Thursday, 30 September 2010

The Daily Teaser …


Hmmm …

I’ve got to confess, I’ve got Yesterday on, again.

In the documentary they’re show, Michæl Palin has just mentioned Private George Edwin Ellison.

The last British soldier to die in World War 1.

About an hour and a half before the Armistice went into force.

Which probably tells you everything you need to know about WW1.

Personally … ?

I believe war’s a mad way of solving international disputes.

But, at least with World War 2, we could point at Hitler’s regime and say that’s what we were fighting against.

Likewise, the First Gulf War: we could turn ’round and say we were helping to liberate Kuwait. Even if we believe it was more about liberating Kuwait’s oil, at least we can say we had an excuse.

But World War 1?

World War 1 always seemed a hell of a lot madder than most.

Let’s get moving on, shall we … ?

Before I get really depressed.

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Yesterday’s Teaser saw both Trevor — quoting Silvio Berlusconi — and Kaiju — waxing lyrical by giving us Auden’s “Stop All The Clocks” — putting in their answers: and — on top of them feeling in a quotable mood — it also saw them both scoring five out of five.

Lets see how they — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’ and License

Q1) 30th September saw the death of actor James Dean, in a car-crash: but in which year of the 1950s … ?

Q2) 30th September, 1994, saw a meeting between Irish PM, Albert Reynolds, and Russian president, Boris Yeltsin, rearranged: because Boris Yeltsin did … what… ?

Q3) 30th September, 1991, saw President Jean-Bertrand Aristide forced from office: where was he president of … ?

Q4) 30th September, 1967, saw the first broadcast on BBC Radio 1: which song by The Move, was the first played … ?

Q5) As we know, Tony Blackburn — the first DJ on Radio 1 — presented Radio 1’s Sunday night Chart show for many years: who took over from him, in 1981?

Q6) And finally … 30th September, 1917, saw the birth of which bandleader and drummer … ?

And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …

Q1) 29th September sees the Feast of Saint Michæl and All Angels: name any of the other Arch Angels it celebrates.

A1) Raphæl or Gabriel. (Oh, and possibly Uriel.)

Q2) 29th September, 1829, saw the founding of the Metropolitan Police, in London: what was the name of the British Secretary who saw the relevant bill through the Houses of Parliament?

A2) Sir Robert Peel: hence the term ‘Peelers’ or ‘Bobbies’

Q3) 29th September, 2007, saw the demolition of the world’s first commercial nuclear powered: what was it called?

A3) Calder Hall.

Q4) 29th September, 1911, saw Italy declare war on which empire … ?

A4) The Ottoman Empire.

Q5) And finally … 29th September, 1973, saw the death of poet W. H. Auden: which of his poems was quoted in Four Weddings and a Funeral … ?

A5) Funeral Blues: also known as Stop The Clock.

Enjoy those, everyone!

Now, if you’ll excuse me … ? I’m going to free and work out why Safari keeps hanging …

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The Daily Teaser …

Oh, thank Heavens for that … !

I think I can effectively say that Yesterday have absolutely nowt on features Mock Bananas, or any other kind of food.

Nope, Dan Snow’s doing a documentary on Emperor Hadrian.

Including mentioning what was was the world’s more exclusive toilet, at his villa in Tivoli.

In one end …

Lets get moving on, shall we … ?

Before we go anywhere near the phrase ‘toilet humour’ …

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Yesterday’s Teaser saw both Trevor and Kaiju putting their answers: with Trevor putting in some quotes from Edwin Hubble, and Kaiju being as surprised as I was about mock bananas, it saw both of them scoring 5 out of 5.

Lets see how they — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’ and License
Q1) 29th September sees the Feast of Saint Michæl and All Angels: name any of the other Arch Angels it celebrates.


Q2) 29th September, 1829, saw the founding of the Metropolitan Police, in London: what was the name of the British Secretary who saw the relevant bill through the Houses of Parliament?

Q3) 29th September, 2007, saw the demolition of the world’s first commercial nuclear powered: what was it called?

Q4) 29th September, 1911, saw Italy declare war on which empire … ?

Q5) And finally … 29th September, 1973, saw the death of poet W. H. Auden: which of his poems was quoted in Four Weddings and a Funeral … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 28th September, 1779, saw who elected as the US President … ?

A1) Samuel Huntington.

Q2) 28th September is the feast day of which rather Christmassy Bohemian Saint … ?
A2) Saint Wenceslaus.

Q3) 28th September, 2008, saw SpaceX launch the first private spacecraft to go into space: what was it called … ?
A3) The Falcon 1.

Q4) 28th September, 1971, saw the UK Parliament pass the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971: this banned the medicinal use of which drug?
A4) Cannabis.

Q5) And finally … 28th September, 1958, saw the government of France ratify a new … what … ?
A5) Constitution.
Enjoy those, everyone. I’ll catch you later. After I’ve recommended a film to you …







Tuesday, 28 September 2010

In Bruges: A Very Moral Black Comedy

You know, it’s really a shame that Movie Night Adrian was busy, tonight.

Because he’s actually missed a really rather good film, he really has.

Seriously!

The film that Kevin D — along with Trigger* the Bicycle — , Squeaky and I all caught, tonight … ?

Was the 2008 In Bruges, written and directed by Martin McDonagh, and starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes.

Set — and filmed — in the Belgian port town of Bruges, it sees hitmen, Ray — played by Colin Farrell — and Ken — Brendan Gleeson — ordered to take what they think is time off, after a hit goes wrong: one that sees the inexperienced Ray accidentally kill a young boy.

At least, they think they’re there for some much-needed time off.

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As it goes … ?

Time-off is the last thing Ray and Ken’s boss, the highly principled Harry Waters — played by Ralph Fiennes. Who, I’ve got to add, was doing a rather menacing Michæl Caine impersonation, throughout the film.

Not that that actually detracted from his performance.

Or anyone else's, either.

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Actually, just as an aside?

The DVD version we saw, tonight?

Had a rather familiar face in one of the deleted scenes.

But I think I’ll suggest you have a look for yourself, as well as thanking an old friend, Graham, for the tip.


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At any rate, brief though this post is, I will tell you one thing.

I think that if you like an interestingly twisty take on the sort of the humour and gunfire of Pulp Fiction, or the rapid fire dialogue and bullets of Snatch and one that has characters, plot and dialogue both darker and more moralistic than either, than I have one thing to tell you.

Go see In Bruges.

A. S. A. P!!





* It’s ok. Trigger’s housetrained

The Daily Teaser …

Now that’s just weird.

Or weirdish, at any rate …

I’ve got Yesterday on in the background — you’ve probably guessed I like the channel — and they’s got a documentary on about the UK’s wartime rationing: following on from yesterday’s programme about the reintroduction of bananas, they’ve a documentary on called Ration Book Britain.

Basically, showing us how to cook some of the era’s recipes.

Spam, I can live with.

The Woolton Pie actually looks rather nice.

But Mock Banana … ?

I think the less said about Mock Banana, the better … !

Lets get moving on, shall we … ?

Yes, lets … !

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Yesterday’s Teaser saw Trevor and Kaiju going head-to-head, with both scoring 6 out of 6, and Trevor putting in some quotes from a certain Mr Marvin Lee Aday.

Big chap … ?

Bit of a singer, in case you did know … !

Meatloaf, in other words, in case you didn’t know.

Lets get moving on, and see how both they — and you — do with today’s questions: here they are, along with the ‘How To’ and License
Q1) 28th September, 1779, saw who elected as the US President … ? (Actually, I could’ve phrased this slightly differently: I should say the President of the Continental Congress, which is slightly different …)

Q2) 28th September is the feast day of which rather Christmassy Bohemian Saint … ?

Q3) 28th September, 2008, saw SpaceX launch the first private spacecraft to go into space: what was it called … ?

Q4) 28th September, 1971, saw the UK Parliament pass the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971: this banned the medicinal use of which drug?

Q5) And finally … 28th September, 1958, saw the government of France ratify a new … what … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 27th September, 1908, saw the first production model Model T Fords leave the factory they’d been made in: in which US city was this… ?

A1) Detroit.

Q2) Famously, Henry Ford said the car would “… be painted any colour the customer want’s, so long as it’s … ” what … ?
A2) Black.

Q3) 27th September, 1968, saw the debut performance of the musical, Hair: which song — or two songs, I should say — provided a hit for The 5th Dimension?
A3) The Age of Aquarius or Let the Sunshine In

Q4) 27th September, 2003, saw the launch of the SMART-1 satellite: which body was the SMART-1 orbiting … ?
A4) The Moon.

Q5) 27th September is the Feast of Saint Vincent DePaul: as well as being the patron saint of hospitals, leprosy and prisoners, he’s also the patron saint of which animals … ?
A5) Horses.

Q6) And finally … 27th September, 1821, saw which Central American country gain its independence from Spain … ?

A6) Mexico.
Enjoy those, every one.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to try and get Mock Bananas out of my head …



Monday, 27 September 2010

The Daily Teaser …

Hmmm …

Did I tell you I’ve got Yesterday playing in the background … ?

I didn’t … ?

Well, I have.

And they’re showing a documentary about the end of the post-World War 2 rationing.

Amazing to see what people would do to get hold of a banana

Let’s get moving on, shall we … ?

Before I start telling you how to disguise a lack of stockings with a batch of gravy powder …

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Yesterday’s Teaser saw both Kaiju and Trevor putting their answers: with both of them managing to bag 5 out of 5.

Shame AlexandraFunFit couldn’t make it …

But let’s see how they — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’ and License

Q1) 27th September, 1908, saw the first production model Model T Fords leave the factory they’d been made in: in which US city was this… ?

Q2) Famously, Henry Ford said the car would “… be painted any colour the customer want’s, so long as it’s … ” what … ?

Q3) 27th September, 1968, saw the debut performance of the musical, Hair: which song — or two songs, I should say — provided a hit for The 5th Dimension?

Q4) 27th September, 2003, saw the launch of the SMART-1 satellite: which body was the SMART-1 orbiting … ?

Q5) 27th September is the Feast of Saint Vincent DePaul: as well as being the patron saint of hospitals, leprosy and prisoners, he’s also the patron saint of which animals … ?

Q6) And finally … 27th September, 1821, saw which Central American country gain its independence from Spain … ?

And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 26th September, 1960, saw the first televised debate between Presidential candidates in the US: in US city were Nixon and Kennedy when this was filmed … ?
A1) Chicago.

Q2) 26th September is — according to the Council of Europe — the European day of … what … ?
A2) Languages.

Q3) 26th September, 1934, saw the launch of the RMS … what … from a dockyard in the Clyde … ?
A3) The RMS Queen Mary.

Q4) 26th September, 1939, saw the birth of which actor and member of The Royle Family?
A4) Ricky Tomlinson.

Q5) And finally … 26th September, 2003, saw the death of English singer/songwriter, Robert Palmer: what was his biggest UK hit … ?
A5) Addicted to Love.
Enjoy those, everyone. I’ll catch you later!



Sunday, 26 September 2010

The Daily Teaser …

Hmmm …

It seems the Labour Party now has a new leader …

Whether Ed Milliband will win them an election, though, is a whole other question.

He can’t be any worse than Gordon Brown, though … !!

Lets get moving on, shall we … ?

Before I turn into some weird liberal version of Ben Elton …

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Yesterday’s Teaser was relatively quiet.

But it did see Trevor putting in his answers, and bagging 5 out of 5. And correcting a typo I’d made.

Let’s see how he — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’ and License
Q1) 26th September, 1960, saw the first televised debate between Presidential candidates in the US: in US city were Nixon and Kennedy when this was filmed … ?


Q2) 26th September is — according to the Council of Europe — the European day of … what … ?

Q3) 26th September, 1934, saw the launch of the RMS … what … from a dockyard in the Clyde … ?

Q4) 26th September, 1939, saw the birth of which actor and member of The Royle Family?

Q5) And finally … 26th September, 2003, saw the death of English singer/songwriter, Robert Palmer: what was his biggest UK hit … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 25th September, 1960, saw the death of which American etiquette expert … ?

A1) Emily Post.

Q2) More to the point, in which year was her definitive, Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics, and at Home work first published … ?
A2) 1922.

Q3) 25th September, 1996, saw the Taliban on the verges of capturing which Afghan city … ?
A3) Kabul.

Q4) 25th September, 1789, saw the US Congress pass what’s now known as the Bill of Rights: the 3rd Amendment to the Constitution guarantees protection from what … ?
A4) Quartering: Having troops foisted on you, in other words.

Q5) And finally … 25th December, 1932, saw the birth of which Canadian pianist … ?
A5) Glenn Gould.
Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll catch you later.


Oh, and I could never resist fart gags, by the way …



Ghost Machine: A much debated Brit Flick …

Hmmm …

You know, there’s times when movie night can’t half generate a lot of …

Well …

I was going to say hot air.

But to be fair to myself, Movie Night Adrian, and Kevin, all at my place, tonight, to catch a film … ?

Let’s call it discussion, shall we … ?

And slightly odd text messaging. The three of us happened to briefly discuss Hannibal Rising, at the end of tonight’s movie: only for Kevin D to text me, once he’d got home, to tell me that the film version was on.

Mild piece of synchronicity, I think …

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At any rate, I’ve got to admit, the three of us had quite a bit of nattering over what to watch, tonight.

But eventually settled for a little something that Adrian had managed to extract from Brentwood Library.

The 2009, Chris Hartwill directed, Sven Hughes/Malachi Smyth written, Ghost Machine.

Which is where things get debatable.

Possibly.

Can I offer you an observation, there … ?

Something I’ve noticed is that a good film generally gets the three of us agreeing that it’s a good film: even if we’s found different things enjoyable about it.

We’re generally the same with a bad film: indeed, the half time natter will be about anything but the film of the evening.

Where it get’s debatable … ?

Is where we can’t agree if a film is good or bad, and if, so, why it’s good or bad.

Or even what makes for a valid comparison.

I’m thinking that’s what we’ve got with Ghost Machine

Oh, boy, did we EVER!

Ghost Machine sees Sean Faris, Luke Ford, Jonathon Harden and Sam Corry as a group of friends who also work as technicians on a complex computer virtuality system used a a military training system: and friends, as friends with a shared interest in computer gaming, can’t resist … ahh … ‘borrowing’ some of the kit, and taking it to an abandoned prison to … try out … !

Ahem … !

You can tell it’s going to go pear-shaped, can’t you … ?

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Now, can I make a confession, here … ?

I know Ghost Machine has had quite a few iffy — where not downright bad — reviews.

And certainly, it saw Adrian, Kevin and I discussing exactly what made for logical and illogical plot points!º

Personally, though … ?

I know it’s one I found entertaining, if not stunning.

Granted, the characters could have been a touch more memorable — or better drawn — and certainly the blurb on the back of the box could have been a touch more accurate — I’m wondering if the blurb writer had actually watched the film — but there were one of two points of interested.

I think we all agreed that the effects were nicely done.

And the basic concept — a dead terrorist, haunting the prison she’d been killed in, and hacking into a computer system from beyond the grave to extract revenge* — was fairly sound.

Personally … ?

I’m thinning this is watchable.

So long as you don’t expect too much.

Watcher: ★★☆☆

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* Certainly the idea of the minds and personalities of the dead occupying some sort of computer system has been around for a long time: I know it’s a central point in 1970s-era Dr Who, where the Time Lord’s Matrix system is used to store the personalities of dead Time Lords. And William Gibson’s Mona Lisa Overdrive has the main villain — Lady 3Jane Tessier-Ashpool — trying out something similar.

º Bog standard Gamer behaviour, immunity to virtuality, and whether those helmet’s should or shouldn’t have throat-mikes. All fun stuff to mention. And how to politely, throwpopcornª at the screen.

ª Or Dairy Co-op toffees and peanut M&Ms, in our case^ …

^ Oh, so you know … ? This is a pointless footnote. You can tell it’s late, can’t you … … ?

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Merlin; Goblin’s Gold: One for the Funnies Fans

Hmmmm …

I think I must be getting old … !!

Because Episode 3 of this series of MerlinGoblin’s Gold — wasn’t quite to my taste, tonight, I’ve got to be honest.

I think the older I get, the more I enjoy the darker episodes of cult TV: Genesis of the Daleks is a good example of the sort of story-lines I mean, as were some of the Dominion War episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

That’s not to say comedic episodes don’t have a place, though.

Episodes like Goblin’s Gold, for example.

Goblin’s Gold sees Merlin — Colin Morgan — accidentally release a goblin whilst searching through Camelot’s library.

And having, as a result, to deal with the simple fact that the little beastie is not only gold obsessed, but has a sense of humour that wouldn’t be out of place in an episode of The Young Ones.

Actually, bar the English accent, I think it’d not be out of place hanging around with a certain bunch of pictsies

And to top THAT off … ?

As part of Merlin and Gaius’ initial attempts at catching it … ?

It goes and possesses Gaius.

With some entertaining results, actually, especially if you can remember THAT scene in The BFG





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Actually, it gives Richard Wilson a perfect excuse to over-do the ham, I know that … !

And on top of that, I’ve got to admit I very much doubt that BBC Wales will do a Three Doctors style story. But I can’t be the only person who think’s Wilson would be a good replacement for a certainly Mr Hartnell … ?

I can’t be, surely … ?

«««•»»»

But on a more serious note … ?

Or as serious as I can be … ?

Especially after THAT scene in the throne room … ?

Granted, I was in a funny sort of mood, and one that would’ve preferred less comedy in tonight’s episode of Merlin, and a touch more darkness, to compliment the previous two episodes, I can’t complain too much about the fun tone that Goblin’s Gold took.

It’s also an episode that both threw the spotlight onto Angel Coulby’s Gwen — no bad thing, I felt — and one that didn’t see Merlin visiting the Dragon for help.

Given I’ve a feeling this series is going to be quite dark, all ’round, and build towards a seriously nasty climax.

Having the odd light episode, like Goblin’s Gold? Will only make the on-coming shadows a lot darker …