Friday, 23 January 2015

Not Just Nightmares In The Film But Also A Nightmare To Watch

As I promised last time, I am going to be talking about a film today. It is a film from either 1992, 1993 or 1995 or 1996 as not all sites seem to agree on the release date and not even the DVD cover states the year. It also goes by two different names and was mentioned by Hugh Grant as the worst of the films he's been in. Whilst this happened in a radio interview in 2002, I have to say that even 12 years later I still believe he's right, despite other flops he might have been in (Nine Months, Did You Hear About The Morgans).

The film has been released under the names Night Train To Venice and Train To Hell, with the first being the most literally accurate given that a lot of the either 72 minutes (as my DVD cover implies) or 98 minutes running time (as implied by Wikipedia) is taken up by views of a train chugging by in the dark and at one point nearing the end of the film you get a fly-through of Venice just for the sake of filling up some more minutes it seems to me. Meanwhile the second more-figurative title is spot on although technically I would think that the Hell started on the train itself.

I was pretty convinced this was going to be scary in the normal sense of the word but it turned out to be rather more disturbing than visually horrific. This is a film which is for the most part set on a night train where an English author of a book about Neo-Nazis is making his way to a supposed publisher in Venice. On the train he not only meets the beautiful Vera and her young daughter but also finds himself bullied by some punks as well as having his mind toyed with by a stranger (Malcolm McDowell) who also seems to be able to tune in to Vera's mind. The mental nightmares that the stranger seems to inflict upon these two new lovers are to be further developed once they reach their destination whereupon having left the horrible trip behind, they find that their troubles seem only to have just started.

I think there might just have been an inkling of a good story before this supposed horror thriller script was filmed. The director and cinematographer have between them managed to come up with the most horrendous type of production I have ever stumbled upon. For were it not for the ridiculous last scene which has Grant (as Martin) saving the little girl Pia in an impossible scenario, they could have made something decent out of the idea of the stranger tuning in to their minds. Further to that, it would have been interesting to see just how it is that their nightmares become reality and how what appear to me to be flashbacks for Vera are linked to the final terrifying scene that takes us back to the start of the film which seems to be the ending after all. Confused? Well, I've watched the whole thing and I still am!

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Good night from a tired mum

Here I am, with yet another week gone by and my mind's a blank now I've sat down to actually write my entry. I am sure I had something in mind yesterday, or earlier today, or whenever... I think I'm overtired! Now there is something I am sure I wanted to be writing and it is a review of a film I saw this week. Actually, make that a bad review of something I saw this week. But I don't want to rush it so I'd rather leave it for some day when I can sit down calmly without yawning or having my eyes just give up and close at any given second. That said, I am not going to bed. I still have not only to eat and shower but also do what I call a 'run-through' (though I am sure that is the incorrect term) of an article I want to be submitting at my earliest, given I know my week's limited writing hours are going to be taken up with another article that is also due by a certain date so it is useless to let this one wait more as then there's not going to be any time left for me to sort through it. Sorry if this is sounding confusing!

It's the weekend so as usual there is a lot of babysitting involved in my day. And supposedly a lot of housework. But seeing as any time I try to do anything at all my son either asks for something or, worse than that, just goes ahead and does something, resulting in a mess unless I take immediate action, I didn't get as much done in a whole day as I'd have liked. Hmmm... if I were to compare it to when he was a baby, I'd say the day was a success though, he was so demanding!

Now there is something on my mind that happened today but which I wouldn't especially like to dwell on and more especially wouldn't like to be relating to the whole world (that's what this is, isn't it, this writing on the net, I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't think people were reading my blog.)

And I am here at the end of my entry, not because I am really ready and done with saying all I want to be saying but rather because I've just found myself having dozed off! So goodnight, till next time.

It's Robert Downey Jr and a new Curtis Classic

Catch my latest two articles on EVE. First an account about Downey Jr ( and then some good reasons for a night in together with a suggestion as to what to do with it at

Monday, 12 January 2015

On Mountains Made Out Of...

Laundry. And housework, most especially all those little things that seem to have been left lying around rather than in their proper place and all the dishes that pile magically into the sink any time I've just emptied it!
One weekend was all it took. One weekend where I worked the Monday, leaving me with two rather than three consecutive days at home. In addition to the fact that the Saturday was taken up with stripping down the Christmas tree then watching a film at the cinema and later writing its review (which you can view here: and the Sunday was taken up in great part by the removal and packing of all things Christmassy as well as tidying up and sorting out my small home office. That was not yesterday but the weekend before it! And I still seem to be drowning under the amount of work I did not get done on that first weekend of the year!
And that is not all. Because up to this week, I also had a mountain... of notes lying everywhere from my desk to the physical folder to the apps on the IPad and my IPhone to the MacBook which is where I finally sit down to write my articles. There were so many brainstorming sessions and Eureka's scribbled (literally and also typed) everywhere I could not make head or tail of just how many articles that would turn into. So what do you think I did? I turned my numerous intentions into a spread sheet, one row for each separate essay I meant to write. And did that make it so much better in my mind! I stopped panicking at having run out of ideas (of course I knew they were there somewhere lying around but could not make head or tail of them or just how many they amounted to!) And putting it all into one neat pattern made the ideas start flowing again.
So I am not panicking at the lack of articles that I love to have standing in line waiting to be written any more. Rather, I am now panicking at just how I am going to get it all done!!!

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Once Again It's Bedtime :-S

Something happened yesterday. Something I can't discuss on here but which nonetheless made me very aware of how lucky I am and of all the positive things around me. So I was all set to write a blog entry about gratitude today.

Unfortunately that mood was ruined by my son's usual disregard for his bedtime which resulted not only in making me very mentally tired but also using some not nice words (not swear words, I don't swear) in my mind of course, never in front of the kid! This whole thing just gets me down too much. One day it's an hour, another day it is two... my son can think up all the excuses under the sun when it comes to bedtime and even 'I am hungry' becomes a legitimate phrase in the mouth of a child that has never, not even as a baby, had any kind of interest in food!

I am afraid that despite my resolution not to shout, I could not keep my voice down as I reprimanded him over and over whilst he kept getting out of bed, ignoring my commands and being cheeky as a monkey. I do not, ever, remember about breathing in and out when I feel I am out of control of a situation. What did happen today though, was that the gratitude at my life's next-to-perfection (come on, I'm not talking about owning stuff, multiple yearly holidays and a huge house but life's gifts and the basics) made me keep calmer than I usually would be in such situations.

It did not however stop me telling my son the truth about how the dentist will eventually need to pull out his 'temporarily fixed' bad molars, which will now give him nightmares. But hopefully also serve to make him understand just why I get so frustrated when he decides he needs a snack after washing his teeth just because it is such a convenient excuse to come up with. Why I give in? Well, truth be told, I wasn't going to give in today. So I tested him and said if he wanted to eat then he'd jolly well eat the food that he left over at dinner, cold. I was almost certain he was faking it but oh my, he merely said yes and walked with me to the dining room, sat down and gulped it down. Then, wonder of wonders, after just a tiny bit of milk to wash it down, he got into bed and peacefully went into a deep slumber.

Why am I saying all this? Because I can't seem to win, that's why. And this is not about winning really, but about keeping my wits about me. Because honestly, if my son can truly need that nighttime snack the one time I refuse it him, then how am I ever going to be sure when to let him have his way and when he is just testing my patience whilst smirking about the fact that he is still awake? He is four years and eight months old and that is exactly how long it's been that I've started hating a bedtime routine.