giveMetokyo

A Freelance writer, currently working as Film Editor for Candid Online.
I have high hopes of someday becoming a successful writer in the big, bad, real world and shall wallow away my days in a lovely Georgian town house, eating Battenberg and chatting away to the voices in my head and my little dog Spyro. But until that day, I will simply have to suffer in a small West London flat with a mental landlady and a room that stinks of chinese food.
giveMetokyo is a way to display my writing through some (hopefully) entertaining pieces about the things I am most passionate about.

Please also tweet me @giveMetokyo!

Film Review: Wreck it Ralph

As seen in Issue 6 of Candid Magazine!

Disney’s latest offering, Wreck it Ralph, due for release in the UK next week is not dissimilar to a helpful serving of every special treat you can think of. It provides a phenomenal dose of endorphins whilst taking you back, Christmas Carol styley to childhood dreams that will forever remain in the imagination. Only it isn’t ghosts that appear, rather computer game characters, so bright and energetic you may have a mini heart attack. Confused? Don’t worry, for all will be revealed.

Wreck it Ralph’sprotagonist, Ralph (unsurprisingly and voiced by John C. Reilly) is the ‘bad guy’ in old-school arcade game, Fix-it-Felix, within which he runs around wrecking a grand town house, inhabited by ‘hero’ Felix (Jack McBrayer) and the townspeople. The latter then subsequently fixes said stuff. However, once the children playing Fix-it have left we see that all is not as it appears. Whilst Felix is adored by the townspeople in the game, Ralph is actually not so bad and instead has been secluded from the rest of the characters and made to sleep in some rubbish outside the house. Rude. Ralph makes valiant attempts to be liked, failing to understand why he is treated the way he is and decides that the only way he is to be accepted is if he acquires a sparkling medal. And so the story begins. Entering a modern first-person shooter game, Ralph just about gets his medal and along the way manages to irritate the very tough and incredibly funny Sergeant Calhoun (the hilarious Jane Lynch). He accidentally unleashes the game’s deadly enemy, taking it into a sickly sweet racing-car game and meeting ‘glitch’ Vanellope Von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) who has her own very similar issues. Together they find a way to help one another through tough times and ultimately learn what it truly means to be a good guy.

What is so brilliant about Twenty First Century Disney is the humour it incorporates. Growing up, the studio’s many, many releases such as classics, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella were, I remember, simply magical but they weren’t massively funny, instead relying on formulaic story-telling and the romance between the female protagonist and her prince (with some talking animals thrown in). Recent incarnations, Tangled and this, Wreck it Ralph have the same formula (albeit a bit more original, particularly with the latter) because they obviously have to tell a story but they do so with so much more gusto. Wreck it Ralph is hilarious. I actually sat at the screening, practically wetting my pants and laughing out loud. This is aided along by the two female voice-overs, Jane Lynch and Sarah Silverman. Lynch, who many will know as Glee’s Sue Sylvester pretty much plays this same character whilst donning a soldier’s instead of cheerleading coach’s uniform. She is dry, aggressive and doesn’t suffer fools gladly; treating everybody she comes across with utter contempt but in the funniest possible way. Her back-story, which explains her traits is heart-breaking but will still, without a doubt crack you up. American comedienne, Silverman plays the facetious little tyke, Vanellope with aplomb. For anyone that has seen her stand-up or The Sarah Silverman Programme and is a bit of a fanatic will really appreciate this character whilst also breathing a sigh of relief that she has been able to bring her phenomenal talents to the film.

Wreck it Ralph is simply not just for kids, though there is plenty to keep them entertained, including many an appearance and mentions of video game characters. There’s nostalgia for people my age and enough laughs and heart-warming moments for mum, dad and granny Shirley. This film has taken Disney to new heights – dizzying in fact and it will take a lot to knock them off the pedestal they have once again climbed upon.

Rock of Ages at the Garrick Theatre, London.

Moving to another space is, I’m sure, a slightly alarming experience for the recently changed London cast of Rock of Ages. Now showing at Charing Cross Road’s Garrick Theatre whose predecessor, Loserville didn’t fare too well (closing after just three months) it’s difficult to determine if it will do a whole lot better.


I sauntered down there last week for their matinee expecting, well, very little. Unfamiliar with the storyline and the general premise of the show, apart from being told it was very loud, I attempted to be open-minded but really just thought my eardrums would explode and my eye sockets would be bloody chasms of hell. Do you know what though? I was very pleasantly surprised. From beginning to end I was utterly enthralled by the performances of everyone (yes, everyone) which, judging by other shows I have seen is quite the achievement. Largely dance based, every move was phenomenal, particularly by Scarlette Douglas and Carly Mercedes Dyer in the Ensemble. They both exuded a raw and daring sex appeal, never at fault and never less than 100% which was a refreshing joy to witness. The leads, Ross Hunter and Natalie Andreou boasted impressive voices and their acting was consistent, handling the frequent jovial moments with ease. The stand-out in Rock of Ages though, for me was actually an understudy. Nathan Amzi took on the role of Lonny, narrator and all-round loveable loser, perfectly. He chewed on hair, flirted outrageously with pretty much everybody in the theatre, all the while retaining a hugely endearing demeanour. Magic. The plot isn’t much to write home about but that’s kind of the whole point, for Rock of Ages just doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a massive pile of fun, frollicks and, er jazz fingers that will leave huge rock anthems in your fuzzy head long after. Oh and my ears are fine, thanks for asking. Rude.

Elle talent Writing Competition.

This is just something I submitted for Elle magazine’s talent competition a couple of months ago. The aim was to write 900 words leading on from the sentence:

Let me tell you about my first love…

It was majorly influenced by Katherine Kingsley’s portrayal of Lina Lamont in the musical, Singin in the Rain.

I’m not stupid. I know that there’s a time and a place for this, incessant screaming as Joseph likes to call it but I am in no mood to put on my ‘most dazzling smile’ and convince everybody I am a happy, glimmering starlet. Joseph is fond of ensuring that people don’t know how I’m really feeling, which I’m OK with – more than OK with if it means I’m always in the celebrity magazines but sometimes it gets right on my last nerve. The wig that Mary who works in costume (I highly doubt she got it without sleeping with one of Joseph’s lackeys) is dumping on my head is tearing at my poor scalp, pulling away strands of my beautiful mane. Tears start to stream down my immaculate face as I think about the nose-dive my career will take when this bitch makes me bald. Finally the damned wig is on and despite feeling as though a house has been placed on my head (mine has 12 beds, 12 baths, the most glorious library, swimming pool and sprawling lawns with actual flamingos – oh just divine!) I stop the screaming and sniffling – because I’m a professional.

The shoot is done, Joseph makes absolutely sure that people will not talk about my ‘tantrum’ (hardly what I’d call it) with all the usual contract stuff and I take a slow walk to my dressing room for a breather. After all, being a star is exhausting. On arrival I gaze at the door – at my name, or rather the one Joseph picked for me and a warm, fuzzy sensation envelopes me, much like when I’m watching a TV advertisement about homeless people whilst in my completely delightful four poster bed with Egyptian cotton sheets. The feeling is still there as I enter the room, take off my dressing gown and sit in front of a mirror – the only one much less (humph!) Picking up a make-up brush, I start to delicately trace it along my cheek-bones and ponder at how much my life has changed since Joseph noticed me all of those years ago and turned me into a global superstar.

I was working as an assistant to the maitre d’ in one of West Hollywood’s best restaurants and whilst Joseph has since claimed I was waiting on tables, I very much beg to differ. He came to me in a cloud of Tom Ford, surrounded by the most magical golden aura, nose in the air and asked to be seated, along with his twelve companions. I, of course was practically doing the maitre d’s job at this point so happily obliged, leading him and his group to the most fabulous table I could find and the rest, as they say is history. I’m aware that many evil, devil worshipping journalists have claimed that Joseph was not in the least bit interested in me and that I hounded him for a, while but that is just pure spite and jealousy. The true history is that a fantastic relationship blossomed and he fell head over heels in love with me as many men have, creating specific parts in all of his movies just so the world could get a hint of what he had (his words, not mine.) As with many less talented thespians I didn’t need an awful lot of training as I have always been a natural actress, though I took classes, just to shut a few people up. This is around the time I fell in love for the first and probably last time with, not a person but a persona – my persona to be exact. Joseph had finally given me something I had always craved and I adored how it made me feel.

Breaking away from the memory and peering closely at my face again, examining my hair to make sure I hadn’t lost any of it, I start to sing. A low melody to start, which develops into a full blown belt and I start to dance frantically around, pulling off pieces of clothing from the rail and using them as my partner. A knock at the door sends me flying into a wardrobe, and I land on one side, hurting my thigh. Composing myself and knowing, just knowing that this is probably a fan wanting to congratulate me on my heavenly, yet sexy voice or Joseph informing me that he has decided to direct a musical purely on what he has just heard, I walk over and, rubbing my sore thigh open the door. It’s Dee Dee, Joseph’s assistant.

“Oh my gosh, are you hurt, I heard screaming?!”

My face starts to turn in on itself but I quickly regain my composure.

“Actually, Dee-Dee I was singing and obviously you have no taste.”

Her expression shows nothing and instead she informs me that I am late for a scheduled interview. Oh shit, I’d forgotten about that. I run over to the mirror, gaze longingly at it for a minute and join Dee-Dee, following her down the long corridor, always ensuring I’m at least ten steps behind. Again I think back to my old, previous life. Back then, the big L-O-V-E would have been an obvious, clichéd assumption but since becoming this symbolic figure I knew that I was feeling the real thing and I never wanted it to end. Ever.


Film review: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2.

Taken from Candid Magazine!

(Source: Entertainment One)

It’s hard to know where to start with this film. Ever since I read the whole series of books nearly three years ago, I have been anticipating how Breaking Dawn would be brought to the big screen. There were just so many factors to think about… How would Bella look as a vampire? Would she make the amazing transformation from wet teenager to a very powerful and beautiful vampire? What would Renesmee look like and how could they make her age so dramatically in such a short space of time? As you have probably figured out, I am a huge fan of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga and this; the final film is the one I have practically been wetting myself over. People can call me what they wish – an excitable teenage girl etc etc (I probably am) but both the books and films have a genuine power that can turn even the most butch (ahem) of men into blithering idiots.

To fully appreciate this film especially, you need to have read the book. Hordes of people – people that all feel as passionate about Edward and Bella’s journey gathered together to see this screening of Breaking Dawn – Part 2 and it’s a wonderful thing. There is so little opportunity for people to unite over a mutual love that when it does happen it is just magical. As the opening titles came up, there was a gentle murmur of excitement and everybody sat transfixed, wanting to inhale every last bit of this rather emotional farewell.

For those of you who do not know the story, Bella (played by Kristen Stewart) – the protagonist of the series has just been transformed into a vampire by her husband, Edward (Robert Pattinson) after dying during a very difficult childbirth. Their daughter, Renesmee (odd name I know but it’s a combination of both parent’s mother’s Christian names so I guess you’ve got to let them have it) is a vampire/ human hybrid that grows at an alarming speed. As Bella gets used to the new her, having non-threatening sex with Edward, learning her best friend, werewolf Jacob (played by Taylor Lautner) has imprinted on Renesmee (a specific wolf term for soul-mates – nothing creepy he promises) and telling her father Charlie that she has changed but it’s best he doesn’t know just how, everything seems to have worked out how she always wanted. That is until Edward’s cousin, Irina (Maggie Grace) sees Renesmee and makes a premature judgement which sets about a catastrophic chain of events, involving the all-imposing and rather frightening Volturi – the higher powers of the vampire world. The Cullen family set about acquiring witnesses as to Renesmee’s true nature, bringing delighted fans a whole assortment of different vampires from various cultures and with many an intriguing capability.

This film really will satisfy Twilight fans. In many cases, films do not live up to the books they originated from but not here. Robert Pattinson is his usual mysterious, beautiful self, albeit without the tortured soul we saw in the previous films. The rest of the cast are great and it is an absolute treat seeing new clans of vampires with powers such as manipulating the elements and causing others to hallucinate. Mackenzie Foy is a relative newcomer and doesn’t really do much in her role as the young Renesmee but fits the aesthetic bill from the book. Really though, this is Kristen Stewart’s film. She plays the new Bella with a fierce determination, never before seen in her other roles and admittedly I was very apprehensive as to whether she could pull it off but she does, and more. Gone is the teen angst and whimpering: it is truly as though she has grown into a confident, young woman.

One thing I am dying to talk about is the twist but for obvious reasons I shall not. All I will say is that it happens during the epic fight scene and it is vital for you to have read this book to understand. People were literally screaming and cursing at the screen (me included) when it happened and I felt close to vomiting and weeping at the same time. Yes, it is that shocking and incredible.

The final scene and outgoing credits amazingly sum up the entire saga and remind fans of how wonderful Edward and Bella’s journey has been, making it (in my opinion) quite possibly the best Twilight film. You need to see this immediately please.

Northern Ballet do Beauty and the Beast at The Marlowe Theatre.

(Image courtesy of northernballet.com)

There isn’t much that I’m a virgin at, that is apart from eating hamster and jumping out of a plane etc etc but more dramatically, going to the ballet which I have been DYING to attend for years. I got my wish this Wednesday when I travelled all the way to Kent to see the Northern Ballet do Beauty and the Beast and by eck it was worth the wait.

Initially I was disappointed that people weren’t quite as dressed up as I was expecting but hey, once the hyperventilating had stopped I strapped myself to my bright orange seat and prepared to have a fully open mind. I’m used to the theatre, I mean I work in one six days a week but that particular show is a musical and a whole other kettle of fish. To me, the ballet and the opera for that matter are still special and even elitist - this is a term I do not like to use but when it comes to the arts when pretty much everything nowadays is a free for all and just too accessible it is an absolute joy to go to something less mainstream. So even as the orchestra started and the lights dimmed I felt myself been transported to a world I had long craved for.

For starters, the dancing was just phenomenal. I’ve seen some ballet before, albeit not a whole show centred around it (mostly my flatmate trying to teach me some moves in our living room and watching Centre Stage) but this was truly magical and truly another league in the world of dance. The ensemble and particularly Beauty’s sisters (yes the story is different to the Disney version, i.e. no Gaston and no talking teapots!!!) were captivating and even funny. Actually the whole show had elements of humour which I was not expecting. A scene which saw her spoilt sisters, Isabelle and Chantelle played by Michela Paolacci and Jessica Morgan enter the stage with bags upon bags of shopping and the scenes post this which saw them stripped of their garish costumes brought a rumble of laughter from the whole auditorium. Stand-outs for me, however were the leads, Beauty (Pippa Moore) and The Beast (Benjamin Mitchell) - particularly the latter. When they danced together they were magnificent and some of the lifts really took my breath away, however The Beast literally floated around on the stage, which was a mean feat considering the role he was playing and I found myself captivated for the entire duration he was performing.

I love the Ballet and I wish I was in a position to go and see more. In saying that, London is really the only place that expects you to pay insufferable prices and The Marlowe was actually very reasonable. I would definitely see Northern Ballet again and thank them for making my first experience such a great one. I’m also incredibly jealous that I am not a dancer and hate you all a little bit. Cheers!

It’s The End.

Just what is it about the Apocalypse? First, films jump on the bandwagon with 2012 and then Melancholia and Take Shelter last year, then I start bloody dreaming about it too. Is it all really to do with this silly Mayan prophecy? (Hope not, I want something pretty for christmas) or are people everywhere really just feeling THAT pessimistic? The whole big, action packed disaster movie thing is an age old one, going back decades and true, they do well in the Box Office but they’re a bit blah now aren’t they? What I loved, loved, loved about the latter two, aforementioned films was their lack of boom boom pow and a need to rely heavily on CGI and constant screaming. Instead, Melancholia and Take Shelter use metaphors, specifically mental illness to get the point across, and to drum this subject into our psyches in a much more subtle way. They also make it much more frightening as the End sneaks upon both the characters and viewers, as opposed to launching like a cannon.
Now I’m almost certain my own unconscious was influenced by Take Shelter as I watched it the day before, however my dream was vastly different, with the Earth slowly exploding and the human race having to make it to air-ships in order to travel elsewhere and subsequently survive (bit of 2012 there perhaps?) Additionally I watched a trailer for Another Earth, that same day (dying to see this) and despite not being a full-scale disaster movie, still offers the same alternatives to life as we know it. Scary eh?
I love a good disaster but I hope that (if we aren’t extinct by the end of the year) more directors like Lars Von Trier stick to a subtle approach. It is so much more effective, agreed?

The Lion King in the West End.

(Source: tickets4.co.uk)

I FINALLY went to see The Lion King musical with my sister the other night, a show I have been dying to see for years and years and years but ohhhh was I disappointed. The film is one of my all time favourites and has been since I first saw it, aged 7, particularly because of the amazing Elton John led soundtrack and the pure emotion which evokes from every scene. Plus, and I’m only saying this because I don’t think you lovely people would EVER judge me but Adult Simba was fiiiiiiit! You better not be judging. So the show started off well with Rafiki, played by Brown Lindiwe Mkhize singing a great rendition of ‘The Circle of Life’ and a whole host of ‘animals’ making their way to the stage via the aisles in the Stalls, as well as appearing in boxes in the Dress Circle. The set, on the whole was really great and I think they did very well with the space available. The beautiful colours and prints, all very loyal to the show’s african routes were spell-binding and the costumes too, were remarkable, particularly the ‘grass’ which was adorned by actors wearing head-dresses that ‘moved in the wind’. Disappointment for me came in the form of the acting and it wasn’t like it was just the ensemble or people you could overlook, rather the protagonists playing the Lions. Young Simba, played by Harrison Dock was just bad and I don’t care if he was a child, the show’s producers should not employ ANYONE, regardless of age if they can’t deliver. (Just look at the amazing Matildas) Young Nala (Terina Drayton) too was wooden and entirely unconvincing. Their adult counterparts, played by Andile Gumbi and Carole Stennett were no better with performances that didn’t show any feeling or emotion whatsoever, even ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’ - a part I was particularly looking forward to was poor, poor, poor. All was not lost though. Rafiki, Zazu (Stephen Matthews), Scar (George Asprey) and Timon and Pumba (Damian Baldet and Keith Bookman) gave stand out performances. So on the whole, I was not happy with this show that I had been dying to see for so long. It’s really disgusting that actors are being hired when they do not have any talent and there are so many out there that have the talent but don’t get the same opportunities.

What The Butler Saw: review

Eeeeee I’ve been long in updating again haven’t I! It’s really not an excuse but I have been writing as fashion contributor for Secret TV and just become a Film Editor for Candid Online after doing bits on fashion and film for them. So technically I haven’t been too naughty…

So! Last week I went to see Joe Orton’s ‘What The Butler Saw’ at the Vaudeville whilst it was in previews and again a couple of days ago (not through choice mind.) This isn’t the first time that the play has been performed, having its first production in 1969 and also in 1995 with David Tennant in one of the lead roles (love a bit of naked Tennant). Now the basic premise of the story is typical 60’s farce with, largely, cases of mistaken identity and things getting completely out of control. The setting is a doctor’s surgery and revolves around psychiatrist, Dr Prentice who, at the beginning, is interviewing a prospective, new receptionist, the attractive and very naive, Geraldine Barclay, who he attempts to seduce. Enter his wife and Dr Prentice hiding poor little Miss Barclay, followed by the revelation that the former is being blackmailed by hotel porter, Nicholas Beckett who had previously tried to rape her (she is positively pained at the fact he failed.) Government Inspector Dr Rance then arrives and in a series of cringeworthy scenes begins to diagnose everybody with various forms of mental illness, culminating in a climax that would have made Freud wet his knickers.

As mentioned, I have seen the Vaudeville’s production twice but most certainly did not need to. The cast were great with Tim McInnerny playing the role of Dr Prentice, Samantha Bond, his wife, Omid Djalili as the severely OTT Dr Rance, Georgia Moffett the unfortunate Miss Barclay, Jason Thorpe as a very funny and subseqent drugged up police officer, as well as recent RADA graduate, Nick Hendrix getting his kit off (lovely bod) as Nicholas Beckett. The acting, I thought was really very good, though I wouldn’t expect anything less from the calibre this show has. Hendrix had generally negative reviews from those I saw the play with, however I thought he was well suited (perhaps I was distracted by his torso and brief penis flash) and compared to his fellow actors, has very little experience. In saying that though, Djalili who has appeared in such movies as ‘The Mummy’ forgot a few lines and had to be carried by the excellent and sweaty McInnerny… To make matters even worse, he apologised for this trip up. NOOOOOOOOO.

The laughs came thick and fast, though they relied heavily on making a mockery of rape, which perhaps at the time was humorous but really, very tasteless. I’m far more of a dry, sarcastic person and, whilst ‘What The Butler Saw’ had its moments, it really didn’t make me laugh out loud like some crazy mofo.

All in all, a great cast and very good acting but perhaps just not my cup of tea. I think a few music numbers and the casting of Sarah Silverman might be a big improvement?

Books transforming into film: What’s the verdict?

I’m currently reading The Hunger Games (predictable I know, though in my defence, I did try and wait for the hype to die down before doing so) and it’s pretty much an absolute joy and I can’t put it down. I read the first in about four days, am nearing the second now and have not been able to put them down (particularly the first.) There I am, sitting in bed, still reading at 3am and literally not able to put them down. Cool I know. I love books like this. Yes, there’s the element of feeling sheep-like as everywhere around you, people are talking persistently about various scenes they loved but you can’t help but be sucked in as the author, Suzanne Collins has done such a fecking great job. Every page ensures you are gagging for more and especially the scenes that see Katniss battling irritating brats during the games.
I saw the film on Sunday and actually, it was really good. In the past I’ve been massively disappointed with films after just reading the book. It’s that whole thing of building up an image in your mind of what each character will be like, soooo specifically, as well as forming a deep attachment to them, ensuring that any actor who tries to take them on better be bloody good. Jennifer Lawrence is amazing in the lead role, as are her two male co-stars and the tone of the entire production is perfect, capturing the sheer poverty of District 12 and the disgusting yet comical decadence of the Capitol. So I think this and the Twillight series have been made into great films and yes I am a great, big, massive teen at heart. Bring on this and next November. Woop!