Movie


The 8:15 To Manchester

Manchester Indie Bands Rail Map Art Poster by indieprints on Etsy

Manchester Indie Bands Rail Map Art Poster by indieprints on Etsy

via manchestergalore.tumblr.com

I’ve written before about the Radio 2 series The Peoples Songs. A few weeks ago, they did an episode about musicals and I tweeted about my desire for a MadChester based one. A piece of whimsy I soon forgot about.

Then I found out about Sunshine On Leith.

If the Proclaimers can have a musical, then surely there’s room for one dedicated to dodging the rain and the bullets.

It’s still whimsy, but I’m going to kick ideas around and something may yet come of it. I’ll probably have a list of songs from ’88 to ’93 that I’d love to see in a film before I have any hint of the story they’d be hung on. But it’s a great excuse to create myself a Madchester playlist and watch videos like this-


Superbowl trailer time

There was some big sporting event overnight in the US. A lot of money was spent on adverts during the game, including a few trailers for films I’ll probably end up listing for Orange Wednesdays.

Star Trek

Transformers 2

GI Joe

Fast and Furious 4

Some of these may get taken down for copyright violation, so watch them while you can.


Bridget Jones ruined my life

Watching romantic comedies gives the viewer unrealistic expectations of relationships and can even lead to communication problems. That’s the conclusion of a study carried out at Herriot Watt university, anyway. Girls, put down the chick flick and learn to love car chases and explosions. It’ll help you understand us better.

The university’s Dr Bjarne Holmes said: “Marriage counsellors often see couples who believe that sex should always be perfect, and if someone is meant to be with you then they will know what you want without you needing to communicate it.

“We now have some emerging evidence that suggests popular media play a role in perpetuating these ideas in people’s minds.

“The problem is that while most of us know that the idea of a perfect relationship is unrealistic, some of us are still more influenced by media portrayals than we realise.”

(Of course, I keep meaning to work on a romantic comedy script. Mine will be different, I promise.)


Perhaps I should change my name to Robert for a few weeks

Just as an attempt to get more hits. Robert Pattinson is the male lead in Twilight a tale of vampire love that wants to be the next Harry Potter franchise. Everything I’ve read suggests that I’m not its demographic, but I could always try to steal some of its attention.


The American President on the ACLU

I think I’m going to spend an hour or two finding interesting stuff on YouTube.

From The American President.

The ACLU is the American Civil Liberties Union. I’ve been sparring with some of the idiots over at a blog called Stop the ACLU (I’m not giving them any google juice, they delete my comments as soon as it becomes obvious that they’re losing, so they don’t deserve any credit), and kept remembering this clip. I can’t help wondering what’s wrong with them that they so hate an organisation set up to defend one of their country’s most noble ideals, or, for that matter, why such an organisation is needed in the first place. And it comes down to pretty much what Aaron Sorkin scripted here, they’re afraid of the truth and want to make up things for the electorate to be scared of instead.

Here’s the speech, as transcribed at IMDB (my paragraph breaks)-

President Andrew Shepherd: For the last couple of months, Senator Rumson has suggested that being president of this country was, to a certain extent, about character, and although I have not been willing to engage in his attacks on me, I’ve been here three years and three days, and I can tell you without hesitation: Being President of this country is entirely about character.

For the record: yes, I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU. But the more important question is why aren’t you, Bob?

Now, this is an organization whose sole purpose is to defend the Bill of Rights, so it naturally begs the question: Why would a senator, his party’s most powerful spokesman and a candidate for President, choose to reject upholding the Constitution? If you can answer that question, folks, then you’re smarter than I am, because I didn’t understand it until a few hours ago.

America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can’t just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the “land of the free”.

I’ve known Bob Rumson for years, and I’ve been operating under the assumption that the reason Bob devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn’t get it. Well, I was wrong. Bob’s problem isn’t that he doesn’t get it. Bob’s problem is that he can’t sell it! We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who’s to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. You gather a group of middle-aged, middle-class, middle-income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family and American values and character. And wave an old photo of the President’s girlfriend and you scream about patriotism and you tell them, she’s to blame for their lot in life, and you go on television and you call her a whore.

Sydney Ellen Wade has done nothing to you, Bob. She has done nothing but put herself through school, represent the interests of public school teachers, and lobby for the safety of our natural resources. You want a character debate, Bob? You better stick with me, ’cause Sydney Ellen Wade is way out of your league.

[pauses]

President Andrew Shepherd: I’ve loved two women in my life. I lost one to cancer, and I lost the other ’cause I was so busy keeping my job I forgot to do my job. Well, that ends right now.

Tomorrow morning, the White House is sending a bill to Congress for its consideration. It’s White House Resolution 455, an energy bill requiring a 20 percent reduction of the emission of fossil fuels over the next ten years. It is by far the most aggressive stride ever taken in the fight to reverse the effects of global warming. The other piece of legislation is the crime bill. As of today, it no longer exists. I’m throwing it out. I’m throwing it out writing a law that makes sense.

You cannot address crime prevention without getting rid of assault weapons and handguns. I consider them a threat to national security, and I will go door to door if I have to, but I’m gonna convince Americans that I’m right, and I’m gonna get the guns. We’ve got serious problems, and we need serious people, and if you want to talk about character, Bob, you’d better come at me with more than a burning flag and a membership card. If you want to talk about character and American values, fine. Just tell me where and when, and I’ll show up. This is a time for serious people, Bob, and your fifteen minutes are up. My name is Andrew Shepherd, and I *am* the President.


The Dead Code

I watched WarGames: The Dead Code last night. I think the best word to sum it up is unnecessary. Replacing nuclear holocaust with bioterrorism and WOPR with RIPLEY it follows almost exactly the same arc as the original film, right down to a virtual replay of the ending.

All this film did was make me want to watch the original again. It’s WarGames‘ 25th anniversary this year. If you can play Region 1 discs there’s a 25th Anniversary edition coming out soon. Wired talked to some of the people involved in WarGames, including the scriptwriters, director John Badham and geek crush Ally Sheedy.