‘You are not me… Whoever you are, you are not me.’ – Ghost Virus, 2018

Good morning everyone! I have a special surprise for everyone this morning! My first ever Q+A! This is with renowned crime author Graham Masterton! This is for his new book Ghost Virus, which I cannot tell you to read enough!
Graham trained as a newspaper reporter before beginning his career as an author. His credits as a writer include the bestselling horror novel The Manitou and the Katie Maguire crime series, which became a top-ten bestseller in 2012.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the Q+A, check out the books biography to give you some idea of the book!

The girl had been staring into her mirror all morning before she picked up the small bottle of sulphuric acid and poured it over her forehead.
Samira was a young woman with her whole life ahead of her. What could have brought her to this? DC Jerry Pardoe and DS Jamila Patel of Tooting Police suspect it’s suicide. But then a meek husband kills his wife, and the headteacher of the local school throws her pupils out of a window. It’s no longer a random outbreak of horrific crimes. It’s a deadly virus. And it’s spreading. Somehow, ordinary Londoners are being infected with an insatiable lust to murder. All of the killers were wearing second-hand clothes. Could these garments be possessed by some supernatural force?
The death count is multiplying. Now Jerry and Jamila must defeat the ghost virus, before they are all infected…

Read the Q+A below!

MASTERTON

Graham Masterton

Please introduce yourself to my audience
Before I became a novelist I was a newspaper reporter and then the editor of two men’s magazines, Mayfair and Penthouse. While I was editing Penthouse an American edition had just been launched so I was a frequent visitor to New York. It was then that I got to know several American publishers and I was invited to write ‘how-to’ books on sex. These became very popular…some of them are still in print even today, such as How To Drive Your Man Wild In Bed. But the market for those books began to falter, and my publishers said they didn’t want any more. In the place of the next sex book, I offered them a horror novel which I had written mostly to amuse myself. It was inspired by the first pregnancy of my late wife Wiescka and a story I had read about Native American spirits in The Buffalo Bill Annual 1955. That book was The Manitou. It sold half a million copies in six months and was filmed Tony Curtis playing the lead role. After that, I continued to write horror novels but also political thrillers, disaster novels, historical sagas and even comic novels.
I was born in Edinburgh, the son of a British Army major and the daughter of a renowned scientist, Thomas Thorne Baker, who invented fluorescent paints and was the first man to send photographs by wireless. I started writing stories when I was about seven years old and have never stopped. When I was about 10 I discovered Edgar Allan Poe and was really enthralled, so I started writing horror stories to entertain my schoolfriends. I have never really stopped!
I lost interest in my English A-level studies when I was at school because I became interested in the American Beat writers like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs. I admired their directness and the way that they were unafraid to say anything or describe anything in all its grisly detail. I became friends with William Burroughs and he and I wrote a novella together, Rules of Duel.
Because of my lack of interest in what my school had to offer (apart from the girls in my class) I was expelled at the age of 17. Luckily I got a job as a trainee reporter and that was where my full-time writing career began.

 What made you write this book?
I have been writing a series of crime thrillers lately, set in Cork, in Ireland, and featuring Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire. I have written nine, and they have been so successful that I neglected to write any new horror novels. My horror readers were growing impatient for something new, so when this idea came up, I decided to give it a go.
The basic idea was inspired by the charity shop where a young woman friend of mine works as manager. I used to wonder if the second-hand clothes that were donated still retained not only the smell of their late owners, but something of their personality.  Perhaps when somebody bought these clothes, the late owners would try to possess them and come back to life. Not only come back to life, but take their revenge on some of the people who had mistreated them when they were alive.

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The Ghost Virus cover! It’s thrilling – Ghost Virus, Head of Zeus Publishing, 2018

What made you include the almost supernatural element of the virus?
Apart from the charity shop clothes, I was also inspired by Nikolai Gogol’s famous story The Overcoat, in which an impoverished clerk saves up for a smart new overcoat, only to have it stolen from him on the first day that he wears it. He dies of sickness and disappointment, but a ghostly presence goes around the city taking revenge on his behalf.

Why did you make the murders so gory?
Murders are gory. I am often asked the same question about the murders in my Irish crime novels, but it would be dishonest in my view to try and make murders seem anything except the ghastly grisly tragedies that they really are. I don’t write so-called ‘cosy’ crime like Agatha Christie in which the worst thing that happens is that the bishop gets beaten to death with a badger in the bathroom.

What made you include the cultural references – eg) the Pakistani family and the Pakistani police woman with the honour killing in the first few chapters.
I wanted the story to be up-to-date and relevant to modern times and modern concerns, and of course ethnic diversity and honour killings are still very topical. I also wanted to emphasise the well-deserved promotion of women to positions of responsibility, which I am also doing in my crime novels about Katie Maguire. You might not think that a one-time editor of men’s magazines was a strong supporter of women’s rights, but there was always great sexual equality on the staff of those magazines and we always promoted respect for women’s intelligence, creativity and business acumen.

What did you edit out of this book?
Nothing.

How long did it take you to write this book?
It took about six months. I had to stop halfway through, which was the first time I have ever done that while writing a novel, but I was commissioned to write The Coven, the second in my series of historical crime thrillers featuring Beatrice Scarlet, and I suddenly realise that the deadline was pressing!

What books have influenced you as a writer?
As I mentioned, Edgar Allan Poe influenced me when I was younger. Then tough American writers like Nelson Algren, who wrote The Man With The Golden Arm, and Herman Wouk, who wrote The Caine Mutiny, which is a brilliant example of how during the course of a novel a reader’s sympathies can be turned around 180 degrees. After that, Beat poetry like Pictures of the Gone World by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Gasoline by Gregory Corso. I enjoyed Bomber by Len Deighton because of its historical realism. These days I get no time (or inclination) to read other people’s fiction. I’m critical enough of my own. I must say that I think writing poetry is extremely important for any author. It improves your self-discipline, your vocabulary, your sense of rhythm and your ability to be able convey strong emotions in the minimum of words. I have written a lot, and still do, and had quite a number published.

What is your writing Kryptonite?
As a newspaper reporter and a magazine editor I have had to write about anything and everything, so nothing deters me. I have written celebrity interviews, restaurant reviews, humour columns, car test reviews, record reviews, cartoon captions, novelisations of movies…it’s my job, and I was taught by excellent newspapermen and by magazine editors.

What made you get into writing?
I think it may have been partly hereditary. My great-great-grandfather (who was a Polish émigré) was a theatrical impresario, and loved putting on shows. Writing is a way of entertaining people, which I love to do. If I hadn’t become a writer I might have been a comedian. You don’t really ‘get into’ writing. It’s more like a chronic disease than a calling. I just can’t help it.

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An idea of all of Graham’s amazing books! 

How do you get over writer’s block?
I used to think that ‘writer’s block’ was an apartment building where all these writers sat staring at blank sheets of paper. I have never had writer’s block because you can’t, as a professional journalist. You can’t swanning in to your chief reporter one day and say ‘I can’t write a report on this council meeting because I’ve got writer’s block.’ Obviously some days I might feel more like writing than others, but usually I write every day, even if it’s only two or three pages.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
It didn’t. I was used to seeing my name in print because I had a regular pop music page for three years in my local paper, plus other bylines. My writing has obviously changed and developed over the years, as I think readers can see if they compare Ghost Virus to The Manitou, or any of my earlier horror novels. But I believe in Ghost Virus that I have updated myself considerably, and not only produced a supernatural entertainment but a story which will make people think about the way our society is developing and their own feelings of bereavement, if they have lost somebody dear to them. and their own impending death. There’s a headstone waiting for us all!

Thanks so much for your time Graham! I loved asking you all these questions! Please write many more books!

Have you ever read any Graham Masterton? You really should! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Here are some links to buy
Amazon: mybook.to/GhostVirusM
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2GWZQYH
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2EGsxTv
iBooks: https://apple.co/2qvxdXs

Follow Graham Masterton
Twitter: @GrahamMasterton
Website: http://www.grahammasterton.co.uk

 

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‘I have a dark and expensive fetish. I download pop songs on ITunes’ – Monster Prom, 2018

Good morning everyone! Hope that you all had a good weekend. Did you watch the Eurovision Song Contest? I am watching it as I write this post – my current thoughts are it’s a bit more boring than the previous years, but still watchable.
My other news this week is that I’ve been published online; a short story called God is Dead. Feel free to check it out here. Let’s get it to the most read on the site! Tune in soon for it to be made into a special podcast episode. I’ll let you know when that happens!
This week I want to review a fairly new game, a dating sim of all things, called Monster Prom.

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Yellow/Oz, Red/Amira, Green/Brian, Blue/Vicky (or players 1 – 4). It can be played multiplayer! – Monster Prom, Those Awesome Guys, 2018

Monster Prom is a dating sim in which the player can choose between six different monsters they can try and date. Each player, who has picked from Yellow/Oz, Red/Amira, Green/Brian, Blue/Vicky, takes their turn at going through an event in one of the map locations in order to gain stats that affect the way their love interest perceives them. The issue is – there’s only three weeks to go from a nobody in school to a somebody (and you need to become one!) to get a date with your chosen love to prom. Chosen loves can be;  Vera Oberlin (a medusa), Polly Geist (a ghost), Damien LaVey (a demon), Liam De Lioncourt (a vampire), Scott Howl (a werewolf) and Miranda Vanderbilt (a mermaid). What’s great about Monster Prom is that it can be played with friends, locally or online.

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We all started a mega party at recess – Monster Prom, Those Awesome Guys, 2018

I can’t say anything bad about this game. I played it in a 4p game, with our resident, Man on the Silver Mountain, Seb and our friends Jem and Simon (who we play quite a few small games with – big up to you two!) Jem played Yellow, I played Red (because everyone wants to be a sassy fire lady), Simon played Green, which left Seb with Blue. The good thing about this game is that just because your character looks like it conforms to gender norms, doesn’t mean you have to – there is the option to be a he, she or a they with all characters. It’s also incredibly inclusive, with story lines not caring what gender you profess to be – no one is off limits in this game (as long as you get the right options with them).
It made for a good laugh for a couple hours, as we all voice acted it all out. Seb’s voice for Liam was particularly hilarious, and I hope he talks like that more often. It’s a good game to play for a laugh to be honest, and we had a laugh. I have yet to date my Vampire Prince or my Mermaid Princess, but it will happen… one day. I have dated Polly, and she’s a wild ride, that’s for sure (no pun intended).

I can’t recommend this game more, everyone should play it at least once. It’s pretty hilarious to play with friends and family. You guys should play it!

Have you played Monster Prom? What did you think? Love the story and the funnies? Or do you just hate dating sims? Leave a comment down below?

‘I’m afraid of heights, okay?’ – A Way Out, 2018

Happy bank holiday everyone! I hope you’re enjoying our next bit of warmer weather! This week I’ve been playing a couple games with Seb and there’s just one I want to tell you about! We’ve spent a couple long nights playing this and laughing a lot. It’s totally worth a review! You might recall I was waiting to be able to play this from this review!  So without further ado, here’s A Way Out!

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Vincent and Leo making their escape – A Way Out, EA, 2018

A Way Out is played with 2 people. And only 2 people. It is designed for co-op and it cannot be played alone, it must be played with another player through either local or online play. Leo and Vincent, our two main protagonists; a mafia mob boss type man and a super quiet “banker” (In our current playthrough I am Leo and Seb is Vincent – take that as you will), two convicted prisoners who must break out of prison and stay on the run from authorities. As the story of both protagonists is told simultaneously, their progress may not be synchronized, which may result in one player being able to control their character, while another watching a cutscene. We’ve needed to cooperate with each other in order to progress, which has been absolutely hilarious I might add, and each situation can be approached differently, with both characters taking different roles. For instance, Vincent (Seb) pushed Leo (me) out of a plane and we both wet ourselves laughing.

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At certain points we’ve had to work together to not get killed, like the above – A Way Out, EA, 2018

I really enjoyed playing this game. The split screen perspective of the screen have been really helpful. When Seb’s not been able to see anything, or vica versa, we’ve been able to work together to find out how to do something. It’s also helped when Leo’s been on a high up place and he can only look down, whereas Vincent can actually look around – there’s been police looking for us and only he’s been able to see them.
We’ve had a really fun time getting achievements, and playing the minigames. At one point we both tried to swing together, and it was the most awkward thing in the world. And the most hilarious thing ever. There’s lots of stuff that makes us both laugh in this, including the dialogue options with random NPCs.
It’s a really good story so far, we haven’t finished it – no spoils please! – but I cannot wait to. Seb and I think that Vincent is some undercover something or other, his story is shady (like really shady), but it’s obvious that Leo is a guy who deserves to be in jail.

I cannot wait to finish this game. I am so excited to play all the other options we didn’t do, like driving a police car off of a bridge instead of just crawling underneath it.

Have you played A Way Out? What did you think of it? If not will you play it? What do you think of it being only 2 player? Leave a comment down below!

No Review 30/4/18!

Hi everyone! No review this week as I am just finishing with all my assignments and it’s our resident Seb on the Silver Mountain’s and my anniversary weekend, so we’re going to spend it watching films and doing stuff!

Thanks for keeping with me over these few weeks, but I am finally more free to do some reviews! Tune in at the end of the month for a very special review too!

What kind of reviews do you fancy seeing from me in the future? Movies, games or even your fave new authors? Leave a comment down below!

‘Danger, Will Robinson’- Lost in Space, 2018

Happy Monday everyone! How was our weeks this week? Assignments are nearly all done, and I am getting all ready to enjoy some time off before starting my dissertation. Going to enjoy the sun whilst I can! I binge watched Lost in Space this week, whilst I was writing and dying in the heatwave we’ve been having this week (Hope you’ve all been drinking to stay hydrated!)
Without further ado, here is my thoughts on Lost in Space!

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Family round the table, discussing some plan or another – Lost in Space, Netflix, 2018

Lost in Space is a 2018 reimagining of the 1965 show of the same name, with all the characters having the same name too – but slightly different jobs. This is the 21st Century after all! An object, dubbed “The Christmas Star” crashes into Earth and threatens to wipe out humanity (we see Maureen and Penny wearing gas masks in one scene). Maureen begins to work on the team that works on the “Resolute”, a way off of planet Earth and to find a new colony on another planet – No this isn’t Star Trek, I promise. Though “No Man” has “boldly gone” this way. The Robinson family is selected for the 24th mission off of Earth, but before they reach their destination, an alien robot breaches the Resolute’s hull. Colonists crash land on a habitable nearby planet where they attempt to find a way back to their ship.

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Will and his Robot. Danger – Lost in Space, Netflix, 2018

I loved every moment of this show, like every moment… okay that’s a slight lie, but I’ll explain in a second. This will be easier if I just talk about character here, so off we go! (We’ll go in reverse age order!)
Will is probably the most traumatised kid in the whole of the universe. Everything just seems to go wrong for him, and he doesn’t cope with stress well (you’ll see what I mean when you watch it). I think he was a perfect addition to the family. Without him we won’t have the Robot, and he grows through his metal friend.
Penny has some of the best lines in the whole series, she’s just like her Mum in her free-spirited-ness. But obviously, Penny can be a bit more carefree than her mum. I don’t remember when it was, but at one point I had to pause the show because I was laughing so hard at something she said.

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Maureen and John on the planet they never name – Lost in Space, Netflix, 2018

Judy, the eldest of the Robinson kids, is a super smart 18 year old girl. Like her brother, she’s taken on the family trait of super intelligence. But they’re very different – Judy is much more like her Dad than anyone. Which is obviously a talking point for the show.
Maureen and John have a tumultuous relationship to say the least. They were barely talking when they left Earth, and being shoved together could either be a detriment to them or  could help them fix their issues. I was so committed to their relationship throughout. I will say their parenting skills need a little work though.
Dr Smith is the antagonist, like the original show. I kinda wished I didn’t hear so much about her back story though. That’s the one issue I had from earlier. But that’s it. So that’s really good.

To all you who saw the original show, you’ll still love this. It doesn’t feel like it’s trying to be a remake of either that or the movie. I loved every second.

Have you seen Lost in Space? What was your thoughts? Love or hate it? Think it’s just another remake? Leave a comment down below!

[Header Image: Lost in Space, Netflix, 2018]

 

‘ My name is Gene. I’m a MEH emoji.’ – The Emoji Movie, 2017

Good Monday everyone! How are we all? As you guys know, I’m bogged down with a lot of work and assignments, so I will be giving you a short review today. I am someone that works with noise in the background, which means I watch a lot of movies that come out of Sky, Netflix, Amazon or any other streaming site I have a subscription to. I tend to come across a lot of awful movies, and trust me this one is *awful*. Without further ado, here we have The Emoji Movie.

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This was a thing! – The Emoji Movie, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2017

The Emoji Movie is a pile of gar- no wait… I should at least try give you guys a non bias review… at least give this thing a chance…
Let me start over… *clears throat*
The Emoji Movie is an animation, much like any other we see in this day and age, based on the trend of emojis. It is about Gene, a multi-expressional emoji, who decides he needs to set out to become a normal emoji. Gene is an emoji that lives in Textopolis (very hard thinking on this name guys…), a city inside the phone of his user Alex. He is the son of two ‘meh’ emojis (😒) named Mel and Mary, and is able to make multiple expressions despite his parents being singular face emojis. He goes on a mission to make himself a normal emoji, and makes some friends along the way.
Okay, there’s the brief synopsis – I can stop being unbiased now…

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This is so true for this movie… – The Emoji Movie, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2017

I went into this movie with an open mind, I had seen it hadn’t done too well on any of the scoring systems for movies. I tried to get on with this movie. I really did. But…this movie is 2 hours of my life I will never get back. You may say that’s an exaggeration, but I do not. It was awful. It was just painful to watch. I can honestly say it just seemed like an advert for the mobile apps Candy Crush, the match three game, Dropbox, the safe file app and Spotify, the well known music app. It didn’t seem to have a story other than “here’s some huge apps we’re going to show you, because we were paid a lot of money to show them off to you.” I am struggling to find anything good to say. I feel like the actors in this movie were wasted on it. Such big names for something so awful… honestly, it’s a tad depressing. Maybe I only feel this way because I was watching it whilst half asleep, stressed out and missing nearly a pint of blood (I had given blood that morning, and just needed to chill out with a movie.

I’m sorry this review has been so awful! Better thing next week… I promise!

Have you seen The Emoji Movie? What did you think? Hate it or love it? Leave a comment down below! 

 

 

 

 

[Header Image: The Emoji Movie, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2017]

‘I wish somebody spoke his language’ – Isle of Dogs, 2018

Good Monday everyone! How are we all? I am drowning in deadlines, but my library door is always open, so I can’t forget about you all! I’ve been with Seb (@sebonthesilvermountain) this week, and we decided to have a date night. Both of us wanted to see this movie, so after a very filling Wetherspoons we toddled down to his local cinema and cuddled up to watch. Wes Anderson is one of our favourite directors; we both loved The Grand Budapest Hotel and I really liked Fantastic Mr Fox. So, without further ado, here’s our thoughts on Isle of Dogs!

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Cover art for the Dvd box – Isle of Dogs, Fox Searchlight Studios, 2018

Isle of Dogs is a stop motion animation, with an all star cast. Set in a dystopian near-future Japan, the film follows a young boy who goes in search of his dog after the whole species is banished to an island due to an illness outbreak… and the fact that everyone likes cats more. The prologue explains the downfall of dogs and the uprising of cats – dogs were only saved by the daring deeds of a young samurai.
The film is split into acts, four if I remember exactly. Most of the film takes place on an island of trash, just off of the coast of Megasaki City, Kobayashi. The humans speak in their native tongue, and are translated by interpreter, machine or subtitles. The dogs have been pre-translated – it highlights the struggle between man and beast when trying to get them to play fetch. As I said before, it’s got an all star cast. The main dogs are played by names like Bryan Cranston, Ed Norton and Scarlett Johansson, whilst there are human characters played by the likes of Frances McDormand.

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Wes Anderson and his figures – Isle of Dogs, Fox Searchlight Studios, 2018

Overall, I really really enjoyed this film. Like every second of it. I felt like I learned something about the culture of Japan, I found it to be a respectful depiction of such – it wasn’t being forced upon me that this was correct. It also brought up the idea about being environmentally friendly – Trash Island isn’t exactly a sustainable solution. I think it shows Anderson’s worry for the future, a dystopian world who’s leaders get rid of the things that they hate through mass cullings. It shows that if people band together, they can make things better for everyone – and the epilogue shows that. I won’t spoil it for you, you need to go see it for yourself.
The only qualm I had with it was that the man in front was so tall (or I was so short, either way) I struggled to see over his head. It made me remember why I disliked going to the cinema on a regular basis.

Have you seen Isle of Dogs? Do you want to? What’s you views on it’s portrayal of our future? Do you believe we’re heading for a dystopia? What about it’s portrayal of Japan?Leave a comment down below!

[Header Image: Isle of Dogs, Searchlight Studios, 2018]

‘Who’s is the mask I’m wearing?’ – The Grinning Man, 2016

Happy Easter, readers! I hope you ate lots of chocolate and didn’t get caught out by too many April Fools Day jokes! I was going to give you a usual review of a game or movie this week – that was until I went to the theatre in London on Saturday night, with my friend Daisy, and I just need to tell you all about it! The journey to see this musical was a weird one – we had booked tickets to Coraline the Opera, didn’t realise it was a matinee and so missed the show (woops!) We then struggled at 4pm to find something to do, until we saw that under 25s can see some shows at some theatres for only £25! So we booked some good seats and went!
Plus, the main character was inspiration for the Joker, so this counts… right? Without further ado – here is The Grinning Man.

Disclaimer – I obviously understand that this is a limited run (there are still tickets on sale), and not everyone can go see it, but I really enjoyed it, so wanted to share. ON WITH THE REVIEW!
Oh and… reviewing something from memory is harder than it looks, so bear with me! First times etc…

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Operating the puppet of Grinpayne – The Grinning Man, Tom Morris et al., 2016-Present

The Grinning Man is a tragicomic musical based on Victor Hugo’s novel The Man Who Laughs, and is brought to us from the director of War Horse – it uses puppetry in the same way as War Horse, the use of skeletal animals (in this case a wolf, not a horse) and the children within the play.
It unfolds as a crazy fairytale – slightly horrish, slightly whimsical, completely awesome. It’s framed in a huge pair of bared teeth, a bit like Grinpayne’s unfortunate face.

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Dea and Grinpayne – The Grinning Man, Tom Morris et al., 2016-Present

The music was amazing. The score was equally as eerie as it was intriguing, and I liked that the orchestra was underneath the stage, we could only see “Hans” the conductor and pianist from where we were sat in the audience.
It breaks the fourth wall a lot, “I hate the theatre” “Puppetry’s not as easy as it looks” etc., via it’s clown character, Barkilphedro. He spends most of the time he’s being the comic relief, but other characters do help with that too (mostly David Dirry-Moor, one of the three royal siblings). Other characters are other stereotypes from Victorian England, including, but not limited to; Josiana (sexually liberal Duchess), Angelica (mentally unstable Princess), King Clarence (King Henry VIII-esque character, fat and angry). I found most of it hilarious, the gags kept coming, even when you thought they were going to end they would happen again, like the potion feeding scene.
Even when a blooper happened, they got on with it; Barkilphedro rolls off stage at one point and his hat got stuck on a light. Cue a hand gingerly coming out of the side of stage to try and untangle himself. Whilst the audience, including myself, laughed, the actors on stage kept a very straight face.

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Grinpayne in his crazy state – The Grinning Man, Tom Morris et al., 2016-Present

The actors also get involved in the audience a couple times. They bustle their way through, sitting with people in the audience, making them move all their stuff. It makes the audience feel like they’re actually a part of the freak show. They also make a reference to an audience being there a couple of times whilst on stage. My new claim to fame is Louis Maskell, who plays Grinpayne, stepping on my foot as he went past and leaning down to whisper “Sorry” to me. Very nice of him.

It was honestly the best thing I’ve seen on stage for a long time. I honestly can’t recommend someone go see this more. Under 25s can see this show for only £25, no matter what seat they pick.

Have you seen The Grinning Man? Do you want to go? What else have you seen on stage? I’d love to know! Leave a comment down below! 

 

‘Relax… this pot is making you aggressive…’ – Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Good morning/afternoon readers! How are we all today? Recovered from the loss of sleep from the clocks going forward? I know I haven’t!
Todays review will be slightly different – I’ve been watching a lot of movies recently, but none of them have been ‘comic book appropriate,’ so I thought screw it, let’s just talk about something I’ve been watching! I mean… at least it’s an adaptation… right? Without further ado, let’s talk about Eyes Wide Shut.

Warning – this review is not for minors, 18+ please! 

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The Movie Poster – Eyes Wide Shut, Warner Bros., 1999

Eyes Wide Shut is an erotic drama (quote wikipedia on that one, not me) based on Traumnovelle (Dream Story); written, produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick (fun Kubrick fact – he lived in a manor house incredibly close by to where I am). It was the last movie he ever worked on, making it a pivotal movie for me – I’ve watched a few Kubrick films now, and his style has changed throughout. Like other Kubrick adaptations, this film verges so far from the book it’s barely the same anymore, but significant plot points are not omitted. I find it very interesting that Kubrick hired Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise to be his main characters, these two were a married couple at the time of this film – and definitely adds to the sexual tension of the piece. Throughout, we have callbacks to it’s original setting, with the use of old Victorian buildings etc.
The narrative follows the sexually charged adventures of Bill, a medical doctor , who is shocked when Alice his wife, says she had contemplated having an affair a year earlier – which is shown in the first few moments of the movie. Bill is called away during a party, leaving his wife to the hands of another man who gets her slightly too drunk. Extremely upset Bill embarks on a crazy night, in which he infiltrates a massive masked orgy of an underground secret society.

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The weird mask things – Eyes Wide Shut, Warner Bros., 1999

One issue I always have with Kubrick’s work is how long his films are. When he was writing them it was shocking to have a movie over 2 hours long, and (according to my select button) this movie is 2 hours and 45 minutes long. There’s got to be a lot of this movie that’s pretty superfluous, it goes on a little bit too long. I’d have struggled to sit through it in a movie theatre/cinema that’s for sure.
I also have a real issue with Bill’s first port of call to be “cheat on wife with prostitute.” Learn to talk things out with your wife dude! You’re married with a kid! Whilst I admit that what she did was wrong, she didn’t kiss the naval officer, whereas he instigated an affair with a prostitute. At least it didn’t go further than a kiss. It makes me laugh that the way that Bill gets into one of these crazy parties is by wearing a tux with a hood and a mask, talk about weird!
The Master of Ceremonies bit is weird, the constant imagining of Alice having sex with another guy is weird – the whole movie is weird. And I think that’s it’s appeal. It’s weird, because it’s Kubrick, but at the same time it’s weirdness is alluring. I want to find out what happens in these underground sex cults, whether it’s true or not (I presume not), and it makes me want to keep watching.  I will watch any of Kubrick’s work any day, which I will finally get around to doing soon!

Eyes Wide Shut is classic Kubrick weirdness, but honestly I loved it for that. His distinct directoral stance can be seen throughout; the sex scenes reminded me a lot of A Clockwork Orange (which I also loved and thought was crazy).

Have you seen Eyes Wide Shut? Are you a fan of Kubrick? I’d love to chat about him with you all! Leave a comment down below! 

Games I’m Looking Forward to Playing in 2018

Merry Monday, readers! How are we all today? Other than a stinker of a cold (I know – I think I’m cursed) I have had a really good week!
Last week I gave you the games I’ve enjoyed playing this year, so this week it was suggested that I give you all the games I want to play in this year – ones that will release in the next 9 months! Let’s just get on with it shall we!

Sea of Thieves – Released 20th March 2018

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Sea of Thieves, Rare, 2018

Everyone loves pirates, right? I’ve wanted a good looking pirate game since Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, which was a great pirate game (and awful assassin’s game!) I’ve seen some amazing footage of this game, played by big gaming channels like Funhaus, and it just looks like a tonne of fun! I love the idea of hoisting the sail, steering a ship and getting the booty from long lost islands! My only qualms with it is the character generator making everyone look like a potato, so hopefully they’ll be changing that for the actual game release. This game looks like it’s going back to the early days of Rare, from before it was brought out by Windows and the awful Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, and I am so excited!

 

A Way Out – Released 23rd March 2018

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A Way Out, Hazelight Studios, 2018

A Way Out is the second game by Josef Fares (of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons fame). This is a pretty revolutionary game. Whilst lots of large narrative games are single player only, this game has no single player – only a multiplayer (local and online). Players must work together as Leo and Vincent, two convicted criminals, to escape their prison. The story is split screen, so players can see both narratives at once. This idea, to me at least, is so cool! I love playing games with other people; as much as I do like a singleplayer game, it’s really refreshing to play something whilst chatting to someone – and I have just the man I want to play this with! (Our resident Man on the Silver Mountain if you hadn’t guessed! He’s also looking forward to playing this one too)

 

State of Decay 2 – Released 22nd May 2018

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State of Decay 2, Undead Labs, 2018

Zombie games make it twice on this list, and this is number one! I was recently introduced to State of Decay last year, and brought the Game of the Year edition last week for myself. What I’ve always thought that game lacked was a multiplayer. Which is why I’m glad that they didn’t change much about this game for the sequel, other than adding a multiplayer. I’ll be going through the first State of Decay to get myself through the wait for the second one!

Shadows Kiss – Released Sometime in December 2018

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Shadows Kiss, Clockwork Throne Studios, 2018

This is the first game I’ve ever backed from the beginning of it’s development. I love a good supernatural game, as well as an MMO, so putting vampires and multiplayer games together is a big yes from me! It draws a lot of inspiration from Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, which I’ve never finished but do love to have a play of every now and then. I can’t wait to run around and eat some humans, whilst running around and killing werewolves with friends – nom, nom, nom!

GTFO – Released Sometime in 2018

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GTFO, 10 Chambers Collective, 2018

The second installment of zombies on this list. Except this one is much scarier, and I won’t be able to play by myself at all! GTFO is by the people that made Payday, which is obvious when you look at gameplay trailers. It’s a 4 player cooperative game, which I hope can be played with less than 4 players, and you team together to go around an abandoned facility, grabbing loot and killing undead! I am an awful shot, so I hope that people can help and bear with me!

Ooblets – Released Sometime in 2018

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Ooblets, Doublefine Studios, 2018

Thought I’d end this on a nicer game. I love simulation games; and loved Stardew Valley when it came out. This is very much like that, with a mix of Pokémon too. It’s just about living a life – harvesting, exploring, joining clubs, collecting things and meeting the towns residents. It’s just a calm and relaxing experience which I can’t wait to have! It’s all so cute and adorable, and I will feel cute and adorable playing it!

Have you seen any of these games before? Wanting to play any? Perhaps you hate the idea of them? I’d love to hear! Leave a comment down below!