The Tom Cruise spoofs

Tom Cruise laughs like a madman

The infamous Tom Cruise video which has been shared, sent and seen across the world has given rise to a number of copy-cat spoofs. The parodies are incredibly easy to do. Wear black turtle neck, have camera, start acting loony.

Radaronline has compiled a short list of Tom Cruise parodies on Youtube. Although the Craig Ferguson (of the Late Late Show) one pretty much nails it, there are others that Radar doesn’t show; like the one where it inter-splices Will Smith’s “freaked out” reactions to Tom Cruise’s rantings.

My personal favourite (the one I can’t find any more) where it plays the interview clip as normal, but then interrupts to show a guy who adds an extra line (pretty much like MST3K did). For example, when Cruise says “When you’re a Scientologist, and you drive by an accident, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you’re the only one who can really help…” only for the video to cut to a guy, adding “And I have my friend here, Mr Glock who will testify to that”.

And, remember in the Simpsons where Homer is on some TV show to answer claims of his “sexual harrassment” of a girl who was sitting on a Jelly Baby, and the TV show cut audio and spliced video clips together with the clock randomly moving between cuts, giving a totally different account of what Homer actually said? Turns out, someone used this idea on the Cruise video too!

Anyway, here is a link to Radar’s collection of Youtube Tom Cruise spoofs.

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Keegan’s unfinished business

Keegan

The announcement of Kevin Keegan returning for the third time to Newcastle United initially shocked me, as it probably shocked quite a few number of people, but not because he returned to management again; it was because it seemed to be yet another short-term appointment by the Newcastle United board.

It kinda felt like Doc. Emmett Brown pulled up in his time-travel Delorean, grabbed the Newcastle faithful by them collectively by the arm and yelled “Yer gotta come back with me Marty! Back to the future!Continue reading

Big Sam leaves Newcastle United

Big Sam

Sam Allardyce has left Newcastle United “by mutual consent”, leaving many scratching their heads wondering “why now?”, and raising questions on what is increasingly seen as the most difficult role in football.

The former Bolton manager’s position as the manager of Newcastle United was in jeopardy even before the start of his tenure with rumours of being replaced by the club’s new owners, as they didn’t “see him as their man”.

Despite this, many in the press heralded Big Sam’s arrival at Newcastle as that positive shift that the club needed to get it back to the “Kevin Keegan” days of high-pressure football. The introduction of an “Ivan Drago”-like science psychological diet inspired by Allardyce’s tenure in America was seen as many as the winning ingredient, the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle that was Newcastle United.

However as performances dipped, so did doubts in both quality of transfer signings and also on-the-field tactics/strategy which lead to players in odd positions, and choosing some players over others (ie: Emre) which lead to many questions.

Soon the fans were turning against Big Sam, booing him and chanting “You don’t know what you’re doing”, etc. Allardyce responded with a heartfelt defensive game against Arsenal, but this was just wallpaper over deep-rooted cracks, which were long embedded, well before Allardyce’s appointment.

The pressure intensified even more during the Christmas period, when Newcastle took just one point from four games, and losing to Derby – who recorded their first win of the season against United.

Parting company is a shock to many, including myself – and questions still remain over his sudden departure.

The questions;

  1. Why did Big Sam leave now? Drawing against Stoke City in the FA is not a sackable offence. I would have at least given him after the January transfer period and after the FA cup, or at least 1 season.
  2. Was money for transfers the reason for Big Sam leaving?
  3. Was the back-room whispering campaign orchestrated by Alan Shearer’s PR team that he wanted to be manager of Newcastle United a reason behind his leaving?
  4. Who would, in their right mind, want to manage Newcastle United, knowing that within 6 months they’re going to be sacked?In the past few weeks a lot of newspapers (mainly in the South) have been writing how the Newcastle Fans are to blame for Big Sam’s departure – what is the impact of this, and is this somehow involved within Newcastle’s inability to give a manager a shot?
  5. Just how much has player-power to do with Sam’s sudden departure?

In my mind the whole thing is a shambles. But then it always has been. Ever since Keegan left, every fan/chairman has wanted to grab that special moment in time when Newcastle lost to Liverpool 4-3, and try to replicate the buzz, the style, the all-out-attack, and yet not one has delivered.

A lot of other clubs/fans must be laughing/chuckling at the proverbial swing door of Newcastle United, no manager is going to take up the poisoned chalice – although we all still live in hope.

Yes. Sam’s on-field tactics and positioning of players were out of odds to the way Newcastle played, and the long-ball approach is not what the premiership is about. Was Newcastle right to sack Big Sam? I think it was just the wrong time for both him and Newcastle.

If anything, Newcastle’s past 10 years have proven that the constant chop-and-change mantra doesn’t work. I fear that the desperate calls to get Alan Shearer as manager will only go to prove that Newcastle United is all ultimately about right now, the short-term, and instant-success rather than long-term results.

If possible, I’d like to get Ottmar Hitzfeld – as he has proven results, and given time/opportunity will prove successful at Newcastle – however if the Big Sam saga has taught us anything – it’s that at Newcastle you are given neither time, nor opportunity.

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Were Newcastle right to part company with Allardyce?

Bhutto’s Son on Facebook Prank

Bhuttos Son

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto sent shock waves around the world, during the short period between her death and her subsequent funeral – there were reports that Bhutto’s son, 19 year-old Oxford undergraduate, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, was named to succeed her as the head of the family’s Pakistan People’s Party.

During this period, a prankster (as documented on digitalspy 1, 2 and consolecity) set up a facebook account using pictures found from the Internet and various other sources and put together an online profile seen by millions of college students around the world.

The prank facebook account did not disappoint in describing a portrait of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, which included his hobbies as being and avid “Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, and eating junk food” with a picture of Zardari in a Halloween costume.

The prank was, at first, taken verbatim by many journalists and various worldwide sources – until it was uncovered by other journalists and Facebook members who promptly tipped off the website about the phony profile.

Of course, its not the first time that someone has done this, there’s loads of “fake” profiles on facebook, ning, myspace and even going back to Firefly (this is going back to 1997-1998 mind) there were people pretending to be a celebrity when they weren’t, but this is the first time to my mind that someone has used this “tactic” (if you can call it that) to be claim his/her “15 minutes of fame”.

Personally, I’m pretty ambivalent on politics. I don’t have much of a view on political issues, and really don’t have anything new, exciting or interesting to say about political issues but this prank shows 3 things;

(1) Lazy, gullible journalists who have a tight deadline will follow their gut/instinct rather than investigate the story further,
(2) Some people think its okay to use a person’s death to heighten their own “claim to fame”,
(3) You can’t trust the information because it just happens to be on the Internet.

Either way, this strange Facebook prank shows that there is a dark-side to social networking.

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Another look at Forbidden Kingdom

Jet Li Forbidden Kingdom

This is another look at the upcoming Jet Li/Jackie Chan project, “The Forbidden Kingdom”, and is a follow up to my article “Jackie vs Jet: The Forbidden Kingdom: A preview“.

The Forbidden Kingdom is the widely anticipated movie which will see both Jackie Chan and Jet Li in the same movie for the first time in movie history.

The recently released Americanised-heavy trailer has worried many pundits that the movie will have actually very little on-screen time between Jackie and Jet. Some fans are worried that the on-screen fight sequences between Chan and Li will be short, quick and ultimately unsatisfying, whilst others express concern that an American-focused approach will take away the heart and soul of what should be a great movie. Indeed, both Jackie and Jet have told fans to keep expectations low.

Having said that, another trailer I’ve seen seem to give a much more romantic, Crouching-tiger-coming-of-age feel to the movie.

For me, the coming-of-age style works better than than the Americanised version, because it tells a story that the other doesn’t, also it gives you the impression it’s going to be a good, well-written story.

Yes, I am disappointed with the American-point-of-view of the plot/story, but it could work incredibly well.

We’ll know later on in 2008 when Forbidden Kingdom is released.

If you’re interested in reading up on Hong Kong style movies, I recommend Bey Logan’s blog on Dragon Dynasty.

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The cult of being Rick Roll’d

Rick Astley

Being Rick Roll’d was perhaps one of the fads of 2007, the concept is real simple – essentially it’s giving a link to someone that is meant to be something good, but is just in reality a video of Rick Astley singing his hit “Never gonna give you up”.

Even I’ve been Rick Roll’d a few times, and its given me a chuckle, a quick laugh.

Perhaps the best version of being “Rick Roll’d” is the Radiohead fan site that had a counter for an exclusive Raidohead audio/video – but ended up being a clip of Rick Astley (current)

Of course for those in the know, or who can take a joke, its just a quick laugh – but for many it soon turned into a real bug-bare of surfing online, or being on a chat-room/social media site. It even worked its way onto traditional media, with Radio DJs turning song requests into an excuse to play the Rick Astley song.

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