Saturday, 23 January 2010

Alison's tv acting debut (Friday Night with Jonathan Ross BBC1)

Yes, we've all seen her as "member of the audience" at Jools Holland's Hootenany standing far too close to The Kaiser Chiefs... But last night Alison Dennison delivered a short but sweet [uncredited] performance as Mary Poppins on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. Tainted only by the fact that while centre-stage a kite blew in front of her and obstructed our view of this powerful piece of ACTING.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Nine (2009)

Argh. I was so disappointed! I suppose that's what happens when you really look forward to something to the point of reviewing it before you've even seen it! (I did the trailer in June) It was weak- WEAK. And I'll tell you why.
Nine is the story of a man with the several women in his life he can't live without; his wife, his mistress, his muse, his mother and his mother-figure. Also some women who he's met and/or slept with... This CANNOT work if the man in question is portrayed as disgustingly sleazy and charmless. CHARM. Guido Contini is charming!! That's why all the women sing songs about how much they have loved him!! But Daniel Day-Lewis was CHARMLESS.
He was badly cast in all but one aspect; his looks. He looked Italian. And yes, Italian men are stereotypically sleazy- but as I have stressed Guido Contini is charming not sleazy! He put on a horrible ridiculous accent, not just while talking but while ATTEMPTING to sing songs he could not pull off! Songs that I used to LOVE!!! Argh, I'm even more angry now that I've seen it that Antonio Banderas did not get the chance to reprise his recent stage performance! He plays charming very well! Daniel Day-Lewis plays psychos and 'tards very well!
The thing is that all the women were very well cast (Not Sophia Loren but I suppose you had to have one Italian) and did very well with the songs, though I didn't like all the "sexy" dance numbers always in lingerie. You know, it is possible to show women being sexy without it being kinky or tacky... It's just that the central character was so hateful and badly cast it ruined the film for me. Also they cut all my favourite songs because DDL can't sing and the song Kate Hudson sang was jarring and out of place- and it was the one song they played twice.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Father of the Bride (1992) and Father of the Bride part two (1995)

and Father of the Bride Part Three (tbc 2010) in which George Banks' youngest child Megan takes her elderly parents on a trip to Switzerland.
Nah, just kidding. That's a bit of black humour for you.
These films are schmaltzy and definitely not the highlights of Steve Martin's comedy career, but they are heartfelt family entertainment. Do people make comedies now that you can watch with children that aren't animated or full of toilet humor? I must now point out I have nothing against either of these genres, I just noticed today while watching these films that they seem to be in a genre of the past.
Anyhoo, I haven't watched these films for about seven years, I used to watch all of Steve Martin and Martin Short's movies religiously, they cracked me up. I think it's universally acknowledged that it is Martin Short's performance that makes these films well, not better than the Spencer Tracy originals, but certainly worth a watch. But watching them again I found all the jokes I remembered, all the best jokes, were Steve Martin's and I just found Martin Short embarrassing!
I never thought I would grow out of him, but there you go, there must be a time in one's life when you realise Martin Short is not funny, he's just annoying! Poor Marty, I'm being too harsh. And I'm lying because I think Martin Short is great! Just not in this, the film that people actually remember him for! Highlights for me of Martin Short's career are Pure Luck, Merlin and Get Over It. Pure Luck (1991) is a cringeworthy genius of a film in which Martin Short plays the world's unluckiest man teamed with Danny Glover a long suffering detective on the hunt for a missing person who just happens to be the unluckiest woman in the world. I like him in Merlin (1998) because all though he is playing the unnecessary comedy role I actually think he shows amazing range! It is probably his only true "acting" role. And Get Over It (2001) was a great comedic performance; a desperate self-deluded drama teacher in another one of those high school movies- when I watch Glee (Channel 4 -sundays?) I can't help but think they'd all have a much better time if Martin Short was running it. I also enjoy Three Amigos! and I love A Simple Wish! Ok, Martin Short's career overview over.
As I was saying Father of the Bride. Steve Martin nails "typical dad". His reactions, moods, ridiculous dream-land plans, breakdowns and madness was all my dad, all my mum's dad, just spot-on. There are some brilliantly funny lines, my favourite always being: "Yeah, you in the blue tux." And those of you who find it too sentimental can bugger off back to your emotionally crippled lives, I hope my dad does think of me like that, well, I know he does.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Martina Cole's The Take (2009)

Why did they cast a girl who looks JUST like Tom Hardy as Tom Hardy's wife?

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Star Trek (2009)

I watched this film this afternoon with my mum and dad, my mum will only watch proper films- ie not big blockbusters crammed with special effects and aliens... But she really enjoyed this for the same reason I think everyone would enjoy it. You're just waiting to see another perfectly cast actor appear to reinvent or recreate a classic familiar character.
They all did brilliantly.
I can't see sequels being successful at all though, because we already know what happened next.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

La Chambre des Officiers (2001)

There's just something about the French, they really do make spectacularly beautiful films. The Offficer's Ward had wonderful cinematography but more importantly a poignant narrative. That's right, 'poignant', if America tried to tackle the same issues you can bet it would be sentimental, self-indulgent, self-congratulatory, patriotic, embarrassing shit.
This film covered all you'd expect from a story about a young man disfigured at the very beginning of the first world war, but it did it naturally. Nothing was ever discussed obviously in front of the camera no "issues" were "tackled" by "talking about it" (how American). His coming to terms with his disfigurment and guilt was slow and private and ultimately extremely realistic and moving.
I like war films that show the human sacrifice and the horrendous human waste, but I like them to be beautiful and romantic like poetry and this one was.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

The Chatterly Affair (2006) -And general Christmas round-up

As per usual the family got a load of porn for Christmas. Just kidding, but seriously, when am I going to see Rafe Spall with some clothes on?!
We've done loads of Christmas watching, and it's not over yet, we like to stretch Christmas out for at least a month so I guess we're only half way through. Telly: I enjoyed Michelle Dockery in The Turn of the Screw, I thought they gave her shit hair in Cranford but then that is Cranford... Tom Hiddleston and Jodi Whittacker were good but let's face it Cranford was written by Mrs Gaskell as a bet. Not really, but she did write it as a piss-take and now it's the most successful thing the BBC has ever done!? It's shite! And The Christmas episodes that weren't even written by her were even worse than her send up of country-types and happy endings. Ugh. But obviously if both Jonathan Pryce and Nick le Prevost (And Rory Kinnear- one of my absolute favourite actors to see on stage) are appearing I'm going to be watching. So I did.
Anyway, I enjoyed the final Gavin and Stacey and Tennant's final Doctor Who- though my favourite bits were remembering Bernard Cribbins voicing Orinoco the lazy womble thinking he was invisible when he got stuck in that net... "Bramble Pudding! Oh no!!!" I look forward to Stephen Moffat's writing and Matt Smith's big grave stone slab of a face in the next series.
Missed Hamlet but we got the dvd in the post this morning so I will see it soon.
And now the gifties! We've been working our way through series one and two of The Inbetweeners and I have to say I totally love it. So reassuring to see realistic teenagers in realistic situations, Anna spends her mornings in bed watching 90210, everytime I go in there I say "teachers or teenagers?" because all the cast look the same age; in their plastic botox thirties- HORROR. The Inbetweeners is a wonderful British tonic to American sitcom/soap teenagers, all four boys are hysterically well suited to their roles.
We've watched lots of shite of course; Wolverine, an utterly awful Fantastic Four movie (Turns out he bought it in Lidl on Christmas Eve- he should have resisted.) Bridge to Terabithia- Suzie's favourite book as a child, totally un-cinematagraphical material so a terrible film, etc.
And today me and Anna watched The Chatterley Affair. Anna said flippantly afterwards of Andrew Davies the scriptwriter "Pervert. Always writes a lot of filth!" which made me laugh an awful lot.
Lady Chatterley's Lover is I think a key part of my strange history, my grandfather was one of the blokes who smuggled it into the country long before the court case, he was proudly photographed for the paper as a "local pervert", Nana was reet pissed off... I love it though, Anna probably thinks I'm a pervert too.