2012 — 7 May: Monday

Last night's boys' night out1 has already cost me three new Blu-rays, dagnabbit. It's all Mike's fault (inevitably). Either he's a terrible influence or I must have been weakened by the meal and fine wine:

  1. In Time
    I've liked every film2 Andrew Niccol has made so far. This one was an enjoyably creepy yet original variant on that old William F Nolan and George Clayton Johnson novel "Logan's Run". Wonder when my copy fled the shelves? Of course, everyone who saw that when it first came out is (technically) dead, so it doesn't matter! Amanda Seyfried's performance more than redeemed her after the disappointing "Red Riding Hood", though it took Mike a while to penetrate her semi-Louise Brooks wig and recognise her.
  2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    I've not seen any of this series since the Charleton Heston clunker that kicked off the whole saga. I still recall Pierre Boule's novel "Monkey Planet" while still a fresh-faced schoolboy, however, though I remember the translation's rather leaden prose without much pleasure. But the trailer I watched suggested (as trailers always manage to do, probably) that the franchise had now been given a re-invigorating kick (or re-boot, to use the jargon of the new millennium) in much the same way as was done most recently for "Star Trek". Here's hoping. If nothing else, the picture quality looked properly awesome.
  3. What's your number?
    Again, laughing aloud at several points of crackingly witty dialogue in the trailer suggested this was worth a punt. I suspect the rom-com story arc will be an entirely predictable one (but isn't that more or less the point of an enjoyable rom-com?)

I held off on getting my own copy of the film that actually made me laugh delightedly more times than is probably proper for an adult. Yep, "Tintin". (Who knew Peter Jackson was such a fan? I didn't.) And I gather Spielberg is now a convert. I shall enjoy watching this with Junior in due course, I suspect. When I can afford it, that is. Oddly, it was five years ago today that I first enjoyed a piece in the 'Grauniad' (still available here). And I still have the book mentioned at the end :-)

Breakfast now beckons.

While I realise that...

... politicians are not often noted for the miniscule size of their egos, for Monsieur Hollande (the new chap at the top of the French greasy pole) to assert that his election victory will bring an end to European austerity strikes me as a little rich. Still, I admit to having felt somewhat similar (though short-lived) optimism when Mr Bliar first took power. (Link.)

It's started to rain. Again. It's been doing that a lot, lately. Is the drought over yet? (Just askin'.)

It's now ten years...

... since the poll that "Time Out" magazine conducted on favourite films. I note that their "Top 10" titles are all mighty fine, but only two of them...

Film chart

... occupy the same position in today's snapshot of the IMDB "Top 250" (the numbers on the right). And just what the hell is "Blade Runner" doing so far down the list? If this is the wisdom of crowds and accurately reflects the taste of Joe Public these days, I'd be forced to conclude I want little part of it. [Pause] Better grab some lunch, I guess.

While "tidying" stuff...

... in the living room (I hesitate to call it 'spring cleaning' as very little has made it as far as the discard pile) I was leafing through "Man bites man" — a lovely set of satirical cartoons I bought in November 1981, edited by Steven Heller. Do you suppose there's a law that says talented people have to have that surname? No matter — it's a book heavy with the weight of altogether too much dust deposited while in its current hiding place. It samples from the work of 22 artists. The one I thought particularly fine this afternoon is a 1970 cartoon by (George) Booth.

Ethel and Gus

The deceptively casual artwork is already well-nigh perfect. Now mix in the caption:

I've got an idea for a story: Gus and Ethel live on Long Island, on the
North Shore. He works sixteen hours a day writing fiction. Ethel never
goes out, never does anything except fix Gus sandwiches, and in the end
she becomes a nympho-lesbo-killer-whore. Here's your sandwich.

How's that for the American Dream? :-)

Hear that?

To borrow a phrase from Victor Borge, it's the sound of a departing iTunes installation. Once again, the beastly software has proven just too aggravating to bear. Pity. It lasted just over 24 hours. That may actually be an improvement over last time. What a pain.

So I've reverted for the time being (the time being 21:13) to my Chandos CD of Holst's "Planets" by the Scottish National Orchestra, with a chap named Sir Alexander Gibson waving the little stick. An early (July 1979) digital recording made at the Henry Wood Hall in Glasgow. Magic. I had it on vinyl before CD... though it wasn't my first CD of this lovely Holst music, actually. The 28th CD I bought was a (dreadful) von Karajan recording in September 1983. Luckily, I managed to sell it. The Gibson (CD #113) came along in August 1984, though the first pressing was faulty, skipping like crazy.

"Perfect sound forever"? Don't make me laugh.



1  For me, at least. For Mike, more of a night in methinks :-)
2  "Gattaca", for example. Having watched it with Christa in the Harbour Lights cinema, I bought the LaserDisc (but never watched it), followed by the DVD (ditto). Since so much of it is still clearly seared into my memory I have yet to feel any need to watch it again. Wonder what the Blu-ray costs? Stunning film.