Ministry of Propaganda

Ministry of Propaganda - 21/May/2005: "Road to Recovery"

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Road to Recovery

Unless I have a relapse later (keep your fingers crossed that I won't. And thanks to the various get well wishes!) it feels like I'm on the road to recovery now. I went to the doctor yesterday to get his opinion. He thought it was difficult to find exactly what was wrong but he didn't think I had appendicitis or anything similar. I was told to keep it a bit slow for the next few days, start eating again, frequent and small meals and generally take it easy. Light exercise should also be OK to get my circulation going. To make this entry a bit more exciting than just my sickness history a little bit about what I did the last few days, watching videos. Here are the videos I watched Thursday and yesterday:

To start with an old favorite. The book starts with the immortal line It was the day my grandmother exploded, the BBC adaptation of The Crow Road takes a slightly slower start, but still features an exploding grandmother (I won't give away here why grandmother explodes, watch it yourself or read the book). I think this is one of the best adaptions of a book I have ever seen. While keeping with the basic story it makes some interesting changes and additions to the film version which make the story work on screen (see also Shooting The Crow). On the other hand it leaves out a few things from the book which either would have made the film too long or just wouldn't have worked on screen. I'm no great judge on acting and casting, but it certainly works for me. Joseph McFadden is great as Prentice, David Robb brilliant as Fergus Urvill (both from a casting and acting perspective, I think). Bill Paterson and Peter Capaldi also stand out for me.

Next up was some American fare: Ocean's Eleven. I think most people know what it is about, eleven men (including Bard Pitt and Matt Damon) lead by Danny Ocean (George Clooney) plan to rob three casinos in Las Vegas. What else? Nice enough movie, some good action, some funny scenes, all in all good entertainment. But unfortunately not much more for me.

The last one I watched was American Cousins. While a reviewer wasn't convinced I loved this small Bafta nominated film. It's a combination of romance, comedy and thriller that worked for me. Two Italian-American Mafiosi (incl Dan Hedaya) have to take refuge at their Scottish-Italian relatives fish and chip shop in Glasgow after some business in Kiev/Ukraine goes wrong and they have to hide. At the same time Roberto who runs the fish and chip shop tries to win the heart of Alice (another great performance by Shirley Henderson), but is too shy, in particular compared to charming mafiosi Gino. Not to forget that he's in trouble with the local loan shark and his enforcers. Some very funny moments, some romantic moments, some exciting moments, all held together by good acting by great actors. Admittedly not great block buster cinema, but a small entertaining film. I recommend it and will watch it again. (More at The Guardian)

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