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‘… and they watched the fire which does contain within it something of men themselves inasmuch as they are less without it and are divided from their origins and are exiles. For each fire is all fires, the first fire and the last ever to be.’

Oh snap, you caught me. I thought I’d try to sneak back in here whilst you were chewing on the apocalyptic verse of Cormac ‘were all going to die’ McCarthy. Ah well Hiya! It’s me Scruffy, returned after a five-month tenure visiting all the sacred sites of the major and minor religions in order to gain a greater spiritual insight into the self and the act of blogging as a meditative release.

Henceforth Metajunkies shall strive to be bigger, stronger, funnier, more productive, more sensual, more relevant, better written, more serious, less serious, less dedicated to pithy throwaway cultural references and finally, thanks to the lengthy sermons of Pastor Aloysius Avarice of Waynesville, North Carolina, much, much more radically Right-Wing.

Unfortunately Sharpie is away, giving seminars on advanced IED defusal to private military contractors in an as yet un-named location, so I shall be at the helm for a while, but never fear, no doubt she’ll come slinking back once the money runs out.

Right, before we start there’s some house-keeping to get out of the way:

E-MAILS: None

COMMENTS: None

SUBSCRIBERS: One! Congratulations ijm1983@yahoo.co.uk for your staunch and steadfast support when all others recognised a sinking ship when they saw one, I’ll buy you a pint out of that thirty quid I owe you.

Now, on with the show.

(EDIT: ijm1983@yahoo.co.uk just contacted me in a lengthy and some may argue foul-mouthed e-mail saying I actually owe him forty quid and if I don’t get it to him soon he’ll send a crew of Rough Lads packing brass doorknobs in burlap sacks to pound my kidneys into a bloody urine pâté.)


Canne Not

Us Meta Junkies, well me anyway-the other one is happily playing his new x-box games, are devastated that we aren’t at Cannes Film Festival when everyone else in the entire reviewing world is, even the unimportant and YOUNGER THAN US Ultraculture got a yellow press pass. As we live in this bastardised internet savvy environment we can’t even  forget about the event because twitter is making Woody Allen jokes right in our faces and ‘videoblogisodes’ whatever the hell they are are being streamed into our brains. We don’t like it. You’re actually quite lucky this entire thing isn’t in caps as a 21st century representation of my pain.

Instead of living it up in France with the smelly, frog-eating, bread-carrying, French people* we got a bit drunk in Salford, went to a glam-rock night our friend put on, got drunk a bit more, watched Thor and then topped it all off by watching The Thing for the first time. Now I’m going to bear all in a review that will be nothing like all the other one’s you have already read.

After the initial disappointment of having to watch  it in 3D Thor  actually wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t camp and it wasn’t cheesy and it was actually a little bit funny, It’s up there with Iron Man as the best super-hero adaptations. Well done then Ken.

Asgard looked shiny and cool; the bridge to the bi-frost was the strongest aspect. New Mexico was a perfect setting for arrogant hero in small town style slapstick and chaos which turned out to be more than just a little light relief from some big non-human words and names. Chris Hemsworth was perfect for Thor with his flowing golden locks and massive abs and Natalie Portman clearly thought so too as did every woman in his vicinity. Portman might not get the kind of accolades here she did for Black Swan, but it’s got to be better than whatever swan-dive her career is taking from that Ashton Kutcher ‘movie’ and let’s not forget Your Highness, granted I haven’t seen either of these films, but you can’t make me do that so just understand they aren’t very good and we’ll move on to Loki. Tom Hiddleston was a show stealer here portraying a perfect amount of hurt and born-to-be-evil glamour that looked great in a cape, you might recognise him from TV, but probably not. I’m going to say the word SPOILER RIGHT NOW before I go on to ruin it for you all and I’ll even be nice and leave a little gap, but not a big one, so just click away if you don’t want to ruin anything for you and I apologise for making you leave. Please come back.

If you wait till the end of the credits you can see the little Avengers bit that only the geekiest are aware exists at the end of the recent slew of Marvel flicks to hit our screens and you can see a little more Tom with hints to what I can only assume will be a lovely empowered evil role in The Avengers next year.

Right Thor  was good then, The Thing was pretty cool too. It scared the crap out of me actually and I went to bed shuddering. I did get told off for falling asleep in the Alien-esque stomach bursting bit, but I was bloody tired. The monsters were excellently designed and the soundtrack was for me the creepiest bit, Carpenter is always great at that though. Still looks awesome after all these years and may just be one of my favourite scary movies,  in case Ghostface ever comes to ask.

Cannes is still in swing for another week I think so be prepared for another one of these and I hope everybody who is there is having a horrible time.

*No stereotypes were used in the creation of this blog


It’s high art obviously

This week Skins decides that the popular literary figure Shakespeare, you might have heard of him, is cool. Grace decides that sustaining a voice doesn’t matter, and everyone gets out their ‘coke eyes’. Sounds good I know.

I appear to have missed all important plot points this week, if indeed any occurred, and only saw Frankie kiss everyone on command while saying that she isn’t bi-sexual she “just likes people”, great writing coming to you from E4 since 2005.

Despite all this it was however Grace’s episode, though it did appear to be more like a Mr.Blood (Chris Addison) greatest hits compilation as he pranced about the scenery spouting nonsensical shit in a pan-British accent. The accents played a large part of this weeks shows mainly because, never having been to Bristol, none of them sounded remotely Bristolian in nature. Of course I recognise that they are professionaly trained thespians from the ‘big-city’, but I mean come on, if you can’t make it Skins then you have no chance, which is why nobody knows what any of the previous cast members are doing. Nicholas Hoult being the exception, but then he worked with Hugh Grant so nothing else really matters does it.

GOD I ALMOST FORGOT THE PEA SONG.

For those unawares the pea song is a cultural movement unbeknown to anyone in the modern world that isn’t a complete and utter shit-tard of a human being. If this doesn’t signal a last attempt at greatness before ‘the fall’ then I don’t know what does. Empires have been ruined by less. Just ask Julias.

I’m still recovering from that memory for a while so let’s discuss the aforementioned ‘coke eyes’. Picture the scene: four quiet girls in a bedroom full of floaty stuff with nothing to do, they get out their limitless supply of cocaine, kiss daddy goodbye, and run off to the club that doesn’t ask for any form of identification from said underage children. It’s a great world I know. Once at this club where all their friends also happen to be, it’s obviously not a school night, they decide to ‘get off with’ some fat bloke and his mate, Matty takes unkindly to the unwanted attention Franky is recieving and asks him politely to leave by scaring the living shit out of millions of people with what is the complete opposite of Bette Davis Eyes. That boy can act. Maybe. No, no he can’t. We can all begin to walk the long road to recovery know because he clearly had an overdose of something. Sorry about that long-winded rant, but someone had to say it and I am speaker of the truth. Anyway I’m sure next week all this trouble will end, or be exacerbated-who knows, when him and Franky just have sex already, Liv won’t mind she’ll just have another five bottles of Vodka.

Since I don’t know what I’m saying anymore I’ll just stop saying things, other than that the music this week was unusually good and I would like to say well done Kyle. We had a bit of Jessie J, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, James Blake, The National, and Magnetic Man amongst others. God it’s a great time to be alive.


Oscar time

It’s that time of year once again where the little Golden man rears his head and I thought I’d do a very rushed prediction of what I think will be the winners in the big categories tonight. I’m an idealist so we can just strike out The Kings Speech from being in this list right now.

 

Best Picture: The Social Network

Actor in a leading role: Colin Firth

Actor in a supporting role: Geoffrey Rush

Actress in a leading role: Natalie Portman

Actress in a supporting role: Hailee Steinfeld

Animated Feature: Toy Story 3

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Foreign Language Film: Buitiful

Original Music: 127 Hours

Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network (Aaron Sorkin)

Original Screenplay: The King’s Speech

Sorry for missing out the technical awards I’m in a rush here to watch Outcasts, but I think it’s going to be a bit of a mixed bag this year. Anyway the wait is almost over and we are all excited to see what  one armed puns Franco delivers so get to it.

 


‘The book thereafter is kind of uneven.’

Here at the Meta Centre we’re not afraid to sometimes descend to High Art, Sharpie looked at a painting once, and I slept through an entire production of Mamma-Mia! As such, what with it being a new year and all, I considered my ridiculous fire-hazard of a book collection and thought I should probably read some of these. So, as well as the numerous, dubious reviews of computer games and films about rape that is the norm around here there may be a few highfalutin missives on books. There will be chin-stroking.

And Christ, I couldn’t think of a book more chin-strokingly literary than A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius if I tried, the title alone reduced me to clawing off my own mandible. As with everything else in pop-culture I am often slow on the uptake with novels, it took me 110 years to get round to reading Lord Jim, so A.H.W.o.S.G is already a decade old. The book, written by McSweeny’s editor and smarty-pants Dave Eggers, takes the form of a memoir describing the author’s struggles in raising his younger brother after both their parents succumb within weeks of each other to cancer. What makes A.H.W.o.S.G unique, and led the literati of the day into an absolute orgy of praise, is the book’s form. Eggers, being a smarty-pants, recognises the fundamental flaw of the medium he is using; how can one truly tell a true story with the manifold restraints of the written word? As such he eschews the general conventions of the memoir for a subjective, novelistic approach wherein narrative can suddenly jump forward, back, upside-down and into itself. Characters speaking to Eggers become Eggers himself commenting on the very use of those characters and you can practically feel the book itself nudging you and saying ‘did you see what I did there?’

It isn’t only in the bulk of the story itself that Eggers employs his literary fancies. The sharp-eyed reader may notice that, amongst the usual This paperback published in etc. that most people ignore, Eggers has included little easter-eggs; a scale out of 10 of Egger’s sexuality, for instance, and a subversion of the classic disclaimer: Any resemblance to persons living or otherwise.. Ho ho.

There then follows a lengthy discourse on the book itself, which includes such oddities as a guide to enjoying the book (which recommends that you skip the majority of it) and an acknowledgements section which lasts for roughly 30 pages and includes a description of the themes and a comparative list of symbols and their meanings that will appear in the book. Now, I’m one of those people who feels the compulsion to watch all the special features on a DVD, even the trailer to the movie that I’ve just seen. I suffer the same tendency with books (I actually feel slightly ripped off if there isn’t even an author biography, even when I can easily find one online that’s not the point) so I ignored the instruction to skip the preface, guessing that it would be integral to my enjoyment of the rest of the book. Yeah.

My problem is that after ten pages of reading Eggers bang on about ‘D) THE TELLING THE WORLD OF SUFFERING AS MEANS OF FLUSHING OR AT LEAST DILUTING THE PAIN ASPECT’ and the like I began to feel quite bored. I got the impression that Eggers was trying to take the piss, as if by finding the entire section tedious I simply didn’t ‘get it’, like I’m not high-minded enough to understand the, like, totally subversive use of the form to make a statement about the, y’know, written word, or some such. Well, Fuck You Eggers, if I was going to satirise the conventions of the medium I’d at least have the decency to make it fucking entertaining (incidentally I also found the lengthy sections dedicated to the whaling business in Moby Dick to be tedious as well, if for entirely different reasons). Anyway.

Anyway.  I now have to somehow turn this into a positive review, because A.H.W.o.S.G is actually fantastic. Yes. Staggering and Heartbreaking in equal measures. It cannot be denied that Eggers is a fine writer, with a confident grasp and intimate knowledge of his trade. His photo-montage paragraphs of the San Franciscan landscape and lifestyle are resplendent enough to make you feel the sun beat on your face and his description of the icy Chicago winter enough to make you feel a genuine chill (although that may be due to the fact that it’s January in Salford, where even computers shiver). The book is also very funny, I particularly enjoy his worried visions as to what could happen to his little brother Toph if not adequately cared for, which mostly involve either violent death or crack-addiction. There is enough energy in here for a thousand novels three pretty good novels. When it isn’t funny the book is deathly, crushingly sad, never letting you forget the horrible circumstances that led to the Eggers bros. situation.

And also, conversely, the main thrust of the book, the meat, is also pretty standard fare. Of course Eggers employs an entire plethora of literary tricks, but none of which we haven’t read many times before. It is the emotional resonance of the book that is its best feature, and it is lucky that Eggers’ well of fancy-pants writing techniques dries up well before the end, otherwise the last two chapters, for instance, wouldn’t feel half as fucking powerful. Jesus, I’m criticising art for trying to be experimental. What’s a matter with me? Best off you ignore all but the second to last paragraph of this review and well, just buy the book.

 


Warning

Spoilers in the Harry Potter review. Beware.


A very late gig review

My Chemical Romance

Manchester Apollo, 24th October

This was supposed to be our first post, however due to unforseen slowness we have been unable to gather the requisite energy to accomplish anything.

Be that as it may, we now present to you both of our respected opinions on the matter of live gigs and My Chemical Romance.