Saturday, 28 December 2013

Sons of Anarchy?

In which Steve is joined by friend of the show, and fellow podcaster Marc Foster (To Watch Pile) to talk all six seasons of FX's Sons Of Anarchy. 

We discuss the recent S6 finale, and where Kurt Sutter takes the show from here...

WARNING: 
Contains massive spoilers! And we mean massive! And probably some bad language...


Mobile Link
Episode 3.13 - Sons of Anarchy?

Subscribe to Culturally Fixated on iTunes!

Fancy more of our inane chatter? You'll find us on twitter as @SteveCult and @Drneevil


Saturday, 7 December 2013

Christmas Special 2013 - with Reed Diamond

Culturally Fixated is delighted to welcome back  - by popular demand - the wacky, hysterical and musical

Reed Diamond!

For a Spectacular Musical Extravaganza, otherwise known as the 

Cult Fix Christmas Special!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen, there are no words.

We sing, we dance (thankfully not recorded in the podcast), laugh, cry and hurl. 
It's everything you could ever want in a Reed Diamond Christmas Special. 

We discuss The Mentalist, Bones, Franklin and Bash as well as his new series Wayward Pines. 
That's the coherent part. 

Reed also introduces you to two of his favourite Christmas scamps, sings and plots and plans his wishes for the future. We also put to rest the Turkey/Goose debate, as well as touching upon absurd crowd pleaser Duck sized Horses. 
It's all of the awesome.  


Mobile Link
Episode 3.12 - Christmas Special 

***LANGUAGE***
We've very good. Practically not offensive at all. 
Nevertheless, those of an especially sensitive nature might want to brace themselves.

***SPOILERS***
Practically nothing. Reed is a man of principle. 
*Sulks*


Reed Diamond - Christmas Special
Reed Diamond - our 3rd chat - HERE!
Reed Diamond - our 2nd chat - HERE!
Reed Diamond - our 1st chat - HERE!

Say hi to Reed on Twitter. Don't be shy - he's delightful @ReedDiamond

Subscribe to Culturally Fixated on iTunes!

Fancy more of our inane chatter? You'll find us on twitter as @SteveCult and @Drneevil


Sunday, 3 November 2013

Interview with Marian Call - touring in the UK soon!

This morning I had such a treat lined up for you all - we at LeedsBrowncoats were being joined by the wonderful Marian Call for a chat. 

We lined up our calendars, made our morning cuppas and sat down for a truly inspiring discussion...which I then failed to record. 

The rage. Oh the rage. 
And I realised right at a moment when we were praising tech to the skies. 
Embarrassing isn't the word. 



Nevertheless, those of you who know me won't be surprised that I was taking notes so I shall attempt to get the main points down here. I’m going from memory here so the speech sections are as close as I remember them! Thankfully Marian speaks in a very quotable manner. Nevertheless, any mistakes are mine and will be rectified as soon as!

Contact Marian Call on twitter - @MarianCall
Visit her official website – MarianCall.com
Details of her European and UK tour – HERE

The Lady Herself…
Warm and affable – the first impression that you have of Miss Call is that of a friend – albeit one you haven’t made yet! An astute observer with an immediately obvious wit, we were stuck into a conversation before I knew it. 

A second later, her sincerity and integrity as a musician (aw heck, as a human being!) hit. Whatever the topic, Marian spoke in an informed, passionate and eloquent manner.

So whether we were touching on the real world implications of Battlestar Galactica (“honestly, take away the space ship and that’s just actual politics”) or the ongoing appeal of the characters from Firefly – a 14 episode series (“Everyone in the US knows a Jayne”), or the political underpinnings of her home state (“Alaska is the true outer rim”) – it was a considered viewpoint.

Me: I guess the most famous Alaskan outside the US at the moment is Sarah Palin?
Marian: Who?
Me: Former Governor Palin?
Marian: Who?
Me: Tina Fay
Marian: Oh we love her.


From there to here…
Initially, Marian didn’t set out to be a folk writer. She studied classical music at Stanford, honing her song writing craft. 

At the outset of the interview, I cheekily asked whether the nerdy/geeky references were part of an organic expression or had she more cynically realised that the time was right to tap into that. That there was a market just waiting to be tapped into, comprising of those of us who loved The Guild or Doctor Horrible.
Far from being offended, she described her realization that the online world meant that she could seek out 'her people' - rather than blindly stabbing in the dark, reaching out and hoping for a meaningful connection as a Eureka moment. The reality was; she realised that her tribe were also actively seeking her out – even if they didn’t know it yet. 

Marian is acutely aware of how influential her background and interests are in the music that she writes. 

“There are always going to be geeky nerdy references in my music, because that's who I am, but I also write songs that my grandmother understands and likes. That’s my goal – there are geeky easter eggs for those who’ll get them but the songs themselves… 
I want my songs to be universal, yes, I'm a self expressive artist, but for a song to stand the test of time, it needs to contain a truth that others can relate to.”

One of her mentors is Jonathan Coulton (who if I recall accurately was first lauded on podcasts) - another writer with a geeky bent.

“His songs include deeper aspects of human pathos - the songs contain a truth. Those are the sort of songs that I want to write. I want to reflect my world accurately.”

We briefly touched on the benefits of being signed with a big label. Marian acknowledges that there are disadvantages to maintaining a solo path and how she sometimes get lost in her own admin but noted:

“The support from a label, yes, there would be greater security. But I don’t know anyone on one who is given complete artistic control. I just have no interest in writing or performing without that. It’s absolutely core for me.
I have backers – there was a kick starter campaign a few years ago that received a lot of attention – and my tours are often just requests from people who like my stuff, ‘hey, why don’t you come over here?’.
But not one of them – whether they have given a lot or a little – has ever tried to influence what I write about, or how I write it. Even when people maybe aren’t so interested in what I’m currently doing – they respect the process. They are very respectful. And I think they’d know if I wasn’t being myself”



On the Songs… 
Marian has released five albums – excluding those songs that exist online and as part of her Song of the Month project. Got to Fly (my first experience of Marian’s work) included a plethora of references from Battlestar Galactica and Firefly. Nowadays, Marian struggles to find time to read or watch TV, so has been seeking out inspiration in unexpected ways.

“I’ve been taking on some fan recommendations recently. So I’ve written a song about Doctor Who. Now, I didn’t grow up with any of those shows, so I really was new to the whole thing. And I realised that I had to watch it to get any sort of sense about it. That’s been so interesting – having to learn about something new to appropriately honour the request”

A little later, when we began chatting about her home state, Marian reflected that she felt that my question about including geek references could have easily been about her geography also. (“I’m a total geography nerd. I love maps and I have a project for next year that going to be all about maps and the geography in my songs”).
It’s clear that her place in the world has played a significant role in her view of the world.

Certainly she speaks longingly of her home. Indeed she has promised herself that next year she will travel a little less and aims to spend at least three consecutive months in the one place. Again, she seemed completely sincere ... but with a new album coming out, a new tour being put in place and greater levels of engagement with her fan base (or backers as Marian views them) coming from all over the world; this last seemed a little more like wishful thinking! 

Her latest album will be released in December and its very inception has been a bit of a surprise to those around her. 

“This is a very personal album. It’s acoustic – just me and a guitar. After the huge Something Fierce – a double album with a full band which was very bombastic; I wanted to create something different.

For me, this album is like my journal being made available to my backers. In fact, every song on it will have a hand written version or draft in my journal. It’s personal.

I’ve written it on tour – which is obviously insane – and recorded it as and when. One of the songs – well I was playing and staying with a host family. I had just met these people and they were putting me up and I had to excuse myself. ‘Sorry, do you mind if I go lock myself into your kids bedroom – I just have to get this song written and recorded NOW’ That was a difference experience! And the host family were totally cool with it.”


Social Networking and The Postcard Tour
Currently Marian is touring Europe and will be visiting the UK this month – performing in Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Bath and London. While the London shows are all booked up; there are still spaces available oop narth and Marian would LOVE to see YOU there.

(It’s actually how we met online – Marian was delighted to find the LeedsBrowncoats group as she sometimes struggles to let people know where she’s touring. We need a signal. Like the Bat-signal. Someway to communicate to all Browncoats without having to rely on computer literacy!)

An avid user of social networking, Marian speaks about her friends online and the social networks that helped her get started with a sincere affection that can't be faked. She is also vocal about the changes that she likes and those she doesn't. We touched on the NSA revelations recently (“It’s SF. It’s actually what these books and Firefly and the like have been saying for years. The Alliance WISHES it had this level of monitoring”) and the sort of online landscape that we as participants want around us.

When I joked that I looked forward to the apocalypse as my whole life I’ve heard that the geek will inherit the earth, she immediately quipped that we have the best tech guys...but we need to get more farmers onboard too!

On this tour, Marian has come up with a novel way to engage with her fan base. At every location that she plays, Marian will pick up a handful of local postcards. These are filled out at the concert by attendees – sometimes there are song lyrics, a little note, a message to a stranger or a quick sketch.
Marian then takes these to the next location and passes them onto a new audience.

While this was initially envisioned as an ‘analogue twitter’ the project has swelled. People are posting in cards from all over the world, sharing their experiences even when not able to physically attend. Marian has had postcards from as far afield as Japan and Brazil – places where she has no plans to tour … yet.

“On the one hand, I love social networking. I feel at home online. On the other, I wanted to do something that embraced my physical being – it’s so important to be able to pull back to myself.

You know when you’re online, talking with a bunch of people and you leave feeling so free, so accepted and so connected. Then other days, you do the same thing but you feel flat, empty and isolated.

This generation and the next, we have to learn how to approach the Internet. How to find a balance between our online connectivity and being in the real world and connecting with people who are in the same room.

So much of online interactions now have descending to click bait. Like the rollout of enforced image viewing on Twitter. With their IPO, I feel like my house has been sold above me. This and the rollout is so obviously being implemented as a sales tool – it isn’t how I want to engage – I don’t want to be viewed as a unit to some corporation. It makes Twitter like every other social network.

Ultimately, it’s about choice. Our choices. We need to decide how we want to interact online and off.”

That engagement online has taken on many new and exciting dimensions. In 2010, Marian went on the 49/50 tour - one where she was determined to perform in every state - starting from her home in Alaska. Joking about the difficulties of finding venues in smaller states; the reality becomes clear - there is a growing grassroots movement for music and musicians that are accessible, entertaining and operate within a creative honesty and integrity often missing in larger or more famous acts. 

With the emergence of network free television; music acts that are in total control of their output and crowd sourcing – we – the viewing public – have a greater say in who and how we support. Marian is on the vanguard – a pioneer who is charting out this new territory. And first and foremost, she is one of us.

One can’t help but feel that (especially given her love of geography) the map making is in safe hands.


Contact Marian Call on twitter - @MarianCall
Visit her official website – MarianCall.com


Details of her European and UK tour – HERE

Sunday, 27 October 2013

The Doubleclicks - Nothing to Prove

I apologise now to anyone kind enough to follow more than one of my blogs. This is going to be a cross-post.

It's just BRILLIANT and I'm actually a little emotional after reading many of the placards. 

For such a long time I would refuse to call myself a geek (aside from the whole 'do I really need to put a label on this?') because I felt that I hadn't anything like the knowledge base to justify the title. 


It was meeting people like @SteveCult, @BookElfLeeds @Cidergirli, @LYOC8, our awesome Browncoats captian and the team at @OKComics that demonstrated that 'Geek' isn't a closed garden, a preserve of tech wizards - rather it's anything that makes you passionate, inspires you and teaches you outside of the mainstream. 

Fortunately, I've never encountered any gender based bias so I would have been just as happy to have an equal gender mix of geeks represented in the video. 
The cons that I attend are usually fairly evenly split and the guys that attend aren't dicks so it's never been an issue for me personally, ditto with my book clubs and certainly within the Whedon fandom, equality and inclusion tends to be a given.  
But from the reports coming out of certain sections of the gaming community and fandom as a whole in the US, I appreciate the need for this song and the wonderful representation it provides. 

Anyway, sorry this is a bit long. And possible lacking in coherency. I'm just in the midst of having all the *feels* right now. 

Must be a chick thing right? ;)  

Saturday, 12 October 2013

A Nightingale Falling Trailer

OOO, a film has been shot in a town - Daingean -  very close to where I grew up. So lovely to see familiar places!

Some of my friends are going to be making cameo appearances (though not in the trailer sadly) so much excitement!

BLURB
Set in Ireland during the War of Independence, two sisters' lives are changed forever as they care for a wounded soldier. What transpires is a tragic love story of a household & its inhabitants, caught in the crucible of dark deep secrets.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Happy National Poetry Day!



Television
Roald Dahl




The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set --
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink --
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK -- HE ONLY SEES!
'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
'But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!'
We'll answer this by asking you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
'How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?'
Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.




Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Reed Diamond - Third times the charm!

Culturally Fixated is delighted to welcome back  - by popular demand - the wonderful, delirious and hilarious

Reed Diamond!

In our third annual chat, Reed and I are particularly loopy as we chat about all things Whedon - from his Much Ado About Nothing* experience, to Dollhouse, to S.H.I.E.L.D. and the true story behind being a Whedonite; the completed third season of Franklin and Bash and his guest appearances on Bones and The Mentalist. 
Reed and ever-present booze...
From there, it's obvious that we'd wander onto Shakespeare (where I *hilariously* mis-name the Henry's (heads desk) and fail to notice (heads desk harder), wine, cheese and twitter. We both get a little ranty ... though I'm noticeably more venomous and bitter.  

He also hints at a move away from his go-to characters Likable Dick and Hapless Loser...which might explain his current beardy look!

It's not going too far to say that this has been one of my favourite podcasts to record ever. Any hope for a plan went out the window a few seconds in and I spend half of it in stitches. Reed is a spectacularly awesome person in generally - as any of his followers can attest - who was On Top Form and demonstrates his epic mastery of the English accent. 

Listen here!


Mobile Link
Episode 3.11 - Chat with Reed Diamond

Much Ado About Nothing will be released on DVD in the UK on the 7th of October 2013.

Squee!


***LANGUAGE***
We've very good. Practically not offensive at all. 
Nevertheless, those of an especially sensitive nature might want to brace themselves.

***SPOILERS***
Practically nothing. Reed is a man of principle. 
*Sulks*

Reed Diamond - Christmas Special
Reed Diamond - our 3rd chat - HERE!
Reed Diamond - our 2nd chat - HERE!
Reed Diamond - our 1st chat - HERE!

Say hi to Reed on Twitter. Don't be shy - he's delightful @ReedDiamond

Subscribe to Culturally Fixated on iTunes!


Fancy more of our inane chatter? You'll find us on twitter as @SteveCult and @Drneevil


Saturday, 31 August 2013

Superhero Catch Phrases!

Updated in August 2013 due to awesome suggestions in the comments!
I'd love to add to them but I'm soooo busy...perhaps your favourite is missing? Let me know!!

Continuing on my deeply intellectual blogging theme, please find below some of my favourite catch phrases from comic book Superheroes (and Supervillains - everyone knows they always gets the best lines!)


Now, logic dictates that I can't include them all, but please let me know the obvious ones I've missed!!




  • IT'S CLOBBERING TIME - The Thing
  • IT'S CURTAINS FOR YOU DOCTOR HORRIBLE, LACY GENTLY WAFTING CURTAINS - Captain Hammer
  • HOLY (i.e. rusty metal) BATMAN - Robin
  • MERCIFUL MINERVA - Wonder Woman
also used by Wonder Woman
1. "Great Hera"
2. "Suffering Sappho"
3. "Thunderbolts of Jove"


  • FLAME ON - The Human Torch
  • I AM THE LAW - Judge Dredd
  • AVENGERS ASSEMBLE - Captain America
  • HULK SMASH - The Incredible Hulk (d'oh)
  • UP, UP AND AWAY - Superman
also by Superman
1. "Great Scott"
2. "Great Krypton"
3. "Great Rao"

  • OH MY STARS AND GARTERS- Beast
  • COWABUNGA - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (heroes in a halfshell)
  • SPOOOOOOOOOOOON - The Tick
  • WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY - Spider Man
  • YOU WOULDN'T LIKE ME WHEN I'M ANGRY - The Incredible Hulk
  • BY THE HOARY HOSTS OF HOGGOTH - Doctor Strange
  • I'M THE BEST THERE IS AT WHAT I DO AND WHAT I DO AIN'T PRETTY - Wolverine
  • TO THE BAT POLE ROBIN - Batman
  • BY CROM - Conan
  • MEIN GOTT - Nightcrawler
  • ODIN'S BEARD - Thor
  • BY THE GODDESS - Storm
  • I AN VENGEANCE, I AM THE NIGHT, I AM BATMAN
  • I'M THE JUGGERNAUT, BITCH.
  • I HAVE A PHD IN HORRIBLENESS - Doctor Horrible
  • READY TO DIE - Deadpool
  • I'LL EAT YOUR BRAINS - Venom
  • IT'S NOT THAT I DON'T CARE. I CARE MORE FOR HAVING FUN - Harley Quinn
  • KNEEL BEFORE ZOD
  • RIIIIIIIICCCCHHHHAARRDDS - Doom
  • I'M UNSTOPPABLE - Juggernaut (demonstrably not true)
  • Y'SEE LADIES, ANY FOOL CAN KILL, I WANTED TO DO IT WITH STYLE - Arcade
  • WHY SO SERIOUS? - The Joker
  • RIDDLE ME THIS - The Riddler

And my personal favourite
  • HERE I COME TO SAVE THE DAY - Mighty Mouse

    Next up! Comic based Movies!!

    * * * * * Updated!* * * * *
    Ahem, other companies release adaptations too
    There are so many adaptations of comics and graphic novels hitting the big screen nowadays that it's hard to remember that there was once a time when comics were sneered upon in the entertainment world, seen as lesser forms of both art and literature and definitely viewed as being more suited to children and teenagers than adults. 

    (Don't believe me? Check out comic book guy from the Simpson's - a biting inditement on anyone over the age of 18, who would choose to read comics)

    Then there was Superman - and we started to believe that a man could fly.

    Less than five years later, Batman proved that comic adaptations could be gritty, realistic (ish) and dark.

    And since then - a plethora of characters have made the leap from the printed page to silver screen.

    Some were wonderful (the first Spiderman film, Blade, MIB). Others...were not (the third Spiderman film, Electra, Ghost Rider). And let's be fair, there are always going to be a few that you love/loathe regardless of whether the films deserved it (Casper the friendly ghost - what can I say? I loved it).

    Much as we might wish too, we can't cover em all, so if you have a "must mention" be it bad or good - make sure you let us know in the comments below!!

    Here are some of mine! 

    The Good
    Superman *excluding the forth one
    Batman *excluding Batman and Robin
    X-Men 1 and 2
    X Men - First Class
    Thor *haven't seen the sequel yet
    Iron-Man *the second one hanging on by a thread
    Captain America *haven't seen the sequel yet
    The Avengers
    Men In Black *particularly the third
    Kickass *haven't seen the sequel yet
    The Crow *only the first one
    Scott Pilgrim vs the World
    Blade
    Tank Girl
    Ghost World
    300 *goriest chick flick ever...

    The Bad
    (not bad bad, just not as good as it should have been)
    Wolverine
    Daredevil
    The Fantastic Four
    Watchmen *too faithful an adaptation?
    30 Days of Night
    Hellboy
    The Incredible Hulk
    Supergirl
    Mystery Men
    The Mask

    The Ugly
    (diabolical, and the director/writer should be shot with a shovel full of ... sugar)
    X-Men 3 - GRRRRRRRRRR
    Ghost Rider
    Catwoman
    Electra
    Constantine
    Catwoman
    From Hell *Heather Graham - the typical cockney working girl. I think NOT
    Catwoman
    Howard the Duck
    Wanted
    Hulk
    Catwoman
    Green Lantern
    Josie and the Pussycats
    The League of Extra-Ordinary Gentlemen
    Barb Wire


    Wednesday, 21 August 2013

    Interview with Claudia Christian

    There just isn't enough SQUEE in the world really.

    CULTURALLY FIXATED is delighted to welcome the sublime 
    Claudia Christian
    who joined us this week. 

    To hoards of SF fans, Claudia will always be General Susan Ivanova from Babylon 5 - one of the greatest SF characters in one of the greatest SF TV series EVER. However - as you'll hear during our chat - she's a true renaissance woman, with a diverse range of activities and creative outlets. 

    She writes. She sings. She enjoys food, travel and books. She's even written a few herself! All that on top of portraying countless memorable characters across tv and film. AND single handedly destroyed a small fleet.

    Intimidating?

    Just a touch. 

    During out chat we start off by discussing Claudia's latest project - it's more of a mission really - narrating One Little Pill. This is a documentary to raise awareness of The Sinclair Method - a revolutionary and scientific treatment for alcohol addiction that, Claudia frankly admits, saved her life. Claudia has been so determined to heighten the profile of this method, that she has founded a charity - the C Three Foundation.   

    From there, we discuss her no holds barred autobiography - Babylon Confidential - a memoir of love, sex and addiction. Every life story that comes out of Hollywood claims to be honest and open - this one actually delivers! Every soaring height and each crushing fall is explored with an often heartbreaking forthrightness. It turns out that Claudia is every bit as passionate, funny and honest in person!


    Finally, we moved onto Babylon 5. It's been 15 years since the show ended and the friendships created (and indeed the fandom) have sustained and become legend. It's always such a pleasure to discuss something that you love with someone involved in the process - to have it held in their hearts too is just a cherry on top. Or a raspberry...I don't like cherries. 





    Podcast Powered By Podbean



    Spoilers for all of Babylon 5. 
    And life the universe and everything. 

    Language warnings apply as usual.

    Listen HERE!

    On the go - the mobile LINK!


    If you're interested in learning more, you can contact Claudia (and her magic internet elves) here:
    One Little Pill
    The C Three Foundation

    On the web  - Claudia Christian
    On twitter  - @ClaudiaLives
    On YouTube  - HERE
    On FaceBook - HERE

    Babylon Confidential - a memoir of love, sex and addiction


    Fancy more of our inane chatter? You'll find us on twitter as @SteveCult and @Drneevil



    Sunday, 4 August 2013

    Interview with Enver Gjokaj!

    Enver Gjokaj - actor, writer and inventor - joins Cult Neeve for a chat about all sorts of everything - from TV appearances to creating original content, being part of Lust for Love - a kickstarter project from before it became all trendy - and an exclusive look at what's coming next!

    And not one mention of Joss Whedon, The Avengers or Dollhouse. And if you don't know by now that's a huge lie - I just despair!

    We are also the first to find out more about the new web series that Enver has just finished co-writing. It's called Hollywood Hitmen and Dichen Lachman will be involved on the screen and off! Listen in to get all the available details! 


    VicTopher
    Usual ***LANGUAGE*** warnings apply. 

    Ditto ***SPOILERS*** though I can't think of anything that we really ruined. Better safe than sorry eh!

    Listen Here!


    Podcast Powered By Podbean


    Listen HERE!

    On the go - the mobile LINK!


    As Kiki - Dollhouse
    Fancy more of our inane chatter? You'll find us on twitter as @SteveCult and @Drneevil


    Friday, 2 August 2013

    Warm Bodies Review

    Zombies are taking over the world. It's all but offical at this point.

    I mean, Leeds fell a while ago (see images HERE of the recent zombie marches) but its become clear that the rest of the world won't be too far behind. Even the Australians are afraid...though they haven't cracked the date just yet

    Literary classics are being revised - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies now seems like such a natural idea that I can't believe that no one attempted it before (dry voice).

    The Walking Dead (which I'm not actually a fan off) and Ugly Americans (unseen, but heard good things) ensured that the undead are slowly but surely taking over the televisual world.
    So it amuses me slightly that the film genera has become a bit stale in recent years, despite there being a glut available. So many rehashing the same stories and images, not even attempting to expand the mythology or try something new.
    
    What? No hug?
    Sure, 28 hours/days/weeks/years turned out to be a far more natural successor to the '...of the Dead' franchise than any of the series actual recent cinematic offerings. Zombies became faster; smarter; cruel and resourceful. And therefore more terrifying. I guess. For some*. 
    The so-different-I-honestly-don't-know-why-they-bothered adaptation of I am Legend continued this trend - converting the books vampire types to zombie-trope characters with over-wealming speed, aggression and pack mentality - maximising their monstrous strength.  
    I don't like.

    I mean I do... but... I was raised with slow, lumbering, vacant, shopping mall monsters.
    I guess I'm just a traditionalist at heart.

    Of course, there was Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland. My saviours if you will. Two films so faithful, irreverant, funny and wry that you can't help but love them. In fact, sometimes - when the speedy zombies get too much for me - I hug my SotD dvd close; chanting "We're coming to get you Barbara!!" mantra like.

    Warm Bodies is a Rom-Zom-Com and the closest thing that Shaun of the Dead has to a squel (Hot Fuzz and The World's End aren't sequels, they are Cornettos). While it lacks a certain bite (sorry, couldn't reist); it harks back to a softer, gentler more old fashioned film style, balanced with a more contemporary and cynical world-weary perspective.

    BLURB (The Guardian review)
    In a post-apocalyptic world, human survivors have barricaded themselves into a safe area of the city, but outside there are loads of shuffling, mumbling zombies, who are still in a relatively human phase before they degenerate further into hideous, skeletal attackers. 
    One of these nice demi-undead folk, played by Nicholas Hoult, is a cute guy who falls in love with the lovely human Julie (Teresa Palmer), daughter of zombiephobe survivalist warlord Grigio (John Malkovich).  
    Golly. Hasn't Nicholas Hoult done well. I still remember him as that odd looking freaky kid from About a Boy.

    I won't summarise the story line here - I honestly think that it's worth you watching it for yourself - whoever you are. However, the usual *SPOILER* warnings still apply. 

    Throughout the film, but especially at the beginning, the voice over was just golden. In fact, it might be one of the driest voice commentaries EVER. As a vehicle it's used quite well - heavy at the beginning with perhaps not quite enough of it in the middle while it tapers off as R becomes better able to communicate.  

    As a piss take of twishite (no - not the whole thing, but there were definite references), it was hilarious. Especially as himself wasn't entirely sure that they were in fact taking the mickey and was terrified that it was about to descend into rat shit. He'd been half convinced the lead was a Kristen Stewart clone at the start and was wary (he warmed to her as the film progressed) so the near heart failure was just delicious to watch!


    While this film - like most in the zombie house - focused on two primary protagonists, they were offered excellent support from Marcus and Nora (Rob Corddry and Analeigh Tipton), their best friends. All their interactions were just brilliant. Analeigh Tipton was equally good in Crazy Stupid Love and is definitely one to watch while Rob Corddry has a tendency to steal every scene he's in!

    I liked the tweaks to the zombie mythology too - introducing two types of undead - those like R, who are dead but fairly human like and the bonies, who are scary monsters. For a film that often seemed determined to stay within the lines, it was an unexpectedly bold move and I for one would be quite happy to see more tales set in that world. 

    As to the big issue - that of speed - Warm Bodies worked the two speed approach. In the main, the zombie wandered around, slow and almost placid. The second that they sniffed out a living person, however, they became transformed into vicious bloodthirsty monsters, moving with near in-human speed. 

    A really enjoyable film and one I've happily recommended to people! As per usual, we'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on twitter!



    *I can't be the only one who found original zombies terrifying precisely because they were so slow moving and drooly and thoughtless and ... relentless. Seriously creepy. They don't sleep, for example. So, even if you do find a great hidey hole - they can sniff you out and find you.
    Creepy.