Avatar A moment from history

“Oh dear, English hearts are broken the world over. Mrs Goggins has missed her penalty meaning that England are knocked out by Germany. They will not make it past the semi-finals and Germany will go on to play the Czech Republic at Wembley Stadium.

Goggins looks gutted, a world on her shoulder and nothing to show for it. Our thoughts are with her at this most trying of times. There was nothing more she could do. I expect everyone in Greendale felt that.”

Avatar Kevin Hill – Mega fan

Following the recent bombshell that our beloved Kev was a secret Lionel Ritchie fan, it prompted me to check if this was correct or more cranks from the rumour mill. That mill has a lot to answer for; it’s where all that speculation about me and the Duchess of Cornwall came from. You come off the London Eye together, rubbing your mouth and pulling up yours trousers and all of a sudden you’re having an affair, completely ridiculous.

I expect he thought he would get away with it but knowing there were cameras about he couldn’t quite help himself so, guard well and truly dropped, out come his pearly whites and cheeky grin. I’ll see if you can spot him in the crowd. It took me a few attempts to find him.

I don’t know why you didn’t tell us sooner, Kev, there’s nothing to be ashamed about secretly jiving to ‘All Night Long’ in the garage when the kids have gone to bed. In fact I’m a little gutted you didn’t invite me along. It’s questionable behaviour but not the reasons you think. Questionable friend behaviour.

I bet you had backstage passes too, didn’t you? I bet you and Lionel were sat drinking tea and talking about ferns for a couple of hours like two drinking buddies. What’s your problem? Worried we might get on better with him, huh? That I might say something silly like, “where do you keep your pasta, Ly-Ly?” then throw a woolly hat over the balcony?

You make me sick sometimes you really do.

Avatar Badvert

I don’t know if you’re familiar with Toffifee. It’s a sort of over-packaged nutty caramel confection that a distant relative might buy a grandparent for Christmas, or that might be the only product you recognise if you visit a German supermarket.

In a move common to all European confectionary when it’s advertised in the UK, Toffifee released a new TV advert a couple of months ago that has somehow made it on to the airwaves without anyone involved realising that it looks at least 30 years out of date. Presumably nobody involved in the entire campaign had any sense of irony.

This post isn’t really about anything other than my need to share with you just how naff the whole thing is.

Read More: Badvert »

Avatar Nostalgia – Young Me (and him)

Look at you. How old are you? You’re very old. You have done lots of things in your life and more often than not someone will have been there to make a note of it or possibly take a photo.

Nostalgia is what sells lots of old crap in that you remember how it was “back in the day” and then you want to get that feeling back by, I don’t know, buying your first car again, playing that Atari you had up in your uncle’s loft or investing in Microsoft shares. When I was looking for a photo for my brother I found a few photo albums, most of which were filled with sentimental (i.e. pointless) photos of my bedroom when I was 9 and other guff. I did, however, stumble upon several re-discovered gems of what used to happen when Kev and I, and sometimes Tom, would get whammed.

Now don’t get your hopes up, dear people. If you’re looking for sordid, filthy accounts of unscrupulous behaviour then you’re really on the wrong website (you took a wrong turn at boobpedia.com). What I’m talking are polaroids (easy now) of us all looking young surrounded by drinks bottles and cans. If you ever wanted to know what Kevin looked like with a bog roll on his head, holding one of those plastic separators you get with cans of lager, then you’ve come to the right place. If you were “desperate” to see a photo of me fake passed out on the floor then go no further.

I don’t remember ever looking that young but I know it happened. Here’s the proof:

Avatar James Earl Jones is Amazing

Do you know who’s amazing? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not you or I. Nor I. No, neither of us is amazing. You can show me all your achievements, medals, awards and dissertations but you will never be as amazing as James Earl Jones.

This will be difficult for some of us to understand (i.e. Chris) due to the fact that some of us cannot watch films for fear of exploding. That said, James Earl Jones, or JEJ as he is known to his closest friends and family, has also has a stuperbulous career on both television and on stage, so you’ve got no excuses some people. He is a huge talent and has played everyone from a man covered in black plastic to a huge lion and even read all 27 books of the New Testament in ‘James Earl Jones Reads the Bible’. I know now what everyone is getting for Christmas…

I have a ton of respect for James because he’s always been there in lots of things, lots of things I have enjoyed which is a rarity these days. I almost fell off the sofa though when I paused a film he was in and this came up:

Immature, juvenile, yes yet also immensely satisfying and hugely enjoyable. I think James Earl Jones looks even cooler with walrus tusks. Walrus tusks or sticks of chalk coming out of his nose. He can pull off any look, he’s that good an actor.

Avatar Film Reviews – Mr. Majestyk

Imagine Jason Statham, buff almost A but still a little B-Movie action hero, working in the 1970’s. Imagine he is given the script of film where he still gets to be a buff action hero movie star but it’s in such a bizarre setting that everything about the film makes your eyes pop out in astonishment.

Such is the case for ‘Mr. Majestyk’, an utterly bewildering idea for entertainment, that when Big Dave started chuntering on about it, as some kind of brief aside at a family gathering, we all thought he had finally lost his marbles. “Do you remember that film about Charles Bronson who looks after the mangoes?” he said.

Blank looks on everyone’s, and I do mean everyone’s, faces.

“You mean you’ve never seen it? It was amazing. He was a mango farmer and these guys come after him.”

Cue an outbreak of laughing and worried looks until my brother Googles it and finds that it’s a real thing.

That is, a real thing where my dad has got some of the details wrong. Charles Bronson plays a melon farmer, a farmer who also straddles the typical types of war veteran and ex-con. All he cares about is successfully getting his melon crop to the supplier so he can get paid and think about next year. Interwoven throughout the narrative is various references to how much Bronson needs to get back to his crop of melons, how much he has to get back to harvest his melons. In fact a reference to this crops up about every twenty minutes and each time it made me laugh out loud. Here’s a precis of the story:

‘Bronson hires a bus of people to help bring his crop in. Some punk tries to muscle in on the action with his own bus. Bronson steals his rifle, strikes the punk in the balls and sends him on his way. The punk gets the cops involved and Bronson is arrested. In the clink he meets this other-worldly grim reaper of a man called Frank, who’s a mafia hitman. As they are being transported somewhere his mafia friends try to break him free, only for Bronson and Frank to go on the run but not for very long. Why? Because Bronson has to get back to his melons. Frank offers him $25,000.00 to not hand him back to the cops, Bronson refuses and almost dies when the mafia’s girlfriend turns up, narrowly escaping by jumping through the rear window of a car. Frank becomes obsessed, refusing to leave until he gets his revenge over this simple melon farmer. He chases away the hired help and then, hilariously, orders his middle-aged henchmen to fire multiple rounds in his melon harvest. If you’ve ever wanted to see several minutes of people shooting at fruit then this is definitely the film for you.

Now at the end of his tether, Bronson goes on the offence, killing all the henchmen (including another laugh out loud moment when his truck gently nudges a car full of henchies off the edge of a hill and it explodes as though it’s packed full of dynamite). The final confrontation is such a letdown too: the girlfriend gives up and leaves, the punk decides that Frank is a nutter and runs away, leaving only Frank in his hideout. Bronson jumps through the window, shoots Frank and that’s it. It’s the biggest anti-climax I have witnessed in a long while. Bronson goes home, despite the fact that almost all of his melons are messed up and his best-friend had both his legs broken in the ensuing chaos.’

I mean, where to start? Charles Bronson does a good job of playing the part only at the time the film was released he was 53 years old. The love interest, not tacked on in the slightest, who is one of the migrant workers helping to harvest the melons, is about 20 years younger than him (this is a full decade before Roger Moore starred in ‘A View To A Kill’ romancing a then 30 year old Tanya Roberts at the ripe age of 58). She is inexplicably drawn to him because he does the gruff man thing of ‘sending her away so she doesn’t get hurt’ despite the fact she tells him, in no uncertain terms, that where she grew up she was repeatedly subjected to violence or albeit the threat thereof. The henchmen were the least threatening cronies I have ever seen. One looked as though he was in his sixties, definitely older than Bronson, yet still seemed to swagger around with the same menace as Genghis Khan.

The back of the DVD box is also a riot. It reads as follows:

“Bronson stars as Majestyk, an ex-con and Vietnam vet whose efforts to run a farm are thwarted by narrow-minded locals and corrupt cop.s But hwne a Mafia hitman destroys Majestyk’s crop, the farmer’s fuse is finally blown. With his rifle in hand and his girlfriend (a bit of an overstatement, because they’re refusing to the love interest; they throw some words at each other, go for a beer and that makes them a couple?) at the wheel, he goes after the syndicate assassin. And from high-speed back-road chases (I must have missed those) to an explosive backwoods confrontation (the aforementioned anti-climax), mobster and maverick stalk each other: two of a kind, antagonists to the death.”

Whoever wrote that either deserves an award for the biggest stack of lies since Boris Johnson opened his mouth or was looking at the wrong film. It wasn’t bad in the sense that it’s an awful film only that there is very little to recommend about it bar Bronson’s and Frank, the mafia guy, Al Lettieri’s. performances. FYI, Lettieri looks as though he would knock you out for checking your back pocket for change and remains one of the few convincing things in the entire production.

I’d give it a “Lesley Pipes” – watchable but average.

Avatar Beans Flashback

There have been no posts to the Beans since the start of April, and it’s the 20th now. What does that tell us? Well, clearly, it indicates that there is nothing of any interest happening this month.

Instead, let us take this opportunity to look back at early 2007 and ask ourselves what was happening on this day in Beans History.

It was in April 2007 that Chris Industries International Ltd. was sold to Richard Branson and became Virgin Petcare. There was controversy over the choice of kestrel as word of the week. And the Saint King thrust himself upon a world that did not yet know his taste for underhanded deceit.

But April 2007 was rather a quiet month on the Beans, and that was because we were all still reeling from the release of a video that I thought I’d lost completely. It turns out I do still have one shoddy, over-compressed version that I am going to post here. Ladies and gentlemen, celebrating its tenth anniversary, I present Seeing Not Doing.