A Poem is Poetry written by a Poet

In my not-so-well defined quest to behave more like an artist, I would like to dedicate this week’s post to poetry. And just like the topic of my previous post, I think that poetry is often misunderstood. The difference this time is that I feel like I am one of the ill informed.

I never cared for poems,
Never saw their use,
What good is writing
without being profuse?

As you can see, I don’t understand poetry, but I would really like to. Reading poems gives me great pleasure from the voice in my head that dedicates itself to this task. He reads with a beat, but not a static beat, one willing to change. I digress. I enjoy reading poems, but I don’t understand why or how. What are they for? Pure entertainment? Outbursts of genius? I don’t have a clue.

A man once said:
This is no song,
This is a poem,
Don’t get it so wrong

I must admit writing these little poems is good fun. I realise they are no good, but they are incredibly joyous to write.

I fell in love with poems,
Not a first sight,
But from Patterson,
The bus driver,
Who never pulled a fight

That last so-called poem is a reference to the brilliant film, Patterson. In which a bus driver named Patterson (played by Adam Driver) writes poems. It had an esoteric feel, but this gave it such charm that I fell in love with it and poetry.

I think that’s enough for this week. I suppose this week is like a homework assignment: write poems!


The Honeycomb film review model

Models. They are great. They let us break things down, get closer to what really matters and fully comprehend the situation. If only the world had more models.

Film reviewing has always remained a dark art to me. I’ve tried to review films and failed every time (without fail). I have concluded that film critique requires skill and practice, therefore I will leave it to the professionals. But as an engineer (studying), I love abstraction. Hence, my love for models.

Here I present my proposal for critique of a film, in an abstract manner, with something I call the Honeycomb film review model. It looks at the success of a film like a honeycomb. There are four somewhat discreet echelons.

1. A great, almost perfect film is a completed honeycomb with maybe a few hexagons lacking some honey. Examples: Dunkirk, Bridge of Spies

2. A dishevelled film lacking direction – one that would be better if it was completely remade. These films aren’t necessarily awful (although they can be), they might be good to watch but not feel complete. Examples: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Jurassic World

3. A good, fun film. Most people will like it, including the critics, but it’s not great. These films are a completed honeycomb, but not with the finest quality honey. Examples: Logan, Spiderman: Homecoming

4. This is the most variant group. The honeycomb is basically complete but a lot of the hexagons are half filled. These films are not necessarily awful (but can be), they just have some major flaws which can completely ruin the film or be overlooked. These are the type of films which critics dispute over. They evoke strong feelings, creating two poles – hate or love. Examples: The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Interstellar

The beauty of this model (if I may say so myself) is that it’s more objective than subjective. For instance, the fourth band is where opinions will differ most strongly. In the first two echelons, there will of course be disagreements on the quality of the film, but a consensus is likely to be reached.

One flaw I see immediately with this model is the lack of a place for films that critics love but viewers hate. Perhaps, they belong in the first group, but that could mean that this model has a bias towards critics opinions. Furthermore, films like the latest Transformers movie would firmly fall in the second echelon, yet you will get groups of people who would argue it belongs in at least band 3.

Bridge Of Spies Shows That Spielberg Still Has it

We all know what a good director Spielberg is. I’m not going to repeat the fanboying, but I will tell you about how Spielberg’s latest film is a sign of more good to come.

Steven Spielberg has given us some of the best action films of cinema: Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park and Jaws. But also the most emotional films of cinema: Schindler’s List and War Horse. His range is almost unrivalled.

But, he’s not perfect. He’s the same guy that gave us The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and War of The World’s.

This means that when he comes out with a new film, you know it should be good, but there is a possibility of disappointment. In fact, the more good films Spielberg makes the harder it becomes for him because people expect better and better.

I can say that Bridge of Spies is in my top 5 most loved Spielberg movies. Okay, so I haven’t watched all of his films (don’t worry, I plan to) but I’ve seen some of his agreed upon best. I was expecting to enjoy the film. The trailer had the qualities of a really good Spielberg film: originality, moral questioning and happiness but with sincerity. After I watched it though, I only really thought one thing: I wanna watch it again.

That is very rare for me. I love a lot of films, but for me to feel that. I don’t think I’ve felt like that before, usually I just want to go the toilet. Something about Bridge of Spies makes it so enjoyable. It can be funny, especially Mark Rylance’s performance, and it can be tense. But it is always enjoyable. I was continuously engaged because despite knowing absolutely nothing about the true story behind this film I felt like I understood what was going on and who to root for, but I still wasn’t quite sure how it would all end.

Tom Hanks also plays a pivotal part in this movie’s success. He plays what seems like a Tom Hanks kind of character: a charismatic, straight-talking family man, but he isn’t a hero straight from the cookie cutter. He’s not an anti-hero, but you get a feeling that he’s not in the popular opinion. One of the greatest scenes of the movie is on the New York Subway which highlights that really well.

It’s directed really well. And I don’t say that because it says ‘Directed by Steven Spielberg’, I say that because it is. The camera doesn’t feel like it’s playing tricks either. Because this isn’t an action film, I don’t feel like something’s just hidden out of shot for a scare. The camera shows all and what I see is good.

The soundtrack isn’t John Williams. Literally, it’s not (don’t worry though he’ll be back for next year’s The BFG). Instead we get Thomas Newman who in his own right is one of the greatest film score composers. The same guy that scored American Beauty, Finding Nemo and Shawshank Redemption. I knew it was Newman before I saw the credits because it had that Newman feel, motif, whatever the musical term is. Now, unlike Seinfeld I really like Newman (Thomas Newman), and whilst it’s not going to get an award for best soundtrack, the score really drives the thriller aspect of the film through. It also gives it that grand war feel. Prime example here.

All in all, Bridge of Spies is a 5 star movie in all regards. If I had to find one fault it would be the somewhat unclear and boring scenes showing the American prisoner’s experience. They just didn’t keep up with the nature of the other scenes.

Please Bear with McCreary

Bear is a really cool name, but also the name of a really cool guy. If you have watched Battlestar Galactica (2004-09), Black Sails, Outlanders or Agents of SHIELD you’ve had the pleasure of hearing some of this guys work. I might get all fanboy crazy over here, but McCreary is on John Williams’ level in my eyes.

I was first introduced to McCreary’s musical talent and creativity in good old Galactica. I will save my love for Battlestar Galactica (BSG) for another blog post, don’t worry.

At first, I wasn’t really captivated by the score and when I happened to be watching a YouTube video of some of the soundtrack (as you do) I saw comments like: “this is the best soundtrack for any TV show EVAR” and “the soundtrack alone makes this show worth watching”. My younger, more ignorant self didn’t get it. Why did they think it was so good?

I started to appreciate the music more and more, along with the show. But one episode stood out. The episode is definitely one of my favourites and the music played a major part. Resurrection Ship was brilliant – probably, the highlight of season 2 for me. Its major plot point and climax featured such a gripping and tense track called Prelude to War. The combination of fantastic story/character development and musical development combined, created one of the most powerful plot points in all of television. I promised I wouldn’t make this all about BSG so I’ll get back to the music.

Even as the show saw its decline in its final season, McCreary carried on strong with him covering All Along the Watchtower by Jimmi Hendrix. Granted, the original is better, but I think he covered it perfectly for the theme and essence of the show at that moment.

Where things get interesting is in Black Sails, however. I found Black Sails through the composer. This must be rare. Who watches a TV show because of the composer? I doubt many can claim that. I actually enjoyed Black Sails, although I get bored really easily so stopped watching it after a few episodes. BUT, my favourite part of the show, and I say this not to say that the show is boring or rubbish, is the theme. Boy, is it (any good superlative here). Just have a listen.

Thanks Bear McCreary for your musical ability. You know how to make a man cry, and please do carry on.


Art. The three letter word that means so much.

When I was young and (more) ignorant I saw art only as traditional art: paintings. As I’ve grown, I’ve come to appreciate more and more things as art. The obvious ones: music and film of course are considered art. It was only till recently that I considered video games as art. The point is almost everything is art.

People love to discuss ‘what is art?’ as a philosophical question and debate. I, perhaps thankfully for you, don’t see it that way. Anything that has been designed, in part, for the sake of it is art. That’s why I’d consider an iMac as a piece of art, but a square yellow post-it note not so much. Although I can see the major flaw in such a definition as art is not so prescriptive. The square yellow post-it note 50 years in the future may be their Mona Lisa. You see art and sentimentality are like twins. As time progresses so do perspectives and as art is so subjective it’s only natural for its definition to change.

As for blogs? Art? Yes.

Trailers suck, like really suck

Films these days are wonderful, beautiful and worth watching, but trailers aren’t. You see many people complaining about films today, but I can’t see why. Just this year we’ve had some of the best films in cinema (in my opinion): Birdman, Whiplash and The Walk, to name just a few. The only problem I have with cinema (excluding the cinema itself) is the trailers.


To see why trailers are so bad we need to understand their purpose. A trailer has the sole purpose of giving us a taste of the film, just a hint of flavour. We can then partly base our decision on whether to watch or not watch a film on this. Sadly, we cannot. This is for two main reasons:

1. Trailers = Spoilers
Trailers are filled with spoilers to a point were if you watched the end of the film you’d be in for more of a surprise than if you had watched the trailer. I understand you want to show us what the film is about, but you’re doing it wrong! The best kind of teaser is one that reveals very little, but just enough to spike our interest. If you’re not convinced, try the following: watch a film without watching any trailers beforehand. Then watch the trailer – if you think “Woah, that trailer was full of spoilers”, you now know that trailers are spoilers.

But what’s your solution, Dominic? For all trailers to include none of the film? Of course not, and yes watching a film then a trailer you’ll find that there will be similarities – you’d hope so otherwise they’re selling you false hopes, but if I watch a trailer, throughout the film I’m thinking “Well, x hasn’t happened yet” or “Yep, I knew it that was when z would happen.” Trailers also take the element of surprise away which all films need to keep us engaged.

2. Spoilers Trailers make 97% of films look like garbage
I know that there is an abundance of awful movies out there, not worth the cost of the 3D glasses, but not 97%. Many of the best film have trailers not even worthy of Twilight. Even if they manage not to completely spoil the film, they are overly dramatic and hyperbolic. It just doesn’t work. Yes, we need drama, but if the film is not overly dramatic the trailer needn’t be, in fact it mustn’t be. The trailer should reflect the tone of the film, not make loads of noise, which every other trailer does anyway. For trailers to be heard in the crowd, they must not join in with the mass of sheep bearing, they must stand up, be bold, but most importantly be unique.

Put simply, trailers are like the evil twin of movies. They only ruin the experience of watching the film.

Jurassic Park Films Ranked

After the box office obliterating Jurassic World which I just recently watched I’ve decided to rank all four of the films.

Number 1: Too obvious – The Original Jurassic Park (5/5 stars)
Quick explanation – this was something truly new and exciting, it made a generation of kids love dinosaurs and had a few good jump scares. It was the perfect combination of CGI, animatronics and storyline.

I knew I should've gotten off at the last stop.I knew I should’ve gotten off at the last stop.

Number 2: Less obvious – The Lost World: Jurassic Park (4/5 stars)
Quick explanation – this film is commonly hated upon and seen as an unworthy successor to Jurassic Park, I do not follow this belief. The explanation for this sequel makes sense and ingeniously includes a character from the first film. Yes, I know a raptor was kicked into spikes and a T-rex ran rampant in San Diego, but they’re kind of part of the fun.

They didn’t jump the shark, they ate it.

Number 3: It can only be one – Jurassic World (3.5/5 stars)
Quick explanation – more critically acclaimed than The Lost World, Jurassic World is an enjoyable film, but its abundance of film cliches and bland characters take away the unique edge Jurassic Park has always had. It does still bring up serious and new ethical questions = win.

It’s a bird cage. For what?

Number 4: Alan! – Jurassic Park 3 (1/5 stars)
Quick explanation – this will be very quick just like this film. This film offered nothing – just a bunch of chases followed by more chases, but it’s no Mad Max. The picture (right) sums it up.

Do you agree? Probably not, tweet me your rankings @mrbeady9.