You know when they say that you should never see a film after you have read the book from which it has been adapted, because in your mind no director or producer or writer can convert to the screen how you have imagined your beloved protagonists and characters to look and feel; how they will appear, act and talk is just completely different to what your imagination has created for you and more often than not, you are left disappointed. As much as I think Rene Zellweger was magnificent in Chicago, I was somewhat reserved in her casting as Bridget Jones. Such an opinion is not complete folly, and of course there are rare exceptions.

Les Miserables at the O2 last year

However to this end, my head came crashing down onto my keyboard a few days ago when I learned that Russell Crowe has been cast in the iconic role of Inspector Javert in the film-of-the-musical adaptation of the stratospherically-popular Les Miserables. Cameron Mackintosh’s musical masterpiece, which some might argue has been long overdue a proper silver screen treatment has all the great ingredients so far, including production input from Mackintosh himself and the original score and lyrics from the musical. Also keen to shed his mutton chops, white vest and giant claws is Hugh Jackman, who has been cast as Jean Valjean. This I’m not too worried about because Jackman comes from a background of musical theatre before he became an actor, but although he can sing, can he live up to the likes of stellar actors such as Alfie Boe whom have made the role of the bread-thief their own on-stage? I don’t know, but I really do hope so. I’m waiting to see the biggest transformation since Charlize Theron played Aileen Wuornos in Monster when I see Russell Crowe as Javert.

And you can go to the DVDs & Blu-rays page to see some more musicals we’ve selected this week for your entertainment, including the seminal 25th Anniversary concert of Les Mis, shot last year at the O2.

Now out in paperback

Last week saw the annual tribute to possibly the greatest children’s author of all time, Roald Dahl, and his wonderful works that he gave to us. We’ve a Roald Dahl selected products page here, where you can find his books, eBooks and DVDs listed. Which ones are you missing? I’d like to think you’ve read all his books – the children’s ones at the very least! I won’t tell you the title of my personal favourite, but I’ll give you a clue and say that it’s the tale of a young, her genius often-overlooked, misunderstood girl and her powers of telekinesis. If you know your Dahl, you’ll know which book that is. However if you’ve read all your Dahl and are looking for something new, we recommend the newly-published Storyteller: the Life of Roald Dahl now out in paperback. Select to pick it up from favourite local indie and enjoy learning just what went on in the greatest children’s author of all time’s mind as he concocted up his stories of fantastic foxes and dyslexic vicars.

Hark! For 'tis Twitter in all her bestowed glory!

And staying with even more literature, (I will go onto film & DVD shortly!), I guffawed to myself when I was sent this little titbit a few days ago about the best 10 literary fakes on Twitter. The list is comprised of ten accounts pretending to be masters of history and literature and what they would be tweeting if they were alive today, or indeed if Twitter had been around in ye olde days. Ye Twitter! You can find the list of chuckle-some spoof laureates here, and my personal favourite is undoubtedly number 9 and this:

Can just picture Joseph Fiennes declaring his love to her instead of Gwyneth Paltrow.

Tintin in modern CGI…

…and in 2D from our childhoods

So… going onto films, my failing-miserably-to-deny-excitement is increasing begrudgingly whenever I see new screenshots from Steven Spielberg & Peter Jackson’s first Tintin adaptation The Secret of the Unicorn, due to open in cinemas next month. The pictures I saw today have not helped one bit in my trying to divorce myself of emotion towards the adaptations. I consider myself a Tintin purist, loving the comics and the small-yet-perfect TV series that was made of Herge’s Belgian journalist and his faithful fox terrier in the 1990s… and so when I learned that Tintin was going to be given some kind of Star Wars-treatment where the merchandise would be everywhere and the – gasp, shock! – the entire film would be in CGI, it did make my heart sink rather dramatically. As much as I love Tintin and Snowy and Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus in plain, flat, bright 2D form, I might just be being pessimistic and I guess at the very least it will keep the legacy of Tintin alive for the future for new generations. As these new screenshots show, one can’t deny just how exciting and stunning the movie looks and it’s a superb cast they’ve got too to play the beloved characters. Ah I think we’ll be fine; we have the creative minds on board who gave us Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones. Just no-one mention The Flintstonesfrom 1992.

Nominated for 11 Emmys, picked up six of them!

Rather fabulously it was the prestigious Emmy Awards two nights ago, with British talent doing very well indeed. Our own British rose, Kate Winslet, triumphed winning Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for Mildred Pierce, so well done to her. Congratulations also to ITV’s not-just-another-period-drama Downtown Abbey, being nominated for 11 awards and winning six of them, and scooping the coveted Outstanding Miniseries or Movie award by battling off strong competition from American shows.

The genius that is The Big Bang Theory

My personal favourite award winner of the night I was so pleased to see went to the thoroughly-deserving Jim Parsons for his role as the highly-strung physicist Dr Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory. He won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for the second time running, and if you watch The Big Bang Theory, you’ll see why it just had to go to him.

Be sure to check the DVD section next week as we’ll be doing a feature on the winners & nominees of the Emmys on DVD & Blu-ray, so you can keep yourself entertained and see why they won their awards!

And I leave you now for another short while with this piece I came across on the world wide web entitled: X Factor finalists & winners: where are they now? You will chuckle.


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