Tuesday, 30 December 2008

2008 no more…

So its that time of year again. The wrapping paper has been destroyed, no more turkey left to eat, and only the dregs of the chocolate tin remain (usually the strawberry creams or hard toffees). The year has finally come to a close.

With the usual identity crisis I engage in during this time, I wish to share with you my reflections on the year past. Brother Chris has already done all this, and possibly to a far better degree, however, its always good to get a few opinions. People will want to know how it went down after all.

2008 - An adventure in words!

It’s been a mixed year. On the one hand, there’s been quite a few things that were great, exciting and cool. On the other, there’s been a lot of waiting around for these cool things where I just had to get on with work. Bah!

So to list all the cool things. Way back in February I was chosen as a finalist in the E4 Estings competition and was due to attend the awards ceremony. This was hopefully a taste of things to come. Brother Chris didn’t waste a second on the free bar, nor on the free eats. I was more of an eats person, especially the cool little fruit crumbles that only me and Chris seemed to eat.

The whole night had a surreal element to it which made it all that more memorable, having to wait around for so long, taking an assortment of random photos to use up film and basically the first time at an awards ceremony, however low-key. I didn’t win.

The next big event was the premiere of Ten Dead Men, on which I edited the behind the scenes footage into an hour long documentary, and a series of shorter featurettes. This was a definite highlight of the year. Not only the premiere of Brother Chris first produced screenplay, but also seeing all the stars of the film I’d been watching “behind the scenes” for so long. It was kind of weird seeing these people that I knew, but who did not know me. Along with a surreal experience with Doug Bradley screaming Donald Pleasance’s lines from Halloween two inches from my face, and a close encounter with Lee from Steps. That whole weekend was memorable and I doubt I’ll forget it anytime soon.

Then there was work. And it went on.

Unsure of actual dates, around May/June/July I began work on a script with Chris. Basically writing an outline then sending it to Chris for a tidy up, and any changes he wished to include, then back to me for a first draft, and so on back an forth. This was really great of Chris as he was also balancing the writing of two other scripts at the same time. With the script finished, and all parties happy it has entered the next stage in its life…a mystery I am yet to divulge upon.

Work took over once again. Boo!

In August I started this ‘ere blog, and having a sneaky peak, I wasn’t a happy bunny. I can only remember certain reasons for this and as far as I know these have been eradicated. I say that, I just wanted to use that word. Problems gone basically.

“NEW YORK, NEW YORK a hell of a town!”

September was the time for the New York holiday which was my idea, and funded, at least in part, by me. Don’t take that as a moan, I had the money sitting there, and spend it I did.

Recently I’ve realised how much fun I actually had in New York. I think when I was there I was a little overwhelmed with it all, both in scale and in general holidayness. I hadn’t been on holiday since I was 15 probably. That was eleven years ago, and I think I just didn’t know how to holiday. Anyway, sights were seen, photos taken, food eaten (though not much in my case) and big headed Thor was bought. An excellent time was had by all.

October brought not much to the proceedings. I went to see The Woman in Black at the theatre and I doubt I will experience anything like it again. Bloody scary it was.

Now were pretty much up to date. November held my birthday, and I bought My First Xbox 360. Brother Chris took me to see The Dark Knight on IMAX. This was amazing. Again another memory to keep. After the film we went on a late night tour of the sights, mainly to get back to Victoria Station. A cool weekend was had.

In December I passed my driving test and it was Christmas, which this year I began by watching the majority of My Fair Lady until the rest of the family awoke and present time could begin. Now I can’t get the song "Wouldn't it be Lovely" out of my head.

As you can see the year started off great, then slowly frittered out towards the end. I’m hoping for many opportunities next year, and swear I’ll get more writing done. My head is bulging with ideas after all.

Now the fun stuff.

Game-wise I bought an, Xbox as mentioned, so I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Throughout 2008 I was catching up on original Xbox games. So for games actually released in 2008, my short memory can only remember that I forked out for the complete Guitar Hero World Tour, a great game, it may not be to everyone’s tastes, and definitely works better with a group, but I enjoy the game solo, always have. I also got Tomb Raider: Underworld. A direct sequel to Legend, and continues in the same universe as Anniversary. Unfortunately, although I still enjoy the franchise the game has lost a little of its originality, and although it sounds silly, I got a little sick of climbing around similar looking ruins.
Lego Indiana Jones was also played but didn’t mark as well as Lego Star Wars. That universe is just too limited. And Indy never fought a giant snake.

Music-wise, I can think of two excellent gigs I attended. First off was Polysics in February. Only the second time I’ve seen them but this did battle for the top stop. Not sure who won actually. Basically, going with a load of mates who had now idea who they’d come to see, and the gig taking place in a tiny, cramped pub,and the fact that I managed to steal the drummers ‘P’ badge, made this gig one of the best ever.

In November, attending the Flogging Molly gig in Manchester proved another highly enjoyable evening. Great company and great music. I can’t be beat.

Film-wise, 2008 was a great year. I won't repeat what Chris has already mentioned as that would be pointless but I agree with what he says about Rambo, Be Kind Rewind, REC and Cloverfield. Always good to mention The Dark Knight as well. In no particular order I want to mention Iron Man and Wanted which I also enjoyed and also Hellboy II was a good ‘un. Now I’ve realised there are far too many to mention. One quick mention, I saw Chocolate on DVD, a film by Prachya Pinkaew and starring JeeJa Yanin. The young star is obviously being groomed to become a female Tony Jaa and with a little more training she'll get there. However this film has been marketed poorly; if you're expecting a full on Muay Thai actioner be prepared for a little story.

I welcomed the return of Indiana Jones. I enjoyed this film, wasn’t too sure of the story but I loved the first half. Indy in the fifties was excellent, I think then it got a bit to CG, and was nicking off Macgyer, what with the giant ants and the knowledge is the treasure. Overall a good adventure picture.

This year Warner Brothers released tow animated movies, Justice League: New Frontier and Batman: Gotham Knight. Both are solid films. Some segments in Gotham Knight are superior to others but overall the film is enjoyable. As is New Frontier. My trouble with this is that I read the Comic this year also, in the massive Absolute Edition, which truly is amazing. Condensing this into a 70 minute film does lose out on the whole but a great job all the same.

Finally, because I’m beginning to lose track of everything, a special mention goes to Joss Whedon who this year unveiled Dr Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog. Created to get around the writers strike, the three-part, 42 minute film was premiered on the Internet in July.

Each part was unveiled over the course of a week and then taken offline. This I think help it as it left your wanting more, but that’s beside the point. I think this was possibly one of the most exciting events only I seemed to have been a part of. I know Chris was interested, but locally, no-one I knew seemed to care, which was disappointing, but I remember I could feel the excitment building. Sneakily checking the website at work to see if the new episode had been posted. But to get back on track, the story was cool, especially the ending. Was not expecting that! And the songs are good, genuinely. The whole experience works really well. I doubt a whole series could work, but the odd one off or feature should definitely be considered.

So whats on the cards for next year, who knows at the moment. I’ll try to get more writing done, as I said, ideas need jotting down, I probably go and see Watchmen, an I’ll definitely buy Ghostbusters: The Game.

I hope 2008 was good for you, and that 2009 will be as good as 2008 was for Chris.

Here’s hoping.

Happy New Year you lucky people.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

A Merry Christmas to you all!

So I haven't posted much this holiday season. This is mainly to do with the fact that Brother Chris is doing a better job than I ever could with his Christmas Countdown, so check it out here if you haven't been keeping track.


And now the wait is nearly over. For some reason this year I've been struggling with all the festiveness. Not in a Charlie Brown "What's the meaning of it all" (although that did briefly come up) but mainly the traditional side of things. Do I keep up long standing traditions or break them? Do I spend Christmas with family or friends? I guess what I was trying find out, in my own Christmas Special kind of way, is where I stand in this day and age. It's a big question to ask, and one I know I wont find the answer to in at least a few more years, if ever. All I can say at this point is to do what feels right, that's my weak response. I've never been a great decision maker, but at least at the moment I'm sticking to my guns. I'll try to fit in as much as I can. I tried to visit but it just wasn't possible. I'll try again tonight, time permitting, but I'm finding that any plans I make tend to be broken. All I can do is try.

So I'll probably stay in, watch It's a Wonderful Life, reminisce about the past, then finish off the evening with a couple of Christmas specials, A Charlie Brown Christmas and Christmas with the Joker from Batman the Animated Series. These traditions I'm able to continue.

Have fun however you're spending Christmas, to each his own, but a Merry Christmas to all.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Could I do any better...

...yes I think I could.

So what's all this about? Well recently I watched a film at the cinema. Now for some reason I seem to go less and less these days, unless there's a film I'm excited about such as The Indiana Jones' and Dark Knights. Apart from these though I tend to wait for DVD. This is in part to do with the fact that the time between cinema and DVD release is getting shorter and shorter, and part to do with the fact that I have an online rental account with a decreasing wish list that needs filling up from time to time.

Anyway, so I'm sitting in the cinema hoping to enjoy The Transporter 3. I like the Transporter films, and have seen them both around this time at the cinema, so its sort of a mini tradition that I was willing to continue. However on this occasion I left feeling disappointed. Despite it being written by the original writers, Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, and with the action choreographed once again by Corey Yuen, this entry fell short. Without getting into too much detail there just wasn't enough going on. Too much was focused on character, which I wouldn't have minded if A) Frank Martin (Jason Statham) was anything like he was in the prequels. He seemed to have loosened up a lot, and B) if sidekick/love interest Valentina (Natalya Rudakova) wasn't in it. She was basically annoying. If Frank was anything like he used to be he would have smacked her on that hill and taken his keys back.

She was one of the main problems really. She just wasn't very good. That and the lack of a decent story, and a weak ending yet again. Robert Knepper (T-Bag in Prison Break) was cool though but he's going to have to start working harder, after this and Hitman I think he's beginning to pick dud roles.

Friday night I watched Botched on DVD. It stars Stephen Dorfffffff and is basically a mish-mash of genres. Heist goes wrong, people start to die in the basement where they were hiding kind of thing. It's ok, there were a few funny moments, but again nothing special. My short review kind of sums up my feelings towards it. It was basically alright. Nothing seems to be beating Congo since I started this blog.

So back to the beginning. Could I do any better. I apologise for the following paragraph, I will come across as big headed.

I think I could do better. If these films got made surely there's a chance for me out there. And If I do say so myself, not only could I do better, but I have done better. Yes, it depends on who reads the scripts and so on. I understand in the case of Transporter 3 that there is already an audience. But with Botched, I know the script I wrote is better, if not equal. And would appeal to pretty much the same audience.

Now I realise I'm just complaining to deaf ears, and nothing will come of it the longer I keep this up. All I'm really saying is if this is the quality of the films that people are putting money into, even if it's the lowest of the low, then I've got to have my chance at some point. It's just getting it out there which is and always will be the problem. Britain is known for its poor film industry. With directors like Neil Marshall and Paul W S Anderson completely ignored, yet Mr 'I'll never make a Sci Fi movie again even though my first attempt was crap anyway' Danny Boyle is King, along with the rest of the miserables, Mike Leigh and Shane Meadows.

Some will disagree now, especially as I've gone off on a massive tangent, but there's enough talent out there that just isn't appreciated just because they prefer to work in genre films, Horror, Sci-Fi, Action. Instead of Richard Curtis romantic comedies or Mike Leigh sitting round your working class house with a funny voice.

To bring it all to some kind of close The British Film Industry isn't going to become a proper film industry until all these areas are covered. It's not as if there's nobody out there wanting it.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

I feel this is blog worthy...

So for a while now I've been mentioning the odd 'personal' things going on in my life that I've blamed my procrastination on. Now is the time for the great reveal. Well I say great, I realise now I'm building up something that isn't that exciting to begin with, but has a long back story so I find it interesting.

I finally passed my driving test. Yes that is it. Nothing else, I'm not ill or dying and nothing is dropping off. I just didn't want to keep moaning about the stupid driving test. It also brought me down a lot basically because I've spent the last year learning, unknowingly (when I started at least) setting up an invisible barrier blocking me from proceeding to another level of interesting with my life. To explain...

The story goes, back in last November, after saving up a handful of cash I decided that as nothing of any interest was happening in life, and by that I mean career/film wise, I felt I should use my time more efficiently. So I took upon the challenge of driving, something I presumed I'd have to learn to do at some point, and as I knew the roads at home, what better place to begin. And so it went until 2008. Things then began to change. Firstly, I got into the final of the E4 Estings competition with my puppet video...

Something interesting was finally happening. Secondly, Brother Chris' film Ten Dead Men was finished. This was great news alone, but I was asked to help out with the behind the scenes making of footage so spent the next few months editing this together. So now it looked as though Chris, through no fault of his own, was finding his feet of the lower rungs of the industry. From then other projects developed which I choose not to go into now in case they die a slow death. Basically things were looking up. I was beginning to make plans with life, what I was going to do, where I was going to go and so on. Then I remember I cannot go anywhere due to my driving lessons. "Alright" I thought, "I'll get this sorted then continue on my mission". Little did I know this would take bloody ages. I'm not a crap driver by the way, just made a couple of bad judgment calls with a couple of really harsh instructors and the test is thrown away. No horns were ever beeped, no pedestrians killed, nothing that on a good day I would fail on. The fates have just been against me.

So finally its out of the way, bringing an onslaught of "So when are you getting a car?" questions. To which my reply is a faked "Not sure yet?", when I'm really thinking "I don't really care, I get to sleep in on Saturdays again and get get back to films and stuff." But few people understand this viewpoint. To drive is to buy a car and talk about engine capacity and the price of petrol and so on.

I never learnt to drive with the aim of getting a car. I learnt to drive because I had nothing better to do. Now I have better things to do. The time for hesitation is through. Procrastination period is closed. I have no more excuses getting me down.

Except I still have to go to work.


In a random turn of blogging, here's the trailer for the long unreleased Ghostbusters game due out sometime mid 2009.

Let's just hope its as good as the Spectrum version. Now altogether in your best muffled and digitised speech: "He Slimed Me!"

Tuesday, 2 December 2008


I was briefly inspired by Brother Chris' blog and also felt like posting a series of Christmas related fun posts. I too like Christmas and it is indeed ace. But, after witnessing the first two posts over on "What Writes at Midnight" I'd probably spend far too much time scouring the internet to find thing. So I'm just going signpost Brother Chris' blog, for those of you that a) aren't Chris and b) haven't seen it.


On a random note, I did find these two videos from the 80's. Weird is the only way I can think to describe them.

This first video leads us onto number two, so here goes...

Pete's poorly kept Christmas Advent blog update Number 1:

Merry Christmas Santa Claus - Max Headroom.

How cool is Matt Frewer! Maybe these videos aren't the best example.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

This may sound strange but I have an irrational fear of the sea. I'm not a swimmer, in fact I despise the activity, but this has nothing to do with my fear. I've also been on boats, and have yet to get see sick; again not a cause.

This fear has a little to do with the unknown. I like to think, that as the sea is relatively unexplored, that there are things down there that we have yet to see. Take those evil neon fish for example. How mental are those things. All fangs and lights. Those and the fabled giant squid, which only ever seems to wash up in bits (Does this not imply there's something even bigger...?)

Anyway, my irrational fear mainly comes from video games. And of those, mainly Tomb Raider. Whenever there is an instance where you have to swim a great distance my fear is released. I think it comes down to the fact that you can be attacked from any direction. I remember being scared in the midst of a red sea level on Shadowman 2 I think, and then going to see Saw at the cinema. Back to the point. Tomb Raider is the main culprit though, and more specifically Tomb Raider 2. There's a whole section base at the bottom of the see, getting attacked by sharks and sneaky eel things that dart out at you from the black rocks. Cue pant change.

There havn't been many other instances over the years but I recently begun playing Tomb Raider Underworld on Xbox 360, and again, I had to change my pants. As you may or may not know, the first level takes place, once again, at the bottom of the sea. You've got scuba gear so air isn't a problem. But this time around, the Hi Def graphics don't help to ease my fear. All I'm saying is at one point I literally had to pause the game to catch my breath, and then there's this thing just watching you and you think "Will it get my if I swim past it? It is blind after all". I still don't know the answer to that question, too scared was I to try.

So I guess, to make a point with this post, Tomb Raider is still ace, video games can have an emotional effect on the players, and the sea is scary.

Procrastination over.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

It's my Birthday...

...and I'll post if I want to. Still alive after 26 years.

Ok, so this is more a reason to see what I was up to on my 26th birthday years down the line. To see how far I've come hopefully, 'cause as it stands, it isn't looking too promising. Yes, I'm going to moan. Huzzah!!!

Anyway, my birthday is shared with a couple of decent famous folk. According to the ever accurate Wikipedia, victim of Jack the Ripper, Elizabeth Stride, was born in 1843. Apart from her there's Fisher Stevens, William Fichtner, Kathryn Bigelow, Jimi Hendrix, and Bruce Lee. Not a bad line up really. Makes you think this collected talent must rub off on me at some point.

Apart from that nothing much is going on. I said it was to see what I was up too, but as I'm not up to much it's going to be pretty difficult to say anything. Earlier this year I had an animation in the E4 Estings competition final, then I edited the behind the scenes footage for Ten Dead Men, then I wrote a script with my brother. Then nothing. Since about July there has been nothing of creative interest to be getting on with. Yes there were alterations to be made to the script, but overall, my creative juices seem to be drying up. I'm still plugging away at mystery script number two, but as mentioned creatively its getting difficult. I still have a couple of things on my mind that I don't want to go into that could be hindering me. Either way, I'm sure at some point my mind will find its path.

Which brings me onto The Forbidden Kingdom. Better get something out of this post. This is the Jackie Chan and Jet Li "Together for the first time" vehicle. And its alright. Its pretty much the same as The Warriors of Virtue, except with no Kangaroos, and the kid is older. I did enjoy it though. I think I would have liked it more had I been a little younger but it was still enjoyable. Not as good as Congo me thinks.

Now Sidekicks, what a film that is. Actually still not as good as Congo, but a perfect film to watch when its too late to watch anything properly. It's basically about a kid who dreams about teaming up with his, and everyone's hero Chuck Norris. It's also stars the late, great Mako in. Trailer posted below for your pleasure, another one that shows the whole film. Happy Birthday me.

Just found this on Youtube and thought I'd add it on. Cool AFI video for Miss Murder.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Blogspot = crap

Ok so I just wrote loads, then lost it all because blogspot is crap and wouldn't save anything so now I've got to write it all again, but I don't want to because I'm ill and now very pissed off. So here's the quick version.

Bloody woods, a crappy short I made got flagged by Universals Music Group because of music tracks I used. The let me keep it on YouTube but I don't really care 'cause its crap.

This video was on Warren Ellis blog. He says its crap and if you like it you are crap. It is crap, but also really funny.

This video scares me. It is weird.

This trailer looks ace, despite the fact it looks fan made.

Right. I'm off now I've wasted all this time.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

In association with What Writes At Midnight...

I agree with what Brother Chris wrote in his last blog about the Friday the 13th remake. My problem with this remake is the appearance of Jason. I guess this could be spoiler: (Everyone knows he wasn't present in the original. So why does he feature in the remake. I guess there will be a reason for this but still.) Why remake it at all. I hated the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake. Well maybe not hated. but it was incredibly pointless. As was The Omen remake. The problem with these remakes is you have to keep the most memorable aspect of the original. In these cases the memorable aspect is a character, Jason, Leatherface and Damien. Despite my hate for remakes, one that works particularly well is Dawn of the Dead. This, I think, comes down to the fact that that memorable aspect of this film is the Mall and Zombies. If you've got those two, you can call it a remake, but also anything can happen with them. If you're remaking characters, you can't change them. But a Mall. Why would you need to change that? Exactly, you wouldn't. Anyway, they could have called it Friday 13th at least.

This brings me onto the trailer game. Yes I'm creating a game of it. The Hills Have Eyes 2 trailer is excellent. And although not as interesting, there is this for Back to the Future. Again, not much is given away.

On the other hand, this is how not to make a trailer.

But Superman III is ace. Much better than Superman II. What I like about the trailer is the line "Richard Pryor comes to Metropolis". This kind of makes out he's playing himself in the film.

Anyway. I've wasted too much time on this. Especially as I started writiing about something else, then changed it all.

One final clip to weird your out. I found the trailer for this on Xbox Live of all places but couldn't find it online so this small clip will have to do. It's a film called Clifford and star Charles Grodin and Martin Short as a 10 year old boy. Yes that's right. MARTIN SHORT AS A 10 YEAR OLD. This film was made in 1994, Martin Short was 44, and playing a 10 year old. Surely there must has been a Culkin they could have used. Anyway enjoy the clip.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

You can't save everybody...

...as my saying would go I if were reassuring someone in a Zombie/disaster movie style situation. Instead, this is how I console myself when I let innocent people die when I've only got a few minutes left to save a guy so I can get the next story point in Dead Rising. Yes, the games returns to haunt this blog. I've calmed down a little since last time. The game is not without its faults, but I'm beginning to enjoy the apocalypse. Well, digital zombie apocalypse.

You may find my above reasoning a little strange, but I find it shows strength of character. I'm not one to complete every last aspect of a game just to unlock a new hat. But when There are people getting eaten I find myself trying to save them, despite not having the time to get where I actually need to be. This happens to be one of the faults with this game, despite all the freedom you get, if you want to experience the story, you just can't save everybody. It is physically impossible. Anyway, enough of this, there are more important matters at hand.

Today I watched Millennium Actress, an anime from the director of Perfect Blue. I've had this film on my pile for quite a while when I went on a spurt of anime buying, although I've yet to watch any. Until now that is. Unlike Perfect Blue this film is not as suspense driven as the former, nor as visually impressive/confusing (I was falling asleep at the time of watching though) as Paprika, Millennium Actress is just a nice film. It uses a cool character interaction to tell the story of an aging actress who spent her life looking for her first and only love. The story proceeds through he life combining actual event sin her life, with the events in the films she starred in. This is a fictional story though, as I mentioned to Brother Chris, it would be cool if the same method was used on an actual biopic.

Again, not the most important thing to have happened, but 'twas worth a mention I thought.

Now here we go. I've finally begun work on Secret Project Number 1, which will remain secret until a time I see fit, to protect me from embarrassment it nothing happens with it. That and stealers. Anyway, I've begun to write the treatment, and now I waste time blogging, but the hard part is out of the way. Hopefully ideas should start flowing. I will say this however, unlike the previous script I worked on with Brother Chris, this is not of the fighting genre. There are no clear cut goodies and baddies, and not simple "they fight" set pieces. Which is to say, the other script if more interesting that that, that was just a summarising breakdown. This one needs to be planned. It's a more complicated route from A to B this time, but I'm getting there. I just hope it survives the translation from my head to the page/screen.

So I'm off to get some more done.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

I'll just hide in a cupboard thanks...

Ok, so I was going to do some writing tonight, but I'm too knackered after an excellent Flogging Molly gig in Manchester last night (6th Nov as we're past midnight now). Anyway, instead of me working I'm going to get something off my chest instead.

Tonight I started playing Dead Rising. Now I like to keep on top of the games I play, and I'm currently playing Halo 3 co-op with Brother Tim. However, he's gone a visiting this weekend so I'm left without a co-op partner and want to play a game. The problem is all I've got are beat em ups and skateboarding games that I'm part way through and I needed something with a little more substance. So I began Dead Rising.

And now I've developed a love/hate relationship with this game. On the one hand it captures the essence of Dawn of the Dead with a little of the survival of Resident Evil thrown in. It is Capcom after all. And there are vast amounts of zombies, and you can pretty much use anything as a weapon. So fun times.

Then there's the saving. You can only save in the security office, of toilets, and as with many malls these are spread around, only thinly. So I'm running between missions and get drawn up in the experience so I decide to help out a few locals. Now these locals are idiots an despite my best efforts die pretty quickly. I'm only one man remember, taking down an army of undead. So I figure I'll head to the next save point. This is when we get a story point, nothing spoilery, and a bloody escape convict driven jeep appears and mows me down killing my. Now I realise I've yet to save the bloody game and have to start from the beginning. Now come on... would it have been so hard to alter the save points Or at least introduce a save option after each story point. I'm even considering shelving it for a while longer until I've forgotten how much I've played.

This brings me neatly onto another good point though. In the game the main goal is to survive 3 days. That's it. If you play the story you get an idea of why this is happening. If you help people, I guess you get achievements and feeling you've done a bit of good. But then, due to the aforementioned saving problem, I'm now tempted to hide in a cupboard for the three days, reveal myself at the end in time to take my helicopter home. Game Completed.

Saying all this, I will play it again, and I will play the story. I just think developers need to work out what kind of game they're making. The fact you can use almost everything as a weapon means to me this game is to be played for fun, and therefore saving should not be so difficult. Let me save from the menu. Let me enjoy the destruction. If I'm playing a Dawn of the Dead simulator, let me have as much fun as Ken Foree and Scott H. Reiniger, before the latter became a zombie that is.

And why does doing a wee relate to saving anyway. Just because its called a restroom doesn't mean you go to sleep in there. You'll probably be sleeping in wee if you did.

And with that image, I'll stop.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

How NOT to plan a Halloween playlist...

So Halloween didn't quite go to planned, and in no particular order I'm listing "How not to plan a Halloween playlist"

1. Don't have anybody staying with you. In my case I had to wait until people went out before I could begin my playlist.

2. Don't watch anything scheduled at a particular time, i.e. on TV. This means that you either have to wait until after it's finished, or fit something in before it starts. This brings me onto...

3. Don't waste free waiting time for scheduled programme by visiting Xbox Live. This encourages the downloading of demos. Again bringing me onto...

4. Don't then play the downloaded demo after the scheduled programme. This just delays the watching of any planned films, and reduces the time you can watch.

5. Don't get comfy in bed thinking you'll resit the warm covers, even when you "just rest your head for a while".

6. Finally, and maybe the most important. Don't go to work on Halloween. Getting up early just means you'll end up falling asleep in the middle of your playlist.

Now I broke all these rules. I waited for Dead Set in E4, which was quite good, especially as it was a quite depressing end to the series. Whilst this was on I was downloading the Mirror's Edge demo form Xbox Live, which I proceeded to play after Dead Set. This demo has no horror related element, therefore needlessly cut into my awake time. So I began watching The Lady in White at about 11pm. I had no idea how long it was, I'm guessing about 90 minutes. But it didn't finish until about 1:20am due to an unplanned pausing and falling asleep session in the middle. Thinking I was now awake, and not wanting to be disturbed by the guests returning I vacated to my bedroom to watch Night of the Comet. This is a cool, little known film about a comet which happens to kill everyone exposed on earth. Those who don't die instantly are slowly turned into zombies. Even though I enjoy this film, I've never managed to stay awake throughout the whole film. The first watch I managed to pause and nap, then continue when I woke. This time I full on fell asleep, I think only 15 minutes from the end, waking just in time to see the Digital Protection logo at the end of the DVD. I could have backtracked but I surrendered myself and called it a night. Next year, maybe I'll get it right.

It's November now, and I've got a busy month ahead. Busy in the sense of gigs and visits rather than work related.

Although I've begun the journey into outlines, making the first notes for my long awaited horror script; which in my head is amazing and will survive the transition on to the page.

Only time will tell.

Friday, 31 October 2008

A jovial Halloween to you all...

Everyone else has used "happy". Anyway, I'm really posting this now is to ensure I have it on the 31st. As with Brother Chris, I have no plans. Or do I. For as long as I can remember I've stayed in on Halloween. I tried dressing up a couple of times, and as much as I'd like to, I always tend to feel stupid and abandon the whole charade. So my plan is to stay in and squeeze in as many horror films as possible, even if that means going into the earlier hours of Saturday. If I don't go to sleep, it still counts as Halloween, see!

So what's on the agenda tonight. Well I've got The Lady in White in front of me at the moment which I hope to get around to. There's the final part of Dead Set. I'm also tempted by The Wolfman, or Werewolf of London for a change. I may also start playing Dead Rising, or watch the Dawn of the Dead remake. But again, I think I may have had enough of zombies by now. The Haunting is always a good choice, and still manages to scare me. I haven't seen Evil Dead II in a while. Now I'm blatantly just listing films. All I know for sure is The Lady in White and Dead Set will get a watch, the rest is up in the air. I'll let you know tomorrow probably.

As there are links on other blogs out there I feel the need to post something myself, so here are a selection of horror related films that I've made over the years.

First of all my graduate film Jonny The Pessimist: A Faustian Fable. (I just added that subtitle)

Secondly a weird music video for the song Elasto by The Western Trio.

And finally, my zombie defense instructional film. In Case of Zombies.

Happy Halloween

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Zombies, zombies everywhere and not a bite to eat...

Does that title make sense, I don't know, I don't really care. It's too easy.

I made the mistake of watching Diary of the Dead last night with my other brother, he has yet to blog. This was a mistake for two reasons. First off, as soon as it finished I had to watch the next episode of Dead Set, (which, by the way, I'm no longer ranting about, but I still think its concept is still better than the show) and second, Diary of the Dead is not good. Definitely not as good as Congo.

If you don't know, its another George Romero zombie film, this time set within a group of students making a film when the zombies attack. Cue the shaky-cam. From the start though you can tell it wouldn't be as good as Cloverfield, the most recent shaky-cam film released, especially as the guy behind the camera comes across as a bit of a dick. The problems with these films is justifying someone filming all the death as it happens, and not lifting a finger to help. But then in Diary of the Dead, you kind of don't care that he's not helping when everyone around him is quite happily shooting people. So on it goes, filming the death. It gets better when you see a reverse shot of a CCTV camera, then minutes later someone brings ins a tape saying something like, "I saw that CCTV camera and nicked the tape cause I thought it would be good for your film."

I can kind of see the point, that the nation is becoming a nation of filming people, and posting on YouTube. I know how eloquently I put it there but that's kind of the gist. We're becoming a YouTube nation I should have said. Anyway another of my favourite moments is when their professor hands the gun to another student saying the line "It's too easy.". What does this mean. A few minutes later one of the students passes her video camera to someone else, after filming another death, saying, "It's too easy. " I GET IT. Its a joke about shooting. Shooting a gun and shooting with a camera. Its easy to shoot the Zombies, and shoot them with the camera, not caring about the result. And so on...

My view of this film wasn't really helped by the fact that my brother pointed out early on how similar it was to Return To Zork. An early PC adventure which featured live-action video. After this the films couldn't really be taken seriously. But this does not mean I've missed the point. I think its the film misses the point. We're supposed to believe that we're in this "YouTube nation" but still why does no-one know what a zombie is. Even if we pretending George Romero's films don't exist in this film, what about all the early films like White Zombie, and the whole Voodoo history. This brings me back to the present. And my problem with zombies. Dead Set couldn't avoid the fact that they had to find out how to kill the zombies. OK they're like the running variety but still. If a zombie outbreak did happen I'd know you'd have to kill the brain.

Then again I'd like to think that the point of the series is that anyone who watches or takes part in Big Brother has never seen a zombie film before, or even heard the word "zombie". That's why they have to find out all this information for the first time.

It's too easy...

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

It's the actor Kevin Eldon...

So I was sitting, ready to watch new mini-series Dead Set in E4 mainly because it was written by Charlie Brooker, he of Guardian writing and of Screen Wipe presenting. So basically its a horror series where a zombie plague erupts and infects those working on a Big Brother. Therefore I thought to produce a feeling of authenticity I would see a group of unknowns shouting or something big brother related sitting in a house a la Big Brother.

But who is first on screen but The Actor Kevin Eldon, forever known as The Actor Kevin Eldon after his work on This Morning with Richard not Judy in the mid-nineties. I'm taken out of the whole fake Big Brother and watching people playing at Big Brother. This has somehow lessened my interest. If they were unknowns I guess I could root for a fictional winner, or relate more to a character or something, but with The Actor Kevin Eldon in there pretending to be a slightly quirky guy, I just think what's the point.

The problem I have is I don't like Big Brother anyway, so seeing Davina McCall being eaten by a zombie seems like a small victory rather than a knowing wink to the audience. A better idea for this show would actually have done a regular Big Brother series and then pretended a Zombie infection was going on outside. Played it for real from the beginning. Ghost Watch style. I think this would work a lot better in the long run, rather than turning into Big Brother: The Movie or something.

Maybe I'm focussing on the wrong aspect here. It's good that an original horror series has been made, and it is just about watchable. But again I think people in suits have ruined what could have been great.

I'll still watch the rest of the series though. Maybe even grow to like it.

Next time I'll talk about writing or something. This blog has slowly turned into a "What Really Grinds My Gears" blog. And I never wanted it to go that way. At least not exclusively.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Are you going to see the Kato film...

This piece of news really did annoy me. Stephen Chow of Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer fame is set to direct The Green Hornet film. Now when I read it was being written by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg of all that Knocked Up Superbad pants (Which I would like to bring to your attention stars the man-child Jonah Hill as an adult in the former, and a child in the latter. Hence the name Man-Child. Weird). Anyway digressions aside, I thought that writing credit was bad enough, but now to be directed by Stephen Chow, and if rumours are true, will star Seth Rogan as the Green Hornet. This films seems to be collapsing in front of me.

I also can't help but feel this film is slowly going to shift focus and become the Kato film. I can see all the press now, comparing Stephen Chow to Bruce Lee and so on...

Now I admit, The Green Hornet has no special powers, and is more of a Batman style character, but with the cool toys. He does have a cool car though. But Kato is not the answer. No I like Bruce Lee, and the Kato character, but the thing is, if there was no Green Hornet, Kato would just be a guy without a job. He was Britt Reeds ward/servant after all. He's basically filling the Robin role. And everyone hated/hates Robin. So this all comes down to Bruce Lee.

Now I know I've lost the point but Bruce Lee has always been an internationally well known figure. Even people who never watch kicky films (Kung Fu) will claim Bruce Lee as their favourite (possibly Jackie Chan but then he's still alive.) Now again I have nothing against Bruce Lee, Enter the Dragon was excellent, but this should not shift focus on The Green Hornet.

I like The Green Hornet. It shouldn't be messed up. It shouldn't have stupid comedy moments like Kung Fu Hustle, which I've always said would've been good if it was straight forward. The crappy comedy ruins it.

Now I've lost my train of thought so I'll finish with the most important factor so as not to mess the whole thing up. The Green Hornet should be set in the 30's.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Microsoft bastards...

This heading seems kind of harsh now I think about it, but how can company get things so right and so wrong at the same time. All I want is what I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share.

To explain, I recently joined this hi-tech next generation of consoles, which is really the current generation, and tried signing up to Xbox Live with a guaranteed Xbox Live gold trial for all new users. Like me.

I read all the manuals, signed up online at Xbox.com as advised inside the Xbox Live booklet and I was away. But no gold in sight. After lots of searching, and signing up a second new account onto gold I realised that by using the advised method I have been sidelined because Xbox think I was a previous member. So no free trial for me. Well, sort of. I can get online and play games with strangers under my second profile, but what about my original profile, with all the achievements (I say all, as you can see not really that many, but that isn't the point) I don't want to be playing as jimbo getting all online credits when after the month he gets deleted. So I email. This gets replied telling me to phone. So I reluctantly phone. And what do the Microsoft bastards tell me to do, sign up another account, with another email and there you are, a free trial. WHAT THE HELL! Not here you are sir, enter this code and a free month to you, but here you are a kick in the pants.

I mean, what is the point of all the achievement crap if they wont support my predicament. Why should I even bother to achieve anything. Is that what they want. I only wanted to sample online delights, get a few achievements along the way and decide if I was willing to pay for the honour. Now I have to keep swapping, and any achievements gained I'm going to have to achieve all over again. Anyway, the lady I spoke to was quite friendly, so none of this is aimed at her. But come on Microsoft. You've got fifty billion million trillion gazillion marillion dollars. You can spare a dime for a month for me.

My ranting is over.

I saw P2 last night. It was a straight forward "girl gets chased around a car park" horror film but it plays well. And Wes Bentley was good in it.

I also watched Postal, Uwe Boll's attempt at another video game film, based on a game that I've never played but I gather you just had to shoot people in it. Listening Jeff Goldsmiths Creative Screenwriting podcast interview with the director, you kind of see where he was going with the film, but watching the trailer made this film look like a big politically incorrect mess.

But...and I can't decide if I hate myself for saying this...I kind of liked it.

It was funny. Don't get me wrong, a lot was on the borderline of incorrectness, and a lot was a bit shit, but at times I laughed. Out loud.

The film does say a lot about what we accept these days. South Park had an episode with an Elmer Fudd style Osama bin Laden in. Even Family made jokes about the videos he made. This film basically brings that mentality to life. A cartoon, but with real people. I may very well be praising it too much. It's still an Uwe Boll film and misses the mark from time to time, but after watching Dungeon Siege, Uwe Boll does manage to get things right once in a while.

Bloodrayne 2 was crap though.

I write this post posting as I just read Brother Chris' blog and realised something about mine. Please forgive the fact that I never elaborate on anything, or review anything longer than a few sentences. This is not to say eveyone else waffles on, but more that everyone else know how to do it properly. I'm just a pretender. I felt the needed to raise this point. But then again, you should know all this about me, coming form the creator of the Congo Review.

P2 and Postal aren't as as good as by the way.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

In Society...

...well, not really anymore. Tonight I went to the Theatre, something I'm getting quite a taste for. Having previously seen An Inspector Calls, and Dracula, the latter being quite terrible, and more recently Strangers on a Train and the musical Hairspray on Broadway, I'm realising I'd like to see more. It has changed a lot though. I really wish it was still a dress up affair, rather than the mash up you get of people not knowing whether to dress up, dress down ans so on. It didn't help that I turn up in jeans, my mate arrives from work in a suti an tie, making me look like some kind of retarded friend he's trying to educate, desptie it being my idea to go.

So tonight I went to see The Woman in Black, a horror story based on the novel by Susan Hill with a similar style to MR James ghost stories. I won't give anything away here, you can look for it on the internet, or even go to see it. It's highly recommended. And it's bloody scary, even in a full-ish theatre, with people laughing defensively awaiting the shocking moments, this production still had me in goosebumps. The story is only told between two characters, but this helps the whole atmosphere. There is a section when the protagonist lies asleep on the dimly lit stage, and I swear I could see the Woman in Black in the shadows. Now I'm not even sure she was there at this point, that my eyes surely played tricks on me, but this is why the play works, especially as the story reaches its climax in the second act. I'm getting chills just thinking about it now.

On a downside, the uncomfortable laughing did get a little annoying. This play would definitely work a lot better in a smaller theatre, but I can ignore those few who cannot hold in the urge to laugh. I did get images of The Tingler, but instead of screaming to kill the creature, you must laugh. I understand this makes us more relaxed, but then why come and see a scary story to begin with. Isn't that the point, to scare yourself. This is the one thing I've never understood. I'm rarely scared in horror films these days, but then I don't fall about laughing. I have to admit that even with Evil Dead, I laugh at the obvious comic moments, but I'm still a little put off by the level of gore. Its just a little creepy. Even creepier if you laugh at the gouging out of eyeballs, however fake it looks.

I've started to moan now so I'll stop. As I said before The Woman in Black is highly recommended, please try to see it whenever it runs. Now I must find some MR James to read. I've only ever seen theTV specials always shown around Christmas time. I think its about time I read some, especially with Halloween approaching.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Blogging for the sake of it...

I haven't been up to much. Not much at all. I was planning on working , as in writing, a lot this weekend but somehow found myself preoccupied with other things. Therefore I still have nothing to report. As with my brother, I'm still in a transition after coming home from New York, not to mention other crappy life stuff I've got going on, all results in my lack of creativity.

I have about 2 solid ideas and 1 work in progress floating around in my head at the moment and I feel I need to write them down, although whenever I've done this in the past the idea sort of shrivels away into nothing. The work in progress was another attempt to bring a character somewhat based on myself into yet another film. This is a character I created at college so I could basically moan about things and life in general. It only lasted a couple of comics but he's stayed with me. Now he barely resembles myself, but I still wanted to bring some life into it, but then I saw a film Interstate 60 starring James Marsden and Gary Oldman, directed by Bob gale (co-wrtier of Back to the Future) and this film was basically the idea I had. Now If I carry on with my idea, I will basically be making a very similar film to this, but then I've already been describing it kind of like Pee Wee's Big Adventure anyway so I guess it started off "borrowing" from other films. As this character so far has never featured in a live-action film, or any other film for that matter I will probably go ahead with it, but it is way down the production line. The last attempt I made to get a script out with the character it was reviewed by an unknown at Screen West Midlands as "This is visually, stylistically and narratively a mess". But to this day, that ten minute script made sense in my eyes, and a couple of others, hence why the character I created to moan through lives on today. Even more so when it gets rejections like the one mentioned.

By the way, Interstate 60 is as good as Congo, The Wizard of Gore isn't as good, and Lost Boys The Tribe isn't as good either.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

I'm nearly back...

I'm back from New York, which I've decided is both like my preconception of a movie based 1940's era city but also nothing like that at all. Good times were enjoyed by all anyhoo. Now is the time when I need ot get back into writing and the like, but I have one more, I wouldn't say complication but I can't just get back into things. Soon though, this blog will be back. Congo and all.

Speaking of Congo, last Sunday Film Four had a monkey inspired schedule with Mighty Joe Young, Dunstan Checks In, Monkey Business and Congo. Congo still only getting the one star even though Hudson Hawk seems to have increased.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Me Go Mental!!!

Ok, so obviously if I'm posting, I'm actually doing something else and this is just killing time. Yet again I'm updating my MP3 player. I know those with Ipods don't feel the need to change over because you can fit everything onto 1 ipod, but me I restrict myself to 1 or 4 GB. 1 in this case because I'M OFF TO NEW YORK. To cut a long story short, old mp3 player needs to be left behind at brothers house, needs better music.

So yeah, I'm off to New York on Saturday. And, as with everything I do, its all coming to its crashing crescendo. At least planning wise. Got to pack. Got to...well that was it really, but people kept ringing me and I had to finish of some title pages for my brother and his scripts. It all went a bit mad for a minute, and now I'm calming down by uploading my music.

When I return I'll get back into the blog a bit more, and the reasons behind it. Ranting and raving and Congo. Reviewing things here and there. And about writing, especially as I have to catch up on a project I thought had died.

For now I'm going "On the town, New York." and other On The Town musical numbers.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Too angry to post...

I'm going to watch Ghostbusters...
...segway into I watched an episode of The REAL Ghostbusters about Cthulhu being summoned. You can find it on YouTueb I think. Very strange seeign a kids cartoon featuring the Necronimicon, and Shoggoths. But very cool, especially summoning Cthulhu at Coney Island. Granted no one dies of fright, and they electrocute Cthuhlu to death, but I suppose its fari enough. That's now my second favourite episode. The first being one that is very simialr to the film. Can't remember the title but there's lots of "It's been nice working with you guys" and "Tonight the world ends" kind of stuff. Again, a bit more adult for a kids show...
... and on that note..I'm off.

Friday, 12 September 2008

This is me bascially moaning...

So I know I'm going to sound ungrateful, but its really the timing of the whole thing that's annoying me.

Let's backtrack a little...

I had this idea for a script ages ago, previously mentioned (or unmentioned for copyright reasons) on here and its been in my head ever since. Only recently its found its way to the surface. In the meantime though I've co-written a project with my brother Chris (what writes at midnight) and then was pointed in the direction of a shorter writing project, that needed a brief synopsis. So I threw something together (that took a little more effort than I've given credit) and sent the email. And that was that. My schedule was free to work on my own script.

Now the way I seem to work is to think. I think a lot. Way too much. Often over thinking on the simplest of subjects. Even down to what film I want to watch, which normally results in the time ticking away until I only have enough time to watch a 7 minute Looney Tunes cartoon. Anyway, as I said, I'd finally reached a point for the script where I could begin writing things down, when along comes the co-written project needing a quick rewrite and outline (which I am happy to do). Not only that but I get a reply from the shorts people saying they are interested but its taking a little longer than planned. So now, I'm about to put pen to paper, or fingers to keys, and then my own project gets thrown back on the shelf as now I have to finish off the other projects. Now I like doing this writing gig, bu I kind of have a one track mind. I can only focuss on one thing. So the three projects all line up. The other thing that I have noticed abotu writing or filmmaking is that its enjoyable when you have things to do, and really really depressing when you've got nothing. You feel like you should be doing something, but there's nothing to work on. In this case I'd finally got over this depression period, getting back into writing when a load of other stuff comes back my way, things I thought were either complete or forgotton. I only really complain because taking on three projects means the out of ideas depression is really going to be bad after it. Plus I seem to have lmiited time at the moment. Throw in having to go to work, a couple of personal things coming up, including a trip to New York, and the annoyance of extortionate train prices and my head is ready to explode.

As I said at the start, I think way too much.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Two in one evening...

So I could have just edited the original but I thought it best to post a whole new...well...post. It also isn't really the same evening as it is now 3 in the morning.

To pick up where I last left you I've just seen The Strangers. Now the confusing thing here is, despite what other people have told me, it is strikingly similar to Them. Granted there are slight differences between the two, but on the face of it they are one in the same. Even the reasons for the terrorizing is the same. I've been told that the writer-director Bryan Bertino stated he hasn't seen the french film, and that this film was conceived completely independently. Now I'm not saying he's made that up, but the similarities between the two films are there. Go see the film (on DVD though, it's not worth the ticket price) and then watch Them and you will count the differences on one hand.

I suppose with this though you could say, for example, that all zombie films are the same as they all feature zombies. All slasher films are the same. And I guess you'd be right. It's about the journey, but Them had a better ending. The design and music used in The Strangers was good as well as the choices in masks for the intruders. It did have the feel of an older film such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and the early Wes Craven films.

In short, had I seen this before Them I most likely would have said that Them was ripping off The Strangers. Its kind of like Dante's Peak and Volcano, Armageddon and Deep Impact, The Illusionist and The Prestige. One is always better than the other. Even Congo had its rival in Primal Force; and that wasn't as good as Congo despite killer baboons and Ron Perlman.

In other news concerning my recent trip to the cinema. I was impressed that Disaster Movie (again I will now have to wash my mouth out) had no reaction from the audience. Not a single laugh. Hopefully this is a sign that the makers of these excuses for spoofs will now just STOP.

In other trailer news, Death Race, the remake of the Roger Corman produced 1975 Death Race 2000, actually looks quite good. Now I am a sucker for explosions and the like, and despite his questionable accents Jason Statham is watchable, and it even has Lovejoy in it. But i think most of all the draw is in the trailer itself. This trailer just looks cool. There was a time when trailers used to be exciting. Nowadays, in most cases, they've just become lazy, showcasing the coming movie, not caring how many twists are given away. But with Death Race, it serves its purpose. The trailer makes me want to go and see this film.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Burning once again...

If I'm not careful this is going to become a habit. I'm once again burning music for my MP3 player, mainly CDs I've just bought this time, which I hate doing cause I'd like to listen to the actual CD before the MP3, but at the moment I'm just not doing enough writing to get through all these CDs.

Special mentions today go to Along Came A Spider by Alice Cooper. This is a cool record. A lot better than his last outing Dirty Diamonds. With this one, Alice Cooper has returned to the concept album, which in this case is the diary of 'The Spider', a serial killer. Its good old dark and twisted stuff, just where Alice belongs.

Another album of interest, Deep Blue: Chaos from Darkism by Balzac, a Japanese punk band inspired by The Misfits. I came across this band from The Misfits website, they recorded a split single with each other entitled The Day The Earth Caught on Fire. As with the few Japanese bands I listen to I have now idea what they are singing, unless its in English, but you can't help singing along, especially with all the whoa's. Good stuff.

The rest is the usual stuff from within my CD collection, but I'll leave this short review with She & Him. This is the work of M Ward and actress Zooey Deschanel. Each track is different so I can't really label it nicely.

I can't really review music, mainly because it's all subjective. Even more so than films. So these CD reviews end here. This blog has basically turned into a massive mess of me talking rubbish. So to bring it back someway back on track, using notes from the last update.

Why are all the best horror films of recent years foreign. Naturally we have to excuse the British film industry as horror does not mean romantic comedies or period pieces with Keira Knightly. But even American horror isn't good. Their problem is they seem too hung up on wither gore or slasher films. Granted the main reason to see a slasher film is the gore but I'm separating the two.
Gore wise they continue to churn out Saw films. Now in the grand scene of things, the original Saw was a low budget, clever film. Yes it had the nasty elements but when I originally saw (ha ha ha) it I would never have thought a sequel would be made. And as usual the Law of Diminishing Returns prevails. Although they do have nice touches by the ends of each sequel, the bulk is mainly more of the same.
Slasher wise, Hatchet was an attempt to revive the horror icon. I think they were intending to start some kind of franchise but it just wasn't very good. The only English language film in recent years I can remember actually scaring me was Fragile, and that was directed by the Spanish Jaume Balagueró, and his films continue to be freaky. Take [REC] for example. This film also had its scary moments, and guess what. Hollywood has remade it, and I can easily predict, people will go in droves to see it, and it wont be as good as its Spanish original.

Unfortunately I'm going to have to cut this short, despite really combining two entries into one. I think I'm off to see The Strangers, which despite what people tell me, looks exactly like French film Them (Ils). I have tried to remain open minded about this but I think I'm going to need some convincing.

By the way, this was all brought on by The Orphanage. Not as jam packed with scares as expected, but due to subject matter and the odd creepy moment has convinced me that if I ever need a good scare again, I'll need my reading glasses.

Monday, 1 September 2008

I know, there's a problem with your face.

So its the first of a new month. I haven't been updating this thing (and as I've yet to truly embrace "the blog" it will be know as "thing") This isn't to say I've had nothing to write, I've got plenty I want to get off my chest, but I just don't have the time. And that's not the time to write, more that when I feel a rant coming on I'm either nowhere near a PC, or nowhere near a powered up PC. And there's the time thing. I can't be bothered wasting time booting up a PC to then spend ever so long rant and raving about something or other. But now, after neglecting this "thing" for so long, I've decided to make a special, albeit disjointed, entry. As old Jack always says...what the hell.

Big Trouble in Little China. Now this film is great, a classic. I can remember staying up to watch this one night when I was in Primary school, say around age 9 -11, and discussing it at great length in the playground the next day. Even watching it today, there are still parts of it and lines I never really picked up on before. This brings me to an age old rant. How come they just don't make films like this anymore. And it covers everything. Even the old '80s horror films that picked up on video. Their equivalent to day is of a far less quality. The straight to DVD market, although gems can be found, is generally dreadful. The output of Full Moon picture with the Puppet Master films, and the films of Stuart Gordon in the '80s are still watchable today. Unlike the crap Full Moon churns out now. But I'm drifting from my point. Big Trouble, from what I read, didn't open to great success. But it still opened, and John Carpenter continued making films. So why all of a sudden have we stopped seeing this kind of film these days. Its the same with the adventure film, Which Big Trouble also kind of is. Indiana Jones existed before Big Trouble, and Romancing the Stone, and King Solomons Mines. Yet today we have The Mummy, originally a remake, and now an Indy style knock off. And National Treasure. And that's it. Where's the rest of the average Joe getting tied up in an adventure. That's whats missing from cinema. We go in, buy the tickets, buy the popcorn and sweets and drinks to consume noisily (another ongoing hate fuelled rant that one is) and we watch, and we do only watch, some guy have an adventure. Although these days the guy is either super powered, or based on a 1930's counterpart, updated "for the kids". Now I'm not saying I don't go to these films. I do, and I mostly enjoy them, but watching Big Trouble again has made me realise that you kind of relate to Jack Burton. He's just a guy trying to get his winnings from his old pal and gets dragged into the ancient Chinese sorcery. He doesn't even get the girl at the end. He could have, but he doesn't because he has a life outside of the film. He can't just shack up with Kim Cattrall. He's got his job. He's caught up with his buddy, now its time to get back to reality, back to the 9 to 5. Just like us when we leave the cinema or turn off the DVD.

Real life heroes. That's what I want to see more of. Actually I'd like to see more of Jack Burton. I don't mind if they made a sequel to Big Trouble. I'm sure it would go down well now the films has DVD success. And why can't we catch up with ol' Jack. What scrapes does he find himself in further down the road. It's either this, or Hollywood will remake it. Just like they're remaking Robocop. Now why the hell are they doing that. To reboot the franchise. To update it for the kids. To give them a chance to see it, having not grown up with it. Hey Hollywood, I didn't grow up in the 1940's but I still think Abbott & Costello are ace. Or are you going to start remaking those now. Why else can you get all this stuff on DVD, why else have 5 million TV channels. If you haven't seen Robocop go out and rent a copy. Hell, buy a copy. It's that good. All remaking these films is going to do is piss off a lot of people with a load of CGI crap, that no matter how many times your tell me how good it looks, it never really does. I'm sure these guys cry themselves to sleep with all the lies they've told about how amazing there CG looks. They did convince Mr Lucas though. So they should cry, blame them for Jar Jar, among many other randomly flying creatures. CG does work sometimes. Buildings and backgrounds for example. But really, just build the thing, you can touch up with CG later, but at least have something. Especially if a real life person has to touch it. Common sense people.

After a major digression I'll wrap this up. Big Trouble in Little China is a great film. Better than Congo I'd say, definitely. This is what I want to see more of. More average guys taking on the world, and by average guys I don't mean teenagers. Or thirty year olds pretending to be teenagers. Just an average guy. Like you. Or me.

Look out for future blogs:

Neil Marshal: The next John Carpenter? and Why are all the best new Horror films foreign.

(Please note I have neither a problem with subtitles or foreigners. It's just a truthful observation.)

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

A time killing update...

I'm just ripping CDs to put on my MP3 player and I thought I may as well update this blog.

I'm currently having trouble coming up for the plot of a script. I had this idea a couple of years ago its been kicking about in my head since then. Only now, having written my first real script (I've written others of varying lengths, but people have actually read this one) it looks like this is the time to bring the idea out. I'm not going to go into any detail, nor tell you what the idea is on the offchance someone does actually read this blog and steals it. The trouble I'm having is basically getting the idea from my brain, to the page, without getting crappy in the process. I find the longer I keep an idea inside, working out the kinks, that by the time i get to writing it, everything is clear, everything makes sense, and it keeps me entertained. If I force it out, it just becomes a steaming pile of mess.

I also have this idea that I want to draw the ideas out, as in on paper. Design characters and stuff, but then I realise that most of the characters are everyday people, nothing too interesting. And my idea for the bad guy is far too fantastical that I'm sure if I could picture it clearly, I'd die of shock. I'm talking Cthulhu messed up. But not as big, or tentacley. Its just the effect I'm after.

With this idea though, I think I've kept it locked up too long to the point where far too many outside influences have latched on creating a monster of an idea that I'm struggling to make sense of. It's times like these when work really gets in the way. Besides if I wasn't working I'd most probably be working on another animation. Since I have to work from nine to five, and I know this will sound lazy of me, but I find it really difficult settling down behind yet another computer to work out the kinks in the idea.

"Why not just write now?" I hear no one ask. Well, I don't want to , I'm writing this, and I have to change CDs every few minutes. Distracting I think.

No, I am going to write when I know how Protagonist gets from A to B, why they get there, who else joins them and for what reason, and why they even exist in the first place. Trying to do this whilst office working is slowly setting my brain up for a crash, but alas, I cannot turn it off. If it wasn't this idea it would be some other fragment needing work. I'll just have to come to accept it.

I still have a couple of CDs left now. So...hey...what's up?

How cool is the Kull the Conqueror soundtrack. And the film for that matter. I think Kevin Sorbo needs to re-think his career and return to this type of film. Surely its going to be better than Meet The Spartans, and even Walking Tall 3.

The Gone Jackals. This is a band only a few know of by name (I'm guessing. No one I know knows them) That is until you mention they did the soundtrack to Full Throttle, the great LucasArts motorbike gang themed, point and click adventure game on the PC. Now that was a cool game. They were even planning a sequel before Mr Lucas decided The Clone Wars was the way forward and spent all his time on sub par Star Wars games only.

And on that note I'm off to watch yet another pointless episode of Smallville. This series was never that great to begin with, but Season 7 has somehow dropped even further. Although Green Arrow rocks.