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Archive: journalism

Bye, Rik

June 11, 2014   -   0 comments   -  

Very few celebrity deaths bother me. In fact, I think the last one that hit any kind of level deeper than “that’s sad, I feel sorry for their family” was Steve Irwin. But now Rik Mayall is dead. Mayall was involved in a surprising amount of movies – it wasn’t just Drop Dead Fred. From

On Philip Seymour Hoffman

February 2, 2014   -   0 comments   -  

Seconds before pressing ‘send’ on the original version of my newspaper column this week, the news about Philip Seymour Hoffman broke. At the moment, we know very little, other than he was found in his home, and it’s suspected he died of a drug overdose. Over the coming days there are going to be thousands

Top 10 films of 2013

December 28, 2013   -   1 comment   -  

Alright, here we go, my top 10 films of the year. It’s time for the annual onslaught of tweets and emails telling me that I’m too stupid to live.

As usual, my top 10 list is entirely subjective and in no particular order, and if I was doing a top 50, your favourite would probably be in there. But there are only 10 spots, so like Nick Clegg deciding on whether to force a smile by pinching his leg or biting the inside of his cheek, tough decisions had to be made.

Right then…

Captain Phillips

Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips

Sometimes one scene is all it takes to elevate a film from being an also-ran to a sure-fire member of my coveted Top 10. And so it goes with Captain Phillips. Paul Greengrass’ true-life tale of ship captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) as his vessel is boarded by pirates moves along slowly, but is always tense, and Hanks’ final scene is some of the best acting of the year, if not ever. I can’t not mention Barkhad Abdi as Musa, one of the pirates, whose lack of acting experience only makes him more impressive.

A farewell to Blockbuster

December 16, 2013   -   2 comments   -  

I wrote this for a newspaper last year, when my local Blockbuster – which I had worked at for few years – was closing down.

With today marking the closure of the last remaining UK stores, I thought I’d share it…

A Blockbuster store in the UK

One of the many stricken Blockbuster stores           Picture: Elliot Brown

The Rob mentioned in the story went on to manage another Blockbuster store. Yesterday he turned the lights off there for the last time.

———-

This weekend, the book closed on what had been quite a large part of my life.

After 22 years, Blockbuster in Canterbury has closed its doors, ready to be smashed into pieces in preparation for a new hotel with too few parking spaces.

For many, I expect it was just another video shop, but the big blue store by the crossroads always meant more to me.

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