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What’s another year?

April 20, 2014 – 3:33 pm |

Johnny Logan never knew the half of it. It’s been almost that long since my last post, and why? Because I’ve been growing a beard, and you people have no idea of the dedication that …

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Noah

April 20, 2014 – 7:06 pm |

I suppose I should have expected it, but Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Noah’ is not the bouncy beardy that leaps out of kids’ bibles grinning beneficently as the Earth’s creatures sweep into his big wooden ship. Nor is his world the kind of debauched & dustblown desert that Chuck Heston might have strode across, bitterly blocking out the orgasmic cries of the head-scarfed masses as the skies blackened. Instead, Aronofsky paints a bigger picture, starting from Cain’s murder of Abel splitting the tribes of Man, with Noah as the last descendant of Adam’s third son, Seth. By the film’s opening, Abel’s line has been obliterated, Cain’s children dominate the ruined world and only Noah stands for any ‘good’.

But what is ‘good’? Here, it’s the choice between violence and non-violence. ‘The Creator’ (never ‘God’) wipes the world clean because Cain’s act has so totally corrupted his offspring. The film’s pivotal battle, then, is within Noah himself, as he comes to believe that all Man – including his own family – was a mistake from the moment he plucked the forbidden fruit – that, as he stands, Man can never be devoid of violence, and so should be erased to leave a truly sinless world.

It’s an easy choice when two of his boys are wifeless and his eldest son is devoted to Ila, a barren girl, but, when she mysteriously becomes pregnant, the need to fulfill The Creator’s will starts tearing everyone apart.

emma-446967Russell Crowe is brilliant as this particular Noah. When he advances on the poor girl with knives in hand, you really think he might do it. Just as you believe it when he totally, finally becomes his true self again. If anything, the problem with ‘Noah’ is that Noah is too good. The rest of the cast can’t really touch him. Emma Watson, in particular, just can’t bring the necessary intensity to Ila, and his sons are just gaping fish-mouths of ‘manhood’ compared to their dad. Even Jennifer Connelly struggles to go toe-to-toe with Crowe, and it throws the film off-kilter.

But, visually, it’s arresting. The world is oddly post-industrial, thanks to Cain’s children being assisted by The Watchers, fallen angels turned to stone who only wanted to help Man and who eventually help Noah build the Ark. The Ark itself is less a ship and more an artless rectangle of assembled wooden cubes, through the walls of which we hear the screams of the damned, and I thought Aronofsky was brave to handle the flood so minimally – with more sound than any overblown CGI spectacle. This isn’t The Bible by Michael Bay, thank God. It’s fundamentally about the choices that can wreck a world and make a man.

And there are no guns or superheroes, which makes a change. Russell sings in it, though. It’s a very brief warble, but it was enough to trigger a Les Mis flashback. Just to warn you. And at one point he looks like Kenny Rogers, but then, hey, don’t we all?

****

Star Trek: Into Darkness

May 15, 2013 – 11:34 pm |

Beware, here be spoilers, but God give me strength.
If JJ Abrams wants to exercise his startlingly ‘innovative’ narrative muscle on a Mission Impossible, fine. If he wants to liberally splat lens flare over a monster movie homage to ‘seventies Spielberg, …

Iron Man Three

April 30, 2013 – 10:05 pm |

God knows, I loved The Avengers. It was one of my 2012 faves because it had everything the best comics had: death-defying wit, globe-shattering action, and a dynamic that touched on the dramatic core of its super-characters just enough to gift …

Lift and Separate

April 15, 2013 – 6:59 pm |

Oddly, after a trouble-free bedtime these last three years, this last week has seen Eva more restless than usual after lights out.
She’s always found it difficult to settle, which is not atypical – kids on the Spectrum often find it harder …

Roomy’s Minidiscs: Suede + Depeche Mode

April 1, 2013 – 10:40 pm |

Suede and Depeche have hardly been slaves to reinvention over the decades, but now they’ve both made albums that purposefully return to former glories.
Suede – Bloodsports
I think I should confess straight off: I’ve always hated Suede. I remember walking up to the old …

Roomy’s Minidiscs: David Bowie – The Next Day

March 19, 2013 – 11:32 pm |

 
Just when you thought guitar, bass and drums had nothing new to say; just when you thought a fresh-off-the-slab Stereophonics album had proved, conclusively, that rock n’ roll was dead, along comes Bowie to blow us all …

Warning Signs

March 19, 2013 – 9:10 pm |

I can’t post an icon based comic without giving a shout to The System - the purveyor of regular high class icon based humour. Also, you should check out Lunar Baboon - ’tis very good.

Bye Bye TV Centre

March 18, 2013 – 10:16 pm | One Comment

This is me standing alongside the last ‘RCR whiteboard’ in Television Centre. This is where the Team Leader in charge of allocating the news stories fills in who’s cutting what & where for the One, Six …

Argo

March 9, 2013 – 8:31 pm |

Fresh on DVD but still catchable in some picture houses, this year’s Best Picture Oscar/BAFTA winner is an instant Three Days of The Condor style retro classic. Affleck is Redford in tweed coat and floppy …