Saturday, November 03, 2007

Put him on the bonfire and watch him die...

Visited the local Odeon last night (see right). Long term readers (if they existed) might remember my hateful experiences at Cardiff multiplexes.

How refreshing then to visit a cinema that seemed to still be located in the 1984 of my youth. Tiny little foyer, friendly staff, Alvin and the Chipmunks and a good time had by all.

I may visit the cinema more than once in the next calendar year.


You might ask what had managed to coax me out of my lair to visit the kinema. Elizabeth: The Golden Age is the film that succeeded where so many summer attractions had failed. In 1998 Elizabeth blew off a lot of socks with it's well crafted tale of courtly intrigues, spymasters, love affairs and religious fanatics. Not to mention its opulent costumes and design.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age is strong on opulent costumes and courtly intrigue but falls far short of the success of the first volume of Elizabeth I's adventures. It would be unfair to say I didn't enjoy it but I did find myself disappointed.

The performances are splendid. Cate Blanchett is, once again, incredible as the Virgin Queen and is supported well by Geoffrey Rush, Clive Owen, Rhys Ifans and a host of reliable character actors. Special mention should be saved for Jordi MollĂ 's utterly barking, birdlike Phillip of Spain.

Towards the climactic battle with the Spanish armada the film begins to over embellish it's set pieces and seems to flirt with the notion of becoming Elizabeth 2: This Time it's Personal. Whilst I enjoyed Blanchett's rousing speech to the troops (and her snazzy armour) it all seemed more Middle-Earth than Tudor England, and as for Walter 'John McClane' Raleigh riding his flaming galleon into the Spanish ships before diving into an unnecessary underwater sequence? This so distracted me that I found myself lost in reverie wondering if Clive Owen will ever escape the shadow of James Bond (he would have been great though - wouldn't he).

It felt a little like an entirely different film had stormed in when no one was looking and taken over the screen. Worse still, despite thousands of pounds and months of post production there are two corking boom shots in the finished film. That's quite shoddy if you ask me.

Definitely worth seeing then, but don't expect The Golden Age to match up to it's predecessor.


I felt series six of 24 was pretty patchy (and I'm probably being kinder than most) but I still find myself extremely excited by the series seven trailer...

What..? How..?

It's pretty much the duty of any writer, and any right-minded television watcher, to understand exactly why the Writers Guild of America have decided to strike and just how it will effect American (and thusly the World's) television.

I recommend then that you take yourself hence and read Piers Beckley's summation of the whole affair here.

If you are a British writer I'd also recommend reading Robin Kelly's post here.

We don't want no dirty scabs round these parts.


Off to Himley Hall in Dudley this evening for the 'Fireworks and Music Spectacular'. I'm assured it's the bees knees and it's a first for Emma and I as we've never been to a fireworks display together before - despite some of the best laid plans.

It's hats-and-scarves weather and what better than the smell of gunpowder, candyfloss and 'ooh-ing' children to enjoy a chilly November evening?

Spare a thought for Guy Fawkes if you're attending a display this weekend, all he wanted was to blow up parliament you know.

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