Thursday, 26 February 2009

exponentially changing context

Yes, it's American - and no, I can't speak authentically to the veracity of it's facts and figures, but this is a good illustration of why professionally we all need to run to keep up.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Saturday, 14 February 2009


Unmemorable as movies go, but built the tension well - which is no mean feat, considering we all kinda know the outcome.

Historically accurate? Not my specialist subject, but I guess probably some lapses, for dramatic effect. Still pretty good though in terms of characterisation - so three out of five overall, I reckon.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

oh, and talking of anti-gay put downs

The finest ever put down of anti-gay religious bigotry .......

Milk - the movie

Saw this today - have to admit I found it at least mildly mawkish. Nonetheless, it's well made, well cast, well acted, and worth a watch. Happily enough, it's not sugar-coated or over-varnished either. An interesting reminder of a fascinating and important bit of modern history.

The movie has a little too much original newsreel footage in the first half hour for my taste, though interesting seeing Dianne Feinstein at the start. She's since a long-standing US Senator - and the woman who 'hosted' the Obama inauguration ceremony, introducing the speakers.

Just a few months ago though - California passed Proposition 8, rescinding gay marriage. This guy got it right.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Obama - inauguration speech

Measured, I'd say. I guess the two simple tests for me are first do I feel inspired hearing it (answer, well, a little) and secondly, do I remember any of it (well, honestly, no).

On second listen, I guess the 'all are equal, all are free, all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness' line works well for me (even forgiving the 'god given' bit) - though it really lacked a peroration, or glorious crescendo.

My largest wry smile was how the camera panned to George W Bush as Obama delivered the line 'As for our common defence, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.' - the closest he really came to sketching out clear blue water between him and Bush (over waterboarding, and the like).

Well, I kinda know that with a crowd of two million you can't use call and response - but I do miss his 'yes we can'. Overall - clearly not a Kennedy.

Oh - and what on earth was the first President Bush wearing on his head?

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The secret's out .......

I appear to have been 'outed' (it's been a while since that happened).

Yes, sometime during 1985 I appeared on ....................

Actual footage is, I am pleased to say, not commonly available on YouTube. I do have the video, though I tend only to let people see that when I get a new job and show a clip at a leaving party.

So. Unlucky.

Oh, and in my defence, I didn't know it was called a 'mullet' at the time, and it was the mid 80s, so we all made unfathomable fashion mistakes. And yes, I did ask Bob Holness for a 'B please Bob'.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

The Wire - best TV show ever?

I've finished watching Season 1 (courtesy of Tracey Paul, for which thanks again) of The Wire.

Now, I admit I was a little slow to get into it (about 3 whole episodes, in fact), but it speedily grew on me. It's another police procedural, with a good ensemble cast - in Baltimore this time. No big name stars (well, not that I'd heard of anyway).

I found the language pretty inaccessible (though I could always see how West Wing watchers who aren't political junkies would find the references to continuing resolutions double-Dutch).

Early worries that the characterisation was two-dimensional evaporated over the series. Some of the hard-arsed cops turned out to be people - some of the real bad guys had souls too - but the writing is convincing rather than just trite.

I understand that later series move away from the investigation/the streets - which will be interesting to see. Series two now on order, of course.

Best TV show ever - well no, of course not - it ain't the West Wing.

But right up there with Hill Street Blues, St Elsewhere, LA Law, ER, Twin Peaks (controversial there, eh?) and The Sopranos - yep, certainly is. Great theme tune too - still humming it.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

Saw this today at the Tyneside . Not exactly a feelgood movie, but definitely worth a watch.

Acting good - casting pretty good (three main characters cast at three different ages). Can't bring myself to comment much on the plot (ever since a review of Torch Song Trilogy spoilt it for me by telling me what happens - unexpectedly - to a main character at the end of Act 2).