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Thursday, 10 December 2009

2. Decline and Shine for Cinema

“If my films don't show a profit, I know I'm doing something right.”
Woody Allen

Avatar, a film that is hoping to revolutionise cinema forever will be released next week. James Cameron(the director) thought up the idea for the film in the early 1990's, but because of his desired effect(which weren't yet possible) he had to put the project on the shelf. And while it was their gathering up dust, he directed a little known film called Titanic. One of the biggest and most epic films to ever be shown on the big screen. And it looks like he's set to break the record books again.

You see, this film is no ordinary cgi film. It will use the greatest of technology, all completely new, and created by Cameron himself. If successful, the new technology will soon be used by the likes of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson.

And what are these new breakthroughs and technology i hear you ask. It includes the new advancement of 3D technology. And according to those that have previed a snippet of Avatar have confirmed what we hoped, 3D is finally good! The glasses are now looking cool and stylish, aswell as being comofrtbale. Compared to the old cardboard ones with the horrid red and blue pieces of plastic. The viewing will no longer make your eyes move unnaturally, they wont 'jump around' as much as they used to.
But one of the big break throughs includes 'image-based facial performance capture'. Which allows more accuracy in their actors eye movements and overall performance. This means that even images that are 100% CGI, could appear to be someone in make-up. That realistic!

I'll certainly be buying my ticket to experience such an epic moment in cinema history, and i do recommend that you also go watch it in the cinema, because this will be a film that wont get the justice it deserves if you illegally download it, or wait until the dvd release.

Although it may not seem like it, this year the world cinema has been pretty big (and i'm not just talking about Avatar).

Now you may not necessarily consider this as a good thing(i'm not ceven certain if i do), but the big money blockbusters of the summer didn't really do to well. Instead we saw the lower budget films such as 'Zombieland' and 'The Invention of Lying' raking in the money. Plus 'Paranormal Activity' (a film made with just $15,000) has become a huge hit in both America and the UK. So does this mean we've grown tired of the same old shoot-em-up action films with large explosions and glash smashing? Personally, I love watching films that are a bit different. I truly feel like i have had enough of just sitting and watching explosions, I like my mind to be challenged when i go to the cinema, watching something that makes me think. Whether thats morally or even emotionally. Instead of lounging around throwing popcorn at my face and watching a guy shoot a hundred people in the skull. Is it entertaining? Of Course! But is it a good film? Not really.

A good film should be one where you can see the effort and thought that has been put into it. Not one that has just had money pumped through it with the hope of some easy money.
And i don't think i'm alone on this. As it seems alot of people are starting to expand their views on cinema. Sure we all enjoy the occasional explosion film, or one that makes you laugh at the stupidest of things, but we also like to be challenge, and escape into a dream world.

That being said, January and February look to bring us some top quality films. Including 'Shutter Island' and 'Alice in Wonderland'.

And i'll leave you with a quote(by American producer Samuel Goldwyn) that i think sums up the second half of this blog.

“Why should people go out and pay money to see bad films when they can stay at home and see bad television for nothing?”

And trust me, theirs ALOT of bad television out there for all of us to complain about.

Daniel Mackrell

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

1. Health - 'Bottom of the waiting list'

"Experience is a great advantage. The problem is that when you get the experience, you're too damn old to do anything about it." - Jimmy Connors

At the age of 17, and just over a week away from 18- I am stuck in limbo. Entering the time in life where I’m too old to enjoy the innocence and laughter I had as a child, but too young to try and make a difference and maybe achieve my biggest dreams and desires.

When you’re young, you look up at the older teens and think ‘that’s where I want to be…that’s where the fun is’. And at times, it is! But it’s not all it’s made out to be. Teenagers are looked down at, we’re seen as a threat. I don’t understand why I’m so scary? We’re like any ‘normal’ adults that you may see in the street. Sure we might be more naive, lazy and hormonal, but generally the barriers in life remain the same – health, money, and love.

But it is also those three things that separate us too.

It seems that us teenagers are at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to health.
There are so many claims about our ‘corrupt’ generation. With STI’s, teenage pregnancy’s, anorexia, drugs and suicide.
And from what I’ve seen, a lot of it is true to an extent. But it seems that the bigger chunk of us aren’t completely stupid and making idiotic decisions that completely alter our life. I like to call those the ‘sensible’ teens. And I am happy to say I believe I’m one of them.

It seems that if you ever want to progress at anything, you are required to step out of your comfort zone. To accomplish what you want, or to get what you want, you always need to take risks. Nothing is ever easy, but I guess that’s what makes it more exciting. Right?

Moving onto another topic, looking through Yahoo news today, I discovered something rather odd. Apparently being with a women that has had a better education improves a man’s lifespan. This came from a study of 1.5 Million people aged between 30 and 59.

"Education may also have an indirect effect through its possible importance for choice of partner,"

Firstly, I wondered whether education actually effects who you may end up in a relationship with. Does your intelligence have an effect on your decisions when ‘finding a partner’? I can certainly see how that would come into effect, for one thing, two well educated people are more likely to be together than an idiot and a braniac. At least from my point of view. Mainly because you’d have more in common, and more to talk about.

Also the idea of education affecting a lifespan is also quite plausible. As more educated people will have better knowledge, and a deeper understanding of health, and would most likely force their partner into a much more healthier lifestyle. But why only limit this statement to men? Surely a well educated man can also effect a women’s health?
Putting these two together (only just realised they’re linked) it seems teenage men are at the bottom of the barrel for health. Not because we’re unhealthy, but simply because we’re seen as men that perhaps don’t get as ill as others. We’re more immune at this stage in life, or maybe…we’re just lazy couch potatoes that happen to avoid illness.

Until next time, stay healthy!!!

Daniel Mackrell