Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dear Prime Minister - I recommend Mr. Sheen, it is great for cleaning Cabinets.

Dear Red Headed Prime Minister Lady,

I know when I clean cabinets there is a lot of dust and grime to contend with and of course there is always that one door that just never stops squeaking no matter how much WD40 you use on the damn thing, but clearly when cleaning yours, you didn't check the back corners as you seem to have missed a spot!

There is still a Stephen Conroy hiding in your cabinet representing a Minister for Communications.

I am not sure how it got in there as I would have thought a communication minister's communication skills had to extend more than one way, but that certainly isn't what Stephen Conroy does, he doesn't even listen to the people of Australia.

Your party's policies under his watch are getting beyond a joke! Do you know that he plans on placing Mandatory Internet Censorship into everyone's homes, not to mention your party's new plans for mandatory firewall and virus software and the logging for 10 years of people's browsing histories.

Clearly these are mistakes that are forcing many Australian's to question the motives of a Government that seems intent on forcing one man's own fascist agenda down their throat, and with no transparency or rebuttal process.

I am writing because when I clean my cabinet out I make sure I get every nook and cranny, and I would hope that someone would let me know if I had missed a spot. So in turn, I am letting you know of the spot you have missed as I am sure you would want to get that cleaned out as soon as possible!

Yours Faithfully Steven

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Recent Viewings...

The Men Who Stare At Goats (2009)
Directed By Grant Heslov

Quirky, in the good sense of the word. George Clooney is good as usual, Ewan McGregor's accent is a little off, but the story is certainly interesting and the casting is great! I would like to have read the book prior to viewing, but alas twas not to be...

Crimson Tide (1995)
Directed By Tony Scott

One of my favourite Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer productions. Great cast, great acting and a wonderfully suspenseful story. Still, Das Boot is still THE submarine movie I will be most excited to see hit the Blu-ray format. This will suffice whilst it remains absent though.

The Omega Man (1971)
Directed By Boris Sagal

Better than I Am Legend, but not as good as The Last Man On Earth. The blu-ray looks very pretty though!

Open Graves (2009)
Directed By Álvaro de Armiñán

Awful film, seriously.

The Wedding Singer (1998)
Directed By Frank Coraci

With the exception of Punch Drunk Love, this is one of Adam Sandler's best films. This release appears to have a few scenes added to the theatrical version, not sure that they added too much, but they were interesting none the less.

Baraka (1992)
Directed By Ron Fricke

Personally I have always preferred Koyansquatsi, but Baraka does have some amazing visuals and is certainly a journey made better by the high def format!

Mr. Nobody (2009)

Mr. Nobody
is a film that has taken Belgian director Jaco Van Dormael just over six years to be realized on screen. It reminds me in some ways of Tarsem's The Fall (which also took numerous years to fruition). It is a story told across numerous time periods and in various realities of those with amazing visuals and incredible depth and insight. I had not seen any promotional material, nor read any reviews about the film prior to my watching of it. Whilst I do believe this may have helped in my appreciation of the film, a little synopsis wouldn't kill you....

Nemo Nobody (Jared Leto) is the oldest mortal human alive, the year is 2092 and he is living his final days in a hospital bed, with the entire world watching. Little is known about his past, so a reporter has used his connections to sneek into his room in the hopes of finding out more about the life of this intriguing character. What he gets, is more than he bargained for.

The film is beautiful to look at, with some of the best cinematography I have seen in recent years. The sets and production design are also to be marveled. Mr. Nobody marks the first English speaking film from Dormael, whose last film The Eighth Day was made in 1996. It has an amazing and perfectly matched cast featuring Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Juno Temple and Toby Regbo. The acting from all involved is superb and completely engrossing.

The film has a unique structure with the main story arc being that of the elderly Nemo, who is recounting various moments of his life, however, different time periods and alternate realities exist of each moment and it becomes unclear if he himself knows which is the true account. The film may seem a little disjointed, and those members of the audience looking for linear storytelling may find it a little alienating.

With all of that said, I thoroughly enjoyed the journey the film took me on and would highly recommend seeking a copy out, especially if you are interested in the "hows and whys" of life. Mr. Nobody is as much an experience as a form of entertainment!

Side Note: A new extended Director's Cut has since been released... I have a short spiel here about it

Monday, June 7, 2010

Winter thy heart is cold...

But what better way to celebrate the start of a season that invites you to stay indoors than with a fancy new toy....

Sony Bravia 46" Side LED TV.

Whilst I have had a widescreen TV for god knows how many years, I have held off buying a flat panel for a number of reasons...too many to go into here, but, having seen one of these babies in action at a friends house, I thought it was about time I stepped up to the full HD plate.

I have had the set for almost 3 weeks now, and I must admit I have been pretty impressed with it thus far.... I have run a range of source material through it, most of which it handles more than capably. As you can see in the pic, I decided to plug my Media Server directly into it, which has made the PS3 feel a little unloved I am sure....

One of the best things about getting a new toy like this, is the revitalization of my love affair with movies! I wanted to watch nearly every film I owned to see how it held up, and my purchasing and renting has increased 10 fold as evidenced by the list of things watched in the last week below!

Recent Additions to the Collection

I watched A Very Long Engagement the other night, it has a great transfer and an awesome DTS-HD Soundtrack, I own the incredible French Limited Edition of the DVD and this will compliment that perfectly... Both Brotherhood of the Wolf and A Very Long Engagement came from Amazon.fr, but they both feature English subs! I haven't sat down to watch Brotherhood of the Wolf or American Psycho yet, but I am certainly looking forward to it!

What I have watched though...

I wanted to see this in cinemas, but alas, it never came. The film looks like a million dollars and has a great soundtrack with some interesting effects, but the overall story seems a little weak. I haven't read the book (despite it staring at me from my bookshelf for the better part of a year), but I dare say, given that Oliver Parker has pretty much only ever directed adaptations of Oscar Wilde's work, it is about the best we could expect. It is nice to see Colin Firth in a role that is not his usual stereotypical Brit and pretty boy Ben Barnes does make a good Dorian. I felt the scenes with Rachel Hurd-Wood were a little rushed and that she was definitely under utilized in her role as Dorian's "first love". But once all of that is out of the way, I did enjoy the film enough to recommend giving it a go!

Well, what can I say.... Madagascar 2 was entertaining enough, but I suspect it is aimed more at kids than adults. It certainly looked pretty, but I find the animal designs a bit weird....

I must admit, I did enjoy this film when I saw it in cinemas. The set design, costumes and overall look of the film is fantastic. This is much closer to the story of Peter Pan than something like Spielberg's Hook, especially given how well this film is cast. This import regrettably is the cut version (a head-butting scene is missing), but otherwise I can't fault this disc and I am sure after watching it that you will believe in fairies!

Voice is the fourth film in the Whispering Corridors series, all set in girl's high schools, it is also my favourite of the series thus far (a fifth installment is due for release in the coming weeks). The films are all stand-alone, meaning that you don't have to have seen the earlier ones to make sense of them. Whilst this Blu-ray certainly looks better than my Limited Edition Korean DVD version, it still suffers from a lot of film related problems, the soundtrack however, more than eclipses the DVD, and this film needs a good soundtrack given how much it relies on music and sound effects to convey the story. The disc is English friendly, but does feature a couple of spelling mistakes in the subtitles... always a risk with Asian discs though.