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11 / 11 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the twentieth race in Brazil are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Just one race to go - Abu Dhabi in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 23rd November.

28 / 10 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the nineteenth race in Mexico are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Only two races to go - next race is Brazil in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 9th November.

22 / 10 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eighteenth race in Austin are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Mexico NEXT WEEKEND! Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 26th October.

You can still enter a new team for the final three races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

07 / 10 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventeenth race in Japan 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 19th 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.

*** Some of the weightings have been tweaked *** for the final four races - check the league page for details.

02 / 10 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the sixteenth race in Russia are in! (Sorry for the delay - moving house!) Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Japan (Suzuka) THIS WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 5th 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.

16 / 09 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifteenth race at Singapore 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 28th 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.

02 / 09 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourteenth race at Monza are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Singapore in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 14th 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.

26 / 08 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the thirteenth race at Spa 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 31st 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.

29 / 07 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the twelfth race in Hungary are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. We're into the summer break now, the next race is Spa in four weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 24th 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.

22 / 07 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eleventh race at Hockenheim are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Hungary NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 27th 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.

08 / 07 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the tenth race at Silverstone are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Hockenheim in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 20th 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.

01 / 07 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the ninth race in Austria are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Silverstone NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 6th 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.

24 / 06 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eighth race at Paul Ricard are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Austria NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 29th 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.

10 / 06 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventh race in Canada are in, including the travesty that is Danny Ric not getting fastest lap. Sigh. Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Paul Ricard in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 22nd 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. Oh and by the way, half of us are being beaten by my girlfriend. So we might need to up our game a little.

29 / 05 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
Sorry for the delay! The results from the sixth race in Monaco are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Canada in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 8th 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.

13 / 05 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifth race in Barcelona are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Monaco in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 25th 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.

29 / 04 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourth race in Azerbaijan are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Barcelona in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 11th 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.

15 / 04 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the third race in China are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Azerbaijan in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 27th April.

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

08 / 04 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the second race in Bahrain are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is China NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 13th April.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed the first races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going. It's worth doing - if you'd missed Australia and then picked the perfect team for Bahrain, you'd be in the overall lead now! Special congratulations to The Big G, who jumped from plum last to 3rd place, largely due to the inspired choice of Pierre Gasly.

Note the Williams weightings have been increased due to them being shite.

25 / 03 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the first race in Australia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Second race is Bahrain in 2 weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 6th 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.

18 / 03 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The 2018 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 Friday night (23rd) to qualify for the first race in Australia.

26 / 11 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
It's all over! The results from the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi are in! Check the results or see where your team finished and see who won the championship!

That's the lot for 2017, come back in 2018 just before the real season starts and we'll do it all over again!

12 / 11 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the nineteenth and penultimate race in Brazil are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Abu Dhabi in two weeks, which is the final race of the season. Nobody's going to catch Bunch of Wasters in the lead, but it's all to play for underneath. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 24th November.

29 / 10 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eighteenth race at Mexico are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Brazil in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 10th November.

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

22 / 10 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventeenth race at Austin are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Mexico NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 27th October.

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

08 / 10 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the sixteenth race at Suzuka 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 20th October.

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

If you have Carlos Sainz on your team, you'll keep him at Renault. If you have Jolyon Palmer then you'll score for Sainz who replaces him.

01 / 10 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifteenth race at Malaysia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Suzuka NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 6th October.

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

17 / 09 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourteenth race at Singapore are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Malaysia in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 29th September.

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

03 / 09 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the thirteenth race at Monza are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Singapore in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 15th September.

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

30 / 07 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the twelfth race at Spa 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 1st September.

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

30 / 07 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eleventh race in Hungary are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Spa in four weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 25th August.

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

16 / 07 / 2017
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 28th July.

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

11 / 07 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the ninth race in Austria are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Silverstone THIS WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 14th July.

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

25 / 06 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fantastic eighth race in Azerbaijan are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Austria in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 7th July.

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

12 / 06 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventh race in Canada are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Azerbaijan in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 23rd June.

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

30 / 05 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the sixth race in Monaco are (finally) in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Canada in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 9th June.

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

18 / 05 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
If you want Jenson Button on your team for Monaco, pick Fernando Alonso as JB is his replacement at McLaren for this race.

14 / 05 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifth race in Barcelona are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Monaco in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 26th May.

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

01 / 05 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourth race in Russia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Barcelona in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 12th May.

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

17 / 04 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the third race in Bahrain 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 28th April.

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.

09 / 04 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the second race in China are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Second race is Bahrain next week. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 14th 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.

26 / 03 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the first race in Australia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Second race is China in 2 weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 7th 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.

 

 

Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha

Cast: Ziyi Zhang, Ken Watanabe, Michelle Yeoh, Suzuka Ohgo.

Directed by Rob Marshall, adapted from the book by Arthur Golden.

Story: A child is taken away from her family and grows up to become a geisha in early 20th century Japan.

Running Time: 2hrs 25 minutes.

UK Certificate 12A.

 

Memoirs of a Geisha is a movie steeped in oriental atmosphere, full of eastern promise. Dig through the polished presentation and underneath you find a rich vein of ... well, nothing actually. It's as shallow as a pub measure and somewhat less fulfilling.

Michelle Yeoh takes a day off from Ferrari F1 boss Jean Todt for a spot of pimping. The first, and by far the most obvious problem is the delivery of the dialogue. Do you remember 'Allo 'Allo? Where you could tell what nationality the characters were pretending to be by the accent they spoke English with? I can't help but be reminded of René Artois - all the characters stumble slowly and painfully through their English dialogue, but if they spoke any faster they'd be unintelligible because their accents are so strong. What's even more peculiar is that they speak exactly the same to the Americans when they show up later on. Cinematic licence, I suppose, but I couldn't help expecting one of zem to leesen very carefoolee - zey will say zees only wurnce.

The second problem is the supporting actors. The leads are well-known - bright blue-eyed Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hero), Ken Watanabe (Batman Begins, Last Samurai) and Michelle Yeoh (Tomorrow Never Dies) are all noticeably professional, but Li Gong (an established Chinese star) must have put on a stone with the amount of scenery she chews - not what we expect in a mainstream movie nowadays. Little Suzuka Ohgo is pretty good as the child star, though her delivery needs work, but the supporting acting in toto is highly amateurish. More than once I thought I was listening to Yoda instead of a serious performance. "Successful geisha, you will be."

Ziyi Zhang won't look so innocent when she finds out what a geisha is. Still not done with the flaws I'm afraid. The story, whilst solid enough during the first half, is not strong enough to support the long running time and has a very strong feel of having been cut from an even greater length. Once we hit the two hour mark, the tone changes like a light bulb, the main geisha heroine's character collapses completely and the story finishes pathetically and incongruously. I cannot believe this is the original ending. It's shallow, unsatisfying and disappointingly curt. Half an hour could have been cut from the body of the movie and replaced with a properly constructed conclusion.

OK, that's enough slagging off. The eastern atmosphere is developed extremely well, helped immeasurably by John Williams' dramatic and unintrusive score and the cinematography is very nice indeed, with the Japanese feel being effective and complete, despite most of the lead actors being Chinese - a fact that I didn't even notice until I was researching this review afterwards. The atmosphere extends to the geisha's ethos - so much so that it seems perfectly honourable when our heroine sells her virginity to the highest bidder. This detail becomes muddled later on - being an ignorant westerner I had the impression that a geisha was essentially a classy prostitute. The first half of the movie seems to confirm this preconception, but the latter half denies it, so I'm still none the wiser. Damn stupid Brits.

Memoirs of a Geisha is not at all what it purports to be and falls well short of its potential. Stylish and beautiful it is, clever and meaningful it most certainly isn't. The aesthetics make it worth a watch if this is likely to be enough for you, but don't expect anything more.

I enjoyed this film: 2/5

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

Testosterone Satisfaction Rating: 1/5 Ziyi Zhang teases but never shows.

To enjoy this film you should be: absorbed by the atmosphere.

 

Memoirs of a Geisha is released in the UK on 13th January.