Showing posts from September, 2008

That's all, folks!

Well, this is going to be my last blog post in a while... As of this afternoon I'll be jetting off to Europe for 3 weeks. First up is a week in the UK (my first trip there since 1992!), where I'll be dividing my time between London and Oxford.

Definites on the agenda for this leg of the trip are:
- The Tower of London
- The National Gallery & National Portrait Gallery
- The Globe Theatre
- Spamalot!
- Forbidden Planet Megastore (a geek's Mecca!)
- A London walking tour
- The "Harry Potter" Great Hall
- "The Golden Compass" courtyard
- And what trip to the UK would be complete without getting attacked by a coked up Amy Winehouse? :)

On Tuesday, 23 September, myself, the bf and 2 friends depart London on a 12-day Contiki Tour of Mainland Europe. It's one of the shorter tours, a brief taster of some of the main sights of the Continent, but here's what we'll be doing and checking out:

- The White Cliffs of Dover
- Ferry across English Channel into Belgiu…

The weekend and Mamma Mia!

Apart from meeting up with travel buddies, completing my Lonely Planet notes and pretty much reaching a final decision on the contents of my suitcase, my only other weekend activity of note was doing the "Girls Day Out" thing and going to watch the movie musical Mamma Mia! with my mother and sister.

I don't really have time to write a full review (I have waaay too much on my mind today) but here's the crib notes version:

As expected, Mamma Mia! is a total chick flick. The cinema was packed with women, most of them 40+, and honestly I believe the film will have even less appeal for (straight) men than the Sex & The City movie earlier this year - there is a great deal of giggling, several "girl power" dance sequences and a smattering of "empowering" female sexual aggression.

As for the film itself, it's as if everyone involved in the project pumped themselves full of Uppers and Prozac every morning. You can clearly see the cast had a helluva lo…

Today, South Africa!

Again, it's a quiet weekend for movie releases. Next Friday finally sees Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy II pop up in South African cinemas (which I will be missing, grrrr!), but today we have Liam Neeson's new Action Thriller, Taken.

“I don’t know you who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you’re looking for a ransom, I can tell you, I don’t have money. But what I do have is a very particular set of skills, acquired over a very long career in the shadows. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that will be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you. And I will kill you.”

Written by The Professional, The Transporter and La Femme Nikita's Luc Besson, Taken looks like a cross between Frantic, Man on Fire and Death Wish. The voice of Aslan himself, Liam Neeson, layers some darkness onto his usually heroic onscreen persona, playing a former CIA operative…

A couple of trailers for today

Just a few new trailers to keep you amused today. The reason they're not popping up as part of this blog's Trailer Tuesday feature is because they're new trailers for films that I've already profiled, and commented upon: here and here.

Now that Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince has been pushed back to 17 July next year, there is really only one 2008 release left that can send me into a frothy-mouthed frenzy. And that's the new James Bond film, Quantum of Solace. This new trailer features plenty of different footage from the first. As before, flashes of the high-octane stunt sequences only really kick in during the second half of the trailer. I'd say 21 November can't arrive soon enough, but that would mean fast-forwarding through my overseas holiday and I certainly wouldn't want that... :)

The new, longer trailer for noir-ish video game adaptation Max Payne doesn't offer much in the way of brand new footage - except for a few more clips of Mona …

Tropic Thunder

Given all the online love it’s receiving, I went into Tropic Thunder expecting a real comedic treat. Unfortunately, the film is one of the most overrated of the year.

Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of funny moments – but Tropic Thunder isn’t continually laugh-out loud hilarious, as some people would have you believe. You won’t be quoting this one years later, as you would with Ben Stiller’s last acting-writing-directing attempt, Zoolander. In fact, 5 minutes after leaving the cinema, Tropic Thunder had already slipped mostly from my mind.

This said, the film opens very strongly with a series of spoof adverts and trailers that go a long way towards explaining the roles the main characters fill in Hollywood. There’s action star Tugg Speedman (Stiller), who is trying to diversify his career after an endless run of soulless sequels; multi-award winning Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.), an acclaimed Method actor modelled on Russell Crowe; and troubled comedian Jeff Portnoy (Jack Blac…

Trailer Tuesday: Blindness

Oh boy, I'm really looking forward to the drama-thriller Blindness, based on the novel of the same name by José Saramago. Not that I've read the book but I've been sold on the plot synopsis alone:

Blindness is the story of an unexplained mass epidemic of blindness afflicting nearly everyone in one (unnamed) city, and the social breakdown that swiftly follows.

The film follows the misfortunes of a handful of characters who are among the first to be stricken and centers around a doctor and his wife (who inexplicably seems to be immune to the blindness), several of the doctor’s patients, and assorted others, thrown together by chance. This group bands together in a family-like unit to survive when they are quarantined in a filthy, overcrowded asylum.

Hygiene, living conditions, and morale degrade horrifically in the asylum over a very short period, mirroring the society outside.

I'm expecting Blindness to be both a harrowing and thought-provoking experience for cinema audien…

A weekend without WarCraft... almost

Apart from a little World of WarCraft on Sunday evening, this last weekend was completely gaming-free... Instead, it was pretty damn busy, mostly with preparations for my upcoming holiday (now only 8 days away! *gulp*).

Anyway, Friday evening was a housewarming/birthday party with a dress-up theme: Boerewors, Beer and Beats. Basically it was an "Afrikaans" party, where we had to dress up, langarm (although the dancing was swiftly replaced by drinking games), and enjoy traditional cuisine like biltong, koeksusters and milktert. Alas, there seemed to be only one person at the party with a camera so it's unlikely you'll be seeing pics of me in my Springbok shirt and veld hat anytime soon.

It was a nice chance to spend time with friends I hadn't seen in ages, although I was solo the whole evening - the bf had managed to miss his flight back from the Highveld on Thursday and could only get back to Durban on Saturday afternoon. Dumbass. God protect him if he pulls a sim…

Today, South Africa!

Thanks God! In terms of cinema releases finally there's something actually worth seeing this weekend.

First up is Tropic Thunder, the latest comedy from Ben Stiller - who also assumes writing and directing duties for the film, as he did with 2001's Zoolander.

Here's the plot synopsis:

In the action-comedy "Tropic Thunder," Ben Stiller plays pampered action superstar Tugg Speedman, who is cast in the biggest, most expensive war movie ever produced. He sets out to Southeast Asia with a "Who's Who" of celebrity co-stars. They include Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.), an intense, three-time Oscar-winning actor, and Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black), star of the popular gross-out comedy franchise "The Fatties". Soon after the production begins the actors are thrown into a real-life situation and are forced to become the fighting unit they're portraying, in order to find a way out of the jungle in one piece.

Tropic Thunder has been #1 at the American b…

Watchmen behind the scenes wrangling

A few months back, when The Dark Knight debuted, it did so with trailer for Watchmen attached.

The response was massive - which was kind of expected seeing as Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' comic book miniseries, on which the film is based, is probably the most influential graphic novel of all time. It's the War & Peace of superhero stories.

Anyway, the trailer comes out, people go ballistic, and suddenly Warner Brothers, the studio financing director Zack Synder's film, get slapped with a lawsuit by rival studio Fox. It's no secret that Watchmen (which has frequently been labelled "unfilmable") languished in development hell for literally 2 decades, and pretty much was passed from studio to studio... including Fox.

Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s Fox did own the rights to Watchmen, but eventually passed on the project. They did however maintain some kind of distribution rights apparently, which is where this current lawsuit comes in.

I’ll admit I’m not…

A Kick-Ass comic adaptation coming to the big screen

Hollywood is so desperate to snap up each and every comic book and graphic novel property, that they're now targeting brand new series, as well as (bizarrely!) comics that haven't even been released yet - even Guy Richie's upcoming, action-orientated Sherlock Holmes film is based on an as-yet-unreleased comic.

But speaking of barely established comics making the transition to the big screen, from out of nowhere came the announcement a few weeks back that Kick-Ass, the latest from Mark (Wanted) Millar, is about to start filming. There's even already an official movie site.

Thing is, Kick-Ass the comic is only 4 issues old, having debuted in February this year. The film makers won't have much of a storyline to work with... unless they're in close discussions with Millar.

Anyway, I must admit that while I did not like the Wanted film adaptation at all (I hadn't read the comic), the plot of Kick-Ass sounds very interesting - more in line with what I personally wou…

Trailer Tuesday: Step Brothers

Right, so this is the Mature Audiences Only trailer for Step Brothers, the goofy new comedy that reteams the "Shake & Bake" duo of Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. If you're interested, you can also watch the bland general release trailer, which includes some different scenes, here.

Anyway, the plot synopsis of Step Brothers is as follows:

In Step Brothers, Ferrell plays Brennan Huff, a sporadically employed 39-year-old who lives with his mother, Nancy (Mary Steenburgen). Reilly plays Dale Doback, a terminally unemployed 40-year-old who lives with his father, Robert (Richard Jenkins). When Robert and Nancy marry and move in together, Brennan and Dale are forced to live with each other as step-brothers. As their narcissism and downright aggressive laziness threaten to tear the family apart, these two middle-aged, immature, overgrown boys will orchestrate an insane, elaborate plan to bring their parents back together. To pull …

The weekend

Seriously, what's up in Durban today? It seems like the first day of Spring and all the sunlight has fuel-injected everyone out of laid-back coastal mode. Durbanites are even off shooting American tourists for their cameras and wallets.


2010 is going to full of cases like this - people heading off to do the "touristy" thing, visiting iconic places in the city (as tourists always do), and then becoming victims of violent crime.

Anyway, moving away from such a depressing, embarrassing topic...

I did a fair amount of World of WarCraft playing on Friday and Saturday evening. I'm currently saving up 5 000 gold for my super-fast flying mount, and working towards collecting the entire Dreadweave Armor Set. Here's my warlock wearing 3 pieces of the PVP battlegear set - I just need 1 more item (hopefully the gloves) to get my 4-piece set bonus.

Otherwise Saturday was spent out and about - at gym (where I stiffened up my shoulders on the rowing machine), at Stanfordhi…