Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Film & Daily Show moans

I'll deal, quickly, with the one film I watched last night, Alien Trespass. I'd seen posts about this for a while on Quiet Earth and IO9 etc etc and for some reasons I'd thought it sounded quite funny however it's just a waste of 90mins. It's not big, nor clever and certainly not funny - avoid.

I'm a bit of a Stewart/Colbert nutjob but lately I've been getting ticked off with both their interview segments. Colbert for his general interrupting rudeness, yes I know it's part of his shtick but sometimes he may as well shout/rant a picture of his guest as they barely get to say five words when sitting opposite and recently Stewart for not airing the full interviews. They at least post them online but couldn't they just squeeze out some of your other stuff instead, like the gags about stuff he's been joking with the audience pre-show. Anyways here's the full Bill Kristol interview.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bill Kristol Extended Interview
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJoke of the Day

Space Pron

Amazing image from Thierry Legault, via

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The Shat reads Palin

Thanks to Wonkette for posting this amazing clip of Shatner reading out Palin's recent bye-bye speech. UPDATE - oops vid gone already. Sure you'll find it somewhere though

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Tversity treats

Crank 2: High Voltage starring Jason Statham is a fine sequel with the same insanely frenetic action and tongue in cheek humour as the original. Fans of highbrow movies should definitely avoid this one as it's crude and very violent throughout - otherwise strap yourself in for a thrill-ride like no other. Now that Statham has moved away from Ritchie's tired London-shtick he's turning into a very capable action star and has handled his recent projects really well.

I Love You, Man was a little disappointing, I like Rudd and the other guy from Freaks & Geeks Seagal I think and it was funny for most of the film but it traded on the fashionable cringe-comedy too much, was at least 20 mins too long and had a very predictable rom-com plot.

Thing From Another World
- bit of a classic this one. I hadn't seen it in ages so thought I'd give it a go and it still stands up on it's own terms. Everyone smokes constantly and there's some nice lines between the Captain and his paramour mixed between attacks from the Thing. Worth catching if you've only seen the Carpenter remake.

God Told Me To, a weird little Larry Cohen film turned out to be quite good and ripe for a remake I think. The film follows a Catholic police detective investigating a number of unusual killings, all explained by the perps as occurring because "God Told Me To" - naughty, naughty God. Anyways this grimy little film then twists into something altogether different when the cop realises he might be connected to the crimes himself. I won't explain more but keeps your eyes open for the mangina at the end.

Another Larry Cohen film I watched over the weekend was Maniac Cop - despite starring Bruce Campbell this was a tediously formulaic, poorly shot killer-thriller. Not sure how it spawned two sequels.

Saturday, 25 July 2009


Inglorious Bastards, the original Italian exploitation film was really quite good. Basically a mash-up of The Dirty Dozen and a few other WW2 classics this is a foot to the floor, all-action Nazi slaughter fest. The plot is a bit thin as you might expect essentially some military prisoners escape during a German air-raid and start killing their way towards the Swiss border. I'm sceptical that Tarantino's reboot will match the frenetic pace of this gem.

The Inhabited Island Part Two
- was an improvement on Part One but it's still flawed by the strangely cheap looking SFX and dodgy acting. This part at least started to explore the philosophical aspects of Maxim's arrival and his quest for social revolution if only briefly. I've looked into buying the original novel but it's pricey so it might have to wait till next month. Overall I did enjoy both films, they're certainly a departure from the usual Hollywood big budget scifi but I'd say they're films only for the dedicated scifi nerds.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Space Pron II

Almost forgot bout this stunning pic of eclipse shadow from this week.

More sciencey stuff

The Chandra X-Ray Telescope is 10yrs old today - here's a link to a nice slideshow of some its images, via the BBC.

Here's another link from the Beeb about the launch of a really cool wireless electricity system. Using resonance to transmit the electrical energy this could be huge. I might be mistaken but didn't Tesla design something similar ?

And a little interesting article by a statistician about the disputed Iranian election.

Space Prontopia !

An awesome pic, courtesy of New Scientist of the Cygnus Bubble.

There's been some great stuff happening this week - Chandra's birthday, a strike on Jupiter that left a hole the size of the Earth.

And Ice Volcanoes on Enceleadus ! thanks to Io9, Discovery Science etc for the links/images. Can't wait till the next Sky At Night episode as Moore will be dangerously excited by all this news.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

More Cinema

Coraline, was actually pretty good, I've got mixed feelings about Gaiman, but it's a nice and dark kids tale that's beautifully animated has a great story and has 3D worth bothering putting the glasses on for. If you can I'd try and catch this one on Bluray as it looks amazing.

The Hangover, the much-hyped comedy was - in the end - very funny and well worth watching. The plot is thin, basically a rerun of Dude Where's My Car, but it's the excellent performances from the 3 main characters and snappy script that lift this above the average. Ed Helms was brilliant as the brow-beaten stag who can't remembering getting married to a prostitute.

Green Lantern: First Flight - caused my Better Half and I some confusion as the opening 1o mins are almost identical to another animated GL feature we've seen ( but mysteriously can't find anywhere on the interweb). Regardless this was a by-the-numbers superhero outing, there's nothing wrong with it per se it just wasn't very exciting.

The Inhabited Island, was a film I'd been looking forward to seeing for ages. Based on a novel by the Strugatsky Bros, this big budget Russian sci fi was sadly a bit of a let down. It was ok I guess but most of the acting was below par, the styling seemed late 80's or early 90's to me and the big action pieces were underwhelming. Still it has a interesting enough story, think I'll buy the book and I'll be watching the second part so it can't have been all bad.

2010 - I caught the masterfull 2001 on TV on Sunday afternoon and got sucked back into that magical atmosphere so I thought I'd give the sequel a watch as it'd been ages. Hyam's film was never going to match Kubrick's effort but it's a decent enough effort. It's dated quite badly though and maybe it was a bad print or something but it doesn't look nearly as good as 2001, the acting is fine, the Dave sequences are a bit clumsy and there's too much narration by Scheider.

Hush, a new British horror was surprisingly good, ripping-off of a decent Kurt Russell film called Breakdown, it's a motorway thriller about a couple who get involved with some rather nasty people traffickers I guess you'd call them. The main character was a bit annoying however, most of the film he was a tedious idiot, stupid even for horror movie standards, but there was at least two bits where he seemed to do really smart things, way smarter than he'd been portrayed, oh well can't have everything.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Little bit of Forteana

Well first there was this, slightly nauseating gunk, that had peeps baffled for a bit and now there's this nasty gloop.

Tardigrades are cool mini-critters, here's a cool bit from io9 bout other extremophiles.

And via the mighty Fortean Times here's an interesting article about some extensive caves uncovered at Easter Island.


Still haven't finished Dead Space, got myself in a bit of tricky ammo situation, my own fault of course. Anyway I must push on with it as I've barely touched Bioshock and Valkyria Chronicles, thank god the Fallout 3 DLC has been delayed for the PS3.

Hats off to these guys, The Speed Gamers, who're doing an awesome Final Fantasy marathon.

This looks great, hope it's coming to the PS3. Shame about the name tho.

Friday, 17 July 2009


Oh lordy I'd been warned that the latest McG flick was a bit poor and I should've listened. Terminator Salvation was awful: a rubbish script with plenty of plot holes and some terrible shouty acting by most of the cast, the only saving grace was a couple of decent action/cgi sequences like the Jumbo Terminator.

I'm back on the TV documentaries this week so I've been rewatching The Secret Rulers of the World by Jon Ronson. This is a fantastic series about conspiracy-minded individuals and events, covering Bilderbergs, Ruby Ridge, Icke and Alex Jones @ Bohemian Grove, all classic rational sympathetic investigations with Ronson's usual gentle prodding and poking around style. He makes Louis Theroux look like a tabloid hack. Hopefully with his books being adapted for the big screen we'll see some proper DVD releases soon.

Another fricking awesome show is The Rough History of Disbelief - a idiosyncratic look at the history of atheism presented by lovelable curmudgeon Jonathan Miller. This is an unashamedly high brow series and I loved it, a lot - shame it was only 3 eps long though as those religious types need some learning.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

More Films

Flame and Citron was a pretty decent WW2 resistance drama from Denmark - well shot and acted with an interesting story its worth taking a look at.

The Last of Sheila - a peculiar Agatha-style murder mystery written by Anthony Perkins & Steven Sondheim was very entertaining. Snappy dialogue, psychological tension and with innumerate twists this little film from the 70's will keep you guessing almost to the end.

Gone in 60 Seconds was awful - I'd heard the original was a bit of a cult classic but in fact it was just badly scripted and very very badly acted. Some decent car chases I suppose but I'd avoid this one as much as the remake with Cage in it.

Ghost Story - was a nice little Sunday afternoon film, not scary in the slightest but it had some charm and plenty of aging stars to prop up the old fashioned plot.

The biggest disappointment of the weekend however was Drag Me To Hell - I'd heard such good things about it but it wasn't gory, scary or funny enough for me by a long chalk. I'm hoping that it was a warm-up for the Raimi's proper return to horror otherwise they better just stay with Marvel franchises.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Just Watched

Finally got to see In The Loop and it didn't disappoint - beautifully sweary and funny throughout. I'm a sucker for political movies and keep trying to force them on my customers but I get it, indifference is the norm in the UK about politics that or a withering cynicism. Either way this is a scathing satire on contemporary politics, brimming with great lines and with two great performances from Capaldi and Hollander at it's core. Hopefully they'll make some more shows after this, can't say I miss Langham at all.

Also watched Return To Salem's Lot - wasn't very good. The original, though it wasn't great had some atmosphere and surpassed it's cheap effects and heavy cheesing, the sequel/reboot Larry Cohen thing was edited by a moron distracted by a large crusty piece of nose candy, plotted by someone high, real high and scripted by a computer I guess. It had some ideas, and a couple of half decent moments but I wouldn't bother watching the film to see them.

Politik and a bit of brain science

Andrew Sullivan is one of the UK's better exports in terms of pundit/celebs, maybe not John Oliver but getting there. Even though I aint no Conservative small c or otherwise his blog is excellent and well worth keeping a eye on and he sure aint a fan of Sarah Palin - maybe it was that exorcism, or the winking or whatever but here's a fairly devastating list of idiocy from the former Governor.

That Death Squad story just won't go away for Cheney - no wonder Obama's beefed up his security.

A really interesting item from BoingBoing about the old noggin.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Guardian scoop and other stuff

At last The Guardian has a story with a some bite, poor Andy Coulson is on borrowed time no matter what Camo said this morning.

Interesting bit on Huffpo - maybe we're going to get some details bout the alledged Cheney Death Squad.

Here's Andrew Sullivan's round up of videos from todays clashes in Iran.

in comic form - link from BoingBoing

Charlie Brooker has a new show and as usual it's really good. And he might have another soon about gaming.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Films more films

Che, was ok, nicely shot, decent script and Benecio was impressive as usual but it was a little plodding for my tastes especially part 2. Maybe if they'd included some of his Congo experiences it'd tightened it all up.

Murder By Decree, a very starry cast and a interesting Holmes Vs Ripper plot make for plenty of fun. My only gripe was with Plummer's Holmes - he was just too nice. I prefer Brett's misanthropic, drug addled depiction but a small complaint in an otherwise excellent romp.

Prince of the City by Sidney Lumet was excellent - a complicated and lengthy miniseries about police corruption in NY. Detailed and well acted by Treat Williams in the lead with a huge cast of familiar faces it's a epic companion peice to Serpico.

Plague Town, was well rubbish, yet another lost-in-woods-terrorised-by-locals film making up for no script with plenty of blood. There's a thousand ways this film could have been better so I won't start listing them here. Avoid.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Palin loose !

Odd winking lady Sarah Palin quit Friday, presumably to kick start a new career on Fox cause she's no political future now, especially not after that weird, confused speech or her threats of legal action against bloggers and the media. Some amusing coverage from Wonkette.

Friday, 3 July 2009


Boxcar Bertha, another Corman produced film this time directed by Scorsese, was pretty entertaining, it's got Dave Carradine & Babs Hershey in the leads and is really nicely shot. Apparently it's pretty far from the facts but who cares ? it's gritty, got a great soundtrack and for something so cheaply made it's 90mins well worth spending.

Caught Q & A on TV the other night, about half an hour in, no big deal as I've seen it quite a few times. It's a real sleazy dirty-cop-thriller directed by Sidney Lumet one of my favourite directors, it's kinda aged badly with the cheesy synth pop and 80's outfits but Nick Nolte's blistering performance makes up for any flaws.

We watched the first season of Southland this week - it's a post-Wire police procedural concentrating mainly on the squad cars. There's a fair bit of the officers personal lives but I hope it can build into some decent crime-based story arcs cause since the Shield and The Wire finished I've been hankering for some cop stuff. Anyways it's been picked up for more so fingers crossed.

I want one of these please !

This is well nice. I'd like one please and now, right now. I used to be slightly obsessed about new forms of transport when I was a kid, but my idea wasn't nearly as cool looking as this. Link courtesy of Gizmodo

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Ant Attack

Saw this on the BBC site - blimey thats a big colony. Now we just need an unusual cosmic event and it'll be Phase IV time and welcome to our insect overlords !

Totally unrelated but I watched another great Jon Ronson peice last night, Revelations on C4, about the famed Alpha Course. I'm a big fan of Ronson and his low-key work and this one didn't disappoint, mind you I'll watch anything with speaking-in-tongues/channeling in it. Cant think of anything funnier. Shame Ronsons work is unavailable on DVD as I've been a fan since my Uni days and his show For The Love Of.... However according to Ronson's blog with the two Hollywood adaptations of Stare Goats & Them on their way we might get a DVD release. Fingers crossed.