Posts by boredatwork

    Last night I enjoyed the drama Brexit: An Uncivil War. I'm a sucker for political dramas and saturated in brexit as I am - as I'm sure we all are in the UK - I couldn't resist it. It's an interesting take, focusing solely on Dominic Cummings and the digital assault tactics he deployed when running the Vote Leave campaign. As a remainer I found a lot of it uneasy viewing and I cringed a few times, mainly from what I instinctively felt was probably a faithful depiction of the woefully poor remain campaign. What came across strongly was the stark contrast between that, with its traditional plodding approach, and Cummings's online "war" approach. There are good performances and it was entertaining in an unsavoury sort of way.

    This was a thoroughly entertaining drama regardless of which way anyone voted. Obviously some things were altered for dramatic effect, but Benedict Cumberbatch & Rory Kinnear were both excellent (as Rory Kinnear is in every role he plays). I also thought it would be a lot more biased than it actually was: since they had to pack it all into 2 hours it was probably inevitable that some participants would only appear as caricatured cameos.

    We watched the first episode of the new BBC adaptation of Les Miserables - starring Lily Collins as Fantine. She was very good. I have read the book but a few years ago so it took time for me to remember what was happening. The villain, Javert, is played by a black actor.

    It wasn’t bad, it’ll be worth watching the rest. I haven’t read the book but quite liked the film with Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe etc despite not finding the songs memorable. It lives up to its name though, with almost the entire cast dying during the show (like “Hamlet”!)

    “The Inbetweeners” 10 year anniversary was a dire “tribute” to a great comedy. Jimmy Carr was the worst host possible & they kept re-showing the same few clips & dishing out pointless awards. The funniest bit was Neil Oliver, who’s a TV historian not a comedian, doing a mock history documentary about “The Inbetweeners”, which says a lot about the standard of the rest of the show. :rolleyes:

    I’m sure you’re right that having an enthusiastic teacher would have made studying Shakespeare more enjoyable.

    The episode that took the “reasonable doubt” movement to its logical conclusion – namely that if Mark Rylance had lived in the 16th century he’d have told Shakespeare to his face that he couldn’t have written his plays - was a good one.

    Ben Elton has produced some substandard stuff since his 1980s peak, but Upstart Crow is a definite return to form (although for me nothing could equal The Young Ones or even the best bits of Blackadders). Elton does include some preachy lines, usually delivered by poor Kate the frustrated actress, that can get tiresome, but David Mitchell is a real asset.

    That stuff is only 'typical Shakespeare' if you don't like Shakespeare. However I don't wish to have an argument. The show works well as a lightweight comedy.

    You’d need to have that argument with Ben Elton rather than me, since his script for Upstart Crow mercilessly targets Shakespeare’s (sometimes, not always!) long-winded obscure dialogue, unfunny comedy scenes & unconvincing cross-dressing. But the reason Elton jokes about those things is because – like me & foxfeeder – he’s obviously endured the plodding way Shakespeare’s plays are taught in school in the UK, which hammers all the life out of them, emphasises their drawbacks & puts people off them for life.

    I enjoy Shakespeare when it’s done well & imaginatively (both Zefirelli’s & Baz Luhrman’s films of Romeo & Juliet spring to mind), & I’m sure Ben Elton does too. It’s possible to recognise & laugh at the shortcomings of things you like e.g. “Brian Pern” affectionately mocked Peter Gabriel, but it was made (& enjoyed) by many of his fans.

    Also I have never seen any of Upstart Crow what is it like?

    If you’ve seen any Shakespeare plays you can enjoy it & the more you know the funnier it is - I should know since my mum loved Shakespeare & I’d been dragged to see “Hamlet” 8 times by the age of 14! But David Mitchell (Shakespeare) is basically himself in a 16th-century setting so there’s lots of references to contemporary problems like public transport, which he frequently rants about as a commuter between London & Stratford-on-Avon, corruption, government incompetence etc. There’s also the ongoing gag of him being amazed or offended whenever the rest of the cast criticise his work for what everyone who's ever studied his plays at school knows is typical Shakespeare: long-winded obscure dialogue, unfunny comedy scenes, unconvincing cross-dressing, etc. Worth watching if you’ve never seen it.

    As for the Agatha Christie serial I’m no expert, but it’s not like most past dramatisations, in fact she’d hardly recognise such a dark, sluggish adaptation of her work.

    What did you thnk of an Upstart Crow Christmas Carol? I was disappointed. Stick to Shakespeare & leave Dickens out of it. They could have done a Twelfth Night theme.

    It seemed an appropriate subject to be shown on Xmas Day but I thought it wasn't as sharp as most of the preceding episodes, perhaps because after the initial Marley’s/Marlowe’s ghost joke it was rather predictable since the plot of Christmas Carol is so well known. But given the competition, it was still the most watchable thing on TV over Xmas. For me, the comments about public transport in the UK & the luvvie-ness of actors are the highlights of any episode of Upstart Crow.

    The 2nd part of that Agatha Christie mystery was as turgid as the first.

    Xmas TV on the UK terrestrial channels has been pretty bad this year.

    There was a new CGI adaptation of Watership Down where all the rabbits looked indistinguishable from each other & the story was changed for no good - or even apparent - reason.

    There’s a grim, drab Agatha Christie mystery trying to shoehorn lectures about fascism into a murder mystery. I watched the first episode but now I've finished the ironing there's nothing to keep me awake throughout the next 2, so I might not bother.

    Basically there’s been nothing worth watching apart from the Upstart Crow Xmas special.

    (I’m sure we had this thread on the old forum but can’t find it here).

    This morning I heard Gary Barlow on the radio saying he was saved from despair after losing his record deal by listening to “Don’t Give Up”. So I guess we have Peter to thank(?) for Gary’s subsequent career :/

    Oh no, not Pete Shelley! Saw him live in the 80s, back in the days when the BBC banned his great single “Homosapien” for being too gay :rolleyes:

    R.I.P. :(

    That's a name from the past. Hope you enjoy it

    Boy George & co were okay but a bit ragged in places especially the T-Rex cover. Having too many extra musicians & backing vocalists didn't help.

    We enjoyed the first support act more: Tom Bailey from the Thompson Twins doing mainly Thompson twins hits.

    Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. A good spectacle especially in 3D cinema (or whatever it’s called) but the plot was long, laboured & not very interesting. If they want this franchise to last the full 7 films they’ll need to show us more beasts & less complicated character back-story. I couldn’t even work out what crimes Grindelwald was meant to have committed.

    If you want a great evening out at the cinema go & see Bohemian Rhapsody instead! :)

    I saw this thread while UB40’s “Food for thought” was playing on TV & googled the lyrics as when it was released everyone thought the opening words were “I’m a prima donna”. So it’s taken me 38 years to discover it’s actually “Ivory Madonna”. Although given the later bust-ups within UB40 maybe “I’m a prima donna” would have been a better line to open their career.

    I saw Bohemian Rhapsody last night & loved it. Sure, the chronology is tweaked a bit but the cast were good & it helped that they really looked like the people they were playing. Rami Malek looked less like Freddie, but he was excellent. I guess the real Roger & Brian wrote all their own characters’ lines! Critics complain it’s sanitised, but it didn’t duck Freddie’s lifestyle, given its 12A certificate. Of course the real plus is the music. I’d recommend any Queen fan to go & see it at a cinema with a large screen to appreciate the concert sequences, which won’t have such an impact if watched on a TV screen with the sound less than deafening.

    I've never seen Endeavour so had no idea there was a MB-themed episode, I'll have to look out for it. That's the series with Roger Allam isn't it? One of my favourite actors.

    If you like that one, the Voyage of the Acolyte themed episode is also pretty good & you'll catch the occasional lyric in other episodes (yes, the writer is a Genesis fan).

    Very good production of “Joseph & the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat” at the local theatre. I had fond memories of doing it at school aeons ago but hadn’t seen it since & was amazed at how much of it I could remember word for word. Probably my favourite musical: it’s lyrically, musically & visually witty, has lots of good tunes & feels all too short, leaving you wanting more.