Monday, 29 September 2014

"Plebs" Season 2, ITV2, review

The boys are back. It's puerile but irresistible. It's "The Inbetweeners" meets "Up Pompeii". The Roman sets are even more extravagant (thanks to leftovers from epics like "Hercules", filmed in the same studio in Bulgaria).
Look carefully for Tom Rosenthal's dad, Jim, as the sportscaster in Episode 1. It was good to see Lauren Socha from "Misfits" as Amanda, the prostitute, in same same episode.
Episode 2's stag night was lots of fun. "The Baby", Episode 3, was almost sweet, but it still had enough time for the fair share of boob references, boffing and butt plugs. Grumio (Ryan Sampson with his strident Mancurian accent and atrocious bowl haircut) constantly steals scenes.
Hugo from "The Vicar of Dibley" (James Fleet) tries to make Stylax his boy toy in Episode 4 (also awash with bodily function gags).

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The secret of perfect pork crackling (by a lazy cook)

Nine times out of ten crackling is soggy and inedible. You don't need to pour boiling water over it/rub  in salt/turn heat up, etc.
If you need to score the rind, use a Stanley knife, much easier than a chef's knife.
This is all you do:

1. Cut off the crackling when pork is cooked and standing.
2. Cut/scrape away the whitish fat, so you have crackling less than 1 cm thick.
3. Wrap in a large paper towel. A clean oven is a happy oven (plus paper absorbs fat).
4. Microwave on HIGH (1100 W) for 1-2 minutes.
5. Open paper towel and expose crackling to air. If it isn't crisp enough (you should be able to smash it), repeat Steps 3-5. Try only 60 seconds on HIGH for smaller amounts.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Richard Maibaum, screen writer of classic Bond

New Yorker, Richard Maibaum (1909-1991) wrote screenplays for the first 13 Bonds (except "You Only Live Twice" - part witty but sexist, Roahl Dahl script/part "Thunderbirds" - and the dated, blaxploitation effort, "Live and Let Die").
His last Bond script was "Licence to Kill".
He was responsible for some of the classic Bond lines delivered by Sean Connery.

Maibaum co-wrote the 1949 version of "The Great Gatsby".

Monday, 1 September 2014

"The Silkworm" by Robert Galbraith (J.K.Rowling) 2014

"The Cuckoo's Calling" was a ripper detective yarn. Beautifully structured, atmospheric London descriptions and wonderfully complex characters. Cormoran Strike continues to outthink Scotland Yard, this time the setting is the bitchy, self-obsessed world of publishing (as compared to the bitchy, self-obsessed world of supermodels, in the first book).
A particularly gruesome murder, more background details on loony ex-girlfriend Charlotte and further unresolved sexual tension between Strike and loyal offsider, Robin are some the delights of this novel.
Looking forward to the third in the Strike series.