Through The Dark

TV Lord Marries Rayanne Graff AJ Langer who played the character from My So-Called Life has hitched to a "Lord (Charles) Courtenay, 29, is heir to the title Earl of Devon and the family seat, Powderham Castle, which stands in a deer park overlooking the River Exe." Wierdly, that linked article from The Scotsman emphasises her appearance on Baywatch even though she was only in three episodes (see her IMDb entry). Perhaps the journo, Sam Marsden, has Yasmin Blithe on his mind...

Heal Over

Obituary I was sorry to see Anne Bancroft go the other day -- she'll always be Helen Hanffe to me. Ed Bishop has gone too. He's one of those journeyman actors who seems to have been in everything as this obituary attests.

Stoppin The Love

TV Matthew Rudd embarks on a history of Have I Got News For You at Off The Telly. So many memories:
"Meanwhile, we got to see an air of real tension - of the sexual variety - during the fourth episode of this run. Caroline Quentin was largely unknown to the general public in 1993, but once she'd been introduced, sitting alongside Hislop, as "Mrs Merton", a new element of plot developed, as well as a running gag. Deayton casually said that some guests may sleep with a captain to get on the show; this one had gone as far as marrying him. Introduction, applause and then the comeback - "Why did I have to sleep with you as well?" "Oh, it was just in the contract. But thank-you anyway." A nice exchange, real tension between guest and host, and no further mention during the show. But the innuendo of Merton's wife and the HIGNFY host having a liaison was brought up for humour purposes by Merton himself the following week (lots of "I'll give you one" non-gags afterwards) and it went on for quite some time, beyond Quentin's second and final appearance, this time with hubby, a year later."
I do wish the BBC would do what we all want and start release boxsets of whole seasons or years. The political life of the country over the past fifteen years is right here.

Suddenly I See

Film Ten things I loved about Doug Liman's exhilaratingly brilliant film Mr & Mrs Smith.

(1) In the flashback at the start of the film our two characters are introduced. She's called Jane and he's called John.
'John.' I heard myself say quietly outloud. 'John -- Smith?'
Only Doctor Who fans would be doing that and only they will know the reference.

(2) John and Jane Smith go to a party. I suspect I'm the only person in that audience to notice that the track playing in the background was 'Every Heartbreak' by Amy Grant (former passion, just after Kylie just before Debbie). I'm wierded out because I haven't heard it many, many years.

(3) The guy from the The OC in the interogation scene is wearing a Fight Club t-shirt.

(4) It's an Angelina Jolie film I can like. I've never found her all that inspiring but there's just something about the way she pouts, raises an eyebrow, holds a gun and wears knee high boots which slays me.

(5) Can we have Vince Vaugn playing this character in every film? I loved the way he was just sort of there, although I suspect a lot of his part was lost in the editing, although they were right to focus on the central relationship. But seriously: 'I like were you're going with this....'

(6) Doug Liman somehow manages to meld some of the sensibilities of his previous comedies (Swingers & Go) with the action of The Bourne Identity. Some of the gunfights are utterly balletic, and remind me of the Robert Roderiguez of Desperado. There are moments which gun fire and dialogue give way to music and it all becomes a dance. I shivered.

(7) Brad Pitt never really gets enough credit for his comic timing. True there's a fine line with mugging to camera, but 98% of the time he's on the good side. You couldn't imagine anyone else playing this part which is a complement.

(8) The constant conversational within the couple about how some situations suddenly have a whole other meaning and their implications. A real attempt has been made to reignite the sort of quick fire dialogue of the 1940s. This is pure Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday

(9) You just feel like you've seen a movie, not just the impression of one. It hits all the beats on time and in the right order. At no point do you feeel short changed or that anything could be done better.

(10) I can't actually understand the ongoing criticism of the ending. Almost every review I've seen says that it's great up until about ten minutes before the end. Actually this could have gone two ways: The Butch and Sundance or what we have. On this occasion the former would really have short changed the audience even though within a certain moral code which some reviews believe movies should follow, that would have created an important ambiguity. But I just thought about Martin Blank in Grosse Pointe Blank -- he can have a happy ending so why not these guys? Then again they do break his golden rule. No unions...

The Dalek captive

TV You know the Dalek which was stolen in Somerset? Someone's sent in a ransom note: "We are holding the Dalek captive and in isolation. For the safety of the human race we have disarmed and removed the destructive machanism. We demand further instruction from The Doctor -- Guardians of the Planet Earth" At the end of that BBC article: "Former Dr Who actor Colin Baker has been in touch with staff at the attraction, and may be asked to send a message to the kidnappers."

False Alarm

Life My hair is getting long and big -- but its also starting to fall backwards of its own accord which has been the plan all along. I'll get it cut soon but not yet. Sasha is dead on though: "Sometimes I think my life has been a long, linked, series of bad-hair-days."

Universe & U

Film Clerks X is coming to Region 2 dvd in its entirety. Which will be exciting news to anyone but me, since I shilled out for the Region 1 version assuming it'd never be released here. Since it looks like it's going for a cheap price, it looks like I'll be spending a bit more. I don't know what your dvd player is like, but I can really see the difference between PAL and NTSC...

Silent Sea

Life Sometimes I wonder what my personality is. That is how someone else might describe me. Someone asks, 'What he like?' and someone says '...' Would I be shocked or agree with whatever's been said? I have an idea of myself, I suppose, but recently it's feeling erroded, pushed backwards because it needs to be, just for now. It might be because I'm not around people who bring out the best in me, the version of me I'm most proud of, the one I'd like to see out on display. Something needs to happen, I think.

Miniature Disasters

Web Steve Baldwin wonders about the validity of some of the judges at the Webby Awards. Why should someone without a web presence or with one which is incoherent judge what's on the web?

Black Horse and the Cherry Tree

Life Eskimo's latest review about being single seems pertinant to a conversation I had with someone the other night. And even though I am one, I can't help but agree with point two at the bottom:
2. 'Men are disappointing.'
We just are, sorry. So what do we do now?

Another Place To Fall

Blogs Wow. I mean wow. The one post no one will be expecting to see at remaindered links any time soon. But seriously, is this an isolated attack of blogger envy (something we all get a spot of now and then, some more than others) or can we an expect an outbreak? I think someone had better quarantine the monkeys). [via]

Other Side Of The World

Music "Last Train To Clarksville" with added Vader. [via]

Just Like Honey

Film Five movies he wishes people would stop quoting [via]. In contrast here are ten films I wish people would quote more, because it would make my life easier:

"My God! It's full of stars! "

Late Night Shopping
"Porno reactions"

"You're gonna listen to me? To something I said? Hasn't it become abundantly clear during the tenure of our friendship that I don't know shit?"

French Kiss
"Happy - smile. Sad - frown. Use the corresponding face for the corresponding emotion. "

Shaun of the Dead
"I got nothing."

A Few Good Men
"That was a bit funny..."

Kissing Jessica Stein
"Don't decide right now, just let it marinate for a while."

Broadcast News
"Ok, I'll meet you at the place near the thing where we went that time."

The Big Chill
"I don't know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They're more important than sex."

When Harry Met Sally
"I was being nice!"

Under The Weather

Blogs Avril Lavigne's new dotcom has a section for fans to set up blogs. Much of anything there is as you'd expect. Lots of teenagers saying 'I'm not sure what to write' and *lol* and 'luv u Av' as much as possible. Then I stumbled on this:
"But man, there are too many blogging things on the Internet!!! Way back in the day I had DiaryLand, then I moved to LiveJournal, then to BlogSpot. A bunch of my friends from here have BlueKaffee so I have that. MSN is taking over the world so I have an MSN Space. And lots of Hanson/Avril people have MySpace, so I signed up for that. And now I have an Avril blog!!! That is WAY TOO MANY. Time to downsize. Goodbye MSN and MySpace. I like this one. And my blogspot is amazing so that is staying. aha. Anyway, there is my rant."
It occured to me the other night as I was casting about for something to write that somehow I've ended up either writing or writing for five different weblogs, not including the mega community blogs like Metafilter. They all cover different topics, but some have been getting more attention than others lately. Is it best to have one and drive all of your energy there (which was my previous approach) or to diversify pass your 'wisdom' to multiple audiences? Jasmine doesn't link to any of her other sites so I can't see if they all tell the same story but you can see why she'd want to downsize. But it's interesting that she's sticking with BlogSpot as her main blog of choice and dropping MSN which is an approach I've seen elsewhere. Sticking with the old and tested even though it's a bit stodgy? That'll be me as well then.

Are You Awake?

Music The Lisa Misovsky single, Lady Stardust is one of the most uplifting tracks I've heard lately. A heady mix of Natalie Imbruglia, Coldplay and Air (which to my easy listening ears is a good thing) it still manages to feel new and fresh and different. But what will hit you and causes me to gasp in appreciation is that it doesn't have a chorus. Or if it does there are three of them. Two verses, something which sounds like a chorus, two more verses then -- hold on, that's different -- I wasn't expecting that. What happened to the bridge? Quiet bit. Anthemic ending -- I think I may be punching the air. It's just a magical track really.

I'm not trying to champion some unknown singer here. She's massively famous in her native Sweden winning their version of The Brits -- so this'll be her crack at the UK market. I don't know if it'll work -- I'm not sure what the airplay's been like not listening to music radio at all, but HMV Liverpool only had two copies and I've a feeling that's what they got in. Not in her favour is writing for the Back Street Boys in the past (but it's a job of work - Simon Callow was in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls for much the same reason I suspect). But the title of the lady's first UK album, Falling Water is inspired by a building from the architect Frank Lloyd Wright which is an excellent thing.

The single's at least worth buying for the b-side, a breathy version of Bacharach and David's Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head, which isn't quite the same re-imagining as Nina Gordon's Straight Out Of Compton but reminds me at least of those singers you hear in a bar at midnight who show up with a guitar, a look and a voice and captivate the audience. Frankly would you rather have that or an animated frog?

Alone In Kyoto


Liverpool Victory Parade
Originally uploaded by rockeye.

Seriously there hadn't ever been anything like this in Liverpool. I haven't seen a photo from in the thick of it like this, actually from inside the crowd.


Film X-Men 3 will be directed by .... Brett Ratner. John threatened to derail the day when he offered this information in the comments section of my previous post on the subject. So now what was one of the best film franchises of the decade is now in the hands of the man who directed the Rush Hour films and the pointless Hannibal Lector remake/prequel Red Dragon. John says:
"The only good news is that with shooting starting so soon Ratner might not have time to make major changes to the script or cast. Does he really have the clout to persuade the studio to put things on hold and risk pissing off the cast while he rethinks the whole thing?"
Well no, but I wouldn't be shocked if he starts going over the script during shooting. And hiring his mate Chris Tucker to play a mutant he'll create from scratch and wedge into the thing for 'comic relief'. Seriously is this the man you want to have overseeing the realisation of the Dark Pheonix arc? Ironically Ratner left Superman just before Bryan Singer took over that project after walking away from X-Men. Swings and roundabouts.


Football Congratulations to England for scraping a win against Finland tonight in Euro 2005 in what turned out to be a really exciting match. The highlight of Five Live's coverage was the guy who'd brought his family to the match (one of a record 29,000), hadn't seen a women's football game before but was suddenly an instant expert.