A New Hope, Again.

Posted in Film and TV on November 1, 2012 by tegtalk

“You’re not my f****** father, he’s frozen under The Magic Kingdom!”

As I was watching a cracking cup game on Tuesday night between Reading and Arsenal and following another dismal display from our friends in red and white on Twitter, news started to break of Disney buying Lucasfilm and its intentions to make at least one new Star Wars Trilogy. The first film is already in development and will hit summer 2015. A lot of people would have shrugged their shoulders and muttered “meh, the last one’s were shite, so what?”

I didn’t. A part of me, who saw the first film as an 8 year old and who still rates The Empire Strikes Back as one of the finest fantasy adventure films ever made, gave a little (silent) cheer.

Granted the prequels weren’t fantastic but still showcased some fine bits of cinema: the pod race in the first one; the three way light sabre duel in Phantom; the gladiator scene and ending in Clones; the eerie turn to the dark side of Annakin in Sith to name but a few.

The problem with the prequels in my opinion, was Lucas chose to direct them himself instead of being the creative force and letting someone pull the film together who could distance himself from everything and tell the writer when the story or the script just weren’t working. Irving Kershner did a fantastic job on Empire. Lawrence Kasdan also tidied up the scripts on Episodes V & VI. Lucas seemingly would not relinquish any creative control or allow anyone to make any other decisions on the prequel trilogy.

I still think a lot of the criticism was unfair. Lucas attempted to make a series of films kids could enjoy, just as the 30-40 something’s moaning now enjoyed before they hit puberty. Maybe he went too far but still packed enough action and light sabres in to make three pretty decent films.

Look at what Disney have done with their purchase of Pixar and Marvel. They have basically let the studios get on with what they were doing right.  If it ain’t broke… well, you know the rest.

They have also handed chances to directors that excelled, at Pixar for example, by promoting them to their live action films. Disney traditionally makes a few Blockbusters a year. And they throw a shit load of money at them.

The franchise moving across to the ‘House of Mouse’ makes perfect sense and with Kathleen Kennedy still at the helm of Lucasfilm, I trust the right decisions will be made about story and progression. She has worked in tandem with one of the greatest film-makers ever, a certain Mr Spielberg, and her remaining in control is a very good thing for the future of the franchise.

It is also a very good time to bring a new series of films to life. They are expertly marshalling the Avengers individual stories with new Iron Man, Thor and Captain America films already in production. Warner Brothers meanwhile, have lost two of their biggest cash cows with the boy wizard and the man bat’s stories seemingly completed. True they have the Zack Snyder Superman reboot on the horizon and a possible collaboration with the man in the pointy-eared mask in the rumoured  ‘The Justice League’.

Along with The Hobbit, this is now the biggest film franchise on the slate.

How the story progresses is now the main point of focus. It will be set after Return of The Jedi but how long after is now the raging debate. Vader and The Emperor are gone. Leia and Han are in love and Luke is now the main remaining hope to establish the Jedi again.

Several novels have been written already, most notably Timothy Zahn’s trilogy where Leia and Han had children and they became the ‘new hope’. I doubt Disney will use anything aleady written.

Personally, I would like to see the story moved on a few years with possible cameos from the old guard but a new vibrant cast taking over the mantle, but still fighting the Sith, who like bad smells and Sunderland supporters, just won’t go away.

With the film being announced for a 2015 release, they will have to move pretty fast to make those decisions. What actor would turn his nose up at spinning a light sabre in a Star Wars film? Especially one that gets the franchise back on track and makes them a global name and very, very rich?

Also, probably the most important question. Who takes over the reins as director?

In my opinion, it has to go to someone who knows what they are doing. Someone used to carrying the complexities of a huge film like this. You can rule out Joss Whedon (probably) as he has already begun pre-production on Avengers 2 (unless Disney decides to ‘promote’ him to Star Wars and hand Avengers on to someone else).

Peter Jackson is an ideal fit but he is busy in New Zealand with a little trilogy of his own.

Rule out Spielberg too.

That leaves people like Danny Boyle, David Fincher, Sam Mendes (hot off Skyfall) and maybe a younger director who grew up heavily influenced by Star Wars and making his mark on filmmaking. Perhaps someone like Ben Affleck as a radical choice?

What about the man who has just walked away from a franchise he stuck defibrillators on and made Warner Brothers an absolute gargantuan pot of money? Could the man who brought the Bat back to life breathe new life into the Jedi? Christopher Nolan would be my choice of Director. Would he do it? I guess in the next few months we will wait and see.

Anyway, one thing is for sure. If I am still alive and kicking I will be sat in a dark room, nervous and excited just like I was when that Imperial Star Destroyer rumbled over my head as a child.

And as a little green fella may have said: For that day, I can not wait.



A Thought or Two

Posted in NUFC on September 28, 2012 by tegtalk
Just a quick one from me as I am busy with Uni stuff and blah blah boring and you don’t care, but what an increasingly strange 12 months we have had. I’m confused

Pardew , Carr, Stone, Woodman and Carver have all penned new deals with the club for 8 years, and Dekka has come out and said possibly the most sensible thing we have heard from him ever, saying that time and consistency are what makes clubs great. Especially when you are working within a tightly controlled financial framework like we are. We kept ahold of our major players through the summer transfer window and despite all of our moaning and whinging, the players we have signed seem to be full of quality and fit right into the club. Add to that how much Santon has developed, the emergence of Mini T and  how James Perch has gone from zero to legend and the fact we are only, as my co-blogger Teg pointed out, 2 points adrift of last years total at the same time last season and still in Europe.

The club seem to know what it is doing and actually moving us forward on a platform for the future, not just the here and now.
Is this really Newcastle United?


Jean-Luc is a bit pensive, but agrees with me that things seem to be going the right way

Have you had your plus sign today?

Posted in NUFC on September 26, 2012 by tegtalk

It’s been over a week and we have played three games since I put my thoughts down on the blog. I’m glad I waited. After the Villa game I was a bit downcast. We didn’t really show up and were probably lucky to get a draw.

Fast forward to the ramshackle old tin hut that is Goodison and Monday Night Football. I confess I couldn’t get to the game and watched it on Sky. Gary Neville continues to impress and is fast becoming the best football pundit on UK TV.

The first half was as bad as I’ve witnessed under Pardew. We were literally all over the place. I was happy with the team selection beforehand but baffled at his decision to play Marveaux right and HBA left. Baines and Pienaar ripped us to bits and we were lucky to be only 1 0 down at half time, although crucially we had two pretty good chances through Cisse and Anita so we had something to play for in the second half.

I think that second half may have given us a boost for the season. It wasn’t of Arsenal 4 4 proportions but we dug in, rode our luck (massively) and battled back to gain a hugely rewarding point. Obviously the introduction of an seriously pissed off Ba as a second half substitute concentrated the minds and he was excellent with two well taken goals.

More telling for me was Pardew’s tactical and personnel changes. Swapping Perch and Anita and putting Jonas to the right restricted their left hand side. Our manager knows what he’s doing.

Ba’s comments after the game were interesting as were his agent and brother making their mouths go. He obviously wants to play as a central striker and is apparently discussing a new contract with the revelation he could leave in January again rearing its head. I think the situation will be resolved. He is proving as vital and as deadly early this season as he did last. We’d be crackers to let him go unless we have someone his equal lined up but there aren’t many of them out there. Another interesting January awaits I guess.

Next up was Maritimo away and another chance to have a look at the squad players and Shola. Decent performance, probably should have won with encouraging showings from Rob Elliot and Gosling. Stand out for me was young Bigirimana. What a player this kid is going to be. He never wastes a pass and rattles into tackles without fear. He has jumped ahead of a lot of reserve midfield players in my opinion. The lad has seized his chance with determination and is receiving the plaudits he definitely deserves. He will be a regular first team player within two seasons if he continues to improve and impress.

Last Sunday was Norwich at home and a chance to thank Chris Hughton and then batter his side I thought. Chris will always have a special place in our hearts for rallying the lads in the Championship and then getting us promoted and delivering some fine performances along the way. He will never have to buy a pint in town for the 5 1 derby result alone.

The game went along the lines of a lot of our performances so far this season. Plenty of effort, some decent showings and our number 10 a joy to watch. His run and pass for Ba’s goal was demonstrative of the way he is playing this season. Cool, calm, innovative, determined and at times breathtaking. His start to the season has been the true highlight for me.

The game finished 1 0 because of the fine goal from Ba and a couple of excellent saves from our veteran keeper. I have to give some credit to Mike Williamson. He was excellent in the air in both boxes. However he was playing against a couple of Sunday league forwards and he has demonstrated many tines he can handle that type of striker

I can forgive the lads for wanting Cisse to take the penalty to get him off the mark for the season. The manager seems to have too, but I’m sure he won’t be on the next one. I’m also sure Pardew will use that to motivate Papiss to keep on going. Once he gets one he will go on a run of goals like he did last season. Form is temporary etc etc.

I have been laid up in bed with flu for the last couple of days and I heard this stat on Radio Newcastle last night. ‘This season we have played five games and have eight points. Last season, our best for many a year, after our first five games, we had nine points.’ That surprised me a little but after checking, I realised it was correct.

That led me to feeling a lot more positive about the next few games and the season as a whole. Tiote is back (as a couple of the Norwich lad’s shins will testify) and I believe that will see Cabaye back to form. As soon as Tiote took to the field on Sunday, Yohan played further forward and started probing and passing. His through ball for Demba at Everton alone showed the lad still has it in his locker. I’d take him off set pieces for a while like Al!

Tonight is the Capital One (jeeeez) Cup game at Old Trafford. It seems Coloccini will play and Simpson and Krul will resume training this week. They may not all be in contention for Reading this weekend but seem certain they will be in the squad when we play Man U for real on October the 7th.

That alone gives me a warm feeling inside. I’ve said previously our first 11 can take on anyone in this league especially at home and Man Utd will be coming to us not firing on all cylinders, a bit like last January.

It looks like both sides will field a mix of youth and experience in the game tonight. This is one of these games where I go into it relaxed. I’d love to see us win a cup. I would go to Wembley, cry, shout, scream, laugh and hug strangers and then do the same when they drove around town on the open-top bus but going to Old Trafford and winning is not something we do a helluva lot. A good game, a few goals, no injuries, no extra time and I will be happy. If we win we will probably get Chelsea or Arsenal in the next round. That’s not pessimism; it’s just what normally seems to happen!!!

So, no matter what happens tonight I am in a positive mood and I believe we will go to Reading (Danny Guthrie and the owners fit girlfriend and all) and win. That may take us into the top 6, where I reckon we will stay roundabouts for the rest of the season. Positive again!

A few more plus points before I sign off.

Steven Taylor has been solid this season so far and I just hope he remains fit.

Perch, when and where asked to play, has carried on his performances of last season and remains a great squad member.

Santon, as I hoped, has progressed and looks pretty unflappable defensively and his marauding runs are increasing game by game. I’d just like to see him let a rocket go now.

Onwards and upwards. United we remain


PS. The title of this article comes from a line from a little known Prince Rodgers Nelson song called, yep you guessed it. ‘Positivity’

Balls to it

Posted in Uncategorized on September 14, 2012 by tegtalk

It seems important and influential blog posts written by people we know are like buses, 2 come along at once.

Again, is not really our thing, but its another message that needs to be out there.

Fellow Twitterer @2NarMe has written a frank but amusing account of his unpleasant encounter with testicular cancer


Teg and Grim


Posted in Uncategorized on September 14, 2012 by tegtalk

This isnt our usual type of thing. At all. But a good friend of ours has smashed the world wide open with his blog on his battle with depression. Its simply a must read and we feel honour bound to reblog him, so we are doing.

Andrew Lawes or if you follow us on Twitter @LordGeord, Take a bow son, you moved the world, if only for a little while, and thats more than the rest of us get to do in a lifetime.


Teg and Grim

The Walking Dead

Posted in Film and TV on September 13, 2012 by tegtalk
TV this time from me and as the new season is only a couple of weeks away I thought I would give The Walking Dead some blurb.  Now for me, this has been one of the best things on TV, if you haven’t seen it because you think its not your thing, I’m here to persuade you otherwise.
In a nutshell. Its based on, but not restricted by, a very successful comic by Robert Kirkman and its basically the never-ending story of a zombie apocalypse. The main protagonist is a Policeman called Rick Grimes, who wakes up after being shot in the line of duty in an abandoned hospital with the door to his room barred. From there on the tale follows his battle for survival and his quest to see if his family is still alive. Season One was under the creative control of  Frank Darabont, you may know some of his other work, The Shawshank Redemption and The Mist for starters, and though short, it was a solid showing. Some oddness happened after season One, and Darabont was relieved of his duties for reasons unknown  and Glenn Mazzara took the helm. Season 2 was a much longer affair, reaching 16 episodes and was a bit of a slow burner. Its actually much better watched in a box set than it was on TV., as you get a much better feeling for the pacing, but once you hit the second half of season 2. Well, it gets pretty intense and the feature length Finale is truly the single best episode of anything I have ever watched.

Almost certainly filmed on location in Sunderland outside the Cheesy Chip Shop

Bottom line here folks is this. Zombies, the end of the world as we know it and some devastatingly good SFX and gore on a mainstream network TV show. It was basically unimaginable and unpitchable at the time, but US Network AMC took a punt and brought it to our screens, and didn’t look back. It set the ratings calculators on fire, setting new highs for the network and for season premiere’s and finale’s.  And I’m off again, you don’t care about all this now, though, if you invest in the show, you might look back and realise what an impact it made and get an idea of what is expected for Season 3.
You think the show is about Zombies don’t you? Well its not. Its about people, people who are at their wits end and under some considerable duress. Its about going on a journey with these poor souls and seeing who makes it to the next stop on the way, its about the conversations with others who watch the show and asking “Would you have done that?” or “What would you do in that situation?”. Its about the shocks, the thrills, the spills, the moments where you forget to breathe and the moments when your jaw drops in sheer exasperation. This show delivers. Is it as sharp, clever and good as Boardwalk Empire or Breaking Bad?, maybe not, but it makes up for that in many other ways.
So there it is folks, Zombies on your tele screens. The Walking Dead Season 3 premieres on October the 14th, which just about gives you time to go out and rent the first two seasons, because trust me Season 3 is going to be something to behold and you need to be ready.
Incase you were wondering, should the zombies arrive, I’ll be in the pub. With a Shotgun. And a long pokey stick.
P.S Oh I forgot, there are webisodes on the Youtube that you may want to check out. A mini prequel to season 1.

Grim’s Grumble

Posted in NUFC on September 12, 2012 by tegtalk
*warning, this is a bit of a rant, it may not be linear and will include swear words

Captain Picard is pretty angry, and a little disappointed.

Out of everything that has happened (or not) during the last few months only one thing really riled me. It wasn’t the idiots on the NUFC tag screaming for more money than we have to be spent, it wasn’t our inability to close a deal nor was it seeing clubs who we had the beating of last season sign players to turn their squad around. It was Alan Pardew coming out and saying he felt some of our players had their heads turned during the transfer window.
But Grim, why get so annoyed at that? you may well ask.
 Well heres my thinking on it. Tiote , Cabaye and the rest of the big hitters know they are important players for us. They also know that in hindsight we were very lucky to get them at the prices we paid for them. They would also know through Pardews public comments and more than probably private comments to the players in person, that it would only take a mega money bid to get us to consider releasing them. Which we obviously didn’t get. Thats not to say we didn’t get bids for them, but they were just that stupid speculative bids, much as we have done over the summer to other clubs. Personally if I was Yohan Cabaye and Arsenal had bid 8 million for me, I would have burst out laughing at the cheek of it and the same goes for Man United’s rumoured 13-15m bids for Tiote. What I want to know is how these heads have been turned by such bids? Did they think valuations were going to be met and they would be moved? did they fall victim to Skys marketing and think Jim White would be hanging  upside down from the ceiling, snorting coke of the blonde ones tits and anally receiving vodka screaming their names in a transfer frenzy?
Now I have vented a little I feel slightly better, but for Pardew to say heads got turned frankly is Bullshit. Its more likely that heads are a down a little because of the lack of transfer activity, Cabaye didn’t get his man crush in, Tiote well God knows what goes on in that brain, he possibly needs to stop thinking of Pickled Onions and remember its football time again and Tiote SMASH is the order of the day. As for Pappis Demba George Cisse, he’s not finding it as easy as he did last year and probably needs to be careful he doesn’t go the way Ba did last year when absolutely nothing went his way. If Pardew has resorted to 4-4-2 to accommodate Cisse and Ba both in their preferred positions then sorry but to quote Spock “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one”  Benny was also one of the mentioned ones when the head turning comment came up. Yet he has probably been our best player and without his goals we could be occupying Liverpools position in the doldrums way down in 18th place. Yes I know its only been 3 games, but 3 in the league 2 in Europe as well and we have not been anywhere close to anything resembling our best. Lets be honest we have been shite.
Or have we? Is it just the burden of expectation we have laced upon the team after last seasons success that has spoilt us?
As Teg said in his earlier article, these guys are professional footballers on more money than most of us make in a year, per week. They claim to have some of , if not the best of supporters in the country behind them, well they are right we are hands down and we give and give and give no matter what else is going on. They need to man up and get on with the job in hand and not be lamenting failed moves, bad summers or a dodgy kebab last Saturday night, they need to give us a little back.
Its only fair right?
Thoughts opinions and the odd bit of abuse always welcome.