Strange phone photos!

People are too busy taking selfies to notice the amazing photo effects their smartphone can generate.  You can take black and white of course and also sepia. There’s the bizarre negative effect which serves no discernible purpose but looks amazing and a couple called warm or cold Vintage. If you like you can posterise or you can solarise. I know, always a dilemma! There are also the Point ones where your photo is basically in black and white except for one colour highlighted whether its red, green or blue.
The resulting images as you can see from below are often striking, disturbing or plain ridiculous especially if you take them at night outdoors where the neon or shop window lights can add an extra something.  As mine is a two year old Samsung Galaxy your phone may have more than these.  Here’s a few I’ve recently created. They’re much more interesting than normal photos.
Looks Like: The sci-fi office of the future. Is Actually: A McDonalds


Top of the Pops 79 01.11.79

BBC4: Top of the Pops 1979 01/11/79
Reviewed by Chris Arnsby
Mike Read, "It's Thursday night and time for one of the longest running serials on television, Top of the Pops. And here to sing over the charts, Sad Cafe."
Chart music: Sad Cafe, Every Day Hurts [3]
Sparks: Tryouts For The Human Race [45]. Presented in Ron Mael-ascope! A ghostly  Ron Mael is superimposed over Sparks' performance; lit luridly in alternating green, red and blue shades. Imagine what that must have looked like being recorded. A single camera pointing up at Ron Mael as he glares into the lens for three minutes, occasionally bashing at his head to emphasise the song's percussion. If only the raw videotape still existed. Just when you think it can't get any better vision mixer Carol Abbott turns up the electronic effects. Now there are three Rons; like that bit in the Doctor Who story Earthshock when the Cyber-Leader booms, "my army awakes."
Sparks: Ron spots a Ninja


Wizards vs Aliens The Key of Bones

17&18/11/14; Written by Sasha Hails / Directed by Lee Haven-Jones / Starring Scott Haran, Annette Badland, Michael Higgs, Trevor Cooper, Alex Childs, Kristian Phillips
It is impressive how well the series has thrived despite the departure of Benny.  Following Katie’s voluntary memory wipe last week, Tom’s chief confidante this time is grandfather Simeon. There are still occasional hints the latter may not be all he claims but in the meantime we can enjoy the different dynamic at the centre of the show. Trevor Cooper certainly attacks the role with enthusiasm giving Simeon’s grand tales of glory a real heart whether or not they turn out to be true. There is a chance Tom could become subjugated too much by adult characters and easily pushed into a supporting role but Sasha Hails gets the balance about right here. 

"Dad- I want a hat like that." "You ain't gettin' my hat matey."


500 Posts!!

As the banner above might hint, this is the 500th post on the blog since it started which is a moment to eat some cheese and reflect on what I’ve done. When thiswayup moved to blog format in 2011 it was already a bit late in the day but I love printed things so I held off becoming electronic till the last minute. The question then was what to do with it because, clearly, a blog is not the same as a fanzine something it took me a while to get my head around. Slowly the blog has changed into more of a blog rather than a fanzine in a blog format. 


Spandau Ballet Soul Boys of the Western World

The rise! The fall! The court case! The reunion! All contained in a fascinating film now available to buy.
Most films about groups with a long history consist of the occasional bits of grainy footage, lots of still photographs and plenty of talking heads filmed recently. We try to somehow reconcile the much older people we’re seeing talking with the younger energetic people in the photos. Fortuitously Spandau Ballet appear to have been filmed at every keynote moment of their career hence the big selling point of George Hencken’s’ film is that it comprises only archive action. From their teenage pre Spandau club gigs in the late 1970s up to 2009’s triumphant reunion tour, it is all here to see. This is a huge advantage that relies not so much on older recollections but takes us into each period of their career and the results form their own involving narrative. Whether or not you like their music, if you see this film you will like them and more significantly you’ll come away with a real feel for what life in the goldfish bowl of pop music success is like.


Top of the Pops 1979 25.10.79

BBC4: Top of the Pops 1979 25/10/79
Reviewed by Chris Arnsby
Peter Powell, "Hello! It's the chart show on tv! And on your radio select hit 26! It's Top of the Pops!"
Chart music: The Selector: On My Radio [26]. The Specials feat. Rico: A Message To You Rudy[41]. The Specials (feat. Rico) do their best but it all goes to waste in front of the thunderous gaze of the Top of the Pops audience. The mood of the crowd can be judged from the opening pan around the stage. Nearly everyone seems to be standing still with their arms folded; determined not to have a good time. Did The Specials make an offensive gesture at the crowd just before recording began?



In cinemas now. starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, Matt Damon / Written by Jonathan & Christopher Nolan/ Directed by Christopher Nolan
There’s more than one anomaly in Christopher Nolan’s ambitious space epic and it’s not the black hole that sits at the centre of the plot. Rather it’s the sheer scale of the idea and the way in which the director/ co-writer approaches it. There is a good- potentially great- film sitting in the nigh on three hour movie that’s been released but rather like the film’s blackboards full of calculations it needs a lot more work. As it stands an oddly paced stew of interpretative science, parental angst and science fiction madness overwhelms whatever it is that Interstellar is trying to say.
They were suprised to find the black hole was part of the London Underground


Wizards vs Aliens The Daughters of Stone

10&11/11/14; Written by Phil Ford / Directed by Lee Haven-Jones / Starring Scott Haran, Annette Badland, Michael Higgs, Trevor Cooper, Manpreet Bamba, Adjoa Andoh
After the emotional conclusion to last week’s story, this starts off as a lighter follow up though the threat to wizard kind could hardly be bigger. As such the tone seems slightly uneven with characters stating the dangers of breaches in the Line of Twilight (the beautifully named barrier that separates magic from real life) yet this danger seems initially rather playfully presented.
Spoilers after this point

"Is that Simon Cowell...?"


Doctor Who Death in Heaven

08/11/14: Starring: Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Samuel Anderson, Michelle Gomez, Jemma Redgrave, Ingrid Oliver, Sanjeev Bhaskar/ Written by Steven Moffat/ Directed by Rachel Talalay
Reviewed by Sean Alexander
That noise you just heard was the Internet exploding; or was it the Nethersphere being hacked for its nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence..? Now, let’s get just one thing straight: this series of Doctor Who has been the best for several years, with a new Doctor bringing some much needed gravitas back to a role that had become far too often a vehicle for overacting (David Tennant at his worst) and childish buffoonery (Matt Smith on default).  Jenna Coleman has also risen to the occasion with the opportunity to make more of what was previously a fairly generic companion role (bar her ‘impossible girl’ meme).  The season long arc was nicely worked in from week one and there have been some standout (‘Listen’) and scary (‘Mummy on the Orient Express’) returns to form recalling the kind of classic yet emotionally infused highlights of the Russell T Davies era (and, in the case of ‘Mummy…’ and ‘Kill the Moon’, some proper Hinchcliffe/Holmes 1976 frights).  Despite the graveyard post ‘Time Heist’ slot against Cowell and co. the programme still performed well (especially on the catch-ups) and reviews have been largely glowing and respectful (we’ll just put ‘In the Forest of the Night’ down to first-night nerves, shall we?).  Hell, I even liked Danny Pink. But here’s the caveat.  And it’s a big one.



Top of the Pops 1979 11.10.79

Reviewed by Chris Arnsby
Andy Peebles, "Good evening and welcome to another edition of Top of the Pops and let's straight away have a look at this week's brand new top thirty."
Chart music: Al Hudson & The Partners, You Can Do It.
The Dooleys: The Chosen Few [16]. Who, what, why, when? Four questions which need answering. Who liked The Dooleys enough to keep buying their records? What were they thinking? Why did this keep happening? When will The Dooleys stop appearing on Top of the Pops. This must be their last performance... right? RIGHT?


Wizards vs Aliens The Quantum Effect

3&4/11/14; Written by Julie Dixon/ Directed by Mark Everest/ Starring Scott Haran, Percelle Ascott, Annette Badland, Michael Higgs
There’s a fun thread through the first part of `The Quantum Effect` in which we the viewer are thinking things that Tom then asks on screen. Thanks to his summer sojourn at MIT, Benny is invited to a top research station which turns out to be run by one person, the quirky Adam Wright. He then less than believably convinces the novice that the two of them will save the world by effectively twiddling a few knobs and re-aligning a couple of large radio telescope dishes. Tom is one breath away from turning to the camera and saying `this is a trap isn’t it?`It does take some convincing that Benny could be so easily fooled when he has hitherto shown both intellect and instinct way beyond his age but maybe the fact that he’s buzzing after an offer to join MIT on a permanent basis that he taken in. They just about pull it off thanks to Percelle Ascott who makes Benny so enthusiastic about the wonders of science that we can just about believe he would be tricked. It does play into the cliché of scientists being hopeless at anything but science though which seems a tad old fashioned. In fact the whole episode has the feel of an old 1970s Doctor Who about it- largely in a good way- as Ursula is called to investigate sightings of creatures from the Netherside getting through into the real world. Btw do we think this is any way related to the Nethersphere in Doctor Who?


Bit of a spoiler coming up if you've not seen it...


Doctor Who Dark Water

01/11/14 Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Samuel Anderson, Michelle Gomez, Chris Addison, Andrew Leung/ Written by Steven Moffat/ Directed by Rachel Talalay
Some of the best Doctor Who stories have happened when a writer and director team up to try something audacious, something outside the default setting of whatever the series is doing at the time. `Dark Water`, full of uncomfortable ideas, directorial poise and excellent performances is that kind of story. I know it’s only the first half and the second part may be terrible for all we know but right now, I’d hazard a guess we’re looking at a stone cold classic.



Wizards vs Aliens The Secret of Room 12

The second season of Wizards Vs Aliens was terrific culminating in one of those wonderful everything and the kitchen sink finales courtesy of Russell T Davies. The tone of `All Out War` suggested nobody was sure whether there would be a third season and had there not been it would have been an exciting way to finish. Obviously now there is, the show has not just got to face the challenge of following last year’s stuff but added to that RTD has left to pursue other projects while Gwendoline Christie, so pivotal to some of last season’s best moments, is also unavailable because being in Westeros she has to walk everywhere. Can the show thrive under the opportunity these absences provides?