May-July Watchlist

Having started the year so well, I have rather lapsed with my watchlist reports, but apart from a couple of NT live screenings (see down the page), I haven’t been to the cinema. I have watched a fair amount of telly though, so here are a few high and low lights. Bingeworthy (& not so Read More

April Watchlist

Big Screen on Little Screen I wasn’t able to get to the cinema this month – nothing I particularly wanted to see there, but I did stream some good films – and a little dross as well! Film of the month has to be Boiling Point (Netflix). That this film was made in a single Read More

Feb into March Watchlist

Time for another review of what I’ve been watching lately, as opposed to reading. Big Screen I’ve only made it to the cinema once. That was to see the wonderfully funny and touching film The Duke, starring Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren. The story, set in Newcastle during the early 1960s is based on a Read More

Jan into Feb Watchlist

It’s time for something different as a breather or palate-cleanser from all the Nordic reading I’ve devoted myself to since Christmas! It’s the return of my Watchlist – on the big and little screen. Big Screen Movies I went to the cinema twice – to see two films in black and white (although Branagh’s has Read More

Sept/Oct Watchlist

I didn’t compile a Watchlist for September, as it was a thin month for viewing with back to school tiredness – apart from Strictly that is. However, October has been much more interesting – and I’ve been out to the cinema THREE times! No Time to Die Bond comes out of retirement to save the Read More

August Watchlist

Bingeworthy TV Obviously, I’m already addicted to new BBC drama Vigil two episodes in, which started with killing off a main character (remember Spooks?), and am still loving Ghosts. I’m also working my way through rewatching Detectorists, which is just lovely. I was inordinately excited to discover that zombie spectacular The Walking Dead series 10 Read More

July Watchlist

This was such a busy month, especially at the beginning with all the end of term stuff – trips were back on for that last fortnight – big time! Also my daughter came home from uni, I had the School magazine to compile, cover shifts at school on admin, etc etc. So I didn’t get Read More

April Watchlist

Bingeworthy TV What with the über-excitement of Line of ‘Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the wee donkey’ Duty every Sunday evening, and rewatching each episode to make sure I got as much as possible from it, it’s a miracle I watched any other TV series, but I was very pleased to discover that BBC2 is reshowing Read More

February watchlist…

February has been a great month for watching as well as reading. This year I’ve started keeping a watchlist diary. I reported on Facebook for Jan, but want to say more about some of the items I watched, hence this post… Movies on the Small Screen Firstly, my movie of the month is… News of Read More

Binge-Watching

At the tail-end of 2016, I read Clive James’s book on binge-watching TV box sets, Play All, which I reviewed here. Personal old favourites of mine, The Sopranos, The West Wing and NYPD Blue featured strongly in this book, and looking back at my review of it, I really ought to re-watch The Sopranos from Read More

Python at 50, and my Life of Brian story…

Inspired by Calmgrove’s Python post, posted on the actual anniversary of the first ever episode, here’s my own Python tribute a few days late. I was only 9 when Monty Python was first broadcast so was too young to catch it the first time around, but when they repeated it in the later 1970s I Read More

Book vs TV – which came first for this one?

State of the Union by Nick Hornby Are you watching State of the Union on the telly? (Sunday evenings on BBC2 at 10 – or the complete series on iPlayer). I pre-ordered the book, then the BBC made the series available on iPlayer before starting showing it on BBC2, so I started watching it and Read More

A Catch-up Interlude – My own private film festival

I love movies and I have shelves of unwatched DVDS. This week I’ve been watching a film or two a day – here’s a few words about what I’ve seen… Arrival 12 alien spaceships arrive on Earth, distributed around the globe. Each host nation races to be the first to discover why they are there. Read More

Shiny Linkiness

Eric Idle – Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography Yesterday I reviewed Eric Idle’s ‘Sortabiography’ for Shiny.   Read the full review here. He and Michael Palin have always been my favourite Pythons, so I was fascinated to read Idle’s memoir. However, he remains a slippery character – self-deprecating, one who’d rather Read More

The Princess Bride turns 30!

Although Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman’s novel preceded the film, my first experience of romantic comedy fairytale The Princess Bride (1987) was on a small screen. I missed it at the cinema as it came out during a period in which I rarely went – but I did rent the VHS video from my local blockbuster – those Read More

The World of Ephemera: Before Z Cars…

Time for some more ephemera, Found in amongst a pile of old theatre programmes, this edition of the school mag of M.C.B. – Methodist College Belfast from June 1949. My mum went there, and must have been in the sixth form when this edition was published. Sadly, despite being a classics scholar and singer she Read More

“City of stars Are you shining just for me?”

Some thoughts on La La Land I wasn’t going to write a post about La La Land. but after talking about it to an increasing number of friends who’ve now seen it, and nearly all been slightly disappointed/didn’t really like it, I feel compelled to get some thoughts on the page… because I loved it! I Read More

‘Carrison’ and ‘A New Hope’

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher Like the whole world, I was totally shocked to hear of Carrie Fisher’s heart-attack, then death over Christmas, followed by her mother Debbie Reynolds just one day later. I’d bought this volume the week it came out, and had just started to read it when I heard of her Read More

A great comfort at year-end

Play All: A Bingewatcher’s Notebook by Clive James Whatever is happening outside, a new book by Clive James is always a comfort to read – something you can’t say about many other (predominantly) non-fiction writers, except Bill Bryson. I grew up reading James’ TV reviews in the Observer every weekend – looking forward to the Read More

Two shorter non-fic reviews

I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction lately – including some absolute crackers that deserve a whole post to themselves – and I don’t mind saving them to write about for the new year. Meanwhile, today I have two shorter non-fic reviews for you… Set Phasers to Stun by Marcus Berkmann If you’ve read this Read More

Shopgirl – Film & Book

Shopgirl by Steve Martin I adore Steve Martin’s writing – see my review of his tremendous memoir Born Standing Up here, and his 2010 novel An Object of Beauty at my old blog here. I finally got around to reading his first fictional publication Shopgirl, a few weeks ago, and yesterday I watched the film, Read More

Can’t wait for this TV adaptation, but had to read the book first…

The Night Manager by John Le Carré I can’t be the only person who is eagerly anticipating the BBC’s adaptation of Le Carré’s 1993 novel The Night Manager this weekend.  Hiddleston and Laurie feel like perfect casting, and I’d watch anything with Olivia Colman in. Interestingly, Colman’s character is male in the book, but Le Read More

Moviewatch – a true story

Spotlight Last night I was in Birmingham with nearly 5 hrs to kill while my daughter and her friend saw All Time Low (an American pop punk band from Towson, Maryland – I’m none the wiser!) at the NIA. I had been planning to base myself in one of the many coffee shops locally and read The Read More

Life with the Hawkings

This post was edited and republished into my blog’s original timeline from my lost posts archive. Firstly, a brief note about time… On Jan 25th, I went to see the film The Theory of Everything – the story of Jane and Stephen Hawking, based on Jane’s memoir.  It was bloody brilliant!  And its two young stars – Eddie Redmayne Read More