Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Film: Ghost in the Shell

Ahead of the live action Hollywood remake I thought I would catch a showing of the original Japanese manga of Ghost in the Shell, a film that tried to make Manga a worldwide phenomenon but failed a little, falling instead into the world of cult cinema.

Set in the future when people have been augmented with tech the story tells the tale of a female cyborg cop and her pursuit of a cyber criminal known as the puppet master. 

The plot is bonkers, not quite to the same level as the more renowned Akira, but enjoyable. The artwork is amazing and the animation still holds up today (this was originally released in '95). 

On the downside the film ends abruptly and could have done with another act. I think it led to a series of manga so I guess was intentionally produced as a pilot rather than a fully-fledged tale. It'll be interesting to see what they do with the remake.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Film: T2 Trainspotting

A 20th anniversary of one of the most prominent films of the 90's sees a follow-up.

It's quite a lengthy gap between films but it doesn't feel it, such is its influence.

The soundtrack is mostly reworkings of the original soundtrack with a very slowed down Born Slippy and a more upbeat Lust for Life (is that possible?). The Eno track sounds much the same as I remember it. 

The film is still heavily biased to the more run-down elements of Scotland but it's nice to see Irn Bru product placement instead of Coca Cola :)

A very good nostalgic sequel that leans on the first film heavily but that's alright.

Exhibition: Future Shock @ Cartoon Museum

This marks the 40th birthday of 2000AD, A sci-fi comic that has given us Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog and Rogue Trooper amongst many others. It was a comic I grew up; living in Cyprus we didn't have much access to English publications and this was the one comic I liked and stuck with.

I don't read it any more but am still familiar with it and want to be part of the birthday festivities. As a teaser to a larger event next month, a small exhibition of 2000AD art is taking place at the rather excellent, if small, cartoon museum near the British Museum.

The major characters get their own wall space, noticeably Rogue Trooper does not, sharing it's space with Bad Company (which I thought was great).

The Dredd cutout welcoming you.

They've got quite a good selection of original pieces on display.

My favourite piece of the exhibition. How could I not love an original Halo Jones!

The event runs until April, and I recommend it. The bookshop also has 2 new 2000AD books for sale, ahead of their main release in February.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Gig: Joe Goddard @ Spiritland

Spiritland is a fairly new bar behind Kings Cross station that in an earlier guise existed in Shoreditch but now has a new home. It piqued my interest because they have a pretty amazing high-end sound system and as a fan of Despacio I was keen to see how it sounded and with Hot Chip's Joe Goddard starting a residency here it made it an easy call. 

The stylus for this alone costs £2,000

A pretty cool assortment of speakers which sounded really clear

Transistors in the amp.

So the night went well, the service in the place is great but I hadn't realised the main floor space, which is a restaurant, hold fully booked up. As recompense I was able to get a nice seat in the bar area. The music does sound incredible but the cacophony from the crowd drowns it out. It's not a clubbing venue and so the music is more background noise but it could be louder. 

The music selection was decent though with the house DJ playing some great music before Joe started playing. The selection should be stretching the system and I'd have expected to hear more tunes that are played at Despacio but we only had the one, "Fly Like An Eagle" by Steve Miller.

We liked the venue enough to consider it as a regular night out. It's close to work and easy to get home from, a great diverse and eclectic music selection ticks a lot of boxes for us.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Film: Split

Umm Shyamalan does OK with his latest film. It's still not a Sixth Sense beater and it would have to be something special to beat his debut, but it is one of his better ones, even if it does feel a bit stretched in the middle and is a tad dark in places. 

James McAvoy does well playing nine of his 24 personas. The main girl does really well for her part too, despite being the cliched loner goth; that's all explained throughout the film though.

The final scene will either leave you confused or smiling. I was in the latter camp but there were some definite WTFs being heard around me. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Film: Ip Man

I revisit to a film I saw a few years ago and having seen Donnie Yuen wasted in XXX, I thought I'd give this another watch.

A "based on a true story" of a rich Kung Fu dude who helps overthrow the Japanese who have taken over Fushan, China, where the film is set. It's a standard rising through the ranks style kung fu movie. The fights are pretty decent; Donnie's handspeed is incredible. However like most Kung Fu movies it suffers from that problem where bad guys take their turn to fight one-on-one even during the scene where Donnie specifically requests to take 10 on at once.

Film: Marauders

A rather convoluted story about a series of bank robberies done by some skull-masked dudes and the police investigation which gets more and more complex as more clues are revealed. I wasn't giving it my full attention so probably missed a few key bits.

Bruce Willis has a short role, I hope he was paid well.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Exhibition: Magical Lantern Festival @ Chiswick House

An annual event that I missed previously had an impressive array of chinese lanterns set up in Chiswick. I went briefly earlier in the day to assess the set ups ahead of the actual event opening in th evening (5pm onwards). The event is £20 for an adult and is definitely worth the money. It's different to the one I did in Blackpool as it's all outdoors and you can't get close to some of the pieces. In Blackpool you were able to walk amongst the installations better.

I went on a Saturday so be prepared for a crowd and given the time of year most of the people were complaining of the cold so be prepared for that. 2 minor points from what is a great exhibition.


and now back when it was dark.



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