Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Are You Being Served? (2016)
What was the point?
To be honest, I wasn't a fan of the original. I always thought it rather puerile and tedious. I got bored very quickly with "I'm Free" and if Mrs Bloody Slocombe mentions her bloody pussy one more time I'll break the telly. I watched this mainly out of curiosity to see what they would make of it. Answer: Bugger all, except introduce a black character and make young Mr Grace actually young. To be fair I thought the cast were, in the main, very good indeed, especially John Challis laying the ghost of Boycie. Jason Watkyns also did a good job as Mr Humphries, the show's most iconic character. The problem was the writing which I found tedious and spectacularly unfunny. I managed the odd chuckle but that was more out of sympathy. All in all, it was so bad it's almost guaranteed to be made into a series
Santa very kindly brought the DVD round and it is spectacular. This is much longer than the tenth anniversary concert (TAC), with much more of the secondary action being included. As a result, this performance is much fuller and more rounded. The production values are superb, and easily surpass TAC. This is nearer the actual show itself. I especially enjoyed the use of the over stage camera angles. As to the performances themselves I am one of those who think that Colm Wilkinson is Valjean and Philip Quast is Javert. Alfie Boe and Norm Lewis came very close to changing my mind. Boe is terrific but his voice, while technically superb, just lacks that little bit of raw power that CW has and he lacks the physical presence. Valjean is supposed to be a big man and when he tells Javert that he is the stronger man by far Boe doesn't look it. Lewis brings a commanding aspect to the role. It's a bit unfair to compare Matt Lucas with Alun Armstrong since Lucas gets a lot more to do in this role and does it very well, alternating from the cuddly comic to the downright malevolent. Perhaps I can't stop seeing Brian Lane or Mr Southouse but Alun doesn't come across as evil. The rest of the cast are uniformly excellent, especially Enjolras. Except one! I have never heard of Nick Jonas and I have no idea how he got the part but he is the one weak link in whole performance. His voice and presence are weak and unsubstantial, and he looks as though he has to go and have shaving lessons after the show. I actually felt really sorry for him when Michael Ball comes out and shows him how do it properly. The appearance of the original cast at the end is a wonderful touch and CW shows that he can still do Bring Him Home wonderfully. The only other criticism is that the DVD is just that, a DVD in a case. A booklet or sleeve notes would have been nice! All in all a wonderful performance which just makes you wish you had been there.
Jane in Australia: Dog eats Dog is in there but Little People has been cut. No great loss as far as I am concerned since it doesn't have any effect on the main story
Law & Order: UK (2009)
Not bad at all
Like an earlier poster, I've never watched any of the bewildering array of either CSI or Law and Order series. In fact, I haven't watched a US cop show since NYPD Blue and I haven't seen a US courtroom drama since the days of dear old Perry Mason so I have no idea how this UK version compares and nor do I care.
All I know is that this is an entertaining and engrossing drama. The stories feature different crimes, not just murder after murder and the good guys don't always win. Bradley Walsh is a revelation, Jamie Bamber is virtually unrecognisable after playing Apollo and Bill Paterson has never turned in a bad performance.
The Power Game (1965)
Before Alan Sugar there was J.R. Ewing and before that there was Sir John Wilder.
As a teenager in the sixties I remember this was the series that everybody was talking about at coffee break the next morning. Yes, it's stuck in a studio pretty much and I don't pretend that I quite understood all the talk about balance sheets but I was still hooked by it.
A terrific ensemble cast with early roles for people like George Sewell and Ian Holm. Dominating everything, however, was Patrick Whymark's portrayal of tycoon John Wilder. Completely mesmerising and compelling. I genuinely believe that had it not been for his early death he would have gone on to be one of the great actors of his time. A sad loss indeed.
The boxed set is now out of all three series an I recommend it.
Star Trek: Generations (1994)
I remember when this first came out I thought "Wonderful. Kirk and Picard in the same movie" Sadly, I was disappointed. Don't get me wrong, it's not that it's bad. It just could have been so much better. It feels like Star Trek - The Understairs Cupboard Clearout. Don't need Kirk any more so we'll kill him off. Enterprise D? We'll get a new ship. And there's the Duras sisters lurking at the back. We certainly won't want those any more.
Kirk's role is so short lived it was hardly worth bringing him back (and watching Shatner waddle around makes me think they should have called the film Star Trek 7 - The Search for Kirk's Waistline). As for Kirk's death scene that was just an insult. Falling off a bridge. It's what I'd do, not a space legend (still don't know why there's an iron bridge on an uninhabited planet)
There's also an irrelevant subplot featuring Data and his emotion chip, though Data's life form song is a great moment.
Overall, a wasted opportunity
This was truly terrible. What were they thinking of? The dreadful clichéd chirpy cockney maid who suddenly becomes the sleuth while Miss Marple stands watching, some absurd Nazi sub-plot completely changing the Canon Pennyfarther character entirely, never mind the pointless inclusion of Louis Armstrong - Why? A lacklustre cast that gave every impression of wanting to be back home as soon as possible. Polly Walker just updated her role from Rome and I suppose Peter Davison fancied playing the bad guy for a change.
I suppose that I can't help comparing these to the the definitive portrayal of Miss Marple by Joan Hickson. If you get the chance to see these versions, treat yourself.
One more thing. In postwar Britain couples did not go around declaring their intention of living together. Not unless they wanted to be totally ostracised. Sloppy writing
I've always been a fan of Midsomer Murders but here the law of diminishing returns seems to have started. The conflict between digital cameras and film was just plain stupid (would anyone care enough to get so worked up?) and the cop who took over from Barnaby was a ludicrous 80s cliché. Maybe I missed something but I thought he was an Inspector. Not that I know anything about police procedure but I would have thought that you would have to be a higher rank to throw a Chief Inspector off the case. The biggest disappointment was Lisa Goddard. I remember the fizzing chemistry between her and Nettles in the old Bergerac days and I was looking forward to seeing that again. Instead she turned up in the final scene as some hopeless, pointless OTT character. Do you really need the money that much, Lisa? Still, on the plus side, at least Joyce got more to do than make jam this time. Jane Wymark must have been in more scenes than in the last ten episodes put together.