Sunday, December 20, 2009

6 reasons why vampires are shite

I've been rather busy at work in the run up to Christmas, hence the blogging draught. However, there's always time for hate, which is why, in the light of the bloody awful teen vampire cak around at the moment, here are 6 reasons why vampires are rubbish.

1, They have no reflection

So how come they always look so bloody stylish? The smart haircuts, the perfectly tailored outfits; how the hell are they doing that? Is siring a beautician and stylist the first thing that every vampire does as soon as they become undead? That and robbing the first branch of Boots for a supply of eye liner? Vampires are supposed to be tough, but they always they’ve just stepped out of a Next catalogue.

2, They’re homeless people

There’s not an abundance of castles around, and not many large crypts at your local church yard either, so exactly where are these vampires living? It’s not like that they can afford a flat, where are they going to work? All night Tesco? It’s quite hard to work when you’re dead, you’ll find it hard to get a P45 or a tax code; the only thing you can do is turn to begging or petty crime, and that’s not so cool if it’s your bag that gets nicked.

3, They’re practically paedophiles

Why is it that most vampires, decades, even millennia old, are always going after girls who are barely, if not even, legal? Mortal men who do such things get put on a register and get bricks through their window, but suddenly, once you dead, it’s perfectly find, positively romantic

I know men are prone to like teenage girls, but why would they want to spend time with them? Do you know how boring teenage girls are? A vampire who’s lived for a hundred years is hardly going to be interested in the latest phone apps, the new episode of HollyOaks or how like totally deep the new My Chemical Romance album is.

4, They’re rapists

If a man gets a girl drunk and sleeps with her, or gives her rohipnol and sleeps with her, then that’s rape. But if a vampire seduces a women using mesmerism after lurking outside and coming into her bedroom window, then he’s all mysterious and elegant and dangerous in a good, non criminal way.

5, Loving a vampire is necrophilia

Yeah - they’re dead! Getting with a vampire is basically the same as getting with a corpse. Sure, they’re a bit more animated, but they have no body heat, because they have no blood flow, which not only makes them pasty and pale, but also leads to my next point...

6, They’re impotent

Do you know how men get an erection? It caused by an increase of blood flow into the penile tissue, which causes the penis to become engorged, and therefore, erect. So with no heart beat, and no blood being pumped through them, how on earth is a vampire going to get it up? Sorry girls, but if one of these undead paedophiles does try to get it on with you, it’s going to be a bit disappointing.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

October/November Films

HThe Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009): Heath Ledger, Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits, Lily Cole, Verne Troyer, Andrew Garfield. Dir: Terry Gilliam.

Plummer is an immortal master of a portal to the imagination, but a deal with the devil could cost him his daughter. Quintessential Gilliam, the visuals have his dazzling individual touch, but the details of the plot are confusing and not always easy to comprehend. Multiple viewings may well help.


300 (2007) Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Dominic West, David Wenham. Dir: Zack Snyder.

300 brave Spartans go up against the demonic Persian army. A film that makes He-Man look profound. The action and violence is dazzlingly realised but quickly becomes monotonous and incessant. Fans of bad dialogue and big men in pants will get the most out of it.


Hail the Conquering Hero (1944) Eddie Bracken, Ella Raines, William Demarest. Dir: Preston Sturges.

A young soldier returning from the war is hailed as a hero, even though he was discharged before even shipping out. Smart and sharp comedy about the nature of hero worship. Fast paced and well performed, they just don’t make em like this anymore.


Nosferatu (1922) Max Schreck, Gustav von Wangenheim, Greta Schröder, Alexander Granach. Dir: F.W. Murnau.

Legendary illegal adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic. Brilliantly realised with its sinister shadows and creepy sets, it may no longer terrify, but it’s striking scenes unforgettable. The gruesome depiction of the Count is refreshingly original, so far from today’s bland teenage bunch.


The Brides of Dracula (1960) Peter Cushing, Martita Hunt, Yvonne Monlaur, David Peel. Dir: Terence Fisher.

Having vanquished Dracula, Van Helsing comes to the aid of a woman who is being pursued by a handsome vampire. One of Hammer’s best; well paced, with some good characters and a few nasty twists. Cushing is in particularly dynamic good form; only Lee is missing, Peel doesn’t cut it.


Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix (2007) Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Michael Gambon, Imelda Staunton, Gary Oldman. Dir: David Yates.

As Voldemort gathers his forces, Harry is left persecuted from all corners and unable to fight. The most satisfying of the Potter films to date; the adaptation is superior, feeling less obviously paired down from a lengthier work. The darker themes are engaging, the characters strong and the finale impressive.


Macbeth (1948) Orson Welles, Jeanette Nolan, Dan O'Herlihy, Roddy McDowall. Dir: Orson Welles.

Shot in 3 weeks and for little money; Welles’ version is condensed, the speeches long but rushed through, making it hard to follow. Some of the acting is uneven. But the mist filled, foreboding sets and grim shadows give the film a sense of dark spectacle and power that is unmatched in other adaptations.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

From Dave's News Place

Council recommends slimmer Santas

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sponsor my tache

Yes, I have grown a moustache for charity. It’s rather fetching I think you’ll agree. I’ve been described as now looking like a gypsy fist fighter, and, when I’m wearing my hat, as a 19th century sex offender.

Anyway, besides just trying it for the sake of trying it, I’m doing this for charity. Specifically, for The Prostate Cancer Charity. So please donate generously by clicking here and by hitting donate – not only to advance the treatment of this condition, but also to acknowledge that my moustache is way better than anyone else’s at work by helping me to raise more money than anyone else.

Please be generous.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nazi shopkeeper attempts to take share of Croydon convenience store market

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

So then I moved...

Essentially yes, I found a place, set a date, notified those Bairstow Eves bastards, and left. They put up no fight; just let me know how much I still owed them. I alas, have had to pay because otherwise I get a nasty red mark on my credit history that will f**k me up whenever I rent in the future, or should I attempt at some point to attempt to get a mortgage*.

They of course are denying me any financial compensation for letting a property which contravened housing regulations and are not taking any responsibility for doing so. I shall in due course be taking action against them with trading standards and other regulatory bodies in the coming weeks. Any progress will of course be reported.

My new property is much nicer, bigger, though more pricey, although I haven’t figured out how to put the heating on a timer yet, and if it comes on randomly at night (which it does) it makes too much of a f**king racket for me to be able to sleep. Other than that, pretty damn nice all in all.

Anyway, moving has of course meant the disconnection of my internet so further blogging will remain scarce for another week or more. But believe me, once I’m back online I will be back with a vengeance - oh yes.... a vengeance.

*I aiming for the year 2020, maybe 2022 to save up more for the deposit.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I responded thus....

Dear Kelly,

Although I am glad that the landlady has finally decided to take some action, I resent the notion that this is an act of ‘good will’. THE PROPERTY SHOULD HAVE BEEN CLEANED BEFORE I MOVED IN!

I find it absolutely staggering that a high-street estate agent can be so complacent in letting a property which is so obviously below an acceptable standard of cleanliness. The inventory that was performed prior to me moving in mentions the word soiled 9 times, dusty 5 times, dirty 6 times, mouldy 6 times, scuffed 3 times, damp twice and grubby once, and this was before the furniture was taken out, revealing more serious damp. In my last letter I asked you and the landlady to look at the pictures I sent back with inventory and to ask yourselves whether you would be happy to live in a property in this condition. You have not responded to this question, which is very conspicuous.

Employing a cleaner to ‘attempt’ to clean ‘some’ of the areas is totally unacceptable. It is the landlady’s responsibility to take care of this problem. Even though the damp has been described as ‘condensation’ I would still be well in my rights to report the property to the environmental health department if it were not removed.

I am tired of this farce. I have now decided to vacate 6 Johnstone Court. However, before I move out I want my agency fees refunded in full. I moved into the property in good faith. Bairstow Eves Lettings let the property, despite the comments in the inventory relating to dirt, mould and damp, thus violating housing regulations and potentially putting my health at risk. You then offered a truly abysmal level of customer service by ignoring my phone calls and emails for two months, further putting my health at risk, and then only responding to my complaints until after I stopped paying rent. If all my fees are returned, then I will pay all outstanding arrears, unless of course you do consider this to an acceptable way for an estate agent to fulfil their responsibilities. If not, then an apology would also be appropriate.


David Nixon

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Now this is what they're saying....

Dear Mr Nixon

Further to our recent correspondence, please find attached the results of the damp inspection recently carried out at the above property by Atlas Timber Preservation Ltd.

The report states that there is no damp in the property and that the black spots present are formed from condensation

We have reported the above to the Landlord and she has agreed that, as a gesture of good will, on receipt of the rental being brought up to date, she will either instruct a cleaner to attempt to clean some of the worst affected areas or will contribute £50.00 towards the cost of decorating materials upon receipts being provided.

Should you choose to redecorate yourself the work must be done to a professional standard and the colours must be in a neutral shade.

However should you still decide you would like to vacate the property you will need to confirm to us in writing and the landlord will release you from the contract. Please note that should you decide to vacate the property we will not make any charges to you for breaking the contract early.

Lastly, if you decide to remain at the property we would ask that you please bring your arrears up to date with immediate effect and also reinstate the standing order, as per the terms of your tenancy agreement.

Yours sincerely,


Sunday, October 04, 2009

September Films

1The Thousand Eyes of Dr Mabuse (1960) Dawn Addams, Peter van Eyck, Gert Fröbe, Werner Peters, Wolfgang Preiss. Dir: Fritz Lang

A series of murders link back to a hotel and the long dead criminal mastermind Dr Mabuse. Not as relevant or as striking as Lang’s previous Mabuse movies, but still provides solid and memorable entertainment, although it’s hard to make sense of it.


In the Loop (2009) Tom Hollander, James Gandolfini, Chris Addison, Peter Capaldi. Dir: Armanda Ianucci.

A dithering minister makes the wrong comment on the radio and ends up a key player in the run up to war. Extremely funny and witty satire which although OTT, has more than a whiff of truth about it. Dialogue and performances both top-notch.


(1984) John Hurt, Richard Burton, Suzanna Hamilton. Dir: Michael Radford.

In a dystopian future an unexceptional worker rebels, but is crushed by the state. Suitably grimey version of the novel that sticks closely to the text. Hurt is ideal as the sullen looking lead, but characterisation is rather lacking and Smith’s fantasising is a little out of place and confusing.


The Wrong Man (1956) Henry Fonda, Vera Miles, Anthony Quayle. Dir Alfred Hitchcock

True story of a mild mannered bass player who is wrongly identified as the perpetrator of a number of robberies. Unusually serious and low-key Hitchcock thriller. Vera Miles is excellent and genuinely affecting as the unstable wife but Fonda too restrained and dull as the lead. Not bad, just ok.


Stranger on the 3rd Floor (1940) Peter Lorre, John McGuire, Elisha Cook Jr. Dir: Boris Ingster

A reporter suffers doubts when his testimony convicts a young criminal, then he himself is wrongly accused of murder. Considered by some to be the first film noir, this is a B movie well above its station. Dream sequence is excellent; it is limited by its resources, but is intriguing viewing.


The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) John Neville, Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Uma Thurman. Dir: Terry Gilliam

An elderly hero interrupts a play about himself to set the record straight and to resolve the war with the Turks. Brimming with creativity, so much so that it gets bogged down and drags. Hard not to admire, many sequences are dazzling, but it needs to get a move on.


Public Enemies (2009) Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Coutillard, Billy Crudup. Dir: Micheal Mann.

The historically inaccurate story of John Dillinger. Stylish and generally very entertaining adventure, but it lacks something to set it apart from other films of its type. It may match the period visually, but says little about the times or the impact that Dillinger had upon them.


Mesrine: Killer Instinct
(2009) Vincent Cassel, Cecile De France, Gerard Depardieu, Gilles Lellouche. Dir: Jean-François Richet.

Part one of a two part biopic following the career of violent criminal Jacques Mesrine. An unglamorous and uncompromising portrayal of a vicious and callous man. It works hard to show him not as a hero, but as a vicious and cold-hearted killer, far from someone who should admired or respected.


Monday, September 28, 2009

And my response was...

Dear Kelly

RE: 6 Johnstone Court

I appreciate that withholding the rent is against the tenancy agreement. However, as I pointed out in my previous letter, the damp in the flat contravenes the Housing Act 2004. The damp was noted in the inventory, but this was ignored, clearly someone either working for or on behalf of Bairstow Eves thought it simply did not matter, yet you now you write to me asking me to fulfil my obligations.

I am pleased that you have contacted Atlas to inspect the damp and I have arranged for them to visit the property on Tuesday the 15th September. This action, however, is only being taken because I have withheld the rent. When I was paying my rent, staff at Bairstow Eves were quite happy to not return my calls and ignore my emails. If Atlas do recommend action, what guarantee have I that their recommendations will be followed? If I could trust the Bairstow Eves East Croydon Lettings office to take action, I would happily pay the rent; however, experience has taught me that I cannot.

In regard to the Landlady’s comments, I am not asking for the flat to be painted or decorated. I am asking for it to be cleaned and to be cleaned properly, which is quite different. I was not aware that any deal had taken place to allow me to rent the property at a lower price on the condition no work was done on the interior. There is certainly no mention of it in the contract. Had I have known of such a condition, I would certainly not have expected it to extend to accepting the flat with dirt and damp on walls and would not have accepted the offer if I did.

This is not the first property I have rented. The properties I have rented before were clean and presented in a good condition when I moved in. I do not see why this property should be any different. The laissez-faire attitude and low standards of service offered by Bairstow Eves lettings have been extremely disappointing. I suggest that you view the pictures I sent back with the inventory and if possible share them with the landlady. I would then ask you both to consider the pictures and to ask yourselves honestly whether you would be happy to move into a property presented in such a condition.

I would certainly consider the landlady’s offer to release me from the contract, but I would only consider vacating the property if the agency fees I paid were refunded in full.

I would appreciate it if you would forward a copy of this letter onto the landlady.

Kind regards,

David Nixon.

Monday, September 21, 2009

And so they said....

Dear Mr Nixon,

Thank you for your letter dated 6th September.

We would like to advise that by withholding your rental payment you are in fact in breach of your tenancy agreement and would therefore request that payment be made without delay.

Further more we would like to advise that we have instructed a damp specialist company called Atlas Timber to contact you directly for an appointment to visit the property and investigate the problems you have reported and then come back to us with their findings.

We have informed the landlady of the above and also copied your letter to her. Your landlady has asked us to highlight to you that she made if very clear before the tenancy commenced that she was not in a position to offer any redecoration but did fact accept a much lower rental to reflect this. She has also confirmed that she has given her permission for you to decorate the flat at your own expense providing the colours are kept neutral and the work is done to a professional standard.

Your landlady has confirmed to us that she would be happy to release you from the contract immediate effect should you wish to vacate. If this is the case please confirm in writing to us.

Yours sincerely


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

An insight into the kind of thing I do on a regular basis...

Friday, September 11, 2009

My response was as follows...

Dear Louise

RE: 6 Johnstone Court

I received a letter this week signed by you requesting the payment of overdue rent. You know full well why the rent has not been paid for 6 Johnstone Court. I have been requesting help from yourself and other members of the Bairstow Eves staff for over 2 months now in the hope of resolving the poor cleanliness issues within this property, yet little or no action has been taken. I have been forced therefore to withhold the rent as I have been left in no doubt that no action will be taken unless there is a financial incentive.

Furthermore, I am also writing to inform you that I intend to report the property and the landlady to the Department of Environmental Health and the Trading Stands Authority as the damp within contravenes the Housing Act 2004 and could also be a potential health and safety risk.

Yours sincerely,

David Nixon

Friday, September 04, 2009

After some weeks, I received this letter....

Dear Mr Nixon


Outstanding Arrears: £600.10*

Due: 20th August 2009


We regret to inform you that your rent is now overdue and would request that the outstanding amount is paid immediately and that all future rental payments are made on the due dates.

If these arrears are not paid, further action will be taken against you which could result in you incurring additional costs and an administration fee of £25.00 plus VAT per letter.

If you have already forwarded payment to us within the last few days, please disregard this letter and we apologise for troubling you.

Yours sincerely


* It’s actually £625. Can’t even get that right...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Scenes From Stoke: The Fenton Monument

Yes, it’s the Fenton monument. Centre piece of Fenton, which is far from the least important of Stoke-on-Trent’s 6 towns. The ‘Onward and Upward’ message perfectly encapsulates the spirit of a town which may not have a high street, but is totally like vibrant and full of life.

It may have been accidently forgotten about by Arnold Bennett when he wrote his famous books on the “Five Towns” but Fenton has so much to offer. Its important landmarks include the largest swimming pool in Staffordshire, the magistrates’ court, the...uhm Town Hall, and of course there’s the 6th Form College, where I had the pleasure of studying myself, although they’re going to move that down the road so it’s part of Staffordshire Uni. It did have a large part of the pottery industry, although that’s mostly gone – but they have a big KFC there too now; there was an armed robbery there once.

Oh but the people who still live must be able to draw constant inspiration from this inspiring monument, which is by no means gaudy, tacky, or a complete waste of time, effort and space. Hail to Fenton: ‘Onward & Upward’ the only place it has left to go.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

August Films

Quantum of Solace (2008) Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Gemma Arterton, Judi Dench. Dir: Marc Foster.

Bond goes on a quest for revenge and tries to uncover an international criminal conspiracy. Keeps you entertained with one action set piece after another, but quickly disconnects you from the story, leaving you wondering what the point of it all was. Amalric is wasted.


Straight on Till Morning (1974) Rita Tushingham, Shane Briant, James Bolam, Katya Wyath. Dir: Peter Collinson.

A Liverpool girl travels to London to find a man who can impregnate her, but meets a Peter Pan obsessed psychopath instead. Unconvincing suspense thriller, which is more memorable for the flashy and largely confusing cutting rather than any of the actual events. The ending does justify some of the wait.


The Queen (2006) Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell, Helen McRory, Sylvia Sims. Dir: Stephen Frears.

Blair tries to elicit a more emotional response from The Queen after Diana’s death. An interesting behind the scenes look at a bizarre time in British history, which manages to be sympathetic to almost all involved. Although it’s all so nice it’s difficult to see it as being authentic.


Moon (2009) Sam Rockwell, Kevin Space, Dominique McElligott. Dir: Duncan Jones

Lone space station operator Rockwell starts to see things as his tour of duty ends. An old school intelligent sci-fi film which prioritises character and themes of morality and humanity over effects and easy thrills. Rockwell is brilliant in a difficult role, though the staging and shooting could’ve been more distinctive.


The Cat’s Meow (2002) Kirsten Dunst, Edward Herrmann, Eddie Izzard, Cary Elwes, Joanna Lumley. Dir: Peter Bogdanovich.

Plausible telling of the events surrounding film mogul Thomas Ince’s death on William Randolph Hearst’s yacht. Engaging and elegant period piece which tells of the developing dark side of money and the media in Hollywood in the 20s, but it leaves you wanting more. Izzard surprisingly good as Chaplin.


Star Trek
(2009) Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Eric Bana, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban. Dir: J.J.Abrams

Kirk, Spock et al take their first trip on the Enterprise and face a time travelling Romulan warmonger. Although it lacks the depth and morality of the original series, this reimaging is slick as hell. Colourful and fast paced, it reminds you just why these characters and their adventures were so popular in the first place.


The Warriors (1979) Michael Beck, James Remar, Deborah Van Valkenburgh, David Patrick Kelly. Dir: Walter Hill

Blamed for the death of a legendary leader, a New York gang is hunted as they try to return to their turf. Ridiculous at every level; the dialogue is wooden enough, the characters cardboard enough, the acting bad enough with scenes so stupid that cult classic status was guaranteed.


Monday, August 17, 2009

From Dave's News Place...

Billionaire McDuck dies after fall...

Sunday, August 09, 2009

It's nice to see them starting young...

Monday, August 03, 2009

And after that threat...

Dear Mr Nixon,

Julie will be returning from her holiday this weekend, and will be coming back to work next Monday. I had thought that Julie was returning last weekend, when she is in fact returning to work this weekend (consequently I had been mis-informing everybody that she was due to return last week when this was actually not the case, and this was a fault on my part).



Sunday, August 02, 2009

After waiting another week...

Dear Louise,

Have you spoken to your manager Julie Sullivan about 6 Johnstone yet? It is now almost 6 weeks since I moved in. If I don't hear back from you before this time next week I will arrange to have the flat cleaned and deduct the money from the rent. I have to live their and come home to the mess every single day, and I just won't tolerate it any longer.


David Nixon.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

So then...

Dear Mr Nixon,

My manager, Julie Sullivan, will be returning from her holiday on Friday and I will speak to her about the situation on her return. I would like her advice as to where to go from here.



Thursday, July 23, 2009

So I said...

Dear Louise,

The furnishings and the amount of rent I’m paying are not the issue, the flat was not let in a clean fit state. The flat should’ve been properly cleaned before I’ve moved in, this is not an issue with improving the decor, the walls are filthy and require cleaning properly and would still need to be cleaned properly regardless of whether I paid more rent and had kept the place furnished.

I still do not understand why no action was taken before I moved in. It is clearly apparent from the inventory, even without my additions, that the flat was not adequately cleaned. If the previous tenant did not clean it adequately why was not money taken from their deposit to clean it?

Then of course after I moved in, my attempts to address the problem were ignored for three weeks until I contacted you. Now we are at a stage where I’ve been here for over a month and the landlady has only just been informed that there is a problem and cannot now afford to solve it.

I do not intend to suffer because Bairstow Eves has not been looking after this property properly. If the landlady cannot afford to have the flat cleaned then I will be forced to deduct the cost of having the place cleaned from the next month’s rent. This problem is not going to go away and unless you have another suggestion, I will just have to take matters into my own hands.

Kind regards,

David Nixon

And then...

Dear Mr Nixon,

I have received a telephone call from your Landlady this morning in relation to the cleaning issues raised. I'm afraid that she is not in a position financially to undertake any cleaning to the walls.

You specified as a condition of moving in that you would like the furniture removed and a reduction on the rent, which the Landlady agreed to do, but i'm afraid that she does not wish to undertake any work in terms of the decor at this time.

Kind Regards


After making an appointment to see the flat, forgetting about it, apologising, and then coming to see it the next day...

Dear Mr Nixon,

Further to my visit to the flat last week, I have left messages for your Landlady to come back to me regarding the cleaning to the walls which we discussed, however she has not yet come back to me.

I have written a letter to her and will await her response.



My response was...

Dear Louise,

Thanks for keeping me updated with the situation. Please let me know as soon as you've contacted the landlady, naturally as this situation has persisted for a month now I'm keen to see it resolved as soon as possible.

As a mark of good faith, I'll see to it that the money for this month's rent is transferred today.

Kind regards,

David Nixon.

To be continued...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The unfolding flat cleanlines saga...

Dear Louise

I have made several adjustments to the inventory and would like to express in writing how dissatisfied I was with the condition of 6 Johnstone Court when I moved in on the 20th of June this year.

The flat had not been cleaned, it hadn’t even been hovered. I don’t have to describe the state of that flat, as for the most part, it is actually alluded to adequately within the inventory. The words ‘soiled’ or ‘heavily soiled’ appear 9 times, ‘Dirty’ and ‘Dusty’ appear 5 times each, and ‘mouldy’ 6 times. The words ‘scuffed’, ‘grubby’ and ‘damp’ also make several appearances. Yet despite this, no attempt has been made to rectify these problems. I’ve made several additions that further describe the problems with cleanliness in the flat.

Furthermore, the pictures included with the inventory are highly misleading. They don’t resemble the flat I moved into, they don’t even resemble the state of the flat when I viewed it a few weeks earlier – I have pictures which back this up. The inventory states that it was prepared on the 16th June 2009; these pictures cannot have been taken at that time. I have included some pictures of my own that better reflect the state of the flat when I moved in.

I have contacted the East Croydon branch numerous times in the past three weeks, yet no action has been taken. I emailed them pictures of the flat this last week, but no response has been received yet. I am deeply dissatisfied with the level of service I have received from Bairstow Eves. Unless this matter is resolved and 6 Johnstone Court is cleaned properly, I may be forced to withhold the rent. I do not wish to take this action, but I refuse to pay for a flat which is ‘heavily soiled’ and refuse to let Bairstow Eves ignore this problem any longer.

Yours sincerely

David Paul Nixon

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This week's movies 14/07/09

Scenes from a Marriage (1973) Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, Bibi Andersson, Jan Malmsjo. Dir: Ingmar Bergman.

The breakdown of a marriage and its reconciliation of sorts. Impeccably scripted and very insightful drama of the complicated nature of human relationships, but a huge mouthful at 155 mins. Originally a six part series, and probably better viewed that way. Very impressive performances all ways round.


Marathon Man (1974) Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider. Dir: John Schlesinger

An aspiring marathon runner gets caught up in his brother’s involvement with diamond smugglers and an escaped nazi. Fairly tense thriller, but it’s hard to care about any of the characters in it. Hoffman is separated from the main action too long for his conflict to really resonate.


Hobson’s Choice (1954) Charles Laughton, John Mills, Brenda Da Banzie, Prunella Scales. Dir: David Lean

A pompous and chauvinistic boot store owner gets his just desserts when his eldest daughter decides to marry his talented shoemaker. A pleasant treatment of a pleasant play. Hardly hilarious or exceptional, but Laughton does give it his all.


Friday, July 10, 2009

200 posts and still going on...

Yes, Dave Paul’s Place is 200 posts old, it seems like only 3 years and 9 months ago that I sat down and was forced to start a blog because I was told to in a lecture. We should all have blog because we’re writers and we need to promote our work. And look at me now, writing about Viagra, penis pumps and lubricant*. It’s been slightly different this week, I've had the chance to rewrite 150 medication descriptions for an old site they're revamping. My favourite medication side effects are ‘dark urine’ and a ‘a heightened sense of fear’. It was a slight improvement on some of the medical bits and pieces I've edited before, one of which included ‘death’ as one of the more serious side effects.

Aims for the next 200 posts?** More complaining, obviously. More film and general reviewing/slagging things off. Using this blog as a sort of spring board for my creative side, probably the reason why I was told 3 years and 9 months ago to start the thing in the first place?

Well, I suppose I ought to, haven’t been that creative for, well, quite a long time now. But starting to get ideas again, wanting to get back into doing the kind of things that made me want to be a writer the first. Yes, I think I should do that...

In the meantime, pointless trivia anyone?

Phobia of the day: Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia – the fear of the number 666

Delusion of the day:
Intermetamorphosis – where someone is convinced that the people around them are able to switch identities with each other without changing their appearance.

Samuel Goldwynisms of the day: “Give me a couple of years, and I’ll make that actress an overnight success.”

Quote of the day: "If you stay in a house and there is no toilet paper, you can always slide down the bannisters. Don't tell me you haven't tried it." – Paul Merton

Death of the day: Sergey Tuganov, who died after betting two girls he could have sex with them both for 12 hours. He won the bet, ($4300), and died moments later as result of overdosing on a whole bottle of Viagra.

*My lubricant buyers guide is due to go online at any time.
**Their completion will probably coincide with when Bairstow Eves actually gets their f****** act together and sends someone to clean my flat.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Some Films

DDDDDD – Exceptional and unparalleled
DDDDD – Excellent, a special film
DDDD – High enjoyable, recommended
DDD – Worth watching, but unexceptional or flawed
DD – Bland, dull, average
D – Cinematic cancer

The Wrestler (2009) Mickey Rourke, Maria Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood. Dir: Darren Aronofsky.

An ailing washed-up wrestler tries to rebuild a life for himself outside the ring. Rourke is simply perfect as a man who can only succeed in a world where all the conflicts are staged. A testament to the power of strong storytelling and spot-on casting.


One Million Years BC (1967) Raquel Welch, John Richardson, Percy Roberts, Robert Brown. Dir: Don Chaffrey

Banished from his tribe, Tumak meets Raquel Welch and joins her tribe before clashing with his old one. Amazing how often a giant dinosaur can sneak up behind you. Very silly, but worth seeing for the Harryhausen dinosaurs and that bikini.


Planet Terror (2007) Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodriguez, Josh Brolin, Marley Shelton, Jeff Fahey. Dir: Robert Rodriguez

Part of the Grindhouse double bill, a go-go dancer quits her job then encounters her old boyfriend in a small town just before it’s invaded by zombies. Perhaps a little too knowing, but generally a great fun parody, though it would’ve been braver had it replicated the budgets of old.


The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson, Caroline Fuller. Dir: David Fincher

The life and loves of a man who ages backward, starting old and growing younger. An experiment in how many sentimental gimmicks you can squeeze into one film. Long, uneven and largely meaningless, it would’ve been better if Benjamin had a personality.


Che Part One (2008) Benicio Del Toro, Demian Bichir, Santiaga Cabrera, Vladimir Cruz. Dir: Steven Soderburgh.

The story of Che Guevera’s guerrilla campaign which led to the Cuban Revolution. Beautifully cinematic reconstruction of Guevera’s quest to liberate Cuba, which shows his beliefs, ideals and methodologies well, but offers very little insight into his personality, motivations or past.


(1963) Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimée, Sandra Milo. Dir: Federico Fellini

A director embarks on his 8½ film, with no idea where it’s going or what it’s about. Witty, surreal and occasionally profound, Fellini strikingly dissects the creative process and how it can make someone face their own weaknesses, failings and vulnerabilities. There’s nothing quite like it.


Bronson (2008) Tom Hardy, Matt King, Terry Stone, Amanda Burton. Dir: Nicolas Winding Refn

The life of Britain’s most violent and notorious prisoner. The darker side of the pursuit of fame, an imaginative, stark and occasionally surreal tale of a man trapped within the persona he made for himself. Hardy is electrifying as the lead – flipping from terrifying, hilarious and inevitably, to pitiful.


Dirty Harry (1971) Clint Eastwood, Harry Guardino, Reni Santoni, Andrew Robinson. Dir: Don Siegel

The first outing for Harry Callahan as he pursues a serial killer with little regard to the rules. So much of this has become cliché now, but it still remains an entertaining and exciting ride, even if it is a little hard to take too seriously.


Knife in the Water (1962) Leon Niemczyk, Jolanta Umecka, Zygmunt Malanowicz. Dir: Roman Polanski

A cocky man invites a young drifter to join him and his wife for a yacht trip. Tense film of rivalry, dominance and sexual tension. Perhaps more interesting than exciting, but as a low budget debut thriller it really is quite impressive.


Monday, June 29, 2009

A Moving Saga...

Moving is not fun. Having started a lower paying job in Croydon, far away from Ealing, I decided the best thing to do was to move, rather than stay in a far too expensive flat and commute for an hour and a half every day. And if I walk to work I could also save a bit of cash, make the pay cut more bearable*.

The first place I chose had another offer put on it, and after second look, I decided not to put in a larger offer. I decided on another flat, good location, decent condition, put an offer in, waited for the response. Agent contacted me about the first place, says the first offer hasn’t gone through, but I decide to stick with my new choice. After a short wait my offer is turned down, asked same estate agent about another property they showed me, they say they’ll call back. A different agent calls me up about a different property, which is quite far away. I decide to go see it just in case nothing works out.

It’s actually the nicest property I’ve seen. The other place I put an offer on is no longer available unfurnished. So I put an offer on the new place. The agent calls me back quickly and says one of the owners has accepted. I give him my details to put on the deposit as soon as he hears back from the other owner. Shortly after, I get a call about the place where my first offer was turned down, but has now been accepted. I decide against because I want beautiful new place.

But I don’t hear back about the new place, call back mid-Saturday afternoon but the agent still hasn’t had the go ahead from both parties. At 4 o’clock he calls back and says they’ve had a better offer. So I call back about the flat my offer was first turned down on but was then later accepted. Can I still get it, agent says she will check. Calls me back later says it’s is still available so I take it.

I spend two weeks of packing for an hour each evening after I get home at 8 o’clock having had to work late and commute 1 and half hours back to Ealing. Then I get extorted by my current estate agents who wants to charge me another referencing fee so they can give a reference to my new estate agents who are also charging me a referencing fee.

Then I have to pay double for a van, because they make you pay for both days of the weekend if you take it out on a Saturday. Then finally, after four hellish weeks of long commutes, house hunting and packing, I arrive at my new place to find that it hasn’t been cleaned, and behind all the furniture that used to be there, is damp.

So I call the estate agents on Monday and leave and message. Leave a message again on Tuesday. Finally get an apologetic call on Wednesday. Then hear nothing. Call back on Saturday, leave another message, no reply and the cycle of hell continues...

* Yes I know it’s more than the nothing I was getting before, I’m really enjoying being told that by everyone.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

From Dave's News Place...

Media blames media for Boyle breakdown...

Sunday, May 31, 2009

This week I have been mostly writing about....

So what did I write about in my first week? I had the pleasure of sticking it search-engine-optimisation wise to this impressive list of products:

Impotence drug, VigRX
Stop smoking drug, Champix
Collagen Eye Filler
Safetox, skincare treatment headset
Impotence drug, Cialix
Baldness drug, Propecia Finasteride
Hair removal spray, Ultra Hair Away
The ingrown hair treatment, Ingrow-Go
Home hair removel device, the Rio Scan laser
Sperm count increasing drug, Semenax
No! No! Skin – which is a spot remover, not a skin remover

Maybe I’ll get work on LondonGayman next week. Ooooh I can’t wait!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Breaking the Cycle

You may be disappointed to learn that I was unable to break my own unemployment record of 372 days by foolishly accepting a job in Croydon. Yes, it’s come to that, no one else would take me.

Alas, the pay is...modest. Not like one of the high-flying phenomenally waged jobs that I was interviewed for but failed to get. This is for a smallish ecommerce company that runs a variety of sites that stem from its medical origins, so that’s things like flu drugs, weight loss pills, vitamins, herbal remedies, that kind of thing.

They have promised to review my pay in 6 months so there’s a chance I may return to my former level of financial stability. And there’s some team leading, and some content management, and some SEO, so there’s a chance maybe someday in the future of pulling in the big bucks and I’ll be able to indulge myself more and enjoy more of life’s finer things.

Oh, did I mention that I’ll be writing about a lot of adult products, Viagra, penis and breast enlargements supplements, oh and there’s the really dirty stuff like vibrators, strap-ons and lubricant. Yes, I shall pretty much be able to write about anything once this over....

Sunday, May 17, 2009

From Dave's News Place

"Success spotted at 2nd Wally fest"...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Death by Cinema

One does not usually count filmmaking as a particularly dangerous business. Yet in some extreme circumstances some actors and performers have met unfortunate ends whilst creating that Hollywood magic. As part of this blog’s re-established commitment to bringing anyone who looks at it pointless information, here is a list of films that, in most cases, really weren’t to die for...

Ben Hur (1925) – 1 dead + several horses. Numerous injuries incurred, many more rumoured.

Rumours persist about a death during the chariot scene in the Charlton Heston film, but it was this early silent effort that resulted in death. The production, the most expensive ever for a silent film, was plagued with disasters. The famous chariot race was shot in Italy in a recreation of the coliseum, but problems with the racing surface and with lighting made filming problematic. Horses were not treated well; any injured were taken out and shot. During one scene, a chariot’s wheels broke apart and the driver was thrown up in the air and landed on a pile of lumber, later dying of his injuries.

Many more deaths have been rumoured. Many local Italian extras for a sea battle scene lied about being able to swim, and to make things more troublesome, the extras were chosen for each battle side based upon whether they were for or against the fascist party in the hope of getting a real fight started. A staged fire also got out of control. Armour clad extras were forced to leap into the sea from a flaming triremes warship for escape the flames. Three men were unaccounted for after the incident, though they subsequently turned up several days later alive and well.

Trader Horn (1931) – 2 dead + many animal deaths. Several made seriously ill.

Important as the first film ever non-documentary film shot in Africa, the filmmakers were entirely unprepared for the realities of filming there. Numerous people, including the director, caught malaria. Lead actress Edwina Booth would find herself plagued by the disease for 6 years, effectively destroying her career. Two of the crew were even less lucky. An African crewmember fell into a river and was eaten by a crocodile, while another was trampled by a stampede of rhinos. This scene was sensitively kept in the film.

A second crew was sent to Mexico, where animal rights laws were lax, to stage several animal attack scenes. Lions were starved and then set upon hyenas, monkeys and deer.

The Twilight Zone (1983) – 3 dead.

Perhaps the most famous film accident next to Brandon Lee’s passing during the making of The Crow. Actor Vic Morrow and two Chinese child actors, both under ten and illegally hired, were killed when a low flying helicopter spun out of control after a pyrotechnic explosion . Morrow and one of the children were decapitated and the other child was crushed by the helicopter. As a result, helicopter stunts were discouraged in Hollywood for many years and child labour laws were revised. Director John Landis and several of the crew were charged with involuntary manslaughter, but were later acquitted.

Zeppelin (1971) – 4/5 dead.

This fairly unremarkable war drama featured Micheal York as a soldier who lives in England but was born in Germany. His unique background gives him the opportunity to do a bit of double-agenty style stuff and to effectively win Britain WW1. The film contains extensive effects and action shooting, and during one ill-fated sequence, a replica SE-5 biplane actually crashed into an Alouette helicopter killing four or five people, depending on which source you read.

The Conqueror (1956) – hard to determine.

Strictly speaking no one actually died during the filming of The Conqueror, but the film would have a lasting and terrible effect on many of those involved, and not just because of John Wayne’s turn as Genghis Khan. The movie was shot a hundred and thirty miles downwind from a nuclear testing site (John Wayne was pictured with a Geiger counter during filming) but little was known about the links between radiation and cancer back then.

Director Dick Powell died within the first two years of filming. Susan Haywood, John Wayne and Agnes Moorehead would all die during the 70s. Cast member John Hoyt died from lung cancer in the 1990s. Actor Pedro Armendariz, on learning he had terminal kidney cancer, shot himself in the head. By 1980, 91 members of the crew had developed cancer, and half of those had already died from it. Though many of the crew were smokers, it’s estimated that in a group this size only about 30 would have developed a cancer.

Sand from the site was later taken back to the studio for re-shoots. Numerous extras, family members and others visited the site during filming, making the real number of people effected hard to determine.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Well it’s now 6 months since I exited the land of the employed and was thrust unfairly into the jobless wilderness. It’s a been a tough time; it’s been a morally destructive, nightmarishly crushing series of ongoing disappointments that, alas, feels unlikely to subside too, and as I have very little money left due to another series of complicated and hopeless events that I’ve been pushed into, things are becoming, well, rather more difficult.

Anyhow, here for posterity is my list of employment disappointments:*

  • John Lewis: Job put on hold

  • Unsuccessful, failed first stage

  • Arthritis Care: Unsuccessful

  • Orange: Unknown

  • Fit Pro: Unsuccessful

  • Airmiles: Offered 2nd interview

  • Datamonitor: Unknown

  • Airmiles 2nd Interivew: Unsuccessful + job put on hold

  • On Monday I’ll be taking a fun trip down to the job centre to sign-on. But not before taking one more stab at the job interviewing this Friday with a potential 3 month contract at Tesco Compare. Will I make a last minute escape from the cavern of doom that is Job Seeker’s Allowance? Only time will tell.

    This a nice personality test you can take to learn something fun about yourself.

    Or alternatively you could read this story about a man having sex with a lamppost, I’ll leave it up to you.

    *Learnt me some html, oh yeah!

    Tuesday, April 14, 2009

    This article adequately sums up how I feel at the moment. I'm with you Obama...

    I've got some more review type stuff online.

    - Fantasy/people drama, with too many people and most of them dull.

    Lesbian Vampire Killers -
    Not big, not clever and certainly not funny.

    Obscene - Documentary about Barney Rosset, the American publisher who fought to publish Naked Lunch, Lady Chatterley's Lover and Malcolm X's biography amongst others.

    Zero: An Investigation into 9/11 - Has some interesting insights but not nearly balanced enough,

    Friday, April 03, 2009

    5 More of the Greatest TV Shows You've Never Heard of

    My Mother the Car

    Just imagine it, you go to your local car dealership to buy a car, he shows you some old vintage thing and it starts to speak to you in the voice of your late mother! That’s exactly what’s happened to Dave Crabree, played by Jerry Van Dyke (a poor man’s Dick), who finds out that his mother has been reincarnated as a car, and only he can hear her. Typical parent, soooo embarrassing. Although he’ll have to watch out, the evil moustachioed car collector Manzini is out to steal his mother-mobile, so he'd better watch out.

    Click here
    to see this enchanting opening theme.

    Mrs Columbo

    Once Mr Columbo had hung up his dirty detecting mac, it was time for the wife to take over. The woman who plays Captain Janeway in Star Trek Voyager is Mrs Columbo, although it’s not really clear whether she is actually married to the Detective Columbo. Peter Falk is not actually in it and after a while they changed the name of the show to Kate Columbo, then a little while later during its long 13 episode run they called it Kate the Detective, and awhile later they called it Kate Loves a Mystery, by which time she had divorced her husband, who wasn’t apparently Columbo anymore.

    Anyway, you’ll be able to tell just how gripping a crime show it is from the exciting opening sequence.


    Jonathan Chase is a man, or is he! To quote the opening narration, he is: “A man with the brightest of futures. A man with the darkest of pasts. From Africa's deepest recesses, to the rarefied peaks of Tibet, heir to his father's legacy and the world's darkest mysteries. Jonathan Chase, master of the secrets that divide man from animal, animal from man... Manimal!” He can change into any animal he wants to fight crime, although in practice it tends to be either a panther or a hawk, unless he managed to change earlier off camera. This exciting series was obviously too much for audiences at the time, as it only lasted 8 episodes.

    Watch the legendary title sequence here...

    To see the gripping and tautly paced transformation sequence, click here. It’s so amazing it’s like he’s changing on a completely different set.


    It’s all in the title. This nuclear-powered bullet train is more like a luxury liner than a normal train, boasting swimming pools, a shopping mall and a ballroom dance hall (must’ve been pretty steady). It could take you from New York to Los Angeles in 36 hours and must’ve been pretty amazing to make you go through that when you could fly there in about 6. Each week some exciting intrigue would happen that definitely wasn’t just nicked from an Agatha Christie novel, I mean, having spent so much time building all the sets and creating the special effects (it was at the time, the most expensive TV show ever), they definitely made sure that they spent plenty of time on the stories, all uhm, 9 of them.

    Watch the exciting opening here.

    Watch the teaser for episode two ‘And A Cup of Kindness, Too’ here. And don’t ever call Dick Van Dyke a lunatic.

    The Powers of Matthew Star

    David, who’s name changes to Matthew at some point, is an alien prince whose family has been killed and he’s hiding out in exile on earth with his guardian, Walter. He either does, or doesn’t know this, depending which episode you watch, but boy does it cause problems with his high school teenage life. Being an alien en all, he has various special powers: telekinesis, telepathy, clairvoyance, transmutation and astral projection, again, depending on which episode you watch. Walter apparently doesn’t have any powers, but he’s a bit strong so that helps. They go on adventures
    and avoid alien assassins, the authorities and try to keep their secret from all there friends. The usual stuff.

    Watch the exciting opening episode here. It’s long, but worth watching all the way through.

    And check out this exciting corridor chase scene. So tense.

    Friday, March 27, 2009

    For All the Stoke Fans Out There...

    An essential style must-have, this shirt combines two of my most favourite things in the world, and is just perfect for relaxing at home or for going out and spending a night on the town.

    Many thanks to Ms Pamela Smith for bringing this subject to my attention.

    Monday, March 23, 2009

    If you’re afraid of the hoodies, then you’d better watch out. It’ll take more than an ASBO to stop the:

    Aided by their advanced technology, which allows lots of them to fit in a very small space ship and to remain teenagers even though they look suspiciously older, they’ve come to take over the world. Behold their terrifying extra-terrestrial jump suits and intimidating fifties hairdos.

    They’ve come to conquer the earth, and they’re going to show no mercy, look at this ‘teenager’ ruthlessly threaten this chubby old geezer!

    He better do as he says, or else he’ll shoot him with his terrifying gun that disintegrates your body and turns it into a plastic skeleton!

    And if that doesn’t work, then they’ll unleash the terrifying two dimensional giant lobster.

    Look out! It’s casting a shadow, or is it a shadow? It’s not really clear, but it is definitely evil!

    If only there was one of them who was a bit of a pansy who could see things from mankind’s point of view and fall in love with some dipsy easily impressed girl before coming to our rescue

    Can he stop the killer out-of-perspective lobster? Can he possibly stop this guy, I mean look at him, he’s acting his pants off!

    Is mankind doomed? Will we be destroyed or enslaved by these evil ‘teenagers’? Almost certainly not, but just to make sure, watch:

    A film so taut, so tense, so terrifying in its mind blowing drama that the director had a mental breakdown and claimed he was the second coming of Jesus Christ! It’s that powerful!

    Friday, March 13, 2009

    Far Out

    It suddenly occurs to me that I haven't written yet about the Oberhausen Gasometer, Germany's premier Gasometer.

    It's not just any Gasometer, it's one that doesn't have any gas in it. That is crucial to its success.

    It's like entering into some strange sci-fi space craft, only there are lots of kids and some paintings and pictures and about the place. There's my good friend Matt shortly before being beamed up*.

    There's also an elevator. An elevator that goes to up into the beyond...

    Okay it just goes up to the roof, and the weird atmosphere is kind of spoilt by the fact that kids have realised that absolutely everything echoes like crazy and are jumping up and down on the metal floor just hear the noise. Here's the inside from the top.

    And the view from the roof of the gasometer.

    Okay, the pictures are blurred, but it's really dark in there.

    In all seriousness, if due to some freak occurance you able to, go to the Oberhausen Gasometer, one of the wierdest most wonderful places I've ever been to.

    *Hi Matt.

    Thursday, February 26, 2009

    All The Firemen Have Melted!

    I've got some more review type things on the web.

    Here's my review of Valyrie, Starring Tom Cruise, which I surprisingly actually quite liked.

    And my review of The Broken, a horror movie that I'm not so keen on.

    Phobia of the Day: Nomophobia, the fear of being out of mobile phone contact for any period of time. I shit ye not

    Thursday, February 19, 2009

    Sounds Interesting

    What's that you say? A job opportunity? Yes I am still currently available. The Financial Times you say? A web editor position you say? Interested? Yes I'm very interested. Please email me the job description, I'll read it over and get back to you.

    Did the email ever arrive in my inbox? Did the recruiter's number come up as private? Did I write down his name or the agency he was with? Have I any means of contacting him whatsoever?

    Why don't I just curl up and die already.

    Favourite new website:

    Rediscover all your favourite bands who never existed.

    Thursday, February 05, 2009

    The Best TV Shows Ever!!!

    Since becoming unemployed I've had some time to enjoy the finer things in life*. Once such luxury has been the time I've been able to spend digging through the TV archives and tracking down so long-lost TV classics, which, unaccountably remain little known and unreleased on DVD or video. Here are five little-known gems that deserve, deserve, to be seen and revisited.

    Heil Honey I’m Home!

    The day to day life of everybody’s favourite fascist dictator. Adolf has a successful career, a gorgeously wife and a beautiful home; everything would be perfect if it wasn’t for those darn Goldensteins next door. Strangely, this wacky 50s style comedy opus was cancelled after only one episode. Can you believe it?

    Click here to watch the first classic episode.

    The Man From Atlantis

    Patrick Duffy is a man who has some of the abilities of a fish. He’s got amnesia but everyone’s pretty certain that he’s the last survivor from Atlantis. He’s been recruited by the government to fight crime underwater and occasionally travel in time. Hard to believe, but this exciting underwater adventure only lasted for four TV movies and 13 episodes.

    Click here to watch the theme.

    Click here to see some tense dramatic pause action.

    Small Wonder

    Back in the 80s before fertility treatment just what were you to do if you wanted a kid but couldn't conceive? Well for the Lawsons, one son wasn’t enough, so engineer Ted decided to build a daughter too. But Vicki’s no normal girl; she runs on atomic power and has super-human strength. Will they be able to pass her off as their own child or will her strange robot behaviour attract the attention of their neighbours. Unbelievably this ran for a full 96 episodes.

    Click here to see the opening theme.

    Click here to see a classic, classic, clip

    Holmes & Yo-Yo

    It’s the same old story, maverick cop, doesn’t do things by the book, his partners always end up in hospital... What Detective Holmes needs is a tough new partner who can keep up the pace with him. What he needs is Gregory ‘Yo-Yo’ Yoyonivich. Why? Because he’s a robot! Together they make one tough, dangerous – and wacky, crime fighting team. As long as Yo-Yo doesn’t malfunction! Hard to believe, but this great series only ran for 13 episodes.

    Click here to see the opening sequence which carefully sketches out the premise.

    And check out this great closing gag.

    Cop Rock
    Having steered legendary cop show Hill Street Blues, Steven Bochco decided that the cop genre needed to be taken in a totally new direction and given a sharp new edge. That edge was musical theatre. Viewers were treated to a totally new vision of life on the street in a way that’s never been seen before or since. There are only 11 episodes of this special series; each one has to be seen to be believed.

    Click here to see the cops victimise a white collar guy.

    Click here to see the tense scene where a guilty verdict is handed down.

    Click here to see the police captain take his squad to task.

    *hello sarcasm.

    Saturday, January 31, 2009


    Tis almost February and my morale now lies crippled, further kicked and beaten by circumstance (and some wankers)

    No job at Best Buy, I need three years experience because...well actually there’s no reason whatsoever, I’m perfectly capable of doing the job. Then there was the recruiter, who called me back about a job that had become unavailable, and then there was the woman who found my CV on Monster, told me to get in touch, but by the time I tracked her down had forgotten what she had called me about and subsequently never called me back.

    But the most crippling blow of all came from a new Super Yacht website. Providing a service to the uber-wealthy, bastards as they’re commonly known, they wished for me to write a piece advertising the location of Aruba to this audience. I did, not expecting much, but I was called on this last Thursday and asked if I was busy on Friday to come in and do one of those selection/interview type day things. I said yes, but there was a catch, and that was that I needed to put together another 600 word piece. It was for a front page feature, on any yacht subject I chose.

    So I got started, finished at 11 the night before, and made my way down to the interview place for 10:30. After waiting quite a while, we got started. We were told quite a lot about the site and the market and so on (this was when we learnt what roles were available. Strangely, these roles weren’t actually the one’s they’d advertised). Then the exercises – one where we were to sit down in a group, half of the ten of us, and talk about ourselves and the pieces we wrote, the other, where we would be given a bad piece of copy and had 45 minutes to re-write as best we could. If we get through this, then, and only then, do we get an interview.

    It’s heading towards 12 and I get put in the group that does the talking and discussing. And I get to go first. So I introduce myself and then they get the piece I’ve brought in with me, they say it’s well written but more of feature piece and not really suitable for the front page. Then they critique the Aruba piece; say I was right to emphasise one bit but wrong to mention this bit, and before I can really offer any real defence, it’s on to the next person.

    And everyone else’s work is perfect for the front page, great stuff, lots of discussion. And to add insult to injury, these are people here with 20+ years experience on me. I go through the next stage, do my best with the copy test, but I’m finished basically. And then after lunch (which they didn’t provide) and then another half-hour after that, waiting for them to come back, I learn that I’ve not made the cut – no surprise. It’s now 3pm.

    Four and half hours I was there, and that doesn’t count the amount of time I spent working on the pieces of work I did for them, and for what? I should feel pleased I got selected from amongst the 120 test applications that were sent in, but it’s hard to feel great when you work hard, commit a great deal of time to something, and then get a quick 5 minute brush off in front of a group other. I must have spent less than three minutes actually interacting with the interviewers.

    Fuck em, bunch of c@&*s

    Saturday, January 17, 2009


    Yeah... It's not going too well to tell truth. I spent New Year's Eve pretending it wasn't New Year's Eve because I had stomach flu and was too afraid to eat anything, never mind drink anything. I wasn't going to risk subjecting myself to another seven hour bout of regular twenty minute trips to the toilet with acidic diarrhea (I don't think my sphincter will ever recover).

    As for the jobs, well, any leads I had prior to the changing of the year seem to have gone dry. No word from John Lewis and it's approaching two months since the interview.

    My only hope now seems to be an American company called Best Buy who are setting up in the UK this year. They're kind of like Dixons and Comet, only they turn a profit. They want four copywriters, so I would hope that I had a reasonable chance of getting one of them - although they do want photoshop experience, which isn't something I have too much of. I'll have to wait and see. As usual...

    Delusion of the Day: Cotard Delusion: a rare neuropsychiatric disorder in which a person holds a delusional belief that he or she is dead, does not exist, is putrefying or has lost his/her blood or internal organs.

    Sunday, January 04, 2009

    Filmy Filmy Films

    DDDDDD – Exceptional and unparalleled.
    DDDDD – Excellent, a special film.
    DDDD – High Enjoyable, recommended.
    DDD – Worth watching, but unexceptional or flawed.
    DD – Bland, dull and average.
    D – You’ll envy the deaf and blind.

    Barton Fink (1991) John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis, John Mahoney. Dir: Joel Cohen.

    A playwright accepts a job in Hollywood, experiences writer’s block and experiences a series of strange events. Deliciously dark study of the creative process and the breaking down of a pretentious artist, as he faces the dark and baffling world of the real people he supposedly knows all about.


    In a Lonely Place (1950) Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy. Dir: Nicholas Ray

    An actress provides the alibi for a screenwriter accused of murder, they romance, but his unbalanced behaviour begins to give her doubts. Interesting noir thriller which contains an unusually intense performance by Bogart, but it is does veer too much toward the melodramatic.


    The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway, Hume Cronyn. Dir Tay Garnett.

    A drifter and his mistress plot the murder of her aged husband for ownership of his highway diner. Famous presumably for being sexy for the time, dim and irritating characters ineptly scheme to become somebody by inheriting a crap shack in the middle of nowhere. Double Indemnity is better.


    Blood Simple (1983) John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedeya, M.Emmet Walsh. Dir: Joel Cohen.

    A Saloon owner hires a killer to murder his wife and her lover, but it backfires, bringing them all down. First Coen feature is stylish and full of unexpected twists, but it could do with more pace and a bit more humour to fit its contrived plot.


    The Firm (1993) Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris. Dir: Sydney Pollack

    An arrogant young lawyer joins a law firm run by the mafia and is then harassed by the FBI. Cardboard characters and a bland, clichéd script make for a watchable but rather vacuous two hours of entertainment.


    The Masque of the Red Death (1964) Vincent Price, Hazel Court, Jane Asher, Patrick Magee. Dir: Roger Corman

    A Devil worshipping Prince holds a party within the safety of his castle while plaque ravages the land outside. Shot with more money that the average Corman adaptation, there’s less tongue in cheek in this darker Price vehicle, with a grim finale. It’s stylish and intriguing, with many memorable moments.


    I Know Where I’m Going (1945) Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey, Pamela Brown. Dir Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell.
    A determined girl is unable to sail to her fiancée, and waits for the weather to pass in a Scottish village with a desirable nobleman. Beautifully shot, restrained British romance which is subtler than viewers will be used to these days. It isn’t exciting, but is very cosy and warm.


    A Matter of Life and Death (1946) David Niven, Roger Livesey, Raymond Massey, Kim Hunter, Marius Goring. Dir: Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell

    Having escaped death, a pilot in love discovers he should’ve died and must fight his
    case in heaven. Beautiful and imaginative film, which is both sentimental and silly, but also intelligent and thought provoking. The charm, wit and optimism of it all will be irresistible to even the most cynical.


    The Stepford Wives (1974) Katherine Ross, Paula Prentiss, Nanette Newman. Dir: Bryan Forbes
    Man and wife move to a too perfect community, full of grinning idealised women. Too long in the build-up - the twist was probably quite obvious even then (Buffy would’ve solved it all in 45 minutes). But there are some memorable and effectively creepy scenes,


    The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932) Boris Karloff, Myrna Loy, Lewis Stone. Dir: Charles Brabin.
    The diabolical villain wants the sword of Genghis Khan so he can unite the East to rise up against the West. Immense amounts of camp OTT fun, with great sets and set pieces - providing you can laugh at some of the less than PC attitudes on display.