Sunday, 28 February 2010

Two films that didn't suck balls

I loved the original Rec and I've been waiting ages for the sequel and, maybe cause I managed my expectations in the interim, Rec 2 turned out to be more of the same jolly good zombie chomping fun - only it's not zombies no more - with a reasonable, imo, religious slant given to the proceedings. Dovetailing neatly with the end of the first film, we're now following a SWAT team escort a "specialist" into the doomed block of flats to retrieve some, er, samples. The sequel relies less on shaky cam antics but manages to flesh out the story a bit while providing plenty of scares and action throughout. It's not bad at all, a very enjoyable 90 mins and I hope they make a 3rd.

The latest Scorsese/Caprio film, Shutter Island, was pretty good. I'm not a huge fan of lil Leo but he's been showing a bit more acting chops lately and this paranoid thriller shows off his twitchy skills marvellously. Based on a Lehane novel the plot follows two Marshalls sent to a island based mental asylum to help locate a missing bampot. The plot isn't exactly rocket science and I think we'd sussed out the end before the halfway mark but regardless it's a well acted and beautifully shot piece that's brimming with film references and plenty of suspense.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Truth be told

Nice bit of science via Metzger regarding the - quite obvious - correspondence between religio/political views and intelligence & the result: right wingers are thick as shit, unthinkingly reflexing to stimuli with ladles of cognitive dissonance bridging the gaps eg God. Well that's my take, the scientist reporting has a more modest but nonetheless amusing claims.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Monstrous greed and a greedy Monster

Capitalism: A Love Story, Michael Moore's latest doco is a diatribe and a half, a full scale, two hour rant against our Corporate Masters and our charming trickle-down economic system and like Sicko it lands a fair few punches and certainly left me scratching my head and sharpening my oft-mentioned pitchfork. It's not perfect by any stretch but Moore raises some pretty serious questions throughout; for instance the "Dead Peasants" insurance policies companies are taking out on ill employees and the almost conspiratorial stuff about the timing of banking crisis/bailout.

Blood on Satan's Claw, recommended by a punter, was surprisingly good, a nice little atmospheric period set horror from 1971 about a village terrorised by a Devilish beast that was unearthed by the local ploughman, stupid farmer. Anyways after quite a few murders by the burgeoning satanic cult some roly poly Judge steps in to eradicate the evil once he's done some swotting up from a book of folklore. Despite it's cheapo effects and occasionally duff acting it manages to create a weird, almost hallucinatory, atmosphere of dread throughout, helped along by a excellent score and some decent cinematography. Must look and see if Tigon has any other gems tucked away.

Shinola supplement

Lord Rees spells out the obvious - that alien life is most likely of such a strange order that we'd barely be able to perceive them let alone comprehend them. Duh - he needs to read Lem.

Andrew Sullivan's excellent blog is peppered with his 21st century Catholic ruminations which can, to be honest, get a bit tiresome but he's got post today worth reading. To surmise well erm apparently the age of consent in the Vatican City is just 12yrs old, cough cough, enter jokes here.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


Stephen Chow could have a decent project finally in his sights according to Aintitcool. Apparently he's onto a remake of Bruce Lee's Way of The Dragon, simply called Tai Chi. Who's gonna play the Yeti/Norris character? anyways hopefully he can regain the spirit of Kung Fu Hustle coz CJ7 was a bit rubbish.

Some strange thinking going on in lalaland with a movie on the books based on primitive video game Missle Command? via scifisquad

John Carpenter has a new feature film set for release in Sept. called The Ward, ta to Scifiwire for heads up. The premise sounds promising - a loon in the nuthouse starts seeing ghosts. Cigarette Burns was one of the better eps from that Masters Of Horror series and he really should be churning stuff out.

Finally from IO9 is the QI news that Stephen Fry is going to be appearing in some sort of Scottish set Twin Peaksy type fantasy show by Paul McGuigan and Grant Morrison. Fingers crossed this actually makes it onto the screen.

War against the Unthinkers

Finally some action on the stupid NHS funding of Homeopathic nonsense, mmm quack science and the unthinkers who flap their mouths in defense.

Singh is facing off against more soft brained practitioners, this time spine benders, and he better win. thanks to Times nd Bad Astronomy and some mentalists dog homeopathic website for pic

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Double Bill & Tibbs Tanks

Bill Maher...But I'm Not Wrong was pretty funny, certainly a lot tighter than some of Maher's other stand up performances but just a little spoilt for me by his seedy prostitution bit. If you're unfamiliar with Maher he's a hard-left ( for the States anyways) political comedian, self confessed stoner and Palin-Hater - with a number of successful comedy-political shows under his belt and one rather amusing atheist documentary called Religulous.

In the Heat of The Night is one of my favourites from the 60's so I kinda looked forward to They Call Me Mister Tibbs but it was a massive let down - doh. Poitier and Landau put in reasonable performances but the plot has little more depth than an episode of Columbo or Quincy and the scripting is perfunctory throughout. Wouldn't bother if I were you.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Caveman Script?

Fascinating article from the New Scientist, via Strange Attractor, about some work revealing some interesting, repeatedly grouped glyphs over a number of different prehistoric sites. Won't bore you with the details but it looks as if we were all captivated by the painters artistry we might have missed something even more significant, the origins of a crazy early script. The full article is well worth a read.

Special Presenter

Kay Burley has always been one of Sky News' more low brow questioners, taking the unthinking tabloid approach to it's nadir. Anyways after recently making Peter Andre cry on live TV she decided to mock Joe Biden for his strange forehead bruising unthinking the fact that it's Ash Wednesday and err he's a good Catholic-ish. C'mon Burley save it till the Pope arrives - eg what's that funny hat about? isn't he Hitler's kid?
Guido & BBC thanks.

Heavens Above

Scots perceive giant Toblerone UFO in the sky, probably my favourite UFO story in an age courtesy of the BBC. I suppose it's pretty strong evidence for the theory that sightings are some sort of psychological projection, I mean a chocolate bar for fooks surely could only be topped by a shimmering bottle of Bucky.

From the same data release is the story of Michael Howard MP's house being buzzed by UFO's with a number of witness, drop off or pick up? not sure anyways Icke-ists will be frothing at such details. thanks to the Grindaau.

If you're interested there's a nice article on Forgetomori bout the psychosocial evolution of the concept of UFO's from Nazi secret weapons to Alien craft. Not entirely convinced by the source article but it's a interesting line on the phenomenon should make good movie though, with Iron Sky looming.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Dross, Toon & Gorman

Whatever you do don't watch Couples Retreat it's a really, really bad film. Presumably it attracted such a starry cast cause they'd all get to visit a stunning tropical island for a few weeks but they could have least tried to make an effort with the film. Script by the numbers and maybe two laughs throughout do not make a enjoyable movie.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the latest animated feature from DC, was ok I'd seen this story played out in the TV series a few years ago and it was handled much better. In the earlier version the alternate DC-Earth J-League were more political, facististic overlords than the comedy Mafioso crime syndicate they're portrayed as here.

Dave Gorman live at The Festival Theatre - well that's what I'm gonna call it as it's advertised as part of his cycling tour but it had nowt to do with it. Bit odd, why not just change the name. Anyways he was quite funny even without a theme to base it on, peppering the show with vignettes of family life and other witterings. He will need to tighten it up though if he plans on continuing with straight stand up, that or trim the show down from 100mins.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Supplementary Visions from the Devices

CQ is little more than a b-movie within a b-movie though sadly it seems to have greater ambitions. Basically a feckless, self filming, obsessive editor is pushed into finishing a Barbarella-esque film being shot in mostly stereotyped Paris. It manages to homage Fonda's scifi classic well and Farraday from Lost shows some decent acting chops but it's paper thin and just a little too self conscious for my tastes. A few laughs would have lifted it considerably.

Dr Terror's House of Horrors is probably the best Amicus portmanteau I've seen so far, starring Roy Castle, Donald Sutherland, Lee & Cushing and, strangely, radio DJ Alan Freeman, five bizarro stories unfold from a tarot reading given to passengers in a train compartment by creepy Dr Schreck. This is a gem. I'd remake it or do a homage myself. Tubby Hayes provided some of the Jazz but I want to know bout the Voodoo music.

Beyond the Valley of The Dolls, god bless TCM, not seen this Russ Meyer does mainstream classic in a decade and it stands up well to the interior-memory-image-thing in my head. It's a funny, sexy satire on the showbiz life in LA and has a little bit of everything. Seen it before but this time around I was blown away by the music, some seriously ear pleasing 60's sounds throughout unless my ears are deceived by the usual D & D tis cool though I know someone to ask.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Space, Grime and soon2be Mob Meat

Outland, starring big Sean, is solid space-western fare playing out very, very much like High Noon. It's not bad though managing a suitably grimy feel to the mining station and a reasonably intelligent script. Acting is professional mostly and even though Connery plods along with the same look on his face throughout his weary charm works well in this role.

Crikey o riley Fish Tank is two hours of seething British misery, it is a good film - don't get me wrong - all the actors are brilliant, it looks amazing and even has a few touching moments of lightness but it's almost like poverty porn, smug-burb-understand-chav shit or something, dunno but something felt off to me.

Somewhat related - I've been watching Tower Block of Commons. I wouldn't recommend watching it however as it sent me straight back to sharpening my mutherfunkin pitchfork as frankly ignorance abounds with every utterance. Oaten is probably the most tolerable (humility has it's rewards I guess) Nadine Dorries is a plastic faced nightmare of semi thinking, Loughton is like a fricking Tory hatchling - a stuffy, cloned middle class future awaits us all! The majority of my bile is reserved however for the massive prick that is Austin Mitchell, the fatty pseudo intellectual souse so ignorant he makes my arms twitch punchy style. Maybe's he's Andrew Neil's secret brother/lover? they're certainly on a par in studied-stupidity and they've both made long careers suckling on the teat of our politics with little discernible betterment. The simple fact about this show that irks me is that all these MP's seem shocked by the lives of ordinary Britains and that is an terrible indictment of our system all on it's own.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Wolfe Wolfe

Wolfe has a new book on the horizon and he's continuing his trend of allowing terrible cover art. I seriously love his books, own a fair few and I've bored plenty of people about him of the years but c'mon Gene get some new specs. I had a cringey experience once while reading There Are Doors on GNER and for further proof here's some guy's flicker collection of Wolfe cover badness and little sample below.

Bookworms beware! here's a sweet link to a 100 great Sci fi novels as compiled by an io9-er. Via Lupine Nuncino. Maybe I'm biased cause Wolfe takes the number one spot and quite a few other places but wtf there's no Alfred Bester? anyways it's certainly swelled my amazon wishlist, oo-er mrs.

And here's another interesting list of the top 15 Scifi book series, this time courtesy of Listverse

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Purchases heard & unheard

Also there's a nice post from Metger on Andre Williams, wrote Shake a Tail Feather etc etc anyways there's a documentary coming out bout this shambolic musical genius. Chicken thighs!

Pulling in the fringe

Couple of boffin bits, firstly a little from Wired (via NS) concerning much neglected mad genius Nikola Tesla's wireless electricity idea finally finding favour and another (also from the New Scientist) about our entire universe being a giant hologram, which has been about for a bit but still sends my noggin spinning.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Guidestones of the wasteland

Odd American monument built to guide the survivors of the coming apocalypso. Seems it's been attracting some vandalism from religious nuts suspicious of the Rosicrucian gent who paid for it all anonymously back in the 80's. Original article on Wired, via Strange A

Monday PS3

Uncharted 2 done and dusted finally, it's a real blast I just couldn't be bothered with the multiplayer and looks like I'm not the only one getting tired of being hammered online by potty mouthed teenagers with an interesting article from Wired. I'll rejoin the kids when 'Splitters 2 finally gets a PSN release in the meantime here's where my money went.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

PS3 must-haves on the horizon

Fallout: New Vegas, due this autumn, has it's first teaser here.

Salivating like a Pavlovian mutt for The Last Guardian too but still no release date, bunch of screens and that on the new official site.

Recommended 7's Part 4

Clockwise from top left tis - Getting Remade Vs Been Remade, Mental Hospitals Vs Mentalists, Bad Vs Hunts and Director B's Vs Director V's.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

2 bad 1 good but grim

Vincent Price, ham of hams, stars in the so-so Theatre of Blood from 1973. It's quite funny in bits I suppose but it's neither gory nor scary and I spent most of the time just drooling at Diana Rigg and spotting forgotten British actors. Price plays Lionheart, a ridiculous over-actor who fakes his own death only to return and slaughter his critics using death scenes from Shakespeare.

Ralph Bakshi's Wizards was a dud - I kinda expected it to ropey but it well surpassed that with ugly, inconsistent animation, rank scripting and an under-developed post-apocalyptic plot about two warring Wizards on a far future Earth. Thank god it was only 80mins long.

Short Eyes is, by far, the best of today's little bunch of films. Starring and soundtracked by Curtis Mayfield this gritty prison drama deals with some serious issues when a be-suited Peedo lands in a gang ridden NY jail. This is powerful stuff and during the peedo's confessional scene rather disturbing too. The acting is decent enough but some of the dialogue is almost incomprehensible 70's street slang and they really should have subtitled some of the Puerto-Rican bits - none the less this is good film and a world away from Shaft et al.

Cameron's Spam

Seen a few of the artistically improved versions of this poster on the news & print but here's a whole heap of nicely photoshopped versions.

It hasn't been a great week again for the Eton massive with creepy Osborne dropping the economic ball with a loud thud. Ken Clarke must be laughing his moobs off.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Sunday Screenings

Dante's Inferno Animated was ok, not great but plenty of blood and gore. Inspired rather than based on the literary work it follows a Crusader's quest through the 9 levels of Hell to save the soul of his beloved fiance, Beatrice. Can't say the multi-animator approach worked that well but some were decent. Hope the game is better.

Daybreakers was equally as ho-hum, set on a vampire dominated earth with corporations farming humans for blood factory-style, Ethan Hawke stars as a vamp scientist trying to find a legitimate substitute to the red stuff. It's a jolly enough mish mash of cliches and action sequences but it makes little sense overall and it almost instantly forgettable.

Super daft french spy spoofery returns with OSS-117 Lost in Rio. Steeped in 60's style (think Flint or Diabolik) with a cracking soundtrack it follows Hubert's hunt for a Nazi in Brazil alongside a slinky Mossad agent. It's doesn't quite reach the comedy heights of the first film, maybe if I understood French it'd be funnier though as there seemed to greater reliance on puns and language gags this time. The first film had France colonial past in it's sights but this time I guess it's Nazi collaborators but it's thinly developed which was a shame, still it provides plenty of material for our bumbling ever ignorant hero.