Saturday, 27 December 2008

Festivus Greetings...

A belated Merry Festivus to all my friends and followers. May your Horn of Plenty overflow with a cornucopia of wonders in the forthcoming year, credit permitting.
R.I.P. Harold Pinter, Eartha Kitt and Woolies.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

One step forward, two steps back...

As head of the Catholic Church, Pope Benito XVI chose to cement his reputation in his end-of-year speech to senior Vatican staff yesterday. He stated that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction, and that gender theory blurred the distinction between male and female and could thus lead to the "self-destruction" of the human race.
Pretty rich coming from an 81-year-old bachelor who spends all his time wearing a dress! Just remember, POPE backwards spells EPOP, which is a four-letter word beginning with E, as is EVIL; coincidence? I don't think so!

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Tootsie (1982) -

Hoffman cross-dresses
To get the job of his dreams.
'Why not try acting?'

Monday, 22 December 2008

Baz - how low can you go?

With little else to do, I decided to take myself off to see the new sprawling epic 'Baz Luhrmann's Austria'. This Viennese whirl of a film covers a delicate period in Austria's recent history, incorporating touchy subjects such as racism, unlawful imprisonment and world domination. It features acting luminaries Romy Schneider, as Mrs Hitler, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, as Josef Fritzl.
I, for one, fail to see what all the fuss made over this film is about, with its delicate portrayal of a nation yet to apologise for its role in the Second World War.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Moulin Rouge! (2001) -

A mess of a film!
Oscar winner perhaps, but
Don't let actors sing.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Do it druid...

In ancient times...
Hundreds of years before the dawn of history
Lived a strange race of people... the Druids

No one knows who they were or what they were doing
But their legacy remains
Hewn into the living rock... Of Stonehenge

Stonehenge! Where the demons dwell
Where the banshees live and they do live well
Stonehenge! Where a man's a man
And the children dance to the Pipes of Pan


Stonehenge! 'Tis a magic place
Where the moon doth rise with a dragon's face
Stonehenge! Where the virgins lie
And the prayers of devils fill the midnight sky

And you my love, won't you take my hand?
We'll go back in time to that mystic land
Where the dew drops cry and the cats meow
I will take you there, I will show you how


And oh how they danced
The little children of Stonehenge
Beneath the haunted moon
For fear that daybreak might come too soon

And where are they now?
The little people of Stonehenge
And what would they say to us?
If we were here... tonight

Lyrics courtesy of Spinal Tap

Saturday, 20 December 2008

The Smell of Fear...

The latest scent to hit the Christmas market, released by fast-food chain Burger King, is called 'Flame' and is described as "the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat". The spray is available from their website for only $3.99, less than the price of an Angus Burger meal. Expect the imminent release of 'Fry Karate' from McDonalds and 'CKFC One' from Kentucky Fried Sicken.

Also in the news, the Scottish Parliament are to consider a motion to honour the famous 'Scottish' group AC/DC, for their contribution to rock music. Many politicians are of course familiar with the concept of 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap'.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Super Size Me (2004) -

Morgan Spurlock makes
A film of epic portions.
You want fries with that?

Friday, 19 December 2008

Brogue rogue in vogue...

Iraqi journalist and amateur topiarist Muntazer Al Zaidi, who on Sunday attempted to trim George W. Bush down to size with a flying size-ten shoe, has become the toast of the Arab world (or should that be the pitta?) Although he could face up to 15 years imprisonment for the act, much support has been flooding in, including an extraordinary offer - Egyptian Saad Gumaa has offered the hand of his 20-year-old daughter, Amal, currently studying at university. It is as yet unclear as to whether this is a genuine proposal of marriage, or if she is simply a convicted shoplifter looking for an easy 'hand-out'!

Today's Haiku Film Review:

The Beast With Five Fingers (1946) -

Deceased pianist
Lends hand to secretary
As severance pay.

Thursday, 18 December 2008


Firstly, let me say sorry to my many subjects for my absence over the last week; this was due, in part, to an attack of the dreaded lurgy, coupled with terminal (geddit?) laziness.

To start with I have sad news: the passing of comedy legend Jack Douglas this morning at his Isle of Wight home. The 81-year-old actor was a stalwart of the 'Carry On' movies and regular TV stooge. Finally he is at rest.

Today also saw the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, start a controversial public fist-fight with Prime Minister Gordon Aloysius Brown. 'Rowing Rowan' began by calling the PM a 'drug addict', to which Gordon responded by slyly suggesting the church was being hypocritical by "walking by on the other side". The Archbish then offered him outside, and this was followed by a punch-up in which he used his crook to give the former chancellor a red box. Both men are now recovering in hospital and the police say they will be bringing charges as soon as they can be held accountable for their own actions.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Serpico (1973) -

Undercover Al,
Exposing corrupt coppers,
Ends up brass-rubbing.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Retails from the Darkside...

Mass carnage ensued today as failed retailer Woolworths started its closing down sale, encouraging thousands of chiselers to join the hordes of shoplifters amongst the sticky pick 'n' mix and cheap plastic toys. 30,000 staff across 813 stores are looking forward to a blue Christmas as administrators Deloitte announced the sale after saying it had so far failed to find a buyer for the struggling firm.
Meanwhile, Tesco has announced a huge 50% price slash on Christmas goods, starting on Friday, in an attempt to inject some of the joy back into the festive season. Commercial director Richard Brasher said: "Some say that a bit of the pleasure they usually get from buying gifts has gone in the current climate. They've told us they still want to enjoy a special Christmas - with big presents for their children and a proper Christmas meal - but they want us to help make their money go further." Sounds more like they're trying to put the 'con' back into 'consumption' to me.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Jingle All The Way (1996) -

Two fathers, one toy.
Turbo Man action figure?
Or retailer's dream?

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Oliver PostMortem...

Tragedy struck yesterday as beloved children's animator, Oliver Postgate, died, aged 83, in a nursing home in Kent; it took staff some time to notice, as they were unsure if he was just moving very slowly, frame-by-frame.
His work, including 'Ivor the Engine', 'Noggin the Nog' (still illegal in many countries), 'The Clangers' and of course 'Bagpuss', will be remembered by many generations for its strangeness and gentle humour, although it was not completely untouched by controversy - an election special of 'The Clangers', called 'Vote for froglet', shown in 1974 was subsequently 'lost', in a scandal labelled 'Postgategate'.
The pall-bearers are likely to be the mice from 'Bagpuss' (who coincidentally celebrate their 40th birthdays today), who will lift the coffin aloft and chant "We will fix it, we will fix it."

In related news, the keepers of the world's atomic clocks have decided to add a leap-second to this year, to compensate for a slowing down of the Earth's rotation, making it the longest year since 1992. The change, however, comes too late for poor Mr Postgate, who could have had an extra 24 frames of life.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Re-Animator (1985) -

Stuart Gordon's take
On H P Lovecraft's classic
Is simply gore-geous.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Acropolis Now...

The spirit of 1968 lives on with a third day of rioting in Greece's major cities following the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old student by police on Saturday. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has appealed for calm in a television broadcast, and is blaming political opposition parties for capitalising on the tragedy. Unfortunately, the rioting has caused massive amounts of damage, leaving much of Athens in ruins.

Also in the news, patience is clearly a virtue as US heiress Martha von Bulow has finally died after spending nearly three decades in a coma, which was proved not to have been caused by an overdose of insulin administered by her ex-husband. An early present from Santa, Claus?

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Apocalypse Now (1979) -

War really is hell -
Over-budget, over-long
And overrated!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Bog trotters...

Shock news today as all Irish pork products have been recalled from sale in the UK. The recall comes after routine testing found that meat from 9 farms was contaminated with a Welsh toxin called Di Oxin. Although brief exposure to the toxin is not thought to be harmful, the FSA (Financial Services Authority) has stated that prolonged exposure could lead to a propensity to eat leeks and sing in a male voice choir. This latest food scare couldn't come at a worse time for Irish farmers, already hit by the international credit crisis, who are now ham-strung and are looking to their government to save their bacon. Labour Party spokesman on agriculture and food, Sean Sherlock, said "the announcement amounts to a threat to the overall viability of our food industry, as great as, if not greater than, the outbreaks of BSE and of foot and mouth." No shit, Sherlock!

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Babe (1995) -

All joking aside,
If you don't end up in tears,
You ain't got a heart.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Warning: Giving Up Football May Be Hazardous To Your Health

Reports are coming in that former Wales and Wimbledon midfielder Vinnie Jones has been injured in a bar-room brawl in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The 'crazy gangster' was apparently treated in hospital for a laceration to the head and nasal injuries after he was glassed in the face when a fight broke out. What a pity Dennis Wise doesn't live in the States.

In lighter news, former American football star OJ Simpson was sentenced yesterday for his part in an armed robbery to retrieve memorabilia he claimed belonged to him from two dealers. The sentence is for up to 33 years, of which he will serve a minimum of 9. Touchdown!

Today's Haiku Film Review:

The Mean Machine (2001) -

Vinnie stars in crap
Remake of 'The Longest Yard'.
Life imitates art?

Friday, 5 December 2008

Abbott and Portillo meet Frankenstein...

I was alarmed last night, whilst watching BBC1's 'This Week', to learn that we are on the verge of a full-blown constitutional crisis, the like of which has not been seen since the civil war. According to historian and curmudgeon David Starkey (known as Ringo to his friend), last week's literally unwarranted arrest of Tory MP Damian Green by 'anti-terrorist' police could be the first step in a descent into some kind of Stalinist purge, as Gordon Aloysius Brown attempts to silence his critics and the clunking fist gets revenge for the 'cash for honours' row.
I, for one, am looking forward to Lord Mandelson's New Model Army marching on Parliament to declare that the current economic crisis is no place for David Cameron's cavalier attitude to policy making.

In other news, George O'Dowd, better known as Boy George, was found guilty earlier today of the false imprisonment of rent boy, sorry, male escort, Audun Carlsen, and is likely to face jail-time when he is sentenced in January.
In a statement, as yet unreleased, George said: "Maybe I'm a fool but You know I'm not crazy; White boys can't control it. I'd better Come clean - I'm afraid of me. This is Mistake no. 3, but If the Lord can forgive, I'll do my Time. We're all Victims here. Do you really want to hurt me?"

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) -

Three classic monsters
In one hokey comedy.
The House of Commons?

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Moore's the pity...

According to the Hollywood Reporter, disgraced British 'comedian' Russell Brand is busy developing a remake of the 1981 film 'Arthur', in which he intends to take the role originally played by Dudley Moore, may he rest in peace. One can only assume that this is meant to be ironic casting, which is bound to lead to a cast-iron box office flop (or should that be fop).
Well Russell, if that's 'The Best That You Can Do', perhaps you should stick to making obscene phone calls to OAPs and leave the grave-robbing to Brendan Fraser.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Arthur (1981) -

Moore is the rich drunk
Who falls for Minnelli's charms.
The butler did it.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Des O'Connor to knight?

Aged entertainer Des O'Connor was honoured by the Queen earlier today for over 45 years of services to show business. She presented him with a CBE; the other six letters are to follow.
The 76-year-old presenter took his 39-year-old wife up the palace and was consequently too tired to sing for the Her Majesty, royal officials were relieved to report.

Brian Paddick leaves jungle...

Actually, this story is about radical cleric Omar Mahmoud Mohammed Othman, otherwise known as Abu Qatada, described by a judge as "Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe". Out on bail awaiting a deportation hearing, Qatada has been sent back to jail after an immigration court ruled that he breached the terms of that bail. The court heard that he had been secretly plotting to leave Britain, but today's judgment ensures that we are now one step closer to having him deported. Another victory for British justice!

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Twelve Angry Men (1957) -

Jury room drama
In which Henry Fonda asks
'Is it possible?'

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

What's Wool Worth?

You know the credit crunch has really hit when high street legends go to the wall; sure enough, today the retail arm of Woolworths has buckled and is in danger of going into administration. Having lost its market share to many competitors over the last few years, the strain of an enormous £385m debt has finally proved too much and widespread closures look inevitable, bringing redundancies to cuddly sheep and black-and-white dogs all over the country. This follows the news earlier today that furniture giant MFI has collapsed quicker than one of their wardrobes. Now where am I going to get my pick 'n' mix cupboards? Would you credit it!

Today's Haiku Film Review:

The Shop Around The Corner (1940) -

Effortless romance
With Jimmy Stewart on form.
'You've Got Mail' it ain't!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Palin talking turkey...

Alaskan senator and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has again courted controversy last week, whilst pardoning a turkey for Thanksgiving. After the brief ceremony designed to show her magnanimity, she then went on to give a press interview in which other poor birds can clearly be seen being slaughtered in the background. It almost makes you feel sorry for the woman!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Blears' fears...

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears has called out for a renewed drive against the British Nazi Party, in The Guardian, following this week's leak of a list of the party's membership on the interweb. She blames 'local political failure' for an increase in the popularity of the BNP, under the leadership of Nick Gryffindor, stating that white working-class voters, disenchanted with the major parties, are starting to believe his "pernicious but plausible lies".
Now, don't get me wrong, my name and address are yet to appear on the list of BNP membership, but two points strike me immediately: firstly, isn't that a bit rich coming from a New Labour spokesperson (one only has to think of Mandy to appreciate the irony of the phrase "pernicious but plausible"), and secondly, it seems awfully condescending to the millions of sensible white working-class voters who would never dream of supporting an immoral thug like Griffin, whose views are so controversial he was even rejected as a character on Family Guy.
Instead of wasting energy on campaigning against the BNP, why not try doing something to address the concerns of the populace yourselves, and that way you might actually win more votes, steal their thunder and show them up for the ignorant bigots they actually are (that's the BNP, not the populace...I think).

Today's Haiku Film Review:

This Is England (2006) -

If this is England
I think I would emigrate -
The Eighties were crap!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Carry on Sergeant...

Forget the worldwide credit crunch, the crisis in the Congo and Somaaarhli pirates, the big news story of the moment is the shock departure of former political journalist John Sergeant from BBC's 'Strictly Come Dancing'.
Far from being impartial, the 64-year-old ex-political editor at ITN has clearly shown his party leanings by displaying two Left feet over the last few weeks.
When asked to explain the reasons behind his decision to quit by Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman, he stated that the joke had worn too thin and the prospect that he might actually win was a frightening one; members of the parliamentary Conservative Party please take note.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Strictly Ballroom (1992) -

Actor Scott Hastings
Displays his many talents
With trousers this tight.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

New Bond film announced...

The latest addition to the successful Bond franchise has just been announced. Entitled 'Quantum of Wallace' it features the eponymous plasticine man as 007, Gromit as the gadget-master Q and Wendolene as Miss Moneypenny. As yet there isn't a plot, although this has not been much of a problem in the past, but the stunts and special effects work are expected to take 32 years of solid filming to complete, so expect it at a cinema near you in the summer of 2040!

Today's Haiku Film Review:

The Man With The Golden Gun (1974) -

Bond gets third nipple
And fights a midget butler;
As mad as it sounds!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Poppadom found on the Moon...

Yes, the Indian Space Research Organisation has finally landed its first probe on the Moon. Following a bhoona in the Indian economy, they have been keen to show they have the raita stuff to compete with the major world powers in space exploration. But there were no astronauts aboard to receive a tikka tape parade on their return; the unmanned probe crashed-landed at the Moon's south pole, a veritable Gobi desert covered in craters.
A spokesman for the organisation stated: "I'm afraid it's outside our delivery area, we'll have to charge an extra £10".

Today's Haiku Film Review:

The Right Stuff (1983) -

According to Wolfe,
If the Moon landings were real
This is the story.

Friday, 7 November 2008

The evolution will not be televised...

A new poll of 1200 teachers, conducted by Teachers TV, has found that nearly a third think that creationism and intelligent design should be given the same status in science lessons as evolution. And 90% feel that they should be allowed to discuss the topics if asked by their pupils. They should, of course, not be banned from raising the subjects, and this author, for one, feels it is important that the subjects are raised, so that the teachers concerned can explain to the children how bloody stupid they are! What's next on the curriculum: flat-earth lessons in geography, holocaust denial in history, the comparative anatomies of fairies and unicorns? This is a matter of the highest gravity (or is that just a theory too now). Stick to teaching the scientific facts in science lessons, and leave the fairy tales to social studies (or whatever they're calling RE nowadays).

Today's Haiku Film Review:

One Million Years B.C. (1966) -

Exposed Raquel Welch
Explodes creationism
Fighting dinosaurs.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Carry On Emanuel

President-elect Barack Obama has hit the ground running by starting to assemble his new administration already. His first act of business was to approach Illinois congressman Rahm Emanuel to be his chief-of-staff. Emanuel was a former advisor to Bill Clinton and is a big-hitter in Washington but, although he has not accepted the post yet, he is unlikely to be a popular choice due to his partisan brand of politics.
What with Obama being the inspiration for The West Wing's Matthew Santos and Emanuel for Josh Lyman, one wonders how many other semi-fictional characters will be appointed to the new US cabinet. Rahm's own brother Ari is the inspiration behind Ari Gold in Entourage, and would perhaps make a good Communications Director, and how about Bob Roberts for Secretary of State?

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Dave (1993) -

Presidential lapse
Spells double jeopardy for
Amiable Dave.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Remember, remember, the 5th of November...

Appropriately enough there were fireworks in the House of Commons today, as Gordon 'Aloysius' Brown and 'Call me Dave' Cameron battled it out to see who could gain the most capital out of Barack Obama's historic victory in yesterday's US election. Our glorious leader claimed that Obama was a "serious man for serious times" and embodied the "progressive" values shared by Labour, but Master Cameron responded by contrasting the change with Labour's offer of "more of the same", and by throwing GBs comment about the present economic crisis being "no time for a novice" back in his face. Meanwhile, Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond sent a message to Obama offering his "heartfelt congratulations", adding "Have you got 20 pence for a cup of tea?"
The honeymoon looks to be short-lived, however, as Borat Obama is allegedly already planning to invade North Korea, cut all ties with China, pull faces at Russia and entrust the running of the economy to Bjork.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

The American President (1995) -

Some wish fulfilment
As Douglas's president
Falls for Eco-chick.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Poll position...

As there isn't really anything important or interesting going on in the world today, I thought I'd give you the first in an occasional series of reports, filed under the title Haiku News:

When the chips are down,
The steaks are high for McCain,

Now, for today's Haiku Film Review:

Election (1999) -

Corruption, cheating,
Lying and under-age sex:
Ah, school was such fun.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Pizza leaves bad taste in the mouth...

New Zealand fast-food firm Hell's Pizza has come a-cropper over its latest advertising campaign, a Halloween special featuring the re-animated skeletons of Sir Edmund Hillary, Heath Ledger and the Queen Mum dancing to Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'. No stranger to controversy, the chain has pushed the barriers of good taste previously with adverts portraying Adolf Hitler doing a Nazi salute with a pizza in his hand, and by distributing condoms with its 'Lust' pizza (which were less rubbery than the bits of chicken on top).
A spokesman for the company has profusely apologised for any offence the marketing campaign may have caused, and hopes that their new effort, in which Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross repeatedly thrust pizza into the face of Andrew Sachs, will be less controversial.

Today's Haiku Film Review:

Mystic Pizza (1988) -

Solely of note for
Julia Roberts' debut
And Mozzarella.

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.