Posts Tagged ‘film’

The Crazies

Did anyone else see this film on TV last night? Was anyone else getting a bit scared? I was.

The story goes like this: a plane carrying chemical weapons crashes into a lake, the water supply to a little town becomes infected, people start going crazy, the infection becomes airborne, the army come to isolate the town and destroy it. 

In amongst all this are the sheriff and his wife, who is the town’s doctor. They are not infected so they try to escape.  Given that every place they go is filled with crazy people, do you find the following behaviour acceptable?

1. Sheriff guy walking down a street, hears a noise in the funeral parlour place, runs inside to find out what’s going on. Runs inside a funeral parlour. What on earth? If there are people being all crazy just in the streets, it’s probably going to be worse in there. Leave it alone. He inevitably gets attacked by the crazed funeral man. 

2. Sheriff and wife get to their house and are packing up some things to take on their escape. Wife starts wandering around in the baby room cause she’s pregnant and was going, “Sob, sob, this was going to be the baby’s room.” Ok, we don’t have time to be pottering about at leisure having emotional moments, for starters. Secondly, there are crazies everywhere. Everywhere. Sure enough, there’s a crazy in the baby room who ties wife up. Sheriff hears a noise, goes upstairs, almost gets killed by a crazy.

3. As they are driving, a helicopter goes overhead. They pull into a car wash to hide. There is a whole crazies attack then the helicopter blows up the car, without them in it, phew. They then choose, of all the routes they could choose, to walk out in the big wide road, in plain view of any other helicopters waiting to blow up anything that moves.

4. They reach a police checkpoint and the deputy, who is with them, says he’ll create a distraction and they should escape under the bridge. Yep, fine, all goes to plan. Then they run off down the middle of a road surrounded by grass and shrubbery and make no attempt to hide.

5. They get to a gas station. He’s like “Stay here.” So she stays there. Outside. Alone. And he goes inside. Alone. Two stupid things happen next. Wife starts wandering around, looking round corners and in old trucks.  As you do when there are a load of crazies loose. Sheriff, on the other hand, instead of grabbing the nearest food and drink and getting out ASAP, starts having a little wander.  He’s poking about, having a little nose around in a leisurely manner.  Cause that’s what you do when the crazies are hanging around, right?

6. They find each other again after a little scare and they’re sitting in the cafe bit going “Phew. We found each other again.  Phew. Close one.” Then he goes, “Stay here,” and walks off and she’s all like, “Yeh, no big deal.  Only that every time we separate, one of us is attacked.” So she starts walking all around again, as though she’s at the park, kicking through the autumn leaves, not a care in the world. A crazy finds her but her and sheriff manage to reunite and find a truck to drive to get away. Again, they drive down the middle of the road, in plain sight of everyone. 

After this last silliness, they do manage to escape but not due to any stealth or clever planning on their part.

Ridiculous, right? I mean, everyone knows that when the crazies visit town and the army are trying to decimate you, you stick together and stay under cover. Surely?

Well, if the crazies visit you today, take my advice.  You won’t regret it.

Me! I want to join in!

Given that Emily at The Waiting is one of the coolest bloggers I know, I will follow, sheep-like, any suggestions she makes.

“Do Secret Santa, Laura,” she said last December.

“Yes, Emily,” I said and got a present ready for a stranger.

“Come to my child’s 1st birthday party,” Emily said in March.

“Yes, Emily,” I replied, sending in a suitably childlike photo of myself and my brother so we could attend the celebrations.

More recently, Emily teamed up with Zebra Garden, an equally fantastic blogger, to create a kind of Thursday blog-prompt thing. I don’t definitely understand but I said “Yes, Emily,” obediently and resolved to get my head round it.

Fingers crossed I’ve managed and you’re viewing an impressive looking blog badge thing with Emily and Ashley’s names on it?

Anyway, the theme is sleepover so here’s a kind of hashed-together instruction manual of things that must happen at sleepovers. Because Emily told me to.

1. An evening which turns into an unexpected sleepover will require you to sleep in your clothes rather than ask your friend to borrow some because you’re far FAR too embarrassed. You then spend the entirety of the next day in them and don’t see what the problem might be.

2. Warbling along to Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful and really believing you are destined for worldwide fame because of your amazing voice. You’re singing, by the way, into a deodorant bottle.

3. Drinking J2O and acting squiffy because you haven’t quite understood that it is a juice drink which is designed to look alcoholic but actually isn’t.

4. Eating so many fried egg sweets and gobstoppers that you’re on the verge of vomiting but refusing to stop.

5. Playing truth or dare except it’s mostly truths and it’s mostly ‘which boys do you fancy?’ A big secret must be revealed at every sleepover or the whole exercise seems slightly pointless. In the day following the revelation, you must all giggle and look at each other knowingly across classrooms because you all know The Big Secret. Mine, by the way, was the revelation that I had a massive crush on Arnold Schwarzenegger when I was younger. Look, don’t laugh! I know you’ve got some. Haven’t you?

6. Watching a film you’ve watched a ton of times, that you could recite the entire script to but still insisting that you watch it. Mine and my friend Alison’s was The Great Gatsby (the Robert Redford and Mia Farrow version). Another standard one was The Sound of Music (loved it, LOVED it) or Dirty Dancing.

7. Inevitably, you talk about the current ‘issues’ you’re struggling with. Example 1 –  I’m not sure what to do when I go on the sunbed, do I leave my bra on or not? Example 2 – how long should I wait before squeezing a spot?

8. There must, and I repeat must, be some occasional squealing, high pitched laughter and, if you’re feeling risky, an actual scream or two. A parent will then appear with sleepy eyes and implore you to ‘please quieten down, girls, it’s after 1am and you’ve all got a big day tomorrow.’

9. About every fifth sleepover with the same group, there will likely be a falling-out or, at the very least, a change in set-up of the best friends in the group. The subtle change of moving your number 2 friend into the Best Friend spot will have far-reaching consequences which could deeply affect the demoted friend. Until, that is, the following week in school when you have Maths together and you re-establish her in the number 1 spot. 

10. I don’t really have a number 10 but it’s a better number than 9 so I put it there. Um. Okay, let me think of something to say. O yes, I once left my removable retainer thing for my teeth at a friend’s house after a sleepover and I was HORRIFIED! Too horrified to ask for it back. How. Embarrassing. So I left it there and my bottom teeth moved slightly so now they overlap a little. All because I was 15 years old and embarrassed by absolutely everything.


Things I learned from watching Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was very tall.

He was also a Republican. I realised I don’t know what party most of America’s presidents were from (apart from the most recent ones). I know names and policies, eg Roosevelt and The New Deal. But I don’t really know whether they were Democrat or Republican.

It was really hard to get the 13th Amendment through. I didn’t realise how many educated men had opposed it.

The 13th Amendment was such a massive thing. I think we don’t realise it because we live in an age where slavery seems so incomprehensible.

Abraham Lincoln and his wife didn’t really get on a lot of the time.

All but one of his sons died before adulthood.

Everything was so dark at night time, pre-electricity.

Sometimes, as humans, we do the wrong thing. And sometimes we do the right thing. There is hope for us yet.

Abraham Lincoln was a self-taught lawyer. He read some Blackstone’s guides then passed the Bar and started practising. I reckon I could probably skip bar school and do the same. What do you think? (I didn’t actually learn from the film, I Googled it afterward.)

Lincoln was assassinated right in the thick of the war ending and the Amendment being passed. I hadn’t realised it was so soon.

Orange Wednesday is mental time to go to the cinema. I’ve never seen so many people waiting in a line to buy popcorn. (I learned that from the cinema experience itself, not the film.)

A bottle of water in the shop is £1. A bottle of water in the cinema is £2.75.

An afternoon of distraction and Pi

Yesterday, whilst heading out of the house, earphones in and audiobook playing, I had plans to go for a long walk as I was at a good bit in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. I’d get an hour or two of listening in and it would be great. I also really love walking when it’s cold. I love the crispness of the fresh air and how the river looks in the bright sunshine. I had a fabulous afternoon ahead.

Then Danda called, five minutes into my walk.

“Do you fancy going to see a film?” he asked.

“Alright,” said I, my dedication to my original plan immediately disappeared. “Life of Pi is on and someone told me it’s really good.”

As we approached the cinema and were asked for the small fee of a million pounds (or thereabouts) for the pleasure of seeing the film, Danda said…..

“So the film probably won’t be that interesting. The Life of Pi? It’s simple, isn’t it? You make it, you put it in the oven, you bake it, you take it out, you eat it.”

Ah Danda, ever the witty one.

And actually, the film is really good. I read the book when I was a student at Glasgow University briefly. I then read another book by Yann Martel, called Self, as I was doing a module on my English Literature course called ‘The Self.’ I always remember that module because my friend Jamie and I thought it was hilarious to call it ‘The Shelf.’

Anyway, I’d loved the book of Life of Pi. I even referenced it in essays that were about completely different things, as much as possible. I loved the section about how he trained Richard Parker. I loved the episode with the flying fish. And I loved the funny meerkats on the island.

I was really glad the film was so good because it was just how I would want it to be, had I thought about how to make a film out of such a fabulous book.

If you don’t know the basic premise, it is this – Indian zoo keeper and family decide to move to America, they are taking the animals with them on a boat, the boat sinks, one boy and a handful of the animals survive on a lifeboat. What’s not to love?! Go and see it if you get a chance.

And now I am off for a walk and to listen to Brave New World. I wonder what will distract me today?

The time we went to Disneyland Paris

Once, when I was younger, my family and I when on holiday to Disneyland Paris. We stayed in the attached hotel and had an amazing time.

We spend days running around the park, going on all the rides ten times each. We loved it!

To ensure lasting memories of this fabulous holiday, we took loads of photos. Photos of us with Timon from Lion King, with Mickey Mouse. Photos of us in the cool hotel room. Photos of us about to go on scary rides. It was all so exciting!

The day we were leaving, we had an hour or so before we had to be on the coach and my mum went off somewhere to get something. We took a few last photos of the room and waited for her to come back.

This is what was happening in the meantime. As my mum was coming back to the room she was in the hotel lift, chatting to some people. They pressed the button for the floor they needed and my mum pressed her button. As they were all chatting, the lift stopped and they all got out and walked off down the corridor. They went to their room and my mum came to the room we were sharing and knocked on the door. And knocked! AND KNOCKED! She started shouting our names loudly. Panicking.

No-one was answering the door. There was a cleaner nearby and my mum ran over, frantic, and asked her if she could open the door to her room. The cleaner obliged and opened the door and my mum walked into the room….

The furniture was in slightly different places…. There were no suitcases packed and ready to go…. There was some stuff here but not anything that she recognised…..

It dawned slowly. She was on the wrong floor…. We were a few floors up from the people my mum had chatted to in the lift but in the fun of the conversation, she had left the lift with them and gone to the place where our room was located on the other floor. She was now in someone else’s room.

As she slowly exited and walked off down the corridor, the cleaner must have been a bit confused….

By this time, we were getting confused about where she was and worried about missing the coach. Eventually, we got there in time and took a few goodbye snaps of the park from the coach window. So that was the first stupidity…. The second is coming up….

When we got home later that day, we couldn’t wait to get the photos processed and show everyone what a fabulous holiday we had been on. We were intrigued, though, as we had put a 24 picture film in but it had kept letting us take more and more photos. It must have been a 36 film, we thought.

Then we opened the camera…. To take out the roll of film…. And there was no roll of film in it…. Never had been… We hadn’t taken a single photo the whole holiday….. Whoops….