White Blood Cells – White Stripes

This album was actually bought for me. I remember travelling to Wales and there was a clip of this band on BBC Radio 4. Yes, that Radio 4! I was quite surprised and the music seemed decent. So, my passenger bought this for me. I like what the band did, I like the music, but when they come on in a shuffle I tend to skip it. It’s never really something I need at the time.

Wheels Of Steel – Saxon

I do like a bit of Saxon. I am rather partial to their sound. Can I tell you what’s on this album? No. I’ve got a “best of” and that’ll do for me. Not sure when I got this particular album.

Weapons – Lostprophets

Fuck. I don’t know what to say. I haven’t listened to this band since it became known the singer was a paedophile. I just can’t physically listen to it.

I remember that musically this was great. I saw the band once and it was amazing. In a very small way I feel I enabled that man. I know I didn’t. The best thing is that as soon as people knew he was a cunt they just stopped playing this stuff. The political right would have called this “cancel culture”, but really it’s just “we don’t support your views so fuck off”. I feel sorry for the rest of the band. But fuck the singer.

We Want Moore! (Live) – Gary Moore

I’ve had this album since I was a teenager. Listening now I’m surprised that I’ve never heard the first song before but I think my taped version never had that on it. I have always been surprised that Gary Moore wasn’t a bigger star. Everything thing has written is fantastic. He had a great voice, played well, good song writer. I wonder if it’s a thing that his music resonated with me more than with other people and I’m placing my values on the world? Just because I like something doesn’t mean everyone should, and I’m aware that’s clearly a thing, but the metal crowd should love this stuff. It’s amazing.

Every song on this album is great. I think everyone should own this album.

I have to add to this communication. I’ve been playing this album while doing home admin and generally “surfing the internet” [which I don’t think people say anymore]. This album is beautiful. Empty Rooms, Back On The Streets, Shapes Of Things, Victims Of The Future, Cold Hearted. All these songs hit me right where it matters. It’s an album I can listen to when I’m really happy. It makes me happier. If I was sad it would make me sadder. It hits the emotions. Today it makes me absolutely really fucking happy, it’s a Legend of an album.

Men

I had a small window of spare time today and so I went to the cinema to watch “Men”. There are details I need to enter before we get to my review. First the tide was nearly full. I couldn’t tell if it was waxing or waning but it was close to high. Also, the M2 eastbound was at a standstill and I don’t know what that was about but I hope that people are safe. I didn’t travel that way as I don’t like having to go to the top of the Downs just to get back down the other side. I used the “new” bridge which has probably been in place for many years now. After the film I rated it on IMDB and there’s a page that covers the rating process here. Then, I tweeted the result:

Earlier today I had tried to screen grab a walk around of the new Minecraft base but the screen recording wasn’t working properly so I’m a little miffed by that. Perhaps I’ll try again tomorrow. I think what I’m trying to do is delay writing what I thought about the film. The problem is I don’t know what I thought about the film. I genuinely spent the last twenty minutes wondering what the fuck it was that I was watching. I wonder if the film was trying to be too clever, although having read the Kermode review in The Guardian I think my interpretation was in line with theirs. I think I’m reminded of Mother but less so, as I didn’t mind this particular film.

I might come back and write some more at another point but honestly at the moment I don’t think I have anything else to add.

What hits!? – Red Hot Chili Peppers

This album was one of my first CDs! I recall getting a CD player in somewhere around 1993. Before then I had used vinyl records and cassette tapes. I think I knew about the song “Under The Bridge” and that was on this album so I bought it. There were a few CDs I had bought before I even owned a CD player because I knew I would get one. I really enjoy this album. It is a good collection of the best songs this band produced in the days before they got mainstream and super massive. I’ve always considered the band to be a great rock show. I’m also really impressed with the bass playing because bass was meant to be my thing but I didn’t practice enough to become great at it. I consider myself “good enough to play a song”. I am not musical.

I’ve just looked at the track listing and I could have sworn that Give It Away was on this album but it isn’t and now I need to go and re-evaluate all my memories!

Everything Everywhere All At Once

I went to see Everything Everywhere All At Once at the Cineworld cinema in Rochester. Usual observations on the tide soon but this is the forth film review in a row and I’m worried I’ve run out of shit to say! I’m going to have to make up some rambling communication to try and get out of this rut. I wonder if quite a bit of this has to do with the world at the moment. I’m bothered in no particular order by Ukraine, Boris Johnson and our ever more fascist government, Human rights in the USA, the climate being absolutely fucked. It does feel as though we are living through the warning signs of future shit that will one day be taught in history classes around the world. These were all the signs they will teach and the kids will be like “how couldn’t they see it coming”. The problem is some of us can see it coming and I’m not sure what I can do. I currently give money to various lobbying organisations I think deserve it. I’m almost in the mental position of having to try to do the best to survive in the hellscape that is coming, I don’t have the energy to fight.

As I drove along the riverside I looked to see that state of the tide and it looked very low. I could see the dips at the end of the mud bank, I could see a lot of the withies. This film was shown in screen 8 and that’s my favourite because it has the best seats and plenty of space. I think I’ve been to see a film just because it was in that screen! They don’t tend to put kids films in there so my offspring have only been in there once. I wonder if I’ll go and see Top Gun Maverick again at the cinema? I don’t think so. There’s an issue with films feeling a little too long for me and I wonder if that’s a me problem rather than reality. I’m going to try and get some information soon. After the film I tweeted the score I gave it on IMDB, for a discussion or explanation of the scoring system see this communication.

I really liked this film. It was wonderfully original and thought provoking. Absolutely great fun and laugh out loud in certain places. It’s a very good take on the multi-verse theory. It’s funny how some things are absolutely abstract or appear nice because of mathematics and then they go and appear in popular culture. My current fascination is that wormholes might exist. If they do then they might lead to another part of the universe. If they do that then we might be able to travel them. You ask the person in the street what a wormhole is and I’m sure they’ll think they are real and we know for sure what we can do with them, we just have to find one. Back to this film, it had set pieces which were wonderful and the story was great. I loved the introspective feel of the thing. The rocks were my favourite I think. How great was that? Rocks.

This film felt very slightly longer than I wanted and as I mentioned earlier I wonder if that’s a “me” issue rather than film itself. For a good seventy five percent of the film I was going to be hitting this one as eight stars on IMDB but something happened in the last twenty minutes or so and I downgraded to a six as I left the film. I don’t know why. I think it’s a “me” thing but that’s what this rating system is, a “me” thing. The rating system exists for me to rate a film on a consistent scale. The system has lasted nearly ten years so I think it’s worth keeping! I enjoyed this film and it was refreshingly different.

Top Gun: Maverick

I was always going to see this film, the big question was where and in what sort of cinema. That question was answered by an email from Kent Wing Air Cadets saying they were putting on a private showing of the film and would we like to go. The answer was a very easy “yes” and so we drove a school minibus down to Folkestone to watch the film in the Guildhall. I should normally waffle on about the tide here and even though we were in a port town I can’t tell you as I wasn’t close enough to the sea or local river to notice the state of the tide. I feel as though I have let you down slightly but also I don’t care because of this particular situation. After the film I rated it on IMDB, there’s a system so don’t quibble with me if you disagree.

There’s a lot to say about this film and I’ll probably add more after this is published. But I think it can be summarised thus: “it’s a Top Gun film”. I had a great time watching it and didn’t laugh out loud too many times at inappropriate places. I’m still amazed that before the film started we had a personal message from Tom Cruise to Kent Wing Air Cadets. How amazing is that? I’m super impressed with the people who organised this event and am slightly jealous too.

There are going to be spoilers in the following text. I don’t think I’m going to give much away of the story but I think I’ll be saying things that might spoil those little moments in the film. I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this justice so I’m just going to write the things I remember, they might be in the wrong order but I’ll try to make it match the film. Read on if you wish . . . .

The font to the opening titles was the same as the original. I liked this. I smiled. I was very excited and looking forward to the opening scene – which, let’s face it, is the best part of the original film. So, the opening scene did not disappoint, F18s launching from a carrier and “Danger Zone” playing over the top. It was bloody great. I loved it.

Cut to – Tom Cruise mechanicing with a spanner on his own Mustang. We know he’s good at this stuff because he has to wash his hands and so got dirty while doing stuff to the engine. Note we never see what he is actually doing, it’s just the spanner in some random part of the engine which was a Rolls Royce, of course. Then, Tom has dinner in his living room which is some chairs on some carpet in the middle of the hangar and I was struck by how stupid it was and how jealous I was at the same time.

Tom then rides his motorcycle along the taxiway on a major secret flight test location because they always let people just ride motorbikes on taxiways and he then pulls in a parks next to some super-good-looking plane straight into a conversation. Notice how, as a pilot, he never wears a crash helmet? In my experience pilots are some of the most safety conscious people I know. Anyway, actors don’t look good in helmets. Now let’s have some conversations about project in trouble and Ed Harris being amazing at some general or other. The plane taking off over the shitty little guardhouse is funny and stupid as fuck. Tom has to fly this new plane at Mach 10 or the programme is finished. So, Tom flies this plane at Mach 10. But then he can’t help being an immature prick so he pushes it a little faster and he breaks the whole thing and parachutes to safety. I think I genuinely would have loved it if they killed his character here and the rest of the film was about Rooster. Note – the Mach 10 plane could probably have carried out the secret mission perfectly well.

Next we have to put the team together. Cue “that one bar” where everyone goes in their full on uniform and drinks and talks shit to each other. Oh, it just so happens that this bar has been bought and is now run by some woman who Maverick used to fuck. The bar owner is also not too worried about the bottom line and owns a pretty neat yacht. I’m not sure what universe the economy is based in. There was some stuff happening with the Team.

My absolute favourite moment was the classroom scene. My god. I laughed. Military classrooms are the crappiest rooms thought about as an after thought and generally devoid of all decoration. The idea that a classroom would be placed in a hangar isn’t laughable. But. The idea that it would be a hangar on an operational flight line with the doors open and jet noise everywhere made me smile. Then, there was the flag. Or rather, THE FLAG. It was fucking massive. Just hanging there in the hangar. Being all stars and stripes. It was absolutely a laugh out loud moment. It was hilarious. Americans eh?

The hard deck of five thousand feet is always so close to the ground in the flying shots and I wonder if that’s because this is filmed in a mountainous region and the five thousand feet is AMSL? It always bothered me about the fist film and it annoyed me a little about this one. Also, if you fly an F18 between two other F18s they don’t really get “blown apart” from each other as they do in the film but then we need on screen action rather than reality here and I understand the choices made. I enjoyed the death spiral move that happened and I quite liked the flying scenes all the time. I mean, they are flying scenes.

I’m pretty sure some shit or other happens during the training and we get lots of machismo. There’s some love action with the bar owner who also happens to have a Porsche so this must be the only bar in San Diego and also just outside Fightertown and also next to the beach. Val Kilmer appears somewhere along the way and he was great. So nice to see him. I love the idea that Maverick is protected by this man. I’d say that’s quite realistic. The armed forces often come down to who you know rather than the rules sometimes, it’s just like life everywhere else.

I was amazed that the USA had valleys that exactly matched the ones in the Bad Place. We were told the F18s would have to fly down a twisty valley and follow an exact route. Fair enough. We were also told the computer would have the map but then, when training, they were flying down or up actual valleys. What an amazing coincidence. I didn’t mind, it looks much better to have aircraft flying near the ground or with clouds to give the impression of speed. I let them have this one. But I chuckled a little.

The target. The target. The target was the exhaust port on the Death star. I’ve nothing else to say.

The bomb run was great. Who cares that it was mostly bullshit? I loved it. The dogfighting was impressive. The SU-50s were amazing. The moves were cool. I liked the reconciliation scene between Maverick and Rooster and I also thoroughly loved the F14. The Tomcat clearly makes this Iran the Navy were attacking as they are the only country that still flies those gorgeous craft. But Russia are the only people with Felons. Oh well, who cares. I loved the F14. Bloody gorgeous. It was all amazing.

I really enjoyed this film. It was great. It was terrible but it was great. Just like the original. I’m not waiting for someone to make an “aircraft only” cut of the both films and put them together. Who cares about all the talk parts of the film. It is and always has been about the aircraft and cool things like that. I honestly don’t care about the story. The whole character arc of Maverick, if we can call it that, is an excuse to see the aircraft doing their shit.

Obviously, one B-2 Spirit and the movie would be over in two minutes.

Firestarter

After writing my review of the Dr Strange film I went to the cinema to see Firestarter. Why did I go see this film? It was the only film on that I felt like seeing, there wasn’t a massive amount of choice. But it would do. As I drove towards the cinema I had two opportunities to observe the state of the tide. The first happened when I drove over the Peter’s Village bridge. This view gave me the impression the tide was high but for a more finer grading on that I have to wait until I get to the cinema. The tide was indeed high but not covering all the mud bank so I would say around ninety percent height. I didn’t know whether the tide was rising or falling, the evidence for this would have to wait until I came out the cinema and could confirm by the changes.

After watching this film I rated it on IMDB. This was an odd experience as the metascore from critics was a lot lower that I had thought it would be. I opened the IMDB app on my phone and entered my score. It would appear I’ve moved the average up a little!

I quite enjoyed this film. I thought it made a pleasant change from the religious horror type film that I’ve seen recently. There was enough backstory within this movie to make it interesting. I enjoyed the overall plot. I think it worked quite well in telling a story, the characters worked well. I’ve a couple of gripes; who gets over the death of his wife in zero seconds? Should there have been more mind-reading? Why did the lead male have to crick his neck? Do people really bleed from the eyes?

The tide on the way out of the cinema was higher than when I went it. So two hours earlier the tide was ninety percent and rising.