Archive For anyone who hasn't read it, I've added my essay about 'Film Adaptations' to the archive ...
The Rings Yummy...
Life Online A touching piece by JJ Mauli, a writer from The Samoa Observer online:
"I spent hours on my computer reading through all the posts that masiofo_mystery wrote and every minute I began to form this picture of what she was like. I could feel the loss and the emptiness that forum members, family and friends were experiencing. Not only that, I was overwhelmed at how one person can create a shockwave on a global scale, even to people that she has never met in person, nor seen their faces and who live in different countries."
I have to admit that the ending was a shock. I thought it was going to be something like this again, which shows how that spoiled us all.
TV I’ve been a violent critic of ‘Friends’ on this weblog and other places, but here we are half way through Season Eight on Channel Four and I find myself dumbfounded. It’s actually quite good. Not classic. Not ‘The One With The Blackout’, or ‘The One With All The Poker’. But still very, very good. And it’s actually the performance of Matt LeBlanc which is pulling it together, oddly enough. He’s finally managed to work out how to play Joey not dumb, just naïve and lovable. The fact that he has Aniston to play against is a real help. And even The Schwimmer failed to irritate tonight. For our American viewers, we just got to see the episode were Joey finally told Rachel he loved her. The playing that scene was exemplary, especially the waiter (wherever he came from). So, yes its years past its prime (about eight years past), but there is still much to enjoy. Now can some explain ‘Will & Grace’ to me. What happened there. Great first episode then …. Huh?
Paris Of course the other reason I wanted to visit Paris was because I had a date with a girl with an enigmatic smile. Too bad there were so many other people there for the occasion. The most famous painting in the world attracts crowds which means anyone with a vested interest, in other words those who want to marvel at the artistry not to just be able to say they’ve seen the Mona Lisa are out of luck.

The canvas is in a glass cabinet within a large gray wall with a tall elbow height barrier around it. Surrounding this are upwards of a hundred and fifty people. Forty of these are taking photographs. With the flashes on their cameras switched on. Apart from the fact that this is a pointless exercise because being the most famous picture in the world, you can buy postcards anywhere, what are they expecting to see in the snapshot? Probably what they’re getting, with is their loved one standing in front of a sort of orangy-yellow gray thing with a mad white Tinkerbell on their shoulder. Give me some time and I could knock that together for them on Photoshop without actually damaging the one that they’ve come to see. I can’t believe how relaxed The Louvre are about these things. Try and use a flash camera at the Tate and you’d be manhandled to the ground and escorted from the premises.

I do have a theory though. I think the Lisa I saw on display that day is a very good copy. I think on some days the security watch out for real art lovers. When they spot one, they’re asked to follow and are led behind the wall, were the real Mona Lisa is kept so that they can gaze at its real glory. There wasn’t anything glorious in what I saw that day. In some way Paris should take more care of its assets. [see also Mona Lisa Mania]
TV Ten reasons why the first episode of Tipping the Velvet is one of the weirdest pieces of television this year

1: It looks and feels like a Sunday night ITV1 Catherine Cookson adaptation. With lesbians.
2: It's the same old rags to riches tale of a girl plucked from obscurity and put on stage. We've seen this a hundred times ('Showgirls' etc)
3: It was directed by Geoffrey Sax, who also directed Doctor Who: The TV Movie or 'the one with Paul McGann' - that featured a controversial kiss as well. He seems to have watched 'Moulin Rouge' a few times.
4: The oyster girl is a deadringer for Martine Mccutcheon. And she doesn't seem to know her special friend any better after a suppose six months working together than she did in the scene when they first met.
5: It was written by Andrew Davis. Who also wrote the sitcom 'Game On' as well as every other costume drama in the last decade. Including David Copperfield at Christmas.
6: Johnny Vegas? Alexi Sayle?
7: The rehearsal scenes looked like a montage from Pop Idol.
8: There isn't anything controversial about the sex scenes at all. Well not really. Well OK, a bit. But it depends whether you've see 'Bound' and stuff.
9: The characters all talk the way that characters always talk in things like this. As in not like we do. In real life.
10: You could see the cliffhanger coming a mile off. Another Doctor Who connection then.

Actually I sort of enjoyed the thing. But it did feel quite lazy, and I wonder what the budget was. Did the trip around London in the car have to look so much like the 'capital city' sequence from 'The Simpsons'? And couldn't they have re-dressed the theatre set a bit more -- but then I suppose most theatres end up looking the same inside... we'll see what happens in the next episode a week on Friday ... don't take time to show things on the same day and time or anything will you ...
Lunchtime Yet again I'm in the library close to work talking advantage of the free access. The Nazi librarian who keeps constant check on how long you've been on, whether your a member, and presumably ... 'Are you local?' There are the young kids with not computer skill, and no attention spans trying to use chatrooms but not getting very far and swearing instead. There are the people asking you how to use the internet, who you can't tell that you've only fifteen minutes here and you don't have the time, because that would be rude. The people who sit at the computer you have booked, then argue if you try and tell them. And why aren't people quiet in libraries any more?
TV For a while 'The Bill' was the only police drama I would watch. I liked the mini-drama aspect of it -- the crime would be set up, investigated and wrapped up in half and hour. I liked the simplicity of it -- the procedure. It was genre -- in a good way. But then soap elements began to be introduced and now it's just a cop version of Holby City. Shame. Jack Kibble-White from 'Off The Telly' goes into some depth on the development of the show and how other similar series have been and gone around it, with their own ideas on how the format should be worked.
"Evidently, the format of The Bill did not lend itself well to the kind of emotionally charged storylines that were attracting large audiences elsewhere. Whilst occasionally it proved possible to inflict life-changing events on long-running characters, by and large, The Bill's commitment to realism meant that, like their real-life counterparts, the residents of Sun Hill would remain emotionally detached from their investigations. Crucially then, the episodes which would mark The Bill's transition from pure crime drama to a programme with soap opera credentials would require one of the series' most important characters to become personally involved in a criminal investigation."
I suppose if Sherlock Holmes had been written now, we would have see him getting over his morphene injection and Watson trying to come to terms with his death.
Photography Life magazine have published a book to commemorate 9/11. The introduction has been written my George W. Bush. For a start I'm not sure if he wrote it. It's possible -- after all we aren't sure actually how intelligent he is. The problem is it sounds like one of his speaches we we know aren't all written by him. Yes, he would have sanctioned it, but a greater man would surely have written about how he felt the day it happened, or talked about it touched him on a personal level. Instead, again, he takes the opportunity to bang on about the fight against global terrorism and getting his fellow citizens to rise up and make his country great again:
"Many nations and many families have lived in the shadow of terrorism for decades—enduring years of mindless, merciless killing. September 11 was not the beginning of global terror, but it was the beginning of the world's concerted response. History will remember that day not only as a day of tragedy but as a day of decision—when the civilized world was stirred to anger and to action. And the terrorists will remember September 11 as the day their reckoning began."
Noble causes. But can I just say, and I've wanted to say this every time he's made an address ... WE KNOW! You can keep banging on about it all you want, but it's not going to suddenly drop from the news agenda. You would think there wasn't anything else going on in the world that needed fixing. What about the environment, poverty, human rights abuses? You've got everyone's attention why not take a crack at those as well?

The Iraqi issue has been knocking around for a few years now, so why is it suddenly being pounded at? Do you know something we don't? As I've mentioned previously, if you know there is an immediate threat it would be nice to be able to plan ahead. Or are we just trying to look like we're doing something, the way people in office jobs do when they've finish the project they've been on and want to keep it ticking over until home time.

The photographs on the site are all worth looking at, especially no 9. The photographer had been photographing the big apple in early September ... after the 11th he was desperate for film during an aerial shhot of ground zero and used whatever he could find. This was the result. Co-incidence?
Film I called my friend Chris earlier:
Me: I'm waiting for the bus. It's my world music course tonight.
Chris: You'll miss it.
Me: Miss what?
Chris plays sample of Star Wars theme down phone at me (he's by a computer)
Me: I'm not so sure about The Empire Strikes Back anymore
Me: It's the director, Irvin Kirshner.
Chris: Yes.
Me: He was just Lucas' patsy. I mean what did he do? I mean we haven't seen anything by him since.
Chris: He didn't need to make any more ...
Review Mission Impossible 2 is probably the worst action film ever made. No small claim in a world which has sired Universal Solidier: The Return and anything with Chuck Norris. Jimmy Gutterman & owen O'Donnell in 'Slipped Discs: The Worst Rock 'n' Roll Records Of All Time' wrote: (I'll subsitute records or albums were necessary) 'The criteria for being considered one of the worst films of all time are quite strict. The two elements are control and stature. The writer/director/actor must have at least passively condoned the project, and the work must be by a "major" writer/director/actor (any schlub can make a bad film).' Taking all this into account, Mission Impossible 2 must rank as the worst dreck. The fact that John Woo took the project says more about how dwarfed he is in Hollywood, than how a good a director he is. What we get here is almost a Woo parody as he uses shots, effects and images which have been copied by everyone since they saw Face Off. Personally, I thought Broken Arrow was the better movie, but we'll move on. Tom Cruise seems to be so pissed that he missed out on 'The Matrix', that he's decided to try and copy both the image and style of that movie and pass it off as his own. This might have worked if 'The Matrix' had been some small Czeckoslovakian picture, but we're talking about one of the biggest grossing films of all time. People saw it. So to try and re-appropriate it instead of bringing something new to the party makes him look foolish. But that's just the top of the liners. What about the film. M:I was a good film. Not great. It didn't run with the team concept much and failed to understand who in the cast the audience might actually like and would accept as being a bad guy (Jean Reno what were you thinking?). But if there were enough great moments, and everyone in the cast was given something resembling a character. M:I 2 dispenses with anything resembling characters and people to root for. Ethan Hunt is unrecognisable from the first outing. Poor old Ving Rhames is a shadow, vapour, wasted. John Polson is saddled with the worst piece of stereotyping this side of Love Thy Neighbour. Thandie Newton, luminous in Bertolucci's 'Besieged' is wallpaper here. Dougrey Scott does his best with a seriously awful and badly written role. Hopkins gets his pay check. Some of the visuals are OK. But lets face it, the opening shot is not actually that spectacular. Joe Brown climbing up the 'Old Man of Hoye' at Christmas. That was exciting. All Tom's doing here is reprising the opening titles of Star Trek V, which is never a good place to be. And on whose shoulders should we saddle the blame for this over budget over schedule piece of crap. Well we can start with Ron Moore and Brannon Bragga, Star Trek writing stalwarts who came up with the story, the most convoluted annoying and clichéd idea this side of Star Trek:Voyager (which Bragga Exec Produces - are we seeing a pattern people?) But the real criminal is Robert Towne. I mean has he not learned anything about his trade after nearly forty years in the business? If he'd bothered to read William Goldman's 'Adventures in the Screen Trade' he'd know that all screen plays are 'structure'. All three acts of it. Here we get a Bond like opening scene which give the audience what it wants, Cruise, then removes him in what they think is a fun way but actually shits in our faces. Then there is the aformentioned and pointless climbing sequence. We find out who the team is - two guys who'll probably sit around and make Tom look good for the whole film and your love interest. Of course Towne dresses it up in dialogue but that basically what you get. Then we get nearly half an hour of people sitting around having a chat. Now in most films this would be a good time for us to find out about our characters, who they are. What makes them tick. Got that in M:I. Here? Ooh lets talk about the mission A LOT. And get Thandie in some slick move which we think looks really sexy but is actually quite sad (which was a problem with Cruise then. Because he wore his marriage on his sleeve all the time you couldn't watch him falling in love without thinking 'I wonder if Nicole is watching this' - kind of like Andy watching Mel on Big Brother I.) When the film actually gets going nothing seems to work. You can't put your finger on why - then you realise - I don't care about the characters. In fact, I don't even know who they are really. I can't identify with any of them. There is no one to root for. This thing will probably resolve itself anyway -edge of the cliff. And they want to make another one. Madness. Can I have that job at Sight and Sound now please?

[Yes it's an old review of an old film. But I don't think you've read it before, it's a bit funny, and I'm too tired to think of anything original. Look back a few days to were there is a good bit with a cook book that Anthony 'Giles' Head edited. And a picture of Edwina Currie]
Blog! Gone See you Michelle.
Film After the not-so-surprising sucess of Kevin Smith's 'Clerks' the tv wing of Disney decided to make a pilot for a TV show. It didn't feature any of the original film cast and it was filmed in colour. Smith wasn't even consulted and luckily the thing didn't get to air. Now the full horror of this beast can be found at a fan site to one of the replacement actors Noelle Parker (playing Veronica):
"Gone are the cynical attitudes, references to "snowballing" and the hardcore pornography titles. Instead, Dante Hicks is a clean cut not-ready-for-law-school guy, but who otherwise seems fairly straitlaced. In fact, he looks like he plays golf regularly. In the center is Todd , the ice-cream clerk, with the goatee that Dante had in the film, but here it's less radical because it's on the goofy guy. The video clerk is Randal Graves, who's not a hustler like he was in the movie, but more of a physical comedian, in the style of Jim Carrey."
And no Jay and Silent Bob ... bunch of savages in this town ... [via NewsAskew]
Plug! The angel voiced Eva Katzler's next gig is at The Purcell Room on the 29th December 2002, as part of the 'Kashmir Kule Yule', just so that you can plan ahead. For tickets please contact the Royal Festival Hall box office on: 020 7960 4242.
Buffy I don't know, I'm away for a few months and find that 'Buffyfilter' is online. Actually, it's called 'Whedonesque' so that everything the genius writes can be included, but it's there. Good job too. Mefi is turning into a battleground.
Film Fametracker clicks on to Kevin Bacon:
"The question is: how did Kevin Bacon get here? What is he, Wayne Newton, all riffing on himself in a damn Visa ad? I mean, it's all well and good for a celebrity to have a sense of humour about himself, but there is a time and place to display it. Go on Conan and do a "Bacon Secrets" segment; don't give even MORE attention to the dipshits who made up this stupid game about you by referencing it in a credit-card ad. IN WHICH YOU PLAY YOURSELF. That's for Donald Trump and Mr. T., not ostensibly respectable actors.
There has been a spate of formerly very well known film stars ... not making films anymore. Demi Moore gave it up after GI Jane. Melanie Griffith hasn't been around for a while. Alex Winter. You know. Bill or Ted -- whichever wasn't Keanu in that movie with the phone box but not Daleks.
People I notice that another few few things have been added to Anne Dudek's CV. She's appeared in the pilot for a courtroom drama show 'For The People' and judging (ho ho) by that official site she isn't a regular. Which is good because the theme song is really bad. Expect to see it on 'Hallmark' in the UK sometime soon. So she might be free for a new series of 'The Book Group', when her film role playing Anthony Hopkins daughter in 'The Human Stain' is completed. I'm wondering if that title will get a change before release -- otherwise the cinema will erupt the way it did that time I saw the trailer for 'Free Willy' the first time.
Logobar Thought I might stick with this one for a while if that's ok ...
Life Sometimes I find myself having to rationalise things. I have to make a decision about something, throwing all of the supposed facts together and go ahead. Sometimes, usually in fact, I dash in head first, like a solidier into battle and realise I'm going to be hit on the head before I can do anything about it. But I know I have to do something. And at the root of it all is the rationalisation. This is our way of proving to ourselves that we've done the right thing no matter the outcome. I rationalisation I made recently has put me in conflict with all kinds of people. It was the day I decided I was a Guardian reader.

The rationalisation went somthing like this. I worked my way through the newspapers available putting a line through each one when I came to a reason why not.

The Sun Run by Murdoch. Very little to read. Plus I'm from Liverpool and after Hillsborough ...
The Mirror Editorially can't decide what it wants to be about. Mostly unreadable.
The People See above
The Star Just like The Sun.
The Sport If I want porn I have the internet.
The Express Cheap. Nasty. Owned by a porn baron. More down market than ever.
The Daily Mail Too smug, too quick to judge, too closed minded, fixated on some issues when others have moved on.
The Daily Telegraph Too much text. Too tory.
The Independent Too dull. Everything feels like an effort. Often patronising.
The Times Owned by Murdoch. He rules the world you know. Editorially not that much different to The Sun, just uses bigger paper and longer words.
The Guardian Yes I have to dodge the leftism, but at its core a commitment to great journalism. Always find at least five good articles per day worth the 50p. Publishes 'The Guide'. Great website.