29 February 2008

NME Awards 2008

  • The Shockwaves NME Awards were announced last night. The Arctic Monkeys follow up their Brits wins by snapping up a hat trick (out of seven nominations). As with any of these awards voted for by the readership of a magazine with a highly specific agenda, there are some very dubious winners (how many NME readers would actually admit to listening to a Britney album to be able to vote it worst album and woo, it's just so cool and rebellious to vote a smack addict the hero of the year). The fact they feel it's important to announce the best and worst dressed says something too. Still, here's what the self professed "cool kids"* think this year.

  • Best British Band - Arctic Monkeys (above, receiving award)
  • Best International Band - The Killers
  • Best Solo Artist - Kate Nash
  • Best New Band - The Enemy
  • Best Live Band - Muse
  • Best Album - Klaxons 'Myths Of The Near Future'
  • Best Track - Arctic Monkeys - 'Fluorescent Adolescent'
  • Best Video - Arctic Monkeys - 'Teddy Picker'
  • Best Music DVD - Nirvana - 'Unplugged In New York'
  • Best Live Event - Carling Weekend: Reading And Leeds Festivals
  • Best TV Show - The Mighty Boosh
  • Best Radio Show - Zane Lowe (Radio 1)
  • Best Film - Control
  • Best Website - Facebook
  • Best Venue - Wembley Stadium
  • Hero Of The Year - Pete Doherty
  • Villain Of The Year - George Bush

  • Best Dressed - Noel Fielding (left, also 'Sexiest male' apparently)
  • Worst Dressed - Amy Winehouse
  • Worst Album - Britney Spears 'Blackout'
  • Worst Band - The Hoosiers
  • Sexiest Man - Noel Fielding

  • Sexiest Woman - Kylie Minogue (left, can't imagine why!?)

  • Godlike Genius - Manic Street Preachers (left, guitarist and song wroter, Nicky Wire)
  • Philip Hall Radar Award (breakout band) - Glasvegas
  • John Peel Award for Musical Innovation - Radiohead
  • Best Dancefloor Filler - The Wombats 'Let's Dance to Joy Division'

* by thinking themselves cool and only listening to things they think reflects on their coolness they are losing credibility and "cool points".

27 February 2008


The weirdest thing happened last night. I was woken up by a loud rumbling and then the house shook. We were experiencing a rare event in England, an earthquake! So rare in fact that we didn't know what it was to st rat with: the heating wasn't on so it was that, we looked outside, no lorry crashed into a neighbouring house. No sirens. It was peculiar and not a little scary. It seems it was a magnitude ~5.3 quake with the epicenter near Lincoln (about 70 miles away).

Being in England 5.3 is a pretty big tremor but nothing compared to the following list: the top ten recorded earthquakes by magnitude. These were not necessarily the most deadly but the strongest. The damage here was minimal, a few lose chimney pots, items shaken off shelves and only one recorded injury, the following list were something else.

1 May 1960 -Valdivia, Chile magnitude: 9.5
2 December 2004 - Off west coast northern Sumatra, Indonesia: 9.31
3 October 1737 - Kamchatka, Russia : ~9.3
3 March 1964 -Prince William Sound, Alaska, USA: 9.2
5 November 1952 -Kamchatka, Russia: 9.0
6 January 1700 - Cascadia subduction zone: ~9
7 January 1906 -Colombia-ookEcuador: 8.8
8 February 1965 - Rat Islands, Alaska, USA: 8.7
8 November 1833 - Sumatra, Indonesia: 8.7
10 November 1755 - Lisbon, Portugal: ~8.7

Britain's previous worst earthquakes:

June 1931 - in North Sea near Great Yarmouth: 6.1
July 1984 - Nefyn, north Wales: 5.4
April 1990 - Bishop's Castle, Shropshire: 5.1
September 2000 - Warwick: 4.2
October 2001 - Melton Mowbray: 4.1
September 2002 - Dudley, West Midlands: 5.0
December 2006 - Dumfries and Galloway: 3.5
April 2007 - Folkestone, Kent - magnitude: 4.3

26 February 2008

28th Golden Raspberry (Razzie) Award “Winners”

Ok, this blog has been a bit movies heavy recently, so I guess Hollywood should be brought down to size with the announcement of The Razzie's: which "dis-honor Worst Achievements in Film". Kind of a reverse Oscars. This year just three films swept the board, and Eddie Murphy achieved the enviable feat (and broke the record) by "winning" three out of the four worst acting awards in a single year. Li-Lo was a close second. The "winners" receive a gold spray painted giant raspberry for their achievements.

Remind me never to watch these three films.

  • Worst Picture: I Know Who Killed Me
  • Worst Actor: Eddie Murphy (as Norbit) Norbit
  • Worst Actress (TIE) : Lindsay Lohan (as Aubrey) and Lindsay Lohan (as Dakota) I Know Who Killed Me
  • Worst Supporting Actress: Eddie Murphy (as Rasputia) Norbit
  • Worst Supporting Actor: Eddie Murphy (as Mr. Wong) Norbit
  • Worst Screen Couple: Lindsay Lohan and Lindsay Lohan (as The Yang to Her Own Yin) I Know Who Killed Me
  • Worst Remake Or Rip-off: I Know Who Killed Me: Rip-Off of Hostle, Saw and The Patty Duke Show
  • Worst Prequel or Sequel: Daddy Day Camp
  • Worst Director: Chris Siverston I Know Who Killed Me
  • Worst Screenplay: I Know Who Killed Me Written by Jeffrey Hammond
  • Worst Excuse for a Horror Movie:(New Category!) I Know Who Killed Me

25 February 2008

80th Academy Awards

Oscar. It so nearly didn't happen. With the writer's strike threatening to scupper Hollywood's biggest night of the year, this year's ceromony (held last night) was a subdued affair. Held more with a sense of relief than celebration.

And it was the European's that did the best, with all four acting categories going to actors from this side of the pond. Best Supporting Actor, Javier Bardem, was the first Spaniard ever to win and France's Marion Cotillard, the French Best Actress was only the second to win the top award in a role in a foreign language. Daniel Day Lewis was the Best Actor and Tilda Swinton surprised everyone by winning for her supporting role in Michael Clayton.

Brits won six awards: the Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Costume Design, Make-Up, Visual Effects and Best Animated Short but bookies favourite, Julie Christie lost out again as Best Actress. The biggest loser of the night was Atonement,; nominated for seven, coming away with only the Best Original Score statuette.

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova from Irish movie "Once" (my favourite film of last year) won Best Original Song for "Slowly Falling". The American's didn't have a bad night though, with the Coen brother's No Country for Old Men scooping the big two, Best Film and Director.

The Oscar winners 2008

Best film: No Country for Old Men
Best director: No Country for Old Men, Joel and Ethan Coen
Best actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Original screenplay: Juno
Documentary feature: Taxi to the Dark Side
Documentary short: Freeheld
Original score: Atonement
Cinematography: There Will Be Blood
Song: Falling Slowly, Once
Foreign language film: The Counterfeiters
Honorary Oscar: Robert Boyle
Film editing: The Bourne Ultimatum
Best actress: Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Sound mixing: The Bourne Ultimatum
Sound editing: The Bourne Ultimatum
Adapted screenplay: No Country for Old Men, Joel and Ethan Coen
Supporting actress: Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
Animated short: Peter and the Wolf
Live action short: Le Mozart des Pickpockets
Supporting actor: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Art direction: Sweeney Todd
Visual effects: The Golden Compass
Makeup: La Vie en Rose
Animated feature: Ratatouille
Costume: Elizabeth: The Golden Age

24 February 2008

Oscar Losers

In the run up to tonight's Academy Awards, cinema advertising company Pearl and Dean have released a poll of films thath people think should have won the Oscar for best picture. There are some great movies in the list and one of my favourites, Frank Darabont's prison drama The Shawshank Redeption came top. It was nominated for seven Oscars but lost out to FOrrest Gump (though it did win best adapted screenplay).

However there are a couple of strange ones. The Great Escape better than the winner 1964 Tom Jones? I've never been a fan of It's a Wonderful Life (to smaltzy). I think American Beauty has more depth than The Sixth Sense (though a great film). And what about those NOT on the list: The Graduate losing out to In the Heat of the Night in 68? Or worse, Raging Bull losing out to Ordinary People? Goodfellas beaten by Dances WIth Wolves.
And I can't remember any horror films winning. Se7en, The Thing, The Fly, The Shining, The Exorcist (lost out to The Sting). The onlywinner I can think of is Silence of the Lambs.
I wonder if there will be anu surprises tonight?

Best films that didn't win the best picture Oscar:

1. The Shawshank Redemption
2. The Sixth Sense
3. Fight Club
4. Blade Runner
5= It's a Wonderful Life
5= The Great Escape
7= Taxi Driver
7= Psycho
9. Singin' in the Rain
10. Dr Strangelove

22 February 2008

Top 50 Books to Movies

With the Oscars this weekend and my Blade Runner post yesterday, I was browsing the net and came across this blog entry about the best best literature to movie adaptations created by the London Evening Standard. I'm not sure when it's from (the blog is only dated April 24) but it's a good list. I suspect it's quite old. I wonder if I, Robot, I Am Legend, Lord of the Rings, Lion Witch and the Wardrobe or the Harry Potter books would have made the list.

I've followed it by a list of my own, only of movies which I have seen AND read the book.

  1. The English Patient Michael Ondaatje
  2. Goodfellas Nicholas Pileggi
  3. The Vanishing Tim Krabbe
  4. Lord Of The Flies William Golding
  5. Remains Of The Day Kazuo Ishiguro
  6. Close Range (incl Brokeback Mountain) Annie Proulx
  7. Empire Of The Sun JG Ballard
  8. Schindler’s Ark (filmed as Schindler’s List) Thomas Keneally
  9. The Spy Who Came In From The Cold John le Carré
  10. Different Seasons (Shawshank Redemption) Stephen King .
  11. American Psycho Bret Easton Ellis
  12. Jaws Peter Benchley
  13. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? (filmed as Blade Runner) Philip K Dick.
  14. The Maltese Falcon Dashiell Hammett
  15. The Hound Of The Baskervilles Arthur Conan Doyle
  16. Heart Of Darkness (filmed as Apocalypse Now) Joseph Conrad
  17. Oliver Twist Charles Dickens
  18. Pride And Prejudice Jane Austen
  19. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy .
  20. The Jungle Book Rudyard Kipling
  21. Les Liaisons Dangereuses (filmed as Dangerous Liaisons) Choderlos de Laclos
  22. 1984 George Orwell
  23. Alice In Wonderland Lewis Carroll
  24. A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess
  25. A Kestrel For A Knave (filmed as Kes) Barry Hines
  26. Breakfast At Tiffany’s Truman Capote
  27. Be Cool (Get Shorty) Elmore Leonard
  28. Goldfinger Ian Fleming
  29. Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
  30. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest Ken Kesey
  31. Day Of The Triffids John Wyndham
  32. The Outsiders S E Hinton
  33. The Railway Children E Nesbit
  34. Watership Down Richard Adams
  35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl
  36. Orlando Virginia Woolf
  37. The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie Muriel Spark
  38. Brighton Rock Graham Greene
  39. Catch-22 Joseph Heller .
  40. Doctor Zhivago Boris Pasternak
  41. Fight Club Chuck Palahniuk
  42. The French Lieutenant’s Woman John Fowles
  43. LA Confidential James Ellroy
  44. The Godfather Mario Puzo
  45. The Talented Mr Ripley Patricia Highsmith
  46. To Kill A Mockingbird Harper Lee
  47. Trainspotting Irvine Welsh
  48. Sin City Frank Miller
  49. Rebecca Daphne Du Maurier
  50. Devil with a Blue Dress Walter Mosley

My list of my 12 favourite adaptations (that I can remember at this moment in time!)

  • Trainspotting
  • 1984
  • Jaws
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Princess Bride
  • Casino Royale
  • The Constant Gardener
  • Brighton Rock
  • Watership Down
  • Sin City
  • Great Expectations
  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)

There are so many books I've read but haven't got round to seeing the film, I Am Legend, The Lion The Witch, Day of the Triffids, V for Vendetta etc etc that I really must see.

21 February 2008

Classic Film Opening #3: Blade Runner

"My mother? Let me tell you about my mother."

From a film which has a hundred brilliant moments the opening is pure class. Setting the scene perfectly with Vangelis' perfect, haunting electronic music, to visuals that have never been surpassed in this era of CGI. The last of the great "in-camera special effects" movies, Blade Runner is the last great film of the old techniques in visual effects.

The opening credits slowly feed us into the film, via rolling text explaining the Blade Runner, a law enforcer who searches and destroys "replicants", genetically created humans. That music setting the pace and menace. On a beat an extreme close-up of an eye, reflecting a burst of flame. We don't know to whom this eye belongs but the film uses eyes as a motif throughout. In hindsight, is it Tyrell's (Joe Turkell), Deckard's (Harrison Ford), the interviewer in the up coming scene, even Batty (Rutger Hauer).

We cut to a cityscape, like nothing around today (or in 1982 when the film was released). We are told that the year is 2019 and this is supposed to be Los Angeles, it's unrecognisable. The scene is a mass of sprawling super-highrise buildings, stretching out into the smog. The souce of eye's the reflected flame was from the multitude of oil refinery type structures, beltching their pollution into the acrid atmosphere.

The scene has been dubbed the "Hades shot", a masterful track across a forced-perspective model and glass-seperation paintings, shot up to fifty times on the same piece of film. Motion control camera (invented only 5 years before) repeating the camera moves as the shutter is opened to capture seperate real world effects. If just one went wrong the filmmakers would have to start again. Millions of tiny fibre-optic lights creating the look of millions of windows, as the orange light of the dawn struggles to penetrate the smog. Flying vehicles flash past the camera, floating like neon illuminated insects.

The camera tracks slowly towards the biggest structure amongst the cityscape. A huge pryamidal building, hundreds of storeys high. We zoom towards one of the thousands of windows, where we can see a spinning ceiling fan and we start the opening scene proper...

Now, you must remember that the smokey room, ceiling fan and heavy lighting streaming through windows was a new look in cinema. Ridley Scott brought an incredible eye from his time as a commercials director. Copied a million times since this aesthetic was no cliche though it almost came to define the following decade. The room is an interigation room and on the desk still a strange machine, we later learn it's a Voight-Kamph machine). It seems to be alive, breathing like a futuristic iron lung.

A working class janitor type, Leon (the late Brion James) enters and is asked to sit by the man in a smart suit (Morgan Paull). He explains that this is a test and Leon is going to be asked questions designed to provoke an emotional response. A viewfinder raises from the machine and a monitor focuses on Leon's nervous eye.

After a number of strange questions, Leon is confused but answers the questions nervously and as best he can. We are not spoon fed everything, questions are posed, who is this man, what is this building? What is this test from this strange machine? A few clues to the state of this future Earth become apparent, such as the fact animal life is very rare if not completely extinct. The future is not a nice place.

Then Leon is asked about his mother and the violent end of the scene blasts us into this amazing movie with a bang.

I haven't given away too much about the film (in fact, if you haven't seen it, it's quite ambiguous!) but it's definately in the list for films you should see before you die. Blade Runner (1982) was directed by Ridley Scott and based on the novella by Philip K Dick: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. If you've never seen this film go see it now. In my opinion it is one of the best science fiction films ever made. It IS an aquired taste, with it's slow pace and noir storyline. It was a relative flop at the time of release and went through a number of edits because of negative test screenings and studio interference. The visuals are stunning though and it's theme of "what makes us human?", thought provoking.

Treat yourself to the Final Cut Ultimate Collector's Edition on DVD, an amazing account of the making or this stunning film and the film itself in it's many incarnations. Don't bother with the "briefcase" version unless you're a completist, because it's what's on the five discs that count. Also worth a look is Future Noir, a brilliant book by Paul M Sammon, that covers much of the same ground. "If only you'd seen what I've seen with your eyes."

20 February 2008

Brit Award Winners - LIVE!

Okay, it's the Brit Awards tonight and if I'm around I will post the winners here as they are announced!

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne are hosting the event live on ITV. I'm sure they'll have a few seconds pause so they can bleep out any swearing from Ozzy. Being live on tv might result in some antics from the winners too.

As I mentioned before it's a very "pop" list this year and Kylie, Mika, Mark Ronson (possibly with Amy Whitehouse) and Rihanna will be performing live, as well as a medley from Outstandning Contribution winner, Sir Paul McCartney.


::8pm Ok, here we go, the show is about it star. I'm sure it will be infuriating but compulsive in equal measures. Let's hope we have a Chumbawumba or Cocker/Jackson type moment.

::We're live from Earl's COurt (via ITV). Mika kicks off the show with "Love Today". He's about to be eaten by a big spider! He seems to have his own paper theatre set thing. I really mustn't comment on his singing cos I CAN'T STAND MIKA!

::Beth Ditto from The Gossip has joined him on stage and they murdering "standing in the way of control". It's awful! Beth in wearing a pink Shirley Temple dress

::The curtain's just dropped and hidden Beth as Mika goes into "Grace Kelly", he's having trouble hitting the notes. Sal (my wife!) says he looks like one of those weird little girls in an American beauty pagaent! "Why don't you like me?" he sings... where do I start?

:: He's finished at last, big cheers?

:: The Osbournes arrive on stage to big shouts from Ozzy. Sharon says "can you believe it?" and decribes the opening act as "big assed"!

:: First award, Chris Moyles presents ("My future son-in-law" says Sharon).
He seems to be filling.

British live act:
Arctic Monkeys
Kaiser Chiefs#
Take That
(Winner chosen by BBC Radio 2 listeners)

From boy band to man band says the announcer. National treasures apparently.
Very smart in suits. Gary thanks all the usual industry bods, and Mark is first to swear "bloody hell". Jason has saying they worked so hared and "dead chuffed" and thanks the gig audiences. Howard thanks the roadies. Bless 'em.

:: Live act 2, Klaxons and Rihanna, Klaxons beat over the top of "Umberella-ella-ella".
Surprisingly it works. The "Golden Skans" "ooo-ooo-aahs" in the background. She's a good live singer. Major laser show too. Surprisingly good.

:: Fern Cotton backstage with Take That. Mark reveals they got copies made for the one they won last year. They wanted Live Act from the four nominations.

:: We can vote for British single if we want. Not on your nelly with all the phone scams on TV!

:: Ad break, it all seems to be moving on quickly.

:: We're back. New award from critics.
Critics' Choice Award (newcomer most likely to succeed in 2008):

She doesn't look like you think she would. To present it, Will Young, who does look like you'd expect. Adele graduated from the Brits school. Wonder why she won!?
She's thanking everyone including her Mum. The Brit School are in the audience.

:: Jonathan Rhys Meyer presents the breakthrough act. Sharon wanta to lick him!

British breakthrough act:
Bat For Lashes
Kate Nash
Leona Lewis
(Winner chosen by BBC Radio 1 listeners)

Mika collects toy theatres apparently. Loud scream from Mika. Thanking everyone for working like dogs.
Kate Nash doesnt look happy.

::Kylie live, she's looking sophisicatingly sexy, as ever. Singing "Wow". Ive never heard her sing this song live very well. Ah well, lets just watch. Robotling dancers and neon backdrop. She's starting to look older but great for her age. Blonde straight hair looks good. She doesn't show her bum enough these days!

::Luckily there was a break cos power went on my laptop!

::Kelly Rowland presents next award.
International male solo artist
Bruce Springsteen
Kanye West
Michael Buble
Rufus Wainwright*

Described by Kelly as "my boy". Kanye being humble on video thank you but says "it doesnt come natural".

::Kelly O cracks up at her mum's line fluffs. Beth Ditto arrives in a new dustsheet, I mean dress.
British male solo artist:
Jamie T
Mark Ronson
Newton Faulkner*
Richard Hawley

Man of the moment. First time ever a non-singer has won this category, he's produced loads though. "Never felt so male or British". Says is thank yous are boring "like a shopping list" and thanks all the singers. Thanks his dad for his trumpet fascination and the Brits cos he was born in New York.

:: Kaiser Chiefs live "Ruby". 3d Skyscrapers growing out of the floor! and clouds background is great. Helicopters fly over now. Sound not great, it's as if everyone voice monitors aren't on properly (on all the acts). Backing "aaa-aah-aahs" sound awful. Seen them live too and they were much better.

::Ronson and Ditto backstage. He loves Beth and says he has already won 3 awards before this week.

::Surprise after break for Mark Ronson, but Fern wont say, "oh Noooo, no no". Hmmm, I guess Amy's been kept off the skag tonight then.

:: We're back. Sharon's changed. Shock horror.
Here's international female presented by Dr Who, I mean David Tennant.
International female solo artist:
Alicia Keys
Kylie Minogue

Another award for someone who perfeormed on the night. Her third ever Brit. Lovely black number on now. Sold 68 million records. Lucky David gets a wiggle, giggle and a big hug. She gets the biggest cheer of the night. "Overcome" "Incredible" thanks all the usual. Thanks for supporting her the past few years. "grateful and thankful".

:: Next act, Leona Lewis. Loads of dancers on stage, wonder if they the same as Kylies with a costume change? She still looks like an Afghan hound in a purple dress. "Bleeding Love", great voice, irritating song. She is really like a Disney princess, bland, she's really trying to inject "personality" into the performance but she's just a voice. Less annoying than Mariah Carey though, and I prefer her voice, despite the warbles. Uh, petals (or is it butterflies) to finish.

::International group. Presented by Denise Van Outen and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. Odd couple. Bad joke from the knight about presenting the best international group goes down like Mika does in this household. None of nominees here.

::International group
Arcade Fire
Foo Fighters*
Kings of Leon
White Stripes.

Dave Grohl accepts on video, "wishes he could be there" - said ironically!

::James Nesbit announced Man Utd are losing and ...
British female solo artist:
Bat For Lashes
Kate Nash
KT Tunstall*
Leona Lewis
PJ Harvey

Two years in the row for ex-Brit Schooler. She recognises a few ex-schoolmates in the crowd at the front. Thanks a phonebook's worth and the Brit School cos arts in education important.

::Voting for single over. Bionic Woman Michelle Ryan presents...
International album:
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Eagles - Long Road Out Of Eden
Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace*
Kings of Leon - Because Of The Times
Kylie Minogue - X.

Dave's back on screen claims "not to have got one of these before" and lists bands that have won before (such "greats" as Kula Shaker and Shakespears Sister) and proud to be associated with them all!

::Mark Ronson back on stage, with his band this time. Medley, Coldplay's "God Put a Smile on My Face" sung (quite well) by Adele. The Smiths' "Stop Me" sung by the guy on the Ronson single (cant remember his name). Amy Winehouse is on for "Valerie", shes looking VERY skinny, not good, seems a bit out of time, she's a mess. It's always like watching a car crash. Her voice hasn't stood up to the abuse. It's tragic. Hug from Mark, big cheers. She really should be kept out of the spotlight for a while, it's like people watching a freakshow and it's not fair.

:: Well needed break and I notice we have a live comment. Woohoo, thanks Mr Vimes

:: Oops, technical hitch, dont know if Sharon was too rude!
Sir Ian McKellen on stage to award... (and meet Mika apparently!)
British group:
Arctic Monkeys*
Girls Aloud
Kaiser Chiefs
Take That

Second year running I think. They havent snubbed it this year. this could be fun. Howard from Take That pretending to cry. Are they dressed as English Country gemtlemen. They dont have speech, but blow a hunting horn!

::Amy Winehouse singing "Love is a Losing Game". She's obviously so off her head. It's embaressing cos she is such a talent. Not like this. As Sal says, "she's so gonna get slated for this". She gurning, cant stop jigging nervously and eyes all over. As is her voice. I really dont like to watch. Asks crowd to "makes some noise for my husband Blake"

::Best Single votes in and counted. Alan Carr has the envelope.

British single:
Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love
Mika - Grace Kelly
Take That - Shine
Mark Ronson Ft Amy Winehouse - Valerie
The Hoosiers - Worried About Ray
(Winner decided by a live public vote on the night)

Just beat Leona apparently. Alan Carr wants a kiss from them all like last year but settles for handshakes. They seem very happy. Jason telling us its great even in late 30s to get awards (athritic knees and Howard's punctured lung)! Mark remembers to thank the voters! Oooh, theyre nice boys. Sharon agrees with that one I think!

::Kelly is embaressed about her mum's bingo ads! Sharon says they paid for her dress.

::Vic Reeve to announce the big one. Sharon calls him a pisshead as he stumbles through!
British album:
Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare*
Leona Lewis - Spirit
Mark Ronson - Version
Mika - Life In Cartoon Motion
Take That - Beautiful World

This'll be the bit in the papers, Sharon reads it out as she tells Vic to piss off!!! .

Take That a close second apparently. Vic's still there being "a pisshead". Sharon urges them to say something and says "what have they come as", thats not suppoised to be heard. Theyre trying to be funny taking 5the mickey out of the Brits school. I'm sure they find it funny. They're cut off!

Cuts to Fern, I think Sharon has been gagged!
And as one of our blog commenters Vimes says "Vic Reeves and Sharon Osbourn classic car crash TV, Vic is as funny as a kick in the teeth." They needed that ad break!

Four nominations, a performance tonight but no wins for Leona.

::Sharon's back, with the rest of the family. Ozzy introducing one of his heroes "Mr Sir Paul McCartney". But he's too early they need to show the video!

and to present it, Meather Mills, oops no sorry, Kylie
Shes saying how the Beatles brought down the barriers, a huge honour for her, and her he is Macca
Outstanding contribution to music:
Sir Paul McCartney

He looks good. A lot of stress taken off him this week. He says he honoured and British music is the best. Lets hope after that lot he proves it with this performance.

Ozzy gets to introduce his hero again!!!

He starts with his latest ditty "Dance Tonight". I love this song, even with its mandolin and whistles. It's just got "nice" written all over it. Simplisity was Paul's strong point. Clever simplicity. Happy. Smiley. Damn, he looks like he's lost years since I last saw him. (Maybe he's used the Botox stall backstage - this is real!!!)

"Are you rocking?" he asks

Brilliant, "Live and Let Die". He's brought the flamethrowers from his Glastonbury set (and the big screen adds to it too). His voice aint what it used to be but its fantastic. He's got the best backing band too. Huge cheers.

He always seems like he's in front of mates. So relaxed. He's been doing it a while though.

Hey Jude. Had to be didnt it. Reminds me of one of my best Glastonbury moments, with my sis and her little daughter, they both huge fans. Then the "na nana nahs" all night afterwards. The crowd are doing the same here at the Brits.

Just gets the boys to "nananah"
Then the ladies.

"everybody altogether now cmon cmon..."

I can't believe it's taken him so long to get this award!

So a solo, a Wings and a Beatles hit then. Confetti, massive cheers, a few "oooooooo"'s. He's a natural. Standing ovation. He claps the audience. They shout the place down for him. Great ending to a rather tame affair really.

::So there you have it. Cheers to the few who came along for the blogride. Please leave comments even if you weren't her live. Right, I need a drink.

PS, Manchester United pulled one back (and got an away goal) at Lyon in the first leg of the knockout stage game of the Chapions League. Phew!

19 February 2008

HD-DVD - and other products driven into submission

The industry standard of high definition video format has been decided today as Toshiba, the company behind the HD-DVD digital video format has pulled out of development and production of the format. Sony's Blu-Ray disc technology won the day to be the successor of DVD after the Warner Bros studio, following a number of other high profile distributors and studios, decided to release movies only on Blu-Ray.

So, todays list is one of technology and products which were forced out of the market by rival brands.

::HD-DVD - see above, beaten in the race for high definition television by Blu-Ray.

::Gizmondo - handheld games consol, GPS, text messenger beaten as much by it's dodgy fraudster owners as it's battle against the Gamesboy and later the Nintendo DS. Making a comeback thing year apparently.

::Betamax - Sony's technically superior, smaller but ultimately unsuccessful format in the earlier video format war, this time on analogue maganetic video tape, down to aggessive marketing from the VHS companies.

::Dreamcast - Sega's last videogames console, tyhe attempt to regain the market lost to Sony's Playstation and after the duisaster of the Sega Saturn. Despite pioneering online capabilities it didnt gain enough of the market before the release of the Playstation 2 and stopped production in 2001.

::Netscape - the once dominant web browser, superceded by thye muscle of Microsofts Internet Explorer. Bought out by AOL, but only with a 1% share of the market, compared to ove.r 90% in the mid-nineties, AOL have announced there will be no further updates.

::Laserdisc - the pioneering pre-cursor to DVD, still loved by film affianardo's (and the Japanese) these 12 inch video discs had digital quality sound and picture during the times of VHS video's analogue, and able to hold extras (like today's DVD's) and chapter searching like CD's and DVD. However, they had limited capacity and most films had to be on numerous or double sided discs. And they were never commericially available in a recordable format.

::Stereo-8 - or the eight-track cartidge of tape. An maganetic audio tape in a plug in cartidge, popular from the mid 60's to late 70's. It declined with the introduction of the compact cassette, which was cheaper and smaller. Radio stations still used the format for jingles until the introduction of the compact disc and then computer technology (which also killed off the compact cassette and to an extent the vinyl record market).

::Concorde - the Anglo-French supersonic passenger aircraft. Technologically amazing but ultimately too expensive to run commercially.

::Virgin Cola - Branson's attempt to take a slice (drip?) of the cola market from the mighty Coke and Pepsi. A huge failure due to tasting worse than Panda Pops.

::Ask Jeeves - internet search engine that couldn't keep up with Google, MSN or Yahoo. Though still available (as Ask.com), the lovable Wooster-esque butler which searched the net for answers to your gramtically asked questions, was phased out in 2006. Ask still offers a number of features that the big three don't, such as AskEraser, which covers the users internet tracking.

::Rover - one of number of once major British car manufacturers that couldn't compete with cheaper production abroad, especially in the far east.

::British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) - Sky Television's rival in the early 80's, with their famous "squarial" square satellite dish.

::Today - Eddy Shah's ill-fated national UK newspaper, that used computer technology to produce Britain's first full colour daily. The problem was their was no colour-proofing until the final print run and led to many issues having problems with the colour separation being misaligned. It did push the printing industry into computer controlled production but was closed, less than a decade after first appearing, after being sold to Rupert Murdock's News International.

::Top of the Pops - BBC's weekly flagship pop music programme ran for 42 years before declining viewing figures, due to multi-channel television music channels and the internet, finally put an end to this tired format. The show that would put the latest indie band on the same bill as boy band fluff, confounding the audience, it was once a British institution where anything could, and often would, happen.

::OnDigital - the finacially crippling digital terrestrial television broadcaster from ITV, (briefly rebranded ITV Digital), scuppered by a ludicrously high bid for Premiership Football rights, Sky's aggressive marketing of it's digital service and the advent of Freeview.

::The Dodo - okay, I'm stretching it here..!

13 February 2008

Elle Style Awards

:: Best Actress - Keira Knightley
:: Best Actor - James McAvoy
:: Best Music Act - Kate Nash
:: Best Music Band - The Feeling
:: Best Male TV Star - Nicholas Hoult
:: Best Female TV Star - Kelly Osbourne
:: Best Model - Agyness Deyn
:: Best British Designer - Jonathan Saunders
:: Best International Designer - Luella Bartley
:: Best Accessory Designer - Pierre Hardy
:: H&M Style Visionary Award - William Baker
:: Elle Style Icon - Kate Hudson
:: Woman of the Year - Kylie Minogue
:: Outstanding Achievement - Anya Hindmarch

11 February 2008

50th Grammy Awards

The marathon that is the Grammys, the American music awards were held last night and Amy Winehouse was the big winner. In a ceremony that encompasses 32 categories and 110 different awards (what's the difference between record and song of the year?) the troubled British singer won five awards. The way she's going it'll be a wonder if she makes another recording let alone win big at the Grammys.

The following list is only the "main" categories. The full list can be found at the official site, here.

Record of the year
Amy Winehouse - Rehab
Also nominated:Beyonce - Irreplaceable
Foo Fighters - The Pretender
Rihanna - Umbrella
Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around... Comes Around

Album of the year
Herbie Hancock - River: The Joni Letters
Also nominated: Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
Vince Gill - These Days
Kanye West - Graduation
Amy Winehouse - Back To Black

Song of the year
Amy Winehouse - Rehab
Also nominated: Carrie Underwood - Before He Cheats
Plain White Ts - Hey There Delilah
Corrine Bailey Rae - Like a Star
Rihanna - Umbrella

Best new artist
Amy Winehouse
Also nominated:
Taylor Swift

Best female pop vocal performance
Rehab - Amy Winehouse
Also nominated: Candyman - Christina Aguilera
1234 - Feist
Big Girls Don't Cry - Fergie
Say It Right - Nelly Furtado

Best male pop vocal performance
What Goes Around...Comes Around - Justin Timberlake
Also nominated: Everything - Michael Buble
Belief - John Mayer
Dance Tonight - Paul McCartney
Amazing - Seal

Best pop performance by a duo or group with vocals
Makes Me Wonder - Maroon 5
Also nominated: (You Want To) Make A Memory - Bon Jovi
Home - Daughtry
Hey There Delilah - Plain White T's
Window In The Skies - U2

Best pop vocal album
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
Also nominated: Bon Jovi - Lost Highway
Feist - The Reminder
Maroon 5 - It Won't Be Soon Before Long
Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full

Best dance recording
LoveStoned/I Think She Knows - Justin Timberlake
Also nominated: Do It Again - The Chemical Brothers
D.A.N.C.E. - Justice
Love Today - Mika
Don't Stop The Music - Rihanna

Best rock song
Radio Nowhere - Bruce Springsteen
Also nominated: Come On - Lucinda Williams
Icky Thump - The White Stripes
It's Not Over - Daughtry
The Pretender - Foo Fighters

Best rock album
Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
Also nominated:Daughtry - Daughtry
John Fogerty - Revival
Bruce Springsteen - Magic
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky

Best solo rock vocal performance
Radio Nowhere - Bruce Springsteen
Also nominated: Timebomb - Beck
Only Mama Knows - Paul McCartney
Our Country - John Mellencamp
Come On - Lucinda Williams

Best rock performance by a duo or group with vocals
Icky Thump - The White Stripes
Also nominated: It's Not Over - Daughtry
Working Class Hero - Green Day
If Everyone Cared - Nickelback
Instant Karma - U2

Best alternative music album
Icky Thump - The White Stripes
Also nominated: Alright, Still... - Lily Allen
Neon Bible - Arcade Fire
Volta - Bjork
Wincing The Night Away - The Shins

Best female R&B vocal performance
No One - Alicia Keys
Also nominated: Just Fine - Mary J Blige
When I See You - Fantasia
If I Have My Way - Chrisette Michele
Hate On Me - Jill Scott

Best male R&B vocal performance
Future Baby Mama - Prince
Also nominated: Woman - Raheem DeVaughn
B.U.D.D.Y. - Musiq Soulchild
Because Of You - Ne-Yo
Please Don't Go - Tank

Best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocals
Disrespectful - Chaka Khan Featuring Mary J Blige
Also nominated: Same Girl - R Kelly Featuring Usher
Hate That I Love You - Rihanna Featuring Ne-Yo
Baby - Angie Stone Featuring Betty Wright
Bartender - T-Pain Featuring Akon

Best R&B song No One - Alicia Keys
Also nominated: Beautiful Flower - India Arie
Hate That I Love You - Rihanna Featuring Ne-Yo
Teachme - Musiq Soulchild
When I See U - Fantasia

Best R&B album
Chaka Khan - Funk This
Also nominated:Ledisi - Lost & Found
Musiq Soulchild - Luvanmusiq
Jill Scott - The Real ThingTank - Sex, Love & Pain

Best contemporary R&B album
Ne-Yo - Because Of You
Also nominated:Akon - Konvicted
Keyshia Cole - Just Like You
Fantasia - Fantasia
Emily King - East Side Story

Best rap solo performance
Stronger - Kanye West
Also nominated: The People - Common
I Get Money - 50 Cent
Show Me What You Got - Jay-Z
Big Things Poppin' (Do It) - TI

Best rap performance by a duo or group
Southside - Common Featuring Kanye West
Also nominated: Make It Rain - Fat Joe Featuring Lil Wayne
Party Like A Rockstar - Shop Boyz
Int'l Players Anthem (I Choose You) - UGK Featuring OutKast
Better Than I've Ever Been - Kanye West, Nas & KRS-One

Best rap song
Good Life - Kanye West Featuring T-Pain
Also nominated: Ayo Technology - 50 Cent Featuring Justin Timberlake & Timbaland
Big Things Poppin' (Do It) - T
ICan't Tell Me Nothing - Kanye West
Crank That - Soulja Boy Tell'Em

Best rap album
Kanye West - Graduation
Also nominated:Common - Finding Forever
Jay-Z - Kingdom Come
Nas - Hip Hop Is Dead
TI - TI vs TIP

Best female country vocal performance
Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood
Also nominated: Simple Love - Alison Krauss
Famous In A Small Town - Miranda Lambert
Nothin' Better To Do - LeAnn Rimes
Heaven, Heartache And The Power Of Love - Trisha Yearwood

Best male country vocal performance
Stupid Boy - Keith Urban
Also nominated: Long Trip Alone - Dierks Bentley
A Woman's Love - Alan Jackson
If You're Reading This - Tim McGrawGive It Away - George Strait

Best country performance by a duo or group with vocals
How Long - Eagles
Also nominated:Proud Of The House We Built - Brooks & Dunn
Moments - Emerson Drive
Lucky Man - Montgomery Gentry
Sweet Memories - The Time Jumpers

Best country song
Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood
Also nominated:Give It Away - George Strait
I Need You - Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
If You're Reading This - Tim McGraw
Long Trip Alone - Dierks Bentley

Best country album
Vince Gill - These Days
Also nominated:Dierks Bentley - Long Trip Alone
Tim McGraw - Let It Go
Brad Paisley - 5th Gear
George Strait - It Just Comes Natural

Best electronic/dance album
The Chemical Brothers - We Are The Night
Also nominated:Justice - Cross
LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver
Shiny Toy Guns - We Are PilotsTiesto - Elements Of Life

Producer of the year, non-classical
Mark Ronson
Also nominated:Howard Benson
Joe Chiccarelli
Mike Elizondo

Best short form music video
Johnny Cash - God's Gonna Cut You Down
Feist - 1234
Gnarls Barkley - Gone Daddy Gone
Justice - D.A.N.C.E.
Mute Math - Typical

10 February 2008

BAFTA's 2008

The results are in for this year's British Academy Film and Television Awards and Atonement, with 14 nominations only came away with two wins, for Best Film and Production Design (strangely beating This is England, which beat it was best British film).

The awards, to the bookies chagrin, were full of surprise winners. French film about the life of Edith Piaf , La Vie En Rose, won the most, scooping four, including best actress for Marion Cotillard, beating Julie Christie. As expected, Daniel Day Lewis won best actor for There Will Be Blood, the film's only win.

Overall, the best films of the year (according to the critics) all got a gong. The winners are in capitals/bold below (with other nominees).

Best Film

  • American Gangster - Brian Grazer/Ridley Scott
  • ATONEMENT - Tim Bevan/Eric Fellner/Paul Webster
  • The Lives Of Others - Quirin Berg/Max Wiedemann
  • No Country For Old Men - Scott Rudin/Joel Coen/Ethan Coen
  • There Will Be Blood - Joanne Sellar/Paul Thomas Anderson/Daniel Lupi

Best British Film

  • Atonement - Tim Bevan/Eric Fellner/Paul Webster/Joe Wright/Christopher Hampton
  • The Bourne Ultimatum - Frank Marshall/Patrick Crowley/Paul L Sandberg/Paul Greengrass/Tony Gilroy/Scott Z Burns/George Nolfi
  • Control - Orian Williams/ Todd Eckert/Anton Corbijn/Matt Greenhalgh Eastern Promises - Paul Webster/Robert Lantos/David Cronenberg/Steve Knight
  • THIS IS ENGLAND - Mark Herbert/Shane Meadows

The Carl Foreman Award For Special Achievement By A British Director, Writer Or Producer In Their First Feature Film

  • Chris Atkins (Director/Writer) - Taking Liberties
  • Mia Bays (Producer) - Scott Walker: 30 Century Man
  • Sarah Gavron (Director) - Brick Lane
  • Matt Greenhalgh (Writer) - CONTROL
  • Andrew Piddington (Director/Writer) - The Killing Of John Lennon

Best Director

  • Atonement - Joe Wright
  • The Bourne Ultimatum - Paul Greengrass
  • The Lives Of Others - Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck
  • NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN - Joel Coen/Ethan Coen
  • There Will Be Blood - Paul Thomas Anderson

Original Screenplay

  • American Gangster - Steven Zaillian
  • JUNO - Diablo Cody
  • The Lives Of Others - Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck
  • Michael Clayton - Tony Gilroy
  • This Is England - Shane Meadows

Adapted Screenplay

  • Atonement - Christopher Hampton
  • The Kite Runner - David Benioff
  • No Country For Old Men - Joel Coen/Ethan Coen
  • There Will Be Blood - Paul Thomas Anderson

Film Not In The English Language

  • The Diving Bell And The Butterfly - Kathleen Kennedy/Jon Kilik/Julian Schnabel
  • The Kite Runner - William Horberg/Walter Parkes/Rebecca Yeldham/Marc Foster
  • THE LIVES OF OTHERS - Quirin Berg/Max Wiedemann/Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck
  • Lust, Caution - Bill Kong/James Schamus/Ang Lee
  • La Vie En Rose - Alain Goldman/Olivier Dahan

Animated Film

  • RATATOUILLE - Brad Bird
  • Shrek The Third - Chris Miller
  • The Simpsons Movie - Matt Groening/James L Brooks

Leading Actor

  • George Clooney - Michael Clayton
  • DANIEL DAY-LEWIS- There Will Be Blood
  • James Mcavoy - Atonement
  • Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promises
  • Ulrich Mühe - The Lives Of Others

Leading Actress

  • Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth: The Golden Age
  • Julie Christie - Away From Her
  • Keira Knightley - Atonement
  • Ellen Page - Juno

Supporting Actor

  • JAVIER BARDEM - No Country For Old Men
  • Paul Dano - There Will Be Blood
  • Tommy Lee Jones - No Country For Old Men
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman - Charlie Wilson's War
  • Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton

Supporting Actress

  • Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There
  • Kelly Macdonald - No Country For Old Men
  • Samantha Morton - Control
  • Saoirse Ronan - Atonement
  • TILDA SWINTON - Michael Clayton


  • American Gangster - Marc Streitenfeld
  • Atonement - Dario Marianelli
  • The Kite Runner - Alberto Iglesias
  • There Will Be Blood - Jonny Greenwood
  • LA VIE EN ROSE - Christopher Gunning


  • American Gangster - Harris Savides
  • Atonement - Seamus Mcgarvey
  • The Bourne Ultimatum - Oliver Wood
  • NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN - Roger Deakins
  • There Will Be Blood - Robert Elswit


  • American Gangster - Pietro Scalia
  • Atonement - Paul Tothill
  • THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM- Christopher Rouse
  • Michael Clayton - John Gilroy
  • No Country For Old Men - Roderick Jaynes

Production Design

  • ATONEMENT - Sarah Greenwood/Katie Spencer
  • Elizabeth: The Golden Age - Guy Hendrix Dyas/Richard Roberts
  • Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix - Stuart Craig/Stephenie Mcmillan
  • There Will Be Blood - Jack Fisk/Jim Erickson La Vie En Rose - Olivier Raoux

Costume Design

  • Atonement - Jacqueline Durran
  • Elizabeth: The Golden Age - Alexandra Byrne
  • Lust, Caution - Pan Lai Sweeney Todd:
  • The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street - Colleen Atwood
  • LA VIE EN ROSE - Marit Allen


  • Atonement - Danny Hambrook/Paul Hamblin/Catherine Hodgson
  • THE COURNE ULTIMATUM - Kirk Francis/Scott Millan/Dave Parker/Karen Baker Landers/Per Hallberg
  • No Country For Old Men - Peter Kurland/Skip Lievsay/Craig Berkey/Greg Orloff
  • There Will Be Blood - Christopher Scarabosio/Matthew Wood/John Pritchett/Michael Semanick/Tom Johnson
  • La Vie En Rose - Laurent Zeilig/Pascal Villard/Jean-Paul Hurier/Marc Doisne

Special Visual Effects

  • The Bourne Ultimatum - Peter Chiang/Charlie Noble/Mattias Lindahl/Joss Williams
  • THE GOLDEN COMPASS - Michael Fink/Bill Westenhofer/Ben Morris/Trevor Woods
  • Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix - Tim Burke/John Richardson/Emma Norton/Chris Shaw
  • Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End - John Knoll/Charles Gibson/Hal Hickel/John Frazier
  • Spider-Man 3 - Scott Stokdyk/Peter Nofz/Kee-Suk Ken Hahn/Spencer Cook

Make Up & Hair

  • Atonement - Ivana Primorac
  • Elizabeth: The Golden Age - Jenny Shircore
  • Hairspray - Nominees tbc
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street - Ivana Primorac
  • LA VIE EN ROSE - Jan Archibald/Didier Lavergne

Short Animation

  • THE PEARCE SISTERS - Jo Allen/Luis Cook
  • Head Over Heels - Osbert Parker/Fiona Pitkin/Ian Gouldstone
  • The Crum blegiant - Pearse Moore/John Mccloskey
Short Film
  • DOG ALTOGETHER- Diarmid Scrimshaw/Paddy Considine
  • Hesitation - Julien Berlan/Michelle Eastwood/Virginia Gilbert
  • The One And Only Herb Mcgwyer Plays Wallis Island - Charlie Henderson/James Griffiths/Tim Key/Tom Basden
  • Soft - Jane Hooks/Simon Ellis
  • The Stronger - Dan Mcculloch/Lia Williams/Frank Mcguinness

The Orange Rising Star Award

  • Sienna Miller
  • Ellen Page
  • Sam Riley Tang Wei

Academy Fellowship

  • Sir Anthony Hopkins

Outstanding British contribution to cinema

  • Barry Wilkinson