RRR 24 The Captains

By Roy Mathur, on 2014-01-17, at 12:37:00--13:11:01 GMT, for Roy's Rocket Radio, Listen

It's Too Cold!

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The Nose Laugh Test

...is my barometer for genuine comedic content.

The Captains (2011)

William Shatner's interesting, if somewhat self-serving (William Shatner tends to talk about himself a lot), documentary about the captains of each of the Star Trek spinoffs.

A likeable look at all the captains, apart from Pike (actor Jeffrey Hunter died in 1969) and J.J. Abram's new cast. We get to see Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, and Scott Bacula.

All I can tell you is that Avery Brooks (Captain Benjamin Sisko of Deep Space Nine) seems like a nice, but a very, very odd man.

If you're a Trekkie, this is almost required viewing.

I would also recommend Rod Roddenberry's (the son of Gene Roddenberry) Trek Nation (2011) and The Star Trek Story (2013) from the BBC.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) is a mild-mannered dreamer who works a boring job for a large magazine's photo archive. The monotony of his life is such that every now and then he "zones-out" and imagines having these action-packed adventures.

Nicely played, mild and inoffensive comedy about how dreams can come true, but not really stand-out or memorable.

There is a proper nose laugh moment though, involving an airport scanner.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

This Martin Scorcese movie just came out on Friday and is based on stockbroker Jordan Belfort's true-life memoirs.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays Belfort, a broker who makes Gordon Gekko look like Bruce Forsyth. The film follows his life from rookie broker, to boiler-room penny-share (volatile market) dealer, to the head of a major brokerage firm.

If Belfort is bad, his colleagues from the 'hood are even worse. Especially repulsive is Jonah Hill's character Donnie Azoff. Hill has said he didn't like the character he played. Not surprising.

Despite all this, you will inevitably root for the bad guy because who wouldn't want to get so ridiculously rich that you can have your own plane, helicopter, or yacht, simply by selling crud to the stupid? The way I look at it is that if you are a grownup not knowing not to trust stockbrokers, hedge fund managers, bookies, bible salesman, and snakeoil merchants and you just do not understand that the house always wins, then you probably deserve what you get.

So the film purports to show just how bad that 1% of the wealthy are without being preachy and takes you for an rollocking, though blackly comic, ride straight to hell. Think Goodfellas (1990) meets Boiler Room (2000), via In the Company of Men (1997).

Matthew McConaughey's lovely little piece at the beginning will have you rolling and sets the tone for the escalating madness throughout the rest of the film.

Belfort's crew are hateful, misogynistic, homophobic, racist, and even heightist characters, but are bizarrely entertaining nonetheless, though you'll probably only want to watch this once and then have a shower afterwards.

In the end the movie is as nihilistic as anything occasional horror filmmakers like Lars Von Trier and Ben Wheatley could have brewed up in their respective cauldrons.

The Woman in Black (2012)

Daniel Radcliffe in the Hammer remake/reboot of a ITV movie of the same name from 1989. It was also been adapted for Radio by the BBC twice. The story is based on a neo-Gothic novella of the same name by Susan Hill from 1983. This thing has already made the rounds several times round before Hammer even took up the reins.

In the movie, Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is a recently bereaved junior solicitor sent to sort through the legal papers left by the deceased owner of Eel Marsh House, so that a sale can be arranged. While he is there, weird things start happening, orchestrated by the sinister figure of the woman in black.

Standard haunted house fare, though very well done, but not the sort of thing that I find interesting or particularly scary.

I found the dialogue jarring. It seemed curiously modern in both language and rhythm. Given that it is Edwardian rather than earlier Victorian, I suppose it is possible, but it did feel a bit odd. I'm guessing it was a deliberate and concious choice by the filmmakers.

Interesting note: Shaun Dooley, who plays a horrible, violent local in Eden Lake (2008), plays a horrible, violent local here too. So the moment I saw him in the movie, it was a portent that things were not going to end well.

All in all, not bad, but heavily reliant on atmosphere through creepy visuals and sound rather than storytelling. Being a fan of great stories, I preferred the neo-gothic of BBC's The Thirteenth Tale (2013), which didn't get near as favourable a reception as The Woman in Black, so what do I know?


Channel 4's new intriguing thriller about FBI guy trying to kill the president.

It's interesting that this, like Homeland, is an adaptation of an Israeli TV series.

Dylan McDermott plays the lead role as FBI Special Agent Duncan Carlisle. For some reason, he always reminds me of Fred Ward; Kevin Bacon's not so good looking partner in Tremors (1990).

A good match for people who like Homeland, Prison Break and shows of that ilk.

The 20-odd mins that I watched (see below) looks promising, but I'm not adding it to my list of "must watch" because I have too much to do. I just wanted to review it for you guys!

Sherlock Season 3 Finale

That's it for now and I was surprised as anyone else by the er---suprise right at the end of the last episode. I suppose we'll have to wait another year!

At least the last episode was much, much better than the other two episodes in this series.

One thing: have a go at Sherlock's mind palace technique. It really is quite useful, though I certainly couldn't use it as extensively as was seen to be used in this episode. I first heard about the method of loci (lo si) as atechnique used by Thomas Harris's Hannibal Lector.


This is the reason I could only watch about 20 mins of Hostages.

Buggy as---! Almost every programme I watch, even sitting right in front of the router drops out. Can't be a wireless problem because BBC iPlayer is fine. I think there is a software problem with the pre-buffering.

Who writes this code? I can't understand why it has been like this for months and through several upgraded versions.


Going wonky after umpteen upgrades.

On Monday night, when it was tipping down with rain, the stupid thing decided on a shortcut that took me miles out of the way. I ended up missing a meeting!

There should be some way of locking in a route that you like.

Nice one Waze... and now Google's got it. I blame Google.

Life on a Boat Somewhere Hot

Life on a boat somewhere hot, like Captain Ron, only not quite as silly.