Monday, May 28, 2007

MXC - Top 25 Most Painful Eliminations VideoSift

In the US the show is badly dubbed and called MXC, in the UK we get Craig Charles doing the commentary and the show is called Takeshi's Castle.

Its around 20 years old and is the Japanese take on "Its A Knockout", which basically means its a lot more satanic. Here's a clip of some of the best bits.

MXC - Top 25 Most Painful Eliminations VideoSift

Ridiculously Good Group Robotics VideoSift

Apparently its an ad for Uniqlo but still good all the same. Watch the guy in the red at around the 2 minute mark.

Ridiculously Good Group Robotics VideoSift

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Heroes is over...


So Season 1 has come to an end and although the ending was a little anti-climatic it was still much better than most rubbish on the TVs these days. Apparently we might get a completely different story with new characters for Season 2, although the final scene in season 2 challenged that.

Can't wait for it whatever happens...

BBC2 is supposed to start showing it soon, just a shame they couldn't get it quicker as the majority of internet savvy people would have been viewing it already.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Trance on the Thames

A free party on the beach beside the Thames (not strictly a beach but just a low tide).
It was attracting quite a crowd both in participants and onlookers.
It did rain, but we still had a good time.





Tuesday, May 22, 2007

28 Weeks Later

The sprinting zombies are back in the follow to 28 Days Later.....this time running amok around London. Hold on, wasn't that what they did before?

Ok, so its not that original a story. Having all died from starvation we learn that plans are afoot to rebuild London, and as people gradually return so does the virus, when a couple of kids find their mother apparently having survived the infection.

So you get 90 minutes or so of violent gore, shaky cameras, loud screaming, more shaky cameras and a relatively high body count. Sitting in the front row of the cinema I felt sick in places from the camera work. If you thought Bourne Identity was bad then you may want to give it a miss. Its just funny that the cinema I saw it at made a big deal of the strobes; a warning of motion sickness would be more appropriate.

Acting is fairly ropey but thats always the case of child actors, except for that Haley Osment kid from Sixth Sense - he's just creepy though (not that he's in this film, I'm just going off at tangents). Robert Carlyle does alright as the kids dad.

Living in London I thought it funny at how small they made London out to be. They got from the Isle of Dogs to Regents Park pretty quickly, and the route they took was more scenic than quick. Then to be told they need to get to Wembley, which is miles away and not the short run they tried to make it out to be. A minor niggle admittedly.

I don't think the film will leave an impression in the same way the original did. Empty shots of London are old hat now, even I can do it as you can see from my previous post (although admittedly I was cheating by taking my shots at a crazy hour in the morning)

Found in Clerkenwell

One I missed when I did my Banksy tour, found when I went for a walk during my lunch break at work.


According to the writing alongside it this is not a Bansky (sic)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Black Snake Moan

Ignore the blaxploitation poster, the film is so much better than that makes out. Christina Ricci plays a nymphomaniac piece of trailer trash, Samuel L Jackson plays a blues guitarist dumped by his wife. After being left for dead Ricci's character is rescued by Sam both from her physical injuries but also her long term torment, however along the way she manages to reciprocate the gesture.

It sounds a bit pants and I'm not the goodest reviewer but I really enjoyed the film. Once the characters are established the performances really come into their own. Jackson can really do no wrong and this is one of Ricci's strongest roles since The Opposite of Sex, although she's never going to top Wednesday Addams. Justin Timberlake as Ricci's boyfriend is perhaps the weakest performance of them all.

Worth seeing...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Thames @ Night

On Saturday I went clubbing (weird electronic event at the The End) and left my camera in the bag I checked into the cloakroom. I left early and it was still dark so on the way home I chose to wander along the South Bank and get some shots as dawn broke. I also took the opportunity to get some pictures of Anthony Gormley's new installation currently getting a lot of rave reviews in the London press.

London Eye

Houses of Parliament

For those of you that don't recognise it this is part of the South Bank where skateboarders fail to land kick flips during the day.

This is one of Anthony's statues. There are basically around 30 of them all stealing the skyline and facing the gallery that houses his exhibition. This is one of a couple of pieces that sit at street level rather than on the top of buildings that the majority are doing.

St Pauls

A little closer this time

No embankment in the foreground this time.

Back down to the Houses of Parliament, the sun should be up soon.

London Eye

and again

A random statue

Another street level Gormley piece. I had to reach through some fencing to get this as this section is actually sealed off to the public.

South Bank with the Eye in the background

One of the many galleries on the South Bank. There are 3 statues here: the head of one popping above the roof on the left and the other two on the rooftops in the distance.

The north side of the Thames also has the statues. Hard to see on such a small photo but there are at least 3 up there.

The ones on the South bank were a little closer. I couldn't be bothered to cross back over the bridge to the North ones.

I think its a really clever thing to do. In a city where most people look to the ground making people stare upwards is really refreshing. Amsterdam has its fancy roof tops, Tokyo with its space issues builds upwards, and New York has its skyscrapers. Now London has a reason to take the skyline in.

The pieces are all identical and cast from Anthony's actual dimensions.





There aren't any in this one, I just liked the view of the wheel.

Barely visible here but the tall buildings have one each does the right hand tower of the two on the left.

This is further south. Every statue has an interrupted view to the gallery so they really did well to squeeze in the one on the left, next to the Chimney stack. Having walked 5 further steps it had gone behind the building in front, so the angle must have been really tight here, and yes there is another one on the big building behind it.

I might have to spend more time down here as I barely found half of the statues. I'll just do it at a more appropriate hour next time.

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(consider that a plug)

Spiderman 3


The first of this Summer's Movie Blockbusters is Spiderman 3 but will it be the best one?

Sort of following on from the first two films, with a little bit of back story rewriting to make things fit we now see Peter and Mary's relationship going through a difficult patch (actually, wasn't that the first two movies too) whilst we have 3 new bad guys for him to deal with.

First up is Sandman, a guy who is made of sand (like, durrrrrrrr). Hobgoblin (not made of hobs), the son of Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin character who is also Peter Parker's best friend, and finally we have Venom a black goopy alien that takes over one of Spidey's suits, turning the web slinger into a bad moody version of himself when he wears it.

So, its quite a mess of characters and so the film comes in close to 3 hours. Signs that movie audiences want more for the bucks. Years ago you would have been happy with one goody and one baddy but now we have reams of both.

The acting throughout is pretty atrocious, wait til you see Peter's crying scene. It got the biggest laughs of the entire film. Kirsten Dunst's singing is clearly provided by someone else, no wonder she kept getting the sack from the big gigs. In fact it may have been more than one person as her voice is noticeably different each time she sings. The worst acting comes a rubbish butler that makes Alfred in Batman look brilliant, oh and some of the extras in the background. Watch the woman on the stage to the left of the woman who calls Spiderman down to the key to the city ceremony. The best acting is actually the dude who plays the Sandman, you can really see the emotion in his face and feel the pain that he's in (his reason for being a baddy isn't the normal bad guy stuff). They must have thought long and hard about how to switch Peter from "happy Pete" to "venom driven moody Pete" but couldn't they have come up with something better than combing his hair up (happy) and down EMO style (moody). That is pretty much all they did.

The effects are top notch and they've done an amazing job bringing the Sandman to the screen, even if he does look a bit like a grit covered Staypuft Marshmallow man at the end. Some of the swooping and flying stuff is a bit nauseating as they show off how they can move virtual cameras around the sets.

But there are so many mistakes in the film I managed to spot immediately that shows they really didn't try hard to put this film together. Here's a quick list of the ones I remember.

When in EMO mode Peter's hair often changed between shots. Watch for the scene where he's chatting with Harry at the balcony door before they fight for an example.
In the final sequence Venom rips Spidermans mask off and drops him, yet when he lands the mask is back on.
Why was a lorry load of sand parked in the middle of New York and how coincidental was it that it just happened to be the vehicle that Sandman ran behind?
They make a joke of Mary Jane's answerphone and how she says the beep, but this is missing the second time we see the phone ring?
How come the Sandmans pendant survived the demolecularisation process?
We see that the Sandman dissolves when wet so how come he's able to cry?
When planning to team up how did Venom know that Sandman had a sick kid?

Overall the film isn't very good at all and I got a sense that the producers no longer have to try too hard to make the film good as the public will go and see it regardless; the downside to a successful franchise. At least you know what you're getting, as long as there are baddies from the comic book to use. What are the odds on Lizardman next?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Transformers


In preparation for what's likely to be the biggest movie this Summer, one of the cinemas in London was screening the original Transformers over 20 years after its original launch.

...and boy was it showing its age. The animation was basic to say the least but then the original cartoons weren't exactly masterpieces in that department. The soundtrack is awfully cheesy rock songs typical of the decade. In fact the soundtrack reminded me of the soundtrack to Team America, which was a piss take anyway. The funniest song was the one that ended with the line "Nothing's going to stand in our way....................today".

The story is around the ongoing battle between the Autobots led by Optimus Prime (for around 20 minutes before he gets shot and dies) and the Decepticons led by Megatron (for around 30 minutes before he is rebuilt as Galvatron), and the threat to both of them by a massive planet munching transformer called Omnicro (voiced by Orson Welles trivia fans). I was expecting to see hundreds of Transformers but there were only around a dozen in each camp; hardly a massive war.

I can't recall having ever seen the film before and obviously I remember the principle characters but the only thing that came back to me clearly was the voice of Soundwave (a transformer who can convert to a tape player), but that could be because he sounded exactly like a Cylon. I definitely didn't remember Blur (who speaks like he's on speed), which makes me think I was seeing the film for the first time.

The film is unlikely to ever find its way into a cinema again, so as an event it was special just a shame the film wasn't.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The worst album covers ever created

Someone has found potentially the worst album covers of all time...

Here

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Anyone got any idea what this is?

I got sent this today

09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0

Now I like codes but this one has me beat. Anyone have any ideas?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Next

Nicholas Cage plays a chain of high street fashion shops.....oops

Nichols Cage plays a magician with the ability to see 2 minutes into the future. I must have the same ability as I knew before watching it that this film will be rubbish..........and it was.

Based on a Phillip K Dick novel, you wonder if movie makers are now trawling the poorer stories that he wrote. There is an OK twist towards the end but the rest of the film is crap. Even the special effects were ripped off from X-Men 3 (the multiple man) and Matrix (the bullet dodge). We don't even get the Nicolas Cage "pointing to the temple" pose he usually does in this film.

Oh, and there's a hilarious bit where the woman is talking to some Native Indian kids and a girl says to her "He likes you because he looks at you like my brother looks at his girlfriend", then it cuts to Cage making a gormless face, priceless!

The best bit is at the start of the credit roll, where it jumps to the end momentarily before starting properly. Doesn't say much for the movie.

One to avoid.