Thursday, 26 February 2009

My face was shaved...and I watched films...

For those who may be interested, Operation Beard is over. It wasn't really a failure, more that I grew sick of the facial hair. I was going to post photos but how self indulgent would that be. Anyway, I also discover my hair is too fine and light to get a successful growth going. You basically had to be centimetres form my face to really see it. I have this theory though, whenever I seem to forget to shave, the lazier I become. Therefore with the act of shaving I cast off the laziness hair to become revitalised once again, ready to get on with whatever I was avoiding. This was a sub-mission with operation beard. The longer the hair grew, the more to cast off, the more I would get back into things. Which worked for a couple of hours, but then I went back to the confusion.

To explain, I'm moving down with Brother Chris for the foreseeable future and somewhere it was decided that I go down for a week, presumably to settle in, or get the lay of the land. Which is all well and good, but I spent the week not really knowing if I should be looking for work as I was returning home for a couple more weeks. This scheduled return also meant that the room in which I'd be living was still borrowed, so at home I did not feel. I did apply for one job though so not all was wasted.

When not working however I watched a lot of the second series of the Henry Rollins Show. although a little strange at first, seeing Mr Rollins presenting a chat show, the guests he has on and the cut around rants make for an interesting watch. It is a little disconcerting though as he does seem to complain about everything, even blogging, and I do see where he's coming from, however I shall persevere.

When not watching umpteen episodes of this show, I managed to watch a handful of cool films. These ranged from the "arty" Irma Vep, a film about the filming of a remake of a silent french serial called Les Vampires, starring Maggie Chung as herself. It's good because it makes a little fun of stereotypical French Cinema, that the majority of films are made only for the directors and not for general audiences.

I also watched a Japanese film called Kamikaze Girls. I originally thought this was going to be a crazy kung fu style film but was surprised to learn its the simple tale of two girls from clashing cultures becoming friends. It's still crazy, and really cool. Especially the soundtrack by Yoko Kanno, who also created the soundtrack for the excellent Cowboy Bebop anime series. Anyone who hasn't seen these should definitely look them up.

During a film night, and using the hat system (whereby the names of a bunch of films are put into a hat and one taken out at random to be watched) resulted in a quality triple bill featuring Ravenous, the Guy Pierce and Robert Carlyle cannibal fueled film, which I'd forgotten was quite funny, and has an excellent soundtrack; Omega Cop, a post apocalyptic style Citizen Kane meets Ong Bak starring Don Marchini and Adam West; and finishing off with Death Dimension, in which Jim Kelly teaches crime to George Lazenby whislt they take on Harold 'OddJob' Sakata and his snapping turtle. Assisted by none other than Myron Bruce Lee. Quality viewing was had by all.

In term of cinema visiting adventures, we saw Friday the 13th and Push. Unfortunately Friday the 13th was neither a re-imaginging nor a remake, but ended up another sequel in the already bulging Friday the 13th family. A 'Previously on...' style opening continues into a brief body count before the actual film really begins. Jared Padalecki, from Supernatural, was good but the fact that Jason as a franchise has become so large that even he isn't allowed to kill him off.

So with Push, a film closer the Heroes TV series than with telekinetic adventures as advertised. The film is ok, there are a lot of plot holes and one wonders whether using a different 13 year old, rather than the 40 year old 13 year old Dakota Fanning, would have achieved the same result. It was fun though, and was better than Friday the 13th.

I've come to the end now as I'm not quite sure what I'm writing about.

Kamikaze Girls Trailer

Irma Vep Trailer

Friday, 13 February 2009

Operation BEARD...

An update of randoms here.

I followed this link from Brother Chris' blog about Neil Gaiman having a rant about someone mistaking the Henry Selick directed film Coraline, as being by Tim Burton. I shall explain, but here's the link - here.

Ok so, maybe not when it first came out, but since I realised my mistake I have been a supporter of Henry Selick. He's the real guy who directed Time Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. And I still fight in his corner. If you read Neil Gaiman's blog, he explains where the mistake was made and so on, but I find it unbelievable that even members of the press can't be bothered to look at the Internet Movie Database. Anyway for anyone who cares to read, Henry Selick also directed James and the Giant Peach, which is ok i guess. I've only seen it once and wasn;t a fan of the live action segments. He also directed Monkeybone, which I think was hated by the critics, but does have its own charm. The design work is cool, and it has an excellent blend of live action and animation. Selick also directed, or actually animated, I'm not sure, the animated fish segments from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. In summary, Henry Selick is a cool guy, and needs to be recognised.

Brother Chris, in a previous post here, ask for suggestions for films where the lead leaves his hometown for a better life somewhere and actually finds it. A quick background to this is because I'm moving down, and due to certain things happening, am not yet sure if the right choice was made. So we were talking about films that cover the subject, such as Orange County and Lonesome Jim, but in both the lead decides to return home having decided that's where he belongs basically. Explanation over. So films were suggested in the comments section, such as The Station Agent, which is cool, then a load I hadn't seen so I wont repeat, but also Star Wars A New Hope, and Superman. I don't agree with these though, and choose to hide here to avoid any backlash. The reasons given were Superman's planet is blown up, so his life improved, as did Luke Skywalker's. However, Luke's family had all been blown to bits, and he hated farming and wanted to leave form the beginning so that's out. Superman, on the other hand, his home blew up so couldn't return if he wanted to. Close but no cigar. Anyway, the best I could come up with was Stardust. Tristan goes in search of star, learns something along the way, and stays for a better life in Stormhold.

I found this cool little game based on the upcoming Watchmen film. Its basically a style of 80#'s coin-op beat em up in the style of Double Dragon and the like, but featuring two members of the Minutemen. Check it out here.

Finally to tie the blog title in, I'm currently involved in Operation Beard. As I have no job anymore, and do not need to look for work due to complications of various visitations I'll be making over the next month, I have decided to take a leaf out of Keanu's book and grow a beard mid-employment. Why not I say. As a side note though, I also need to get a haircut and am contemplating bringing this into Operation Beard. However, the whole process may mutate and become some kind of Project Hermit style monster. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Fortune and glory kid. Fortune and glory.

I could go on about Benjamin Button, but I'm not going to, much. I went to see it and was disappointed that it differs majorly from the short story, for no real reason I could see. It's ok, it looks nice, and the first half was good, but its way too long. Plus the focus seemed to shift onto the Cate Blanchett love interest, and how she has to grow old while Benjamin turns into a child. Whereas the short story sticks firmly with how Benjamin just wants to fit in. He leaves his wife when she starts getting old, not out of sympathy, but because he doesn't like her now she's old. He also cant get into college and things, I liked that aspect. The film obviously plays more into the sentimentality of it all. Plus its massively long.

So mediocre at best. However, I watched Cloverfield on DVD last night. This is the first time since I saw it at the cinema, and although it didn't have the same impact on its second viewing, its still a really good film. Characters, story and premise. All thumbs up.

So what am I truly blogging about. Well, I left my job last Friday (6th February for future reference) and now for the first time in roughly 2 years i find myself with too much time on my hands. I'll be eventually moving away, but until then there's no point looking for work, and I've got somewhere to stay, so I find myself killing time and thinking about what I'm doing, whether the right decisions have been made. In theory, the only reason I'm typing this out now is to think out loud. I know I'm not going to know if I've made the right move until a few more months have passed, at which point I hope to be settled anyway.

At the moment it kind of feels like I've run over the edge of a cartoon cliff, but I 've yet to fall, or make it back to the cliff edge. So I patiently await the outcome, driving myself insane with my thoughts.

I just hope the acme parachute hasn't got an anvil inside.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Laibach...what the hell????

Ok, so randomly I was introduced to this Slovenian metal band the other day. Not personally of course. They are Laibach, and are one of the influences behind German metal band Rammstein.

Now searching over youtube I've yet to find any of their original songs, just some covers. They've also been going since the early 80's I think (a quick wikipedia check confirmed this) but they're still around today, so there are many incarnations of them. The newer tracks seem to be just like Rammstein, so It's the older stuff I'm more interested in. As you can probably tell, I don't know much about them except they are scary. And have fascist undertones, though they claim this is nonsense.

So for fun I've posted three of the best videos, all covers, and for a comparison a couple of Rammstein tracks. Its a music video bonanza.


Laibach - Life is Life

Laibach - Across the Universe
Stick with this to the end for extra special scariness.

Laibach - Sympathy for the Devil
One of the better covers of this song.

Rammstein - Rammstein

Rammstein - Links 2 3 4