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Monday, September 27, 2010

The Charles Dickens of Dustbin Days & Armed America

Great Expectations. You expect too much of them and they go and let you down. In future I'd be better off having quite reasonable expectations instead. Take today for instance.... 

Regular readers will be aware that today was my last proper day off before having to drag my sorry ar-  self back to work tomorrow. The beauty of this extra day of dawdling is that it's designed to fool my phsyche into believing I've had a much longer holiday than I have because everyone else has gone back to work already. In theory it's a great idea. In practice, it's let me down.

The plan was a nice lazy start, perhaps some coffee in the bright morning sunshine in the garden while perusing the papers. Then possibly some catching up with the TV on the Sky plus box, or perhaps a movie or two.  A leisurely afternoon and then something nice for dinner.

But no. Last night a slow puncture appeared in one of the tyres on the car. I zipped to the local garage and pumped it up.  20p for fresh air!!!! Mugged.  Anyway, by around midnight another look at it and it had gone down somewhat, so clearly it would need repairing or replacing.  Mrs G was scheduled to take the car to work, but of course now I would have to take it to the local tyre guys instead.  

So much for a lazy start to the day.  Up at the crack to take Mrs G to work. Then the tyre guys didn't have any tyres but would be able to get some this afternoon.  To be fair to them they are extremely efficient and very good value for money, but they still couldn't get tyres before 2.30pm and because they were so busy, it still took about an hour to get to this point.

Home and domestic chores in a rush so that I could be back to the garage for more over inflated (it's not funny) air that would last long enough to get me back to the tyre guys for 2.30.  And here was my one moment of relaxation all day.  A cup of tea and an hour and half of cinema, or film, or movies or DVD's or whatever it is that you want to call it.  

I bring this up for two reasons. Firstly, daughter and I had a long discussion about the correct term to use and the etemology of the various terms.  There might actually be an entire blog entry in that conversation alone, but I'll leave it for another day. And secondly so that I can include a mini review of the film in question. But more of that in a minute....  first, let's get these tyres sorted.

So on arrival, there's around 6 other people waiting to have their cars tweeked and twiddled.  This is what happens when a small business has such a good reputation. They get popular, they get busy and the customers have to put up with the wait.  I didn't mind.  There's free WiFi after all. It just meant that the slow and relaxed day has instead been spent hanging around a bunch of oily blokes with an unhealthy interest in rubber and exhaust pipes.

In the end, Monday's are Dustbin Days for us. The "Garbage Men" come and collect and me?  Well, I've had a rubbish day off.

On the plus side - I did finally see "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" and here are my thoughts:

 

Sometimes, it seems to me that everyone in America has a gun. They have the "Right to bear arms" written into their constitution and their 24 hour rolling news keeps our cousins in a permanent state of fear meaning that they need one. Of course I know that this isn't entirely true and there are plenty of people in modern day America that don't have a gun but once upon a time in the old wild west this wasn't quite the picture.  The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance captures the growing pains of a country and puts them into human terms. As such it's a film a great significance to American culture and so I believe it's a very worthwhile watch.
It touches on the Declaration of Independence as written by Thomas Jefferson and even includes the line "We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal." but it tells the story of A Man from the East, heading West and fighting with words rather than guns. It has standout performances from both James Stewart and John Wayne and Lee Marvin's super-bad "Liberty Valance" is highly enjoyable. Shot in Black and White at a time when budget's were stretched, it's was shot almost entirely at Paramount's studios under the guiding hand of Wild West expert John Ford.

All in all, you can't underestimate the importance of this piece and it's obviously deserving of it's place in the United States National Film Registry which is the United States National Film Preservation Board's selection of films for preservation in the Library of Congress. ( http://www.loc.gov/film/titles.html )  8/10

Oh - and it turns it I have got a nice dinner lined up thanks to the connivance of Mrs G and Daughter.  So perhaps it's not as rubbish as I think it is.  Tomorrow on the other hand - is "back to work"...  Beam me up Scotty....



This post originally appeared here: Posterous
 

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