Across the Universe is a film that has divided critics (well, David liked it and Margaret liked it a bit). Director Julie Taymor, of Lion King fame, doesn’t completely pull it off as the movie lacks the capacity to make the audience really care about the supposed love between its lead characters. While Jim Sturgess, who plays Jude, is very handsome, he and the woman who plays his girlfriend Lucy have singing voices that are a tad weak. Given the picture is a musical this is a problem. Nevertheless, Across the Universe features some wonderful renditions of Beatles songs, with Joe Cocker belting out “Come Together” and the gospel choir doing “Let it Be” particularly glorious. Don’t get me started on Bono playing a 1960s guru who suddenly starts singing “I am the Walrus”. Two words one syllable: arghhhhh. There are a lot of great dance scenes, by the way. + 0.75 for Across the Universe.
Karl Pilkington could be regarded as a classic whinging “Pom”. Of course, we wouldn’t use such terms on this site so let’s just say he’s fond of a whine and is quite negative about life. Like a lot of people from working-class backgrounds, Karl’s parents didn’t care much about the benefits of schooling so he’s not that bright, but he still manages to have an opinion about most things (e.g. jellyfish, “the problem with the moon”, and “freaks” like Joseph Merrick aka “The Elephant Man”). Those who listened to the exceptionally entertaining The Ricky Gervais Show podcasts will know Karl from the now classic statement:
I could eat a knob at night.
During the podcasts, Gervais had a go at Karl for always being on holiday even though he’s unemployed. Happyslapped by a jellyfish is a collection of diary entries from Karl’s various travels, including to the hospital due to suffering from kidney stones. Here’s just a couple of Karl’s observations from the book:
1. You can hire mopeds if you’re on holiday, but I didn’t bother cos me mam doesn’t like me going on motorbikes. A fella on a motorbike once hit a lamppost at high speed on the main road outside our house. Me mam made the ambulance men a cup of tea, and they said his head was in good shape as he had a worn a good helmet. The only problem was that the head wasn’t attached to the body any more.
2. A nurse came and checked that the info on the bit of paper was correct and told me not to worry as the doctor does loads of these operations every week. I said, “That doesn’t relax me, cos if he does loads of them there’s more chance of him becoming complacent. I’d prefer it if there was a bit more pressure – like the operations you hear about where they get together the world’s best doctors to separate Siamese twins with the whole of the world’s media watching. Maybe leave out the world’s media as I don’t don’t want me nob on show to all and sundry.
She laughed and a male nurse came along and said, “It’s your time to see the cock doc.” I didn’t know if he called him this because he only works on nobs or because the nurse didn’t like him much and it was an insult.
A needle was shoved into my vein and I was out like a light. I had the best sleep I’d had in ages.
The doctor came round. This is when he broke the bad news to me. He said that the people who control the lasers weren’t around today so they’d had to insert a stent instead (see opposite – editorial note: in the book that is). Which meant I’d have to come back for another operation to have it removed. I’ll be honest with you, I felt like calling him a cock doc at that moment.