The Year of the Box Office Bomb

So The Mummy dropped last week and it sucked, like really sucked. In all honesty, and without trying to sound too pessimistic, I thought it would. Cruise is too old for the action-star shtick, Alex Kurtzman has only directed two full-lengths including this and the trailers came across as flat, soulless and completely lacking the humour, pace and charm of there 1999 Brendon Fraser-led predecessor. At least we cant do them for false-advertising.

Not only was it received about as well critically as a Gary Glitter Greatest Hits compilation at a children’s party it didn’t make many waves financially either. Coming in with a budget of $125 million not to mention millions more in promotional costs it has so far made around $180 million worldwide. Don’t get me wrong such an amount could probably do a lot of deserving people a lot of good who once resided in the Grenfell Tower (don’t get me started) but with a budget like that the numbers just don’t cut it.
In fact The Mummy isn’t alone in its failings as this seasons Big Budget Financial Bomb-Squad is as stacked as I can ever remember it being with the likes of Power Rangers, Ghost in the Shell, Baywatch and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword all slumped up against the bar wondering what the hell went wrong. Well there’s a few things that it could be attributed to.

Power Rangers was a surprisingly competent and ambitious effort with some good acting and effects but it was inconsistent tone-wise and the marketing campaign made it unclear as to whether it was aimed at kids or older audiences; therefore alienating both.

Ghost in the Shell was far better than it had any right to be but by being yet another entry in the Japanese Brand Readapted for US Audiences Club, you know alongside Dragon Ball Evolution etc, it already had audiences turning their noses up before it even hit screens. Along with Scarlett Johansson’s failure to do any PR or promotion for it its safe to say Ghost in the Shell was dead on arrival.

Moving onto Baywatch… Come on, its Baywatch. The show that isn’t currently available on any mainstream streaming networks and hasn’t been socially or culturally relevant since Joey and Chandeler sat back in their recliners to watch it on TV in the 90’s. Need I say more?

As for King Arthur. Two words; Charlie Hunnam, yes he was the main guy in Green Street, and two shows; Game of Thrones and Vikings. Nowadays Fictional Period Films are not exactly in high demand, then again this film was originally conceived almost a decade ago which explains a lot, but when they can be obtained on Netflix once a week from the comfort of your front room it all but dooms the ones that hit the big screens. Plus, like Power Rangers, its promotional campaign was confusing and half-hearted. Double plus; Charlie Hunnam. FYI I really don’t like Charlie Hunnam.

All of the above could be considered valid reasons for why in ten years time the fan base for these films will be holding their reunion in a phone booth but perhaps the reason that they’re taking an early dirt nap and have about as much chance of receiving a sequel as Tha Bozz does of receiving a Grammy runs deeper than that. Except their financial failings what one other thing do these movies have in common? They are all reboots or reimagining’s of a franchise that came before them.

Reboots are the thing and have been for a while. The likes of Michael Bay have made a killing off them but if we’re honest a lot of them are not exactly up to much. It seemed like for a while that this was fine with the most recent Transformers and Ninja Turtles films doing good business but perhaps the game is changing and people are finally getting sick of these soul-less or at least average reboots and its time for Hollywood to make some changes? Unless your Disney, Disney will be fine…

I’m Tha Bozz and that’s my opinion.

Travel Blog 17; 5 Signs That You’re Growing Up

I turned 27 a couple of weeks ago.

Just had to let that opener sink in for a few minutes, I don’t quite know how it happened but I cant quite shake the feeling that this is all somehow Theresa May’s fault. I don’t know, seems like everything else going on at the moment is. This is not a political post though so I digress.

As a guy who lives in a hostel in Sydney in a dorm with 7 other beds, drinks beer and Goon most nights with Germans, South Americans and French people, smokes…Things. Listens to Hip Hop and proudly wears t-shirts emblazoned with Star Wars, Marvel, Super Mario and John Cena imagery its hard to admit that TECHNICALLY in the eyes of most civilisations I am growing up! As a guy who, in all honesty, fled my motherland with the full intention of prolonging this process its even harder to admit that its happening faster than I could have imagined and the signs are showing.

Now relax people we are going to have some fun here! I don’t have any grey hairs yet and I still find farts funny. Its just that as I sit here in a surprisingly comfortable bath robe that they gave me at a nightclub a few weeks back, for some reason, I cannot help but acknowledge the fact that I’m growing up. So what follows is a personal countdown of the 5 signs of maturity/growing up that I have recently encountered. Buckle up people and get ready for some references that if your younger than 23 you just might have to jump up and catch.

1. Beer Belly/Dad Bod

I swear to God when I was a kid I was the envy of every adult and adolescent in my circle. Even my teachers wanted to kill me, for other reasons aside from this but mainly because I could eat anything I wanted and wouldn’t gain an ounce. When I was in the swim team the instructor used to bring a pack of Polo mints to class and tell me they were for in-case I started drowning and this one time this tall kid 4 years above me put me through a low-level basketball hoop! I actually came out unscathed mainly because I slid straight through it like a needle through a thread.

The reason for the envy though was because although I had a body like a Timon I had a diet like Pumbaa! The trend of non-consequential eating continued until about 3 months ago when I stumbled out of bed to the bathroom, took one look in the mirror and was greeted by a very real voice in my head saying a very real thing; “Bozz you look terrible!” He was right as well. With my bald head, sticking out belly and less definition than an empty dictionary I looked like a white Skin from Skunk Anansie going into labour.

Gone is the care free diet. Don’t get me wrong I drink and smoke whenever the feeling comes over me (pay day, when I have to talk to girls, Sundays etc) but I’m trying to limit the amount of red meat, sugar and fast-food in my diet and although I slip and slip hard its starting to pay dividends.

2. Nightclubs Suck!

They probably have done for a while, particularly in Australia, but I’m just really not feeling the scene these days. I cant be arsed dressing up too much, the drinks are overpriced, the bouncers operate an ‘If Your Happy and You Know It Your Too Drunk’ policy and the music…Well that’s something else.

I haven’t heard any of it before! Hell, I didn’t even know what ‘Dabbing’ was until somebody in WWE started doing it during their ring entrance and its probably outdated by now as well. The other night me and a friend were standing around in a Sydney Nightclub as the DJ played, what sounded like 20 straight minutes of Lil Kendrick Dolla Sign until he randomly threw in one of my personal guilty pleasures; Right Thurr by Chingy. I hit the dancefloor like a Whale to a paddling pool and the shapes came out. Problem is that out of everybody in this place 50% of them might not have even been alive let alone listening in 2003 and after one run of the chorus instead of being told how he “Likes the way she looks in them pants” it was back to the Swag-Pack. This definitely never used to happen but the truth is musically my finger hasn’t been on the pulse for so long that I’m not even sure its still beating!

*And the music’s so bloody loud!……Jokes….*

3. Hangovers

Most people go travelling in search of life-changing experiences. This starry-eyed wonder is no exception but on the way I also went and found some life-changing hangovers. Up until about 5 months ago week-long benders were not uncommon. Yet its like something fell out of place inside me as now I find myself in a place where every time I choose to get on it I need to take into account the very realistic possibility that the next day will be a complete right-off. Do not schedule any work appointments, dates, sporting activities or social interactions of any merit the day after a sesh and for God-sake keep the route between you and the toilet bowl clear…

4. Less Tolerant

I actually don’t see this one as a bad thing. By less tolerant I by no means mean less accepting of any colour, race, gender, orientation, political or religious belief. I hate you all and I always have.

What I mean is less tolerance towards b*lls*it. Once upon a time I was the type of person that would run my mouth until it started sweating and losing weight trying to force conversation with people when I met them. The type of person that would hold my tongue tighter than a pair of tweezers when a person downright besmirched me for the sake of a quiet life and to not offend. The type of person that would become infatuated with members of the fairer sex and chase them blindly ignoring the way that they treated me like something that they stepped in, displayed insufferable personality traits or just downright weren’t interested.

Now if you are a reader who is also a Dyspraxic with their feet planted firmly within ‘The Spectrum’ then you will fully appreciate how exhausting the above can be. If your not just take my word for it; it f*cking is! People take the p*ss. Sometimes you do, sometimes I do, sometimes we don’t realise we’re doing it and sometimes we downright do. Sometimes people click and are meant to share good times and sometimes they just aren’t and this is fine.

Nowadays I make my mind up on whether to pursue a conversation with a person within the first 2 minutes and base it on a few things; eye contact, tone of voice, returning of questions and faith in my own judgement of character. If they don’t want it I’ll stop giving it after those 120 seconds. If a person moves my stuff, steals my food, wakes me up when I’ve got work or insults me personally they will know about it. Woman doesn’t want to know? She’s not going to and I don’t break my back trying to force a stone to bleed blood.

I suppose the long and short of it is I’ve KIND OF stopped giving a f*ck. Don’t get me wrong I still endeavour to be polite (no, seriously), endeavour to be kind and helpful (NO, SERIOUSLY!) and treat people with respect. I just expect it back and if you find the way that I strut around singing the music from my headphones enthusiastically, drape my Welsh flag across my bed in hostels when I’m on bottom bunks and how every now and then I just flat out do not want to be around other living things to be problematic then I don’t know what I can do for you buddy.

5. You’re not Proposing Are You!?

Yeah, my friends back home are moving on up like M People. Now I wasn’t one of those chumps who really believed he could go away for more than a year and everything would pause like an episode of Bernard’s Watch until I came home but this is scary!
Since leaving 2 of my besties have decided to tie the knot. I’m over the moon for them not least of all because they’ve chosen to do it with exceptional people who couldn’t have been more made for them and the stag doo’s will be heavy (better write off the next two days after those!). However as I tuck into my noodles and tuna and pour myself a glass of white wine that came out of a cardboard box with a bag inside this information does set the voice off again. This time with a statement along the lines of “S*it dude where’s your lady? Where’s your career? Where’s your Car and seriously do you really hand-wash your Draws!?”

Truth is this guy isn’t too hard to drown out but it doesn’t mean he isn’t there and it doesn’t mean that he isn’t a sign of the times. In the eyes of a lot of people me and my cohorts live a lifestyle that’s unorthodox. Believe me explaining it to the average 21-30 year old lady in Sydney is as much of a turn-off as handing her a handkerchief and asking her what it smells like. So I just tell them I’m an Astronaut and they don’t respond to that either. WHAT DO YOU WOMEN WANT!? Most job openings finish with a statement along the lines of ‘No Backpackers’ and like any of us could ever afford a car or regular use of the laundry machines!

Seriously though this last one is probably the biggest sign of growing up and it does hammer home the reality that nothing lasts for ever and at some point I will be forced to live a somewhat normal life. Hoping this doesn’t end things on a downer because on the whole my life at the moment is a blast, has been for some time and I don’t intend it to stop anytime soon its just that…27 man! Twenty-F*cking-Seven!

I’m Tha Bozz and that’s my opinion.

How did it take-off!?

While walking through an isle of a clothing shop full of garments that I wouldn’t be able to afford if my work hours doubled, my rap career took off, I sold my freedom into slavery and my body to chemical testing I was greeted by a ridiculous item that like Revenge on E4 is sadly catching on; the onesie. What’s even sadder is that the shop in question was only Primark and I still felt like I was punching above my weight like Manny Pacquiao climbing into the ring with Nickolai Valuev in the budget department but I digress, why are people wearing onesies on the street in broad daylight? They were originally advertised as comfort clothing to be warn at night but to be honest when told to wear one in the bar I work at for a themed night I pulled the tighter than tight garment over my body, pulled the zip up and felt what I can only describe as the clothing equivalent of being in a prison cell. I’m a skinny individual and as a result I barely touch the sides of most of my clothes so this was a shock to the system. Due to the ‘strapped in’ nature of the item I was sweating to the point that most punters could probably see their faces in mine and the tightness of it was causing my movements to resemble those of C3-PO.

What’s even more shocking is that in some shops these hideous and ridiculously uncomfortable items, by the way the zip-lines on them rub so bad that you would think they were made of barbed wire, cost upwards of £50! I’m going to Wembley for an FA Trophy final next weekend and that only cost me £60, this all leads me to ask the simple question of how did it take off?

There are many items that have led me to ask the very same question and as I often do with things that annoy me I have decided to put them into a list and have a good old fashioned rant. You may like some of these items and I could be completely off the mark but guess what, it’s my post and I’ll cry if I want to.

The Tamagotchi – This item was originally sold in Japan by Bandai in 1996 and the concept was at the time quite ground breaking. The Tamagotchi was a small egg-shaped computer with a few buttons attached and a baby animal, monster or even dinosaur living inside the screen, depending on which version you bought. Once you activated the computer your job was to keep the creature alive by feeding it, playing with it, getting it to sleep at a reasonable time and even teaching it tricks. The problem is that if you didn’t actually own one I don’t think you would possibly understand how fitting the word ‘job’ is when describing the process of keeping these little buggers alive. In a way the creators of these digital devils deserve some credit for crafting an experience that is probably very much like raising a real adolescent. The creature slept for hours on end, threw strops when you didn’t give it any attention, ate like a pig after a hunger strike and if you missed one item on its list of demands it would pack its bags and threaten to leave. All it needed was bad acne, wet dreams and absolutely no chance with the opposite sex and they would’ve gotten full marks.

However, even with full marks the truth still remains that these digital monstrosities lacked a serious fun-factor. They were ridiculously time consuming, they would always get you into trouble in school when they went off every 10 minutes demanding food, the games were automated so involved no challenge or interaction at all and if I’m honest the black and white sprites were hideous and had all the charm of the Emperor breaking the news to you that he’s just turned your puppy to the dark-side of the force. Alas by 2010 over 76 million of the things had been sold worldwide, how and why are two things I may never know the answer to.

Structured Reality Television – You can probably already see where I’m going with this one. I would like you to say the phrase ‘Structured Reality Television’ 3 times, aloud or in your head.

I know right!? The phrase doesn’t make any sense. How can something be called ‘Reality Television’ but then still bend to the will of a structure and therefore a script? The answer is quite simple, it can’t and that is why I can’t for the life of me understand how these shows have managed to do so well.

On one hand you have a show like Geordie Shore that centres on a group of girls, in which only one of them is actually worth a spot in the bank, and a group of guys who would probably tell you that a Quarter-Back was a refund. This group of rowdy and obnoxious Newcastle natives are basically paid to get as drunk as they can in the city centre and then argue with each other. That really is pretty much all they do, none of them seem to have any background or other hobbies and it’s almost as if they were grown in test tubes somewhere in the MTV headquarters and then released into the wild to draw revenue, a bit like Britney Spears really.

Then on the other hand you have a show like Made in Chelsea which is of course set in the disgustingly fortunate district that it’s named after. This show also features an ensemble of male and female characters but unlike their Geordie rivals these characters are more content to experiment with hairstyles that would get you a firm beating in any other part of the UK, swan about throwing their Daddy’s money around like its water and speak with the sort of tone that would lead you to believe that at some point in their lives they actually suffered a fall so bad that it broke their accents. They try hard to convince us that ‘rich people have problems to’ but the only problem is that it’s so contrived that it becomes hard to buy into and we all know that rich people don’t have problems anyway.

These two main culprits may seem very different at face value but you’ll soon find their similar in almost every way and the characters are equally as big a bunch of twats as each other; it’s just a different shade of twat. One may smell a little better and the other may be a bit better to have around when it all kicks off but rest assured their both the type of people I would get my phone out to avoid and I simply don’t get why people tune in every week. Rest assured they do though, the ratings for these two shows and there other rivals have often been very high. It’s just hard to understand why when there is no talent of any kind on display and it all plays out in such a way that shows that it’s so obviously scripted.

Rihanna – Okay, maybe this last one is a bit harsh but I really do genuinely struggle to understand how this money making Barbadian cash injection has managed to become just that.

Let’s start with the fundamentals; she isn’t a particularly good singer. Granted, she sounds better than a cat getting run-over or Whitney Houston by the end but is that really worth over 25 million albums. Couple that with the fact that one of her more recent singles is just her repeating the phrase that she once found love in a really rubbish place and some meaningless shite about some yellow stones and to an impartial ear she’s really not that impressive.

It is often the case with music though that it’s more about image than actual talent, which makes Rihanna’s success even more surprising. The girl has a terrible image, back in February 2009 she took a beating from Chris Brown maybe she got the ingredients of his sandwich wrong or something? Now in 2013 she is back with him, therefore contradicting every statement she made on it at the time and on a serious note frankly setting a horrible example for her younger female fans to follow on what they should be expected to tolerate from a male partner.

Her shows have faced criticism for being provocative to the point that their unsuitable for her audiences and even border on a level of smut that isn’t particularly sexy anymore, it must be pretty bad then. A friend saw her in Manchester last year and said she was dry humping what appeared to be a 15 year old girl and barely did any singing at all.

Her acting career hasn’t exactly flourished. Her most notable role in Battleship was criticised for being bland and let’s face it how many military figures do you know who look like that? Yet despite the bad acting, smutty shows, terrible personal decisions and inconsistent musical material Rihanna continues to flourish. I don’t particularly dislike her any more than any other modern female pop singer around at the moment whose name isn’t Emeli Sandé or a few other examples but I do find her continued success and momentum nothing short of a mystery.

Have your own examples? Agree with mine? Disagree with mine? Or just have something to comment on? Please feel free to post below, many thanks for reading.Image