Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Snakes on a Mother Fuckin' Plane



The most hyped film of the year is finally out and I finally got to see it this weekend. I don't really need to tell you what the film is about as it has perhaps the best title for a film for a long time. Apparently some stupid exec said it was going to be called Pacific Flight 121. Hurrah to Samuel L Jackson for refusing to act until the title was changed.

So we have a plane full of passengers being attached by various snakes for the best part of an hour along with some great B-movie cliches: the young couple who sneak off to make out and become victims #1 and #2, the obnoxious character who gets the best death scene, corny dialogue, a character who goes back to rescue the baby and dies saving them etc etc.

But everyone in the film knows this is all tongue in cheek and whilst not playing it intentionally for laughs they're not exactly going to be in the running for this year's Oscars either. Jackson holds the film together and is super cool as always and I will admit that it was better than I thought it would be even though I've been caught up in the hype.

Definitely one of the better films this year and infinitely better than the last two I've seen.

A Scanner Darkly



This had a lot of potential but what happened?

I first saw the trailer to this a few months back and was blown away by the visual comic book style it had. Video games had gone through a cell-shading phase so it was nice to see the movie industry give it a go. The animation is roto-scaped that is the film is still shot with live actors then they draw over the top with the cartoon images. The effects are so strong that you spend the first quarter of an hour getting used to the look and not taking any of the plot in, which if you know how complicated Phillip K. Dicks story can get, is a big mistake. Fortunately this film doesn't come across as being that bad.

This one tells the story of an undercover cop played by Keanu "Whoooa" Reeves, so undercover that even his workmates don't know his true identity. They all work in these magic suits that change your appearance every second (a nice effect though). In a strange twist Keanu is given an assignment to film a suspect drug dealer who is in fact himself after a friend (played by Bobby Downey Jr) grasses him up.

This story seems to play second fiddle to the effect of drugs on the main characters in the tale, and the rather abrupt ending cuts to some words from the author about those friends who have been victims of drug addictions.

The film ends up being a bit of a muddle because the plot flits between the two stories and doesn't really conclude either properly. Still it was nice to see Winona Ryder back on the big screen even if it was in a cartoon style.

Maybe I'm being too critical here but the most enjoyable bit of the movie experience was seeing the first trailer to "Hot Fuzz", the new film from the Shaun of the Dead crew. It was hilarious, and I didn't laugh anywhere near as hard when the proper movie started.

Lady In The Water


The fourth film my M. Night. Shamalamadingdong and he appears to be on a bit of a slide. Sixth Sense was great, Unbreakable OK, The Village barely passable and the trend continues with a film where the plot is as empty as a large empty swimming pool.

Which is where this film is set, in a motel complex around a swimming pool home to a sea-nymph sent on a mission to change a man's life and who can't return because she's being stalked by a grassy wolf. Like prophecies of old all the residents in the motel all serve a purpose and come together to help the sea nymph return, with the assistance of 3 super monkeys and an eagle.

It sounds daft and to be honest it is. Night has tried to create a modern day fairy tale and failed. I can see why Disney wanted nothing to do with it. The premise was a good one but the delivery failed. M. Night strokes his ego so much that he even plays a writer destined to write a great piece of work that will change the future....alas this film isn't it.

Not even the cast could hold this film up. Paul Giamatti is wasted in this film and Bryce Dallas Howard sails through this role. She does look a little bit creepy though.

The Most Incredible Knife


I want one of these, but I'm not sure I have a pocket big enough to keep it in!

The Most Incredible Knife

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Silent Library

A clip of a bizarre TV show, which means it can only be from Japan. Just try not to laugh whilst watching it.
here

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Scala & The Kolacny Brothers

I've spent most of the day working on the computer and listening to Scala & the Kolacny Brothers. Who are they you might ask? They're 2 brothers; one playing the piano and the other conducting Scala, a 60-strong teenage girl choir.

Don't worry, it's not the usual choir sound. This lot cover rock and pop hits, and they're really really good. So good that I found all their stuff on iTunes and bought the lot. Here's a quick picklist of the kind of artists they're covering.

Garbage, Nirvana, Kylie Minogue, Travis, Depeche Mode, Puddle of Mudd (yep, they keep the swearing in!), Muse, Wheatus, Radiohead. They've also done an album in German including Rammstein and Kraftwerk covers and another one in French. They have another album coming out in a couple of weeks which features Kaiser Chiefs amongst others.

It might sound a little gimmicky but they do it really well and has kept me entertained today.

Their website is here

plug over....

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I'm kinda back

Well almost.

After buying a new router it turns out that the problem lies with the phone line inside my flat. The master socket in the phone point works but the others don't. Looks like some lightning may have got the wires or they just burnt themselves out.

So I'm up and running with a wireless network although as the phone socket isn't near a plug socket I've replaced one set of cables with another. But I'm up and running, I just need to get an engineer to fix the line, which I'll worry about another time.

I have some catching up to do in terms of blog posts however. I have spent most of today completing my America report which you can find here I hope you enjoy it. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get my trips to Edinburgh and Cardiff posted.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Where have I been?

The last two weekends have been spent away visiting Edinburgh and Cardiff. I am planning on writing up posts on both of those. However most of my absence from here has been due to my broadband breaking. My ISP has upgraded me to 8Megs without checking if my line can cope with the load, which it can't and as a result I have no access to the net.

It's supposed to be sorted later this week, but I doubt it will be.

Normal service will hopefully be returning soon..

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Got Milk?

Looks like some people have been having a little play on Amazon. Check out this product and read the comments...

Amazon.com: Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz: Gourmet Food

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Warrior King

After Ong Bak, Tony Jaa has moved onto much better things with his latest film Tom Yum Goong, or The Warrior King as it is known here in the U.K.

In his first UK film the story involved Tony recovering a stolen Buddha. In this film its two elephants that are stolen by a restaurant who want to serve the pachyoderms on their menu, well it's different from a woman being kidnapped I guess. To restore his family's honour he has to kick everyone's arse to get his elephants back.

As with District 13 the story really doesn't matter, it's the action sequences that you'd be going to see, and man are they something else! One of the sequences is the longest single-take fight sequence that runs for about 5 minutes as he makes his way up several floors of the restaurant laying waste to just about everyone in his way (even better when you realise it took about 10 attempts to get right). Another sequence has him battling guys on inline skates, skateboards, bmxs, motor bikes and a quad bike, and another has him clinically displaying how to break just about every bone in the body as he takes on about 30 guys.

But the best sequence by far is where he is fighting three guys in a church on fire, especially the sequence with the Capoeira fighter where the guy looks and moves just like Eddy Gordo in Tekken, the sequence with the wrestler is also impressive. Absolutely brilliant choreography throughout.

Some of the dialogue is hilariously bad and Tony Jaa can't act for toffee, but you forgive that because the fight sequences are so good. The film will leave you breathless, the first to do that for a long long time.

Oh, and the Jackie Chan cameo in this film is actually using a look-a-like.