Tuesday, 30 December 2008

2008 no more…

So its that time of year again. The wrapping paper has been destroyed, no more turkey left to eat, and only the dregs of the chocolate tin remain (usually the strawberry creams or hard toffees). The year has finally come to a close.

With the usual identity crisis I engage in during this time, I wish to share with you my reflections on the year past. Brother Chris has already done all this, and possibly to a far better degree, however, its always good to get a few opinions. People will want to know how it went down after all.

2008 - An adventure in words!

It’s been a mixed year. On the one hand, there’s been quite a few things that were great, exciting and cool. On the other, there’s been a lot of waiting around for these cool things where I just had to get on with work. Bah!

So to list all the cool things. Way back in February I was chosen as a finalist in the E4 Estings competition and was due to attend the awards ceremony. This was hopefully a taste of things to come. Brother Chris didn’t waste a second on the free bar, nor on the free eats. I was more of an eats person, especially the cool little fruit crumbles that only me and Chris seemed to eat.

The whole night had a surreal element to it which made it all that more memorable, having to wait around for so long, taking an assortment of random photos to use up film and basically the first time at an awards ceremony, however low-key. I didn’t win.

The next big event was the premiere of Ten Dead Men, on which I edited the behind the scenes footage into an hour long documentary, and a series of shorter featurettes. This was a definite highlight of the year. Not only the premiere of Brother Chris first produced screenplay, but also seeing all the stars of the film I’d been watching “behind the scenes” for so long. It was kind of weird seeing these people that I knew, but who did not know me. Along with a surreal experience with Doug Bradley screaming Donald Pleasance’s lines from Halloween two inches from my face, and a close encounter with Lee from Steps. That whole weekend was memorable and I doubt I’ll forget it anytime soon.

Then there was work. And it went on.

Unsure of actual dates, around May/June/July I began work on a script with Chris. Basically writing an outline then sending it to Chris for a tidy up, and any changes he wished to include, then back to me for a first draft, and so on back an forth. This was really great of Chris as he was also balancing the writing of two other scripts at the same time. With the script finished, and all parties happy it has entered the next stage in its life…a mystery I am yet to divulge upon.

Work took over once again. Boo!

In August I started this ‘ere blog, and having a sneaky peak, I wasn’t a happy bunny. I can only remember certain reasons for this and as far as I know these have been eradicated. I say that, I just wanted to use that word. Problems gone basically.

“NEW YORK, NEW YORK a hell of a town!”

September was the time for the New York holiday which was my idea, and funded, at least in part, by me. Don’t take that as a moan, I had the money sitting there, and spend it I did.

Recently I’ve realised how much fun I actually had in New York. I think when I was there I was a little overwhelmed with it all, both in scale and in general holidayness. I hadn’t been on holiday since I was 15 probably. That was eleven years ago, and I think I just didn’t know how to holiday. Anyway, sights were seen, photos taken, food eaten (though not much in my case) and big headed Thor was bought. An excellent time was had by all.

October brought not much to the proceedings. I went to see The Woman in Black at the theatre and I doubt I will experience anything like it again. Bloody scary it was.

Now were pretty much up to date. November held my birthday, and I bought My First Xbox 360. Brother Chris took me to see The Dark Knight on IMAX. This was amazing. Again another memory to keep. After the film we went on a late night tour of the sights, mainly to get back to Victoria Station. A cool weekend was had.

In December I passed my driving test and it was Christmas, which this year I began by watching the majority of My Fair Lady until the rest of the family awoke and present time could begin. Now I can’t get the song "Wouldn't it be Lovely" out of my head.

As you can see the year started off great, then slowly frittered out towards the end. I’m hoping for many opportunities next year, and swear I’ll get more writing done. My head is bulging with ideas after all.

Now the fun stuff.

Game-wise I bought an, Xbox as mentioned, so I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Throughout 2008 I was catching up on original Xbox games. So for games actually released in 2008, my short memory can only remember that I forked out for the complete Guitar Hero World Tour, a great game, it may not be to everyone’s tastes, and definitely works better with a group, but I enjoy the game solo, always have. I also got Tomb Raider: Underworld. A direct sequel to Legend, and continues in the same universe as Anniversary. Unfortunately, although I still enjoy the franchise the game has lost a little of its originality, and although it sounds silly, I got a little sick of climbing around similar looking ruins.
Lego Indiana Jones was also played but didn’t mark as well as Lego Star Wars. That universe is just too limited. And Indy never fought a giant snake.

Music-wise, I can think of two excellent gigs I attended. First off was Polysics in February. Only the second time I’ve seen them but this did battle for the top stop. Not sure who won actually. Basically, going with a load of mates who had now idea who they’d come to see, and the gig taking place in a tiny, cramped pub,and the fact that I managed to steal the drummers ‘P’ badge, made this gig one of the best ever.

In November, attending the Flogging Molly gig in Manchester proved another highly enjoyable evening. Great company and great music. I can’t be beat.

Film-wise, 2008 was a great year. I won't repeat what Chris has already mentioned as that would be pointless but I agree with what he says about Rambo, Be Kind Rewind, REC and Cloverfield. Always good to mention The Dark Knight as well. In no particular order I want to mention Iron Man and Wanted which I also enjoyed and also Hellboy II was a good ‘un. Now I’ve realised there are far too many to mention. One quick mention, I saw Chocolate on DVD, a film by Prachya Pinkaew and starring JeeJa Yanin. The young star is obviously being groomed to become a female Tony Jaa and with a little more training she'll get there. However this film has been marketed poorly; if you're expecting a full on Muay Thai actioner be prepared for a little story.

I welcomed the return of Indiana Jones. I enjoyed this film, wasn’t too sure of the story but I loved the first half. Indy in the fifties was excellent, I think then it got a bit to CG, and was nicking off Macgyer, what with the giant ants and the knowledge is the treasure. Overall a good adventure picture.

This year Warner Brothers released tow animated movies, Justice League: New Frontier and Batman: Gotham Knight. Both are solid films. Some segments in Gotham Knight are superior to others but overall the film is enjoyable. As is New Frontier. My trouble with this is that I read the Comic this year also, in the massive Absolute Edition, which truly is amazing. Condensing this into a 70 minute film does lose out on the whole but a great job all the same.

Finally, because I’m beginning to lose track of everything, a special mention goes to Joss Whedon who this year unveiled Dr Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog. Created to get around the writers strike, the three-part, 42 minute film was premiered on the Internet in July.

Each part was unveiled over the course of a week and then taken offline. This I think help it as it left your wanting more, but that’s beside the point. I think this was possibly one of the most exciting events only I seemed to have been a part of. I know Chris was interested, but locally, no-one I knew seemed to care, which was disappointing, but I remember I could feel the excitment building. Sneakily checking the website at work to see if the new episode had been posted. But to get back on track, the story was cool, especially the ending. Was not expecting that! And the songs are good, genuinely. The whole experience works really well. I doubt a whole series could work, but the odd one off or feature should definitely be considered.

So whats on the cards for next year, who knows at the moment. I’ll try to get more writing done, as I said, ideas need jotting down, I probably go and see Watchmen, an I’ll definitely buy Ghostbusters: The Game.

I hope 2008 was good for you, and that 2009 will be as good as 2008 was for Chris.

Here’s hoping.

Happy New Year you lucky people.

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