Monday, June 29, 2009

More Movies I've watched of late

1. Jackie Brown (1995)
I saw this ages ago and got so bored I turned off the telly. Now, having seen it with fresh eyes (right to the very end) I actually think it is one of Tarantino's finest. Very little by way of gore and gut-wrenching scenes it instead focuses on character. Pam Grier is excellent as the titular Brown, while the other supporting cast members add depth and intrigue to the fairly simple story of a lady striving to get out of trouble. It took me over ten years to get round to seeing it properly, but now I'm glad I did. (9/10)

2. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Another vintage piece of celluloid, I got the DVD for my birthday in February and eventually saw it the other night. I'm not a big fan of westerns, but this one drew me in by the simple trick of making the lead characters extremely likeable. The dialogue between them is what makes this movie great - the lines are priceless, full of wit and humor. (9/10)

3. Slumdog Millionaire (2009)
One drawback of a film's publicity is that it makes you form an opinion of the film before you've actually watched it, and usually the reality is different from what you expect to see. Hence, Slumdog was darker than I thought it would be - not to say that Indian slums are supposed to be a happy subject, but I got the impression that it would be more upbeat in tone. Being a Boyle film, I should have known different! An excellent cast, with a fresh style and moving story makes it worth receiving its Oscars.

4. Deliverance (1972)
A disturbing 70's thriller, Deliverance helped to demonise 'rednecks' and associate the deep south with inbred loonies possessing a penchant for non-consensual sodomy (as if intolerance and racism wasn't enough). It's interesting to see Ned Betty and Burt Reynolds playing serious roles since I'd only seen them as comical characters in more recent films (in Superman and Cannonball Run, respectively). Reynolds in particular is striking as the hard-man Lewis who takes three geeky types on a canoeing trip that turns out to be deadly. Sadly, it loses pace halfway through and seems to conclude with an unsatisfactory end. But who am I to criticize the great John Boorman?? (7/10)

5. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)
An interesting take on the horror of the Holocaust, seen through the eyes of a German and Jewish boy who forge a friendship 'over the fence' of a concentration camp. Both child actors shine, playing it very 'real' while Thewlis and others do a measured but poignant job of conveying everyday life for a Nazi family caught up in Hitler's final solution. The end took me by surprise, and was done with powerful effect. (7.5/10)

Films I hope to be reviewing soon: Bullitt, Terminator Salvation, Valkyrie, Bridge over the River Kwai ... er that's it for now!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Finger of God

For our church Cell Meeting the other day we watched a film called 'Finger of God'. I saw it on YouTube and was blown away so just had to share it with those in our group. The Lord has been challenging us a lot lately about how we can do great things in His name and so this film was very timely for us all.

Like the maker of the movie, I thought miracles were only for stories in the Bible or maybe for remote parts of Africa. The reality is, miracles are happening the world over and God is using normal, everyday people to bring His kingdom to earth. We just don't hear about it in the normal media channels because, well, they don't think it's worth reporting on...

What is amazing is that, whilst we were watching the film, one of the group started to feel unwell ... so we stopped the DVD and prayed for her (we had to really, seeing as we were witnessing healings on screen right in front of us!) .... and, guess what? - she felt better again!


Check out the trailer:

Friday, June 19, 2009

Clint Eastwood pops in to say hello

Yesterday, Clint Eastwood came to see us. He was promoting the DVD release of his film Gran Torino. If you don't believe me, I have pictorial evidence:

How cool is that?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My little bro'

My little bro' has just started a creative blog!

Take a peek into his weird and twisted mind here.

(he's not so little anymore...he's like 21 or something)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Been a bit slack lately

I know I haven't posted much lately ... my only excuse is the insane busyness of my life at present. If it ever slows down I just might write about it.

In the meantime, here's a cool video from the upcoming Beatles Rockband game. It made me feel a wee bit emotional....

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Well, after all the hype and anticipation I came away from yesterday's latest announcements feeling pretty underwhelmed (as usual).

Nothing surprised or intrigued me, it just felt like business as usual at the Home of Mac. A product everyone expected was launched, a bit of a bump up for laptops came along and there was some talk about OS X. 


The iPhone was a real disappointment for me. Why? Well, mainly because it was the iPhone that should have launched two years ago. Finally, the 3GS does video, MMS support, cut & paste and all that stuff which is fairly essential to a high-performance, luxury product. What it doesn't have is a decent camera (c'mon, THREE megapixels??? My crappy SonyEricsson which I got last year has two and it's worth about ten quid) and reasonable price structure. I'm still waiting to see what O2 announce for the UK, but looking at the AT&T model it's probably going to still be too pricey for an average joe like me. Perhaps that's to be expected from a company like Apple, but not if you look at the iPod. iPods are damn good value and much better than anything else out there (IMHO).

So once again, I choose to walk away and not get involved. I will not be buying an iPhone.

Not yet, anyway.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My Apple WWDC predictions

First off, I should point out that I am one of the least qualified / experienced people to have any reasonable chances of success when it comes to predicting what new baby Apple is about to bring to the world. I do enjoy the anticipation of an Apple event, however, and it's fun to guess what one of the world's most secretive computer companies will release next.

Having read all the relevant websites, I've made a conservative guess at what we will see when the World Wide Developer's Conference launches in San Francisco on Monday:

- New iPhone (with all the features it should have when they launched three years ago - like video, cut & paste, landscape keyboard...). It will come in a wide range of sizes (memory-wise) and with a new price structure, meaning ordinary people like myself will finally be able to afford one.
- OS X Snow Leopard announcement.
- Stuff about the iPhone OS version 3.0.
- Stuff about the iPhone App store.
- Bragging about how brilliant Apple is and how they've got so much money they don't know what to do with it.

Er....that's about it.

I really don't think there will be anything more than that (no new iMacs or Mac Pros or anything like that. It will be very much all about the iPhone, I reckon).

As for my ultra-UN-conservative estimate, this is what could happen in an alternate reality:

- Mac OS will be killed of with a deal struck between Apple and Microsoft. Apple will soon be running a Mac version of Windows ME.
- The slim aluminium iMac will be completely redesigned to incorporate a cathode ray tube. It will be 25 inches deep and weigh 78 Kg
- The iPhone will no longer use wireless radio signals. Instead, it will come with a new adapter which you can plug it into any landline socket to make calls 
- Apple will launch a new iFruit store. At the click of a button, you can order any kind of fruit you want. This will be followed later in the year by a range of stores for different grocery items including iVeg, iBread, iDairy, iCrispysnacks and iBooze

Finally, in the next few years, Steve Jobs will form new alliances with Microsoft, Google, Sony and Miss Millie's Chicken. This super-corporation will enable Steve to run for World President and eventually enslave the rest of humanity. Earth will be renamed iPlanet.

I'm probably wrong, but you never know...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009