I’m not going to dwell on this .

Ted is so funny you actually have to look behind you to check if anyone else in the cinema is actually phoning the police to report you for having thoughts that are

a) illegal

b) illegal

c) socially unacceptable

d) sick

e) illegal

f) perverse.

The good news though is that between the bits where it is so funny that you should actually hand yourself in for treatment/councelling it’s really rather dull.

So  as the film progresses you’re like “this is a ten man” to “this is a two man”  (ah, only if you are sad as me that I think in IMDB mode at every movie I ever see.

So it’s like 10, 2, 10, 2, 2, 2, 9, 5, 10, 2, 2, 2, 10, 9, 2, 2, all the way through and the average of that is about 6 so I’ll give it a 7.

It’s really funny (but boring).

The “I can smell your wife’s pussy from here” by a Teddy Bear in a job interview gag is outstanding.

The Angels’ share. A must see feel good movie with a bitter core

Wow, Ken Loach’s 21st movie (might be more) further deepens his fondness for documentary style movie making in Scotland.  As a child I was supremely moved by Kes.  My Uncle took me to see it as a 7 year old and it scared me.  The anger and bitterness of a Northern life of poverty, dominated by a glowering Brian Glover as the bullying PE teacher and the innocence of the lead character played by David Bradley left me all aquiver.  Since then I’ve followed Loach almost universally.  Riff Raff, Raining Stones, My Name is Joe, Carla’s Song, Looking for Eric.  All brilliant.  All gritty, all uncompromising.

Looking For Eric raised his box office bar by ingeniously casting Cantona and described as a comedy it had the odd laugh, but was no comedy.  And this in some way compares.

This man is a national treasure.

And, so, to a movie billed as a proper comedy.

Well, it is very, very funny.  Paul Lavety has made sure of that with a brittle acerbic, cynical script that bowls along spewing expletives faster than you can say “see you next Tuesday”.  The plot itself is a little fantastical but you can forgive that because the performances are extraordinary, not least by British TV stalwart John Henshaw in a career defining role.  In some ways it’s Henshaw’s movie and the denouement, which features him, is extremely moving.

I said it was a bit fantastical but the overall effect is fantastic.  At one moment gut wrenchingly violent.  The completely believable East end of Glasgow Gang culture that it’s set amidst is quite shocking at times, and at others it’s laugh out loud especially with its liberal use of top notch gratuitous swearing.

Don’t take your mother (although my mother had been the week before me and loved it!).

This is a great movie.  A certainty for award victories and a life affirming way to spend an afternoon or evening in the cinema.

8.5 out of 10.

This is England 86

This is starting to confuse me.

Tonight’s episode was lampoonishly humorous. (But only funny in parts.)

And then horrifyingly depressing.

The rape was just awful.

The humour at times, likewise.

It may be the greatest combination of emotional manipulation ever.

But it might be the worst.

The jury is out.

Nurse Jackie

The Americans have pulled another TV rabbit out of the hat.  This time originally commissioned by “Showtime”.

Edie Falco (in her first major appearance since Carmela Soprano) lights the screen up with fire in this tremendous series, directed so far (perhaps always) by another of my favourites, Steve Buscemi.

If you’ve missed the first five episodes catch up on the iplayer or on SKY Anytime where the series to date has taken residence for the next week or so.

It is utterly electrifying.

It’s a comedy drama set in an NYC General Hospital where the consultants/Doctors are overpaid demigods (or so they reckon) and the nurses are there to do all the work.

Falco is addicted to pain relieving drugs (which she is illegally supplied by her lover, the hospital pharmacist who she services every day at noon).

Meanwhile she lives a secret home life with her bar-tending hubby and two daughters, one who draws skies with no sun – she is ridiculously paranoid for a 9 year old.

It’s all, of course, in the writing (you said it again.  Ed) as I’ve said before.  But it’s true and this is written sublimely giving Falco free reign to deliver one-liners, moments of pathos, passion, hysteria and sheer vilness.  Surely there cannot have been a better written female TV part since, erm, Carmela Soprano.

But Falco makes this a masterclass as she holds the screen.  She must be in at least 95% of the action with her outstanding ensemble cast behind her to act as willing stooges.  My favourite is Zoey Barkow, Nurse Jackie’s poor put upon (but actually secretly loved) intern.

It is quite simply, the best and I’m intrigued to see how it develops.  Series two has already been commissioned.  Doh.  So it’s here for a bit yet.

Enjoy.  I’m off to watch Glee!

The Mystery of Irma Vep by the Lyceum Theatre Company and Horsecross


Mark Thomson, The Lyceum’s Artistic Director, often talks before his shows of the need for theatre, and The Lyceum in particular, to entertain.

Now, entertainment comes in many forms.  I’d list The Shining, Apocalypse Now and Hunger among my favourite and most entertaining movies but they are not everyone’s cup of tea; nor are they uplifting.  My wife wouldn’t have described Hunger as entertaining, that’s for sure.  So the notion of entertainment is open to considerable interpretation.

But let’s get this straight from the off; Irma Vep is PURE entertainment.

I laughed until I broke out into a sweat.

I cried and howled with laughter.

I gasped with laughter.

This show is utter class from the first, and I mean the first, moment the curtain rises and we see Andy Gray as he walks onto stage sporting a fake wooden leg and the limitations that places on straightforward movement.  John Cleese would have applauded loudly.

This sets the scene for farce of epic proportions.  Not Pythonesque though.  It’s more in the tradition of Scots Panto.  There are many nods in the direction of Russel Hunter, Walter Carr, John Grieve (is he related to the director I wonder, indeed assume) Francie and Josie and, king of them all, Stanley Baxter.  Which is to heap a great deal of praise on the heads of the quite astonishing performances (in terms of characterisation, timing, energy and wit) of Andy Gray and Steven McNicoll.

Honestly, they will have you rolling in the aisles.

As I said, Panto, and slapstick, is the predominant genre here, although the show’s story is actually a pastiche of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca with a bunch of Hammer House of Horror thrown in for good measure.

I cannot imagine what the script must have read like because it is SO Scottish, so ‘of the people’ and so personal to Gray and McNicoll that you wonder what was on the page.

Each of them plays about four parts but they interchange through very quick changes from scene to scene all night and at times it is breathless and, as a consequence, even more hilarious.

McNicoll’s Jane Twisden is possibly the dominant role (the evil maid in Rebecca) played like the tea lady in Father Ted at maximum volume throughout.  It’s so beautifully crafted and voiced that it leaves you gasping again and again.

Gray’s best moments are in his Lady Enid Hillcrest character which moulds Stanley Baxter and Mark Walliams into an unholy combination.

But seriously, there is not a single moment of weakness in any of the characters they play.

The direction by Ian Grieve is faultless and the wonderful set is a key part of the show with its myriad of doorways from where every character appearance and disappearance heralding yet another belly laugh each time they appear.  It’s ingenious.

I cannot praise this show highly enough.

OK it’s got an odd name but don’t let that put you off.  (It’s an anagram of I’m a Perv by the way!)

Go.  Go now.  No, now.  Don’t think about it.  Just go. No, do.   Do it. Do it now.   Go do it.  Go on.  Go on, go on, go on.  Now.  That’s it.  Get down there.  Now. Yes, now.  Go on now.

Gilmore Girls

Is there anyone else out there who is as obsessed by this programme as me. We have it on series link and I can’t wait to see what has happened next.


If you’ve missed this programme, now in it’s final season, it’s about single mother, Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter Rory. They live in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Conneticut. The series explores family, friendship, generational divides and social class.

The show has won an Emmy and was nominated for a Golden Globe.

I don’t know how I will cope when it finally finishes

I should just point out that Jeana wrote this post, In no way do I endorse its contents. Indeed I hate this programme. Mark

It was a post for the ladies really, but there might be some men out there who like it.

Burn after reading by The Coen Brothers

Even geniuses can have a bad day at the office.

Frankly, the best thing about this movie is the poster.  The rest of it adds up to a whole heap of nothing.  Unquestionably the Coens’ poorest movie; it just never gets going.  The trouble starts with the writing which has its moments, not many of them mind you, and only then if you like the idea of John Malcovitch with Tourettes.  There is an amusing moment with a highly complex sex toy so it’s strange to see them sacrifice the more subtle end of their humour register for fairly crass fare.

It just feels like something the brothers dashed off in their lunch break.  The plot is pretty wooly and the point of it?  Well, I could see no great subliminal message.

Brad Pitt must have gone to the screenings and thought.”OMG what was I thinking of.  I am awful, like A-W-F-U-L.”  He’s not just bad, he’s criminally bad with his truly nauseating campy, gay but not gay, creepy yukky characterisation of a bungling idiot. (I didn’t like him in this).  But, maybe it’s just me, every lady in the audience guffawed every time he appeared on screen, at what I know not.

George Clooney just about passes muster as a paranoid serial womaniser and the best of the ladies (as per usual) is Frances McDormand, but again it’s far from her towering performance in Fargo and Tilda Swinton goes through the motions.

It is such a shame that this, The Coens’ first major league film – as a result of the success of No Country – had to be so poor.