Sunday, 31 January 2010

Hollywood repeats ad infinitum & future tv weirdness

Who says Hollywood has run out of imagination? Well this week it's Den of Geek who have a depressing article of the 77 sequels currently in development - it's not all bad though as there's a Midnight Run 2 coming.

From Digital Spy are two rather bizarre stories - Steve Carrell wants to remake Only Fools and Horses for American TV and Snoop Dogg wants a cameo in Coronation Street.

Blair blah, blah, blahs & Obama punches face

Well Bliar's appearance at the Chilcott was a bit of a bust - mockshock - but he did seem nervous at the start, I watched the first two hours before work and I hadn't seen him so discomfitted before but don't worry his dark powers asserted themselves and he soon slipped into greasy lawyer mode. I think, like Bush, it might be sinking in that his name will always be dirt. Middle East peace envoy ?! for fooks sake that's a comedy appointment if ever there's been one.

Obama's 1st year has been so-so overall but then it must be tough leading one of the smartest/dumbest nations on earth in a time of major catastrophunkle. Anyways the dimwitted GOPer's invited El-Pres to speak at one of their swinger weekends and he surprised them by accepting and then turned up & well took the piss out of them so much so that Fox stopped broadcasting 20mins early, tee hee. Mainly by being much smarter than them and swatting their stoopid questions out the air like flies and doing it with charm and some confidence. I hope the Americans get a taste for this sort of thing - they should push for a PMQ's type 'travaganza or a least a Question Time type tv show.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Shmall Shcreen

I often tell customers I don't watch TV and that they're better off hiring films than subjecting themselves to the idiot box - but it's only partially true of course as I watch plenty of small screen stuff so I thought I'd do a little round up for some of my new 2010 visuals.

John Oliver, of Daily Show fame, brings his wit to a new Live at the Apollo type stand up show and it's really quite good. He opens with a little bit of his Englishman-in-NY shtick followed by a couple of short stints then the last performer is given a lump of time to chew. Well worth a watch if you can catch it.

Damages is back
with more legal melodramatics - it's still doing the flash forward thing and this time it appears that a major character is gonna end in a dumpster.

Parks and Recreation is a US sitcom revolving around a local council dept and the nut jobs within. Made and heavily influenced by the US Office it's a tidy little comedy, it's nothing special but it hit it's marks and I think I'll watch the 2nd season.

Ahh Blake's 7, one of those shows I'd always heard about but never seen, seems to be actually qquite good. Sure it's cheap and the SFX are well ropey but it's got a decent story, well so far as I'm only 10 eps in.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Err.....ffffukin' films & flotsam

Wow a Roger Moore film with actual acting, I mean Bond was hardly a stretch was it ? however The Man Who Haunted Himself, directed by Basil Dearden, was a real surprise - a nice little psychological thriller about doppelgangers and insanity & Moore is more than competent throughout, bringing life to both his roles in this strange little - very British - film. It also features my favourite Mentat, Thufir Hawat, as a shades wearing noggin examiner.

Planet Hulk, is the latest Marvel animated output and it's not bad I suppose; I never knew the Hulk could communicate so well while greened up but then I don't read the comics. Hulk, banished from Earth lands on a planet and steps into the story of Spartacus blah blah blah, there's plenty of fisticuffs and that but I reckon Hulk was best left as the mute-Id creature than a sentient being.

Stripped, Izzard's latest DVD is quite funny, can't say it's his best live performance - the first 10mins are awful but he finds his groove but can't quite seem to sustain his mojo like in the good old days. Maybe the time spent running marathons and doing the acting has left him a little out f practice?

An amazing post on Io9 about an interview between David Lynch and Frank Herbert re the crappy/classic film that is Dune. Sure it's got Sting in his pants but there's some decent action, stunning set design, a couple of powerful scenes and a credible-ish performance by MacLachlan. Anyways if you're a fan you can luxuriate in the footage.
An animated version of A Boy and his Dog is on the cards, according to Quiet Earth, and I couldn't be happier; the original is great but there was so much mileage in the canine/human bond that I'm surprised it hadn't been picked up for TV at the time.

Long post I know but to finish here's a couple of sweet visualisations from the Martian Hi-RISE thingymajig courtesy of Huffpo.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Blair Arrested ! .... wishful thinking

Blood on hands Blair must be really looking forward to Friday's appearance at the Chilcott Inquiry, though most of them have been pretty weak questioners at least the illegality of the war is coming to the fore and surely they've enough teeth to chew him up a bit.

As for Monbiot's little ruse I've already donated a small sum: a bounty on Blair is most just and I think a worldwide citizen's arrest day should be inaugurated on his behalf.

The Gadinaru also provides goodness via the excellent Datablog on Britain's inequality.

WTF! Virgin is going to start snooping on their customers - not a sound business model.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

B-movie bundle & a Brooks (Mel)

Blood Creek is a grisly little film about a couple of brothers who get into a tricky situation with some ever-young German farmers with a Occult-Super-Nazi in the basement. Riddled with plot holes and some shonky writing it throws some blood and gore in to keeps things ticking along and to be honest it was fairly enjoyable as a bit of trash as long you keep your brainium off.

The identity of the tome at the center of The Book of Eli kinda put me off seeing it but I was glad I made an effort as it's a violent schlocky counterpoint to The Road. It follows Denzel on his post apocalyptic paper route taking the book westwards until he encounters a despotic wanna-be played by Gary Oldman. If you can ignore the religious posturing this is quite good fun - funny in places and quite violent and the ending which will no doubt ensure cult status. Just wished they'd had some imagination and used the Mahabarat or something.

The Ultimate Warrior, another PA flick and one that's evaded me for quite a while is a odd piece of nonsense, it's definitely special anyways featuring Yul Brynner as a deadly fighter employed by Von Sydow's urban farmer to protect his community from Carrot - a camp ginger gang boss. Directed by the guy who did Enter The Dragon it lacks a fair bit in the budget stakes & the action is mostly laughable but with two charismatic leads at the helm it's not too bad but maybe just for cultists and PA freaks.

And finally Mel Brooks' Hitchcock spoof, High Anxiety, which a customer told me was funnier than The Producers the other night and yet again, like a fool, I believed them. It's not terrible just not even in the same league as Young F. or Blazing S. let alone The Producers. Ah well at least it was only 88 mins long.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Happy Ears

Super Massive SciFi & a new/old Detective

Two chunky dumb blockbusters both - surprisingly - quite good fun. First up Cameron's Avatar epic of scifi and sfx: well it really is an eye popper, pushing the bar waay high for competitors and himself if he really plans on a couple of sequels. It was reasonably acted & the facial capture tech is impressive but it's poorly scripted and some of the characters were little more than thumbnails and I'd have chopped 20 mins or so but otherwise it's a great success, not art exactly but a fine return for their efforts. Hats off to Cameron too for building such an impressive "world", rich with detail seen in few scifi films.

Probably the bigger surprise was Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes, not much of a fan of this guy's previous films but this one seemed a bit more professional, looked rather good and was quite entertaining. It's still plenty stupid but Downey Jr is sharp if a bit panto, he bounces well of the rest of the cast though and it zings along a decent rate, just remember - don't engage the brain. If he sticks to the work Ritchie might actually churn out something decent down the years.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Brooker's Back and gubbins

Newswipe is back and I am glad, it's like a less reflexive, brainier Daily Show, no offence Stewart but Brooker is tightening up his game: getting through a slew of topics with his usual sharp tongue and common sense and employing some excellent contributors: never even heard of Joel Henry Hinrichs before and Stanhope always gives decent verbiage but please Brooker lose that ffuking Poet he's one of those thinks-they're-funny-but-isn't cnuts and almost has me reaching for the remote. And I'm not alone. Otherwise excellent work, iplayer link

Some nice pics of some really weird ice formations, via BoingBoing via Prof@Illinois Uni oh and by the way congrats on 10yrs.

They've also got a interesting follow up post/link to the Norwegian Spiral flap from a while back, the article isn't exactly revelatory but it's a great thumb in the eye to Putin+Puppet hype.

Want to fly to the edge of the known space and back in7 mins? me too - well here's 2nd best

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Mixed bag of Crazy

American weapons from a particular company have secretly inserted bible references into weapon id numbers. Mmm America + dullwittedness + guns + bizarro-jesus + available targets that's a sweet bitches brew of corpses. Maybe Beck/Palin's juju is on the money?

It's ok Haiti the Scientologonks are coming, leading the way is chubby can't-actor Travolta who has offered to fly some lunatics into the site of a devastating catastrophe because tiresome half-assed, made up by a scifi author, pseudo scientific beliefs are exactly was these people need right now. What a guy.

Dennis Hopper, a unique individual I'd think we'd all agree is apparently approaching his end, eek, and he just divorced his wife mmmm classy, regardless he did provide us with many great things over his long career in a number of fields and here's a great spread of his photos from the Selma March via Vanity Fair appropriately enough for MLK day in the US.

Ocean of liquid diamonds on Uranus? or maybe even Neptune? well some well smoked boffins have pondered about recent revelations bout the results of melting diamonds.

Cartoonish megalomaniac Chavez has continued his campaign against video games with his latest well thought out criticism of the genre being that they are "poison" particularly Sony Playstation, guess he's a Xboxer then. Anyways he's, err, an odd one to say the least, if he's started making statues of himself I'd hope the populace are getting scared and not cause of the visage.

Awesome image of China's interweb censorship via Guradina's Datablog sire, via Information is Beautiful.

Feel for author when discussing errors in his newly published book, that's shitty, won't put me off buying one of the books, the blog is amazing, I'm fond of Weed-as-super-drug Chart, totally convinced me.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Crimes & Chuckles

Once had Cotton Comes to Harlem on a VHS taped from TCM back in my student days lord knows where it is now, anyways the film holds up pretty good-ish against my fond nostalgia/memories. It's always billed as a blaxploitation but it's based on a Chester Himes novel and plays more like a police procedural than anything else. As you'd imagine it reeks with period charm so it's maybe just for connosirues for me I gotta look for Come Back, Charleston Blue.

Saturday night in the shop some punter told me Neil Simon did a sequel to Murder By Death, - currently playing on big screen &/because it's one of my favourite 60's comedies - called The Cheap Detective. Huh never knew that, so unspecified action takes place and low and behold said film in front of peepers. It's not really a sequel more a spin off with Peter Falk reprising his role as bumbling, amorous Cliche Detective model002. It's got plenty of great lines but maybe the pacing is off or something cause it doesn't quite work. Again probably only for Neil Simonerds.

A Life Less Ordinary, not always in charge of the controller but actually quite enjoyed it, maybe cause I spent most of the film thinking how it could be improved, it''s a good effort but it meanders and seems unsure how to use the supernatural elements. Diaz & Mcgregor were good together but some of the script wasn't up to the job.

Recommended 7's Part 3

So Part 3 contains, clockwise from top left Set on a Spacehip Vs Set on a Boat, Animals Vs Set on a Plane, Names of Drugs Vs Druggies and Animated TV Vs Conspiracies.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Author's words, one from beyond the grave

Fascinating bit on ScifiSquad bout PKD's impressions of Blade Runner. I'd always thought he died before seeing it and he was right it's impact has been overwhelming, actually not a huge fan myself but I can't think of another film that has a market for 3 separate cuts. Anyways it's a fat juicy piece of nerd history, original post via Letters of Note

In the land of the living I can't say I agree with China's assessment of Cameron's FX success - I'm a bit of a fan of the old CGi trickery but I get it, there is a special "otherness" the Harryhausen figures have in their relation to the actors that the CGi wizards deliberately avoid. None the less Meiville does good book, am reading The City, The City at the moment. ViaEndoftheUniverse

Avatar's £1bn haul hasn't stopped the detractors from pointing out it's similarities with Dances With Wolves, Pocahontas and now a new claim from the remaining Strugatsky brother about the alarming similarities with their Noon Universe series of books. Cameron denies it obviously.

As a little reality check from scifi read Ben Goldacre's Bad Science column recent skewering of Metro/Mail readers in a piece on the positioning of ancient sites and er, Woolworth stores. I think Goldacre should follow in Brooker's footsteps and start televisual works and soon. We need some brainifying fast.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Replacing downloads x 4 < £20

There's a nice musical post on BoingBoing from one of the guestbloggers - thought I'd share.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Recommended 7's Part 2

Some more recommends from the shop - clockwise from top left it's Black Comedies VS Blue Movies, Vietnam Vs WW2, Alliteration Vs Time Travellers, Murder Vs Death.
Doh noticed there's some duplication of titles - tough can't be bothered sorting that out.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

The Road - good but not enough laffs

The Road - good book, good movie - wow that doesn't happen often. McCarthy's grim PA novel is a bit of a classic and though the movie doesn't quite reach that level it's a good effort and one that's bound to pick up a few awards in the forthcoming season.

Viggo is excellent as Papa, the kid was ok suppose and Duvall puts in a great performance as the aged old timer they meet on the road but dunno there's something not quite right about it - it's 111 mins but felt at least half an hour longer. Suppose if they'd trimmed anymore out of it peoples would get cranky and they could hardly throw in any comedy pratfalls or gags in to keep it moving. All in all it's well worth a watch but the book is better mind.

Fox morons comfort each other - porn dvd soon

Only managed half of the epic Palin/Beck moron AGM so far, will try and watch the rest laters I guess. Sullivan is getting panicky bout the rise of an ultra-right party headed by these two goons, me I can barely stop laughing. And courtesy of the DDish someone has pointed to the whole interview embedded in parts on some blog - ta.

Haters just bumbling around like usual

Dang, apparently Jesus freaks aint keen on sci-fi, that is bad news. Thanks to EndoftheU.

Frenchy file-sharer haters Hadopi made themselves a laughing stock by launching their copyright crusade with a copyright infringing logo/font - genius. Via TorrentFreak

Ron Jeremy, of all people, decides to hate on video games. Cock.

Idiot JC pimp Pat Robertson spouts hate towards a country reeling from a devastating earthquake, he's got form I know but c'mon surely if the Big-G exists he'd have struck this cnut down already.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Feelms - one good one bad

I'm a big 60's fan so I was looking forward to The Assassination Bureau but it was patchy to say the least. It's stars Ollie Reed, Terry Savalas and the uber sexy Diana Rigg and I suppose it's a kinda spy/hitman spoof thing set before WW1 but the jokes aren't funny and there's not enough 60's daftness for my tastes - I'd watch a Flint movie before I watched this again - hohum.

On the other hand Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr Fox was well, er, fantastic. Once you've got over the peculiar character design this is a very funny, clever adaptation of the beloved Dahl book and I think I'll watch it again soon. Anderson's trademark quirky characters are present and correct and sit well in the animal kingdom - my favourite was the Rat I think or the maybe Yogic nephew - but overall it's well scripted and he's chosen his voice cast well.

Martian Dunes

Stunning pic from the HiRISE of some sweet Martian dunes with some well interesting fronds,ahh sweet space science. Thanks to BoingBoing, Discovermagazine & NASA of course. Monster original here.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Must-See Shite-TV

Somehow somewhy I'm gonna watch more of this, caught 3 eps so far and it's special, very special. Ridonkulous in parts with Seagal espousing almost supernatural powers of observation then pulling over innocent bystanders for no apparent reason to the bit when someone has a sawn-off in their pants all casual like. Quite mad.

2 X PSN = happy hours wasted

Mind Bending World Tour

BoingBoing has a brilliant post (via NYT) bout the megalomaniacal rise of psychological colonisation that is the DSM. I'd go far further with some of the conclusions the cross-cultural study has drawn myself but that's a post for a different day. Guess I'll have to pick this one up now - urrgh - the neverending un-read-book pile of shame.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Ancient Tech

They've been having a better look at one of my favourite mysterious objects lately, the Antikythera mechanism, and the results are pretty amazing. Thanks to IO9 and Scientific American

Couple of L's

Watched Law Abiding Citizen the other night - a very, very stupid movie but I did watch to the end so couldn't have been that bad. It's just one of those dumb Hollywood thrillers where reality and innumerate plot holes don't seem to be a concern. Competent enough acting from Foxx and Butler but they should reallytry to look for better work.

In contrast, the low budget strangeness that is Hammer's The Lost Continent was a pleasant surprise; maybes it was my low expectations but I really enjoyed this odd film from the 60's. It starts off like a sweaty thriller at sea then morphs into a Lost Land type thing with a Child King and some oversized sea creatures. Gonna have to see if I've missed out on some other Hammer classics.

Whitestuff, Oliver and Virals

Pretty picture of our snow covered island. Thanks to NASA and a host of peeps includn the Beeb.

Looks like John Oliver of Daily Show fame is on the rise with a new show in the offing. Might give his podcast a go cause his stand up show was good, apart from a clunky bit with his writing buddy. Wired interview here.

And thanks to Huffpo for an amusing collection of childish virals, think from College Humour orig.
Much better than that show with Zane that was on the other night - he's a massive berk.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Ice Monsters?

Loving this bit from BoimgyBoingy, bout time our Antarctic cousins turned up

Hot Burp from the Usual Suspects

Massive fanny-who-scares-me Beck spouts such ignorance that sometimes I'm almost lost for words, I mean I start to feel sorry for Americans - they'll have to take responsibility for such an influential 5 days a week, fear flinging, drivelling fuqtard eventually or not. Anyways you want proof ? ta to the Daily Show even though they're slower than me

Somebody has the integrity to point out those munchkin brained celebs who strangely think they should pontificate on matters they barely understand.

Guido indulges in some strange wishful thinking today, I too watched PMQ's and thought ooh the strain of another budget cock up and decreasing poll margins seem to be taking it's toll on poor David but no matter, small cheese compared to grand event though.

PKD's estate sues Google for infringement? Dunno but it weirds me out more that Lucas has dibs on the word Droid, wtf whats that about build a Droid get the name otherwise

Monday, 4 January 2010

Ear Stuff

Another nice post from Metzger singing the praises of the much underrated Betty Davis, if you're unfamiliar here's a utube link. And as we're in here's some Youtube shit of recent musical obsessions,

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Screen Stuff

Day of the Triffids was alright, suppose, the usual BBC half effort, my main complaint was it just lacked ambition, why confine the story to just three hours? it felt rushed & fell into cliche fast and to be honest some of the acting was err, pretty embarrassing, Izzard & Richardson I'm looking at you.

Whistle and I'll Come to You was pretty amazing, it was the M.R. James tale that set me on the trail of these adaptations after it was featured on some bb4 doco a few months ago. It really is a marvel, Hordern's performance is impeccable, the scene where he's first shown his room is brilliantly funny but it slowly builds into a fairly menacing story of the mental collapse of a loveably eccentric academic. Again with the Youtube

Dr Who, urgh, well some episodes of the recent iteration of the Doctor have been decent but this wasn't one of them which is a bit of a shame as Tennant has been pretty good from what I've seen. Can't say I'm too impressed with the new choice of Dr either, hohum, then again the show isnt really for33 yrd olds.

Schalcken the Painter, the last of the Xmas ghost stories was solid if unremarkable, a creepy tale of painters for hire and a really unusual customer. The Beeb is fricking mad not to make the most of heritage like this, though it's hardly a surprise, they seem blissfully unaware of the value of their back cat.