Sunday, November 27, 2005


Revolver, apparently, is Guy Ritchie's return to form after the ill-fated Swept Away managed to all but wipe out the solid, excellent name he had given himself with Lock, Stock and Snatch. ahem, no it bloody isn't.

OK, there's a whole stack of avant-garde, post-modernist stuff i could lambast you with right here, but unfortunately the whole thing, as far as this film goes, is an illusion. it's a whole load of nonsensical gibberish being advertised as "intelligent". yeah, that's right - if you don't get it, you are the thick one, it's the film-makers who are the clever chaps. no, not at all.

SPOILER PARAGRAPH : yes, Mr Richie, we get the clever Green/Gold spin on money. you could not have made it much more obvious. granted, no idea on the $12 note concept at all. we even get the A to Z reference as a spectral guide to the narrator, if i can call him such. but what exactly is the conclusion???

i think i will watch it again to see what exactly happened in it, but my initial advice would be steer well clear of this film.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

the best film of 2005.

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang turned out to be all that i suspected it would be. and then some.

in a year which has seen some decent contenders for film of the year, like in particular The Descent but also Revenge Of The Sith and Batman Begins, this one is a plain, simple work of cinematic genius. Shane Black has always had a reputation of being a writer of note, and the one question hanging over his directorial debut is why on earth did he wait so long if he's this good?

the cast are outstanding to the point of dazzling. here we get the Robert Downey jnr excellence of Natural Born Killers and Chaplin, the film for which i still maintain he should have got an Oscar for. it's difficult to find the right words to convey just how good he is. could there be a possible comparison? not really, this is a one-off performance and well worth seeing for him alone. except, of course, you get so much more and what you get is a brilliant Val Kilmer too. acting / performance wise, this is one step beyond his work in Wonderland, which if you know me is saying something as that was also quite a film. in fact, does that count on the list for 2005 or was it last year? anyway.....

.......i am perfectly aware that i have not mentioned much, if anything, of the plot of this film. and quite deliberatley so. much like, say, Fight Club or even a Usual Suspects of Se7en, this film works best when you know next to nothing of what it is about or what to expect from it. i implore you to trust me and see it as soon as possible and know as little as possible about it when you do watch it!!

otherwise, Napoleon kicked at me for much of the film, which was nice!!

on a dour cinematic note, i did have occassion to re-watch The War Of The Worlds. not as bad as my initial reaction to it, but it remains by and large a very hollow, empty and pointless film. the only aspect of consequence to it is, as far as i can tell, it is the first time in his career that Tom Cruise has not had his face slap bang in the middle of the poster for it (i suspect he wasn't on the Legend one but i am not 100% on that). quite frankly, i am surprised he left his name on it. on that note, why on earth Mr Spielberg has gone back to being "Mr Slumming It" is beyond me - i may not be the greatest admirer of his films, but he has a huge talent and none of it is on display with this one. so what's the problem with it? the fact that 30 minutes of the "ending" takes place in a basement springs gloriously to mind. very reminiscent of the "30 minutes on a train station platform" opening to Matrix Revolutions, that other spectacular failure of note.

i would be interested to see or hear from anyone who actually liked this version of War Of The Worlds, as it happens. there must be some point of view or interpretation i am missing??

oh well, away from cinema, Michele and James/Napoleon are doing rather well, thanks. not much longer to go at all now!!

now go and see Kiss Kiss Bang Bang!!!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

tickets booked

well, we will soon be at the cinema to see Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. it has Robert Downey jnr in it, and looks rather smart. i recall reading about it when it showed at Cannes earlier this year, cannot work out why the delay in the final release. all reviews are good, so off we go.

will try and post a review when we have seen it, but things are getting busy these days as you can probably well imagine!!

outstanding investments

hey, it's payday and 13th cheque time and all that good stuff. whereas most of the money is going towards any and all of James/Napoleon's requirements, here's something i could not resist - an ace Darth Vader statue.

oh, i also picked up a Samsung DVD-R drive. tried one disc on it, it seems OK. now go and admire Darth Vader.

ahem, one more scan......

ok, THIS one is the actual last scan. i post it with some reservation, but Michele seemed quite keen.

what is it a scan image of? well, it's what Cliff out of Dead Man On Campus would refer to as the "junk"...

one last scan

hey everyone

well, this could well be the last scan you see of young Napoleon (OK, James) whilst he is still safely in Mummy's tummy. the date of birth ebbs ever closer - Friday 2nd December! time to be scared? well, what's the point in that, we will have to be ready and just try to do our very best!

the doctor is "as happy as ever" with progress, he would just like the little one to turn a bit more before next friday. erm, if you know about these things then perhaps you will know what exactly is meant by that; i find myself too worried to ask or find out more!!

there is more stuff around, but let me not distract from the baby update!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Alien vs Predator

OK, a year after getting and playing A v P 2, i have finally found a copy of the original game. nice one!!

it is a lot tougher, like. the weapons are somewhat limited, and the controls cumbersome. ho hum, i eventually (on easy) managed to finish off the marine level. it was quite class at one point - i had the surround sound on, and got the shock of my life when i heard the Predator long before i saw him. the ending is against the queen alien, and the way you finish her off is very much like the film Aliens.

i am having a crack as playing as the Predator right now. it's smart how you get extra energy by ramming some sort of knives into yourself, and i notice that everyone can see through my cloaking device and shoot me anyway.

i am not the biggest lover of games, but it has to be said i make an exception for things that would interest me anyway. you know, stuff based on films and what have you.

and just when exactly will Duke Nukem Forever be released? or is it out already??

parental advisory

this is my good friend and respected colleague Mervin. Mervin today suggested that he wished to have an unrepeatable act performed on himself by a "devenomed viper" or some sort of snake. i would suggest that if it was de-venomed, that would take all the challenge out of it.

Mervin also once shared with me his theory about the death of Tupac Shakur. for legal reasons i feel it unwise to republish it here, but it involved Mr T and Cheetos.

Merv, if you are reading this, it is an honour to present you on my blog site.

oh go on then, another pic.........

here's Richard, Erika, Michele and myself with young Katie Louise. sorry that i look knackered in it, spent two hours on the road to get over to see her!!

Erika is quite protective of young Katie, when she is around no one else is allowed to hold her for too long!!

notice the "soon" look in Michele's eyes :)

an advert

hey everyone

sorry again for the lack of posts - hectic times all around, as i am sure you can imagine!!

here's the newspaper add for Katie Louise - figured i had best post it here to avoid the ageing of newspaper print!!

all is well on our side - counting down to December 2nd, when Michele will (if all goes to plan) be giving birth. no doubt it will be a rough day for her, so please keep her in your thoughts!

cheers everyone!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Troy, according to Michele Ricketts, historian extraordinaire........

we had Troy on TV at the weekend, a film i had somewhat obviously already seen, but Michele had not. we watched it together. here are the reviews; please feel free to compare them :


Lee's review : a rather impressive interpretation of Homer's The Illiad, probably the best we will ever see. Brad Pitt was outstanding as Achillies, capturing the arrogance, adulation and near-perfection perfectly. special praise also for Eric Bana in the complex role of Hector, and full credit for casting the annoying, elfin-like Orlando Bloom as the pathetic Paris. well done director Wolfgang Pieterson, an outstanding job and a wonderful introduction to the world of the classics for everyone.

Michele's review : despite lengthy explinatons that it underlines the very crux of the concept of "Greek Tragedy", Michele declared it rather lame that Paris killed Achillies, particularly as it involved an arrow through his heel. this kind of led to a conversation about the phrase "achillies heel", but i was promptly ignored as the credits came up. Michele pointed out that they had far too many hairdressers employed on the set, reasoning that they were (mostly) Greek peasants, and thus did not require hairstyles as such. She also pointed out that, i quote, "Achillie's Girlfriend" should have smacked Paris about for killing him, and is still trying to work out why exactly Helen went off with Paris anyway, as he is such a wet fish.

i will ceed the point around Helen and Paris to Michele. otherwise, you by all means go with which review works for you.

be excellent to each other, and please bear with me as Michele has mumbled that she would quite like me to take her through and explain my favourite Shakespeare play to her, King Lear. this could take quite some time..........

Katie Louise Farnworth

hey everyone

well, sorry that it's not the best image, but here's my sister Gillian's lovely baby, Katie Lousie, approximatley 6 hours old!!

all went well with the birth, mother and baby are both fine.

for those who want the details, i believe she was born at 2.5kgs in weight, measuring 50cm long!!

i will have some proper pictures soon!!

Michele is next!!!

the pregnant ones

hey everyone

well, a quick update as i am somewhat hectic here at verk!!

here's Gillian and Michele together, seemingly noticing that each is pregnant.

Gillian has gone into labour this morning - will kepe you all posted on developments, deliveries and news!!

it looks like December 2nd for the arrival of Napoleon!

be excellent to each other!!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Scrabble 2005

oh yeah, i picked up the "new" version of Scrabble for the PC. i appear to be useless at it and get beaten off some AI player that is apparently 7 years old.

do i even say sorry for the delay?

hey everyone

well, as usual, running around and doing everything under the sun except update this site. ho hum, sorry about that kids, especially Mrs R who appeared to be most put out that there was no update.

OK, baby news. there is no news - all is well, and still apparently on course for a December 15 delivery, but to my mind there is no way Michele will last that long. she is H U G E, as in bigger than me, and not at all doing well in the heat. we are off to the doc again on Thursday, so with some luck there will be some news in some shape or form after that!!

a very big hello, good evening and welcome to Bronwyn and Faye. tremendous to hear from you both, and a real delight to hear that you both have most excellent lives right now!! as she was mentioned, a hello to one Ms (or possibly "Dr") Toni Tonkin esq, should you visit this page!

otherwise, in a big surprise i am sure, i have the Episode III DVD on my shelf. i am somewhat disappointed with the extras - the deleted scene of Liam Neeson appearing as the "force ghost" which was filmed did not make it on. oh well, no doubt George Lucas will install it in a super duper uber edition at some point in the future.

i appear to be getting called upon once again to help various younglings with their homework. no bad thing at all, and i really miss the stimulation of teaching, coaching or mentoring people. it is nicer, of course, when it is in the field of my beloved literature, but i like to help and assist as and where i can.

business as usual on the verk front. actually, it has been somewhat quiet, and so in the past couple of days i have been able to produce a new newsletter for my area. alas, it is far too big and cumbersome to post here, and i suppose most of the jokes and comments would fall flat unless you happened to be "in my area", as it were.

we went out with Spiros and Linda for dinner the other night. it was a place called The Baz Bar, and thus we were excited as we hoped it was named after Baz out of the Viz comic. sadly, it appears that it is named after a Baz that (ahem) "bats for the other side", and seems to be a gentleman's club, in the somewhat loosest sense of that concept. why do i suggest that? hmn, let's see - a big Euro Champ League night, and on the big screen they are broadcasting...........Fashion TV. oh dear.

another good friend has turned up out of the blue - one Patrick Arthur, no less. a very good friend indeed, and someone i have not seen for several years. and still have not seen, as it happens. i will be calling him soon and seeing if we can't get together for a shandy or something.

erm, my credit card bill landed today. sorry, it's the usual balance, there's no story there, just wondering what to write next.

oh yes, Nicky Carklin - if you are reading this, don't forget you have seen South Africa before. i suggest that you cancel your holiday here as it clashes with the chance of seeing an Ian Brown gig. see Mr Brown, he is the king!!

unless i find some curious images to post on the blog, that's that for this update. hope it was OK, and i hope to post more soon!

be excellent to each other!!