Lucy Review #lucy #filmreview #moviereview

It’s going to divide opinion, that’s a given. However, if you’re looking for an hour and a half on unadulterated fun, enjoyment and not having to think too hard then this is it. The film starts off brilliantly, but by its third act it seems to have descended into absolute madness and has lost a lot of credibility. It is in part fantastically violent and dark, but this part sci-fi, part action film loses its identity a little the further in you go with it. And I still don’t know who Richard is.

Image of Lucy movie poster

I have to admit I left the cinema (which by the way is ridiculously expensive these days-and they can’t figure out why there is such a big piracy issue!) feeling good. I really enjoyed the film and was on-board for most of it, Lucy only started to lose me a little at the end. It’s tries to be a little too clever for its own good and the dialogue just doesn’t match up. Scarlett Johannsson is excellent at the beginning but she becomes more and more static, maybe as the character needs I’m not sure, but it does lose a little bit of soul along with it. I also don’t know what happened to that guy from Green Wing. He seems to have got away with it!

The film feels a little unresolved but is still enjoyable nonetheless and I’m torn; the first act is better than average and sucks you in well and truly with clever juxtaposition and intelligent direction but by the time we’re in the 3rd act it’s all gone a little bit pantomime. I wish it’d stayed with the dark story.

All in all, it’s a great film, and one that I’ll remember, and would watch again in the future.

*** 3/5

Scares and Chills @yorkdungeon #scary #dungeons

So; first things first. I probably shouldn’t have turned up a bit late and with the most awful of awful hangovers bestowed upon my head, but it turns out Yorkshire Dad had got tickets to go visit the York Dungeon’s and all its new exciting going-on’s and was kind enough to invite me along for the journey too. So; most importantly, was it a good hangover cure? Excellent. Secondly; was it any good?

Me (right) hungover to hell!

Now; I’ve been to the Dungeon’s before, York, London and Edinburgh so I knew what I was expecting however York was promising something new, which makes sense as they’ll want repeat visits. A lot of it was things I’d seen before but I’d also forgotten quite a lot too which made it all the more exciting. All in all it was really fun and perfect if your children like a good scare, but it might be a little too scary for some younger or more sensitive children. It’s about an hour and 10 minutes around and has real-life actors always keeping in character, like when two people decided they wanted to leave a room of their own accord and had to be stopped.

The Witch experience was absolutely amazing and has left me well and truly puzzled! Worth entry price just for that! You’ll really enjoy the show so keep yourself safe and hopefully you’ll come out alive!

**** 4/5

Check out the site here: http://www.thedungeons.com/york/en/ – there’s a cool little test at the bottom too!

Chevelle – Hunter eats Hunter #music #chevelle #review #newsingle

I was sent the fantastic new single by Chevelle to cover today. Sadly, I missed Download, where Chevelle played, earlier this year so didn’t manage to catch any bands, known or unbeknown to me, as I have done in previous years. Thankfully, I’ve been sent the latest single from their album, La Gárgola’ entitled Hunter Eats Hunter which was a pleasant surprise as these are a band that I haven’t come across before but they’re signed to In De Goot Entertainment who represent some of my favourite artists such as Halestorm and Black Stone Cherry (who’s album Magic Mountain is also very groovy!)

The single is due to be released on the 20th October ahead of a 3 day tour, sadly not visiting Leeds, but covering Manchester, Birmingham and London so at least there’s always somewhere slightly near that you’ll be able to visit.

Front man Pete Loeffler, guitar and vocals, described the album as ‘a sonic reinvention for the band’ by front man Pete Loeffler [guitars, vocals], ‘I don’t want Chevelle to sound like every rock band out there, I wanted to create something fun in a dark way.’

The vocals are reminiscent of Maynard James Keenan, turns out the album is produced by Joe Barresi, who has worked previously with Tool, as well as Queens of the Stone Age and Coheed and Cambria. There is a unpretentious Tool feel about the single, and I haven’t heard the album as of yet so I can’t comment.

Many bands now rely on technical prowess to impress, but whilst being obviously gifted musicians the group haven’t forgotten to write a song in the process, and have successfully created a big chorus. There is a carefully balanced but ferociously crafted scream that Pete Loeffler creates which adds to the dynamics of the song but isn’t overused creating a heaviness behind consistently strong riffs.

Although there are comparisons between Chevelle and other bands such as Tool, and dare I say a very pale hint of Opeth, they don’t play on the pseudo-intellectual musicianship like many bands now do, probably to stand out from the crowd in all honesty. Is this a good thing? Well that all boils down to personal preference. What I do know is if you’re looking for a solid rock song then this is well worth a listen.

*** 3/5

Cielo Blanco #mexican #trinity #leeds

Saying goodbye to a colleague is never easy, but hey, they’ve made their choice, they will have to live with it. After trying to find a restaurant to hold a leaving meal that was somewhere in-between Gaucho’s in Leeds and McDonalds we settled on visiting Cielo Blanco in the Trinity Centre, Leeds.

One of us had already visited previously so it came highly recommended. I needed to pee when we got there. Good toilets. Glad we’ve nipped that in the bud. Blokes to the left – Ladies to the right.

We opted for some kind of tapas platter meal where you picked 3 dishes and then they are yours, me and Dan also shared one of our favourites, a bottle of Malbec, King, or Queen, of wines. I can’t remember what we ordered but we got a fine selection of meaty goodness and me and one of the other lads, Tom (with a H), decided to share our dishes as we’re good blokes and we had a decent selection between us all.

 

Image of three men

Image of Red Wine

Image of Dan and Jen

Menu for a Mexican

Imagine of Thom Jeffries

Starting an eventful night with a few quiet drinks is one thing, but if you end up in the Stone Roses bar at 4am ready to fork out for a taxi then you know it’s been a good night. However, I’m older now and I don’t think I could have handled any more than this. The meal must have been good too because I didn’t even get a McDonalds on the way home.

Cielo Blanco – cracking service, cracking food, and well worth a visit. Wish I could remember more!

**** 4/5

One month until I’m a dad… #soontobedad #dad #dadblog #daddyblog

With only one month to go I can happily say that I’m getting excited to become a dad. We still don’t know if baby is male of has a foo-foo but we’ll find out the exciting time when we meet baby.

Image of Parents

Soon to be Parents

So what have I learned through my better half’s pregnancy? Well, to any of the gents reading, forget your girlfriend/wife as they’ll have disappeared for a few months and the scary emotional, but still lovely, person that you used to know will be peed off with you for no apparent reason. I’m sure it’ll be worth it in the end.

What about sharing a bed? Dear God no! It’s horrendous. Genuinely; everyone keeps saying you’ll get no sleep when the baby comes… I’m not that concerned as I’ll have had 9 months of practice by then anyway! But seriously; I’m knackered.

I’m also trying to eat a little healthier so that baby doesn’t come out with a dad who has an excessive Coca-Cola addiction as well as an occasional Fast-Food fetish.

Well; I’ve bought some nappies, and I now know what a Moses Basket is. Got the health visitor to come yet though… I hope she’s got a good sense of humour…

@DirtyLoops Loopified #dirtyloops #albumreview

Pure Talent.

Dirty Loops Loopified Album

So; it’s been a little while since I’ve done an album review, although I’ve had some cracking music sent to me, as well as hearing some fantastic artists. Sometimes though; someone just shows you something like this;

Now, I’ve played this to a couple of people, although a couple of people imagine the lead guy as a Disney singer. I think his vocals are absolutely superb, genuinely world class. They remind me of Stevie Wonder, and I’ve read somewhere that the man himself is a fan.

Now; this is essentially a cheesy pop album, but make absolutely no mistake, this is an album by musicians, for musicians. The production is gleaming but unlike many other technical wizards they’ve remembered the importance of writing a decent song and the importance of a hook.

There’s a couple of covers on the album, noted that the song above is one of them. But Hit me, which I believe is taking off in Japan at this time, top 10 spots and all that, the opening track is well written and when the drum fill kicks in you know that these guys aren’t messing about. They’re a jazz-jam band, but with such appeal it’s incredible.

Well worth a listen. I don’t do halves otherwise this would be just under the 5, but it’s a solid 4 and a superb debut album. I’ve listened to it 8 times in a row. I’m already excited to see what these guys put out next.

****

Rosie’s Diner Kirkstall #cardiganfields #rosiesdiner

Someone else was paying, so last night (I wrote this a while ago and never managed to put it up!)  to visit Rosie’s Diner in Cardigan Fields, Kirkstall, Leeds. It’s a lovely little complex, much like a slightly more upmarket version of Hollywood Park in Barrow in Furness for those who may be familiar.

It has a Vue cinema – who on the very rare occasion get it right – honestly had more than one nightmare there. Overbooked seats; complimentary tickets we can’t use; promised a gift voucher – never arrived; just a pretty dire company in general to be honest. Overcharging for what should be a pleasant experience. And they really can’t figure out why the pirates are winning!? Anyway, I digress from what I am meant to be telling you about on this occasion; Rosie’s Diner. The place is fairly new, but with a fairly basic principle; to bring the 50’s Diner to the modern-day eater. Although I didn’t get to sit in the school bus they have located inside, this was still a very pleasant experience. There is a constant 50’s soundtrack playing in the background, which if you’re the occasional visitor is a nice change. If you work there I can imagine it slowly eating into your soul.

Image of Burger and Chips Rosie's Menu

So; it’s pretty simple stuff really. Back to Basics, but what would you want from a diner right? Lovely staff, I was told to refer to our main server as the handsome ginger gent. Well, not a chance, as there was two handsome ginger chaps in this establishment and I was one of them. Even though this little occurrence happened we still tipped the chap well. I’m sure it was jovial… I’m ginger and handsome.

So; I got the standard burger and chips – it had blue cheese; and I’m always sold on blue cheese. It is always a winner on a burger. I’m aware quite a few people can’t appreciate blue cheese; and to those people I say this: You are an awful person.

We didn’t have dessert but I’m sure it would have been wonderful. It’s definitely worth a visit for a laid back, chilled-out nice bit of grub in a pleasant environment. Not too bad on the purse strings either!

4/5 ****

Sandman Signature

Instead of picking a hotel; I thought I would have another go at Last Minute’s Secret Hotel book on the day thing again. I wanted to visit a good friend in Newcastle and there wasn’t really anywhere for us to stay so we booked into the Sandman Signature on the deal. When met we were told that we were upgraded to a better room, which sounded nice, but the roof was still in a little state, the tap came off the wall and most importantly there were only 2 English breakfast tea-bags – I enquired downstairs but they only had green tea. Before this sounds like a negative, it’s not…

It was a pretty lovely affair; and was cosy enough for me to be able to watch the England vs. Italy game in bed with a beer by my side and some accompanying Hotel Chocolat truffles – lovely stuff. The room we were given had its own kitchen which was a nice touch; we were also given a really nice shower room – it was roomy, and clean. As I mentioned, one of the taps fell off – but that wasn’t really a problem. I did try and call reception to order room service but got no answer which sucked a bit but nonetheless I journeyed down to the reception area and found the way to the vending machines (I just wanted some snacks) so that was great. The football was on so I imagine the staff were quite busy on this particular evening.

Image of Shower gels Bathroom Image of Kitchen Image of Sandman bed Image of Sandman bed Image of Sandman bed

The ambience entering the hotel was really pleasant – modern and welcoming – they had some pretty cool hanging chairs in the reception area. The staff were very pleasant which is very important, and everyone welcomed us with a smile and tried their best to help.

All in all a nice enough stay but past the reception area it was distinctly average and didn’t have the wow factor I was hoping for… maybe that’s something to do with the view of a port a’ cabin outside the room though… 3/5 star ***

Lotherton Hall

A Picnic at Lotherton Hall

I thought I’d seen all of Leeds and naively thought I would have to plan a return visit to either a City Museum or Art Gallery, not that these aren’t both amazing – but I just wanted something new, and to be honest, somewhere that I could enjoy the beautiful weather. And what says beautiful weather more than the First World War?

OK; so, not the tragic loss of life, but the remembrance and the freedom that we all experience today thanks to those who fought for us. Well, Lotherton Hall held a magical day in which we took a picnic, got to see older dancers, a little bit of magic, some 50’s swing and just a generally good atmosphere soaking up the sun.

It’s a genuinely stunning building – and played part-hospital in the war, most definitely worth a visit and a great place to visit and take a picnic on a sunny day – although I can imagine getting there without a car may be a difficult. It’s a great place, and we had a great day!

Picture of pet graves Image of Pet Cemetery Image of 50's dancers Picture of girl in hat Image of me in a hat Image of girl closing boot