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Showing posts from October, 2006

Win an XBOX 360

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Alright, as some of you may know, I work for an advertising agency, and one of our clients is giving away an XBOX 360, the Premium System, worth R3700.

Now I wouldn't normally use this blog to force competitions down your throat, but I know a lot of you have gamer tendencies and, like me, wouldn't mind owning a 360 even if you don't feel like paying for it. So here's your chance to WIN.

It's a South African-only competition though...

Enter here.

Trailer Tuesday: Black Christmas

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Seeing as it's Halloween and now less than 2 months until Christmas, I thought I'd combine the 2 holidays with the teaser trailer for Black Christmas, a remake of the 1970's slasher that has a maniac killing young nubile women in a sorority house around the festive season.

Personally, I'm a little jaded by the slasher genre, which hasn't offered viewers anything new in a good long while (Help! A masked, weapon-wielding psycho killing teens!). The genre has also been beaten soundly in the 'freaky' stakes by new sicko torture fests like Saw and Hostel. So I doubt I'll be seeing this in cinemas when it is released (surprise, surprise) around 25 December, unless the reviews are very good, and nothing else on circuit grabs me.

Still, I'll definitely make an effort to watch it on DVD or TV. Especially since the film does have some positives in its corner. The Black Christmas remake comes from the team who made the original Final Destination, and does at le…

Vampire Blog-A-thon: A bloody awesome trio

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Well, it’s Vampire-Blog-A-Thon Day, thanks to the organisational skills of Nat over at The Film Experience.



Given the topic, and especially how most vamp-themed flicks these days seem to be schlock aimed at bloodthirsty teens, I thought I’d discuss 3 of my all-time favourite filmic vampire females. In all 3 cases, the ladies are lead characters (in good to excellent films), and their performances alerted me to these great actresses.

Marie in Innocent Blood


“My first rule – never play with the food.”

Marie (Anne Parillaud) is probably one of the sexiest, but simultaneously cute and loveable vampires to ever grace the screen. Forget Kate Beckinsale rolling around in the buff with Scott Speedman in the Underworld sequel. Parillaud’s motel-and-handcuffs romp with a thin and surprisingly sexy Anthony LaPaglia is a far more gratifying sequence, in terms of sexiness and a light touch of humour.

In fact, Innocent Blood, from John Landis, is a surprisingly satisfying vampire movie, even if it’s f…

A new 'pet'

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Last night, in the continued adventures of Persephone and Chad, the the Litch King, the deadly duo made a new friend - Meredith the Core Dweller! While Persephone and Chad hang back and blast enemies with their magical staffs, hulking Meredith rushes in with his fiery, volcanic fists to cause some serious damage.

South Park meets World of Warcraft

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First Stan, Kyle, Kenny, Cartman and Butters were on a quest to find the Lord of the Rings porno and return it to the Two Towers video store. Then in Good Times with Weapons the boys boughts martial arts weapons and pretended to be their favourite anime heroes. Then God harnessed the power of the PSP to find Heaven's champion AKA "our very own Keanu Reeves" in the episode Best Friends Forever.


Now, Geek culture take some more bashing in Make Love, Not Warcraft, new Season 10 episode of South Park. You can read more about the episode here,

Frustrated by having their characters repeatedly killed while playing World of Warcraft, Cartman devises a scheme in which the boys can reach their desired high levels by killing 6 million boar (at 2 experience points each) over a course of 7 weeks, sleeping for just 3 hours a night. Of course, these efforts turn the boys into bloated, pimply geeks with no life, and a vocabulary filled with gaming slang.



The episode looks hilariously spo…

Fun For A Thursday

Curious as to what song was top of the charts in the UK on the day you were born? Then head on over to Hit40UK. Once you've got your results, however embarrassing, post them here.

For the record, my birthday hit, for 10 Jan 1982, is:

Human League - Don't You Want Me

Ah, the joys of being born in the 80's;)

Watchmen

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Quis custodiet ipsos custodies / Who watches the watchmen? – Juvenal, Satires, VI 347

A little while ago, Wasp Jerky asked me to post my comments on Alan Moore’s Watchmen once I’d finished reading the seminal graphic novel. So here goes…


Back in the mid 1980s, DC released 2 of the most revolutionary graphic novels of all time. Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore’s Watchmen proved that quality, mature comics could be made for adults, and, more importantly, that comics are an Art medium.

Both novels are must-reads, but while The Dark Knight Returns puts a pseudo-psychotic spin on a hero and his attempts at clearing up a horribly corrupt world, it is far more stylised entertainment than Watchmen. Watchmen is Art. Every panel is Art… not so much in terms of Dave Gibbons traditional pencil and ink work, but rather in terms of layout, parallels with other panels and the inclusion of the smallest details, which enhance the issues being discussed.

Because Watchmen tackles a lot …

The Amazing Race: Family Edition

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(Spoilers ahead)

Everyone has their guilty TV viewing pleasures and mine is The Amazing Race.

I don’t know what it is about this reality show, but really gets me involved. I get tense when there’s a close finish; I’ve even cried in sympathy when my favourite teams have been eliminated, or wept for winning teams I care about. I know the show’s manipulative, but, well, I just so enjoy letting myself be manipulated by it!

Plus there’s the travel aspect. The show has made me aware of a number of destinations and their tourist attractions that I never would have placed on my ‘Must Visit’ list before the show.


Anyway, The Amazing race: Family Edition (Season 8) ended last night in South Africa. This 4-person family spin on the award-winning month-long race around the globe was pretty entertaining. I did dip in and out of the series until the participant numbers dropped (there’s a helluva lot more noise with 4 member teams), but I thoroughly enjoyed what I saw. And after the scheming of Survivo…

Trailer Tuesday: Eragon

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Now this one should be interesting, if only to see if non Lord of the Rings traditional fantasy can actually be pulled off, without it being a Lord of the Rings clone. I'm in two minds about this one, because while it seems to have a certain coolness factor (dragons, everyone!), with Jeremy Irons lurking about in dingy castles and Eastern European locales, I'm getting a bad Dungeons & Dragons vibe.

Plus, Eragon, based on the novel by Christopher Paolini, seems to contain every possible horrible cliche that traditional fantasy is known for, from magical eggs, to heroes shooting blue mana balls from their hands, to the biggie - young blond farm boy discovers he is the chosen saviour of his people, and leads an army against their tyrannical, bald, black-wearing oppressor. *yawn*.

Go, Hollywood for picking suich an original novel to adapt for the screen.


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Anyway, in terms of more interesting fantasy coming to the big screen, more information is appearing on the web about Neil G…

We will rock you

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This weekend was both good and bad. After a week of stress on so many levels, the start to the weekend was capped with a 1 and a half our drive home, thanks to a police blockade that had 4 lanes of traffic merging into 1. It literally took me an hour to travel 200m.

Now I have severe anxiety about driving in heavy traffic, and combined with a killer week, it meant I spent a good portion of the weekend dipping in and out of a rather nasty funk. I really should just cry and get it out of my system for good.

I didn’t help that I felt neglected for a good portion of the weekend. Paul was once again roped into DIY home repairs and family over-the-phone computer tech support. I hardly had him alone to myself at all.

I just killed time playing the Bad Day LA demo (with its fun cartoony look but horribly chaotic gameplay), and proof read my sister’s psychology research project.

On the better side of the weekend, we went for a ride with Robin in the game reserve on Saturday afternoon. Although …

Evanescence - The Open Door

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The Open Door, the new album from Evanescence, had a worldwide release on 3 October. It debuted at #1 in the U.S., Australia, Germany, Greece, Japan, and Switzerland and was in the Top 5 in Austria, Canada, France, Holland, Hong Kong, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden, UK, Ireland, Korea, Norway, and Denmark!

I don’t know what the figures in South Africa are, but Fallen, the band’s debut album, is the biggest selling alternative rock album in the country’s history.

But the big question is, even with all this success, is The Open Door any good?



The album is definitely more experimental / unconventional than Fallen. It requires repeat listening to really begin to appreciate it, particularly the second half of the album, which is less heavy, and veers almost into Tori Amos territory at times. This said, my first few listenings of Fallen were exactly the same, as I struggled to differentiate among tracks that just seem to blend one into the other.

The Open Door has a fantastic beginning with 4 punch…

Devilish work… and The Devil Wears Prada

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My apologies for the rather terse updates of the past few days. To use advertising terminology I’ve been crunching under at least 3 deadlines for the end of the week. And by the looks of things, with our major client staging 2 huge launches next year, the workload is going to be like this right up until Christmas. So much for a cooling off period…

Anyway, yesterday was pretty cool. A DTP operator and myself were taken out for lunch at a great little café-antique store combo, Churchills, in Windamere. The lunch was a gesture of thanks from 2 of the Account Executives after all the work we’d done on packaging for a new skincare product.

And in the afternoon, right up my alley, I got to write a description for the Xbox 360 Premium, which is being given away as a prize for the latest Duel Matrix3 razor promotion.

Anyway, you can hopefully expect my Evanescence review (finally!) tomorrow, and, having finished Watchmen last night, my thoughts on that graphic novel will be posted here soon.

Oh, …

What a bitch!

Murphy's Law, irony, whatever you want to call it, this little meddler in our lives is an absolute bitch.

For example, last week my parents sold their 2nd car - with no space in the garage it was sitting outside exposed to weather and semi-frequent window smashings. In perfect working condition, it was sold to a young family in Johannesburg. Last night, my mother was in a head-on collision in my parent's now only car, the Honda Ballade.

You see, some dumb fucker, impatient about waiting in a queue of traffic, decided to overtake by speeding into the single lane of oncoming traffic... and hit my mother.

Fortunately my mother is just badly shaken and not hurt, and although the damage to the front right side of the car of the car is pretty bad (the front wheel axle looks broken), the engine looks untouched, the windscreen is intact. So the car doesn't seem to be a write-off.

Of course, repairs will be bloody expensive and now there's all the hassles of waiting for repairs, …

Trailer Tuesday: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

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I haven’t made a mistake with the title. That’s the full name for the new documentary-style satire from Sacha Baron Cohen. Most people will know Cohen as his Ali G persona, but here he plays his other famous character (my favourite) - bigoted, sexist and wonderfully naive Kazakhstan journalist, Borat Sagdiyev, as he tours the United States.

The film was a smash hit at the Toronto Film Festival a few months or so back. And this trailer is absolutely hilarious - the funniest trailer of the year. Borat opens in South Africa on 17 November 2006. And I'll be there opening night!

Petition to save Burn

Mark commented yesterday that there's now a petition online to save Burn, Durban's only rock and alternative music nightclub.

Burn was closed recently in the aftermath of the Skyybar shooting (see posts below for more), with the city council cracking down on any clubs, bars and restaurants with only temporary licences. Given typical bureaucratic bungling and endless amounts of red tape, temporary licenses are all that these venues can get.

This petition is intended as a show of support for Burn, as well as an attempt to fast- track the club receiving a permanent licence before it closes for good. Its demise would mean the loss of the only local venue that regularly showcases local musicians and bands.

Please add your name to the petition no matter where in SA or the world you are.

Sign the Petition Online here....

A relaxing weekend

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This last weekend was a pleasant, relaxing one. In a way it started on Thursday afternoon with the entire agency heading down to the Advertisers’ Benevolent Fund Golf Day at Windsor Golf Course. Our agency’s teams had been playing (and drinking) since early that morning. We, as spectators, just plonked ourselves down on a picnic blanket to sit eating and drinking, and waiting for the teams to come back in off the course.

A particular highlight, apart from the lamb on a spit buffet later on in the evening, was cruising around the golf course on a golf cart. G, who’s now working at the company, and I leapt on the back of the cart Battlefield (or is it Joint Operations?) style, while a Multimedia guy and Account Executive sped around the course, avoiding ditches and chasing Egyptian geese.

And yes, we also discovered there is still money in advertising. An admittedly giant bottle of wine was auctioned off for R6000 at the fundraising event.

Anyway, back to the real weekend…

I did the sweet,…

It's "Screw The Playlist" Day

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It may be Friday the 13th, but it's also "Screw the Playlist" day on 5FM in celebration of the radio station's birthday.


And it is absolutely fantastic! Instead of the same Justin Timberlake, Fergie, Beyonce and Rhianna shit they repeat every 3 hours, we're getting quality listening today with playlist submissions from station listeners.

Already, before 7:30 we've had Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, Pixies' Where Is My Mind, Metallica's Enter Sandman, Skunk Anansi, AC/DC and Deep Purple.

You'd think that the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Screw The Playlist would make the station and programme managers think twice about what they play on the remaining 364 days of the year. If they gave listeners what they wanted, and accommodated more rock, listeners would be a lot happier... and less likely to switch on the CD player.

Little bits of news

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Well, I fulfilled my weekly bruise quotient at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu last night. My forearms and biceps look like I've been lightly zapped with several paintballs. I think I could convincingly pass for someone in an abusive relationship. I grappled 4 times last night (which left me utterly finished), and I managed to get in one really good armbar submission from mount.

Anyway, in very disappointing news for Durbanites, the Skyybar shooting has resulted in at least 2 really great restaurants and clubs closing down - Taco Zulu, and Burn. So now Durban's alternative music fans have absolutely nowhere to go... and I was so looking forward to the annual Halloween bash.


Anyway, Burn representatives explained the situation very eloquently on the Durban Alternative forum:

Burn was given notice today that due to the media frenzy regarding the Skyybar Shooting and the problems regarding One44 a committee consisting of City Police, Health, Durban Licensing, Fire, Municipality and SAP was esta…

GEAR October column: The Low-down on Gaming Movies

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Death. Taxes. For many, life’s certainties end at these 2 items. But there is a third certainty – bad movies based on video games.

Game-to-film adaptations must have the worst record of any movie genre when it comes to critically panned turkeys. Think Street Fighter and Double Dragon. BloodRayne, starring the Terminatrix herself, Kristanna Loken, made a pitiful $1.5 million at American cinemas this January. It hasn’t even gone straight-to-DVD locally.

BloodRayne’s director, Uwe Boll, has been labelled a 21st Century Ed Wood because of his laughably bad films. Unfortunately for gamers, Boll appears to have an especial fondness for ruining game-to-film adaptations. He has already made Alone in the Dark, and his next ‘masterpiece’ is a Dungeon Siege film, starring Matthew Lillard and Burt Reynolds as medieval nobility. Expect Dungeons & Dragons awfulness!

Perhaps it’s unfair to say that all game movies are rubbish. They clearly make money. Tomb Raider, Doom, and this year’s Silent Hill…

Finally getting my hands on Batman's buns

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So Marvel has their Ultimate Alliance game coming, but what's Spider-Man and Ghost Rider in comparison to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern and the other members of DC's Justice League? Those are the heroes I want to control.

And now I can do just that with Justice League Heroes, an Action-RPG from Warner Bros due for release in North America on 17 October. While the game cinematics on YouTube look pretty crappy, the samplings of in-game footage look decent.




Justice League Heroes will be available to play on XBOX, PS2, PSP, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance - pretty much everything except PC. Oh, and it's 1-2 player, so you can team up with a friend for some serious superhero ass-kicking action.

World Trade Center

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I saw Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center last night, and while it’s a good film, it’s not as gripping as the other 9/11 film, United 93.

I think part of the reason for this is that World Trade Center is conventional Hollywood fare (complete with starry cast), covering 9/11 as we know it and understand it to be. Regardless of where you were on 11 September 2001, chances are you were gripped to events on your TV screen, wondering what was going on; if people could survive the towers collapsing like that, and how our world was going to change. In World Trade Center we see a lot of this.

In United 93, by comparison, audiences are exposed to events that were not over-exposed on television - what actually happened on the hijacked flights. With that film, a real sense of foreboding hung over events, and the sense of disbelief and horror at what was happening was utterly convincing.

Granted World Trade is not as gung ho as I thought it was going to be – Stone does at least seem to realise that 9…

Trailer Tuesday: 300

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If you wondering why I seem to be posting the same trailer again for Frank Miller's 300, directed by Zack Synder and starring Gerard Butler, well, I'm not. This is THEE official studio release trailer for the film, which is a macho, stylised retelling of the ancient Battle of Thermopylae in which 300 Spartans fought to the death against a massive million-strong Persian army.

I can't wait for 300 (due for release in March 2007). Looking at this trailer... the visual beauty, the dance-like co-ordination of the battle scenes and WAR RHINOS!!! Screw Lord of the Rings' Oliphants.

The 300 trailer that I posted a little while ago was the unrated footage shown at this year's San Diego Comic Con. And it's still floating around the Net... here's a link from Ctrl+Alt+Delete.

Anyway, you can also stream the 300 trailer above in glorious Quicktime off the Apple site here. Or, you can download it in high quality to enjoy over and over and over again, right here at Jurassic…

The Weekend in a Nutshell…

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‘This is me in a nutshell… Help, I’m in a nutshell! How did I get into this bloody great big nutshell? What kind of shell has a nut like this?’

I was exhausted on Friday evening, and after bumping into, and then joining Paul’s parents for dinner at John Dory’s in the Pavillion, Paul and I relaxed by watching the original Austin Powers. The fembots, Allotta Fagina, Random Task (‘Honestly, who throws a shoe?’) and Will Ferrell before he was famous… It’s hard to believe the film is 10 next year. And I don’t care what anyone says. It’s still my favourite of the trilogy.


On Saturday, Paul was running errands and I was rather constructive myself. It took a hefty chunk out of my bank balance but I’ve essentially paid off my car. I was tired of having that debt hanging over my head. Now at least I can look at setting up, and putting money aside monthly into, an investment policy.

Back home from the bank, I repaired a shelf in my cupboard, spring cleaned by going through my wardrobe and putting a…

Super Superman Special Edition DVDs

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Calling all hardcore fans of the The Man of Steel! It's not just Superman Returns debuting on DVD in November. The 14-disc Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition is coming as well. And it looks oh-so-pretty. Pity about that price tag though... Oh well, it can still go on my Christmas fantasy wishlist.

From SuperHeroHype:

Warner Home Video continues to celebrate the year of Superman with the release of the Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition (UCE) on November 28 -- day and date with the DVD debut of the Superman Returns Special Edition as well as the previously announced Superman DVDs Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut and The Christopher Reeve Superman Collection.

The Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition includes all six films in the Superman theatrical franchise -- Superman Returns Special Edition, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, Superman: The Movie Four Disc Special Edition, Superman II Two Disc Special Edition, Superman III & IV Deluxe Editions -- and is lo…

Girlz 'N' Games #20

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HTTPanties

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So Ashley regularly posts up pics of pink PlayStations, gem-encrusted pastel cellphones, Hello Kitty MP3 players and other ultra-girlie gadgetry that normally has me puking a little bit in my mouth.

So now it's my turn this Friday. Here's something from ThinkGeek that may amuse you as much as it did me. For all the girl geeks out there with a bit of a raunchy side, or a naughty sense of humour... I just wonder where the pair is that reads 'A pop-up has been blocked!' ;)


Oh, and don't forget to check out those Customer Action Shots on the side of the webpage.

Quietly fuming on a Friday

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This blog update is slightly late this morning because since I’ve been at work I’ve been on a mission trying to find out how to report an abandoned vehicle. Since at least Tuesday morning, a rust bucket Ford Sierra has been obstructing traffic near the Sparks Road / Brickfield Road intersection, and causing severe congestion.

For 3 days I’ve been sitting in traffic for an extra 15 minutes in the morning, with my road rage levels building. The car needs to go… whether it is towed, or, more gratifying, destroyed via petrol bomb or something.

My problem is that I don’t even know who to contact. The police (which regional station?) or the traffic department? The phone book and the municipal website are equally unhelpful.

Anyway, in some entertainment news for this entry, the big movie releases for this weekend in South Africa are The Devil Wears Prada, starring Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep in a chick flick with enough bitchiness and evil-boss humour to make it worth seeing for everyone; a…

Resolution… And the Evils of Harry Potter

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Blogs are weird. We use them to vent our frustrations, and report all the dramatic events in our lives, both good or bad. But it’s not that common, once something has been said, to hear of a resolution to, say, fights, disasters at work, family ill health. Endings are skipped over in favour of the next dramatic happening.

Paul and I had a long discussion last night about events mentioned on my blog yesterday (not that he reads my blog). I won’t go into detail but I will say we’re not a screaming-and-remote-control-throwing couple; rather we’re a crying-in-each-other’s-arms couple. Certain of the things brought up last night can’t be resolved (because they involve events too far in the future), but otherwise things seem to be back on track. Expressing your feelings and venting is good, m’kay.

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Anyway, the following makes me seriously ponder why innocent little Amish girls have to die, when trouble-making wastes of breath like this woman (a real See You Next Tuesday!) get to carry on th…

The Descent… and other things

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We went to go see The Descent last night, and it’s easily the best horror film out at the moment. Although some horror conventions start to creep in later in the film, for the most of it, it’s a tense, reality-based horror film for adults, made by adults and starring adults.

There are no stupid hormonal teenagers here. The all-female cast is depicted as ordinary women who all tend to behave in a realistic, panicked way as they lumber around lost in pitch-black, unexplored caves in the Appalachian Mountains. You feel that if The Descent was American-made (It’s British), Michelle Rodriguez would have been the clichéd choice for toughie adventurer Juno.

What’s also great for South African cinema goers is that we’re seeing the film with the original, more ambiguous British ending, which was chopped from the US release. More about that here… but beware spoilers!

So yes, The Descent is well worth seeing, although it does tend to unravel a little once the ‘beasties’ are revealed. Otherwise, i…