One of the Family: 40 Years with The Krays Review

One of the Family: 40 Years with The Krays Book Cover

One of the Family: 40 Years with The Krays by Maureen Flanagan what an assume read, that is why there hasn’t been much happening on the blog because every spare minute I’ve been reading this book.  As a fan of The Krays story as stated in my Legend review, after seeing the movie it reinspired me to see what else was out there because it had been a few years since I had read or watched anything about them.

If I am honest part of the reasoning behind this was that I had thought I’d seen as much as I could about the story, we all know the facts and if I am honest most of the stuff I had read and seen towed the same line.  However this book when I noticed it when searching The Krays on Amazon it had something different reading the description as it wasn’t someone that was part of the firm or someone that was involved in the criminal world, so thought why not could be interesting to see another person’s thought on the legend, myths and all.   Before I get into the book in detail I would just like to say that it was for me refreshing and honest, and a really easy read.

The book itself and the story focused on the relationship between Maureen and Violet Kray, and although it talks about the Twins and Charlie the concentration of the story is Violet Kray and the impact lifestyle and the outcome of the Twins activities had on their mother.  This was huge for me because although it was the same information that I knew about the story, but now they truly put a personal and emotional spin on the whole thing.  Maureen even manages to balance the arguments really well because although she is trying to show another side of The Krays she isn’t trying to defend their antics like other books have.  She on the other toss of the coin doesn’t through them under the bus like others do, it’s just her view as a Krays insider but a shielded insider.   As she put it Violet saw her as the daughter she never had and in some respect that was right by the end of the book you could see that even the Twins did see her as a sister like person in their life.

The book covers how she met The Krays, that she had a stronger and better relationship with Charlie out of the brothers.  The one thing you get from the book is that Violet was the complete opposite to her twins she was warm and welcoming, just wanting to mother her boys and people, she cared about that was the centre of her world and what it did to her when they went away.  The way in which she over compensated for Ronnie and his illness, at the expense of Charlie and to a lesser extent Reggie.  It just gave you an insight, that even Maureen could sense the fear that The Twins could inspire but after making such a good friendship with Violet and making promises she stuck by them until the end.  Another aspect of the book was she touched not only what happened with The Krays, but all the major points in her own life.  Some Kray books although they say it’s me and my association with The Krays, for me the book is all about the Krays.  This book for me just strikes the balance, because she is telling her own story too.

Overall I would give this book 9/10 it might not be for everyone, but as a fan of the story of the Krays and the world of crime you may want to catch this one.  It shows how they hid things from certain people and how their activities had caused problems for the people around them.  I really enjoyed the read and found it really easy going.

The book can be found here: One of the Family on Amazon

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 3 Review

Tales from Borderlands Episode 3 just keeps the series going and, to be honest, I am not being let down by Telltale at all.  After a slow start, each episode just engages me more and the need or want to play more gets greater and greater.  I think it’s more to do with the genre, but the story just holds you there.

Tales from Borderlands Episode 3 really did keep up the pace where the action was concerned and even had me failing multiple times where the controls and combat are concerned.  I think its to do with how slow the controls can be it lulls you into a false sense of security because you know that for the most part you just have to pick a decision on dialogue.  Then all of a sudden you have to be quicker in order to fire a weapon or defend yourself.

The story developing and know your building on relationships with each of the main characters, but what amazes me is the way in which the comedy remains in quite bleak circumstances.  This episode they continue to have their backs against the wall with more of Fiona’s past being the biggest of obstacle in this episode, that being said these new villains or forces against you are now becoming everyone’s problem.  The only downside to this episode for me is that the decisions you make don’t seem to have as much of impact as they did in episode 2 in my opinion.

The relationships that seemed to be budding is the Gortys and Loader Bot.  You are also left wondering whether there is something button Rhys and Sasha, as the connection between Rhys and Fiona seems to have simmered down a little.

Overall I would give this episode of Tales from the Borderlands an 8/10 because although the decisions don’t seem to have as big of an impact of the story in this episode as episode 2, the comedy and action scenes were second to none I really enjoyed this episode and I am really looking forward to the next episode.

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2 Review

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2 continues on from Episode 1 as you’d expect, but I have to say it seemed to fix some of the issues that I had with the series right out of the gate.  One of the biggest problems I had with Episode 1 was the fact that the main character I just didn’t connect with.  The story at that point was showing the main characters Rhys and Vaughn to actually be on the evil side of the game which I have no problem with but with a game like this you want to have empathy for the characters that you are playing and this was fixed in Episode 2 for me.

The main reason for this for me was the way in which they actually used the villains of the story for want of a better word.  The impact that Hugo Vasquez was huge because it gave you a villain and made Rhys more of a likeable character because you can now see the proper battle lines drawn.  On the other side, now you see Fiona’s past catching up with her and that adds another dynamic to the story because now both sides of the universe are actually having the same issues.  Rhys, for example, is from Hyperion the evil within the world as they have kept people in Pandora down and destroyed it from what I can understand.  Fiona is a from Pandora and a Con Artist, but she is just trying to survive.  You see Rhys in another way during this episode he might be part of the higher power, but realistically he is doing the same just trying to survive just in a different set of circumstances.

The action in this episode kept up the pace of the first episode but somehow managed to add the depth to character more than what the first episode did.  The character development was huge for me and I felt that the decisions that I made in this episode had a greater impact to the story and my characters lives.  Overall I would give this episode a strong 8/10.  It’s made huge strides to make me become more engulfed in the series.

 

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 1 Review

Tales from the Borderlands is a game from Telltale that is based on the games by 2k called Borderlands obviously but, to be honest, I don’t know much about the series but as many of you know if you follow the blog I am a huge fan of the Telltale series really enjoying The Walking Dead and Wolf Among Us.

Hyped by the fact that this is another Telltale game I had to pick it up even with my lack of knowledge of the universe and do a lets play.  The biggest problem I seem to have with the series I don’t feel quite as close to the characters as I have with other series.  Whether this will change as times goes on I really can’t tell you however because it’s not so much a survival or investigation story it doesn’t seem to instantly pull you in like the others did.  I think that it has more to do with the emotional connection and empathy with the characters more than anything and in this episode the main characters do seem to be on the side of evil.

That said though I did feel the story was quite well told as you come to expect from Telltale and that unlike other Telltale games you were thrown straight into the action to more extent.  The combat seems to be higher on the agenda in this game which is true to the original game and I think that is what Telltale does so well adjusting even the most action pack game or story into a story driven game.

Overall I really enjoyed the episode and I will be carrying on with series but I do have to say that it wasn’t the strongest opening episode that they have put together.  I would give this episode a 6/10 just because it has intrigued me to want to follow on the story, but it has completely hooked me in.

Ballers Initial Impressions

Ballers is the new series from Sky Atlantic and HBO starring The Rock Dwayne Johnson.  It centres itself around American’s main sport, American Football and the NFL.  Where The Rock plays some sort of agent that handles finances or tries to and from what I can gather is an ex-player himself.

The shows format is quite refreshing only being half an hour.  I don’t know why though at the moment the series just isn’t holding my intention which is really annoying because I do think that the show has potential and I do want it to be one of those shows that I watch, if not because it has The Rock in but because I think it has huge comedy potential.

The acting and characters are well put together I think and the characters specifically I have potential as they have explored some of the ins and outs of being a player in the NFL.  The main area that they have covered so far in the first two episodes that it is difficult to keep hold of your money as a player.  How true this is I don’t know and although I believe this show is built on comedy it will be quite interesting to see how many issues that it brings up about being in the sport.

Ballers for me is a show that I am going to watch with intrigue and probably see it all the way through.  However after the first two episodes I couldn’t say that there is anything that stands out for me really to recommend it as a must watch.  This series though might be a semi-regular appearance on the blog as it develops.  It in a nutshell, good acting, potential in the storyline just hasn’t shined yet and gets a 5/10

Have you enjoyed it so far?  Or have you seen it all being from the US and does it get better?

Legend Movie Review

Legend the latest movie that tries to document the activities of Britains most notorious gangster The Krays and if I am honest this was a movie that I was really looking forward to.  There are multiple reasons for this one is I have some sort of fascination with the story itself and two because Tom Hardy was going to play both Ronnie and Reggie Kray and I wanted to see how they would manage the scenes where they were stood next to each other.

The story was going to be intriguing for me because everything that I have seen or read was about them when they were still alive and anyone would some common sense would accept that people like that even though behind bars could influence what was said about them.  Not only that the movies and documentaries would have had to go to them for the rights to the story and there in lies the problem.  What I found quite interesting though the story was told by the view of Frances Shea (Reggie’s wife that committed suicide) and with the new evidence to how the relationship might have been it added more intrigue.  The story although centered around Reggie specifically and the relationship between him and Frances with the way in Ron would cause problems for them, I thought the facts of the story as far as I knew it was pretty well done.  The were a few things that were left out, but it was interesting because of the fresh view on them.

As a non-Kray fan though it would seem the story was lacking in some respects because the guys that I go to the cinema with commented on how the interesting parts of the story for them was the feud with the Richardsons but it seemed over before it began and they didn’t go into enough detail about it.  However this for me was easily understandable because it was close to real life in the fact the gang got caught by the police before anything really happened.

Now onto the movie itself, I did enjoy it but couldn’t help but feel that it was a bit of mix of trying to be true to real life and making it a comedy where they made Ronnie out to be a real dumbass.  Which did annoy me a little because although he had his mental health issues and some of the attitudes were right from what I’ve read and seen so far but couldn’t help but feel they went over the top with how dull they made him out to be.  The performances, however, was really well done especially Tom Hardy, he did a really good job in this movie to play both characters.

Overall I would give Legend myself 7/8 because really enjoyed it and although the way Ronnie was portrayed was a little annoying, it wasn’t too far from what I was expecting and I would recommend it to any Kray Fan. As a non-Kray Fan, my friend gave the movie a 5/10 mainly because it didn’t have the gang warfare he was hoping I don’t think.

The Transporter Refueled Movie Review

I have to admit to something that most movie fans will not like that much and that is that I haven’t actually seen any of The Transporter movies all the way through, however knowing the previous star and the few snippets I have seen I knew what to expect from the franchise going into the movie, and that was mindless action.

Guess what it didn’t disappoint on the first thing that came to mind the action and violence in this movie were great, some of the scenes you were left there thinking did he really need to do that.  However, the majority of the scenes made sense.  The mindless action does sell this movie a little short however because it does have a bit of a story to it, but I wouldn’t say it has as many twist and turns than Hitman Agent 47.  The story itself was basic, but you never knew quite where it was going to end, and whether the lead characters were going to get together or not.

The acting for me was well done and if I am honest they did such a good job, I don’t think the franchise was really hurt by not having Jason Statham in it.  Although there were stars in the movie that I had seen before I can’t say they were big blockbuster actors and for that reason I thought they did a really good job.

The story was well put together in my mind but can’t help feel that it could have had more in it because although holding out on a few relationships it didn’t really have much else.  The problem with this is that it didn’t leave you asking any questions after the movie.  Which I like not only from a movie imagination point of view but it also gives you something to talk about on reviews and with others.

Overall I would give this movie 7/10 because I really enjoyed it and it was an easy going movie where you didn’t have to read the lines.  If you’re at a loose end and want a movie full of action and not much thinking this is definitely the movie for you.  How did you find the movie? Let me know in a comment below

Hitman: Agent 47 Movie Review

Hitam: Agent 47 was one of the movies that just crept up on me and if I’m honest I would have been looking forward to it but not expecting too much.  I had always been interested in the game as a kid, but they were always the type of game I would start and then get so far and give up because I got stuck.  Back stories aside this movie didn’t surprise me in the slightest, it was mindless action.

The guys that I go to the cinema with was in a surprisingly good mood so we spent the entire of the first 5 minutes just making the joke that the movie wasn’t very original because it really wasn’t.  Obviously it was based around the games but you just didn’t get the feeling that it was any different from any other assassin based movies.  The positives for the movie, however was its action scenes.

I thought that action scenes were really well done and if I am honest I was a little let down because if they had taken the action and given it more suspense and more depth in the story it could have been a really good movie.  All the actors fitted their role and even the story wasn’t that bad as a premise.

The story of Hitman was a women where she doesn’t really know her past and is in search of her father and then there are two different groups of people after her father to get the secret to a science experiment.  Now the question is who does the she trust?  For me, this is a great story for a movie, but they just didn’t hold onto the cards long enough for me and seemed to rush into the action.  Not that, that is a bad thing, but I was just left wishing they had built on story and made the action scenes mean more.

Overall I think I would give Hitman: Agent 47 a 6/10 and I wouldn’t say it’s a must watch but if you want some easy watching with action this is the movie for you.

Shark Week Collection Thoughts

Shark Week

Last Weeks collection on Now TV was shark week and if I’m honest I always find these sort of things interesting and started to make my way through some of the documentaries and it was amazing how little we seem to know about probably one of the most well-known predator in the world.  The view that we have of them being solitary animals when in actual fact that it seems certain sharks actually work together in small groups.  Due to this being a new behaviour that we haven’t seen a lot they don’t know whether the sharks just hunt in these packs or whether they actually live together.

The one bug bare that I had with a few of the documentaries is the fact they are looking for a specific shark they haven’t seen for two years, although I understand why they were looking for that specific shark but at the same time how did they know it was still alive?  The team in the one documentary ended up going to three different countries in order to track down this one Shark.  Which is great but to me that does feel like it could be a waste of time and money, but was really pleased when they did find that particular Shark.  Although the collection is now gone the documentaries are still there if you want to watch them.  I would highly recommend you go and check them out if you access to the Discovery Channel whether it’s through Sky or NOW TV.

One thing though I will say all the documentaries have in common is the fact they say the shark has no other animal in the world that can beat them as a predators and we know that, that just isn’t true because there is a pod of Orcas that pry on Great White Sharks.

Man From U.N.C.L.E. Review

It’s been a while that I’ve gone into a movie not knowing what to expect however this was a bit weird for me.  The hype around it was it was a James Bond type movie, and to be honest I can see the connection but I wouldn’t describe it as such because there is something that I can’t quite put my finger on that makes it completely difference, but don’t panic because it is a still a spy movie.

One of the major things that stood out for me in this movie which was surprising was the comedy.  Having seen Henry Cavill in Superman I wouldn’t have put him down as a comedy actor but he really did pull this role off albeit a really bad American accent he made the role his.  That would probably be my only complaint I had with his performance or casting in the role, was his accent, it just didn’t sound right to me.  He would have been better being on the British side if you was going by accent.

The storyline/plot was really well done as well because you thought you knew what was happening and then all of a sudden there was a twist and the story would go off in another direction.  You never quite knew who was going to live or die. The action scenes were also done really well because in combat, they shot it in such away in a few scenes you never knew who was actually getting hit and who was going to save the encounter.

Overall this was a fun and fully enjoyable movie the acting was well done albeit accents being struggled with, along with well shot action scenes and some well placed comedy scenes I would have to say this movie has something for everyone and give it a very solid 8/10.  Enjoyable but not blockbuster for me.

If you anything to add to this review or disagree with anything said then feel free to comment below.

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