Raising a Glass to George on May Fourth…

4 05 2012

Another day, another celebration.

In 1977, George Lucas introduced us to a galaxy that was quite far away and inadvertently created a new religion. He populated this new universe with a host of colorful characters and brand merchandising on a galactic scale.

Since then, the world has never been the same.

In honor of Star Wars Day – it’s May 4th, as in “May the fourth be with you”… – this is my personal top five list of things I love about George’s baby and what parts of the 6 films (the three proper ones and the CGI prequels) that just annoy me. Read the rest of this entry »

May The Force Be With You; Star Wars Rebooted

10 02 2012

In 1977, a small boy sat in a darkened cinema in London’s West End and fell in love.

The object of his affection wasn’t a punk rock star, a female superhero or even a muppet that appeared to be a pig but a man dressed in black that seemed to have some kind of breathing problem (probably asthma, the small boy thought) and who was able to crush the necks of people who annoyed him by just squeezing his fingers.

From the moment that Darth Vader walked through some destroyed doors, picked up a “rebel” by the neck, politely asked him for the location of some missing files and then threw him against a wall…the small boy was hooked. Terrified, confused and about to experience a series of unexplained nightmares that involved heavy breathing…but hooked.

We all know what happened next.

Star Wars; A New Hope (the first film, despite being apparently #4 in a series) was a worldwide hit, one of the first blockbusters. Read the rest of this entry »

Limeybowl; It’s Pre-Game Time…

5 02 2012

6:05 p.m. Am now in the pub – Mr. Dooleys, Cohasset (feel free to “like” them on Facebook). Got here in time to watch the Patriots run out onto the pitch, saw Tom and then we had a commercial break.

Then we had some anthems, America the Beautiful (sung by some Country singer that I didn’t know) and the National Anthem warbled by Kelly Clarkson. The bar is not packed but there are numerous Pats shirts and small children wearing paper hats – free from the Boston Globe (the hats not the children) New York Giants are the “away” team and are wearing white. Which annoyingly is the color of the soccer shirt that I chose.

First decision of the evening – what beer to drink. Have been advised that Budweiser would be appropriate.

6:21 p.m. The Coin Toss, Pats in Blue, they win and will…kick off. But not until after we have another short interlude for national corporations to sell us something.

6:25 p.m. Commercial break, people singing the theme tune to Rocky – on TV, not in the bar.

The crowd is in boisterous mood, beers are flowing and the one person that I can see in a Giants shirt is keeping very quiet. Tactics are being discussed and we all want to know whether Tom will be victorious or if it will be Eli who comes up smiling. One thing I have noticed is that Quarterbacks are normally quite good looking; it’s as if they are genetically created to be superstars of sport.

There is no jealousy there, just an acceptance that the beautiful people are beautiful for a reason. Take Brad Pitt – you want to hate him for being pretty and talented but you can’t because he is such an awesome actor (his performance in Moneyball was superb) and I don’t mind paying money to see him showcase his skills. I can’t say the same about Adam Sandler.

Sequels, Remakes and Sandler; A Limey Re-View of Cinema in 2011

30 12 2011

According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2011 was the year of the Rabbit although the general theme of the year was anything but fluffy.

2011 was the year when protests swept the globe, from the long-expected uprisings during the Arab Spring to the wholesale occupation of public spaces by a motley assortment of people who were fed up of being the 99 percent.

This post is not going to focus on those grievances. Mainly because I have already commented on them but the real reason is that they don’t fit in with my Rabbit motif that I want to apply to the wonderful world of cinema.

We all know that the humble rabbit has a fondness for continual and indiscriminate mating. Bunnies like to…..like bunnies, they are at it all year and produce offspring on a regular basis. Not all of these will be well received, some will last for a very short time but there will be enough of them that the species will continue to exist for the foreseeable future.

Movies are like that. It doesn’t matter what is going on in the world or whether anyone is watching, but films are churned out on a regular basis and some of them even make it into movie theaters. Read the rest of this entry »

Forever Young & Never Crap; Death Protects The Icon

9 12 2011

I shout all my obscenities from steeples,
But please don’t label me a madman
I’m off to see the Bootleg Beatles
As the bootleg Mark Chapman

Taken from ‘When The Evening Sun Goes Down’ by Half Man Half Biscuit

Thirty-one years ago on December 8,  John Lennon died in New York.

This was very sad and although I have never been a big fan of The Beatles, I appreciate that they were partly responsible for dragging English music away from  copy-cat product of the 1950’s and being at the forefront of the British Invasion that was welcomed by American audiences. John and his mates produced  radio-friendly-unit-shifters that appealed to a broad base of fans and have lasted for longer than two members of the band.

In death, John Lennon has achieved a lasting fame and a legacy that (for many) is hard to criticize. But what would have happened if Chapman hadn’t gunned down the Scouse legend outside his apartment all those years ago?

Lennon would have been 71 this year. Read the rest of this entry »

This One Goes To Eleven.

11 11 2011

These hearts were woven of human joys and cares,
Washed marvellously with sorrow, swift to mirth.
The years had given them kindness. Dawn was theirs,
And sunset, and the colours of the earth.
These had seen movement, and heard music; known
Slumber and waking; loved; gone proudly friended;
Felt the quick stir of wonder; sat alone;
Touched flowers and furs and cheeks. All this is ended.

Rupert Brooke, 1914, Part IV; The Dead

Eleven. Exactly. One louder

Nigel Tufnel, Spinal Tap

Everyone in the world today will be able to experience a moment that only occurs once every one hundred years. A point in time when we will live through a perfect same-numbered palindrome. Blink and you will miss it.

At 11 minutes past 11 on the 11th day of the 11th month of 2011 , the time and date will be perfect, to the second. Six elevens…and it will last for slightly less time than Kim Kardashian’s last marriage.

Some of you will have already experienced it, I hope you enjoyed it and made the most of this second in your life. Read the rest of this entry »

Winnie The Pooh – Our Bear For All Seasons

28 03 2011

Sarah Palin? Wants to tax honey?

There was a time when life seemed to move slower. A time before Facebook and Twitter, when a mobile phone was just moving it from the hallway table and when we could happily make our own entertainment without the need to plug in and tune out.  A time when a silly old bear called Winnie the Pooh had all the answers that we needed.

This year, Winnie the Pooh will be celebrating his 85th birthday.

For a “bear of very little brain” this is a tremendous milestone and one that will be celebrated by Walt Disney releasing their 51st animated feature that will star not just Pooh but Tigger, Piglet and all of the beloved characters from the Hundred Acre Wood.  Simply known as ‘Winnie the Pooh’, the movie will be hitting cinema screens this summer and marks a return by the studio to traditional animation techniques. Read the rest of this entry »