18 September 2007

Back from Holiday

It's been quite a while since I posted here. I went on holiday to France and there I saw a couple of Hitchcock films (having recently acquired a box set on the cheap). A lot of Hitch's films seem to involve the same basic plot- innocent man gets framed and has to clear his name (has there ever been an innocent woman version of this plot? I will have to make inquiries).

I watched Picture Perfect yesterday. An OK rom-com, whose primary purpose seemed to be getting Jennifer Aniston into as many short outfits as possible (I think it went into double figures). Has Ms. Aniston ever been killed in one of her films? Again I will have to make enquiries.

23 August 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

It's been quite a while since I last posted an entry here. I've been busy and I've just forgotten. Sorry about that.

I've seen a few films recently, such as the titular film in a local cinema. It was a bit hard to catch up on the trilogy to begin with (I'd seen the previous two films, but that was a while), but it was quite a good film. I'm glad a certain character didn't die.

I've come to the conclusion that Iraq may be irretrievable and if the surge doesn't work, we should focus all our efforts on training the Iraqis.

31 July 2007

Ice Age: The Meltdown

Watched this yesterday. A bit boring, but the end was good.

Ice Age: The Meltdown

Watched this yesterday. A bit boring, but the end was good.

23 July 2007

Three films

I watched three films recently. Well, two and a half.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a bit rubbish. It never really gets going and relies too much on special effects. It only works since it's part of a whatever-you-call-a-seven-film series.

Children of Men (watched on Sky Anytime) starts off well, but gets a little tedious towards the end. The dystopianness is well done.

Syriana is boring, hard to follow and uninteresting. I gave up after half an hour.

12 July 2007

Confetti and The Fly

Haven't posted here for a while. Been busy with real life. Plus I've just plain forgot.

I watched these two films recently. Confetti is a reasonably funny British mockumentary about three couples getting married. It contains nudity. A lot of nudity. Male and female. Full-frontal as well.

The Fly is not a pleasant film. Very gory and disgusting. However, it did give the world the expression "Be afraid. Be very afraid".

27 June 2007

Harriet Harman and Blair's departure

So Harriet Harman's been elected as Labour's Deputy Leader. I didn't vote for her at all, but I'll have to accept the decision.

Blair has now stopped being PM and Gordon is in charge. Let's see what he does first. I've met him and I think he'll be good though.

20 June 2007

Happy Feet

Watched this on Monday off Sky Box Office. Not bad, but not brilliant. Lacked a certain je ne sais quoi. Why did the other penguins have to be (somewhat stereotypical) Mexicans?

11 June 2007

Alien: Resurrection

Watched this for the sake of completeness recently.

Some quick points:
  1. How does a fresh clone have painted fingernails?
  2. I didn't recognise Winona Ryder at all.
  3. The "black man sacrificing himself" trope in these kind of films is starting to get a bit cliched.

09 June 2007

Benn for Deputy

www.benn4deputy.org

Read why I and many others are backing Hilary Benn for Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.

He rocks.

06 June 2007

Soylent Green

Saw this a couple of days ago (taped off the telly). It's a reasonably good sci-fi film, albeit somewhat dated looking. Oh, and the fake blood looked really fake.

I suppose everyone knows the big secret, but I won't reveal it here.

30 May 2007

Predator

Saw this a few days ago and thought it was reasonably good. Mind you, the way Arnie avoids the Predator got busted by the MythBusters...

Also features two later state governors (Arnie and Jesse Ventura)

10 May 2007

The Descent

I watched this yesterday. Word of advice, try not to watch this while eating- I spilt my drink at a jumpy bit.

A pretty good film, though rather gory and sweary (I recorded the sign language version and now know the BSL for a certain four-letter word). An interesting ending.

02 May 2007

Vote Labour

Tomorrow is the local and devolved government elections in the UK. You may have issues with Tony Blair, but he'll be gone soon. Don't take your anger out on hardworking Labour councillors.

That's just one reason to vote Labour.

The American President

I haven't posted here for a while, but I saw this film recently (I taped it off the telly).

I'm not the biggest fan of romantic films, but I liked this one. It's written by Aaron Sorkin, the creator of The West Wing and features three people who would appear in the show (most notably Martin Sheen.

I recommend it.

13 April 2007

The Prisoner of Zenda (1952)

Quite a good film, with a nice swordfight at the end. Stewart Granger plays two roles and it's an early example of having two versions of the same person in one shot.

09 April 2007

Ghostbusters 2

Not a bad sequel, but not brilliant. Better in the second half. Peter MacNichol- not so good.

First film is better.

08 April 2007

Happy Easter!

Just want to wish all my readers a Happy Easter.

He is risen indeed!

07 April 2007

West Ham 1 Arsenal 0

Well, that's a turn up for the books.

Keep going like this and we'll stay up. Something must have changed in the West Ham side.

By the way, there is still only one Bobby Zamora.

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

Watched this one because a part of it was covered in MythBusters.

Quite a good film, although there was a plot hole. I prefer Errol Flynn's Robin Hood to that of Jonas Armstrong, although he did laugh a bit too much.

06 April 2007

Good Friday

Remember the reason for today.

It's the death of Jesus so our sins can be forgiven and we can go to heaven. Of course, he would rise again on Easter Sunday.

04 April 2007

2001: A Space Odyssey

I have a strong suspicion that the SFX poll got vote-rocked (i.e. mass-voted on) by Firefly fans. My earlier comments on the film still stand, though.

The film that is the title of the post got into there as well. Not so sure about that one, which I finished watching today. Well shot, realistic in many ways, but drags awfully in many places. There's not even many jokes.

I prefer Serenity, definitely.

02 April 2007

The Falklands- 25 years on

I'm a bit young to remember the Falklands War. I won't say how young I am.

On BBC Parliament yesterday, they were showing old news coverage of the war. I didn't even know the Argentines had an aircraft carrier back then...

Let us remember those who died liberating the Falkland Islands and the poor Argentine soldiers who died for a corrupt junta.

Serenity voted best sci-fi film by SFX readers

http://www.sfx.co.uk/page/sfx?entry=lord_of_the_fireflies

Well, that's a turn up for the books. It's a good film and I intend to watch the series.

30 March 2007

The Iranian hostage situation

I suppose this has been covered in some depth in other blogs, so let me add some points of my own.

Firstly, it's going to be pretty much impossible to prove one way or the other where the British boat in question actually was. Maps and evidence can be faked and I don't think the Americans had a spy satellite in the right place at the right time.

Secondly, either the British have done something very stupid or the Iranians have. I'd personally favour the Iranians.

Thirdly, does anyone think that the British military personnel have been tortured or threatened with torture?

Comments are welcome.

24 March 2007

An apology

I've been posting my comments on 24 on this blog for a while now, not realising that not all countries have seen these episodes. I apologise to anyone I've inadvertently spoiled the show for and will remove all 24 related posts from my blog.

Sorry.

Abolition of the slave trade

It's 200 years since the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire.

Let's, however, make some points:
  • Slavery still continued in the British Empire for another 26 years.
  • Slavery lasted for another 56 years in the US.
  • Slavery still goes on today.

So let's not get too excited about this anniversary.

19 March 2007

Iraq- Four Years On

It's probably best that I link you to my post last year on the matter:

http://thesilenthunter.blogspot.com/2006/03/iraq-three-years-on.html

We should add the words "sectarian militias and death squads" to that.

There's little point in repeating myself again.

14 March 2007

Trident renewed

The vote has passed in the Commons, with 95 Labour MPs rebelling.

While I may not agree with the decision, I accept it. However, there needs to be serious work on multilateral disarmament. That will reduce the risk of proliferation.

12 March 2007

Trident (again)

As you're probably aware, the Commons is to vote on whether to renew Britain's nuclear deterrent, Trident, on Wednesday. You're also probably aware that a minister and a PPS are resigning over the issue.

I read the Defence White Paper on this today after a recommendation from a Labour-supporting friend. While it's not changed my mind on the issue (I still support non-renewal and negotiations on multi-lateral disarmament, with the Lib Dem proposal as second best), it has clarified a few points.

So let's say a few things:
  • The Americans do not have a veto over whether we can launch our nuclear weapons. We do not rely on American satellites.
  • It's completely unclear and deliberately so what our targeting policy is. It is by no means a given that Pyongyang, Beijing or Tehran will not nuked. It's also no means a given that they won't. That's nuclear deterrence for you.
  • All of the other four "permitted" nuclear states are modernising their weapons and even improving them (Russia's SS-27s anyone?). Britain is merely renovating them. CND would be a lot more credible if they campaigned against those countries as welll, especially the People's Republic. They may well be a British campaign, but their briefings say nothing about the Chinese. Some people would call that biased.
  • The subs are, for the moment, pretty much undetectable.

Comments are welcome.

05 March 2007

Last Action Hero

Finished off Last Action Hero yesterday, which was reasonably good. The Governator was good in it. Mind you, there was an inaccuracy of action movies in the 'real world'.

19 February 2007

America Firsters

One thing that really annoys me are politicians (most often American ones) saying that we should stop "interfering" in the world and deal with our own problems.

That's rather a selfish view, IMHO. Plus, these problems don't get better without outside intervention. Two, if we were to, par exemple, withdraw from Iraq prematurely, there would be a failed state that would cause problems for America, Britain and other countries.

Where are the internationalists in American politics? And don't say the protectionist Democrats are better.

Hot Fuzz

Saw this at the cinema yesterday. I'd highly recommend it. It's laugh-out-loud funny, has some great (and funny) action scenes and a lot of famous UK faces (Timothy Dalton is particularly good). The plot's not half bad either.

09 February 2007

Ian Richardson 1934-2007

The first time I saw Ian Richardson was in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and he was great in that. I've never seen House of Cards though. He was great as Death in Hogfather.

He'll be sorely missed.

Doom

Bit gory, a lot of foul language and virtually all the cast end up dead. Some violations of the laws of physics as well (In the real world, people do not fly back ten feet when shot).

The first-person bit was nice, mind.

07 February 2007

Gremlins

Finished off Gremlins today and found it OK. The Stage 1 Gremlins were a bit unconvincing (eyes didn't look real), but the second stage ones were better.

Wasn't there a sequel made to this?

02 February 2007

My Iraq plan

It's important for those who are criticising Bush's policy on Iraq to say what they would do differently. I'm not exactly a critic, but here's what I think we should do:

  1. Place the Iraqis firmly in command. Put their generals and leaders in charge of the Multi-National Forces.
  2. Focus our effects a lot more on training the Iraqi forces.
  3. Zero tolerance of corruption, police abuse of power.
  4. Banning all the militias. In fact, get the Iraqi government to make possession of a firearm, save by the militaries and bodyguards, a criminal offence.
  5. Point out who is responsible for most of the deaths in Iraq.
  6. When the training of the Iraqi forces is done, start fully withdrawing, but set the timetable privately.
  7. Take a tough stance with Iran and Syria. These regimes simply need to stop arming these terrorists. Sanctions would be a good idea, but not war.
  8. No use of torture. It just makes us look bad.
  9. Carry on with the province-by-province transfer of security, but speed it up.

Comments are welcome.

31 January 2007

The hydrogen bomb

I've been watching Nuclear Secrets on BBC2 and found it quite good. The latest episode is about the hydrogen bomb. I wasn't sure whether it was the right decision to make it until I heard some of the stuff about the effects of the hydrogen bomb. It essentially atomises anything within three miles of Ground Zero.

That's far too powerful to be allowed. These weapons should be banned.

27 January 2007

Holocaust Memorial Day

Today marks the 62nd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Let's hope and pray that the current repetition in Darfur is stopped and quickly.

24 January 2007

State of the Union

I watched Bush's speech off C-SPAN this morning. It wasn't brilliant. It had some good proposals, but the Iraq section was somewhat poor.

Oh, and it's always funny when half of Congress stand up. Does anyone think that Bush was being a bit insincere when he congratulated Speaker Pelosi.

Comments are welcome.

17 January 2007

Five Minutes to Midnight...

The Doomsday Clock has moved for the first time in four years.

It now stands at 11.55pm.

This is obviously a bad thing. It's why we need action on climate change and nuclear weapons.

15 January 2007

The surge

I always seem to be coming back to an Iraq discussion. I won't insult your intelligence by saying why.

So let's be brief here.

The surge sounds like a good idea. I hope it works. If it doesn't, we should set a private timetable for getting out.

The war was the right decison. It was just badly carried out.

By the way, can someone tell me about the Congressional vote on the surge plan. What type of resolution will it be?

WarGames and Hotel Rwanda

I watched WarGames on Sunday. It's a reasonably entertaining film. Logically slightly insane, but still entertaining.

I also watched Hotel Rwanda. Well-made and educational. It's not really meant to be entertaining.

13 January 2007

Cry_Wolf

Wonder what the URL for this post will be. That's not a typo, BTW, the underscore is included in the film's title.

And a pretty good film it is too. Great twists throughout and a great plot. And it's not particularly gory either. I didn't recognise Jon Bon Jovi, but then again I don't really follow 80s pop.

11 January 2007

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie

I haven't had a huge amount of experience of Japanese Anime. About the only thing that I'd watched before this was Pokemon. When I saw this film was being shown on Sci-Fi, I decided to tape it, after having the series recommended to me by a friend.

Perhaps I really ought to have watched it all in one go. I tend to enjoy films more when I do that. Not that that'll stop me when it comes to Cry_Wolf.

For those of you who don't know, Cowboy Bebop is a series about a team futuristic bounty hunters. The film is about their attempts to find a terrorist.

It's quite a good film with plenty of twists and turns, although it is a bit hard to follow. The opening sequence is particularly good.

10 January 2007

Lord of War

I'm going to start doing a reasonably regular feature on the films that I've watched. First up is Lord of War, which, if you don't know already, is about gunrunning. It stars Nicholas Cage.

The film isn't really meant to be entertainment, but more to talk about the arms trade. It makes some very good educational points about the arms trade, an area I'm interested in. While there are some anarchronisms (and factual inaccuracies) in it, it is still watchable and I'd recommend it.

I'd also recommend you watch this:

http://www.protectthehuman.com/teleshop/guns/

Edited to add a new label.