Thursday, 21 August 2008

Here we go again....

At the risk of this blog becoming a forum for me to post rather rubbish movie reviews, I have been watching a lot of flicks recently. After a particularly drunken evening, celebrating a successful work event, I decided that an afternoon in a darkened room was really quite appealing, and tagged along with my pal Caroline to see Mama Mia.

It's so good! Completely bonkers, and Colin Firth can't sing a note (neither can Brosnan - the chicks carry the movie) but fantastic. It's probably the established cast that makes Mamma Mia work so successfully. And the fact that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Every song has a gag involved and every dance move is a high octane scramble.

It was the first time in ages that I've seen an audience stand and clap after the movie was done. Lovely stuff.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Needy, not nice

I've had various conversations with my male friends where we've debated romancic liaisons, and they've advised that for a man, a key turn-off in a chick is desperation.

Fair enough, I think. Sure, there are worse characteristics - being mean, money- grabbing or psychopathic are probably worse. But I can understand why it wouldn't be the most attractive trait.

But boys, same goes for you. And if you need a cautionary tale, take a look at Rex (formerly known as Sexy Rexy) on this year's Big Brother. Before his girlfriend came into the house, he was developing a fairly strong following of female fans. I liked the fact he was a little bit funny and quite a bit arrogant. Sure, he loved himself too much, but I didn't care.

But since his chick's arrived, he's turned into a needy, cloying and insecure chap. And it's not attractive. Sure, he might be a bit paranoid about what's being said about him on the outside world (and he's right to be - see the story about him and his Vegas strippers?), but it's not painting him in a good light. Even his odd, slightly annoying, girlfriend is switched off.

Sort it out, Rexy.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Will the chairs work on earth, though?

I was excited to catch WALL.E at the cinema this weekend. We were up in the North East visiting the boy's mum, and I suggested the flick as a fun-for-all evening out.

Good god, it's good. Do go and see if it if you get the chance.

The hype around its release (and all that pesky internet chatter) means that I'm not giving away any plot secrets here - so I'll run you through what to expect. The movie revolves around an adorable (oh yeah, robots can be adorable) garbage compactor robot named WALL-E, who was designed to clean up our discarded and trash-filled planet to ready it for human habitation again. He's the last working robot on earth, the others having conked out years ago. Like 700 years ago.

Meanwhile, the lazy humans are orbiting the earth on a luxury space-liner - their mission to make earth habitable now almost completely fogotten.

By his own design, though, WALL-E has become, over time, an endlessly curious creature who collects all of the objects that strike his fancy. And there's been plenty of time for his curiosity to evolve. WALL-E has been alone on Earth for seven centuries, and his loneliness is clear.

The first half of the film, which sees WALL-E meet, and fall for, a visiting robot(EVE) is played out almost without dialogue. It's impressive that without speech, WALLE's emotions and his growing love is poignant. And he's a bloody ROBOT remember, which makes Pixar's ability to stir up emotion even more impressive.

The film's second half - which takes place aboard the space ship - is a serious social commentary on the devolution of human race - and which plays homage to Mike Judge's Idiocracy. Pixar shows us clearly that in our fat, fast-food gorging, Internet loving and socially inept future we won't even need to chew for ourselves, thanks to all meals being liquidised and provided in cups. Perhaps this is the future which Sally, the journalist I referenced in my last post, was wary of. Needless to say, I saw the plus side of a reclining internet chair and on-tap foodstuffs. But I think that might just have been me.

The film is fast-paced fun - but with bags of emotion and a serious environmental message. I think Pixar has proved itself once again. Check it out and see if I'm right.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008


It's fairly rare that I'll post about anything other than what I've been drinking/doing/watching on the telly. And that's cos my blog's for me - and my pals - and not designed to be an in-depth social commentary or diatribe on my career or the industry in which I work.

My Twitter account looks fairly similar, and again, I don't really care who reads it, or not. It's for me - and my pals.

But I happened across this post, today from a technology journalist and commentator about how she's infuriated by twitter-ers talking about what they had for breakfast, what they're watching on the telly - and when they go visit their mothers. Sally - you'd bloody hate mine, then.

A little bit churlish, I thought, given that she starts the post by updating her readers on what's new in her life, including her hectic schedule thanks to her parents' extended holidays. Hmm.

But hey, each to their own, and I'm sure she's not going to start following lil' old me anytime soon. But, the point of Twitter and blogging is that it's YOUR space - to write what you like, about the stuff you're thinking or doing. And if that's twittering on a Sunday, or talking about your lunch plans, then so bloody be it. And if your readers don't like it, they'll stop reading pretty sharpish - or stop following you.

So, I'm afraid I won't be taking Sally's advice - and my posts about chips and wine may well continue.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Television and do-gooder food

So, it seems that I'm addicted to the telly. I always knew this of course, but it was brought home to me yesterday night - when I went to get my nails done. I get a manicure sporadically at Sam's, in Acton - where I live. She's amazing, and I can highly recommend her for a nice manicure, should you ever be in the area.

Sam's from China originally and was checking out the coverage from the Chinese New Year on her imported TiVO. Asked me whether I'd like it turned over, but oh no. Within about two minutes, I was glued to the coverage - not understanding a word, but getting right into it. Cue a couple of comedy sketches, and I was understanding the sentiment and getting some laughs.

Which goes to prove that TV's great. Whatever language it's in.

Of course, since my last post (oh so long ago) I haven't just been watching the telly. Mainly watching the telly, sure, but not just that. Last weekend, the boy and I travelled down to Axminster in Devon to visit my brother, who's just moved there with his wife.

Axminster is the home of celeb chef do-gooder Hugh Fernly Whittingstall, and we figured that while we were there, we may as well check out his restaurant; River Cottage. I was slightly nervous about doing so, as guessed that it would be full of worthy types talking about organic veg and feeding their kids only home grown food in order to boost the brain power of their little Cuthbert/Georgina (delete as appropriate). I, unlike them, am quite partial to the odd packet of super noodles and a dirty kebab after a drunken night out. But it was lovely - seriously nice home cooked food, cheaply priced - and huge portions. I had a white onion and coriander soup - and a tomato and brie salad, which were both gorgeous.

So there you have it. When in Acton, get a manicure and enjoy some Chinese TV. When in Devon, eat with the locals. And here ends my message for today.