Monday, 30 June 2008


1. Danielle Lloyd looks a little worse for wear here, yet still effortlessly stunning.

2. Glastonbury highlights: Duffy commanding the stage and the crowd despite her diminutive stature, Hot Chip over and overing it, The Ting Tings, Massive Attack, Amy Winehouse a little all over the place yet never less than utterly compelling, Elbow's epic rendition of One Day Like This, Jo Whiley's gorgeous shiny black wellies.

3. Nice to see that the eurocrats are being so co-operative and rushing to give all our personal data away to the Americans. I feel so much better knowing that when I buy a DVD from Amazon or book a train ticket to London, that information will be passed to the US government, who will use it to protect g-d-fearing Americans from evildoers. They're so clever! I'm helping make the world a safer place and spreading freedom, dammit!

Seriously though, how did we get to a world where crap like this is possible? When I voted at the last general election, where was this in Labour's manifesto? In fact, when will this be brought before parliament to be voted on? Of course, it wasn't in the manifesto and parliament will never get a say, save for perhaps in a select commitee report nobody will ever read. The European parliament might debate it, but the European Parliament can't do anything about it - it has all the authority of its Zimbabwean counterpart. The EU, led by the French, just presses on regardless, kissing American ass and handing over all our personal data. It's not even a reciprocal agreement FFS!

"Give us all your citizen's personal data"

This seems to be what passes for democratic process these days.

Watched yesterday

Big Brother: Day 24 - 4/5
Yeah, Bex is no longer hot. She's just going about the house looking for an argument. Jen's lost the plot completely and been sucked down the hole of conspiracy, from which no housemate ever emerges bloking into the bright light of victory! On the plus side, people are finally waking up to the truth about Luke.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Film review - Wanted

James McAvoy plays a guy unhappy with his life. His best friend is fucking his girlfriend, his boss is a bitch and he lives in a shitty apartment. He's going nowhere fast. Up pops Angelina Jolie, who leads him to a secret organization called the Fraternity (led by Morgan Freeman), made up of assassins who have the ability to bend the trajectory of bullets and who are told their targets by - and I'm not making this up - a loom which weaves the names of those to be departed in binary into the fabric. It's a ridiculous plot device in what is really a ridiculous film, implausible in every way from start to finish.

Which isn't to say it's a bad film. If you can spend all disbelief it's actually quite entertaining, but if you open up your critical faculties for even a second, it all falls apart. The first third or so is actually rather terrific and full of humour as we follow the central character from his crappy life, through an excellent action setpiece involving Angelina and a Lambourghini and to the realisation of who he really is. After that it's all a bit thin. The storyline, such as it is, is rather perfunctory and serves only to facilitate largely daft action scenes and set the ground for what the producers hope will be a sequel, in much the same was as X-Men did.

The film is directed by Timur Bekmambetov, and if I were to describe him as a Kazakh Michael Bay, it would give you a good idea as to where the flm is coming from.

McAvoy is likeable enough, with an unhearalded affinity with the genre, though he struggles to do an American accent. Of course, for most men Angelina Jolie is the draw and she won't disappoint any of them. She doesn't really need to do much acting here and she doesn't really have all that many lines, but she can say so much with a look or a sly smile that she doesn't need all that much dialogue and every time she's on screen, she's heartstopping. Truly, there are few words that can do justice to how utterly breathtaking she has become. You get to see her ass too, and for that we are truly thankful.

In summary, generally entertaining, but it ultimately falls far short of it's initial promise.


Watched recently

Big Brother: Day 20 - 4/5
Luke is a snake...

America's Got Talent: Chicago and New York Auditions - 4/5
The Glamazons are pretty hot, in no small part due to their shiny black boots :D

Warship: Episode 6 - 3/5

Big Brother: Day 21 - 4/5
Is it wrong to think Bex is hot?

Summer Heights High: Episode 1.3 - 4/5
"Fuck you Miss!"

Wife Swap: 26th June - 3/5
Live like a pirate? Hmm. No thanks.

Boston Legal: Patriot Acts - 4/5

Heroes: Trith & Consequences - 3/5

The Flapping Track - 4/5
Documentary about Highgate greyhound stadium, particuarly of interest to me because when I was a kid, I used to visi my local greyhound stadium in Long Eaton three times a week. Tuesdays and Fridays I used to go to the races with my dad, who was a greyhound trainer as well, and on Saturday mornings I had a job operating the ray-timer and announcing trial times. Good times, but sadly, like most of the non-NGRC tracks it's now closed. There used to be hundreds of these tracks a few decades ago, now there are just eleven left.

Big Brother: Day 22 - 5/5
Seems I'm not the only person to have a thing for Bex. Darbell recognises her charms too. This of course, is the day where everything kicked off thanks to Jen's ridiculously pathetic, OTT reaction to a little smudge on her painting. It did have it's upside though, in that it led to the vile Dennis being kicked out, but it's a shame that had to be achieved by having him spit in Mo's face. I really have no idea what they have against Mo, seems a nice enough bloke to me. The vacuous Dale didn't help, getting involved in something that was none of his business then trying to be the big man, demanding Rex apologise to Jen for something he had already apologised for, then attacking him for apologising a second time and having a go at Mo for supposedly getting involved in something that was none of his business. Dumbass.

Big Brother: Live Eviction - 3/5
Bye bye Sylvia, I won't be missing you.

Jericho: Sedition

Big Brother: Day 23 - 4/5
More pathetic balling from Jen (and Sylvia this time) because Dennis was kicked out.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Danielle Lloyd bares all - for a good cause

Did you enjoy that? OK, now go and show your appreciation:

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Watched recently

The Late Show: Jack Black - 3/5
Jack Black's irritating. It works in his films, but doesn't work in 'real life'. Most of the entertainment came from Dave having a go at Scott McLellan for not turning up for his interview.

St Trinian's - 2/5
A girl from a posh school finds herself enrolled against her will (but for no apparent reason) at her aunt's rundown, anarchic school for girls, St Trinian's. A government minister (Colin Firth) attempts to close the school down. A comedy that will be of little interest to anyone other than girls who went to private school or men who want to perv over young actresses in schoolgirl outfits, such as head girl Kelly, played by new Bond girl Gemma Arterton. Not that I'm interested in doing such things.

Big Brother: Day 17 - 4/5
"We met on eBay. I bought a crystal ball off him."

City Of Men: The Post - 3/5

Heroes: Cautionary Tales - 4/5
Finally, Hiro is back and the show in general is back on form. Looks like Claire-Bear takes a dark turn next season...

More pics at Gossip Girls.

Boston Legal: The Gods Must Be Crazy - 4/5

Jericho: Termination For Cause - 4/5

Mega Carrier: USS George H W Bush - 3/5
These American documentaries are edited like music videos. I don't think there was a single shot that lasted more than a few seconds. Would have been a far better programme if the people behind the BBC's The Tower had done it, or even those who made Warship for Five.

Big Brother: Days 18 and 19 - 4/5
Surely Sylvia has to go this week? Nothing but an immature shit-stirrer.

City Of Men: Uoluce And Joao Vitor - 3/5

Battlestar Galactica - 5/5
Now there's a cliffhanger. Not one that leaves you gobsmacked by what you're seeing, but one that asks 'what the fuck do they do now?'. Great to see Lucy Lawless' D'Anna back. The threes are seriously hot, far more so than the Sixes. The Sixes have the looks, for sure, but I've always had a thing for women who could kick my ass and the Threes are the girls for that...

Summer Heights High: Episode 2

Nip/Tuck: Candy Richards - 4/5
Renewed for two more seasons. Who would have thought it possible given some of this season's excesses? It certainly has a new lease of life though.

Jews: The Prisoner - 3/5

Wife Swap: 19th June - 3/5
I used to love Wife Swap, but I seem to be losing patience with it lately. I think it's because I'm finding it hard to connect with any of the people they choose. Like with a good film, it helps to have someone to root for, but everyone on Wife Swap these days seems to be vile.

Secret Diary Of A Call Girl: Episode 1.6 - 4/5

House: Living The Dream - 4/5
Anne Dudek's Amber Volakis / Cutthroat Bitch is every inch my ex. This isn't actually a bad thing.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Some political thoughts

1. I've heard a lot of talk recently about how sanctions aimed at Zimbabweans have to be targetted at the ruling elite because we can't possibly let the ordinary people suffer. Hello? They're hardly living in a utopian paradise now, are they?

South Africa has in its hand the single most potent weapon against Mugabe, the ability to turn off the electricity supply to the country. Zimbabweans, even those who supposedly support Mugabe, aren't going to put up with a lack of electricity for very long. Certainly, it will cause people to suffer, but the brutal truth is that that is unavoidable.

South Africa should cut the power and deliver an ultimatum. Get rid of Mugabe and swiftly form an interim unity goverment between Zanu-PF and the MDC as a precursor to restoration of the constitution and free, fair and UN-observed elections. Do that, and you get your electricity back.

2. Apparently, MPs are to be banned from using expenses to buy things like TVs, furniture household goods etc for their second homes. I really don't see what the problem is. For most MPs, a second home, in London, is a necessity because of the hours involved in the job and the distance to most constituency homes. Surely then, they should be entitled to reasonable expenses in furnishing that home? Most people earn one salary and keep one home. Why should someone be expected to keep two homes on one salary when one of those homes is an unavoidable requirement of the job?

3. There's an interesting article by Jonathan Freedland in today's Guardian about the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities and the consequences of such an attack. This comes after Israel's recent military exercise in which, over the Mediterranean, they demonstrated their ability to project substantial air power over a distance that could take it to Iran.

One point I picked up on was where Freedland says that one reason Israel fears even a single Iranian nuclear bomb is because they don't believe the concept of mutually assured destruction doesn't apply, that although Israel is a nuclear power, it only takes one Iranian bomb to eliminate Israel. However, this doesn't take into account that the US is an on-the-record guarantor of Israeli security. If anything is likely to put a break on the Iranians launching a nuclear attack on Israel, surely it's the near certainty that doing so would see Tehran turned to dust in US nuclear retaliation?

For this reason, I remain somewhat sceptical that the Iranians would ever attempt at attack, but for reasons Freedland goes into in his article, the Israelis will try hard to prevent them from ever being in a position to do so. The horrible truth here may be that this is a no-lose situation for the Iranians. If they get the bomb, it will give them hugely-enhanced status in the Islamic world, if Israel destroy it, it will act as a pretext for radical Islamic terrorism for generations to come and it's that which may prove to be the greater threat to Israeli security.

All the Lego in the world

Giz takes a walk down memory lane at Lego's secret vault.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Movie catch-up

30 Days Of Night - as a remote Alaskan town heads into seasonal darkness, it finds itself under attack from vampires. A group of inhabitants, led by the local sheriff (Josh Hartnett) and his ex (Melissa George), must hold out for 30 days until the sunlight returns. A superior, refreshing take on the genre that's never less than entertaining, visually inventive and rather gory - 4/5

Before The Devil Knows You're Dead - two brothers (Ethan Hawke and a supremely odious Phillip Seymour Hoffman) plot to rob a jewellery store, only the heist doesn't go according to plan. Veteran director Sidney Lumet takes the tried and tested heist gone wrong genre and attempts to breathe new life into it by changing the film's structure to one which reveals the events from the perspective of the various characters by way of flashback and flashforward. It makes the film an interesting watch, but there's no escaping that it's actually just a generic example of it's genre, presented in an original way. Wouldn't be nearly as good if it were told in a linear fashion - 4/5

Sicko - Michael Moore takes aim as the US health insurance industry. Moore eschews most of the stunt-pulling that characterised Fahrenheit 9/11, wisely deciding that the shocking stories of those who were screwed over by their HMOs were effective enough by themselves. By way of contrast, Moore ventures to Canada, the UK, France and Cuba to examine how their free social healthcare systems manage to look after everyone without ushering in communism or bankrupting their citizens. Moore does indulge himself a little at the end when he tries to obtain free healthcare for 9/11 rescue workers by putting them on a boat and taking them to Guantanamo Bay, but it's easy to forgive this when the rest of the film is such an effective and damning indictment of healthcare in the US - 4/5

The Escapist - another genre stalwart, the prison escape movie, is reworked by up and coming director Ruper Wyatt. Brian Cox plays an inmate plotting an escape so he can try and be with his drug-addicted daughter. We join the story from the start of the escape and through the film, its progress is shown parallel with flashback to its planning. The two strands twist together at the end of the film. The prison Cox finds himself in is a grim affair, devoid of natural light, aging and crumbling, resounding with the hard-edged sounds of keys in heavy metal locks and heavy prison doors, and the wailing, jeering and shouting of other inmates. Interesting, the backstory of the inmates is never revealed, so we have no idea why they're inside. The audience finds itself in the position of willing them on to escape, without ever considering if they should escape. Overall, it's passable entertainment, but it is a bit drawn-out in places. Also, once you know the twist, you realise that it won't be worth watching the film again, rather like doing the same jigsaw for a second time - 3/5

Watched recently

Lordy, I haven't done this in a while. Please forgive the lack of clickable links. I really can't be bothered with that anymore.

Boston Legal: Indecent Proposals - 4/5

Jericho: Oversight - 4/5

America's Got Talent: Dallas Auditions - 4/5
America's Got Talent: Los Angeles Auditions - 3/5
What strikes me about AGT is that so far, I haven't seen a single act that I would say could get a semi-final place in BGT.

Have I Got A Bit More News For You - 5/5
Consistently the most entertaining show on television.

Warship: Episodes 4 and 5: 4/5

Doctor Who: Forest Of The Dead - 4/5
Doctor Who: Midnight - 4/5
Doctor Who: Turn Left - 4/5
Looks like Russell T. Davies is trying to go out with a bang. Certainly, Turn Left was a tremendous episode, though perhaps flattered by its terrific climax. Roll on Davros!

Battlestar Galactica: The Hub - 5/5

Big Brother: Day 10 - 3/5
Big Brother: Day 11 - 4/5
Big Brother: Day 12 - 4/5
Big Brother: Day 13 - 4/5
Big Brother: Days 13 and 14 - 4/5
Big Brother: Day 15 - 4/5
Big Brother: Alexandra's Interview and New Housemate - 3/5
Big Brother: Day 16
Stephanie shouldn't have been evicted (but it's good to see her milk the press), glad Alex has been booted out, Mario is an insufferable bore, Lisa needs lessons in applying makeup, I find Bex alarmingly attractive and Sylvia is immature.

The Late Show: Harrison Ford and Leona Lewis - 4/5
I can see why Dave and Ford get on, they share the same warped sense of humour. This is a good thing. But seriously, Harrison, lose the ear stud already.

City Of Men: The Emperor's Crown - 4/5
City Of Men: The Man's Brother-In-Law - 4/5

Summer Heights High: Episode 1 - 4/5

Entourage: The Cannes Kids - 4/5
As good as ever, but next season, ITV, sort out the fucking timings so my Sky+ box doesn't keep skipping the last half minute. Every other fucking channel can do it, so there's no reason why you can't.

House: No More Mr Nice Guy - 5/5
Damn, Amber (aka Cutthroat Bitch) is hot. Absolutely my kind of girl. Erk... I AM WILSON

Nip/Tuck: August Walden - 4/5

Saturday, 21 June 2008

The bizarre tale of Kay Burley and Naomi Campbell

Eating lunch an hour ago, I switched on Sky News and saw an interview with Naomi Campbell, conducted by Sky's longest livvvv.... serving presenter, Kay Burley. Campbell made some allegations of racism against British Airways, which sounded a bit daft to me as the company has a very ethnically diverse workforce. But no matter, I'm more interested in the fact Campbell is absolutely gorgeous and this clouds my judgment of her. She can throw as many mobile phones and kick as many policemen as she likes for all I care. I'm smitten.

Anyway, Burley presses on vapidly with her interview and my attention falls to the Guardian, which I'm reading at the time. I'm such a multi-tasker. With perfect timing, I turn to page 5 and there's a story headlined "Hurly Burley - Sky News presenter in melee at Campbell court hearing''. Of course, there's always something of a press scrum when Campbell arrives at court, but it seems that Burley went aong with her this time and in the scrummage found herslef hit in the face with a camera, bruising her cheekbone.

Helpfully, the Guardian story illustrated the events with a series of photos. It looks like Burley was walking just in front of Campbell when AP photographer Kirsty Wigglesworth tried to thrust a camera by her and snatch a shot of Campbell. Presumably, this is where the camera hit Burley. However, rather than, err, take it on the cheek and press on, Burley then appears to reach out, grab the hapless snapper round the throat and pin her against the wall. So here we have a journalist covering a story on about a model facing assault and disorderly conduct charges grabbing the throat of a photographer covering the same story after being accidentally assaulted herself. Brilliant!

Burley was notably absent from her afternoon show yesterday and doesn't appear on camera in the interview (at least not that I saw), presumably because of her shiner, which you can see along with the throat grab shot over at the Daily Mail.

Friday, 20 June 2008

My bottom, Kevin Spacey and the magical dancing unicorn

Last night, I dreamt that I was entering prison. I had no idea why I was there, or where the prison was. The dream started just after I had apparently objected to having my bottom examined by a prison officer. He told me to fill in a form to register my objection and, if appropriate, nominate someone to be present while I had my bottom examined.

For some reason it occured to me that I should have a priest present! Next thing I know, there's a priest standing next to me, but I took an instant dislike to him. Then, randomly, Kevin Spacey enters the room and I complain to him that priests should be independent and not on the payroll of the Prison Service. He says "yeah yeah yeah, sit with me" and we sit on the floor with our back to the door. Next he claps his hands together and says "scientific facts people!" and everyone in the room takes turns telling Spacey interesting scientific facts, none of which I remember.

Then this guy - another prisoner, I think - pulls out this tiny silver unicorn, no more than a couple of centimetres high, everyone goes "ooooh!" and Spacey says "now that's what I'm talking about!". An armchair appears to my right and the guy puts the unicorn on to it where it starts to do a little dance, before falling off down the side of the cushion. Whoever is in the chair scrambles to try and retrieve it. I wake up.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

From the Guardian

An interesting letter about the current situation with the EU from today's Guardian...

"True to form the Irish political establishment and the EU elites are beginning their manoeuvres to circumvent or negate Ireland's rejection of the Lisbon treaty (Loathing of elections has led British democracy to atrophy, June 18).

Irrespective of the wide variety of reasons that contributed to the no majority, there was an instinctive underlying affirmation of democratic principles. The proportion of national legislation and the extent of governance originating at the EU level require the exercise of representative parliamentary democracy broadly similar to, but separate from, the exercise of parliamentary democracy at the national level. The EU's citizens are being denied their fundamental right to vote in, or vote out, those who govern them at the EU level. The core democratic principle is: "We will not accept your governance unless you seek our consent on a regular basis."

Although theoretically representative of the EU's citizens, the European council is too far removed from their scrutiny or control. At the very least, the Commission should be elected by the European parliament and be accountable to it. It would not require much effort to amend the current treaty to include this simple, but far-reaching, provision.

The EU will lurch from crisis to crisis, undermine its considerable achievements to date, and destroy its international credibility if the EU elites continue to avoid seeking the consent of its citizens to be governed.

Paul Hunt

Haywards Heath, West Sussex"

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Simon Jenkins

There's an excellent column by Simon Jenkins on the political elite's contempt for the democratic process in today's Guardian. Read it here.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008


A photo I took on a recent trip to Kinder Scout made it to Victoria Derbyshire's blog today! It's the one with the sheep. You can see a full-size version here and the rest of the day's photos here.

RIP Stan Winston

Horrible news this morning that Stan Winston has died. Now, you might not know who he is, but you have certainly seen his special effects work in movies over the years. A sad loss to the industry. Here is some of his finest, iconic, work...

[Edit: James Cameron has posted a tribute to Winston over at AICN]

Monday, 16 June 2008

Secret Diary Of A Call Girl

Seems that the American critics love our Billie... clicky here.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Movie catch-up

I've seen a few films recently and neglected to review them, so here's a catch-up...

You, The Living - very, very black swedish comedy-drama from Roy Andersson, a follow-up to his 2000 film, Songs From The Second Floor. Set in a grey Stockholm, we witness little, tenuously linked scenes from the lives of disparate individuals. A plumber finds himself in court after trying to pull a tablecloth off a fully-laden table, a middle-aged woman bemoans her monther-in-law's refusal to serve alcohol at dinner, a junior school teacher breaks down in tears in front of her pupils, a businessman has his head partially shaved after falling out with a barber. These vignettes and others combine to produce a a film short on plot, but heavy on symbolism. Their point is often elusive, yet together you get a feeling for what the message is, without neessarily being able to verbalise it. And yes, I am having trouble writing this review for this reason. My advice, just go see it for yourself - 4/5

In The Shadow Of The Moon - documentary recounting the Apollo missions, with particular emphasis on Apollo 11, through interviews with the astronauts involved and (often spectacular) archive footage. A largely absorbing film, though if you're quite familiar with Apollo 11 a lot will seem like going over old ground. However, the astronauts themselves are compelling and full of anecdotes, especially Buzz Aldrin. Sadly, the reclusive Neil Armstrong chose not to take part and his real absence is as infuriating as his notional presence is enigmatic. A worthy and significant work - 4/5

Gone Baby Gone - directorial debut for Ben Affleck, based on the novel by Dennis Lehane, the UK release of which was delayed due to parallels with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. In summary, two private detectives (Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan) are hired to help investigate the disappearance of a young girl, something which brings them into conflict with the local police and the girl's mother. It's an accomplished directorial debut, owing a lot to the films of Clint Eastwood - the tone and style are reminiscent of Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby. Of course, it helps to be working with solid source material such as Lehane's novel. It does unravel a little towards the end when the time comes to start explaining things - it gets a little confused and ragged - but this is a screenplay isse, not a directorial one. The final, resolutely downbeat scenes, salvage things though. Affleck is showing himself to be a fine actor following this and The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford and quality support is provided by Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Titus Welliver and Oscar-nominated Amy Ryan, but Michelle Monaghan is largely superfluous - 4/5

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Watched yesterday

Nip/Tuck: Lulu Grandiron - I don't think Joan van Ark ever thought she would end up doing that - 4/5

House: Don't Ever Change - alarmingly, I see parallels between Wilson and myself in this episode - 4/5

Heroes: Four Months Ago... - a big improvement on the previous episode, but still not great. Kristen Bell is incredibly hot though - 3/5

Entourage: No Cannes Do - an episode that carries unexpected extra weigth given the recent death of Sydney Pollack - 4/5

Big Brother: Day 8 - 4/5
Big Brother: Live Eviction - 3/5
Mario should have gone as he's a tiresome bore. Stephanie is sweet. Expect to see her in Nuts or Zoo in the near future, but as a first week evictee I doubt she'll be in the public eye for long.

Secret Diary Of A Call Girl: Episode 1.5 - when this first appeared last year, I gave up after four episodes, but as it's getting an outing on ITV1 at the moment I though I would give it another go and I'm quite glad I did because it was quite enjoyable - 4/5

MTV Cribs: Jodie Marsh - not really into women who have a thing for motorbikes - 4/5

Friday, 13 June 2008

Watched recently

Big Brother: Day 4 - the tedious fake romance task limped to it's conclusion. I think it was unfair of Big Brother to ask the housemates to identify the secret couple and use that as the criterion for deciding whether or not the task had been passed. Nobody had figured out that Mario and Lisa were a couple by the end of the wedding (or if they had, they didn't say anything) so the four did win the task. Asking the question simply led housemates to focus on Mario or Steph as part of a couple and the most logical partner for Mario was Lisa. Perhaps Big Brother wanted them to be found out because they realised it would be ridiculous to evict any of the other twelve because we've barely seen any of them - 3/5

Lost: There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 and 3 - quite possibly the best ever episodes of Lost. Ben moving the island, entrusting it to Locke and knowing he could never return was surprisingly poignant. I already knew from the beginning who was in the casket at the end, but the fact they have to get him back to the island was a delicious twist - 5/5

The Apprentice: Week Twelve - the final and Lee wins. I wanted Helene to win, obviously, but even I have to concede she showed little to warrant her being given a job. I would give Claire a job any day though - 4/5

Big Brother: Days 5, 6 and 7 - all up to date now. The show has improved massively now the fake reomance is over and we're finding out more about the other housemates. Alex is an utterly vile individual and Dennis isn't much better. Sylvia's clearly being led by Alex and she needs to escape otherwise she'll just get sucked into her black hole (which is, I admit, a really bad choice of words). The lovely Rachel is looking like an early potential winner. Sensible, down to earth, but fun, she's the new Kate Lawler and provided she can keep it together there's no reason why she shouldn't go all the way - 4/5

DatelineNetCrime: To Catch A Predator - amusing for about five minutes - 3/5

Derren Brown: Trick Or Treat: Episode 2.6 - Derren's said he thinks this is the end of Trick or Treat, so it's fitting that it should go out on a high with two 'tricks' which were, to be frank, mindblowing. Nice touch with the truly sick joke at the end! - 5/5

Britain's Next Top Model: Intelligence and Originality - what the fuck is Gerry 'no-one outside of fashion has ever heard of me' Deveaux's problem with the gorgeous Alex? She turns in a stunning photo and all he can say is that she shouldn't be in the competition. Explain yourself, fuckwit! - 4/5

The Irish have spoken...

...and they've clearly said "NO!"

Yes, it's true, the Irish electorate has delivered a decisive no vote to the EU constitution - oh, sorry, the Treaty of Lisbon, my bad.

When the first draft of the constitution was rejected by French and Dutch referenda in 2005, the politicians went away and had a think then came back with the Treaty of Lisbon, which was basically a repackaged constitution. Not wishing to be embarassed by their own electorates, governments decided not to let their votes have a say and push the treaty through their respective parliaments, most notoriously here in the UK where the government reneged on a promise to hold a referendum on the false pretext the rejected constitution and the treaty were completely different.

So credit is due then to Micheál Ó Gríobhtha, John Hearne and those who helped them draft the Irish constitution, and the Irish Supreme Court which ruled that treaties which substantially alter the nature of the EU would require a constitutional amendment and therefore a referendum. Without them, not one single voter in Europe would have had a say on this treaty. But the real praise should go to the Irish people themselves who, despite the combined efforts of all of their major political parties, unions and most of the press, combined with barely veiled threats from the continent, refused to be bullied and struck a blow for democracy across right across Europe. Today, they are all heroes.

Of course, how the EU will respond to to this remains to be seen. History tells us that when the EU hasn't got its way in the past, it justs keeps on asking the question again until it's got the answer it wants. But this shouldn't come as a surprise given the EU is inherently contemptuous of the democratic process. Even as I type this I hear that Gordon Brown has said he will complete ratification of the treaty in the UK. It takes breathtaking arrogance to persue ratification of a treaty which is, thanks to the Irish, legally dead in the water.

It will be interesting to see if the eurocrats and their puppets in the Irish government do indeed try to browbeat the Irish into voting again in a year or two. In an ideal world, they would consider the fact that on the three occasions the public have had their say they have decisively said no, and perhaps go away and listen to what the people of Europe actually want from the EU, rather than try and find creative new ways to usurp the will of the people.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Indiana Jones And The City Of The Gods

No, it's not a new Indiana Jones film, but it's the fourth installment's original title, as envisaged by Frank Darabont's screenplay. Read a review here.

It's interesting to see how, given the similarities between Darabont's draft and the final film, Darabont himself didn't get a credit. Maybe he chose not to have one... who knows?

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Watched yesterday

The Late Show - Liv Tyler is a lovely woman, but she has the nobbliest knees I've ever seen - 4/5

Derren Brown: Trick or Treat
: Episode 2.5 - Derren gives a guy confidence. A bit meh, really, but the coda was interesting - 3/5

MTV Cribs: Danielle Lloyd - I don't normally watch this show, but I do enjoy coveting posh celebrity homes. It's just that as MTV isn't in my TV Guide, it's programmes don't really exist to me. Anyway, I happened upon this a a couple of week ago when randomly flicking through the channels and recorded it on timeshift. Danielle's crib isn't all that posh really. It's juts a two bedroom apartment in a seemingly non-descript development. Quite small inside, even it's number - 33 - is unspectacular. However, she has a keen eye for interior design and it looks like all her furnishings are custom-made. Perhaps surprisingly, she doesn't have that big a clothes collection, perhaps due to the size of the apartment, but I get the impression she isn't overly showy anyway. Sure, she likes expensive handbags and jewellery, but she doesn't go for garish bling. Her choices are tasteful, not overly ostentatious. Of course, she has an expensive car, but even here she has eschewed the obvious model and WAG's choice of a sports car for a Bentley convertible. It says 'yes, I'm doing well for myself, but I have class'. Good work, Dani - 4/5

Doctor Who: Silence In The Library - as always, Doctor Who is elevated by the imagination of Steven Moffat - 4/5

Warship: Episode 3 - very likeable documentary series, this one - 4/5

The Big Bang Theory: The Tangerine Factor - good end to the first season - 4/5

Monday, 9 June 2008

Watched yesterday

Jericho: Jennings & Rall - 3/5

Big Brother: Day 3 - this whole fake romance things is really boring and it's diverting attention from many housemates who we haven't really seen yet. It feels like the show hasn't really started yet and won't until this task is dispensed with. Alexandra and Dennis seem to be particularly vile individuals though, so all is not lost - 3/5

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Big watched recently catch-up

Have I Got A Bit More News For You: 24th May - 4/5

Derren Brown: Trick Or Treat: 23rd May - 3/5

Classic Albums: The Dark Side Of The Moon - 4/5

Lost: There's No Place Like Home, Part 1 - 3/5

Jericho: Condor - 4/5

Boston Legal: The Mighty Rogues - 3/5

Mad Men: The Wheel - roll on season two - 4/5

Warship: Episode 2: 4/5

Britain's Next Top Model - finally, they get something right and kick out the one who looked like a schoolboy - 4/5

Nip/Tuck: Kyle Ainge - just daft, really - 3/5

Battlestar Galactica: Sine Qua Non - oooh, it's all kicking off big time now. I think Admiral Adama might need a few more books though if he plans on sitting out there in space for a while - 4/5

The Apprentice: Week Eleven - Helene survives! - 5/5

Entourage: Snow Job - I wish ITV would sort out there programme timings because I always seem to miss the very end of this when I Sky+ it, a problem I don't have with other networks - 4/5

Big Brother: Live Launch - left a little deflated by the line-up this year, but I usually am. Nobody as immediately wonderful as the twins, but Stephanie seems lovely, as does Rachel. The fake relationship twist is tedious and embarassing to watch - 3/5

The Big Bang Theory: The Peanut Reaction - 4/5

House: Frozen - Mira Sorvino indeed. I wonder if this means we'll get more celebrity guest patients? - 4/5

Heroes: Out Of Time - an appropriate title because this show is rapidly running out of time with me. An unintelligible mess - 1/5

Big Brother: Day 1 - 3/5
Big Brother: Day 2 - 2/5

Boston Legal: The Court Supreme - putting aside the implausibility of Saffron Burrows' character still being a madam running brothels across the US, this is a back on form episode thanks to the awesome Supreme Court scenes - 4/5

Friday, 6 June 2008

Catching up

I must apologise for being so slack this week. I went to London with a friend on Tuesday and am still recovering!

Got to St Pancras just before lunch then went over to Euston to meet my friend (Lorraine, a dominatrix no less) who was coming down from Manchester. Filled the waiting time by having lunch, only to find her train delayed half an hour so I still had to wait around anyway. She arrived and we headed off to the Old Vic for a quick drink then went to fetish shop Honour where Lorraine bought some kinky business supplies - latex hood, nipple clamps, leather strap, blow-up doll (you know, the usual).

Then it was round to the Premier Inn at County Hall (my recommended budget hotel for central London) to check in and dump our stuff. After some messing around we headed back to the Old Vic to start our evening of drinking. Michelle Dockery (currently starring at the Old Vic as Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion) appeared in the bar at some point. Regular readers will know I enthused over her performance a couple of weeks ago, so I couldn't let the opportunity to introduce myself pass and when she had finished talking to whoever she was talking to, I said hello. Came across like a complete fawning fanboy, but she was most charming and really rather beautiful too.

After that, a quick phone call and we were joined by another friend of mine, Doug (who ditched his personal trainer to join us, good lad!), which was excuse enough to buy a bottle of Taittinger champagne (and no more expensive than Tesco thanks to my Pit Bar VIP discount card, hah!). Polished that off and went down the The Cut to Pizza Paradiso. The house wine was awful, but the caprini pizza (goats cheese, cherry tomatoes, rocket) was lovely and it's decently priced - recommended, just choose your wine carefully.

Next, across the road for more drinking at the Young Vic. At some point we started arm-wrestling eachother and I did pretty well, if I do say so myself. But I do have a technique, so had an advantage. We got kicked out around midnight and Doug went home, Lorraine and I headed back to the hotel, making a quick stop to buy bottles water, crisps, chocolate and, inexplicably, a carton of milk, which I promptly deposited in a sink of cold water back in our hotel bathroom.

Shortly thereafter, Lorraine and I started arm-wresling on the bed which led to real wrestling on the floor of the hotel room. As it does. All good, playful fun, but we're both still feeling the consequences! I think I came off the worse though. She's a dominatrix after all, she beats people up for a living! My upper arms are covered in bruises where she had me pinned down and I can't lift anything of much weight at all with my right hand because of the weak muscles.

Wednesday morning and it was back to the Old Vic for a free backstage tour, conducted by the legendary Ned Seago. Enlightening and entertaining for sure - and recommended because of that - but probably best enjoyed when not hungover! We then went off to Euston so Lorraine could catch her train back. While waiting in the food court, I noticed Sky News' crime correspondent Martin Brunt having a coffee or something and I went over to say hello as he left. Nice guy with a firm handshake, which is always a good sign. Left Lorraine, headed to St Pancras, bought a book at Foyles and headed back to the midlands.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Britain's Got Talent

OK, it was the final last night. Here's what I thought of the performances:

Cheeky Monkeys - for two small children, they were pretty good, but it bit too sugary sweet for me - 3/5

Andrew Muir - he was OK and has got a good voice, but the song choice was wrong. He himself told a perplexed Simon Cowell that he didn't get a say in the song, which is interesting. If the song choice was dictated by the production team then someone needs to be held to account because it's a degree of interference that can't be justified - 3/5

Kate & Gin - same routine as their audition, but still great. I want the pair of them to go and live on a magical island where they can happily live together forever and never grow old - 4/5

Nemisis - eschewed going back on an old routine to do something new, even though they nly had a day to prepare. A gutsy move that didn't quite pay off as their performance was a bit rough, but they were still great - 4/5

Strike - nowhere near as good as their semi-final and was I the only person to notice one of them fell over? - 3/5

Andrew Johnston - great performance, my runner-up on the night. Seemed well gutted not to win, and well done for him not pretending he felt any other way - 5/5

George Sampson - my third-place, routine was just as good as in the semi-final. Although I thought two other acts were better, he's still a deserving winner - 5/5

Faryl Smith - my winner and I'm absolutely gutted she didn't make the final three. Just amazing on the night - 5/5

Escala - two of them are stunning, two of them only really look good from a distance, but all four of them are very talented. That said, I'm no expert of that kind of music, so for all I know they could be journeymen performers, but they sounded good to me and will surely get some kind of record deal out of this, probably a few albums of popular classics and film themes. Only fourth for me on the night, but the competition was strong and they deserve... - 5/5

Signature - back to the audition act, which does lose something when the twist is revealed. However, it's still entertaining, they're great dancers, but it's hard to see where they take the act now, other than the inevitable BGT tour of course - 4/5

Overall, a very good final with at least four acts I would be happy to see win, one of which did. The hand of the producers was very much evident though, from the final act of each semi-final winning the public vote (though they all deserved to) to the best acts last night being weighted to the second half of the show. The possible interference in Andrew Muir's song choice is the only real cloud on an otherwise fantastic night of TV.

Watched yesterday

ER: The Chicago Way - and so ends the penultimate season of ER, a show of which I haven't missed single episode in its 14-year history. Hell of a cliffhanger - 4/5

Heroes: The Line - struggling with this now. I'm sick of crappy green-screen effects, tired of Hiro's tedious arsing about in Japan, bored of the brother and sister spending years to trying to get anywhere and I could care less about Peter Petrelli. In fact, there are only a few characters I give a toss about at the moment: Sylar, Claire, Nikki and whoever it is the hot Kristen Bell is playing - 2/5

Entourage: The Young And The Stoned - Perrey Reeves has a fantastic body - 4/5