May, 2003

Matrix Reloaded

So I got to go to the (UK) premiere of this last night. The tickets said that doors open at 6.30 and that everyone should be seated by 7.30. We arrived at 7.00 in torrential rain. I can honestly say that I haven’t seen quite as big a premiere as this previously in Leicester Square. I haven’t been to all that many, but you don’t usually get the whole square closed off.
Fortunately it was being held in the Odeon which is my favourite cinema – great screen, and it looks wonderful outside – particularly last night, when it was bedecked with flashing green lights. There were also two giant screens relaying pictures of the stars arriving, to the waiting throngs of fans and autograph seekers.
These pictures are also rebroadcast onto the main screen inside the cinema so that you can eat your small bag of complimentary popcorn whilst watching Radio 1’s Colin Murray trying to interview Michelle Collins who doesn’t seem to really have understood the first film.
Eventually we get Lawrence Fishburn, a couple of Brits who used to be downmarket versions of Handy Andy, Hugo Weaving and of course Keanu. Sadly, no Carrie-Anne Moss or Monica Bellucci.
Anyhow, what of the film. Well there have apparently been some disappointing reviews. I say “apparently” because I have deliberately ignored all the reviews to date to avoid spoiling plotlines.
I think the disappointment is probably a result of the film not being non-stop action. There are some massive set pieces which go totally OTT with action. In particular the fight with all the Agent Smiths, and a monumental car chase sequence. But there are also long periods of plot exposition and dialogue, and they seem to bore some people.
The plot isn’t that simple.
But I couldn’t construe it as being complex either. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. But I made one mistake.
I didn’t stay until the end of the credits, where, I believe, there’s a trailer for the next film!

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy

I got hold of this book after hearing it’s author Greg Palast speaking on the Simon Mayo programme on Radio Five Live.
I suppose he’s a slightly more literary Michael Moore. The book is written in the same freewheeling style, but there’s just a little bit more depth.
Sometimes he’s a little off the mark in my view, but most of the time he’s hitting pretty accurately. And he does at least have a slightly more accurate view of how Britain works, including it’s underside.

The Essential Spike Milligan

I got this at work, and was really only reading it, as I had no other books to hand and wanted something to read. I fairly raced through it, but must admit that I skipped entire extracts.
I suppose that I’ve never really got The Goons, so complete scripts of various episodes make fairly hard reading.
What were excellent were the war memoirs and nonsense verse.

BBC Big Read Top 100

Well the BBC’s top 100 books have been published, and they’re a bit disappointing.
Harry Potter’s there in abundance – surely it should be counted as one book like Lord of the Rings? Then there are books like Animal Farm which are evidently books people read at school for O Level or GCSE. And of course there are the middle class contemporary “classics” like Captain Correlli.
Mind you, I’m probably just bitter because Scoop didn’t make the cut. Mind you, I never got around to voting for it.

My Route To Work

Well I’ve been trying something different this week.
I can save a third on my travel costs if I get an overground only train ticket. That means that I have to travel in to Kings Cross, and head off on foot, but this has a bonus of being some actual exercise – with a half hour walk at the beginning and end of each day. And no squeezing onto an overcrowded tube.
Multimap estimates it as being 1.7 miles in each direction.
And the other advantage is that I can vary my route each day. The map below shows some of the options I’ve used in just three days!

I must admit that I’m jealous of the Brompton owning fraternity, but they’re so expensive, and they hold their prices in the second-hand market too. Nonetheless, when I’m solvent, I shall investigate my options.

The Best A Man Can Get

This book is extremely popular in medialand, a bit like E. And also like E, it had been sitting on my bookshelf for quite some time.
I only really picked it up because it was the morning after our party at work, and my bag was still at work. As it turns out, it was perfect hangover reading. Easy going and very easy to identify with. To be honest, not quite enough happens in this novel – we get plenty of background painting a very real picture of life. But then the plot doesn’t develop enormously.
Will I read more John O’Farrell? Quite possibly.