Sky Arts is getting its movie critics together for a top 25 sci-fi countdown. Usually interesting, especially if like me you like lists, but the format is always a bit shaky and they never spend enough time discussing each film
In their 'Discovering...' profiles they do tend to be relentlessly positive, never any 'Then he/she did a run of crap films...'
One of them looks like my local MP, Chris Grayling, whom I dislike.
The other looks like 'Dot Cotton' off Line of Duty!
Very good. A disappointing number one in Close Encounters. The list covered all the bases. Disappointed they preferred Empire to the original Star Wars. I was pleased to see The Fifth Element placing well. Having seen all of the films except . ET. it did at least feel like a list I could relate to.
First broadcast in 2009, this is a 5-part series dealing with the aftermath of a multi-car crash. The programme has flashbacks which tells the stories of the people involved in the crash. Co-written by Anthony Horowitz this stars Douglas Henshall as the detective who leads the investigation to find the cause of the crash. I had it worked out by episode 3, but there were still some revelations that surprise as we are led down different paths of red herrings. It has a decent alternative timeline ending with what would have happened if one of the characters had done a simple act in the first episode.
A good cast including Phil Davis, Paul McGann, Sylvia Syms and Jan Francis.
Fact that I think is fun: Tom Hiddleston sings in Norwegian in the seasons last episode of Loki. His pronouncination is pretty good too. 😊
does this mean youre now a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe @Number24 ?
you're going to have to go back and watch all two dozen movies and umpty-zillion teevee series now to get caught up!
(actually what you say makes complete sense: Thor and Loki are Norse gods, they shouldnt be speaking Shakespearian English when here on Midgard)
No, I'm not a big Marvel fan. Like very many I have watched a few of the movies and liked some more than others.
It's fun for me to hear such a big movie star signing in my language and doing it so well. The lyrics were written by a Norwegian author and the melody by a folk musician especially for the show. The producers wanted a Asgardian drinking song that convayed longing and homesickness, and they wanted it in a traditional Norwegian style. I haven't followed the series, but I think the end result is good.
Just finished this on Netflix Katla set in Iceland , very strange . https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11102190/?ref_=hm_rvi_tt_i_12
Speaking of Marvel, I watched MARVEL'S M.O.D.O.K. on Hulu, and it's a blast. It's all about one of Marvel's goofier villains--the giant-headed M.O.D.O.K.--and his problems with his evil corporation being taken over and his wife asking for divorce. The show is done with animated puppets so there's very much a ROBOT CHICKEN feel to the proceedings, and seeing Marvel make fun of itself is a big part of the appeal.
There's a documentary series on BBC4 - if you're in the UK - about Ernest Hemingway. I caught the first episode on Tuesday, I don't know if it's on iplayer or anything. Very interesting.
I'm re-watching Firefly. The people who shut down this brilliant series will be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes 🤪
THE ROLLING STONES ROCK N ROLL CIRCUS
A time capsule of late-sixties weirdness, pomposity and glory, this curio of rock & pop entertainment was never shown in the UK. It eventually materialised some twenty five years later. Apparently Mick Jagger didn't rate the Stones' performance, which is odd viewing it now as it's probably one of their most angry and frantic demos.
The basic idea was to have a circus tent set up inside a TV studio with a revolving cast of players entertaining an audience and introduced by the ring masters, the Rolling Stones. Strange outfits abound, a sort of clown & fairground look, and the crowd are decked in yellow and red ponchos which make them resemble the congregation at a Buddhist festival. The sound quality comes and goes. Charlie Watts looks particularly uncomfortable. Brian Jones loses interest half-way through the Stones' set and spends all of Sympathy for the Devil shaking maracas. Bill Wyman is almost unseen. Jagger purrs. Richards scowls.
Jethro Tull kick off the gig, with Song for Jeffrey. The Tull had just placed a debut album in the charts and this would have been great exposure had the BBC transmitted the show. Ian Anderson is terrific. Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi is on hand, but he was only standing in. One album in and the Tull's revolving door policy of band members had already started.
Next up is The Who. They are rubbish, playing the whole of A Quick One While He's Away, the loping mini-opera from 1967's disaster of an album A Quick One.
Taj Mahal go all bluesy and brilliant on us with Ain't That a Lot of Love. Whatever happened to Taj Mahal?
Next up, Marianne Faithfull, looking demure and singing Something Better like an angel among devils.
The Dirty Mac is the first of the great British super groups and they never even made a record ! John Lennon (vocals and guitar), Keith Richards (bass), Eric Clapton (lead), Mitch Mitchell (drums) singing Lennon's (and McCartney's) Yer Blues. Blow-your-mind stuff. Lennon really digs this gritty, unashamed blues rocker. No wonder he was getting p%%%ed off with the Beatles. Their output was so twee compared this kind of thing. Yoko Ono screams and violinist Ivry Gitlis squeals to Whole Lotta Yoko. A magnificent, crazy jam.
Finally the Rolling Stones kick off with Jumping Jack Flash, their recent number one, and trawl through excerpts from Beggar's Banquet - Parachute Woman, No Expectations, a frantic Sympathy, a sorry Salt of the Earth - as well as premiering You Can't Always Get What You Want. Jagger is prowling. Bongo drummer Rocky works up a sweat. Personally, I think it's one of their better live efforts. The crowd certainly enjoy the set and start jiving to the thrall of it all. Even John and Yoko get on down.
The whole shindig was colourfully filmed by Michael Lindsay Hogg, who directed most episodes of Ready Steady Go, and edited with some panache. I don't know about getting what you want, but you can't keep a good sound down and most of this distinctly creaky show is saved by the fantastic musicianship and the immediacy of the songs.
BILLIE EILISH - UP CLOSE
Which makes me wonder why everyone of a certain age loves Billie Eilish, the teen sensation from L.A. who makes quirky home-studio songs with spare arrangements and sub-Adele breathy vocals. She is clearly talented and in this interview she gives a solid account of herself. She struggles a little to articulate what she means - odd, given the remarkably adult content of her lyrics. A very thoughtful, balanced young woman, but her songs need to cheer me up more. She didn't mention James Bond once.
I began to wish there had been a Bond Song by the Dirty Mac.
MIND YOUR LANGUAGE - Season One (1977)
We have a cable station here called HITS which runs vintage TV series like Charlie’s Angels and Fawlty Towers. I’m watching Mind Your Language at the moment which is an old British comedy. I’ve never seen it before and it’s so un-pc that I suspect that it will never be shown in Britain again! It stars Barry Evans as the teacher at an adult education college who teaches English to an enrolled group of foreigners. Every cultural stereotype is here and would cause huge offence nowadays in Woke Britain - that’s part of the reason I find it so hilarious! The programme gets big viewing ratings here and the Asian characters are very popular, which goes to show that the masses can laugh at themselves without having the need for someone else to take offence on their behalf.
Been watching BAPTISTE on the Beeb on Sundays. I hate the non-linear narrative. It is making the plot too difficult to follow. This has become a worrying trend over the last few years. Has no writer / director/ editor got confidence in their material to tell it straight anymore?
Going to try DECEIT tonight.
I saw Rock n Roll Circus @chrisno1 at the cinema when it was re-released some time in the late 90s maybe. A bunch of noisy Who fans turned up to watch it but were disgruntled and mystified by their set of A Quick One! Yet it's said that one reason why the Stones shelved the film was because they felt that The Who blew them away.
Certainly there may be a sense that by the time the Stones got to do their show it had been many hours in the making and the audience was getting bored from standing around.
Marianne's song looks like it may have been short separately or even on another day - there's no sign of the audience at all and if they're there they're strangely silent.
The Beatles, twee? What, with stuff like Helier Skelter and Why Don't We Do It In The Road? It was said they had a choice of asking Macca or Lennon, and felt they'd get a quick definite yes or no from Lennon so asked him first. Got to say, this version of Yer Blues sounds better than the one on the White Album.
The whole thing has a melancholic air about it - they don't really look like the Beautiful People in the audience. Incidentally, it's fun to compare this with the account by Craig Brown in his recent book on the Beatles, One Two Three Four, of the filming of the Hey Jude video.
well those would be rather silly Who fans then! their performance of A Quick One is the one bit that had long been known from their own film The Kids Are Alright , the question always was wheres the rest of that film?
This is a good document of the Stones, as well as the other acts. We have various Ed Sullivan apppearances of the Stones with Brian when he was more central to the band. And we have Gimme Shelter and various concert films from 1970s stadium shows. But this captures them in between those two phases, when they were (in my opinion) at their most interesting musically. And Mick's not all out of breath like he usually is when he's bouncing round the stage.
Saw a bit of Deceit - bit rubbish I thought. The psychiatrist is the villain of the piece in broad brushstrokes. By unkind coincidence yesterday's Plymouth Shooter and self-professed inn cell (autocorrect) was - like the suspect Colin Stagg in this fact-based drama - a virgin (never seems quite the right word to describe a bloke). Not sure of the correlation of no sex = turn to mad random violence.
Anyone caught Sky Arts' Urban Myths series? They're currently being repeated on Wednesday nights.
The series was highly praised a couple of years ago but it took me way to long to realise that Sky Arts is a Freeview channel available to all.
The series as the title suggests offers comedic or quirky accounts of urban myths about celebrities that may have been embellished over the years and almost certainly in these dramatisations.
One of the best I've seen so far is the one with currently under a cloud singer Bob Dylan turning up at the wrong address in England, and another featuring a great performance by - erm - also under a cloud actor Noel Clarke as Mohammad Ali.
Last night it was the story of how Paul McCartney came to write Yesterday. It was okay, few surprises for fans really, but it did capture the sheer Beatliness of the band even if the others were not exactly lookalikes they weren't bad. I didn't know he'd written in Nov 63 though I thought it was later than that, seeing as it went on an album in 65. The episode succumbed to the cliche of Beatle titles dropped into the script as if to make the songwriter have it in the back of his mind for later - perhaps not so incredible seeing as the name Eleanor Rigby is on the pre-dated gravestone of a cemetery of a Liverpool Church where McCartney met Lennon for the first time at the local fete.
It was followed by a far better episode about Mick Jagger and Princess Margaret. It was rather moving. The actors approximate their characters, there's a Comic Strip feel to it for those old enough to recall that Channel 4 series. The actor playing Jagger wasn't the spit of him, but he put in a good performance. Kelly MacDonald wasn't that like Princess Margaret but you bought into it for the first half hour and was far more convincing than you'd think. But these episodes are principally comic turns, a kind of what if?
On a less happy note, I caught the last episode of Channel 5's The Railway Killers about a serial killer in Surrey.
It emerged the convicted killer had an accomplice and named him, as he was still free.
Now, I daresay this new name did actually do it but even so it sounded a real hokey twist. The newly accused did not cooperate with Surrey Police, we're told, saying 'No Comment' to every question, no matter how trivial. This is cited as if to say how obviously guilty he was. Maybe he was. But Surrey Police were ones who fitted up the McGuire family over the Guildford Pub Bombings in the early 70s and nobody's been punished for that aside from the wrongly accused, who did over 10 years for a crime they'd never committed. I'd have thought 'No Comment' would be the proper way to respond to their questions.
Alison Saunders pops up as a key prosecutor - wasn't she the one who had to resign in disgrace from the Crown Prosecution Service because young lads had been falsely accused of rape but convicted because they cynically refused to look at evidence that exonerated them, as a way of bumping up convictions? And another one of the detectives involved went on to work on the Milly Dowler case - an absolute shambles.
Lastly, we are presented with a letter from the jailed 'serial killer' convicted on the word of a serial killer and some sentences are read from it. 'No remorse]' observes the copper. Yes, well, he still claims he didn't do it so remorse would be somewhat inappropriate. The letter was far longer than you'd think given the three or four sentences lifted from it. What else did he have to say? Why can't we look at it?
It's a sad state of the UK nation when you find yourself almost taking the side of a convicted serial killer because you know damn well you can't trust Surrey Police.
I've not been working so I've caught up with THE CORONER, a BBC series from 2015 -16 set in a Devon about a newly divorced solicitor returning to the seaside town of her childhood to take up the titular post.
Staring the ever lovely Claire Goose [wasn't she in Grange Hill or S Club 7 or something?] and filmed in Totnes and Dartmouth, these are pleasant little detective stories that don't tax the viewer much - or the actors for that matter. Some of the sex talk is a bit risqué for 1.45 in the afternoon though. Like that other much decried daytime show THE MALLORCA FILES, there's an unrequited love story and difficult home relationships for the heroine to contend with. It passes the time and the scenery's nice. Occasionally it makes me laugh. I'm rather enjoying it.
The Kominsky Method.
The first two series were excellent. Alan Arkin is fabulous.
Good, mindless, fun.
Alan Arkin goes back a bit. He was in a film called Freebie and the Bean that's never shown on telly now.
He's 87 now. Obviously been around for years but the last thing I remember seeing him in was 'The Rocketeer' .
...he was evicted from an old folks' home in Little Miss Sunshine 15 years ago now!
And in a somewhat tragic film Only the Lonely Heart about a deaf fellow who is a boarder. Plus as Clouseau in a rubbishy Pink Panther film not like all the others not having Sellers of course nor other elements.
Just spent a lovely evening in front of the telly soaking in the Italian city scapes with Rome Unpacked, a repeat from a few years back with Andrew Graham Dixon and Giorgio Lucatelli perusing La Roma's culture, art and food; some fascinating insights into places most tourists never go and food they'd never eat. Then Shakespeare's Italy with that entertaining Venetian count and architect Francesco da Mosto explaining how Italy influenced the Bard and his plays, how they still reflect Italian sentiment today. Great shows. I like it when I learn something.
BAPTISTE got worse and worse. It ended very fraught, over-violent and didn't resolve anything. Hopeless.
DECEIT is weird. I'm not sure who the real villain is meant to be. All the male characters are self-centred egotists. The psychologist is the most lunatic of the lot. The woman lead is too wrapped up in playing the career game to realise she's being played herself, exploited very badly even for the '90s. The sex stuff is presented very poorly, trying to be titillating while being repulsive. Horrific doesn't do the content justice; if it's supposed to be a slice of 1990s life [in the police force, I guess] then it really was a grim existence. Everyone seems to be damaged or intent on damaging. It's a really hard watch. Very, very bleak and not very tense, just infuriatingly dull
I’ve rewatched this series, this time with my son. Cumberbatch and Freeman are excellent in this updated version of Conan Doyle’s famous detective. The first three series are intriguing but the fourth becomes too clever for it’s own good. Una Stubbs is magnificent as Mrs. Hudson, so sad to know she is no longer with us but she leaves behind a legacy of work to be proud of. The episodes are taken from the original stories but ingeniously updated by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss (who also plays Holmes’ brother, Mycroft). I particularly enjoyed what they did with the hound of the Baskervilles episode.
If you haven’t seen it it’s well worth viewing, and worth a reviewing if you have.
I thought Deceit was far too clever for it's own good. The subject matter is horrific but the filming style was just dark and the story telling far too worthy and really quite boring.
I watched for Eddie Marsan and Harry Treadaway. Marsan was just creepy and Treadaway was badly miscast.
No one can just tell a story these days.
Good first episode , Vigil . https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11846996/?ref_=hm_hp_cap_pri_1