Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Scoop (1986)

Evelyn Waugh. Mistaken Identity. Eccentric Family. Made-up Country. Tart.
Can you picture it?
Michael Maloney is so sweet.
But sometimes creepy.
According to Amazon.crap people who bought this DVD also bought The Red Shoes, it's true, I bought The Red Shoes a while ago, it's one of my favourite films. Anton Walbrook has great hair.

Footloose (1984)

Alison and I are going to see John Lithgow in October. He's at the National Theatre reading P.G. Wodehouse. I told Nicola this news excitedly last week and went on to list many [possibly bogus] facts about Lithgow that include: "He's retired to Keighley!" I have no idea where I read this rumor, maybe I dreamt it, but I've told enough people now for it to be circulating as an actual rumor. A fact that is definite is that Johnny is most excellent at drawing, also he is pals with Jonathan Pryce- who also dabbles. All the actors I seem to like end up being friends with Jonathan Pryce, who is of course still numero uno with me and has been for coming up 10 years now (horror!)
Anyway, Nicola blocking out all blabbing from Amy made the connection in her chick-flick dominated brain that John Lithgow was mentioned and therefore Footloose was the film we should watch that afternoon when it was too hot to work.
When Andy returned from his week away from the house I said, "Hey Andy, have you seen Footloose? Well I HAVE." I then ranted for a good ten minutes about how I'd cooked my dinner and settled down to watch something while eating, glanced over the DVDs in the living room and realised after scanning them for a good minute or two (dinner is now cold) that there is not a single film there that I would EVER watch! Nicola and Laura's DVD collection is dire!! Dirty Dancting?! Flashdance!? Step Up to the Whatever- basically a million films about dancing...
The girls like 'lite' films, and a couple of days ago it was my choice and so looking at the selection of films I've brought with me to my new home I realised I didn't really have anything that would pass as 'lite' (How would you categorize The Elephant Man? -Romantic comedy?) so I chose Still Crazy (1998) and Nicola said when it ended "There was no romantic resolution!" To which I replied angrily; "It was never going to happen! She was always in love with Brian! And the resolution was that Jimmy Nail got to sing the song he co-wrote and Bill Nighy stopped being such a dick!!"
Anyway, back to Footloose. Kevin Bacon moves to a town where dancing is illegal. John Lithgow plays a preacher who hates dancing so Stan and Froggy and Kevin Bacon take him to see Singing in the Rain and they all dance home together.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare's Globe on tour- Emmanuel College Gardens, Cambridge)

The Globe should stick to Shakespeare. This was the funniest thing I've seen for ages. A talented bunch of actors and musicians doing some really really good comedy with nothing but a couple of silly hats.
A nice first experience of outdoor theatre too; good weather (though thank god not as good as it had been all week or I would have died of sunstroke) and not too many ducks trying to get at the sandwiches.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Helen by Euripides- adapted by Frank McGuinness (Shakespeare's Globe)

It was hot yesterday, really hot. You'd think an evening performance in an open-air theatre like the Globe would be nice. It wasn't, it was stuffy, uncomfortable and head-ache inducing. And that was just the play.
Lauren and I went to see Helen at the Globe for my birthday (day two of a three day birthday weekend; first a Friday night party, then Saturday London to see the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy, a fab dinner in a posh restaurant and a play with a handsome lead. Finally Sunday a long walk through the countryside and afternoon cream tea!) I'd seen a Greek classic adapted by Frank McGuinness at the National Theatre last year, Oedipus, one of the best one act plays I'd ever seen, horrifically terrifying and well acted by Ralph Fiennes. So I was hopeful, the Guardian only gave Helen two stars but lots of papers gave good reviews, so I wasn't worried.
Frank McGuinness cannot do comedy. It was the script that I think was ultimately awful, not the actors. I saw Pennie Downie in Hamlet last year and she was a great Gertrude, she wasn't irritating beyond belief like she was last night, it was the poorly written character who was irritating. And I know what to expect from the Globe, I saw The Merry Wives of Windsor last summer and it was one of the best Shakespeares I've ever seen, it was brilliantly staged and wonderfully funny- Andrew Havill in particular I still think of and giggle. Anyway, at the Globe you expect singing and dancing- the whole 16th Century experience- but in moderation!!! And when appropriate!
Also there was too much going on visually in Helen (a horrible set and confusing troupe of slaves prancing about at all times), but mainly I had problems with the lack of story and the fact that it didn't seem to know if it was a comedy or not- it switched from bawdy crude jokey shite to serious woe-is-me stuff, make your mind up! Lots of people were laughing, but I wasn't. It wasn't funny. It was really embarrassing.
Here's a quote from Lauren to finish off, who by the way didn't mind that it was awful so much because at least Paul McGann is some sweet eye-candy.
"Poorly written, poorly acted, poorly staged, Pauly McGann."

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Dark City (1998)

It looked and felt like Brazil(1985) except more polished, unfortunately there was not one joke in the whole film. Keifer Sutherland was doing a camp impression of Peter Lorre so that was sort of funny, but not really... I felt as though I'd seen the story a hundred times, though at first it was ridiculously confusing. But I hadn't read a description so I had no idea what it was about- I had no idea what it was about for a whole hour!
I like Rufus Sewell and he was definitely handsome in this film and Jennifer Connelly was gorgeous, remember she used to be so lovely and pale and not-anorexic!
But in the end you can sort of tell the caliber of a film when the bad guys walk in and they're Richard O'Brien and Ian Richardson.
Ho hum.

Bronson (2009)

Tom Hardy is a bloody good actor. I really liked this film but if it had been anyone else it I don't think it would have worked.