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In recent years Sri Lanka and Pakistan have become home banker series wins for England, this summers test series opponents. They suffer with the weather and swinging ball on softer greener pitches and England run up 2 and 3-0 series wins. It will be no different this year, bad weather not enough to save the visitors as the same bad weather produces the low innings scores. It proved the case.
1st Test @ Headingly, Leeds – May 19-24th
Cook had come into the match needing just 36 runs to become the first Englishman - and the youngest man in history - to pass 10,000 Test runs. But, after England were inserted on a pitch with a tinge of green on a length, he nicked out for 16 as new boy Dasun Shanaka took 3-3 as England slumped to 51-3 and 83-5. Hales, normally the one to fall quickly to good seam bowling, held on and bought up his first fifty just after lunch as he settled in with the more aggressive Johnny Bairstow to lead the recovery. And recover they did as the chunky Yorkie wicketkeeper set about fulfilling his promise to his long since dead father to score a test hundred at Headingley. David Bairstow kept wicket for England but couldn’t cope with retirement and killed himself just after his son was born.
The pair closed the day with an unbeaten 86 partnership as rain swept in to end the day. Hales was bought in to score quickly from the off but the one that labored by scoring just 2 of the 12 boundaries they shared.
===Hale the new opener===
Day two was as equally lively as Hales and Bairstow passed the 100 partnership before the Nott’s opener departed for 86 to trigger another wobble. But Finn held up an end to help Bairstow pass his emotional hundred as the crowd rose to their new hero. He would close on 140 for England’s 298 all out. Hales and Bairstow’s effort was 226 runs of the total, 73% of the innings and a record. Johnny has whacked 2300 first class runs since September @ 70.
Jamie Anderson appears not to take many wickets abroad but always ‘on it’ in England. You need to bowl fuller at Leeds to get the ball to swing and local knowledge saw Sri Lanka bowled out for 91 in 36 overs. Anderson and Broad were superb and a demonstration of how to bowl in England. It was. somewhat surprisingly, Andersons first 4 wicket plus haul in a test at Headingley with his previous best 3-91. That 5-16 would take him to sixth in the all time test wicket list with 438 scalps, passing Kapil Dev.
Cook, not interested in gate receipts, inserted Sri Lanka for more of the same before rain saved further embarrassment for Sri Lanka. England's 298 is the second lowest total by a team that has enforced the follow-on (since the follow-on became within 200 runs in 1980), behind 288 by India v SL at Chandigarh in 1990. Bairstow took 5 catches to become only the second Englishman to do that after scoring a century, South African Matt Prior the first to do it. Modern keeps are expected to score runs first and then take catches.
===The top test wicket takers===
Habhajan Singh 417
A rainy day three saw Sri Lanka capitulate again as they failed to acclimatize to a traditionally inclement late English spring. 119 all out (Mendis 53) this time with Anderson taking 5-29 for his twentieth 5 wicket haul in tests. With only 162 overs bowled it was the 13tth shortest test ever.
===England beat Sri Lanka by an innings and 88 runs===
Test 2 @ Durham
Durham cricket ground are in the financial mire and minus 900k. Dumping the unglamorous Sri Lankan test on them in May didn’t help. The ECBs bonkers experiment to have nine test grounds bid ding for just seven tests has nearly bankrupt the game. Lords always get two when two teams touring
and The Oval another. That leaves 4 tests between 7. The other grounds can’t survive on just one ODI. Franchise Twenty20 will happen now to provide ECB those grounds with more revenue. Sky and the will insist on it.
A chilly day on the east coast saw England bat first on a flattish looking pitch, if just to try and make the game last until Bank Holiday Monday. Cook again failed to make those 10,000 test runs and very much an opener who gets 10 or 100. Hales has proved he can bat sensibly and his 83 with Joe Root for a 96 run partnership set England up for a big score. Root again got out in the 80s and the 17th time he has failed to turn a 50 into a hundred before Bairstow and Moeen Ali put on 70 for the 6th wicket with Bairstow out for another great catch for 48. Sri Lanka took their catches all day to stay in the game.
===Mo better Blues===
Day two and 310-6 became 498-9 declared on Saturday as Moeen Ali scored his second century and enjoyed his elevation to number 7. You never feel England really believe in this guy and often dumped in the tail. But he proved himself here and although technically weak on off stump and often flashing at balls through the slips it worked this match. Sri Lanka appeared to allow him to score at will and put on 100 with Woakes (39) and 72 with Finn so to stay out there. He is only the fifth Englishman to score 1000 runs and take 50 test wickets. England's first-innings lead of 397 was their biggest in Tests against Sri Lanka, Herath claimed his 300th test wicket, second to Chaminda Vaas (355) on their all time list.
===All out again===
Sri Lanka’s reply was pretty shocking as they were again skittled and tumbled from 44-1 to 101 all out. This was the first time since 1956 a test team had been bowled out for less than 120 three times in a row. Broad 4-40 and Andersen (3-36) did their thing as the clouds gathered over The Emirates stadium to trigger the fold as Bank Holiday Monday play looked very unlikely now.
This time Sri Lanka began to find their footing as the follow on was enforced on day three and so at least 4 days play now for cash strapped Durham. Full refunds on day four would be a disaster. Sri Lankan cricket has only known financial strife and perhaps felt some sympathy as they recovered from 100-3 against the newer ball to 309-5 at the close, Mathews 80 and Silva 60, England using 7 bowlers.
Day four and Sri Lanka continued to improve with Chandimal (128) completing a hundred and his first outside Asia, a great effort in context and only the 8th test keeper to score a hundred following on. The chubby Herath battled on with 61 alongside with a 116 partnership as Sri Lanka closed on 475. Andersen helped himself to his 21st ‘fiverfor’ and his 450th test wicket and seven more catches for Bairstow over the two innings.
SO just 79 to win and Cook bringing up his 10,000 test run at just 31-years old with 49* not out for the 9 wicket win and so the series. He also passed Michael Atherton as the highest England captain test run scorer. Sri Lanka misery was complete when their exciting young bowler Eranga was called for chucking.
===England win by 9 wickets===
Star – Romain Duris
Genre – World Cinema > Comedy
Run Time – 111 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – France
Awards – 1 Wins & 9 Nominations
Amazon – £5.00DVD (Blue Ray £6.99)
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So Populaire, the 2012 French remake of a 1957 French film that was called something else I can’t recall, Populaire relating to a make of typewriter. The new version received multiple César Award nominations but not much attention outside of France. It’s a subtitled Technicolor blast of nostalgia made for French people to remember the old Paris they long for of handsome cigarette smoking men and beautiful stylish women, not a city full of Arabs and West Africans they rebel against today. I did not see one black or Arab person in this film. It’s quite sad how racist the French are.
It stars the rather excellent Romain Duris, a French actor who is super cool in films like ‘The Beat that Skipped my Heart’ and The Big Picture. The romantic female lead is Déborah François and the third party on this love tryst and a typewriter that comes between them. Yes, a typewriter. You will see why when you watch this, of course. If you love foreign films then you should watch this. It makes the heart sing for a filmmaking style long forgotten. If you like typewriters you should watch this even more.
The 'AZERTY' keyboard is a popular style used especially among European-based French speakers English typewriters use QWERTY. Switzerland and Luxembourg use a variant called 'QWERTZ'.
Romain Duris as Louis Échard
Déborah François as Rose Pamphyle
Bérénice Bejo as Marie Taylor
Shaun Benson as Bob Taylor
Hugo De Sousa as Joe Taylor
Mélanie Bernier as Annie Leprince Ringuet
Féodor Atkine as André Japy
Nicolas Bedos as Gilbert Japy
Eddy Mitchell as Georges Échard
Miou-Miou as Madeleine Échard
Jeanne Cohendy as Françoise
Caroline Tillette as La Vamp
Frédéric Pierrot as Jean Pamphyle
Marius Colucci as Lucien Échard
Emeline Bayart as Jacqueline Échard
Yannik Landrein as Léonard Échard
Nastassja Girard as Evelyne Échard
Dominique Reymond as Madamme Shorofsky
It’s the late 1950s in France…
Pretty and clumsey twentysomething Rose Pamphyle (Déborah François) lives with her widowed father (Frédéric Pierrot) in a small rural town and is destined to marry a son of the local mechanic. She works in the family shop and desperate to escape her humdrum life. Rose travels out of town and applies for a secretarial job with an insurance agency run by the handsome and well groomed Louis Échard (Romain Duris). Louis gives her a week’s trial after he learns that Rose can type with extraordinary speed using only two fingers, on of many of her quirks. Rose is elated and dreams of an exciting and glamorous future.
After one week of her clumsiness he tells her he will only keep her on if she does him something in return. It’s not to sleep with him but to compete in a speed-typing competition. Louis competed at many sporting events when he was young and sees potential in his ditsy but sweet secretary. While Rose makes the finals, she ultimately loses her first typing competition by not breaking 400WPM. Louis is not deterred and begins training Rose to become the fastest typist in France, and beyond, putting her up in his big house to perfect her skills. He makes a bet with his best friend, Bob Taylor (Shaun Benson), who is married to his old sweetheart, Marie (Bérénice Bejo) that Rose can win the regional competition.
He begins to teach her to touch type with all ten fingers and insists she take piano lessons from Marie to strengthen her fingers and rhythm. The increasingly confident Rose does indeed win her second competition, becoming the fastest in her home region of Lower Normandy. It becomes obvious to all that Louis fancies Rose and vice versa, but Louis insists that a coach mustn't distract his student. Through to the national finals they travel to Paris, the city of love, but still Louis can’t find the courage to fall for her as the final approaches and his father standards hold him back from being himself.
I really enjoyed this and a good old burst of retro French cinema I imagine a lot of people loved at the time. It has the subtle sexiness and clean-cut style of Mad Men meets the innocent romantic comedy of the period. It’s a love story wrapped around this typewriter metaphor thing and well scripted and acted for a romantic comedy of this type. You will fall for both the attractive and likeable leads. Sadly its way too long and gets baggy towards the end and that will annoy those getting involved in the romantic side of things. It’s predictable of course on the love story. You may not know but one third of secretary’s sleep with their boss and many admit to taking a secretarial job to meet a wealthy man of means. 40% of us sleep with someone at work at some point.
Its €14m Euro budget pulled in a healthy $18.4 million around the world and not bad for a foreign film not entered into the big American film festivals. It’s well paced with admirable style, with a glossy, Technicolor production design and feel that so evokes that period when men were men and women were subservient and knew their place, allowing for that more frivolous and comedic sweetness to evolve. The subtitles are straightforward so no worries there. You should simply watch this film is you want to be happy and remember how straightforward life used to be without all those distractions and technologies that now keep us apart.
Imdb.com – 7.0/10.0 (votes)
Rottentomatos.com –75% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 57% critic’s approval
Seattle Times –‘As romantic comedy it's uneven, but as an ode to something long gone, "Populaire" hits the right notes’.
The NY Post –‘A clever movie of considerable wit and charm. Its only fault is that it could have been a bit shorter and benefitted from the trim. Still, it's time well spent’.
The Seattle Times –‘It's a gorgeous picture that's highly amusing, allowing viewers to lose themselves in the fantasy of love, rivalry, and typing. Yes, typing. Any film that can make typewriters as cool as hot rods deserves a look’..
Red Eye –‘After all those words pounded onto the typewriter, this throwback finds a way to capture the big L in any language.
St Louis Dispatch –‘It's neatly formatted, but if there's a message in the margins of this manuscript, "Populaire" doesn't spell it out’.
Independent Inquiry –‘Even when there's tragedy around the turn, it doesn't matter. Populaire plays like a musical - you expect anyone, at any time, to break into song’.
Boston Globe –‘Roinsard labors mightily to eke laughs and excitement out of '50s secretaries in Technicolor dresses, towering heels, and awkward hairdos hammering away at keyboards, with limited success’.
San Francisco Bugle –‘Is this remake really necessary? Maybe not, but to worry about that is to risk missing out on a lot of fun’.
My dream job is to be a TV and film critic. I love being opinionated and why I – and most of you –enjoy Gogglebox on Friday night. If you want honest TV reviews then Gogglebox is the place. They represent a cross-section of the public and as equally critical and cutting as you and me in front of the TV when we are relaxed and at home. There has been some editing on the show to cut out swear words and libel and stuff but in general that’s you and me sitting right there. Now, in the real world to enjoy TV we need a TV guide. There are people out there who don’t need to plan their week around telly and have lots of things to do out and about with their lovely friends in the evenings and weekends but in general we need TV and DVD like Joe Brand needs chocolate. Its part of our routine and the brain needs routines to function.
My chosen TV guide in the summer is the cheapest one, normally TV Choice or Whats On. They cost between 50 and 60p and available in all major supermarkets and in most newsagents and minimarts. For the football season I buy the Mail on Saturday or Sunday as it’s the best paper in Britain for sport and has two great TV guides over the weekend. The Saturday one is probably the best in the country. It has all the main terrestrial and cable channels primetime viewing set out in front of you in two pages and off you go with your pen to ring your favorites. But it’s the summer now and so it’s the cheapo small ones until mid August. I’m out more so less telly anyway. I really just want to know when there is new series of Salvage Hunters and American Pickers is on and any new films I haven’t seen.
TV Choice is very busy and the smaller magazine size. You get those people who want the complete TV guide experience and buy Radio Times but I don’t think there can ever be a time when a TV guide should cost more than a takeaway, RT nearly four quid now! But there is a Radio Times gang out there and they will buy it on principal because they think its middle-class or the official BBC TV guide or something and so deserve to be ripped off. But if you can do cheap and get the same thing then do cheap is my motto. Some people do buy TV mags because they like a certain critic’s views so fair enough but generally they are commercial products and so sometimes not as harsh as they should be on some TV shows and not reviewing others for the same reason. When they big up shows they know are crap because their magazine relies on adverts from that groups who owns the show then that’s where I got annoyed. Again TV choice is not really in that business and there just to list and briefly provide generally un-opinionated information on TV shows and a little more information on their picks.
The magazine is like all TV mags with the first few pages reviewing new shows and series on the coming week and month. There is a Have Your Say page to send in letters. I used to back in the day chasing the £20 book voucher but when one finally went in they edited it down to nothing. There is TV Choice Awards entry where you can box tick your favorite shows and send that in and then a US TV Drama finder that outlines what channel your American shows are and what day in the week they are on, the classic magazine filler. The soap planner page is the same story as you should really know when your favorite soap is on. The ‘Sport Choice’ double page is useful to see what’s on where on the various cable and terrestrial stations. Film Choice follows that although subjective and lists most of the films on that week. But it’s not all of them and so that is an issue. It tries to list the ones they think are the best or popular, Black Swan and Drive Angry neither of those.
We then get into the main TV guide with BBC1 to Channel 5 on the first double spread and then the lesser channels like ITV4 and BBC4 that you all get on the Freeview package on the next two pages. The next two pages are the even more niche channels on Freeview and then we get into the pay channels on Sky etc with three pages in total. The listings run from Saturday to Friday. The magazine ends with the perfunctory prize crossword, horrorscopes and tons of those ads with impossibly sexy and airbrushed older people that advertise Stenna stairlifts and adaptable baths.
So summing up I would say most of the cheaper TV mags are aimed at older and more ‘working-class’ people. I say that because the middle-class don’t like to be told what they like and should watch, hence Points of View with Anne Robinson and the Radio Times. They go big on soaps and ITV shows. ITV is traditionally a blue collar channel. If you didn’t realize that then you are blue collar I’m afraid. It puts on populist shows
I have great legs. Not even Bettyboo 47 has my pins. Hell, not even fashion model Kissme2070 (Peacocks and Matalan casual range) can live with my sculptured thighs and fetlocks. This means I look great in shorts and women ogle me up and down. Hey, what can I say? And its not genetics. I had to work hard for these babies! I ran long distance at a very tender age (youngest ever to complete the Northampton Marathon at 16-years and 340 days!) and that gave me enough stamina to play other sports quite well so excellent hybrid footballer thighs. Let’s just say my trophy cabinet is packed like my trunks! Ok, that’s stray seaweed in my trunks. Alas the top half has lapsed a bit over the year so no photos of the pec’s girls. And as those girls with great legs will tell you - they can wear any length clothing and the legs still look amazing to flatter the body and bottom. Ok, I have nice bottom to. Only those Mexican ‘cholo’ length shorts (the ones that only show your ankle gang tats) don’t look cool on me. I’m a little old to wear really short shorts now and would feel like one of those old rockers from the sixties that die their hair and still wear the same jeans, mullet and cowboy shirt they did in 1974. I’m not saying I have a gut or anything but at some point you have to say I’m too old for that look. Jeans and leather jacket is my thing.
I like the cargo shorts that come down to the kneecaps as they have lots of pockets for your phone and wallet and stuff. But the material is thicker so best for cooler days. On the hotter days I go for shorts like the Nike ones here that are a much thinner cotton mix but sacrifices pockets so to stay airey. This pair has two deepish pockets at the front and one Velcro one at the back. Sadly Eastern European mass migration has bought the return of the dipper/pickpocket to our big cities and so you need pockets that seal up or tight so you can feel any intrusion. I had to give a guy an elbow the other day going for my phone. I know how I will be voting on June 23rd. Alas the thinner material mix causes more sweating and chaffing around the upper inside thigh and so soreness. Always best to rotate your shorts guys and girls.
10-21 degrees - cargo shorts
22-27 degrees - cotton shorts
28-38 degrees – 1990 football speedo length shorts
Now I have been accused of waffling on here on one or two of my reviews but there is a reason. A lot of us are put off reviewing certain products as we don’t feel there is enough to be said about them to justify the review. We feel guilty about it. And if we do write the 250 words that are perfectly reasonable we will get voted down with lower grades. Let’s be honest guys a pair of shorts is a 300 word review at best. I really do feel guilty about writing less than 700 words. Can’t help it. I want to earn my corn so it has meaning writing it.
Like I said these are a nice thin and cooling material and fit just right. I am a 33 waist but a 32 flexi waste won’t be a problem. These are not button or zip up. The length is just above the knee. It’s not too baggy around the groin and feels tailored. I don’t like too much flapage on my shorts. You are getting into old man territory there when they get too baggy and flarey. There are no belt loops on this Nike pair I have. There is also no visible Nike swoosh on this pair although I prefer that as I hate branding. Nike has lots of variants of shorts of course. They maybe knocks offs though. They do feel like the authentic product though. Stitching is good and no threading wear yet after one years use. No wear on the gusset or the backside. As we all know the wearer of the shorts is the last to know there is a small hole in the backside, where most of you think I talk out of. Over to you Bentley…;-)
Star – Jeff Daniels
Genre – Drama/Comedy
Run Time – 12 x 55 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – USA
Golden Globes – 2 nominations
Emmys – 1 Win and 3 nominations
Awards – 9 Wins & 29 nominations
Amazon – £14.99DVD (Blue Ray £15.99)
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To me The West Wing is the greatest TV boxset ever made. It was the first time I realized that I may be smarter than I had ever hoped. Ok, good TV and film makers like to make the audience feel smarter than they are as it makes them buy into the product more by massaging their ego but Aaron Sorkin’s political drama about a Democrat Whitehouse was something very different that really gripped me and my politics back then. I got The West Wing. It was clever, made you use your brain to fill in the gaps and sexy and smart and didn’t stop to let you catch up. It also tired you out racing around those corridors and trying to keep up with the snappy quipping dialogue. When I watched the last episodes of season six I was genuinely sad it was all over.
Liberal to the core Sorkin refused huge offers to do a Republican Whitehouse version as he would rather spit on his grandmother’s grave than give the right a voice. No TV show ever really gives a right wing opinion as it’s considered unpalatable to advertisers and our morals. Sorkin never quite found his voice and stage after that. He made this really good show called ‘Studio 60 on Sunset’ about a Saturday Night Live style production but the Network cut that after one just series. If you get a chance to rent it on Sky or something do it as it’s good. He also did a show called Sportsnight before the West Wing, which The Newsroom is an obvious hybrid of. But in his heart The West Wing is still there and so he decided to combine the two with The Newsroom, behind the scenes drama at a 24 hour rolling news cable station that’s even more liberal than President Bartlett’s Whitehouse. That takes some doing.
Sorkin first came to my attention with The American President, a surprisingly smart and sexy romance between Michael Douglas and Annette Benning in the same Whitehouse, a film and premise succeeding because of the writing and screenplay. He also wrote A Few Good Men with Tom Cruise, Charlie Wilsons War with Tom Hanks and Moneyball, the revered American institutions at the heart of most of his work. He also wrote and won his only Oscar for the rather tedious Social Network.
The Newsroom takes a big swipe at commercial rolling news and why America has become so cynical with the news and stopped telling people the truth. But as he already told us – ‘we can’t handle the truth’. Donald Trump is the result of that cynicism allowed to fester. The real appeal of this one is it used real news stories around the time it was being made and dissected the truth of them on screen, like the death of Bin Laden and the shooting of congresswomen Gabriel Gifford. It’s a great idea for a TV show.
Jeff Daniels ... Will McAvoy (25 episodes, 2012-2014)
Emily Mortimer ... MacKenzie McHale (25 episodes, 2012-2014)
John Gallagher Jr. ...Jim Harper (25 episodes, 2012-2014)
Alison Pill ... Maggie Jordan (25 episodes, 2012-2014)
Thomas Sadoski ... Don Keefer (25 episodes, 2012-2014)
Dev Patel ... Neal Sampat (25 episodes, 2012-2014)
Olivia Munn ... Sloan Sabbith (25 episodes, 2012-2014)
Sam Waterston ... Charlie Skinner (25 episodes, 2012-2014)
Chris Chalk ... Gary Cooper (24 episodes, 2012-2014)
Margaret Judson ... Tess Westin (24 episodes, 2012-2014)
Adina Porter ... Kendra James (23 episodes, 2012-2014)
John F. Carpenter ... Herb Wilson (23 episodes, 2012-2014)
Thomas Matthews ... Martin Stallworth (22 episodes, 2012-2014)
Trieu Tran ... Joey Phan (22 episodes, 2012-2014)
Charlie Weirauch ... Jake Watson (19 episodes, 2012-2014)
Wynn Everett ... Tamara Hart (19 episodes, 2012-2014)
Riley Voelkel ... Jenna Johnson / ... (15 episodes, 2012-2014)
Chris Messina ... Reese Lansing (14 episodes, 2012-2014)
Popular primetime news anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) of the fictional New York cable news channel CAN has an epiphany on stage during a Q&A event and tells it as it is, earning him a two week forced break from his boss Charlie Skinner (Sam Waterston) for being ‘tired and emotional’, his outburst of ‘the truth’ put down to medication he is taking for a shoulder injury. Back at the news station it sparks an idea that as they are a news station why they don’t actually report the news, instead of what they had been doing, manipulating the news and information dumbing it down to draw a bigger audience so to please the advertisers and bottom line.
Will is pulling the station in big bucks doing what he is doing but prepared to risk it all to tell the news how it used to be…with integrity and facts, and not to please your political party affiliates and corporations you are tethered to. Charlie likes the idea and skillfully builds a new news team for Will to work with, including his sexy ex girlfriend Mackenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer) as his producer, which he isn’t aware of yet. As the manager of the project McAvoy will have to sign off on that and he is not best pleased.
As the team is pulled together one or two are reticent to be involved, like thirtysomething producer Don Keefer (Thomas Sadoski), who moves to 10 O’clock to protect his career. Cute intern Maggie (Alison Pill) is dating him but she soon develops crush on new younger producer successor, Jim Harper (John Gallagher Jr.) as the show gets underway.
The ratings quickly drop 15% of their new show Newsweek as the audience are used to celebrity title tattle stories and more cynical biased news and so switch over for that. But some stories do hit home as they set about attacking the Tea party and defending Obama. The Republicans are simply not going to give Obama a chance. Not because he is a Democrat but because he is black. Will is a Republican but not a card carrying one and gets into the rhythm of telling the truth for once and extremely empowering for all the news team. But when Charlie is called up to the top floor to explain the drop in ratings to his boss Leona Lansing (Jane Fonda) and her son and number two Reese Lansing (Chris Messina) their jobs are on the line. Reese is very much a ratings chasing executive and wants them to say what’s needed to get the numbers back up but Leona more about keeping the numbers high enough so the station can simply function. She wants McAvoy to back off the GOP party (The Republicans) because their friends are slowly cutting business with the station, the Koch Brothers their biggest sponsors. For Will and his team they have to find a balance or he will be fired and Newsweek dead in the water.
It’s not the West Wing and vomitly left wing but still a good and intelligent watch. Series two will be my next Christmas present I will be asking for. Yes there is rather too much inter office romance going on and pro Democrat stuff but it’s smart and sexy and gripping enough to go with. The concept here of exploiting real news stories with a fictional narrative in the show works really well and executed well. Although the Newsweek show is supposed to be politically neutral and come across that way it’s very much more of Sorkin and his writing team crusading and attacking the GOP. In politics the right make the unpopular decisions that have to be made and so lose votes and the left pick up those votes by contesting those decisions, whether they agree with them or not. You see that in the migrant crisis here with Labor poking the Tories over their inability to stop the flow but Labor know the only way to stop the flow is an uncouth right wing approach of a rifle but to the ear by a Turkish Navy sailor, reducing the flow to Lesbos to almost zero.
The relationshippy stuff is there to draw a female audience so young professional couples can sit down together to watch the show eating their allergen free food although that demographic just as likely to watch Jersey Shore, something Sorkin doesn’t want to explore. Irreverent TV shows are popular because lots of demographics enjoy that irreverence to relax. Good points are made on the way American news is delivered and that people watch the version of news they want to believe in that matches their political views, why they have so many cable stations in the US, why thye have Fox. Their news is far more subjective than hours. Donald Trump could not get the traction he does without that commercial set up. Trump doesn’t believe the guff he is spouting and simply reads out the piece of paper his advisors pass him as he and those advisors understand the market. Trump getting lots of rednecks to wave American flags in support isn’t much use come voting day as they tend not to vote, or legally allowed to. He will soften those controversial comments and move to the center as we near the August conventions and the November election. Poor old Hillary Clinton has a bigger problem as she has to get men to vote for her and those women that won’t vote for her because she having to behave like the strong woman she needs to be to get any votes at all.
The series is smart, sexy, funny and involving. The familiar to-and-throw Sorkin dialogue is there –and annoyingly so at times – and sometimes it does get a little too patriotic and sickly but if you can reassure yourself by keeping the sickbag near you will enjoy this. Some of the characters look familiar and you could easily match them up with his previous work and The West Wing. He gives all the audience a favorite. Jeff Daniels is extremely charismatic and smart in the lead and England’s Emily Mortimer fabulous as the sexy but smart and funny authoritive female lead and presence. There are some token ethnic American characters washing around the newsroom, including our very own Dev Patel (Asians never seem to get any big roles in Hollywood or American TV) but it seems to work. Olivia Munn as the female newscaster us an extremely sexy women on screen. Would Sorkin be brave enough to cast a black newsreader in the lead role, and is he surrendering to the right wing attitudes and politics he is railing against in the show by casting the very white Daniels id another question not asked. But, ultimately, the problem with US TV is the right wing version of this, or, indeed, any other political drama would simply not be made and that is the true hypocrisy here.
Imdb.com – 8.6/10.0 (72,467votes)
Rottentomatos.com –46% critic’s approval
-Audio Commentaries –
Various on each of the four discs
-Mission Control: Behind the set-
A look at the impressive set of the newsroom
-Round Table: A look back-
The writing team and cast look back at the show and discuss the ups and downs and what they were trying to do.
- Inside the Episodes -
Each disc has a little extra on what the episodes were about.
USA Today –‘But it's a wonderful, witty, erudite territory and I, for one, love visiting. When it doesn't drive me crazy’.
Quickflix –‘ Speechifying, crusading characters and high drama are acceptable when the future of the free world is at risk; less so when it's the future of an 11pm cable news show’..
The NY Post –‘ We'll grade Newsroom on the curve, because the promise is still there’.
We Got This Covered –‘Frustration is the overwhelming feeling coming out of watching the entire first season of The Newsroom’.
The Mail –‘.Ultimately, no one appears more deluded than Sorkin. His Will McAvoy is an insufferable blowhard, but the show spends most of its energy trying to convince us he's a saint’.
San Francisco Chronicle –‘ The format still has to work as a credible human drama. The fact that it doesn't entirely do that keeps Sorkin's message from being as effectively delivered as it could have been’.
NY Times –‘Newsroom is both entertaining and irritating. The info is important and good, but the quipping banter with which it's delivered, isn't’.
LA Times –‘That transcendent mixture of confidence and fear, of humility and clear-eyed self-assessment, evident in so much of Sorkin's other work, is what turns a sermon into a work of art. And that is precisely what is missing here’
The definition of a moron is the person who refuses to get with the program over the plastic bag tax. Asda are the latest supermarket to have to introduce padlocks on trolleys and baskets as idiot consumers insist on not paying the 5p bag tax and not returning a steal basket or trolley or two to make some sort of bizarre point. Just pay the 5p! The bag is worth 5p! You can use the bag again the next time you come!! The other moron is the one that can be seen clutching all his shopping in his arms. He or she doesn’t steal the trolleys and baskets to transport their shopping but seen dropping their shopping all over the floor. What sort of person thinks someone has wronged them for asking 5p for a flipping carrier bag? But these are the same people who will reuse plastic bottles at home to do whatever they need to around the house. Yes, that’s recycling to!
I must admit I don’t take old plastic bags out with me to use to carry my shopping. I pay the bag tax at the till. It’s just practical. OK, I’m advertising Tesco or whatever and I have to pay 5p for the privilege and Tesco probably won’t spend the takings on charity but at least less plastic bags are in circulation overall. It’s interesting to note that the lowest take up of the concept of the plastic bag tax is Marks & Spencer’s customers, a paltry 50% bringing their own bags, clearly showing the logo one of the main reasons they shop there.
So, if you do save your bags then you need somewhere to put them. The Betterware catalogue, the scourge of junk mail haters across the land, has, of course, come up with something that never really needed to be invented to help you recycle your bags. And it’s a pretty simple concept. There area a few designs you can purchase but it’s basically a canvas or plastic like thing with holes at the top to put old bags in and flexi holes near the bottom to pull them out like you would a hot towel dispenser at the airport. It doesn’t sort your plastic bags by size or texture or anything and have the storage to do that but simply excretes a used bag out the bottom like the Queen alien in Aliens 2. You don’t have to put plastic carrier bags in them if you so chose and would be ideal for one or two ciao girls here for the speed that they get through their knickers for some thongs on the go before they rush out. No names but you know who you are. You just hang it on a peg or one of those stick on hangers and fill it up.
When I go around my mums she has post office style pigeonhole shelving with all manner of bags tucked in their for various shopping trips and storage jobs around the house for her recycler. You do wonder if the bag tax actually helps to get rid of any bags if hoarders and mums are going to keep them all somewhere.
I didn’t buy mine form the Betterware people but bought it in a charity shop for a quid so to transport home some other stuff I bought there. Ironic or what. It’s now in my hallway and the home of ALL plastic bags in the house. I don’t like clutter so the bags are there or the highway. You can stuff quite a few in but don’t expect the right size to come out where you want it to. Its only real purpose is to fill product gap that certain people will fill by buying something they don’t really need. That’s what women do. That’s why there are so many plastic bags out there. Women need to buy stuff. As 70% of all purchases on the planet are made by women then they are the problem of pollution and its littering, not buying plastic bags, which is the real issue. Those dolphins choking away in the Bahamas are dyeing because your mom went to the COOP to ‘get some bits’.
Star – Joseph Mengele
Genre – World Cinema > Drama
Run Time – 93minutes
Certificate – PG13
Country – Argentina
Amazon – £5.71DVD
Awards – 18 Wins & 22 Nominations
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So what happened to the Nazis after the war? We all know Hitler died in his bunker along with other Third Reich high ups although there is an absurd CIA report going around that he is not dead and took a submarine to Brazil. But South America was the Nazis chosen escape plan and many rocked up there to be as far away from the Nuremburg Trials as possible. Somewhat surprisingly President Peron was all in favor of it and even sent agents ahead to smooth their passage from Europe. Most of you know South America has European empirical links and the German Empire having strong connections with Argentina and places like Paraguay and Namibia. The nastiest of the nasty were not only allowed into Argentina but continued their hate, including Dr Josef Mengele, the so-celled ‘Angel of Death’, who continued his eugenic experiments on young children and babies in Argentina, the subject of this creepy and atmospheric drama, based on the time Mengele was in Argentina.
The most controversial aspect of post war Germany is other countries ‘cherry picked’ the Nazi talent and used them to further their countries needs and science. America took V-1&2 rocketeer Von Braun and his team to work on American Inter Ballistic Missiles and NASA Space rocket technology and many others sent to Russia to work off their penance. It’s known that some of the knowledge learnt from experiments the Nazis did on the prisoners of the concentration camps were used in future technologies. They say fast jet pressurized flight suits could only have been developed by some of Mengele’s gruesome pressure tests where he put Jews in metal tanks and pumped the air out to see the effect on their frail bodies. There is no need to describe the results.
The film is based on the book ‘The German Doctor’ by Lucio Puenzo, who felt there was a film in it and so wrote the screenplay and directed and produced that movie. It’s based on true events although the book and film are dramatized to turn Mengele’s time in Argentina into a fictional narrative based on actual events.
Alex Brendemühl ... Mengele
Natalia Oreiro ... Eva
Diego Peretti ... Enzo
Elena Roger ... Nora Eldoc
Guillermo Pfening ... Klaus
Florencia Bado ... Lilith
Alan Daicz ... Tomás
Nicolas Marsella ... Polo
Ana Pauls ... Nurse
Juan I. Martínez ... Otto
Maria V. Barret ... Iva
Abril Braunstein ... Ailín
Benito E. Crespo ... Cursis
Supreme Nazi Josef Mengele (Alex Brendemühl) is in exile in Argentina in the 1960s under an assumed name to avoid western Nazi hunters and the Israelis. He is making a long journey alone by road with his collar up to a new location by following an innocent family he meets on a mountainous and baron country road across the stunning Patagonian desert. Initially, Mengele has his own place to stay, but after taking an interest in the pretty but young daughter of the family, Lilith (Florencia Bado), he moves into their hotel by paying six months' rent upfront. They can’t turn it down this early in the season even though dad Enzo (Diego Peretti) is suspicious of the creepy German speaking doctor.
Lilith was born prematurely and much shorter than her new classmates. She is bullied at school because of her size. Mengele, who is working as a doctor, suggests that he can help her grow more quickly through revolutionary treatment and Lilith's German speaking mother, Eva (Natalia Oreiro), eventually agrees to this but without telling her husband. They are all totally unaware of who he is and what he has done.
Meanwhile, people who have been searching for Mengele believe they have found him and begin to gather evidence on his true identity. Diligent and brave archivist Elena Roger (Nora Eldoc) pretends to be a visiting professional photographer and secretly records and documents the Germans in and around the area she believes to be Nazis. She is sure this is Mengele and makes the call.
Eva is pregnant with twins, much to Mengele's fascination. He compiles detailed notes and sketches on them, Lilith and the rest of her family as he continues to apply growth hormone to Lilith, who becomes sick as a side effect. To keep Enzo onside the doctor agrees to invest in his sideline of making dolls. But his increased treatment of her daughter and pregnancy help enrages Enzo and a showdown for all is on the way as Mengele reveals his true evil side.
Quietly unnerving this thriller with a historical basis is a somewhat fictionalized glimpse at a ghastly real-life person. It’s not a true story but the events in it all but happened. This guy was moving around Argentina determined to carry on his demented Frankenstein work the Holocaust allowed him to begin as he continues Hitler’s quest for the perfect Arian white race and nothing will stop him. It is the dichotomy of the beauty of the Patagonian setting with Mengele's monstrous deeds that make The German Doctor so unnerving.
Alex Brendemühl is excellent in the lead as Mengele as his characters disguise slowly depletes as his fascination with the almost perfect young girl salivates his perversions, Natalia Oreiro also bewitching as young Eva. The sophistication yet innocence of her performance faced with Mengele experimenting on her is superb. Her eyes at just 12-years young are alarmingly sensual. Everyone else is pretty good and a film that clearly rises and falls on the acting so to convince us of the doctors deception. Its not the people around him that strip away his deception but Mengele’s need to insidiously let them know of his power and depravity he still wants to wield from The Reich. It certainly plays out as a horror film in the final act. The pretence around these peasants is eating him alive.
There are not too many subtitles to wrestle with and although one too many metaphors on show around eugenics and stuff it’s an engaging and well crafted intelligent movie around actual events. I was certainly intrigued by the fact 9000 plus Nazis ended up in Argentina and, indeed, why they were allowed to, and researched if thereafter when discovering that fact in the movie. Foreign movie fans will enjoy this but one for those who aren’t too keen on subtitles too as its not hard work. It’s a fascinating period in history.
Imdb.com – 6.8/10.0 (4.141votes)
Rottentomatos.com –73% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 62% critic’s approval
The Daily Express –‘An intriguing, atmospheric film that becomes as mesmerizing as a poisonous snake silently gliding towards its next victim’.
The Guardian –‘The film combines the muscular force of a Forsythian thriller with something purely eerie, static and atmospheric. Brendemühl brings a refrigerated menace to his role’.
Little White Lies –‘Taut themes and fascinating facts are occasionally stymied by heavy-handed metaphors’
The Scotsman –‘Lucia Puenzo's queasy thriller builds up into a quietly effective monster movie’.
The Daily Mail –‘The picture is beautifully shot and the serenity of the Argentine mountain landscape works as an effective contradiction to the deranged, demented narrative at hand’.
The Mirror -’ What the movie lacks in chills and thrills is made up for by the methodical unraveling of the truth’
San Francisco –‘.As he makes drawings of his "perfect specimen," chill pervades and the heart stills. It's an intriguing balancing act’.
I had a lady friend staying last month and like most females she left some items behind when she went back to where she came from, in this case Holland. Item number one was her mobile phone charger, of course, and item number two some ‘lady’s bag things’. Those items have been mailed back to her country but I have kept the third, a bottle of ‘Palmolive Aquarium handwash’. I’m not suggesting she purchased it here because ’its pretty looking with a pretty things inside’ but its pretty looking with a pretty things inside. The pretty thing inside varies but in this case a leaping dolphin over a mermaid atop and around a coral reef. Although it’s not a pink product it’s still a girly marketing ploy that makes women by this stuff by the crate full. It’s ironic as if the dolphin was swimming in this chemical handwash soup or swallowed the plastic bottle on some far flung Bikini Atoll it would die pretty quickly. Hey, the product may even have been tested on dolphins to make sure it won’t harm humans. Either way it’s a clever marketing gimmick. I suppose if you put a Manchester United footballer inside one scoring a goal blokes would buy them too.
The product remained unopened in my bathroom cabinet and so I have decided to use it up. It has press top delivery and a transparent bottle and liquid in appearance so you can see the lovely ocean bed scene. As yet no plastic bags and parts of MH370 floating about in there. It’s a gel and so stays where you squirt it and so easy to rub in and cleanse your lovely hands after using the toilet or getting ready to prepare food. I have been using it all month and plenty left and a 300ml bottle as standard. It’s unclear if the dolphin thing uses up any of the 300ml space like the way plastic in Kinder Eggs makes them a rip off. The presser doesn’t release too much so not unwanted wastage. Toothpaste sellers soon twigged that the bigger the whole the more you waste and so the more they sell.
It’s interesting to note that cleansing and disinfectant product sales exploded at about the time the Twin Towers did. The fear factor of just about everything was ramped up for the new millennium that day and we became scared of everything, including micro bugs, bugs we are supposed to be exposed to so to help build our resistance to other bugs. Our need to use antibiotics for just about everything is expected to be the reason why humans begin to die out in the second half of this century as superbugs eat us alive.
I wouldn’t say this handwash is any better or worse than any other as they are all made of the same stuff. I use it for a shower gel as that’s what blokes do, as I use conditioner as a shower gel. Clearly it’s been tested on animals to make sure no damage to humans. Hey, that’s the world we live in. I would recommend it and it comes in at around a quid in most supermarkets but that on special. They charge more than Tesco’s generic handwash because Tesco’s generic handwash doesn’t have a leaping dolphin in it. I’m guessing the more creative of you can use the empty bottle and dolphin to make something creative. I will be filling it with beach sand or my old marbles.
So we all know that the world’s biggest sports brands enjoy the big sporting competitions and also enjoyed posturing over the World Cup corruption controversy and threatened to pull their sponsorship because of, but, of course, didn’t, and come the 2018 World Cup in Russia and, indeed, the Euros, the big corporations will all be back showing their logos to boost their brands. The Qatar World Cup is embarrassing and slave labor used to build the stadiums and some of the Sheiks gay hating, ISIS supporting, women oppressing dinosaurs but still the tournament planned for 2022. But the big brands are still on board and that legitimizes the event in the Qataris eyes worth billions of dollars for all.
===Adidas v Nike===
These two guys are the world’s biggest soccer sport’s brands and football is their biggest battleground. German company Adidas are worth $7.1 billion) and American company Nike worth $28.1 billion. Reebok would lay claim to be in their company but down at a paltry $1.1 billion. Nike are more ‘street’ and tolerates drug cheats and philanderers attached to their products whilst Adidas are more European based and attached to the more conservative winners. They recently dropped Chelsea FC after they fell out of the Champions League and Nike quickly moved in with twice the shirt deal of Adidas. Nike appeals to a more diverse crowd and sponsors likewise owners. But most of their sneakers and sportswear kit is made in third world sweatshops at 50 cents per hour, possibly by those core customers their extended family. When I was in L.A., Nike were even making trainers in the color of the cities notorious gangs to boost sales. It’s not about sporting excellence anymore with Nike but attitude.
===Is beer advertising sells beer or making us buy it?===
I was surprised to learn that the 72,000 seater Old Trafford only sold 800 kegs of beer last year. There are around 85 pints in each keg. To put it in context Northamptonshire County Cricket Club sold 500 kegs, most of that at the full houses for Twenty20. Football grounds just don’t shift beer anymore. During Champions League games the home team can only sell one brand, Heineken, the official beer of the Champions League. This boosts Heineken sales but forced on to the punters so not a true endorsement of the product. It’s the same at Premier League Champions Leicester with Thai beer Singha. Don’t even think about taking your own food and drink into a modern sports stadium! But are those brands increasing sales through advertising or simply forcing their wares on us? The latter. No one had heard of Peroni bottled beer until it appeared at eye level in pub fridges. The Italian brewery simply bought the eyeline shelf from pub chains.
===Pepsi V Coke===
I was working in South Africa just after apartheid and can’t recall seeing more than three Pepsi cans in my time. I found out later that Pepsi pulled out of South Africa during white rule. They say it was on moral grounds where as experts say they feared they would lose sales in America because of campaigning against them. They are back in South Africa today but Coca Cola simply took over while Pepsi were away. Coca Cola, of course, is the dominant soft drink around the world through premium advertising aimed at kids. I bet you didn’t know but Irn Bru was the last soda to outsell Coca Cola in any county in the world.
====Berger’s and beer will make you play like Harry Kane===
The contradiction with advertising at big sports events is how can stuffing yourself on McDonalds and swigging Amstel make you remotely athletic? What is the connection between junk food and sporting achievement? The answer is none and the advertiser simply wants you to feel guilty you are not that fit and so look up to the sports stars even more and simply buy what they endorse or being endorsed buy. Why else would you buy a product a celebrity advertises? You know that celebrity would never use that product but still you buy it. Ronaldo doesn’t eat a KFC every week so to be able to curl and loop those incredible free kicks in.
Corporations like oil & gas companies love big sporting competitions. Whilst they are polluting the world they sponsor charities and fund healthy sports events to make you think they are, in fact, doing good in the world and trying to be green. This soft engineering is much cheaper advertising than actually doing the hard engineering of cleaning up drilling and mixing toxic chemicals. Gazpron, Putin’s super big oil group, are a great example, a huge sponsor of the European Champions League yet ripping open the Arctic Ocean beds and terrain across the Russian caucuses.
Suspended UEFA head Michelle Platini has been banned from football along with most of FIFA and so corruption never far away from the game. Indeed the new head of FIFA is already close to being asked to resign. The surprise move to make the 2016 event a 24 team championship is simply a mechanism to get the head of UEFA more votes for another term. That’s 24 happy teams invited to share the championship honey pot and a lot of endorsement cash. The expansion was purely about more TV contracts and more advertisers coming on board. Only 8 teams go out in the group stages next month and so worth investing in those teams. The problem of corruption is because the countries representatives in UEFA don’t get paid much so the only way is to get bribes from those sponsors and TV companies and fiddle expenses, allegedly. It’s far worse in FIFA because of so many tiny irrelevant football nations have a vote but in UEFA we do have Russia and Eastern European countries so not much better. Expect more corruption stories soon as the football extravaganza nears.
Anyone that likes to flick around on Freeview will know that Dave (Ch12) and Quest (38) are where the best reality and factual TV shows are. For snack TV I love those auction shows like Storage Wars and Auction Hunters and I’m recently getting into classic car restoration stuff. Shows like Pawn Stars and Storage Hunters are getting too scripted now and so I’m straying towards shows like Salvage Hunters, American Pickers and Chasing Classic Cars. They feel more genuine and we actually get to discover interesting and historic things and sometimes restored to their former glory, rather than larking around chasing an idiot audience. There is something about old stuff being repurposed that appeals to me. We have a small family antique business and my mom tends to buy all that ghastly brown wood stuff and mantle piece clutter that older people tend to buy for decorative reasons and just look at, rather than use it. I just don’t get that. Shabbychic and vintage is all the rage, of course, but restoration is more my thing. The mark up can be big if you know how to fix old stuff. It’s amazing how much money people will pay for old stuff.
My classic motor interest started with Chasing Classic Cars on Quest. It’s a really laidback and relaxing show as a highly experienced and avuncular American chap called Wayne Carini buys, restores and sells expensive classic cars, be it barn fresh restorations or the top end show cars. The guy knows his stuff and loves the cars as we dig out extremely rare and sexy vehicles from trash in field barns in Iowa to auctioning rich guy’s classic car-packed garages in California. There is something about a 1950s sports car that has been lost forever in car design.
Enjoying that show naturally led to the extremely cheaper version over here called ‘Wheeler Dealers’ which originally went out on Discovery. It’s hosted by pseudo wideboy and ex car trader Mike Brewer and a rather middle-class mechanic called Ed China. Mike drops more aitches than wrenches and Ed tries hard not to be posh, even though his hair comes straight from Brideshead Revisited. They work well together and get across their point on restoring and buying old cars really well.
The set up is they have a budget between 3 and 20k to buy a car and restore it and so sell it on for more. The Ferrari Dino 308 GTB was their highest ever purchase. They generally buy an old Triumph Stag or something from some middle aged businessman in the Midlands and do it up and sell it to another middle-aged businessman in the Midlands for a grand or so more. The format is not aimed at car traders so much but enthusiast who want to do up their own projects so lots of tips on car DIY in the show. The sell on price includes new parts and external services procured by Ed and Mike but would not include their labor that would make profit unlikely. They don’t always find a buyer though and the cars often sold on the shows website. Later shows would see the lads go to Europe and beyond to look for cars with the same format. The series is well over ten years old. Brewer also did a spin off show where he intended to continually trade up cheaper cars for better ones with a little TLC with the mission to go from a $500 car to a really classy car in just two weeks in India. I think its starts on Quest next week.
This episode looks at the restoration of a classic Jensen, the poor mans Aston Martin. Cars like the ‘Jensen Interceptor’ from that time had cooler names than actual performance and would have more leaks than a Welsh Farmers and Tory Budget put together. But give me a metal classic from the seventies to these modern day plastic boxes any day. You walk down a street now and all the cars look the same and simply designed to carry 4 people in comfort as they listen to their IPod. Who hits more than 70mph today with the window down today?
Mike picks up the white Jensen for five grand although in worse shape when they get it up on the jacks. Rust and bent chassis are a mechanic’s biggest problems. Your regular grease monkey will always overcharge you for easy fixes and cheap parts on your cars because they have the knowledge but when they charge you a lot on rust and rear end damage then they worked for it. Most car problems are pretty basic and easy to fix and they don’t want you to know that.
Jensen’s were built in West Bromwich between 1966-1976. What tends to happen with sports cars is they are driven at speed by posers and that kicks up water from the tires on to the underside and so rust, the base pretty much gone on this car. Time for Ed to get the welder out. In the 1970s and 80s you could literally fall through the bottom of British cars on the motorway.
The Jensen is still a much desired car but the ugly big back window makes it not one of my favorites. Its Italian designed and packs a straight V8 engine. I’m guessing parts are hard to find but the boys find them and the car is made roadworthy and test driven. It was a rare episode where the markup was slim. It’s a lovely car from the front and very Aston martin DB6 but from behind a Citron Xantia.
It’s a good hour long DVD and any TV show that teaches you something practical and restores well designed things from the past has to be worth watching if you have an interest in the subject. The presenters are gently over-the-top in their presenting style but likeable and articulate the cars history and how to fix it really well. Its one of those shows were not that much feels contrived and forced. These guys know their stuff and they want you to know their stuff.
‘The secret ingredient to sex is love’.
Star – Charlotte Gainsborough
Genre – Arthouse
Run Time – 1 Hr 57 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – U.K/USA
Oscars – 0 nominations
Awards – 14 Wins & 28 Nominations
Amazon – £11:0DVD (Blue Ray £9.62)
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There were a lot of ‘cringey’ right-of-passages to go through as a young kid in England and, indeed, a young adult but none more so than trying to procure porn. The arrival of VHS video meant you didn’t have to check all the bushes on the way home for discarded porn mags anymore, which was good, but had to somehow pretend to the video shop clerk you weren’t buying films to get off to, all along knowing that’s exactly what the clerk was thinking when you handed over your membership card. It would be the latest erotic soft porn thriller with Sharron Whirrey or alternatively seeking your naked ladies bits in exotic and pretentious foreign art house movies like this one. The safer option was to go for the art house to avoid embarrassment. I have seen a lot of terrible movies before my 25th birthday. But now you can get free internet porn and so no need for film and DVD to even contest that, long since past the point where you can see ‘everything’ in mainstream cinema and DVD now. Briefly the experience of seeing the ‘moneyshot’ and other graphic sex acts in mainstream cinema and DVD passed by the sensors was appealing but now its just directors trying to be edgy, as is the case with one of my favorite foreign directors in Lars von Trier here, certainly not everyone’s cup of tea.
Nymphomaniac was supposed to be one film but Von Trier ran up four hours of it and not the sort of director that stays long in the edit suite so it became volume 1&2. The film (s) are the final part of Von Trier’s "Trilogy of Depression" and also including the pretty dreadful Antichrist (2009) and the far better Melancholia (2011), all of which star British actress Charlotte Gainsbourg. Critics have said his movie bears more than a resemblance to the film ‘Anita: Swedish Nymphet (1973), about a psychology student who helps Anita, a self-confessed nymphomaniac, by listening to her sexual stories and trying to help her change her self-destructive ways. Its not unusual for directors to do that when they admire previous works so much.
As Von Trier has moved away from his ‘take it or leave it ‘wobbly camera, no soundtrack style dogme movies its more towards western actresses and Hollywood these days, so having to cast a star to sell it an English speaking movie, which its shot in. Canadian plonker Shia LaBeouf got the gig and, like all those going for the role, was asked to ‘send pictures of his penis’ in order to obtain his role. Shia being Shia decided to send in ‘personal sex tapes of him and his girlfriend having sex’ in order to convince Lars von Trier to cast him. He got the part although we will never know if he ‘got the part’. He is certainly a big dick. The film was deemed naughty enough to be banned in Turkey. Yes, Turkey, the country that funds ISIS.
Charlotte Gainsbourg ... Joe
Stellan Skarsgård ... Seligman
Stacy Martin ... Young Joe
Shia LaBeouf ... Jerôme
Christian Slater ... Joe's Father
Uma Thurman ... Mrs. H
Sophie Kennedy Clark ... B
Connie Nielsen ... Joe's Mother
Ed … Jamie Bell
Mia Goth ….P
Sophie Kennedy Clark …. B
Michael Pais …Old Jerome
Ronja Rissmann ... Joe - 2 Years
Maja Arsovic ... Joe - 7 years
Sofie Kasten ... B - 10 Years
Ananya Berg ... Joe - 10 Years
Anders Hove ... Odin
Joe: Perhaps the only difference between me and other people was that I've always demanded more from the sunset; more spectacular colors when the sun hit the horizon. That's perhaps my only sin.
An older man named Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård) finds a badly beaten woman in an alley and he brings her home. She tells him that her name is Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and that she is nymphomaniac. Joe appears a rather cold individual and begins to recite her life and sexual experiences with hundreds of men since she was a young teenager while Seligman tells about his hobbies to calm her, such as fly fishing, reading about Fibonacci numbers or listening to organ music.
Born to a loving father (Christian Slater) and aloof mother (Connie Nielsen) her childhood was left to her imagination, soon obsessed by sexual feeling. By 16 teenager Joe (Stacy Martin) is blossoming fast in the way of men and with her friend B (Sophie Kennedy Clark) having contests to score the most guys (of any age) on trains. The accumulation of men seems to appeal to the girl’s twisted sexual sense of fun and emancipation. They even have club full of likewise girl’s who have one rule - only sleep with the guy once and no falling in love.
Now 18 Jo gets a job in an office where she slowly falls for her boss, Jerôme (Shia LaBeouf), unable to suppress those banned feelings of romantic connection and he unaware of those emotions. She writes down her feelings in a letter to him. But Jerôme has left for Europe to travel before she can deliver it.
Joe: No, no, no. It's worse. Love distort things. Or even worse, love is something you never asked for. The erotic was something that I ask for or even demanded of men. But this idiotic love... I felt humiliated by it. And all the dishonesty that follows
We pick up her life as she accelerates her sexual conquers, having six or seven guys on the go at the same time, coming to ahead when the wife (Uma Thurman) of one of them and her kids pays a visit to her just after he does, teeing up an embarrassing scene.
So enter Ed (Jamie Bell), who introduces a now thirtysomething Joe into sexual humiliation and bondage, which leads to criminality and a man called L (Willem Defoe). She is told by M to go out and seduce a vulnerable young girl, P (Mia Goth), to seduce and recruit into their organization. But it’s not long before she is experimenting in sexual desire and control once again in Volume 2.
Joe: It's actually the souls of the trees we're seeing in the winter. In summer everything is green and idyllic but in the winter, the branches and the trunks all stand out. Just look at how crooked they all are. The branches have to carry all the leaves to the sunlight. That's one long struggle for survival.
As a big fan of LVT and his early work I found him an interesting filmmaking doing what he does well. But whenever arty foreign directors try to do sexual desire and serious plotting it all goes pearshaped. Although some periodically good scripting and interesting scenes there is little eroticism to the film although I suppose that’s the point. It seems to be about how women use sex as power and men are the bait at the end of the hook, the fly fishing metaphor used heavily throughout the film. The men are all cast as weak and two dimensional and the women very much cold, aloof and in-charge. Maybe that’s how he sees women. That’s a man who is scared of women and the type of men that women are not attracted to. Thye want us to be in charge whatever they say.
It’s interesting how it explores sexual desire in very young women, something rather taboo in society. In films it’s ok for young boys to peep at naked older women through the window in a jokey way but God forbid if it’s the other way around with desire. But here it all is and LVT is out to shock. It’s graphic but not nowhere near as graphic as some big screen trailblazers in this Arthouse sex genre and certainly some questionable near the knuckle moments. You have to remember our director is a manic depressive and they see things more cynical in that darkness.
Yes it’s pretentious and out to shock and generally boring but it’s not too naff and some points I actually believe in. It is interesting to explore that whole taboo sexuality of the age gap. Humans are created and programmed to reproduce and it’s only a law someone made up that decides 16 is an appropriate age. Some of these recent historical sexual abuse cases don’t really take into account that it takes two to tango and taboo sex is the most exciting. If 15-year-old girls threw themselves at Radio One DJs back in the day then hey ho. It’s not as terrible as it sounds. This film nails the young girl’s point of view on that and how exciting it is to them. Of course men will exploit that but some girls grow up quicker than others.
Both films are in the same box set as far as retail and rental goes but you can see one at a time on Sky Movies etc. It’s not advisable to watch both at the same time as they are hard work. It’s also not a movie to draw the curtains to and get the box of tissues or hand scream out youngsters. Its not remotely erotic and more about sexual politics than lust. But if you like your foreign movies then I’m sure this may well whirrr away in some of your DVD players and you may see more in it than I did.
Joe: The erotic is about saying yes. Love appeals to lowest instincts, wrapped up in lies. How do you say yes when you mean no? And vice-versa. I'm ashamed of what I became. But it was beyond my control.
Imdb.com – 7.0/10.0 (78,345votes)
Rottentomatos.com –74% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 64% critic’s approval
Variety –‘It's either one of the worst pornos ever made or one of Von Trier's best films.
Mail –‘ The secret ingredient to sex is love’
The Mirror –‘Overall, the sexually graphic pic is more boring than not’
Milwaukee Times –‘Joe uses her sexuality to control men. The question is whether her sexuality controls her’.
In These Times –‘I can no longer tolerate Lars von Trier’
Film Threat –‘.Perhaps the most surprising thing about Lars von Trier is that he still can surprise us’.
The Times –‘Beneath the sheen of sweat on his actors and between the frequent scenes of frantic and entangled limbs, there's substance to Von Trier's tale’
So, as all women know, men are practical and women are never satisfied. We blokes do things when things need doing. It’s binary. It needs doing so we do it. It doesn’t need doing so we don’t do it, especially around the house. But women do this thing where they want us to do stuff that probably doesn’t need doing but it makes them feel they are not doing everything around the house and so feel appreciated. Painting and DIY falls into that category with a big thump. Men know that women are expecting them to be practical around the house and so we end up buying big macho tools and things to make them think we are macho. We men also know if we bugger up those jobs we won’t hear the last of it, why women makes us do them. They would rather we make the mistakes than them. Painting is one of those jobs that is hard to bugger up but still has to be done. Don’t get me going on wallpapering.
As you know single men’s bedrooms are not the cleanest places and the pinks and sprays of women’s boudoirs are replaced by general smells and piles of clothes waiting to be washed - by a woman – in a man’s cave. I am a clean chap though and don’t like clutter and so enjoy painting freshness into the room. We all lean our heads and limbs onto walls out of habit and that can create a greasy mark or two. I tend to keep the paint nearby to patch other any spots on the walls after I have done the original paint way back when. It just has a nice smell and brings more light into the room. Carpets are always tough to get the whiff out of them short of buying a new one and so a lick of paint on the walls and woodwork brings the room back.
The idea with Crown-all-in-one is the undercoat is mixed in and you just paint it on the wall or wood. But always clean the surface first and be ready to pick the brush bristles out of the wall if you bought the brush from the poundshop. If they are cheap brushes better lob them away in a sealed bag than going through the process of cleaning them in turps. Who doesn’t have a jam jar with a rock hard paint brush in it somewhere? A fine bristled brush is a better option for painting with gloss. The paint is quite liquid and so don’t be adding any water to make it last longer if you are tight. I do that a lot with silk and matt paint. It works though. You can make a container last twice as long is you do that. Gloss paint is more chemical intensive and so rejects anything put in there so keep it clean.
It goes on nicely but a bit drippy so get your newspapers down. Use plain up strokes as you get a better finish that way with gloss. I would say you can paint all four walls with the standard Crown large tin of this. One coat will be fine if your original undercoat is there. It would be better to apply an undercoat on fresh unpainted wood and so this on top. That extra thickness cuts back on peeling and bleaching from sunlight. This will need a good stir from new and make sure you seal the lid down tight as all the chemicals will decide to detach inside after a few weeks of non use. A good mix will get it back onside though. The more paint you use the more air is trapped inside and so the more you need to keep it sealed. It will slop over the side which makes it harder to push the lid back on.
Crown and Dulux and every other pain maker use the same chemicals to make their stuff so it’s all down to branding and those TV commercials to how much product they shift. A certain toilet roll maker used cute puppy dogs to sell their product and won the day over their rivals, so much so that they didn’t have any rivals. A cute dog has nothing to with wiping your bum. Dulux stuck a big fury cute dog in their adverts with floppy ears and they also won the day. For me cost is the only thing that matters as paint is paint and I look for a deal. You can pick up a tub or tin of this for under twenty quid if you shop around. I got mine for £12.99 and a very good price to.
The ‘Clicks v Bricks’ retail war appears to be over as Amazon (clicks) now take half of all U.K E-Commerce profits at £500 million and 20% of all retail profits. With the closure of high street chain BHS (bricks) and the alleged asset strip of its pension fund by its previous owners it’s fair to say the big players in the retail industry saw the end was nigh for the ‘bricks’ side of things a while ago. Most high street chains see their websites take far more money then their high street monoliths. If the highstreet collapses then our economies will be worse off in the future.
Some would say that venture capitalist Sir Phillip Green bought BHS in 2000 for £200 million quid (and later adding to his Arcadia Group in 2009) because he knew it would fail and its commercial appeal was not the product but that £550 million pension pot which now has a £207 million deficit. It certainly wasn’t its outdated fashion line that appealed. Recently Green sold it for a quid to an ex racing driver friend at ‘Retail Acquisitions Ltd’ and that friend took another £100 million out. That company was barely a month old when it purchased BHS. Its legal and its called vulture capitalism. A venture capitalist can quickly become a vulture…
I think we all agree BHS has had its day and the days of dressing middle aged people in navy and grey is over but we also know people like Phillip Green stay close to government with political donations because they know the tax payer will always have to pick up that big hole in the pension plan. Debenhams is next to go and similarly stripped to the bone. Marks & Spencer has won the battle to be Middle England’s department store but that, too, will be broken up the same way one day. Nothing is going to stop the move to online sales only.
Like Amazon and the bigger companies of the world our Mr Green doesn’t like paying tax, transferring the ownership of his Arcadia Group to his party loving wife in Monaco to avoid most of his expected tax contribution. He still got his knighthood though. Just as these entrepreneurs make money from growing vibrant businesses and we all pat them on the back they make money from failing businesses too.
Small highstreet shops and family businesses can’t compete with the corporation’s non tax paying skills either and end up carrying the bulk of the burden the Treasury needs to balance the books. This bias kills the small guys and however E-savvy they are they will always lose out to the big boys. If any growth is going to come where most businesses are the government has to support small business by raking in tax from Google and co. How can it be right Facebook pay just 6000 UK tax a year, the same as a small takeaway in Northampton?
But this is not the only way they bully governments. Osborne’s move to make the corporations pay more tax has backfired as they hit back on another front. They are going through the courts claiming they paid to much tax on imports over the last 40 years. The lawyers that went to the same schools as the CEOs agree and huge payouts have been handed to companies like BAT, BP and Barclays Bank. A projected one billion pounds of taxpayer’s money will be paid back to them in the next five years.
Banks, store chains and the entertainment industry, amongst others, love digital online E- commerce as it enables them to sell off their highly valuable property portfolios and chop skilled staff. This is why E-Commerce is the future. Blockbuster Video was a classic example of why e-commerce will always win over high street retail. Why have 150 shops across Britain selling and renting physical DVDs and Games when you can rent or sell them from one website shop with a tenth of the staff? And that’s what they did. But they went bust because TV could simply deliver DVD as a digital download to your smart TVs much quicker and cheaper. Once technology moves ahead of what the high street has to offer the chipboard goes up. Machines that could increasingly do menial tasks threw millions of blue-collar workers into unemployment across the west in the last century and so digitization will throw millions of white collar workers into unemployment this century. The so-called White Heat revolution is going to make most of us redundant. They are even working on robots to care for dementia patients so to keep this generation freed up and working to generate those taxes to run the show the big corporations simply don’t want to pay.
Other industries welcomed E-commerce with open arms. Banks have benefited the most and closed half of all their branches since 2000 and getting rid of things like cheque and bank books making them even more money. Digital saves a ton of cash and all those staff in cheque clearing houses. Soon we will be passing money around by thumb print and the scan of our iris. Not our Auntie Iris but the retina bit in our eye. General work, living and buying stuff is being consumed online at an alarming rate, everything literally being sucked into the cyber black hole in digital streams like a DR Who episode. SO powerful is the gravity pull of the internet on our lives that even delinquent teenage crime and teen pregnancy rates are tumbling as kids simply stay in and date and meet online, or smash sh*t up there on their X-boxes instead of bus stops and phone boxes.
Internet security is the only handbrake I can see for E-commerce as far as totally closing down the highstreet goes. Two thirds of all companies reported some sort of internet fraud or malevolent behaviors in the last five year, Talk Talk loosing an estimated £30 million in business after their major breech last year. The big boys can survive that hit but DNS (Denial of Service) or hack attacks can wipeout small companies out. The latest attacks involve criminals locking down whole websites and then a ransom demanded. It’s believed £17 million was quietly paid out this way last year alone. But it won’t stop the move to E-commerce and I’m not convinced this type of commerce will save our economies either and more and more of us will be isolated by our online lives.
So one of the first things we do as young adults is get a bank account. In my day you had a pay packet full of cash and you would put money in the bank for safe keeping and a little paper book to record how much you had in it. Today it’s gone the other way and it is you who are using their valuable time and money and banks increasingly charging for their time. As long as I have had a bank account and however much I had in it I only ever got 84p interest a year. It’s a bloody cheek they ask for bank admin fees when they have already invested our savings eight times over and made a ton of cash from it. How else do they make their billions?
I have had a few accounts but this is one of two I have left with money in. We tend to stay with the same bank as savers and current account holders. I have a current account with Barclays since the 1980s. Savers accounts are only good if you don’t take any money out and put lots in or you will lose the base interest rate offered. Interest on current accounts is negligible. When you open a new account with bank then that’s the best chance of getting a decent promotional rate these days and that may not last. Any other dormant or regular current account you will get little or no interest, the big grumble by the older folks right now with the blue chip pensions. Current account savers rates are about 1%. Current accounts are essentially vehicles to pay your wages in and then out again on direct debits. The nightmare of suffering online fraud means a lot of those DD’s bounce and you incur a ton of fines from all manner of people.
Barclays have a few current and savers accounts on offer but they like to encourage you into the fee paying ones so read the small print. They also push you to do online banking instead of coming into the branches. The days of that little passbook that would be stamped at the bank are long gone. PPI really cost the banks big and they want it back the same way they go it and so making huge savings and increasing charges. Coupled with the banking crisis their share prices across the sector have collapsed. But if the governments of the world had not nationalized the debt and so privatized the profits then we would have lost all of our wages and savings back in 2008. We were only 7 hours away from tanks on the street, a financial Def Con one.
I can’t recall what my Barclays account was called then but now it’s the standard one. You have to apply online and they offer up £5,000 authorized overdraft. You can join Barclay’s rewards straight off the bat. Again, if you start clicking the add-ons’ on offer check there are no charges. If you have a big salary they may offer you the Premier Current Account that offers free ads on and more protection for higher savings in the event of another 2008. What they really mean is the government will pay out if they go bust. That could happen as the next mega bank shock will be even bigger and some say on the way as china grinds to a halt. It appears easy to apply for the account online.
The big banks hate cheques and its becoming harder to use them to pay your bills. Barclay’s credit cards are all online pay only now as they increasingly move the risk onto the consumer. If you do suffer online fraud you have to go through the call-centers to recover your money and the people are trained to try and find you at fault so you don’t get your money back. Make sure your virus protection is up to date at home and anywhere you online bank. If you bank on an open public wireless regularly the bank will take that into account and they may refuse all your money back.
I have now moved to online banking with Barclays and so far no problems. As you tend to use your best and most formal email to join make sure you don’t cock up the procedure of setting up your account. It takes about ten minutes to open the account. I pay my credit card this way. You can set up a direct debit in no time at all. Although online banking is intimidating you will get used to it. It also makes it easier to move your money around. If you do have a credit card and you want to pump some cash in to your current account then that is easy to. We have to accept we live our lives online now and high street banks will eventually all close.
You get your plastic within 5 days of opening your account and your bank code and account number straight away after you are accepted for an account. I did not apply online so I don’t know the questions you will be asked. I’m sure it’s pretty quick as they go by your credit rating. Don’t be shy. It’s not as intrusive as it was. They want your business. I recall they give fruit names to customers according to how much they think they will get out of them through banks charges and interest on loans etc. I recall I was a lemon.
So how the hell did Leicester City win the Premier League? Well, their side is well balanced between home grown and foreign lads and they have top class players like Mahrez and Kante and the 20 goal striker critical to any success. But so do other mid range city based teams like West Ham, Stoke, Everton and Southampton. No, something the sports media doesn’t want to talk about is illegal performance enhancing drug use in the Premier League. They say there is little evidence of it to report. But ask yourself this - what is the chance that the only two players that have tested positive in the Premier League in the last ten years just so happen to play for the same team and in the same position and one of them, Kole Toure, replaced the other one, Mamadou Sakho, for failing that test last month? Either that was an amazing coincidence or lots of other positives have been covered up in the Premier League. We know the EPL do in-house testing and we know sports bodies like tennis and cycling did cover up positives to protect their sport and their sponsors. Lance Armstrong was secretly given 24 hours to explain away a banned substance in his blood. He was told to trawl the internet and find the banned substance present in another legal product, saddle cream decided on the alibi. World Cycling let him off. We are not yet there in football but we are not hearing about failed tests.
Now, I’m not accusing Leicester doping the way to the title, far from it. Here is my angle on it. In the year of 2015 the Biological Blood Passport testing system was introduced into Champions League and Europa League, which meant players were not only being testing for those two competitions this way but effectively their own domestic leagues, leagues not revealing test results. Sakho failed for the Liverpool v Man United game in the Europe League, in the first year of testing. But where it gets interesting is how well England’s ‘Big Four’ are doing - or not as the case maybe - in the Premier League compared to last season now they are being drug tested in the European Champions League. What else can explain the dramatic point’s collapse of the top four this season? Where was Hazzard, Rooney, Yaya Toure and co?
===2014-15 final points total (2015-16 season in brackets today)===
Chelsea - 87 points (47 points)
Man City - 79 points (64 points)
Arsenal - 75 points (67 points)
Man United - 70 points (60 points)
===Cumulative top 4 points over 5 years===
2011- 12 was 312 points
2012 -13 was 315 points
2013 - 14 was 311 points
2014-15 was 311 points
2015-16 is 254 points
The big four not being as fit and full of energy as you need to be in this league have lost to more teams and so allowed more teams to place higher in the league, top two Spurs and champions Leicester notable examples for taking points off the traditional top four. West Ham and Southampton will join them higher up next season. The top four are worried.
The Foxes top spot is all the more amazing to think they were bottom in March last year, only that amazing run under head case manager Nigel Pearson keeping them up. Taking 19 points from the final 8 games of 2015 means they have taken 96 points in 44 Premier League games since. Some Leicester fans quite fancied their chances in August and placed their annual small bet of odds of around 5000-1 on their team to win the league and this time it came in. To understand the mind of the loyal fan then you only need to look at that bet.
The Thai owners have bough some Buddhist magic to the ground and some say the final resting place of King Richard may also have helped. Whatever it was the 32,000 who pack in the King Pow every week have had a great time this season and with guaranteed Champions League next season it can only get better. They will have to drink Amstel though over the house beer for their three ECL home games.
The team is very well balanced and have 16 nationalities in the main squad. They have too huge and brave units at centerback to underpin any barrage and the Austrian Fuch useful at leftback. Simpson and Drinkwater are also in that defensive six and an example of how top British players are being forced down the leagues by this foreign tsunami of mixed ability players. Drinkwater and Simpson were blocked from the Man United first team by those often cheaper foreigners and have proved they are clearly worthy of that level now. Kante is the engine in the midfield and Mahrez the world-class feet to weave his way through impossible gaps. Vardy, of course, sent Leicester on the way with those 11 straight goals, another player forced down the leagues by those bloody foreigners. In fact Vardy was playing for tiny Fleetwood Town in the conference not four years ago in front of 500 people. Its great story and a movie is in the making. Ten years ago he was wearing a tag and heading for a life of crime on £30 a game. Next year he will earn five million pounds.
1 Denmark GK Kasper Schmeichel (vice-captain)
4 England MF Danny Drinkwater
5 Jamaica DF Wes Morgan (captain)
6 Germany DF Robert Huth
8 England MF Matty James
9 England FW Jamie Vardy
10 Wales MF Andy King
11 England MF Marc Albrighton
12 England GK Ben Hamer
13 Ghana MF Daniel Amartey
14 France MF N'Golo Kanté
15 Ghana DF Jeff Schlupp
No. Position Player
17 England DF Danny Simpson
18 England DF Liam Moore
20 Japan FW Shinji Okazaki
22 England MF Demarai Gray
23 Argentina FW Leonardo Ulloa
24 England MF Nathan Dyer (on loan from Swansea City)
26 Algeria MF Riyad Mahrez
27 Poland DF Marcin Wasilewski
28 Austria DF Christian Fuchs
30 England DF Ben Chilwell
32 Australia GK Mark Schwarzer
33 Switzerland MF Gökhan Inler
===All time top scorers===
England - Arthur Chandler 273
England - Arthur Rowley 265
England - Ernie Hine 156
England - Derek Hines 117
Scotland - Arthur Lochhead 114
England - Gary Lineker 103
England - Mike Stringfellow 97
Scotland - Johnny Duncan 95
Scotland - Jimmy Walsh 91
England - Jack Lee 84
===All time appearances===
England - Graham Cross 599
Scotland - Adam Black 557
England - Hugh Adcock 460
England - Mark Wallington 460
England - Steve Walsh 450
England - Arthur Chandler 419
Scotland - John Sjoberg 413
Wales - Mal Griffiths 409
England - Steve Whitworth 400