My super-hero name

Last night, I dreamt I went to inspect my handiwork in a palatial, L-shaped room that I'd stripped of wallpaper the previous day. To my dismay, I discovered that, while I had been away, someone had re-papered the walls and ceiling with a hideous, embossed Anaglypta. The re-papering, I realised, bore all the hallmarks of the Incredible Hulk.

Passing down a long passageway, I came to a door behind which I could hear voices talking. I knocked and entered, only to discover that I had interrupted an earnest conversation between Tony Stark/Iron Man (played by Robert Downey Jr), Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). All three were wearing civilian clothing, rather than being ‘suited up’ in their super-hero garb, but it was obvious even to me that some dire emergency was afoot.

Clearly wishing to get rid of me, Tony Stark informed me that he needed my help on an important mission. He handed me a small metal container, about the size of a tin of shoe polish, but without any of those stupid twisty things on the side to help you open them. As you might expect from the creator of the Iron Man suits, the container looked indescribably cool in gleaming, gun-metal grey—although I was secretly a bit disappointed that he hadn't thought to throw a little hotrod red in there before he got Jarvis to render it. Tony explained that he was supposed to be cooking an extra-special paella for all the other Avengers, Nick Fury, and the senior agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that evening, but that he was now in a bit of a rush, so he needed me to get started on the rice. He had, he said, already made some of his extra-special chicken stock, which I would find simmering in the kitchen. All I had to do was introduce the stock a few spoonfuls at a time into the rice, the requisite amount of which I would find in the cool, metal container. At this point, Natasha Romanoff gave one of her secret little smirks and made her excuses to leave before the only ‘girl’ present was also roped into cooking duties.

I looked down at the cool, metal container in my hand, thinking that it couldn't possibly contain enough rice to go round—especially if Dr Banner transformed into the Hulk—but Tony Stark assured me that the rice was a very special form of genetically modified rice invented by Stark Industries, and that there would be plenty enough for all. So, I headed off to the kitchen to make a start on the paella. And then I woke up.

Our superheroes eating

I don't think helping Tony Stark to cook paella for his super-hero friends and S.H.I.E.L.D. colleagues quite qualifies me for enrolment in the Avengers Initiative, but I do now at least know what my own super-hero name is:

The truth is, I am Rice Man.

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.

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.)