Monthly Archives: March 2009

Andy Hallett, RIP

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I met Andy a couple of times and he was absolutely adorable. What a lovely guy.

And only 33 years old, too. I don’t even have the words for how cruel that is…

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Ooh la la!

My friend Gillen – aka my comics pimp – recently lent me a stack of Marvel stories which I’ve been ploughing my way through this week. I was just sitting here reading The Mighty Avengers: The Ultron Initiative by Brian Michael Bendis/Frank Cho when I spotted that they used a picture of the Eiffel Tower and labelled it as being in Brussels.

“Well,” I thought. “That’s not on.”  So I texted Gillen to tell him. I knew he was on holiday, and I knew he was in France, but guess where he was standing when he read my text?

Okay, don’t guess. Here’s the photo he sent me:

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Jesus. It’s a small world, after all. And also? NOT BRUSSELS.

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Life. TV. Etc.

I’ve just had a week off. This might not sound very exciting in the grand scheme of things, but it was. It was exciting because I’m a freelance journalist and that means I often find myself working every day of the week, so having seven straight days with nothing to do was just bliss. Of course, being that I’m freelance, it was also accompanied by a worrying “Oh crap!” feeling, because I wasn’t earning any money. However, this morning, within 45 minutes of each other, I was commissioned to write two huge features, and so all is well with the world again! Phew. That was a close one…

(I can’t say I did much during those seven days off, mind you. I pretty much settled on my sofa on Day One and stayed there. When I veg, I veg.)

So what’s happened since I last blogged? Well, Battlestar Galactica ended, but I’m not mentioning anything about the final episode here because I know so many people who still haven’t seen it. Spoilers are eeeevil, guys. But I will say that I loved it, and I cried, but that’s not really saying much because that show made me cry every week anyway. I am such a bloody wuss. And the same can be said of Supernatural: I cried buckets at last week’s episode. Which is odd, really, because between them they’re a sci-fi show and a horror series, and you wouldn’t expect such a large amount of salty goodness to come from either of them.

…um, I didn’t mean that to sound rude. Honest.

I’ve also discovered the joys of Being Human. Being a fanatical follower of American television, I often overlook current British shows (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Top Gear and The IT Crowd aside), so it wasn’t until this week that I sat my ass down and watched it. All I can say now is: what took me so long? So funny! So warm! So witty! I even enjoy all the Somerset accents sported by the extras – it reminds me of when I lived in Bath. Awwww. I have so much love for this show, it’s unreal… and what with this and my recent infatuation with Merlin, I think I should make a point of actually watching new British shows when they first air from now onwards. Oops.

And finally: tonight I watched The Fall. It was exquisite. Buy it, rent it, I don’t care: just watch it. Lawrence Of Arabia aside, it’s without a doubt the most beautiful movie I’ve ever seen.

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Don’t believe me? Check out these stills…

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I could go on, but I’ll just gush. And you really don’t want to see that. You’ve had enough of my salty goodness for one post.

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The Go-To Gal

I had a rather curious phone call from a nice chap at the BBC yesterday.

“Hello,” he said, after checking I was the correct Jayne Nelson, film journalist, who occasionally pops up on the news discussing random popular-cultural events.  “I was just wondering if you’d be willing to talk about Natasha Richardson. Should the worst happen, that is.”

Which, I have to say, was a bit of a jaw-dropper. My first instinct was, “But the poor lady isn’t even dead yet!” And my second instinct, as a journalist, was, “Well, if she does die, they do need to be prepared…”

What a strange business this is, where you have to circle like a vulture over a sick celebrity just to ensure that you’re prepared to cover the sad event, should it happen. Of course, Natasha Richardson did die, late last night, and my sympathies go out to her family and friends because what happened to her was terrible. But I didn’t want to talk about it on television, because it’s not really for me to do something like that. The nice chap from the BBC had to find somebody else, and I wished him luck, because frankly it’s a sad thing to have to do, but necessary.

“Just for our records,” he said, at the end of our conversation, “what can we ring you about in the future?”

“Sci-fi,” I said. “Or fantasy. Harry Potter, things like that. Tell you what, just put ‘Is A Big Geek’ next to my name.”

Like I said, this is a strange business.

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The World’s Greatest Head Massage And More

You know what it’s like. You’re looking at one thing on YouTube and you click on an intriguing link on one side of the page and before you know it you’ve watched 900 videos and you’re wondering where the hell your evening’s gone.

I am guilty as charged, but I do tend to watch the same videos over and over, and it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps I should share. First up is this one:

…which is simply adorable, but also strangely creepy, although I can’t understand why it’s been watched 1.4 million times. Then there’s this one:

…because the internet is 90% dedicated to cats, after all (of the remainder, 8% is porn and 2% is everything else). I like this video because they’ve edited it really well and it gets better as it goes on… and it’s everything you love about cats in one handy, two-and-a-half-minute burst.

And finally there’s this:

…which is, as it says, the world’s greatest head massage (and note the application of cosmic energy!). I’ve watched this clip a gazillion times, and for many reasons: it’s relaxing, I like the song playing on the radio in the background, I love how crazy the street outside the barber shop sounds, I wonder who the guy is who’s sitting grinning in the chair in the background, the chap doing the massage is awesome and if you watch this video to the song Smack Your Bitch Up by The Prodigy it is the greatest thing ever.

So there you go. Hope you like them. If not, there’ll be a link somewhere on the page that you can click on instead, but don’t blame me if you lose your evening to YouTube.

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Hello… Goodbye…

Right! I’m back. I’ve been writing, watching stuff, reading stuff, entertaining visitors and wondering why the very expensive moisturiser I just put on my face has turned it blue, but now I’m here and ready to write!

So, I saw Watchmen. At bloody last. I’ve only been waiting since I was 16, so it was a fairly exciting moment, although I still have a sneaky suspicion the forthcoming Star Trek movie will be more of a revelation (I’ve been a fan of Bruce Greenwood since he appeared in this long-forgotten TV series in 1984, so the fact that he’s playing Captain Christopher Pike is pretty momentous if you ask me). (Gratuitous Pike photo below!)

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Back to Zack Snyder’s new baby: I’m happy to say that Watchmen was really good – not perfect, by any means, but I think any issues I had with it will be smoothed out by the extra footage on the DVD release. Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach was the best thing about it (seriously, the guy IS Rorschach – it’s creepy at times), closely followed by Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s take on the Comedian, who is an absolute bastard (as he should be). Poor wig aside, I was very surprised by Matthew Goode as Ozymandias: surely the dullest character in the novel, and given quite short shrift in the movie, but he was strangely compelling. Plus you have to love any film where at one point there are three giant blue penises on screen but you’re still following the plot. Bravo!

They also changed the ending, and I preferred it. That probably entitles me to get lynched by rabid Alan Moore fans, but I don’t care.

I might have loved Watchmen but I’m no longer in love with Heroes. I sat down to watch the latest episode last night and realised halfway through that I had no idea what was going on because I was staring out of my lounge window instead. Okay, so, dull episode. Except that that happened last week, and the week before, and the week before that…

I think Heroes and I are finally calling it quits, and it KILLS me to give up on a show, but when watching it is a chore you have to cut your losses. At least Lost is still going strong in that crazy, time-travelling universe it’s built for itself (you know, the one you can’t follow if you so much as miss one episode), and Medium, Chuck, House, CSI, Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica, Leverage and all the other shows I watch are still keeping me entertained.

I would write something here about Dollhouse, but SFX blogger Narin Bahar did the job for me here – it’s like she read my mind. I’m giving the show a few more episodes because I REFUSE TO GIVE UP ON IT, DAMMIT, but I keep finding myself staring out of my lounge window like I did with Heroes. There are squirrels out there who have far more personality than Eliza Dushku’s Echo, even though she has a different personality every week. And that’s bloody worrying…

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