Three movies and a couple of rats

As the evenings draw in, it can be too easy to accidentally cocoon oneself at home, so this week I’ve been catching up at the cinema again, three films seen so I’m already quids in for the month on my Unlimited card. This was the final week for Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch so I started with that on Tuesday evening……

The French Dispatch is a sumptuous, visually stunning film to wallow in, if you like Wes Anderson films, be warned this is a very, very Wes A film. As usual he has a large returning cast, does he write characters with people in mind, or think who he wants and writes for them? The French Dispatch is a magazine supplement produced in Ennui-sur-Blasé (a fictional town in France, Angoulême was used for the location shots) for an American newspaper; the film has a beginning, an ending and three feature articles in between, like I said, it’s very Wes. There’s a lot in there but personally I found that whilst it was sensory overload in many ways, it lacked something for me, the whole was less than the sum of the parts. Hmmm.

Next up was Venom: Let There Be Carnage and there was, indeed! Well, it is a Venom film so violence is part of the territory, accompanied by lots of fast quips and dark humour, of course. Again, a film to enjoy, but for me, not quite up to the first one. Tom Hardy is very watchable as always, and Woody Harrelson has a whale of a time! I was thinking back thirty years and more, to when he played Woody (the dopey bartender) in Cheers, who would ever thought that same guy would go on to do so much and win awards?! In Venom: Let There Be Carnage he plays locked up serial killer Cletus Kasady, who by managing to bite Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) gets a piece of the alien symbiote, which makes him even more psychotic and he becomes Carnage. I have a few niggles about plot holes and bits, but it is a very entertaining watch, just don’t think about it too much.

Then, last night I went to see Last Night In Soho, Edgar Wright’s latest film. Oo, he’s good. Great story, script, cinematography, atmosphere, soundtrack, and wow, the actors! Sixties iconic actors, Terence Stamp, Diana Rigg and Rita Tushingham, former Dr Who Matt Smith and two of the best young female actors around, Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomasin McKenzie (plus a number of other recognisable faces). This is a beautiful stylish film right from the first scene when modern day wannabe fashion designer Ellie (McKenzie) is dancing around, wearing a dress made from newspaper, to A World Without Love, in her room which is plastered with posters from the sixties. She’s soon heading to London and college; overwhelmed by student life (and a bitchy, shallow roommate), she moves into a room on Soho (oh, and we know she has some kind of spooky gift), and so it begins……

Everything is so brilliantly realised, the fashions, the clubs, Ellie sleep-watching Sandie’s world, slowly becoming most absorbed into it. The lightness at the start of the film gives way to the darkness, the seedy sordid side of the swinging sixties. Scenes like Sandie’s (Taylor-Joy) audition as she sings Downtown, and the dream dance sequence are mesmerising. I can’t actually say too much more that wouldn’t spoil the slow reveal of the film, oh, but Matt Smith as the sleazy charmer, Jack, is really excellent and quite unnervingly scary. There’s plenty to think about from watching this film, the attitudes and morals of the times, the victims. I think I need to see Last Night In Soho again, and seeing it a second time, knowing all the truths from the start could be quite fascinating.

This was Diana Rigg’s last film, in some ways a good film to finish with, a bookend to her start in The Avengers tv series as Emma Peel in a somewhat surreal swinging sixties. Rigg was also an early Bond girl (reader, she married him!), but filmwork didn’t entice her away from tv and theatre work, she was a very busy lady! Of course, many now know her as the magnificent Lady Olwen Tyrell from Game of Thrones, and some may remember that she appeared in Doctor Who during Matt Smith’s time in the tardis. I wonder if Diana Rigg and Rita Tushingham shared any stories of their younger sixties selves with their young co-stars, bet they have some good ones!

No cinema tonight as The Scat Rats were playing Stramash, so still sticking with the sixties vibe! A number of Beatles covers amongst other songs from the sixties, and of course, a few of their own. Carl waxed lyrical about their old haunt, Babylon Cafe, which was sadly a victim of covid, before breaking into In The Morning. I’ve put a clip of this ode to a fried breakfast on my Facebook (that’s Bruce T Moose), the ending is a running joke of who can hold the note longest. Oo yeah, exciting, there was a brand spanking new song too!! It promises to be another cracker from the lads.

Crikey its late. Sweet dreams, mes amis!

Bruce 💘 Lily

Yes, Lily James has stolen my heart! Ok, so I’ve had a yen for her since Downton Abbey and then War & Peace. I’d heard Chris Evans on Radio 2 wax lyrical about her performance in Mama Mia! Here We Go Again! but yeah, crikey, and some. Her joie de vivre, the bonniest of smiles, and I think she may have had tips from her timelord boyfriend on how to fit an amazing wardrobe into one small suitcase! He’s one lucky guy that Matt Smith, but as he is the second best Doctor in the new run (yes, David Tennant beats him by a gnat’s crotchet) I reckon he’s worthy. I thoroughly enjoyed them both in the film of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. And her with wotsisname from GoT in Branagh’s Romeo & Juliet in 2016!! Talk about the passion, baby! Oo, and there was Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, I really should watch that again sometime soon.

So yes, I did go to see Mama Mia! Here We Go Again! I may well go see it again depending on how long it stays around, but I reckon that could be some while yet. The casting of all the younger parts was good, but especially the girls, they really captured the essences of their older selves. Omid Djalili, an old Fringe favourite, was in his typical bit part (he’s the ticket guy at the pier). Dominic Cooper again was sadly underused but, well, it wasn’t his film to shine, and he’s just there as part of the eye-candy.

The only part that didn’t work for me was Cher as Donna’s mother. She really wasn’t much good – apart from the singing, ok that was a bit awesome. It was like some executive wanted to throw in a big wow factor and decided Cher was it. The film didn’t need her, you could edit out all references to her character and the film would still work perfectly fine. Sorry but I just felt she was incongruous to the rest of the film.

The final big musical number with all the main cast in Abba gear was wonderful, and didn’t they all sing amazingly – apart from Pierce Brosnan, again!

After that, home to beans on toast and Gotham. Man, that is so fine! After Gotham on E4 is Supernatural, a show that’s been going a long time now. Never saw earlier series but since it’s followed Gotham I’ve vaguely watched it, well the tv’s still on, but OMG tonight’s episode!!! Farscape went Looney tunes, Angel went muppet, tonight Supernatural joined the Scooby gang! Yay!!

All in all, this has been a rather good evening, even if it is finishing rather later than I intended.

Nitey nite, everybody, nitey nite  x