Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The Ashes

Great results but not great sport.

Great Sport occurs where two equal teams battle and it is unpredictable.

In the past Australia have been the better team and it has not been Great Sport.

This time we have the better team and it would be a travesty not to win the series but the is not Great Sport.

2005 had two teams and that was Great Sport.

Sports Personality of the Year

Since I went to watch it in 1985 it has often had a special place in my heart and watch it when ever I can. Unfortunately this years Phil Taylor coming second representing darts is a bit of a joke as it does not fit under the definition of a sport which is

A an organized, competitive, entertaining, energetic and skillful activity requiring commitment, strategy, and fair play, in which a winner can be defined by objective means.

AP McCoy (horse racing) came first, sadly none of the horses were able to speak about how they felt about it but you can't help think that it is wrong to give an award to a sport which only seems to exist as an extension of the betting industry. How many other sports do they tell you the odds at the same time as you get the results.

The coach of the year went to Colin Montgomerie for coaching the Ryder Cup team. My main issue id that he did not coach them as they all have their own coaches he merely chose which order they played in

One man who does deserve his award was Lance Haggith from Bedford who runs all kind of basketball sessions as well as charity shops giving away sporting equipment to those who cannot afford them.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One.

Lots of action, some thoughtful scenes but in all an excellent set up for part two. Well worth going to see but keep an eye on the fact that Daniel Radcliffe is the lead and should be the tall masculine character however he has not quite grown enough for a Hollywood lead actor. To compensate he often stands on rocks. logs and other items or is in the foreground with the pothers set back.

Agatha Christie

Some of the Christmas TV I was most looking forward to were Agatha Christie adaptations but they were pretty disappointing.

The Secret of Chimneys - get rid of the hero and two of my favourite literary characters in Lady Eileen "Bundle" Brent and Superintendent Battle, import Miss Marple and a whole new script and worst of all have Lord Caterham as the murderer. I wish that they would trust the book to provide a good yarn from which to adapt a screenplay rather than invent a second rate, wholly inconsistent tale with plot holes a Routemaster bus could fit through.

My two favourite sets of detectives from Agatha Christie are the aforementioned Bundle Brent and Superintendent Battle who appear in two mysteries and Tommy and Tuppence Beresford who appear in about 5 including N or M which is my favourite of all. They often seem to be seen as unable to support the whole plot as it would not attract enough viewers so Miss Marple is parachuted in.

In terms of Miss Marple no-one is better than Joan Hickson. Some of the newer Miss Marples are just too healthy and spry and not quite ethereal or old enough. Maybe Joan Hickson has spoilt us all.

Of the Hercule Poirot stories my favourite is Murder on the Orient Express with the jury deciding on the fate of a child murderer. In the latest adaptation it seems that they assumed that the audiences know who the killer was and focussed more on the dilemma Poirot ended up in rather than ensuring that they provided a coherent plot and to explain in enough detail. Albert Finney is often seen as a pantomime character in the film version but it presents the clues and conclusions in a way that allows the audience to easy follow along.

Tron Legacy

I had low expectations of this film as I had not seen Tron with this being the prequel. It tells of a man who has gone inside the computing system called the Grid to make it better. In trying to make the perfect system he found that he was imperfect and the system in trying to eliminate him has stranded him inside the machine. 20 years later his son finds his way into the machine to rescue him.

Overall I found the film relatively entertaining. The effects were good and the fact we saw it on 3D and IMAX meant that we had all the technology to make it good. Without them I think that it would be a fairly dull plot. The sections inside the computer are particularly good in 3D.

The main problem I had was that in comparison to the Matrix (which is similar in plot) it did not have the quality of script especially the way in which characters learnt about their surroundings. People appeared to able to master the inside of the computer system immediately with little training and while they were learning then the audience could be learning the same.

The other reason I did not connect with the film was that I spend a lot of the film wondering if I was getting the maximum benefit from the 3D. As I have a stigmatism and am very right eye dominant I can see some of the 3D effects but wondering if I am seeing them all.
Overall a good film but not one that will live long in the memory.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

I'm back

Well that was hectic. I am not sure what happened to the time between October and Christmas but I managed to stuff a lot into that time.

I have sold my house, have seen any number of other places and have had a couple of offers rejected.

I have been to Cambridge to look at the exam papers for 2012 and add comments or help restructure them. A hint - then on Geography.

I have been writing questions for text books

I have been getting angry at the government's non-sensical ideas on schools and their funding.

I have been navigating the ice and snow that has hit this part of the country

I have been teaching Yr13 weather and Yr 10 and 11 AQA Geography for the first time which makes it more time consuming,

And now it is Christmas