A Nice Film That Will Be Hard To Beat – The Hunger Games

31 03 2012

The Hunger Games

It has been a hard few weeks for me recently. The GAME store in Lancaster has closed down and I have had to work almost round the clock to get assignment work done and it has been hard to find time for me. Well that time is upon us because over the next few weeks several of the best looking films this year are released. If you saw my list of the top 10 films for this year you would see that there are many good-looking films coming out this year, but there is one film that after seeing it I wish I had included. With so many mainstream films being released it is hard to see the ones in the corner but when you spot them and see them you will wonder why you did not see them before. Nicely tucked away in the corner of the current film releases is this film – The Hunger Games.

Alexander Ludwig, Leven Rambin, Isabelle Fuhrman and Jack Quaid

Now I would just like to say a few words to fans of Battle Royale: THIS IS NOT A RIP OFF. It has some themes relating to it such as children fighting each other but this has some nicer themes as well. I have seen some of Battle Royale and that is a blood festival compared to this, technically you could count Battle Royale as a younger rip off to The Running Man.

Amandla Stenberg

Now as I have said before this is nicely tucked away in the corner and so it is not all that visible, I remember seeing images for this film in a recent edition of Empire and thought it looked interesting. It was not until I saw it advised at the UK’s Best Cinema Chain that I took an interest and then when I saw the trailer it reminded me of images from the edition of Empire. The film does have some themes and does sound like Battle Royale in some ways but it is not Battle Royale, it is something else.

Jennifer Lawrence

The film takes place in a place called Panem which is what is left after an unknown event in North America. After a failed uprising against the capitol a new form of entertainment is founded in which children from 12 districts are chosen at random to fight to the death. If they win they will receive more food and will live in well-furnished accommodation. The story then moves to the character of Katniss played by Jennifer Lawrence. She spends her time hunting and looking after her sister, she is also in love with someone named Gale (Liam Hemsworth). The reaping begins where a boy and girl are chosen from each district to fight in the Hunger Games. Katniss has her name placed in the raffle several times for taking more food and oil than other people; her sister is only in once but is chosen. Katniss volunteers so her sister does not have to fight. A boy called Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is also chosen who has some link with Katniss. The two of them journey to the capitol and are then trained by a mentor, and groomed to look good for the television people as well as trying to get sponsors who will try to keep them alive. Originally they are not favoured due to them coming from district 12 but after showing off a lot Katniss becomes the favourite.

Jennifer Lawrence and John Hutcherson

The day of the games arrive and she is transported to the arena base and then enters the arena through a tube. After 1 minute passes the games begin, several people are killed within the first few minutes. Katniss opts for getting basics instead of better supplies and begins to look around the arena to survive. Every time the guns go off she knows it means someone has been killed. She continues her survival but then has to run away from a fire started by the television people and a group of other district children who have banned together. After getting help from a girl called Rue she manages to escape and collect her weapon of choice, a bow and arrows. After falling ill Rue looks after her and they become friends and work together. Rue is eventually killed and Katniss finds Peeta wounded, Rue’s death causes riots to happen in District 11. Peeta and Katniss form an alliance after rules were announced that if 2 people from the same district are the only ones left they both win. A short while later supplies are sent in and Katniss is almost killed but is saved by the other entry from the same district as Rue. Eventually the TV people send in mutant dogs to finish off the contestants and from this Katniss and Peeta overcome the final entrant in the contest. Thinking they are safe  but then the rule stating that 2 people can win is overturned. However Katniss persuades Peeta to eat some poisonous berries, just before they eat the berries the decision is overturned, they both win becoming the first entrants from District 12 to win. They are celebrated back in the Capitol and return home.

Donald Sutherland

The film has an interesting setting, OK it is based on a series of novels written by Suzanne Collins but when you see what it looks like, it is an incredible sight. District 12 is a very poor district and because I have recently read The Road you can kind of compare the two but in this case there are more people. The Capitol is a very rich place and well looked after, so you do see this struggle and how the authorities keep the country under control through poverty and fear, it is a police state in other words with lots of white guards all over the place.

The characters themselves are one of the real treats. The president of Panem is played by Donald Sutherland. His character has the underlying tone of being mean and evil but Donald Sutherland plays this in a nice way and so even though he has this underside he is mostly a nice person and his scenes are some of the best in the film. Rue’s character (Amandla Stenberg) is interesting, she is quite for most of the film and you get the feeling that she could be a potential psychopath in the games but when she speaks and becomes friends with Katniss she becomes this wonderful character and when she dies it is a real shame because you come to like her character and like several people in the contests she is just a nice person in a horrible game. The Star Attraction is Katniss though. From start to end she is a strong character and person who is only doing what she has been forced to do but will not resort to the levels of some of the other entrants and only really kills when she has to, not because she wants to, because she doesn’t. You can see a bit of resemblance between her and Jessica Biel’s character in Blade Trinity.

Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Biel

It is hard to forget what the contest is about, it is about the slaughter of children. It has this disturbing theme which shows the fear that the country is imposing on the people. This is the punishment for the uprising and you don’t want to get entered. When the first few contestants die they die in gruesome fashion but I don’t think it is all that bloodthirsty. But while this is the main plot of the film there are several nice sequences where it tones this down, even in the arena scenes. In the capitol scenes you get this feeling that the people are like bullies and that the way that they like the games is like entertainment for them and even when they are groomed it is like reality TV. However there are nice people and there are some scenes which represent this including the scene before the start of the games where Katniss receives her coat from her stylist and he puts on the Mockingjay badge. Even scenes in the arena where Katniss is just by herself in the trees just trying to survive have a nice style to them even the scenes with Rue have this strong nice feel to them. Scenes with Peeta and Katniss may look like the plot trying to slow down but these are the scenes which keep the film in a nice way and not a blood festival. The music helps with this as well with the end credits song showing a balance of survival and pleasantness.

 Jennifer Lawrence

The Hunger Games is an Amazing film with some nice powerful touches, A very good selection of cast and characters that work nicely together, and a story that does not get boring and all of this is brilliantly brought together by Director Gary Ross The Hunger Games has arrived at an interesting point. OK, it is more young adult than Harry Potter but now Harry Potter is not in the way The Hunger games can already enjoy its immediate success. It is a series of books as well and the sequel is already in production for 2013 so it is moving at the same speed as the Harry Potter series which means that if its success continues this could be the new Harry Potter. In fact this is better than Harry Potter. The film has only just been released and has already done very well. If you compare it to the more mainstream film John Carter which has not made profit yet The Hunger Games deserves its success. I would like to watch it again actually; I might go and read the book now. A truly wonderful film which is worth every penny, my advice to you is this, while there are other more mainstream films coming out this one is not worth missing, it is a film which you must watch. While you may not agree with its general theme it is overall a nice film and it has been a while since a film that had both an action style as well as some truly nice memorable bits was released. There are more films that I am looking forward to this year but this film is something special and should not be overlooked. To date this is my favourite film this year and with films like The Dark Knight Rises coming out (as well as The Host sequel and possibly the Legendary Pictures Godzilla film) they will have to be something even more special to do better than this. So trust me on this, go and watch The Hunger Games, it is a nice film that will be hard to beat and I am so glad that I decided to go and watch it, because it has made me so happy.

GENEPOOL (The last time a film came out and touched me like this it went straight to the top of my top 10 Non-Godzilla film list)

Breaking The Law

22 03 2012

It is one of the Best Metal Songs in music history, It is one of the Best Music Videos in music history and it is from one of the Greatest Heavy Metal Bands in music history. The Band are called Judas Priest, the song is called Breaking The Law.

There must be something about Birmingham and Heavy Metal. In 1969 Black Sabbath appeared. Then in the following year Judas Priest appeared. Both bands started in Birmingham and both of them were pioneers. Black Sabbath was the first Heavy Metal Band and made the music scene working class for the first time. Judas Priest pioneered the use of 2 guitars in a Metal band (Lead and Rhythm) and as such most Metal bands since have had a similar look to Judas Priest. Such bands include Saxon, Diamond Head, Iron Maiden, Scorpions and Metallica (even though some of those bands have more than or less than 5 members). So there must be something about Birmingham which makes a heavy metal band become such a Huge success. Anyway, back to the song.

Breaking the law is an amazing song. It has an incredible riff all the way through the song and even though the song is only about 3 minutes long it is packed with so much content that it is really good value for money. The song talks about the struggles of life when you have no work and think that no one cares about you. You are so frustrated that you decide to break the law to try and improve your life. The song continues with the idea that you may have a bright future but you can’t get it moving and the idea that people just don’t understand you and those that do will also break the law as well. OK I have managed to come out with a description of the song just by listening to the words.

The live versions of the song are pretty Good (this coming from someone who has not seen the band live). I found one video which had an amazing start where all the members of Judas Priest (except the drummer) played the instruments together (click the link). But in my opinion the video is still the best version. The video shows Rob Halford in the back of a Cadillac singing the first parts of the song. He then breaks into the bank with Glenn Tipton and K. K. Downing (who have been dressed up as priests in the early parts of the video) and are then joined by Ian Hill and Dave Holland. The band holds up the bank with Guitars instead of guns and incapacitate the customers with the sound of the music (another showing of how powerful Heavy Metal is). They then steal a gold record for the album British Steel (which Breaking the law  originally came from). The Band get back into the Cadillac and then drive away with footage of their concerts on the CCTV camera footage and the bank’s security guard playing along to the music on a fake guitar. One interesting thing to point out is that at the very beginning of the video when the man flicks the bread at the birds, the moment it touches the floor the music starts.

The song is a fantastic Heavy Metal song and a real treat for fans of Heavy Metal as well as music fans in general. If you have not heard it before watch the video now (you will not be disappointed) and if you have heard the song before, then listen to it again, because it is Awesome (All of the above pictures were taken from the video, because the video is Fantastic).


The Apprentice: 8 Lessons For Series 8

19 03 2012

This Wednesday sees the return of The Apprentice to BBC1, the show where several business hopefuls try to get a Job with Lord Sugar, oh wait I forgot sorry, No where they get a chance to start-up a company with Lord Sugar’s advice. OK it is easy to say the previous one because that was the idea of the original 6 series; it’s going to be a learning curve (not a demand curve).

Now I do consider myself to be an Apprentice Historian mostly because my Big Brain allows me to remember stuff I enjoy, OK I only started watching the Apprentice from the end of Series 2 onwards but still I remember a lot. So I thought with a new series about to start I would share some well learnt lessons from the series and seeing as this is series 8 I thought I would share 8 lessons for the candidates.

  • Avoid Jokes, it is a good idea to avoid jokes, let me explain. This comes from series 6 when project manager Shibby Robati promised to deliver 1000 bread rolls and only delivered 16. Now this is pretty bad but it gets worse. When the chef asked Shibby what he was supposed to say to his customers Shibby replied “Go on the Atkins Diet”. The chef was not pleased. Eventually the chef got about £150 in compensation which meant he made profit for an order he did not have. Shibby was fired by Lord Sugar in this episode.

  • Avoid un-tested technology. Series 3 featured what has been regarded as one of the worst decisions in Apprentice History when Lieutenant Paul Callaghan decided to sell Wine and Cheese to the French. Along these 2 bad choices they tried to sell sausages and decided to cook them using a Baked Bean tin with holes in it. He gave this responsibility to Adam Hosker who did as he said but despite doing this when he put the sausages in a frying pan on top of the cooker it did not cook the sausages in any way. Along with this and other things included making a loss of £225 Paul was fired in this episode.
  • Be in the background. It is strange to see some people win the Apprentice despite the fact that you don’t think they will win. Throughout the series you can tell who is a favourite to win from episode 3/4/5 onwards but sometimes you don’t spot the other people. In series 3 despite messing up the presentation of a Trampoline Simon Ambrose won The Apprentice when a lot of people thought that Kristina Grimes was going to win it. In series 4 Lee McQueen won and holds a record of not going into the final firing boardroom until the Interview round (so even when he was on the losing team he was not brought back in), he was not much of a standout until people started to notice this. Series 5 Yasmina Siadatan won and even though she was more upfront than most other people everybody thought that Robot Kate Walsh was going to win. OK Kate was a good candidate but Yasmina is by far the best candidate in the history of the Apprentice winning 3 out of 3 projects when she was project manager and eventually winning it (Ok Helen Milligan also got 3 out of 3 in series 7 but she was not hired).
  • Check your orders thoroughly. Another mistake which is regarded as one of the worst in Apprentice History. In series 2 when making Chicken Pizzas Syed Ahmed ordered 100 chickens, for 100 chicken Pizzas. That means he planned to put a chicken on each Pizza, now that does sound like too much chicken. Surprisingly though he was not fired that week, so he is lucky that he managed to stay on.
  • If you are interested in something and it becomes a task for the week, don’t put your hand up to be project leader. This is something that comes up every year in the Apprentice. A good example is from series 4 when Simon Smith who likes photography decided to do it. They lost and made a loss of £73.81p. Sadly Simon was fired that week for being out of his depth, which is sad because overall he was a nice person (unlike most people in the whole history of the Apprentice).
  • Whoever you say you are you are not Ridley Scott (unless you really are in which case no offence meant). During advertisement week you always have the occasion where one person is under the idea that they are a famous Oscar-winning director. When doing something like this, what usually happens is the team that person belongs to loses. In series 4 Raef Bjayou and Michael Sophocles decided to do  Broadway musical/Shakespearean love story instead of an advert. Raef was fired in this episode (despite the fact that both should have been fired for making the advert together and forgetting to show the product in the advert).


  • Do not give exclusivity to everyone. In series 4 while selling Ice Cream Lindi Mngaza and Jennifer Maguire decided to use a unique selling strategy by giving exclusivity to almost all the people they were selling Ice Cream to. One good point to mention is she was not allowed to do this. When someone asks for exclusivity to the product it does not mean they should have it. You don’t sell a certain make of DVD player to someone and tell them that they are the only person who will own it if they buy it (unless they were willing to pay Billions of Pounds for it). Lindi was fired as a result of this (Ice Cream sales not DVD player sales).
  • Stay at the same price. This refers to someone in series 4 who was not a candidate. While trying to sell fish at a solicitors firm one employee won’t budge from his price. The team think they can sell all the fish for around about £100. The employee says £50. The team keeps lowering the price but every time the man says £50, £50, £50, £50. Eventually the food is sold for, that’s right £50. The team lost that round. What I don’t understand is why weren’t all the candidates fired and this non candidate hired.

Well there you have it, while there are many more lessons to be learnt but for now as long as you take notice of these 8 lessons you will do well, possibly. For now let us enjoy all the mistakes (some of which will probably be absolutely hilarious) this year’s bunch will get up to in series 8 of the Apprentice.

The Apprentice starts on Wednesday 21st of March at 9:00pm on BBC One.


For The First Time In A Very Long Time, A Game Gets Released That Is Not A War Simulator – Twisted Metal

14 03 2012

This week sees the release of Twisted Metal onto the PS3. Now it is not the first game in the Twisted Metal series but it is simply called Twisted Metal. But before I talk about this game I would like to share some interesting history (well at least I think it is interesting).

When I was young I remember my brother had a friend round from school and they played on a game console in his room. I later realised (many years later) that it was a PS1. Now this was a time when I would play Video Games every so often, it was not a major part of my life at the time, WOW things have changed. They were playing this odd racing looking game where there were several cars in it including a Saloon Gang Car, a digger that looked like it had teeth and a funny looking Ice-Cream van. Well I was allowed to have a go and I remember racing the Saloon Gang Car along the road and I think it could shoot (this was about 1995/1996). Now this was not the only time I saw this game. I think I might have seen it before but I definitely remember seeing it once or twice afterwards. One thing was a miss though, I did not know the name of the game and no matter how many times I remembered it I still had no Idea what it was called.

I was watching the Sony Press Conference at E3 2010 (one of the biggest events on the gaming calendar). I like watching the Press conferences and I usually mean to give a little review of what happens on this blog but I don’t usually get round to it. Microsoft’s was OK but it felt like they were having a Coffee break every 5 Minutes. Nintendo’s is usually my favourite and it was really Good that year. Sony’s Press conference was twice as long as the other two’s. Nintendo and Microsoft were just over an hour while Sony was over 2 Hours. Well at least they did not disappoint, I even saw Kevin Butler (Seriously, click that link, it’s a Fantastic Speech) for the first time. Well the show was about to wrap up and they were showing off the last big surprise. It was a Big Surprise not only for the people in the room at the time but for me. They showed a trailer for a game and in the trailer I saw that Ice-cream van from a that game all those years ago. I then watched the remainder of the conference and saw what I thought was one of the best looking Games I had seen in years and by Games I mean Explosions, Madness, Unrealistic Physics, Rock Music, Unrealistic Driving where you can go round a corner and not take your finger off the Accelerator and Almost if not Unlimited Ammunition for your Big Guns.

Twisted Metal is a car combat game, it is not really about racing, it’s about having cars with weapons on them and destroying other cars. There are many different vehicles that can be used in the game including an Ice-Cream van that turns into a robot like in Transformers and along with other vehicles like Helicopters. There are several different types of multiplayer matches like Team Death Match and Nuke. Early shots of the single player mode look interesting as well as challenging with some boss levels looking like they can take a while to complete. But the Multiplayer looks like it is the main star of the show. Now I am really excited about this game but there is one problem, Clowns. I am terrified of Clowns. For the most part I am looking forward to playing the game and not letting it bug me but there is 1 upside which is that when I am playing in a different team I can attack the clowns and let out the fear and anger out at clowns.

From the trailer it sounds like there will be some Good Music in the game, well it makes sense that in a game called Twisted Metal there will hopefully be some Heavy Metal Music. Twisted Metal is looking like an incredible Game and I am really excited to play it when it comes out this week, I hope it is as Fantastic as it looks.


I Can’t Think Of Anything To Blog About

7 03 2012

Yes it’s true. Usually I will have a General Idea about what to blog about but this week I am a bit stumped. I did have a few ideas but I could not choose which one and some of these are really Good ideas and so I don’t have the current motivation to really go into. So I have decided to do a post to tell my viewers that I can’t think of anything this week, which does sound like a Good Blog Post (However I doubt it will get featured on Freshly Pressed; WordPress Feature).

Later on I will show you which I think would be Good Ideas and might do in the future but first I will tell you what I thought of doing before I decided to do this. Using Bing I typed in letters at random to see if any results shown would interest me – they did not and then I got thinking about Grand Central and then thought that could be in a better constructed post. I thought of doing a Post on my Top 5 books that I am reading at the moment (including The Road, MogWorld and my new Student Bible) but that could be done better as well. I did also thought of talking about the fact that I am now doing 2 blogs (the other one is for putting up Bible Verses

). So with all those together that is how I got here.

So here is the list of future ideas for my blog.

  • Sam’s Rant – The UK Has Already Got High Speed Rail: It’s Called Freight Trains.  This one was a planned overdue return to ranting and would talk about how High Speed Rail already exists in the UK but in the form of Freight Trains and so we could all save money on High Speed Rail if trains went at the speed of Freight Trains. I also though about mentioning how Arriva and Freight Trains are related, Why it is stupid that Arriva owns Grand Central and Cross Country and why Northern Rail is the most Pants train operator in the UK.
  • Sam’s Rant – Smith + Moffat = Ruined Doctor Who. Something along these lines will eventually happen and it will talk about why Doctor Who is now Ruined.
  • Totally Unknown – I did plan this one for last week but I thought I would say Get Well Soon to Tony Iommi. This post would talk about one of the previous decades best cartoon’s, Totally Spies.
  • Top 10 Top Gear Challenges – This Post would go through what I think are the Top 10 Best Challenges featured on Top Gear.
  • The Muppets Review – I still have not seen High School Musical 2 and so my Mam suggested that I do a review of the recent Muppets film.
  • Best Blogs – This post would talk about my top most viewed posts and why it is strange why some of them have done so well.
  • Godzilla Biology – In my continued attempt to inform the world of the PROPER JAPANESE GODZILLA I would talk about the biology of Godzilla.
  • Ford Edsel – Just like my Raging Bull post this would be made from Information that I saved from being deleted because it was not really needed in an essay.
  • Top 5 Black Sabbath Songs – This post would show my Top 5 Favourite Black Sabbath songs.
  • Twisted Metal – This Post like the ones I did for Killzone 3 and MotorStorm Apocalypse but talk about the new installment in the Twisted Metal series. Well seeing as that one is supposed to be getting released next week I think I will do it next week.
  • Raspberry Pi – A post about the new Computer which encourages young people to make their own software and seeing as you can buy one for £22 I might buy one.
  • Supporting Home Media – Why I prefer Home Media to Downloading and why Home Media is superior.
  • GAME (title not decided yet) – This post would talk about GAME‘s current financial issues and how it may become the next Woolworths.
  • Financial Future – This post would mention several of my Ideas that WILL solve the economic troubles in the UK.
  • OREO Cake Recipe – seeing as this is not ready yet, it may be done some other time.

Well there are a Few ideas I had and some of those may become future posts, so keep watching this blog to see if they do. Which would you like to see the most?


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