Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bravia Parody

I knew it woudn't take too long before people parodied the Sony bouncing ball commerical. Here's the first.

Mine 2 Trailer - Google Video

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Lucky Number Slevin

A film that I saw a trailer to a while back and thought "hmm, that looks alright. I'll give it a go when it comes out". Having heard nothing on this I did not know what I was expecting.

Lucky Number Slevin, may win the award for the most stupid movie name this year but it may also win some for best dialogue. Starring Josh Hartnett, Bruce Willis, Lucy Liu, SIR Ben Kingsley and Morgan Freeman the film tells the story of a guy in the wrong place at the wrong time who is confused for another guy who owes money to two feuding ganglords. As with most films these days not everything is what it seems however.

I liked the film most for it's dialogue, which is very similar to Guy Ritchie movies such as Snatch and Lock Stock. The film is perhaps targeted at that audience most and is also similar in that it features a British Director, this time Paul McGuigan who also directed Gangster #1.

Performances are pretty good with Josh getting to do more than light up a shoot random women as he did in Sin City. Lucy Liu does pretty good as the next door neighbour and love interest. Bruce Willis probably steals the show as a cold-hearted assassin sent to deal with Josh. Ben Kingsley however doesn't try too hard at all, in fact I don't think he even bothers standing up, all of his scenes featuring him sat down. Perhaps he had broken his leg but really wanted to be in the film.

Overall not bad, better than Snatch but not quite as good as Lock Stock.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Aeon Flux

Bit of a weird film this and I guess it came about following the success of Underworld and its sequel, I can only assume saw a market niche of leading women in slinky outfits and tried to continue milking it.

Charlieze Theron plays Aeon a catsuit wearing assasin who can crawl faster than I can run and who is sent on a mission to kill a bad guy called Trevor, the leader of a city responsible for the death of Aeon's sister. Assisted by her friend who has hands for feet but oddly not feet for hands she soon discovers that not everything is what it seems, and Trevor might actually be a nice guy after all!

The film is based on an animated series that used to air on MTV and which I didn't get into for it's skinny character graphic style. The film is a condensed version of the story and it tells. There is no reason in the film for her friend to have four hands for example, but within the context of a longer running story with more room for character back story it probably would have made more sense.

The cartoon also lacked much dialogue, which perhaps explains why there isn't much of it in this film. Set designs are impressive but they over used a corridor set that looked like a huge vent. With the fortune clearly spent in building it I guess they had to get their money's worth. It's also slightly different to most Sci-Fi movies in that a lot of it takes place during the day and not at night, which I liked.

There are continuity mistakes such as ending one scene with the line "don't walk on the grass" after blades shoot out of it and in the very next shot we see the characters walking on the grass to enter a building.

There is one reason for watching it though, and that's Charlieze in her skimpy suits. If you enjoyed watching Kate Beckinsale in Underworld then you'll like this for the same reason. I certainly did! Well done to the executive who came up with this idea, can we have more?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Shadow of the Colossus

The first big game for the PS2 this year is the latest work from the company that gave us Ico a few years back. This tells the tale of a young guy who travels to a far off land to kill 16 giants in an attempt to bring his girlfriend back to life.

What makes the game different is that there are no other characters in the game other than those mentioned above and a horse that the guy uses to ride around. You don't get random battles, the only things to kill are the 16 giants.

And giant they are, the screen above shows Colossus number 3 as an idea of the scale of the opponents (not all are this big however). It is a platform game but the platforms are the giants, their armour and their weapons. You have a grip bar that you must use to hold onto the giants as they attempt to shake you off. You kill them buy making your way over the Colossus to their weak points and stabbing them there with your sword.

After playing it solidly for the weekend I did complete the game, and I wasn't disappointed at all. There is a superb emotional attachment to the character in the game that you develop, and as with Ico, it's simplicity and visual mood leads to an amazing attachment to the character, that a lot of other developers have failed to achieve with their games. Special mention should be made of the ending which is just superb and certainly worth perservering with the game to see.

Further modes are unlocked upon completion, which I'll be attempting next. For a more long term challenge I also bought Ico, which has been re-released to coincide with the release of this game.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

FluidEffect

Interesting website showing some guy's skill at making celebrities look a lot better than they really are.
Definitely useful to kill a few myths perhaps.

Click "portfolio" and then "before/after"

FluidEffect

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance


Valentines day, a time for couples to spend the evening showing their love for each other whilst spending a fortune on the event in overpriced restaurants, or the Aberdeen Steak House for those who hadn't planned anything properly. For one couple on the train it would be a night spent at a Lee Ryan concert; I am sure the boy would have enjoyed that. For another couple getting drunk at the Ritz Hotel was misinterpreted by the woman as getting paraletic outside it, and her much older partner was doing his best carrying her to a taxi. For the man on the tube holding a £1 rose sobbing it clearly wasn't a good night. Well tonight I had my date in Soho, London's Red Light District, spending £10 for 2 hours enjoyment.

No, I wasn't buying a prostitute. I had gone to see the new film from Oldboy director Chan-wook Park in the company of one Lady Vengeance, the eponymous heroine of his new film. Oldboy had been a sleeper hit of last year and a film I found quite eye-opening and difficult to watch. This new film was getting very good reviews, so I thought why not!

Yeong-ae Lee plays Geum-ja Lee, a woman recently released from prison for the kidnap and subsequent murder of a young boy. Revealing that she was blackmailed into taking the fall, she sets about getting the revenge on the man who took a significant part of her life from her.

The film is a superb story, those of you that have seen Oldboy will be pleased to hear that the plot this time is a lot more straightforward, and although it takes a swerve towards the end, it's not a huge head-scratching twist.

Cinematography is again, top notch and there are some superb scenes; a stand out being an emotional heart-to-heart between the leading lady and her daughter through an interpreter. As with Oldboy there are some powerful scenes that wouldn't be in any film coming out of America. There isn't any live octopus eating this time but a puppy does get it and some of the video footage in the final act is pretty distressing (I'm trying my damnest not to give anything away here).

Understandably the film isn't getting a mainstream cinema release, which means you'll probably end up visiting the arty cinema rather than the local multiplex. This is why I ended up going where I did, honest!

As I made my way home I witnessed a final couple getting into a fight at the station, how romantic. For a day that celebrates being with someone and usually makes single people feel inferior, my night had been very enjoyable!

Oh, and I saw former Bond Girl Maryam D'Abo at the cinema and looking to be on her own, but she wasn't seeing the same film as me. How Valentinish would that have been?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Apologies

I haven't been posting as much as I've done in the past for 2 reasons.
Firstly work has been pretty busy in the last couple of weeks and is going to continue for the next month. Some tight deadlines coming up!
Secondly I've also been working on antoher project that I'll announce on here soon.

Normal Service Will Resume Soon!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Final Destination 3



Final Destination - A group of sterotyped teenage kids chicken out of a plane flight after one of the group has a premonition of an accident which subsequently becomes true. Having cheated Death once they all end up dying in strange accidents.

Final Destination 2 - A group of sterotyped teenage kids chicken out of a motorway journey after one of the group has a premonition of an accident which subsequently becomes true. Having cheated Death once they all end up dying in strange accidents.

Final Destination 3 - A group of sterotyped teenage kids chicken out of a roller coaster ride after one of the group has a premonition of an accident which subsequently becomes true. Having cheated Death once they all end up dying in strange accidents.

Well if the formula is successful and bringing in the revenue, why change it? This time the original director is back and overseeing the deaths of another round of plucky young kids, including such stereotypes as the Jock that spends all his time in the gym and "never loses sucker!", a Goth couple that seem to get off on all the death. A couple of bimbos that spend all their time building on their tans and wearing skimpy outfits (or in one scene nothing at all), and of course the wholesome all-american girl who is popular to all without conforming to a particular stereotype.

The deaths are very well thought out and there is a lot of fun trying to pre-empt how they're going to get it especially as this film uses pictures of the ride-bunkers each of which contains clues to their demise. The death scenes although extremely gory are laugh out loud funny, perhaps because that's how must of us cope with the shock of seeing someone getting their head smashed in by an engine.

There are some holes in the plot, the biggest being the accident in the premonition being caused by one of the people who ends up not riding it, so the accident shouldn't have happened, which means the premonition shouldn't have taken place. Paradoxical but I guess you can put it down to artistic interpretation, or it being rargeted to a certain mental demographic.

None of the performances are particular great but then this isn't a film that's going to win any Oscars. Being a coaster fan, it was nice to see a park being used as a theme for a film. It was ironic that they quote the true statistic that you're more likely to die on the way to a park than on any of the rides in it, then they proceed to kill a load of characters off.

Although there isn't a protagonist in these films, the guy that plays Candyman has been in both 1 and 2 indirectly playing the part of Death. In this film he's resigned to providing a voiced cameo as the devil statue that welcomes the public to the coaster.

Overall not a bad film at all but if only if you're a fan of the genre.