Posts from 8th August 2005

Aug 05

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

Do You SeePost a comment • 616 views

As A Tim Burton Event and even as a remake, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory feels a little TOO predictable and ‘robotic’ at times (Hollywood/ILM/Elfman etc. TOO well-oiled a machine now!) – the latter criticism ironic perhaps given the somewhat laboured ‘ahhh humanity’ scenes and dialogue scattered throughout. A sense of ‘going through the motions’ and ‘paying the bills’ pervaded much of the two hours. I don’t doubt Burton‘s love and respect for Dahl’s works for one moment, but the question ‘why this, now?’ still intrigues. I probably would’ve enjoyed it more and it would’ve felt fresher if I hadn’t seen the original again on TV recently, but still…

The whole thing does feel irrevocably Burton‘s World though – despite this being a re-adaptation of a text by a visionary with such a legendary style of his own. The parallels between Burton and Dahl in this respect are fun to explore and contrast in theory, but perhaps this ‘meeting of the minds’ didn’t quite live up to expectations purely because in the end the similarities seem too close. As well as the obvious shared affinity for childhood, both are fascinated by ‘the monster who just wants to be loved’. All well and cute, but could there not be something more interesting done with a ‘monster’ like Wonka beyond nudging them to the conclusion ‘families are great and should come first’? Even for a PG? more »

Kiddie Comedy

Do You SeePost a comment • 1,151 views

Harry Hill does comedy series for kids. In many ways a no-brainer for Hill, as it was the Sunday afternoon repeat of TV Burp being discovered by kids that suddenly made it popular. And look at that photo on the BBC webpage. Is there any reason why THAT comedian should not be playing to kids?

Just note that making kids laugh is a different game to making adults laugh. As Dick And Dom found out a few weeks ago when they did some stand up. The audience hated them. Admittedly the audience was predominantly made up of adult who had already stated a dislike for da bungalow dwellers, but nevertheless, they are very different disciplines.

behind the smile

Blog 7Post a comment • 419 views

Mikal Gilmore, little brother of notorious executed mormon-killer Gary, and author of THIS excellent if grim memoir (as well as a lot of rather less excellent rock writing), says somewhere in the memoir, in wonder, that many of the photos of his childhood come wreathed in misleading grins — in fact he (and his brothers) had a horrible family life, but you would never know this from the pictures

anyway, i’ve been lookin through old family snapshots a lot lately, and notice a kind of opposite effect… my sister becky and i had a great childhood, but until about the age of eight she NEVER appears in a photo without a distinctly wary scowl — and photos of my mum at the same age (viz 0-8) show exactly the same scowl, though she had an idyllic chuldhood also. Meanwhile I had golden hair till the age of five or so.

James Bond Theme Lyrics SHOCKAH

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 1,384 views

I was born with this unlucky sneeze
And what is worse I came into the world the wrong way round
Pundits all agree I am the reason why
My father fell into the village pond and drowned.

So go the lyrics to the theme to James Bond. No: really. Monty Norman is to re-record his theme with the original lyrics for a new album. Monty Norman, NOT JOHN BARRY, as Monty gets a bit itchily litigious about who wrote the familiar twang.

So why should we care. Except that the lyrics provided so far would grace only the best Xenomania production. Well, Bond and pop music are excellent bed-fellows, and I would argue one of the reasons why the series has continued for quite so long. Whilst lush orchestrations are favoured for Bond themes, there is nevertheless something which relies heavily on the zeitgeist of pop. The general format after all is a nice challenge to a big star as the average Bond theme has:
a) A nonsense title which needs to be worked in (bah – All Time High…)
b) The need for lush orchestration
c) jaunty enough for naked ladies to writhe over in the credits.

The best Bond themes (argue in your own time) get all of these with a singalong chorus. Lyrically, these words by Monty Norman (and Julian Moore – who may also be litigious) actually are no less nonsensical than many a Bond lyric. And we know the tune is good, and suitable for both lush orchestration and writhing girls. We just need a name for the film, and I am not sure if Good Sign, Bad Sign quite does it.

The Great British Pie Festival

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 286 views

There are those who do not care for the beer festival, see Tim below. There are others who relish a challenge, will take on the enemy at face value and like the idea of a good Leo*. And so Sarah and Carsmile got there about three, and I rolled in at four to what is THE BIGGEST PUB IN THE WORLD.

What was clear early on was some of Tim’s dislike (it is not a pub) is a little unwarranted. It may not be a traditional pub, but then horse brasses do not maketh the pub either, so says the Publog philosophy. Now maybe a giant aircraft hanger-like convention centre does not equal a pub either, but gathered around or table we felt securely social. We also steered well away from the live music. And we steered our palates around lots of real ales, none of which were terrible, most of which were nice. (I visited planet cider on two occasions, equally interesting.) It was all very pleasant and despite the presence of a few hundred kegs of ale, not all about the beer.

Indeed quite quickly it became all about the PIE (which would have dismayed Tim on his diet even more). There was a pork pie stall which had lots of different types for ‘1.30. This was after a pretty substantial Cornish pasty. From a smart drinking perspective our ration was a pie per pint (drinking halves seems slower anyway). From a carry-out perspective the general haul of pork pie beat any amount of beer to be found in a plastic container.

I am sure the others will chip in on the general bonhomie, hats and the demographical changes during the day, but we drank, ate and was social. It was a good drinking experience.

*Leo Sayer, all dayer. Not based on any of his musical talents, merely a rhyme. Which is why, to be perpetuated in language, a good rhyming name like Gareth Hunt is always useful.