No Country for Old Men Review - See it Before Reading

I went to see ‘No Country for Old Men’ last night. I’d like to tell you what I thought about it.

But firstly, I want to say that it was great to see the movie without knowing very much about it. True, I avoided reviews and write-ups but I also found fellow-bebians who have seen it to treat revelation of plot elements very carefully. It certainly would have been less of an experience to see, I everyone had blabbed about all the ins-and-outs of the story.

So thanks guys for that!

The reason I’m prattling on before I say anything is so that I don’t give away too much in the preview of the Blog which appears on the Bebo homepage of my friends. If you haven’t seen this film, you shouldn’t read any more of this turgid drivel until you have (and possibly not even then…)

Right I think we’re clear of the preview so here goes.


Everybody seemed to love this movie so I approached it with trepidation. My heightened expectations of any film usually end badly for me.

Anyway, I sat in. A lovely attentive audience (‘cept for one phallus with a crisp bag… but that way lies insanity), packed house, all set.

And I loved it!!

Man I just loved it, three brilliant central characters (of whom Josh Brolin ran away with all honours as far as I was concerned) a taut storyline, graphic violence, wry humour, magnificent cinematography, wow wow wow.

I loved it.

Until ten minutes before the end.

Cos that’s were my beloved Coen’s decided to honour the literary source material a damn sight more that they should have. They embraced the novel and, in doing so, they let the movie go.

I don’t want to give anything away, plot-wise and so I won’t. But these wonderful characters and their engaging conflict were abandoned mid-stream in favour of a diatribe (polemic… whatever) on mortality, morality and other worthy ‘M’ words.

I’m no fool. I saw all the plot points resolved, the questions answered (mostly… why didn’t Woody just go and get the bag when he saw it through the fence – Josh did) that’s all fine.

It’s just that I also saw the audience deliberately left high and dry in order to heighten the feeling of futility and pointlessness which was (perhaps) the theme of the movie. But that futility could have been similarly driven home by remaining true to the ‘story’ elements of the piece rather than just veering off into a series of scenes involving Tommy Lee Jones which owed little to all which had gone before.

You need a summary? Okay - loved the movie, hated the ending.

And, boy, I was not alone in that audience on that one.

Bum Signal on iTrip

Got one of these iTrip things to stick in my ipod so it plays on the car radio.

(Got it a few months back on Ebay where I get lots of things.)

Anyway, 'couldn't make it work - all hiss crackle and interference - so threw it in the bit at the bottom of the door that you throw stuff in.

Driving tonight, thought I'd try it again cos there was diddly diddly music on all channels and frankly I wasn't in the mood for it.

Same again, tonnes of interference, weak signal etc.

So I moved the ipod around the car, trying to find a good spot where the music was clear.

Guess what?

I found a place and listened to a favorite playlist all the way home - the next best thing to choccie bars and non-diet coke.

Anyway... this position... where the ipod works on the radio... em... I have to sit on it.

So, straight from my ass to your radio, it's...

His Other Crib

Interesting that The Vatican have decided that this years crib will be based on the Gospel of St Matthew rather than St Luke.

Luke is the only guy to give us things like Nazareth, mangers, wise men and zero-personality-inn-keepers - and even he didn't really give us very much of that.

In fact, all of the imagery we cling to at this time of year is hardly mentioned at all in Luke's Gospel and not mentioned at all in the other three.

So Matthew has it that Mary and Joseph stayed at home in Joseph's home crib and that Jesus was born there among the wood shavings and tools-of-the-trade. (Okay that last bit isn't in the Gospel either but I can embellish a little too, can't I?).

Anyway I think it's kind of cool to show a different aspect of the story, maybe it means we will look at it all a little more skew-ways and even think a little harder about what it might mean (or not mean) to each of us.

The trouble is, every time I try to think seriously about it, I get to picturing Joseph on MTV showing the cameras round his crib."Yo yo, this here's the bedroom - where absolutely none of the action happens".

Darn, 'lowered the tone again, didn't I?

And I was doing so well for a little while there.

Happy Christmas everyone.

It can mean something if you really want it to - try to make it so, eh?

The Die is Cast

So, whoopee! The new play has a great talented cast on board and off we go.

Well...Off they go really.

My job is primarily to stay out of the way and let them do what they've gotta do to make my script work for them.

That's no trouble - I really like the surprises and improvements that emerge when someone takes your writing away from you and makes it their own.

Best wishes to the DoYou Playhouse cast of 'Midnight in the Theatre of Blood' - coming Feb 2008 to a theatre near you.

If you live in Castlebar, that is.

Moon Cut Like a Sickle in Dundrum

Boy, what a day-out I had yesterday!

My little play 'The Moon Cut Like a Sickle' which Castlebar's own wonderful DoYou Playhouse took on, enlivened and made real.. well, it packed it's bags and moved off to Dublin.

I went up to The Mill Theatre in Dundrum yesterday to see how it was getting on.

It's a play for young people,- teens, like. But what I had expected from yesterday was that the excellent adults who had done the first Dundrum reading a few months back would be returning to do a rehearsed reading.

And I was looking forward to that - although it's really a youth play, the adult actors had read it with entusiasm and understanding and no small measure of venom in places. I knew they'd do something good and I was dead keen to see it.

But what a surprise waswaiting when I got there.

The adults weren't reading it.

No. Here was a new group of young actors who had been quietly working on the text with their director, Oran, for some weeks previous and they were ready and able to deliver their reading.

This was like several of my Christmas's had come together.

The adults would have been great but I wrote this thing for young people and to see a bunch of them arrive as if from nowhere, fully prepared for the performance was exciting, fun and a great great honour.

Yesterday went so well that a new production with this new group - Balally Youth Theatre - is now on the cards for early 2008.So to Tomas Hoyne, Patrick Dexter, Shane Murphy, Matt Powell, Rachel Fitzpatrick, Laura Byrne, Niamh Holland, Amy Morrison and director and actor Oran O'Rua, I just wanna say thanks, you did great!

And this week, as we start into an exciting new theatrical escapade with my beloved friends in DoYou Playhouse, I just want to say again what I've always said - 'The Moon..' didn't come to you guys at DoYou Playhouse in the shape it is now - you nurtured it and grew it and any future performance will always owe a debt to the work you did - because much of that work is there on the pages of the script.

I feel lucky today.

Thanks for that.

I wonder why?

I had to meet someone today so, being early, I dropped into a place and had a cup of coffee.

Good stuff, ground coffee beans - no milk, no sugar, no blasphemy.

Then I met them... 'had a cup of coffee with them... good stuff.

After I met them I had to type something up on the old laptop.

'Stopped into a cafe to do it.

Couldn't just sit there with nothing in front of me...
Could I...?
I feel jumpy tonight...
I wonder why?

Deep Water

What a wonderful documentary film just finished on Channel 4 tonight.

Deep Water is the story of Donald Crowhurst's attempt to win the Times Round the World Yacht race in 1968.

I won't say any more about what happened - maybe you already know. I didn't and the gradual unfolding of this fascinating and moving story has made for one of the best things I have seen on Television in ages.

Watch out for repeats - it's a great great film.

My Bebo Writing Stuff:

Bebo Irons Out The Wrinkles

I was mulling over something today while standing by the side of my car (it was the Mull of Ken’s Tyre... no, don’t go, it gets better, honest!!).

‘Why’, I mulled, ‘do people like Bebo?’

I had lots of answers for this – it’s great social interaction – it’s someone to talk to when there’s nobody real around, it’s a laugh…

But the one that interested me most was the thought that Bebo is attractive to us because we can be who we want to be on it.

Say there's a ganky lanky fifteen year old lad who sweats excessively, does little about it, has greasy hair and pimples, (or greasy pimples and hair) stumbles whenever he speaks and hates himself thoroughly.

On Bebo, he can post up a nice piccie of himself, assign himself some erudite interests and carefully edit his comments and replies.

The result? A clever, no-too-bad-looking young fella with a bit of a personality about him.

Bebo, you see, allows us to iron out those wrinkles that hamper us along the streets and in work and in school. We can be who we think we are rather than who we sadly are.

Let’s personalise it a bit. Look at me, 44 year old, increasingly needs glasses, tending towards over-weight, hauling around the scars of a lengthy adolescent dalliance with terminal acne. And what do I have on my Bebo-page? A photo of me – all eight-and-a-half stone of me, perched on a rock in deepest Australia.

It’s me all right but, wake up Kenny-boy, that was eighteen years ago!!!

If I were to perch on a rock now, I would probably topple slowly off it and lie helplessly on my back, kicking gently while crushing something small beneath me.

I like Bebo ‘cos it lets me be who I think I am.

Yes, I know that I said this two paragraphs up but it’s my page and I’ll repeat myself if I want.

Ratatouille - Having seen it...

Brought the guys to see Disney/Pixars latest 'Ratatouille' yesterday.

I thought it was a lovely film with great characters, a novel story and the most blindingly brilliant animation I have ever seen.

It wasn't what I expected though.

Pixar have brought us kiddie-fare which we adults can also enjoy and appreciate. It strikes me, however, that this one is adult-fare which kiddies can also come and see.But the kiddies were restless at times.

This is not 'Toy Story' or 'Monsters Inc'.

There are chases and funnies but not as many as in previous films and the somewhat sedate pacing of the film (long long first act, thoughtful second act) seemed to leave the kids behind a bit.

Having said that, my guys said they loved it so that must count for something.

A largely unidentifiable voice-cast are loomed over by Peter O'Toole's amazingly-silky food critic who really really stands out.

The climactic scene where he finally gets his meal and starts to eat it, is a great movie moment.

So I think you should go and see this.

Bring the kids too, but tell them to settle in for a good story rather than a roller-coaster ride.

How I Fear the X-Factor will End

Between 1983 and 1986, Noel Edmonds (He of 'Deal or no Deal' fame) hosted a Saturday evening BBC programme called 'The Late Late Breakfast Show'.

It was very popular.

On one part of the show, members of the public were invited/cajoled into performing dangerous stunts for the entertainment of the masses. In 1986, a man tragically died whilst rehearsing one such stunt.

This marked the end of 'The Late Late Breakfast Show' and with it any idea of similar programming on the BBC.

Having watched 'The X-Factor' tonight, having seen how vulnerable young people are belittled and lampooned (more so by the post-production decisions taken than by the judges who seem to be generally sensitive). Having watched all this I experienced a strong sense of deja-vu.

Here is a programme, like that one from the Eighties, which will go just as far as it can go... until somebody dies.

Tonight, an unsuitably dressed, somewhat bulky young girl came in and sang her song. She was rejected and she left somewhat tearfully. The judges were tough but they were not unkind.

The girls bulky family were allowed in to the judges afterward to make representations on her behalf then they too left.

All not-too-bad.

But then the post-production team got hold of the material.

Elephantile, 'comical' music was added to the introduction of the girl and her family, camera angles which emphasised their physical deficiences were employed and the meeting between the family and the judges was interspersed with doom-laden Wagnerian music which strongly suggested a repressed-violence from the family which the undoctored recording would surely not have confirmed.

In short, these people were 'uglied-up' shamelessly for our entertainment.

This pratice will go on until one such vulnerable candidate comes to see their dreams and aspirations publicly shat-on all over national television and they will go off and they will harm themselves.

There, I fear, the carousel will grind to a halt.

A pity it would just not do so sooner...

Mmmmmm... Juicy Fruit

I dont' settle for a favorite movie anymore - it's far too complicated.

But for many years, if someone asked, I was in no doubt - my all-time favorite film was 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'.

For me, it is almost the perfect film.

It has everything, gripping story, huge enormous conflict and top class performances from a cast of unknowns, some of whom went on to become household names.

Milos Foreman directed, Michael Douglas produced. Ken Kesey wrote the novel - the brilliant, brilliant novel - a little sexist, probably. Politically incorrect? Yes, thank God.

Try the book sometime, it takes a slightly different perspective to the film and McMurphy isn't really Jack Nicholson in there but it's good, really good.

Jack might not be Randall P McMurphy in the book but in the film he rules.

This is part he was born to play. Violent, charismatic and dangerous - an acting masterclass.

So my point is simply this - if you haven't seen it, go out and do so. It's paced a little differently from movies of this century but bear with it.

It is a great show and you really ought to see it.

But Shuffle is Great Too...

I have already extolled the virtues of Ipod Playlists... well, I wrote a wee bit about them.

But (as Sally told me and I didn't quite believe her) the 'Shuffle' thingie is quite wonderful too.

I wouldn't have believed this if I hadn't heard it with my own ears (see what I did there??).

I figured there was too many 'outside tracks' from all the albums I'd put on my little gizmo such that I would practically never hear a song that I knew or liked.

Well, not so.

The shuffle button unleashes a garden of virtual delights (can a garden actually be unleashed, well maybe one of virtual delights can eh?).

When I think about it, I put all these albums on this device and, left to my own devices (or device) I will return repeatedly to the same old much loved stuff.

The shuffle throws up (vomits) old favorites, new favorites and some phenomenal old shite in a glorious cachopheny of audible niceness.

So when your playlist is played out and your favorites aren't any more, join me in a little shuffle.

You know it makes sense.

Bebo Writing Stuff:

The Playlist's The Thing

God I love my ipod.

I didn't think I would - i kinda thought it would be a novelty for a while and then sit there taunting me about how expensive it was and how little I use it.

But no...

The best crack I get out of it is making playlists of songs on the computer, getting them on the ipod and then leaving them sitting until I forget what tracks i put in them.

Then I play one of them without looking at the tracklist.

The joy of unexpected songs - and each one something you like a lot.

It's more fun than I can hardly bear.

Simpsons Movie - Some of the Gags I Saw

I thought The Simpsons Movie was very good - a neat balance between being quite like the TV show and also being a bigbig movie in its own right.

There were lots of great gags including Homer's 'Floor Popcorn' line, Lisa's interest in 'no animals being harmed in the movie' and Maggie's 'almost' first word.

What... you've seen the movie and didn't perhaps notice these gags I refer to?

You left before the credits ended again... didn't you.

Silly Rabbit!

Tony The Cat (Be Warned Soprano Final Episode Spoilers Within)

The final episode of the Sopranos was a lovely dramatisation of 'The Schrödinger's Cat' scenario - which explores the atomic theory of something existing in a 'quantum superposition' of possible states (ie both dead or alive at the same time)

David Chase gave us a scenario which could equally result in Tony's Death or Tony's continued existence but, by not resolving the question Tony remains with us - an equally living/dead character - in a remarkable ending to a wonderful series.

Is Tony Dead? - Bobby said being hit was like 'switching off a light' - Leotardo had experienced this at the gas station.

Were we seeing Tony's own light switching off as the man emerged again from the restroom and blew him away.

Is Tony alive? - Were we seeing the rest of Tony's life as it must be, every stranger a person to be watched, every door-opening an event to be nervously anticipated?

We don't know.I hope there will never be a movie or anything more from Tony so that this moment of narrative closing can live/die on as a perfect/frustrating enigma.

Bye Tony, it's been emotional.

The HP Island Mystery

In honour of the new Harry Potter book tomorrow (my Blog seems to be into 'honouring' stuff a lot this week... no 'honouring next week, promise) here is the question that bugs me most through all the myriad detail of the first six HP books.

How did the Dursleys get off the Island?

Book One - The Dursleys take Harry by boat to a God-Forsaken rock to avoid the virtual-plethora of Hogwarts Spamming.

Hagrid arrives and, early next morning, takes Harry away from the island in the Dursley's boat.


It's Really Capicola

Again, to honor (note American spelling for even more honour) the last ever episode of 'The Sopranos' on RTE2 tomorrow night, here is the truth about Tony' enigmatic and iconic snack 'Gabigool'.

'Capicola' is an Italian cold cut or salami.

The name is from "Coppa," Italian for cured meat (alternatively from capo—head), and "collo," the shoulder (and neck) of a pig. It is esteemed for its taste and is more expensive than most other salami.

It is usually sliced thin for antipasto or sandwiches, such as muffulettas and hoagies, as well as some Italian pizzas.

It is the practice (I hear) with some East Coast Italian-Americans to take italian works and to chop off ending vowels and to voice unvoiced consonants.

So 'Capicola' loses the slightly etnic end-vowel and the 'C's harden to 'G''s - thus 'Gabigool'.

Interestingly this can also seem to be a generic phrase meaning simply 'something to eat'. So when Tony says 'where's the Gabigool?' he might not even be looking for 'Capicola', just a general nibble.

Some harmless fun can be had by trying to take other italian words and apply the same rules to see what other 'Soprano-speak' can be explained.

For instance, a mobsters illicit girlfriend (wha... you ain't got one?) is referred to as a 'Goomah' - which is a derivative of 'Comare' meaning girlfriend.

Or (I'll stop after this one) 'stu cazzo' being 'the testicles' which turns into 'Stugots' which, you will be buzzed to learn, is the name of Tony's boat.

Now you will understand 'The Sopranos' for evermore.

Whaddya mean it's finished?

You mook!

My Harry Potter Order Of... Movie... thing

Saw the movie this afternoon with my sons.

I think this is far and away the best of the series so far.

Credit to the director - Yates has done well - he's earned his spurs and it's good news that he's signed up for the next one too.
Credit the cast too - the young ones are rounded and believable and the heavyweights make the most of the little they are given.

But credit, most of all, the writer - no, not Jo, we all know how wondrous she is - rather the screenwriter Michael Goldenberg, who has miraculously taken the longest and IMHO weakest book and extracted all that matters while leaving aside the vast quantities which did not.

So, whereas the previous adaptations were like condensed versions of the books, this one takes just what it needs from the book then runs ahead under its own steam.

Previously the text has been given too much weight and this has always spelled death to the script. Here the narrative rolls along, capturing the friendship of the central characters adeptly and punching home the key plot points with tiny succinct lines.

Well done Mr. Writer, let's have you back again too eh?


My ebay account got hacked yesterday - not a nice feeling at all.

I'm usually very careful about such things but I slipped up for a moment and paid the price.

Let me tell you how they got me so that they might not get you in the same way.

Like almost everyone, I get emails looking for me to confirm bank details, passwords etc. All evident spoofs and cons.

But, two days ago, I got an email from some ebay dude asking me had I sent him his transistor radio yet. I knew nothing about any radio so I mailed him back to tell him he had mailed the wrong guy (as you would).

Right there... that was my mistake.

His email looked exactly like an ebay email and it had a 'click to respond' button embedded in the mail.

Without thinking hard, I clicked the button, entered my password and replied to the guy and there i was... hacked. I had just mailed my password to a complete stranger.

And this stranger did not hang around. They logged into my ebay account and got to work.

The result?

Yesterday over 1,600 items were put on sale on ebay in my name - everything and anything from PS3's to full size John Deere Tractors.

Each of these listings would have cost me a Euro if Ebay had not performed exellently and moved quickly to stem the attack.

So all's well that ends well - all my passwords have been changed and I am relatively secure again.

My moral is, if you get an email with a 'click to respond' button embedded within it, don't do it...ever.

Messiah Who

So I've written a little previously about some of the top movies and how they 'borrow' from the Christian story for their more memorable and involving elements.

ET and Green Mile were the ones that came to mind at the time.

So now (literally... just finished on BBC1) Doctor Who steps up and joins the fray with a thundering finale which elevates the good doc to Messiah status with all that entails - including a female 'John the Baptist' who goes before him and is patently not worthy to wash his feet etc etc...

And then, (no spoilers here) as only Doctor Who can, the writers neatly rub it all out and start again.

The wonderful writer Russell T Davies has elevated 'Doctor Who' to something very special.

For me it was always a second rate cult series with sub-zero budget and laughable production values and I could never see any value in it beyond that.

The last three series has provided top-notch entertainment and a genuine 'set your clock' televisual event and, occasionally, it has even gone beyond that to become moving, revealing drama of the very highest order.

If you haven't given it a chance, you should, you really should.

And my point here is not religous or anything, it is simply that tonights episode is further affirmation that we are gripped by the tenets of our own dogma and the harvesting of that material for storytelling purposes can be a rewarding experience.

Too much pepperoni on my pizza perhaps?

Wrong Answer

Going to a confirmation tomorrow, I am reminded of when the Bishop asked me to explain the relevance of Calvary to the events of Easter.

I said that they were the guys who failed to arrive in time to save his ass.

But I got through the year after.

(only a portion of this is true)

Bobby On DVD

I saw 'Bobby' on DVD this weekend.

I thought it was really very good. If I was being critical, I would say it is perhaps a little over-reverential of the subject matter but the pluses outweigh any concerns like that.

It's like a 'Grand Hotel' story where the stories of all the characters of this hotel, from management to bus-boys to celebrity guests, are revealed through the course of the film. It is also a bit like a disaster movie where we usually see a little of the people's lives before the disaster strikes.

In this case, though, the disaster doesn't strike until the final reel and the foreknowledge of what is going to happen, coupled with the impact of the event on all these characters ( who we now know quite well) is very powerful.

It reminded me of 'Crash' too - a strong emsemble piece with great performances all round and, ultimately,a moving elegy for a movement that effectively died on that day.

For me Laurence Fishbourne walks away with the acting honours. He only has a couple of scenes but this fleeting appearance, particularly in the 'baseball ticket' scene, is apt and quite moving.

No fireworks here but a good solid film with a nobel heart.

Dogs on Adventures

I don't think dogs should be allowed out to wander the streets by themselves.

They should be confined to their barracks until their owners see fit to bring them out for a walk.

The sight of neighbourhood dogs setting off down the road on some little doggy adventure always raises my blood pressure. Maybe I'm jealous, maybe I'd like to be heading out to piddle on a few poles (streetlamps, like) or sniff a few strange butts.But, no, I don't think so.

I think the main irritant is that all these adventuring hounds always seem to need to take a dump on my lawn on the way back home.

Be warned bebo-hounds - if you 'go' in my garden it may all end badly for you.

Deja Vu Movie

I rented this DVD mostly on account of its '12' certificate which meant I could watch it with my son for a Friday night Veggie.

Anyway it was better than I expected it to be so I thought y'all should know that.

Directed by Tony Scott (yes Ridley's brother, he loves that) who normally does high octane things and yes, well, this is kind of a high octane thing as well but it's also got some nice character stuff in it.

There's an element of Time Travel and Sci-fi in it, so you have to be prepared to swallow some of that but, once you gulp that down, there's plenty to enjoy.

It references a lot of other films - 'Enemy of the People', for technology and espionage - 'Terminator' for tricky time tampering twists and, most interestingly, a little-seen oldie called 'Sharkey's Machine' which had Burt Reynolds in it (this referencing-thing is just my opinion, mind you).

Sharkey's Machine was a macho-cop fest but it had a central sequence which showed the hero voyeuristically and protectively watching over/spying on the female protagonist.

Deja-Vu has that too and it's an effective and involving ploy as the hard-bitten hero watches his unsuspecting target go through her day-to-day routine and slowly and inexorably falls for her.

Anyway I thought it was above average and I commend it to you for your consideration.

Bebo Writing Stuff:

The Host

'The Host' is a South Korean monster movie which I had high hopes for.
It's arrived here on DVD with great critical reviews.Unfortunately, it just didn't do it for me.

The start is really good and the monster is quite cool and well-realised but the characterisations are weak and the director's sneaky political pokes sit uneasily within the format.
The little Korean girl is excellent though.

'Afraid I can't recommend it but that doesn't mean you shouldn't see it if you fancy a commercial sub-titled movie with a cool monster.

Flaming Lips!

Call me irresponsible but I think "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part 1" is a great great song.

Is this just an elderly dude trying to recapture his long-forgotten youth, you may ask yourself.

F*** you, I say.

A Good Reason to Hate Goldeneye

Further to some interesting discussions (post Casino Royale '06) about things bond-related, I was reminded of why I took so very badly against Goldeneye when it first came out.

I really wanted to like it a lot and I saw it Leicester Square in the first weekend among a highly-expectant audience who seemed generally well-pleased with what was delivered up to them.

And, in fairness, Brosnan was good (he got better) and some of the action scenes were good.

But...One scene, just one scene blew it for me.Near the end, (I can't even recall this very well - it annoys me that much) Brosnan is in the jungle (or somewhere) and suddenly the 'calvary' in the form of troops and helicopters drop into the scene.

But, can I put this across clearly? the characters in the movie were *surprised* to see the soldiers and helicopters appear BUT they could only have been languishing outside of the camera frame, they were there to be seen by the characters all the time, it should be only the audience who were surprised by the absailing soldiers etc.

This clearly states the intent of the director - nothing is real outside of the frame of the movie, nothing need convince, nothing need be real, it is all a game, a joke, a piece of worthless confection which does not have to stand up to more than a lazy moment's scutiny.

The decision to use that scene devalued the whole enterprise.Watch it if you can and see if annoys you too.

No.. I do have a life.

The Prestige

I just finished watching this movie - new to DVD and largely overlooked in the cinema.

Hugely enjoyable - I would put it as the best new movie I have seen this year (I haven't seen 'Departed' yet).

Christopher Nolan - here paired with his brother Jonathan - is a gem of a screen writer and a very good director too.

Try to see this one without knowing too much about it and, if you like it as much as I did - which is a lot - then visit Nolan's excellent back catalogue, especially 'Memento' and 'Insomnia'.

He did 'Batman Begins' too, of course, but I thought that wasn't quite as good as it looked, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, see 'The Prestige' and enjoy.

A Lesser Known Scary Movie

I like scary movies.

I like to watch them alone late on weekend nights with my treasured wireless headphones on.

I have never been scared by a scary movie (never) I just like 'em.

As an aside, the only time I jumped at a movie was at a really silly thing - it was in the last Roger Moore James Bond film - 'A View to a Kill' - and a fine old load of tosh it was too. Anyway, there's this one bit where our James is poking around a deserted house and this cat jumps out of nowhere for no logical reason. I jumped. That's the only time.And I am quite old enough to have sat in a cinema when 'Jaws' first came out in '75 and the entire cinema jumped when that old white head popped outta the boat - everyone except me. Sharks don't scare me.. but cats...Anyway, I digress.

In a vain attempt to be windswept and interesting, I thought it would be nice if I could cite a good example of a scary movie that much of the general populace might not have seen.

My runner up was 'The Vanishing' but this is diluted by the fact that it has been remade in an awful american version with the normally excellent Jeff Bridges and this remake has diffused the wondrously perverse effect of the original. If you see the original around or on telly have a look (don't check it out... never check anything out)

Anyway, my best recommendation is a Japanese film called 'Audition'. I'll say no more but try to see it before the inevitable watered-down Hollywood version appears. It turns up on filmfour and channel 4 occasionally.

See it and I guarantee you will never react to the words 'kitty kitty' in the same way again.

And it's nothing to do with a cat.

Just Vote

If you have a vote, do use it.

One single vote can have astonishing power, it can put the person (or party) that you like into power. And if, like many, you feel negative and disenfranchised by the politics and the process, then use your vote in the negative way - just pick who you judge to be the biggest A-hole in the bunch and put them LAST on your voting sheet, then work backwards in reverse order of A-holiness through the list.

In that way you can help ensure that you are not looking at your least favorite person on telly for the next five years.Seriously, use that vote.

An Observation

When you go out in the rain at night you don't get half as wet as when you go out in the rain in the day.

Jack and Jimmy

I just caught the end of 'A Few Good Men' after the Eurovision purgatory my children insisted on.

I've seen it loads of times (you want the truth... you can't handle the truth) but it never struck me before that Jack Nicholson seemed to be in some way impersonating James Cagney - the hooded eyes, the bulky visage, the slightly opened mouth.

Was he deliberately 'homaging' Jimmy in this character? I'll probably go and look this up and find the whole world has been discussing this for years but I never thought of it before.

Maybe it was just my take-away chinese acting up?

Getting the Blog Going

In case you're wondering...

I'm just reposting some of my Bebo Blogs here to get this one up and running.

Don't mistake me for somebody this prolific!


Get a Move On

When I drive around town, I like stopping to let people across the road, it seems like a nice, obvious thing to do.

Similarly, I very much like to be let across the road by a thoughtful driver when I am the pedestrian. But when somebody is kind enough to let me across, I feel the very least I can do (to return the favour) is to pick up my feet and get across the road with some level of urgency.

Unfortunately this doesn't seem to be the case for others when I am in the driving seat. My little wave across the road seems, more often that not, to be a cue for people to lose the propelling power of their legs. Sometimes the 'crossee' seems to spot an opportunity to pause and contemplate the universe. Whatever the reason, many of the bods I wave across do so with something less than grateful expedition.

This is true from everyone from Grannys to Juniors. Kids (God!) never has acne moved so slow as when it's in front of my car.

Please, if someone is thoughtful enough to let you across the road, do as Eliza Dolittle famously suggested...


The Book You have to Love

I think the 'serious' book which the erstwhile reader is most likely to be blown away by is 'The Catcher in the Rye'.

I can't say why.If you haven't read it, you should give it a go.

My two cents worth...

More Stories and Stuff

I added some more stuff over at:

have a look, maybe leave a comment so that I know you've been - kinda like getting a sticker on your lapel for a charity donation - then you don't get hassled again