Other online diaries:
Fri, 09 Dec 2011
British "Whose Line Is It Anyway" - 10:23
Anyway the show is an theatre sports style improvisation show with comedians acting out various provided (often by the audience) situations on the spot. I have to say this is one of the funniest shows I have ever seen, probably helped by the fact it has some of my favourite comedians as regulars, Paul Merton and Stephen Fry.
I have been watching the tape I have of the show a bit last night and tonight and I have been laughing almost constantly. This truly is brilliantly entertaining, highly recommended. For more information there are some sites with more of it and of course something Wikipedia.
Dreaming - 10:23
However there was one thing at the Sydney Olympics that I was glued to whenever I was near a tv, the same thing happened for the Utah/Salt Lake City winter Olympics and then even for the Athens Olympics I did actually watch one thing on tv. So far I have not seen more than a minute or two of Olympics coverage on screen, when I have seen it on at a cafe or similar I have tuned in for a few seconds. So what is missing from the Olympics coverage this time?
Roy and HG with The Dream of course. This show added to the fun and humour of the Sydney Olympics. It increased the value of the Utah winter Olympics (I actually enjoy watching a fair amount of the winter Olympics) and it made the non stop coverage around the country of Athens more bearable. Maybe it is because Channel 7 spent so much money to get the rights for the Olympics they feel they can not make fun of the event. Maybe it is as is suggested in the article about the lack of the Dream, no studio audience due to Chinese security and crowd restrictions and the bad timezone issues make it unworkable for channel 7.
It is interesting to note there is a lot of criticism going around that this is the worst Olympics coverage in recent memory and most articles discussing this seem to note people are calling for the Dream to come back rather than the Yum Cha thing on each morning.
Fortunately though tv rights are taken there is nothing stopping Roy and HG commenting on the Olympics on the radio, which they are doing with aplomb on Triple J every afternoon. At least there is still some Australian piss taking going on, even if it is not live from Beijing. So I guess what I am saying, in my opinion at least, the lack of this show on the Olympics coverage means there is no reason to turn a tv on this month. I spoke to a few people at work and I hear a number of people with little interest in the Olympics have a similar view.
Thu, 02 Jun 2011
A surprising lapse in recognition - 15:15
So to point out why I had such a complete failure in recognition at the movies the other night I should provide some history. Since 1992 or so (when Lethal Weapon 3 was released, then the following year with In the Line of Fire and various following movies) I have been a huge Rene Russo fan. However I knew she had not acted in a movie since 2005 so was not really expecting to see her in any movie coming out in 2011. Thus sitting watching the Kenneth Brannagh does super heroes movie Thor last week I kept staring at the Queen. Thinking wow she is gorgeous, completely eclipsing Natalie Portman in the movie even playing a somewhat small role. However I kept trying to work out who it was, thinking it looks like Rene but assuming there was no chance it was her. Thus when the credits rolled and I saw I really had failed in recognition I was impressed and happy to see her back on screen.
There is an entertaining 3 part interview (part 1 here) on Jimmy Kimmel Live (a US talk show) talking about Thor, working with Brannagh, never watching her own movies and other stuff. (Fuck It Fuck It Fuck It, way to go Hopkins)
Tue, 19 May 2009
The reboot worked - 13:18
Bones was my favourite TOS character and in the new movie, Bones is awesome and cool and completely and utterly what I would expect him to be like. I was entertained to see Chris Pine even got the slouch in the captains chair looking like TOS Kirk, Scotty was great and even though it bought the characters together in a different way it all seemed to fall out well. I tend to agree with many comments suggesting the Uhura/Spock thing was a bit weird, but it did not detract from the rest of the movie too much.
I saw the movie with a friend who was not particularly keen on seeing it, but thought it was potentially going to be good, she was blown away with how much fun it was and how good the movie was. Definitely worth seeing I think.
Mon, 30 Mar 2009
Recent movies - 15:06
Duplicity was also good, I have a habit of spoiling movies and have to work hard to stop myself spoiling this one. I think it is let down a bit in that it is a little bit hard to care about any of the characters, however the twists are fun and the premise is entertaining and carried out well. Next on the movie agenda I think I will in fact make the effort to go and see the new Star Trek movie, I did not bother seeing the last one, however I look forward to seeing if this reboot of the universe works somehow or not.
Wed, 24 Dec 2008
Good Bond - 23:04
The dynamics between the major players and what happened through the movie was interesting and entertaining, there was no incredibly annoying and IMO stupid card game like in the previous movie. Also the bond girl thing did not happen as it normally does which I think improved the movie.
Sun, 14 Dec 2008
Dougs again - 23:21
I was somewhat ecstatic a few weeks ago when I saw in an ABC shop catalogue that a new Doug Anthony All Stars dvd was available. I have mentioned here from time to time that I am a long term fan of their stuff. I still have the London video and a cd from Edinburgh, however when I moved back from Sydney in 2001 I somehow misplaced my copy of the so called New York video (Live at the National Theatre) and the Edinburgh Years movie. So I have been somewhat bereft of Dougs material to watch.
The new dvd that has been released is a collection of lots of their Big Gig material which is great to see. I remember watching the show when it was first on tv, however I do not remember the content, so to see more DAAS from then is great, I can also see a lot of their material and notice how it changed in the time between those shows and Dead & Alive or DAAS Kapital.
It would be great if more of DAAS Kapital (weird though it often was) were also available now days. I enjoyed watching the first of the two dvds tonight and am happy to say reliving my memories of all those songs and the attitude they would take trying to get a rise out of any situation and to mock and piss take any religion, famous situation or personage if they thought it could be in bad taste or just downright funny was good to keep my mind occupied for a while.
Lots of fun, thanks Tim, Rich and Paul.
Mon, 22 Sep 2008
Dark Knight, good - 13:26
Yes Heath Ledger's Joker was incredible, redefining the character on screen (though to learn why this is not exactly new for the character in comics, have a look at this good post about why The Joker is The Batman's arch enemy to get a good understanding of the character and how it has developed) and the humour in some of the characters (notably the superbly cast Alfred and Lucius Fox) was still evident as it was in the first movie. However though this was a great super hero movie, it did not I think bring enough of a new look into the primary characters that we did not already see in the previous film.
Maybe I feel let down a bit as some comments online I have seen since the movie was released suggested we got a fantastic look into Batman's internal battle with his psyche and his wish to break his own rules, however I just did not really see that come up in the movie that much. Sure it appeared, but not in a defining or challenging way to the audience. We also did not get to see the extension of the Batman myth by his own behaviour to the same extent as we did even in the half of the first movie we saw Batman in Batman Begins.
I should clarify this by saying I still think this was a great movie, and the second best super hero movie ever, however I think it is possible it could have been better, though I do not quite know how.
Tue, 03 Jun 2008
Harlan the documentary - 15:26
There is a trailer and some other content on the site, however I have not yet worked out where I can find more details about the documentary or if it is touring the world. Searching Amazon for the title I only get books. It appears to have only been released recently though. It screened at SXSW and there is a good review from that online and there is also an imdb page. I hope to find out more and see the whole thing sometime. Rock on Harlan.
Sun, 04 May 2008
Another good comic adaptation - 20:32
I had thought the Iron Man movie was produced as part of the new independant Marvel Studios setup, however reading the appropriate wikipedia page and the Iron Man page linked at the top I learnt this was not the case. Though it is interesting to see the discussion about script writing and letting the action flow around a credible story "There was much improvisation in dialogue scenes, because the script was not done when filming began (the filmmakers had focused on the story making sense and planning the action)." Which I think came through well. The movie as a whole was entertaining, appropriate humour, showed a sense of how horrible war is and was a good action flick. I liked it.
Tue, 15 Apr 2008
Good News Week is back and online - 11:20
Thus I was of course upset when the original series ended, then I noticed it was back on early this year. At first I thought it must simply be re runs (though reruns of a 7 year old current affairs/news based show do not make sense, so I do not know why I thought that), however by the time the fourth episode was airing I realised it was a brand new series, so I watched it and loved the show as much as ever. Since then I have had my Myth box set to record the show, however for some reason SC Ten is not working on my myth box and I have not worked out why, I missed a few episodes since than and again got to watch it last night.
Kristy sent an email to linux-aus asking if anyone had a recording of the show in order to get the bit about Jon's geekiness at the start of the episode. So I ended up having a look at the Good News Week website and was pleasantly surprised to find they have all the episodes of the new series on their video page to watch at any time with flash player. The hidden danger of this is that I then stayed up far too late watching most of the episodes I had missed and some of the other content.
The other danger is that when you are watching something this funny and you are laughing so hard you end up crying a lot and you have a broken collar bone, laughing like this can be somewhat painful. Still I love this show, I am so happy it is back on tv now. It is not really Paul that makes the show so good either, it is the stuff the guests and team leaders say that really is so hilarious. Such as the brilliant (though you may need an appreciation for bizarre to like this so much) line from Ross Noble when dissing Doritos. When another guest said they were the best triangular snack with a Mexican twist, Ross pointed out cheese on toast cut in half was just as good, when pressed for a Mexican twist he said you need only put a Chihuahua on the cheese toasty. After all what better triangular snack is there than a cheese toasty with a small dog?
Fri, 28 Dec 2007
Aaron shows - 18:30
I strongly suggest to Mikal that he get a hold of the show Sports Night which predates West Wing and was a brilliant show, also a Sorkin brain child, with many of the same actors at times (Joshua Malina for example has had major roles in both, Felicity Huffman has appeared in West Wing, Janel Maloney has appeared in Sports Night, etc etc)
Though I have not yet seen it, and it has not received great reviews in the US, the new post West Wing show from Sorkin, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip probably still has some classic Sorkinesque banter and writing and is likely to be entertaining also. Ahh Aaron Sorkin and Joss Wheedon, without the two of them no television out of the US would not have been worth watching in the past 10 years I think.
Thu, 18 Oct 2007
Well I know I can't - 20:19
The solo dances were interesting as they were all the same dance and you can see how each dancer interprets it. Also you can see how each dancer manages to link things together. In the solo dance tonight I thought Neil (I think that was his name) was possibly the worst I saw. He did not flow from move to move well and nothing seemed to link and flow. Kameron however was incredible in the solo dance and how he did some of the moves, a little differently with an interesting difference. Maybe it is because he followed Neil so the contrast really stood out at the time. Strangely none of the female solos really stood out to me, though one of them was using the assets of her bust more than many others I thought, probably the bloke in me noticing that though.
I wonder what it says about me that the best pair dance I saw tonight was the disco dance. (interestingly the judges seem to agree with me, I typed the bit about liking it before the dance was finished). Anyway it is a fun bit of tv and good to see people moving and enjoying that sort of thing so much, I know I can't dance but it is good to watch I agree for once with something that at first glance may appear to be a bit like some of the crap reality tv stuff so prevalent these days. I also loved the music for the solo performance, that was what really grabbed me back into the living room and got me watching it.
Tue, 25 Sep 2007
Stardust, the wow post - 00:18
This I can already see will be one of my favourite movies, after one screening I already adore it. What an absolutely brilliant movie. Go and see it.
Tue, 24 Jul 2007
Luis was, obviously I guess, a bit of a pig at first and not the nicest of people, also the movie sounds like it could be one of those dodgy premises that consistently cause Adam Sandler to be putting his name forward as an individual who should never have become famous. However this was done by the French rather than the Americans, maybe that is what saved it, even with the dodgy sounding premise the movie was really good.
You can easily see why Luis' family would drive anyone mad, as the movie goes on you begin to see why there are reasons Emma decided to go in for the deal initially (though that is still a bit of a mystery really) however by the end of the movie the characters have generally all grown on you to the same extent they have on each other. At least that is what I got out of it, a charming and entertaining movie opening the eyes and changing the outlook of the protagonist in a major way. This is a movie I will probably be happy to watch a time or two more when it hits dvd.
Wed, 02 May 2007
18 films in one sitting - 14:57
On the whole I liked it a lot, some of the short films were a little bit off the mood of the whole, though they still were good. An example is the vampire film, a little quirky and dark compared to the rest, but still interesting. The humour in some was fantastic (such as the mime couple situated in the Eiffel Tower area by the creator of Les Triplettes de Belleville) or the incredibly strange but humorous hair salon film.
I really did not like a few of the short films (the first one with the woman pulled into the car and the later film with the couple starting out in the strip club), however one of the great advantages is any film you did not like was over soon and something new was coming along.
I think the concept worked remarkably well, a collection of short films telling a single theme/story by different people with different styles. Unlike most short film festivals, such as Tropfest, with different films (even though they include a common element) on different subjects. What came out was a good night out with some very interesting and quirky ideas and scenes from time to time. I recommend seeing it.
Mon, 23 Apr 2007
One bad, one good, make a pattern for a show? - 13:05
So I thought Paul was mostly amusing in this show, and Flacco when he did his own segment (as opposed to the scripted silly moustache waving segment) was funny. However my large problem with the show is it appeared as if the had a pattern of one funny/amusing/good act followed by one piece of crap act and simply repeated the pattern through the show.
The three Adams familyesque sisters, the three women trying to get a drink at the bar, the one man band and the Claire Hooper stand up act were all rubbish I thought and not even remotely amusing or interesting. Yet the rest of the acts were largely really good. My house mates and I kept saying, couldn't they maybe just have all good acts rather than the pattern of one stupid/annoying/bad act and one good act throughout. Maybe it was just us but everyone in the house tended to agree on what was and was not good.
I guess I will give the show one more week and see if it improves at all.
Mon, 14 Nov 2005
Weird and wacky french animation - 16:12
Definitely an entertaining and worthwhile movie to see, some hilarious sections, some strange bits, not a lot of dialogue so you need to concentrate on the imagery to get a lot from it also there is some good music. Tres cool. The "car chase" at the end is really highly amusing, the seemingly endless number of ways the broad shouldered mafia can crash cars is fantastic.
Fri, 24 Jun 2005
Region free in .au by law? - 11:40
From my recollection (I can not be bothered googling to see if I am smoking crack or if this is an accurate recollection) Australian law forbade region encoding. Most of the countries in the westernised world also forbade region encoding by law, only the US had (and probably still has) an allowance for this practice.
Originally he manufacturers made the DVD players for the US market and attempted to sell the region encoded players around the rest of the world. Eventually they realised they could not get away with that, for at least 5 or 6 years now almost all players sold in Australia were region encoding free. Now the amusing thing is the manufacturers to some extent got sick of it and now most DVD players being sold in the US are also not encumbered by region encoding.
There is one other unfortunate aspect here though, software, and hardware with that software, still often has region encoding issues, so Apple DVD drives, MacOSX, software on Windows to play DVD's etc, all of this stuff will often still be broken. Probably because it comes out of small minded US centric firms and in the case of software there is no production penalty or an easy legal penalty if produced in this damaged state.
Sun, 19 Jun 2005
Brilliant Batman Begins - 23:17
Even Katie Holmes did not annoy me too much, as for the rest of the cast, it was oh so very good. Lucius Fox actually comes to life in the way you expect Lucius of the comics to be (even if Morgan Freeman is a bit older then the character in the comics). Christian Bale plays a properly psychotic Batman and holds the focus of the movie well enough, though I saw the movie as a whole as a brilliant tribute to the comics in so many ways, more than simply a story about Batman around Christian Bale.
Hopefully Jane will not read this before she sees the movie on Tuesday night as this may give something away now that is not obvious, even on the IMDB cast list. I was impressed with how they did Ra's Al Ghul, the first moment I saw Liam Neeson in the prison room talking with Bruce I thought ahh this looks just like Ra's, thus when they soon suggested that Ra's was someone else and Liam Neeson was Ducard, I wondered why they had done the makeup and look as they had. I am glad to see the first impression was correct, definitely an incredibly good portrayal of Ra's by Liam, and different enough, and yet oh so much the same as the comics to keep me interested. Also they did not give away much of the back story behind Ra's as is available, such as the Immorality, this allows them to use Ra's to great effect in future films. I really hope they bring Tahlia in next time they use Ra's too.
Some of the changes to the back story were surprising, but they worked, such as the death of his parents was after leaving the opera rather than after seeing the movie "Zorro", however the reason for leaving the opera helped the back story for the movie well. Rather than choosing to go around the world looking for the best people in all disciplines to train with in order to be better they showed a different origin for Bruce's formidable skill, however once again this works. Though in the future they may still be able to develop more of the back story and show that he did have more training before the stuff in the temple, which would still work, after all he was able to handle himself very well in the prison prior to the temple training.
I could go on and on about this movie and how bloody awesome it is, however many would be more and more bored by my writing, especially those who have no idea what I have been rambling on about above. I strongly suggest you go see this brilliant film. By far the best comic book adaption I have seen in modern times this could become my favourite movie of the year.
Thu, 16 Jun 2005
Join the Smith club. - 13:54
I had seen the short for the movie while at the cinema to see HGTTG (imdb link) a few weeks earlier, I thought it looked like it would be a really bad implementation of a mildly amusing premise, however I felt the need to see it possibly for the laugh value. Thus I went along with really low expectations, I think that helped, they actually made it better than the trailer suggested it could be, sure it is a modern Hollywood action thingy, but hey it was fun and not as cheesy as I was expecting (though it was still as completely over the top as I expected).
Sure, in my opinion Arnie (I am unable to think of Arnold Schwarzenegger when I hear someone utter that now days, when I here someone pronounce that I immediately think of Ani Difranco) and Jamie implemented the secret spy sort of life thing a whole lot better in True Lies than Brad and Angelina have here, but I was pleasantly surprised.
On the subject of movies, it has been a strange month for me, I tend to go the movies rarely, maybe two or three times a year. I spend most of my time out of work doing cycling related activities. In the last month I have been to see 3 movies, and I notice that Batman Begins (imdb link) opens today, which for me is another must see. I do not have time until next week, however it seems I can go see it with friends on Monday night so that works out fine.
I never saw the 3rd and 4th Batman movies (Val Kilmer and George Clooney) and I generally deny that they exist, the last Batman movie that was not complete crap had Michael Keaton in the lead role and was directed by Tim Burton (Batman Returns, and of course the first of that series, Batman). I am a DC comics fan, not particularly a Batman fan, but it is good to see any DC title brought to life on the big screen well.
On Friday evening, Prue and I had been planning to make it to the 7pm screening, but we were a few minutes late, and with the theatre being packed we decided to wait for the 8:45pm screening instead, with an hour and a half to kill in the Mall we set off for an adventure. I almost never go inside Malls, or for that matter near large numbers of shops these days, mostly because I have no interest in purchasing products unrelated to cycling or computers most of the time and it is not wise to lock a bike up in Civic or Belconnen or other places like that. I do not like using the car if I can avoid it so do not go near those places often. Prue was shocked to hear I did not know of the existence of many of the stores we walked past.
There was one positive outcome of being near so many shops, in Rebel Sport I found a Netti helmet that fits me and only costs AUD $50. This is a remarkable event alone as the only other helmets I have found that fit in the last two years are the Giro E2 (AUD $275 RRP) (which is my current helmet) and a tight fit but in a squeeze the Met 5th Element (sells for AUD $289), the lower models in the Giro and Met lines do not fit at all (why they only make their most expensive models large enough is beyond me). So to find a Helmet from Netti that fits and does not cost too much was great, however it gets better. They have a model in Lilac (Netti Pangea, Lilac), how cool is this I can get a Purple/Pink helmet, finally, usually helmets in those colours only come in Womens sizes.