Posts tagged: Tom Cruise

Tweet Envy

While I joined the Twitter service early (as an early adopter of most technologies) in 2008, it had only been running for a few short years up to that point, I did not fully engage with the service until perhaps a year to eighteen months later. Now, I cannot be separated from the micro-blogging service. Particularly as it gives me the outlet to blog in substitute to more detailed posts, which of course land on this site.

Let me give three examples of the power of social media in the past month. Following on from my post on Christmas Day. Tom Cruise (well a member of his team), tweeted back the following which made not just my Christmas, but bought the year 2012 to a perfect close!

TC is Jack Reacher

Have you seen Tropic Thunder? If not, it is a movie you need to see to understand the tedious link between Tom Cruise and rapper Ludacris. Perhaps you caught the MTV Movie Awards in 2010. Tom Cruise is infamous movie mogul Les Grossman and he loves to dance to Get Back, even joined on stage by Jennifer Lopez. In any case, I am also a big fan of the rapper and movie star, and he is set to appear for the fifth time in the sixth instalment of the Fast & Furious franchise in May. Now I am using Instagram on my tablet, I am keen to find celebrities I like to follow, so I thought I would just put a tweet out there to find out what Luda’s username was on the photo sharing site. To my disbelief, on the bus home, I put on my tablet and tried to connect to the on-board wireless (resorting to tethering to my HTC Desire in the end) and low and behold, the main man had tweeting me back! It was only around 4:30pm on Thursday but he made my weekend.


After listening to Amnesia practically all week (even during the course of the working day at my desk), I was keen to find out more about the beautiful Canadian singer, Rosette. So sure enough, I found her official site and began to follow her on Twitter. Within minutes of sending her a tweet yesterday evening, she responded with only three words but they meant so much to me. I shall be watching her career very closely this year, right I feel I should go and buy the single from Spinning Records.


Meesh, Teg & Tom

Perhaps it will become a tradition at Christmas, much like Her Majesty’s Speech to the United Kingdom and Commonwealth promptly at 3pm. Last year I went to see Tom Cruise, in the action blockbuster, Mission:Impossible – Ghost Protocol, with my Dad at IMAX Waterloo. (I am sure I have mentioned before but just to underline again – the biggest screen in the country). My wife is not a fan of the Top Gun actor but puts up with my soft spot for him and his movies. However, I was hoping to catch Jack Reacher over the Twixmas period. (The days after Christmas but before the new year drops) my Dad had been my initial choice but he was busy and frankly not that interested after seeing what he called a rather moody trailer.

It was a true surprise when I opened a third Christmas gift which I had not been expecting and in all honestly had not noted under the tree in the lead up to the big day. Sure, I may be into my thirties now but that does not stop me snopping under the tree and doing a quick count on the number of my presents. I am really looking forward to our trip to the cinema on Thursday evening, which will of course begin with a trip around the sales in The Oracle, Reading.

Jack ReacherCinema Ticket

Ghost Protocol Initiated

I am sure we can all recall a moment in time when we truly grow up. These, ‘rights of passage’ occur throughout our lives but generally are confined to our early teens and twenties. In June 1998 I headed on my first solo journey into central London. It was perhaps the biggest interview of my life. Any dreams of working for Microsoft were very distant at this point. I was off for an interview at Big Blue on the Southbank in London. This was the first time I would be travelling on the tube on my own. Actually, I had rarely used the tube with friends or family up to that point. London was were all the big people went, not a sixteen year old. My Dad worked in Ealing at the time, so I came to the office with him at the break of dawn and then walked from his office in the Broadway to the tube station. Anxious was not the word. Petrified was probably more accurate!

I had already mapped out the journey on a tube map but this did not stop me jumping on a tube heading in the opposite direction once I got off the Central Line. I believe I took the Central Line to Oxford Circus and here changed for the Bakerloo Line. Eventually I got to Waterloo and made my way to the office for my all important interview. I walked past, the in-construction BFI IMAX cinema. It would open less than twelve months later (the ribbon was cut by Princess Michael of Kent in May 1999). I did wonder, in passing if I would ever be lucky enough to watch a film at this, the biggest screen in the country.

Fast forward over a decade and I would be returning to the BFI IMAX for my third visit. (Transformers in October 2007, Toy Story 3 (IMAX 3D) with my fiancé in July 2010). I had booked tickets for my Dad and I to go see the fourth instalment in the Mission Impossible franchise – Ghost Protocol. I had looked forward to this movie for months and driving my dearest wife mad! Any spot or interview with the stars, would be recorded by me to digest a length later. Including a Jeremy Renner interview on Daybreak and going to lengths to read every single comment posted on a Stuart Heritage Guardian blog post once the original trailer was released. To be fair, I remember spotting the trailer was released on Twitter one morning and then grabbed headphones from my colleague Rich (I was still working at Intel back then) the moment he walked into the office at 8am, so I could catch the video on YouTube.

Yes I know I probably should change the record but I love Tom Cruise. For me, he symbolises the modern Hollywood action hero. While there are many things you can say about him, you cannot doubt that he always puts every inch of himself into his roles. Has he ever made a bad film? In my eyes, never, but then I have not even seen some of his better critically acclaimed roles. (They are queued on my media server waiting to be watched. I can never find the time or the permission from my other half!) In Ethan Hunt he has created a likeable spy with a toothy grin but a ferocious mean streak. Probably my favourite fiction hero and he appeals to be more than James Bond or even Jason Bourne (not seen any of the Bourne movies) because he is played by Tom Cruise. While Superman is my favourite comic book superhero, Ethan Hunt will always be my favourite secret agent.

My Dad is a big fan of the original Mission:Impossible series and I recall spending many Sunday mornings watching the show on Channel 4, instead of cartoons like most children my age. I did not really mind and in recent years, my Dad still watches the re-runs on Quest or whichever channel is showing them. I am sure once it lands on Blu-Ray I will gift them to my Dad. I recall him even catching the lesser known late 1980s reboot starting Peter Graves as Jim Phelps. Up to this point, I have seen all the first three movies with my family. I recall in 1996, waiting for my Dad to rush back from working in London, so I could catch the first movie at the local multiplex (it was probably still UCI Cinema chain at this stage). My sisters and I waited outside for our Dad to appear so we could catch the Friday night showing. We did eventually and I really enjoyed the showing. For the first sequel, I was now 19 years old but still went along with my family. My memory fades now, but I believe my Mum came along for this showing, which again was at the local multiplex referred to Wycombe Six. However both of these outings are in the pre-blogging days, so there are no blog posts for me to refer back to. It was in 2006, with the third and to that point in time best instalment in the franchise, that I took charge. I booked tickets for my family. The group had changed then, including my Aunty over on holiday from India, my Mum, Dad and youngest sibling Julie. My other sisters were busy. I recall the trip to Vue Reading very well. We got there early, had time to look around the shops and had coffee from Starbucks, sitting outside in the late Spring sunshine on a pleasant Friday evening. I remember my Dad grabbing the milk from inside, so we could enjoy our beverages out on the riverside complex. We took up almost a whole row in screen four (the largest at Vue Reading) and I remember having to ask a couple to move along one so we could all fit in and explain to people behind me that we had taken up all these seats. You can go back and read that blog entry if you so wish but I ended the entry with a question – would Hunt return for another adventure? I had to wait five years for that answer!

While I wish I could have taken all my family, my sisters are all grown up and have other plans. My Mum was busy and I doubt she would have enjoyed the underground at Christmas. It was a boys afternoon out, just my Dad and I. I was looking forward to spending time with him, as we have both been very busy over not just Christmas but since I got married in August. We caught the train into Marylebone and tube down to Waterloo. This was my first time at the newly renovated High Wycombe Train Station. The drop-off / pick-up point has been moved and a large multi-storey car park been built. Many years over due but well received Chiltern Railways. The journey via London Underground is easy as we have just the Bakerloo line to catch to Waterloo. From here we walked down the subway to IMAX. We had arrived. I grabbed my credit card from my wallet, swiped in the machine to collect our tickets. Mission Impossible 4 here we go!

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

The IMAX has had a refresh since I was last here, some five hundred and twenty days ago to watch Toy Story 3 with my fiancé, Michelle. Hosting the Ghost Protocol UK première was perhaps part of the reason to renovate the figurehead cinema. You cannot have Tom Cruise, Brad Bird, Paula Carter or Simon Pegg visiting a dilapidated venue. While it may boast the biggest screen in the country (United Kingdom) it has always been a let down in terms of furnishings and refreshments. My Dad and I did not bother with popcorn, as much as Brad Bird had said in recent spots it was a popcorn movie! We got to our seats early and I explained to my Dad that yes, this screen was the size of four double decker buses! I was looking forward to the IMAX preview but it was not shown to my somewhat disappointment. However, the IMAX is oldschool so each screening is introduced by one of the ushers. He welcomed us to the screening and also explained that the movie was not in 3D, as some rather foolish punters had asked. He also mentioned the prologue to The Dark Knight Rises. I am a fan of Batman, particularly Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of the Caped Crusader but that was a bonus for me, I was here for Mission Impossible. In the end, I had to read the full script of the trailer online later as I could not understand the dialogue of main protagonist Bane, over the air plane noise. (A updated sound mix would be released to IMAX in early January but too late for us).

I really enjoyed the movie, it automatically has become my favourite of the franchise. It was good fun, funny and the action was out of this world. I am so glad I saw the movie at IMAX to appreciate the spectacular scenes shot on the tallest building in the world. The plot was far from perfect but it had enough going on to keep me on the edge of my seat. Pegg gave a great comedy performance in an expanded role from the previous outing. Paula Carter was smoking hot in her role as Jane Carter and Jeremy Renner, if he is to fill the shoes of Cruise, he is on his way to be a somewhat worthy successor. I loved every second of the ride and want to see the movie again soon (even though it will be sometime before it will be released on Blu-ray). I recommend it to you, just go read the reviews on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, even the Tom Cruise haters will enjoy this first live action movie from Brad Bird. The man in my opinion can do no wrong! If you thought I was a super fan, check out this review from blogger Crazy Best! I just look forward to Paramount Pictures fast tracking the next instalment but please make sure Cruise remains in-front of the camera, in some description (even if just a supporting role from headquarters!) Being the producer I am sure he will have a big say on what happens next time around!

As we headed onto the train at Marylebone, I updated my Twitter with a comment. A few hours later it was retweeted by the official Ghost Protocol UK twitter feed. Mission very much accomplished, as my Dad fell asleep on the train home.

Ghost Protocol UK Twitter Feed

Oh, I need to finish off with what happened with my interview at IBM office on the Southbank. I passed the interview with flying colours, they just could not find a placement for me on their Youth Training Scheme. Thankfully, some fifteen years later it has not stopped me achieving some major milestones in my career. This does not stop me wondering what could have been?

I Wanna Have A Good Time & Enjoy My Jack…

My sister, Samantha got back from her girlie holiday to Portugal last night and told me about Les Grossman on MTV in a rare live appearance. I did a few searches on the XBox using the fantastic YouTube script! Eventually we found a clip but it was screened backwards (I am unsure of the technical term, is it inverted?). When I realised this was the MTV Movie Awards 2010, I switched off the Xbox. They had been screened earlier on MTV, around lunchtime when I had put on the telly. I was hoping those wonderful people at Sky had put it on AnyTime. They had! Fantastic!

Regular readers of this blog, will know that I am a big Tom Cruise fan, but with Les Grossman, he has outdone himself! I saw the movie Tropic Thunder back in December 2008. I only found out that Tom Cruise was featured a few moments before I watched it. (By my dear friend Bhavna on MSN). Nevertheless it was one of the highlights of an excellent movie that killed me!

Once again his appearance had been kept under wraps. The only promos I had seen had featured Aziz Ansari. But there had been promos featuring Robert Pattison and Taylor Lautner. What can I say? I have watched the credits of Tropic Thunder several times because it is that good! Here, Grossman goes one better by “saving” the MTV Movie Awards with a ground breaking, mouth watering performance, that many A List performers would be hard pushed to replicate. The man can move (for a fat bloke) and loves being the centre of attention, as long as a Diet Coke is close at hand. You can catch several more photos and video footage over on The Daily Mail website!

Les Grossman & Jennifer Lopez

I would be thankful for this cameo appearance alone but the rumours which began way back in February last year when Tom Cruise appeared as the main guest on the opening of the new series of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. I am sure the Hollywood star said something like “Would you go to see a film about Les?”. The rumours were true, or rather have been confirmed. There is a movie in the works and I just cannot wait!

Friday 5th May 2006

Chris had already seen it. Last night in fact. He had picked up his girlfriend from The Oracle, got home to Henley-upon-Thames, only to turn around and head back for the 10pm screening. (He was even willing to wait for the 11.15pm final show). To his surprise the theatre was empty with perhaps 20 people in total there. He wanted to tell me everything but I just wanted one answer to the question, “Is it worth going to see?” He just replied with a nod of the head and a plain yes. Before he could continue and reveal anything about the movie I told him to stop. I could wait for a few more hours, my screening was at 9pm, at my favourite cinema, formally known as Warner Village Reading.

I left work early (by fifteen minutes but who out there is really counting?) overjoyed with the mouthwatering prospect of the weekend. It had slowly crept up on me, having been for such a long time, just a future date in the diary. How did I feel as I drove home, through the country lanes across Berkshire? I felt strangely content after a roller coaster week. Glad knots of trouble had untied themselves. A voice in my head said that everything works out in the end and for a split second I wholeheartedly agreed. The main roundabout before I get to my house is called the Turnpike and is always busy. While I was waiting to turn left, I watched a black 3-series cabriolet (with top open) fly around ahead of me. I noticed the plate was MI3 S00. Amazing, strange what you noticed when on on the road. Getting home, I was upset. Upset that no one had answered the phone when I had called home, then my Mum’s mobile or even my Dad’s mobile. My Dad called me back at work and got things sorted. Even so, he kept me waiting and eventually came downstairs to say that he could not collect my special delivery item as it clearly states on the card that you have to wait 24 hours before visiting the Post Office collection point. Smiling, he then went behind the sofa to get two packages instead of just the envelope I was expecting. Result. For a change I was not interested in the big parcel, just the envelope and opened it. Yes! I had my ticket! Sure it was not where I had expected to be seated and perhaps I won’t have the best view of the game but I have my invitation to the party. Sunday cannot come soon enough!

Arsenal versus Wigan Athletic

For all their faults, the ticket office had delivered! A few hours earlier, Terry (who has a new blog over on Bebo) had come on MSN and sent me a link to the full running order of the closing ceremony for a grand old stadium. Even now, as I write this at 1.38am, it has been updated with a half time penalty shoot out featuring David Seaman. So much to look forward to and so little time. Sunday will be an emotional day for Terry and I plan to spend the morning with him has he takes his final memories of the ground away with him. Fifty photographs will never be enough in my humble opinion, but the man knows what he is looking for.

Back to tonight, a little after 7pm, we headed to Reading. The sun was just setting in the distance as we made our way down the A404 and A4, the traffic was steady and slowly drifted off as we edged closer to the town. Pulling up to the car park and slotting into a nice slow on level three, right by the main lifts right by the cinema we headed down to Riverside and shops (as the female voice pronounce in a slight electronic drone). I went in to get my tickets and as usual one of the machines was being examined by a member of staff, as my five tickets were printed I asked when we would be allowed into screen four. 20:40 was the time I was given, so we had almost an hour to kill before our date with Ethan Hunt. We went for a walk around the Oracle shopping centre and into the town centre, only to find it deserted and all the shops closed. We headed back around to the Oracle and walked through as the shutters were coming down on the final few stores that had been, until a few minutes ago, open. Heading back towards the Riverside, we took some seats outside Cafe Nero, only to discover it was closed when I walked in to place our order. Walking across the bridge, we went to Starbucks. Or rather my family took a table outside and I went in and ordered some drinks. An attendant came across to off me some free summer Frappuccino, which I quickly declined. She would have been better suited behind the counter serving, rather than handing out freebies. In any case, here I was again at the corporate coffee shop, which just goes against my very existence. I am not a coffee drink and consume a limited amount of tea, so should perhaps join the Hate site. The cool air outside indicated the sun was slowly setting behind the car park and the night would be soon upon us. The evening crowd were slowing descending around us, as we headed into the cinema and went upstairs. As we came up the second escalator, we discovered we were not the only ones eager to get good seats for the third installment of the spy series. I went to get some popcorn and drinks, while the rest of the clan waited in line. Just as I picked up my order the queue was opened and the crowd began to head into the screen. I took the lead and as we headed saw a perfect spot but minus one seat. So I went up and asked a couple to move to the left, luckily an empty seat which was not taken meant a five seat space had been created. I thanked the couple and ushered the rest of the family up. A guy behind me was shocked as I explained I had just taken all these seats, “What, all of them?” Erm, yes I’m afraid. Sorry. We took our seats and got comfortable. Perfect. For the first time in three trips to the cinema (two to this particular venue) I would be able to enjoy the Pearl & Dean music. After the trailers, the film began and I think from the very first scene you are instantly hooked. I know I was. Now I suppose most people will read this review as overly bias. Yes I think Cruise is a great actor and I love the Mi movie installments. However I want to clarify this with being a true fan of the original series from the 60s and 70s. I was bought up on a strong diet of episodes by my father, from the re-runs shown on Channel 4 in the early 1990s. While as a television series it mixed the drama, suspense with the thrilling chase of a spy action series, it hadn’t aged well when I was watching Jim and the team. I am so thankful Tom took it upon himself to bring the series to the silver screen. While perhaps he would have gone a satisfactory job starting in someone else’s vehicle, being in control of almost every element in the movie series means it is true to his vision as a fan. Briefly, a quick synopsis. I enjoyed the original (which I saw at the cinema) it had some great action scenes, perhaps a slightly doggy plot and I did not like the betrayal at the end but the action scenes were breathtaking, including the climax. The second saw a change in direction but once again included a rogue element. Thandie Newton walked her part, which was a shame because she is quite an accomplished actress. Yet, once again the action scenes and some light comic relief rescued the affair. So with this third installment I had quite high expectations, particularly as we had already been waiting a year for the movie to be made. Overall, a fantastic movie which if you are a movie fan you will want to see. There is action, less use of gadgetry, and while it perhaps tries to be an American James Bond, there is a greater emphasis on team work, which makes the I, in IMF rather redundant. The support cast are excellent, particularly the team of Rhames, Maggie Q and Bend It Like Beckham star, Meyers. The drama is tweaked and for the first time a true love story develops, which makes the ride much more emotional than before. Cruise, as always carries out the job with a toothy grin, sparkle in his eye and a big thumbs up. Looking back ten years (yes it really is ten years since the first film was released) Cruise has done something unimaginable. Taken a well loved television series, made three very different movies, with different directors, actors and styles. The music as well takes a different genre, to match the fabric of the movie in each case. This time around Kanye West, “kills” the original theme to pimp it up with some heavy bass, meaning that the Moby mix from 1996, remains most faithful to the original score and my personal favourite. Although I cannot say I am that much of a fan of the track “Impossible” featuring Twista, Keisha and BJ Thomas. Back to the movie, the villain, played perfectly by Hoffman (but you can understand why Kenneth Brannagh was original slated to appear) is perhaps the strongest we have seen to date and a real match for Hunt. Perhaps because there is some conviction in his threats and he always appears to have the upper hand on our hero. Michelle Monaghan beautiful in her role as the “girl” although I have not seen her in any other movies or television series I will keep a look out for that wholesome face in the future. The on screen chemistry (although limited) is clearly electric, right to the end. There is also great comic relief, particularly towards the end, with our very own Simon Pegg. Strange to think he was starring in Doctor Who this time last year. I suppose Americans need to have an eccentric Brit to lighten the tone, but funny how he plays the role of technical support. A great action movie, but with a few unexpected twists and turns which will keep you hooked on the edge of your seat. The question is will Hunt return for another adventure?

Friday 28th April 2006

When I turn to my blog on a Friday there is a usually a feeling of some achievement, no matter how minor, hanging around. Tonight I begin writing this Friday evening, with an empty feeling inside. At the beginning of the week there was a burden of expectation to get a bucket load of work done. Instead work drifted away and I never truly applied myself to the best of my abilities. Yes I was slacking, I freely admit. The motivation has gone somewhat as I find myself struggling to focus on the numerous tasks at hand plus concentrate on the constant influx of calls. Perhaps this sounds silly in 21st Century but I wanted to earn my Bank Holiday and the extra day in bed. Weeks go by quickly and I will soon find myself in May. I was actually looking back through my archives to what I did last year. Amazing how reading a few lines from a posting brings it all flooding back, taking you back in time better than any DeLorean running at 88mph could do.

Heard the Mission Impossible 3 (or M:I 3) theme this week, via a preview on a web site. It sounds good, different. I look forward to hearing the actual song to go with the movie (if Mr. K. West has gone as far to include such a track). Listening to the song on Tuesday evening, made me think of Arsenal in the Champions League. You could almost put together a clip montage of moments when we were almost out of the competition, only to turn it around in the last minute. Consider our opening game, at Highbury against FC Thun. We were drawing 1-1 but Bergkamp came up with a magic goal seconds from the final whistle. Breathtaking football, little did we know how crucial that goal and more importantly win would be. Arsene constantly talked about how important it was to get off to a good start and win the group. Which we did. However I think after getting past one of the less challenging groups, nobody gave us a change against Real Madrid and from then on we have been running on pure self-belief. There are two players that have played a pivotal role in the Gunners success, both of whom have had their critics in the past. Gilberto, a rock ahead of the defense, cutting out major defense unlocking passes and keeping the player makers, Nedved and Riquelme at bay. Then we go for the hero of the hour, Jens Lehmann. Perhaps after this season the rest of the country will consider him a great keeper, although his temperament still is questionable. The German must be doing something right for the Guardian to include an entry on their News Blog. Our Champions League run, which has taken us all the way to Paris is nothing but extraordinary. The record 900 minutes of clean sheets is mind blogging, considering some of the soft goals we have leaked on the road in the League this season. May 17th, the days when heroes are truly born. As commentators always say, making it to the final is just part of the job, you have to win the trophy, as history remembers the losing finalists second. My own hope is that Dennis Bergkamp gets a final swan song at the peak of the European club game. It is what his long career deserves. He is perhaps my favourite all time Arsenal player, actually footballer in general, particularly having seen him score against Switzerland at Euro 96.

All the talk of M:I 3, means I have just booked tickets for myself and the rest of the family to go and watch the movie next Friday at Vue, Reading. I am really looking forward to the film, particularly as Cruise is one of my all time favourite actors. All the trailers have looked fantastic and it will be the highlight of my summer cinema viewing. In reality there is nothing else I am really looking forward to seeing this year, even though there are some great movies coming out. They are so great in fact I cannot think of a single title to include in this entry. Summer starts here then, with so much to look forward to over the next few months, sun, sea and football. Would more could you ask for? A Panini sticker album? My Dad left one on my desk this afternoon as I came home from work.

Saturday 2nd July 2005

Today, was the day. Things should have been different, I should have been there. I know in an alternate reality, I would have been there, perhaps with those who I no longer see or speak to. Today was not a day for such misplaced regrets and looking to the past with a sense of loss. It was about making a change and doing the decent thing, helping your fellow man. Perhaps for the first time in my life, I felt selfless and wanted to do something to help others, more than any point previously in my life. The cynics will say, that a punch of concerts around the world will do little to change the life of a continent. I beg to differ, I think raising awareness, opening our eyes to the plight of these people, gives us a opportunity to want to help others like never before. Yet, I think it goes beyond the political will of eight men. The problem is far greater, the problems deeper rooted and it will take thousands if not millions to bring a prosperous future to the one place on this planet that has lost wealth, while the rest of the world continues to enjoy it. Much more than a story state of affairs. While I was watching the television coverage, late on Saturday evening into the early hours, I tried to picture the number of children that had died, in pointless circumstances due to poverty. When you consider that the suffering is preventable, you too want to make a difference.

While I had every opportunity to sign the petition online, but I wanted to make my position clear in public. I had already seen the Live8 petition stand when I had arrived. So, straight after the movie, I headed across to add my signature. The process was rather amateur, a young blonde girl was using a notepad with 3G card to add the stack load of signatures to the site. Having signed, I felt I had gone some way to making a difference. The reality was I was gutted for not being given the chance to be there, but I felt helpless having to watch the live footage on television.

If you did not know, you will know now, that my life is never simple. A weekend can be turned on it’s head by one minor alteration. So, you would think an afternoon and evening in Central London would be simple. Not in the crazy world of Andrew Tegala. On Thursday evening, a news flash on BBC London News headlines (after the main headlines from Huw) showed the worse site for a rail commuter from this side of the world. The collapse of a tunnel at Gerrards Cross meant days, if not weeks of delays for rail users from the Midlands into Central London. As it happened, this too was the journey I was to take on Saturday. Therefore, I grabbed my PDA and tried to find out further information, even attempting to browse, the Chiltern Railways web site. The line would be closed for at least two days and a replacement bus service would be put in place. This was the last thing I needed, so I considered my option. I could drive to Uxbridge and park in Sainsburys. Or, perhaps slightly closer, go over to Chalfont and catch the tube from there. On Saturday morning, I pondered between the two stations, with Uxbridge way in the lead, based on familiarity stakes, but in the end I opted for secure all day parking, which is never guaranteed in a supermarket.

I was out of bed by 8.30am, but wish I had got up slightly earlier. By 9am, I was out of the house and drove to the other side of town to wash the car and carry out the usual weekly maintenance checks. Coming home, just as the rest of the household were getting up, I decided how to fill my next few hours, before I headed off. The car needed a quick hoover, so I rushed out and gave it a very swift clean, just to make it look a little better inside. Then it was a quick shower, before heading into town to do some quick errands before I drove up the A404, towards Amersham. I parked in a almost deserted car park and headed into the station, it was coming up to 1pm and the station was dead. Sure we were on the outskirts of Buckinghamshire, but I expected more of a crowd, not sure why. I paid for my travel card and was informed by the friendly ticket attendant that the next train was at 10 minutes past the hour, fantastic, just a few minutes wait. The Metropolitan Line takes me directly to Baker Street, one change and I’m a stone’s through away from Leicester Square. I got off at Piccadilly Circus and walked the few minutes across to the famous square. Busy, as I expected, there were several trailers parked up and looking into the garden centre, I could see a stage being setup. Something was happening, or about to happen. I walked passed a Police trailer giving the public safety awareness information and spotted a familiar face in the crown ahead, as he turned back around. It was Ian from the famous house pound, Four Poofs & A Piano Then it clicked, it was Gay Pride Day in town. This would explain the various colour outfits worn by men, dressed up in drag. There was a great atmosphere around, with everyone having fun, even with such a strong yet passive police presence. I headed across to the cinema to collect my tickets and spent a few seconds starting at the big movie poster above my head. I was really looking forward to this movie.

Meeting up with my friend, we headed over to Haagan Das, for some ice cream and tea. My food consumption up to this point in the day was just some soggy corn flakes and I was very hungry. Yet, I needed to save room for some popcorn. The doors to the theatre had opened by now, so we rushed across to get to the cinema, which was already quite busy. Taking our seats, I felt I had made the wrong decision. Perhaps a seat on the upper tier would have been a better experience. Too late now, the cinema was quickly filling as the advertisements played. Pearl & Dean? I’m afraid not, just Carlton Screen Advertising and not a patch on the masters, but never mind. We are here for the movie, not for the commercials. By the time the movie came on, I was really excited. Would it live up to the hype? I suppose, this is summer blockbuster for me (even taking into account what I am about to write). Last year, it was the Spiderman sequel, which I really enjoyed. I love Tom Cruise. I suppose, apart from the understandable height issues, he is the one man on this planet I would like to be. It is difficult to describe, but with that toothy grin and charismatic charm, he is a rare beast. A smooth white man. (Does that makes sense? Is it politicially correct?) Do I care? No. What I am trying to say is that he gives off the sort of a persona of a man that always makes an impact. He walks into a room and people stop and stare. He is a highly accomplished actor, even if I have not seen his most complete work, Born On The 4th July (sorry Paul, I will get around to it sometime!) Steven, without a shadow of a doubt is my favourite filmmaker, even surpassing the great Alfred Hitchcock. So, with those names behind this picture, surely it cannot fail. Well, unfortunately it does and that it because of the ending. I will not go into the details, I have no need to spoil the experience for you all. The first hour is amazing, breathtaking and highly compelling to watch. There are some interesting twists and turns as you begin to realise how bad humanity reactions to being threatened by an unknown force. Yet the constant question you keep asking yourself is where is this all going? Unfortunately, Steve does a bad job of handling the plot, so the pace drops towards the end and it never really survives. Our hero does a fine job, but I would have liked his character developed further and the relationship with his children placed under greater scrutiny. There are always more questions posed than answered with this movie, which is a shame because the original master piece by HG Wells was special. When a movie lacks purpose, it loses momentum. I expected much better from this A star team. Leaving the cinema, I felt deeply disappointed. There is almost a schoolboy, year 9 English class, ending, which no teacher would have ever accepted. I would go as far to say I would not even rent the DVD, I would wait for the movie to be screened on Sky Movies to watch it. Quality, stay in Saturday night movie. A shame, because Cruise, as one of my all time idols, deserves so much better.

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