Thursday, 31 December 2009

Title goes here

Events in Iran continue to escalate and it's impossible to say what's going to happen next - I just know whose side I'm on. As before, some of the best coverage I've found is on Sullivan's Dish & here's a pretty amazing clip from today,

There was an interesting piece (propaganda?) on Huffpo earlier that I see has been updated since. Also it appears the regime has encouraged their own supporters onto the streets in a show of force I think it's optimistic/foolish to try and flex their muscles now: one revolution will follow another.

Ahh sheet - CIA are looking well shakey now after getting caught napping while a known individual tries to bomb a plane with explosives in his pants.

And on a somewhat lighter note here's a selection of mad Japanese toys, my fave below, He is just as I've always imagined. ta huffpo

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Xmas viewing - the Good part two

Lost Hearts, another of the James adaptations, was fantastic; a nasty, dark twisted tale about an Uncle whose interest in his nephew is less than wholesome. Involves plenty of Hurdy Gurdy.

Breaking Bad, is well worth your time, just finished the 2nd season and I'm already itching for more Think it's currently showing on Five at the moment but in case you haven't seen it the Dad from Malcolm in the Middle has terminal cancer and starts cooking up crystal meth when he's not teaching high school chemistry. It's dark, funny and has two amazing leads, particulary Cranston who is revelatory.

The Ash Tree, wasn't as effective as some of the other James stories but it's got a great ending. The acting didn't quite work for me though the separate time periods were deftly handled. This one is basically about a spooky tree and it's relationship with the owner of a large estate.

A Warning to The Curious is better though, this time it's about a fabled Saxon crown hidden in the Norfolk countryside discovered by a crafty amateur archeologist who soon begins to regret his find. It's creates a real atmosphere in it's own sedate manner but it was the mythos I loved, lost kings and all that. Anyways well acted, scripted and they really make the most from the desolate landscape.

Xmas Viewing - the Good

We saved Peep Show 6 instead of watching it as it aired, dunno why though, 'cause as funny as it is I can't cope with the extreme levels of social super-cringe it elicits so two eps in a row max. Still written and acted effortlessly it's bound to come to an end with the arrival of the mini-Mark next season. Shame but I hope Mitchell & Webb can find another vehicle together and maybe one with a spot for Super Hans.

The Stalls of Barchester another fine James tale concerns a historical investigation into the appointment of a new Archdeacon to a church with some unusual furnishings. It's a little dry in comparison to some of the others in the series but it has it's moments and is still heads above tonnes of the dross floating about these days.

In a similar theme is The Treasure of Abbot Thomas, this time two scholars investigate a medieval horde of gold buried on University grounds by an alchemical maverick. Decent performances and plenty of unanswered questions has made it one of my faves so far. Must really try and buy some of these in book form.

The Stewart/Tennant RSC Hamlet was actually not bad, I'm not much of a Shakes afficionado and I've never read or seen it before but it was well worth watching it even though it's a 3hr event. Bet it was better on stage but you can watch it here.

Xmas viewing - the Average

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Burn Satan Burn

Thanks to Metzger for this Xmas treat.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Classic Xmas Ghosts

I found a nice little collection of classic ghosty tales just in time for the Festivus feasting. So last night we devoured an excellent Dickens adaptation called The Signalman, Denholm Elliot stars as the titular character who spends his days alone by the side of the track and succumbs to visions of a hooded figure who seems to warn of impending deaths. Classy acting and nicely shot this manages to generate a fair bit of tension from a simple story and is well worth watching.

Next was a M.R. James adapation called Number 13, this was good too just not quite in the league as above. A historian does some digging into a local priestly scandal while staying at an interesting hotel that seems not to have a room 13.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Pish and Tosh

Took me quite a while to find the Nightmare Man and now I'm not sure it was worth all the effort, it's a scifi-slasher set on a remote Scottish island from '83 and must have come from the Who team cause it shares the same super low fi production qualities. The plot is fairly sound I suppose but the acting is well ropey but with a few tweaks it I reckon it could make a decent remake. nb - typical, it's on youtube in ten min chunks, wish I'd thought of that sooner!

, a really funny, grimy Hereos ripoff with some serious attitude has been great. Presumably it's been picked up for a 2nd season but you never know with those chumps at 4.

Trick R Treat was ok, a handful of intertwining Halloween stories stitched together with some nice cinematography but let down by a shonky script and not enough gore.

Planet 51 wasn't up to much either, an animated scifi toon about a human landing on an alien planet that seems to be styled in 50's Americana and where everyone speaks English. There's a slew of classic scifi references but not enough jokes or excitement to stir much enthusiasm and the aliens design is uninspired.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Recommended 7's

A customer of mine remarked that I should blog my daily recommendations from work so well here goes. Clockwise from top left it's Black Vs Blue, 1st names Vs 2nd names, Days Vs Nights and J's and Directors J.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Sad hole, hot maps and a Super Earth

Beautiful picture of Morning Glory, sad story though, via Atlas Obscura.

Mercury map from Messenger, sure it'll be on Google soon enough. Via Wired & usuals.

Big Space news of the week has gotta be the discovery of a watery Super-earth planet orbiting a red dwarf.

And still space-based there's an interesting bit from Metzger bout some book charting the history of our understanding of the cosmos. Probable future purchase sighted.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Magnificient Seven (or not)

Men Who Stare At Goats, not bad suppose, they've slapped a Iraqi kidnapping into it mix I guess to spice it up, the original is still funnier though.

Land of The Lost
, wasn't very funny and only mildly entertaining. They'd obviously spent a fair amount of cash on it but the Ferrell-bot wasn't functioning properly.

Rogue, a slice of commendable b-movie fare. Basically a Oz-set jumbo-creature-feature with some tense moments, really nicely shot but maybe a bit light on the chomping

Triangle, interesting time loop thriller ala Timecrimes but instead set at sea and supernaturally based.

The Box, better than the reviews I've read, it's a great set up based on a Matheson short but it's inexplicably set in the 70's and both leads are ropey and the plot a little muddled. Might read the novella though.

Boy And His Dog, first of three rewatches, classic post-apocalyptic scifi with young Don Johnson hoofing around with a telepathic mutt. Cheap but funny and has some good ideas.

Fantastic Voyage, classic shrinking scientists scifi from '66. Bound to get a remake soon.

Naked, excellent but super-grim Leigh feature with Thewlis rambling about London pontificating at strangers while on the run for assault.

Sampler from slouch

Tiny Tiny could be machines such as these should be on the news, makes me clap my hands with glee

Colbert does another musical number, good but not as good as his Elvis Costello thing.

Stunning underground house, via SciFi Wire.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Face time for a couple of chumps

Berlusconi & Blair, two giant fuktards, two monsterish lunatic egos have come a cropper in the past few days and in some beautiful irony both incidents involve the Churchyness, mmm it's just doesn't get any better than this. Anyways Silvio The Seducer - official superhero name - was clobbered in his chops with a Cathedral chucked by a bampot apparently & surprisingly not by a Norm and Master Bullshitter Blair announced/pontificated/shitjabbered about how it didn't really matter bout the WMD's after all on some religious show hosted by renowned hardball interviewer Fern Britton. What a pair of tools. Poor old Blair just doesn't appreciate the level of disdain in which he's held, maybe's Gordo should arrange him a trip to the Hague pre-election, would be a vote winner I'm sure.

Friday, 11 December 2009


Great post on Wired bout the Saturnian Hexagon, pic above.

Oooh we're getting out own little Space Agency, we're so behind the curve it's embarassing.

Suppose it's spacey but there was a little flap caused by some half functioning Russian rocket over Norway. It might have disappointed UFO nuts but it did garner some really amazing pics.

True but Strange

Some guy has written a bit of a thinky article about PKD and video games, via Metzger i think

Deforestation might have a silver lining, shame though as we'll be flooded out before they get a chance to have a dig. via new scientist

Via Dang Minds & Gizmodo is a nice graphic of our nuclear insanity, proper mad.

Can't even begin to imagine what a Lynch directed Return to The Jedi would've been like but surely better than the one we got. thanks scifwire

Maybes weed is good for the head after all, courtesy new scientist

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Wishing Blair was in cuffs

Blair's legacy is confirmed in history nicely in a Human Rights Watch report condemning the UK for involvement/collusion in the torture of prisoners. It's been pretty obvious for a while now the terrible deeds he's authorised in our name but maybe with some momentum, and someone with a taste for justice, some prosecutions will swiftly follow but i doubt it. Sullivan gets thankz

Also from The Dish is another nice infographix courtesy of the excellent Facts are Sacred Guaridna blog, this time about the realities of our Afghan situation.

Oh dear oh dear climate boffins get caught with their dicks hanging out after someone hacks their emails. Punishing the non-orthodox is hardly new in the scientific world no matter what the nerds will say and it must be pretty embarrassing to have it aired it public, doubt they'll learn any lessons though.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Space Pron

Pair of Re-Runs

First up is THX-1138, a good friend mentioned that Lucas had gone back and touched up his early dystopian feature so thought I'd give it another go. Well it certainly looks a lot nicer now and even seemed a little pacier than before but ultimately is still has a bit more style than substance: obviously inspired by BNW it never quite manages to build an engaging narrative.

Bedazzled starring Pete & Dud, had a slightly better position in my memory than THX but this fared worse after rewatching, sure it's a nice slice of 60's British cinema but it just wasn't that funny. They both give decent enough performances, particulary Cook as The Devil but I dunno only laughed a couple of times. Maybe there was something about them that didn't translate to the big screen as the Hound of the Baskervilles was patchy too.

Amusing post on Quiet Earth bout Jagger starring Freejack set in on the date 23/11/09! Think it deserves a rewatch, must try for that and that Mark Hamil Slipstream movie I keep remembering too.

Write title of post here

Finally it looks like some criminal proceedings might be on the cards for our greedy little MP's but surprisingly (or not) just for four of them. I'm sure they could find more if only they'd look a bit harder but they clearly prefer a handful of sacrifices over wholesale slaughter, a tragic mistake if they want trust we need complete honesty.

Guido has an interesting angle on this affair with more revelations regarding the conduct of the watchdogs themselves.

Murdoch's grubby empire of unreliable, slanted news coverage plums new depths with the tawdry theft of Edgar Wright's tribute to Woodward by The Times. Frankly I'm looking to Rudd to apologise to the world and soon. from garudina via scifiwire.

Of course Murdoch's brand of shite can't be confined to a single outlet so courtesy of Wonkette here's a nice pic demonstrating the intellectual ability of the Fix news corp.

Andrew Sullivan, a right winger, is reading Chinese philosophy? Suppose it shouldn't but it strikes me as a bit odd. Two posts today about one of my favourite thinkers Zhuangzi: both tied to some conservative thinker called Oakeshott. Dunno much bout the latter but I've read my fair share of eastern thought and I'm pretty sure I'd I could dispute Sullivan's assertion about the meaning of the Duke Huan story. Better not get into that though.

Also from the Dish is a story about an imprisoned Iranian who'd been interviewed by the Daily Show's Jason Jones. Brave guy, full article here. Must confess I thought Jones' reports were weak, not very funny and, in the usual American fashion, unintentionally xenophobic.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Smatterings from the interweb

Things are looking good for Tartakovsky bringing his fantastic Samurai Jack to the big screen and maybes in 3d too.

Courtesy of Metzger's blog is a cracking little animation showing the rise and fall of empires, was kinda familiar to maybe it's been around for a while.

Some wit @ Slate has compiled a very amusing index for nutty Palin's bio.

Interesting little article on Wired today about our growing understanding about the social life of plants.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


The Prisoner remake, well what to say, the original is a true classic an iconic piece of the 60's so it would seem a bit dense to try & do an update but lack of brains never stopped anyone, specially not media types. They didn't bother matching the original's bold visual style and have dropped the community into some desert oasis filled with culdesacs, the new 6 is weak and wimpish in comparison to McGoohan and though they made some effort with the plot the evident holes it generates make me yearn for simplicity of the original enigma.

What was good this week was Obourne's Dispatches episode, a interesting investigation into the Pro-Israel lobbying groups working behind British politics and media. Sure it all came from the brain of a Daily Mail writer so it was typically hysterical and filled with cant but it did bring up concerns I share about the labelling of critics of Israeli military policy as antisemitic and also the power that lobbyists have over our politicians when they regulary donate tens of thousands.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Dances with Aliens

First up in my abduction double was The Fourth Kind, a kinda Blair Witchy affair about some mysterious disappearances in an Alaskan town investigated by some psychologist with a video camera. It's split between her "real" footage and dramatised scenes, there's a couple of decent ideas hidden in the rough scripting and shaky acting but otherwise it's a fail. Maybe they should've tweaked it for a couple of years like the guy from Paranormal Activity.

Communion was better even though I've seen it once before. It's not brilliant and has dated badly but it's a great performance by Walken who's strange face and enigmatic manner really help this strange, daydreamy fantasy based on Streiber's personal story. Might see if I can find Fire In The Sky and make it a triple.

Sunshine Cleaning, a bittersweet comedy about a couple of sisters who start a crimescene cleaning business has been much hyped and it seems justifiably so: it's a beautifully balanced dramedy with three very strong performances from Adams, Blunt and Arkin. Occasionally it wavers into faux-indie territory but this is mature, thoughtful filmmaking.

Dumb & Dumber

Ahh 2012, not sure what to say about Emmerich's latest cartoonish disaster flick but it's surely got to be his greatest and last, fingers crossed. It's basically disaster porn for eschatologists with scene after scene of beautifully rendered Super-Apocalypse throughout: from the blowing of the Yellowstone Caldera to a Himalayan Tsnumai it's got some of the most amazingly detailed catastrophising I've ever seen, the work of some very very talented and newly enriched CGI artists. Shame about the rest of the film which is utter shiite & 150mins long. FFS he could have at least trimmed some of the am-dram scripted non-cgi bits in post production to tighten it all up.

12 Rounds is probably the intellectual equivalent of 2012 but this time the stupidity has been encapsulated into a Cop/Race against Time Die Hard clone thing with a frenetic pace of explosions, gunfire & car chases only momentarily broken with some wrestler-actor, Cena gurning his way through his lines. Unlike 2012 however the action wasn't enough to lift it from is knuckle dragging roots and it only scrapes a pass.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Weird creepy kids & video games

Thanks to DailyDish for linking this amazing WTF! gallery of kids science projects.

If you're looking for some Flash game to keep you busy when you should be working & you've already played through Samorost well here's a link to a really nice low-fi maze game, courtesy of B3ta's magical mailout.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Moon water found

Great results from the LCROSS mission with water definitely present in the impact plume.

Last post ever using words Guff and/or Stuff

Fascinating article by a Venezuelan gamer faced with a new law banning "violent" games that quickly descends into a perspective on Chavez's revolution. via boingboing

Cory Doctorow, co-founder of said BoingBoing, also writes in my favourite daily the Grinuada and he's done a nice piece about Pappa Murdoch's recent Interweb thinkings.

Glasgow North East is in and it's Labour win, hardly a surprise though. A record low turnout and the Conservatives only just beat the BNP into third with 1074 votes or something, I'm not really sure what any of that means but I'm fairly sure Cameron isn't selling his juju over here but at least they beat the retarded BNP scumbucket, scuse me, I'm sure whoever you are you're a charming, loveable bigot.

Peculiar earthworm looking tool Hannity fessed up to "making a mistake" but not for deliberating trying to mislead people after Jon Stewart called him out on a bit of video-feed trickery pokery. Maybes it was me but he seems especially punchable.

Nice South Park this week aimed squarely at mega-clown Glenn Beck. Not sure if this link will play, if it's blocked get a proxy thing like Hotspot Shield or something else.

Magic Box tells me Tales

Finally finished Being Human, I got a bit bored halfway through but I'm kinda glad I went back for the final eps as it they were quite enjoyable, sure the SFX on Were-George were awful but it was nicely tied together and still managed to balance the tragedy/comedy aspects. Will probably watch 2nd series.

Don't often mention the childish cartoons I like watching but maybe I should as I just watched the 3 latest episodes of The Venture Bros and it's just one of the funniest, cleverest toons I've seen in ages and it . A spoof of 60's wholesome family spy toon Johnny Quest, it's got lots of laughs, long running story arcs and a ton of great characters.

Dollhouse has been cancelled, wasn't really surprised after the very mixed quality of series two and things aren't looking great for Fringe which would be a real shame, it's got it's problems sure but it's also got Walter one of my favourite mad scientists ever. thanx io9.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

'doch confirms Bond villain pedigree & other guff

Old Man Murdoch apparently believes Obama is a racist too, he just didn't think Beck should have said it out loud. James and siblings must really love Pappy screwing up the family business.

New figures about Peak Oil, mmm I can feel the 'geddon coming, I'm hoping for a Mad Max type end, should be exciting at least and cheerier than The Road.

Oh dear it looks like the Nutt sacking fallout isn't quite over. It's maybe time for a rethink ?

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Screen Stuff

Black Dynamite was decent, not as funny as it should've been but a much better homage to 70's cinema than the Grindhouse double, with loads of badly timed fighting, cheesy dialogue and bouncy ladies.

Sisters In Law, seen it before but it didn't dampen the effect, it's a powerful documentary about a couple of Cameroonian women who work in the judiciary one as a Judge and the other a Lawyer. Fascinating & heartbreaking/warming in equal measures.

Jennifer's Body, written by Juno scribe Cody, was ok I suppose, certainly not worth all the chattering. This is a basic high school horror about a satanic ritual gone bad type thing with a couple of famous faces. It's watchable enough and I guess the script is better than most of these trashy mtv-horror flicks but there's hardly any scares and even less gore so I'm thinking what was the point.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Potheads & Politics

Nice post on DailyDish bout out media's obsession with potheads, originally from the Guardina it seems.

Also from the Dish some interesting rightwing conspiracizing, there's an article by Massie & one of the sources, a piece by some hack Philips also publised in the Spectator, she also writes in the Mail though which explains a fair bit, Griffin must love that particular paper. Read the comments too on both, very revealing indeed.

Looks like Miliband has wisely chosen against the fancy Europe job and is presumably thinking of picking up the pieces of his post-election party.

Space Stuff and Nonsense

A series of 35 f*cking amazing HD images of the Martian landscape, these are really worth your time, they give me a proper space-nerd semi-on. Thanks DM for the link.

Haha someone else has decided it's a good time to kick Scientology in their Thetan infested balls.
And here's some babbling from the progenitor idiot Hubbard himself.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Shiny Screen Sunday

Invention of Lying was good, not great but kinda and certainly better than Ghost Town. It's a great idea it's just a shame it didn't manage to make the most/best out of it, after about half an hour or so I was expecting it to get really going but it settled down into a modestly amusing rom-com instead. Gervais' directing was perfunctory but competent, I think he gets better results when in over all charge of the work so I hope he makes a better fist of his next project.

The Blackout is hardly worth mentioning seeing as I've only managed to watch 30 mins or so, it's a massive pile of shiet, so massive it makes that High Plains Drifter look accomplished. Avoid.

I'd like to recommend Food Inc as it's a brilliant examination of our current farming/animal cruelty/supermarket food/illness nexus, but it just sent me spinning into a nice dirty fug of depression. Sure, little of it is new - apart from the narrator's claim that there's only 13 slaughterhouses in the States, er wtf, that can't be right - and it's quick to use our emotions (but that's a fair rhetorical device) but well it's just that it's a frankly, stunningly well put together argument about our greed, multitude, government policies and our hopefully-soon-to-be-destroyed multinational corporations. Great effort, though I doubt it'll make any difference.

Guff just more guff

Hats off to Metzger's blog, not only does it include a little heads up to Brooker but he also includes this clip in some article about some new crazed military tazer with a 200ft range. I like watching their cop riverdance legs.

Weird, Wiki list Metzger as British but he's got an Merican accent I'm sure, he presented those DisinfoTV things, anyways maybe he is a small islander like the rest of us as he's also posting on Bonfire night. Here's a nice clip of Metzger interviewing R.A.W.

unnhh science thinky stuff

Panspermia & Space Elevators, two of my favourite Space ruminations, are gaining more traction in a couple of nice articles from the New Scientist. There's a horrible low quality vid on youtube if interested.

And an interesting bit from Wired about unusual lightning phenom.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Tversity and TV

Pandorum was not as bad as I'd read, sure it was plenty stupid but I love a generational starship story and this one certainly ticked plenty of boxes. Basically a couple of flight crew wake from space hibernation to find a degraded ship filled with alienish critters roaming about doing no good, they fight to regain control of the systems and not fall prey to space-madness, never fully explained. Quite enjoyable though.

I found The Terror on my PC, must have recorded it ages ago, anyways it's Corman production on the poor side so I wouldn't bother with this unless you're keen on seeing a young Jack Nicholson and Boris Karloff flounce about in period costume.

Urr spacey iplayer links: last night's Horizon's Black Hole 'Travaganza was pretty cool & the space-minded can catch Moore rambling about lunar impacts.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Lil' bit of 'olitics

Cameron's new European post-ratification policy has already riled up some continental politician, probably not the last, which is presumably the Garudain's front page tomorrow.

And some great coverage of today's Iranian protests from the G's website

These days I'm thinking hung parliament or narrow Con majority, dissary down south and then the inevitable win for independance here in Scotland and a whole hearted embrace rightly or wrongly of the European project. And people like Dan Hannan only confirm my prejudices, just read his latest peice on the Torygraph site or not anyways it's looking like Cameron should be concerned about who else he's riling up.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Jazz, Wine & Blasphemy

Wes Montgomery Live in '65, a real gem, great sound and nicely shot including plenty of talking among the musicians giving it a real charm.

Bottle Shock, a very slight comedy about French wine tasters picking Californian wines over their own in a blind tasting in the 1970's. Mediocre fluff with a reasonable Rickman performance.

The Day of The Beast, a crazed Spanish satanic satire was a lot more fun: some Priest deciphers Revelations and uncovers the date of the Apocalypse but not the location so decides to ask the Devil & starts sinning in a big way.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Sllight spattering

Ronson has taken over part of the Guardian site to promote the Clooney film based on his book, there's a nice little article from Pilkington of Strange Attractor fame.

Suppose should link this poll result about filesharers, not that Mandy will pay the slightest attention, the three-strikes wagon will rumble on.

Superman helps beat the KKK for real? weird but wonderful. Via I09.

Even Guido seems to see the stupidity of our current drug policies and the sacking of Nutt.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Discs and otherwise

Finished Arkham Asylum couple of nights ago, was ok, hope the next one is free roaming though. Bought Uncharted 2, so far so good actually living up to the hype, also got Borderlands though I've only had a quick peek. I have managed a few films though;

House of The Devil, a1980's styled horror film that initially seemed quite good but totally failed to deliver. Some cash hungry student shows up for a babysitting job and things aren't quite right from the get go, it manages to build some tension but fritters it away in a badly handled, mostly bloodless, final third. I remember 80's stuff having the decency at least to have buckets of blood and gore.

Astroboy was a pretty enjoyable 90 mins of cartoon scifi I guess. Based on the enormously popular mangas by Tezuka the plot revolves around a grieving scientist who tries to recreate his dead son as a powerful robot child thing, needless to say it doesn't really work out all that well and robo-kid leaves Floating tech-city to find himself, returns and kicks badguy ass to save the day.

This Gun for Hire is one of a pile of film noir's I've not watched - after Kiss Me Deadly this was a little disappointing sadly. It is a great film though, tight, nicely scripted and funny in bits but there was something amiss along the way or maybe it was Ladd's performance, I wasn't too impressed with his reminiscences towards the end, I dunno. Veronica Lake was great though.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

lazy daze assortment

Schwarenegger hides a message in a recent letter.

Just found Adam Curtis' blog on the BBC site and it's a great read, well worth a look, here's a link to a post about the unusual marketing technique used by the makers of Sodium Pentothal. Must try and track down some of his earlier films.

Gotta love the CIA, turns out they've ben paying Karzai's drug lord brother for 8 years.

Xenu lovers get a kicking in the French courts & Haggis decides he's had it with the exploitative bampots in a public letter to Tommy Davis, the chap who provoked this still funny reaction from Sweeney.

Shep Smith must think he works for some other network, well he will soon as he's bound to get fired from Fox soon.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Couple of classic K's

Thought I'd catch up on some oldies, starting with Pakula's murky Klute, a noirish tale of hookers and murders investigated by stoic Donald Sutherland. Jane Fonda plays the prostitute at the centre of the story and they're both excellent even though the script is at times quite amusing, mainly due to the outdated slang. The plot is fairly straightforward and it's a little too easy to figure out the killer, nonetheless a nice bit of 70's paranoia.

Kiss Me Deadly, is a true noir classic however, making Klute look staid and flatfooted. From the excellent opening sequence, this belts along frantically clocking up corpses, car bombs, mobsters, dames & double crossers and most important of all, the Great Whatsit; the mysterious shining briefcase that inspired Alex Cox and Tarantino so much. In case you haven't seen it I won't spoil the end as it's a fantastic climax to this ripsnorting thriller.

Screen things

Been waiting quite a while to see Moon and I wasn't disappointed, it's a fantastic little tale about a lonely, run-down lunar worker counting the last few days of his 3yr stint when things get complicated. Rockwell does a fine job of the roller coaster of experiences Sam gets through and is supported by a Spacey voiced robotic assistant called Gerty. It's well constructed, funny and actually quite touching, all-in-all a highly successful debut feature from Jones.

Rob Newman's History of Oil
, was a revelation, I'd heard his stand-up was quite good but literally haven't seen him since his Newman& Baddiel years. This short piece is a scathing, intelligent diatribe against our collective ignorant addiction to oil, oil, oil. Nothing particularly new, per se, in the material it's just particularly well put together, kinda in a Mark Thomas with a pinch of Hicks. Good stuff now I just have to dig around looking for more of his stuff.

Pig Hunt, was trash but the good kind of trash, it's got all the cliches: city folk head to the woods, dangerous hillbillies, a shack in the middle of nowhere and a of course a monstrous, murderous Hogzilla. It could have been a pretty good B-movie had it not been for the bungling of the beast and the whole finale, it's one of the most amateurish monsters I've seen in ages, they should have at least kept back enough money for a CGi pig.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Two tiny budget gems

Le Donk & Scor-Zay-Zee was brilliant, very funny & kinda strangely touching in bits and given it took only five days to make it's a huge success. It's a half improvised mockumentary following a delusional roadie/manager as he pimps a chubby rapper onto the Arctical Monkeys. Meadows is a real genuine British talent, Dead Man's Shoes is my favourite, and I've gotta start looking into his short films stuff.

Two good films in one post, wow, this is a first. Paranormal Activity is a Blair Witch interweb hyped shakey cam horror film and to be honest it was a pretty effective, gave me the heebejeebes during a couple of the night cam sequences, was hi tho. It's got a whole alternate ending thing happening & I liked the one I saw but I'll probably try to catch the other one online somewhere anyways this was made for only $15,000 and like Le Donk above proves that budget has little to do with quality. Worth a look, maybe lives up to half the hype.

Skylights on the Moon

Some scientists reckon they've found evidence of lava tubes on the Moon,which is fricking sweet, they've gotta try and explore one of these and soon, thanks to New Scientist via I09. And while looking into lava tubes I found about the Craters of The Moon in Idaho.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

A Film called Joe

Joe, starring Peter Boyle & young Susan Sarandon is a 70's hippy vs square culture clash film and was pretty good, not particularly original but nice grubby and gloomy though it does have a touch of Quincy about it. Boyle plays a bigoted lunatic who meets a father who's just killed his daughter's junkie boyfriend and they develop a strange relationship that ends rather badly.

Horsemen was mostly horseshit, Dennis Quaid plays a rundown detective teeth-specialist? who gets investigating some weird ritualistic murders the end result is a hodge podge of cliches jammed together with some grisly corpses and a heap of tedious family scenes.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Mmmm space

There's a bevy of new exoplanets, and one of them is quite interesting. thanks Wired

Some sweet heliopause action via IO9

Curious article about the theory of extraterrestrial origin of some of our minerals.

Massive crater found in India, vying for Dinosaur Killer title.

an awesome Chandra pic

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Tedious, Funny & Glossy

WTF, the Olmos directed spin off Battlestar Galactica: The Plan seemed to make little sense to me, not only that, it was basically a retread of events from Galactica itself only from the Cylon's perspective, doh, I thought it was going to be all from Cylon bases etc, oh well, I guess it was watchable enough but didn't really offer us anything new just filled in a bit of background.

Observe & Report was better than I expected, it's dark, quite funny and reasonably performed by Rogen, Farris and Liotta. Weird it came out around the same time as Paul Blart cause it's kinda like the antithesis of that film. I presume it's one of those majors masquerading as an indie productions as on a couple of occasions it tries way too hard to prove it's bad taste chops, nonetheless it's worth a look.

Public Enemies was a beautifully shot, well paced, thriller that reeked of quality from set design to camera work and it is a great film but for me it was cold, distant, all the leads felt like marionettes, cyphers not characters, like most of Mann's work there's some sort of hollowness at the core that the actors can't shake off. I reckon it must come from Mann himself, maybe he can't select a take or something and gets them running over and over till they're like drones. Anyways this is big glossy action with very loud gunfire.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Couple of almost-beens

I suppose A Perfect Getaway was ok, it's a twisty thriller about a couple honeymooning in Hawaii while a couple of tourist killers on the loose. It's got a decent cast but is sadly spoiled by an overworked plot; if they'd focused more on the tension and less on the twisty antics it would have been much better film.

Another missed opportunity was The Tournament, it's quite enjoyable don't get me wrong but it's uneven in it's execution, some of it looks ok and other bits look made-for-tv. It's got a surprisingly decent cast who muddle through the perfunctory script but there's some pretty competent action/fight scenes & thankfully it doesn't skimp on the gore but the stupid Frenchmen story arc hobbled it, if they'd left that out they could have tightened the other strands up nice and with a bit more care with the overall look of the film they would've had a nice respectable b-movie.

Cheap and Cheerful

I Sell the Dead, despite it's tiny budget was an amusing, entertaining 90 mins. It's a kinda Hammer horror comedy thing about a couple of deadbeat grave robbers who stumble into the world of the supernatural and end up facing the gallows. Monaghan from Lost and Last Winter director Larry Fessenden star as the grubby diggers, Scrimm plays their employer and Perlman turns up as the Priest taking last confession and they're all pretty decent, managing the scares and laughs in equal measure. There wasn't quite enough gore imo and the fx were a bit cheap, funny though, it kinda looked a bit TV ish and it would have made a great series.

The Objective, is a low key little scifi flick about a group of soldiers escorting a CIA agent into a mysterious Afghan valley, playing out like Predator in the desert as the mission slowly unravels and the bodies mount up. It too could have been improved by a little more cash on the fx but it's an interesting enough idea and the actors manage the rather basic script/characters. And Vimanas, wow, haven't thought about them in ages. Chea

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Brooker gouges Moir

Awesome rebuttal by Charlie Brooker of a rather nasty column in today's Daily Mail. I'm quite glad his recent forays into journalism - beyond his long running & very funny ScreenBurn - have been so successful (ha ha he's even made Huffpo) because now we get to see him to wrankle on about our twisted modern life and occasionally the bigoted 'tards that roam around this country foaming at the mouth like say Jan Moir whose astonishingly ignorant, sneering, bile eruption neatly typifies that particular paper, an insidious more sinister monster imo than say The Sun, something homegrown not some meglomaniacal Antipodean's adolescent musings.

Fry and Derren Brown mounted a celeb twitter attack against Moir and I hope they've managed to clock up plenty of PCC complaints. And here's a link to Brown's recent efforts against scumbags.

Krist 3rd Gaurdnia post of the week

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Tabs get pwned

Gradunia has a highly amusing story today about the new film called Starsuckers directed by Chris Atkins, of Taking Liberties fame. This new film is focused on our celebrity obsessed tabloids and has caught a number of them printing stories that have no factual basis which they obviously didn't bother to check. I can't imagine anyone would be surprised by these revelations but it's nice to see someone making the effort to point out their indolence and general stupidity.

And here's a slightly more sinister article for tomorrow's edition about them trying to sell the Tabs private medical info of clebs. Oh and you can watch Atkins' first film here for free.