Category Archives: News

Christopher Reeve’s 63rd Birthday, And Still A Super Man

christopher_reeve_superman

When your hero dies in life, whether it’s someone in your family, a friend or a famous individual, it’s always difficult to bear. And perhaps that’s why we seek solace in our own thoughts; we try to find peace when all we see is grief. At times, the world bleeds colour and all that’s left is a dark, frustrating grey hue. It covers your eyes and blinds you temporarily. Death finds a way to eat into our souls, no matter how much we try to smile and move on.

Christopher Reeve would have turned 63 on September 25, 2015 – today – if he were still alive. Almost 11 years on since he died, his death still weighs heavily on my mind. I still remember where I was, what I was doing and, even, what I was wearing the day he died. Travelling to my youth theatre group as part of an early morning Sunday rehearsal, I was sat in the car with my dad. When I heard of his death on the radio, I stared at my black converse and jeans.

In that moment, my mind was elsewhere. Tears dropped from my cheek and splashed onto my jeans; I wasn’t even aware I was crying. In fact, my immediate thought remembered his final wishes, the one where he decided that he’d manage to walk again. Somehow he’d summoned up the courage and walked straight into death.

Though Christopher Reeve died that day, Superman didn’t. A superhero in the movies, he was also seen as a hero in life, particularly for his work in paralysis. Setting up the Christopher and Dana Reeve charity was just a part of those plans to bring those with paralysis a better life. One in which they would be able to walk again.

Today, that same charity is asking his fans for a donation of $63 in honour of Christopher’s 63rd birthday. And I’ve just donated $63 – or the British equivalent of £41.50.

donation_christopher_reeve

The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation is a fabulous charity, not only for the work that it continues to do on a daily basis for those with spinal-cord injuries or other types of paralysis, but for upholding the spirit of Superman for so many years and never giving up hope.

Having suffered a very serious back injury when I was 15, and again when I was 16, there were moments when I couldn’t feel my legs. I spent 40 minutes on a set of steel stairs and in the back of an ambulance believing I was paralysed from the hips down. At that age, it was the most terrifying thing in my life. When the feeling did come back into my legs, I remember feeling relieved and then entirely ashamed at myself. I knew people had suffered far worse and never lost hope for a second. In those 40 minutes, my hope was shattered completely.

Now I spend my life actually living. I am thankful every day that I can use my legs. Earlier this year, my friends and I ran the 5k Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research UK – another fantastic charity – and we raised near enough or over £200 for the cause.

Every day I’m thankful that I can run, jog, skip and swim. Every day I’m thankful that I can walk.

Happy 63rd Birthday, Christopher Reeve. And thank you for giving me hope.

Robin Williams’s Death, Depression, and Reuniting with Christopher Reeve

reeve_williams

They met at Julliard and were life-long friends; Robin Williams and Christopher Reeve

Back in 2004, I was struck by the death of my hero and, along with many others, remembered all of the amazing feats this man had managed in his short lifetime. I was 14 when Christopher Reeve died. And today, almost ten years on, I’m shocked by the loss of his college best friend, Robin Williams.

The great comedy legend and Hollywood actor Robin Williams was found dead in his Californian home on August 11, having committed suicide. For a moment, when I (bleary-eyed) checked the news on my phone at 7am, I was stunned. I didn’t think it was real, in fact, my mind couldn’t process it was real. But sure enough, global news channels confirmed it. Robin Williams was gone.

Immediately my natural curiosity was sated. The man behind such classic films, Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Jumanji, Mrs Doubtfire, and Hook, had battled severe depression and alcoholism for many years. Nobody knows why he committed suicide – even though the newspapers are throwing a few curve balls into the media frenzy, along with a statement from his wife that he had early Parkinson’s Disease – but, in a  weird way, I understood.

As a former sufferer of depression, I found it incredibly difficult to talk about my problems to my friends and family. In fact, it was years after my Nana’s death when I realised I actually needed help. That the ongoing days and nights of crying into my pillow was not normal, that the idea of death was a glorified way out of my crap life. But, when I look back, I actually had a pretty good life. I had an amazing support network of family and friends, plus I had my writing and drama workshops, acceptance to university, and so on. However, I just couldn’t see that it all existed. Every night when I’d cry, I’d only see the darkness, the pain, the need for clear and refreshing physical pain rather than the emotional one. To me, nothing was right in the world. And I was selfish for taking up space, for living in it.

I can’t begin to understand what Robin Williams felt in those moments. But I do understand what it’s like to only see that insufferable darkness. I only hope he finds peace, wherever he may be, and can feel joy in seeing pigeons shit on other people’s heads while he looks on us from afar. And I also hope he reunites with Christopher Reeve once again, after all he needs to re-enact the scene as Reeve’s Russian proctologist. On that note, I’ll leave you with the very scene written in Christopher Reeve’s autobiography, Still Me:

“As the day of the operation drew closer, it became more and more painful and frightening to contemplate. In spite of efforts to protect me from the truth, I already knew that I had only a fifty-fifty chance of surviving the surgery. I lay on my back, frozen, unable to avoid thinking the darkest thoughts. Then, at an especially bleak moment, the door flew open and in hurried a squat fellow with a blue scrub hat and a yellow surgical gown and glasses, speaking in a Russian accent. He announced that he was my proctologist, and that he had to examine me immediately. My first reaction was that either I was on way too many drugs or I was in fact brain damaged. But it was Robin Williams. He and his wife, Marsha, had materialized from who knows where. And for the first time since the accident, I laughed. My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be okay.”

Handcuffed and willing: new Man of Steel poster arrives

Superman in handcuffs? The possibilities are endless!Image Courtesy of the 'Man of Steel' Facebook Fanpage

Superman in handcuffs? The possibilities are endless!
Image Courtesy of the ‘Man of Steel’ Facebook fan page

After the hush-hush whispers and the sideways glances from Henry Cavill and Zack Snyder, Superman’s fans are finally treated to a sneak peek poster of the very man himself – for the June 14 cinema extravaganza, Man of Steel.

He’s suited and booted, surrounded by an army of tanked soldiers and bound in… handcuffs?  Read the rest of this entry

Barrowman’s Bonks in Torchwood Touch Viewers’ Nerves

On a recent article in Metro, John Barrowman has responded to some viewers’ negative criticism on the current gay sex scenes in Torchwood’s new series, Miracle Day.

Jack and Angelo: Whisperings of Sexual Intimacy

Speaking of the received criticism, John said:

‘When you watch Torchwood there is a warning at the very beginning that some scenes may offend or disturb people. So if you allow your children to sit and watch it with you that’s your responsibility, not ours any more.’ – John Barrowman

Read the rest of this entry

Superman Without His Pants!

Snyder just got it all wrong. Again.

I’m about to give up hope; may as well just run myself off the edge of a cliff, because I know my hero won’t be there clad in all his glory to save me.

So what’s the dealio Snyder, Cavill? Costume designer gone on their vacation, to the land of no return? Took off with Supes underpants, in a hurry to take over the world!? I knew you were an evil man Lex, but stooping to that level…

In case you haven’t got the foggiest idea what I’m speaking of, here’s a clue: the latest on-set pictures to be released of the new Superman film has Henry Cavill with the iconic red underwear gone, and in its place, lo and behold, Cavill’s crotch.

Gone Commando Cavill?

Read the rest of this entry

Superman Turned Sour: First Look at The Man of Steel

Snyder and his team of hard-working Supe fans, have once again fallen short of expectations. The Man of Steel originally due to be released in Christmas of 2012, now pushed back to the summer of 2013, have provided fans with a sneak-peek at the brand-spanking new costume with Cavill looking ‘edgy’.

If you haven’t already seen it, you can view the whole article in full here: http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2011/08/04/%E2%80%9Cman-of-steel%E2%80%9D-revealed/

At first, I was damn excited for this film, but it seems with each new cast member or each new design feature, the Snyder re-boot is certainly flying to the fortress at an electrifying pace, and unfortunately never to return. Yes, they are meant to be revitalising what is seen to Hollywood as a ‘dead’ story, but are they taking it too far? Are they stepping in the wrong direction? Are they catapulting themselves into Krypton in the midst of their war, annihilating themselves upon landing? Personally, the new ‘edgy’ look just doesn’t cut it, Snyder is trying to fit a stray puzzle piece into the wrong puzzle board.

Superman isn’t like Batman for a reason; he is not human, and he doesn’t have the same flaws as humans. So why suit him up in scales and a cape that is more eligible to win dirt collector of the year award? If they were going for the ‘alien’ look, then they’ve definitely hit it on the head. With the constant improvements in CGI and design formats, Snyder’s team have certainly forgotten one significant element: Superman can fly; what use is an outfit with bumps in the air? Maybe they should go back to basic in physics; sleek, smooth and streamlined aids flight, rather than bumpy, bulky and similar to Batman.

Yet it isn’t just the suit that looks atrocious; Henry Cavill’s facial expression looks, quite frankly, evil.
Now unless our man has been taking an extra trip on the red K, Superman should look confidently calm in the face of his enemy. Henry Cavill is not that man.

What high hopes I had for this film, have been dashed, demolished and dunked in a pool of CGI corruption. I thought I would warm to Cavill, and maybe it is just a bad picture, but Snyder hasn’t even recreated the signature Superman ‘curl’ in the hair.

So I leave a final message to Snyder and his team: Get the hair right, or lose your respect. Get the suit right, or lose your fans. Direct Cavill better, or lose the Superman we’ve grown to love.

Christopher Reeve: The Real Superman

BBC Bans Torchwood’s Bare Bum Sex Scene

The show has gone from strength to strength over the past five years since its initial launch in 2006, and now has broadened its horizons into the land of Oz, or should I say, America.

A show that has broadcasted various sex scenes to British audiences, the BBC have finally put an end to a rather racy love affair involving Captain Jack Harkness and a barman. By all accounts, a source from the BBC has been quoted saying,

‘It wasn’t that it was a gay scene that worried people, but just the fact that it was such an explicit sex scene full stop. You can get away with scenes like that on American cable channels, but you can’t on primetime BBC One.’ 

Ianto and Jack in an Embrace

The nude scene has been reported has showing John Barrowman’s bare bum (now that I wouldn’t mind seeing!) however the BBC has claimed that some members of Torchwood’s regular viewing audience may find it disturbing. However, US audiences will be able to see such scene on their cable channel. Obviously the BBC have not thought this through. Someone, somewhere and somehow will broadcast this on the internet from America.

For a show that is aimed directly at adult audiences why has the BBC banned this?

‘It wasn’t that it was a gay scene that worried people’…

No it doesn’t worry Torchwood fans, nor does it worry the general population, but it seems to worry the BBC. Why mention the fact that it is a gay scene if it does not affect you? The BBC axed the scene because they were worried on receiving complaints about such a sordid scene, but what they should be worried about is the backlash from the statement above.

If this was a sex scene involving a heterosexual couple, would there be any reason to axe such a scene after the watershed?
I think not. (On seeing the full episode, they did in fact axe a sex scene with Rex and his female friend from the BBC. Was this due to backlash?)
So what if it’s a graphic sex scene? If the BBC are worried about viewers watching this, then do what other channels have done before and screen the episode at a later time.

Since the BBC have made such a ‘hoo-hah’ over the scene, they have elevated curiosity. Viewers will find other means of watching it; it’s a free country, and we have freedom of rights.

UPDATE

I just managed to see the ‘naughty’ sex scene by finding it through this available link.
http://www.quicksilverscreen.im/watch?video=957952
Skip to 29 minutes, if you want to see it.

On reflection of seeing this sex scene, I don’t think I saw anything remotely ‘explicit’ between the two men, and quite frankly I’ve seen racier sex between Jake Gyllenhall and the late Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain.

What do you think, are the BBC prudish and close-minded in our current climate?

The Victim Factor: X-Factor’s Casualties

Recently the X Factor has been back in the media as talks for the new American judges are well under way, but is it really a good thing to be bringing back the reality tv show when some winners of the past are being cut from their contracts?
Let’s take a look at the recent victims of the show…

Joe McElderry

He won the show in 2009, and has already been cast into the musical abyss. McElderry’s career was doomed from the beginning, and didn’t stand a winning chance against Facebook’s Anti-X-Factor campaign to hit the Christmas No. 1 top-spot. Rage Against the Machine, a fitting name for the campaign, struck gold when they entered the charts at number 1, killing the name of winner Joe McElderry. Though, McElderry wasn’t ready to give up yet, and later (with much needed promotion) bagged the No. 1 spot. His debut album went only hit the silver certificate in the UK, and peaked at No. 3 in the album charts. For an X-Factor winner, this was not good enough.

Unfortunately, on April 14, McElderry aged 19, was dropped by Simon Cowell’s record label, Syco. Newspapers have reported that he was ‘devastated’ and has moved back home to live with his Mum.
But the 19 year-old has to face the facts, the vicious, cut-throat world of music is certainly not stable, and with his last single, ‘Someone Wake Me Up’ only selling 7,000 copies, it’s no wonder he’s fallen off the talent table. Didn’t anyone tell the Geordie that he needs to stay in the public eye to pull in fans? Poor Joe, next time you see him he could be wallowing in misery in your local Costa Coffee.

 

Shayne Ward

Today, April 19, it has been reported that Shayne Ward has also been dropped by Cowell – (Maybe we should re-name him S(ick)o Simon, since he’s on the dusty road to Hell). After winning the X-Factor in 2005, he has had a much longer career than Joe McElderry, and at least a smidgem of success. His debut single, ‘That’s My Goal’, held the No. 1 spot for four happy weeks, and his album went straight to Platinum certification in the album charts. His success continued until the release of his second album, ‘Breathless’, but on his third album ‘Obsession’ (2010) hit the wall and only peaked at Number 15 in the charts. Suddenly, Shayne Ward’s reign of success was beginning to crumble.

With many people tweeting that Cowell has apparently ‘lost it’, and wondering why he would drop such a successful act… well you just have to look at the facts: he just wasn’t bringing in the money, selling his singles or appealing to the media.

So with McElderry and Ward dropped by their labels, who is next to get the axe? Leona Lewis has been laying low for a while in the states, and her success rate over in the UK certainly isn’t what it used to be. Alexandra Burke hasn’t released a single in a couple of months… (I hope Simon doesn’t show up with an axe in her living room, Jack Nicholson style…) And what about Matt Cardle, what on earth happened to him? Did he fall down a well?!

The only person that seems to be doing well is Olly Murs, runner-up to Joe McElderry in 2009. I hope he continues to storm the charts throughout the years, and not succumb to the Victim-Factor, or in other words, the V-Factor.

HOT OFF THE TWITTER MARK: Dianna Vickers parts ways with her record company, read the full article here: http://www.nme.com/news/diana-vickers/57707

Maybe that single ‘Once’ really was the truth – you only have one chance love.

Rebecca Black: It’s FUN FUN FUN Friday

“YEAH Yee-ahhh yay yay yay!”
It’s Friday and we all know what that means. National Rebecca Black Day?!
Don’t worry I’m kidding, but if you haven’t encountered this ‘rising star’ in the past few days, then boy are you missing a treat.
Here’s the link to her mind-blowing video…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfVsfOSbJY0

She has been trending on Twitter for near enough a week now. The viral promotion video went from a few thousand in the first day, to 6 million on the fourth, and to an enormously and unbelievable 16 million views today. Unfortunately it is not for her ‘spectacular’ voice, but rather for the atrocious yet annoyingly catchy lyrics.

So who is this Rebecca Black? We all know she likes to eat her cereal before getting in her friend’s back seat to go to school, but does she eat lunch and dinner too?!
The official website gives us all the information we need: http://arkmusicfactory.com/profile/rebeccablack

The question is how can a 13 year-old:
a) Afford a car.
b) Drive the car.
c) Or get her friend to drive the car.

Apparently in America 13 year-olds can drive a car, and they are always skipping school to go to some party, which is, of course, fun fun fun! But we all know music videos do not have to make sense any longer.

Personally, I’d like to see Rebecca Black actually sing, rather than become an auto-tuned robot. However, if the song wasn’t auto-tuned, would it get mass views on youtube?

I’d like to ask Miss Rebecca Black a few questions:
Does she have cereal every morning? What happens if she has toast, or god forbid an English Fry-Up! My apologies, I meant Fry-Day…
Is she a ‘belieber’?
Does she want to become the female version of Bieber?
Can we call her Rebecca ‘Black Friday’ – or is that taking it a step too far?

One thing is for sure, she can’t keep going to parties all day and drinking her body weight in non-alcoholic punch; the girls’ school toilets wouldn’t be a pretty sight.

Fans still go “Goo-Goo-Gaga” with Bieber Fever

Sneak-peak of my article on Bieber for Label Music… It isn’t too offensive is it? Comments from beliebers and non-beliebers welcome!

He has just kicked off his UK tour, he sports almost 7.9 million followers on his twitter account, and at this moment (and counting) has had 301,123,126 upload views on http://www.youtube.com. With ‘Biebs’ birthday only a few days ago, ‘Never Say Never’ concert film raking in the money, plus only a slight hiccup in his oh-so-innocent image with the paparazzi, it’s no wonder Justin seems to be skipping with joy with his Vanessa Hudgens look-a-like girlfriend, Selena Gomez. However, many of Biebs’ fans (or ‘beliebers’ for short) aren’t entirely happy with his new girlfriend. Gomez was allegedly slapped by a ‘belieber’ on a date for Justin’s 17th Birthday, and had been photographed hiding her face in the car afterwards, but in reality she was just trying to cover up a cold-sore – who wouldn’t?!

Child stars are notorious for taking a ride on the crazy coaster; Britney Spears, Macaulay Culkin and Lindsay Lohan are but a few who have crashed and burned on their way to the clinic. Evidently, Justin Beiber’s cutie-pie-image will soon be leaking out of his tippy cup, and into our own portfolio of ‘Celebrity Rehab’.

After his run in with the press and an abrupt middle finger gesture, Bieber tweeted saying that ‘it’s not always easy but I know better than to react in anger.’
But that wasn’t the case on the CSI set, was it Justin? Always the prankster, ‘Mr Bieber Diva’ locked a crewmember in the closet, whilst allegedly shouting at his mother for some absurd and self-absorbed reason – probably his hair.

Though it’s not just his fans that have something to say about him, the ‘non-beliebers’ laughed themselves silly when Justin was shot and killed in a CSI episode. His remains (it’s okay belieber’s, it’s just a healthy dose of sarcasm) – that is to say a lock of his hair – has been sold on Ebay for a whopping 25K to help an animal charity. I wonder if that came with a frame?

Justin Bieber has dominated pop culture, but what’s next on his horizons? Will he take a leaf out of Brit’s book and shave all his hair off next time? Or will he find satisfaction partying it hard in the toilets with the white stuff like Macaulay and Li-Lo? One thing’s for sure, he’s not an eenie-meenie-myny-mo baby anymore.

 

 

NB. Pictures Above: 1. Bieber becomes yo-ho Pirate in bid to takeover the world. 2. Bieber is hardcore.
(I did not defile these pictures myself, but they are the handy work of some housemates of mine…)