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Showing posts from August, 2016

You mentioned Foamasi?

Doctor Who The Leisure Hive
The polarising positions of those pushing Season 18 (or JN-T/Bidmead) over Season 17 (Williams/Adams), or vice versa, have never really resonated with me. Probably because I rate them both. If push came to shove, I’d probably assert that the latter achieves what it’s aiming for more successfully than the former, stymied as the Fourth Doctor’s final year is by some unfortunate choices of companions and a lack of rapport between leads, but I have little time for the hand grenades at dawn lobbed about in About Time 4.

One of the big failings of the JN-T era, predicated as it was on appearances (or superficiality, if you prefer) rather than content, is that it couldn’t keep up the visual ambition that informed Season 18 (and which complemented the one season of his era where content was more than its equal); if you’re going to foreground gloss, you need to be able to support it with atmosphere, pace and style, especially when the stories aren’t up to snuff.


As su…

I have done some desperate, foolish things come 3 o'clock in the morning.

Sea of Love (1989)
(SPOILERS) It’s difficult to imagine Sea of Love starring Dustin Hoffman, for whom Richard Price wrote the screenplay but who bowed out over requests for multiple rewrites. Perhaps Hoffman secretly recognised what most of us don’t need telling; there’s no way he fits into an erotic thriller (I’m not sure I’d even buy him as a cop). Although, he would doubtless have had fun essaying the investigative side, involving a succession of dates on the New York singles scene as a means to ensnare a killer. Al Pacino, on the other hand, has just the necessary seedy, threadbare, desperate quality, and he’s a powerhouse in a movie that, without its performances (Ellen Barkin and John Goodman may also take bows), would be a mostly pedestrian and unremarkable entry in the then burgeoning serial killer genre.

Well, I say unremarkable. The rightly most-remarked-upon aspect of the murder mystery side is how unsatisfyingly it’s resolved. Sea of Love is so scant of red herrings that it a…