Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Secret Worlds and Podcasts

So Jonathan Ross said The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe was rubbish. Well, not exactly rubbish but he was distinctly disappointed. Which was interesting as I thought it would be a film right up his street, no matter how good or bad the film may be.

I’m sure it’s solid entertainment and I doubt that Mr Ross’s opinion is going to forbid the film from raking in the entire planet’s leftover cash from the Christmas period but his review has already given me the edge to wait for it to become available on DVD. I read the first book in the series not so long ago, so the story and images are happy in my head.

And after I saw an ‘exclusive behind the scenes’ show on Sky Movies (i.e. bland publicity and ‘look at these innovative CGI visual effects we’ve done’), I got the impression that it was trying to build on the popularity of the Rings whilst not doing anything great with the characters or story. Mind you, I’ll probably go to see it for Tilda Swinton alone. And just to balance it out: James McAvoy is fab too (he’ll star in one of my films one day, oh yes).

The practicalities of the real world have made a claim on my life and have decreed that my full attention will be focused on what’s really important. So, sorrow and alas, I won’t be at my regular online station over the next few days. However, I can recommend these alternative outlets for screenwriting and amusing titbits.

Creative Screenwriting Podcasts are often entertaining and insightful Q&As that don’t resort to the gushing love fests of standard workshops. Even a rubbish film can make a justifiable defence at what made the writers do it in the first place (The Island, hello).

Sam and Jim Go To Hollywood have been regularly charting their slow rise to Hollywood success but I’ve just picked up on it. They share their wise and witty insights in what it’s like to give up everything and go in search of the dream.

Ricky Gervais has started a podcast for The Guardian together with Stephen Merchant and their dry producer Karl Pilkington. Ricky may be the performer and receives all the glory but let’s hear it for Merchant once and a while. He doesn’t get enough credit.

Sorry, meant to put this in earlier. Lost Podcasts: you can listen to the writers, producers and actors talk about everything that’s happening on that poxy island where they’re all stranded waiting for a Starbucks to open or something. It’s up-to-date for the second series (UK still trailing with the first) so there are probably lots of spoilers and not-so-spoilers.

See you next week, probably, and I might be able to squeeze in a guest post in between.


Stephen Gallagher said...

I generally find Ross to be a reliable commentator, as I do The Kermode and, in print, Kim Newman... partly because their tastes overlap to a large degree with my own, and partly because I can understand where they're coming from. Which means I can spot the things that they dislike which I may be OK with. Mainly because they all give intelligent reasons for their judgements.

Ross is especially to be commended because he has a flippant persona that works very well for him in other areas of the media, and which he entirely sets aside for what he obviously considers to be an important job.

He interviewed me once, for his radio show when it was a pre-taped thing on Virgin or somewhere. Nice bloke. I suspect I was possibly the most boring guest he'd ever had to deal with, but he hid it well.

Anonymous said...

will you shut up about Lost alweady?!

Anonymous said...

Just saw Narnia - loved it. But then I always found Ross's reviews very much contrary to mine, so don't care much about him.

And, I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one with the 'some day James McAvoy is gonna be in my film' thoughts.

James Moran said...

Hmmm... Wossy and Kermode never steer me wrong, I know where I am with them. Wasn't interested in Narnia when I was a kid, still not interested now. Saw the trailer, and just thought "oh, more scenes of people walking through New Zealand".