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Magic Mike

Who needs a brain when you look like a Ken doll?

When you decide to watch a film about a group of male strippers, with a cast full of Hollywood eye candy and a director known for making Ocean’s Eleven, it’s fair to say that you go into the cinema with certain expectations. George Clooney in a thong, for one. Alas, George does not appear in Magic Mike, so the hordes of hen parties that are certain to descend on cinemas everywhere upon the film’s release will just have to make do with the stripper styling of Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer and Matthew McConaughey. Poor things.

But Magic Mike is not simply a glossy production designed to make as much money as possible from the thinnest of plots, it boasts both a convincing storyline and a depth to its characters – namely the supposedly magical protagonist, played by Tatum. Yes, it is essentially a film in which some of the industry’s most well-known bodies are shown in gratuitous close-ups, and it will be some time before I am able to remove the 30 foot high image of McConaughey’s tasselled behind from my scarred retinas. But the autobiographical nature of the story underpins the sense that these are real people trying to deal with their issues by not facing them until they are forced to by each other.

Tatum’s obvious passion for a project that depicts the beginnings of his adult life is shown through his quiet portrayal of a man conflicted between continuing his hedonistic lifestyle and pursuing his dream of becoming an artist. As the titular Mike imparts his stripper wisdom to rookie Alex Pettyfer, an introverted no-hoper who seems intent on having fun whatever the cost, the film begins to recall All About Eve, as the tired star is overshadowed by a bright young thing in a thong. It is through the inspired performance of Cody Horn as Pettyfer’s sister that the characters are able to develop over the course of the film, her general attitude of disgust and her cautious flirtation with Tatum have the effect of grounding characters that could all too easily have become caricatures.

The most surprising aspect of Magic Mike were the number of men in the screening that I attended, all of whom enjoyed the wry humour which the film imparts and seemed to leave the cinema with a smile on their face and a somewhat excited girlfriend on their arm. Yes, it’s a great date movie, but be prepared to put up with the level of sheer excitement that such a high concentration of male nudity may create in your lady friend.

 

**** An interesting script, real characters and even better casting. If they make a sequel, I hope it’s in 3D

 

[Image via http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk]

Brainwave

Since I started this blog, I’ve been trying to find a way to write about all the things that interest me while keeping the entire thing a coherent series. Well, I’ve finally come up with something: I have 7 kinds of mind, one for each day. So every week I will log about something different every day, keeping with a theme.

So this is going to be my new format:
Sundays are for a cook off, whether it’s a new recipe I’ve discovered or my own personal little experiment, it’ll be on here.

Mondays are when you need a pick me up, I’ll post whatever has been amusing me to help get you through your case of the Mondays.

Tuesdays are when I get to escape on a travelling adventure, whether I’ve actually moved from my computer screen or not.

Wednesdays are when it gets serious, I’ll write about that week’s big issue/story in the news. If I’m honest, it’ll probably be a rant of some sort.

Thursdays are all about me, a little update of what’s been going on in my highly exciting life that week. It’ll be gripping I’m sure.

Fridays are for the best celebrity gossip or media news that I can find. From a review of the latest Sherlock (just how exactly did he survive?!) or the most titillating story of the pitfalls of fame.

Saturdays are potluck. Whatever I’ve wanted to write about that doesn’t fit into one of the above categories, it could be anything. How exciting!

So hopefully I’ll be able to stick to the new format, and I look forward to flexing my typing muscles as I try to keep up with the pace of blogging every day. Enjoy!

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The Jobseekers’ Slump

After months of serious jobseeking, during which I have been sustained by one thoroughly brilliant (but sadly unpaid) internship, and one Waterstones Christmas job (paid, lovely, temporary), I have entered a slump. After trawling through countless job sites, endlessly repeating my info on application forms, formatting and reformatting my CV and cover letter, I have heard bugger all. Zip. Nada. Not a bloody dickie bird. And, frankly, I’m demoralised.

Convinced that I’m unemployable, I have been steadfast in my quest for the perfect CV template, and have rehashed my cover letter to within an inch of its life. But let’s face it, there are only so many ways to say “hire me please, I’ll be excellent” before you start to sound desperate yet strangely egomaniacal.

The point is that all job applications sound the same, it would be strange if a group of CVs applying for a specific position weren’t at least slightly similar. So I have come to the conclusion that it is pure luck whether you are successful or not. Whether your application happens to be in the first fifty (or five) that the employer has read, before they decide that to go any further through the pile would be about as much fun as using a cheese grater to exfoliate.

So I will try my best to be lucky, because all I want is an interview. If I have that, I don’t even need to get the job. Just knowing that I was good enough to make it into the short list would be enough to spur me on towards a fresh pile of application forms, ready to fill in my A Levels for the 10765th time.

So, attention potential employers: give me an interview, and I’ll be happy.

Did I mention that I am exceptionally good at being interviewed? I’m even better at being employed.

Try me.

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Happy new year to one and all

2011 was a year of death, destruction and unemployment. But it was also the year that those without a voice fought to be heard. Let’s hope that changes continue to be made for the better throughout 2012.

From the looks of social media pages this morning, everyone had a pretty good night from what they can remember, and I imagine that there may be something of a bacon shortage as people try to correct their delicate state.

My New Year’s Eve probably sounds like a PSA about the benefits of online dating – I was alone (with my dogs), eating Ben & Jerrys and watching Alan Carr et al getting steadily more trollied on Channel 4. To some that might sound like a cry for help, but it has become my personal NYE tradition to avoid generally everyone, take control of the TV remote and shamelessly eat/drink myself into a stupor while dancing around the living room with a bewildered Springer Spaniel. Bridget Jones I may be, but lonely I am not.

From my experiences of previous years, NYE is impossible to enjoy if you’re with other people in a social setting. I have sat in a busy Sydney park for 13 hours waiting for a few pretty lights, I have attended house parties full of people I’ve never met, and I’ve ventured into the festering, overcrowded meat markets known as “NYE club nights”. Believe me, I have tried to be normal and decided against it.

So this time next year, I would like all of the usual: less weight, more money, a job and somewhere new to live. So not much. There’s nothing like being an unemployed 23 year old, forced to move back into the family home after graduation, to bring home just how much of a failure you have become. So in the next year a new flat please. Oh, and a job in TV would be nice. And maybe someone with whom I could share my end of year ritual, there’s more than enough Ben & Jerrys for two.

Happy New Year all x

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It’s my elimination and I’ll scream if I want to

When Rachel Crow was eliminated from the US version of X Factor recently, it would seem that everyone was shocked, but no more than her. The teenager threw a full on toddler-wanting-sweeties tantrum that made American hearts weep. Not so much in the UK. Our response was, as always, to mercilessly take the piss out of the precocious little twonk.

When Hollie Steele broke down during her performance on Britains Got Talent a few years ago, I couldn’t watch it. Seeing a 10 year old crying for her Mum on live TV was pretty excruciating and it kicked off a lot of questions about the ethics of allowing young people onto programmes such as these. Yet in the case of Rachel, we saw a spoilt child who threw a fit when she didn’t get what she wanted. The public didn’t like her enough to vote for her and her elimination was valid. In fact it has been reported that she has been approached by Disney, so pretty soon we’ll have yet another Miley Virus running around and infecting our kids with their squeaky clean poison. Fabulous.

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My Transsexual Summer Episode 1

In the first episode of this cutting edge documentary series, we dealt with which stage everyone was at in their transition, and were introduced to each individual’s story. This week we were given a taste of how it feels to be a transgendered person in an often unforgiving society.

I’m already so invested in the people involved that it’s almost unbearable to watch the discrimination that they face. Both Drew and Sarah form part of the more emotional crux of this episode, Drew in her search for a job and Sarah in her ‘coming out’ to her family. Both women express their vulnerability so clearly, and the programme makers present their stories in such a sensitive way, that only the most bigoted of people would fail to be moved. It is a special kind of prejudice that befalls transgender people, as explored this week, one that makes those perpetuating it feel as if they are justified in their beliefs. Take the women in the bridal shop who rejected Drew on the grounds that she would make customers feel uncomfortable. Just to be clear, they rejected her because she is transgender. Equal opportunities anyone? It seems like I’m forever filling out those forms in job applications, and I clearly remember the part about how the information will have no bearing on my application. So while they seemed nice but uninformed, those women were actually breaking the law. And I’m quite sure that they are not the first and will not be the last. Couple this with the fact that they discussed the masculine features of Drew’s appearance while she was sat 2 feet away, and we begin to get an idea of the world from a transgender perspective.

Sarah’s journey so far shows the difficulties that a trans faces in the initial phase of their transition. Throughout the episode, her upcoming visit to her family become a central focus, but it ended in a simple conversation. It appeared that her mother, while shocked, seemed to accept her decision to live as a woman, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit deflated. I wouldn’t have wished for an explosive encounter – Sarah is too sweet and vulnerable a figure for anyone to ever wish hurt on her – but a few minutes of conversation in a car seemed less than the event deserved. Hopefully the aftermath of Sarah’s visit will be more of an explored topic in next week’s episode.

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Desperation leads to recruitment consultation.

I have been job hunting since March of this year, and so far have only heard back once – from my brilliant (but unpaid) internship at the Cambridge Film Festival. It’s now been over for a month and I am still spending my days watching reruns of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and endlessly applying for jobs. My search has widened, and I’ve developed an interest in new areas, but to no avail. It’s pretty difficult to believe that you’re actually employable when faced with so much rejection, and I was expecting it due to my chosen career path, but wow. What was the point in getting an education at all?

So now I have reached the point where my pride goes out the window, and I start contemplating the recruitment consultant vacancies. Friends of mine that have already bitten the bullet tell me that it’s soul destroying yet well paid – but what matters more, job satisfaction or a good wage packet? I don’t think I’m quite consumerist enough to ever feel good about that kind of employment.

On a happier note, I have a meeting next week with a local community TV company, where I’ll hopefully be able to get some work experience. Every cloud! At this point, it seems nigh on impossible to break into the media without some sort of experience, which is a handy little vicious circle for those just starting out…

What this is.

This is a place for me to write, vent or review. To create worlds, challenge perspectives and start conversations.