• Eddie the Eagle

    Quad-Van-AW_29880-Eddie-the-EagleLast night went to the first showing this week of the new film Eddie the Eagle at my favourite cinema Abbeygate :). If you are looking for an upbeat, feel good movie then go see this, if you are looking for something serious and factually correct then don’t bother.

    Sat down with a good glass or red, relaxed and waited for the start. Cinema was full of all sorts of ages and some clearly wondering what all the fuss was about. The film starts in the early days of Eddie and his attempts at getting to the Olympics and the unconventional approach he took to getting into the 1988 Winter Olympics. The British Olympic Association didn’t come of very well from the film, hardly surprising. In order to get a film that fit into an hour and a half they changed a lot of the facts, including the number of coaches he had and locations but you get the picture from the film of the struggle he had to get there.

    What I had forgotten about was that he continued to train and tried to get into future Olympics but failed each time. Love the scenery out there in the Alps and Canada and it has reminded me just how much I have missed not going out on skis for two seasons now, next year I will definitely be out there somewhere.

    Well worth a visit in all these times of bad news on TV good to watch something entertaining. 7/10 for this one.

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  • Big and not so big cats …

    jessops75_logoI’ve talked about Jessops before here and the excellent customer service they provide and how helpful they are at the stores, I put them in the same league as John Lewis. They not only sell hardware but also photography courses and it is clear they are looking to expand this area. Earlier this year I was looking through them and thought long and hard and then took the plunge and booked on the Big Cats Experience. So last Sunday the time came around to head over to Hertfordshire for the day and I am glad, turned out to be a fantastic day, even with a short thunder storm. Now I am no photography expert and I was using the day to enhance my skills and take photos of something very different.

    CSTLogoHT_h80The day is hosted at The Cat Survival Trust over in Hertfordshire. It is not open to the public just members and specially arranged trips such as the Jessops experience day. When you look at the website before you go you do start to wonder what sort of setup it is. The trust is on a twelve acre site with a small farm shop at the front and is run by Dr Terry Moore. Setup in 1976 (although he was doing work before this date) it is a place which houses various wild car species for education and conservation, they house unwanted or surplus wild cats from zoos and collections. Last week they received three leopards on a temporary basis from a zoo in the north while their enclosure is being rebuilt. As art of the cost of the experience you get a years free members to the trust and can go back whenever you like and I certainly will be doing that.

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    Snow Leopard

    The day consisted of about 15 of use, two people from Jessops (Phil Gould and Lizzie James) and Terry Moore and another college from the trust. A brief introduction is given of some of the key areas to focus on during the day and it became clear very early on that there is a very wide range of experience in the group. It is not a day to teach you photography, Jessops have other courses for that, it is about the experience and the team are there to help guide you and ensure you make the most of the day. There are two key areas of the site the small and big cats and we split into two groups to cover them. At first you may think that it is not very large but the time very quickly disappears. What makes this different from a zoo? Simple just how close you can get to the cats very very close and you certainly have to respect them, they may look cute but their teeth say something different.

    Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard

    Throughout the day I managed to take a massive amount of photos and after discarding the poor quality ones I was very pleased with a small group of them, just a few shown here and more on Facebook. There are many pictures which I like but probably my favourite on is this one, take just a couple of feet away from the lens.DSC_1392

    Overall the day was fantastic and 4.30pm came around far too quickly. The cat trust does a lot of great work with the cats and they are very dedicated to what they do and incredibly helpful when you are there. The same goes for both Phil and Lizzie who were both extremely knowledgeable, helpful and patient throughout the day. It is money well spent.

     

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  • Hail, Caesar! and Sicario

    MV5BMjQyODc3MTI2NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDMxMjU2NzE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_Recent visits to the cinema, Abbeygate, have taken in a couple of very different films.

    The first was Hail, Caesar! which has quite a few stars in who clearly did it just for the fun of it and something easy to do. If you want something very simple and easy to watch, which will make you laugh at times, then this is worth a couple of hours of your time but don’t expect a classic. Set in the 1950s it is about the Hollywood studios and some of the stories around them and the way the key character played by James Brolin, keeps the actors in line. Also gives a little snippet how how much it was a production line of films at the time. Clooney was funny and you do wonder at times why he took the film on but glad he did. It is very easy to watch and ridiculous at times and jumps around a bit but it was very entertaining.

     

     

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    By contrast Sicario is a very different type of film and very dark about the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico. It paints a dark picture of the area and I can’t see this helping the Mexican tourist trade, not exactly a place you want to visit. Quite a few twists and you have to pay attention, the music score certainly adds to the atmosphere and you realise there is a very different world out there. I think nearly everyone left the cinema in silence at the end of this one. Overall it was good as it does challenge a serious subject and you do wonder how they will ever win the fight against drugs, if at all.

     

     

     

    Glad I went to see both films but I won’t be rushing back to see these ones again, put them on the shelf for when there is nothing else on.

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