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Shaun of the Dead

With Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, Lucy Davis, Dylan Moran, Penelope Wilton and so on.

If you’ve seen the film ‘Paul’ then you know you have to watch this one aswell. The same power duo (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) in an idiot film.

They are basically Shaun the Loser, who doesn’t dare to tell his ‘friend’ Ed to ef off from his appartment, to make his plans for every single day at the pub instead of with his own girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) and so on.
Shaun doesn’t say anything to anyone. He is the loser at his job aswell, where he’s the eldest (in his late twenties) so nobody takes him seriously there either.
The film starts with Liz being fed up about never being alone with Shaun because of his friend Ed.

When suddenly the city is under attack of zombies, all hell breaks loose. But in such a lovely British way. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, along with Penelope Wilton, Bill Nighy and some other extras (Martin Freeman, Matt Lucas, the works) make up really well for their nonexistent skills in martial arts, throwing anything with feeling for directions and so on.

At times I just know they copied bits and pieces of The Walking Dead and From Dusk Till Dawn, but oh heck, it’s funny, so who the hell cares?

Don’t watch it if you have a weak stomach, as at times, it does show quite a bit, but to see zombies handled with British politeness etc….it’s a must watch!

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Posted by on February 9, 2018 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Bonkers, by Jennifer Saunders

This autobiography of Jennifer Saunders is simply perfect. It is as lighthearted as it is serious, doesn’t bore for one bleedin’ second (I’ve read biographies that couldn’t live up to that one), it’s a delight to read.

Jennifer sets out how herself and Dawn French became aquantainted, befriended and then crawled up the path to fame. As far as I’ve understood, being a daughter of an RAFman greatly helps 🙂 also, not being very good at interviews at universities for other, more serious studies, leads to this. Well, for Jennifer.

What amazes me in the book is how impeccable Ms Saunders is with her timing. She knows, just from the other end of the book -the writing part-, how people will react on her written statements. It is as if Edina Monsoon is personally following you through the reading, is shouting at you with it! You can just hear it. Feel quite intimidated. And still can’t help laughing.

Though Ms Saunders tells you at the very beginning that she’s horrible with chronological orders, of course the editor of the book took care of that. So it does seem like she’s in control after all. She does start every chapter by telling you in what scene you have landed. Very friendly so 🙂

Jennifer makes it sound like she has had a very easy life in a way, but at the end you have to conclude that the woman is so very talented. She gets away with everything, because, well…SHE IS JENNIFER SAUNDERS, HELLO!!

Her words somehow got to me even more as I recognised her feelings towards people she admires or tv show hosts and such. She closes up like an oyster. Can’t speak. Can barely move. Just instantly. Very nice if someone ace just happens to sit next to you and is being nice to you. The shame you feel afterwards when that happens! I mean I’m not famous so it never happens to me personally, but I have some (more or less) famous people in my family, so it does happen at birthday bashes and such, that an oocasional famous human enters the livingroom and I’m like: ‘wow, that’s !!’ and I will just be so insanely stupid. Not able to talk, like a normal person, instead sweat and either say nothing or appear far too enthusiastically and break something.

Anyway, back to the book.

Jennifer Saunders has a lovely, sincere and spontaneous way of writing. She tells a lot, namedrops (as she has been told to do so, she mentions at the very beginning) and quite frankly, makes it even more easily to love her as you already did (or at least I did).

She also mentions her fight with breast cancer, and as the wife of a Radiation Expert, I do feel the need to add a few things here. Not because Ms Saunders doesn’t mention them incorrect, it’s just an FYI, nothing special.
She mentions she was injected with something. I don’t know the actual name, but let me tell you what it does: this radioactive material is made to attach itself to the bad cells, meaning that if they make a special scan/picture of you, lymphes with bad cells in it, will appear on screen. It’s like putting a magic marker in your system to show what parts are needed to treat.
This is not the kind of pic/scan you want to be able to see much of yourself on! It also hardly shows you as a person at all, much more like a Rohrschach butterfly or sorts.

Back to the book again. Which is fantastic, not much of any surprise really. It has two sections of added pictures for more fun, both of the beginning of The Comic Strip, the double acts and so on, as their personal life. It’s so cute to see quite such a soft side of Adrian Edmonson 🙂 (I was first introduced to his Vyvyan-version, quite a different side of him!)

A must read if you’re a fan, also a must read if you are into comedy at all. So much to learn from this clever lady!

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2016 in Books, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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The Extra Man

This film with Kevin Kline and Paul Dano is a delight for slightly insane minds. I say slightly, because Louis Ives (played wonderfully by Paul Dano) does bring a certain ‘normality’ to the canvas for utter ridiculousness that’s brought to you by Kevin Kline.

Henry Harrison (Kevin Kline) has factually nothing more than a spare bed and, OK, a couple of doors, to spare. Despite this, he rents this out to people he can allow to be that close to him. Henry appears to be a gentleman of sorts, but in the end is nothing more than a complete weirdo. A funny one though. Who goes on a date painting his feet in the color black because you can’t find your socks? Or pees in the street in an overcoat that is so wide that it won’t draw attention? Or has that many hypocritical opinions about sex? Who puts letters in the fridge?
Henry has and he is wonderfully inconstistent with them.

Meanwhile, Louis has his own problems with finding his way in life. Being a kindhearted soul, it’s not that hard for him to get in contact with people, but he does have a problem to define himself. Which brings him on the path of Henry, really.
Whilst living with Henry, Louis does try to get in touch with the parts of him he never had before. Just too bad he is a bit clumsy and, more so, naive. It’s his naivity that usually brings him and Henry closer together and in touch with the rules of the world outside.

It is quite a pleasure to watch, but probably not everyone’s cup of tea.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2016 in Films, Humour, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Phonecall with client

No, I’m sorry, this is not a sexy story.

I was once a Secretary at a lawyers’ office. It was a summerjob, which entailed answering the phone, typing out letters and sending them away, handling the fax and mostly telling clients that their lawyer currently wasn’t present due to holiday circumstances.

For most of the time, it was quite a nice job. I got to earn my own wages, sometimes had a colleague to babble to and I did something useful with my time altogether.

But.

There was one client. Oh dear. She literally phoned every day.
Every. Single. Day.
Every day with the same question:
‘Can I talk to Mr Sanders, please?’
Mr Sanders was one of the lawyers on a holiday. For three weeks. It was his first week out. And yet this woman phoned back every single day. With the same request. Like she had Alzheimers or was demented in some way. She wasn’t, as she only phoned once a day and I would expect a patient of one of these illnesses to phone more regularly if it were due to those conditions, but no. She simply wasn’t willing to believe Mr Sanders wasn’t in.
Nearly every day, I was the one who received her on the phone, too. As there was usually only one or two of us, sometimes a third, but usually not.
The only good thing about her phoning was that she usually accepted it if I asked her:
‘Do you want to leave him a message?’

One day, she had a slight outburst. She accused me:’you think I’m just a nutcase, don’t you? Aha-haaaaahaaa!’ You’ll have to interpreted that last one as a weird witch-sounding laugh. Not that she was a witch or claimed to be, but that’s the kind of sound you usually hear in a film when one appears, or is about to appear.
I must admit that laugh made me feel a bit creepy. I had a slight discussion with her, trying to stay polite, as she was still a client I might have to meet face to face one day, but it was hard. After she had given me a rant about something (not sure exactly what it was) I simply told her:
‘I’m sorry, I can leave him a message for you, or you can phone back yourself when he’s back. I’m afraid that’s all I have in my palet of possibilities’, it was quiet for about five seconds, then she caved and picked.
To leave a message.
When I hung up the phone, my colleague turned to me, laughing:

‘”That’s my Palet of Possibilities”?? I had never heard of that one before?!’ and handed me a bag of sweets.
‘It’s all I could think of in short notice’, I defended myself. I was usually a babysit and that was usually what I used to make the children pick for something. I had no idea it worked on adults aswell.

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2016 in Daily life, Humour

 

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Verstandskies trekken /Extraction whisdomtooth

Ik werd gek van de pijn in m’n bek.
Er was een kies die maar niet door kwam. Bij het kauwen bleef ik op m’n wang bijten. Elke keer opnieuw open. Auw.
Dus een afspraak gemaakt bij de tandarts.
Die dag werkte ik. Dat dan wel weer, maar ik verwachtte dat de tandarts zou zeggen dat ik een gaatje had, of welke spoeling ik nog eens moest gebruiken om van het euvel verholpen te worden.
Had ik al vaker gehad.
Ik fietste er heen, stapte binnen, kon gelijk doorkomen en nam dus plaats.
Met deze tandarts was ik al m’n hele leven bekend. De broer van m’n oude kleuterjuf bovendien. Relaxte en professionele man.
‘Neem plaats’, sprak hij uitnodigend in z’n groene, kortgemouwde uniform, ‘wat is het probleem?’
‘Ik blijf op m’n wangen bijten bij het eten en m’n verstandskies wil maar niet verder doorkomen. Ik word er een beetje gek van’, somde ik op.
‘Ik zal eens kijken’. Hij nam naast m’n hoofd plaats, terwijl ik braaf m’n mond opendeed. Dat gevoel dat je een auto bent die gecheckt wordt, met dat rammelende gereedschap in je mond. Of ben ik dat alleen?
‘Oh, maar die verstandskies is al door hoor’, sprak hij toen tot mijn verbazing.
‘Uh-ehhe?’ (want wat zeg je in vredesnaam tegen de tandarts die z’n gereedschap in je mond heeft geparkeerd? -no pun intended)
‘Ik zal ‘m er wel even uittrekken, want hij zit scheef’, sprak hij toen. Hij pakte een tang.
‘Kan ik wat verdoving krijgen?’ vroeg ik, held op sokken.
‘Oh ja, kan wel hoor’, zei hij, alsof ik had gevraagd of ik de boter mocht.
Hij spoot wat verdoving in m’n mond (alsof er een citroen in m’n mond werd uitgeknepen, getver!) en even later was m’n kaak gevoelloos. Een halve minuut later was m’n kies eruit. Ik voelde, ondanks de verdoving, meteen het verschil.
‘Oh, hĂ©Ă©rlijk, dank je hel!’ sprak ik blij (maar met niet goed sluitende mond, dus de ‘w’ wilde niet).
Hij duwde een tampon in het gapende gat, liet me de tang met de kies zien.
‘Hier, wil je je kies bewaren?’ ik knikte. Hij stopte ‘m in een klein papieren zakje.
‘Super!’ ik stond op, hij gaf me nog wat instructies voor nazorg (‘tot morgenavond even vloeibaar eten, dan rustig weer wat vaster beginnen met eten’) en schoonmaken, daarna verliet ik het pand.
Eenmaal op kantoor begon ik de hinderlijkheid van de verdoving pas te merken. Niet wetend dat de tandarts de verdoving scheef had gespoten, werkte m’n lippen ineens niet meer samen. Ik was de enige die de telefoon aan kon nemen.
Toen op een goed moment een collega binnenkwam, piepte die m’n baas op.
‘Je hebt een mompelende secretaresse hier’, sprak hij olijk, waarop m’n baas naar beneden kwam.
‘Wat is er?’ vroeg die, ‘heeft de tandarts wat gedaan?’
‘Ye’, wilde ik stoer klinken, maar de ‘p’ kwam niet mee, ‘hij hee’t he kies getrokkeh’, wurmde ik er, na enige moeite, uit’.
‘Och ja, ik hoor het. Nou ja, concentreer jij je dan maar op het typen, misschien kan Hans je even wat helpen?’
En zo verliep de middag op kantoor voorspoedig.
Die avond wierp mijn moeder m’n gehele maaltijd door de magimix, zodat ik toch met de pot mee kon eten. Dat zoog ik als pap naar binnen. Ik probeerde uit automatisme toch te kauwen, dacht nog: ‘ik wist niet dat er kip door het eten zat?’ om me daarna te realiseren dat het m’n wang was waar ik zo hard op beet….

I was getting mad with the pain in my mouth.
There was a whisdom tooth not coming through. I kept biting my cheek. Every time a new wound. Ouch.
So I rang the dentist.
I had to work that day, but since I expected him to just check my mouth and tell me how to take care of it with some kind of rinsing material.
Had happened before.
So I went by bike and was immediately invited to sit down in the dentist chair. I had been familiair with this man since childhood. His sister used to be my teacher in Preschool. Relaxed and professional man, this.
‘Sit down’, he offered, dressed in his short sleeved green uniform. I sat down as told.
‘Tell me, what’s the problem?’ the dentist asked me.
‘Well, for starters I keep biting my cheeks during supper and I have a whisdom tooth that refuses to come out completely. It’s driving me insane’, I summed up.
‘Alight, I’ll have a look’. He sat down next to my head and performed his magic. Am I the only one who feels like a car being checked on on such occasions? It doesn’t really feel like it’s yours, as you’re not the expert at such a moment, no?
‘Your whisdom tooth HAS come through completely!’ the dentist then told me, to my surprise.
‘Uh-ehe?’ I sort of answered (what else are you gonna say to a dentist who still has his tools in your mouth?-no pun intended)
‘I will extract it though, as its quite wrongly placed’, he then said, chosing a proper tool to do that with.
‘I’m sorry, can I have some kind of anesthaetic?’ the wuss in me asked.
‘Oh yes, you can’, he said on a tone as if I just asked him to pass the butter, please?
He gave me a shot, some of it leaked on my tongue (like a lemon squirting in your mouth, yuk!) and we babbled a little. My jaw went numb. The dentist took my molar out in about 30 seconds. I immediately noticed the difference.
‘Ah wow, hank ye!’ I more or less said, with my numb bits.
‘Here, you want a keepsake?’ he offered, while pushing a cotton ball into the hole that had appeared in my jaw.
‘Oh, yes please’, I said, getting up.
He gave me some instructions (‘eat fluids only until tomorrow night, then proceed to soft foods carefully’) then I left the building.
Back at the office I suddenly noticed that the anesthaetic wasn’t really that comfortable. Least of all at work. I had no idea the dentist had done the anestaetic a bit wrong either, so half my face around my mouth wasn’t working. Ever tried to answer the phone with lips that won’t close? Ps I was the only one who could do that…
Then a colleague appeared, who beeped my boss.
‘Your secretary is mumbling’, he spoke. So he came downstairs.
‘The dentist perform a trick?’ he asked grinningly.
‘Yea’, I said, in a more slang way than I had aimed for, ‘he excracke’t hy took!’ I tried.
‘Ah, so I hear. Well, maybe Hans here can help you a bit, you stick to typing for the day then’, and so that was settled.

At supper that night, my mother simply threw my food in the blender, so I could suck it in. In some kind of automatism, I was chewing it a bit, thinking: ‘I don’t think there was chicken in my portion?’ then realising I was biting my own cheek. Again. Like a bastard.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how I know humans taste like chicken….

 

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2016 in Daily life, Humour, Uncategorized

 

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Birthday

‘Happiness is only a mug full of pralines away, you know that?’ Billie asked her colleague John, who was just about to smash his computer screen into the ground.
Billie was surprisingly unaware of his struggles.
‘What?!’ was his response, panting, as he was trying to dig up every lifeline that kept his screen alive. The screen that said that whatever he wanted to do, was not gonna happen. The screen that had been telling him that for over half an hour now, long before Billie decided now was the best time to come by with her new mug. With pralines.
‘I said that happiness is only a mug full of pralines away’, Billie continued, still not noticing that John actually couldn’t care less that it was her birthday or that her hair was fabulous – the kind of thing she actually wanted to hear, but John missed out on that hint as he was barely all there with his head.
John wasn’t the type of man to like computers if they disobeyed.
Still.
Billie got no response from John for the passed five minutes, while she had been extendedly obvious opened the three enveloppes she had been carrying.
They were all spam: one for cartridges, one for office supplies and one from a nearby supermarket that was bragging about its superjuices. They already had a machine that made those at their current office. Which main aim was to sell office supplies. So the mail was not quite that interesting to be fair. Except that it had given Billie the possibility to stick a bit longer at John’s desk, who she secretly fancied quite a bit, but who hadn’t noticed this.
Currently he was under his desk, cursing his way around.
‘You freaking helpless little shit! They should have unplugged you at birth, told you you were worthless and not a true effort to this digital world. They should have smothered you in your printed plates, poured you over in ink print so you’d suffocate in your own little bits and bites, making it impossible for you to…..aaargh!’ John emerged from under his desk, bumping his head into it first because he pulled back in a reflex too hard.
‘Ouch! It bit me! The bastard bit me!’ he shouted, as if he’d just been bitten by a crocodile while crossing the Nile.
As if.
He rubbed the back of his head.
‘Bit you?’ Billies’ dreambubble just popped now. She noticed John. His head all red and sweaty, his shirt loose, his sleeves rolled up, seated on the floor, with a hand slightly bleeding from a paperclip that stung him.
‘Here, you want a praline?’ she offered.
‘Thanks love, that’ll be grand’, he panted.
Billie walked around his desk.
‘Have you been working on that new converter yet?’ she asked.
‘What?’ John was a bit shocked Billie even knew that word.
‘The new converter. It does something to your screen, apparently’ she explained.
‘It does?!’ John was shocked and relieved at the same time. He crawled to his desk, hung his arms over the keyboard, with the rest of his body still on the floor. It made him look like he was just hanging over the edge of a swimming pool, Billie thought. He punched a few keys, waited with his hands on his head. Then his face cleared up.
‘So that’s it!’ he kissed her.
‘Best birthday ever!’ she smiled.

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2016 in Humour, Projects

 

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Romantics Anonymous (Review)

Lovely endearing film of Jean-Pierre Améris. This film is a very lighthearted, funny, and quite frankly simply a joy to watch.

Two people who are basically emotionally retarded, happen to cross each others paths.
AngĂ©lique Delange has to tell herself about fifty times she can do something before she does it. She hums it, repeats it, like a magical formula, to make sure her inner self knows. Jean-RenĂ© van den Hughe is her boss, who works at a chocolate factory that’s nearly broke. Still, they need someone to help to sell the chocolate they make.Jean-RenĂ© has a taperecorder in one of his drawers that tells him he’s a man, a vulcano, that he is strong and can deal with all of the world. He can’t pick up a phone if he doesn’t know who’s phoning him (no mobiles in this film, so oops!). Fantastic.

Reminds of AmĂ©lie, but that’s probably also because the actress who plays her mother (Lorella Cravotta) plays in this film aswell. She is Magda here, one of the women who works in the chocolate factory. Where AmĂ©lie tells about a girl who doesn’t know how to make proper contact with a man, that element is visible here too, though in different measures. This film also reminds of AmĂ©lie because of the ridiculic situations that hop along the merry melody of the main characters. You’d think there’s no way of making some of the stuff up. And yet, there it is.
It also reminds of The Sound Of Music, since the song that Maria sings to herself before entering the Von Trapps’ premises, is sang here too. In French, but still. Even the scene of Maria swinging her suit- and guitarcase around is being repeated here.
The only con I have here, is that although this film reminds of these two films, the soundtrack simply isn’t as strong. You more or less expect the music to touch your very soul. That doesn’t happen.

So, we have two pretty big idiots, Angélique and Jean-René. Now what? Well, Angélique attends meetings of Les émotifs anonymous (hence the title of the film), while Jean-René goes to a psychologist. Who gives him assignments.
As Jean-René has never been with a woman -they scare the crap out of him- he is told to ask a woman out.
At the same time, Angélique, who has been hired within 5 minutes, discovers that she has not, in fact, been given the job of chocolatier, as she wished, but of commercial seller. Angélique dreads contact with people. She faints as soon as she gets too much attention. Not the best quality for a seller.
So, she decides to quit. At the same moment where Jean-René is trying his best to invite someone to have dinner with. As neither of them can read any kind of bodylanguage, it ends up with the two of them having dinner, of course.

The night of the dinner, Angélique enters the restaurant first, with hiccups. Realising that she has no idea what her boss is called. Which is unlucky, as the waiter just asked you who made the reservation at the restaurant?
Whilst she sits down, Jean-RenĂ© enters the restaurant, fleas off to the restrooms and puts a suitcase on top of the cistern. You go ‘wtf?!’ but after that, he simply walks to the mirror, tells himself some powertalk, then joins his coworker. This is only the weird start of that date.
It doesn’t end well that night. And still, she comes in to work the next day, after Jean-RenĂ© has told his coworkers she won’t be returning.

I could give you so many examples as to why this film is fantastic. It simply is. Who goes to the loo to change into a new shirt every 5 seconds? Who pretends to be a less successful person, just to be able to be a shyer version of yourself, so you can live in peace? Who tells a man she has plans to marry him, has a dozen of his babies, but just enough to keep the sexlife interesting, after only one kiss?

It is such a joy to watch a film with two quirky beings having no proper example of how things should be, so things are complicated, but not in the emotional way. They don’t get hurt, just heavily confused. A joy to watch.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2016 in Films, Opinion

 

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