La Vie En Rose

Recently The Times newspaper in association with iTunes has been offering films for download. one of the latest is the 2007 Film “La Vie En Rose”. Directed by Olivier Dahan it stars Marion Cotillard as EDITH PIAF andlooks at the life of “The Little Sparrow”. The film also stars Sylvie Testud and Pascal Gregory

The film looks at Edith’s unconventional upbringing – Her mother was an alcoholic street singer, her father a circus performer, her paternal grandmother a madam, and how she was discovered At the age of 20, working as a street singer, by a club owner, then coached by a musician who brings her to concert halls, where she quickly becomes famous.

The film also looks at her constant battle with Alcohol, and the tragedies and heartaches which befell her – her love affair with Marcel Cerdan and the death of her only child, tragedies which belie the words of one of her most famous songs  “Non, je ne regrette rien.”

Man on Wire (2008)

Recently The Times newspaper in association with iTunes also offered the 2008 film Man on Wire”

Direceted by James Marsh this film is about a French wire walker, juggler, and street performer named Philippe Petit who spent a daring 45 minutes walking, dancing, kneeling, and lying on a wire between the rooftops of the Twin Towers in August 1974.

Using contemporary interviews, archival footage, and recreations the film also tells the story of his previous walks between towers of Notre Dame and of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and also looks at his passions and friendships, and the amount of effort and organisation which went into his daring exploits and the profound changes the walk’s success brought to Philippe and those closest to him.

W.

Recently in association with iTunes, The Times newspaper  has been offering some great films for download, one such film is “W.” which has a great cast, including Josh Brolin, Jeffrey Wright, Richard Dreyfus, Scott Glenn, James Cromwell and Thandie Newton.

The Film starts off with George W. Bush (Brolin) being introduced as the 43rd president of the United States of America. The action then focuses on more recent events at a cabinet meeting in early 2002, Where the Government are discussing how best to respond to the recent terrorist attacks on their country, by either attacking evil or terror, Colin Powell (Wright) seems reluctant to go to war with either Iraq or Iran, given that it was a non-affiliated terrorist named Osama Bin Laden who was behind the attrocities, however he is soon reminded by both VP Dick Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss) and Condileeza Rice (Thandie Newton) that both countries hold terrorists. The possibility of a regime change in Iraq is also discussed during another cabinet meeting, as well as the  existence of any Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. Donald Rumsfeld & Dick Cheney are all for finding out, However Colin Powell points out a few problems, but a video call to General Franks speeds things up nicely.
 
GEorge W.Bush’s earlier years are also examined in the film, we see a much younger Bush during pledge week in 1966, whilst attending Yale , getting into various scrapes and asking his father (Cromwell) for help, Then A few years later, following graduation from Yale, the film looks at Bush at his first job, working on one of his family oil rigs back in Texas.

We also  see what led to his decision to run for Congress whilst at Harvard Business School, and the events afterwards, when he met a beautiful young woman named Laura Welch (Elizabeth Banks), with whom he went to junior high School, and who was to become his future wife.

Then The action switches to A few years later, when both George and Laura are at a 40th birthday party when he gets a call from his father George Snr, who wants him to help with his campaigning for president, so he and Laura move to Washington. Unfortunately though, during a morning run, he collapses on the side of the road with a heart murmur.

Shortly after these events, During the run-up to the election, a  videotape comes to light smearing his opponent Dukakis, citing some of his dodgy decisions, This is enough to dissuade voters, who make George Bush Sr. the 41st President of the United States. But Despite the celebration, George Jnr himself isn’t pleased, and confesses to his wife that he a constantly feels as though he’s living in his Father’s shadow and has to live up to George Snr’s expectations.

Then A few years later towards the end of the first Gulf War we see that George Snr’s actions during the war weren’t enough for him to win the election again and the Presidency is given over to Bill Clinton. George Snr is devastated by the news, so George Jnr  decides to run for Governor of Texas instead, despite his parents objections, since his brother Jeb is also running for Governor of Florida, George is eventually elected governor of Texas.

The action then skips forward Five years, to 1999, when George Jnr decides that the time is right to run for President, So he campaigns for President and is duly elected. Once elected, George is determined not to jeopardize the Gulf war which by this has been rumbling on in Iraq for years, despite the massive amounts of protest the war has been getting, both Nationally & Internationally.

Then in a meeting with the United Kingdom’s Prime minister Tony Blair (Ioan Gruffudd), George asks for some help from Britain, and although reluctant to commit any British troops at first, George is determined to win the war, despite not being able to find any Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.

Then some time later during a press conference George discovers that support for the war is dwindling and that he’s lost public support for the war and nobody believes him anymore….

The Others

Recently The Times newspaper in association with iTunes has been offering films for download, Todays film is “The Others” which is a Disturbing psychological horror and was directed by Alejandro Menbar .

The film is Set in Jersey during  1945 and follows the story of a woman named Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman), her husband (Christopher Ecclestone) and their children who , after  experiencing strange happenings in the house become convinced that it is haunted. Her daughter is also convinced that there are ghosts walking round the house as well, of course Grace doesn’t believe them at first

Then one day the servants all mysteriously disappear and her husband is found wondering round the grounds aimlessly in a daze.

Then In a shocking twist at the end It is eventually revealed what really happened to Grace & her family in the house and why the servants all disappeared.

The Hobbit – An unexpected Journey

I am a huge fan of all J.R.R Tolkien’s  novels and I am really looking forward to seeing the upcoming film version of  “The Hobbit. Once again directed by Peter Jackson, who did the Lord of the Rings Trilogy . This widely anticipated film has been split into two parts, the first of which is scheduled for release in 2012 and the second scheduled for 2013.

The film Stars Martin Freeman, Sir Ian Mckellern, Richard Armitage, James Nesbit, Andy Serkis and many more.The story Starts when a Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins(Freeman), is visited by Gandalf the wizard(McKellern) and persuaded to join a company of Dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Armitage)  on a dangerouus quest to the Lonely mountain to recover a magical, and much sought after, artefact known as the Arkenstone. The only problem is that it is part of a priceless horde which has been stolen and is being guarded by a ferocious dragon named Smaug.

Along the way, they also face many other dangers too, including Wolves, Orcs, Giant Spiders, Imprisonment by the Elves of Mirkwood Forest and the devious schemes of a certain ring owner named Gollum (Serkis).

I think they should  release both parts in 2012 just in case the Ancient Mayan prophecy was right – well you wouldn’t want all that effort to go to waste  😀

Blackbeards Tea Party — Heavens to Betsy

I first heard about Blackbeards Tea party through a side-advert on Facebook, so being a big fan of enthusiastic Folk Groups like Bellowhead, I decided to investigate further and found that thier album “Heavens to Betsy” is a Lively and infectious mixture of traditional folk music, sea shanties, brass instruments and modern instrumentation like electric guitars which will soon have you dancing and singing away.

There are also a few slower more reflective ballads on the album too, and Although there are only eight tracks I found that this was sufficient – the album didn’t lose any of it’s momentum  and it wasn’t too short either – just right, here is the track listing

  • High Barbary
  • Cliffs of Moher
  • Fathom the Bowl
  • Doom Waltz/ Aaron’s Key
  • Barrack Street
  • Hummeabar
  • A Hundred Years Ago
  • The Belgian tune