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writing, film, TV, radio, theatre

Not so much a quiz

Question-mark1.  Which recognized actor[tress], alive or dead, would you want playing you [or your life] in a film?

As for me, I was looking for someone around 5’10”, fast on the feet, cheeky, can be menacing, questionable reputation as a person, darker or not a lot of hair, not so good looking.

First thoughts were Sean Bean and Patrick Stewart, neither known for their cheeky grins and the latter gay, thought Colin Farrell but he’s gay, Danny Dyer is up himself, this is more difficult than it looks. Jason Statham’s the right height but plays the hard man too much and is up himself. Clive Owen’s too tall, as is Vinny.

The other thing putting almost all of them out is they’re leftwing. I really can’t think of one actor who could do it. Maybe John Nettles.

2.  Given a free choice, which recognized character, from any age and place, from any walk of life, would you play in a film?


Yesterday, I was lent SPECTRE and liveblogged it last evening [though didn’t post it].  This is an abridged version, under headings and I have to eat humble pie in some respects, given the reviews so far on this blog*.

How valid is writing a review based on a dozen reviews by others out there, having watched every available clip and trailer, having watched interviews with the cast and having seen screenshots? I’d say half and half.

spectre 8

Opening in Mexico

Reviewers called this, almost unanimously, spectacular and a good start. Yes, it was excellent but not as exciting as the running of the bulls.…

Bridge of Spies

This started as a review of a horror film.


Methought – that’ll surprise ’em, particularly my mate who gets off on such things. From the opening paragraph, I realized these people are on a different plane, wallowing in gore.

Everyone to his or her taste but why on earth would you enjoy someone having his body mutilated? Or hers? Two closely connected genres are at least pleasurable to watch – mystery and suspense.…

Farewell, Doctor Who

Part one of a two part post.


The best suspense thrillers are those which start innocuously, from quiet, almost boring beginnings, such as Tippi Hedren being pecked by a bird crossing a lake, the incidents increase and it goes through a phase of denial by others, people calling her and her man kooks, explaining things away rationally but even the protagonists can’t latch onto what is really happening – their own preconceptions get in the way.…

The Doc – revisiting Series One and Two

Feeling marginally better and wishing to reflect this in a new post, what better than to go back to Series One and Two of the Doctor Who reboot – there were some grand episodes in there.  Rose, Ecclestone, Tennant.

ce and rose

And so it went for some time – she was a pretty-pretty, Rose. Pootled on over to the Beeb webpage on the series to refamiliarize and oh no – every third line about Rose was how she was equal to the Doctor in every way.…

Robin Ramsay

It takes Robin Ramsay until page 77 of Who Shot JFK, Pocket Essentials, revised 2007, to write:

Because there is enough evidence to plausibly construct an initial case for many candidates, the Kennedy assassination has always been a kind of mirror which reflects the researcher’s and reader’s own preoccupations and prejudices.

Don’t think anyone disputes that principle but detractors of Robin Ramsay would say he does just that, in pointing to LBJ as the man behind the killing.

220px-Robin-ramsay-lobsterRobin Ramsay

Mark Lane wrote a book “Rush to Judgment” in 1966 and then proceeded to nominate his solution.

His book was vital because it caught the American imagination at precisely the time when the revelations about the CIA and Ike’s military industrial complex had also caught the public mood.…



#  Petition calls to drop Coldplay from Glastonbury:

Coldplay will headline the Sunday night slot at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, but some festival fans are so upset they’ve launched a petition to ban the band.

Yes but that could apply to any modern band or singer – I mean, just look at the available dross. Was it last year or the year before when that Florence and the Machine were the issue. I went deeply into that singer and sidekick, seeking any sort of redeeming quality to the “music” but came up emptyhanded.  Not sure what they did have but it wasn’t talent.

As for Glastonbury itself:

At this time every year, I like to pause and give thanks that I am not at the Glastonbury music festival. That tomorrow, I will not awake hemmed in by claustrophobia-triggering canvas, with nothing to look forward to but trial by stinky portaloo, trial by ‘street’ food, and multiple trials by live music.

The Truth Is Out There

Something lives only as long as the last person who remembers it. Memory, like fire, is radiant and immutable, while history serves only those who seek to control it, those who douse the flame of memory in order to put out the dangerous fire of truth. Beware these men, for they are dangerous themselves … and unwise. Their false history is written in the blood of those who might remember and of those who seek the truth. [Navajo man, X files]

It’s not as if no one were taking it seriously:

china alines

And there is no shortage of people with letters after their name to say:

“What Fermi didn’t know when he asked that famous question was that the number of Earth-like planets is absolutely gigantic now. More problematic is that many of these solar systems far, far pre-date our solar system. They would have, in principle, a major head start of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of years.”

“The problem is exceedingly acute: we shouldn’t be alone but, famous last words, all the evidence suggests we are.

The Man in the High Castle – issues which arise

As The Revenant sweeps the BAFTAs, one really must ask questions about taste, people’s taste in films. Clearly one cannot legislate for taste but those with a certain taste know when a film is bad or when it’s worthy.


It became clear about the 7th episode of 10 of The Man in the High Castle that the slow deliberate build, the reality flipping, switching from one to the other, the cryptic references – it became clear that these would need to be resolved by the end of Season 1.

Full marks for the design, production values, the cinematography, the mood of distrust and tension at every level of that society, even in the seemingly idyllic – and appropriately lit – home world of Obergruppenführer Smith and family:


… which raised interesting questions about when one is close to a monster in friendship. The man standing is the OGF who had just berated an underling for not beating a man to death, even though he was unconscious.…

The Erlenmeyer Flask

89795_largeThere are many questions:

1. How far does life mirror art, art mirror life or how far is art a complete fantasy?

2.  Is a Fox Mulder or a Dana Scully usually right?

3.  Are those who harrumph: “I don’t do conspiracy theories [collective, all-inclusive noun, plural, with no exceptions],” correct – the James Randis for whom nothing outside their little worlds exists … or are the dot joiners who leap onto anomalies and turn them into urban legends the ones correct?…

Shows that cut it and those that don’t …

mulder scully

As a member of Amazon Prime, I think the main reason I’ve not accessed the films till now is that they’ve been rubbish – for example there was Transporter 3 but no Transporter 1, not unlike going to the clothing store and there’s everything except your size.

However, there were two things – The Man from the High Castle, which I’m wading through but it’s pretty dystopic and turgid so far – she’s just thrown one of the baddies off the bridge … and The X Files, which I’ve not seen many of.…

The Man in the High Castle

In the last few months, N.O. has occasionally been doing film reviews on films not yet seen – you might call it a Tom Cruise-like pre-reviewing.

I’d argue that this can be valid as long as those quoted had actually seen it and it was not solely professional critics feeding the information. One can get a pretty good idea from these, along with trailers and clips.


And so it is with Chuckles sending:…

Parodies of greatness, e.g. the new Dad’s Army


The main issue with most recent attempts at retrieving old ideas, old shows, old eras is not so much the fault of the producers and scriptwriters  – they do what they can, which means taking what are perceived to be the best bits of the old show and stringing them end to end, producing a string of mini-highlights, jumping from one to the other, attempting to “include” all the key elements.…

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