Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wall St 2 - Money Never Sleeps

I have to put the disclaimer right here.  I'm a huge fan of the original film.  I find Gordon Gekko a delicious screen character.  I was well pleased that I had a chance to see him again.  To cut it short, I went into this film wanting to love it.

I don't think I'll ever understand the Shia love.  In interviews I find him arrogant and unlikable.  On screen I find him at best competent.  I don't dislike him on screen.  It's more a case of  'I wouldn't cross the road to see him'.  In this he's just about adequate.

This is the first time I've seen Carey Mulligan in a role.  She comes across well.  She's likable on screen.  I just couldn't understand what she saw in Lebeouf's character.  I didn't believe his character had 'slipped', I just thought he was a swine waiting to happen.  I would have thought her 'swine' sensors would have been better than that with her feelings about her father.

The star of the show, as to be expected, is Michael Douglas.  He was great.  The downplaying of the older/wiser Gekko was perfect.  The sneaks of the 'real' Gekko getting through even better.  Douglas is a great screen presence.  I think my favourite role of his has to be Gordon.  Yes, he's a total bastard but he's good to watch!

The part I felt most let down by was the ending.  It was totally against the grain of the film and felt soooo wrong.

This is in no way a great film.  However I loved it.  The shots of New York were fantastic.  For that and the Gekko I rate it 4 pawprints out of 5.  Don't go see it on my say so though.  The professionals seem to think it mediocre.  My rating is taste over substance.

Oh and within 24 hours of seeing this film I had a Carey crop.  Is that taking Oliver Stone too seriously???

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Maybe the Best Popbitch Article Ever

You can sign up to the Popbitch Newsletter here http://www.popbitch.com/home/

You must watch the video that's linked at the end! 

It's like a bad Littlest Hobo.

>> Run Joe Run <<
     TV producers must have been on acid

   After featuring 'Nam Ben in last week's
   issue one reader drew our attention to
   Run, Joe, Run which might well be the
   finest live-action television programme
   ever made.

   Influenced by the golden age of television
   where animals could play non-speaking lead
   roles and no-one would bat any eyelid
   (coincidentally, around the time that acid
   got big), Joe was a German Shepherd falsely
   accused of biting his handler and sentenced
   to death. Joe managed to escape though and
   now lives as a fugitive, with a $200
   bounty on his head.

   How Joe isn't mentioned in the same breath
   as Flipper, Skippy and Lassie, we'll never


A Lovely Design, Bodrum

Now, I haven't an artistic bone in my body.  Nothing I imagine so perfectly in my mind can ever be transferred to a more solid medium by myself.  I'm not just tone deaf, I'm art deaf.

Luckily my own lack of skills doesn't stop me appreciating the work of others.  I still enjoy to look at all elements of art.  I even enjoy looking at some that I just don't understand.

Whilst on holiday recently I came across this logo for Bodrum in Turkey.  (The modern name for Halicarnassus.)

I love this design.  It gets across just what Bodrum's about.  Encompassing the famous castle, the amphora hinting at the historical interest and the hull of a ship for a seafaring town.  I found it a pleasure to look at the logo everywhere I saw it around the town.  I wonder who designed the logo. Whoever it is I hope they're proud of it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Speed Watching

Inspired by the Speed Reading Post I though a film version would be fun too.

The point is to make an A-Z list of films you've seen.  The first one to come to mind for each letter is the one you must list. No cheating!

The rules are:
1. Go through the alphabet, and for each letter, think of a film you’ve seen that starts with that letter (A, An, and The do not count).
2. You must write down the FIRST film you think of for any given letter.
3. You must have actually SEEN the film.
4. If you think of a more impressive-sounding film for a particular letter, you CANNOT change to the more impressive-sounding film.

Let's see what genres my mind springs too...

The China Syndrome
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Enemy at the Gate
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 
Judge Dredd
King Arthur
Leon Manhattan
No Country for Old Men
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Pan's Labyrinth
The Return of the King
Sin City
The Untouchables
The Village of the Damned 
The War of the Worlds 
You Only Live Twice

I found this list much easier to compile.  mainly because a lot of films popped into my head when I was thinking of the books earlier.

Over to you Paul :-)

The Girl Who Played With Fire

I have to confess that I've given up on the written trilogy.  I was finding the beginning of this book such a slog.  I really enjoyed the first film.  More than I enjoyed the book really.  For the first time ever I decided to ditch the books for what the celluloid version has to offer.  I've realised I haven't enough time for books I'm not actually enjoying reading.

I was glad to find that the part of the book I'd found incredibly dull was absent from the film.  They obviously had to make cuts to such a large novel.  The cuts that they made to the beginning of this were spot on IMHO.

I found this film as enjoyable as I had the first.  More so as I wasn't watching for differences after the first few scenes.  I did find certain aspects of the film a little far-fetched and a tad unbelievable.  Nothing more than I've put up with many times before and probably less than I'll find in the future.  

The most interesting part of the film was the interaction of Lisbeth with other people.  She couldn't keep her distance in this film as she could in the last.  That to me was the part I enjoyed most.  Seeing her have to develop as a character due to her actions.  Learning some of her back-story was also a bonus.  Noomi Rapace is excellent in this film as she was in the last.  I think if she had dropped the ball I would have enjoyed it far less.  She dwarves the other characters.  They are just there to propel her story along.  This can't be an easy role to play given the lack of expression.

Overall I enjoyed the film but it's far from a favourite.  I want to see the final installment but I'm hardly champing at the bit. 3 out of 5 pawprints.

Speed Reading

I found this on my friend's blog http://goldfishparacetamol.blogspot.com  

The point is to make an A-Z list of books you've read.  The first one to come to mind for each letter is the one you must list. No cheating!

The rules are:
1. Go through the alphabet, and for each letter, think of a book you’ve read that starts with that letter (A, An, and The do not count).
2. You must write down the FIRST book you think of for any given letter.
3. You must have actually READ the book.
4. If you think of a more impressive-sounding book for a particular letter, you CANNOT change to the more impressive-sounding book.

I have a sense of a shamefully less than 26 list, dominated by a few authors......
The Anonymous Venetian by Donna Leon
The Black Echo by Michael Connelly
The Concrete Blonde by Michael Connelly
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
An Enemy at Green Knowe by Lucy M. BostonThe Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling
A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
Miss Garnet's Angel by Sally Vickers
One Step Behind by Henning Mankell
The Poet by Michael Connelly
The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
Revelation by C. J. Sansom
Sovereign by C. J. Sansom
Trunk Music by Michael Connelly
Upper Fourth at Malory Towers by Enid Blyton
Venice, Pure City by Pater Ackroyd
The War of the Worlds by H G Wells

I can't see me ever filling in X, Y and Z any time soon.  I, J and N are really bugging me though.  If I think of any I'll fill them in, in red.

I'd love to see other people's speedy alphabets.

I think the same thing with films would be interesting too....