Posted in Talking on a Terrible Tuesday

Talking on a Terrible Tuesday 5: Hope

Right wing loonies seem to be in power everywhere, the world is being pulled in different directions by the greedy, the self centred and the stupid. The news brings bad news every single day and more and more we think that we are looking at the worst this world has to offer being considered the norm.

If that is all you can see. That’s sad, because it’s very easy to fall into that deep pit of misery. Please don’t. Because I can see something that maybe overlooked by many people. The people themselves. When the recent US immigration muslim ban went into effect, the first thing I saw was outrage. Then people talking, people protesting and even lawyers, offering pro-bono aid for people affected.

When a visit from current US president, was announced, immediately the people signed a petition to have it called off, 1.27 million at last count. Our current Prime Irritant ignored those people. The last time a sitting PM underestimated a six figure group of people, we left the EU and he quit his job. In this world of instant reaction, trending and 24 hour news cycles, we expect that resistance gets rid of the bad guys in very quick order. It don’t work like that, it never did. Hitler was in power for 12 years if you recall. Here’s were we need to remember two things, patience and determination. If anyone tries to normalise the current xenophobic and short sighted rhetoric of hate, speak up for what you know to be right. We have to remember to treat each other well and do what we feel is the right thing to do. We are not the people speaking for us, we are not conservatives or liberals, right wing or left wing, tories or labour, blue or red, christian or muslim, european or middle eastern, we are just people. All of us and whether there is a deity looking out for all of us or whether there isn’t, we do need to realise that in our actions and in our words, it’s just us here. Every single act of kindness, unity or tolerance is a victory. Every victory is a small way our world gets better. Hate makes noises, hate gets attention and hate can kill. But we are more than hate, we are more than rhetoric, we are more than our labels. We are creatures of love just as much. Every religion is based on love of some description, even the non-theistic among us recognise the power of that love. Think of the last three emotions you expressed to people near you, how much of that was hate? How much of it was love?

Hate defines the limited, the frightened and the greedy. Love defines us all. I still see love in this world, compassion for others, kindness, friendship and that leaves me with hope.

We are not monsters, we are beings capable of great compassion, great understanding and great empathy. And there’s also this one thought, those who speak to our fear and our hate are often of an older guard, my hope isn’t that Trump and May will somehow become compassionate and competent leaders who will listen to the will of the people. That’s not hope, that’s denial, my hope is that we learn this lesson, we heed these warnings and we start picking better leaders, raising better children and ask them to fix this world that we have fucked up, but tell them we will help.

I don’t know what I wanted to say, but I wanted to be a positive voice, we don’t make much noise, so there needs to be more of us.

Posted in Mental Health Struggles, Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous College Writing Part 2

I was given

They said she was wild, like lightning in a bottle..

Then I got 6 minutes…

Wild, a bird on fire.

They said she was wild, like lightning in a bottle, I can see why.

I’m watching her from the bar, this girl I was told about. I get a text from Barry, telling me her name is Gemma. I walk over to her, she isn’t dancing, but her body sways to the music. She hasn’t seen me, not that I am one to notice. My shoes squeak as I walk, unheard by anyone else, but deafening to me. The only sound louder is my heartbeat. Two more steps and my palms begin to sweat. I’ve come in here a couple of times this week now, if she sees me she’ll think I’ve been doing this to watch her. I have, but I don’t want her to know that. Two more steps and my mouth is dry. I’m beginning to panic. this is a panic attack. I’m having a panic attack! I stop, I take my phone out as if I received a message. My head slows, I#m under control, I probably over-reacted. I take a few more steps, she’s even more beautiful up close, she’s dancing now, furious and passionate. Sweat clings to her and her joy is obvious. I’m almost there.

I can’t do this, I run to the toilets, cold water on my face, almost throwing up. I step out. She’s still there, so beautiful and happy. On her shoulder I can see a tattoo of a bird on fire, that’s her in a nutshell. Me? I’m a guy trying to leave a bar without being seen.

I’ll try again tomorrow, 5th time’s the charm right?

Posted in Mental Health Struggles, Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous College Writing Part 1

I was given this line

Of course I believe in Father Christmas.

and then 6 minutes…

this is what I came up with.

 

“Of course I believe in Father Christmas.” He said adamantly. “Otherwise who delivers the presents the elves make?”

She was stunned by this reply. This was a full grown, working man, all suited and buttoned down, passionately affirming the existence of Santa. “You realise he isn’t real right?”
“And you know that for a fact do you? You can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt?”
“No, of course not. But every grown up knows that.”

“Yet every child knows that to be false, don’t they?”
She stared at him, before it was disbelief, this gave way to amusement, but know she was annoyed. “The toys were from your parents, you have to know that.”
“Some of them were, I’m not stupid! Only some of them were from Father Christmas. How else can you explain wealthier kids getting more toys?” She sat back further into her chair, exasperated.

This had been the weirdest first date she had ever been on.

Posted in Feelings on a Friday

Feelings on a Friday 26: Mixed reflections

It’s been a weird week.

I’ve finished my writing course and I feel quite melancholic about the whole thing. I got to know people I would have otherwise never met and now that’s done. I don’t know what to do with that. I’ll still keep in touch with them, but it’s still a little sad.

Work has finished being enjoyable since I got back after New Year’s, so there’s that too, but I can keep that in perspective, since I am 4 hours from the weekend.

Also today is the inauguration of the 45th US President. I want to say something pithy, or reassuring or something like that, but that’s not there right now. I’m concerned for everyone in the country who isn’t an affluent white man, because I think there’s good reasons. I’m not interested in the politics of the Donald, that doesn’t interest me quite so much. There have been right wing types in charge before and while not the best thing in the world, hardly the end of it either. I fear for the world when the leader of one it’s most influential nations is to be honest a lecherous and dishonest TV personality who throws tantrums on twitter based on nothing beyond criticism. If you can’t handle criticism before you take the job, this is going to be a rough 4 years.

It’s not a great place at the start of the year. We have a US about to go into one meltdown or another, we have a UK government as uncaring and out of touch as anything we had under Thatcher, a Russia that feels it can interfere with international politics with inpunity, because it looks like it just did regarding the US election and we also have an EU ready to kick the UK to the kerb in an embarrassingly handled leaving of the EU. The future is looking grim, the next few years seem fraut with peril.

My point? Not for the first time. Europe has been in one tension or another for a hell of a long time. Fascists appear whenever there is conflict for them to use and rich fuckers have always and I mean always done whatever they can get away with to those ‘below’ them. But remember this, we are raising a generation that are so used to global communication and community, who can see all our mistakes as they go along. We have faced global war and global disaster before and yet… we are still alive. The last 4 years have not been so great for me, but I am getting better all the time and while it’s easier to say the world is getting worse, that’s only how it looks now. The darkest moments always seem dark, until the light returns and sooner or later it will.

We need to be make better choices, wiser choices and choices made on hope and the future, rather than fear and the past.

Hope and the Future.

They still exist you know.

Posted in Thinking Thoughts on a Thursday

Thinking Thoughts on a Thursday 8: Writing was a pleasure

It was my last week at my Writing for Pleasure course. It was a bittersweet moment of joy in a somewhat less than joyful day. The class started out with a chat about how lovely and talented Tom Hardy is, before we actually started the class. In all honesty, the Tom Hardy question popped up a couple of times during class too. Being not very social and not very confident at the best of times, I have grown to enjoy these people and many of them I will miss. That said, we all have shared e-mail addresses, I spend time with one of them on weekends and another is a fellow wordpress blogger. A third person of not is the lovely Sam Riley. I have posted her work here before https://misfitmunky.wordpress.com/2016/12/15/thinking-thoughts-on-a-thursday-7-yet-more-poetry/ and after asking permission, I wanted to post her latest poems. So that’s what I am doing. Feedback would be appreciated, so that I can send it back to her.

(As yet untitled)

I thought true love would feel like butterflies,
A feeling that ignites the very corners of the mind,
A passionate flame that would never die,
Matches made in Heaven, souls that were aligned.

Although I’m told we’re perfect, it’s left me so unsure,
Are the emotions that I’m feeling even love at all?
To me, it feels like waves when they kiss the shore,
Constant and unchanging, yet calming all the more.

It’s nothing like I thought love would ever be,
Nothing like the fireworks on New Years that you see,
It’s a shy appreciation between you and me,
Quiet and content, on this we both agree.

It’s not the kind of love that rocks you to your core,
Nor is it the kind of love you’d sacrifice your soul for.

But as dutiful as the tide,
And as faithful as the sea,
Like waves and sand, side by side,
There is always you and me.

 

Here’s another one, which I found touching, my wife (The MIGHTY Rosie) enjoyed and made a fellow student cry.

We spend the afternoon, tracing circles on skin,
You tell me you thought you’d never let anyone in.

“There was a time when I’d flinch away from people’s touch.”
I ask you how it’s possible to hate yourself so much.

The sad truth is, I already know,
But I wait for your answer that’s drawn out like a bow.

Your self-esteem is crippled and shrivelled at your feet,
That’s what happens when your ex is a cheat.

No matter how many times I tell you it’s true,
I’ve never seen someone as handsome as you.

You’ve carried your insecurities for far too long,
You’ll never believe me, you’ll tell me I’m wrong.

The thoughts that you’re battling, I know far too well,
I know how it feels to be a broken shell.

So I’ll pretend not to see the scars on your wrists,
Hidden away under all your bracelets.

Instead I trace circles with my thumb over your hand,
Look into your eyes and tell you that I understand.

We’ll both fight this together, so go grab a gun,
I won’t leave your side until this war is won.

I am glad to have had these people be a part of my life for a little while and while some I will keep in touch with, I’ll miss the feedback, the talking and oddly the very long digressions. This course taught me things about writing and two other things, I am a more pleasant and caring person than I gave myself credit for and I am and anyone reading this is a writer.

Ttfn internet people.

Posted in Feelings on a Friday

Feelings on a Friday 25: 9 Years on

I feel down today, or at least I did, it’s stopped raining and there’s just a touch of sunshine and things don’t seem quite so bad. There’s a metaphor for something in there somewhere I suppose.

Ok, in other news, I went to my first slimming world weigh-in on Saturday and after 4 days of diet plan, have lost 5 1/2 lbs. That’s only 1 1/2 lbs from a half stone. I was thrilled with that and have been ‘on plan’ ever since. I am ridiculously hungry, but that is a post for another day.

This post is the story of 9 years. It was a different world in some ways, in others, it feels like yesterday, but 13th January 2008 will always be the day I got engaged to the Mighty Rosie.

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I’m not going to tell the story here, not fill in the gaps between falling in love and that day, some shit is private and really not my story to tell. But I do want to say a few things, because of who she is and what she means to me.

She’s funny, acerbic at times, inappropriate at others and despite a lack of verbal filter, filthy as fuck. But she is also the most kind hearted, loving and compassionate person I know. From my parents I learned about what love is, I grew up around it and all that stuff, but that’s by example Rosie showed me how to do it. She is my best friend, soulmate, partner in love and adventure and the first person I want to speak to, morning noon or night. She and I share a sense of humour and a darkly sarcastic sensibility and an appreciation for the odd and bizarre. I never fit in anywhere in my entire life, but I never feel that way around her. She is the force of nature we all need in our lives to give us a kick up the bum, the annoyance at times to remind you not to be complacent. All these things are true and have always been true. She is also the mother my beloved son and has taught me so much about how to parent. Also, not quite so new. The more recent revelation is that whilst she has battled her own demons non-stop for years and years (not mine to say, so not going to) she has still been there for me during the worst 4 years of my life. Without her, I’d be suffering depression, instead of battling it. Without her, I’d be a nervous wreck, rather than a slightly nervous mess. The worst part of mental struggles is that feeling that you are alone in this fight. Whenever I feel like that (and there are many) I look at my left hand and the white gold band on my finger that says “I got your back, because I know you got mine.”

To the Mighty Rosie I saw this, you remain my northern star, whenever I see you, I can always find my way home. I love you as much now as I ever have and each day, that grows. I am trying to get back to who I used to be and beyond, I do it for me, but I am on this path to being better, because you have helped me find it.

I remain your loving Munky husband

I remain your Munky

I remain yours

To anyone reading this, who has someone in their life, for whom their heart beats. Tell them this, the harshest things said in a relationship are always the not-said things. To anyone who doesn’t, 11 years ago, I was in the same boat and was blindsided by this wonder, so you never know.

I’m outta here internet people.

Ttfn

Posted in Miscellaneous

For the geek in me, 2016 was awesome! part 3

Rounding off the pop culture trilogy, the best new TV I saw last year.

10: Hunters

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I mentioned this tv program in my recent 5 Sci Fi series that aren’t ‘Franchises’ so won’t talk as much about it here.

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9: Killjoys

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Same for this one if I am honest.

8: Expanse

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And this one too.

7: Constantine

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This was one of shows that was cut short in it’s prime. Obstensibly an adaptation of DC/Vertigo title Hellblazer, it is the story of part time exorcist, part time mage and full time arsehole John Constantine. John is from Liverpool (Woo Hoo) but lives in America a lot of the time and gets caught up in mystical and demonic activities. Realising that something is coming, he takes a more active hand in dealing with it. We have unkillable men, demons, voodoo priests, clairvoyants, ghosts, angels and tons more besides and takes place in the darker corners of the CW DC TV universe. Matt Ryan nails Constantine as a good, if unscrupulous man, racked with guilt and haunted by his actions, he is a relatable, if not always likeable lead. We have references to First of the Fallen, Doctor Fate, Felix Faust and the Spectre, but this is in no way inaccessible to non-Vertigo fans and even though cut off halfway through season 1, is worth watching on Amazon Prime or getting on DVD/Blu-Ray, a sequel animated series is on the way, but this is where the series shines.

6: Legends of Tomorrow

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From the same stable as Arrow and The Flash, DC Legends of Tomorrow is an ensemble show using characters that have shown up in the two shows before (including Sarah Lance, Ray ‘the Atom’ Palmer, Dr Martin ‘half of Firestorm’ Stein, Jefferson ‘the other half’ Jackson, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Captain Cold and Heatwave) as well as Rip Hunter the Time Master. Rip is played by Arthur Darvil (the dopey guy from season 5 of Doctor Who) and gathers this team of potential legends to battle the evil Vandal Savage across history in his time ship WaveRider. An uneven show, it took time to find it’s feet. But at all points it was a lot of fun.

5: Lucifer

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Another one from my 5 sci fi shows post.

4: Jessica Jones

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The second of Marvel/Netflix’s collaboration shows, this was by far the biggest risk as it was the most obscure. Jessica Jones was the protagonist of the mature readers Marvel series Alias by Brian Michael Bendis. This is the story of a fallen/failed hero, suffering PTSD from her time under the control of a man she knows only as Killgrave. This series was bold, unflinching in places and at times disturbing. Kristen Ritter played Jones as a mess, but very much an understandable one, while David Tennant was gleefully evil as Killian, yet still had moments of sympathetic depth sprinkled around. Full of action, suspense and choice language, it was proof that Marvel could do really good TV when not tied to network needs.

Speaking of Jessica Jones

3: Luke Cage

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I reviewed this on another post, so here’s that http://wp.me/p4oX4g-eH

2: iZombie

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This wasn’t particularly new to 2016, but it only got to Netflix at that point. This is a glorious find with an interesting and distinct take on the walking undead. Here final year medical student Liv is scratched by a zombie at a party she attended at her fiance’s request. She passes out, waking inside a body bag with a streak of hair turned white (soon joined by the rest of her hair) and a hunger for human brains. This version of zombieism is different in that the zombie retains their human personality and faculties, they’re just pale and hunger for brains. The brains often cause flashes of the brain donor’s life in the zombie’s head. This leads to the zombie temporarily acquiring new personality traits. Liv ends up working in a morgue with no real interest in doing anything other than eating brains, but falls backwards into helping a rookie detective solve cases using what he thinks are psychic vision, but are actually brain related side-effects. The series then follows her rebuilding her life, searching for a cure and allowing the search for justice to help her sleep at night.

It’s well acted, funny, bonkers in places and incredibly accessible. The cast is varied and very good with stand-out work from David Anders as sort of bad-guy zombie Blaine. If you have Netflix, watch it, if you don’t first month is free, just saying.

 

And finally, though it isn’t Sci-Fi or anything, it has been the most surprising and fun show I have watched this year.

1: Lethal Weapon

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Two things before I start

1: I have never really enjoyed the majority of re-makes and re-boots of functioning properties.

2: I have a great fondness for the Lethal Weapon franchise, the first film being a favourite amongst christmas movies for both myself and  the Mighty Rosie.

So you can imagine that I wasn’t inclined to give a TV remake/Damon Wayans Snr vehicle much of a chance. I’m glad I did. Given a weekly format, this series allows more depth to several characters from Clayne Crawford’s tortured Martin Riggs, to the police appointed psychiatrist trying to help him as well as Wayans’ Roger Murtaugh, a veteran cop trying to get back into the swing of things after a heart attack, but far from the ‘too old for this shit’ version of the movies. The lead’s chemistry is entertaining and immediate, with Rog’s exasperation with Riggs’ reckless actions as he acts with little thought and less care. This isn’t some cheap knock-off, but a distillation, being true to the spirit of the action comedy elements of the film, but very much it’s own animal. Definitely worth a try.

So there you have it.

2016 was something of a geek’s dream and there was plenty to take your mind of the stresses of the world, so you can put them into perspective. The TV and movies on these lists were things I shared with friends and loved ones and that’s just the new stuff, not counting new series of TV I was watching last year.

With new films and TV coming, new challenges in my personal life and new battles to be fought, 2017 looks like an interesting year. I think it’s going to be fun and will do all I can to make sure.

Ta Ta for Now internet people.

 

 

Posted in Miscellaneous

For the Geek in me, 2016 was awesome! Part 2

These are the top ten films I saw last year, some weren’t realised in 2016, but that’s when I saw them.

10: Jupiter Ascending

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This was a strange little sci-fi movie, with an odd cast in odd roles, but to be honest was highly entertaining. Maid from a large family Jupiter (Mila Klunis) finds out that she is alien royalty and is then caught up in the politics of a human race that has colonised much of the galaxy, not just one planet. It’s action packed, high concept and looks very good. Flawed in places, it’s just nice seeing a fresh story on the big screen.

9: Transformers: Age of Exinction

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On the other side of that, we have the 4th Michael Bay-verse Transformers film. To be honest, after the snore-fest of Dark of the Moon, this was something of a relief. We are without a returning Megatron and the bad guys here aren’t Decepticons, but are in fact the human race, who are interested in creating their own Transformers and sell the Autobots out to get that power. Also gone is Shia LeBouf (I think we can all be glad of that) this time we have a going broke Kade (Mark Whalberg) and his daughter and her secret boyfriend. There’s an attempt at plot, great set pieces, villains who are both relatable and others that are moustache twirlers and dinosaurs. It was a good deactivate your brain movie and I always enjoy them.

8:Doctor Strange

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The fact this is only got to my #8 tells you how much fun I have had at the cinema this year. Benedict Cumberbatch embodies the arrogant ass that is Dr Stephen Strange, who after a car accident loses everything and travels to the east in search of miracles and last hopes to restore his surgically gifted hands. Instead he becomes an acolyte of the ancient one (Tilda Swinton, once again playing not quite right, but captivating) and learns alongside several other sorcerors. He’s sceptical, but gifted and ends up becoming a decent sorcerer, just in time to face the threat of the Dread Dormammu. Visually stunning, well shot and acted, it follows the marvel movie origin formula and leaves us with a character ready for more adventures. I and my wife (the Mighty Rosie) enjoyed this quite a lot.

7: Star Trek Beyond

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Didn’t go to the pictures for this, possibly not a great choice. This was the best of the three Nu Trek films so far in one aspect. It felt like Star Trek. It was character driven, well plotted and just felt like Trek at it’s best. Pine, Quinto and Urban just nail their parts perfectly and the rest of the cast are really enjoyable in their roles. There’s silliness, high octane action, character development and by the end, you want to see another one. Star Trek into Darkness was not good. This however, puts this franchise back on track.

6: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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I wanted to give this a higher position, but I think this is where it needs to be. This was everything we wanted Episode 7 to be. This was Star Wars, but without a lot of the crappy stuff that disney and Lucas have tried to force down everyone’s throat. Rogue one is the story of what happens just before the original Star Wars. The Empire has built the Death Star, this is the response of the nascent Rebel Alliance. We have spaceships, robots, Darth Vader and all the cool stuff that isn’t lightsabers, but for the first time, a sense of actual threat. We don’t know these characters, so we don’t know who will survive, who will betray the others, who will fail. Without the Solos and Skywalkers crowding the screen, we get a well written, exciting story that happens to take place just before the Star Wars trilogy.

5: Suicide Squad (Extended Cut)

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Another one where I skipped the cinema for, this was just bags of fun. An all star cast, playing no-star characters. Amanda ‘the Wall’ Waller (played by Viola Davis) and Rick Flagg put together a rag tag group of villains (Deadshot, Killer Croc, Harley Quinn, El Diablo, Captain Boomerang, Katana and the Enchantress) to combat extra-ordinary threats. Their missions are dangerous, ridiculous and highly entertaining. Everyone nailed the spirit of the characters from the comics, or made them more fun for the movie and Harley Quinn and Killer Croc are particularly entertaining. We also have Batman & the Joker, but they don’t over-power the movie and in the end, we finally get a well made fun DCEU movie.

 

4: Captain America: Civil War

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It starts getting trickier here, 4, 3, and 2 are so close that this ranking doesn’t really matter. This was an Avengers film more than a Captain America one. The main Cap elements are the supporting cast from his films and the connection to Bucky. This film was based loosely on the Civil War comic series from 2006 or so. Loosely is the best way, given the chance I will rant for hours about how I don’t like Mark Millar’s Civil War, the execution is so bad and that takes from the idea. Here the idea is ran with. Rather than paint Iron Man as the villain, this time I see Tony Stark’s point so clearly and it’s reasonable, so is Captain America’s and the dividing line between the team members makes a lot of sense. There’s also a hero v hero battle that makes the price of admission worth it. Everyone does well in this movie and Black Panther and Spider-Man are perfectly portrayed. 5 films that gave is Spider-Man (ish) characters and the real Spider-Man shows up in Captain America. This was tons of fun.

 

3: Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (Extended Cut)

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There are two ways of looking at the recent portrayals of Superman by Henry Cavill. Either Zack Snyder doesn’t get Superman and this is further evidence of fresh ideas needed…OR he’s playing a long game and a more recognisable Superman is coming. The second idea is furthered through this film about a Batman who’s gone off the rails, a Superman who hasn’t really embraced being Superman and a Lex Luthor who founded Facebook trying to get them to kill eachother, because his dad was an asshole. With the addition of extra footage, we get a more even film, with greater characterisation and more indepth plot. The set pieces are just as awesome, Gal Gadot owns the screen as Wonder Woman and I saw Aquaman on the big screen. Overall I enjoyed this film a lot more than the internet told me I should.

 

2: X-Men Apocalypse

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I am not going to say much about this film, except this film is like the 90’s X-Men comics. It’s outlandish and ridiculous, but a hell of a lot of fun. Cyclops is back on the team, we get a likeable (if still prickly)Jean Grey and less Wolverine. Also the ‘Sweet Dreams’ scene is amazingly funny.

 

There was no doubt what was going to be the film of this year for me.

It was the beginning of a happy ending.

 

 

 

 

1: Deadpool.

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Ryan Reynolds is Wade Wilson. Watch any movie he’s been in, any interview he’s done and that character was made for him. Rather than translate and existing story, the makers of this film got the essense of what makes Deadpool work and made a film around that character. We get the odd easter-egg and familiar notes, but this film felt like Deadpool. It looked like Deadpool and above all, it was balls to the wall fun from beginning to end, with action, humour, 4th wall breaking and a charm that many comic book movies are lacking. I highly recommend this film to anyone, even if you have never heard of Deadpool. It doesn’t matter, my sister in law. (the Unstoppable Hev) loved it also and she couldn’t be further from my neck of the woods.

 

2016 was a shit year for many in the real world, but we got a ton of great movies as well. Just looking back at this stuff, makes me realise that it isn’t as bad as that, because the real world stuff from my own life wasn’t too bad either.

 

Ttfn internet people

Next Time: TV, cuddles on the couch with the Mighty Rosie was good for two reasons this year.