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Irreverent humour. It appealed to me.
It is always very tempting to write a comedy drama off if the laughter factor is low from the start. It is a dangerous thing to do so so early - I only have to point to the Blackadder First Series and the first two series of Only Fools and Horses and say actually they weren't that funny to be honest.
With the pedigree of the writer of Misfits and the Producer of Little Britain I expect this series to develop positively. The first episode went along at a lightening pace and I have to say it sucked me in. The jokes hit my spot. The idea of building a comedy around a loyalty card stalker is a nice one - and there were plenty of one liners to please. Not everything came off - no "pussy cat" jokes again please - they went out with Mrs Slocombe in Are You Being Served.
OK it is not easy to replace the very excellent Sherlock but no comparison should be made. I'll be tuning in hoping to see this one progress. Toby Stephens and Lucy Punch were a delight but they carry the whole show on their own. Deepen the involvement of secondary characters and we might see this improve.
The Thirty-Nine Steps (1978)
Pale Poor Imitation of Hitchcock's Classic
This is a dated and rather corny remake of one of Alfred Hitchcock's finest films. The plot is preposterous, Hannay for example jumps the London to Scotland train to avoid the police somewhere across the border and is within minutes tracked by his enemies, this despite being set in the 1st world war period when transport was severely limited. The music soundtrack is bombastic and over-egged ( I thought I was watching a 70's ITV drama serial,) but typical of British films in the 70's.
The characterisation is either stereotyped or totally lacking in emotion. David the fiancé of the female lead is murdered and she shows no sign of mouning or trauma smiling at her new love Hannay over a "cup of breakfast tea" Robert Powell was a matinée idol and this vehicle was all abhout showcasing him and taking advantage of his then UK popularity.
End scene at Big Ben is the signature moment and is spectacular. The best past of this below par work.
Walk the Line (2005)
Music Great - Not Enough?
OK so it may not have been bang on in accuracy of Cash and Carter's life together and it may have upset Johnny's daughter, but there is no denying two fantastic performances from the leads. I think it unfair to say that Witherspoon was too pretty to play June. June was actually very pretty and given the miracles of modern cosmetics would have stood toe to toe with Reese Witherspoon.
The music was great. We should have had more. Phoenix is quite stunning in his voice portrayal of the singer. Arguably Cash made some of his best music in the last ten years of his life and pity the story stopped in the 1960's. Reading the official biography clearly there is a lot to tell about Cash.
A Classic Wartime Movie
Any criticism today of the plot's credibility has to be put in the context of the reason the film was made in the first place. Simply it was a jingoistic, morale boosting piece of theatre for the film going public, by 1942 ravaged by the blitz in London, rationing and the fear of Lord Haw Haw broadcasts.
Sure the plot is thin, Evelyn Ankers plays an East End waif with more than a touch of Southern American drawl and the red herrings are obvious.
That said Rathbone remains the pinnacle Sherlock Holmes and Bruce the lovable bumbling side kick. Great entertainment.
Behind Enemy Lines (2001)
Wilson and Hackman's Big mistake
I have to say that this is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. The scriptwriter has taken liberty to publish the Guide to Cliches with this work. What on earth was Gene Hackman and Owen Wilson thinking when they signed up for this terrible picture.
One more thing. Loud rock music does not distract from how bad the lines were and they were cringingly embarrassing.
Wilson is one of the flavours in Hollywood at the moment but he ought to be more choosy about the roles he undertakes in future otherwise like the chewing gum on the bedpost, the flavour could vanish pretty quickly.
Doctor in the House (1954)
1950's Brit Comedy at its best
I cannot see how anybody can dislike this delicious film. One liners stay in the mind like the infamous
"What's the bleeding time, son?" and
"Cut it out, man, cut it out"
from the wonderful James Robertson Justice.
Muriel Pavlow is the girlfriend that went on to, well, do not much else but Kenneth More, Donald Sinden and Donald Houston developed and honed their excellent comedy talent.