Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"One woman's mistake is another woman's opportunity" is the tagline for this film staring Dame Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett and Bill Nighy. Patrick Marber wrote the screenplay based on the novel by Zoe Heller and it is directed by Richard Eyre. The film is narrated by Barbara (Dench) as new teacher Sheba (Blanchett) joins to Art department at the school where she teaches in the History department. She befriends the new teacher but things become complicated when Barabara catches Sheba in a compromising position with a 15 year old student...

Billed as a drama it is quite dark with definte thriller tendencies enhanced by the sometimes ove dramatic music. The acting is superb with all 3 main actors doing fantasitc jobs. Sometimes the script got a little silly in the dialogue where they took it just a little too far, the subtle aspects worked much better I found. I felt very sorry for Barbara although she does take things way too far, and of course Sheba even though she mostly has herself to blame!

**** out of 5 (it lost one for just going that little bit too far.)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Liverpool Trip

I just got back from a couple of days in Liverpool. I sent some photos to My Mobile Blog of some random sights. We spent Saturday wandering around the town centre after getting there about 3am that morning. The new Quiggins Shopping Centre is looking really good, lots of new shops and stalls and it's a beautifully layed out building with lots of Art Nouveau decorations. I bought 2 tops which was very restained of me! I also found a few lovely new Pagan shops and I bought an original painting of the Arwen symbol that the Druids use which I will hang when we move house.

In the evening we saw Hot Fuzz (see a pevious post for a review) with my mum, he husband and my uncle who lives in Devon. On Sunday we spent the day with my family again as it was my Gran's 91st birthday. I think she liked the grey cardigan we got her from M&S and I gave her the gifts dad asked me to as well.

Looking forward to our next visit, but not sure when that will be yet. Must spend more time with my Aunt and Uncle in Devon as well.

The latest from Terry Pratchett about Commander Vimes and Sergent Carrot. Vimes is sent to Uberwald by Vetinari on a diplomatic mission much to his annoyance. Meanwhile Carrot resigns to go in seach of Angua who has left the city without saying goodbye. The plot thickens when vampires, werewolves and dwaves get involved in the politics at Uberwald. The sacred scone of the dwarves has been stolen and without it the new Low King cannot be crowned. Although out of his jurisdiction, Vimes steps in to help and lands himself in much deeper trouble...

Ingo was a fun new character and Lady Sybil appeared a bit more which was good. I feel very sorry for her being on the sidelines to her husband all the time and him not really noticing her so this made a slight change. The clacks system was also interesting as a way of passing information more quickly between the towns.

**** out of 5

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Hot Fuzz - Film

The new offering from the Shaun of the Dead people written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright (who also directs). Again staring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, this time as police officers rather than zombie killers. PC Angel (Pegg) is top of his game with a 400% arrest statistic working for the London Met when he gets promoted to Sergant and moved to a sleepy country town in Gloustershire. His girlfriend has just broken up with him as he is too committed to his job and all he has in the world is his pot plant (see the spoofs already?). Things are not as they seem when he arrives at his new position and he ruffles quite a few feathers as the murders start to pile up. Can him and his partner solve the case before he becomes the next victim?

A fun film that had the audience laughing most of the way through. It spoofs most police action films I have seen as well as a few dectective stories too. Lots of twists and some very gory deaths! It could have done with being about half an hour shorter and the end just got a bit too silly for my liking. Definately worth seeing though, hopefully they will make another but I wonder which genre they will go for next...

***1/2 out of 5

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Got invited to this gig by my friend Farah. I didn't know much about him so had a look on his website here to get a feel for him. He started out playing folk music but since going solo he has a much rockier vibe. He lives on Dartmoor so sings about a lot of local legends and stories.

I really enjoyed the gig. As someone who didn't know his music I enjoyed the beginning and end of the gig more where it was much more upbeat and he played the violin rather than the guitar and one of the band played the banjo. I would probably appreciate the more downbeat songs if I listened to his albums.

All in all a good gig and Farah loved it being a big fan of his. She was even happier when I pinched her a poster off the wall to hang on her bedroom door!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Starring Gael Garcia Bernal as St├ęphane Miroux and Charlotte Gainsbourg as St├ęphanie in this film written and directed by Michel Gondry. It comes under a few genres: comedy, drama, fantasy and romance. Considering Gondry also wrote and directed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (one of my all time favouite films), the surreal aspects of this film make a lot more sense!

The plot tagline reads: A man entranced by his dreams and imagination is lovestruck with a French woman and feels he can show her his world. This doesn't quite do the film justice. It is one of the most surreal films I have seen which didn't stop me enjoying it. It alternates between English and French (subtitled) with some Spanish thrown in for good measue. Stephane has amazing dream sequences which start to creep into his everyday world and relationships, in particular his work colleagues and his neighbour Stephanie.

I would give it ***1/2 out of 5. Good but not as good as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I added my list (at the side of the page) tonight but will not start doing it until 1st March 2007 so I can measure things like 19) Read one magical book a month and 33) Go to the gym at least twice a month properly.

Wish me luck...!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Love Song - Play

This play is only running until February 17th in London so catch it quickly! It stars Neve Campbell (Scream trilogy and Party of Five), Kristen Johnston (Sally in Third Rock from the Sun), Michael McKean (This is Spinal Tap, Alias, The X-Files) and Cilian Murphy (The Scarecrow in Batman Begins and 28 Days Later).

The story follows Beane (Murphy) who is an exile from life – an oddball. His well-meaning sister Joan (Johnston) and brother-in-law Harry (McKean) try and make time for him in their busy lives, but no one can get through. Following a burglary on his apartment, Joan is baffled to find her brother blissfully happy and tries to unravel the story behind Beane's mysterious new love Molly (Campbell). It is superbly acted and very funny yet moving. Bittesweet is the best wod to sum it up. Beane dominates the story and Murphy does a great job playing him. If you get a chance definately go and see this play before it finishes.

***** out of 5

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Technically a travel book about The North of England, this is a funny and revealing book that I found hard to put down. Written by a Northerner from Wigan living in London it made me very home sick. It starts with a bit about London before discussing where the North really starts (he decides on Crewe). He then explores Liverpool, Manchester, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cumbria and Newcastle and the surrounding areas.

It has lots of tips on places to visit and things to do. Also there is lots of information on history, culture and the politics associated with the towns and counties. I have bought my dad a copy and got my mum to buy her husband a copy as I enjoyed it so much! I might even write the author a letter which I have only done twice before.

Friday, February 09, 2007

This tale tells the story primarily of Steven as he searches the mysterious Ryhope wood on his property for his stolen love. It won the World Fantasy Award and I can see why. It is a fascinating book that looks at the nature of myth, how it is created and shaped over time. It looks at archetypes and how they are passed from culture to culture over time and are adapted to fit their needs.

The female lead Guiwenneth is vulnerable yet strong and the novel holds your interest and draws you in to the mystery of the wood that is larger inside than out. I would recommend it to all those who love mythology, folklore and a great fantasy novel. I will be looking for more by the author in the future.

Staring Richard Schiff from The West Wing, this play is only open in London for 10 weeks. The tagline is "Would you recognise a miracle if you saw one?" and tells the tale of a Dutch librarian who discovers a book left in the book drop annoymously 113 years after it was checked out. He finds a clue scribbled in the margin and it leads him to an unclaimed dry cleaning ticket in London which lead him on an adventure spanning the globe and taking over his life. It turns into a quest for a mythical figure who may be real.

It was a really interesting play in a lovely small theatre. By turns filled with dry wit and then saddness as the obsession grows. Definately worth seeing if you visit London in the next few weeks, especially as my ticket was £15.