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Showing posts from 2007

Where have I been?

OK, so I've not been posting too much, mostly because PC (woe)rld have had my machine in for a repair for the last 6 weeks, and only seem to begin working on it when I kicked up a stink. Whilst it's in there I'm taking the opportunity to have it upgraded too, so all being well this time next week I'll have a 4gig monster with a decent graphics card (the 6600 that was in there was good but I've asked to go up to an 8800).

Whilst I've been away I've found some more Banksy pieces, which I'll post up. I've also gotten into the clubbing thing again with some excellent nights over the last week. I'll be testing myself this weekend as I have an all nighter on Friday followed by an all day event starting Saturday afternoon.

Plenty of red bull will be needed I think.

Hitman

Shitman more like!! This film is awful and whilst I started the year with the best movie of 2007 (Smoking Aces if you're interested) I finish with the worst. The plot makes no sense, they rely on footage taken from TV shows to save money (the opening sequence may be familiar to fans of Dark Angel) and the acting is wooden.

I would try to explain the plot but I'm not going to waste the energy.

Just don't see this film.

Oh, and what kind of a name is Timothy Olyphant anyway?

Beowulf

I AM BEOWULF

So shouts the computer graphic version of Sean Bean (I guess he dropped out after the graphics had been done to be replaced by Ray Winstone). Its the old british poem of a warrior who faces his demons, quite literally.

A pretty decent film actually. You soon see past the computer graphics, in much the same way you accepted the humans in the Shrek movies very easily. It has to be said that Final Fantasy had set the bar for animated realistic humans but this film surpasses that, particularly towards the end with the older characters complete with greying beards and battle scars.

Angelina's role is nothing but a cameo. There was a little hype surrounding her part but as is ever the case it's unjustified.

Some nice set pieces particularly the battle with Grendel and the finale with the dragon.

As is the norm with Hollywood the original story is adapted. In the original the female demon is beheaded by Beowulf, but in the film he sleeps with her, and there's more to the …

Eastern Promises

Its a film about Russian Gangsters in London, Covent Garden in fact. I've not seen any Russians there, other than tourists. Perhaps they're super secret and only let film cameras in.

Yeah, it was OK. Not remarkable really except for the fight in the swimming baths, which was pretty tough going and what you'd expect from Cronenbourg.

Rent it, or steal it, from a Russian of course!

Saw 4

It's Halloween again, time for kids to go trick-o-treating, early launches of fireworks and Jigsaw to reveal more traps on another bunch of hapless souls. But he died at the end of the last movie so how can he be in this one? Well that gets answered at the end, along with some of the questions left unanswered from the previous movie, in particular what was on the tape that Jigsaw covered with wax before he was killed.

Well this time around we have a SWAT team leader, and former team mate of Kelly who lost her ribs in the last movie. He is chosen to undergo a new series of games featuring more ingenious torture devices.

The Saw franchise really splits the public in half just like marmite. You either love it or you hate it. I love it, I think it put a fresh twist on a stale genre. This film isn't as tight as the predecessors, due to a new writing team, and knowing there's going to be another 2 films after this they've left more questions unanswered, which will no doubt be …

Geek Fest in London

There's a week long computer game festival taking place in London this week and as part of the launch activities the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank put on a concert using their Philarmonia Orchestra (not to be confused with the Philarmonic) to play the music of various video games. Yup, completely geeky!!

Starting with an opening segment covering the history of gaming including the music of Out Run, Asteroids, Pong etc they moved through away from the electronic blips and bleeps towards full orchestral scores that can be found in today's games such as Halo, Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy. Rather unfortunately they focused on arcade games and consoles and so totally overlooked the music of Rob Hubbard, who had quite a following in the days of Commodore 64s and Spectrums.

Most of the pieces came from the orchestra and choir and a small number from a very good chinese piano player who goes by the name the video game pianist. The best pieces for me were Metal Gear and Zel…

My desktop has died!!!

Got home on Friday to find my PC on but the keyboard not working. When I tried the usual "switch it off, switch it on" fix the machine refused to start up. So it's now off with PC World to be repaired, it looks like one of the boards has gone as the power light comes on but I don't get anything put out to the monitor nor can I hear the start up sounds. At least the data is alright so all being well the PC World people will have no need to do anything with the software (I'm a little worried the paperwork you sign says that they might clear data off the machine, it shouldn't be needed in my instance).

Every cloud has a silver lining and it does mean that I finally got my new laptop out of its box. I bought it months ago when it was on offer and haven't had a reason to get it out til now (I'm on about the PC). The other advantage is that I've finally enabled the wi-fi in the flat. As I type this I'm still in bed, so I now know that my already lazy…

Underworld @ Roundhouse

Underworld, most famous for their "Lager Lager Lager" Born Slippy track played 3 nights at Camden's Roundhouse and I was fortunate enough to have friends who had a spare ticket to one of them. They were a band I had wanted to see for some time, and the last of the big dance acts of the last 10 years to see (I'd already seen Orbital, Chemical Brothers, Prodigy & Leftfield).

They have a new album out and they played some during their 2 hour set, but based on those I don't think I'll be buying it. It was the older tunes that got the crowd going more and which were more danceable, in particular Rez, which even now still sounds great. I think not having Darren Emerson in the line-up has changed the direction the group has taken.

But it was still a great night, if a bit packed and sweaty. But that's expected when you decide to dance near the front.

B-Boy Championships 2007

My annual hip-hop pilgrimage took me to two locations this year. Previously the event has taken place at the same venue with the full contests being split over the two days. This year the organisers tried making things a bit different using the first day as the qualifiers for the finals on the Sunday. Saturday would take place in Hackney and the Sunday at it's usual home of Brixton Academy.

Day 1 was actually pretty good, the only downside was that the event was split over a number of rooms so there was no way to see everything. I chose to spend most of my time in the main room, which was holding the solo and popping qualifiers. The smaller rooms were holding toprock, beatbox battles etc. The advantage of seeing the qualifiers is that you get to see more people who are good but not that good to be seen on the main day including some French guy called Sebastian who had amazing upper body strength, but that's all he had hah!
I've found a couple of clips that show highlights of…

Summer Movies

I'd realised that I hadn't put any reviews up on the movies I'd seen after my trip to Russia and Scandinavia. So here we are! Actually leaving some time between seeing the film and writing the review might be a better approach going forward, as I'll be less inclined to write on forgetable bits.

Transformers
The big film of the Summer and it wasn't that bad at all. As with all Michael Bay films, leave the brain at home; it's not needed. Evil robots invade earth looking for a giant Hellraiser puzzle cube that they can use to take over the world. Good robots come down to save the day. The transforming effects are pretty stunning, in fact the robots themselves are great too. They all look very solid and real. No doubt ILM had plenty of time to get the effects right. The acting from the humans isn't important, this isn't an Oscar performance candidate, but they do an OK job.

The only downside to with this film is that it suffers the usual Bay problem of being o…

Zombie Walk London

As part of a horror movie festival in London an attempt was made at bringing together the largest gathering of zombies. The record was set at just under 900 in Pittsburgh earlier in the year. There was no way we got anywhere close today, but all of us had a good laugh dressing up and acting stupid for the day. We started with a gathering in Leicester Square before going for a walk around the area, including taking over an open top tour bus and storming some shops.

After that the group split into 3; one went to Camden, another towards the Notting Hill carnival and the group I stayed with went and saw the UK cinema premiere of "The Zombie Diaries", a Blair Witch type movie with zombies, which was pretty good considering the budget. After watching the film I did what I could to get the make up off before heading home.