What We Do In The Shadows – ridiculous NZ comedy. Its documentary style and pretty funny.

I Give It a Year – British romcom with a lot of stupidity and plenty of very funny crude moments.

Hector and the Pursuit of Happiness – decent start, common concept, Simon Pegg playing his usual role, easy ending. Seemed very edited and therefore confused. Some nice, if simplistic set pieces and scenery from Tibet, and French generalising about Africa.

Dom Hemingway – Jude Law again. Probably made as a favour for a friend, Jude acts out in the typical UK crime comedy feature rough jokes, ridiculous set pieces, tough acts, Richard E Grant and a bunch of other stereotypes. Its thankful short but it’s also not bad entertainment for that short time.

Spy – now this is very funny. Melissa McCarthy is brilliant. The lanky English woman is herself, annoying.

Get Hard – disappointing with a few genuinely big laughs.

Ex-Machina – not quite as clever as it should be but then it is Alex Garland so you cant expect much.

Ant-Man – This is pretty godo to be honest. Of course its stupid but its meant to be. Its a superhero movie.

Jurassic World – predictable watchable nonsense.

Mission Impossible Something Somewhere. – Tom does it again but having watched the Scientology documentary with him, his conviction in himself is madness.

Trainwreck – disappointing even though its pretty good. It falls for the lame endings and is more romantic comedy than comedy. Boo

Ted 2 – far. Some laughs but seen it before in Family Guy. Seth needs a new idea.

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief – my fucking god. Madness. Must see.

Dan’s Remarkable and Brilliant EPL Predictions (based on one game and a lot of bull shit prejudices)


Yes they blew the first game and it looks like last season again where they lost the season in the first two months. Guess what, it just happened again. They have still yet to focus on the issues of a good scoring striker and a powerhouse in the midfield and will continue to challenge for 3rd place.

Aston Villa

Sherwood is a dickhead who has found his level. I am happy for him. He’ll do a decent job at Villa and I am happy for them. I have a soft spot for them. They’re hardworking and increasingly creative and that will keep them challenging for the top 10 without ever getting there.


I know very little about these guys and yet I will still say with confidence, they will try hard, have  agreat home win against one of the big teams, beat Spurs at away and get relegated before the end of the season.


What the fuck is Jose going on about with his Dr. Clearly he has exaggerated the issue but probably for his own reasons. She will be gone by Christmas. Chelsea aren’t as good as last year. They dont have the aura. However while they will struggle in the Champion League (relatively) and get knocked out in the quarters, they’ll win the league by 5 points. If they get a striker who can stay fit and score, they’ll dominate again.

Crystal Palace

Alan Fucking Pardew is a good manager. Newcastle fans know it. And he has brought in decent players in Cabaye and held onto some good ones. They will have a good cup run and have no worries in the league, beating United at Old Trafford.


Martinez has struggled despite inheriting a team with a rock solid defence including some real quality in Jagielka and Coleman and now with some quality going forward in Barkley, Osman and Lukaku. Yet that last name says it all. Lukaku makes ex Exeter City captain Russel Coughlin look hard working (random memory). He has talent but not ethic. Plus he is a dickhead. If Lukaku fires, Everton will finish in the top 6.

Leicester City

Pearson got wrongly fired for having a racist son and being a tool. But mostly he got fired because the Thais in charge have no idea what they are doing. They will bring down the club and started brilliantly by hiring Ranieri, one of the shittest managers of the last 15 years who somehow manages to get new jobs. This is apparently his last. The sense of relief is like you’ve been dying for a piss. Leicester might stay up but it wont be by much.


Rodgers is under pressure after an average last season but ignoring the delusions of grandeur, Liverpool aren’t the team they used to be. They are meant to finish outside the top four. A lot of their buys for the last 2 summers have been baffling. Benteke is a beast but behind him play a squad of averageness. Rodgers is a good coach but his buying policy might get him fired by the end of the season.

Manchester City

Well Pellegrini is a makeweight, mostly because the delusions of an average club thrown tax free money from a despot is now modern football. All dickhead fans long for a murderous regime to come in and give them Champions League football. Man City haven’t improved for two years. Toure is still a fine player. All of the guff said about him by old pros is ridiculous. Aguero is the best striker in the world on his game. Kompany and Hart are overrated. Sterling aint worth that much sterling. They lack cohesion and defence. Of course they will challenge for the league but have a bad March and drop of out the CL and the league race.

Manchester United

Van Gaal is going to struggle this season to finish 4th. The players still aren’t good enough in defence and they still have no idea what they are doing. Van Gaal will blame the players but if the students don’t under the concepts, its the tutor’s fault. Depay is balls, Rooney will get a red in a big game, Smalling is the best of his defenders ironically (Rojo is gash, Phil Jones is Bournemouth), De Gea will rightly leave and United might not finish 4th. That would be the end of so much.

Newcastle United

Ahh is it a new season? Are we optimistic again? Hell yeah. First game of the season showed that Newcastle can look good but also have holes to be exposed by good coaches and pace. So it will be standard season of some glorious wins, amazing escapes and remarkable capitulations. McClaren is average and his recent record is poor but sadly that’s what we deserve under Ashley. I am hopeful for Mitrovic. You know he will get a few goals, a few punch ups, a few drunkens nights and a last minute bullet header to beat the Mackems.

Norwich City

No fucking idea beyond probably will get relegated. How about that for a review?


Great team. Great coach. Fantastic purchases and nice style of play. Might struggle in defence this season but much to admire and will challenge for 6th.


My fuck they have bought and bought often well. Shaqiri should be a helluva talent. If Hughes can integrate them all, they will try and fail magnificently. Stoke of course, aren’t going anywhere. 10th.


Ahh what a disaster. Terrible start to the season and will remain another season of struggle. They’ve bought terribly. They should just about stay up and Defoe will get 12. Then Dick will retreat back into his pants.


Yet another excellent club with good players who will move on next season to bigger things. This will be the end of Gary Monks who is doing well but will fail sooner rather than later. There you go. That’s a prediction for next season. This season they will finish 9th and have a good cup run.


Quiet times at Spurs as Levy presumably realises they are a second rank club who won’t win shit. I like Pinocchio! He can organise a team well but his lack of strikers will see them struggle as their defence won’t be able to handle the pressure. This is the end of the recent optimism as they’ll simmer down to 8th.


Bought a 100 players and have a good coach. They might just make it and it started well. Of course they will struggle and use the wrong brand of football but they’ll be okay.

West Brom

Pulis is a good manager and has bought well. I like a lot about them despite Pulis’ reputation. I like stadium. I like the nickname, the Baggies and I dont understand anything they say. But then I am not listening. 13th.

West Ham

I loved Bilic in Euro 96. He looked determined and focused alongside Stimac and the other guy. Then in the World Cup 1998, he proved himself to be a dickhead, feigning injury to get Blanc banned form the final. Bellend. However despite struggling relatively, they have decent players and will finish close to the top 10.


_84586749_legiawarsawLegia Warsaw have been awarded a 3-0 victory in their Europa League match away to FK Kukesi that was abandoned after one of their players was hit by a stone thrown from the crowd.

That’s the opening paragraph from the BBC. So a player gets shit by a stone and the team forfeit a 3-0 loss and get fined the monumental sum of……£49,160.

In short the UEFA have done fucked all as usual to prevent hooliganism. Not to pick on Croatia in particular but I wonder what the next punishment will be for them for their Nazi salutes, or Russia for its racism or homophobia. Just ban a team for a year, a country for the next tournament and sentences go up disproportionally for successive offences. Fuck all this bullshit.

Ahh feels good to blog something after a while.

My fat elbow

I’ve finally had surgery on my left elbow which has been inflamed like a giant tumour for a few weeks. Its happened to me before, last year for example but finally I thought I should do something about it. I can’t walk around with this welt any longer. Its essentially a build up of fliud in the elbow sustained damage. I suppose you could call it Repetitive Pain Injury.

Traditionally over the years I’ve used by left for punching people. Initially it was simply about trying to be more ambidexiturous in my boxing but now I like to use my right hand for writing and so pain in this hand is unwelcomed. I already have a cracked knuckle in right hand, noticeable only when its very cold.

The elbow is still tender and maybe always will be. I can’t lie down on it or put constant pressure without the arm failing altogether. But as long as my right is still functioning I’ll be happy. Its time to move on in life and that now means doing what I’ve always felt I should try to do.

Books Read


Lolita – I read it many years ago and decided to check if my thoughts are fogged in nostalgia or whether it really is written as well as I remembered. The latter is true. It could never been written in this era but the wordplay, especially on such a subject, is truly dark, astonishing and poetic.

A History of London Life – a book bought for a few pounds in Oxford last summer, written by two female professors and containing immense detail and humour about the city going back a 1000 years.

Don Quixote – I decided to try and while it is amusing and clearly a hugely impressive work, its huge and uncarryable to Singapore. I’ll finish it later.


Train Dreams – Denis Johnson’s study of a lonely, lost man is brilliant. A great writer.

Iran: A Revolutionary History – A lot of background information into a deeply complex country and culture. Iran is like very little else.

Caligula – Camus’ best play pushing existentialism and absurdity to logic levels with his portrait of power, grief and tragedy.


2666 – Roberto Bolano’s final book confirming what we lost too soon. Grand, funny and poignant.


The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers – Paul Kennedy masterpiece of political history rounding out what we suspected that war, economy and destiny are intimately linked.

Films Seen Over the Last Few Months

Black Sea – Jude Law is rather annoying in general but here he is pretty impressive in a tight, taunt thriller set on a submarine. Its very good. 4/5

Horns – Daniel Radcliffe number with way too many ideas and runs through them too fast. Its stupid of course but tries to be a horror, romantic comedy and ends up being reasonable at all of them with properly pulling it off. 3.5/5

Interstellar – While the first hour on Earth is logical to the final part, we all turned up for the last two parts so the first act was a drag. McCon’s drawl really gets on your nerves too. However despite its absurd science near the end, the over-the-top music and the clear emotional facefarts, its entertaining for a 3 hour movie. 3.5/5

Guardians of the Galaxy –  entertaining but nonsense. 4/5

The Imitation Game – its always odd to see someone you went to school with ‘acting’. To me Matt Goode was simply being the guy I remembered even down to the arrogance. Typecast or perfectly cast I don’t know but the film itself was a beautiful study of a man obsessed by numbers. 4/5

20,000 Days on Earth – Nick Cave documentary as interesting as the man in question. More of a film than a documentary, uniquely done. 4/5

I am Ali – Nice archive and personal footage. Doesn’t tell you much if you know Ali but still a nice reminder of the great man. 4/5

The Maze Runner – another kids book series written and sent to the big screen immediately (or are they written for the big screen essentially??). Predictable and fairly stupid but decent. 2.5/5

Sex Ed – with a fat Haley Joel Osmond – This is good. Predictable in its storyline but with some nice conversational tangents and good acting from Haley who looks remarkable as a tubber. 3.5/5

The Babadook –  old fashioned horror. Simple and well-crafted. The kid in it is excellent. 4/5

Cave of Forgotten Dreams – Wener Herzog films for the first time the caves painting in South France dating back 30,00 years. Slow but fascinating. 3/5

Tusk – Kevin Smith weirdness. Weird. 2/5

Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films – These are the two Israeli guys who made a shit load of shit average to terrible films in the 1970s and 1980s. Think weird, wonderful and chuck norris. Pretty entertaining documentary. 3/5

The Trip to Italy – very funny semi-documentary film of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon going to Italy to make a documentary. These guys are great impressionists. Makes for some very funny conversations. 4/5

Horrible Bosses 2 – Its a lot of better than some reviews. Most of the criticism is based on it not really about horrible bosses any more. Well I haven’t seen the first one so who the fuck cares. Consistently silly rather than hilarious. 3/5

Dumb and Dumber To – awful 1/5 and that makes me sad

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – an intelligent spin on an old tale, one we’ve maybe seen too much of. Well made and predictable.

Predestination – Aussie movie with Ethan Hawke isn’t much more than a cameo. Time travel and such malarky. 3/5

Boyhood – its a good study and very watchable but I am not fully convinced by the acting. 4/5

Nightcrawler – Great performances, narrative and production. It sticks with you for days. 5/5


birdmanposterBirdman – its mesmerizing. You sit there watching these long scenes acted out, music playing in the interludes and some fantastic acting. 5/5

I Give It a Year

i-give-it-a-year-poster09We watched their movie the other night and it reminded me of a few things and started me thinking about relationships and how and why they last (or don’t). In the movie, the couple get married after 6 months and at the wedding, the groom’s sister whispers to her husband, I give it (the marriage) a year. It seems a harsh, hard statement to make and cynical at the time but with a high divorce rate approaching 50% it’s not unreasonable. A greater statistics can be used for non-martial relationships. We’ve all had exs! But the facts are more revealing.

The movie set the couple up to fail. They have different approaches to problems. She sings lyrics and gets them wrong much to his annoyance. He empties the bin when it’s completely full rather when needed. She goes to parties to network. He likes to party. She has limits. He doesn’t know when to stop. He is charming but hopeless at times. She is organised but stuck-up.

It reminded me of when I found myself talking to a Japanese marriage counsellor once. Not for any personal reasons, but we simply found ourselves chatting in a café. She informed me there were two main times in life when people get divorced in Japan; either after a year when they see it isn’t working or once the kids have left home and the wife can finally say she has no use for the husband. In the first instance, the marriage is often forgotten and never mentioned when the members get remarried. Being a divorcee is worse than being unhappily married for some. In the second case, the man receives the shock of finding out his wife simply tolerated him and possibly can’t stand him. In both cases, they can walk away from each other. There main responsibilities, notably the kids have moved on themselves and probably wish to see their parents happy.

In relationships, we are quicker to cut our losses. It’s no shame for a relationship to end especially if it simply isn’t working. There are plenty more fish in the sea. How it ends is the key to moving on easily. Relationships are work and the idea you just get along is bullshit. People have different understanding of the same situation and being flexible and non-judgemental is the key to making it work. Constructive advice when something isn’t to your liking is more effective and efficient than criticism. On most issues there are different ways to look at it. If you want to make it work, you have to understand where each of you is coming from.

divorce460The divorce rate across the world from the West to the Arab world to the Far-East is probably the result of two factors. The pressure from society to gain social or religious consent leads to many forced marriages but in these areas of the world the divorce rate was lower. Marriage was a form of economic security sacrificing happiness.  This is now less the case, raising the divorce rate because of the second factor. The more modern ideal of giving yourself a happy life clashes with the first. We live in an era of individualism driven by economics and liberty where we all have access to information, are informed we have our own power, our opinions are important and must seek utility through wealth and Benthamian happiness. We are utility maximisers and masters of our own domain. Our happiness is paramount.

Now the divorce laws have liberalised, women have their own economic power and together with men, they seek happiness, together or not. This also explains marrying later. Further pressure comes from a selfishness linked to individualism which shortened our tolerance to a temporary compromise to our maximum utility. We want it now, all of it when a little compromise is often all it took. The median age of divorce is in their early 40s for men and women after around a decade of marriage.

I’ve often be accused of moving on too quickly but trying to make it work is sometimes just not compatible with everything else I wish to do. I get frustrated when I am unable to read, exercise, write, slob around, watch football, in essence criticised for being myself. I’ve got to this age fairly smoothly by doing what suits me and making the right compromises at the right time. It’s been bumpy but I’ve enjoyed it. However relationships are perfect for us. They just don’t work perfectly. You’ve just got to give it time. Yet we need and strive for them naturally. The shy and the arrogant are both lonely. You have got to move to the middle, again the compromise.

So here is the spoiler alert for the movie. Of course it was never going to work but unlike American movies and, to ruin the film for you, they happily break up but hugging and thanking each other for ‘agreeing to divorce.’ That’s fine in this instance. It made sense for the film and gave it something unique to tell the audience. However in ‘real life, neither in this film or Friends, let’s just try a little harder. Modern divorce rates are the result of liberty and often that is a very good idea. No one wishes to be stuck in an unhappy marriage. The liberty to be who we want to be can clash with the compromises necessary for a successful relationship. It also lend to arrogance, the idea that we are all so special others are simply a burden. But they don’t have to if we treat it all as a synergetic compromise. Try to allow each of you to be the best you can be and be as happy as you can be.

So, sorry for ruining it for you. However it’s still very worth watching. It has some seriously funny moments.