High Street Ken
11 August 2010 12:00 AM
Among the guests at the Big Chill Festival last weekend was ex-Joy Division bassist Peter "Hooky" Hook. During a Q&A, Hook was invited to name the "biggest pillock" he'd ever met during his days as a regular at the legendary Hacienda Club in Manchester. "The crown would have to go to Mick Hucknall," he replied. "At the end of each night [at the club], everyone used to congregate by the front door, and there was one wonderful night when we heard this voice saying 'Mick Hucknall coming through, Mick Hucknall coming through!' It was Mick Hucknall coming through. So one of the Salford gangsters who was in the club turned round and lamped him. And everyone just ignored it." Considering the relish with which he recounted this tale, I can't imagine Hook will be hob-nobbing with the former Simply Red singer (who now fronts The Faces) when the two appear on the same bill at the Goodwood Vintage Festival this weekend. Hook is due to close the event with a full rendition of Joy Division's 1979 album Unknown Pleasures.
02 July 2010 12:00 AM
M Night Shyamalan must have thought he'd endured the worst reviews of his career for his 2006 movie, Lady in the Water ("This cloying piece of claptrap sets a high-water mark for pomposity, condescension, false profundity and true turgidity" – Wall Street Journal). But it looks like his latest, the unfortunately-named fantasy The Last Airbender, may yet outdo its predecessor. Early reviews include those by the estimable Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times (" The Last Airbender is an agonising experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented") and AO Scott of The New York Times (" The Last Airbender? Let's hope so").
08 June 2010 12:00 AM
Danny Dyer's latest cinematic gift to culture, Pimp ("Sex. Betrayal. Murder. All in a day's work."), enjoyed a record-stretching opening weekend, making a grand total of £205 at the British box office. No, there are no zeros missing from that figure; just 24 people deigned to watch Dyer's critically puréed performance as a Soho sex kingpin. Dyer-watchers will wonder whether this non-response is retribution for the 32-year-old's recent regrettable "agony uncle" column in Zoo magazine, where he advised a jilted boyfriend to disfigure his ex (Dyer claims he was misquoted). More likely, the film is rubbish. Dyer's effort was unable to beat the record set in March by Uma Thurman's Motherhood, which made only £88 on its opening weekend – but Thurman's film was shown in just one cinema. It's said Dyer produces football-themed DVDs and oddly convivial documentaries about criminals that are considerably more entertaining than his movies. But that's not saying much, is it?
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