16th November 2005
12:00 AM — It's not often that you get a western these days. It's even less often that you get an Australian western.Rarer still is the attraction of an Australian western written by cult Aussie singer Nick Cave, erstwhile lead crooner in The Birthday Party and now best known as the deep-voiced head of slightly weird music troupe The Bad Seeds.Set as it is in 1880s Australia, as that vast island was just beginning to grow some kind of civilisation out of its penal colony status, this is a perfect yet original setting for an old-school western.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
12:00 AM — If the title doesn't ring any bells, if you don't know which number in the series this is, there's little hope that this film will hold any interest - although if you've managed to avoid the Harry Potter phenomenon this long, either you have no interest in anything that's going on around you or you've been locked up in some far off distant land for the past few years.This particular tale is set in Harry's fourth year at Hogwart's wizard school. He should technically be 14. Not only is actor Daniel Radcliffe already 16, but he looks rather older. Does this matter? Well, it means the films are becoming ever more unlike the books. The tall, muscular Radcliffe is hardly much like the rather small and weedy Harry that Rowling seems to envisage any more.
Everything Is Illuminated
12:00 AM — Adapted from the critically acclaimed faux-autobiographical novel of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer, this could well be the film that allows Elijah Wood to shake off the Frodo associations which, following the insane success of The Lord of the Rings movies, threatened to haunt him for the rest of his career.Following outings in both Sin City and Green Street, in which he was evidently determined to play against type, Wood here shows that he can indeed do more than merely gaze in wide-eyed terror at computer-generated beasties with a performance that is at once sensitive and quirky.
10th November 2005
Madonna claims she’s really a gay man 2
12:00 AM — Madonna shocked chat show legend Michael Parkinson by telling him that she's really a "gay man in a woman's body".The 47-year-old pop superstar will be the only guest on Parkinson this Saturday on ITV1.She added that she's quite a queen when it comes to her temper, "I'm a dramatic person and I probably had some spectacular tantrums.
9th November 2005
12:00 AM — This is looking like a superb year for Tim Burton. After his long-overdue return to form with his new take on Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, released last month to rave reviews, we are now in for a real treat - a project he has been rumoured to have been working on for more than a decade, ever since the rampant success of his last animated outing, 1993's The Nightmare Before Christmas.When Burton's eccentric visual style is allowed to run fully wild, as here, it can really be a joy to behold. His strangely elongated take on human beings, making them almost skeletal, adds an ethereal feel which is wonderfully complemented by the crooked twirls of the background sets. It's a delightfully unique style in movie-making and ideally suited to the material.
12:00 AM — There have been well over 20 different film versions of this, one of Charles Dickens' most famous tales. Even in the last few years there have been high-profile television versions produced on both sides of the Atlantic; the British had Robert Lindsay as the perennial favourite Fagin, the American's had Richard Dreyfuss and a then unknown Elijah Wood as the youthful master thief the Artful Dodger.Yet despite all these many different takes on what is, at its heart, a fairly simple story of the desire to be loved and human nature, the best remains David Lean's 1948 take, with Alec Guinness as a deliciously over the top Fagin, and Carol Reed's much-loved 1968 musical version.
Wallace Gromit – The Curse of The Wererabbit
12:00 AM — It's hard to think of anyone who doesn't like Wallace and Gromit - or even how anyone could fail to like them. There's something about this bumblingly eccentric inventor's bizarrely mundane adventures with his infinitely more intelligent, exasperated, yet ever loyal dog which seems especially English. The ever-creative humour and pitch-perfect timing of this animated duo's escapades, as meticulously crafted by creator Nick Park and his team, simply brings the concept to perfection.
20th October 2005
It’s got to be Cameron for the Conservatives to get the gay vote 27
12:00 AM — So the young pretender David Cameron has jumped from virtual non-entity to the winner of the Parliamentary stage of the Conservative leadership contest.The party membership need to make sure that they pick a winner this time and not repeat the debacle of the Duncan-Smith era.