Picky About Paul


Well, I’m doing it again. I’m commenting on a movie I have not seen and have decided I am not going to.

Hello Jason Isaacs

I love to catch up on podcasts when I go walking  in the mornings. None more so, than the good doctor himself,  Mark Kermode, movie critique extraordinaire. I agree with  his reviews most of the time, I mean, his favourite movie  Local Hero, is one of mine too.  Together with radio veteran extraordinaire, Simon Mayo, they make a fun pair to listen to. I would encourage you to check out their Wittertainment. You will find the link on this site. Go, listen. Find out why people from all over the world are tuning in and why they say hello to Jason Isaacs every week!

An Alien Called….Paul ?

Right, plug for the show over. I was catching up with the witterers podcast the other day and their guests were Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, the brains behind off beat cult comedies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. They are now the brains behind a new movie called Paul.  Paul is the duo’s foray into mainstream cinema. Graeme (Pegg) and Clive (Frost) are a couple of British nerds who, after attending Comic-Con in California, decide to head into the land of  extraterrestrial legend. They come across… an extraterrestrial ..named Paul. I have no idea why or how Paul talks perfect stoner english… maybe he saw Pineapple Express. I do, however,  know why Pegg and Frost decided on the name Paul.

It appears their particular brand of humor has remained intact, but going mainstream has its drawbacks. While crude, lewd and foul language  have remained, Pegg and Frost decided to chuck out a thread in the movie that Universal thought would not have  “settled” well with the American audience. Agreeing the thread wasn’t really “pushing the story along” anyway, Pegg and Frost decided to abandon it. The thread? Creation v evolution.

The Picky Part

Ground work done, back to the podcast.  You can hear the full interview here.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/kermode#playepisode7  

This is a Cliff Note version of what they said in the interview.

(Pegg)  The theological element, between creation and evolution was better developed in the original script, or rather we dwelt on it a little longer. There were long moments of just talking, we liked the idea of an alien waxing philosophically about religion with a creationist girl and, em, it was slightly more edgy….. She changes her mind (about her religion) when confronted with the alien. What we were interested in, was that someones very rigid belief could be shattered in a single moment.  Any film that has aliens in it negates that extreme Christian faith in which God created in a certain amount of days… We just kind of talk about it a little now (in the movie).  We just loved the idea of a girl being born again and that the idea of Paul’s existence validates Graemes and  Clives  belief system and negates Ruth’s which is in this very rigid, Chr.. intelligent design thing.

(Frost) It’s a film about an alien, if your faith is going to be rocked by it, well then..

(Kermode)..but  peoples ability to get cross about anything is irrational isn’t it. Particularly in that area….

(Frost) It’s not like you can sit down with ’em and say hey you know it’s only a film…. don’t get angry.. I was thinking about doing a special edition where Christ lands in a big cross shaped space ship, maybe that would appease both sides. 

(Mayo) A question about the title…. (Pegg)  Paul. We tried to make it,  wanted to make it simplistic and enigmatic and also, there is a biblical element in there, it is multilayered, multifaceted. 

Martyr or Alien?

There’s an insidious and dangerous  trend on the move in the underbelly of British culture.  As people are becoming increasingly the brunt of  attacks because of their Christian faith, this is coming out in various forms. A nurse is  fired for praying with a dying man. A teacher is reprimanded for wearing a cross.  A loving couple with a solid reputation for caring for foster children, are now denied, because of their Christian beliefs. Through subtle (and not so subtle ) mockery, whether that be in music, tv shows (Glee anyone?) and film. Paul, is one of those movies that has been used to mock. Oh, and the name of the movie and character?  The “biblical element” though it is never mentioned,  is the Apostle Paul. Funny hey?

Now it might sound like sour grapes over a silly movie, but as more Christians are dying for what they believe in in countries around the world and pressure mounts in the West through mockery and taunting, there is a “cool factor”  in making these kind of attacks acceptable.

So, that’s why I am picky about Paul.  I do have a very real problem with the movie.  My faith will not be rocked. I am not irrational. I am disturbed by the trend. They are free to make their movies. I don’t  believe in pickets or boycotts.  What power I do have as an individual though, is at the box office.  At least we still have the freedom to choose that which we will give our time and money too, and thank God, so do you.

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Spring Fling


I’m getting the wonderful feeling that Spring is springing. I saw daffodils in a neighbour’s yard, my trees are beginning to bloom, I have roses budding. My boys are beginning to fling off  their duvet in the middle of the night. Even the dog has chucked out one of his blankets from his bed. AND Cadbury’s Creme Eggs are in stores 🙂

I get a whiff of Spring and I always feel like bursting into song. I do, it’s true!  So, for the past few days,  I’ve been thinking music and not movies.. ooh, but what fab movies the music comes from….

If you take a peek around the blog area, you will see one of my all time favourite women. Nay, she is my all time heroine. So much so, I remember specifically saying I wanted my hair like her’s. So, Sound of Music soundtrack LP under her arm, my mum took me to the hairdressers, showed the hair dresser the picture on the back and minutes later, I had a  Julie Andrews.

Now, I WAS Julie Andrews. I got all my friends together, gave them all a character, and we played and sang our way through the movie before we were called in for dinner. My mother got so sick of the soundtrack and had just about had it with the movie, so I enlisted my aunt, to whom I am eternally grateful, for taking me to see it another dozen times.

So my friends, the hills are alive with the sound of music as well spring flowers …so clear your pipes and sing along. Here are the ones to welcome bright mornings, chirpy birds and warm and breezy afternoons.  

The Sound of Music:  I have a feeling you may have seen this one. But hey, with this one, you get to sing AND yodel!

The King and I:  A manly Yul Brynner taking the waist of Deborah Kerr, shall we dance?

Jungle Book : Let’s not only sing along, let’s boogy with this one.

Singing in the Rain:  April showers? Go out and dance with the kids and sing!

My Fair Lady: Wooden it be luvlee… absolutely!

Mary Poppins: My Jules again getting fragilistic.

High Society: Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby. Sizzling score by Cole Porter. Does NOT get better than this.

There you have it. My springy servings of pure musical delight.  Welcome this great season of new life and fresh beginnings…so open your windows and sing with the birds… and Julie as well of course!  Happy Spring.

A pot o’gold for St Patty’s


..and the blarney begins…

 Here’s a pure gold nugget of a movie for you and you didn’t even need a rainbow.

If you know anything about this blogger by now, you know the Muze likes her whimsy movies. Just LOVE subtle, delicate, clever, intelligent comedy. To celebrate St Patrick’s day, there’s only one of those beauties that will do.

Waking Ned Devine 

If you won the lottery, what would you do?  Unfortunately, poor Ned died of shock.  Not wanting to see the money go to waste, folks in his village decide to split the winnings. They just need someone now to take Ned’s place to claim it.  Headed by the  great Ian Bannen, Fionnula Flanagan and David Kelly, this quirky little pot of gold will keep your Irish eyes a’smiling. 

Why should you never iron a four-leaf clover? You don’t want to press your luck.

So, Ned’s not your cup of green beer?  Hold on a minute…. don’t go yet. I have a bonus for you. I may like my whimsy’s, but I do like a solid, well written, well acted  and well-rounded gritty drama too.

While this  movie takes place in Belgium,  the two central characters are played by two of  Ireland’s finest actors and I couldn’t possibly let this day slip by without given them a mention. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.

In Bruges

One of the best dark humored drama, crime thrillers of 2008.  Who says so? I do!

A couple of hit men hide out in Bruges, Belgium after a hit goes tragically wrong. While waiting for the boss to call with their next job, they take in the sights of  Bruges.  But a couple of weeks in this beautiful city can have an effect on you. By the way, Ralph Fiennes plays the boss.  And he’s scary.  Really brilliantly scary.

I hope at least one of these will have the leprechaun in you doing a jig!  Enjoy your glasses of green and have a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

Cheers!

The Adjustment Bureau


Can you imagine being told to never pursue a person you are in love with?  The Bureau, on orders from the “Chairman” have plans for your life and some things cannot and should not get in the way.

I took a chance seeing a movie in the afternoon. This always makes me a little nervous because you never know quite what your viewing experience is going to be like.  My usual experiences are not very good. The last time I did that, the old darling next to me could not hear his phone ringing. I had to tell him.  How he heard the movie I don’t know.  There was the time I went to see  “Death at A Funeral”. (British version) Oh dear. The old girl at the back of the theater had a breathing machine thingy. It sounded like Darth Vader was behind me.  Bless them.

I decided on a whim, while my cinnamon roll dough was rising… to go and see The Adjustment Bureau. Mmmm, well, it was ok. The trailers and movie poster do emphasise Matt Damon running… I guess to keep you thinking of him as Bourne. You have to wait for that bit, but what comes before will keep you entertained and guessing.  The movie is basically a love story of a couple that is being kept apart  by the “bureau”, even though fate keeps lending a hand in getting them together. Matt Damon is his usual solid self and I never tire of watching him. Nice love story with a little science fiction. Sort of like “Inception” without the brain ache 🙂

How strong is love? Is it worth giving up your hopes and dreams for? What role does fate or choice have in our lives?  Is there something to the coincidences of life?  These are the questions I left the cinema with. On the whole, a great date night movie, a lot of fun and I am glad I went to see it. 

Check it out.

Finished the cinnamon rolls by the way.

International Women’s Day


I didn’t know there was a international women’s day. Did you? How many years have we had one? I had no idea!  As the only female in our household (even the dog is male, and I wouldn’t be surprised if my husband’s fish were too) you would be forgiven if you felt a little sorry for me.  Hold the sympathy’s though. Even though my life is enveloped in testosterone,  I have a super husband and 2 teenage boys who still give their mom a hug and kiss, not in public mind.   I would say its  women’s day every day.

Now then, I am sure, like me, you can think of many women  who have forged new trails, changed history etc. I am sure you can think of actresses, or movies about women that would be appropriate too. Well, I fancy celebrating women by watching a movie. I have an actress that I admire greatly, in a super  movie based on a true story. Three cheers for women power!

Calendar Girls

A group of friends support one of their own when her husband dies. As member’s of the local chapter of the Women’s Institute, they want to raise money for  a sofa for the local hospital in memory of him. Their idea on how to do that however, draws controversy.

Starring the great Helen Mirren, with support from a whole slew of fantastic English actress’s. Some of whom you should recognise.

Also check out Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine  Two movies about women, who are in a rut and don’t know how strong they are, until they change the course of their lives. 

Happy Women’s Day!

BlockBusted


I was driving past a local Blockbuster yesterday and saw a huge yellow “everything on sale/going out of business” sign.  Never one to miss potential deals to add to my collection, I decided to take a drive over after dinner to see what was going on.

I had heard it was in trouble, but the sight of the sign really made me wonder to what extent. Once Netflix started to gain ground, it seemed they lost the plot with their highly controversial and confusing return policy, an idea that must have seemed a good one at the time, but none the less had the feel that the implementation was put together in a bit of a panic. Unfortunately, in tripping over themselves in trying to catch up,  they never really quite recovered.  This is a lesson of what not to do. After trying to return a movie to an unspecified movie rental store, a disgruntled, ticked off customer decided there had to be a better way of NOT losing $40.00 in late fees.

Late fees… urgh, who has not had to hand over a fee?  Meet Reed Hastings,  the disgruntled customer and  founder of Netflix. The one fee, no late return, movies to your mailbox company.  A revelation for customers and a revolution for the industry.  Hastings seems to be keeping up with the changes in the latest technology and now streams movies as well.  Add to that the genius of Redbox, where you can get a movie for as little as a dollar and  conveniently find in major stores, one wonders what the future holds for Blockbuster.

I did buy a movie by the way. Just one. Prices are supposed be reduced again on Monday, so I’ll go over again to see what’s left. What did I buy?  “The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill, But Came Down a Mountain”. I’ll tell you about that another time….