Archives for category: 1980’s

Once more into the breach dear friends, once more. Thankyou Mr Shakespeare for coming up with the perfect phrase to describe how I feel about my imminent bout of Christmas shopping.
It’s that time of year and I suppose this weekend more than most is likely to be THE weekend of madness in shopping centres up and down the land. We’ve selected Cabot Circus in Bristol, as our retail outlet of choice this year, generally because it provides such an enjoyable experience. It’s easy to get to, usually with plentiful parking and is mostly undercover from the elements while leaving you with the feeling of being outside thanks to hit huge open spaces and interesting glass roof structures. There’s also two stores in particular that make it a worthwhile trip.
The downside however, will no doubt be the fact that the world and his wife will be out doing the same thing. Not only that, but they’ll have brought the kids, grandparents and family pets along with them too. I can’t wait… to get back home, and we haven’t even left yet.
Last night was a far more enjoyable experience. Mrs G had her Christmas dinner with work to attend. It was held in a quite posh hotel ‘up the hill’ in one of the villages. A pleasant spot. Son has his ‘Xmas Works Outing’ coming soon and of course Daughter hosts hundreds of them at the pub she works in when she’s not specialing.
My Xmas Works Outing is a much wilder affair. I work from home and while to many this may seem a sad and lonely existence, I’ve enjoyed it very much for the past 15 years or so (on and off). I had a bout of living in London and the US for a few years, but I recovered eventually. What this all means though, is that I don’t really get a ‘Christmas do’. It would be nice to catch up with colleagues both old and new and quaff a few pints to wash down a turkey dinner with all the trimmings and in days gone by that would most definitely have been the case, but the past 5 years have seen a change in attitudes towards such goings on.
In fact all forms of frivolity in the work place seem to be frowned upon. You can’t enjoy work anymore. The Health & Safety brigade along with the Political Correctors seem to have sucked all the fun out of working life and the bean counters have topped it off by going all ‘Scrooge’ on the employee entertainment and morale front. If your lucky, you might get a cold turkey sandwich in the canteen during December and they’ll probably still be hanging around in January too.
I’m not suggesting we should go back to the 70’s, 80s & 90s when it was quite normal for colleagues to be sleeping the effects of the office party off, at the office or to caught up to no good in the stationary cupboard. But at least people had fun. Now everyones too scared to appear to let their guard down in front of their boss for fear of future repercussions. It’s very very sad.
Being on my own in the office means I don’t have any of those trappings to hinder me. I also can’t get caught up to no good in the stationary cupboard, which I suppose is just as well. I can get completely slozzled without fear of looking stupid in front of the boss and I can sleep it off at my desk should I so choose (it’s in what would have been bedroom number 4 if I hadn’t used it as an office anyway). To this end, last night was my Christmas do although the company neglected to pay for it which is a great shame.
The only other human that’s around when I’m in the office is daughter so she and I went to a pleasant little pub up the road for a slap up nosh fest. The place was packed with people having their Christmas do’s all doing their best not to look like idiots in front of their bosses and all eating the same unappetising Christmas dinner. Each had a paper hat and bad cracker jokes.
I on the other hand, had a reasonable steak and ale pie (daughter had a reasonable steak) and the pleasure of her company. Far more enjoyable than any of the uncomfortable looking herberts pretending to be having fun. If only Starfleet had been footing the bill, it would have been a Christmas do to remember. Instead it was an enjoyable evening with Daughter.
I haven’t lost all hope. I actually love Christmas. Not so much the shopping and presents for presents sake side of it. Not the over commercialisation of it. But next year with a new role it’s entirely possible there could be a sociable set of people who aren’t over the top with the PC crowd, but I wont count my chickens just yet….
And now I must imitate the action of the Tiger, stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide, Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit to his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint Nicholas’ – Merry bleeding Christmas.


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

It’s trying to snow…  I do find it quite amazing that the entire country seems to be grinding to halt and yet I look out the window at a grey and green back garden with only the remnants of snow from the weekend. And that’s only there because it’s been so darn cold. Starting to feel a little left out.

That said, it really is trying to snow now.  There are a few “flakes”, whisps, fluff, feathers… of snow whatever you wish to call them, but they’re barely enough to mention. I imagine we’re being lulled into a false sense of security and any minute now the snow gods will unceremoniously dump a blanket of the stuff upon us like a duvet on a sofa – briefly welcome but ultimately out of place.

More of a concern is the impact it’s having on our Christmas shopping.  I’ve got a couple of items “in the post” but who knows when they might arrive? Not the post office that’s for sure. Ho Hum. For those of us from the 80’s it’s great to see some of the more rediculaous 80’s toys back again.  I never had one of these the first time round, but I’m quite tempted to put it on my list for Santa now that’s it’s back.

http://www.youtube.com/v/QThWgzT4Q1s&hl=en&fs=1

You can get the re-released version at Firebox.com and there’s even a smaller version which you can send to the moon.. or at least simulate it:

http://www.youtube.com/v/iwb5luDnvJ8&hl=en&fs=1

What the snow won’t stop, is any chance of a bit of socialising. Today being Thursday, means I’m due a trip to the WTC and a long overdue catchup with some of the lads. I’m quite sure that even if their houses were literally buried in the white stuff, they’d still find a route to the pub – which is after all is said and done – the correct place to put the world to rights.

Talking of righting things… (and writing things) a bit of an update on the AirPrint situation.  I mentioned yesterday how it was great to see the iOS 4.2 update, but only AirPrint support for a handful of HP printers was disappointing to say the least. I also mentioned that there are some rumoured workarounds.  

This is the 21st century and there are people out there that want us to have all the toys we’re promised (even jetpacks I bet) and so it’s great to find these minor hacks, get all printers up and running for your iPhone, iPod or iPad.

They are as follows:

Mac OSX 10.6.5: AirPrint Hactivator can be found here:
http://netputing.com/airprinthacktivator/

Windows 32 & 64bit: AirPrint Activator for Windows can be found here (english half way down the page):
http://www.macerkopf.de/airprint-ios-4-2-1-hack-fuer-windows-user-02481.html

I can confirm that the OSX version seems to run just fine and will suit me until Apple releases the additional functionality officialy. Until then, if you don’t want to go the hacking route I have it on good authority that these are the only truly supported printers for the time being:

Envy e-All-in-One series (D410a)
LaserJet Pro CM1415fn Color Multifunction Printer
LaserJet Pro CM1415fnw Color Multifunction Printer
LaserJet Pro CP1525n Color Printer
LaserJet Pro CP1525nw Color Printer
LaserJet Pro M1536dnf Multifunction Printer
Photosmart e-AiO (D110)
Photosmart eStation (C510)
Photosmart Plus e-AiO (B210a)
Photosmart Premium e-AiO (C310a)
Photosmart Premium Fax e-AiO (C410a)

Sad but true….

Today i have much reading to do and as hard as I’ve tried to avoid picking up new stuff, because I mentioned it, I seem to have two new “5-minute little” jobs. No doubt they’re more likely to be “3-week monsters” and I’ve been blagged yet again.


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

In 1985 there was a moment in the history of Time-travel. It occurred precisely at precisely 1.15am on October the 25th 1985 and continued via 1955 into 1989, then via 2015 back to 1990, further back to 1885, and finally stopping off back at a slightly altered 1985.  These three incredibly clever and enjoyably movies are soon to get their 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray debut in glorious hi-definition (October the 26th in the US), and for those of us that enjoyed them so much, it will be awesome to catch up with Marty McFly (yes kids, where did you think McFly got their name from in the first place!!?!).

Well, very briefly he’s back from the future…. ermm… past??…

All sorts of fun stuff will be in the new release box set, including footage from the first 5 weeks of production when Eric Stoltz was to play Marty McFly. In my book without Michael J. Fox there is no future…erm… or something like that.
PS: For the real nerds, here’s the full list of “What’s in the Box”….

Video will be 1080p, with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Audio will be 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. The discs will be single-sided BD50s.

Special features include:
  • U-Control (BD-exclusive):
    • Setups & Payoffs: As you watch each of the three films, each “set up” showcases items in the scene that prepare you for a future plot point. When you get to that moment in the film, the “payoff” is shown to complete the correlation.
    • Storyboard Comparison: Compare key scenes in the movie with the original storyboards.
    • Trivia Track: Get inside trivia and facts while you watch the movies
  • Q&A commentaries with director Robert Zemeckis and producer Bob Gale
  • Feature commentaries with producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton
  • Back to the Future Night: hosted by Leslie Nielson, this original 30-minute special aired on NBC prior to the first television screening of the Back to the Future (new, BD-exclusive)
  • Tales from the Future: new six-part retrospective documentary featuring interviews with Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Director Robert Zemeckis, Producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton, plus Executive Producer Steven Spielberg*
    • In the Beginning…: Delve into the genesis of the project, casting, re-casting, the DeLorean, sets and overall pre-production.
    • Time to Go: Production stories through the release of the first film.
    • Keeping Time: The score and the songs of the Back to the Future Trilogy.
    • Time Flies: Learn more about how the sequel came about, the futuristic look, the special and visual effects, recreating 1955 and more.
    • Third Time’s the Charm: Learn about building a western town, Doc Brown’s love story, the casting of Mary Steenburgen, the train sequence and completing the Trilogy.
    • The Test of Time: Back to the Future becomes a phenomenon! President Reagan quotes the film, the Back to the Future ride opens at Universal Studios theme park and fans rebuild the iconic DeLorean. The film’s cast and crew take a look back and discuss why these beloved movies live on.
  • The Physics of Back to the Future: A discussion with celebrity best-selling author and physicist Dr. Michio Kaku about the overall appreciation of the science in the Back to the Future Trilogy*
  • Nuclear test site ending storyboard sequence: Storyboard sequence of the original proposed ending of the film.*
  • Sixteen deleted scenes
  • Michael J. Fox Q&A
  • Archival featurettes:
    • Making the Trilogy: Chapters One, Two & Three: Original 2002 DVD documentary that takes a look back in time.
    • The Making of Back to the Future Part I, II & III: Provides a vintage and historic first look at the making of all three films.
    • The Secrets of the Back to the Future Trilogy: a televised special hosted by Kirk Cameron addressing fans unanswered Back to the Future questions.
  • Behind-the-scenes:
    • Outtakes
    • Original makeup tests
    • Production design
    • Storyboarding
    • Designing the DeLorean
    • Designing time travel
    • Hoverboard test
    • Designing Hill Valley
    • Designing the campaign
  • Back to the Future: The Ride
  • Music Videos:
    • Huey Lewis and the News “Power of Love”
    • ZZ Top “DoubleBack”
  • Photo galleries, including production art, additional storyboards, photographs, marketing materials and character portraits
  • Theatrical trailers
  • BD-Live
  • My Scenes
  • pocket BLU: USHE’s pocket BLU app uses iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Blackberry, Android, Windows and Macintosh computers and more to work seamlessly with a network-connected Blu-ray player and offers advanced features such as:
    • Advanced Remote Control: A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live functions with ease.
    • Video Timeline: Users can easily bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in their favorite episode.
    • Mobile-To-Go: Users can unlock a selection of bonus content with their Blu-ray™ discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there’s a Wi-Fi network, enabling them to enjoy exclusive content on the go, anytime, anywhere.
    • Browse Titles: Users will have access to a complete list of pocket BLU-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray. They can view free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock on their device.
    • Keyboard: Enter data into a Blu-ray player with your device’s easy and intuitive keyboard.

* Denotes new footage debuting on the 25th Anniversary Trilogy


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

I do hope you didn’t miss last night’s post regarding the Apple TV announcements from Mr Apple.  If you did, you can go back and read it here.

And to wrap up, a couple of movies to catch up with for you ….

Hot Tub Time Machine (Unrated) [Blu-ray]Hot Tub Time Machine….  WoW!!! With a title like that you just can’t not want to watch that film. Better yet, it’s set in the 80’s, which for obvious reasons is time that’s close to my heart. The preise of the story is that a group of 3 friends who took regular trips to a ski resort together in the 1980’s find themselves returning in 2010 due to one of their number almost accidentally committing suicide and being in need of cheering up.

This time, they have one of their nephews with them who’s too young to have ever been with them before, and makes up the foursome. There’s a great start for you.  The place has become very sad and forlorn and run down. In fact, it’s awful. But they persevere and even get a guy (in the form of 80’s comedy icon Chevy Chase) to come and fix their hotel suite’s hot tub….  chaos and frivolity ensues…

I particularly liked the realisation moment when they figured out that they’d actually gone back to the 1980’s by asking someone “What colour is Michael Jackson?”… response: “Black”… “response: “AGGGAAAHHHHH!!!”… Genius.   It’s a lot of fun, but not for the whole family.  Will definitely appeal more if you lived through the 80’s with some great 80’s soundtrack.  There’s a wonderful time travel reference when you figure out who the bell hop has been in a previous life, and it’s crude enough to appeal to the yob youth, which while I generally find a little off putting, was bearable. Sad that it seems to be a pre-requisite in US comedy caper type movies since “American Pie”

Overall, 7 out of 10. Good if you’re of that era.

CASE 39 ORIGINAL MOVIE POSTERNext up, Case 39. Horrible. Plodding and predictable horror movie. Started off well, and then just got very slow and boring and unimaginative. A Shame really, because Renee Zellweger usually does some interesting work, but this time I just wasn’t captivated.

You know how you can go and see a two and half hour epic movie and feel like you’ve only been in the cinema for an hour ?….  Well this has the inverse effect.  It’s an hour and forty minutes long, but feels like it’s about 3 hours. Hard work I’m afraid. I did manage to sit through the whole thing, because you have to if you want to be able to comment on it, but to be honest, it was a close call.

Overall, 3 out of 10 and that’s only because it had a strong start.

“Four Lions” next.  This had a great premise and was very well recieved by the critics.  It did dissapoint slightly, but still managed to get me chuckling on a couple of occasions. The idea is a small group of radical muslim’s have a “terrorist cell” in the suburbs of Halifax. Thankfully they are bumbling fools, so many bumbling terrorist jokes follow, some of which are quite entertaining.  Two of the group go of to a training camp in Pakistan only to last a couple of days before being sent home in disgrace.  Ultimatley they decide upon a UK based target – a Mosque…..  I told you they were bumbling fools….

Entertaining stuff, if a little slow in places. Was nice to see a cameo appearance from “Sherlock” (Benedict long-name with a “ct” in it.) towards the end. 5 out of 10.

Still to come: “The Eiger Sanction” – 1975 (I’ve been promising myself this one for weeks now), “From Paris with Love” – 2010 and “Perrier’s Bounty” – 2009

Might even get to see them on my iTV.

And so to the final stretch. 49 down to 11…


49 Scarface (1983)
Scarface (Widescreen Two-Disc Anniversary Edition) Al Pacino doing his very worst. Evil man. “You wanna waste my time? Okay. I call my lawyer. He’s the best lawyer in Miami. He’s such a good lawyer, that by tomorrow morning, you gonna be working in Alaska. So dress warm.” and “Say hello to my little friend.”


48 Star Trek (2010)
Star Trek (Three-Disc Edition) [Blu-ray] Re-ignited the franchise with this one. A great piece of work. Even the most die hard trekky fans loved it too. Sky High Sci Fi at it’s best.


47 The Thing (1982)
The Thing [Blu-ray] One of the scariest movies I ever watched. One or two moments that are glued to the “terror” part of my brain. Specifically, that head with legs. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. A remake that was worth remaking – Kudos to John Carpenter.


46 V for Vendetta (2005)
V for Vendetta [Blu-ray] An alternative reality to the political landscape of the United Kingdom. Fascinating stuff with some excellent performances. “People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.”


45 Bladerunner (1982)
Blade Runner (Five-Disc Complete Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] Ridley Scott’s chocolate box full of Androids. Do they dream of Electric Sheep ?. It’s just a test… designed to provoke an emotional response. Deep Sci Fi nonsense that works on so many levels.


44 Fargo (1996)
Fargo [Blu-ray] A car salesman in need of money. A wealthy father-in-law who doesn’t like him. Some bumbling kidnappers and pregnant cop “Frances McDormand” being directed by the Coen Brothers. It doesn’t get a lot better than this. “Oh, for Chris’sake here. The heck do ya mean!?” – Poor Jerry.


43 No Country For Old Men (2007)
No Country for Old Men [Blu-ray] More Coen brothers work here. The intricacy is what keeps them interesting I think. Great work and wonderfully self-annotated by Tommy Lee Jones. What’s the most you ever lost on a coin toss?


42 The Sixth Sense (1999)
The Sixth Sense [Blu-ray] Sadly this was M. Night Shyamalan’s only decent movie so far. The studio’s keep coming back for more though, so maybe there’s another winner in there somewhere. This one however hits all the right buttons and has the twist to end all twists. Terrible to think he’s gone ot to make the “Last Airbender” – Oh My God!….


41 There Will Be Blood (2007)
There Will Be Blood [Blu-ray] The soundtrack.  I mean, where the hell did they dream up this soundtrack. It’s intense. Great piece of work, wonderful visuals and Daniel Day-Lewis on excellent form as the man with the plan for oil.


40 2001: A Space Oddesy (1968)
2001: A Space Odyssey [Blu-ray] In 1968 this represented the way things would be in 2001.  Well, was a bit wide of the mark, but still, a really enjoyable piece of Sci Fi with that Stanley Kubrick intensity running through it. Weird and Wonderful stuff. Oh yes and HAL. H+1=I, A+1=B, L+1=M… IBM. Cool.


39 Back to the Future (1985)
Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy (+ Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] A convoluted plot that keeps you coming back for more over and over again. And then there’s that really odd thing of the kid pointing at his pee-pee in the last scene of the final movie. (watch it for yourself – the kid stood on Doc Browns footplate – freaky stuff) Still three great all round entertaining movies.


38 Die Hard (1 to 4) (1988)
Die Hard [Blu-ray] Yipee-Kai-Ai. No one does action quite like this. All four are instant classics. Bruce Willis saves the day consistently.


37 The Great Escape (1963)
The Great Escape (2-Disc Collector's Set) Christmas isn’t Christmas without this movie. “Good Luck”, “Thankyou” – D’oh…  I mean’t “Danke”


36 Up (2009)
Up (Single Disc Widescreen) Pixar excel with this original story and superb character definition. There’s something about the way -squirrel!!!- that doug the dog is that means he pretty much steals the show. A desperately sad beginning with a heart warming end. beautiful.


35 Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail Surreal beyond belief. Where death awaits ye with big pointy teeth. Genius.


34 Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Reservoir Dogs (15th Anniversary) [Blu-ray] A new breed of ultra-violence in the 90’s headed up by Quentin Tarrantino. Incredible script, shocking scenes make for an all time classic. Not for the family, or the squeamish.


33 The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (1948)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre [Blu-ray] Yearning back for the old days of cinema ? I’d recommend an afternoon with this classic. You won’t need a badge, but you might get paranoid about your gold. Quality Bogart.


32 Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Saving Private Ryan (Sapphire Series) [Blu-ray] More Spielberging. This time a war story. His work on the opening 15 minutes of this film brought the storming of the beaches in WWII vividly to life. Veteran’s claim it’s the closest thing to the real thing. Amazing.


31 The Shining (1980)
The Shining [Blu-ray] Stephen King & Stanley Kubrick now how to scare me properly. Add a shout Jack Nicholson and I almost can’t watch it alone in the dark. Please kid, don’t ride your trike in there alone…. I can’t stand the suspense. Terrifying. I love it.


30 Citizen Kane (1941)
Citizen Kane West coast American newspaper magnet goes banana’s and build a castle full of treasure in California in the 1930’s. Allegedly not based on William Randolph Hearst, it’s pretty much a dramatised biopic. Rosebud.


29 North By Northwest (1959)
North by Northwest (50th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Book) Hitchcock’s turn. A great chase movie. New York in the 50’s looks incredible. Still stands up to some of the biggest chase movies of all time.


28 Se7en (1995)
Seven [Blu-ray] Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman play cops. Evil, sadistic killer needs catching. Has a twist from hell in the end. Classic stuff.


27 Star Wars (1,2 & 3) (1999)
Star Wars Prequel Trilogy These three were bolt-on’s to the original three and pretty good they are too. The third one is clearly the best of them, but you sometimes get the feeling there’s an awful lot of loose ends being tied up in a hurry. You can still feel the force though.


26 The Matrix (1999)
The Ultimate Matrix Collection [Blu-ray] WoW! What an amazing idea! What great photography.  What the hell did the camera just do there??  Bullet-Time!? OMG!  No wonder it’s so high up the list.


25 The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
The Silence of the Lambs [Blu-ray] More terror and Sir Anthony Hopkins bringing a literary figure to life so vividly that you could almost believe he’s real. Carful Clarice.


24 Casablanca (1942)
Casablanca [Blu-ray] The classic love story. Set against the backdrop of Rick’s Bar in North Africa just before the war. “We’ll always have Paris.” And “You played it for her, now play it for me.” But no sign of “Play it again Sam”.


23 Goodfellas (1990)
GoodFellas [Blu-ray] Da Mobsters incarnate. The faster/shorter version of the Godfather with a bit more violence.


22 Indiana Jones (1,2,3 & 4) (1981)
The Adventures of Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark/ Temple of Doom/ Last Crusade) - Widescreen Edition Action & Adventure for all the family. Courtesy of the Jones’ and a dog named Indiana. Cracking stuff that you can just watch over and over and never get bored of. “Why did it have to be snakes?”


21 Psycho (1960)
Psycho (50th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray] Alfred Hitchcock’s original black and white horror. Still creeps you out today and fills you with dread of shower curtains for the rest of your life. Poor old Mrs Bates.


20 Rear Window (1954)
Rear Window (Universal Legacy Series) More Hitchcock – and this time a study out of the rear window of James Stewart’s apartment building. Amazing what a photo journalist with a broken leg can see. Unavailable for 30 years until Hitch’s daughter sold the rights to Universal in the early 1980’s.


19 Fight Club (1999)
Fight Club (10th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray] What just happened there??  1st rule of Fight Club, is you don’t talk about Fight club….  other than to say it is a masterpiece that might put you off using soap for ever.  Ask your single serving friends about it.


18 Lord of The Rings (1,2 & 3) (2001)
The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (Theatrical Editions + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] Be warned, you won’t get the full 24 hours it will take you to watch this back again. But then, why would you want to ? If you’ve ever read any of the books, this is a good as it gets when it comes to adaptations. Also put New Zealand back on the map.


17 Star Wars (4,5 & 6) (1977)
Star Wars Trilogy The original Saga is by far the most entertaining. Not stop Droid & Wookie action with Dark Lords and Stormtroopers all over the shop. “These aren’t the droids we’re looking for” though. Sci Fi perfection.


16 Toy Story (1 & 2) (1995)
Toy Story 1 & 2 Blu Ray Combo Pack Pixar’s 3rd entry in my list and rightly so. This one one of the very first fully digitally animated feature films and it works on every level. Disney should be very proud of Pixar’s achievement. A full on family entertainment spectacular.


15 Pulp Fiction (1994)
Pulp Fiction (Import) [Blu-ray] More Tarantino violence here. Although to be fair, it’s more script than violence this time. A classic piece of mis-direction and re-ordering of timelines gives us a movie you’ll be glued to throughout.  How is that going to work out ?


14 Schindler’s List (1993)
Schindler's List (Widescreen Edition) Serious, Dark and moving. Spielberg artfully tells the story of part of the holocaust from a Jewish perspective. Far from lighthearted, but can restore your faith in human kind.


13 The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather - The Coppola Restoration Giftset (The Godfather / The Godfather Part II / The Godfather Part III) [Blu-ray] The ultimate Gangster movie(s). Nothing else to say.


12 The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Shawshank Redemption (Blu-ray Book) With a shortened title and a longer story, messing with the original Stephen King work could have been considered very dangerous, but have no fear. What was “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption” became cinema gold in the hands of Frank Darabont. If you only ever watch one movie in your life – it should probably be this one. It’s not my number one, but it does doe everything you want from a movie.


11 Inception (2010)
Inception: The Shooting Script I promise this will mess with your head. I left the cinema in a state of shock, unable to fully grasp the depth of the story until later on. Pure brilliance from the man that gave us the Dark Knight.


So after all that lot…as a reminder – here’s the top 10… I’m considering moving 11 further up into the top 10…..  possibly to the detriment of number 9.  Ho hum….

10.
The Dark Knight (2008)
9.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) and The Terminator (1984)
8.
Leon (The Professional) (1994)
7.
Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986)
6.
Close Encounters of the Third kind (1977)
5.
The Dam Busters (1955)
4.
All the Presidents Men (1976)
3.
Jaws (1975)
2.
The Ladykillers (1955)
1.
The Big Lebowski (1998)

So today we continue with the countown in that Channel 4 sort of way with numbers 75 all the way down to 50.


75 The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford [Blu-ray] Visually stunning. Capturing the old world wild west and proving that moody Brad Pitt can even act sometimes as well. The blurring of the edges make it feel like it was filmed in the 1800’s. A cowboy biopic… I loved it.


74 The Game (1997)
The Game It twits and turns like a twisty turney thing, and Michael Douglas rides it like the rollercoaster it is. A proper thriller requiring proper thought – Happy Birthday Bro.


73 Blazing Saddles (1974)
Blazing Saddles [Blu-ray] So many hilarious set pieces in here, it’s almost impossible to know where to start. The re-fried beans or “This is the hand I shoot with” to name but two. I have a memory of watching this with my Dad and the pair of us rolling about laughing all the way through. Love it.


72 Cape Fear (1962)
Cape Fear Not the remake, but the original. They’re both good, but this one is my favourite. The innocence of the time is shattered by the evil Robert Mitchum.


71 Ghostbusters (1984)
Ghostbusters [Blu-ray] More Bill Murray comedy here. Really well put together SciFi / Fantasy / Comic Book work with some great special effects at the time. Sigourney Weaver takes her Sci Fi goddess role to a whole new level. Just don’t cross the streams.


70 Lucky Number Slevin (2006)
Lucky Number Slevin [Blu-ray] Snappy, witty, fast paced, convoluted cinema beauty. A few heavyweight actors in the shape of Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and Ben Kingsley create one of the most fun “Mistaken Identity” movies since “North by NorthWest”


69 The Magnificent Seven (1960)
Magnificent Seven Collection (4pc) (P&S Ws) [Blu-ray] The epitome of Western’s. Based on the Seven Samurai, seven almost good guys do their best to try to save a mexican village.


68 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Blu-ray Book) Gene Wilder (Blazing Saddles) again, and a cast that bring Roald Dahl’s original novel to life. A superb all round family movie which left us such gems as the “Umpa Lumpa Song”


67 Deliverance (1972)
Deliverance [Blu-ray] What starts of as a lads adventure weekend so becomes something else entirely. Burt Reynolds playing a serious role for a change and making a damn good job of it too. If you go down in the woods today, you’d better not go alone.


66 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial (Widescreen Edition) Mr Spielberg again. This he claims is his love story, and it truly melted the hearts of the world in 1982. Put Drew Barrymore positively on the map and gave us two stand out phrases. “Ouch!” and “ET Phone Home”. Beautiful.


65 Ironman (2008)
Iron Man (Ultimate Two-Disc Edition + BD Live) [Blu-ray] More Comic Book Adventuring, with the return of Robert Downey Junior to form. A really great action movie with a snappy / non-pc script. Must be fun to be Tony Stark.


64 James Bond (1962)
James Bond Ultimate Collector's Set The whole lot. If I had to pick one it would be a Connery, or a Craig, but don’t make me pick. From Dr.No all the way through to Quantum of Solace there’s hardly a bad one in there. Let’s hope they can sort out the legal and financial issue and make at least one more – unfinished business here.


63 Shaun Of The Dead (2004)
Shaun of the Dead [Blu-ray] Simon Pegg made the leap from TV to the big screen with this (first of it’s genre) Rom-Zom-Com. Who’d have a thought a Romantic Zombie Comedy could be so much fun. Hundereds of classic moments….  Red.


62 The Iron Giant (1999)
The Iron Giant [Blu-ray] You could be forgiven for thinking this is the cartoon version of Ironman – it most definitely is not. It is beautifully drawn though and set in 50’s paranoid east coast USA. A joy for all the family – but especially the boys.


61 Zulu (1964)
ZULU (1964) (BLU-RAY) Michael Caine’s posh boy in South Africa. “The army doesn’t like more than one disaster in a day. Looks bad in the newspapers and upsets civilians at their breakfast.”


60 Hot Fuzz (2007)
Hot Fuzz (Ultimate Edition) [Blu-ray] More of Mr Pegg now. This time it’s Cops and Robbers in the country-shire. It seems he has a passion for jumping over fences too. More wit and wisdom than you can shake a stick at.


59 Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl [Blu-ray] The only “Pirates” movie worth watching. Seriously, part 2 and 3 never should have been considered, but then they made such a good job of the first one, the studio were desperate for a repeat performance. Ah well, you can’t have it all ways.


58 Planet Of The Apes (1968)
Planet of the Apes There’s something about Charlton Heston on a horse on a beach realising what’s happened.  It just works. God damn them all to hell. (or something similar)


57 Shrek (2001)
Shrek (Full Screen Single Disc Edition) Dreamworks animation here and great family fun with loads of hidden jokes for the grown ups and lots of entertainment for the kids.  Just a shame they’ve milked it to death with a further three movies that they really didn’t need. Shrek & Donkey’s banter is superb.


56 The Exorcist (1973)
The Exorcist (Extended Director's Cut & Original Theatrical Edition) [Blu-ray] Terrifying on so many levels. You’ll never look at a bump in the loft in the same way ever again. Quite bad language for a teenager too….. tut tut.


55 The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
The Man Who Would Be King Connery & Caine in a Roald Dahl masterpiece. Close to the book (which is a great read). Almost usurped by Billy Fish (the translator). 


Billy Fish: He wants to know if you are gods.
Peachy Carnehan: Not gods – Englishmen. The next best thing.


54 The Princess Bride (1987)
The Princess Bride [Blu-ray] A hero’s and heroin’s story here with loads of good vs evil going on. All grandfather’s should read their grandchildren books like this. Be wary of the Man in Black but there is only one line though: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”


53 Bourne Identity/Supremacy/Ultimatum (2002)
The Bourne Trilogy (The Bourne Identity | The Bourne Supremacy | The Bourne Ultimatum) [Blu-ray] Paul Greengrass gives the bond movies a proper wake up call with all out action. Matt Damon surprises everyone and pulls it off. Turns out he’s a really good actor after all. If only he could remember what had happened to himself ?


52 Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (1969)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [Blu-ray] Cowboys with 70’s gloss. Fantastic chemistry between Newman and Redford make this unmissable. Quite a long chase really…


51 King Kong (1933)
King Kong (Blu-ray Book) The original one, not the remake. A great rainy, Sunday afternoon, cup of tea and biscuits movie. Nothing like as horrific today as it was in 1933, but still a great story and shorter than the most recent remake meaning just a tad more watchable for that reason.


50 Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels [Blu-ray] Both barrels blew everyone away in 1998 when this emerged. Fast paced, witty dialogue, zippy edits, a fresh look to the british gangster movie. All round good stuff.  The formula may well have been over done since then though.


And finally Sunday’s list will be a little longer, being from number 49 all the way down to number 11….

Enough people asked for it, so by popular demand over the next three days I will release my personal Top 100 movies (well OK, its only 90 because youve already had the top 10) and with a strictly one line comment/review of each. … Best of luck… Let’s get on with it….


100
Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (1991)
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (Extended Version) [Blu-ray]
Kevin Costner’s take on the Hero of Nottingham, means we’re taught all sorts of strange things about british geography…. such as how close Dover is to Nottingham (walking distance) and how the West country accent originally came from the the East Midlands.


99
The First Great Train Robbery (1979)
The Great Train Robbery A proper fun 70’s but set in the 1800′ crime caper with Sean Connery, Donald Southerland and a sexy looking Leslie-Anne Down. Safe cracking at it’s finest.


98 Quadrophenia (1979)
Quadrophenia (Special Edition) A moody and atmospheric capturing of the Mod’s and Rocker’s scene in London and the South Coast in the early 70’s. Watch out for the likes of Ray Winstone and Sting to name but two.


97 Sneakers (1992)
Sneakers (Collector's Edition) As a techy, geeky, nerd type, I just loved this movie. Think Hackers with a polish Hollywood finish to it. Same director is responsible for “Field of Dreams” so an excellent pedigree


96 War Games (1983)
War Games (25th Anniversary Edition) More Hacker fun here. One of my most memorable cinematic moments frommy youth in the form of the computer spoken phrase “Shall we play a game?”. Still stands up well as a fun jaunt today.

95 Starship Troopers (1997)
Starship Troopers Alien fight fest. A really fresh look to a Sci Fi movie when this arrived in 1997. For pedigree look to director Paul Verhoeven’s other works – Robocop, Total Recall and Basic Instinct. He likes to shock, hence the Alien splatterfest.


94 Ronin (1998)
Ronin [Blu-ray] One of the first widely available movies on DVD in the UK. A stand out piece of cinema because of the ultra realistic car chases. But then what else would you expect from the man who gave us Grand Prix and French Connection  II. An instant classic.


93 The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Criterion Collection (2-Disc Special Edition) From realism to surrealism with this piece. A behind the scenes look at a 60’s/70’s adventuring oceanic conservationist group headed by the great Steve Zissou. Bill Murray milks it for gallons. Highly enjoyable stuff – if a little weird.


92 Tropic Thunder (2008)
Tropic Thunder (Unrated Director's Cut + BD Live) [Blu-ray] More silliness now, with a complete movie stolen by one actor. He may only have a supporting role, but it’s one of his best performances of all time. Let’s hear it for Tom Cruise… oh… and Robert Downey Jr. who very nearly steals it back. Funniest film of 2008.


91 Beetle Juice (1988)
Beetlejuice [Blu-ray] Love a good horror movie ?  Love a good comedy ?…  Did Horror/Comedy exist before this movie came along ? Not sure it did. A great fun piece of work and reminds me of all the things I loved in the 80’s.


90 The Italian Job (1969)
The Italian Job - 40th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] The film that for my money defines 60’s Britain. Everything about this work is perfect, and of course, “You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”


89 The Fifth Element (1997)
The Fifth Element (Remastered) [Blu-ray] SciFi brought up to date again in the late 90’s. Bruce Willis plays our hero against good old Gary Oldman’s loon. But you’ve got to love that almost dress.


88 The Mist (2007)
MIST (2007) Darabont & King had an enormous hit with “The Shawshank Redemption”, so high hopes were had for this one where they meet again. They didn’t disappoint, with an ending to leave you slack jawed and gaping.


87 Titanic (1997)
Titanic Until recently the highest grossing film of all time. Everyone loves the Titanic mystery… so much so that it’s now pretty much solved. They’ve take some artistic liberties with it here mind you, but it’s still a great ride and worth the time because it does exactly what it’s supposed to. Entertains.


86 Cars (2006)
Cars [Blu-ray] Pixar haven’t actually made a bad movie yet. They did it again with this one, and it’s just perfection.  Particularly clever how the voice of the agent changed from Jay Leno in the USA to Jeremy Clarkson in the UK version. Clever magic.


85 The Goonies (1985)
The Goonies (25th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray] With Spielberg involved how could this go wrong. Chunk’s “truffle shuffle” is burned into everyone who watches memory for ever.


84 Three Days of the Condor (1975)
3 Days of the Condor [Blu-ray] I love a 70’s thriller and this is no different.  A classic.


83 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas [Blu-ray] The insanity that’s written about Hunter S Thompson is beautifully captured here by Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Torro with a wicked sense of humour. But then that’s why Terry Gilliam was the director. Drug addled craziness.


82 Get Carter (1971)
Get Carter Sadly this film was remade with Sylvester Stallone in the Michael Caine role. Terrible shame because it was already perfect. Late 60’s Newcastle never looked less appealing. Great cameo from Alf Roberts of Coronation Street. “You’re a big lad, but out of shape”


81 Lethal Weapon (1,2,3 & 4) (1987)
Lethal Weapon: 4 Film Favorites After the success of the first, 2, 3 and 4 were always going to happen. What makes them work is the on screen chemistry between Gibson and Glover… and latterly Joe Pesci. Good fun cops and robbers. More Richard Donner movies please.


80 Robocop (1987)
Robocop [Blu-ray] Paul Verhoeven’s robot cop from the future has it all. “Dead or Alive, you’re coming with me”


79 The Hunt for Red October (1990)
The Hunt for Red October [Blu-ray] He might be a scotsman but Sean Connery makes a great Russian naval captain. Combine that with a Tom Clancy storyline, James Earl Jones (Darth Vader), a very young looking Alec Baldwin and Die Hard director John McTiernan and you have cinema perfection


78 The Time Machine (1960)
The Time Machine 60’s SciFi at it’s best. Never will a cigar travel through time in the same way ever again.


77 Field Of Dreams (1989)
Field of Dreams [Blu-ray] Blokes watch this movie and cry at the end.  Can’t be helped. It’s a fact of life. We all love our Dad’s – not in a gay way – and this captures that emotion perfectly.


76 Minority Report (2002)
Minority Report [Blu-ray] Tom Cruise doing futureistic things in the future with Mr Spielberg. What stands out is the human interface to the core system. The hand gestures have actually become a target for interface developers in the real world. Apple’s Magic Touchpad is the early version. More to follow.


Tomorrow’s list will be number 75 down to number 50….

  • Keep Calm and Carry On

Clearly this is no-where near the 750 words that it’s good to write, so let’s do some history and navel gazing instead.

I’m a Child of the 70’s, a youth of the 80’s, an adult of the 90’s and a parent of the 00’s (naughties?). Now we’re in the 10’s (tens?? or whatever we’re ever going to call it) so what does that make me. Clearly all parents know that they’re parents until they shuffle off, but I’m also going to be an adult for that period too. I’d also like to think I’m a youth and a child (at least in my heart, and most certainly in my mid-life crisis – which must be due any time now)

Judging by the way the world has turned perhaps I’m about to become a member of the scrapheap of the 10’s – Now that is a depressing thought and so really it’s one I’m trying to stay away from. After all, I reckon 2 score is only half of my 4 score and 10 so really, there’s so much more to do yet! – I won’t be the first and certainly won’t be the last, but equally I think I actually have a much more positive spin to put on it than this. What’s that phrase about one door closing is another opening ? I reckon there’s something to be said for it. I like the way it’s said in “Up in the Air” – Anybody who ever built an empire or changed the world, sat where you are right now. And it’s because they sat there that they were able to do it. – Now isn’t that nice?…. fluffy… my internal cynic says it’s bull – but it’s nice.

Do I have aspirations to change the world or build an empire ?? Well, right now, nope. I like the world this shape. But if it changes shape and my cheese gets moved – well anything’s possible and there really is so much more to do still. This then, leaves me squarely on the horns of a dilemma. Should I prepare for the unknown thing that might never happen – or should I keep calm and carry on ? Is the former common sense and the latter just being lazy ? I’m no Stakhanovite but then I’m no Dude Lebowski either “what day is this?” (I can but aspire). Perhaps the former is wasted energy which could be better spent on shoring up the latter ? and why should you or anyone else care for that matter ?

Thinking about other people I know that have had a mid-career crisis, they all appear to have survived and gone on to bigger and better things, so it’s probably folly to even start worrying about such things. So what if I have to sell up and downsize ? May not even happen – it does happen every day – but it might not and ultimately that’s just stuff. There’s too much stuff in the world as it is and most of that is plastic or non-biodegradable. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we should all go and throw the contents of our houses into the sea (well, at least not the non-biodegradable bits) but we are all guilty of making a right royal mess of the place, so perhaps we’re due some large scale spring cleaning.

And what if nothing changes? then what? There’s an election on the horizon, so that will help muddy the waters and probably kill the GREAT from Great Britain once and for all. Wasn’t it the monster raving looney party who said “Work Harder!, Millions on welfare depend on you!” I guess the true survivors of the new GREAT (the great depression of 2008-2012) will be those that suffer the least depression in the first place. After all, what doesn’t look better when you can laugh about it? or better yet, laugh about it in the sunshine? The future’s bright, no, it’s not Orange. It’s bright because the present is so damn dark! Who cares?!

I figure you should care because in the lottery of life “It could be you!” – and with that here’s this weeks numbers: 70, 80, 90, 00, 10, 20 and the bonus ball – Squirrel!! – oh bugger!

PS – That makes 760 words which isn’t a bad stab at it, unless of course you count this sentence which makes it 785!! Yipee!