Movie Monday! Gnomeo & Juliet

July 18, 2011

The Challenge – Movie Monday

Id like to try something new on my blog. I enjoy watching films but dont really get the time to watch them. I may only watch a film because there is something i really want to watch in the cinema or maybe a few friends are coming around so i will throw on a film. But other than that i dont watch too many films. Usually i would spend my time on the internet or watch some tv show.

Over the past few months i have bought a fair few films which i have yet to watch, some which still have there wrapping on! What i was thinking to get me motivated to watch a few more films is to turn it into a sort of ‘challenge’, similar to why my photo challenge was set up, to simply increase my use out of my camera.

If i set up a challenge for myself to watch films and then review them or talk about them in some way then i can finally get through those films i have been neglecting to watch and i also benefit by getting to add something extra to my blog on a more regular basis. I am thinking that i will start off small, with just one film a week. I will watch a film at some stage throughout the week and talk about it the following Monday.

I have a few films in mind that i want to begin with, they include; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, American Gangster, Public Enemies & Sherlock Holmes. I have always wanted to watch these films but whenever i thought of watching them i just couldn’t bother with it!

So i already know the first few films that i am going to start with but i know there are plenty of films that i have not watched that i really should have. If you have any particular favourites, let me know either by commenting here or on my twitter! Maybe i will put up a checklist and mark them off as i go along!

Gnomeo & Juliet

To kick things off i will talk about the film i watched last night, i didn’t plan on talking about this film at all when i sat down to watch it last night, but since i thought of this challenge earlier on today, i will take this opportunity to start this challenge off on the right foot!

So the film i watched is called Gnomeo & Juliet, and i am sure that you can tell from the title that it is a spin of of the popular Shakespeare play Romeo & Juliet. I always hated this play, most likely because when i was in school we had to study line for line the play and completely understand each metaphor and theme, school pretty much sucked the life out of whatever interest may have been in it. I would probably never have chosen to read the play but i would likely of watched the modern version of the film as it would give me an insight into what the play was, but again school ruined that by making us watch the old version of the play over and over again and then finally allowing us to watch the new version!

Anyway, Gnomeo & Juliet is an animated film by Starz Animation. It is a great entertaining version of the original story of Romeo & Juliet. The plot of the film simply put is, there is a war between two families who live in neighboring gardens, the two families are Montague and Capulet, Red vs Blue. They film is hilarious from start to finish, from lawnmower races to a brilliant soundtrack including plenty of songs by Elton John. And did i mention they are Gnomes!

I dont want to give away too much as i am sure plenty of people havn’t seen this film yet as it was only out earlier this year. The film has plenty of famous actors including James McAvoy who plays the role of Xavier in the latest X-men film, other actors include Matt Lucas, Michael Caine, Ozzy Osbourne and Hulk Hogan. It is a great film and i would definitely recommend you have a watch of it. Below is the trailer of the film, if you have seen it, let me know what you think in the comments below!


July 09, 2011

Over the last few weeks Google have been updating everything! All their websites from Google, to Maps to their new social network Google+ & the new look Gmail, everything has changed and i was wondering if they would touch YouTube. Today i saw that Google have been working on a huge overhaul for YouTube and from what i have seen so far, its a great update.

The new update is code-named ‘CosmicPanda’, i have had a quick look at the main new features which come with this next update to YouTube. There are 3 main parts that i would use with the new update and they have introduced huge GUI changes. The sections which have changed the most are user profiles, the video page where you actually watch the videos and then they have also updated playlists slightly.

Welcome To YT CosmicPanda

Each user as you know have their own channel, if you are a partner with YouTube you are allowed to change the default thumbnail of each video to any image you like, with the new update to the channels it takes advantage of these pictures, the channel page shows the latest videos uploaded just by displaying the thumbnails of the videos. There are a few different options you can have for your page now, one is to simply show all the video thumbnails, another is to show a list of  you playlists. Below is how the old YouTube channels look with the new version below it (click them to see a bigger version!)

YT User Profile Old

YT User Profile New (CosmicPanda)


A huge difference as you can see, but looking through other YouTube channels will give you a better feel of the other options that are now available to YouTube users! If you haven’t already noticed, Google have also updated the navigation bar, its much more simple looking.

New Youtube Navigation (CosmicPanda)

The page itself where you watch all your videos has been given a big update. The video player bar is now black along with a large black strip going the full width of the screen behind the video, the black strip works on the same principle of the ‘turn the light off’ feature a lot of sites use, it makes you focus more on the content they want you to, such as the video. The related videos to the right of the page have also been changed to a list of related thumbnails. Images old and new below! (click them to see a bigger version!)

YT Video Page Old

YT Video Page New (CosmicPanda)


The third big change that has been made to the site is a feature of the video play page too, it is the playlist feature. Instead of having an annoying video strip along the bottom of your screen as a pop up, it has now been change to a video strip below the video. Images below old and new (click them to see a bigger version!)

YT Video Playlist Old

YT Video Playlist Old (CosmicPanda)

I really like the changes that have been made. Another great thing that you can now do is when you are watching a video, you can click into your account page or go onto the channel of the video you are watching or onto another persons page who has a left a comment on the video you are watching, if you do thing the video you are currently watching will continue to play at the top left of the page! After you are done browsing you can click the video again and it will bring you back to the video page! One of the greatest features of this update i think, but it would be great if it worked the same way if you try to search, at the moment it does not allow it.

Browse site while watching videos - Youtube CosmicPanda

A great change for YouTube, you can read about these features on Googles support fourms. You can also opt in yourself if you want to have a good look at this new update, all you have to do is go to and click Try it Out!

Into To YT CosmicPanda

Edinburgh City Panorama

June 20, 2011

The last time i was over in Edinburgh i took the opportunity to grab a few pictures when walking about. I ended up on a small mountain that had a great view of the city, the only camera which i took with me on the trip was my iPhone!

I knew the iPhone camera was great and would do the job of taking a panorama. I took about 10 individual photographs using the HDR function on the iPhone, it gives the image a slightly better colour by adjusting the brightness levels.

Once i got home from Edinburgh i imported all the images off my phone and into Photoshop and then used a feature called Photomerge. Photomerge will analyse all the photos and detect where they should join up. The end result will be a very jagged edged picture, all you have to do is crop the main part of the image and you have your panorama!

Below is a small version of the Edinburgh City panorama, you can either click the image or the link below for a larger version.

Edinburgh City Panorama

View larger version.

I got an Honours Degree!

June 14, 2011

Today my results came out for the exams i sat about a month ago. I am always nervous about getting results, even if i thought i done well, there is always some factor of nerves present!

I was hoping that i would get at least the same results for this degree as i did last year in my other degree. In my last degree i got a 2.1 or a Merit 1 if you like, i was hoping that i would get that, but i ended up getting a 2.2 which is a Second Class Honours Degree Grade 2 (its the same as a 2.2 / merit 2 except its honour level).

Even though i didn’t get exactly what  i wanted, i cannot complain. I am delighted with how i have done,  once i got an honour in my degree i was happy! Here is a breakdown of my results for the entire year.

College Results Sean Lucas

Usually the way the results work is that they are released around 5.00 pm and everyone gets an email to our student accounts telling us how to access them and what our login details are. This time for some reason the emails were sent a lot earlier, i got mine around 1.00 pm.

As soon as i got my results i updated my C.V. , Up until recently i didnt have a current C.V. but since i was applying for some jobs i needed to make a new one. So from now on since i have the C.V. i am going to try and keep it updated, maybe once a month if i have anything new i need to add, i will edit it into it.

Four long years and i have come out with great results in my opinion. I first got my 2.1 (Merit 1) degree this time last year and now i have gone on to complete this last degree achieving a Second Class honours, i am just delighted!

I will be picking up my official degree parchment later this year. Now all i have to do is go and celebrate and think about my next step of my life!