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Category Archives: Movies

Hawaiian Rollercoaster

I like Disney movies, I think its fair to say. As I grew up I loved the characters, the colours, the music and the adventures that typified the output from the House of Mouse. At some point between then and now my tastes became a little more sophisticated and I lost touch with those movies and the stories they told.

To be fair, they are children’s tales, made predominantly for them and those that usher them into cinemas, or buy DVD discs for them to watch at home. As I’ve got older, I’ve recently found myself gravitating back towards the family friendly films from Disney. Maybe because I don’t always want to be presented with some dark, impenetrable art-house flick, maybe because life is tiring and I just want to be sure of a singsong and a happy ending.

Lilo and Stitch is one of my favourite movies, as well as coincidentally being a Disney movie. It has lots of the anarchic slapstick humour that I used to love in Tom and Jerry cartoons. It also tells a really good story about how it can take a while to figure out where you fit into the world around you. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve watched and re-watched it, and to be honest, I don’t think I was ever keeping score.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2015 in Inspiration, Movies

 

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Still Forceful

I’m looking forward to the new Star Wars movies. Unlike some folks, I don’t feel that there was anything tragic about the three prequels that were released. I’ve sat through far worse movies and even if you don’t like the stories, you can’t beat the fabulous soundtracks!

Whether the new films and their spin offs will appease dyed in the wool fans of the original series, only time will tell. A new cast and new writers should ensure that, at the very least, the next few years will provide us with some exciting, sci-fi blockbusters. Oh, and lots and lots of promotional merchandise.

I remember when Return of the Jedi was released at the cinema. It was a long time before I saw it on the big screen, but I avidly collected a book full of stickers until I had my own account of the movie. It was the first sticker album I completed – even though I didn’t immediately realise they were self adhesive stickers, so I glued the first half of the album into the pages. Still, you live and learn…

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2015 in Books, Movies, Sci Fi

 

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I’ve Got The Power

Apart from an early morning shower, the weather improved greatly today. Even the clouds were kind enough to part and let some shafts of sunlight through. As such, we decided to go on an excursion and visit the nearby hydroelectric power station. Yes, that’s right. The power station. A flyer in the carriage said that going to the visitor’s centre would be like stepping into a James Bond film set, so how could we miss out?

The Falls of Cruachan sound like a lost Sherlock Holmes novel, but in fact it’s the next station down from Loch Awe and only ten minutes away by rail. The power station is then a short walk away and uses water from the loch to generate electricity during times of peak demand. A hollowed out mountain houses the pumps and pipes with a huge dammed reservoir on top.

Being driven the best part of a mile underground to get to the visitor’s centre was very exciting. Seeing the massive turbines being operated by boiler suited men in hard hats did give the place 007-villain vibes. After the tour, there was just enough time left for a raid of the gift shop before the return train was due. It may not be a typical tourist spot, perhaps, but it’s definitely one worth stopping off at.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2013 in Books, Clothes, Holidays, Movies, Shopping, Technology, Travel

 

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Say My Name, Say My Name

As the BBC drip feed their audience with further information about upcoming episodes of Dr Who, they’ve been using these rather cool movie posters. It’s very simple but it does give the series more of an epic feel. Even if recent stories have been a little short on ‘big reveals’ they do help to build up the anticipation during the gaps leading up to each Saturday night’s tea time viewing.

It seems as though we’re going to be given The Doctor’s real name this year, but I must admit to feeling a bit underwhelmed by that. He might have a made up alien name like Kal-El, which could just sound silly (notice that even Superman never uses his real name much). He might have a very normal sounding name, maybe he’s been calling himself John Smith all these years because it’s true.

Then again, it could all be leading to a swerve. Just as ‘The Wedding of River Song’ and ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ didn’t really deliver what their titles suggested. I think this would leave viewers feeling cheated, so I’m guessing that the writers have something particular clever up their sleeves. Once it’s been revealed, there must be some terrible consequences for our time traveller, or why else would he have kept it to himself – and maybe River – all these years?

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2013 in Movies, Sci Fi, TV

 

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Twice In A Lifetime

With the coming of Springtime, there follows longer days, bird song in the air and Wrestlemania live on PPV! My inner grapple fan has never grown up and gone away but every Wrestlemania I sit up and pay particular attention. This year there is a sense of deja vu as our main event is exactly the same as last year – John Cena vs. The Rock, but now the WWE title is on the line.

I was surprised that The Rock went over last year – in fact I was amazed, logic says that the guy who is hanging around should get the push. However, pro wrestling doesn’t always follow the rules of logic. So Cena took the fall and The Rock went back to making movies.

Fast forward to now and The Rock broke CM Punk’s 434 day reign (impressive) to win the gold, but will he be hanging around after Wrestlemania? I don’t think so, but I was wrong last time… Since these two have already squared off once already this match up has lost some of its novelty. Even with the belt thrown in to up the stakes, these two need to do something special to make Wrestlemania feel, well… special.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2013 in Movies, Sport, WWE

 

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Ghost In The Machine

Rather unhelpfully my laptop was playing up at the weekend, though luckily it wasn’t anything that needed more than a graphics card driver update. Relatively simply games with only 2D graphics were running in slow motion, which was frustrating. My PC is no gaming powerhouse but it has always been adequate for my needs.

One of the games that I’ve now been able to go back to is ‘Analogue : A Hate Story.’ By no means a new release, it’s one of those games I downloaded in a Steam sale and hadn’t got round to spending much time with. Harking back to old ZX Spectrum/BBC Micro adventure games, the interface is largely text based with some pointing and clicking. Your character is investigating the circumstances surrounding the fate of an abandoned spaceship. You use the restricted interface to gradually piece together the events that led up to the ship being in the state you find it. The only ‘person’ onboard is the ship’s AI (artificial intelligence) who takes the form of a young girl.

I’m about halfway through the game and things have just taken a very interesting twist. When you only have one person to speak to, you take their opinions as fact – after all, there is nothing to compare them with that could contradict their statements. As I have been digging through the archives and logs on this ghost ship, I’ve now found a second witness to what took place and what happened to the passengers.

This new character has a very different take on the people and events described in the letters and documents I’ve been reading up until now. Having this second opinion has made me question and challenge what I had previously assumed to be true. Soon I will have to make a decision as to who I will side with.

Overal, the game may be low on action but it slowly drip-feeds you a fascinating story. The limitations of the user interface really helps with the pacing here. In addition, the ambient electronic soundtrack also gives it a great atmosphere, as you float through space onboard an empty ship. There are shades of ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’ in this game and I might have just spent the last few hours talking to HAL’s daughter.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2013 in Books, Gaming, Movies, Sci Fi

 

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Forceful

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If the gossip in the recent geek media is to be believed, the new owners of the Star Wars franchise are planning a series of spin off films, each focusing on individual character from the saga. I don’t see this as being a bad thing, though some fans are worried that this could dilute the impact of Episodes VII – IX if quality control is thrown out of the airlock hatch.

A movie set around the goings on in and around Jabba’s palace could be good. Maybe something following young Han Solo as he rises through the ranks of the Empire until he has his Copernican revelation and hooks up with the Wookie. As longs as the movies with Roman numerals in the titles are as good as they can be, then I’m fine with as many side-stories as Disney want to knock out.

I still wonder who will be placed as the lead villain in these forthcoming episodes. Maul is dead, Tyranus is dead, Sidious is dead and Vader saw the light. The only other Sith that we’ve had named on screen within a canonical film is Plagueis. Y’know, the one who was studying how to survive death and to use The Force to become immortal… I know Sidious said he had killed Plagueis, but we thought Obi Wan was gone at first and he became more powerful than we could possibly imagine.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2013 in Movies, Sci Fi

 

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