30 June 2012

Another 10,000 rocking in the free world

And hello all !
Loving the English weather. Its summer, and today is alternating between sunny and heavy rain, with a delightful background of muggy and strong wind. Brilliant. Admittedly it is Wimbledon, so business as usual.
Eventful week of floods at work, the local town, and indeed much of the country. Summer Rocks !!!

Another 10,000 tracks on the last.fm account, the last one (80,000) was in Feb, oohhh look self-referencing, go me.
So what's been amusing my ears over the last six months?
Top Artists
In order 1-10: Marillion / Pet Shop Boys / Queen / tom Waits / Jethro Tull / Rush / Bob Dylan / Radiohead / Dream Theater / Elbow

Just realised my furniture restoration images havent been uploaded, so that could be this weekends work...

me x

24 June 2012

Movies: Of black woman and ponds

The consistent rain implies that summer has arrived in the UK. therefore plans for a Saturday night consisted of movies.

First up was The Woman in Black, starring Harry Potter/Daniel Radliffe in a movie from the rebooted Hammer films crew. It's a ghost/thriller set in extremely Victoria gothic surrounds, piling atmosphere almost beyond cliche. Having said that, it works reasonably well. The plot is vague - it's never really explained why HP/DR needs to go to the small village, aside from to tidy up papers from a widower who had died sometime before.
There's a lot of 'look at this, it'll be important soon', and the music isn't subtle in signposting what will happen very soon now.
But, it's watchable, delivers some reasonable horror and HP/DR is a good actor. I'm not quite sure he had the gravitas to pull off the role, but given the entire movie is him - I think it must have worked as I wasn't bored.

Keeping with the horror vibe, we went for what turned out to be a very odd British horror-comedy, Black Pond. It's very character driven, and relies on dialogue rather than atmosphere.
A stranger enters the Thompson's house forcing the family to engage with each other for the first time in years. Their dog dies, and so the children come home, increasing familial interactions, and conflict.
The main story is told in flashback interviews which is how we discover the family were accused of murdering the stranger. Their responses to this rely on the middle class English stereotypes, of not really talking about it, or missing all subtextural clues in general speech.
The movie does wander off occasionally into a delicate psychedlic trance, which feels slightly forced, but does work well to emphasise differences between external and internal dialogue. I'm guessing it was this whimsical approach which prompted the Guardian review to say "If Syd Barrett had ever written and directed a movie, it might well have looked like this". I don't comppletely agree with this, as Syd's brand of psych was more abstract than what Black Pond achieves. Kermode also enjoyed Black Pond on it's DVD release.

Simon Amstell pops up as a psychiatrist, effectively playing the Amstell of Buzzcocks and Grandma's place. I think it works, although it does seem weirdly OTT comic for the rest of the more situational comedy.
Over all, for a debut, and cheap debut, it's great. And defintiely worth watching. Here's the trailer.


18 June 2012


I've taken the week of work, ostensibly to support the Olympics stuff and to bugger off to some opera mid-week, but really it's for sanity.

So today, Monday, I'm watching movies - bgrades, lots of glorious bgrades.

First up is This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse, the second movie in the Coffin Joe boxset I picked up. I'm loving his stuff, dark, twisted, funny, cheesy but still good - and Coffin Joe has the best lines 'Man's immortality is through the fetus'. Currently a large number of tarantula spiders are climbing over a bunch of hot babes who may, depending on their suitability, become the unworthy host for Coffin Joe's offspring. Oh and there's a hunchback, who appears to have a football on his back.
I do like bgrade babes, none of your scrawny models, all curves. Great start to the day! Sipping Peoples Coffee and pondering moving from the couch to get some salmon bagels. 
But for all the bgrade-ness, Coffin Joe's movies do have real atmosphere, and CJ himself is quite impressive onscreen.
Oh things don't look too good for the babe castoffs, a large number of snakes have been loosed in their prison, so CJ is making sweet lovin' to the chosen unworthy to the sweet sounds of screams and death.

Oh dear, CJ's true love didn't work out. She loved (feared? I got confused) him, a sign of weakness apparently. And has left the scene. But wait, what's this, a new chick - exciting. Shock, horror, CJ is having his way with her! After a poker game.
There's a comedy dwarf jailor !!!

It's a bit long, but worked.

How could a movie with it's premise of Osama Bin Laden coming back as a zombie fail? That's right, it can't.
Gung ho platoon (Nato) fighting zombies. Even better? cute blonde killing with a katana. FTW.
Theres emotional investment, one of the guys has been bitten. And one of his platoon has to kill him. Oh I almost cried.
And now a long exposition of how the zombies happened, and why the platoon is kinda lost.
"There's a fine line between dead, and not-so-dead"
The platoon finds an American chick, Dusty, who is hunting her brother (derek). Oohh another zombified platoon, so they shot him. Which caused emotional trauma to katana girl. She dealt with her issues by some slow-mo katana shapes. Brilliant.

It is also, apparently, essential as a Nato gunboy, to run around topless. And have unlimited ammo. It's like the Easy level on a FPS.

In all respects, this movie should be watched, it's fun, rocks along, and has zombies:

And now a break for some brunch.


6 June 2012

Terence Rattigan

I'm reading, or about to, the play 'Deep Blue Sea', and there's a potted history of Rattigan to start the book.

It includes these brilliant lines:
"...his ill-judged musical adaptation of French without tears, Joie de Vivre (1960), was a complete disaster, not assisted by a liberal dose of laryngitis among the cast, and the unexpected insanity of the pianist."

Excellent (emphasis mine).  And a reference for those you playing at home:
The Deep Blue Sea 'Terence Rattigan' with introductions by Sean O'Connor and Dan Rebellato. NHB London.