Monday, October 29, 2007

Movie Night

Had a fabulous time at my very good friend Clogs' place watching a mass of movies over the weekend. First up, in keeping with the forthcoming Halloween thingy coming up, we trolled through Final Destination 1, 2 and 3. Lots of gore, hilariously ludicrous deaths reminiscent of the utterly wonderful TV series Dead Like Me...what happened to Dead Like Me, were Americans worried it's individuality would cause them to engage some brain activity I wonder....after the back-to-back death, blood and 'ick factor which is the Final Destination films poor Chloe squeaked that fluffy bunnies and Disney should be the way to go next so we borrowed.....House of Wax (2005) from her housemate.

I've not seen the original but I fear it is better than this remake...blood, squeamish moments of both gore and the casts acting ability (Paris Hilton? WTF), stupid teenagers doing stupid things...copping off one moment and being impaled the of wax has mass meltdown....last surviving teens rescued and the complete unsurprse 'there is another murderer' conclusion.

From there we watched Disney's Aladdin and.....Annie, proper cheese, but magnificent production, when compared to what is classed as a musical production these days...don't even get me started on High School Musical....grrr arg!

Robin Hood this week continued to please..Robin actually showing a little menace and being all 'Douglas Fairbanks' down a flag on the outside of the castle (OK so it was mainly CGI but meh)....Was nice to see Will Scarlet have a bit of gumption for a change, reminiscent of Ray Winstone's portrayal of the character in RoS way back when (although not quite as utterly crazy). The only bit which was a tad annoying was the time it took for deathbed girl to be back to full of beans...bloody miracle cure that...still I suppose there was much to fit into the 45 mins this week. And next week it looks like the mole...aka Alan-a-Dale....has been rumbled, potentially a good angsty/action episode...I guess I'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hey, Matthew

Bloody hell, this song is a blast from the past...some when around 1987...and yes I remember every single one of the shows mentioned.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Allusive Trophies and Plot Lines

Another day another England defeat, this time at the hands of South African in the Rugby World Cup. I'm not really into to Sport in general, I find the whole thing about as exciting as the blue rinse parade in Tesco on Pension day. Since there had been much 'hoohar' about this particular game, and the fact that Saturday television has seriously slim pickings these days, I thought I'd give it a go.

It was a very stop/go affair with seemingly endless rules and regulations to abide by during the play and endless scrums which don't really seem to achieve anything. England put in a fair effort....I think, it was sort of difficult to tell half the time since the ball spent most of it's time air bound....and at least we didn't get completely stuffed. Ultimately the game for me was 20% 'c'mon England' 40% confusion 15% 'we was robbed' 15% totty (well let's face it cauliflower ears and broken noses 'aint that attractive) and 10% triage. I think I'll stick to what I know...which brings me to.......

Robin Hood. Not a bad episode all told, though a bit lackluster in terms of action, bar a couple of fights between Guy and Robin. One or two funny one-liners, even verging on the risque at one point which was a surprise. A continuation of the 'turning' of outlaw Alan-a-Dale...still seems a bit far fetched considering that his own brother was murdered by the sheriff, but I'm interested to see where writers are going with it, since it's new to the story. And when are the sheriff and Guy going to realise that Marian is always going to take Robin's side...for heavens sake it's presented itself often enough, but the bumbling duo continue to give her a reprieve. A ladies moment...Guy with his shirt off looking slightly oiled and all pecked out....they can certainly continue with that particular line of presentation. The series continues to be fairly mediocre in terms of story, which is a shame because there is potential there if only they'd bite the bullet and run with it.....

Now with the BBC is serious financial discomfort I wonder whether Robin Hood will be a casualty in the near future, and then what will we have to look forward to...repeats, repeats and repeats.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Twenty Years On.....The Great Storm

Bloody hell, time does fly...apparently it's twenty years since the 'hurricane'/Great Storm/very high this day nobody can quite make up their mind....caused havoc across the country.

I was 8 years old at the time and so the memory here is a little hazy. What I do remember is being a little anxious about the huge pine tree which stands nearby as the winds outside became more and more ferocious. For several years after, every time high winds hit our area I would sleep on my mattress on the floor of my parents room, still convinced that the Pine tree would collapse onto the house....It's still standing to this day.

All I really recall is the sound that the winds made...a whistling which could have made my ears bleed.....Having since lived on the 13th floor during some severe stormy weather I don't envy the people who were living in Bognor's only tower block back in '87. My sister, ever diligent and aware of incidents happening around her....slept through the whole thing like the proverbial baby.

The morning after was a school day, dad had somehow managed to get to work and had phoned to say don't bother sending the kids in as the roads were pretty much impassable. Yes, my school was open after the worst storm in over 200 years....fools.

Us kids spent our day checking out the nearby damage. Several large trees had fallen across Aldwick Road near The Pound, windows were impossible to see through due to the layer upon layer of crap covering them, the dividing fence between us and the neighbours was demolished and the back gate seemed to have disappeared....we got off lucky in the area I guess, considering Sussex had seen some of the worst damage in the country.

Generally, I remember the potential for fun after the storm, due to the amount of felled trees which were so much easier to climb when horizontal. The family took a trip to the nearby Eartham Woods shortly after the storm and we were all disappointed as to how much had changed. A huge portion had been completely destroyed and I've only recently returned to the woods which once again resembles a proper woodland area.

More famously, large Estates became unrecognisable, roofs were ripped off flats in Littlehampton and other areas, caravan parks flattened, Seven Oaks became One Oak, power lines were down all over the place and Gordon Kaye (Renie from 'Allo 'Allo) was very nearly killed when a tree struck his car. It was all a little odd for an 8 year old to take in really, but I'm guessing it was the start of my fascination towards weird weather.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Cashback (2006)

Watched this fabulously brilliant, original and funny film last night. It mixes the banally mundane with a touch of romance with an intriguing fantasy twist, capturing in detail the observations of the main character Ben, played uncompromisingly well by Sean Biggerstaff (probably best remembered as Oliver Wood from Harry Potter). Why can't more films be this honest and pleasurable?

Robin Hood....Episode Two

I have to admit that tonight's episode of Robin Hood wasn't too bad....well that was less difficult than I thought it would be to say. Apart from the glaringly obvious green gaming tables in Nottingham Castle and a few contemporary phrases chucked in willy nilly it was actually rather entertaining. And if you think about it so much could have gone wrong in this episode.

So the premise was rather similar to three/ four (if you count the original) well known Hollywood heist movies and Jonas Armstrong can in no way be compared to the sex god who is George Clooney, but things moved along quite nicely, there was a little tension and a couple of good 'cor blimey' moments, which has previous been difficult to capture in the series due to the continuing theme of Robin the action hero....with 'PC' action.

Also Dexter Fletcher, yes, him off Hotel Babylon (for the youngsters)/Press Gang (for the over the hill mob) was better than expected as the German Count....when he first opened his mouth I inwardly groaned thinking the accent was going to be cringe worthy camped up (aka not unlike 'allo 'allo)...but instead it was passed off very well, pleasing mainly because Keith Allen has the monopoly on camp in this series.

So, in all a vast improvement on last weeks if the art department would actually sit back and look and the completely contemporary wardrobe and tone it down a tad then this series would actually stand a chance.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Sony Bravia - Play Doh

Bless those people at Sony who so some of the best adverts on the telly....bouncey balls in San Francisco, Paint Fireworks in Glasgow and now Play-Doh Rabbits in NYC...Genius.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Robin Hood....Seriously What Are They Thinking?

Since I just wrote a whole dissertation on the subject I thought I give the new version of Robin Hood another go. During the repeated viewing of the first series for my studies I realised there were parts which were actually quit good. However this was not a strong episode and had some pretty farcical moments too boot.

I know that it's supposed to be contemporary and that it's been a while since the target audience had something to compare it to but even so I'm pretty sure that descriptive word such as 'skanky' and 'manky' were not part of the slang in medieval times. Also post-modern popular cultural referencing can be funny and clever when used in the right scenario but I don't think 'It's goodbye from me...and it's goodbye from him' when leaving Nottingham Castle is it.

So the themes of the thing were that Robin is captured while carrying out some derring-do to protect a mother and her two young children from the evil Sheriff...and by 'evil' I obviously mean camp as hell. The 'mother' actually turns out to be the sheriff's sister who had used prosthetics and a wig to disguise what is (once again) wrong with that statement....PROSTHETICS.....there is absolutely now way I can justify that one....yes I know Robin was always disguising himself in the tales but it was always things like straw stuffed down his jumper, mud on his face (which I might add is something else missing from this medieval Britain) and a hood....not synthetic substances several hundred years out of date...grrr.

Its a shame really as there was some interesting themes...I like the idea of a turncoat within the midst of the 'outlaw' gang and that there was some actual use of the forest in hiding and making escape from a is tradition. Unfortunately is the production continues with over compensating with the contemporary referencing fans will probably turn off in droves and a season 3 won't see the light of day....and therefore the family drama on a Saturday night will be lost again until the far superior Doctor Who returns.

In terms of Robin Hood...If its a enjoyably delicious, dark, moody and funny show full of swashbuckling action that you're after, then buy the box sets of Robin of Sherwood and watch repeatedly.