I have a busy couple of weeks ahead of me as the date of my departure to Oz gets nearer so I have had a few days of doing relaxing and idle things in preparation for the frenzy of panic and packing which I know will come upon me before I go.
As well as reading light romantic novels, my mind will not take in anything else, I have been having a blitz on DVDs. I don't go much to the cinema these days, the general noise and bad behaviour of the average audience, which includes yakking, running in and out, stuffing their collective faces with foot high cartons of popocorn all slurped down with gallons of pepsi, is most off putting so I tend to watch things on DVD now. Only exception are the Bond movies which I always like to see in the cinema and was lucky to see Skyfall at a very early showing one morning when I was the only person in the audience. Gosh it was bliss.
Anyway had a lot of catching up to do and in the last week I have watched the following:
Taken 2 - if any of you have seen Taken 1 you will know that Liam Neeson stars as an ex-CIA man whose daughter is kidnapped when she goes to Paris with a friend and they are both carted off to be sold to a middle east sheik. Liam goes to Paris to get her back and by the time he rescues her he has shot up half of the French police force, nearly all the gangsters in the city, crashed at least three cars, had a chase down the Seine and caused total mayhem. He then gets on a commercial flight home with his daughter to LA where they get in cab and go calmly home. Totally ludicrous and Taken 2 was just as daft as the avenging father of one of the thugs he killed in the first film kidnaps Liam this time and his wife and instead of shooting and killing half of Paris, this time he kills and shoots half of Istanbul where this was filmed. After having Daniel Craig involved in a motor bike chase over the roofs of the bazaar in Skyfall the city must be getting rather blase about it all now.
Avengers Ensemble - The Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Captain America and other assorted super heroes get together to save the word from an invasion from outer space. Totally potty, but brilliantly done it is the ultimate popcorn movie.
The Dark Knight Rises - the last Batman film which I did not go and see as I found the previous one with Heath Ledger as the Joker rather disturbing and horrid. This one was not so dark and black but still pretty exciting and I found myself enjoying it rather more than I thought I would.
The Double - a rather tight well plotted little thriller starring Richard Gere as a retired CIA agent who is called back in to investigate a murder carried out in the same style as an assasin who Gere killed some years ago. Has a twist in it which had me sitting and thinking afterwards and working backwards to work out the plotline. Probably would not have bothered with it save for the fact that Gere, who I have always loved was in it, and there he was, silver haired and all and getting better with age. Not fair.
And then after all this dross and popcorn stuff come two gems. First up the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel about which I need say very little except that the pleasure of watching Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Ronald Pickup, Celia Imrie, Tom Wilkinson, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith in this superb ensemble performance is simply too much to describe. Such class from all of them.
Jane Eyre with Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska. I am super critical of adapations of this, one of my all time favourite books, and I usually find them all wanting. The last one I saw was by the BBC with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens and I thought that was terrific and the sexual tension between Jane and Rochester was palpable. Ruined by tacking on a happy all singing dancing scene at the end, presumably for overseas sales, it was still leading the pack until I saw this film and now I think this may be the new leader. Beautifully shot and filmed, Fassbender was fascinating as Rochester and, for the first time, I really felt the conflict of his feelings and his moral agony at what he had done to Jane. Mia W was also very good indeed and what I appreciated greatly was that the cast all had Yorkshire accents in varying degrees according to their class and station. After all why would Jane had a cut glass posh English accent which is always the case in every film I have seen of Charlotte's book, so this made it much more real somehow. And of course, there was Dame Judi again as Mrs Fairfax the housekeeper.
Have taken a peek a few minutes ago at the BAFTA awards coming from the Opera House. Used to be quite fun but it has now become much grander than it used to be and takes itself much more seriously than when I used to watch it years ago and, consequently, is now rather more up its a**e than is comfortable. Added to that is the fact that it is hosted by Stephen Fry who really is so often on the TV that I begin to wonder if there is anybody else out there who is capable of fronting this event. Mark you, as they have had Jonathan Ross in the past I suppose one should be grateful for small mercies....
In the week ahead I have a site visit from the management company who 'manage' our block of flats and will be going through the budget for next year with him, up to London on Wednesday for Florene's third birthday and then will be staying over as the next night I am babysitting as Helen and James have found themselves the lucky recipients of two tickets for Eugene Onegin at the Opera House. I am green with envy as this is one of my favourite operas but it will be lovely for them to go to Covent Garden together and it is Valentine's Day as well. So I shall be alone and palely loitering at home with a boiled egg and toast, the remote and the baby monitor.