Saturday, January 30, 2010


hey everyone

well, rare is it that i do a post as keenly and excitedly as anticipated as this one is! Spiros has been rather eager for me to do this article for a while now, as indeed have the one or two others who i have let know that it was on the way.

Spiros travels around the world on an infrequent yet oddly frequent basis. whenever he lands on new shores, the first thing he tends to do is rush off and request that a taxi driver or other servant of the public rather urgently procure for him some of the finest fags that the nation he is in has to offer. now then, this approach has led to one or two rather curious misunderstandings in the past, but usually, if not invariably, he ends up with the finest packet of cigarettes the land has to offer.

as Spiros doesn't in general smoke himself (although he is partial to the occasional puff on something that is cherry, vanilla or menthol in flavour) he usually requests that i sample the wares of the tobacconists he has engaged in trade with. it is a duty i am happy to oblige my friend with.

first off it's the produce of a recent (well, sort of recent) trip to Egypt that i got to have a sample of. Spiros went to Egypt en route to getting a right kicking in Sheffield, England. i had a chat with him about Cairo not usually being a natural stopping off point en route to the land of steel, but he has always followed his own path.

as you can see from the image above, the name of the Egyptian cigarettes are rather tricky to work out. the Egyptians, perhaps in their wisdom, feel obliged to have an image of someone who has apparently fallen foul of the ills of smoking on the boxes rather than the brand name and logo as such. it looks like they are called Cleopatra cigarettes (for her name features on the actual cigarettes), but don't take my word for it.

aesthetically, the Egyptian cigarettes have white filters. this is usually a tell-tale sign that they are intended for ladies, or perhaps the members of the gentry who are good with colours and are good friends of Dorothy.

the scent of them was suspicious to the extent that it could have been possible that Spiros smuggled them in by means i'd rather not go into.

despite reservations, i took the plunge and ignited it. the scent was but a hint of what joys were to come, really. as far as i can determine, the contents of these cigarettes is predominantly the rejected on quality grounds dung of the most inferior, lower class beetles scavenging around the backside of rejected camels in downtown Cairo with a single thread of tobacco hidden in it to meet any trade description requirements in respect of what is and is not a cigarette.

what you see above is more or less how much of the Egyptian cigarette was consumed, thank you. it was soon put out, and no more shall i return to it. any smoker travelling to Egypt, no matter how ambitious they are, should consider ensuring that they have their preferred brand in abundance with them, quite frankly.

onwards, then, to Ghana. i don't recall exactly why it is that Spiros headed off to Ghana; probably a work related matter. needless to say, after the Egyptian failures of tobacco, i was reluctant to try more, but i owe it to you readers to have a go.

now then, in regards of confusing names, just what the hell are these called? as far as i can work out, the full name for them is 555 State Express Of London. that must have been one hell of a planning and strategy session to come up with that!

555 State Express Of London are apparently made by someone called The Ardath Tobacco Company of London. as the cigarettes come in a nice enough box (oooh, it's shiny!) and they look like they have proper filters (i know of no one called Dorothy), i went ahead and had a go with them.

not bad, not bad at all. 555 State Express Of London taste a touch like the Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes favoured every now and then by my other chum Sinbad. this is to say that they at least taste like cigarettes, if not quite my preferred Marlboro.

should you find yourself in Ghana, then, and short of something to smoke there would seem to be a lot worse things you could ask for than 555 State Express Of London.

well, there you have it. i have no doubt that Spiros will be on his travels again soon, so with some luck i will have yet more tobacco products to sample and review.

i suppose i should point out here that smoking is very bad for you, you shouldn't do it and all that sort of thing. well, if you are smart enough to surf the internet, to paraphrase George Carlin, you can work some things out for yourself!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!! send proper cigarettes to Egypt!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Sherlock Holmes

Now this will be a tough one to review. Sherlock Holmes should, at face value, get a rather good review because the positives outweigh the negatives, but the large number of negatives the film has might not see it turn out that way. Ho hum, let me type away and let you decide, dear reader, if the film is worth seeing or not. Although the $400 million it has taken at the box office suggests that those who wish to see it have done so already……

I am no real expert in the world of Sherlock, so I have no idea if what I write here gives much of the game away. On the off chance that it does, and I will be mentioning the ending, here’s one of those *** SPOILER ALERTS *** for you in regards of all that appears below this.

Sherlock Holmes opens with Sherlock and his ‘partner’ (more on that later) Dr Watson apparently ready to go separate ways after the capture and execution of a somewhat elusive villain, the black arts practicing Lord Blackwood. When Lord Blackwood apparently returns from the dead, however, the two decide to see the whole case through to the end, and…..well, that’s it.

To start off with a negative, it would be the threadbare plot and dubious lack of any development of what story they actually do have to show. There’s barely enough material on display – in particular with regards to the simplistic solution to how the good Lord Blackwood cheated death – to fill a standard episode of a TV show, let alone a film that goes a bit over two hours. Considering the wealth of material available featuring Sherlock Holmes how exactly they couldn’t come up with an involved, interesting and fleshed out story is somewhat beyond me.

How they fill up the two hours does, on occasion, get depressing. In the film before this, RockNRolla, Guy Ritchie seemed to be rediscovering his form, as that film featured his usual film-making style but appeared to expand on it somewhat. Here we just go back to time-distorting flashbacks and “flash forwards” tricks from Snatch and Lock, Stock to fill up some time, fill the odd gaping plot hole and show off the brilliant mind of Sherlock Holmes. They are tricks that this time really don’t work as well as they were intended.

A distinct positive, and the thing that gets you through the film entertained, are the two lead performances Robert Downey jnr is brilliant in any part they care to give him, but here he positively revels in the role. Robert acts above any preposterous scene that Ritchie has devised (and I am not convinced that bare knuckle boxing took up as much of Holmes’ time as the film suggests) and clearly just gets on with his own thing. Jude Law is something of a bizarre revelation. In all other films I have seen him in (and I actively avoid them) he seems to just stand around pouting and trying to look good. Here he does something close to actual acting, and he’s not half bad at it.

But what of the actresses, or “female actors” for you politically correct types? Sadly, it seems, Mr Ritchie suffers still the same problem of Mr Tarantino. Neither have a clue how to write or develop a female character, instead just writing the female parts as if they were men.

A big talking point around the film was the fact that the Estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was “rather concerned with the apparent homoerotic overtones created in the Holmes-Watson relationship.” (read of it here). Apparent? As the two of them gaze into each others’ eyes, having the occasional ‘bromance’ style embrace, you half expect them to ditch their bowler hats, pull on some cowboy boots and turn the whole thing into Brokeback Sherlock. I am sure out there somewhere there’s a market for a Victorian era homosexual detective story or film; it might perhaps have been better for them to create a new one for it than turn Sherlock Holmes into such a tale.

The introduction of Sherlock Holmes’ ultimate, if you will “uber” nemesis, Moriarty, is heavy handed to say the least. The mind boggles as to why they have done this, but they have more or less taken the excellent way in which The Joker was brought in at the end of Batman Begins and tried to do the same thing here very, very badly. If this means that the second Sherlock Holmes film turns out as good as The Dark Knight then fine, but you suspect that this will not be the case.

Hmn, despite the above, I would have to say the film is very much worth the watch, if just for Robert Downey jnr’s dazzling turn alone, along with the novelty factor of Jude Law being something other than a pretty clothes model. Look, if you don’t see it, it’s not like you have missed out on an “event”. If you do, however, watch it, you won’t regret the two or so hours spent in the company of the film.

Be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

young man, there's no need to feel down

hey everyone

well, being busy at a mine site helping produce tonne after tonne of coal for Eskom to diligently not turn into a standard and constant supply of electricity is no reason for Richard not to express himself, it seems.

after his curious flirtation with pink hair at the weekend, he seems rather keen to take it all to another dimension, really. here he is having a go at being the construction worker out of The Village People....

and how does this effort fare? well, let's have a look at the much loved, much admired original construction worker out of The Village People....

it has to be said, sadly, that whilst Richard has a good crack at it, he doesn't have the mustache, the emphasis on blue, the torn jeans, the chains and the general homoerotic frenzy of the original. oh well, better luck next time - we are all keen to see you having a go as a leatherman or a biker cop!

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

Welcome To The Pleasuredome

woo hoo! at last, a proper expanded and remastered CD release for Welcome To The Pleasuredome!

read some of the info by clicking here.

a proper retrospective look at one of the greatest albums of all time is long overdue. this set will feature some rarities, including some demo takes supplied by no less than Mark O'Toole. there's one or two confusing inclusions (tracks from the Liverpool era), but who cares? it's Frankie!

this set is aimed more at the legion of Frankie fans specifically than the try to please all, make no one happy Frankie Say Greatest release and will be getting ordered as soon as it's released in April!

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

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Just William

hey everyone

well, those of you who know me will know that i've been angling to use that literary reference title for a post for a bit now!!

as i have directed people towards this site for pics of young William Norman Stanley i thought i'd best put some newer pictures up of him!

here he is at Lyla's party, apparently trying to give it some Bez out of the Happy Mondays style - all that's missing are the maracas!

and here he is having a stretch and a lay out on his donut thingie at home, keeping an eye on what James is doing just out of shot of the camera!

finally for now, then, is one that Michele really likes of him laying down on one of our not broken couches, checking everyone out!

well, there you have it. William is 8 wonderful weeks old today. he's healthy, happy and has smiles for all of us, so we really could not ask for more!

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

more from Lyla's party (sort of)

hey everyone

well, i sort of have 10 - 15 minutes free before it's time for James and William to have a bath, so i figured i would post some new pics as i listen to some rather pleasant music for Gillian's next tape in the car. you probably didn't need to know all of that; now you do.

first up, the "sort of" part, and here's a picture of Grandma with William taken a few days before the great trek beyond the great wall of Witbank. William went and stayed at Grandma for a couple of hours whilst Michele went to that great human engine of efficiency that is Home Affairs.

yes, Home Affairs are spectacular - it will take them a mere 8 to 12 weeks (that's right, weeks) to produce William's birth certificate, this all being no less than 6 (six) weeks after we registered his birth so that they would have had the chance to get him on the system. you may detect some sarcasm in this praise of their efficiency, but in light of just how many people have taken their own lives or Home Affairs staff hostage in desperation at waiting years (yes, years) for basic documents, well, take it as you will.

on to happier subjects, and indeed Lyla's birthday. Richard got himself a rather excellent Barbie guitar and microphone, which for some reason he passed off as one of Lyla's presents. here's Grandad licking some ace Barbie sounding riffs on it whilst Lyla sings away!

and on the subject of Grandad, here he is quite happily sitting with baby William!

now, you may have noted that Grandad had hair that was more green than usual in the above picture. this is not a usual "bad" picture taken by me as such; it rather has more to do with Erika getting very excited with some hairspray that she had invested in.

Grandad was not the only one to have coloured hair, as i invite you to observe.

it was very handy that i had green hair, really, as i got to go into a service station on the way home and buy some ice cream. twice, actually, as i apparently got James the wrong on entirely. just to make sure that the staff of the establishment noticed my hair, my Dad walked in with me and drew the attention of all and sundry to the colour.

i believe Richard has decided to stick with the colour of his hair in the picture above; by all accounts it will make him one of the more popular attendees of their infrequent (but all the same far too frequent) Barbara Streisand nights down the pub.

the more observant of you will have seen Lyla's trampoline in the background. going on my vast experience of trampoline assembly, i have to say that Erika did a fine job of putting the caps on the bolts. for a first go.

and finally, one of Michele with Baby William, caught somewhat off-guard as they were coming outside. Grandad is always, always ready with the camera!

well, there you go! once again, it was an ace day out!! Lyla's birthday that is, not Home Affairs!

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

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Lyla!

hey everyone

blimey, this is a touch late, but here's a post to celebrate Lyla's 3rd birthday! in defence of the delay we were at her lovely birthday party, and i just haven't had the chance to do an update. here we go with some pics, then!

first off, James is always on hand to help any and all birthday boys and girls open their presents!

well, most of the time - if he doesn't like the look of the wrapping he can be persuaded to allow the intendend recipient open the gift!

and here's James and Lyla proudly with what James had got Lyla - an ace looking doll and doggie toy with a red trolley to drag them along in!

Lyla managed to get the doll, doggie and all sorts of things into the trolley - it looked good as she pushed it along, right until the point that everything fell out!

now, what better way to spend a mild, overcast day than standing in a pool of ice cold water and spreading the cold water around for a bit?

some (some) of the water ended up in the pool, which was a bonus!

and finally, what's a birthday without a splendid cake?

i must say i have noticed that James always somehow manages to be stood in front of and at the centre of any and all birthday cakes, a spot usually reserved for the birthday boy or girl!

well, we had a most splendid day out - thank you to Richard and Erika for the rather large amounts of food on offer (and the majority of that which Richard made me eat), and indeed an extra special thank you to Lyla for letting us share her most special and excellent day with her!!

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

Monday, January 18, 2010

James, William & Mummy

hey everyone

well, first off, thank you very much indeed to those of you who read my 1000-odd word tribute to an obscure, hard to find Duran Duran album in the last post. i do appreciate that the majority of my visitors pop by to read less Simon Le Bon, more the family, though. to this end, here are some pics (well, two) from earlier this evening!

William at just a little over six weeks is getting rather responsive. he's rather keen to smile, giggle and indeed have a go at a laugh at Mummy and James when they play with him. i tried to get some pics of that, but they were a touch blurry. i suspect this is related to James "perfecting his art" by using the camera and dropping it every now and then, or it could be because i am rubbish at taking pictures.

in any event, two of the more "posed pictures" came out just fine, so here you go!

oh, i am sure William smiles and giggles with me too, by the way. the trick is that he sees me as "man with beard" (name that show and episode), and he doesn't really like my beard, so he crawls right over my shoulder to have a good look around!

the rather fancy video camera that Mum & Dad got us for Christmas does pictures too - i will have a bash at taking some pics with that next, see if they come out better. hopefully before James has a bash with it himself, although we are rather wisely keeping it out of his reach for the moment.

hope all is well with you wherever you may be in the world!!

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

Classic Album : Medazzaland

Well, where to being with a retrospective review of an album that was tricky to get hold of the first time around, and just about impossible to (legally) purchase now? At the start, I guess.

By the mid-90s Duran Duran were in a “difficult” spot. Having never really gone away (late 80s stuff had still sold well, despite the mega-selling Wedding Album and single Ordinary World being labelled as some sort of comeback) or taken much of a break the remaining original members of the band were experiencing some “tensions”, not helped by their record label EMI.

As some sort of “tension breaker” the band recorded a number of covers. Whereas the intention was for it to be a light-hearted bit of fun the record company got involved and complicated matters, including enforcing a contractually obliged tour to promote it. The band were not happy with touring it and the gigs were, by all accounts, awful, notable only for seeing which number bassist John Taylor stormed off the stage on.

John Taylor storming off wouldn’t be confined to an enforced tour as it turned out, as he effectively left the band after recording a handful of the tracks that would form the album Medazzaland. Simon Le Bon and Nick Rhodes, along with relative new-boy Warren Cuccurullo, finished the album and delivered it to EMI for release. Seemingly having enough of one of their biggest ever selling artists, EMI took the rather strange decision to give the album a (very) limited release in the USA and Japan only, effectively killing the release in the hope of dissolving the relationship with the band. They got what they hoped for.

There are two mysteries with the above. The first is why on earth did EMI decide to ditch the band, despite differences, when they had just given them the best full album since Rio? The second is, and I would imagine this one is covered by “ownership issues”, why didn’t the band take the album and release it through another label? Medazzaland is a fantastic album from start to finish. It’s one of the great music crimes of the 90s that it was never available to a wider audience.

Aspects of answers to the above include what was selling at the time, the way the band presented the material and indeed the fatal fate of their most famous fan. If it was released as scheduled it would have been up against the colossus, monstrous Oasis Be Here Now album, which was reported to be selling at a rate of one copy every four seconds on day of release. That doesn’t leave margin for people to but much else The artwork was certainly eye-raising too, with the band apparently considering it a good idea to have defaced images of John Taylor and the much cherished Rioalbum cover on it. Some could have taken that as them “trashing” their past.

Dabbing “Mid Price” all over it probably wouldn’t have made it all that appealing either; an act I interpret to be a go at the way EMI were treating them. Trust me on this note, there was nothing “mid” about the price I had to buy the album for in the end!

And finally, sadly, the album would have seen light of day around the time at the passing of their most famous fan, Princess Diana. This isn’t something many have picked up on in connection with Medazzaland, but for me it’s hard to see them avoiding some unfair negative comments about releasing an album with “Princess of my dreams” written all over it at the time.

Two of the tracks, in the form of singles, did at least make it to the ears of people outside the limited areas of release. Out Of My Mind, a haunting classic, featured on the soundtrack for the Val Kilmer film The Saint. Electric Barbarella, that cheeky, great pop tune that was a homage to the origin of the bands’ name, was released as a single, but it came with a video that was rather tricky for stations to play and thus the song really didn’t get as much airtime as it should have.

Medazzaland as suggested, though, is far more than the two songs listed above. There may be one or two oddities (the introduction track in particular), but in essence the album is 12 tracks of a band at their best. Perhaps it is the case that, with respect to John Taylor and all the other Taylors who left, Le Bon and Rhodes are the heart and soul of the band, and this is them presenting the sound they want to make, irrespective of the name it’s released under. To go through it track by track might be a bit much for this already lengthy post, but to highlight some, the dark, menacing Be My Icon, the beautiful acoustic lament of Michael You’ve Got A Lot To Answer For and the introspective Buried In The Sand stand up as some of the finest songs ever recorded by the band.

Duran Duran were always above average musicians and great with the lyrics (“you’re about as easy as a nuclear war”, anyone?), but rare is it since 1990 that these two factors have come together to deliver more than the sum of their parts. This very much happens on this album.

What has come after Medazzaland has been far from bad, it’s just not been as blessed with the creative, overwhelming sense of a band on form as this album. I was fortunate and wise enough to get my hands on a rather expensive import copy whilst on holiday in the UK at the time, and I can with confidence say it’s one of the best albums I own.

My usual advice in regards of a classic album would be to go out and buy it as soon as you can. As a quick search of the interwebnet suggests that it’s still not an easy album to find to buy at a sensible price this is rather tricky advice to give. The best I can do, then, is suggest that you exhaust all legal means to obtain the album, but get your hands on the album however you can…..

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

Sunday, January 10, 2010

23 years ago today......

Manchester G-Mex, 10 January 1987. me, my Uncle Colin, and a few thousand other devoted worshipers came to praise this lot....

Frankie may sadly no longer have been a band for close to 23 years, but the music shall never, ever be forgotten. nor will just how cool they were.

word is that a "proper" Frankie retrospective will be with us in the first part of 2010 - fingers crossed it does the band justice!!!

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

William on Sunday

hey everyone

many thanks indeed to Uncle Trevor for sending on this appearance by William in the prestigious Evening Gazette of Teesside, and indeed for probably organizing it, along with the Grans and Gramps mentioned in it!

what better excuse could one have for putting up a couple of new pictures of young William? close to six weeks old now is the newest member of our family, and he's growing and developing very well indeed!

and yes, his older brother James still loves him to bits!

i believe both William and James look forward to when William can crawl and walk a bit so that they can play together! that said, William loves kicking the ball with the rattle on it on his ace playmat, and James can always be counted on to play with it too!

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

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Happy Birthday Trevor!

hey everyone

blimey, there are a lot of important birthdays at the moment! yesterday saw celebrations for David Bowie and of course The King, Elvis Presley, but the big one is today! Happy Birthday, Uncle Trevor!!!!

time for some pictures then! right, this first one took a little bit of careful editing. according to the parallel timeline Trevor seems trapped in he seems to believe that he has not quite reached his 30s yet. that being the case, this picture must then have been taken "only" 15 or so years ago....

....erm, yes Trevor. i had to hide everyone else in the picture, then!

next up is a very smart picture from the recent pile of pics Dad scanned. here's Trevor with the most important thing in his life - no, not his impressive collection of Bee Gees (and assorted 70s legends) records, the family!

of the many, many stories i could tell of Trevor, one really sticks in my mind. it sort of starts with me getting home from school and having Grandad Stanley look at me funny, saying "bloody strange film, that", whilst Trevor stood looking like he had just had the fright of his life.

it turns out that i had recorded some film or other for them (quite possibly a western) and left the video tape of it next to the machine. also next to the machine, however, was my prized copy of the film Hellraiser, which they had picked up and watched instead.

now, you would have thought that around the time that the Cenobites had started putting hooks and chains into people and tearing them apart (literally) the two of them would have clocked that there were no horses or saloons in the film, but no, they watched the whole thing anyway!

a-ha, a picture of me and Trevor together! this is at Colin & Angela's wedding, i believe. although it isn't in the parallel universe Trevor is in, because in that Colin & Angela are not quite old enough to get married.....

"why buy a book when there's a library down the road?" was always the philosophy Trevor took to settling down or marriage. i used to consider this the wisest advice i had ever received, but now Michele assures me that i am in fact happily married and thus, apparently, have to disagree.

well, Trevor, i hope you like this mention here! i still have sat here, in the condition you gave it to me, the 12" of Holly Johnson's Love Train single! if i get the chance i shall take it out and play it - if not, shall try for some Bee Gees or Kylie on your behalf!

finally, though, a picture of Trevor now, or possibly 20 years into the future depending on which timeline you are living in. here he is with the lovely Ruby, inspecting all the fine snow!!

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

Friday, January 08, 2010

The Two Gentlemen Of Lebowski

click here now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the dude abides............

happy birthday to THE KING

good morning

The King, Elvis Presley, turns 75 today.

we as mere normal humans have been lucky and fortunate to live in the same era as the great one.

don't be cruel.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Invictus? should be called Triumph

hey everyone

well, a few years ago when i heard that Clint Eastwood was going to make a film about the 95 World Cup here in SA, with no less than the very American Matt Damon playing the very South African Francois Pienaar, i like many assumed it to be an interesting and odd joke. the one thing that suggested that this might be happening and not some sort of odd spoof story was the fact that Morgan Freeman was annouced as being cast for the role of Nelson Mandela.

a few years later, and a thoroughly enjoyable 2+ hours of viewing, i am delighted that this was indeed a true story and not a bad joke!

Invictus is one of the most remarkable, passionate and accurate films i have ever had the luck to see. one always hears how "historical" films play around with facts but, having lived through the time depicted in this film, i am happy to say that's not the case here. one or two bits of "poetic licence" have been taken with some of the casting choices, to be fair, but events haven't been changed or manipulated dramatically to suit a better story. well, with such a wonderful true story, who on earth would want to fabricate something?

certainly not Clint Eastwood, a man who has legend status because of his acting alone, but is fast establishing that title in regards of his directorial work too.

the casting of Morgan Freeman as the beloved, respected Nelson Mandela seems to be one of those forces of nature at work. it's almost as if he was born to play the part; certainly Mr Mandela suggested that he would only really want him to portray him in any sort of film. whereas the near-perfect accent Morgan Freeman uses in the film every now and then dips into a slight American twang, he gives an otherwise note perfect performance, delivering all the warmth, compassion and understanding of one of the single most remarkable men to walk this earth.

the talk is of Morgan Freeman collecting the Oscar, as well as all the other major acting awards, for his work on this film. this would be a very worthy winning performance.

in the shadow of Morgan Freeman's performance is one of the finest ever acting performances delivered by Matt Damon. as hinted at above, the Matt Damon we all know is considerably shorter and darker haired than Francois Pienaar, the man who led South Africa to the 1995 World Cup. Matt Damon himself, when he met Francois, questioned the wisdom of Eastwood casting him in the role; as it turns out Clint clearly saw the right stuff and was spot on in insisting he take the part.

with some luck the critics who pass judgement on films for awards will not get so far carried away with the dazzling Morgan Freeman that they don't notice the splendid, sterling work done by Matt Damon in this film.

Invictus does not tell the whole, full and complete story of South Africa, Nelson Mandela or even Francois Pienaar for that matter. at no stage does it claim to. what it does do, admirably, is capture a moment - a very important moment - in the history of this fine, beautiful land and tells the tale of it in a manner that no one could do better.

there's a great danger that the rather popular, mostly computer generated film Avatar will dominate most viewing and awards in respect of the films of 2009. it will be a great shame if it does so at the expense of Invictus, a film which rather has a good deal of heart, soul and storytelling in it instead of pretty flashing lights.

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