Fade to black. Sound of wind blowing across ocean.

Jen and I have just returned from our annual jaunt to Anglesey. While we were there, we took the opportunity to recreate the haunting final shot from one of our very favourite films.

Compare and contrast:

Two ships

The view from the headland at Bull Bay, Anglesey last Monday.

Two yachts

The closing shot from Master & Commander: the Far Side of the World (2003).

We shall beat to quarters! Quick's the word and sharp's the action! Never mind the manoeuvres, just go straight at 'em! etc.

Move along, nothing to see here

Guardian: Tigers and wild animals escape from Oklahoma zoo after tornado hits

I give it 12 months before there's a movie.

The wait is over

From an email to Stense, 25-May-2012:

Talking of films, have you heard that Transformers 4: Rise of Galvatron is due out in June, 2014? Frankly, I can't wait. Don't get me wrong, I am not in the least bit interested in shite films about giant, shape-shifting robots, whose sole purpose in their non-existent lives is to sell gazillions of shape-shifting robot toys. […] But I need this shite Transformers film to come out (and to go to DVD) as soon as possible, so that I can publish my latest heart-wrenching poem about human relationships. Fancy a sneak preview?


A Transformer yesterday.

Well, the good news is that, since I wrote my email to Stense, the powers that be in the cinematic world have decided that Transformers 4: Rise of Galvatron was a pretty rubbish name for a film, so they re-named it Transformers: Age of Extinction—which, I'm sure we all agree is a vast improvement.

But the really, really great news news is that the wait is finally over: Transformers: Age of Extinction is released on DVD and Blu-ray today (Amazon uk|.com).

Which means I can now finally publish my latest heart-wrenching poem about human relationships.

The Carter Resemblance

When I spotted the following headline last night, I let out a little wee in excitement:

E! Online: Matt Damon Confirms He's Reprising His Role as Jason Bourne

Jen and I are massive fans of the Bourne films. We re-watch them several times a year. They're fantastic. If you haven't seen them yet, you should. (Yes, Bill, I'm talking to you!)

[Warning: Potential minor spoilers follow.]

One of the reasons I like the Bourne films so much (other than the fact that they're totally bloody fantastic, I mean), is that certain elements of the ongoing tale of an amnesiac CIA assassin trying to re-discover his past were clearly based on events in my own life.

In the first film, The Bourne Identity, for example, our hero discovers an electronic device buried in his hip that reveals to him the details of his Swiss bank account. He also takes part in a spectacular car-chase through the streets of Paris in a battered old mini. Well, I also have a bank account, and have driven a battered old mini.

In the second film, The Bourne Supremacy, Bourne arrives in Naples by ship. He also takes part in a spectacular car-chase through a tunnel in Moscow. I have also arrived in Naples by ship, and used to commute daily through one of the Mersey road tunnels.

In the third film, The Bourne Ultimatum, Bourne travels to St Pancras Station via the Channel Tunnel. He also takes part in a spectacular roof-top chase in Tangier. I have also travelled to St Pancras Station via the Channel Tunnel, and am rather partial to a tangerine.

As to the fourth film, The Bourne Legacy, Jason Bourne isn't in it—and neither am I.

Oh, yes, and while I'm at it, compare and contrast:


Yours Truly (L) and Jason Bourne (R).

I could probably sue—or, at the very least, insist on a mention in the opening credits of the next movie—but I don't care. The Bourne films are fab, and it looks as if they're finally going to make another one.

I am one happy bunny.

Buy the Bourne box set from Amazon uk|.com

Ant-Man movie

Guardian Film blog: Ant-Man: from misogynist to Marvel's newest superhero

With Marvel's recent announcement that Edgar Wright's Ant-Man is finally set to hit the big screen in 2015, some might wonder exactly why it's taken quite so long for the movie to get the green light.

Let's hope this film is so successful that they make a sequel called Ant-Man B.

(A little joke for all you Beefheart fans, there.)

Oscar Victorious!

And the 2013 Academy Award for Production Design goes to…

Rick Carter!

Knocks Stense's Bafta into a cocked hat, eh? (She knew me before I was famous, you know.)

Just like Cary Grant

Jen and I booked our next holiday yesterday. We've decided to pay a return visit to Florence. Cool place. But get this…

We're going by train.

Yes, that's right: train. All the way from Hippy Central to Florence, Italy.

Now, before we're accused of being a couple of tree-huggers who naively think we can save the planet all on our own by refusing to fly, I think I should point out that such accusations are utter bollocks. We chose to take the train because:

  1. As far as we could work out, there are no direct flights to Florence from anywhere in the North of England.
  2. Even the direct flights from Gatwick to 'Florence' actually go to Pisa, so we'd still have to get the train (or fly) to Gatwick and then get the train from Pisa to Florence.
  3. We hate the hassle of travelling by plane. I mean really hate it. Whether the train is any less hassle remains to be seen—although somehow I doubt it.
  4. The last time we travelled to Florence, it was from Rome, First Class, on the train, and it was bloody fantastic (apart from the loud-mouthed elderly American lady in the seat opposite). This is the life, we said, supping our expresso coffees and joking that we should travel all the way to Italy by train next time.
  5. … OK, so this is the real reason why we are travelling by train: I have always secretly wanted to travel overnight in a sleeper train, like Cary Grant did as Roger O. Thornhill (mistakenly believed by the baddies pursuing him to be the elusive secret agent, George Kaplan) in one of my favourite films, North By Northwest. This, of course, would mean that Jen would have to play the role of Eva Marie Saint—which is no bad thing.

So much have I got into the North By Northwest spirit that, when I ordered our tickets over the phone yesterday, I was sorely tempted to give my name as Richard O. Carter, hoping that the woman at the other end of the line would ask me what the 'O' stood for: "Nothing," I would reply, enigmatically—just like Cary Grant. But then it occurred to me that it would probably be best if the name on my ticket actually matched the one on my passport. Pesky border control!

So, anyway, that's why Jen and I will be travelling to Italy by train. Because I secretly harbour ambitions to be Cary Grant in North By Northwest. It has nothing at all to do with saving the planet.

Which is a damn good job, as it's a bloody expensive way to go about it.

See also: A-maize-ing