Sunday, 12 December 2010

50 Movies in 20 Days

I have set myself an epic challenge! [See Heading]

So, what’s it all for?

Well, I’m a bit of a download junkie when it comes to movies, so much so that I’ve amassed a backlog of over 400 movies – that’s 400 movies I have but have never seen! To justify the greed I have set myself the challenge of selecting 50 of these movies to watch in the upcoming 20 days I have off work – Dec 15th to Jan 3rd.

Lunacy? Maybe.

I sincerely hope that the hours spent watching all of these films during the busiest time of the year will prove to be less taxing than it’s been selecting ‘The Final 50’.

The first cut was the deepest (and easiest). I scrolled through 400 plus files and was able to generate a shortlist of 125 movies – piece of cake. The next stage however was a drawn out process which lasted 7 days and involved me going over the list again and again and again, cutting movies bit by arduous bit.

I had to seek guidance in the form of friends, of family, of colleagues, and of Twitter. Unwanted recommendations were put forward, suggestions were made of what to cut, and movies were reinstated as the list fluctuated, ebbed and flowed into The Final 50 below.

It may not have been so difficult if there was a theme or bar of standard, however I wanted The Final 50 to be a movie mash up, bringing together the good, the bad and the dreadfully ugly.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, The Final 50:

  1. 10 Items or Less
  2. 17 Again
  3. A Beautiful Mind
  4. A Simple Plan
  5. Arlington Road
  6. Aviator
  7. Beauty Shop
  8. Black Dynamite
  9. Bulworth
  10. Casualties of War
  11. Chicken Run
  12. Chopper
  13. Citizen Kane
  14. Cool as Ice
  15. Coraline
  16. Dead Poets Society
  17. Dorian Gray
  18. Dream Girls
  19. Driven to Kill
  20. Good Will Hunting
  21. Gridlock’d
  22. Invictus
  23. Jennifer’s Body
  24. Kids
  25. Lakeview Terrace
  26. Lost in Translation
  27. Love & Basketball
  28. Magnolia
  29. Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus
  30. Mirrors
  31. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
  32. Notorious
  33. Pan’s Labyrinth
  34. Raising Arizona
  35. Rescue Dawn
  36. Rise of the Footsoldier
  37. Schindler’s List
  38. Skarktopus
  39. Spanglish
  40. Stir of Echoes
  41. Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming
  42. Superman Returns
  43. The Box
  44. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  45. The Devil Wears Prada
  46. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  47. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  48. The Shining
  49. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
  50. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

It’s not for charity; however donations towards popcorn, nachos, hot dogs and slush puppies would be greatly appreciated.

You can follow me on Twitter and find out how I get on with #50MoviesIn20Days.

A to the . . .

Thursday, 28 October 2010

The Late Train

Hate them all you will - and we will - but you've got to give it to London Underground; commuters of the grey cloud city have been handed a mother of a 'late pass'. We freely tap our snooze buttons; take time to prepare our cups of tea; indulge in generous helpings of BBC Breakfast; wait for trains less congested to arrive, and even stop by stores en route for doughnuts and coffee, knowing fully well that if we are late to the office, no real explanation is required.

'Sorry I'm late boss, the trains were a nightmare.'

And they probably were, at some probable time, on one of the probable lines you probably should have been on a lot earlier.

What's so sweet about this setup is that everyone from the new recruit to the office veteran has been screwed-a-plenty by our nation's national treasure of a public transport service – God bless our Queen. The phrase, 'Sorry I'm late boss, the trains were a nightmare.' does not raise alarms of deceit, but instead rings with familiarity.

Pick a card, any card; someone was taken ill on a train, someone was found under a train, or someone has pulled a passenger alarm on a train. You mavericks of unrelenting disturbance, I say thank you on behalf of London City. For on our mornings of gross lethargy and disregard for time, your past endeavours can be recalled promptly to generate an often fabricated nightmare of a journey.

Without taking the gloss off of our heroes in blue, there are two additional saving graces for any late employee:

Firstly, it doesn’t matter how late you arrive at work, as long as a departmental colleague arrives later. If you do happen notice a few absent colleagues, don’t be too hasty to pull your ‘Train Card’ (these lose value with excessive use). Instead, take your seat as if you’re 10 minutes early. You might as well be. The only person who’s actually late is the last to arrive in the office. In fact, even if you arrive 5 minutes early you’re still late if you’re the last to arrive. It’s office law.

The second is more of a desperate manoeuvre than a grace. You’re late, and you know it, but it’s Thursday and you’ve already used two ‘Train Cards’ this week. Unless your travel route makes the news – you’re now desperately praying for a crash or power outage – you’re screwed, and all recent displays of tardiness will be brought to the table. There’s only one thing for it, Krispy Kremes . . . for everyone!

More often than not this could all be avoided by resisting the urge to hit that all too easy snooze button. That snooze button which only serves the purpose of multiplying the number of times you’re angrily woken up in the morning.

But in reality, who really wants to be early for work anyway? The cleaning lady and the milkman, that’s who.

A to the . . .

Thursday, 8 July 2010

The Problem With Smartphone Users

...and by ‘users’ I mean addicts. If you have ever tried to have a conversation with a smartphone user then it’s likely you’ll know exactly where I’m heading with this one.

It’s also likely you have a smartphone.
And likely you think that it makes you cool.
But more than likely it just annoys everyone else.

Yes, the smartphone is indeed the technological manifestation of that nerd in school who knew way too much and really should have been bumped up a year. His hand was raised for every question; he did his science homework; he was reading newspapers during lunchtime while the boys played football. The teachers loved him, the girls thought he was weird, and the guys just wanted to punch his face in.

Universally, smartphone users tend to have a knack for involving their smart(ass)phone in every conversation. The two main culprits are uncoincidently also the market’s two leading competitors; BlackBerry and Apple’s iPhone.

BlackBerry Users – The Over Nurturing Mother

With their phones reaping in instant messages, texts, emails, facebook alerts and much more from who knows where, it’s no wonder the baby won’t stop crying. Instead of giving it a good slap or dare I say putting it on silent, BlackBerry users continuously cut you off mid-sentence to attend to each individual beep and rumble as if waiting to hear from Supernanny herself. What’s worse is that they do it with a cringe worthy reticent grin on their faces. The face a mother might give her child the first few times they look up and splutter, ‘mama’, completely blown away as if each time was the first.

iPhone Users – The Proud Father

With an app for almost everything – literally – iPhone users see every conversation as a platform on which they can show the world what new (and often useless) app they have acquired. Congratulations, you’re long faced child is now walking, talking, reading, writing, graduating, working or getting married. We’re very pleased for you, but can we now get back to the matter at hand?

iPhone users fail to grasp that those of us who don’t own iPhones don’t particularly care that if you shake your phone hard enough it will lead you to the nearest Starbucks. Go dunk your handset in a skinny latte.

World War 3g

It’s the ever perpetuating Apple v BlackBerry clash all over again. And once again it’s a bout that can’t be settled in the 12 billed rounds. I would leave it to the good old public to decide but general elections and X-Factor competitions strongly suggest otherwise. My scorecard (the only one that counts) is in, and it couldn’t be any closer. Apple’s iPhone couldn’t take this on its own merit, but thanks to the supposedly ‘already revolutionary’ iPad – that I haven’t seen a single person with – I have to give it to them.

Years of research, development and design was put into making the iPhone the most complete and compact handset on the market, so what did Apple then go and do? They threw buckets of cash into making a bigger and more obnoxious version! Now not only do Apple have two products that can seemingly do everything, they have a much larger one which is utterly impossible to ignore and will no doubt be filled by it’s users with millions of apps that will bore the rest of us stiff. Congratulations Apple, you win again.

With patience I await the unveiling of a BlackBerry twelve times the size of my Bold 9700.

A to the . . .

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

I am on twitter - @Greenbread

Hooray! In fact, I’ve been there for some time now, and have amassed a whooping 2000plus tweets. Is that a good thing? I don’t know.

What is good however is that now you can follow me in-between blog updates. A lot happens in-between blog updates, well going by my drop in consistency a lot should happen.

Since my last post, ‘Thank you for your application...’ I’ve actually started a new job. So for those of you who read it in jest, what’s so funny?

I’ll pass on the twitter review, as if you don’t already know about it you really have no business being online. If you’re on the ropes about whether to sign up or not, get off the fence and get involved! I must warn you though, it is unreasonably addictive.

You can follow me at

Tune in.

A to the . . .