As for last night's duty, that went pretty well. I think I've got a bit jaded on fireworks in recent years, and I tend to appreciate the sights more than the sounds, but it can work well when the explosions are synched with some decent music (e.g. the Superman theme). We had a bit of excitement on our way back, when a rocket went streaking across the road in front of our minibus. There was some debate about whether it was high enough to have cleared our vehicle (I think it was), but it certainly wouldn't have cleared a double decker bus, so this may be an argument against back garden displays.
My theme for today is "mihi slumpiendum est" - that's dodgy Latin (gerunds!) for "there is some slumping to be done by me". So, this seems like a good time to recommend a few films I've seen recently:
Gattaca - recommended by karne_k, and I'm glad I finally got round to watching it. It's an intelligent film, which raises some interesting questions. Mind you, you should avoid the trailer, which simultaneously manages to give away key plot points while completely misrepresenting the type of film it is. It reminded me of the trailer for the original Star Trek film, which desperately tries to make a cerebral plotline sound action packed.
Nanny McPhee - not exactly gritty realism, but it was funny and heartwarming, and had a few developments that caught me by surprise. There's a good cast too, with the trivia note that at least three of them were in Love Actually. I think that this would work well as a family film, by appealing to different age groups, although that is just speculation on my part.
High School Musical - this is fun, with some catchy songs (I bought "We're all in this together" from iTunes a while back, and I think I'll download "Breaking free" too). Again, it has parted company from reality somewhere along the way (unless all sports teams spontaneously break into song and dance routines during their practice sessions), but if you can get past that then it's entertaining. There's apparently also a sing-along version, although I'll spare my neighbours that! Ultimately, it's Disney doing what they do best, by pushing the right emotional buttons to make a "feel good" film.
Meanwhile, I've seen the first couple of episodes of the BBC's new Robin Hood series. I'm glad that the marketing was misleading; based on the posters on buses, they seemed to be saying "Look, he's wearing a hoodie! See how modern and trendy we are!", but Robin doesn't actually behave like a thug at all. (From a selfish point of view, I'm also glad because I have a webcomic planned along those lines, and I didn't want everyone to think that I'd just copied the TV series.) It's basically fluff, and it's been made in a rather heavy-handed way, but for all of that it's pleasant enough, and there are a few interesting points. I think that Guy of Gisbourne probably comes across as the best character (a bit like Snape in the Harry Potter stories), and they've been able to take a plotpoint which was probably forced on them ("Robin shouldn't go around killing people") and do some decent analysis into it (there was something similar in Y The Last Man a while back). The first five episodes are being repeated on BBC3 this week (Monday-Friday evening), so maybe worth giving it a shot if you haven't tried it yet.