Thursday, 29 January 2009

Underworld:Rise of the Lycans

I am sure it would not come as a great suprise to you dear reader, if I said that I loved this film.

I am a big fan of this franchise, and it was great to see the love story of Sonja and Lucian played out in full, which is previously only referenced to in the first Underworld film. The chameleon-like Michael Sheen is excellent, and not a whiff of Tony (Blair), David (Frost) or Kenneth (Williams) to be seen. His leather costumes, piercing eyes and flowing locks do make him very easy on the eye, and his performance as leader of the Lycans is wholly believable.

If you are not a fan of this genre, or this franchise (which has suffered critisicm for having too much style over content, but I still like it) you may not like this film, but you can not deny the slick direction, the amazing sets, beautiful costumes, and special effects. I notice that Ms Mitra's lips seem to be poutier than ever. It is a shame if she has done this to herself as, IMHO, she has always been a very stunningly beautiful lady. She was the body and face model for the original Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider games many years ago and I fear that she is perhaps feeling the pressure of competing against younger actresses. This is totally unnecessary, as she has proved in this, and in Doomsday last year, that she looks fantastic in a tight outfit. She has just been signed up to do a 'reboot' (this means that they re-do the story, discounting all previous versions of the film like they did with Batman Begins and Christian Bale) of Lara Croft and Tomb Raider, which I look forward to immensely.

The ubiquitous Bill Nighy has enjoyed in the last few years, a hugh increase in screen time, which I must say I am loving as I think he is a superb actor. He has been on our TV's for many years, but really only in the last 10 has he seen commercial success on the big screen. He is inspired casting for the part of Viktor, and exudes exactly the right level of sinister power. This film was directed by Patrick Tatopoulos (Godzilla), where as the last two were directed by Len Wiseman (Mr Kate Beckinsale). Patrick has added a little more colour to the screen, and slightly diluted Len's blue wash that has become a bit of a signature of the franchise, but retained the look and feel of the two sequels.

I think this film is more evidence too, of the continued British invasion of Hollywood, when the 4 lead members of the cast are of this sceptered isle. I hope they do more, personally. I believe that while the franchise continues to make money it will continue in some form or another. It's rumoured that they are going to try to bring it onto the small screen. Whether this will include any of the original cast... I doubt it, but we can only hope.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The Wrestler

In the absence of anything else interesting happening in my life, I decided to post a review of a film I saw recently - The Wrestler. I am a bit of a fan of WWE, and have been to see them live a few times. Me and dear half like to visit our local cinematic establisment on a reasonably regular basis, and this week we thought we would see what all the fuss is about with this film.

This film is brilliant! Absolutely fab! At first, the filming style seems odd, as it's filmed with a handheld camera that follows the main character around, almost like a documentary, but this gives the film a kind of authenticity that brings the cast alive, allowing the viewer to see into the tortured soul of the main character. Mickey Rourke does a fantastic job, and I can't praise him enough. He dispenses with all vanity and gives the performance of his career. He manages to portray a character that initially appears sad, and slightly pathetic, and you feel almost embarrased for him, but with the brilliant acting and direction you realise he is actually very flawed -yet likeable, and charismatic. Rourke allows you to see the tough, but gentle man, that was only ever good at one thing - wrestling. Failed as a father, and as a lover, he feels his only success in life has been in the ring - and that the crowd are the only people in his miserable life that want him. His biggest battle is against the ravages of time, and although he sees its effects on his peers, he refuses to let this slow him down, to the detriment of his health. At times the film is brutal, and not for the squeamish, as it highlights the violence and damage that professional wrestlers subject their bodies to in order to give the audience the show they want. These guys are outside the big brands like WWE or TNA, and perform in the town halls and sport centres. They don't have the pyro and glamour that the large corporations bring to the game, and substitute this with extreme violence to get the crowds going. The crowd wants blood, and they get it in spades.

I really do recommend that you go see this if you have an opportunity, and you don't even have to be a fan of wrestling to watch it, by any means. Guys will love it for the violence, and the emotions don't get too slushy but give a deeply moving portrait that deserves the award frenzy its receiving.

Note to moms: Even if you kid loves wrestling - I would not advise you let them see this film when its out on DVD until you have seen it, as it contains extremely graphic violence, sex, and drug taking.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Sanctuary

I am sure you are eager to hear of the events of Friday night. The show was brilliant. Despite Noel Fielding and Julian Barrat forgetting their lines once or twice, which descended in hilarious adlib, the Mighty Boosh team put a flawless show. We were seated on the left hand side of stage, and had an excellent view.

On Friday, we had some of the items that had been stolen in a recent burglary replaced by the Insurance Company. Yes dear reader, we had to live with the unpleasantness that is the intrusion of one’s home & sanctuary. This, I believe, is the biggest effrontery, that some immoral imbecile had the gall to invade our privacy. The items that were stolen where, at the end of the day, just things, that are easily replaceable and no one, thank the gods, was hurt. Since this event, we have improved security somewhat, by having their point of entry, and old wooden kitchen door (an admitted weak spot) replaced by a shiny new double glazed door with multi point locking. Thanks to the kind folk at Sherwood Windows, who did a superb job, I am a little more confident that our unwelcome visitor will not make an even more unwelcome return.

I have also considered the fact that when reporting this incident to the Police and Insurance Company that I was sadly lacking in information regarding our possessions. I have since determined to redress this situation with new purchases, and the replacements. It may appear a little tiresome, but should the unthinkable happen again, then we will be much more prepared and in turn, facilitate the jobs of the police and insurance companies. I urge you dear reader, to take note of all your possessions, particularly portable electrical items such as laptops and cameras. We have chosen to record the serial numbers, and other information on a word document. I have saved this to my hard drive, along with scanned copies of delivery notes/invoices etc. Once the task is complete, I will burn this onto a CD, to be stored securely in the new safe recently purchased.

I have also being doing some investigation into Smart Water. What a clever little invention this is! I am thoroughly amazed by it. I urge you dear reader, to invest in this. I fully realise, that no amount of protection would dissuade a determined thief, but as the police pointed out to me, you only have to throw enough obstacles in their path, for them to consider searching out a softer target nearby.

I am reminded of an apocryphal tale of two camera men filming lions on the Serengeti. A male lion displays some aggression towards the intruders, then begins to walk towards them. The walk turns into a jog and he starts to get faster, as he gets closer. Both camera men drop their equipment, and turn to run. One starts to quickly put on his trainers. The other man says ‘you still won’t out run him’. The reply was ‘ as long as I outrun you….’.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Maiden Voyage

So this is my first post on Blogger. I have tried many times before to maintain some kind of journal or blog about the mundane happenings and unusual notions that pop into my head from time to time, and sadly - although the intention was great - the will has proven to be weak. I can offer no promises to you that this will prove any more successful but one lives in hope.

It seems, dear reader, that my online chronicle d├ębut is on an auspicious day, as this evening dear half and I will be going to the Nottingham Arena to see the Mighty Boosh live. This professes to be a wierd and wonderful evening of surreal and uncommon humour.

I firmly believe that comedy is the new Rock 'n' Roll, certainly in my life. Over the last few years, we have been to numerous stage performances of some of the country's best comedians, but I have not been to many music events at all. One reason I have surmised for this is that, on the most part, most of the music I like well enough to hand over hard earned cash to see live, is produced by bands that no longer tour. Yes, dear reader, I am a child of the New Wave. Although there are many new bands around that I like, particular favorites being Keane and Kaiser Chiefs, I just don’t feel the same passion about them as I did Boomtown Rats, or Sisters of Mercy. Maybe this is a symptom that I am hastily approaching a dreaded landmark in years, and that I would rather sit (not quite comfortably) in a theatre laughing at someone’s clever repartee than jumping about on a sweaty dance floor. Halcyon days they may be, but not ones I care to revisit.
 
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