Monthly Archives: January 2012

Fight Club

Fight Club (1999) – Originally Written July 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

CONTAINS SPOILERS

What a brilliant idea this film was. It’s taken me many years to see this film & I’m glad I waited until now. A few years ago, if I’d seen it then (released originally 1999) then I know I’d have not enjoyed it as much as I did today. This film is pure genius.

The original idea of Edward Norton as a miserable man in a miserable world who discovers a form of escapism is ingenius.

Both Norton & Pitt deliver amazing performances (why is it that Pitt is best as nutters?) and produce brilliant opposites.

This film does drift off a bit when Tyler’s insane army idea begins to take shape, but the ultimate twist is a piece of genius which scarily fits into the film perfect.

The thing I loved most about this film however is the way that Tyler has his one key Philosophy & looking back over the entire film, that Philosophy is apparent in the vast majority of it. Whilst I’m sure the vast majority of people here would agree with the idea that we need to loose the materialistic ideals of the world, Tyler doesn’t comprehend just how much those of us who aren’t material dependent need those who ARE material dependent. Society is built of different groups of people & those groups need each other to work. Anyway, I’m going off on one here & that’s not relevant really to the film.

The point I guess is that in general, this film is quality. Despite the occasional slow bit, this film not only makes people think, but it teaches us a thing or two about ourselves. Well worth viewing. It makes me wonder what other beautiful films there are for me to watch.

Spy Kids

Spy Kids (2001) – Originally written July 2003

With the release of Spy Kids 3D, a friend of mine told me how desperate she was to see it. I confess to being a little keen, but upon mentioning not watching the first two, she instantly walked to her dvd collection and forced them into my hands. So here I am, it’s Sunday night & I’ve just watched the first one. Know what? I think it’s brilliant. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it will never win any awards for it’s outstanding plot, but for the occasional hilarious moment & for the general relaxed nature of the film, it is the perfect type of film to just sit and switch off to. I’m not surprised children love it, and it’s even less surprising that the adults of the world who’re reliving our childhoods, the film is a breath of childish fresh air. Time to watch number 2 perhaps.

Hulk

Hulk (2003) – Originally written July 2003

POTENTIAL SPOILERS, Doubtful, but Possible.

After months of anticipation, I was slightly worried about setting foot into this film. So far this year there had been three major films I’d been awaiting. Those three are The Matrix Reloaded, this film & Terminator 3. After feeling heavily disappointed with the Matrix Reloaded, I was paranoid I’d set too high standards for this film & would be disappointed. I wasn’t. Ang Lee (despite one previous review I’ve read describing him as a “She”. Some people don’t research enough) shows a film which is wonderful & thoughtful yet simultaneously entertaining. Whilst I can appreciate that some people might dislike the swapping between drama & action, I love the originality of it all. Whilst one or two of the performances are a bit weak, the excellent performances by Houston & Connelly make it all the worth while. What I really love about this film however is it’s seeming obsession with trying to explain how the Hulk develops. Certain parts are a bit sloppy & confusing, & I admit to not being a scientist (asking my father about the potential is probably worth time), but the idea of having the Hulk sweat off his size (& thus returning to Bana) is pure genius. Ang Lee puts in a quality performance himself by actually portraying the Hulk’s actions & emotions, which makes the film all the more worthwhile.

I know everything I have just been saying is incredibly sloppy in layout, but thats the thing with this film, I can keep finding more and more good things to say about it.

Ok, now the bad news.

I watched this film in a room full of teenagers (and a few young kids who I question if their parents have any intelligence) & at the start, and at the end, a lot of these teenagers seemed to get more and more tiresome and aggitated. The film has it’s occasional tiresome moment but in general it is amazing & well worth the money. Even the ending, which seems impossible in the vast majority of marvel films, is endering and leaves it open for a sequel (which lets be honest, most studios want as a priority anyway).

To summarise, well worth the money. If your a person who can’t combine drama & action though, go watch Spiderman.

Now for Terminator 3

February

Is it me, or is February a funny old month?

Other months have their own identities, events, purposes. January for example. A month of both renewal (new year, new goals) and pain (long, often broke, often dry). Or September? Traditional start of the sports season, return of the kids to schools, the month when everyone tends to sit in beer gardens late because they know that it’s going to get cold/dark soon.

If anyone is interested, here’s what Wikipedia has to say about February:


Summary

February is the second month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. It is the shortest month and the only month with fewer than 30 days. The month has 28 days in common years and 29 days in leap years.

In the Southern Hemisphere, February is the seasonal equivalent of August in the Northern Hemisphere.
February starts on the same day of the week as March and November in common years, and on the same day of the week as August in leap years. February ends on the same day of the week as October every year and January in common years only. In leap years, it is the only month that ends on the same weekday it begins.


History

February was named after the Latin term februum, which means purification, via the purification ritual Februa held on February 15 (full moon) in the old lunar Roman calendar. January and February were the last two months to be added to the Roman calendar, since the Romans originally considered winter a monthless period. They were added by Numa Pompilius about 713 BC. February remained the last month of the calendar year until the time of the decemvirs (c. 450 BC), when it became the second month. At certain intervals February was truncated to 23 or 24 days; and a 27-day intercalary month, Intercalaris, was inserted immediately after February to realign the year with the seasons.
Under the reforms that instituted the Julian calendar, Intercalaris was abolished, leap years occurred regularly every fourth year, and in leap years February gained a 29th day. Thereafter, it remained the second month of the calendar year, meaning the order that months are displayed (January, February, March, …, December) within a year-at-a-glance calendar. Even during the Middle Ages, when the numbered Anno Domini year began on March 25 or December 25, the second month was February whenever all twelve months were displayed in order. The Gregorian calendar reforms made slight changes to the system for determining which years were leap years and thus contained a 29-day February.
Historical names for February include the Old English terms Solmonath (mud month) and Kale-monath (named for cabbage) as well as Charlemagne’s designation Hornung. In Finnish, the month is called helmikuu, meaning “month of the pearl”; when snow melts on tree branches, it forms droplets, and as these freeze again, they are like pearls of ice. In Polish and Ukrainian, respectively, the month is called luty or лютий, meaning the month of ice or hard frost.


Events

  • Black History Month (Canada and United States)
  • LGBT History Month (United Kingdom)
  • National Bird-Feeding Month
  • Parent Leadership Month
  • Abolition of Slavery in Mauritius:February 1
  • St Brigid’s Day: February 1, Ireland
  • Groundhog Day: February 2, United States and Canada
  • Imbolc: February 2
  • Independence of Sri Lanka: February 4
  • 1917 Constitution of Mexico: February 5
  • Waitangi Day in New Zealand: February 6
  • Slovenian Cultural Holiday: February 8
  • National Foundation Day in Japan: February 11
  • Abraham Lincoln’s birthday: February 12, United States
  • Valentine’s Day: February 14
  • Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre: An infamous mafia attack. February 14
  • Flag Day of Canada: February 15
  • Kosovo’s Independence Day: February 17
  • Presidents Day (United States, third Monday)
  • International Mother Language Day: February 21
  • Independence Day in Saint Lucia: February 22
  • George Washington’s birthday: February 22, United States (often coincides with President’s Day, see above)
  • Flag Day of Mexico: February 24
  • Independence Day in Estonia: February 24
  • People Power Revolution (Philippines) February 25
  • Liberation Day (Kuwait) February 26
  • Dominican Republic Independence: February 27
  • Leap Day: February 29 (Every four years, with some exceptions)
  • National Day of the Sun (in Argentina)
  • National Wear Red Day (in the US and the UK)


Hang On…

I’ve just had a thought. I forgot one very, very important thing that happens in February. The highlight of my year. The one time on an annual basis that I can feel national pride without some idiot claiming it for the right wing.

That’s right ladies & gents, I actually forgot about the Six Nations!

I’ll cover that another time, but for now, check out the countdown on the bottom of this page to the most important event of the year. My beloved Calcutta Cup.

Jurassic Park Syndrome

Jurassic Park Syndrome (sic) “To fall out of love with a personal passion & to grow resentful of others, due to excessive publicity and the discovery of YOUR passion by others.”

The year is 1993 and I’m obsessed with Dinosaurs.

Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous. Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus, Stegosaurus. I was fascinated. I’d read books, I’d study them (did you know that a fully grown Triceratops was about 30 feet long and weighed 6 to 12 tons… In contrast a White Rhino is apparently 12 foot & weighs only 2.5 tons), or I’d play with solid plastic models from the Early Learning Centre.

By all stretch of the imagination, I was hooked.

THEN… Jurassic Park came!

All of a sudden you couldn’t move for Dinosaur fans. Even worse was the relentless marketing. Whether it was the collector cards (Which I confess to owning the set of) or the chicken pieces in Dinosaur shapes served in the School dining hall, Dinosaurs were everywhere.

As if by act of rebellion, my passion dimmed and I developed a dislike for those who suddenly loved them. A typical conversation [fictional, but a sound example]:

Person 1: The Dilophosaurus is so cool in that movie.
Me: Did you know that the neck camouflage was added by Spielberg’s guys to make it look more exotic.
Person 1: No… They are so cool.
Me: AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!

Put into context that I was 11 at the time, that’s a slightly fictional example of the frustration that engulfed me. By the end of the 1st Jurassic Park, and the excessive hype, my obsession was all but gone… For this, I blame the aptly named “Jurassic Park Syndrome”.

Brave New World

Brave New World (1998) – Originally written July 2003

When I first read “Brave New World” five or six years ago now, I remember thinking about how Huxley was a genius. Whilst not a big fan of his first book “Chrome Yellow”, he still always put a point across. In this film though, they lost a lot of the ideas. I always used to wonder what a film adaptation would be like and not long after finishing the book for the third time I realised that deep down there could never be a decent adaptation. Simply put, despite being over 75 years old, the book still talks of ideas which modern society is scared to accept. For one thing, could you really imagine a major Blockbuster movie in which children played erotic games at the start? In a world where a mild swear word is condemned, that sort of imagery would be instantly condemned & banned. With this in mind, a decent adaptation could never be done. Therefore, it’s admirable that they make any sort of effort to recreate Huxley’s book. However for a book which would influence me in such a powerful way, it’s disappointing they didn’t realise that it’s better to not touch something rather than create a half decent version. Ah well. That’s Hollywood for you.

A brainwave…

It’s funny…

When I first created this site, the idea was to write something worthwhile and memorable. That never really happened. I found fast that whilst the site took on an identity and a personality of it’s own, the text didn’t.

That was until a friend gave me a great idea.

From a young age and for a long time, I actively wrote reviews for the Internet Movie Database (imdb). Some of these were okay, some were quite frankly dreadful. However imdb was never particularly clear with them.

So the site needs filling, what better way to start it? So now, from the “Film Review” category, you’ll be able to soon read the words of wisdom from a young and (occasionally idiotic) me… Enjoy!

Testing the iPhone

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Testing the iPhone

It’s amazing how technology develops. Once upon a time a phone was a brick. Now you can post on a website!

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