Thursday, 4 October 2012

Looper - film review

Okay. Pay attention.


A Looper is someone who lives in 'present day'.

Got it so far? Awesome.

In the future...Crime syndicates send people can for the Looper's to kill.

They just sort of 'ping-appear' in front of the Looper and the Looper shoots 'em dead. Simple.

However, things turn to crap when someone known as The Rainmaker wants to close all the loop-holes and starts to send back the future versions of The Loopers and that's the basics of this film:

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is getting ready to terminate his new assignment when suddenly Bruce Willis (the future version of Joseph thanks to some clever and subtle make-up) appears in front of him. Naturally it's Bruce so he gets away and decides to hunt down The Rainmaker. He figures, kill The Rainmaker and Looper's will never get terminated meaning everyone can go on and live their lives in full and happiness. Or some bollocks like that.

Chased by the people who don't really fancy Future people running around the present, and chased by the present-day version of himself this is an intelligent film with good action, solid acting and a good story.

A little bit Sixth Sense (boy stuff) and a little bit Terminator (future dude tracking down people in present to save future blah blah) this is well worth catching at the cinema.

Nice to see Willis heading back to 'decent' film territory too. Recent films have been getting progressively worse!

Warning: Don't take 'thick' people to see this. They'll be forever asking 'how' and 'why'.


Taken 2 - film review

I caught an early screening of 'Taken 2' last night. Should have known what to expect considering this sequel to one of the most bone-crunchingly violent films was a 12 certificate but I still went in with moderately high hopes. After all, it still had the original cast.

I won't go on and on about this film because, quite frankly, I don't want to waste any more time on it than the 95 minutes I lost watching it.

The acting is second-rate. Even Liam Neeson, normally awesome, is just on cruise mode. His daughter is annoying with her constant whining and even his wife grates with her wailing and screaming when she is taken.

The action sequences are so fast and quick you can't make out who is hitting who. It's edited in such a way, no doubt to retain the 12 certificate, you don't really see the punches connect and...Well...It's just not as brutal as the first film. Dumbing down this film for a kiddy market was a massive mistake. More insulting when it gets to two of the main characters battling it out and it is literally a hand to face 'game over' move. No sound of broken neck. No sight of matey getting impaled on anything. No sight of bone going through nose...It literally just looks as though one of the characters high-fived them in the face.

Gun battles are boring too. Tiresome in fact. No bloody squibs going off. Just 'bang' noises and people falling over in a melodramatic style. It's like watching a poor version of The A-Team.

The plot itself is annoying too. Liam killed people in the first movie. The families of the people murdered go after him to kill him. Simples. There is nothing else to it. The whole set up is rushed and ridiculous.

Trust me when I say this is a movie you need to avoid.

2/10 (being generous)

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Matt Vs The Doctors: Part 1.5

Got my appointment with the Doctors tomorrow. Looking forward to it, to be honest. Be interesting to see how they came to the conclusion I suffer from Psychopathic Personality Disorder. It'll also be fun to hear them apologise again and again.

Anyway, prepared myself for the double-appointment by looking up the disorder. Won't lie - I was a bit shocked by the traits of this disorder I have...

Arrogant, deceitful, interpersonal style, dishonest, manipulative, grandiosity, glibness, defective emotional experience (that a Red Letter Day?), poor empathy, lack of responsibility, sensation seeking, impulsiveness (I'll give them that one), capable of violent acts with no feelings of guilt....

Reading all of that, I think I'd be happier if they just replaced 'psychopathic personality disorder', on my notes, with the word 'cunt'.

Anyway, hopefully they can either prove what they wrote or strike it from my records completely.

We'll see....

If I don't post again, I've been sectioned.

Or I'm standing behind you.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

A Personal Blog: Matt Vs. The Doctors (Part 1)

Hate is a strong word so I won't start this blog stating how much I 'hate' Doctors. After all, they're people too and, I'm sure, some of them have feelings which I certainly wouldn't wish to hurt.... because, I am a nice person.

Instead - I shall start this blog by stating I dislike Doctors intently. Should I stumble across one in the streets, looking for directions, I'd take much glee in sending them in the wrong direction. Perhaps, even, towards an open man-hole.

I didn't always feel this way about Doctors (dentists, on the other hand, are cunts). Truth be told, I never gave Doctors much thought - even when I was sat opposite them with some kind of sickness bug; them, as a human being, didn't cross my mind. They, to me, were simply the ATM's for prescriptions.

"Save your wise words, just give me the drugs," I'd be thinking as I tried not to pass on my 'lergy.

My opinion changed towards Doctors around ten, or so, years ago when I was having some issues with anger and depression. Some times I'd be super high with happiness, buzzing around the place, and the next minute I'd come crashing down with The Black Dog nipping at my tired ankles.

I struggled to keep calm, as I struggled more so to find my place in society, and would often lose my temper. I've thrown things at my mum, ashamedly, dished out more than her fair share of insults and foul language and have frequently made a fool of myself. Indeed, looking back, sometimes my own past reactions to things cause me - once again - to slip into a depression as the shame hits home hard.

I won't go into more of what I've done and all that gubbings. If you're interested in that - you can simply download my book 'im fine' which explains what I used to do, medications I've tried, details appointments with Doctors and CBT specialists and my families reactions etc.

One person, who I once held closely to me, once said - "There's nothing wrong with you, you're just weak."

Since giving up my job to get away from catalysts for anger and moods, I have retired to the comfort of my house to pursue a career in writing. I have over twenty books released, more due, and am slowly gathering in people following my work (and a big thanks to them). I feel good. Occasionally I do still get down and angry but (again, detailed in 'im fine') I don't take medication for them. I don't do drugs (other than the very, very occasional puff of pot and we are talking.... RARE) and I don't drink.

When I feel the moods changing, my new partner knows to back off and give me space. To date, we have NEVER had an argument when I've been down (in contrast to constant arguing in my previous relationship as she struggled to understand the moods despite our many conversations) and my moods are easier to combat because I don't have to leave the peacefulness of my house. 

Lonely from time to time, yes, but I honestly do enjoy being a hermit.

Anyway, where's all this going? It's going here:

I went to the Doctors about a fortnight ago to have a chat about this annoying little cough, called Fred, that I couldn't shift. I had tried every over the counter crap you can imagine and nothing shifted it. Sleep was lost and I was getting, obviously, irritable. My brother told me of a medicine you can get by prescription which nuked these coughs so I thought I'd have a crack at getting some.

So, I'm sat there, in the Doctors listening to her yak on and on about this and that (not really listening, just wanted the prescription) and I happened to glance at the monitor for their notes about me... and there it was, flashing there, for all to see - PSYCHOPATHIC PERSONALITY DISORDER.

Now, I know I have issues (bipolar and OCD being batted in my direction) but I never knew I was a psycho. I knew I had an issue with anger and a fondness for violence (as blatantly obvious from my books) but I have never been in trouble with the law and I haven't been in many fights - the majority of my fights being when I was in my late teens and, again, nothing that I'd call 'major'. The odd scuffle somewhere, normally drunk, before it was broken up.

Some what disturbed by what I read, I came home to look up the disorder and read that characters such as Norman Bates (Psycho), Patrick Bateman (American Psycho) and Alex (A Clockwork Orange) were all labelled with this 'illness'. To my knowledge, I have never dressed up as my mum or killed anyone so how I can be labeled the same as these characters is beyond me.

More distressing was the fact I'd been applying for jobs and schemes which required permission to be granted for my Doctors' Notes to be available. I'm pretty sure this disorder would put a stop to anything I was trying to achieve.

That wasn't the worst, for me, though. What was worse was that NO ONE had ever mentioned it to me - knowing in mind I was having CBT and trips to various psychiatrists over six years ago. I even called my old psychiatrist's office to ask them and they said the file, on me, was long since closed and the diagnosis was nothing to do with them.

Now, I'm pretty sure - had I had this disorder - I'd have acted upon a recent dirty little secret I discovered close to home. I wanted to act upon it. I still do. I'd like nothing more than to punish those responsible but I realise that's not the way to act so I took a step back and have cut the cancers from my life. This, by the way, improved my mood. Even when I discovered what I found out - I managed to calm myself pretty fast. An initial reaction where I went around kicking things, throwing, screaming, ranting but - within ten minutes - back to normal (albeit shaking with rage). 

It's not the first time Doctors have said something I have disagreed with. One Nut-Doctor said I lacked empathy when, clearly, that's bollocks. When my Chinchilla, Joey, died in my arms - I cried for a weekend. And I mean, proper solid crying. Not sniffling. Wailing. 

The same with my cat Wispa when my dad ran her over with his car (not really what happened but he likes to joke that's what he did and, well, ho ho ho.... let's allow the joke to live on). 

Quick time-out from this (I guess) rant...

I'm sitting in the lounge. Mum's birthday. Passed her pressies to her. As always, when I used to visit, I'd call for the cat. Mum turned to me, "Yeah, she's not coming... we had her put down...."

Dad simply buried his face in the palm of his hands.

And then the jokes started.

Oh, how I fucking laughed.

I miss that cat.

Nicer than my new one. She's a psycho. MAYBE THAT IS IT!!!! Maybe I read her doctor notes and not mine!!!!! Or not...

Back to it and I'll wrap things up. Can hear some of you yawning...

I wrote the Doctors a calm letter explaining how I could have something like that on my notes without ANYONE ever telling me what was what. If I really were a psycho - how could they just leave me to fend for myself? How could they allow me to work in places they knew fuelled my fire. How could they trust me not to kick off and damage someone - or myself? Proof, if ever it were needed, that despite their qualifications - they don't give a fuck.

Eventually I received a letter from the practice manager inviting me to make a double appointment with a Doctor to discuss the notes. I've done that. August 3rd. 8:40am.

Just need to stop myself from flying into a rant.

Hopefully this is an isolated case (typical that it's with me) but goes to show - you never can really trust what people write about you behind your back.

With regards to answers - at the moment I can't give you any. Like I said, this is part one.

I can answer an older question I was asked once, though.

"How do you think of your book ideas?"

Because I'm a psycho.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

"YOU choose the story" - the idea behind my latest book

Well, I won't lie - it was a bitch to write but I've finally cracked it. A book where, at the end of each chapter, you choose the direction you want the story to go in for the characters living the story.

As always, with my books, it's told through the eyes of the main character - a damaged soul who wants revenge on his wife for leaving him. And he plans to take the revenge on her too - on Christmas Day no less.

The basic plot outline is the wife is taking the kids over to the husband's house on Christmas Day. They want to try and keep things as normal as possible for the children who are staying with their father for the night (so the wife can enjoy the company of her new man on the Boxing Day!)

What the wife doesn't realise is - the new man is dead. Wrapped in several parcels under the Christmas Tree, ready for her to open - another piece of him cooking in the oven for Christmas Dinner. She doesn't realise her husband wants her head for the top of the Christmas Tree either. If he really does go through with it - it'll be one Hell of a Christmas to remember....

But - can the husband really go through with it?

Well that depends on you, the reader.

There's numerous ways this story can evolve as you read it - your goal being to get to one of the two main endings.

There's the main HAPPY EVER AFTER ending where it works out for all concerned and there's the main REVENGE ending where it works out for the husband AND the children (after all, can't be hurting kiddies!!!) - the latter of the endings, not being so good for the wife.

But don't think it's an easy route. There are seventeen different endings (at last count) which could end the story prematurely. There's suicide, death, trauma for the children, an arrest, fires, murder.... Lots of ways to trip and stumble causing you to have to start again!

Oh yeah, forgot to mention, I made it extremely hard for you to cheat on this book. See, at the end of the chapters, you simply click on the hyperlink relevant to your decision. There are no page numbers, there are no chapters. The stories are mixed and matched through out the book so, simply scrolling through the pages to get where you want.... yeah - good luck with that.

Anyway, I honestly hope you do enjoy it. I can't pretend it wasn't one of the biggest writing challenges I've ever had and it would be a shame for you to walk away thinking it no good! I mean, don't feel bad if that is how you feel though.... just, you know.... ignore me whilst I weep quietly in the corner of the room.

If you want to register your interest in this book "TWISTED TALE: BOOK ONE - A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER" simply pop by on my author page and leave a little note for me. I'll give you a reminder when it hits the shelf.... but, for now, it's back to testing the story threads and editing.

A lonely business

Between the hours of 7am and 7pm, I sit in my quiet house (unless the bastard neighbours are home) listening to nothing but my own thoughts, my meowing cat and the scratching from the Bearded Dragon's tank as he desperately tries to scratch his way through glass (and onto freedom.... or more likely... death by the claws of a psychotic cat). Facebook is open constantly as is whatever word document I'm working on; new stories, a sheet of random ideas mixed into one another, various letters to companies just to annoy the crap out of them or even a word document filled with the words 'all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy'. It's the same for six out of seven days a week and, I won't lie, it can be lonely.

Years ago, stuck in an office, I was chomping at the bit to make writing my career. Now I actually have achieved what I want to achieve and taken the step to do it full-time, I've realised I'm not as much of a Hermit as I make out. Well, in some ways anyway. Outside in the Real World, I'm quick to flare up if something angers me, I'm normally hot and bothered and I'm uncomfortable in large crowds - a feeling that I continually have to look over my shoulder on the off-chance I'm to bump into someone I don't want to see (not that this usually happens.... I'm just paranoid about it for some reason). Yet, when I'm at home - I find myself WISHING I was able to function 'normally' within social situations!

Don't misunderstand me, I'm happy with what I do (happier if it paid all the bills though!) but it's made me come to realise - I'm the sort of miserable bastard who will always struggle to find true inner peace in their life. Hell, at this rate I'll probably end up turning to religion (might even start my own cult if you wish to join me).

I prefer writing 'horror' because it's more my style. I'm comfortable with it. But, and it's a big one, it can get hard listening to the voices of the crazed, day in and day out, whilst you're writing their story. You have to let them into your head and listen to all they say in order to try and get them across properly, to the reader, in your stories. Sometimes, writing these little horror books can put you in one hell of a bad mood!

Once a book is completed, I feel as though the Evil from the character is flushed from my system and I can relax a little. Sometimes even going a step further and becoming truly manic - delirious with joy that I've cracked another book out. These are the fun times - the times where I find myself writing to various companies just to try and get under their skin; weird, wacky, wonderful letters (which I always go onto publish!) And then another dark character comes into my head and off I go again until I'm back to the happy state...

Weird, I used to think the ups and downs would be over - when I gave up 'normal' work but... now I realise, no matter what I do, they're here to stay. The only difference is - there's not as many people to witness them.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Guess who's back.

It's been a while since I've written anything. I'm sorry about that but I have excuse.... well, to be precise, I actually have two excuses.

1) I've been ultra busy with writing projects.

2) I forgot my password AND the name of the site I used to make my blogs up.

Anyway, back now - remembered the site I used and got my password resent to me - and I plan on adding to this blog once a week (at least). Obviously if I ever have anything REALLY interesting to say, I'll be posting more but.... it has to be really, really great to get a post here... after all, I already spend my days changing my Facebook status and updating my author page in the vague attempt of keeping you fine people interested and following my progress as I go from starving author to homeless.

So what have I been doing, I hear you ask? Well, I don't hear you ask. You probably don't even care either. My mum just thinks I'm keeping out of trouble when I'm quiet and, for that, she's normally grateful. Still, for the purpose of writing a blog... I'll tell you what's been happening in the shoddy land of Matt, The.

I've only gone and quit my day-job!

Book sales went stupid in February and I thought I'd finally cracked it. I also discovered.... stuff.... in the day job and thought, you know what - I'm better off without it and without having my nose rubbed in what I knew.... although, I won't lie, it's only matter of time before I take matters into my own hands and deal with what I've discovered in only the way a simpleton, like me, can...

Anyway, since quitting the day-job I have welcomed a new kind of stress into my life. That of 'financial worries'. Admittedly, in the real job, I was never earning loads and loads of money but the bills were, just about, being paid and I could normally afford to blow about £50 on myself in the month (which really isn't a lot!) now, though, things are tighter. I can only JUST cover my rent and house bills, I'm ignoring my debt (offering them reduced amounts each month which, sometimes, I can't even pay) and my food cupboards aren't quite as full as I'd like them to be. On the plus side, to the latter point, my kitchen always looks nice and clean.

Still, I'm enjoying life more. I'm not under pressure in a job I detest, having to tread on egg-shells around people and desperately trying not to make another silly mistake (which might as well have been the end of the world). I'm still managing to get my arse out of bed at a sensible time (around nine-ish) and I'm getting quite good at balancing writing all day with sitting on the sofa, scratching my nuts and watching porn. Hell, if I ever do have to get a real job again I'll be most concerned about my 'wanking routine'.

"Yes, I know I've just had my lunch but now is about the time I enjoy a wank.... please, it will only take a couple of minutes.... what do you mean, no? Oh, I see.... so it's okay for Joe Bloggs to go outside for a cigarette but not okay for me to go and tug one off....."

I actually finished working in April. In May, I had one of the best months - selling-wise - I've ever had and managed to finish five more books, taking my number of published works to over twenty. June slowed down financially but I was still getting a steady following on my author page (mattshawpublications) on Facebook and more and more people were passing the time there chatting with me. I even felt a little bit like a Rockstar with the private messages I was getting - thanking me for writing, how much they enjoyed my work etc etc.... I mean, who wouldn't want to see stuff like that?

The only other drawback (next to the financial stress) is the amount of people who think they're owed something for nothing, though. People get in touch - glad to have found a new author - asking for free books continually. Every post you make on various sites ends the same way - these people saying they haven't read any of your work yet and then asking for free stuff. I DO run free promotions via Amazon, I even offer free books on my author page with various little schemes I run, I offer free books when people leave reviews too.... so it can get a little tiresome when these few individuals feel it necessary to continue hassling you for freebies. Yes, I want people reading my work but - if I don't know you - I probably won't just pass my books over to you for free. If you're active with helping spread the word about my work, a fellow author looking to swap books, or even just a 'nice friend' chances are - you'll be offered free books off my own back anyway!

I've met a few nice ladies through social networking; ladies who have gone out and bought my books, or read them when they were on a freebie promotion, and have continued to support me - sometimes even chatting with me about things other than writing. You know, just being 'friendly'. They are often given free books because I tend to ask their opinion as to new pieces of work. They've enjoyed my other books, I value what they say - will they enjoy this new piece? Again, it's meeting people like this which is what makes this whole process so enjoyable. After all, sitting at a computer day in, day out.... it can get quite lonely from time to time.

But - this is my life now. This is the one I choose. This is what I want from it. Whereas before I've never really found any true peace and happiness - here, I think I have it. I can be as much of a Hermit as I choose to be, I have the love and support of a good woman and I'm finally doing something I've always dreamed of doing...

... just.... you know...

.... a little more money wouldn't go amiss....