Tuesday, January 29, 2008

crab pools, ice cream and sheep

hey everyone

just a few more pictures from (and indeed of) Grandma on her New Zealand holiday!!

first off, here is Katie and Gillian having fun in their crab pool. yes, observant ones, it is indeed identical to the one that James got for his birthday. when he seems these pics he is going to think that his has been pinched!!

it would appear that eating ice cream is one of the top activities to engage in whilst in New Zealand - most of the images sent thus far seem to feature everyone eating them! no bad thing i guess, the look exceedingly yummy!

and finally, for the more exotic of you, one can only assume Grant is responsible for this picture!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008


a few more pictures from Sunday!!

first up is Barrie. i have not had many stalking requests for more pictures of him to be honest, but i thought i would include this one here. Barrie does appear to be rather proud of his Elton John tour t-shirt. Quite rightly so too, i believe he did a fantastic gig here last week!!

and here's a go at a family picture, kindly taken for us by Barrie. you will have to excuse James looking rather serious - be fair, he smiled for other pictures today, and his loathing of having his pic taken is well documented!!

and yes, before i get too many comments from friends and family, i will arrange for my beard to have a trim soon. it's just that with the current spate of power cuts here, who dares to start anything that might leave you with half a beard or half a haircut??

and finally, here's a picture of James and Marmite with Grandad and Grandad Bobby. Bobby is clearly in rather good health; believe me James is not exactly light to pick up!!

anyway, i think that's about the best of 100 or so pictures i managed to take today!! Grandma should be back next weekend, and with some luck Richard, Erika and Lyla will not be too far off a visit - fingers crossed i get more great pics to put here soon!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Busy Weekend

hey everyone

well, for a change we seem to have had a busy weekend!!

it started on Saturday, when our good friends Spiros, Linda and Robbie (aka Falco) came over with a most excellent bucket of KFC. i think the best part of it is that i have assurances from Spiros that the man who served him at KFC was named......Elvis!! i think all staff at KFC should have this name, quite frankly.

alas, James and Robbie were too busy fighting and arguing over toys to get any decent pictures. i am led to believe that children of their age do not understand the concept or notion of sharing and playing together. well, ok, at least they have an excuse - most adults adopt this view anyway, do they not??

on to Sunday, and there are a few pics of the day! we too James to see Grandad, and some extra special visitors in the form of Barrie and Bobby. it is a surprise and a delight to see Bobby - it's very happy news that his health has allowed him to travel once again!

here's a picture of James in the most excellent bouncy castle that's at Grandma and Grandad's house. you may recall that on Christmas Day he was reluctant to get into it. now the reverse is true of course, he is having none of getting out of it!!

i am probably going to get knacked for sneaking in a picture of Mama here, but the smile on James' face makes it all worthwhile. Mama is beautiful anyway, so she should not complain about being on my interwebnet site!! Dada and James love you!!

and here's James with Grandad, Grandad Bobby and of course Marmite sneaking in! Marmite often climbs all over Grandad - this time she was also able to tickle James' ear with her tail at the same time!!

Grandma is still in New Zealand, but Grandad did a first rate job of cooking (doing a braai, as it is known down here) and we had a most excellent lunch!! that said, he did have some help - thank you Michele for rolling up your sleeves and helping with lunch all around!!

i trust you all had a pleasant weekend too!!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Life on Mars indeed..............

hey everyone

well, here is the picture that some people are getting all excited about. some would have you believe that it is evidence of humanoid life on Mars!

it is either a prank, or just wishful thinking in regards of some rocks or other land formation. i think, at least. i mean, why would you have some chap just hanging around in the middle of nothing?

i think the best part of this picture has been the rather elaborate description of the "figure". i believe he (or she) has been described as being "like a yeti, or a garden gnome". well, i am no expert, but is there not some considerable height difference between a conventional garden gnome and these mythical yeti types?

on that note, i would suggest that the picture of the "humanoid on mars" is just about as plausible as the infamous bigfoot footage - you know, the one where he turns to glance at the camera crew and just walks on......

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

New Zealand, Peanut Butter, Sheep

if one could call typing in a few key words on the google interwebnet thingie research, then i have done some research into the subject of the availability of peanut butter in New Zealand.

i am delighted to report that New Zealand seems to be comfortable with the sale and distribution of peanut butter within their fine nation. this answers a number of pertinent questions, two in particular, although i am not exactly sure who is asking them and who wants the answers.

firstly, it seems that one can indeed enjoy a peanut butter sandwich, if that be their whim and want, whilst they are in Auckland, Wellington or any other fine established community within the land. and secondly, owing to the range of style of peanut butter; crunchy or smooth? you decide, for it appears that the sheep simply can't tell the difference.

and on that note, a note which shall not be clarified any further, those of a mind to do so may wish to enjoy the picture below. it is another of those ones for people of a more exotic, if not peculiar, taste, sent with good wishes and i suppose (defined in the rather wide, broad sense) love from my respectable brother-in-law Grant.

Baaah Excellent to each other, good luck to all those with a taste for peanut butter and wool providing farmyard "friends".

The Birthday Cake...

the birthday cake is, of course, one of the integral parts of the birthday celebrations. why this is i know not, but it is!

Lyla had two such cakes, and Michele was most intrigued about the second one. when Michele spoke to Erika earlier in the day, Erika said that she was "still picking up bits of cake from everywhere". what on earth could have happened??

well, here she is receiving the second cake, a rather splendid looking chocolate one. so far so good, you would have to say!

what happened next, it seems, appears to have been predictable yet enjoyable. i think the following images really speak for themselves, but if she has her Grandad Bob's skills with a computer, then she certainly shares her eating approach and etiquette with her Dad and, if we are honest, with her Uncle Lee..

these pics have really brightened up a rather hard week, so nice one! i hope they made you all smile!!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

eat cake as you will!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

more Lyla birthday pics!!

hello again!!

Erika has sent some terrific pictures through from Lyla's birthday today; so many that i just had to upload a few more here!!

i guess what better lunch treat to have on your birthday than a happy meal! here she is feeding some french fries to something i believe is called a furby!!

and here she is inspecting a card and presumably part of a birthday present!!

wow, Lyla, a computer for your birthday!! nice one, hope you have fun with it!!

in some of the other pictures of Lyla with her first computer, she appears to have developed an approach of using her feet on it; be it to program it or to kick it. this is an approach to technology which she could only have got from her Grandad Bob!!

more pics coming now now!!!

Happy Birthday Lyla!!

hey everyone

a bit late in the day, but a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to dear Lyla!! is it really one year already!! blimey, how the years fall away!

unfortunately, and to our great regret, we could not be there today to celebrate with them! with some luck we shall see them soon - and i dare say that we have one or two presents for the young lady!

anyway, thank you Erika for the most excellent pictures!! here is the birthday girl, as ever all smiles for us!

and here she is opening presents! it seems that she has taken the James approach to unwrapping things!!

it looks like she had great fun, which is what a birthday party should be all about!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The More Civilised New Zealand

as happy as i was to receive pictures of Grant "engaging" in his hobby in New Zealand, i was equally happy to see images that suggest not all pursue wool based habits.

it is a delight to see that Katie has the same love of ice cream as her cousin James! it is also splendid to see that Grandma retains her great love of sugar coned ice creams, hence her apparently having two to herself!

it is possible that one of the ice creams Grandma has is intended for the chilling in the background Daniel, but i would be surprised if he got his hands on it!

i am at a loss to guide you on how exactly ice cream appears in New Zealand. my understanding of ice cream is that it is a dairy based product, but sheep are not generally viewed as dairy animals. i have no idea exactly how the sheep in New Zealand produce milk, or what quality it is of. clearly it is of a quality that allows things like ice cream to be made, so there you go.

the above is somewhat academic, i suppose - the important thing would be that they have ice cream, and that Katie is clearly delighted that they do!

i would imagine that these pictures were taken by Grant. if this be the case, do not trouble yourself with concerns about the sheep he was waltzing with in his daydreams, just enjoy these fine images!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuppity Tup-Tup, Grant............

well, they have only been in New Zealand since 2006 (i think), and only now do they send concrete evidence that they are actually there! thank you very much Gillian, Grant, Katie and Daniel (and Grandma!) for finally sending some pics of the natives of New Zealand, the sheep!

i must applaud Grant for bravely standing there smiling in this picture and then sending it on to me. i try, as far as possible, to keep this site suitable for family viewing. that said, people from Yorkshire and fans of certain Adrian Edmondson books will know exactly what the title of this post is a reference to!

who knows how Katie and Daniel reacted to Grandma apparently participating in their Daddy's new found hobby, but at least she is from Yorkshire and thus would know how to deal with the situation better!

Grant very kindly made a suggestion that i print these pics out and disappear off to my room. i am not entirely sure why he would suggest that, and thus i am not of a mind to agree to his suggestion. that said, if you are aware of why he would suggest such a thing to me and would very much like to do this, here is the picture that Grant considers the best for this purpose!

be excellent to each other, and to sheep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cheers Grandad!!

well, what with the light fixed, a fine lunch eaten and an inspection of all of James' toys, it was time for Grandad to go home, put his feet up, watch the football (Eskom pending) and give Marmite some attention!

that is not all that easy a task these days. of course James does not like saying goodbye (he loves Grandad, and Michele says that there's something about his star sign and not saying farewell), but there's also the fact that he sees cars these days as an extended, unusual climbing frame just for him!

James was finally persuaded out of the Jeep; sort of at least. he ran off to play with some of the boys living near us, then he went off to see the woof woof woofies living across the road from us, and then he went off on a stroll into someone's garden to say hello! Mama managed to catch him in the end, eventually!

all done with exploring, James then gave Grandad the all clear to head off and presented a handshake to say thanks and good luck on the journey ahead!

after all that, James should be having his afternoon snooze now - just like Daddy will be with the football on. however, right now he is putting coins into his dinosaur money box and then taking them back out to start all over again!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!

Fix It Grandad!!

hey everyone

owing to my outstanding skills with DIY (you really don't want to know how much an emergency plumber costs on a Sunday afternoon), the best person to come and fix our bathroom light this weekend was very much Grandad!!

it was great to have him call in, and James was certainly very happy to see him!

we divided the tasks between us, with each doing whatever they were best at. this meant that Grandad got up the ladder and did everything, James spent his time trying to climb up the ladder and, when he clocked that he would not be doing that, got busy flushing the toilet, and i just tried to keep out of the way!

no pics of the light being fixed (i am sure you can use your imagination), but here are James and Grandad after fixing it and after a very nice lunch (thank you Mama!!) and getting ready to finish up.

i was quite glad of going to the hardware store with my Dad - it was probably the first time have been in one and not felt totally lost, having the expert there to look for things and ask for exactly what he wanted!!

our bathroom light is now working better than ever before, which is a good thing indeed! it is bad enough that Eskom, South Africa's power supply chaps and on the shortlist for some business acumen award, keep cutting everyone's electricity as they cannot do their job properly without us having an existing problem with the light staying on when we do have power! James loves his bathtime, but does not like the dark at all - thanks to Grandad he is now fine to enjoy the bath with no fear of the light going for no reason!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hello New Zealand!

hey everyone

at the moment James is kindly sharing Grandma with Katie and Daniel in New Zealand for the rest of the month!

i am sure James and Grandma are missing each other, but James is keeping himself busy with potty training and Grandma is having a wonderful time with the two little ones in the land of the sheep! the pictures certainly show that!!

the pic above shows the three of them sat on the magnificent decking arrangements which Grant and Gillian had constructed in New Zealand. it is great that they now have such technology there, and as i recall Gillian sent me step-by-step photographs of the building development.

and here they are having a picnic in what can only be described as a picnic area somewhere in New Zealand!

i know the image of Grant in the background catches the eye and can distract you from just about everything else, but the more observant of you will have noticed that it seems they do indeed have trees of their own in New Zealand, contrary to certain reports.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hello Lyla!!

many thanks to Erika for the wonderful pictures of Lyla she has sent through this week. some of them are too good to keep to ourselves, so i thought i would post and share them here!

here she is with, if i am not terribly mistaken, the most excellent walking device we were delighted to get her for Christmas! it looks like a wonderful, fun device to be playing with!

now that i mention it, it is Lyla's birthday next week!! i guess we had best go and look for more class presents, although i may have picked up one or two items already!

and here's Lyla again, as usual with big smiles for everyone! i am sure these pics came from around the time Erika said she was having her first haircut - i wonder if she wanted or expected just as many lollipops as James did when he had his hair cut!!

i trust that these pics have given you a smile, wherever you are!!

hello Erin!

our congratulations to the proud parents (and our good friends!) Jason and Karen Van Der Vorst on the arrival of their beautiful baby daughter!

Erin Van Der Vorst arrived on 14 Jan 2008, with a weight of 2.3kg and measuring 46cm - wow, i guess she will be a tall lady!!

all is going well with mother and baby, and i am sure Jason is looking forward to all the sleepless nights ahead!

Hollywood solves scriptwriting crisis by cutting together 'Alien Vs Rain Man'

Studio bosses hit back at the continuing writers strike and creative drought last night with the release of the thrilling yet touching blockbuster ‘Alien Vs Rain Man’.

The film, in which autistic Raymond Babbitt played by Dustin Hoffman has to battle against a double jawed perfect killing machine using mathematical deductions and an encyclopaedic knowledge of Abbot and Costello routines as his only weapons, is entirely writer free and was created by skilled editors splicing the two movies together and adding a touch of CGI magic where necessary.

This latest instalment in the lucrative ‘Versus’ range, whose tag line reads ‘In space no one cares if you can memorize a phone book’, looks set to break all box office records. Claims that the end product is uneven and hard to believe are dismissed by heavyweight studio exec Dan Schneider. ‘In no way is this cobbled together’, he insists. ‘Babbitt finds an Alien egg which clamps on his face shutting him up for a bit. Then it bursts out of his chest while reciting that ‘who’s on first’ skit. Babbitt is now seriously pissed as this has disrupted his strict evening routine. So begins a deadly game of cat and mouse. The Alien with his acid blood and Babbitt with his crazy maths skills. A perfect match. Don’t tell me you’re not hooked’.

When pressed about the appropriateness of portraying autism in deep space thriller Mr Schneider declared ‘It’s not all blood and gore. In fact there is a rather touching scene in which Raymond Babbitt and the Alien overcome their enmity and fears of human contact and lightly dance together in a Vegas casino.

As the strike continues the trend looks set for many such films for the summer. Already in production are; ‘E.T. Vs Deep Throat’, ‘Twelve Angry Elephant Men’ ‘Jaws at the Whistle Stop Cafe’ and ‘When Harry met Spartacus at Brokeback Mountain’.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

James and the Dino Car Jump Thing

hey everyone

well, today seems to have been a memorable day for James, as he combined to of his great interests into one class thing today - dinosaurs and crashing toy cars into each other!

here he is with something called the Raptor Rampage jump, made by those miniature toy car specialists Hot Wheels. as ever, he is not all that keen on posing for the camera, so forgive the angles!

it is a rather smart toy, and James has spent a good couple of hours today shoving his cars into the dinosaur's mouth and watching them shoot out the, ahem, other end! it has not become his entire day, though - he managed to fit in a shopping trip with me, and a visit to Ouma and Uncle Dylan with Mummy. both were fun; with me he ate half a donut and half a bread roll as i pushed him around in the trolley, with Mummy he played with Dino toys with Uncle Dylan for a good couple of hours - and no doubt gave Ouma a rather long story!!

there has been some progress with James and Elvis too, to make it all the more special a day. i played him a clip of Viva Las Vegas, and it lasted a good 10 - 15 seconds before he screamed to put it off. with a final throw of the dice, i put on Return To Sender by The King, and i am delighted to report that he did not scream "no! no Elvis!" and just about lasted the whole song.

for the record, currently Top of the Pops for James is Magic Dance by David "Derek" Bowie, as performed by the great one in the film Labyrinth. i get to sing along, and indeed i get to jump up and down with James at the appropriate times during the song.

hope you all had an ace weekend too!!!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Chaka Demus & Pliers

my good friend Mervin Fraser has been kind enough to share his memories of Chaka Demus and Pliers with us :

"[i remember] Songs like Murder she wrote & Tease me in the night clubs, gangs fights in the JHB city centre, loose chicks on my lips, cops on my back and sleepless weekends"

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Seven Sequel Sins

after my rundown on films that i wished there had been a sequel to, i got to thinking of all the sequels that i have seen and wished that i had not.

there are of course many films that you could bestow that wish upon, but i have tried to narrow it down to cases where you have seen one great film and the follow-up has been abysmal and dire. as a consequence, there would be little point in including things like the Police Academy series or the Batman films of the 90’s – they may have been in some instances poor, but there is a school of thought that suggests they were merely delivering more of the same from the basis of the original.

here, then, are my seven cases of sequels doing their best to tarnish the good name and reputation of the original. they are in no particular order, and as ever, i am always keen to see and read your comments on them!! on that note, my thanks to Spiros for his help in selecting the seven, and for his discussions and ideas around this article.


Alien is one of the finest Sci Fi horror films ever made, perhaps bar none. Aliens is pretty much the greatest Sci Fi action film ever made, and is as much of an excellent rollercoaster ride today as it was in 1986. The two films were made to perfection, and stand well in their own right and together. Common sense must have said to all that there was nothing else to tell, leave these two films as they are.
Alas, a few years into the 90’s and someone somewhere decides that a 3rd Alien film is a rather good idea. Presumably determined that they could not be wrong on this note, they went off and made the film to in fact show just how wrong they were.
There is next to nothing good to say of this 3rd installment, sadly. The film starts off with Newt, the beacon of hope and survival from Aliens, just written off as dead, which seems to sum up this whole sorry mess. Sigourney Weaver is clearly just going through the motions as required for a presumably big payday, and the supporting cast holds no interest whatsoever.
I think the studio knew the had a mess on their hands – as you will recall, the only promotion gimmick they had at the time was “come and see Sigourney Weaver with her hed shaved”. exactly how David Fincher emerged from this mess to go on and make classics like Se7en and Fight Club is a mystery, but a happy one at least.
as for Alien Resurrection, well, it is almost as if the powers that be felt so bad about the mess of Alien 3 that they felt obliged to make another one as some sort of apology. in short, better than 3, but still far off being of the quality of the first two films. too little too late is a phrase that has never been more apt that when applied to this fourth film.


Ghostbusters is fondly remembered as one of the greatest blockbusters of the 80’s, and quite rightly so – fantastically funny, filled with humourous light-hearted scares and rather inventive use of some great special effects. Ghostbusters II, in comparison to the original and in general, is barely remembered at all.
the approach taken with this one was “let’s make the same film again, but with just a slightly different twist”. quite a common approach, and one that seldom (if ever) works. the twists on this are numerous, an example would be “do not think of anyuthing” becomes “think positive thoughts” to assist in getting rid of the baddie. and on that note, the seemingly constant appearance of the villain of the piece in this one removes all the suspense of the first, where the villain of the piece was always hidden away until the end.
i would dare suggest that the world at large would have embraced an even at best average sequel to Ghostbusters, but instead we were given this “not even trying” mess. it is unfunny, contrived and oddly a step backwards in terms of the effects on display. at least it did so poorly, one presumes, that there was no chance of us ever getting a 3rd outing – the mind boggles as to just how bad that could have been.
if you have never actually endured Ghostbusters II in your life, the best advice i can give is keep it that way. rather just watch the original film twice, it is the far better expeirence.


well over a decade later, Francis Ford Coppola decided to revisit two of his finest films and create a final chapter for it. considering that Parts I and II are across the board seen as two of the finest achievements ever made in the world of cinema, this was a brave decision and, in retrospect, a stupid one.
abandoning the works of Mario Puzo and and logical character development is one thing, but Coppola’s decision to base the film pretty much around books and theories on the infamous “30 Day Pope” legends and stories was quite another. you get one or two familiar character names (Michael Corleone, obviously), but they have next to no resemblance to the characters as developed in the first films. This is not a film in the tradition of the legacy of The Godfather – it is spiritual redemption of the self as opposed to the value and principals of family and loyalty. the fact that they had to digress so far away from the heart of the original films should have given someone enough of a warning sign to stop the project before it went the way it did.
at the time there was criticism of Sophia Coppola being cast, but in retrospect she was one of the wiser casting decisions. Dropping Robert Duvall’s character, and making a light comment about him during the film, was probably the worst mistake – Tom Hagen, being trusted inside the family whilst not of it, was pivotal to the story. his absence is perhaps the main reason why the narrative structure goes all over the place. Andy Garcia did as well as he could with a badly constructed and devised role, but it is little wonder that the big time eluded him after being associated with this.
with I & II, Coppola set a benchmark for any and all films relating to the mob, the mafia or whatever you wish to call them. it did not help that Part III was released in the year of GoodFellas, a film that most certainly raised the bar of high standards within this genre. if you are a big fan of III, compare it to Scorsese’s classic and you will clock just how bad it is, sadly.

to be perfectly honest, i am not exactly a big fan of The Matrix. that said, it is a fool who disregards the reasons why it was so popular. the original, inventive camerawork and the advanced, groundbreaking special effects on display were extraordinary. for me, though, the story was rather dull and contrived.
having said that, i was taken aback at just how shockingly poor the sequels to the film were. there was enough of a foundation to make a series of classic films in the same style, but instead it seems those involved went out of their way to focus on the elements of the first film that were not all that interesting.
in Reloaded, gone is the concept of programming memories or knowledge, and pretty much gone are the staggering visuals. instead the film seems to revolve around a keymaker, someone who is important here but not in the 1st or 3rd films, and an 8km stretch of concrete road that they built just for the film. the latter point is interesting – this was supposed to be more of the same sci-fi action of the first, if not better, and the promoters of the film chose to celebrate the fact that they laid down several thousand tonnes of concrete just for the making of Reloaded. exactly how excited did they think we would all get about seeing some exclusive concrete action? the albino twins, so heavily featured in the promo work and looking cool, feature less here than Darth Maul did in The Phantom Menace.
Revolutions is a qualified disaster. many good action films have commenced with a slow build up to the events, granted, but no other film has ever dared start a 120 minute action escapade with 30 minutes of the lead character stood on a train station platform mumbling at random. it is almost as if they were taking the proverbial.
what happens after the train platform performance is a step backwards from the dull sequences in the second film, which is saying something. as for the visuals, well, there was not even an Oscar nomination for either film as i recall, which shows just how much of the magic that everyone else saw in the first film was rejected for the sequels.
i didn’t like The Matrix, but i did see enough in it to suggest that there was the potential to create something that could rival the supremacy of Star Wars and Star Trek for sci-fi fans. at best you could say they buckled under the weight of expectation as a consequence, and thus pretty much destroyed that which could have been great.
like Back To The Future before it and Pirates of The Caribbean after it, Reloaded and Revolutions illustrate that making “back to back” sequels by the studios just leaves the audience with two halves of a film, neither part being of all that interest.


when you see a film that has the tagline “there can be only one”, it is reasonable to expect it to be the one and only one as a consequence. alas, the somewhat surprise nature of the huge success of Highlander meant that pressure was placed, despite the lack of general public demand, and a second one was made.
Highlander was a surprise success. You have to remember that in the mid-80’s Christopher Lambert was relatively unknown, and Sean Connery was in the middle of a massive career slump. In respect of the Scostman playing a Spaniard, it was Highlander and later The Untouchables that rejuvinated his career, but it is a miracle that being involved with Highlander II did not bury it once and for all. Mr Lambert barely recovered from it, if he even did at all – it’s not like he has done all that much with his career other than many Highlander films!
the first film, as you will recall, revolved around the immortals of the world battling, or rather duelling, it out until only one remained. this happened, and thus there was a closed chapter, final end to the matter. i am not even going to bother reminding you of the contrived way around this little bit of information in order to make what they felt was a “plausible” plot development. needless to say, it was a very bad idea, and yet again one can only imagine that the majority of people involved were there for the money.
Clancy Brown as The Kurgan was pretty much a favourite of all lovers of the first film. had they brought this character back and delivered a pretty much average rehash of the original, or even some flashback “prequel” thing they would have got away with it. the futuristic spin on this one, as well as the massive holes in their own logic from the first, just consign this one to being a waste of an opportunity.
if you must watch Highlander II, then at the least look out for the re-edited “renegade version”. there is only so much polishing you can do to a car wreck of a movie, but at least they tried to salvage something from it with this edit.
the fact that any further Highlander films were made after this is astonishing - needless to say, the advice would be to avoid them.


The Blair Witch Project borrowed heavily from a number of films, in particular the "found documentary" style of Cannibal Holocaust, was made on the cheap and was the first film to really take advantage of the idea of “internet advertising”. the result of this was a rather large, justified financial success on a very small investment.
sadly, the consequence of this result was the immediate demand for a second film. instead of delivering more of the same. however, for some inexplicable reason, the makers of the sequel decided to imitate the very worst of the lame teen horror films from the 90’s in their attempts to emulate the success of the first film. maybe they thought that they could go one better than what they saw as lesser films. as it happens, they probably did, but then again they also made a film that had next to nothing to do with the original, save the most threadbare of tedious links. the film pretty much sank without a trace owing to this.
the folly of this is pretty much the same as the remake of The Italian Job. in its own right, the remake was a good film, but was tarnished as it was labelled as a “remake” when, beyond minis and character names, there was no relation to the original. if Book Of Shadows had been made with different names and no reference to The Blair Witch Project, i imagine it would have been a lot better accepted than it was. sticking the name of something successful does not guarantee success as we know, but in this case the image people had of the original is tarnished by this confusingly planned and implemented sequel.


the character of Tony Manero was so well defined and portrayed in Saturday Night Fever that it made the film stand good in its own right. there was no more story to tell, this film exemplified and exposed the underbelly of 70’s nightlife perfectly. everything was fine, it should have been left to stand unblemished.
alas, someone somewhere thought it would be a good idea to take this character of the king of the disco floor, add a few years and basically reinvent him as some sort of wannabe Broadway star. this is what Staying Alive achieves, and in doing so underlines just what a bad idea it all was.
the symbolic reason of Tony Manero was that his star rose, shone and fell in conjunction with the rise and fall of disco. as great as the character was, or perhaps because of it, you do not watch Saturday Night Fever and then find yourself wondering what would have happened to him as the years went by. all showing this does is tarnish and badly damage the image you have of the character from the first film.
there is an easy way to show what a mess this is. Staying Alive ends as Saturday Night Fever begins – the John Travolta strut down a street. in Night Fever, however, it is a natural, cocksure swagger that we are introduced to, something that immediatley defined the character. in Staying Alive, the character actually takes the time to announce that he is going to do the strut, and Travolta cannot even muster something that could be considered a halfway decent parody. Travolta is even smiling as he does it, as if the whole thing was some sort of private, in-joke parody.
if Staying Alive had never been made, there is a good chance that Travolta would not have had such a massive career slump in the 80’s. i leave it to you to decide whether that would have been better or worse!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!