Electric Dreams: On The Crest Of A Synthwave

Radder Than Rad Retrotastic Raves!

Dr. Egon Spengler: “Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.”  

Dr. Raymond Stantz: “Total protonic reversal.” 

Dr. Peter Venkman: “Right. That’s bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.” 

“Rubbish!” shout the disgruntled 21st century masses, unanimously disenchanted with what is laughably termed the “music” industry, woefully bereft of originality, personality or talent…

But!

As just one of those restless peeps, you can count on Brad to sift through the monotony and find sounds that reinvigorate the soul. 

Synthwave – otherwise known as Retrowave, Futuresynth, etc. – a genre of electronic music influenced by ’80s film soundtracks, drawing heavily from such esteemed names as Froese, Carpenter, Moroder, et al does it for me.

Take this first eargasm for instance; who does it remind you of?

About half a dozen ’80s synthtastic sounds come to mind – and you know that’s no bad thing!:

“Death is a primitive concept. I prefer to think of them as battling evil in another dimension” – Grig.

Elliott: “He’s a man from outer space and we’re taking him to his spaceship.”

Greg: “Well, can’t he just beam up?

Elliott: “This is reality, Greg.”

Already, there is a snazzy nostalgic feel to this Post – hope it lasts…

It’s amazing – not to mention really gratifying – to learn that so many artists have been profoundly inspired by the ’80s.

You know that feeling when you’re writing, listening to music to spur on that creative process and then – all of a sudden – something so awesome comes on that grabs your attention, making you just stop everything and go back to search who/what is responsible for producing such a pleasant interruption? 

This is that track!: 

‘”More human than human” is our motto’ – Dr. Eldon Tyrell.

Here he is: the (reasonably cool) writer, drafting Reviews and concocting wild and wonderful scenarios in the name of science fiction. 

And yet all you end up with is the music he’s been listening to!

Oh well…

This next groovy number pulsates with such 80s flair – sounds like it has been lifted from one of those ultrahip TV shows one would settle down to on a Saturday evening back in the day. Instead, it comes with clips from a hilariously duff 80s movie. Not sure: looks like it could be American Ninja? Or American Ninja 2? Or American Ninja 3? Or who the blazes is taking notes @ this time of night anyway?! 

As you will hear from the opening scene of this vid, my propensity for causing trouble is LEGENDARY:

“Now use head for something other than target” – Mr. Miyagi. 

In order to acquire new synthwave grooves, a number of Best of Retrowave compilations – gleefully referred to as 80s Revival Mixtapes! –have positively soared through my headphones these past few weeks.

Fortunately, the variety and ingenuity of these artists, all vying to (re)capture those special 80s vibes have mostly impressed. 

The opening track of one such compilation ensured its place here on this Post.

Lo! This is the stellar song that Brad does his aerobics to at the crack o’ dawn!

Ya gotta burn it ta earn it, lov…

“On the other side of the screen, it all looks so easy” – Kevin Flynn. 

Having fun? 

That’s what matters in this sector of the blogosphere.

One of the more prominent Retrowave artists to leap promisingly into my Daily Playlist is Timecop1983. 

Nice tag – one of my all-time fave years as well!

On the most recent album: Journeys, the opening track just happens to be Dreams. You know you’re onto a Winner when you can’t get further than the opening track!

This is gorgeous: 

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” – Ferris Bueller.

Modern pop culture should not have to be so turgid!

In order to find a “way forward,” we must settle for a distinctly “retro” solution. That’ll do for the moment! 

Hope you’ve enjoyed listening (dancing?!) to these Electric Dreams as much as my time was joyously spent compiling this Post. There will certainly be plenty more forays into Retro/Synthwave playlists this Summer as my writing sessions – that novel and a few short stories! –intensify. And you can trust me to share the best tracks with you!  

More than anything, these retrotastic grooves offer a warm and cosy reassurance that truly talented souls ARE out there. 

And producing lots of good stuff!

Build neon portals, NOT walls, etc. etc. 

And you know what they say: the sequel promises to be even better… 😉

Hey! Here’s one for the road: 

Keep your eyes on the WHEELS!

“Well always be together
However far it seems
(Love never ends)
Well always be together
Together in Electric Dreams” – Phil Oakey.

Mind Your Head

 

Do The Wampa Stomp!: Dancing To Another Liebster Award

Was Ist Das? Ein Weiterer Liebster?! Ausgezeichnet!

“The world is never the same once a good blog has been added to it” – Dylan Thomas.  

A BIG THANK YOU to Danica @ Living A Beautiful Life for nominating me for another Liebster Award!

This honour is particularly special to me as Danica is truly one of the blogosphere’s exceptional treasures; her collection of “Short Stories, Flights of Fancy and Everyday Anecdotes” are a delight. 

What is the Liebster Award?

The word “liebster” (originating in German) has several definitions — dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued. 

This award recognizes bloggers who offer amazing content and can connect with their readers in ways that are truly awesome. For me, it is an opportunity to show my appreciation for the finest blogs to illuminate my Reader (and let you know that my visits would be far more frequent if poss!)

Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award.
Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.
Give 11 random facts about yourself.
Nominate 11 blogs.
Notify those blogs of the nomination.
Give them 11 questions to answer.

 

11 QUESTIONS Answered

Coffee or tea or mocha/hot chocolate?

Tea all day every day while writing. Mocha whenever in town.

Why do you blog?

To show editors/employers what Brad can do; without anything published (yet) my blogs are the only proof that BRAD LIVES. And has created. 

How would you describe your sense of humor?

Good to flimsy!

What would you do in your ideal day?

Anything with Mrs. B!

Summer or winter?

Summer boy, definitely! English Winters always got the better of me…

Beach or mountains?

Love both! Nothing like walking along a beach. Or biking in the mountains.

Could you live without your smartphone? 

Interesting question!

A more pertinent query would be to ask most people why they feel the need to live WITH one! It has become such a monotonous, time-wasting addiction. Nobody calls/texts me; my laptop offers any data/news updates anyway – would much rather prefer a sardine sandwich than a smartphone, thanks. 

Do you like sardines?

Aha! Now you’re talkin’…

How do you like your eggs?

Preferably on me table, not in me face, cheers!

Does the weather affect the way you see the day?

The best time to write is when a storm is howling outside – gratifying to know you’re not stuck out there in it! 

Can you dance well?

Blimey Charley, CAN Brad dance! Woo-hoo!! Gets on the good foot whenever he can… 

“The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words” – William H. Gass.

 

11 Random Facts About Brad:

1 THERE’S BEEN NO BLOGGING this past weekend, because my artwork is taking up all my creative time/effort @ th mo! It is another therapeutic way for me to unwind.

2 NEVER EATEN in McDonalds – as an “active” member of the Friends Of The Earth group at college, we voted to boycott all branches (then suffering from a reputation of unhygienic practices) – a principle this freedom fighter has faithfully adhered to ever since…

3 CAN’T STOP playing this:

4 NEVER MET any of my current group of friends. Seeing as you are all bloggers – based predominantly Stateside, (presumably reading this right NOW!) – have wondered how great it would be to have a mocha and a chat with you!

5 MOST OF THE BEST IDEAS for my fiction come to me when out walking.  

6 THE ONLY STAR WARS ACTOR that Brad met was Dave Prowse.

The Green Cross Code was a national campaign during the 1970s to educate UK children road safety issues. Dave Prowse magically appeared in a number of TV commercials as the Green Cross Code Man to instruct kids to: Stop! Look! Listen!  before they dared to venture out into the road. Went to a local funfair to meet him; he took one look @ pint-size Brad and slapped a Green Cross Code badge on me. Will never forget it – was like being punched in the chest! Top bloke.  

7 BELIEVE that Lawrence of Arabia (1962) is the GREATEST Movie Ever Made. It excels in every department: direction, cinematography, the acting, etc. It has the best entrance of any character in cinema history; that score by Maurice Jarre! And the screenplay by Robert Bolt remains truly inspirational and unmatched. There are enough fantastic quotes to fill at least THREE of my Posts! Choosing just ONE clip for this Post is gruelling enough, but Anthony Quinn’s first scene is both dynamic and amusing.

(see Question #7)

Auda Abu Tayi: “Who told you that?”

T.E. Lawrence: “I have long ears.”

Auda Abu Tayi: “And a long tongue between them…”

8 THE NAME of my record shop would have been “Al Gore Rythms.” (Would he have approved? Probably not – can’t spell rythms).

9 STILL TYPE ‘s’ instead of ‘a’, and ‘r’ instead of ‘e’!

10 HAD COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN that Bradscribe has its own Facebook page! (Doesn’t matter – NOBODY looks @ it anyway – ha!) 

11 THIS IS THE ONLY BLOG to have LOST Followers in the last six months!  

 

So, now we come to the exciting part!:

My 11 Nominees:

boxofficebuzz

byhookorbybook

cinemaparrotdisco

mycomicrelief

mysideofthelaundryroom

onthescreenreviews

recoverytowellness

sci-fijubilee

stephenliddell

thetelltalemind

wordsforeverything

 

My Questions:

1 What is the best aspect about blogging? 

2 Thor: Ragnarok or Justice League?  

3 Who is your favourite fictional character?  

4 What music have you enjoyed listening to this week?

5 What was the last line of movie dialogue that made you ROFL?

6 Should one writer be allowed to change the background story or ethnicity of another writer’s character?

7 What do YOU consider to be the GREATEST Movie Ever Made?

8 Can you dance well?

9 What should be done to improve Bradscribe?

10 Could you live without chocolate? 

11 We’ve analyzed their attack and there is a danger. Should I have your ship standing by?

 

And finally, here – by popular demand – is the key to how the Official Bradscribe Ratings System works:

 

DJANGO MEETS SARTANA!

DJANGO FANDANGO

DJANGO BELLS

JINGO DJANGO BANJO

STOP! OR DJANGO’S MOM WILL SHOOT 

 

Of course, all my Nominees – hey! and Danica, of course! – excel in a Django Meets Sartana stylee!

Please Don’t Change A Thing…

 

“We gotta go. Come on, move with me. We got a plan, and we’re going to stick to it” – Tony Stark.

 

The Good, The Brad And The Spoiler

Brad Day @ Black Rock – How To Deal With The One Who Gave It All Away…

continued from: The White Lion And The Dessert Rats

“Every gun makes its own tune” – Blondie.

Spoiler, ALERT!” cried Touche Turtleneck as the security breach signal rang out.

Damnation and blast!” raged Major Spoiler“He’s here!”

The disgraced Galactic Defence Militia officer stared intensely out of his office window on the 14th floor of Black Rock Block. Here, in one of the more seedy districts of Duggan’s Run Spaceport on Beta Lugosi, torrential rain lashed down relentlessly.

Touche and his gang of hoodlums – who had been hanging around in the office most of the day, just for this moment – drew their blasters and rushed to the door.

JarJar Kushner, the Major’s twisted right-hand man, sitting languidly at the desk, his heavy, ultrawornout boots perched impudently on the blotter, snapped at them:

“Watch it, idiots! This is no ordinary cake-scoffin’ bum we’re dealing with here! He’s good… even by my standards… And for pity’s sake, watch yer backs, he could be anywhere!”

They nodded and piled out, marching off down the hallway.

The two remaining villains listened to the monotonous clatter outside until Spoiler spluttered:

“Do you think he will catch me…?”

“Oh yes, most definitely…”

“How can you be so sure?”

“I am… ‘cos I already ‘ave…”

“Wha-?!”

With one deft flick, the henchman tugged off his black ponytail to reveal a beautifulbut rapidly thinning – mess of blond hair; a device behind one ear was deactivated, and a holographic mask removed to reveal far more agreeable cheekbones. 

“Stone the bloody crows…! YOU!” the Major barked.

Yeah, me…” the Commander growled. “Told ya ‘e could be… ANY… where…”

“You smell like a pig already. Let’s try not to make things any worse” – Corporal Wallace.

“Spoiler… sheesh, you gave away too many Militia plans to the Empire, and now ya- ‘EY! Move away from that cabinet, Major… Disaster… Ah ah! ‘Ands where I can see ’em, fella…

Brad sprang to his feet and glared at the disgraced officer.

“Patheticlong ago, you had potential… Now, Brad, you’re nothingJust a dumbass with a blaster…”

“Quite a dumbass thin’ ta spout, seein’ as the blaster is trained right on ya…”

“Doesn’t matter. C’mon, Fartlighter, you’re kidding nobody – you’re too much of a wholesome hero to just blast me away… like that. No, it doesn’t matter what prison barge you send me to, I can enjoy the last laugh, watching… what unfolds… What does it feel like to be the Most Wanted Man In The Galaxy?”

“Fine an’ dandy, baby. Comes with the territory… o’ bein’ a galactic ‘ero. ‘Ad ta split Bitumen ‘cos the belly dancers couldn’t queue up in an orderly manner…” 

“No. Not that. Do you realise that the Empire has slapped a bounty on your “really ridiculously good looking” head? They were offering 20,000 creds-“

“Why, that’s despicable! A measly 20,000 creds?! Me pecs alone are worth a lot more than that-“

“Shut it. I said they were. Obviously, you’ve been too busy “saving the galaxy” to check your Notifications – they’ve shanked the bounty up to 50,000 creds-“

“Goody gumdrops! Sounds abaht right…”

Brad wiped the smirk off his face; his abrupt ashen-face seemed to take the officer aback.

“How much did it cost ya?” the Commander snarled, “…To direct those Zandokan cruisers ta intercept us?!”

“Oh, that was… free of charge! It was a futile move, anyway! You’re the “good guys”despite impossible odds, you always, insufferably, inconceivably, get through unharmed-“

“MITCH DIDN’T! He wuz wounded during the surprise attack. Me Company managed ta get ‘im to a med-unit on Epsilon, but he-”

“Hmm? I don’t recall- Which one is Mitch?” the Major frowned.

“Mitch Quintana, our newest… and youngest member-“

“Ha, yet another cocky young whelp, no doubt! Never heard of him – how young?”  

“Jeez! As sensitive as an earthquake, ain’tcha, fella?! Damn you… he was only 19-“

“Ah…! Same age as you when I took you under my wing twenty years ago-“

“No… NO! Don’t go there…” 

“…And made you into the leading man you are today. No worries! The boy will pull through – it’s in the script, right?! He will, most likely, turn out to be just as annoying and indestructible as you – ha!”

“Nah… we just got back in time… to watch ‘im pass away…”

“Aww! Where did he die…?”

The Commander held up his arms, and croaked dejectedly:

“In these…”

“Hey, amigo! You know you got a face beautiful enough to be worth $2000?” – Mexican Bounty Hunter.  

“Heh, are you the golden-haired angel sent to watch over me?” Major Spoiler remarked in disbelief.

“Nah… no such luck. There ain’t no songs o’ praise reserved fer… moofmilkuz like you…”

“Ha, cute… What did u do with Kushner?”

“‘Oo…? Oh, that useless scrote. Flung ‘im in the basement, din’I? Funnily enough, I don’t think ‘e belongs anywhere else. Blimey, ‘e’s a waste o’ space even dahn there…”

“Uff, hilarious… You know, in a strange way, I’m actually proud of the way you assembled that pathetic bunch of losers…”

“Me Company, ya mean…? Twen’y years ago, ya used to be a good mansomeone ta look oop ta – jeez, what the blazes ‘appened?!”

“I got wise! Listen to me for once, Brad! You, your Company; the Militia; Rajendra’s Free Fighters – you’re ALL finished. The last remaining Federation Planets WILL fall to Zan Doka and the Empire will prevail – the one true light in a moribund galaxy! Let me take you to the Emperor; he will grant you anything, and you can savour the fruits of the Zandokan Empire, as well as I! At last, your miserable existence will have a sense of purpose…! Just think of the immeasurable power we shall wield… Come with me. It is the only way!”

“Uff, spare me… I’ve just about ‘ad enough of yer insuff’rable monologin’…”

Spoiler spat sarcastically: “Aww, I hate to see you suffer… so much, Commander!”

“Fine,” Brad snapped back, levelling his blaster between the startled officer’s eyes. “Then lemme put ya outta yer misery…”

“No, wait! It’s-!”

“Waitin’s over. Adios, pret’y boy…”

.

When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk” – Tuco.  

KERR-RAAAAASH!!

The shards of the shattered plexi-screen mingled with the shower as the ex-Militia officer’s body hurtled to the street below. The Zandokan sentries stood aside and simply averted their gaze away from the sickening impact. Upon reaching the foyer, Brad had just readjusted the wig and realigned the mask. He stumbled out of the elevator, desperate to erase from his fevered mind that hard day in the office…

Spoiler’s gang congregated by the revolving doors, adding the mess on the street to their Instagram accounts.

Touche came running up, all-flustered.

“Mr. Kushner! The Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger is still in the building?!”

“Aye affirmative, that ‘e is, dipwit! If ya ‘urry, ya might jus’ catch ‘im!”

The hoodlums dashed back up the stairs.

Two of the Zandokan guards marched towards Brad, but, in character, he managed to keep composed.

“Secure the area!” he barked, putting on his nastiest authoritative voice. “Make sure the Earthling does NOT leave the building!”

The guards nodded in their usual, slavishly obedient way.

And – just like thatthe Earthling left the building…

“I think his idea was that I kill you. But you know the pity is when I’m paid, I always follow my job through. You know that” – Angel Eyes.

Around the corner, Brad tore off his accessories for the last time and chucked them furiously into a bin.

Over the deafening din of the monsoon, he opened his earpiece and hailed the Calista.

“‘Ey, whassup, mate?!” the Chief chirped.

“Uff, stow it, ‘Arris – I’m not in the mood.”

“Did ya do it…?”

“Yeah, wha’s done is done-“

“‘Eyyy, attaboy, Commander! The ‘ero strikes again, eh?!”

“Nah, far from, Chief… this ain’t NUTHIN’ to celebrate. This… this wuz bang out’a order…”

“Ne’er mind, eh? Got gateau fer ya an’-”

“NAH… dahn’ wan’ any cake…”

“WHA-?! Is that Brad?! ‘Ere, Kushner ya div! Givvuz our Commander back NAHW, ha ha ha!”

“…This ain’t no laffin’ mat’er, Chief… I’ve gone ta this vile dive ta terminate me ol’ superior officer…! Not only that… he wuz a fellow Englishman… This ‘ole thing… ugh… Jeez, it stinks to ‘igh bleedin’ ‘Eaven… This is NOT wha’ savin’ the galaxy wuz supposed ta be abahtTough ‘ero?! It’s really tough tryin’ ta be one… Gawd, this is pants…”

“…’Ey, Brad, ‘e ‘ad ta go, mate… ‘E doublecrossed uz all… nah one coulda done wha’ you jus’ done…  Kudos to ya, fella… Some good hasta come from this – it’s jus’ gotta… I-I know whatcha goin’ through right nahw-“

“Tha’s jus’ it, fella, ya dahn’t. ‘Ope ya nevah havta, an’ all…  Gotta bit’er taste in me mahf that ain’t gonna shift, an’ a lump in me soul that ain’t NEVAH gonna lift… …

“‘E wuz… dammit – ‘e wuz the one who made me Battleforce Commander in the first place…! Rot ‘im… … …”

 

“Sooo… … … ya wanna come back nahw?”

“Nah… thinkin’ o’ openin’ a resort dahn ‘ere…”

“Wha-?! Really?”

“O’ course, bleedin’ ‘o course I wanna come back!! An’ I’m gonna be one ‘elluva soggy moggy if I stay aht ‘ere much longer! Beam me oop now, ya donut…”

BRAD FARTLIGHTER WILL RETURN

 

“Over The Hill With The Swords Of A Thousand Men!”: Song A Day Challenge – Day #1

Manic Music Monday: Welcome To The Song a Day Challenge

Thank You To Danica For Nominating Me!

Here are the rules:

  • Post a song a day for five consecutive days (I’m posting consecutive Mondays!)
  • Post the name of the song and video
  • Post what the lyrics mean to you (optional)
  • Nominate two (or one) different blogger each day of the challenge

My Song of the Day:

Tenpole Tudor – “Swords Of A Thousand Men” (1981)

What the lyrics mean to me:

Well, ‘oorah, ‘oorah, ‘oorah, yea!

This is stirring stuff and no mistake; back in the day – the ’80s of course! – so much FAB pop music could be lapped up.

Like so many of the classics of this long-gone and much-missed era, this punk classic exudes FUN, a more agreeable f-word that seems to have been eradicated from a “music” industry now as dull and miserable as the poxy weather in this video!

Look ye here: nothing could be more English than a bunch a’ mates arsin’ about in an English field; rockabillies in chainmail; drummers on tables and flag-wavin’ and ale-swillin’ a-plenty, by Jove! 

Hear their shouts, hear their roar
They’ve probably all had a barrel or much, much more, indeed!
HUZZAH!

*

My Nominee:

boxofficebuzz

 

Kong: Skull Island: The Bradscribe Review

Let’s Get Down To Monkey Business…

“My Kong is more of a god. He represents the unknown in the world. I wanted to make a movie that was as much about the big moments of Kong punching a helicopter out of the sky as the small lyrical moments” – Jordan Vogt-Roberts.

“Skull Island… shit…

“I’m still only on Skull Island…”

Scientist John Goodman wants to explore an uncharted island in the Pacific and ends up discovering an Eden just too primal to handle. Enter Tom Hiddleston’s ex-SAS survival expert: Captain Conrad (nice nod to Joseph Conrad, author of Heart of Darkness), who curiously knows all the dangers that will confront them on the island…

The essential military escort is provided by Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) and his hapless – and characterless – band of monkey snacks. Also tagging along is Brie Larson’s war photographer and Tian Jing as a scientist to help sell this movie to China… 

Personally, another Kong movie was the last thing on my wishlist; the 2005 remake was so insipid, and the 1933 original is one of my most beloved movie faves, so this outing was never going to top that…

…or was it? 

“I don’t know that there was an alpha male pecking order. Although I did mess with the young guys. If they started up, I would go: ‘What’s your number on the cast list?'” –  Samuel L. Jackson. 

Notice how the ‘King’ epithet is excluded from the title – his eminence is subdued here by the other – let’s face it, poorly-conceived – prehistoric beasties. The much-touted helicopter-destruction scene came and went with barely a flutter on the Bradmonitor. Apart from ripping out the tongue of that… that – whatever it was – there is very little here to remind you why Kong became such a big screen icon in the first place. And, hey, what’s the point of character development if most of the ensemble are not going to make it out alive? Sheesh! Some snappy dialogue should have been on order – notice how no cool quotes were available at the time of going to Publish…

Must admit the opening sequence with Marlow crashing on the island back in ’44 looked like a neat set-up; considering how this character – played by the usually quite dependable John C. Reilly – could have been the one to bring in some much-needed comedy moments; alas, his performance became a tad too goofy for my liking. 

But honestly, what is with Tom Hiddleston, here?! He looks like how Brad feels: vacant, bored, wishing he was someplace else…

How apt that The Animals’ We Gotta Get Out Of This Place played on the trailer – that was going through the minds of the other twenty cinema-goers, all unaffected by what had just flooded over their retinas. So, watched the post-credits sequence all by me lonesome… 

And am strangely less-than-enthralled by the prospect of a Kong vs. Godzilla clobberfest lined up for 2020…

“Jordan told me he wanted to sneak an indie film into a blockbuster… [Conrad is] a hard, capable man who knows his way around a sharp object” – Tom Hiddleston.

Never a skull moment? 

Upon viewing the first few stills from the movie, was amazed to see the crew armed with ol’ Armalite rifles; oho, methinks – going for a a retro feel here? Only later did news break that Kong: Skull Island is actually set in 1973; does Tom Hiddleston have a phobia of flares and sideburns?! Absolutely no effort to immerse himself in the period! This setting, however, presents the opp to go for a groovy soundtrack: The Stooges! Black Sabbath! Vera frickin’ Lynn?! And of course, three of the most beautiful words in the English language: Creedence Clearwater Revival, with which we are treated to snatches of TWO of their awesome classics. Nice to have Bowie included as well, but all these tracks can be enjoyed in my own time anyway!

Ho-hum, roll out the old monster-movie cliches: (un)naturally, there is yet another attempt to freak out any arachnophobes in the audience; the token pansyass official nerk who is inevitably consigned to meet a grisly end, and other fillers too numerous to mention. Gone are the sacrificial brides, but also woefully absent is – thanks to the CGI, here as abundant as the “lush” vegetation – any sense of terror or menace. 

Or excitement, while we’re at it.

If only Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ direction had been as gung-ho as Samuel L.s “performance.”

By the time Kong engaged in his climactic tussle, my yawns just would not let up. Not even the shenanigans aboard the jolly ship USS Junkpile could salvage my flagging interest…

After a hard week, rather than allowing me to escape into the realms of movie magic, this lame viewing experience felt like being stranded on an inhospitable island for twenty eight years… and eleven months…

and meh…

“John C. Reilly’s Marlow makes you feel like you’re watching a version of Apocalypse Now where Dennis Hopper’s been replaced by Fozzie Bear” – Larushka Ivan-Zadeh.

BRADSCRIBE VERDICT: Uff, monkey nuts…

Xmas Wishes: Peace, Love And Starlight

‘Tis The Season Of Good Will To All Men.

Except Brad, It Seems…

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“I send you, my sailors and soldiers, hearty good wishes for Christmas and the New Year. My grateful thoughts are ever with you for victories gained, for hardships endured…

“We are still at war, but the Empire, confident in you, remains determined to win. May God bless you and protect you” – King George V. Christmas Message To His Troops, 1916. 

In the constellation of Cygnus, in the outer reaches of a star, a photon is born. Created in the star’s photosphere, it surges into the depths of space. Its wish is to travel far; lo, this one is destined to hurtle towards Earth…

*

So here it is, Merry Christmas, everybody’s having fun.

Nah, not really…

Supposedly, this is the season of peace and goodwill, but News of armed police officers standing guard next to Nativity scenes at Christmas markets across Europe and the UK indicate that we continue to be far from achieving a basic sense of peace and goodwill.

When it matters most…

On a more local front, seasonal cheer is late getting to Brad Manor, if at all – Blimey, only put the tree up two nights ago…

Don’t get me wrong: this was always an exciting part of my childhood – great prezzies and happy times – but these days, when way more people have far less money, and thousands of families – yes, THOUSANDS of FAMILIES – will be spending the season without a home to call their own, it is difficult for me to get in the mood for mulled wine and hilarious chunky-knit jumpers.

Peace? Can’t even get piece of mind… 

Don’t even hear a dickie bird from my “friends,” even at this time of year, so no parties then.

Fine, that just leaves more time to carry on with me blogging/writing, and rest with a gingerbread latte watching others chasing last-minute gifts, grub an’ grog.

However, at this site, there is ALWAYS peace unto you, dear Follower! Instead of playing an over-familiar novelty pop song, here is a recently-discovered delightful little gem, to make you merry:

I love carols. I love their crashing chords when performed with bombast on church organs, and their thick layer of schmaltz when sung by Bing Crosby or Elvis. Oh, Come!” – Esther Addley.

The only time my Mother’s family got together for Christmas coincided with a Golden Anniversary jamboree back in 1990. 

The crowning moment came shortly after one particularly humongous dinner. In the lounge, surrounded by most of the bairns, was my Dad – they had all gathered to catch the UK TV PREMIERE of Return of the Jedi!

Sweet!

Naturally, since he became One With The Force nearly eight years ago, this time of year will never seem the same again…

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“Mary Bradley waits at home
In the nuclear fall-out zone
Wish I could be dancing now
In the arms of the girl I love
Wish I was at home for Christmas” – Jona Lewie. 

The photon’s wavefunction, spreads out through all space, but is at its densest on the trajectory between Deneb’s Core and Earth – the journey will take about 1,500-3,000 years. But, from a quantum point of view, no time at all.

*

In my case, not Mary Bradley, but the lovely Mrs. Bradford. Sadly, every year its the same, spend yuletide with her on the tropical side of the world, or with Mum on the cold side.

If Brad were to take the first option, Mum would have to spend Christmas Day ON HER OWN. 

Agonisingly, due to unforeseen circumstances (isn’t that always the cotton-pickin’ way?!) the two most precious people in my life have been denied the opp to meet.

It has been a particularly gruelling year – Mr. and Mrs. B have both endured a very tough year.

Despite being a Buddhist and Christmas holding little meaning for her – and with countless couples spending the season apart for one reason or another anyway – our thoughts are already jumping ahead to the New Year, and our fantastic reunion.

“Half a dinare for me bloody life story?”

“There’s no pleasing some people.”

“That’s just what Jesus said, sir.”

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“Well, what are you doing creeping around a cow shed at two o’clock in the morning? That doesn’t sound very wise to me” – Mother of Brian.

The voyage of Starlight ends at the back of your eye when you look up at the night sky. The photon hits a blue-sensitive cell in your retina. Its last act is to trigger a nerve that helps you see a bright blue-white point in the constellation of Cygnus – and then it’s gone.

*

The most famous photon of all “arrived” above Bethlehem at what most experts agree was at some point during September in the year 6 BCE.

Three “kings” were its most famous – but least understood – observers. That is the one aspect of the Nativity story that has always fascinated me. What niggled me – even at school age – is why these mysterious (royal?) Three Amigos “Of Orient Are” should be “summoned” to an unremarkable stable in the back of beyond?

“Their robes were of crimson silk with rows, 

Of bells and pomegranates and furbelows. 

Their turbans like blossoming almond-trees.”

It’s true, this Boy Wonder – huzzah!was selected to “play” one of these travellers, but further – and fruitless! – enquiries into everything, from their origins to my motivation, just got me banished to the anonymous throng of the Choir, thus denying me the chance to lug a tissue box bedecked in technicolour foil across the school hall stage in front of a gaggle of proud, camera-clicking parents.

In popular tradition, they are called Melchior, Balthazar and Gaspar, “kings” respectively of Arabia and Nubia, Godolia and Tarsus. Modern Christmas cards portray them plodding through alien territory, unescorted and unprotected. Never, in World History, has any king travelled anywhere without an extensive retinue of servants, slaves and what-have-you! Preposterous!

Matthewthe only Gospel source – more accurately referred to them as magoi, signifying “wise men.” Most likely, they were Persian Magi – scholars of the Zoroastrian faith. Moreover, they were said to represent all three ages of man: 20, 40 and 60 respectively. 

But what mixed-up Mickey Mouse “wisdom” recommends gold, frankincense… and myrrh(?!) as ideal gifts for a newborn?

True, the first item is ideal for the mother to arrange daycare, etc. but what the blazes is she to do with the other two?! As one modern source so eloquently “quoted” Mary: 

“Three wise men, and no one brought chocolate?!”

Speaking of chocolate, my stocking WILL contain the Star Wars Chocolate Selection: The Force Awakens and Rogue One are simply scrumptious; looking forward to gorging again and again on Empire Strikes Back; but Attack Of The Clones disagrees with me. That’s one great disturbance my digestive season could well do without this weekend…

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While everybody lounges indoors keeping warm in front of their new box sets, your ex-magoi is wishing that the clouds won’t block my view of the constellations. The street lights cut out around midnight, and the Night Sky from our neighbourhood truly is a sight to behold.

Whatever, there are plenty of mince pies waiting in the larder, and there are plenty of Marvel movies lying on the DVD Player, so some seasonal cheer might – just might -pervade this household after all!

Sincerely hoping YOU get what you want this Christmas: 

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Wishing you all a Very Merry Gingerbread Latte and a Happy New Cranberry Muffin

Cheers!

x

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: A Bradscribe Review

State Your Elation For The Record:

This Rogue Is The One To Rave About!

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“The first thing that you have to do is get over the fact that you’re doing a scene with Darth Vader. That took me a little while, because I’m a first-generation fanboy” – Ben Mendelsohn.

One of the many disappointments with Star wars Episode III is that it denied our chance to see how the Rebel spies stole the Death Star plans.

For TOO LONG has yours truly revelled in the intrigue induced by the legendary scrawl:

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…and wondered how that premise would… (eventually?) make such a great movie…

And here it is! It only took three and a half decades for delivery.

Like the seemingly impossible mission for which this ragtag band a’ rebels volunteer, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story defies the odds to present such a welcome addition to the galaxy’s greatest saga.

Well! Where do we begin?!

A big fist-pump to this band of lovable rogues. They represent a superior Suicide Squad: more thrilling and thankfully less puerile. We do end up caring about their fate, which seemed to be the ultimate challenge here.

Quite frankly, Felicity Jones is a revelation as Jyn, galactic tearaway and daughter of Galen Erso, the reluctant creator of the Empire’s new superweapon. Admittedly, Jones looks an unlikely action star, but she pulls it off with aplomb. 

By far the best of the main bunch are Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yenstill can’t believe he fits so well in this galaxy!) and Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang) – the fighters from Jedha. 

Love the relationship between Cassian and Kaytoo, although this charming lil plot device was crying out for further attention and development. Considering what an obvious win the reprogrammed Imperial droid turned out to be, he deserved greater opportunities to scene-steal. (If they couldn’t grant him more lines, at least give him that blaster!). 

Still reckon that Diego Luna makes a way cooler Star Wars name than Cassian Andor…

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“That’s right, I’m playing the male lead! I didn’t really think that would be such a big deal…” – Felicity Jones.

The main problem with SF these days is that sfx have reached such stupendous levels, other elements such as plot and character development sometimes tend to fail in comparison. But Rogue One overrides that problem – all elements fuse reasonably well to produce something that is undeniably enjoyable. 

Here, the effects are suitably grandiose and awe-inspiring, from the graceful flights of the supersleek spacecraft(s) to the simply stunning vistas of Jedha and Mauritiuis – (sorry!) Scarif.

What about the aliens? 

Sorely underused – a personal gripe. For my Rough Guidequite tactfully, details relating to Pao and Bishan were dropped. Naturally assuming that they might not receive too much screen-time, they didn’t even get a word in – not even an indecipherable one! Between them!

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“I’d have loved to have taken a Stormtrooper outfit but we weren’t meant to take anything. I got away with a couple of small things but I can’t tell you what” – Mads Mikkelsen. 

Of the Imperial personnel, Ben Mendelsohn is particularly impressive as Director Orson Krennic. 

It was wonderful to see that well-known (well-despised?) officer from A New Hope make a dramatic reappearance. Was expecting to burst into tears upon catching sight of this beloved actor, but, just when you think how sophisticated CGI has become – let’s face it – he doesn’t look natural! No real presence = no credible menace. Moreover, they did not get the voice right!

But what about Vader?!

Surely, this film could never have worked without everyone’s fave Sith Lord. The build-up to his long-waited “return” is tense; his first scene (shared with Krennic) presents him in typically moody and magnificent mode.

His second scene?

Deep breath: WHOA! He REALLY gets busy – showing a Dark Side darker than anyone had ever expected! This is REVENGE of the Sith right here! 

Aren’t we so grateful that James Earl Jones could lend his esteemed vocal talents to Star Wars once more!

Sadly, however, the rest of the Imperial Officers are just anonymous. 

Is it possible to have a Star wars movie without a John Williams score? Some fans may argue that Rogue One does not feel right, precisely because of that vital exclusion. The music here is rousing enough, especially the mystic twang played when the proceedings reach Jedha.

As these rogues are rougher, the action more gritty, the dogfights more spectacular, for me, Rogue One is bigger and better than The Force Awakens.

There have been a few five-star reviews appearing in the last two days. Obviously, those critics have enjoyed the exhilarating ride that uberfan Gareth Edwards (the force is strong with him!) has concocted here, but, to be fair, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story falls short of the brilliant standard of The Empire Strikes Back – a veritable 5* package if ever there was one. 

The power of what we are dealing with here may be immeasurable to some, but this first-generation fanboy is pleased (relieved!) to bestow upon it a solid:

4-out-of-5

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“For my 30th birthday, we visited the Skywalker home in Tunisia. I stood at the same spot where Luke watched the sunset. My girlfriend said: “For your 40th birthday, you won’t be able to top this!” For my 40th birthday, I was directing Rogue One…” – Gareth Edwards.