Posts

Showing posts from May, 2008

Sex and the... oh, really, who cares?

Image
Sex & The City opens in the US and South Africa today and I am so utterly… disinterested.


Don’t get me wrong, I was a huge fan of the TV series. However, I was content with the way things wrapped up. When the credits rolled for the last time in 2004, I thought the series had ended on a solid note.

Now it turns out that the story of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte is not over. Their TV happy ending was not a "real" conclusion. Audiences need a MOVIE happy ending.

Hollywood, never content to let anything or anyone bow out gracefully, has decided that we must be subjected to more of the martini-sipping, sex-talking fashion victims. 145 minutes more, to be exact – almost 2 and a half frikken hours! With that amount of screen time why didn’t they just make another TV series for old times sake?

I think my main problem is that I’ve been totally underwhelmed by the self-satisfied trailer. I was always intending to profile Sex & The City for the weekly Trailer Tuesday fe…

Girlz 'N' Games comic #28: Ultimate!

Image
No question. Iron Man is the best blockbuster of the year so far... Yes, it's even better than Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which had to contend with the burden of massive fan expectations.

Anyway, Iron Man gave me enough material for 2 Girlz 'N' Games comic strips. I posted up the first strip earlier this month. Now here's #2:

The Forbidden Kingdom

Image
The Forbidden Kingdom’s main selling point is that it’s the first film to team 2 of Asia’s greatest martial arts movie stars, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. Unfortunately for hardcore kung fu fans, The Forbidden Kingdom is not the ultimate badass action movie. Rather it is a toned down family film, clearly designed more for Western audiences than fans of Eastern cinema.


The Forbidden Kingdom features plenty of Chinese flavour, especially in terms of its excellent production design and impressive costuming. However, for all these Eastern touches and some references to Chinese mythology, the storyline at the heart of the film is a tired staple of Western children’s fantasy.

Having recently moved to a new city with his mother, geeky teenager Jason (Michael Angarano) retreats from his problems by devouring an endless stream of kung fu films. This behaviour attracts the attention of a local gang – the most vicious group of movie martial arts bullies since The Karate Kid – and soon Jason is roped in…

Watching the Watchmen... "Say cheese"

Image
Ain't It Cool News posted up this great little image from Zack Snyder's big screen adaptation of Watchmen - the groundbreaking graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.


You may be looking at this image and thinking "Man, that is cheesy." Well, that's the point.

The masked heroes you see above (from left to right: Silhouette, Mothman, Dollar Bill, Nite Owl, Captain Metropolis, Comedian, Silk Spectre and Hooded Justice) are not the main focus of Watchmen. Rather, they are the first group of ordinary, decidedly superpower-free people who make the very peculiar decision to don tights and masks and fight crime. And they do it for a variety of reasons, whether it's to protect their neighbourhoods, achieve fame and fortune, find an outlet for their viciousness or to achieve hero status in spite of their closeted homosexuality.


I doubt we'll see much of these guys in the film, though, given how much Watchmen (largely regarded as un-filmable) has to cover in a f…

Trailer Tuesday: The Mummy 3: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Image
What? You honestly didn't think that Indiana Jones would be the only treasure hunter on the big screen this blockbuster season? The treasure hunters of that blatant Indy knock-off, the Mummy movie series are also back in Tomb of the Dragon Emperor... and honestly, from this trailer the film actually looks pretty good.

Here's the plot synopsis:

The blockbuster global Mummy franchise takes a spellbinding turn as the action shifts to Asia for the next chapter in the adventure series, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Brendan Fraser returns as explorer Rick O'Connell to combat the resurrected Han Emperor (Jet Li) in an epic that races from the catacombs of ancientChina high into the frigid Himalayas. Rick is joined in this all-new adventure by son Alex (newcomer Luke Ford), wife Evelyn (Maria Bello) and her brother, Jonathan (John Hannah). And this time, the O'Connells must stop a mummy awoken from a 2,000-year-old curse who threatens to plunge the world into his merci…

This weekend in a nutshell

Image
World of WarCraft was not fun this weekend. It was a frustrating lot of hard work. The end result though was this - my Warlock's Level 60 epic mount, the Dreadsteed. Finally! It's taken me easily 2 months to get this baby as I collected components for the quest.



Although I didn't do much this weekend (apart from watching Indiana Jones 4 and writing my review), I was feeling pretty tired and tearful with a severe case of the Sunday "Shit, another week of the soul-destroying rat race is almost here" blues by the time Sunday evening rolled around. Going out for dinner and playing a round of miniature golf helped cheer me up a bit though.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Image
Going into Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull I had only one demand from the cinema experience – that this film felt like an Indiana Jones movie; that it contained the heart, soul and spirit that made the original trilogy so great.

And Kingdom of the Crystal Skull certainly has its “authentic” Indy moments, in line with the tone of the original trilogy – there’s a college town chase sequence that kicks off with an amusing diner fight, waterfall plunges and an entertaining quicksand rescue scene.

However, these moments are scattered, and the rest of the movie feels pretty, well, vanilla. Don’t get me wrong. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is still a fun popcorn movie but it’s certainly not the blockbuster of the year. And it’s certainly not nearly as good or memorable as the original trilogy. I’ve had more of a gripping Indiana Jones experience reading some of the spin-off books and playing some of the video games than watching this film.


Of course, my opinion of the movie c…

No guesses what I'm doing this weekend!

Image
Admittedly I'm quite nervous about watching Indiana Jones the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

The reason is that the Indiana Jones trilogy is my most beloved movie series of all time. Raiders, Temple and Crusade will forever occupy a special place in my heart, because, well, Indiana Jones the Temple of Doom was the first movie I ever watched at the cinema - and according to my mother this little 3 year old didn't stop talking about the movie for months.

I'm really worried that my adoration for the trilogy will be sullied by Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Will Spielberg, Ford and co. really be able to recapture the magic almost 20 years after we last saw the intrepid, Nazi-bashing archeologist riding off into the sunset? I really, really, really hope so. For the record, I'm speaking as one of those rare Indy fans who was happy to leave the trilogy as it was, with no further big screen adventures.

Anyway, here's the Indiana Jones trilogy in order of my favourites:

1) Ind…

The Mist

Image
Apart from John Cusack’s 1408 earlier this year, it’s been a while since a Stephen King story hit the big screen. The last one, if memory serves me correctly, was 2003’s truly truly appalling Dreamcatcher. Fortunately The Mist, based on a King novella, comes with a solid pedigree. You see, The Mist is written and directed by Frank Darabont, who has been responsible for 2 other outstanding Stephen King adaptations – the supernaturally tinged The Green Mile and completely non-horror The Shawshank Redemption.


The Mist has a simple premise. After an intense storm strikes a small New England town, a number of locals head to their local supermarket to stock up on supplies. While there, a mysterious mist rolls in over the nearby lake and engulfs the town. It soon becomes apparent that bloodthirsty creatures are lurking in the mist, trapping the townspeople in the store.

The Mist is a straight Survival-Horror movie, in that it’s not about gung-ho attitudes and heroics. Rather it’s about largely…

More great poster design: Hellboy 2

Image
Some nice new posters have been released for Hellboy 2: The Golden Army - which I'm hoping will be superior to the first film, especially since director Guillermo del Toro is dabbling more with fairy tales and earthbound mythology than schlock sci-fi this time around.

From SuperheroHype.com:


Empire Online, meanwhile, has posted some individual character banners. You can see the full set at the link above, but here are the 2 coolest character designs - an evil elf type and the Angel of Death:



Hellboy 2 is out sometime between August and December in South Africa.

Calling all lazy-ass Durbanites

Image
Once upon a time there was such a thing as walking. You may very well remember it as your spreading buttocks creeps over the edges of your car seat.

Well, now Durbanites have the chance to discover all over again the thrill of moving their legs for a period much longer than the standard 5 minute burst.

The East Coast Radio Big Walk is coming up.


It isn't a race. It isn't a strain on your body. It's a chance to get out there, enjoy some fresh coastal air and have fun with the buddies you've recruited to join you (a big group of us from work are are strolling the 9.5km with family and friends). Plus, the goodie bag you receive is normally packed with some very nice stuff.

So, yeah, I challenge the Durbanites out there who are reading this to escape their lazy weekend rut and DO something on this one Sunday morning other than lie in bed or veg on the couch.

The Big Walk takes place on Sunday, 1 June and you have until the 25 May to enter, either online , or at any The HUB or …

Trailer Tuesday: Australia

Image
Australia! There's a long rivalry between South Africa and our colonial cousin Down Under. But the truth of the matter is that Saffers are jealous of Aussies - there's a country that got it together.

While we gang rape 6 month old babies, douse foreigners in petrol and set them alight, torture tied up families with red-hot irons for their ATM codes, and brace ourselves for a president who not only has 16 charges of fraud and corruption against him, but also cheats on his wive/s with an HIV+ woman - all while we lumber around in Eskom enforced darkness - Australia's biggest "issue" seems to be Global Warming-related drought.

It's no wonder then that Oz seems to have become the number one destination for South Africans fleeing this country. Shit, even I'm considering settling there once I've got the travel bug out of my system. In fact, if you didn't know by now, Australia has just dramatically increased the number of visas available to go live and …

Weekend report back

Image
Right, one more week of me holding down the fort (cue Godsmack's I Stand Alone), so one more week of shorter blog posts... unless I can motivate myself to do some longer posts in the evenings. We'll see.

Anyway, as for this weekend's activities, Friday evening was a wine-filled braai/barbecue with twenty-something geeky types. So there was much talk of role-playing, video games, fantasy films, cult sci-fi TV series, and, of course, the 80's cartoons that defined our childhood... and how we could cast them if they were live-action today.

*Snorts in glee, rubs at glasses and takes a hit on an asthma pump*

Seriously, it was interesting to discover the one guy there was just 22, and as a result did not share in our cultural references at all. It's the amazing the difference 4 years or so makes.

The bf got back from overseas on Saturday afternoon, so apart from some World of WarCraft on Saturday morning, most of Saturday was spent listening to stories about Slovakia (yes, t…

Fun for Friday: Only in Africa

Image
Only in Africa do you get back to your car and find flyers like this one under the windscreen wiper.


It just had to appear on my blog at some stage... after all, it stubbornly clung to my windscreen all the way home, and such perseverance needs to be rewarded.

Have a great weekend, and hopefully it won't involve any of the problems mentioned above.

Next Thursday, South Africa... screw Lara Croft!

Image
Next Thursday, don your fedora, crack your whip and make archeology appear a lot more action-packed than it really is. Indy's back!

Respect my Au-thor-ee-tie!

Image
I'm apologising in advance because my blog posts should become considerably shorter in the next 2 weeks. This is because my boss is away, transforming me into Head Copywriter-Strategist-Copy Creative Director for the period.

*Gulp*

I don't like stress. I don't like on-the-spot decision making. I don't like juggling a dozen deadlines, where 90% of them are "Urgent Today" jobs. I much rather prefer working at my own pace, devoting my full attention to one job at a time so that I know they're up to my quality standards. This ticking off of jobs one after the other helps the digestion process. Knowing that there is a mountain of other work looming over my shoulder just knocks my concentration and triggers my anxiety.

However, I'll suck it up as best I can because my September/October leave has just been approved - 3 weeks in the UK and Europe, baby!


Anyway, in terms of what WILL probably interest you, this blog, Pfangirl Through the Looking Glass has just …

Have you met Miss Page?

Image
Relatively fresh from the acclaim she received for her performance in Juno, the talented Ellen Page is doing the "serious actress" thing and playing the title role in yet another big screen adaptation of Jane Eyre.

This is according to Variety.com:

Ellen Page takes on 'Jane Eyre'

Ellen Page is set to play one of English literature's most famous characters, the eponymous heroine of Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre."

Alison Owen of Ruby Films, who most recently produced "The Other Boleyn Girl," is working with BBC Films to develop the new adaptation of Bronte's classic 19th century romance. It's the story of a mousy governess who softens the heart of her surly employer Mr. Rochester, only to discover that he's hiding a terrible secret.

Moira Buffini has written the screenplay. No director is yet attached, but the producers are aiming to set the project up to shoot this fall.

"Jane Eyre" is one of the most adapted novels in Engl…

Trailer Tuesday: Star Wars - The Clone Wars

Image
Unfortunately, for some frustrating reason, embedding has been disabled on all versions of this YouTube trailer, so you'll have to click here to view it.

Anyway, if I was George Lucas I'd be seriously embarrassed - embarrassed while rolling around in my Olympic size pool of money, but embarrassed nonetheless. You see, in recent years the most exciting projects to be set in Star Wars universe have not come from the pen of the Bearded One.

Rather, they've been the creations of others.

The Knights of the Old Republic video game, the Cartoon Network Clone Wars animated series, and the many spin-off novels (which admittedly I haven't read) have all been more dynamic and full blooded than anything on offer in Lucas's "new" film trilogy, Episodes 1 through 3.


Now we're being treated to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a CGI-animated movie that looks similarly excellent.

Set during the Clone Wars period like the other animated Star Wars series, The Clone Wars forms an…

Weekend report back

Image
Ah, singledom: a lot less sex but a lot more done.

With the bf away overseas with work again (this time getting to oggle the beauties of Slovakia while preventing forest fires), this weekend was a pretty productive one.

For example, here's the latest Girlz 'N' Games comic strip, sub-titled "Role models". It's the first of 2 Iron Man themed cartoons.


Otherwise this weekend was spent doing some freelance review writing - of the Iron Man film, and Madonna's new CD, Hard Candy. You can expect the Hard Candy review up on this blog soon.

In terms of gaming, what little time I did spend playing was consumed, of course, with World of WarCraft. I now have 2 Level 60+ characters, but I got very little questing done this weekend. Rather I was in the Horde cities, levelling my professions and trying to make back some of the gold spent on buying my Hunter's superfast wolf mount, which you can see below.


The rest of the weekend was spent doing soem shopping, catching …

Superheroes for a super Friday

Image
Watchmen is still over a year away, but already we're being treated to production diaries and video journals on the official website of this potential granddaddy of superhero films.

I found the first video on set design pretty dull - I generally don't like the illusion of the movie's "world" to be shattered with too many behind-the-scenes glimpses - but this second journal on costume design makes me giddy with anticipation. The look of this movie seems SPOT ON in terms of fidelity to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons graphic novel.



I repeat again, if you have never read Watchmen, you MUST get hold of it. Especially before the long-awaited film adaptation, from 300 director Zack Synder, hits cinemas in June next year.

-------------------

Speaking of superheroes, while the accountant types were still counting out Iron Man's first weekend box office earnings on Monday, Marvel Entertainment executives were already making announcements about upcoming superhero movies on t…

Good movie posters vs. bad movie posters

Image
Batman Begins sequel The Dark Knight (due out in SA on 25 July) provides a good example of some excellent, enigmatic movie poster design:




And they all come together as this:



Speaking of The Dark Knight, check out the new trailer here.

Meanwhile, here's the teaser poster for Dragonball (set for release next year), which is quite the opposite in quality to the posters above.


How absolutely horrible is this? It looks like some budget beach ball bought at Pick n' Pay.

I don't want to dismiss Dragonball too soon - after all, I'll admit I watched the epic 6 week+ battle between Goku and Freeza back in the day - but really! Nothing that has surfaced on the Net so far has done anything to dispel the mutterings that this is cheap trash aimed at undemanding 8 year olds. It looks like Power Rangers for God's sake!

How about some kind of hint of a Super Saiyan transformation or something more exciting than this photoshopped marble to whet our appetites?