< I just thought I'd draw your attention to these two portals of wonder >
< to my left and right >
I've finally upgraded to having two sidebars. I've just been running with one until now, but I'd wanted more room to spread things about a bit, and it turns out adding a left sidebar was a million times easier than I'd anticipated. So, here we are!
At the moment, I've dedicated the left sidebar to an About section and my Twitter feed. As well as my top ten most viewed reviews of all time, for those of you that are interested. Then the right sidebar is far more focused on exploring the site. We start with the top three reviews of the month, and then move onto sorting every article/review by Star Rating, Category and Series, before finishing with The Murmur's archive.
Again, this doesn't apply to those of you who view the site on mobile devices, I'm afraid. But these two wonderful sidebars are waiting to be explored on the desktop version, if you ever feel so inclined!
I may change things up a bit until I settle on a long-term layout - and I'd love to hear what you all think - but, in the meantime, go explore!
Gwyneth Paltrow: Patient Zero. Beth Emhoff
(Paltrow) catches some unknown disease while on a business trip to Hong Kong
and brings it back home to the States. It has begun.
Contagion marks Mr. Versatile himself, Steven Soderbergh’s, first foray into
the world of pandemic thrillers and, as expected, he does a very classy job of
scaring the bejesus out of us. Cough or sneeze halfway through and you, too,
will fear for your life.
Also, notable, however is the severe lack
of dramatic progression. There’s undoubtedly drama but, as the days tick by,
the momentum doesn’t. This may be due, in part, to the ensemble storytelling
spreading the tension too thin. Soderbergh covers at least half a dozen
stories, each from a different perspective and each affected differently by the
This is somewhat compensated for by the impressive
cast. With a DVD cover boasting Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence
Fishburne, Jude Law, Paltrow and Kate Winslet, there’s a lot of talent on show
here and Soderbergh directs them well.
So, all in all, Contagion is a solid, and occasionally terrifying, portrait of a
world on the brink of collapse. Ideally, I would have liked to have seen a little
more of that collapse, but maybe that would have been one grim step too far.
I checked up on the blog yesterday morning to find the site
was just 30 views or so away from the 20,000 mark.
So, I rushed through a set of social media updates to let
the world know, then I sat . . .
And sat . . .
And sat . . .
And an hour or two later, the counter flicked over to
20,000. Lightning crashed, shattering every window of my humble abode. Ethereal
light flooded betwixt the broken shards, sending rainbows of colour cascading across
my body. My mind, now free of the shackles of man, saw me rise from my slumber
and begin to levitate. Before I knew it I was soaring high above the Earth,
bathed in the warmth of greatness.
Okay, it didn’t quite go like that . . . but whatever, man,
give me my moment!
After all those superheroics, I thought I’d take it easy for
a couple of hours and mow the lawn.
I’d done my bit; the ball was in your hands now . . .
And, out of nowhere, my desperate Hail Mary found its
‘I don’t suppose I win do I?’, came the response and,
self-afffacing even in victory, Ernie Jackevic quietly rose from the ashes to
claim his prize.
What I’m trying to say is, we have a winner!
At 5:58 yesterday afternoon, Ernie sent me his winning ’20,019’
And I couldn’t have been more pleased with the winner. Part
of me had wanted some total newcomer to come along and claim the prize (hence
me including the daft ‘it doesn’t matter where you are in the world’ line), but
this is far more apt.
As fate would have it, Ernie is the only other person I’ve
ever watched Aliens with (fix!). The
two of us went along to a midnight screening a few years ago at Woodhall Spa’s
fabulous Kinema in the Woods. And, I think I’m correct in saying that I’ve been
unaccompanied for every other viewing, prior or since. So, that’s kind of a
Thank you for winning, Ernie! And thank you to everyone
who’s visited the site over the past week or so. There were clearly quite a few
of you . . . or possibly just a handful of you over and over again. My
competition article managed to become my second most successful post of all
time in just three days, eclipsing past champions such as The Cabin in the Woods and Kick-Ass 2. It’s crazy to think there was a time when I thought my
review of The Cabin in the Woods was so far ahead in views that it could, and
would, never be beaten. But how wrong I was; my competition article’s success
saw it drop out of the top 10 completely. Oh, how the mighty have fallen . . .
Thing’s may slow down a tad over the next week and change
because I’m spending some more time in London with Natalia. But, primarily,
because I’ve got some YouTube videos to make!
Natalia and my sister’s votes beat out Dan Wilshire and Billy
Forsyth’s suggestions for how I should celebrate, and I’ve got a few ideas
ready. So we’ll see how that goes. Watch this space!
You've got more of this magic to look forward to . . .
Videos will obviously be linked to on Twitter and Facebook
(any follows/likes would be greatly appreciated!). I’ll also post them all on
here but, if you want to get ahead of the game, the YouTube channel I’ll be
using is already up and running and a subscription will ensure you’re first in
Thank you all for your continued support. It’s such a joy to
have you guys along for the ride and here’s to hoping that ride continues well
into the future!