Don Moses Comedy & Magic Blog - A light hearted look at life, comedy and magic.

Archive for February, 2009

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Slum Dog Millionaire

It was great to see that “Slum Dog Millan-aire” won so many awards at the Baftas – by the way, I haven’t miss-spelt it, that is how the actor, playing the Indian Chris Tarrant, says the word in the film.

I saw the film when it came out in January and I thought it was fantastic.  I had been dragged to see Quantum of Solace, but, not this one. 

My logic for going to the pictures is always the same: has the film picked up lots of 5 star reviews in early showings, and does the very last sentence of the review, sound like a film I would enjoy?  I never ever read a review, just the last line; in fact, at the time, I didn’t know anything about the film – not even, that it involved the TV game “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”.

Like most great films, the scene has to be set to allow the final payoff to have impact.  However, this takes time, as we have to witness and endure a vividly cruel Mumbai; no one wants to see children suffer this way.  After thirty minutes of the film a couple of teenage girls walked out and never returned to the cinema.  I would have liked to have stopped them to say, just give it time.  I didn’t do this, because the image of a middle-age man saying to young girls “No, please don’t go, you will enjoy it honestly” in the darkness might be misconstrued (damn this raincoat).

After the film I wondered why the girls had left.  Was it a case of “Well, there is obviously no immediate gratification here for me” or was it a case of “I can’t sit and watch “man’s inhumanity to man” in this way”?  If you have seen the movie you will know the exact point at which the girls walked out.

Hollywood often suggests that movies affect us, but do they really?  Can we be changed to live better lives, by the morals in a movie (seen right through to its’ end, obviously)?  Did the girls miss out on a life changing moment by not staying to the end?  If they had stayed would they have discussed the point, that the winning of the money was not even the real success story of the film?

The film industry would say, yes, you can be altered at the end of a great thought provoking movie, but in reality aren’t our post film thoughts simply ephemeral.

For example, would someone walking out early during the film “Trainspotting” (another Danny Boyle movie) be less likely to take drugs because they didn’t see the final scene, when Euan Macgregor runs off with the money.  And for heaven’s sake (literally) we have all seen the film “Ghost” with its’ crystal clear, right / wrong, good versus evil, message, yet, crime is still around.

Anyway, all I know is, the girls missed one of the best films ever made.

***** 5 stars

Friday, February 6th, 2009

Assuming the crunch position

Now, I like to think of my wife and I as quite calm people, but, in reality, once we are out of our comfort zone we usually resemble Laurel and Hardy in a flap; I’m the one playing with my tie and crying.  The reason I say this, is because the media have just released the audio tape from the heroic plane landing in New York last month. 

How calm was that bloke?  If you haven’t heard the tape, it is like a conversation between two very relaxed people trying to fix a lunch appointment.  “No, can’t make it” “We’ll go in the Hudson” “Ok that sounds reasonable”.  I am paraphrasing but the transcript was not too dissimilar.

Capt Chesley Sullenberger (Sully) was so calm; I reckon he could have told the passengers “Before we assume the crash position if you look out of the right hand side windows you will see the Chrysler Building”.  As in contrast to, if a greedy banker was the pilot, he would have said, “Before we assume the crash position if you look out of the right hand side windows you will see a small yellow dinghy, I am speaking to you from that dinghy”.

I was hoping to do a play on words about “Sully” literally having morals and a compass, where as most people these don’t have a moral compass, but I have stuff to do today, but I am sure you can come up with something.

Anyway, as Rudyard Kipling said “If you can keep your head, when all about you, people are losing it BIG style” – again I am paraphrasing.
I think what I am trying to say is, Sully was so incredibly calm and modest in his media interview in January.  And yet, when a calm and modest Gordon Brown says “we can fix the economy”, suddenly, we are all running backwards and forwards, scratching our heads and adjusting our bowler hats.

That is just my opinion; I could be wrong.

Don performs as a wedding magician, corporate entertainer, and after dinner speaker at events throughout the country. London Magician, Manchester Magician, Liverpool Magician, Birmingham Magician, Newcastle Upon Tyne Magician, Magician Surrey, Edinburgh Magician, Oxford Magician, Bristol Magician, Magician Milton Keynes, Leicester Magician, Leeds Magician, Magician Kent.