Salted Movie Reviews

Whilst on my fortnight trip to Sri Lanka I made full use of the country's remarkably tolerant interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and watched many many DVDS which I will review. But rather than review each one with the normal prose and draw I think I’ll just save my time and yours with some potted, in-a-nutshell, oneline minimalist uber synopsis mini bullet reviews, ordered in terms of best first. The list goes a little something like this:

  1. Apocalypto - He may be a neo-Nazi-alco-fascist but Gibson’s Mayan epic really blew me away. Just fantastic. It twists and turns and races away with an authenticity that is hard to find in similar “exotic” movies. I mean, it may not have been anything like that 500 years ago in Central America, but this film makes you totally believe it was. Great acting. Great Great Great.
  2. The Queen - Touching in a way I never expected Her Majesty to touch me. Now wash your hands, Lizzie. Really liked this but can't really say why. It was well acted, had a great script, was very relevant to my time and country and all in all was a well directed and edited film – actually that must be why I liked it.
  3. Rocky Bilboa - An orgasm of nostalgia. The first three quarters are like a reflection on ageing and life and death that could end up making you vomit. But the movie managed to steer a well crafted course, avoiding such regurgitations. The last part of the film is a full on fist-fest and the ending is unexpectedly unremarkable. This film could have been so bad in many ways, but it isn’t.
  4. Miame Vice – Great action movie that makes me want to go and work in the South Florida vice unit. It has a fair amount of substance, great visuals, lots of excitement, good baddies and good goodies and all in all a nifty, sexy, fast-paced action movie.
  5. Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny – I quite like listening to Tenacious D’s music. It's very much for boys, not girls, and boys who like rock at that. Their fist movie is the film version of the albums, and as a modern rock musical, it's stomping. As a film you care about… mehhh… not so much. Quite Zappaesque, very silly.
  6. Man Of The Year – Not a bad film, but it should have been a classy, modern, post-West Wing political commentary and it fails. They add this intrigue and conspiracy and bad guys aspect it gets in the way. It’s a good vehicle for Williams but that’s where the good times get bland.
  7. For Your Consideration – This film is made by the people who made Spinal Tap, my favourite film until Team America came along. I liked A Mighty Wind and Best in Show so much, but this film sadly doesn’t come close. I felt I should have loved it but I didn’t really even rate it. Shame. I think the biggest failing is that the characters lacked that reality that they have in the other films buy the Spinal Tappers.
  8. Smokin Aces – Very much in the Get Shorty kind of hyper complex show-off sense. Really quite crap. Tries too hard. Get back to the yard.
  9. Beerfest - Genius concept; Fight Club with Beer Drinking Games. The actuality - The worst film made for a long long time. Insulting to so many things in a way so unremarkable it insults the notion of the insult. Maybe there are two funny scenes in it, maybe not. But nothing is that funny. If you like this movie then I don’t like you.

My Uncle Andy

Here is an article about my uncle Andy and his battle with prostate cancer:

Review: A traditional barbershop cutthroat shave

I haven't ever had a cutthroat shave until bout ten mins ago in a Sri Lankan barbers. The reader of this blog will know that I have a bit of a thing about razors and felt that I had found my shaving heaven with the new Gillette:

So, this cost me 35p and it is a good close shave. I had a big old "traveling beard" to get rid of and it came of a breeze once I got used to the dude being so close to my jugular, and all that. The verdict, it isn't as close as a brand new Gillette but its pretty close. Much closer than any other means I have experienced but there is still the follicular anisotropy (I hope that's the first time that phrase has been used in the history of the universe) that you can manage to transcend with the Gillettes.

The Man Who Taught Me How Not To Dance

He was thirty five and full-on in jive.

White pants, white shirt in a kung fu styling.

He claimed the floor,

Then he claimed it some more,

As I sat and idly eyed him.

He had rhythm for sure, (maybe needed some more)

But something wasn’t cohering,

And as he danced and swirled

And eyed the girls.

I saw uncool horizons nearing.

Exactly what was amiss?

Was he taking this piss?

Just down for the crack?

As he energy bopped,

The penny dropped,

He swirled, faux delirious:

At thirty five dancing,

Enjoy the prancing,

But never take it serious.

I guess this poem is meaningless unless you know I am this man’s age and, like him, I also like to dance below my age. Its a conundrum for sure, but one that has a solution.

Baby Turtles on the Dance Floor, and your chicks for free.

I am in Sri Lanka right now, hence the abscence of much posting. back in a week... but this deserves a post...

On Saturday night I went to a party on a beach in Hikkaduer, south Sri Lanka. It was pretty much the only party in the entire country save for the drab ex—pat clubs in the Capital.

It was ten o’clock and things were just getting started when there was some consternation amongst the locals, a group of about six of them were gathered round something on the beach.

I left my beer on the bar and went to take a look-see; there was a sight I never thought I would see. A nest of sea turtles decided that it was time to be born and there they were, tiny little reptilian toddlers emerging from the sand.

The excitement this caused amongst us all was pretty remarkable as I’m sure you can imagine, even the locals don’t see this thing every lifetime. Baby turtles the size of a matchbox, crawling out of the sand ‘midst the fire glow and disco lights. Awesome.

So, rather than let them get baked by the fire or trampled on by a German traveler/dancer’s Birkenstock a rescue mission was called for. We picked the baby turtles up one in each hand and marched them down to the lapping Indian ocean. Very slowly – definitely sub-baby-hare speed – they crawled off into the sea, accompanied by the pumping and dire sound of a Dire Straights techno remix.

I didn't have my camera with me for the baby turtles, so here is a picture of the biggest key in Asia, taken in a small Buddhist Monastery in the same village.

Reminisces: Famous people I have met, part the First.

I have a thing about famous people. I cant see a celebrity without at least starting up a conversation, getting their autograph or stalking them for 3 years.

So this post is simply a list of famous people I have met, where by met I mean had a conversation with of more than “hi”. I note with interest that many of the people on this list do not have a similar list on their website with my name on it. I have a list of famous people I have merely seen, but that can wait until the “meets” have been exhausted.

If your not from the UK this list wont mean much to you.

  • Jarvis Cocker (Singer, artist, TV presenter, critique and dude): I have met Jarvis a number of times in the last ten years. I first met him a a festival in Finsbury Park in about 1995. I had way to many cups of coffee that day and had a long chat with him about celebrity along the lines of “what’s it like to be famous”. He was very nice. I have since met him at an art gallery opening, another festival and a club frequented by dominatrixes, again with lots of strong coffee. Great at being famous.
  • Martin Freeman (Actor, The Office, Ali G and much more): Not a week goes by without either my wife or myself saying “he was at our wedding”. And that’s because of this guy. He was going out with my cousin and was very nice. I actually met him at a hotel family doo a few weeks earlier, again, lovely chap.
  • Marc Almond (Singer, famous homosexual): This encounter could probably have a blog post all of its own because it categorically puts squash to a long running urban legend about Mr Almond. It was downstairs in Freedom bar in central London (He owns part of it), he was standing alone, I went up and started talking. We talked for a few minutes and then, I asked him very slowly carefully and politely... if the story about him collapsing on stage and the stomach pump was true. He said it was not, pretty categorically. I felt he wasn’t often asked this question but I also felt a party of him wished that the story was true. Very friendly, very nice, very gay.
  • Felix Burton(Half of Basement Jaxx). Great guy and still friends with friends. I once spent a night in a hotel room with him in Blackpool. I won't say how this occurred because it will make it sound more exciting than it was. By all accounts Felix hasn't let his fame and wear his head@, bravo.
  • Jon Ronson (Writer Journalist): I met him in blackpool the morning after Felix and I had shared a room. I walked up to him in the street, is was very genuinely friendly and we talked for about five mins about his TV show that I had seen the week before.
  • Mark Walliams (Comedian, Swimmer): I saw him just before he got famous for Little Britain at the theater seeing the guy from Marion and Geoff. I spoke to him along the lines of “Hey your very funny you are.” He replied “Thank you very much”. We had a moment.
If you think this list is scraping the bottom of the fame barrel;, wait till you see the next one:p