Friday 27 June 2008 updated!

'About friggin' time', I hear you cry ... well, yeah.

There's less updating to do on it in general, but I've done a fair bit of fiddling and twiddling and such like, just go to the site - - and check out the news section to find out what I've been up to.

I'll be updating it again soon, because for ages now I haven't been updating the Schedule online - although I keep that info up-to-date offline - I just keep forgetting about it, or not bothering to update that particular section.

I have to say, it's much easier keeping a blog updated, but anyway - is now updated, so go have a goosey.

Thursday 26 June 2008

21 (yeah, the movie about Pontoon)...

My goodness me, it's been a good while since I've seen a film this ... this ... generic and cliched and so completely obvious from start to finish. This is the sort of film that flags up future events by decorating them with bright bulbs that twinkle, and liberal dashings of tinsel and naked women with those nipple tassel things flying round in circles.

You know it all from the off, hard-up kid joins a group (which includes the girl he pines after, because you know, he just does so the producers can check another box on their To Do list) who count cards to make loads of money, led by their crooked professor. They all bugger off to Vegas on the weekends and do just that - with REALLY OBVIOUS SIGNALS.

How obvious? Well, we're all told ahead of time of course, but even though we already know, every signal has to be flagged up again with slow motion and close ups to get the point across. They all walk around each other, and their team mates all turn around to look at them in a really obvious fashion, then the signal is given. It's laughable, it really is, well it would be if it wasn't so piss-annoying.

Then, in-keeping with the sheer volume of flag-upping, Kevin Spacey (the prof) who's been playing this gig for years, makes it insanely clear to the really clever protagonist that you don't let your emotions get in the way, nor do you get drunk at the table - after one of the team does it (who, cliche fans, was the previous golden boy but he's been usurped by our lead), our protagonist ends up doing it ... but then again he'd have to, because Spacey wouldn't be able to exact revenge, thus leading to the third act double-cross.

Yes, it's spoilers, but to be honest you'd have seen these coming at least half an hour before they happened. It's that generic and cliched, it couldn't have taken that long to write either, it surely was just a case of copy & pasting from various other scripts that use the 'rise & fall' arc (and all of which use it with far more flair and originality than this garbage).

These really are the thickest smart people known to man, they flock to Vegas every single weekend, using various aliases - despite the fact that many of the people on the floor know who they are - and win big every time. They don't seem to vary their winnings, or their luck during the game - essentially they blast in each weekend, win everything, then fuck off back to Boston.

You'd have thought a person smart enough to be in MIT would know that maybe you'd wanna pace yourself, and certainly not let your emotions get in the way - but they did, so they deserved to get shafted in the end.

Also - apparently the original people who did this (oh yes, it's based on a true story ... which hopefully wasn't as cliched as this movie) were all Asian ... hmmm ... only two token Asians in this group, and they barely do anything except look at their team-mates in front of everybody in the casino in a really obvious way before giving their "hot table" signal, which is whipped out of the bag more than the amount of crap the male Asian character shoves in his bag, because he's a kleptomaniac ... obviously ... but don't pay that much attention, cos that's not important enough to really include, but silly enough to include for a silly laugh somewhere ... like the silly laugh about the lead being good with numbers (which has trailer fodder written all over it).

Add to this the usual 'he ditches his friends, lets them down, then learns a valuable lesson about friendship and loyalty, then they're all mates again' sub-plot, as well as this whole fuss about an essay to afford the protagonist a scholarship to attend Harvard Medical School that has to be about life experience that will "dazzle" the judge (guess what story will "dazzle" by the end) and there you have it. The most cliched sack of generic rise & fall shit you've ever laid your eyes on. Not only is it a waste of time, but it's a whole friggin' two hours wasted.

Finally, what is it with this Kate Bosworth? Why does she keep getting jobs? I really cannot understand it. She was ghastly as Lois Lane in Superman Returns, she's not interesting, she's not a stunning beauty, she's far too emaciated, her performances lack any real substance and ... well, I could go on, but suffice to say I'm far from a fan of hers. I really don't understand the point in her, come to think of it, I think the same of Sienna Miller.

But then again, all the acting in 21 is as bored and listless as Bosworth is generally...I mean it's awful. Jesus, it's rubbish...and now I feel much better for getting that off my chest.

High Sierra...

As I've previously said no doubt at some point, I've been on a bit of a Bogart bender of late - heck, even an old school movie bender in itself. I'd not seen it before, and it is puzzling that the title-holding landscape barely factors into the movie, but as is par for Bogart's course (when his career was in its strongest waters), he's electric on screen. A must-see Bogart movie.

Mind you, what with all these old school movies I've been watching recently, I've noticed a trend - it's all to do with marriage.

I've heard it all too often of late, that marriage is entered into lightly and without much thought - and indeed I think it is. But if the movies of the 1930s and 40s are any reflection, they didn't think much about it back then either. The protagonist comes up against (not literally, you dirty buggers) his love interest and within a matter of days he's fitting her up for a diamond ring. I just found it rather funny, and it really began to stick out, glaringly so by the time I got round to popping in the tape of High Sierra.

Regardless, it's still a quality film ... and for those interested enough, I've now moved on to Murder Inc. - another Bogart classic - I think I've seen it before, it's ringing bells with me, but I can't be sure, so why not watch it again eh? Who knows, maybe I'll even get that African Queen DVD off the shelf that I got on a 4-for-£30 offer years ago and finally watch it!

Life On Mars...

I've only just gotten into this, it's taken me ages to get around to it. However, we had the series one boxset sitting there so I took a couple of days and just barged through it all, and it was bloody great so it was. I'll be checking out the second series sometime soon, and then I'll be interested to see the follow up that was Ashes To Ashes.

Good writing, good acting, good directing, good cinematography - it's just rather bloody good, is what it is.

Monday 23 June 2008

Zombie Nosh aka Flesheater: The Bitch List Part 2...

Part One is below, or via this link:

40) The rozzer shoots one zombie through the closed window of his car, which doesn't break. The bullet passes through without breaking it ... I know, stupid isn't it?
41) "I shot two in the head, I think they're dead!" - you reckon?!
42) Why didn't you lock your damn door, ya fool? You'll get no pity from me, mate.
43) With almost everybody we've seen thus far dead or zombified, let's introduce some more cannon fodder.
44) This must be the most boring marriage on earth if all they've got to talk about is how fast they ran out of halloween candy.
45) Let's all shout a bunch of cliched lines, that'll convince farmer man!
46) The lowest budget news you've ever seen, as brought to you on top of half a tree.
47) Farmer's wife is now dead all of a sudden, and of course her shirt needs to be open.
48) Quick! More lifeless characters are needed cos we keep killing everybody off every five minutes to try and distract people from how utterly crap this apparent movie is.
49) This party is seriously lame, a handful of people in fancy dress. A bunch of idiots having the least convincing fun you've ever seen.
50) The sound's gone all screwy, hiss-mania and yet more crap-tacular 'acting'!
51) Quick! More sex! More titties!
52) "Drink beer and rape us girls" ... for some reason that's just a really bizarre line of dialogue for this moment.
53) "Are you alright?" "Yes! No!" ... lulz.
54) Some people didn't come to this party?! EVERYBODY didn't come to this shitty excuse for a gathering.
55) You must believe me! Look, all my fingers are fully extended, therefore I'm telling the truth!
56) You ARE in a cheesy zombie flick.
57) "OH MY GOD!" ... again ... man this just sucks deeper and deeper with every passing minute. I mean this movie is literally balls deep right now.
58) Hinzman returns yet again, whips out her baps, and sticks his hands literally in between them ... jesus tap dancing christ this is perverted.
59) The continued Night of the Living Dead tea-leafing continues, except with totally unconvincing dialogue, piss-poor acting, terrible editing, sound, cinematography, direction ... need I go on? ... Might as well for a chuckle.
60) Fuck me that lip-synching on the megaphone is daft.
61) Oh now it's all because of a Satanic cult? But lets just throw that aside, we don't do plot around these parts.
62) Hold on guys! Let me use my binoculars to check out two zombies a mere 20ft away!
63) Fuck me sideways these are some silly zombies.
64) Really OTT zombie growling precedes the worst huntsmen you've ever seen.
65) Yes, blow his head off, then shoot him about 10 more times.
66) Yet another zombie with their arms out wide at right angles looking like a right prat. Clearly there was no zombie coaching on this flick.
67) Watch out whilst I take ages to react and you get stuck in a bush!
68) Pretty nifty gore, but mixed with yet another titty shot with a side order of muff ... but it's zombie T&M and who wants to see that except Bill Hinzman?
69) Oh yeah, those two denim gang members are still hiding out, perfect time to have a soppy-ass heart-to-heart. Yes, go away and forget about all your friends getting massacred and turned into zombies ... yeah ... a trip to Florida will cure that mental scarring.
70) These two don't half tempt fate.
71) Vince Survinski turns up to do exactly what he did in the original Night of the Living Dead, the cinematic theft concludes ... but then again, they were utter fate tempters dressed in denim and sporting a poodle perm and a mullet.
72) Yes, lets burn down a barn that's apparently filled with zombies we haven't seen entering it, but safe enough to venture into. This must be the big finale, burning down a buggered out old barn...gripping.
73) There's an awful lot of long, drawn out shots of cars driving down dirt roads in this movie, isn't there?
74) So all the zombies left got burned up, except Bill Hinzman's "Flesheater", who is totally intact ... well, you have to get him glaring into the camera lens at least once more, don't you?
75) Christ, I can't believe this actually got made ... what the hell is a "special guest key grip"?! ... and not even a Special Thanks to Romero ... and the DVD's just crashed ... sums it up really. Rubbish.

Zombie Nosh aka Flesheater: The Bitch List Part 1...

Same idea as before, take a zombie movie that I think is rubbish, watch it through whilst making a list of humorously-put complaints.

So here's the new one, Bill Hinzman's "Zombie Nosh" otherwise known as "Flesheater" ... oh dear indeed.

1) Starring, Co-Edited, Co-Written, Story By, Produced and Directed by Bill Hinzman ... whose animated face leaps out and "rars" at us.
2) Poncy Bible quote.
3) Rubbish audio (at least the opening theme was actually pretty nifty though).
4) More rubbish audio as the group of teens, who don't have access to a car, get a really slow tractor ride through the woods.
5) Denim overload! Denim overload!
6) Dodgy editing, blundering straight into a 'what might happen to us here in the woods' story, complete with a bloke whose name is preceded by "Old Man", because this is the country after all.
7) Couple kiss really slowly, we keep looking at them like right perverts, everybody else is either a bastard or an idiot.
8) Tractor porn is what you need just before discovering an insanely shallow grave, that still takes forever to unearth.
9) Smoke appears from nowhere to reveal Bill Hinzman still hasn't gotten over being that zombie from Night of the Living Dead ... he's so not over it, that he takes out a farmer, intermittently looking at the camera to show off how boss he is.
10) Teenagers ... in the woods ... listening to crap rock music ... dancing in denim ... with no camping equipment to hand ... why didn't they just go to someone's house and drink there? For no reason, a girl starts stripping, we need some tits!
11) Farmer zombie continues the trend of zombies being acutely aware that a camera is right in front of them.
12) Kissy couple are now at some random barn, lets have some more tits shall we? But first, lets have some really boring acting ... oh my god, they actually 'fixed up' this hay ride on purpose?! These middle-aged-teenagers really know how to rock, eh?
13) Lets perve on some more sloppy-sounding kissing, you can almost hear Hinzman's drool hitting the floor as another pair of tits pop out.
14) Hinzman's back, growling a lot, throwing people around like a wrestler, and skewering dummies in close up.
15) Zombie perv wrestles with half-naked idiot and tears her heart out of her stomach. Two down, too many to go.
16) More awful dialogue, more terrible acting ... they all search for fire wood.
17) Lame fake scare, anybody who was scared by that is either a toddler or an actual idiot. Seriously, why bother?
18) Another lame fake scare ... this bunch of kids are really ill prepared. Not enough beer, not enough fags, no blankets or tents ... they deserve to die quite frankly.
19) The most un-exciting zombie attack ... thus far.
20) I can't believe this was written ... on paper ... I really can't.
21) The poodle perms and mullets knock together an escape plan, two of whom run into two of their dead-now-zombie friends. These seriously are some of the worst zombies I've ever seen.
22) The inevitable 'board this place up' montage, then find a gun, then immediately start saying 'fuck them' about your mates.
23) I wonder how much more of Night of the Living Dead is going to plundered poorly in the next hour?
24) Good lord this is terrible ... the dialogue ... the so-called story ... the acting ... the editing ... the audio ... the cinematography, jesus.
25) It's 11pm, yet there's still sometimes daylight to be had, then all of a sudden it's pitch black and Hinzman's gone straight for the phone line in a sudden explosion of cliche juice.
26) What an absolutely piss-poor, half-assed, lazy boarding-up job that is.
27) "OH MY GOD!" - nuff said (Kim gets yanked out the window).
28) "OH MY GOD!" - this is the worst reloading of a shotgun I've ever seen.
29) Everybody's carking it left, right and centre. Despite a few snippets of average, cheap-as-chips gore, it's all so awfully awful.
30) Huge glasses dispatch to Harv...lulz were had.
31) There must only be this one piece of music in the entire film.
32) Not only more TITS, but some MUFF as well ... Hinzman continues to use filmmaking as an excuse to perv on young women.
33) The towel's on (not for long no doubt), and Susan has the most boring teenager's bedroom ever.
34) "My husband gets home" ... how about calling him "Dad" when talking to your daughter?
35) Since when do zombies knock on your door?
36) And since when do zombies set up an ambush ... and not only that, but a double ambush?!
37) Hinzman zombie goes upstairs to properly perv on the daughter, making sure he feels her up, then yanks off the towel so he can nibble on her chesticles.
38) This same piece of music is still going on, is this track 85 minutes long?
39) Dad's back, but doesn't call out for his wife, he calls out for Susan? Despite not being all that bothered about his dead daughter, he does at least cover her up ... until she reanimates, thus excusing yet another titty shot ... a zombie titty shot.

Wednesday 18 June 2008

Catch & Release ... and taxes ... and meaning...

Indeed - death and taxes - two things that'll never go away.

Anyway, today I was knee-deep in tax return bollocks, a needlessly complicated and overly-worded shedload of paper ... plus it's just kinda depressing. So that's the tax part taken care of ... as for death?

Well, I re-watched Catch & Release today (which starts with a wake after a funeral, and centres around a bunch of people left behind after their best friend/husband-to-be carked it), and I have to say, I rather like it. Yes it is somewhat disconnected at time, as in a bit loosely pieced together, and while some of it is fairly straight forward - even generic - it's certainly not your average slice of cut & paste rom-com styling.

It's just a really nice flick, a nice bunch of characters - and one of them is played by Kevin Smith, which rocks - and not everything goes the way the characters might want it too - in other words, life is happening more like it does in real life, but it's all about finding the nice parts and focusing on those too.

Also - bloody hell the scenery when they all go fly fishing (hence the film's name) is jaw-droppingly gorgeous!

Perhaps I'm getting broody, for lack of a better term, to see some sights such as those...I guess it's come on strong again as I'm currently reading Long Way Down (the book that accompanies the series), and yep, colour me jealous of Claudio von Planta and Jimmy Simak (the two cameramen) who got to go on another amazing adventure (both did Long Way Round, which I absolutely loved).

So aye ... I guess it's all part of my more mellow and generally chilled out, even somewhat 'spiritual' (for lack of a more accurate term) side that's kinda developed over the last few years. I seem to get rather excited by the likes of M83's shoegazing stylings and McGregor/Boorman globe-trotting adventures ... ... perhaps as I'm now in my mid-twenties I'm really looking for that special meaning everyone searches for in their youth, something that I didn't pay much attention to before when I was a smidge's all gotten rather deep this post...indeed.

Monday 16 June 2008

It's A Wonderful Life...

I get into stints like this, where I'll dig out a bunch of movies from my collection of dozens upon dozens of videotapes, hundreds even, and either revisit flicks I've only seen once many years ago, or recorded off TV years ago but never got around to.

And so the latter is the case for It's A Wonderful Life, one of those movies you constantly find on 100 Best lists and so on, and indeed it is bloody good. Mind you, the talking stars/galaxies at the beginning was somewhat WTF in nature, and the sheer volume of cinema-rule-bothering jump cuts in the second half was astonishing.

But bloody good it is nonetheless, and who couldn't love Jimmy Stewart as the forever giving George Bailey, for whom life always gets in the way of his personal dreams of international travel and skyscrapers. Also, it's nowhere near as depressing as I was expecting it to be, it's all pretty cheery stuff until the last half hour when it all truly goes tits up for George, and while as we all know his problems are resolved joyously, I was left hanging to see that grumpy old bastard and nemesis of common decency, Potter, get his dues - but clearly it was never going to fit in to the last half hour...still though, it's a cheering and enduring classic.

So what next on my plough through my old videotapes to watch movies I've still not seen? High Sierra probably, then either Murder Inc. or a documentary on Bogart himself - although the latter two I might have seen back when I recorded them, but for the life of me I can't remember whether I did or didn't for both of them. So aye, High Sierra methinks.

Mind you, I've got the boxset of Series 1 through 3 of Bo Selecta! coming soon (cheap-as-chips it was too), so after having had a run through the entire back catalogue of Red Dwarf episodes, as well as season 5 of The A-Team, in recent lunch-times and empty evenings, I'll have hours of rubber-faced rudeness to chuckle heartily too. It's certainly been a long while since I watched it though, and while it will no doubt retain it's power to make me cackle with laughter, I wonder if it'll be as funny as it was back in the day ... especially when many of the skits were 'of their time'.


And just to put your minds to rest, I'm not just lazing about, the editing for that sexual education DVD is well underway ... in fact there'll be some filming to do for that in the next couple of weeks. We've got to get all the necessary talking head stuff before the students go off on their summer holidays, throughout which they'll probably do what most 16 to 18 year olds do ... drink plenty of cheap booze and cider, toke and lie around. They might as well enjoy it now, because immediately after the real world comes along and teabags you into a perpetual state of furious anger at the blithering idiots in Number 10.

What was I on about again? Oh yeah ... It's A Wonderful Life ... well, some of the time anyway.

Friday 13 June 2008

Yet more summertime movie musings...

In A Lonely Place:

I'm a fair bit of a fan of Bogart, and still consider The Maltese Falcon to be a fantastic slice of Film Noir (indeed, it was the first proper Film Noir I ever saw, back in my first semester at university).

So it was quite interesting to see him as a screenwriter with a violent streak. One minute he's charming, the next you think he might be a psychopathic murderer, the next he's charming, then he's beating up people, then he's desperate, then he's calm and so it goes. It's all rather spiffing ... although I was surprised to see the 180 degree rule broken at one point during a conversation scene. Although that's really only the sort of thing film type will see rather than the average punter, but still ... it surprised me a bit that nobody spotted that during shooting.

Regardless of that tiny technical error though, classic Bogart.


Be Kind Rewind:

I've not seen much of Michel Gondry's work to be honest, and I've only just got around to checking out Be Kind Rewind - the main attraction for me being the celebration of the VHS medium (heck, I've made two shorts related to the format). It's all rather quirky, and it's quite clear that a considerable chunk of his work comes from his dreams.

BKR champions the oddball and the out-there, the strange characters you might very well find in some run-down area like that which is in the film. Mind you, the length of time it took for one of the characters to figure out Danny Glover's writing (who must have gotten some ill-fitting veneers/false teeth lately), which was steamed onto a window, was in fact backwards ... for some reason that wound me right up, the sheer length of time it took the guy to figure it out just pissed me off ... odd.

Anyway, it's at times joyfully inventive (Jack Black's idea of camouflage is ingenious) and at least just a good slice of pretty darn original fun. Mind you, the 'little guys VS the big guys' message is occasionally strong-armed into the script, and is ultimately left dangling as the credits begin to roll.

Also, Jack Black continues to do no wrong, and Mos Def's insistent mumbling continues to grind on me (check out 16 Blocks, he pissed me off so much in that film ... but he's still rather good at this acting business when he finds the right role).


Aftermath: Population Zero:

Indeed, not a film, but a National Geographic 90 minute special that's almost identical to Life After People (which was by the Discovery Channel, if memory serves). Identical in execution (stock footage mixed with lower-budget CGI, and specially shot stuff), and identical in its flaws.

The script is similarly ham-fisted and relies on often boring and uninspired writing - you'll constantly hear sentences begin with, for example, "After two-hundred-thirty years..." (yes, no "and" between the 200 and the 30 ... that annoyed me, ha!). The CGI shots are used over and over again, often just relying on two angles for one sequence - such as the Eifel Tower collapsing - so you'll cut back and forth between two shots and get thoroughly bored.

This also brings me to the issue of how America-focussed this, and Life After People, were ... but at least LAP ventured to Chernobyl and Pripyat to look at a real-life example of what was being talked about. Globally speaking, there's not much to the world beyond the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben by the looks of things, you'll maybe get a glimpse at the Pyramids or the North Pole, but otherwise it's all focussed on America ... which is a bit cheeky, lazy and isolationist. It's not like these aren't being shown outside of America, heck, Life After People was just on Channel 4 a couple of weeks ago.

So indeed, it's all the usual stuff. Amidst the overtly dramatic, deep-voiced narration (which is a stone's throw from a movie trailer, replete with glutinous use of "in a world where..." type talk), you get battered over the head with idiot-friendly obviousness.

Really, untreated metal structures, concrete and tarmac will all crumble and collapse over time?! My God, I never knew! Really, animals can live even without mankind around?! Shocking stuff indeed ... but in reality, my sarcasm allowance for the day had swiftly gone way over the top.

Also, they seem to think that all cars are automatics ... so, when the earth's population (well, America, London, Paris and Egypt by the looks of things) literally vanishes, all the cars just keep running. Well, unlike the lazy Americans who made this 90 minute long mankind guilt-trip, who obviously drive nothing but automatics to burn as few calories as possible, there are a considerable amount of manual transmission vehicles out there. Their engines would cut out without people to control the clutch ... it was just something that annoyed me while watching.

So it's all rather grim, according to Population Zero, the entire power supply of the entire planet will conk out within hours (something I don't recall Life After People discussing, or at least not to this level of immediacy), and mankind are a bunch of bastards arrogantly holding back nature, whose existence will be wiped out almost entirely within 1000 years of our disappearance.

Like I said, a guilt-trip ... with a silly, dumb-dumb narration ... and reused CGI shots ... quite.

And yet shockingly, despite my rather negative summary of it, it's still worth seeing - much like Life After People - as long as you can trudge through all the dumbing-down, economy CGI use, and guilt-tripping, it can be quite interesting.


Batman Begins:

After watching Tim Burton's 1989 movie, I simply had to dig out Christopher Nolan's 2005 fantastic franchise life-saver. It's still bloody brilliant, gripping and even goes to great lengths to justify Batman's life. How he got so buff and good at fighting, how he ended up with all that fancy gear, how his lair under Wayne Mannor came about. Everybody involved was doing a damn fine job, and by the time it gets to the end and Batman turns over a playing card to reveal The Joker, you've got such a massive, anticipation-fuelled grin all over your face.

The Dark Knight can't come soon enough!

More summertime movie musings...


Aye, the original 1989 box-office-bothering Tim Burton flick. I'd only seen it once before and what with The Dark Knight approaching, I figured I'd go back to the first Burton movie (the fact it was on sale for a fiver had a hand in this too).

Great stuff indeed, Nicholson is fucking great in no uncertain terms. With that fresh in my mind, it's going to be even more interesting to see the late Ledger's performance in the same role. While Nicholson was demented and fairly dark, he was also wickedly over the top and ... well, a real joker.

Ledger's version feels far, far darker. While Nicholson's might have been the Elvis style incarnation of the cackling one, Ledger's - from the trailers that have been shown at least - feels like the Sid Vicious incarnation. There's still a sense of humour, but it's all pitch black and nigh-on terrifying ... demented to say the least. No doubt it will be a fitting end to Ledger's sadly too short career.

Anyway, Batman 1989 ... indeed ... a spiffing film, but bloody hell have blockbuster action super hero type movies changed a lot in the past 19 years. At times, during action sequences, the pace of Batman felt positively sedate ... then again, there wasn't much internet or Sky TV or YouTube around in 1989 with "the yoof" consuming multiple media sources simultaneously and at a far greater speed than ever before. As a result, blockbuster fare has followed this trend.

So while it's not exceptionally gripping anymore, it's still a bloody good watch. But then again I guess it's all subjective and changes from film to film. After all, I've said in the past that I was - and indeed still am - positively gripped by The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford...and that's the best part of three hours and generally sedate and poetic.

Anyway, Batman still garners two fresh thumbs from me.



I've already spoken about it, but I recently got the DVD from America.

First though, I was rather pissed off by the mixed and confusing information from the distributors regarding the content of the discs. I got the 1-disc thinking it had the extras on it - it doesn't, it has FUCK ALL on it. I avoided the 2-disc edition because I figured 'if the 1-disc has extras, why spend two more quid for a digital copy that I won't use and apparently doesn't work anyway' ... DVDTimes, a site that until now was entirely trust worthy in providing pre-release info, failed to notice than the 1-disc is devoid of any extras. So it's a bit of a kick in the nuts. It would have been nice to listen to Sly's commentary and see the featurettes about everything and everybody getting thoroughly shot to shit.

Oh well, can't win them all.

Back to Rambo itself though, it's still bloody awesome fun. The manliest slice of blokery since the Berlin Wall was sledge-hammered to smithereens.


Futurama: Bender's Big Score:

Again, I've already spoken about it, but I got the DVD in preparation of the second feature coming out later this month (on the same day as Diary of the Dead as well, I might add).

Still superb and still tons funnier than The Simpson's has been for the past 9 or 10 seasons. More please!


The A-Team: Season 5:

Yes, not a movie, but who cares it's still awesome and therefore shut up...

I'm still mid-way through this final season of the excellent boy's own adventure show, and it's still good. I even like the remix of the theme tune ... the original version still pwns everything aural, but the remix still gets me in the mood to take down mob bosses with a cigar hanging out of the corner of my mouth.

Quality fun for any child of the 1980s. Nuff said.

Coming to terms with suffering summer...

Now, as anybody who knows me even to an acquaintance level, knows that I hate the summer. Yes it's nice when the weather is good and the sky is blue and the trees have leaves on them and shivering isn't a great way to spend your time, but at least when you're cold you can put the heating on, or put a coat on.

You can't really take a lot of stuff off to keep cool and keep legal, and the heat just tires you out anyway. Also, you're constantly surrounded by a bunch of people telling you how much they love the summer - except when it gets 'too hot' for them, so then they "like it hot, but not this hot".

Plus, I get hay fever, so I have to take pills all summer long to keep it away - and even then I still sneeze more than usual and can get a bit clogged up in the snout. Mind you, at least I've got a good excuse to stick ice cubes in my pint of Strongbow - my new drink of choice.

1) It tastes really nice.
2) It's cheap - and thanks to Gordon Brown that's a very important factor these days.
3) You get more in terms of quantity (when compared to my other usual tipple, Budweiser).


Then there's the spiders (and other things). Spiders, flies and other such things are all too stupid to find their way outside, once they've blundered inside. I can't be doing with them, they should fuck off out of my house and realise what man's domain means - it means you stay outside where you're supposed to be, and I'm in my house watching movies. Which brings me neatly onto the purpose of this post, I've been getting around to some viewing recently - on DVD and VHS, not at the cinema for a change.


Having only seen it once (which was before I even went to University I think!), I got all hot and bothered for it after reading an article about it in the Summer 2008 issue of Total Film (#142). So, armed with the knowledge that the plot plays in reverse, I watched it in two sittings (I tend to do a lot of viewing now before bed). Obviously, this movie is fucking superb. Essentially it's fairly basic, but the key elements (as well as the choice of presentation) make it a stand-out flick ... and it doesn't half make you think afterwards.

I watched it intently, keeping track of the backwards ordering of scenes, and after completing it spent the best part of an hour sat in my dimly lit bedroom at way past one in the morning pondering the ending ... or indeed the beginning, and the beginning which is at the end ... aye.

Simply put - a superb must see for any of you lot who haven't bothered to check it out. It, like Nolan's later Insomnia and Batman Begins, is bloody enthralling.



I've seen many of the old school 1930's era horror classics - the likes of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Mummy - but I had, until recently, still not watched Dracula. So finally, I fished out my Channel 4 recording of it from quite literally years ago (I think I recorded this when the Foot & Mouth crisis kicked off in the late 1990's). Just a shame that it didn't have the original musical score...

I respect Dracula, I respect its place in cinematic history and the impact it has had ... however, I felt Nosferatu was a better telling of the story, even though it was technically a copyright-buggering rip-off.

Dracula often feels wooden, or overplayed. It feels cheap, the script isn't that good at all and the rubber bats on fishing wire are almost too much to tolerate (although aye, how else would they have done them back then, but still ... at least flap the fishing pole a bit harder!)

Like I said, I respect it, but personally I didn't enjoy it anywhere near as much as I did Frankenstein, or The Mummy, or The Old Dark House or The Wolf Man (although The Wolf Man was the early 1940s if memory serves).

Thursday 5 June 2008

McLegs Mainframe...

You may be wondering what that thar "McLegs Mainframe" link is in my Make with the Clicky side section thingymajig...

Well, it's the Live Journal (it's a blog, admit it, haha) of my chum Ben - as in 'Ben from off of I Am Zombie Man 2 and VHS' ... indeed, it's his blog, so I figured I'd pimp a link to it.

I'll probably have a rant about the MTV Movie Awards 2008 sometime soon, but for now I'll off to download more Public Domain sex education films (for use in the sex ed film I'm working on actually) and anticipating the return of Big Brother ... yes, I do watch it, but I don't read Heat magazine or E! News or gossip about Brangelina, so I've got to fulfill that celebrity-gossip-type zone that I have inside me - like we all do - somehow, and this is it.

It's also interesting from a sociological stand point - no lies either, I actually used series one during a Sociology exam. I think I got an A on that exam as well ... see, it's all worth while, plus it's good for my writing ... you know, if I ever had to write about a bunch of fame-obsessed freak shows who'd sooner sell a story for a few quid and split up their families as a result instead of just save up for that ridiculously lop-sided, wooden boob job ... you know what I'm saying, you all watch it too.

Don't lie, there's no shame in watching it ... being on it and not being one of the small cluster of generally nice-seeming ones, is a whole other thing.

Monday 2 June 2008

Indiana Jones 4...

Another week and another trip to the cinema, it's certainly become something of an addiction of mine thus far into 2008, and with at least two other must see flicks in the next couple of months or so, it's most likely not about to stop.

So here we are, pretty much two decades since the last Indy movie, and as I was predicting it's suffering the same critical fate as Land of the Dead did. A loved, revered and established trilogy gets a new sibling 20 years after the last ... well, crusade.

Some people are decrying it as garbage, others are saying it's just the same as the other movies ... as for me, I'm somewhere in the middle. I never ever expected it to best either Raiders or Last Crusade, but figured it'd either beat or at the very least tie with Temple of Doom somewhere in the back of the pack.

My assumptions on my own opinion were indeed correct and this is where I stand. While it's a little bit too far fetched at a couple of junctures, twice in one set piece even, it never strides into territory where I'm still not entertained. In fact, the first truly far fetched sequence I absolutely had a blast during (aptly enough) ... it even tied into the quintessentially 1950s vibe of the film (while the predecessors were quintessentially 1930s, in that serial adventure vein in which the Jones films were forged).

Shia LaBeouf, as in Transformers and Disturbia, can do no wrong. The lad is consistently entertaining and talented, bringing a genuine warmth and humour to his roles which sit nicely with the audience. As for Ford, he certainly doesn't look too old for this film, not a jot - if Stallone can do Rambo aged 61, then Ford can do Indy 4 ... and pull it off he most certainly does.

It makes several nods to the previous films, but it never really obstructs proceedings too much, their inclusion feeling natural and necessary.

Mind you, it does get a bit wobbly half-way in before picking up ... at which point you're either with it till the end or you're lost for good. Indeed, what with it being the 1950s it is all a bit sci-fi ... but sci-fi in a jungle with blow pipes, monkies, copious cobwebbing and vines.

I say you're either with it by the end or not, and I stand by this. It does all get quite far fetched ... but then again Last Crusade featured a knight in a cave guarded by an invisible 'faith bridge' who'd been there for centuries guarding Jesus' dad's coffee cup. Raiders has the Ark of the Covenant, look at it and your face melts off ... and then there was Temple of Doom ... well, nuff said beyond monkey brains and that nutter tearing hearts out.

Needless to say Indy 4 will be the awkward sibling of the other three, tight-knit brothers. The new kid on the block will have to work to fit in with the rest of the franchise, but that was always going to be the case, so ignore that as much as possible - indeed, I purposefully didn't re-watch the first three prior to seeing the latest installment so that I could judge it purely on it's own.

I think one of the problems many of the film's detractors will have with it, is that they grew up watching Raiders, Temple and Crusade. There's a special place for them in their hearts and they don't look kindly upon shedding any negative light upon them. They don't like to seek out their flaws in order to cut the new kid on the block some slack ... indeed I can understand such a mindset.

Having re-watched many of my childhood favourites on DVD, I've rekindled my love for them and gone back in time to when I first viewed them. I recaptured that magic and wonder, but equally - perhaps this is exclusively down to my film school background though - I've also spotted the flaws, the audience-acknowledging smug bits, the lesser quality sequels and so forth ... but I still love them just as much, certainly not less.

With this in mind, I've cut Indy 4 some slack, but I do wonder if Lucas, Spielberg and Co's venture to recapture the magic and fun they had on set didn't fully translate to the film ... or at least the script, which is where any of the film's flaws originate.

Regardless, it's a fun romp and good to see Ford back in the Fedora. Certainly not the best - but it never was going to be - so it's at least as good as Temple of Doom, and frankly that's as much as could ever have been realistically expected ... so just enjoy it.

At least they didn't do a Die Hard 4.0 and water it all down and mutate the formula.