Hollywood rebutts Newton's laws of motion

SupermanIsaac Newton was the English physicist and mathematician 1642-1727 who discovered the law of gravity, and developed the three standard laws of motion still in use today.

Basically, an object in motion continues in motion unless an outside force acts upon it. All objects have inertia, the property of matter that resists change to the object’s motion. The simplest description to describe this phenomenon is – the fairground. All the various rides are built with the law of physics in mind. A good example is the dodgem car; the dictionary describes as ‘small electric car designed to be bumped into others’. Colliding with another car produces a jolt to your body, that’s because your body’s inertia wants it to keep travelling in the direction it was moving with the car, even though your bumper car has now suddenly stopped.

Laughter all round. Now lets change the scene to New York – the heroine is falling from a skyscraper; down swoops Superman, grabs hold of her and floats safely to the ground.

WRONG……the exact moment she’s caught in mid-air, the force of inertia resisting the change to her falling, would break her neck. Tut tut, Hollywood will never learn. Stick to bumper cars, it’s safer.

London beach: as it was




Star wars without the bangs

StarWarsBecause of the vacuum in outer space, sound can’t travel, therefore explosions would be silent. A fact obviously overlooked by George Lucas when making the Star Wars movies.

Then again, if the bangs were left out, cinema audiences would ask for their money back. That goes for all the other movies, where planets, according to Hollywood, spend all their time going to war with each other. The reason is, I suppose, there’s nothing much else to do up there.

How lucky we are down here to have the quietude of places like Frinton-on-sea where the only sounds you’ll hear are waves lapping the shore.

To close this short piece, there was one movie – 2001: A Space Odyssey – where the director, Stanley Kubrick, got it right; there were no bangs outside the spacecraft, the silence only broken by music – The Blue Danube waltz. How ironic that its been acclaimed as the best space movie ever made.

Land of the free

McDanielThe first black performer to win an Academy Award film Oscar was Hattie McDaniel, for a supporting role in the 1939 movie Gone with the Wind; an American Civil War soap opera, centering on the foibles of a Southern belle, Scarlett O’Hara.

At the film’s premiere in Atlanta, the setting for the story, thousands of people lined the streets. At the reception, after the film’s showing, the Civic Authorities informed the producer of the film, David O Selznick, that McDaniel, due to the colour of her skin, should not be part of the celebration in joining her co-stars at the top table. Selznick bowed to the pressure, but permitted the actress to sit in a corner of the hall, with her escort, at a table for two.

At the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, 1940, McDaniel was again racially segregated from her co-stars in the film, being seated at the rear of the auditorium. Clark Gable, Rhett Butler in the film, protested at her treatment, but she persuaded him not to make a fuss. When her name was announced as best supporting actress, and despite the humiliation, her acceptance speech is recognized as one of the best ever made at the Oscars.

At her death in October 1952, her request to be buried at a cemetery where other Hollywood stars were laid to rest was refused, as the Cemetery practiced racial segregation.

She left an estate of less than $10,000. Internal Revenue claimed she owed $11,000 in taxes. The probate Court ordered all her property, including her Oscar, to be sold to pay off creditors.

Sleep Inducing Meal

DJCatTurn on the radio, tune into Jazz FM, listen to Dinner Jazz, which is aired in the evening.. You leisurely start eating your dinner; first course over, second course coming up. It is set before you, mmmm, very tasty. Then halfway through what you first attacked with relish suddenly becomes a chore. You slow down, very strange, you felt full of beans twenty minutes earlier. You begin to feel a lack of energy, you can’t finish what’s before you. Putting down your knife and fork, you say to yourself (ah, my favourite dessert is coming up – Crème Brulee – I’ll definitely get through that).

And here it comes, oh boy, what a masterpiece, a work of culinary art. You raise your spoon, suddenly the Crème Brulee is not in your mouth, but in your bloody face, which has fallen into it.


No need to call in Sherlock Holmes to deduce why, I’ll tell you why. Throughout the meal you were listening to Dinner Jazz on Jazz FM under the misapprehension you were listening to jazz. But, poor fool , you were conned, it wasn’t jazz, but an endless dirge of music at funereal tempo (even the presenters sounded like they were dropping off) of what Jazz FM think is jazz – funk and soul.

Jazz has been described as ‘one of the lively arts.’ That being the case, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, et al. please come back and wake up Jazz FM.

The Perfect Riposte

© Conde Nast Store

I remember many years ago, I decided to watch the late night movie on BBC2. The channel, at the time, was noted for showing the best films on TV. It was a film I never heard of. I can’t recall the title. Thinking it might be a neglected masterpiece, I took some sips from my cocoa, and began watching.

Within minutes I fathomed this was no masterpiece and far worse than anything ITV was serving up (and still does, of course) . My respect for BBC2 plunged. I decided to ‘phone them to express my anger. I was expecting a long wait as the switchboard would be swamped by other film buffs complaining, too, but surprisingly I was put through immediately. “Oh” I said, “I was expecting a long wait”. “You’re the only caller all evening, sir, what can I do for you?” I said something like, I’m in bed at past midnight in a stupefied state watching this unmitigated rubbish you have the cheek to inflict on the viewer. Do you actually employ someone to rummage through dustbins for these movies? There was a slight pause… “You can turn off your TV, sir”. I should have countered that with “put me through to your Director General”, but didn’t, he was probably at home, fast asleep. Another thought occurred to me, if I was the only caller, where were all the other film buffs? No doubt also fast asleep.

My respect for film buffs plunged, too. There was only one thing left for me to do – turn off the TV and follow suit. Goodnight.

Sir Lancelot Rides Again

LancelotIts the Queen’s Birthday Honours list once again, folks.

1,000 were dished out, and as usual it was the celebs who collared the publicity. The daily papers saw to that, with lots of photos and trivial comments… ‘thrilled and flattered’…’a genuine surprise’…’deeply honoured’ and other such gush, was uttered by those who can’t stop acting.

I’m bemused by some – calling themselves progressives or socialists – accepting knighthoods, an award that was solely dished out by royalty for military merit. Today, fortunately, it carries no military obligations to the sovereign.

Tony (Baldrick) Robinson made a witty comment after receiving his knighthood: “from this day on I’ll slaughter all unruly dragons, and rescue any damsels in distress who request my help”.

Tony – or is it now Sir Anthony? – whatever you do, don’t wear the Baldrick garb when rescuing a distressed damsel. Do it in style and dress like Sir Lancelot (see picture). But if you insist on being Baldrick – forget about the damsels and rescue the dragons instead.

Coffee anyone?

Pret A Manger sell a beaker of filter coffee for 90p. I tried it the other week. My verdict? Drink polluted drain water instead.

The colour red


In the bullring

The theory that the colour red makes a bull angry and causes him to attack was disproved when tests made several years ago found that bulls are colour blind – as are all cattle. The bull is trained to charge at the swishing of the cape. Whatever the colour, all they see is a dark cloth. The matador begins by moving the cape lightly, becoming more aggressive, provoking the bull into attack.

The colour red is used because it represents more of a spectacle than other colours. These poseurs in fancy dress who enjoy killing innocent animals would be more gainfully employed doing an honest day’s work in an abattoir.

In Hollywood

Look at the picture of the three women. You should recognize the one in the middle as Oprah Winfrey. Keep looking at the picture for a few more seconds, then shift your eyes from side to side. The picture will still be in view, but with a slight difference. Your attention will be diverted to the red dress of the woman to the right of Oprah. Lets say this was a scene from a movie; Oprah is the star and the woman in the red dress had a smaller role. As sure as night follows day, that scene would be cut from the film.

Why? I’ll tell you why. Cos this is Hollywood, folks. No female in a supporting role is allowed to dominate scenes when the star makes an appearance. I kid you not. The colour red in a Technicolor movie dominates the screen, and that woman in the red dress would steal the scene from Oprah. This is an important detail Hollywood film directors have to deal with when casting a movie.

For the colour red to make a similar impression, I couldn’t make a better recommendation than watching the red sun rising over the desert in the movie Laurence of Arabia.

How the movies invaded my sleep Part 2

PearlDean“I see no reason why I should not accede to your request, dear boy” he replied. For a moment I thought it was Noel Coward speaking; then he donned a wig that barristers wear in court, stood in front of me, pulled out a document from his pocket and proceeded to read from it. “Prisoner at the bar you are accused of committing a heinous crime against one of the great pillars of the British film industry, namely – Pearl & Dean. The charges have already been read out in court, but I shall read them out again in order to win more sympathy for the plaintiff. Or is it the defendant? I never get it right first time. Never mind, I must admit I thought most of your antics quite funny.”

“The charges are as follows: you were witnessed in at least 15 cinemas across London committing the following acts whenever Pearl & Dean adverts appeared on the screen:

  • Singing a song throughout the 20 minutes , and receiving a standing ovation from the audience, who ignored Pearl & Dean
  • Applauding loudly at another cinema, and shouting lets see the Pearl & Dean again instead of the main feature
  • Booing continuously
  • Putting on your jacket back to front and walking up and down the gangways with arms outstretched imitating the Frankenstein monster
  • Finally, pelting the Pearl & Dean adverts with rotten fruit

For all these acts which could possibly lead to the Pearl & Dean management shutting up shop and return to their former business – conning rich little old ladies to invest their cash in turning bars of bricks into bars of gold – the court finds you guilty.

The penalty: you be taken from this court to a cinema, yet to be determined, where you will tied to a chair, with a variety of straps and locks, making any escape impossible, and watch Pearl & Dean for 25 years, but to show we are compassionate you will be fed from time to time with that great staple nosh common to cinemas in the UK – a large Pepsi and jumbo carton of popcorn.”

My heart sank. It really was something worse than death, unless a miracle happens, there’s no way I could escape from this seemingly impossible situation. The lights went down… suddenly the Pearl & Dean logo flashed onto the screen. I called out ”can I have my Pepsi and popcorn please?”

End of nightmare, cos I woke up. Never mind the Pepsi – a large gin and tonic please.


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