Sunday 20th August 2006

Before we get to the football, let me tell you about the two movies I watched this weekend. First comes Bad Company, the underplayed premier on BBC1 on Friday evening after the news. I only found out it was on by searching on Radio Times online and as there was nothing else on worth watching, I thought I might as well give it a go. Chris Rock perhaps has not made the best transition from standup to celluloid but nevertheless I give me 10 out of 10 for effort. The other lead is Antony Hopkins which already has you thinking about the suitability of this pairing in an action movie. Well actually when you look back it is actually a comedy that thinks it should be an action movie and that is where everything goes wrong. There are some memorably funny scenes, such as Chris Rock playing All Out Of Love (by Jagged Edge) in the club and clearing the dance floor. Plus an old overweight Welshman running through Grand Central Station shouting at commuters to get out of the way. Why oh why did it come to this for you Mr. Hopkins? Please tell me you did this purely for the money. The storyline is far fetched to say the least, but even if you let that go some of other aspects of the film are just comical, when you would want to see something more substantial. All in all, watch able television movie, you would not catch me paying to see this at the cinema.

X Factor is back on our television screens and with less of hype than in previous years. Has the show got worse or have the contestants just got more deranged in thinking they have that special talent? Plus, what was the point of Paula Abdul being a guest judge? She hardly made any contribution to the auditions in London. Is it just me of have they only shown a handful of successful entrants going through to the second round and focused more on the wannabe singers? I watched it on and off last year and it looks like I will have a good idea of what is going on this time around with both of my sisters watching every show, including the Xtra Factor on ITV2.

Listened to LBC during the afternoon just as the 3pm games were kicking off. John Cushing and former Arsenal legend Kenny Samson present the show on the London station, which is a mixture of chat, reports from the grounds, phone in and competitions. Being LBC, the focus is on London clubs across the divisions, with the name of the club blaring out from a pre-recorded jingle prior to an update on the scores. They have their own blog which is updated towards the end of the show. While generally in the past I have always listened to Five Live, this show makes a change from the standard commentary and analysis. Instead you just get the goal alerts and a constant stream of the scores. It was while listening I heard Arsenal were one nil down, then the appearance of Walcott from the bench and ultimately his assist that lead to the equaliser. Sure this was not in the script but even this early in the season we should consider it two points dropped rather than a point gained. Particularly with Chelsea and Manchester United picking up three points in convincing wins. At least Spurs lost, one consolation for the weekend.

The first time Sky Movies Saturday premiere, was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. My sister had seen the movie last year and was not impressed, so it was just myself and my youngest sister who stayed in the living room to watch the remake. I am a big fan of the 1971 original film, particularly as Gene Wilder, in my humble opinion plays the role of Willy Wonka perfectly. I was annoyed with the fact they changed some of the story and also introduced a background to the main character to give some credibility to his wackiness. In my opinion unnecessary, it better if these things are left to our imagination. The Oompa Loompa were good but the computer generated affects meant they were really tiny unlike in the 1971 movie when they were played by dwarfs, which was more in line with the book. Tim Burton is an excellent director and he always lets his creative juices flow onto the screen like no other director. Every frame holds his signature. If you were to take the movie on it’s own (very difficult for me as I’ve seen the first movie so many times) you would conclude that this is well done and if not more of an adventure (than mere a case in story telling). Although perhaps the most annoying aspect is that lack of concrete location. The Buckets are English and the factory appears to be in England but the fact that Charlie pays for his winning Wonka Bar with $10 dollars makes the setting unclear. Overall, great family fun but nothing to be taken too seriously. I am sure after watching this, you will want to go back and watch the original. Talking of originals, Sky are screening all six movies in the Star Wars series from next weekend. Before I started University in the summer of 2000, I watched Episodes IV, V, VI and Episode I, back to back over consecutive nights in a week. This was on VCDs, that Pav had lent me, of the Special Edition cuts. As much as I would like to watch the whole series over the next few weeks I am pretty sure I will be busy most Saturday nights to be around at 8pm to catch them.

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