Wednesday 27 June 2012

Picture Daily 39

Colourful canoes

Life's a Journey

I've grumbled before that I don't get enough freebies....but that all seems to be changing.  Greed is good in the words of some well known philanthropist.

When Warner Brothers asked if I would review their movies and computer games, I signed up in haste...after all what could be wrong with sitting watching films and then writing about them?  Well nothing at all...if you've got the time.  And to be honest I've struggled to find the time, and the extravagant boxes of goodies have only just started to arrive.

So it was fortunate then that the first film to arrive was 'Journey 2: The mysterious island'.  It's a kids film, so the best and most responsible thing for me to do was chuck it as The Muffins (two girls aged 9 and 6) and get them to do all the hard work.  Adam Smith would be proud of me.

It took me a while to work out that this was a follow-up to Journey to the Center of the Earth which appeared in 2008 and starred Brendan Fraser.  For some completely unfathomable reason I'm quite a fan of Brendan Fraser - as a small youngster The Boy used to spend hours watching George of the Jungle - it was hilarious and perfect.  We then moved on to The Mummy which was a hugely enjoyable series of films too...although it may have been the delicious Rachel Weisz who held my attention then.  Brendan went out on a limb with The Quiet American starring alongside Michael Caine, and that still rates as one of my top ten films.  So on the back of that it was hardly surprising that we'd bought Journey to the Center of the Earth which achieved pretty much what it set out to achieve.  It was a load of hocus pocus, but good entertainment nonetheless...although now The Boy is a teenager and I'm a little frayed around the edges, and it was clearly appealing to a different target audience.

Although The Mysterious Island loosely follows on from Center of the Earth, it turns out (according to The Muffins) you don't have to have seen the first film to enjoy the second.  The premise is quite straightforward - Sean Anderson partners with his stepfather, played by Dwayne Johnson (to you and me that's The Rock - who also made some excellent appearances in The Mummy series) to find his grandfather (Michael Caine) who is thought to be missing on a mythical island.  En-route they get involved with a somewhat dodgy pilot played by the always amusing Luis Guzman and his daughter the rather stunning Vanessa Hudgens who I assume was recruited to give the Dads a bit of eye candy. Of course it's all complete nonsense, and full of special effects...but then that's what children want to see.  Anyway, they filed their report dutifully:
"The Muffins very much liked Journey 2.  Gabato (Guzman) the film's stooge caused laugh out loud moments for the girls but hugely annoyed their father.  Older Muffin in a grown up way said "I loved the action and how tense it was". Young Muffin said she loved it when Gabato said he wanted to keep the tiny elephants as pets so he could be a trunk warmer."  They gave it 10 out of 10. Adults may not rate it that highly.

I hope the Muffins don't expect to be paid for their efforts.

The other thing I should mention is that it comes as a 'triple play' pack so you can put it on your computer, laptop, phone or tablet...and the latter three are a bonus if you need to keep the offspring amused on long journeys.  With summer holidays coming up that can only be a good thing.

Next up will be Lego Batman on the X-Box...providing I can persuade The Boy to swing into action....

Monday 25 June 2012

Picture Daily 37

He turned the other cheek

No Pain

Very public spirited of The Times to be devoting hours of journalist time to rooting out the evil tax non-payers.  I never much liked that Jimmy Carr, not that Gary Barlow either.  It has been pointed out that when the owner of Arcadia, which includes Topshop in its portfolio, was identified as someone who pays less tax than just about everyone else, the Government was not to be drawn on the matter.  Perhaps because he was one of DC's advisers.  I'll make no more comment on that.  But I wonder at which strategy meeting, The Times decided that they could rebuild their stock amongst the common people and the ruling  classes by running their anti tax-evasion campaign?

It turns out that the main reason Danny Boyle revealed what he did of the Olympic Ceremony was because some reporters had got an inkling of what was happening, so threatened to reveal all, unless the Organisers played ball.  Now I'm not sure what that says about our media - ready and willing to spoil the excitement and surprise of everyone just so they could flog a few more papers.  It doesn't put them in a good light.  Again.

They say no pain, no gain.  Judging by the way I felt this morning I have gained a lot during my two days of rehearsals at the Stadium this weekend.  We have to move a lot of mats in our section, and these mats had been outside as it rained and rained and rained.  Meaning that what was only just manageable before became a Herculean task as we struggled with water logged mats.  By happy coincidence we had a masseur booked for last night, so I at least, was able to get the benefit.  But that still didn't stop me waking up feeling that I had been sent down and had had a good flogging from Hades himself.  As we now have a Facebook Group we will all be sharing our pain.

Sunday 24 June 2012

That slightly awkward moment...

...when you answer the door at 3.30 Sunday afternoon.  In your dressing gown.  And slippers.  To The Cat's Mother's ex.  He was here to collect a book for The Cat which she had left in a bag attached the front door knob.  I had arrived home, assumed someone had left it for The Cat so took it inside.

No doubt he and the Mrs Ex spent the journey home speculating why anyone would answer the door in their dressing gown in the middle of the afternoon.  I hope it was a stimulating conversation.

The answer is simple, I'd arrived home earlier after a very hard and long rehearsal, soaked to the skin and aching in places I didn't know existed. I thought I would have a bath, but discovered after it was run and I had stripped down that all the hot water had been used up long before I had even turned the taps on.  So I simply slipped into my very fetching dressing gown whilst the water heated up.  Obviously.

Picture daily 36

On the south coast