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Monday, June 24th, 2013
12:00 am - World War Z
So, after years of production hell, the long-awaited "adaptation" of Max Brooks' history of the Zombie Wars has made it to the screen. Was it worth the wait?

Spoilers lurk beneath the braaaaaainssssss...Collapse )

As a zombie movie, it fails to engender a sufficient sense of the urgency of survival present in even the recent remake of Dawn of the Dead. As a disaster movie, it falls prey to the usual disaster movie problems of people (especiall military and governments) acting stupidly or illogically. As an epidemic movie, its denoument doesn't quite come from out of nowhere, but may as well have. As a war movie, its main battle scenes are too few and far between, and lacking in And as a movie, it was jittery, scenes just did not really run together. Unsurprising, given the development hell it went through. The acting throughout is decent without being either awful or amazing; the script ropey in places, engaging in others. The employment of first Michael Carnahan, then Damon Lindelof and then Drew Goddard to get the script finished, shows in the inconsistency of dialogue, pacing, unnecessary repetition and characterisation between scenes, and seems to indicate that the producers had no real idea where they were going or how they were going to end the movie when they started, which is never a good position to be in.

In 2007, J Michael Straczynski wrote the first draft of a WWZ screenplay which was reportedly similar to a cross between The Bourne Identity and All The President's Men, which Ain't It Cool News called "[not] just a good adaptation of a difficult book [but] a genre-defining piece of work that could well see us all arguing about whether or not a zombie movie qualifies as 'Best Picture' material".
I want to see that movie.

So, not terrible, but not very good either. Generally, a wasted opportunity to make the biggest, baddest zombie movie of them all.
5/10

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Monday, May 20th, 2013
1:02 am - Eurovision 2013
I dunno, without a proper Song for Europe-style competition to choose the nation's entrants for Eurovision, it seems a bit harder to get behind the UK's efforts these days. At least back in the day, even if the Great British Public voted for crap, at least it was something that they voted for. Unlike the past few years where we've just been told "Right, it's [insert singer here] singing [insert song here]". And okay, last year we had Englebert and this year we've got Bonnie, so you can't say we're not trying for quality (oi, stop laughing at the back there!), but it hardly scores high in the generating excitement stakes, does it?

Anyway, to Sweden! I purposefully kept away from all of this year's entries so that I wouldn't form any prior judgements on them (the only thing I heard from this year's competition at all was Elitsa and Stoyan's entry for Bulgaria, which was good, but not a patch on "Water", their 2007 effort, and didn't make it to the grand final), so here are my thoughts on each of the night's 26 songs.

1) France. Amandine Bourgeois, "L'enfer et Moi".
Graham says there's a bit of the Courtney Love going on here. I can see that. Sounds like a cross between Anastasia and Skin from Skunk Anansie. A decent song, superbly performed, but as Graham says it will likely get forgotten in the voting. They really needed a stage invasion like Spain had a couple of years ago.
8/10

2) Lithuania. Andrius Pojavis, "Something".
A definite Barney Sumner guitar riff running through this one. Love the lyrics, though. "Because of my shoes I'm wearing today, one is called love, the other is pain". So goff! Overall, harmless fluff.
6/10

3) Moldova. Aliona Moon, "O Mie".
Paging Aliona: A Flock of Seagulls would like their hairstyle back. Looks and sounds like she's auditioning for a singing role in "Fifth Element: The Musical". Powerful stuff, but is it actually any good? Sort-of.
7/10

4) Finland. Krista Siegfrids, "Marry me".
Wonderful intro from Graham, "if two girls kissing offends you then you need to grow up." The song itself is shameless bouncepop, catchy in an instantly forgettable way, and puts the cause of female emancipation back at least 30 years. Apparently, the kiss between the singer and one of the backing singers has caused such controversy that Turkey are not showing this particular performance. Graham has this one right.
6/10

5) Spain. ESDM, "Contigo Hasta El Final (With You Until The End)".
Hmm. Bagpipes. Played as if they're Uilleans. Different. Hmm, canary yellow. Sounds like they got the Lovely Corrs in to do this one. Not bad, in the same way a dull grey day in May is "nod bad" if it's dry.
6/10

6) Belgium. Roberto Bellarosa, "Love Kills".
I can already guarantee it's not going to be a patch on Freddie Mercury's song of the same name. Paging Roberto: Chris De Burgh would like his eyebrows back. This wouldn't sound out of place coming from any series of the X Factor, and it almost wouldn't matter whether it was being performed by a male or female, solo or group. Blandly catchy, but ultimately unmarinated musical tofu.
5/10

7) Estonia. Birgit, "Ey Uus Saaks Alguse".
A shameless piano-led power ballad from the Celine Dion school of power ballads. Decent, excellently performed but, ultimately, hugely forgettable.
6/10

8) Belarus. Alyona Lanskaya, "Solayoh".
Definitely going for the summer hit market with a mix of eastern European and Mediterranean beats. Sounds like a combination of Spice Up Your Life and Las Ketchup. Would have been a huge hit in 2003.
5/10

9) Malta. Gianluca, "Tomorrow".
A Maltese Mumford & Sons, all brushed drums, Ukelele and acoustic fretless bass. Sweet, simple and utterly unlike anything that would be in with any chance of winning Eurovision, which is a shame.
7/10

10) Russia. Dina Garipova, "What If?"
A perfectly competent power ballad. Unfortunately, my ears hear the song, my brain however translates this into "My Heart Will Go On". Ooooh, utterly gratuitous key change. Astonishingly ubiquitous and forgettable.
5/10

11) Germany. Cascada, "Glorious"
Yes, that Cascada. Bouncy Europop that wouldn't have sounded out of place in an Ibiza club 10 years ago. Not bad.
7/10

12) Armenia. Dorians, "Lonely Planet".
Written by Tommy Iommi, apparently. Not one of his masterpieces. My brain is translating this one into "Winds of Change". Another one guilty of a gratuitous key change. Not bad, but definitely not a classic.
6/10

13) The Netherlands. Anouk, "Birds".
Graham said this was very Lana Del Ray. While I can hear that, she sounds a bit more like a more world-weary Judy Collins to these ears. A big change from what has gone before, a big change in pace and style. Good song, well performed.
8/10

14) Romania. Cezar, "It's My Life".
I can pretty much guarantee it's not going to be anything like the Dr Alban classic. Astonishing coat. A powerful start, good vocals, and... wtf? *blink* No, seriously, wtf?
Romania?
What are you doing?
Romania?
STAHP!
.
.
.
In all fairness, I don't think I'm qualified to give this a mark. 0_o

15) UK. Bonnie Tyler, "Believe In Me".
The UK has been holding out for a Eurovision hero since 1997, when an American won it for us. We've tried crap, crapper and campest, none of which won, so now we try British Rock Royalty. Sadly, they didn't give her a song worthy of her talents. She gives it some wellie, though.
6/10 for effort.

16) Sweden. Robin Stjernberg, "You".
First appearances would seem to suggest that they have successfully cloned Morton Harket. Again, Sweden have produced another successful distillation of everything that is modern pop. Decent enough, but what is with the clone dancers? Very odd ending, seems to end mid-way through the final chorus.
6/10

17) Hungary. Bye Alex, "Kedvesem".
He's a Hungarian Hipster. You've probably never heard of him. And will probably never hear of him again. Harmless fluff.
6/10

18) Denmark. Emmelie de Forest, "Only Teardrops".
The drummers are very reminiscent of "Running Up That Hill", and are a memorable visual clue for voters. The tin whistle running through the song is an audio clue for voters. The song is just catchy enough, the singer is just pretty enough, for people to remember it long enough to vote for it. Not tremendously good, but I can see why it won.
7/10

19) Iceland. Eythor Ingi, "Eg á lif".
Starts off slow and quiet, and takes far too long to build up to the hand-waving, lighter-in-the-air anthem that it should have been from the get-go. And yet another song guilty of the gratuitous key change. Wasted opportunity for something epic.
6/10, but could easily have been 8.

20) Azerbaijan. Farid Mammadov, "Hold Me".
They have a dancer in a clear perspex box who looks like a cross between Joey from Friends and Captain Jack Harkness. And they missed an opportunity with the rose petals, they should have been gold and silver tokens. And what, exactly, is the girl in the red there for? Utterly, utterly forgettable.
5/10

21) Greece. Koza Mostra & Karl Agathon Iakovidis, "Alcohol is Free".
Finally, an absolutely mad bounce-around Eurovision song in the great old tradition. There's a definite Gogol Bordello feel going through this one. Fantastic. Not the best song of the night, but certainly the most fun and the most memorable.
7/10

22) Ukraine. Zlata Ognevich, "Gravity".
One word: Hodor. Seriously, Hodor. Because the alternative is that it's the Mountain that Rides, which would make her Cersei. What about the song? Yet another one that would not sound out of place in a Celine Dion concert, which tells you everything you need to know.
6/10.

23) Italy. Marco Mengoni, "L'Essenziale".
A bloke in a suit on a stage singing a song. A bloke that looks like a cross between a very young Peter Andre and a very young Swiss Toni. Somehow, this has already been a major hit. Comes across more like a 3rd-place X-Factor performance than a Eurovision winner. Perfectly forgettable.
6/10

24) Norway. Margaret Berger, "I Feed You My Love".
Impressive industrial-lite symphonic rock. Best song of the night, without a doubt. Also, Margaret is utterly stunning.
9/10

25) Georgia. Nodi Tatishvili & Sophie Gelovani, "Waterfall".
Yet another standard and forgettable power ballad, with yet another gratuitous key change half-way through.
6/10

26) Ireland. Ryan Dolan, "Only Love Survives".
Backed by drumming dancers that look like they've escaped from some bizzare Cuchullain-inspired gay club, this is a perfectly competent piece of disco-friendly dance power-pop, let down only by some bog-standard backing singing.
7/10


An odd little mini-doc about Bonnie Tyler, and we're into the mid-show break. When Finland hosted in 2007, they had Apocalyptica and all sorts of epic weird wonderfulness. What delights have Sweden got lined up for us?

Ah.

OK.

Right.

That was ... truly, stunningly awful. A dire cabaret song&dance act that really wouldn't have been out of place in an episode of 3-2-1. Though it does get plus points for the gay marriage thing (seems to be a theme running through tonight's programme). And for a mention of the Swedish Chef. Bork bork!

Overall, the voting was about what we've come to expect. I thought Ireland would have got more than that (still, at least it wasn't nul points) and it was surprising to see Malta as high as it got. In the end, though, I think Denmark won not necessarily because it was the greatest and best song of the night (it wasn't, imnsho) but for all the reasons already listed: everything about it was just memorable enough to stick in viewers' minds.

So, Eurovision 2013 will, I think, probably end up forgotten as one of the most bland and musically insipid Eurovisions ever, eclipsing even some of the monstrosities from the '70s. Historically, Eurovision stands out because of songs/performances that are one (or more) of three things: absolutely superb, absolutely insane, or absolutely terrible. There were no absolutely terrible songs or performances, only a couple that could generously be called superb, and only one that quite nearly qualifies as insane. Overall, this will probably only be remembered (if at all) for two same-sex kisses.

And far too many gratuitous key-changes.

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Friday, May 10th, 2013
4:16 am - Hi! My name is, my name is, my name is...
Star Trek: Into Darkness

Before I review this movie, I want all hard-core Trekkers out there to follow the calming exercises to be found on this video. They will help you to approach this in a calm, relaxed and rational manner that even Sarek would approve of. And if that doesn't help, you can always enjoy this montage of scenes of Commander William T Riker sitting down.

Firstly, the non-spoilery stuff. This is a follow on from 2009's Star Trek, the JJ Abram's reboot of the franchise, and as such features the now familiar Abram's lens-flares in droves. It is fun, exciting, fast-paced, and much more reminiscent of Trek than the effort from 4 years ago. Also, I can guarantee you 100% that the rumours as to which character main villain Benedict Cumberbatch would be playing are absolutely not true.

Now, the spoilery bits. As ever, they inhabit a world beneath the cut...Collapse )

It's not classic Trek, it's not Next Generation, DS9, Voyager, or Enterprise, or any of the other expressions of Trek on the screen, big or small. For better or for worse, Abrams' Trek has carved out its own niche in the wider Trek universe, as well as successfully appealing to those who could be politely described as "not traditional Trek fans", and it would not be surprising if this became the most successful movie in the entire Trek franchise, which would be no bad thing. There will, of course, be hard-core Trekkers who will need the relaxation tape above, but likewise there will be hardcore Trekkers who will like what Abrams has done with this movie, the homages to iconic scenes and dialogue that are perfectly suited to the plot, and a sort of background feeling that, after the arguably necessary kick up the proverbial that the franchise needed in 2009, they are slowly getting round to at least recognising the spirit of adventure and exploration that the Original series exemplified, of Rodenberry's vision that humanity is capable of better.

But at the end of the day, before you set course for the second star to the left and straight on 'til morning, the only thing you need to know is that this is a cracker of a movie. And I really, really, should get round to getting a Trek icon one of these days.
9/10

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Thursday, April 25th, 2013
12:45 am - Olympus Has Fallen (2013)
Following an unscheduled day off work and the resulting ennui, I decided to pop down to the cinema to have a gander at the latest no-brainer action flick from Replacement Killers director Antoine Fuqua. I expected something along the lines of Die Hard, and it delivered. As ever, spoilers lurk...

Yippie kai-yay...Collapse )

The epic battle scene is the high-point of the movie. Other than that, it is fairly standard action fare. Your brain will rarely (if ever) get out of neutral, but it's enjoyable in its mindlessness, and at least it doesn't take itself too seriously, a few scenes of Touching PatriotismTM aside.
6/10.

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Monday, November 15th, 2010
8:23 pm - Harrier -v- Tornado
Cut for those who don't want to read an indictment of hte Government's proposed defence cutsCollapse )

current mood: aggravated

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Friday, September 3rd, 2010
7:26 pm - I'm not where you thought I was...
So, that's the first move more or less over apart from a handful of wee things. Thanks to
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So, that's the first move more or less over apart from a handful of wee things. Thanks to <lj-user="h0pal0ng"> for all the help, I would never have got it done without you! :)

Hopefully I'll hear back from co-ownership in the next week or so and I can get on with applying for (and hopefully getting accepted for) the mortgage, then it's sign <i>here, here, here</i> and <i>here</i>, thumb-print <i>here</i>, soul in perpetuity <i>here</i>, twenty years' slavery of any future male offspring <i>here</i>, and I'll be a home-owner.

When I'll have to do the whole move all over again.

Joy.

Anyone in NI have any experience with removals firms? Any you would recommend for cheapness, reliability etc? Coz frankly, I don't think I could cope with shifting eleventy billion boxes again! :)


current mood: exhausted

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Monday, August 23rd, 2010
7:19 pm - Walk tall, baby, or don't walk at all
Sometimes, the USA really, really depresses me. The sheer stupidity, the obstinate, blinkered ass-hattedness of the Republican Right (that woman could have been vice president, Gods help us all!) and the Tea Party, the xenophobia and hatred of Islam and Muslims and all things not Christian, even if it's all painted over with a whitewash of "Patriotism". Quite how it could be patriotic to be doing the Terrorists' work for them is quite beyond me. Bin Laden et al must be looking at the anti-"Mosque" protests and laughing their asses off.

Then I find some voices of sanity and reason, and then media player on random gives me this, and suddenly the depression is gone, replaced by the hope (whether misplaced or not) that, sooner or later, the bigots will be exposed for what they are and the ordinary people will turn their backs on the messages of hate disguised as patriotism or "the American Way".

current mood: quixotic

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5:02 pm
Two things.

1) I has a house to move to temporarily while the finances for the main house are up in the air. It's in Lisburn , so that'll probably slightly curtail my socialising with Belfast peeps for a bit, but it's in a nice enough area, not too far from the town city centre, within walking distance to mum and an uncle's house, so it's all good. :)

2) I don't often say this, but I wish I'd been in Cardiff of the weekend...

current mood: accomplished

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Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
2:18 pm - "There is no 9-11 mosque"
Thank you, Keith Olbermann, for providing a voice of sanity in the morass of information, misinformation, mistakes and outright lies.

Hang onto him, USA, this guy is one of your national treasures.

current mood: impressed

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Tuesday, August 10th, 2010
4:31 pm - It's the Stupid, economy...
I read this post from miss_s_b about the relative scale of benefit fraud and tax fraud in the UK, and following on from this one from andrewducker in which the very sensible point is made that most people probably get lost when you start talking about amounts measured in tens of millions, let alone billions of pounds, I thought I would provide a handy visual representation which not only reflects the relative scale of the problem, but also possibly gives people a slight clue as to why the Government (regardless of political alignment) puts so much more effort into addressing benefit fraud when the vast, vast majority of fraud is tax evasion and avoidance.

Benefit FraudCollapse )


Tax EvasionCollapse )


Simples.

current mood: cynical

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Monday, August 9th, 2010
4:04 pm - You weren't there, you didn't see, you won't understand...
Wasn't too bad a weekend, that. Still wasn't 100% over the lurgy, but it didn't stop me doing stuff, which is a plus.

I've started a piece of necessary deforestation.Collapse )

And a little bit of DIY.Collapse )

I've also been morphing into a Domestic God.Collapse ) One way or another I'm gonna find ya...Collapse )

I have also finally been dragged kicking and screaming in to the 21st Century.Collapse )

I also had dancings and dancingsCollapse ). Following that was a close encounter with an alien life formCollapse ). This has, though, given me the poxCollapse ).

Upon escaping the house, our small group of intrepid adventurers braved a local eating establishment, whereupon I discovered that the goggles indeed do nothingCollapse )

current mood: busy

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Friday, August 6th, 2010
9:15 pm - Channelling Dubya
David Cameron in embarrassing Iran Nuke gaffe.

Or was he? A Downing Street spokesperson explained that the Prime Minister did not make another embarrassing gaffe, stating: "David Cameron spoke about Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon. David Cameron was always speaking about Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon. If you heard otherwise, you're obviously not trying hard enough to hear what David Cameron wants you to hear. Try harder. Failure to try harder is treason. There are five lights..."

current mood: frustrated

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10:58 am
65 years ago today, a man in a plane pressed a button. A minute later, a city and 80,000 people ceased to exist. Three days later, another man in another plane pressed another button, and another city and another 70,000 people ceased to exist.
Debate still continues to this day over the rightness or wrongness of these actions, but today just pause to remember 150,000 lives snuffed out in less time than it has taken you to read this entry, watch this video clip and give thanks to whatever God/s you pray to that the Cold War never got hot.

current mood: thoughtful

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Thursday, August 5th, 2010
11:30 am - If we were in Inception...
Friend 1: I would be the point-man with the big gun
Friend 2: I would be the Architect, and there would be lots of candy
Me: No, I would be the architect, and the candy would still be there, but it would be covered in melting mountainsides. Made of broken furniture. And flamingoes.
Friends 1 and 2: *heads asplode fron the Dali*

current mood: surreal

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Wednesday, July 28th, 2010
5:46 pm
Have I mentioned how much I love Felicia Day?



current mood: impressed

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Wednesday, July 21st, 2010
5:27 pm - Inception (2010, Dir: Christopher Nolan)
What’s the most invasive parasite? An idea.Collapse )

9/10. Superb.

current mood: impressed

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Friday, July 16th, 2010
11:08 am - Health & Fitness stuffs
Being a Treatise on the Benefits of BicyclingCollapse )

current mood: mmm, tea...

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Monday, July 12th, 2010
2:32 am
Aaah, the wonderful 12th of July, where the Loyalist part of the population celebrates the victory of a Vatican-funded Expeditionary Force over a breakaway faction who were challenging the Vatican's power base and threatening a repeat of the Protestant reformation of the 16th century, thereby securing the Roman Catholic Church's power base in Europe for the next 200-odd years.

When you add to this the March celebration by the Nationalist part of the population of some English bloke (who may actually have been Welsh, there seems to be some contention about that) who came over here 1400 years ago and told us all what to do, is it any wonder Northern Ireland is as fucked up as it is? Both sides have Multiple Personality Disorder!

current mood: confused

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Friday, July 9th, 2010
1:06 pm - Wow!
To whichever lovely anonymous person got me this, thankyouthankyouthankyou!!! :)

current mood: happy

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12:34 pm
Typical. I just agree one property, when this comes on the market! Bah!

current mood: amused

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Tuesday, July 6th, 2010
6:02 pm
About a month ago, I was in the process of buying a house in Dunmurry. I'd looked at the house, put an offer on (for £1,500 above the asking price), gone through Co-Ownership to get funding, then applied for a mortgage, and then, on the very same day that I got confirmation that the Mortgage had been approved, this happened.

Which led to this call for advice.

Well, I'm quite glad to report that things seem to have sorted themselves out rather nicely, and unexpectedly so as I have just agreed on a house, which is not one of the ones in the June 21st post. Nearer to Belfast (as in within the Belfast rather than Lisburn council area), not insignificantly larger (3-bed rather than 2-bed, downstairs WC to go alongside the upstairs shower room and separate toilet, and a pretty decent back garden), and, or so it would seem, with fewer things to fix than the other house had. Still need to confirm that Co-Ownership and the Mortage lot are happy with the change, but it's a bigger & better house, so hopefully they'll be fairly quick in getting back to me and confirming (I use "quick" as a relative term, because obviously this is propery sales I'm talking about here, and it has been known for major periods of glaciation to come and go faster than elements of the housing market).

Either way, fairly soon I should be holding the keys to my very own house. Which is both wonderfully exciting and incredibly terrifying at the same time. It's a bit like a roller-coaster, I suppose.

Speaking of which, I really do have to get over to Alton Towers or Thorpe Park again soonly. Maybe next time I'm in Englandshire, whenever that is...

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Friday, July 2nd, 2010
2:02 pm - Writer's Block: The tenth time's the charm

What movie have you seen the most times in your life? How many times have you seen it? Will you ever grow tired of it?

View 1882 Answers



This will come as absolutely no surprise to anyone who knows me even slightly.

DUNE (1984, Dir. David Lynch)

What can I say, I absolutely adore this movie. Yes, it has its gaping flaws, some of the casting decisions are questionable to say the least (Sting? What were they thinking?), it ignores many of the subtleties of the novel to concentrate on the grandiose (not that you could tell this from the advertising at the time, which boasted of "the largest sets ever built for a movie", which may or may not be true), and some of the special effects, even for the mid-80s, were a bit ropey. But despite all this, it is truly an epic movie of the sort Hollywood doesn't make any more. It's eminently quotable, massively cheesy, takes itself waaaaaaaaaaay to srsly, yet endearingly so, it's got Sean Young, Kyle "Michael Schumacher wishes his chin was as square as mine" McLachlan, and Brad Dourif, and it has Patrick Stewart shouting "Atomics!"

What's not to like? :)




Oh, and because I forgot to mention above...
[EDIT] I'm not sure exactly how many times I've seen this movie, but last time I checked I was pretty sure it was around 90. This was in about 2003, so I'm pretty sure it's waaaay past the 100-mark by now.

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Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
5:47 pm - World Cup Report
The Irish tell the world: Karma worksCollapse )

current mood: cynical

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Monday, June 21st, 2010
5:59 pm
Not quite a call for knowledge, more a general fish around for - well, not advice as such, more people's impressions. After being dropped at the last minute by the seller of the house I *was* going to buy, I have been looking all round for somewhere to move into, and have narrowed down the search options for one of four. All are in the same area, a suburban village that is slowly being subsumed by South Belfast. It's 10 minutes by train from the city centre (more by bus, possibly much more depending on the traffic). I've cycled it in to work from there in under 25 minutes, so it's within reasonable travel time when I don't want to use public transport. All are nice enough in their own way, but I'm having trouble choosing which one to go for, and fear that if I wait too long all four might go. That's where you, dear LJ-verse, come into it.

These are the properties, in descending order of handiness to local amenities (train, bus, Tesco, off-license etc):

1) 2-bed house, handy to everything, but in need of some modernisationCollapse )

2) 3-bed house, fairly handy, but needs workCollapse )

3) 2-bed apartment, nice, but a bit out of the way and priceyCollapse )

4) 2-bed house, very nice, but a bit on the small sideCollapse )

Taking all of this into account, do I go for the cheaper, handier options which require some work done to them, or one of the not-quite-as-handy but only needing a lick of paint options?

Poll #1581556 First steps on the property market
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 17

Which house do I go for?

View Answers
1 - handy, but no heating?
0 (0.0%)
2 - handy, big, but needs work?
11 (64.7%)
3 - not quite as handy, but pretty and in good nick?
3 (17.6%)
4 - not as handy, and small, but very nice?
0 (0.0%)

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Saturday, June 12th, 2010
1:45 pm
I would appear to be 40. When did that happen? Last time I checked I was still 33...

current mood: silly

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Thursday, June 3rd, 2010
9:08 am - Shameless sponging ahoy
I reckon anyone still stuck on what to get me for my upcoming statistically significant birthday could do an awful lot worse than one of these.
;)

current mood: hot

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Thursday, May 27th, 2010
5:22 pm - A Communist Chocolate Hellhole!!!
This has to be a strong runner for greatest news story of the year. Man claims he's from the future, tries to disrupt LHC by sabotaging supplies of Mountain Dew. I don't know about you, but I suspect a successful sabotaging of the Mountain Dew supplies might very well have forced the closedown of the entire operation.

Select quotes:
- Police said Mr Cole... was wearing a bow tie and rather too much tweed for his age
It's The Doctor.

- "The discovery of the Higgs boson led to limitless power, the elimination of poverty and Kit-Kats for everyone. It is a communist chocolate hellhole and I'm here to stop it ever happening."
It really is The Doctor.

- Mr Cole was taken to a secure mental health facility in Geneva but later disappeared from his cell
Definitely The Doctor.

It does though beg the question, just what exactly constitutes "rather too much tweed"?

current mood: amused

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Tuesday, May 18th, 2010
5:53 pm - Ian Curtis
15 July 1956 - 18 May 1980




Procession moves on, the shouting is over,
Praise to the glory of loved ones now gone.
Talking aloud as they sit round their tables,
Scattering flowers washed down by the rain.
Stood by the gate at the foot of the garden,
Watching them pass like clouds in the sky,
Try to cry out in the heat of the moment,
Possessed by a fury that burns from inside.

Cry like a child, though these years make me older,
With children my time is so wastefully spent,
A burden to keep, though their inner communion,
Accept like a curse an unlucky deal.
Played by the gate at the foot of the garden,
My view stretches out from the fence to the wall,
No words could explain, no actions determine,
Just watching the trees and the leaves as they fall.


current mood: nostalgic

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Friday, May 14th, 2010
3:28 pm - Humans
What a bizarre, truly frustrating species you are.

current mood: thoughtful

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Thursday, May 13th, 2010
2:07 pm - So, this Lib Dem/Tory Coalition malarkey, then?
Maybe a bit behind the times with this, but just wanted to get my own thoughts down onto my LJ about The Deal. The Lib Dems have had their say here, and the Blogosphere has been going into orbit with discussion, counter-discussion, propaganda, conjecture and spin. So, I'm going to have a little look at the meat & bones of the policies as reported in the Garaundi's Blog, and give my own thoughts on them (under cuts, of course, coz I'm nice that way).

Economic measures for an agreement which has deficit reduction ‘at its heart' Collapse )


Lib-Dem pledges that have been droppedCollapse )

Lib-Dem Priorities that have been securedCollapse )

Tory Priorities that have been securedCollapse )

Areas that were already in agreement will see a major programme of civil libertiesCollapse )

Other areas of broad general agreementCollapse )




All in all, this is a hell of a lot more than I’d thought realistically achievable. I’d expected to see at least two more Lib Dem pledges in the “dropped” category (or at best adopted with heavy Tory updating), and at least two more Tory policies forced through unopposed. The above list alone, when I read it, had me nearly gaping in slack-jawed astonishment, before I remembered that it is only a promisary written in whispers, not set in stone. But add to this the fact that Lib Dems now hold 20 ministerial posts (twice what I’d expected) and five posts in the Cabinet (one more than I’d even hoped for!), then it becomes obvious that Nick Clegg has been taking haggling lessons from Omid Djalili. :)

It’s a huge list of concessions and compromises; it shows that the coalition deal has been carefully and constructively thought through, and (perhaps most unexpectedly of all) has shown that UK politicians are capable of sitting down around the table and getting things done. All of which is the honey that takes away most (though not all) of the foul, bitter taste of once again having a Conservative Prime Minister.

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Friday, May 7th, 2010
5:06 pm - The Election thingy
So, the Conservatives as the largest party, with the likelihood of the Lib-Dems forming a coalition government with them.

Admittedly, it's not as bad as a clear Tory majority would have been.
It's (probably) not even as bad as a clear Labour majority would have been, as at least the Lib Dems will have a much stronger voice in forming Government policy than their 57 seats would suggest.

But still. British Voting Public, wtf? There is not enough facepalm in the world.


Not even hereCollapse )

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Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
6:29 pm - The Election
This is my one and only post pre-election, so for those of you not interested in such matters, here's an LJ cut.Collapse )

More important by far than voting for whatever candidate you do finally opt for is simply that you exercise your democratic right, a right people have given and continue to give their lives for, and vote. If you don't, you absolutely deserve whatever government you end up with.

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Thursday, April 15th, 2010
6:01 pm - RIP Pete
Pete Steele. Dead at 48, heart attack. :(

Guess there's only one song for it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTNzVC1jDek
RIP, dude.

current mood: shocked

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Sunday, April 11th, 2010
5:30 am - DW 5.02
A more coherent review of the episode might find its way onto the intarwebs in the near future, but for now may I simply voice the desire that perhaps now we can have an end to the "Stephen Moffatt can't possibly ever write clever, intelligent, beautiful female characters" nonsense, kplzthx?

current mood: naively hopeful

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Friday, April 9th, 2010
1:54 am - Not another one! :(
And now it's goodbye Malcolm McLaren.
What the hell? 0_0

current mood: shocked

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Thursday, April 8th, 2010
6:18 am
April Movies 2: Clash of the Titans (2010)

Where to begin with this one? Well... (beware, there will be spoilers...)

I don't want to compare this to the 1981 original...Collapse )

Overall, a titanic (groan) disappointment.
3/10

current mood: disappointed

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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010
3:10 am - There will be spoilers...
April Movies 1: How To Train Your Dragon

Another extremely engaging and witty piece of animation from Dreamworks.
He's no Vermithrax Pejorative, but...Collapse )

One I'll definitely be going to see again.
9/10

current mood: geeky

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Monday, April 5th, 2010
2:20 am - And with a click of a mouse, Project Mayhem begins...
I have just gone and booked the first part of my no-longer-a-thirty-something birthday celebrations. This. I am somewhat excited at the prospect, and can think of few better ways of seeing in the last week of my being thirty-something than seeing the inimitable Mr Foxx in concert.

In lieu of this, I have unfortunately had to once more succumb to the lure of Cultchy-air, but as the return journey (inclusive of booking fees, administrative charges, toilet breaks, use of the boarding ladder, in-flight oxygen, gravity and more than 1.74*10-7m of legroom) was less than the one-way cost of any other airline I could find, it was rather difficult to argue with. Flying in on Saturday lunchtime, staying in Camden, flying back Monday at stupido'clock am, which does mean that Sunday is free for traditional Sunday-type activities. The lure of a Sunday afternoon pint somewhere within sight of Camden Lock is strong. :)

current mood: excited

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Monday, March 29th, 2010
4:56 pm
All you need to know about Wrestlemania XXVICollapse )




Captain Lucy: watching stuff so you don't have to.

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Friday, March 26th, 2010
11:18 pm - With zero power comes zero responsibility
How good is Kick Ass? Let me count the ways.

Um, all of them? Seriously, this is probably the best movie of the year so far imho. Clever, witty, laugh-out-loud funny, outrageous, violent, controversial, colourful, chock full of fantastic action sequences - it's like someone took one shot of your average Vigilante movie, mixed it with equal measures of sub-Godfather Mafia and 1960s Batman, added a dash of Clerks, and topped up with Hard Boiled. It is absolutely fantastic - I'm still giggling, nearly 3 hours after getting out of the cinema! :)

Kick Ass - it does exactly what it says on the tin. :D
10/10

current mood: amused

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Thursday, March 25th, 2010
5:24 pm - Stephen Fry at the IQ^2 debate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NL5WVecNdhk

Proving again why this man is a national treasure.

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Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010
10:34 am
Congratulations to Bernard and the lads for getting the British Rocket Group up and running at last. Only 60 years late, that's almost a record for governmental red tape and bureaucracy! :D

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Monday, March 22nd, 2010
5:08 pm - Ring the bell
Harry Carpenter has failed the final 10-count.

Know wot I mean? :(

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Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
4:36 pm - The Digital Economy Bill
I was going to write something here about this particular legislative train-wreck, but thanks to miss_s_b I don't have to, as she's said it all much more eloquently than I could.

Wot she said...Collapse )

current mood: I am Jack's lack of surprise

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Monday, March 15th, 2010
1:23 pm - Mission accepted
RIP, Agent Phelps.
This message will self-destruct in 6 seconds.

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Friday, March 12th, 2010
6:06 pm - Ahem...
Judge rules that needlessly repetitive tautology is needless and repetitive.

Next up: a report on the result of the All-Party Inquiry into the Defecatory Habits of Ursine Life-forms in Regions of High Lignin Concentration.

current mood: o rly?

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Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
6:26 pm
Firstly, I lost my phone a couple of weeks ago. I have a new, shinier one, and have managed to get my old number transferred across to the new SIM, but I've lost most people's phone numbers. If you have me in your phone, could you text me and let me know who you are? Pretty-please? With strawberry sugar on top? :D




Now, I have been somewhat remiss on LJ recently, and seeing as how I have promised various people that I would link to various things for their delectation, I shall start to make amends for this now.


First up: Kick-Ass. This has been advertised as "your next favourite movie", and if it lives up to even a quarter what the trailers are promising, it'll be awesome!
The official trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krOzVRj9z88
Big Daddy Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LUfFTvrWB4
Hit Girl Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zLsdBEsr90


Next up: The Agonist.
Imagine Cradle of Filth, but fronted by someone who isn't Danny Filth - not only that, but who is actually a rather hot Canadanian lady, who can growl with the best of them, and can actually sing. That's this lot.
"Thank You Pain": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jud_SnKTlY
"And Their Eulogies Sang Me To Sleep": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXzIeI0mkFI


Politics. With the death of Michael Foot last week came memories of the "longest suicide note in history", the Labour Party 1983 Election Manifesto. But was it actually as bad as it's made out to be in the history books? You decide.


And now, a word from our sponsors.
Best advert of the last n years? Simple - this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owGykVbfgUE


Any budding horror writers out there? If you fancy trying your hand at it and possibly getting published in Black Static, why not give the Campaign for Real Fear a look-see. (Forwarded from splinister


And now, Sport.
The results of the Muppet Metal Challenge Cup quarter-final 1st round.
Cookie Monster -vs- Rammstein. Winner: Rammstein (2-2 score draw, Rammstein go through on the away-goal rule)
Doctor Teeth and the Electric Mayhem Band -vs- Metallica. Winner: Doctor Teeth (3-1)
Sesame Street -vs- Slayer. Winner: Sesame Street (2-0)
The Swedish Chef -vs- Korpiklaani. Winner: Beer


And finally: The Muppet Wicker Man. The awesomeness of merging two such awesome things together surely speaks for itself.

current mood: distinctly odd

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3:45 pm
Cory Haim dead at 38.

RIP dude.

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Monday, February 8th, 2010
1:57 am - Asploding of the Squee
Nabbed from Q...
Spoilery news of spoileriness about the 2011 season of Doctor Who.
If you don't want to be spoiled, don't even hover over the link, coz that sort-of gives it away.
Suffice to say, there is much squeeing going on. :D

OMFG!!!!!!

current mood: made of squee

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1:51 am - Nabbed from the f'list...
Might be interesting, this. :)



current mood: amused

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