Monday, 11 October 2010

A Review of Mr. Nice

Released in selected cinemas on 8th October 2010

Enveloped in a thick white blanket of smoke trails, Rhys Ifans stars as the infamous hashish baron Howard Marks in the new cinema adaption of the autobiography
Mr Nice (pronounced like the French city Nice), directed by Bernard Rose. The film title is derived from Howard's pseudonym, a name he overhears in a pub and uses it to forge a new identity. He then goes on to scheme, plot, and blatantly disregard laws under the guises of the IRA, CIA and the MI6 to import hashish to make enough cash to make bankers blush.

Despite protests from his loyal and understanding girlfriend/wife Judy, played by Chloe Sevigny, Howard goes on to try crack America by concealing hash blocks in a band's speakers. One speaker is mistakenly left behind and after an inspection by vigilant US cops, it is traced back to him and results in a seven year spell in prison in 1988, although he was sentenced to twenty-five. This passing of time is marked by the eventual loss of his youth, his maddening loneliness, the loss of his teeth and his children growing up into adulthood - one that he momentarily mistakes for Judy during a prison visit.

The attention to detail is this film is on point. Visually, it is a gourmet feast for the eyes for anyone who appreciates stunning cinematography and photographic shots. The cars, clothes, props, hairstyles and settings looked like they were straight out of the 70s and 80s, not copies or outrageous exaggerations, but the real deal. Vintage footage of traffic-lodged and bustling Piccadilly Circus and Regent Street have been successfully married with the present day actors to create a time-travelling sensation. Howard, an Oxford graduate, experiments with LSD at the beginning of the film whilst he was still at university. Hallucinations were presented through close up shots of enormous cartoon-like bubbles in the toilet and hazy dream-like states of mind.

The film is essentially about the legalisation of marijuana. Howard obviously disagrees with the fact that is illegal and asks, I paraphrase, that how can a plant that inspires and heals someone be illegal? However, marijuana being illegal is the reason why he becomes infamous and rich. It is also the reason why he was locked up. This demonstrates that drug barons have the best and worst of both worlds - luxury, whilst living on a knife's edge of fear.

He was released from prison the same day as Mike Tyson. "I had," he was quoted to say, "been continuously in prison for the last six-and-a-half years for transporting beneficial herbs from one place to another, while he had done three years for rape." 

"Fellow dopeheads and fans of terrorism may cheer him on, but this struck me as an empty-headed movie with a very obviously broken moral compass" -  Daily Mail article by Christopher Tookey

If one does not wish to see a film that has a "broken moral compass" then surely a film about a drug baron's life is not ideal. It's on par with stating that a film based around Jack the Ripper is too gory and disturbing - what is expected otherwise? 

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Major Lazer - Percumajor [VIDEO]

After their absolutely amazing debut album dropped earlier this year, Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do, Major Lazer (made up of DJs Diplo and Switch) have recently released "Percumajor". It's slightly more toned down than their bass-ridden album of dancehall-electronic mashup tracks that feature a whole array of guest artists. The animated video for "Percumajor" is incredible even on it's own. As well as their music, Major Lazer are known for their surreal animated artwork and videos, which are a heady fusion of 80s Miami Vice, comic book horror, action hero cartoons, and neon rave.

Apparently, Major Lazer is a fictional Jamaican cartoon character who fought as a commando who lost his forearm in a secret war in 1984 against zombies, and now has a laser machine gun to replace the lost part of his limb. He parties hard, obviously after a hard days work killing vampires and monsters, and owns an electric hoverboard that the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Marty McFly would squabble over...

Their video pays homage to many aspects that Generation X and Y would recognise, including one of the best 80s films: Back to the Future. Special appearances include Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan, Malcom X, Gizmo the Gremlin, Stephen Hawkin, Darth Vader and Obama... amongst others. 

In an industry saturated with carbon copies and repetitive styles, Major Lazer have most definitely carved themselves a hypnotising niche.

Friday, 1 October 2010


There has always been an air of discontent surrounding governments, monarchy and their associates and there is no better place to target that critical energy but the money that they control us with. Seen by many eyes, passed through many hands, changed, swapped for goods, cashed in, cashed out and consistently in use; money is the best medium of conveying a message for practically the whole world to see... until it is withdrawn from the public eyes due to indecency. Unfortunately these are not my own findings but I have tracked down the best photos of defaced money on the net.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Team Feline

Judging by the amount of cat themed birthday cards I got about four months ago, you could definitely tell that I love cats. I love any animal (except for insects, don't really mind spiders as they don't fly and buzz around your face) but cats, big or small, wild or domestic, really are the kings of the jungle. IKEA picked up on the amazingness of cats and have featured them in their new advert, which by the way I love and have to watch and make everyone else in the room do so too when it comes on TV:


Dogs are great too. You'd have to have a cold heart made of stone to resist the brown puppy dog eyes that attest to their loyalty
, as well as beg for scraps of food and playtime. A dog is always going to be more useful for security (unless you can keep a ferocious wild cat) or for playing with and taking out for walks. But here are some reasons why cats are a bajillion times better:

- They're independent. There's no need to pick up poop or taking them for walks when you'd rather be in bed, unless you have one of those cool dog-like cats who like being taken out on a leash. They can entertain themselves and the best thing is watching them chase flies, bits of fluff, string, laser pointers and behaving like raving lunatics during their midnight bursts of energy when everyone in the house is trying to sleep.

- They're damn cute. Especially when they're kittens. If you have a cat, you've probably held it's paw and pressed down on the padded bits to make the claws protract, like something out of X-Men. Cats paws are too cute. Even cuter than their cute whiskers, cute fluffy fur, and cute pink noses.

- They're cleaner. It all depends on which type of dog you'll be comparing to a cat but generally cats are more hygienic. Their tongues are covered with thousands of hooks, like the rough side of velcro, which they use to groom themselves until they're cleaner, softer and shiner than Cheryl Cole's L'Oreal hair. Also their saliva contains an antibacterial enzyme that basically acts like a body wash. Beats the smell of wet dog.

- They're calmer and more sophisticated. Cats purrs are instant nerve calmers, sleep inducers and happy triggers. A cat won't jump on you as soon as you walk in, a cat won't try to hump your guest's leg and a cat won't slobber all over the floor. Cats are like James Bond, charming, sleek and aloof. Most dogs are verging on being the pet equivalent of Slimer from Ghostbusters.

- They have nine lives.

- They're adventurous. A dog hardly goes far outside without it's owner as it enjoys human companionship. Cats, on the other hand, will think nothing of slinking out for the night to meet up with other cats, climb on roofs, hunt for food, and come back with rodent or insect souvenirs to leave by your feet before you leave for work. There's this nifty little camera that you can attach to a cat's collar that takes regular photos of what they get up to when they're out. This can either be interesting (catnip roof top parties with other cats? Weird nocturnal encounters? Secret government hideaways?) or boring (lots of lying around, grooming, scratching, and running away from loud people and chugging cars). 

Or maybe their mystery is too intriguing and to precious to shatter?

Monday, 20 September 2010

UPDATE: Defamation of Boris Bikes

Looks like someone removed one of the stickers from the Boris Bikes and put it to good use. Barclays, KFC... who's next? Poundland?

The link to the original story is here.

On the window of Notting Hill Gate's KFC. Will probably still be there if no one has tore it off yet.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Banksy or not?

These magically appeared overnight on west London's Clarendon Road. Are they by Banksy or is there yet another budding stencil artist on the loose? Apparently, Banksy doesn't do his stencils or murals on anything that can be easily removed, so the road light and street sign are evidence that it could all be a ruse... that, and the slapdash execution. I have to say that the placement of the Obama stencil, in relation to the LOOK LEFT and arrow, is pretty damn clever. 

Friday, 17 September 2010

Defamation of Boris Bikes

London's Cycle Hire Scheme, otherwise known as Boris Bikes due to them being introduced and advocated by London Mayor Boris Johnson, have recently been targeted by "vandals"(as described by The Daily Mail). Stickers saying FUCK in the same font style as the actual Barclays logo have been placed above it, to serve as a subversive indictment of greedy banks and a statement of distrust on behalf of most the nation. Or maybe, it was executed by a disgruntled Barclays customer who had their mortgage request declined...

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Turning Point Festival @ Roundhouse - PROMO CODE

Camden's Roundhouse is holding the 2010 Turning Point Festival this weekend (17th-19th December), starting from Friday evening. Headlining acts and events include Professor Green, Toddla T, Reggae Roast, Roll Deep, Ms Dynamite, Rob Da Bank, London Word Festival, Love Music Hate Racism... and a whole host of comedy, poetry, fancy dress and circus displays.

Ticket prices are outlined below but you can snap them up at half price with the promotion code: TP1
Remember to quote this code when booking online or over the phone!
Click here for website with full live act listings and venue information...
Tickets: Friday £15 | Saturday £18 | Sunday £8 | 3-day pass £28

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Short Summer Summary (iPhone pics)

So, summer has officially ended considering the festivals, carnivals, warm weather, al fresco dining, garden parties and camping trips have ceased to continue - except in our rose tinted memories. A far flung exotic holiday wasn't on the cards for me this summer so therefore a lot of time has been spent in the UK, except for a short trip to Amsterdam, which although it was neither exotic or far flung, it was an absolute laugh. These are a handful of photos taken by phone which shows the bits of summer that haven't been covered already...