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Micmacs (DVD) 31/08/2015

O La La!

Micmacs (DVD) Star – Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet Genre – Comedy County – France Certificate – 12A Run Time – 105 minutes Blockbusters – £0.99 per night Amazon – £ 4.75 DVD (£7.50 Blue Ray) --------------- --------------- --------------- ---- So, if, like me, you loved Amelie and director Jean-Pierre Jeunet stunning iridescent canvases of color and whimsy then you will know Micmacs (the inspiration for Martin Scorcese Hugo) is from the same guy, although no delicious Audrey Tatou this time around. She did do the lead in his preceding film in the rather bloated melodrama A Very Long Engagement but Jeunet preferring a contorsonist as his leading lady this time around. Jeunet’s other notable films include the rather extraordinary feast of surrealism of Delicatessen and the rather unsure Alien Resurrection, an abstract pair as you can get in the movies. Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s films are all about the color, the intricacies of the set and locations and those whimsical characters and this one looks like every drop of paint from B&Q has been thrown over it. No paint tin is left unopened here. Some people don’t like his extravagant and over-the-top filmmaking but I love it as it’s different and delightful and cinema demands that, no director quite like this guy. Cast • Dany Boon as Bazil • André Dussollier as Nicolas Thibault De Fenouillet • Omar Sy as Remington • Dominique Pinon as Buster • Julie Ferrier as Elastic Girl • Nicolas Marié as François Marconi • Marie-Julie Baup as ...

World Athletics Championships 2015 31/08/2015

Ken-ya believe what you see any more?

World Athletics Championships 2015 After another month of negative drug stories leading up to the championships new IAAF chief Seb Coe has promised to tackle the negatives of drugs in athletics. But it’s the ‘positives’ he has to worry about as we hear the IAAF cut the number of drug test for the Worlds with only one-in-three tested last week. They intend to target ‘certain athletes’, which means other athletes can take advantage of that, becoming the next load of positives. The IAAF can only enforce a feeble two year ban because the lawyers use restraint of trade rules to overturn longer bans. Federations have gone bust over challenging that. The Big events and Diamond League meets want WR’s and you can’t do that with the fastest athletes out for 4 years or more. This has all come about by the cheaper to administer Blood Passport system where tests are measured against an original sample taken in the athlete’s teenage years. Any differences in the blood cell make up and the sample could be deemed a fail. The IAAF, through WADA, have been testing old samples from the last four major championships with the latest science to detect the newer drugs in those samples and it proved rather worrying, as high as one-in-three athletes appearing to be doping through retrospective testing. It quite literally took a leak to expose just how many had failed, 27 athletes supposedly set to be asked to retire from athletics or be named in the press in the next month. It’s believed some 60 gold medal winners had abnormal blood ...

Harry: My Autobiogrphy - Harry Redknapp 31/08/2015

Dirty Harry?

Harry: My Autobiogrphy - Harry Redknapp There is no doubt Harry Redknapp is unlucky in that he looks like the spiv he probably is, more wheezing and ducking and diving going on with the ex West Ham legend than a 50-year-old boxer in an illegal pub fight in an East End boozer. He was nearly banged up by the law over his tax antics in Monte Carlo, of course, but paid the ultimate price for his perceived nefarious financial reputation by losing the England job because of that baggage. This perfunctory and interesting book is in no way going to flesh out those suspicions against Redknapp as he turns on the lovable man of the people charm once again to deny everything. I disagree Harry. Football in the early 70s and 80s was all about a bung here and a tax doge there and so his puppy dog eyes not about to change my mind. If it’s any consolation I think all mangers have broken the rules at some point because of that accepted culture. Greece has nothing on the Premier League. It’s a shady business. As West Ham manager he would be involved in 123 players coming and going, no doubt a commission on most of those moves. The book begins with an autopsy by Harry of that court case, calling it a stitch up by the CPS. It was around the time he was at Portsmouth, in the dock alongside club owner Milan Mandric, who also suffered from pre conceived prejudices, seen as the stereotyped ‘dodgy foreign owner’. It was centered on this secret account in Monaco named after Harry’s dog Rosie and believed by the CPS to be set up to avoid ...

India v England Test Series 31/08/2015

Captain Cook conquers another continent!

300 (DVD) 31/08/2015

In the eye of the C.G.I hurricane...

Jennifer's Body(DVD) 31/08/2015

Come on in, the slaughter's fine!

Jennifer's Body(DVD) Star – Megan Fox Genre – Teen Horror County – USA Certificate – 15 Run Time – 102 minutes Blockbusters – £0.99p per night Amazon – £4.55 DVD (£7.99Blue Ray) --------------- --------------- --------------- ---- When the body in question is Megan Fox’s you have my attention mate, one serious Hollywood siren. Problem is the is just too beautiful and sexy so you don’t really fancy her if you are over 16, probably why the movie press has rejected her on mass and can’t wait to rip into her when she tries to do something subversive with Hollywood cliché like Jennifer’s Body, a film that didn’t work for most, even though its sharp and witty and above the norm in a cheesy teen horror genre these days. Directed by Karolyn Kasuma of Lesbian drama The L Word and written by the female creator of the adored indie film ‘Juno’, Diablo Cody, this is feminist horror flick through-and-through that takes no prisoners, men and the teen genre the targets. Naming the film after the song by rock slag Courtney Love completes the keep out sign for men. The rough idea here is to blend the sassy acting and dialogue of Mean Girls with the blood red feminism of Ginger Snaps, the horror of high school and boys through the eyes of modern teenage girls. Boys never see what girls are really like as that wouldn’t be very attractive and appealing, the girls on show here. They actually shave their legs every week, leave hairs in the plughole and they do fart loudly when you’re not around. Cast Megan ...

Life of Pi (Blu-Ray) 31/08/2015

Lost at Sea?

Life of Pi (Blu-Ray) Star – Ang Lee Genre – Fantasy Run Time – 127 minutes Certificate – PG Country – USA/Taiwan Oscars – 4 Wins Awards – 80 Wins & 108 Nominations Amazon – £3.00 DVD (£13.99Blue Ray) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = So, Life of Pi, the award winning film of the renowned Man Booker Prize winning book of the same name from Spanish writer Yann Martel, telling the story of an Indian boy lost at sea, accruing 4 golden statues at the 2012 Oscars, Ang Lee for Best Director the most notable. It was controversial at the time as two of the Oscars were for the films impressive special effects but the company that created some of those effects going broke two weeks before the big night. There were lots of late changes to the films effects but the work not paid for because of the horrendous contract and so the company, Rhythm & Hues Studio, went under. They simply couldn’t compete with tax exempt foreign studios that could do it cheaper, based in India, ironically. There were huge protests by the industry outside the Oscars event for the way special effects companies are treated and when the visual affects guy that won the big award bought up the strike at the Oscars on stage his mic was mysteriously cut off, the sound guys not so sympathetic it seems. Life of Pi (2012) became the first family film to win the Academy Award for Best Director since Carol Reed for Oliver! (1968) at the 41st Academy Awards in 1969. It was the first PG winner since 1985. It’s a rare film in that it earned ...

Man On Wire (DVD) 30/08/2015

If you have your picture taken at Ground Zero should you smile?

Wasted - Paul Smith 30/08/2015

How not to write a sports book

Wasted - Paul Smith Nope, it’s not that Paul Smith but cricket Paul Smith. This Paul Smith doesn’t wear suits; a bandana and a copy of Rolling Stone magazine under his arm more his thing. Older sports fans will remember him from a very fine all conquering Warwickshire County Cricket team around the time of Brian Lara’s peak and this guy was the all-rounder with that mullet alongside the brilliant West Indian, captained by the mischievous Dermott Reeve. Paul tells a great story where they were batting together and Lara began to show just how good he was at Lords in a county match by telling Paul exactly which boundary board he would hit next off the spinner. He hit all five named and then finished off the over with a huge six that almost cleared the main pavilion. No one clears that pavilion in cricket. Not even Chris Gayle! But Lara didn’t, either, as the ball hit the flag pole next to the Old Father Time weather vain stopping the ball dead. If it had missed the flag pole Lara would have earned a 50k sponsors bonus for clearing all 18 pavilions in county cricket. He was that good. Paul was very quick for a white boy and gave the ball a hell of smack over the ropes too, a bit like Northants David Willey. Paul would have loved Twenty20 but his career over before the new century. I know Paul through cricket friends on Facebook and I like to talk with authors as I read their books, as I am with Paul. Facebook is very good like that. He remains an enigma though and very guarded with people not in ...

2012 (DVD) 30/08/2015

The Day BeforeYesterday

A Royal Affair (DVD) 30/08/2015

I seem to have run out of socks Blackadder?

A Royal Affair (DVD) Star – Mads Mikkelson Genre – World Cinema Run Time – 137 minutes Certificate – 18R Country – Denmark Awards – 23 Wins & 32 Nominations Amazon – £5.99 DVD (£11.75 Blue Ray) Oscar – 1 nomination for Best Foreign Language Film = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Next week the Queen will become our longest serving monarch, clocking up 63-years and 184 days, surpassing Queen Victoria. If you are interested the longest serving monarch of all on the planet was King Sobhuza 11 of Swaziland, clocking up an impressive 89 years and 219 days. His dad – and the previous king – died suddenly dancing on ‘hot stones’ and so four-month-old Sobhuza got the gig. The oldest ruling monarch still alive is King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, ticking up his seventieth year on the throne. But this film is about Christian VII of Denmark, who served a decent 55 years at the top, a then record, this being 18th century Europe, a few heads chopped off during his reign. The Danish Throne was gripped by scandal during the decade of the 1760s, the subject of this entertaining costume drama. Cast • Mads Mikkelsen as Johann Friedrich Struensee • Alicia Vikander as Caroline Matilda of Great Britain • Mikkel Følsgaard as Christian VII of Denmark • David Dencik as Ove Høegh-Guldberg • Søren Malling as Hartmann • Trine Dyrholm as Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel • William Jøhnk Nielsen as Frederick VI of Denmark • Cyron Bjørn Melville as Enevold Brandt • Rosalinde Mynster as ...

The Bourne Ultimatum (DVD) 30/08/2015

The Bond Ultimatum!

Sleep Tight (DVD) 30/08/2015

You wont sleep tight watching this!

Sleep Tight (DVD) Genre – World Cinema>Psychological Drama Run Time – 102 minutes Certificate – 15 Country – Spain Awards – 10 Wins & 22 Nominations Amazon – £6.50 DVD ( £9.75 Blue Ray) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = So Sleep Tight, a psycho horror film from director Jaume Balagueró, he of the quite brilliant ‘Rec’ 1 & 2. He is Spanish horror right now and the new Guillermo Del Torro in all but name, Sleep Tight a rapid remake of the short film El Propietario (2008). Rec was great as it was an unexpected hit and played on post 911 fears of the enemy within through containment in Spain’s biggest city. All this biblical horror is going on in this apartment block with people walking down the side walk none the wiser. That claustrophobic psychological drama is the key to this films appeal. Cast • Luis Tosar as César • Marta Etura as Clara • Alberto San Juan as Marcos • Pep Tosar as Úrsula's father • Petra Martínez as Verónica • Amparo Fernández as The cleaning lady • Iris Almeida as Úrsula • Roger Morilla as The cleaning boy • Margarita Rosed as César's mother • Manel Dueso as The commissioner Plot Cesar (Luis Tosar) is the lugubrious suicidal concierge of an up market and traditional apartment block in the center of Madrid. He spends his days tending to whining guests and by night plotting to break their spirit and make them miserable. He is forty something and bald and the ladies have stopped looking and so must find other ways to amuse himself. He also has an ailing mom ...

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest (DVD) 30/08/2015

ANother kick in the Hor-N*ts for menkind!

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest (DVD) Star – Noomi Rapace Genre – World Cinema Thriller County – USA Certificate – 15 Run Time – 147 minutes Blockbusters – £3 per night Amazon – £.00 DVD (£Blue Ray) --------------- --------------- -------------- Two months ago the people who run our libraries declared that ‘Crime Fiction’ had overtaken ‘Romance’ as the most taken out genre in their libraries by female members. Its writers like Steig Larsson with the Millennium Trilogy and a growing number of fabulous British male and female crime writers alike, from Ian Rankin to Ruth Rendell, pulling the women to the darker side of fiction before they do battle with public transport and sleep. Men are also moving away from traditional thrillers towards crime. What is it with the need to read about gruesome killings and cunning antiheros before bed? The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest, or ‘Luftslottet som sprängdes’, as its known in its native Sweden, has that rather corny English title because the exact translation is ‘The Castle of Air that was Blown up’? It’s the final book/film of Millennium Trilogy, of which I have watched all three, the lead character being the troubled Lisbeth Salander, a modern day crime literature feminist icon, loved by teenage girls, tomboys and lesbians alike, a growing trend in contemporary cinema to have one of those in your movie. In fact the men hating misfit computer hacker is the book and if you don’t fancy 412 minutes of her men hating then the trilogy is not for you. After the success of ...

Indesit IDS105S 30/08/2015

Do men need women anymore?

Indesit IDS105S As I have said before, getting shot of old kitchen equipment is like a murderer trying to dispose of a dead body, a furtive lumbering act that involves a lot of dragging and jarred fingers as the deadweight is dumped in a ditch somewhere in the still of the night to avoid suspicion and the tipping cost for heavy white goods. Under all these new environmental laws you are charged proper money to get rid of busted fridges and dishwashers and so lots of them end up fly-tipped, costing yet more money to the council. Surely if you could get rid of stuff like fridges and dishwashers for free then it would cost the council less in the long term? In fact why not offer deals with the company that delivers your new one to get rid of the old one so to encourage responsible waste disposal? We have a graveyard of the stuff up the top of our garden, rusting fridges standing like headstones to that unloved domestic waste, still polluting the atmosphere wherever they may lie. The dishwasher is the most expensive piece of kitchen decadence in the west, apart from those automatic utensils the middle-class love to buy and never use - like the automatic apple peeler and the yoghurt maker, for example. It’s not easy to teach the help how to use those things you know. Well, they don’t speak English do they? Anyhow, the Indesit IDS105 got the nod in the Ellis household and was employed as the house dishwasher for the foreseeable future. £400 was the budget and that would only have got us an ...
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