Category Archives: Films

Senna – TT 3D – Fastest


If you’re a an fan of the motor racing world then you will find this three disc box set very interesting and somewhat enlightening.

SENNA – a documentary style film about Senna’s years in Formula until his tragic death in 1994, predominantly featuring behind the scenes home cine footage and television interview footage, enlightening insights into the politics of formula 1, the on and off track rivalry between he and Prost, the changes in cars and teams.  F1 went through a rough period in the early 1990’s, the successful season of 1992 was followed by a controversial 1993 season when the early days of electronics ad computerisation creeped in, as such technology was out of the pockets of many teams they were banned for the 1994 season.  one would think this meant returning to the 1992 cars but no, it became a year of carnage where Martin Donnelly was severely injured in a practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix, Roland Ratzenburger died while driving a qualifying lap at the San Marino Grand Prix and the next day Senna died during the race.

TT 3D CLOSER TO THE EDG – This centres on the 2010 season of this bastion of road racing.  It shows many of the riders [they look either old enough to know better or young enough to still be using stabilisers].  It does not really explain the circuit, which for a unique place is a shame.  I found the drivers talk interesting and insightful, however, it is portray Guy Martin as a slightly selfish renegade, maybe he was, maybe it was the black leather relentless sponsored attitude; all the same those eyes .  These guys are straight talking, hard riders, they know the perils and they know the dangers.  While the crashes are spectacular, there are injuries and fatalities, they do not make light of it.

FASTEST – The prime focus for this is Valentino Rossi, number 46, known as ‘The Doctor’ [give him the bike, and he will tell you what is wrong with it and how to fix it].  This baby faced uber talented rider charms those all around him, his fans range from the 80-year old Granny to the 3-year old toddler.  Listening to them as they describe the injuries that they ride with is astounding.  Rossi broke his leg and within weeks was back in the saddle and riding hard to reach a podium finish.  Watching the race footage I required a defibrillator as well as a ventilator because I was twitching and gasping as the wheels wobbled and my heart stopped as a rider high lined it off into the air.


I said there was something about those eyes ………….


Posted by on February 25, 2013 in Films, Review



Telstar : Story Of Joe Meek


I happened by happy chance to catch this on BBC2 last week, and am happy to say it is available on DVD.  What an absolutely astounding and sometimes disturbing portrayal of the man who brought us so many memorable hits [“Have I the Right,” “Just Like Eddie,” “Johnny, Remember Me” and “Telstar.”], who worked with such names as Clem Cattini, John Leyton, Gene Vincent, Chas Hodges, names you do not realise you know until the closing credit and you see what they worked on in the decades that followed.

Joe Meek was a music-infused tone deaf, (supposidly) flamboyantly gay, songwriter and producer of the 1960’s, plagued by anxiety, paranoia, depression, possibly even mild schizophrenia (you wonder if this is another ‘genius beside madness’ person), addicted to slimming pills, not for their slimming aid but because they allowed him to think outside convention, avoid sleep, and be receptive to communication from the other side.

Meek is caught by the police engaging in a sex act with an undercover police officer and the shock and shame spirals him into even more alarming behaviour, and after a brief affair with Heinz Burt whom he lavishes suits and style grows increasingly erratic and distrusting of those around him, prone to sudden bouts of anger and threatening behaviour.

When a French composer accuses Meek of plagiarism of Telstar and starts a lawsuit in 1963, it results in royalties and all revenues associated with the track being frozen until the court case is heard.  With such funds being locked, Meek’s business is thrown into cash-strapped hell, this alongside his behaviour, means fewer people will have anything to do with him.

Sadly in an episode of paranoid hysteria he shoots his landlady and then himself with a shotgun registered to Heinz Burt, who is extensively questioned by the police but is release uncharged.

Three weeks after Meek’s death, the Courts ruled in his favour regarding the ownership of the track “Telstar” releasing the revenue to his estate which he left to his assistant and quite possibly only friend, Patrick Pink.

EDIT  ::  Further reading online shows many who knew Mr Meek are/were shocked and angered by how the film portrayed him and over dramatised some of the elements of the period in his life.  There is an open letter from Patrick Pink for all to read


Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Films, Review



Revolutionary Road


Set in the 1960’s American, two teenagers meet at college with eyes wide to the opportunities of the world.  We meet them again years later,married with two small children at that stage in life where you either go against convention and strive for that dream or put them away forever and become the conservative images of your parents.

Their marriage, while not in its first flush or serious trouble, is tired and strained, he has an affair with a secretary [well more of an afternoon bonk session], she the housewife, the sophisticat small town outsider that has everyone in awe.  An idea hatches that April [Kate Winslet] could earn good money working as a secretary/interpreter for the governments international agencies in Paris [France, not Texas, lol], leaving her husband Frank [Leonardo DiCaprio] bored with his monotonous sales copy position at the same firm his Dad worked at for decades, free to do what his dreamed of, whether it be paint, write or discover himself.

This possibility of adventure and reawakening of old dreams rejuvenates their emotions and passions for each other.  Neighbours and work colleagues are told of their plans, some greet them with envy or disbelief, some with cheers for their friends.  All is coming to fruition until April discovers she is pregnant, a fact she initially does not tell Frank, deciding to self-abort, a procedure that she believes is perfectly safe before 12 weeks.

Frank discovers she is pregnant and here the film changes because both are opened to see how life looks from the others eyes.  For the female 1960 university honours degree student who now looks after a family in the white picket fenced world so far removed from her dreams, slowly growing to resent the actions and blindness of her husband.  He the male provider with the responsibility to take care of, to do the job that maintains the expected life style of their status, where the folly and freedom of youth is gone too soon.

As the adventurous plans for France are moth balled, and the cracks in their marriage left unbridged, unacknowledged, the film reaches its dramatic conclusion ….. for that folks either seethe film, read the book by Richard Yates or google for a spoiler.

Enjoy is probably the wrong word … I was entertained, informed and moved by the film.  It was well cast, well scripted, no unnecessary elements, the sensitive topics were handled well considering the greatly differing perspectives between the 1960’s and modern day.  If it came on tv again, I would watch it again.


Posted by on February 5, 2012 in Films, Review



Moby Dick (failure and success)


For so long this was a book I wanted to read, so when a gal pal was moving house and going through her paperbacks she passed her copy to me.  Finally, I would knuckle down and read the text.  Yes, adventure on the high seas, relive the moments of waves and wonder, the inter-relationships the strain and snaps of men so tightly confined toward one goal.  With much anticipation I started page 1 chapter 1 “My name is Ishmel” ……….

………. how quickly my enthusiasm depleted, how soon I became bogged down in the minutia of the language and of trying to maintain the concentration to build the epic picture on my mind as I turned to page two ……….

………. I soldiered on towards chapter two feeling comfortable in the concept that I would settle into the style.  Chapter three.  Onwards meeting Queequeg and visualising this curious being ……….

………. The rot set in, reading less and less and less often, putting off reading other books I was looking forward to.  I conceded defeat, this book is impossible!!!


I hired the DVD of the 1956 classic with Gregory Peck, Richard Basehart, et al.  Settling with a warm cuppachinno and a little expectation I watched the movie hoping to find I had got further through the book than I felt, but no before long I had passed my bookmark and we were only just setting sail!

The film sadly lacked something for me, I wanted the crew to mutiny at their obsessed captain, I was unconvinced by the sudden turnabout of one of the boat men who had been so against going for Moby, yet in the thrill of the battle he again and again set to attack the whale until all hands [bar one] were lost.


I am waiting for the 1998 adaptation with Patrick Stewart, Henry Thomas et al.  Maybe a more modern filmed viewing will again warm my heart to this tale.


Posted by on July 1, 2011 in Books, Films, Review


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Coco Before Chanel


As the title suggests, this film centres on her early years from her time in a grim orphanage where she learnt to be seamstress, through her attempts at being a professional singer up to the concurrent liaisons in the Edwardian era with the rich French playboy Etienne Balsan and the British industrialist Arthur “Boy” Capel.

While exploiting Balsan and loving Capel, she revolted against the exploitation of women and the restrictive fashions in clothes. She’s played by Audrey Tautou as a wilful, manipulative, increasingly confident woman, her bisexuality part of her independence. We see her develop by trial and error that loose, androgynous, simple elegance that was the keynote of her revolutionary style. We witness the birth of the little black dress and “la mode garçon”, the latter fashioned from borrowings from Balsan’s wardrobe.

Delightful to watch the debauched joir de vive of French aristocratic accepted life, the accepted precedent of the mistress kept hidden but everyone perfectly aware of who that person is and why they are there.  The sight that such people have genuine emotion and personal feelings but are trapped in a cycle that keeps them in their place [the times Coco departed Balsan only to return].

I even managed to keep up with the subtitles.

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Posted by on June 16, 2010 in Films, Review



Cider House Rules


It’s been ten years since this movie was first released, yes 10 years already!  The Internet Movie Database has the tag line “A story of how far we must travel to find out where we belong”.

I think this movie dips a white toe into many themes.  It’s a film that portrays a style of that is how things were in those days, society perceptions of topics such as abortion, adoption, incest, race.  It shows the indestructible resolve, yet vulnerability of young adults.  There are the consequences of decisions and actions.     The young desire to seek that just beyond the horizon; and there is a sense of how someone can try but not escaped their expected destiny and how they reconcile that.

As for the Cider House rules, six sentences written by those who forget the people they apply to cannot read and when they are red out are not irrelevant.

The movie is touching and light, as ever Michael Caine portrays a well meaning man with his own demons.  A back bone of the movie is abortion … a contentious issue as ever.  Whether it should happen at all, whether it not being legal results in back street mutilations and loss of life where as a medical practitioner procedure is safer.  The perception of adoption, at the beginning the baby Homer is adopted and returned because he made no sound [Caine is the narrator say its because orphaned children learn not to cry as it yields nothing] . Home is adopted again but rescued by Dr Larch [Caine] because he is beaten.  It shows how sick children are abandoned and some never leave the orphanage in its remote slightly rundown institutionalist environment.

When Homer leaves for the apple farm, his naivety of life is clear because he knows only the orphanage, its own microcosm community.  He falls in love with a friends girl friend, an unknown, unfamiliar, emotion, they begin a blossoming romance but she guilty of cheating behind her Fighter Pilot boyfriend and when he is returned from the war, paralysed, her sense of duty to stand by and care for her man causes her to end her relationship with Homer.

I like watching this movie and find a fresh nuance every time … and who can resist the fresh faced Tobey Maguire.


Posted by on June 5, 2010 in Films, Review



The Boat That Rocked


“Those drug takers, law breakers, bottom bashing fornicators”

LMAO ~ one of the funniest lines from a very entertaining movie.

I have watched this movie a couple of times and although the sub father/son plot is a tad naff and the flood sequence is a little fx, the film is fun and light.  I was not born to witness the era of pirate radio but when Radio Caroline had a resurgence in the 80’s I was and there was something thrilling about listening to a contraversial station. Many critics slammed the film as dull, which for me only means the film is well worth watching.  The use of music of the time was wonderful knitting in well to the story line and characters of the DJ’s.  Bill Nighy is classically eccentrically 60’s British, the DJ’s are cringingly authentic of the era.  Watch the bonus deleted scenes, the Abbey Road scene is amusing but by far discovering the name of Sir Alaister’s secretary along with the young civil servant just adds comic genius to the absurdity of laws and attitudes designed to steer us from profamity and immorality, only in a British semi-satirical film would you get civil servants called Twatt and Clitt!!  Brannagh portrayed beautifully the typical upper middle classed establishment ambassador who labeled anything young, modern and forward thinking as the devil at work.

Now children, don’t laugh but yes Granny and Granddad really did wear clothing that vibrant, that strange, and yes the skirts and dresses were that short [gawd I feel ancient now].

This movie is going on my christmas dvd list. I am trying to decide whether to download the OST from iTunes {£8.99} or Amazon downloads [£5.97}, or get the cd .. gotta watch it again because I have got to discover the name of that one track that is bugging me.

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Posted by on May 4, 2010 in Films, Review