Alan Rickman

English actor and Director Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman sadly died of cancer on 14 January 2016 at the age of 69. Born 21 February 1946 in Acton, London. Rickman attended Derwentwater Primary School, in Acton, a school that followed the Montessori method of education. He excelled at calligraphy and watercolour painting. From Derwentwater Junior School he won a scholarship to Latymer Upper School in London, where he became involved in drama. After leaving Latymer, he attended Chelsea College of Art and Design and then the Royal College of Art. This education allowed him to work as a graphic designer for the radical newspaper the Notting Hill Herald.

After graduation, Rickman and several friends opened a graphic design studio called Graphiti, but after three years of successful business, he decided that if he was going to pursue acting professionally, it was now or never. He wrote to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) requesting an audition and was awarded a place at RADA, which he attended from 1972-74. While there, he studied Shakespeare and supported himself by working as a dresser for Nigel Hawthorne and Sir Ralph Richardson. He left after winning several prizes, including the Emile Littler Prize, the Forbes Robertson Prize and the Bancroft Gold Medal.

After graduating from RADA, Rickman worked extensively with British repertory and experimental theatre groups in productions including Chekhov’s The Seagull and Snoo Wilson’s The Grass Widow at the Royal Court Theatre, and appeared three times at the Edinburgh International Festival. In 1978, he performed with the Court Drama Group, gaining parts in Romeo and Juliet and A View from the Bridge, among other plays. While working with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) he was cast in As You Like It. He appeared in the BBC’s adaptation of Trollope’s first two Barchester novels known as The Barchester Chronicles (1982), as the Reverend Obadiah Slope. He portrayed the Vicomte de Valmont, in the 1985 Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Christopher Hampton’s adaptation of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, and received both a Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award nomination for his performance.

He also played romantic leads like Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility (1995), and Jamie in Truly, Madly, Deeply (1991); numerous villains in Hollywood big budget films, like German terrorist Hans Gruber in Die Hard (1988) and the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991); the very occasional television role such as the “mad monk” Rasputin in an HBO biopic Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny (1996), for which he won a Golden Globe and an Emmy.[16] He was the “master of ceremonies” on Mike Oldfield’s album Tubular Bells II, released in 1992, on which he read off a list of instruments on the album. His role in Die Hard earned him a spot on the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Heroes & Villains as the 46th best villain in film history, His performance as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves also garnered praise. He also portrayed Severus Snape, the potions master in the Harry Potter series (2001–11).

MarvinParanoidAndroid-rich_7652During his career Rickman has also played comedic roles, sending up classically trained British actors who take on “lesser roles” as the character Sir Alexander Dane/Dr. Lazarus in the science fiction parody Galaxy Quest (1999), portraying the angel Metatron, the voice of God, in Dogma (also 1999), appearing as Emma Thompson’s foolish husband Harry in Love Actually (2003), providing the voice of Marvin the Paranoid Android in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005), and the egotistical, Nobel Prize-winning father in Nobel Son (2007). He was nominated for an Emmy for his work as Dr. Alfred Blalock in HBO’s Something the Lord Made (2004) and also starred in the films Snow Cake (2006), with Sigourney Weaver and Carrie-Anne Moss, and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. He also appeared as the evil Judge Turpin in the critically acclaimed Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) directed by Tim Burton, alongside Harry Potter co-stars Helena Bonham Carter and Timothy Spall. Rickman also appeared as Absolem the Caterpillar in Burton’s film Alice in Wonderland (2010).

He performed onstage in Noël Coward’s romantic comedy Private Lives, and In 1998 He appeared in Antony and Cleopatra as Mark Antony with Dame Helen Mirren as Cleopatra, in the Royal National Theatre’s production at the Olivier Theatre in London. Rickman also appeared in Victoria Wood with All The Trimmings (2000), a Christmas special with Victoria Wood, playing an aged colonel in the battle of Waterloo who is forced to break off his engagement to Honeysuckle Weeks’ character. Alongside Harry Potter co-star Imelda Staunton.

Rickman also directed The Winter Guest at London’s Almeida Theatre in 1995 and the film version of the same play, released in 1997, starring Emma Thompson and Phyllida Law. He compiled the play My Name Is Rachel Corrie, and directed the premiere at the Royal Court Theatre, London in 2005 for which he won the Theatre Goers’ Choice Awards for Best Director. In 2009, Rickman was awarded the James Joyce Award by University College Dublin’s Literary and Historical Society. In October and November 2010, Rickman starred in the eponymous role in Henrik Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin alongside Lindsay Duncan and Fiona Shaw.

In 2011, Rickman again appeared as Severus Snape in the final installment in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 and earned his first award nominations for his role as Snape at the 2011 Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards, 2011 Saturn Awards, 2011 Scream Awards and 2011 St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards in the Best Supporting Actor category. On 21 November 2011, Rickman opened in Seminar, by Theresa Rebeck, at the John Golden Theatre on Broadway. Rickman, won the Broadway.com Audience Choice Award for Favorite Actor in a Play and was nominated for a Drama League Award.Rickman starred with Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz in a remake of 1966’s Gambit by Michael Hoffman. In 2013, he played Hilly Kristal, the founder of the famous East Village punk-rock club CBGB, in the CBGB film with Rupert Grint. He leaves behind a large number of great films and will be sadly missed.

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Lewis Carroll

Author, mathematician, Logician, Anglican Deacon and Photographer Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) sadly died 14 January 1897. He was born 27 January 1832, and is best remembered for writing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice Through the Looking-Glass, “The Hunting of the Snark” and “Jabberwocky”. From a young age, Dodgson wrote poetry and short stories, which he contributed to the family magazine Mischmasch and also sent them to various magazines. Between 1854 and 1856, his work appeared in The Comic Times and The Train, the Whitby Gazette and the Oxford Critic. Most of this output was humorous, sometimes satirical, he also wrote puppet plays Such as La Guida di Bragia.

In 1856 he published A romantic poem called “Solitude” in The Train as “Lewis Carroll”. This pseudonym was a play on his real name; Lewis was the anglicised form of Ludovicus, which was the Latin for Lutwidge, and Carroll an Irish surname similar to the Latin name Carolus, from which comes the name Charles. In 1856, a new dean, Henry Liddell, arrived at Christ Church, bringing with him his young family, all of whom would figure largely in Dodgson’s life and, over the following years, greatly influence his writing career. Dodgson became close friends with Liddell’s wife, Lorina, and their children, particularly the three sisters: Lorina, Edith and Alice Liddell. He was for many years widely assumed to have derived his own “Alice” from Alice Liddell. This was given some apparent substance by the fact the acrostic poem at the end of Through the Looking Glass spells out her name and also that there are many superficial references to her hidden in the text of both books. It has been noted that Dodgson himself repeatedly denied in later life that his “little heroine” was based on any real child, and frequently dedicated his works to girls of his acquaintance, adding their names in acrostic poems at the beginning of the text. Gertrude Chataway’s name appears in this form at the beginning of The Hunting of the Snark and it is not suggested that this means any of the characters in the narrative are based on her.

Carroll’s friendship with the Liddell family was an important part of his life in the late 1850s and he took the children on rowing trips accompanied by an adult friend.to nearby Nuneham Courtenay or Godstow.it was on one such expedition, on 4 July 1862, that Dodgson invented the outline for Alice in Wonderland after Alice Liddell persuaded him to write it down, Dodgson presented her with a handwritten, illustrated manuscript entitled Alice’s Adventures Under Ground in November 1864 Before this, the family of friend and mentor George MacDonald read Dodgson’s incomplete manuscript, and the enthusiasm of the MacDonald children encouraged Dodgson to seek publication. In 1863, he had taken the unfinished manuscript to Macmillan the publisher, who liked it immediately. After the possible alternative titles Alice Among the Fairies and Alice’s Golden Hour were rejected, the work was finally published as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865 under the Lewis Carroll pen-name, which Dodgson had first used some nine years earlier. The illustrations this time were by Sir John Tenniel; Dodgson evidently thought that a published book would need the skills of a professional artist.

The overwhelming commercial success of the first Alice book changed Dodgson’s life in many ways. The fame of his alter ego “Lewis Carroll” soon spread around the world. He was inundated with fan mail and with sometimes unwanted attention. Indeed, according to one popular story, Queen Victoria herself enjoyed Alice In Wonderland so much that she suggested he dedicate his next book to her, and was accordingly presented with his next work, a scholarly mathematical volume entitled An Elementary Treatise on Determinants. Dodgson himself vehemently denied this story, commenting “…It is utterly false in every particular: nothing even resembling it has occurred”; and it is unlikely for other reasons: as T.B. Strong comments in aTimes article, “It would have been clean contrary to all his practice to identify [the] author of Alice with the author of his mathematical works”. He also began earning quite substantial sums of money but continued with his seemingly disliked post at Christ Church. Late in 1871, a sequel – Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There – was published. It is somewhat darker and the mood possibly reflects the changes in Dodgson’s life. His father had recently died (1868), plunging him into a depression that lasted some years. In 1876, Dodgson produced his last great work, The Hunting of the Snark, a fantastical “nonsense” poem, exploring the adventures of a bizarre crew of tradesmen, and one beaver, who set off to find the eponymous creature. The painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti reputedly became convinced the poem was about him. In 1895, Carroll published a two-volume tale of the eponymous fairy siblings. Carroll entwines two plots, set in two alternate worlds, one the fairytale kingdom of Elfland, the other a realm called Outland, which satirizes English society, and more specifically, the world of academia.

In 1856, Dodgson took up photography, first under the influence of his uncle Skeffington Lutwidge, and later his Oxford friend Reginald Southey and soon became a well-known gentleman-photographer. Dodgson also made many studies of men, women, male children and landscapes; his subjects also include skeletons, dolls, dogs, statues and paintings, and trees. His pictures of children were taken with a parent in attendance and many of the pictures were taken in the Liddell garden, because natural sunlight was required for good exposures, Unfortunately this led to great controversy and unsavory rumors concerning his relationship with Alice and Lorina Liddell and he parted company with them under dubious circumstances. He found photography to be a useful entrée into higher social circles. During the most productive part of his career, he made portraits of notable sitters such as John Everett Millais, Ellen Terry, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Julia Margaret Cameron, Michael Faraday, Lord Salisbury, andAlfred, Lord Tennyson. Dodgson abruptly ceased photography in 1880. Over 24 years, he had completely mastered the medium, set up his own studio on the roof of Tom Quad, and created around 3,000 images. Fewer than 1,000 have survived time and deliberate destruction. He reported that he stopped taking photographs because keeping his studio working was difficult (he used the wet collodion process) and commercial photographers (who used the dry-plate process) took pictures more quickly.

Dodgson also worked in mathematics, in the fields of geometry, linear and matrix algebra,mathematical logic and recreational mathematics, producing nearly a dozen books under his real name. Dodgson also developed new ideas in linear algebra (e.g. the first printed proof of the Kronecker-Capelli theorem),probability, and the study of elections (e.g.,Dodgson’s method) and committees; some of this work was not published until well after his death. He worked as the Mathematical Lecturer at Christ Church, an occupation that gave him some financial security. His mathematical work attracted renewed interest in the late 20th century. Martin Gardner’s book on logic machines and diagrams, and William Warren Bartley’s posthumous publication of the second part of Carroll’s symbolic logic book have sparked a reevaluation of Carroll’s contributions to symbolic logic. Robbins’ and Rumsey’s investigation of Dodgson condensation, a method of evaluating determinants, led them to the Alternating Sign Matrix conjecture, now a theorem. The discovery in the 1990s of additional ciphers that Carroll had constructed, in addition to his “Memoria Technica”, showed that he had employed sophisticated mathematical ideas to their creation

Dodgson invented many things including the Wonderland Postage-Stamp Case in 1889. This was a cloth-backed folder with twelve slots, two marked for inserting the then most commonly used penny stamp, and one each for the other current denominations to one shilling. The folder was then put into a slip case decorated with a picture of Alice on the front and the Cheshire Cat on the back. All could be conveniently carried in a pocket or purse. When issued it also included a copy of Carroll’s pamphletted lecture, Eight or Nine Wise Words About Letter-Writing. Another invention is a writing tablet called the nyctograph for use at night that allowed for note-taking in the dark; thus eliminating the trouble of getting out of bed and striking a light when one wakes with an idea. The device consisted of a gridded card with sixteen squares and system of symbols representing an alphabet of Dodgson’s design, using letter shapes similar to the Graffiti writing system on a Palm device.

Among the games he devised outside of logic there are a number of word games, including an early version of Scrabble, “doublet” a form of brain-teaser which involves changing one word into another by altering one letter at a time, each successive change always resulting in a genuine word. For instance, CAT is transformed into DOG by the following steps: CAT, COT, DOT, DOG. Other items he invented include a rule for finding the day of the week for any date; a means for justifying right margins on a typewriter; a steering device for a velociam (a type of tricycle); new systems of parliamentary representation; more nearly fair elimination rules for tennis tournaments; a new sort of postal money order; rules for reckoning postage; rules for a win in betting; rules for dividing a number by various divisors; a cardboard scale for the college common room he worked in later in life, which, held next to a glass, ensured the right amount of liqueur for the price paid; a double-sided adhesive strip for things like the fastening of envelopes or mounting things in books; a device for helping a bedridden invalid to read from a book placed sideways; and at least two ciphers for cryptography.

Dodgson continued to teach at Christ Church until 1881, and remained in residence there until his death. The two volumes of his last novel, Sylvie and Bruno, were published in 1889 and 1893. He also travelled to Russia in 1867 as an ecclesiastical together with the Reverend Henry Liddon. He recounts the travel in his “Russian Journal”, published in 1935. On his way to Russia and back he also saw different cities in Belgium, Germany, the partitioned Poland, and France. He died at his sisters’ home, “The Chestnuts” in Guildford, of pneumonia following influenza, two weeks before turning 66. He is buried in Guildford at the Mount Cemetery.

The Stand by Stephen King

The Stand is a post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel by American author Stephen King. It concerns the accidental release of a strain of influenza modified for biological warfare from a top-secret government laboratory in rural California. A guard escapes the lab and begins traveling across the country to his family home in East Texas, unintentionally spreading the virus along the way. he crashes his car into a gas station in the town of Arnette, where Stu Redman (Gary Sinise) and some friends have gathered. As the man lays dying, he warns Redman that he had been pursued by a “Dark Man.” The next day, the U.S. military arrives to quarantine the town.

The townspeople are taken to a CDC facility in Vermont. All but Stu succumb to the superflu, which kills 99.4% of the world’s population in two weeks. The scattered survivors include would-be rock star Larry Underwood (Adam Storke); deaf mute Nick Andros (Rob Lowe); Frannie Goldsmith (Molly Ringwald); her teenaged neighbor Harold Lauder (Corin Nemec); imprisoned criminal Lloyd Henreid (Miguel Ferrer); and “Trashcan Man” (Matt Frewer), a mentally ill arsonist and scavenger.The survivors soon begin having visions, either from kindly Mother Abagail (Ruby Dee) or from the demonic Randall Flagg (Jamey Sheridan). The two sets of survivors travel to either Nebraska to meet Abagail, or to Las Vegas to join Flagg.

Lloyd is freed from prison by Flagg, Trashcan Man, a pyromaniac, destroys fuel tanks across the Midwest. Larry escapes New York City with a mysterious woman named Nadine Cross (Laura San Giacomo). However she leaves Larry to join Flagg. After escaping the CDC facility. The survivors Stu Frannie, Harold, and Glen Bateman (Ray Walston are also joined by various other immune survivors. As the group travels toward Nebraska, Harold, Stu and Frannie fall out. Meanwhile, Nick makes his way across the Midwest, eventually meeting Tom Cullen (Bill Fagerbakke), a mentally challenged man. The two men also encounter Julie Lawry (Shawnee Smith), before reaching Abagail’s farm in Hemingford Home, Nebraska. Abagail warns that a great conflict is imminent and they must all travel on to Boulder, Colorado. There, the survivors form a new community called the Boulder Free Zone, where they begin restoring civilization.

Meanwhile Flagg sets up an autocratic regime in Las Vegas, with the intent of defeating the Boulder survivors using salvaged nuclear weapons and Harold join forces with Flagg. Three Boulder survivors decide to infiltrate Las Vegas: Tom, Dayna Jurgens (Kellie Overbey), and Judge Farris (Ossie Davis). Meanwhile Harold and Nadine plant a bomb in Frannie and Stu’s home, planning to detonate it during a meeting of the Free Zone council. Luckily Abagail warns the council members and most of them escape the explosion, but Nick is killed. Abagail tells Stu, Larry, Glen, Frannie and fellow council member Ralph Brentner that they must travel to Las Vegas. Meanwhile Flagg captures Nadine. Upon returning to Las Vegas, Flagg also finds Dayna and Farris and Tom leaves Las Vegas. Elsewhere Stu, Larry, Glen, and Ralph leave Boulder to confront Flagg, Lloyd, Trashcan Man and his followers in Las Vegas.

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

I have recently downloaded the epic fantasy novel The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks on Kindle. It takes place 2000 years after the “Great Wars”: a nuclear holocaust that wiped out most human life on Earth and rearranged the planet’s geography. Only traces of technological artifacts have been found; most advanced technology has been lost, but magic has been rediscovered. During this time, Mankind mutated into several distinct races: Men, Dwarves, Gnomes Elves and Trolls, all named after creatures from “age-old” myths.

A thousand years before The Sword of Shannara, an Elf named Galaphile gathers all of the people who still had some knowledge of the old world to Paranor to try to bring peace and order to all of the races. They name themselves the First Druid Council. However Brona, a rogue Druid, and his followers leave, taking the Ildatch with them; this magical tome controls their minds. 250 years later, Brona begins the First War of the Races when he convinces all Men to attack the other races. He almost succeeds in seizing rule of the Four Lands, However he is defeated and The Druids divide the Four Lands among the races. Two and a half centuries after the First War of the Races, Brona returns as the Warlock Lord, now with Skull Bearers as his servants. Chronicled in the prequel novel First King of Shannara, the Second War of the Races begins with the destruction of the Druid Order. A lone Druid, Bremen, forges a magical talisman to destroy the Warlock Lord; it is given to the Elven King, Jerle Shannara. As it takes the form of a blade, the talisman is named the Sword of Shannara. The Warlock Lord is banished and his army is defeated by the combined armies of the Elves and Dwarves.

Five centuries later, the Ohmsford family of Shady Vale in the Southland takes in the half-Elven child Shea. He takes the name Ohmsford and is raised as a brother to the family’s son Flick. Then the last Druid Allanon arrives in Shady Vale warning the Ohmsford brothers that the Warlock Lord has returned to the Skull Kingdom in the Northland and is coming for Shea, who, As the last descendant of Jerle Shannara, is the only one capable of wielding the Sword of Shannara against the Warlock Lord. Allanon leaves Shea three Blue Elfstones for protection and tells Shea to flee at the sign of the Skull. A few weeks later, a creature bearing a symbol of a skull shows up: a Skull Bearer, one of the Warlock Lord’s “winged black destroyers” searching for Shea. So The brothers flee with the Skull Bearer on their heels. They take refuge in the nearby city of Leah where they find Shea’s friend Menion, the son of the city’s lord. Menion decides to accompany the two, and he travels with them to Culhaven, to meet with Allanon. While at Culhaven, they are joined by a prince of Callahorn, Balinor Buckhannah, two elven brothers, Durin and Dayel Elessedil, and the dwarf Hendel.

The party sets out for Paranor. But along the way, Shea becomes separated from the group. Allanon spurs the group to continue to Paranor where they confront the minions of the Warlock Lord and find that the Sword of Shannara has already been removed. The party then learns of the Warlock Lord’s invasion of the Southland. Meanwhile Flick infiltrates the enemy camp in the Southland attempting to rescues the captive Elven King, Eventine Elessedil; at the same time, in Kern, Menion saves a woman named Shirl Ravenlock and they evacuate Kern before the Northland army attacks. Balinor returns to Tyrsis But is imprisoned by his insane brother Palance Buckhannah, who has taken control of Callahorn’s rule. His advisor, Stenmin, has driven Palance insane with drugs, making him his pawn. With help from Menion, Balinor attempts to escape to confront both Palance and Stenmin. Callahorn’s reformed Border Legion under the command of Balinor, marches out of Tyrsis and engages the Northland army at the Mermiddon River, killing many Northlanders before being forced to pull back; the Border Legion retreats to Tyrsis and make preparations for defense. During the siege of Tyrsis, Hendel and Menion confront Stenmin and his supporters.

Meanwhile In the Northland Shea is captured by Gnomes, but is rescued by the one-handed thief Panamon Creel and his mute Troll companion Keltset Mallicor Journeying to the Northland, they reach the Skull Kingdom and discover that Gnome deserter Orl Fane has the Sword of Shannara and has taken it to the Skull Kingdom. Infiltrating the Warlock Lord’s fortress in the Skull Mountain, Shea eventually finds the sword of Shannara and The Warlock Lord confronts Shea in a thrilling battle at the Skull Mountain which will decide the fate of the Four Lands

IT

PennywiseHaving watched The Dark Tower I have decided to have a Stephen King session and would like to watch the latst version of IT which is out on DVD Soon, I may also watch the original 1990 Tim Curry version. The latest film is set in the town of Derry and starts In 1988, with stuttering teenager Bill Denbrough giving his seven-year-old brother, Georgie, a paper sailboat. Georgie sails the boat along the rainy streets Before encountering a clown named “Pennywise the Dancing Clown” with tragic results. The following summer, Bill and his friends (loudmouth Richie Tozier, hypochondriac Eddie Kaspbrak, and timid Stan Uris) run afoul of bully Henry Bowers and his gang. Bill. Having narrowly escaped Bowers Bill convinces his friends to explore a marshy wasteland called the Barrens to look for Georgie.

“New kid” Ben Hanscom discovers that the town has been plagued by unexplained tragedies and child disappearances for centuries. He is targeted by Bowers’ gang for being fat, and flees into the Barrens where he meets Bill’s group. They find the shoe of a missing girl. Meanwhile a member of the pursuing Bowers Gang, Patrick Hockstetter, encounters Pennywise in the Sewer with tragic results. The group also befriends Beverly Marsh, a girl ostracized over rumors of promiscuity and homeschool student Mike Hanlon after defending him from Bowers. They discover that each member of the group has also encountered various terrifying phenomena and they begin to suspect that they are all being terrorized by the same evil entity.

They discover that Pennywise (or “It”) assumes the appearance of what they fear, awakens every 27 years to feed on the children of Derry before returning to hibernation, and moves about by using sewer lines—which all lead to a well currently under the creepy, abandoned house at 29 Neibolt Street. After an attack by Pennywise, the group ventures into the house to confront him, only to be separated and terrorized by Pennywise.

Weeks later, Beverly confronts and incapacitates her sexually abusive father, unfortunately she is abducted by Pennywise. So The Losers Club reassembles and travels back to the Neibolt house to rescue her. Henry Bowers, who has killed his Father also attacks the group but Mike fights back. The Losers descend into the sewers and find It’s underground lair, which contains a mountain of decayed circus props and children’s belongings, around which the bodies of missing children float in mid-air. Pennywise then captures Bill, so The Losers Club decide to confront Pennywise.

The Dark Tower

Darktowerhave recently watched The Dark Tower on DVD. It is based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name and stars Idris Elba and Mathew McConaughey. It begins when Eleven-year-old Jake Chambers experiences visions involving a Man in Black who seeks to destroy a Tower and bring ruin to the Universe, and a Gunslinger who opposes him. Jake’s mother, stepfather, and psychiatrists dismiss these as dreams resulting from the trauma of his father’s death the previous year. At his apartment home in New York City, a group of workers from an alleged psychiatric facility offer to rehabilitate Jake. Jake then discovers a high-tech portal, and travels to a post-apocalyptic world called Mid-World.

In Mid-World, Jake encounters the last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain and discovers that Roland is pursuing the villainous Walter Padick, the Man in Black across a desert, seeking to kill him in revenge for the murder of his father, Steven, and all the other gunslingers. He explains that Walter, over the decades, has been abducting psychic children, as part of a villainous scheme to destroy the Dark Tower, a fabled structure located at the center of the Universe; this will allow beings from the darkness outside to invade and destroy reality.

Roland takes Jake to a village to have his visions interpreted by a seer. Meanwhile Walter Learns of Jake’s escape and journeys to Mid-World discovering from his henchman Sayre that Jake has abilities which could threaten the Tower. So Walter’s minions, the Taheen, attack the village hoping to capture Jake. Eventually Roland and Jake return to Earth. However Walter and the Taheen are not far behind and Walter captures Jake to use his abilities to destroy the Tower. So it is up to Roland to confront Walter and rescue Jake in order to save the Dark Tower…

A sequel to the Dark Tower called “The Drawing of the three” again starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey is also in the works. I have also noticed that Many critics have said that The film not a patch on the original Stephen King novels. I have found this sort of thing with many Film adaptations of novels, there is so much going on in the original novels that it would be nigh on impossible to translate it all to the silver screen and things inevitably get omitted. The Lord of the Rings had a similar issue, I am not saying it’s right but it happens and that explains why I like reading. Still I enjoyed watching it and would like to read the novels next.

David Bowie

Late, great English musician, actor, record producer and arranger David Bowie A.K.A David Robert Jones was born 8 January 1947. He was A major figure for over four decades in the world of popular music, and is is also regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s. He was known for his distinctive voice, and the intellectual depth and eclecticism of his work.

He changed his name to Bowie in the 1960s, to avoid confusion with the then well-known Davy Jones (lead singer of The Monkees), During the 1960′s He tried music and other art forms such as acting, mime, painting, and playwriting. Then In July 1969 he released the song “Space Oddity” which was used by the BBC in their coverage of the moon landing. two albums followed Space Oddity including the song “The Man Who Sold The World,” which was covered by Lulu and Nirvana). His next album was the classic 1972 Glam Rock Concept Album the Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, about a flamboyant androgynous space-age rock star named Ziggy Stardust. This contained Stardust and Ziggy Stardust and challenged the core belief of the rock music of its day” and “creating the biggest cult in popular culture.”

In 1975, Bowie released the song “Fame” and the album Young Americans, which he described as “plastic soul” before releasing the minimalist album Low in 1977-the first of three collaborations with Brian Eno called The Berlin Trilogy. Bowie’s next hit was Ashes to Ashes in 1980 from the album Scary Monsters( and Super Creeps) and Under Pressure with Queen. Then In 1983 he released the album Let’s Dance. throughout the 1980’s 90’s and 2000’s Bowie continued to experiment with new styles, and this continual reinvention, music innovation and Striking visual presentation has helped Bowie remain awesome. He also made an appearance as The Goblin King in the film Labyrinth alongside Jennifer Connelly. In 2003 he released the album Reality then to celebrate his 66th birthday. This was followed in 2013 by his 30th, album The Next Day, and the career spanning retrospective entitled Nothing Has Changed in 2014. Bowie’s latest album “Blackstar” was released 8th January 2016 to coincide with his birthday.

Bowie tragically died 11 January 2016 at the age of 69 after an 18 Month battle with cancer. However, Blackstar, The Next Day, Ziggy Stardust and Nothing has changed and his other albums all remain fitting tributes to a man whose contribution to music was immense and who influenced the course of popular music many times as well as inspiring many generations of musicians. His promotional videos in the 1970s and 80s are regarded as ground-breaking, as are his theatrical live concerts. In the BBC’s 2002 poll of the 100 Greatest Britons, Bowie was placed at number 29 In the UK, he has been awarded nine Platinum album certifications, 11 Gold and eight Silver, and in the US, five Platinum and seven Gold certifications and In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him 39th on their list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”, and 23rd on their list of the best singers of all-time.