You've Got Mailed.

Film Vanity Fair has an affectionate oral history of Norah Ephron and You've Got Mail, a film I've grown to love across time. Her attention to detail was extraordinary:
"The extra who is playing the florist [in the beginning of the film] is pregnant. We put a little pad in her tummy. And one of the things you will see later in the movie is when Meg is buying flowers at that florist, there’s a little sign in the window that says, “It’s a girl.”"
I wonder what the film must look like to later audiences, where the process of email amounts to wading through pages of messages from Amazon trying to sell you things and in my case PR emails for London galleries I'll never visit.  The closest we have now are Facebook messages and Twitter DMs, but neither, I suspect, prompt the florid paragraphs which we and the characters in the film used to write.

Laugh test.

Film Find above the trailer for director Ann Fletcher's new comedy Hot Pursuit. Don't watch it though - it probably gives away most of the story which is that Reece Witherspoon plays a cop who has to courier mob witness SofĂ­a Vergara across country.  In a normal world this would look like average fare but here we are, two female leads in a comedy directed by a woman, admittedly with two male credited screenwriters but nonetheless.  For some context, Fletcher's also a prolific choreographer, her past triumphs including working with Joss on Buffy's Once More With Feeling and three episodes of Firefly.

A short note on Dimensions in Time and canonicity.

TV Gen of Deek has an exhaustive blog post about the joint history of Doctor Who and Eastenders. Everything is going swimmingly with an exhaustive description of Dimensions in Time before it has this to say about it:
"Don’t worry kids though, it’s not canonical."
If you say so. I've never thought it wasn't. As the TARDIS Datacore explains, There's a reference to it in the Virgin New Adventure First Frontier which suggests the Doctor was well aware he was walking around in a soap opera. If you accept that the Eastender therein was some kind of Auton simulacrum (explaining Pauline) or some such, it's perfectly fine.  Even if you don't, it could be the usual time differential business which leads Doctors to forget some moments when they have met up (ala The Day of the Doctor).  Either way, it may be rubbish, but it still counts.

But then, of course, in Doctor Who there is no such thing as ‘canon’. Unless there is.

My Favourite Film of 2009.

Film One of the key locations in Glorious 39 is Walsingham Abbey in Norfolk. Here's a contemporary local news clip which talks about the making of the film. The Glorious 39 piece begins two minutes in (after a piece about another country house which is going through just the sort of stresses that might themselves have appeared in a Stephen Poliakoff tv series):

As the expert in the clip describes, one of the key shots in the film is in the opening sequences as DP Danny Cohen's steadicam swoops through the medieval abbey, its giant incongruous, breathtaking arches standing impenetrably against the newer house. Like that house, Glorious is a newer addition to the landscape of a family which has existed for many year but, which like the abbey, is apparently standing firm but crumbling.

We need to talk about Peter Parker. Probably.

Film Well that's quite a few days. Big Finish licenses from nuWho, Australia confirmed for Eurovision and now Spider-Man to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In terms of personal wish lists at this rate, by the end of the year, Mutya Keisha Siobhan will have an album out by the end of the year and Marco Polo will be released on dvd. The Doctor Who one. Even this list doesn't look so stupid now:

The Beatles are added to Spotify.

Taylor Swift does Glastonbury.

Greens overtake the LibDems in Parliament.

The next series of Doctor Who is better than the last one.

Spider-man joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

That's my list of annual predictions from the beginning of this year. The way of the wind and it is blowing the least likely item's probably Doctor Who being any good this year. Former festivalphobe Swift's playing the Big Weekend. That has to be a prelude to something.

Either way yes, hello Spidey and welcome to the same filmic reality as Groot, Trevor Slattery and Fitz/Simmons.

There's loads of speculation across the echo chamber of the many news websites with advertisers and an SEO commitment but we don't really know a lot yet.  We know that he'll appear in an already announced film first before starring in his own property in mid-2017 pushing back all the other films already announced that aren't The Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy 2.  I'm going to be in my mid-forties before this release schedule ends now.  Let's not think about that.

But other than that.  Shrugs.  Not a sausage.   Here's what I think:

For all my bitch and moaning about how perfect he is, Andrew Garfield will not be retained.  My taste would be for the earlier Sony films to be co-opted into the MCU for all their creative problems, but it looks like that story won't be completed.  Felicity Jones will not be Black Cat now.  Unless she is.  But imagine how he feels right now.  This guy.  The guy who turned up at Comic-Con and did this:

Not that you couldn't retain Andrew Garfield.  You could approach the next one as a semi-continuation, taking the imaginative leap that those events happened just in slightly different way, ala The Incredible Hulk and somewhat Superman Returns.  Or if they really wanted to spend the money, producing special new version of the Sony movies with more MCU content shoehorned in.  Or just keep him, whatever.

Ah fuck it.  Andrew Garfield and everything else is gone.  They're burning it all down.  Shame.

But who for Parker now?  An unknown presumably though that's not always the approach in the MCU.  Eddie Redmayne's not a stupid idea, I suppose, but they may want to cast an American.  Zac Efron?  (I'm really bad at this).  Whoever it is, clearly the brilliant thing to do would be not to announce his casting then have that moment in Civil War when Spider-Man removes his mask and that's the moment when we all find out who's playing him.

Is this just Spider-Man or is it the whole thing?  Can aspects of his mythology now reintegrate with the MCU?  Will we have the Daily Bugle in the Netflix series set in New York?  Let's hope so.  Would make sense.

Are we going to get another version of the origin story, for the third time in just a decade an a half?  Probably not.  Unless we do.  My guess is that even if its not a backdoor TAS3 somewhat like The Incredible Hulk and somewhat Superman Returns there'll be an expectation that the audience gets it already and the salient points will appear in the credit sequence or flashbacks.  Forbes suggest Batman Forever as the template.  Let's not get carried away.

For all that, will it even be Peter Parker or will it be Miles Morales?  My guess is it'll still be Peter.  He's still the brand name most widely associated with the character.  Clearly the MCU approach and the more interesting, fresh choice would be Miles but it seems very unlikely.  But we also live in the world were a Guardians of the Galaxy film had almost the greatest box office take of all time so, well, shrugs.

For now, let's just all bask in the glory of this old Late Review transcript in which Germaine Greer, Charlie Higson and Michael Gove review the first of the Raimi films.  Take it away Govie:
It's for teenagers, because it has a genuinely, I believe, sophisticated morale structure than most films aimed at that age group, and without it being explicitly Christian, I do think it has that theme running through it.

When the Green Goblin takes Spider-Man up and shows him New York City and says, "My boy, this could be yours if you join me in this wicked project" is reminiscent of the Bible.

And the final scene is the renunciation scene. It's an affirmation of celibacy and vocation.
It's worth reading for Higson's rebuttle. Well played Higson.

Big Unit Finishing News.

Audio Of course the biggest news of the day was Big Finish's announcement that they'd licensed Kate Stewart to appear in a series of UNIT boxed sets with Jemma Redgrave signed to reprise the character, the first time they've specifically been able to make something using material from the new series that wasn't a BBC Audio(Go) commission.

Look at that cover. Look at it.

Some notes:

(1) Pertwee logo.

(2) NuWho Auton design.

(3) Doesn't that look like Captain Jack's jacket?

(4) How will this sound? Like the recreations of 70s Fourth Doctor stories, will these attempt to do the sound of the new series, music and all? How about the tone of the scripts?

(5) Will they refer back to earlier UNIT series? Kate's Dad was a huge figure in the series which ran in the early naughties. You can listen to the prequel for free on Sound Cloud here. When the synopsis talks about her UNIT team, will this be Colonel Emily Chaudhry et al or will they be really daring and Yates back? In the Big Finish continuity he's back in active service.  When will it be set?  Can Osgood return?

(6) Could this be a prelude to something else? Eccleston stories are clearly out of the question but could David Tennant return? Matt Smith? Cor.

The BAFTAs 2015. Again.

Film For all my bitching and moaning and thinking and praying, with the end of the BAFTAs in actuality and the start of the edited highlights only overlapping by about twenty minutes, I was only spoilt via social media for three categories, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Picture, but I didn't care. Because it was Boyhood, because it was for once the film I wanted to win everything, it just meant I could have a big cheer early in the evening and another one later.

Criticise Stephen Fry all you want but other than Norton I can't think of many other presenters who quite fit. He's generally loved by the people in the hall and while its true we'd love to have someone as edgy as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler presenting doing that sort of material, Mail related fear means the BBC wouldn't dare. Even when Ross presented it briefly, the results were hardly the Comedy Awards. No Garai moments this year either.

No Rock and Roll Fun has a perfect review of the Kasabian incident. These opening musical numbers are becoming increasingly problematic; Bafta lacks a Best Song category but for some reason they give us a track anyway and usually from someone with little or no connection to the film industry and in a ceremony which is already being edited down to fit the timeslot.  Surely the time would be best spent giving out an otherwise squeezed award like Best Animation?

There were less of those this year, I think.  Best Film Not In The English Language turned up in the main body for the first time in a while, so Mark Kermode wasn't called upon to incongruously hand it out.  I was pleased Ida won.  I've not seen it but I've otherwise been a fan of Pawel Pawlikowski especially since he was the reporter who was being cued in during the autocue balls up on The Late Show which appeared on the A-Z of TV Hell ("Pawel Pawlikowski reporting... err...")

This was the Tweet of the night:

Having ignored the shorts, my guesses ended up with 8/16 thanks to a late surge in the squeezed categories at the end with all The Grand Budapest Hotel wins (which was my default choice in categories where Boyhood wasn't nominated or I hadn't seen any of the other films).  Which is better than usual.  About the only category I was cheesed about was Gugu Mbatha-Raw.  Jack O'Connell seems like a talented chap but a win by Gugu would have been more symbolic.

Nevertheless, Baftas garlanded Boyhood in all the right ways and that we now live in a world were Patricia Arquette is a BAFTA winner is all to the good.  Hers was an attenuated speech about how some careers seem to become golden in retrospect, fitting with the theme of the film which to an extent is all about the careers of the actors across those twelve years, ebbing and flowing in between that other single endeavour.

Then there was Ellar Coltrane's speech.  Of all the actors in the piece. he's arguably the one who was most vulnerable since he was the one put in that central position for all those years and in whom the whole project rested.  If he had decided not to continue the film would have ended, yet he carried on even when he wasn't happy and if there'd been justice he'd have been nominated in the best actor categories at the major rather than minor awards and won a few of them.

That's that for another year.  Will they finally be live next year?  Don't know.  One approach could be to make sure the show itself ends before the BBC show starts so that everything can effectively reset on the Twitters (as happened last night to a degree when some news feeds effectively pretended they were reporting on the wins during the tv broadcast even though they were technically repeating themselves).  We'll see.