Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

It is a terrible moment in a young man's life when he admits "I will never play the dane!"

I was rereading the only edition of Empire which resides permanently in my room (why this one? It started off one of my cinematic obsessions a few years back, and another one just recently. An Al Pacino interview which through a long and bizzare chain of events, which if recounted would make you doubt my sanity, convinced me he was a kindred spirit and I had to see one of his films, so I randomly picked one that looked interesting and spent a few years moping about it until I was given the boxed set, and now see what’s happened…It’s also the issue with the review of the Reservoir Dogs re-release. Normally, a special edition DVD is reviewed with two inches for the film and two for the features. This review, however, was taken up entirely with the extras save for a single line about the thing itself. That line, which makes me grin whenever I read it, was: “Bloody brilliant, but you knew that already”. Genius! Incidentally, and to stray even further from my point, it’s also the wretched issue which spoilt two Gf movies with a well placed question “But why did M…?!”) and it made me think of a totally unconnected AP interview I had read hidden in the corner of a bookshop, in a book about film which I had absolutely no intention of buying. Can’t remember any exact quotes, I’m afraid. They were discussing Scarface, and he mentioned he had made his daughter promise not to watch it. Though he was pretty sure she had anyway.

That got me thinking…wouldn’t it be weird to see your dad, the pinnacle of respectability and morality in your life, the one who had always told you to be good and never play with guns, running around and causing a bloodbath? Don’t take drugs, they’re bad, and here’s me playing an addict? Just like in zombie movies when your best friend gets turned into a zombie, and you know you’ve got to kill him because he’s going to eat you, but he still looks like your friend…when I was at primary school, I remember a play about Egypt performed by the older students. Must have made a big impression on me, because I never learnt the name of the girl who played Isis. Now of course, she was only in the year above or something, but at the same time she was the goddess for me. It’s always her I imagine whenever people talk about the myths. Which is pretty disturbing when you think about it. Then again Isis had only had to put her husband’s dismembered body back together, and I didn’t actually know the girl.

But imagine if you saw a film with a family member in. You’d have these conflicting ideas in your head about the character and the person. And as I said, watching them be evil would be bad.

But not as bad as if something dreadful happened to the character. I remember reading about an episode of CSI, in which our hero ends up trapped in a coffin underground or something. He must have put up a good performance, because the actor’s father couldn’t bear to watch and had to leave the viewing room. Now I’m pretty sensitive, and I remember being morose for ages after watching the end of a film I won’t spoil for you, because Michael Caine ended up being shot at the end. I couldn't watch last time one of Robert Redford's alter-egos got gunned down. And I don’t even know them. No it can’t be nice, what with the excessive death-and-torture sequences Hollywood seems so fond of. Was it Monica Belucci’s husband who couldn’t watch Irreversable? Or did he direct it? I can’t remember exactly, there’s a story there somewhere…I do remember that she had another version of the dress made, because she liked it so much, but after shooting ended she couldn’t bear to see the thing ever again.

Ooooh, hell I hadn’t even thought about the romance scenes! What torture! I mean, watching your beloved die would be nasty. But watching him fall in love with someone else would be total agony! And I’m not even going to comment on the kissing.

I gave up acting partly because I wasn’t really all that good, partly because it terrified the shit out of me (not being on stage, that was fine – it was the actual acting I couldn’t handle), and partly because I always got too involved. Consciously avoiding the final rehearsals of Romeo and Juliet* because it upset me too much was the final straw, and I haven’t looked back since. The idea still makes me jumpy. Obviously they must enjoy it – I only know, I could never do it as a career ever.

Reminds me of my own film, actually. Haven't I told you about our film yet? Well to cut a 3-year-long story short, we filmed Fellowship of the Ring with 7 actresses (one of which never appeared on screen, and one of which was me), a £10 budget on an island with no mountains, lakes, rivers or forests. And actually, all that considered, it's not half bad. One of the reasons for this is that our Frodo is great. No offence to everybody else, but she was great. Now the funny thing is, our movie Frodo and their movie Frodo have merged in my mind to the point that she actually looks a lot like Frodo, and whenever I think about scenes we haven't shot I occasionally imagine her instead. I'm positive they have exactly the same expressions. It's weird in the extreme.

I wonder which actor has “died” the most times? I wonder which has “killed” the most people. And I wonder how hard it is for the people watching…?

On a different note, I watched the Shootist, which is probably something to write home about but I can't think of any informed comments to make. Pretty witty script though, some very ironic lines. And they should have done more with the casino dandy. He was cool. AND there's a new Robert Redford film coming out. Yay! I hear you say. It's called An Unfinished Life, I think, and it stars him as a grandfather and...grandfather?! Ah yes, keep forgetting he's almost 70. Excuse me while I go away and cry.

*Me and Shakespeare go back a long time. It's a very unhappy story, and it involves me spending a lot of time sitting in toilets wishing I was somewhere other than five minutes from going on stage. That's where the title comes from. I gave up acting the first time I was in a Shakespeare, was coaxed back and a few years later, I try it again and what a surprise, I'm off the stage. Forever this time. Right now, though, we're going through a period of detente. You've got Tom Stoppard to thank for that. But don't worry, it won't last. We'llbe back to tearing scraps out of each other soon.


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