Saturday, 9 February 2008

Fun to funky

I know possibly everyone int English speaking world were watching watching ‘Ashes To Ashes’ Thursday night ont Beeb, and most of the reports I’ve heard have been nowt but good. So I’m waiting even more eagerly than I were before for my copy. Hopefully it’ll arrive before next week’s episode, eh. Seen the trailer, and can’t wait to see what’s going on wi The Gene Genie, Chris ‘sorry boss’ Skelton and Ray ‘porn-‘tache’ Carling. And whoever the new bird is. Going to be… interesting…

Harking back to the fact that it’s the third day of New Year over here, and as such I’m still off till Monday, I’ve been trying to review what I’ve managed to accomplish since I went home from work determined to sleep as much as possible. Well I’ve done the impossible, and that makes me mighty, as Cap’n Mal would say: I’ve crossed off a whopping nine out of the twelve things I had to do. Not bad, eh?

One of them things was to watch all of the movies I’ve wanted to as they’ve come out. I’ve seen ‘Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’, ‘CJ7’, and now last night I saw 'Enchanted’ – admittedly, for the Patrick Dempsey element (otherwise known as Dr McDreamy, or ‘that Grey’s Anatomy dude’), cos trust me kids, I ain’t watching bloody Disney crap without a reeeeeeaaaaaally good reason. That said, I did kinda giggle and smile all the way through, mostly cos half of it seemed to be tongue in cheek, half of it seemed to be going for smooth sarcasm. Or was that just me? There were laugh-out-loud moments, and of course you have to have obligatory ‘oh no, I’m no longer in love with my handsome Prince, whatever can be the matter with me?’ moments, and the evil Queen monster moments, etc., etc. However, it mashed it all together pretty well, and Timothy Spall popped up fert second time this week as a toad. Funny, that. Who’d have thought purr wee Barry the bricklayer would end up in cash cows like Disney flicks and Johnny Depp musicals? The mind boggles.

A pretty good flick, really, if you ignore the love angle that’s laid on pretty thickly throughout – well it is a Disney effort, after all. I did enjoy the rather obvious but fun alternative to ‘Whistle While You Work’ as she uses rats fromt sewers and pigeons fromt park to clean up Robert’s flat. And making dresses out of curtains, the running gag, did have a kind of logic to it. The sing-along in the park with perhaps half the population of New York was extremely fun – a few ‘Seven Brides For Seven Brothers’ moments, methinks, and of course poor Patrick Dempsey’s ‘I don’t dance. I don’t sing’ and the 'does everyone know this song?' moments. He did a pretty good job of it all, being convincing as best you can in a flick where the girl runs about whistling and singing and doing that wrist thing, holding her fingers out as she skittles around on her toes, like cartoon princesses do. Although, if I could make one suggestion, it would be not to wear white trousers when you’re sat in the pissing rain on top of a skyscraper.

One other thing I had to accomplish before I go back to work was to finish off my ‘Supernatural’ boxed set of season two. I know the rest of the world has seen it, and most of the USA are waiting for every new episode of season three as they're let out, one by one, by studio execs (rest assured though, ‘Supernatural’ fans support the WGA strike, so waiting a few extra months for new episodes still witing to be filmed is not a hardship. Especially when it means people like Ben Edlund, who’s given us episodes for both ‘Supernatural’ and ‘Firefly’, and as such is a Big Damn Hero in our books, can get the contracts they deserve. It’s only right, after all).

Anyway, going back to finishing off the boxed set: tricky. I picked up the end of season two on Hong Kong’s AXN channel over here, so I’ve already seen the last four episodes. What I missed were the few eps before it. So last night I ploughed into the box and came up with the very last unseen ep. It was a Moment – I really, really wanted to watch it cos I’ve been waiting to see it all season, but I really didn’t want to watch it cos it would be the last one ever. Well, until season three hits our shores, anyway. But I had to open it and watch it. And, oh my dog, was it a complete and absolute gem – ‘Hollywood Babylon’. No, not the possibly spurious Kenneth Anger book, but another fun look at how spirits can really give you a bad day. Or not, if you’re Dean Winchester and you love to eat and play with radios.

As usual, we get a teaser about someone dying before the opening credits. This time, right from the word go, I were giggling and bouncing on the sofa – the plot is that Hollywood is making a cheap and cheerful scary horror slasher flick with obligatory sex scenes, and guess what? Oh, the misty log cabin, the swing chair banging against the cabin’s wall, the girl in the woods with her torch… calling for ‘Ashley’ – yes! It’s an Evil Dead piss-take! All of it! I was so incredibly made-up wi the fact that the movie in the background was meant to be Evil Dead 2 that I had to go back and watch it again to make sure. Even The Book (not called the Necronomicon here) is used – and that’s where us Evil Dead fans spotted the immediate cause of the ghosts returning in present-day Hollywood to kill cast and crew. But woah woah woah, it’s not what you think, and seeing as how Sam Winchester is not a connoisseur of films, horror or not, and Dean was too busy trying to get into Tara Benchley’s pants to take note of her script in the horror flick, it was not surprising that the boys managed to salt-n-burn the wrong bones this time.

This episode did have some of the best one-liners – kicking off the moment they walk onto the studio lot, Sam complaining the weather is not really conducive to Dean’s plan for prowling the swimming pools looking for hot chicks – cos the weather’s “practically Canadian”. Nice! At last they just own up to the fact that everything is shot in B.C… Dean’s ‘bite your tongue, heathen!’ at Sam’s snarky comment that they dig up Joey Ramone, the whole ‘I’ve got a radio, I’m not listening to you, Sammy’ gag, Sam coming a-knocking when Dean’s in Tara’s trailer and it is a-rocking and the consequent “you’re one helluva PA”, and pretty much every time one brother turns on the other. It was kinda touching to see Dean awkward and shy, trying to talk to one of his seemingly many film idols, and then the true film geek in him comes to the surface – he’s just as bad as the rest of us, for all his huffing and pretending he’s not interested… Bloody funny stuff.

And then we come to more in-jokes – the posters. In every exec’s office, int background, were posters for their previous works, etc. Except if you look closely, they’re not. Every one were an old ‘Supernatural’ episode given a suitable horror flick name. Season one’s episode ‘Scarecrow’, and the infamous Fugly Dude on the scarecrow frame, became ‘Cornfield Massacre’ – even though it happened in an orchard. (And that was the point of the antagonist’s plight – what you produce for Hollywood gets changed, tinkered with, balls-up by producing execs, until you don’t recognise it any more.) Also season one’s episode ‘Route 666’ (famous for Dean finally getting his kit off and proving he does have biceps the size of Baltimore) was immortalised as ‘Return of the Monster Truck’ (cos of Sam’s earlier protest ‘I miss conversations that didn’t start with “this killer truck”?’). There was even a ‘Carnivore Carnival’, in reference to season two’s ‘Everybody Loves A Clown’. And in a very ‘Yes Virginia, there is a Hercules’ Xena kinda way (“Welcome to Camp Wannachuk, where every day you’ll see a sunny day – cos that’s ma name, Sunny Dey!”), everyone behind the scenes on the real TV production of ‘Supernatural’ seemed to be represented onscreen for a change – McG, ‘Jerry’ (thee Jerry Wanek?), etc. Wonder why there was no dude called Eric… But let’s not forget, it also guest starred none other than ‘American Gothic’, ‘The West Wing’ and of course ‘Midnight Caller’ dude, Gary Cole. How fab is that? He dunt change a bit, that’s all I’m going to say…

Crikey blimey Charlie, it’s been fab. Going to catch up on ‘Torchwood’ this evening with Bestest Mate, and hopefully ‘Ashes To Ashes’ sometime before Thursday. Desperate for some new Huntisms. Can’t sleep – Gene Hunt will eat me.

That’s just about all I have time to squee about today. Peach and lube, everyone! Lots and lots of lube!

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