Sunday, 31 July 2011

Torchwood: Miracle Day Four

Are they just in some kind of holding pattern here? This is supposed to be ten episodes, where are the dramatic reveals? Other mini-series manage it, why can't this one?

Well, that whole 'Dead is Dead' thing came out of nowhere, rather conveniently for this episode (and we're still only, at best, a week after Miracle Day), and yet this podunk mayor is having a national effect? And am I the only one that sees the obvious solution here? Kill her, in a very public way so she can't deny it. Not that she would die or anything, but we'll see how quickly she turns around that 'Dead is Dead' slogan once she's one of that group... (if this series was in any way edgier like it has pretended to be in earlier series, I'd say have one of the kids killed). (And enough of her brain and eye survived the crushing??) [At least no-one's throwing out 'concentration camp' analogies yet... not that Davies has avoided that before... although they are getting close...]

And, yeah, that's kind of a huge flaw in the security system. Only one guy has access? What if something happens to him? He might not die, but there are other things that could occur. However, this was set up before the Miracle Day, I would presume, so what if he died then? Or simply got kidnapped and moved to another country, who accesses anything then? Kinda very stupid.

(BTW, isn't Jack supposed to be bi-sexual? Or omni-sexual? Now he's just all gay all the time.)

However, the clue we have is... the Families will rise again... bah, it's gonna be some new thing, most likely, that they've made up for this series, so I don't think anyone can pick it yet.

Next time: Oh, no trailer, but based on past experience, very little plot development, and a lot of whining about what's happening to their families, and the team threatens to be broken up...


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Saturday, 30 July 2011

NZFF 2011

It's New Zealand Film Festival time again, and here are the films I'm interested in. How many I get to see... let alone can I really afford it at the moment? (And some are already sold out!) Anyway, my pick (based on a skim through the mini-reviews on the website) are:

A Seperation
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey
Between Worlds
Guilty Pleasures
Hot Coffee
How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr Foster?
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Page One: Inside the New York Times
POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
Project Nim
Something Ventured
The Guard
The Innkeepers
The Trip
The Yellow Sea
Troll Hunter

(Also screening, but I already saw: 13 Assassins, Hobo with a Shotgun, I Saw the Devil)

And a treat, from Supinfocom, here's on the films screening, Hambuster


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Friday, 29 July 2011

Harry Potter and the last scene

This is it, the culmination of many, many years, finally the Avengers movie! No, wait... the last Harry Potter movie!

This movie is very much a continuation of the series, even more than it is part two to part one. This is not a movie you watch unless you know what has gone before. And, I'll get to later, unless you have read the books. In this movie, Harry goes to Gringott's, then has a big fight scene... and that's about it. The action overrides everything else, there need to be big moments, and so smaller character moments are trodden over very quickly to get back to the big fight. And then the ending happens, without, it must be confessed, as much fanfare as you'd expect. (And there's the epilogue, with the rather creepy looking CGI'd up actors.)

All this momentum means that exposition gets thrown out the window. Some of which I was glad of, however there's a lot of explanation that you need to understand why things happened the way they did and what they meant that are completely missed. Here's where you really need to have read the books, to understand what Harry's sacrifice meant, to understand what's rally going on with the wands, to understand Snape's backstory, to get closure in King's Cross... The movie, even being part two, only has so much time, and doesn't spend it on explaining much if it can get through a hurried explanation in fast forward, presuming it can't skip it entirely.

Which is a pity, as a lot of moments pass without the audience (who isn't completely up to speed with who is whom) (okay, maybe just me), and there are some deaths and such that I went 'who's that then?' Kinda undercuts it.

This is something that might need to be watched as part of an eight movie marathon... but, to be honest, go read the books. Although they fall apart after book four, they hold together and explain what's going on far better than the movies do.


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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Wonderous Woman

Yes, it is entirely possible to see the pilot of the new WW series. And it is, in no way, the Wonder Woman you would expect.

Wonder Woman is known to the world as the Amazon Diana Themyscira, the head of Themyscira industries. In this episode, she's up against another corporation which is making better people through chemicals, and she acts in ways that wouldn't have thought so after reading the comic. (I really wish the Law and the Multiverse guys get a chance to see this, as there are a raft of legal issues they could address.)

Adrianne Palicki is strange as Diana, and she seems to spend most of her time frowning. Yes, she's in the long pants (and they are shiny in one scene, with a note to make them darker with CGI), and in the short shorts later... there are a few things to sort out... but I'm not entirely convinced by her. She looks all right in the outfit, but I didn't really get that she embodied the role as well as say... Linda Carter (even considering this is supposed to be a darker version). Odd to also suddenly see Cary Elwes pop up, and pleasant surprise to see Elizabeth Hurley.

This is an 'updated' version, by which I mean that WW kills people quite happily, and often comes across as emo, and... I'm not entirely shocked it didn't get made into a series.

Undoubtedly there'll be another attempt to remake WW in the future, so learn from this one people.


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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Theories about Banging Big

Yes, yes, yes, I have finally seen seasons one and two of Big Bang Theory. [I've said before that if you really recommend something for me to watch, give me a copy of it... and people did!] (I did have a few posts in mind about this, but since it was a while ago, it'll just be the one post for now.)

Let's talk about the humour: there are physics jokes and computer jokes and other nerd jokes, and, of course, uncomfortable jokes. At least, so I gather from the reaction of the audience. While I could tell it was supposed to be amusing, I wasn't amused that much. Only a few smiles per episode. (And yet, I kept watching!) For me, despite the claims of the people involved, these weren't really high-minded jokes, these were the low hanging fruit jokes. They weren't so much physics jokes, or computer jokes, or... but jokes on people who enjoyed those things, and that isn't funny. The audience is laughing at the funny nerdy people, not with. (And Chuck Lorre has a far higher opinion of his own material than I do... although considering he gets paid a lot more than I do, I doubt he cares about my opinion of his opinion.) So the comedy of this series, not so much...

Let's talk about Penny: oh, look, a woman that doesn't get the intelligent stuff! A lot of criticism was leveled at this show about her being 'the dumb blond' (who never wore anything without her cleavage showing - it's bizarre what wardrobe continually put her in). And yet... she's the most normal one of all. On that show, she's the only one that can function normally in society. I like that!

Let's talk about my favourite character: it's... Sheldon! Not getting human interactions, being a genius, highly neurotic... okay, maybe I'm projecting, but I see a lot to admire in that. His complete self-centered-ness is the source of a lot of the humour I do like in the show. Frankly, if they got rid of the rest of the cast, I'd still watch it.

Given all this... I'm moving on to seasons three and four...


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Tuesday, 26 July 2011


The movie also known as Drugs are good, mm'kay. I saw this on the plane to Oz. At first, I wasn't sure I'd be able to finish it in time, but fortunately there's like an hour or so of credits, so I had time to spare.

And, basically, the line above summarises the film. Guy gets drugs. Drugs help him. He gets into trouble with people who want the drugs, the drugs help him with that. He has trouble dealing with the drugs, the drugs help with that. He decides to become a vampire, and the drugs work well there too.

Bradley Cooper carries the movie well, going through several different haircuts, and he so easily could play a great bad guy. Robert De Niro is in the film... to look good on the poster. Really. There really isn't much point having him there, he doesn't get to do much, but he gives the movie a lot of cred. The women in the movie... are really secondary, as it's all about Bradley and the drugs.

It's a decent enough movie, entertaining in a way that I'd even watch it even if I wasn't trapped on a plane. And, as I may have pointed out, it's slightly pro-drugs.


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Monday, 25 July 2011

Torchwood: Miracle Day Three

Oh, the fun Jane Espenson must be having! They could have taken a cab, ridden a lift, eaten jelly, and other fun stuff to overly demonstrate the difference between US and UK languages! The hilarity!

Okay, the plot seems to be kicking in... and it's a conspiracy theory of PharmCo? Seriously? So Pfister... I mean, PhiCorp has somehow created this Miracle Day, and their big deal is to do so to create profit from selling people drugs?? The hell??? I really hope some other plan comes to light, 'cos that is just stupid. (Simply arranging some other way for the 'anyone can buy drugs' law, and reserving immortality for rich people would have made more sensible business practice.) [And, ooh, the face of EvilCo? A redhead, of course!]

And, oh, gay sex! Lot's of gay sex! Which will be edited it seems. And I hope they edit the hetro sex as well. Although aside from some nudity, with nothing more naughty than an arse being seen, it really is a big deal in the mind more than on screen.

And the Oswald Danes plots sinks into uselessness. He gives into EvilCo for money/safety? And... so... what then? He just gets used? Again, I really hope that plotline kicks into something interesting.

This episode makes the series extremely mundane, and I am disappointed.

Next week: The Torchwood team falls apart? Like they are doing EVERY EPISODE???


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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Of Steam, Steel and Murder

It's been a month, but the game that was to happen a fortnight ago didn't, so I didn't miss anything while dealing with my holiday! Nice for me, although I'm sure the players wouldn't have minded playing...

Anyway, Fight Scene! And where's the best place to be during a fight scene? That's right, well the hell out of the way. Now guess where Gavin was... not that he didn't have anything to do with combat.

Chips fly fast, and more than one player ended up on empty. Gavin would have gott involved, but he ended up with needing to take care of several NPCs... and he didn't trust others, so that didn't help.

You can hear it all in Game 39. Rapidshare or Hotfile. (Correct files uploaded.)


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The Memory vs The Moment

So here's one of those philosophical questions: are you experiencing this moment right now, or are you simply remembering it? (And if you are remembering it, thanks for thinking of this blog.)

Seriously, the previous night I was woken around 3am by some louts yelling outside. Unusually for me, I went back to sleep pretty much straight away, yet I remember the moment. And now, I'm wondering... did I ever really experience, or is it just a memory I have and it never happened?

And beyond that... this moment right now. Are you experiencing it for real? Or is this simply a vivid memory you're experiencing? And if it is a memory, is it a real one?

Studies have shown that memory is very unreliable. So if this is a memory, is it one that is actually based in reality? Or are you imagining that you're reading this post?

[This reminds me of the idea that... what if the universe was created, as is, with everyone having their memories as they are, what if it was all created just five minutes ago?]

However, contemplating this sort of thing, while interesting, and can lead to weird thoughts in your head... what can you do about it? It's one of those non-falsifyable hypotheses. And, more practically, what of it? Even if it is true, what can you do about it? You can't tell if this is happening right now or a memory, so that possibility doesn't get you anywhere.

(Although, there is a comfort of knowing that you're around in the future and simply remembering it.)

It's a weird idea that I have at times...


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Saturday, 23 July 2011

Melbourne at Play

Sunday wasn't as nice. Overcast, slightly rainy, cold. Not a day to be wandering around.

Hit the market when it was open proper. Have to say, seen a little, seen a lot of it. Yeah, I've been to markets like that before. (In fact, I was reminded of the Night Market up in Cairns.)

After that, I headed over to the Melbourne Aquarium.

Saw penguins, fish, sharks... reminded me of Kelly Tarlton's. (There's a surprise!)

Passing over the Yarra River, is it supposed to be that colour?

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image wasn't as impressive as I hoped. Didn't understand a lot of the art. Otherwise, I wandered around, hit the Minotaur store (see me and Minny!), saw the Scientology building, and a Rhino on a skateboard... yeah, interesting approach over there. In Canberra, I saw a sign that read "Drink Drive. DIE in a ditch." Well, yeah, straight and to the point.

Not a bad last day, but still a lot to see. Well, just have to go back some time... (although there are also plenty of other cities to see as well...)

(Check out my trip photo album.)


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Friday, 22 July 2011

Melbourne at Play

After kicking off the social section by meeting up with Pete, I had the whole weekend in front of me.

Saturday, I set out northeasterly, heading towards the museum. Just outside, there was a fountain, brilliantly backlit by the sun.

In the museum, while I didn't go to the Tutankhamun exhibit, I did see a quick 3d movie about Egypt first as I had time. Seriously, Melbourne, nothing opens before 10am for tourists? Te Papa would have had a hundred visitors by then! The movie was nice, and then we were told by a SUDDENLY LOUD VOICE to basically GTFO. Nice move.

The museum itself was fairly expansive, and had some nice interactive exhibits. They've a forest I saw some birds in, and a small river where I saw a fish (yes, there is a fish there).

The afternoon, after a passing Italian meal, I headed over the the Old Melbourne Gaol. Where I got locked up.

I also took part in the Trial of Ned Kelly as Constable McIntyre. Helped sentence him to death! Go me!

Just one day, and that was a lot of walking...

(Although I'll be discussing some pictures, check out my trip photo album.)


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Thursday, 21 July 2011

Melbourne at Work

So, the reason I was in Australia was, primarily, for a conference. (Surprisingly, I don't have any pictures of that.)

The first day I was there I did some pre-conference discussion, but then in the afternoon... a good way to see Melbourne cheaply (ie for free), and get some idea of what's around, check out the Melbourne Tourist Shuttle, and then the City Free Tram. Takes a few hours, but that's a good thing.

Of course, the day I was (first) there, I arrived at exactly the wrong time for the Victoria Market.

Doesn't look that impressive.

Work was at the Melbourne of University, which is where I saw this guy:

...right outside the department of Zoology. Well, I found ironically amusing.

And while the room view wasn't that exciting, I did manage to see this more than once:

But with the few days of work over, it was time to go social in Melbourne! (And get very sore feet.)

(Although I'll be discussing some pictures, check out my trip photo album.)


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Wednesday, 20 July 2011


Okay, so let's talk Australia! As in... I was over there! Last week! And didn't mention it on my blog because I'm paranoid! I mean...

Anyway, first I was in Canberra. People keep saying you need a car to get around the place. Yeah, I can see that. I was up the Black Mountain Tower (seen here), and... here's the view looking around.

Yeah, not a lot happening. Indeed, while I was there, I occasionally checked for a wireless connection. Let me pass on the information I found in the form of A Wireless Map of Canberra:

And all capped off by the plane you fly to get from there to anywhere else. Props?

(Although I'll be discussing some pictures, check out my trip photo album.)


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Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Torchwood: Miracle Day Two

Psst, here's a quick tip for you: the Sheldrake Theory / Morphic Field idea? It's rubbish. Except in the world of Doctor Who of course. (...admittedly, we are in a world where no-one is dying, so possibly other things might be going on as well...)

Dear gods, RTD, get on with it! (Yes, I know Doris Elgin wrote it, but I'm holding RTD responsible.) Seriously, what the hell happened in this episode? Drummond got away, but... the whole plane ride was completely irrelevant. Jack gets poisoned then is saved, so... what plot got advanced there?

And the medical people... RTD is really trying to do something about the increasing population, bringing it up, address what impact the non-dying population will imply... but the problem is, realistically, that is going to take time to really come to fruition. And yet, RTD is building it up as an Important Thing. Unless we suddenly jump a few months in the next episode or two, it is just getting in the way.

So yes, I'm saying this episode has padding. A lot of padding. Plane ride, irrelevant. Medical stuff, leading nowhere. Oswald Danes, still not become anything of note. Just what is his plot line supposed to be about anyway? The trailer had him as a new cult figure, and yet we are just getting snippets here. I'm not even seeing him as the Big Bad of whatever is causing this. (And it's not helping that Bill Pullman just isn't bothering to act in any of the scenes he's in.) He's supposed to be 'the face of the miracle', and yet... nada.

Get the hell on with it, people. Do you have something to say in this series, or not?

Next Time: John Barrowman vs Bill Pullman. Only one smugness will survive!


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Monday, 18 July 2011

Mystery Photo #3

And who are these two fellas?


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Sunday, 17 July 2011

Mystery Photo #2

Where did I photo this cute wee thing (it's not a rat, it's a possum).

Hint: think ironically.

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Saturday, 16 July 2011

Mystery Photo #1

Where and what is this?


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Thursday, 14 July 2011

I've Been Watching...

Not Doctor Who this time, but Torchwood. In particular, rewatching Children of Earth.

I can't remember if I complained about this last time, but I do want to focus on one point, in the hopes that we won't be seeing this in Miracle Day. (Actually, two points, but first...)

RTD tries to tell the big story by focusing on a few key people and showing the impact on them (a not uncommon technique). To see the horror of all the kiddies being taken over, we get the reactions of government guy (who's name I've already forgotten), the daughter, and the sister. As if we're supposed to care about any of them. The government guy has already been painted as evil, the daughter is a complete nothing, and the sister is just annoyingly Welsh. You need to have characters we give a damn about in order to side with them and feel the big threat. So far, this hasn't happened in Miracle Day.

(RTD also likes to show the big picture by cutting across many, many news readers looking at the camera and talking. Probably because this is cheap, and tries to get the bigness across. Only, these are all impersonal people, so why should we care? And yes, we do have this already in Miracle Day. Oh joy.)

The other point is the padding. Because time is supposed to pass, episode two is a complete filler where Torchwood team is taken apart, and then reunited. Without that much trouble it seems. Apparently getting your hands on a large forklift and driving it into a secret government facility without anyone noticing isn't even slightly a problem. You could skip episode two and not miss a thing. And in Miracle Day, the entire first episode is... reuniting the Torchwood team. Oh happy day. Sigh.

Series One and Two were not sole RTD run productions, so had variety. But now RTD is calling the shots, and this is someone who wants to write the personal stuff and can happily flag away the science with a badly thought up sentence. It happened in Children of Earth, and is threatening the same in Miracle Day.


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Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Return to House of Pants

Now, I enjoyed the House on Haunted Hill remake. (It was actually worth watching, unlike the other Haunting related movie that came out at the same time.) So when I found out there was a sequel, I wanted to check that out. However, since it was direct to video, my expectations weren't high...

...and I should have lowered them.

A group of people return to the House, in order to... get a statue of Baphomet. Seriously. That's the explanation they give for why the House is screwed up. Really? So, in order to get the statue, two groups of archeologists enter the house, one group with (really) mercenaries. Guess the world of archeology is really cut throat. And there may have been some whining from other characters for other reasons, but once you've got mercenary archeologists, who cares? And when one character manages to escape, she goes back in, based on a relationship formed in five minutes. Er, no.

Although it takes a while to get into the House. Half the movie is build up before the House really takes off with being eerie. (Some minor characters are killed, but they're minor, so meh.) One interesting aspect is that victims experience what happened back in the day when it was a mental hospital before dying, but the deaths themselves are stupid. And there's a big plot hole about why the ghosts are attacking and yet helping... huh?

The stars of this movie are Amanda Righetti, before she was in The Mentalist. And Andrew Lee Potts, before he was in Primeval. And Steven Pacey, long after he was in Blake's 7. So, basically, no-one when their career was worth noting.

This should have been better, but the need to give an explanation in horror sequels kills it.


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Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Let Those Bullets Fly

I don't watch a lot of Western. Nor Chinese movies. But, hey, why not watch a Chinese Western Action Comedy movie?

A group of bandits hijack a mayor on his way to a new town, and take his place while the mayor pretends to be an adviser to protect his life. While in Goose Town, they encounter Huang, the local head bad guy, and clash over who's the biggest bad-ass around.

This is a pretty good movie. Great action moments, quick pacing, doesn't take itself seriously, wonderful. However... I can easily tell that there's a lot I'm not getting due to the culture. Why did certain characters act that way? I'm not sure, but I am sure there is a reason that are probably cracking up Chinese audiences as we speak.

We have Wen Jiang (star, writer and director) up against Yun-Fat Chow in an effort to out suave each other, and their scenes together are great moments in the movie. You Ge also has fantastic moments as the mayor.

Thumbs up for a film worth watching.


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Monday, 11 July 2011

Shotgunning Hobos

(As in: hobos that go around shotgunning, not getting shotgunned. Although there's that too.) This is apparently Thing That Must Be Seen. So... I saw it, or rather, I Seen it.

Another of the grindhouse-movie-ad-spoofs-turned-into-actual-movies, this is the heartwarming tale of a homeless man that wants his own lawnmower, and the prostitute that loves him... or, at least, puts up with him when he says her life a few times.

This is proper Grindhouse. People are nothing more than weak bags of blood, and no-one is safe from being hideously killed. And I do mean no-one. A very rare instance of death coming to all regardless. Yeah, that'll happen, so congrats to Jason Eisener for going that far. (I don't know what rating it got in the USA, but anything under NC-17 just shows the rating system is a mockery... actually, it looks like it was released unrated.)

Rutger Hauer is indeed, as you would expect, excellent as the hobo. Molly Dunsworth is fairly generic as the 'prozzie with a heart of gold' (generic in character that is), although she does end up getting to display wicked shop skills. Brian Downey tries hard as the Drake, and gets most the way (and this isn't the first time he and Rutger have worked together).

Of the various Grindhouse movies that that double feature either featured or inspired, this is my favourite so far. (That said, I haven't seen Planet Terror.)


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Sunday, 10 July 2011

Torchwood: Miracle Day One

How long before someone repurposes this song to be "It's a Miracle Day!" :) Ah, right at the beginning we get the line "she should have run faster" and I thought "Welcome back, Russ T."

Ah, Torchwood is back. Do do doo doo do do. Jack is back without any mention of being off planet. Gwen is even more of a bad ass than before. And we get the cute Esther Drummond and aggressively American Rex Matheson.

And no-one can die. Now, given RTD is in America, there is a really obvious point that he missed in this episode. He did address the issue of being blown up, of having the head separated (although not yet of having the head pulped), and of war around the world. However... and certainly, definitely in America... when talking about this, every other world would be 'god'. Or 'gawd' even. Politicians and church leaders would be all over tv claiming praise for what god has done. (And only freak knows what the anti-abortion crowd would be doing about this...)

Anyway, although we get the set up of 'no-one dying', the bulk of the story doesn't really address that, but the slow process of getting Torchwood back together. That takes ages. Yes, it's nice to build up moments of Jack turning up (and there's more than one), but, dear grief, get on with it! Instead we get that Gwen doesn't want to be involved, and we have to watch scene after scene of that point. Is that padding I spot?

And Jack can be hurt. The moment between Gwen and Jack acknowledging that is an amusing nod to what Torchwood fans would be doing at that same time. However, what of the Face of Boe? Eh? Eh? Meh, like RTD cares that much about continuity... and like Jack won't get his immortality back anyway.

I need to rewatch Children of Earth, but I'm going to say that I think, on the whole, this episode is a better first episode than CoE got.

Next week: looks like the next episode progresses about five minutes. And there may be a more boring explanation to it all.


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Saturday, 9 July 2011

I've Been Watching...

Quite happy, I launched into The Seeds of Doom. (For some reason, I keep associating it with this song.)

This is a nice, fast paced story. Yes, yes, it's a two-parter, then gets repeated as a four-parter, but it's still nicely paced, a fair bit of action, a fair bit of humour, quite a classic Fourth Doc story in many ways. Okay, fine, the Krynoid is CGI'd into the scene, but that was the style at the time, and compared with certain other previous efforts (*cough* Claws of Axos, Robot *cough*), it's integrated really well.

What helps is that it's all at a human level for a long time. The Krynoid is a costume for most of it, so there is actual interaction without odd eyelines everyone ends up with when dealing with overlay effects, which adds to the suspension of disbelief. And although I was very aware of the model shots (watching the Info Text at the same time as the story doesn't help in that regard), they are well shot and also work well.

As this is a six-parter, there is another disc of stuff, although there isn't really anything special on here that wouldn't have been on a four-parter release. No particular extra-length feature or special behind-the-scenes bits. I think the info text refers to the idea that there was to be a 90 minute version of the story, which was never screened, but for a moment I did entertain while speculative ideas about yet another run through of the story.

Good story, solid release, great watch.


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Friday, 8 July 2011

Less Than Meets The Eye

Well, I went ahead with the threat...

Transmorphers (2007): Oh ye gods, this is bad. More Terminator than Transformers, the machines have come to earth, laid waste to it, and now humans are a race trying to survive and fight back against the machines. Which, it has to be said, don't do a lot of transmorphing. There's one that converts into a large gun emplacement, which, considering this is a cheap movie, gets used again and again. In fact, the animation in this makes Birdemic... no, wait, Birdemic is still worse. But this is from the same school, if a slightly getter GPA. I will grant that this movie has better gender politics, in that it has a pair of married women, but that's undercut by another scene which is a women in army fatigues bitch fight that comes off as exploitative than narratively driven. We can only be glad that the sound track often drowns out the dialogue. The best thing you can say about this movie is that it doesn't hurt anyone's career, 'cos no-one who's in this has one. This movie really is a piece of shit, and I say that as someone's who watched a fair few Asylum movies by now...

Transmorphers: The Fall of Man (2009): As a sequel, this is a prequel. Immediately bonus over previous movie: Bruce Boxleitner. I can only assume they caught him on a good day and got a yes before he had a chance to really think about it. And there's about 500% more transmorphing in this movie. And nearly believable characters... aside from the fact that the director/writer (same as Paranormal Entity) was also the star, so all the women are praising him... so, this is a far better movie that the first one... although it's still terrible. This movie comes in two halves, the first being before the opening of the above movie, as is the better half (and features Bruce), the second part is after the invasion has begun, and severely degrades in every respect. If you must watch this (and you never must), stop after the first part. Or just never watch in the first place...


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Thursday, 7 July 2011

Team Xero #010

It had to happen: there be a movie! Although possibly too many scriptwriters...

I admit that this probably only amuses me... but it really amuses me!


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Tuesday, 5 July 2011

This Film has been Ranted

It's amazing how many controlling bodies there are running the different aspects of the world. In this movie, we find out that movies are held hostage to the Movie Picture Association of America.

This documentary is different in one respect, it doesn't talk about what can be done to change things. Instead, it is a long spiel on the mystery that is the people behind the MPAA. Some movies are rated NC-17 (adults only), but a similar movie, with only a slight difference is R. Or PG-13. Typically, anything sexual that isn't missionary sex is banned. Violence, not so much a problem. (No mention of Passion of the Christ in that respect...) Not that this is unknown in America, the reverse seems to hold in Europe.

One very amusing sub-section of this movie is the private detective finding out who are the people of the MPAA. And she does. (It's scary just how easy private detectives can find out all about us.) So many details about them are revealed, and how they completely fail the guidelines for who should be on the MPAA. "Typical parents of young children" they are not.

Given all this, and that this movie itself wasn't rated (although it did earn NC-17 for 'sexual content', not 'because it reveals the MPAA to be full of hypocrisy'), I'm not sure how much impact this movie has made... although the trivia entry says that there have been some changes...

The MPAA has a rather powerful hold over what movies get released, basically, so this movie is a good look at them. But what other secret cabals are out there...?


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Monday, 4 July 2011

Three in The Asylum

The Asylum is the Vanilla Coke of movie makers. You can't believe you tried it, and yet you want another...

Paranormal Entity (trailer): Here's an even more student version of a student movie. With only four actors, this stays inside the house and tries to creep out the audience by... having a phone ring. And flushing the toilet. There's only one actual ghostly attack sequence, otherwise it's just the guy wandering around. And then there's the ending. There's attempt at build up, build up, build up... and then we see there's only two minutes of movie left, so bang! End scare! ...the hell? Just... no.

Almighty Thor (trailer): Loki kicks ass without needing to take a breath by throwing out fireballs, but decides to fight Odin with a sword, because... Odin throws the hammer away to stop Loki getting it, so Thor and Jarnsaxa decide to find it first, which, of course, leads Loki to it. And there's a big battle that fails to be choreographed in any believable way. Loki is excessively American here, and Thor is an emo bitch (and he uses guns now!). At least it's easy to tell what world they are in, brown for Valhalla and blue for Earth. For a movie that's supposed to devastate a city, we only have a handful of people on screen.

2012: Ice Age (trailer): This starts with stock footage and bad CGI and goes downhill from there. You will believe that an ice glacier can move at 200mph... and if you do believe that, you might actually enjoy this movie. Instead, we get the plot of some insipid family trying to get back together, and seem to be the only ones in the world. Except when the bad editing has others all of a sudden around them. They go from car on an empty highway on overcast day, to tree lined avenue at night where they hit two cars, back to day where they are surrounded by cars. Urm? And then they destroy the glacier in a way that makes destroying the asteroid in Armageddon more credible! Oi vey...

I can only assume the third Transmorphers movie is just around the corner.


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Sunday, 3 July 2011


Okay, let's get one thing clear: there is no dark side of the moon.

There is, however, yet another movie by Bay, and watching this you too will ask "aren't there supposed to be robots in this?" Now he's done, let's hope the next person who deals with this series will actually want to make a Transformers movie.

In this exciting adventure Sam Witwicky has a hot girlfriend (somehow) and gets caught up when Decepticons do stuff, and must join up with the Autobots to help save the world... just like in the other movies. Oh, and there's a fight that involves humans running around firing guns... just like in the other movies. You could be mistaken for thinking they simply tried to redo an old script...

One thing about this movie really annoyed me: the humour. Every single time they tried for the funny, they failed. This is usually because the "comedy" involves Shia LaBeouf, or the Witwicky parents who are pure comedy death. Gah! I am wondering there there could be a "fan edit" of these films which cut out all "humourous" scenes... and the scenes with just army guys... although the resulting frenetic cuts will probably cause seizures.

What a waste of Leonard Nimoy. Really? In some ways, if he said 'I did it for the money' I could respect that more than 'I cared about the script'. I'm also not sure why John Malkovich agreed to do what the script said. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is there entirely to look pretty (as completely overdone in the Dylan car scene, you'll know the one, Bay doesn't do subtle). And while she wasn't terrible, I did expect her to say that it was absolutely fascinating.

Anyway, can we move on now, please?


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Friday, 1 July 2011


My computers are slowly crashing one way or another. One problem I've had for a while is Firefox, which seems to freeze... then hang... then come right again. Really annoying. It happened on my laptop, and now it's happening on my desktop.

(I semi solved it on my laptop by making only run on one cpu instead of both. Now it hangs less frequently...)

This morning, without asking me, the desktop version upgraded itself to Firefox v5.0. Yeah, thanks for that. I was holding off to let it become a bit more stable with other people real world testing, but, no, I get that I have no say in how I use my computer, because, well, it is Windows I'm running after all (don't get me started on the complete failture of IE to ever upgrade itself on this machine).

Anyway, I've now been running it for about five minutes... during which is has hung several times already.

Yeah, big improvement there. Once again... thanks.


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