Monday, 28 January 2013


The January hibernation continues and with the recent snowy weather, what better film to watch than Fargo? It's been years since I saw this. In fact, I think I saw it once at the cinema in 1996 when it was released.

It's still brilliant. Frances McDormand has never been better and her character in this is so sweet and smart. Every actor in this is amazing, Steve Buscemi, William H Macy and the poor woman who plays his wife. OK, I just looked her up and her name is Kristen Rudrud and guess what? She was born in Fargo!

It has some amazing dialogue. My favourite scene is the one where Marge is interviewing the two girls about our kidnappers and they say one of them was kind of funny looking. It cracks me up every time.

The way they all say yah, Marge and her adorable husband making her eggs, the crazy Japanese guy. It's all wonderfully quirky and not in an annoying way that some Coen brothers movies can be. For my money, this is the best Coen brothers film. I know there is a lot of love for The Big Lebowski and I do like that but this is such a heart-warming film despite the feeding of Buscemi into the woodchipper! If that's a spoiler, I apologise but really, surely I can give out a spoiler on a film that is 17 years old?

Sunday, 27 January 2013

The Carrie Diaries

Sex and the City was a great show.  I very much enjoyed it, especially the early seasons. I am excited about The Carrie Diaries because it's set in 1984, which as anyone knows was the best year of the 80s. I have watched the first two and I don't just like it, I love it.

This is required viewing for all you teen TV lovers out there. First of all, the soundtrack is fantastic: Talking Heads, Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper, Billy Idol. The GoGos... I could go on, you get the idea. The girl playing young Carrie is really good, I totally believe she could be a young Sarah Jessica Parker and she has all the mannerisms down pat. I can imagine her watching hours of the show to try and walk like her and sit like her (how many times did we see her sit on the steps of her brownstone?) Most of all, it feels authentically 80s. In the way Mad Men is authentically 60s. And that is quite a compliment. I feel transported back in time watching it, it's very cleverly done. The friend Carrie makes in New York (pictured above) has the best wardrobe and make-up I've ever seen, I want to be her.

It has lots of little sly jokes that fans of SATC and New York will enjoy. Basically, I highly recommend it and I am hoping it's a big hit and doesn't get cancelled.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Hannah and Her Sisters

You can tell it is January, I've not been out for ages. I am hibernating with hot water bottles and old movies. Let me start by saying I love Woody Allen movies. Even the bad ones. And Hannah and Her Sisters is one of his best.

This is 80s-tastic. The hair, the hair. Everyone has bad hair and the women have perms from hell. Except Carrie Fisher who manages to escape relatively unscathed. Yes, it has Carrie in it. What reason could there be to not love it? This is a fun Woody film and rewatching it at the weekend reminded me how much When Harry Met Sally owes to it. The Manhattan scenes, the standard songs, the neurotic male who is obsessed with death. I've always loved this film because everyone in it is just so good. Did you know it has Mia Farrow's kids in it? Including the one that went on to pair up with Woody? Really icky when you realise he was directing her as a child.

Anyway, the lines. My favourite is: "How the hell do I know why there were Nazis, I don't even know how the can opener works!" There are dozens more, it's really hilarious. If you've not seen it, ummm why not? And please do.

Now then, I am going to say it here. I don't like Michael Caine. He's just so Michael Caine in every film he makes and he's horrible in this, I mean the character is horrible. Not his fault I know but also, check out his hair. No. No to Michael. Apart from that, this is wonderful.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Matrix

January has been about watching old favourite movies. I've watched Dances with Wolves, Last of the Mohicans (I still swoon over Daniel, I don't think this film ever gets old) and The Matrix. I've not seen The Matrix for a while and I am pleased to report that it's remains great fun. However, I hadn't appreciated in 1999 (I know, I know) how silly it is. The ponderous philosophical meanderings of Morpheus and the way he just decides to pull off all the wires and jump to the helicopter (after being near death or so it seems) seemed rather ridiculous to me. It never occurred to me to find this silly at the time which is worrying. Maybe this film was always silly and not a realistic alternate universe?

When I saw this at the cinema, I remember thinking 'whoa, what if we are all really plugged into a matrix?' Just like when I saw The Truman Show I thought 'whoa, what if I am on a reality show?' I dismissed that one fairly quickly as my life is way to dull for anyone to be interested in watching it. Unless me sitting on the sofa watching Coronation St is compelling viewing. But I really did think the matrix proposal was possible. I particularly liked the explanation for deja-vu.

Now I know I am not in the matrix and Keanu isn't going to save me. Boo! I love Carrie-Ann Moss in this, she is super-hot and very cool. Whatever happened to her? I also love the fact there are at least two members of the Home & Away cast in it because they made it in Sydney.

Having had the misfortune of watching two hours of The Dark Knight Rises recently (I didn't make it to the end, two hours in and I was still nowhere near the end of the godforsaken film), I am not going to criticise The Matrix. At least it's entertaining, stuff happens and it moves at a quick pace. Plus it has Keanu. We could all do a lot worse. And for those of you who watched The Dark Knight Rises, you have done a lot worse. Sorry about that. Don't tell me you liked it, I'm not interested. It was total rubbish and absolutely dull.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Our Tune

Who could ever forget Our Tune? Did you know it's still going? Maybe not on Radio 1 at 11am but nonetheless, Simon Bates is still doing Our Tune! It's on Smooth radio apparently. I would say, let's tune in but really, Our Tune was terrible.

For starters there was the Rome & Juliet theme tune which I've just listened to for the first time in about 20 years and I am transported back to the 80s. Our Tune was so mawkish. People would write in with their stories of lost love and Simon would squeeze every last cliche out of them. The song was almost always Looks Like We Made it by Barry Manilow which is no bad thing of course.

While doing two minutes of research for this post, I discovered there is an album - the Best of Our Tune! It has 40 songs on it and not one is the mighty Manilow. Yet they found room for Boris Gardener. Truly, there is no justice.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Dances with Wolves

When this film came out in 1990, yes 23 years ago, I loved it. I went to see it twice at the cinema, bought the soundtrack and basically wanted to be a Sioux. I've not seen it for years but it was on TV so I recorded it and watched it again. Despite what you may think of Kevin Costner, this is an amazing achievement. I watched it with TeenBoy who had never seen it before.

It is long. Really long. But it doesn't feel long at three hours. Yet again, I was drawn into it all. Two Socks the wolf! Stands With A Fist! Wind In His Hair! Kicking Bird! Smiles A Lot!A big debate was had about our Sioux names, no strong conclusion was made on mine but TeenBoy is Tickles Fish. The scenery is spectacular and the buffalo scene is still impressive. All was going well until TeenBoy said, Kevin Costner now looks like he should be in Bon Jovi.

Ruined. Ruined I tell you! I couldn't stop laughing and it's true, he does morph into Bon Jovi in an alarming fashion. This is a brilliant film and now I want to watch Last of the Mohicans where I have absolutely no complaints about Daniel Day Lewis's resemblance to a hair band member at all.

It's a very sad film and although it's roughly drawn with cliches - Sioux are all good and noble people, white men are evil - it's done in a way that you don't really care. And we have enough westerns with the white men being heroes anyway.

I still want to be a Sioux as it turns out, and live in a teepee and sit around a campfire. I wouldn't be so hot on the fighting and lack of running hot water though so just as well.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Bad Influence

Having watched Top Gun last night, my mood was set for a Bad Movie We Love. Also, my sister was with me and after a work out and then a long walk, we felt obliged to snuggle on to a sofa each and watch something cheesy. I bought this DVD ages ago and it was on my list to watch in 2012 but every time I suggested it, TeenBoy changed the subject. I can't imagine why.

So today we popped it on and sat back. Have you seen this? Have you? James Spader, Rob Lowe and Marcia Cross no less! It was shaping up to a classic of our time. I had seen this years ago but I couldn't remember much about it. What can I say? I enjoyed it far more than my sister who I suspect dozed through some key plot points. It's preposterous but no less enjoyable for it. It's mercifully 1 hour and 30 minutes long and it's unintentionally hilarious. It's not in the league of Masquerade but if you're in the market for some bad fashion, bad hair and people dragging dead bodies around in an apparently empty Los Angeles, then this is your film.
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