My First Year Blog Anniversary

Party Popper

Blog Tidings.^^/

It seems rather strange that I have been blogging for one full year now and this was met by many adventures that I did during that period. =) I’m not sure how it started really. I believe I was just rambling on with my family when it came up in passing that I should blog about my experiences with Autism. I learned over the years that writing things down can release my unwanted tension and it’s another form of me expressing myself. =)

After careful consideration, I registered on WordPress and my blogging journey started…

I could talk about my year as a whole, but instead, I’ll just summarise and link to the blogs that I think are significant.^^/

  1. Introduction

This is my introduction which I wrote one year ago. =)

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/introduction/)

  1. WWE Raw 2013

I went to WWE Raw with my circle friends. I used to be a big fan of WWE but this was the first time that I attended an actual wrestling show. It was daunting but it wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. Plus, my favourite wrestlers were in attendance.

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/wwe-raw-experience/)

  1. Segway

This was good experience and an instant highlight of the year. I arranged a birthday treat for my brother. This was the first time that I had actually arranged anything. I was also venturing into the unknown here. It was a little distance away but we both had a really good time and I would do Segway again without hesitation.

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/segway/)

  1. Pub-Quizzing

On some occasions I would go to the Pub Quiz either as a night out or to celebrate a special occasion. I would often have to have a long think about whether I want to go out or not. Last month though, I went to the pub quiz for Cheese’s (the friend, not the dairy product) birthday celebration. Instead of needing to think I just decided to deal with my emotions when the time arrived.

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/pub-quizzing/)

  1. WWE Royal Rumble

In early 2014 I stayed at my brother’s until the early hours watching WWE Royal Rumble. For some televised wrestling events I would often stay over. Usually after the event I spend the rest of my night sitting in a chair reading as I don’t feel comfortable sleeping in someone else’s house.

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/wwe-royal-rumble-2014/)

  1. Completing a Writing Course

This was certainly a joyous occasion and I celebrated it with a pint of J2O. 😉 I learned a lot about writing and how to approach a publisher. Nothing has been happening for me and my books just yet but I believe I’m steering myself in the right direction. =)

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/passing-an-online-course/)

  1. Positivity and Autism

Naturally, coping with Autism can be tough. I tend to over-think and read into situations that are not there.

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/negativity-to-positivity/)

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/negativity-to-positivity-over-thinking/)

  1. Visiting College

Visiting my college again was quite a challenge. I was invited back to college a few times to watch performances and to catch up with people but I declined those offers. I was out of routine and had become unfamiliar with everything.

However, this year, I decided to pluck up my own courage and visited. I thought long and hard about this invitation but in the last minute I decided to say “yes.”

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/visiting-college/)

  1. The Wedding Blogs

I didn’t have much to blog about in July except for one…my sister’s wedding. That was a very significant moment and I achieved a lot personally on that day.

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/the-wedding-part-one/)

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/the-wedding-part-two/)

  1. Yoga

My outlook on myself and confidence is highly due to my regular practice in Yoga.

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/my-yoga-journey/)

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/my-yoga-journey-continues/)

  1. Film with a Friend

I went to watch the Transformers film with a friend… this was definitely a significant moment as this was the first time that I’ve been out with someone without a family member being present. The following day I went to the cinema with my Dad, and I took the initiative as he is less familiar with the procedure then I am.

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/transformers-age-of-extinction-film-review/)

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/inbetweeners-2-film-review/)

  1. Impromptu Outing

Going to an impromptu trip to a train station was an interesting challenge.

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/journey-to-tumbleweed-station/)

  1. November Happenings

November was very busy month and was perhaps the most challenging.

I designed a Halloween costume dressed as the Shockmaster for my Brother’s Halloween party. The day after that I went to London to watch Distant Worlds: music from Final Fantasy orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. As I travelled to London it was necessary for me to stay in a hotel, the first time that I ever slept in a bed that wasn’t my own… If that wasn’t challenging enough, I then travelled to Liverpool to watch WWE Raw.

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/halloween-as-the-shockmaster/)

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/london-trip-part-one-the-preparation/)

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/london-trip-part-two-the-london-experience/)

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/london-trip-part-three-the-final-fantasy-concert/)

(https://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/wwe-raw-and-liverpool-experience/)

BLOGGING

I believe I still have a lot to learn where blogging is concerned. What I have learnt though is that at times I probably forced myself to blog about stuff if I felt that I should blog about it. I like to think that in one year I developed my own style of writing and blogging. I consider myself always upbeat and looking on the happy side of life.

What I learnt is that I need to enjoy what I’m writing and I would often remind myself that all these blogs are from my own point of view. I tend to get the best out of myself if I enjoy writing, especially when reviewing film and manga. It can be hard at times since I find it difficult to summarise but thankfully I have my editor (aka Mum) to help me out. 😉

I find as well that if you don’t force yourself to blog you will have more things to talk about.

I feel a lot better when I’m blogging as it’s a good way to express myself. However, it came to light at times that viewers from all over the world are actually reading what I have to say. I’m also aware that some of my blogs have put smiles on the faces of my friends.

Making people happy is what motivates me to continue writing and blogging. Being happy is important, and if I’m making someone happy then I intend to keep up with that flow! =)

THANKS FOR READING

Two Thumbs-Up

I summarised my whole year to the best of my abilities. How did I do? Did I waffle too much? Haha. Well, I had to figure out how I was going to write this blog. In all honesty, it wasn’t a tough as I anticipated. All I had to do was sum up what I did and share my adventures from last November to now. =)

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. I can’t wait to see what my future adventures will involve next.

See you next time.^^/

Namaste,^^/

Ryan.

Inbetweeners 2 Film Review

 

Inbetweners 2 Movie

 

  1. BEFORE FILM

 

The day after I went and watched Transformers: Age of Extinction I went to watch the Inbetweeners 2 movie… it was quite random really. My Dad fancied it and I thought ‘why not?’ I wanted to see it at an earlier time since I wanted the rest of the evening to myself. However, I thought rationally at that point. There were plenty of opportunities to do what I want after the film and throughout the next day. =)

 

Dad is not really a film goer so he wasn’t familiar with how the whole cinema works. Therefore, I took the lead and initiative when it came to getting snacks, buying tickets and what have you. It was an odd role to take the initiative but I did ok. I had the time to small talk with a cute freckled girl. I got myself a Tango Ice Blast with a mixture of raspberry and cherry…delicious. It was very sticky though! We both sat right at the back, upon my recommendation, since we would have the best view in the house.

 

Two certain young ladies were very vocal and disruptive as the film started. They were going to sit on the far back row, but, they randomly moved to the centre. I saw a quartet group that were going to sit in the centre but they couldn’t since the two young ladies nabbed their seats. They went down a row without much fuss. They started to become more vocal since they were getting more attention. They laughed and started to shout at that point. Everyone turned to look at them. Someone ‘ssh’ them and one of them said ‘shut up’.

 

It was rather frustrating, I must admit. How can we enjoy the film if they kept on talking? I started to think though that if everyone else was getting annoyed with them then I wasn’t the only one. I wanted to tell them to be quiet, but I noticed, that the more attention they received, the more hyper they became. In other words, they were fishing for attention. So, I just ignored them in the end. Why feed a young person negative attention? I just thought- I was here to watch a movie, not to engage in negative attention with young people… I think I did the right thing since eventually they went quiet. =)

 

 

  1. FILM OVERVIEW

Warning: I May Give Spoilers Away

 

2.1.       Overview

Admittedly I’m not a huge follower of Inbetweeners since it’s not really my thing and I am not crude in any stretch of the imagination. But you can understand why the franchise has such a huge following. Some of the stunts and slapstick nature should not really happen, yet, the way it’s done, you could actually envisage it happening in real life!  

 

 

2.2.       All About Jay

I gathered that we got a little bit of a time-skip since the previous film. Will and Simon are at Uni, Jay went to Australia and Neil didn’t do anything. Watching Jay’s ‘imaginative’ life in Australia was cool to watch. When he mentioned Neil’s sister I was actually expecting to see Kacey Barnfield, who played Neil’s sister. I think she’s really cool and cute and was disappointed that she wasn’t part of it.

 

Jay was really cool in this film. It was really cool that he would go all the way out to Australia in order to try and win Jane back. I had my suspicions that he still had a connection with Jane since he kept on dissing her whilst he was giving his personal account on Australia. XD Turns out that he did go out to Australia in order to seek Jane. All a sad situation- I was really happy that Jane came to Jay’s and his friend’s aid.

 

I suppose Jay was the underlining important character in this film. If he wasn’t in Australia to begin with then the others wouldn’t have gone to Australia, and he wouldn’t have found Jane. I was gutted though when she turned him down after his proposal… Jay is a keeper and he will treat his girlfriends right. He might be crude when it comes to innuendoes but he’s actually pretty cool when he’s in a committed relationship.

 

It all ended well. At the end it became a boy’s holiday again. They all went out together, doing daft stuff and just enjoying themselves. No girls allowed so to speak. 😉

 

 

2.3.       All About Simon

At this moment in time I prefer the first film rather than this one. The first film felt like a proper holiday whereas this was like a tour of a country. XD

 

In this film Simon’s girlfriend is psycho/paranoid … I’m quite gutted about this. In the previous film I saw no signs of her being one of those paranoid girlfriends. For her to suddenly be psycho seemed a bit random. Then again perhaps she’s only like this when she’s in relationships. I’m still gutted never the less because she seemed a lot nicer than Carli. Carli would use Simon to get her own back on this fella that she likes whereas Simon’s girlfriend wouldn’t… Maybe it’ll turn out that Carli and Simon were destined for each other and they’ll get back together? I sincerely hope that this wouldn’t be the case. XD

 

Neil, Will and Jay are all definitely good friends. They may like the ladies but they care enough about Simon to advise him to leave her for good. Personality before looks! I suppose that it’s a blessing for Simon that they broke up in the end as he was happy… all because she ended up sleeping with his ‘best friend.’ Still, all’s well that ends well… I think? XD

 

 

2.4.       All About Neil

Since it’s the Inbetweeners I was expecting crude toilet humour… we got that alright, numerous times!

 

Inbetweeners really does rely on its crudeness. From the get go you have some dog licking Neil’s private area when he was playing snooker… it was seriously disgusting to watch. XD Hilarious that he dressed as Hermoine from Harry Potter. When we saw these cloaked people at the beginning you knew that something cringing was going to happen. Neil is the epitome of crudeness; especially with his IBS… it’s vile but utterly hilarious.

 

Oh… that moment when Neil urinated on Simon’s face… that was simply surreal and disgusting. I kept on hiding my face behind my hands many times. It was just cringing to watch whether it’s Will trying to act cool or Neil’s IBS playing up… What was just as sickening was when he pooed and the poo was following Will’s trail as he slid down that water slide…

 

I was worried when Neil was going in the water with the dolphins… my worries were right on the money. He fed the dolphin snacks, burgers and sandwiches which were of course inappropriate. Then, the dolphin died. It was really sad but it was utterly hilarious at the same time… I’m even laughing now as I’m typing this.

 

 

2.5.       All About Will

You have the classic Will trying to fit in and be popular but he ends up looking like a fool. How does he get involved with people that are uncool? If I was in that position then I would just stay away from those kinds of people. He reminds me lot of an old acquaintance many years ago. That person tried to fit in by saying things and doing things that other people would deem ‘cool’ in order to fit in. It’s always better to be yourself… even if you are crazy. 😉

 

Will makes me cringe when he tries to impress, still hilarious to watch mind. Whilst he tries to impress he’s sort of a bit pompous at the same time. So, whilst he is clever he says extra things unnecessarily to impress and to make himself feel better.

 

Then this girl who kept kissing him on the lips… Will chose her and her posse over his real friends. All because he fancied her and that he was misunderstanding and misinterpretation her kiss. Well, peck on the lips. I must admit, I would probably think deeply if a girl kissed me on the lips… then again it all depends who the girl is and what she’s like as a person.

 

Then came that moment when… he played the guitar. My word, talk about hormones being out of control. XD She was wasted it looked as though they were going to get it on. Will obviously wanted to do it but he was a little conscious of the environment, obviously preferring a more ‘private’ atmosphere. It didn’t help that there was this lad, on the next bed, pleasuring himself as he watched on… I don’t think I’ve shaken my head so many times at one film. XD

 

 

2.6.       Mr. Gilbert

It was a mystery as to who the mystery man was in Will’s Mum’s life… turns out that it was the teacher! It’s great to see him again, he is such a good character and it was completely unexpected. I didn’t think we would see him again. Then again, I didn’t think there was going to be any more Inbetweeners… I’m not sure if I like him with Will’s Mum though. It’s funny but it doesn’t feel right, somehow.

 

 

2.7.       Personal Highlight

It was when Neil saw a mirage and started to run towards it and the rest of the gang just stood there and watched on, not moving. The duration of it and them not moving I would say was what made it funnier. He showed a lot of energy to run in that fashion. Haha.

 

 

  1. CONCLUSION

I thought it was a fairly decent film. All of the characters had a dilemma of their own and they were interesting to watch. Jay had a good part in this film. He made a mistake and tried to make amends by moving to Australia… whilst living in a tent. I’m disappointed that Simon’s girlfriend turned out to be a psycho and that Jane and Simon are not together.

 

Inbetweeners relies heavily on its toilet humour and slapstick and in that regard, it delivered. It’s basically from a young man’s point of view so I suppose that’s why it’s sort of realistic but not. Perhaps this is the sort of thing that young guys would do and think whilst going through puberty and when handling situations. Especially if you’re not deemed ‘cool’ by those who are deemed ‘cool’. My Dad even said that this kind of toilet humour existed when he was at school. If it happened back then, then it will probably happen now, I.E., in Inbetweeners. You see a lot of people like Will and Neil in real life but no one has thought about it until the writers of Inbetweeners came along.

 

I thought the first Inbetweeners film would be the last, apparently not. Now, I can see a third film instalment in the works. It’s not my kind of thing but it was still worth watching at the cinema.

 

I give this film, one-thumbs up! (My Rating System)

Thumbs-Up

 

 

THANKS FOR READING

 

This was yet another valuable experience for me. Yesterday I went to watch Transformers: Age of Extinction with a friend, first time ever. And today I went on an impromptu visit to Inbetweeners 2 with Dad, who is not familiar with the cinema surroundings. I can argue and say that going to the cinema was a lot to ask of me as I felt tired and dizzy and very uncomfortable. But, once again I’m finding that I can endure a lot uncomfortable feelings inside me. So, I tried my best to get my mind off my Autistic quirks. =)

 

 

Thanks for reading.^^/

Ryan

Transformers: Age of Extinction Film Review

 Transformers Age of Extinction

Happy Bank Holiday everyone.^^/

This is my review on Transformers: Age of Extinction as well as everything else that led up to it. =)

  1. BEFORE FILM

I’m not a cinema goer in the conventional sense. I was asked by my friend (who also happens to be my hairdresser!)  if I  wanted to go and watch Captain America: Winter Soldier  at the cinema. At that time I had already seen it. The Transformers film was nearing its last showing, so to my surprise I suggested that we could go and watch it.  He accepted.

It was quite out of character on my part. If I go to the Cinema it would be jam-packed with other cinema watchers. Whenever I go to watch films I tend to go in the last week of their showing, like I have done with the newest Transformers film.

It did actually dawn on me before going out that I was going out with someone, outside my home, without the presence of a relative. I had or have social circles from my college and uni days but I was hanging out with someone who had no connection to college or uni and wasn’t family. I did get nervous because it was a new experience. It was like going into the unknown.

I tried to calm myself down and cool my mind by drawing, watching the Sabagebu anime and reading Thomas the Tank Engine books… I then discovered that I actually lost track of time. I started to dart around to find my newly ironed top, only to crash my knee into my desk… it’s no exaggeration when I say that it really, really hurt. XD I couldn’t walk properly, so I was thankful I was going to spend the rest of the night sitting down.

The traffic was quite bad by the time I reached the cinema so I was a little late. By this time I didn’t worry so much. I might be a little late but the film doesn’t actually start until all the adverts are shown on the screens. I got accustomed to this so I never worry as much about being late to see a film. I do want to get there on time though to buy tickets and what not.

When me and my friend got inside I got myself a ticket and that lovely combination of a large… what was it called? It was a mixture of mango and strawberry. That’s it! It was a Tango. =D …I think?

The ticket buying process was something new for me, as most times when I go to the cinema with family, one person will pay for all the tickets then everyone will reimburse that person afterwards (saves everybody queuing!).  My friend bought his ticket and I then asked him if I needed to buy a ticket, to which he replied ‘yes’.

I hope he didn’t think I was expecting him to pay for me – he obviously didn’t know my usual ‘buying tickets’ routine! =D

  1. FILM OVERVIEW

I found this film to be most engaging. The graphics were exquisite and the sound was clear. In fact, I could feel the vibrations on my seat whilst watching the film. The action was very good to. I enjoyed the fights the most that involved Optimus Prime. Bumblebee against Stinger was also a good rivalry. I sensed a battle of pride between the two. It was personal to Bumblebee and fortunately he got on top.

It was interesting how the whole Autobots/creatures like Lockdown existed since the Dinosaur and that Lockdown and crew were the cause of their extinction. Like the prequel, Dark of the Moon, the producers meddled with the timeline and added their own interpretation on to it. XD

The codeable is a really cool gadget. You can mould that in any way you want. Just imagine if something like that really existed. I could then build my own train fort in my garden. Hoho! Enough of my own fantasies, I’d better crack on with this review!

I must be honest when I say that whilst I really did enjoy the film I did get lost at times. There were moments where I didn’t think that the story and plot was necessarily clear.

I got the gist that after the introduction of the Dinosaur age that the story time-skipped a couple of years from the previous film.

It then introduced Cade Yeager… this is where I got confused. I actually thought Cade was an adult version of Sam Witwicky and that Sam was finally tied down with Rosie and that they have a daughter. I thought Rosie got tired of Sam so she bailed on him and his daughter lived with him. Then when Optimus Prime made an appearance and they interacted… that’s when I figured out that that person was not Sam. It took me a while, I know. XD

It begs the question- what happened to Sam and the lovely Rosie? I would have liked it if their absence was explained or at least know where they are now. I do think it’s understandable why the government would attack the Autobots as well as Megatron and his evil posse.

Stinger was based on Bumblebee… I actually think, or like to think, that Stinger was a lady car. It was like a glossy red with a bit of dark pink- ish. The head of Stinger looked feminine too. Of course they battled it out since it would be a battle of pride from Bumblebee’s point of view. I personally think it would have been better if Stinger was female and had a personality of her own. Then we could have seen a forbidden romance between her and Bumblebee. Bumblebee would want to kick her bum at first or Stinger wanted to beat him down but fell in love with him and switched sides. I wanted that to happen but alas it ended with her/him/it dying…

Optimus Prime is really cool and is my favourite character from the Transformers series. He has a very striking glow and a colourful presentation with a hypnotic voice from Peter Cullen. He is clearly the strongest out of all the Autobots but he does get beaten pretty easily in some of the films. In some ways I suppose this is good as it shows that all good fighters can have handicaps, even if they are someone like Optimus. I wonder if he was out of character at times, especially when he said “I’ll kill you!” I’m not the most qualified person to judge Optimus though since I just follow the films rather than the whole Transformers franchise. =)

My personal highlight of the film was the introduction of the Dinobots. I didn’t see it coming and it was great to see them form and fight initially with Optimus. It was even better when they became allies. =)

I want to make a big shout out to Brains. It’s great to see him back. =D That Megatron though… he never dies, does he? I actually think the producers enjoy keeping him alive. Haha.

I do have one constructive criticism, whilst turning a blind eye to the others… the length. I struggle watching films. If I were to watch them I would prefer watching them on Film four or Sky movies or on DVDs. I would have little breaks to walk around to stretch my legs and arms. I looked at the running time before I left and was a bit taken aback when I saw that the running time was 165 minutes… nearly three hours! It was a good film but I do think it was a bit much and it could have easily been condensed down to two. Still, I coped and survived with the duration of the film though. I just see it that it was another useful experience to my ever growing adventures.

  1. CONCLUSION

I thoroughly enjoy this. I enjoyed the graphics, the design of the Autobots and the introduction of the Dinobots. There were a couple of times where I did get lost during the film and it did give me a headache. I got confused about the characters and I didn’t always follow what was happening.

I give this film, One-Thumb’s up!

Thumbs-Up

(My Rating System)

THANKS FOR READING

This was a valuable experience for me. Going to the cinema with not only a friend, but without the accompany of a relative. My Autistic quirks came into play when I realised I was going to experience a somewhat new situation, but it was an experience that was worth fulfilling. It goes to show that I can handle my autism side, even if I have to endure my worries. XD

Thanks for reading.^^/

Ryan

My Rating System

Good Day.^^/

I intend to use this rating system for manga reviews, game reviews, film reviews and anime reviews. I’m going to give you an example of how I would rate manga so I can explain my thoughts better. =)

Two Thumbs-Down:

Two Thumbs-Down

I would give two thumbs down if I find a certain manga unreadable, or, I dislike it in many ways. I hardly doubt I would ever give a manga this rating though. If I disliked a manga to that degree then I would probably stop reading it altogether.

One Thumb’s-Down:

Thumbs-Down

In a certain manga I may find many vices or things that irk me but I can find positive points, especially if it’s humorous.^^/

So-So:

Thumbs So-So

I’m rather neutral about this manga, I don’t love it but I don’t hate it. I would likely read this to pass the time or if I had nothing else to read.

One Thumb’s-Up:

Thumbs-Up

I find this is a good read. What I look for in a manga is the humour. If this manga makes me laugh or chuckle on more than one occasion then I will give this One Thumb’s-Up.

One Thumb’s-Up and a Pinky:

Thumbs-UpPinky

If I like this more then One Thumb’s-Up but less then Two Thumb’s-Up, this would be the happy medium. =)

Two Thumbs-Up:

Two Thumbs-Up

I connect with this manga very strongly. It makes me laugh a lot even after I re-read this a good number of times. I experience many emotions when I read this book and I can re-read this countless of times and never tire of it.^^/

THANKS FOR READING

I like to think that my rating system is pretty simple to understand. If you have any questions, just give a shout. =D

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Film Review

Image

Easter Tidings.^^/

 

The other day I watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier at the cinema. In my humble opinion, it was beyond amazing. =D

 

I really enjoyed the first film: Captain America: First Avenger but it wasn’t as exciting as the other Marvel films as I felt there wasn’t much intensity or suspense, especially in the fights.

 

NICK FURY

In this film though there was a lot of intensity, suspense and plenty of nail-biting fights. At times I was on the edge of my seat hoping that Captain America and his companions wouldn’t get hurt. There was one scene where Nick Fury Jr. (Mr Samuel L. Jackson himself) was toppled over in his car thanks to Hydra, aka, the Winter Soldier. I knew he would have a plan to try and escape but carrying through that plan was a different issue. Thankfully, he was able to escape.

 

I sort of had the inkling that Nick’s death appeared to be staged, and even if it wasn’t, the good people would find a way to bring him back to life somehow. Still, glad he eventually got back on his feet. I felt that we learnt a lot about Nick Fury. We got a bit of an insight as to why he doesn’t trust people and why he has a black eye patch. Personally, whether he needs it or not he still looks mighty cool with it. 😉 He revealed his eye in the film…my word. I’m more intrigued to know what happened to that eye.

 

FALCON

One certain character made his debut, Falcon. I really, really like him. I think he has a cool personality and I love the wings technology/parachute thing. I’m slightly gutted because I had a similar idea in mind for one of my stories, still, never mind. XD! Anyway I had an inkling that he was going to be the ally of Steve Rogers but I didn’t know that they were going to fight side by side. I assumed that it would be like Bruce Wayne and John Blake. They’re allies who will help each other out but not necessarily fight side by side as super-human equals… I was quite wrong. XD Now, I really hope that we see Falcon in the Avengers: Age of Ultron.^^/

 

VILLAINS

When I first saw Alexander Pierce, played by Robert Redford, I knew instantly that he was going to be the villain. A good ally on the surface who is secretly plotting something underneath the floorboards. XD It was a bit like the first Iron Man film when Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) appeared to be a goody but really he was a baddy. Apart from anything else I couldn’t really see Robert Redford having a small role; he is quite a big movie star.

 

 

It turns out that Zola, who played a sort of sidekick in the first Captain America film, played quite a significant role in the end.  I understand he was recruited to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. and this gave him the opportunity to bring in his allies, associated with the Red Skull, so they could do his bidding. It looks like the he transferred his consciousness into some ancient computer so whilst he actually died, his consciousness was still alive.

 

I must admit, I was slightly freaked out by Zola and his computers. It was like he was ahead of his own time, even back in the days when technology was in its infancy.

 

I was quite blown away when it was revealed that Bucky was alive. When I first heard the title “Winter Soldier” I thought it alluded to Captain America since he was frozen for so many years. I was wrong. When Bucky was revealed as Hydra, when his mask came off, I shouted “damn!” …I slightly attracted attention, albeit, unintentionally. XD!  I would describe Hydra as an Anti-Villain, he isn’t a true villain by heart but he’s working with them for the sake of working with them.

 

I wonder if we’ll see any more of the Red Skull army? That dude that got burned, [I think his name was Brock?] I wonder if he is actually the alias Crossbones? I wouldn’t be surprised if this were the case.

 

ROMANCE

The romance was quite interesting in this one. It seemed to tease a potential relationship between Steve Rogers and Black Widow. Personally, if I was the Captain, I’d go after that blonde lady who lived in his apartment block. Agent Carter I think was her name? Apparently in the comics she was the niece of Captain America’s first love interest but was eventually ret conned.  Anyway, I’d still go after the blonde girl regardless. She seems more affectionate then Black Widow. XD

 

FIGHTS

I really liked the plot overall, I liked how there was a conspiracy within SHIELD and the enemies plans kept on failing. It’s like how Scotland Yard and the FBI solve murder cases, haha. My favourite parts of the film though have to be the fights. To me good fights aren’t about throwing punches, there’s a bunch of factors that can lead to your victory. For example, the styles and fighting techniques of the soldier and how they use the terrain and knowledge of each other’s skills to their advantage.

 

I loved the way Captain America kept throwing his shield and how fast he ran, it’s really entertaining to watch. I enjoyed how Falcon kept on flying about the place, with his technical type of wings.

 

FILMED IN MANCHESTER INSTEAD OF NEW YORK?

I’ve been told by a friend that parts of Captain America were filmed in Manchester. Apparently, it costs $10,000,000 to close a whole street in New York, however, it only costs £100,000 to close down one whole street in Manchester. So, they filmed shots in Manchester which they pretended were in New York. It was apparently based in the 1930’s / 40’s. My friend said that he watched the filming from his friend’s flat. I was quite gutted when I heard this. Had I known this was being filmed in Manchester,  I would have wanted a walk on part! XD

 

I didn’t really spot any location in the film that resembled Manchester. Perhaps it was that one flashback scene with Steve Rogers and Bucky? Apparently, parts of the new Avengers film was filmed at the same time as the second Captain America film. So, maybe there will be flashbacks of the 1940s (where Manchester was pretending to be NewYork XD) in the Avengers: Age of Ultron.

 

CONCLUSION

This film was beyond amazing. Captain America was awesome and a new set of characters have been introduced. Apparently Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, who are set to appear in the new Avengers film, made small cameos in this film.  I didn’t really see them, although I probably wouldn’t know who they were anyway!  XD! Falcon was especially good, Bucky being alive was awesome and I suspect that Zola is the true mastermind behind all of this Red Skull business.

 

Stan Lee making that cameo had me laughing for a good while. In a way he’s like the modern Alfred Hitchcock where Alfred used to appear in his own films, albeit, a lot more surreptitiously. Now, I’m expecting to see Stan Lee in every single Marvel film from now on. XD I recall him making a small cameo in one of the recent Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episodes. It wouldn’t be a Marvel film if there was no Stan Lee to make a small cameo. Haha.

 

Is this the best Marvel film to date? Who can say? In the given moment I thought “yes”. In retrospect, I still prefer Iron Man. But, take nothing away from this film; it’s mind-blowing and very engaging. I would watch this numerous times.. =)

 

So, I won’t hesitate to give this two thumbs up.

 

CHALLENGING MYSELF

 That very evening, going to watch Captain America at the cinema, put me to the test.

 

On that Friday evening I planned to do this complicated painting after self-studying and to chill out watching some Blood Lad. However, I receive a call that same moment asking if I, along with Mum, would like to go and watch Captain America. It was on screen at 9 and I was asked at half 8… Some of you may guess or not but I don’t handle sudden surprises too well. I get cross in fact. XD We did speak about watching Captain America but no date was set in stone. I mulled over for a matter of minutes…

 

I eventually decided to go and watch Captain America since theoretically I have all day to paint, write and watch Anime. Whereas I don’t really get the opportunity to go to the cinema with friends and family. So, with this in mind, I decided to leap upon that opportunity.  I literally had to get dressed and what have you inside ten minutes.

 

I’m usually anxious whenever I go out, especially to the cinema. But when I got ready, got out and went straight to my seat I didn’t really feel anxious at all. Rather, I was more thinking about the film itself, which is quite unusual. Perhaps it’s because I wasn’t given the time to feel anxious, as strange as that sounds. Haha. I think this is a good step to take, and really, as anxious as I get I can handle these types of last minute situations.

 

I saw the trailer of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the X-Men; both of Marvel, both was shown before the film started. I fancy X-Men but for some strange reason I don’t really fancy Guardians of the Galaxy. I can’t quite put my finger on it but I get the feeling that I won’t enjoy it. I think it’s because it may look too sci-fi, I.E., Planet Earth won’t feature, at all.^^/

 

Image

I’m now going to watch Only Fools and Horses on UK GOLD followed by Brand New Simpsons. =D

 

Happy Easter everyone^^/

Ryan

My First Film Review – King of the Railway

Image

Peep, Peep Tidings! ^^/

 

I’ve been writing these blogs for the past two months and I must say that I’m rather enjoying it. In that time though, I noticed, I’ve neglected to mention about a certain fictional character who I treasure dearly- Thomas the Tank Engine.

 

Some of you may be aware that some Autistic people hold a special bond with certain things, and a lot of Autistic people I know treasure Thomas. I’m no different in this regard

 

When I was much younger I didn’t like anything and I didn’t like anyone, I just wanted seclusion and to be alone. I was severely Autistic back then. Then one day Thomas came into my life. My earliest memory I think was playing with a Thomas the Tank Engine play mat. Whenever I sought solitude, I  played with my Thomas trains and watched the Thomas videos. Thomas was all I could think about. Then gradually, although it took a lot of time; I started to interact with my family and other people through the medium of Thomas the Tank Engine and trains.

 

One day I will explain in thorough detail about my relationship with Thomas. The only reason I’m not is because, knowing me, I’ll go on a long tangent and not stick with the original purpose of this blog. XD!

 

*

 

I must be honest when I say that I had very low expectations for this film. I didn’t raise my expectations even after learning that the writer is Andrew Brenner. Andrew Brenner wrote some of the classic stories for the Thomas the Tank Engine comics. Some of them were adapted for TV. They were very good, especially Henry’s Forest from season 3.

 

Image (This snapshot is from Season Three; Episode Nine; Henry’s Forest)

 

For those who are not aware Thomas the Tank Engine was adapted from The Railway Series books, written by Rev W. Awdry. It had a good number of characters in the books but it was decided that Thomas would be the headliner, thus he became the main character of the TV series.

 

The train characters were showed in the form of live railway models, with the eyes on the face moving via digital control. I grew up loving this type of animation as I loved Thomas as a toy model.

 

A few years ago Thomas changed from a model into CGI animation. Admittedly I was very sceptical and shocked when I first learnt this. I thought this was going to ruin Thomas and my childhood. But I’m honest when I say that converting Thomas from model into CGI animation was actually a positive move. It has many advantages.

 

To name a few; the sceneries look more realistic, there are more opportunities to experiment with camera angles, you can see facial expressions on the characters and perhaps the best advantage of all, animating the people and animals. Before human and animals were lifeless models that couldn’t move unless you used camera tricks. Apart from anything else the modern times are very different compared to the 1980s and CGI animation is a big hit nowadays. I whole heartedly approve of this but of course I will always prefer model Thomas any day because I grew up in the model era. =)

 
ImageImage

 

(These snapshots are from Season One, Episode One, Thomas and Gordon.)

 

 

 

 

 

Image

Image

 

 

(These snapshots are from Season Fourteen; Episode One; Thomas’ Tall Friend)

 

 

 

 

The writing and stories that weren’t written by Rev. Awdry or his son Christopher Awdry does concern me. As a writer I can sympathise with the daunting task of writing a story, especially when they would try to capture the charm of Thomas like Rev. Awdry was able to. I don’t think anyone could write a Thomas story as good as the original author, apart from Christopher of course. Naturally it is difficult to write Thomas as good as the original Author so HiT Entertainment rely on their own strengths and style of writing as they conjure up their own style of stories and plotlines.

 

The consistency of past plots and Railway Series logic doesn’t appear to be necessary these days. In the original Railway books the Fat Controller said to Gordon (that timeline was around the 60’s) that steam engines were very rare. In real life steam locomotives were dying out in favour of diesel locomotives. Since HiT entertainment owned Thomas at least 10-15 steam locomotives have been introduced as new characters to the show. This tells me that consistency and logic does not need to apply when writing the new style of Thomas stories.

 

I feel that I need to say, before I go further, that the last season I have seen is series 14. So whatever happens after series 14 may or may not contradict my thoughts. =)

 

Ahem-

 

I notice a big difference in characters lie with Edward and Toby. In the new Thomas era Edward is not as wise and Toby lacks a lot of self-confidence. When I see these new traits in Edward and Toby I just always think that they’re out of character.

 

In the episode, Charlie and Eddie, from Season 14, Edward took offense when Charlie said that he was too old to have fun. To me this was out of character because Edward (the classic Edward character) doesn’t entertain this sort of quip. Back in season 2 he said to Trevor ‘People say I’m old-fashioned but I don’t care, the Fat Controller says that I’m a really useful engine’. So the episode of Charlie and Eddie I immediately associated with Edward being out of character. I’m not necessarily criticising Edward’s new development but I do prefer the classic Edward since I grew up with his classic persona.^^

 

I propose that the writers gave Edward and Toby more specific personality traits so that the young viewers can identify their traits more clearly. Edward and Toby are quite similar in nature of being old and wise. Toby is not very strong since he’s a tram engine so this could have been identified as a trait of being self-conscious.

 

I’m not cross with the new developments in Edward and Toby because I can see why these new developments have been made. However, I do think that the classic Edward and classic Toby would fit in nicely with the new Thomas era. Just because when I was little I was able to deduce the differences between Edward and Toby.^^’

 

Now, onto the film…

 

*

 

To my amazement it was a lot better than I anticipated. I always find though that it’s better to watch shows with low/neutral expectations. That way you won’t end up with a bad taste in your mouth by the end of it. When I watched this film, I felt really happy. It is definitely my favourite Thomas episode/movie since the end of Britt Allcroft’s era.

I don’t have any reason except that it felt like classic Thomas. I loved the part when Gordon asks about Henry needing new coal and Toby told him that that was fixed years ago! XD I really loved that reference. It was like the show was acknowledging what happened in the classic Thomas stories. It’s not often that occurs and I put that down immediately to the writer, Andrew Brenner.

 

I liked how the plot involved the history of Sodor. The history of Sodor and Godred was part of Rev Awdry’s vision but it was never elaborated on in the Railway Series. It was however, mentioned in detail in the Railway Series’ information book. Once again this is acknowledging Rev Awdry’s original work. Ulfstead was even mentioned. =D In the information book there was a person called Sir Richard Robert Norramby who was also an Earl. I anticipate that the writer based the character, Sir Robert Norramby, on him.

 

Image

Image

 

 

(These snapshots are Sir Robert Norramby; from the Thomas movie; King of the Railway)

 

 

 

The story as a whole had the right balance. It was not repetitive but it was not too complicated to understand. It was very humorous too! Ulfstead Castle/Station was a marvellous design. Seeing trains go in and out of a castle was quite fascinating. When I build my train room I’m looking to create a station similar to Ulfstead Castle!

 

Image

Image

 

 

(These snapshots are the arial point of view of Ulfstead

Castle/Station.)

 

 

 

I don’t normally connect with the human characters of the Thomas show but I really liked Sir Robert Norramby! (Norramby is another reference to Sodor, since Norramby is a town in Sodor). He’s like a mad scientist. The first part of the movie really made me laugh. The Fat Controller prepared a big celebration for him and when he arrived he didn’t stop and left straight away! I thought that was just hilarious. He appreciated the party being for him but he kept to his own personal arrangements and went straight to Ulfstead to meet with Millie. XD!

 

Then came the introduction of Stephen- the Stephenson’s Rocket! I felt that this was a very risky move. It’s not often that a real train appears in Thomas. The only real trains appeared and mentioned in the previous Thomas seasons were the City of Truro, Stepney and the Flying Scotsman. They all also originally appeared in The Railway Series books. But, introducing Stephen in this film sold me greatly. His character was just about right. Wise, enthusiastic but perhaps not as capable as he once was back in his heyday.

 

Image

Image

 

 

 

(These snapshots are a comparision of the character Stephen and the real life locomotive; Stephenson’s Rocket)

 

 

 

We have more new additions to the series, high speed steamliners; Connor and Caitlin. Interesting characters though I’m not really sure how I feel about the names, they feel a bit too modern for Thomas.

 

When Thomas told Stephen about the surprise, I expected Sir Robert to get cross with him and Thomas vowed to ‘put things right’. But this didn’t happen. Thomas told Stephen about the job in order to cheer him up. In a way this seems like a mature thing to do since most of us will abide by this rule. Sir Robert also didn’t get cross, at all. And Thomas did vow to make things right but he did that by finding Stephen. He didn’t get told off by human characters like the Fat Controller but by the other engines like Gordon. =D

 

My Conclusion…

 

This was a very good film which blew away my previous expectations. It also came to my attention at the end of this blog that Andrew Brenner was going to become the Head Writer for Thomas the Tank Engine from Season 17 onwards. I’m most certainly looking forward to that!

 

Andrew did an excellent job here! Mark Mollaghan was decent as narrator too! I recognised immediately that he was not Michael Angelis. Did Michael decide to stop his role as main narrator? If he has then I wish him very good luck. ^^/

 

*

 

From now on I’m going to review films/games/programmes, give you my thoughts and rate them. I’m going to rate them in my own way.

 

If I don’t like what I saw I give a thumb’s down, like so;

Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I thought something was enjoyable enough to watch, I give it a thumb’s up;

Image

 

 

 

 

If I absolutely loved it, I will give it two thumbs up!

Image

 

 

With that being said I’m going to give the King of the Railway two thumbs up! =D

Image

 

*

 

That is it for now about Thomas and the film. Even though I call this a review I see this more as me sharing my thoughts about the film itself. I was nervous about writing this but I actually ended up enjoying writing this and I hope you enjoy reading it. =D

Image

Choo, choo for now. ^^/

Ryan