Sunday, June 24, 2007

More Silent Library

A while back I posted a link to Silent Library, a very bizarre game show from Japan that I loved. Well I've managed to find another couple of episodes
Episode 2
Episode 3

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer


The fantastic four are back for more of what they did in the first film, that is trying to deal with Dr Doom who died in the first yet manages to make it back. Whereas Spiderman had a whole bunch of enemies it looks like in this case they only had the same one. A bit unfortunate.

Actually there's also the Silver Surfer, not strictly a baddy but doing the bidding of one, the cloud like Galactus (although I strictly remember from my Super Hero Top Trump pack that he was a big dude with a purple hat). Galactus likes to eat planets, just like Orson Welles in Transformers and the Surfer, in a pact to save his own planet, searches out other planets for him to digest. His run in with the four happens when he chooses Earth as the next course.

The film isn't too bad. It doesn't try to be anything more than it is, namely 90 minutes of comic book fodder. The plot isn't complicated, the acting isn't amazing but doesn't need to be, the effects are pretty decent and unlike with Spiderman I didn't look at my watch once.

For those of you who grew up reading 2000AD there's also a sequence that is the nearest we've been to the Supersurf competitions as Johnny Blaze chases the surfer through a tunnel full of oncoming traffic. Yup, the best scene is also the one they used in the trailer. Nevermind!

Of course there were some minor mistakes. Invisible girls prevents the London Eye by standing on the bank of the river (that'll explain why the surfer is on the wheel) and pushing it back with her force field. If you've been there however you'll know that the wheel overhangs the river so there's no way she could stand in front of it. Yes I'm nitpicking I know!

Had there been anything more decent to see this week I wouldn't have recommended this but as there was no competition its worth doing. It won't surprise me if we see a third movie next year, and whats the odds on Dr Doom coming back again?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Oceans 13


The guys are back, the women are out, and Andy Garcia is recruited. No idea why they got rid of the women, egos perhaps? Ellen Barkin provides the only female performance this time and boy has she aged badly. There's a scene where she's overpowered by a Pheromone on Matt Damon's neck and the come on she provides is cringeworthingly bad, nothing like her performance in Big Easy.

This time they decide to take down Al Pacino after he gives old timer Elliot Gould a heart attack. No real heist this time around, they just want his new casino to lose a lot of cash and for him to get bad press on opening night. The plot is quite ridiculous, featuring one of the channel tunnel drills (I kid you not) to simulate an earthquake.

With such a large cast no-one really runs away with the film. There's some good dialogue between Clooney and Pitt, with some funny references to real life at the end. However there was some jargon used; it took us 10 minutes to figure out what they meant by "whales" (big fish = big casino spenders if you didn't get it). There was also some issue with just not being able to understand what was being said anyway, and the cinema could hardly be blamed. We were watching the film on THX in one of the best cinemas in the country.

It's much better than the mess that was Oceans 12, but still not as good as 11.

Found near Covent Garden

Its the Silver Surfer again


This time a 3D version in position outside the Vue Cinema on Leicester Square.

Chapman Brothers Dinosaurs



Located outside some big gallery on Piccadilly. They look basic but you can tell what they are, that's exactly why they made this way.

Quite cool!

Alternative Street Art

Perhaps fed up with the publicity that Banksy is getting the Tate gallery in London has decided to put some of their art onto the streets of London, and you can call a number also displayed alongside the art that will give you more information on the piece; exactly like an audio tour in a gallery. Around 30 framed prints of some masterpieces are now in place around the streets of London and here are four I found completely by fluke today; two in Soho and two in Covent Garden. Its a very novel approach to getting people to see art they might perhaps not bother with but most people were walking past the pieces. I have a map of all the locations so I'll be doing another walk around London in the next few weeks to get some more prints.




A visitor comes to town



Part of the advertising campaign for the new Fantastic Four movie. I read that they might be putting the other characters up over the next few days, but as the surfer is the coolest, I'd have thought he'd go up last.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

South Bank

The festival hall on the South Bank reopened after a face lift this week and there were lots of events to attract people to the area. So I thought I'd go along and have a look.

The obligatory shot from the bridge but it was obvious that there were many more people there than normal. The good weather had clearly helped, most people were taking advantage of the green space.


I can't stand people who dress up and stand still in order to make a living but this women was taking the piss. She covered up most of her body so that she didn't even have to do the statue bit.

How many dumb statues can you see in this pic? and how many even stupider people can you see enjoying them?

This guy is escaping from earning a wage through a 9-5.

These were dancers provided by the Festival hall, so were a little more legit. The women were on bungees and being spun around in a jive style by the guys. A slightly different way to use bungee cords I guess, makes a change from the trampoline bungee combination you usually get.

This was the biggest attraction in the area. An interactive fountain themed piece of art where the walls open and close either trapping the people or allowing them to escape.

As you can see it had attracted the crowds.

The piece of art is actually called "Appearing Rooms" by Danish artist Jeppe Hein.

A Mandela piece hidden around the back of the hall.

This was the Gormley statue that I had to reach through a fence a few weeks earlier. Now the area was all opened up.

I'd got there quite late and missed most of the live events that were taking place here, around the back of the hall. However there was a live performance of Beethoven taking place inside that was being broadcast to everyone around the building. Quite cool I guess.

Star Wars Exhibition

There's a Star Wars exhibition in town and as I was at a loose end I thought I'd go check it out. It's mostly full of costumes and models, only a few of which are full size (A fighter and Anakin's Pod Racer). There are also loads of sketchings for characters and sets, some documentaries on the making of the films (probably from one of the DVD extras), a green screen room where you can dress up and act out a scene and have a DVD made as a souvenir. Finally there's a small show where kids get to train as Jedis before taking on Vader and the Emperor, quite cheesy especially as there were only a dozen or so of us in there.

It's alright I suppose, the only niggle is that all the rooms were in darkness and the items in glass boxes, making photography not too easy. They didn't mind you taking picture, probably because they knew they wouldn't be that great.


The exhibition takes place within the posh wooden polished interior of the old county hall building. They'd not themed the walls as I thought they might have.

The official Star Wars toilets.






R2 is actually quite chubby and much fatter than I thought it'd be.


By far the coolest of all the Star Wars characters, and I don't mean Jango.



The hardest pic to take because it was so dark. I took this by upping the exposure and leaving the camera sitting on a nearby monitor.







Natalie Portman must be quite short as these costumes weren't that big.



Some of the sketchings were pretty cool, and varied from pencil on paper to fully coloured pieces like this.

A full scale version of the ship that Anakin accidentally took control of.



Woohoo, a full sized speeder bike. There's a monitor next to this showing how the sequence was put together.

This is the audience from the pod race, they're actually just lots of individually coloured matches in a wire frame.

This is Ted-E-Bear, a character that was cut from Return of the Jedi for out cuting the Ewoks. Actually, its not. Bolted onto the exhibition is a demonstration of robot technology. This is a Karaoke bear.

Inside the main meeting hall of the old GLC is the Jedi Training show.

The kids should have battered crap out of Darth for being too short. They need a bigger actor.