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26 / 02 / 2023
Fantasy F1:
We've had 13 seasons of Forwardcharm Fantasy F1 ... and I think, finally, it's time to call it a day. I just don't have the energy for this kind of malarkey anymore. Thank you all for playing, it's been great fun. Enjoy your year!

20 / 11 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the twenty-second and final race in Abu Dhabi are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. That's it for this year, see you back here next year to find out if I could be arsed doing it all again.

13 / 11 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the twenty-first and penultimate race in Brazil are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. The FINAL race is in Abu Dhabi NEXT WEEKEND.

30 / 10 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the twentienth race in Mexico are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Brazil in two weeks.

23 / 10 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the nineteenth race at Austin are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Mexico NEXT WEEKEND.

09 / 10 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eighteenth race at Suzuka are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Austin in 2 weeks.

02 / 10 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventeenth race at Singapore are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Suzuka, NEXT WEEKEND.

I've slightly changed the weightings of Alfa/Alpine/Haas to reflect their current performance.

11 / 09 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the sixteenth race at Monza are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Singapore in 3 weeks.

04 / 09 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifteenth race at Zandvoort are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Monza, NEXT WEEKEND.

28 / 08 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourteenth race at Spa are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Zandvoort, NEXT WEEKEND.

31 / 07 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the thirteenth race in Hungary are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Spa in about a month, at the end of August.

24 / 07 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the twelfth race in France are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Hungary NEXT WEEKEND.

10 / 07 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eleventh race in Austria are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is France in 2 weeks.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

03 / 07 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the tenth race at Silverstone are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Austria NEXT WEEKEND.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

20 / 06 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the ninth race in Canada are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Silverstone in 2 weeks.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

12 / 06 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eighth race in Azerbaijan are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Canada NEXT WEEKEND.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

I've slightly increased the weightings of the Mercedes pair as their woes seem to be continuing.

29 / 05 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventh race in Monaco are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Azerbaijan in 2 weeks.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

22 / 05 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the sixth race in Barcelona are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Monaco NEXT WEEKEND.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

10 / 05 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifth race in Miami are (finally) in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Barcelona in 2 weeks.

24 / 04 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourth race at Imola are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Miami in 2 weeks.

I've slightly reduced the weightings of Norris / McLaren because they're doing particularly well at the moment.

10 / 04 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the third race in Melbourne are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Imola in 2 weeks.

27 / 03 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the second race in Saudi Arabia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Melbourne in 2 weeks.

I decided not to change the weightings again for now. Let's see how the next couple of races go.

20 / 03 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The results from the first race in Bahrain are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Saudi Arabia NEXT WEEKEND.

I have made some quick changes to the weightings - Haas seem much stronger than I expected and McLaren/Aston much weaker. I might tweak them again after Saudi.

13 / 03 / 2022
Fantasy F1:
The 2022 season is now open for entries! You can change your team as often as you like so you might as well pick a team now while you're thinking about it. You can always read the rules later! You have until midnight GMT on the night of Friday 18th March to qualify for the first race in Bahrain.

12 / 12 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the final race in Abu Dhabi are in, and we have our 2021 winner! Check the results or see where your team finished.

05 / 12 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the penultimate race in Saudi Arabia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. The next and final race is Abu Dhabi NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 10th December.

21 / 11 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the twentieth race in Qatar are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Saudi Arabia in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 3rd December.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

14 / 11 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the nineteenth race in Brazil are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Qatar NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 19th November.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

07 / 11 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eighteenth race in Mexico are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Brazil NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 12th November.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

24 / 10 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventeenth race in Austin are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Mexico in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 5th November.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

26 / 09 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the sixteenth race in Russia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Austin in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 22nd October.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

26 / 09 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifteenth race in Russia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Turkey in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 8th October.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

12 / 09 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourteenth race at Monza are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Russia in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 24th September.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

05 / 09 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the thirteenth race at Zandvoort are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Monza NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 10th September.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

29 / 08 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
That was a weird one. The results from the twelfth "race" at Spa are in, and somebody got a MASSIVE score... possibly the highest we've ever seen in one week. Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Zandvoort NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 3rd September.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

01 / 08 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
Well that was exciting, wasn't it? The results from the eleventh race at Hungary are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. We are in the summer break now, the next race is Spa in four weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 27th August.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

18 / 07 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the tenth race at Silverstone are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Hungary in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 30th July.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

15 / 07 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
Bit of a problem with these new sprint races. Qualifying is now on the Friday. I don't really want to mess with the rules mid-season so we'll carry on having teams locked on Friday night, which means you can already see the qualifying results. But the scores are based on the GRID, not the qualifying, so effectively it's the result of Saturday's sprint race. We'll run with that for now and see how it goes. So cutoff for edits for Silverstone is still midnight GMT on the night of Friday 16th July.

04 / 07 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the ninth race at the Red Bull Ring are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Silverstone in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 16th July.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

27 / 06 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eighth race at the Red Bull Ring are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is the second of the Austria double-header NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 2nd July.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

20 / 06 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventh race at Paul Ricard are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is the first of an Austria double-header NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 25th June.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

06 / 06 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the sixth race at Azerbaijan are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Paul Ricard in 2 weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 18th June.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

23 / 05 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifth race at Monaco are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. **NOTE** Leclerc still gets points for his grid position even though he didn't start the race, because the rules say we go with the grid on f1.com. Next race is Azerbaijan in 2 weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 4th June.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

09 / 05 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourth race at Barcelona are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Monaco in 2 weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 21st May.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

02 / 05 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the third race at Portimao are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Barcelona NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 7th May.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed the first three races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

18 / 04 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the second race at Imola are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Portimao in 2 weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 30th April.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed the first two races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

The weightings for Alpine have increased because they've been a bit shit.

28 / 03 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The results from the first race in Bahrain are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Second race is Imola in 3 weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 16th April.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed the first race - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

21 / 03 / 2021
Fantasy F1:
The 2021 season is now open for entries! You can change your team as often as you like so you might as well pick a team now while you're thinking about it. You can always read the rules later! You have until midnight GMT on the night of Friday 26th March to qualify for the first race in Bahrain.

 

 

Sahara

Sahara Cast: Matthew McConaughey, PenÚlope Cruz, Steve Zahn, William H Macy, Lennie James, Lambert Wilson.

Directed by Breck Eisner.

Story: Some muddled mess about a missing ship in the desert and a mysterious plague.

Running Time: 2hrs 4 minutes.

Certificate 12A.

 

Wow. After seeing the trailer, I was expecting a mindless action movie. After seeing the preposterous tag-line: "Dirk Pitt - Adventure has a new name", I imagined a third-rate Indiana Jones. After seeing the BBC's four-star review, I was rather more upbeat and optimistic. Nothing prepared me for such a childish, slapdash waste of an evening. Hoik out the barbecue, it's roasting time.

Hooray!  The movie's nearly over! Where can I begin? I'll start with one of our homegrown actors, Lennie James. Now, we know he has talent because he was palpably electric in Cold Feet and has contributed laudable performances in Snatch, Lucky Break and 24 Hour Party People. The problem is, he's a Londoner. In Sahara, he talks like a Londoner trying to do an African accent and he moves like a Londoner with a public school education. He is completely unconvincing as an African general who "puts the war into warlord" (yes, they really did use that line). Don Cheadle would have been much better, but of course he was busy destroying the Cockney accent in Ocean's Twelve, which, ironically, Lennie James would have had a much better stab at. Casting is a tricky old thing, but surely it's not that hard to find someone who can do the accent. How many talented African actors must there be waiting for such a role? Why choose a Brit who sounds like he's auditioning for Little Britain? Similarly, we see Patrick Malahide, who most of us will remember as DS Chisholm in Minder, robbed of his trademark Brit-sneer to become a middle-of-the-road American paper pusher. It really is beyond me how they arrive at these decisions.

Lambert Wilson, Very Mingian Remember Matrix Reloaded? Remember that slimy French character - The Merovingian? Horrible, wasn't he - but the restaurant scene really worked because of the sumptuousness of his speech, the way he took his time over every word, savouring every sentence and building an image of arrogance and control. The success of that scene is largely down to the direction and editing with the actor, Lambert Wilson, being the icing on the cake. In Sahara, Wilson is on his own, without the support of competent direction, and delivers Merovingian Lite - resulting in a half-arsed mongrel of a character that succeeds only in its mediocrity. Matthew McConaughey, the star, must have gone to Barbara Woodhouse for his training as he seems modelled on a spaniel and PenÚlope Cruz, while acting well, does not have a chance to show what she can do. William H Macy is very good - I've yet to see him put in a bad performance - but it's Steve Zahn, as the nervy sidekick, who is without any shadow of a doubt the real star of the movie. Although his lines are average at best, his delivery is superb and provided the only much-needed chuckles of the whole sorry affair.

Steve Zahn, an oasis in a desert of inadequacy. Should I even bother going into the plot? Oh my God, it's so horrible - which will be spelt "saharable" from now on - that I don't even want to revisit it. Some pestilent crap about finding a ship from the civil war that's lost in the desert and curing a plague that no-one else cares about - if the film itself had been vaguely competent then I could have forgiven some of the atrociousness of the plot, but as it is there isn't enough space or enthusiasm to go through even a fraction of the reasons why the screenplay writers (all FOUR of them) should be banned from all movie studios for evermore. So many inconsistencies, so many lazy continuity errors, so many moronically unlikely happenings, it had me with my head in my hands on at least four occasions, wondering how on earth this tripe could have passed any kind of advance screening without drugging the participants first. But, as is the way with this kind of unimaginative formulaic hogwash, it will find its audience with that lucrative sector of society, People Who Like To See Shiny Things Go Bang, and it will thus make lots of money and encourage the studios to make more vapid twaddle like it, and I will have to find a whole load of new words that mean "shite" so I can review them.

Sahara is yet another contender for worst movie of the year, yet most people will think it's just fine - mindless entertainment and why-can't-that-snotty-reviewer-accept-it-for-what-it-is? Well, I'll agree it's mindless but it certainly didn't entertain me. If you liked National Treasure but thought it was a bit too much like a documentary, then Sahara is tailor-made for you.

I enjoyed this film: 1/5

I think the average moviegoer will enjoy it: 3/5

Testosterone Satisfaction Rating: 3/5 Guns, silly stunts and some bouncing Cruz cleavage.

To enjoy this film you should be: lobotomised.