I saw a the loveliest wee baby boy while i was waiting on my friend getting her hair done aaargh!
REVIEW OF ‘THE DARK KNIGHT’
Although, in the movie promotion business it can be said that ‘any publicity is good publicity’, this might have been untrue in the case of actor Heath Ledger’s demise before the release of the new Batman movie ‘The Dark Knight’. Although there is no doubt in my mind there would have been a high degree of hype around this movie, the death of Heath Ledger seemed to catapult audience anticipation through the roof. In turn, when the initial reviews and soundbites hit the press, ‘The Dark Knight’ was on a massive ego trip- largely due to the favourable reception of Heath Ledger’s performance of ‘The Joker’.
Now, lets be clear, although the fact that Ledger died just before the film was released, doesn’t entirely account for the hype surrounding the movie OR his performance. Any self respecting movie fan would have been champing at the bit to see such a vibrant and talented actor like Heath Ledger, take on Jack Nicholson’s role in a prequel. It was a good choice, infact, it was really a no-brainer in my opinion. About three or four years ago I had the discussion with my brother about who we would like to see take up previously portrayed characters.
Following his roles in ‘American Psycho’, ‘Shaft’ and even ‘Equilibrium’, we discussed that Christian Bale could be a good candidate as ‘The Batman’. Recognising the need to take ‘the Batman’ back to his dark roots- we knew that after his role in ‘The Machinist’, Bale could provide the split personality effect needed. We were not wrong. Christian Bale has managed to maintain the internal strife of the character of Bruce Wayne, but develop them and make them more complex within himself- so that we are aware of the pressure within the character without the need for this to be overstated or oversimplified in the script itself. In this discussion, the role of ‘The Joker’ was raised and after a long hard think, my brother suggested Heath Ledger. We had followed him from his very early career and we could see he had a lot of great roles ahead of him. Of course, when we heard he was to actually play ‘the Joker’, we were ecstatic.
Yes, the tragic death of Heath Ledger has brought a mixture of adulation for the actor and for the character into one. Is this justified? Should Heath Ledger win a posthumous Oscar award? In short, yes he should. I have given careful consideration to his performance and I am telling you, dear reader, that the character of ‘The Joker’ is as believeable as any character could be. There simply was no trace of Heath Ledger present in the movie.
Therefor, it is no surprise to me, that people who actually knew Heath Ledger are calling for him to win an award, not simply as a token because he died but because they have witnessed the greatest performance from a very talented actor who manages to immerse himself completely in that role. Despite comments that the character is ‘creepy’ I would disagree with this, I would say he is joyous to watch. Every scene in ‘The Dark Knight’ which did not have ‘The Joker’ present is about 5% less enjoyable to look at.
The decision to replace Katie Holmes with Maggie Gyllenhaal was, as you will hopefully find, the right one. In my opinion, it was a mistake to overlook Maggie Gyllenhaal in the original cast of this Batman series. She had given some sterling performances in movies such as ‘The Secretary’ and ‘Criminal’. She brings a real quality of credibility to the character of Rachel Dawes. The viewer can see why Bruce Wayne is so in love with her, and she is feisty and tough.
Other characters who really contribute to the richness of this movie are Gary Oldman as CI Gordon and DA Harvey Dent and the fabulous (although slightly superfluous) Lucius Fox. Without a doubt, you will find great pleasure in watching Micheal Caine take up the role as Alfred because he brings everything the character needs to the screen and more.
This film needed to be an action movie of epic proportions. This is because, a new generation of movie fans- maybe without much or even any knowledge of the comic history- roots need to be entertained. More than this, let down staunch fans and comic geeks and you can kiss goodbye to any future credibility to the Batman movie franchise. It would be torn to shreds.
I have tried not to give any of the plot away in this review. I refuse to give spoilers in reviews because it completely disloyal to readers who just want an honest opinion before they spend good money on a cinema ticket. What I have tried to explain is that ‘The Dark Knight’ is rich, well thought out, well cast, well structured, and above all, well scripted. I would ignore the naysayers who complain this movie is over-hyped or does not fulfill expectations, that is is benefiting from the death of a young actor, or that it is all non-stop violence and no script. This is rubbish. Book your seat, take in a large popcorn (if you eat when you are in suspense like me, you will need it) and leave your expectations at the door. This way, you will truly appreciate the cinema triumph that is the second series in the long overdue reworking of ‘the Batman’ franchise. Enjoy!
British politics feels as though its been spinning on its head in the past few weeks. Like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, it feels as though we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel get farther and father away as we approach an uncertain, backwards landscape, where nothing is as it seems.
Firstly, we had the defeat of Labour in the Glasgow East by-election. It created, what the SNP called, ‘a political earthquake’. For Labour to lose a seat which they have held for over 50 years isn’t just a case of poor candidature, although, Margaret Curran did seem quite happy to take this defeat purely on her shoulders. No, this has been the culmination of widespread political turmoil for the Labour party in Scotland and South of the border. It could have been described as a valiant move on behalf of Margaret Curran- to put herself forward for election in Glasgow East, because it was never going to be an easy ride. However, Scottish Labour was without a leader and with more than a whiff of scandal still lingering, it seemed the Glasgow East seat was something of a hot potato. Simply, Margaret Curran needed to put herself in the ring just to save Labour incurring more ridicule. Still though, for her to suggest these wider party issues had nothing to do with her defeat is commendable. All being said, SNP deserved to win Glasgow East- not only on the brilliant campaign they fought but the credibility of the candidate (something Margaret Curran lost the first day of her campaign) and the record on which the new SNP government can stands.
So, if things were going wrong for Gordon Brown before Glasgow East, they were about to get a whole lot worse. In the alternate universe that is Westminster, rumblings about Gordon Brown’s leadership credibility began to shake cracks in his iron support. Let’s face it, he didn’t do himself any favours when he eradicated the 10p tax rate and increased the car tax rate- after all, can we really believe Darling had any elbow room in his first budget?
Everyone seemed to be looking forward to their holidays, and Gordon Brown slid out of the heat of the kitchen to peaceful Suffolk. Meanwhile, those shaking in their constituency boots waited for someone to stick their head above the parapet and test the waters for a leadership challenge. Hi-Ho silver for David Miliband, who, with all the subtlety of brick to the back of the head- prints a manifesto for change for the Labour party. We couldn’t have made it up if we tried, but in this article didn’t mention one word of Gordon Brown’s role as leader, now or in the future.
But, it seems David has been a little naive. No sooner had he dotted the i’s of his Guardian article than the Brown supporters had taken aim with their cross-bows and shot him down in bloody, embarrassing pieces.
Now we are hearing loud cries of ‘off with his head’. It seems that Gordon Brown will not be shifted from the office he waited ten years (at least) to hold. Now, if David Miliband is ejected in the suggested Cabinet reshuffle to come- it seems there is indeed a high price to be paid for not painting the roses red.
There have been strong messages that people DO want the sort of change David Miliband wrote of in his article, both openly and covertly. Even if some people in the wonderful land of wonderland, where expenses flow and smoking is permitted indoors, don’t want a change of leadership-shouldn’t it be opened up to the people to vote? Gordon Brown and his people seem to know better than any of us of course, and insist he is the right man for the job. It makes me a little nervous that he will never call a general election.
If Labour stay as stubborn as this then they may as well hand over the keys to number 10 over to David Cameron with compliments of Gordon Brown. To say that they are sleepwalking into political oblivion is probably an understatement. To have a government with ten years of some success, but more memorably, huge mistakes and now to do nothing to help the UK’s most vulnerable or accept some fundamental changes- is surely kicking New Labour into the long grass and out of government for many years to come.
Alanna Fiona O’Donnell
I find it hard to believe that Margaret Curran can hold her head up in public in the East End of Glasgow after blatantly lying to make herself seem like a more credible candidate. She claimed to have “lived and worked in the East End all her life!”, she claimed this was a ‘slip of the tongue’….she must think that people in Glasgow East are completely stupid.
In a campaign leaflet she attacks the SNP as letting the East End of Glasgow descend into a drug addled, violence ridden hell-hole and says that “her crime busting plan is to provide more CCTV cameras and more police on the beat!”. I might be living in a parallel universe here so correct me if i’m wrong but hasn’t a Labour MP been in Glasgow East for the past 50 years? And 8 years since the Scottish Parliament was opened? What was wrong that this wasn’t a priority, no, that this wasn’t already solved?
As a campaigner for SNP in this by-election I have been all over the East End, asking people what they think of the candidates and how they are considering voting. My overwhelming experience has been that the people of the East End are sick of being treated like poor, simple minded cretins with no political interest or savvy and who blindly vote Labour. The majority of them are sickened with the tactics of Glasgow Labour and Westminster over this by-election and the last 10 years of power respectively. As a Glasgow East taxi driver stated, ” my collegues and I will be voting accordingly!”.
From my own view, what I have seen whilst trudging round the streets of Glasgow East has been truely atrocius. The difference in the wealth gap, from one street to another, at times hits the senses hard. And Labour have had more than enough time to bring Glasgow East to a par with other re-generated areas. The fact is that they havn’t. When I spoke to people in the Easterhouse area, I asked how they found the services of their local Labour councillor. I simply couldn’t repeat the choice phrases they used, and whilst I appreciate a councillors job is a tough one, I think it speaks volumes of how
New Labour have approached their duty of helping the most vulnerable people in society compared with their ferocious hunger to pander to big business. This is because, a phrase I heard on more that one occassion was that, “…she said her hands are tied!”. Yes, Labour have tied themselves to business interests- leaving the humble worker to sit and wait for the crumbs. Fuel and petrol issues was mentioned more than any other issue, with the overwhelming feeling that the government was not doing enough.
Personally, as a student and a researcher I believe that Scotland would be better off as an Independant country, but this is NOT why I would vote SNP. The reason is that I believe they deserve to win more than any other party, they have not taken the Glasgow East electorate for idiots and seem genuinely hungry to make a difference in that part of the city. I hope they get the chance, Labour do not deserve to hold Glasgow East back any longer. No longer indeed.
By Alanna Fiona O’Donnell
Cartoons by Peter Brookes: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/chttp://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/cartoon/omment/cartoon/
The SNP have trebled their FPTP seats in 2007 compared to 1999. They have continued to gain the confidence of the Scottish people thought their hard work and through their dedication to serving the interests of the Scottish people, rather than being subservient to the interests of Whitehall.
The SNP has listened to and fought for the people of Scotland, from University students who faced paying a graduate endowement fee to pensionsers struggling to pay prescription charges.
A Labour stronghold for the last 50 years, the East End of Glasgow continues to suffer from one of the highest levels of poverty in Europe. Over recent years, while the living standards of some have increased, many others have found thier poverty has deepened, with the Gap between rich and poor widening under Labour. The people of the East End of Glasgow are despondant of Labours constant claims that ‘their hands are tied’ and their unwillingness to challenge their Leadership in London- no matter how much hardship it brings to their constituents.
It’s time they had an MP who was not afraid to stand up for them, to make sure they are heard and their issues raised. The people of the East End deserve better, they deserve a real voice and they need change.
Its time the SNP got the chance to fight for the people of the East End of Glasgow in London. Glasgow East must vote John Mason, SNP.
Scotland has kept many Labour governments in power. Today, Scots feel greatly let down by the rightwing shenanigans of their ain folk (Brown and Darling) in London. Combine this with the SNP’s genuine leadership in Scotland and once-clear Labour voters are now being posed a tricky question. Glasgow East will be a tale of two governments: the minority SNP government at Holyrood, which has won hearts and minds in the nation; and the Labour government in Westminster, which is sleepwalking towards political oblivion. Labour are in a lose-lose situation. They will return a dramatically slashed majority at best, probably exacerbated by a painfully low turnout. And while that core of working class Glaswegian voters means chances of an SNP victory are slim, anything can happen. Anything. After all, 20 years ago I would never have conceived of a devolved Scotland led by an SNP government in Holyrood.”
Hardeep Singh Kohli, Monday July 14th. Guardian Newspaper.
Sometimes I wonder if people in Britain are getting more stupid…and then I see things like this…
A London restaurant was serving up Thursday what it hopes will be confirmed as the world’s hottest curry, with even the chef admitting it is “too extreme” to keep on the menu. The curry is so hot that diners are asked to sign a disclaimer confirming they are aware of the risks involved before daring to eat it.
And here are the shock reactions from of the people who chose to partake of the Worlds Hottest Curry
Lianne la Borde of the Daily Star newspaper said: “It is the hottest I have ever tasted. At first, it tasted delicious. Then my mouth caught fire. It even made me feel dizzy.”
Metro newspaper’s James Ellis said it was “innocuous enough at the first bite,” but one helping “saw my taste buds melt in fury at the inferno in my mouth.
“Meanwhile, my heartbeat, which started at a resting pace of 68 beats per minute, zoomed up to 128 — the equivalent of doing aerobic exercise.
…And these people are supposed to be journalists, presumably with some sort of education…and people in the general public are supposed to be surprised to hear that The Worlds Hottest Curry is….very very hot?Really?