Ah, Nicktor Night. They come round so soon. Hopefully we’ll not miss them too much when the extension work starts.
At the Albion, we decided to mix things up a bit because Nicktor had had ham, egg and chips for lunch. He went for the steak and ale pie and, in a fit of unscheduled variety, I went for bubble and squeak (with egg and bacon). Both were delicious and washed down with pints of a Scottish beer called Robert Burns.
When we’d arrived at the pub, the skies were clear, the temperature low. Things had changed somewhat by the time we left. The sky was horizon to horizon cloud, the streets were saturated and it was lightly raining.
All day, the weather had been cold and clear, the paths icy and treacherous. We’d had a lovely skate around the park, meeting many dogs, some playful, some reticent.
I’d even managed to spend some time in the garden cleaning out the bird feeders, ready for the bird seed that turned up in the afternoon. I thought the miserable weather was over for a bit. I was wrong. It rained all night.
Not that the rain bothered us overly much (except for towelling off the dogs every time they went outside), tucked up nice and warm in front of the TV.
Tonight’s offering was a film called Blood. It starred a few of our favourite actors and promised to be enjoyable. It wasn’t…really.
It was quite brave of the two main actors (Paul Bettany and Stephen Graham) as they were both playing against type. This can work with actors who are not typecast but is very difficult when an audience is expecting your personality to be the same as it has been for every film you’ve ever been in. So, that didn’t really work.
While the title makes it sound somewhat gory, it wasn’t. Blood refers to family and the ties that come with that. The family refers to two brothers, both police detectives, and how their world is corrupted by the brutal murder of a young girl. It questions the morals of standing by your ‘blood’ rather than your duty to the rest of the world. Blood is thicker than water, applies to these guys.
The best performances in the film came from two supporting characters, Robert (Mark Strong) and the father of the two brothers, Lennie (played superbly by Brian Cox). They were both convincing and compelling.
I guess the main problem was the lack of humour…again. The film starts from an emotional low point and just keeps going downhill with no lightness at all. A shame because the production values were very high, making the movie look very good and the performances were generally of high quality.
Another problem was believing in the main character, Joe. For a supposedly smart copper, he did some stupid things and made some stupid decisions, which didn’t quite ring true. To quote someone on the IMDB message board, “It is like they aren’t even trying to hide their guilt.” That really stood out for both of us.
Nicktor’s score was 6/10 and I agree with him.
Afterwards, we watched the final two episodes of Chancer, series one. What a wonderful series it has been, too. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. We’ll start series two next time and hope it continues to impress.
POSTSCRIPT: I haven’t included a bird photo for ages. I spotted this chap on a branch not far from me while walking in the park.