Friday, March 13, 2009

Modest Mouse

I've been a Modest Mouse fan for quite a few years, now and this album itself was made in 2007. Regardless, it's awesome, for several reasons.

One of the main reasons that this is an awesome album is because i feel that Modest Mouse have finally found themselves, they're far more comfortable with their sound than they ever have been and i think that's because of the addition of Mr.Johnny Marr (the ex Smiths guitarist). One of my favorite tracks on the album is Steam Engenius, which you can listen to here.

One thing i love about Modest Mouse is how wacky they are, their sound is kind of like hillbilly crazy but with gritty down to earth sounds. I always say that if you take Modest Mouse instruments away from them, they'd play on pots and pans and i reckon that's especially true in the case of this album, they just ooze the raw primal passion of wanting to create music no matter how they make it. You can tell they're having lots of fun, too.

Give them and particularly this album a listen!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Who watches the Watchmen?

:O.

That's basically my review, but i shall elaborate regardless.

Being someone who hasn't read the comic (i know, i know, shoot me now) i didn't know what to expect from this movie going in there. In fact being someone who has seen the comic around and looked at the art and decided to put it back on the shelf due to the art, i was very much hoping to like it regardless of the comic. And boy did I. From the opening scene i was hooked, it's dark, it's gritty and the music is totally in your face. The soundtrack IS excellent, even if it feels a little awkward fitting in places, you can't doubt there's some damn good songs in there. I've heard a lot of people complaining that the movie doesn't follow the comic to it's entirety, i'll be reading the comic just to find out what in fact is different and to be fair on the people that have read the comic, i understand why you would be annoyed. But you can't deny that it's a brilliant film regardless of any changes that there may be and as far as i can tell, the characters themselves are perfect. I know it's by default everyone loves Rorschach but he is utterly awesome and the actor that played him is brilliant.

I won't give you any spoilers with this post, but i do urge you to see it. Ignore any bad criticism, ignore any good criticism, hell ignore everything i've typed here and just see it and make your own opinion of it yourself. But i promise you'll like at least some aspect of this film and for me personally, i loved it all.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Holy over enthusiasm, Batman!

So as i was stumbling around some web pages that were just getting in the way on the internet of stairs, i came across some old Adam West Batman clips. In every single clip, Robin can't help but find something to say "Holy..." about, in one instance Batman's being attacked by a shark and Robin's all "HOLY SARDINES!" For one, Robin, that's not really relevant. It's a shark. And two, what the hell?! If my buddy was being attacked by a shark i wouldn't shout holy sardines, i'd be all "HOLY FUCKNUTS, WHAT THE SHIT, HOW IS THERE EVEN A SHARK EXISTING IN MANCHESTER?!" But definitely not holy sardines.

Take a look.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Golden Oldies

I'm a huge fan of old films and tv shows from the 40s, 50s and the entire era associated with them. I've recently become quite addicted to watching old 1950's What's My Line? Clips on youtube. Despite the fact there being a British version i find myself quite comfortable with the American panelists and host. I haven't even seen the British version yet, actually.

What's My Line? Was a weekly game show hosted by John Daly from 1950-1967, the show had four panelists each week who had to guess the the line of work that the numerous guests dealt in by asking them a series of questions. There would also be mystery guests where the panel would have to be blindfolded, because usually the guest was very well known in the movie world, tv world or theatre world. Ocassionally tricks would be played on the panelists and the guest would be a member of their family or a close friend. The panel consisted almost regularly Arlene Francis, Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennet Cerf and Steve Allen. Steve being replaced by Fred Allen in later episodes.Ocassionally there would be guest panelists from Arlene's husband Martin Gabel, but ocassionally an actor, actress or comedian of the time, such as Groucho Marx. I mean how brilliant is that? Groucho friggin' Marx! The reason i adore this show though is because of the relationship the panel and moderator John Daly have with each other, they all get along great and you can sense how good friends they all are. Arlene Francis is brilliant and another reason why i love the 50's is for the glamour of the women, Arlene Francis was definitely glamorous. Nobody's up their own arse about anything though, which you find a lot of these days, it just seems like more simple times back then, everyone's nice and they all look great.

I used to watch a lot of Laurel and Hardy growing up and old silent movie era stuff of the 20's, i adored it and later years i realised Laurel and Hardy weren't the only entertainers of their kind. Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin of course were also huge stars i just didn't appreciate how big until i was a little older. I think anything looking back on simpler times i can't help but admire. The Marx Brothers and Abbott and Costello are also friggin' brilliant and i stumble upon a lot of their stuff on youtube. There's a famous Abbott and Costello sketch called "Who's on first" that you just HAVE to see. Even if you're not interested in any of this stuff, i urge you to see it, in fact here's a friggin' link. I'm heavily into old film noir films, too. I think one of the reasons i studied photography in college was mainly because of these old films, especially dealing with black and white. There's a brilliant noir film called The Third Man starring Orson Welles that has a pretty famous theme tune attached to it that even if you've never seen the film, you'll know the music. The film's set in Vienna, mostly at night time, so you see a lot of drop shadow effect and a lot of tricks to enhance the brick of the floor which they did by spraying water over it, street light glistens off the brick kind of thing. Brilliant. I think my whole point i'm trying to make is...people are right when they say they don't make things like they used to. But it's always lovely to remember.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Scanners

So last night i watched Scanners, because i haven't for a few years and i recently saw Total Recall again on TV. The connection there is Michael Ironside who plays Richter in Total Recall. In this film he plays a "scanner" called Darryl Revok, now Revok's pretty evil. I think Michael Ironside is best suited for dark, sinister characters, in Total Recall as Richter it was more a parody of an evil henchman but in this, he's the head honcho. He shines a bit more.

Scanners is a David Cronenberg sci-fi classic from 1981. The premise of the story is that there's a number of people in the American population that have the ability of telekinesis and telepathy, only on a much huger scale when they focus their energy. For instance if they focus their energy on a particular body part they can make it explode into a big bulbous puss, or stop a heart beating...which i could've said first, but it's far less interesting to say. The film starts with our hero Cameron Vale(played by Stephen Lack) walking around a shoppin centre picking up food that's bean left on trays, looking dishevlled and being a total bum. A few ladies across the table from him whisper how tragic it is and he finds himself inadvertently scanning one of the ladies. The lady falls to the floor having what looked like a vicious seizure, Cameron is spotted by two goons who tranqualize him and chase him down. Where he's taken to Doctor Ruth (the late Patrick McGoohan) who tells Cameron that he is a scanner and he wants him to help him stop another scanner called Darryl Revok(Ironside)who is finding scanners to form an army against people without the ability. Anybody who refuses, Revok is killing.

This is a pretty cool film, Ironside totally makes it for me, though, he's brilliant and the scene where he gets asked out of an audience at a scanner demonstration event and literally blows up the head of the other guy is brilliant. The way he says "i didn't do anything" is just so nonchalant, like if he was just an ordinary guy he wouldn't care too much that this dude's head blew up.

Go watch!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Part 1: Quantum Leap

When i was a kid, me and my sister used to watch a little show called Quantum Leap, you may have heard of it, cos' it's probably one of the most awesomest shows ever. I think this show and Back To The Future (coming in Part 2) is what sparked my interest in time travel. I think everyone naturally has a fascination with time travel to some degree.

Anwyho, Quantum Leap(1989-1993) follows scientist, Dr.Samuel Beckett (not to be mistaken for the writer and poet of the same name, but man that'd be cool) as he conducts an experiment that goes..."a little caca". Now our dear Doctor Beckett discovered the ability to time travel over at Quantum Leap headquarters, which was being funded by the government, but with no real proof or tests the government drop out of the funding leaving Sam to decide to take matters into his own hands and jump into the quantum accelerator. He awakes in the past, not knowing who or where he is, having amnesia from the travel. Now this is pretty daunting in itself, but then Sam realises that the face he sees in the mirror isn't his own and he starts seeing a strange man that nobody else seems to notice. This man turns out to be Al, a colleague on project Quantum Leap observing Sam from the headquarters in the future to help give him advice, he tells Sam that something went wrong and they can't bring Sam back to the future. Of course Sam doesn't believe any of this and thinks he's just going crazy.

Throughout the series we go on a journey with Sam as he begins to rebuild his memories of who he is, but also we go on a more deep journey with Sam as he tries to help people and change their lives for the better. Every time Sam "leaps" he becomes a person who had some wrongdoing happen to them in the past, so with the help of Al and everyone back in the future, he tries to correct it, ultimately so he can try get back home. Now Sam can't leap beyond his timeline, from the time he was born to the time he leaped in the future but there was one rare incident where he leaped into his own grandfather. Because it was so far in the past, Al had trouble finding him to observe his progress. It's little things like that which really fascinate me about this show. There has also been a rival project set up in the future which has "evil leapers" which is just damn cool, especially because Sam seems to be able to see them "leap" which in itself is one of the best special effects ever.

If you've never seen an episode of Quantum Leap i think you should at least once in your lifetime, as a kid i used to play with calculators and pretend they were Ziggy, that's how into it i was. That's also how big of a nerd i am. But really, the show's been released on DVD the past couple of years and i highly reccomend you buy it, the time travel element is almost secondary to the personal journey Sam goes on, you get very attached to Sam and you can't but hope that every leap Sam will be home.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Future Lee

So a long time ago...literally, i think at least 3 years ago, i was going to post about TV shows and Movies featuring the element of time travel. I never got round to it, probably because back then my pc was a piece of crap and kept crashing before i could post and i know i should've saved it as a draft but i was using a program called Performancing. That program is now called Scribefire, but...it doesn't work nearly as nicely.

Anywho, i'd like to extend my interest to BOOKS also. Because a few months ago i read Night Watch by Terry Pratchett and it's by far my favourite in the watch series. I'm on for Thud! at the moment, but i'm taking it a little slow, ridiculous and utterly sacraligous is the fact that...i wish i was carrying on with Harry Potter right now. I know, i know, i ADORE Pratchett even more so than J.K. But because i've recently read The Chamber Of Secrets i just want to carry on.

So, without further trepidation i give to you...Opium. (Haha not really. Obscure Matt Berry reference there for anyone who knows.) I think i'm going to have to write this in parts, so check back soon for part 1! Think of this as a teaser, not that any of you are reading this anyway but wahey!

Also, speaking of Matt Berry...when is he going to release his third album titled "Witch Hazel" ? I've been listening to Opium like a madman, which you should also be doing. Right now.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Whut?! Pizza hut.

What is this shit? Seriously. Someone tell me, because i can't even begin to comprehend it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Revision3

So being a complete nerd i'm into anything techy and gadgety and anything to do with games and stuff, too. For a while now i've been watching a few internet tv show's over at Revision3's channel on youtube. My two favourite's being Diggnation and the Totally Rad Show.

Now Diggnation is basically two guys sitting on a couch, Alex Albrecht and Kevin Rose discussing the news on social site Digg.com. Any new item that gets quite a considerable amount of "diggs" or is just generally cool get's featured on the show. But the thing is the news is secondary to these two guys just chatting and generally having a great chemistry, occasionally they'll drink a beer and i found myself over Christmas watching them with a beer in my hand and feeling like these guys would probably great to hang out at a bar with. I could probably teach them a few things about a good beer, too. I recommend you go check it out.

OK, so the Totally Rad Show is another show that stars Alex Albrecht, along with Jeff Cannata and Dan Trachtenberg (i'm not even looking these guys names up, by the way, i've watched their shows so much i'm almost 100% sure this the correct spelling. I'm testing myself, almost.) The content of TRS consists of game reviews, movie reviews, now and again comic book reviews and again general banter between the three guys, who again have great chemistry. I think Dan is the youngest and sometimes i don't think Alex and Jeff give him enough time to talk, i find myself thinking "aww, Dan...they just shot you the hell down, man." Sometimes he can go off on a tangent and the other two guys laugh at him but i'm thinking, you know, Dan's alright. I hope it doesn't upset him much, he seems like he's having fun anyway. But the the thing that really interests me about this show is the entirely unbiased opinions, being three guys reviewing certain things, be it games or movies they all have their own thoughts on things and that's what you want to see. In fact they reviewed Taken a few weeks back and that totally made me want to watch the film from their three different angles.

There are other things on the Revision3 channel that may be worth your time to have a looksie at. Revision3 also have a website here so you can see what other stuff they're upto. Other shows of note are, Scam School and Tekkzilla.

Adios, amigos!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

We need more old school gaming action.

How awesome would this be if it were an actual game? We need more old school games like this one, i was browsing a website the other day that shown updated graphics for old games like Mario World and A Link To The Past. All HD and stuff, they looked awesome, i wish someone remade them like that, i'd definitely pay and play.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Liam Neeson is a bad ass.

Oh dear god, i've just watched the most epic movie. I may be late with this one as it's been out a while but man, Liam Neeson in Taken is one of the best things i've ever witnessed. He is such a bad ass i can not even begin to comprehend his bad assery. I can only skim the surface of my understanding of it. He is the epitome of awesome, you need to watch this movie NAO. I won't tell you the plot, but just know...people die. lots of people die. But they deserve it.

WATCH IT!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A tidy desk makes all the difference.

So yesterday i cleaned my desk, it'd accumulated quite a bit of crap over the previous year, not that i hadn't cleaned it before yesterday but not really as extensively. There'd always be something in the way of my mouse to the point where i'd get so frustrated with the constant whacking into things that i'd just go and read a book instead.

Here's a picture of my desk. As you can see it's pretty small, PC tower on the left, my Mac monitor, sub woofer, then PC monitor on the right with Mac and External Hard Drive behind it, also Mac keyboard and mouse on the left. Now that's not a lot of stuff, but trust me, it is for this desk. Now here's all the stuff that was on my desk previous to that picture. Now fuck, come on, how the hell was i even browsing the internet with that shit? Let alone sketching aswell, man. Turns out my hands need to be amputated...nah, i'm just kiddin'. But seriously, i need to organise my shit a bit more.

Valentines woe from a single boy.

I don't think i'm the only single guy that gets a little..."oh boo hoo :(" on Valentines. I'm not really too keen on things being shoved in my face that shows me how many people are with somebody, especially today. But the thing is even if i was with somebody, i don't see why i wouldn't be able to be romantic whenever the fuck i wanted. Why do i have to be told to be so on a specific day? As if i hadn't been this whole time?

Today was fun, i got to go see the Leonardo drawings at the gallery with my friend Kerry, i also had to buy some bananas and plums while i was out and only realised as i was going home how suggestive that must've looked. Me just walking around with bananas and plums. On Valentines day. Fuck.
But WOAH Leo's drawings were epic, as i expected them to be, but my god...up close, i'd never seen anything by Leonardo Da Vinci up close before and i think i knew this would probably be only one of the few chances i'd be able to get to. I looked at those drawings in, mostly, a very mechanical sense. I wanted to see his technique, i wanted to see every little line that he did to create a drawing, even if they were only his sketchbook drawings and not full on paintings, i wanted to see the brilliance. And the brilliance was there. I felt that if i somehow looked at those drawings up close, then i'd know exactly where to proceed on my line of sketching. Of course nothing ever works out just like that, does it? The only way i'm going to be happy is with endless bloody dull practice.

Getting back onto the fact i'm single, if you're pretty and you're handing out flyers i'm going to grab them. If i then realise the flyer is links to scientology websites, then i'm going to erase you from my memory. Sorry darlin'.

Seeya