rfbooth.com :: blog archives

Moments in time, preserved to embarrass me later.

6-2-2004 (archived)

BT having fairly promptly fixed the problems that had this site down, we return with yet more links in lieu of actual content.

Consider the driving urge between a man and a woman, the monomaniacal urge to achieve greater and greater penetration. Remember also that we are dealing with kryptonian muscles.

Superman would literally crush [Lois Lane]'s body in his arms, while simultaneously ripping her open from crotch to sternum, gutting her like a trout.

An authorised reprint of Larry Niven's Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex.

Also for your delectation, if you've been living in a cave, some of Weebl's Flash foolery, the best ever Weebl and Bob cartoon, and an advert for Kenya.

Tired now.

9-2-2004 (archived)

This week's first film review (and there will continue to be plenty, since as usual the studios have decided that putting everything I want to see out now and leaving the summer barren is good business) is “Girl With a Pearl Earring”.

This is apparently based on a best-selling novel, which in turn is based on the eponymous painting of Johannes Vermeer, here played quietly by Colin “costume drama crumpet” Firth. There are two remarkable strengths to this film. One is the cinematography; truly evocative of Vermeer's own paintings in places, gorgeous throughout, stunning without ever being intrusive. This is as ambitious and as beautiful as anything I have ever seen.

The other factor, also ambitious and beautiful, is Scarlett Johansson. Here it is confirmed, as Lost in Translation (another deliciously-shot film) suggested, that she is not only a beauty, but a remarkable actress; she is far and away the best actor of her generation I have seen. Her performance is good enough that dialogue is almost redundant; when, nervous and flustered, she quivers like a cornered mouse, the moment is remarkable. The confidence, range, control and sheer virtuosity of this young woman is amazing; she is quite the best thing about a very, very good film.

11-2-2004 (archived)

I have little to say about The Dreamers except that it is very, very good indeed, and you should see it unless you dislike beautiful people with their clothes off. Michael Pitt looks very like Leonardo DiCaprio, which is not (yet) a crime, and Louis Garrel and the utterly delectable Eva Green look enough alike to be believable as twins, and enough like Anna Chancellor to be very believable as her screen children. The acting is flawless, and totally unselfconscious even in the most explicit sex scenes I have seen in a cinema, and the film is sexy, joyful, funny, dark, worrying, thought-provoking, almost offensively clever... very, very good indeed. Which is where we came in.

13-2-2004 (archived)

Cordelia was watching me put laundry away, and she insisted on playing with the clothes hangers.

This is really ironic. After all, the clothes hanger is the natural enemy of the baby.

Back near the beginning of this blog, I wrote about Irony Central. If anything, it's getting better, and there's something new at least every month. You can waste a lot of time here, and since it's half-term now I think I just might reread the lot.

Enough. It's getting late, and I'm off to stick a teapot up my nose.

16-2-2004 (archived)

Linkage day today. Paul came to our gig on Saturday with his new mic and minidisc bootlegging rig; early results sound pretty good to me. Thanks!

Warren Ellis continues to rock on livejournal with Mass Murder for Percussion and Guitars.

So Your Cat Has Ass Breath is the funniest thing I've seen in a while. Throw rocks at boys is the best Flash game I've seen in a while. Both are shamelessly ganked from a recent post by Cherie Priest.

18-2-2004 (archived)

One of the things I enjoy about writing film reviews, such as they are, is reading other people's reviews. In particular, I have a look at Guardian Film after I've been to the movie in question, and I'm always particularly delighted when the Guardian and Observer reviews disagree completely. Something's Gotta Give is a fine example: French (who liked it) praises Keaton's performance as “as good as her best work with Woody Allen” and calls the beach scenes “rather beautiful”. Bradshaw, on the other hand, “would rather have my ears cleaned with a diamond-stylus Q-tip than watch this horrifically icky, unspeakably acted film again”, calls Keaton “simply abysmal”, and describes those same beach scenes as the most embarrassing thing in the movie. It's always good to see critics with a genuine love for film, don't you think?

My turn. The acting is unexceptional, but there's some great comic timing. Nicholson is playing by numbers, but still gets by. Keanu Reeves is actually very good here, looking better than ever and the least wooden I've seen him. It'll win no prizes for depth, and is saying nothing even remotely original, but crucially it's very very funny. I would agree with those who said it's a little over-long; if it were two minutes shorter, dropping the horrifying, schmaltzy, nauseating Hollywood ending, this would be first-class light romantic comedy. As it is, it leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Nonetheless, it's definitely funny enough to be worth recommending; just pretend it finishes where it should do and you'll be fine.

20-2-2004 (archived)

It's no Spinal Tap, it's not even a Bad News, but “School of Rock” is good clean fun. I wouldn't have guessed that Jack Black could dominate a film so much without annoying me, but he certainly can. This is cleverly designed to appeal both to kids and to their 35-55 classic-rock-era parents, and suffers surprisingly little from the appalling overacting of Joan Cusack (offset to some extent by surprisingly good performances from the kids). Disposable but entertaining enough.

23-2-2004 (archived)

This in lieu of actual creativity: old-ish interviews with Stephens King and Fry, two authors of whom I am rather fond.

25-2-2004 (archived)

Sex lives of the potato men” may well be the worst film I have ever seen in a cinema. It is also, in places, extremely funny. Johnny Vegas and Mackenzie Crook play a pair of depressed, depressing potato delivery men whose marriages have broken up and who look forward to lives of no-commitment sex and beer, but find themselves wanting a comfortable bed in a clean home more than anything. Crook, in particular, is played as something of a success with the women (not ladies. Decidedly not), which is (slightly) less implausible in the light of the finished film than it may at first seem, and parts of the story are reminiscent of the absurd British 70s softcore “Confessions of a...” series. Not least in quality.

There's no nudity, but then very few of the characters would cause you to do anything other than turn away if there was. There's little in the way of subtlety. What there are are a few great sight gags, a few wonderful (and quotable) lines, and an utterly convincing pathos and squalor. Far from being a woman-hating film (as a few halfwits have claimed), this reminds us of how little many men are capable of existing without female support.

I can't recommend this, overall, but if you don't mind extraordinarily bad taste it can be very funny, as well as being a very accurate portrayal of a certain type of British man. It's short enough (83 minutes) to be possibly worth sitting through just for the final gag, which had me still laughing sporadically when I went to bed an hour or more afterwards.

Who wants salt and vinegar?

27-2-2004 (archived)

In this life (the existence, not the seminal TV series) one is occasionally exposed to true genius. One particularly prolific source is Ashley Pomeroy, mostly known as Arp. He has recently started using his blog:

That said, if Luke was to ignite his light sabre he would give away his position, unless he was prepared to choke badgers to death from a distance. I don't know whether this would be considered 'good' or 'evil' in the Star Wars universe, although if Luke was extremely hungry he might not care.

As I have already stated, insufficient methane is produced in a dead body in order to enable it to fly - thus eliminating a possible source of the primitive supposition that the 'afterlife' is situated in the sky - [...].

Infinity is wasted on the fish. Their minds cannot appreciate it. I therefore argue for mankind to return to the oceans, with fresh purpose and fresh minds, control over our destinies.

He seems to be discoursing mostly on the creatures of the sea and sky at the moment, but doubtless this will change as his inner monologue evolves. One of the funniest men on the net.