Friday, 13 June 2008

Coming to terms with suffering summer...

Now, as anybody who knows me even to an acquaintance level, knows that I hate the summer. Yes it's nice when the weather is good and the sky is blue and the trees have leaves on them and shivering isn't a great way to spend your time, but at least when you're cold you can put the heating on, or put a coat on.

You can't really take a lot of stuff off to keep cool and keep legal, and the heat just tires you out anyway. Also, you're constantly surrounded by a bunch of people telling you how much they love the summer - except when it gets 'too hot' for them, so then they "like it hot, but not this hot".

Plus, I get hay fever, so I have to take pills all summer long to keep it away - and even then I still sneeze more than usual and can get a bit clogged up in the snout. Mind you, at least I've got a good excuse to stick ice cubes in my pint of Strongbow - my new drink of choice.

1) It tastes really nice.
2) It's cheap - and thanks to Gordon Brown that's a very important factor these days.
3) You get more in terms of quantity (when compared to my other usual tipple, Budweiser).


Then there's the spiders (and other things). Spiders, flies and other such things are all too stupid to find their way outside, once they've blundered inside. I can't be doing with them, they should fuck off out of my house and realise what man's domain means - it means you stay outside where you're supposed to be, and I'm in my house watching movies. Which brings me neatly onto the purpose of this post, I've been getting around to some viewing recently - on DVD and VHS, not at the cinema for a change.


Having only seen it once (which was before I even went to University I think!), I got all hot and bothered for it after reading an article about it in the Summer 2008 issue of Total Film (#142). So, armed with the knowledge that the plot plays in reverse, I watched it in two sittings (I tend to do a lot of viewing now before bed). Obviously, this movie is fucking superb. Essentially it's fairly basic, but the key elements (as well as the choice of presentation) make it a stand-out flick ... and it doesn't half make you think afterwards.

I watched it intently, keeping track of the backwards ordering of scenes, and after completing it spent the best part of an hour sat in my dimly lit bedroom at way past one in the morning pondering the ending ... or indeed the beginning, and the beginning which is at the end ... aye.

Simply put - a superb must see for any of you lot who haven't bothered to check it out. It, like Nolan's later Insomnia and Batman Begins, is bloody enthralling.



I've seen many of the old school 1930's era horror classics - the likes of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Mummy - but I had, until recently, still not watched Dracula. So finally, I fished out my Channel 4 recording of it from quite literally years ago (I think I recorded this when the Foot & Mouth crisis kicked off in the late 1990's). Just a shame that it didn't have the original musical score...

I respect Dracula, I respect its place in cinematic history and the impact it has had ... however, I felt Nosferatu was a better telling of the story, even though it was technically a copyright-buggering rip-off.

Dracula often feels wooden, or overplayed. It feels cheap, the script isn't that good at all and the rubber bats on fishing wire are almost too much to tolerate (although aye, how else would they have done them back then, but still ... at least flap the fishing pole a bit harder!)

Like I said, I respect it, but personally I didn't enjoy it anywhere near as much as I did Frankenstein, or The Mummy, or The Old Dark House or The Wolf Man (although The Wolf Man was the early 1940s if memory serves).

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