Monthly Archives: August 2012

100 Actors Better Than Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise


by Jake McMillan

    

This started as a debate between my friend Adam and I. He claimed Mark Wahlberg is a very underrated actor, which I agreed with to a certain extent, but feel his range is limited – he’s good at either dim or tough guys. I then said Brad Pitt was similar, but then corrected myself as Brad is a good actor, but he wouldn’t make my top one hundred list of actors.

What about Tom Cruise? Adam asked. I like Tom Cruise, but again I wouldn’t put him in my top one hundred list of greatest actors. The challenge was then extended and accepted.

I set some rules for my list to make it an authentic challenge, that it had to be male actors who were still alive and they had to have a reasonable movie presence or career, not just TV or Theatre work.

So, here is my list, in no particular order of 100 actors better at acting than Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise:

Anthony Hopkins
Morgan Freeman
Russell Crowe
Christian Bale
Tom Hardy
Dustin Hoffman
Gene Hackman
Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Paul Giamatti
Kevin Spacey
Harrison Ford
George Clooney
William H Macy
Guy Pearce
James Gandofini
Michael Caine
Al Pacino
Robert De Niro

   
Joe Pesci
Harvey Keitel
Jon Voight
Michael Sheen
Alec Baldwin
Ryan Gosling
Viggo Mortensen
Adrien Brody
Patrick Stewart
Ian McKellan
Tom Hanks
Alan Arkin
Ed Harris
Jonathan Pryce
Christopher Plummer
Max von sydow
Kenneth Branagh

   
Benicio Del Toro
William Hurt
Ralph Fiennes
Daniel Day Lewis
Ben Kingsley
Clint Eastwood
Robert Duvall
Liam Neeson
Ewan McGregor
Ian McShane
Alfred Molina
Leonardo DiCaprio
Johnny Depp
Geoffrey Rush
Willem Dafoe
Brian Cox
Albert Finney
James Caan

   
Joaquin Phoenix
Bill Murray
Christopher Walken
Tom Wilkinson
Javier Bardem
Colin Firth
Jean Reno
Gary Oldman
Tim Roth
Sean Penn
Michael Gambon
Jeff Bridges
Robert Redford
Jack Nicholson
Denzel Washington
Tommy Lee Jones
John Malkovich

   
John Hurt
Donald Sutherland
James Woods
Gerard Depardieu
Forest Whitaker
Jeremy Irons
James Cromwell
Giovanni Ribisi
Steve Buscemi
Peter O’Toole
Sam Rockwell
Gabriel Byrne
Mickey Rourke
Laurence Fishburne
Rhys Ivans
Stellan Skarsgard
Brendan Gleeson
John Turturro
Samuel L Jackson
Danny Aiello
Vincent Cassel
Jaime Foxx
Will Smith
Michael Douglas
Mark Ruffalo
Tim Robbins
Ethan Hawke
Billy Bob Thornton
Frank Langella
Nick Nolte

Do you agree?


How to do a Good Selfie


by Jake McMillan

I recently blogged about the rise of the ‘selfie’ in recent years and how people, particularly women, need to know how to do this as part of the skills required to being a 21st century woman. Celebrities such as Heidi Klum, Jodie Marsh, Miley Cyrus and Coco Austin are not helping this cause and in the last year or so there has been in an increase in the practice of body surfing. Whether or not you agree or actively participate in doing self photos, being able to do a good one is something useful to know.

Through my discussions with women of all ages across the world, I spoke to a few who are experts at doing the self photo and they were kind enough to impart some of their wisdom. Many thanks goes to Nora, Noelle and Risa in particular.

Here are their tips:

1. Super Arm Extension & Angle Carefully
You really need to get the camera as far away from you as possible and learn to angle it. Amateurs can be spotted by how much of their own arm is in the photo, try to balance how much is visible with the other arm. You may need to angle up or down depending on if you want to capture whatever is in the background.

2. Get to Know the Photo Apps
There are lots upon loads of photo apps that have interesting features you can use: filters, framing, montage and timer, etc. 

3. How to get Your Whole Outfit in the Shot
As Nora demonstrates below, try taking it from above and tilt your head.

4. The Kiss Photo
This is usually best executed through holding the camera with both hands in front of you.

5. Mirrors
Use of mirrors can make an interesting selfie.

6. Taking a Selfie of your Butt!
The best butt self-photo is taken from below looking up:

7. Have Some Fun
You may like your face a lot, but try having some fun in the self photo and make it more of a self-portrait by adding an artistic or humorous element to the photo. For inspiration, try checking out: Rosie HardyBrooke ShadenBrian Wagner and Inge Hooker.

Photo courtesy of Rolfe Markham Photography

8. What NOT To Do
Here are some things not to do:

See any photo at AntiDuckface – ‘because no really, you look stupid

Look carefully at the following and try not to do the same:


The Selfie


by Jake McMillan

Thanks to the progress in digital photography, mobile phones and the growth of social networking sites, there has been a massive rise in recent years of the “selfie”, in particular, by women. Not that men don’t do it too (my current Facebook profile pic is a self photo), but for women it is extremely common and seemingly a skill modern women need to know as much as being able to do their make up.

The use of it seems to vary considerably and I have been talking to women of all ages across the world about the self-photo, from some who would never do it, to some who do it all the time. It’s been interesting to hear the different views on the subject as well as receive some tips on how to do it well.

An attractive friend of mine from Amsterdam, typifies the view of women who would rarely, if ever, do the ‘self-photo’, “I think it’s a bit exhibitionist to put self-snapped pictures online everywhere, especially the ones where you look sensually into the camera. yuck”. She explained she has better things to do with her time and prefers to keep it real.

This is in stark contrast to my friend Noelle from Singapore who is a self-confessed camwhore and the “Queen of Pout” who takes many many photos of herself. This is partly because, she explained to me, she knows which angles of her face work. Sometimes people will offer to take a photo for her and she will reject it because she knows the arm placement that best works for her. She also has 24(!) photo apps and knows which one has the filter she wants, which one have the frames she wants, montage features and a recent favourite of hers is the timer app.

My partner in crime from the Bounce Off dating blog, Risa (who is from the USA), has a similar view to Noelle, ‘I like to self-photo sometimes more than asking someone else to do it (especially a stranger), you risk the chance that the person will do a shitty job – like not framing the picture properly, getting the lighting wrong, cutting off parts of the landmark, not capturing the important things, etc. Then it feels awkward to ask them to take it again and again until they get it right so why not just self-photo?’

                                   
(some examples of Noelle’s self-photos)

From my many discussions with women about this subject I knew that there are judgemental views on women who do lots of self photos so I asked Noelle about this and why she took so many photos of herself? I first have to say that Noelle is not a narcissistic loon and that is because I promised her I would not make her come across that way and also, most importantly, it is not true. She is a very genuine and straight-talking person.

“Why photos of myself? Cos I’m hot. hahaha! Well, it’s almost like twitter isn’t it? Just a pictorial version of my life, what I’m wearing, where I go, etc. like a visual diary.” Some will be taken in front of her computer, using Photo Booth and many others are using her iPhone. She freely states that selfies are pure narcissism and doesn’t care if her sister or friends see her posing as the minute she wants to take a self-photo with them in it, they are all smiles too.

“I like make-up, dressing up, going out, so I feel the need to chronicle that while I’m still attractive”, she told me. I then asked whether the self-photos will stop when she gets a bit older and wrinklier? She joked, “LOL who wants to see that shit? then I’ll put some scenery up … but at least I can look back and go, damn, I was pretty hot. HAHAHA narcissistic AND shameless.”

Being serious, she put forward the notion that there are different kinds of women. “It’s an extreme narcissism that comes with the self photo and usually stems from having been living in public life for a while.” Noelle has been blogging for almost 10 years and she has complete strangers who come up to her in Singapore to say they read her blog.

Nora, half-Swedish/Spanish lady currently living in Los Angeles, is someone I would describe as being a little crazy, but in a good way, and uses social media to show her working out, walking her dog, eating nice food and wearing nice things. “I love the way I look and it’s fun, like if I’m bored I just take some pics of myself”, she explained to me as well as completely ignoring anyone who judges her for it, “haha don’t hate and enjoy yourself. Relax and have fun.”

            

    

(some of Nora’s self photos)

I think the key to making self photos interesting and not just narcissistic is to have fun with them. Inge, a 24 year old photographer from Tennessee, is a big fan of what she would refer to as a self-portrait.  This is not a straight forward look into the camera lens but takes an artistic and often fun approach. For her, ‘it is just a form of self-expression, like painting a picture, dancing or cooking a good meal. It is my form of stress relief.’

She explained to me she is not a camera-whore, ‘I am an admitted actress at times, but it is usually because I like to entertain people not because I want to say “look at me! Look at me!” … I prefer to be part of a joke or to take funny, entertaining pictures any day of the week rather than a normal pretty one – much to the dismay of my friends, boyfriend and family.’ See a few of her own examples: Jump! Baby Bird, Jump!; Nervous Energy; or Some Days. She also recommended looking at Rosie Hardy, Brooke Shaden and Brian Wagner.

Hanna, a 19 year old student from Finland, often uses the mix of the straight forward selfie as well as taking the artistic or more fun approach of a self portrait. Like many, she is not a fan of people who pout a lot and put up ten new duckface photos on Facebook everyday.

Although self-photos may not seem ‘real’ or a genuine to some, in the 21st century we have to be aware of our image in social media whether we like it or not. Just like when we get dressed up for a night out on the town, we are choosing to present the best representation of ourselves, which may be quite different to how we appear normally. Women wear make up, high-heeled shoes and push-up bras on a night out and so there is nothing wrong with women (or men) wanting to be in a similar level of control about their photo on social media sites, especially, of course, internet dating sites.

However, be aware that excessive use of the selfie will inevitably cause judgement by others … it is only human nature.

Tips and Advice on How To Do a Good Selfie >>>

(A massive thank you to all those who gave me their thoughts and opinions and especially to Noelle and Nora who let me use their photographs)


IM Nail Removal – Carl’s Experience


by Jake McMillan

Morning after an IM Nail Removal

Carl had his IM Nail removed a few days ago on Aug 13th 2012 and he has very kindly allowed me to share his experiences, including a few photos! He had fractured his right tibia and fibula a year ago in Aug 2011 during a football match.

He attended physio and all seemed to be going well up until about 6 months after the procedure when he started to experience pain in the area of his ankle and his knee would regularly swell up like a balloon.  He revisited his consultant to see what could be done. Carl explained he was lucky as the consultant listened to his experiences and issues and on reviewing the x-rays could see the nail was causing the swelling to the knee.

Carl’s original tibia break

Carl’s IM Nail

Removing the IM Nail was then put forward as a solution to the problems Carl was experiencing. However, he would have to wait until August 2012 as no removal could be authorised until a minimum of 12 months after the original injury in order to allow the tibia to heal. Carl was also advised that there were risks to having the nail removed:

  • the tibia could fracture again
  • the nail could snap and they would have to leave it in

As Carl very much wants to continue to participate in contact sport (in particular football), he decided to go through with the removal of the IM Nail. He was advised if he had another break with the nail still in, it could cause more problems than when taking it out. (I think we are all a bit concerned at the thought of what our nails might do in such an accident!)

Carl’s operation was a success but it turned out to be more complicated than expected in his particular case. Normally this procedure takes approximately an hour, but in Carl’s case it took two and a half hours due to the fact the screws had embedded in the upper part of the tibia. In order for the screws to be removed they had to make a window in the bone which took some time and he was told it was difficult to do.

Post operation he was fine, apart from a some swelling as to be expected. He has stated that he would go through the procedure again and at this stage he is not experiencing any concerning pain other than mild discomfort which is managed by paracetamol and ibuprofen.

The knee the morning after the IM Nail removal

The ankle the morning after an IM Nail removal

He has been advised to wait 3 months before doing contact sports and was encouraged to do other sporting activity such as cycling and going to the gym. He can currently walk around without crutches, however, he has learnt it is best for him to use one crutch to practice full weight bearing (heel and toe) rather than limping which he has done previously in a failed effort to speed up his recovery.

A massive thank you to Carl for sharing his experiences, I hope this is of use and interest to everyone reading this.


IM Nail Survey


by Jake McMillan

To all those who have had an Intramedullary Nail (IM Nail or Rod) procedure, would you please take a few moments to complete the 10 Question Survey (via the link below) about your experiences, it’s a mix of multiple choice and optional free text questions.

As such little information exists about going through the experience of having an IM Nail, the recovery period and possible ongoing problems, I thought it would be useful to collect a mixture of quantitative and qualitative data. The aim is to share the collated data and analysis with everyone.

To complete the anonymous survey, please use the following link:

www.surveymonkey.com/s/TSFX3DZ

If you have any questions about this questionnaire or would prefer to have it posted to you or conducted over the telephone, please email me.

Update (25th January 2013): Thank you to all who have filled in the survey so far (95 responses!) … I will wait until I have got a 100 before writing up the findings, but may share some early findings before then.

I shall also be putting together a survey about IM Nail removal.


Stop Using Your Phone At The Cinema!


by Jake McMillan

Just stop it will you! There is no need. Stop being a dick. Please stop checking your phone whilst watching a film at the cinema.

Thankfully, gone are the days when some people actually answered a phone call during a movie. However, there are still lots of people who feel the need to regularly check their phone during the film for text messages, emails, Facebook updates, etc.  If you are one of these people, please just stop it.

You’re not at home, you are in dark room with lots of other people who have paid to watch a cinematic spectacle in the dark. When you check your phone, everyone to the side  of you and behind you DOES see it and IS distracted by it. Why should our enjoyment of a film be tainted just because Bob, someone who you don’t even know that well, sent you a SongPop request.

The point of going to the cinema to watch a film rather than watching a DVD or Blu-Ray is that you are paying for the privilege of watching it in silence in the dark on the big screen surrounded by others who also want to do the same. We pay over the odds to do this so that we can enjoy the film without the distractions and annoyances of daily life. No knocks at the door, no interruptions,  no pets jumping on you wanting to be fed, no phone calls, no anything … just you watching a film.

If you can’t handle spending two hours doing this, then don’t go into the fucking cinema in the first place. Expecting to hear your wife is about to go into labour? Rent a DVD or watch one online.

There is no need to check your phone in the cinema as we all know your life really isn’t that important and interesting that it can’t wait 90mins before dealing with. When you check your phone, the rest of us can all see it and we all then realise you are a total bellend.

So, cinema goers, pretty please … with sugar on top. Stop with your fucking phone.