Monthly Archives: January 2010

NCIS:Los Angeles – Missing

The halfway cliffhanger. I didn’t see it coming, but I suppose it’s a good idea. I like Dom, but not so much that I’m heartbroken. On the other hand, Daughter said she likes him best, which was something I didn’t know.

First I was so cynical that I thought Shane Brennan felt NCIS: Los Angeles needed a larger audience, but maybe he’d planned this a long time ago. But it’s odd how much more engaged I feel after an ending of ‘is he dead or isn’t he?’ I went looking for more thoughts on the situation, and it seems that no one is safe from being experimented with and written out of the series, permanently or temporarily.

In fact, to me it wouldn’t have mattered who they did this to, which goes to show that I like watching, but have no particular need for any one of the characters. Whereas if they did this in NCIS I’d be ready for murder.

‘Every crook and nanny’ at St Trinian’s

It wasn’t too bad, that second St Trinian’s film. Not that I have seen the first one, and I gather the second is supposed to be worse. But I quite liked it. Funny and very light. And it had that Mr Darcy and the Doctor in it, so the scenery was OK, if you can ignore Rupert Everett’s teeth. I’m not keen on cross-dressing like that, though. Gives me a sort of eugh feeling.

Don’t believe they wore white sports socks in the sixteenth century, but David Tennant was cute tied up. Quite cute as the baddie, too. Dog was awfully cute, but according to Daughter I need to understand that Mr Darcy had killed its predecessor or some such ghastly thing. Which was not very nice.

A bit of education could be had through all that Shakespeare, and maybe I ought to go and have a look round The Globe one day. Agree with the critics who felt the school girls were too old. There must be plenty of suitable wannabe actresses aged 17, rather than these elderly 20+ people they had dug out from somewhere. Maybe they are famous?

‘Big fish, little fish, cardboard box’ is always amusing. And so is having the fat girl be the intelligent one. So unlikely. Although the actress has a good date for her birthday, I have to say.

NCIS – Jetlag

Di Nozzo and Ziva in Paris

Did they or didn’t they? That is the question. Tony and Ziva, in Paris, I mean. I suspect Shane Brennan hasn’t made his mind up, and is just teasing us. To some extent we have to consider Gibbs’s rule no. 12 about dating co-workers. It would ruin the flow on NCIS, so I don’t think it will happen.

Gibbs and Abby

Funny that they let Ducky do DiNozzo’s film comment, sitting in the shower in the corpse’s apartment. Cat litter seems quite topical these days, though spreading it over dead bodies is different from covering the snow with it. (‘Over my dead body…’) Sorry. Or in Abby’s hair.

Air rage with Ziva and Di Nozzo

Air rage is getting scarier, and I wonder if the episode was filmed this side of Christmas, or not. Were they oblivious of what happened then, or did they fit in with it? At least now I’ve seen what an Air Marshal might look like. Had imagined more kevlar vest and machine guns, but that might be OTT.

Deleting is so very hard to do

I had so many suspects in this one, that I’d run through most of them getting killed or becoming unwell, before settling on the real one, whom I’d half thought of to begin with but decided was too obvious. Perhaps they couldn’t make their minds up, either?

The scene of crime

Funny that Gibbs ended up with a bad shoulder the very same week that this witch has been almost unable to blog due to very bad shoulder, though not due to the same thing. I would like to save McGee’s life, but have to say that a painful shoulder is so not enjoyable.

Gibbs and McGee

It’s interesting how the chemistry between agents varies depending on who works with whom. I think Gibbs and McGee work very well together. Was I the only one getting flashbacks to Red Cell with the garage scene in this one?

Witness, DiNozzo and Ziva

I gather from Special Ops that the Tiva fans have been happy this week, but also that some people were almost fighting on the forum. Calm down dears, it’s just television… Though it is NCIS.

(Photos © CBS)

Skirtless at the Bridgewater Hall

That could be my worst nightmare. But it’s not me. It’s the young.

I accompanied Daughter to her GCSE certificates evening last night. Unlike when it was Son’s turn and we simply slummed it in the very cramped school hall, they have now gone to the other extreme and hired the Bridgewater Hall. And they’re charging for it.

Rumour had it that cocktail dresses or similar were to be worn, but that’s just too silly. A prom dress is one thing, but another dress to receive a piece of paper is not on. Daughter dressed nicely, but sensibly. So did the old witch, although no one looked at her.

I was slightly taken aback by the first one or two girls who appeared to have come half dressed, until I got used to the fact that those tight t-shirts were dresses. Of course they were. Some almost looked like dresses, albeit short short short. Shoes with heals that nobody could walk in.

The evening wasn’t bad in the end. A solid programme with music by the school orchestra (at least they can now say they’ve played at the Bridgewater Hall), songs from the choir and an extract from a play by the drama group, ‘rock’ song by the rock band.

And speeches. The Headteacher and the Head of Year and a retired PE teacher and sports star all spoke. Then there was the actress, the former student, who at the ripe old age of 23 or so offered advice on life. That’s all very well, but she could have shaved off two thirds of her talk without anyone suffering. In fact, we might not have suffered then. Unkind, I know, but it was ‘me me me.’

Drinks and mingling afterwards to show how grown-up we are, followed by a cold walk back to the railway station. Colder still for those who could have worn trousers but didn’t.

It was fairly memorable, I suppose. Particularly the floral t-shirt with sheer black tights directly underneath.

Vera and the next generation

What is the world coming to? As I went out for my Saturday afternoon walk I left Daughter at the kitchen table finishing off her Art coursework while listening to my old Vera Lynn cassette. The fact that it’s a cassette tells you it was a while since I got it. But she wanted to hear more music like We’ll Meet Again, so I reckoned Vera was the place to start.

Not sure where she can go from there, but I did get Glenn Miller out of his box.

Dates for the Millennium films

At long last we have dates for the Millennium films in Britain. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is finally going to be here on March 12th, The Girl Who Played With Fire on September 10th and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest on November 5th. So that’s only a year behind Sweden.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Be prepared for violence, but do go and see them.

Terry Pratchett platform at the National

I could smell Marmite. I’m sure of it. I looked around me in the Olivier stalls, hoping to catch the Marmite in action and frown a little, but the only thing I caught was a salmon salad in the row in front of me. Either it was a Marmite fed salmon, or the Marmite was elsewhere but so pungent that it made itself noticed all over.

Yesterday’s platform event with Terry Pratchett at the Olivier just before the evening performance of Nation was well attended, and people just love Terry. He was in good form, considering he’d already sat through at least four interviews, and had had barely time to be fed. Terry could have done with the salmon, I’d say.

On stage he was interviewed by Sara LeFanu, who got her dates and facts a little mixed up, but not about anything major. The drawback with a platform event featuring two people ‘in conversation’ is that the audience only gets half as much as they do with someone talking directly to the audience. I realise this suited Terry better, but we would all have loved more.

And although this was about Nation as a play, once Terry and Sara had talked about the background for the book, the Q&A session with the audience was almost exclusively about Discworld. Audiences tend to go really quite deaf when it comes to this kind of thing. They are asked to stick to certain topics, and then blithely go on about whatever is nearest to their hearts, anyway.

But it was good, with very heartfelt applause as Terry left again.

Past Lives – NCIS: Los Angeles

NCIS: LA was a surprisingly civilised affair for us this time. We had some nice food at home, for a change, and ate a lovely meal in front of the television with the latest instalment of LA. That, too, was pretty good, and certainly made more sense than the week before.

A bit sad for poor Callen again, but he’ll get there eventually. It was clear from the start that such a nice extra as Jeffrey Pierce had to be bad, deep down. He was. Recognised him from the ‘real’ NCIS, and by pure chance he was in the episode shown on television at the same time. I need to keep stats on whether they get to be good on one and bad on the other. He was good on NCIS, but a suspect. Obviously.

Not much more to say, unless someone wants the menu.

Actually, there is. Why are all children in series like these so cute?

Oh yes, and there was one more ex-NCIS actor on-board. Both he and the bad one looked so much better this time, which goes to prove that marine or navy haircuts give you a bad hair day. And my stats theory is working. Good today, bad the other time.

Did You Hear About the Morgans?

Yeah, we did. But only just. I’ve heard of movies and I’ve heard of talkies. This was both, and not in the traditional way of thinking. The Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker film was down to two performances a day – already – and we expected little resistance at the cinema. Hah. Queue reaching out to the square, and then surprisingly most of the hooligans seemed to want our film, instead of one of the explosive, bloody ones on offer.

Cinema was full of chattering 14-year-olds with no sense whatsoever. Didn’t hear much of the speaking at the beginning of the film, so it moved but didn’t talk. If you get my drift. But, and I can barely believe this, cinema staff hung out and told the idiots off, and eventually moved the talkers out and left the rest of us to watch and listen normally.

Hugh Grant looks old these days and I can’t decide if the man can act or simply does himself over and over again. They just needed a British gent who could say witty things, which he did. I’ve never seen SJP in anything and refuse to write her long name here. She was OK. These two separated, but still married people end up spending time together in Wyoming under the witness protection scheme after witnessing a murder in SJP’s beloved native New York.

Mary Steenburgen and Sam Elliott in Did You Hear About the Morgans?

And I might almost want to do that too, if I get to stay with Lee Scoresby and wife and his by now sun tanned Iorek Byrnison in the woods. Lots of jokes based on what to do when face-to-face with a bear. Riding lessons and shooting lessons for the townies.

Hugh Grant in Did You Hear About the Morgans?

This is life in your typical small town America. The kind where you miss the town the first time and need to drive through it again just to see. They vote Republican, but are OK in the end. Too many moustaches and guns, but OK.

Elisabeth Moss and Jesse Liebman in Did You Hear About the Morgans?

Luckily the Morgans get to return to New York and the tender services of PAs Jackie and Adam. Sweet but clueless.

A Prophet

For years I wondered what else Niels Arestrup – the young and handsome and romantic character I once watched in a French television series – had done. I’ve finally come across him again, in a French jail, as the not terribly nice Luciani. I forget what his Danish-ness consists of, other than his name, but he seems to have been busy acting, albeit not in the English-speaking world.

There’s something to be said for going to see films you know nothing about, and French films fall largely in this category. I didn’t even realise that A Prophet was a French film until I looked it up on IMDb. That made the prospect of two and a half hours of watching prisoners in jail more appealing, somehow.

It’s all about a young Arab, Malik, who is sentenced to six years in prison, and who early on is forced by one of the powerful prisoners, Luciani, to kill someone else in order to gain Luciani’s protection. He really has no choice, so kills his fellow inmate in the most bloody manner.

At least, I think it was bloody. I stopped watching for a while there, and only fixed my eyes on the screen once the razor blade seemed to have gone, along with its effects. It’s not often in films that you get to see characters trying to wash their bloody clothes quite so desperately.

Tahar Rahim and Niels Arestrup in A Prophet

The deed secures Malik’s status within Luciani’s group, where he is ‘safe’ but only ever considered a lowly Arab among the Corsicans. Malik decides to improve himself, so goes to school, but later on gets himself involved in more crime ranging from a bit of drug pushing to more violence and lots of blood. But there is method behind what he does, and Malik matures, even if he is anything but innocent.

A Prophet

All the actors do a great job, and the film provides fascinating insight into both French prisons and French society of a kind we rarely see. The sticks of bread they are fed in prison, and the single cells, and the polite form of address towards staff is refreshingly different.

Did I mention that Niels Arestrup has grown old since our last ‘encounter’? And now that I think of it, he was a bit of a crook then, too. Only handsomer.