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Heading for Glory (1974)
Watch it in deep freeze!
The BBC are currently showing all of these official FIFA documentaries of the World Cup from the 60's onwards. I missed the first one they showed of the 1962 World Cup but I've watched the 1966 and 1970 ones. They were both quite good with lots of football action. Unfortunately I'm not sure what happened with this one but it's pretty terrible. To start with it opens with a spoiler immediately telling you who won and the result of the final which makes you think why should I bother watching anymore then. After that there's a dreary depressing inquest of the losing team and then some filler of fans drinking and dancing before we finally get to some footie action of the early stages but then that's over before you know it and we're almost at the final and there's still over an hour to go! So then we get too much of the final lots of bits where the referee has a go at the players. The music chosen is also very odd especially during the final and on top of all that the narration is laughably bad and at times so pretentious that I don't know what they were thinking. It's a shame that this 'official' documented film of a great World cup is so poorly done. (3/10)
An Intriguing Story.
After reading the one poor review and seeing the very low score this had I nearly didn't bother watching it but I decided to give it a go anyway. I really wish I hadn't checked up on it beforehand though as it did prejudice my feelings about it certainly to begin with. The story was an intriguing one and was told in a low key but atmospheric way which kept you interested to it's conclusion. I agree Andrew Scott and his strangulated accent wasn't quite as good as you would expect him to be but I thought Simon Russell Beale was particularly good playing a more forceful and less charming Smiley like character. After recently seeing the two excellent home grown TV movie's of The Great Train Robbery and Lucan this falls short of their quality but I would still say it was worth watching.
Bonnie Prince Charlie (1949)
Not That Bonnie But Not That Bad
When I saw this had a rating of 4.9 and a running time of 130 mins I was expecting a disappointing long slog of a movie and I admit it's no great film by any means but it's also no way as bad as the 4.9 rating suggests. The DVD that I watched which was from The David Niven Screen Icons collection was only 112 minutes and had a good for its age unremastered colour picture that made the most of the rich colours of the costumes and landscape. Expecting it to be a longer film I saw it in two sittings and it was hard to get into at first but by about halfway I was quite engrossed by the story and thought it was well told. No doubt its failure at the box office along with its high cost has dented its reputation but that doesn't mean it's a terrible film. I would give it a 6/10.
The Wednesday Play: In Two Minds (1967)
One of his best
I'm currently working my way through the 'Ken Loach At The BBC' box set and have been fairly impressed so far though 'Up The Junction' I found almost unwatchable the others have all been very interesting and in the case of 'Cathy Come Home' very powerful and moving but none of them are as devastating and spot on as 'In Two Minds' the story of a woman with possible mental problems and how she and her family deals with it. Shot like a fly on the wall documentary which makes it seem more contemporary the acting from everybody in the cast is so natural and believable and the editing and direction are far better executed than any of his previous films I was surprised and blown away with how good this was.(9/10)
Ice Cream Girls (2013)
Cold To Touch
I thought I would give an alternative review as the only other one seems very harsh indeed. Maybe if I read the book I would have been just as disappointed with it but as I haven't I cannot comment about comparisons with the book. But what I can say is that I found the story absorbing and compelling, well acted by all the cast and never less than interesting right up to its unpredictable conclusion. If you like a good mystery thriller then I would recommend seeing this and if you enjoy it enough maybe then read the book afterwards. That's all I really wanted to say but I don't seem to have reached the required ten line rule that is currently being enforced!
Doctor Who: Cold War (2013)
After last weeks appalling episode we have another very dull and insipid story that goes nowhere very fast. Great actors like David Warner are completely wasted. Like last week the story is very weak. I'm not in the least bit surprised that Matt Smith has decided to call it a day and leave this sinking ship. I really don't see much of a future if they can't improve things greatly. We just want a bit more thought to be put into it with a decent (or even half-decent) story like there has been in previous series. I've only seen the first three maybe it improves but I'm starting to think I'm never going to see a good episode again.
Doctor Who: The Rings of Akhaten (2013)
A Complete Waste of Space
As somebody else has already stated this is a horrible horrible episode where as usual your expected to feel unearned connections and emotions. Last week's episode had a great build up but a too quick unsatisfying ending this week there was no great build up just a long drawn out ending filled with terrible po faced blustering dialogue.
If you can't give us a satisfying adventure over 45 minutes which is what seems to be happening recently then please go back to well thought out original stories that last at least two episodes so that the story and the emotional depth can be built more organically and honestly. If that can't be done then I really don't see the point of doing them anymore,not if we get episodes as empty as this one.
Curiouser and Curiouser...
Sometime you sit down and watch something and the whole time your watching it your mouth's open in constant bewilderment and bemusement. This is one of those programmes. I suspect it could only have been made when it was made in the free thinking psychedelic let's try anything mid sixties. It starts as a seemingly fairly ordinary kitchen sink drama and then suddenly there's singing in the background oh it's a musical how quaint! Then there's other voices real people's voices describing an old gas works oh it's a documentary how interesting! and that's basically how it continues mixing the three. The songs are sometimes of a Broadway musical type describing the characters and what they're doing and sometimes they're straight pop songs as you would hear at that time. Most of them aren't bad and some are quite catchy. It is strange and bizarre it is funny it is political it is very watchable and there is an elephant.
The Pajama Game (1957)
This one's not for me.
I'm currently working my way through a Doris Day box set and having now watched 10 of them this is by far the least entertaining one I've seen.
I agree with those that think there are too many songs for the amount of time the films lasts but that wouldn't really matter if the songs were more memorable than they are.
The biggest problem though for me is the lack of a decent story and the very unappealing leading man. It also manages to be bland and at the same time rather sinister which makes you feel a bit unsettled. The whole knife throwing at the picnic scene being the main example of that. It's possible that the songs might grow on me if I heard them a few times but I don't think I would want to watch the film again. 3/10
Enough with the showboating.
I so hoped after Steven Moffat took over we would return to clever well thought out scary stories of the like that he had written in previous series and come away from the overblown bombastic and relentless showboating that the series had become. His first series in charge was mostly a success with some fairly good episodes, but the first half of this season has been a huge disappointment with the quality deteriorating dramatically from the first fairly good episodes to the disastrous mess of this one. It was just like one long trailer for the first 30 minutes and then it just got plain daft. It was more bombastic and overblown than it's ever been and that's unforgivable. I really hope the socks are pulled up in the next half and we get some decent (or even half-decent) stories to help us through the cold winter nights because I really miss those.