Pitch battle

It’s often said, if you’re a would-be movie-maker, you need an elevator pitch ready for deployment, just in case, in the classic eponymous example, you happen to find yourself sharing an elevator with a big-time movie producer. The idea is, you should be able to pitch the concept of your movie to your captive audience before the elevator doors open.

It’s claimed the elevator pitch for Aardman Films’ Chicken Run was ‘The Great Escape with chickens’. Sold!

I suppose the elevator pitch for Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan would have been something along the lines of ‘A submarine movie in space’. And Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World’s elevator pitch would have been something like ‘A submarine movie on sailing ships’. And Duel’s elevator pitch would have been ‘A submarine movie with a lorry and a car’. (It’s an established fact that there is no such thing as a bad submarine movie.)

Jen and I watched Thor Ragnarok last weekend. I’m not a fan of the previous Thor films, but this one was entertaining enough, and didn’t totally disappear up its own mythology.

Then I got to thinking, how would I have pitched Thor Ranarok to a big-time movie mogul? What’s the one thing that would make anyone want to go and see the film?

And then I realised the answer was a total no-brainier…

Cate Blanchett with antlers

Thor Ragnarok: ‘Cate Blanchett with antlers!’

What’s not to like?

A Lidl touch of glamour

The glamour has gone out of supermarkets.

—Prof. Jeremy Baker
ESCP Business School, Oct 2014

Prof. Baker pretty much hits the nail on the head, here: what modern supermarkets most certainly lack is glamour.

When I pulled up at Sainsbury's last week, would it really have been too much to ask for the foreign gentlemen in the car park who offered to wash my car to have worn something a bit more glamorous than damp-looking, brown overalls? Sequins, perhaps, or maybe even a top-hat. Furthermore, within the store itself, I can't help thinking they missed a golden opportunity recently when they installed new spotlights in the bananas section. Would a chandelier or two really have been all that out of place? And as for Deidre on the checkout: a very nice lady, I'm sure, but I reckon someone more of the calibre of Scarlett Johansson, say, or Cate Blanchett, might add a certain je ne sais quoi.

Carte Blanch

Sainsbury's new checkout lady?

Of course, where the supermarkets really missed a trick was at George Clooney's wedding last week. A civil ceremony in Venice is all well and good, but I'm sure, for the right financial incentive, the star of Ocean's Eleven would have been just as happy to lead his blushing bride down the Home Baking aisle at the Dewsbury branch of Lidl.

Tesco and Sainsbury's are in a bit of a mess at the moment. Put me in charge, and I'll soon add a touch of Hollywood sparkle.

Carter blanks

Guardian: Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver - review

Fans will approve of Jeffery Deaver's James Bond, who is both the daring spy of old and a product of the 21st century…

The new Bond novel is getting a lot of press coverage at the moment.

The problem is, every time I see the phrase Carte Blanche, I read it as Cate Blanchett:

Carte Blanch

Carte Blanche yesterday.

Now there's an actress who can have any part she chooses.