Saturday, 31 March 2012

Bonus Video


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Crowdfund New Zealand

So I clearly like to give money for people to create things. But not a lot of NZ based projects are there. Then yesterday I found out about an Australian project related to Cthulhu on a site I didn't know about. An Australian based site. Then the obvious question occurred to me: are there New Zealand based crowd funding sites? Here the top ones (via Googling) I found.

Pozible: This is the Australian one I mentioned. There is a section there for Kiwi projects. Looks to be a fairly active site with lots on money flying around. [It says a lot about the economy that while I might be willing to fund US$100, I'm more hesitant over AU$100, because I know that will be more expensive.]

PledgeMe: Looks to be the most active of the NZ ones. Quite a few projects to do with film and music.

Gesture: Projects... but not much sign of money being given out.

Boosted: The Arts foundation has set up a site for crowdfunding, and that site is Boosted. I know this, because that's all the site has on it.

Angel Investment: This looks like real investment projects rather than crowdfunding. When projects say "minimum investment $1,000,000" you aren't talking to the crowd...

Since I only found out about these because I looked, I'm thinking this scene hasn't really gotten big in NZ yet, and some of these may yet shake out and fall over. But in the mean time... if you excuse me, looks like I have more projects to look at to maybe give money to...


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Friday, 30 March 2012

Overthinking a Phrase III

One phrase I hear a from time to time is "I spent the better part of an hour doing (something)."

Of course, the intention is that "I spent the majority of the hour doing (something)". But is 'the better part' really equal to 'the majority'?

Indeed, let me turn this around and ask "Was the best part of that hour spent doing (something)?" The reply will depend on what the person was going. Washing dishes? Possibly not. Eating chocolate? Possibly yes. So here the best part of the hour might be the activity you were doing, depending on the activity, but 'better part' does not indicate the quality of the activity.

But then consider how long those activities took. Washing dishes could take at least half an hour, depending on the number of dishes and how energetic you were. Eating chocolate would only take half an hour if it was a lot of chocolate. The point being that the majority of the hour was not spent doing (something) in both cases, so 'better part' does not necessarily mean the majority of the time either.

So the better part is not always the best part nor is it the most time consuming part.

And another flip to the point is "So the worst part of the hour was not doing (something)?" Even better if you aren't being general like I am.

"I just spent the better part of an hour driving here."
"So the worst part was actually arriving and seeing me?"


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Thursday, 29 March 2012

DW: Cast of Doctor Who

I'm not sure if Orbit really is part of the title, but it certainly crops up in the listings for The Cast of Doctor Who. [Not sure why Amazon says this hasn't been released, I already got it from Book Depository...]

This is a graphic novel of the series. Moreover, of the leads of the series. Moreover, of the actors behind the leads of the series. Yes, this is a biography of the actors in comic form. I will say that the style is really spot on, possibly copied from actual photographs? Certainly photorealistic.

The biographies themselves... read more like cut and pastes from Wikipaedia. There's only a couple of pages, with recitations of major works they were in, and well known moments recounted. Nothing here to really spark new amazement and wonder.

But the kicker for this... read the blurb for this carefully. This graphic novel is just the biographies of William Hartnell, Tom Baker, Paul McGann and Matt Smith (with Matt not getting much more than a recap of his appearances to date). Also in the graphic novel form is an added Peter Cushing. But that's it. I'm not sure why Paul Salamof didn't include the other actors (we get a few panels of them), but for the nominal 'Cast of Doctor Who', this isn't much. Yes, it's cheap, but even so, I want more. (Perhaps he's planning more volumes??)

Unless you are a severe completist, easily pass this over.


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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Yes, I Twit Now

If you've been to my site, you've probably seen the Twitter box off to the right (because it shows up really garishly. I'll probably change the appearance at some point). Yes, despite my earlier post about social media, I went ahead and signed up for Twitter. [But not Facebook. Never Facebook. And not just because employers want it.]

So, what exciting tweets will be coming from me? Perhaps a dog I saw? My latest trip to the supermarket? Perhaps how long it took me to walk up a flight of stairs? Or maybe I'll just retweet something someone else said which won't make any sense to anyone who isn't also reading that person's feed and will have already seen it in that case...

No, none of that. Although I do want twitter signage so I can follow other people's activities, my activities (that I will be twittering) will be limited to the sort of things you already see: Ie, here's some project I'm giving money to, or some campaign I'm backing. Hardly a thrill ride a minute, but it gives you a chance to go where I went and also spend some money. And it gives me a chance to promote them without coming up with an entire post, or have just a one liner post on my blog.

And, hey, already got two followers! One an auto follow for me following them, the other an adult star... um, what?


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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Lock? What lock?

I was watching Lockpicking for the New Millennium... and you know what? Locks are a waste of time.

Now, fine, he's a master locksmith, and has tons of practice, but he blows throw locks in about ten seconds on average. Even more so, he makes it look simple, and it is fairly straight forward, that even I think I could open locks in seconds too!

Which makes me tempted to try to get some lockpicks. Which is totally doable. There are plenty of places overseas that will sell them and ship them to me. And, they aren't illegal to have in New Zealand.

They are illegal to carry around with intent to break in somewhere. So don't do that.

But, yeah, locks won't stop anyone competent. Hell, door chains and those hotel door lock things aren't a problem either. There was only one or two things that the guy said can't be lock picked! But not anything we deal with on a day to day basis...

Know all this... and sleep well!


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Monday, 26 March 2012

I've Been Watching...

Random disc from my (large) pile of DW DVDs... Paradise Towers! I'm not sure I've watched it since it first screened...

And yet, I remembered the story without issue. [Did I see it on the VHS release??] Possibly because of reading the books, the summaries, reviews of it, discussion, a certain comic series... This time, with the production notes, I found out all about the High Rise connection. Possibly also because I knew it fairly well, I thought it flowed well, not at all padded... and yet, when I think back, there's a lot of wandering around, getting captured by the Caretakers, meeting the Rezzies, encountering the Kangs over and over... how is it not padding? It's only until the last episode that actual plot occurs. We've spent three episodes on character building... which is the point, really. We get character building, a building sense of menace, a building of... the building, and then episode four its off and running. It's a good thing! (And Cheetah is woefully underused, although I like it.)

Extra-wise, the main people in this are relevant to the story, but neither of the two actual leads. Extending even to the '1980s girls' feature - what? Is no other story coming out with Nyssa, Tegan or Ace on it that we needed it to be on this disc when Mel's not in it?? The commentary gets a bit drony, and Stephen Wyatt sounds like a Rezzie at many points (in his voice).

I don't think this story rates high, generally, but it's still enjoyable.


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Sunday, 25 March 2012


Okay, I like Fringe. The episodes are quite enjoyable, the characters are interesting, the storylines are different, and... yeah, okay their science is more than 'fringe', it's complete bafflegab. Usually, I can let it go. They hand wave it enough with enough babble and sound authoritative enough that I can accept it in the premise of the story and not have it bother me. (Other people may not be so lucky.)

But then, every now and then, when you are watching something...

The set up (without spoilers) is that they have some video taken by a nanny-cam style recorder. The event is of some superfast movement, so they need to slow down the footage. To do this, they get some high tech equipment that can... and let me quote this, it's what broke my sense of immersion:

It's an apparatus designed to slow down video. The playback rate is so decelerated, that you can actually see light particles. what? Um... no.

Firstly, I can slow down video footage right now. VLC has that facility. Hell, just go frame by frame if you need to.

But the idea here, of course, is that we will be able to see what moved superfast... which would basically be making up frames on the video that don't exist. Motion blur is due to the recording being being exposed to enough light for long enough that it registers the light reflecting off something as it moves about. It's not that it has compressed frames that can be unpacked. Especially when we are talking nanny-cam level quality here!

This is hardly the first time video enhancement has been handwaved into omniscience. But when he said 'see light particles', my bullshit sensor exploded. If only he had said the equipment could reconstruct the object that caused the motion blur, that would have fit the scene. Because, hey, that's perfectly believable!

[This is the same episode that hinges on that ol' canard of human pheromones...]


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Saturday, 24 March 2012

Maddy Gone Wild

The Confessions vibe continues with another single release, Girl Gone Wild.

The video reminds me a lot of Vogue. And, as others point out, Human Nature.

The song is fairly basic in its beat. The main theme is of a 'good girl done wild', but really only the surface level is explored as the refrain repeats over and over and the theme isn't developed further.

I want to be, but I'm not getting fired up over this album...


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Friday, 23 March 2012

Gratification Extremely Delayed

Way back in the mists of my dawn, I had a comic of the Defenders. It detailed their fight against the Six-Fingered Hand, a coalition of six demons.

It was a great wee tale, of fighting demons, and men giving themselves, of strange weirdness. It had Doctor Strange, Son of Satan, Hellcat, Valkyrie, Gargoyle, Night Hawk... not that I entirely knew who they were.

It had part of the story. They referred to events before that I had no idea about, but it was still a good story, and I enjoyed rereading it over and over. However...

I found out later, this was a compilation of issues 96 to 99 from the 1970s. As you might guess, a big event was issue 100. Which this lead up to. Which meant, this great story, lead up to this huge cliff hanger to lead into issue 100... which I never had. What? That sucks! Big lead up, fantastic cliff hanger... can't find out anything about what happens next.

Until now. A reference to some six-fingered hand reminded me of reading this a long time ago, so I looked up what I read, and found out they were issues 96-99. Moreover, a bit more poking around discovered that they are some of the issues, along with 100, that has been collected in Essential Defenders v.5. And just in time too, as the previous volumes are now out of print!

Now I have it, have reread, once again, the lead in issues, and now onto 100. At last, after all this time, resolution shall be mine!


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Thursday, 22 March 2012

Waiting for the Apes to Rise

I haven't seen all the Planet of Apes movies. Seen the original. Saw the remake. And now seen the reboot.

This movie is just like Deep Blue Sea. In that the lead scientist decides to create Alzheimer drugs by experimenting on animals. Apes in this case. Unlike that other movie, in this movie, he is single handedly responsible for creating the Rise of the Apes and making it the Planet of the Apes. Well done.

But the big problem is that the movie takes over an hour and a half to do this. I don't care how good the CGI animal acting is (and it's not that good because you are always aware you are watching a CGI animal acting), this movie just takes too long pondering its own navel and saying 'look at how the Apes are rising... really, really slowly... see just how slow this Rise is... wooh! Rising like anything! Any minute now... maybe...' We get the emotional core of 'man treat monkey bad, so monkey takes revenge' because we have seen that similar plot time and again. Despite being about a different animal, this isn't new, so I just fail to engage. And it's not like the human performances are any more moving. James Franco isn't exciting, and John Lithgow isn't doing anything worth noticing.

I haven't seen many of the Ape movies, and this isn't making me want to catch up on that gap.


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Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Vigil the Huntering

Robert and Jane investigate the police report we heard of three teens killed, and it turns out there was a fourth body. There were also occult signs about the place, the son of the woman who owns the place has gone missing, and the woman has no idea what's going on. Well... nothing much we can do there.

The rest of us check on the other vampire snack (aka young woman) that the vampire was feeding on. We think the vampire hasn't been in touch, but at least she's still alive. Then we go to meet Jamel Spurlock, a leader of the neighbourhood watch in an area of South Philadelphia that wouldn't rate being a nice neighbourhood. And yet, under Jamel, it appears quite under control. We talk to him, and he definitely knows about the weirdness, but his concern is his neighbourhood. We part on amicable terms, and might be able to call upon each other later.

That evening, we decide to keep an eye on the woman (Kiki), and find her at her work. Jane overtly hits on her, and gets a good reaction. Later they go clubbing at Vertigo (which has spirals!), then back to her place as Jane convinces her to try to trace down the vampire's number and get him to come around (so we can stab him up!). The vampire isn't interested, so while Jane stays to 'console' her, we head back to Vertigo where we've seen police cars heading.

Turns out the missing son is inside, killing a vampire. Huh. Everyone else has run away, and some (okay one) of us get inside to see the killing and distract him from beating on the cops. We chase, but he easily runs away.

Right. Yeah, no problems there then...


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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Comics reading

Read some comics collections recently. Let me tell you about them.

The People That Melt In The Rain. I helped Kickstart this! It's a wee tale about a girl and her mother who move to a town (some backstory is given in the text story afterwards), where it rains acid. And strange miniature creatures turn up. And people can be trapped in paintings. It's odd... so I like it. It's the first volume, so here's to more.

Other Worlds Trade Paperback: Maps and Legends. I helped Kickstart this too! A collection of horror style stories, usually there's a twist at the end. Some stories I liked, others... The author has another Kickstarter as well, but that isn't proving to be as popular (don't know why not, I love the idea!)

Doctor Who: Worlds In Collision: A collection from Series II of the comics, featuring Eleven Doc, Amy and Rory. The first story is football with vikings. Having read that other football story recently, it didn't feel that fresh. The other story is of mashing realities, with Sontarans, and that worked really well, tightly plotted and flowed well. The art was a bit simplistic in places considering how good it is generally.

Doctor Who: A Fairy Tale: An Eleven Doc and Amy story (so it would occur before the above one, but I read it second). A land of magic and dragons. And children being taken... there was something very familiar about the story, but I can't pick it (I've read so many DW stories). So-so, all round.

Pilot - Comic Anthology: I helped this Indie Go-Go! A collection of comics from Malta artists, with the comics in English (not perfectly, but far better than my Maltese!) Some of them read like a Part One of a series, so not sure if I'm supposed to wait for another volume? A wide range of styles, and (if I can get around to it) some I might Google for and follow.

I've got a dozen or so more projects I've helped out with, so lots more comics to come!


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Monday, 19 March 2012

Bonus Video

Possible Filming Location?


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Puzzle Me This!

Trying to play Half-Life, but there's only so long I can play that before getting frustrated that it's not as good as HL2. So I've been mixing it up with some puzzle games.

Lume. The lights have gone out in town, and you're at your grandfathers place while he's out dealing with that, so you some puzzles to get him some power. Now, this have a great design quality to it, I love the paper-like graphics and the style of the characters. It's fun just to watch them move. The puzzles are mostly decent, some thinkers in there, and one that's just annoying if you don't spot something and make a huge inference from it. But the main thing about this game: it's short. Real short. For $7US, I would expect this to last longer than an hour. (I got it with a bundle of other games, so not bothered by that, but I would be bothered if I brought this direct.) This is Part 1 of a series, and I'd like to know more, but I hope they sort that price point out.

The Tiny Bang Story. Another game with a nice design sense to it. Yes, I can see why people cite Machinerium. The tiny world has exploded into jigsaw pieces, so you need to find those and solve puzzles to get everything working. There's mostly 'find X pieces', with extra proper puzzles to solve some things. This took me three hours, with only one puzzle irritating enough I had to look it up. (This is $20US, but I got it on sale for $5US.) Am disappointed that there's no nice animated closing segment, just the chance to play all the puzzles again.

Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Persian Carpet. [I picked up a bundle of Holmes games during the Christmas sale, so expect more of these.] This puzzle game is 'hidden item' hunt (a lot of pixel hunting) plus some actual puzzles. Some of them are just strange, but basically straightforward. The Deduction Board is annoying in that a large part of it is just 'click this then this, did that work?' And at no point did I ever understand what the case was, and even the explanation at the end just confused me more when everything was laid out. I did it in two hours, but can't say I felt like Holmes. Buh.


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Sunday, 18 March 2012

Bonus Video

A few minutes of the setting off of cars in the street hill climb thing...

...probably still happening (the event in general, not cars starting out) as this is posted!

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Harbour Walk

Walk along the Wellington Harbour


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Saturday, 17 March 2012

The Reborning of JE

I have vague memories of the original. Possibly images from the trailer, although I'm sure I did see the movie. I recall Johnny English bumbling around the halls of MI6 (...I mean MI7!), bumbling his way through some adventure, and bumbling his way through being the hero. And I don't recall being impressed by it. Because we really need another James Bond parody... not, as the kids say these days. The sequel, on the other hand... I do remember, because I've just watched it.

In this movie, Johnny English bumbles around more. One thing I like about this series is that it treats the matters seriously. The comedy is due to mishaps, and accidentally stupid situations. They don't go out of their way to have funny quips or spend ten minutes setting up nothing but slapstick... actually, I lie. They spend far more than ten minutes on nothing but slapstick, and the mistaken identity situations are just too many and too stupid, but it fits the film and doesn't get in the way of the serious air with comedic overtones. I haven't mentioned the plot yet, but it's the basic 'someone important is going to die, and only Johnny English can stand in the way' plot that is overly common, so nothing really else to say about it.

The movie makes a few points of Johnny English as older, and Rowan Atkinson is certainly looking it. There are few scenes which take advantage of his 'rubber face/body' comedy, possibly because he isn't as rubber any more, and as such some of his real comedy chops aren't seen. Gillian Anderson is acting 'terribly British', and Rosamund Pike is really odd as the love interest (for Rowan? now there's an age difference!). And, hey, look out for Burn Gorman, looking less dead and less burnt.

While not that original in plot or humour, it is amusing and entertaining enough. Worth more than the 6.2 it has on IMDB anyway.


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Friday, 16 March 2012

Ghost of Vengefulness

For a few blissful moments, I thought I was watching the wrong movie, with its complete lack of Nicholas Cage in the opening scene, but soon he's there, baring his arse...

There's not much of a plot worth talking about. The Devil got himself a son, so the movie is spent helping the son not be with him. I have to say that there was more story in the first movie, and certainly Ghost Rider gets zero arc. Okay, not zero, but nothing more than five minutes of arc. The rest of the time we are supposed to care about the kid, and watch various CGI battles of Rider and other people. And not to give anything away, but the ending is exactly as you'd expect from the beginning.

All the actors in this movie are... there, really. Cage is phoning it in and the other leads find one note to go with their performance and play that note in every scene they are in. Spot guest cast in the form of Anthony Head and Christopher Lambert (why? why did they agree to be in this?).

Nothing in this movie gives any reason for this movie to exist. It's a sequel because the movie studio thought they could get some money. I can't see this giving rise to a third movie.


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Thursday, 15 March 2012

DW: Monstrous Missions

Another day, another 'get money from people' product by BBC. Case in point: Monstrous Missions. Not that the stories are bad, just that the motivation from the BBC is more 'money' than 'we want to tell these DW stories'.

Anyway, first up is Jonathon Green's tale of Terrible Lizards. In which we reference Vincent and the Doctor, Hungry Earth, The Vampires of Venice, The Time of Angels, The Curse of the Black Spot, and end on ripping off (and namechecking) On Stranger Tides. [Until I checked, I thought this was written by Gary Russell!] But then it settles down into a search for the Fountain of Youth with dinosaurs (yes, with an Invasion of the Dinosaurs reference). Which is wrapped up with several chapters to go, so some extra fake tension is added to pad out the ending. It, basically, isn't very good.

Then is Gary Russell's Horror of the Space Snakes. Aka 'Snakes on a (moon) base!' To credit Russell with more, it isn't just 'snakes on a base' (which the characters say a few times), but an actual story that I think would work well on TV, with bearable child characters! The plot is straight forward, lots of build up to the full interaction of the snakes, then it quickly gets to a resolution without really maintaining a real sense of tension as there are no dead bodies or anything. Notably, while Terrible Lizards has Amy and Rory, this is a companion-less story (with kids standing in for them).

Not great stories this time. 1/2 mark for Terrible Lizards due to not actually having its own story, but ripping on others. 1/2 mark to Horror of the Space Snakes for no actual Horror. Given this 2-in-1 a 1-in-2.


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Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Hear the Sun Bears

Occasionally popping by the zoo as I now do, I was there when they were giving their daily talk on the sun bears, so of course I video'd it. As well as a Cheetah and an Albatross. The zoo has also created an expedition style village and camp area. Because... they can? Something to pass the time anyway until their new Asia area is finished.


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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

THE Rob Shearman

Yes, that's right, I saw THE Rob Shearman. And you can see him here too:

Can't see him? He's the blob on the right.

Anyway, not being able to see him didn't matter too much, because a few minutes after he came on stage, they started playing Dalek, so the lights went down and he commentated over that. [Interesting story: the organisers originally thought they were just going to screen the story with him on only at the beginning and the end. Oo-er.] Lots of interesting things were revealed, and I really hope we get a true behind the scenes look at what really happened some day.

After the talk, there was the signing. I got his X-Files book and two Big Finish audios signed. He knew who I was from the reviews I did, which he claimed were 'insightful'. I claim he was being polite. But definitely he's a nice fellow.

An opinion further strengthened by going out for dinner with him and others afterwards! Yeah, I know people. Many secrets were revealed, which I won't repeat here... and won't remember later to be able to pass them on. As I said, we really need the true behind the scenes details.

He's talking again on Wednesday, so see him if you have the time. Me, I'm working, but I'm glad I took the time out to see him talk about Doctor Who.


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Monday, 12 March 2012

Kilbirnie Festival

Another weekend, another street festival. Various suburbs have their days, and Kilbirnie is the weekend after Newtown. Thorndon is another 'famous' one, but I've never been to that, and Thorndon isn't that close...

Anyway, today's garage sale:


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Sunday, 11 March 2012

Of Steam, Steel and Murder

It starts so simple. A dead body to deal with. But was it his work colleagues? The fighting pit?? The gambling room??? How bland can one man be?

Guest GM time, with Marcus. A plot with lots of leads, and we meander a lot, so this is over four and a half hours. I have to admit, I wasn't entirely paying attention, having a new tablet to play with... on the other hand, seven other players, so it wasn't like there wasn't people doing stuff!

Listern to Game 53. Rapidshare. Hotfile.


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Indian Culture

It happens every year, and one thing this blog is slowly making me do is attend things I wouldn't otherwise. Which is why I was at the Indian Cultural Bazaar.

Except... it just wasn't that impressive. Certainly the perception of India flamboyance and colour and spices. (Although other experiences are possible once you get there.)

But... I'm there long enough to know that this is just like another street fair...

[And I have another one of those to go to...]

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Saturday, 10 March 2012

Bonus Video

A few seconds more.

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Whizzy Whiz Kids

Remember this?

Yeah, I did. Watched that back in the... whenever it screened over here. Those were the days of computers, huh? When every password could be bypassed by using Kilroy, when every computer could be called up and connected with over the phone, when getting information was simpler and more comprehensive than we can do today!

Not to mention, the kids, especially Richie the computer geek lead, had active social and outdoor lives, playing soccer, riding bikes, skin that wasn't pure no-light white...

And when the leading man could be a long haired, slightly balding man with a droopy mustache (looking at his career, I'm guessing Barney Miller was the reason he got the gig). And A Martinez was in a show as a cop way before Profiler! And as for the kids... at least two of them went on to successful acting careers.

Ah, classic shows. My favourite is Amen to Amen-Ra. The weird symbols flowing over everything, most of the actors get to do something different. It's a fun show. "The Veil of Darkness Has Been lifted. I am. You are. We are together."

And it only lasted 18 episodes. Shame.


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Friday, 9 March 2012

Five Days in September

Bit of an odd film, this: Five Days In September. It's about the Toronto Orchestra having a particularly busy week in September 2005 as they start their season and try to get back on their feet with new conductor Peter Oundjian.

You could make a decent documentary out of just one day. In this case, we have five, so the movie can talk with soloists Emanuel Ax, Renee Fleming and Yo-Yo Ma. We see them as the Orchestra is trying for funding, as they perform their rehearsals, as Peter goes from place to place giving interviews.

And yet... as it is just bits and pieces, it's hard to get a decent narrative going. I'm not sure what this movie was trying to convey. Love of music? Hard time to be an Orchestra? Behold the brilliance of Peter Oundjian? I didn't watch it in one sitting, so might have missed something, but there did seem to be a lack of a true cohesive through line. And I didn't get the real sense of passion that films like Cinemania and Pianomania convey.

The director/producer thought there was something here, a story to tell. I'm just not sure what it was.


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Thursday, 8 March 2012


I liked the Tower of Babel arc in the JLA. It makes sense to me that Batman has files on how to take out the various members of the JLA. I agree with him that that is a necessity, and would indeed have a plan to take out Batman as well. So DOOM is the animated version of that arc, with changes and simplifications. (It had a major impact on the JLA, but it's hard to tell if this will have similar repercussions or if the movie will be entirely self-contained in this regard.)

Anyway, the JLA is taken out, largely by drugs in one way or another it seems. So they need to overcome that difficulty and then the wider threat of Vandal Savage. I recognise most of the villains appearing here, but the major fight loses tension when you acknowledge that the heroes have fought and defeated them before (let alone the demands of the script).

The main names return for the characters, Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, Susan Eisenburg, with other names like Nathan Fillion, Claudia Black, Alexis Denisof and Olivia d'Abo. The animation style is usual, so the men have huge muscles with thick necks, and the women wear skimpy outfits.

It's a neat story that could have been done longer and deeper, but it's enjoyable what we have here.


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Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Vigil the Huntering

So Maxine Gordan's life, or rather death, took a strange turn. After having been executed (while we were out failing to take care of a vampire), she was buried the next day (that was quick!), only it turns out there was a sacrificed dog on the grounds, meaning they weren't hallow. Um. And then the next night, the body was dug up and taken (assuming there was a body in the coffin to start with!!!). Robert got to talk to the police officer in charge, but he wasn't that much help. Something is going on, but I don't think we're seeing enough of the picture to really take it in.

In other news, it seems the woman who was being seen by the vampire we failed to kill is getting better as the vampire has broken up with her. (Well, it's only been a few days, so we can't say for sure.) Now, if we bothered to check up on girlfriend number two we might actually be able to make sure that was going somewhere useful. The blood/mist I captured last time was examined by Jack Cottage, but nothing immediately leaped out as unusual, although he needs to access a proper lab to really analyse it. [Interestingly, while out clubbing Jane bumped into someone who wanted to get in touch with someone that answered Jack's description, although he used another name. Odd.]

Meantime, I had another drinking night with my buddies. They hadn't heard of the 318 either. I would get Robert to help me, but he's busy with Maxine's case. I have been keeping my ears on the police scanner. Over the days, I heard about the church, some prank calls, and, just happened, three dead teenagers. What the...?

[Yeah. If we are getting somewhere, we are getting there very, very slowly...]


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Tuesday, 6 March 2012

I've Been Watching...

Here we are at it: The Horns of Nimon. This story had a resonance with the Doctor Who Wellington Club. For a while, things were done in "The Name of the Second Skonnian Empire!" And frequent calls for "Here Nimon!" [Although, having watched it, no-one ever says 'here Nimon', but there is 'Lord Nimon!'] Odd... not sure why it caught on (it was going on when I joined), but there you go.

The story is rather straight forward, and once the people get to Skonnos, it pretty much plays out in real time. (It seems to, anyway.) Anthony Read did a nice job on twisting some of the classic Minotaur beats around. One down note is that despite several of the episodes running to full, and even over, length, there's are very long recaps.

Graham Crowden, of course, draws lots of attention, for many reasons. Have to wonder if Jonathon Pryce ever saw this, as his style of over-acting owes a lot to this. And it's easy to believe that Simon Gipps-Kent was considered for Adric (and Janet Ellis could easily have been Nyssa!).

The disc contains an interesting look at Doctor Who and Blue Peter (can someone tell me where part 2 is?), as well as a brief talking head piece about Horns. (I don't think they had enough extra to really justify two extra menus though.)

For the unintentional season ender, we get a strong Romana story. There should have been more.


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Monday, 5 March 2012

Newtown F(l)air

This is me wandering around the Newtown Fair. It was off and on rain (usually very light) while I was there... then the day got fine, then overcast, and then fine again... there's a reason New Zealand has Four seasons in one day.


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Sunday, 4 March 2012

Bonus Audio

Back to the town of...whereever we are. Death is not only on the cards, it's the only card in the deck! Failure is always an option. And some times the only thing you can do is sit by and watch...

Yeah, can't say I'm overly impressed by this. Too many cases of 'people need this skill' which no-one has. And if you miss that one roll, then it's basically game over. Not to mention, people are going to shoot first, so if the game relies on people not doing that...

This is Part 2 of Midnight Harvest (part 1 here). Rapidshare. Hotfile. Note: the last hour is us basically shooting the shite.


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Bonus Video: Wellington Weather

Sound isn't great due to the wind. (Hmm... the ipod is loud, damn stupid earbuds with outward pointing speaker holes, but I could barely hear it over the wind.)

Nothing like this though.

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There is only one reason to watch this movie, and then only barely. Robert Englund.

A teen is witness to the murder of his girlfriend, by a dark entity. When questioned at the police station, the said dark entity (yes, played by Robert Englund, who is thoroughly type cast in his career) turns up and starts playing games with the police. And does so by killing them.

One problem is that the movie isn't clear on who is the hero. It could be Tom Caretti, played by Joey Fatone. But then after a while Gil Diamante, played by William Forsythe, turns up. Gil encountered Inkubus before and this is a continuation of that... and what exactly the backstory is isn't entirely clear. Or perhaps it was, but the movie was sending me to sleep, so I could have missed it. Either way, the movie is a mess and is only saved by the performances. Robert Englund's in particular.

But unless you really want to see their acting, you don't want to see this movie.


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Saturday, 3 March 2012

Sound It Out

Documentary time, this one about the last vinyl record shop in Teaside, North East of England, Sound It Out.

It's a bit of an odd documentary, more of a 'here's what I videod' rather than 'here's the story of this shop'. A slice of life style, where the filmmaker tapes Tom and David as they run the shop. We also get to see various bits of the people who come to the store, and their passion of music. [I was reminded of Cinemania a bit that way.] There's some narrative about how this is the last store, and the recession is causing it problems... but that's only a small part. There isn't an overall story, just bits and pieces.

(I also note this is partially funded by IndieGoGo. Crowd-sourcing is proving to be a popular way to bring projects to fruition.)

It's a straight forward enough documentary, interesting, but could be more structured.


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Friday, 2 March 2012

Underwater Afakening

The things I put up with. The latest 'Kate Beckinsale in skin tight lyrca' movie, for example. Because, let's face it, that's the reason this movie was made. It certainly wasn't for the effects. In an early car chase, I was watching the scene thinking 'that car is swerving, clearly pretending there's a werewolf on it, and there's the werewolf CGI badly pasted on top of the plate'. And later on 'oh look, a very fake and unconvincing rear projection car scene'.

Anyway, humans have found out about the vampires and werewolves (Finally!!!), and so ten years later Selene has a daughter (they never explain where the daughter comes from, created or natural born?), and so needs to beat up on everyone to protect her. Because never forget this is an action movie so aside from one scene were they talk about how much ass needs beating, the rest of the movie is beating ass. Which Kate does a lot with semi-automatic pistols. But...

The heart isn't in this. The movies have never been the best literature ever told, but the entire film is phoning it in. The plot is less than thin, there's no explanation for anything major that the humans do, and, as mentioned, I've seen amateur films with better effects.

Watch it for the mindless action, but remain mindless when thinking about it on any level.


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Thursday, 1 March 2012

Revenge of the Electric Car

Hey, isn't it great how everyone is driving electric cars? Especially after they were killed off.

The Revenge of the Electric Car gives us the triumphal return. How little and big companies revived the idea to great success, and now everyone in the world has one... oh wait. A few errors in that sentence. Big and small companies did try to revive the car, but couldn't get them to production in any respectable time. The end of the movie (yes, spoilers!) portrays them as a success in some caption moments, but the whole of the movie is about how they were floundering. I'm not sure why this is revenge, it's not like the electric car got its way, more like it took them down with it.

Frankly, as much as I would like to have an electric car, the power is the problem. Despite many claims that they are brilliant, the batteries just don't have a life worth a damn, and recharging takes forever. And we don't have recharge stations all over the place either. It's going to take a major infrastructure change, and that hasn't happened.

This movie is more like "the continual death of the electric car". If it's come back, we don't know it.


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