Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Faking of Pelham One Two Three

On the first Wednesday in the month, this much I pretend to know

  • Livingston's only deadhead is roaming around Kerala. My sitemeter has informed me of this fact.
  • Denise Mina's latest novel, The Last Breath, was reviewed recently over at Huffington Post. I can call it 'The Last Breath' rather than 'Slip Of the Knife' (its American title) because Kara and myself are such Mina devotees that we got the book on import when it was originally released in Britain.
    "Released?" Paddy Meehan noir is the new rock'n'roll. You will only read that bold statement here.
  • JC over at Vinyl Villain music blog has finally resumed his 45 45s at 45 series. He's been holding out for a few weeks but he's now down to his top ten.
    In at number ten is Friends Again's 'Sunkissed'. Nice enough record but I of course don't have the same sort of back story as JC for reasons to truly love this song. I best know Friends Again for James Grant, and his follow up band, Love and Money.
  • There's a bastard load of monster trucks and trailers in the neighbourhood at the moment, as self-important people with loud voices and flourescent bibs are currently doing a bit of filming in the area over the next few days. For reasons I can't quite fathom - outside of the sound of the 'kerching' at a cash till - Hollywood has decided to do another remake of the classic 'The Taking of Pelham One Two Three'. And let's not bullshit here: the 1974 film was a bona fide classic.
    The remake is being directed by Tony Scott, and will star Denzel Washington in the original Walter Matthau role and John Travolta will step into the late Robert Shaw's shoes as Ryder. I bet it will be shite. I'll go further than that. Sylvester Stallone miscast as Jack Carter will come to be seen as inspirational film making by comparison.
  • "Mel Gibson? He can't be in another film, I'm sure I saw him get his head chopped off in Braveheart." The Man who fell to sleep has still got it.
  • According to the iTunes recently played list on the computer, The Sparks track, 'Here in Heaven', is track 180. OK, fair enough. Kimono My House is a fine album.
  • So it looks like Barack Obama has finally secured the Presidential nomination for the Democratic Party. Speculation is now rife on whether or not Hillary Clinton will get to be his running mate.
    One cynic has suggested that Barack will opt for Hillary for not only her very obvious political qualities, but because it will also be the best guarantee against any possible assassination attempt against himself.

  • If you skush some Ajax antibacterial orange scented washing liquid into hot water, it smells like Irn Bru. If you try and drink it, it tastes more like Orange Fanta.
  • It's taken me 24 years to reach a definitive position but I've finally decided that my favourite Police single was the one that was written by Stewart Copeland.
  • I was only saying to Kara the other week that I would like to read more British novels that are set in Thatcher's Britain or are contemporaneous of that period. I had this particular epiphany whilst watching the opening titles of Starter For Ten, and realising that, whilst the film itself is rather mediocre, I bet that the novel it is based on is so much better.
    If nothing else, it has given me an excuse to hunt down the old Adrian Mole books from the 80s.

    People can scoff all they bloody want, but Sue Townsend's books were amongst the handful of books that I actually got round to reading during that lost decade. It was through those books that I first heard of Tressell's 'Ragged Trousered Philanthropists', Dostoevsky's 'Crime and Punishment' and the Norwegian Leather Industry.

    It seems to like another world to think that the author of the best selling new novel of the eighties was an unreconstructed Bevanite, and that one of the best loved fictional characters from that period was a curmudgeonly communist by the name of Bert Baxter.
  • A few weeks back I was going to spew out a ranty post about Ann McElvoy's recent Radio 4 programme, The Jam Generation, where assorted political hacks such as Cameron, Milliband, Osborne, Clegg, Cooper and Purnell congratulated themselves on being so different from past political generations. All this was going on whilst the music of The Jam was being played in the background, 'cos - sit tight - they were all of an age when The Jam were the biggest band in Britain. Geddit? Some of the preening numpties were even referring to themselves as 'The Jam Generation' whilst being interviewed. You couldn't make this shit up.
    I'm glad I said nowt at the time 'cos I'm quickly cottoning onto the fact that it's not them who is out of step, it's me. First Weller gets interviewed in the Torygraph and now it's John Lydon who's getting the Torygraph treatment.

    Will Rubbish was kind enough to pass on the link and, he's right, it's a good interview, but what the hell next: free GG Allin CDs given away with the Mail on Sunday? It don't seem right.
  • Mark Hughes has joined Man City? Sparky has gone down in my estimation by about 750%. I hope he fucking chokes on Thaksin's dirty money.
  • He may not get elected to the Michigan's state board of education, but I bet socialist/green party candidate candidate, Dwain C Reynolds III, has the fanciest smanciest website of all the candidates standing for office. There may be a few too many flashing lights and whistles on his website for my liking, but I was impressed that a candidate from a minor political party could come up with something so professional looking.
  • Over at his MySpace page, Attila the Stockbroker has blogged his ten favourite Half Man Half Biscuit songs. His number seven, 'Dead Men Don't Need Season Tickets', is a lost classic, but I would have also included '24 Hour Garage People' and 'National Shite Day' in my HMHB top ten.
  • As part of its forthcoming European Championship football coverage, ESPN has this past week been broadcasting highlights of previous European Championship finals. (To clarify: the actual finals themselves.)
    I absentmindedly forgot to watch the 1984 final between the great French team and Spain, and kicked myself black and blue when I discovered my foolishness but I have been able to check out the finals from 1980, 1988, 1992 and 1996 so far.

    Do you want to read something heretical, and I don't care if it does cause a coronary in old Utrecht.

    Everybody (understandably) bangs on about that Van Basten goal when they refer to the '88 final. The perfectly controlled volley from an impossible angle . . . a stunned Dasayev stumbling back in astonishment as he's the last person in the stadium to realise that the ball is in the back of the net . . . and that look of unalloyed joy on the face of Rinus Michels when he knows that the trophy has gone Dutch, but it has to be stated for the record that the game itself was one of the most piss-poor games of football I've ever had the misfortune to sit through.

    It was nothing more than ninety minutes of pedestrian play by blokes sporting perms, with the ball ricocheting around the pitch as each outfield player took it in turn to either miscontrol the ball or overhit a pass. For the life of me, I can't understand how people can make a just comparison between the '88 team with those brilliant Dutch national sides from the 70s.

    As an antidote to that disappointment, tonight I thoroughly enjoyed watching the highlights of the '96 final between the Czech Republic and Germany. The Czech Republic were a fine side, and on another day they would have deservedly won the title. I really had forgot how good Karel Poborský was back in the day. I guess if you were going to sport that hairstyle in '96, you had to be the dogs bollocks to back it up.
  • Finally got round to seeing Juno the other week. I had similar feelings towards it to what I had towards the last 'indie' film to generate the Oscar baubles, Little Miss Sunshine: it's good, but not as good as I was expecting. Saying that, I liked both the skewed happy ending and the Sonic Youth line.
  • Stumbled across the Irish songwriter Mike Cleare recently, who hides behind the monicker of My Brother Woody.
    Excellent stuff. Think Luke Haines with a girlfriend, a Beach Boys fixation and a prozac prescription.
  • I really must get the links thing sorted. It's got beyond a joke. Apart from anything else, I bet Volty over at Shiraz Socialist thinks I'm cyber-stalking him because he's getting so many hits from Brooklyn. 'fraid the truth is more prosaic than that: I just happening to be using blogroll whilst my one has gone awol.
    Because of my procrastination, even Morph is quickly losing patience with my present predicament. He wants to give me the finger in this latest pic but Aardman animators won't supply him with the necessary fingers for the full effect. Thank you Nick Park. You're a gent, and I'll get that blogroll sorted.

    Kara said...

    Now that's not really fair! Juno is WAY better than Little Miss Sunshine (not that I hated that film... thought it was cute, but not great)!

    I have to agree with you on the Sonic Youth line. Classic. I think I would have been friends with Jason Bateman's character in high school, had he been real and gone to my high school.

    Darren said...

    "I think I would have been friends with Jason Bateman's character in high school, had he been real and gone to my high school."

    Even though his character is a bit of self-absorbed dickhead? You've got strange taste in blokes.

    Agreed that Juno is a much better film than Little Miss Sunshine, but they both suffered from an over-hype from the critics to such an extent that I was expecting both films to be on a par with Billy Wilder at his best.

    I just don't think either film lived up to the gushing reviews but I know that's not their fault.

    Maybe the lesson learned is that next time we don't wait for the film to come out on DVD. That way, we can avoid getting sucked into the monster hype that will accumulate about a film over a series of months.

    Anyway, why am I writing this comment to you online when you're 12 feet away from me?

    Christ, it's like something from a Ingmar Bergman film. Or maybe Woody Allen trying to do a Bergman homage? I call casting shotgun. I'm Diane Keaton . . . you can be Woody Allen.

    Jim said...

    I mostly remember THAT Van Basten goal because moments after it went in the net, my neighbour had a heart attack. I'm unsure if the two things were really linked, but in my mind they are.