Saturday, 31 July 2010

Clubbed: 24 Hours to Go

You know, sometimes — just sometimes — I manage to get through two movies in the course of a Friday and Saturday.

And — just as sometimes — they are two VERY different films.

Last night … ?

Saw Kevin D, his wife, Sarah and I happily — possibly — sitting down with a copy of Hamlet 2.

And, you know, I’ve got to confess, I’m still fairly unsure about Hamlet 2.

Hmmm …

At any rate, Movie Night Adrian and I managed to sit ourselves down with something very different, tonight …

The 2008, Neil Thompson directed, Geoff Thompson written,film, Clubbed.

And when I saw different, I mean very different … !

You see, where Hamlet 2 is a comedy, Clubbed is a gangster film.

One without Steve Coogan, which is possibly a good thing.

Set in the 1980s, Clubbed sees Mel Raido as Danny, a divorced factory worker, who — in an attempt to give his life some meaning — starts training at a local gym.

And eventually joining the gym’s owner and trainer-in-chief, Louis — played by the ever versatile Colin Salmon* — as a doorman at a local nightclub.

And, this being the 1980s, this isn’t the easy option you’d imagine.

Rather the reverse, in point of fact.

Very definitely the reverse.

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Now, I could go on for hours, about Clubbed, I really could.

Seriously …

But I’m not.

Partly because it’s late.

But mostly because little indy Brit-flicks come along very rarely, these days. That alone wouldn’t necessarily make it worth mentioning.

The fact that Clubbed is an emotionally absorbing little film, with sympathetic characters and a engrossing plot … ?

THAT makes it worth watching … !!






* Who, along with Tom Baker and Avery Brooks, of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fame, has one of the most beautiful male speaking voices I’ve heard.

ComBom, FaceBook and Hackers: Sounds familiar …

Do you remember, a few months back, I told you about the attempt — by someone appearing to be a Republican think-tank — to log-in to my Google mail account … ?

Looks like I’m not the only person to have something similar happen.

Bless him, it looks like ComBom — of Life, Dr Who & ComBom fame — had a bit of a temporary problem, trying to log into his FB account.

Someone — unknown — tried logging into his Facebook account, earlier today, I’m thinking …

Well …

Lot’s of things.

Including wondering if he’s had a visit from that same think-tank.

Or someone with the same name as him has tried logging into it.

Or whether something more sinister’s afoot.

Especially since many public user Facebook detail’s have been posted to many sites.

Including Pirate Bay, I should add … !

But given that — according to the email I got from Yahoo, earlier today — Kevin D’s email address is a forgery that’s mass sending spam, I really want to know what’s happening … !

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The Daily Teaser …



You know, I’m starting to think I hate late nights, I really am …

Not that I’m complaining, too much.

After Kevin and Sarah D did turn up with a film, bless ’em!

But the one thing I know it’s let me do, is put Yesterday on in the background.

Which is handy.

It means I’ve now know a handy way of making me own cheddar cheese.

All I need now is curds, whey, a couple of vats, and the stomach of a calf that’s not yet weaned.

Shouldn’t be too hard …

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But I’m burbling, aren’t I … ?

Lets get moving on, shall we … ? Yes, lets … !

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Trevor, Kaiju, and newcomer, @soolebop — from over on Twitter — all putting in their answers.

Welcome along to the Daily Teaser, @soolebop! I think he deserves a big round of applause!

At any rate, yesterday’s Teaser saw Trevor — still not wearing a bikini, I should add, but the chap who managed to bag the photo of the native American band that turned up in Brentwood High Street, yesterday — scoring 5 out of 5, Kaiju* bagging 4 out of 5, and @soolebop managing a massive 1!

And catching up with @AlexandraFunFit’s batting average, in one go!!

At any rate, lets see how everyone does with today’s questions, shall we … ? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’ and License

Q1) 31st July, 1588, saw the first sightings of what, off the coast of England … ?

Q2) Whilst we’re in that part of the world: 31st July, 1959, saw the founding of which separatist movement … ?

Q3) 31st July, 1930, saw the début of the American radio series, The Shadow: with which lines did each episode open … ?

Q4) 31st July, 2009, saw the death of British screen-writer and producer, Harry Alan Towers, who was also know as Peter Welback: how many versions of Agatha Christies And Then There Were None did he produce … ?

Q5) 31st July, 1998, saw the UK government announce a total ban on what … ?


And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …

Q1) 30th July, 1619, saw the first formal assembly in what was later to become the USA: but in which Virginian town … ?

A1) Jamestown.

Q2) 30th July, 1974, saw the birth of actress, Hilary Swank. Her first film role was as Kimberley Hannah: but in which film … ?
A2) Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Q3) Still on the subjects of birth: 30th July, 1898, saw the birth of which English sculptor … ?
A3) Henry Moore.

Q4) 30th July, 1973, saw the ratification for a compensation deal for the victims of which drug … ?
A4) Thalidomide.

Q5) And finally … 30th July, 1945, saw which US warship sunk by a Japanese submarine?

A5) The USS Indianopolis.

Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll catch you later.








* Although we’ve not met, I’m guessing, here, that Kaiju — much like Trevor, and No Idea John, who both used to do the live pub quizzes I ran at the Hutton and the King Harold — might get an answer I’d not have expected to see. But would be worth double-checking, just in case … ! I usually don’t call Trevor and Kaiju the Dream Team for nowt, you know …



Friday, 30 July 2010

Hamlet 2: Hmmmm …

And, yes, before you ask, I’m actually fairly seriously about that Hmmm in the title …

Because, bless, Kevin ‘Jipdog’ D and Sarah D were over, tonight.

Complete — Bless ’Em — with a little something they wanted to show me …

No, wait, hang on, before you start looking at me, like that … !

We were all of us at something of a loose for something to do, tonight, and Sarah — in particular— thought I might just enjoy a favourite of hers, the 2008, Andrew Fleming directed, comedy, Hamlet 2.

Which I’ve got to admit, isn’t usually something I’d normally choose to see, myself, but — as Kevin will tell you — Saz can be very persuasive, when she put’s her mind to it … !

And I think — think, mind — I’m going to let her down gently, possibly …

Hamlet 2 sees Steve Coogan as bit-part actor turned drama teacher, Dana Marschz, finding his job under threat from local government cut-backs, bad reviews in the local and school papers …

And a sudden influx of pupils who seem really rather uninterested in the course in front of them.

On top of that … ?

His wife, Brie, seems to be taking more of an interest in their lodger …

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Hmmm …

Now, here’s where I’ve got to admit I was vaguely disappointed, somehow.

Oh, don’t get me wrong.

Hamlet 2 is an entertaining film, with a definitely catchy tune or two.


And there’s certainly a laugh or two, in there, that’ll come out of nowhere at you, and an ending that is decidedly up-beat and a lot better than the initial scenes would have you believe.

But Hamlet 2 is also a film that I found a touch unsatisfying, somehow.

I think it lacks a certain amount of bite.

And that’s a shame.

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The Trouble With Dongles …

You know, unless I’m very much mistaken, I’m thinking that T-Mobile — and the Virgin Mobile equivalent, over in the States — are either having trouble.

Or Yahoo is …

Hmmm …

Bless him, Kevin D, happily trying to post on his blog, Jipdog’s Journal, looks like he’s having trouble.

I’d left him a comment, on a post he’d done, yesterday.

All well and good.

Until Kevin tried to post up a reply comment …

He found he couldn’t …

And was rather annoyed …

I know I’d be.

Something I know I didn’t know was that Blogger will let you — in theory — sign in with an OpenID.

Which is what Kevin — and Angela, over in the States — tried to do, last night, to put up his comment.

Or this morning, in Angela’s case.

Understandable, Kevin gave me a call, last night, to see if I could help.

I couldn’t, unfortunately.

But I do know that, when he tried to send me a screen grab, to show me what was going on … ?

I just got the location of the grab, on his hard drive.

Hmmm …

From where I’m sitting, it sounds like his T-Mobile dongle is having trouble uploading stuff.

And that both he and Angela may be having trouble with their Yahoo accounts.

What I’d like to know is quite simple, really …

What on Earth is going on … ?

Let me know, if you’ve an idea …

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Oh, and in case you didn’t know it, it looks like Facebook have had more fuel piled onto the Privacy problems they’re having … !

Oy VEH!!!

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The Daily Teaser, and the Friday Question set …

Blimey … !

I actually managed to set my alarm!

Which, after sleeping through it, yesterday, is a bit of a relief, I know that.

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Oh, by the way, have you read this … ?

Somebody’s in trouble …

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Anyway, shall we get moving on … ?

Shall we … ?

Yes, lets … !

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Yesterday’s Teaser saw Trevor — not wearing a bikini since 1862 — and Alexandra putting in their answers. With Trevor bagging six out of six, and Alexandra managing and incredible one out of six — sort of — yesterday’s Teaser also saw Trevor putting in some great little quotes from Vincent van Gogh, and Alexandra making a good point about cleverness.

You know, that’s a point, I should maybe hand out an ‘Elephant in the Room’ bonus …

At any rate, let’s see how everyone does with today’s questions, shall we … ? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’ and License

Q1) 30th July, 1619, saw the first formal assembly in what was later to become the USA: but in which Virginian town … ?


Q2) 30th July, 1974, saw the birth of actress, Hilary Swank. Her first film role was as Kimberley Hannah: but in which film … ?

Q3) Still on the subjects of birth: 30th July, 1898, saw the birth of which English sculptor … ?

Q4) 30th July, 1973, saw the ratification for a compensation deal for the victims of which drug … ?

Q5) And finally … 30th July, 1945, saw which US warship sunk by a Japanese submarine?

Here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …

Q1) 29th July, 2007, saw the death of comedian and actor, Mike Reid: which children’s quiz show did he present, in the 1970s … ?

A1) Runaround.

Q2) 29th July, 1968, saw Pope Paul 6th formally announce that the Roman Catholic Church would be keeping it’s ban … on what?
A2) Contraception.

Q3) 29th July, 1959, saw the birth of rock guitarist, John Sykes: one of the bands he was a member of, took its name from creature in a Michæl Moorcock short story. Which band … ?
A3) The Tygers of Pan Tang.

Q4) 29th July, 1924, saw the birth of Elizabeth: how did she become better known, in 1947 … ?
A4) The Black Dahlia.

Q5) 29th July, 2005, saw the discovery of the Solar system’s largest dwarf planet: what’s that dwarf planet called … ?

A5) Eris: or 136199 Eris, if you want to be picky. (Mentioning no name’s, here, Trevor … )

Q6) And finally … 29th July, 1974, saw the birth of US rapper, Joseph Foreman: or Afroman, as he was better known. What was hie only UK number 1 … ?

A6) Because I Got High.

And here’s the 60-question-set for struggling pub quiz-masters: covered of course, by the same License as ever …

Online 64

ROUND ONE. GENERAL IGNORANCE.

Q1) If you found Beta Carotene in your food, what colour would it be?
A1) Orange.

Q2) What is a Death Cap?
A2) A poisonous toadstool.

Q3) Henry the 8th was named Defender of which faith?
A3) Roman Catholic.

Q4) Which native people prefer to be known as Kooris?
A4) Australian Aboriginals

Q5) Which boxing film won the Best Film Oscar, in 1976?
A5) Rocky.

Q6) The poem that contains the line “Rats! They fought the dogs, & killed the cats!” features which mythical character?
A6) The Pied Piper of Hamlin.

Q7) Who wrote & first performed Johnny B. Good?
A7) Chuck Berry.

Q8) What’s the world’s longest race?
A8) The Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race.

Q9) True or False; Casanova was expelled from school, for alleged homosexuality?
A9) True.

Q10) The Rituale Romanum is the official name for which Roman Catholic ritual?
A10) The Rite Of Exorcism.



ROUND TWO. AROUND THE WORLD.

Q11) In which ocean is the island of Madagascar?
A11) The Indian Ocean.

Q12) Brooklyn, Staten Island, & Newark are areas of which US city?
A12) New York.

Q13) Which continent is closest to Antarctica?
A13) South America.

Q14) Which has the larger population, India or Russia?
A14) India.

Q15) Which country has the larger acreage, Brazil, India or Australia?
A15) Brazil.

Q16) The Djeni Mosque is the world’s largest mud-brick building: in which African country is it?
A16) Mali.

Q17) Where would you be, if you landed at Manila Airport?
A17) The Phillipines.

Q18) What’s the world’s largest inland sea? (Extra point for the country.)
A18) Lake Superior, in Canada.

Q19) Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland, & Napier; - which of these New Zealand cities is the odd one out? (Extra point for why it's odd.)
A19) Christchurch; - it’s the only one on South Island.

Q20) Which European country has the most northerly territory?
A20) Denmark.



ROUND THREE. SOAP AND FLANNEL.

Q21) Who plays Mike Baldwin, in Coronation Street?
A21) Johnny Briggs.

Q22) Who played Charlene Mitchell, in Neighbours?
A22) Kylie Minogue.

Q23) In Dallas, who played JR?
A23) Larry Hagman.

Q24) Beth Brennan, in Neighbours was played which by which singer?
A24) Natalie Imbruglia.

Q25) Shaun Williamson played which character, in EastEnders?
A25) Barry Evans. (Accept Barry.)

Q26) Detective John Kelly, Bobby Simone and Andy Sipowicz feature in which long-running US drama?
A26) NYPD Blue.

Q27) Which Aussie soap is set in Summer Bay?
A27) Home & Away.

Q28) Knots Landing was a spin off from which US soap?
A28) Dallas.

Q29) Which actress has appeared in both EastEnders and Footballers Wives?
A29) Gillian Taylforth.

Q30) Prince Charles, Noddy Holder, Max Wall and Trevor McDonald have all appeared in which soap?
A30) Coronation Street.



ROUND FOUR. NAME THAT MOVIE.

Q31) “I’m a good girl, I am”.
A31) My Fair Lady.

Q32) “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she has to walk into mine”.
A32) Casablanca.

Q33) “My momma always said life was like a box of chocolates”
A33) Forrest Gump.

Q34) “That’s no moon, that’s a space station”.
A34) Star Wars. (Or Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope.)

Q35) “I coulda had class! I coulda been a contender!”
A35) On The Waterfront.

Q36) “You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off”.
A36) The Italian Job.

Q37) “I love the smell of napalm, in the morning”.
A37) Apocalypse Now.

Q38) “There is no spoon”.
A38) The Matrix.

Q39) “I've a feeling we’re not in Kansas, any more”.
A39) The Wizard of Oz.

Q40) “I stood there & watched his train pull out of the station”.
A40) Brief Encounter.



ROUND FIVE. HISTORY.

Q41) In which year was Margaret Thatcher first elected as PM?
A41) 1979.

Q42) In which year did the Great fire of London take place, 1665, or 1666?
A42) 1666.

Q43) The Anschluss was the enforced unification between Germany & which other European country, just before WW2?
A43) Austria.

Q44) Chelmno and Treblinka were what?
A44) Concentration camp.

Q45) As we know, the Peasants Revolt started in Brentwood; - name either of the leaders.
A45) Wat Tyler, or John Ball. (Two points for both.)

Q46) Which legendary criminal was hung at York, in 1739?
A46) Dirk Turpin.

Q47) Matthew Webb was the first man to swim across what in 1875?
A47) The English Channel.

Q48) Who led the British naval forces that defeated the Spanish Armada?
A48) Lord Howard of Effingham. (Raleigh was his second in command.).

Q49) John Dryden was the first poet to hold which post? (Extra point for naming the current holder of the office.)
A49) Poet Laureate. (Carole Anne Duffy: first woman to hold the post, and also the first openly gay person. Although I’ve got my doubts about John Dryden, frankly.)

Q50) Name either of the Native American leaders at the Battle of Little Big Horn. (Extra point for their tribe.)
A50) Sitting Bull, of the Lakota Sioux, or Crazy Horse of the Cheyenne.



ROUND SIX. GENERAL IGNORANCE.

Q51) What’s the first name of President George H. Bush’s wife?
A51) Laura.

Q52) Anita Roddick founded which shop?
A52) The Body Shop.

Q53) How many children did Princess Diana have?
A53) 2.

Q54) If you put all three darts in a double top, what's your total score?
A54) 120.

Q55) Papyrus was an early form of which everyday item?
A55) Paper.

Q56) Which former England football manager has also managed Ipswich, Porto, Barcelona, and Newcastle?
A56) Bobby Robson.

Q57) Mandarin is a form of which language?
A57) Chinese.

Q58) Which model became the face of L’Oreal, in 1998?
A58) Kate Moss.

Q59) Thomas Chippendale made what?
A59) Furniture.

Q60) How many packs of cards do you need for a game of canasta?
A60) Two.

Enjoy those, everyone. I’ll catch you later.