Friday, 7 December 2012

Electrick Children (2011)

What a weird but enjoyable little film. Rented purely 'cause I wanted to see what Rory Culkin had grown into (another good actor, but Kieran's probably still the most promising). A mormon girl listens to a cassette tape, hears music for the first time and suddenly becomes pregnant. Her parents don't believe her immaculate conception story so they throw her brother out believing he raped her. They run away to Las Vegas, him wanting her to confess on the tape to who really raped her so he can go home and clear his name, she wants to find the voice on the tape, believing him to be her baby's father and the man she must marry.
A good culture shock film with everything you wanted to happen, the brother gets drunk and high and makes out with girls and swears and has a great time, the sister falls in love with a loser skaterboy and they escape the weird religious oppression of the commune. Hooray!

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (1991)

I used to love this film, well, bits of it. And those bits I found I do still love! But my god, what a boring overly long film it is! Still better than Russell Crowe but nowhere near as good as the Disney version.
Christ! All these Americans! Ending with a wink to the camera?! Jesus! Self-righteous American tosh! And then, every twenty minutes or so you get this really quite different, darkly comic British pantomime, Alan Rickman arrives and you wake up and you find you're enjoying the film all of a sudden! He's camp but he's scary, he's funny but fucking weird! That bit when he talks to that kid "I had a very troubled childhood, I'll tell you about it sometime..." then he stops an seems to remember he's in the middle of being a professional sheriff, he's not, he's a fucking nutbar! And he plays it so well. You can bet your bottom dollar that it's because of his performance in this dreadful film that got him every other job he's ever had.
Sometimes I think it's a shame he got that Harry Potter job. Yes I'm in the minority that think he's completely miscast, but I really do think that comedy is where his talent really lies, that in Robin Hood and Galaxy Quest he is simply brilliant, and perhaps if he hadn't done Harry Potter he might have had better roles and made some better films! Who knows.
Tim Roth would have been a great Snape. He turned it down apparently. Imagine! Imagine if Tim Roth was Snape! Lily, James, Lupin and Sirius would have been better cast as well, they would have cast them around Roth! Cast them the right age! Had them all in their forties rather than their sixties! Ridiculous.

Shirley Valentine (1989)

The next time someone good does Shirley Valentine on stage I'd really like to see it. I enjoy the film and I think even though it looks SO eighties, the script and the performances are good enough to keep it timeless, at least it hasn't suddenly become dated. But I would love to see it as it was originally, a monologue. Pauline Collins as Shirley is by far, head and shoulders above everyone else, the best thing in it, and so she should be she won enough awards for doing the monologue on Broadway and the West End before they turned it into a film. It must have been fun for her getting to actually go on the fab holiday she'd spent three years talking about on a stage set like a crappy kitchen with chips and egg on the cooker.

Up (2009)

I thought I'd write a little bit about Up here because when watching it with my mum in the middle of the night I said as Russell and Mr Fredrickson went into that storm "What if they actually died at this point and the rest is them just in limbo trying to find heaven?" which freaked my mum out and she said "It's Paradise Lost!"
I think she meant Paradise Regained, Paradise Lost is just Adam and Eve. Paradise Regained, as far as my understanding is, is Jesus wandering in the wilderness and being tempted by the devil. That's Up, init?
But what I reckon what mum actually meant was it's the Divine Comedy. Hey, all these things were written in rhyme way back when! But when mum was drawing comparisons she was drawing them to the Divine Comedy not Paradise Lost or Regained! Plus they're all about the same sort of stuff; heaven and hell!
Dante is guided by Beatrice, his ideal woman, the one he met as a kid, through Heaven. Then he falls and so Virgil, his poet guide, rescues him and guides him through hell and then into a sort of limbo, there's a load of lost souls there and he has to think about what's important and let go of some stuff. Once he lets go he is able to understand god and he is happy.
Now that is Up. And if you were wondering Virgil is Russell and the lost souls are all those dogs who have human voices.

A Dangerous Method (2012)

Good to watch after watching In Treatment, my mum said she hadn't realised because she didn't know much about it but Paul is obviously a Jungian and Gina; Freudian. That was the only thing we got from it though! It was boring and now, three days later, I can't remember anything about it apart from Keira's comedy Russian accent and her using that jaw of hers to her advantage (pulling mad loony faces). Yep Keira is shite. I watched Seeking a Friend for the End of the World as well this week, it was fucking terrible. Not just the script but Keira especially. Playing a 'kooky English girl' no, she should stick to period pieces. But no, actually she's rubbish in them too. I've seen all her films, why? Because I like her.
Why do I like her? This is something I can't figure out! I think it's because I like HER, the real her, the her I see in interviews and being paper doing normal things and being a normal person. And I like the fact that even though people go on about her being too thin it's obvious she is just made that way! She isn't too thin, she's just funny looking! She's got silly little legs, little chunkers, I don't know if anyone;s ever noticed that, but she's not an anorexic little model, she's a funny little British girl who has a funny flat face! It's only beautiful from certain angles, other angles it's just weird! And I like that about her!
I'm waiting for her to make a good film, she does very well in those magazine adverts modelling for perfume- even the tv ad where she's on that motorbike is shite! But no, she was terrible in Pride and Prejudice, Bend it like Beckham, Atonement, Love Actually, Never Let me Go, even Pirates of the Caribbean, which I really enjoy, she's just a bit naff.

In Treatment (2008)

So I can't stress how much I liked In Treatment, though I also can't stress how much it was just because of the concept! Five half hour episodes a week; the patient he sees on Monday on Monday, the patient he sees on Tuesday on tuesday, etc and then on Friday he goes to his therapist and talks about what he really thinks of all his nut job patients! And the best part of it was you had to wait a week to see Sophie again, or Jake and Amy or whoever was your favourite, and how has what Paul's (Gabriel Byrne, our therapist) had to deal with over the week, how was that going to affect how he treats his patients. See even though you only see him non-professionally in the friday episodes it was still all about him, it took a week to get into it, but once you're in you are caught!
So Sophie was my favourite. Not just because she seemed to be the only patient he actually managed to help (Laura, no, that didn't work, Alex, that definitely didn't work, Jake and Amy, well, Jake seemed much better but I grew to like him more and more towards the end and hate Amy, and his own therapy, well what a disaster!) But I liked the relationship between them. One of the things Paul argued to his own therapist was that he loved all of his patients, if he didn't feel a connection then he couldn't really help them. Sophie was the one he really loved I think, and she loved him. She got what she needed out of therapy, a safe place and someone she could trust and a father figure who didn't let her down or take advantage of her. I came to the conclusion he should be a child psychiatrist, as he was gentle and patient with her when he wasn't with some of the others, after all it's ok for a child to act like a child but surely you can't help showing your anger and disgust if after ten sessions a grown man is still acting that way (I liked it when he went mad at Alex, did he punch him or did he just throw coffee in his face?).
Mia Wasikowska was bloody good. Makes me want to watch Jane Eyre again, she's now on my list of actors to always watch. I liked Melissa George as Laura as well, but only 'cause I fancied her.

This Is England '88 (2011)

I saw This is England (2006) when it came out at the cinema, it was really good and then I forgot about it, when This is England '86 came on the telly and was all about Woody and Lol's wedding and breakup and her murdering her rapist father, well, I thought it was excellent, the best thing I'd sen on tv for years and years. Why didn't I write about it on the blog? Maybe then I would have remembered how much I'd enjoyed it and I wouldn't have somehow managed to miss this one! '88 was on last Christmas and is a sort of nativity story, it wasn't as gripping as the last series but I really enjoyed it. It was just about how Lol and Woody were both so sad without each other. I like stuff like that, I like depressing romances.

Misfits Series Three (2011)

Series three saw the departure of favourite Nathan and the arrival of new favourite Rudy. No need to worry about your show when Joe Gilgun climbs aboard. Yes, seeing him there reminded me how good This is England is, more about that later.
It was a good series to end it on. I watched the first episode of the new series but I won't be watching the rest, it seemed to have lost all charm and it was violent and not funny. If Kelly had stayed it would have been ok, she was my other favourite, but she is gone. Ho hum.
Anyway, I enjoyed those three series of the Misfits they were in a league and genre of their own, Matt Smith's Doctor drunk and on heroin, Being Human but high, Buffy but bum-raped by Rudy's apathetic self-interested side.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Harry and the Hendersons (1987)

Did you know this film won an Oscar? Best Make-up of course, making John Lithgow so damn attractive! No, it was for Harry's make-up, John Lithgow is naturally beautiful.
Lauren came round last night and we watched this classic. The last time I watched it was also with Lauren, on my birthday about five years ago, I don't know if I was drunk or just tired five years ago but I hardly remembered any of it! It was ok but the best part was waiting for scenes which you could chop out and edit into a romance between Lithgow and Harry- there were a lot. And editing in sound-clips of passion from 3rd Rock from the Sun I'm sure it would work beautifully.

2 Days in New York (2012)

I'd seen 2 Days in Paris (2007) but didn't remember or realise this was the sequel until after the film, trying to figure out where I'd seen Julie Delpy before. The first film I now vaguely remember she took her New York Jewish boyfriend to Paris to meet her family and he was horrified to find out she had slept with practically every man in France. I thought he was good but could do better.
In this follow-up by writer/director/star Delpy, she has a new partner (Chris Rock) who is horrified to find out her family are douchebags when they come to stay. The thing is that it wasn't just her family who were ghastly, she was just as bad, and like the Jewish boyfriend in the first film, radio show host boyfriend is much better off without her, for fucksake, she cost him an interview with Obama! Not her badly behaved family, HER.
This is one of those cutesy quirky culture-clash films that you're supposed to like, Julie Delpy must be exactly like her character, self-centred and lacking empathy and humility to not understand that a woman like that is not charming or funny.
It's a cold day in hell when Chris Rock is the least bad thing in a film.

Killer Joe (2012)

I saw the trailer for Killer Joe at the cinema a while back and thought it looked pretty good. I've never been a fan of Matthew McConnaughey but seeing him the other day in Eastbound and Down not playing 'naked model in advert' (the role I usually see him in) made me remember the Killer Joe ad.
It was based on a play and I think that's one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much, that it was about the words and not showing loads of set design or location, you knew it was Texas from the horrible trailer in which most of it took place. It was a film where the actors' performances and the script were the key things, it was a play. The script was pretty good, not great, but the performances were really excellent. I didn't even mind the extreme violence because it was still uncomfortably funny and Matthew McConnaughey was fucking scary as hell as well as being charming.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Eastbound and Down Seasons 1 & 2

'Sup mother fuckers, it's Kenny fuckin' Powers! This is my last "Review" I'm currently waiting for season 3 of Kenny fuckin' Powers, as I call it, to arrive. I loved the first season, it was ridiculous and disgusting but it had heart (Kenny's love of April and her boobs) the second season was not nearly as good, it felt weak and they got rid of the heart and added more gross (Stop letting Stevie say things!! Argh! So gross and uncomfortable!!) I read online they shot it all in a month! I can believe it. I was ready to not buy any more seasons but hell, god damn them if they didn't just go and return home to his brother, brother's family, the principal and April and her boobs in the last episode and make me want to see what happens! Tch! I did enjoy Matthew McConaughey's creepy gay cameo. My mum couldn't believe it was the same naked hot guy who models for perfume ads. Hope he's back in season 3! Smell you later tv diary! Consider yourself updated at last! I'll be adding the first season if In Treatment to this list soon, I'm in the middle of watching it!

Misfits, Sesaons 1 & 2

I've been meaning to watch it for ages, we've had the boxset of series 1 & 2 for a year and it's remained unopened, still cellophane wrapped. Well, I opened it, and I watched all 13 episodes within a couple of days, probably could have done it in one if I didn't have to have so many naps! The kids are charming, talented and good looking and the stories are mad, funny and stupid and just what you want when you're ill. Series 3 arrived this morning, me and Dad-Y are going to watch some tomorrow, he's ill too, so we can both enjoy it. I've seen the ads on tv for the current 4th series, it looks naff with none of the original characters in it. Yes I'm sad Nathan is gone, but I love the actor who plays Rudy so I'm still really looking forward to this third series, series 4 I don't think I'll bother with, hopefully the third will be like the 4th series of Breaking Bad, a suitable ending. Kelly better not die, she's my favourite now Nathan's gone

Breaking Bad, Seasons 1-4

And now to what I am currently doing. I have had surgery. I am bedbound. We got that. So what happens when you're bedbound? You watch tons of boxsets. Breaking Bad I have been watching slowly now for a while. After the appendicitis kicked in- and by the way I thought it was food poisoning for the first week so I just lay in bed writhing!- in the week pre-hospital I started and finished season 4. Bloody hell! What a show! I can't see how they could need another season, tie up a few little loose ends I suppose, but really, that was an ending, it was an ending I'm happy with and when I was in the hospital after my operation and off my face on morphine for three days I had a hell of a lot of nightmares about Breaking Bad!! It gets in your head, man!!

The Woman in Black (2012)

Celia and I had a tv day, we had a tub of celebrations and we had a whole load of other yums. We watched Something Wicked This Way Comes, a favourite of mine from way back, young Jonathan Pryce, you are super lovely and scary as fuck. We watched the first House of Cards and Celia fell in love with Urquhart just as I had, oh FU, you creepy calculating charmer! We also went and bought the Woman in Black and watched it. It was GREAT! YES, you heard me! I enjoyed it! I thought it was a good old fashioned make-you-jump Hammer horror film. when they relied on shadows and half seen things out the corner of your eye it was a hundred times scarier than anything graphic or gruesome! Daniel Radcliffe was best when he didn't speak, he's good at acting scared so he was good in the part. I also liked the dog and was glad it didn't get hurt! Fun times!

Lawless (2012)

 Guy Pearce was the best thing in it, typical Guy Pearce creepy psycho weirdo. And Gary Oldman was actually good as well, and I'm so used to him being the same these days that I forgot how brilliant he was in Leon, he was just as psycho violent in this. Rest of the film disappointingly boring and I don't want to see someone being tarred and feathered, that's too violent for me and will give me nightmares.

Looper (2012)

 How the flip did they do it? How did they make Tommy from 3rd Rock from the Sun look like a young Bruce Willis?! False nose, false eyes, big drawn on eyebrows (despite the fact Bruce has no eyebrows) and- now this is the important bit- Tommy doing an impression; that wry sideways smile Bruce always does and the short derrisive laugh. It was an ok film, I only went because I wanted to see someone doing an impression of Bruce, I like seeing actors doing impressions! There was a bit that was a bit too much for me and Celia, too graphic and horrible, yuck, you know the bit.

Total Recall (2012)

After a date with a bucket of chicken on a park bench me and Stephen went to the other cinema in York- the one I'd never been to, the 1930s art deco one! and we saw the Total Recall remake, I think he was appalled to find out I'd never seen the original. I imagine the original couldn't possibly be as bad as that. But hey, you never know! It could be shite too! You know your film is suffering when Bryan Cranston and Bill Nighy are the potential bad guys.

Brave (2012)

 Me and Anna also saw this one. It was ok, when not comparing it to other Pixar films, jus comparing it to other recent Disney films, it was ok and I liked the bear. But compared to the standard of Pixar's other films (not including Cars) it was bland, very very bland.

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

 Anna and I went to see it. I did like it. Especially Bruce Willis. Bruce Willis as a real hero. Bruce Willis as a sad lonely middle aged guy who lives in a caravan and then saves a kid's life- I love it! It looked and sounded great, as Wes Anderson's films always do, but I couldn't help feeling on edge a few times and I had a huge confusing conversation inside my head about it... Was I just more aware that certain bits of the film would be a paedophile's dream film (to buy a ticket to and hide in) because I'm aware that there are pervs and creeps out there or was I creep to think those scenes were a bit too uncomfortably Lolita? Was it weird that there were naked kids on screen with boners?! I don't think it was gratuitous and I don't think it would have not-happened, but was it weird that some guy filmed it and put it in his movie? I don't know. It's political correctness gone mad! Or is it? Am I a prude or am I a perv?

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

 Saw it with Dad-Y after a lunch at Jamie Oliver's York restaurant. Both of us went in saying "Well, I just don't see how it can be better than the last one." We both came out saying "It was a million times better than the last one!!" We only saw it once and we haven't analysed the crap out of it, I enjoyed it SO much I can't wait to get it for Christmas and watch it a second time- might fast forward all Michael Caine's overacting though.

The Five Year Engagement (2012)

Oh god why!? Is it tradition?! Why do me and Lauren see such terrible films?! At least we went bowling, had a cheap Frankie and Benny's lunch and went to Toys R Us too. This film was so bloody awful and over-long. He should have opened a god damn restaurant himself! It was his own fault that he hated his life, NO SYMPATHY. Best bit; serious conversation between Emily Blunt and Trudy from Mad Men done through Elmo and Cookie Monster toys and voices.

The Dictator (2012)

 My choice again. Best joke right at the beginning; "Your test results have come back, you are HIV Aladeen." Rest of the film; nowhere near as good as that.

Prometheus (2012)

Day out with Rob and Lisa, ended with a terrible film which I say is terrible because I think that's the concensus. BUT, now call me a tiny fool if you must but I went into the film NOT KNOWING it was part of the Alien franchise so when all the Alien-type-things started happening I was thinking, 'hm, that's a bit like in Alien...' and when I thought I was the only person in the audience to figure out it was an Alien prequel I felt pretty damn pleased with myself! People are right, ignorance is bliss, I really enjoyed Prometheus! Even all the awful stupid plot holes! I will admit though, the first ten minutes with David dying his hair and watching old movies and playing basketball, those were undoubtedly the best bits.

Men in Black III (2012)

God, it was terrible. I'm sorry we had to see it. Highlight was when the creepy bad guy spoke and I went 'Fuck, is that Jermaine from Flight of the Conchords?!' and it was.

The Amazing Spider-man (2012)

 Me, Anna, Mikey and Roger all went out to the big cinema to see Spidey, we had pizzas and crap at Frankie and Benny's first and Roger's student ID got us FIFTEEN pounds off the final bill! Now that was amazing. I don't know, it was ok, Anna really enjoyed it (and she hates comics!) She was really upset when Uncle Ben died, and it was great because she'd forgotten he does die, I suppose that's the advantage of not being a nerd, that film actually surprised her!

The Avengers (2012)

Me and Mikey saw it the day after it came out, for comic shop duty of course... and Lauren and Steve went another time, for comic shop duty of course! It were great! I'd like to see it again, but this time Iron-man should die. That's right, I said it! I find him irritating, cocky and wankery beyond belief, I wanted Loki to kill him.

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

And now for all the films I've seen since April! Yikes, a few of these, including this one, were comic shop work-outings, so we knew what the customers were talking about! I haven't worked there since August! Yeah, I miss it a lot, I miss knowing what comics are out and I miss spotify and tea breaks and the price guns... But I've been really busy and even though I could have come back october, november, december well, my appendix burst and then I had a lot more complications and I'm bedbound til Christmas and then fingers crossed I have that new job in January, so actually it's good that I left with time for the gang to replace me rather than them suddenly being in the lurch! Annoyed I missed Thought Bubble AGAIN though...

So Steve, Mikey and I went to see this 'cause all the nerds were talking about it. It was good, it was clever and it was scary. Well, I found it scary, sorry, I don't like zombies and violence and monsters! Mikey liked it but thought it wasn't scary, Steve didn't think it was scary either... It was!!

King Lear, Almeida

 So I've been waiting for it for what, ten years? Seems like it. But it was announced a year ago Jonathan Pryce, Jonathan Pryce, my favourite actor, master of despair, break-down acting and also comedy and musical, Jonathan Pryce would be doing King Lear. I almost didn't get a ticket! I waited up til midnight and got two of the last seats. Thank you appendix, wherever you are now (insinerated I hope) thank you for waiting for after the play to start exploding! Jonathan was great. There have been so many Lears recently, Jacobi, McKellen, Poslethwaite, did Patrick Stewart do one too? How would Jonathan play it? Well, as I always excpected, and of course hoped, he played it sexually! The reason the other daughters hated him and Cordelia so much was that he'd abused them and not her. It makes sense! And we're not talking abused one time, he's still doing it! Even though both daughters are married and have their own castles!! What a shit! I was happy he died. Edmund was particularly good too, he played it Geordie and every single thing he said was so easily accessible compared to the way some of the other actors delivered their Shakespeare. I'm sure it's something to do with him being a Geordie... Anyway, maybe it was my appendicitis kicking in and making me crazy but when Jonathan Pryce was being uber disgusting and filthy sexual, while other members of the audience (Alison, Bill Paterson, etc.) were vomitting into their handbags I was all like 'phoar!'
I will never get over how ace he is.

Blue/Orange, York Grand

The night me and Rob went to see Blue/Orange in town I started to get bad back pains, they were terrible for three days then they eased and I went to see King Lear in London, that's when my troubles really started! Anyhoo, I took some paracetemol and we went to see the play. It was good! The three actors did a great job, all of them, I went to see Robert Bathurst of course, who Rob likened to a gorilla but who I've always seen as a charming blond boy. It was a good psychological drama and the first time me and Rob have been to the theatre together, I think he enjoyed going too but next time I think a period piece, something less mind-fucky!

Last of the Haussmans, NT live

Haven't been to the National Theatre for ages! Don't know when I will! I really wanted to see the new John Lithgow play but I'll probably miss it, I hope I get to see Alan Bennett's latest as well but I think it's all sold out already! But when you miss plays you can always go to see them at the cinema these days! We saw Rory Kinnear's latest (we haven't missed anything he's done for the last six years or so! He's great!) at the cinema. We were glad we hadn't made the trip. To be honest I wouldn't actually want to pay to see Julie Walters do anything, I think she's ghastly, over-rated and the same in everything. She was ok in this, but still just Julie Walters. Rory was ok too, but really it showed that it was the writer's first play, it wasn't saying anything about selfish baby-boomers we didn't already know. The good thing, the really good thing was Helen McCrory, she was really really good. Her preformace made the play worth seeing, after being angry that Rory was just playing a depressed gay goth and Julie Walters was her annoying self it took a while to realise the play wasn't about them, it was about McCrory's character and all the shit she had to put up with, she was really excellent. I'd like to see her for real next time.

An Appointment with the Wickerman, Edinburgh Fringe

 I managed to go back to Edinburgh to see my pals, I realised while I was there how much I missed them (as I always do!) and I managed to go stay with them for three days and see a lot of good shows, all the shows, bar this one, I saw were at the Sweet venue at the Apex International Hotel on the Grassmarket, what a lovely hotel and venue- great food too! I had a few meals there! Because all my pals were working, either at the venue, which they manage and run, or in the shows, I spent all my time there, and with a horrible rainy summer I didn't mind, I've done all of Edinburgh you can do, I really enjoyed sitting in the bar waiting for another chum to go on a break and have a meal or a drink with me! I saw magic and mind reading, drama, comedy and student theatre! They had a great mix of shows. Pierrepoint, a monologue with the condemned man acting out his last night silently behind the straight-talking yorkshire hangman was extremely good, both actors were brilliant, gripping stuff! The only show I saw outside the Sweet was An Appointment with the Wickerman, a show reccommended to me by Paul.

If you like Still Game, Fags, Mags & Bags, the boy who played Oliver Wood in the Harry Potter films and The Wickerman you would LOVE this show. I love all those things, and I loved that show. It's about a small island am-dram group putting on a horrendously camp and inappropriate musical version of the Wickerman, their lead actor mysteriously disappears so a young professional actor (off of a naff Scottish tv cop show) takes the gig and while rehearsing starts to wonder if the islanders aren't hiding something sinister from him... It was friggin amazing. I hope they film it.

Dandy Dick, York Grand

Maria and I went for my burfday down the road to see Nick le Prevost doing his latest. I'd had to see the posters of his face all over the posh end of town for a month, we even had one up in the bookshop! "I must work in a middle-class shop, there's a picture of you on the wall. Arf arf." I quipped, he groaned. No, it was nice to have a silly show to see for my birthday and have a drink with the cast afterwards, that Irish boy who played the violin was a lovely chap. As for the play well the first twenty minutes were rather slow but after that Nick was in every scene, lighting it up, a joy. And it was a good giggle, I liked the Frankenstein bit where the vicar creates the horse tonic in the lightening storm, good and silly, that's what it was, good costumes and I really liked the music!

Edinburgh Fringe 2012 DAYTRIP

I wasn't sure if I would visit my pals at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, but I booked a daytrip for me and Rob, an early train and a late train back to York, four shows of different genres and enough time for a big dinner at the steak and mussles place! I actually booked the trip when I thought my friend Suzie was coming from America so they were all chosen with her in mind! Suzie is into sporty things and arty things, also she is a published children's author/illustrator, so she likes kids things too! So the four shows I picked were Peter and the Wolf performed by two Russian clowns with minamilist puppets! Leo, a one man dance sensation! The Man Who Planted Trees, a nice little eco-puppet story half in French and my friends' comedy sketch show A Brief History of Scotland, so she could meet them! If I'd have known I was picking for Rob I would have cut the first three!! It turned out he did like my friends' show the best, lot of laughs! I have reviewed it before but there were new sketches and tighter old sketches, it was great. DBS are an excellent young theatre company, I'm proud to have been involved in a few of their ventures!

So we arrived in Edinburgh in the rain (August, of course it's raining!) went straight to John Lewis and had a massive breakfast while looking out of their cafe windows at the rooftops, this was a highlight! It didn't rain all day, Peter and the Wolf was good fun, the first half anyway, when they played the record and acted it out, the second half had odd new-age lift-muzak playing while they fucked about like a couple of idiots, that way you left the show with awful music in your head instead of the recognisable tune you enjoyed in the first half! We then had a coffee and went to see Leo. Flip!! He was amazing! I can't even begin to describe how clever it was, maybe there's a youtube video I can post here. Again, it went on a bit too long but otherwise I really liked watching it. Then The Man Who Planted Trees, which I saw last year and booked because I thought Suzie would like it, it was just as good as last year. Love that dog puppet. After seeing my pals' show and Rob meeting them and having a drink we had an amazing big meal at mussles and steak, then we came home- man we were TIRED!

Hercules, York Uni Pantosoc

(Audience of summer outdoor panto)
 Last year I went to see the York University Panto Society put on Treasure Island and it was amazingly good, clever writing and excellent songs, funny talented cast. This year it was ok, not nearly as good as last year, let down by the songs, but still a reet good laugh- and I didn't get sunburned this year!

Close the Coalhouse Door, York Theatre Royal

Oh god, this was awful. Just terrible and embarrassing. Terrible jokes and songs, twee and flat, embarrassing acting and stylistic choices. The worst part was how much the middle class audience seemed to enjoy it.

Betrayal, Sheffield Crucible

I passed myself off as a York Student and went on the Theatre-Goers trip to see Betrayal at the Crucible. What a great theatre and art gallery next door! With fab restaurants! Me and Anna had steak and chips beforehand, dee-lish! This is a play I don't remember much, well I do, but I found it dull and I found the cast dull. The art gallery was great though!

Matilda, Cambridge Theatre

For my birthday Anna got me the soundtrack from Matilda, we'd seen in two months previously the day after seeing Henry V. I hadn't really been too bothered, I didn't know what they'd done to it, I only knew Bertie Carvell was supposed to be very good in it. He was. He was! I'm glad we saw it before he left. Matilda was an excellent musical. The songs were great and the story and characters, though a little changed, much more faithful to the book than the sludgy-sentimental-american film. I mean, the Trunchbull was the best thing in the film, it was like Pam Ferris was born to play the part, she was a drill sergeant who had no time for small people, she was practically a big scary man, perfect. Perfect until you see Bertie Carvel. Bertie Carvel, a big scary man, played the Trunchbull like a little girl, her brain not developed enough to understand what's right and wrong, her brain only capable of understanding how to throw the hammer, how to do things by the rules, scared and disturbed by children but with the muscle and gigantic size to accidentally or maybe not accidentally KILL. Fuck, now THAT was terrifying. There were loads of school groups in when we saw the matinee, there was a special needs school in the stalls, every time the Truchbull appeared they all wailed in terror. Christ!!

Henry V, Globe

The Globe finished their World Shakespeare Season with Henry V, and also launched their new season with it. Jamie Parker returned as Hal and was as charming and cocky and young-Kenny-Brannagh as ever. We'd seen Henry IV parts one and two last year at the cinema and my god they were fantastic, so much better than the BBC's Hollow Crown series, Simon Russell Beale can fuck right off, he is a charmless slime-bucket, we love you Roger Allam, your Falstaff is my dream man, I was horrified at his "death scene cameo" (a large covered corpse was carried off) in Henry V. Yes, it was a good show and I'm glad I saw them all, but I miss Falstaff and as soon as it was over we went straight to the shop and bought Henry IV parts one and two on dvd to give to Dad-Y for birthday. Making this June!

Step 9 (of 12), Trafalgar Studios

With a Thursday afternoon to kill in London and all the exhibitions having been seen I got a ticket and and ice cream for this one act play in the Trafalgar Studios teeny intimate theatre. I sat in the front row, which was practically on the set- my feet were in the set, it was up close and personal! And it was a claustraphobic little play! Funny, then tense, then uncomfortable, then terrifying!! I really REALLY enjoyed it. Neil from the Inbetweeners starred and he was very good indeed, that boy has range and I couldn't help but totally fancy him when I realised what talent he has! I'm a sucker for talent. And he reminded me of Rob. He was the same height and shape, but like forty years younger. Ha!

A Marvelous Year for Plums, Chichester Festival Theatre

A matinee in Chichester, I wasn't staying there again, two years previously I stayed in the kind of hotel people get murdered in, mismatched sheets on my twin beds and stains on the walls! Night terrors! I'm glad I managed to see this one, my favourite scene was probably the meeting between Anthony Eden and young John Prescott on board that cruise ship, apparently it's all true! Anthony Andrews was great, very emotional, liked the scene with the breakdown and liked Nick le Prevost and Imogen Stubbs smooching, I've always liked her loads. Don't remember much else, loads of coughing old people as it was a matinee and god it was hot in there, someone even had their westie with them, he looked like he was wilting, all fur in the boiling heat. May was about as hot as it got this year!

Julius Ceasar, Globe

The day after Rufus Alison had to work so I went to see this Italian production of Julius Casear at the Globe as part of their World Shakespeare Season- all the works of Shakespeare in 40 different languages. Anna, who booked the tickets and then couldn't come, speaks Italian. I don't. There were no subtitles but I've seen the play, I know what's happening... I managed to sell my extra ticket to an Italian girl and then we went and watched it. Ok... It was an avant-garde, minamilist sort of thing, modern dress too, but I followed the weak visual puns (lightbulb held over head, writhing in torment, etc.) and I followed the plot. My favourite bit was when they all killed 'Ceasar'... Ceasar was played by a leather chair with the seat punched out. Later on when each character died, they sat in the chair- you know, it's symbolic... Ha!!! It was tripe! And the Italian audience bloody loved it! Actually, my real favourite bit was when the old ladies in front of me who had been following their English texts throughout the performance said after the chair-murder to each other "I think the chap with the moustache is Caesar." That was Brutus!! Caesar had already been killed!! How could they not follow it?! Jeez!

Rufus Wainwright, Lyceum

Rufus Wainwright's new album Out of the Game came out and I went with Alison (not a fan but a last minute replacement for poorly Anna) to see him play at the Lyceum in April. He was wonderous. I love- LOVE- Rufus Wainwright. He's the only musician I think I actually like, I like sad songs and I like poetry and I like sarcastic beautiful gay lads. I had never seen him live before, other than when we saw his opera and he just came on at the end and said thanks, he played the entirety of the album and a lot of favourites, he did three encores including bringing his sister Martha out and making her sing! Bonus! it was ace, I loved it and Alison got her book signed by Mark Gatiss who was sitting in front of us, I think that was the highlight for her, that and Sheekys afterwards.

The Magic Flute, Prague State Opera House

I'm now going to review all the theatre/opera/concerts I've seen since April in chronological order, we should end with Jonathan Pryce's King Lear, which I saw last month, the night my appendicitis kicked in!

Rob and I went to Prague in April, we stayed in a boatel, a boat-hotel, it was amazing, two duvets on a double bed, one each?! Why did I never think of that?! So we did lots of Prague things, saw the sights and the museums and the architecture, ate revolting meat dishes and beer but found the best food was at the opera house. Rob booked the holiday and I booked the opera. Rob had never been to the opera but seeing as he loves the film Amadeus so much, and so much of it was filmed in Prague, I thought it would be nice to see a Mozart at their state opera house! It was fab and funny and had great tunes (the other operas I've been to I found tedious, I think the trick is to see one where you already know the music is to your taste!) At the interval we had ridiculously cheap fab open sandwiches and glasses of champagne. The only downside was the theatre layout, there were no normal seats (stalls, circle, etc) it was all little compartments, each with six seats, we shared our compartment with four Americans. The mum and mum's mate adored it, the dad and teenage daughter were bored and fidgetting throughout, before the cast had even taken their bows the dad said obnoxiously "Well, you've seen a Prague opera, you can cross that off your list!" The wife should have punched him in the nuts! Anyway, they didn't bother us much and it made for a good anecdote.

Mad Men, Season Five (and yes I'm still alive)

Ok. I'm going to start with this one because I have just rewatched it on DVD after having watched it all when it was originally on tv. I haven't put anything on here since April, I've been useless! I blame having that job at the comic shop! And then having that tv job in Leeds and then being on holiday and then being in hospital. I am now bedbound and so I have no excuse... The thing is I actually did keep a note of all the films and plays I've seen and I prepared images for the blog, I just never seemed to have time to write it. So now, even though the reviews will be short and probably I'll say "I can't really remember it" a lot, at least I'll be back up to date!

Madmen season five was thrilling, I loved watching it weekly as well as watching it all in a couple of nights last week! Peggy is just the bomb, I can't wait for her in the next season. I can't write more, just that I love it and I'm glad after a season of Don thinking he can be different with Megan the final shot of him was like "Ah, fuck it, I'm Don Draper!"

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Stephen King's IT (1990)

I never read the back of the videobox when I was a child, I never wanted to! I just saw Tim Curry's creepy clown face and though 'I never want to see that!'
Well, Lauren and I were in a horror movie mood a couple of weeks ago and we went crazy and bought a load of old shite- half that we haven't even watched yet. We didn't get round to IT either but I have been ill for the last week and thought a three hour movie (originally two long TV episodes) would do me good. And I thought it was GREAT! Apart from Tim Curry it's not really scary at all and I loved the first half because it was like watching one of those 80s movies set in the fifties about a load of kids in nowheresville America just hanging about, you know, like Stand By Me. So it was really great watching all these kids getting freaked out but dealing with it by making dams and saying stuff like "Holy Smokes!" even though people were getting murdered!
I also liked it when you saw the present day versions of the kids all played by actors that din't look like them at all- especially the guy playing older Seth Green. Anyway, when they went down into the sewers as grownups it was a bit boring, but it was an enjoyable romp and I haven't had any nightmares.

She Stoops to Conquer, National Theatre Live

This was definitely the best National Theatre Live I've seen- the only one worth seeing and the only one I'd want to have seen in real life.
It was fucking hilarious, the actors were deliciously over the top. Cush Jumbo is so adorable and I love Sophie Thompson and want to be her when I grow up.

Stewart Lee, Carpet Remnant World, York

On the day we went to see Stewart Lee we ate too much and watched too many horror films. Ten minutes from the end of Stew's stand-up show I stopped laughing, not because it wasn't funny any more, I just got too tired and my mouth hurt from smiling. Plus that bit about office world made me cry with laffs, yes it went on too long, but that's what I wanted. I wanted it to go on forever.
Great first Stewart Lee Live experience, well done Lauren booking those tickets a YEAR in advance. Do it again!!

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2011)

A bunch of college kids are in a car on their way to spend the weekend camping in the creepy woods, another vehichle passes them and the kids get a glimpse of the kind of folk they might meet in the hills... a couple of massive hillbilly hicks and their bruiser of a dog, chainsaws and all in their truck. We know the set up.
Yet this turned out to be THE BEST HORROR COMEDY. After that first scene the film then shifts to Tucker and Dale's point of view, they are hardworking country types who have finally saved enough money to buy and fix up a holiday home in the hills, they are cute and lovable and when bad things happen around them they are so scared and horrified that they weep.
The pure comedic joy you get from watching ridiculous stupid misunderstandings and accidents is immense. I recommend it.

My Week with Marilyn (2011)

Anna saw it at the cinema and said it was shite, which was a shame because I'd fancied seeing it because I wanted to see how Kenny tackled being Larry- to me it seemed the perfect casting.
My dad rented it and we watched it together. I thought it was brill! A great British ensemble piece and I actually managed to enjoy Judi Dench (there's a first!)
Also, just as I expected, Kenny nailed it. At some points I forgot he wasn't Olivier.

Anonymous (2011)

Good take on the 'who wrote Shakespeare's plays' theme. Nice acting and good story even if the script was a bit terrible, and I love it when acting families play older and younger versions of the same character. See photo of Joely Richardson playing young Queen Elizabeth and her mum Vanessa Redgrave playing older Bess. Thumbs up from British-actor-geek Amy!