting lights up, planting seeds, moving bushes and painting EVERYTHING, only stopping to top up the ice cold shandy and have another Hot Cross Bun. Then on Easter Sunday, we went to Cromer in Norfolk to see the GF’s family who were there for the long weekend in the caravan. This was really nice, an excuse to crack the shorts and sunglasses. It was an amazing weekend that I just didn’t want to end. Life felt so good.


Edmond de BergeracBlog-wise I’ve been up to lots of fun things, I got a chance to go to the Royal and Derngate Theatre to review another play – this time it was Edmond de Bergerac, which can be found HERE. It was a real surprise and such a good show – I absolutely love going to the theatre to review these plays, I feel so cultured with my glass of wine and a pot of olives for the GF.

This month also saw my first paid opportunity blog post as I was asked to promote Panasonic’s new line of shavers and razors – that post can be found HERE. This was a big stepping stone for me and I was so overwhelmed and happy when that came in and I can’t wait to build on this.

I also smashed all my goals for interactions and likes across social media. Hitting targets on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


There was also A LOT of wedding themed antics this month (not for me), I am a groomsman for my best friend in July so we had a suit fitting up in Nottingham followed by a few beers.

Then for another friend who is getting married in June, we threw a second Stag Do for him because a bunch of us from work couldn’t make it to his real one. This was a fun day of activities, drinking and laughing. We went to a place called Top Jump in Milton Keynes – a huge inflatable assault course that broke all of us in some way. Then a World Buffet Lunch, Mini Golf, Beers and Casino. Everyone was a bit busted up the next day for one reason or another but overall it was an awesome weekend.


Avengers Assemble!

Film-wise this month was obviously a big one for one reason which we will get to in a moment. Firstly let me mention Pet Sematary. The remake we didn’t ask for and didn’t need. I was not a fan at all and felt it was such a letdown. Then there was Hellboy which I reviewed HERE. This was a bit of fun, nothing serious, nothing special – just pure escapism which is needed at times.

Then there was the big boy – Avengers Endgame. We went to the Cineworld Double Bill – where we watched Infinity War and Endgame back to back which had a buzz and an electric atmosphere all night long. Now if you are in the slim minority that hasn’t seen it yet I urge you to go. My non-spoiler review should egg you on. It’s a masterpiece of huge epic proportion, 11 years in the making and it paid off so so well. I can’t wait to go watch it again.

 

 


The final big piece of news that you must have seen floating about.

I. GOT. A. DOG.

This is huge, I have wanted a dog for the longest time and I am so happy I’ve finally got one. He is still settling in and getting used to his new life but hopefully, he’ll feel right at home soon. I love the support and love you’ve all shown for him. He’s a cheeky little podge of a dog that means well, it’s clear he had neglect and lack of authority in his old house but he’s such a quick learner and I am sure in time he will truly be man’s best friend. Please welcome Buddy!

 

Sunshine Blogger Award

Comments 11 Standard

Now it’s been some time since I’ve done one of these beautiful posts. I really like them as I think they are a great way of getting to know bloggers and I am always honoured and humbled that I’ve been nominated.

I was nominated by Ashli over on You Me and Benny – which if you don’t follow I highly urge you too. You can expect Movies, Marvel, Witty Banter and Dogs – what more can you ask for.

Also due to great minds thinking alike – Sophie over on The Smurfy Gamers Blog tagged me in this post too – which I had to laugh about because originally this post was going to go out on Friday, but I bumped it for the Hellboy Review and guess who was tagged in my post as a nominee – Yep, that’s right – Sophie. So now I am sat here after mowing the lawn on this sunny Sunday lunch time editing and adding more questions. Whoop.


Related image

So let’s get down to the T’s and C’s:

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging sites.
  • Answer the questions
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
  • List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo on your site or your own post.

Image result for the questions gif

The Questions – You, Me and Benny Version

  • If you had a genie and 3 questions what would your questions be?#
    • I’d ask for money to help fulfill my dreams.
    • I’d ask for the truth behind the JFK assassination.
    • I’d ask for the cure to common cold.
  • Are you an only child or do you have siblings?
    • I have one younger sister.
  • What’s your favorite book/book series?
    • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Series – so good.
  • Do you have pets? If so, explain!
    • We have a cat which is lovely, but my god she is a pain in the bum sometimes. I can’t wait to get a dog!
  • What’s your favorite place to go in the Summer?
    • The beer garden, nothing better than lounging about with an ice-cold beer, talking for hours and just living in the moment
  • If you would have dinner with any celebrity – dead or alive – who would it be?
    • My answer to this used to always be Hunter S Thompson, but now days maybe Johnny Depp.
  • What’s your favorite food?
    • Pizza – hands down, every meal,
  • If you would only wear one thing forever what would it be?
    • I have follow-up questions about this question, but let’s say a white shirt and jeans.
  • What’s your all time favorite animal?
    • Monkey
  • Are you a scary movie fan?
    • Scary Movie Fan as in the films? Or the Genre – The films I like the first two, they were genius, then the rest of the series fell apart. The genre – yes, but I don’t think there are many genuinely great Scary Movies anymore.
  • If you could travel anywhere where would it be?
    • The USA. The times I’ve been, I’ve loved it and would love to see more.

Image result for more questions gif

The Questions – The Smurfy Gamers Blog Version

  • What game are you most looking forward to this year?
    • Well hands down this has to be The Last of Us 2.
  • If you could play a game for the first time again, what game would you choose?
    • Well now I just have The Last of Us in my head – I’d love to play that again. Or the Modern Warfare series, like if you put all 3 into one massive game, that story line is deep.
  • If you could be part of a game series, which series would you chose and what role do you see yourself in?
    • I’d love to be a Cowboy in the Red Dead Redemption series – I’d play a Gunslinger called “Preacher” where I exact revenge on the unjustified and rob from the unworthy.
  • If you could visit any in-game world where would you most like to visit?
    • Probably something like Fallout 3 – just to try out the Wasteland life for a bit
  • What is your favourite thing to do in spring?
    • Not to worry about remembering my scarf and gloves
  • Who is your favourite character from any game?
    • John ‘Soap’ MacTavish from the Call of Duty Modern Warfare series. 
  • If you could visit any place in the world where would you go?
    • I’d love to visit Casablanca
  • What was the last film you watched and would you recommend it?
    • Last night I watched Mission Impossible . . . Rouge Nation – well I think it was that one. I think the newer ones are great fun and would recommend them. Just easy-going films.
  • What blog post of your are you most proud of?
  • What is your favourite soundtrack (Game, Film, TV Show)?
    • I go through phases because I love so many. But this minute the best favourite I can think of is . . . Grease!
  • If you were to learn something new (skill, hobby, subject) what would you want to learn?
    • I’d love to be able to do Parkour. Or maybe just be able to play guitar.

Related image

My Questions

  • If you had to pick an actor to play you in a film who would you pick?
  • If you could do anything as a career what would you do?
  • Is Pineapple allowed on Pizza?
  • When was the last time you cried?
  • Would you rather have all your bills wiped for life, or a Million Pounds right now?
  • In the garden do you prefer Decking or Patio?
  • In the nuclear wasteland do you think you’d survive and how long for?
  • It’s been a long day at work, you are chilling on the sofa with no energy and motivation. What is your go to meal?
  • Amazon Echo or Google Home?
  • If you could see ANY band or artist – dead or alive, perform who would it be?
  • If you could have ANY superpower what would it be and why?

Now for the hard part . . .

The Nominations


Thank you for everyone that took the time to have a wee little read about me and keeps coming back for more. You guys are my mews.

Related image

 

Hellboy (2019) Film Review.

Comments 12 Standard

Okay, I’d appreciate a prophecy with more relatable stakes.

Image result for hellboy 2019 gif


I went and watched the new Hellboy film the other evening and after asking twitter if you wanted to see a review you answered with ‘Yes’ . . . so here we are. Locked, Cocked and ready to Rock. Buckle up guys and gals.


Let me start by saying I’ve never been a big Hellboy fan, I’ve never read the comics, I never saw the second film and wasn’t a great fan of the first one. But I like the idea of what Hellboy is and love a good comic book movie so I went to watch this – Plus David Harbour and Ian McShane are worthy reasons to check it out, both of them amazing and slightly underrated actors.

Obviously like usual – this is a Spoiler Free review so don’t worry. I’m never THAT guy.

(What I think to people who spoil films)

Image result for hellboy 2019 gif


This film is everything you expect it to be – well it was everything I expected going in to it. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, it very self-aware, it knows it won’t win awards but it’ll make you laugh and you’ll have fun watching it.

The basic gist – Hellboy was summoned as part of a Nazi experiment, taken in by a British Agent and raised for good, some big bad comes back, threatens the world and Hellboy has to save the day. Standard kind of deal. But this one does something that the original films didn’t. Hellboy is struggling with purpose, trying to find his place, he has more of a rebellious teenager personality, riddled with curiosity and lack of direction. Where as the original films have him cemented as a bad-looking good guy who knew his purpose.

Related imageThis film offers, cheesy one liners, gory fight scenes, a talking pig and a cheeky cameo from Big Mo using a Machine Gun. If you go in not expecting anything you will be surprised and I bet you’ll enjoy it. David Harbour smashes it as Red – like the perfect fit for the role in my eyes. I was never a fan on Pearlman’s interpretation or acting ability overall. But Harbour stands out, he’s edgy and gruff which is everything you expect from the character. The same goes for the supporting cast; Ian Mcshane (though he plays the same role in everything) stands out for his natural charm and charisma as he plays Hellboy’s adopted daddy. Daniel Dae Kim as the untrusting sidekick with a dark secret and Sasha Lane as the young physic who has a soft spot for big Red.

The film comes together nicely with the casting, over the top action, kick ass soundtrack and just works. It’s a shame popular sites like Rotten Tomatoes have slated it so much – but if I were you, I wouldn’t listen to them. In my opinion RT make more bad calls than they do good (see Shazam’s Score compared to Captain Marvel) so tread lightly. As said up there – you can’t look into this film too much, don’t pick it apart and don’t go in with glorious expectations, literally go in after a long day and be ready to unwind and escape for 2 hours – just enjoy the fun of it.

Let me know if you do go and see it and what you think to this one.

Good luck out there – watch out for things that go bump in the night.
Related image

Get Out – Review

Comment 1 Standard

Man, I told you not to go in that house.

[I stumbled across this post – an old review that I wrote about 2017’s masterpiece ‘Get Out’. I have not edited any of text, I have just added the gif’s to break up the text with some visuals.]

Get Out is Jordan Peele’s feature film debut and let’s start by saying what a way to debut. This is a film about Chris a black photographer who is taking the plunge and meeting his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time. Which on a normal day would still be a nervous situation but in this case things just turn scary.

Reflecting social constructs right from the off, this film tackles Racism and Social Class in a brutal hyper real way, but still mirroring real life events and situations.

Image result for get out film gif


The tone of the film is set from the opening sequence. A black man is walking through a suburban neighbourhood when a white sports car pulls up blaring the song “Run Rabbit Run Rabbit” – he tries to ignore it but as the car stalks him he turns to confront the driver and is jumped, knocked out and put in the boot of the car by a masked figure.

Powerful stuff in the opening five minutes and it doesn’t let up there. The whole time I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen next, wondering if it was real or not.

So in true film fashion the white family live in a very white upper middle class neighbourhood – the kind you see hosting dinner parties on the lawn by the lake. Chris turns up and instantly feels worried, like the social norm would predict. Are her parents old-fashioned, will they accept a black boyfriend. But then again in true Hollywood fashion the parents try to be cool – the dad greeting Chris with “My Man” and voicing his opinions on how much he liked Obama as President. Again these can be seen as normal things that happen. We’ve all said something like that before to try to relate or show we accept and understand.

Related image

Then we introduce hypnotism – the mother is a private therapist who obviously has her own office in the house. To begin with it’s just excused and laughed off. She tries to offer to help Chris quit smoking with her method, but he polity denies the offer. She finally gets a chance to do it after cornering him one night and subtlety doing it to him. From then on, Chris is put into a struggle. To work out if that was real, if everything is what it should be and then paranoia sets it and he starts to question and look at everything differently.

That is where I am going to stop with the plot. All I will say is things get dark, things get tense and things get violent. Keep an eye out for the Deer Head as well. Good luck.

Peele does something really clever and manages to get a dose of humour into this film in the form of Chris’ best friend Rod played by Lil Rel Howery. He is the typical black comic relief that helps bring the film back towards the realms of reality. It’s done almost like Rod is watching this film following Chris the character rather than Chris his friend. Until the end where the worlds collide and like I said makes things even more realistic.

Related image


I am not sure how Jordan Peele did it and I really hope he doesn’t go the same was as M Night Shyamalan – starting on a high and slowly burning out but everything Peele put into this film works, the acting from all the cast is brilliant. Questionable, strange and nervous. Everyone portrays what they need to in such a convincing way that at the end you are with Chris, scarred and afraid of everything going on. The score and music choices are equalling as tense and frightening. Bringing you closer to the edge of your seat with every key change and obviously the theme – such a hot topic and social taboo to talk about is taken and ran with in a brutal honest display of real life culture and social constructs.

Overall I left the cinema very happy and proud of the film. Which I found I hadn’t really done in a while. It was brilliant, so good, I genuinely can’t stop thinking or talking about this film. There is a few jumps that you just don’t see coming, a bit of blood, gore and just an overall spine tingling feeling of nerves.

GET OUT! GO AND SEE THIS FILM.

Image result for get out poster

30 Before 30 – Mk2.

Comments 25 Standard

At the start of last year I did a post about my “30 Before 30” list. Which can be found just Here‘ – but recently we’ve been talking about these lists at work. My friend has just turned 25 and is set on doing on. So he is in the midst of making his list. Which made me look at mine and kick-start my lazy bum into finishing it.

You might notice that a few of them have changed since last year, that is allowed.

Turns out I have 17 left to do and 22 months to do it – which is nearly one a month. Scary right!

Image result for shocked gif


I need your help. Below is my list – I need to plan the fluff out of it to hit targets. I love a challenge and I am not prepared to fail right now. So this is what I am aiming for.

Learn a Language – Currently using Duolingo to learn Swedish
Visit Auschwitz – I believe there are talks of visiting this next year.
Cycle London to Brighton for Stroke Association – Worried about how realistic this one will be
Get out of Debt – Tough as I am so bad with money. But confident I can find a way.
Vegas for my 30th – This one won’t help the above one. But I will be ending this list in Vegas in 22 months time.
Write a Children’s book – Something I constantly go back to, but can’t workout the best idea or plan for it just yet.
Start my own business – Hey if this blog takes off maybe I could claim this as that.
See the northern lights – Always wanted to, but the risky thing is, they are never a guarantee to see, even in the Arctic Circle
Write a film script – Similar to the children’s book, I have several started projects floating about, but I fall out of love with them.
Learn to dance (Salsa or Ballroom) – Gotta impress on my Wedding day right?
Learn an instrument – Uke – Sitting in my spare room collecting dust. I might tweak this to “Learn A song” to give myself the edge.
Re-Visit New York – Tempted to treat the GF and link this to the next one for this year.
Spend New Year’s Eve in a different country. – I have to do this this year as there is no other New Years Eve before I am 30.
New Job – One day!
Get a Dog – So close, by this time next year I am sure we will have one.
Sex in a tent – Who even likes camping?!
Take up Golf – Clubs are in the garage. Time to hit the range.

Related image

 

Avengers: Endgame. Is this it?

Comments 13 Standard

Another thing that I love about Super Bowl Sunday is the amount of movie trailers and teasers that get aired during the ad breaks and half time show. It’s like a geeky gold mine and this year was no exception. Showcasing a 30 second tease for both Captain Marvel & Avengers Endgame.

Image result for avengers endgame poster hd


“Some people move on, but not us!”

This line echos chills down your spine as Steve “Captain America” Rogers drops a sentimental statement regarding the lost comrades.

The 30 second TV spot adds to the 2 and a half minutes of footage that we have already seen, showing the remains of the team on Earth and what can only be described as their ways of coping with the aftermath of the “Snap”. New York looks abandoned and empty as we pan across several scenic night shots. Cap is in some kind of self help group meeting that suggests the “Snap” was a long time ago and people are struggling to come to terms with their loss and the rest of the featured members look broken and affected in certain ways.

Image result for avengers endgame super bowl gif


We also see a lot of walking in this spot trailer, which might seem trivial but asks the questions, what are they walking to, what is the purpose? Especially the team lineup at Avengers HQ.

Assembled one last time, One final mission.

Thor and Rocket seem to go on yet another little field trip, with what looks like Thanos’ farm being their final destination which poses the question – Have they found him? Why have they gone alone? If this is right it shows great character development for Rocket who spent Infinity War actively avoiding Thanos at all costs and for him to now be going head on into the Mad Titan’s home suggests to me that losing Groot has affected him in a really bad way.

Grief can take many forms and affect people in different ways; Steve talking and dealing with things in group therapy, Thor and Rocket going off to seek something, be it Answers or Revenge, while Black Widow has seemed to have used training to keep focused as we see her unload an ammo clip into a paper target while wearing what I would assume to be a sports vest which adds to my thinking of her throwing herself into training and staying on edge ready for whatever’s to come.

Related image


Finally there is also a glimpse of Tony and Nebula repairing something in the spacecraft. Which if tied into the first trailer could be seen as one final push to survive, or could the start of a failed attempt that leaves Tony lacking food and oxygen as he calls Pepper.

With Time being such a big element to this movie there is no way to know or fully understand the timeline of footage until we see the final product. That being said the MCU is becoming known for their deceptive trailers. All those shots we saw in the Infinity War trailer that never appeared in the final film for example. Could this be the same thing? Are we watching duff footage, is this a plot to pull the wool over our eyes and avoid major spoilers?

Image result for avengers endgame super bowl gif


I am so excited for the next few months and what the MCU is bringing out; Captain Marvel, Spider-Man: Far From Home and The Avengers Endgame. This one will be a biggy. It could be time to sadly say goodbye to some much-loved characters who have graced our screen for over ten years. The franchise is huge and has such a big cultural standing in today’s modern age. I am sure whatever they do, however they deal with it – it will be done with the utmost respect and care. As a studio they understand and appreciate the fans, they won’t look to do the fans out of a result.

What do you think to the latest spot? What do you think will happen and how will you react to it? I expect tears.


If by some miracle you haven’t seen the trailer here it is.