All's not what it seems

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There are 353 posts tagged: entertainment

Outside in
13 June 2024

Oh dear. I wonder whether the PRPP's politburo expressed displeasure with their film buff, Nicholas Barber, when he earlier described Disney's upcoming Inside Out 2 as having a strong whiff of I'll wait until it comes to streaming.

Film 2024 (June edition)
30 May 2024

Time for twelve of the best films to watch in June, courtesy of BBC Culture's resident film buff Nicholas Barber. Although I have the impression his heart may not be in it this time.

Flopbusters 2024
30 May 2024

The year has not been kind to Hollywood, with some major flops past and a largely uninspiring upcoming slate. Last weekend was the US Memorial Day holiday, and Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga*—a too-late-to-ride-the-wave, Max-less, Mad Max sequel prequel—bombed spectacularly, contributing to the lowest holiday box office take in decades.

You've gotta eat gruel to be kind
5 April 2024

Is the rising cost of living leaving you penny-pinching? Not enough money to put food on the table? Not enough money to warm your hovel? Well, stop thinking only of yourself, you selfish bastard! (furious)

Twirling, tumbling Tommy
22 March 2024

Searching for something completely unrelated, I happened across a Wackypeedeeyah! entry on 1967's British musical, Half a Sixpence. I remember watching it on TV years ago as a child. I never need see it again.

On the up
14 March 2024

It's not what you say, it's the way that you say it. And that applies just as much to the mainstream media announcing Oscars 2024's viewership, which increased to 19.5M over last year's 18.8M. CBS News chose to celebrate this achievement with the following headline: 2024 Oscars ratings reveal biggest viewership in 4 years. Similarly, The Hollywood reporter went with TV Ratings: Oscars Score Post-Pandemic Highs, while those excitable little monkeys at TheWrap stuck their necks out and proclaimed Oscars 2024 Hit 4-Year Viewership High With 19.5 Million.

The unholy Trinity
13 March 2024

In the wake of the theatrical and awards successes of Oppenheimer, comes a documentary on the tragedy that befell those living downwind from the Los Alamos testing programme in New Mexico. Communities who claim that radiation from the Trinity Test caused the cancers that have affected generations, even to this day.

11 March 2024

Oscars 2024 has been and gone, accompanied by the mummers' risible lapel pin posturing. And with it my one bitter wish came true: Margot Robbie walked away empty handed. As a further slap in the face to the feminists at Beeb Towers, their favoured nom wasn't even mentioned in the ceremony's closing stages; Al Pacino cut to the chase and only announced the winner. Presumably, he figured that after three-and-a-half-hours, people had homes to go to.

9 March 2024

Nicholas Barber and Caryn James have offered their assessment of the runners 'n' riders for Oscars 2024, and Barbie didn't even merit a mention in the best picture category.

Intermission missing
7 March 2024

Presenting the award for best director at this year's BAFTAs, Hugh Grant opined that most of these films were frankly too long. As the BBC's culture reporter, or BBC Culture's reporter, Alex Taylor, attempts to establish the truth behind the claim, the answer seems to depend on whose opinion is being offered: the theatre owners or Martin Scorsese.

1 March 2024

As Dune: Part Two hits theatres to acclaim from those who're into that kinda thing, Hanna Flint asks whether studios are ripping off audiences, by spreading their wares thin enough to eke out multiple visits to the kinematograph parlour in order to see a story to its conclusion.

Big cat
21 February 2024

Ugly but iconic '60s London landmark, the Post Office Tower, has been sold to become an hotel.

Madame Web saves Morbius
15 February 2024

Sony continues to mine its Spider-manless spiderverse, following up Venom and Morbius with Madame Web. Like Morbius, it hasn't gone down too well with aficionados and critics. But, for those of us who enjoyed the vampire flick, within reason, and who're getting fed up with it constantly being dragged by the spiderverse dweebs, it appears that Madame Web has come to the rescue. It's been even more critically panned, and could perhaps become the new benchmark for comic book film dreadful. Shitbag, even The Marvels comes off better.

15 February 2024

I never saw House M.D. when it was broadcast, but I've been watching clips on the Tube of You. If it's anything to go by—unlikely, this is a TV show after all—the work of a hospital diagnostics team boils down to throwing around a bunch of long disease names, and then treating the patient for everything in the hope that, like slinging shit against a wall, something will stick. Job's a good 'un. (thumbup)

5 February 2024

The Grammys have been and gone without controversy, besides Jay-Z bitchin' that his wife's not received the recognition he thinks she deserves. Poor lamb, hopefully the royalties will offer some comfort.

Nom nom nom
24 January 2024

Another BBC report on the Oscars' nominations brings to our attention, yet again, that Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig were cruelly snubbed for their work on Barbie where it matters most, the big noms that recieve the goodie bag. And its entertainment reporter, Steven I'm really a feminist, please can I have a shag? McIntosh, is all over the inequality. Or inequity. Or PaTriArchY aNd MisOGyNy™. Or whatever the hell.

Kenough is enough
24 January 2024

Ryan Gosling says he's honoured to be one of this year's Academy Award nominees in the best supporting actor category, for his role portraying a plastic doll named Ken in Barbie. His joy is tempered, however, with disappointment that the film's director, Greta Gerwig, and his inanely-grinning, bug-eyed leading lady aren't similarly recognised. Oh well, never mind.

Annie Nightingale: done whistlin'
12 January 2024

Annie Nightingale, the first woman DJ on BBC Radio 1, has passed at the age of 83. With a career spanning fifty years, she was the station's longest-serving broadcaster. Remarkably, she was working until the end, with her final show broadcast just before Christmas.

Don't bother they're here
12 January 2024

This week's BBC News quiz ends, as is so often the case, with a celebrity death. This time, it's that of Glynis Johns, and the category descriptions all refer to her stage hit, Send in the Clowns.

Echo chamber
9 January 2024

Marvel's Echo is about to drop onto Disney+. Or, more precisely, it's about to be dumped, as all five episodes are being released simultaneously, rather than in instalments as is the norm.

Golden shower
8 January 2024

Okay, hands up all who were aware that the Golden Globes awards ceremony was being held yesterday? Yeah, me neither.

101 damnations
27 December 2023

Well, well, well! The communards of the People's Republic of Portland Place are facing up to the fact that the awoken of The Walt Disney Company have not had a wildly successful 2023 at the box office. Only one of Disney's six cinematic releases this year—Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3—turned a modest profit, while others bombed, some of them spectacularly. Nicholas Barber does his best to analyse the Mouse House's cinematic performance, without actually apportioning too much of the credit blame to the Burbank Bastards themselves. Or, at least, to their sociopolitics.

22 December 2023

I've seen Aquaman (2018). It was okay, but barely. And I haven't been psyched or pumped for the sequel, especially as it retains the dubious thespian talents of a bedshitter who should've been kicked to the kerb after the Johnny Depp defamation trial.

The last picture show (2023 edition)
24 November 2023

Last month, we had twenty of the best films of the year to that point in time. Now, just six weeks later, we have the twenty best films of 2023. Not twenty of the best; oh no, this is the actual factual twenty best. Period.

Big Bird in space
14 November 2023

Not wishing to trivialise a tragedy, but this is a tempting thought nonetheless: What if Big Bird Exploded in the Challenger Disaster? It's a question posed as a delayed April Fool's joke by AlternateHistoryHub.

Arse acher
6 November 2023

LucasFilm has destroyed several beloved franchises under Kathleen Kennedy's leadership. I say that without malice, since I've had no real interest in any of Star Wars; Indiana Jones; or Willow, for which I consider myself lucky. Others have not been as fortunate, and have seen their beloved franchises sodomised and dragged through the mud.

No thanks
3 November 2023

As the world readies itself for the cinematic release of the latest Disney princess classic-in-waiting, Wish, in celebration of the company's centenary, we're treated to one of its musical highlights: This Is The Thanks I Get?!

Across the panderverse
1 November 2023

The latest instalment of South Park has dropped to streaming on Paramount+. Unfortunately for me at least, anything streamed on Paramount+ may as well be streamed on the moon. There are online reviews, however, and even my viewing options stretch that far.

Madge on the march
20 October 2023

Madonna opened her greatest hits Celebration Tour in London on Saturday, and with it this week's BBC News quiz. Performing four decades of songs, from her first album released in 1983 through to 2019, Borderline was not part of the set list.

Light summer viewing
13 October 2023

The addition of four more entries to the list, bringing the total to date to twenty, includes the summer theatrical phenomenon dubbed Barbenheimer. But it's an indictment of the summer slate that it added only four titles to those we must watch.

Robyn Hood
9 October 2023

There's a Canadian remake—or reimagining, who knows?—of the legend of Robin Hood currently on screens somewhere. Retitled Robyn Hood, it features a black LGBTQIABC+FLAPFLAPFLAP female lead, naturally, with a hip-hop band called The Hood as her/they's merrie men people, living in the Sherwood and Forest tower block estates within the fictional Canadian city of New Nottingham. I think that's close enough.

Oh deer 🦌
29 September 2023

Disney is to remake another animated classic, Bambi, in live-action format for modern audiences. The writer, Lindsey Anderson Beer, explained how 1942's original treatment could be problematic or offensive to current-day sensibilities. (snowflake)

The name of the game
27 September 2023

On viewing this lead on the BBC's home page, my first thought was to why FIFA(exclamation) would change its name to that of a video game,* especially if it represents a big gamble. The production company must be offering a megashit-tonne of money for the promotion.

Bored of the Rings
24 September 2023

According to the BBC's Lora Jones—or, more likely, Amazon Studios' PR/flimflam department—The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power has proven a huge hit for Amazon Prime. Would this be the same The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power that lost 63% of its US viewership, and 55% of its overseas viewership, over the course of its first season run?

Amber's number 1 fan*
22 September 2023

After wandering the cinematic wilderness, as a Hollywood outcast following her loss in Johnny Depp's defamation lawsuit, Amber Heard is set to return to someone's screen in upcoming indie film In The Fire. It's being released simultaneously in theatres, on digital, and on demand; which, in the post-pandemic theatrical landscape, is not a sign of high expectations for its box office performance.

Planet smurf
19 September 2023

Did you see Avatar when it came to your local picture playhouse? I feel like the exception proving the rule that the whole of the western world saw it. But when they returned, they could only talk of the astonishing CGI and 3D wizardry. (snooze)

A Casual(ty) slip-up
12 September 2023

The broadcast of a repeated episode of BBC TV hospital drama Casualty caused controversy when a naughty word was subtitled before the watershed. I hasten to add, this was not broadcast by the BBC, but by UKTV. I have no idea how, or even if, the two companies are related.

Fringe cut
25 August 2023

It was only thanks to this week's BBC News quiz of the week that I learned of this year's Dave Award for funniest joke at the Edinburgh Fringe. And it's been awarded to a comedienne for the first time since 2008. I won't repeat Lorna Rose Treen's winning joke here, because it's about as funny as last year's winner, and pretty much anything from Tim Vine's entire repetoire. This is not meant as a ringing endorsement.

Unimaginative reimagination
15 August 2023

As Disney's reimagining of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, now just Snow White, comes under criticism for tokenised race-swapping of the titular heroine; re-characterisation of the dwarves; rewriting the story for modern audiences; and Rachel Zegler running her mouth in interviews, the BBC's very own entertainment and arts reporter, Emma Saunders asks: Has the fairy tale already gone sour?

Plot twist!
11 August 2023

In The Man Who Invented The Plot Twist, Adrian Gray educates us on the rise and fall of Rowan Blake, who introduced the plot twist to Hollywood's otherwise risk-adverse dramatic output for TV during the '50s.

The Timberlake syndrome
3 August 2023

A hagiography of Angus Cloud is illustrated among the BBC's features' picks with an image previously used to illustrate BBC Culture's deep-dive into cinematic buttocks. I guess all average-looking, cropped-haired, white actors look alike. (shrug)

A bum wrap
1 August 2023

One of the three flap‑flap‑flap entries on Nicholas Barber's must-watch list is Passages. Boasting a bisexual ménage à trois to help it rise above the banal, its inclusion of several sex scenes has earned it a none-too-enviable NC-17 rating from the Motion Pictures Association.

Better call G'iah
1 August 2023

Secret Invasion, Disney Marvel Studios' straight-to-streaming D+ alien invasion-cum-espionage thriller, has come and gone. It debuted to the second lowest opening audience for an MCU miniseries, and ended as the least appreciated. That's some feat. There are winners and losers in all walks of life, the entertainment industry being no exception; but even losers can come a close last. This one wasn't even trying.

Around the world in 80 minutes*
28 July 2023

Nicholas Barber presents us with ten of the best films to watch this August. He has, however, used the same approach as those pseudo bibliophiles Rebecca Laurence and Lindsay Baker when compiling their must-read lists, and turned to snippets he's found elsewhere on t'intertubes. This isn't his first waltz around the ballroom y'know.

The four black wimmin of the wokecalypse
23 July 2023

June was a bad time to be a high-level DEI executive in Hollywoke, and a good time to have hope for the future of entertainment—even if it's a fool's hope. Over a ten-day period, a number of high-profile checkboxes have taken, or been handed, an opportunity to explore new phases in their careers.

Woke's 7
18 July 2023

ho-ho-heigh-ho! Leaked photos from the set of Snow Woke and the Seven Diverse Magical Beings of Generally Conformative Stature, show the actors' stand-ins gaily* larking about in an English meadow. They're very funny; the photos, that is, not the stand-ins, whom I'm sure are serious artistes who're dedicated to their craft, trouping in the best traditions of Thespis, dahling. (muses) (clown)

Strike two!
14 July 2023

Hollyweird's luvvies are restless. Again. And this time it's not #MeToo, or climate change, or any of that shit. This is a far more noble cause. This is about money dahling!

7 July 2023

While film buffs Barber and James score points over the bookworms, Laurence and Baker, for actually having seen at least some of the films that they're recommending, they lose a few for the laziness with which they recycle their article. No new image to lure the reader in. Hell's teeth, they can't even be bothered to update the date from 14th April! The only betrayal of change is a slight revision to the title, just to reflect the additions.

7 July 2023

2023 has been a year of some major box office bombs, and we're only at the halfway mark. In his assessment of what might be going wrong for the current slate of tentpole releases alongside Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Nicholas Barber mentions such notable disasters as The Flash; Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken; Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania; Fast X; and Elemental. He omits Shazam! Fury of the Gods and The Little Mermaid though.

Football TV
6 July 2023

A fluff-piece about the captain of the Indian national football team, Sunil Chhetri, is only notable for introducing those of us blissfully unaware that FIFA has a channel to the fact that FIFA has a channel.

The lesser of three evils
3 July 2023

As the coroner's court comes into session to examine the catastrophic theatrical opening of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, there comes news of another box office death in the shape of Universal/Dreamworks' Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken. The only thing I'd heard of this film was that one of its characters—one of the mermaid antagonists as it turns out—is a satire on Disney's 1989 Ariel, which is wryly amusing in light of the recent blackwashed live action reimagining's disappointing performance in theatres.*

Dumb and dumber
2 July 2023

An evangelical Christian graphic designer has had her right not to design websites for same-sex couples upheld by the US Supreme Court. So far, so what? (question) (whatever)

Barbie girl
12 June 2023

With the impending release of Margot Robbie's latest cinematic dud, Barbie, comes the revelation that Amy Schumer was originally cast in the titular role. She eventually exited the project, because the script didn't feel feminist and cool enough.

What the 'L'?
5 June 2023

A run-down of today's UK newspaper headlines included this journalistic gold from the Daily Mirror: Here Viggo: Norway's 'Mr Bean' in shock BGT win.

29 May 2023

With the release of Disney's live-action reimagining of The Little Mermaid come some none-too flattering reviews, at least outside the shill media. One of the many could've-done-better aspects is Awkwafina's portrayal of Scuttle; and her truly excruciating rap number, The Scuttlebutt.

The voice, the hair, the legs
25 May 2023

Tina Turner has passed away. She was only 83, which is no age really.

Let there be light!
16 May 2023

With people complaining that trailers for Disney's upcoming reimagining of The Little Mermaid were too dark and dingy to see properly—although it's only one of a plethora of criticisms—Nicholas Barber explains why some current blockbusters are so poorly-lit.

15 May 2023

At the turn of the century, South Wales Police were using groundbreaking DNA genealogy to identify a serial murderer/rapist who'd terrorised the Swansea area in the early '70s. Gilbert John's retelling is a gripping read.

How much excitement is there for Eurovision?
13 May 2023

Anyone visiting the BBC's home page over the last couple of weeks would be under the impression that the corporation wasn't just broadcasting the Eurovision Song Contest—at least I assume it is—but someone at Beeb Towers actually had shares in the bloody thing. Magazine features; profiles on each of the nonentities in competition; a run-down of the contest's machinations; and overviews of contests past. Even its own section on the home page itself.

7 May 2023

From the shadows of the Hollywood writers' strike, Chelsea Bailey asks whether AI could be funnier than Stephen Colbert. Which, from the little of Colbert that I've been able to stomach, doesn't seem like much of a challenge.

Streaming malcontent
6 May 2023

If, like me, you read the BBC's home page teaser and thought this was a review of films so bad they were pulled from theatres, then, like me, you'd be wrong. And probably, also like me, disappointed. For its actually about nothing less mundane than made-for-streaming content, the success of which is determined by different performance metrics to traditional theatrical releases, and which uses different narrative structure to meet them.

Grauniads of the galaxy
29 April 2023

I've boycotted all of Disney's output and services since the company's complicity in genocide and re-education came to light with the release of Mulan in 2020. I thought it would be difficult, having watched most of the releases during the MCU's first three phases, culminating in Avengers: Endgame, but on the contrary, Kevin Feige and Disney Marvel Studios have made it laughably easy.

16 April 2023

Those redoubtable bookworms Rebecca Laurence and Lindsay Baker seem to have been given a dose of some sort of pest control agent. Instead, BBC Culture treats us to film buffs Nicholas Barber and Caryn James extolling the virtues of twelve films released so far this year. Hedging their bets over their literary rivals, Barber and James only claim their choices to be of the best, not the best.

(Princess) Peachy
14 April 2023

The Super Mario Bros. Movie has been hotly-anticipated by grown adults all over social media. I have no idea why; Nintendo's Italian plumbers have never appealed to me. And what I saw of Mario Kart looked totally gay in comparison to Crash Team Racing; which is why we ended up with a PS4, rather than whatever gaming console it is that Nintendo sells. (shrug)

Government-funded anti-government media
10 April 2023

A couple of days ago, Twitter designated NPR as state-affiliated media, although it has since backtracked slightly, amending its label to government funded media. At the time, I wondered how long it would take for the BBC to be assigned a new label.

Lost magic
2 April 2023

I was saddened to read of the passing of Japanese musician and actor Ryuichi Sakamoto. With YMO, he pioneered electronic music that sounded warmer, more human, and less industrial than Kraftwerk.

Don't cry for me, Argentina
23 March 2023

What's that I hear? The distant clucking of chickens coming home to roost?

14 March 2023

Disney Marvel Studios are sad. Sad that their latest entry into the MCU's pantheon, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, bombed harder than the raid on Dresden, 13–15 February 1945.

A Jimmy riddle
13 March 2023

Well, cynical me was wrong about the winner of the Oscar for best picture, as Everything Everywhere All at Once not only took that title, but almost swept the board in everything it was nominated for. And, as I'd hoped, Brendan Fraser won the lead actor award. All good stuff. (thumbup)

Bloody Marvelsous!
10 March 2023

The release date for Disney Marvel Studios' The Marvels has been pushed back. Again. How many times is that?* But at least we now have a poster to whet the appetite.

2 March 2023

Writing for BBC Culture (Film subdivision, Horror department), Nicholas Barber posits that King Kong is the mondo besto monster film evahsies.

25 February 2023

I enjoyed Tom Cruise's two outings as Jack Reacher, in Jack Reacher and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. But they weren't to everyone's taste. In particular, fans of Lee Child's novels railed against Cruise's stature; Reacher's 8' tall with hands the size of dinner plates…or something like that. Clearly they don't understand that actors pretend to be what they're not, it's known as acting, and Cruise was pretending to be 2'6" taller.

23 February 2023

I tried to watch Shazam! some time ago. It was pretty gay: an origins story trying too hard to be too comedic for a B-list DC superhero whom I'd never heard of, and I gave up. Now, the sequel, Shazam! Fury Of The Gods is pending release. I am not pumped. And it appears that I may not be alone.

Angry Birds
19 February 2023

I'd forgotten about Angry Birds. Yeah, I used to play the game, back in the day. Who didn't? But I haven't touched it for years. Who has?

Fatty Owls
8 February 2023

John Cleese has announced that, in a fit of uncreativity, he's reviving Fawlty Towers after more than forty years. I'm not sure how I feel about it to be honest.

Satan sells
7 February 2023

Someone claiming to be Madonna introduced Sam Smith and Kim Petras at the Grammy Awards' ceremony—if ceremony isn't too grand a term—when the pair won the Best Pop Duo or Group Performance award for Unholy. The song's not terrible; but, all the same, 2022 must've been a pretty lean year. Anyhow, that's not the point…or is it?

Disappointing my wife in bed
5 February 2023

I bet that got your attention!

The school of soft knocks
28 January 2023

Twelve-years-old Ryan Kiera Armstrong was nominated in the worst actress category at this year's Razzies for her role in Firestarter. Unfortunately, mirthless dinkies likened the nomination of a child to bullying. Even more unfortunately, the awards' organisers decided to bend over and grab their ankles.

Sore loser
25 January 2023

Chinonye Chukwu, who wrote and directed Till, which garnered no nominations for this year's Oscars, showed magnanimity in rejection…by accusing Hollywoke of upholding whiteness and perpetuating an unabashed misogyny towards Black women. This is despite AMPAS doubling its female and ethnic minority members in 2020, as well as mandating arbitrary diversity criteria for nominations in the best picture category.

Popularity contest
25 January 2023

In what might be seen as a desperate attempt to garner public interest, and viewing figures, this year's Oscars nominations for best picture include some that were actually popular with cinema-going audiences.

Blonde ambition
23 January 2023

Last year's biopic of Marilyn Monroe, Blonde, tops the 43rd Razzies nominations list with eight entries, including worst picture and director. At least Ana de Armas, who plays The Blonde Bombshell herself, isn't up for inglorious recognition.

Dua Lipsync
13 January 2023

Dua Lipa has revealed that she's forgotten the lyrics to her songs more than once during live performance. And it's quite understandable really, given the depth and complexity of the songwriting involved.

Film 2023
6 January 2023

At least Nicholas Barber and Caryn James allowed us to see the new year in before unleashing 20 of the best films to watch in 2023 upon us. Unlike that excitable wee bookworm, Emma Saunders.

A tale of two dames
4 January 2023

I received The Good Liar, starring Dames Helen Mirren and Ian Winkies McKellen, as a gift for Christmas. In it, McKellen plays a man who likes the ladies; and that's acting folks! It's what thespians do, dontchaknow?* (muses)

A study in pink. LOTS of pink!
16 December 2022

My favourite DCEU actress, Margot Robbie, has three new films scheduled for release, two of which are anticipated for next year, one of which is entitled Barbie. Categorising it under adventure, comedy, and fantasy, IMDb summarises the storyline succinctly…to put it mildly.

Changing of the guard: a new hope
15 December 2022

As James Gunn and Peter Safran put together a roadmap for the DCEU, rumours of major changes are circulating in the mainstream and social media. As someone who appreciated Zac Snyder's darker and grittier approach to the genre—especially in comparison to the tired old MCU jokefest—it all sounds a little ominous.

A promise of things to come
14 December 2022

While pimping Babylon—an upcoming story of Hollywood's licentious past—on behalf of BBC Culture, Christina Newland teases the truth about the scandals of the silent film era. Except I'm not sure whether she actually reveals the true truth, or just that as portrayed in the film, because she may not have written it yet. And, even if she has, we'll have to wait until the end of next week for it to go live. Again.

What happened to the spirit of punk?
9 December 2022

After the dinky butthurts criticised their choice of name, British punk band Slaves bent down, grabbed their ankles, and changed it to Soft Play. Very punk. Not.

The sweet smell of farts
8 December 2022

Actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Viola Davis got together for a spot of good old mutual fawning—as luvvies are wont to do—hosted by Variety. For her part, Lawrence explained that she doesn't enjoy press interviews, saying: I’m always very self-conscious of my intellect because I didn’t finish school. I dropped out of middle school. But she'd already made that perfectly clear, earlier in the conversation.

Old hag
4 November 2022

For those of you unaware of the existence of the hagsploitation film genre, it's apparently a thing. Inspired by 1962's What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?—itself inspired by Sunset Boulevard, twelve years earlier—a plethora of films was released during the '60s and '70s starring ageing actresses at a point in their careers where work was harder to come by.

Only joking
3 November 2022

Copyright infringement and stealing ideas, it's a murky subject, innit? That's probably why the BBC set two of its deadbeat reporters to the task of investigating a little comedic brouhaha between James Corden and Ricky Gervais.

Today's technology, yesteryear
3 November 2022

The UK's Official Chart Company has identified the top-streamed hits from 1952 to 2022. Obviously, Gene Kelly's Singin' In The Rain wasn't the most streamed song during 1952, because the technology wasn't available then. Sales were strictly old skool back in those days—vinyl was for everyone, not just hipsters.

1 November 2022

How many people would be excited for an Indiana Jones film, without Indie? We may well find out, if Phoebe Waller-Bridge gets her way, but would you be excited? How about Mission Impossible, without Ethan Hunt; Iron Man, without Iron Man; or Black Panther, without Black Panther?

Doing a Todd
31 October 2022

Overanalysing song lyrics, à la Todd in the Shadows, that is.

Simon says
30 October 2022

Simon Pegg posted an emotionless yet cringeworthy soliloquy to She-Hulk: Attorney at Law somewhere on social media, in which he praised one of Disney+'s worst-rated MCU shows as Marvel's best output since Avengers: Endgame. Okay, Si, but that's not saying much, given how the MCU fell off a cliff after the close of phase 3.

What's a rom?
4 October 2022

Bros is a romcom that mixes up a dying genre with a same-sex relationship. Judging by the excruciating trailer though, it appears to be light on the com. So I guess that makes it a rom then.

Rings of Pooper
25 September 2022

Amazon Prime's high-budget/low-rent take on Tolkien's Lord of the Rings mythos, The Rings of Power, has had a bumpy ride getting to the screen. But it's even bumpier now it's on screen; or at least those that are tuned in to the streaming service.

Fringe benefits
22 August 2022

It's been three full years since we last laughed—or groaned, in the case of Tim Vine's efforts—at the joke voted by members of the public as the funniest to have been presented at the Edinburgh Fringe festival. But now the Dave Award has returned, and the winner is…not Tim Vine. TFFT!

19 August 2022

The Edinburgh Fringe has for decades been a bastion of cutting-edge, often raw comedy. This is where comedians go to try out their wildest, newest material, and where grown-ups go to be shocked as well as entertained. Snowflakes should look elsewhere.

3 August 2022

Batgirl, Warner Bros' upcoming small-screen outing for Commissioner Gordon's race-swapped daughter, Barbara, is no longer upcoming. Instead, it's been shitcanned, despite itself being in the can already.

I died laughing. Not.
29 July 2022

Samantha Bee is a comedienne, apparently. She has a late night comedy show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, that's watched by tens of people. Or, rather, she had a show, since it's been cancelled due to lack of interest.

All aboard the gravy train
12 July 2022

Gary Lineker's salary may have stagnated since last year, but he's still the top earner receiver among the BBC's crack team of TV and radio presenters, being given £1,350,000.* The top ten includes just three women, after Lauren Laverne dropped out when her wedge fell to a measly £380,000. Shitbag, it's hardly worth getting out of bed for that…if only I had a violin.

Buzz cut
20 June 2022

Disney's drive to mine its past creative heights, in place of anything truly original, continues unbounded. This time, it's the turn of Pixar's Toy Story franchise to give it up for the House of Mouse. Lightyear is the origins story behind the toy voiced by Tim Allen. And it's the film that Andy watched in the early '90s, that made him covet his very own Buzz Lightyear toy.

All I want for Christmas is your royalties
5 June 2022

Mariah Carey first released All I Want for Christmas is You in 1994. Now, 28 years later, Andy Stone of Vince Vance and the Valiants fame,* is suing her for copyright infringement, claiming that she used the title of his song, written five years earlier, without permission. But he's a reasonable guy, and he's only asking for at least $20 million to soothe his creative sensitivities.

A grave matter
5 May 2022

The National Trust, which manages Freshwater West beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales, has commissioned a survey to decide whether a grave paying tribute to Dobby, the house elf who died in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, should be moved from the beach where his death was filmed.

30 April 2022

Disney continues to strip mine its IP to generate content for, and interest in, its streaming channel, Disney+. Following on from its previous Star Wars offshoots, The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, comes Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Batwahmxn: done fookin' scissorin'
30 April 2022

Batwoman, one of the series set within The CW's Arrowverse, has been cancelled after three seasons. I only ever caught clips of it, usually when it was being roasted for its sheer bloody awfulness.

17 April 2022

I've swung this-way-and-that over Morbius, since it was announced.

Everyone, not everyone
10 April 2022

There is, apparently, something for everyone on BBC iPlayer. As long as you live in the UK, that is. That's reasonable enough, since rights issues—or revenue streams—are involved.

Where there's a Will, there's no way
8 April 2022

Following his physical and verbal outburst at Oscars 2022, Will Smith resigned from the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Academy has now imposed a ten-year ban on his attendance at future ceremonies.

Good boys
3 April 2022

Bad Boys was, and still is, a fine action film. Bad Boys II was about 30 minutes too long. Bad Boys for Life was a thing. Does the world really need a fourth entry in the franchise? (no)

Shockingly unshocking
29 March 2022

Oh poop! Despite the powerhouse trio of hosts, Oscars 2022 continues the downward trend in viewership. Preliminary figures indicate 15.4M viewers, compared to 23.6M in 2020. This is still up from last year's 10.4M though, so the Academy and ABC must be feeling encouraged.

Wild Wild Will
28 March 2022

Oscars 2022 organisers were hoping for something to liven up the ceremony, and Will Smith delivered when he went onstage and landed one on Chris Rock. Smith then followed up with a couple of F-bombs, shouted from where he was sitting in the audience. That might've been over-and-above the organisers' expectations though, because it wasn't broadcast. (whistling)

Loretta (LOL)
24 March 2022

It appears that fools with a sense-of-humour-bypass simply cannot distinguish comedy from reality, and seem to have taken this to heart. (shrug)

Oscars 2022: who needs viewers?
21 March 2022

While the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences struggles to make the Oscars ceremony relevant to the viewing public, some question whether it's achievable, or even desirable. In a rare moment of awareness, Seth Rogen—the very definition of out-of-touch Hollywoke—doesn't believe that it matters.

'My truth'
15 March 2022

Another popular song, another grifter out for a slice of the action. This time, it's Sami Chokri trying to dip his hand into Ed Sheeran's royalties for Shape of You.

Please, Oscar to stop!
15 February 2022

This year's Oscars will be the first since 2018 to have a host; or, in this case, a powerhouse trio of comediennes: Regina Hall; Amy Schumer; and Wanda Sykes. Three women, two of whom are black, and one of whom triples-down by playing the LGBTQIABC+FLAPFLAPFLAP card to boot. At least that'll satisfy the Academy's DivErSitY AnD InCLuSiOn™ requirements. But, fuck me, anyone who can stomach Schumer for any length of time richly deserves their trinket. (thumbdown)

Razzie dazzle 'em
8 February 2022

Nominations for the 2022 Golden Raspberries have been announced. With the winners to be revealed on 26th March, the day before the Oscars, the Razzies are a counterbalance to the annual AMPAS back-slapping snoozefest. But this year's awards are slightly different.

Halo, is it me you're looking for?
1 February 2022

A live-action TV series of the Halo game franchise is coming to the Paramount+ streaming service. The trailers are…grandiose and bombastic.

If you build it…
31 January 2022

BBC Bitesize is supposedly a learning portal. Which makes it even more egregious when the droid gets it wrong. Even equivocally.

Best Bond? Not as bad as before!
27 January 2022

Will Jordan, AKA The Critical Drinker, tips his hat into the ring with Who Was The Best James Bond? Answer: close, but no cigar.

Short story
25 January 2022

Peter Dinklage is outraged over Disney's live-action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Not for the brown-washing of the main titular character, but for the portrayal of the other seven.

Trailer trial
23 January 2022

Two fans of Ana de Armas are suing Universal Pictures. They contend that they were duped into renting the film Yesterday, believing that she would feature in it. But, although she appeared in the trailer, her role was removed from the film's final release.

21 January 2022

Counting down his choice of The Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 2021, Todd in the Shadows muses on the banality of Justin Bieber's Peaches, ft. Daniel Caesar and Giveon.

LOTR: CW-style
19 January 2022

Years ago, I watched Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy on DVD. Not being much of a fan of either Tolkien or anything over 90 minutes, I found it pretty hard work. It was fine in the end, although I've no real pressing desire to repeat the experience. But I may, someday.

White men need not apply
18 January 2022

A think-piece on Substack, Hollywood's New Rules by Peter Kiefer and Peter Savodnik, exposes a new pattern of discrimination, in a land in which it's been rife for decades. This is yet another tit-for-tat, boot's-on-the-other-foot situation, in which people are awarded work not strictly on merit, but simply for not being heterosexual white men.

17 January 2022

It's been a long time coming. But the winds of change are finally set to blow throughout the People's Republic of Portland Place.

Standing in the shadows
16 January 2022

Todd in the Shadows is a popular music critic. A critic of popular music, that is; although his YouTube channel is approaching half a million subscribers, so I guess he's popular…ish. His chart retrospectives are based on the Billboard Hot 100 year-end lists, but most of the entries are familiar even to me, having grown up in England.

13 January 2022

Reading of the death of Ronnie Spector, I was expecting her ex-husband's criminal conviction to be dragged up. Not that it needed to be included in her obituary; after all, it had nothing to do with her. The couple had divorced three decades prior to Lana Clarkson's murder.

Bombing under the radar
10 January 2022

The 355 has bombed at the US box office. The usual suspects claim that it's because this all women-led spy caper is part of an unimaginative progressive movement that audiences are tiring of. There may be something to that argument, but are they merely trying to fit things to their own cultural narrative?

Film noir (et blanc)
4 January 2022

The First of the Few, AKA Spitfire, is a 1942 propaganda docudrama starring Leslie Howard and David Niven, recounting R.J. Mitchell's development of the Supermarine Spitfire. It's a little too jolly hockey sticks and derring-do to not be cringeworthy today.

Janice Long: done suckin'
28 December 2021

Trail-blazing radio and televisual DJ, Janice Long, has just squeezed on to the those-we-lost-in-2021 list. She was the first woman in the UK to have her own daily show on Radio 1, and the first to host Top of the Pops, paving the way for all those who followed in her footsteps.

The Hustle: one word review
26 December 2021

Excrutiating. 2/10.

Sally Ann Howes: no longer banging
22 December 2021

On the death of Sally Ann Howes, star of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, her son, an artist named Andrew Hart Adler, announced her loss on his Instagram account.

Sky vs Sony: which hates me most?
22 December 2021

…or, rather, which is most indifferent to me?

'Tis the season to…recycle old fluff pieces
18 December 2021

How could anyone consider Dr Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and not Klaus, in a current shortlist of Chrimbletide animations? (confused)

RT: all is not what it seems
17 December 2021

There seems to be some confusion, at least among commenters on social media, as to what the Rotten Tomatoes audience score means. Take, for instance, YellowFlash discussing the 99% score for Spider-Man: No Way Home.

16 December 2021

UK theatres are warning that cancellations to pantomime shows, in the wake of Chongvirus Omicron, threaten their finances. No shit, who'd've thunk it? (thinking)

15 December 2021

Disney is to remake Zorro. Again. This time as a TV series. Again. Verily, there's a torrent of creativity gushing forth from the House of Mouse. (rolleyes)

'X' for Latina
13 December 2021

For some inexplicable reason, there's a remake of West Side Story, for anyone who considers the 1961 classic to be somehow inadequate. I wasn't aware that this was something that the world had been clamouring for. Neither were cinema audiences, it seems, who stayed away in droves when it debuted last weekend: Steven Spielberg's effort hasn't performed sensationally at the box office.

Girl boss?
13 December 2021

My daughters went to see House of Gucci today.

Sue-TS, you sir!
11 December 2021

Just to show that you can't keep a good copyright troll down, Sean Hall and Nathan Butler appealed against an earlier ruling that Taylor Swift had not plagiarised their work in the lyrics to Shake it Off, and that ruling has been overturned. The same judge who earlier dismissed the case, on the basis that the contentious phrases were too banal to be copyrightable, now states that there are significant similarities in word usage and sequence/structure.

Sound advice
9 December 2021

This is doing the rounds at the moment:

Santa (st)Inc.
8 December 2021

There's been a fair amount of online anger over Santa Inc., in which a couple of preachy, woke-activist Jews—Seth Rogen and Sarah Silverman—make snide jabs at a holiday figure and tradition that's irrelevant to their religion, and which isn't important to them or their families. Replete with the lazy profanity-as-humour that's so beloved of their fans throughout both households.

6 December 2021

I watched Klaus last night with my eldest daughter. We both loved it.

I'm a nonentity…get me some publicity!
25 November 2021

British TV host and journalist, Richard Madeley, fell ill on the set of reality TV programme, I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! It certainly did get him out of there, his hospitalisation meant that he'd broken the set's COVID bubble, and it was therefore a one-way trip.

Bog off!
16 November 2021

In an interview with Mark Savage for the BBC, Sir Rod Stewart admits that he tired of performing Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?

'Boiz will be 'boiz
9 November 2021

This is what I meant by review-bombing and, more particularly, review-boosting. I'm not sure how, or if, Rotten Tomatoes takes artificial voting into account, but IMDb makes it so obvious that it seems pointless.

Shock news: 'stunning and brave' isn't money
8 November 2021

My earlier prediction for Disney's commitment to boy-on-boy lurvin' may yet come to pass.

Eternally rotten
3 November 2021

With just two days to go before its theatrical release, Eternals is now Marvel Studio's most critically derided film to date. It's the first to be certified rotten on Rotten Tomatoes, beating the previous worst performer—Thor: The Dark World has a rating of 66%—by a considerable margin. Even some reviews that rated it fresh were hardly fulsome in their praise.

Bond theme songs
3 November 2021

Over the past couple of weeks, I haven't been able to get You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever out of my head. They seem to be stuck on repeat play. And that's not such a bad thing, I quite like them.

Close, but no cigar
30 October 2021

Years ago, around sixteen to be precise, I mused on the unlikelihood that there was an actor named Connery Bonds.

Guardians of the future
28 October 2021

At IMDb, they love themselves a little future-gazing. Here we are, in current year 2021, and they're asking what was—past tense—the title of 2023's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in Hindi. I'll submit my answer to the question in two years' time.

Saving lives: one fat, brown, gay kiss at a time
27 October 2021

According to hyperbolic tosspots at the premiere of Eternals, the representation of fat, non-white, and gay superheroes is affirming and will save lives.

Eternally yours
26 October 2021

Despite the hype, Marvel Studio's Eternals has received generally mixed-to-underwhelming reviews from the usually compliant Disney shills critics in the mainstream media. The Eternals aren't A-list characters, and the film isn't hotly anticipated.

A rose is a Rose is a liar
21 October 2021

Only half a year ago, Ruby Rose said that she would be willing to return to Batwoman, as Kate Kane, if the opportunity arose. It didn't.

The Closer
20 October 2021

Today's the day for which Netflix employees, supported by bargain-basement celebrities who I've never heard of, had threatened a walkout in protest against Dave Chappelle's special, The Closer. I had intended to watch it earlier, but postponed it until today to mark this non-event.

Funny, not funny
16 October 2021

Outrage has erupted over Dave Chappelle's latest Netflix special, The Closer, as he took aim at the alphabet soupers—particularly the T—and the preferred pronoun poseurs. Verily, the dudgeon, it was high; and the salt, it flowed freely and in abundance. You cannot make fun of the trans, it seems.

"Time just gets away from us"
12 October 2021

Every so often, you come across something that reminds you of the passing of time and old friends…and of your own mortality. Like this comment on the ending of the Coen brothers' True Grit.

12 October 2021

After several postponements, No Time To Die has finally made it to cinemas, two years later than planned. Early reviews suggest that it's both better, and worse, than some had feared. On the plus side, it's not the hatchet job to the character that early marketing had suggested. Whether this is because the marketing was misguided, or whether the excesses had been walked back by the producers in the intervening period, is anyone's guess. I really don't care.

6 October 2021

In other non-news, Jerry Seinfeld has apologised for a certain uncomfortable subtle sexual aspect in Dreamworks' Bee Movie. This just goes to show how out-of-touch and tone-deaf he is.

Melting ice
6 October 2021

Disney has come under fire for promoting the upcoming Ice Age: Adventures of Buck Wild on Disney+, only six months after closing Blue Sky Studios, its subsidiary that created Ice Age and its four sequels. Disney took control of the studio when it acquired 21st Century Fox in 2019. To put this into context, the last instalment to the declining franchise was released half a decade ago, and its better days are even longer gone.

5 October 2021

Zoë Kravitz will play the role of Catwoman in Warner Bros' upcoming The Batman, against Robert Pattinson as the titular character. Asked whether she'd seen all the other Batman films, Kravitz had this to say:

Lost in translation
5 October 2021

Squid Game is predicted to become Netflix's most watched original series. Filmed and set in South Korea, it's dubbed/subtitled into English. But, all is not what it may seem.

Persona grating
29 September 2021

Just another of those sticking it here for my amusement posts.

The type of R. Kelly (part 2)*
28 September 2021

The jury's returned, and R. Kelly's goin' down!

Representation, arse
20 September 2021

Apropos of nothing in particular, just getting this down, really.

Funniest line ever…for today
6 September 2021

Okay, so it was first aired in 2015, but I only came across this clip today. So it counts. Just placing it here for my own amusement, really.

1 September 2021

Does one become prudish as one gets older? Or is the world becoming more permissive? If twenty-year-old me had seen this ad for Channel 4's Naked Attraction on a London bus, would I have thought it cool or crass?

WW84 (sad)
29 August 2021

Oh dear, what happened here?

Wise words
27 August 2021

Back in 1973, British comedy duo Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise gave a forthright interview, which has recently come to light. In it, they offered their thoughts on the university comedy of their BBC stablemates, Monty Python.

Dial 'M' for monotonous
26 August 2021

YouTube's random algorithm has thrown up the promotional video for M's Pop Music at me, several times in the last couple of weeks. I really didn't like that song back in 1979, and the forty-odd intervening years have done nothing to improve my opinion of it.

19 August 2021

As R&B singer R. Kelly goes on trial in New York, accused of racketeering, sexual abuse, and bribery, this sketch is released from the courtroom.

Sean Lock: no laughing matter
18 August 2021

On the tragically early death of Sean Lock, I'm reminded of one of my favourite jokes ever.

Hairy spice
17 August 2021

Crunchyroll announced its expansion from anime distributer to original content creator, with High Guardian Spice, in 2018. Three years later, and the product is almost ready to rollout to an expectant world. Or the part of it that's into anime, anyway.

Damned if you do…
16 August 2021

Following the same day release of Black Widow to theatres and streaming, Disney will release Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings exclusively to theatres for a 45-day period. CEO Bob Chapek cited this as an interesting experiment, which riled the film's lead, Simu Lui.

15 August 2021

I watched Law & Order on UK terrestrial TV, back in the day. It was a reasonable enough way to pass the time, given that would've passed anyway. The police procedural half of the show was entertaining, but although the prosecution half wrapped the story up, I was never that interested in lawyers talking legal bollocks. Lawyers aren't likeable heroes. Even if they're on the side of good, they're at best a necessary evil.

Schedule of good fortune
12 August 2021

The rats are deserting the sinking ship.

Birds Of Prey four word review
12 August 2021

Please. Make. Her. Stop.

Karaoke should be illegal
11 August 2021

China is to ban karaoke songs with illegal content, including songs which incite ethnic hatred and ethnic discrimination.

League of extraordinary godbotherers
11 August 2021

Disney's Muppet Babies has managed to piss off the Catholics. Yay!

Butch Carter and the superfans kids
10 August 2021

It seems that, these days, no successful franchise can escape being bled to death, through a combination of creative despondency and corporate desperation. In that vein, Marvel has announced its What If…? series. And it hasn't gone down too well among the MCU stans.

Iron Giant is bestester
6 August 2021

Internet dweebs have mocked the BBC, after a tweet by BBC Sport from the Tokyo Olympics confused a Gundam statue with a Transformer.

Bonus points
30 July 2021

Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney for breach of contract, because Black Widow was released on streaming at the same time as at theatres. She claims that the subsequent box office bombing resulted in a loss of additional earnings of $50M. This is over and above the $20M that she's already received.

26 July 2021

In my own, admittedly shallow, opinion, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was a lame, cheaply-animated '80s cartoon for kids. It was primarily made as a tie-in to shift Mattel's plastic crap. I didn't watch it, since I was no longer a child at the time, and both the cartoon and the plastic crap were too cringe-inducing to be cool. Shitbag, they were too cringe-inducing to even acknowledge their existence.

Beginning of the end
25 July 2021

The end credits to one of the greatest films of all time, 1994's The Shawshank Redemption, start with IN MEMORY OF ALLEN GREENE. Strangely enough, this inspired a question on Quora as to whether Allen Greene was a real person. WTF? Why would the film be dedicated to anyone otherwise? (confused)

Disney: lower your expectations
20 July 2021

In only its second week of release, Black Widow has been toppled from the top spot at the US box office when ticket sales dropped by 67%. Naturally, the National Association of Theatre Owners attributed this stunning second weekend collapse to the film being made available immediately on streaming.

19 July 2021

As a kid, I used to watch Sidney Toler's Charlie Chan films on TV. I rather enjoyed those '40s B&W potboilers.

Iron Fist
18 July 2021

I recently happened across Marvel's Iron Fist on Netflix. I'd never heard of the character before, but I can only assume that the comic book version must've been way less irritating. Otherwise, he'd never have got his own show. Right?

Game for a laugh
13 July 2021

A sealed copy of Super Mario 64 has sold at auction for a record $1.5m. This is the price range previously occupied only by significant works of art, which can be hung on a wall and admired for the artist's skill. In this case, however, the high price is commanded for physical memorabilia, in the same way as rare trading cards.

Transition to win
24 June 2021

While sportswomen argue against the integration of transgender women in women's sports, Norm Hiccup shows that a motorcyclist who identifies as a cyclist can successfully transition and compete fairly. No steroids here, ladies.

Snow what?
24 June 2021

In what could be seen as just another race-bait move, Disney has cast Latina actress Rachel Zegler as Snow White in their upcoming live action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Casting for characters of restricted height has yet to be announced, but it's unlikely that Ray Winstone, Toby Jones, Ian McShane et al. will be invited to reprise their roles from Snow White and the Huntsman, since that would be taking work from genuinely diminutive actors.

Whining widow
20 June 2021

Scarlett Johansson has criticised the hyper-sexualisation of Black Widow in her debut film, Iron Man 2. I don't recall whether she criticised it, or the paycheque, at the time. I guess she's just railing against ageing-out of those roles maturing as an actress. (thinking)

Carry On Cleo
12 June 2021

Writing for Smithsonian Magazine, following the premiere of Anne Boleyn, Meilan Solly harks back to the past when arguing that the controversy over Jodie Turner-Smith's casting is unnecessary and harmful. In so doing, she trots out one of those tired old falsehoods:

Moaning Muslim
11 June 2021

British actor Riz Ahmed wants an end to toxic Muslim characters…on screen.

Inside The CW script writing room
10 June 2021

Following the leaking of the Powerpuff Girls script, comes this call and response:

Hello, Dolly!
9 June 2021

Beth Roars asks What Happened to Miley Cyrus' Voice?

Black queen
5 June 2021

It appears that not everyone may be enthusiastic for historical revisionism. Channel 5's Anne Boleyn, a reimagining of historical events leading to the execution of England's first black queen, has not been an undisputed ratings success.

Misheard lyrics
2 June 2021

I have absolutely no idea how this happened, or why I'm forced to suffer so, but earlier today I was thinking about England Dan and John Ford Coley's I'd Really Love To See You Tonight. I didn't like it back in the '70s when it was released, and my opinion hasn't mellowed much over the intervening years; even as age and fatherhood have turned me into a sentimental old fart.

You can die, but you can't hide
2 June 2021

Writing for BBC Culture about the Tea Chest Tapes, a collection of lost music tapes belonging to the late British producer Joe Meek, Arwa Haider reflects on Meek's life and work.

Panderin' in Mandarin
1 June 2021

John Cena has apologised to China for referring to Taiwan as a country, while promoting the latest in the Fast and the Furious franchise, F9: The Fast Saga, which led to the film tanking at the Chinese box office. He even grabbed his ankles, and issued his apology in Mandarin Chinese. What a guy. (puke)

Powerpuffs fail the day
26 May 2021

Test screenings of Powerpuff, The CW's live-action reimagining of The Powerpuff Girls, have not been successful. In fact, the pilot was received so poorly that it's been withdrawn, and is to be completely rewritten.

Low five
26 May 2021

The Predator franchise has taken, for me at least, a similar trajectory to that of Terminator's. The first instalment was excellent; the second was good enough, but not a patch on its predecessor; and thereafter I lost interest. At least Arnie bailed after Predator though, rather than returning like a sad sack to demean his original appearance.

Bad noose
22 May 2021

Construction on an Amazon warehouse in Windsor, Connecticut, has been shut down after seven nooses were found on the site in the last month.

Food for fight
11 May 2021

Another thing that they probably have in common is a desire for anything in common but having appeared together in Foodfight!

No Globes
11 May 2021

NBC has announced that it will not broadcast the Golden Globes 2022, although it's not as if many people will mourn its absence. I'm quite certain that the decision is solely related to NBC's concerns over the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's lack of ethical standards, diversity, and representation, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the plummeting viewer ratings. Oh no, not at all. (rolleyes)

The luvvies are getting restless
10 May 2021

Hollywood's luvvies are all a'dither over the Hollywood Foreign Press Association not being diverse enough. There are no black people among its 87 voting members, and the voting members have been accused of a myriad of questionable practices. For its part, the HFPA has outlined a number of changes to make itself more inclusive, but this has not placated the righteously indignant elite.

3 May 2021

Those of us who scoffed at Elliot Page's commitment to joining the patriarchy, are laughing on the other side of our faces now. He's only gone and had a titectomy! Although, in true Page style, it's accompanied by a public announcement, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. I'm assuming that Apple TV+ counts as public.

Josstice League
29 April 2021

Oh dear, this is unfortunate!

Well, that was expected!
27 April 2021

With the preliminary viewing figures available, it appears that Oscars 2021 was not a ratings success, pulling in an audience of 9.85 million viewers, the lowest in the show's history. The previous lowest was last year's, which still managed to draw 23.6 million.

Well, that was unexpected!
26 April 2021

The 93rd Academy Awards have passed almost unnoticed, with a damp squib in place of a ceremony. Breaking with tradition, the final award of the evening was for best actor; the most anticipated, that for best picture, already having been given to Nomadland.

Crocktain America
25 April 2021

As Disney's production output increases to fulfil its streaming needs, its subsidiary divisions are collaborating more and more to satisfy the programming demand. They're achieving this, in part, by introducing already-established characters to other franchises.

True Bluey
21 April 2021

Bluey is an ABC animated TV series for preschool children, chronicling the adventures of a Blue Heeler puppy with her family and friends. It's endearing and wholesome, or so I'm led to believe; I've never watched it myself. Nevertheless, writing for ABC Everyday, Beverley Wang wonders whether the show could be more representative.

Unfortunate choice of words
21 April 2021

Streaming services have benefitted from the pandemic over the past year. As the Chongvirus has forced people to stay at home, they've turned to alternative domestic forms of entertainment.

Product displacement
19 April 2021

Product placement is a reality of advertising in today's entertainment industry. It's become so everyday, that much of it passes us by, at least consciously. Occasionally, something comes along that's so unsubtle as to be almost aggressive; but, by and large, product placement goes unnoticed. That's probably when it's most effective, when it's subliminal; but I'm no marketing psychologist.

Byron bane
19 April 2021

The residents of Byron Bay—a picturesque Australian coastal town, renowned for its beaches and relaxed lifestyle, and popular with the Hollywood glitterati—are calling for a boycott of a proposed Netflix reality show. They're concerned that Byron Baes, centred on influencers doing what they do best—whatever that is—against the backdrop of New South Wales' coastline will trivialise the reality of life in the the town.

Bucking the trend
18 April 2021

After all of the brou-ha-ha over privileged Hollywood actors taking roles from minorities—by, erm…acting—and calls for them to get back in their lane, there comes a refreshing change in the shape of Chad. In this new TV comedy series, Nasim Pedrad plays the titular character, a fourteen-year-old Persian boy dealing with family relationships and cultural identity, as he tries to navigate highschool.

Sorry for nothing
14 April 2021

Hank Azaria, the voice of Apu on The Simpsons has apologised for voicing the character, and his role in structural racism. It's about time, Hank, you bastard!

8 April 2021

That irrepressible bonehead, Jeremy Hambly at TheQuartering, unfavourably compares the upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife with the original Ghostbusters (1984). He notes that the ghosts aren't scary, unlike those in the original, which he describes as a horror film:

Null points*
2 April 2021

The Dutch government has given permission for 3,500 fans to attend the Eurovision Song Contest in person this year. I'm surprised that there are that many. Obviously lockdown has had a greater detrimental effect on the Dutch psyche than I'd imagined.

Zoom zoom zoom (or not)
19 March 2021

Following the disastrous ratings failings of the Golden Globes and the Emmys, nominees for the 93rd Academy Awards have been told that attendance via Zoom is not an option. Instead, social distancing measures will be in place. Well, that really worked for the Grammys, didn't it? (rolleyes)

Justice is served!
17 March 2021

Zac Snyder's version of Justice League is finally upon us, with most critics agreeing that it's an improvement on the 2017 original, at least according to those reviews cited by the BBC. The original was infamously fucked up, sorry, reimagined by Joss Whedon, when he took over the production after Snyder's departure following a family tragedy. I have watched that version, described by one anonymous Warner Bros executive as a piece of shit. It was…okay, but let down by a muddled plot and an anticlimactic antagonist.

8 March 2021

Apparently, the future of content creation lies in deepfake, the use of artificial intelligence to generate lifelike talking heads that, for all intents and purposes, cannot be distinguished from the real thing. In the case of at least one software system, the process is as simple as typing in the words for a selected avatar to speak. The whole concept is an ethical and cultural minefield, if not just plain creepy; and, as Donald Trump supposedly said of Jeffrey Epstein, I'm not a fan.

The speed of film
4 March 2021

How fast is a film? I'm sure that's a question you've never thought of before. And neither had I until today, when I read, courtesy of the BBC's Justin Harper, that an anime called Demon Slayer:

Off with her head!
26 February 2021

In the wake of Jodie Turner-Smith being cast to play Anne Boleyn, in what can only be a less-than-historically-faithful revisionist wokefest, Anthony Brian Logan asks Should A Black Actress Play The Queen of England? Given that Will Smith was criticised for not being black enough, I have a sneaking suspicion that the woke agenda, and pretenders staying in their lanes, might only apply one way.

Let sleeping Cranes lie
25 February 2021

Oh dear. The lack of creativity in TV production is further accentuated when Frasier returns after an almost twenty-year hiatus. Kelsey Grammar confirmed the revival, saying I gleefully anticipate sharing the next chapter in the continuing journey of Dr Frasier Crane.

Powerpuffs (used to) save the day!
22 February 2021

Live-action adaptations of beloved animated franchises. Ugh!

How low can you go?
28 January 2021

Attaway General is a hospital drama starring TikTok influencers, and broadcast on YouTube. It is not very good.

Best Bond? Shome mishtake shurely!
25 January 2021

Calvin Dyson ranks his favourite actors to have played James Bond in Ranking James Bond Actors | Personal Favourites. His personal favourite? None other than…Roger Moore! (SMH)

Do stats lie if they aren't meaningful?
19 January 2021

I have no particular axe to grind over The CW's Batwoman series. I saw the first season of Arrow, and that was lacklustre enough that it dissipated any enthusiasm for the Arrowverse in general. Arrow season one was, in my opinion, a reasonable story spread too thinly across too many episodes. Characterised by weak writing, boring side plots, and mediocre-to-terrible acting, it didn't enthuse me to watch the remaining seasons.

14 January 2021

This YouTube clip from the BBC's QI panel show is entitled What Begins With A, Has Six Cs and No Bs?

Marion Ramsey: finally graduated
9 January 2021

Actress Marion Ramsey has died, aged 73. In its summary of her career, the BBC not only notes that she appeared in six of the Police Academy films, as if that was something to extol, but actually headlines the article with it.

4 January 2021

I can't recall what I was searching for, but I was amused by this still from Supergirl (1984) that cropped up anyway.

Goodbye MCU
28 December 2020

Iron Man and his MCU friends have been entertaining us since he first came to the screen in 2008—just don't mention either of Hulk's solo outings. For better or worse, some of those films have helped define the summer blockbuster. But, while Disney Marvel plans many more instalments of the franchise, I don't think I'll be following along.

Taking one for the team
22 December 2020

My youngest daughter is a true PotterHead. She's read all of the books and watched all of the films. Several times. On rotation. My psychotic sister gave her Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit for Christmas last year, presumably because she hates us. (thinking)

Streaming up the lampost
8 December 2020

AT&T, which owns Warner Media, has a bit of a cash flow problem. It has $164 billion of debt, which I think is funny because such a number shouldn't be allowed to exist. As a consequence, and in a desperate attempt to recoup massive film budgets during a period when audiences cannot or will not visit the cinema, Warner Bros' entire 2021 release slate will be dumped straight to its streaming service, HBO Max.

Doctor Who cares?
3 December 2020

Many years ago, when I was a mere lad, I used to watch a children's TV sci-fi show, starring Jon Pertwee and then, later, Tom Baker. Unfortunately, it started going downhill after Baker's departure; or perhaps I'd just outgrown it. The last time I saw Doctor Who, albeit in passing, Sylvester McCoy was butchering the titular character. It was so bad that I couldn't watch it, and the show was put out of its misery shortly thereafter.

Time To Die
26 November 2020

There's some dismay on social media over the retirement of James Bond, in favour of a black woman, in the upcoming No Time To Die. And it's not just old white men that are offended by the retconning of a decades-old, beloved franchise character for the sake of progressivism and virtue signalling.

BBC Radio Snowflake
19 November 2020

The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl's Fairytale of New York is a Christmas classic, beloved since its release in 1987. This year, however, BBC Radio 1 will only play an edited version because its audience may be offended by some of the lyrics. Shit…bag! (snowflake)

The Sequalizer
2 November 2020

I binge-watched The Equalizer and The Equalizer 2 over the weekend. Denzel Washington was compelling, as always, and both films could definitely be considered quite good. But both also suffered from those WTF moments that suggest that the writers just couldn't be arsed to finish the job properly.

"Bond, James Bond"
31 October 2020

RIP Sir Sean Connery, the quintessential James Bond. And legend of the silver screen.

Scooby don't
11 October 2020

Wahey! Velma's gay.

Hollywood SKWAREZ
5 October 2020

While the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, the film industry is facing a perfect storm of commentary as the US presidential election hoves into view.

Roger Moore's eyebrow
5 October 2020

Misleading post title? Why, of course! But this does have a connection with eyebrows.

Captain Okay(ish)
29 September 2020

I finally got around to watching Captain Marvel over the weekend. Even being aware of the online butt-hurt over its identity politicking and lack of a character arc, I didn't think that it was too bad. And who gives a shit about character arcs anyway, other than film school graduates? Maybe I'm shallow, or perhaps it had something to do with my being…umm…relaxed.

Bond, Jane Bond
21 September 2020

A little brouhaha over a woke 007 rumbled on the 'net a while ago, as Daniel Craig is expected to pass the baton to a black woman.

Totally missing the point
16 September 2020

CutiesMignonnes—a French film concerning a prepubescent twerking dance troupe, written and directed by Maïmouna Doucouré, has arrived on Netflix to what can best be described as an utter shitstorm of protest. Although successful at the Sundance film festival, it has been accused of exploitation, sexualising girls, and gratification for paedophiles. Inevitably, there have been calls to cancel Netflix. So far, so drear.

Disney Minus
6 September 2020

Reviews of Disney's live action remake of Mulan have been generally mixed to favourable. I like the story, and I was looking forward to this release. But…hnnng, I can't.

Today I learned…
13 August 2020

…not to trust anything you see on the silver screen. Again.

The complexity of superheroism
30 July 2020

Way back in the mists of time, we considered the philosophy and psychology of superheroes and superheroism.

Olivia de Havilland: 'er gone (with the wind)
26 July 2020

Dame Olivia de Havilland, one of the last survivors of Hollywood's Golden Age, has died, aged 104.*

Peter Green: oh well
25 July 2020

Peter Green, legendary blues guitarist and co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, has gone to the Great Jam Session. He had the good fortune to leave the band before they became an AOR travesty; although the circumstances were, sadly, anything but fortunate.

Lady A at war with Lady A
11 July 2020

Following the death of George Floyd, and amid a reappraisal of racially insensitive practices, country trio Lady Antebellum changed their name to Lady A. Which is unfortunate, since Anita White has performed under that same name for two decades. Now Lady A(ntebellum) are suing Lady A(nita).

The One with the Comeback Sitcom
12 June 2020

Friends, the '90s TV show that made a supermegastar of Jennifer Aniston's hair, is making a big comeback on streaming. I have no idea why, I couldn't stand it the first time 'round. But, then again, I'm a miserable git.

26 November 2019

The First Men in the Moon (1919) is the first film to be based on H.G. Wells' 1901 novel of the same name. It is also, reputedly, the first full-length film to be based on a popular science fiction novel.

Fringe syndrome
19 August 2019

The results are in, and Tim Vine hasn't won the Dave award for best joke at the Edinburgh Fringe. In fact, he didn't make the top ten shortlist. Was he even there?

Leaving Neverland
10 March 2019

In the wake of Leaving Neverland, a documentary describing, in depth, Michael Jackson's alleged paedophilia, the BBC's Cherry Wilson asks whether the late performer's legacy is now ruined. Personally, I think that happened while he was still alive. Off The Wall and Thriller are undisputedly classics that defined an era. Bad wasn't so much bad as meh!, and it was the last of his work that I bought. Everything after that was a downward spiral.

Keeping mum
8 March 2019

The hand-wringing over whitewashing in Hollywood has taken a slightly more surreal turn when Will Smith is accused of not being black enough to play Richard Williams in a biopic.

Let's hear it for Colonel Marvel!
8 March 2019

In preparation for the upcoming kinematographic release of Captain Marvel, the BBC offers a handy-dandy, need-to-know guide of Marvel Studio's latest screen superhero(ine) for the casual viewer.

Reimagining history
24 February 2019

The BBC asked two experts to comment on whether The Favourite, a dramatisation of the later life of Queen Anne, is fact or fiction. On the subject of Sandy Powell's costume design, Matthew Storey observed that:

The wit and wisdom of IMDb reviews
18 February 2019

Watching one of Georg Rockall-Schmidt's vlogs, What Makes A Movie So Bad It's Good?, I was introduced to Harold P. Warren's 1966 horror Manos: The Hands of Fate. Rockall-Schmidt describes it as often cited as the worst film ever made. A rating of 1.9/10 from 33,238 IMDb users certainly supports this contention.

Gateway to the STARs
5 February 2019

IMDb lists the cast of this year's upcoming Hellboy, sorted according to its STARmeter.

Bring back the gimp suit!
19 June 2018

Not really being a comic book fan, I've been faintly amused when aficionados complain that the film treatment of their favourite character or story didn't live up to their expectations: In issue 39 of 1976, Dr Y held the skanzen in his left hand, but in the film he quite clearly held it in his RIGHT!

Who ya gonna call? Cardi, Cardi
She sounds like a 'tardi, 'tardi
23 April 2018

Rap and hip-hop music, you either love it or hate it. Or you're indifferent to it. I guess that covers all the bases.

Justice League
10 April 2018

I don't understand the hate that this film garnered. Perhaps it's Marvel fanbois trying to rain on DC's parade, or DC fanbois who're upset that it doesn't meet their preconceived ideas. If you come to this film objectively, it's entertaining enough.

BvS: DoJ: someone fire the costume designer
5 April 2018

I don't know why Gal Gadot is presented so prominently on the Blu-Ray cover to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, because she has hardly any screen time. Which is unfortunate, since Wonder Woman's the best part of this film.

Thor Ragnarok
5 April 2018

Thor battles to prevent Asgaard being destroyed by his long-lost sister, whom Odin cast into oblivion. Some reviewers railed against the humour, but I didn't think it was overdone.

Mary, Mary, on the contrary
13 March 2018

According to a new film, Mary Magdalene was not a fallen women redeemed by Christ; that was all made up by Pope Gregory I in 591. Instead, she has now been given a completely new, and likely just as fictitious, back story.

Playrz play'n, h8rz h8'n
15 February 2018

Taylor Swift has won her judgement in a copyright case over the lyrics to Shake it Off. Sean Hall and Nathan Butler argued that players gonna play and haters gonna hate borrowed from their own Playas Gon' Play. But Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald deemed the phrases too banal to be copyrightable.

Baby Driver: don't believe the hype, but grab it while you can
21 November 2017

Don't believe the hype: I saw the trailers. I bought the hype. The car chase sequences are, indeed, brilliant. But can a film be more than car chases?

The person who I feel most sorry for
9 October 2017

Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is accused of multiple sexual assaults. It's a bit of a mess, really, isn't it?

5 June 2017

Having made and lost several fortunes, singer Kenny Rogers has this advice for entrepreneurs: pay your taxes, put 20% away, and then have some fun. And you can't say fairer than that!

Worst song ever?
12 May 2017

Rob Tannenbaum, writing for GQ, has declared Starship's We Built This City to be the worst song of all time. I'm not sure what objective criteria he used to arrive at this conclusion, but hey ho.

No skool like the old skool
27 March 2017

Parent and journalist Laura June complains that leaving her three-year old daughter with the iPad and unsupervised internet access results in the toddler watching inappropriate content, including frightening derivatives of her favourite cartoon characters. Incensed that these parodies/knock-offs/call-them-what-you-will could offend or frighten her daughter, June does the only logical thing, take away the iPad and parent her daughter properly complain to YouTube, and whinge to the world in general.

Hair today, gone tomorrow
10 January 2017

According to Francis Whately's documentary, Bowie: The Last Five Years, Bowie was once asked what he wanted be remembered for.

24 December 2015

Basically, one five-minute joke stretched beyond breaking point. The loveable little yellow guys from Despicable Me and its sequel battle a wafer-thin plot that's more of a challenge than the supervillainess. Cringeworthy pokes at British stereotypes, of the type that the makers wouldn't dare do to Blacks or Jews, just add to the sheer bloody awfulness.

Changing fashions
30 November 2015

The Man in the High Castle adapts Philip K. Dick's alternative history novel to the small screen. It imagines a '60s USA in the aftermath of the Axis powers' victory during the 1939–1945 war; a USA split between German and Japanese rule.

Hawking to appear at Glastonbury
13 May 2015

Prof. Stephen Hawking is to appear at this year's Glastonbury festival, as the result of a booking error. They thought they were getting Hawkwind.

Alvin Stardust: done rockin'
23 October 2014

Those of a certain age may remember Bernard Jewry's alter ego, Alvin Stardust—the one that he took on after abandoning Shane Fenton, that is. I'm unsure if this is a good thing or not. He never really appealed to me, being part of the early '70s UK glam rock scene that is such a shit stain on my memory. But, otherwise, he wasn't particularly offensive as such.

23 February 2014

I thought (or seemed to remember I thought) Whoops Apocalypse was hilarious, as I first watched it when aired in 1982. In recent years I found myself looking for it to become available on DVD. In the absence of the TV series, I bought the film version when it came to DVD a few years ago. But I couldn't finish it, it was so bad. It tags along, unloved and unwanted, on this release too.

Rose-tinted (beer) glasses
18 February 2014

I recalled Hot Metal as being a hilarious parody of muck-raking gutter journalism in the UK. At least my recollection wasn't wholly misplaced. But, now it's been released to DVD, it's not as funny as I remembered, which may be related to it having been aired after I would've returned from the pub. I've either grown up, or sobered up, since then.

We know what you're watching!
17 February 2014

When Kayla Finley of South Carolina went to the police to file a complaint, she didn't expect to be arrested and jailed herself. But that's exactly what happened, when police applied an old arrest warrant, for failing to return a video of Monster-in-Law that she had rented nine years ago.

Party out of water
8 August 2013

A dead shark has been found on the New York metro. It's not the sort of thing that usually expected, even in the Big Apple. Apparently, its provenance is a mystery.

Django Unchained: five word review
11 July 2013

A fine Blazing Saddles parody.

9 March 2013

I finally got around to watching Wanted. It's a reasonably good film, fun and exciting with a novel turn. But it's badly let down by a terrible last line from the antagonist, as he realises that he's been set up for assassination: Oh, fuck!

Reg Presley, done rockin'
5 February 2013

Reg Presley, who stepped out of his older brother Elvis' shadow—even going as far as to change his first name from Priscilla—to establish that other great superstar group, The Troggs, has passed on to a better place. Preferably one where everything about crop circles and UFO will become clear.

Dave Brubeck: 'im took five
6 December 2012

Dave Brubeck, jazz pianist extraordinaire, has turned in his last composition. Cut down in the flower of his youth at only 91.

Ur So Gay
10 November 2012

All that gay mithering reminded me of this. And it made me smile:

Good caption
9 November 2012

In an otherwise boring article about Conservative MP Nadine Dorries' unscheduled sojourn to the Australian jungle, this caption struck me as pretty sage advice.

Civil war in The Civil Wars.
7 November 2012

Grammy award-winning US pop-country duo The Civil Wars are currently on tour in the UK. Except that they're not any longer, because they've cancelled the remainder of the tour due to internal discord.

Now then, now then! Jimmy Savile done pervin'…allegedly*
9 October 2012

It appears that the late Saint Jimmy Savile had a predilection for ladies of a certain age. And in his case, the age may have been lower than that of consent.

Law Abiding Citizen: ten word review
24 September 2012

Butler, good; Foxx, poor; plot, reasonable; ending, terrible; beer, excellent.

Avengers Assemble: nine word review
23 September 2012

Fun but gay, or gay but fun? You decide.

Mancunians are very naughty people
17 September 2012

It appears that Manchester is the UK capital of illegal downloading. And the UK as a whole is second in the world after the United States of Amerika.

Science fiction becomes science FACT!
14 September 2012

Well, not sci-fi per se, but stretching credulity to breaking point nonetheless.

Max Bygraves: 'im gonegrave
1 September 2012

Max Bygraves, alleged entertainer beloved by my grandparents' generation, has checked in his Equity card.

What's in a number?
31 August 2012

On the death of Jerry Nelson, the man behind Sesame Street's Count von Count, it appears that the Count's favourite number is 34,969. Apparently this is a square root thing, which was assumed to mean that 187—the square root of 34,969—is significant; as opposed to 1,222,830,961, of which 34,969 is the square root, and for which I've always had a soft spot…it's the amount of money that I'd like to have in my bank account.

A funny thing happened on the way to the Fringe…
21 August 2012

…Or perhaps not.

Scott McKenzie: 'im done lovin'
20 August 2012

Scott McKenzie, singer of San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair) and nothing else of note,* is now pushing up the daisies. Grab a dandelion and celebrate the first Summer of Love.

Tony Scott: that's a wrap
20 August 2012

Tony Scott, director and brother of Ridley, jumped off a bridge and was later found dead.

Marvin Hamlisch: no longer the way he was
7 August 2012

So, farewell, Marvin Hamlisch Famous for The Sting And A Chorus Line Once you were composing But now you're decomposing

Colin plays Arnie
6 August 2012

Yes, you read that correctly, picture-peepers. Colin Farrell plays Arnold Schwarzengger in Total Recall. Not the character played by Arnie, but the genuine Arnie-article himself!

Twitter: is this the end of the road?
2 August 2012

The BBC reports that Helen Skelton has closed her Twitter account, because she cannot cope with negative comments. How many will follow her and abandon the sinking ship?

Kidney damage
27 June 2012

Nora Ephron, writer of such smash hit drama-documentries as When Harry Met Sally…, Sleepless In Seattle, and You've Got Mail—did anyone actually watch that all the way through?—has turned in her quill and last parchment.

Do as we say, not as we do!
12 March 2012

There is a programme on Henan Legal Channel—one of the Chinese state-run TV channels—entitled Interviews Before Execution, in which Ding Yu interviews prisoners before they're executed. Contrary to being exploitative, the programme makers claim to find cases that will serve as a warning to others. Indeed, the programme calls for human nature to awaken and perceive the value of life.

Andrea True: less, less, less
28 December 2011

Andrea True, disco diva and one-time porn actress, has gone to the great boogie in the sky.

The Adjustment Bureau: ten word review
26 December 2011

Fairly decent, confusing, fun. Matt Damon, good. Emily Blunt, woof.

On golden Ponds
16 December 2011

The interwebz are a-buzz* with the news that the lady with the ginger pubes* is to be written out of Doctor Who. Along with some geezer whose pube status has, as far as I'm aware, not been the subject of conjecture. Let the weeping and wailing begin.

Billie Jo: 'er speared
15 December 2011

So, country singer Billie Jo Spears has gone to that great caterwaul in the sky—me, I'm not a fan of country music. So far, so boring. But then there's this comment on the BBC's news article:

Essex girls in club fight shocker!
24 October 2011

I understand that in the UK you have a televisual entertainment programme entitled The Only Way Is Essex. I'm not sure that I want to know any more about this than I do already…chav TV, say no more!

'Eezer Goode
26 August 2011

The Dave Award for funniest joke at the Edinburgh Fringe has been won by Nick Helm: I needed a password eight characters long so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. But password would also have fitted the bill. (nosmile)

Bobby Robby: combed over
15 August 2011

Robert Robinson, the king of the comb-over, has found the ultumate cure for baldness.

15 August 2011

Apparently, and I say apparently because I didn't know of this until just now, a big-screen film adaptation of The Lone Ranger is in the planning. This doesn't bemuse me as such, not even that they've got Johnny Depp to play Tonto when there are a raft of perfectly capable Indian native American actors who could play the part.

This makes me sad
9 August 2011

1 was great, 2 was good, 3 was wearing it a little thin…but Ice Age 4? Still, it'll be in 3D, so at least that's something original.

Bubba Smith: 'im gorn
4 August 2011

You know, the tall black one from the Police Academy travesty? He was found dead, aged 66, in doesn't-appear-to-be-suspicious circumstances.

You can take the actor out of TV…
8 July 2011

…but you can't take TV out of the actor.

24 June 2011

U2 will headline Glastonbury this year, despite the presence of Coldplay. It's uncertain as to whether Bono and his boys will play any numbers from their new megahit, Spiderman: Turn Off The Critics, though.

Clarence Clemons: done tootlin'
20 June 2011

Bruce Springsteen's tootler is no more. Although I personally found Springsteen's music to be often unremarkable, or remarkably mawkish, Clemons' tootling redeemed at least some of it.

Is this funny?
14 June 2011

In an otherwise unremarkable report on complaints dealt with by the British Board of Film Classification in 2010, it appears that UK cinema goers have asked the BBFC to indicate whether films advertised as comedies were actually funny. I think that this would be a welcome addition to the services that they provide.

Michael Gough, 'im gorn (sad)
18 March 2011

Michael Gough, best known as Alfred to Michael Keaton's Batman, has handed in his Equity card.

Is this addiction?
23 February 2011

A Chinese guy reportedly died after a three-day online gaming session, during which he neither ate nor slept. In the month before his death, he spent almost £1000 on gaming. This was all done at an internet café, rather than his own home, so it makes you question their hygiene standards. After all, he must have positively reeked.

20 January 2011

Not having a TV that plays anything other than DVDs—i.e. we don't have broadcast televisual entertainment as you know it—I know nothing of these Inbetweeners chappies. I do know of Comic Relief though. It's the sort of thing that makes me happy not to have broadcast televisual entertainment. But I digress.

Almost enough to justify an iPad?
9 January 2011

I just love it that somebody thought of a really useful bluetooth gadget!

The wisdom of IMDb reviews
28 December 2010

Idly reading of those that passed on in 2010, I learned of Simon MacCorkindale's death in October. For some bizarre reason, they included Manimal in his career triumphs. Christ only knows why, I bet the poor sod would've preferred to forget it.

Teena Marie: done groovin'
27 December 2010

Who? Teena Marie, that's who! White R&B singer on the Motown label, who was noted for not having many hits in the UK, just squeezed onto the those we lost in 2010 compilations.

Buster Bloodvessel: 'im not gorn (I think)
10 November 2010

Through mindless surfing, I can't remember how it started, I came across this archive, the subtitle of which made me laugh:

Danno: 'im booked!
29 October 2010

James MacArthur, best known as the recipient of Steve's final instructions to book 'em at the end of Hawaii Five-O, has gone to the great booking office himself.

Tom Bosley, 'im gone to The Angels
20 October 2010

Tom Bosley, apparently better remembered by the BBC for Happy Days and The Father Dowling Mysteries, but jealously remembered by some of us, from our adolescence, for his proximity to Farrah Fawcett-Majors' breasts in Charlie's Angels, has gone to ogle that chest again.

Tony Curtis: wigged out
30 September 2010

The star of Spartacus, Houdini, Some Like It Hot, and Monte Carlo or Bust! has hung up his toupée. He was the people's father of Jamie Lee Curtis. Or something.

George Michael: 'im goin' down
15 September 2010

George Michael has been sentenced to eight weeks for driving under the influence of cannabis. Or, rather, crashing his car under the influence of cannabis.

23 August 2010

So we all know that humour is a personal matter, highlighted by the award to Tim Vine for the funniest joke of this year's Edinburgh Fringe. His winning effort? I've just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I'll tell you what, never again.

The importance of the letter 's'
26 July 2010

In an otherwise dull Hollywood legal story, the name of lawyer Michael Plonsker struck me as a matter of if-not-good-it-could-have-been-worse luck.

Who the fuck is Justin Bieber?
5 July 2010

…and what has he done to provoke such a reaction? I mean: There are now almost half a million votes to send Bieber to the secretive communist nation [North Korea].

If you're dead, you'd better stay dead!
28 June 2010

Shortly after Mexican narcocorridos singer Sergio Vega confirmed that reports of his murder were premature, person or persons unknown corrected the oversight. Guy should've kept his mouth shut.

Stuart Cable, 'im gorn
7 June 2010

Stuart who? Drummer with Stereophonics and doin' lots of other stuff, that's who, is dead at 40 of no suspicious circumstances. Is that a euphemism for drugs?

LOTSW: it goin', finally
2 June 2010

Last of the Summer Wine is being put out to pasture after 37 years, most of that in a spiral of decline. Perhaps it got better over recent years but, from what I remember of the last episodes that I watched, it really was begging to be put out of its misery.

Quite amusing
23 May 2010

So anyone who has a life won't know what this is about but, short version: Apple tech loses new prototype iPhone in a bar; guy picks it up and sells it to Gizmodo; Gizmodo does a tech review and posts it to t'interwebz; Apple gets pissed and sends in crack squad of attorneys.

RJD: 'im rock 'n' rolled over
19 May 2010

My two favourite Black Sabbath albums are Heaven & Hell and Mob Rules, so I was saddened to read of the death of Ronnie James Dio from stomach cancer. He was only 67, which is no age really.

Birdemic: shock of reviews
8 April 2010

Being touted as possibly the worst film ever, Birdemic: Shock and Terror is the story of bad actors and bad dialogue livened up with bald eagles. This, from an IMDb reviewer, may say more about him than anything, but it made me laugh nonetheless:

Charlie, 'im gorn to the angels
2 April 2010

John Forsythe, the disembodied voice that told some bints-with-attitude what to do with their spare time away from the coiffure, has gone to a better place. Or Alexis Carrington's boudoir, the old dog.

The colour grey
15 January 2010

Euronews would be vastly improved if it was fronted by Antoine de Caunes and Jean-Paul Gaultier. Because, as it is, it is boring.

Boy George wants a Big Brother
21 December 2009

London Probation have blocked 48 year-old Boy George O'Dowd's appeal to appear on the last series of Celebrity Big Brother, as he's still under licence from imprisonment and wears an electronic tag.

Time Bomb
8 July 2005

I was ill off work. So ill that I stayed in bed until about 3pm, and still felt like shit.

Cringeworthy scenes in films
9 May 2005

I don't know why, but last night I got to thinking about scenes in otherwise (half‑)decent films which really make you cringe. I'm not talking about films which are totally cringeworthy, just those that are otherwise okay.

The family that saves together, stays together
23 March 2005

I assume that most of you who wanted to see The Incredibles saw it at the cinema, or picture playhouse, or whatever you hip dudes 'n' dudettes call the kinematograph parlour these days. Anyhow, I had the DVD on preorder and it arrived yesterday, so we watched it last night.

Cat fight! Cat fight! Cat fight!
15 December 2004

Sir Elton John commented that George Michael was:

Hugh Grant's 'retirement'
12 November 2004

Hugh Grant apparently threw a strop at the opening of his latest film, Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason, saying that it would be his last as he hated the whole industry now…I paraphrase somewhat.

Man On Fire (2004)
8 October 2004

We watched this last night. A run-of-the-mill Latino kidnapping affair. Better than Proof Of Life, but then what isn't?

The Matrix Revolutions
13 April 2004

I finally got around to watching this. The DVD's been laying around for the last couple of weeks.

Bad Boys II
23 March 2004

We just got around to watching BB2. Oh dear.

Punching the air
1 January 2004

Herself was watching Air Force One on TV last night. Shit, I'd forgotton how bad that film was. But the scene at the end where all the backroom boys show how happy they are, by jumping around and punching the air, was indeed most risible.

Buying stuff online while drunk
6 December 2003

A couple of weeks ago I bought The Siege from, while I was rat-arsed.

The Matrix Reloaded
24 October 2003

I finally got around to watching this last night.