Thursday, July 29, 2010

Boardwalk Empire

A good reason to get Sky this autumn - it's just bought up the rights to all HBO programmes, including Martin  Scorsese's Boardwalk Empire which, without a scrap of evidence, I am willing to be will be one of the greatest TV shows of all time.
Most of my favourite shows of the past few years have originated from across the Atlantic - True Blood, Lost, 24, Fringe, Band of Brothers and The Wire amongst them. And that's discounting The Sopranos, which I own on DVD but have yet to watch.
What is it has made the past few years a golden period for US television, especially when compared to output from the UK? The only home-grown drama series that I can think of that have been up with the best of US programmes are Spooks (on its good days) and The Take. I also like the Australian drama Underbelly, recently shown on STV.
Am I missing any? And can anyone give me an answer? I suppose it comes down to budget constraints, but is there more to it than that?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Ten - My Ten Favourite Movie Characters

1: Darth Vader (Star Wars / The Empire Strikes Back / Return Of The Jedi / Revenge Of The Sith)
2: Tommy DeVito (Goodfellas)
3: Joker (The Dark Knight)
4: Doctor Emmett Brown (Back To The Future / Back To The Future II / Back To The Future III)
5: Walter Sobchak (The Big Lebowski)
6: Doctor Peter Venkman (Ghostbusters / Ghostbusters II)
7: Doctor Henry "Indiana" Jones (Raiders Of The Lost Ark / Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom / Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade / Indiana Jones and The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull)
8: Michael Corleone (The Godfather / The Godfather: Part II / The Godfather: Part III)
9: Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (Full Metal Jacket)
10: Tony Montana (Scarface)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Season 2010/2011: Match 1: Montrose v Livingston

Two days after the World Cup ended with Andres Iniesta's goal and tears from Casillas and Sneijder, I attended what is my first match of the 2010/2011 season.
OK, officially it was a pre-season match, but the important aspect is that this was PRE-season, not POST-season. The season may only just have finished for those Dutch and Spanish internationals, but over here in the Arctic wastelands of Northern Europe, it's once again time to launch ourselves off onto the merry-go-round (or misery-go-round) that is Scottish football.
And so last night I found myself inside the North Sea Nou Camp to watch Montrose's second pre-season match of the summer (they lost 3-1 to Raith Rovers on Saturday, when I was freezing my bollocks off at T In The Park).
The visitors were well-known to Gable Endies fans, having been crowned Division Three champions just two months ago and having ended their campaign with a comprehensive shoeing of Montrose. Montrose named a 20-man squad for yesterday's match, starting with one trialist at left wing and four more on the bench.
Livi deserved their 3-0 win, but Montrose didn't just roll over and let the visitors tickle their bellies. Chris Hegarty came close with a few long-range efforts, making former Mo keeper Tony Bullock work for his money. New signing Terry Masson looked impressive in midfield for the home side, his neat passing working well alongside the combativeness of Hugh "Scoob" Davidson and Chris "Red card magnet" Hegarty.
The trialist on the left wing, whose name I don't know, was completely useless, which no doubt means that Steven Tweed will snap him up immediately. Another one, introduced as a second half sub, looked like Kyle Lafferty and was about as useful (I don't intend that as a compliment).
Aside from Livi's three goals, the personal highlights for me were seeing Sean Crighton almost kill a flying seagull while returning the ball in the warm-up (the bird wobbled a bit before flying on) and seeing Cammy MacDonald continue his progress through the Livingston ranks - we briefly trained together for an Argyll amateur side a few years back when Cammy was just 17. I'm sure I taught him everything he needs to know to make a go of things in the professional game.
I'm sure it goes without saying that by the end of the match it was absolutely freezing. In July. Which bodes well for midweek evening kick-offs in February.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Greeting-Faced Scouse Twat

Steven Gerrard has told Liverpool's website: "There is no way I want the disappointment of the Germany game to be my last."
I don't think he has anything to fear - there's no way the Germany game will be his last England-related disappointment.