Tuesday, September 26, 2006

2006 - the cinematic year to end all well?

after a pretty dismal year thus far, 2006 looks like we should see some decent, interesting films. on the way are The Departed, The Prestige, Texas Chain Saw Massacre : The Beginning and Borat to name a few of the interesting titles, and now at last we have the cinematic interpretation of Perfume.

i read the novel Perfume a few years ago purely on the basis that it was one of many possible film ventures Stanley Kubrick explored. he never made the film for a range of reasons, most of which are within the realm of mythology and fan-based made up stuff. i think, much like how he abandonded making A.I., it just looked like it would be a great idea that would make an unconvincing film.

well, someone has felt that they can make a convincing film out of it, and here it is! well, here is the poster at least!! i will be seeing it as soon as i can get my hands on it. if you get the chance, seek and read the book - by Patrick Suskind i think, if that is the right spelling.

what's it about? a quasi-medieval tale of a young lad who appears to have no scent whatsoever. which kind of makes him invisible......

the silence of the lambs

hi again

OK, with the imminent return of Hannibal Lecter, i tried to get a picture of James with a toy lamb for symbolic purposes. this is the best i could do!!

be excellent to each other!!

James looks around and moves around!!

hey everyone

a couple more pictures of James, checking out the world. he can now crawl!! and boy does he move!

obviously it's a bit tricky to get a picture of him and say "there, that's him crawling", but i will see what i can do!!

be excellent to each other!!

James at 40 weeks

hi everyone

just the usual pictures of James - fast asleep as usual!!

Michele is away for the night at some sort of work conference, so it's my first go at looking after James on his own. wish me luck!!

be excellent to each other!!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

the new face of the doctor

here is Gaspard Ulliel. he is the young Doctor Lecter in the upcoming film version of Hannibal Rising.

he looks like he can do the job - good luck, fella, don't make a mess of it!!

Hannibal Rising

hi there

well, i am delighted to see that the awful Before The Mask name has been dropped for the 4th Hannibal Lecter book at least! that said, i am not at all sure that Hannibal Rising is all that a good idea for a number of reasons.

firstly, does the tale of Hannibal really need a dedicated prequel? fans of the novel of Hannibal will recall fondly some brilliant insights into this character, giving you all the background you could want for him, in particular his rather curious eating habits.

secondly, will this be an actual, proper novel? i raise an eyebrow at the fact that the film version of Hannibal Rising is due in early 2007. granted Thomas Harris also wrote the screenplay, but if he was busy writing the novel at the same time, is there not the great danger of the novels intentions being compromised by creating a whole stack of "Hollywood Moments"? i mean, there can be no realistic happy ending to this one.......

that said, of course i shall be reading the novel and then watching the movie!

Monday, September 18, 2006

nice cover. nice cast. bad film. very bad


the release of any chainsaw film should be cause for celebration and merriment. alas, no.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is a monumental waste of talent, premise and reputation. it has one or two mildly interesting chainsaw scenes, but is overall timid and dull.

ho hum, it still gives me an excuse to refer to a chainsaw on this site.

Napoleon was also short, i guess

hi there

here are some posters for Casino Royale, the "new and reimagined" James Bond return for 2006. you would have imagined that they would have held off until 2007 for the obvious free advertising gimmick, but alas no.

we saw the trailer for this one, and it looks OK except for a couple of things. i am not sure what has been widely reported, so please note that potential spoilers occur after the poster below!

it's an interesting appproach to "restart" the series with Bond getting his double-0 "licence to kill" status. Batman Begins showed that you can go back and fix a mess, and let us be honest Bond was becoming a joke. however, why have a much older Judi Dench playing what should be a much younger version of "M"?

should this be a success, i guess we can expect to see glorified remakes of the better Bond films then. not a bad cash cow to milk!

will it be a success? depends on this fella playing Bond. he seems like a pretty decent actor, but he is patently short. will they, the masses, accept this? who knows.....

they should have used Liam Neeson!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

the proud grandparents

hi everyone

some more pics from our Sunday - James and Katie's Grandad Bob has just got back from a business trip, and as you can see all three missed each other!!

these are the only pics in which James is not trying to eat something and Katie is not trying to grab something!!

be excellent to each other!!

Hello Katie

whereas James has not quite got the hang of crawling yet (getting close!), cousin Katie has, and goes mooching all over the place.

Katie also seems to like the camera, or Uncle Lee, or both, as she always stops and poses for the most excellent pictures!!

be excellent to each other!!

The Colonel and Napoleon

hi everyone

a busy Sunday today, starting with at last young James getting to meet The Colonel. one thing has led to another, and this is the first time that they could be formally introduced!

much of The Colonel's work cannot be discussed in such a public forum. it would be fair to say, though, that a number of news networks worldwide have consulted with him owing to his relations with some senior figures in the world. these days, however, he spends a good deal of time assisting some very prominent companies with selected security issues, mostly for his own leisure.

and James did take quite a shine to The Colonel's dogs!

Friday, September 15, 2006

James crawling (sort of)

OK, here's James and his attempts to crawl. first off, he gets himself ready to move, normally with a target in site, as illustrated here :

next up is the attempt to just stretch and grab it, rather than move towards it :

then comes the excitement of the prospect of mobility. usually, if not invariably, James in inspired to move by the thought of getting hold of a cat. here, he is just going for motion in any way shape or form :

alas, at this stage, what the mind wants the body does not quite deliver, and so his attempts at crawling normally end like this :

his dayschool teachers think he will be crawling "by monday", and his Auntie Gillian and Grandma Rena are trying to teach him.

i will keep you posted!!

James at 39 weeks

hello there

nine months already!!!!!

as you can see, James seems to be healthy and happy as he progresses along through life. we find it difficult to believe that just now it will be his 1st birthday!!

thanks Matt for your kind words - pleased you got to meet him again when you collected the discs!!

be excellent to each other!!

They Call Me Bruce (2007)

there seems to be quite a class Bruce Campbell Revivial to mark the 21st Century. after the quality of Bubba Ho-tep and the threat to make the sequel, Bubba Nosferatu, here are a couple of shots from either They Call Me Bruce or My Name Is Bruce, depending on what name they go with.

taking a similar plot to the likes of Last Action Hero, Galaxy Quest and the Chuck Norris masterpiece Sidekicks, this film sees Bruce Campbell happily going along his way in life, until he is "confused" with his most famous on-screen persona, that being Ash from the Evil Dead films, and is grabbed by fans to go on a quest to kill some demons.

there is no reason not to think that this film will not feature chainsaws. i look forward to seeing it, then. very, very much.

more nostalgia from a long time ago in a galaxy far far away......

the oracle is a wonderful source of stuff! i am pretty sure i had a couple of these ones, in particular the one with the droids on the cover and the "Ben Fights Alone" edition.

honesty abounds, and i can see very very little verk being done today, and much merriment at browsing around for all this kind of thing taking place.

thanks for the message Mike - see ya in November!!

nostalgia time (star wars related)

i was browsing the oracle, as internet purists may call the "information superhighway", and discovered this rather smart deal in the States. when you buy the reissued, "original" versions of the Star Wars films in some places, you get a reprint of the comic book from the time, as kind of pictured here.

i seem to recall owning this comic, as well as several other Star Wars ones, way back then in the 70's. as well as most of the toys of course. i seem to recall me and my dear brother Richard "re-imagining" the comics, which no doubt involved cutting them up and in all likelihood recolouring them with crayons. who knows what happened to all the toys.

there are those out there who lament that they did not keep such comics and toys in the pristine condition of which they were purchased, as in this era of e-bay and en masse nostalgia trips, they are worth a fortune. i say that if we didn't play with and in all probability destroyed them then, i would not have such fond memories now. money is all very well and good, and nice to have, but the things which it cannot buy tend to have the higher value.

on that note, be most excellent to each other

Cheers Matt!

hi there

well, thanks to Matt, i have the whole of season one of Rescue Me to sit through and thoroughly enjoy. nice one, Mr Bowes, many thanks!

this was a rather excellent series, but then i would say that since it features Denis Leary, a man who for me is one of the funniest and most gifted to have walked this fine planet.

ooopsie, i do not have the pics of James for this week with me - he has reached the all important nine month milestone, and thus i will ensure i load them soon.

be excellent to each other!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I'm Telling Ya.................

a lazy, slow day at verk today, and thus i am surfing away. here are two excellent Seinfeld promo pics i found!

Borat - the backlash commences

hey everyone

thanks to Spiros for alerting me to this interesting story!!

Bush to hold talks on Ali G creator after diplomatic row

US President George Bush is to host White House talks on British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.

Cohen, 35, creator of Ali G, has infuriated the Kazakhstan government with his portrayal of Borat, a bumbling Kazakh TV presenter.

And now a movie of Borat's adventures in the US has caused a diplomatic incident.

The opening scene, which shows Borat lustily kissing his sister goodbye and setting off for America in a car pulled by a horse, had audiences in stitches when it was first shown last week.

But the film, which has just premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, has prompted a swift reaction from the Kazakhstan government, which is launching a PR blitz in the States.

Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev is to fly to the US to meet President Bush in the coming weeks and on the agenda will be his country's image.

President Nazarbayev has confirmed his government will buy "educational" TV spots and print advertisements about the "real Kazakhstan" in a bid to save the country's reputation before the film is released in the US in November.

President Nazarbayev will visit the White House and the Bush family compound in Maine when he flies in for talks that will include the fictional character Borat.

But a spokesman for the Kazakhstan Embassy says it is unlikely that President Nazarbayev will find the film funny.

Roman Vassilenko said: "The Government has expressed its displeasure about Borat's representation of our country.

"Our opinion of the character has not changed.

"We understand that the film exposes the hypocrisy that exists both here in the USA and in the UK and understand that Mr Cohen has a right to freedom of speech.

"Nursultan Nazarbayev has taken Mr Bush up on an invitation to visit this country to help build our relationship with the USA.

"I cannot speak for the president himself, only for the government, but I certainly don't think President Nazarbayev and Mr Bush will share a joke about the film.

"The bottom line is we want people to know that he does not represent the true people of Kazakhstan."

The Kazakh government has previously threatened Baron-Cohen with legal action, for allowing Borat to, among other things, make fun of his homeland, demean women, slander gypsies and urge listeners to "Throw the Jew Down the Well."

Anti-Borat hard-liners have pulled the plug on borat.kz, Borat's Kazakhstan-based Website after his frequent displays of anti-Semitism and his portrayal of Kazakh culture.

Nurlan Isin, President of the Association of Kazakh IT Companies took the action after complaints.

He said: "We've done this so he can't badmouth Kazakhstan under the .kz domain name.

"He can go and do whatever he wants at other domains."

The row originally erupted in November 2005, following Borat's hosting of the MTV Europe Music Awards in Lisbon.

The Kazakh Foreign Ministry was furious over Cohen's bad taste representation of the nation.

'No such thing as bad publicity'

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yerzhan Ashykbayev told a news conference: "We view Mr. Cohen's behaviour at the MTV Europe Music Awards as utterly unacceptable, being a concoction of bad taste and ill manners which is completely incompatible with the ethics and civilized behaviour of Kazakhstan's people.

"We reserve the right to any legal action to prevent new pranks of the kind."

Baron Cohen responded to Ashykbayev in character by posting a video on the Official Borat website.

In the video, Borat said, "In response to Mr. Ashykbayev's comments, I'd like to state I have no connection with Mr. Cohen and fully support my Government's decision to sue this Jew.

"Since the 2003 Tuleyakiv reforms, Kazakhstan is as civilized as any other country in the world.

"Women can now travel on inside of bus, homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hats, and age of consent has been raised to eight years old."

His blatant outpouring then prompted the Kazakh government to hire two public relations firms to counter the claims, and ran a four-page advertisement in The New York Times.

The ad carried testimonials about the nation's democracy, education system and the power and influence enjoyed by women. News of President Nazarbayev's upcoming visit has prompted experts to study the character's impact on US culture.

Sean R. Roberts, Central Asian Affairs Fellow at Georgetown University, has been studying the phenomenon.

He said: "I have found that more Americans are aware of Kazakhstan than four years ago when I last lived in the United States.

"The increased knowledge of Kazakhstan, however, is not due to the country's economic successes or its role as a U.S. ally in the war on terror.

"Instead, most Americans who have heard of Kazakhstan have heard of it through a satire of a Kazakh journalist named Borat.

"Borat certainly does not promote an image of Kazakhstan that is in sync with that which the government and its leader would like to promote abroad.

"As the old adage goes, however, 'there is no such thing as bad publicity.'

"If that is true, Borat is bringing much more publicity to Kazakhstan."

Cohen's representatives refused to allow him or his alter ego to respond to the controversy because it's not close enough to the film's release date.

Monday, September 11, 2006

James Destroys Literature


on Sunday morning, i innocently went to go and get breakfast. when i returned, i was presented with some pictures of James as "evidence", some examples above.

whereas the lad has not quite got the hang of crawling (getting there) or walking (he glides in his walking ring), James is the King of Climbing. here he is climbing over our coffee table, destroying magazines at random.

nice one son!!!

They Call Me Bruce? (1982 version)

hi there

i am delighted to report that i have got my hands on this classic of cinema. classic? well, maybe not, but it was quite a nostalgia weekend for me, since i purchased this and no less than four 80's cd compilations.

i have several fond memories of watching The Call Me Bruce when we were all kids, and my brother is most excited about the fact that he will soon be able to watch it again. Mr Michael Llewellyn, if you wish to see it, please send on your postal address and then sit back and wait in anticipation.

what 80's classic is next for my collection? no idea. i don't have the Cannonball Run films..............

be excellent to each other!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

when excellent soundtracks happen to outstanding films

a consequence of playing a fair amount of Derek Bowie in the car has meant hearing his other outstanding musical achievement from the 1980's, This Is Not America. for the other outstanding achievement, refer to my Cat People post.

This Is Not America is the theme from The Falcon And The Snowman, one of the most accomplished, impressive films of the 80's, or any decade really. if you are not aware of the ture events depicted, fear not, no spoilers here!

Sean Penn delivers, arguably, the greatest performance of his career. sure, there are a number of films which can claim to contain his best (At Close Range, Mystic River, Carlito's Way all spring to mind), but this is the one which gets my vote. and, on the basis of this film, you can never, ever understand how or why Timothy Hutton more or less fell off the face of mainstream acting.

it tells of a time when America was seen as the bastion of freedom, the reliable, honest policeman of the world. it unveils the cracks in the foundations, what is really at the heart of the land as we know it now. this and perhaps Blue Velvet were, in retrospect, rather erudite in revealing the America which the world would see in years to come.

it is pretty easy to find this film on DVD. i suggest you do so immediatley.

James at 38 weeks - bath time!

hey everyone

here are the weekly pics of James, and for a pleasant change he is quite awake in them!!

for James, nothing beats smacking some ducks around in the bath and then throwing them around!!

Spiros, you may be pleased to learn that i have put his name things on his bedroom door at last! unlike you, they are quite straight :)

otherwise, all is pretty muck OK. it has been a miserable week at verk, but such is life i suppose.

still listening to quite a bit of Derek Bowie in the car!!

be excellent to each other!!