Headhunters

Having already read a few of Jo Nesbo’s exciting and gripping crime thrillers, (I would like to read The Snowman and the Leopard Next) I would also like to go and see this film, which is Based on the Jo Nesbo bestselling crime novel of the same name, Directed by Morten Tyldum the film stars Aksel Hennie, Synnøve Macody Lund and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Aksel Hennie, who reminds me a bit of Christopher Walken, stars as a treasurably unpleasant anti-hero, named Roger Brown who works as a corporate headhunter, who is driven by insecurities about his inner worthlessness and radiates smirky arrogance, greed and amorality.

Roger lives in an expensive modernist house with a gorgeous blonde trophy wife (Synnove Macody Lund) who suddenly announces that she wants babies, Roger meanwhile is far more interested in commitment-free sex with his mistress — until she starts getting too possessive, whereupon he callously dumps her.

However All is not as rosy as it appears, and Roger’s life is in a vary precarious state for Unbeknownst to his wife, Roger pays for his extravagant lifestyle with a profitable criminal sideline. Through his work, he finds out if top-level businessmen have any valuable art Then, with the help of a security man, he breaks into their houses, steals the originals and replaces them with fakes.

Unfortunately though Roger’s nice little earner comes unstuck when he tries to steal a priceless Rubens from his latest victim Clas Greve (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), who turns out to be a former Dutch special services soldier and newly retired CEO of a surveillance firm.  Clas turns out to be even more ruthless and deadly than Roger, and Even Roger’s ratlike cunning can’t save him this time and he is forced to go on the run and gradually ditch all signs of his former success in order to escape his pursuer, and increasingly he starts tolook like a hapless petty thief who’s ventured into territory that’s way over his head

According to many reviews I’ve read, Headhunters has enough excitement energy and invention to keep anyone on tenterhooks throughout. I can see many people comparing Headhunters with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which was made by the same producers. I just hope Hollywood don’t make a rubbish and pointless remake with lots  of impressive looking stunts, loads of explosions and action but none of the subtlety, black comedy & mischeivous sense of humour which make the original novels so good.

Hugo & Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

I’ve recently watched the DVD of the film Hugo. Directed by Martin Scorsese, written by John Logan, and based on the Carnegie prize-winning novel “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick (whose Great Uncle David was involved in many great Hitchcock thrillers,  and whose Grandfather was also named Brian which makes it rather confusing). Hugo has won many awards and was named Best Film by US National Board of Review and Martin Scorsese was given the  Best Director Award for the film.  I would also like to read the book and see how the two compare.

It is an exciting adventure story about a young orphan called Hugo (Asa Butterfield) who lives within the rather splendid looking Gare Montparnasse in Paris, after he is dragged their by his wicked uncle (Ray Winstone) following the unfortunate death of his father (Jude Law).   Abandoned by his uncle to live inside a gigantic clock beneath an ominously large pendulum, Hugo struggles to survive, often having to resort to stealing food , which brings him into conflict with one of the station’s stallholders, a bad-tempered toymaker named Georges (Ben Kingsley), though Hugo manages to make friends with Georges’ orphaned niece (Chloe Grace Moretz – Kick Ass/Let Me In).

The station also plays host to all sorts of wierd and wonderful characters, including Sacha Baron Cohen as an officious but comically inept railway inspector, Emily Mortimer as the florist he fancies, Christopher Lee as a friendly bookseller, and an unlikely pair of tentative lovers in Richard Griffiths and Frances de la Tour.   From the flamboyant opening shot onwards, Hugo shows Martin Scorsese in his prime, making a movie he cares about passionately and unlike most 3D movies, it was shot using 3D as a storytelling device, and this adds height, depth, humour and intensity to the story.   There are also a few Steam Punk elements in the film which are evocative of Tim Burton (especially the love of old-fashioned machinery) and Terry Gilliam (Dystopian nightmare world). Another virtue is that the picture shows a fascination with early cinema that’s joyful and infectious, and has a worthwhile lesson about the importance of preserving old film for future generations, which is close to Scorsese’s heart. Hugo has a magic that’s rare in modern movies.

Wonderstruck by By Brian Selznick

I would also like to read Brian Selznick latest novel which is entitled Wonderstruck. and once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey much the same as The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

The story concerns A boy named Ben who longs for the father he has never known and A girl named Rose who dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother’s room, and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.   Ben’s story, is set in 1977, and is told entirely with words, meanwhile Rose’s story, is set fifty years earlier, and is told entirely with pictures. The two stories weave back and forth before ultimately coming together.

According to reviews I’ve read the story is Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful and with over 460 pages of amazing original artwork I almost thnk it’s worth gettng both books just for the artwork alone but both stories sound reallly great too

West Midlands Festival of Transport/ Chasewater

As in previous years this years West Midlands Festival of Transport was held in the beautiful grounds at Weston Park during Easter Sunday 8th & Easter Bank Holiday Monday 9th April 2012, and This year The popular event celebrated its 25th year.

It was not quite as packed As it has been in previous years. However Exhibitors from across Shropshire, Staffordshire and further afield still brought along a wonderful variety of vintage, Veteran, American and classic vehicles of all types and ages which were all on display, there were over sixty Classic Car Owners clubs present including Jaguar, Lotus, Porsche and MG. Alongside the cars, other vehicles were also on display, including tractors, Stationary Engines, Motorbikes, military vehicles, Traction Engines, Steam Rollers, Commercial Vehicles & Vintage Buses some dating back to the 1920’s.   During the day, there were also many arena displays provided by the Piston Rings Youth Motorcycle team, plus there was also a huge trade area which had plenty of autojumble, collectibles & Automobillia for sale. There were also many Attractions for children including a fun fair, quad biking, giant inflatables and Weston Park’s very own Adventure Playground.

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CHASEWATER TRANSPORT SHOW

iF The West Midlands Festival of Transport has whet your apetite for more vehicles, then fear not because the annual Chasewater Transport Show takes place on Sunday April 15th 2012. Though not as big as the Weston Park Event, I went years ago and I though it was still well worth going. This year it will include Many Club Stands, Trade Stands, Car Club Displays, Traction Engines, Steam Rollers, Fairground Engines, a Commercial Vehicles Display and Vintage Car Display,

There will also be Arena Events including the Savage Skills Mountain Bike Stunt Team, a Running Radial Engine Display, a Dog Agility Display,  and much more. The show takes place near the Chasewater Reservoir near Lichfield in Staffordshire, which is also home to the Chasewater Railway (Which also had a recent Spring Steam Gala, however I digress)