The Last Post

18 10 2017

 

Godzilla 1954 - Present

When I first started blogging in 2009, it was the result of nearly a year of writing little opinion pieces in Word and sharing them around with others via the wonders of printing. These little pieces were called Sam’s Rant, and for most of the early days were inspired by begrudges towards little nit bits that I either did not understand or more commonly did not like about Video Games. Well, anyway, I soon posted these on my blog in November 2009, and then it all went from there. In the early days of the blog, it soon became hard, as I began to run out of ideas, and nearly went months without posting anything. In my first month I got over 200 views, but by the following July I hit a (still standing) record of just 7. Well, soon after that I began doing Movie Reviews, and then things like ‘5 Years and Still Painful’ as well as ‘I Remember The 1990’s’ soon followed. In 2011 I hit major milestones with my first post to reach 100 views (Brutal Legend), peaks in my daily viewership, 1000 views in a month and even a direct link to my blog from the BBC Website (Dinosaurs Return To Television). 2012 was my biggest year, with viewership consistently getting higher and higher as each month passed reaching an all-time high of 4000+ views in a month. Then things from there went down and never recovered.

Why this route down memory lane you ask; well, after months of not posting things, and other bits and bobs as well as things outside of blogging, I have decided to stop posting on this blog. You see; while I was still posting and still enjoying doing so: the viewership’s were getting to me, and despite my efforts of not looking; it still got to me, and while I did not want that to be the be all and end all, eventually things got bigger and bigger as I began to ask questions of where do I go from here? What to do next? All of which culminated earlier this year with the realization that I was no longer really enjoying it! I was posting for the sake of posting, nothing else. Since then I have had struggles outside of blogging in my personal life, and while I still have blogging plans for the future, I think this blog’s time has really been and gone, and the thoughts that maybe I should have finished it either after the 500th post, or maybe this time last year. Right now it feels like a wounded pet that I have let live too long, unwilling to say goodbye.

So; on the eve of the blog’s 8th anniversary; I think is the time to finally put this blog to bed. While I hope to begin again one day in the future, I have already decided that when that time comes; I will start a fresh somewhere else, and possibly keep it more mainstream. So, before I say a goodbye, I just thought I would say some thank you’s; answer some questions not asked, some stats, maybe rifle a few ideas I had for future posts or posts not written, and then say a final cheerio with some music. But first, to help break up the teary goodbye, here is a video of a clip from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, improved with a piece of music from Godzilla: Final Wars

Questions not asked…..answered:

Why the Name NUMB3R5S?

When I first started this blog, it was during a time when the internet was still rather unsocial; and the idea was, was when you started on a forum or made a website you kept your name anonymous, so that’s what I did, however my many nicknames/gamer names that I was quick to choose, were already names, and so I decided to be quick by using a creative name, which was also the name of a TV show I liked (called Numb3rs) and adding an extra 5.

What’s with the GENEPOOL thing at the bottom of each post? When I started (and pretty much right now here and there) GENEPOOL was my Gamer Name, and so to keep in tie with the above answer of Anonymity, I decided to sign the bottom of each post with my Gamer Name.

Some Stats (at time of posting):

Total Number of Posts – 548

Total number of Views – 115634

Most Viewed Post – Top 5 Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Flavours

Least Viewed Post – Another Annoying Little Book

My Top 3 Favourite Posts –

Maybe rifle through a few ideas I had for future posts or posts not written:

Best Cartoons of 2000’s – A run through of my favourite cartoons released in the 2000’s.

The Pony That Became A Horse – A retrospective history of the Ford Mustang.

Top 5 PS3 Games – My Top 5 Favourite Games on PS3.

Top 10 Fictional Villains – A run through of some unsavory characters from Films and other media.

Films Considered for Reviewing – Films I have considered reviewing recently: Transformers: Age of Extinction,  Attack On Titan (P1 and P2), Godzilla vs Gigan, Return of Godzilla, Blackfish, Akira, Pom Poko.

Thank You:

Now just want to say thank you to people.

Thank you to Ant who suggested blogging in the first place and was a real encouragement in those early days (and both Kevin’s as well).

Thank you to my blogging and animating friend Matt who has been of great inspiration and encouragement all this time.

Thank you to Hannah, whose blog while now pretty much gone, was a real drive and motivator as to what a blog is and what mine could be and was a driving influence to getting me going with it especially in those hard days one year after starting it.

Thank you to all my family and friends who have suggested, voted for, and just generally read posts on here.

Thank you to everyone around the world who has read my blog.

So, really, a Big Thank You to everyone for everything.

So, with that: just like the final episode of Top Gear, Thank You, and Goodbye (or maybe more like see you around). And to cap it off, here is a piece of music:

GENEPOOL – My new blog can be found here





Hey, Lord Of The Flame, Your Tail’s On Fire – Ice Age

31 08 2016

Ice Age (Blue Sky Studios - 2002)

By the early 2000’s, one form of format/genre was beginning to dominate the movie scene more than most. It had reared it’s head in 1995 with the release of Toy Story, and by 2002 several of the most talked about films of the time were in the same format. I am of course talking about CGI animated movies and in less than a decade; there were already several well-known and near iconic films released with such titles as Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug’s Life, Shrek and Monsters Inc. Most of the films produced in this format were done by two main studios: Pixar and DreamWorks Animation, with both of them together holding a near monopoly on CGI Animated Cinema. Then another studio came along; a studio who had been in existence nearly as long as Pixar, but who were only just about to release their first big screen film; little did anyone know that such a film would become such a hit.

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Released in 2002 by Blue Sky Studios and directed by Chris Wedge, Ice Age is an animated comedy film about a group of animals going on a journey during the Ice Age. This film would be the first instalment in the commercially successful Ice Age film series and would be followed by 4 sequels making it the first animated film series to have 5 entries. While the subsequent films have sort of begun to lose their charm, the first film in the series remains to be one of the best animated films of its kind, and is a personal favourite of mine.

Scrat (Chris Wedge), a squirrel with some really pointy teeth tries hard to find a place to store his acorn, ultimately and constantly however his success is limited and goes on to cause more problems than solutions. Eventually he gets stomped on by a large migrating herd of prehistoric animals going south to avoid the oncoming Ice Age. A Ground Sloth knows as Sid (John Leguizamo) is left behind by his family, and while trying to regroup with them he angers Carl (Cedric the Entertainer) and Frank (Stephen Root); a couple of Brontops/Megacerops (Rhino). Sid is rescued by grumpy Mammoth Manfred/’Manny’ (Ray Romano), and not wanting to be pummelled by Carl, Frank, or more likely both; Sid joins Manny, which Manny finds really irritating as he prefers to be alone. Meanwhile a group of Smilodon, lead by Soto (Groan Visnjic) are planning revenge on a group of humans by eating the chief’s baby son alive. During the attack, the baby’s mother rescues the boy, and jumps down a waterfall. Soto sends his lieutenant Diego (Denis Leary) to get the baby back. Having survived the plunge, Manny and Sid discover the mother, who passes the baby up to them before disappearing. While Manny does not want to help, he agrees to as he hopes Sid will leave him alone after that. When trying to return the baby to the camp, the two run into Diego, who is desperately trying to convince them he is good. Upon reaching the human camp; they discover the humans had left, and Diego says he can help the two reach the Humans in time before they are gone for good.

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The group leave for the humans, and on the way run into several hurdles in looking after a baby including feeding it and changing it, running into a pack of melon obsessed Dodo’s. Diego runs into members of his pack, and tells them that he will be bringing a Mammoth along with the baby to their lair. As the adventure continues Scrat is still looking for a place to hide his acorn, while the trio discover all sides to the Ice Age world, with Sid playing tricks on Manny, Diego still trying to get the baby and Manny trying to be a responsible guardian to the baby. Eventually the group run into a cave with human paintings inside, which tell of the frightful story of what happened to Manny that made him such a loner.

Within sight of their destination, the group walk over a patch of lava, with Manny saving Diego’s life. With Diego filled with gratitude and seeing Manny for who he really is, he informs them of his original plan to have the group eaten by the pack. With Diego’s help, the group are able to defeat the pack, but with Diego severely injured. Manny and Sid continue on to the Glacier Pass, and just manage to catch up with the boy’s father. Manny gives the boy back to his dad in a tear felt moment for all. Manny and Sid watch as the humans leave, with Manny having received a gift of compassion from the boy’s father. The two then turn around to see Diego injured but alive. They then leave to find a warmer climate. Thousands of years later, Scrat; frozen in an ice-cube washes ashore but is helpless as his Acorn is washed away. He does however find a Coconut to eat which brings him joy, until he accidently causes a Volcanic Eruption with it.

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Ice Age is actually a very surprising deep film I find. It’s amazing I think how a film like this can still bring a tear to my eye, even more so now than when I first saw it. There are things I am even beginning to discover more now than I did when I first saw it at about the age of 12. It’s a film with a lot of comedic moments; moments which carry references to what we might consider to be a normal modern life and the things carved into it, plus a lot of mentions to popular culture. These moments of comedy I find to be pretty simple, but in that there is an instant laugh. There is no need for thinking or jokes to get, because it’s all visual and even at times there may be something that children may not get, but ones that adults will making this film’s comedy one all the family can enjoy. Add to this some more clever puns and ideas in relation to such ideas like Extinction and Evolution provided by the film’s strong menagerie of prehistoric animals and it’s a real laugh a minute film. But it’s not just a comedy film, more in fact I find that it’s a film with a lot of heart and a bucket full of emotion.

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The film shows it’s comedy through its situations, but it tells it’s stories through its characters, and here we do have an odd bunch that has both comedy, but also peril. The film’s minor cast in part comes in several characters like Soto’s pack of misfits with characters like the near rabid Zeke (Jack Black), to the other two henchmen. Then this leads us on to characters like Carl and Frank who provide a way of Sid and Manny coming together, but in turn creates two semi-minor antagonists which are just so funny to watch and hear talk, especially with the spoken lines of “Carl?” and “Easy Frank”. This of course leads us on nicely to the film’s semi narrator but also comic relief Scrat the Squirrell. Scat’s scenes are indeed meant to be funny, and shows him really struggle to keep but also look after his acorn which he fails at a constant rate, and though while occasionally will meet some success and even a sense of reprieve this does lead him to more trouble. Though in the end he is not necessarily an entirely comical character, but also a representation of animals struggling to survive in a dying climate and how far they will go for what is theirs and things they need, and will persist to achieve them, even if they result in failure.

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The film portrays something of an interesting form of spoken juxtaposition as though while this film involves the animals talking in a clear understandable language, the humans are only heard making un-understandale noises. It’s like saying that the humans are just animals to the animals, and that animals are just animals to humans. It provides something of a counter point and helps to change the perspective for the audience to see their part in the film and whom they should be looking out for. Into this we get the baby; now while it’s name may not really be known possibly, that is far from the point as to where he belongs in this film. To begin with of course he is just an objective, a goal, something for the trio to do and to achieve on their journey and in order for them to go on a journey in the first place; but then as the film progresses, and the theme of friendship and family takes hold, the baby becomes something of a way of connecting the group. Initially they have their own ways of how they see the child, but then it helps bring them together, and helps face and provide them with comfort and reasoning in their past life to a more positive future. And so when finally it’s time for them to split, it is a real heart-felt moment as the group comes to acknowledge what such a benefit he was to them, and in some way, they don’t want him to go, in belief that maybe they will split when he is gone.

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The group’s trio of talent is an interesting but also very potent mix of characters made up of what is basically an odd bunched group. Sid for instance is of course a clown, a complete idiot who is the provider of constant laughs. He has a genuine attitude of trying and wanting to do the right thing, but is definitely not cut out to do, well anything. He is a complete misfit who is even abandoned by those who know him, and just happens to run into Manny as a sort of bodyguard. He will try his hardest of course, but comes across as a complete failure. However, as a baby sitter he turns out to be completely indispensable, especially as he is the only one of the group with hands, fingers and opposable thumbs; making him ideal for the purposes of looking after a baby, especially in cleaning up after it. By the end he proves himself to actually be generally useful and someone who is rather caring, if not the best father figure. Meanwhile Diego comes across initially of course as a villain, because well, you would think so wouldn’t you, I mean he is a Sabre Toothed Cat after all and has shown to be in league with another group of Cats who want to eat the Baby. So from here on in he is someone to be watched and looked out for and spends a lot of time trying to get the baby plus set up Manny. Then however he has a complete change of heart, as he realises who Manny is and how special the baby is, especially after Manny saves his life. From here on he tries to fix things, and while nearly loses his life shows with all his strength that he is a changed man (of sorts) and that what he really desires is a life with these guys, and not the life he once lead.

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Manny though is the one with the greatest story. Out of the main group he is the one who you see first and shows quite categorically that he would be rather left alone. He spends a lot of the first act trying to be left alone, then get rid of Sid and everyone he keeps running into, even when he is charged with helping the baby return home it’s just so he can return to his private lonely life. Of course, much like the others, he begins to change, but is still unsure of where this new life is leading, until the moment you discover why he is the way he is. Something that could be considered a mere coincidence, leads to a paralysing memory, as a simple cave painting tells his exact story, a story of how he once had a family, but then by the hand of humanity it was all taken away from him, and has since gone on to lead a cynical lonely life, but through the relationship with the baby, an infant to the species that brought his world to an end; he is able to relive that life once more, and know once again what it’s like to have a family, and have hope for his own future, and by the end of their journey; even with the loss of his and possibly the groups shining light, he knows he doesn’t want to part ways with the others, because he is part of not a group of friends, but part of a family once more.

OKAY, yes this film is a CGI Driven form of animation so I suppose I should take a quick moment to talk about it. As a form of animation the digital effects provided take on two forms. One the design of the landscape is rather blocky to keep in context with the ideas of Ice and an Ice Age, while of course the animals use more rounded shapes. The design of the animals in question is rather neat but carries a lot of character and does not bog itself down with attempts to look realistic, instead working to make the goofy looking shapes and designs of an extinct age work as part of their own design mythos and in turn make them look both rather cute while also maintaining a daft and silly look too. One thing though that has come about I discovered is that I feel that the shading effects, all while be it still very do seem to have aged a bit and don’t look as crisp, but as the film gets going, these effects completely disappear to your eyes looking on something else.

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One thing your mind won’t want to be distracted from is the quality of the film’s soundtrack composed by David Newman. The film does do that thing of creating one piece of music and then sort of editing it around for it to be used in a variety of circumstances but is still the same piece of music. Thankfully it does not do this all the time. The film’s main theme tune is actually rather pleasant and increasingly enjoyable. The film though goes on to create more sounds that become just as a part as the main theme if not more a part from there on. Some of these pieces range from the comical and fast, to the slow and sombre, such scenes of note including the sliding around in the cave, Diego’s near end, Giving the baby back and Manny’s memories in the cave.

One theme though stands out the most and becomes the films semi-main theme if not it’s main: that being Send Me On My Way by Rusted Root. It gets featured as the main travel song for the film’s main journey moments across the ice, as the trio discover the life and environment of the ice age as time goes by on their adventure. Seemingly though, it’s a song with a passionate theme and lyrics that in turn show that while it’s more of a road travel song, it is also talking about the themes and ideas that go into going on a journey; but not by yourself…..but with others.

Ice Age is a really fun film altogether. It has its comedy and laugh out loud moments while also going on to present the look as well as the ideas and troubles faced by animals living during the Ice Age, even going to cover a semi-dark toned route as to cover the deaths that some go to, even if it’s not entirely shown. Ice Age is an adventure with friends; it’s about going on a journey, with a goal to accomplish that in turn bridges the gaps between species and each other. There are times though that this little kiddy animated movie, thing is just going to pull at your heart’s strings and provide moments that will make you laugh, but also feel and even cry; and in that comes a film that is not really a comedy, nor is it a film about a journey, but is a film about family, and the joys of family in a difficult world, and what it’s like to have it, lose it, then find it again, even in the most weird of ways.

GENEPOOL (Whoo, Yeah! Who’s up for round two?).





My Week: 30/08/2013 – 31/08/2013

13 09 2013

My Week

Friday: With the week feeling that it is going quickly (or that could be me getting older), but not as quickly as it is taking to write this. But yes the week was quickly coming to an end, even quicker for some as they had either already left or were about to leave. But still, it’s important to get the most out of the week. I began by writing my Sketch/Monologue thing for the camp concert during breakfast, remembering to wake up first. I had ingested a lot of serial during the week, something I don’t normally do, but I liked ingesting cereal. On from this was the last word on Philippians from David before having a quick word from Jim about what I wanted to do that evening for the concert and ask for his assistance with it. Me, Hannah, Beth, Josh and Matt then had a game of Alhambra before lunch. It was in some way a fun game despite how annoying the currency was, but still somewhat fun. Other campers played Football before Lunchtime.

Because we were sitting outside I was able to retain my big comfy chair for Lunch. This is usually the day that I go somewhat mad after not having Red Meat for a while, this time I was able to keep calm. Shortly after lunch John M left so we all said goodbye, much like we did for Phil on Thursday just this time round we did not have the group hug. The afternoon was made up of more game time as some of us played King of Tokyo before finally having a game of Dixit Odyssey followed by Coup before a brief tea time.

During tea which took the form of Corn on the Cob so we did not spoil our stomachs for the BBQ, we took possession of our own copies of the camp photo and started to pass them around so we could have them signed and while I had them signed by my close friends and other long-term friends, I also had them signed by those who I had hoped I became friends with. Something I stated in a video interview, I made so many amazing new friends and hope that they feel the same way. Following on from tea we had a brief (late) talk from Adam who did his talk in two parts, one involved discussion, the other was a general talk. Then it was time to get ready for the concert.

The concert was one of the best years to date. Several exhibitions of music, a camp variation of Les Misérables which was amazing due to the size, scale and planning of it all, a barber shop quartet (and keyboard player), some Jazz and other forms of music too. My monologue went ok, bit shorter than previous years, I talked about how people should make a cup of tea, and there were some bits of comedy also from Kiran and Simon doing puns and the Cinderella which was very funny. An Amazing concert overall, absolutely amazing. I have already started planning what I hope to do for next year after being inspired by the performances.

Then we went down to the Bonfire for a BBQ (and people singing songs from Disney films). There was also some great Chicken soup, have not had that for years, but it was lovely nonetheless. Some people then went for the Midnight Walk while others decide to play Carcassonne. I decided to go to bed as the next day I would have a long distance to travel. On the way back to the tent I could see the blazing fire still going and in the woods and eventually near the road I could hear the midnight walkers.

Saturday: Camp eventually reached its climax on the Saturday. When I reached the barn after I woke up I could see some people were awake while others were sleeping on the sofas with blankets draped over them. While I would’ve happily stayed up all night, I probably would not have been in good form to go round London. Breakfast was 30 minutes later due to the hijinks and japes people got up to the previous night. People were still waking up and we had another go at the Superman themed song.

Following on from this was the morning share time, a time for people to share what they enjoyed and what lies ahead for them. Even I for the first time went up and talked. I mentioned how this was one of the best if not the best camp to date while trying to hold back the nervousness of presenting this. I mentioned how it was a great camp to make new friends but also how the camp had brought me closer to God. Some people cried while presenting while others were able to hold them back. After this we split up into different groups and did some more sharing before a quick round of prayer. Following on from this I packed my stuff up, said my goodbyes and went back to Dorking train station for my lift home.

The train home was generally ok. I managed to read some more of HUNGER before I arrived in London Victoria, got a Wasabi for lunch (something I always try to get while in London) before going on a relatively short journey back to Euston, found out my train times, got a Milkshake, got on the Pendolino and started the journey home. I was able to continue reading HUNGER for most of the journey and had a quick 30 minute nap before arriving in Lancaster.

I did of course have to carry all the heavy bags I had across the bridge to get some money out of the cash point before crossing the bridge again to get a Taxi. I then arrived home safe and sound, texted family and friends to let them know I got back OK, played with the cats for a bit before going online, onto Facebook to upload my Photos from the week.

This year’s Camp was Amazing. To begin with it was hard not having my close and long-time friends around, like Josh and Hannah, but in a way this allowed me the opportunity to make new friends, something I generally find hard to do due to my extreme shyness, but in the end I was able to pluck up the courage to talk to new people and make new friends. Friends who I have either not met before or have but did not know them all that well; and this made me very happy and I hope that these people who I now think of as friends consider me also (as stated on a video interview by Rebecka). While there were still some I did not get a chance to meet, that gives future opportunities to make more friends. While camp has ended and that is sad, it is a sign of how great and enjoyable a year it was and while in many cases I may not see many people until next year, there are opportunities to meet up between now and then, and I look forward to those opportunities.

GENEPOOL








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