Monday, 28 February 2011

The One With Cuckoo, Cuckoo...

For Your Consideration: Cuckoo
Out Today On Blu Ray, And DVD.

I left the "cuckoo" bit on the picture deliberately.
Read HERE, to find out why...

Sunday, 27 February 2011

The One With Dark Hour

For Your Consideration: Dark Hour
Read What I thought, HERE.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

The One Where I Get Into The KillZone3

I haven't written anything on here for ages.

It's links to all of my Live For Films stuff, or reviews by GC. Some videos of ET,that are for Mum and him more than anyone.

But something is urging me to write again.

Kill Zone 3.

I love(d) Black Ops more than anyone. Being pretty good at it helped, but I love(d) the game so much. I love(d) turning on my PS3 and seeing that my mates (read: Ledgers) were on it.

Now, with the new maps due on Wednesday/Thursday/Whenever/Meh, I'm not sure I am even going to get them.

The deal was, get the new maps, then trade it in in a month when I get my Bonus/3D TV.

Things changed.

I read reviews.

I played the demo.

So I got it yesterday, and more importantly, have this (below) on it's way. That means I'll be able to play the game via the gun, (the second controller is on the handle - see?)

That, plus the 3D TV, means Black Ops is destined to gather dust.

I won't trade it in yet, as I probably will get the maps, plus it's 3D enabled, so I'm intrigued to see if that extends its life.

Kill Zone 3, though?


It's an adult shooter. You can change the controls to "COD" controls, but it's far more complex than COD. At one point you may hold L2 to "cover", L1 to zoom, plus R2 to throw a grenade. It's almost combo like. And it makes Black Ops loos really arcadey, and child like by comparison.

The running mode too sticks it's middle finger up at Black Ops. It's immense. Immersive, as the screen judders. Need ammo/grenades? Then, in first person, you'll lean into the ammo case and refill. Leaving you open to a melee. And when I say melee I don't mean a desperate lunge ala Black Ops... I mean a slit throat. Maybe even a gouge of the eyes. This is pure Verhoevan, and it works brilliantly.

Climb a ladder? Again, expect judder. This is all about making you feel like you are the person controlling your character. It's really made me assess whether Black Ops ever gave you that, or COD in general. Need to give your team mate a boost up? Again, first person, including a swivel of the camera as you reach out your arm Cliffhanger style to pull them up.

Don't even get me started on the "slide". Running? Need cover? In the words of Tyler Durden... sliiiddddddeeeeee.

Multi player is immense too. Hard as nails. A ranking system with points/credits similar to COD.

Plus levels that look like they are straight out of Avatar or Private Ryan. It. Looks. Stunning.

And I haven't even mentioned the level that is played entirely on a slant as all of the buildings are crumbling away.

Or that a player on the other team could be posing as a member of your team, and you only know when it's too late... or piss your team off by shooting them. Just. In. Case. It creates a sense of drama, and paranoia. Adult stuff.

I may be in love a little bit.

The One Where ET Is A Caffeine Junkie Too

If ever there was a case of a 3 y/o picking up on what his Parents did, it's with our Coffee fixation.
Here, ET takes it upon himself to refill the swivel unit I got for Xmas.
The Green And Gold effect he goes for gets a thumbs up from me.

Friday, 25 February 2011

The One Where The App Store Is Sooooo Pretty

Aw, nuts.
I'm addicted to the App Store on the MacBook.
I'm buying stuff just because it looks special. And pretty.

And no, I haven't missed twitter. (8 Days/0 Tweets)

Thursday, 24 February 2011

The One Where Geordie Came "Home"

A car with no key? ...No... Key?? Fascinating!

This "watch" was actually a cool helicopter. 
We lost it an hour later. 

Damn Spidey...

Beginners luck! 
*looks at floor, looks at ceiling, looks at floor*

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

The One Where I'm Number Two

Hmmm. No balloons for me.
But seriously... where has the time gone?

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

'If things get real promise to take me somewhere else' by @diaryofaledger

Once in a while I stumble upon albums like this one.  Albums that mean so much to me, that nearly got missed altogether.  It's in my Top Ten... maybe.... 

Turin Brakes are two guys and two guitars.  Modern folk apparently, whatever that is.  What The Optimist LP is is something else entirely.  It's a collection of some of the most well spun songs I know.  The words are like honey, slowly dripping on a hot summers day.  The guitars are a joy.  As delicate, graceful and poignant as anything in my collection.

It's an album that doesn't connect to any relationship other than the one I have with myself which in itself is pretty unusual.  I think I probably got it around 2002 a few months after release and I can remember listening to it loads in the car.  Volume on 'excessive', as per usual, on hot summer days to and from work.

It begins with Feeling Oblivion, which opens with a few notes on a piano before the simple tune actually starts.      The words are all over the place, but sit with in the song perfectly.  That last chorus preceded by the haunting, 'So don't leave me here on my own.'

Underdog (Save Me) is about running away from everything.  It nearly inspired me to get off my arse and go see the world again.  There's a 'great little' guitar solo in it too.  

The album is full of 'great little' songs, all warm and lush but my favourite comes towards the end.  Mind Over Money has one of the best 'join in and burst your lungs' choruses I know.  It's sort of anthem like without actually being an anthem.
That's alright I warned myself,
Keep blood on the inside and nowhere else
An album for warm summer nights for sure.  Beach parties? Yes.  But there's so much depth there within the light.  There's a bleakness that sort of sat nicely with turning thirty soon after the turn of century (2003 fact fans), it is the sound of age catching up with me.  Over ten years later and I still love the album.  It can still make me smile and it still feels like a well kept secret.  Which sometimes still feels like it means something.

The vocals throughout take you away to somewhere else and although sometimes slightly awkward and not compromised to fit the tunes, the harmonies are quietly pretty as each song places you in a different part of your world.  I can imagine sitting and listening to it with someone pretty (maybe I have on occasion) but equally it works as dark room and headphones album.  Just be careful with the singing along when you try that... sorry neighbours, I really should have closed the window.

Do you not have The Optimist LP by Turin Brakes?  No?  Fool. 

The One Where It's All Smoke And Mirrors

For Your Consideration: Dym, a.k.a "Smoke"
Read What I Thought, HERE.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Sunday, 20 February 2011

The One Where You Dig Out Your Green And Red Glasses


New Black Ops maps March 3rd. Play for a month. 3D TV. Then trade Black Ops in for Kill Zone 3. Simples.

The One Where I Go Off The Grid

WTF is that? I'll tell you what it is. That is "Enemy Mine" about to disappear off the Live For Films' "Recent Features And Reviews" page.

I should be sad, but the next pic means I'm not.

That is all of my Reviews for LFF so far*. It's meant undoubtably my own Blog has slowed down, but I'm fine with that.

I remember the day that "Enemy Mine" review went up. I was out with my fellow Ledgers. If they had said then, 39 would follow, I would have roundhouse kicked them, Roadhouse style.

Amen to that.

* In fact, it's not even all of them. They wouldn't fit in one screen grab!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

The One Where I've Got Nothing Left To Lose

No. I have no idea if they knew if the recording was out of focus. 
Who cares. I'm well behind on My Top 100 songs of all time, and not only is this in there, but Maximo Park may have more songs than anyone in it, when I'm through.

Friday, 18 February 2011

The One Where Swimming/McDonalds/Football Are Usurped By... Diggers

Nice nose, Rudolf... tell everyone what you spent the morning doing...

Looking for those rats. "That Mike Cheese" loves those rats apparently. 
Not so... They scared the life out of us, actually.

He has a Berba aura about him on the pitch. Languid.

Freaking freezing. But no, you can't have my snood, Chief.

Coldest day of the year... And all he wants is an ice cream.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

The One Where A Monkey Is Mayor

For Your Consideration: The Diamonds Of Metro Valley
Is this the greatest movie of all time? 
Read HERE to find out.

Then, when you've done that, buy it HERE. It's the greatest tribute to John Carpenter a website could ever be.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The One Where I'm Almost Famous On Face Book

Remember this review, HERE
Just About Famous is a great documentary on look alikes. 
I really liked it. 
They have used me review on their FB fan page, which is kind of cool. 
Hit the link HERE to become a fan, and pray they make a feature out of it.
Their official site is HERE, for more information on screenings.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

'And altogether it went well' by @diaryofaledger

I was on the cusp of separation when Is This It by the Strokes came out in 2001 but I fell for it after.

It's still one of my favourite albums ever.  The perfect blend of laid back slackers, talent and hipster cool, an album was just too good to be ignored.  They didn't really live up to the hype post Is This It but the debut still lives up to all that attention that was thrown at it.

It screams of New York, of drugs chic and waif thin model girlfriends.  The cover deserves to be borderline iconic alone but it's what's contained within that made everyone swoon.  Every track is special.  No filler just great tunes.

There's a wonderful simplicity to the album, in the playing and production.  It all sounds like it was recorded in one hit which was exactly what The Strokes wanted, a back to basics approach that felt incredibly refreshing at the time.

Julian Casablanca's lyrics and voice are what all the songs hang off.  It's a voice that can hardly be described as glorious but it fits with the music wonderfully well.  The sound of a few too many cigarettes as he struggles to hit a high note and falls into a croak quite brilliantly captured.  The words within the songs paint a picture of living in New York on the cusp of breaking through, urban cool as relationships start and then fizzle out.
See, alone we stand, together we fall apart - Someday
Everyone fell for Last Night.  It's the one that rang out at Indie Disco across the land for about five years and probably still does (I got too old for that shit).  It's still a great tune though, but there's others on the album that are easily it's equal.  Hard to Explain, which follows it, it just, well, fuck awesome.  It even has that little moment of silent perfection.

It was the sound of New York just prior to September the 11th.  The sound of dirty bohemians making great music while they smoked weed and hung out with pretty girls.

One of those albums everyone should own.   

Monday, 14 February 2011

The One With CZJ

It's Valentines Day. I'll probably be made to watch a chick flick. At least if it's this one, I'll get to stare at CZJ... 

Read the review, HERE.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

The One Where ET Is The (Lion) King Of Foggy London Town

Good things come in small packages

Knackered. And not even there yet.

That Jon McGlashan always says stick to the left... no right... no left...

She's so into me

Robin... Dun, Dun.... The Hooded Man


He's anyones after Nuggets and Chippies


The One Where I Put It All In My Rear View Mirror

For Your Consideration: Bluey Of The Year?

Read The Review, HERE.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

The One Where Ethan Just Can't Wait To Be King

It takes something special for the Manc Derby to be number two on my list of things to do today.

Team Truscott are off to Foggy London Town, though...

Friday, 11 February 2011

The One With 4-3

I've actually got other things on my mind, but remember this?

Thursday, 10 February 2011

The One Where I'm Almost Famous

For Your Consideration: Just About Famous.
A 15 Minute Documentary About "Lookalikies".
See Review, HERE.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The One Where I Do The Rain Man, Whilst Watching Sanctum

I went to see Sanctum. It's about getting the bends whilst cave diving.

In 3D.

See what I thought HERE.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

'A Song for our Fathers' by @diaryofaledger

Sometimes music is just all about how it makes you feel.  Classical music lovers will get that.  Emotion and passion dripping from something that contains no words.  This album is like that but different.

I first heard Explosions in the Sky four years ago, recommended by a friend at work who'd stuck this album (How Strange, Innocence) on the department iPods and I was immediately hooked.   Their debut from 2000 is one of the most beautiful albums I own.  Electric guitar, bass and drums but no words.  At all.  It's an instrumental rock album that works on so many levels.

At times it's incredibly mournful, quiet and pretty.  At others it's uplifting and joyful.  And there's noise too.  Loads of it.

The four piece create something that you can live in over the seven tracks.  With headphones on, lights off, it's a magical listen.  Never pretentious, never forced, just slow and deliberate in its simplicity and all of its interwoven complexity.

The surprise for me was not missing lyrics at all in a rock album.  There are moments when the guitars do enough of the speaking for you.  Glittering Blackness, just past half way through, has some wonderfully timed moments as the song breaks from a wall of sound into a gentle refrain.  You get utterly lost in where the songs go as they spiral and spin into different directions, the band clearly embracing the lack of words as a chance to push off in other directions mid track without deviating from a songs purpose.

So how does it make me feel?  I discovered them at a rough time and there's some of that emotion residing in there when I listen to it now.  But that's the beauty of it, because you're not being forced to accept that the songs actually about anything they take on new meanings each time you listen.  And tonight as I type I guess what I get is hope.  And that's a good thing.

Explosions in the Sky aren't a one off, but their beautiful delivery make them a very special band and there are another four albums since this one to immerse yourself in.  Lovely.

Monday, 7 February 2011

The One With Hereafter

For Your Consideration: Hereafter. The most WTF film of 2011?

Read about it, HERE.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

The One With Super Bowl XXXXXX

So it's the biggest game of the year... Chelsea versus Liverpool, with Torres pittin-... eh?

It's Super Bowl Sunday?


That's kind of a big deal, isn't it?

Saturday, 5 February 2011

The One Where The Fighter Is A Contender

For Your Consideration: The Fighter. Film Of The Year?
Find out, HERE.

Friday, 4 February 2011

The One Where Daddy Day Care Goes To The Zoo, Zoo, Zoo, You Can Come Too, Too, Too

9:30. Bit early. Picnic in the car? Done.
Thanks for the snood, MC. Frickin' freezing out there.

Hippos. I'm a fan. Ethan thinks "they smell".

Two Owls in the background.
"Why don't they talk, Daddy?"
"Umm..." Nice one, Gruffalo.

Look at the size of his horn!
Yes, ET. That one is a buy.

Oblivious to my Son walking on a railway track... All I could see was that Monkeys ass.
Which was red.

And below, so begins the one long park sesh. Well, three parks to be exact. Worth the Annual pass, eh?

And below, two tiny vids. I ran out of memory to film the Giraffes. Oh well, I'd imagine we'll be going back next week!

The second vid is a disappointment. Yeah, I know he's adorable... but it looked a lot higher in real life.

The One Where The Director Calls "Cut!"

The morale of the story on this one is simple. You never know who is watching/reading.

Click on the picture, or HERE, to see my Blessed review. A low budget film about James Nesbitt grieving.

Whose comment is that at the bottom? Only the bloody Director!