Edinburgh TV Festival, Tropic Thunder and Pineapple Express

I didn't make it to the Edinburgh Interactive shinding Geeky Tom did, but I WAS up there for the weekend-long liver damaging shenanigans of the TV Festival. Mighty good fun it was too - best thing I heard all weekend was a talk on the future of telly owing to the rise and inexorable rise of digitisation (I think he means any non-linear platform there, so web and mobile etc) by new media guru Clay Shirky. That's a link to his site - not had a chance to look on it yet, so no idea if any good but his talk very much was.

The other good sessions were ones by Tim 'Heroes' Kring, where he recounted how and why he first got into writing for TV (first gig was an ep of Knightrider, and when he got his cheque he was so stunned at how much it was for, he decided he had to do this for a living). As for the next instalment of Heroes, the volumes will be 'Villains' and then 'Fugitives' - lots already on the net about so I will refrain from going on about here. There was a cool clip reel with a shot of Sylar opening up Claire's head to reveal a whole mess of gooey brains - grossly hilarious, as she says 'are you going to eat my brains' and he says 'Claire.... that's disgusting...'. Cue squelching noises. Fab! Stephen Moffett was also ace, refused entirely to be drawn on any speculation about David Tennant's future as the Doctor but very entertaining nonetheless.

In film terms - have seen both Pineapple Express - stoner action comedy with James Franco and Seth Rogen as well as Tropic Thunder.

The former was a real laugh in the first half - Franco is superb as the laid back pot dealer who's breadth and depth of knowledge regarding weed is highly impressive and Rogen is endearing and watchable as the straight man. The scene in the woods and the car chase scene are frickin hilarious. Danny McBride also deserves a proper mention as the chicken shit friend/ fellow dealer who takes an unholy beating. My main issue with the film is its descent in the last third into full on violent action thriller. Not that some of it isn't amusing, but it's where and when the laughs become a little thinner on the ground. That all said, it's still bloody (very bloody in fact) funny so go watch it. Out mid Sept I believe.

You should also make it a point to check out the Ben Stiller-helmed Tropic Thunder. I don't want to say too much, partly as I'm loathe to spoil anything, partly as I have shit to get done before the end of today, but it's very very good. Not flawless (Jack Black's character - where's the satire? Ben Stiller - another of the same kind of dumbass vain morons?!) but those two get some laughs, and Robert Downey Jr's performance as a blacked up method actor is greatness indeed, perfectly offset by Brandon T Jackson's reality checking straight man. I really liked Jay Baruchel as well (Knocked Up) - very sweet. Also out I think later in Sept.

So a good month for movies, particularly if you choose to ignore another Guy Ritchie film. Which I will. Let's be honest, even if his new one (RocknRolla) is brilliant, after Revolver, who in their right minds would subject themselves to more from him? Naturally, this is where I'm wrong and it's a masterpiece, but I don't care - I've got Mad Men and The Wire to occupy my eyes and ears...


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