The end of Apollo

Not all films are good enough to tempt you away from emptying the dishwasher. Last night I had a kitchen to prepare for workmen coming today, and I was already late for bed (i.e. dead tired), and I had lots to do.

But I discovered that Daughter was watching Apollo 13 again. Not all of it, as she was simply channel surfing. And when I stuck my head in, there was perhaps ten minutes left.

I sat down to watch. Obviously. You can’t ignore a film like Apollo 13.

I just wished I hadn’t put the serviceable ‘napkins’ we’d used for the Indian takeaway in the laundry. Could have used something to mop tears with.

Eurovision 2015

Eurovision was strange this year. It was quite clear from the start that three songs were the absolute favourites, and they remained the top three throughout, and I happened to agree that they were the best ones. I don’t think that’s ever happened before.

Was it just me, or did the Russian girl cheer up and calm down when she knew she wasn’t winning? She looked worse than anyone I’ve seen; ready to fall apart at the mere thought of things going well.

The Italian boys were both cute and had a good song. And the less said about some of the other countries the better. It was mostly mainstream Eurovision stuff, but those who stood out really stood out.

Måns Zelmerlöw

I hope Sweden can afford to host another contest so soon again. Usually we hope that Sweden will win – for obvious reasons – but this year it was more than a little weird. Daughter’s favourite, Måns Zelmerlöw, didn’t just sing for Sweden, but he won. I don’t believe that’s ever happened to me. I’ve liked singers, and I’ve liked songs. But not like this.

Thought I’d fall asleep around song no. 13 but got up and walked about a little and consumed caffeine to wake me up. I was puzzled by all the warnings that there would be fishing images, but eventually there really was some fishing. So it all was good.

NCIS: Los Angeles – Chernoff, K

Am I alone in being underwhelmed by Callen’s disproportionately childish search for his unknown father? It is not that big a deal. The man is an adult, and finding this long lost father will not take away any hurt he suffered as a child. And why are the people around him keeping back the information? If they know something, or can find out (and why can’t Callen?), why not tell him?

I’m grateful that we didn’t leave season six on a massive cliffhanger. It is quite possible to have a good summer and return to a new season without them. Although if Callen could have seen what we did at the end, he’d really have something to brood about.

Hope they will deal with this sensibly and swiftly when we meet again.

Tried to understand what the big deal was with the missing oil. No, we don’t want known terrorists to have access to money or weapons of any sort, but they will and they do.

Those forests were decidedly un-Russian, but was obviously the best California had to offer. Good to see they asked a friend to shoot some real Moscow street scenes for them. And Arkady is always a delight. Glad that he’s not enough of a baddie to die when shot.

The last few episodes of the season were a bit weaker than the beginning and middle, but there is hope.

NCIS – Neverland

Really? Is it bullet proof vests again, or not? As the Resident IT Consultant said the other day, it gets tiresome – if lifesaving – to have people go down and then get up with the aid of kevlar.

I have not been following speculation on what will happen in NCIS season thirteen. I suppose it is the unlucky number, but you wouldn’t kill off your leading man just like that. Would you? We are meant to spend summer in a state of nerves, worrying about Gibbs. I don’t think I can do that. I mean, I won’t. I don’t see the point.

Who was the American girl they followed at the end? Sometimes I reckon it’s not me being slow, but script writers forgetting we need thread to tie bits of episode together with. And Morse code. Honestly? You need to know it for it to work on the subconscious.

I do quite like Officer Teague. She’s a proper NCIS kind of character, with none of this over-romantic young and beautiful/handsome actor pretending badly. They don’t get them right very often. Is she bound to die? I don’t think so, but you never know.

One question is whether they already know what will happen at the start of the next season. Sometimes it seems they write a cliffhanger and then go away and brainstorm a solution two months later.

And did they ever stop to think about having yet one more baddie with a British accent? If this continues, I suppose we’ll soon find that Ducky has been an enemy spy all these years. Very deep cover.

NCIS – The Lost Boys

Nooooo! They can’t do that to us!

Except that they have. I was going to say that if they keep killing recurring characters, we won’t have any left. But if they instead kill a new character, we wouldn’t care even half as much. Good psychology, but otherwise not so nice.

Also very clever because at one end we were meant to think something had gone really bad (for one of ours) and at the opposite end, it did. Twice, or at least, almost.

Bishop, Abby and Di Nozzo

Abby left her lab, and I think that was Mark Harmon’s shirt that Gibbs wore towards the end. Not a Gibbsy shirt to my mind. And someone very unlikely actually called him Gibbsy to his face!

It’s odd how they bring back formerly bad guys and we find we sort of like them, although I was puzzled by how keen the bad girl from only a few episodes ago was to help. I suspect they enjoyed bringing back prisoners in orange so much at Christmas, that they had to do it again.

And the children; last week’s wasn’t saved. Perhaps this week’s boy will be, unless he’s already suffered too much.

In the midst of this we had the hilarious script from Abby, delivered by Bishop and DiNozzo, which was so spot on. As well as Dorneget’s alter ego Gilroy Lebbs, or however you spell it.

A last spilled pen…

McGee and Dorneget

It was the usual with the new character who turned up at the end. If she’d been thought of before, then her son wouldn’t have been like he was. Or so I reckon.

Bring on the end of season 12! I don’t want it to end, obviously, and it’s about a week too early. But all good things come to an end, and season 12 was it.

(Photos © CBS)

Woman in Gold

What surprised me the most about Woman in Gold was how much it was about the war. That might sound stupid, but I’d mainly thought about the process of getting a stolen work of art back now, long after the war. And the trailer had been mostly lighthearted, with clever and amusing lines.

Woman in Gold

Don’t misunderstand me; I believe the film was better for all its background, reminding us – and in the case of Daughter, showing for the first time – of what went on in Austria not only during the war, but before it as well. Without it, Maria Altmann could have seemed to be simply greedy and grabbing. In a way this was one of those occasions when you feel that both sides are both right and wrong. Were it not for the fact that Austria took away Maria’s right to the life she was living, when they pulled the rug out from under her feet. As I think she said, it wasn’t so much getting the painting of her aunt back, as getting some recompense for what they did to her family, breaking it up, and killing most of them.

Woman in Gold

I had looked forward to seeing more of Vienna, but in the end it was almost painful. I appreciated seeing the old Vienna, as Maria knew it when she grew up. I’m not Austrian, nor quite that old, but I could recognise some of the life she lived.

Had not realised that Daughter didn’t know what the outcome was going to be, but then it had been some years since we read about Maria and her Klimt painting in the news.

Woman in Gold

I enjoyed Woman in Gold, and more so for it being so European, and not just Hollywood gloss. Helen Mirren can do anything she puts her mind to, and Ryan Reynolds was a lovely Randol Schoenberg. Good to see so many actors employed who are not necessarily English language household names, but who were able to portray Austrians in a believable way.

NCIS – Troll

Palmer

It was about time we had a ‘to be continued,’ although I didn’t see it until we were actually there. At first it looked like they would go with the obvious ending for this type of scenario, but I came to the conclusion they’d done it too many times. I’m guessing they did too.

McGee and DiNozzo

The Bishop marital issues were perhaps a little tiresome, but necessary for the plot. Rather sweet that ‘Mr Bishop’ is getting on quite so well with Gibbs. The others just haven’t tried; I’m sure he’s dead easy to get on with.

Dorneget

Great to have Dorneget back, even with his unlikely change of career path within NCIS. Nice to have the scene of the first death back, too. You sort of feel at home when they re-use sets. And when I am thin and younger and more beautiful I’ll have a dress like Abby’s, with that very necklace.

Abby

We’re nearing the end of season 12. Has anyone not signed a contract for season 13?

Gibbs

(Photos © CBS)