Posts

Showing posts from June, 2009

Trailer Tuesday: 2012

Image
It's been over 6 months since the teaser trailer for 2012 first appeared online... and was largely, and inexplicably, ignored. The teaser was just so deliciously over the top (literally!) that I was desperate to know more about this new sci-fi disaster epic. There wasn't much more to find than a simple plot outline:

"Never before has a date in history been so significant to so many cultures, so many religions, scientists, and governments. A global cataclysm brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors."

And:

"With the Mayan calendar ending in 2012, a large group of people must deal with natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions, typhoons and glaciers."

Finally in June the full trailer for 2012 made its debut, and boy does the film look like ridiculous, destructive fun. My favourite moment? The arms of Christ the Redeemer breaking off as Rio de Janeiro succumbs to cataclysm. Wheee!


I'm actually really looking forward to this…

Pop culture consumption for the past 2 weekends

Image
Film:
I didn’t get around to seeing it (and I won’t for at least a fortnight), but the world has clearly gone crazy for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The film has taken in more than $200 million in 5 days in the States!

Then again, I should have expected it given the stats and interesting facts Fandango sent me towards the end of last week. Prior to opening day the site was selling more than 8 Transformers tickets PER SECOND at peak periods, making it Fandango’s biggest pre-sales title of the year so far. More than 2000 midnight shows of the film were sold out on Tuesday night, with one theatre in Las Vegas managing to sell out 10 12pm shows simultaneously. Crazy shit!

This said, I’m surprised I’m not exactly being flooded with “OMFG, best movie EVER!!!!” tweets and messages from the frenzied fanboys. So what is it, guys? Yay or nay? I’m expecting exactly more of the same as the first one.


On the DVD front:

The Goonies: As a kid’s adventure flick, this 80’s classic still holds u…

More RIPs

Image
Two pop culture icons died yesterday on the same day my family lost our beloved dog, companion and protector. So while the loss of these stars is shocking it doesn’t dredge up an especial amount of grief in my heart. What it has done however is make me well aware of people’s insensitivity, and that has in turn stirred up anger.

This morning I’ve already told one colleague, all gleeful with Michael Jackson jokes, to politely fuck off. You don’t have to like or respect someone, but you should have the general decency to recognise that this isn’t the time for spiteful humour at someone else's expense. Both Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett have loved ones who are grieving right now over their loss. They may have been celebrities but they were also people.

I admit I have little experience of Farrah Fawcett’s acting work. I’ve never seen the original Charlie’s Angels TV show, which was way before my time. If I’ve seen any of her other TV or film work I don’t remember it either, which i…

RIP Tara Adams 10 Feb 1995 - 25 June 2009

Image
This evening our beloved golden retriever, Tara was put down.

Tara was a magnificent dog, so loving, so special, really one of a kind... and really a full blown "human" member of the family. Hell, she even got taken to the KFC or McDonalds drive-thru every year on her birthday for her own special birthday burger. The fact that she breezed past 14 (in human years), when the average life expectancy of a golden retriever is 10 or so is testament to her specialness.

I blogged a little while ago about her recent brush with death. At the time my grief was made worse by a deep sense of guilt. I hadn't stroked her; told her that I loved her before she was hauled off to the vet for an emergency blood transfusion. I hadn't even registered that she was sick the last time I saw her.

Strong physically and mentally, Tara fought off a horrible infection and pulled through the transfusion (a risky procedure for such an old dog). We knew she was on the road to recovery when the only t…

Blindness reviewed

Image
If you’re looking for a fun, light-hearted movie to fill a few hours then stay well away from Blindness, the latest drama from acclaimed filmmaker Fernando Meirelles. With Blindness Meirelles, who was responsible for the multi-award winning City of God and The Constant Gardener, has created a dark, frequently disturbing film about how fear and trauma can strip away man’s compassion towards his fellow man, and just how easily catastrophe can trigger a complete social breakdown. In an age of global terrorism and Swine Flu paranoia, Blindness is a highly relevant, and interesting, film.


Blindness, based on José Saramago’s novel of the same name, has a fascinating premise. When the inhabitants of an unnamed city are struck by the White Sickness, a mysterious, highly contagious blinding disease, the sufferers are rounded up and quarantined in a rundown institution. Among the first of the inmates are a sightless eye specialist (Mark Ruffalo), and his loving wife (Julianne Moore), who seems …

No update today

Sorry, no update today. I have a lot of things on my mind, a ridiculous deadline and I'm not coping very well at the moment.

Drag Me to Hell reviewed

Image
Drag Me to Hell marks writer-director Sam Raimi’s long awaited return to the horror genre. Raimi has worn the producer’s hat for such hits as The Grudge, Boogeyman, and 30 Days of Night but the last time he was behind the camera for a genre flick was 1992’s Army of Darkness, the concluding chapter of his career-launching Evil Dead trilogy.


The Evil Dead trilogy is, of course, an undisputed cult favourite, an offbeat horror series that wasn’t afraid to be wacky. It’s an acquired taste, and the same could be said for Drag Me to Hell. Raimi’s latest isn’t quite as off-the-wall as Evil Dead, but it also isn’t the dark, sombre experience so many cinema goers have come to expect of contemporary horror films.

Drag Me to Hell is a horror film with a sense of humour firmly intact. And for the most part, this well-made movie is a lot of fun. There are plenty of scare moments, and the audience has many opportunities to holler in disgust at the assorted body fluids that regularly ooze and spurt acr…

Girlz 'N' Games #46: Simthing to be grateful about

Image
There's not much to explain in terms of this new Girlz 'N' Games comic. As rare as black diamonds, there really do exist women out there who DO NOT like The Sims. I should know. I'm one of them.

I attempted to play The Sims 2 a few years' back, for about 3 hours. Once I achieved my goal of getting my Sim to whoohoo (have sex) - and that saw my character missing work, neglecting her personal hygiene and being burgled - I was done with the game. Bored. But I'm in the minority of course. I personally know women whose Sim families have been around so long they've reached their 16th generation...

I'm sure there are many men out there who wish their significant other was done with The Sims franchise. You see, many gamer guys see The Sims as the ideal gateway drug to introduce their lady friends to gaming. What they quickly learn though is that The Sims isn't a harmless joint. It's crack cocaine! And in sitting their partner down in front of that PC scre…

Weekend activities

Image
So what did I get up to this weekend? Nothing especially exciting.

On Friday evening we celebrated my grandmother's 79th birthday with cake, presents and a family dinner. Afterwards, in one of the most bizarre birthday activities ever (especially for an almost octogenarian), we all watched a terrible South African exploitation/porn film from the 1970s, called Glenda, or Snake Dancer. We stumbled across the film (based on a true story) on Magic World, an obscure DSTV channel that I didn't even know existed, and were utterly transfixed by its simultaneous awfulness, graphic-ness and sudden shift into a morality tale. You see, Glenda is a good Christian girl who turns her back on a teaching job to become an exotic dancer (using all kinds of weird and wonderful props), and gets pursued by the public decency police. If you can endure it the film is a fabulous snapshot of a very fucked up era in South African history.


On Saturday morning, I made sure to snatch up my personalised URL f…

Movies today, SA!

Image
Five new films hit South African cinemas today, offering a little something for everyone.

First up, and my personal pick of the week is horror film Drag Me To Hell, director Sam Raimi's long-awaited return to the horror genre. You see, although his Spider-Man trilogy has produced the biggest hits of his career, Raimi made a name for himself with the quirky Evil Dead movies (which admittedly have always left me stone cold).

Anyway, Drag Me to Hell stars one of my favourite young actresses, Alison Lohman as an ambitious young loan officer Christine who finds herself cursed by an old gypsy woman when her refusal to help costs the woman her home. As Christine's life becomes a living hell, she becomes willing to do anything to break the curse.

Drag Me To Hell is 93% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and is generally described as a lot of goofy, frightening fun. I suspect it may be something of an acquired taste but I'm still willing to give it a shot (on a half-price movie day).


Definitely…

Terminator Salvation reviewed

Image
Terminator Salvation is a disappointment, no doubt about it. Everything that gave the Terminator franchise its distinct flavour and interest has been clumsily excised and substituted with mediocrity and clichés. War of the Worlds, Mad Max, Cloverfield, and especially The Matrix Reloaded, are just some of the movies that director McG and his screenwriters (who wrote Terminator 3 and Catwoman incidentally), have liberally borrowed from to kick off this new science fiction trilogy.


For me the essence of a Terminator film is that it’s about a small band of people who come together, essentially as a family unit, to flee a relentless killer opponent. It’s the stuff of nightmares – an endless chase – but it’s nonetheless still exhilarating and good fun for the cinema audience. Even Terminator: Rise of the Machines understood the need to stick to these principles.

Terminator Salvation isn’t much of anything. Least of all, fun.

A large part of the problem is the film’s highly fragmented approach,…

Clash of the Titans: First official pics

Image
Juggling a work crisis this morning so no Terminator Salvation review today I'm afraid. Just a quick post on my second most highly anticipated film of 2010 (behind Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time), and that's the Clash of the Titans remake.

On Friday the first pics of Sam Worthington (my current favourite movie hottie) as Perseus made their online debut. As you can see he looks very, very intense, and in the first image he seems to have stumbled across Medusa's literally petrifying handiwork.



Tonally, director Louis (The Incredible Hulk) Leterrier's Clash of the Titans seems to be very different from the cheese-deluxe 1981 original - especially when you compare the first pics with images like these below, or stumble across online tributes like this one.



I've blogged before about the new Clash of the Titans here, here and, most recently, here. It's actually one of the few remakes I believe is a good idea, because:

A) The original (as much as I loved it when I …

Trailer Tuesday: The Road

Image
Watching the trailer I'm very keen for this one, but at the same time I'm trying my hardest not to spoil too much about the film for myself.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning 2006 novel by Cormac (No Country for Old Men) McCarthy, The Road focuses on a father (Viggo Mortensen) and son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) trying to survive in post-apocalypse America after a cataclysmic event destroys civilisation as we know it. What is left of humanity consists largely of roving bands of cannibals, and refugee-travelers scavenging for food.

So yes, basically The Road is as close to a realistic Fallout movie as we're going to get at the moment... and it seems to have the world flavour I was expecting of Terminator Salvation.


Anyway, if some of my favourite bloggers are to be believed, the film version of The Road, if it is anything like the book, should be incredibly gritty, disturbing and pretty bloody bleak. Not quite the explosive action adventure presented in the trailer. This said, I lo…

Weekend walkabout

Image
In terms of noteworthy activities for this weekend, I kicked off Friday evening by winning prize money and a restaurant voucher during one of our office club's Friday afternoon events. Clearly I have been working on a Baby Care account too long (3+ years now!) because I managed to correctly match 18 out of 24 baby photos to the staff members who submitted them.

Afterwards, I joined friends for dinner and Terminator Salvation. My full review will appear here this week but the short version is - don't waste your time on this turkey! It's riddled with cliches, missed opportunities and has a distinctly distasteful Matrix 2 vibe to it (And man, I hated The Matrix Reloaded). I'm done with the Terminator franchise. And I need to break my habit now of watching mediocre films just to see how bad they are.


On Saturday I did some baking (chocolate cupcakes with butter icing) and in the evening played our weekly Dungeons & Dragons game. Actually it ended up being a round-up sess…

Movies out today, SA

Image
There's only 3 new films releasing in South Africa today and 2 of these are "arty" flicks in limited release. The third, by contrast, is screening EVERYWHERE and really is the film everyone will be watching this weekend.

Terminator Salvation is the fourth film in the Terminator franchise, and is set to be the kickoff point for a whole new trilogy focusing on the epic battle between man and machine. The difference though is that unlike the first 3 films, Salvation is set post-Nuclear Apocalypse, and does not take place in our contemporary reality (which I personally always thought was a key factor in the sci-fi series' success). Plus this time, along with no Linda Hamilton and no James Cameron, there's not even Arnie. And no, a CGI-face does not count! The big star of the film is Christian Bale as humanity's disillusioned savior John Connor, and, erm, Charlie's Angels' McG is in the director's chair.

I'm going to watch Terminator Salvation tonig…

A little Star Wars to kick off the weekend

I loves me a good cinematic game trailer, and I honestly have to say this is one of the coolest I've seen in a very long time. It debuted at gaming convention E3 this week where BioWare's highly anticipated Star Wars MMORPGStar Wars: The Old Republic was being punted.



*Sigh*

It really makes me wish that this year's April Fool's Day joke - that 300 and Watchmen director Zack Synder is going to "reboot" the Star Wars franchise - was true. As this trailer proves, slo-mo works so well with Star Wars combat!

Girlz 'N' Games #45: What really happened that Night at the Museum

Image
First things first, I'm no swastika flag-waving skinhead... and I'm actually a big Amy Adams fan. So if this comic offends anyone (especially you Amy, I love you!), I apologise now. Sorry.

You see it's just that my sense of humour veers towards the dark and satirical, and I found that Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian gave me the opportunity to express my cynical, twisted view of things - particularly in regards to the sanitized and superficial family entertainment that Hollywood keeps dishing out.

You see, while watching Night at the Museum's trailer for the third or so time the thought came to me - Why does only the fun, cool stuff from history come alive in these movies? Humanity's past (and present) is full of pain, evil and horror.

Then I remembered that although it's not part of the Smithsonian Institution, the harrowing United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is also housed in Washington DC, right by the 10+ Smithsonian mall museums. And if Ben…

Another badass hero heading to cinema screens

Image
My apologies for today's delayed update. It's Murphy's Law that as soon as your resident office techie is away that the Internet connection collapses for long stretches. Plus, I haven't been feeling very creative and writer-ly this week so working up the inspiration to put fingers to keyboard and actually structure a blog post has been challenging. Anyway, on with the show...

If you don't have much of a familiarity with classic pulp fiction novelist Robert E. Howard, then you probably aren’t aware that brutish barbarian Conan wasn’t his only fictional creation. Solomon Kane was another of Howard's grim, battleworn heroes - a 16th Century Puritan who wanders the world with the sole goal of vanquishing evil, particularly in dark supernatural forms. Think demons, sorcerers, vampires...

Alas, I haven't read any of the Kane stories, but I have a friend who adores them, and I have to admit the series sounds fantastic - kind of what the Van Helsing movie should have…

Trailer Tuesday: The Twilight Saga - New Moon

Image
I'm not a Twilight junkie. I have Stephenie Meyer's first Twilight book on my bedside table but I've yet to force myself to open it. I haven't seen the first film either, despite a certain amount of morbid curiosity, and despite profiling it as part of this blog's Trailer Tuesday feature.

The thing is, if I thought the original trailer was mediocre and derivative, this brand new teaser for Twilight sequel New Moon is weirdly awful. The basic plot points are outlined: after a birthday party for Bella (Kristen Stewart) goes horribly wrong - she cuts herself and triggers a vampire's blood frenzy - her undead lover Edward (Robert Pattinson) decides to protect her once and for all by leaving. Depressed, alone and in danger, Bella seeks comfort with close friend Jacob Black, who just so happens to belong to a clan of werewolves. You know, as these things happen...

The only bright spot in the whole trailer is a hunky, shirtless Taylor Lautner (as Jacob Black) who is w…

Weekend report back

Image
Well, here we are again. It's the first of June. At the beginning of the year my plan was to be in the US right now, embarking on a grand adventure as I spent the North American Summer working as a counselor at a Summer Camp. It meant leaving everything and everyone that I love for 3 months. It meant uncertainty afterwards, as going meant I was forced to quit my job. But it meant something new and different and challenging. It meant an escape from the rush hour commute, as well as an escape from imprisonment in a silent, grey-walled office every day for 9 hours.

However, thanks to the Recession, the fact that I'm "too old" at 27, and that my skills are considered to be "too cultural," today I'm sitting in the grey-walled office, bracing myself for a full week of writing about tampons. I'm out of pocket by well over R800, non-refundable (never EVER use YDP - a bunch of fucking con artists) - and I've resigned myself to the fact that I'm missed…