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Showing posts from November, 2008

Today, South Africa! Mr Bones is back

You know, I was going to write a blog post encouraging everyone to go see Quantum of Solace again this weekend... just to ensure that locally made, idiot comedy Mr Bones 2 doesn't completely decimate the box office - as this sequel to the most successful film in local cinema history is expected to do.

But, you know what? After watching the latest installment in the James Bond franchise, and being distinctly underwhelmed, I just can't stick to my original plan...

So here it is: the trailer for the only notable movie release of this weekend - Mr Bones 2: Back from the Past. May God have mercy on us all.

Music to my ears...

Right, here's an ad for the No. 1 Music Phone in the world - the Nokia 5310 XpressMusic. I wouldn't mind finding one of these oh-so-stylish babies in my Christmas stocking.

Brace yourself for a Marvel-lous time

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Right, so I'm sure you know by now that in July 2011, Marvel is going to be bringing cinema audiences the long-awaited Avengers film - which will team the superheroes Captain America, Thor, The Hulk and Iron Man. While DC and Warner Bros just can't seem to assemble their famous hero squad, The Justice League (comprising Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, the Green Lantern and co.), Marvel is full steam ahead with the Avengers.

The idea is that the Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America and Thor characters will each feature in their own solo-focused films before appearing together in The Avengers. In a move that is sending comic book geeks delirious with excitement, every actor who plays these iconic heroes in the solo films will return for the Avengers as well. So far that's Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and (maybe, given his "difficult" reputation) Edward Norton as The Hulk.

Samuel L. Jackson, as the eyepatch-wearing government agent Nick Fury, seems to a common link bet…

Quantum of Solace

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Every time a new James Bond film is released the publicity machine goes into overdrive, proclaiming the latest movie “The Best Bond ever.” Of course this claim has been disproved multiple times, most recently by the appalling Halle Berry co-starrer, Die Another Day. Now, Quantum of Solace, the latest 007 outing, has been slapped with the same tag. So the big question is whether the film tops the superb Casino Royale, which, frankly, was always going to be difficult to do. Unfortunately, Quantum of Solace doesn’t.

I was always worried about the choice of Marc Forster as Quantum’s director. Forster’s filmography is dominated by thoughtful, character-driven dramas like Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland and The Kite Runner. None of those films suggested that Forster had the qualities needed to deliver an intense, action-packed Bond film.


As it turns out, in Quantum of Solace, Forster’s pedigree comes through strongly. He handles the character interactions well, and there is plenty of arty,…

No Trailer Tuesday today

Sorry, there won't be a proper blog update today. I was in a car accident in suburbia this morning - a guy in the fast lane swerved to avoid the car in front of him, which suddenly stopped to turn without indicating. The swerver veered left into my lane, hit me, and caused me to swerve off the road into a lamp post. Meanwhile, the non-indicating car that initiated all this just drove away from the scene.

I'm physically OK but quite emotionally shaken.

The most severe damage to the car was to the front bumper, but it's plastic so that isn't too worrisome. The metal front of the car got a bit dinged and scraped on the front right side but fortunately didn't crumple at all. The impact, however, was strong enough to snap the CV joints (or something), meaning the car gears wouldn't work anymore. The vehicle had to be towed away to the panel beater.

Yay, exactly one month to Christmas! Man, this has been one fucking horrible year.

Fun for Monday

Some of you may be familiar with the "What's Your Game?" series of TV advertisements for massive multiplayer online game World of WarCraft. Blizzard has already released these 2 commercials for the English speaking market, starring Mr T and William Shatner. Then there's the Verne Troyer, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Willy Toledo ads as well.

So, the character race-and-class combos of night elf druids, human paladins, tauren shamen and troll and gnome mages have all received screen time. Now, FINALLY, undead warlocks (my main character) get the celebrity treatment - and we couldn't have asked for a cooler representative:



Now I have to wonder when the first "What's Your Game?" ad with a female celebrity will be released... Unless I'm seriously missing something, where are the ladies, Blizzard? The always camera-ready blood elves are just screaming for a little screen time.

Weekend review

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Given that Thursday evening was our company Christmas party, Friday wasn't very productive at all. After greasy toasted sandwiches and cheese croissants in the morning, and a brisk lunch of pizza and sangria out on the balcony of Sun Coast Casino's Mimmo's, the office ended up closing an hour early. Incredibly tired by now, I headed home to sleep for a while. So much for the plan of seeing the early evening screening of James Bond.

Once I'd surfaced and showered I felt considerably better - enough in fact to thrash my sister, her boyfriend and my parents at an after-dinner game of Cranium. Ah, there really is nothing more hilarious than watching your 50-something mother simulating break dancing on the floor, and a room full of people attempting to talk like Yoda. Backwards talking I am...

On Saturday morning I was doing my bit for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in South Africa, score keeping at our club's annual no-gi Submission Wrestling tournament. Not that I was at all prep…

Yeah, yeah, a day off ...

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Alright, I don't have much to say today. Last night was our company Christmas party so right now as I sit in front of my PC, I have a cup of tea in one hand and a cheese croissant in the other.

Nothing is new at the movies today, seeing as Quantum of Solace already debuted on Wednesday. Next Friday sees the start of Mr Bones 2, the sequel to the most successful movie in South African history. Blergh. And you just know that idiot witchdoctor is going to knock 007 off his box office throne, and fart in his face - or do something equally repulsive.

Anyway, here are some pics from last night's Cuban themed Christmas party, which was a helluva lot of fun without getting out of control - always a great combination. Viva la Revolution!


Typical Cuban scene.

The copywriter manning the Welcome desk for some reason. "Uh, and you are?"

No clue what Jack Sparrow is doing in Havana.


Someone didn't get the memo.

Later on in the evening.

[REC]

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So yes, finally I got to sit down and watch [REC] this week... (Let's get the title spelling finally right;)).

For those of you who haven't heard about this Spanish language horror film, it's usually described as "The Blair Witch Project meets 28 Days Later". And although only released last year, [REC] has already received the Hollywood remake treatment, just like the Asian horror flicks The Ring, One Missed Call and Shutter. You can currently catch [REC] remake Quarantine in South African cinemas.


[REC] has been touted as one of the scariest films of the past few years. Having seen it now, I can mostly agree. I wasn't cringing on the couch but then again it's likely I was already braced for scares and screams, having already encountered so much online hype about the film. What [REC] is, is a helluva lot of fun, and pure exhilaration.

[REC] may be filmed in the hand-held camera style but it's masterfully done - much more convincing than Blair Witch, and…

It's time to Bond!

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Ignore that absolutely appalling theme song by Alicia Keys and Jack White (To paraphrase Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons, "Worst Bond Song Ever!"). Today, Wednesday, Daniel Craig returns to South African cinemas as iconic British secret agent James Bond in his second outing as 007: Quantum of Solace.

In order not to spoil the film for myself I've been steering clear of Quantum reviews, so I can't comment in much detail on its reception by critics and the public. General buzz though seems to be positive, although not quite as unanimously glowing as it was for Casino Royale 2 years ago.

What with Jiu-Jitsu class and the company Christmas party, I'm probably only going to get around to seeing Quantum of Solace this weekend. But till then...

Girlz 'N' Games #34: It's Payne!

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Ah, the gaming generation gap... How it infuriates us "old timers".

Trailer Tuesday: Bride Wars

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Alright, I admit it, for all the ass-kicking, spandex-clad biceps and general "guy stuff" that features on this blog, I do actually secretly have a girlie side. That's probably why something like Bride Wars really appeals to me.

Here's the plot synopsis:

In Bride Wars, Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson play best friends who are pitted against each other when their wedding dates clash. They compete for venues, services and guests, once it's clear that neither will step aside.


In my somewhat limited defense, Bride Wars doesn't look like your standard chick flick. Much like Hathaway's 2006 hit The Devil Wears Prada, Bride Wars seems to steer well clear of tedious romantic comedy territory in favour of a focus that's more accessible to a wider audience: in this case female rivalries and the emergence of the infamous, oh-so-dangerous Bride-zilla.

Bride Wars looks like a lot of silly, if utterly conventional and undemanding, fun. However, I'm currently trying…

Happy birthday, Penny Arcade!

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I'm not even sure if the guys know it themselves, but today - 18 November - marks the 10 Year Anniversary of the first ever Penny Arcade web comic.

A decade is a lifetime for a comic in any format, but Penny Arcade is after all the most successful gaming-themed web comic, if not the most successful web comic in the world - with over 2 million page views a day.

Congratulations, Jerry and Mike. You guys truly are an inspiration. And may you keep us laughing for many more years to come...

From this:

To this:

And:

The Dark Knight meets Toy Story: Fun for Monday

Thanks to eXCheez for pointing out this outstanding mashup. Who knew Woody was so sinister?

Weekend report back: classical music, lich kings and porn

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Well, in terms of what I got up to this weekend Friday evening was pretty much just dinner at the surprisingly quiet Pavillion with friends.

Before heading out for the evening I had planned to make the journey to the new continent of Northrend in World of WarCraft expansion Wrath of the Lich King - just to have my first glimpse of the island in all its frosty, battle-scarred glory. Imagine my disappointment when, having loaded the game, upgraded my account and watched the opening cinematic for the umpteenth time, I discovered there was an additional 650MB patch to download.

Anywhere else in the world this wouldn't be an issue, but in South Africa with our slow broadband and 1-3GB monthly download restrictions, every time there's a patch bigger than 100MB it becomes a frustrating issue. Normally we end up forking out for extra cap.

Anyway, as I learned later in the weekend, I already had downloaded the patch, as well as its 48MB follow-up, so all I needed to do was re-run them. …

Watchmen for the Weekend

Alright, since my my most recent Watchmen posts, here and here, there have been 2 new trailers released for 2009's most highly anticipated superhero film. Here's the brand new, plot-centric one, which debuted online yesterday.



In case it gets tugged from YouTube (a decently high probability these days), you can see it here at Yahoo! - if it's actually working.

And here's the slightly older pseudo-trailer, which expands on footage from the first teaser. It was first screened at the televised Scream 2008 Awards. My favourite moment from this trailer: unquestionably the tank disintegration sequence. *Sigh*



Watchmen opens on 6 March 2009.

Today, South Africa

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Well, just one movie release of note in South Africa today and that's the horror film Quarantine.

Filmed in the same hand-held camera style employed by The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield, Quarantine stars Jennifer Carpenter (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Dexter) as Angela, a television reporter who is assigned to spend the evening following a crew of Los Angeles firemen. When a seemingly routine call-out to a small apartment block turns out to be anything but routine, Angela, her cameraman and the fire crew find themselves quarantined in the building, cut off from the outside world and trapped with something vicious, deadly and highly contagious.


I've covered Quarantine as part of Trailer Tuesday feature already, so you can read my thoughts on the film there. It's supposed to be pretty damn scary, and a 60% Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes suggests it delivers the goods.

I personally don't feel I can watch it though until I've seen Spanish horror film REC, on which…

Body of Lies

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If director Ridley Scott’s American Gangster was a sleeker, glossier, more commercially friendly take on the likes of crime dramas such as The Departed , then the director’s new film, Body of Lies, offers a similar treatment of Middle Eastern set spy-thrillers like Syriana.


On the whole, Body of Lies is a highly enjoyable, engaging film. It focuses on CIA field operative Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his Washington DC-based department head Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe) as they attempt to locate Al-Saleem (Alon Aboutboul), the mysterious head of a deadly Islamic terrorist organisation that is causing mayhem across Europe. This involves entering into a rickety alliance with Hani (Mark Strong) the ice-cold head of the Jordanian secret service.

Given the recent American elections, it’s quite interesting to compare DiCaprio and Crowe’s characters with Obama and McCain respectively. Ferris (DiCaprio) is a “new” American – cynical and hard bitten, but nonetheless aware of and able to inte…

It's a WOWderful life...

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Today's the day, ladies and gentle-orcs... Well, midnight is anyway.

At 00:00 tonight, technically 13 November, the second World of WarCraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King becomes available. If you're a WOW player in South Africa and you haven't yet pre-ordered your copy, well, you're out of luck, because all the major local game e-tailers are sold out.

That's Take2.co.za, Kalahari.net and BT Games (unless I'm forgetting someone else).

Who knows what's happening with Incredible Connection, Look & Listen, Musica and the various other game-stocking retail chains?

Anyway, out of the 3 e-tailers listed above, BT Games has proven to be the cheapest, if you collect your game from your nearest BT Games store. Out of interest, they're the only retail chain I know that is actually throwing a midnight launch party. Nice touch, guys - if I wasn't such an old fart who has to get up bright and early for work tomorrow I'd be there!

Anyway, I was very anxio…

Trailer Tuesday: Friday the 13th

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Right, many horror movie fans have been up in arms since it was announced that Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes film company, which has already brought us remakes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Amityville Horror, was tackling 1980s slasher classic, Friday the 13th.

Fortunately I'm not one of those overly precious fans.

The teaser trailer really hits the spot as far as my desire for bloody thrills and creepiness is concerned. So my interest in this film has definitely been piqued. Although Halloween's Michael Myers has always been my favourite masked movie maniac, Jason Voorhees comes in a close second - largely because I always found his habit of hacking up horny teenagers "having sexy times" a bit on the cheesy side.


Anyway, according to various interviews, the new Friday the 13th won't be based solely on the 1980 original. Rather, it will combine elements from the first 3 films in the series.

The film's producer Brad Fuller explains: "I think the…

Weekend progress

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Right, well, Friday evening was a bit of a write-off - it ended up being one of those crash-and-burn evenings where I was face down in bed by 9:30.

Saturday was far more productive. In super-organisation mode I managed to make some major progress with my Christmas shopping, and even managed to wrap my purchases. Bow before my awesomeness! Anyway, on Friday the first of my seasonal online shopping orders arrived, and bright and early on Saturday morning I hit the mall, so I managed to tick off gifts for 3 family members. Just 6 more to go...

In the process I also managed to finally find myself a new pair of takkies/sneakers. It was a purchase outside of my November budget, but after 4 years my current pair are looking very scruffy, worn down and have developed the tendency to stab me in the Achilles tendon with the exposed plastic and wire moulding inside. Of course I need to clarify that I'm not a Carrie Bradshaw with a walk-in closet of footwear - although I do of course have my c…

Today South Africa!

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It's another dud weekend of movie releases in South Africa. Well, OK, to be fair, it's another weekend of releases that don't interest me at all. From High School Musical 3 to Death Race, from Righteous Kill to Lakeview Terrance, there's been nothing new over the past fortnight or so that motivates me to make a date with the movies... as opposed to waiting for the DVD release.

And I'm afraid today's 2 high profile cinema releases trigger the same "meh" reaction as far as I'm concerned.

First up is Disaster Movie.


Good Lord Jesus, no! Not another wretched spoof! If you've been to the cinema any time in the last 2 months you've probably been subjected to the trailer for this monstrosity.

For anyone who cares, and isn't an officially diagnosed moron, here's the plot synopsis:

In "Disaster Movie," the filmmaking team behind the hits "Scary Movie," "Date Movie," "Epic Movie" and "Meet the Spartans…

Superman: Red Son

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As Hollywood begins to circle the idea of yet another Superman sequel, there has been a lot of debate about how to make the character of the Man of Steel more contemporary; more appealing to a cynical public who scoff at the idea of a virtually invulnerable hero with the “Gosh, darn it” morals of a farm boy. Superman just isn’t cool, and the most common suggestion about how to boost his street cred is to make him a darker character.

In a recent interviewSuperman Returns star, Brandon Routh argued against turning Superman into a tormented, brooding Batman clone.

“I don't think the character necessarily has to be darker, I think he is kind of dark in a sense, emotional dark, in Superman Returns, and the movie as a whole was slightly dark, they could have had more prowess in it I suppose, and I think that's one thing that can be done in the sequel, so I don't know how much darker you want to make it necessarily. You make the stakes higher, you make the villain darker, I think …

Postponements and cancellations all around…

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It’s been a bad 2 weeks for South African pop culture junkies. Well, more specifically, last week was bad, with cancellations and postponements coming thick and fast.

First up, any South Africans who had pre-ordered the collector's edition of World of WarCraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King from local online retailer Take 2 (the only local company apparently offering the CE), received the following email:

Our supplier has informed us that they will no longer be bringing in the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Expansion Pack Collector's Edition (PC)into SA. As a result we have now cancelled your pre-order.

We have not charged you for the order.

The Standard Edition World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Expansion Pack (PC) is still available to pre-order. See the link below:

http://www.take2.co.za/games-world-o...c-2670934.html

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience and you are welcome to contact us if you require any information or assistance.



You see, from…