Frenzy (1972 United Kingdom)

“Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square” by Arthur La Bern is not a novel I’ve read so I can’t say if this is better or worse than the printed page its based upon. All I do know is sometime in 1971 Alfred Hitchcock came back to dear old Blighty to do it to his audience one more time. And here he dons the chef’s apron to serve us up a classic of cheap and nasty: forced sex, murder and food. I wonder what Hitchcock’s wife and family thought of Frenzy. “That’s…lovely dear…” They probably reacted the way any family would if the patriarch had just been arrested in your local brothel. Yep. Frenzy is red light entertainment all the way! [Read more…]

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Minder (1979–1994 United Kingdom)

Anyone who had a TV set in Britain, (or in one of the colonies like here in NZ with its Anglophile programming) in the 1980s will know Minder. A beloved series to many, a guilty pleasure to many more and a load of old codswallop to a few others. It is in fact the finest comedy drama that TV has produced. Period. Yep. The show ran like a backbone through British TV in the 80’s. To watch it now is nostalgic and in some ways quite cosy viewing, but there is so much more to it than that. Unlike phony Sly Stallone, at least Dennis Waterman had some real boxing experience in the ring. This helped fight scene authenticity. [Read more…]

84 Charing Cross Road (1987 US–UK)

charingcrossroad20“84 Charing Cross Road” is the best film I know about unbridled passion for books, for words, and the kind of intimacy that can take place when one person who loves words makes contact with another who shares, or at least appreciates, that passion. If you are the kind of observant, sensitive soul who can see someone sitting on a park bench and intuit their biography from the way they wear their scarf, hold their bodies and read their newspaper, you will *hear* all that this motion picture is saying, and it will move you to tears. [Read more…]

Bridget Jones Baby (2016)

bridget-tMy landlady ordered me to accompany her to this lovefest playing at our local fleapit. Twenty dollars later and I’m still coming to terms with what exactly happened. The laughter from the audience, mostly females, and of a type (middle class, white, not exactly poor, never to see their 38th birthday again…you know the ones) caused me to cringe at their un-coolness. They were the type who laugh at anything that is slightly different, in action or intention, to what is a social norm’ expectation. I didn’t think people like that existed anymore. [Read more…]

Christmas At Tiffany’s (Karen Swan)

11352798Chick lit sounds like a vaguely obscene phrase but that is what this is. I found Karen Swan’s writing very easy to read and despite it being a fairly long book, I found it very consuming and really warmed to the cast of characters within. I think my favourite thing about this novel is that you really don’t know how its all going to end up, there are clues throughout but nothing to spoil it for the reader, and I appreciated that.
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The Talons Of Weng-Chiang (1977 UK)

d w 2If there is one genre the BBC used to do so well in the 70s it was the costume drama and perhaps this is why this eccentric gem is the peak of classic Dr Who. It is set in the foggy streets of Victorian London where the deerstalker-wearing Fourth Doctor and Leela are searching for the abductor of young women; okay, so far so cliched. What is lurking in the sewers? Well, a very big cuddly rat that screams like a bitch for starters…
[Read more…]

Randall and Hopkirk Deceased (1969 Britain)

MV5BMjAwNjM4NjY0M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzg0MDUyMQ@@._V1_UY268_CR4,0,182,268_AL_This is from the 1965 to 1975 decade of British television originality. There has never been a decade like it before or since. The chemistry between the two protagonists, Jeff Randall and Marty Hopkirk, was extremely well-developed as the series advanced. Then there is the rather ambiguous position of widowed secretary, Jean Hopkirk. [Read more…]

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (audio book read by Jim Dale)


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A great audio book: Jim Dale is a fabulous narrator, giving each character a distinct voice which lends even more colour to this already colourful story. It is amazing how the use of special effect sounds and the right music can conjure up the scenes in my mind. What a versatile voice! There is no dull monotone here, no character/accent beyond his vocal range. [Read more…]

THE PUMPKIN EATER (1964 Britain)

200_sMany people have addictions. But Jo Armitage has an unusual one: reproducing. She’s as pregnant as often as she can be. This is her balm to get through the hell that is her life. The slightly soapy plot is treated for the most part as serious drama, but does have its satirical aspects. This is the chic angst of the wealthy rebelling against themselves. [Read more…]

THE NIGHT WATCH (Sarah Waters)

41DEFkZMC4L._SX318_BO1,204,203,200_The story is told in three parts, starting with 1947 and finishing with 1941, so you are starting in the middle. As this novel is character driven, the book isn’t about what will happen (which is what plot-driven books are all about) and tying up loose ends; Waters is concerned with what has happened.
[Read more…]

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