Tron Legacy: Ultimate Frisbee

Two hours of Garrett Hedlund springing about in lycra, hurtling deadly neon frisbees at people one minute, launching himself dramatically into the arms of holographic vehicles the next – Tron Legacy was surprisingly exhilarating and wonderfully camp.

I enjoyed all the Disneyfied neon orgasms that were exploding left, right and centre, I relished the Kylie video clothing, I even got caught up a little bit in the film’s drama and symbolic explorations. Are sci-fi films always this swishy? Am I missing out on something?

The geek aspects of the movie were admittedly a bit trying. Of course Tron Legacy is catering for that socially awkward and desperately escapist sci-fi boff market, so certain geekiness should be expected. Still, Michael Sheen’s character Castor was a ridiculous cyber-goth indulgence, dressed as a lurid platinum blond child-snatcher from the future, prancing about a classic sci-fi movie nightclub (an onscreen depiction of a nightclub for an audience that has never stepped foot inside a nightclub), waving a Willy Wonka staff about, it bordered upon intolerable to the extent that David Tennant sprang to mind. The relentlessly husky Hollywood dialogue (and sheer abundance of pointless lines) was a bit crap too, but just about manageable thanks to the cyclical shots of Garrett Hedlund’s arse in a catsuit.
Olivia Wilde was quite good as ‘Quorra’, with her hair all hacked off, she played a combination of Alice Glass from Crystal Castles, Milla Jovavich in Zoolander and that AOL woman from the last 90s.
Jeff Bridges, an actor from the original Tron movie who is currently being hailed in America as their “most underappreciated actor”, sadly came across as a poor man’s Sir Ian McKEllan, offering little more than a disappointing mimic of Magneto in X-Men. James Frain, on the other hand, was brilliant as Jarvis (pictured below), it’s a shame his character wasn’t explored more.
The Daft Punk soundtrack wasn’t as titillating as I’d hoped it would be. Quite traditional really, with strings arrangements and no vocals. I wanted to hear a more daring offering from the visionary duo. Their cameo appearance, although intentionally cheesy I’m sure, came across as ever so slightly naff. Although the music is undoubtedly one of the film’s strengths, and indeed the major turning force behind the movie’s PR wheel, Daft Punk’s Tron Legacy soundtrack was no major feat and is incomparable to their magnum opus on Interstellar 5555.
Finally the film employed wordplay quite successfully to build extended metaphors around computer technology and human emotion, from memory disks and portals to larger almost profound concepts like ‘game over’ and the notion of a ‘user’.
I’d recommend going to see Tron Legacy at the cinema, to receive the full impact of the film’s graphics, futuristic charge and general intergalactic chaos. Seeing the original is by no means necessary, although a few YouTube highlights like the original LightBikes scene will help contextualise what is ultimately a high-budget homage. Fun and futuristic, it will be interesting to see how this film dates in years to come.
Below: James Frain as Jarvis / Daft Punk's Insterstella 5555 / Garrett Hedlund sighing at his own beauty.

Christina-mas: Stars Are Born ("Burlesssque!")

Wow! The guest performances on Saturday’s X Factor demonstrated just how big the gap is between an X Factor finalist and an actual popstar. It was like a high-budget version of the Charlotte Church show. Do you remember that? Where Chazza would feign interest in a pop star on her sofa for half an hour and then proceed to militantly out-sing them, often improvising unexpected dramatic descants, or elbowing her guests out of shot, blasting them into submission with her booming Welsh larynx.

But on Saturday we were treated to real popstars. We’re not talking Alexandra Burke and her ‘glass collector doing karaoke’ vibe, we’re not talking JLS and their urban re-interpretations of YMCA. No, put your melon lip gloss away kiddo, we’re talking Rihanna and Christina Aguilera here.

And they did just that. Upstaged the finalists, outshone X Factor and reminded Britain what it really really wants – a big-budget Top of The Pops. It’s great to see Christina back at the top of her game and finally getting to grips with her pop niche, mixing that sauciness from Moulin Rouge with the bedraggled bottle blonde of Dirrty, and all held together by her fiercely outstanding voice. The new song Express (from forthcoming film Burlesque) is like a Pussycat Dolls hit fortified with elements of big band, latino drum rolls and incredible production touches from Chris Stewart.

All I did for the rest of the weekend was repeat that shit, tossing my hair about, breaking garden furniture between my thighs and going “Burlesssssssque” through semi-gritted teeth.
Likewise, Rihanna’s showmanship and stage command, at the tender age of 22, is just astonishing. Both singers are exciting, sexy, adventurous and brave.

I was really disappointed therefore to read negative comments online and see miserable complaints over Christina’s performance because it was too raunchy for a family show.

Is X Factor really a “family show”? What is a “family show”? Firstly, look at the childless people who are on it. Simon, Cheryl, Louis, Danni, Robbie and have a combined aged of 246 years and a grand total of one child between them, thanks to Dannii who gave birth to little Ethan in July.

Christina Aguilera, on the other hand, started her family in her early twenties. She is a dazzling example of a modern woman who is strong, talented and fantastically fearless. She can raise children and she can still be sexy, and there’s nothing, repeat, nothing, wrong with that. Christina is a showgirl who works industrially hard and she is fully entitled to *gasp* *faint* give Britain a glimpse of her cleavage if she wants to. This isn’t early 90s television for fuck sake. If parents want to shelter their kids from breasts then they should perhaps turn their TVs off and spend some real time with their so-called family.

X Factor isn’t a “family show” anyway, it’s the most watched show in Britain, and is therefore a show for everyone. And in being a show for everyone that doesn’t mean its content should be rolling-pinned into a shapeless and nondescript pulp. On the contrary, it means that just as millions of students and more enlightened viewers are made to watch family-orientated scenes in which contestants’ parents cry into their ready-mix cupcakes over the prospect of never owning a conservatory, so must the millions of overly protective parents and “family orientated” viewers have to put up with the occasional two minutes of someone who actually possesses an X Factor. Christina is what these contestants are aspiring to be. Christina is pop music.

Besides, young children won’t even absorb the sexual provocation of Christina’s performance, it will just fly over their innocent heads, and older children shouldn’t have wool pulled over their eyes. We all remember feeling a bit dizzy the first time we saw something a bit sexy. For me it was the roller girls at Disney World, Jasmine in Aladdin, and of course He-Man!

What were parents expecting when Dermot announced "Christina singing Express, from the film Burlesque"? Christina in a Cindarella gown? Or perhaps Christina crossing herself in an Evans roll-neck whilst five girls play 'Amazing Grace' on the recorder? Seriously. If people are too stupid to see how sexually and financially charged the entirety of X Factor is, and indeed pop culture in general, then they don’t deserve TV sets.

Meanwhile, us pop enthusiasts, thank you very much, will hereby proceed to, as they say in the world of pop, take it to the parking lot, and I bet you somebody’s gonna call the cops, uh-ohh, here we go’s, here we go, wo-O-oo-OOho—Oo-OOO-u-u-OOOOO, uoOOuOoOOH, OHHH OHHHHH...

Below: Christina's promotional performance of 'Express' from Burlesque.

Amendment, 14th December:
Okay, I did just see some stills of Christina's dance in the Mail Online, and admittedly they are quite dirty! Photos of Christina on X Factor. Perhaps X Factor needs a proper heterosexual man with children of his own on the show to confirm what is and isn't too racey?

Bad Boy Gone Gay: Is Chris Brown Homosexual?

From gay song lyrics to kiss-and-tell stories by Brooklyn party boys, the rumours are spreading thick and fast that Chris Brown likes his bling on boys, leaving us to have a re-think over what it was Chris actually meant when he sang ‘double your pleasure, double your fun’ on his somewhat ironic high-hoping fidelity-focused hit Forever.

You’ve asked me to look at this recent rash on the internet about Chris Brown and his alleged male sex partners (which was news to me!), and so despite being a big Rihanna fan and not liking the look of Chris's mug all over my blog, I'm going to take up the challenge.

And let’s hope it’s the last blog post we have on boring self-obsessed closet cases across the Atlantic. America, if you're reading - Seriously guys, nobody cares anymore!

So here goes. Chris Brown is gay? Or neigh?

One forum helpfully-slash-hilariously informed me: “Chris Brown was involved with a man named Jordan who was always around Brown. He was in the Kiss Kiss video and numerous performances. Jordan spoke of having threesomes with Brown with women, and claimed that Rihanna was assaulted when she threatened to expose him that night. When this hit the net apparently he and Brown Got into a NASTY Twitter fight”

Twitter is an important publicity tool for celebs and so I doubt Chris would engage in a bitch fight with a secret ex-boyfriend. Equally, a manager would be foolish to let Chris damage his online brand and take cyber punches at a male lover!

A more interesting argument suggesting that Chris Brown is homo is his gay-as-Goldfrapp song Love Rocket:

I’m fly in the sky ,
Outer space our satellites
Wanna take a, a little ride
On your rocket yeah yeah your rocket.

Hit it for the milky way your big surprise,
Looking for the sugar rush I,
Are you the guy
To light it, if was invited.
So tell me how bout it yeah .

Definition of a freak yeah,
Lets do something crazy yeah,
I want you and you want meeeeee.
And i don't need

Your chain your bling
It don't mean **** to me
Just keep your money in your pocket
Everything up in here out
No fake I.D
Just keep it real with me
You know you want me
Boy just stop it
Let me hop on your love rocket

There's no need to even look at the metaphors, "milky way your big surprise" and of course "love rocket" itself. The song is actually addressed to a guy. Perhaps it was intended for a girl to sing? Or was it going to be a duet with Rihanna?

More worrying to me is the line "No fake I.D."

When reading rumour forums look at how full-on their advertising is because salacious rumours bring high traffic to websites. Forum owners deliberately fill their sites with shit. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people who put “Is X gay?” into Google every minute.

In fact, I once put out a blog post called “Is Ashley Cole Gay?” as a traffic experiment. The rather rushed argument went like this:

1) Ashley Cole entered a showmance with Cheryl Cole to cover-up his realisation that he was gay.

2) The media have suggested ulterior motives for Cheryl Cole entering this relationship too.

3) Cheryl Cole is a gay icon, so a subconscious girlfriend choice for a suppressed gay.

4) The photos Ashley Cole sent off his phone would not have impressed any of the women that I have ever met in my life, but are on the contrary similar to the kind of content one sees in gay chat forums.

5) Footballers are famously obsessed with the closet, because they can afford very comfortable ones (preferring to take the money off their small-minded fans than bring about unwanted homophobia, stress and vulnerability)

Now. I removed this “Is Ashley Cole Gay?” post after one hour of going live with it. Firstly because I kind of like Cheryl Cole, secondly because I actually have no idea whether Ashley Cole is or isn’t gay, and finally, because I realised that I don’t care and I definitely don't fancy him.

However, it told me what I needed to know, because 1,000 people visited my blog in the space of an hour.

So is Chris Brown gay? Well, we're no nearer to an answer until either he tells us, or a media group gives him a nudge. And I couldn't care either way.

But crucially, you need the public’s suspicion on your side from the word Gooogle, otherwise they won't be typing the right keywords into search. And it is perhaps this argument that most supports online rumours, and most suggests that Chris Brown is gay. Google keywords are the online equivalent to human instinct, just like rumours are the edges of a jigsaw.

Right, enough of this bollocks! Let's get our groove on to Love Rocket...

I still don't understand why he went ahead and sung this song if it's not a gay fantasy ballad, like, what's wrong with getting a demo singer to sing it? I'm loving the Alexander McQueen bumpster bum-boy jeans look here. Not too sure about bending over while gripping a ladder though.

Giving this song a second listen, perhaps being a gay R&B star would be a nice move for Chris? Problem is though, the pop gays love Rihanna.

Digital Love: Christmas gift ideas that cost nothing #1 : Give your Friend a Facebook Makeover!

In the run-up to Christmas 2010, The Jack of Hearts will bring you five truly novel gift ideas that are both amazing and solely internet-based. Who’d have thought ‘austerity’ would be this winter’s buzzword? It’s all about stripping back those daunting gift responsibilities until all you’re left with is your parents and your other halves. In other words, recession-chic is in full flow so three-dimensional presents only go to people who once gave you life, or who currently give you head.
Admittedly there’s a certain self-indulgent pleasure in offloading someone with an expensive gift, but nothing beats keeping all your money to yourself, and so we kick off by swapping price-tags for remove-tags with #1:
Give them a Facebook Makeover!
Or as I've come to coin it... "A Fakeover!" (exlamation mark compulsory).

All of us like to think our Facebook profiles look fantastic and yet when we look at our friends’ profiles we often find ourselves thinking ‘Oh God, what a loser’. It never occurs to us that we look stupid on Facebook because we’re incapable of truly turning a critical eye on ourselves, which is why offering to give someone else a Fakeover is the perfect Christmas gift.
It’s the polar opposite to ‘Fraping’ (a phenomenon that I’ve always seen as being cringingly puerile with a nasty whiff of the pubertal about it). So great are Fakeovers I’m surprised there aren’t freelance consultants out there offering them already. So, ask for their login details and away we go:
First off - Religious Status and Favourite Quotations. Is being a ‘Jedi’ really that amusing? No. Does ‘Very Conservative’ make them sound like a tiny bit of a twat? Yes. Sort these out. Do they really need 15 badly typed out in-jokes festering under the heading ‘Favourite Quotations’ when really the section should be called ‘Yes, see, I’m FRIENDS with her, SEE, SEEEEE, and our life is really REALLY witty and fun”? No.
With their actual name on Facebook, if it’s not their actual name, then change it to their actual name. I know this sounds obvious but some people actually give themselves a stupid middle name, forgetting the fact that whenever they see someone else with a stupid made-up middle name, a small part of them dies. So do James Engleberry Dub-Step Ass-Bandit Squidoo Smith a favour and sort that out.
Now the hard part. Grooming your friend’s Facebook photos…
Start off by appointing yourself chief remove-tagger. The rules of thumbnails are:

1. Nobody should have more than 1,000 Facebook photos.
2. Parties, group holidays and weddings are the only excuse for having more than 5 photos of the same event.
3. Few people need to see your friend grinning sweatily in an awful skirt from Jigsaw. Nobody needs it from fifteen angles.
4. Kangaroos, stick insects, mountain ranges and random lakes are a NO.
5. Nobody needs a photo of their house looking magical in the snow.

And most of all...

6. NOBODY wants an augmented reality of Thailand, in its entirety, in photographic form, laid out across 17 fucking pages. Thailand should be a backdrop to Leonardo DiCaprio looking hot on a DVD that you’ll probably never watch again. Thailand should not be the vast majority of your online presence. Especially when you're a public school girl from Kent.
To finish off a girl’s Facebook makeover simply remove their mobile number for them, any attempts at jokes beneath their profile picture and all of their HAR HAR ‘siblings’.
If you’re giving a boy a Fakeover you need to set aside a good day and half really. Start off with their “Interested In” section. If they’re heterosexual, lack self-esteem and benefit from reading a daily reminder of their chosen position on the sexual compass then be a dear and let them keep their sad little “Interested In: Women” on there. However, for confident straight men, those who are in relationships, very macho men, bisexuals and gay men, remove their “Interested In” section all together, as it’s entirely unnecessary and they’ve no need to either advertise or reassure themselves.
The beginners guide to remove-tagging a boy’s life in pictures starts with the following (to be read aloud in a Mary Poppins voice): Double chins, sweat patches, arses, pornography, cocks, pints of snakebite, people urinating in the street, infinity pools in Cyprus, people exhaling smoke in front of festival tents, piles of sick, self-portraits of oneself sunbathing, close-ups of insect bites, diving off the sides of boats, people sitting on the toilet, lines of men with pants around their ankles, Google Images of the homeless, people hugging the toilet, drunk and meaningless conversations around wooden tables, characters from Southpark, innuendos on street signs, close-ups of testicles, hotel bathrooms and anything depicting what they seem to think is a mythological equivalent to scholastic achievement, for example, lifting up one’s dirty white t-shirt to overtly exhibit a chavtastically toned stomach.
Some boys fall victim to the black death too, which is where their Facebook photos suggest they actually live in a marquee at a perpetual never-ending black tie event, furtively clutching onto the sequined hip of someone they should have shagged while they had the chance. You need to sort this out.
Finally make sure they’re not Facebook friends with their parents, unjoin them from any groups that are redundant like ‘Leona To Win: Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease Vote For Leona Everyone!!!!!!’, and ta-da: You’ve given them a profile of comfort and joy!
Check back for #2 on my list of amazing Christmas gifts that cost nothing, later on this month...!