Archives
Monday
Dec062010

Tron Legacy - Review (no major spoilers) update**



Directed By: Joseph Kosinksi

Run Time: 125 min

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde

1982 is a long time ago. If you were a child of the 80s you will probably remember Tron fondly, with its neon lights, weird glowing mix of computer graphics and live action film.  In fact it was truly a game changer, and actually is credited with giving birth to CGI and many of the special effect techniques we hold so dear today. UPDATE** Ok so I actually watched Tron again all the way through for the first time in ten years and I didn't realise just how much religious comment there was on the surface of a much more complicated plot than I remembered. In fact the original plot/script is far more intricate and interesting than the sequel, also Bruce Boxleitner who is and created the character/programme Tron is a lead role in the original but very much a lightweight secondary figure (Flynn jnrs unofficial guardian) in the sequel.

(slight spolier but no more than you get from the trailer)
So 28 years on and Jeff Bridges reprises his role as IT genius Kevin Flynn who now lives permanently in the grid he has created like a cross between God and the Big Lebowski. Things change when his son (now grown up) is drawn into the digital universe and they both have to fight against CLU (Flynn's idealistic creation/representation of younger self).

(spoiler)
CLU having shaped 'the Grid' into some kind of pure fascist state where perfection is his obession, queue a series if similar sort of 'creation' style religious bothering allegorical references that peppered the first film. Especially around the origins of Quorra.

I don't want to throw any more spoilers at you so I won't go into anymore plot details, suffice to say that the 3D visuals and special effects are quite simply awe inspiring and alone make this film worthy of a trip to the IMAX. The 3D deployed is only featured in the digital world, none of the visuals actually come out of the screen at you but the sense of depth and total immersion in the universe set before you can still manage to twist your head clean off your shoulders.

Garrett Hedlund is pretty watchable as Sam Flynn without being corny and arrogant, Olivia Wilde steals all scenes as the mesmerizingly beautiful Quorra and Michael Sheen puts in a superbly flamboyantly camp cameo as Zuse.

The script is pretty tight although it can plod at times and I am not sure why the older Flynn is such a hippy, ok so I get that he is the opposite of his younger self but I didn't really buy into that (again more zen creations refs abound). Making Flynn 'The Dude' whilst fun is pretty needless, but it doesn't really take much away from the film. The Daft Punk film score is inspired as is the costume and set design, think Blade Runner channelled through Clockwork Orange.

The action sequences will have your jaw dropping even if at times you feel they don't really flow or make sense, in fact that is the one issue I had with the film, as brilliant as the characters are and the environment they are in - the plot thread that stitches it all together is wafer thin. But who cares? In truth the 8 year child in all of us will be re-awakened by this movie and the adrenalin pumping round your body will overide the slightly thinning layer of substance and logic throughout. Bare in mind this has more plot than Avatar (which isn't difficult) and is in my opinion more interesting to look at (I got so bored looking at femal Navi that when i got home I went on a smurf killing spree). There are plenty of social undercurrents and comments on creation and spirituality woven into the film but I think you can take out /read into it whatever you want to as it avoids dampening the narrative.

You don't have to have seen or love the first film to love this, you just have to have an imagination and a pulse.

Tuesday
Nov302010

A Tale of a Journey into work when it SNOWED - (parachuting into North Korea would be easier)


You'd think we lived in a permanent state of sunshine and tropical humidity the way our creaking transport infrastructure crumbles when a bit of snow falls.


We knew for weeks possibly even months it was coming, so how come when a few flurries hit London and her surrounding areas do all trains and buses suddenly fall into the abyss? If we were all stomping to the hips into 4ft of snow like many other countries experience........... then fair enough, but within hours of the fall.... the snow wasn't laying anymore and was more like fluffy yellow rain.

My day began with a 35 min wait for a bus, despite the fact every other form of transport moved freely, despite the fact the roads had been gritted adequately. My bus stop in the murky depths of South East London was swamped with confused looking people with snow blown in their faces as they stood under the tiny shelter, you could tell most of them had been there longer than me.

I walked another ten minutes from where the bus stopped and onto the station (road works so all buses on diversion, despite the fact I've not once seen anyone actually doing any work on the road, just a few holes left with cones round them). The overgound train was on time! Ironically my train to work is never on time and despite being overground is more like a cattle truck - (the kind you would associate with the joys of the Northern line) so hooray for snow then?

The fun couldn't last though as on the way home London Bridge was swamped with a vast army of barging pushing moaning aimless commuters all going nowhere because all services were delayed and entrances part closed. I went through the same process of pushing and being pushed through the crowds to electronic information boards which all showed the same gloriously British word next to every service 'delayed.' No-one got on a platform, no one got on a train, no one went anywhere, yet like piss heads wandering to a football match they still barged through in their droves unpeturbed and keen to travel at all costs. It took a further ten minutes to fight my way back outside, I was told the underground was running but I couldn't get near it - plus i was told that few if any overground stations were running any services. WHY? Fuck knows - I know not why the pathetic amound of snow this morning differed from the pathetic amount of snow that evening. After a ten minute walk of contemplation I took a crowded number 40 bus, but of course this ditched it's payload a good mile and a half before its destination WHY? Fuck knows - it looked like all buses were refusing to go down the high street for no reason I could actuall see. I walked the last two miles in the snow on the ungritted pavements, looking forward to doing it all again tomorrow.

Praise be to the snow we have every year -  that every year brings our ageing transport network once more to its knees.

Monday
Nov292010

RIP Leslie Nielsen - a comedy genius


Today a true legend died

Leslie Nielsen passed away aged 84 following pneumonia. This man was one of my all time comedy heroes, he was one of those people who could make an audience laugh just with a raised eyebrow. I first remember him in Airplane and the Red Rock Cider adverts which were themselves a parody of Police Squad (a series I actually discovered after Naked Gun).

In the last few years he's had occasionally inspired appearences in the Scary Movie series and similar parody films...... Spy Hard and Repossessed must get honourable mentions also. He should be remembered as one of the all time comedy greats, Mr. Nielsen you made me laugh my ass off I salute you and all that have loved your work as much as I did.

Leslie Nielsen as Dr. Rumack in Airplane

Dr. Rumack: Captain, how soon can you land?
Capt. Clarence Oveur: I can't tell.
Dr. Rumack: You can tell me, I'm a doctor.
Capt. Clarence Oveur: No, I mean, I'm just not sure.
Dr. Rumack: Well, can't you take a guess?
Capt. Clarence Oveur: Well, not for another two hours.
Dr. Rumack: You can't take a guess "for another two hours"?
Capt. Clarence Oveur: No, no, no, I mean we can't land for another two hours.


Saturday
Jul312010

Dick Synching

Social etique can be a complex thing at the best of times, this can be amplified when you throw in a pub and some fellow drinking cohorts.

In Britain we men (and many women) like our alcoholic beverages to be in the maximum volume possible, by that I mean pints and pints mean a regular flow of urinal visits. Now whereas women positively revel in the gossip and preening that can be shared with a visit to the cubicles with their fellow womanly chums, for men we get no such satisfaction. Firstly we don't get the welcome isolation the cubicle brings, if there is a cubicle it's usually in a pretty poor state (broken toilet seat, no bog roll and the words Tottenham are shit on the wall). Plus said cubicle wouldn't be something most men would want to spend any time in. So therefore we are left to stand, cock facing a big metal trough or individual porcelean urinals with dividers that don't really properly divide/hide anything. So when p*ssing next to someone, it's eyes straight ahead and don't cross the streams.

But returning to the beer and the regularity of visits, men will quite often drink at the same speed as each other and our kidneys process the ale at the same rate. This leads to the infamous dick synch, where you and another men visit the gents at the same time repeatedly during an evening. Now if this is a close friend it can usually be faffed off and made into a joke, I mean at least those 3-4 mins can be spent in conversation (you can even talk about some bird with large boobs you've noticed or football). But when you get dick synched with someone who you don't know, say a boyfriend of a friend or friend of a friend's boyfriend/husband/gbf/friend who you've only been introduced to once and were unable to make more than a minutes small talk with. If you dick synch with that person you're going to be forced to:

1) Make a joke out of the dick synch, clearly drawing attention to the unfortunate and merely co-incidenatal nature of the synch

2) Hope the guy doesn't think you are gay for him and are following him to the toilet to sneak a peak at his wang

3) Make nervous conversation each time like that will somehow deflect from the fact you have spent the last four wee breaks standing next to the same person and his wang

4) Drink faster and hope nature is kinder

5) Drink slower and hope nature is kinder
(repeatedly)

6) Risk using the disabled toilet

7) Wee into a pint glass when no-one is looking


8) Tell the guy in question you love him and want to throw some love up him and hope he leaves in a fit of fear and disgust, or becomes your new lover

Or stay at home with a six pack of special brew and drink until the pixies come out and dance with you, it's your choice!

Monday
Jul262010

Happy 4th Birthday 

An hour ago I received the instruction from my sister of what to buy my niece for her birthday:

Here is the genuine text exchange (she's in bold obviously):

What do i get Amber for her bday?

A pink Twighlight pony. Must b pink. U can get them from Argos!

They all look pink to me, i'm colour blind. I found a pink My Little Pony how about that?

No she likes Twighlight Ponies

What's the difference?

Oh i don't know that's what her friends have

Can't you introduce her to a four year old who likes My Little Ponies?

No

Ok, have ordered three as I don't know what pink is they all look garish and girlie. Will send them to mums make sure she looks out for them.

Ok gr8 she'll love them

Wot ones did you actually get then?

Blossom, Valentine, Flying Twightlight and Fucknut the Donkey.

How do u know the names + wot colours they are as i can't c

They are all pinky purple red type colours and as pink as they get, the donkey is neon, i looked online.

So did I + they don't tell you the names wot you looked at?

www.ponkykiller.com

Sod off + go feed yr donkey. There r 6 ponies all different colours. I couldn't find their sodding names + no donkeys.

I found even more at this website, although they aren't as colourful: www.gluefactory.com

ha ha