Thursday, March 04, 2010

Chew TV Film Reviews: January 2009 Winner BALL STOP April 2009 THE BAD MOUSE

Again, I found another nostalgic work on my computer, these are the two reviews out of twenty or so that I wrote, but these two won the monthly competition.  they can be found at

The audience were young people so I attempted ridiculous prose that would make them laugh, comedy was a prominent part in almost every film made on the site so I felt the necessity to unite the mindframes with my own so that the review could reflect the audience and the subject matter.

January Review:

He had a Ball making this! (I couldn’t resist)

I am not sure if it’s a by-product of delirium form the flu bit I adored this short ‘horror’ comedy. It shows how Pandora’s Box is just too curious not to open, and why you regret it later. After receiving the mysterious box a boy takes out the ball with the word ‘love me’ on it. Confused and busy he just throws it in the bin, a mistake and a half. When he notices the ball has disappeared he promptly gets attacked by a variety of balls. Pearce can definitely take up an acting career, that fall looked completely genuine and was spectacular. The facial expressions spoke louder than words ever could so I am glad Nesbeth didn’t try to force a script in. The directing also earns Nesbeth respect, the cuts slink into one another and the timing, except perhaps being a little slow when the character list the head band, is well paced, a good example being the ping pong scene when it goes from fast to slow for the final attack, like in matrix style. I liked the narrative as it is everything a narrative should be, it gives a definition of the character, he’s a worker, but not a life story as it isn’t needed. It creates tension; where did the box come from? It has conflict; the balls attacking, and best of all daft ending. The ending though could have been better if they circled the narrative and had a reappearance of the original ‘love me’ ball, or at least the words. All in all, a fabulous film that sparks with oddity but won’t leave you scratching your head, something you can enjoy when you want to chill for a couple minutes.

This month we asked Kent Upshon, a Director of Twofour , one of our partners to judge the top review for January and the winner is as follows......
Natalie Venning- For her review of ‘Ball Stop’
Kent wrote:

“Excellent. Most reviewers make the mistake of telling the reader more about themselves than the film they’ve just watched. Not here. This review gives an honest assessment without resorting to glib interpretation. Informative and engaging, the style is of someone genuinely enthused by the content on offer. But best of all, it made me want to watch the film”.

April Review:

The bad mouse: Rodent Rascal and Demise

An animation of a pest in a house that leaves mess everywhere and the emotional consequence on the family when they try to rid themselves of said bad mouse. This animation is presented 2d, with a children’s cartoon style narration; this decision f production works well with the narrative as the juxtaposition of a childish aspect for an audience of teenagers who constantly try to act mature is not patronising but amusing. I really enjoyed this short, the voice kept the steady rhythm expected of a child’s story-telling throughout. I fell in love with the mouse from the start, its stereotypical image is adorable, I expect this was the desired effect as it made all the mischievous acts something to laugh at and think sweet, whereas, when it actually happens, it is a pain and you quickly get out the traps. I like how Sykes gave an assortment of catching devices in the plot as it kept it real, plus the ending of the ‘it’s brain’s came out’ reinforces the true audience in contrast to what the film looks like. I find it very difficult to say something bad about The Bad Mouse, Sykes has been completely constant in the film in relation to target audience and the animation itself so the artistic impression drawing is clearly iconic of what it should be but retains the juvenile not-quite-perfect appearance that is vital for the film. I raise my hat to Mr Sykes on his clever and quite philosophical film, or at least I would if I were wearing a hat, but I am inside and it would give me hat hair. :P

many many more can be found in archives

Assignment 1; Histories: Academia verses Practitioner.

Academic definition:

“PR is about managing communications in order to build good relationships and understanding between an organisation and its most important audiences.” (Gordon, 1997: 5)

Practitioner definition:

“PR is the discipline that looks after reputation with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.” (PRCA definition, 2004: 6.)
Objective: discern which of the above definitions are most appropriate for PR.

Public Relations is a developing career, it is still young in terms of the time it has been recognised as an occupation. When PR emerged it shared a quantity of theories with other professions, thus creating a change in definitions depending on the standpoint of the practise.

Those teaching the theology of Public Relations will need to focus on an ethical perspective, so that students may enter the vocation with an understanding mind of what is expected from both company and audience; while people already in the work of PR will be more attentive on how to communicate between client and publics. The latter already understand the perspectives on their employment, and so the definition of PR to them would be focused on maintaining the attention of the target audience for the client, not the audience itself.

The Academic one leans on the idea that the target audience is the important aspect in the equation of PR communication; whereas the Practitioner definition describes the ongoing communication used by PR practitioners and highlights the importance of mutual benefits for both company and audience. This may be because the academic can take an objective view of the execution of PR in use as they do not have the responsibility of accounts and financial reviews, therefore can perceive the campaign set up without the profitable benefit.

One could suppose that both definitions could be viewed as Grunig’s [A]Symmetric theories (1984: 147). The Academic; with its view of the publics importance has a Asymmetric ideology to public relations; whereby the company is in a mutual position as their audience (or stockholders, retailers, etc) to possess the power of control over said company.

Conversely, the Practitioner definition can be alleged as Symmetric. It quotes the term ‘mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics,’ explaining that both require information and feedback from the other to continue on.

However, this definition appears to have the tone of an afterthought for the publics. The definition begins with the role of ‘looks after reputation’. One may consider the effect of this discourse, psychologically we as humans categorise and prioritise; the easiest route to this are lists. The definition has phrases, or more obvious key words, in a specific list: Reputation, support, influence, maintain, mutual, organisation and finally publics. The inclusion of these words show a respect and awareness to each one, but their order provides knowledge of the thought process when preparing a campaign.

The argument at this point is that the Academic also ends with ‘audiences’ and leaves it at the end of the definition, the ‘final thought.’ Alas, lexically they still differ greatly, Practitioner used ‘Publics’ which include a multitude of societies and communities aside from audience, whereas Academics specified ‘Audience;’ the latter lacks the financial necessity that attaches publics such as shareholders and employees, for example, to the organisation, causing the effect that the PR is focused on primarily on the target of the campaign, no-one else.

In Conclusion, the Practitioner definition seems most appropriate as it negotiates the many outlooks and skills required of Public Relations practitioner within the industry. The Academic definition left wanting in regards of differentiating between departments in the organisation that the PR practitioner shall work in.


TENCH, Ralph. YEOMANS, Liz. 2006. Exploring Public Relations. Essex. Pearson Education Limited.


PARTRIDGE, Eric. [revised by WHITCUT, Janet] 1942. Usage And Abusage: A Guide To Good English [third edition: 1999] London. Penguin Books Ltd.

CARDWELL, M and FLANAGAN, C. 2003. Psychology AS The Complete Companion. Cheltenham. Nelson Thornes Ltd.

Self Assesment:

Pros: I found I could appeal to the differences within the definitions given and had, in my own opinion, understood what was meant by the assignment task of which would be more ‘appropriate’.

Cons: Although I was intrigued by this assignment I found it very difficult to articulate, I feel as though I may have allowed myself to ramble within the discussion and could have got my point across better plus gone into the use of mutual and how this was an important word etc.

Self motivated task: plan assignments beforehand. Shirk the habit of writing out the thought process during the essay.

Beaches, Bikinis, Nightclubs and Ninjas

In a society that interacts at all times of day we need to be ready for any surprise, good or bad. Sunshine in July will entice that Bikini out of the drawer, and we all understand the dangers of the walk home after a Club with the girls. Natalie Venning signs up for Tang Soo Do Martial Arts Classes to find out the benefits of being fighting fit.

To have a body to be proud to lie on the beach with and knowledge to disarm any attackers why not try a different style of exercise class? Martial Arts is a well established athletics routine in most countries; Tang Soo Do originated from Korea, and works on fitness and intimidation in its style. “It’s a way to keep fit and meet new people,” a man told me with a friendly smile as he handed me a leaflet.

I had always been interested in taking a martial arts class, but it had seemed so surreal to imagine myself fighting like you see Lucy Liu in movies. Except when I held that leaflet in my hand signing up appeared so easy to do.

As I walked into that first class I was embarrassed that I wouldn’t be fit enough to keep up as I had not been one to exercise before; almost to the point that I wanted to turn away, but curiosity kept me there. The senior class members lined up in a grid as the instructor called attention, so the other rookies and I took our places behind them.

We were led through a half hour warm up, including jogging on the spot and more press-ups than I thought my body capable, and then onto stretches. After, although my breathing had noticeably quickened, instead of regretting joining I was feeling active and ready.

Martial Art philosophy is strict with the view that your knowledge and power should only be used for self defence; therefore we were first taught how to ward off attackers. The senior members partnered with the new; holding onto them as if they were strangling them. I was then instructed on how to escape the six foot, broad shouldered man in an orange belt holding tightly onto my neck. I didn’t think my untrained five foot frame would ever have enough power to accomplish the technique.

Never the less I dropped my weight on a bent knee and pushed my hips and arm up inside his arms, his grip failed and I was free. The surprise of my achievement felt wonderful.

The first class only gave me a small taste of Tang Soo Do and I was much more eager for the second class the following week. Another self defence manoeuvre was shown to us, a cross grab on the wrist. Again I doubted my ability, another man this time with a green belt was holding my wrist with such strength I didn’t think anyone could get out. But following our instructors words I twisted my hips and turned my wrist out of his hand; and then could not believe just how natural it felt to shoot a ‘knife hand’ back at his temple as a counter strike.

I found Tang Soo Do to not be confusing at all, and even when I was unsure exactly what to do the level of respect that the members hold for each other keeps the atmosphere jovial and they are always keen to help, even walk through the different stages in a technique with you so that it can done correctly; but never have I felt pressured or patronised during the many times that the senior members have had to help me.

To have the knowledge to protect myself makes me feel confident to go places at any time of day; not only confidence in security but even in body confidence and now have the daring to more than I used to. And I even feel better, emotionally and physically since starting the classes.

If you want to join a martial arts class check out your local leisure centre and community hall listings to see what is available to you.

For more information on In Sung Kwan Tang Soo Do visit

Or join their facebook page ‘ISK Martial Arts.’

A Great Shake In The Fair Direction

Greatshakes, of Falmouth, embraces the fair-trade nation in its hot beverages and plan to extend this green ethos to its vast array of ingredients for milkshakes in the future.

Creating the idea for his company with the help of a friend Steve Pomfret opened ‘Greatshakes’ four and a half years ago. Mr Pomfret remembers the beginning with serving simple banana milkshakes and also the strange combinations of the 40 plus flavours that he provides in the shop.

Greatshakes is obviously popular for its namesake star drink but Mr Pomfret catered for all with a coffee, tea and hot chocolate machine on the premises, each available with different flavourings, some enhanced with syrups.

The 40 plus flavours of milkshake are sourced from a great deal of branded products for the convenience of customers taste and trust; but Mr Pomfret decided that he would stock Fair-trade when possible, such as the Coffee and Tea. He has also accumulated fair-trade chocolate bars in the stores for the shop.

“We do have fair-trade supplies in the shop but I am really looking to stock and use more in the future,” hopes Mr Pomfret.

The store also complies with Customer requests when they bring in ingredients that are not in stock. If you were to bring in a slice of cake from home or one of the very few chocolate bars that are not already on the list of ingredients then Greatshakes will oblige to work their everyday magic and create a beverage from it.

“Customers have brought in some weird things to try, one had a vegetable curry, it really wasn’t good,” laughs Mr Pomfret at the memory, “within reason we will blend anything if the customer wants a specific ingredient we do not have.”

The newest flavour available is Farleys Rusks. But Greatshakes is always thinking about and adding to its long list of wonderful and intriguing flavours. Suggestions are always welcome and forms are available at the counter.