Archive for November, 2010

When a man hears the word snatch he thinks two things….both of which lead him to excitement. But before you get carried away, I’m talking Guy Ritchie, not hairy axe wounds and beef curtains. And more specifically about the soundtrack that accompanies, the man who once had madonna on his rocks’ masterpiece. Lets not forget, it’s not just what you see on the screen, that gives the feel to a great movie, it’s also what you hear. So from the Radar to the reader, here’s a few classic tracks, all hand-picked by Hertfordshire man Mr Ritchie himself. Enjoy

This week Radar salutes Sofia Vergara. The busty beaut and star of ABC’s hit sitcom Modern Family has got to be proud of these natural grown Colombian chest cushions. And we would most certainly drop our grannys from a fatal height for five minutes of motorboat mania! And they say chivalry is dead?! So feast your eyes on these bad boys. You can thank us later.

“Men against boys” is an expression that springs to mind having witnessed what is undoubtedly the best performance of the season thus far, if not the decade. It’s five Classico victories from five for Barcelona supremo Pep Guardiola, with his most recent triumph fantastically surpassing the four that have gone before – yes, even the 6-2 spanking in May of ’09.

Superlatives are wasted in an effort to encapsulate the quality of Barcelona’s performance, as quite frankly, a word to describe such an outstanding display of the beautiful game has yet to be concocted by Oxford’s boffins. Messi & co. mesmerized Madrid with their meticulous passing and mazing runs from start to finish, and from front to back. As always, defending doggedly from the front on the very rare occasions they were lacking possession, Barca shut down their inferior opponents from the first whistle and tore Los Blancos’ embarrassing offside trap to pieces on countless occasions like a hot knife through butter.

Driven by the irrepressible Lionel Messi, Guardiola’s men dismantled Mourinho’s war machine in devastating fashion. Although not on the score sheet himself, the world’s finest footballer was instrumental in dictating proceedings and turned provider for his team mates on a number of occasions. His usual array of dazzling dribbling combined with a Xavi-esque trajectory ensured that the new age “Galacticos” had no way to halt his (and Barca’s) relentless advances.

Messi epitomised everything that Barcelona were about last night. He was, as always, at his brilliant best. Unlike his main rival Cristiano Ronaldo who’s lacklustre display personified Madrid as a whole. When can the “argument” be put to bed? The Argentinian wizard is as far ahead of his rival as Barcelona are ahead of Los Blancos. Light years.

Messi was certainly not alone in putting his arch rivals to the sword as the boys in blaugrana hardly put a toe out of place on a night where everything went right for the home side. The goals coming courtesy of midfield mastermind, Xavi Hernandez, Pedro Rodriquez and a brilliant brace from ex-Valencia hitman David Villa making his classico debut in front of a packed house in the Camp Nou ensured the result was a foregone conclusion before second-half substitute, Jeffren rubbed further salt in the wounds of the mortified Madristas.

Real Madrid were reduced to school yard bullying and heavy handed tactics long before the curtain came crashing down in Catalunya. Born out of the frustration stemming from possession starvation and the unsettling feeling of inadequacy in the face of Barcelona’s “champagne” football, the men in white lost their cool and showed their blatant lack of class as they were utterly humiliated in the biggest game of the season. With a number of cautions, Mourinho’s men were slightly fortunate to finish the game with ten men as Ricardo Carvahlo’s deliberate handball in the 71st minute should have warranted a dismissal long before Sergio Ramos collected his second red card of the week for a vicious lunge on Messi, followed by altercations with both Xavi and Barcelona captain, Carles Puyol.

The match was never even a contest as the hosts imposed their beautiful brand of “Total Football” on their hapless opponents. Every player in the Barca colours performed admirably as they made Madrid look like a second tier outfit, a far cry from the table toppers of La Liga. Before an hour had even elapsed, the men in white were out on their feet, akin to a punch drunk prize fighter begging for the bell. The only member of the Madrid staff, both playing and coaching, to show any humility in defeat, was unusually, Jose Mourinho who will make no excuses for the thrashing his side received at the hands of their title rivals tonight. Being an individual who does not tolerate failure, the Portuguese prima donna will be under no illusions that his board of directors will show him any mercy following one of the most embarrassing evenings in the club’s illustrious history.

Sour grapes leave a bitter taste in the mouths of many following the culmination of last night’s events. But the sombre mood in Madrid would certainly not have been mirrored in Barcelona as the victors would have enjoyed a carnival atmosphere in Catalunya. With Valencia just around the corner for Los Blancos, Mourinho will be hoping his side can gather themselves and recover in time for what will be their second big test of this season’s campaign against David Villa’s former colleagues. Having surrendered their advantage in the title race, Real Madrid must navigate a tricky run of fixtures to ensure they don’t lose touch with their mighty rivals, and the points gap becomes as vast as the gulf in class between the two sides.

The Dark Knight

Posted: November 29, 2010 in Movies

Film’s most revered superhero and fabled legacy appears on the radar tonight as we take a look at the “Caped Crusader” and the restoration of class to the biggest superhero movie franchise of them all……..Batman.

Oozing quality, from Tim Burton to Christopher Nolan, Michael Keaton to Christian Bale and of course, Jack Nicholson to the late Heath Ledger, a Batman project never fails to attract the biggest and best names in the movie biz.

Batman is once again backed up by a lethal cocktail of stellar casting, exquisite production and mesmeric performances that has ensured the legacy lives on and thrives under new direction. A necessary direction, following the two editions* between “Returns” and “Begins” that did their utmost to desecrate the legend that Keaton & co. laid the foundation for back in ’89.

*Needless to say, the barren years between Burton and Bale that spawned the abysmal Batman Forever and utterly dreadful Batman & Robin (Alicia Silverstone in rubber aside) will get no further mention in this article.

Christopher Nolan has assumed control of the reins and driven the languid legend into the 21st Century with a thunderous bang. Recognising his target audience in this high octane world we find ourselves in, the gifted director has beefed up his Batman in every way imaginable, from gadgets and gizmos to brawn and brutality, all the while maintaining the fundamental essence that made Burton’s efforts at the helm the classics they are.

Although Gotham cut a dark and dreary figure under the craftsmanship of Burton, it was never more than two steps away from comic book fantasy with its direction firmly aimed at a PG audience.  Without being “R” rated, the newer installments have been transplanted into the adult world with a deeper, darker backbone than the originals. Nolan has abandoned the fairytale approach adopted by the eccentric Tim Burton on his way to overshadowing his predecessor, a feat which many (this write included) never thought imaginable, let alone possible.

Nolan states that his movies are “trying to find the reality in these fantastic stories”. This is abundantly clear to his audience who are under no illusion as to the changes the franchise has undergone during his stewardship. He has excelled to a point no one thought possible with the subject at hand, as have his cast members under his supervision. Surpassing Burton’s majesty in the only way Nolan knows how, hard hitting realism.

It is only fair to say that, although both efforts are naturally relevant to the times in which they were produced, Bale’s Batman and Ledger’s Joker surpass the performances of those who have come before them.  A very difficult acceptance for this stubborn writer, who still clings nostalgically to the past glories of Nicholson and Keaton who blew us all away in 1989.

But the question must be asked, “Where the performances actually superior or were the actors given more liberation to enhance the roles due to Nolan’s directorial style and the modern times?”.

Burton’s fantastical viewpoint constrained his leading characters in a manner in which Nolan’s cast members never had to suffer, free to develop to the very extreme realms of possibility.Whether you lean toward Ledger or Nicholson as the ultimate arch enemy, both had very different parts to play whilst assuming the role of the same character. I am not disputing that Heath Ledger went further than Nicholson, that much is obvious, but Ledger’s Joker would have been socially unacceptable in a comic book caper produced in the late 80’s.

You need look no further than the “Disappearing Pencil” scene from The Dark Knight. A direct reference to the “Shocking Handshake” from the original Batman in which the Joker asserts his dominance. Although strikingly similar, Nolan’s rendition is far more ruthless and to the point (so to speak). Gone is the comedic value for the adolescent audience and in its place is the ruthlessness that defines not only Ledger’s character, but Nolan’s movie as a whole. This scene encapsulates the differences that make the more recent offerings bigger and better than Burton’s efforts, and Nolan makes sure we know it. It pinpoints the seriousness of the director to shake off the childish demeanor of Burton’s movies and Batman Begins which was heavy on the action but lacking in the acting department.

It is the Dark Knight, and not Batman Begins that truly marks the rebirth of the “Caped Crusader” as our director has gotten to grips with the monster and our leading male finally fills the tights of the title character. In his first outing as Batman, Christian Bale was an idyllic Bruce Wayne, yet sadly, failed to convince as the millionaire playboy’s alter-ego. The follow-up was an entirely different story.

Although in the shadow of Ledger’s scintillating scar-faced psychopath, Bale blossomed in the role and became the Batman we all knew he could be. Maybe it was Ledger’s performance that spurred him on, or maybe he, like Nolan, had a better understanding of what was expected of them in their respective roles. Either way, he got it right this time around. Blending action and acting perfectly, Bale disposes of the “plastic packaging” he wore throughout “Begins” to become the hero we all know and love.

We have plenty more to look forward to with confirmation of Nolan’s third, and final, endeavor at the helm titled,  “The Dark Knight Rises”. Shooting is scheduled to begin in April 2011 as Christian Bale dons the mask for what shall be his swan song as Gotham’s favourite son as he follows his director out the door once the curtain comes down on their trilogy of events. Nolan believes he has taken the legacy has far as he can in it’s current vein and looks to conclude his portion of the saga with a thrilling culmination.

It remains to be seen if there is life after Ledger, but as Burton discovered to his detriment in “Returns”, the Joker brings out the best in Batman – not just the character, but the entire production. It shall be utterly impossible for Nolan to top “The Dark Knight”, had Ledger been present or not, but make no mistake, Bale has become Batman, Nolan is the best man for the job and the brand has returned with a bang to the silver screen, bigger, bolder and better than ever.

Blast from the past

Posted: November 26, 2010 in Music

Forget finding a fiver down the back of the couch, rediscovering Metallica’s 1999 live recording S&M last week was better than finding a loaded gun on the set of fair city! The dust has been well and truly brushed off and it hasn’t left the hi-fi since.

Possibly one of the most epic albums of all time, combining two of music’s polar extremes. The top-hat and monocle scene that is classical symphony music and the ripped jeans and knuckle-duster scene that is heavy metal. You’d be forgivin for thinking Prince Charles in a mosh-pit, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. The combination worked. Going hand in hand as well as salt & vinegar, Penn & Tellar, bacon & egg, Dalglish & Rush, Monica Lewinski & hide the sausage.

And with the late great Michael Kamen at the helm of the orchestra, it was never going to flop. Although the album is basicly an up-scale greatest hits, it’s an absolute must have for all rock fans and horn blowers alike. (Lewinsky excluded) It also features two new metallica tracks, “-Human” and “No leaf clover”, the later of the two, one of their greatest songs to date.  So if you have it stowed under the bed, sandwiched between your “Playmate of the year” issue and an old tube of hand lotion, liberate that bitch! And just to get your ears refreshed, here’s Metallica with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and “No leaf clover” Head-banging optional.


Movember 2010

Posted: November 25, 2010 in Bant Bites

Just a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us so far during Movember 2010, the 10k run in the phoenix park was a success. It raised thousands of euro for the Irish Cancer Society. And there is still the guts of a week left to donate. It is a truly worthy cause. Prostate cancer will directly effect 1 in every 9 of us men. Those odds are as pleasing to the ear as Natalie Cassidy telling you that the baby is yours! So get the plastic out boys and girls, and give anything you can, you will be making a difference no matter what amount you give! Thanks again for all your generosity.

 

http://ie.movember.com/mospace/954944/

 

Here’s a look at the action from the phoenix park….

Song of the day

Posted: November 23, 2010 in Music

Julian Casablancas: 11th Dimension: Phrazes for the young

Widely regarded as the stand-out track from the debut solo effort of The Strokes’ frontman, Julian Casablancas. Through his exquisite lyrics, JC captures the sobering condition we find our world in but rather than dwell on the negatives he encourages rejoicement in the belief that we will come through the other side of this domineering storm cloud of depression. The combination of fantastic imagary and the intoxicatingly upbeat tempo transports the listener to another dimension and makes this song the ultimate monday morning blues beater!