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Favourite films include: X Men 2, Velvet Goldmine, Jesus Christ Superstar, anything Wallace and Gromit, the Muppets etc
Favourite actors/voices: Kenneth Williams, David Jason, Jerome Pradon, Joseph Fiennes, Ralph Fiennes Sir Ian McKellen Johnny Depp, Alistair Sims etc
St. Trinian's (2007)
I enjoyed it, more than I thought I would
I was a bit nervous about going to see St Trinian's, because I've seen all the previous films and was worried by the title and the trailer-glimpses of Rupert Everett that this film would try to 'overwrite' the original. It doesn't. This is why I think it works. Like the sequels from the first film, once again St Trinian's moves the concept into its own era. It's jam packed with innuendo and humour and a new plot line. Perhaps it'll never be as good as 'The Belles' but then, none of the other sequels were as good as 'The Belles' either, and they didn't try to be. The spirit of the thing was there and it was good fun to watch.
The Woodentops (1955)
A wonderfully quaint piece of childhood
I grew up in a large family and all my Aunties and Uncles would buy me videos of the programmes they liked when they were younger and I loved all of them. I remember being completely enthralled by Watch With Mother and the wooden tops were one of the best parts on them. It was always introduced in that same beautiful narrative voice with "There's mummy woodentop and daddy wooden top..." and so on finishing with "and the biggest spotty dog you ever did see!" Like Larry the Lamb and Andy Pandy the joy of this world is it's innocence. To truly enjoy it you must put to the back of your mind any modern cynicism and the ideas we form about how film should look 'real' and look at it the way you would as a small child. It is deeply enjoyable.
Bona: both joyful and tragic
A wonderful little production.
The filming technique is very unassuming- very old-time-BBC fashion and gives a comforting, and sometimes discomforting, sense of realism to the entire piece.
The actors are extremely well chosen- Michael Sheen not only "has got all the polari" but he has all the voices down pat too! You can truly see the seamless editing guided by the references to Williams' diary entries, not only is it well worth the watching but it is a terrificly written and performed piece. A masterful production about one of the great master's of comedy and his life.
The realism really comes home with the little things: the fantasy of the guard which, rather than use the traditional 'dream' techniques remains solid then disappears. It plays on our knowledge and our senses, particularly with the scenes concerning Orton and Halliwell and the sets (particularly of their flat with Halliwell's murals decorating every surface) are terribly well done.
The Secret Garden (1993)
a charming whimsical story
I loved this film when I first saw it. The performances are sweetly done and well true to character. In other versions I've seen Mrs Medlock is demonised to the point of pure evil, here Maggie Smith keeps her character quite close to canon.
It's omissions to the main text are flawlessly concealed- vital pieces of information are never missed out. The acting is nigh-on-brilliant and it's just lovely to watch. The soundtrack is also beautiful to listen to. I don't think it is as powerful as the book-but that doesn't go against it- there is no way that astounding last line from the book could be reproduced on screen.
So Haunt Me (1992)
A Brilliant Series for a strange child.
In 1992 I was 5-6 years old, which one would assume to be far too young to have watched these series. This is not the case. Not only was I allowed to stay up and watch it I religiously taped every single episode.I can even say that it was always shown around 9.00 (occasionaly 9.30) on the BBC and was followed by 'Waiting For God' for one series. I was heartbroken when it finished after the second series.
The plot is hilarious, of course as a child the many of the jokes ("decadant green...sordid black..ooh..pregnant pink?")went straight over my head, even if I did memorise it well enough I can still quote fluently now over a decade later. The actors are excellent, though 'David's character became less likable in the second series this did not detract from the overall charm. Peter Rokeby was undoubtedly superb and the script was witty to the extreme and wonderfully well delivered. The programme covers humour not only in darker situations, in the home, the small community but also contained some wonderfully cynical caricatures of the media industry as well as the random day to day 'luvvies' so prevalent in small society.
"Divorced last year. I got to keep the kid...which is like...a baby goat."-Tarquin (Pete's boss)
Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
One of the few films so good...
This is one of the few films where I consider the film rendition to be an improvement on the original book. The story is clear, accessible, amusing and interesting and the musical numbers are without a doubt exceptional. I adored the cyclical rendition of 'The old home guard' and the charming 'Portobello Road', a great combination of early animation + real actors techniques which, though dated do not detract from the charm of the piece. The background of the Second World War worked well and was not omitted as the film got under way, which so often happens in 'evacuee' stories.
An often far too underrated film, it produces no end to enjoyment for people of all ages. The performances from the actors are exceptionally well done and the entire text is neatly tied together and well designed. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face!
The Prince of Egypt (1998)
An Artistic Rendition of A great Tale
The first time I saw this film I thought 'Wow! I have to own that!' The telling of the story of Moses is powerfully done and the art is outstanding. It is the soundtrack, however, that brings this beauty together- the songs as well as the musical scores are catchy, beautifully composed and thoroughly breathtaking. The story has not been 'dumbed down' or watered down. It is accessible to children without alienating other generations and it humanises the characters wonderfully. The only thing in the entire film I found difficult was the pronunciation of Aaron's name- but that is obviously minor, it just took me a while to 'get' if that makes sense.
It's amazing, beautiful wonderful the art, music and sheer intelligence of the story will blow you away.
An overall brilliant piece, with the occasional discrepancy
This version of Jesus Christ superstar was wonderfully done. It managed to incorporate the use of the camera whilst still retaining it's 'staged production' quality. I wasn't overly impressed with Glen Carter's performance, at some parts in it his performance seemed to be strained and neither was I too struck on the added 'ultra high' and 'ultra low' notes that appeared to have been added (in comparison to the original version) simply to show off his impressive but completely irrelevant and inaccessible vocal range. (e.g. 'Die' in 'Poor Jerusalem' and 'Get out' at 'The Temple' the latter in particular seemed to affect the perceptions of his character in the film- more 'squealing' than 'fury') However saying that some of his scenes were performed admirably. He managed well in his reactions to 'Heaven on their Minds' and the following 'What's the Buzz' and his reactions were well done too for "When I'm Gone" in 'Everything's alright' where he reaches an arm up and sinks backwards at the same time giving the image of one who is, already at this stage,troubled by the knowledge of his impending suffering weighing on his mind.
Jerome Pradon was, without a doubt, the best Judas I have had the good fortune today. He too, had the occasional 'melodramatic' moment but his facial reactions and the passion with which he sung gave his character such depth, even at the times when he was not in a speaking role. (e.g. the reaction 'look' between him and Carter as Simon the Zealot sings, the reaction shots when Jesus is captured and 'questioned' by the mob- his looks at the beginning as Jesus brushes him off)
Without a doubt a brilliant, lively and stage worthy rendition.
Superstar's and Cannonballs
This recording is the longest piece on Savage Garden available. It chart's the band on their globe-topping tour at the height of their career just after their second (and ultimate as a due o) album 'Affirmation' was released. The stage show is packed full of energy and it contains interesting little quips from various people, including the light show techs.
The cinematography isn't necessarily anything to scream about but it's a definite 'must see' for Savage Garden fans and serves now as a nostalgic look at the lively fascinating stage show the bands were so well known for.