Saturday, 5 October 2013


10 The Big Book of Fables by Walter Jerrold, Illustrator Charles Robinson

Images for:
9 Hampton Court 1915 by Walter Jerrold, illustrator E.W. Haslehust,
8 Loathsome Dragon by David Wiesner and Kim Kahng 1987
7 Beautiful Creatures animé by Cassandra Jean;
6 Hugo Pepper by Chris Riddell (text Paul Stewart) #3 Far-flung Adventures;
5 Paintings by Emily Carr: Cathedral, Seascape, War Canoes;
4 Photos of painter Emily Carr;
3 Burglar's Fate and the Detectives by Allan Pinkerton 1884 at
- Holdup at Geneva Bank, "Hands up, Newton Edwards!",
- Dig up bag of gold, Everman placed hand;
2 Loor, Mallor in Merchant of Death artist Carla McNeill,
Richard Scarry's Operation in Busytown;
1 Iron Man: Extremis by Adi Granov

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Croods 5* 2013

Preview. Full. Curious teen Eep (Emma Stone) follows firefly to fire-maker Guy (Ryan Reynolds) with pet Belt (Chris Sanders), who warns their world is ending, and leads the way to higher ground "tomorrow" and "the light". Caveman dad Grug (Nicholas Cage) - rhymes with hug - wants to keep his family safe in-law Gran (Chloris Leachman), wife Ugga (Catherine Keener), son Thunk (Clark Duke b. 1985), and feral growling biting baby Sandy (Randy Thorn) but the cave falls in the earthquake. Racing just ahead of disaster, they meet trouble, danger, friends, and a better future "You really need to see this". Wish for big screen to see giant purple sabretooth kitty, rainbow of prehistoric flora and fauna.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

They do it with Mirrors 2* - Julia McKenzie

Preview s4 ep3. Book aka Murder with Mirrors. Elderly Miss Jane Marple is asked by Ruth (Joan Collins), friend from dancing debutante years, to visit Stonygates and protect her fragile sister Caroline Louise. The confusion of three marriages and half-siblings is thankfully visually overpowered by posh peaceful estate and elegant dressing for dinner and all occasions. Hats, gloves, and perfect pearls.

Carrie is now married to Lewis Serrocold, one trustee for the Gulbrandesen Foundation to rehabilitate delinquent boys. Another trustee is (Carrie's stepson by second marriage) Christian Gulbrandsen. Edgar Lewis, ineffectual pompous, nominally Lewis' assistant, claims various famous fathers, then loudly accuses Lewis himself behind locked study door, shoots twice and misses. But at the same time in a guest room, Chris is shot dead.

The Moving Finger 5* - Geraldine McEwan progress..

s2 v3 Clip. Full. Despite convoluted plot filled with coincidence and solved in a dream, I could watch BBC Marple with sound off, just for the visuals. The intro voice-over scene should be cut, naked man in strange bed the morning after. Looking up from the Colonel's grave at all the suspects could be postponed after the country fields.

Windblown in a sporty convertible, flamboyant Joanna (Emilia Fox) drives her brother Jerry Burton (James D'Arcy) for subdued recuperation in quiet Lymstock village. "A torture for both of us, as we had an absolute loathing for the country". She is always all in red: cherry car, driving gloves in supple leather, evening ruby Oriental silk, and velvet full-arm length, flame bob, crimson lipstick and nails, blaze suit, red trim on white day suit, even accents accessories, wrist bangle, tiny clutch relieves funereal black (on procession after, purse is black, little v-shape under jacket glashes (my word, not a typo) bright.

Over tea, Miss Jane Marple (Geraldine McEwan) discusses the recent death and posted threats. Soon we meet Jane's friend Maud (Frances de la Tour), devoted to her older vicar husband Caleb Dane Calthrop (Ken Russell). Maud says Jane "has a nose for rotten apples", and Caleb "no taste for fornication". Cardew Pye (John Sessions), "a little queer and what's wrong with that?", "came to attention of [police] colleagues in West Country over matters of an unsavory nature".

Megan Hunter (Talulah Riley) 20, looks and behaves 12. "Nothing ever happens .. people don't like me .. I don't like them", her father repressed lawyer Richard Symington (Harry Enfield), her disliked step-mother Mona (Imogen Stubbs), old friend from "the North" doctor Owen Griffith (Sean Pertwee), and tweedy interfering manly sister Aimee (Jessica Stevenson), shown below leading girl guides.

I missed double entendres first time through, "delectable" "radiant" governess Miss Elsie Holland (Kelly Brook) notices Jerry now walks without sticks "upright .. I do hope you stay that way". Even postboxes are red, where poison pen letters are dropped. Picture of Elsie beside tall postbox, Aimee leading girl guides past small box.

"Blah blah fishcakes. But a thing like this could send her completely off her onion" Upright Amy Griffith on resentful oddball Megan "people will talk .. our little village likes to think the worst". Maid Agnes Brown (Ellen Capron) voices puzzlement, setting her up to be next victim. She gets coshed, and skewer to base of neck suggests professional.

Peace interspersed with suspense - black leather glove snips medieval ornate capitals, dabs glue onto wicked compositions. Police siren breaks quiet. Inspector Graves (Keith Allen) lifts torn scrap from the body's grasp "I can't go on", crumpled but un-scorched accusation in cold fireplace grate. Why are letter envelopes typed at machine publicly available in Women's Institute, donated by Symington office, but the insides pasted? Why not type everything? Spread around suspicion by planting medieval book?

Names confuse - hero Burton with landlady Emily Barton (Thelma Barlow). Author assigns nobility hyphenated names, servants usually simple names. At their first tea, Joanna looks delightful, both in feathered cloche hat and full skirt, next opening letters at breakfast in silky dressing gown.

Plot has too many coincidences plus dreamed solution. Jerry finds torn pages source of harassing letters. He finds sister's regretful memo by phone "I can't come" on single line declining proposed appointment. Dreams blur together scraps "all nonsense .. what we sought to save?"

Colors and costumes add positively to the mood. In darkness, full moon, colors fade to grey blue. Amy I had imagined clothed brisk tweedy masculine, here soft sweet feminine in floral looks, change top to toe. Joanna goes creamy beside doctor she loves. Lastly, her floral black tiny pattern on white with soft green necklace blends with other tea drinkers. Megan goes tough smooth black pant outfit and hair instead of holed scruff before, thick-lined dark eyes large bright, even leather slippers instead of holey sneakers.

Jane Marple appears outwardly sweet in embroidered fine soft cardigan.

"I usually find the most likely people behaving exactly as I would have expected."
"We are not put into this world to avoid danger when lives are at stake."

Special Features

Behind the scenes - alternates clips of film "Isn't it sweet?" then actors
"tremendous sense of humor to write ordinary seeming woman, murders keep falling in her lap"
Photo gallery 15 mostly posed stills, few from film
Cast filmographies - text bios: McEwan, D'Arcy, works: Fox, Tour, Pertwee, Enfield, Stubbs, Stevenson (Shaun of the Dead)

Sittaford House 1* - Geraldine McEwan s2 v4

.. in progress .. Complicated solution 1*. Dislike spooky ghost picks up scorpion, harps on curses, reincarnation bulltwiddle, seances, dreams, booking under "F. Arewell" for "goodbye" - all obfuscate rather than clarify. WW2 prologue remains confusing. Underground in tunnel, group of uniforms hide from lit fuse explosion. Might be clearer if scenes cut.

On train, curious old Miss Jane Marple (Geraldine McEwan) meets politician Captain Clive Trevalyn (Timothy Dalton). At a night club, Charles Burnaby (James Murray) flirts with Emily Trefusis (Zoe Telford) and helps home drunk fiancee Jim Pearson (Laurence Fox - funny to see prim and proper Detective assistant to Morse). Odd to see Emily in perfect makeup while hidden in bubble bath from Charles.

Snowed in, Trev declines game of chess from secretary loyal war buddy John Enderby (Mel Smith). Jane takes call from nephew Raymond saying still in France. T dictates "final chapter", sees white woman ghost, burns photos. Meanwhile Jane hears night bells, reads to sleep, cawing.

Charles gives Em ride to Trev, at Sittaford House in blizzard, "modern woman for 50s", points gun from handbag. Raymond asks Trev to take Jane inside Sittaford . Night bell means prisoner escaped from nearby Dartmoor prison. Jane arrrives to Mr Enderby. Phone dead. John sets out to warn Clive at inn of The Three Crowns, owned by Stanley Kirkwood (James Wilby).

Bird dies from poisoned Turkish Delight, as Jane lifts candy to her mouth. Captain threatened by guest and ward. Mrs Willowby holds seance. Ouija board spells D-E-A-T-H. Enderby finds body, stabbed through heart, favorite Eyptian artifact accusingly nearby. Enderby "assumed authority" for investigation because cops can't get through, assigned elsewhere. Some witnesses heard a woman scream, some not.

Mrs Evadne Willett (Patricia Hodge) claims the tickets to Buenos Aires found on Trev's body are for their honeymoon. But she constantly criticizes spectacle-hidden beauty daughter Violet (Carey Mulligan). Flashbacks to the trio's first meeting last summer shows Trev recognized Violet, and she has a new marriage license.

Other guest are suspicious too. Luggage-less obvious fake Smith-Jones is Donald Garfield, official Whitehall dirtdigger "ordered to sniff out any skeletons in his constituency cupboard" of future PM. Ambrose Burt (Paul Kaye), injects sugar water to American employer. He forged his signature to clear name from war scam, blames Trev scot-free. Struck off medical register, "least said soonest mended". Imprisoned in the larder, Jimmy overhears chef Archie Stone (Michael Attwell) planning to scarper tonight, and wakes with a bloody knife and dead body.


Miss Elizabeth Percehouse (Rita Tushingham) in 1927 was married to archaelogist who shot accomplice Ahmed Ghali. Trev stole all money and killed her brother (Jeffery Kissoon). She finds the truth, demands retribution, showing as proof a photo of Arthur Hopkin's sister Violet pregnant (with Violet Hopkins).

In fun shock ending, previously dowdy Violet Hopkins wears cute lilac topper to Buenos Aires with Emily, because Trev did not expect his long-lost son, Emily's admirer, Charles Burnaby, to be his killer.

Special Features Behind scenes 10' - clips from film alternate with actors' comments 9:13, everyone "veiled.. has agenda", praise Photo gallery 14 posed in costume stills Cast filmographies - McEwan, Dalton (Flash Gordon 1980), Brandon, Hodge, Telford, Murray, Fox, Wilby

The Breakfast Club 1985 5 *

Preview. Clips. 1985 Saturday high school detention students (some "Brat Pack") are rebel John "Bender" (Judd Nelson irritated everyone by staying in character), outcast Allison (Ally Sheedy), wrestler jock Andrew (Emilio Estevez), rich princess Claire (Molly Ringwald), and brainy Brian (Anthony Michael Hall). Teacher Richard Vernon "Dick" (Paul Gleason) is blackmailed by janitor Carl (John Kapelos) when searching confidential basement files while the five upstairs share a joint and secrets.

In an unlikely single day, every stereotype seen in every high school finds they have more in common than differences. People can be more hurt than helped by labels. Wish this were required by schools. At 16, I picked up the curse used by the teacher in "spoiled little p-s" from my younger cousins, thought meant "jerks", until my aunt, their mother, chastised me with her definition. Swearing now seems relative to intent.

Wreck-It Ralph 2013 5*

Preview. "There's no-one I'd rather be than me." "Go into the light." "I love Chocolate." MarioKart meets Halo at Turbo Boss level, the worst villain. Glitch makes good. Be-bop songs, eye-full delight. "I don't need a medal to tell me I'm a good guy." May be obvious. but worth repeating.

After arcade hours, on the 30th anniversary of the "Fix-it Felix" (Jack McBrayer) video game, villain Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) just wants a pie, a pat on the back, a medal from the Nicelanders - an impossible change. Fellows at "Bad-Anon" (motto "One game at a time") warn him "going Turbo", taking over another game, gets both games put Out of Order and unplugged.

In new "Hero's Duty", he aims for the top of the tower through alien bugs, but gorgeous "high-definition" Sgt Calhoun (exactly perfectly voiced by Jane Lynch) warns him their only duty is to help "the first-person shooter" get the Hero's Medal.

The escape pod accidentally crashes on colorful (mostly pink) Sugar Rush. His medal hooks atop a candy cane tree. Precocious brat Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) steals in first, wanting the entry fee for King Candy's (Alan Tudyk - last seen in Firefly) race that decides tomorrow's avatars. She's a "glitch" that flickers and nobody wants.

A Cybug stowaway is a consuming virus that threatens everyone. "If you die outside your game, you don't regenerate." Felix's job is to fix Ralph's wreck, and tags along. Meanwhile the Fix-it game is posted Out of Order, in danger of pull-the-plug.


King claims that a human who saw Van glitch in a race would report the game as broken. A glitch can never leave their game, so she would die when the plug was pulled.

But Ralph sees her picture on the side of the game, and wants the truth. Van was a racer until King wrecked her code. If she wins, the code resets. King locked away everyone's memory, so they don't know what would happen next.


Extras: Paperman Short

Previews: The Little Mermaid, Monsters University, Planes