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Showing posts from February, 2008

Superheroics

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Superheroes, superheroes, superheroes… they’re all over the big screen these days. Now Empire movie magazine has released some exclusive new pictures from The Incredible Hulk (due out in 4 months time) and Wolverine: Origins (due out next year).


This is actually the second released image of Edward Norton as scientist-with-anger-issues Bruce Banner (view the first pic here). Norton has of course replaced Eric Bana, who played the big green dude’s alter ego in 2003’s overly arty Hulk, directed by Ang Lee. Louis Letterier, the man behind the Transporter movies of all things, has replaced Lee in the director’s chair this time around. This suggests a whole new direction for the Hulk franchise. Personally I’m expecting lots of explosions and ridiculous acrobatic fight sequences. Still, hopefully this Hulk movie will actually be fun.


Wolverine is still shooting in Australia, but it hasn’t stopped the marketing department from already releasing some very early publicity stills from the increasi…

Sweeney Todd

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Probably the best way to describe Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is the Anti-Hairspray.

There are no cheerful hyper-choreographed musical numbers; frequently there are only 2 performers on the screen. Instead of colourful, sunny 1960s Baltimore as a backdrop, Sweeney Todd and his cohorts skulk around in the monochrome gloom of 19th Century London. And while Hairspray maintains faith that mankind is inherently good, Sweeney Todd has nothing but contempt for humanity as a fundamentally greedy and evil species. Playing the title character, Johnny Depp even sings in the film’s opening scenes:

“There's a hole in the world like a great black pit
and the vermin of the world inhabit it
and its morals aren't worth what a pin can spit
and it goes by the name of London.”

Then again, Sweeney Todd is a serial killer musical. In between the songs cutthroat razors gleam, throats are slit, blood sprays, and skulls smack into stone with a sickening crack.


The film is fundamentally a…

A new era...

... of covert blogging.

You see, for some inexplicable reason, I’m now in trouble for updating this blog. Never mind that I’m finished by 9am, never mind that I work partially through lunch to compensate for the used time, never mind that my work is solid to meticulous, never mind that I have never missed a deadline. Never mind that company stuff doesn’t pop up here at all. Blogging is bad, m’kay…

However, there are some very obvious, if sneaky, ways around this “work time” banning. Even if it turns me from a conscientious citizen into one of the South African “law” breaking majority. Expect my Sweeney Todd review soon.

Awards tally

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Sorry, there would have been a Sweeney Todd movie review this morning if traffic hadn't been such a menopausal she-devil and got me into the office much later than usual. Maybe I can squeeze it in later, but for now, here's the run down of this year's Razzie (Anti-Oscar) and Oscar winners.

The Razzies


Breaking previous Razzie records, the Lindsay Lohan stripper-psychic-twin-thriller, I Know Who Killed Me took home 8 "Worst" awards, beating Showgirls and Battlefield Earth, which had previously each scooped 7 spraypainted Raspberry Awards.

I Know Who Killed Me won in the following categories:
Worst Picture, Worst Actress (Lindsay Lohan), Worst Screen Couple (Lindsay Lohan & Lindsay Lohan), Worst Remake Or Rip-off, Worst Director (Chris Siverston), Worst Screenplay and Worst Excuse for a Horror Movie.

Much like Catwoman, I kind of have a morbid curiosity to watch the movie now. Can it really be that bad?


Meanwhile, Eddie Murphy's fat-evil-bitch comedy Norbit won 3…

Trailer Tuesday: Doomsday

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Doomsday is the latest movie from director Neil Marshall, the man behind horror thrillers Dog Soldiers and The Descent. Marshall is an interesting filmmaker because while on the one hand he works very much within genre conventions, on the other he normally brings something unexpected to the mix.

Action thriller Doomsday looks like a lot of violent fun... but it also looks incredibly derivative, a sort of Resident Evil meets Escape from New York meets Mad Max meets 28 Weeks Later. In fact, Doomsday has been nicknamed Escape from Glasgow. However, I just can't believe it's that simple... Marshall must have something extra up his sleeve to freshen the tired formula and bring out the forgotten flavour.


Anyway, here's the film's plot synopsis, from Movieweb.com:

In the action-packed new thriller from writer/director Neil Marshall ("The Descent"), authorities brutally quarantine a country as it succumbs to fear and chaos when a virus strikes. The literal walling-off w…

New Girlz 'N' Games web comic

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A proper web presence for my Girlz 'N' Games comic is under development and coming (hopefully) soon. However, that doesn't mean new comics are on hold until then. Here's the latest strip:


As for the weekend, it was a mix of activities and expenses.

On Friday afternoon our company took us to the A1 Grand Prix test session. Admittedly I'm not into motor racing at all, but it's still an interesting (and ear aching) experience to spend a few hours watching the different countries' colourful main event vehicles in action.

On Saturday I forked out R800 for 2 new tyres (ho hum), and played World of WarCraft for the first time all week. My warlock is creeping ever closer to Level 70, reaching Level 55 and a half this weekend. Unfortunately, due to ADSL cap issues, I won't be able to play until 1 March again, which is quite frustrating given the decent progress I was making.

Otherwise in my "chill" time I ended up dipping into my DVD collection and watchi…

Most quotable movies: The Simpsons Movie

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The Simpsons Movie is the most recently released movie to feature in the "Most Quotable Movies" series on this blog.

I'll admit that the first time I watched The Simpsons Movie, I enjoyed it, but ultimately couldn't view it as anything more than an extended episode of the TV series.

However, having now seen the film 4 times since its cinema release, I've grown convinced of its comic genius. The Simpsons Movie is damn funny, combining hilarious sight gags, one-liners, wisecracks and some very taunt scripting. I'm actually very disappointed that The Simpsons Movie wasn't nominated in the Best Animated Film category at this year's Academy Awards. D'oh! Big mistake, Hollywood.

Anyway, here are some of the highlight quotes from the movie:


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President Schwarzenegger: I was elected to *lead*, not to *read*. Number Three!

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The Geek Girl

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How would you define yourself? It’s a difficult question. Most of us immediately offer our job description as it’s far easier than doing any deep soul searching or self reflection. Certainly one term I generally try not to apply to myself is “Geek girl.” You see, I know a few of these unusual creatures in the flesh – and I’d honestly much rather be called a “fangirl” or a “nerd” than a “geek”. Although there have been all kinds of moves to reclaim the term as something positive and empowering, it still has way too many negative connotations for me.

Anyway, I decided to separate out the different characteristics of a “geek girl”. If you think you’re a geek girl or the male equivalent, here are the features and requirements that pop up most often:


An interest/career in IT and new media – Geek girls veer away from traditionally feminine interests and careers. They often work as programmers or in the sciences, and usually have some degree of technical competency due to their love of proble…

Watching Rorschach

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Speak of the devil... well, an uncompromising, murderous, mentally ill vigilante anyway. After yesterday's post on Watchmen, almost immediately the first official image from the graphic-novel-to-film adaptation appeared online. It depicts hardlining anti-hero Rorschach torching a police officer as he attempts to escape an ambush.

Here is the pic, off the official Watchmen movie website:

What's up with Watchmen and Wolverine?

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As I'm typing this, principal filming is wrapping up on Watchmen, arguably one of the most ambitious book-to-film adaptations of all time.


Having read the assorted posts on the film's official blog, I'm very nervous but very excited about this project, based on the greatest superhero-focused graphic novel of all time.

On the concerning side, I keep succumbing to doubts about the possibility of faithfully adapting the hefty 334-page tome that is Watchmen. Surely it would work better as a massive-budget TV miniseries? Looking at the other big screen adaptations of comic scripter Alan Moore's work (including From Hell, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and V for Vendetta), only V for Vendetta escaped mediocrity to become something worth seeing.

Watchmen is also the granddaddy, the Citizen Kane, of superhero storylines (the graphic novel was first released in the mid-1980s), and it is worrying that the film is only arriving now after the likes of Heroes have stolen, er, b…

Trailer Tuesday: The Spiderwick Chronicles

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Last week when I was at the cinema I saw a number of trailers for movies I had completely overlooked or forgotten about. One of them was The Spiderwick Chronicles, about a family who discover a secret world of goblins, sprites and ogres when they move into their great-great-uncle's country manor house.

Now I'm always receptive to quality family fantasy films, and although I'm unfamiliar with the Spiderwick series of books by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, this film adaptation seems to satisfy my list of genre requirements quite nicely: A talented cast (including Freddie Highmore, Mary-Louise Parker and David Strathairn), impressive creature design, quality special effects, and a dark streak of scares mingled with the fun.

It just goes to show what a big budget and talented creative team can do. *Cough cough* The Dark Is Rising, please take notes...


Anyway, I received a definite Jumanji vibe watching the trailer for The Spiderwick Chronicles, so I'm definitely keen for t…

Weekend on the run

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My apologies for the late and somewhat abrupt update today. There's a lot of work underway in the office and, naturally, what better way is there to start a busy Monday morning than with 2 non-scheduled power cuts? Praise be to Eskom, bringer of Darkness.

Anyway, it was a pretty chilled weekend, the second of three boyfriendless ones (Paul should be back this coming Sunday). I got some sun, read and played a lot of World of WarCraft, pushing my Warlock to Level 54 as she arrived in the lush Un'Goro Crater region, populated by dinosaurs, shuffling tar elementals, apes and assorted plant beasties. Unfortunately we're rapidly approaching our ADSL cap for the month so I'm going to have to severely cut back on my online gaming in the next 2 weeks... Ho hum. Guess I'll get to work on that next Girlz 'N' Games comic...


Otherwise this weekend I got a much-needed haircut, joined the extended family for Sunday lunch and (re)watched a handful of movies, including Stard…

OhboyohboyohboyohIndy....

You know this one couldn't wait for Trailer Tuesday. Presenting the first trailer for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, due in cinemas at the end of May.



I think this puts me in the mood for an Indy movie marathon this weekend...

Where is the love?

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Just a quick note wishing all my blog visitors a very happy Valentine's Day. It's a requirement that you indulge in some spoilage today. And if there is no one around to lavish attention on you, well, do it yourself! Set aside at least a small portion of today to indulge in your favourite activity/vice.


Speaking of love, it's SA Blog Awards time. If you want to show your affection for any local blogs, including this one, head over to the site and cast your vote in any one of the many categories. Voting ends on 14 March.

Cloverfield

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It’s been 10 years since Godzilla rampaged through New York City – and the film bombed so badly that the monster movie genre promptly sunk back into the B-grade archives before it could truly be reborn. Now, a decade later, the genre is receiving a much needed face lift with Cloverfield, the new horror-thriller from Lost producer, J.J. Abrams.

Cloverfield centres on a group of romantically reticent twentysomethings in New York City. Characters’ long-suppressed feelings are finally revealed at a farewell party, but before anyone can act on their emotions, the celebration is disrupted by a mysterious creature tearing apart Manhattan.

In an unusual but intelligent move, Cloverfield adopts the same cinematic approach as The Blair Witch Project. A cast of unknowns and the use of jerky handheld camera footage work together to heighten the film’s sense of realism. In fact, Cloverfield feels a lot more “real” than Blair Witch, probably because the images of 9/11’s urban chaos are still fresh …

Trailer Tuesday: Paranormal Activity

Given that Cloverfield has just resurrected The Blair Witch Project's gimmicky use of handheld camera work / unknown actors with improvisational abilities / "this footage was found" approach, I thought it a good idea to point out another upcoming movie filmed in the same style: horror-thriller Paranormal Activity.

Paranormal Activity centres on a young couple who set up video surveillance to capture evidence of a malevolent entity they suspect is haunting their home. This home video video footage is edited together to form the entire 99-minute running time of the film.

Now Paranormal Activity is still cruising around the international film festival circuit while haggling goes on for a distributor and wide release rights. I'm hoping this changes however because early reviews of the film have been outstanding. Here are some quotes off the film's official site:

"Best in fest is Paranormal Activity ... it's the scariest movie of the year."
- Luke Thompson…

Weekend Round-up

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OK, one of three boyfriend-less weekends down...

Friday evening was spent playing our rescheduled weekly Dungeons & Dragons campaign. Once again, it was a combat-free session, as we gathered information and boarded a ship for the southern Arab-style empire. I wonder how a overly pious paladin will cope in a nation of infidels.

Saturday was spent getting some freelance writing work done. This required going to see the early morning screening of Cloverfield. Of course I'll be posting up my full review here in the next few days, but I'll say now that I was actually very impressed by the film. After 1998's Godzilla I dismissed the "giant monster" movie genre as ridiculous cheese. Cloverfield's "Blair Witch" approach, however - using handheld camera footage and a cast of unknowns - is breath of fresh air. It injects much-needed realism into the film and although I didn't care for the characters as much as I think we're supposed to, the film is …

Most quotable movies: Addams Family Values.

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"I'm just like every modern woman trying to have it all. A loving husband, a family. I only wish I had more time to seek out the dark forces and join their hellish crusade." - Morticia Addams

Look, I admit this isn't the most obvious entry in the Most Quotable Movies feature. However, after recently seeing these screenshots from Addams Family Values on My New Plaid Pants, it reminded me of the film's endless series of quips and comedic comebacks. Although the comments are interspersed with some wonderfully twisted sight gags, you really have to listen carefully or you'll miss them.

Being an Adams (one "d" short of an Addams), with a decent resemblance to Christina Ricci's Wednesday character, I admit that the 2 Addams Family movies, with their gloriously twisted black humour, have a special place in in my heart. This said, I think I enjoyed Values more, with its Summer Camp scenes and Joan Cusack's chance to shine. Man, I really need to ge…