Monday, June 28, 2010

Plea for Sponsorship.

I have signed up to do the local Race for Life.  It is a 5k, women only run to race money for the Cancer Research Charity.

If anyone would like to sponsor Cancer Research through me please do so via the widget below.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Ghost

I haven't read the book, The Ghost Writer, which this film is based on.  I disagree with someone making a film/writing a book that is based, or points towards real people and/or events and filling in the blanks as their imagination/political leanings see fit.  All fiction or all fact makes me rest easier.  It makes pop stars spewing politics a little more bearable.

The fact that the film was directed by Polanski gave me a push to see it.  All of his films that I've seen I've been impressed by with the exception on Ninth Gate.  I'm still  irritated by that one.  Also sitting in the cinema for 2 hours is much less work than a full novel.  I wanted to see how Pierce Brosnan was getting along post-Bond.  As well as seeing Kim Cattrall in  a more serious role.

Brosnan was excellent as Adam Lang.  He oozed charisma on the screen.  You could easily believe this man was once a well liked Prime Minister.  Although I didn't like the fact he seemed to have added bits of 'Blair' to his role I have to admit they enhanced it.  I don't remember seeing Olivia Williams, who plays Adam's wife Ruth, before.  She was great.  A perfect strong woman whose career has been virtually washed away by her husband's massive success.  You really feel for the woman who has been dragged through the mill by her husband's success and even more so by his spectacular fall.  I was pleasantly surprised by Kim Cattrall's performance.  It was nice to see her playing outside her Samantha Jones role.

I have to say I think the film fell down to its central actor.  At first I couldn't get past MacGregor's horrendous accent.  Why couldn't he play the role in his own accent.  Why distract the audience with such an awful attempt at another one.  At the end of the day though I just never believed in what Ewan was trying to put across on screen.  He was definitely not the man to hang this film upon.  He just doesn't have the chops.

Of all the Polanski films I've seen this one rates joint bottom.  It just lacked the cleverness and atmosphere of his others.  A shame really because the support cast were pretty good.

2.5 pawprints out of 5

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Snoop's Ode to Sookie Stackhouse

This is one for the True Blood fans out there.  I had no idea Snoop Dogg was one of us :-)

Moviegrrl's interview with Dario Poloni, the writer of Black Death

Click on the link below for the first part of Moviegrrl's interview with the writer of Black Death.

There's more to come so make sure you bookmark it and come back for the rest.


The Importamce of Being Earnest, Library Theatre

The final play showing at Manchester's Library Theatre is The Importance of Being Earnest.  Probably my favourite play of all time.  There was no way I was going to miss the production.

I'm sure this play can never be a complete disappointment.  Wilde's script is wonderful, a work of comic genius.  Despite its age it is still as hilarious today.

Lady Bracknell is one of my favourite characters to grace the stage.  Her cutting remarks never lose anything no matter how many times I see them performed.  In this production Lady Bracknell was played by a man,  Russell Dixon.  He was definitely the best actor in the production.  I have not seen a man play this part before.  I have to say I don't think it was necessary.  It added another level of ridiculousness to the play.  Which it did not need.

I found the weak point of the play to be the casting.  The actor playing Algernon just didn't cut it for me.  He looked as if he was acting the part.  His actions too pronounced for me to believe he truly was the louche and decadent young aristocrat he was playing.  The actors playing Miss Prism, Jack and Chasuble were all perfectly fine.  Not much more can be said.  Leigh Symonds, playing the role of two different man-servants was perfect.  His acting, mainly facial expression got his thoughts across excellently.  A shame his part was so small.  The parts of Gwendoline and Cecily didn't fit quite right with me.  The actress playing Gwendoline was over-pronouncing her words in a very unnatural manner.  They didn't flow for me.  Cecily looked the part but wasn't dainty enough for me.  Her actions were a little masculine.  Which is rich coming from a clumping Tomboy like myself, though I would never cast myself as Cecily.

The costumes were not very attractive.  They were dull and sometimes ugly.  I would have preferred much prettier, noticeable dresses on Cecily and Gwendoline.

All in all I enjoyed the play.  It must be virtually impossible not to.  3.5 pawprints out of 5.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Black Death (no spoilers)

I had heard very little about this film.  It seems to have fallen well below most people's radar.  It was brought to my attention on Twitter by @Moviegrrl . I'm glad she did give it a mention.  I'd have hated to have missed it.  I'm assuming its time of release won't have done it any favours.  Most British eyes seem to be on the World Cup right now.

Unsurprisingly this film is set during the first outbreak of the Bubonic Plague in England.  Sean Bean plays a Bishop's envoy despatched to find and return with a heretic who is supposedly protecting their village from infection.  The period detail in the film is great.  As is the sense of of atmosphere it gives.  The use of diegetic sound was central to creating the atmosphere and was wonderful throughout.  As were scenes set on a marsh with the use of the mist present.  This was a spooky setting.

The cast wasn't well known to me.  I had heard that this is the film that will relaunch Sean Bean's career.  He was good in this but was playing a part we have seen him play before.  There was nothing new to his range here.  Good casting but unless a few more people actually see this film it won't be a launchpad for anything.  Which is a shame because I enjoyed it.  Carice van Houten was great in her role.  I don't think I've finished a film in with her before.  Despite everyone else loving Black Book it just wasn't for me.  She had a great presence in this film.  Managing to play a strong woman in Medieval England convincingly.  Not an easy task I would imagine.  I can't remember seeing Eddie Redmayne in anything else before.  I thought he carried himself well in this.  He was good if not standout great.  The majority of his role must have difficult as he plays neither a meek sort nor a confident brute as do most of the rest of the male cast.  Tim McInnerny did well.  Upon his arrival on screen I smirked.  This was a period piece.  The sight and sound off him just made me think of his Blackadder roles.  His performance got me past that and believing in his character.  Not an easy job as he is firmly Captain Darling in my mind.  Emun Elliott didn't let the side down.  This is the second role I've seen him in.  In both the majority of his lines were spoken whilst glaring through his fringe.  I want to see him stretch himself a bit.

The film is horrifyingly brutal in parts.  Probably no more brutal than the scenes shown would have been at such a time but not exactly a pleasant watch.  I don't think as some have said that this brutality was unnecessary.  The subject matter seems to call for such behaviour.  This is discussing the church and heretics in medieval times.

The film is decribed as a medieval thriller.  A pretty apt description.  I loved the sense of spookiness I felt throughout the film.  It seems yet another way of discussing religion as so many things do these days.  It wasn't allowed to get in the way of telling a good story though.

4 out of 5 pawprints.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sex and the City 2 (Spoilers throughout)

Let me start by saying I'm a huge fan of the television series.  I'm the girl that's seen all the episodes at least twice, read the book, was desperate to see the first film.

The book was ok but it didn't match the tv series it spawned.  To me the tv series was clever, amusing and fun for women to watch.  It looked fabulous, made great use of fashion and even better use of New York. It seems a lot of that was lost in the first film.  I enjoyed the film in the cinema but on reflection it dropped very far down the scale.  I was pleased to see the four characters again but kinda wished they'd left it at the tv series.  The film lost the cleverness of the tv show and became a lot more 'chick flick'.  Still, it was worth the ticket price.

I hate to say that the 2nd film followed the downward curve.  There were some parts I enjoyed.  Mostly because it brought SaTC back for a couple of hours.  Hearing Carrie's voice-overs made me smile.  After that it was pretty hollow.

It had the fashion.  As with all fashion there were some wonders and also some disasters.  If Carrie wants to shop the souk in a ballgown great.  Just don't pretend that it would look as great upon her return.

This was watching characters I was fond of being dumped in a Chick Flick.  I'm not a lover of chick flicks.  Maybe it explored a little further than the usual chick flick.  But never with any depth.  This was a shiny film looking at serious points and looking away rather than take them on.

The script was predictable to say the least.  My biggest problem was the constant shoving in my face of 'sisterhood'.  They didn't give us enough to believe in any of these characters.  Therefore the sisterhood felt fake and forced.  The more it was brought up, the sicker I felt.

If you're going to tackle issues such as female oppression do it seriously.  Oppressed women wear this season's collection under their burkas, squeee!  Give me a break.  This is a sugar-coated insult to serious issues.

Another issue done to death was Samantha's ageing.  This was handled so much better in the tv series.  If I never see another yam it will be too soon.

Please Mr Star.  The point of this seemed to be that Carrie couldn't go back to who she was in the tv show and finally realised she didn't want to any more.  Well. I've realised that we can't get back the quality of the tv show and I want you to stop trying.

I had an enjoyable evening but this was due to the company rather than the film.  

2.5 out of 5 pawprints.  That's generosity of someone who's grateful that she's got her box-set.  A box-set which is about to get another watch.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Imagine if all retailers started selling condoms...

Imagine if all retailers started making their own condoms and kept their own tag-line.

Tesco Condoms, Every Little helps.

Nike Condoms, Just Do It.

Peugeot Condoms, The Ride Of Your Life.

KFC Condoms, Finger Licking Good.

Duracell Condoms, Just Keep Going & Going & Going.

Pringles Condoms, Once You Pop You Can't Stop.

Burger King Condoms, Home Of The Whopper.

Andrex Condoms, Soft Strong & Very Long.

Mcdonald's Condoms, I'm Loving it.

Polo Condoms, The One With The Hole.. OH FCUK!

I got this in an email today.  It made me smile, hope it does the same for you :-)