Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Impersonating Clark Gable

Thanks to a pre-Xmas bargain and an acommodating girlfriend, I have belatedly joined the XBox generation, albeit only at the entry level (hey - it's me!) Unsurprisingly, a pretty RPG has consumed the last few days ravenously and shows no signs of letting me go soon. This time it's Fable: The Lost Chapters , and it's jolly good fun. No, I haven't finished Titan Quest yet, but I'm sure there are a few more hours I can squeeze out of the day. Who needs baths?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Semantics Roadshow

A bit of seriousness today, because let's face it, Toddler Mauled By Dog ain't funny in any context. The guilty mutt is no more, which is obviously a good thing - I would hope that I needn't have to convince either of my readers that domestic ownership of Dobermans is wildly inappropriate. How it met its end, though, is my bone of contention. Okay, almost a joke there, apologies.

As always, we are told that the Doberman has been "destroyed": Do they blow them up with SemTex? Vapourize them with lasers? Why this hyperbolic word? "Killed" is the honest, simple one. "Put Down" will do if you need a euphemism. My confidence in public safety is in no way increased by the implication that the damned animal has been dismembered and scattered to the four winds. Dead will do fine, thanks.

And on the same day - more predictably this time - the US President pardons a Thanksgiving turkey (there is a funnier picture doing the rounds, but in the day's spirit of seriousness you'll have to find it yourselves). Again, there are a whole host of words to apply to this trite, self-deluding spectacle. "Reprieve", "clemency", "mercy" - all hyperbole perhaps, but it's that kind of show. But "pardon"? What - one's brain splutters in the asking - could possibly be the bird's crime? What transgression could even the most paranoid country on Earth concievably have found to forgive a domestic fowl? Is it a terrorist turkey? Is it part of the "Aviary of Evil"? Is there something in that hamstringing political scripture they call a "Constitution" that proscribes strutting around a paddock making "gobble gobble" noises?

Turkey Pardons President - now that would be a story.

Pardon me while I destroy something...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Royale with Cheers

First, the good news - Casino Royale is a fine movie.

Perhaps inevitably, though, it never feels like a Bond Movie. That's because the previous "new" Bonds were just new actors playing the same character, whereas Daniel Craig is playing a new character called James Bond. All of which would be far easier to swallow without the totally unnecessary inclusion of Judi Dench as "M". Big, big mistake, so big that we all assumed there must be a clever reason, but there's not. Arse.

Oh, and yes, they've buggered up the ending. That great last line is only great because it's the last line. It's the end. The destination. The solution. Tacking on another few minutes of "Bond Will Be Back" breaks the spell completely, lifting the mood and stopping us from dwelling on precisely that which demands dwelling, namely the painful genesis of Bond's character as he learns his most important lesson.

Craig is excellent. Really, he is. Actors do a job, they play what's written as well as they can, and Craig does just fine. It's not his fault that I don't get that "buzz" off him that Connery, Brosnan and even Dalton had. He's done more than enough for me to give him another chance, but I'm just not sure what else he can do. He's just not good-looking enough, not charismatic enough. I like him, I want him to win, but I don't want to be him - and that's such a vital part of the Bond formula.

At least, it was - this is a new Bond, perhaps we can have a new formula? One where my relationship with the character as a viewer and fan is different? Well, okay, that sounds good. Perhaps I'll give it a go. Perhaps I'll become a James Bond fan all over again. Let's see...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mull of Noel

I'm sitting here drinking gluwein, which means it's Christmas, so hurrah.

Rumours of my death, having always been exagerrated by some, are now apparently being disseminated by the NHS. Perhaps they reckon they can get under budget just by bumping me off? I wouldn't be surprised. Anyway, they called me in 'cos I've apparently got a white blood cell count of "this man is already dead", which might have led to some exciting X-filular confusion trying to work out which planet I was really from, had not a mistake been spotted and my condition somewhat anti-climatically upgraded to "alive". Boo.

I have been panic-buying pesto; I've realised that, should Italy unexpectedly sink, I might actually starve before working out an alternative cuisine.