Sunday, July 14, 2024

The Final

It's the final of Euro 2024 tonight and I have a feeling England will win.

I have had this notion when the team was underperforming in the group stages and was getting a lot of flack from the media. I wrote on Twitter that the stirrer (I am not swearing in consecutive posts!) in me wanted to see England at least make it to the final. My reasoning: it would put egg on the faces of all those critics and fans that were tearing the team apart earlier in the tournament.

The playoff portion of the tournament has not been good for England, though. They've managed to get through by the skin of their teeth. Some might call it resilience.

So - bearing in mind how England has managed to scrap (scrape, too) their way into tonight's final - I sense two scenarios could happen.

1) This will be the game the team over-performs in. They go ahead and keep, or build on, the lead. This will be a contradiction of their previous knock-out games in the tournament.

2) Spain demolishes England because their luck finally runs out.

I genuinely cannot see it going any other way apart from those two situations. I'd prefer a life where number two plays out, but I think we're getting England as victors.

If you read Friday's post, you would have seen what I wrote about the cat which looked like Phil Foden appearing on that day's edition of The Daily Star. After publishing the post, I bought my own copy of the newspaper.

I won't be rubbing the paws to wish England luck, though. 

Daily Star - July 12 2024

Saturday, July 13, 2024

The Baldwin Trial

I posted the following words this morning, but realised my post was being censored. I realised I had quoted some remarks which were said in the court word-for-word and I'm not supposed to do that. I have since edited those words.

I hope that's the reason why, anyway...

* * *

I dipped in and out of the Alec Baldwin trial this week.

I was able to witness the judge dismiss the case last night. I also managed to see most of the controversy leading to the decision.

Baldwin was on trial for shooting dead cinematographer - Halyna Hutchins - while filming the movie Rust in 2021. The incident also saw the movie's director, Joel Souza, injured when the gun Baldwin was using for filming fired live ammunition.

Alec Baldwin Trial

The involuntary manslaughter case was dismissed through prejudice yesterday after it was revealed that the prosecuting team withheld evidence (bullets) from the trial. As well as that, claims were made that one of the prosecutors - Kari Morrissey - had called Baldwin an 'arrogant p---k' and a 'c---s----r' to witnesses. 

The falling apart of the case was, in my opinion, the best result. 

Baldwin should never have gone on trial for the accident. There are people responsible for the guns and ammo on the set of movies. The buck should stop with them in regards to safety. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed - the armourer on the set - was tried earlier this year and is currently serving eighteen months in prison.

Friday, July 12, 2024

Foden's Cat

There has been an image circulating across the Internet for quite a while of a cat which looks like Manchester City and England player - Phil Foden.

A couple of nights ago, I found myself looking for the picture to show a friend. And then, last night, I actually dreamt I owned the cat.

This story got even funnier this morning when, upon searching - once again - for an image of the cat, I came across the front page of today's Daily Star.

Daily Star - July 12 2024

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Isolation Island By Louise Minchin

Write what you know

Those words by Mark Twain struck me as soon as I read a little about Louise Minchin's debut novel.

Isolation Island -  the upcoming title - is about a new survival reality show which sees ten celebrities grouped together on a Scottish island to contend for the grand prize which is unique to each individual.

Only, it doesn't go to plan.

The main character - Lauren - is an investigative reporter t who has signed up for the show for two personal reasons: to claim her dream prize of a primetime television series and to also unmask a sinister A-List celebrity who also happens to be one of the ten contestants on the island.

To avoid giving away spoilers, the programme is halted just when the contest is picking up steam. And that's when the real competition to survive begins.

Isolation Island by Louise Minchin

For a debut novel, I thought Isolation Island was brill. 

As with any mystery-themed story, I spent a lot of time thinking to myself 'ah, it's got to be them' only to fall way off when it becomes clear that those ideas are - for want of a better term - red herrings. 

So, yes, Isolation Island was an enjoyable read with a cavalcade of characters with various backgrounds you truly would expect to find on a reality series. Albeit without the murderous traits. 

Maybe?

I started off this review by quoting Mark Twain because Louise Minchin was one of the contestants on the twenty-first season of I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. That edition of the series was one of the two to take place in a Welsh castle due to the pandemic. Considering Isolation Island's story is headquartered mainly inside a Scottish monastery, it made me ponder whether Minchin's idea for the story spawned from her time in Gwrych Castle for the ITV series.

If anyone is qualified enough to set her fiction inside the world of Reality TV - with the main character being a journalist  - then Louise Minchin ticks the box.  Just ask Mark Twain.

⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Thank you to Net Galley and Headline Books for the advance reading copy

Isolation Island by Louise Minchin is scheduled to be published on Thursday 12 September. You can order a copy by following the link below.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

A Week On

It has been close to a week since I watched Beverly Hills Cop IV (I still refuse to call it Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F) and I am still walking around in a daze.

As I wrote shortly after viewing, the film stunned me because I had low expectations going in. The nostalgia trip - and good feeling - I had from watching the movie was something I hadn't completely felt with other sequels.

I for sure didn't feel that way after watching Episodes VII to IX of the Star Wars Skywalker Saga (and it should have). I suppose the closest to a warm fuzzy feeling - from a recent sequel movie - was when they had a CGI of the late Harold Ramis posthumously return to his role of Egon Spengler to help his Ghostbusters friends at the conclusion of Ghostbusters: Afterlife (I should call it Ghostbusters III). 

Beverly Hills Cop IV is amazing. Ignore any of the negative criticism it has received. The fans know better on this one.

Beverly Hills Cop IV

One of the things I have done this past week is watch a handful of reviews on YouTube. It was welcoming to see the love for the Beverly Hills Cop series. It was also cool to see that a few of the reviewers had Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F (Damn, I said I wouldn't title it that!) as the second-best of the four films. I feel it beat the second movie by a nose.

Another thing I learned from my post-BHC IV tour of news and reviews is that there are plans to go with a fifth film. 

If it's anything like the fourth, it's going to be another blast. I welcome it.

The heat is back. It really is.

Tuesday, July 09, 2024

Around The NFL Cancelled

There goes another one of my favourite American football podcasts.

The news that Around The NFL has been culled by NFL Media reached me less than thirty minutes ago. I'm a day or so behind, it seems.

Anyway, I am going to miss the team of Dan Hanzus, Marc Sessler and Gregg Rosenthal (and - before that the late Chris Wesseling who made the current trio a foursome in the podcast's early days) They brought some great banter to their programme and always showed respect to the British and Irish fans.

Rosenthal has been retained by NFL Media so there is no chance, for now, that the trio will be reunited somewhere else.

As I stated in my open - another podcast I religiously listened to has gone. 

Grrrrrr.

Monday, July 08, 2024

King Fiver

Look what I received in my change today.

King Charles III £5 Note

It's my first £5 with King Charles III on it. 

I had a £10 note last month so that means I now have to find a £20 and £50 to do the grand slam!