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franproc

franproc

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since 30/11/-0001

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Singles 1992-2003 - No Doubt 31/12/2003

Feeling Hella Good

Singles 1992-2003 - No Doubt No Doubt formed in 1986 as a Madness tribute band when Eric Stefani started the fold with his gorgeously punky platinum-blonde sister Gwen and four of their friends, John Spence, Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont and Adrian Young. Original front man John Spence committed suicide after just a year of the band’s formation, and, while many would have expected the Adrian, Tom, Tony or Eric to become the next choice to lead the band, it was spunky Gwen who actually became the new front-woman. Eric left in 1995; former couple Tony and Gwen split up and the band started the soar towards megastardom. Five albums later, they are one of the bands who haven’t just crossed the line between ska and pop, they are dancing on it, throwing in reggae, 80’s and punk for good measure. And, finally, after seventeen years, they’ve released their eagerly awaited Greatest Hit’s album; the Singles 1992-2003. But does it match the hype? In a word, yes. The album blends releases from most of the band’s albums, including Tragic Kingdom, Return of Satan, the more recent Rock Steady and their debut No Doubt, but not, oddly, The Beacon Street Collection. Songs: 1. Just a girl 2. Its My Life 3. Hey Baby 4. Bathwater 5. Sunday Morning 6. Hella Good 7. New 8. Underneath it All 9. Excuse Me Mr 10. Running 11. Spiderwebs 12. Simple Kind of Life 13. Don’t Speak 14. Ex-Girlfriend 15. Trapped in a Box Bonus Tracks: 16. Girls Get the Bass in the Back (Hey Baby remix) 17. Underneath it ...

Fabuleux destin d' Amélie Poulain, Le (2001) 28/12/2003

How many people are having an orgasm right now?

Fabuleux destin d' Amélie Poulain, Le (2001) '"Le Fabuleux destin d' Amélie Poulain"?' I hear you cry. 'That sounds like a foreign film to me!' Well, you're right. Le Fabuleux destin d' Amélie Poulain, or Amélie, as it's more widely known, is a French film, and no, it doesn't have dubbing, but old-fashioned subtitles. But don't let that put you off. I swear that even the biggest Francophobe among you will be won over by the sweet, whimsical heart of this gorgeously quirky little film. The wide-eyed Audrey Hepburn lookalike Audrey Tautou plays the Amélie of the title, a Parisian waitress who lives in a little flat on her own, has a stiffled and unloving relationship with her only surviving parent, her doctor father, and no friends. Amélie cultivates her solitary life by living in a dream world, coming up with strange little questions, like 'how many couples are having orgasms right at this minute?' The answer, apparently, is fifteen! Amélie's life continues with little direction or meaning, until she discovers a little box hidden behind tiles in her bathroom wall, full of childhood relics. Using sheer perseverance and her own wits, Amélie finds the owner of the box and secretly returns it to him, but without him every knowing that it was her who brought him that happiness. Touched by the delight of the old man, Amélie makes a vow to help make the lives of the people around her a little better. What follows is pure joy as Amélie takes a blind man around the city guiding him with her voice, persuades her father ...

10 Things a Person Needs to Do/Not to Do to Have a Successful Date With Me 12/12/2003

Loves Johnny Depp, but will settle for you...

10 Things a Person Needs to Do/Not to Do to Have a Successful Date With Me Some people (those who know me best) would say I'm a picky person. I'd say, I'm not picky, I just like things to be RIGHT! Whether its a guy, an outfit, a car, a TV programme, I think things to be just so. Which means that going on a date with me is kinda like navigating a rubber dingy through shark infested waters in a thick fog wearing a blindfold. Unless you're perfect for the job, you're screwed. :p So what credentials do you need? 1. Don't be clingy! This is the number one faux pas in my book. Its all very well being attentive, but remember, you're not my mother! I don't like being called four times a day, I don't like be forever asked if I'm 'ok' (if something was wrong, I'd say so, alright?!) and I don't like having a permanent shadow hanging over my shoulder like an overly-anxious Siamese twin! There's nothing wrong with playing hard to get, even for a guy! I like to be brushed off occasionally, it makes it so much better when we actually do go out. It's the thrill of the chase! Sometimes its better to play it cool, to wait a few days before ringing me, to make me do the running. I'm a modern woman, I can handle it! 2. Have a sense of humour It’s the number one quality in a guy, I think. Above looks, definitely. And it doesn't have to be smart one-liners or endless jokes. I like a guy who can laugh at himself, who can see the funny side of any situation. I like to be teased sometimes - if I do something stupid, laugh at me! I would if the situation was ...

Jackass - The Movie (DVD) 29/11/2003

Johnny Knoxville, damn that's a fine ass!

Jackass - The Movie (DVD) Jackass is either the best thing ever to come out of MTV, or a shocking decline in moral (and health) standards, depending on which side of the (bloody) line you stand on. I am firmly in the first camp. I think that Jackass is a breath of fresh air in amongst the pap that we are spoonfed off the TV, and whoever thought of turning it into a film should be a given a large payrise. In case you are one of the few not bitten by the Jackass bug (or haven't even heard of it), the Jackass crew, headed by the irrepressible Johnny Knoxville, are a group of ten men who put themselves through physical hell for the sake of laughter. Stunts like climbing into a portaloo filled with human and animal poo and then staying in there while the toilet is shaken up for five minutes by a digger are the norm. The TV series was fantastically popular and caused an international debate - on one side, those, like me, who think its fantastically entertaining TV, and on the other side, those who think that its an outrage and that grown men shouldn't be allowed to degrade themselves in that way. The Jackass TV series ignored the critic and the controversy, and inevitably spawned a movie - Jackass The Movie. An inspired title! I got this on DVD and brought it round to my parents' house to watch. My mum's first question (being as she'd never heard of it before) was 'Who's in it?' The Jackass crew are: Johnny Knoxville Steve-O Bam Margera Ryan Dunn Jason 'Wee-Man' Acuna Chris ...

Thelma And Louise (DVD) 23/11/2003

You could park a bike in the shadow of his ass!

Thelma And Louise (DVD) The other night, my sister came round for a 'girly night in', bringing with her too much wine and a 'mystery video'. I begged to know what it was, but for the first hour of being at my house, all she said was 'you'll love it'. Not even when she put it in the machine was I allowed to know what it was - but as the first credits started to roll, and the Country music played, and the camera panned across the great American Midwest, I squealed with delight: 'Thelma and Louise! Oh my god, that's like my favourite film ever!' My sister laughed. 'I am your sister, I would know. And besides, who doesn't love this film?' She's right. The beautifully acted, beautifully shot story of female empowerment and the ultimate road trip is loved by women the world over - and I bet there are few men who aren't captivated by it too. Straightlaced waitress Louise Sawyer (Susan Sarandon) and ditzy housewife Thelma Dickenson (the adorable Geena Davies) both feel trapped by their respective boyfriend (Michael Madson) and husband (Christopher MacDonald), so decide to throw off the shackles of their everyday lives and go on a girls-only road trip together for two nights. Despite Thelma's reservations and not having asked her husband, they get on the road and make for Louise's boss's cabin in the hills. Unfortunately, a badly-timed stop at a honky-tonk bar means that Thelma gets drunk and almost raped by a would-be cowboy (Timothy Carhart). Luckily - or perhaps unluckily - Louise is on ...

Buffalo Soldiers 15/11/2003

Loveable Rogue #2

Buffalo Soldiers Its so refreshing to see a film that pokes fun, Catch-22 style, at the American military. Gregor Jordan's (Ned Kelly) Buffalo Soldiers does just that. Anti-hero Private Ray Elwood (the adorable Joaquin Pheonix) is an American soldier, in the army because of a choice given to him by the Judge at his trial, is stationed at 317th Supply Battalion, Germany, along with a company of fellow criminals and high-school drop-outs. This being 1989, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall and just after the cold war, there is nothing for Elwood and his fellow privates to do, so they spend their days, gambling, drinking, drug-dealing playing football and running rings around their trusting commander, Colonal Wallace Berman (Ed Harris). Oh, and playing the German black market. Elwood, being the military clerk at that base, is able to get close to Berman and request ludicrous things like tonnes of Mop'N'Glow - 'well, cleanliness is next to godliness, sir' - to illegally sell on to German traders. Elwood's life is just about peachy - cooking heroin for his fellow privates to sell on, more out of boredom than a desire for money, is just part of his routine. Then a suspicious and violent new Sergeant Robert Lee (Scott Glenn) comes to monitor their battalion and immediately clashes with the authority-phobic Elwood. After meeting his beautiful daughter, Robyn (the lovely Anna Paquin), Elwood decides that the one thing to p*ss Lee off most of all would be dating his daughter. At ...

The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (DVD) 09/11/2003

Sean Connery does Bobby Davro does Sean Connery

The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (DVD) In my experience, there are two rules about comic book adaptations: 1. They have to be bigger and better and more expensive than the last, and 2. They have to be loud, brash and totally unrealistic. It is normally 2 that backfires on people. Loud, brash and unrealistic works sometimes, for example in the X-men franchise, of which I am a huge fan. However, sometimes, it goes completely wrong, as with (so I’m told, I haven’t sampled its delights myself yet) The Avengers, when loud brash and unrealistic turns into annoying, farcical and over-indulged. Q: Name two things The Avengers and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen have in common? A: They both star Sean Connery, and they both fall into the second category. I’m not saying that The League…should never have been made, I’m just saying that whoever’s bright idea it was to turn the novel by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill should quite possibly by hanging on to their job by the skin of their pearly whites. It’s just so implausible! A masked villain (oh, puhlease!) going by the moniker of ‘The Fantom’ is terrorising Europe, stealing weapons of ultimate destruction (well, for 1899 anyway – later on in the film it appears that a motor car is so fast it can save the world) trying to start a war so that he can become rich beyond his wildest dreams as an arms-dealer. The British government decide that he needs to be stopped and recruit Allan Quatermain (Connery) to lead a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (and one rather ...

Fingersmith - Sarah Waters 06/11/2003

Goody! Lesbian sex!

Fingersmith - Sarah Waters There's something magical about Victorian London. Some of my favourite books (The Ruby in the Smoke) have been written about it, some brilliant films set in it (From Hell was forgettable, but anything with Johnny Depp in it is worth a mention). I'm not talking about the posh, affluent areas of London. I'm talking about the rough underbelly, the 'Borough', 'Wapping', the smoky dense soup of thieves - 'Fingersmiths' - and orphans and prostitutes. Here, in this mass of seething life lives Sue Trindler, orphaned at birth. Sue lives with Mrs Sucksby - now there's a gorgeous name! Say it aloud; it just rolls off your tongue - who, if anyone is, is her mother. Mrs Sucksby farms babies on Lant Street, including Sue, but, having been fond of her mother, a hanged murderess, treats Sue differently, more like a daughter. Sue is 'going to make all our fortunes' one day, she says. Sue's father figure is Mr Ibbs, a man who runs a shop to which thieves gather and ply their trade. Mr Ibbs is a master at his craft, easing thieves along until the sell their 'poke' for much less than its original worth, and then selling it along. Sue lives in this comfortable way, never having to do a days work under the protection of Mrs Sucksby, until she is 17, and Richard Rivers, or 'Gentleman' comes to Lant Street with a proposition for Sue. He has come to hear of a young maid, Sue's age, Maud Lilly, who lives alone with her rich uncle. She will come into fifteen thousand when her uncle dies - but ...

Jah Shaka Meets Horace Andy - Horace Andy/Jah Shaka 06/11/2003

Made In America

Jah Shaka Meets Horace Andy - Horace Andy/Jah Shaka I've been a Madonna fan almost since I can remember, when her first record "Holiday" came out in 1984 when I was 8. She's reinvented herself so many times that I was sure her latest remodelling, as a Bush-bating, brunette techno-princess, would be just as good as the rest. Oh how wrong I was! The cover of American Life, Madonna's 19th album portrays a black-and-white Madonna, complete with smokey eyes and her new dark hair. Over one eye is two red stripes and in the same kind of red is the writing 'Madonna American Life'. There are dribbles coming off the red writing like blood - oooh Madge how original and shocking! Behind her are some black-and-white parts of the American flag - a couple of stars and some stripes, all muddled up. I guess she is trying to show how rebellious she is, mixing up the flag like that. There is also the 'parental advisory explicit content' sign at the bottom - a result of the copious swear-words that Madge unnecessarily litters her songs with. In my opinion, the front cover sets out to shock and not do a lot else, and it doesn't really work. It just looks drab. There's been a lot of hype around the album so you would recognise it...but its not exactly eye-catching. In the little booklet inside the CD cover there are no song lyrics, which annoyed me...just endless pics of Madonna toting machine guns, throwing fighting poses or thrusting about on an American flag. Oh so daring! So...that's the cover, what about the songs? 1. American ...

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (DVD) 28/10/2003

Flying High

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (DVD) The subject of mental illness and mental institutions has always fascinated me. Not in a morbid way; it’s a mixture of compassion and curiosity. My grandfather used to work on a psychiatric ward and he has the most interesting, shocking and horrifying stories in the world. What is most shocking about the stories is that they are true. That is the case with this film, too. Although Ken Kelsey's book One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is not a true story, the themes in it, and the shocking ending are based on things he experienced working in a state mental hospital in San Jose, California - things that had been happening all too regularly all over the country in the 70s. The leading character, petty thief Randall P. McMurphy, is played by Jack Nicholson in probably his greatest role to date, including Chinatown and The Shinning. McMurphy is transferred to a state mental institution from a prison work farm after being arrested five times for assault. As it is explained in a conversation with head doctor Dr Spivey (real-life hospital superintendent Dean Brooks): Dr. Spivey: It said you've been belligerent, talked when unauthorised, been resentful in attitude toward work in general, that you're lazy... McMurphy: Chewin' gum in class, ha, ha...? Dr. Spivey: Well, the real reason that you've been sent over here is because they wanted you to be evaluated...to determine whether or not you are mentally ill. This is the real reason. McMurphy: Well, as near as I can figure out, ...

The Weirdest Dreams I've Had 26/10/2003

Very delusional or very blessed????

The Weirdest Dreams I've Had Weird, crazy, dark and scary....but that's enough about me! Lets talk about my dreams. There are two types of sleep - vital/deep sleep or light/rapid-eye-movement sleep. The second type, so called because your eyes move about rapidly beneath closed eyelids, gruesome thought, is when you dream. This kind of sleep occurs every 90 - 100 minutes, 3 to 4 times a night, and each period lasts longer as the night progresses, possibly lasting up to 45 minutes. Most dreams are forgotten as soon as you wake up, but some people can remember dreams nightly - those are fine, unless they insist on telling you every detail. I happen to be one of those charming and well-liked people, much to the annoyance of my close friends and family. I can usually remember about 3-4 dreams a week, sometimes in detail, sometimes with huge gaps. My dreams are incredibly random and mostly have no meaning, but I enjoy remembering them anyway. I've found that the best way to remember them is to grab a pen and paper as soon as you wake up, and write down all the details that you can remember. No, I'm not crazy, just saving them up for the psychiatrist's couch in a few years time. Instead of just writing about the weirdest dreams I've ever had, I decided to do my five favourite, or at least most interesting dreams - and some of them are nightmares! My "Orlando at the record store" dream I've got a bit of a thing about Mr Bloom. Especially after seeing him in Pirates of the Caribbean. And I really ...

Finding Nemo (DVD) 19/10/2003

And he shall be my Squishy....

Finding Nemo (DVD) "Then we were like whoaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" Following Kiera13's brilliant advice of 'Find a kid! Find a kid right now!' I duly grabbed my daughter (I KNEW there was a reason I had her) and my nephew, who had come to stay, and hot-tailed it into town. Twenty-five stressed minutes, two bags of skittles, three large cokes and a promotional Finding Nemo card later, we were seated in the front row of the large cinema - so we could 'see clearly'. Yes, darling, but mummy really needs a NECK to see. I soon forgot about my neck issues, and the smells of sickly-sweet popcorn, the excited squeals of kids riding sugar-highs, and the U-rated adverts in the delight of this gorgeously animated flick. The main character is worry-wart Clownfish Marlin (que the obligatory joke - 'he's not very funny for a clownfish') whose beloved wife and 399 of his 400 babies were eaten by a nasty shark. Marlin and one baby survived - major cutie Nemo of the title. Marlin promises to never let anything happen to Nemo, and turns into a loving but stiffling protective father. Marlin is especially protective of Nemo because he has a "lucky fin" - ie an underdeveloped one that is rendered almost useless. How politically-correct and disabled-friendly is Disney? Perhaps Pixar's influence, methinks? Nemo's first day of school roles around - a chance for him to see the big wide sea, but for Marlin more like a chance to lose his only son. The kids meet at the drop-in point and we cringe at Marlin's ...

Once Upon A Time In Mexico (DVD) 15/10/2003

I'm going to freak right out...

Once Upon A Time In Mexico (DVD) You’ve gotta love Johnny Depp (that’s an order by the way, not a suggestion). He bursts onto the scene in 1990 with Edward Scissorhands, makes a string of other edgy, excellent movies, always playing something a little bit different, marking him out as someone other than the usual pretty-boy actors who can only play the romantic hero (Tom Cruise, anyone?). Then he took some time off for a while after making the somewhat…how should I put this…crappy ‘From Hell’, only to plummet right back onto Hollywood A List (sorry, Johnny, you hate that) with the ultra-amazing Pirates of the Caribbean, the success of which was totally down to the cheekboned one. Now he’s carrying on the success with Robert Rodriguez’s “spaghetti” Western – but can it match the hype? The story, at best, is a little complicated. It starts with Depp’s utterly, amazingly sexy oh-so-cool CIA agent Sands talking to one-eyed Belini about a guy he’s looking for – the legendary El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas). Sands needs El to help him with an elaborate plan that involves assassinating the president. Sands finds El – well, has him kidnapped – retired and grieving the murder of his wife (Salma Hayek) and daughter, mournfully playing guitar on the rooftops of Mexico’s lonely buildings. As you do. The man responsible for these murders, Gerardo Vigil’s Marquez, happens to be exactly the man Sands is trying to stop. Marquez has been hired by drug baron Barillo (Willem Dafoe) to assassinate the president, who in ...

Hula Hoops New Flavours Multipacks 11/10/2003

Finger-suckingly-good

Hula Hoops New Flavours Multipacks I always think that whats in your shopping trolley says a lot about the kind of person you are. You can tell the stressed single mothers by the dozens of microwavable meals and bottles of fizzy pop bribery. The healthy-living vegans are marked out by their overload of organic vegetables and lack of meat, fish or dairy. Just about every type of pet food available, along with worm treatments and chew toys set those strange pet-lovers with their mixed menageries apart from the rest of us. Looking at my trolley, there's a bit of a mix. I am stuck between trying to be a healthy, smart-eating single woman, and a mother of a sweet-toothed seven-year-old. The trolley is split into two halves - the vegetable, pasta and curry section is mine, and in Helen's part it is a feast of crisps, chocolate and ice creams. One thing that unites us, however, is a love for hula hoops. If my daughter insists on eating the deep-fried potato strips that go by the name of 'Crisps', I insist on it being these. The hula hoops that we buy are in a multipack of 12, costing about £1.50, but you can also get them separately for about 35p. The drawback of getting hula hoops is fighting over who gets which flavours. Of the three, Original, Salt & Vinegar and Barbeque Beef, I like the bright blue packets of Salt and Vinegar best. The smell when you open the bag reminds me of chip shops from my childhood; salty chips slathered in vinegar, soggy and piping hot. The taste is also gorgeous. The salt is ...

Trainspotting DVD 04/10/2003

Now Why Would I Want To Do A Thing Like That?

Trainspotting DVD Last night, my friend came over with a whole bunch of videos for us to watch. As she came over at half past seven, and Helen's bedtime is half past nine at the weekends, some of them had to be children-friendly. Which is why I wasted two and a half hours of my life watching the pile of crap that is Two Weeks Notice. Then I packed Helen off to bed, a little disgruntled, and we got down to the good stuff. I squealed with delight when Trainspotting was produced - I loved that film when I first saw it about five years ago and I knew I'd love it again. I already knew what my next op was going to be about. The opening of the film is brilliant - possibly one of the best opening sequences ever in film history. Hmmm, well, maybe. It has Ewan McGreggor running to the juddering sounds of Iggy Pop, saying, 'Choose a life. Choose a job. Choose a family...' Even if you haven't seen the film you've probably seen this bit on any kind of film programme or Ewan McGreggor programme - its that famous. His running is interspersed with scenes from the film - pausing now and then on a still image of the five main characters - Renton (McGreggor), Spud (Ewan Bremner), Sickboy (Johnny Lee Miller...swoon...) Tommy (Kevin McKidd) and Begbie (Robert Carlyle). I really love this sequence - its fast paced, its edgy, and it totally sets the scene for the rest of the film. The film - not the story, just the film - follows the highs and lows of those five young Scottish guys as they experiment with ...
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