Autumn Leaves

Things have been going well with Heather, she spent all of last week at mine although we didn’t spend as much time together as we thought we might thanks to our work patterns in the week. We visited Nan and took her shopping which was nice and then we went for dinner and tried out the Four Corners Buffet at Southwater. This is an all you can get style place which has Indian, Chinese, Italian and Mexican dishes available. It was ok, the food was lukewarm as they often are at these places but of reasonable quality. I got a better deal out of it then Heather due to her various dietary issues, however I would certainly think about going there again if dining solo or with a group of pals. 
When Heather hasn’t been around I have been keeping myself somewhat entertained with three trips four trips to the cinema in the best two weeks, it would have been five times but late in the day I bailed on going to see 2001: A Space Odyssey at the cinema, I only booked the ticket on a whim because I have the Cineworld Unlimited Card and it wouldn’t cost me a penny. But since I have the film (unwatched) on DVD anyway I decided to stick with my pals in the Mytton for a bit. The four films were very different to one another, first up was King of Thieves which stars Michael Caine and was based on the true story of the Hatton Garden Heist and could easily be described as “The Over-the-Hill Mob”, it has an excellent neo-Jazz-Funk big band score running throughout and I believe in one scene set in a Jazz Club the band were playing in-sync to a Coleman Hawkins record. The next up was “A Simple Favour” which was described as a post-modern noir and was directed by Ghostbusters’ Paul Feig, it looks good but the plot ends up being way too convoluted as it goes on and the ending is just a mess, but there was plenty of good stuff in there. The film was very well directed and there were some great performances, plus the Greek Chorus of parents never failed to amuse. After this I went to see Christopher Robin which I would say wasn’t what I expected except… I wasn’t sure what I was expecting. I guess I was thinking it’d be a pseudo-biography of A A Milne and use the Christopher Robin story as a Dennis Potter-like parallel for the events in his life, a feeling reinforced by Winnie the Pooh and friends being very much modelled of stitched stuffed toys as opposed to more cartoony animals. The story was about Christopher Robin growing up and returning to the Hundred Acre Wood to connect with his family… which wasn’t actually a metaphor as Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet and Tigger all break through into the “real world” and cause all sorts of mischief. It was a sad yet fun family film very reminiscent of the underlying theme of The House at Pooh Corner. Finally, there was Johnny English Strikes Again which was a spoof spy movie starring Rowen Atkinson as the bumbling secret agent who is reactivated when MI7’s agent roster is compromised due to a cyber-terrorist attack. While not laugh out loud the film raised many a smile throughout and there was excellent support from Emma Thompson as the hapless Prime Minister who was not at all based on Teresa May whatsoever, Ben Miller as his technical boffin nicknamed Boff (actual name Jeremy) and Olga Kurylenko as English’s rival spy working for Russia. Also watch out for cameos from Michael Gambon and Father Ted’s Pauline Mclynn. While not in any means a comic masterpiece, it will raises smiles and a few loud laughs and at 89 minutes it does not outstay its welcome.

On the home front I watched the 1931 Alfred Hitchcock movie Number 17 which is a largely forgotten movie by Hitchcock and after watching it I can see why. It was not held in great regard by the director who described the script as being full of clichés and he was not wrong, the characters are one note and the actors struggle to bring any life into the them while the simple plot of stealing a jewelled neckless and escaping the country is hackneyed. Oh and there is a train chase at the end which is visualised by mixing footage of an actual steam train with that of a model train on a train set and as a consequence the finale looks like Thomas the Tank Engine on LSD. There are some nice directorial touches by the master but he is clearly still learning his trade with the editing being intrusive and some shots just not working, I would strongly only recommend the film is if you are interested in watching Hitchcock’s style beginning to develop, and even then I would say watch as part of a marathon.
You’ll no doubt have noticed I haven’t mentioned the return of Doctor Who yet. Yes I have watched it, but I will post an entry dedicated to the episode and probably the following episodes too.

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