Sunday, March 02, 2008

Potential security breach at Pynchon Towers.

So... I am taking myself elsewhere.

There will be a new blog. Anybody who is interested, please email me and I will let you know where I am. The email address will be monitored for the next month or so. Everybody else, you may well start to get comments from somebody you have never heard of before.

I suppose this is my second regeneration. I don't mind. I always kind of liked Jon Pertwee.

Pynchon signing off.

It's been great.


Friday, February 29, 2008


The Cult were great, by the way. Here's something to keep you going, while I recover.


Thursday, February 28, 2008


There will be a spoiler or two, so please feel free the skip the rest of this. It's only me babbling on.

This may sound like an awful fudge, but I am not exactly sure how to take "Juno".

On the one hand "Juno" is really funny, has some great performances (especially from Ellen Page, Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner) and perfectly picks up on the idiom of smart teenage slang. On the other hand, the story that unfolds is all very nice and neat and tidy, and not nearly conflicted or dramatic enough.

For instance...

Yes, I know it was only a plot device to prevent Juno from going ahead with the termination (no pregnancy, no movie!), but was it really necessary to paint the abortion clinic in such an unpleasant light? Very cliched, very dull and certainly not the experience I had, a few years ago, when I accompanied Sister 3 to a similar establishment. It made it too easy for Juno to make the decision that she did.

At the end, would a girl like Juno really have just given up her baby without a second thought, or a glance backwards? Would she have immediately have taken back up with the boy who made her pregnant? What about his feelings? Or his Mother's?

What about her parents? They more or less just agreed straight away with what she wanted to do? Way, way too understanding and I didn't believe it. Juno is a smart mouthed, but nice, 16 years old girl. What does a 16 year old girl know, or boy for that matter?

I am writing as though I didn't enjoy "Juno", but that is incorrect. I did enjoy "Juno", but it could have been much more than a kooky, feelgood, idiosyncratic movie.


Films all done. Phew. Was it worth it?

Don't really care. Worth it for me.

I am out tonight to watch the Cult. I have some chores to do.

Ciao Baby.


"The Diving Bell And The Butterfly" or "Le Scaphandre Et Le Papillon".

On Monday night I was watching the Oscars. (Well, I was, until Virgin or Sky pulled the plug on the coverage at 4am. Cheers guys!) One of the talking heads was discussing the fact that neither "Le Scaphandre Et Le Papillon" or "La Vie En Rose" were on the shortlist for Best Foreign Language movie. It was explained that the Academy rules dictated that every foreign country choose a single movie to represent them, and that neither "Le Scaphandre Et Le Papillon" or "La Vie En Rose" were considered suitable or good enough to represent the great French nation.

Le grandees français de film est tels idiots.

I cannot comment on "La Vie En Rose". I have never seen it, and so should not express an opinion one way or another on the quality of that movie, but I have no doubt that if it had been eligible, "Le Scaphandre Et Le Papillon" would have won the Best Foreign film Oscar. It is a wonderful film.

The film details the struggles of the French writer Jean-Dominique Bauby who, at the age of 42, became victim to Locked-in Syndrome. That is, nearly complete paralysis, except for the ability to control his left eyelid. After a method is devised to allow Bauby to communicate by moving his eyelid, he decides to fulfil the commitment made, prior to his illness, to write a book.

Strange as it may sound, and shot through with frequent despair it may be, but this is a feelgood movie. Through his memories and his imagination Bauby roams freely through time and space. Memories of good times with his wife and children, his beautiful mistress (the gorgeous Marina Hands) and fantasies of the Empress Eugénie de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III. Bauby is not a saintly figure. He is sometimes rude, sometimes impatient and he enjoys checking out the cleavages of the nurses who tend to him. (Good lad.) He is a man and he is alive.

"Le Scaphandre Et Le Papillon" is a testament to the power of the human spirit and the drive to survive and, after a fashion, to live.

Must see.



The most influential American horror movie of the last 20 years is "Seven". This much is undeniable. I really liked "Seven". Great movie. It might be one of my favourites. The only problem is that every inner city set horror thriller made since comes across, to me, as "Seven"-lite.

Which brings me to "Waz".

A city of permanent night. A cop on the edge. A diabolical killer. Inventive, ingenious torture and murder. Victims with a reason for being victimised.

Yup. "Seven"-lite. Not necessarily a bad thing in itself, because you have to take every movie on it's own merits, but disappointing when witnessed over and over again.

"Waz" isn't bad. It is just unoriginal and a triumph of style over substance. The city is effectively portrayed as grim, dirty, cold and wet. You wouldn't want to go there on holiday. You wouldn't want to hang out with any of these people. The tone of the film is unpleasant, seedy and black. To coin a dated phrase, a video nasty. It will get you down. It also has one of the most disturbing filmed sequences of sexual abuse I have ever seen. All insinuated, you don't see a thing, but it is horrible.

Melissa George has been better and is frankly wasted as the pouting sidekick, but "Waz" does have a superior cast (Stellan Skarsgård, Selma Blair, Tom Hardy, etc.) for what is effectively a straightforward genre movie. Some of the questions I had as to why they signed up for this movie were answered during the denouement, when the motivations behind Stellan Skarsgård's actions are revealed and his character develops levels way beyond that of a tormented cop.

So, "Waz" was OK. Not bad for a walk on the dark side.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

On the lead up to Valentine's Day, I went to see "Definitely, Maybe".

Romantic comedies are easy.

1. Boy meets Girl.
2. Girl hates Boy.
3. Boy pursues Girl.
4. Girl hates Boy even more.
5. Boy gives up chasing Girl and meets New Girl.
6. Girl realises that she loves Boy.
7. Boy and Girl are unhappy.
8. New Girl leaves Boy for Boy's Best Friend/Brother/Father.
9. Boy and Girl kiss.
10. Roll credits and retire to Beverly Hills with up and coming starlet.

I could do that!

"Definitely, Maybe" does not really follow the bog standard romantic comedy template (which is good!), mainly because it is constructed as a mystery.

Soon to be divorced, mid 30's, single father Ryan Reynolds tells his 11 year old daughter the story of the three main romantic relationships of his life. One of these women will turn out to be his daughter's absent mother. Who will it be?

1. Nice, hometown girl Elizabeth Banks.
2. Kooky, wild child Isla Fisher.
3. Ambitious journalist Rachel Weisz.

Place your bets now! (I got it wrong, by the way. We'll skip past that, if I may.)

Despite myself I rather liked "Definitely, Maybe". Nice unsentimental performances by the whole cast and a good script that delved into off-centre subjects for a romantic comedy, such as hero worship and what can happen when your heroes let you down. "Definitely, Maybe" is also quite funny, but with a dark centre. I thought Ryan Reynolds, who is onscreen throughout, was really good. With this film and "The Nines" I am increasingly impressed with him. Really I am.

If I had to make one criticism it would be that "Definitely, Maybe" is a little bit too long. If only 10 minutes had been shaved off the running time, the ending would have been completely different, poetic, melancholy and more true.

Oh, well... Maybe the producers didn't want that? Maybe the producers wanted the traditional romantic comedy happy ending, after all?

Doesn't everybody.


Whooooeeeee! Anarchy Earthquake In The UK!

23:56. I was watching "Morvern Callar". It was very quiet. Then, suddenly, there was an enormous groan and a creaking sound as window frames tried to bend and then the settee shook for a couple of seconds. Then nothing.

Straight after that there was another rumbling sound as Lorraine got out of bed.

"What the fuck was that?"

"Just an earthquake. Nothing to worry about."

Call me Mr. Cool.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I have seen the films "Juno" and "Waz". I will write up both films tomorrow, along with the others I have missed along the way.

The hotel for our Easter trip to the smoke is finally booked. The Friday and Saturday night. We come home on the Sunday. For the Saturday we have tickets to see "Speed The Plow" at the Old Vic, starring Kevin Spacey, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Michelle Kelly. Lorraine's birthday present. Not a surprise. She knows all about it. We will probably also fit in shows on the Friday night and Saturday night. Make the most of the weekend.

Flowers have been ordered for my Mom for Mother's Day. I asked her if she wanted a present. She didn't. Flowers it is then.

My friend is staying over on Thursday night, after we have seen the Cult. An unusual occurrence for anybody to stay over at Residence Chez Pynchon. Lorraine has told me to change the sheets on my bed tomorrow and to air the room. This means that tomorrow evening we will be sharing her bed. I have not shared a bed with Lorraine in over a year. I don't know how I feel about it.

I am knackered. One of my favourite films is on at midnight. "Morvern Callar" starring Samantha Morton. I think I will watch it. No work tomorrow.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Missing line from the last post.

Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett (for "I'm Not There").

I would have got it wrong. Ce la vie.

The good.

Of the six bets I put on, four of them came in correct, which means I was up by about 7 quid. In the annual Pynchon Vs. Lorraine Oscar contest I also won, but for the first time it was a close run thing. I won by 1. It was neck and neck until the end when Lorraine, swayed no doubt by the beauty of gorgeous George, voted for "Michael Clayton" for Best Film. Insanity at it's finest. Not that I didn't like "Michael Clayton", I did, but only one of two films was going to win Best Film on Sunday night.

The bad.

Some fucker (Virgin Media? Sky? Don't know yet) pulled the plug on the Oscar coverage on Sky Premiere, Sky Premiere + 1 and Sky Screen 1 at 4am, this morning. After ringing the customer care line to complain and ascertaining that there was nobody there and the customers could go hang, I then checked the service status on the website. No mention of anything untoward on there, either. I went to bed with a rage that nearly turned me green.

This morning I rang the customer care line and talked to a very nice lady who said that Sky Premiere always ceased broadcasting at approximately 2am. Clearly bollocks and I said so. I know that this time last year the Sky movie channels were still branded as Sky Movies 1, 2, 3, etc., and this year they are branded as Drama, Indie, Classic, etc., but I watched the Oscar coverage last year with no problems and I should have been able to watch it this year with no problems.

I have written two letters of complaint. Frankly I just want to know what happened and who was playing silly buggers. If the letters are ignored, I will be writing to the Managing Director of Virgin Media, with the envelope marked 'Private and Confidential). I am sure that he will be delighted to explain what happened to me himself.

I would not have bothered to stay up all night if I knew that the coverage was going to end before the Best Film was announced.

Yours, disgruntled.

Labels: ,

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Nearly 10:30 pm in the UK. The Oscars coverage starts in 3 hours or so. Just time for my main predictions before I have a quick nap.

Best Film: "No Country For Old Men".
Best Director: Joel and Ethan Cohen (for "No Country For Old Men").
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (for "There Will Be Blood").
Best Actress: Marion Cotillard (for "La Vie En Rose").
Best Supporting Actor: Casey Affleck (for "The Assassination Of Jessie James By The Coward Robert Ford").
Best Original Screenplay: Cody Diablo (for "Juno").
Best Adapted Screenplay: Christopher Hampton (for "Atonement").

I have yet to see "There Will Be Blood", "La Vie En Rose" or "Juno", and lots of the other nominated films, so let's just say that these predictions are based on a mix of previous form, wishful thinking, guesswork and the once and future Pynchon sending the list of winners via tachyon particles, to this point in time, which manifested themselves in my dreams. (Reminder to myself: At some point I really must buy "Prince Of Darkness" on DVD.)

I am really tired. This is what two bottles of wine with Lorraine at a nice Italian restaurant will do to you. We never even made it to the cinema. Probably not the best preparation for staying up all night.

I will now rest.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?