Category Archives: tv

When Gaza means dying children are too political for tv…

In a word, pathetic. That’s the decision of ITV, BBC and Sky not to show an appeal film by the British charity DEC on their screens. It’s particularly galling from the BBC (though not entirely unsurprising considering its slanted coverage of the crisis as a whole) that it sees its impartiality under question if it had gone ahead. Judging by its past form it’s depressing that a public service broadcaster with the breadth and reach of the organisation shouldn’t use its voice to help appeal for money in what is another in a long line of humanitarian crises.

They’re just covering their consciences, most likely in light of their recent scandals, but it’s a totally spineless act. It does seem that it’s ok for appeals from tsunamis, famines and earthquakes, but when children are dying from starvation from a conflict it’s not. What the fuck did they think was going on in Eritrea, Congo or Rwanda?

Gaza's dying children

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Sweeney? Gone for a Burton….

One of the few joys of transatlantic flight are at least catching up on films you’ve missed in the last 12 months. So, for a roll call, here’s my list: 

American Gangster (cracking) 

Juno (utterly brilliant)

Atonement (overblown sentimentalist posho semi-nonsense)

The Kite Runner (good but not great. Maybe I was in the wrong mood, ie. comatose)

I Am Legend (watchable pulp)

We Own The Night (at 4am it was alright)

I’m Not There (wonderful for the 25 mins I grabbed before the video system on Quantas died on its arse grrr)

Which brings me to the final choice. Sweeney Todd. Now, this should be right up my street – Depp, Bonham-Carter, Spall, Rickman, Baron Cohen, and all helmed by the legendary Tim Burton. But it isn’t, you see. Depp’s entertaining Jack Sparrow accent becomes irritating when he’s not a drunk pirate, Bonham-Carter is great, but Mrs Lovett’s no Marla Singer. Rickman’s good, but the character is a bit wafer-thin, Baron-Cohen is pretty good, and Timothy Spall is his slime-covered best. 

But it’s the singing. It grates. And while I know building a set of dark and dingy London isn’t easy, so much CGI just made parts like a cartoon. But it’s just the SINGING. God, I’m not a massive musicals fan, but I’m not a hater of them either, but I wanted to cringe every time someone broke into song. In fact, I wanted all of the songs to end with a stint in the barber’s chair. 

This really is something that seemed a great idea turned into a terrible film. I’m sure it went down a storm in America though. Very ‘quaint’.