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Flowing juices. Creative ones, obviously.

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To quote the much maligned and dearly beloved late 90’s nu-metal band, ‘Stain’d’ – “It’s been a while”.

Several moons have passed since I last put finger to keyboard and mined literary goldust in the much loved Ross report. I could tell you that it was due to a creative funk, or I could even tell you it was because I have been far too busy hacking away at a forest of publishers, magazines and other literary guff peddlers – each clamouring for a piece of the artist formerly known as Ross. But, of course this would be false, and I would therefore be a liar. And I am not a liar, just a little bit of a dick.

The true reason for my absence has been much more mundane. Essentially, hammering out five blogs a week was a big ask and one that I could not realistically maintain without imploding like a beautiful, but dying star. So, as swiftly as I crashed head first into the literary atmosphere (forever changing how human’s percieved blog writing), I left it.

Well, nation, I have returned. For how long I cannot say. Possibly, until this ferocious black coffee I just sucked down has worn off and I collapse into a caffiene-related fug of sleepiness. But, for now I throw myself at your feet, my creative love muscle spewing forth words – pump after pump of consonants, vowels and….erm, full stops I guess.

What’s new Ross? One of you quietly whispers. Well, in fact life is bubbling over nicely in 2013. I am a week and a half from Tough Mudder. I have trained relentlessly for this brute and as it slowly slides into focus on my horizon, I no longer fear this spitting, raging slut. I embrace her and feel confident I will beat her soundly. I should stop using the word “her” as this could also be construed as a carrying a domestic-y violence vibe. Never pleasant. No. Ahem.

I have run two 12 miler’s and have dropped 8lbs since New Years Eve. Granted, five of those pounds possibly were deposited in the toilets of White Hart Lane on New Years day, as I proudly watched my beloved Tottenham Hotspur scithe through Reading with a hangover akin to being nose-fucked by deranged donkey – whom was partial to coitus with a human nostril.

Domestic violence and beastiality. Yep, the ross report is definitely back.

What else? In two weeks time, a road trip to the sleepy German vista of Stuttgart begins.  Handily scheduled to coincide with the massive beer festival. A quick glance at google maps reveals that our hotel is 100 yards from a beer tent. However, my suggestion of growing out a blonde maine and wearing blue contact lenses to “fit in” was shouted down. Primarily because I struggle with hair growth as a rule and some other ‘political’ reasons.

Also, I have been asked to be the best man for my friend Thomas Bradbury Esq. If a man be judged on his appearances as a best man (best being the operative word) then this would be my second show-stopping gig. The first one, for my big brother garnered rave reviews from two seperate pissed and distant relatives in the lavvy, to quote, “Best speech I’ve ever heard lad”. High praise. Plus, there were at least three women crying when I switched the speech from witty to earnest. Suffice to say, Thomas, I will not let you down.

Now, at the risk of spouting on and on like a fucked up oil rig, I will call a halt to this five star return blog. I cannot promise there will be more but I will try.

Things are looking up nation, of that I am certain. Peace-out, A-town.

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Thursday Sad Face: No Ross report this week.

Unforseen circumstances dictate that there will be no further blogs this week.

Ta, Ross.

Tuesday Training: The tragic and cautionary tale of ‘Zyzz’.

Aziz 'Zyzz' Shavershian (1989 -2011)

Obsession.

Each of us, as humans, have the ability to become obsessed. It is both a brilliant and potentially dangerous facet of the human condition. Mostly, we are aware when passion morphs into obsession and we are able to curb it, identify and consequently mould it into the muse we want it to be.

A key example of unbridled obsession would be the former England rugby legend, Jonny Wilkinson. Infintitely talented on a rugby paddock and relentlessly devoted to success, a character driven by unbridled passion. As a personality, he was revered constantly, and unfairly, as a rugby droid, purely because he would not go out shagging vapid trollopes every weekend, or provide a cutting soundbite to the press.

Here was a man obsessed with two goals – to captain England and the second, you guessed it, to lift the Webb Ellis trophy and be a world champion. Everything else was subsidary.

The kick that changed history.

The reason I mention Wilko is two fold. On the surface was a consumate professional and a cast iron role model. His obsession and unflinching desire paid massive dividends. On November 22nd 2003, his world was replaced with a new alien existence. Jonny became a national hero and icon, prime press fodder.

Post World Cup final, his finely tuned body began to creak and misfire. Injury upon injury followed, form dissapeared. Wilkinson slowly slipped from the public conscious. All the seconds, minutes, days and hours spent carving his psyche and technique to becoming a world champion reared themselves in the years that preceded that glittering November evening at the Telstra stadium.In a cruel twist, the work he had done was now creeping up and tearing him apart.

Jonny entered a spiral of deep depression and suffocating anxiety. Silently, he became a recluse – angry at the sport that he once adored and the spotlight that shone so brightly on his career.

From hero to an ongoing joke of the sport, famed once for his consumate temperment, now for his broken body and failed comebacks. His obsession led to the heights he craved but similarly it also culminated in to the darkest, lonliest period of his life.

Fortunately, Jonny eventually recognised this and relaxed his obsessive regimen and learned to enjoy his rugby, moving to Toulon and rebooting his stuttering career and personal life. He identified his demons before they swallowed him entirely.

‘Zyzz’ however, did not.

Aziz ‘Zyzz’ Shavershian

I stumbled across ‘Zyzz’ a couple of months ago on youtube whilst I was searching for a couple of motivational videos prior to throwing stuff about at the gym. The picture heading this blog previewed the video and so my curiosity was tickled and I watched the four minute video that followed.

What a cock,” was my immediate thought.

A minute later, “Cripes, he is in great shape though”.

Three minutes in, “He’s rather funny is this Aussie chap”.

The video ends, “What the shit?!! He’s DEAD?”.

I have a healthy morbid curiosity, maybe it links to the job I do (I’m not a contract killer, despite my obvious resemblance to Agent 47 of the Hitman games). My research began and I started to learn more and more about this internet sensation and cult hero, who was simply known as ‘Zyzz’.

Here was a very young man, who whilst in his teens was trapped within the body of an ectomorph. He craved, like a vast bulk of us gents do, women and he believed that being shredded was the answer. Therefore he began to train….hard. Results came quickly and with his new found adonis-like physique, as did a new personality that would inspire and repulse in equal measures.

‘Zyzz’ was the phyical embodiment of an internet troll, he became a minor celebrity down under. This was reflected following his premature passing with the search term ‘Zyzz’ being more popular than that of the Australian Prime minister.

Watching his videos, ‘Zyzz’ fist pumps and flexes his enviable physique in all manner of inappropriate situations.Whether you approve or not, he coined a number of phrases, that no douby you will have heard farting out of the mouths of teenage plebs at your local gymnasium.

“You mirin’?!” – You admiring?

“Come at me bro!” – self explanatory.

“Sick C*nt” – again, self explanatory.

“FUUUUUUAAAAAARK” – see above.

All inspired, Shakespeare standard fayre I am sure you will agree.

Watching his videos, it is simple to dismiss ‘Zyzz’ as a bit of an Aussie prick – and he is, but this is also a slight disservice. Away from the camera, he openly confided in his fans that the entire ‘Zyzz’ character was just that, a fabricated figurehead for his obsession – to be the king of aesthetic bodybuilding.

His transformation from stick insect to aesthetic god has inspired many. He is also despised by those who consider him a fraud, and understandbly so, I am undecided, but once you click through a few of his videos and read his dry and sometimes hilarious quotes, it’s difficult to not feel an ounce of sadness for his untimely passing. There is certainly a presence about him, good or bad.

Aziz ‘Zyzz‘ Shavershian died in a sauna in Bangkok, aged 22. It is widely reported that he was on a very intensive steroid and fat burner cycle and this coupled with an unknown heart condition put paid to his legacy. Despite his continual protestations that he was a natural bodybuilder, the general consensus was that he indeed did abuse steroids.

I dont ask that you like or approve him, I just consider his story to be quite an intriguing one.

His obsession snuffed out his young life. Dont let obession rule yours.

RIP Aziz ‘Zyzz’ Shavershian March 24, 1989 – August 5, 2011

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Monday Movie Review: ‘American Psycho’ (2000)


“I feel my mask of sanity is about to slip…” ~ Patrick Bateman

Last week I exploded the ultra-violent ‘Fight Club’, so as a gentle change of pace (NOT – 2007 Borat reference, geddit), this week I shall peer into the twisted, sadistic and also ultra-violent mind of serial killer Patrick Bateman in Mary Harron’s 2000 film, ‘American Psycho’ – I fully acknowledge there may be a theme developing here. Yet, I make no apologies for this, primarily because I am a stubborn twat and this is blog is called The Ross Report last time I bothered to check.

But before I go balls deep into my revered movie chat, I have a darkly humourous tale to relay regarding ‘American Psycho’ and my dear old Grand-papa.

It was Christmas Day 2007, as is Bilko family tradition, Grandad Billington stays over for the yearly festive shenanigans. This particular year I graduated from University. Carelessly, I had left a copy of my dissertation perched atop the coffee table in the living room. Curiosity getting the better of him, Grandad reached over and began a merciless 60 minutes reading through my life’s work. Being the dullard I am, I paid little attention – partly due to the beer induced fug I was blissfully ensconsed within but chiefly because I was sat in a brand new gaming chair lobotomising droids in ‘Halo 2’.

My dissertation was entitled, ‘Masculine identity, violence and homoeroticism in Chuck Palahniuk’s ‘Fight Club’ and Bret Easton Ellis’s ‘American Psycho’. Innocuous enough right? Well, kinda…

The dissertation.

As I stared blankly at the TV, I happily mused,”Oh, Grandad, what a good sport you are, reading my dissertation.”

After 30 seconds passed, the beer delay complete, my thoughts violently evolved and transformed into, “OH FUCK, GRANDAD PLEASE STOP READING THE DISSERTATION.”

For any mortal who has delved into Bret Easton Ellis’s original novel they will clearly understand the point I am getting at here, however if you are unitiated, the novel details a sociopathic yuppie killer who revels in violence, sex and his materialistic cravings. All three are interspersed with each other leading to jaunty little passages such as this:

“I tried to make meat loaf out of the girl but it becomes too frustrating a task and instead I spend the afternoon smearing her meat all over the walls, chewing on strips of skin I ripped from her body”.

And…

“I want you to clean your vagina. Sabrina (a call girl he has employed), dont just look at it, EAT IT!”

Both of which were quoted in my dissertation, amongst other filth.

Just as quickly as the blood rushed to my cheeks it dissipated from Grandad’s, and never again will I be that innocent little scamp of grandson he once knew.

Story time over.

Mary Harron’s film does a very decent job of translating Easton Ellis’s words to celluloid. The narrative style is painfully descriptive and at times incredibly monotone in it’s delivery – yet this is not a criticism in any way, as it is clearly intended to be read that way by Easton Ellis. However to truly embrace the character of ‘Bateman’ and to buy into the story, the novel requires patience. The film however dilutes this somewhat and focuses on several gory set pieces and also, I would argue, a softening of ‘Bateman’s’ character. Understandable considering this is a Hollywood re-imagining but still it is disappointing having read the novel beforehand.

The entire film is dipped in satire and retains a jet black humour throughout. Whilst it is memorable for Christian Bale’s performance as the lead, dancing to ‘Huey Lewis and the News’ as he stisfies his nocturnal bloodlust or sprinting maniacally around his apartment complex covered in claret, the film attempts to explode themes of homoeroticism and materialism. Partly it is succesful, the styling is faithful to the era and many of the memorable ‘rant’ passages from the novel find their way into the film. I wont go into further detail with regard to the themes (I did that in my dissertation and lost a head of hair as a result) but they are clear and evident should you choose to read the novel or watch the film. I would argue that those themes are not explored deeply enough in the movie though.

As for Mr Bale, this is career defining fayre. Before he battled Bane or larked about with The Joker, Bale logged the best performance of his career as ‘Bateman’. He is equal parts frightening, unhinged and hilarious.

A brilliant performance is ordinarily measured by whether you can take your eyes off of the actor – I could not. Even after countless re-watches, it is Bale I come back for. An ongoing joke between my friends references a particuar scene in the movie where ‘Bateman’ is porking one of his many prostitutes before shooting a glance at his wall-length mirror and flexing a ripped bicep. Hilarious? Of course, but it is also one of many brave, ultra confidence scenes performed by a then fairly unknown actor.

Harron captures the mood and vapidity of the 1980’s brilliantly. The clothes, music and yuppie culture are dialed up almost to a point of lampooning but do the job of re-creating the transparent atmosphere of Easton Ellis’s narrative. Great support is found in Reese Witherspoon as ‘Bateman’s’ on/off fiance and Jared Leto (who really needs to pack in this singing lark and get back to acting) as ‘Paul Allen’, ‘Bateman’s’ quasi-nemesis.

This is not a perfect film by any means, chiefly due to it’s heavy-handedness at times and glossing over of the true themes of the novel, but it is still a great watch, and worth seeing purely for Bale’s breakthrough performance.

However, if you are hunting for the true Psycho experience, get the book, brace yourself and enter the brilliant but fubar’ed mind of Bret Easton Ellis. Just dont lend it to my grandad when you’re done.

This is a prime taster of what to expect:

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Friday Filth w/ bonus funny: Jessica Nigri (HAWT) and Mr R. Gosling.

Click on her boobs for a gallery.

Friday morning has plopped out of Thursday night’s perky bottom and the weekend is now tantalising close. For all you ‘normies’, this means booze, rest, partying and hookers – you lucky bunch of blighters.

With my trade, weekends are strictly rationed out and snaffled up hungrily on the rarest of occasions that I have them off.

But, I won’t sit here and weep like a teased vagina.

Instead, to warm mine and your jealous and pervy cockles, Uncle Ross has conjured up a female of the foxiest form to lust over in those colder, lonelier moments over this windy, wet, winter weekend. Her name is Jessica Nigri and she dresses up as Pikachu and stuff.

Miss Nigri is a rare and bewitching creature – an unapologetically geeky specimen who spends her free time constructing outfits based on famed video game characters. Then squeezing into said outfiits and initiating cardiac arrest on swathes of chubby nerds at comic conventions. Well, it was going to be her or the industrial vat’s of Wotsits they shove down their gullets.

She also has massive…….opinions on global warming and world peace and… Oh sorry I was looking at her tits. Enjoy.

Click on the picture above to see a little more of Miss Nigri.

For the ladies then, just because I feel a prime turd if I purely hark on about stonking fun bags, as a token gesture, here is a gallery to the effortlessly suave Ryan Gosling. Even a dashing rogue like I can appreciate he is a handsome bastard.

Plus, he has been in a spate of stupendously cracking films over the last 18 months. Any human who watched ‘Drive’ and felt no rumbling in their loins, by my calculations is either a droid or rotting inside.

Click on his giant head for a gallery of Mr Gosling.

And as a final goodbye for the week I charitably mined a shining chunk of funny for you all.

On a recent trip to Barcelona, my two rampaging chums and I were holed up in our rented apartment nursing weapons grade hangovers. A good two hours was spent whoring the apartment Wi-Fi on YouTube and after much deliberation and Jaegermeister, this little gem was considered video of the night.

Butter flooring, if you haven’t heard of it yet; spend a valuable ten minutes of your working day versing yourself on this brutal pranking craze.

I shall see you mucky lot next week for my world famous movie chat. As always, follow me on twitter to recieve all this goodness and more.

Follow the ross report on twitter!

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Thursday Tune: BomFunk MC’s – ‘Freestyler’ (1999).

Oh Finland, you have delivered us…..hang on, what have you delivered us? I dont intend to begin this blog walloping Sweden’s deformed, ginger step brother but as I sit here, ‘Ghostbusters’ mug in hand, I find myself scuttling around hunting for anything that Finland can lay claim to of great cultural significance.

“Oi Bilko!” I hear you holler at me, “What about Liverpool quasi-legend, Sami Hyppia?”

Well, yes, the blonde Finnish former Scouse defensive cornerstone was an admirable servant to the Kop for a great many years – 1st round to Finland.

“Oi Ross, you inconsiderate twat!” You now yell in a slightly aggressive and now distinctly hostile manner. “What about mobile phone collossus Nokia?”

And once again fair reader, you may just have a point. Where would we be without having spent countless school lunchtimes playing snake on the Nokia 3210? Or shelling out iPhone levels of wonga for the Nokia 7110 purely because perma-bored actor Keanu Reeves fluffed about with it in 1999’s ‘The Matrix’. Round 2 to Finland.

“Oi Billington you stinky dog-fucker!” Your verbal protestations now bordering into hate-crime levels of vitriol. “What about Finnish game-changing break-beat certified crazy bastards, ‘The Bomfunk MC’s’?”

And with that, you just convinced me that Finland may possibly be the best country that borders Sweden, Norway and Russia. KO to Finland.

‘Freestyler’, released on the cusp of the millenium was notable for a myriad of reasons. Primarily, it was a bloody good record, all bass and computerised farty bleeps. This was the the musical alternative to booting through your car windscreen and cutting up rugs to the resulting alarm – and I say that with the greatest of respect.

Secondly, it sounded dangerously good pumping out of the speakers. Many a teenage evening was wasted fizzing around Dunstable in my best mates ocean blue Vauxhall Corsa, spewing out ‘Freestyler’ through his poorly wired 6×9 speakers and accompanying subwoofer. Each bassy thump punching out of the sub, screaming obnoxiously in the wrinkled faces of all the ‘squares’ trudging along High Street South. We were the new world order of awesome – our voluntary publicising of Finnish music almost definitely led to ‘Freestyler’ solidifying the number 2 spot on the official top 40 countdown.

The video also deserves honourable mention, charting the 4 and a half minute commute of a Finnish Stig of the dump, dicking about with a Sony Mini-disc player (another fine late 90’s invention – I owned one) using it’s magical powers to fast forward and pause real Finnish people.

Which in turn leads to my quarrel with this video.

If this young lad, we shall call him ‘Sami’, truly had the expendable time to be fart-arsing about in what can only be described as a train station designed by Ikea, he clearly was not a genuine owner of a minidisc player.

On average, I would spend four hours recording a 45 minute album on to a minidisc, only to realise when I hit play that the disc was corrupt and I would sit there on the school bus bubbling with fury that I could not get my pre-school fix of ‘The Vengaboys’.

Frackin’ useless.

The mini-disc player = looked cool, actually worse than human shit.

I was saddened to read this morning that the ‘Bomfunk MC’s’ split in 2004 shockingly. Then Finnish prime minister Mixa Matosis declared a national day of mourning (BomFunkensplatt) and a subsequent act was passed in parliament for every second child borne into a Finnish family be named either ‘Bom’ or ‘Funk’, if of the female variety. Upon learning this I was pleased and reassured that the legacy of this genre smashing creative juggernaut would live on.

Turn up your speaker, maybe even light a candle, and sip on a short measure of warming Euro-pop.

Thank me later.

Wednesday Watch: FX’s ‘Archer’.

 

“She’s like the Pele of anal”~ Sterling Archer.

God bless Walt Disney, not literally of course if those pesky paedophilic tendencies and Nazi sympathiser rumours are to believed, but a swift doth of the cap to the be-spectacled scribbler is just about in order.

Without his early doodles, the universe may never have been blessed with ‘Homer Simpson’, ‘Fred Flintstone’, ‘Stewie Griffin’, ‘Eric Cartman’ and now, the newly initiated clown prince of chortles, ‘Sterling Mallory Archer’.  Mr Disney remains the ‘Don Corleone’ of colouring in.

Cartoons and animation have always been close to my recently irregularly beating heart muscle. As tween Ross grew into teenage Ross before morphing hairily into adult Ross, an ever present thread ran alongside my bubbling and heaving puberty – cartoons.

As a nipper, Sunday nights followed a strict regimen:

4:30pm: Bath time (with brother until it got just a little bit too weird)

5pm: ‘All American Wrestling’

6pm: ‘The Simpsons’.

We rarely diverted from this plan, and any attempts to change channel’s to ‘The Antique Roadshow’ sparked biblical levels of fury from both my brother Glenn and I. It was unpleasant fayre.

As my shaggy life rug has been slowly rolled out, Homer has been replaced by ‘Peter Griffin’ ably assisted by doses of ‘Eric Cartman’. ‘Family Guy’ much like The Simpson family has tragically entered into a steady decline. Whilst numerous ‘lol’s’ (I just vomited blood in my mouth) can still be mined from Griffin et al, tragically, this is a comedy that is far from the giddy heights of Comedy Mountain (this infamous moutnain range can be located in Northen Cambodia) that it used to stand proudly atop. As the seasons have passed, and it pains me to say this, the quality has sloped steadily. I still adore the show but as the quality has dipped, my funny bone has been fingered by a new, younger and bustier show.

That show is FX’s Adam Reed’s ‘Archer’.

‘Archer’ is ingenius. End blog.

I could literally end the blog there in a what would be a marginally pretentious manner but, because you deserve more, I will throw you a few stale crumbs on what has fast become my favourite show. ‘Archer’ follows the adventures and non-adventures of the ISIS organisation, a bumbling spy agency populated by nyphomaniac PA’s, a homocidal professor, quasi-Bond villain bad guys and the wonderfully sociopathic lead character ‘Sterling Archer’.

The turtleneck – underated as a ‘tactical garment’.

The animation is a joy to behold with wonderful references to vintage Bond films whilst smoothly interspersing distinctive touches of ‘Mad Men’ in the attire sported by each memorable character. ‘Archer’ is smooth, vibrant and absolutely original, looking unlike any other show, let alone animation on television currently.

I’d wager that the current plague and re-emergence of the turtle neck jumper as an acceptable item of clothing has some debt to ‘Archer’.

Each twenty minute episode is stuffed full of one-liners that zing from the fine voice actor’s mouth-holes. H. Jon Benjamin provides the vocal talent of lead character ‘Sterling Archer’ supported by Judy Greer (Arrested Development), Jessica Walter (again Arrested Development) and Chris Parnell amongst others seasoned chuckle peddlers. ‘Archer’ is a slick and brilliant all round production that  warrants re-watches to simply pick up on the minute visual touches and fizzing one-liners that do get missed on first viewing; the show zips along at a furious pace.

Three seasons in and ‘Archer’ has announced itself with aplomb. Gushing critics can be found in it’s wake, legions of fans, like me, coo and cream over it’s genuine brilliance. Awards have been tossed in it’s general direction and turtle-neck sales have spiked

If you havent already, take eight minutes from your day to watch the youtube video above. It’s only a teasing taster of what the show is about but if not one solitary snigger emanates from that big gaping hole in your face, I will pay you all £10*.

Archer can be found on FX or on DVD/Blu-ray.

*Monopoly money.

 

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Tuesday Training: Tendonitis = CV, plus added Georges St Pierre!

Inevitably, the famed Billington injury curse has struck again. My body, apparently constructed of paper mache and glass has failed me. I am the bald Darren Anderton.

Unfortunately, I am accustomed to my under developed 7 year old female wrists, 89 year old knees/ankles and tracing paper thin lower back crumpling under most forms of exercise, heck, I have long since learned to fight and adapt my training to acommodate those frequent aches and pains. But now, a body part I have leaned on for years has collapsed under the strain, and my fears were confirmed at the quack’s, I have tendonitis in my left shoulder.

I’ve been “pulling too much” apparently says the Doc, chance would be a fine thing say I.

I should be thankful after my brother thought I may have had a mini stroke, yay, alas I have not.

This means that I will be laying off the iron for two to three weeks and allowing my Wolverine like healing powers to take their course. Mass amounts of painkillers are being swallowed to combat the dull sensation from my trapezius to my elbow joint. I have even taken to wearing some Under Armour heat gear during the day. My ingenius thinking is two-fold – It will keep heat around the injury and will also make me feel a smidge like The Rock in ‘Fast Five’ (He must work for the only Police force that use Under Armour exclusively for their kit – bastard). There are obvious and clear similarities between Dwayne Johnson and I – you dont need me to pander to you all and explain them.

Rocky or is it me?

So, no weights = more CV. This is not an issue for me, I revel in cardio like a little bald piggy-wiggy larking about in turd. The target set is an easily achievable 45 minutes of steady state cardio for fourteen days in a attempt to cut some of my love chunks. Once I feel the old shoulder is back in the game I will ease back in to the lifting and re-ignite the Hulk rage within. Tough Mudder lurks on the horizon and I must be at full capacity for that sneering, evil slut.

Enough about me, lets discuss the UFC at the weekend, and shed a little light on Georges St Pierre and his explosive return to the octagon.

As perma-red faced commetator Joe Rogan repeatedly attested, GSP looked enormous on Saturday night. His enforced absence from competing with a career threatening ACL injury clearly was spent eating babies. It was a relief to see the funny voiced martial arts afficianado go the distance with Carlos Condit in a true barnburner of a championship bout.

GSP in his post match interview referred to knowing “what ring rust is now”. You could have fooled me you crazy little French-Canadian monkey.

I wont reveal the result here but, boy howdy, much claret was spilled.

Below is a little compilation of Mr St Pierre training, it’s ideal pre-gym fodder. Now I am off the pre-workout drinks for an undetermined time, videos like this give me the required boot up the arsehole I need to “embrace the grind” (emotive bullshit that translates to “go to the gym”).

Georges, over to you.

 

 

 

 

Monday Movie Review: ‘Fight Club (1999)’.

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“I want you to hit me as hard as you can”.

It pains me ever so slightly to comprehend that this film was released in 1999. I was a young buck of a 14 year old, riding the crest of an angry, gushing wave.

The internet machine was whirring into full force, Blink 182 were new, exciting and ‘vital’, Pro Evolution Soccer was curling off countless turds on FIFA. I had a full head of bewitching hair, envied by millions. It was still socially acceptable to don popper tracksuit bottoms in public.

This was an age of innocence, expectation, alco-pops and shit Nelly and N-Sync collaborations. 1999 also happened to be the year that guffed out my all time favourite film, David Fincher’s ‘Fight Club’.

Before wading through the sea of superlatives that I will be tossing at this ground-breaking film, I beg of you to humour me momentarily and cast your mind’s eye back to ’99. It was a dark, chilly Winter’s eve, my older brother had rented ‘Fight Club’ on VHS from Blockbuster Video along with a copy of Playstation’s ‘Tenchu’ (criminally underrated). Big brother was grafting at rugby training so I spied an opportunity to fire up the VCR. ‘Con Air’ farted out of the VCR’s rectangular mouth and in glided David Fincher’s ‘Fight Club’. At this point in my under developed adolescence, I had not been the film spod that I claim to be now, that ‘special’ movie had not arrived and swept me off my size 9 feet (size 11 now girls, you do the math). Unbeknownst to me, my perception of film was about to be bastardised for eternity.

There I sat crossed legged with my Sarah Michelle Gellar poster reassuringly perving over me, my (striking) blue eyes wide for 139 minutes plus allotted toilet time, 10-15 allowing for any ‘complications’. I was spellbound by the styling, acting, music and originality of what is one of the greatest narrative hoodwinks of cinema. The Dust Brothers soundtrack, Brad Pitt’s acting masterclass as ‘Tyler Durden’ only matched by Edward Norton’s nervous and fractured performance as protagonist ‘Jack’. It’s unrepentant violence and unadulterated fury was so very palpable that the steaming, sweaty stink almost emanated from the speakers. For brief moments I could taste metallic blood creeping into my mouth. Claustrophobic and oppressing but yet so intriguing I dared not to look away. I had found a new leader, this was dirty bliss in celluloid form.

We, as humans, mutter of defining moments in our respective lives. When these moments happen, you dont realise the full force or effect that they have on you as a character, or the phycological dents they leave. These moments can only be spied and traced back after the event, days or months along into the future. Watching ‘Fight Club’ remains one of these seminal moments in my 27 years as a human-bot. It changed me as a person.

I re-watched ‘Fight Club’ over and over, not “28 times” like red-capped shout merchant Fred Durst, but more times than I should. Each occasion further rewarding my persistence. This film requires multiple viewings, much in the same vein as Bryan Singer’s sublime head-porker ‘The Usual Suspects’.

The months after led to me shouting at close friends to watch it, I bought Chuck Palahniuk’s original novel that the film was based upon, I created a fansite called ‘The Unique Snowflake’, that never actually went ‘live’ due to my inability to actually create a working website and a 56k dial-up that continually dropped out. In one of a long list of teenage fashion mis-steps, I purchased a pair of sunglasses worn by Pitt’s ‘Tyler Durden’ failing to realise that only someone as criminally handsome as Pitt could pull of what was a pair of horrendously shit sunglasses (picture included). The burning passion I had for this movie would not relent and licked at my psyche daily.

This was the film that seduced me into cinema, stroking my long since abandoned hair before flashing me a cheeky nipple and coaxing me into it’s Fritzl dungeon. I was a willing victim, skipping into it’s warming embrace. I have not looked back an never intend to.

In the 13 years that have since passed, ‘Fight Club”s footprints can be seen peppered over my existence. My dissertation at university was centred upon the novel, I own t-shirts with quotes from the film and still sport them, even my screensaver at this precise second is a ‘Fight Club’ quote. ‘Where is my mind’ by The Pixies is still tucked in a dark corner of my ipod, each time I am happily suprised when it plays, those same feelings of youth flush across my brain and momentarily I am back in that bedroom with Sarah Michelle Gellar and the reassuring whirring of the VCR.

This blog entry was intended to be a review but has clearly strayed from that particular path. For that I apologise, however, when discussing this particular movie I cannot remain impartial and must only gush. As we approach the 15 year anniversary of Fincher’s ‘Fight Club’, it still feels fresh, the stylistic touches have not dated and are as impatient and as important as they were all those years ago. More so now that ever can the commentary on consumerism and lost identity be grafted on to this current generation.

With notes of homo-eroticism to be found alongside warning’s of an entire lost generation of men with no purpose or place, it is a Multi layered narrative. Thankfully with a subject matter so steeped in the darkness, Fincher laces the proceedings with dark comedic touches delivered impeccably through the performances of Pitt and Norton with notable tip’s of the hat to Meat Loaf in a memorable and thankless role as ‘Robert Poulsen’.

The final act pummels you and gives the closest form of audience related concussion that I have experienced through film. Your jaw will drop as the origami like narrative unfolds again cementing the need to re-watch and re-watch then re-watch again. This is a true masterwork of deception but also reward to the viewer.

If you own eyeballs, and I presume you do to be reading this, and appreciate film as a medium in any form, I implore you to watch ‘Fight Club’ now, tonight or as soon as humanly possible.

Break that first rule of ‘Fight Club’ and do talk about it, lots.

In the event that you dont appreciate its bad-assery, I will fight you…with fists and sticks and stuff.

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Friday Filth: Emily Blunt.

Whilst my previous blog entries have been thought-provoking and endlessly informative, Friday’s instalment is slightly less high-brow.

Here be boobs. Abandon all hope ye who don’t like dirty pillows, because Friday’s are purely for perving.

This will be brief because I’m at work and can’t very well surf the interwebs hunting for ‘tang. A handy link below to the wonderful Miss Blunt.

She also seems to have an agent who isn’t a complete fuckwit as her film choices range from the funny (‘Five Year Engagement’) to thoroughbred action (‘Looper’, ‘The Adjustment Bureau’). Plus, in ‘Looper’ she sports dirty blonde hair and a dirtier Yank accent.

John Krasinski, you are a prime shit for tapping this particular ass. Enjoy.

http://m.askmen.com/women/galleries/celeb-profiles-actress/emily-blunt/picture-1.html