Archive for July, 2010
Narrowing down this list to just 5 acts was incredibly hard. Many many acts were considered and many many hours were spent deliberating, just who has what Bruce Forsyth calls ‘It’!
Finally after a heavy session the list was complete, and lo it came to pass that the Frackin Cool shortlist of coolest bands of all time is…
• The Velvet Underground
• The Ramones
• Joy Division
• Massive Attack
• Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
The problem we had were most bands have had moments of being both cool and uncool. Memories of the early Rolling Stones for example are now forever tarnished with the vision of stadium-filling wrinklies, which whilst great fun definitely isn’t cool. The early Beatles were a bit girly. Early Oasis soon became annoying Oasis. Blur, Country House will be on their tomb stone. The Sex Pistols were followers not setters. U2, too preachy. The Stone Roses, just too darn obvious.
So who do you rate as the coolest? Cast your vote in the poll on the left and if you feel we’ve missed anyone out let us know by adding your comments below. Oh no! We forgot about The White Stripes, Nirvana, shi…
The show continues to be all things to everyone, but most important of all it’s just good old fashioned fun.
Kicking off with the trio of presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May scoffing at the pending end on the petroleum powered car and sneering at anything that is powered by other fuels such as used chip fat and cow manure.
We all know it’s wrong, but cannot help watching middle aged men speed around the Cote d’Azur in £100,000 automotive art or smash things up that look slightly – well normal. Caravans, 3 wheelers and British Leyland cars being top of their previous hit list.
Why am I such an avid fan? Because it makes my whole family laugh (a rarity nowadays). So many past episodes have been pure TV gold. None more so than 2008s Vietnam road trip special or the now legendary caravan site episode.
Set to follow them into the halls of fame was the sight of two of Hollywood’s biggest names, driving the Reasonably-Priced Car, all be it sometimes on 2 wheels and clearly enjoying every darn minute. Yes it was really Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, they may of had a new Movie ‘Knight and Day’ to plug but you got the sense they’d have done Top Gear just for the hell of it anyway.
Then there was ‘Captain Slow’ James May driving the world’s fastest production car at over 250mph. Surely nothing could top that?
Wrong! Just when you though they’d peaked along came a brilliant 15 minute homage to the greatest driver ever to sit in a racing car, Ayrton Senna. Brilliance, sheer brilliance.
Senna was the best for one reason, other than his sublime talent, he did not fear death and therefore could put himself and the car in that thin strip of space between sensational driving and suicidal.
After much consideration, maybe it was all too much for one show, maybe it was two shows in one. Excitement,
danger and fun all in just one hour, just great TV.
Clarkson, Hammond and May, keep it up at TG hanger!
He’s fought the worlds greatest super-villains on the big screen for nearly 50 years but he’s now meeting his greatest foe to date, a dangerously corrupt organisation known only as ‘The Bankers’.
The 23rd film in the James Bond series has been put on hold due to rights owner MGMs current financial situation. With debts worth £4 billion its highly unlikely a new film will get the green light anytime soon unless a buyer comes in for MGM.
Famous Bond producer Barbara Broccoli has allegedly spoken of her desire for Sony or Time Warner to buy out MGM and thus resurrect her families most treasure possession and income. The big worry being anyone smaller than the two studio Goliath’s coming in will significantly reduce the available budget and further trouble the already creaking franchise.
The light at the end of the tunnel may be some way off for Bond fans but Daniel Craig has again recently insisted that he will return for his 3rd Bond outing as soon as the financial mess is resolved.
James Bond and the Battle for the future, will open in a cinema near you… well don’t hold your breath.
Like the lead lone cyclist going for victory after an early breakaway, the ‘pelaton’ is catching – no it’s caught up and BlackBerry who was the only show in town has been swamped!
This Fracker reckons in 2 years they will be fighting for scraps at the back of the pack, being bullied by the Samsungs of this world, while the new masters of the universe, iPhone, and HTC, will be up at the front vying with Nokia and Sony Ericsson in the shiny new world of touch screens and sexy slim lines.
Coming next, what would you do if you were in charge at RIM, no bridge jumping allowed!
Amazingly the idea to set Sherlock in modern times worked, it had disaster written all over it but somehow they pulled it off. Maybe in these troubled times we need to know a nut-job genius is out there watching our back like London’s answer to Batman.
Not everything worked however, sometimes they tried too hard to tick all the Holmes-like boxes and fit into his new 2010 surroundings, the Nicotine patches instead of narcotics for example were just plain daft.
It might have passed most people by as unimportant but the highlight for me was the slick typography that splashed across the screen at several key scenes. It gave my brain an important hand catching up with Sherlock’s quick thinking. My particular favourite being the spinning dirty/clean text revolving around one unfortunate victims wedding ring. It reminded me of the early days of Heroes when Hiro and Ando used to talk in Japanese but the subtitles would become part of the visuals, almost like an extra actor fitting into the surroundings on the screen. Heroes unfortunately got lazy and dropped the styling like they dropped the ball, lets hope Sherlock keeps it up.
Sherlock himself was rather annoying, but then Sherlock Holmes is supposed to be rather annoying. The acting was spot on from a very strong case with Benedict Cumberbatch in particular showing he can handle the lead role. Although on a couple of occasions I did find myself believing I might be watching Doctor Who, with the mannerism and comments that Holmes made. Not really Cumberbatch’s fault seeing as the show is the brainchild of Doctor Who chief Steven Moffat and writer Mark Gatiss. The League of Gentlemen star Gatiss also made a nice little cameo as Sherlock’s brother Mycroft played as the quintessential old school English odd-ball he does so well.
Whether or not Sherlock will last the pace shall be seen over the next couple of weeks but with overnight ratings at 7.5 million it seems like the BBC have another cult hit on their hands.
Since they last won the league back in 1990 Nigel Clough, Stan Collymore, Nick Barmby, Harry Kewell, Djibril Cisse, Craig Bellamy and Robbie Keane have all come along trying to be that ellusive piece and all failed to finish the puzzle.
Now in the summer of 2010 enter stage left Joe Cole! Will he fill that final hole? Or has so much time passed by that Liverpool now rival Blackburn for holes?
Either way most Liverpool fans have that ‘Good Times’ feeling about them once again.
Love em or loathe em (most the latter) Hicks and Gillett made their shrewdest ever move earlier this summer when they finally released Rafa from his misery and brought in Roy Hodgson. A sensible no-nonsense manager who won’t waste millions of pounds on foreign imports you’ve never heard of, partly because that’s not Hodgsons style and partly becasue Hicks and Gillett don’t have millions of pounds for him to spend in the first place.
Without doubt his biggest and most immediate job since taking over as manager has been to stop Gerrard and Torres leaving the club. The only way to achieve this was to pursued them that Liverpool are still a club who mean business and will be competing for major honours again this year. But If you’ve got no money you shop in Poundland not Marks so you’ve got to be wise and pay the right price at the right time.
In Joe Cole he’s done just that, sure he might be taking a packet in wages every week but he cost nothing, if he stays fit and performs as expected he’ll be worth the salary. Cole has that creative spark, in one moment he can create the kind of magic that wins matches, but whether he’ll fill that hole still remains to be seen.
Gerrard has been convinced, Torres we still don’t know about. One down one to go Mr Hodgson.
Although when players come out with coments like Gerrards liking of Cole to Messi and Coles claim that Liverpool are the biggest club in the country, you can’t help wonder who they are trying to convince with such statements. You, themselves or Senor Torres.
This could be the year for Liverpool, the puzzle might finally be complete, then again somehow I doubt it!
Liverpool have turned the corner so many times now, they keep ending up right back where they started, looking down the side of the sofa for another piece to try.
Come on Liverpool fans, what do you reckon your chances are? Submit your views below…
The 90s and 00s were the age of flimsy tower defence games on PCs, Games like the early Age of Empires, Civilization and Command & Conquer are fondly remembered for their addictive, but often infuriating gameplay.
Slowly evolving and emerging out of the geeks bedroom, increasing in their levels of sophistication, onto the internet and into our living rooms on all the major consoles from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.
History though is about to be blow away, and rebuilt once more with a groundbreaking new game coming soon to Playstation 3, PC, and Xbox 360.
R.U.S.E Developed by Eugen Systems, is unique for 2 reasons…
Firstly it introduces a unique trickery technique system that let you bluff your enemy and gain vital victories for your chosen army. Giving you the ability to camouflage your troops, lure opponents with decoy units and play the kind of mind games with your opponents that Fergie would be proud of.
Secondly it features cutting edge graphics powered by the outstanding new IRISZOOM Engine, built to work with the the latest Intel processors. R.U.S.E with the aid of IRISZOOM plunges players into the action with smooth but rapid transitions from a birds-eye overhead view right down into the blood and guts of war and vice versa. Giving a total war experience.
R.U.S.E. is scheduled to be released in September 2010 on PC, Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 version is Move compatible, although Eugen Systems have pushed the release back several times so don’t hold your breath just yet.
Kinect will launch in the UK on the 15th November 2010 for a okay-ish £129.99 and bundled with the Kinect Adventures game (Microsoft’s version of Wii Sports). It will also be available as part of several hardware bundle packs with a new shaped Xbox 360.
If they are trying to win over the casual consumer market with Kinect they are taking a big gamble coming in at only £40 cheeper than the Nintendo Wii. As far as the casual consumer is concerned the Wii will offer better value as it comes all in one with the console already, wannabe Kinect users without an Xbox will have to shell out over £100 minimum to get their hands on what is essentially a very similar gaming experience.
Playstation 3 users will also be able to join in all the motion-control fun on the 17th September when Sony release their ‘Move’ system. With the starter pack coming in at around £50.00.
Who will win the battle is still up for debate, my feeling is Nintendo had the war all sown up before Sony and Microsoft even bothered to get out of bed.
Dizzy Rascal, Paul Weller and Corrine Bailey Rae are the biggest names along with post brit-pop indie rock veterans I Am Kloot, whilst Mumford and Sons get a nod with their very first release.
The £20,000 prize is voted for by a mixture of music industry bods and critics and now has a history of choosing the unexpected. Fun in the mid-ninties With Roni Size/Represent and Gomez but now it seems like one big cliche. Shock tactics only work for so long. Who bought last years winner Speech Debelle’s album? Or who even remembers her now?
Get it wrong again and the Prize risks becoming a laughing stock.
My prediction goes to Mumford and Sons although don’t rule out a ‘well done – pat on the back’ to Paul Weller.
The winner will be announced by Jools Holland on September 7th 2010.
The full list of 2010 nominees…
· Biffy Clyro – Only Revolutions
· We Are Villagers – Becoming A Jackal
· Corrine Bailey Rae – The Sea
· Mumford and Sons – Sign No More
· Paul Weller – Wake Up The Nation
· Wild Beasts – To Dancers
· Kit Downes Trio – Golden
· Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can
· Dizzee Rascal – Tongue N’ Cheek
· Foals – Total Life Forever
· I Am Kloot – Sky at Night
· The xx – xx
From action figures, duvet sets, clothes, video games to nappies! Even my old 1970s Fisher Price chatter phone has been rebranded and repackaged, emblazended with the Toy Story logo and shipped all over the world.
Previous Disney PIxar films like Nemo, Cars and Wall-E have done extremely well at the tills but not even Dreamwork’s Shrek can come close to touching Toy Story in terms of lines on shelves.
Two months before the film was even released in America, Disney had shifted over 3.5 million units of merchandise and as the year progresses that number will sky rocket, peaking around Christmas time with the inevitable DVD and Blu-Ray release.
Giving the prospects and profits a big helping hand are the incredibly positive reviews the film has received. Everyone wants to see it, kids, mums, dads, grandma even and if the purse holders are loving it then it’s the kids and Disney Pixar who’ll benefit from that feel good factor.
Looking at the Toy Story Trilogy as a whole and the the figure just keep getting better for the California based company, generating 9 billion US dollars in global retail sales since the first movie was released way back in 1995.
While its still got someway to go to beat the Star Wars saga and Harry Potter movies in terms of total merchandise. They took over twice as many films to reach their totals, with Toy Story hitting its figure in just three.
As they head off into retirement (do we really believe that?) The future is still looking rather rosey for Woody, Buzz and co.
Toy Story 3 opened at cinemas across the UK yesterday. 19th July 2010.