Films, TV. Stuff to watch (or not)

I want to watch ‘Lucy’ again but it’s 18.30 on Sunday and there will be an influx of small children soon. And ‘Lucy’ isn’t a family film.

So instead, we’re watching ‘Oblivion’. Again.

It’s a good film.

Tom Cruise does what Tom Cruise does, and Andrea Riseborough shows talent by the yard (just watch her in ‘Welcome to the Punch’).

Anyway, back to ‘Lucy’.

It’s about time Luc Beson wrote and produced something else that good.

I hope ‘Lucy 2’ (currently in writing production) will be that thing.

Anyway, to the reason for this meander…

I was mucking out Prem this evening when a snippet of a song popped into my head. Just a refrain, not even a full melodic phrase.

A half-remembered portion of a tune, but it was hypnotic. Three bars of hypnotism. And no idea of the name.

I knew I knew it. But I couldn’t recall it. And not the title.

Gah! So frustrating.

Back home from the world of smelly pony and hay and straw and rugs and grooming and picking out wet hooves, I set myself a-googling.

I don’t remember what the successful search terms were, I only remember that Google didn’t give me the result, YouTube did.

It was a French track from the closing credits of ‘Lucy’.

Anyway (again).

We watched Ep1 of S1 of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina earlier.

It’s a kind of approximate reimagining of the whole Sabrina The Teenage Witch, except it isn’t. But it is. Sortov.

It’s awful. I mean it’s really really really bad.

The writing is shocking, the acting is dubious, the cinematography is horrible, and the incidental music is irritating beyond description.

I can’t think of a single good thing to say about it.

Except that one of the cast is Jasper Carrot’s daughter.

It really is awful.

The Mummy (2017)

Sam spent £9.99 so we could watch a decent Saturday night film.

Unfortunately this Tom Cruise vehicle isn’t it.

This version of The Mummy takes the enjoyable Brendan Fraser film of the same name out for a ride to the dark, dismal and dirty place, in film industry land, where part-formed ideas of awful films live.

And left it dumped there.

The Mummy is a shockingly bad film.

Someone, no, several someones in the US film industry, thought this was a great film to make.

Every single one of those someones was wrong.

The Mummy (2017) is a film of rambling, shambling, idiocy, from a collective of skilled Hollywood professionals.

Top people in the film industry were paid really well, with real money, to make this happen…

I have no words.

Don’t pay to see this rubbish.

In fact, even if it’s free, don’t see it.

You’ll only encourage them.

Sing Street

Despite the slightly faltering start, I’ve just finished watching (and thoroughly enjoyed) the film Sing Street.

Awesome soundtrack, and worth watching for the way this line is delivered: ‘No woman can truly love a man who likes Phil Collins’.

Hardcore action

The latest dip in to the film world was the Anglo-Russian first-person action shocker ‘Hardcore Henry’.

There’s not a great deal to add.

The whole film is like this pop video (by the same director), but an hour and 36 minutes long

Dazzled by the night

No, not blinded by the light. Dazzled by the night!

Hot on the heels of my discovery of ‘Lucy‘ this weekend, I have just deployed Shazam to find out what the end credit song is.

Dazzled by the Night.

Or, in its native language, Eblouies par la Nuit (but you knew that, of course, non?).

Anyway, I’ve just contributed 99p to the singer Zaz (or, more accurately, to her record label), in gratitude for giving me something rather lovely to listen to.

The song needs proper audio equipment, laptop speakers just don’t do it credit.

But the cattens and I love it.

Dialling things down

A little down time is good for you


So whilst Sam is away in Dubai Thailand Myanmar (today), I’m having a quiet time at home.

There’s just me and the four cattens (a name I have designed to bridge the gap between the two cats and the two evil little monsters kittens, obv).

Yesterday (Saturday), I ran Sam’s Honda Superdream down to the garage to have them look at the speedo.

Then I did some stuff but not much stuff, which largely involved drinking hot chocolate, periodically throwing logs on to the fire, feeding the cattens, feeding me, and watching films.

And then I went to bed and watched a couple of episodes of The Man In The High Castle.


Well today I have decided that I’m not even going to get dressed.

The time is just gone 14.30 and the fire is lit again.

The two kittens are asleep, though Lord knows where the cats are.

Outside looking for wildlife to slaughter, probably.

The first film of the day (Lucy) has been watched.

Yesterday I fancied watching something totes trashy, so helped myself to London Has Fallen.

It was fun, in a load of old rubbish kind of way.

After that I needed to give my brain something to think about, so back-to-back watched Eye In The Sky, which made for a peculiar double bill.

But EITS was, as intended, very thought-provoking.

In their own way, though, both of yesterday’s films set high standards. LHF for the thrilltastic bodycount, and EITS for the moral dilemma, which counterpointed the argument that the minute civilians start to make decisions in wartime, the war is either tactically or morally lost.

Today’s film – Lucy – was something quite different.

There can be no doubt that Lucy is a terrific return to form for Luc Besson (even though I am a self-confessed Luc Besson fanboy).

Lucy is a film that is an adrenaline-fuelled cross-genre romp, and I am envious of such a wealth of talent sitting in just one writer/director.

I’ll admit there were a couple of moments borrowed from other films. I’m not saying that 2001: A Space Odyssey features large in the final act, but I half expected to hear ‘My God, it’s full of stars’.

I’m not going to watch any more films today.

One of my guitars will be coming out to play shortly, because it’s time I shared some musical love with my neighbours.

And then I’ll cook, eat, read, listen to music, feed the cattens, go to bed…

There’s a lot to be said for having a quiet weekend.


I stumbled on the ‘no more films’ rule.

I’ve just watched Sicario.

Jesus, what a film!

It’s the ‘war on drugs’ as a piece of street insurrection.


Anyway, here’s the trailer for Lucy:

Music hath charms…

On my continual quest to bring light and understanding to the up-and-coming generation, this evening I have been spreading the love of music and pop video.

The journey through the world of music videos started with the awesomely creative and wackily amusing OK GO! videos.

Then there was a quick detour to The Hives (Tick Boom).

And then, briefly entering the world of musical history, from the historically synth-pop genre-defining Alphaville (Big In Japan), to the outrageously awesome Oxford threesome Zurich (Alone).

Then a quick flip over to the shamelessly mainstream Evanescence (the Fallen album).

The 7yo really enjoyed the OK GO! videos.

The 10yo liked The Hives.

None of them really got Alphaville, but the 42yo really got Zurich (and their previous incarnation, The Scholars, which I briefly aired).

Gotta love Zurich’s Alone:

The 10yo liked about two Evanescence tracks.

And now they’ve all gone upstairs to get ready for bed.

So I listened to Mark Knopfler’s Local Hero/Going Home theme.

Earlier we watched Swallows And Amazons, which was a lovely piece of time-travel.

I read the book many times as a schoolboy.

It moved me to buy a dinghy and learn to row and then how to sail.

A charming film, it deviates from the original Arthur Ransome story, but still preserves the feel.

I had a lovely time and I hope everyone else enjoyed it too.

Time passes.

I’m now filtering though some old TV themes, because it’s time I updated my personalised ring tone library.

I’m thinking of assigning this one to Young Masher (for no other reason than it’s a cracking piece of John Barry composition:

The Top Eight Christmas Films Ever (as at today)

Number One of my Top Five Christmas Films


1. Die Hard
This is the ultimate Christmas film.

Funny. Edgy. Exciting. Gripping.

And yet with a deftly minimalist nod in the direction of Christmas schmaltz.

Die Hard is almost worth watching for the sight of a young Bruce Willis with hair.

John McClane (Bruce Willis) takes on a group of criminals led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman, yes him off of Love Actually).

Originally intended for Arnold Schwarzenegger, the lead role was eventually offered to Bruce and, frankly, we are all so much better off for Arnie turning the job down.

The film’s use of the iconic, and almost scene-stealing Century City in LA as the site of Nakatomi Plaza, was a masterstroke of location-setting.

But the casting is the icing on this piece of celluloid cake.

Die Hard is, without the shadow of any doubt, a Top Christmas Film.

Yipee-ki-yay Melon Farmers.

The Top Eight Christmas Films Ever (as at today)

Number Two of my Top Five Christmas Films


2. Love Actually
This film is Number 9 in my All-Time Top 10 Films, but it is an easy Number Two in my list of Top Eight Christmas Films Ever.

It’s the Christmas aspect that elevates it so.

The vignettes are tactfully woven together in to a single screenplay that, in itself, is wonderfully edited by Emma Freud, possibly one of the most sympathetic script editors in the UK film industry.

From the moment the film opens with the Billy Mack and Joe story (Bill Nighy and Gregor Fisher), to the epilogue at the airport, one month later, the entire montage is captivating.


And yes, a tear is always shed during the watching of Love Actually.

The Top Eight Christmas Films Ever (as at today)

Number Three of my Top Five Christmas Films


3. Scrooged
I didn’t get this film the first time I watched it.

And probably didn’t really get it the second time.

But on the third watch, Scrooged began to take on a life of its own.

It became less irritating.

And Scrooged developed a general feeling of being much more fun than I’d given it credit for.

A little like when you’re trapped in a lift with the fat smelly boy from IV-B for three hours, and you discover that actually he’s a lot like you.

Yes, the film has its irritating points.

But it also has Bill Murray.

And Bill Murray trumps everything.