Archive for Gutter UK

Ice, Ice Baby . . . The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

If you haven’t seen videos of celebrities taking on The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, where have you been?!

Over the past month, both celebrities and mere mortals have had buckets of ice cold water thrown over them, captured the moment on camera and nominated (or should that be dared) two other people to do the same. Why?

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge isn’t simply about finding out what swimming in Antartica would feel like, but its to promote and donate to a very worthy cause; ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: a motor neurone disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The American-based association has already raised over $4 million thanks to this online craze.

The usually sombre and serious looking, Robert Pattinson is one of the latest celebrities to undertake The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Nominated by fellow actor, Zac Efron, Pattinson improvised with a pot and a hose (and a few friends) when a bucket wasn’t available.

Californian beach babe, Katy Perry accepted The ASL Ice Bucket Challenge clad in a skimpy (yet suitable) black bikini. The “I Kissed A Girl” singer then nominated Queen Of Pop, Madonna.

The X Factor mogul, Simon Cowell took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in style, aboard a stunning yacht. Mr Nasty giggled as he nominated fellow X Factor judges, Louis Walsh, Cheryl Cole and former Spice Girl, Mel B before his girlfriend, Lauren Silverman dumped a bucket of ice water over him.

Model, Cara Delevingne showed no fear as she undertook The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge yelling, “The ALS Challenge motherf*ckers! Douse me!” to two giggling female pals . . . before shrieking like a typical girl, “Holy shit!”.

It seems no-one is safe after former US President, George W Bush was nominated by his daughter, Jenna, among others. Bush initially rejected the challenge calling it “unpresidential for him to be splashed with ice water” and said he would, instead, right a cheque . . . before Mrs Bush did what so many of us would love to! A soggy George W Bush then nominated fellow former President, Bill Cilnton.

Facebook owner, Mark Zuckerberg may have created the greatest social network for making new friends ever, but he appears to have very few pals in his Ice Bucket Challenge video as he tips a bucket of water over himself, before stating the fairly obvious, “That was really cold”.

Sarah Jessica Parker shrieked like Carrie Bradshaw in a half-price Manolo Blahnik shoe sale when she took on The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Dressed in just a towel, the Sex & The City actress nominated Joan Rivers and Kim Kardashian.

Former Manchester United footballer, David Beckham underwent The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Topless. Not that we’re complaining, eh girls? His nominations included Leonardo DiCaprio.

Actor, Charlie Sheen did The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge as only Charlie Sheen could do it; he dumped $10, 000 over his head rather than ice water. He pledged to donate the cash to The ALS Foundation as “ice is gonna melt, but this money will actually help”.

By far the best Ice Bucket Challenge to date! Foo Fighters paid tribute to a classic horror movie resulting in one of the funniest and creative Ice Bucket Challenges, so far. The stakes have well and truly been raised; frontman, Dave Grohl nominated Jack Black, Stephen King and John Travolta.

 

 

 

Live Review : The Killers, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow (19/08/2014)

The Killers made their Bellahouston Park debut last night as part of Glasgow’s Summer Sessions 2014.

Donning a pink sparkly jacket, frontman, Brandon Flowers and Co kicked things off with synth-pop soaked, “Somebody Told Me”. The Las Vegas band hit the ground running and took fans on a trip down memory lane with past hits, “Bling (Confession Of A King)”, “Spaceman”, “For Reasons Unknown”, “Human”, “Read My Mind” and Flowers introduced early single, “Smile Like You Mean It” by asking the crowd, “Can you believe our baby is 10 years old?” referring to debut album, “Hot Fuss” which was released in June 2004, “It’s your baby, too”.

This stint at Glasgow’s Summer Sessions was part of a victory lap across the world; their “Battle Born” toured started in late 2012 and stretched into 2013 including a debut stadium show at Wembley last June. The band played V Festival last weekend and a warm up gig in Liverpool last week to an intimate crowd at The 02 Academy.

Flowers congratulated Glasgow on their Commonwealth success last month before ripping into a rousing version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising” which has become a permanent fixture on The Killers setlist and the first of two covers for the evening; the second saw the band take on Simple Mind’s signature song, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” with the crowd in full voice.

Fresh from celebrating 10 years as a band, The Killers proved that they are still a force to be reckoned with; they sounded as sharp as Flowers was dressed and the live versions of “Runaways” and “All These Things That I’ve Done” blew the album versions out of the water. Flowers himself looked happy and confident as he strutted the stage a la Mick Jagger and chatted and joked with fans in-between songs; a walking contradiction of the epitome of rock star onstage and a mild-mannered married Mormon of three offstage, he has always been interesting to watch and his graduation from unsure, awkward frontman to full-frontal frontrunner has been a riveting ride.

If anything let The Killers down in Glasgow last night, it was their “fans”; a group of girls near the front mooned over Facebook rather than frontman, a tipsy guy a few rows back admitted the only song he knew was “Mr Brightside” (the daggers he attracted confirmed he was swimming in  a pool of hardcore Victims and drowning was imminent) and two middle-aged women slurred seduction at nearby security thinking that the rules of the 1960s still apply and spending the gig posing for selfies with security and telling them jokes will get you backstage . . . the last I saw them they were arguing over which direction was the right one on Nithsdale Road. Flowers had to turn peacemaker when a fight broke out near the stage during the band’s encore, “Why is always the big guy picking on the smaller guy?” The flamboyant frontman was clearly disgruntled when he demanded, “Get him out of here!” and the super-slow security pushed him from hacked off to pissed off when they struggled to dissolve the situation.

“Shot At The Night” and “When You Were Young” saw The Killers bow out on a high and signature song, “Mr Brightside” was the euphoric conclusion everyone was waiting for; the torrid tale of paranoia and jealousy has become an anthem since its release in 2003 and it sounded as fresh a decade on and made it clear why the band have gone from playing in transvestite bars in Las Vegas to headlining Wembley Stadium in just 10 short years.

The Killers were on top form as they played Bellahouston Park their greatest hits, it’s just a shame they didn’t get to play them to their greatest fans.

 

 

Oscar-Less Actors

Haven’t you heard enough about Leonardo Di Caprio’s reported woes over never having won an Academy Award? I know I have. Give the guy a break! How to lay on the pressure via the internet 101. He doesn’t seem like the type to dwell . . .

I want to shed light on  other Hollywood favourites robbed of their golden naked statue, a few I truly believe are currently crying into their Tony’s and BAFTAs.

 5. Robert Downey Jr.

Although he plays the part well, too well, in fact, to the point that it’s wondered whether he uses any stolen merchandise to save America, RDJ’s life hasn’t always been about “Iron Man”. (In fact there were whispers that he’s going to give up the gig. Gasp!) Before Tony Stark became so popular, Rob was a child star appearing in his first film age 5 (Robert Downey Sr.’s Pound) tearing up in an NY memoir of Dito Montiel (“A Guide To Recognising Your Saints”) and yes, practising the art of being a manipulative junkie (“A Scanner Darkly”, various others.) Since then he’s helped homeless cellists get into orchestras, (“The Soloist”) discovered a conspiracy in Hollywood in the funniest way possible (“Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang”) and accomplished being an American faking a decent English accent (“Sherlock Holmes”) – unheard of! Robert Downey Jr. is no one trick pony.

 4. Mia Wasikowska

The only conclusion I can draw from seeing no Academy Awards on her profile is that it would be too difficult for an announcer to attempt her name. It looks like “Mike Wazowski” but it’s not. She ends up being called Mia W-the-girl-from-Alice-In-Wonderland. My opinion is if you’re willing to (fake) masturbate in the shower for the camera (“Stoker”) you should have something to show for it. Of course, by next year this could change since her next movie is the “true story” of a woman walking across Australia. Doesn’t seem like enough to fill a film but we know how Oscar loves a true story. Maybe that’s what Leonardo was going for with “The Wolf Of Wall Street” . . .?

 3. Edward Norton

Norton boasts an interesting portfolio for an Oscar-less actor;  he has portrayed a wide-eyed psycho getting off with murder (“Primal Fear”) a white supremacist (“American History X”), the mouse to Hannibal Lecter’s cat (“Red Dragon”) and, of course, the original founder of that club you’re not allowed to talk about (!!!). It’s something special to be the guy that every girl should get but never wants and still strike fear into the soul of every man. And where is he now? After turning down his chance to say “You won’t like me when I’m angry” more than once without sounding stupid, he’s yet to be seen in mainstream Hollywood. He’s probably boosting independent movies with cameos. This is a guy I think has missed his chance.

 2. Glenn Close

What? Thanks to this woman we know now why there’s no squeaky clean image of aristocrats any more (“Dangerous Liaisons”), why Dalmatians were almost an endangered species (“101 Dalmatians”), and the true price of a one night stand (“Fatal Attraction”). Basically, Glenn’s the ultimate “psycho bitch”. But no two bitches are the same; one is cool and calm, one is chaotic, one is on the brink. It’s no wonder she’s considered by many to be “one of the greatest actresses of all time”. So where’s her trophy, dammit?!

 1. Samuel L. Jackson

This man makes any film he appears in memorable. Have you noticed there’s a giant middle chunk of “Pulp Fiction” no one remembers? Is it the homosexual rape scene that makes people never want to mention it, or is it simply forgotten because Samuel L. Jackson isn’t a part of it? He’s the only black Jedi ever, (“Star Wars”) the only reason anyone knows the terror of “Snakes On A Plane”, the only guy who can make a bible extract sound cool (“Pulp Fiction”) and he even has a comic book character remodelled around him (Nick Fury, “The Avengers”). What other Oscar winner can say that? Give this guy the lifetime achievement award!

From The Library To The Cinema

Turning a renowned, acclaimed and much loved novel into a film is undoubtedly a difficult feat for any director, screenwriter or actor, whose collective job it is to bring the characters and story to the silver screen, while still maintaining the essence of the book that made it so popular in the first place. Anyone whose favourite book has even been made into a film will know the familiar feeling of apprehension, ‘Will they do the book justice?’ ‘Will they stick to the plot of the novel?’ 

It’s generally accepted that books usually come out on top in the literary versus cinema debate, however, we take a look at some of the novels who mastered the tricky transition from the pages of a book to the silver screen (and even picked up an Oscar or two along the way) . . .

Harry Potter

Unlike other fantasy franchises, the first “Harry Potter” film was produced not long after the books were published; meaning that ‘Potter Mania’ was still going strong when we first saw Daniel Radcliffe don his iconic circular specs. What made the “Harry Potter” films so spectacular, for adults and children alike, was that they remained true to JK Rowling’s novels. The casting for the films ensured that the actors were an accurate representation of their Hogwarts characters; could you picture anyone else but Emma Watson as Hermione Granger? Alan Rickman’s portrayal of Professor Snape was as though he had been born to play the part. Each movie saw Harry, Hermione and Ron grow older, allowing fans of the books to grow up with them and making the “Harry Potter” series all the more magical.

Trainspotting

Irvine Welsh’s cult novel documenting the lives of a group of heroin addicts in Edinburgh became a film in 1996, three years after the book was originally published. “Trainspotting” was so successful as a film, thanks to director Danny Boyle because he ensured that “Trainspotting” on screen was as close to the book as it possibly could be. Neither the book nor the film glamourizes drug addiction, but what made the book so memorable was the way in which Welsh’s characters were so likeable, despite their serious problems. The silver screen version of Trainspotting allowed that to shine through, with the major issues of the book being addressed without sacrificing Welsh’s wit and dry humour. What’s more, with the film’s success, Scots writer Irvine Welsh was deservedly brought to an international audience for all to appreciate some of the best satirical writing out there and paved the way for both, “Filth” and “Ecstasy : Three Tales Of Chemical Romance” to get the cinema treatment.

Matilda

Directed, narrated and starring Danny DeVito, the 1996 film version of “Matilda” truly captures the magic and charm of Roald Dahl’s novel. Both the book and the film are loved by young and old, and the film has become so popular that the songs featured in it instantly remind listeners of “Matilda”; can you listen to Rusted Root’s ‘Send Me On My Way’ without imagining Mara Wilson flipping pancakes? Dahl’s character leap right off the page and onto the silver screen effortlessy; Pam Ferris excels as Matilda’s terrifying tormentor, Ms Trunchball while DeVito and real-life wife, Rhea Perlman play Matilda’s selfish, neglectful parents, Mr and Mrs Wormwood so well that you can’t possible imagine anyone else in their places.

The Great Gatsby

This classic novel has been studied in English classes for decades and has graced ‘best books of all time’ lists for just as long. Lines from the book are constantly quoted and everyone who has read “The Great Gatsby” has their own idea of what Gatsby’s infamous parties were really like. So, recreating the tale of Jay Gatsby and his fast-paced life in the 1920s would not be an easy task, however, Baz Luhrmann’s portrayal of the book certainly does justice to Fitzgerald’s work, with the dialogue and description in the film almost mirroring that of the novel. The party scenes are just as extravagant and vibrant as the book makes them out to be, and surprisingly, the rap music featured in the film somehow fits with the images of New York in the ‘20s.

American Psycho

Brett Easton Eliss’s novel is one that, as the name suggests, incredibly violent with graphic and explicit descriptive elements. This would certainly be a tough task  for any Director. Enter Mary Harron, who took on the challenge of directing what has frequently been dubbed a misogynist novel. The biggest difference between the book and the film is that there is notably less gore; a wise choice surely, making the film much easier to watch than the book is to read at some points. Christian Bale’s performance as Patrick Bateman is the right mix of funny, terrifying and cataclysmic, everything the character is in the novel.

The Shining

Although Stephen King’s novel and the following film adaptation have been around for years now, and with a drove of horror films and books being released afterwards, “The Shining” is timeless in both novel and film form, despite there being some notable differences between the two. In either case, the image of the two pig-tailed girls standing in the hallway sends chills down anyone’s spine both on paper and on screen and ensures more of a sleepless night than many of the horror films hitting the big screen today.

Lord of The Rings Trilogy

With a large gap between the completion of the trilogy and the production of the films, many readers would wonder if it was even possible to recreate JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth. However, the delay meant that through use of CGI and impressive prosthetics, Middle Earth and its inhabitants sprung to the silver screen from 2001, how else would Gollum be portrayed so accurately? Like the novels, the films manage to ooze trepidation; it’s easy to see why the LOTR franchise has worked so well in film.

Forrest Gump

The endearing tale of Forrest Gump is perhaps better known as a film than it is a novel thanks to Tom Hanks’s heart-warming take on Winston Groom’s lovable Southerner. The iconic feather, the box of chocolates speech and ‘Run Forrest, run!’ scenes truly come to life in the film and are now iconic pieces of cinema. There are some major changes from the book, but the film is a solid, stand-alone classic even without having read the novel.

The Wolf Of Wall Street

Maybe it’s because its based on a true story, or perhaps it’s because the plot is so thrilling, but regardless of the reason, the film version of “The Wolf Of Wall Street” is about as close to the book as it could be. The film comes in the form of the fifth collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, so even before watching, you can tell it’s going to be special. DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort in all his hedonistic glory so well that you would think he’d been there when it was all happening in reality. Watching Jonah Hill as Donnie highlights his talent; he was utterly deserving of his Oscar nomination, and “The Wolf Of Wall Street” will undoubtedly help Hill graduate onto bigger and better roles in future.

Shrek

You’d be forgiven for not knowing that “Shrek” is actually based on a children’s picture book of the same name, most don’t. William Steig, the author, probably didn’t envision his hand-drawn cartoon ogre would later be voiced by Mike Myers and being the unlikely hero of four hit movies. Although, in many cases the book is better, this goes to show that with even just one great character, a whole franchise can be born.

Depp Through The Decades

Ever the unconventional actor, no-one can accuse Johnny Depp of  “playing it safe” with movie roles; he has portrayed a transvestite B-movie Director, an alcoholic journalist, real-life drug lord, George Jung, a Mad Hatter, a pirate, a scientist, a 17th Century poet, a Detective Inspector on the trail of Jack The Ripper and a talking chameleon, to name but a few.

Depp’s latest effort, “Into The Woods” is scheduled for release in early 2015 and the trailer was unveiled last week. The musical fantasy is set in the alternative world of well-known and loved, Grimm’s Fairy Tales and stars Depp as The Wolf, opposite Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick and James Corden.

We take a look back at Depp’s career of some of our favourite colourful characters . . .

10. 21 Jump Street

Let’s start at the beginning . . . Before Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum began their beautiful bromance of guns and doves, Johnny was a baby-faced, James Dean wannabe with a greaser hairdo and a leather jacket on a mission to infiltrate high school drug lords, which explains why he popped up at the end of the film (something that went right over my head at the time!). It’s proof of why all your mothers were swooning over Depp long before Captain Jack Sparrow was even thought of!

9. The Rum Diary

An alcoholic journalist, a somewhat tame case for the man notorious for portraying psychos and transsexuals. It’s the closest a girl with a crush can come to a Depp-starring rom-com. Another product of famed novelist/journalist/junkie, Hunter S. Thompson, this madcap movie is where Depp met his now fiancee, Amber Heard and contains exemplary performances from Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Rislopi and Richard Jenkins. Not for the faint-hearted, the movie includes skinny dipping, 470% proof alcohol and why you should avoid the toilets frequented by sailors on the West side of the Candado Pier . Welcome To Puerto Rico . . . Come for the madness, stay for a drink.

8. The Corpse Bride

Johnny Depp trying to be Hugh Grant if he married a zombie. A perfect choice for fans of unorthodox love stories. It’s one of the many products of the Johnny Depp/Tim Burton romance, which of course means you will either love it or hate it. If you want to sing about how breathing’s overrated, here’s your movie. It does nothing to sell the institution of marriage.

7. Sleepy Hollow

“Heads Will Roll”. Not sure if a tagline to a horror is supposed to make you laugh, but they achieved it. In a clash of forensic science and mythology, Johnny is, surprisingly, the sane one. No, not the one on a horse taking off heads! Yeah, I’m shocked too. Christina Ricci should note that her platinum blonde locks takes decades off her.

6. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory

Remade in 2005 to allow the spirit of Roald Dahl to rest (he despised the original), Charlie & The Chocolate Factory is truer to the book than its predecessor; the all-singing, all-dancing, child-friendly Gene Wilder is replaced by an awkward, strange and sinister, Johnny Depp who fights vomit at the thought of family. RIP Roald Dahl.

5. Alice In Wonderland

From one hat-wearing oddball to another; Depp is perfect in the role of The Mad Hatter in Burton’s adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s children’s classic. A guy with so much “muchness” you couldn’t possibly forget him. I’ve got to admit, the world is starting to wonder why he is drawn to all the weirdest roles in Hollywood? A bit mad yourself, Johnny? As a Scot, the idea that Hatter becomes Scottish when angry is a little insulting, but I forgive that because it’s not a bad accent. I need to learn that dance for weddings.

4. Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas

Hunter S. Thompson movie #2. Playing the journalist junkie himself, Johnny now takes us on a long – ahem – “trip” through Las Vegas. The book doesn’t make much more sense than the film, but I think that’s exactly the point. It’s the movie for those not willing to try the real thing, but still curious. Have a drink with it and you might get the same effect. Warning: contains people transforming into an orgy of lizards.

3. Sweeney Todd

“Try the priest.” No, I don’t mean seek religious guidance. Well, maybe it’s not a bad idea after watching a musical about cannibalism. Just when you think Depp can’t get any more unorthodox in choosing roles; he plays cannibalistic killer/barber, Sweeney Todd in a musical version of this torrid tale, once again under the direction of Tim Burton. Depp proved that not only can he act, he can hold a show-tune as well.

2. Pirates Of The Caribbean

What is on your list for hottest guy? Eyeliner? Dreadlocks? A beard of tiny pigtails? Never knowing what he really means by what he says? No ability to stand upright or without swaying? Yeah, I didn’t think so. And yet on Halloween ’03, Jack Sparrows swarmed the streets, and we were glad. That takes something special, or a psychological condition within all females. The hottie light was clearly meant to be shone on Orlando Bloom, who was tragically cast into darkness standing next to eyeliner, dreadlocks and a beard of tiny pigtails . . . ? What is wrong with us, girls?

1. Edward Scissorhands

The weepy. The one everyone remembers. The one I first saw in Standard Grade English and had to study to disturbing revelations; there’s nothing so horrifying as having a teacher point out that the neighbour ladies are getting an orgasm from a haircut. I prefer to focus on the Kim/Edward relationship and the Frankenstein-esque father figure. A guy with scissors for hands? How do they come up with this stuff? And how does Johnny make us swoon no matter hos unusual the character? In case you’re tired of salivating over Johnny (as if!), there will be a dance production of Edward Scissorhands at The Theatre Royal in Glasgow this November. I’m intrigued as to how someone dances with giant metal fingers, I worry someone is going to lose an eye . . .

Gutter Talk : Meet Beautiful Mechanica

“It all started at The Hotel Chelsea in New York. Little did I know, in checking out, I was checking in forever . . .”

Who are Beautiful Mechanica?

Graham Sampson (vocals/guitar/keys/programming), Grace Hinks (piano/vocals) and Van Naarden (guitars).

How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard it?

Dark but very romantic. If you like the music of bands like Japan, Suede, Placebo, Cocteau Twins, then we might just be your new favourite band.

Who/what do you draw influence from in both sound and style?

The band’s launch theme is a love letter to the Hotel Chelsea in New York, Andy Warhol, his coterie of “superstars” and New York in the mid to late 1960s and early 70s. The hotel is the focal point and our songs are like a different room at the hotel shaped by the style and life of the people who pass through it; the beat poets, composers, actors and actress’, solacious night creatures . . . The hotel is both horror house and temple of arts. Our songs are split between light and dark, very much as the hotel itself was; anything can happen in hotels, everything happened at The Chelsea!

Describe a Beautiful Mechanica live set in three words?

To. Be. Revealed. We’re in rehearsals for shows to come.

What is in the pipeline for the band over the next 6 months?

Taking the band live and hopefully making each live show an event.

For more information on Beautiful Mechanica, please visit www.beautifulmechanica.com

 

 

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