Category Archives: Fun Stuff

Spectre

So, we saw the new James Bond film today. Spectre.

There was plenty to enjoy, not least was the little nods to the past – the ‘Day of the Dead’ opening was great – and the camerawork on that opening shot was superb. Some of the action shots were disorienting, though – especially in the (first) helicopter sequence, too many cuts, but I get the sense that this was intentional due to the chaos going on.

The film itself had a lot to commend it, Christoph Waltz was great – but the ‘Bond out in the cold’ thing is getting a bit old. I thought they were done with that after Skyfall.

I found the ending rather flat – I had been expecting a ‘Blofeld and Bunt killing Diana Rigg’ moment, and Bond just leaving Blofeld be, to presumably allow him to escape and fight another day was an odd way to do it. Blofeld surviving despite the best efforts of Bond, but damaged and licking his wounds, okay. 

The whole ‘Bond is Blofeld’s adopted brother’ was far too much.

I liked that ‘M’, ‘Q’ and Moneypenny all got an outing, this made a pleasant change, although the reveal that ‘C’ was a villain was the most unsurprising thing since a ‘Q’ gadget was just the thing that Bond needed to save the day – after all, ‘C’ was Moriarty!

There was a missed opportunity, I thought that Monica Bellucci would be the ‘Bond girl’ – which would have been someone his own age – but no, she was abandoned for a younger model. A pity, and a wasted opportunity.

Overall, it was an average to good Bond film. Not as good as ‘Skyfall’, better than ‘Quantum of Solace’, much better than ‘Octopussy’.

I give it a rating of ‘Shaken but not Stirred’

Oh, and the Sam Smith track. Meh… but better with the visuals of the title sequence.

Two Meets Twelve?

It has been announced that Reece Shearsmith is to appear in Doctor Who next season, alongside Peter Capaldi.

Given that he previously appeared in ‘An Adventure of Space and Time‘ as Patrick Troughton, and Mark Gatiss is writing the episode – someone who has seen Shearsmith as Troughton, it seems likely that Two will meet Twelve.

I am quite split about the concept of this, the Second Doctor was fantastic – but I am wary as in ‘An Adventure in Space and Time’ I didn’t think that Shearsmith really captured the look of Troughton, especially in contrast to David Bradley who embodied William Hartnell.

It could be that I simply got used to David Bradley over the course of the drama, and came to accept him as Hartnell in a way that I didn’t accept Shearsmith. If we do get the Second Doctor on screen, I hope to all that is police-box shaped that I am not thrust back into reality with a jarring discrepancy between Shearsmith and Troughton.

If it goes well, then it could be wonderful.

Fingers crossed.

The Twelfth Doctor – Peter Capaldi

It’s hard to believe that it has been only a short while since the twelfth doctor was announced, and even though we have yet to see him on screen, Peter Capaldi feels like ‘The Current Doctor’ now, with Matt Smith biding his time until the change – how nice it would be if the casting could be a secret until the regeneration.

What did I want from the twelfth doctor? I wanted an older doctor – with Tennant/Smith the pendulum had swung too far in the ‘young’ direction. Yes, Smith was great at playing the "old man in a young man’s body", but that wasn’t a game to keep playing. I also wanted there to be a step away from the ‘romance in a box’ that the new series keeps reverting to – and I’m pleased to see that with Capaldi.

I’m not going to get into the arguments of ‘should the Doctor be female/black/ginger…?’ As regards the twelfth, the die is cast. What do I want to see with the twelfth incarnation?

First and foremost, I want a solid, full season of ‘Who’, I want Capaldi to have time to ‘bed in’. Then I want another series after that, and after that… and so on. These split seasons are just ghastly for, what is by any stretch, the flagship production of the BBC and the show with the greatest international recognition. I want Capaldi to have a decent run, with the split seasons it does feel like Smith has only just arrived and is leaving about a season too early. I want a generation to be able to look to Capaldi and say ‘he was my Doctor’.

I want Capaldi to meet River, just the once, I want to see that dynamic (though I still don’t understand how eleven suddenly went from gallavanting with River to mourning her loss, with no obvious on screen event to mark the divide).

I want to see any Moffat loose ends tidied up, and I’d like to see an acknowledgement that the production team are thinking ahead to, what under classic lore, is the doctors final regeneration (or death, if John Hurt counts as a regeneration) – after all, there can only be thirteen Doctors. I can think of several ways to address this, either with a throwaway line (‘Now the time lords are gone, I don’t think there is a limit…’) or something large (Resurrecting Gallifrey, somehow resetting the clock). I’d hate to see them just ignore the issue, or leave it so late that the hand was forced.

I hate to say it, but I think it could well be time for a new show-runner. We owe a lot to Moffat, not least is that under his tenure the show has really grown on the international market (a road started upon by RTD). The first and second seasons of Matt Smith’s doctor was fantastic (though the crack thing was a bit odd). The ‘split season 7’, though it had great bits within it, fell a bit flat. With Capaldi bedded into the role, I want to see a show-runner who can devote himself to the job, it seems that Moffat’s time is divided between several roles (not least of which is ‘Sherlock’).

Mostly, I want Capaldi to be one of the great doctors, to be the modern day Tom Baker.

Six Nations 2013 – Week 5

The big game of the weekend was Wales vs England in Cardiff. This would decide the championship.

A win from England would secure the Grand Slam, a win from Wales would upset England’s applecart, and a good win from Wales would take England’s applecart, puree it, and use it to season the hog roast of the Millenium stadium.

The game was, unfortunately, the last of these options. The first half was a fairly tight affair, and though Wales pulled ahead 3-9, there wasn’t much in it. A moment or two could have turned the tables – the second half, though, was an entirely different affair. It was a rout, Wales had soaked up any pressure that England had applied, and then came back strong, making several good runs of play as the scoreline built. A penalty from Leigh Halfpenny at about ten minutes in the second half was followed five minutes later by a try when England lost the ball at the breakdown and Alex Cuthbert ran it in for a try in the corner. The next ten minutes saw a couple of missed kicks, and then a drop goal from Dan Biggar saw the score reach 20-3 with 15 minutes on the clock. 17 points with 15 minutes left is a big ask… and the situation was made more dire almost immediately made worse for England when Cuthbert scores again. A conversion saw Wales 27-3 up.

The penalty with ten minutes left was the final nail in the coffin of England’s grand slam hopes.

It was a thoroughly deserved win for Wales.

The other games of the day saw France avoid the wooden spoon by beating Scotland 23-16, and a good show from Italy as they beat Ireland, 23-15. With Ireland and France in 5th and 6th respectively, we’ve a real mixed results table.

Team P W D L F A PTS
1 Wales 5 4 0 1 122 66 8
2 England 5 4 0 1 94 78 8
3 Scotland 5 2 0 3 98 107 4
4 Italy 5 2 0 3 75 111 4
5 Ireland 5 1 1 3 72 81 3
6 France 5 1 1 3 73 91 3
Table Built : 2013, March 17 (Sunday) at 07:03am GMT

(Note: Unsportsmanlike comments will likely be deleted)