rfbooth.com :: blog archives

Moments in time, preserved to embarrass me later.

26-2-2007 (archived)

Venus” is beautifully touching without being sentimental, and rather brave in its own little way. Leslie Phillips and Jodie Whittaker do really rather well, but this is Peter O'Toole's movie, and in a year without Forest Whitaker's stunning impersonation he ought to have won, at last, a best actor gong; it would have been no disgrace if he had, this time. A small, perfect jewel, glowing quietly.

2-3-2007 (archived)

I've been limping for a week and a half now. Something is amiss with the first joint of my big toe, and it's a little swollen and lacking in normal range of motion - and limping on it has, of course, knackered various other parts of my locomotion infrastructure. Plus I can't wear proper shoes. I may have to go and try to see a different doctor, one who will tell me something more helpful than "take nurofen and try to rest it".

On the upside, powerlifting is all done on one's heels, and is going great - otherwise I really would be psychotic right about now. As it is, I'm just irritated, frustrated, too sore to do anything requiring social interaction, and completely unable to concentrate enough to write a decent blog entry.

10-3-2007 (archived)

Clearly I can't guarantee regular posting just now - work, training, and updating my training logs are just eating too much of my blogging energy. Hey ho.

In movie news, “Babel” was a near-great film; very serious, long, extremely well-acted (Rinko Kikuchi should have had Best Supporting Actress for her astonishing, heart-rending performance as a desperately lonely, frustrated deaf-mute teenager), but it didn't quite gel as well as his previous 21 grams for me; Inarritu still casts and directs actors as well as anyone, but the film was not quite able to justify the world-straddling scope it aimed for. Brilliant, but not quite as brilliant as it wanted to be.

The Oscar that should have gone to Kikuchi went instead to Jennifer Hudson for “Dreamgirls”, a slightly ridiculous result: it's far from clear that she was support (presumably to Beyonce Knowles) rather than lead, and, as an actress, Knowles was far more impressive in the same movie as an excellent singer playing a very average one (far, far easier than an excellent singer playing exactly that); Kikuchi was incomparably better. Of course, there is no Oscar category for best singer in a movie, which is what she probably deserved. Never mind. Still, at least this wasn't nominated for the best picture award that some had it favourite for early; that really would have been ridiculous, although of course the far inferior musical Chicago won exactly that.

It's a decent movie. It's entertaining enough, glossily performed, and good fun. But it's not special.

12-3-2007 (archived)

Blood Diamond” is a rather good character study of a pair of rather different men, played superbly by Leonardo Di Caprio and Djimon Hounsou. Jennifer Connelly does well with a rather thin role, too. It's by no means a perfect film, but it's thought-provoking, coherent, and very watchable indeed.

17-3-2007 (archived)

Of course one feels for people, many of whom have done nothing wrong, who find themselves unexpectedly out of work. It is hard, though, to feel too much for the employees of St Helens Glass, since not only (as the linked article made clear) were they popular with Trading Standards, they were also completely and infuriatingly unable to comply with TPS regulations; I received several times as many unlawful cold calls from them as from every other offender combined. These are small things, yes, but they do affect the quality of life of multitudes. Good riddance.

19-3-2007 (archived)

Was it really necessary for it to hail horizontally during the brief period I went out today? I suppose it probably was.

Two ensemble pieces today. Providing possibly the latest film review of my life, Little Miss Sunshine reappeared at the local cinema in the wake of awards season. It's beautifully done, tightly edited, brilliantly scripted and acted, and achingly, sadly, wonderfully, satirically funny. A minor masterpiece.

If Sunshine is a small perfect jewel, then Bobby is a large sprawling imperfect mess, but it is so energetic and committed that it is utterly successful anyway. Estevez's complete conviction and extraordinary cast (all of whom give superb performances) make this into a compelling, complicated and beautiful film. It may be that this is the one pet project capable of producing this sort of brilliance from Estevez; let us hope not, as we need more cinema of this brave, unconventional calibre.

22-3-2007 (archived)

Head colds are all of teh suck. You don't even get to suffer nobly, you're just being a whiny little bitch with manflu.

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24-3-2007 (archived)

There was never going to be much of a gamble about seeing “Music and Lyrics”. Nobody can do Hugh Grant better than he can, he's the perfect lead for a fluffy romcom, and similarly nobody plays cute girl who needs a man any better than Drew Barrymore. The script's not magnificent, and certainly had Richard Curtis been on board it would have been a great Grant picture rather than just a good one. But it is a good one, and hugely lifted by Grant's whole-hearted willingness to look slightly silly while pretending to be an 80s pop star. This isn't a romcom that will be remembered, but - of course - it does its job effortlessly anyway.

26-3-2007 (archived)

Notes on a Scandal” is well drawn, with strong performances from Blanchett, Simpson and Nighy and a remarkable against-type exhibition of brilliance from Judi Dench. Unfortunately it's a little bit difficult to care about anybody in the film, so while it is involving, disturbing and impressive, it's also never genuinely upsetting. It should be. Near-great.

8-4-2007 (archived)

I know, I know. Bad blogger, no biscuit. This blog is not dead; it just smells that way.

Anyway, it's the holiest day in the Christian calendar; the day on which our Lord turned into a rabbit and laid eggs. FOR OUR SINS.

So, in celebration, let's have some excellent perspective about the recent hostage-taking (as also excellently done by Marcus Brigstocke on the radio), by Ronan Bennett (tone: reason and sadness) and Terry Jones (tone: unmixed sarcasm). The West really has to look to the beam in its own eye here.

And, on a happier note, here's the magnificent Alan Fairclough of Adlington Barbell delivering one of the all-time great bollockings. The man is a legend and a hero, and it is only a matter of time until I go to lift under him.