Monday, April 10, 2006


Now, now - what a long time since I last blogged here.

What an angry person that was ranting away. It must have been a combination of having no job and being sent mad by cathrode rays.

Now that I'm once again writing for a living (yeah - thanks bloggers revolution - now that any monkey tapping away on a keyboard gets published, who wants to pay a trained journalist good money....gggggrrrrr) I hope the angry rantings will cease.

Who am I kidding

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Oscar Mild

This year, for the first time in many, I have the opportunity to stay up and watch the Oscars. Whoopee-doooo. Am I going to? Naaah.
There would have been a time when I would have been pretty excited about doing so. (Having had jobs in entertainment coverage, the Oscar nominations were one of the highlights of the year. Sad, sad, sad I know, but the only thing that causes more of a buzz on an Ents Desk is a celebrity death...)
This year though, all the accusations the Academy have faced over years (sentimentalism, conservatism, muddled judgement) seem hard to deny. Yeah, I know that the awards have always thrown up some strange statistics - Marilyn Monroe: never nominated, Forrest Gump: 13 nominations (and beating Pulp Fiction for Best Pic - which is like when Shuddup A Your Face was number one ahead of Vienna etc...
Crivens - have you seen what's up this year? Now I know why there's never anything on I want to see at the cinema if this is the best of the crop.

Ray: Biopic. Apparently a great performance/impersonation in the central role. A tale of succeeding against all odds. But accoring to reviewers, not as good as other other junkie-muso studies, Lady Sings The Blues and Bird. Good, not great films livened up by great music.

Million Dollar Baby: Rocky in a sports bra. Voters like Clint Eastwood's longevity (and the fact that he missed out for Mystic River last year) as much as this slow,say the reviewers, tale of succeeding against all odds. Yawn.

Finding Neverland: Biopic. This time it's JM Barrie, corsets, audacious accent changing, a whiff of fairy tales and nothing new.

Sideways: This one I've seen, encouranged by hysterically positive reviews and it's...ok, pretty good. It's at least about people now rather than famous people living in a time when the clothes 'looked funny', or about asteroid threats to the earth . There's not much more to say about it, except I really wanted a glass of wine by the end of it.

The Aviator: Deep breath. Biopic - yes, again and a blockbuster one at that. I have not seen this and have intention of doing so, because it looks APPALLING. Also, I sat through the 3+hours of Gangs Of New York out of a mistaken faith in Scorsese. Sadly, he has lost his touch. The last bloated film lacked cohesion and credibility. To 'make up' for this, it had Daniel Day Lewis doing a spot-on (latter day) impersonation of De Niro and a quest/revenge plot straightoutta daytime soaps.
Both films star Di Caprio, which is further evidence of Scorsese's fading powers. I have no beef with Leo, but his expressions are limited and his charisma beam dips drastically if you don't find him attractive - which I don't.

Worse still on the casting front
1. Gwen Stefani as Jean Harlow. It seems that they thought "Who's famous with platinum hair? Ah her, she'll do" and cast her with no further thought (I suppose it could have been worse - Madonna in the Who's That Girl era, aaarrghhh). Here's a tip Marty. Wigs don't cost much...
2. Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner. Kate is rather lovely to look at and would make an okay mini-series Natalie Wood. Why not Ava? She was a famous spitfire who could drink all the men around her under the table (and she knew some famous drinkers) and Kate, despite her Hollywoodisationstill glows with the free school milk complexion of her English Rose childhood.

Everyone seems to think Cate Blanchett has done a great job as Katharine Hepburn - from the clips I've seen it's a brittle, strident, glamorous enactment of a women who was certainly brittle, strident and glamorous - but also, thoughtful, complex and fiercely loyal to all the men she was involved with.
Last year, the Academy paid effusive tribute to Hepburn, this year they will lavish praise on a film that I'm sure she would have been disappointed in, if not, offended by.

In short (and blogs are supposed to short!) - cinema today, to judge from this, is tired and uninspiring.

PS - Enternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind is exellent however - Charlie Kaufman - the saviour...

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

It's my blog and I'll cry off if I want to

After reading back on the spiteful bile I spouted about the Friends cast I
1. wasted no further time thinking about them
2. decided that I should at least try to eliminate the negative & accentuate the positive

This has been a bit difficult when everything I've looked forward to watching has turned out a bit disappointing and because I had wanted to list the repeat offenders on my Waste Of Cathode Rays/Air List.
For the record these include; -
Jakki Brambles: annoying 10+ years ago on Radio 1 with her witless blather, more annoying now on Entertainment Today as she breathlessly introduces widely available film clips as if they were the exclusive footage of King Arthur showing us around his lovely Avalon home.
Sara Cox: ditto Radio 1 witlessness, blissfully absent from my consciousness for a few months until she turned up as the big interview in 2 magazines this week. To pinch an old line off Frasier, she has delusions of adequacy.

Anyway, enough of that, no need to go into detail about Simon "never mind the music, look at the bank balance" Cowell, Anne "thousant" Robinson, Richard "can't even read from an autocue" Blackwood. etc. etc.

I realise the pointlessness of even having any opinion, let alone a strong one about such 'celebrities' and like children showing off by pulling their pants down - the only sensible thing to do is ignore them. *

So good stuff, erm. Here are my highlights of the last week or so...

Old episodes of EastEnders being shown for their 20th Birthday on UK Gold - blown away again by Anita Dobson as Angie - she is Blanche du Bois imprisoned in an East End pub.

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L- Divine Vivien Leigh (Blanche), R - Whatever-happened-to Anita Dobson (Angie).

Bruce Parry in Tribe - this week taking hallucinogenics in the rainforest and really feeling that he'd seen the gods, like a proper shaman.
Alistair Campbell's expletive filled email being read out by Paxo on Newsnight.
Corrie's Norris evangelising about Hard Grinding. Tsk, it's a book he's reading.

* Edit, apart from a being a confusing sentence (due to the appalling bad grammar) I'm not sure on re-reading that one should ignore stripping children. Oh dear, Iwish I'd never mentioned it...just by typing the last sentence I'm probably on some web-paedo watch :-(

Friday, January 28, 2005

Flat Stanley

See below...