Darkest Hour

Darkest Hour stars Oscar winning Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill and Kristen Scott Thomas as his wife Clementine.

Set in May 1940, during the Second World War, it tells the story of the early days of Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

The actors all gave great performances, and you can see why the Oscar went to Gary Oldman,  but I think the film was too long at 125 minutes, 90 minutes would have been plenty, and the ending for me was a bit odd – it just stopped, which I realise is the point but I don’t think it worked.

Overall not a bad film but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.  Maybe I’ve got Winston Churchill overload, having seen Churchill with Brian Cox, and The Crown with John Lithgow.

Have you seen Darkest Hour – what did you think?  Let me know in the comments.


This year I am going to be rating each film but, instead of using a traditional “out of 5” mark, I will be using an “out of Jason Stathams”.   With the best being 5 Jason Stathams and the worst only 1 Jason Statham.

Green Smoke by Rosemary Manning

Green Smoke is a book that I first read as a young girl.  It’s a story about a girl called Susan who goes on holiday to Cornwall.  Constantine Bay to be precise.

Whilst on holiday there one year, she meets a dragon.  R. Dragon.  He is 1500 years old and despite being a dragon, he doesn’t eat people!  Susan and the dragon have all sorts of exciting adventures whilst she is on holiday.

It’s a beautiful read and I remember absolutely loving it when I was younger.  I’m not sure what happened to my original copy but I recently bought a new copy which has illustrations,  which only adds to the story and the charm of the book.  This book is the first in a set of four, and although I haven’t read the others, I suspect they are just as good.  I’m glad it’s back in my collection.

Have you read Green Smoke – did you enjoy it?  Let me know what you think in the comments.

Star Wars – The Last Jedi

Star Wars – The Last Jedi is the latest instalment in the franchise and was an absolute joy to watch.

I was completely spellbound throughout the film and thought it was better than the previous one – The Force Awakens.

Although it was just over 2 1/2 hours long, it didn’t feel like that.  The action swept you along and before you knew it, the credits were rolling and you were feeling sad as you realised that it was probably the last time you would see Carrie Fisher as General Leia (with the exception of anything digital).

Everything about this film was well executed from the story to the music to the background actors – all added to the magic that is Star Wars.  A spectacular film and certainly worth a repeat watch when the DVD is released.

Let me know in the comments what you thought of the film if you’ve seen it.

Rik Mayall Day

Today would have been Rik Mayall’s 60th birthday and it got me thinking about his career and all the various characters he has played over the years.

So in honour of Rik and in no particular order my favourites are:-

Richard “Richie” Richard

Starring with Adrian Edmondson as Edward Elizabeth “Eddie” Hitler, Rik played Richie in Bottom.  Bottom ran for three series from 17th September 1991 to 10th April 1995 and also produced five stage-show tours between 1993 and 2003.  Not forgetting the feature film Guest House Paradiso in 1999.

Bottom is about two bachelors who live together in south London and spend most of their time trying to get women to sleep with them.  Despite neither of them having a job, they are always dressed in a suit and tie even though they look awful!

I think that the stage shows are my favourite as they often go off script.  In the second live tour, the guys end up in prison and Rik forgets to put his watch on.

Richie – “You know my great watch gag?” 
Eddie – “Yes”
Richie – “I forgot to put my watch on!” 

Cue laughter from the audience who appreciate this mistake, although it is funnier on-screen than I’ve described here.

There are a couple more of these lapses in character and, rather than spoiling the show, they add to them.  Not everyone’s cup of tea, but it always made me laugh!

Also,  may I say that’s a smashing blouse you have on.

Lord Flashheart


Appearing in the first episode of the second series of Blackadder, Rik is Lord Flashheart.  He is a cad, a bounder and all the ladies find him attractive.  The men all admire him.  What else is there to say?  Woof!


Drop Dead Fred

Fred is the imaginary childhood friend of Elizabeth.  When Elizabeth starts to have troubles in her adult life, Fred reappears.  He makes her realise that she is worth something.  Rik is brilliant in this film and it made me want him as my imaginary friend.  His comic timing is spot on he also shows his sensitive side (well for a few seconds anyway), and he adds a certain magic to this film.

He has played several memorable characters over the years, but these are my favourites.  I was too young when The Young Ones was first broadcast and The New Statesman didn’t appeal to me.  Whatever character he played, he always seemed to give his all and he is much missed.

Who are your favourite Rik Mayall characters?  Let me know in the comments.