Blogs

Simon Pegg, Hot Fuzz and Priceless

Simon Pegg and Priceless. Simon Pegg is not Priceless, but is meant to be funny. Run Fat Boy Run might have been funny if you were…and I can’t think of the right word here. If you were drunk, daft or Peggless, which probably involves a mixture of all three. Simon Pegg’s big breakthrough film was Shaun of the Dead. That got him noticed and namechecked by among others Tarrantino and it brought him an audience. Hot Fuzz, ITV 4, was packed with the...

The death of Uncle Tom

When Aunt Rose phones somebody has died. The only thing I can be sure of is it’s not her. It was her and my mother’s brother: Uncle Tom Connelly. The last time I saw Uncle Tom was at the funeral for Wullie Winn. That was Aunt Rose’s husband. We don’t hear about the illness; only the death. But on that occasion the early signs of dementia were showing in Uncle Tom. His son David kept a close eye on him, but he was fine, talking about his years in...

saving the world

Saving the economy. With George Osborne taking the piste at Cloisters, or some other rich man’s playgroup I decided to tackle the budget deficit. I must admit I wasn’t keen on £80k a year student fees, but I was made to see sense and toe the party line. I left a memo on his desk suggesting that we backdate it. Those that have had a university education should be sent a bill. Most GPs make a million a year so it would only take them a year or two...

3.10 to Yuma

Russell Crowe is the bad guy in the black hat, with the fancy gun with a cross on its grip. Christian Bale is the dirt-poor family with the wife and the kids and the stump of one leg. He’s obviously the good guy. He needs to put Russell Crowe on the prison train the 3.10 to Yuma to collect a $200 bounty that will keep his farm going. More importantly it is about redemption. He wants to show his sons that there comes a point where a man can’t be...

The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse

The United States had…we had Bob Monkhouse, always there like a background noise in everyday lives. The best way to describe him was smarmy and slick as Listerine. He was on TV every Saturday night for my whole lifetime and before that he was a scriptwriter and successful comedian courted by film and theatre. He was the English Bob Hope. I don’t begrudge him his money or his success. He’d over a million jokes and he recorded every show of any...

The Old Firm, Ibrox disaster and Kenny Dalglish

The Old Firm game takes care of itself. More clichés are flung at it than tackles and it is, by far, the biggest club game in the world-only in this corner of the world. This one was the biggest of the biggest, not least because it fell exactly 40 years to the day after stairway 13 collapsed at Ibrox under the combined weight of fans leaving after Celtic had scored with a few minute to go and Rangers equalising just before the final whistle and...

Toast

I’d read a bit of Nigel Slater’s autobiography Toast in The Observer. I don’t really read, although sometimes glance through, his articles on food in The Observer Magazine. I kinda know what he looks like and I think it may have been him (or some other well known chef) at the end of Toast giving the young actor, that plays his character, his first start in the kitchen in The Savoy. It was beautifully worked, a matching not just of styles and...

I am Legend

‘I am Legend’ was filmed at the height of Will Smith’s success, so it was one of those virtuous circles were success begets success. Yes it’s Biblical because it’s apocalyptical. It’s one man and his dog. Will Smith being that man. He’s the only man left on earth, or so we are led to believe, as he hunts wild deer on the streets of New York. And damn just when he gets one in the sights of his telescopic rifle those damn prowl of lions beat him...

The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn Girl (2008). That means if my arithmetic is correct that there must be at least two girls. One of the in Natalie Portman as Anne. The other is Scarlett Johansson as Mary. Eric Bana is Henry VIII and, although there are three of them, a very nice couple they are to. It’s more complicated than that, of course. Henry is already married, for one thing to Katherine of Aragon. She’s rather nice, but dull and can’t even give him the...

Wallander. The Accused.

Wallander. I love Wallander. The 13 stories staring Krister Henriksson as the eponymous named hero were so depressingly droll and downbeat that the only option was to commit yourself. Little did I know that they were only loosely based on the stories of Henning Mankell, which means, of course, they have as much to do with the original as Kenneth Branagh. But I’ve never read the books and just don’t care. I watched Rolf Lassgard in Firewall which...

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