Archive for May, 2012

Roisin Duggan Art

Check out my friend Ro’s art channel… if your interested in new artists you must check her out. She even does requests. 

Posted: May 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

I suddenly remember why Will Smith was my first true love!

Jesus. When will I ever watch a Private Practice episode without crying like a little bitch?

To be fair to Shonda Rhimes, Private Practice’s finale was never going to be all sunshine and rainbows. Not when we’ve spent the past half a dozen episodes leading up to the birth of Amelia’s brainless baby. As expected, Amelia went into labour, and instead of her friends rallying to help her, as usual a moral debate began. When the gang discovered from Jake that Amelia’s plan was to harvest her baby’s organs in order to save other dying children they were all shocked, and reacted in different ways. Keeping to recent form, Charlotte set about consulting the hospitals lawyers about what the course of action was. Sam blurted out that it was murder and was hostile to everybody, particularly Addison and Jake given him witnessing their little dalliance in Jake’s office, and Addison was shocked but remained calm and quiet – clearly thinking of Amelia above all else.

As the episode progressed, the dilemma went back and forth between the warring parties. Jake was clearly conflicted as he obviously didn’t want to be involved either – but as usual he was putting his patient first and reminding himself he’d promised Amelia. There was a touching scene between the pair of them, as Amelia struggled through the pain in her hospital room – alone. He placed his hand into her back, to try and alleviate the pain a little – given Amelia obviously refused any and all drugs. When he did this Amelia reacted as though his hand was made of ice, explaining that she couldn’t have anyone touch her or she’d cry. And if she started crying, she wouldn’t stop. It was a classic Amelia scenario, refusing help to stay strong. And in all honesty, one I was glad to see rather than her recent bouts of making people feel awful for her, and then being hateful. I like the strong Amelia, but I like her even more when she is strong enough to accept help. In the end Jake ignored her pleas and helped her, proving she was realising that this time she couldn’t do this alone.

Sam, once again, pissed me off for most of the episode. Don’t get me wrong – I like the guy. But I’m so fed up of his brattish, moody behaviour. He allows his personal feelings to interfere with everything, and because of that could have been responsible for not harvesting Amelia’s baby’s organs – thus killing the babies they would have helped. I get he was mad with Addison. I get it was a really tough decision. I expect that. I just wish he would start making them objectively.

Eventually, Amelia gave birth. And finally Addison – upon hearing Amelia losing it in the birthing room – was by her side. Amelia fought it at first, but Addison did what she does best and ignored her stubborn pleas for her own good. It was nice to see Amelia back with Addy, even in such traumatic circumstances. When the baby was born – well that’s when the tears came. Given I’d just watched Grey’s Anatomy’s finale, I was already pretty much a mess. So it didn’t take much to get me blubbing. The baby looked like I expected him to look, thanks to me doing a little research a few weeks ago. But it didn’t change the fact it was heartbreaking when Amelia held him for the first time and then said goodbye. If I was in the same situation, I think I’d have to hold him. If only to let him know how much I loved him, and how proud I was that he was saving all these lives.

After that, we watched the heartbreaking harvesting of his organs, which was only made better by the fact they kept shouting out the various cities they were taking them, and therefore the babies they would save. By the end of the episode, Amelia woke up to find Sheldon by her side, and the two finally reconciled. And it was touching to see her comforting him, instead of the other way around.

The finale also had some continuality in terms of Pete being arrested last week. I got to tell you, there was so much else going on – I wasn’t too bothered to see him locked up. I felt like that could have been given a little less air time, and left for when we come back in the fall.

Mason continued to adjust to life without his mum this week. And there was another blubbing scene (by me anyway) were he told Charlotte that he didn’t know what to call her. When he decided on Momma, it was really nice to see that he was coming to terms with things.

But it was the last few moments of the episode that we will all be wondering about until the show returns in September.

Will she, or won’t she?

After Addison falls apart when the events of the day sink in, Jake is there to comfort her. And eventually the pair end up having sex. Afterwards, he asks her for dinner and they arrange to meet up at Addison’s house, with Jake bringing the food. To be honest, it seemed a bit awkward after their little tryst, and I think they should of maybe talked a little first rather than planning a date.

But when Addison gets home, she finds Henry (officially the cutest baby of 2012) in the arms of Sam. And finally, Sam tells Addison what he should have told her weeks, maybe even months ago – How much he loves her, how he wants to be a family with her and Henry, and then he gets down on one knee and asks her to marry him. Addison’s initial reluctance was replaced by a huge grin – not really the reaction you’d expect of someone who was sleeping with a different guy just hours before. But she doesn’t answer.

We then cut to Jake, innocently driving along in his car with flowers in tow. Ouch.

I think Jake’s a better guy for Addy, I really do. He would be good for her. But that doesn’t mean I think she belongs with him. She belongs with Sam. That much is evident. They keep being pulled back to each other (it doesn’t help that he lives next door) and I don’t think she could ever have something with someone else, without still having feels for Sam. There is just too many unresolved issues.

So will she say yes? Well I will be surprised if she’s not engaged when we come back in the fall…

What did you think of last night finale? Who do you think Addison will choose? 

It is that time of year again when we all start looking forward. I know what your thinking – “It’s May – what is this bitch on?” Well I’m on a healthy diet of TV, TV and more TV – and so for me, May is essentially the end of the year for television. Those shows that keep us all warm and cosy are ending, and networks are canning the shows that didn’t make them enough money weren’t very good and releasing the trailers for those new shows that will be starting in the fall – that’s Autumn to us Brits. So, where am I going with this? Well, I got thinking about a few of the shows that the brain dead networks have in store for us when the new fall season starts. And I noticed an interesting trend.

Brit shows being remade into US shows. 

Is this a new phenomenon? Hell no. The Office, Shameless, Skins, Prime Suspect and Kath and Kim are all examples of shows that were remade from international imports. The thing I will point out though, is that 3/5 of the shows I just mentioned, didn’t make it past the first season. Now this isn’t exactly a strange thing, given how many shows in the US don’t make it past that all important number. But it begs the question – Why do they keep putting so much stock in remade shows? Not just Brit shows, but shows copied from all over the world. Trying to understand the logic of the people who commission US TV shows is like writing a book about a baby’s opinion on the current economic climate. But when I saw the line up for next years new shows – well I couldn’t help wondering further…

Three up and coming shows piqued my interest. And it wasn’t because I was excited for them. But because all of them are British remakes. And that’s the thing about US TV that I don’t understand. Every country in the world that has any sort of freedom within the media, watches shows from around the world. In the UK, we enjoy several US imports – yes – but we also watch shows from other countries. Forbrydelsen or The Killing, a Danish crime drama, was particularly successful in Britain. The US, instead of enjoying the original product, remade it. Kath and Kim, a particular favourite of mine, is an Australian comedy following a mother and her daughter. Its so hilarious, and works so well because they are Australian.  The US remade it, and it was cancelled after one season.

I’m not saying the US are alone in their remakes. Lord knows every country does it occasionally. But the US does it so frequently, and usually so badly that I just can’t understand the trend. Sometimes the remakes work. Take The Office – there are many who consider Steve Carrell’s version as superior to Ricky Gervais’ original. However, its important to remember, Ricky Gervais was totally on board with the production of the US version, hence why it was so successful.

Really I can’t help begging the question about networks opinions on their viewers intelligence levels. Do they think Americans can’t read? Hence last years The Killing remake? And also the countless movie remakes that happen every year. Do they think Americans don’t understand an accent unlike their own? I just don’t get it. If anything, it is an insult to their own country. The BBC’s very own Dr Who has done amazing in the US – proof that imports can work, and do work, better than remakes. Top Gear, a show I love whole heartedly, also did well in the US – and the US remake of that is absolutely terrible.

I honestly could go back and forth questioning this all day. And I don’t think it takes a genius to realise I have a hatred of remakes in any form. And so it is hard for me to see any future in those three special upcoming shows that I’m subconsciously earmarking for failure. However, I’m going to preview each show, and compare it to the original and basically weigh the pro’s and con’s on whether I think it will survive the season. And then in a years time (or longer if its a Summer show) I will look back and see whether I was right or not.

And so to the first show.

Mistresses; ABC – adapted from the British BBC series of the same name (2008-2010)

First off, I should probably divulge the fact that I love Mistresses. Refreshing, well-written, and with a superb cast – Mistresses was a series about the trials and tribulations of four friends. None of them were perfect by any sense of the word, but that was what made the show so watchable. Each woman had a complex relationship with men (and in some cases – women) and while the plot twisted and turned, the four women’s friendship remained stead fast. My personal favourite was Orla Brady’s Siobhan who was fabulously portrayed from beginning to end. And while I found the final series to be a little below par, I still think it is one of the best BBC drama series of the last ten years.

The remake is similar, but not quite a copy of the UK version. And while I was initially sceptical about the remake – I am slightly more optimistic because of the cast who are on board. Alyssa Milano has been a favourite of mine since her time as Pheobe Halliwell on the hilarious series Charmed. And I honestly think Alyssa is a highly underrated actress, and so I think she will fill the ‘Siobhan’ role well. Also in the cast is Lost’s Yunjin Kim who impressed me from her time on the island, and I am very interested in seeing her turn her hand to something totally different. So lets take a look at the trailer…

From the trailer however, the remake looks totally totally different. Not in terms of story – but because it looks far less dark than its UK counterpart. I can understand that – us Brit’s like our serious drama and that wouldn’t necessarily translate, but I’m still a bit dubious. I think it would be best for me to go into this with an open mind and wait and see…

Odds of renewal: 3-1

Elementary; CBS – Not quite a remake but can’t be a coincidence given the success of BBC’s Sherlock. 

Lets get stuck in – BBC’s Sherlock:

CBS’s Elementary:

Firstly, I must be one of the few people in the UK who doesn’t watch Sherlock. And for me, that really is an achievement. But I’ve never really been into the Sherlock franchise, and upon watching snippets of the show – well it wasn’t really for me. That being said, I can still appreciate how well it has done, and how well made it is. And so, CBS has a big challenge. Not only does it have Sherlock to live up to – but it has Robert Downey Jr.’s movies to overcome as well. My first thoughts on seeing the trailer for Elementary went something like this – “Hey, that’s Lucy Lui… Wait…? WHAT?! She’s playing Watson?!” Yup, CBS cast a female Watson. Why do they do this to themselves? Sometimes I feel like networks like pushing treacle up a hill. They make it deliberately tough on themselves. If they learned anything from last fall, it should be this – Charlie’s Angels was remade. Bosley was young and hot. It was cancelled after a few weeks. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be daring. I’m not saying change is a bad thing. But there are a few guidelines that you should use to ease yourself in at first. Elementary has ignored that.

I like Lucy Lui. She’s talented, and I usually like her shows and movies. But having a female Watson is an issue that the creators made for themselves that needn’t have been there. I just don’t get it. And so it is for that reason that I’m sceptical about Elementary’s chances…

Odds of renewal: 5-1 ouch. 

Unnamed Only Fools and Horses remake:

They want this guy to play Rodney?!

When it was announced that the US were in the process of remaking the absolute BBC classic Only Fools and Horses, I think the whole of Britain screamed. Actually I think there is a good chance a large portion of the world screamed. Picture this, I once was in a jewellery store in a small town in Egypt. A man approached me who spoke no English, and started repeating the words – “Lovely jubbly! Lovely jubbly!” Now if your not familiar with Fools and Horses, that will mean nothing to you. Just know that it is a very famous ‘catchphrase’, for lack of a better word, from the show. Fools and Horses is that much of a classic that people who can’t even speak English quote it when they meet Brits. That is the task that the US version faces. It is pretty much destined to fail before it has even begun. On top of that, legend and lead Sir David Jason has came out and denounced the remake of the show, and the two rumoured leads are John Leguizamo and Dustin Ybarra. Its like they wan to fail.

If the show even gets picked up I will be surprised. If it gets renewed – well then I do believe in miracles. And possibly the Devil.

Here’s a preview of the amazing original. And I don’t have a trailer for the remake as it hasn’t got that far. Enjoy!

If you’ve never seen the show, get on it immediately. Its the best of British comedy, a show made for everyone, and one that I grew up watching.

Odds of renewal: 100-1 – That’s if it even gets picked up in the summer…

And so that’s it for now. I hope I’ve enlightened you a little bit! I will leave you with some of the trailers/clips for the original shows I’ve mentioned in the post for your entertainment. Enjoy! 

  • Kath and Kim
  • Skins
  • Prime Suspect (with the wonderful Dame Helen Mirren)

Well I didn’t think it was possible – but SVU just got weirder. This week we dived into the world of body mortification. Its a world that I went 22 years without realising it existed. And could have gone another twenty.

After Rollins goes for a breather outside a bar, she hears a girl screaming and then sees a cab drive past with the unwilling girl inside. She chases the cab, getting a vin number, but eventually it drives away. Eager to rescue the girl, the team dive into finding her – thinking that he’s the cabbie Sikh whose been raping women. It turns out, from closer inspection of CCTV footage that its not the guy and eventually the team realising they are dealing with something totally different and new when the same girls severed leg – no need to get an eye test, you read it right – turns up in a fisherman’s catch. Eventually the team are lead into a world of body mortification, self-mutilation and ritual amputation. That’s a lot of -ation’s that I don’t wanna know anything about. Eventually the girl turns up dead, and the team delve deeper in trying to find what has now become a homicide case.

Now, apart from the obvious, the thing that disturbed me the most about “Strange Beauty” was the hooker who let a dude cut her leg off for $25,000. Seriously? You want/need drugs that much that you let someone cut your leg off?! Also, the thought of being kidnapped and then waking up to find you have such an important limb missing gives me chills. Not to mention the fact that the guy who was committing the crimes was doing it to make them more beautiful, unlike his mother who lost her leg in an accident, he was making them better. Its pretty twisted stuff. And it sort of reminded me of the absolutely shockingly bad Lindsay Lohan movie – ‘I know who killed me’. If you haven’t seen it, seriously don’t bother. But it is similar in the way that it features a serial killer who slowly, over time, chops off his victims limbs when they are still alive. That was only less disturbing than LiLo’s acting, but still shocking all the same…

The thing that was good about this week’s SVU is it was something different. Its sounds terrible but I am not easily shocked by SVU any more. They have covered all their bases when it comes to sick, perverse and horrifying crimes. So to see something new – well it surprised me. Not necessarily in a good way, but I was surprised all the same.

law & order svu sttrange beauty ice-t kelli giddishThen there was the character developments in this episode. Now there wasn’t a lot – but there was some hinting on the part of the writers. Previously, new girl Rollins disclosed to Liv that something bad happened to her in Atlanta and because of it she had to move. In its context it sounded like an attack of some sort. But the writers left it there. Rollins, her gambling habits aside, does seem to have a few underlying issues from what I’ve noticed this season. And in “Strange Beauty” it was revealed that whatever happened to her was the result of something someone high up the chain of command did, and that Rollins was keen to shake it off as nothing, and that she shouldn’t have taken it personally. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more of that as time goes on, and I’m certain we’ll be seeing more of her old captain.

In other news, SVU has been renewed for another season! I must admit, when Chris Meloni left, I didn’t think we’d get another season beyond season 13. But I really do think they asserted themselves, and did a good job. Both Danny Pino and Kelli Giddish have settled in really well, and I like both of their characters. I understand a lot of people were upset when Chris left. But its TV. This stuff happens and you have to move on. SVU is still a great show without him, and one of the best cop drama’s ever. It would be a shame if people stopped watching just because there is no more Elliot. I’m sure Chris wouldn’t want that.

So overall, a good episode, if a little disturbing. Shame we had no Munch, he is painfully underused. But I’m looking forward to next weeks finale…!

What the hell is Cragen doing in that promo…?!

NB. I just remembered that the killer in that LiLo flick, I know who killed me, froze off there limbs. I think. Yeah its kind of a blur. So not so similar but reminded me of it all the same… I’ll stop now. 

Let me know what you thought of this episode, and SVU’s renewal in the comments section!

*Sniff* Okay… okay I am composed. I’ve dried my eyes and the events of Criminal Minds Season 7 finale have finally sunk in.

Okay so maybe it’s going to take some time.

But cut me some slack here! As a long time Criminal Minds fan, I was absolutely devastated when the big shots at the network essentially axed both JJ and Prentiss in order to save costs. And then to finally get the big happy family back together again for season 7 -and then now watching Emily Prentiss go again was a really tough watch. This wasn’t the same as last time, and even though Prentiss made it through the episode alive – despite several close calls and red herrings – it probably hurt more. Why? Well because last time, I was more angry than sad. Angry at the Execs for letting it happen, angry at networks for having such sway, and angry that they thought to axe not just two leading characters, but two female characters. However, this time around, Paget Brewster wanted to go. She felt that it was time to try something new. And I get that, and honestly I am thrilled for her as she has a real talent for comedy, and I would love to see her in a sitcom or two, very soon. However, the selfish side of me doesn’t want her to go. Why would I? She brings so much to criminal minds and when she left the first time around, there was a big Prentiss shaped hole left in the show. Will Criminal Minds be able to move on and grow from this? Of course. They have a really talented bunch of writers on board, and they still have the rest of the team. But I will say this – Leave it at that. Don’t go adding new leads, don’t go getting rid of regulars, and no killing anybody off. Capiche?

And so to the episode itself!

We were treated to not one but two hours of Criminal Minds, that followed a bank robbery that turned into a hostage situation that, in turn, turned into a terrorist attack. It was edge of your seat stuff. Not least because JJ’s other half, Will, was at the scene and ended up being taken hostage. Honestly – I was a little worried about him myself for a while there. After Hotchner’s wife’s murder a few seasons ago, I couldn’t help thinking that the Criminal Minds writers wouldn’t flinch at dropping him. They didn’t thankfully, and despite surviving a bullet wound, a bomb blast, and having a shit load of C4 attached to his chest, he was safe and well by the end of the episode. In fact, thanks to this little scare, by the end of the episode JJ agreed to marry him and we were treated to a rare – although on the rise – scene of softness and celebration as the pair tied the knot in Rossi’s back yard. It was touching and a refreshing change from ending the season on a cliff hanger. My nerves can’t take those.

The wedding wasn’t all sunshine and roses however, as Morgan realised that Emily was thinking of leaving. One of the things that stuck with me so much in that scene were the words Emily said –

Its not you guys. I love you. I just can’t grab on to my old life and pretend that nothing happened.

You don’t have to be Freud to psychoanalyse those lines. That could as easily have been on Paget Brewster’s resignation letter. And I kind of get it. It must have hurt to be tossed aside and told that her character wasn’t as vital as the others and so they were reducing her lines. And that was why she left. And I bet she spent a lot of time moving on. So to come back probably felt like a step backwards. I just hope AJ Cook doesn’t feel the same way…

The wedding scene was as much a good bye to Prentiss as it was a wedding. There was a slow scene showing Prentiss watching her friends have fun and then her dancing with each of them. And then rather fittingly, they showed her dancing first with Hotchner – there was definitely some awkward tension there – and then with Morgan. The Morgan dance ended the episode, and it showed her hugging him good bye, and they looked more intimate than colleagues would be. I’ve always thought they could have easily grown to be more, and I doubt I was alone in that. And so it was nice to see the writers acknowledging that with that final sensual moment.

You would think, with all the stuff that they crammed into those two hours, and how much I just ranted on about Emily’s departure, that my favourite scene this episode would have her in it. And actually – it didn’t. Why? Well because I am just loving bad ass JJ. We saw a glimpse of it previously in this season, when JJ tackled a suspect and basically beat the living snot out of him. Following that there was a little scene between her and Morgan which mentioned him helping her with her hand-to-hand combat training. I feel like that was a nod from the writers saying that they’re definitely going to include more of it going forward – and I guess I was right. I always say, never get in the way of a woman and her child… and my God didn’t JJ prove that. Not only did she totally kick ass against the UnSub and super bitch Izzy, but she also did the coolest move I think I’ve ever seen with a gun in disarming it. She had total sass’. Interestingly, the little boy who played Henry, JJ’s son, is AJ Cooks real son Mehkai, so bonus points for cuteness and awesomeness! To think I remember when he was in her belly…

Anyway… Overall, a quality finale that kept me on the edge of my seat, and despite be bawling about Emily’s departure, I really do wish all the best for Paget Brewster, and I know I will see her soon in some sort of outrageous comedy. Until next year Criminal Minds…!

Make sure you let me know your thoughts in the comments section!

Howdy followers… after the success of my new review series, “You better abide by my TV guide”, I realised I probably spend as much time on youtube as I do watching actual TV. Therefore, I’ve come up with this new nifty little series – “Youtube me and I’ll Youtube you…”. It makes no sense but I like it so deal.

Youtube me and I’ll Youtube you… will basically be posts about all the channels I’m subscribed to that I feel are worthy of your time, and ones that keep me going back each week. So enjoy!

First up, the fabulously talented – Jenna Marbles. Kudos to my lovely friend Roisin for pointing her out to me.

Jenna Marbles posts a video every wednesday that basically takes the piss out of social protocols. And if she’s not doing that, she’s goofing off and playing with her dogs. Doesn’t sound like much? Yeah… she’s kind of a phenomenon you have to try to understand. Check out the video of one of her escapades, and if you like what you see then sub her and check out her other vids. Enjoy!

Next up…

vsauce – vsauce is basically a nerds wet dream. The guy(s) who run the channel upload new vids every few days about all the weird and wonderful things going on in the world and on the internet. Its like the news but if the news was fun and you were stoned. Enjoy!

And finally…

KSIOlajidebt – Or KSI as its just easier that way – is a north london lad who uploads videos of him playing all sorts of random computer games while recording himself and anyone else who is with him. Again, this is kind of one you have to see to believe, and so if you don’t laugh at the video below – well then call the doctor, you need a new funny bone. Enjoy!

And so…

That’s all for now. If you have any suggestions on the your favourite youtube channels, let me know in the comment section below and I will check them out and try to impart your wisdom, using it for good – not the dark side of the force, don’t worry… 

Posted: May 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

Funny blog post about spending the day in an inner city school.

The Jackie Blog

Last Friday I found myself standing in the stall of the faculty bathroom of a local public school, wondering what would happen if I just didn’t go back to class to teach.

Happy Lollipop Tuesday y’all.

If you’re new ’round these parts and you don’t know that today is a semi-holiday (it’s okay, I didn’t get you anything either), mosey on  up to the “What’s Lollipop Tuesday?” tab at the top of the page.  You’ll hear all about my adventures in sucking at new things, and all about why I couldn’t just stay in the bathroom stall and wash myself in my own tears.

Now, back to my personal hell.

For this installment of Lollipop Tuesday, I signed up to be a volunteer teacher at a local school.  It’s a program that was offered through my workplace, where instead of going to the office for a day I head out…

View original post 1,657 more words

We’re getting serious today people. Don’t worry, it won’t happen too often… so bear with me! 

I have a unique perspective on today’s film that I am reviewing, as its a story very close to my heart. ‘The Lady’ starring Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis is a biographical film based on the life of Aung San Suu Kyi. For those of you that don’t know her, she is the Burmese pro-democracy leader who spent 15 years under house arrest while trying to fight for democracy in a country heavily weighed by oppression due to the many years of military rule. It was a story I knew well as I myself am half Burmese, as my father was born in Northern Burma, in the mountains in a place called Bawdwin. He immigrated when he was just five years old with his nine brothers and sisters, and his mum and dad. Despite the fact that my dad was so young when he left, I very much feel the Burmese part of my heritage thanks to growing up surrounded by Burmese family. It is a part of me that I am very proud of. And so, when I discovered they were making an Aung San Suu Kyi biopic, I was honestly thrilled. I promoted it on every social network site I could in order to raise its profile, as I felt that the more people who watched the film, the more people would be aware of Burma’s plight and therefore there would hopefully be a greater push for change.

Aung San Suu Kyi; The resemblance between her and Michelle Yeoh is quite remarkable.

My expectations therefore were high. And in some ways it meant that I was likely to be disappointed when I finally saw the film. But really, there was only one thing I wanted – it had to do Aung San Suu Kyi justice. Not necessarily her story, as its a story the majority of the world will be familiar with. What I felt was more important, was that they captured Suu’s essence. That they showed her true intent, and the person she was despite the extent of the turmoil she’d gone through. And in some ways this was achieved, however in others – it was not.

‘The Lady’, at its core, is neither a biopic or a pro-democracy film, its a love story. And I can’t really stress this enough. If you go into this film expecting to see Suu in every scene, with a huge emphasis on her time under house arrest, you will be disappointed. Instead, we are shown, through back and forth scenes between both parties, the struggle Suu and her husband, Michael, endured throughout her time fighting for democracy. Why? Well, this is a hollywood style movie, directed by Luc Besson and starring actors who are all too familiar with the big screen. Every movie takes an angle, especially in hollywood, even when that story is true. And so the plight of possibly the greatest living humanitarian turns into a love story. Its not really a decision I agree with in all honesty. However, it was one I expected. I have seen the same thing happen before. Take ‘Hotel Rwanda’ – a film about the Rwandan genocide. It doesn’t really give a full story of what really happened, and hides behind the sheen of hollywood. ‘Sometime in April’ – its low budget, indie counterpart, is a much better film. And I don’t mean this in terms of enjoyment, ‘Sometime in April’ is probably the single most horrific film I’ve ever watched. It literally scarred me for days, and I still think of it often. And as much as it was an unnerving and unpleasant experience, I am grateful for that. Because ‘Sometime in April’ really told the story of the Rwandan genocide. It did what it had to to show the truth, and pull the viewers in so they knew what it felt like to be there. The fear, and the horror seemed to translate so much more strongly than in its Hollywood counterpart.

Burma VJ

Now, I am not a masochist – by any means – but I can’t help feel that a film about such a subject matter, needs to make you hurt. It needs to make you feel helpless and yet empowered all simultaneously. It needs to make you want to act. ‘The Lady’ didn’t do that. Don’t get me wrong, it is a very well made film. Michelle Yeoh is absolutely stunning throughout the film, and she gives the performance of her life. David Thewlis is so effortless in transforming into Michael, Suu’s husband, that you believe every ounce of pain that is etched on his face. And their scenes together look like they came together with ease, which just helps translate the love the pair had for each other. And there are moments throughout the story where you can’t help feel real pain, and even tears. However, ‘The Lady’ is a movie of two halves. The first half shows us Suu’s beginnings, and rather the endings of her father – Aung San, a leading figure in Burma who achieved independence. It then cuts to her life, with her two boys and Michael in Oxford, England. It is only when her mother has a stroke does she return, and driven by the atrocities she witnesses while visiting her mother in Rangoon, she begins on her long road to democracy, leading to several powerful scenes including Suu’s first speech announcing her leadership of the NLD, and a scene where she stands up against a row of heavily armed soldiers when they stop her meeting. However, eventually, the film becomes more about Suu and Michael than it is about Burma. In fact, the penultimate scene shows Suu reacting to the news of Michael’s death – a scene very well acted by Yeoh I might add. It is this fact that hallmarks ‘The Lady’ as a love story.

Michelle Yeoh as Aung San Suu Kyi, confronting some Junta soldiers.

I would personally have liked more of Suu’s political story and less of her relationship with Michael. I am in no way belittling their plight – the personal sacrifices she made for the benefit of her country and her people are ones I doubt many could make in her place. And it was an important part of her story. However, I felt there was something missing by the end of the film. And thus I was left disappointed.

That being said, the rating of this film depends on Luc Besson’s intentions. If this was meant to be a love story than he did a very good job. If this was supposed to be a biopic and tale of the oppression in Burma, than a lot is left lacking.

So should you see this film? Yes. Despite its downfalls, it does give a good view of the sort of woman Suu is, and a picture of the plight she has overcome. And it may teach you a few things you didn’t know about the 1991 Nobel Peace prize winner a long the way. But, if its a true view of Burma that you want – watch ‘Burma VJ’ – the documentary made by Burmese video journalists despite the danger weighing on them.

To conclude, ‘The Lady’ is a film that could have been so much more. However, I believe it does achieve what it set out to do. And for me, it does capture the essence of Suu Kyi, and that was all I asked, if nothing else. To be frank, I applaud any film that raises the profile of the political situation in Burma. However, it is important to remember that ‘The Lady’ is the Hotel Rwanda to ‘Burma VJ’s’ ‘Sometime in April’.


NB. I do urge you however to watch either ‘The Lady’ or ‘Burma VJ’. It is always good to educate ourselves about what is going on around the world, whether that be a Hollywood version or the truth straight from the horses mouth. And given the low level of journalistic coverage in Burma in the last two decades, its important to see the truth. Please check out both trailers below.

If your reading this hoping I am reviewing the totally underrated Sly Stallone classic ‘Lock Up’ – then you are going to be sorely disappointed – Sorry. However, if your reading this wondering whether to go and see the space action thriller called ‘Lockout’ – well then step right up, this is your lucky day.

Firstly, there is a vicious rumour going round calling this movie ‘Die Hard in Space’. Now, I don’t know who started this rumour, probably the Studio Exec’s so as to get the numbers up, but I can today confirm to you that this is not true.  Lockout is a lot of things, but that is definitely not one of them.

Secondly, I have to say I was surprised to see Guy Pearce associated with this… but then I remembered ‘The Time Machine’ and everything returned to normal.

Now – to the movie! Every time I write that I feel like writing bat mobile instead…

Next time I think I will stick to Escape from New York!

Lockout is basically much more Escape from New York than it is Die Hard. Why? Well because the presidents daughter is stuck on a satellite in space, that happens to be a prison, and the prisoners happen to be rioting. Seeing the similarities? Well it doesn’t stop there. The people in charge decide to send a criminal to go rescue her. Yup, its basically the same movie in space…

I’m not really trying to criticise this kind of movie. I have a lot of respect to the people who make these movies when it is done right, i.e. Die Hard. But, it is so so easy to do wrong. And in this case, I’d probably say Lockout got it wrong. To be fair to Guy Pearce, he was the main saving grace of this film. His delivery of some of the quippy dialogue was very well done and I laughed a loud at him more than once. He did the ‘Kurt Russell’ role well, and he was believable in his rugged self, and I actually liked his character a lot.

But then there is the stuff that is wrong with this movie.

Maybe Guy Pierce should lend his Time Machine to the people who made this film so they can go back to the late 80s/early 90s and ask the people there how its done. Hell you don’t even need to do that, Sly is still making movies – ask him. Or even better – ask Arnold! Am I saying the action movies of the 80s/90s were flawless – Hell no! What I am saying is they were so much better done. Its ironic really that in a time when special effects are what they are today, movies are some how worse off. Take ‘Total Recall’ – a classic in its genre. It is everything Lockout wants to be – funny, cheeky, cheesy, not to be taken seriously action nonsense. Yet they are remaking it, and I can guarantee you now – it will fail, just in the same way Lockout has.

There is just no sheen to Lockout. Why? Well its hard to put my finger on it, but there is. Say your making your own marinara sauce. And you keep experimenting until one day, its perfect. Everybody raves about it and you think you’ve mastered it. Then when you come to make it again, you taste it and it’s just not right. You don’t know why, and you don’t know how – but you can feel it, there is just something missing. That’s the predicament with Lockout. These movies have been made so many times before. And Lockout really did have all the ingredients. They had a good leading man – and he actually did a good job. They had the damsel in distress/love interest and they had the vile villains who you wanted to see suffer. They even had a bizarre futuristic setting. But it still didn’t work.

Maybe I’m just shallow and I lost it a bit when they cut Maggie Grace’s hair and put shit on it to help her blend in… maybe then my subconscious said, “Nahh… I’m out.” Or maybe it was just too cheesy, and was just trying too hard. Its hard to say.

What I will say is that if you want to see a ‘leave your brain at the door’ movie than you’ll probably enjoy it. But it just didn’t work on any level for me. Maybe we should just leave these kind of movies in the 90s, where they belong.

Overall, an average action film that could, and should have been so much more, especially with Luc Besson at the helm.