August 26th, 2011

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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

For those of you who are interested I thought I would let you know that there is a huge spread on Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows in the current issue of Empire magazine (October 2011).

The article is entitled "Get Smarter" and says "Reinventing Sherlock Holmes took some balls, but for the sequel you've got to go bigger, better and ballsier still. With a touch of swagger, Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, and Director Guy Ritchie return to the scene of the crime. Now with added Moriarty ...".

The film will be released in the UK on December 16.

Starring: Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock Holmes, Jude Law as Dr John Watson, Jared Harris as Moriarty, and Stephen Fry as Mycroft Holmes.

I will not be talking much about this film I am afraid. There is no way in hell that Robert Downey Jr is Sherlock Holmes. He is the antithesis of everything I ever imagined Holmes to be so I am afraid I will be giving the film a wide berth.

However, I know there are many Sherlockians and Holmesians who love this version too so they are welcome to post about it here.

Follow the link to explore more about the film:
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London Road, National Theatre, Closing Tomorrow

London Road, a World Premiere, playing at the Cottesloe, National Theatre closes tomorrow, after an extended run.

Photographer: Helen Warner
Photo credit:

Cut and pasted from the National Theatre website:

London Road, book and lyrics by Alecky Blythe, music and lyrics by Adam Cork

In the autumn of 2006 the everyday life of the quiet rural town of Ipswich was shattered by the discovery of the bodies of five women.

The residents of London Road had struggled for years with the soliciting and kerb-crawling that they frequently encountered. As Steve Wright, the occupant of No. 79, was arrested, charged and then convicted of the murders, the immediate community grappled with what it meant to be at the epicentre of this tragedy.

Adam Cork uses the melodic and rhythmic speech patterns captured on playwright Alecky Blythe’s extensive recorded interviews with the people of Ipswich to create an experimental and challenging work which reveals the ways in which even the darkest experiences can engender a greater sense of our mutual dependence.

Raks's Review:

Groundbreaking. Cutting edge. Unique and Unusual. Funny. Brilliant. Outstanding cast, all of whom are excellent. I don't want to say any more or reveal anything more, because this production is best experienced as a surprise, as I did.

If you haven't been able to get to London to see it, or if you are in London and you haven't been able to see it, do not fear as they are going to make it into a film. In the meantime you can get the soundtrack here:

The cast got the most amazing reception tonight (Friday). They deserve it - although they seemed surprised. The production in OUTSTANDING. I cannot wait for the film version!
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Underworld play Clapham Common tomorrow, Saturday 27 August 2011

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Underworld, who did the soundtrack for Frankenstein, are playing Clapham Common tomorrow. They are playing there as part of the South West Four Weekender which runs from Saturday 27 to Sunday 28 August 2011. Underworld are headlining on Saturday 27 August 2011.

Follow the link for more details:

I am going! I cannot wait - Underworld are one of my top three favourite bands (the others being James and - embarrassingly - Wet Wet Wet!) and they are always amazing live.

Bring on the banging bass!
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Welcome Back Dr Who!

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Dr Who returns on Saturday 27 August at 7:10pm on BBC1 in Let's Kill Hitler, which begins a run of six episodes.

I saw its preview screening at the BFI. The episode focuses on what happens when the TARDIS crash lands in 1930s Berlin.

I love the Dr Whos that are based on history and I love the darker episodes and the ones that centre on the Second World War, Churchill and Hitler. So I loved this episode!

Matt Smith is definitely my favourite doctor ever - I love his Englishness, his quirkiness, his eccentricity and his maverickness (if such a word exists).

To find out more about the coming series follow the link:
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Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Right. I am now making a conscious decision to talk much more about film (movies) and TV. Growing up in Birmingham, the only access I had to the theatre was pantomine at Christmas and the odd school trip every now and again to Stratford. I am conscious that I am very lucky to be able to access London theatre. Not everyone can get to London, and even those who are in London cannot afford to go to the theatre as often as I do.

So I am going to talk more frequently about art forms that are more accessible to everyone - across London, the UK and internationally. They are art forms on which I cut my teeth growing up. They are film (movies) and TV. Raks Patel is coming home to film and TV! (I will focus on the BBC which in my humble opinion is, and always has been, a world leader in quality drama and comedy).

Yesterday, I saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Synopsis cut and pasted from the Brixton Ritzy website:

Rupert Wyatt's (THE ESCAPIST) motion-capture-infused prequel to the 1968 classic PLANET OF THE APES tells the origin story of mankind's fall from grace at the hands of their damn dirty primate cousins.

Set in present-day San Francisco, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES follows Will Rodman (Franco, 127 HOURS), a go-getting young genetics engineer on the brink of a potentially revolutionary scientific discovery. Playing God comes at a grave cost, however, as his neuro-enhanced guinea pig breaks loose and sets about creating an all-powerful ape army.

With the battle for Earth only just begun, it's up to Will and his understudy Caroline (Pinto, SLUMDOG MILLOINAIRE) to save their species from extinction.

The film is directed by Rupert Wyatt and stars James Franco (a genius if ever there was one!), Brian Cox, Freida Pinto and Andy Serkis.

Raks's Review:

OMFG! This film was mind-blowing! Highly highly highly recommended. You HAVE to go and see this film.


To me, this film had all the themes of Frankenstein (hence the tag).

It is all about a genius scientist (Will Rodman played by James Franco), pushing the boundaries of science. He wants to do something good - find a cure for Alzheimers. This is very personal to him because his father has Alzheimers.

Will experiments on chimps and Caesar is a chimp who is super-intelligent because his mother was injected with the miracle drug. When Caesar's mother is destroyed, Will takes the baby chimp home and becomes its surrogate father. That is when the story, the excitement and the trouble begins!

Like the Creature, Caesar is rejected by human society. He is separated from his surrogate father, Will, and has his liberty taken away. He is subjected to a lot of suffering and heartache. Caesar becomes angry and bitter and fights back and exacts his revenge on humankind.

Andy Serkis is outstanding as Caesar. You can see all the human emotion in his face and in his movement and you can totally and utterly empathise with Caesar and his situation. Caesar is as near human as it is possible to be. My heart went out to him.

I also liked the fact that film had a Black boss as the Chief Executive Officer of the huge pharmaceutical company (David Oyelowo). Mr Oyelowo was excellent in the part and entirely convincing as the head of the big company.

Finally, the film has THE most amazing setpiece climax on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

I LOVED the film.

You could draw parallels with the recent riots in England. I am not talking about comparing young people to chimps, I am talking about what happens when you are not treated with respect or with dignity by mainstream society. You end up bitter and twisted and filled with hate. In the end you are pushed too far and you retaliate. That is when all hell breaks out.

Anyway I am highly highly highly recommending this film - go and see it now!

Good reviews of the film are here: