Saturday, October 12, 2019

Top ten Cornish place names

1. Greensplat
2. London Apprentice
3. Sticker
4. No Man's Land
5. Come to Good
6. Indian Queens
7. Gweek
8. Minions
9. Praze-an-Beeble
10. Ventongimps 

(If I was being really immature, I could just about manage a top five of Cornish cheeky body part places. Oh, okay then:
1. Brown Willy
2. Booby's Bay
3. Cocks
4. Jolly's Bottom
5. Green Bottom

Previously on Barnflakes:
Cornwall Loves and Hates
Cock, Fany, Shag

Monday, July 29, 2019

Abandoned plane graveyard at Predannack Airfield, Cornwall

 
We ignored large signs saying M.O.D. DO NOT ENTER (what would we say if caught? Foreign? Dyslexic? Lost?) and, well, not exactly high tech security – we opened a farm gate and walked onto Predannack Airfield.

I’d actually tried the front entrance from a main road before and been refused entry. This time we had a beautiful walk along the coast from Mullion, on the Lizard, taking in a coffee at the cafe on the stunning Kynance Cove, already over-run with tourists – bizarrely, they all stick to the same beach, the one next to the cafe. There’s another one, far more enticing, thirty seconds away around the corner... and completely empty. As we say, often: tourists love cafes and car parks.

From the cove it’s quite a strenuous yet stunning walk along the coast until we cut inland and headed towards the airfield, seen some way away once you get on flat land. If you didn’t know it, though, you probably wouldn’t believe your eyes: those can’t be huge, rusty aeroplanes in the distance. Well, they sure are.

We walked cautiously for a minute and soon saw helicopters, planes and jets strewn across a runway. It was like we'd entered a dystopian film set or an abandoned aviation theme park. They were rusted, burnt, broken, missing bits, on their sides. Some date from the Second World War, others are more recent. Planes include an English Electric Canberra and an SA Jetstream; there are two Westland Lynxes and a Sea King helicopter. The aerodrome is still used for fire and rescue training.

Previously on Barnflakes:
Abandoned gunpowder works at Kennall Vale, Ponsanooth, Cornwall
Sound mirrors
Straight Outta Imber
Putting the War in Warminster
Tyneham ghost village

Notes on Hedluv + Passman

It seems everyone in Cornwall – even if they haven’t heard of Aphex Twin – has heard of the Redruth “Casio rap” duo Hedluv and Passman, though most are unsure if they are a proper band or a comedy act. Most agree they are crap. Me, I love them, and though an Aphex Twin tune or Fisherman’s Friend song would probably be a more appropriate national anthem for the county, I agree with Cornwall Live that M.I.C. (Made in Cornwall) is the only real contender. All together now:

From the engine houses
To the lighthouses
We've got it made in Cornwall
Like the lighthouses
Forged in serpentine
Where they work the mines
And the dress code is informal
We've got it made in Cornwall.

Like with Ant and Dec, I am unsure who is who, but one of them came into Oxfam the other week; I lugged downstairs a load of classical music LPs for him to browse through – he bought two. The manager was quite excited; it was like having someone famous come into the shop.

Flickagram #10

Notes on cars and dogs in Cornwall

Presumably there are more dogs and cars in, say, London than Cornwall, though it never feels that way. In Cornwall, being sans voiture, I can often be seen enjoying myself cycling or walking along country paths or roads. The only thing to disturb my bucolic bliss is... yup: dogs and cars. They're both everywhere. If I'm walking on a country path, I hear dogs everywhere, I see Beware of Dog signs* on walls and fences, where guard dogs suddenly jump up and bark excessively loud at me, and finally, dog owners on a walk with their canines happily running free, usually use that freedom to run after me, bark at me and jump up on me. Finally there is the curse of the dog poop bag tied up and left on beautiful country paths all over Cornwall (and other places too, presumably, to be fair).  Let it be known: I don't like dogs.

It's the same with cars. I'll be happily cycling (or walking: I'll actually probably start off on a pavement which will completely and suddenly vanish as soon as I leave any town or village) along a quiet country road and though there might not be that much traffic, it's the sudden roaring of a car going past me – far too close – at 80mph that is somewhat terrifying. Let it be known I don't like cars either.

So, dogs and cars. As I said, there are probably plenty more in big cities, but per capita, people own more cars and dogs in Cornwall than London. And they're just so much more noticeable, perhaps because they both spoil the so-called tranquility of the countryside.
_____

* I ignored one such sign recently on a farm, figuring just because they have a Beware of Dog sign doesn't mean they actually have a dog. There was an abandoned engine house in the corner of an overgrown field. I climbed over a fence and walked across the field. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed a large animal shape nearby and thought – okay, this is it, I am going to get attacked, no way around it. I faced my fear – it turned out to be a wild deer; we were both just as scared of each other.

Previously on Barnflakes:
Notes on dog poop bags
Top ten worst inventions
Top ten dislikes

Friday, July 19, 2019

Random Netflix review: Stranger Things 3

There was much excited anticipation for the new season of Stranger Things. But the only question on my lips was not what new characters or plot developments would emerge but what pop cultural references would be pillaged from the 1980s. Well, it's two years since the last season, and the kids have progressed to John Hughes movies and shopping malls. We are in 1985, year of The Breakfast Club and Back to the Future; the guys have discovered girls and the girls have discovered shopping.

With three separate plots running parallel with the inevitability that they will all join together in the end, it's a rather predictable and soulless if fun series (a sort of paint it by numbers; compare it, if you want, with the third season of Twin Peaks, which took the viewer places they had no idea they wanted to go, building from the first two seasons and creating something wonderfully original), again wallowing in 1980s blockbusters and bad music (the first series had far better tunes).

However, what's even more shocking than the tacky '80s music or fashions is the strong anti-commie stance and the pro-capitalist message of its numerous product placements – Coke, Burger King, Gap, Adidas and Casio are just a handful of brands seen so repeatedly in the show that it comes across just like in The Truman Show, where products are awkwardly woven into the storyline. But whereas The Truman Show uses product placement for satirical means, there is no such irony or comment on society (or movies) in Stranger Things. It really does want you to Enjoy Coke, It's The Real Thing. As more than one website has quipped, it's now Sponsored Things.

Netflix insist they receive no money for product placements, though these free placements have been valued at $15 million. The Duffer brothers have also said the products are there as part of the narrative, but more than once the products actually interfere with the narrative flow.

Cinematically, again the Duffer brothers wear their references on their sleeves – no, make that their foreheads. Alongside Back to the Future and The Breakfast Club, other films mentioned or referenced range from Dawn of the Dead, Red Dawn and Invasion of the Body Snatchers to The Terminator, The Evil Dead, Christine, Rambo, The Thing, Alien and The Karate Kid. There's even a scene where one of the characters, Robin, names three old, black and white films as her favourites in an interview for a job in a video shop (Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress, Carné's Children of Paradise – I’ve literally never heard it by that title and didn’t know what the hell it was until I realised it was Les Enfants du Paradis – and Wilder's The Apartment. All extremely unlikely, but hey, if any films mentioned in the series – all of which are more rewarding than Stranger Things – actually get watched by viewers, then it's a success).

To be fair, it's impossible to be original nowadays, though some do it with more...erm, originality. Horror director Jordan Peele* also wears his pop culture references tattooed on his forehead, citing such influences as The Shining, The Goonies, The Lost Boys and Hitchcock for his latest film, Us. I also saw Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Lady from Shanghai and Big, and noticed it was handy for actress Elisabeth Moss to go seamlessly from acting in The Handmaid's Tale to Us without having to change her red costume. Nevertheless, what comes across is an original, thoughtful and terrifying journey into the night (I've mentioned this before with the horror film It Follows, which transcends its John Carpenter-influenced origins).

But most stuff, especially if it comes out of Netflix, tends to be derivative. I saw I Am Your Mother recently, a Netflix sci-fi film, and virtually every scene reminded me of other, better, films (it's a curse having watched so much cinema): 2001: A Space Odyssey, Moon, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Retreat, Ex Machina, Aliens and Jurassic Park were just the obvious ones. Likewise, Spanish road movie 4L is Little Miss Sunshine meets Road Trip. Extinction is a bad and cliché-ridden District 9. The Perfect Date is sub-John Hughes garabage. You get the idea.

Earlier in the year Netflix were accused of plagiarising A Quiet Place, the hugely successful horror film, with their own version, The Silence. The plots are virtually identical – except A Quiet Place is good, and The Silence is terrible.

Netflix used to get accused a lot of showing 'mockbusters', low-budget films with similar titles or stories to proper blockbusters. They were usually made by film company The Asylum, who produce films such as Triassic World (based on: Juraissac World) and Tomb Invader (based on: Tomb Raider). Anyway, nothing wrong with a rip-off B-movie. All I have a problem with is every Netflix release calling itself A Netflix Original. Surely this should be A Netflix Unoriginal.

– 2.5 / 5

*It feels like Peele can do no wrong, but I have mixed feelings about his upcoming remake of Bernard Rose's classic horror Candyman. It reminds me slightly of the Italian director, Luca Guadagnino, who, after directing A Bigger Splash and Call Me By My Name, seemed like he could also do no wrong, until he remade the classic horror film Susperia (I was actually one of the few who enjoyed it as an intepretation rather than a remake – he tones down the original's colour palette and gives it some depth).

Previously on Barnflakes:
Random Netflix TV reviews

Friday, July 12, 2019

Boycotting buffoons

Hot on the heels of Kim Kardashian – Who Thankfully Looked Stunning On A Night Out with Kanye 17 Hours Ago – insulting an entire culture with her Kimono range, rapper-husband Kanye – who makes most of his money from sneakers, his first love – is hoping to cause similar offence with his low-cost homeless accommodation “inspired by the Star Wars slave architecture on Tatooine”.

If there was a media boycott on Kim Kardashian, Kayne West, Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, they would annoy me a lot less. If you took the four buffoons, stupid at best, dangerous and offensive at worst, and banished them to an island with no form of communication to the outside world for the rest of their lives, you know what, it might even make me happy. They can all live happily ever after in Kanye's Star Wars huts.

Notes on aptronyms

It was whilst sorting through some books at Oxfam that I noticed the title Wilding: The Return of Nature to a British Farm, was written by one Isabelle Tree, and then a book called Full Moon was by someone called Michael Light. An aptronym (or aptonym or euonym) is used to describe someone whose surname is linked to their profession, in a usually humorous way. Although the concept was initially suggested by Carl Jung, the word was apparently coined by American columnist Franklin P. Adams (featured in Alan Ruldolph's movie Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle) who simply made an anagram of the word patronym (which pertains to the part of a personal name based on the given name of one’s father or other male ancestor – such as Johnson, as in son of John), to emphasise the 'apt' part.

The term Nominative Determinism was first used in New Scientist magazine in 1994, and takes aptronyms a step further by looking at cause and effect; mostly, it figures, people are vain and obsessed with themselves. This is known as implicit egotism.

There are numerous examples of aptronyms, many of which we come into contact with everyday (on TV – usually the news – and in real life), from doctors and lawyers to meteorologists and sports personalities (which all seem to be the most popular aptronym occupations).

William Wordsworth, poet
Rem Koolhaus, architect
Russell Brain, neurologist
Usain Bolt, runner
Mark Avery, RSPB Conservation Director
Margaret Court, tennis player
Mark De Man, footballer
Igor Judge, judge
Bob Flowerdew, gardener
David Limb, doctor
Les McBurney, fireman
Sara Blizzard, TV weather presenter 

(An inaptronym is an ironic or inappropriate form of an aptronym, such as Don Black, white supremacist, and Jaime Sin, who became a cardinal in 1976, and hence known as Cardinal Sin.)

Traditionally, though, and certainly by the end of the fourteenth century, as populations increased, surnames had come into general use and people were named after either where they lived (John Woods), their patronym (Johnson, son of John) or by occupation: Carpenter, Smith, Baker, Butcher, Potter, Parker, Weaver, Mercer and Miller are all job examples. This trend eventually died out when children (usually sons) stopped following their father's trade.

There's something worryingly fatalistic about people – consciously or not – taking jobs because of their surnames, rather than named after their occupations, so it's probably time some new surnames were created to reflect current jobs. This would also mean having more than one surname in a lifetime as we rarely stick to the same job throughout our working life.

So Sarah Admin Assistant becomes Sarah Marketing Assistant and eventually moves onto Sarah Marketing Manager. When she marries she becomes Sarah UX Designer-Marketing Manager. You have to feel sorry for their unborn children.

Previously on Barnflakes:
Name that name

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Recent barngains

Western Stars, Bruce Springsteen's best album – and album cover – for years (his last four studio albums have been terrible).

As mentioned previously, barngains have been thin on the ground in these parts – with the recent exception of the new Bruce Springsteen album, Western Stars, an impulse buy in Tesco's. I was at the till with the CD, along with some other items, and when the guy serving me came to scan it, it came up as 1p. He tried it again, and again. Still 1p. He buzzed to call someone over. No one came. He let me have it for 1p.

But it was a recent trip to London where the barngains really started flowing. In my first charity shop visit, on the way out of the shop, after clumsily looking at some records in the window, my eye caught a drawing on the cover of a large book. I picked it up and it was the rather plush catalogue to the latest Bob Dylan exhibition, Mondo Scripto, which ran late in 2018 at the Halcyon Gallery in London.

I had not seen the exhibition, but agreed with most critics about it at the time, that while his songs are full of surrealism, mystery and beauty, this new series of drawings illustrating his songs were rather too prosaic and literal: a farm for Maggie's Farm, a bed for Lay Lady Lay, a hand knocking on a door for Knockin' on Heaven's Door – you get the idea.

However, the book – £45 from the gallery shop, £3 in the charity shop – is gorgeous. The drawings are amateurish but charming. Each one has a page of hand-written lyrics next to it (often re-imagined and different from the original songs, something Dylan has done all his career). The book is large and luxurious (with apparently many different drawings to the ones in the show). I was pretty happy.

I might also have got some CDs over the next few days. In fact, there was one charity shop where I bought a lot. They must have all come from the same donator as they jumped out at me amongst the usual Robbie Williams and Adelle albums:

Flower Dance: Japanese Folk Melodies (Nonesuch Recording)
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band
Elton John – Honky Chateau (I loved the film Rocketman)
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Push the Sky Away
The Bonzo Dog Band – Cornology Vol.2 – The Outro
Bill Frisell - Have a Little Faith
Eminem – Kamikaze (for the cover)
The Cinematic Orchestra – Ma Fleur Live at the Barbican
Tom Waits – Alice
Classic Bluegrass (from Smithsonian Folkways) 
Jack DeJohnette – Made in Chicago (ECM Recording)
The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society (Deluxe Edition)
The Zombies – The Singles As & Bs
Mike Oldfield – Hergest Ridge (Deluxe Edition)
Roscoe Holcomb – The High Lonesome Sound 
Crosby, Stills & Nash – Crosby, Stills & Nash

All 50p-£1 each. There were lots of other good ones: Dylan, early Ry Cooder, Neil Young, Frank Zappa and King Crimson among them, but I either had them or didn’t want them. I got a bunch of other things too, in other charity shops, including a set of three Portmeirion storage jars for H in the relatively new Shooting Star Children's Hospices Charity Shop in Northcote Road, where the woman serving me, from Malibu, L.A., wrapped them up nicer and with more care than I wrap up birthday and Christmas presents.

Previously on Barnflakes:
Barngains
Two leaks (in a week)
London through its charity shops #8: 'round Clapham Junction

Elsewhere on Barnflakes:
BARNGAINS is a select list of rated barngains from 2007 to the present day.  

Sunday, June 16, 2019

My daughter's top ten films, aged 13

1. Ocean's 8* (Gary Ross**, 2018)
2. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki & Kirk Wise, 2003)
3. The Hunger Games (Gary Ross**, 2012)
4. A Dog's Purpose (Lasse Hallström***, 2017)
5. Howl's Moving Castle (Hayao Miyazaki, 2005)
6. Jurassic World (Colin Trevorrow, 2015)
7. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Francis Lawrence, 2013)
8. My Neighbour Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988)
9. Instant Family (Sean Anders, 2018)
10. Ponyo (Hayao Miyazaki, 2010)

*Hmm, Ocean's 8 was going to be in a list I never posted for Worst 10 films of 2018. It would have looked like this:
1. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
2. Ocean's 8
3. Black Panther
4. Bohemian Rhapsody
5. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Two forms of punctuation in a three word title can only be bad)
6. Avengers: Infinity War (I agree with director László Nemes (Son of Saul and Sunset) about superhero movies)
7. Pacific Rim: Uprising
8. You Were Never Really Here (As much as I admire Lyne Ramsey, this didn't work for me)
9. Fifty Shades Freed
10. The Darkest Minds

**Mr Ross, now in his sixties, is hopefully best well known for directing the brilliant Pleasantville. And writing Big.

***Surprising he wasn't asked to direct Mamma Mia – Hallström directed most of ABBA's videos in the 1970s and 1980s as well as ABBA: the Movie in 1977. He's made a few decent films – My Life As A Dog (1985), What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) and Chocolat (2000) among them but sentimentality was always his weakness.

Anyway, I'm glad she still loves Studio Ghibli films (numbers 2, 5, 8 and 10), I think they're brilliant too.

Previously on Barnflakes:
My daughter's top ten films (aged 12) 
My daughter's top ten films (aged 11)
My daughter's top ten films (aged 10)

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Tunnel of green

If I told my daughter about the train journey, she’d sound excited and want to do it. And maybe we would in a few weeks time, then after a minute on the train she’d say, dad, this is so boring. It was the same with the record cleaner; I’d built it up to be the most exciting thing ever, which I still think it is, but after cleaning one side of one record she’d said, dad, this is so boring.

The train journey was from Truro to Falmouth Town. Admittedly it doesn’t exactly have the same exotic ring about it as the train journey through the jungle we did from Cusco to Machu Picchu in Peru, but it wasn’t far off.

The rattly old train hurtles south towards the coast. For most of the 20-minute journey we are surrounded by lush, verdant foliage. The bushes and trees are alive and moving as the train whooshes past them. The foliage is alive, obviously, but more than that, it seems to jump out of the way of the train. The plants, trees and bushes seem to enjoy the train speeding past, blowing them out of the way. It's like they're waving with their leaves. Most of the journey is like this, with the foliage really near to the train and the banks really high, so really the journey feels like a tunnel of green.

Except for the flowers. There's part of the journey where it's all about the flowers. Foxgloves, mainly, but also, maybe, rosebay willowherb or clematis, I wouldn't really know, or care. But their pinks and purples are overwhelming. Some of the foxgloves are giant, as big as the ones at Trebah Gardens that have a plaque by them for being so big, but these are just on the side of the railway line, blowing their trumpets in the wind the whizzing train creates. They don't seem natural, the blurs of pink and purple, but like candyfloss and sweets from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, perhaps.

Previously on Barnflakes:
Where we are now

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Two leaks (in a week)

 
Leaks are all the rage – in politics, technology, business, sport, film, music – if anyone is anyone, they're leaking (or being leaked) something, somewhere. The internet, like a church roof, is full of leaks. Being cloaked in secrecy, is it quite exciting when the something in question actually leaks. I've bought – legally – two musical leaks this week. It's hard to know anymore if leaks are genuine or simply PR ('Google leaks its own phone').

The first 'album' I bought was Radiohead's MiniDiscs (Hacked), over 16 hours worth of unheard Radiohead music recorded during the OK Computer sessions between 1995 and 1998. What happened was a hacker nicked Thom Yorke's MiniDisc archive and threatened to leak it online unless he was paid $150,000. Yorke thought fuck it, the material 'isn't v interesting' (his words), so released it all himself on Bandcamp for fans to buy for £18 (you know, to be exact, if it sounds like £18 for 18 hours, it's actually a bit less than 18 hours – 16 according to some articles online; and if it sounds like £18, it's actually £21.60 after VAT).

If you know me, you'll know I've probably never played a Radiohead album all the way through, so the only concept more depressing than having to download 1.8Gb of Radiohead material that didn't even make it onto a record was having to listen to it. So I didn't bother. But I did buy it. All proceeds are to go to Extinction Rebellion, so a pretty good cause (Thom Yorke feeling guilty for taking so many flights – he apparently had a build-up of liquid in his ears from doing so – quip a thousand cynical Guardian readers in the comments section of the article about the decision to release the material). We're still not quite getting this whole climate change thing when some depressing leaked music gets more press than the future of the planet. (Today, there are actually online reviews of the 16+ hours – yes, that would mean the poor sods had to listen to it all night.)

The second album I bought was Leak 04-13 (Bait Ones) by British producer Jai Paul. It got 8.9 on Pitchfork recently so I thought I'd give it a try. The story is, the collection of demos was leaked in 2013 and sold illegally through Bandcamp. Jai Paul was so upset about this that for the next six years he underwent therapy and couldn't produce or even finish his unfinished demos. Only now is he able to officially release his unfinished demos. The Fader say: 'one of the great records of the decade'. Pitchfork say: 'the sound of borders breaking'. Anyway, I bought it through Paul's website, where you can pay what you want for the album. So I paid 1p. Well, I felt burnt after Radiohead.

What can I say? I've been watching the barnstorming and incendiary performances of Bob Dylan in the new Netflix documentary Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese, as well as listening to the 14-CD set The 1975 Recordings. They make Jai Paul and Radiohead sound like dull, miserable kids playing on their laptops in their bedrooms.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Community Reflections Private View

The catchily-titled Community Reflections on Health and Wellbeing Through Smartphone Photography (no, not a contradiction) has actually been a great and fun photography course I've been attending for the past few months, visiting a church, Art Deco swimming pool, woods, mine and, best of all, Feadon Farm animal sanctuary, where I got weed on by a squirrel, whacked on the arm by an angry owl's wing and kissed three times on the nose by a fox. These things don't happen to me every day. Our group is having a private view on Wednesday 12th June at Heartlands in Pool, after which the exhibition is on until Saturday 7th July, so plenty of time to visit.

Previously on Barnflakes:
Beauty and the Brutalist exhibition
Beauty and the Brutalist private view

Cornwall loves and hates

St Ives is all high fives
St Just is justified
Padstow has a warm glow
And Porthleven is heaven.
St Agnes is ace
Penzance gives penance
The lizard is lush,
The Roseland Peninsula is singular
Sing a hymn to Newlyn
And all hail Hayle!  

But Camborne is stillborn
And Pool is uncool
Redruth is rough
Newquay should be nuked
St Austell is like borstal
Truro is tedious
Helston is hell
Lostwithiel has lost the wherewithal
Falmouth has a foul mouth
Penryn is a place to sin
But Bodmin takes it on the chin.

Previously on Barnflakes:
Wiltshire loves and hates

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Top ten Keanu Reeves films

1. Point Break (Bigelow, 1991)
2. My Own Private Idaho (Van Sant, 1991)
3. The Matrix (The Wachowskis, 1999)
4. Speed (de Bont, 1994)
5. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (Herek, 1989)
6. A Scanner Darkly (Linklater, 2006)
7. River's Edge (Hunter, 1986)
8. Thumbsucker (Mills, 2005)
9. Dangerous Liasons (Frears, 1988)
10. Parenthood (Howard, 1989)

We recently had trouble watching the whole of Siberia, a 2018 Netflix film starring a wooden Reeves as a dodgy diamond trader ("Fatally, the script requires Reeves to do some serious acting", quipped the Guardian). You'd think after thirty years of doing the same job, he'd get the hang of it by now.

On paper, Reeves seems more interesting than he is on screen: born in Beirut with a mother from Essex and a Hawaiian father, Reeves is actually Canadian. I read once he didn't own anything and lived out of hotels. His wife gave birth to a stillborn baby in 1999 then died just over a year later in a car accident. It's thought he's Buddhist (though he's not). Then there was that sad meme which went viral a few years ago. No one's entirely sure if he's deep or dumb or both, but everyone likes him. Adam Driver looks like a long lost cousin of Keanu's – but at least he can act.

I’m torn about writing top tens for actors – do you rate the film or the performance or a combination of both? I'm going for both. Hence I'm leaving out the "critical approved" John Wick films, The Devil's Advocate, Constantine and the two other Matrix films – all of which are terrible. Recently he seems to be doing a Liam Neeson and typecasting himself as an action hero in his later years (Neeson was 56 when he did the first Taken movie; Reeves is in his mid-50s now.)

To misquote a line about Orson Welles and Citizen Kane: Point Break is the best action film ever, and it's not even Bigelow's best (that would be Near Dark, surely?).