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Showing posts from 2010

Happy New Year!

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Wishing all my blog readers a very Happy New Year. Here's hoping your celebrations are way better than Martha Plimpton's (to begin with anyway), and that you have a stellar start to 2011!

Mini movie review round-up

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While working on my personal Best & Worst Movies of 2010 list, I discovered there were several films released during the second half of the year that I watched but never actually got around to reviewing. So before 2010 wraps, here are my summarised thoughts on these movies.

Going the Distance - An appealing romantic comedy starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long as a couple trying to sustain a long distance relationship. There's enough raunchiness and frankness to make this one watchable for guys and girls alike, and although it never touches on the miscommunication that can result from tonally ambiguous online chat communications and text messages, most of the other long distance pitfalls are present. With a very funny supporting cast and a very topical, reality-based focus, Going the Distance is one of the best romcoms of the year. I'd happily add it to my DVD collection.


The Other Guys - The plot is absolute nonsense but The Other Guys is the most sublimely ridiculous, qu…

Happy holidays!

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Let me take this moment to wish my blog readers around the world a merry Christmas, a joyous festive season and a very happy New Year!

I'll be taking a break from (near daily) blogging over the coming fortnight although that doesn't mean there won't maybe be a few posts during that period if the mood strikes me.

I leave you in the meantime then with some very good advice these holidays: Mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it... but a kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it.


And, well, if you want to rewatch this fabulously suggestive moment for a PG-13 movie, click here for 40 seconds of high definition sauciness. How many tweens and teens of the early 1990s had their sexuality forever shaped by this scene?

Girlz 'N' Games comic #81: Christmas Gamer Greetings

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Merry Christmas to all the Girlz ‘N’ Games fans out there… who I expect largely fall into the geek and gamer categories mentioned in this special Christmas 2010 comic.

If you aren’t a gamer or pop culture geek then you may require a little explanation of the cake references in this strip. And you can find that right here. In short, it all relates back to marvellously fun (and funny) puzzle platformer game Portal, released by Valve originally in 2007.

For the record, for the past few years Girlz ‘N’ Games has always created at least one Christmas comic every festive season in celebration of the holidays. You can view previous years’ comics by clicking on the following links:

Christmas 2005
Christmas 2007
Christmas 2008 (1)
Christmas 2008 (2)
Christmas 2009 (1)
Christmas 2009 (2)
And that's it for 2010! Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May you have a fantastic start to 2011... and that's no lie.



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As usual, if you like my latest Girl…

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader film review

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the third entry in the fantasy film franchise, based on C.S. Lewis’s beloved series of children’s novels. Although arguably the weakest of the Narnia films, it still offers wholesome and sincere entertainment for the whole family. And this CGI-heavy tale is still far superior to other 2010 adventure-quest films, Clash of the Titans and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.


Without the epic battles of its series predecessors, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is an Odyssey-like naval adventure essentially broken into episodes. The two youngest Pevensie children, Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and Lucy (Georgie Henley) – along with their peevish cousin Eustace Scrubb (Will Poulter) – are whisked back to Narnia to help their old ally King Caspian (Ben Barnes) search for the Seven Lost Lords of Narnia. The Lords were trusted friends of Caspian’s father, and were banished once Caspian’s evil uncle took the throne. Caspian’s quest takes him, t…

Movies releasing today: Megamind with a Due Date

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There are 2 new movies out in South Africa this weekend. Actually they've been out since Wednesday in time for Thursday's public holiday, but it's worth profiling them now anyway as I'm sure many people will be hitting the cinema over the coming festive fortnight.

Megamind: I've already profiled this latest CGI-animated movie from DreamWorks. Featuring the voices of Will Ferrell, Tina Fey,Jonah Hill and Brad Pitt, this comedy is a superhero tale with a nifty role-reversal twist. Megamind (Ferrell) is the ultra-intelligent - and decidedly envious - arch-nemesis of beloved superhero Metro Man (Pitt). After being foiled time and time again by Metro Man, Megamind is surprised when one of his schemes actually works, and his opponent is no more. But what is a supervillain without a superhero?

Megamind is 71% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Apparently the film is pleasantly amusing if never hilarious. Meanwhile, the spot-on A-list voice cast and impressive action scenes make up f…

Girlz ‘N’ Games comic #80: The Girl Who Got Her Game On

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Girlz ‘N’ Games #80 is the second of this comic’s own little Millennium Trilogy – based on Stieg Larsson’s bestselling books, as well as their Swedish film adaptations.

This new strip follows on from The Girl Who Toyed With Lesbians, here, and basically gives Larsson’s work the video game treatment. Just what would a Girl with the Dragon Tattoo game be like… apart from motorcycle chase sequences and hacking mini-games? At the same time, I couldn’t resist highlighting the weird similarities between troubled series heroine Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace in the movies) and The Bride (Uma Thurman), from Tarantino's Kill Bill.

You’ll have to wait until early January for the concluding instalment in the Girlz ‘N’ Games Millennium Trilogy. Before that though there will be a special Christmas strip next week, just in time for the 25th. Enjoy!


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As usual, if you like my latest Girlz 'N' Games comic, please forward it on to your like-minded friends. You can also show y…

Trailer Tuesday: Cowboys & Aliens

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2011 is going to be a bumper year for alien invasion and extra-terrestrial action at the cinemas. To start with there's Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon, Battle: Los Angeles, Green Lantern, Paul AND, now, Cowboys & Aliens - based on the 2006 graphic novel created by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg and written by Fred Van Lente and Andrew Foley.


Cowboys & Aliens comes with some seriously big names in front of, and behind, the camera. The film is the latest from Iron Man director Jon Favreau, and it is executive produced by blockbuster king Steven (Close Encounters of the Third Kind) Spielberg, and produced by the Oscar-winning duo of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. Plus, the comic has been adapted for the screen by acclaimed Lost co-creator and writer Damon Lindelof.

The cast of Cowboy and Aliens includes Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, House's gorgeous Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Noah Ringer, Keith Carradine and Clancy Brown.


Cowboys & Aliens is an intriguing, if obviously fanboy-…

I am currently obsessed with this song...

In big screen comic adaptationScott Pilgrim vs. The World, The Clash At Demonhead are the big rock stars of this particular universe. So it makes sense for lead singer Envy Adams (played by actress-singer-songwriter Brie Larson) to let rip with one of the catchiest songs of the entire movie.

Larson performs the song Black Sheep in the film, although the original version of the track - by the Canadian indie-alternative band Metric - appears on the film's soundtrack. Either way, it's a frikken awesome song! Plus, and this is most unlike me, I LOVE Envy's shoes in the music video.

Oops, by the looks of things, the music video above cuts off before the end. You can watch the entire, unembeddable track here on YouTube.

Movies releasing in SA today: The Narnian Voyage of the Paranormal Girl who Kicks Hornet Nests

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It's another glorious weekend at the movies in terms of being spoiled for choice. There are 3 notable new releases opening today and I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to watch them all in the coming days and weeks.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - Screening in conventional format and 3D is this third adaptation of C.S. Lewis's Narnia Chronicles, following The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian.

This time only Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and Lucy Pevensie (Georgie Henley) find themselves drawn back to Narnia, with their obnoxious cousin Eustace (Will Poulter) in tow. The children are reunited with King Caspian (Ben Barnes) on a naval adventure in unexplored waters to find the exiled friends of Caspian's father, the Seven Lost Lords of Narnia.

There's also some "save the world" nonsense the filmmakers have bolted onto Lewis's non-formulaic plot, but I'm choosing to ignore that... much like the distinctly under…

Unstoppable film review

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Unstoppable is the latest (and fifth) action movie teaming of director Tony Scott and leading man Denzel Washington, after Crimson Tide, Man on Fire, Déjà Vu and that other recent train movie, The Taking of Pelham 123. Unstoppable is a solid genre entry, offering an entertaining, engaging and occasionally very exciting two hours. However, it probably won’t meet everyone’s expectations. If you enter the cinema expecting rip-roaring ridiculousness like Speed – with big explosions and trains, not buses, ramping gaps on the track – you will be disappointed. Loosely based on real-life events, Unstoppable keeps things surprisingly subdued and true to reality.


Unstoppable is set in Pennsylvania and centres on a massive, chemical laden freight train that through a combination of human error and bad luck is set to full throttle, and begins barrelling towards the well populated town of Stanton. While the authorities debate how to stop the train, engineer Frank Barnes (Washington) and conductor W…

Pretty pictures, potent storytelling: good graphic novel reads

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One of the best things about a regular income again is the ability to indulge those (unnecessary) appetites you’ve been suppressing for financial reasons. So over the past month or so I’ve been devouring graphic novels, comic book miniseries and trade paperback collections. These are some of my recent reads, as well as my recommendations:

The Walking Dead – The couch potatoes and pop culture geeks of the world are currently going apeshit over Frank Darabont’s Walking Dead TV show, a stunningly cinematic and sincere adaptation of the monthly black-and-white survival-horror comic series by writer Robert Kirkman. So far I’ve just read the first volume of The Walking Dead, entitled Days Gone Bye, which is drawn in an appealing, clean, almost cartoonish style by Tony Moore.


Eisner Award-winning The Walking Dead chronicles the adventures of Sheriff Rick Grimes, who wakes from a coma to find the world devastated by a zombie apocalypse. Only small pockets of human survivors remain. Now of cou…

Movie review Monday Part 2: RED

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There’s been a spate of spy comedies lately (Killers, Knight & Day, and, now, RED) in which a decidedly ordinary “civilian,” leading a very mundane life, finds themselves partnered with a deadly, and not unsexy, assassin who sweeps them off on an action-packed adventure.


RED may fit this mold but it’s also one of the best entries in this particular niche genre. RED’s humour may seem forced at times but the film – loosely based on Warren Ellis’s comic mini-series of the same name – is redeemed by its outstanding action scenes, unusually highbrow casting and a simple but intriguing plot that hasn’t been overworked to make the film seem more complicated than it really is.

RED centres on retired, very bored CIA operative Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) whose sole pleasure in life is destroying his pension cheques so he can phone and flirt with Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker) a government admin clerk. When Frank is targeted for assassination by his old agency he goes on the run, taking Sarah …

Movie review Monday Part 1: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

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Calling all geeks and gamer types! Your big movie of 2010 is finally here.


It has taken almost 5 months for quirky comic adaptation Scott Pilgrim vs. the World to reach South African cinemas. In fact we’ve been waiting so long that the film is already out on DVD and Blu-ray in North America.

Anyway, I can state confidently upfront that Scott Pilgrim will not be a movie for everyone. It’s a true cinematic oddity – an indie hipster romantic comedy tossed into a blender with a Capcom fighting game, an old school Sega platformer, a touch of Tony Hawk Pro Skater and the essence of Cartoon Network’s most offbeat, adult-accommodating shows. However, despite, or, more likely, because of its weirdness, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World is definitely a movie that will leave you with a big grin on your face… particularly if you’re of a generation that grew up lounging in front of 8-bit video game consoles, or whiled away hours in a dingy arcade, your pockets heavy with coins or tokens.


Sticking closely i…

Movies releasing in South Africa today: Scott Pilgrim is no Spud!

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Four high profile new movies open in South Africa today. Before I get to my top 2 picks for the weekend, we might as well have a quick look at the other new releases.

Faster – Wrestler turned movie star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is back in badass Walking Tall action territory after a good few years of saccharine family comedies. In Faster, Johnson is a former bank robber out for revenge after the death of his brother, and a 10 year stint in prison. Billy Bob Thornton is the veteran cop on his trail. 43% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.


The American – A leisurely espionage thriller starring George Clooney as an assassin, and arms maker, who decides to lie low in a picturesque Italian village. The loner killer makes friends and may even have found love – but ultimately he just can’t escape his bloody past. After the coma-inducing trailer, I have no interest in seeing The American. 65% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.


Pick of the Week #1: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – From director Edgar Wright, the mast…