‘Drain the Titanic’: A Sentimental Journey Through The Darkest Depths

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I was obsessed with the Titanic when I was a kid.

I had a hardback book about it, passages of which I could recite verbatim, and a National Geographic video of Robert Ballard’s 1985 expedition to locate the wreck, which I watched until the modern day footage was as grainy as the images they took from the bottom of the Atlantic.

Suffice to say, after the novelty of a seven-year-old babbling on about impact zones, deep sea pressure changes and steel corrosion had worn off, my parents started locking me in my bedroom when we had guests.

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Big Brother: The Young & the Desperate

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As bad habits go, writing  about appalling television sits on the social niceties scale alongside blowing one’s nose on the curtains.

Not only does the act provoke outrage and derision at the time, but everyone feels inexplicably dirty and wrong for a long time afterwards.

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Hey Jeremy! What are you rebelling against?

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So Jeremy Clarkson is in trouble again.

The BBC’s swaggering, denim disturbing cash cow has been suspended from Top Gear, pending an inquiry into allegations that he “punched a producer”. Clarkson, whose list of offences during his tenure on the show is almost  as long as the Lap Time leaderboard, was on his last warning after footage of him reciting a racially offensive verson of a nursery rhyme was released into the public domain.

At the time of writing, 241,030 people have signed a petition demanding his reinstatement.

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American Sniper: I’m Not Angry, Just Disappointed

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You’ve probably got an opinion on this, whether you’ve seen it or not.

Nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, American Sniper is a Clint Eastwood directed, unapologetic tribute to the heroism of war.

It tells the (true) story of Chris Kyle, a sniper who, with 160 confirmed kills, is generally considered to be the deadliest marksman in US history. It has also been heavily criticised for being an ironically short sighted examination of masculinity, patriotism and modern warfare.

It stars a bulked up, monosyllabic Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, the terrorist riddled, gun battle pock marked streets of Iraq and a shit load of dust.

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Movie Review: Nightcrawler. Dead Inside

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So Hollywood has spotted their awkward boy’s potential.

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Stinson Hunter: The Exception That Proves The Rule

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Stinson Hunter is an inevitability in a world completely blindsided by the power of technology.

Fulfilling the criteria of your average Daily Mail reader’s idea of a ‘chav’ – broken home, jail time, cap, sportswear, bad tattoos, lip piercing, a confidence that far exceeds his station in life – he spends his time sitting silently in the corner of 18+ websites in the guise of a young girl, waiting for someone to approach.

When they do, and be under no illusion, they do; a former Metropolitan Police office who worked in child protection doing more or less what Stinson is doing claimed he had over 2000 approaches from men, he advises them of his ‘age’, usually between 11 and 15. Some move on.

Many don’t.

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Holy Motors: Here We Are Now, Entertain Us

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Arthouse cinema has been defined as “serious, independently made film that is not aimed at a mass audience”. The inference being that it doesn’t pander to the tropes of Hollywood cinema and if the threat of subtitles doesn’t startle the audience into the queue for Transformers 4: Age of Extinction (promises, promises), then the possibility of having their understanding of the world challenged will.

I’m not going to get too preachy about it –  if you reject a cinematic experience on the basis that you have to read text while you’re watching, you deserve to miss out on some truly great films – but it’s a sad indictment of modern life when our choice of entertainment reflects our inhibitions back at us.

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Movie Watch: Her

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“For the first, maybe, 20 seconds of it, it had this real buzz. I’d say ‘Hey, hello,’ and it would say ‘Hey, how are you?’, and it was like whoa […] this is trippy. After 20 seconds, it quickly fell apart and you realized how it actually works, and it wasn’t that impressive. But it was still, for 20 seconds, really exciting. The more people that talked to it, the smarter it got.”

In this quote, Spike Jonze is describing an article he read explaining instant messaging with artificial intelligence. This was ten years ago, but it was this article that planted the seed of an idea that eventually evolved into ‘Her’. ‘Her’ has attracted numerous plaudits, including five Oscar nominations & a 94% approval rating on rottentomatoes.com, but as far as I’m concerned, he might as well be describing the film itself.

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Fearne Cotton: Keep Quiet & Carry On

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If you had asked me in 2000, I doubt I would have gone so far as to call myself a fan of Lostprophets.

Their brand of pop metal, performed by photogenic, heavily modded and moulded boys, leaned a little too close to the accessible mainstream than I was comfortable with at the time, but thefakesoundofprogress was a decent enough album and Shinobi vs. Dragon Ninja still pops up on the odd playlist from time to time.

I don’t think I’m in the majority.

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