Please Don’t Take A Picture

In short this week has been rather shite. I won’t go into a huge amount of details but the shit was so thick it could be stirred with a stick, basically it involves over compensating on a bend, a few hours being checked out by the hospital and a bunch of other stuff.

The Hospital visit I’d rather talk about it just now. Rest assured, the sentimental Sandman is still in one piece if a little bruised and whiplashed.

On the plus side the lovely Victoria is back after sick leave and it is lovely to have her pretty  face lighten up the place again. Another plus is now that University is out for the Summer, we have Bradders back again which is good.
Downside I have had a mini interrogating on two fronts by ex-Horseshoe customers on various fronts. Well interrogated may be the wrong word but certainly put in an uncomfortable situation by them. First up is a chap called Chris, who isn’t a bad old sort in himself and we are mutual friends of ‘Lecky Dave Perry and he was just making inquiries as to if I’d heard from him lately, which I hadn’t. Then we got into a debate as to “moving and letting things drift by” in awkward situations, my philosophy is somewhat different. My view is this: imagine a bad situation as an aged cliff edge. If you stand by said cliff edge a number of things can happen and the result is the same, the cliff can crumble beneath your feet and you tumble down to your bloody pulped death; There is a sudden strong gust of wind which takes you by surprise and knocks you over the edge…; A third party arrives and accidently or deliberately knocks you over the edge; You trip over the edge. Now if you don’t go to the cliff edge in the first place, none of these eventualities can happen. So I avoid the problem of an awkward situation when ever possible, the Norman Cleggification of myself has began.
Next up was the arrival of Noggin and Rob who decided to interrogate me with inquires as “Why aren’t I married?”, “Why aren’t I seeing someone?”, “Your age plus VAT, you need to be finding someone.” Er, no I don’t and I will take my time, I’d rather play another round of the Long Game rather then act on impulse and end up in another Kasia style mess. Kasia, the distinctly rude Polish woman who put me off trying to date for just over a year. Frankly, what business of it is theirs anyway? Suppose I choose to go all Cyril Blamire and be a merry bachelor until I retire? Why would that be considered a problem?
This wouldn’t be so bad, but Noggin is a prime example of the Pot calling the Kettle black as I haven’t seen him with anyone in all the years I’ve known him and he’s at least a decade older than me.

Right now lets change the subject…

Cinema wise it would seem I missed a film out of my previous blog entry so this is the missing film.*

Before an appointment with the bank I decided to visit the multiplex and I saw the time-travel gross out comedy “Hot Tub Time Machine 2”, as you can tell by the title it is a clear a comedy on level with the works of Coward and Molière.
Now I haven’t seen the first one but the idea of the story is pretty easy to follow; through plot-device the three leads have fixed it so their hot tub travels in time. As a consequence two of the leads have made themselves multi-millionaires, one in a satirical take on the Keith Richards/Ozzy Osbourne lifestyle and the other by pinching all the huge hits of the last twenty years and releasing them as his own, so cue mock album covers of Nevermind and Jagged Little Pill. This is all well and good until of our leads is assassinated by being shot in the balls (no really), this being the motivation to activate the time machine and prevent his murder. It’s a time travel comedy done American Pie style with plenty of gross out humour about embarrassing situations sexually, physically and unfortunate excesses of class A narcotics. Aside from the gross out humour in itself it isn’t a bad film but nor is it a particularly good one either. There a couple of moments which prove someone in the writing team has being thinking things through, such as a throw away line in the opening ten minutes becomes the reason that the time machine was able to exist in the first place and the amusing note that in the future all tall buildings have a force field to prevent jumpers from committing suicide. Plus there is some humour in that our ‘heroes’ are walking into future versions of themselves and have literally no idea what has happened for the last 25 years.
If you are looking for a thoroughly entertaining time travel comedy I suggest you head into the late 80’s/early 90’s and settle for Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but if you miss the American Pie franchise you could do worse than this movie.

On a much better and intellectual side, I saw Mr Holmes. The movie about an elderly post His Last Bow Holmes recounting his last case and come to turns with the vagaries of old age and his declining health.
If you are going to view this film as a newbie to Sherlock Holmes due to the TV Series Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbach I strongly suggest you get that out of your mind as you will be in for a major disappointment. However, if you are familiar with original stories and/or the Granada Television series starring Jeremy Brett, you are going to be on much safer lines. Sir Ian MacKellan is excellent as the elderly Holmes who is in the early stages of senility, whose mind is still ticking put he cannot quite always put the pieces together. If he were still alive you could easily have Jeremy Brett reprising his most famous role as MacKellan’s performance is very similar to Brett’s. Plotwise, not a huge amount happens if we’re honest, while some may be disappointed that the last case of Holmes is not thrust into the limelight and treated as a secondary part I feel they might be missing the point. This is about Holmes coming to terms with his mortality and becoming more a social person. The drive of the story is the developing friendship/mentorship between Holmes and his housekeeper’s son and the friction between Holmes and his housekeeper. The detachment of Holmes’ natural personality and the affects of old age make the relationships fraught, as Holmes gets frequently agitated by his limited mobility and memory he becomes I much more difficult person to work for. His random quests to try and fine a way to reverse the condition of his memory is reminiscent of some Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s forays into the world of spiritualism as he is little chasing down things at the bottom of the garden.
There are very good guest turns through out the film with cameos by Frances de la Tour, John Sessions and Frances Barber and the resolution to the last case gives the reason for his retirement. At first glance it may seem as simple as that but there is more than that to it, the case mirrors what is happening in his old age. The case hinges on Holmes failing to understand the needs of a desperately lonely woman in a trying situation, but with the house keeper he gets a chance to make amends, which he finally does after very nearly making the same mistake again.
A good, if slow moving movie I recommend whole heartedly.

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