Michael 84

Mens Lifestyle Advice & Tips For The Modern Man

Men's Lifestyle advice and tips for the modern man, with a focus on tech, gadgets, alcohol, film and TV. Read reviews on the best products for guys, and check out what's going on in life for the everyday guys, from nights out to relaxing at home.
Saturday, 9th December, 2017

The Grand Tour Season 2

The Grand Tour Season 2 - Clarkson, May And Hammond Are Back

The boys are back!

The Grand Tour is back for a new season on Amazon. I watched the last season and thought it was really good, one of the episodes was pretty poor and dragged on a bit, but overall it’s a very enjoyable show. If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know what it is, it’s Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond doing what they love, cars. It came after their Top Gear show, if you don’t know what happened there then Google it 😉

Anyway like I have said it’s finally back after around a year, I’ve watched the first episode and it was pretty good. Most shows on Amazon and the other on demand services do the all you can eat, boxset style of throwing up the whole series for you to binge watch, but as with the last series, The Grand Tour is old school and the shows are put up weekly. The first one was all about past, present and future, with Clarkson, May and Hammond having cars using petrol, hybrid and electric and going off to Switzerland driving them around in their usual style. The cars in the show were the Lamborghini Aventador and the Rimac Concept One from Croatia, famous for their super cars 😛

You may remember in the news that Richard Hammond crashed a super car, and it was the Rimac in this, the very first episode. They don’t have very good footage of it, the crash happened in a race after the finish line, with Clarkson saying that the footage came from YouTube.

There’s a new feature too. Instead of “The American” driving a car around a track and setting a time, they have 2 celebrities from the same field racing against each other on a track. This week it was David Hasselhoff vs Ricky Wilson, in the former talent show judges showdown (I won’t tell you who won just incase you haven’t seen it). The track is odd because it kind of resembles the track that Chris Evans tried and failed to introduce to the then new Top Gear, as it has a gravel section; Almost like copying? 😉

Anyway, I prefer this to the “Celebrity brain crash” or The American, both of which I didn’t really like.

Is it worth watching? If you liked their Top Gear or the first season, you will like this. If you despite and loathe Clarkson, May or Hammond, then you won’t. I am looking forward to watching episode 2, maybe I’ll keep this post updated with the whole series.


Sunday, 3rd December, 2017

Film Night: The Girl On The Train

The Girl On The Train For Film Night

It’s another film night!

So I finally watched the film which everyone was talking about last year, The Girl On the Train. It’s not something which I’ve wanted to watch, but since I’ve heard everyone talk about the film and also the book, I thought that I might as well give it a watch, and I did.

It’s a mystery thriller drama type of film, so I won’t speak much of what happens since that will give it away, but I am sure most of you have seen it by now. I kind of don’t like these types of films because I like to watch good films over and over, they never get old, but obviously once you’ve seen a mystery then it takes a lot out the film and it’s not as good watching it again.

Just to go into the plot a little bit if you’ve not seen it; It’s basically about a girl who has turned into an alcoholic and commutes into the city (yes by train) every day although she’s lost her job. Along the journey she looks out the window and see’s her ex-husband with his new life with a new woman and child living in her old house, as well as neighbours who she thinks are the perfect couple. The film goes from there.

I have to say that I did like the film, and I’m glad that I watched it. It’s quite dark and gritty at times, and keeps you guessing at times. I can recommend it if you haven’t seen it and you like a mystery.


Friday, 1st December, 2017

World Cup 2018 Draw: Spain Get Portugal!

World Cup 2018 Draw In Russia

It’s a day I’ve been looking forward to for a while, today was the draw for the World Cup 2018!

The seedings and pots were decided a few weeks ago, and were worked out by using only the World Rankings for the first time ever. This meant that Poland managed to get itself as a top seed, as did Russia since they were the host. That left England and Spain in pot 2, which could have meant some really juicy groups. Here’s the groups in full.

Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran

Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark

Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Nigeria, Croatia

Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea

Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England

Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

The biggest match of the group stage? It has to be Spain vs Portugal which will be the opening game for group B, and will be on the 2nd day of the competition; Friday 15th June in the evening.

My Thoughts

Group A – The weakest group, a good thing for Russia and they should be able to get through this one. Egypt could be a dark horse, but with the Russians having home advantage, I think it will be them and Uruguay which go through.

Group B – It could have been a lot worse for Spain, getting Portugal as a top seed meant that they couldn’t get a tricky European team from the 3rd or 4th pot. Spain and Portugal should both go through

Group C – An easy group for France. Australia almost didn’t qualify, Peru only got through as the 5th place team in South America and winning a playoff. Denmark should join France going through.

Group D – Argentina and Croatia should be the favourites, but there could be some surprises with Nigeria playing well, and Iceland’s team spirit coming off the back of good qualifying and a good Euro 2016. I think Croatia will top the group, and Argentina should also qualify.

Group E – Brazil are obvious favourites, but will have to contend with two European teams, Switzerland and Serbia, as well as Costa Rica, who overcame a group with Uruguay, England and Italy in the last World Cup. Another group which could have a shock or two, but I think Brazil will top it and Switzerland has bundles of World Cup experience, so will also go through.

Group F – A tough group, World Champions Germany should go through without too many problems. Sweden are back at a World Cup, South Korea had a woeful one last time out. Mexico are not bad. It will be Germany along with another, the 2nd team is tough to pick, but I will go for Sweden.

Group G – Belgium are the top seeds, and should not have any problems in this group, along with England who are joined by debutants Panama along with Tunisia. Belgium and England meet each other in the final game, both teams should be through by then.

Group H – A fairly weak group along with Group A, Poland have a really bad World Cup record, but should be able to make it through this group. I think Colombia will join them, sending Senegal and Japan home.

What do you think of the groups?

It all kicks off on 14th June and I can’t wait!


Friday, 1st December, 2017

The Incase City Backpack

Incase City Backpack review

At one time or another we all need a bag for modern life today. Whether it’s something for travel, or something you’re going to be using daily, with modern tech these days a bag is almost certainly a must have item for guys. I recently featured Incase on the blog, and I’ve had the chance to have a better look at one of their pieces, this is the Incase City Backpack.

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Thursday, 23rd November, 2017

Incase – Premium Bags & Accessories For All Occasions

Incase Novi Connect 22

We all need a bag or some accessories to carry our things around today; Whether it’s for day to day activities for work, going away for the weekend or going on holiday, we need something to carry our goods and technology around. Incase has the answer, with a large selection of products to enable us to carry our essential things.

Incase designs are simplistic but stylish, and offer intuitive functionality to provide users with a fully integrated mobile experience, and promise a better experience though good design. The products which they have cover every aspect of modern life, with a range of bags including back packs, active bags and camera bags, to travel luggage and protective cases for Macbooks, iPhones and iPads.

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Tuesday, 21st November, 2017

Men’s Christmas Gift Guide 2017

Best Men's Christmas Gift Guide For 2017

It’s that time of the year again! Christmas is coming, which means it’s time you better start your shopping if you haven’t already! Whether you’re buying gifts for someone else or looking for ideas of what’s good to get this year, here is my gift guide for the festive season this year.

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Sunday, 19th November, 2017

Film Night: John Wick

John Wick for Film Night

So for my last film night I wanted to watch an action film, I noticed that John Wick was on Amazon Video so decided to go for that.

It’s not a film I’ve been dying to watch, and I spotted it on the list of films, so I didn’t really have any expectations for this film. It stars Keanu Reeves as John Wick, a retired hitman out for revenge after someone stole his car and killed his dog. The dog was given to him by his wife who passed away with a terminal illness, to help him cope with her death. The person who kills the dog and stole his car happens to be a Russian-American son (Iosef) of a dodgy Russian businessman (Viggo) who previously hired John. John wanted to get out of that life and finally thought he did until all of this happened, so then goes out to get revenge. Viggo knows all about John so knows he’ll be coming for his son, so tries to have him killed.  The film then goes from there, which is largely John killing his way to Iosef.

I thought that the film was pretty good, and since I already know there’s been a sequel (with a 3rd coming too) I’ll look forward to watching that.


Sunday, 12th November, 2017

Film Night: Legend The Krays Story

Film Night - Legend

Hey guys!

So this time round for film night I watched Legend, which is the story about the notorious gangster brothers of London, Reggie and Ronnie Kray, both played by Tom Hardy. I am not a huge fan of gangster films, I do like a few, and the few I like are pretty much timeless classics, i.e. Goodfellas and Scarface. I pretty much knew nothing about the story of the Krays, other than the obvious, so was looking forward to watching this.

It’s been a film on my radar for quite a while, it’s hardly a new film, it’s been out on DVD/Blu Ray for a long time now, but for one reason or another I’ve never bothered to buy it. Since it’s on Amazon Video I decided that I’d finally sit down and watch it.

It’s a decent enough film, which is set in the 1960’s with Reggie being part of the London underground crime scene and his brother Ronnie locked up in a psychiatric hospital where he gets him out and then they set out to control London.

It’s an interesting film to watch if you’re into crime dramas and gangster films, and tells the story pretty well. It’s never going to live up to the films that I previously mentioned, but it’s not a bad film overall.


Sunday, 5th November, 2017

Film Night: Vacation

Vacation Reboot Film Review

Hey!

So for film night this time round I watched Vacation. It’s a remake, or sequel, or successor, or whatever you want to call it, from the original, National Lampoons Vacation. I love the original, and plenty of films from the original series which starred Chevy Chase, the best ones being the original, Christmas and European vacation in the series, and the Vegas one wasn’t too bad either. As with everything that gets remade, they just don’t make them like they used to, so although I wanted to watch this, I wasn’t holding my breath for it being brilliant.

So fast forwards from the original film to today and Rusty Griswald (played by Ed Helms) is now a married grown up with two teenage kids, with the younger one bullying the older one who’s a bit of a misfit. The whole family isn’t very close, with his wife Debbie (played by Christina Applegate) thinking their marriage has lost it’s spark. They usually go to Cheboygan Michigan on their vacation which the whole family secretly hate, but instead go to Walley World, and drive across country like Rusty did all those years ago.

So the whole film is based on that as the original, with plenty of trips down memory lane with similar funny situations including random stop-offs  at different places.

I actually think this is a good film! You’ve got to sort of forget it’s a remake/reboot, and judge it kind of as a film on it’s own. If you love the original series of films, then it’s probably never going to compare, because you can’t get that kind of humour or film, or Chevy Chase anymore. Having said that, Chevy Chase makes a cameo in the film, as does Beverley D’Angelo, and is kind of funny. Ed Helms is really funny in the film, there are some real laugh out loud moments. The story line isn’t brilliant, but it’s watchable, even if you haven’t seen the original.

One of the on-going jokes in the film is the song Kiss From A Rose by Seal, which the film ends on, so be prepared to be singing that song for a while after the film. Ed Helms is a great singer! 😀


Sunday, 29th October, 2017

Risky Business – Film Night

Risky Business For Film Night

So for my last film night I watched a really old film which I hadn’t seen before, it’s older than I am! I’m talking about Risky Business which stars Tom Cruise, and this was one of his first films back in 1983.

He plays a character called Joel, and is from a fairly rich family in Chicago. He’s in high school and is high achieving and is ready to go to college, with one of his friends telling him that he needs to have some fun in his life. His father wants him to go to Princeton University, and has arranged for someone from Princeton to come to the house to interview him while his parents are out of town.

His friends encourage him to explore his new found freedom, and one calls up a prostitute on his behalf, who shows up to his house, but he soon discovers that it’s actually a transvestite who he has to pay to get rid of, who gives him a number of someone who’d he’d prefer more, a girl called Lana. He calls her up and she spends the night, asks Joel for $300 which he can’t afford so goes to the bank. When he gets back to the house she’s gone, and so is one of his mam’s ornaments, an expensive glass egg.

He tracks down Lana to a hotel who begs to get into the car Joel is driving, his dad’s Porsche, and her pimp Guido pulls a gun and they make a getaway. Lana then tells Joel she’s done with her pimp, they go back to his house and she spends the night, he’s got to leave for school so reluctantly leaves her there, and when he gets back finds she’s there with a friend who’s also a prostitute. Guido tracks Lana down to Joel’s house, who tells Joel that he better not piss him off. Lana gives Joel the idea of turning the house into a brothel, which Joel rejects, but when they all go out and Joel accidentally puts his dad’s Porsche into Lake Michigan, he changes his mind, and the story goes from there.

Overall I liked the film, it has that iconic scene of Tom Cruise dancing in his white shirt and boxer shorts in the living room while lip syncing to a song, which has remained one of the stand out moments of his career. The film is kind of like a very early American Pie type, coming of age boy with some friends and girls in on the action, and is rated 18 probably because of the full frontal nudity from girls in the film. I always think that these types of films can’t really compete with the American Pie generation, it was a different time, but still this is a watchable film and is pretty good.

p.s. the fashion and in particular Joel’s is pretty terrible, but very 80’s 😀

That Risky Business Dance Scene