Thursday, 27 February 2014

Top 5 Pixar shorts



Pixar Logo
Top 5 Pixar shorts

      Last month I gave you the list of my Top 5 Pixar animated features, and promised a separate article dealing with their short films. Well…here we are.

   Ever since the release of A Bug’s Life in 1998, every Pixar movie has came out in theatres packaged with a short film which shows before the main feature. These shorts are often an excuse for Pixar to flex its creative muscles and come up with really cool, original little stories, they’re also a great brewing pot for talent, with many of the crew of the shorts going on to write, direct and animate main features down the line.
    Pixar are also keen to create additional short films to accompany the release of movies on DVD and Blu-Ray leading to an impressive catalogue of short films that are just as important, memorable and enjoyable as their feature length counterparts.

   So here are my Top 5 Pixar shorts, remember, these are just my picks so don’t feel too annoyed if your favourite doesn’t make the list, but be sure to list your favourites in the comments.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Changing Places: A Tale of Two Campuses



Changing Places
Changing Places: A Tale of Two Campuses 
David Lodge
"When Philip Swallow and Professor Morris Zapp participate in their universities' Anglo-American exchange scheme, the Fates play a hand, and each academic finds himself enmeshed in the life of his counterpart on the opposite side of the Atlantic. Nobody is immune to the exchange: students, colleagues, even wives are swapped as events spiral out of control. And soon both sundrenched Euphoric State university and rain-kissed university of Rummidge are a hotbed of intrigue, lawlessness and broken vows..."

Sunday, 16 February 2014

American Psycho



American Psycho
American Psycho
Bret Easton Ellis
 "There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable... I simply am not there."

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Notes on the Subject of False Life...

Notes on the Subject of False Life...

   The following is a piece of artwork I produced as part of my third year at University. We were told to go out, buy a book and re-contextualise it, to change it up,destroy it, remix it, do whatever we wanted with it.
   For my submission, I picked up a copy of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein and transformed it into "Notes on the subject of false life" the confessions of Dr j. Osterman, a biologist inspired by the Frankenstein novel to go forth and attempt to reanimate the dead himself.

   It's a piece of work that I've always been proud of. While I think it could be better, I think I got the idea across well and some parts of the book are suitably creepy. It's something I've wanted to try again ever since and I may well. If I ever do I'll be sure to post it here, but for now I hope you enjoy reading through Dr Osterman's confession. 
    Some pages can be really hard to read so I'll include the text of the story below. 

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Wantin



Wantin
Wantin
Truth Devour
 "Fate is relentless in its pursuit of Talia Jacobs. Presented with unimaginable turns of chance, she is drawn into the depths of tragic losses then catapulted to the extraordinary heights of life's joy. Take the journey with Talia as she undergoes her sexual, social and physical metamorphosis from a vulnerable girl into a mature young seductress. Nothing in life is ever as it seems. Is she blessed or cursed? Will she ever find the man who will love her like no other, fearlessly caressing the deepest part of her being while intertwining his soul to hers in a dance that holds the unspoken promise of forever?"

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Crown the Jester



Crown the Jester
Crown the Jester
Joe Laser

   It’s an unfortunate truth that our reaction to a piece of media is largely based on our mood at the time of taking it in. If you’re in a good mood, chances are you’re going to react favourably to a book, read it again while sad or angry however and your perception of the story will change drastically.
   So it is unfortunate that throughout this month I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump, finding it hard to really fall in love with anything I’ve picked up. The annoying thing about this is that, in these instances, it’s hard to tell if you’re not enjoying a book because you’re in a slump or if you’re in a slump because you’re not enjoying the book.
   Whatever the reason though, I know that if I were to re-read Crown the Jester while in a better mood, I’d enjoy it a lot more than I did in this instance.

   Crown the Jester takes place in an alternate 60’s where JFK has been assassinated, not by Lee Harvey Oswald, but by Joe DiMaggio, leaving Kennedy’s V.P. Frank Sinatra to take on the presidency.
   Several other famous faces appear in the novel, Oswald himself appears as a paranoid delusional, Marilyn Monroe is a blonde bimbo carrying Frank’s genetically modified child and Richard Nixon sits in his office scheming about how to impeach Sinatra and solidify his legacy as the first man in space.
   Throw into the mix gangsters, mad scientists, the looming threat of the Vietnam war and secret service nuns and you have the makings of an epic screwball comedy that by all accounts I should have loved.

   Sadly though, for me, this mix failed to ever really catch fire. There were plenty of moments that I read and found myself thinking “I should have found that funny” but never really did. While I did enjoy some of the dialogue and absolutely loved the portrayal of Nixon as the hand-rubbing cartoon baddie in the shadows, most of the humour in the book just left me feeling…meh…

   The story was a little overcomplicated too with so many characters fighting for attention that if your mind wandered for a minute while reading you’d find yourself returning completely lost. On several occasions I found myself flipping back through the book having to remind myself of the various plotlines because it all became a bit of a muddle as the book progressed.

   Again though, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I really should have enjoyed this book more. As I was reading, I really wanted to like this book but for whatever reason I just couldn’t get into it.
   I may return to this one in the future when I’m in a better mood and see if I like it any better, but for now I’ll rate it at a 3/5. I’m sure a lot of people reading it will really enjoy it and find this mixed up alternate world hilarious, but, for now at least, I can’t personally recommend it. 


I received this book for review through GoodReads FirstReads