Archive for the ‘Life: TV and Movies’ category

TV: Knightmare – it’s back!

July 24th, 2013

Yes! Knightmare – The show I recently described as “where a strange man blinds children, puts them in hazardous situations and makes them get food and “potions” from strangers after manipulating them is coming back (source The Guardian and Den of Geek). It’s only going to currently be a one-off for YouTube’s Geek Week (4th to 10th August), but it is being produced by Tim Child (the original producer) and will star Hugo Myatt as the unforgettable dungeon master Tregard : so we can all once again be “welcome[d] as watchers of illusion to the castle of confusion”.

This “New Episodes” follows CITV’s “Old Skool” week early this year where they aired a few episodes of Knightmare and a recently Knightmare Live project (actually to take place 31st July to 25th August).

It’s probably a bit late, but YouTube/Tim Child please please please take these 3 simple requests in to mind:

1) Don’t bother with the EyeShield. It was a terrible idea. It took people out of the dungeon (so where, exactly, were they meant to to be escaping from/conquering?) and just “padded” the show causing viewers to sit and wait.
2) Please don’t try and do the “Knightmare VR” style or the one without the advisor: some of the best bits were misunderstandings between the Dungeoneer and the advisors (from right and left confusion to advisors forgetting things)
3) Keep it difficult. Please don’t dumb down things like the Wall Monsters Riddles – they were fun to try and work out and often ended with smacks to the head of “Of course!”

TV’s Most Memorable Numbers

July 17th, 2013

After misreading The Guardian’s TV’s five most memorable mumblers headline, I started wondering what TV’s most memorable numbers actually are/were (from a UK perspective).

1. “911”. Yes, the American emergency services number – crops up a lot in TV programmes aired in the UK, but our own 999 or the European 112 number doesn’t (I don’t think I’ve ever heard the 112 number on TV).

2. “01 811 8181” and later “0181 811 8181” . As used by the BBC for many programmes – such as Live and Kicking, Crimewatch, Going Live, Swap Shop and many others.

3. “0118 999 881 999 119 725 3” : a spoof phone number for the “new emergency services” from “The IT Crowd”.

4. “Darrowby 385” from “All Creatures Great and Small”.

Any others that stick in your mind?

Snippet: Define “TV Show: Knightmare”

June 30th, 2013

Knightmare: The TV show where a strange man blinds children, puts them in hazardous situations and makes them get food and “potions” from strangers after manipulating them – all whilst keeping the kid’s friends hostage. When it’s put like that, no wonder it was taken off TV!

Dominos Pizza Movie Deal

February 23rd, 2013

We were just looking for some food to eat on the Dominos Pizza website when I came across their “Box Busting deal” which includes “Large Pizza, Garlic Pizza Bread, Potato Wedges and a [current or library movie] rental” for £19.99. It looked tempting as we were possibly considering going to the cinema to see “something”, so I had a look at which films they had “stocked”.

1) It’s not clear that this are actually “streaming” videos: i.e. you aren’t actually renting a physical item to play in your DVD or Blu-Ray player
2) No technical specifications are given on the main site at http://www.dominos.co.uk/menu/movies/ (they are in the FAQ on http://pizzaboxoffice.co.uk/frequently-asked-questions though: an entirely separate site).
3) It says it can be viewed on a “PC or Mac” (is that Windows and Mac or “Windows, Linux, RISC OS” [i.e. anything in a “PC form factor] and Mac”)
4) It will” only work on the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox 15, Opera 12.02, Chrome 21, IE9 and Safari 5.1.7″. I run Chrome 25 on my Linux laptop: can I actually play the movie (the “latest version” of “Chrome 21” as far as I can tell was Chrome 21.0.1180.90 (released September 24 2012). Since around that, “Chrome 21” has been ended. I would under stand if it said “Latest versions of Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Chrome, IE and Safari” (and is it compatible with IE10?)
5) And the biggest problem I’ve got is the movie choice. The titles are provided by Lions Gate UK Limited and the choices are:

“Latest” (not available under the deal)

  1. “LOL”
  2. What to expect when you’re expecting
  3. Friends with Kids
  4. Magic Mike
  5. Keith Lemon The Film
  6. The Expendables 2
  7. The Possession
  8. Tower Block
  9. Gangsters, Guns and Zombies
  10. The Cupid Dog

(I’ve heard of “What to expect when you’re expecting”, “Magic Mike” and “The Expendables 2”: but I’ve not been tempted to see any of them).[3 heard, 0 “want to watch”, 0 owned]

“Current” (part of the deal)

  1. Daddy I’m a Zombie
  2. Metal Tornado
  3. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
  4. Abduction
  5. From Prada to Nada
  6. The Cabin In the Woods
  7. Extinction: The G.M.O. Chronicles
  8. How I Spent My Summer Vacaction
  9. Machine Gun Preacher
  10. Sofia
  11. A Dangerous Method
  12. Axed
  13. Hell
  14. The Hunger Games
  15. Outpost 2: Black Sun
  16. Hesher
  17. Warrior
  18. 50/50
  19. Coriolanus
  20. Trespass
  21. The Son of No One
  22. Mothman
  23. Alyce
  24. The Devil in me
  25. The Thompsons
  26. As Good as dead
  27. The Yummy Gummy Search for Santa: The Movie

(I’ve heard of “The Hunger Games”: but not been tempted to see it. I’e not heard of the others).[1 heard, 0 “want to watch”, 0 owned]

“Library Title”

  1. The Princess Bride
  2. Monster Mutt
  3. Thor Tales of Asgard (not the 2011 film, but an animated one)
  4. Ultimate Avengers (not the 2012 film, but an animated one)
  5. Akeelah And The Bee
  6. Ella Enchanted
  7. Noel
  8. Good Nigh, And Good Luck
  9. Mothman prophecies
  10. Forbidden Kingdom
  11. Bend It like Beckham
  12. Employee of the month
  13. Fred: The Movie
  14. The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus
  15. Pumping Iron
  16. Mad Money
  17. Good Luck Chuck: Fruity Edition
  18. The Bank Job
  19. Dirty Dancing
  20. Conan: The Barbarian (from what I can tell from the cover image, as the text doesn’t state, this is the 2011 Jason Momoa/Ron Perlman one and not the 1982 Arnold Schwarzenegger / James Earl Jones one)
  21. The Blair Witch Project
  22. A Cock And Bull Story
  23. Revolver
  24. Solitary Man
  25. The Best Man
  26. Adventurelan
  27. Maybe Baby
  28. The Edge of Love
  29. Jackie Brown
  30. Righteous Kill
  31. Chaos
  32. Stone
  33. The Four Feathers
  34. The Great Raid
  35. Jeepers Creepers
  36. Reservoir Dogs
  37. Daybreakers
  38. Command Performance
  39. The Expendables
  40. The Condemned
  41. Setup
  42. Clerks
  43. Young Guns
  44. Monster
  45. Garfield’s Pet Force
  46. Spy Kids 1
  47. Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams
  48. Spy Kids 3: Game Over
  49. Happily N’Ever After 2

(We own “The Princess Bride”, “Maybe Baby” and “Clerks” and I’ve heard “The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus”, “Dirty Dancing”, “The Blair Witch Project”, “Jeepers Creepers”, “Reservoir Dogs”, “The Expendables” and the 3 “Spy Kids” films and we may be very slightly tempted by “Conan: The Barbarian”). [9 heard, 1 “want to watch”, 3 owned]

So, out of 76 available movies, I’ve heard of 10, own 3 and may be slightly tempted by 1.

I don’t think we’ll bother with this deal.

Movies: Recently watched films

January 20th, 2013

This week, mainly due to insomnia, my wife and I have watched a number of movies, and here’s a thoughts on them in “worst to best” order. Some spoilers ahead.

5. Prometheus
Looking up its Wikipedia entry afterwards kinda sums up our thoughts of this movie. It started off being a sequel to Alien, then a reboot and then a prequel. It shows its uncertainty quite a bit and it had a lot of potential, but just wasted it with “cut and pasted” sections from Alien (oh – the robot has a different agenda from everyone else and – shock horror – ends up decapitated. Oh, somebody leans over something different and gets a acid-blood face hugger who people then take back to a ship whilst a woman tells them not to break quarantine etc etc). It could have just been so much more – and how did the Space Jockey get back to his ship in his pilot seat (as we see him in Alien with a “chest buster” hole) if he died in the Prometheus emergency pod? Too formulaic, too uncertain what it is (psychological horror horror, sci-fi, straight horror). Very disappointing.

4. Tron: Legacy
I managed to pick this up for just £3 at Sainsburys yesterday – and I’m glad that’s all we paid for it. The young Jeff Bridges/CLU didn’t quite “seem right” (we think it may be because the VFX tried to map the 1980s “Jeff Bridges face” [but not the one from the original Tron] onto the 2010’s Jeff Bridges face and things – due to aging – just don’t match right), the sirens scene seemed extraordinarily redundant (and those heels!) and the light-bikes and curves? A large part of the excitement of the original Tron Light Cycle “race” was the fact they could only make 90 degree turns and be quite limited as to how they could escape: whereas ramps and curves (and not long lasting light trails) means it was just a standard chase sequence. The suits lighting (and the whole “grid lighting/effect”) wasn’t, in my opinion, as good/effective as the original movie, the story line seems a bit forced (especially concerning ENCOM) and there just wasn’t really much Tron in Tron (“Tron” has been reprogrammed as is, in fact, playing a different character for most of the movie). Oh – and Michael Sheen’s Castor/Zuse character was very David Bowie-esque.

3. The Dark Knight Rises
Actually reasonably good – we had problems with the sound level: when Batman was speaking we had to increase the volume and when Bane was speaking, reduce the volume. Quite a few plot holes (how did Batman get to/from the prison when “not-at-all-Manhattan-island” was closed off), but wasn’t bad.

2. Marvel’s The Avengers
Quite enjoyed it, thought “Black Widow” was a bit of a wasted character: she didn’t seem to do much. Loved Iron Man. This was the first movie we saw in the sequence, so my mind is a little bit hazy of the details now.

1. The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey: Cinema release (2D)
This is the only one we’ve seen at the cinema (at Cineworld in Ashford: all the others were DVDs or iTunes) and it was a little bit loud for us (but this is probably due to the cinema not the film). I’ve never read the book so I can’t really compare them. I felt the Gollum/Sméagol poetry scene was stretched out and didn’t fit (if they had alternated with the Dwarves being in peril it would have given a better “going on at the same time” feeling instead of “dwarves are on pause”). The trolls and the Pale orc seemed a bit “deus ex machina” solved – and why didn’t they just ride the eagles all the way to the mountain. I was surprised the great goblin was actually Dame Edna Everage (well, Barry Humphries). Apart from all that, quite fun and enjoyable.

gamy-dance
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