jamie goode's wine blog

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Time for a gratuitous plant picture. This one (didn't get the name) surprised me. Why? Because the colour (and appeal) isn't from the petals, as with most flowers, but because of the beautiful pink stamens, capped off with delicately yellow anthers. It's remarkable.

As I write I'm sampling the Clonakilla 2004 Riesling and 2004 Shiraz Viognier. After a hard day of immunology, I think I deserve some refreshment. Both are very fine wines; the latter quite breathtaking.

As Warren Edwardes points out in a comment to an earlier post, the judges who award the Oscars must have been reading my blog, handing out best picture award to Crash. So I reckon it's time for some more of my rubbish movie reviews.

I watched four films courtesy of Singapore Airlines on Friday and Saturday nights, and my verdicts are as follows.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is one of those flicks where you come away saying 'weren't the special effects great'. Which means that the film itself was poor. I quite liked the first three Potter movies, but this was weak - a film without a plot; lacking any depth of story line or character development. It was predictable, and eventually rather dull. And the camera panned away too quickly when Pettigrew cut off his own hand. If you are going to rely on special effects to carry a film, then at least give us some gore.

What made me even think about watching Elizabethtown? But perhaps the bigger question is what could have made the men in suits think that it was a sensible idea to invest $$$$$ in such a limp, insipid, misguided production? There's a very flaky hollywood-shallow love story which then morphs into an inept, abbreviated road movie. I can only blame incipient jet-lag and car-crash-rubbernecking-tendencies for keeping me watching till the end. View at your peril.

The next film I watched was mildly entertaining pap about golf, The greatest game ever played. It was a Disney-made true life story about some young American guy no one had ever heard of winning the 1913 US Open, at a time when the Brits won all the tournaments. No shades of grey in this one: the Brits are snobby and arrogant; the Yanks are honest, straightforward, humble and underdoggish. And they give the Brits a bloody nose. Cue scenes of celebration and trophies held aloft.

Finally a film I can say something nice about. Walk the line, which chronicles the early career of Johnny Cash and his later mid-career struggles with addiction, alongside his yearnings for the already twice-married June Carter, is well written and brilliantly acted. You don't have to like country music (phew) to appreciate and enjoy this perfectly formed piece of cinema.

I've saved what I suspect will be the best of the 60-odd movies on demand for the long journey home.


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