Archive for Movies

Withnail & I

Posted in Comedy Genius, Films, Reviews with tags , , , , on 03/07/2013 by Jen Healey

Last Friday I went to Stratford Playhouse with the lovely Becky Lea, to see a late night showing of Withnail & I. It was an absolute tonic to the hectic hamster wheel that has been my schedule of late. We were not fortunate enough to be sitting in lucky seats, underneath which could be found a free dvd, but this did not detract from the experience. We did get a couple of free badges though, which were very cool.

Now, it is a completely iconic film, in my humble opinion. Which is why it saddens me that many people haven’t even heard of it. It is not because the actors are unknowns – Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann and Richard Griffiths – these are not obscure names, among others of course. An assumption about it I recently encountered was most disconcerting, that it is set in ‘Oliver Twist times’! Errr.. NO.

I believe that Becky is due to write a piece on Withnail & I soon, so I will leave it to her talent to write a review proper. Instead I will name-check her one more time today and include a link to a review she wrote on my beloved Labyrinth.
Enjoy – here.

Ok, I fibbed, I can’t resist adding a little preview from Withnail & I.





Posted in Books, Films, Journal, Music, Reviews, TV with tags , , on 23/05/2013 by Jen Healey

As Marc Spitz coined the phrase ‘Bowie-ist’ (see my currently reading shelf )¬†I thought it would be a fitting title for¬†today,¬†following on¬†from the¬†last post, a¬†much more pleasant ‘ist’ and¬†a pretty accurate description of myself at the moment.¬† I am, of course, very much looking forward to watching/recording the programme on Bowie this coming Saturday (Five Years).¬† Not to mention the smile I have when I see the cover on the current Radio Times in all the shops.

aladdin sane

Happily, for me, he is everywhere at the moment – even in the copy of the Big Issue I bought last week and whilst I was doing a bit of¬†shopping today (‘China Girl’ was playing in the supermarket – as I was leaving).¬† I’m not sure if the term Bowie-ist is meant to imply that those describing themselves as such are anoraks, as I am not.¬† Only owning a meagre two of his albums (so far!) and being a paltry 30 pages into the biography, does not an anorak make.¬† I am well aware of that.¬† I don’t even have his new album, unfortunately.

next day


Having said that, his songs do¬†heavily feature on the soundtrack of my childhood, which did make ‘Hunky Dory’ difficult to listen to for years.¬† Whilst reading the Spitz book, I did read a part that has stuck with me.

The Inchworm“… became five-year-old David Jones’s favourite.¬† Simply, it made him feel safe and hopeful when his increasingly discomfiting family life and shyness filled him with guilt and wariness.¬† The record was never far from his gramophone.

” ‘Inchworm’ is my childhood,” Bowie said in 1993… “It wasn’t a happy one.¬† Not that it was brutal but mine were a certain type of British parent:¬†quite cold emotionally and not many hugs.¬† I always craved attention cause of that.¬† ‘Inchworm’ gave me comfort and the person singing it sounded like he’d been hurt too and I’m into that, the artist singing away his pain.”

Amazing that we are all so different and yet the same, I feel that ‘Life on Mars’ is my childhood, in a similar (bittersweet)¬†respect.¬† Not that I gained comfort from it, or would have been¬†listening to it by choice as a child, but¬†I remember it repeatedly from my childhood.¬† I still struggle with that song, as it tugs at something deep down, where I don’t want to go.¬† So I usually¬†flick past that one (and ‘Changes’) onto ‘Starman’ then ‘Ziggy’¬†– yes I’m listening¬†to a ‘best of’¬†CD.

On a more uplifting note, the film Labyrinth is also ‘my childhood’ – hurrah!

I found this on YouTube yesterday, and I know at least one person who (if they aren’t aware of its existence already) will enjoy it almost as much as I did –

God I love that film!

Did you see one of the choreographers?  Yes, that is Dr Beverley Crusher from Star Trek РThe Next Generation!

Zombieland – not for kids

Posted in Comedy Genius, Films, Food, Reviews with tags , , , , , on 20/05/2012 by Jen Healey

Despite the title, this post will not be dedicated purely to the most awesome zom-com¬†film of the same name.¬† No.¬† I’m also going to ‘give a shout out’ to Twinkies and¬†Kool-aid.

Firstly,¬†those of you who¬†have not had the pleasure of watching Zombieland, you have missed a real treat.¬† To the rest of us, enjoy the opening scene –

What a perfect matching of zombies and Metallica – epic start to a film!

How does this link to Twinkies and Kool-aid¬†I hear you ask?¬† Well, Twinkies feature pretty significantly in Zombieland, at least the search for them does for Woody Harrelson.¬† Now, ever since I watched Ghostbusters¬†as a young ‘un I was always curious about what a Twinkie actually tastes like, exacerbated by the watching of Zombieland¬†last year for the first time.¬† Recently, thanks to a lovely lady in the States (Arkansas), hubby and I savoured our first ever Twinkies!¬† To your average American this probably sounds daft, but it was actually really exciting.¬† We washed them down with some Kool-aid!¬† I felt like I could have been in America!!!¬† We watched Zombieland whilst eating a Twinkie!!!¬† “You gotta enjoy the little things”¬† – it’s the rules!

Let The Right One In

Posted in Reviews with tags , , on 23/03/2011 by Jen Healey

Over the last couple of nights I’ve been catching up with a couple of¬†the latest dvd movie releases.¬† Namely, ‘Let Me In’ and ‘Devil’, both of which were okay.¬†

‘Let Me In’ was pretty decent, although I certainly prefer the original film upon which it is based, ‘Let The Right One In’, as it is much more atmospheric and is beautifully shot.¬† Also, the latter was a present from my dear friend Michelle who lives in Cambridge, so it’s kinda special.¬† But this new version is definitely worth a watch for all fang-fans and I would watch it again, so four shiny stars for that one.¬† Five, obviously, for the original!¬†

‘Devil’, on the other hand, I would not be bothered with watching again.¬† It was fine and I wasn’t bored whilst watching it, but it was predictable.¬† The only interesting tidbit I gleaned was the apparent belief that suicide gives the devil a chance¬†to come to earth and play, which was a new idea to me.¬† I also enjoyed that the older lady in the lift plays Doug Heffernan’s mom in the sitcom¬†‘King of Queens’, therefore I kept thinking of her with lemon squares (cakes) in her bag.¬† The ending was pretty disappointing too, so a paltry three tarnished stars for that one, as I expected more.¬†

Controlled-crying pt. 2

Posted in Journal with tags , on 21/03/2011 by Jen Healey

After doing really well on the controlled-crying for a couple of weeks, our efforts were dashed by teething and my being too soft to see it through.¬† It is pretty hard to leave your baby crying when you know they are in pain.¬† So bedtime has become a bit of a wash-out lately, hence my renewed determination to try it again.¬† No, not try, do it this time!¬† Hopefully, after a couple of rough weeks, we might all sleep better.¬† Fingers crossed.¬† Not that it affects my daughter, because she has “magic ears that mean I can’t hear him crying mummy”.¬† She’d sleep through pretty much anything.¬†

Changing the subject, last night we watched Burke and Hare (with my son sleeping on my lap!)¬† and I thoroughly enjoyed it.¬† A big thumbs up for this great film and it’s fab cast, although I wasn’t sure about Isla Fisher and her dodgy accent.¬† But it is definitely a film I’d watch again.¬† Very funny.¬†

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