Tag Archives: movies

What is with Nolan and the simultaneous releases? Not a review of Interstellar

Interstellar IMAX ticket

It seems to me like Christopher Nolan is the only one worth getting out of bed early or late for. Over the last few year, I got up for Inception at 12am, Dark Knight rises at 5am and now Interstellar at 8:15am. All have been in the Manchester  (which is thankfully a real 70mm IMAX).

So was Interstellar worth getting out of bed early for? YES and I’ll be watching it again on Sunday.

Interstellar

No spoilers

Interstellar is a love story told over space and time. It very much reminds me of Voices of a distant star and Contact. Both emotional and stunning to watch. Attention to detail is incredible too. It does pull at the heart strings and you can’t help but shed a tear here and there.

8.5/10 for me and I’m not the only one.

Update….

Oh and thanks to Jaz for pointing out that there’s actually up to 6 different versions of Interstellar available. I went for the 70mm IMAX originally and then watch it again in standard 35mm at the Cornerhouse Cinema on Sunday. The difference is certainly the quality of some shots but also the lack of immersion.

Films you may have missed in early 2014

Locke
Locke

Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) has worked hard to craft a good life for himself. Tonight, that life will collapse around him. On the eve of the biggest challenge of his career, Ivan receives a phone call that sets in motion a series of events that will unravel his family, job, and soul.

I heard about this film but watching it on the independent cornerhouse screen was great. Its a very simple concept but digs deep into the emotion of multitasking human communication. If you get a chance this is a film which must be seen. Tom Hardy is fantastic in this film, yes his accent isn’t great but the plot makes up for this.

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The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet

A 12-year-old cartographer secretly leaves his family’s ranch in Montana where he lives with his cowboy father and scientist mother and travels across the country on board a freight train to receive an award at the Smithsonian Institute.

Charming film with a quirky but playful plot. Its a beautifully shot film and won’t get much attention which is a shame. Lovely plot and interesting outcome.

Lucy
Lucy

A woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.

Under the Skin
Under the Skin

Jonathan Glazer’s atmospheric, visually arresting abstraction stars Scarlett Johansson as a seductive alien who prowls the streets of Glasgow in search of prey: unsuspecting men who fall under her spell, only to be consumed by a strange liquid pool.

Lucy feels like Limitless but something there is something special about it. Its got all the set pieces but throws in a bunch of reasonable stuff about evolution. I can’t help but feel Lucy wouldn’t have happened unless the director had seen her in Under the skin. I mean Scarlett Johansson is great (hey I’m fan) and I tend to love the roles shes in but Lucy and Under the Skin really showed shes got a lot more depth to the roles she takes.

Mindscape
Mindscape

A man with the ability to enter peoples’ memories takes on the case of a brilliant, troubled sixteen-year-old girl to determine whether she is a sociopath or a victim of trauma.

This is like a cross between inception and the cell. Although the movie does drag a little, the concept is a intriguing one and the twist does come as a bit of a shock.

Edge of tomorrow
Edge of tomorrow

Major Bill Cage (Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously demoted and dropped into combat. Cage is killed within minutes, managing to take an alpha alien down with him. He awakens back at the beginning of the same day and is forced to fight and die again… and again – as physical contact with the alien has thrown him into a time loop.

Tom Cruise again is at it. Hate the guy but love his acting. Edge of tomorrow feels like sourcecode but crossed with oblivion. The results is a sometimes laugh out loud funny film (Doug Liman is good at that) which has its dark moments. Lots of lessons to be learned from it but without being too preachy. Tom once again plays next to a strong English female role. Last time Andrea Riseborough in Oblivion and now Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow, and boy oh boy is Emily great in this film. Just don’t be put off by Tom Cruise, go watch it

Bad wolves
Big Bad Wolves

A series of brutal murders puts the lives of three men on a collision course: The father of the latest victim now out for revenge, a vigilante police detective operating outside the boundaries of law, and the main suspect in the killings – a religious studies teacher arrested and released due to a police blunder.

I don’t know where to go with this film. Its brutal, disturbing and crafty put together. Its also funny in parts  like a tarantino film but its certainly not. I would put this in the same kind of category as Oldboy and  Ichi the Killer. Well worth seeking out if you like your comedy pitch black and action slightly twisted?

13 Sinds
13 Sins

A bright but meek salesman, drowning in debt as he’s about to get married, receives a mysterious phone call informing him that he’s on a hidden camera game show where he must execute 13 tasks to receive a multi-million dollar cash prize.

I’m not one for horror type films but I like a great thriller. Concept is simple, but as you can imagine the tasks quickly ramp up to insanity. Its interesting to see where the balance of shame, greed and sunk costs come together.

Filth
Filth

A bipolar bigoted junkie cop, manipulates and hallucinates his way through the festive season in a bid to secure promotion and win back his wife and daughter.

I didn’t know what to expect but thought I’d give it a try. It didn’t look great and I was giving it the thumbs down till the twist when it all clicked and I was seeing parallels with Trance.

fault in our stars
The Fault in Our Stars

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a patient named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Not my usual kind of film but I watched it anyway, interested in the neat innocent relationship which was developing between the two main characters. Like Filth, Trance, Mindscape, etc, the twist comes as bit of a shock. I’m sure people will see it from a mile off but to be honest I wasn’t expecting a twist, so when it came it really hit home. Good film to remind you about the important things in life.

Inception is a metaphor for cinema?

Abandoned Cinema

…One of the coolest ideas behind the film “Inception” is that the entire film was widely reported on the internet to be a metaphor for cinema. Cinema creates an artificial dream world and invites the audience into that dream that we then fill with our subconscious. We already have dream sharing technology. It’s called cinema.I am a story junkie and I am immersion junkie.

The dream is real…? Now that makes sense…

I had never heard this but then again at the build up of Inception, I was kinda of busy. Mind blown!

This was taken from a interview with Jason Silva. It really got me thinking while reading it on my kindle today. I specially love this reply to Why are you so fascinated about what happens to our brains when we watch movies?

Diana Slattery writes that Immersion is a “necessary precursor for any kind of interpersonal persuasion or transformation to occur”..  Janet Murray writes that we “long to be immersed” and that we “actively metabolize belief in story”… because we are effectively narrative beings.

I’m fascinated by the liminal spaces we enter when we are absorbed by cinema: that magical borderland between dreams and reality, the space of archetype, of myth, of madness and ecstasy, the landscape of the imagination, freed from the constraints of time/space/ distance.
Cinema is the realm of subjectivity. The only technology that allows us to enter the mind of another.  Cinema is cartography for the mind.   As Gene Youngblood wrote: “cinema reflects mankind’s historical drive to manifest his consciousness outside of his mind in front of his eyes”
Love it… We long to be immersed, we have always wanted to manifest our consciousness for others to be immersed in…

Who’s dream are we in, Mr Charles

Film references in small cartoons about glasses of water

I don’t know who originally wrote the one on the left but I saw George Takei tweet about it from Josh’s Retweet. Instantly got me thinking about inception (specially since I recently watched it again).

Such a great film and love the scene about Mr Charles. Originally I was going to put “my first thought is: wheres mr charles?” but decided it was too insider baseball. So I must be dreaming won out over mr charles and who’s dream am I in?

Only after watching it the 40+ time did I notice there is no opening credits for Inception

More Fan Art on everything

My plans to slowly replace all the movie posters in my flat has been slow, but here is two more to the collection…

I’ve grown tired of the movie posters. There always too brash in my mind or don’t include the parts which are movie defining.

I got the idea a while ago to blow up Fan Art using Rasterbator and then replace my crappy movie posters with them. It might seem slightly cheeky but if I’m not replacing any of the attribution and I’ll happily point to where I got the art. I know Deviantart do sell poster sizes of some of the art but I quite like the rugged non-descript way Rasterbator makes Fan art.

That iconic first scene from the Dark Knight. Although I was looking at this one too for a while.

A different way of looking at Inception… Another great scene from a film I love, when Arthur leans in for a kiss on Ariadne.

Ariadne: What’s happening?
Arthur: Your subconscious is looking for the dreamer; me. Quick, give me a kiss.
Ariadne: [She kisses him and then looks around]
Ariadne: They’re still looking at us.
Arthur: Yeah, it was worth a shot.

Got to do one for Donnie Darko, Fight Club and Cloud Atlas.

My Top Films for 2013

Trance

Its been a interesting year for films. The time between cinema and download seems to have shorten and some films surprised even me. I didn’t include Prisoners, World War Z, This is the end, Iron Man 3, Thor 2 and many others.

  1. Trance
    I can’t tell you how great this film is. Its smart, quick and emotionally something I didn’t expect. All the characters are sharp and the sound track is up there with the best. I would go as far as to say, the film is like being in a trance, the way parts keep jumping in and out.
  2. Cloud Atlas
    Although officially it came out for most of the world in 2012, it didn’t hit the UK till Feb 2013. I have seen this film so many times and it still has emotional depth and a sharp storyline.
  3. Now you see me
    After watching the fight of the Prestige vs the Illusionist. I thought I’d had enough of magicians on the big screen. But I like what happens in Now you see me. 4 magicians working together and a twist which I didn’t believe could work. Plenty of replay value.
  4. Gravity
    I watched this at 2330 in IMAX 3D and was simply blown away. I never like 3D movies but all that space, just worked with the 3D effect.
  5. The Great Gatsby
    I didn’t know much about the Great Gatsby, so the whole story was brand new for me. And what a story it turned out to be. Not only that the cinematography and art direction was up there with other Baz Lurman movies.
  6. Oblivion
    When I first watched this film I was not impressed then I watched it again weeks later and started to enjoy it more and more. Once again Tom Cruise who I’m not a massive fan of but he’s a bloody good actor. Good idea well executed and even watchable again and again.
  7. Fast & Furious 6
    I didn’t expect to enjoy this much but I remember me and Jude decided over Pizza we were in a hollywood smash mood and decided to watch it instead of a range of other movies at the time. Fast 6 didnt disappoint. Very action packed, but a nice heist along the lines of Takers. Fast 6 certainly has found its niche and if fast 7 does what it promises, we’re in for more action packed heisty fun.
  8. Upside Down
    Maybe less well known that the others. The context is explained in the first 3mins and the rest of the story is a traditional love story. What makes it special is the theming, characters and cinematography. Each scene looks a lush and I’m glad I gave it a chance.
  9. Pacific Rim
    Like Fast 6, pacific rim has a simple story to tell. Massive Monsters (Kaiju) vs Massive Jaegers. Nothing more complex that devastation and carnage.
  10. Man of Steel
    I was disappointed with Man of Steel. I felt Nolan and Snyder would be great, but it seems Synder took the reins in the first of the trilogy. Don’t get me wrong I love Snyder’s cinematography and art direction a lot. But Sucker Punch and 300 holds nothing against Inception and The Dark Knight.

You must’nt be afraid to dream a little bigger darling

Times Square, Inception style

[SPOILERS  below! You were warned!]

I am a total sucker for films which need you to think a little bigger.

You think its so big and then you square it to get an idea of how big things really are… Some would suggest these type of films are either too complex or too up themselves.

  • InceptionThe king of all… Confusion and levels of visual and mental complexity which had most people scratching their heads. Inception isn’t overly complex to those who have ever had a vivid dream. But once you get your head around the first leap that you can control dreams, your greeted with the easily digestible fact you can have dreams inside of dreams. But there serious consequences too.
  • Trance – My new love in this type of film. Having gotten hypnotherapy myself, I understand the power of suggestion, having  gone wrong or is it right? Must be watched twice at least to see all the subtle clues of whats really going on. From a robbery to a film about abuse and personal spirit. Trance makes you think outside the box.
  • RevolverMost people hated this movie because they expected something like lock stock and snatch. What it creates is a world told from our anti-hero’s point of view. You start to question whats actually going on. After much introspective it becomes clear the characters he thinks are his savour are actually his cell mates with far too much time on their hands, mater minding a plan which out smarts not only him but his nemesis. The game is discussed in detail and the chess metaphors are spot on.
  • Primer – A film so complex it comes with its own timeline. What makes Primer so special is if your not really watching, you may miss the very suttle clues to what on earth is going on. Unlike Revolver, Trance or Inception, you don’t get a sense of how epic this film is from the usual visual or audio clues were use to. Its easy to watch it and shrug your shoulders wondering what the big deal is about. Once you step outside the box and think that your actually watching one of the copies/timelines (can’t think of a better name) not the first instance your on your way questioning everything your being visually fed.

I love them and just like those famous words in Inception… You must’nt be afraid to dream a little bigger darling

Join me for Cloud Atlas at the cinema this Friday?

If you weren’t sure about Cloud Atlas, not heard much about it, well watch this from Digital Spy… and…

Tom Hanks has claimed that his new film Cloud Atlas is as complex as Christopher Nolan’s  The Castaway star explained that the multi-thread plot of both films challenges the audience.

“There are going to be people out there who are going to say, ‘Who do they think they are to make this movie like this?'” he told The Belfast Telegraph.

“That’s been the case with every great film. I think every audience is yearning to be surprised. I am bored when I walk into the theatre expecting A, B and C, and a movie delivers A, B and C.

“I want to see something brand new that I never anticipated coming a hundred million miles away,” he continued, “And my God, that happens before the words ‘Cloud Atlas’ appear up on the screen on this one.”

Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, Hanks added: “I loved that it wasn’t going to be simple for audiences.

“Lord, doesn’t that sound beautiful? A film that is original, creative and makes you think. That’s what movies used to be.
“I think it’s as risky as Inception,” he concluded.
Inception was a complete one-off. You saw it the first time and said, ‘How many movies are in this thing?'”

Although I wouldn’t say it was quite as epic as inception, its certainly not far off. This is why  I said on Salford Cinema Club’s micro blog… I will be going to watch Cloud Atlas at the Odeon Manchester Cinema.

If you are also interested in watching this master piece of storytelling and film, give me a shout on twitter or something… Thinking about the 8:20pm showing?

Films you may have missed from 2012

and when i see you,

I’ve been doing this type of list [1][2][3] for a while but when I saw filmstate’s Top 5 movies 2012 you may have missed. I was in total agreement with so much of the list, I felt 5 was too short.

This is the list…

  1. Headhunters
    I’ve not actually seen this but its in my collection to watch when I got time just like the intouchable. Everyone has good things to say about this movie.
  2. Your sister’s sister
    I actually didn’t think much of this one… Drama and not exactly gripping in anyway.
  3. Safety not guaranteed
    Quirky tale which seemed to be going no where fast but then it seems to head towards a ending which shocks. I know what Ryan means about the ending, but I actually quite liked it.
  4. The raid redemption
    Like a few others I’ve not seen it yet, but its also in my collection. I think after seeing Dredd, I prefer it already. But its totally unfair as I saw it first. Oh by the way he’s the official word on who copied who
  5. Martha Marcy May Marlene
    I have already talked about this movie in depth here… Always uncomfortable to watch but really good

Here’s my additional list…

  1. Upside Down
    I’m a total sucker for romantic films with a hint of sci-fi for example time travelers wife. But this one is stunning to watch and reminds me of what dreams may come in visual impact.
  2. Dredd
    Yes I know its exactly the same concept as the raid redemption and there will be those who prefer it to Dredd but for me the slow-mo shots and having Judge Dredd involved in the mix is awesome. I know a lot of people were put off because they thought it was like a Judge Dredd sequel but they are very wrong.
  3. Compliance
    Just recently watched this and was blown away at the sequence of events and levels of social engineering deployed in this real life is even more scary drama.
  4. Fire with Fire
    This reminds me of Law Abiding Citizen, where you think you got its number but actually you don’t. Also asks how far would you go for witness protection?
  5. The Words
    Interesting tale about a man who uses another mans words to profit greatly and never considers where they came from. When faced with the real author sparks fly. Slow and smooth film.
  6. Not Suitable for Children
    Got me think for interesting reasons. Its about a guy who finds out he has prostate cancer and will loose the ability to have kids. The story is funny and a bit tragic. Weirdly I had a dream the same thing happened to me a few days after watching this.
  7. Premium Rush
    New York bike messengers drama, not great but entertaining and worth watching if most of my other selections are too deep or too dark and intense
  8. The Intouchables
    Not actually seen this yet but I hear great things about it from friends. Its in my list to watch one day when I’m chilling out and not doing something else at the same time.
  9. Coriolanus
    I’ve watched half of this and keep trying to find proper time to watch it. But what I’ve seen so far it looks good and shame lots didn’t see it because it was put through the independent circuit, even with such mainstream actors. Maybe its the area of focus which makes it less mainstream

The things Hugh Garry says

Recently Hugh Garry has been writing in his blog more often than usual. Not sure what has prompted him but he’s writing some amazing stuff. Everytime I read something I want to comment or blog it straight away, but I’ve decided to take a few bits and comment on them here.

From Rules of watching a movie

Switching ‘on’ your phone during a movie is something that the film industry is going to have to get used to. It’s a new rule of cinema – people like to share their lives and that includes capturing screen shots of the film they are watching – it’s happening and it’s creating spreadable media.

I hate it when people turn on there phone so you can see the glow of their screens in the darken cinema but love it or hate it, its not going away. Its actually spreading.

I watched Argo yesterday as part of the salford cinema club. In the darken cinema, you could see people sharing thoughts and the like. Ok no one was pointing the phone at the screen but they might as well have. I really wanted to capture the new anti-piracy advert because I kid you not most of the cinema was laughing out loud when it came on the screen. At that moment I had to resist the instant temptation to tweet it.

Capturing the anti-piracy advert surely can’t be bad? Its not like I paid to watch this propaganda. In fact it leads nicely on to Hugh’s next blog…

From Banksy on Advertising

On Friday night I stumbled upon this great quote from Banksy on advertising via the excellent The Fox is Black. Wish I’d had it in time for the lecture.

“People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.

You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.

Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.

You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs. Banksy”

Hugh and ultimately Bankey is right. F them. I’m sure I mentioned somewhere how growing up in Bristol. Clever defacements of public advertising was a everyday thing. It wasn’t just Banksy doing it, everyone was doing it. It was just a way of life. It wasn’t till I moved to London, that I noticed it was a uniquely Bristol thing.

Bristol has always been a counter-cultural city and the counter advertising has always had a big role. They are less a cheap shot and more a highly educated shot at some entities which need cutting down to size.

These entities are not above the law and specially above the law of common sense. No one is… The moment they think they are, things start to break down and get really ugly. I won’t mention the serious stuff which is happening about now.

Hugh’s Popup ideas shop concept is really interesting… and the weird thing is, I think I’ve been doing it without noticing.

I’m running a series of pop-up idea shops in Manchester and London. It’s not really a shop – more like me at a table in a cafe with an empty chair waiting to be filled. It’s free ideas for anyone who needs them. I’ve never done it before, and I don’t know if anyone else does them, but I’m giving it a go to see what happens.

So here’s the idea…

This Friday (November 16th) between 1pm and 4pm I’ll be sat at a table in Fyg on Tibb Street in the Northern Quarter, Manchester. If you need ideas, a new perspective or a fresh set of ears for whatever you’re working on then do drop in. You might be taking your first steps in digital or social media and don’t know where to start. You may need help shaping the story of your brand – come say hello. There’s no charge for this. I may be able to help you or I may not. Either way I’m happy to have a brew with someone new if you are.

I tend to push all my adhoc meetings to Fridays in the northern quarter. Some of the discussions are very relevant to my work in the BBC and sometimes its less so.

Of course FYG deli is a great place to do it and I’ll be there enjoying a deli platter and meeting with a few people while I sort out a few things to do with Perceptive Media.

Maybe I’ll sit next to Hugh to keep him company in between the quiet times.

Rules of watching a movie

Another thing I saw from Hugh Garry which got me thinking

Switching ‘on’ your phone during a movie is something that the film industry is going to have to get used to. It’s a new rule of cinema – people like to share their lives and that includes capturing screen shots of the film they are watching – it’s happening and it’s creating spreadable media.

I use to be a usher at a couple of cinemas in the past including the Odeon chain.

As a usher, your meant to make sure everything is ok in the screens. Things like people talking too loud and people talking on their phones is a reject-able offense in a cinema (although its worth noting they can pretty much throw you out for anything). Of course its quite sometime since I’ve done ushering in a cinema and are shocked by how slack some ushers have got with there duties… However things have changed, rather than people talking on the phone, there texting, tweeting and generally doing stuff on the phone.

This doesn’t cause such a distraction but most smartphones have a crazy backlights which can literally light up a small cinema. So when your tweeting in the dark, everything is lit up for a short while. This is painful…

However saying all this… I’m seriously wondering how much better the experience of the cinema would be if you could pull your phone our and tweet for example. I generally tweet at the end while the credits are rolling up and the house lights have dimmed up.

Yes I understand the fear of people recording parts with there phones and the like but seriously? I wonder about the actual damage of people sharing photos of parts of the film with there friends. As someone once said all publicity is good publicity… If someones tweeting to their friends, there doing because they feel the need to share with friends or the world. Pay attention, the intent is critical… Go with it!

Cloud Atlas USA Oct 2012, UK release Feb 2013!

Clouds

I tweeted

If true, expect another #donniedarko. Bad mistake not to go worldwide first.
‘#CloudAtlas‘ gets new UK release date
http://m.digitalspy.co.uk/movies/news/a404612/cloud-atlas-gets-new-uk-release-date.html

A friend asked me to explain

Cloud Atlas is now due to be released in the UK, a good 4 months after the American box office! This is crazy and frankly insane in this day of age (and with such a big movie)

What did I mean by quoting Donnie Darko?

Donnie Darko did pretty badly in the American box office, it was later released in the UK and did really well. So well that by the time it was released on DVD in America, the buzz from the UK and other markets translated to really good DVD sales.

Donnie Darko had its first screening at the Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2001, and debuted in United States theaters in October 2001 to a tepid response. Shown on only 58 screens nationwide, the film grossed $110,494 in its opening weekend.This may likely have been the result of the movie containing major scenes involving a plane falling out of the sky, and thus coinciding with the Sept 11th terrorist attacks, many distributors and theaters were unwilling to house the film at that time.By the time the film closed in United States theaters on April 11, 2002, it had earned just $517,375.It ultimately grossed $4.1 million worldwide.

The film was originally released on VHS and DVD in March 2002. Strong DVD sales led Newmarket Films to release a “Director’s Cut” on DVD in 2004. Bob Berney, President of Newmarket Films, described the film as “a runaway hit on DVD,” citing United States sales of more than $10 million.

1 concept 2 films…

Everyone once in a while, a concept gets turned into two films. Those two films are released within a few months of each other. We all know examples but I wanted to look at two which people may not know… Specially on the eve of Man on a Ledge

Man on the LedgeThe Ledge

As a police psychologist works to talk down an ex-con who is threatening to jump from a Manhattan hotel rooftop, the biggest diamond heist ever committed is in motion.

A police officer looks to talk down a young man lured by his lover’s husband to the ledge of a high rise, where he has one hour to contemplate a fateful decision.

Liberty Stands StillPhone Booth

The wife of a gun manufacturer is held hostage by a man seeking revenge for the death of his daughter in a high school shooting incident.

A slick New York publicist who picks up a ringing receiver in a phone booth is told that if he hangs up, he’ll be killed… and the little red light from a laser rifle sight is proof that the caller isn’t kidding.

Films you might have missed recently

I watch a lot of films (and that doesn’t even include the ones in the cinema)… So in my usual style, here’s a list of ones you may have missed (also made a Top10 list), which are certainly worth watching… I’m adopting part of the Simon Lumb approach to film reviews

  • Entitled
    More twists and turns than a spinning twitter… Will have you thinking and scratching your head for a while. Its smart and clever, if you like smart films with plenty of twists and believable characters this one you will like. If you like well written dramas like Cracker, Dexter, etc. You will enjoy this one.
  • The Ledge
    I saw this film and then later saw a trailer for a film called Man on the Ledge. I thought they were the same film renamed but after a little look on imdb, I discovered they were different in everything but concept and plot. Maybe its this years Liberty stands still/Phonebooth, Armageddon/Deep Impact, etc, etc. Either way, the ledge is a gripping film which surprises and delights. Say its a heist movie gives away too much. You will certainly like it if you like Liberty stands still or Phonebooth, you will also enjoy it if you like heist movies like Heat and Takers. Don’t watch it if you like cheese…
  • Trust
    The story about a girl who is groomed online by a older man, and the reaction from the parents. It starts simply enough and you think well Clive Owen is going to smash someones face in at some point. But then comes the real emotion that the girl doesn’t feel like she wasn’t raped and the other half (the interesting half) is how the family deal with this. Expect a lot of shouting and slamming doors… If you liked Hard Candy, this isn’t for you. Its gritty and takes its matter very seriously.
  • The Perfect Host
    This film is very surprising… You think you have its back then it transforms into something more align to a scene in American Psycho. Once again, you think its a simple plot and easy to follow but it gets very very dark. To the point where your wondering where things took a turn for the worst. If you enjoyed the Last Supper then you will enjoy this. Don’t watch it if your after action and love your Fraser heart throb.
  • Middle Men
    The tale of two men who stumble across a way to make serious money off the new media porn industry . Its very adult in nature and frankly a bit of fun till it all goes wrong as different people get involved and they end up ripping each other off. If you liked the Social Network, August or Startup dot com or work in the field of online, you will like this film a lot.
  • Soul Surfer
    This one is the tale of a lady surfer who over came amazing disability to carry on doing what she loves. Its a heart felt tale and knowing its a true story elevates it in to this list. I’m a bit of a sucker for these kinds of a story and who wouldn’t be? Inspirational and touching. Something for those who like real stories and don’t mind a little teenager emotion. Its a cheesy in part but its held together by the real life story
  • Wrecked
    Very much like Burried but more like 127hours where not everything is so focused on one single scene. Things do happen outside the one scene and are shown on the screen for all to understand what happened. I don’t know if I would recommend it over 127 hours but I certainly would recommend it over Burried. If you like either, you will like Wrecked.
  • The Veteran
    This is a broody guts and all type movie. It feels like gangster number one, but lacks the polish. Its gritty and a bit cheeky in parts but a good watch and worth seeking out if it comes across your scope.

 


If you liked these recommendations, theres even more dotted around my blog. [1][2][3][4]

Hacking together my digital artifacts with a wifi picture frame

My Wifi UPnP digital picture frame

For a long time now

I’ve been thinking about the problem of digital artifacts in a physical world. I remember clearly, a fantastic conversation I had with the amazing Jas Dhaliwal about this exact subject when he was up in Manchester recently.

He was looking through my book collection and DVD collection and we got talking about how most of the books on my shelf I’ve never actual read through. Not because I don’t read but because of my dyslexia and I far prefer to read digital books. Which begs the question, what am I doing with a ton of interesting books? Why don’t I just get rid of them and buy the digital equivalents?

Well two reasons…

  1. Physical artefacts are much easier to lend to people and much more likely to be taken seriously by friends currently.
  2. Physical artefacts are easier, cheaper and better suited for display.  And I want to display who I am through my choices of the media I buy (rightly or wrongly*)
* Now you could have a massive debate about should you be defined by the things you own or what but… frankly this isn’t the time do that.
As Jas said in the latest techgrumps, its all about the digital artefacts representing you… And with that all in mind, I bought a wifi enabled picture frame for a very good price at my local Currys outlet store.
I bought one before but it was crap because it couldn’t connect to anything on my local network, just remote services. However this one does have the advantage of Universal Plug n Play, which raises it above most of the wifi enabled picture frames.
I complained on the same techgrumps podcast that I couldn’t get anything to talk to it but I finally used Ushare and bingo everything started working. So right now, I got the plan to either,
  1. Install Ushare on my xbmc box so I can share movie fan art and titles from XBMC
  2. Setup a rsync between my xbmc box and my server (already running uShare)
  3. Move the xbmc database to my server which has the benefit of a shared library system.
  4. Investigate the built in xbmc UPnP server
Either way, it looks like I’ll be keeping the photo frame strictly for the purpose of replacing my digital film collection with something an analogue artefact. This is also where a large scale eink display would be ideal.
I’ll post something along these lines on the XBMC forums to see what people think. Maybe they might even be able to help, the recent fan art stuff certainly will help too