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Vimster

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Everything posted by Vimster

  1. 16 - I Wanna Be Yours by John Cooper Clarke - entertaining and engaging memoir from the "punk poet", concentrates on his formative years in the 60s, finding his footing as a performance poet in the 70s, the initial stardom and how he juggled that with his heroin addiction. Rather glosses over the last 20 years or so, and it was pretty straightforward, was expecting more wordplay and asides but there you go. He does the audiobook, natch, and who better?
  2. The Capture series 1 Very post-Line Of Duty earnest police drama with an admittedly intriguing premise. My main issue is with the unlikability of the main characters, all very serious, I felt it very difficult to have any sympathy for the main police woman who even when things became more difficult was still arrogant and snobbish. Also if I went back to my old place of work to use the facilities they'd tell me where to go pretty sharpish. Felt more like a good idea fleshed out into a multi-part drama. It has the right pace though and lots of twists and turns, but it didn't have me gagging for series 2. 3/5
  3. United Kingdom (1981) I've not been so fired up by a drama this much in a very long time, awe-inspiring stuff. Jim Allen's power TV film predicted so much that would come in Thatcher's 1980s, and a lot of it sadly still rings true today. The government put a local authority in special measures when it defies imposed spending cuts, ousted councillors, together with unions and local residents won't take it lying down, they inevitably come up against the rule of law, but whose law is it? Is it a crime when people stand up against the demolition of public services, denying them and their children a fair deal? This play tackles issues that would become major concerns, including the way the police have switched focus towards protecting the establishment and the status quo from what are perceived as threats to it. It touched on how normal people are increasingly cut out of decision-making, the gulf between grass-roots and party politics, how central government have stripped power away from local authorities, using the sale of council houses as a wedge between councils and people, and much more. Others have been more eloquent about this, and I could go on all night as this really has inspired me, but I'll just say we really need this kind of drama back on our screens. At the end a resident of the estate is interviewed by the news and feels they've learned a lot about how they're treated by the state following the explosive finale. We need that sort of lucidity in people today. 5/5 Here's Jim Allen talking about the play on Nationwide:
  4. There's got to be some nutter who reeeeeeally needs that box on his shelf and he's prepared to pay top dollar for it, can't bear the idea someone else has it and he doesn't. That's the collector mentality.
  5. Top Gun Maverick traded on nostalgia pretty heavily, and at least there was a sufficient time gap to make that work. Who is nostalgic about 2009?
  6. Re Spore, they messed up putting the character creator out before it. Turned out to be the most entertaining part of the game.
  7. Normally plastered over some incomprehensible foreign film.
  8. Getting fed up of these CG trailers, why can't they show some actual gameplay?
  9. The 2nd November 1982 was a big day for British TV viewers as, after existing with just the three, we got a whole new channel! I recall at the age of 10 excitedly tuning in about 4.30pm to see the start, watching the first five minutes of Countdown before switching back to whatever kid's show was on BBC1 at the time. I'd just witnessed history though. It has changed a great deal over the years, and maybe I'm at that age where nothing is what it used to be but from my admittedly limited experience (I don't watch a great deal of live TV these days), it has mellowed somewhat, lost that distinctive, spiky edge it had in the 80s and 90s. So many great shows, comedy like Brass Eye, Peep Show, Spaced and Absolutely; the halcyon days of 4Later including Bits and Vidz; The Tube, a music show that coincided with my maturing music tastes as a teenager; lots of weird and at the time controversial stuff too. Hopefully any plans for privatisation have been shelved and it can carry on doing what it does. So yes, happy birthday, Channel 4, thanks for all the memories. The Guardian just published a top 40 Channel 4 programmes which whilst can be disputed as these things always are does reflect what the channel was all about. 40. Countdown (1982-present) 39. GBH (1991) 38. The Inbetweeners (2008-2010) 37. Grand Designs (1999-present) 36. The Autopsy (2002) 35. Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out (1990-1991) 34. One Born Every Minute (2010-2018) 33. Alternative Christmas message (1993-present) 32. Football Italia (1992-2002) 31. A Very British Coup (1988) 30. Desmond’s (1989-1994) 29. Educating Yorkshire (2013) 28. Eurotrash (1993-2004) 27. Derren Brown: Mind Control (2000-2003) 26. National Treasure (2016) 25. Come Dine With Me (2005-present) 24. The Adam and Joe Show (1996-2001) 23. Utopia (2013-2014) 22. Faking It (2000-2006) 21. Smack the Pony (1999-2003) 20. Skins (2007-2013) 19. Spaced (1999-2001) 18. The Word (1990-1995) 17. Black Mirror (2011-present) 16. Dispatches (1987-present) 15. Catastrophe (2015-2019) 14. Red Riding (2009) 13. The Big Breakfast (1992-2002) 12. Derry Girls (2018-2022) 11. Brass Eye (1997-2001) 10. Shameless (2004-2013) 9. Father Ted (1995-1998) 8. Queer As Folk (1999-2000) 7. Channel 4 News (1982-present) 6. Peep Show (2003-2015) 5. Gogglebox (2013-present) 4. This Is England (2010-2015) 3. Brookside (1982-2003) 2. It’s a Sin (2021) 1. Big Brother (2000-2018)
  10. The Burning (1981) Considering this was essentially cashing in on the post-Friday The 13th trend it would be easy to dismiss this but you would definitely be wrong to as this is a quality item in its own right. It does take its time to establish the characters, but largely keeps the suspense up once things get moving. The best bits of this are really good, the canoe scene in particular is so well crafted. I'm a sucker for that slightly warped discordant synth throb you get on these sorts of films although it's such a trope now it can be hard to take it for what it was. Can't ignore Rick Wakeman's contribution to the soundtrack. Oh and that kid sounds so much like George Costanza it's spooky- oh! 3.5/5
  11. Class Of 1984 (1982) Amazon Prime Video I am shocked to learn this isn't a documentary about crumbling inner-city schooling. Shocked, I tell you! Never piss off a teacher. 3.5/5 Best Letterboxd review of this: It's as if Troma remade Blackboard Jungle.
  12. Honest, Decent and True (1985) I'd watched Les Blair's News Hounds recently and gave this earlier BBC drama a go. The goings-on at an ad agency working on a campaign for a new "classy" lager, all whilst struggling with their largely unfulfilling private lives. It's not totally captivating, but it does feel more slice-of-life. Not seen much other Les Blair stuff so can't really compare. Top ensemble cast here including Adrian Edmondson, Richard E Grant, Gary Oldman, Arabella Weir and Derrick O'Connor, all playing characters that didn't appear to rely too heavily on well-worn caricatures of people in advertising, making this feel more natural. Subtly humourous, not exactly scathing of the ad biz, more a sceptical view of it through the dysfunctional, jaded, and eccentric practitioners and their various hang-ups. 3.5/5
  13. Dig - actually you set the number of lines to dig down and see how long it takes.
  14. It has the sort of frothy popular appeal that would definitely lead to a bidding war by TV companies.
  15. 15 - The Anomaly by Hervé le Tellier - It certainly has an interesting SF-lite premise that makes you consider the plight of the passengers on a trans-Atlantic flight, but the apparent attempt to discuss the philosophical angle in an approachable way doesn't really work, sadly. The two big issues for me were I couldn't relate to any of the characters, and the book is dated by a very Trump-style dim US president, the lampooning of which was obvious and unfunny. At least I got this done in a relatively short space of time.
  16. Whilst the GBA has it's fair share of shovelware there was indeed plenty of interesting games in all genres, not just from the big names either. It was a system that a lot of guys from the demoscene got into as an entry to game development and consequently you get some technically-impressive titles, even if some of them are a bit rough by today's standards. Top Gear Rally is a fantastic 3D driving game that handles brilliantly, obviously not to SEGA Rally standard with the digital controls but it's great fun. Shin''nen of The Touryst fame gained a lot of experience on the GBA. In some ways the GBA is similar to the PS2 in the depth of the library.
  17. I recall the rights to The Exorcist being bought up was on the news a while back and they mentioned then they wanted to turn it into a franchise. Any right-thinking person's blood should run cold at the mere thought of that. Whenever I see things like this I automatically assume the new rights-holders feel the original wasn't good enough and needed "improving". I'd add the Child's Play re-imaging from a couple of years back to the good pile. It wasn't as nastily irreverent as the originals but had enough good new ideas, felt like an update that worked.
  18. Vimster

    Internet Radio

    Absolutely tragic. Yeah, that's not going to get sorted. Thanks, Warner and Sony, thanks a bunch. Luckily my VPN provider has an Android app and now Radio Garden appears to work. Phew.
  19. This went straight on my MiSTer and 351P. It's a very good Tetris with the emphasis on accurate gameplay that I'm sure would appeal to proper Tetris players who know what a T-spin is etc (I don't). Dig - pushes lines up from the bottom. Combo - very quick mode where you have to try and clear as many consecutive lines as possible. Sprint - it's 40 Lines but you can set the number of lines, would like more choices. Training - drops blocks with no time limit, it has a Finesse setting that, from what I can gather, tries to get you to use less button presses or stop you continually rotating pieces. The itch.io page needs descriptions for the modes really. It also has one of my very, very old Amiga mod files in there (kb-zip) which I made getting on for 30 years ago. It's all good though as they give full credit and a link to the source. Might do them a new tune maybe.
  20. https://inews.co.uk/culture/television/spitting-image-cancelled-itv-political-satire-matt-forde-1930379 Oh no, they're not going to commission a third series. Naturally Matt Forde is gutted, he felt it needed to be on normal telly. The reboot was woeful stuff, limp centrist takes that made Have I Got News For You look like Brass Eye. The puppets were good though, and it had the feel of the original, it's just the whole tone and direction of the comedy was awful.
  21. 14 - The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein - Excellent book that discusses the way the free market has used wars, coups and disasters as a way to enforce it's ideology on various countries, from Latin America in the 70s, to south-east Asia in the 90s, the fall of communism in Russia to post-tsunami disaster relief in Sri Lanka. I like to think I'm pretty well informed but this gave me a whole new outlook on things like how the end of communism in Russia was exploited. All this did infuriate me greatly, but it really is a superbly-written and coherent book, and I wish there was an update since the original publication on things like Venezuela and Ukraine.
  22. I remember hearing a phone-in on 5Live with the execrable Stephen Nolan talking about Rule Of Rose, a game he insisted was about school girls bullying and beating a child. Naturally he or his contributors hadn't played it, it was still on pre-order at the time, but why should that stop a good old-fashioned scare story? Surprised he didn't get as excited about Michigan: Report From Hell.
  23. Old Flames (1990) Excellent BBC drama from 1990 where Stephen Fry and Simon Callow play two former public schoolboys from the same house at school, Fry being a successful barrister, Callow a nervous recluse, making an awkward pairing when they and others from school become the targets for ruination. The dry, dark humour is spot-on, it doesn't get in the way of a tightly-woven and constantly intriguing conspiracy that has a very satisfying conclusion. Also features Miriam Margolyes and Celia Imrie. 4/5
  24. This looks great. Mad, this actually uses one of my old chiptunes!
  25. Vimster

    Internet Radio

    Went to listen to some internet radio via Radio Garden app only to be told all stations outside the UK are blocked. Having a read around I found a Reddit post that suspects this is related to a rights issue and that it affects all radio apps. This is sad news and I really hope they can sort it out. Like this country is shit enough as it is already.
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