Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Gluttons For Punishment

We're true gluttons for punishment aren't we? Not content with sitting through Paranormal Activity and Paranormal Activity 2 amidst an audience of attention deficient kids and their mobiles over the last couple of years, we went to see Paranormal Activity 3 this morning - bang in the middle of half term! But hey. A salute to the 11am teenage crowd. Perhaps their daily dose of fizzy stuff or whatever it is that turns them into mindless morons hadn't kicked in and, apart from jumping out of their seats and giggling nervously during the creepy bits, which is part of the fun of this sort of movie, they were as good as gold. Hats off to them. As for the film. If you've seen one, you've seen them all but that's not to say that this one didn't have a few extra twists, like the camera fitted to a fan which panned pack and forth instead of showing the usual Paranormal Activity fixed tripod shot and allowed for the unexpected to appear err.. unexpectedly. I won't spoil it for you by giving away the plot but, if you are the sort of person who enjoys it when people jump out at you from dark corners and shout 'BOO', you'll love this.

Glen Campbell at the Liverpool Philharmonic last night was a trip down memory lane as, despite his Alzheimer's,  Glen managed to belt out a decent selection from his huge repertoire of hits. At the start of his performance I thought that I would be writing the classic Eric Morecambe line that he was playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order but after a shaky start he showed himself to still be something of a virtuoso on the guitar and, for me, the highlight of his playing was an excellent  duelling banjos with his daughter. The only hint that all was not quite right with Glen was the way that his family (two sons and his daughter are in his backing group) were watching him like hawks and having to adjust their tempos to keep in time with their father and his odd breaking off from a couple of romantic ballads with inappropriate laughs and asides. Although there was no attempt at making the show anything but a celebration and a happy event, watching someone who clearly lives for his music, on the verge of dementia had to be tinged with sadness. 

Fortunately no sign of dementia in my mum who is not looking bad for an eighty five year old. Seems that she's just had a photo shoot with one of our niece's friends and I found this on Facebook. We saw a couple of women of a similar age fall over in Liverpool yesterday. Fortunately there was plenty of help on hand but it demonstrated the frailty of the elderly. One of the victims sat next to us on the train home. She was 85 too and told us that she had booked her ticket and travelled to the concert on her own as well as walking the half mile or so uphill to the venue and insisting on walking back to the station despite her fall.

Before Glen, I messed up by forgetting to book a pre theatre meal near to the Phil so I used the iPhone to find an alternative and it came up with a pub in Duke St called The Monro. And very good it was too. In fact the meal was probably better than the one we would have had in our first choice, and, being over half a mile away from the show, gave us the chance to walk some of it off too. There was a great choice on the menu, the cooking was fresh and the service was very friendly if just a little slow in taking the orders. All in all good value for money at about £53 for two and a half courses, coffee, and a bottle of wine.  

Never has a film been more appropriately titled than 'We Need To Talk About Kevin' which we saw yesterday afternoon at the wonderful FACT. This is a film that you could talk about for ages as it raises so many questions. The part of the poor mother is superbly acted by Tilda Swinton and the director's use of blood red imagery which starts with the opening scene at one of those Spanish tomato throwing festivals is quite brilliant. Being someone who tends to look at things logically I found a few flaws in the plot niggled me, but this did not detract from a film that is a truly thought provoking and riveting drama. I worry a little about the publicity trailer and posters which may mislead the "Paranormal Activity" crowd into trying it as this is purely a psychological drama, violence, though extreme, is only alluded to and the monster is not a horror movie one.