Friday, March 2, 2012


This Sunday t'other half and I made a trip to Blackpool to cheer on our running club mates in the Great North West Half Marathon.  We had lots to cheer about as our club had the highest turnout and took second and third place along with a massive amount of PBs.

The first few parts of Blackpool I saw were worse than I remembered.  The town is horrendously run down in parts.  It looks really bad in the back streets.  We drove North and parked near the Hilton to watch the race.  None of the hotels I saw convinced me it would be a good idea to spend the night.

After the race we went for lunch.  We found a nice little restaurant that was busy.  The food was fine, if the menu was stuck in the 1970's.  Not somewhere I'd return in a rush but not as bad as previous attempts at cuisine I've encountered in the town.

After lunch we just had enough time for the Tower.  I've never bothered before.  It's always fell under the stuff I sneer at.  Maybe it was time to loosen up and see if I could enjoy myself.  Well, the fact that it would close for maintenance the day after seemed like a sign we should go up.  So after being relieved of my £12.60 I found the badly signed lift.  Ascended to a floor which I assumed was the right one, lack of signage again.  Found the next stage which led us into the '4D' theatre.  After a bit of a wait...

in sexy 3D spec's, we went through to the theatre.  I won't spoil the film for you in case you're going to see it yourself.  I have to say though impressed wasn't an adjective that sprung to mind upon my exit.  Then another lift with a little spiel given about the Tower itself.  At the top you exit to either the inside observation deck or you can go up a short flight of stairs to an outside one.  As the weather was against us there wasn't a fabulous view, nor did it stretch very far.

The highlight of the observation decks is the Skywalk.  A glass floor for you to test your nerve walking across.  Now, I'd assumed this would be a very simple task.  However it made me feel very queasy.  My brain wouldn't override the safety warnings triggered by what my eyes could see.  Even though the view wasn't as scary as normal as there is work being done on the Tower and the scaffolding broke it a little.  It took a few tries before I could cross it and touch the glass on the other side.  This was most shameful as all logic told me not to be such a total wuss :-(

All in all, I won't be rushing back to Lancashire's most famous coastal town.  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Iron lady

This was always going to be a hard film for me to judge.  Due to my dislike for the title character.

The film gives you a background to the character giving you the times she struggled due to her class and her gender.  It gives the impression of her as a feminist icon.  This I'd dispute, she fought for her rights and her career.  I can't think of an incidence of her improving conditions for her fellow women.

The period detail seems pretty good throughout the film as it progresses.  That's probably my favourite thing about the film.  Obviously I'm wrong, as everyone else loves it, but I didn't enjoy Streep's performance.  It was in the Michael Sheen, perfect mimic style.  I didn't get a sense of the woman or her feelings on anything, just that Meryl had her off to a T. The younger actress seemed to be doing more actual acting.

The film is as flimsy as it gets when it comes to a political stance.  Or even showing the consequences of her actions.  There are big events, some which would anger Sean Penn, but zero analysis.  This is a huge let down. I'd like to have seen it tackled in a similar way to McQueen's Hunger.  No sides taken but a proper look at its subject.

My biggest problem with the film was the fictional portrayal of a living woman and her 'hallucinations'.  It was a bad way to move the story along.  Put the facts on screen or tell a nice story about characters that don't exist.  Don't do half of each and portray an elderly, probably not very well, woman like this.  It leaves a very bad taste in the mouth.

All in all I liked this film a little more than I liked the woman herself.  I'd rather have watched a documentary.

1.5 pawprints out of 5