THE BOX TROLLS (2014) Rated: PG

Box Trolls

In 2009, Laika LLC made their mark on the world of stop-motion animation with Coraline, a wholly amazing first attempt a full-length Feature film. After trying but not quite managing to live up to the standards of Coraline with ParaNorman (2012), Laika then created The Box Trolls. Is this as good as Coraline was? Well, here is what I have to say about it.

Based on the novel Here Be Monsters by Alan Snow, The Box Trolls begins in the Victorian town of Cheesebridge where one night, a baby boy is seemingly snatched from his father by the titular creatures. The infant is taken to the Box Trolls’ underground lair on the outskirts of Cheesebridge where he is named Eggs and raised as one of their own.

However, this leads the scheming Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) to convince the cheese-obsessed Lord Portley-Rind (Jared Harris) that the Box Trolls are a menace to the community. Although the safety of the inhabitants of Cheesebridge isn’t high on the Lord’s priority list, he still commissions Snatcher and his cohorts to exterminate the Box Trolls and the townspeople not to go out after dark.

Ten years later, the Box Trolls have proven to be far from dangerous, just timid to the point of nocturnal and scavenge for unwanted items that they turn into crazy inventions. Their adopted human Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) has become one of their kind to the point that he believes himself to be a Box Troll. However, their scavenging nights are becoming under increasing threat from the wrath of Snatcher and their numbers are decreasing fast.

Eggs and his family are seen one night by Lord Portley-Rind’s inquisitive daughter Winnie (Elle Fanning) but this only results in her incurring Snatcher’s wrath as well and her father ignores her. At the same time, another Box Troll is taken by Snatcher and to make Eggs’ life even more difficult, he encounters Winnie who is determined to find out more about the Box Trolls.

The next day, Eggs saves one of his Box Troll friends and ends up saving Winnie after she follows him to Snatcher’s lair but this leaves him with no choice but to reveal the truth about his friends to her. Although disappointed that everything she thought she knew was a lie, Winnie is relieved that the Box Trolls are harmless and more scared of humans than humans are of them. However, if they are to prove that to the rest of Humanity then Winnie has to teach Eggs that he is human and how to act as such. Of course, Eggs has a much bigger secret to reveal to Winnie and they still have the dreaded Archibald Snatcher to worry about.

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On July 14th, I went to the Hyper Japan Convention in Tobacco Dock, East London. Hyper Japan is billed as the biggest Japanese Culture event in Britain. As the name suggests, the Convention covers everything Japanese though there were one or two stalls that embraced both Japanese and Korean culture as well. Even the food was mainly Japanese but I restricted myself to sushi, specifically nigiri which is a solid lump of rice with a piece of smoked salmon on top, I do like the stuff though. The best part was trying mochi ice-cream, (mochi is sweet rice cake made from glutinous mochigome rice with an ice-cream filling). I have always had an interest in Japanese cuisine and culture and this really was the best place to be to find out more. Naturally, a lot of the stalls were selling merchandise relating to and including Anime and Manga and most of the visitors were dressed as anime or manga characters.

There were a lot of stalls and shops for such a packed area so it is impossible to pick a favourite place to go at the Convention and I ignored the Hyper Live Stage and Theatre in favour of exploration. There were a wide variety of shops overall, each focussing on a different aspect of Japanese culture including a shop that sold kimonos and one selling Japanese cookware and crockery where I acquired a nice new mug and a genuine Japanese one too! There was even a small restaurant selling hakumai (white rice) and genmai (brown rice) and sake but I didn’t go in. I did acquire a free brochure from Eat-Japan which provides the location of all known Japanese restaurants in the UK as well as a glossary pertaining to several well-known Japanese food products and where to get them in this country and even a couple of interesting recipes, including a Japanese take on Chilli Con Carne.

The event attracts people from all over the world as I spoke to a few foreign, notably American, visitors while I was there. There are also replicas of the 19th century American schooner Sea Lark and the 18th century trade ship Three Sisters moored outside the Main Entrance to Tobacco Dock and the nearest train stations are Tower Hill, Shadwell and Wapping. Not bad for a 19th Century dock that once endured an ill-fated stint as a shopping centre!

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Chilli Con Carne (2nd Attempt)




  • 280g of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 240g of Kidney Beans
  • 41g of Schwartz’ Chilli Con Carne Mix
  • 450g Beef Mince
  • 125ml/4floz of Cold Water
  • 1 cupful of rice
  • a pinch of salt


  1. Fill up a measuring jug with the cold water
  2. Empty the sachet of Chilli mix into the jug and mix with the water
  3. Pour the beef mince into a frying pan and place on a hot hob at its highest temperature
  4. Fry the mince and stir until golden brown
  5. Pour in the Cilli mix and the chopped tomatoes
  6. Drain the kidney beans then pour them into the frying pan with the rest of the ingredients
  7. Pour the chilli con carne into a large bowl and place in the oven on a low heat (125 degrees C) for 45-50 minutes.
  8. Boil up some water in a pan and pour in the rice then add the salt
  9. Boil the rice, stirring occasionally, then…

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Chilli Con Carne with Rice (1st Attempt)

Ingredients: 1 Sachet of Colman’s Chilli Con Carne mix 150 ml Water 1 Onion 1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes 1 Tin of Kidney beans Beef Mince Rice Instructions: Defrost the mince in the fridge overn…

Source: Chilli Con Carne with Rice (1st Attempt)

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Robot Wars Controversial Battles: Part 2!


Hopefully I’m back to good things with this. I apologise in advance for any issues with this article, currently writing this at 3am after another horrid night’s sleep. Heyho!

Welcome back to Robot Wars. The 2016 reboot is progressing fairly well to be honest, and I’m taking the time to go through the original run with a fine comb. This series will look at the dodgey, controversial and sometimes outright wrong Judges decisions which happened on the show. Remember it is a game show first and foremost, so shit will happen for entertainment. So what is on today’s list? I have five battles for you guys, all pretty controversial battles. Let us begin with a similar note from last time!

Series 4 Semi Final B: Stinger vs Panic Attack. 

I went through the battle which knocked Stinger out of the Series 4 championships, on a very controversial decision. But many…

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Robot Wars Legacy: Controversial Battles! The Series.


I said I’d keep to the new rota didn’t I? This is a new part covering the original Robot Wars show. My last two articles reviewing the original series were received rather well, and because it seems people love debate and drama, I figured I’d keep that going. This will be part of a series where I’ll go through the more questionable Judges Decisions in the original run of Robot Wars, and view what made them so controversial. I’ll also give my viewpoint on the battle as I remember it, and wonder who I think deserved the win. It’s a trip down memory lane, but many are still talked about to this day.


Firstly, a bit of background information for those who didn’t watch much of RW. Often, robotic combat ends without either side being able to knock each other out. Whenever a battle ended with no clear winner, a…

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Home-made Spaghetti Bolognese

Ingredients: Butter/Margarine/Oil (I used Butter for this) Beef (or Lamb) Mince 1 Small Onion 1 Tin/Carton of Chopped Tomatoes 1 Packet of Schwartz Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe Mix 3 Medium sized Mus…

Source: Home-made Spaghetti Bolognese

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