By Roy Mathur, on 2023-07-06, at 19:40:21--20:48:05 BST, for Captain Roy's Rusty Rocket Radio Show, Listen
If you've seen All That Jazz, you'll know exactly why that snippet of Joe Gideon's dialogue from All That Jazz is so perfectly apropos later in the podcast.
It was CRRRRS's official anniversary on the 3rd July at c.23:00. I did nothing for the 11th year of the show that day, except for a celebratory tweet that morning.
So... 60 second party time!
We are rapidly coming up on our 500th episode. Any ideas?
How could I not see Harrison Ford's last outing as Indy in 2023? So after after watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 too (493), only a few days later I went to see Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023) on Wednesday the 5th of July at 12:00 at the local(ish) Odeon. A reminder: this review is totally fresh and I have, as much as possible, tried to avoid all teasers, trailers (pod 493), spoilers, and other reviews.
It was c. GBP 10 to for my ticket at Cineworld and GPB 13 at Odeon. That's too much when you consider the various surge and other revolving pricing models they use, not to mention the scam online booking fee that almost every retailer slaps us with nowadays. Bullshit tenants administration fees were banned in the Tenants Fees Act (2019). Let's ban ripoff online booking fees too. I think that the multiplexes see their cinemas as a special event destinations; an expensive treat that you go to once in a while. But consider this: a family splurging on a one-off is much less profit than from someone like me going every week, which is what I used to do before prices skyrocketed. The cinemas have had enough Mathur money for the time being! By the time you see hear this, not only will I have visited the cinema to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (pod 493) and, of course, Indy 5, but my parents are, as we speak, seeing the Hindi Bollywood film Satyaprem Ki Katha.
And the experience? The audience was sparse, though there was a dad and son obsessed with their eye searing phone screens to the point that I moved to a seat where I could not see them. Unfortunately, my own phone went off loudly during the film, so I had duck out for a moment. Pot calling the kettle...
The film is about, wait for it, the Antikythera mechanism, which is by now old old news. How old? The ancient 2000 year-old computational device was discovered in 1902, but became a media sensation after two documentary films from 2011--2012. Many news services covered it and I included it in a feature I wrote for the Independent Daily, Mauritius in 2012. I'm guessing that means they started writing the script a long time ago. The fictional movie version of the artefact is a device that can predict fissures in time and hence enable the user to time travel.
Like all the other films in the series it is a McGuffin hunt for a missing component that will complete the device (the titular dial of destiny) with Indy competing against the Nazis. The Nazis are represented by a thinly veiled version of Wernher von Braun called Jurgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen) and his redneck goons. He wants to go back in time and change the course of history, allowing the Nazis to win WW2. Only Indy and his crooked god daughter Helena Shaw, played delightfully by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, are there to stop them.
It set in the 60s, Indy is retiring, grieving the death of his son Mutt in Vietnam, and separated from his wife, when he meets Shaw, and then the globetrotting, triple-crossing adventure begins. There's a chase on horse and motorcycle through a ticker tape parade for astronauts and subways, an insane car versus tuktuk chase in Morocco, tangling with the ancient Greeks and Romans in a full scale sea battle, and finally a chat with Archimedes. If you thought Kingdom of the Crystal Skull jumped the shark, you have no idea.
There are too many characters who appear important but are superfluous and are abruptly killed off, like the CIA woman. There is a too much going on, but at least the adventure is relentless. The computer effects to present us with a younger Indy in the prologue are a little off, but still pretty good with no uncanny valley. There is also an obvious attempt to set Waller-Bridge up as the new Indy, but as charismatic as she is, there is only one Indy and this is his last rodeo. At the end of the film the Nazis are defeated, the timeline is intact, there's ice cream, Indy and Marion Ravenwood are back together, and the camera iris closes on his hanged up hat as we fade to black. Goodbye, Indy. Farewell, my friend and thanks for the ride.
Nicholas Hoult is the stressed out slave of Dracula trying to escape the clutches of his demanding master in this 2023 comedy horror.
A violent altercation settled by the super-powered-by-insects Renfield brings him to the attention of a tough vengeful mob hating cop (Awkwafina). When the mob and Dracula team up, Renfield and cop take on both.
Nic Cage is gloriously and literally batty, and a crazy take on Bela Lugosi's Dracula. It's a bloody, schlocky, non-stop, light comedy, and not too long either, that will leave you happy.
From is an MGM+ 2022-- horror series about a town you can never leave and savaged by monsters, that ensnares a family travelling in a Winnebago. It's occult Lost in the boonies and Lost's Harold Perrineau plays the sheriff.
It's okay and the horror is genuinely nasty, like a shockingly realistic gutted child, but it's also slow paced and the production values are too cheap elsewhere for it to hold my interest.
The big reveal at the send of season one turned out to be a fairly conventional reveal. Having not read the Hugh Howey books, I was expecting a spaceship; something out of 2000 AD's Tharg's future Shocks, but got this rather obvious denouement.
Aside from the "would you kill baby Hitler?" moral dilemma of time travel, it's a case of let's do The City on the Edge of Forever again and let's kill Kirk again! Poor Kirk!
At least kid Khan is partly Indian for the first time, with young Desmond Sivan doing a good job portraying the future megalomaniac sympathetically. I like Christina Chong's La'an and I loved that Paul Wesley's Kirk is portrayed as hyper-intelligent; this is a feature found in the novelised TOS books. However, the material wasn't rousing, it was depressing and sad.
You no longer have to suffer through the ads on Dave as Red Dwarf is now available on BBC iPlayer.
Peter Davison's The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot (2013) was a 31 minute comedy spoof starring much of the Doctor Who cast and available during the 50th anniversary of the show.
In the run up to the 60th anniversary in November, a sequel was proposed then cancelled according to Davison. He said, "I came up with an idea. It was deemed, by those I showed it to, as utterly unacceptable, although I thought it was very funny!" He went on to elaborate, "It's a different world now. And I am always---I wouldn't say---pushing the boundaries. My sense of humour is maybe a little out of sync with the sense of humour that now exists..." (Radio Times).
I have other news I could include regarding the 2023 specials and the subsequent Ncuti Gatwa show, but as I've said many times, I don't want to spoil what's coming. That's something I wish the rest of the Doctor Who production, media, and fandom would consider.
I'm currently re-reading The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. I'm up to page 55, have just reacquainted myself with Roosta and Zaphod's about to encounter the Total Perspective Vortex. The device is supposed to torture its victim by showing how insignificant they are compared to the whole universe.
Doesn't that sound a lot like New Who's Untempered Schism, which exposes young Gallifreyans to the time vortex?
This is a 2023 BBC iPlayer series in which two odd couples try to outwit one another. A text book psychopath ropes in an ex-child soldier into becoming her executioner, while chirpy cop and dour partner, both hiding issues of their own---a cheating partner and a drug habit---try to track them down.
It's a little bit Luther and a little bit Killing Eve. Indeed, I'm getting strong Villanelle vibes from Hermione Corfield who plays the bad girl. We'll have to see if it makes her a breakout star.
Remember this 1989--2006 series about a youth club that made breakout stars of Ant and Dec? It's coming back.
I don't know if the pair are going to be in it; I initially thought of those Grange Hill spinoffs like Tucker's Luck, but I'm guessing it's going to have a completely fresh cast with cameos from Ant and Dec. I wish them luck.
Trivia: I lived in Newcastle upon Tyne's Byker area for a while back in the early 2000s. It had a great chip shop and a nice supermarket manager let me park overnight in his store's secure car park.
We bought new Samsung A14 4G phones to replace Mum's completely dead Nokia 6.1 Plus (2018) and my battered Honor 9 Lite (2017). It's a bottom of the range bargain bucket basic phone, but still outstrips mid-range phones from a few years ago, once you dump the crapware.
The plastic fantastic phone is new for this year, with Full HD+, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB storage, a slow charging but big 5000 mAh battery, blah, blah, whatever.
The point is they work and cost just over a 100 quid each on Amazon. We (especially me) are not heavy users, so cheap unlocked phones combined with no contract Giff Gaff accounts suffice. In total, I spend about GBP 10 every couple of months and my mother spends about GBP 20 per month on phone credit.
I'd rather have a cheap phone and spend money on a good camera. There's more studio upgrading to do too, so a flash blower isn't a priority.
I came down with something rather unfortunate the Saturday before last (24 July). It wasn't the dreaded 'rona or anything directly physically terrible. What happened doesn't deserve the bandwidth, so I'm not going to go into exact details because further discussion isn't going to help anyone, though it unexpectedly knocked me for six. Let's just say some wag rolled out a "classic", as Romesh Ranganathan is wont to say in his routine.
I suppose one reaction could be, "Why are you so fragile?" The truth is I didn't think I was, which is why this was such a shock to the system. The full story of what me and my family have been through is scattered throughout episodes of the podcast, but my non-medical diagnosis is I think we are all suffering from PTSD.
I'm currently navigating the circuitous labyrinth of the NHS's mental health services as a British Asian/African/Other man, which is... interesting. I only reluctantly sought help last week when it became very apparent I wasn't coping. I was shaky, I had a temperature, a sudden resurgence of phobias and migraines, my senses overloaded, my Tourette's and OCD went berserk, and reality went a bit sideways. Monstrous anxiety and depression about every single thing in my life made my brain say, "No, that's it, I'm out." It's still a struggle to even get out of bed, leave the house, or even open the curtains. Even Bela Lugosi would be appalled.
Those trips to the cinema and getting out there into the world once more are a result of the episode. Everything is still too much, I'm still struggling, but they are my effort to not spiral or retreat further into my shell, which is that happened to me, and to an extent to my family, when I was younger. Podcasting is another way I engage with real life, so hopefully it won't affect the podcast, but the tone may be rather forced, for which I aopologise. I'm doing my best in trying circumstances.
I keep wanting to say "geeklife", like Blur's "Parklife", anyway, after that spurt of recent activity with the canoeing and motorcycling, and despite (or because of?) current issues, I'm off on walk in London on Saturday for the first time in over two years. I'll be visiting all my favourite haunts; Hamleys, Forbidden Planet, the National Gallery, China Town, Foyles, Cleopatra's Needle, etc.
Then it's lunch in a bar with, hopefully, some live human beings, then maybe another pub after that.
The mysterious puddle manifesting in the utility room is, sadly, not the work of Satan, but an unresolved trickle leak from my freezer. It was my mother's obsessive investigation that solved the riddle.
I'd say some mysteries are best left unsolved, except it did save us the absurd amount it would cost to call in a plumber.
It's a trying time right now, but I'm trying, not to be trying, but just trying. I'm saying "trying" too much. You get the picture.
I want to end on saying, if your geeklife is up the spout too, seek help! The pandemic and life circumstances in general mean that I'm mostly on my own in crisis situations, but I'm seeking help and so should you. The quality of that help may be debatable, but doing nothing is worse.