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ihatebroccoli
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Member since: 12.07.2000

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      21.05.2001 16:35
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      I am amazed that this album has escaped me until now. Usually when I hear of an album by “DJ something or other”, or anything with “DJ” in the title, I am pretty sceptical, as it usually indicates some dance compilation where all the songs have already been mixed by someone else, and there’s nothing really new. This album is nothing like that. First of all, it’s not a dance album, and second of all, it features some of the most ambient and “soundtrack-like” music I’ve ever heard. You can tell I like it! I first discovered music from this album whilst visiting a graphic design website – they had track 11 “Midnight in a Perfect World” playing alongside some animation, and I was immediately impressed. I had no idea what the music was, and emailed the webmaster to see if they’d tell me, they replied that it was off “some old DJ Shadow tape”, but that they couldn’t remember exactly which song it was. I was determined, and set about finding out, eventually after posting the question in a particular forum, I got my answer, and set about obtaining the rest of the album to see if there was anything else I would like. I was pleasantly surprised. Having known absolutely nothing about the man behind the music, or been particularly interested in anything hip-hop before, I was really surprised how good this album is. It’s the combination of so many musical elements, which makes it so successful I think. Of course there’s absolutely loads of samples, but it’s the way it’s all put together which shows the creativity of its creator. The front cover of the album is two guys browsing in a record store. I have to admit, that when I first saw this album online, I thought the picture of the cover art was actually an advert for the online record store. The “Transmission 1, 2 & 3" pieces are apparently used in John Carpenter'
      s film, "Prince of Darkness”, but the majority of tracks consist of hip-hop beats, and retro sound effects. Here’s a list of the tracks and some of my comments. ~~Track List: 01 Best Foot Forward (0:48) A short funky blend introducing the album and promoting Shadow. Although this track is very short (a matter of seconds), it manages to encompass a lot of different styles – the very beginning sounds like it’s off a 70s show or something, then transcends into a bit of rap, a bit of hip-hop, and then echoes out like a legend. Sets the scene, but don’t be too put off it you don’t like hip-hop. 02 Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt (6:41) Opens with a repetitive old piano sound (like from an old horror movie or something), and Josh Davis (I assume) talking over the record, explaining his work. This is a reassuringly long record (one of many on the album). You definitely get your moneys-worth with tracks like this. A very atmospheric track which moves over into a waa-waa sound about half way through. A consistently good track. 03 The Number Song (4:38) A track with a little more action, The Number Song is a darker track with less of the atmospheric quality of other tracks on the album. It reminds me of a track off the soundtrack to the film The Crow in a lot of ways. 04 Changeling (7:51) [Transmission 1] This song is comprised of so many different parts; it’s like a life-changing swirl of sound. This has to be my favourite track off the album, well, either this or Building Steam, or Midnight. You can’t help but nod your head to this one. It’s catchy, its funky, its weird, and has an extremely catchy guitar sound riff throughout. Recommended (it was pretty hard to turn this track off in order to review the others). 05 What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 4) (5:08) I have no idea why, but this track reminds me of the surfing film Endless Summe
      r II. It’s a really relaxed track, like the sort of stuff you could just laze about listening to. Not sure about the deep-voice vocals which appear now and again – sounds a bit too much like the Frog Song for my liking ;-) 06 Untitled (0:24) A bit of a “Tarantino” track if ever there was one, and at around 24 seconds, the shortest track on the album. I love the voice-over lyrics “Eyes as big as Jolly Ranchers”. It’s funky, it could’ve been on Pulp Fiction, I can’t help but do the funky head nod to it. Makes me want a “Royale Wid Cheese” (and I’m a vegetarian!) 07 Stem/Long Stem (9:22) [Transmission 2] The longest track on the album, sounds like an episode of Inspector Morse at the beginning. It’s like a mystery; you have idea what’s waiting ahead. It seems as though it’s split into three sections as well, with the mysterious repetitive acoustic guitar sound at the beginning, through to something, which sounds as though its off “The Sky at Night”, or some other space programme, through to a sample of the track Midnight in a Perfect World. 08 Mutual Slump (4:03) My least favourite track it’s a bit too “noisy” for my tastes. I do like the kind of Indian instrument sample sound though, which appears every now and then. 09 Organ Donor (1:57) This track sounds like something created by The Doors, if only they had been more into technology. It’s organ music accompanied by a buzzing drum track running alongside. The music is wild and sweeping, and wanders up and down the scale, and the main tune is a bit reminiscent of the song from Trigger Happy TV, (the spy theme – Faithless “Drifting Away”). 10 Why Hip Hop Sucks In '96 (0:41) You can almost see people bouncing the suspension in their convertibles – it’s like The Fresh Prince of Bel Air in a matter of
      seconds. A nice interlude nevertheless. 11 Midnight In A Perfect World (5:02) The opening sounds like it’s going to be a real hip-hop no brainer, but then the vocals pass, and the real music kicks in, and it’s beautiful. I can see now why the website I’d found originally had chosen to sample this track. It’s a perfect, calming cacophony of sound. Very memorable tune, waa-waa type keyboard sound and harmonious vocals. A very relaxing sound, if it’s not already been on some chill-out album or other, it should have been. 12 Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain (9:23) Another of my least favourite tracks – I think it is a little too diverse in styles for my taste. There’s all sorts on here – The ending is very easy to listen to and relaxing, whereas the beginning consists of speech alone for about the first 50 seconds. Still very funky, but not a consistent sound – it’s a little too varied to relax to. I think this track is growing on me though. 13 What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 1-Blue Sky Revisit) (7:28) [Transmission 3] Another reminder of films for me, this time, Spike Lee movies – like Do the Right Thing. It’s like a hot day in New York City, relaxed, jazzy, almost makes you want an iced-tea. The last in the transmission series. A great ending to a great album. ~~History Lesson: Josh Davis (aka DJ Shadow) grew up in the Northern Californian hip-hop DJ scene. In 1993 he signed to Mo’ Wax records, a London-based company, and after releasing a few singles in 1995, joined up with Mo’ Wax CEO James Lavelle to produce an U.N.K.L.E record. Endtroducing was released in 1996, and Mo’ Wax cashed in on its success by releasing Preemptive Strike – a CD collection of Shadow’s early 90s material. DJ Shadow is apparently currently working on his next solo album, due for release in September. If you go to www.cdnow.com a
      nd do a search for this album, you can listen to samples of every single track on this album, but beware, the sections of the tracks chosen are not always representative of the whole track. So, if you don’t like the bit you hear, it may not mean you won’t like the rest of the track. Some of the tracks are only 30 or 40 seconds long, and then other tracks are 7 to 9 minutes long. The album has some really beautiful tracks on it, in particular Midnight In a Perfect World, and Changeling, as well as Building Steam with a Grain of Salt. Apparently the Japanese release of this album includes 2 bonus tracks “Red Bus Needs to Leave”, and “In/Flux”. I’d go as far as to say, if you don’t particularly like hip-hop, you’ll still like this, and if you do like hip-hop, be prepared for a change of pace. Nothing is set in stone throughout this album. The genres are swept through, sampled, and put on the pile. Everything changes in the tracks on this album, and it is perhaps the soundtrack quality of some of these tracks, which holds my interest the most. You can listen to it just to relax and chill out, or when driving, or pretty much whenever. It is tremendously listenable (if that’s a word). For more information, check out www.endtroducing.com If you like this album, try: U.N.K.L.E – Psyence Fiction

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      • Miss Congeniality (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 64 Ratings
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        07.04.2001 03:25
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        So, what’s new with this film? Well, not all that much unfortunately. I’m going to have to disagree with the majority of opinions in this section, which surprises me, and give it a thumbs down/sideways thumb (yes I know that’s cheating). Despite the fact that good ol’ Sandra was nominated for a Golden Globe and an American Comedy Award for this film, I have not been swayed. I’ll of course give you a chance to make up your own minds, but will just give you a few of the reasons for my rating. ~~The Plot (?!)~~ Sandra Bullock plays Gracie Hart, an FBI agent who lives for her job. She has no close friends, lives alone, and is unconcerned with her appearance as a woman. She is not afraid of standing up for herself, and makes self-defence a part of everyday life. The film opens with a flashback to her childhood, where she beats up the bully for being a bully, and then beats up the victim of the bully, for criticising her. This theme makes the transition to her adult life, where she puts aside her femininity in favour of self-protection, and there is no mention of her family life, or parents (in a more serious film, this could have been a bigger feature of her character). In a way, Gracie’s character reminds me of another of Sandra Bullock’s characters in “The Net”, where she plays a similarly defensive single woman, with few friends and an inability to trust anyone completely. After making a mistake with a surveillance operation, leading to a colleague being shot, Gracie is taken off all cases, and put in a desk job. It is a little scene just after this, as she returns home after the incident, and hits a punch bag until she is exhausted, which made me think that I should perhaps give this film a chance. It shows just how alone and aggressive Gracie is as a character, and builds up her reputation for clumsiness, as she falls over several times in her own apartment. However, beyond this scene,
        the inevitable farce takes over, and any intelligence the film might have built up is immediately lost. When “The Citizen” strikes again, a mystery bomber who writes cryptic messages, Bullock is brought in to go undercover. The latest cryptic message has been translated to indicate the killer will attack at the Miss USA Beauty Pageant, and so someone must go undercover as an entrant in the competition, so as to cover the stage and protect the other entrants. Probably one of the very few genuinely funny moments in the film is when the FBI agents are sat around the computer looking for a suitable female agent to go undercover as a beauty contestant. By using a computer program which substitutes a persons clothing with any other clothing you choose, they try swimsuits on various FBI agents, to see who will look the most realistic, even Gracie’s boss, played by Ernie Hudson (who I always seem to associate with his character in The Crow, doh!). Gracie’s colleague Eric, played by Julia Robert’s real life boyfriend Benjamin Bratt, finally finds her on the FBI database, and being as no one else has the appropriate physic, it is decided that she will go undercover as “Gracie-Lou Freebush”, the entrant for New Jersey. A virtually military operation ensues, to get Gracie looking up to scratch, and the assistance of a stylist (Michael Caine) is employed to train her in the ways of the pageant. I have to admit, I did find some of this funny, with the unkempt and boyish Gracie being introducing to the likes of waxing, plucking, and *not* eating everything in sight. I won’t give the entire plot away, but it’s sufficient to say that Gracie manages to renew the FBI’s faith in her by saving the day at the pageant, even if it does involve playing a tune on the water glasses dressed as Heidi. ~~Why it didn't do it for me:~~ Firstly, I think the main reason why I found this film
        to be quite poor, is its predictability. As far as I can see, there is no good reason why this film was made, other than to further Sandra Bullock’s producing skills. Obviously, it is intended as a comedy, but somehow, it just didn’t really make me laugh all that much. The real funnies were few and far between, especially when you had to deal with watching Bullock falling down all the time in her high heels. I was absolutely astounded to find William Shatner in this film, and am still not entirely sure why he agreed to accept the part (other than for the work of course). Michael Caine I knew about, although again I am not entirely sure why he is in the film. His part could have been played by virtually anyone, but having said this, the character he did portray was well done and believable. Both of these male characters were very camply depicted, and made it seem even more like everyone at the pageant was taking too much oestrogen. I found the film Drop Dead Gorgeous to be a much more interesting portrayal of the ins and outs of beauty pageants, and much funnier than Miss Congeniality. Drop Dead Gorgeous is a more intelligent look at the subject, whereas Miss Congeniality is a dumbed-down, frankly quite embarrassing attempt to make a comedy out of a very poor script. There are some funny moments, Gracie’s onstage demonstration of self-defence being one, as well as her relationship with “Miss Rhode Island”, but it just seemed so forced that I couldn’t really enjoy the story without wishing Sandra Bullock would stop playing herself. A tagline for the film reads: “Unpolished. Unkempt. Unleashed. Undercover” and I could almost be cruel enough to add “uninteresting” and “unoriginal” to the list. Apologies to those of you who liked the film of course, but I just felt disappointed. I’d hoped to see something fresh, and at least with some new humour, but instead I
        was faced with a tired story and predictable plot. Sorry Sandra, but I’d stick to driving the bus above 50 miles per hour! Candice Bergen (Kathy Morningside) plays the part Kirstie Alley played in Drop Dead Gorgeous, the woman who won the crown all those years ago, under suspicious circumstances then, and now, will not have anything spoiling “her” pageant. The big difference between the two films of course is the masculine influence in Miss Congeniality, despite the obvious campness of some of the characters. Sandra Bullock, although definitely having “the walk”, is not a very convincing ugly duckling to turn into a swan. Cameron Diaz plays a much better ugly duckling in Being John Malkovich, with her wildly frizzy hair, and no make up look, or even Drew Barrymore as “Josie Grossie” in Never Been Kissed. The make up people definitely did well with the beauty pageant look, it’s just a shame they didn’t seem to try so hard on the “before” look. Well, I guess she’s Sandra Bullock, there’s not a lot you can do to make her look bad. Well, see it if you must, but I just feel a bit sorry for old Miss Congeniality – there’s not quite enough funnies for it to be a comedy, nowhere near enough smooching for it to be a romance, and as for action, considering the film is full of FBI agents, there is precious little. I found that I spent most of the film trying to coerce my cinema-going-companion into finding something funny, anything, I found myself looking between him and the screen thinking, “c’mon laugh, *that* bit was funny, c’mon!” So, think yourself lucky that you got my review instead of his! Watch out for Heather Burns as “Miss Rhode Island”, you may find yourself hearing “and then, last summer… at band camp” (American Pie) playing in your head as you hear her speak. I have to admit, I did like Gracie&#
        8217;s “spy book” at the beginning though, and you can take a look at that and other things related to the movie on the official website: http://miss-congeniality.warnerbros.co.uk/main.html The site is in flash and features production notes, soundtrack listings, cast and crew information, and an amusing “contestant generator” like the software used on the FBI agents in the film (it’s a bit like “Guess Who” but with the cast members of the film – put it this way, you can see Michael Caine in a sarong any time you like ;-) ).

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          17.03.2001 04:45
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          (aka) "Save energy – reduce pop-ups by 100%!" I might have had a problem with some of the Urbia banners at the time (see my review), but this pop-up takes the biscuit. Here I am again pleading for you at dooyoo to stop this misery. There is advertising, and there are banners, and that is one thing, but when that little antagonistic pop-up window appears on *every* single page I open in dooyoo, well let me say, it is almost reason enough for me staying away from the site as a whole, and that I doo not want. I’m not even criticising the pop-up topic itself, I mean “Click here to save energy” is a great incentive to go ahead and click it. I have to admit I did access the site (but from the banner as opposed to the pop-up), and www.saveenergy.co.uk is a very well laid out site, with some very useful hints and tips. I would certainly recommend taking a look. It contains information on renewable energy, heating, glazing, insulation and appliances, and offers advice on how to save money and contribute towards helping the environment. “Are heating bills making you sweat?” – no, but these pop-ups are! As I look now, I have five of the little gems minimised on my taskbar, piling up pointlessly – if this is supposed to make me want to follow up the advert, then it is definitely not the right way to go about it! Advertisers are supposed to try and “attract” potential interest aren’t they, as opposed to putting off customers before they even become customers! It is a known fact that the majority of pop-ups are not even seen by site users anyway, as most people just see them as annoying little windows and close them before they have even fully loaded. As I am typing this opinion into Word, I have simultaneously opened another dooyoo window in the background, and the pop-up has interrupted my typing by appearing over the Word document – thus leaving me with th
          e usual situation of typing into nothing before I actually look up and see that my cursor is not actually in the Word document at all. Just an added whinge there ;-) And it’s not only the pop-up which is advertising this website either, there is also a banner strip down the right hand side of every main page in dooyoo promoting the exact same site. Is the pop-up then really necessary?? I think I am right in saying that the majority of dooyooers find it intrusive, and perhaps the fact that a website exists called “Pop-ups Must Die” (and no it’s not my site!) says it all. Also, pop-ups are featured at Number Ten in the “Top Ten New Mistakes of Web Design” on www.zdnet.com (amongst others) so I’m guessing it’s not a good idea all round. I understand that dooyoo has to fund our opinion writing and exist somehow, and it is not this which I am criticising, however, I *am* criticising the method of the advertising as I think it is producing negative effects for dooyoo and its users. I have been writing on this site on and off since last July, and as a result of these pop-ups alone I am beginning to find looking for helpful reviews unbearable. I have no problem with the majority of banners, as I find them in the main, colourful and linking to useful companies. It is simply beginning to irritate me a little too much when I find my entire taskbar is loaded with “COI Internet Explorer” minimised windows, after only a couple of clicks. Please oh please, here I am pleading again in this category, remove these pop-ups, or my dooyoo addiction will have finally found a cure. Hey, maybe this is helpful after all!

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          • Rushmore (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 44 Ratings
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            26.02.2001 01:09
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            Well, now I've reviewed the film, I thought I'd let you know what I think of the DVD. Here goes: A good film, but no DVD extras! I bought this film on DVD, but I may as well have got the video and saved some money, being as there is nothing extra other than a chapter list. Thanks to a helpful comment, I’d advice buyers to get the Region 1 version of the film (provided you can play it that is), as the list of extras is huge! Starring: Jason Schwartzman as Max Fischer Bill Murray as Herman Blume Olivia Williams as Miss Rosemary Cross Background (for more detail, read my opinion on the film): Rushmore is the name of the private school, which Max Fischer (played excellently by Jason Schwartzman) attends. He is not doing well academically however, as he spends all his time on extra-curricular activities. He meets and befriends steel-tycoon Herman Blume (Bill Murray) and falls in love with 1st grade teacher Miss Rosemary Cross, who is a widow. Max engages the help of Blume to win over Rosemary by building a huge outdoor aquarium, but she tells Max that she is too old for him. Max is forced to leave Rushmore and attend a High School, where he seems to fit in surprisingly well – and begins his extra-curricular activity planning all over again. However, he meets someone his own age, and perhaps his female equal in a way, Margaret Yang, with whom he forms the kite flying society. Funny moments, especially with Max’s ridiculous ideas, but nothing really “laugh out loud”. The DVD has few extra features. The “Interactive Menus” basically consist of one menu, Scene Access (Chapter Selection) and various Subtitle Selections. It is presented in Widescreen 2.35:1, rated 15, and has a run length of approximately 89 minutes. The general description on the film on the DVD case is as follows: - Theme/contents: Comedy, romance (Max and Herman Blu
            me both fall for Miss Cross, Max’s activities and general attitude to life generally cause the humour). - Bad Language: Occasional, strong (Usually appearing as insults from Max’s peers at school). - Sex/nudity: Some moderate references (Nothing significant that I can remember except perhaps during an argument with one of his peers). - Violence: Some, mild (Children’s stuff really, throwing rocks etc..). On the opening menu screen, there are choices for Chapter Selection, Set-up and to Play. There are no special features other than the chapter section, which you get on virtually every DVD. I think there could have been some good extra features included here, but alas there are none. A small red arrow allows you to move between the areas. In Chapter Selection you can choose chapters 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, 23-26, 17-19 or back to the main menu. In Set-up you can choose the language you want – English in Dolby Digital 5:1, or Czech (if you should so want it) in Dolby Surround. There are also subtitles language choices including Italian, Portuguese, Hebrew, Greek, Icelandic, Croatian, Polish, and English for the hearing impaired. You can access the main screen again from both of these screens. All in all, Rushmore is one of those undiscovered films, which pass so many people by. It is admittedly an unusual film, but Jason Schwartzman is just so perfect for the part of Max Fischer. An enjoyable and extraordinary film, but I’d only recommend buying the DVD if you are a fan of the format as opposed to films in general, as there are no extra features other than a chapter selection. UPDATE Region 1 version: ----------------------------- Thanks to a helpful comment (MykReeve :-)), and seeing as the extras on the Region 1 DVD are non-existent, I have decided to include the Region 1 DVD extras as well (of which there are MANY!) So we can all see how far behind R2 i
            s with extras on most DVDs! Here is a short list of some of the R1 DVD extras for Rushmore, for a more detailed summary, see the link provided in the comments section for this review, or better still here it is: http://www.criterionco.com/Pages/9.html There is an audio commentary by director Wes Anderson, co-writer Owen Wilson, and actor Jason Schwartzman (Max Fischer). There is also an interesting sounding “The Making of Rushmore: An exclusive behind-the-scenes documentary”, a TV appearance by Wes Anderson and Bill Murray, and some hand-drawn storyboards by the director. There’s also a film-to-storyboard comparison (much like the one on the Ghostbusters R1 DVD I’d imagine), and some cast audition footage. There’s a theatrical trailer enhanced for Widescreen, and a special poster insert, featuring a map of Rushmore’s key events. Lastly, and what appeals to me the most, there is “The Max Fischer Players Present” which is a series of theatrical adaptations of Armageddon, The Truman Show, and Out of Sight” staged apparently especially for the 1999 MTV Movie Awards. I think I’m going to have to sell my Region 2 copy and buy a region 1, even if just for that last feature.

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            • marilynmonroe.com / Internet Site / 1 Reading / 54 Ratings
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              25.02.2001 05:52
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              N.B I gave this site a chance, but I didn’t think it was very comprehensive at all for an official site The Marilyn Monroe website opens with a splash of colour. A scarlet background displays Marilyn reclining in a typical photo-shoot pose. The options are clearly presented in white on black: Biography, Films, Photo Gallery, Marilyn’s Favourites, Quotes, Fan Club, Store, Licensing Info. There also exists a search facility. The site can be viewed in English, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese or Chinese, but my Portuguese/Spanish/Japanese/Chinese skills being a little rusty ;-) I decided to review the English site. Also, the fan club area and the store are in English only. General Every page helpfully features the menu bar at the top, so you can easily navigate between areas of the site. Throughout the site there are various (and numerous) links to purchasing information, which instinctively begins to annoy me, despite the fact that I should be glad Marilyn’s work is so freely (or rather, at a cost) available. There’s “Buy this art print at AllPosters.com”, “Click here to purchase a “Marilyn Monroe Limited Edition Doll”” – well, at least they are relevant adverts I suppose. There are links to other websites such as Amazon and websites of other classic stars such as Jean Harlow and Tyrone Power, which are owned by the CMG group (of which this is one). Biography The Biography section provides a short background to the life of Norma Jeane Baker, or Norma Jeane Mortenson from her birth in Los Angeles California on the 1st of June 1926, to her death between the 4th and 5th of August 1962. It describes her childhood, living with several different families, as her mother suffered from mental problems and she never knew her father. At 16 she married Jimmy Dougherty, her first older man of many, they then divorced four years later. In 1944 she launc
              hed her modelling career, after being spotted demonstrating women’s contribution to the war effort, and in 1946 signed a contract with 20th Century Fox – her first film was to be The Shocking Miss Pilgrim the following year. She continued playing quite trivial roles until John Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle, and All About Eve both in 1950. 1954 saw Monroe marry the baseball star Joe DiMaggio, again divorcing, only this time within nine months. In 1956, she began studying with the famous Lee Strasberg at the New York Actor’s Studio, also launching “Marilyn Monroe Productions” which produced Bus Stop and The Prince and the Showgirl with Sir Laurence Olivier. That same year, Marilyn married again, this time to playwright Arthur Miller, who wrote The Misfits for her. Again, this marriage ended in divorce in 1961. In 1962 she died in her home in California, leaving 30 films, and one unfinished movie Something’s Got to Give. This section also gives her measurements, as given by both the Studios and her dressmaker. Films This section lists Marilyn’s filmography dating from her first film in 1947 to her last, unfinished film in 1962, and the names of the characters she played. It also gives links to video availability of the films on amazon.com. There is also a link to another area of the site where the special edition videos of her films are available to buy (from amazon.com of course). Not particularly impressive or informative, as there is no information about specific films, it is more like a shop than an information resource. Photo Gallery Eighteen pictures are featured, which are clickable and can be enlarged, however, they do not enlarge *that* much bigger than the existing one, so it’s not really worth it. There are some nice ones though, especially of her in her younger days. Marilyn’s Favourites This section is self-explanatory. It
              simply describes some of Marilyn’s favourite things – her favourite colours (beige, black, white and red apparently), actors, singers, perfume, restaurant etc. There are some well-known facts here, and also some unusual ones. Quotes There are some good quotes from Marilyn here, but the page could perhaps have done with some illustrations here and there. It is all text, and not broken up in anyway other than highlighted quotes. Fan Club This section provides a short explanation of what joining the fan club entails, and a link to join up. By joining the fan club you are promised: - A Confirmation letter after joining - Marilyn Monroe Biography - CMG newsletters (the company who run the site, as well as some of the other fan sites I mentioned) - Message Board - News and links about MM - Ability to purchase latest merchandise - Information about upcoming features about MM on TV - In-depth trivia - Monthly contests - Birthday email It is a free club to join, so you’ve got nothing to lose. I did however, attempt to sign up, but there seemed to be problems with the site at the time, and also, the registration form is set up for US fans. Even though there is a “country” option, the postcode box only allows for 5 entries (and the majority of post codes in the UK are 6 or 7 entries!). The entry for birth date is also set up in the American format (i.e. month first and then day and year, as opposed to how we do it in the UK – day, month, year). Store Clicking on “store” will open another window, which is the company store (i.e. CMG). Here you can buy t-shirts, posters, mugs, videos, a “dress-up magnet set” whatever that is, an alarm clock, a CD etc. I was not very impressed with this section at all. The shop was confusing, when I clicked on an item for more information, it came up with a completely different pro
              duct, and that seemed to be forever “temporarily out of stock”. There also seemed to be nowhere to actually order your goods – as I could see no signs of payment types accepted. All I managed to find was “quantity 1” and “shopping cart”. All I can think is that this “shop” is not finished yet, although I saw no “under construction” indications on the site. Licensing Info Who to contact if you want to use images etc.. of Marilyn Monroe. Now, in addition to the menu choices in the bar at the top of each page, there are other choices partially hidden in the small links at the bottom of the screen. Here you will find the existing menu choices, as well as links to order MM products, a FAQ, and “Marilyn’s Eulogy” – written by acting coach Lee Strasberg – a nice read for a fan. Awards: The USA Today “Hot Site” award on 26th of April 2000 Celebrity Site of the Day on 18th of April 2000 (http://www.csotd.com/) Although I’m not entirely sure what the criteria for these awards is. Conclusion I have given this site the benefit of the doubt, and explained all its features in full, as you can see above, but I am frankly disappointed in its content, being as this is supposed to be the “official” site. This site is the reason unofficial sites start up in the first place. The site is more of an overview of Marilyn’s life and work rather than anything in detail. If you are looking for more detailed information, it would probably be advisable to try a fan site, however, these are not always as accurate as they could be. It is more of a micro-site produced by a business than a thorough fan site produced by someone who has a deep appreciation of the artist. I was very disappointed with this site, especially since CMG Worldwide, the company who run the site, is apparently t
              he exclusive business and licensing representative for the Estate of Marilyn Monroe. The opportunity to establish a comprehensive website has been squandered in order to provide a very brief overview, and the chance for profit – which I doubt they will make if the shop continues in the state it is currently in. I’m not entirely sure why this site has won awards, other than its existing yet brief content is clear and can be easily navigated. Basically, you could get the same information from Amazon.com as there is on this site. According to the Internet Movie Database, the official site for Marilyn Monroe is the Fox Home Video site: http://www.foxhome.com/marilyn/ and not this site, but this is even worse as far as I can see. I would recommend checking out http://www.glamournet.com/legends/Marilyn/, or for a comprehensive list of Marilyn-related sites, try: http://www.celebritywonder.com/html/marilynmonroe_fansite1.html

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              • Rushmore (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 25 Ratings
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                23.02.2001 22:33
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                Starring: Jason Schwartzman as Max Fischer Bill Murray as Herman Blume Olivia Williams as Miss Rosemary Cross The Story: Max is a tenth grade student at the prestigious Rushmore Academy, where he presides over virtually every extra curricular activity that exists, and if it doesn’t, he starts a new club or society. He is president of the bee-keeping society, involved in Chess, Latin, Fencing, Kite Flying, Wrestling, Dramatics, and the list goes on. The huge flaw of course in this excessive undertaking of non-academic activities, is that his studies are suffering, and he is under threat of expulsion (he eventually moves to Grover Cleveland High School – a very different experience from that at Rushmore). So much older than his years, Max is an organiser, and has big plans, but somewhere along the way, these plans have missed out his own academic education. Herman Blume appears on the scene, a Steel tycoon and father of the twins, two of Max’s peers at school. Blume likes Max’s attitude to life, and takes him under his wing, eventually lending him a ridiculous amount of money to build an enormous outdoor aquarium to impress new 1st grade teacher and recent widow, Miss Rosemary Cross. Max is smitten with her, and tries to impress her by building this million-dollar aquarium in her honour, and trying to out-do her dead husband Edward Appleby. Another example of Max seeming older than is he, is the fact that he never seems to consider his age. He never stops to think Miss Cross is too old for him, and he becomes close friends with a man in his forties. Rosemary Cross: “Max, has it ever occurred to you that you're far too young for me?'” Max’s mother is dead, and he finds this in common with the fact that Rosemary has lost her husband. Max lies about his home life too, informing Mr Blume when asked, that his father is a brain surgeon, when he is in fac
                t a barber (connected I guess, but very loosely) The funniest moment is probably Max’s direction of the two plays (performed by the “Max Fischer Players”, one of which is Serpico, featuring a cast of private school boys. It’s attentions to detail, including an actual miniature train passing the window of an apartment on stage, proves Max’s creativity and determination to achieve success for his cause. His second play, “Heaven and Hell” is a mix of references to Apocalypse Now, and is a fantastic creation complete with real bombs and miniature helicopters on stage. The Soundtrack: The soundtrack is undoubtedly one of the best I have ever heard. Not only does it feature some great music from the sixties, but also has an amazing score by Mark Mothersbaugh, who is known for his work composing film soundtracks (200 Cigarettes, Drop Dead Gorgeous etc..) and also as having been the lead singer of 70s band Devo. If you were to buy the soundtrack separately, I would recommend it HIGHLY, as it offers a combination of original score music, as well as songs from the film. 1. Hardest Geometry Problem in the World - Mark Mothersbaugh 2. Making Time - Creation 3. Concrete & Clay - Unit 4 + 2 4. Nothing In This World Can Stop Me Worrin' Bout That Girl - The Kinks 5. Sharp Little Guy - Mark Mothersbaugh 6. The Lad With the Silver Button - Mark Mothersbaugh 7. A Summer Song - Chad & Jeremy 8. Edward Appleby (In Memoriam) - Mark Mothersbaugh 9. Here Comes My Baby - Cat Stevens 10. A Quick One While He's Away - The Who 11. 'Snowflake Music' From Bottlerocket - Mark Mothersbaugh 12. Piranhas are a Very Tricky Species - Mark Mothersbaugh 13. Blinuet - Zoot Sims 14. Friends Like You, Who Needs Friends - Mark Mothersbaugh 15. Rue St. Vincent - Yves Montand 16. Kite Flying Society - Mark Mothersbaugh 17. The Wind - Cat
                Stevens 18. Oh Yoko - John Lennon 19. Ooh La La - The Faces 20. Margaret Yang's Theme - Mark Mothersbaugh It’s got everything – a little bit of jazz, a French crooner, some sixties bigguns, and a terrific original score. The only two other major tracks not featured on the soundtrack to buy are Jersey Thursday by Donovan, and I Am Waiting by The Rolling Stones – two fantastic tracks. Rushmore was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1999 (Bill Murray, Best Supporting Actor) and won the Independent Spirit Award also in 1999 (Best Director (Wes Anderson), Best Supporting Male (Bill Murray)). Trivia: Apparently, director Wes Anderson and Jason Schwartzman went on the road to promote the film, driving across the US in a big yellow bus with “Rushmore” painted on the side. You have to admit, it would certainly get you noticed – the bus obviously wasn’t yellow enough! For some more Rushmore-related info check out: http://www.mitcharf.com/~mitcharf/movies/rushmore/ and associated links. It's a bit out of date, but useful nevertheless.

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                • Trigger Happy TV / TV Programme / 0 Readings / 46 Ratings
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                  22.02.2001 20:49
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                  First shown on Channel 4 at the beginning of 2000, Trigger Happy TV has exploded into something huge (and I’m talking “fat-men” sized proportions). Created by writer-producer Dom Joly and Director Sam Cadman, THTV was born out of a number of sketches first performed on the Paramount Comedy channel. Joly plays the straight man, in an on-screen team of one. He manages to stay straight-faced through some of the most hysterically funny sketches, and I have absolutely no idea how he does it, short of biting his tongue repeatedly, or visualising his own funeral or something. The sketches are basically like candid camera, with Dom making a fool out of himself, and relying on the tolerance of the British public for much of it. Dom Joly is master of the art of showing the British are willing to put up with *anything*, and are more than likely unwilling to get involved in “a situation”, than to intervene. Old people in the park are questioned about setting off fireworks, graffiti and pushing people in the lake, and are all quite good-natured about it. In the “Don’t Trust This Man” sketch, Dom stands under an enormous picture of himself saying “Don’t Trust This Man” with an arrow pointing to him. Laughably no one seems to notice, and even when he explains to one bloke that he is saving to put on a play, the guy actually gives him some money despite the huge sign above him! The Bull in the China Shop sketch – oh my god! It may sound petty, but this was the sketch the made me laugh the hardest. It only lasted about 30 seconds, but I was reduced to a ridiculous laughing/crying wreck. The tears literally poured down my face, and I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. Admittedly it’s not *that* funny, and there are far better designed sketches than this, but it is just the simplicity of it which I found so amusing, and it still brings me a smirk just to think of it. My sp
                  ecial favourite on the Series One DVD is the “DVD Extra minute of footage”, which features Dom Joly sat in a deck chair doing nothing for a minute, until the screen fades to black. I’m not entirely sure how long he’ll be able to keep producing new material, as just too many people are starting to recognise him, especially in London. However, there are of course always the American tourists and the old people, his usual victims, who will probably not have yet cottoned on to his “Jollities”. Here is a list of just some of the funny sketches featured: - The caricature artist who always abandons his work and runs off leaving a message for his unsuspecting models. - The “Don’t trust this man” sketch. - The burglar who asks people if he can “borrow their ladder cos his grandma…er dad is in the house, and he needs to get in to get some sweeties” - The foreign tourist “I vant to empty my bottom” - The park ranger – to old people: “I have had reports of someone of your description setting off fireworks in the park” - The park keeper – who has a penchant for eating the songbirds in the park. - The Boy Scout – who needs to have his “dance”, marked out of 10, by old people in the park - The bull in a china shop – who is “just browsing” -Two people dressed up as furry dogs - one beats the other one up, none of the passers by do anything to intervene. -The traffic warden – hails a taxi, and then tries to do him for parking on a yellow line - The squirrels – attack innocent picnickers - The interviewer – Dom interviews various celebrities and manages to run off mid-interview every time, featuring Alice Cooper, Jason Donovan, Ian Botham, Patrick Moore, Irwin Welsh etc… - Snail/stuffed dog crossing on a pedestrian crossing – painfu
                  lly slow progress of the snail/ the stuffed dog just will not move. - The miniature house – Dom even calls for a chimney sweep to his Wendy house. - The fat men – squeezing into telephone boxes, down alleyways, and into lifts. - The man in the lift – who eats his dinner, is on the toilet, and so on - Enormous Mobile Phone man – who has a nokia ringtone which shatters the eardrum, and insists upon shouting into it whilst jogging/ in Amsterdam/ in the library/ at the theatre/ in an art gallery and so on. “Hello?! Yeah, yeah! I’m in an art gallery. Yeah, yeah, it’s crap. What? Ciao!” - Chelsea Pensioner – Dom as a withered and bent over Chelsea Pensioner, walking painstakingly slowly across a pedestrian crossing, so much so that he is given assistance by a motorcyclist, and once across the crossing, jogs off and gets on a bicycle. - The phone box/nun/doctor – Bizarre sketch where a man goes into a phone box and gets more than he bargained for. - Ski-skool – Dom with broken bones, offering ski-tuition - Spy man – looking through newspapers with eye holes cut out, wearing a beige mack, dark glasses, and a hat, and going up to strangers with a briefcase and saying “You are grey squirrel?” - 100th Toilet customer – A woman is rewarded for the well-timed efforts of her bladder - Bowling/Golfing/Long Jump coach – who always runs away - Man playing the bagpipes badly/Opera singing badly to tourists - Man with the big pram (in a mock “the Odessa Steps” sketch – apologies for the deep filmic reference – it’s “Battleship Potemkin” for anyone who doesn’t know, or is not as sad as me ;-)), and the ape – members of the public always seem to intervene when there is a baby involved, but otherwise, no – strange that. - Dutch tourist – “I have four
                  syringes for dis purpose” - Old sea-dog “I lost my wife out there” - The man with the massive wig – he sits in front of people in the cinema so they can’t see over his hair. Don’t worry, there’s more I assure you. Another one I’ve not mentioned in the list is the sketch with the American tourists in Belgium (if I remember rightly), whereby Dom takes them on his “special tour” in a horse and cart around the city – involving them driving round and round the square, with Dom pointing out “the vindows” at every available opportunity. It is the persistence of the driving round in circles, and the repetition, which really makes this sketch. Hysterical, watch it! DVD Extras: The funniest bits perhaps are those before Trigger Happy TV, on the DVD in a section entitled “Comedy Lab” - especially those in conjunction with Peter Mandleson, before he was as famous. Some of these are hysterical – like building a huge fake bronze statue to him outside the houses of parliament and worshiping it, putting a miniature dome in his front garden and following him around with devil masks on, praising him as “Mandy, The Prince of Darkness”. Other early funnies include the “Teddy Bear Rights”, whereby, a man dressed as a Teddy Bear stood for parliament in Kensington and Chelsea, and brought all his teddy bear supporters with him, demanding “Honey for all” from the Lib Dems. There was also Michael Portillo’s Mexican relatives (or claiming to be), or appeared at every opportunity to support him, wearing large sombreros. Soundtrack: The soundtrack is undoubtedly a key feature in making these sketches work, although they are of course hysterically funny on their own. It deserves a big mention, particularly Connection by Elastica, which is the title track of the programme. Series One contai
                  ns some classics with the likes of “1985” by Wings (used in the Fat man sketch), “Drifting Away” by Faithless (used in the Spy sketches), and “Dr Baker” by The Beta Band (used in sketches such as the Chelsea Pensioner). For the complete list of the soundtrack music used in the whole of Series One, check out: http://www.triggerhappytv.com/frames.htm and go to “Soundtrack”. Check out: http://www.triggerhappytv.com for more info. If you go on the site, you can download humorous answer phone messages, such as “The Big Mobile Phone Guy”, “The Dutch Tourist” and “The Old Sea Dog”. You can also download screensavers, and take the “Fighting Dog Challenge” one that I have yet to pursue. The Video and DVD of Series One are available now, rated 15. Series Two is currently airing on E4. P.S I thought I’d put this review in the Trigger Happy TV programme section as opposed to the specific TV DVD section, as I think it’s a bit too descriptive of the prog to go in there. Hope the DVD bits I’ve included prompt you to want to have a look; it’s worth it I assure you.

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                  • Beetlejuice (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 35 Ratings
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                    21.02.2001 08:50
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                    A gothic film, but with a kind of “David Lynch” look at small-town normality at the beginning – Barbara and Adam (Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin) live in a pretty “nicely” decorated little world, where they know everyone in the town, and have a happy marriage. But, as usual, this doesn’t last for long… Synopsis: Barbara and Adam Maitland are a happily married couple living in Smallsville USA, when they have an unfortunate accident in their car, and drown. They do however, seem to have survived, and wander back to their house. It is only then when they realise that they are in fact dead, and consequently cannot pick anything up, or be seen or heard. They go up to the attic, and are somehow trapped there, finding a manual entitled: “The Handbook for the Recently Deceased”. They are then unable to leave the house, lest the “Giant Sand Worms” will get them (I’m sure I’ve had dreams like that). Sometime after this, their house is put up for sale, and a new family moves in, whilst the Maitlands are still living there (and still wearing the same clothes as they did when they died). The new family, The Deitz’s - comprised of the mother Delia, a self-proclaimed socialite, sculptor and a vulgar choice in decorating, father Charles, who opts for peace and harmony every time, and daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder), who is death-obsessed, and frequently dresses in mourning. The Maitlands manage to form a friendship from the Netherworld with Lydia and engage her help in removing her family from their house. They do however, make the mistake of also asking the infamous Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton) for help, a bizarre character who is a parody of himself. They are warned against this by “Juno” their agent of sorts in the Netherworld, who is played by Silvia Sydney – off-screen, a veteran in the film world. She plays a chain-smoker who blows smoke through her
                    slit throat in the afterlife, ironically dying in real life from throat cancer. Michael Keaton is brilliant as Betelgeuse (a "bio-exorcist"), with his slurring, vulgar dialogue and his quick movements – including celebrated head spinning sequences. Keaton himself developed much of the character, and he and Burton spent many days working on it, trying on different costumes etc… Betelgeuse eventually becomes obsessed with Lydia, and attempts to make a deal with the Maitlands over her, which includes some pretty scary special effects. I won’t of course tell you the ending, but I will say that it involves a man with an extremely small head. Winona Ryder plays yet another character I used to want to be in real life (is there a trend forming here?) Lydia Deitz is darkly interesting, wears a large black hat as if at a funeral, and takes photographs of ghosts. Lydia: “My life is a dark room. One big dark room.” “I myself am... strange and unusual.” She has a unique connection with the underworld, enabling Barbara and Adam to speak to her, but not be seen. Ryder was also not that well known as a film actress at this stage, so she makes for an interesting view. Jeffrey Jones – who I know best as Ed Rooney Dean of Students in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and who has also appeared in other Tim Burton movies, such as Ed Wood, plays Lydia’s peace-loving father, who is forced to take a back seat when his wife takes over the organisation of their new house. The reason I probably like this film above some others, is that 1) it is directed by Tim Burton, and 2) this inevitably indicates that it will be a little on the weird side, almost certainly gothic in appearance, and contains some fantastic shots and animation. Burton also likes to “reuse” his actors; Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Jeffrey Jones, and Michael Keaton have all appeared several times in his
                    films, all playing suitably weird and wonderful parts. With having Geena Davis in it, some of the film also reminds me a little of Earth Girls are Easy, especially when Barbara and Adam are “on the other side”. It has that oddness yet normality about it – there are football teams and office-workers being transported by “wire” (i.e. pegged to it) but, they don’t look distressed in any way, and no one seems to notice. There are also fantastic special effects, especially in the miniature town, which Betelgeuse inhabits, and in the afterlife. I think it is the general unexpectedness of everything in this film, which makes it so successful, as well as the originality of costume, plot and scenery. The audience is constantly made to “jump”, because they could never expect what happens next will happen. It is the bizarre and the unusual, which Tim Burton thrives on focusing on. Some of his other films; The Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman, Ed Wood, Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow have all been darkly fantastic, and weird. The sets have always been spectacular, and the storylines a little out of the ordinary. Beetlejuice is no exception. The costumes are also amazing, especially Winona Ryder’s red wedding dress! (I want one, I do!) Delia Deitz’s (the mother, played by Catherine O’Hara) sculptures are absolutely fantastic. They also provide the opportunity for Burton to have a go at the pretentious New York art scene. The character of Delia is also fascinating, and portrays another feature of Burton’s movies; no matter how small the character, they are always significant, and original. I’m not saying that Delia’s character is insignificant, not at all, in fact, it is her very sculptures which add to the nightmarish quality of much of the ghostly goings on, as Barbara and Adam attempt to flush The Deitz’s out of their house (with the aid of Betelgeuse of course). Li
                    ke a kind of reverse Ghostbusters, Betelgeuse works in the field of removing humans from houses, as opposed to ghosts, and the ghosts are his clients as opposed to the humans. Soundtrack: The soundtrack is great if you like instrumental "soundtrack" music(I actually bought it). It is mostly comprised of fantastic instrumental music written by Danny Elfman (see Batman), as well as Harry Belafonte singing two numbers: “Day-O” and "Jump in the Line (Shake Shake Senora)". Danny Elfman has composed the original score music on the majority of Tim Burton’s films, including Edward Scissorhands, Batman, Batman Returns, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sleepy Hollow, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, and Mars Attacks! The film was also followed by an animated cartoon series, some years later, which mainly revolved around the relationship between Lydia Deitz (Winona Ryder) and Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton). Incidentally, I remember seeing one of the character actors at Disney World many years ago, who was dressed up as Betelgeuse, and bore an astounding resemblance. One of the best scenes is during one of Delia’s dinner parties, where the Maitlands manage to possess the guests, one of whom is Otho, Delia’s decorator played by Glenn Shadix (who I remember a year later, as playing the priest in Heathers – also starring Winona Ryder – sorry if I’m getting a little deep in movie references here). Harry Belafonte’s voice and music is also a terrific addition to the atmosphere here. An alternative title for the film had been “Scared Sheetless”! Thank goodness they abandoned that one eh?! At one point there was also rumour of a sequel “Beetlejuice in Love”, but I think the film should be left in it’s entirety, and not be continued. It is complete, funny and scary enough as it is, besides, the sequel went out of the window anyway, phew!
                    If you just can’t get enough of this film, check out The Webpage for the Recently Deceased at: http://members.home.net/beetlejuice/ it’s a must. Lastly, any film that can feature characters credited as “3-Fingered Typist” and “Roadkill Man” is okay in my books ;-) Beetlejuice is available on DVD and video.

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                    • Night On Earth (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 24 Ratings
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                      20.02.2001 06:30
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                      Directed by one of my personal favourites, Jim Jarmusch, Night on Earth is a film of many parts and locations. Set in five different places around the globe (Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Rome, and Helsinki) on one night, the film features five different taxi journeys and focuses on the relationships between the respective driver and their passenger/s. The film begins in Los Angeles with Winona Ryder as a chain-smoking cab driver, who picks up casting agent Victoria Snelling played by Gena Rowlands (wife of director John Cassavetes). Rowlands tries to convince Ryder than she could perhaps have a career in the movies, but she is only interested in driving her taxi. The mother-daughter type relationship that is played out is very interesting. In New York, an East German refugee (Armin Mueller-Stahl) is learning on the job driving his taxi and trying to find Brooklyn in the dark. This story is probably the closest to most people’s idea of a classic Jarmusch situation - especially when he picks up a semi-hysterical man, who winds up taking over the wheel and rendering his driver a passenger. Later on, the passenger’s completely hysterical sister-in-law appears played irritatingly well by Rosie Perez. This is probably the funniest segment of the film, especially when the driver and passenger discover each other’s names: Helmut and Yo-Yo. In Paris, Beatrice Dalle (probably best known for “Betty Blue”) is a blind woman who is picked up by an Ivory Coast cabby after he drops off his previous fare of a couple of annoying African diplomats. Dalle’s character is obsessive in attempting to demonstrate that she can cope on her own despite her blindness, and her driver is fascinated by what she does to get by; making love, recognising colour, putting make-up on etc… "I can do everything you can do," she says. "Can you drive?" he asks. "Can you?" she shoots back. Driver: Don't bl
                      ind people usually wear dark glasses? Blind Woman: Do they? I've never seen a blind person. Next is the drive around Rome, featuring a mouthy Roman driver (Roberto Benigni, a favourite choice of the director’s) and a tired-out priest. The driver insists upon describing his own sexual peculiarities to the priest who just happens to be having a heart attack in the back seat. Included in these are his confessions of guilt of his adolescent love for Lola the sheep and his sexual preference for pumpkins (interesting!) Benigni’s monologue is certainly original, as he zooms through the nighttime streets of Rome. Little bit of Trivia: The Roman taxi driver (Roberto Benigni) has an 8-ball as a gear stick knob. In Down by Law (another Jarmusch film), Benigni played a character who killed a man using an 8-ball. Helsinki features a taxi driver yet again, and his three drunken passengers, whose faces are familiar from the film "Leningrad Cowboys Go America” – an absolute classic! This is definitely the saddest of the five stories, as the driver discovers what a bad day his passenger has had, and then presents his own woeful tale. The film was made for $3.5 million and won the Independent Spirit Award in 1993 for best Cinematography. Night on Earth might not be the most uplifting film, or the funniest or have the best plot in the world, but it gives you a strange, almost otherworldly feeling as you are watching it, as if you are out there in the world that night, in all those different cities with the characters. The characters too may not be the most endearing in the world, but they are watchable, even funny especially in the New York story, Beatrice Dalle’s character, and Winona Ryder’s to some extent at the beginning. Although none of the characters in the separate cities ever meet, the night, and the earth, and the fact they are driven/driving around in taxis connects them. The va
                      rious cityscapes are very different, especially the European contrasted with the American, and it’s easy to see why the Cinematography won an award. The film also features a brilliant soundtrack by Tom Waits. In general, the characters (passengers and drivers) are all unusual people (“Jarmusch characters” you might say), detached from normal life for that night. If you’re looking for warmth and belly laugh humour in a film, I wouldn’t particularly recommend this film. However, if you’re looking for something interesting and non-mainstream, a little of the alternative, and some beautifully shot film then look no further. I wouldn’t say this was Jarmusch’s best film to date, far from it, but I think that is largely due to the disconnected nature of the movie (i.e. set in five different places with different characters in each, not interacting). The audience cannot identify with and follow the characters throughout the movie, as after the particular city segment is over, the characters do not re-appear. The three European segments are also in their respective languages; French, Italian and Finnish, so subtitles are the order of the day after New York (although you may feel you need subtitles sometimes with a New Yorker ;-)) Currently available on video.

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                      • Piccadilly Line / Transport National / 2 Readings / 33 Ratings
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                        20.02.2001 05:13
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                        Aka "The joys of travelling by vacuum-packed cattle train" Firstly, my advice is, if you possibly can, avoid it at all cost if you are travelling particularly long distances, unless you actually get on at Heathrow. I used to commute regularly on the Piccadilly Line from West London right across to the other side, but cunningly I have found an alternative route, and boy am I glad. It might be the best known line in London, but that is probably due to it linking directly with Heathrow Airport. Basically, the Piccadilly line is touristsville, not many people speak English, and it is always absolutely ridiculously crowded. People get their hands and feet stuck in the doors because of the overcrowding, thus slowing the train departure up even more, and this is at one train every minute-two minutes on average. It seems that there is nothing to be done, no more trains can possibly fit on the tracks, as they are certainly frequent most of the time, but every single one that arrives gives those of us on the platform a deep-seated feeling of despair, as sure enough, the great underground worm winds it’s way towards the end of the platform absolutely chocked full of tourists and commuters. My only suggestion is to have a specific train for tourists travelling to and from Heathrow Airport, there already exists the Heathrow Express, but at around £15 a ticket, it can prove a bit on the expensive side. It is however a very enjoyable way to travel, with onboard televisions and plenty of room. We travelled on it between Heathrow terminals 1-3 and 4, where it is free, it only becomes costly when you travel the full distance to Paddington, where it may only take 15 minutes, but it is effectively a pound a minute - a worrying thought. Still, I’m almost tempted to say *anything’s* better than travelling long distance by Piccadilly line. I’ll have to admit though, that it is a very handy line once in the centre o
                        f London, you hop on and off if you have a travel card between Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus, or Covent Garden and Knightsbridge, and there are plenty of links to other lines along the way, the District line virtually runs alongside it for some of the way coming in from West London – Earls Court etc.. On top of all this, and despite there being X million more people travelling by tube than a couple of years ago, and the service is obviously not being improved, the ticket prices are still going up. A one-day travel card (all zones) has now gone up to £4.90 for an adult. Although this is a very useful little card to have, being that you can easily travel pretty much anywhere you want in London, be it on the tube, bus, train or the Docklands Light Railway, at nearly 5 quid a day, it can prove very expensive (considering my old student pass in Sheffield was about that a week!). The other thing about the Piccadilly line is it’s two branches. I may have bashed the fact that it carries mainly tourists from Heathrow, but this is not altogether true. There is another branch of the line which heads West, going to Rayner’s Lane and Uxbridge. The services on this branch are of course less frequent than to Heathrow as there are fewer people travelling there. My advice to non-tourists travelling back west and needing to get to Heathrow is to catch a train in central London bound for Rayner’s Lane or some where on that branch, and change at Acton Town (where the branches meet on their way into London). This means that you are more likely to get a seat for most of the journey when travelling home, and you’ll probably at least only have to stand for half your journey (from Acton Town towards Heathrow), providing everyone else doesn’t have the same idea that is! I have, however, waited considerable amounts of time before (anything up to 25 minutes! Off-peak) at Acton Town for a Rayner’s Lane or Ux
                        bridge train. If you are wanting to get to Uxbridge at busy times, it is probably more advisable to get a Piccadilly Line to Rayner’s Lane, and then change for a Metropolitan line which runs parallel to the Piccadilly Line from Rayner’s Lane to Uxbridge. Uxbridge-bound trains don’t usually run at peak times. Despite all my “Piccadilly-Bashing” I have to admit to have been using this line for many many years, as it has always been the closest line to where I’ve lived when in London. It can take a long time to get in to London however, and the over-ground can beat it sometimes by almost half an hour. Alright, I’ll admit it, that’s my alternative route, but don’t all go travelling by train now, as we’ll have the same problem all over again (and it’s getting pretty bad already). Getting back to my possible solution to the over-crowding. I think there should be specific trains for tourists travelling to Heathrow and back, or else, they should not be allowed to travel during peak commuter times. There is obviously no space for another line to be built, although this would be the ideal solution, so this is the only other suggestion I have. Although, I recently heard that apparently there runs a secret underground line for the Royal Mail only, which no one seems to know about, although I can’t confirm this, maybe someone out there knows? Take the Piccadilly line by all means when you are already in Central London, everyone seems to get off at Green Park anyway, as this is where you can change for the Victoria line, but I wouldn’t advise travelling a long way on it, especially at peak times. There’s still far too many people using it, the service is not improved, ticket prices have gone up, but it’s a handy route for tourist sightseeing. South Kensington and Knightsbridge for Harrods, Science Museum, Natural History Museum and V&A, King’s Cross, for trai
                        ns North, and St. Pancras, Covent Garden, Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus for shopping, and so on. Personally though, I think the hotels in Heathrow and Central London should have to pay something towards the ol’ Piccadilly Line, if they are not transporting their customers via any other means of transport. Fingers crossed they don't start hoisting commuters on to the roof! Enjoy the squash!

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                        • Reality Bites (DVD) / DVD / 2 Readings / 30 Ratings
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                          19.02.2001 05:43
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                          I have seen this film countless times, and I *still* keep watching it over. I guess it’s the whole “graduates out in the real world” thing that must appeal to me or something (that and Ethan Hawke of course). It’s not exactly running for best film in the world, but it has a certain attraction for me, which keeps me interested in the characters – finding myself comparing them to previous housemates I’ve had etc… You could dismiss this film as “so 90s” and leave it at that, but I think it is another of those films, which matured me in a way. After I’d got over watching all the 80s American teen movies, I started to wander into a more mature movie-watching arena – the 90s “20 something films”, of which Reality Bites is definitely a member. The film is sort of divided up into two parts – the real life experiences of four friends (Laney, Vickie, Sammy and Troy) living in Houston Texas, and then their videotaped experiences (taped by Winona Ryder’s character Lelaina, who “works in TV”). Lelaina (or Laney) shares a house with Vickie (Janeane Garofalo) who works at The Gap, and occasionally with Troy (Ethan Hawke) the slacker who works at a “Newsstand” and plays in his band “Hey! That’s My Bike!”. Lelaina Pierce (Ryder) was valedictorian of her University, and now she’s having to consider working at “Burgerama”. After majoring in Film (sounds familiar ;-)) she’s graduated, and is out in the real world working on morning breakfast programme “Good morning Grant!” The show is hosted by the irritable “Grant” played by Frasier’s Dad John Mahoney, who dislikes Ryder, leading her to take some rather drastic action whilst he is live on air (also leading to her getting fired). She then has to consider her options – Burgarama, working at The Gap with Vickie, or surviving
                          until the right job comes along – she chooses the latter. Surviving, however, does involve her obtaining a BMW, buying all her groceries on plastic, and some ingenious cash-flow solutions. The film was directed by Ben Stiller (probably best know for his role as Ted in There’s Something About Mary, and more recently for Meet the Parents co-starring Robert DeNiro). Stiller also acts in it, playing the somewhat laughable character of Michael Grates, Lelaina’s boyfriend. He is a TV executive for MTV-type station “In Your Face TV”, and originally meets Lelaina in a rather unusual way. Laney then starts dating Michael, caught up between Troy’s views that he is “a yuppie cheese-ball”, and her own feelings. Just when she is at her lowest, trying to find a job, or earn money, Michael comes through with an offer of showing her videotapes (based on the lives of her friends) on “In Your Face TV”. All does not go as planned however, and Lelaina ends up turning to someone else for affection, as Michael seems to have made a mockery of her tapes. But, just when she thinks everything is going fine, Troy disappears. Tagged “A comedy about love in the 90s” I think it is a bit more than that, and maybe even a little bit cult. For days afterwards when I first saw it, I would lounge around the house drinking Diet Coke, coming up with smart arsed quotes, and attempting to get everything on videotape. Reality Bites is supposed to be about four young people who have emerged into the “real” world, and don’t like what’s been handed to them. Lelaina gets fired from her job, Troy gets fired from yet another job, Vickie gets promoted, and Sammy has a difficult situation to deal with, with his parents. It has a brilliant soundtrack featuring some classics: - My Sharona – The Knack - When You Come Back to Me – World Party - Locked Out – Crowd
                          ed House - Turnip Farm – Dinosaur Jr. - Spin The Bottle – Juliana Hatfield Three - Spinning Around Over You – Lenny Kravitz - Bed of Roses – The Indians - I’m Nuthin’ – Ethan Hawke - All I Want Is You – U2 - Stay – Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories - Going Going Gone – The Posies - Revival – Me Phi Me - Tempted – Squeeze This is another film I’ve picked because of the quotes - there are some really good ones in here, as well as lots of popular culture references, such as to the film Cool Hand Luke “Nobody can eat fifty eggs”, various adverts “Welcome to the Maxi Pad”, and the constant product references throughout – Diet Coke, Snickers, Camel Cigarettes etc… Funny moments: - Troy, Vickie and Sammy are on the couch “not inhaling” and Lelaina comes in – the dialogue is great. - Most of Troy’s philosophical speeches Quotes: Troy: Did he dazzle you with his extensive knowledge of mineral water? Or was it his in-depth analysis of, uh, uh, Marky Mark that finally reeled you in? Lelaina: Are you religious? Michael: Um, uh, I guess uh, I guess I'm, uh a non-practicing Jew. Lelaina: Hey, I'm a non-practicing virgin. Lelaina: He's so cheesy, I can't watch him without crackers. Hint: Stay watching at the end, for some funny TV moments where Evan Dando (of the band The Lemonheads) appears briefly. The film also features a cameo by Dave Pirner (of band Soul Asylum) who dated Winona Ryder for some time. Other cameos include: Jeanne Triplehorn as Cheryl Goode (TV host on Fashion programme), David Spade as the fast food manager who interviews Ryder, Renée Zellweger as Tami, Ben Stiller’s sister is the Psychic Phone Partner, and his Mum Anne Meara, plays another of Ryder’s interviewers.
                          Produced by Danny DeVito, written by Helen Childress who also appears as a waitress. The video is available everywhere, and has recently been in HMV’s sale. Enjoy.

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                          • Levellers in general / Archive Music / 0 Readings / 40 Ratings
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                            09.12.2000 04:33
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                            I went to see the Levellers last night at the Brixton Academy, and it was the best gig I’ve been to in a long time. The atmosphere was fantastic, everyone was having a good time, and there was moshing-a-plenty from the stage to the very back of the Academy. This was the first time I had been to an actual Levellers gig, as I’d seen them live before at festivals, but never at their own gig. I’ve been a fan for some years – since Levelling the Land and A Weapon Called the Word, but haven’t really managed to get into their more recent stuff. This however, didn’t stop me going to see them, as some of my other friends declined to come along based on their theories that the band had become “too commercial” and too chart-friendly blah blah blah. Those friends missed out big time however, as the Levs played some classics, such as: The Boatman, The Game, Fifteen Years, Far From Home, The Riverflow, Battle of the Beanfield, along with slightly more recent stuff: Hope St and What a Beautiful Day, and then some stuff off their new album – Hello Pig. They were forced to come out twice for encores, playing Another Man’s Cause amongst others. I almost felt as if I *was* at a festival at one point, as, at first, everyone was sitting on the sloping floor (rather hill-like), with their beers, the shape of the stage looked very similar to one of the stages at Glastonbury for example (where I saw the Levs before). The stage was a large squared-off arch, and when the floodlights were turned on the audience, it really did have the effect of the festival stage. There were far fewer “alternative” people or “crusties” (i.e. dreadlocked folk) as I call them, at the gig, than I would have expected. I guess, seeing as The Levellers seemed to have started to move away from their old image of rebellious music-playing traveller types, previously fighting against the Criminal Justice Act and protes
                            ting against various bypasses being constructed. I feel a little sad that this phase now seems to be passing on, as its what I remember them for. The only piece of this which seems to have remained, is the “anti “The Pigs”” thing, which seems to be associated with their current album. The social and political commentary is still there, but somehow it doesn’t have as much bite as it used to. Nevertheless, it was a brilliant gig, and I was thoroughly sweated out by the end of it. As I have never been to The Brixton Academy before, I thought it was an excellent venue, and am very glad the rumours of it closing were only that. I can’t understand why more venues aren’t set out in the same way. As the Academy was once an old cinema, the floor slopes down towards the stage (where the seats and the aisles used to be), therefore, no matter where you stand in the stalls, you can always see the stage (unless some seven foot tall bloke comes and stands in front of you! There were midgets in front of us thankfully). It is very near to Brixton tube station (virtually across the road), which is on the Victoria line, so it’s very accessible from the centre of London. Getting back to the Levs, the live performance was excellent and they were just as good as I remember. They even had a female guest Cellist, who played on some of their more recent songs. Jeremy (Bass player) was great as ever, with his ridiculously long dreadlocks swinging about and hitting him in the face as he jumped around, never forgetting to thank the audience after every song. Jon was amazing on the violin, and his playing is probably my main attraction to the music of the Levellers, being a fellow violinist. Charlie was great on Drums, coming out to the front with his singular drum for the introduction to Battle of the Beanfield. Simon and Mark were great as ever on guitar and vocals, keeping the energy going for the crowd. They had a la
                            rge pink pig on top of the speakers with a flashing green eye, and two little piglets at either side of the stage, a la “Hello Pig”. The lighting effects were very good, with the appropriate coloured lighting was used for ballad-type songs (atmospheric blues and greens), and the full on flood beams for more “jumping around” songs. The Support Bands: I’m not entirely sure what I thought of the two support bands, and this probably won’t be very helpful to you, as it was so loud that I couldn’t make out what they were called. First on was a band from Belfast, who seemed to be a cross between the DumDums, and the Levellers themselves - they were good nevertheless. Second was a rather unusual band, which didn’t seem to know what style it was. They started off by playing Rap Reggae, and then moved into ballads, folk, rock, and so on. My friend went to the loo, came back and thought a different band was on, but it was still them. So, they were appropriate supports, is all I can really say. A brilliant live gig, and a brilliant band live. Great venue, great crowd atmosphere, and some classic songs. Check out: http://www.levellers.co.uk (official Levellers site) for details of future gigs.

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                            • Some Like It Hot (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 42 Ratings
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                              14.11.2000 09:31
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                              aka "Not tonight Josephine!" Stars: Marilyn Monroe (Sugar Kane (Kowalczyk)) Jack Lemmon, (Jerry/Daphne) Tony Curtis (Joe/Josephine) Directed by Billy Wilder (the man responsible for one of my other all time favourites – Double Indemnity (1944)) Some Like It Hot is a film *everyone* should see, and the sooner the better. I have spoken to people who have seen it (it was re-released in selected cinemas recently) who can’t believe they have not watched it before now. This has got to be one of the best films of all time, well one of the most original anyway, and I’m about to tell you why… Well I’ll begin at the beginning, seeing as that is probably the best place to start. Jack Lemmon (Jerry) and Tony Curtis (Joe) play two jazz musicians looking for work in Chicago, who mistakenly witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. They have to get out of town fast, and preferably undercover, and so get in touch with their agent to try and arrange a gig away from Chicago. The boys overhear a conversation between their agent and someone on the telephone who wants a Saxophone player and a Bass player for a band travelling to Florida. Joe and Jerry are immediately enthusiastic, as well as desperate to get out of town, and jump at the chance without knowing the terms and conditions of contract, these being, that they have to be women, as it is an all-girl band! This is the main source of humour throughout the film, with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon dressed as women, and all the associated “readjusting of boobs” and straightening the seams of their tights, and having their wigs on the right way around etc… Monroe as always looks fantastic, and at one point is wearing a dress on stage whilst playing in the band, which almost looks as if she is topless! She has the dumb blonde role yet again, but plays it perfectly. She is bubbly and voluptuous, and an instant attraction for
                              her leading men, although Tony Curtis did say those famous words of her after this film, that: “Kissing Marilyn was like kissing Hitler”. She is wonderfully flirtatious, and her voice is incredibly sexy, as well as her magnificent ukulele playing *wink wink*. The cross-dressing humour is just one of the aspects which makes this movie so funny the other, is the casting. Jack Lemmon is one of my favourite actors of all time, and he is just fantastic as “Daphne”. The humour created between the shenanigans of Lemmon and Curtis is nothing short of brilliance! They are a perfect double act, virtually laying the foundations for Lemmon’s Felix Unger in 1968s The Odd Couple in which he starred with the late Walter Matthau. A lot of the confusion occurs when Tony Curtis’ character develops an attraction to Sugar, but, being as he is “supposed” to be a woman, and Sugar’s friend at that, he cannot make a move, and instead, has to dress up yet again, as the rich captain of a mooring yacht in order to attract Sugar’s attention. One of the best scenes is when the girl band are travelling on the train, and Jerry/Daphne decides to have a party in her (his) quarters of the train to entice Sugar to join him, and eventually *all* the girls turn up, and try and cram themselves into the tiny bunk bed space. This has to set the record for the most people in a bunk bed, on a moving train, on film. Some Like It Hot does so much better than so many of those fifties sex comedies. It is genuinely funny, and cute, and incredibly watchable. There are pretty dolls, funny guys, funny dolls that are guys, the occasional mobster, and some great acting by Lemmon and Curtis. Monroe is every bit the sex icon in this film, with her breathless seductive voice, platinum hair and shimmery dresses, she makes the ultimate focus for her male leads. However, despite Curtis’ rumoured “Hitler” reference to h
                              er, this was only part of her problems on set. Apparently, she had notorious difficulties just reading simple lines, one in particular being “Where’s the bourbon?”, which Director Billy Wilder had to tape to the inside of a draw, so that Marilyn could remember it! Interestingly, Monroe’s character is particularly attracted by “a man with glasses”, and this was one of the reasons she was attracted to playwright Arthur Miller in real life. A classic film, which has been given the credit it deserves (and an albeit brief cinema re-release!). It has a terrific soundtrack, with Marilyn’s superb voice - “I Wanna Be Loved By You”, “I’m Through With Love”, and lots of hairy jazz, terrifically magnetic characters, and ridiculously funny situations. Go and watch it now! Classic Quotes: Daphne/Jerry: Have I got things to tell you! I am engaged! Josephine/Joe: Who is the lucky girl? Daphne/Jerry: I am! Sugar Kane: It's the story of my life. I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop. Josephine/Joe: But you're not a girl, you're a guy! And why would a guy want to marry a guy? Daphne/Jerry: Security!

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                              • The Jerk (DVD) / DVD / 1 Reading / 29 Ratings
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                                14.11.2000 09:15
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                                It is the original dim-witted funny movie! If you thought Bowfinger was funny (or even if you didn’t), you will love The Jerk. Steve Martin plays Navin R. Johnson, the adopted son of a black family in Mississippi. Not until he is an adult does Navin apparently realise that his (black) parents are not his real birth parents!!! The humour starts here, and just goes on and on and on! Navin is very much a kind of Forrest Gump character, and one I’m sure Tom Hanks would have got his inspiration for the characterisation from. The film begins with the line “I was a poor black child” (said by Martin’s “white” character). He grows up believing that he is black, and that his “whiteness” is just a transitory phase, and on his birthday, decides to set out into the big wide world and find himself. Navin leaves the house and sets off for St. Louis, in search of fortune and a life for himself. Night falls, and his family gather around the dinner table, apparently wondering what has become of Navin, until one of them shouts out of the window “how’re you going Navin?”, and we see he is *still* trying to thumb a lift from in front of the house. Eventually he flags down a passing truck, and settles in. The driver asks him how far he is going, to which Navin replies, “St. Louis”, then Navin asks the driver the same question, and he says, “To the end of this fence”. Navin has successfully managed to get a lift two doors down! I’ll try not to give too much away, but it is just so funny I can’t help it. It’s not dated at all, and is still as funny today as I’m sure it would have been in 1979. Another of Martin’s movies is a favourite of mine, The Lonely Guy (1984), which also stars Charles Grodin (Midnight Run (1988)). This features a similar sort of humour to The Jerk, but not quite so ridiculous – still Martin at his finest
                                though. Bernadette Peters, who I remember from Annie (1982) as the woman who tried to pretend she was Annie real mother, is brilliant as Martin’s love interest Marie. She creates humour, which complements Martin’s brilliantly. One of the funniest features in the movie is Navin’s sexual innocence – the calling of his private parts his “special purpose” causes all kinds of humour, as does his involvement with a fair/ circus performer – a women who rides her motorbike through rings of fire. Navin is the village idiot and the Shakespearian fool in one. He obtains several jobs on the way, as a petrol station attendant, and as a “weight guesser” at a travelling fair, until the fateful day when he makes his fortune and invents the bizarre “Opti-grab” – a handle for spectacles to stop them slipping off your nose. After developing this particular device, Navin strikes it rich, and moves into the house of his dreams with his girlfriend Marie. This creates some very funny moments, particularly with people coming to the house demanding money (now that Navin is rich), in particular, the man who is collecting to prevent the vicious sport of “Cat Juggling” (Martin plays the “Cat Juggler” in the film). I have watched this film so many times, and it never fails to amuse. I end up quoting from it, for days afterwards, and have not heard a bad comment about The Jerk. Everyone I have spoken to found it funny, so it seems to appeal to all senses of humour. Despite having some humour elements which you really have to watch the film again to get, I think The Jerk enters the realm of all really good films that deserve a second viewing. The Jerk was Steve Martin’s first starring role, and the beginning in the relationship between himself and director Carl Reiner, who later directed Martin’s movies Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982), The Man With Two Bra
                                ins (1983), and All of Me (1984). Reiner also does a bit of a Hitchcock, and cameos in the movie, as a cross-eyed film director affected by one of Navin’s inventions. Martin himself later produced a TV version of The Jerk in America, called “The Jerk Too” (1984). Classic quotes: - Navin: “For one dollar I'll guess your weight, your height, or your sex!” - Mother: Navin, it's your birthday, and it's time you knew. You're not our natural-born child. Navin: I'm not? You mean I'm gonna *stay* this colour? - Navin: The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity I need! My name in print! That really makes somebody! Things are going to start happening to me now. Good times to watch The Jerk – when you are in need of laugh, when Bowfinger is worn out, when you think *you’ve* got problems, when you are dreaming of your own house with “three swimming pools, a clam-shaped tub, and a disco room full of your own disco dancers”.

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                                • Wayne's World (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 31 Ratings
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                                  13.11.2000 07:26
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                                  I have been quoting from this film since that fateful day in 1992 when I saw it whilst on holiday in the states. I suppose I should really be on about this film, being as it features adults playing teenagers again, but hey, it’s just so funny, I’m going to let this one slide. The film grew out of a skit performed on the American show Saturday Night Live, where Mike Myers and Dana Carvey were regulars. Before Wayne’s World, Myers had only done one other virtually unheard of film, and that was a bit part. Wayne’s World literally catapulted him to fame in the film world, leading to a sequel of course, and then on to So I Married an Axe Murderer, and the Austin Powers films, all of which were in classic Myers humour. Dana Carvey on the other hand, has featured very little in anything major since. He appears in this years Little Nicky starring Adam Sandler, but even then, it’s only a bit part. Bit of trivia: he also appeared in Halloween II back in 1981. Directed by Penelope Spheeris, Wayne’s World features Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) and his friend Garth Algar (Dana Carvey), who both live in Aurora, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago. Wayne and Garth both have a TV show on “Cable Access” a local TV network where ordinary people can host their own shows, called “Wayne’s World”. It is a popular show amongst young people, and soon, TV slick man Benjamin (Rob Lowe) discovers WW, and decides to exploit it, bringing in a sponsor, and generally commercialising the show. Wayne and Garth sign contracts for “5 thousand dollars each” and the show becomes “Noah’s Arcade presents Wayne’s World.” The problems start from here. Wayne and Garth have a falling out, Wayne and his girlfriend Cassandra have a falling out, and Wayne temporarily leaves the show, but it’s still incredibly funny, especially with Wayne’s constant conversations wi
                                  th the camera (only Wayne and Garth get to talk to the camera). Ed O’Neill (Married With Children) also appears as Glen, the psychotic owner of Stan Mikita’s Donuts – Wayne and Garth’s usual hang out. I don’t know whether it’s because the grouping of Wayne and his friends and the music they were in to struck a chord with me at the time, but I could easily see my own social life in the portrayal of theirs when I was a teenager. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have a TV show or anything, but I used to cruise around with my friends, wearing my disgustingly faded band t-shirts, with my long hair, playing air-guitar, and finally managed to afford the electric Fender Stratocaster I had had my eye on in the music shop window for some time. Cue: “it will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine.” Rob Lowe has got to be one of the best characters in the film as Benjamin the TV executive – with his slick moves, and city apartment. He “has a cool car, does not live with parents”, and is instantly a threat to Wayne with regard to his girlfriend Cassandra. Another great character is Wayne’s ex-girlfriend Stacey (Lara Flynn Boyle), who is a bit nuts, and buys Wayne a gun-rack for “their anniversary”. When Wayne explains: “we broke up two months ago!” Stacey simply answers: “well, that doesn’t mean we can’t still go out…if you’re not careful Wayne, you’ll lose me”. Tia Carrere is the ultimate kung-foo-fighting babe, as Wayne’s current girlfriend Cassandra, who also plays in her own band, Crucial Taunt, and appears on the soundtrack. There are always funny outside references as well throughout – such as the Star Trek whistling when Wayne and Garth are lying on the bonnet of the “Mirth Mobile” (Garth’s car) looking up at the stars, and the “Laverne and Shirley” reference when th
                                  ey are travelling to see the Alice Cooper concert in Milwaukee. There are also the “Scooby doo” references, “if it wasn’t for you darn kids I’d have gotten away with it too!”, and “It’s old man Withers, the owner of the haunted amusement arcade”. Wayne’s World and its follow up have also had their fair share of cameos. Brian Doyle-Murray appears as Noah Vanderhoff, Ione Skye as Elyse, Benjamin’s love interest in the beginning. Meatloaf also appears as “Tiny” the bodyguard at “The Gas Works”, a club, which Wayne and his friends frequent, and the late Chris Farley as the Security Guard at the Alice Cooper gig. Mr Big the owner of Sharp Records is also played by Frank DiLeo, who used to be Michael Jackson’s manager. Sure, this film has its fair share of “toilet humour”, but it is also incredibly clever and hysterically funny at times. Never has Bohemian Rhapsody taken on such head-banging connotations as when Wayne, Garth, and their crew are in the “Mirth Mobile”. The two main characters Wayne and Garth bounce off each other’s humour fantastically. Wayne is the louder one, with most of the wisecracks, and Garth is the “silent but deadly” one who, although acting a little weird at times, provides a brilliant alter ego for Wayne. Classic quotes: Wayne: Garth, marriage is punishment for shoplifting in some countries! Wayne: I’d have to say "asphinctersayswhat". Noah Vanderhoff: What? Wayne: Exactly. Stacey: Happy Birthday Wayne Wayne: Err…what is it? Stacey: It’s a gun rack Wayne: A gun rack? A gun rack! What am I going to do…with a gun rack?! Wayne: Officer Koharski! *aside* Anyone here smell bacon? Garth: I certainly smell a pork product of some kind. Classic scenes: - The “I will not bow t
                                  o any sponsor” scene. - The Gas Works – Garth does his Mission Impossible thing, and manages to remove an irritating gig-goer from the floor. - Wayne, Garth and Cassandra in the music shop, ogling the Fender Stratocaster. The soundtrack features the likes of: Ugly Kid Joe, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Queen, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tia Carrere, and of course, Wayne and Garth, singing the song from the closing credits. If you haven’t seen this film, go and see it now! I implore you! If you need a good laugh, Wayne’s World is perfect. The characters are great, the plot is funny, there’s even a “baddie”, *and* multiple endings! Now that’s gotta be reason to rent it! ;-) Currently available on VHS in the UK, and also as a boxed set (2 videos) of Wayne’s World and Wayne’s World 2. I’d advice buying the double video if you want more of the same as it works out cheaper, but I’m holding out for the DVD (fingers crossed).

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