Too Much Culture

A Breakdown of the new Harry Potter trailer.

Posted in Uncategorized by tneenan on 06/29/2010

You’ve waited patiently and finally, here it is. The trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but what does the trailer actually reveal about the films? Lets find out.

0:05: The certificate saying the trailer is suitable for audiences. So far this trailer is extremely pedestrian.

0:10: Warner Borthers, but this isn’t a cartoon, oh no.

0:22: “No sign of him my lord” Voldermort’s helper hasn’t seen Harry Potter.

0:33: But there he is, putting pay to the rumours Harry would not appear in the final instalments.

0:45: “Harry Potter: The Boy Who Lived” this was going to be the title for the films but producers felt it lacked a certain spark.

0:57: Cameo from Helena Bonham-Carter…

0:58: … Quentin Crisps…

0:59: … Wallace and Gromit, an all star cast.

1:04: They’ve spelt “final” wrong.

1:07: Ah, a glimpse of the famous Centre Parks on fire scene.

1:09: And the obligatory reference to Stand By Me.

1:19: As stipulated in his contract for Dragon Heart, Sean Connery provides the voice for every single dragon portrayed in cinema. I expect this dragon is about to dispatch a double-o-seven style zinger… “Hope you don’t mind me dropping in” “You’re fired” “That roof is a one, on a scale of one to ten.”

1:26: It took CGI whizzes three months to recreate Charlie Drake for this chase scene.

1:28: The groundskeeper with his famous budgie of fire, fans of the books will notice this straight away.

1:30: In one of the most expensive cinematic crossovers of all time, half way through the film Harry visits Bella and Edward, and all three of them go to Percy Jackson’s birthday party.

1:44: The first cinematic depiction of Gloucester Cheese Rolling.

1:50: Massive snake…

1:52: The film will be split into two parts, separated by an advert break which will last one whole year, and will comprise only of Go Compare adverts.

1:57: Alan Rickman reprising his role of Harry from Love Actually, in this scene he is about to be battered to death by a Joni Mitchell CD.

2:02: Peter Venkman and Raymond Stantz ignore their own advice and cross the streams on a trip to Rochester Castle.

2:09: Just like Quentin Tarantino always has a scene filmed in a car boot, David Yates has made it his trademark to film a giant floating P. In State of Play the P was digitally replaced by Bill Nighy.

2:18: That’s right, a huge surprise, but the new Harry potter film will charge only Thruppence for an adult ticket. I know I’ll be going.

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Dear Observer

Posted in Uncategorized by tneenan on 06/28/2010

Dear Observer,

So those Englands eh? Rubbish. Please find below my fantastic cartoon cutting a certain striker (of midfielder I don’t know) down to size. Let me know if you want me to do more of them, maybe one a week? I’ve also done one of Cameron on a similar vein…

I charge £100 per satirical layer (This one has eight)

Yours,

Tom

Notes From The London Screenwriting Festival

Posted in Uncategorized by tneenan on 06/27/2010

The London Screenwriting Festival is a great place for writers to get inspired, it features some of the best writers from around the world and as such some of the highlights will be serialised on this blog. First its Dominic Minghella writer and creator of the “Int.Bedroom.Night” blog. He shares his thoughts on writing for television drama.

Budgets

“The way television is being financed is constantly changing. When I made Robin Hood we knew that the arrow budget would come from subsidiaries from overseas merchandise, the castle budget came from syndicated investors, which meant the licence fee paid for a quarter of Keith Allen. These are the kind of sums you have to have in your head for every script you write. The other day I typed: “Robin jumps” and knew that would cost twelve thousand pounds, which would come from 1/3 of DVD tariffs, its my favourite part of the job.”

The Role of The Wire

“The Wire has changed the way that we watch television drama, literally. And when I say literally I mean literally. I used to watch television while ironing, but after a major character got killed, or “iced”, I burned myself, so now I watch it on the sofa with a glass of wine, and that’s how I think we will all be watching television pretty soon. And it’s all thanks to The Wire. Plus now I’ve mentioned The Wire here, it makes the box set tax deductable. And while I’m at it… erm… Toyota Yarises are great for writing too.”

Showrunning

“Showrunning is an American idea which we have adapted in the UK. It basically means a series is run by one voice. Its been happening in America for years, and even lead to an experimental season of The Ghost Whisperer showrunned/ showran/ by a monkey. The season had an arc about Jennifer Love-Hewitt finding the perfect banana and some of the characterisation was pretty sketchy, but overall the experiment was a success. Next year a whole season of House will be run by a Komodo Dragon. People are realising its economical to use animals in these seniour roles and save money long term. ”

The Internet

“The internet will play a huge role in future dramas. We have already seen some excellent examples such as the microbudget internet drama Inchemary Road, about the exploits of the residents of a street in South London. The show was a huge success until someone pointed out it was just footage from a CCTV camera. If Robin Hood had been filmed like that we would have saved a fortune.”

Overseas Sales

“A show isn’t worth making until you can sell it to at least fifty different countries, that’s why in Robin Hood I made sure every character came from a different country who could potentially buy it. It made for an almost impenetrable first season by once those sales came in… Cha-ching! (Mimes a cash register)”

Final Thoughts

“I suppose what I’m trying to say is that the thing most important to drama is the story and the characters, that should always be your main focus. Thanks for your time… Can I keep this pen?”

So there you go, some great advice from a great man, although i’m not sure he said all of this…

Too Much Culture Quick Crossword

Posted in Uncategorized by tneenan on 06/25/2010

1)   No lunch yet for bulbous Samaritan. (6,7)

2)   Enormous Rochester glans? (10,1)

3)   Hindenburg stratosphere will not be invited back. (7)

4)   When cornered, blame Alex Zane. (3,4)

5)   Ouch, no that just makes it worse, leave it. (5)

6)   Cat doesn’t have your tongue, but Tennessee Williams might. (7,2)

7)   Frisky Malaprop unaware of the imminent gas. (7,3)

8 )  You put rubbish in a… (3)

9)   There is shit all to do in Piza once you’ve seen the leaning tower. (3,3,2)

10)  The fifth mermaid is one too many. (9,3)

11)  Androgynous waiter makes first date uneasy? (2,6)

12)  Ritual humiliation is a must for Captain Mainwaring’s daughter (4)

13)  Just don’t text back, you don’t need that right now. (7)

Puppets Puppets Puppets

Posted in Uncategorized by tneenan on 06/22/2010

They made us laugh as children, they gave as wonderful memories and their governments are terrible, basically we all love puppets and here is a run down of some of televisions greatest puppets. Prepare to get nostalgic.

Pob: Pob was a mischievous puppet from the 1980’s.  His style and look were based creator Duncan Richard’s son Rob. Rob was cursed with a swollen tongue, enormous ears, an emaciated body and bulbous eyes meaning he survived little after his eighth birthday, but he lives on in Pob, who in this clip covers a bear in shaving foam contained in a colonic funnel.

Parker: The hang dog chauffer was an extremely popular member of the International rescue team, although he is probably best known to modern audiences as the sinister anti-hero of an advertising campaign warning against the use of illegal minicabs.

Bungle, George and Zippy: The Multicoloured product of one of the weirdest flat-mate searches Gumtree has ever seen.

Oscar The Grouch: The bin dwelling misery has been played by the same puppet since 1968, although thanks to Jim Henson’s insistence that the trash-can be real, nine of Oscar’s puppeteers have died from Weil’s Disease. The current puppeteer Karl Rogen is awaiting some results after being jabbed by a mystery needle.

Beaker: The hapless accomplice to Professor Bunsen had twenty five happy years with the Muppets before moving to the UK to work as a character actor under the name Leo Bill.

The Sexy Dolmio Puppet: With his permanently raised eyebrow and alluring swagger, the sexy Dolmio Puppet would be a huge hit with ladies, were his face not constantly covered in sauces his mother insists on cooking, despite the fact he clearly can’t digest them.

Kira, the Gelfling from the Dark Crystal: In 1989 ranked Number 23 in Maxim’s “Top 100 Inanimate Objects I’d Bang.”

Verne Troyer: Yep.

The Puppet From Saw: The horrific tale of an embittered puppeteer who turns to murder after Nickelodeon fail to re-comission his series: “Gothic Keith’s Tricycle Playtime.”

ALF: AKA Gordon Schumway, this wisecracking half-pig-half-monkey-alien was the hit of the eighties. But 2010 sees a brand new movie of the classic series featuring Natasha Henstridge as a sexy ALF and Vin Diesel as the long suffering Willie Tanner. As ALF himself would say: “If you can’t stand the heat, go fuck yourself in an ice-box. Now take me to your leader D-Bags!”

Top Ten Fonts of All Time!

Posted in Uncategorized by tneenan on 06/21/2010

In the Guardian today Patrick Kingsley defends the Comic Sans font against its harshest critics. But all too often fonts go unnoticed, as such please find this celebration of the lesser known fonts…

1) Wingdings

Famously if you type “911” using the Wingdings font it apparently depicts a plane flying into the twin towers. This fact has been fuel for conspiracy theorists for years, but you might also be intrigued to know if you type “December 25th” into Wingdings it depicts Jesus and Santa boxing.

2) Zany Depressed Bold

The wacky font used outside all pound shops usually accompanied by a “mad” looking man with pound signs in his eyes. Designed to appear entertaining with a palpable undercurrent of extreme misery.

3) Screenwrite-Douche

Used by screenwriters who, for some reason want to cling to the idea they type everything on typewriters, I mean who are they kidding? What, they type every script individually on an old typewriter? This isn’t 1950, idiot.

4) Lucida Cramp

Similar to the classic Lucida handwriting font, but Lucida is three hours into a four-hour essay based exam and her hand is really hurting. Also popular is Lucida Drops, a font, which recreates Lucida’s handwriting if she was writing to a lost love and can’t control her tears.

5) Playbill

The font used by cowboys on posters in the late 19th Century.  Put a picture of a co-worker on a piece of paper and type “Wanted” in Playbill underneath it, everyone will think you’re brilliant.

6) Times Old Roman

Times New Roman, but really big.

7) Stencil

Perfect for when you want a sign of label to look like the side of a crate, can be used for suchthings  as… No idea.

8 ) Invictus Bold

Morgan Freeman’s face twisted into the shape of letters, a truly terrifying font, but the question mark looks good.

9) Chinese But-Not

English lettering in the style of Chinese script, this semi-racist font is a favourite of most Chinese Restaurants and subtitles for Chinese films, the font equivalent of doing that thing with your eyes.

10) Thoma

Solid font, carry on Thoma, you’re doing fine.

Dear XYCD

Posted in Uncategorized by tneenan on 06/20/2010

Dear XYCD,

I have attempted to submit material to the Metro (unsuccessful (idiots)) and to the Economist (Ditto (Ditto)) but I feel my cartooning skill is best directed at you. I love your clever cartoons and would love to work with you… Please find below an example of my work, which I struggled with slightly, for obvious reasons, but you get the idea. I look forward to hearing from you soon…

Yours waitingly,

Tom Neenan

The Ultimate Comic-Con Preview!

Posted in Uncategorized by tneenan on 06/14/2010

Comic con is just around the corner, the time of the year when geeks save up their pocket money to drool over some of the coolest things in the world of comics. So what do we hope will be turning up in this years event?

X-Men, First Class,

After the success of Wolverine: Origins fans are desperately hoping to see a clip of the prequel movie, where professor Xavier founds the academy from money he made selling shares in Royal Mail. There may also be talk of the Magneto / Iron Man movie where Iron Man moves in with Magneto, and Magneto spends the first two months doing the “Stop hitting yourself” joke.

Spiderman Reboot

Forget about the Spiderman reboot, real fans are now looking forward to the rebooted reboot, this fresh start for the series is expected to star Jack McBrayer as Spidey himself, before being replaced by Jim Parsons half way through the film. Before the inevitable third act reboot.

Stan Lee,

Stan Lee will be appearing, or “cameoing” at this years event, expect an over the top and quite distracting turn from the comic book maestro, which we hope on’t completely ruin the whole convention.

Deadpool,

That’s right Ryan Reynold’s himself will be appearing at one of the Comic Con stages, answering questions about the upcoming Deadpool spinoff film. He will also be appearing at a separate, larger Q & A stage answering questions about what its like to “do” Scarlett Johansson. Benicio Del Toro is also expected to attend.

The Avengers,

Fans might be treated to a clip from the upcoming Avengers film, the clip is expected to show Iron Man teaming up with the Hulk to help Captain America who is fighting The Silver Surfer aided by ALF.

Thor,

Sheila Hancock will be interviewed about the acting career of her late husband.

The Alien Prequels,

Ridley Scott will be dishing the dirt about his new Alien films, both the Alien prequel and Scott Pilgrim Vs Alien, including a clip of Michael Cera’s skin being burned off by Alien blood. Can’t Wait.

More info on Comic Con coming up soon, including the best places to buy condoms… No, but seriously, more details coming soon.

What To Expect In The Third Batman Film…

Posted in Uncategorized by tneenan on 06/11/2010

Since Christopher Nolan announced he would once again step behind the camera to direct the next Batman film, rumours have been flying around about plot and casting. Will Joseph Gordon-Levitt play The Riddler, will Johnny Depp replace Heath Ledger as the joker? We take a look over some of the information floating around and try to decipher what we can expect from Batman 3.

Title

No official title has been announced, but the trade presses are floating the following options of what the third film could be called: Gotham; The Dark Knight 2 – Darker Knight; Bat 4.0; Battman (Sic); The Pen-Guin is Mightier Than The Sword (Batman); There Will Be Bat; Another Outing For the Black Flying Warrior; Batman Forever Again; Alfred Takes Care of Business; Batman 3 – The Squeakquel;

Plot

Details are still sketchy but it would appear that this film might see Batman fight some kind of villain. It is highly possible that this fight might include some special martial art, or, if some tabloids are to be believed, high-tech weaponry. This means the third film may have some scenes which could be considered violent. They may also be a moral dilemma and some kind of tension and as third act which is of a higher pace than the previous two acts.

Since “Batman Begins” people have been wondering what comic books will be used. Front runner at the moment seems to be Alan Moore’s grim graphic novel “Bruce Wayne Gets Drubbed in an Alley.” A murky story in which a non costumed Bruce Wayne gets beaten up for seventy five pages. According to Moore it is a novel about “The vulnerability of Bruce without his suit, like we are all vulnerable.” Moore has registered his disgust at the idea that the novel would be cinematised: “I don’t see why my work needs to be made into a film, although when my name comes up on the big screen it totally gets me off.”

Could Morgan Freeman’s character get more of a role in the next film? If Christopher Nolan’s brother is to be believed, a subplot involving Freeman and Michael Caine’s Alfred, sees the two attempting to complete their “Bucket List” with such activities as base jumping from Gotham’s tallest building, Scuba Diving in the Gotham River and having sex with Harley Quinn.

Villains

Could the third film be the first Christopher Nolan film to feature Catwoman? It looks possible that Kate Beckinsale is primed to take the role, in a performance based on the Hale Berry’s interpretation, which was based on the Michelle Pfeiffer’s interpretation, which was based on Eartha Kitt’s Interpretation.

It may even be possible that Christopher Nolan opts for a crossover from other fictional universes. This could see Batman fighting Spiderman’s alter-ego Venom, The X-Mens’ nemesis Magneto, or Kevin Bacon’s paedophile character from The Woodsman.

Not to give too much away, but the closing scene of The Dark Knight offers some clues as to who may make a reappearance: GORDON: “What’s this? A package for me? But what can this mean? Its just full of Ivy, and a big block of ice, and what’s this? A Penguin Bar, and on the inside of the wrapper, somebody has written a riddle…  What could it mean?”

Returning Characters

Fans of TDK will be happy to know the third film promises to see much more of the character of “Douchey guy on boat who wants to blow up the other boat.” “I loved that character” says Nolan “I want to see how he reacts to different circumstances, maybe involving two buses, one of which is going to explode, or two cars, one of which is going to explode.”

Locations

This outing may well let viewers into the famous Arkham Asylum, although with Nolan’s dedication to realism we may well see Arkham as a rather well managed care home for the criminally insane. Plots may revolve around securing more government funding or the tribulations that come with the renovation of a ward. Expect tonnes of paper work, lots of calls to private financers and shed loads of stressed looking nurses working long shifts.

The rebuilding of Wayne Manor will also be key to the story, in a typical Nolan move the story of Wayne Manors renoation could be told backwards, or David Bowie could come along and make loads of Wayne Manors, or something..

If any of these rumours turn out to be true, there is one thing you can guarantee, Christopher Nolan has a lot to live up to. Let’s leave the final words to him: “I think the perfect model for a series of films is Star Wars. We start light, get darker, so in the third film I want to have fuzzy little critters running around and a scene where some characters get stuck in a net.”

Top Tips for this year’s Fringe

Posted in Uncategorized by tneenan on 06/10/2010

How exciting, the Edinburgh Fringe brochure arrives today filled with all the goodies the festival has to offer. Here’s a brief guide to some of the things that you may wish to book, to ensure you beat the queues and make the most of your fringe experience:

Scroop

 Energetic dance troupe with a one syllable nonsense name. This stunning show features death defying stunts, amazing acrobatics, a truly unique experience, until next fringe.  (6-30th August 12am.-1 am. The Swollen Belly)

Paradise Crossed

A retelling of Milton’s Paradise Lost from the point of view of a young black youth, kicked out of the “Heaven” nightclub, who calls together his gang to get revenge on the club owner. Greg Oliver Gold. This gritty urban tale comes from Warwick University and boasts an all white cast. (4 pm. – 5 pm. C-Dandelion)

Punctiation! The Musical.

This comedy musical presents the world of commas, full stops and ellipses against the backdrop of the Foolscap war. An all star cast heads up this thing, you get the idea…

Michael Burns, My Eeeeexcellent Career,

An extremely entertaining evening of anecdotes and jokes, from the man who played Colin in The Brittas Empire. (9 pm.- 10. Pm. Assembly)

Wankers – Away!: Nob Polisher,

The anarchic sketch group return for their thirtieth year with their unique brand of crude sketches and naughty songs. This show also features some of their classic sketches from the last thirty years including: Colonel Spaff , Horny Photobooth and Rude Auctioneer. (7.30 pm. – 8.30 pm. Pleasance Crotch)

Nil By Mouth Dining Experience,

A truly unique eating experience offers diners the opportunity to eat dinner while a recreation of Nil By Mouth is played out around them. Dodge broken plates and feel truly shell shocked by this grim and horrific show. (N.B Bring waterproofs) (2.00 pm.- 3.00 pm./ 5.00pm. – 6.00 pm. 7 Princes Street)

Columbine,

A play about some students of Columbine University who had a pleasant and untroubled time while studying there, brought to you by the SunnySideUp Theatre Company. (1.00pm. – 2.00 pm. Zoo Westside)

Blind Disco,

That’s right, the triumphant return of everyone’s favourite Trip ‘n’ Slip dance event, despite last year’s tragedy. Don your blindfold, crank up the sounds and have fun at the top of Arthur’s Seat.

Puppetry of the Penis,