Archive for February, 2007

Outlaw – The Movie

February 25th, 2007

Remember the time last year when I drove up to Gloucester to be an extra in the new Nick Love movie with Sean Bean, Danny Dyer and Lennie James? No? Well here’s a quick reminder 😉

Outlaw - The Movie

Today me & Becky were invited to a screening of “Outlaw – The Movie”, showing at the Empire Theatre in Leicester Square, London. No red carpet, no celebs, no big premiere, no Nick Love, unfortunately, for ‘The Captain’ was in Dublin for the premiere at the Dublin International Film Festival.

However, we sat down in a great spot to see a film that the director himself said “divides people and their opinions”.

After some bold & simple but great titles, to the backing of Puppy Love, I half expected to be upset by a controversial opening scene. I must admit that I wasn’t entirely convinced by the opening shots, with Danny Dyer & bride’s quiet stroll past the camera. But then the film started getting a little surreal for a moment before the cinema screen went black for a couple of minutes. They said the film had been cut, with the deleted scenes to be available on the DVD but we didn’t expect THAT big a cut 😉 [update: apparently it was a car chase we missed]

Straight back into the action we were assaulted with a customary scene of fists flying before getting into a very honest and contemporary film. The cinematography is raw and nervy at times, reminiscent of Spielberg’s recapturing of old 9mm film, the palette is muted and the soundtrack creates a constant tension underpinning the whole experience.

As for the cast Sean Bean, Lennie James & Bob Hoskins were consummate professionals as always. Danny Dyer was not so paranoid as he was cast in The Football Factory nor as much a joker as his role in Severance. And Sean Harris is not the sort of old schoolfriend you’d like to reacquaint yourself with.

But more than anything I personally think this film is a coming of age trip for Nick Love’s directorial talents. I never actually liked The Football Factory first time round but then grew to love it; I suppose that’s my reaction to mindless violence but Football Factory is a clever and funny despite the beatings.(unlike that embarrassingly wrong football film Green Street)

Outlaw does touch upon a nerve, with its addressing of the social ills that go unpunished today and the sheer uselessness of the police and the justice system. You might think beating somebody up for messing with your motor is not right but then if Nick had made a film based on Conservative leader David Cameron’s “Hug a Hoodie” nonsense it would have been a right wet blanket.

Did I enjoy it? Yes. Would I recommend it? Yes. See it again? Certainly. I’ll take some friends on release date. Would I help bankroll another Nick Love production? Definitely, I’m sure the next one will be even bigger and better. Would I be an extra again? I’d love it.

And the DVD will be great just to see the scenes that hit the cutting room floor; maybe we’ll see more than just my elbow on it :)

Anyway, scribble on your calenders because Outlaw is out in cinemas on March 9th.


The Thatch Doctors

February 19th, 2007

I hadn’t been down “The Thatched Cottage” in years. It’s one of those local pubs where the crowd from the Totland Estate started going when they closed down that den of iniquity, that tavern of ill repute, that wonderful old shitehole the Prince Louis.

And Becky hadn’t been there either, so when our neighbour offered to take us down “The Thatch” for a pint or three we jumped at the chance; what better to do on a Sunday evening when the kids are safely chained up ’round a friend’s house?

The Thatched Cottage

No sooner had we crossed the threshold and ducked under the old oak beams, we were drinking Adnam’s Broadside and drawn into the pub quiz with the promise of prizes for the winning team and the best team name. After quips about trimming Becky’s thatch and other silly suggestions we settled on the name “The Thatch Doctors” even though between a web designer, an aviation engineer and a medical writer there was only one PhD.

After 30 questions about pop music, boxers, motorways and the make-up of atoms, we waited with baited breath…

…and found out that we’d won on 24 points.

No time for another pint, unfortunately, but we did bag a nice bottle of Semillon Chardonnay.

Go Thatch Doctors. Go Thatched Cottage.

beer, pubs

After Freedom Fries comes…

February 13th, 2007

…an innocent quote from my American Mrs about French food…

Tricolore FrancaisYou see, we were in the city of Chelmsford in Essex the other day. It’s about 100 miles away from Farnborough; up the M3 and ’round the M25, through the Dartford Tunnel and along the A12.

We went for two reasons:

1) It was a rainy Saturday so I offered to take Becky shopping there and
2) It was my old home town for 7 years, or most of my childhood.

Actually, the excuse to reminisce was reason number 1 therefore an entirely selfish decision, but she fell for the lure of shopping so I got some brownie points for that.

So we took a quick tour to see the houses where I used to live, the places where I used to go to school, the barber shop on Springfield Road, the newsagent’s no more, the pubs now restaurants, seeing what has changed and how much.

Then we went shopping. Chelmsford city centre is still very much the same with the 500 year old Cathedral not far from the 1970s Market, great Victorian buildings amongst crap ’60s concrete. And yet some old names are long gone… no more Co-Op, no more Bolingbroke & Wenley, no more toyshop selling blister pack Citadel miniatures…

CrepeBut they have completely pedestrianised the High Street where cars and buses once choked the old streets. There was a merry-go-round, a stall selling local sausages and a Frenchman making fresh crépes filled with maltesers, crépes with chocolate & banana, crépes avec sucre et citron… and this is where Becky’s America meets France in England grasp of multi-culturalism excelled, she said…

“I’d love to have a crépe on the sidewalk in Paris”

I’m sure you would dear, I’m sure you would…


The Beer Fridge…

February 9th, 2007

Just to let you guys and gals know that our beer fridge is doing a great job right now :)

The beer fridge


Climate Change…

February 2nd, 2007

squirrel…Is “very likely” to have been caused by humans…

…says the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in the second-hand news I have once again extracted from the BBC this week.

No, you don’t say…!?! And all along I thought it was the fucking squirrels…

If I’d paid more attention at school then I’d be able to make such profound, astounding & astute observations too…

*shakes head*