Thursday, 5 January 2012

"Tomorrow, When the War Began" REVIEW

Dear Internet,

Today I am doing a film review, because, why not? Here we go...

"Tomorrow, When the War Began" was a book before it became a film, and the first in a long-line novels, called the "Tomorrow" series, by John Marsden and there is a glorious little moment in the film where the main character, Ellie, asks her best mate Corrie if the book she's reading is good. Corrie replies that it's "better then the film", to which Ellie says "books usually are".
Now perhaps I've got a peculiar sense of humour, but I found this very funny.

It's directed by the same guy who gave us "Pirates of the Carribean", so that should give you an idea of the type of movie to expect to see. If you're unfamiliar with this film/book/series, I'll set it out for you. And although the following might contain "spoilers", they revealed all this stuff in the trailer anyway.Farmer girl Ellie Linton (played by Caitlin Stasey, aka Rachel Kinski of "Neighbours" and Frankie of "The Sleepover Club") invites a group of good-looking friends on a camping trip to the ironically-named Oasis-in-the-outback (or somewhere wild and jungle-like in Australia) "Hell". Cue an interesting array of characters:

There is Ginger Corrie, best-mate-with-the-book, she's pleasant but ordinary, still pinkie-swears and has sex in a shearing shed (or something like that) -although this is only briefly recounted not viewed (which is either good or bad depending on what your preference is)- with her blond boyfriend Kevin.

Kevin (played by Lincoln Lewis aka Geoff Campbell in "Home & Away- is it just me or does Australia seem to have only a handful of actors which it just recycles and recycles?) said blond boyfriend; tanned pretty boy who without his looks would have few friends, one of those people with natural gift for "putting their foot in it" or "rubbing salt into new wounds", whilst every badly-timed comment is unintentionally nasty, you still think "God what a jerk".

Homer, the Greek who grew up on a shabby farm and takes the title of "bad boy" or “rebel”, handsome and handy, first seen wearing a t-shirt that says “F@#K THE POLICE” whilst shaking a copper’s hand and asking “How’s the wife?”

“Fi” next, presumably short for Fiona, is a “townie” who is incredibly pretty and endearing but believes otherwise, an idea which seems to have been suggested by her ex-“Miss Wirrawee”-beauty-pageant-queen of a mother. “I had braces for, like, 2 years. I still wear glasses.”

Robyn-the-Missionary is the fourth and final girl, and a Catholic who persuades her dad to let her go camping by saying she will be able to bring “these boys and girls closer to God”.

And lastly, we have Lee, the piano-prodigy. “Mysterious” apparently, he just seems to me to be an Asian kid who doesn’t say much and is really good at killing snakes. Hey, Whatever.

The set up of the plot is as follows: 7 friends go camping in “Hell” and when they return to their home-town of Wirrawee, Australia, their homes are empty and Ellie’s dog is dead. What’s going on? Well, their town has been invaded by some unknown army- it doesn’t really matter which; this is a character-based story and not so much about who’s invaded as it is about how these 7 teenagers deal with it. So it’s back to Hell to stick it out and figure out a plan of action. Soon they turn guerilla soldier and seek to fight back. I won't share any more spoilers, and even if you think I've shared too much, it's still worth watching- pinkie swear.

For a story which has such a simple premise, I thought it was surprisingly good. Sure, it’s blockbuster stuff, never too scary but gripping enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. The film wastes no time in getting started, which is a relief, and the potential love interests are also set up quite early too. It doesn’t ask many questions about the ethics of war or the ethics of how the group reacts and there aren’t any really moments where something really nasty happens, which makes this movie a good film for when you want to relax and be entertained. I haven't enjoyed a film from the Aussies this much since "Muriel's Wedding" which was ages ago.Okay, so some of the shots might be a bit dramatic, the characters are a bit stereotypical and all have about nine-thousand lives and the conflict is so bloodless its unbelievable. Stabs at humour are cliched and cheesy but with its optimism and light-hearted atmosphere (although odd for a war film) "Tomorrow, When the War Began" gets away with it. I really enjoyed it, liked all the characters and loved the pace and the plot. I absolutely recommend this to you.If you’ve seen it and think differently, please feel free to share your opinions.

For sure, it's brimming with stereotypes, cheese and unrealistic action sequences, but it's a great film for a little bit of excitement and escapism. See you tomorrow,

:) Willbee

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Pray for the people inside your head for they won't be there when you're dead.

Dear Internet,

Today's post is dedicated to AWESOME SONGS. Well, actually, the focus is on the Singers/Songwriters. I suppose this can work as an antidote to my last post where all I did was complain and ridicule. TODAY IS A DAY OR PRAISE AND APPRECIATION. So without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to the following 5:

1. JOHNNY FLYNN (& The Sussex Wit)
Johnny Flynn is a god of my all-time favourite genre of music: NU-FOLK, although he'd shy away from such a title. And, I know, the whole "nu" thing probably sounds a bit pretentious BUT JUST WAIT UNTIL YOU HEAR THE MUSIC. One of the best things about modern folk artists is the attention they give to their lyrics. You don't get simple hooks and easy to remember rhyming, you get pure, heartfelt poetry. In fact, Johnny Flynn tends to write his lyrics first then lay them suitably on to his music so that the stuff he expresses truly takes centre-stage. Check out his songs "Tickle Me Pink" (these lyrics provide the post's peculiar title) and "Kentucky Pill" if you don't know them already, but I'm going to share with you a beautiful duet between our man Johnny and other legendary folk-singer Laura Marling:

Which suitably brings me onto my next point of focus:

2. The delectable LAURA MARLING
The tone of her voice is absolutely wonderful and I can't really explain what makes her so magical except that she is super cool and incredibly talented and the truth of her lyrics is always startling. Most of my friends who are familiar with her cite the song "Alas I cannot swim" as among the best, so I'll recommend you look it up if you like the sound of the stuff that she sings, but I'm going to give you the song I like best which is none other than "My Manic and I". Enjoy.

3. Another folk artist I probably should have featured first as she is, in my eyes, NUMBER 1. There is honesty and raw emotion that she shares and I can hardly begin to fathom how she does it but every single song gives me goosebumps. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the one, the only:

If you don't know this woman, listen to her songs "Follow the Heron" and "Rivers Run". Everything she sings hits a nerve with me, her music is very easy to relate to and very poetic. The song I've chosen from her repetoire to share with you today is one of the saddest, most moving songs I know. Behind this song is a very tragic story and she tells it before you hear her sing which makes for a very thought-provoking and affecting listen.

Did I mention I've seen her live? Breath-taking. :)

Bleak, huh? Don't dry your tears just yet- my next song is similarly saddening. Sorry.

4. Coming to the end of my list of most sacred songs/writers/singers, I move away from the Nu-folk scene to Classical Opera. Give a round of applause to HENRY PURCELL.
Considered one of the greatest English composers, particularly notable for his uniquely English Baroque, and his stylistically superb secular and sacred music (I knew this already but thank you, Wikipedia), he also wrote my top opera of all time, ever, in the history of the world: "Dido and Aeneas". So suitably, I give you the highlight of the whole opera, his amazing aria "When I am laid in Earth", commonly known as "Dido's Lament".

And last but not least, an up-and-coming band from Nottingham, who knows? You might have heard of them:


They really are awesome. As you can see from the above picture, one of them has CURLY, GINGER HAIR. And if that isn't cool then I don't know what is. :P Now, I like their songs "Young" and "A Motel", but contrary to my previous examples I'm going to give you their most popular and most famous song. Granted, this was the song that introduced me to the band and so I think it's suitable for me to introduce you via the same.

Well, that's me done for today :D Hope you feel musically enlightened :P

Willbee xx

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


Dear Internet,

Today is a day of annoyance. This, I can contribute to two things:

1. I'm living at home for the Christmas holidays and my family are often excruciating to live with. Apparently, its not okay to sleep in until 12.30 (Well, fair shout but I didn't exactly plan it). Also, it is unacceptable to have a moderately untidy, obviously lived-in bedroom with most of the mess consisting of study books scattered on the floor because my desk is eternally wobbly and always threatening to fall down. Furthermore, it is OUTRAGEOUS behaviour- according to my dad- to leave your wallet on the floor of the car by mistake. This translates as: I want to tell you off for being untidy but I cannot think of a decent example. Also: Who knew drama could be so difficult? I've been reading this book called "International Dramaturgy" that I thought would help me with my essay but its actually all about "Timberlake Wertenbaker" who just sounds like some sort of designer sausage. Oh, the hard life of a Drama/English student!!! Anyway...

2. Every radio station is playing shit music- even Classical FM and that is a true sign of desperation... So then I turn on my family's shared iTunes and am greeted by a bunch of stupid songs with stupid lyrics sung by stupid singers.

It doesn't help that I was already in a bad mood.

So Today, Internet, I'm ranting about ANNOYING POP SONGS.


It's all auto tuned. And believe it or not, music industry, auto tuning DOESN'T ACTUALLY SOUND GOOD. Don't get me wrong I love the show (in fact, I'm such a loser that I'm in my uni's Glee Club!!!) BUT WHY THE GODDAMN AUTO TUNING!!?? Everyone knows that Corey Monteith (who plays Main Character Finn) cannot sing to save his life so why cast him in a musical TV show in the first place??? I remember being abismally underwhelmed and disappointed by Glee's live X Factor performance, THANKS A BUNCH FINN.

2. Another pop person I'm a secret fan of and the girl who made country music cool again: TAYLOR SWIFT.

Now I'm not gonna criticise her too much, not like Kanye West at the VMAs, but I have a bone to pick with her arguably most popular and most well-known song: LOVE STORY. Now, really all I'm doing is wondering if Taylor Swift knows what actually happens in “Romeo and Juliet”, because if she is aware that they both kill themselves then maybe the line “Baby just say yes” is a shocking and cleverly-concealed suicide pact. :O :O :O DGM OMG LOL

3. Ke$ha.

Firstly: what's with the dollar sign in the middle of her name? Secondly: TIK TOK LYRICS. Yes, Internet, you know what I'm talking about. The Lyrics are disreputably stupid. Specifically stupid are the lyrics: “Before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack/ Cos when I leave for the night I ain’t coming back”. Since when does staying out all night make it okay to BRUSH YOUR TEETH WITH WHISKEY??!!! :S But then Ke$ha also says she "wakes up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy" - WHY?? and only gets with guys that look like Mick Jagger... WHY??????? ...Maybe if you drink too much whiskey then you start getting attracted to men that look like Norwegian Transvestites who have spent half their life sucking lemons (NO OFFENCE NORWAY.) But anyway...

4. I don't know who wrote this or thought it was okay to sing it but the fact that they probably made a profit shows you all that is wrong with the music industry. This song, almost certainly worst on the list, is none other than NOW YOU'RE GONE. (Disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible if your ears start spontaneously bleeding.) Seriously, though, these lyrics- I DON'T GET IT- WHAT THE- I DON'T EVEN...


You know, I wouldn't mind her total attention-seeking over-the-top outfits and general-pretending-to-be-some-sort-of-musical-genius IF HER MUSIC OR PERSONALITY REFLECTED THAT. The truth is she has no personality and so must hide behind her crazy-stupid stunts because otherwise nobody would give a damn. It might make some sense to have these ridiculous outfits and music videos and weirdo stage persona if her music was really out there too. BUT IT'S NOT. In fact, it is as generic as they come. Her music videos are always completely unrelated to the song, strung together with some supposedly deep explanation- but I am a Drama/English student and I know true bullshit when I smell it. Another thing that annoys me is that she always seems to be inexplicably attacking the Catholic Church. UNORIGINAL AND NOT COOL, GAGA.

Rah rah Ooh La la, Roma, roma-ma. Gaga Ooh Lala. What a load of rubbish.

The last point of nonsense lyrics leads me towards the end of my rant. Singing in gibberish is nothing new. In many songs I quite like it: DOO WAH DIDDY DIDDY DUM DIDDY DOO. Or Eliza Doolittle's launch into twee little tweeting in "Pack Up" or Ella Fitzgerald's legendary scat singing or that lovable number from Grease:

Now to wrap up I'm gonna leave you, Internet, with a poem by Carol Ann Duffy, who became Poet Laureate in 2009. I think she wrote this particular poem when nonsense lyrics were at their peak in pop songs and in a very simple way she makes a very funny point. Who knows?? Perhaps this was the inspiration for Ke$ha's strange stage name:


A one a two a one two three four -
boogie woogie chou chou cha cha chatta
noogie. Woogie wop a loo bop a wop
bim bam. Da doo ron a doo ron oo wop a
sha na? Na na hey hey doo wah did.
Um, didy ay didy shala lala lala lala,
boogie woogie choo choo cha cha bop.
(a woogie wop a loo bam) yeah yeah yeah.


Peace, Love & Poetry,

Willbee xx

New Years' Resolution

Dear Internet,

As you're probably aware it is the start of that long-awaited, long anticipated, slightly feared and much celebrated year 2012. (Which is to be accompanied by that dreadful Olympic logo that has been compared to among other things a broken swastika and even more accurately: the incestuous and paedophillic act of Lisa Simpson giving her brother Bart a you-know-what job...)

Well, between you and me, 2012 is also the year my journalling goes online. :) As a matter of fact, I tried to create an account afresh but it appears I've already got one alongside a blog called "SuperDuperWill", well I haven't used that word in a good two years but I like it quite a lot so Why Not??

Now before I look to the future (because obviously it hasn't happened yet) I'm going to peer into the recent past:

Really, it's quite curious that 2011 was so eventful when there has been a year-long build-up to this new one, but there you go. It was notable for many things: the notorious UK riots (notorious for us because nobody can find a reason that can justify them), the actually-important revolutions that took place all over the world but particularly on Twitter, and the Royal Wedding which was a riot of patriotism and flags and tacky souvenirs.

I'm sure that you, Internet, take this riot-ridden year as proof of the forthcoming apocalypse. Now I don't know about that but I do know that Nando's in Nottingham got burned down and for a student from a sleepy village without shop or pub that is pretty brutal.

2011 was also eventful in my own life, asides from the major world events. I turned 18 (and had a wonderful surprise birthday party which I shall tell you about someday, maybe on my next birthday which will no doubt be a lot less awesome), I finished my A-levels with a mediocre but satisfying ABCC, I got a scholarship to my first-choice university (Aberystwyth in Wales, it wasn't very hard, haha), I got my first job (Payplan - debt management - free fruit at lunch - YAY!) and I moved out of my home and INTO UNI HALLS.

The beauty that is Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales:

Never fear, Internet, I'm not about to list everything interesting that has EVER happened to me EVER because I know that would be, like, proper boring, yo.

BUT, as I said, 2011 was a big year for me. FREEDOM. I think that sums up the year in one word. Not just for me but for Egypt and Libya (supposedly) and all those other revolutious (not a real word) places out there.

Here's a quick list of other BIG THINGS that happened in 2011 which I nearly forgot to include:

- Osama bin Laden (still confusing him with the American president? I am.) got shot and killed in his weird little hideaway.
- The "End of The World" or the end of "The News of the World" which graciously bowed out with a sweet "Thank you & Goodbye" which almost made you forget the obscene levels of phone-hacking this scandalous organisation of gangstas- I mean journalists- committed seemingly unashamedly. "Sorry & Goodbye" might have been more appropriate if you ask me, but I guess if they knew what was and what was not appropriate they wouldn't have got into that mess.
- The "End of The World" Part 2- you know, those bible-bashing bastards that shout at everyone for sinning/being gay/not supporting slavery/not stoning adulterous wives to death or agreeing with some of the more ridiculous lifestyle rules in the Old testament. A significantly large number of these in America paid out a significantly large amount to Atheist sinners who promised to look after their dogs when they ascended into Heaven and left everyone else either to die in the apocalypse or just die in sin. (Something you should know: I'm loosely Christian and will defend Christianity where it ought to be defended but I can't stand those who take every word literally and turn the religion into "a hotbed of moral... turpentine" to quote Miss Amber Von Tussle from that most-wonderful movie, "Hairspray".)
- Moving on: Utoya, yes, the island that sounds like a cross between Utopia and Michael Jackson's sister, was home to one of the most saddening and shocking mass shootings to take place in the history of peaceful Norway.
- And let's not forget the Japanese Earthquake and Nuclear Crisis which saw radioactive gas released at Fukushima nuclear plant as well as many other leaked toxic chemicals which could cause lots and lots of cancer and Hiroshima-type babies and other BAD THINGS. Poignantly, the engineers working to clean up the mess have effectively sacrificed their lives as all will surely die young as a result of the radiation. :'(
- Occupy Wall Street- another pointless "protest" which has spread to St Pauls. Nobody really knows what they're protesting other than the Evils of Capitalism, the ideology that someone should be able to get rich and garner more wealth than others by working really really hard and earning it. Don't hate on me for saying that, but it's how the system works. It seems that these protesters are "communists" who think everything should be given to them free because they deserve it- I'm sorry but communism is illogical. I honestly don't think they can represent the people of this country either, because those of us genuinely affected by the Recession cannot afford to dwindle about in tents in the most expensive part of the country- Seriously, I went to London recently and had to pay, like, £4 for a sandwich!!! What the- I don't even...

Anyway, now I've recapped last year I'll conclude by wishing you a Happy New Year and hoping your resolutions go to plan as well. It is with combined sadness and relief that we enter January and return slightly reluctantly to work/study/whatever. On the bright side, no more annoying relatives to endure who think that apparently in order to be civilised you should be able to engage sufficiently in any conversation about interior design and furnishing and that somehow it’s a true sign of cultural ignorance to not know what colour “eggshell” is or that “ogre” is like “ochre but green, DUH”... So let's celebrate going back to the office/classroom/lecture halls and spending our spare time with friends and doing things we enjoy and hanging out in places we like as opposed to playing A LOT of charades and cards and going on long, strenuous walks in inappropriate footwear...

Over and Out,

"SuperDuperWill" xx