Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Things I Learnt Today (Nov 13th)

1) Paul Verhoeven is directing the sequel to The Thomas Crown Affair and the remake of Topkapi at the same time.

No, he's not doing a Spielberg and making one while finishing the post on another film; the sequel to Thomas Crown is also the remake of Topkapi. Do you see what I did there? I've not seen Topkapi, and I can't imagine that a sequel to Thomas Crown is necessary even though it's one of those movies that's guaranteed to switch off my motor centres and fix me to the sofa whenever it comes on TV because it is so goddamn perfect. So why am I happy? Because I'm always happy when Paul Verhoeven directs movies. Except for Hollow Man (which at least featured some gutsy moments and fantastic effects), his filmography is full of classics, with special mention to Starship Troopers, a film that no less an authority than England's greatest documentarian Adam Curtis said was "the most prescient, brilliant work of the last 20 years." If you don't believe me, check out the reaction of the mother at 1:20.



Black Book
, released earlier this year, was a magnificent film about personal and national morality, loyalty, and courage, told with Verhoeven's customary ballsiness and energy. There were no breasts unexposed, no obvious motifs unused, no Hitchcockian suspense sequence unHitchcocked. I can't imagine The Thomas Kapi Affair will be anywhere near as bold or imaginative or moving as that instant classic, and I'm not sure I want to see more of Fierce Pierce's heaving, glistening buttcheeks (especially now he's older and not quite as Bond-pert as he once was), but Verhoeven's earned my trust a million times over. He could direct Garfield 3: Cat in a Bread Basket and I'd still watch it.

2. Canyon makes a mean chicken piccata.

Yum! Good news for me, but bad news for her, because she's going to be cooking that a lot. Sorry, Canyon!

3. I love cheap things.

Amazon Marketplace is the worst thing in the world because it is the best thing in the world for offering cheap things, and I love buying cheap things so much that I will go on Amazon Marketplace and buy a million cheap things and pat myself on the back for buying cheap things but the postage and packing will quadruple the price and I won't notice that until I look at my bank balance a month from now and see large blobs of expenditure all over my otherwise pristine balance. This week I have bought:

* What They Did to Princess Paragon by Robert Rodi.
* Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Another by Philip Ball.
* Gus Van Sant's Elephant.
* It's Superman! by Tom De Haven.
* Repo Man soundtrack.
* Black Swan Green by David Mitchell.
* The Angry Island by AA Gill.

Combined price prior to postage and packing: £15.90. It could just be that I'm addicted to having things pushed through my letter box and will buy any old crap that I don't need just to have that sexxy exciting adrenaline rush. I'm sure I'm not alone there.

4. We made a big mistake not watching Journeyman earlier.


We were very behind on this show, and have spent most of today catching up, and damn, it's good. Not the best show ever, but way way better than we'd hoped. Part of it is the appealing and complicated quadrangular relationship that is so much more interesting than the kiddie stuff on most other shows. The other thing is the growing realisation that the showrunners are taking the time travelling seriously. The seventh episode was like Back To The Future 2, with all the skipping back and forth and fretting about our heroic journeyman and journeywoman and whether they can cover their tracks. More on this wonderful show at a later date, I'm sure, if it doesn't get cancelled before the writers strike finishes. Oh, we also found out that co-star Moon Bloodgood (Livia the journeywoman) is shooting up the Maxim Top Hottie list. This means very little to us. I will say, that considering how "hotties" are treated on TV shows most of the time ("Stand over there with your boobs out and giggle at the protagonist."), I love that she's sensibly dressed, serious, intelligent, and mysterious. She's a very compelling character.


That said, from what we've heard, linking a picture of her from the fifth episode and merely just writing her name, Moon Bloodgood, will apparently increase the number of hits to this blog by an order of magnitude, even more so than the phrases, "Jumbleberry Crumble," or "Sonya Walger's boobs". Welcome, Moon Bloodgood fans! Hopefully you'll like it here.



5. Jamie Foxx is off the chain.


He's on an old Letterman right now (thank you Diva TV! ITV4 screwed us by taking it off, those scummy scumbags), and seriously, he's off the chain. James Brown impressions, anecdotes about operations; he's unstoppable.

6. I'm psychic.

One minute after writing that Jamie Foxx is off the chain, he said to Letterman that The Kingdom, the Peter Berg film he was promoting a month ago, was off the chain. Foxx! Get. Out. Of. My. Mind!

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