Category Archives: Films

The Joy of One Star, No.1 – Thor:Ragnarok

The Joy of One Star – a new strand in which I enjoy 1-star review comments left on Amazon about various popular items.

Click to see reviewsBad reviews tend to fall into two categories – reviews of the thing itself, be that a film, book or whatever, and others that review either Amazon or the postal service, like this one for Thor-Ragnarok – “I have yet to watch this movie. This is a review about the physical blu-ray case.” Really? You’re reviewing a case? Well … OK, why not, I guess? But at least have the decency to give the film itself 3-stars while you’re at it. After all, one should never judge a DVD by its case, should one? Others of this ilk include “Don’t buy this does not play.” and “Disc broken.” Why are these people telling us, rather than sending it back for a replacement?

There are those who really don’t like the film, of course. “Bollox” says evabraun (no relation, surely?). I’m not sure whether that’s a criticism or a request for a future porn version. (Thor:Ragnabollox). Reviewer EMJAY is on some sort of misogynistic crusade – “PC culture being implemented to appease a minority … male characters are feminised, and female characters are shown as the champions of the day? A piss take too far”. S J Thorpe sums up the disappointment of all of us who went to see the film for a treatise in Nordic mythology – “the plot was nothing like the tale from the Edda from the Nordic folklore.”

I’ll leave you with my favourite review. “One word – really disappointed.”


Dad’s Army

Dad's ArmyI went to see this with a little trepidation. It had received mixed reviews, but those that criticised it did so either because it wasn’t exactly the original. Watched on its own terms this is a well-played comedy, with laughs, some excitement and not a little poignancy.

Mind you, my comedic gland (it’s just inside your elbow) might be a little odder than everyone else’s. I guffawed loudly, the only one in an otherwise silent cinema, at the following exchange:

“Just what the men need. They’ve been dragging their feet a bit lately.”
“Yes, they have been a bit lax.”
“There’s no need for Latin, Wilson.”

The cast is generally excellent, although Bill Nighy put in his usual performance as Bill Nighy, rather than Sergeant Wilson, and I found Pike’s character rather too gung-ho. The rest are superb, however, and each gets their chance to shine. In a lovely touch, the vicar is STILL played by Frank Williams, and there is a small part for Ian Lavender. We finally get to see the fearsome Elizabeth Mainwaring, who is well portrayed, with one or two touching moments when her love for her husband glints through her brusque shell.

To sum up: a very good comedy. It made me laugh. The film made enough nods to the original without slavishly copying it. Go and see it without expecting the original and you’ll have fun.


Oh, and don’t leave when the credits start to roll. Stay to catch some fun outtakes, including one where Michael Gambon’s mobile goes off during filming, and everyone stays in character.

Four wombats - good

Four smiling wombats out of five for Dad’s Army.

Visdare 45–Mon Oncle

visdare badgeThis is an entry for Angela Goff’s Visdare challenge, the idea being to write a story of 150 words or less prompted by a picture. I fear that in this instance I have not so much written a story as simply reported what was actually going on in this scene from Tati’s Mon Oncle. Click the link on the right to check out Visdare and other stories posted for this collection.

“Monsieur Tati, are you sure you want such an ugly, angular sculpture for this shot? It hates the eyes. It will be harsh on the screen.”

“That, my dear Alain, is exactly the point. Geometrical lines do not produce likeable people, and the Arpels are anything but likeable. Regimented and clockwork, like their house and this garden; they only turn on their ridiculous fish fountain when the doorbell rings. They have forgotten humour.”

“Is that why this statue is not funny?”

“Au contraire! It is hilarious!”

“It does not make me laugh.”

“But Alain, the sculpture is exactly my height, is it not?”

“Et alors?”

“Where are your eyes, man, do you not see? The horns reflect the shape of Hulot’s hat. And if Hulot stands so, legs as stiff as a plinth and arms akimbo?”

“Ah, oui! Ha ha! Mon ami, you are a genius.”

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain

I’m just testing posting from my new phone. Now to find a random pic to add…


Brief Encounter

You all probably know that Brief Encounter is possibly my favourite fillum ever, right? I just rediscovered this, a splendid parody by Victoria Wood poking fun at the whole thing. Enjoy

Tweet Encounter

3282144A group of us on Twitter are strongly considering hiring a cinema in Derby for a Tweetup. We would see the rather wonderful “Brief Encounter” (so I’ll need my hankies). The showing would be on a Sunday afternoon yet to be decided, and would presumably followed by some sort of pub visit afterwards, for me at least. Before we go ahead with booking, however, we need some sort of idea of how many would be interested in coming. If you are interested, then let @_Dunebug know, using the hashtag #tweetencounter.

1966 Revisited

I thought I’d posted this already, but can’t find it in the archive, so maybe not. This is a film we made in 1966; directed and edited by my Dad. Last year I added sound and subtitles. Enjoy.

Cinematic wonderfulness

Some of my favourite films. How many can you recognise?

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