The cream, chocolate on the cream and fudge binding everything together was a dream, but the base tasted a little stale. Overall, still delicious, but a tiny bit below John Lewis' (admittedly much higher than average) bar.
I’m a huge fan of cheap and cheerful dinners. Most pub meals tend to fulfil the latter by virtue of them being in a pub, and thus me being merrily tipsy when I’m eating it, hence the ‘cheerful’. But I also recall the majority of these pub meals also tend to be annoyingly pricey for what they are, which is just a glorified microwave job which either ends up being burnt, or tasting bland.
Wetherspoon’s Curry Club, which I had a chicken korma at yesterday (pictured above) may well be a microwave job, but it still tasted great, and the garlic naan bread (for which there is an uplift of 20p) was as yummy as anything I’ve had in various authentic curry houses. Included in the £6.69 price is also a choice of alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, of which I had the Coors Light, which washed down the korma a treat.
All of this amounted to very satisfying (and filling) gastronomical experience, which has gone some way to purge memories of the last terrible curry place I visited, the foul The Cinnamon. More like the waiters there were Sinnermen, amirite?
The gold standard for something doing exactly what it says on the tin.
I went to The Cuban with my friend Joy a few weeks ago using a Groupon deal that cost £22, and it illustrated precisely why I’m hesitant to buy Too Good to Be True food deals from Groupon. This one definitely was.
On the Groupon page, it promised the holder to £88.45 worth of food. This is what you could get if you’d been given normal-sized dishes of the food (of which I was able to see on the tables of other diners around me). But this wasn’t what me and Joy (nor, having a peruse of Tripadvisor, anyone who went there using a Groupon voucher got). Instead, you get infinitesimal portions of the food. Blink and it’s gone! So it definitely wasn’t £88.45 worth of food, and if they were going to advertise such a deal, they should have scaled down the original price to represent the quantity of food you’d be getting, so that the buyer of the deal would have some indication of how much the food would really be worth.
I’m a fast eater at the best of times (pig.gif), but most of these portions photographed above wouldn’t even constitute half a bite. I was nowhere near full at the end of the ‘meal’.
On top of this, the restaurant was extremely understaffed. When we first arrived, there was one waitress manning the doors. She told us to sit down and she’d come to us, which we thought a little odd, as she didn’t ask where we were planning on sitting. Would she forget about us?
You bet your ass she did.
Yet, when I went up to her some 15 minutes later (we waited very patiently, deciding to give her the benefit of the doubt) to tell her where we were sat, she curtly gave me the brush off, telling me that she’d be with me. No smile, and faint flickers of an eyeroll, suggesting that if I tried to voice my discontent, she would bite my head off. An unhelpful dragon of a woman.
The cocktails were also uninspiring, both in flavour and presentation:
So yeah, pretty rotten food and service at this place, but I will shoulder some of the blame. I’d tried to get a delicious tapas experience on the cheap from Groupon and in the majority of the cases, they just don’t exist.
The Escapologist was an exception, rather than the rule, of when a Groupon deal actually delivers what it promises, but this relies on the vendor being honest and above board. The people who advertised The Cuban deal definitely weren’t that. I left feeling very short-changed.
There's currently a 20% off at Ted Baker for students, so I just had to make the most of it to buy a handbag I've been eyeing at Ted Baker for quite some time and in doing so, using retail therapy as a coping mechanism for the vague post-brother flying the nest blues!
I'm in love with the chain - it allows me to wear it over my shoulder, making it a cool alternative to the only other designer handbag I own, my sky blue Michael Kors one. Unlike my Michael Kors handbag, this one's a lot darker too, so I can accessorise it with more outfits and not have to worry about it getting dirty.
So yippee! I has two handbags now :)
The next Ted Baker I have an eye on is this cream beauty:
Slight spoilers for TWBB ahead, so, I would recommend you don’t read this piece if you haven’t seen the movie!
Paul Thomas Anderson's modern masterpiece, There Will Be Blood, is a fascinating tale of Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis)'s journey as an oil tycoon, and the strategic moves he make during his ascent to the top. His rise to power is both facilitated and impeded by two characters, both played by Paul Dano: twins Paul and Eli Sunday.
The decision to cast Dano as both the Sunday brothers (and ergo, making them twins) wasn't originally in director P.T. Anderson's plans. Kel O'Neill was initially pencilled in to play the mild-mannered brother Paul. But the actor was too intimidated by the director, and pulled out at the last minute, causing some creative problem-solving in the form of casting Dano as both the characters, and making them twins.
Dano's role as Paul Sunday consists of a brief appearance, but is crucial to the plot. At the start of the film, he seeks out Plainview to alert him about a lucrative area to drill for oil in. Dano plays Paul Sunday with a meek, child-like quality. It helps that Paul Dano has one of those ageless faces. He is 32 but could pass for a teenager, a helpful trait to have in the ageist world of Hollywood casting, but one Dano capitalises on only to embark on projects that fulfil him, rather than chase the next money train, which he could easily do.
(Incidentally, for the movie nerds out there, Dano playing a character called Paul in this film means that both Daniel Day-Lewis and Dano play characters with the same Christian names as themselves). #Symmetry
With Paul Sunday's tip, Daniel Plainview makes his way to Little Boston, California to scout out this piece of land. It requires buying acres from the Sunday family, where Eli Sunday, an ambitious preacher, drives a hard bargain for his father's land. He wants whatever Daniel’s offering, and $5,000 for Eli's church.
Plainview takes an instant dislike to Eli Sunday and his sanctimonious ways, finding the way Eli constantly badgers him about his debt to the church infuriating. Eli's compelling sermons also draw workers away from working on Plainview's ranch and towards his church.
But the thing about Eli that Daniel Plainview loathes the most is that he can read Eli like a magazine, and he sees himself in him. Both men are con artists, who will do and say whatever the audience wants to hear to get what they want. They just go about it in different ways. Plainview sees Eli as a low-rent version of himself, and Eli knows that. Eli isn’t buying what Plainview is selling, and vice versa.
There Will Be Blood undoubtedly belongs to Daniel Day-Lewis, who won a well-deserved Best Actor Oscar for his mesmeric, unforgettable performance. It truly is a spectacular, charismatic piece of acting, and what impressed me most about it is that DDL, like other actors who I admire (Saoirse Ronan, Rooney Mara), does 95% of his emoting with his pupils.
But it his scenes with Dano which linger the memory the most, the way the men interact and play off each other, being spurred on by their mutual dislike, makes the power struggle between them in There Will Be Blood so gripping. The fact that the Dano was pretty much ignored come Awards Season 2008, with only BAFTA acknowledging his excellence in TWBB with a nomination, makes me sad.
The baptism scene, where Eli makes a spectacle of exorcising the past from Daniel, humiliating him, shouting at and even slapping at Plainview to exorcise the bad spirits from him. It's a hypnotic and darkly comic scene, and I definitely noticed a rise in Dano's character's spirits, like he was mirroring the mannerisms of the man he was preaching at. The way he goads Plainview about his Achilles Heel - his son - illustrated that, in that scene at least, Eli had the control over him, and he was going to make the most of it.
Because Dano plays both the Sunday brothers, some film-goers have wondered if they were supposed to be the same character pretending to be two people, particularly as you never see both of them on screen at the same time. But I read Paul and Eli Sunday as unambiguously, two different people. Eli's rant at his father about his 'stupid son Paul', as well as the final scene, where Daniel lauds over Eli how he paid Paul off and how is brother is a winner, and he, a loser, pretty much put that to bed.
Nonetheless, having the same actor play two different roles does have an inherent element of confusion and trickery. The kind of odd cinematic game you wouldn’t put past Paul Thomas Anderson, who’s offbeat Punch-Drunk Love teased out a fine serious turn from Adam Sandler, of all people. If anyone can turn the tables and pull the rug from underneath you, it’s P.T. Anderson.
I've got a lot of time for Paul Dano, who constantly surprises me with his off-kilter acting choices. I squeed with delight when I spotted him playing the fictional embodiment of the Tolstoy in the BBC’s War and Peace this year (my brother was watching).
The fact that he's not a conventional Hollywood heartthrob yet has still done very well for himself in a predominantly superficial industry is a testament to his talent (incidentally, this is precisely the reason why I idolise Jonah Hill, even if the two men’s acting styles are quite different), and I like how Dano pursues film roles for the art, rather than the money. I also dig that he doesn’t thirst for awards like some (tho, seriously. Just because he doesn't strive for recognition doesn't excuse him being passed over by the Award bodies for his work in this movie).
There Will Be Blood ranks as one of his finest performances, and certainly the best film he's appeared in. Of Dano’s upcoming projects, I'm most psyched for his writing & directorial debut, where he will direct his Prisoners co-star Jake Gyllenhaal in a tale of a relationship falling apart. I will be first in the queue to see it at the cinemas.
Godspeed, Mr. Dano. Cinema needs more auteurs like you.
This post is my entry in Christina Wehner's blogathon about Dual Roles in movies. Head on over to read other fabulous articles from bloggers on actors who have played more than one role in a film!
I'm not sure why I willingly opted for kebabs when I was sober, but I decided to get my Sunday junk food from somewhere other than McDonald's for once (which is situated across the road from this place).
The combo pictured above was £5.90. I enjoyed the chips - chunky chips that you usually get with your fish and chips are my favourite kind, but the kebab didn't seem to have any flavour, and the salad and sauces that were added to it weren't very well distributed. There was too much in the way of cabbage and barely any onions (a much preferred ingredient).
Overall, not a big fan; don't think I'll be going back.
My brother swears by this place, and as I'm always keen to give patronage to local fast food joints in Orpington rather than the big multinational companies (McDs, KFC), I was keen to give this place a try.
Quite the opposite of Quality Fish Chips N Kebabs, Morley's chips disappointed (stale, made me pine for McDonald's fries), but the chicken completely hit the spot. I wolfed mine down.
I've since been to Morley's several times (you can get lunch and a drink for £3) and in terms of cheap, cheerful, delicious junk food lunches, it does exactly what it says on the tin!
The town of Rose Creek is terrorised by mercenary Bart Bogue and his henchmen, who wishes to mine it for oil. In standing up to the villains, several innocent people are slaughtered in cold blood, including Matthew Cullen, leaving his grieving widow Emma (Haley Bennett) seeking retribution. She implores bounty hunter Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington) to defend her townspeople, a request he initially declines, until he hears who the enemy is.
However, Sam alone isn't enough to overturn Bart's army, so he recruits wayward gambler Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt) using Josh's horse as barter. Faraday then enlists the help of Sam's former acquaintance, a sharpshooter named Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke) and gets his companion, assassin Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee), thrown in for free. The foursome are rounded off with wanted outlaw Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), giant Jack Horne (Vincent D'Onofrio), and a Comanche warrior Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier).
The trailer for The Magnificent Seven was so cool and enticing that it made me momentarily forget my aversion for needless Hollywood remakes, of which Oldboy is the worst of a sorry bunch from recent years. But, in Antoine Fuque's plodder of a film, I realised that the film peaked at the strategic bass drop on the ad.
The film's four most well-known stars: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Peter Sarsagaard barely make it out of first gear. Pratt and Sarsgaard, in particular, both who have done exemplary work in the past, phone it in on crushingly disappointing levels. Pratt, so charismatic in Guardians of the Galaxy, seems to think he can ride on the memory of his charm in this film, and exhibits no attempt at characterisation in his role. Waving his hands around to do a card trick is about the most he exerts himself.
Sarsgaard is equally limp as the villain, to the point where it detriments the film. Because The Magnificent Seven then lacks a compelling antagonist, it renders all the expensive (the film had had a eye-watering budget of $95 million) training montages shown in the film hollow, because we're simply not afraid of the force they're all priming themselves to face.
For the Training Day fans out there, of which I am one, the scenes between Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke lack the spice and spark that the two organically just had in Antoine Fuqua's earlier film. This is as much to blame on the clunky screenplay as it does the performers, where practically every character in the film speaks in (not very incisive, it has to be said) one-liners but strung together, it doesn't come close to resembling dialogue.
The cast member who makes the most lasting impression is pretty Haley Bennett as Emma, who the script graciously refrains from making a damsel in distress trope. Bennett fleshes out a 2D(ish) character into something resembling a human with a beating heart, and her early scenes where she pleads to Chisolm's sense of humanity do carry genuine pathos.
Perhaps rising star Bennett (who will next be seen in October's release The Girl on the Train), unlike the four male movie stars who I've named and shamed, actually bothered in Magnificent Seven because she cannot yet rest on the laurels of her name alone. The supporting cast also feature some witty turns, especially South Korean actor Byung-hun Lee who throws knives with panache and inhibits his taciturn/cool character with ease, and the always memorable Vincent D'Onofrio, who plays against his formidable physicality as surprisingly soft-spoken tracker.
There are a few gripping action sequences (which were the main contributor to my generous decision to award The Magnificent Seven 6/10), but they could all have been trimmed by at least 20% in the editing room. The final set piece dragged far too much and caused the payoff to feel frustratingly anti-climactic.
The Magnificent Seven touches upon topics of substance such as male companionship, the destructive nature of greed, carrying the guilt of one's actions (Hawke's character is crippled with bouts of PTSD) and bigotry, but they are all dealt with and resolved in a very superficial, Hollwood manner. Some of the cinematography is nice and the iconography of the seven men riding on horses will certainly make for some decent gifs. But sadly, The Magnificent Seven proved to be a lot less than the sum of its parts.
I’m a huge Emmy Blunt fan. She’s gorgeous, talented, and that West London accent does funny things to me. I even stood outside in the rain last year during the Sicario premiere just to get a glimpse of her, which resulted in me having a cold for a week just as I was beginning my thesis, so that was a bit foolish. (To add to the nonsensicalness of that exercise, I still haven’t gotten round to seeing Sicario . It’s just not my genre).
Anyway, I was really excited by The Girl on the Train trailer when I first saw it. The content looked extremely intriguing and dark, invariably evoking memories of Gone Girl. After all, both are big-screen adaptations of best-selling thrillers with a beautiful British actress playing the lead, unreliable narrators and the word ‘Girl’ in the title.
Furthermore, the employment of a remix of Kanye West’s Heartless was dope; it rivalled War Dogs’ using a cover of No Church in the Wild in terms of ‘using a Kanye song to entice the audience’ stakes (although the best use of Kanye West in a film trailer is still, IMO, Power in The Social Network trailer. The conflation of the lyrics [‘No one man should have all that power’] and the plot of that film, especially Jesse Eisenberg’s superb performance as a hubristic megalomaniac, is just so astute).
However, my interest in The Girl on the Train dwindled slightly when I saw it only got rated 15. I was hoping it was going to be the second 2016 film that I’d seen that was 18-rated, the other being the rather unremarkableThe Neon Demon. I saw 5 2015 releases that were an 18 (Diary of a Teenage Girl, Fifty Shades of Grey,The Hateful Eight, Legend, Knock Knock), so I’d really be hoping to match that amount of 18s watched this year. But nah, The Girl on the Train is only a 15.
Not only that, it got a 15A in Ireland, who unlike the BBFC, have the 16 rating that they slap on movies that sit in that awkward 15/18 hinterland. But the fact that the Irish film board didn’t even need to get a 16 out tells me it’s not even gonna be a hard 15!
So there goes my hopes of this film being 2016’s Gone Girl.
When I was on holiday in Amsterdam in June, I had the sickest omelette. It tasted great, but I took slight umbrage at having to shell out an extra Euro for every extra ingredient. I knew it would be much more financially viable to cook my own omelette; the only problem is that I don't usually have time and I'm not the most culinarily gifted.
Well, circumstance would have it that this week, I made time. On Thursday, I visited my friend Rebecca's new flat for the first time, and we cooked together, and on Sunday, I made Tom a meal by way of reciprocation for all the times he's cooked me a delicious hangover cure. In producing two omelettes in such short succession, it allowed me to hone my skills at making them whilst the production process was still fresh in my mind.
Omelette 1 (Thursday omelette)
Step 1: Cut potatoes and fry them with oil
Step 2: Cut onions and fry them with oil too (I used three onions)
Step 3: when the onions and the potatoes are about equal time from being cooked, put the onions in the same frying pan as the potatoes
Step 4: whisk eggs in a cup. Pour the eggs (6 were used here) into the frying pan and distribute evenly around the pan to bind the ingredients together
End product, viola!
Omelette 2 (Sunday omelette)
The main difference between this one and the first one was the inclusion of cheese, which worked with the eggs to bind the onions and the potatoes together. I also included parsley (which Rebecca told me added to the flavour of omelettes), and, because I am absolutely obsessed with onions, I use red onions as well as white ones.
Step 1: Cut potatoes and fry them with oil. I cut these pieces much smaller than Thursday's, so that they'd cook faster
Step 2: cut red and white onions into small pieces
Step 3: (slightly different because I could only find one frying pan, ha). I had fried the onions for about 15 minutes in this frying pan before I put the onions in with them to cook. Parsley was also added (and a cheeky bit of salt)
Step 4: whisk eggs and pour them into the frying pan to bind all the ingredients together. Add cheese to omelette after eggs have begun to set. We used more ingredients this time, so used 9 eggs for the omelette.
I didn't take a final photo because it wasn't very aesthetically pleasing, haha. But me and Tom polished off everything that was in the photo above in one sitting, so who cares how it looked? XD
Overall, had a really fun time making these two omelettes. When Tom comes back from Uni in a few weeks, I reckon I'll chop a few pieces of salami and embed them into the omelette. Maybe add tomato too. I could go on and on and on. Who knew, cooking can be enjoyable?!
The much more sanitised, family-friendly younger sister list to this one.
My motivation for doing this list is because, naturally, due to the Universal rating, an actor is constrained in terms of the amount of cursing they can do, as well as being limited by other elements of their acting repertoire. In an 18-rated film, for example, you can cuss, Coke and have a candle up your bum. (And that's just Leo in WoWS).
In a U-rated film you're barely allowed to say 'bloody' and a kiss on the lips is about as saucy as it gets.
So, which actors managed to impress me with their acting without resorting to the naughty stuff?
10. Rosamund Pike as Jane Bennett in Pride & Prejudice
Ms. Pike, who I admire on many levels: for her intellect (she did English at Wadham College, Oxford and speaks extremely eloquently in interviews), beauty (a 5 foot 8.5 genteel English rose) and flawless acting skills (here's hoping she picks up a second Oscar nomination for this year's upcoming A United Kingdom!), plays Keira Knightley's nice, docile sister Jane in the role that won her the heart of the director, Joe Wright, who later turned out to be a bit of a knob and played her. Men called Joe are untrustworthy knobs like that.
Her appearance on this list makes Rosamund the only actor/actress to feature in both my 'top 18-rated performances' and 'top U-rated performances' list. Get you an actress who can do both.
One final piece of awesome, there's a copy of the Pride & Prejudice audiobook that Rosamund Pike reads! Boom.
09. Henry Fonda as Juror #8 in 12 Angry Men
08. Ziyi Zhang as Zhao Di in The Road Home
Ziyi's more appearance on this list, in a much more wholesome role, makes her the only actress to feature on my 'top U rated performances' list and 'sexiest femmes in film' list. Brilliant to see a Chinese sister consistently slaying!
07. Bette Davis as Margo Channing in All About Eve
All ABout Eve, one of my favourite films is one of the greatest films about divas and features one of the cattiest performances of all-time by Bette Davis. How shady can she be in a U-rated film?, you might be wondering. Well the answer is very, and the genius of Ms Davis' performance is it's not so much the waspish comments she makes to the other actresses. It's the way that she says them.
06. Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennett in Pride & Prejudice
Some critics didn't care for Keira's giggly portrayal of Elizabeth Bennet, causing director Joe Wright to rant at the BAFTAs when he was picking up an Award about how dare they not nominate her. Awkward. (Told you Joe Wright was a dislikeable cnut).
And to be honest, the first time I saw this film, I agreed. Initially, I found Keira Knightley too slight in the role. But like any layered acting performance, and quite the opposite from Jennifer Lawrence's initially flashy but ultimately one-dimensional turn as Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook which even Jlaw stans admit was one of the most undeserved Oscar wins in Academy Award history, it grows on you after repeat viewings, particularly if you think about the character more.
Knightley imbues Elizabeth with a light-heated outward demeanour, but behind the pretty face, still waters run deep. Like an onion, it's a performance of depth and complexity, and I'm more than happy to admit that when I first watched her at 15, I didn't quite appreciate the nuances of good acting. She's actually rather brilliant; I daresay even Jane Austen would approve.
05. Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund in Casablanca
04. Joan Fontaine as Lisa Berndle in Letter from an Unknown Woman
Don't know if you can tell, but I'm somewhat of a sucker for Old Hollywood weepies!
03. Wei Minzhi as Wei Minzhi in Not One Less
My brother hates this film, finding it cringey, but Not One Less means a lot to me and is my third favourite film of all time. It encapsulates the hardships that people in rural China have to endure on a daily basis, and the hell they have to put themselves through and dignity they have to sacrifice just to make ends meet. Tom wouldn't know how this feels because he was born in London with a silver spoon in his mouth, and unlike his sage older sibling who was born in China but came to England at a young age, hasn't ever experienced the destitution shown in this movie.
Back to the film and not making everything about myself as per, director Zhang Yimou (who also directed entry #8 on this list) plucked an unknown, Wei Minzhi, and cast her as the lead in Not One Less. She plays a young girl who has to take over teaching a disruptive class. The teacher who's leaving for a spell promises her bonus pay if there's 'not one less' student in the class when they come back as when they left.
Unfortunately, getting students to remain in class is easier said than done, given a) Minzhi isn't a particularly experienced teacher and doesn't deal with kids well and b) most of the children in the class are as poor or more so than she is, and so for them, education is a luxury their parents can't afford. As such, one boy quits school pretty early on to find work instead, and the film follows Minzhi as she travels across China to try and drag him back to class.
I'm probably not selling the film very well, but it was an extremely emotional experience because it bought back memories of parts of rundown China which I see every time I visit and the levels of poverty which people really do live in. The motivations of Wei Minzhi's character in the film are too real, and as such, it was a stroke of genius to cast an unknown everyday person in the lead role. Because she has had the life experience of having to sing for her supper on a daily basis, her performance is more authentic and affecting than any amount of years at Drama school could instill into someone.
02. Audrey Hepburn as Princess Anya in Roman Holiday
Oblig shout-out to the prettiest, classiest lady in Hollywood history!
01. Alec Guinness as eight members of the D'Ascoyne family in Kind Hearts and Coronets
One of the best comedic performances of all-time. The pinnacle of an actor playing multiple roles in a movie; Guinness really sells every character as disparate from the last. BOSS!
In case you thought I was done talking crap about the BBFC and Jonah Hill with my blog post on Saturday, you were quite mistaken, thank you very much.
Having the BBFC app installed on my phone means I can eat up commutes by entering my favourite film stars’ names into the search box and pedantically spot things that are amiss, such as:
I've never seen a U-rated film with strong language, just saying. Or just being a pedantic cnut. (It's not an 18-rated use of the c-word if you call yourself it).
A few other screenshots from the app I have sitting around on my phone feature short insight that was, for one reason or another, quite eye-watering:
Not everyday you see that in a line of insight!
The insight for Blue Velvet, which turns 30 this year, is a curious artefact because it shows how crucial it is to include an 'and' between the 'sex' and 'violence', else you'll get the first classification issue, something else altogether: sexual violence.
What's interesting about Blue Velvet's 18 certificate is that practically all the 18-rated content is due to Dennis Hopper's nightmarishly scary Frank Booth. He pillages, mutilates, rapes, and also, is the only character in the film to utter the f-word. And he says it a lot, especially when someone asks for an alcoholic beverage he doesn't agree with. (Spoiler alert: he's not a fan of this drink).
Although I despise this pretentious film, (it's in my bottom 10 of all-time), I think Hopper was absolutely magnificent as Frank Booth, giving an iconic performance as one of the most memorable movie villains of all time.
I mean, you can see why I identify with him: one's a foul-mouthed, perverted psychopath.
The other's a figment of David Lynch's imagination.
Continuing with BBFC short insights of films in my bottom 10 of all time; this Bible-bashing movie be my second most despised film ever, second only to American Hustle.
It was bloated and boring A F, and the BBFC aren't wrong with their short insight. It certainly does contain potentially dangerous behaviour: you could potentially fall asleep from boredom and never wake up as a result of watching this snorefest.
On the topic of 'potentially dangerous behaviour' as a classification issue, The Secret World of Alex Mack, which is a kid's show, getting a 15 might seem odd, especially as it has a GP (the olden version of the PG) from the MPAA. I haven't seen this show but given it's about a kid for kids, I'd imagine PG is correct, generally.
But the BBFC have one issue of contention which gets them extremely anxious and trigger-happy to up-rate, that doesn't seem to be shared with other viewing boards across the world, and that's the perilous practice of a child hiding in a tumble dryer, particularly if such an act isn't demonstrated to have negative consequences.
That's precisely why this show's a 15 (I only know this from reading around). Because Alex does exactly that in one of the episodes and the action is not only presented to be dangerous, but fun and whimsical. An impressionable kid watching this might draw the wrong conclusions from watching Alex do so and try it out from themselves.
On several of the BBFC podcasts, they've discussed how every year, some children crawl into tumble driers, their parents don't know they're in there, and the kid dies. It's not a high proportion of children, but still, a life is still a life, and as such, I completely empathise with the BBFC's justification for rating a kid's show with PG content 15. They're just being responsible. If only they exercised such responsibility when rating Sausage Party, isn't it.
There's a line between being being responsible and being a nanny-state, however. 18 for dangerous car stunts? Seems a bit harsh.
This is the extended insight for a movie called, Oliver, Stoned, which is an 18 purely for marijuana use.
This isn't just draconian but also inconsistent, given movies with some pretty graphic depictions of harder drugs have been passed 15 (off the top of my head, I'm thinking Candy, Wild, War Dogs, Get Him to the Greek, but there's really loads of 15-rated titles with depictions of heroin or cocaine use).
It's only MJ in this movie and it got an 18! Evidently, the BBFC really don't like glamorisation of drugs, even soft ones.
This 18-rated film, a very good adaptation of my favourite novel, thoroughly earns its 18 certificate. The BBFC insight is detailed, bordering on spoilerish, though, no?
Another insight line that is detailed to the point of giving away the plot...
And again! With Nobody Knows and Cracks, I don't see why they couldn't have just used 'mature themes' in both instances.
Another short insight that is almost too prescriptive.
I'm not sure if this is more of a line of insight, or a value judgement about the quality of the film?! What one man may judge to be 'irresponsible behaviour' might seem like just good fun to a more immature individual like me.
As with Mr Bean's Holiday, this feels closer to a line you'd expect in a review rather than a description of what to expect in terms of content.
'Historical cigarette advertising', lol.
The last issue I'll talk about is a turn of phrase which, thanks to the BBFC's employment in short insights, I absolutely adore: 'emotional intensity'. I'm a fairly emotional person (I cried from beginning to end at Kubo and the Two Strings), so my default setting is 'mild emotional' intensity'...
.... although when I'm on the blob, this line is more accurate.
Not to be confused with Martin Scorsese's upcoming film, this is one extremely detailed and specific PG classification issue, eh?
'Drawings of explicit sex'. 😳
I started with a bit of BBFC bantz about one of my favourite actors, so, only fair I end with some banter about one of my least favourite actresses (if you can call her that).
This is at the Covent Garden Odeon, and suggests that some opportunist under-15 year old kids are trying to sneak in, or try their luck with fake IDs in order to see Suicide Squad.
They'd do well to pay heed to the BBFC rating for Suicide Squad, tbh. Film was traumatising.
Cara Delevingne's twerking still gives me nightmares.