Friday, June 30, 2006

Who?

Who exactly is Barry Scott and why is he always shouting at me?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Gooseberry factoid

Those of you who've been following this random stream of gibberish (and I know you're out there I can see you), may remember my thoughts on the strange absence of the humble gooseberry from the shelves of our supermarkets. I had a big old rant about the highly underrated fruit here. You may wonder why I brought this up, well I’ll tell you dear, sweet-smelling reader, it’s because today I enquired in my local Waitrose (my spiritual home) as to the lack of the aforementioned fruit and guess what? They’re coming in to stock on Monday! WooHoo! Monday is gooseberry day. I can’t wait. And to celebrate here’s a wee gooseberry factoid to moisten your appetites. Gooseberries are in fact the only true berry. A berry is technically defined as containing more than one seed. The pivotal word here is ‘containing’. A cucumber is a berry but a strawberry is not. A Tomato is a berry but a raspberry is not. You get the picture, this factoid makes me very happy as it’s the first time my ol’ mate the gooseberry has been top of the pile. Go get ‘em Mr… er.. Gooseberry. (I think I need to go and have a stiff drink. I’m starting to weird even myself out.)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Room 101 (part four)

Chewing gum.
I hate chewing gum and I distrust those who chew it. Why are you unable to put it in a bin? Why must you chew incesantly whilst talking to me? You look like a cow chewing the cud. As a matter of fact, at least a cow has the decency to do it WITH THEIR BLOODY MOUTH CLOSED! You stick it on the floor and the council (occassionaly) spends my tax-money blasting it up with water-jets. You stick it on the heaters on trains so when I rest my foot there it's all nice and warmed up to perfect stickiness. Just don't okay. Just don't. It's not that hard is it?
If I were PM it'd be the first thing to go. I'd introduce a £500 fine like they have in Singapore.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Film review - War of the Worlds

Before I headed off on my travels I re-watched Steven Spielberg’s epic War of the Worlds and I reckon that it’s worse second time around you know. Sure there are elements in it that I think worked brilliantly but on the whole I was massively disappointed.
To begin with I’m a big fan of the novel, it was groundbreaking when it was written all those years ago and, having read it again just before the big-screen version was released, it’s still an absolute corker of a book now. Its’ relevance is in it’s own genius. Not everything has to speak to the people Mr. Spielberg, you do know that don’t you? A bloody good story is always a bloody good story whether it involves ‘modern’ issues or not.
However Mr. S felt the need to make it ‘more relevant’ to the World today. More relevant huh Mr. S. Don’t you just mean more ‘obviously-aimed-at-the-idiot-notions-of-a-certain-type-of-person’ out there. “Let’s play on their fears”, he said. Terrorist sleeper-cells become his alien invasion. I’m not decrying peoples’ fear of terrorism in any way but this was not the story to try to carry this message and certainly not the book you should fuck about with.
Some elements I like. The alien walking machines are back and they’re damn near perfect, just as I’d imagined them whilst reading. The ray gun is great and I loved the whole destroying the flesh but not the clothes thing. Nice touch. But the aliens themselves looked way too cute. Like a kid had designed them. (Actually a kid would probably have had more imagination and created a true monster from the story.) I know they too ‘looked’ like Wells’ description but they just didn’t work for me.
I loved the whole ‘screwing’ effect in the road when the machine first emerged, that was a truly imaginative re-working of the cylinder-cap unscrewing scene. But everything else… In Spielberg’s version the machines have been buried beneath our feet for eternity and only ‘awaken’ when the Martian pilots are transported into them. Why exactly? It seems Mr. S. was so desperate to get in the sleeper-cell bit that story took a bit of a back burner. Why were the aliens invading now? Is Mars dead or dying as in the original and they just happened to remember parking some death machines on Earth? Or maybe they’re very forward thinking chaps and they left some of the tripods on all the Solar System’s planets on the off chance they’d need them one day.
I haven’t even got into the fact that there was no tension, sense of desolation and loneliness, that there was no hopelessness at all or that the characters were so poorly fleshed out that I genuinely didn’t care if they lived or died. In fact, I wanted them all dead.
Nice one Mr. S. You really made a mess of that.