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A Daily Christmas Catastrophe

All the makings of a cracking Christmas movie.

All the makings of a cracking Christmas movie.


You may only be a few days into your advent calendar, but television is already pretty much running at full Christmas capacity, bringing back traditionally festive programmes like a dancing programme where half the participants can’t dance and live celebrity torture all the way from the jungle, and ladelling on the festive misery with appalling adverts where each company battles to make the audience cry the most and then share their misery over Facebook, albeit in an astoundingly happy manner.

Winning at the moment is John Lewis’ desperately emotional two-minute epic where a hare, not content with spending Christmas with all its other friends, insists on disturbing a bear’s hibernation which will more than likely result in the bear’s death shortly after due to the lack of food after the Christmas dinner sandwiches run out. As long as you’re happy though hare, as long as you get your one day of happiness you selfish fool. It seems as though the hare’s heartless need for attention has been a massive hit with the weeping masses so far though, outstripping Boots’ present giving chav and Debenhams’ highly unrealistic depiction of fembots doing Christmassy stuff like ice skating or wandering around the house in lingerie in the pass-me-the-tissues-while-I-tweet-my-sadness stakes.

But if the snippets of festivity aren’t enough to forcibly stuff you full of Christmas cheer like an unsuspecting turkey, then stop over at Channel 5 for their daily regurgitation of straight-to-TV Christmas films. 5 were unable to contain their seasonal cheer and like an excitable cracker, ejaculated their underwhelming offerings on the 29th November. There are some truly great Christmas films though aren’t there? The Muppet Christmas Carol, Home Alone, Elf; who wouldn’t want to watch these quality heart-warming films, whiling away the miserable winter afternoons with family friendly humour? In fact, I could happily watch Elf everyday all year round and still chuckle when he gets hit by the taxi. The problem is; these films are not Elf, they’re not even Jingle All the Way. Instead we get such instantly forgettable titles such as I’ll Be Home For Christmas starring the one that was the mischievous middle child from Home Improvement and young Simba from The Lion King, Christmas Returns To Canaan featuring Miley’s denim clad dad, and It’s Christmas, Carol, which has an almost clever title, and that’s it.

Merry Christmas y'all!

Merry Christmas y’all!


But everybody loves a Christmas movie, I hear you cry. It’s true, everyone does, but these aren’t Christmas movies; these are interchangeable stories of nothingness where the overriding theme is blandness and practically all of the films follow the same well-worn plot of non-believer falls in love with newly created relation of Santa and believes again which gets about as tired as I do after eating my own body weight in pigs-in-blankets and selection box chocolate. All of the offending titles are described as family films meaning that adults and children alike can get together and bond over a shared hatred of the unimaginative, middle of the road sagas that hijack their screen at painful daily intervals. At least there is one positive then, other than the heart-warming life lessons of course.
A film made by a card company just screams quality.

A film made by a card company just screams quality.


We can only hope that they are saving the big guns until later on in the month and soon our memories of nondescript blandness will be wiped from our minds by the capers of John McClane and a German Alan Rickman, or a Santa killing Tim Allen and a whole host of films from an altogether higher class of Christmas flick. The trouble is, by the time the superior films come around our fondness for festivity is all but dried up, what with the sensory assault from all aspects of life since the first leaves began to fall from the trees. For now all we can do is hope that the power of nostalgia and festive cheer can take us through this flurry of awfulness and deliver us to the last few days of December before January pessimism takes hold so we can all enjoy real, cinema-gracing Christmas films. If only Channel 5 hadn’t been listening to “I wish it could be Christmas everyday” when planning their December lineup.

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The Five Stages of Being Hungover

This post is dedicated to the dreaded hangover, the burden that follows nights of excess, the harsh reality after all the drunken merriment and fun has faded away, the vast plague that sweeps the nation on Saturday and Sunday mornings and delivers the population into the new working week feeling suitably sheepish and down. Well life can’t be all fun and games you know.

If you can relate to this article, I feel for you. If you are one of these freaks of nature whose only experience of a hangover is one that can be solved with a glass of water and brisk jog around the park then you should know that I, and all my fellow sufferers, despise you and cannot wait for the day you visit our apocalyptic, post-binge world. And to those who are young enough to shrug off a hangover like it ain’t no thang; be afraid, this will be your reality soon.

The Calm Before the Storm

You’ve just woken up; you have no idea of time or any recollection of anything. The only thing in your head is a sense of puzzlement, a nagging feeling that something is not right. The bubble has not yet burst; everything is ok in your little den of happiness and security. Life is good. Something will make you move though, something will strive to ruin this innocence, and more often than not, it is thirst. But it’s this inevitable trip to the bathroom tap and subsequent movement that brings reality crashing down around you. The memory of the night’s events come rushing back as you stand up and the desolation of body and mind becomes apparent. If only you had taken some water to bed and you could have prolonged the charade of safety for another five blissful minutes but you didn’t, and now you’ve set in motion the awful hangover machine.

The Day of the Dead

"Nobody talk to me."

“Nobody talk to me.”


So the innocence has worn off and you are left with the truth; you are rougher than a badger’s bottom that’s next on the cull list. You have consigned yourself to a day of drifting in and out of consciousness while desperately searching for your one “comfy position” on the sofa. Everything hurts and everything makes you feel worse. No doubt there will be some overly loud sport on the telly with some rambunctious presenters consistently rousing you from your dozing. The sheer amount of exclamation marks on people’s excitable Facebook statuses offends your brain with its visual noisiness and causes spiralling annoyance and increased illness. You can only pray for a proper hangover film to come on to usher you through the worst of the day. You know the ones I mean; they either have to be a classic three-hour epic, or a kid’s film with slightly more going on than just colour and noise. Basically give me Mutiny on the Bounty or The Goonies and it’ll go some way to alleviating my suffering.

The Hunger Games

Yep, that should cover it.

Yep, that should cover it.


So you’ve battled your way through the sofa-bound, could-quite-conceivably-die phase of your hangover, owing a huge part of your success to that Harry Potter film being on TV, and now you are faced with a huge dilemma. The feeling of sickness has started to be replaced by hunger pangs but your fear and chequered hungover history makes the next step a huge one. Do you stick or twist? Ignore the hunger and be content in the knowledge that no (more) chundering will occur? Or gamble and raid the cupboards for the least healthy foodstuff to fulfil your craving for salt, sugar and hydrogenated fat, knowing full well what might go down if you over indulge? The choice is yours.

The Great Depression

By now you’ve probably decided to eat, been sick again for definitely the last time, and are now wishing somebody would bring you a KFC to draw a line under the whole thing and start afresh. The problem is, no one is going to bring one for you, and that makes you sad. Very sad in fact. And the depression keeps coming. In a whirl of memories and self-loathing, all the negatives from the night before rush back to you. That extra load of money you took out late at night and somehow blew through. The embarrassing run in with your ex when you were in your “a lot more drunk than I thought” stage. The tweets you wrote while half cut and for the whole world to see and remind you of at a later date. That, coupled with the knowledge of the damage you have done to your body and mind, and the fact that you have just wasted another full day of your life (just like you did last weekend) makes for one pretty sorry charity case.

The Happy Ending

I’m using the term happy ending loosely, and definitely not in the same way as a massage parlour might. The only positive to come out of your epic hangover comes in the final throes of your illness. So angered and upset by the horrible feelings of sickness and of time wasted that you vow to do something productive with your life. You WILL search for that new job you’ve been wanting for years, you WILL get in to shape and commit your life to fitness, you WILL go walk up a mountain, go to the beach, just be outside in some scenario instead of slumped in front of the TV. You’ll take photos of nature and everything will be really interesting to you (and more importantly Instagram). See how much desire and drive you have now? You’re like a new person, and all because you got totally hammered a couple of nights ago. In reality, you’re more likely to find that there are no jobs out there, go the gym once, and walk to the shop, but hey, it’s a start right?

"Okay, I've gone way too far with this life affirming stuff!"

“Okay, I’ve gone way too far with this life affirming stuff!”


So there you have it, another hangover, again sworn to be the last, done and dusted with enough time to recover before next weekend to start the cycle all over again. I feel pretty proud of myself for finishing this one, maybe it’s time for a celebratory beer…


Harry Potter and the Unused Book Titles

We are all familiar with the monumentally successful book series Harry Potter and the subsequent film adaptations which have captured the hearts and minds of children and adults alike since the late nineties.

What you may not know is that, with every release bringing more and more notoriety and the possibility to make some serious wizarding moolah, an almost infinite series started being planned, keeping Harry and his friends in a never-ageing, never-changing magical stasis, while each new title flew off the shelves to the sound of cash registers ringing. The idea was eventually scrapped however, as Rowling realised how much of a contradiction minefield the fictional world would create and was in a meeting with Bloomsbury, was quoted to have said, ‘Fuck that!’

Here at TPCA however, we have managed to unearth a shocking list containing just some of the hundreds of provisional titles that were being held in consideration for this new look, leviathan book series.  We must warn you, it is clear that attitudes towards the nation’s beloved wizard had taken a turn for the worse, presumably as a result of the constant media storm surrounding Rowling and the imminent release of the film adaptations. Some are vicious, others just plain lazy, and some, well they’re just absurd.

So here, finally available for public viewing, is the forgotten list:

Harry Potter and the Effervescing Elf

Harry Potter and the Vandellas

Harry Potter and the Half-Pound Mince

Harry Potter and the Sartorial Disaster

Harry Potter and the Wizarding Occurrence

Harry Potter and the Ghost/Werewolf/Bad Wizard

Harry Potter and the Time Shit Got Real

Harry Potter in the Hood

Harry Potter and the Time He Didn’t Win

Harry Potter and the Disappointing Ending

Harry Potter and the Blood Test Mystery

Harry Potter Goes To Washington

Harry Potter up The Khyber

Harry Potter and Ron’s Dad: An Unlikely Team

Harry Potter and the Need to Prove Himself

Harry Potter and the Penetrative Sex Scene

Harry Potter and the Satisfying Toilet Read

Harry Potter and the Rehashed Plot

Harry Potter and the Muggle Genocide

Harry Potter and the Trip to Alton Towers

Harry Potter Sings the Classics

Harry Potter and the Hate Crime

Harry Potter and the Band of Nerds

Harry Potter and the Suggestive Robes

Harry Potter and His Merry Men

Harry Potter and the Spiked Drink

Harry Potter and the Incredible Likeness of Being

Harry Potter and the Victimless Crime

Harry Potter and the Wand Fest

Harry Potter and the Overzealous Friend

Harry Potter and the Crushing Weight of Expectation

Harry Potter and the Legend of Ron

Harry Potter and the Exile of Ron

Harry Potter and the Seducing of Ron

Harry Potter and the Long, Drawn Out Affair

Harry Potter and the Inevitable Film Adaptation

Harry Potter and the Wizard’s Sleeve

Harry Potter and the Dorm Room Diaries

Harry Potter and the Scandalous Revelation

Harry Potter and the Troubled Boy Comes Good Storyline

Harry Potter and the Unerring Lack of Emotion

Harry Potter and the Taciturn Hand

Harry Potter and the Steroids

Harry Potter and the Burning

Harry Potter and the Inexplicable Reliance on Owls

Harry Potter and the Complete Reading of ‘King Lear’

Harry Potter and the Surprising Omission of English, Maths and Science from the Syllabus

Harry Potter and the Massive Bereavement

Harry Potter and the Banana Hammock

Harry Potter: Neville’s Story

Harry Potter: Hedwig’s Revenge

Harry Potter and the Dutch Rudder

Harry Potter and the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe

Harry Potter and the Silly Dog

Harry Potter and the Never ending whimsical magic shenanigans

Harry Potter and the Mystery of Ron’s Face

Harry Potter and the Yay or Nay List

Harry Potter and the Viagra Potion Calamity

Harry Potter and the Statutory Rape Trial

Harry Potter and the Chastised Boggart

Harry Potter and the Underwhelming Performance

Harry Potter and the Crippling Adolescence

Harry Potter and the Straight to TV Movie

Harry Potter Unwavering Erection

And Finally:

Harry Potter: My Perfect Sunday

So there you go.  The shocking list of unused book titles from an abandoned money spinning scheme.  We believe that this list has barely scratched the surface and that there hundreds more just like it, hidden away from the public.  It is our duty to uncover the truth and expose what might have been to the world.  If anyone manages to dig out one of these lists of shame, please contact us and we will publish to the world this near literary travesty.

Thank you for reading and please get in touch.


Top 5 Musical Works by Trey Parker and Matt Stone

Music is one of the most powerful forces in modern culture.  A soundtrack to life, accentuating highs and lows, elation and sorrow and providing that extra tug on the heartstrings whenever reality fails to satisfy.  This knowledge of the raw power of music has been readily accepted by television; and none more so, than the creators of South Park.  Yes that’s right, you might not have thought it from the opening statement, but here is the top 5 musical works by Pop Cult Assault idols; Trey Parker and Matt Stone.  And just in case you were worried, of course there will be videos.

5.  Baseketball – The Car Song:  Everyone gets that feeling once in a while where a song comes on the radio or your mp3 player and it just perfectly sums up the feelings you have at the time.  Well in this instance, the relevance of the music in Trey Parker’s car goes a little bit further than most.  As well as the super-personal lyrics, the song also perfectly encapsulates that moment in all terrible films when the protagonist thinks about giving up and everything starts becoming too much and then they receive a pep talk from a wizened old man or close friend.  Luckily, this protagonist had his radio on otherwise he could have missed his life affirming rallying call and the whole film would have been about forty-five minutes long!

4.  South Park: The Movie – Up There:  Well where to start with this one?  How about that this heart wrenching ballad of loneliness and longing is sung by the devil?  Or the fact that said devil is slight doppelgänger of George Michael?  Or how about that the entire score for this film including such timeless classics as ‘Uncle Fucka’ and ‘Kyle’s Mom is a Big Fat Bitch’ has won numerous gongs and had been nominated for many more?  In fact, if it wasn’t for Phil Collins of all people, the song ‘Blame Canada’ would have won an Oscar!  For me though it is this song that stands out the most, it’s easily the most overblown (this normally constitutes greatness in my eyes) of the bunch, and the juxtaposition of Satan, and his incredibly homo-erotic dream of life above ground is just mind-blowing.  You’ll think you’ve been enjoying the song though, but wait until 1:33 when Satan gets down with his bad self and takes it to the next level.

3.  South Park –Somewhere, Out There:  Have you ever stopped and thought to yourself: If a penis could sing, what would it sound like?  I know we’ve all been stuck with this quandary but thankfully South Park yet again provide the answer.  In a heartfelt duet with a runaway mouse, Mr(s) Garrison’s genetically engineered… erm…johnson opens up (gross) and showers the audience (sick) with a golden (this is too easy) voiced rendition of the ‘American Tail’ hit.  Now in Disney films we’ve seen some strange duet partners, like a candlestick for example, (not really sure what happened there) but I’ve haven’t seen a penis being made to sing since that one really weird party I went to a few years back, but you don’t want to hear about that!  Anyway I’m getting off topic, if you want the answer to what a penis sounds like when it sings, the answer in this instance is…slightly like Stevie Nicks.

2:  South Park and Team America – Montage Song:  The song so good they used it twice.  I’m not sure how they do it, but Parker and Stone’s ability to completely sum up and ridicule huge sections of popular culture in a few short lines is a joy to behold, and this time their victim is the constant stream of recycled action/sport films which insist on re-using the same exhausted script over and over again and cramming it into the heads of the foolish cinema goers.

Life in the Sports/Action film boardroom.

It’s got to the point where I now feel that in order to achieve anything in life like getting a new job, or learning a new language, I’m going to have to get my ass down the gym and learn some hard-hitting truths while lifting consecutively heavier weights.  So here it is anyway, a toast to the hugely clichéd montage which hopefully will spell the end of the ever-present, unerring, terrible action/film script.

1:  Orgazmo – Now You’re a Man:  If I made a list titled greatest songs of all time, this would still be number one.  From this mock-action film comes a theme tune which acknowledges the rules of tough guy film music and twists them into a hilarious blend of hyperbole, epic rock, base level humour, and pop culture satire.  Also, as a little added bonus, I can’t help hearing a bit of Metallica as Trey Parker powers his way through this track.  As a warning, after hearing this song, it may well be stuck in your head for the foreseeable future so remember, shouting ‘No it’s probably the titties!’ in your best James Hetfield voice, is not acceptable, unless the other person has heard the song and then they’ll just think you’re the coolest kid in town!

So that’s it, I hope you enjoy my list.  I’m sure there could be quite a lot of debate around this one so any comments are welcome.  Enjoy!

 


Cage Rage: A Question of Names

Try every name in the list with this picture, it works a treat!

I’ve been a little busy lately, mainly with work related things so I thought I’d make this post a bit of a short one.  However, it has been one of my favourites to write and will hopefully be fun to read as well.  It’s about Nic Cage for God’s sake how could it not be totally awesome!?

I’ve had a theory for a while that the worse the Nic Cage film, the more overblown and incredulous his character’s name has to be.  This list can be seen as a reserve store; we all hope that a Cage film can’t be so bad as to warrant one of these statements of obviousness, unless there is a Snake Eyes sequel on the way that I don’t know about.

Anyway, this list is here should you ever to need to spell out exactly your character’s patriotism and love for your family, or if you are under the impression that the audience won’t be able to determine your role as a misunderstood good guy through all the gun firing and explosions.  Enough talk, here it is, sit back and think of America:

Tennessee Lincoln

Jack Everyman

Cassius Truthseeker

Montana Headstrong

Vice McBane

Will N. Tact

Samson Carter

Laura Biding (disguised as a woman)

Ray O’Light

Free Spirit

Maverick Chamberlain

Monument Hill

Roosevelt Fury

Lincoln Peacemaker

Blake Veteran

Arizona Faithful

John Renegade

Jackson Thunder

Utah Grace

And, my personal favourite:

Pat Riot

I would like to thank Mr. Cage for the endless amusement and inspiration to write.  Without this man’s extraordinary talent, I would have many blank pages, and ITV 2 would be screwed.  Just take a look at this:


Top 5 #9

Top 5 Worst British Accents

Every year a plethora of films are released that are set in Britain but for some reason, the people in charge of casting seem to think that instead of hiring real British people, they’ll hire American actors to put on (or not bother) an English accent.  I suppose they’ve got a reason though, I mean, we can’t have Daniel Radcliffe being in too many films can we?

5. Kevin Costner- ‘Robin Hood’:  To outshine Christian Slater’s shoddy accent is no mean feat but Costner succeeds by not making any effort whatsoever to sound like the English fairy tale hero he portrays.  He might as well be wearing a cowboy hat and jeans for the difference it would make.  It might just be down to the bold accent but Costner also seems to be the most American person anyone could possibly be in that film with his perfect teeth and swept back hair.  Mind you, if we’re willing to accept Morgan Freeman as a Mohr then I’m sure we can deal with a Californian Nottingham-ite.  Onwards, to Noddingham!

4.  Anne Hathaway- ‘One Day’:  I don’t how or why they all have to do it, but everytime an American actor does a British accent it amazingly seems to encompass Welsh, Irish and Scottish as well as received pronunciation and a jaunty cockney twang.  It’s quite impressive but horrendous to listen to.  It’s as if no one has bothered to tell them that there are different regions and countries within the UK.  In this film, Hathaway plays a Yorkshire lass and at times gets it right but then lapses and a world of soft t’s and long vowel sounds.  Plus she didn’t say ‘appen once, what’s that all about?  Generally I would expect better from the women who shares a name with the man who championed the English language’s wife.

3.  Don Cheadle- ‘Ocean’s Eleven’:  This one is amazing.  A ruthless attack on everything that is stereotypically cockney.  He even uses rhyming slang! In fact so convincing is this accent, on first viewing I actually thought it was Harry Redknapp on screen.  They really do pull out all the Londoner stops for this accent (maybe why it’s so terribly, terribly bad) including the use of phrases like ‘leave it aat’ ‘tossus’ and of course, ‘Barney, Barney Rubble, Trouble!’  I guessing apples and pears must be in there too otherwise they might have a left an uncockneyfied pause which could really ruin the believability of Cheadle’s character.

2.  Keanu Reeves- ‘Dracula’:  No list about not being able to act very well can be complete without Keanu.  It’s amazing that someone with absolutely no presence keeps getting any lead roles, let alone one which requires more than driving a bus or fighting Elrond.  I can honestly say I don’t think I could imagine an English accent as overly regal as this one.  So posh is this accent, in fact, it even outdoes Stewie Griffin ‘h’ before the ‘w’ thing (y’know, like Cool Hwhip).  Also no posh accent would be complete without the addition of ‘nyes’ instead of yes.  For those of you who haven’t seen this film, this eight second clip is more than enough to catch the drift.

1.  Dick Van Dyke- ‘Mary Poppins’:  Of course he’s number one, he’s the godfather of terrible British accents, the overlord of stereotyping Blighty, the patron saint of, well, getting it wrong.  You can only assume that he’d seen a bit of Sean Connery’s acting and thought ‘Yeah, that’s what these British sound like, they don’t say s’s properly’.  He must have done something right though because he’s inspired Don Cheadle completely.  Sadly, by researching this I actually had to watch the Step In Time song from Mary Poppins but it was worth it to experience once again the wonders of this Dickensian throwback character.

So there’s my list, I really wanted to put Nic Cage in there for his National Treasure accent but despite trying to sway myself I knew he was doing it on purpose, at least I hope he was.  Anyway, I’ve got some Hollywood films to ruin, I better go and brush up on my all-encompassing American accent.

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