Tuesday, 19th June 2018
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Samson 

There is very little new in this film retelling of the story of Samson. A hugely strong man, Samson is seen as the saviour of the Israelites who are suffering under the rule of the Philistines. Samson, although he is an observant Jew, is still not totally sure why he has been picked out to be a leader and has doubts that he is in some way special, other than his obvious strength.

When the Philistine King begins to hear of Samson’s feats of strength he believes that his power is being threatened and orders his son to kill the man.  The son knows that it won’t be an easy task and instead goes after those that Samson loves the most. He goes after Samson’s beloved, a Philistine woman called Taron which ends in her death. Samson is enraged but the stand off between the Jews and the Philistines continues with the Jews still suffering as effective slaves of the Philistines.  The son of the King, who is still after Samson, uses his concubine, a beautiful woman called Delilah to befriend Samson and find out his secrets which can then be used against him. After a while Samson tells Delilah that he has broken two of the three vows of his faith and that if he cuts his hair he will lose all of his strength. Delilah drugs Samson and cuts his hair and the inevitable happens with Samson being taken in chains to the palace.There year after year he is paraded as an example of how weak the Jews are and how the Philistines are the rightful rulers in the land.

Of course Samson’s hair begins to grow again and when it is the right length he regains all of his strength and pulls down the palace around him and his jailers. This isn’t a particularly innovative or imaginative retelling of the Samson story. You won’t know any of the actors other than Rutger Hauer who plays the part of Samson’s father. It isn’t the worst movie that you will see but it is one that can be probably best be described as 'straight to video’.

High And Dry

This Channel Four comedy is about what happens after a plane crash and all of the survivors end up on a paradise island together.  Obviously it isn’t Lost and all of the action is played for laughs and there are really some good moments in it which are laugh out loud funny.  Despite all being in the same boat there are huge disparities between the cast aways and the resulting tension is where the comedy comes in.  Devised and written by Marc Wotton who also plays one of the central characters in the piece, a gay Australian steward who caused the crash, High and Dry is a great piece of comic acting and some spot on writing.

Star Wars - The Last Jedi

There are perhaps two things in this film that are of particular interest. The first is the fact that quite a lot of the action takes place on Skellig Michael off the Kerry coast which is where Luke Skywalker is holed up, still unwilling to take part in the rebels ongoing fight against the dictatorship of the First Order.  The second element is the fact that one of the most iconic actors in the Star Wars franchise Carrie Fisher died during the filming and the remaining parts of her story had to be brought together using CGI.  The rest of the film is a bit of a snooze, with no real set action pieces that really heighten the tension in the movie.  There are battle scenes but they are few and far between and don’t last for very long and overall the film is way too long and drawn out. 

It really is a movie for die hard Star Wars fans with little in the way of innovation or creativity.  The new characters that have been introduced go through the same levels of emotion that have already been seen and at times it seems that they are just phoning in their performances.  Star Wars has always been a huge movie presence but now it just seems bloated, static and completely underwhelming.

Bake Off The Professionals

An off shoot of the original amateur Great British Bake Off this show has been going for a number of years now and continues to delight and entertain in equal measure.  This is mainly down to the two judges on the programme Benoit and Cherish who are the equivalant of going up against Jeremy Paxman with a custard tart in you hand and a nervous smile on your face.

The judges are hard taskmasters and will accept nothing but the best which is hard to achieve, even for professionals, with all of the pressure and the time constraints of the competition.

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