Posted by: Gregoryno6 | August 30, 2015

A new sort of UNCLE. Not better or worse, just new.

I got along to The Man From UNCLE last Sunday. It is not the UNCLE I watched as a boy, but I enjoyed it all the same. My only cavil (did you see what I did there?) was with Napoleon Solo’s hair. Way too long for the early 60s. A man whose hair touched his collar back in those days was either a bum, a hippie, or (ahem) interested in other men. Other than that the movie was pretty faithful to the era. And it was solid entertainment.

The original UNCLE agents, as seen by Jeff Pidgeon.

The original UNCLE agents, as seen by Jeff Pidgeon.

When it became obvious that the movie was really and truly going ahead a few years ago, I thought an origin story would be a good basis for it. I had my doubts about the casting, however. Nor did Guy Ritchie impress me as director; I enjoyed Snatched, but his characteristic machine-gun jump cuts can become annoying. Credit therefore to Mr Ritchie for fitting himself to the UNCLE material and not the other way around. He got the ball rolling and left a good set-up for a sequel or two. (We can only wonder what sort of UNCLE Stephen Soderbergh would have delivered!)
There has been a lot of discussion about the music. Jerry Goldsmith’s original theme is heard for all of two seconds as Solo twists the dial on a radio. I heard Morricone and thought that was pushing the ‘cowboy’ joke a bit hard. (Kuryakin dubs Solo ‘Cowboy’. Solo’s retort is ‘Red Peril’ – or just ‘Peril’.) I heard what I thought were balalaikas too, which put me in mind of The Quiller Memorandum.

Looking at the film’s Trivia page on IMDB I see a lot of references that escaped me. Whatever. When the credits ended and the lights went up, I walked out happy that I’d got my money’s worth. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I watched the movie alone. As in, nobody else in the cinema. With the film released here a couple of weeks after Tom Hangs Off A Plane, and with SPECTRE coming before year’s end, The Man From UNCLE seems to have lost the battle at the local box office. Which for some reason makes me feel very, very old.

PS: It may be just coincidence, but Elizabeth Debicki grew up here in Australia. Her family settled in Melbourne, which is the capital city of – which Australian state? Anyone?

A Cairns family became increasingly worried after hearing loud thumping and thrashing noises coming from their roof so they called in snake catcher David Walton.

Good call.

Cairns snake

Full story with more pictures (need something to keep you awake tonight?) can be found here.

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | August 21, 2015

Spies and detectives of my politically incorrect childhood.

Ah, the 1970s… those halcyon days. I didn’t realise then that I would be growing up into a world where the Perpetually Outraged demographic would be so all-pervasive.

And now that they and I are both here, what am I going to do about it?

I think you know the answer.

English comedians Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett teamed up for several years as The Two Ronnies. Each season featured a serial. Private Detectives Piggy Malone and Charley Farley appeared in a few, but Death Can Be Fatal was probably the best. The dyspeptic duo were hired by MI6 to locate the source of a drug that was wreaking havoc…

On the far side of the Atlantic, at about the same time, the pot heads at Rip Off Press were churning out stories about The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. Thanks to the host of Street Laughter, here’s the story of Fat Freddy’s Cat, and his battle to save the world from another chemical menace.

What does it do to ladies

From the clutches of the cobwebby corpse of a decade that laughed at anything – I Led Nine Lives!

 

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | August 18, 2015

One from the archives: Long Tan, 1966.

When shooting ceased, 17 Australians were dead. Another man died of his wounds and 24 were wounded. Initially 6RAR counted the battle as a defeat. Over the next few days the verdict was reversed: 245 NVA and VC were found dead on the battlefield. Intelligence subsequently gathered pointed to the enemy’s losses being far greater: nearly a thousand dead, and 1500 wounded.

The full post here.

The Prime Minister addressed the old Diggers last night in Brisbane, from where General Douglas MacArthur had overseen the Allied war in the Pacific.

‘You never let the grim necessities of war harden your hearts or misshape your characters… You rose to the challenge of war and you rose again to the challenge of peace, and all of us are your beneficiaries.’

Mr Abbott said the veterans and other volunteers had fulfilled King George VI’s call for his Commonwealth subjects ‘to restore what has been lost and establish peace’.

Report from Sky News here.

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | July 25, 2015

The Man From UNCLE is only a few weeks away. Meanwhile…

… I’m taking every opportunity to meme up. Or out.

I've told you before

And it pains me to admit I paid good money to see at least one of these crapfests on the big screen.

(Via David Thompson)

 

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | July 24, 2015

…because you never know when you might need it.

… accept Western values, or fuck off.

Perhaps I was distracted but I don’t recall spotting this story back at the beginning of the year.

Cynically I assume that the MSM may have filed it under D – for ‘Doesn’t fit the narrative’.

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | July 21, 2015

There are twenty questions. They were asked by feminists.

And they are, truly, stupid.

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