Switch anniversary and the year ahead

Hi everyone.  I’ve not posted like this in a while.  Life’s been pretty busy start of the year despite me managing to cram in rather a lot of movies to review.  Also there seems to be some good stuff on the horizon for me, and thought I’d give it a little write-up.


First it would be remiss of me not to mention that today marks the first year anniversary of the Nintendo Switch, a console I have fallen in love with and over the past twelve months has given me so much fun and enjoyment.  Highlights of course include The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, but along with this smaller titles like Rayman Legends and Steam World Dig 2 have also been a lot of fun.  The portability, versatility of this system can not go un-mentioned either and it’s a unique joy to play it in bed, sitting in my living room or in front of my bedroom TV on a larger screen.  Having the best of both worlds.  In the process, the Xbox One and PS4 have fallen by the way-side and not the Switch is my go-to console of choice and with games on the horizon like Donkey King Country Tropical Freeze and Yoshi, I can see it staying that way for the foreseeable future.

IMG_0286I’m of course also looking forward to seeing Garbage again in concert in September.  It will mark the 3rd time I have seen my favourite band live and well, I’m still pinching myself that I actually got to meet them as well back in 2016.  This tour will mark the 20 year anniversary of their second album ‘Version 2.0’ and as it’s my favourite album of theirs where I went from liking the band to being a real fan, this concert where they’ll play every track and every b-side released at the time … fills me with excitement.  I’ll be meeting up with a few like-minded friends when I am there so it should be a great experience for me again.  Incidentally, lead singer Shirley Manson was recently honoured by UK publication NME with their first ‘icon’ award which was presented to the Scottish singer at their annual NME awards in London.  As a long time fan this was a very proud moment for me.  I have said it before and I’ll keep saying it .. Garbage don’t get the recognition they deserve and it’s awards like this that feel even more special simply for that fact.  Well done Shirley!  Currently they are working on album #7 with a hope of a release in 2019.


In other news, I’m currently watching several TV shows, including new seasons of Homeland, X-Files, The Walking Dead and Mr. Robot, the latter I consider one of the best shows available right now.  Speaking of TV shows, I was pleased to see a brief return of one of my favourite cult shows over Christmas, namely The League of Gentlemen, which was only three episodes but it was bliss.  The creators, Mark Gatiss, Jeremy Dyson, Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton then followed this up by announcing a tour, of which I rushed to secure tickets.  Strangely enough it’s scheduled for two days after I see Garbage.  What a weekend that will be!  Their brand of humour is rather dark, character-driven comedy that is probably an acquired taste, but I love it.

As far as this blog is concerned, I want to vary the content a little and might do special posts of certain subjects, like favourite actors, movie genres etc and more stuff on video games and music.  I’m unsure what form that will take as I want to make it as interesting as possible, but I continue to love writing this blog and it keeps my love of writing alive.  Hope you all manage to get something from it too.

Until next time.



The League Of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse

Viewed – 09 October 2013  DVD

A big-screen outing for the much acclaimed cult British TV series ‘The League Of Gentlemen’ would seem a natural progression for a series that spanned three seasons, a tour and even a pantomime (!).  But the reaction to this imaginative feature was bittersweet indifference at best.  I suppose in hindsight, basing a movie on the idea of these much loved creations being killed off, starts things with a downer from the off.  But let’s not be too hasty.  The characters of rural village Royston Vasey learn of an impending Armageddon on their world following a prophesy and choose to enter the real world in order to seek out their creators, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith so to convinced them to write them back into being again.


For such a gifted group of comediennes, along with writer / producer Jeremy Dyson (played in the movie by Michael Sheen) such a premise seems right for them – they would never take the easy route and always come up with something clever – and clever this is.  Segway’s into a sixteen century ‘movie script’ featuring David Warner as a wizard plotting a King’s murder causes proceedings to lose their focus, but along with cameos from Victoria Wood, Peter Kay and Simon Pegg – the wealth of ideas and sharp dialogue (with many funny lines) manage to make this entertaining regardless.

Fans of the TV series will probably always find room to nit pick (as could I – not enough Pauline or Papa Lazarou, dodgy stop-motion animation, and the ending plays on one of the oldest clichés in the book). This is after all, the ultimate swansong for the characters, and it’s sad to see them go.  Yet on it’s own merits, Apocalypse probably is as good as we could have hoped for.  Isn’t that right, Dave?

Verdict:  3 /5

Appreciation of The League

Although a bit disappointed now, I was recently on Twitter perusing tweets, when I stumbled upon one by British TV comedienne Reece Shearsmith.  Now for my American readers, he is one part of British comedy group The League Of Gentlemen, four highly acclaimed actor / comediennes / writers who started out on Radio before launching their much loved, dark comedy series of the same name.  It featured the weird and wacky inhabitants of Royston Vasey, a rural village where a strange shop overlooks it and isn’t too welcoming to strangers who aren’t local.  Its an acquired taste, part slapstick comedy, part Monty Python, part full on horror – but I loved it.  It ran from 1999-2002 with three seasons and a movie, and later spawned the unconnected but similar show Psychoville, which boasted the talents of two of the League along with comedienne Dawn French.


Now this Tweet hinted at a long rumoured reunion of the quartet, a proper League venture, but alas it wasn’t to be (turned out it’s a charity gig), but made me want to revisit this imaginative and bizarre brand of comedy again, reliving all my favourite characters.  I am not entirely sure if their TV show ever saw the light of day stateside or if it’s available to buy there – but anyone into dark comedy should definitely seek it out.


The actual members of the League include the aforementioned Shearsmith along with Steve Pemberton, Mark Gatiss and Jeremy Dyson.  I also recommend checking out the work they have done separately, including Dr Who and Sherlock Holmes as well as comedy Benidorm.  There’s also the movies A Field In England and The Cottage. 

Personally these guys are at their best when working together, so here’s hoping that happens again sometime soon!

The Cottage

Viewed – 08 November 2008  DVD

This was a no brainer.  A Brit comedy horror involving the kidnap of buxom blond bomb shell Jennifer Ellison by that guy who played Golum in Lord of the Rings (Andy Serkis) and the most talented one off the League Of Gentlemen TV series (Reece Shearsmith).  So we have a spooky, night-time set story involving two brothers, who are holding Miss Ellison for ransom in a spooky cottage in the woods.  Immediately, the bumbling due are a joy to watch (especially Shearsmith, playing the nervy, twitchy half to Serkis’ bullish, tough guy).  Jennifer Ellison is a mouthy, foul-mouthed pain in the ass for both of them and its not long before she’s escaped and run off – then the movie goes horror with the discovery of a zombie farmer lurking and killing at random anyone who turns up on ‘his land’.  Hence forth lots of comedy, some great moments and some decent if short-lived gore.

Although lacking in some of the horror elements, the comedy, whilst not laugh-out-loud has a similar dark edge as the aforementioned The League Of Gentlemen series, with the cast shining despite a limited script.  Well worth a look.

Verdict: 3 /5