Monday, 31 August 2009

Couch based Sunday

After managing only five mins of Humanity's End, we jumped for Pickup on South Street, an excellent 50's noir about a pick pocket who lifts some microfilm from a courier for the dirty Commies. Tight and well acted, this is a great little film and it looks great for it's age.

And finally a new scifi film that lives up to the hype. I loved District 9, it's got a nice little twist on the first contact meme and with a decent script and some excellent effects it's a cut above a whole heap of movies I've seen lately and definitely one to catch. The documentary style works well and the acting is pretty good. Hope they make pots of cash and a sequel.

Hellsing OVA 6 - had totally forgotten about this and I wasn't disappointed, well a little upset that Alucard still hasn't arrived on the scene yet, I'm rather keen to see the vampiric Nazi's get the ass-kicking of the century. None the less it was a pretty decent episode with Seras defending Hellsing HQ with a couple of tank guns against Zeppelin attack. Hope 7 comes along soon.

Nothing was great, directed by Natali guy who did The Cube, it's an odd little story about a couple of deadbeats who end up isolating themselves into nothingness, literally. The film is a bit patchy but the central idea and the characters response to their dilemma more than make up it's shortcomings. Surprisingly upbeat. Can't wait to see Splice and IMDB has him directing High Rise based on a Ballard novel.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Double trouble with the Dr

Crammed a couple of early Who DVD's in this week. First up is The Caves of Androzani , starring Peter Davison in his final appearance as the Dr, this is a complicated tale of two planets fighting over a precious substance called spectrox. Mired in the political and military shenanigans the Dr and Peri manage to contract a deadly disease and end up hostage to the Phantom of the Opera-esque robotic genius Sharaz Jek. Brilliant stuff ! Must look for other Davison Who now.

The Pyramids of Mars
with Tom Baker was next, though this has a great story of the resurrection of Egyptian Gods and robot slaves in the English countryside the cheapo SFX kinda spoiled this one. If only they'd spent a few more pounds on the robot slaves I wouldn't have laughed so much and enjoyed this dark little tale a bit more. Particulary amusing was the poacher getting squashed between two robots mono-boobs, can't find the clip online, sorry but here's the Dr spelling out the problem for Sarah Jane.

Glenn Beck is such a Dum Dum Dummy - his words

Presumably Glenn Beck decided Stewart & Colberts 3 week hiatus was the perfect time to unleash his full nuttiness. Here's the Huffpo link to his latest idiotic spouting and the clip demonstrating his dire need for schooling.

and here's Beck reassuring us he's not a tool.

Friday, 28 August 2009

For the Nerds

Lordy, Io9 had a sweet graph on the site yesterday showing the trajectories of various Time Travellers and now they've got an even more impressive graph of Sci-Fi TV and it's tropes.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Sciencey bit

A fricking amazing article from Gizmodo, one of those excellent Gawker Media sites, about the Atomic Force Microscope which has actually photographed molecular bonds, yes really.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

PS3 woe

PS3 failed last night - horrified by the deal offered by Sony so gonna try and get it fixed, if not guess I'll be buying a slim once I've found the cash. Most annoying as I'd just got to the last fuggin level of Dead Space.


Killing Room is a nice little psychological horror film. It's all about a weird murderous experiment run by a shadowy government organisation blah blah. There's some good acting and it's got plenty of tension though it's a loopy plot so I'd recommend disconnecting the old noggin. It does have this guy Stormare in it who gives good creepy.

Bigelow has a new Iraq war film out and it's not bad. The Hurt Locker follows a bomb disposal unit doing it's daily grind on the dusty streets of Baghdad. The action is well handled and it's all very realistic in a Gen Kill style and there's some terrific moments of tension. The acting is ok and there's a couple of decent cameos from Pearce and Fiennes but the whole thing kinda sputters out in the second half descending into cliches and the same old war film territory.

Virus, despite a decent cast this was a fairly tedious bit of post-apocalyptic cinema. Man-made virus wipes out the majority of the planet and the only survivors are scientists huddling in Antarctica. I watched the butchered version but to be honest I don't think it really mattered, it was just too 80's, too Cold War for me. Dunno maybe the long version does make a difference.

Another Corman and another little gem. The Secret Invasion is a little bit Great Escape and a fair amount of Dirty Dozen but is nonetheless is a great WW2 romp. A gang of professional criminals are recruited for a insane mission into Yugoslavia to rescue some Italian general. It's got a sweet cast and despite a limited budget Corman packs in plenty of action and suspense.

Batman Vs Dracula, a feature length special from the one of the more recent Batman cartoon adaptations. I've only caught a couple of eps from The Batman toon but this was a enjoyable 90 mins. The artwork is really quite nice and story managed to cram Penguin and Joker in alongside the Count. Not so keen on the look of the Joker though - what's with the teeth ?

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Hiewing Vabits

Kevin McDonald's version of State of Play turned out to be quite good, comically haired Crowe was on form, Mirren does ok Nighy and they managed the complicated plot down to two hours which was a feat in itself. The only downside was Affleck, I'm not a hater, but this performance certainly wasn'this best. Otherwise it's worth a look but if you've the time I'd go for the original.

Alligator, can't remember how I ended up watching this but I was pleasantly surprised. Sure it's a cheap as hell moster movie but it works somehow, it's got some faces you'll recognise and it's a nice piece of folklore of flushed-pet-alligator-turns-man-chewer. And it's written by John Sayles, weird.

As I write I'm watching Piano Blues by Clint Eastwood again, I've seen it plenty of times before but it's got Ray Charles, Oscar Peterson, Professor Longhair, Dr John, Perkins and the Duke so it's like a panacea. Just wish I could see Piano Players Rarely Play Together, I'm sure it's gonna be worth it but it's proving elusive.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Shakey, Franks, Morons and yet another remake

Great review of a fricking awesome looking Neil Young Blu-ray box set from Metzger's nice new blog Dangerous Minds.

Bit slow on this one but if anyone hasn't seen Barney Franks slap down a moron here's the link.

And if you can stomach it here's the fools from Fox fighting back - Hannity & Bachmann are chillingly stoopid.

And still on US politics was that Heil Hitler viral a fake ?

Remake madness rumbles on in Tinseltown with Outland, the remake of High Noon getting the green light. Hymans was actually quite enjoyable and the original is a true classic, talk about an uphill struggle.

Finally something I can recommend

Just watched the last two episodes of the post-apocalyptic series The Last Train, made for TV in late 90's I can only assume I missed this as it was on ITV. It's a shame 'cause this was great, much better than the recent Survivors remake even though it treds much of the same ground. A group of stereotypical Britishers get frozen, there's a bit of an apocalypse, then they thaw out and battle through a decaying society filled with "savages". There's some ropey acting from a few of the gang but it's mostly pretty good, script is better than expected and it's much darker in tone than I'd hoped for an ITV drama. Nice and grim ending too.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

odds nd sods

I love me some Panspermia/exogenesis hypotheses so great news today that NASA found some amino acids in the cloud of the Wild 2 comet. Thanks to io9 for the link.

Wow - I was just telling my non-gamer friend about the RROD problem last night and I said it was about 25%. I love my ps3 but I'm no troll I just think it's bad for everyone if a company is successful even though they're selling a defective profit. I can't imagine Microsoft will be too bothered about testing their next console.

Nice little roundup of Fortean phenomenon on including a few like the Naga fireballs I hadn't even heard of.

Here's a link to the trailer for the Grant Morrison scifi retelling of the Mahabarat. Looks pretty cool.

Couple of Sci-fi duds

Supernova, was pretty awful - it's got a cast full of fallen and b-list stars but this mediocre film couldn't escape it's terrible script and confused plotting. After having a squiz on IMDB trivia it seems it's had a troubled history with both Ford Coppola and Walter Hill trying to steer it to the screen.

Hardware, sadly, wasn't a whole lot better. I'd been wanting to watch this again for ages as it was based on a short story from the awesome comic 2000ad that I devoured as a child. Anyways the film is a little apocalyptic tale about a guy who digs up a killer robot from the wasteland and sells it to an artist who makes rubbish industrial pieces, robot reassembles and starts killing. It's not a bad story it just takes way too long to get to the action, the robot itself is naff and both the main actors are hopeless. Oh hum - let's hope Dust Devil stands up better.

Sunday, 16 August 2009


Cool bit on Io9 bout Space Elevators - hopefully there'll be some breakthrough soon as I've daydreamed about it for years.

Real nice pic from Gawker - maybe Hubbard's plan wasn't about making piles of money and emotionally scarring people but instead it was all about giving us some real big belly laughs.

Tory dingbat, Alan Duncan, who's always seemed like at frickking tool came a cropper this week, it was only a matter of time before wheels started falling off Cameron's wagon and after his nervy, sweaty schoolboy, backfooted performance on TV to stem the damage I'm not surprised they rushed out a story about cutting ministers pay. Doesn't help that simpering berk a like Dan Hannan licked Sean Hannity arse by slagging of the NHS this week. Posh Dave doesn't look good under pressure.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Screen stuff

Finished True Blood season one last night and I really enjoyed it: it's got a nice spin on the old vamp thing, a good script and some decent acting. I'm not fussed for the actress playing Sookie but that's ok as I believe the second series moves away from her onto other characters.

Dracula 2000 in contrast was mediocre at best. Plummer was good as an aging Helsing propped up by injections of vamp blood who's absent minded enough to allow Dracula's coffin to be stolen, doh, he has Lee Miller to help out though he's useless. There's little to recommend this to anyone though it does have Gerard Butler playing the title character with a barely hidden Scottish accent.

No Blade of Grass, an old British post-apocalyptic drama was great, it kinda shares a similar grimy, uber depressing view of societal collapse much like Threads but attributes the crisis to our enviromental mismanagement. Ohh how very prescient! guess it's just a matter of days before this gets remade. The acting is functional with a few familiar faces but it doesn't detract from a great story though eye patch dude did distract me a bit. Written by the guy who did Tripods.

Just rewatched the last quarter (sober) and it was worth it for the biker gang shoot out and the ultra gloomy fraticidal ending which was nice. Needs a remake and we should do it and soon.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

forgotten trash

Can't imagine why but I forgot about Mindhunters - another pick from the customers and another piece of crap, I'm sure someone said it was a bit scifi-y but it isn't and instead its a tedious And Then There Were None riff with a few b-listers plodding their way through a dodgy script about wannabe FBI profilers under the tutelage of Kilmer & Wig. Avoid this one unless you need emergency brain shutdown.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Space Junk

There's so much interesting stuff about at the moment and courtesy of io9, here's another cool link this time about one of Saturn's moons, Iapetus.


Bruno, was pretty awful, not as funny as Borat and a total waste of time. Cohen's characters were better focused on celebs and media pundits like back on the 11 0'clock show.

Dead End, was better if a little formulaic, starring Ray Wise who makes an unfortunate short cut on a journey to spend Xmas with the mother in law. It all goes wrong mostly just as you'd expect but it's redeemed slightly by Wise's amazing face and some other good performances.

Alone In The Dark was actually a pretty decent psycho-thriller from the 80's. Murdoch from the A-Team is a new psychiatrist for a bunch of violent loons who escape from the low security nut farm during a black out, kinda looks like a tv movie but it's got a bevy of stars in a true ham fest, Palance should get an award for his uber-triple-hamtastic performance.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Hopkin's amazing ventriloquism

Cool I thought I was losing my mind, switched onto Tomb Raider tonight and caught Anthony Hopkins voice coming out of Voights puffy face during a comedic remembrance by a super pouty Jolie. Anyways I thought it must have been my imagination, erm, but I googled it and some guy on some website thinks the same thing, phew, that was a relief.

Obviously Voight wasn't capable of an English accent, no real surprise, he always struck me as a div, so they got ole Tony in to do his bits - should have watched the rest to see if there was more but I'd rather not. Hopkins isnt listed in the IMDB cast list tho. Maybe madness beckons after all.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Been watching...

Shows and more shows, thought I'd have a little time off the films so been watching some small screen guff.

30 Rock - nice couple in the shop have been telling me to watch this for a while, and they were right it is good, we're only half way through season one and I'm quite happy to watch 3 or 4 in a row. Baldwin is surprisingly funny and Fey has more nuance than I'd expected. Hope it won't drift into Sex and the City territory though.

Warehouse 13 - well I love the concept and was teased by IO9 for a few months but sadly I was gutted to find the actual show much lighter in tone than I'd expected, I get the idea that you need an audience but the gags would work better with an actual dramatic serious background not some sort of kids show, oh just twigged maybe they were thinking of a US show like Dr Who, kinda like a family thing - don't really know what slot it's on in the States, should really Google it.
As it currently stands I can't see myself watching much more of this show, which is a shame cause I've loved the idea of a warehouse of cool subversive archaeological objects since Indy and I'd kinda hoped this would flesh out my childhood dreams from that briefest of glimpses. The whole thing isn't helped by some of the worst music ever and I normally never notice the music.

Dr Who Robots of Death - some vintage scifi - I'm running out of scifi these days, suggestions welcome, so I thought I'd dip into some classic Who. It's a nice little story of a peculiar society with some tempramental droids and it's Tom Baker so has drama even in the quiet bits. Caves of Androznia or something next.

Mock The Week, always watch this as it's a guaranteed laugh per minute show and it's got Frankie Boyle on it. Only mention it cause this week I felt that I've been watching too many of these fake quiz show type things and they'll only stop making them till peeps like me stop watching. Ho-hum the state of our TV is depressing, time for that nutjob email to the BBC.

The Sky At Night - I fricking love this show, been watching it most of my life, apart from those lost Uni years, but it's pretty much the only science show on TV that doesn't treat you like an idiot and it's actually pretty topical. Plus it's got Patrick Moore, who is truly a natural treasure, like a British Buddha or something, lord knows who old he is but he's got plenty of passion for his subject & I hope they've got time for the recent Venusian event in the next ep. Anyways I hope Moore lasts another 50 years.

Defying Gravity - a new scifi show and imo it didn't totally suck like say Virtuality, anyways it's middle budget effort about a grand tour of our solar system that's got a crew with a bit of a past and has some sort of mysterious object/alien onboard that only a few know about. Anyways I saw a few pretty harsh reviews of it online but I quite liked it; I thought the near-future setting reasonable and reminded me of Planetes which was great. I also didn't mind the acting, Ron Livingstone is watchable enough and banked loads of creds with Office Space. Some of cast were pretty soap-ish but that's fine, I watch US TV so I'm used to sheit acting. Hopefully this won't get axed.

True Blood - I wasn't too keen on 6 Feet Under so I hadn't bothered with this neo-vamp drama but it's really good. Chock full of kinda-familiar actors this is a sweaty, dirty tale of a southern town with some newly out in the open Vamps dropping in. Only watched a handful so far so fingers crossed for the rest of the series.

Blues Britannia - tis on TV as I write, great show about the British Blues Boom.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Today was a good day

Well any day when you get a book like this delivered is a very good day. If like me you quite like bad scifi covers there's a heap of them at io9.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Cinema catch up

Couple of days off the celluloid but back with Watchmen, second time round, maybe should've waited for the Ultimate cut or something as it really didn't have the punch it had in the cinema. Rorshach was great though and guess I've come to terms about the lack of squid.

Bunny Lake Is Missing, a odd little picture by Preminger was more enjoyable though, a twisted little psychological thriller about a missing kid. Olivier plays the detective in charge of the case and as usual is excellent, there's a weird super-creepy cameo by Noel Coward and the two leads do pretty well, even during the bizarre end scenes. Noticed it's getting remade, typical.

The International, was as I expected, a fairly average action thriller, Owen and Watts were competent at least and the I guess the shootouts were ok. It did look nice though despite the director indulging in some sort of architectural fetishism.

Up next is Dead Birds - I was looking for some more period set horror after enjoying the schlocky yet good The Burrowers and found this nice little haunted house-ish tale about some Confederate soldiers turned bank robbers who come a cropper before they can share out the loot. Dunno why it's scoring so low on IMDB I liked it.

The List of Adrian Messenger was a revelation, a witty little mystery thriller from John Huston crammed with stars, though it's easy to miss a few of them. George C Scott is great and has one of the best British accents I've heard from a Yank.

And finally The Seven Ups, recommended by a friend this was a taut cop thriller starring Roy Scheider, not particulary original but well made and pretty entertaining. Something about it made me think it was based on a true story.