Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Shirley No Mates

I'm sure that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would be turning in his grave if he knew that's how his classic detective is referred to in the latest Guy Ritchie interpretation of his work. Along with all sorts of modern anachronisms such as a parkouring Cossack, a tribute to Liu Bolin and a Victorian stag party, this is a film that makes no attempt at creating any semblance of a Victorian atmosphere although, unlike Benedict Cumberbatch's current TV offering, the story is notionally set in 1891. As long as you go to see it forewarned and don't expect any brilliant deduction or hope to guess whodunnit , sit back and enjoy a very enjoyable couple of hours escapism. Jude Law plays straight man Watson to Robert Downey Jnr's manic Holmes in a plot that echoes some of the wilder Bond movies with megalomaniac Professor Moriarty planning to take over the world's weapons supply. It's daft, but visually stunning, with great use of stop motion sequences and a performance from Downey Jnr (with a twinkle in his eye reminiscent of Lovejoy in his prime) that oozes charm. If you've been reading this blog recently, you will know that we've had a fair few problems of late. This piece of pure escapism was the perfect antidote. One negative; the stereotypical depiction of gypsies may have been done for laughs but it was cheap laughs like these that got Jimmy Carr in trouble a couple of years ago and I could have done without it.

It's things like that that get people in trouble nowadays as Liverpool's Luis Suarez found out yesterday. I still have two season tickets at Anfield although my disillusionment with the game is such that I no longer go to matches. I'm divided on the Suarez case. I'm glad that the Football Association took his alleged racism seriously and imposed a swingeing penalty to go with their verdict.  If John Terry is also found guilty, I assume that he will get the same sort of punishment. Was he guilty? Suarez and his supporters argue that  calling someone Negrito is commonplace in Uruguay where it is just a bit of friendly banter. But we are not in Uruguay and it's pretty obvious that when he and Evra were arguing they were not exactly being pally so it's clear that when Suarez used the term he wasn't intending it as a term of endearment. Perhaps an expensive lesson for Liverpool and the role of sacrificial lamb for their player but hopefully a warning for every footballer in the country. Now they just have to sort out the fans who make going to football such a pleasurable event.

I hope you followed my advice and watched the Christmas edition of Rev. It surpassed all expectations with a beautiful study of the trials and tribulations that were Reverend Adam Smallbone's Christmas. This is one of the few comedies that can bring as many tears as it can laughs and, like my other favorite, Modern Family, has a fabulous cast and no weak links. If you missed this make sure that you catch it on BBC iplayer while you can  click here . Adam's Twelve Days Of Christmas should become a future Christmas staple.    

We've just booked our Christmas dinner. For the first time since we can remember, Marion's not going to be cooking a turkey this year and we're off to join Flo at her care home. The food there is very good. It will certainly be different.