Sunday 31 October 2021

Old (2021)

We can often rely on M Night Shyamalan to offer the audience a twist and turn, even jaw-dropping 'didn't see it coming' moment, like The Sixth Sense and The Village. When I watch a new film of his, I'm always hoping for that - but it doesn't always come. Maybe it will this time.

The story is a simple one, based on the graphic novel 'Sandcastle' by Pierre-Oscar Lévy and Frederik Peeters. A bunch of people go on holiday. They are welcomed and the very next day, offered an opportunity for an exclusive day out at a beach the other side of the island where most guests are not allowed. The manager of the hotel tells them that they're being offered this speciality as he, well, likes the cut of their jib!

The hotel mini-bus drops them all off and they have to walk through some caves/cliffs/rocks to get to the enclosed bay/cove. It's idyllic and beautiful. The driver tells them that he will be back to collect the group at the end of the day.

As the day starts, they all have fun and enjoy their time along with the giant picnic which the hotel has sent along with them. Then the trouble starts. They start ageing at a rapid pace. There's one older woman who was the first to go as she was the oldest. The children suddenly become teenagers. Behaviours start to change. A body washes up on the shore.

Long-standing conditions which various members of the group have are made worse. Then they notice an 'observation area' on a distant hillside and think they are being watched. They start to try to get away from the beach but attempts to do so end up in one disaster or another. They just get old, quickly. I won't say any more about the plot for obvious reasons.

The location makes for some lovely visual offerings and on top of that there's some arty photography used as well. Nice shots, unusual angles and close-ups to enhance the drama of what's going on - and the horror and realisation of what is happening by the group.
There aren't really any huge Hollywood names in the cast but Rufus Sewell leaps out (The Illusionist, Judy), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Gold Digger) and Eliza Scanlen (Babyteeth) whilst Gael García Bernal and Vicky Krieps play the central Guy and Prisca roles.

The whole cast does well as various actors leap in and out of different roles of ageing kids. They all look strong and competent in what they do, convincing the audience of this off-the-wall yarn. It is a fantasy and I can tell you that there is, of course, something at the end of it which I didn't see coming, but probably the sharper of you might well do. It's certainly worth a look but not the quality of some of his earlier work. What I do like is that it is an idea though and M Night Shyamalan can be relied on the bring us something different and interesting. He's a good storyteller.

Friday 29 October 2021

The Captor/Stockholm (2018)

The Captor was also known as Stockholm, the creation of Canadian director/writer/producer Robert Budreau who was also involved in the same way in the Chet Baker jazz film, Born to Be Blue from 2015, starring Ethan Hawke, as here too.

The film is based in Stockholm, plays out in English and is loosely based on the true story of the 1973 bank heist and hostage crisis in Stockholm - which allegedly gave name to the Stockholm Syndrome (which depicts a victim held hostage becoming resistant to outside help and offering loyalty toward their captor).

Ethan Hawke plays American ex-con Lars Nystrom who strolls into a bank in Stockholm one day with guns, taking a few of the staff hostage and demanding the release of his old crime-partner who is in prison. He lets the public go and starts to negotiate with the police whilst forming some kind of bond as time goes on with Bianca Lind (Noomi Rapace), she, also clearly falling for her captor. He is portrayed as a man somewhere between hippy and redneck, fruit-loop and softie!

The authorities get his mate Gunnar from prison and deliver him to the bank, a deal being done en route to give him his freedom if he resolves the situation with no deaths - which he can't reveal to Lars, but which is revealed to the audience pretty soon. He's basically a 'plant' and we're able to follow his journey as he wrestles with his conscience, friend of Lars but looking after his own future. Gunnar is played by Mark Strong (1917, Zero Dark Thirty, 6 Days) with mystery, level-headedness and confusion dealing with his dilemma.

The standoff continues as events unfold with plans and counter-plans, strategies and maneuvers on both sides to outwit the other. The policeman in charge wanting to be ruthless but without being able to quite get there is played excellently by Christopher Heyerdahl but the acting awards for me must go to the two leads. I'll say nothing more of the plot now in case you don't know the story and would like to enjoy the film as a thriller.

Ethan Hawke and Noomi Rapace completely steal the show - it's hard to fault either of them in this film or much else they do. I was bowled over by Rapace's performance in The Secrets We Keep, Angel of Mine and The Girl Who... series. She's so very convincing and can apparently turn her talent to any project thrown at her. Hawke, similarly - loved his performances over the years in the likes of the Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight trilogy, Snow Falling on Cedars and as far back as A Midnight Clear. The chemistry between them beautifully reflects the film's theme and story.

The rest of the cast are strong too, even in the understated roles. Bea Santos plays the other staff female Klara nicely, and Ian Matthews, the other main policeman involved. The setting is pretty much all inside the bank and thoughts of Dog Day Afternoon spring to mind as the audience becomes sympathetic, the more they get to know the likeable characters - how soft they are - and executing a misguided action, but with a cause, so not so ruthless as career robbers.

There's a back-story going on about Bianca's husband and two kids as she starts to realise that Lars is much more the kind of man that she would prefer to be with over her personality-devoid and weak husband. There's also a soft side to Lars on display and which comes out as she discovers that he'd shown sympathy and help to another captor in a previous bank job. It's full of passion and connection and yes, chemistry, which was similarly present so strongly between Hawke and Julie Delpy in Before Sunset. 

I'm not sure how much of it is really true to the facts of what happened, but even if they meander off on a path here, it's a great film, good entertainment and a terrific central performance by the two leads. It's on Amazon Prime, so do give it a go.

Tuesday 26 October 2021

Marshall Stockwell II

In July 2018 I got round to eventually reviewing the Marshall Stockwell Bluetooth Speaker here on my Blog and it's taken me just as long to get round to reviewing the unit's successor, the Stockwell II. I got here in the end!

The newer version is actually quite different physically as it places the the two speakers out the front and back instead of left and right, front-facing. Sounds odd, but actually it seems to work quite well as I'll try to explain later! These units are for casual use with the emphasis on getting as much of the signature Marshall bass-boom sound as possible whilst retaining a small enough unit for people to carry - and enough power to last the day, out and about.

Physical knobs and controls are one of the reasons some of us flock back to Marshall gear and here it feels like they have supplied the best of both worlds. The signature design and nostalgic functionality alongside some modern features. I say some, because this is not a connected speaker for anything beyond Bluetooth or 3.5mm input. So no WiFi for anything (including OTA updates), Alexa (thank goodness) or Google Assistant here!

Where Marshall have dragged things into the 20's though is with Bluetooth 5, so connecting to multiple feed devices, USB-C charging and a smart LED Battery indicator up-top. There's a pairing button to the left of the knobs which facilitates that function quickly and efficiently and the USB-C charging enables just that, with any old cable you have hanging around (obviously USB-C ones)! You can also use the battery in the unit to charge another device - so out and about with a mobile phone, it can be used as a powerbank as the USB-C works for power in or out.

The battery is not the quickest to charge at around 5 hours from flat but does offer a quick blast if needed, 20 minutes giving 6 hours of playtime. Marshall claim 20 hours of playback per charge, but in my testing here it's more than that. More like 30 - but then it depends how loud you're playing it, I guess. Maybe full volume for 20 hours would kill it. My neighbours won't appreciate me testing that!

Before I get to the sound, a word more about design and features. Those three knobs at the top are an absolute delight in a world where everything's push-button, capacity, touch-this and touch-that. Here we have a volume knob with off/on round to the left, bass in the middle, treble on the right, all with clear white position-markers on their top and 0-10 around the base. The knobs are slightly 'cone' shaped as they go up with rubberised grips around the edges. The resistance as you turn them is just right - not too firm, not too loose.

I have the black version which comes with a leather removable carry-strap, lined inside with red velvety stuff - so classy! The casing is made from the same solid material which their amplifiers are made from, which makes the unit near-indestructible, but also quite heavy - apparently 1.38Kg - with an IPX4 water-resistance rating (so not a dunking, but rain shower/splashes). It feels hefty and looks rugged, especially with the metal grille going down the front side and 'Marshall' in the middle, with the same on the back (only in black, not chrome).

Anyway, enough drooling, onto the sound! Plugging in a source via the 3.5mm audio-in or Bluetooth, the net result is pretty much the same with variations depending on the user's source device and material, but it's powerful and bass-orientated as you might expect. Testing here with various output devices, leaving any equalisation flat and just using the knobs for adjustment. The bass makes the speaker pulsate, even when set to zero! Wind it up and it blasts out the beats shaking anything it is touching!

Keeping this in perspective, no, of course it's no huge cabinet speaker - after all, it's a small, portable speaker for carrying around and enjoying on the move. It's perfectly good enough to fill a bedroom for volume, not a source of music at a party or larger gathering. More of a personal or small-group sound-source. Having said that, it's the loudest and most powerful-sounding speaker I have here (and I have a good few in the size/class).

I should explain that the speakers inside the unit are one 10W class D amplifier for the woofer and two 5W Class D amps for each tweeter which somehow work together to offset the fact that the sound is coming out back and front of the unit. Marshall claim that the tech creates a multi-directional sound which is still stereo but in some way defies the space around it, not depending on where the listener happens to sit in relation to the unit. Something to do with Marshall having progressed Alan Blumlein's principles of stereo, separating-out and projecting all around. So "...a specially created 'Blumlein Stereo Sound' system that improves multi-directional performance by separating spatial content, then reassembling it".

I have to admit to being a bit lost here as I don't really understand the physics of what's going on. If I place the unit side-on in front of my nose, I can clearly hear two channels of stereo, one in each ear, but as it's moved away, that effect becomes disproportionately lessened but a soundstage of sorts is created. However, the stereo thing with such a small table-top unit probably isn't worth worrying about as much as the general sound in the space - and this is excellent. I'll go and do the physics degree later! All I care about is that it sounds great wherever I place the unit and wherever I move around it, or move it to! A good position is a coffee table or breakfast bar island. You get the idea!

Marshall don't have to do much, I'll admit, to sell me on their gear, but this speaker has done great service for me since I picked it up. The USB-C in/out is really bringing Marshall up to the minute, the battery is fabulous for the size of the device - as is the sound and booming bass. The design and physical controls are a delight and, as you can see here, I find it hard to fault this unit in any way!

On release two or three years back it was £219 but you can now buy the Black and Brass version from AmazonUK currently as I write for £159 which is an absolute steal for anyone who wants to just listen. And enjoy music. Instead of being bugged by Alexa, Siri or any other pesky so-called smart interruptions!

Monday 11 October 2021

Little Fish (2020)

I'm not sure if we needed another pandemic/virus film, but we got one here with the thought-provoking Little Fish which takes a slightly different route from many, focusing on memory loss. 

We've seen similar in the past of course with the likes of Memento or Before I Go to Sleep as well as a bunch of sci-fi stuff, but unlike many, this trades in some of that sci-fi emphasis for emotional impact wrapped up in a powerful love story, leaning more towards Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

There's a virus, called NIA, which is making huge numbers of the population lose their memory. To some, it happens in an instant, to others it evolves over time. It can be brought about by changes in their state of stress or situation but nobody seems to know if they're going to get it or not.

The impact of this can be catastrophic - like the airline pilot who suddenly forgets how to fly his plane with the obvious consequence - or for others, more like a dwindling Alzheimer's-style loss, slowly forgetting people around them, stuff they're supposed to be doing or who they are themselves. Laying aside the story of our two lovers, the whole concept is harrowing to watch as society crumbles and authorities try to keep a lid on chaos.

Most of the film is centred around our two leads, as Olivia Cooke (Sound of Metal, Thoroughbreds, Pixie) and Jack O'Connell (Godless, The North Water, 71) play Emma and Jude. A couple who's story we follow from early-on in their relationship, some gaps filled in by flashbacks for us, as a picture is painted of them being 'soul mates' - madly in love, living for each other. Made for each other! No, don't switch off - as it's really not a soppy, slushy love story but rather an emotionally powerful portrayal.

Emma is an English girl and vet in America, Jude is a musician-cum-photographer. He starts to lose his memory and we follow them as Emma tries every trick in the book to help him, work out trigger-systems, reminders, notes - as he is aware for most of the time of what is happening to him. Then an opportunity arises. There's a medical firm who think they've found a cure and they're looking for volunteers for the trial. The trial involves jamming a needle up through the roof of the mouth and into the brain to vent some pressure in a specific place. He's not keen!

They decide that he should go for it after much heart-wrenching but the clinic ultimately turn him down. So they decide to have a go themselves - all over the internet people have been circulating instruction videos of how to do it. She's a vet, so can get the gear needed. So they try. What could go wrong?

The film really is primarily an emotional roller-coaster ride as the audience lives their lives with them, their love, closeness and anxieties. It's so beautifully and powerfully portrayed by the quite superb Cooke and O'Connell. The cinematography is just stunning as the imagery supports the story in theme and style. Well thought out angles, lighting, focus and emphasis. As I often say of such class, many frames could be used as wall posters. Director Chad Hartigan pulls all this together expertly bringing the best out of the actors and story - I shall be keen to follow up on his future projects.

The supporting cast are more than competent as they fulfil their roles around the main two characters and add to the draining emotion of their own situations, some running in tandem with the plight of Emma and Jude's. There are also story-fillers going on around the main thread relating to Emma's mum back in England and some of Jude's previous friends which enhance our understanding and empathy. As you might expect, there are some twists and turns along the way but nothing too outlandish.

I think I'll hold it there (have probably said too much already) and let you soak up the atmosphere created for yourself. It is yes, another pandemic yarn, but it's done differently. The focus is much more about the impact on the lives of our two leads and not so directly the global chaos. I think Olivia Cooke has a great future ahead of her as every time I see her perform, she seems to get better. Move over Stephen Fry - we have a new National Treasure!

Friday 8 October 2021

Another Round (2020)

This Oscar-winning film from Denmark is a strange story about four school teachers in Denmark, each of whom had sadness in their lives and a dull existence, looking to each other to make life different, better and more exciting for themselves by an experiment with alcohol consumption!

The creation of director/writer Thomas Vinterberg, who was also responsible for Festen and the excellent The Hunt, it brings together four excellent character actors to execute the project. Mads Mikkelsen (Men and Chicken, The Hunt, Hannibal), Thomas Bo Larsen (Festen, The Hunt), Magnus Millang (Heavy Load) and Lars Ranthe (The Hunt).

As I say, they're all treading life's water to a large degree and looking for something to spark them into life. One of them comes up with a plan, which they all decide to get onboard with. A scientist has suggested that human beings function better socially and professionally if they have a little alcohol in their bloodstream. At all times! They work out how to execute this and continue with normal life - only the four of them with knowledge of the plan.

They start it up and like what it's doing to them. They are indeed professionally more fired-up, start to achieve great things as teachers and even their social and home lives take a turn for the better. Depressed, boring and dull men suddenly become interesting and different ones. Enthused by their success, they decide to step it up a little and increase the amount in their systems. What could go wrong?! I'll leave you to find out.

The four leads give us a funny, anxious and moving portrayal as we move with them through the whole range of emotions, marriage problems, family issues, elation and sadness inside the wrapper of false hope and potentially wayward tactics. There are plenty of comic moments thrown in as well - as half the time, we're not sure if we should be rooting for the plan and initial positive results or see the potentially folly, which might well only end badly.

It's really well observed, well shot, acted and beautifully crafted into a story which grabs the attention of the viewer, wanting to know how it turns out. A lot of the film is shot in the school, where the pupils look to benefit from this new-found enthusiasm and drive. We see some personal stories thrown in for good measure where pupils are looking to overcome their own hurdles in order to achieve what their goals. Each of the four men take one key student under their wing.

It's in many ways a feel-good movie, but more than that it's a peek into the lives of four people who thought that, just maybe, the grass could be greener on the other side - and decide that it's worth the risk to go and find out if they're right. Very enjoyable and now available via streaming services.

Wednesday 6 October 2021

Marshall Minor III

Marshall continue to sell their stuff to people like me who wallow in the name, history and nostalgia of what the firm were (and maybe still are) about. Very often their gear is about design and style - and in my experience generally come up trumps with performance into the deal. I couldn't resist the new Minor III earbuds!

What pushed me over the edge, apart from all the above, was the fact that Marshall have adopted Qi Wireless Charging for the case, USB-C if you want to use a cable and they're not in-ear-canal buds (which I hate). They are much more like the older Apple earphones which 'sit' at the entrance to the ear. What could go wrong!

In the dinky box you get the cutest little charging case with designer 'vinyl' on the outside, a USB-C to USB-A charging cable and a little pamphlet to get you going. The case has got the iconic 'Marshall' name in white across the front, a USB-C port on the bottom alongside a pairing button and lift-back top-end in the usual way. There's a small LED on the front of the case which glows between red, yellow and green depending on charge - obviously green when fully done.

Hooking up to my Pixel 5 here invokes Google Fast Pair which means that you really don't have to do anything, rendering the Pairing button on the case redundant. In the phone's Bluetooth settings, you get an instant readout (with pictures of the Marshall gear) of charge in left, right and case. Switching to the Sony Xperia 10 Mk. III everything switches over via my Google account as if by magic. If you don't have access to this system, then yes, press that button on the case, the LED goes blue and you can pair in the manual way.

The buds are supposed to last for about 5 hours, which seems to be about right in testing here, the case holds another 20 hours of charge, so in total, heading out for the day you get 25 hours of playback before needing to charge up again. You can do this with any old USB-C cable, though the one in the box is a nice 'knurled' Marshall designed one. If you're all depleted, the case with earbuds inside takes about 2 hours to charge up again, though the buds will be done in an hour and a half. If you're in a hurry, 15 minutes will get you an hour and a half of use.

The buds are really well made but they are quite fat and big because of this. There seems to be a plastic used which is really solid and thick. They're not going to break, but if you have small ears you might struggle with the size. I have big ears, so I'm fine - though one did pop out once during my learning period of how to lodge them in my ears. All this solid design allows for IPX4 rating for sweat and (some) water resistance for using in downpours! The case also has an IPX3 rating for splashes.

The buds themselves are very light and sit with stalks-down in the box in the usual way for charging or storing. They really are cute little things, styled like AirPods with an inch-long stalk, again with that knurled design, for style and grip when handling them. There's a big 'M' on the top-edge and gold coloured base, accented in the classic Marshall way. They really do look very smart. Incidentally, there's only one colour. You guessed it. Black! They sit very snugly in the box, certainly survive inversion and the magnet holding the lid closed is very secure.

One bud works without the other, but they're not smart enough to switch both stereo channels into the one in the ear like AirPods and Huawei units do in my experience - for this, switch your source device to force mono. If you take one out of your ear pause is executed. Put it back, and it starts again. The touch controls allow for single-tap, double-tap and triple-tap. First for play/pause (or answer/end call), second for skip-forward (or reject call) and third to skip-back tracks. This works either side the same. You can also 'slide' instead of 'tap' and actually this seems to work better for me. There's no volume controls via gestures, sadly.

Bluetooth 5.2 has been rolled out with the Minor III unit, so pretty much up to date supporting the latest SBC and AptX codecs etc. AptX fired up with the Xperia straight away by default on detection. The range seems good on tests here supporting the general 30 feet standard, only falling away outside of that, depending on interfering equipment or walls of course, as usual.

What you don't get here is any Noise Cancelling tech. Probably a good decision, given that they're not in-canal buds or sealed over-ear headphones anyway - and I'd trade that for battery life. I've tested this equation with other headphones and earphones and once you get past the 'wow' factor of how it works, I think most would go for battery. Unless of course you're specifically needing the feature for a noisy environment.

What you also don't get here is any integration with smart assistants - so no Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant. This does seem like an odd omission in 2021 when everyone but everyone seems to be doing this, particularly at this price-point. I've tested phone calls here and this works really well with the above gestures and with good call quality. Very clear voice reception and transmission reported the other end and sounding clean and sharp this end too.

Marshall audio gear, as we know, is usually very much bass-orientated for rock, which I find frankly a little over the top (and which stopped me using the Monitor headphones). I find too much bass overpowering, but get the head-bangin' thing which younger people will no doubt love, thumping and pulsating, much like me when I was 16! Maybe because these are not in-ear-canal earbuds but sit outside more, they are not so bass-driven. If you push them down further into the ear they become more so, but I'm very happy with them sat out!

This could all be adjusted of course, if Marshall had made available their App for more than the meagre half-dozen devices which it supports, making the user rely on equalisation from inside other music apps. It also rules out any firmware updates OTA going forward. I'm not sure if this is something that could be added later, but it feels like the user is out of a limb to some degree. What you get out of the retail package is what you get. Done.

Fortunately, even taking into account the above, the rest of the audio experience is very pleasing with great quality sound, too loud for my ears with test gear here, well balanced tone (for me) with a broad soundstage for stereo. More adjusted for mid-tones but listening to a range of music here, including rock, jazz, solo piano and classical, I can't complain.

I love the sound of the piano and tuning into Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata with these buds makes me feel like I'm sat right by the piano, maybe without the deeper bass of placing my head actually on the piano! Switching over from the Pixel 5 to Sony Xperia and the sound is even better, more rounded and clean, as if they were Sony's own!

These are a terrific pair of earbuds which sound great. They are focused on sound quality rather than fancy additions, explaining the lack of support for digital assistants and apps - these are for people who want to hear the sound as it was recorded to a large degree. I love the USB-C charging, the Qi Wireless charging, the Marshall iconic design, style and looks. The battery life is really not bad and using with Android devices it hooks up well with power information on the phone screen.

On the face of it, they might seem overpriced on release at £119. You can get an awful lot more features from the average set of buds out there for less money from the likes of Xiaomi, Redmi and even independent makers like Anker/Soundcore, so it's really a case of whether or not you might value the sound-orientated experience over the bells and whistles of others. Very highly recommended for those with big ears like me!

Friday 1 October 2021

PodHubUK Podcasts for the Month of September 2021

  ...a roundup of our month of podcasting. Links to the team, communities and podcast homes on the net at the foot, so scroll down!

The Phones Show
Thursday 2nd September
Steve is back with another video via his YouTube Channel in which he puts this large and capable Xiaomi flagship to the test. Plenty to like, but is it the best of the best?

Whatever Works
Episode 144 - No Fight In-Flight!
Friday 3rd September
Aidan and I slog out another fine episode! Plenty of content after our summer break, from Vacuums to Valves, Vestaboard to Veather Stations (it's a German week!) and much more apart from these V's-ups!

Phones Show Chat
Episode 657 - Rigid Health
Saturday 4th September
Steve and I chat to Ewan Spence this week about all things mobile phone - past, present and future. Not much time for much else(!) but we do manage to squeeze in the essentials!

Projector Room
Episode 95 - Fried Flies
Thursday 9th September
Gareth, Allan and I are back again this week with another elongated venture into all things film, cinema (theatre!) and TV. Plenty to talk about as always from winding wind, motley musketeers and fried green tomatoes to spiders, flies and shrinking men! Do join us!

Phones Show Chat
Episode 658 - Digital Pandemic
Saturday 11th September
Steve and I are joined again by J B Walsh as we catch up with where he's at in tech/mobile, especially in relation to his medical role and extensive use of iOS devices in Dublin. We also declare POTM for August. Available via and as always, your podcatcher. Enjoy 😷 #podcasts

Tech Addicts Podcast
Sunday 12th September
Gareth and I are back again with our usual weekly roundup of tech twaddle as we understand it. Or not! We Dock our TikTok as a new Duet whilst HPS and JBL'ing our way through Nano nonsense! We not only Switch our Drive and Razer our Basilisk but even OTA our Qi - and much more!

Chewing Gum for the Ears
Episode 27 - 2010-2019
Wednesday 15th September
Steve and I are here again with our now'n'then dip into music and what we're listening to. This time we cover the decade 2010-2019 dredging up twenty pearls!

Whatever Works
Episode 145 - Latent Funnels Scoop!
Friday 17th September
Aidan and I return with another hour of mayhem and chaos as we discover Whatever Works in our lives and those of the Group Members here. We offer a fanfare for the eventual arrival of the funnels to put an end to the saga, whilst battling spiders and working out what Grandma Sharks can be!

Phones Show Chat
Episode 659 - The Great Flip-Flop
Saturday 18th September
Steve and I welcome drop-ins this week from Zac Kew-Denniss and Mike Warner as we pave the way for the Pixel 6 and try to understand about Tensor! I compare the Pixel 5 with Edge+ and Steve gets a first look at the Sony Xperia 5iii. Loads to chat about, so do join us!

Tech Addicts Podcast
Sunday 19th September
Gareth and I are back again with our weekend catchup with all things tech. This time we Hark Back to the Spectrum, find out all about Museletters, wonder about wipers and ponder over power supplies and PowerToys! Loads more of course including Bargains galore.

Projector Room
Wednesday 22nd September
Gareth, Allan and I are back again with our thoughts on what we've been watching in the last fortnight in cinema, film and TV. Loads of goodies as always including Worms for a Themed Treat, Japanese Animation, some good stuff coming soon and of course, your contributions.

The Phones Show
Wednesday 22nd September
It's Sony's new medium-sized 'compact flagship' and it's... almost perfect. But is there enough here to offset the continued annoying lack of Qi Charging? Join Steve as he finds out.

Phones Show Chat
Friday 24th September
Yes indeed, plenty to chew over this week with new stuff and old. It's all here from Sony, Apple, Moto, Nokia, Xiaomi - even Microsoft! Join Steve and I as we natter about all this and more for an hour while Steve meets up with Keith Chant on the road!

Tech Addicts Podcast
Sunday 26th September
Gareth and I are back again this weekend with another deluge of drivel about all stuff tech that we've stumbled into! I'm trying my hand at retro and modern gaming (at last), YouTube and Kindles get with the programme, Fairphone try to be fair with non-phones and we squeeze more out about Pixel 6! Plus Bargain basement of course.

The Podcasts
PodHubUK - Phones Show Chat - The Phones Show - Whatever Works - Chewing Gum for the Ears - Projector Room - Tech Addicts

The MeWe Community Groups (follow the links to join up)
Phones Show Chat & The Phones Show - Whatever Works - Chewing Gum for the Ears - Projector Room - PSC Photos - PSC Classifieds - Tech Addicts

The Team
Ted Salmon - Steve Litchfield - Aidan Bell - Gareth Myles - Allan Gildea

Perfect Days (2023)

This Wim Wenders (Paris, Taxas, The American Friend) film is a moving and beautifully created character study depicting the everyday life of...