Archive for January, 2009

Breaking Bad

January 27, 2009

Another amazing new series from the US. Its so good. I was a bit sceptical at first, in particular because of the actor playing the main lead, Bryan Cranston, I didn’t think I could take him seriously after Malcolm in the Middle but he is outstanding in this, don’t get me wrong he was great as Hal in Malcolm but this is on a whole other level.

Watching it, it makes me wonder why British shows can’t make TV shows like this. I mean its not just the production costs, the show is relatively cheaply made. Its the writing which is just so off the hook. British TV is too wrapped up in making costume dramas and not facing up to writing decent contemporary drama.


The decline of Woody Allen

January 25, 2009

Penelope Cruz Oscar nominated for Vicky Christina Barcelona? I haven’t seen the movie but from the trailer it looks like another one of Woody Allen’s wet dreams…am I going to be sacrilegious if I say that he has always been vastly overated as a director? Nah that’s not true I loved ‘Crimes and Misdemeanors’ I just feel that he’s lost the plot and doesn’t really have anything left to say that he hasn’t already said before and in a much more cleverer way in his ‘earlier funny films’ ( if you get the film reference I’ll buy you a beer 😉 )

The Wrestler

January 25, 2009

I well and truly believe that Mickey Rourke should win an Oscar for his performance in this movie.He was amazing in it and somehow managed to lift a film which is pretty cliched in terms of plot. I also think that Marisa Tomei should win a Best Actress award, people have been blown away by Mickey Rourke but she was equally good in this movie and deserves a lot of credit for it.

Guardian’s 1000 books you must read again

January 24, 2009

Guardian have now put up a list of Science Fiction and Fantasy books. My usual complaints over glaring omissions but I would also like to ask why Fantasy is always lumped with Science Fiction ( you often see this in book shops ). The two genres could not be more different.

Guardian 1000 books you must read

January 19, 2009

1000 books

No mention of Richard Stark in their crime section!! Scandalous!

Slumdog Millionaire

January 18, 2009

I agree with what most critics have been saying about this movie in that its a good movie, a bit far fetched but generally well done. I would go one further and say its the best movie Danny Boyle has ever made. I know that fans of his Trainspotting, Shallow Grave and 28 days would disagree but I’ve said it so there. However I’m not here to discuss the director who is very talented…I’m instead going to turn to another person who contributed his talents to the movie, and that is A.R Rahman. He has already won a golden globe for his music and I really hope he get an Oscar Nomination at the very least of not winning the thing outright. I have long ben a fan of his work and although in my humble opinion this is nowhere near his best work ( see lagaan, saathiya et al ) I do hope he gets the international recognition he deserves. Also want to mention the kids that played the younger versions of Jamal,Salim and Latika, they were amazing and were most definately the heart and soul of the movie, why are they not nominated for any awards? I mean Dev Patel was good but those kids ,and especially Ayush Mahesh Khedekar, just blew me away! Also must mention Irrfan Khan after I saw him in ‘The Warrior’, I knew he was one to watch.

Hothouse by Brian Aldis

January 16, 2009

Just finished reading this marvelous sci-fi book and thought I would discuss it. Its a great book but also a strange one. For a start the science is well off, I don’t think the earth will ever get to a point as described in the book, especially the whole moon being attached to the earth and the earth no longer rotating idea. However if the only reason I read sci-fi books was for ideas based on hard real science then there would be very few ( probably none ) that I would be reading. What I’m amazed about is Aldis’ use of language and the marvelous creatures he manages to create based on plant and vegetable life, his mind is clearly something special. I only wish I could come up with something as good as that. I also like the idea that things don’t really go as expected, the book doesn’t have a ‘happy’ Utopian ending that you find in many sci-fi books. The main protagonists who starts off by having a very curious mind that leads to all kinds of adventures decides in the end that he prefers the environment in which we found him at the beginning of the story and settles for that rather then progressing out to the stars, knowing full well that ultimately his linage will die along with the earth. Its a very uncharacteristic ending and all the more brilliant for it.

Burn Notice

January 10, 2009

As always I’m coming to this late…its awesome. I’m not saying it is in the same league as ‘The Wire’ but it I would describe it as akin to a sorbet served to clear the palate before the next course. Its like a modern update of Macgyver…but actually done well and better! If I was going to pitch the TV series that’s is how I would describe it. On a side note I also recently watched a couple of episodes of the new Knight Rider series, it is atrocious. Why mention it? Well the comparison with Burn Notice is quite apt because Knight Rider shows you just how wrong you can go when doing a ‘modern update’.

R.I.P Donald E. Westlake aka Richard Stark

January 2, 2009

I can not tell you how bummed I am to hear the news of his death, this man is a legend! Check out his Parker novels, they are amazing.