Posts from January 2012

Jan 12

13 Worst Films Of 2011: 10 – Named After A Donovan Song

FT3 comments • 732 views

Clare Foy is a terrific British actress who deserves great things as her career starts to stretch towards Hollywood – but you have to say she doesn’t look too happy here. Nicholas Cage is an Oscar winning actor. Ron Perlman is a great genre actor, who brings no end of war worn personality to his roles. Dominic Sena is a director who has probably never bettered his Rhythm Nation video for Janet Jackson, but has a list of action movies on his CV which aren’t the worst of the worst (OK Whiteout was pretty ropey, but I have a soft spot for Gone In Sixty Seconds). There is not enough here to say that this film would necessarily be bad. Or even tip its hand in the opening two minutes as to quite how bad it will be.

Jan 12

13 Worst Films Of 2011: How Do You Know What Number 11 Will Be?

Do You See10 comments • 587 views

I like Owen Wilson, I really do. Its probably out of deference to liking his general charm that How Do You Know was pushed down to eleven, so I could be sure that whilst Owen Wilson has already turned up on this list twice, he doesn’t make the top ten. As far as it goes I like Albert Brooks too – Lost In America is one of my favourite films, James L. Brooks is alright- Broadcast News still holds up today (edit due to abject idiocy, see comments for details). Add to that a real appreciation of Reese Witherspoon and this film should not be in this list. The main problem is that the film posits a question, and so to answer said question Reese Witherspoon does pretty much this face all the way through the film. Its her characters “not sure” face.

With this cast, and James L.Books directing, number eleven promises an intelligent, revisit of romcom staples with an attractive, likeable cast. Does this plot description (thanks IMDB) look interesting?

“After being cut from the USA softball team and feeling a bit past her prime, Lisa finds herself evaluating her life and in the middle of a love triangle, as a corporate guy in crisis competes with her current, baseball-playing beau.”

SHAGGY – “Oh Carolina”

Popular71 comments • 4,581 views

#686, 20th March 1993

Shaggy’s take on “Oh Carolina” acknowledges its debt to the past right away – sampling the intro from the Folkes Brothers’ 1960 original. Not just a nod of respect, it’s a canny move, as the crackling, wheezing shanty-town piano sounded like nothing else on 1993 radio, giving “Oh Carolina” instant cut-through.

Jan 12

13 Worst Films Of 2011: Joint 12th – An Oscar Nominee

Do You See3 comments • 469 views

So negativity is the new black, and as ever it is easier to cream the crap from the good, than list the best of the year. I saw 120 films in the cinema last year and 154 on DVD, of which it turns out about 131 were officially released last year. But I was a little more discerning, if such figures allow one to be discerning. Previously I was desperate to see the good in everything, and so would even subject myself to a Jennifer Aniston romcom to see if something decent came out of it. It rarely did. This is a disclaimer to say that it is quite possible that the films I am about to list are actually not the worst of 2011 at all, rather the worst of those I saw. So do not quake in your boots Paranormal Activity 3, The Smurfs or even the Horrid Henry movie. Russell Brand I am sure will be pleased to hear I missed Arthur, and whilst Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds have no reason to rest on their laurels – I didn’t see the piss-in-a-fountain body swap comedy the Change Up. Despite LOVING body-swap comedies.

So why thirteen? Well thematically there are a few films which crop up together, which means there will be ten entries – with some nice joint entries to try to decide exactly why the colour Green is so bad for films.

Jan 12

Old Fountain, Old Street

FT + Pumpkin Publog//5 comments • 355 views

It never looks like this when i'm outside! it's always dark and rainy...One of the pubs unfortunately missed from our ‘tween christmas and new year pub crawl, for to because it was shut, partly due I suspect to lack of passing trade over the festive period, but also to finish off their very nice renovation work, The Old Fountain, tucked away between Silicon Roundabout and Moorfields Eye Hospital, could secretly be one of the best pubs in London. OK, so it’s been in the Good Beer Guide for five years, but I think it’s massively come on even in the last 18 months. East London CAMRA have been praising it for a while, but it barely gets a mention in Hip Guides To London’s Great Pubs.
The beer is, of course, excellent, with usually 6-8 taps on, but they seem to really push the boat out in getting the specials from Darkstar, Brodies, Ascot and others, although occasionally this can lead to hop bomb overload, there’s usually a decent mix. The bar food is also pretty special, the salt beef sandwich (and I realise this may be regarded as heresy) is as good if not better than the Royal Oak’s, and certainly the equal of the erstwhile Wenlock buttie. They do pulled pork buns too, and a couple of other things, but i’ve never managed to order anything that wasn’t the salt beef…
Oh, and did i mention they usually have around FOURTEEN different kernel bottles in the fridge? it’s the biggest range I can think of that doesn’t involve visiting a railway arch…

You can see what they’ve got on the bar at @OldFountainAles

William Mayne (1928-2010): or what if the greatest* 20th-century children’s author were to present us with an intractable moral knot?

FT1 comment • 2,661 views

(*in the English language since I read no others)

The disgraced children’s author William Mayne died in 2010, some 57 years after the publication of Follow the Footprints, the first of his more than a hundred books, none of them for adults. A final book came out the year of his death, Every Dog (puissant title in the circumstances), and I haven’t read it yet, though I will. I’ll talk a little about his downfall at the close of this post, and doubtless more later, but what I actually propose to undertake is a gradual reading of these books, such as I can track down, starting with a rereading of the 20-odd that I own and know.

Jan 12

THE FT TOP 100 TRACKS OF ALL TIME No.6: Eartha Kitt’s “Just an Old Fashioned Girl”

FT6 comments • 1,730 views

Some time in the mid-70s, I went on a school trip to the Ludlow Festival, to see (I think) Cymbeline: six kids crammed in the back of a teacher’s little van, five in their late teens actually studying it for A-level, and me, experimenting and showing off. So naturally they were all having fun amiably teasing me, and hit on POP as a topic to trip me up. As a gamble — early version of a dodge I make to this day — I declared my Young Person’s admiration for my dad’s favourite singer: Eartha Kitt. Which paid off — they’d none of them never heard of her, and with no comfy take, to needle or muddle me with, preferred to chuckle a bit at my weird obscure tastes and went back to earnest Sabbath-chat.

Funny thing is, I grew up and through a life writing about and categorising music, exploring and improving histories, and still Eartha feels more like a handy prevarication move than a name to conjure with: someone people kind of know about, for sure, and maybe like (maybe a LOT), but without a set place, or role, or handy symbolic meaning.

Jan 12

deduce my theory: napoleon of w/evs dept

FT5 comments • 937 views

Jan 12

The Freaky Trigger Reader’s Poll 2011: #10-#1

FT//35 comments • 2,650 views

Hi, I’m Lauryn Hill circa my breakthrough role in Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit, and it is a real pleasure to be able to present to you the top ten FreakyTrigger tracks of the year. When my mother told me I couldn’t join the choir run by a fake nun, I got really surly and pouted a lot – which some of you may recognise from my recent career. Later in the film I stepped up to the plate and delivered this inspirational, hip as 1993 could ever be, version of Joyful Joyful. But enough of my career highlights, back to the FreakyTrigger top ten of 2011.

Its a real privilege to reveal to you that this top ten is entirely female, so much so that I might be inspired, much like Whoopi Goldberg inspired me in Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit to make a comeback and win next year. I’ve got a soup tureen full of Grammy’s you know.

Jan 12

The Freaky Trigger Reader’s Poll 2011: #20-#11

FT/23 comments • 916 views

“I am mullet-progeny Miley Cyrus and in 2011 I was totally on the telly loads instead of making music so let’s forget all about my dodgy birdcage video, shall we? Here’s a Miley FACT: You know that if you type in ‘Miley Cyprus’ in to Wikipedia it goes STRAIGHT TO ME? I call that ‘conflict resolution’. Am I a UN ambassador yet? If so I hope it won’t interfere with my upcoming starring role in the major motion picture LOL: Laughing Out Loud.”

I’m sure it won’t Miley. Let’s have a look at entries #20-#11: