Well Xmas TV has been its usual mix of mad soap plots, crappy game shows, listings of the best/worst adverts etc, sport and old films. It’s always a bit more disappointing than you anticipate of course. My wife C likes a good movie over the hols and in the last few days we’ve watched one or two. The Horse Whisperer, starring a still handsome Robert Redford in his denims and cord jackets was particularly appealing to her for some reason.
It actually wasn’t a desperate movie – the camera work and sweeping scenes of the beautiful Montana countryside was stunning. But the developing love plot between horse expert Redford and the Kristin Scott-Thomas character was so drawn out that I aged 12 years in 2 hours. And after all that the ‘affair’ was unfulfilled. What is the point of showing a a film like that to men, like me? There should be a warning notice beforehand saying ‘unsuitable for non-romantics – be advised you will harrumph at the unresolved ending’.
And then yesterday evening we watched Towering Inferno starring more 70’s hunk heroes Newman and McQueen. All I can say is that it has aged very badly, especially as CGI technology has moved on so far, but it was interesting to see OJ Simpson featuring – I’d forgotten how popular the unconvicted neck slasher once was. Later last night, for the umpteenth time of viewing, we watched Godfather II. For years I’ve been saying that it’s the greatest sequel ever made and a fantastic film in its own right. But you know, I now think that only half the film is brilliant – the bit featuring Robert de Niro playing the early part of Vito Corleone’s life. The bit with Al Pacino as Michael Corleone living in Lake Tahoe and focusing on his relationship with Hyman Roth is pretty downbeat and tedious if truth be told.
But there was one TV gem over the hols, the BBC2 biopic of Eric and Ernie, developed by and co-starring Victoria Wood as Eric’s pushy mum Sadie. The acting was first class – not least from Jim Moir (Vic Reeves) as the left-at-home dad. But the star I thought was Daniel Rigby who absolutely nailed the appearance, mannerisms and voice of Eric. On top of that the sets were just superbly evocative of the 50’s and early 60’s. A real gem worth checking out on the IPlayer if you haven’t seen it. Wey HEY!