Friday, 31 October 2008

It's a kind of magic...

Here at the MoJ I have just received a petition urging me to grant a posthumous pardon to all those British people executed as witches in the past. What at first appeared to be a Halloween prank actually turns out to be a genuine plea for justice on behalf of the over 2,400 executed in England and Scotland before the 1735 Witchcraft Act put an end to witch trials.
The assumption on the part of the petitioners, however, is that all these unfortunates were in fact innocent of practising harmful magic and being in league with the devil, but I am not so sure; after all this time the evidence is surely hard to find one way or the other. In fact, it occurs to me that given recent events (the collapse of the world financial system and consequent return of Mandy to the cabinet), I should consider repealing the Witchcraft Act, so we can indulge in a good old-fashioned witch hunt.

Jack Straw

Today's Haiku Film Review:

The Witches of Eastwick (1987) -

Jack gets tough time from
Sarandon, Pfeiffer and Cher
In Updike satire.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Hobo Bojo launches dough show...

London Mayor Boris Johnson took the morning off work today to go shopping. He was at the new Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd's Bush to open the giant edifice to the public. The inner-city shopping complex is Europe's largest, at 1.6m sq ft, and the opening ceremony attracted thousands of people.
Boris described it as a fantastic achievement which would persuade people to come to the shops, despite the credit crunch, and joked that he would be looking for a new suit after the ceremony.
Despite the obvious economic advantages, grumpy local Tory councillors have moaned about possible traffic gridlock due to lack of parking facilities and seem incapable of being positive about anything. Still, you can't win a mall.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Westworld (1973) -

Hi, I'm Yul Brynner;
If you're reading this, I'm dead,
Of robot cancer.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Brand loyalty...

The public outcry over the Russell Brand/Jonathan Ross telephone prank on Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs gathers momentum, as (surprise, surprise) the politicians get involved. Tory media spokesman Jeremy Hunt (not rhyming slang) has expressed concern, fifteen MPs have called for licence fee money not to be used to pay the pair and even our glorious leader GB has got involved, declaring the prank as "inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour". This has all put tremendous pressure on BBC Director General Mark Thompson to take action, as Sachs' granddaughter, Georgina Baillie, has called for the pair to be sacked.
Now, I'm no prude, but even I recognise that the prank calls were probably in quite poor taste, and that the decision to broadcast them shows a degree of insanity on the part of someone at Radio 2, but come on, let's get our priorities right. This story has overwhelmed the media all week, when there are far more important things going on in the world. Take action or don't take action, but enough is enough; talk about making a Manuel out of a molehill.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Monty Python's Life Of Brian (1979) -

Not the Messiah,
Just a very naughty boy,
Chapman plays Brian.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Hanging's too good for 'em...

Here at the MoJ we're fed up with all this do-goody, liberal nonsense about the rights of offenders; nobody ever mentions the rights of the victims. When I hear phrases like 'criminogenic needs of offenders' it drives me nuts. First it is pretty impenetrable jargon designed to put a barrier between practitioner and public, and second because I profoundly disagree that we should describe someone's amoral desire to go thieving as a 'need' equivalent to that of victims or the law-abiding public.
And so I seek a return to 'Victorian notions' of crime and punishment. Screw rehabilitation, education and drug-treatment: lock 'em up and throw away the key, bring back the birch, string 'em up. Let's be crystal clear about this - they're all scum and deserve to rot away in my new Titan prisons: and that's just the prison reform lobby. I know what the public 'needs' - good old-fashioned Justice.

Jack Straw

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Victim (1961) -

Brave move for Bogarde:
From matinee idol to
Playing a lawyer!

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Rot noodle...

Just weeks after the recall of Chinese milk products tainted with melamine comes another Asian food scandal. The Japanese company Nissin Food Products, Co. has withdrawn its Cup Noodle brand of instant noodles nationwide after a woman fell ill from eating noodles later found to be contaminated with paradichlorobenzene, a chemical used in insect repellent. Customers have been advised not to eat noodles with "an odd smell or damaged packaging".
Fortunately, on further analysis of the product, there was found to be no evidence of rice in.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Tampopo (1985) -

Spaghetti eastern
About truckers, noodles and
The joy of food-sex.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Virgin Money on the point of sinking...

Virgin Money has become the latest victim of the credit crunch. But this time it's not a run on the bank, but Richard Branson's 99-foot yacht that's found itself in a bit of a pickle. The entrepreneur has abandoned his record attempt to cross the Atlantic in a single-hulled vessel, the aforementioned 'Virgin Money', after it was damaged and knocked off course by raging storms during a "night from hell".
The billionaire adventurer was attempting the record with two of his kids and Olympic sailor Ben Ainslie, when 40-foot waves and force nine gales damaged the boat, forcing them to quit. Unfazed by the experience, Branson intends to proceed with his next project: single-handedly saving the world's economy whilst crossing the Andes by frog.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

The Virgin Suicides (1999) -

Triumphant debut
For Coppola Junior.
Is that all there is?

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Iceland's revenge...

Accusations that ex-Atomic Kitten Kerry Katona was 'ambushed' in her interview on Wednesday's This Morning have been strenuously denied by presenter Phillip Schofield. Her late arrival and slurred speech were solely down to prescription anti-psychotic drugs, and have nothing to do with her history of drink and drug problems, and she was very angry over insinuations to the contrary. But Schofield claims that if she had arrived on time they would never have let the interview take place, given her condition.
And, somewhat enigmatically, he suggested that she may have been "set up". Could this be a covert attempt by Icelandic authorities to undermine British confidence by discrediting our celebrities? And what's next? Now that Magnus Magnusson is deceased he can't finish what he started, but we should keep a close eye on Bjork.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Dancer In The Dark (2000) -

Tragic musical,
But Bjork's blinding performance
Shows she's a trier.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Look back in anger...

Shadow chancellor George Osborne is still under scrutiny over allegedly approaching Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska for a £50,000 'gift' to Tory party funds, despite refuting the claims of his old university chum and banking heir, Nathaniel Rothschild.
He does, however, admit to having met the aluminium magnet (is that even possible? - Ed), both on his luxury yacht and at Rothschild's villa in Corfu, although details of their conversations are shrouded in mystery.
Perhaps the whole matter can be cleared up with an accurate account from another witness to the meetings in Corfu, one P. Mandelson? Yes, it appears that The Red Baron was also present at some of the 'get-togethers' and was privy to the discussions. How strange that now he is back in the government these allegations should come to light. Truly, the Lord does work in mysterious ways.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

The Color Of Money (1986) -

Not Scorsese's best,
As Newman teaches Cruise pool.
'The Hustler' it ain't.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Insecurity passes...

Here at the Ministry of Justice we regret to report the loss of some 1,200 security passes between 2001 and 2007. If anyone, apart from Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne that is, should happen to find them, could they please return them to me, Jack Straw, at The Ministry of Justice, 102 Petty France, London, SW1H 9AJ, United Kingdom. Who knows, you may get a reward?

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Identity (2003) -

Gimmicky thriller,
Not as clever as it thinks.
Watch the start closely.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Throwing in the Powell...

Former Republican Secretary of State, Colon Powell, has publicly endorsed Barack Obama's candidacy for the White House. On NBC's Meet The Press he said that he thought Obama's election would not just electrify America, but would electrify the whole world (thus solving global warming), and described the Illinois senator as a "Transformers action figure", causing some confusion as Obama himself claims to be Superman.
Senator John McCain responded by saying that he was not surprised by his "long-time nig...friend's" decision, and pointed out that he enjoys the backing of several other former Secretaries of State, including Tom Baker (aka the fourth Doctor), The Hamburglar and Henry 'I am not a war criminal' Kissinger. Looks like it's in the bag, then.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Transformers (2007) -

Film of the cartoon
Of the merchandising range:
Retail in disguise.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Look who's stalking...

Barry George, the man acquitted of the murder of Jill Dando in a retrial in August, has been accused of stalking the Sky News presenter Kay Burley. They first met when she interviewed him following his appeal, but subsequently he has turned up unexpectedly at her workplace and the alleged harassment has reached the extent that she has had to take time off work.
The epileptic loner is prone to flights of fantasy, having previously claimed to have been in the SAS, Freddy Mercury's cousin, the Six Million Dollar Man and even Paul Gadd (Gary Glitter), the latter being a huge miscalculation given recent events.
Scotland Yard are looking into the matter, but given his previous record it looks unlikely that his new found freedom will last much longer, meaning that his upcoming participation in the new series of 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!' is in serious doubt.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Stalker (1979) -

Russian sci-fi tale
Makes pretty heavy going.
Much less fun than 'Lost'.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Corrupt? Moi?

Here at the Ministry of Justice we are pleased to announce the addition of a new responsibility to our current portfolio of duties. And why not? After all, we appear to have complete control of the prison service, and everything is so tickety-boo that we have plenty of time to spare. And so, as Secretary of State for Justice, it behoves me to take charge of the official anti-corruption post vacated by former Business Secretary, John Hutton. Now, I hear you ask, isn't The Red Baron, Peter Mandelson, the new Business Secretary? Should it not be his responsibility? Well, yes he is, and despite having quit the cabinet twice previously under, shall we say, somewhat 'mysterious' circumstances, I can assure the public that this appointment in no way reflects badly on his integrity, or the trust in which he is held by our glorious leader, Gordon Brown. So there. Let's have no more talk of 'dodgy dealings', 'home-owners' and favours done for a quick blow-job round the back of the bike-sheds; his honesty is unimpeachable and his record speaks for itself (I'd leave that bit out if I were you - ed). Justice for all!

Jack Straw

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) -

Poor old Winston Smith's
Utopian future has
Gone for a Burton.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Seven year bitch...

It's official! Her Madge and cockerney geezer (yeah, right!) Guy Ritchie are finally to get divorced. The trouble-and-strife's (wife's) spokeswoman, Liz Rosenburg, today issued a short statement confirming the little shit (split), adding that relations between the couple were still primordial (cordial) and that they expected to agree a rocking horse (divorce) settlement without going through the Bermuda shorts (courts).
This marks the end of the seven-year marriage between the 40-year-old so-called film director and the 50-year-old 'Queen of Pop', who must surely be praying that he doesn't take her for lock, stock and...snatch.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Revolver (2005) -

Could possibly be
The worst movie ever made.
Never, ever watch!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

New Jersey...

Residents of the isle of Jersey are preparing to take a vote on whether or not to scrap Greenwich Mean Time and adopt Central European Time instead. This would, of course, bring them in line with their French neighbours and German conquerors. Proposers of the scheme insist that the added hours of daylight will be beneficial for the tourist trade, allowing the opportunity to spend longer out in the evenings, with the added bonus of more time to excavate the remaining children's homes on the island.
Just what would happen to the missing hour, if the scheme is passed, however, is still unclear; in a public meeting to discuss the matter, it was suggested that it should be returned to Gallifrey for a full refund, but the minutes of the meeting showed that this proposal was not seconded.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Doctor Who and the Daleks (1965) -

Time Lord hits big screen.
Roy Castle is a hero -
That's dedication!

Monday, 13 October 2008

Little Lord Flauntleroy...

Peter Mandelson officially took his seat in the House of Lords today, following his recent appointment to the Cabinet as Business Secretary. Swathed in a charming little ermine-lined scarlet number, he swore his allegiance to the Queens and was dubbed Baroness Mandelson of Fey in the county of Herefordshire and Hartley Hare in the county of Pipkins, although he is to be known simply as 'The Red Baron'. On his return to the "Labour family" he said "third time lucky" and declared the present financial crisis called for "all hands on dick".
It was revealed last week that, before accepting the position, he approached former PM Tony Blair for his advice on Gordon Brown's offer, to which Tony merely replied "no-brainer"; whether he was referring to the offer or Gordon Brown is still unclear at this time.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Lord of the Flies (1963) -

Just goes to show ya:
Kids do the funniest things
When left on their own!

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Just like that...

The British Government has used anti-terror legislation to seize £4 billion of Icelandic assets held in this country. According to Treasury Chief Secretary Yvette 'Mini' Cooper, speaking on the Andrew 'Yo-Yo' Marr show, the assets will be "frozen" (geddit?) until the Icelandic authorities have determined how our investors are to get their money back from the collapsed banking system. It is estimated that there are some £3 billion worth of investments held in Iceland by various UK councils, charities and individuals, but this shrewd move will leave us in profit to the tune of £1 billion. Now that's what I call creative accounting; screw the foreigners, this could work in our favour. Crisis, what crisis?

Today's Haiku Film Review:

It's A Wonderful Life (1946) -

A run on the banks!
Unimaginable now,
But scary back then.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Troopergate verdict in...

Republican vice presidential candidate and John McCain's tame pitbull, Sarah Palin, has been found guilty of an abuse of power under Statute 39.52.110 (a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. The 44-year-old MILF (monstrous ignorant little fascist) breached ethical standards by sacking a senior state official over a family feud, but her campaign team insists she has done nothing 'unlawful'.
"She was just trying to protect her family," stated former Miss Alaska and brain-donor, Casey Ryback, "she shoulda shot the bum!"
Shockingly, The Daily Mail has revealed that Palin is also the 10th cousin of Princess Diana - a fact that has not escaped the attention of the Duke of Edinburgh, who has allegedly invited her to a hunt in Paris.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Under Siege (1992) -

Terrorists on board
Don't reckon on cooking SEAL.
Like 'Die Hard' at sea.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Bring back Bejam...

This means War! Relations between Britain and Iceland are at their lowest point since the Cod Wars of the 1970s, after the collapse of the country's banking sector has left some of our councils and charities facing losses of up to £1 billion, and Kerry Katona facing bankruptcy, again. As a consequence, Sub-Prime Minister Gordon Aloysius Brown has denounced the "totally unacceptable" failure of the Icelandic authorities to guarantee UK depositors would get their money back, but Icelandic Prime Minister Keir Hardie (may he rest in peace) has in turn blamed Britain for the collapse of his country's third largest bank, Krapthing.
Looking for his 'Falklands' moment, Brown has dispatched an invasion force of Treasury and FSA officials to covertly take Reykjavik and plant the flag of Chorley Borough Council on top of the Great Geysir.

Gordon Brown in fighting mood

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Don't Look Now (1973) -

Julie Christie mourns,
Donald Sutherland's arse bobs,
Red dwarf stalks Venice.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Counter Intelligence...

The US 'debt clock', a digital counter in Times Square which measures the national debt, has finally run out of digits. Spiralling levels of debt mean that the US government owe over $10 trillion, and there just aren't enough digits left to display the full amount. Emergency talks are said to be forthcoming, in which President Bush will meet with other world leaders to plead for the loan of more digits, but if these bear no fruit, he is considering military action to take digits by force from some smaller 'digit-rich' Middle Eastern country.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Un Chien Andalou (1929) -

"Whatever it means
Is up to you" cries Dali.
All's well that Bunuel.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

PGA Tournament...

Here at the Ministry of Justice we have been very disappointed to hear the remarks of Paul Tidball on the subjects of under-funding and over-crowding in our excellent prisons. As president of the PGA (although what golf has got to do with it, I don't know - it's not as if we're talking about 'open' prisons, ha, ha), he should know better than to bite the hand that feeds him. As for all his talk about prisons becoming "less stable", I can only concur - they bloody well should be less stable and more dungeon; they never had prison violence in the Middle Ages, unless it was perpetrated by the guards themselves. And so, to the Prison Governors Association, I say, it's my way or the fairway.

Jack Straw

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Demolition Man (1993) -

Wesley snipes at Sly
And never mind the Bullock,
Denis Leary rocks.

Monday, 6 October 2008


Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has courted controversy again, by publicly stating that Barack Obama associated with 'terrorists'. The comments were made on the campaign trail in Colorado and California over the weekend, during which she attacked the senator over links to Pam Ayres, founder member of the Weathermen and '70s poet.
Obama defended himself by denouncing all meteorological forecasters, claiming "I just like her West Country accent." That's Life, I guess.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Brazil (1985)

Dreams, bureaucracy,
Terrorism and plumbing:
My favourite film!

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Freshly squeezed (again)...

This time he did do it! Former actor and NFL star D'oh J Simpson has been found guilty on 12 charges of kidnapping and armed robbery by a Las Vegas jury, and faces life imprisonment when sentenced on December 5.
But here's the weird thing: the verdict comes 13 years to the day after his acquittal for the double murder of his ex-wife and her 'friend', the jury deliberated for exactly 13 continuous hours and the original incident happened on 13 September last year. Coincidence, or something more sinister? I leave it for the jury to decide.
Questions are bound to be asked as to whether the verdict is sound, since the Clark County District Court jury was all-white, yet the jury who dismissed the murder charges in LA in 1995 was predominantly black, but I say, if the glove fits...

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Capricorn One (1978) -

Huge conspiracy?
Did OJ do it or not?
Watch and discover!

Friday, 3 October 2008

Oh, Mandy...

Shock news as renowned home-owner and labour spiv doctor Peter Mandelson looks set to return to the cabinet...again. Britain's current European Commissionaire is to head up his old department of Business, Enterprise, Voyager and Regulatory Reform, after having left previous cabinet posts twice under 'suspicious circumstances'. His appointment will see him elevated to the peerage and is seen as an olive branch from Gordon Aloysius Brown to the Blairites and Miliblandians in the party.
The reshuffle follows Old Ruth Kelly's surprise resignation from cabinet at last week's conference, to 'spend more time with her family', though what they have done to deserve this is anyone's guess.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

The Man Who Would Be King (1975) -

Connery and Caine
Make exceedingly good fakes
In rollicking yarn.

Now with added Megapolypeptide Factor X...

Greetings Subjects and welcome to the re-incarnation of The World of Gruntfuttock. If you wish to catch up with the story so far, visit but be quick because it won't be there for long. Here's a brief recap:

Previously on 'World of Gruntfuttock'

15 August 2008

My attention has been drawn to three spectacular new publications, entitled 'Haiku Film Reviews', 'Haiku Horror Film Reviews' and 'Haiku Sci-Fi Film Reviews', all penned by Guy Samson. Available for the meagre sum of £5 each or £12 for all three, plus postage and packing, by e-mailing These works of an obvious genius briefly and accurately sum up all your fave films. Here's a sample:

Das Boot (1981) -

German perspective

Puts boot on the other foot.

Best with sub-titles.
19 September 2008

On the Haiku front, I've got good news - my three published works, 'Haiku Film Reviews', 'Haiku Horror Film Reviews' and 'Haiku Sci-Fi Film Reviews', are now all available at selected retail outlets including The Cinema Store, Gosh! Comics, Orbital Comics and the BFI Shop (all in the London area only, I'm afraid). Happy Shopping!

26 September 2008

I am pleased to announce that Mark Kermode saw fit to plug my book 'Haiku Sci-Fi Film Reviews' on BBC Radio Five Live today: