Morpheus on… The Saint (2017 TVM)

“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” L.P. Hartley.

And this fact means that any attempt to lift the Saint from the period his books were written (’29-ish to ’63-ish) to the present, is doomed to failure.

But “The Saint” (2017 TVM). has a damn fine go at it. Indeed it owes more to the books than the various small and big screen outings that have peppered the years.

For a start, Simon’s on/off girlfriend (live-in; advanced for the time) from the early books – Patricia Holm – features strongly. And Rayt Marius appears (somewhat younger than the original character). While Fernack turns up and even Teal is referenced (but sadly, not seen).

Templer is played by stubbly-chinned Adam Rayner. Thus far, after a Shakespearian background, he has starred in the short-lived mini-seasoned “Tyrant” (from the same stable as “Homeland”) and featured in “Notorious” (another cancelled mini-season series).

Pat is played by the gorgeous Eliza Dushku. American, with Albanian, Danish, Irish, German and English roots, she has been around for a quarter-century (despite only being 36). She is currently dancing around the edge of “Bull” as his love-interest.

Also featured are Ian Ogilvy (now 64) who played the Saint in the Seventies reboot series. And Sir Roger Moore, who co-produced this effort and starred in (and occasionally directed) the classic Sixties series, has a tiny cameo; aged 86, this was fittingly his last film rôle.

The music is more than adequate – and includes the musical signature written by Charteris himself. And in a cheeky touch, the theme is also Templar’s ring tone!

The direction is fine and the editing tight. The swish international locations hide the modest budget. The action scenes are well performed – particularly by Eliza. And the dialogue occasionally crackles. So all in all, a worthy effort. Well worth a look if you are in an undemanding and naustalgic mood.

But what if you are not?

Well, the film does have its problems. Like the “goofs” – Simon fires around twenty bullets at a chopper from an automatic handgun without a reload – and if the gold bricks featured near the film’s start were real, they would weigh far more than they clearly do. And the whole enterprise is just a little lame.

But then, this was never intended as a feature film. It was made in 2013 as a TV pilot and when it (deservedly) failed to get picked up it languished for a couple of years, before having extra footage (filmed in Romania) added – to turn it into a TV movie.

However, these days TV movies are passé – and it was only when Sir Roger fell off the twig that the film finally emerged through various digital media.

According to Wiki, the film runs 116 minutes. But IMDb lists it at only 91 mins – and that is the version which is currently available free, on YouTube.

With English language, scope and stereo, the quality is quite good – so enjoy!

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Morpheus on… F For Fake

So we are to believe a painting that sold in 1958 for forty-five quid is now worth a hundred million bucks? SERIOUSLY?

The artwork in question is called “Salvador Monday” and is supposed to have been painted by Leonardo DiCaprio. Here it is…

I have questions…

Like, if the artist was a genius and scientist – how come the image in the globe he is holding is not inverted?

Plus, why has no-one noticed the subject has his fingers crossed – the universal symbol for LIE?

And finally – the model is clearly the young PETE TOWNSHEND.

Morpheus on… The Right Time To Discuss Gun Control

“Following the tragedy at [place-name of latest American mass shooting] this is not the time to discuss gun control.”

Oh, I disagree – I think it’s the PERFECT time.

Let’s begin with the fact that in some states, you can go into a diner openly TOOLED UP – but should you light a CIGARETTE after your meal, you’ll be treated like you just took a DUMP on the table.

And let us continue with the fact that, in America, organisations like ISIL and Al-Qaeda are understandably BANNED – yet the NRA continues unabated. Which is ironic, considering the number of Americans who have been killed by terrorists is DWARFED by the number who have been killed by…other Americans. And that includes “9/11” (11/9).

Then we can carry on with the fact that private gun-owners justify their ownership of these lethal weapons on the grounds that they need them for DEFENCE. This despite the fact that, even in America, home invasions are very RARE – and of those few who suffer one, even FEWER are able to reach their weapons. American criminals are not TOTALLY stupid – they’re fully aware they are living in the Land Of The Gun…I mean Free.

No, the fact is the handful of people killed in defence is miniscule compared with the COLLOSSAL number killed every year with legally-held guns in domestic incidents, road-rage attacks, neighbour disputes, accidents (including kids finding one and blowing little Jimmy away, thinking it was a toy) – never mind atrocities by nut-jobs like Stephen Paddock.

As Brits, we suffered TWO of these incidents; the first was in Hungerford, in 1987, the second in a SCHOOL in Dunblane, in 1996. That was ENOUGH – we BANNED private ownership of guns. And have had NO such incidents since.

Meanwhile in Australia, just two months after Dunblane, they too had a mass shooting in a place called Port Arthur. They took the same action as us – with the same result.

YOUR turn, America.

Morpheus on… Race Memories

Elsewhere in these scribblings, I have theorised that everything we and our science can observe is in a box I call the Continuum. And given the illogicality of its existence (logically there should be NOTHING – darkness, silence – zip, zilch, nada) it follows that the existence of something OUTSIDE the box is ALSO illogical.

And yet, here we all ARE. It therefore follows that ANOTHER Continuum should exist. Right?

But what IS it? Well, given that science has an EXPLANATION for the “next world” that those who have gone through a “near-death experience” report; that it is merely an ILLUSION created by the brain when it is in crisis – and given that reincarnation is clearly bollocks (nothing like PROOF has ever been offered up for it) – it can be reasoned that we will not find out until after we DIE. Okay?

However, that does not stop us from THEORISING about it. Which is where “race memories” come in.

It is a FACT (we like those) that we are born with basic data “hard-wired” into our brains. Our INSTINCTS; fight or flight – fear of fire, spiders and snakes – suspicion of Nigerian princes – reproduction (or at least, sex) – need for food and water – and pure curiosity.

And Wiki claims that they are RACE MEMORIES. That, as a species, evolution has enabled us to pick up some basic survival techniques.

Which makes sense; after all, we have also evolved concepts like – expecting to live for about eighty years (which is going to give us MAJOR problems, if the scientists discover that “cure for ageing’ they are currently working on).

But supposing Wiki is WRONG? (It could happen).

Supposing those basic instincts were acquired during an EARLIER existence? One in which we were on a level with WILD DOGS? Where we experienced a lifestyle that imbued us with the afore-mentioned skills.

There is no reason we would REMEMBER that life – it would have been brutal and boring. But it offers a viable alternative explanation of where we got all that useful info from, doesn’t it?

And more importantly it suggests that if that first existence happened (and we KNOW THIS existence is happening – like I said, here we all ARE) we can extrapolate that a THIRD is in the offing (and after that, ANOTHER – ad infinitum).

That right after we take our last breath In This Place – and our brains begin their inevitable descent into MUSH – we will be reborn into the NEXT Continuum.

And this time, our brains will not only be hard-wired with the basic instincts gained from the LAST existence – they will be further enhanced with all the lessons learned in THIS one.

Thus the next world will be one DEVOID of the GREED AND STUPIDITY that has surrounded us, while cruising through this cursed place.

A happy prospect indeed.

However, unlike the pompous religious theoreticians, I merely offer this suggestion for your CONSIDERATION. You may have another one.

But I will close in stating two things. One; this life may be ALL that there is, or it may be a preparation for the next one – either way, you owe it to yourself to assimilate as much as you can from it. And two; we are all on this journey together and need all the help we can get – so don’t be an arsehole.

Morpheus on… Donald Trump Vs Kim Jong-un

Which one of these arseholes is clinically crazier?

We know The Donald is bonkers – hypomanic, with a side of narcissistic personality disorder – from his many TV appearances, subsequent actions and Tweets.

And while Fatboy Kim is less well known, we can make an educated guess as to his mental state.

He has to have six matching microphones whenever he speaks – and when no mics are present, the little grinning men with flat hats and heads who surround him have to carry little notebooks and pencils to write his “sacred” words down.

Oh, and he had his uncle (and the man’s entire family) and half-brother killed. A real charmer, he.

So, at the risk of over-simplifying, what we have here is two spoiled brats – grown up.

The problem is, their TOYS are NUCLEAR – capable of KILLING MILLIONS OF GROWN-UPS (and their children).

Instead, what I would like to see is something like the video of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “Two Tribes” – where these two grotesque loons climb into a RING and DUKE IT OUT – thus hurting no-one other than THEMSELVES.

I’d pay money to see that.

Of course, some would call it an unfair contest – given Kim is literally half Trump’s age.

But then in Kim’s case, as Sir Michael Caine said as Jack Carter – “You’re a big man, but you’re in bad shape.”

Morpheus on… Continuumism

If anyone asks my religion, I answer I am a Antitheist, Basic Buddhist, Darwinist, Humanist, Cosmicist, Continuumist.

They then wish they had not bothered.

But of course, this is a BELIEF system, not a religion.

I became an atheist around the age of nine, right after I worked out the truth about Santa Claus. And advanced to antitheism, shortly after the November 2015 Paris Attacks.

I was “converted” to BASIC Buddhism at nineteen. That is the PHILOSOPHY (even Sid never wanted it to turn into a religion).

I realised in my twenties that Darwin’s Theory Of Evolution answered many of my questions.

In my thirties, I heard about Humanism – and saw that it mirrored my own beliefs.

I “invented” Cosmicism in my forties – an understanding that only from without can you see ALL the angles. And despite the SpellChecker rejecting the word (but then, it also rejects “SpellChecker”) I recently discovered that it was ALREADY a word – and it meant exactly what I had intended. Thus I had invented something that already existed. Ho-hum.

And in my fifties, I came up with “Continuumism” – which did NOT exist. So here is what THAT is…

We live in a box. The box contains all that our five senses – and the twenty-odd more subtle senses that we do not even know we have, but which have been identified by scientists – can detect. And everything else science has proved exists in our cosmos.

Each of us occupies our miniscule bit of it for however long we survive – after which, we return to the matter from which we came (matter being something which cannot be created or destroyed).

Thus our bit of the box is infinitesimally TINY – indeed, even our huge planet is just one of (long, non-US) tens of trillions, which exist in the part of the Universe that current science can see.

But while science can answer most questions that begin with how, what, where, when or whom – it is not so great at those which start with WHY.

Which is where Continuumism comes in.

For the box IS The Continuum. And that which is OUTSIDE the box – is what Man has sought to discover, ever since he gained the power to think.

And inevitably, that is where religions come in. Man invented a SLEW of them, to give him a father figure (once he grew up and realised his parents were just mortals) and to answer the unanswerable questions (what is the purpose/secret/meaning of life?) Then – the biggy – an AFTERLIFE.

But all of them were – and sadly, still ARE – entirely products of his own imagination

Even the classic Near-Death Experience (white light, tunnel) has now been proven by science to be an illusion the brain creates when in crisis. It is physical – not spiritual.

So, Continuumism is the understanding that we – and all that we know – is in this box. And that any answer to those unanswerable questions – or prospect of that afterlife – lies OUTSIDE it.

Possibly even the answer to WHY.

But I seriously doubt any of us will experience the outside of this box until we expire.

However, there is ONE ray of hope; logically, once our brains die and its engrams and synapses turn to mush, there should only be eternal DARKNESS. Except the whole of EXISTENCE is illogical. Why IS there this universe? Should it not ALSO be darkness?

Yet it DOES exist. I am IN it, typing THIS. So in this case, logic counts for NOTHING.

And therefore, now in my sixties, I am adding a NEW (and probably final) part to my belief system – OPTIMIST!!

Morpheus on… Kim Jong-un’s Microphones

What IS it with Fatboy Kim (sorry, Norm) and MICROPHONES?

Whenever he gives a speech, he has a ROW of them (generally 6-8) in front of him.

Do North Korean mics have RELIABILITY issues?

If it is one for each network, have they never heard of MIXERS?

Or is he like one of those custom car nuts in the Seventies; buying a clapped-out old Cortina, then sticking half-a-dozen chrome pipes out the back, to kid those following that he has a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine under the bonnet – instead of the 1,300cc Ford four-pot that actually lay there?

Even TRUMP only needs ONE mic. And despite his constant FIDDLING with it, during the Presidential Debates, it always WORKS. Unfortunately.

And now the fate of the World lies in the tiny hands of these two clowns, with their extreme hair and obsession with damn MICROPHONES.