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Showing posts from May, 2010

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time review.

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When I first heard that the Prince of Persia franchise was being adapted for the big screen, I have to say I was curious. I fondly remembered the old pixelated 1989 classic that had filled many hours and led to some quite frustrated outbursts. So I was naturally interested in seeing whether the movie would tap into this nostalgia. Well the short answer is no.

Of course being a modern film - with backing from Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer no less – it’s a big swashbuckling adventure piece, much in the same vein as Pirate of the Caribbean or Aladdin. You get the same big action scenes and some flashy camera work, but less in the way of interesting plot.

The story follows Destan (Jake Gyllenhaal), an orphan who was adopted by the King of Persia after showing courage in capital city’s market place. Years later Destan, who is now a Prince, leads an attack to a city that is believed to be producing weapons. However, evil is afoot as the King is murdered and Destan is blamed. As a result …

Why I'm not excited about Sex and the City 2

There is an uneasy feeling in the air. Something awful this way comes. The first signs of the coming apocalypse are drawing near. I am of course talking about the nearing release of every-man’s nightmare: Sex and the City 2. Or as I like to think of it: Carrie and her squawking bum-chums Strike Back.

That’s right! The most apocalyptic movie event of the year is soon to touch down at a ground zero near you, and, as you can imagine, I will be hiding away in my concrete bunker until the storm has passed. Now having never seen either film I could be accused of judging the franchise too harshly, so let me just clear the air here.

Firstly, I thought the series was watchable at times. Hell, I even found myself laughing at some of the jokes. The movies on the other hand look like pure torture for heterosexuals possessing a Y chromosome, and maybe the odd homosexual female. I’ve even heard fans of the series telling me the film is rubbish, so there is no good reason for me to see it. Secondl…

Heroes, and Flash Forward: A Eulogy

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It’s been a real hack and slash kind-of week for the American networks, with NBC and ABC respectively canning a big name series each, those being: Heroes and Flash Forward.

This is sad for differing reasons. Heroes was a show which showed such potential in its early days, being well written, well cast and engaging, but never lived up to its initial success in latter years and ended up driving frustrated fans away (myself included) with its grandiose plots which went nowhere, and for falling for the age old sci-fi habit of introducing way too many new super-powered characters no-one cared about. Now the old dog that was Heroes has been led out into the yard, by its master NBC, and been given a bullet in the back of the head, to put the once great superhero drama out of its misery (and so we never have to put up with Peter Petrelli's gurning look of surprise, or whiny super-cheerleader Claire, again). A cruel, but kind, punishment indeed, but the old boy was just too much to keep.

F…

Please Sralan? Can we have some more?

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The first thing I thought when I saw this was, why? Why, why, why? Is this the next stage for reality TV: giving us sociopathic and insufferable teenagers instead of giving us insufferable or sociopathic adults?

I know modern childhood comes under a lot of scrutiny these days. If we believed what we saw on the news or TV alone, we’d honestly believe every child was an overweight; ASBO holding; sweary; under-age-sexed; stabber-hoodie. Let’s face it, childhood innocence has been worn away by scare stories, so with that in mind, I assumed something like the Junior Apprentice would be the final nail in the coffin.

Similarly to the adult equivalent the 16-17 year old contestants are set business style tasks – albeit horribly unrealistic, given the lack of time and resources available to them – by Lord high grand poobah (formerly Sralan) Sugar. Although this time, instead of winning a chance to have a job with the jowly scowler himself, the kiddlies can win £25,000, but unfortunately the c…

Iron Man 2: A review

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High expectations rested on the shoulders of Jon Favereau and his team for this second outing in the Iron Man franchise. The first Iron Man movie was a box office and critical smash; anticipation for a second film was sky high. So it is good to see that Iron Man 2 does not suffer from disappointing second sequel syndrome.

Most pleasing is the fact the familiar faces of Robert Downey Jr, Paul Bettany (voicing JARVIS, the computer) and Gwyneth Paltrow, are joined by several new ones, including: Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle (replacing the unavailable Terrence Howard in the role of Lt Col James Rhodes), and Scarlett Johansson. So there is very much the feeling that the gangs all (or at least mostly) here, and a few extra friends have been brought along for good measure.

The film picks up almost exactly where the first left off, with Tony Stark (Downey Jr) announcing to the world that he is Iron Man, and since then has, in his own words: "privatized world peace." How…

How hot are the Tories and Labour for a piece of Lib Dem action

Since the uncertain outcome of the election last Thursday, we are faced with the befuddlement of the power makers thrashing out a deal to decide just who is in charge of us for the next five years or less.

To be honest there's been a lot of posturing and indecisiveness, where for once, Nick Clegg the Lib Dem leader, is quite crucial to the next government. Some have even gone so far as to call him the 'kingmaker' of this hung parliament. However, I have likened the whole charade to dating. What we now are seeing is basically a play for Lib Dem's affections, with the two other parties making grand gestures to see off the other.

First of all we have seen the frumpy librarian of the Lib Dem, remove her hair pins, glasses to reveal she is actually quite attractive, and none more-so than to the horny lads: Labour and Tory, who decide to vye for her attention.

At first it seemed she was drawn to Tory and his foppish charms and wealth, including many estates and famous fri…

A Well Hung Parliament, innit.

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So after all the wild promises coming out the mouths of the candidates these last 4 weeks, we finally have come to the decision time, or should I say indecision time.
The only thing that is clear about the election results is that the people of the UK - as a whole - really didn't know which party they wanted to win the most, according to the first past the post rules of parliamentary politics at least. So we are faced for the first time since 1974 with a hung parliament where no party has a clear majority. If the winning party was decided by the majority of seats alone then the Conservative party would be the clear winners of the day, but as things stand (thankfully, being a left wing voter who really doesn't care much for the Conservatives) no one has really won anything.  In the meantime we were left with the party leaders trying to cling onto the political hot potato, then flinging it into the air with scalded hands, whilst another eager leader tries to catch it with his red…

Japin' Round the World: Epilogue (Is that reality calling? Tell him I'm busy)

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So did all that just happen? That's a question I've been considering this past week, as I slowly readapt to life in the UK. Because not a lot seems to have changed in my hometown (except for maybe one or two shops and bars morphing into new identities), it's very easy to wonder if the last three months were a kind of freaky dream. Jet lag of course doesn't help the matter.

It was a nice dream that would be the overarching feel of it. As with any dream it was a bit odd at times (like seeing a dog wearing glasses and a Boston Red Sox jersey, but then that's just Japan for you I feel); there were moments of panic and worry occasionally, but then to wake up back where I started again is naturally an anti-climax. My home is very nice to be fair, we get a relative balance on weather; there is no threat of earthquakes, tidal waves and tornados etc. Well, aside from the odd Icelandic Volcanic fuck up, but that's just Iceland causing trouble for Europe again, the scamp…