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Thursday, September 10, 2009
THE BEATLES ARE BACK!
Thank you BBC!

The Prisoner Musical hit a snag in the 60s...

Some of the more eagle~eyed humans amongst you may have noticed that yesterday (cue gag) was a purty big day for that little known beat~combo THE BEATLES. But apart from all the commercial who~ha going on (I'm old, I don't 'get' Rock Band - what's wrong with learning an actual instrument?), the BEEB have been treating us fans to quite a week of programming featuring the world's greatest gift to music.

A black & white picture? Isn't that against internet rules??

And they also managed to show some footage that was new to me so I must commend the BBC on their choices (though some of documentaries weren't made by them). Whether or not The Fab Four actually brought an end to communism is up for debate but I was certainly convinced after the doc on BBC Four seemingly rounded up info and witnesses to say it was so. I don't say it often enough (here anyway, I'm always gobbing on about The Beatles in 'real' life), but the world is most definitely a better place with their music.

Ahh! Another one!

Wow, sincerity! Also, special cuddles to the BEEB for not editing all the smoking the guys did - and there was a lot of that! Speaking of making films about blogs (Wha? How did we get on this side~street?), I took a trip to the local 'plex and caught JULIE & JULIA. Yup, films have dried up so much on plots that the writers have taken to writing about blogging. Yup, blogging - the lowest of all literary forms and the highest of all self~referential media. Thankfully, this is addressed and, surprisingly, the filmmakers don't bang on about what a blog is or explain it. I say surprising 'cos most of the audience I saw it with were not of a net~savvy age (though maybe I'm misunderestimating my elder cinema viewers).

Kitchen bitch, Amy FORWARD SLASH Adams.

Anyway, it was damn good and long time blogites will know my lurve for AMY "Set Trousers For Stunned" ADAMS. She didn't disappoint, and full marks too to MERYL STREEP for her mesmeric performance. I will say that the ending is slightly saccarine and oddly unresolved though films based on real life often are. (Hence the saying, "Make it up, wrap it up. If it's real, make a meal.") And I was most surprised to see Douglas Adams getting quoted and name~checked within the film. (I mean, this film is for chicks, right?) Now, when will Stuff~On~TV make it to the big screen, seemed easy enough in the film...

Well I'm glad she's wearing gloves at least...

Also at the flicks this week was DORIAN GRAY. I should say that OSCAR WILDE, like the aforementioned Beatles, is a long time lurve of mine and especially his one and only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. It affected me greatly as a youngster (I even wrote a song named after one of the characters, Sibyl Vane - you can see it on YouTube) and certainly was responsible for a number of mistakes in my life (though I would never blame it - damn, I just did). It's not the 'best' in a literaturic (word of the day, thank you!) sense, but it's impression on me was greater than any other book I've ever read.

The new Dorian Gray?

Before I rip apart the new version (oops, given away my 'review'), let's look at the 1945 version starring GEORGE "Jungle Book" SANDERS and ANGELA LANSBURY. It's infuriating for us purists due to the change of Sibyl Vane's profession from actress to singer (and that awful bloody song) and the inclusion of that "mysterious" Egyptian cat that turns up in the titular painting which seems to be the answer to why Dorian was cursed. But all said, it's still a good film and inherits much of Wilde's wit and memorable epigrams (though Dorian does mention Oscar Wilde at one point, gah~roan). The horrific reveal of Dorian's image at the denouement is particularly memorable and well played out for its time. The same cannot be said, however, for the latest version.

Gosh, Liza Minelli is looking good...

The simply titled DORIAN GRAY manages to reduce any Wildean remnants to a few lines tossed off by COLIN "No George Sanders" FIRTH like he was auditioning for the next Bridget Jones movie. Introduced is a hideous back story for Dorian, uninterestingly played by BEN "Where, where, Where Is My Personality???" BARNES that delivers nothing apart from cheap horror and a scary room.... And AGAIN Dorian is played by an actor with dark hair and dark eyes whereas dans le book, he is gold~haired and blue~eyed - he's meant to be an angel you numb~nuts! Mr Barnes looks like he could be a bad boy from the get~go and no amount of wide~eyed agogness can dampen that.

This is Zooey, right? No? But she's always grabbin' her knockers!

Parts of it felt like the BBC's recent Desperate Romantics with some old~fashioned humping going on though the filmmakers (and I use the word quite wrongly) do follow the book's descent into the darker side of life. I could go on with its flaws but I shan't. It's not terrible but neither is it worth seeing. Now, how about The BLOG of Dorian Gray.... Speaking (or, rather, typing), the bloke with a painting in his attic gets name~checked in 500 DAYS OF SUMMER. And, as with Amy "Won't Someone Please Think Of My Trousers?" Adams, regular blog~a~trons will know my, erm, likings for a certain ZOOEY "No, not her from The Office and no, not Katy Perry" DESCHANEL who plays the titular character Summer.

Right, this is her. No? But she lurves goo on her boobs!

Not only that but BELLE & SEBASTIAN get a rather nifty mention and quote, does it get any better? Well yes actually, it does. Apart from a spiffing soundtrack we also get: numerous mentions of MORRISSEY and THE SMITHS; PIXIES karaoke; and a clip from STAR WARS (and, for the first time in over a decade, used well). And that's just the superficial stuff, the actual film is tops. ZD is, as ever, tit~tuttingly glorious, brightening up the screen whenever she appears. If you haven't seen it and plan to, miss out the next paragraph as there's a SPOILER coming up which will ruin it for you.

Cripes... [trouser palm]

Before I forget, there's an amazing use of Old Friends by SIMON & GARFUNKEL which brought a tear to this cynical robot's eye - especially when juxtaposed with the final scenes from THE GRADUATE - it's interextuality gone mad I tells ya! Anyway this tale, which the viewer is led to believe will have a happy ending (which it does, of sorts), is realistically told with a heart~breaking twist. The couple's conversation on the bench is painful but utterly true - "What I was never sure of with you." Truly gifted screenwriting.

Control~Alt~Splurge!

Spoiler over. A real treat with a great cast and beautifully shot. Top marks too for Joseph "Gordon" Levitt who was a revelation in his everyman role. Though, am I the only person thinking he shares an uncanny resemblance to HEATH LEDGER? Elsewhere in the world of film I took in DISTRICT 9 and was surprised to see Murray from FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS starring a sci~fi film...

You f**king Prawn!

I jest of course but the similarities were most distracting. Not as distracting, however, as the main thrust of the film which was that the 'main guy' (cannot be arsed lookin' it up) was exposed to fluid which turned out to be fuel for a spaceship and this fluid turned him into one of the aliens. Exactly how? Not explained (not that that's a problem - I can handle no explanations) but it seems so ridiculous that engine oil could actually change someone's DNA make~up that it rendered the film laughable instead of the thoughtful piece it was trying to be.

INSERT "Aniston has at least one huge fan" GAG HERE

I also suggest in future that you don't portray all Nigerians as voodoo lurvin' dudes who wield guns and believe in eating body parts. Though, who am I to comment? It seems to be doing well enough. In the world of TV nothing much entertains. SHOOTING STARS returned with a bang but has drizzled out with familiarity, hopefully the guys will reverse this for the rest of the series. Finally, as you may have noticed posts have been scant of late. This is due to me actually working. Yah, a real 'job'. And, sadly (for SoTV anyway), I return to my studies at the end of this month AND I will be teaching too. So, as you may have surmised, this could be the last entry for a while ('til Doctor Who comes back).

Remember when Bugs Bunny used to dress up as a lady rabbit?

'Til the next time (whenever the flippin' flop that may be),
C.

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posted by Cameron McEwan at 4:17 pm -
2 Comments:
  • At 9:00 pm, Blogger Richard said…

    No doubt you will have a heard this already, http://bit.ly/Er35e
    A rather lovely Smiths cover by She & Him (embedded just below the pictures)

    I'm still miffed that she's shacked up with the guy from Death Cab for Cutie.

     
  • At 11:02 pm, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…

    Yeah, I have the soundtrack and it's odd that the track doesn't actually appear in the film by them. (And I waited right 'til the end!)

    The She & Him album is also tops.

    Sorry to hear that you won't be getting married to Zooey....

     
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