Tag Archives: 2000

TV: My Family

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largeFresh from watching the very last episode, I would like to recommend My Family: a BBC sitcom about ‘a modern, outwardly functional family… engaged in constant psychological warfare’. The Harpers are a dysfunctional family comprising of Susan, the wife, Ben, the grumpy dentist and also her husband, Nick, the older brother who refuses to move out, Janey, the self-absorbed popularity conscious sister and Michael, the brainy younger brother obsessed with girls. As the series goes on we meet more characters such as Abi, Roger, Kenzo and Alfie, who all join the main cast.

A comedy at heart, My Family aims to provide humour throughout and is really light-hearted. Definitely a good watch for a bad day or when you’re in a bad mood but also for good decent entertainment whenever that is necessary.

402275-my-familyIt will appeal to an audience who likes the humour of Seinfeld mixed with the madness of someone of the ilk of Lenny Henry and it does really work. The wit is very clever, very in your face and not as subtle as English humour can be at times but nevertheless it is great fun’. (Quote from IMDB User Review)

Not only is the show clever in its concept, albeit simple, funny and well written, it contains an amazing cast. The cast is a mixture of well-known English actors (Robert Lindsay, Zoe Wanamaker) and talented unknown young individuals (who literally grew up in their roles) taken and turned into well-known and popular actors and actresses (Daniela Denby-Ashe, Gabriel Thomson, Kris Marshall). This worked perfectly to create the family many people know and have loved.

The show, while not airing any more, lasted a solid 11 series and 9 Christmas Specials from 2000 to 2011. It was something I grew up watching, and something my parents would always have on. In its final two series I made sure to watch every episode and was slightly heart broken when I heard that the show was ending. I bought the boxset and have definitely not regretted it since.

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Disclaimer – I do not own the above images, they are from: http://www.thejitty.com/articles/my-family-the-sitcom-of-our-time and http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/this-week-on-tv-with-dianne-butler/story-fn948wjf-1226169402355

Film and TV: Black Books

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Black BooksToday I want to recommend a TV series. Black Books aired between 2000 and 2004, it starred Dylan Moran (Shaun of the Dead, Comedian), Bill Bailey (Hustle, Doctor Who, Nanny McPhee) and Tamsin Greig (Episodes, Doctor Who, Shaun of the Dead) and lasted three series. Not only did Moran star in it, he created and wrote the show too. I used to watch this programme a few years ago when it was shown on the channel Dave and I recently bought all three series on DVD. Like ‘After You’ve Gone’ that I reviewed perhaps a month ago, it isn’t a serious programme and it provides light entertainment. It’s the type of show where, again like After You’ve Gone, you can get attached to the characters while leaving it on in the background as each new episode is a new story rather than a continuous arc. I tend to watch this programme at night before I go to sleep. It’s just a nice way to end the day.

I found a brief synopsis of the show on the imdb website, it was written by P.H. Moo: ‘Bernard Black runs his own bookshop even though he doesn’t much like people who buy books and hates having customers. Next door to Bernard’s shop is the Nifty Gifty gift shop run by Fran, probably Bernard’s only friend in the world. When Bernard’s accountant goes on the run Bernard employs stress victim, Manny to help in his shop. This leads to a series of surreal adventures around the shop.’

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Disclaimer – I do not own the picture, it is from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0262150/

Films: Charlie’s Angels

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Charlie’s Angels: Original and Full Throttle

Last night, I watched Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. I planned to watch it for about half an hour and then go to bed, leaving the rest for the following day. But alas, I got so into the film I couldn’t stop it.

charliesangelsdvdcoverDespite the fact that this film is a sequel, it can be watched pretty much as a stand-alone film as long as you understand the nature of Charlie’s Angels and the friendship that the characters have. I, having not entirely realised that the film was a sequel until I had already committed to watching it, watched it out of order. But I have always had knowledge of Charlie’s Angels and although, not being able to recall what happened in the films prior to this re-watching, used to watch them when I was younger.  Fortunately, I have watched the first film since, in order to write a full recommendation.

Actors. The films have an absolutely incredible cast. Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Bernie Mac, Crispin Glover, Bill Murray, Tim Curry, Sam Rockwell, Sean Whalen, Justin Theroux, Shia LaBeouf, Matt LeBlanc, John Cleese and Luke Wilson are but a few.

These films make a very obvious use of sex appeal, so much so the Full Throttle DVD case itself comments on it. This may not be for everyone; after all it wasn’t what attracted me to watching the film but if you overlook that there is so much more to these films to praise them for.

Simply, they are great feel good films; very cheesy but in a way where it uses humour to complement their action and adventure elements. But less simply, Charlie’s Angels promotes strong female characters, as the protagonists are strong female characters; Dylan, Alex and Natalie are the Angels, they need to be strong and skilful physically to win against their opponents but they’re also mentally strong. What’s better is that, in relation to themselves their male opponents are presented as kind of stupid, and their female opponents are extremely intelligent, this applies more so to Full Throttle. This is good because it’s rare that female protagonists are so powerful and even rarer that the females are made to appear more erudite than their male counterparts.  Even now, eleven years since Full Throttle was released, the film industry struggles to fully explore strong female characters. In addition to this, the films promote the importance of friendship and despite parts of the films being, as stated earlier, cheesy, this topic is approached in an inspiring manner by allowing Natalie and Alex’s support of Dylan to be a guiding force in giving Dylan her confidence especially in the second film.

If at first you don’t succeed… do not underestimate the power of Plan B. Throughout Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, different groups of characters, from the Angels to their enemies, refer to their Plan B after their assumed Plan A fell through. I think this has been intentionally overdone to really push the old adage and to show that even for the Angels things don’t necessarily work out first time, but even if the first attempt fails, it’s important that you continue.

The characters of Natalie, Alex and Dylan are so well created too; they complement each other so soundly, being similar enough to hold a good relationship yet being different enough to keep their relationship strong and… choreographically, the fight scenes enhance each characters idiosyncrasies perfectly making these scenes a beauty to behold.

Music in these films is very important in keeping the atmosphere appropriately in line with the story and music is one of the reasons why I think Charlie’s Angels is brilliant. There is just great music all the way through both films. The main soundtrack of Full Throttle is Pink’s Feel Good Time and it fits perfectly. The song itself is brilliant and the video is done so well too. I’ll insert the video here;

And lastly, it wouldn’t be a proper TweetingRawr film recommendation without a comment on make-up and clothes… Rapidly changing throughout the films; the Angel’s makeup and wardrobe is so phenomenally finely done making each of them look so beautiful.

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Disclaimer – I do not own the poster, it is from: http://www.currentfilm.com/dvdreviews2/charliesangelsdvd.html

Films: Top 5 Johnny Depp Films and Mortdecai Trailer

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With the recent release of the Mortdecai trailer, I wanted to talk about it. I am a massive fan of Johnny Depp, you may’ve realised this with my blogs on Johnny Depp quotes and The Tourist, and this trailer only fuels that. I thought that Mortdecai was going to be some morbid, dark film but rather it looks like it’s going to be a brilliant piece of comedic gold. Not only does it have Depp in it, it also has some other favourites of mine, Paul Bettany and Ewan McGregor.

Following this I want to recommend some films too, so here are my personal Top 5 Johnny Depp films (please take into consideration the ratings of these films to see if they are appropriate for you):

  • Sleepy Hollow (1999) – Starring alongside Christina Ricci, Johnny Depp plays Constable Ichabod Crane who is sent to the small town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of decapitations. It becomes clear from the beginning that these murders have been mysteriously committed by the enigmatic Headless Horseman.

 

  • Pirates of the Carribbean (2003 – 2017) – Starring alongside Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly in the first three films and Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane in the most recent, Johnny Depp is well known for his role as the somewhat crazy, eccentric pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow. It has also been announced that POTC5 will be released in 2017.

 

  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) – Although Johnny didn’t have a huge role, I did love the part he did as one of the many versions of Doctor Parnassus, and this was a genuinely good film albeit incredibly random and strange. It also had an incredible cast including Heath Ledger, Jude Law, Andrew Garfield, Lily Cole and Colin Farrell.

 

  • The Lone Ranger (2013) – Starring alongside Armie Hammer, Johnny’s Tonto is brilliant. The relationship and onscreen chemistry with Armie is so good. It was only recently that I watched this film for the first time and I absolutely loved it!

  • Chocolat (2000) – Although Johnny, again, didn’t have a main role, his role was very good. I love this film about a mother and daughter who move and open a chocolate shop in rural France. This is met with much negativity on various occasions but eventually they win the trust and hearts of their neighbours.

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P.S. Bonus Top 6: The Tourist. I recommended this a couple weeks back, read here.