Monthly Archives: November 2008

Alright, So It’s Juvenile, But It Made Me Laugh

I spend a lot of time on the train being ferried in and out of London. Part of my journey, just outside Waterloo and a hop, skip and a jump from the Houses of Parliament, passes by a beautiful red brick building which is the home of the Marine Society and the Sea Cadets.

The building has a big sign next to the railway track which reads “Sea Cadets” in giant golden letters.

Once in a blue moon, when the sun is low or the clouds part in the right way or the moon shines just so or the streetlamps are throwing exactly the right kind of orange light, the shadows fall over the first word of “Sea Cadets” and transform the final letter to an “X”.

I’ve lived in London for four years, and tonight was only the third time the train took me past the headquarters of the “Sex Cadets”.

One day I’m so paying them a visit.


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A Rib-Tickler And No Mistake…

Well, after almost a month of being so hyperly-hyper that I was starting to suspect my genes had been spliced with Tigger because all I wanted to do was bounce and bounce and bounce, day after day after day, my energy levels have finally taken a nosedive. As of today, I am officially Eeyore.

I have a cough so rotten that it’s given me a temperature, a headache and several pulled muscles in my ribcage. I’m having to take tomorrow off work (something I very rarely do – you don’t get sick days when you’re a freelancer) and I’m wondering if I’m ever going to have the energy to write the two features and two reviews that are due in the next few days. Bugger.

On the plus side, I just watched the film Koyaanisqatsi and now I’m mellow beyond words. If you’ve never seen it, it’s a montage of scenes of planet Earth set to a beautiful Philip Glass score and utterly, utterly lovely. I’d seen Chronos, one of the sequels, but this was far better. And also just what I needed on a rainy Sunday afternoon when I can’t watch anything exciting because it makes me cough…

…as I discovered when I watched the mid-season finale of Supernatural, which was so amazing it nearly killed me. I gasped and laughed and squeaked and squeed so much during its 40-minute running time that I’m holding it officially responsible for making me hurt as much as I do now.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Supernatural is now my favourite TV show of all time. I’m sorry, Twin Peaks: you meant a lot to me, but our affair is over. I adored you and we had some good times together (remember that endless dissertation and all the research in Towson State University’s library back in 1992? Oh, to have had the internet back then, rather than a doddery old microfiche machine and handfuls of dimes to feed it with…). I’ve found a new love, and it’s kicking your sorry ass from here to Snoqualmie. The bad guy in Twin Peaks was a single evil spirit; in Supernatural, the heroes have to battle the entire contents of Hell. How could a girl not love that?

Supernatural has also reminded me – considering its current, season four ‘angel’ theme – to post this amazing clip from the Wim Wenders film Wings Of Desire, which I fell in love with a few months ago.  You don’t have to watch it all (you can stop at four minutes if you want) but you’ll get the gist; angels living among us are listening in on people’s thoughts in a library in Berlin. Beautifully shot, exquisitely scored; it’s one of my favourite scenes in the history of cinema. And it’s nice to share…

You’ll excuse me if I sign off now. I have some coughing to do.


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Introducing Mr Rennie! Except You Probably Know Him Already…

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Chances are you have. In many, many things. The X-Files. Due South. The Dead Zone. Dark Angel. eXistenZ. Battlestar Galactica. A million more. His name is Callum Keith Rennie, and for the last few years he’s been one of my favourite actors in the world.

Now there’s every possibility that he is, in fact, Number One on my list. The reason? He has a recurring role in season two of Californication, currently airing on Showtime in America. That picture is him in one of the episodes staggering about in his underpants, wearing a silk dressing gown and waving a shotgun, which he totally gets away with because he’s playing a burnt-out, sex-mad, rock’n’roll superstar who lives in a giant mansion filled with musicians either playing music or fornicating (this is Cali-fornication, after all).

It is possibly the greatest role an actor could ever hope for. It’s certainly the best thing Callum Keith Rennie has ever done, and he’s done a lot of good stuff. And it’s not as though I didn’t love Californication enough already – if you don’t watch it, you really should, because it’s not just about sex: it’s witty and funny and sad, and David Duchovny, too, has the greatest role an actor could ever hope for. (Indeed, when I passed by the premiere of the new X-Files movie in Leicester Square a few months ago, members of the crowd were holding up banners declaring “HANK MOODY FOR PRESIDENT!” and “HONK IF YOU LOVE HANK!”)

It’s an absolute joy watching Callum strutting his stuff week after week; he looks like he’s never had so much fun. I am so in awe of his brilliance that I thought I should mention it here in the hope that perhaps somebody reading this will check out a few episodes of Californication to see him for themselves.

Particularly if you’re a member of the Emmy selection committee. Best Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series? Oh yes. It HAS to happen.


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Linkage Pimpage

This isn’t something I normally do, but I thought I’d shamelessly pimp a few things I’ve done recently…

First up is my reaction to yesterday’s preview of Watchmen on the SFX website. Zack Snyder and Dave Gibbons did a little Q&A, there were cupcakes with bloody smiley faces on them (I’m still sulking that I couldn’t sneak a few out to eat at my leisure/flog on eBay, but they were too squishy for my bag) and we saw nearly half an hour of footage.

My excitement levels for this movie have now reached critical mass: the moment I saw Apollonia Vanova’s Silhouette recreate this famous World War Two photograph in the opening credits…


…only with a woman, and in beautiful, visceral slow-motion, I knew this was going to be something special. I have the same butterfly-filled, nervous feeling in my tummy about Watchmen that I had about the first Lord of the Rings movie in the months leading up to its release; that this is going to be big and mysterious and beautiful and cinema might never be the same. I might be projecting my love of the novel onto the movie, but from what I saw yesterday I have a feeling I won’t  be disappointed. (Also? Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian. See previous post.)

Next up is this interview with Neil Gaiman, again for SFX, about The Graveyard Book. In case the release has passed you by, the book’s about a boy who grows up in a graveyard (think The Jungle Book, but with ghosts raising Mowgli) and it’s utterly, utterly wonderful. The only thing that annoys me about it is that Neil waited until now to publish it – why couldn’t he have written for me as a child? *sulks*

And finally, here’s this simple piece for the MSN website. Don’t be fooled by my kind words about True Blood, because I really don’t like the show – however, a lot of people I know seem to, and it’s been renewed for a second season, so I suppose I should give it a chance…


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Watching The Watchmen A Little Too Intently For It To Be Healthy…

I was going to write a nice long blog entry tonight. It’s about time, really, as I’ve been a bit rubbish of late.

Then I made the mistake of checking out the new posters for Watchmen. I took one look at this image of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian and I’m afraid my critical faculties have just gone for a burton.


I burnt my dinner while I was staring at it, too. Darn.


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Oops, They Did It Again…

So Fox have announced their schedules for January! They’ve finally revealed when Joss Whedon’s hotly-anticipated new series, Dollhouse, is going to air! At last, we have something to look forward to!


And we also have something else to look forward to: Dollhouse‘s cancellation. I mean, COME ON, Fox: Friday nights at 9pm? The one timeslot in the entire week when you know the audience you’re looking for aren’t watching because they’re all young and energetic and out partying?

God bless you for commissioning Dollhouse in the first place, Fox, and for giving Whedon the chance to bring a new show to our screens after you canned Firefly, but I really think you have a problem with your brain being missing.

Unless you WANT it to fail, because… well, I don’t know why, but maybe you’re just mean.

Whatever; I’m in the UK anyway, so all I can do is cross my fingers and hope. And then weep into my pillow after the show’s seven commissioned episodes air and we’re told the ratings sucked and it’s never coming back. Still, it’s not like we’re not used to it, eh?


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Oh Good Lord, It Actually Happened!


Well, THAT was worth waiting up until 4am for.

I’m a bit emotional right now. Way to go, America!

Excuse me, I must go and blow my nose…


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