Saturday 30 June 2012

Flavours of the Month: June 2012...


Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (Blu-Ray) - the second time around it's still great, and it still spins my head when the Burj Kalifa segment comes up.

Mad Men Season 5 - the last few months have had a decidedly Mad Men flavour to them, and now I'm finally all caught up on Don & Co's adventures in advertising ... roll on season 6!

2 Broke Girls - sometimes E4's relentless advertising of new shows really grates (I almost didn't start watching Lost specifically because I hated how often they trailed the first season on Channel 4), but now and then that doesn't factor in so much and you give a show a fair chance on its own merit. It took me a few episodes to get into it, but I've found myself somewhat curiously into this show, which is like a strange clash of 'ever-so-sitcommy' and 'post-modern-malaise'.

Hell On Wheels - all I knew of this show before reading an article in Total Film about it, was the title, and I'd just assumed it was a rip-off of Sons of Anarchy or something. However, having got utterly obsessed with Deadwood earlier this year, I was up for more western drama, and AMC are delivering. It's not in the same league as Deadwood (the first two seasons of which were downright perfect, while the third season lost its sense of pace until the final episodes), but I'm still watching it - so it must be doing something right. You gotta love the opening titles too - I've had Gustavo Santaolalla's toe-tapping, hard-edged themetune in my head for weeks.

Leon (Blu-Ray) - it's been a very long time since I saw this excellent flick, and I have to say the Director's Cut (133 minutes in length) is a superior effort. It delves much more into the ever-so-strange relationship between the eponymous assassin (Jean Reno) and his young ward (Natalie Portman).

Jackass 3 & 3.5 - the last time I saw these was a few weeks before Ryan Dunn was killed in a high speed car wreck along with Zachary Hartwell in 2011, and until now it felt a little strange watching anything Jackass knowing that Dunn was gone ... however it was about time I gave these another spin, and they're still hilarious. Dunn may be gone, but he ain't forgotten.

Click "READ MORE" below for the sounds and flavours of June 2012...

Friday 29 June 2012

Well worth a read (claymation article)...

I came across this article on - it's a piece about claymation animator Lee Hardcastle (one of my "Stuff I Dig" links down there on the right of this blog), and it's well worth reading.

Hardcastle is the demented genius behind the likes of Pingu's The Thing, Claycat's The Raid, and Chainsaw Babe 3D. If you're not familiar with his fantastically graphic claymations (he's currently animating a version of Evil Dead II, which I'm eagerly awaiting), then head over to his website or YouTube and get watching!

He's also made a bunch of excellent 60 second shorts based on real movies - below are my favourite two of these:

Tuesday 26 June 2012

The Walking Dead - more memes/lols...

Find more Walking Dead memes HERE.

A handful more memes/lols for The Walking Dead that I cobbled together a while ago (in this case, for a thread over on Homepage of the Dead), and as I hadn't posted them here yet, I figured it was about time I did as the last batch I posted (from the season two finale) proved quite popular. I'm also thinking of doing some more for the second season as a bit of fun, in advance of new episodes in October.

Click "READ MORE" below to see what else Dr Jenner could have been whispering to Rick...


Today I was fiddling around getting a few shots for a new little short experimental film I'm working on called "Obscura". It was just a little idea I had, and having realised that I'd not shot any new short films (that are fictional pieces anyway) for my YouTube Channel in a while, I figured it was about time I put something together - so I had this idea involving an old stills camera from the 1950s that we've got in a drawer somewhere.

The film won't be anything fancy or too involved, but just a bit of fun playing around with some cool/creepy visuals. I'm thinking it'll be 2 minutes long (or no more than 3 minutes), and I'm going to use a variety of photos and footage - some new stuff shot specifically for this, and some old stuff from my archives that I'll re-purpose for this weird little film idea ... sort of a collage of various stuff from the last few years, and even as far back as 1999. Anyway - that's something I'm chipping away at in some spare time - but the big thing at the moment is getting a new educational DVD (titled The Problem of Evil) finished off.

Monday 25 June 2012

Trailer Fest - the apocalypse under my radar...

Good old Homepage of the Dead, the folks over there always manage to bring something to my attention, and below are two trailers that certainly piqued my interest today.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World:

The Divide:

The premise of the former looks pretty darn interesting, as well as entertainingly quirky, and I've no idea how the latter flew entirely under my radar until this afternoon - for one thing it's got Michael Biehn in it, and that's reason enough for me to check it out. There is one good thing about coming to something a little late-in-the-game though - if you're really into the vibe of it (be it a new album by a band you like, or a cool-looking movie), you can go off and buy it straight away on DVD. I've heard a couple of mixed things about The Divide, but I've also heard many good things, and for a post-apocalyptic movie that's apparently as bleak as The Road, well ... count me in ... especially so as Michael Biehn stars in the flick.

Triple Bill Mini Musings: Vamps, Apes, and Bombs...

Fright Night (2011):
What's it about?
Remake of the beloved 1980s horror comedy about nerdy teen Charley who discovers a vampire master named Jerry has moved in next door.
Who would I recognise in it?
Colin Farrell, David Tennant, Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Toni Collette, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Dave Franco.
The original wasn't perfect, and I only saw it for the first time fairly recently, so I missed any 'formative years' or 'original 80s release' charm, however it was good fun. Similarly, the remake isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination - the second act goes a bit listless, and the pacing is curious - however it remains a good slab of fun. Farrell and Tennant gleefully chew the scenery (the latter as theatrical magician Peter Vincent, updated from the original's horror film star and late night movie marathon host), and there are nice touches littered throughout (e.g. looking up how to pick a lock on the internet as you're doing it). Die hard fans of the original will no doubt feel this update's a bit redundant, and while it doesn't stray too far from the original's path, there are enough modernising tweaks to give it a pass in the end. Not brilliant, but not terrible either. Oh, and try not to enthusiastically tap your feet to "99 Problems" by Hugo during the end credits - I dare you. On the border between Good and Alright.

Click "READ MORE" below to go ape and order a pizza...

Friday 15 June 2012

Triple Bill Mini Musings: Vamps, Drinks, and Shotguns...

What's it about?
Treating the vampire curse as if it was a zombie apocalypse, mixed with John Hillcoat's bleak The Road, this meandering tale of 'Boy' and 'Mister' casts a stylishly dark shadow across a sub-genre that is more commonly seen as romantic, or laced with temptation, rather than cannibalism, religious cults, and a struggle for survival in a dying world.
Who would I recognise in it?
Erm ... oh yeah, Danielle Harris.
The pacing isn't especially cinematic, as it feels more like a portion of an overall journey that we join for a little while, which can prove problematic in the second half when an ill-conceived 'big bad' is attempted to give the third act some sort of grand finale. However, turning a world in which vampires exist into a struggle for the very survival of humankind slaps a fresh lick of paint on proceedings that works quite well for the first half - but beyond that, the transient nature of the roughly-sketched supporting characters, and overall thrust of the plot can prove somewhat disappointing. Very stylish, oftentimes bleak, but quite distanced - however the overall impression remains positive. Good.

Click "READ MORE" below for thoughts on Arthur (the remake), and Get Carter (the original)...

Saturday 2 June 2012

Prometheus 3D (spoiler-free) review...

What's it about?
Ridley Scott directs this sort-of-prequel to his legendary 1979 sci-fi/horror masterpiece Alien, which sees a group of late-21st-century scientists working for the Weyland Corporation seeking the answer to the biggest question facing mankind - where did we come from? Following a series of star maps, the most recent found as a 35,000 year-old cave painting in Scotland, the crew of Prometheus (the white collars, compared to the blue collars of Alien) set down on LV-223 (not LV-426 as you might have originally expected from the teaserific trailers) and begin to discover who these giant human-like "engineers" were, and why they were stationed on this far flung planet. Naturally, things don't go all that smoothly for all involved...
Who would I recognise in it?
Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Rafe Spall, Guy Pearce.
Having inspired an onslaught of fanboy theories and discussion, the teaser trailers managed to re-arrange numerous elements of the film, only seen in snippets, to appear differently to how they actually come-to-pass in the film itself. It kept the mystery alive, but it could also lead to a few scratched heads with some viewers exiting the cinema a bit disappointed, or wrong-footed, by what they were expecting.

Speaking of expectations, try to ignore them. The idea of the 'DNA of Alien' being present in the film is indeed here - we are in the same universe after all - but the references don't come as thick, or fast, as some reviews curiously suggested, and indeed the plot is far more interested in exploring fresh territory. Big questions - the biggest of all - are asked routinely, and are mixed with deep moral and ethical outlooks. As David (the ship's android, played brilliantly by Fassbender) says to star-gazing scientist Charlie Holloway (Marshall-Green), how far are you willing to go? Such are the intricate and morally ambiguous discussions, and disparate intentions, of the main pro/antagonists.

Click "READ MORE" below to learn more about Prometheus, one of the most anticipated films of 2012.