With Christmas fast approaching, ALISON GRAHAM looks ahead to some of this Yule's telly treats, as well as one or two turkeys not even fit for leftovers.
As Time Goes By - BBC1, 7pm, Christmas Eve
Long-overdue catch-up with Jean, Lionel and the gang in the wonderfully-scripted hour of delightful gentle comedy. 5 years on from where we left them, Jean and Lionel are growing old as ungracefully as ever! Jean goes into a flat-spin when Judith, Alistair and adopted son Ngfy come to stay after their house is flooded, and bring chaos with them! Meanwhile Lionel must face some harsh realities of growing older when he finds Jean's supply of Tena Lady.
Funny, wonderful, moving.
|James Blunt - All the Lost Souls
This album breaks no new musical ground - and is all the better for it. No fan-baiting art school self indulgence like Kid A by Radiohead, this follow-up to the remarkable Back to Bedlam is three quarters of an hour of pure conformity. 10/10
|#0: Casino Royale (The Original)
The ORIGINAL (not the new REMAKE, guys!) version of Casino Royale. It wasn't an official James Bond 007 film but it should be in this list anyway as a useful historical document.
#1: Dr. No
"Do you expect me to talk!"
"No Mr Bond 007, because I am Dr. No and answer everything in the negative. That's my gimmick!"
|Oh my fucking god
It's like a fucking joke
Is it a joke? The bit where that bint says "welcome" and Cage's horrible mouth forms into a grin, and the bit where it zooms in on on the evil woman's face, both made me laugh out loud. Also, what? What? Do they worship the devil, or something? Why is it all evil? Why is there a girl with a beard of bees? What's all this supernatural bullshit?
The whole point of The Wicker Man is that despite their weirdness, the islanders are actually profoundly nice people (kind of like the end of Rosemary's Baby), who see the sacrifice as an act of love and a gift, not as a laughlaugh evil thing to do at all.
This is the end of civilisation as we know it. Juxtapose this trailer with the original film; if ever you needed evidence that the last 30 years have heralded the onset of the Stupid Age, this is it
I have been trying to find evidence of this for ages, because it was so fucking petrifying and scarring. Nobody else seemed to remember it, but now I know it is real. I was scared, because my brain tends to make horrible, horrible things up, things that never really happened, but at least this is real.
"Lift Off!". It was an educational TV programme made by the Australians.
A smiling Aborigine. That's nice enough, almost delightful. Nothing to worry about there...
|Once upon a time it was the 40s. A very big black man, Coofe, sat in a field wailing. In his arms are 2 deaded Elm Street skipping ghost girls. "I tried to take it back!" cries black man. His negroid colouring and ambiguous phrasing suggest e'en now that the twist in the tale is that he did not dunnit.
A man appear. He was once the baddy in something but is the daddy in this. He curse Coofe for killing his daughters. Coofe -> Death Row.
Starring: The Chuckle Brothers
Venue: Various UK Venues
Dates: From March 1st - December 20th 2006
It seems wholly appropriate that I am writing this review now, before I see the production to which it refers. Before you consider this aged critic to have taken leave of his senses, allow me to explain. I have an advantage over my readership: I have recently travelled in time - travelled back to the 27th of January in the year 2006 (or 'today', as you slaves to the god of Greenwich Mean Time like to call it). Apt indeed, for the production in question can trace its lineage right back to the most famous time traveller of them all, Doctor Who.
|Here is my review of A Cock and Bull Story, the film starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, which I just got back from seeing.
Now you might well be asking why I would go to the cinema so early and I might lie and say I like to avoid the queues etc. and it keeps my evenings free but in reality it's because I didn't have anybody to go with and it's less embarrassing to go in the morning.
Oh a text message, excuse me...
|1: One Way Ticket
Only 30 seconds in and this album has already made me laugh aloud. It reminds me of those terrible Pan Pipes Moods CDs they used to sell in T.J. Hughes. Just as I�m expecting Nigel Tufnel to come along and start going on about stone �enge the album�s shameful intro fades into what sounds like people snorting coke. I can�t say I�m surprised. Ah now we�re back on familiar grounds, ie: predictable guitar riffs with uninspired drumming and bass. On the positive side I was spared Justin�s overzealous falsetto whining for a full 1 minute and 24 seconds. He also admits that he�s talking rubbish and I have to say I agree.
|I just remembered the worst film ever. It's called The Ninth Gate.
The story follows a dealer of rare books, played by Johnny Depp, who is hired by some weird satanist to find the original "Ninth Gate" book, which is, like, a million years old and written by The Devil, or something.
|At first you're spellbound by the sight. You blink, but there it is--a huge pair of lips floating about ten feet above the ground. They're bright red, those lips, and they are wearing what you'd have to describe as a cruel smile. And then it starts coming back to you. The Exploding Lips! The invasion from another dimension! The Earth caught unawares, the wholesale destruction as the nations, unprepared for this eerie and deadly invasion, try to fight back against a menace they can hardly understand.
|I can't believe I have never seen this classic Science Fiction movie before. Basically Jean-Claude Van Damme lives in the space year 2004, and then he has to go back, way way way back through time to the ancient year of 1994 to get this bearded man, and when they get to 1994 his rookie partner, who is 26, says "Just think...I'm celebrating my SIXTEENTH birthday today!" and I nearly fell off my chair in shock at just how amazing a concept this really was...
|This has to be the best video ever made by a pop band ever!
Basically: Thom Yorke, looking as mutaated/gorgeous as ever, wanders around this eeeeevil creepy wood, and it's all done in stop-motion animation (if you've ever seen the horribly dark/upsetting animation The Secret Adventures Of Tom Thumb then you'll know what I mean). He happens across some mice smoking pipes, a cat wedding, and then, in a clearing, finds a big coat hanging in the air, glowing with ethereal power. So. He puts it on. Then he notices a tree with a hollow high up in it. And on the tree, eyes closed...CROWS!