Sunday, November 25, 2012
"Super 8" opened in theatres in June 2011 and made it to Denmark, where I live, on July 28th, 2011. That's all well and good, but the problem was that although it was shown in two different cinemas in my hometown, it disappeared almost immediately again. I only had one shot at it the day before the last show, but when I realised that the film didn't start until 9.30 p.m. - which meant that with its 112 minutes running time + commercials and trailers it wouldn't end until midnight - I gave up. At that point our local public transportation had stopped for the day and there was no way I was able to get back home, so I had to wait for the DVD.
The DVD was released in early 2012 and I expected to get it for my birthday, but I didn't. After that I forgot about it until recently when I spotted it in the local DVD store for only £4.95. I bought it straight away and watched it the same evening with my 13 year old daughter and we were both surprised at what we saw.
"Super 8" is not really horror and it's not really sci-fi, either, but a supernatural suspense film, telling the story of a bunch of kids who in the summer of 1979 shoot a super 8 film in a small town in Ohio. While filming, they witness a catastrophic train crash and shortly after people, dogs and electric appliances start to disappear from town. Something inexplicable and terrifying has been set in motion due to the train wreck and despite military opposition, the kids set out to solve the mystery.
When I watched the film, I guess what I had expected to see was a "mashup" of "The Blair Witch Project", "The Day of the Triffids" and John Carpenter's "The Fog". Instead I got a cross between "The Goonies" and "E.T." with a dash of "District 9". Furthermore it's a film that will appeal to mostly a young audience aged 10-12 despite the PG-13 rating.
When that is said, it's a charming little film, funny, moving and exciting, and the young cast acts so well. Joel Courtney as Joe Lamb - the young hero of the film - is believable, touching and very likeable. Elle Fanning as Alice Dainard is impressive, showing her wide range as an actress, and Riley Griffiths portraying Charles Kaznyk - a part that reminded me of a young Orson Welles - is confident, cool and a bit manic, like he should be. The rest of the kids are great, too. Of the adult cast especially Ron Eldard as Alice's father Louis Dainard stays in mind. His portray of a poor, disillusioned (and drunk) single parent is superb.
I can't say that I was disappointed in "Super 8" as it is a good film, but it was just so different from what I had expected. I guess what I liked the most about it was that over the film's credits, you actually get to see Charles' super 8 film "The Case", which the kids had been shooting during the entire film. That bit was hilarious and a very nice surprise.
Four out of five stars: **** (but only because my PC won't allow me to give it 3½ stars!)
Saturday, November 17, 2012
All songs are written by Claus Dencher except for "Laengsel" (Longing) that is written by Jesper Vang, and my favourite is probably "Redning" (Rescue) with its deep and somewhat droll lyrics. The lyrics to all of the songs are in Danish, by the way.
If you like poetic pop, this EP is a must. The only thing I'm not so keen on is that the songs end rather abruptly as if the band hasn't figured out yet how to end a song properly. But that's just a minor detail as all in all the EP "Tankens bager" is a little folk-pop gem.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
This limited edition book is a collection of 175 stories from tea drinkers from across the UK including Tetley Tea employees, families affected by cancer, who have been supported by CLIC Sargent, and then a handful of British celebrities. To be honest, I didn't know very many of the celebrities, though, only Jane Asher, Derren Brown, Melanie C, Bryan Ferry, Katie Melua, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps and Alan Titchmarsh, but then again, I'm not British. Most of the stories are told by "ordinary people", anyway, sharing their "magical" tea memories as Tetley puts it.
When you read the book, the first thing that you'll notice is that this is just a 112 pages long Tetley tea ad. As such it is not a very good read and the main reason for buying this book would be to support CLIC Sargent, as proceeds from the sale of the book go to this charity.
The second thing you'll notice is that the "magical" memories are all more or less the same. You can divide them into only 9 categories, the categories being:
1. Tea consumed in connection with pregnancies/births
2. Drinking tea with friends/family
3. Having your husband/children bring you a cup of tea in bed
4. Drinking tea when being asked to become a bridesmaid/Godmother
5. Drinking tea with celebrities
6. Drinking tea in bad weather
7. Missing Tetley tea when you are abroad
8. Celebrating new careers with tea
9. Comforting yourself with tea after having received bad news
Statistically you'll find 19.4 stories in each category, although some categories are more frequent than others. The most frequent are stories about mothers and daughters who live in separate countries but stay in touch on Skype while drinking tea. It is pretty boring having to read the same kind of stories over and over again, but at least it's better than the so-called "poems" that some people have written about their special tea moment. These poems are all clumsy and embarrassing to put it mildly.
I must say that I'm rather surprised that the stories vary so little. One should think that when you ask the British nation to share their most special tea moments, you'd come up with something better than "I had a cuppa with my nan" or "we were drinking tea when my friend asked me to be her bridesmaid". It seems that people never do anything interesting while drinking tea, or maybe the people contributing just have very boring lives?
I would have thought that a strong tea-drinking nation like the UK would have had better stories to tell, but no. In fact I had a hard time coming up with some favourite stories from the book as they are all more or less the same, but in the end I found 3 stories that were a bit extraordinary. One is by Helen Brannagan who discovered that her blind son is able to distinguish contrast colours. Another is by Jonny McNee who tells about making his first cup of tea at the age of 19 - this guy can really write! And finally there is illusionist Derren Brown's contribution about why it's often a bad idea to meet your idols - this guy can write, too.
I guess with a book like "You, Me and a Cup of Tea", the idea is that you're not supposed to read it from cover to cover. It is after all a "tea table book", suited only to flick through and then maybe read a page here and there. And at least the book looks nice with lots of photos and a pretty layout, but it really could do with some proofreading. I've never seen so many typos in a single book before!
"You, Me and a Cup of Tea" can be ordered from www.tetley.com and it costs £7.99.
Three out of five stars: ***
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Saturday, November 03, 2012
The Harry Potter Festival in Odense, Denmark, celebrated its 10th anniversary on October 18-21, 2012. I wasn't able to attend the festival myself as I was in England, attending a charity ball with some REAL Harry Potter stars, but that's a whole different story, which you can read about in my Harry Moseley Charity Ball blog post. Instead of me, my daughter went to the festival with her dad and she wasn't impressed.
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