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writing, film, TV, radio, theatre

Why do films today always fall short?

Hard to pinpoint why the craft of moviemaking seemed to die away sometime in the late 60s or early 70s but methinks it did largely disappear, with honourable exceptions.

Don’t get me wrong – there were very good films, e.g. Life of Brian, Indiana Jones, but the sheer artistry and the cinematography and magnificent sets, yes even the noir – they just seem from a different age.

Just been watching the making of Dr. Strangelove and as a conceptual masterpiece from woe to go, it’s hard to better. Rotten Tomatoes critics give 100%, audience 94% and certainly it did well at the box office. Plus it has a JFK byline.

Even Starwars is getting long in the tooth now. What could you match it with today – Lord of the Rings?

I’ve looked at a few Greatest lists and the films which come out on top the whole time include:

Vertigo, Citizen Kane, Gone with the Wind, Godfather, Raging Bull, Third Man, Casablanca, Strangelove, 2001 – so many.…

Get a room and other stories


Star footballer caught in sex romp in Paris

Footballers have been known to do some pretty outrageous things but this one takes the biscuit and I’m sorry to say it’s one of our star players. I liked Jimmy Bartel, I really did but this is just one step too far, this is beyond the pale, if you catch my drift.


He was caught canoodling with the young lady and seems the two couldn’t keep their hands off each other.

What’s wrong with that, you might ask? Well for goodness sake – she’s his wife! A man has the hots for his own wife? What’s the world coming to?

I mean, what got into him – he goes gallivanting off to Paris with her when he could have been getting sloshed with the lads in Bali:


Caption time

Supply his name, her name and what he’s saying to her:


The geek

From Chuckles:



When I lived in England, I told the girl I was dating (who’s still one of my best friends in the world) that I could do a KILLER Irish accent.

The drip-drip-drip of the agenda

Further to yesterday’s post about Abortion and Doctor Who, Amfortas adds:

My friend Joyanna was ranting away about the brainwashing that goes through popular TV shows. She was having quite a ‘forensic’ time of it, picking through the bones of ‘Bones’.


I had to add my bit. It seems Moffatt has either lost the plot or is being too clever by 52.635%

“AND… then there is Dr Who. I know you get it in the US too. For years it has been pushing the smart ‘assistant’. The girl in the show. She is not the only girl mind you who is so smart and powerful (even surpassing the Dr all the time) as other girls appear as scientists, time travellers in their own right, ‘warriors’, even a super-dooper ‘older woman’ Professor who is the daughter of an ‘assistant’ (River Song, daughter of Amy Pond). And ‘Captains’ of military units and having command powers that outstrip any Colonel you might think of.



1.  That punch
2.  What’s a bear do in the woods?
3.  Anni Dewani and Reeva Steenkamp

That punch

This will be added to during the day.

Ben Flower may face police action over pitch attack

For me, it wasn’t that he threw a punch – it’s a man’s game – but that a punch was thrown after the man was on the ground, direct to the skull.  Don’t know about you but I was always taught that to hit a man while he’s down is the mark of cowardice.  Even thugs have been known to tell the man to get up first.

What’s a bear do in the woods?

Fascinating bear vid via Wiggia.

Anni Dewani and Reeva Steenkamp

Interesting that Wiggia has this on Pistorius:

Regardless of the verdict, Pistorius has a major disadvantage he is one of those individuals that has a face you could never trust, real or imagined.

Not the definitive list of companions


Kindest thing to say – look at his expression

Saw two mortifying articles today – one was the supposedly ‘definitive’ ranking of companions, roundly condemned by commenters and the other – Donna Noble wants to return. Aaaaggghhh!!!  No, don’t do it.

Oh, one other article:

The talk was of whether Doctor Who frightens the children.  Most thought not and one wag wrote:

Whenever I want to frighten the children, I announce that it is Pink Floyd Evening, and we are going to listen to The Wall all the way through without a break.  Also works with spouses.

And from the article:

“The Moff”, after all, is the man who coined the catchphrase “timey-wimey, wibbly-wobbly”. He gets playful with the show’s internal mythology, stretches its rules and can disappear up his own time vortex.

Another comment:

Frankly, [it] should be retitled “Doctor Who’s Assistant’ as almost all of last week seemed focussed on the soap opera of the pretty side kick. 

So, on the grounds that you can’t condemn a list if not putting up one of your own:


Spoilers, sweetie

As often happens, haiku sent a link to this piece on how, now Norway’s withdrawn from the winter Olympics, there are really only totalitarian regimes left to bid.  It’s an interesting read, so off you go then.

For those still here, the mind wandered and I clicked on a piece on spoilers, in which the writer deliberately let slip, after he was asked not to, nay begged not to, the ending of  some series and then, to cover himself, wrote a rubbish piece for the Atlantic, entitled In Defense of Spoilers.

What a deadhead, what a tosser.

At this point, I looked at the mag again – The Atlantic – and couldn’t remember if it was the left wing one or was that the Atlanticist or – well, I couldn’t remember.  Because it reminds me of some of the columnists at the Age and the Washington Post, employed to virtually write drivel to fill up the space and both of those are left rags.…

Is it raining I didn’t notice


There was a skit in a comedy show so long ago I can’t remember in which a young man was manoeuvred into doing something which resulted in sheer embarrassment.

He’d come for dinner but the hostess met him and said look, we’ve made the most awful mistake, we asked too many and there are no more chairs but you’ve come so far we still want you to eat – would you mind awfully coming through here – sorry, no chairs unfortunately but we’ll bring you the meal in a minute.

And being, as most people are, willing to accommodate the gaffe, he acquiesces and is on the floor eating when the double doors are thrown open and there are all the guests at the table in the next room all staring at him eating on the floor, with one empty place at the table.

Or have you been watching some explanation from a politician on television about an incident where you were there at the event and it must have been a different event the politician was speaking of and you find yourself saying, ‘Now hang on a moment, that’s not how it happened,’ and then further on, ‘no, no, no, that’s not so, that’s not true.’  And you’re upset and you don’t know why – the incident was nothing to do with you, the politician is nothing to do with you but you’re upset – it would seem irrationally so.…

Dead Man’s Folly

dead man's folly

Last evening, I watched Dead Man’s folly, for no other reason than I went in to listen to Shakira and the reason for that will become apparent in another post – and there it was, recommended by Youtube.

I like to read the blurb first before watching a film, seeing what people think, seeing the plot, sometimes not looking at whoactuallydunnit but sometimes wanting to know in advance.  So I looked at the plot up to that point and then watched the film.

Good start, lush in an 80s way, looked like a good cast, Ustinov is not everyone’s favourite Poirot but he’s a nice man in himself and thus acceptable. Boats appeared early and two lovely lasses – it augured well.  Joan someone, a well-known English actress, very good actress – yes, this was looking good.  Only black spot was Hastings – whoever played him was pathetic, like a smiling idiot, traipsing along after Ustinov like a pet baboon, arms hanging by his sides.…

Two Bond buffs discuss

Daniel1979′s [ ]been thinking about the order of Bond films in the light of recent posts.
It throws up some interesting points.  I would rank the actors themselves for their Bonds and my enjoyment as 1. Moore, 2 Brosnan 3. Connery 4. Craig 5 Lazenby (2 and 3 switch given the topic, day of week, etc) – however the table doesn’t bear that out.  I guess in all honesty this is the best film, given the era, longevity etc rather than weighting too much on the Bond performance.
Also, I had to do this in reverse, so I am much more solid on the bottom half than the top half.  I had never considered too seriously which was my favourite film before, and could have gone to any of top 3 which i have probably referred to as my favourite at different times.  I guess i could be persuaded to have a re-think and modest reshuffle near the top.

Skyfall 92%? You have got to be kidding!

Just been looking at the Rotten Tomatoes forum on Skyfall.  For all the reasons stated by so many commenters, along with the posts already at this blog on the matter, that film, if not a turkey, was certainly not up there with the best.

From the wimpy, moping Bond to the huge plot holes, to the incapacity of Bond to actually achieve anything until the end, for walking across a field in a combat situation with a flashlight – there were so many things wrong.  Fair comment that all Bond films have something wrong somewhere but my issue is where the Rotten Tomatoes aggregate of critics has placed it:


You have got to be kidding – just look at the derogatory comments all over the web, even at the RT forum. That is not a 92% film, that is a controversial film. I saw one list which got to OHMSS and called it the most controversial Bond of all.…

Pierce Brosnan


Typecasting – a killer.

Since Bond, Pierce has struggled but that might be due to age in no small part. Seems to me that all along the line he’s had a raw deal, from NBC’s shutting him in, post-Moore, to the rubbish Bond films following Goldeneye, still up there as one of the best ever.

DAD’s been given bad press but the opening was very good and he held his end up all the way. That pic at the top of this post is a bit sad for me. I know, I know, his bank balance gives him cause not to be sad but still … it is sad.

To be now considered as a sidekick after his body of work – that’s not kind to the soul.

He seems more of a Bond than Daniel Craig, though it’s hard to knock Casino Royale – a top film in its own right.…

Series 8 so far and other thoughts


Was searching around for any reviews of the new series [8] and certain things became clear:

1.  People’s views are highly diverse and subjective on each character and episode, each story arc and ne’er the twain shall meet.


2.  Almost everyone agrees Moffat has ruined it at worst or is just caught up in circles of dullness at best.

My mate lent me The Day of the Doctor and asked for an opinion.  It didn’t work in the player but I found it elsewhere and feel:

3.  There’s a lack of logic – too many plotlines around linear time, resulting in endings when there ARE no endings in time travel.  You can endlessly go back and reverse things.  Also, having to kill his own world in order to wipe out the enemy was silly.  There are rules in SF, even Doctor Who and they shouldn’t be trampled on.

I get the feeling it’s gone to Moffat’s head.…

Talk shows reveal the best and worst in people

Tagline: stating the bleedin’ obvious.

You’re going to ask where the news is in this and you’d be right but still … late night, before sleeping, I’ve been watching Craig Ferguson interviews and if nothing else, they’re revealing of certain things.

The first is what we knew anyway – Hollywoood is poisonous. How any relationship can stay afloat with such amoral people sleeping around to get advancement, sticking knives in backs and then enjoying a huge reputation worldwide explains City of Angels – but which angels?

Anyway, the galaxy of “stars” made their way to Ferguson’s armchair and the females in particular were really falling over themselves to both get on and then flirt OTT – one last night had him backing off.

Even that’s not the point of the post. The point is what total a***h***s a few people are, beyond any normal definition of a***h***ery. I mean, total dead losses as people and the surprise, to me, were which ones were like this.…

The Late [Late] Show

If you look up Doctor Who on Youtube, you’ll run into The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, expat Scot who’s had all the Doctor Who cast on at one time or another, plus many other high profile guests, mainly from America.

As well as that angle, there is also his amazing effect on celeb women. Watch them on Letterman and similar and then watch them on Ferguson’s show and it’s pretty obvious:

So I went to a Nielsen ratings site and found this:

1. The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon — 1.28 (3.9 million viewers)
2. The Jimmy Kimmel Show — .64 (2.7 million)
3. Late Night with Seth Meyers — .64 (1.6 million)
4. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart — .56 (1.4 million)
5. The Late Show with David Letterman .47 (2.49 million)
6. The Colbert Report — .45 (1.1 million)
7. Nightline — .41 (1.67 million)

Why can’t the Beeb be accurate, asks the Doc

Amfortas reports that The Chap reports about Doctor Who’s boots.

Or in other words:

In its haste to trumpet the arrival of the twelfth Time Lord, the BBC made a huge howler by attributing most of his items of clothing to the wrong manufacturer.


# The Doctor’s black brogue boots, with a very similar sole to a Dr Marten, are in actual fact a joint production by Loake and the British Boot Company.

# While the coat is indeed cut in the Crombie style, the Crombie Company claims they did not make it nor supply it to the BBC.

In fact, comments show The Chap himself to have been in error on one point.…