Monday, 31 January 2011


Happy Birthday Johh Lydon
From Sex Pistols to Public Image via USA, Leftfield, 'I'm a celebrity' and Butter.
Here's the man at his truculent best:
early days
1977 Sex Pistols
1980 PIL
PIL on Check it out
Order of Death with harvey Keitel
order of death trailer


The awful follow up to Guy Richie's Lock Stock & two smoking barrels takes the knock about mockney theme to excruciating lows. While the first film had it's moments, it operated within a smallish budget and low aspiration, Snatch is an example of giving cash to an idea and a 'concept' without applying any quality control.
From the fake New Yorkisms through to the unrealistic Gypsies, the tough guys and wannabes have little truth to their portrayal. It's not just the story which is a threadbare mish mas of cliche, it's the assemblage of a troop of actors who all must know deep down that the dialogue and situations they are plodding through have no element of reality.
deleted scene from Snatch
Made up Cockney rhyming slang, a pat sting in the tale ending and comedy moments from the Eastenders school of humour make this movie an ordeal.
Richie should have been banned from ever making a movie again after this. From trying to be the British Tarantino he is firmly established as the film making equivalent of FHM magazine; over rated, unfeasibly popular and lacking in content.
The great British movie, gangster or London, has died a death over the years and Snatch provided a nail gun to the coffin
Outtake from Snatch-deemed too realistic

Sunday, 30 January 2011

MY HIT LIST # 56 James Cagney-I aint so tough

Cagney; there was no one like him and during his classic gangster movies, The Public enemy, Angels with dirty faces, The roaring twenties and White Heat he went out in style. Each movie had him paying for his deeds with his life the pay off in each the stuff of movie legend. I love Cagney and these four movies, along with Each Dawn I die, are among my favourite movies of all time.

the roaring twenties

white heat

"I ain't so tough"

"He used to be a big shot"

"Made it Ma top of the world"

"All right, fellas... let's go and say a prayer for a boy who couldn't run as fast as I could."

the public enemy

angels with dirty faces

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Oi Fat Bloke!

Britain's fattest man-Channel 4
Channel 4s documentary on this mound of flesh covered ground seen on other documentaries, generally set in America. The difference is that the USA behemoths generally have some positivity about their predicaments and are willing to risk their lives to undergo demolishing of walls, Chinook helicopter lifts and massively invasive surgery. Surprising given the proceeding years’ obvious lack of self control.

Mason had a lack of , for want of a better word, guts (ironically) as he whined and whinged his way through the programme. It was all the fault of others,  he couldn’t successfully meet the recovery targets of standing, taking a step or anything that required some courage. His surgery was costly, complex and involved all manner of alterations, arrangements and inconveniences. I don’t recall a ‘thank you’ from him through out the programme.

Mason, when talking about how he got to the state he was now in said of his daily intake

“I would have a Fry up every morning, four sausages, a whole packet of bacon, four eggs, two pieces of fried bread, hash browns," he said.
"At half Ten I'd have sausage rolls, pastries. Lunch would be fish and chips, kebab, and then in the evening time it would be another takeaway.
"In a day I would eat 30-40 chocolate bars, three-four multipacks of 24 crisps."

Food was clearly his friend, as his sisters had abandoned him and the only people who seemed to care about him where his carer (paid to do so) and some bloke from the Salvation Army who obviously realised he had a captive audience for his Bible classes.

Yes the estimated £100,00 a year this glutton is costing the tax payer is an issue, but more of a concern to me was the complete lack of responsibility shown by Mason. And the utter lack of gumption was both irritating and frustrating.

Mason, with fake tears and phoney emotion had got himself into this mess and I frankly couldn’t care less if he got out of it.  
link to the documentary

Friday, 28 January 2011


  1. Only Fools And Horses (1981–2003), 71 episodes  — 316,657 votes
  2. Blackadder(1983–1989), 27 episodes — 282,106 votes
  3.  The Vicar Of Dibley(1994–2007), 20 episodes, 4 shorts, — 212,927 votes
  4.  Dad's Army (1968–1977), 80 episodes as well as sketches — 174,138 votes
  5. Fawlty Towers (1975–1979), 12 episodes — 172,066 votes
  6. Yes Minister / Yes, Prime Minister (1980–1984, 1986–1988), 38 episodes in total — 123,502 votes
  7. Porridge /Going Straight (1974–1977, 1978), 20 episodes in Porridge, 6 in Going Straight — 93,902 votes
  8. Open All Hours (1973, 1976–1985), 26 episodes — 67,237 votes
  9. The Good Life (1975–1978), 30 episodes — 40,803 votes
  10. One Foot In The Grave (1990–2000), 42 episodes and 2 shorts— 31,410 votes

My post on On the Buses has sparked some conversation about British sitcoms. What tickles the funny bone and which is best. The last time there was a recognised poll of the top British sitcoms, the Sitcom showdown, it was carried out online and by phone vote, the results were as above. Some of the top ten are unfathomable in their appeal; they are just not funny, or good. Some obvious, but popularity doesn't always equate to rubbish.

My own list of British sitcoms would read (today anyway) In alphabetical order
  • Dad’s Army
  • Fawlty Towers
  • I’m Alan Partridge
  • The Office
  • Only Fools and horses (the half hour episodes) 
  • Phoenix Nights
  • Porridge
  • Rising damp
  • Spaced
  • Steptoe & Son
Basil the Rat

 Let’s see what you would have as your top ten either by COMMENT below post or to

MY HIT LIST # 55 Greta Garbo by Clarence Sinclair Bull

Greta Garbo, the Swedish superstar of Hollywood's golden era, captured by Clarence Sinclair Bull. Some of the most beautiful photos from the Hollywood publicity machine. Transcending commerce and becoming art. Garbo was the queen of the silent era and went on to conquer talkies before retiring from the limelight. Thus her enigma was maintained.

* Her instinct, her mastery over the machine, was pure witchcraft. I cannot analyze this woman's acting. I only know that no one else so effectively worked in front of a camera.
      o Bette Davis, in The Lonely Life : An Autobiography‎ (1962), p. 116
Queen Cristina

a rare colour shot
Clarence Sinclair Bull photographed all the Hollywood greats during the golden age, but his affinity with Garbo resulted in some of the greatest photographs of this golden age. He managed to capture Garbo's magic. There has probably never been such a magnetic female movie star in the history of Hollywood and in front of the lens she was incredible playing a part or just being herself.
Garbo montage-this is the magic

Thursday, 27 January 2011


Ho Ho Ho
Bob Grant played Jack ‘Jacko’ Harper the Lothario Bus Conductor in On the Buses which, amazingly, ran for 74 episodes between 1969 and 1973. Never has a ‘ladies man’ been so inappropriately cast; buck toothed broken nosed with an unruly thatch of grey hair Jacko was horrific in his woman chasing awfulness.  

Jacko’s character and the show in general are almost master classes in bad comedy, juvenile writing, sexism, racism and general cloth headedness. There were also three spin off movies On the Buses, Mutiny on the Buses and Holiday on the Buses. So unfathomably popular was the show that there was even a board game doing the rounds.

The character of Olive was the frumpy wife incarnate, there was a black character called Chalky, and Blakey was modelled on Adolf Hitler, the clippies were all there for the delectation of Stan and Jacko and every bad joke and politically incorrect moment was met with shrieks of laughter by the manic studio audience.
There is something deeply depressing about this show, when I have caught a glimpse of the series on UK Gold or one of the movies during a bank holiday. The tenuous excuses for plots, the sub-carry on innuendo, the bland studio sets the tired location shots, even the theme tune is a dispiriting dirge.

On the Buses is not only a classic example of the dire ITV comedy output of the seventies but is a benchmark for a bad sitcom. Appropriately the movies were made by Hammer; the home of horror.

Theme dirge

big screen small mind
turgid TV

The Incredibles reading between the lines

Clearly the animators at Pixar had an agenda when they came up with Elasti Girl

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


The Royal mail have bought out a set of stamps honouring Gerry Anderson. Philately, the dullest of pursuits is the exact opposite of the excitement I used to feel watching Thunderbirds as a little boy.

As a nipper I loved Thunderbirds. It was sophisticated yet simple, action packed yet funny; it bought espionage, sabotage, disaster, theft, space travel and a variety of other incredible situations into my living room. There was nothing else like it on TV back then, and nothing to match it now. What it allowed was for the young mind to immerse itself into this completely manufactured world. It had the gadgets, the vehicles, the thrills and spills. It had lead characters smoking fags, drinking and risking life and limb.

It had a science fiction element employed in Poseidon Adventure and Towering Inferno situations. Everyone had their favourite International Rescue vehicle; mine was Thunderbird 2 with its non aerodynamic shape and its belly full of smaller rescue vehicles.

It also had catch phrases; ‘Thunderbirds are Go!’, ‘F.A.B.’ ‘yes M’Lady’ and ‘Calling International rescue’

Its intro gave a taste of what was to come in the episode and unusually each was 50 minutes long. For a kid of my age the Tracey family were cool, Brains Hackenback appealed to the inner geek and Lady Penelope had the Va-Va-Voom. There was also Parker for us cockneys to identify with. The music was stirring, mysterious and light hearted in equal measure.

Creator Gerry Anderson also gave us Stingray; too primitive. Joe 90; too dull. Captain Scarlet; too realistic. Thunderbirds was the daddy.

More so than the other Gerry Anderson creations Thunderbirds really was the programme that me and my friends all watched and the programme that you could immerse yourself in. I loved it. Not ironically or knowingly, I just loved it.

As Jeff Tracey said at the top of the show Thunderbirds are go!

THUNDERBIRDS Intro to my favourite episode 'Vault of death' with my  favourite character Light Fingered Freddy

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

POST 500/MY HIT HIT LIST #54 CHIC-Real People

"This is my 500th Post and I would like to thank all the real people that have read, commented, encouraged, criticised, agreed and other wise been a part of wellyousaythat
I will continue to try and refesh the parts that other blogs can't reach"

Little heard and under rated this album from Chic. Written recorded and produced in the same year as the team wrote recorded and produced Sister Sledge's Love somebody today album, Sheila & B Devotion's King of the world album and Diana Ross' Diana album.
There fourth studio album took them away from pure dancefloor to pop and rock leanings, with different vocalists and more reflective lyrics. The album was somewhat in the shadow of the more successful Ross and Sledge offerings and it did not contain a hit. It's a much more cohesive album from them and for real Chic fans like me this is the album that we go to when we want to soak up the full Chic experience.

The title track became something of an anthem, aimed as it was, at a bit more maturity that me and my friends were ourselves experiencing at the time

Real People (Edwards, Rodgers)
(Be with some) Real people
I want to live my life with some real people
Yeah, yeah, real people
I'm doggonne gonna be with some real people

Throughout this great big world of ours
There are so many folks
Who just can't get involved
Now they received you readily
And will deceive you dreadfully
Oh yeah, it's a reality
I'll just do my best, yeah
To try and make all those
Phoney relationships dissolve
Now I suppose they can't help themselves
So I propose to surround myself
With love, and humanity, and with some

(Be with some) Real people
I want to live my life with some real people
Yeah, yeah, real people
I'm doggonne gonna be with some real people

I don't think my emotions
Can stand all of this wear and tear
They say you control your own destiny
But I can't take them getting the best
They're getting the best of me
Spread out, give me some elbow room
And some place, where I can disappear
I'm so tired of hypocrisy
And why these folks even bother me
Please just let me be

(Be with some) Real people
I want to live my life with some real people
Yeah, yeah, real people
I'm doggonne gonna be with some real people

Sunday, 23 January 2011

MY HIT LIST #53 The Usual Suspects-The penny drops

The end of The Usual Suspects, a modern classic, is as good a piece of filmaking as you will find in terms of wrapping up the loose ends. Hitchcock often tied things up at the end of his movies and in Bryan Singer's thriller he uses a vertiginous collection of soundbites and images to break Agent Kujan's moment of reflection. A movie that captured audiences imaginations has one of the classic endings in the world of Cinema.

"Oh, gee, thanks, Dave. Bang-up job so far. Extortion, coercion. You'll pardon me if I ask you to kiss my pucker. The same fuckers that rounded us up and sank us into this mess are gonna bail me out? Fuck you. You think you can catch Keyser Soze? You think a guy like that comes this close to getting caught and sticks his head out? If he comes up for anything, it will be to get rid of me. After that... my guess is you'll never hear from him again"-Verbal Kint
The penny drops

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Sweet Charity

There ain't no use flappin' your wings, 'cause we are stuck in the flypaper of life!

Sweet Charity starring Shirley MacLeane and directed by Bob Fosse is probably my favourite musical along with Cabaret. It has a bitterness within and a vibrancy in the song and dance.
Rather than offering a critique or dissection I'll let the numbers do the talking. Enjoy!
rythm of life
theres gotta be somewhere better than this
hey big spender