Saturday, October 27, 2007

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 answered in them.

So, if you've seen 1,2 & 3 then you'll be going to see this too regardless of what I say.
If weren't interested in them, then you won't be in this either.
However if you're thinking of watching them now, don't start with this one; you need to watch the other ones first or a lot of it won't make sense.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

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 Zelda, although quite a lot of people in the audience were going crazy for Halo and the Final Fantasy stuff. One guy sounded like he was having an orgasm he was enjoying it too much. I will admit to not knowing all the tunes but that's probably because I don't have an X-Box or go crazy over everything Bill Gates does (He had quite a following at this event based on the cheering).

There was also a fancy dress competition, and some people did actually bother dressing up; some costumes better than others I might add. I did get pics but untill I get my desktop back I can't upload them on here.

A good evening but by quite a long way the most geekiest event I've ever been to, and it was also the first sell out show at the newly re-opened festival, which I have to say has some amazing acoustics in there now, so expect to see the show come back here next year.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

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 life has taken a step in the "more lazy" direction.

When PC World do get back to me, I will probably get the machine upgraded to become a media centre PC rather than a desktop as I can see this mobile computing taking over. I have plans to get a new TV and PS3 so I should be able to hook the desktop up to that. I could then remove the computer desk from the living room, giving me more space.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

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.

Monday, October 15, 2007

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 day 1 here and here. Sebastian is the freaky looking guy in the oversized shirt at the end of the clip.

Day 2 was great and the atmosphere had moved from the smaller classic feel to the large event.
In the popping battle it was great to see Salah finally win. He's been a people's favourite every time he's taken part in the contest but has always become runner up I can only assume because he avoids the fundamentals that the judges are looking for. The locking was won by a Japanese duo. The solos were won by a Dutch guy called Menno and in the finale, the team battles were won by Korea, in a great battle (here and here) with the Russians.

As ever a great weekend and only now after the last 12 years is the event starting to get the coverage and publicity it deserves. CNN were there this year, and that can be seen on the event's website here.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Right Brain v Left Brain | Herald Sun

This is quite a bizarre experiment. I think though they've got the functions the wrong way around. Being quite analytical it makes no sense for it to spin clockwise for me, which it seemed to do all the time until I got home from a night out and it decided to spin the other way.Right Brain v Left Brain | Herald Sun

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Film #54: Deadpool 2

Following the success of Infinity War we get our next Marvel franchise and it's the second outing for Deadpool. The first film's ...