Monthly Archives: December 2019

My Top Ten Films of the Decade – For your to disagree with! (No spoilers!)

FYI: There will be no spoilers here! And its not so much a review of each movie, just the list and a short comment.

This was a difficult list to come up with as there were so many good films during the last decade. To be fair there was also a fair amount of shit – Aladdin, Robocop, Movie 43, R.I.P.D. – I could go on!

I’ve purposely avoided all Marvel, DC, Star Trek and Star Wars films as they’d pretty much film the top ten. Not because they’re necessarily great films (apart from all Star Wars, Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok and Wonder Woman) but because I enjoyed most of them a lot and my bias would want them in the list. Instead I’ve gone for films I enjoyed and/or I considered well made and well acted.

There’s many films I could have included but wanted, with a struggle, to limit it to ten. Those who didn’t make the cut get an honourable mention at the end.

So here, from ten to one, is my top ten movie of the decade. Bring on your disagreements or love.

If something is chasing you… split up.

10. The Cabin in the Woods

Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin, where they get more than they bargained for, discovering the truth behind the cabin in the woods.

Director: Drew Goddard
Producers: Joss Whedon
Writers: Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard
Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams
Year: 2011
My Rating: 8
IMDb Rating: 7

This is the marmite of films. I’ve seen so many people say they hated it and an equal amount say they love it. Personally I thought it was fun. There were some bits that annoyed me and it was insanely predictable with MASSIVE gives away as to what was coming – the eagle for s start! It would have been nice to see it turned into a series.


For the locals on Erin Island, it’s the final round

9. Grabbers

When an island off the coast of Ireland is invaded by bloodsucking aliens, the heroes discover that getting drunk is the only way to survive.

Directed by Jon Wright
Produced by Tracy Brimm, Kate Myers, Martina Niland
Written by Kevin Lehane
Starring: Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley, Russell Tovey, Lalor Roddy, David Pearse
Year: 2012
My Rating: 8
IMDb Rating: 6.3

This film is silly but it’s good silly. It’s old fashioned B-movie silly and it made me instantly love it. Everything about it works – the script, acting, setting. The plot, the romance, the stereotypes – it all works and it makes for an enjoyable modern classic.

When darkness falls, the Guardians will rise.

8. Rise of the Guardians

When the evil spirit Pitch launches an assault on Earth, the Immortal Guardians team up to protect the innocence of children all around the world.

Director: Peter Ramsey
Producers: Christina Steinberg, Nancy Bernstein
Screenplay: David Lindsay-Abaire
Based on: The Guardians of Childhood by William Joyce
Starring: Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin. Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, Jude Law
Year: 2012
My Rating: 8
IMDb Rating: 7.3

I. LOVED. THIS. FILM. Since watching it I’ve been meaning to read the books but kept forgetting. The film is sweet, funny and made me think of my childhood. Growing up my nan would tell me of these characters and where the lived an d how they all got on and worked together. I don’t remember her mentioned Jack Frost or the Easter Bunny but Sandman, Santa Claus and more were all there in her stories and it filled my dreams. Watching this reminds me of those days.


Who’s in control?

7. Money Monster

Financial TV host Lee Gates and his producer Patty are put in an extreme situation when an irate investor takes them and their crew as hostage.

Director: Jodie Foster
Producers: Lara Alameddine, George Clooney, Daniel Dubiecki, Grant Heslov
Screenplay: Alan Di Fiore, Jim Kouf, Jamie Linden
Story: Alan Di Fiore, Jim Kouf
Starring: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell, Dominic West, Caitriona Balfe
Year: 2016
My Rating: 9
IMDb Rating: 6.5

I thought this was so well done. Jack O’Connell plays a great role and I really ended up feeling for him. Jodie Foster did a great job with the direction. I’m not much of a Julia Roberts fan, she has her moments, but in this she was fantastic, as was George Clooney.

In 2004, a devastating tsunami hit southeast Asia. This is one family’s true story of survival.

6. The Impossible

The story of a tourist family in Thailand caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Director: J. A. Bayona
Producers: Álvaro Augustin, Belen Atienza, Enrique López Lavigne
Screenplay: Sergio G. Sánchez
Story: María Belón
Starring: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland
Year: 2012
My Rating: 9
IMDb Rating: 7.6

So Brad and I sat down and watched this with two friends. As the closing credits came up all four of us sniffed, secretly wiped away tears and in our bestest manly voices said “yeah, so that was really good.” And it was. Scenery was spectacular and Tom Holland gave a great performance.

Don’t Let Go

5. Gravity

Two astronauts work together to survive after an accident leaves them stranded in space.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Producer: Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman
Writers: Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón
Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Year: 2013
My Rating: 10
IMDb Rating: 7.7

For different reasons I ended up seeing this about six times at the cinema and it was top of my list when the DVD came out. If only for the first ten minutes! I cannot stick Sandra Bullock. Her range is small and limits her to two characters styles yet more often not the sticks to just the one – even when she should be using the other. In this we’re introduced to a third Sandra and it’s by far the best.

Just because you’re invited, doesn’t mean you’re welcome

4. Get Out

A young African-American visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.

Director: Jordan Peele
Producers: Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr., Jordan Peele
Writer: Jordan Peele
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephen Root
Year: 2017
My Rating: 9
IMDb Rating: 7.7

I don’t know how I feel about Jordan Peele as a director yet but that’s irrelevant as this film was brilliant. It got a nine because the writing and acting was excellent, the direction not so much. There were a lot of errors in this that bugged me but it still deserved it’s nine regardless.

The Most Dangerous Place On Earth

3. Everest

The story of New Zealand’s Robert “Rob” Edwin Hall, who on May 10, 1996, together with Scott Fischer, teamed up on a joint expedition to ascend Mount Everest.

Director:: Baltasar Kormákur
Producers: Baltasar Kormákur, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Nicky Kentish Barnes, Tyler Thompson, Brian Oliver
Writers: William Nicholson, Simon Beaufoy
Starring: Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Emily Watson
Year: 2015
My Rating: 10
IMDb Rating: 7.1

Over the years Jason Clarke and Josh Brolin have give us some incredible performances and this is up there with the greatest. I remember hearing about this tragedy as it unfolded and had a friend who was planning his Everest climb. He delayed it for a few years after this but finally did it in 2001. When he got home he told about his experience but until watching this movie I never really appreciated what he’d gone through. This film is a must watch in my opinion.

You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s…

2. Gone Girl

With his wife’s disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it’s suspected that he may not be innocent.

Director: David Fincher
Producers: Arnon Milchan, Joshua Donen, Reese Witherspoon, Ceán Chaffin
Screenplay: Gillian Flynn
Based on: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Kim Dickens
Year: 2015
My Rating: 10
IMDb Rating: 8.1

I read the book of this… actually no I didn’t… I read the first few chapters. Brad had already told me there was a twist and within the first chapters I’d guessed it. Because I knew the twist I wasn’t interested in the book. If I’ve worked it out that quickly I’m not going to enjoy. The film was incredible! Rosamund Pike was insanely brilliant, as is Affleck and Kim Dickens. Actually, Kim Dickens was incredibly. This could very easily have got to the number one spot.

The movie was fake. The mission was real.

1. Argo

Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1979.

Director: Ben Affleck
Producer: Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Grant Heslov
Screenplay: Chris Terrio
Based on: The Master of Disguise by Antonio J. Mendez and The Great Escape by Joshuah Bearman
Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman
Year: 2015
My Rating: 10
IMDb Rating: 7.1

Okay so ignore all the historical inaccuracies as there are many. The film is insanely biased towards the American’s. As usual they’re casting themselves as the heroes and the rest of the world as the villains.

This was by far, in my opinion, the best film of the last decade. Please remember we’re not including Marvel, DC or Star Wars! Affleck triple jobs as director, producer and actor and does a fantastic job. He gets a lot of attacks for being a bad actor in a lot of stuff but I think much of it is that he takes on bad roles. From an interview I read with him though he doesn’t take on roles to challenge, but the roles he wants to do. I imagine Ryan Reynolds is the same as surely after reading the script for the Green Lantern and R.I.P.D. he’d have laughed and said “no way!”

I’ve digressed. This is a brilliant film. Watch it!


So there you have it. My top ten.

What I could have included but they only just missed out: Behind the Candelabra, Black Swan, The Greatest Showman, Looper, The Kings Speech, The Eagle, I Give It A Year and Buried

What I left out as they’re so far from being good it’s embarrassing for all involved: Robocop, Movie 43, Aladdin, R.I.P.D., Sanctum, Titanic II, The Host, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Man of Steel, Cowboys & Aliens, The Three Stooges ,22 Jump Street, Project X, Oz the Great & Powerful, The Expendables, The Muppets, Takers, The Hobbit, Midsommar, Godzilla, The Wolfman, Dark Phoenix, Southbound, Pan, A Million Ways to Die in the West, The Hunger Games and Pacific Rim.


Come on then, tell me I’m wrong, this, as with Die Hard not being a Christmas movie, is the hill I will die on!

Experiential Learning

This entry was actually posted on 18th March 2023. The day I decided to start posting my university assignments to my journal.

This is the first assignment I wrote and submitted in December 2019. Looking back it’s good to see my writing style improved greatly.

The subject was all about “Experiential Learning.” The questions was “Describe experiential learning, discuss why experiential learning is significant for social care practice and provide examples of this learning in practice.” – Which I totally plagiarised in the second paragraph! Oops!


Experiential learning is a process whereby learning is achieved through experience. Keeton and Tate (as cited in Kolb, 2015) give the definition as “learning in which the learner is directly in touch with the realities being studied.” When trying a new experience and discovering it is not enjoyable or does not give the desired results, then making the decision to not repeat it, this is an experience you have learned from. Experiential learning is learning by doing. David A. Kolb defines the term “experiential learning” as learning from life experience (Kolb, 2015).

This assignment will describe experiential learning, discuss why experiential learning is significant for social care practice and provide examples of this learning in practice.

Experiential learning occurs when a person learns by doing rather than learning through more common, standard methods of learning such as being taught by a teacher in a classroom. Kolb and Kolb (as cited in Kolb, 2015) refer to experiential learning as “the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience.” In this process the learner plays an active role in their education rather than a passive role.

Through his research David Kolb developed the Kolb Experiential Learning Model which is composed of four elements: Concrete Experience, Reflective Observation, Abstract Conceptualisation and Active Experimentation. This process covers all aspects of learning. They take part in the experience (concrete experience) then they reflect on that experience (reflective observation). Following this the learner then thinks about the experience (abstract conceptualisation), looking at what they have learned and how to take this information forward. Finally the learner acts upon this experience (active experimentation). This might involving making changes to the initial experience and repeating it but it could also mean that there is nothing to change. Either way the learner has learned by doing. Learning arises from the resolution of creative tension among these four learning modes (Kolb, 2015).

Experiential learning can often bring more positive results as it does not rely on standard learning methods which state what is right and wrong. It allows for the exploration of learning. People learn and develop in different ways and in different directions, if they can be given the chance. One size does not fit all. (Thompson, 2019)

In social care practice, experiential learning has an important place to ensure the best possible care for the individual. With this best possible care we are ensuring the individuals human rights, dignity, equality and best possible health are all being met. We are also ensuring the person supported has the freedom of choice in his or her care.

Experiential learning allows us to take a truly holistic approach in the social care of the individual.

In the case of a person supported with an intellectual disability, who being unable to communicate through verbal methods uses Lámh, it is important that the carer has an understanding of the Lámh communication system. This includes understanding that some of the signs the person may use are not as they appear in the Lámh manual. Manual sign systems (sometimes called key word signs or adapted signs) have been adapted from the natural sign language of the country they are used in, and are used by people with intellectual disability and communications needs (M. Farrell, 2012)

Reflective practice, the process of studying your own experiences to improve the way you work, is essential to experiential learning. Horwath & Morrison (as cited in Carty, 2015) state that experiential learning occurs through ‘the accumulation and reflection on experience, which is an interaction between the internal world of the individual and what is going on externally’ (Carty, 2015)

Taking the example of a person supported using the Lámh communication system, the sign for “Hello” is similar to a salute whereas many persons using Lámh, and also people not using it, will wave to express the greeting. The “salute” is seen as a more military greeting. This is an official gesture of greeting and farewell used by military men when military headgear is worn (service cap, peakless cap, etc) (Plessis, 1998).

Through reflective practice we can see that a person supported may not know, use or understand the salute gesture for “hello” and instead use a wave. We can then change our communication style in line with the person being supported. This is learning through experience. We have learned something about that person being supported which will in turn ensure the person has the best possible social care by being able to communicate his or her needs and wants.

This process can be used for all manner of care and support for the individual and is essential in the social care setting.

In the environment of a person supported who has behaviours that challenge, experiential learning through reflective practice can prove invaluable. When a report is being written based upon the activities of the day, the report is often used to determine the supports and care given by the staff coming on duty during the next shift. If the behaviour of a person supported has been particularly challenging, the wording of the report may reflect that behaviour and the terminology used may be based on personal opinion and emotions. Words such as happy, sad, angry and good or poor form, often used in Ireland, can be subjective and not give enough definition to the state and/or behaviour of the individual. While the social care worker completing the form may know exactly what happened, someone who was not present at the incident could have another interpretation of the word ‘angry’, hence the importance of further defining a behaviour (Howard & Lyons, 2014)

As each person supported is an individual with different wants and needs, it is important to realise that there will be no one approach that suits every individual. With this in mind we can suggest that through experiential learning we can discover the preferred way a person supported wishes to exercise their individuality, wants, needs and rights. Be it from what they prefer to be called to what they need when they are feeling alone or isolated. Documenting this allows others to learn from the experience of the previous carer.


In this assignment we have looked at what experiential learning is and the learning cycle developed by David A. Kolb. A cycle that uses four distinct processes of learning that enables change when necessary. Using practice examples we’ve seen why experiential learning is important in social care. We have seen that the learner plays an active role in their education rather than a passive one and looked at the importance of reflection in experiential learning. Using those examples from practice we’ve seen how different gestures and words can mean different things to different people and explained how it is important that this is documented to ensure the best possible care for the person being supported.


Carty, C. (2015). Introduction to integrated and experiential learning. National University of Ieland, Galway.

Howard, N., & Lyons, D. (2014). Social care : learning from practice. Dublin : Gill & Macmillan.
Kolb, D. A. (2015). Experiential learning : experience as the source of learning and development (Second edition. ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey : Pearson Education Ltd.

M. Farrell, M. H., M. Cullen. (2012). Using Lámh in a total communication approach; Participant Handbook. Lamh.

Plessis, I. G.-D. (1998). Russian Male Gestures for Greeting and Bidding Farewell. Language matters (Pretoria, South Africa), 29(1), 132-178.

Thompson, M. C., A. (2019). Experiential Learning.