rfbooth.com :: blog archives

Moments in time, preserved to embarrass me later.

31-1-2005 (archived)

Sideways” is a film about conversations and friendships, especially those odd sorts where it's really not clear any longer why you're still friends; about women, and denial, regret, happiness, and wine. There are several first-rate, understated performances here, but nobody is even close to Virginia Madsen; when, in a quiet, late-night conversation with Giamatti she suddenly, gently, talks about her passion for wine, it is impossible not to fall a little in love with her. This is another really great, interesting, intelligent, funny film in what has already been a great year for films; it's heart-wrenching, exasperating, recognisable, lovable and completely, unfailingly human.

2-2-2005 (archived)

Elektra” is probably less bad than you've heard, but it is admittedly pretty bad. Jennifer Garner is actually a pretty good choice here, that air of simmering rage she always seems to have carrying the role well, but the director's attempts to make her (admittedly magnificent) figure alluringly grabbable are laughable. The “plot” is partly cribbed from recent seasons of Buffy and partly from any random 1970s kung fu flick, and the whole thing is pretty but pointless. Worth a look and a giggle if you're bored, though.

4-2-2005 (archived)

I'm lazily posting something that you all probably know about already, but if I'm to maintain my official status as the web's number one Charlie Brooker fanboy I have to mention that his most inspired listings creation, cunt, is coming to TV (admittedly with a different title). In programme-marketing news, speechtool is a brilliant word. And this is a very good article (for which thanks to Adrian).

As you were.

7-2-2005 (archived)

I rather like the Mancunian Way, since I know at roughly what times it will be unusably clogged, but I have to admit that these guys have a point - especially about that wonderful, mid-air-terminating sliproad. I walked under it twice a day on most weekdays for years when I was working at UMIST, on my way to and from the gym, and it never failed to cheer me up. That said, the motorway is much, much better than the astonishingly incompetently-planned through-roundabout junction with the A56 that conspicuously blights the Western end. In fact, most of its junctions are utter rubbish, crippled by traffic flow twenty years ago at busy times (and at quiet times, just about anything will work). Just to add to the joy for visitors, different junctions work properly at different times of day. Hey ho, it lets us locals feel smug about our clever avoidance routes. (Via b3ta.)

9-2-2005 (archived)

In further old-news-link-news, Alien Loves Predator is fairly new and utterly magnificent. Let's hope it stays great. (Via just about everyone, but I think Clive mentioned it first in IRC.)

12-2-2005 (archived)

Dead Man's Shoes” was not promoted or trailed much, and we had no real idea what we were going to see. What we got was less than an hour and a half that went from comic and unsettling to horribly, bleakly, scarily unpleasant without ever faltering in conviction or consistency or sense of place. Gary Stretch is particularly good. And so is the result: one of the most unsettling, gripping, disturbing films I can remember.

14-2-2005 (archived)

Assault on Precinct 13” is a competent, enjoyable remake of a cult '70s John Carpenter film. Like a lot of remakes, this ones actually different in several important ways, most notably in that it has backstory and plot. (Many reviewers have, of course, seen this as a disadvantage, but then that's critics for you.) There's a lot of good-quality, slick violence, some real tension (especially towards the end) and some very funny moments (especially at the beginning). There aren't really many surprises here, and the “twists” could be seen coming a mile off, but then this isn't that kind of movie. What it is is another wonderful opportunity for Fishburne to unleash that quiet killer's charisma. It's his movie, and it's a lot of fun.

16-2-2005 (archived)

Momus's reaction to the first episode of Nathan Barley is a lot like mine would be, if I were three times as bright and completely differently educated. Well worth reading.

18-2-2005 (archived)

It's probably a sign of how badly my brains have decayed after several days in bed trying not to cough up my spleen, but I found these accounts of a man first preparing every meal at home (even when only heating a frozen pizza) for a month and then getting every meal out (including takeaways) for another month oddly compelling. I'm pretty sure I haven't done the former in my adult life, though I might well have accidentally done the latter.

21-2-2005 (archived)

The Hungry Tiger is a food blog, and probably the best one I've seen. Very, very good food, good writing, mouthwatering photography.

I seem to be on a food link kick at the moment. Tonight I have mostly been eating sausages, and they must have been full of tasty tasty additives because I'm as hyper as a kitten in the bathtub with a clockwork mouse. (If you have never witnessed an event of this kind, I urge you to beg, buy or borrow a kitten and a mouse and do so. In case it's not obvious, you don't fill the bath before adding the kitten.)

Must sleep now.