A regular look at the world of film and TV through the lens of pensions and retirement

In this month’s instalment; alternative awards and big-name birthdays. Opinions may vary, but here’s Richard Booth’s take on things…


Alternative awards

thumbs up-67Forget the Oscars, AARP is where it’s at. Last time round, I introduced you to the alternative AARP Movies for Grownups awards, where awards are handed out only to those ‘of a certain age’. In a world where some of us have taken it upon ourselves to try and link films to retirement on a semi-regular basis, it is truly the greatest awards ceremony. But more importantly, many will believe that AARP was able to put right some of Oscar’s wrongs in its winners list. The biggest reparation is probably for Glenn Close. Many people believe that she was robbed at the Oscars for her performance in The Wife, but she has won the AARP award for Best Actress, so there is some justice. Similarly passed over by Oscar but recognised by AARP were Viggo Mortensen for Green Book and Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman. Green Book still won Best Film though, so they were both wrong about that. A full list of the winners can be found here.

Big-name birthdays

starThere are some great birthdays to report this month. Firstly, John Travolta turned 65 in February, who obviously needs no introduction here. Whilst his performances in Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction are probably his best known and well liked, I’ll always have a soft spot for the time he played ‘Nicolas Cage with John Travolta’s face’ in silly-action classic Face/Off (I can’t tell you his actual character name, as I am still confused by who was who 22 years after it came out). More surprisingly, another new member of club 65 is Jackie Chan – who still looks about 30. It must be all that running around he does. Wikipedia claims that Jackie has been in over 150 films, which is pretty impressive when you consider he has jumped off, through or under something in nearly all of them. My favourite? Literally any of them but the Rush Hour films.

However, the most triumphant soon to be pensioner this month is a true giant of TV who has finally returned to where he belongs: Alan Partridge. I usually detest research, but I did a little digging and found that Mr Partridge’s birthday is ‘officially’ 2 April 1955, making him 64 and still going strong. Steve Coogan’s character has been involved in radio, TV or film since as early as 1991, where he first appeared in On The Hour on BBC Radio 4. I first discovered him as the sports presenter on genius news spoof show The Day Today and have enjoyed everything since. His new show, This Time with Alan Partridge, whilst not quite up to the high standards of some previous series, is still very funny and cringeworthy in the way only Alan can achieve. Back of the net.

For your viewing pleasure:

tv-60We need to talk about Us. Don’t worry, I’m not breaking up with you. I crave your attention too much for that. No, I’m talking about the great new film from Jordan Peele. It suffers slightly from comparison to his previous film, the superlative Get Out, but it is still well worth a watch. Basically, imagine a world where there is a dark mirror version of you; every choice you have made is reflected but warped. Maybe you stayed in your pension, but (gasp) they opted out. Sinister*. There is a tone switch about halfway through where it turns from horror to something more of a thriller, which was a little disappointing for me, but it does have a rich vein of humour throughout, and its inspired use of an orchestral remix of Luniz’s classic ‘I’ve Got 5 On It’ is a soundtrack high for the ages.

On TV, I have rekindled my love of True Detective. The standalone series structure is becoming more popular these days, as it lets creators have fun, but retains that all important brand recognition for the viewer. Of course, the risk is if the change is so big the viewers lose interest. This happened with True Detective, where the outstanding dual timeframe murder mystery of series one was replaced with less effective political intrigue in series two. However, series three is a triumphant return to the style and form of series one, and is top drawer stuff. Double Oscar winner Mahershala Ali is the main draw, playing one character across multiple timeframes, including getting to do the pensioner thing. He really nails the fading mind and failing body of his character as he ages less than gracefully. The mystery keeps you guessing until the end too. Bingeable stuff.

*Don’t they know they’re giving up on an employer contribution that they wouldn’t otherwise receive? And tax relief? Monsters.

Posted by Richard Booth

Topics: Friday Fun

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