The Newsroom ( 2012) TV review – Season 1 ; A conflicting show

My immediate impression was to lust after this show, you have several characters who are competing with brains and ego in the news room, added to this you have Jeff Daniels who is very underrated actor, when you think back to his credits you have him as the lovable Lloyd in Dumb and Dumber, then as the romantic lead in ”The Goodbye girl” and now as the intellectual new anchor who purrs at the screen with an irresistible charm and sour wit, ”THE MAN HAS RANGE PEOPLE”.

Based on the first episode I was blown away, the writing seemed smart(from the creator of the ”West wing”) and I was interested in all of the lead actors, my excitement has dampened somewhat now I am into episode four, It still has the balls and the dialogue is clever but every now and again it touches on everything that the theme is fighting against, there are Alley Mcbeal moments, and constant relationship issues and power struggles throughout that kind of leaves a fluffy after glow to the show, I feel this is bating a certain type of audience and part of me wishes they had just made the show a tad bit more realistic, if a character is supposed to be an asshole , let him be an asshole, Jeff Daniels characters is mind bogglingly entertaining at times, but then he gets a conscience and goes round un laying golden track by apologising to people afterwards.

I hope it loses its fluff factor and zones in to the power struggles within the news more in the future.

This has the ingredients to go somewhere special!

7/10

KO

Surinder Singh – My video diary of my UK family exercising their EU treaty rights

In her reckless pursuit of lower immigration to the UK, Theresa May put UK citizens and settled people in a far less privileged position than EU nationals living in the UK. The rule changes Ms May implemented last year also meant that UK citizens living in other EU countries had more rights than if they lived in the UK. But thanks to a certain Mr Singh, they not only have more rights elsewhere in Europe, but they can bring them back to the UK under certain conditions. On the blogs and in the facebook groups of people affected by the family immigration rules, Surinder Singh has become a buzz word.
Surinder Singh himself was an Indian national working in Germany who married a British national who also worked there. They moved to the UK together, but the marriage broke down. Surinder was refused indefinite leave, then became an over stayer and deportation proceedings were initiated. In appealing against the proceedings it was argued that as his wife was a European citizen he should have originally been granted settlement rights, not the one year visa. In winning this case, in 1992, a legal precedent was set.
Bags
Now, twenty one years later we see people packing their bags and moving out of the UK to work in Europe and in doing so taking a major step towards reuniting their families in the UK. Dublin is a favourite, thanks to cultural similarities and a lack of language difficulties. But other destinations include in Italy, Spain, Germany and Portugal.
It is a move as good as sanctioned on the UKBA website. The guidance notes on EEA family permits clearly state:
“It does not matter if the only reason the British national went to another Member State was to exercise an economic Treaty right was so that he / she could come back to the UK with his / her family members under EC law.”
Initially it was the government position that if a British citizen had left the UK ‘in order to enable his family member to acquire rights’ the Surinder Singh route would not be available. Later, in the case of Akrich, JCWI secured the rights for people who had exercised Treaty rights regardless of motive.
There is nowhere which states if there is a required minimum period one has to be exercising Treaty rights for before qualifying for an EEA visa for a non-EU family member.
Documentation
When a UK / Non-EU couple arrive at another European country, there is no requirement for them to show any documentation other than their passports and marriage / civil partnership certificate. However, in some places immigration officials are unfamiliar with the rules around exercising your Treaty Rights, it is worth having a letter outlining your intent, and quoting Directive 2004/38/ec of the European Parliament which establishes the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States.
The Directive states:
“The right of all Union citizens to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States should, if it is to be exercised under objective conditions of freedom and dignity, be also granted to their family members, irrespective of nationality.”
There’s some interesting accounts of people’s experiences and discussions cropping up on facebook and other fora. There are tips on job hunting, accommodation, thrifty living and employment and bank accounts.
Farcical
These measures are legal, sanctioned in law and have nothing underhand or sneaky about them. People have been forced to take these routes to family unity here by farcical rules introduced by a Home Secretary who is hell bent on low immigration statistics whatever the human cost involved. The people having to pursue this route are, by definition, primarily low earners and the experience is not a cheap one. It is perhaps a dramatic display of love and determination to achieve family life.
Those that go through this experience should be applauded, especially by the mainstream political parties that constantly strain to be champions of family life. The worry is that their immigration rules are forcing families to become scattered and separated which is a costly matter for society. Politicians need to develop some consistency in their policies and start to genuinely promote family life for all they claim to represent.
The EU have published a more user friendly guide for people interested in living elsewhere in Europe.
 

- See more at: http://www.jcwi.org.uk/blog/2013/04/19/surinder-singh-and-family-unity#sthash.ZWZ3EvTC.dpuf

In her reckless pursuit of lower immigration to the UK, Theresa May put UK citizens and settled people in a far less privileged position than EU nationals living in the UK. The rule changes Ms May implemented last year also meant that UK citizens living in other EU countries had more rights than if they lived in the UK. But thanks to a certain Mr Singh, they not only have more rights elsewhere in Europe, but they can bring them back to the UK under certain conditions. On the blogs and in the facebook groups of people affected by the family immigration rules, Surinder Singh has become a buzz word.
Surinder Singh himself was an Indian national working in Germany who married a British national who also worked there. They moved to the UK together, but the marriage broke down. Surinder was refused indefinite leave, then became an over stayer and deportation proceedings were initiated. In appealing against the proceedings it was argued that as his wife was a European citizen he should have originally been granted settlement rights, not the one year visa. In winning this case, in 1992, a legal precedent was set.
Bags
Now, twenty one years later we see people packing their bags and moving out of the UK to work in Europe and in doing so taking a major step towards reuniting their families in the UK. Dublin is a favourite, thanks to cultural similarities and a lack of language difficulties. But other destinations include in Italy, Spain, Germany and Portugal.
It is a move as good as sanctioned on the UKBA website. The guidance notes on EEA family permits clearly state:

“It does not matter if the only reason the British national went to another Member State was to exercise an economic Treaty right was so that he / she could come back to the UK with his / her family members under EC law.”

Initially it was the government position that if a British citizen had left the UK ‘in order to enable his family member to acquire rights’ the Surinder Singh route would not be available. Later, in the case of Akrich, JCWI secured the rights for people who had exercised Treaty rights regardless of motive.
There is nowhere which states if there is a required minimum period one has to be exercising Treaty rights for before qualifying for an EEA visa for a non-EU family member.
Documentation
When a UK / Non-EU couple arrive at another European country, there is no requirement for them to show any documentation other than their passports and marriage / civil partnership certificate. However, in some places immigration officials are unfamiliar with the rules around exercising your Treaty Rights, it is worth having a letter outlining your intent, and quoting Directive 2004/38/ec of the European Parliament which establishes the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States.
The Directive states:

“The right of all Union citizens to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States should, if it is to be exercised under objective conditions of freedom and dignity, be also granted to their family members, irrespective of nationality.”

There’s some interesting accounts of people’s experiences and discussions cropping up on facebook and other fora. There are tips on job hunting, accommodation, thrifty living and employment and bank accounts.
Farcical
These measures are legal, sanctioned in law and have nothing underhand or sneaky about them. People have been forced to take these routes to family unity here by farcical rules introduced by a Home Secretary who is hell bent on low immigration statistics whatever the human cost involved. The people having to pursue this route are, by definition, primarily low earners and the experience is not a cheap one. It is perhaps a dramatic display of love and determination to achieve family life.
Those that go through this experience should be applauded, especially by the mainstream political parties that constantly strain to be champions of family life. The worry is that their immigration rules are forcing families to become scattered and separated which is a costly matter for society. Politicians need to develop some consistency in their policies and start to genuinely promote family life for all they claim to represent.
The EU have published a more user friendly guide for people interested in living elsewhere in Europe.
 

- See more at: http://www.jcwi.org.uk/blog/2013/04/19/surinder-singh-and-family-unity#sthash.ZWZ3EvTC.dpuf

Catfish (2013) – The TV review;I love the concept but I can’t believe the footage is 100% real!

I enjoyed the movie and saw this advertised on TV last week and sadly got excited about the prospect of the makers following the general public to meet their online boyfriends and girlfriends…

I have watched a few episodes now and as much as I enjoy them it does not feel real,I come at this from two angles -

If you are the person chatting online to a make-believe partner you would not want the world to view it on MTV when you take the plunge to actually meet them in person, it only make sense that they would do it, if the online person meant very little in the first place and it was an excuse for all of them to gain their fifteen minutes of fame.

My biggest issues are with the makers,there is a split camp of people who believe their original story was not real in the first place, many people say it was a brilliant fictional film designed to come across as reality,others say the film crew got lucky and managed to capture the lies and double life that Angela was living back in Michigan.

I fall into the 50/50 camp,I believe these stories are true but are manipulated by the makers to create better TV,in the show these people seem so at ease with their own lies that it just doesn’t make sense.

I still enjoy the show I just don’t believe it all!

6/10

KO

Bates Motel: TV Review (2013) – “That boy sure does love his mother”

Well, the end is near to a series that was quiet enjoyable at times. When it first started 10 weeks ago I thought it was so ostentatious it made me question if I was watching something from an MTV production. It had the feel of the first series of teen wolf when it first started, you just couldn’t find an ugly person anywhere. When one did eventually show up, they didn’t waste any time by killing him and throwing him in the lake. It seemed like anyone slightly less than an 8 stood very little chance in living in this modern up-take of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.

Apart from the people, the first thing you’re trying to work out at the beginning is what is going on with this Iconic Motel. Everything is as it was when it was set back in the seventies, the house decor still the same, the motel looks like it hasn’t been touched and they’ve even brought the same style of filming. Only this time they seemed to have been heavily invested by Apple, not Del Monte! Which would have made sense back in the 70’s as apples would have made for a great game of catch in a drab and dreary world. No, it’s the network company. At first it’s off putting, and then you start seeing all the other modern gadgets. Straight away I should have known after seeing white ear bud earphones something was out of place.

So yes, it’s a modern version with a retro feel where people are only allowed to have style and grace, but it really is worth a little time. The acting is clean and crisp and it is very well directed. Nothing has been spared either when it comes to the iconic house and motel, it’s as if it had been lifted from the movies of old and placed in 2013.

At first you just hope all beautiful people end up getting killed by the weirdly eccentric Norman, but come the end it’s a dream town, even if us average people would need a bag over our heads to make sure we would be seen for longer than a week in residence.

This season was a gentle beginning, the story is a simple warming of characters and some of their dark ways, time will tell if The Bates have more to offer. It’s one of those programmes you can see being well and truly over written.

7/10

Yappy

Thirteen Days (2000) Movie review; A masterclass in acting and story telling – 8/10

Another movie that passed me by on its release,a friend mentioned how entertaining this was but political films are not normally my cup of tea, well in the future if they are made to the same standard as this one I may have to start getting into them.

Kevin Costner plays president Kennedy’s right hand man at a time when the country is under threat from Cuba.

If ever there was a secret club of established actors in Hollywood that everybody quietly admired without them being headline names this movie would be the film that those actors would come to play,every new scene or character impressed more and more as the film went by, there is a level of nerve being held by most on the screen that creates great excitement and entertainment.

The key to the success behind this movie is the political strategy that has the American and Soviet government at war,what may seem simple when being reported in the newspapers is broken down into several agenda’s and a ton of ego’s,I don’t think they could have improved on the final cut of this film,it really is outstanding.

KO

8/10

The film is set during the two-week Cuban missile crisis in October of 1962, and it centers on how President John F. Kennedy, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and others handled the explosive situation.

The movie is free to watch on You tube -

The Walking dead – Season 3 review ; A walker has bitten the writers,this series is dying on it’s arse.

The major down sides so far…

Rick going crazy over his dead wife makes really boring TV,as Rick is the lead for the show it also weakens the show by not having a strong person to follow.

The new camp turning into a weird cult, but with no real sense or purpose has become a real drag, the story does not seem to be moving at the same pace as the previous two seasons,for the first time I find myself not caring what happens next,”The Governor” seemed like an exciting character when first introduced, but the writers of the show have taken away any real credibility he had built up in the second half of this season,they keep reminding us of what a bad guy he is by making sure he lies to at least one cast member on each show,his character has as much mystery as a Scooby Doo ending.

The walkers are no longer scary,each time one arrives they get tapped,shot or an arrow through the head,it’s becoming old hat to kill them,I am thinking better they find a use for them such as a nightclub cage dancer or hope someone releases a cover version of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

I hope the last third of this series picks up because so far the standard has dropped.

KO

Derek TV review – 2013 – Ricky Gervais fails at his solo acting and directing debut!

I have always rated Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant,to date their work has been pretty much faultless,The office will go down in history and Extra’s was a solid piece of work,added to this you have a decent movie in Cemetery Junction and the light-hearted but hilarious Idiot abroad with Karl Pilkington.

Stephen Merchant has always joked with Ricky that all his successful work and roles are Ricky’s personality and in essence Ricky,David Brent and Andy Millman are not worlds apart,they are both witty and sarcastic and most of the time the joke is on them,there are character differences with ego and goatee but not a lot else.

So as we move on to Ricky’s new show Derek, it’s surprising that Ricky has attempted to act for a change,Derek, to put it nicely is slower to catch on than the rest of us,he walks round with the pride of a gimp while his hair is brushed forward to create the same character Ricky used when he is referring to  ”simple” characters on his live stage shows.

The show itself is such a let down,I don’t know if Stephen Merchant’s absence is a reason but I honestly think that if he had viewed what Ricky had viewed on day one of Derek he would have pulled Ricky aside and told him it was shite, maybe Stephen is smarter than we think, maybe this was his plan,let Ricky show what he doesn’t know about making great TV and I will come out smelling of roses.

I get uncomfortable when watching Ricky play the rain man (Derek), Ricky is banging on about the fact that he is not disabled,either way I am not against someone playing someone of Derek’s ability, it just makes me cringe when a comedy legend such as Ricky is trying to show range that he just doesn’t have,the show has been described as a light-hearted drama with moments of comedy, I would describe it as a ball ache of a show with moment’s of nauseousness, I am sure any comedian in the future would call their work ”drama” if the laughs failed to arrive.

The Office was not a laugh a minute comedy,it had a brain and was put together and created by people who knew what works and what was funny,it seems one of these people have forgotten these golden rules.

0/10

KO

Derek: TV Review-“WARNING: This programme is detrimental to your health”

Eight months ago Ricky Gervais tested the water with this comedy and it failed big time. It was smashed about more than Ricky Hatton’s come back. Still not one to be disheartened he marched full speed ahead and continued with the project. I use full speed ahead very loosely, if anything he stuck it in reverse and broke the speed barrier for going backwards.  The only draw for me going back this time was to see how Karl Pilkington fared as an actor. To be fair as I said 8 months ago, his character was the best part of the show, but he’s only playing himself, so we can’t really say if he can act! I don’t think he has too much future as a method actor; neither does Gervais to be fair.

Ricky has had his fifteen minutes now, he may have been given a few minutes extra for a good measure. I was and still am a fan of his early work. The office and a couple of his stand-ups are fantastic, extras was OK, but that was mainly because the class A stars he attracted. Fame! One of his stand-up shows showed where he was going with his comedy. Trying to be more edgy, like his friend Louis C.K, which doesn’t work for him because it’s natural for Louis, while Gervais has to force it?

With Derek he uses the same old method as he does in everything he has done so far. What’s his obsession with the fly on the wall documentaries? ” Been there done that! Move on now”.

I actually realised something while watching this! That I could reverse laugh; the result meant the air freshener was needed.

-0.5/10

Yappy

The following (2013) TV Review – I love Kevin Bacon but this show stinks

I do love that big film stars now appreciate that if the writing is good in a TV series you can still enjoy the acclaim and awards that you would if you stuck to films.

With the likes of Breaking bad,The Wire and the Walking dead,you can see what Kevin Bacon was thinking by taking on the lead in the recent drama ”The Following”.

It’s just a shame that Kevin chose the wrong show to join,The following is a real lackluster show that show’s very little in terms of intelligent dialogue or interesting story.

His co-stars would look more comfortable in any CSI / TV detective show, as for the lead baddy (James Purefoy) he is amazingly dull,I did at no point feel afraid or weary of him,he sounds and comes across like a feminine hair dresser who’s just been dumped.

I love your work Mr Bacon but I am feeling nothing for your new show.

3/10

KO

An idiot abroad – Series 3 (TV Review 2012) – The short changed series

I loved the previous two series,Karl comes out with something funny / bizarre in every episode,he is unique in the way his brain works but the most enjoyable part is seeing him adapt to his new surroundings,he has the fist pumping British pride matched with the patter of an old ladies tea room,he could be at the  most historic of sites but he would end up talking about Eastender’s.

Karl is funny,the show worked on basis that Karl was being himself, this is the first series which actually feels more contrived,Karl is a big star in the UK,when all this started he had the air of someone who was happy to play along and pick up a nice pay regardless of how it looks in the final edit,now the show feels a tad bit more planned,cue Ricky’s phone call,(RG) Karl it’s as planned but we have a little surprise for you on the way (KP) Oh right,I am not happy !

Warwick Davies has been brought in to spice things up,I like Warwick,he talks sense most of the times and teams up with Karl well.

The amount of episodes in this series is a joke,it really smells to high heaven of Ricky just cashing in on what was an honest and hilarious product,like all other fans I was excited about the prospect of this new odd pairing travelling and witnessing new horizons together,instead we are left with three episodes and a lot of disappointment when the curtain comes unexpectedly down before the adventure has had chance to build up to full steam.

Top show but Ricky has short-changed the fans.

KO