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Coming Up On Among Mates

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Look out for some reviews on the autobiographies on these footballing heroes – I’ll leave it to you to guess who they are!

Music And Movies For Free?

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I recommend you check this blog entry out which talks about copyright issues for music and the like.

The issue interests me as I’m sure there are a number of people who have made the most of the Internet and computer technology to rip CD’s and forego the hassle of paying for music.

It’s a bit like the issue with movies where people find ways of getting it ‘for free’ from various web-sites. I’m still intrigued into how much we should make an issue of this and what changes, if any, should be made to the law either to make it easier for people to get access to music or to make it quicker for illegal merchants of music and movies to be prosecuted?

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Jay’s Movie Reviews: Night at the Museum

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Night at the Museum
Certificate PG
Starring: – Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Ricky GervaisRunning Time 108 minutes
From the writers of Herbie Fully Loaded and The Pacifier comes a kid friendly movie typical of those antecedents such as Jumanji and Zathura, worked with a little magic of director Shawn Levy (Cheaper by the Dozen and The Pink Panther remake).

The all star cast throws the concept that it was the only way to make the audience’s minds drift away from the fact that there is no true plot to the movie. Even with the classic humour that Ben stiller always brings to the silver screen, it just wasn’t enough to lift the film to a high enough standard to call it a true family film.

Putting aside the plotline for a moment you can watch to a certain enjoyable extent. The jokes that get portrayed by Stiller throughout the film are funny and with the cameo of The Office genius of Ricky Gervais as the museum director give something to an older, British audience. But, let down by an agent I presume, Robin Williams was given a terrible script, although his head may have been a little too cold from filming Happy Feet.

The film starts with a terribly long winded explanation of Stiller’s character, Larry. 45 minutes of a background story established within the first 15 minutes. But when he finally gets the job at the museum you can actually sit down and enjoy some of the laughs that the museum can bring. Such as a T-Rex who thinks it’s a dog and plays fetch with his own rib, Cowboys (lead by Owen Wilson) who fight Roman Legionnaires (lead by Steve Coogan) and a rather naughty monkey. And a comedy film just isn’t complete without the likes of a comical monkey gag is it?

But all good things must come to an end, and this end just so happens to be in the form of Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney and Bill Cobbs, the old night watch that Stiller has replaced. Out to steal the key to make the museum come alive at night, Stiller is aided by the museum exhibits to bring them down.

But deep underneath the decaying skin of the film there does lie some true motto’s of life and some powerful messages although you may be too tired to really notice them. Messages like even if you’ve failed before, keep trying. Or doesn’t matter what you believe, even the unbelievable is true. Yes, some of these morals can be thought of in greater detail. But, like this film, I don’t see the point.

Overall it was a waste of 108 minutes. If the boring 45 minutes at the start had been cut down to 15 or 20 at least then it may possibly have been a good film. If you really do want to see it, wait until January next year when the DVD is in the sales.


Dawkins The Evangelist

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This guy is Richard Dawkins. He’s an important scientist who has built a reputation for arguing vehemently against God … or against the existence of God, which is fair enough. He’s come out with a book called The God Delusions extending this particularly argument, which is also fair enough. It’s funny, though, that he should so passionately express such belief in the importance of not having belief in God in a somewhat evangelistic style.

As with some element of the evangelistic wing, though, Dawkins is not completely sorted in his arguments as this link will highlight if you have a read.

In the meantime it’s worth considering again whether or not the existence of God really is that important?


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Book Review – Rio Ferdinand: My Story

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This is a typical football biography made in response to the image he’s had about him in the media – kinda ironic seeing as though he uses the help of a Sun journalist. It’s written in a manner that’s meant to reflect ‘his voice’ which is fairly successful. It also reflects the fact that he’s a 28 year old and so has spent the majority of his life being a child even when he was a professional footballer.

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The book is interesting from the point of view of getting insight on what’s happened in his life. It promotes the ‘living it large’ lifestyle even when he attempts to show he doesn’t live that way. There’s plenty in there about going out clubbing – and loving that scene. He expresses his values clearly and wants to be taken seriously as someone who’s not a bozo kind of hombre as his fellow professionals maybe perceived. This isn’t helped though by his regaling of incidents that show him typifying the kind of bozo exploits used to stereotype footballers, i.e. out with his mates getting hammered doing crazy stuff.

As I read it I realised that people would sympathise and maybe empathise with these exploits, saying things along the lines of ‘it’s what you expect from young people’, ‘they’re just being young people’ and ‘we were all like that when we were young’. My issue with that from a Christian perspective is that this is not how we’re meant to be. Regardless of if it’s the norm or not we’re encouraged to stay away from that kind of life. I would hope that if people did read this book they’d be aware of some of these values that emerge and are just meant to reflect the way Rio is, without preaching or anything.

His relationship with Rebecca is a live-in one and promotes that kind of being committed without being committed way of doing things. While he also promotes the benefits of family life which is positive.

Of course in giving his side of the story on the incidents that have put him in the news headlines he comes out as the injured party, hard done by and to an extent you can understand the unfair treatment he believes he’s received.

It’s a safe autobiography in that no one is really dissed, even the run-in with Robbie Savage is portrayed in a fairly tame way. Paints the boss – Sir Alex Ferguson – in a positive and almost uncritical light

He has typical views on faith that you expect from someone engrained in a liberal pluralistic culture which is avoiding affiliation to one group, castigating them for the evils of the world but being attracted to some of the tenets available in the plethora available. Interestingly though, his mother is a ‘born again’ Christian married to a deacon in the church.

Rio comes across as a guy very much still in touch with his roots and wants to do stuff to help those needy in the world – the nice-guy kinda stuff. In fact the book deserves the rating because as the term mediocre suggests it’s a middle-of-the-road read – nothing sensational, but not boring. Fairly interesting but nothing engrossing and engaging.

If you’re a Man Utd fan you maybe interested in finding about one of your players and his feelings in the ups and downs he’s experienced at your club. If you’re interested in football in a tabloid level kind of way you may enjoy this book as well. If you’ve read Tony Adams’ Addicted and you’re expecting something of that nature don’t bother with this book it’s nowhere near it in terms of depth and being engaging in describing life as a top-class professional footballer. It’s not because of Adams’ problems it’s just the way Adams has gone about putting it in print. Ferdinand isn’t going to scandalise the world or cause that many thought-provoking moments. Indeed it is what it is and it’s not that much. 5/10