Monday 26 November 2007

The King of Comedy (1983) - ickleReview (TV)

Martin Scorsese film about a delusional and talentless stand-up comedian, Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro), who pesters talk-show host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis) into giving him a spot on his show. Pupkin's obsessive behaviour is unrewarded until he and fellow celebrity-nut, Masha (the hilarious Sandra Bernhard), kidnap Langford.

Scorsese takes advantage of the viewer's willingness to believe in the reality of the film to portray
Pupkin's delusional fantasies, but it is not always immediately obvious what is imagined and what "really" happened.

Nugget: an intriguing study of obsessive behaviour, which is both darkly comic and disturbingly close to the bone. I suspect most of us have the potential for such obsessive behaviour, but not all of us act upon it so readily.

Remember the Titans (2000) - ickleReview (DVD)

Jerry Bruckheimer's take on school desegregation, seen through the helmets of T. C. Williams High School American football team, the Titans, during the 1971 season. Coach Boone (Denzel Washington) is installed as the new (black) head coach, which angers the incumbent (white) Coach Yoast (Will Patton) and some of the white players and parents. The team bonds at their Gettysburg training camp and goes on to complete a perfect season, despite all the controversy and protest about black players and white players playing on the same team and attending the same school. Of course, there is some unexpected capital-A Adversity to deal with along the way.

Nugget: a jolly good rallying sports movie, ideal for bus journeys prior to Varsity rugby matches. (My Oxford University Colleges XV went on to beat Cambridge 38-7 after watching this.) Features Donald Faison (Chris Turk from Scrubs) as a running-back turned emergency linebacker.

Wednesday 21 November 2007

England 2 - 3 Croatia

Q: What's the difference between Lewis Hamilton and the England football team?
A: Lewis Hamilton will still have a McLaren in the morning.

(Source: BBC Radio Five Live)

Monday 12 November 2007

Carbon Commentary, issue 5

The fifth Carbon Commentary newsletter has hit the streets of the Information Superhighway. This week features articles on battery-powered cars, Hillary Clinton, public opinion surveys on climate change, the rebound effect, biochar, and the suspicion that Mexico's floods and California's forest fires can't be blamed entirely on global warming. Read the newsletter online here; or download the whole thing as a big, fat PDF.

Mexican floods