luckykaa: (TV)
Am I the only sci-fi fan that thinks This Island Earth is a load of rubbish?

It is the epitomy of 1950's B-movies (although I don't think it actually was a B-movie). It has the heroic scientist (Played by Rex Reason - even the actors have puply names!), preachy moments, a rubber monster attack, and some really bad physics. the end seems to be very rushed, with the protagonists not actually doing anything. It was impressive in 1955, but seems extremely dated.

The Day The Earth Stood Still, Forbidden Planet and even When Worlds Collide all managed to do better as serious sci-fi, with a more solid plot, a clearer message, and better special effects.

That said, I do think it is a must see, because it is one of the cult classics. It is quite frequently referenced in comedy, and everyone should know what an interesitor is. I do actually like it, but mainly for the hokiness of it.

[livejournal.com profile] flickums has never seen it. I feel she should. I could pick this. Since watching the Princess and The Frog, I have earned the right to insist on one cult sci-fi movie. I could go for this .

Now, there is an MST3K version, and I'm sure it's very funny, but it seems somehow wrong to start with that. It does chuck out 20 minutes of the movie. And it seems I'm the only nerd (Apart from MST3K's Mike Nelson) who seems to think it's a bit rubbish. It seems a little unfair on a highly regarded film to start with a cut down riffed version. And mainly that we lose a chunk of plot, from the bit that feels rushed! It should be up to Flickums to form her own opinion. But then I'm a bit reluctant to recommend a film that I think is hokey rubbish.
luckykaa: (TV)
I've seen a lot of films recently. I should really start logging them properly. Some mini reviews of movies I saw at the cinema this year:

Split: Best M Night Shyamalan movie since Unbreakable. They've been taking a strady downard trend in quality since the start. Surprising to see a good one. Although there is the usual attempt from Shyamalan to be "artistic" all the time. James McAvoy should be nominated for best actor, best supporting actor, and best supporting actress in this, purely because it would be hilarious.

Assassin's Creed: I always thought the premise of the game was a bit dumb. It doesn't make any more sense in this. What was fun was the parkour stuff, which the movie doesn't do very well. Found the whole thing boring and confusing.

Lego Batman: I think this was our Valentine movie! Hilarioulsy silly. It's very Lego movieish. It knows how silly every aspect of its premise is. Lots of fun. Needs to be rewatched with a finger on the pause control.

Kong: Skull Ilsand: Looked to be a film about a giant ape swatting helicopters. Turned out it was a film about a giant ape swatting helicopters! Although apparently I miussed the subtext where Kong is actually Donald Trump or something.

Logan: I liked this fulm. Flickums didn't. I thought it was a nice end to the X-Men series, and it's nice to do things a little different. Less action packed than any o fthe others, but still with plenty of action.

Power Rangers: Way better than I expected. This was a super-hero origin story, which - I may be mistaken - I don't think the series really had. More a case of "We need 5 teenager. You'll do!". A decent bunch of nods to the original. Rita Repulsa actually seemed like a vaguely challenging villain. Nice that they included an autistic kid. Some review apparently said it was played for laughs, which I really didn't see. Not all that sure he really had the mannerisms right, but maybe I'm being too stereotypical.

Now I really must think back and work out what our movie nights have included. There have been a lot of these.
luckykaa: (TV)
I seem to be the one in the relationship who likes "Chick Flicks". A lot of films are unfairly maligned by this label. I thought Mean girls was great, Clueless is hilarious. Last night's movie was The Devil Wears Prada. Not everyone's cup of tea but certainly one of my not-so-guilty pleasures.

Oddly, I only watched it because it was an in-flight movie option. When flying, I always go for the films that seem interesting but I probably wouldn't otherwise watch. A tiny screen is not how to get a full cinematic experience.

The part that hooked me, and pretty much every critic was the speech from Miranda (Meryl Streep) about how the fashion industry affects everything people wear. It's possibly a bit of an exaggeration, but there's a lot of tuth to it. The black jeans I'm wearing right made it to Next's product line because a few years ago someone decided black jeans are cool. Even the fact that I wear boxers was influenced by a Levis ad (probably more of an advertising decision than a fashion decision but it's all part of the fashion/publishing/popular-culture empire). Surprisingly, this was actually removed from an early draft. Meryl Streep insisted it was put back.

I have some issues with part of the message this seems to be pushing though. Essentially, Andy's friends are awful!
Spoilery part )
I feel I'm being too critical. I enjoy the film. Meryl Streep is excellent, and I rather like Stanley Tucci. I just wanted Andy to ditch that loser boyfriend for good.
luckykaa: (Wolf)
Saw Lego Batman last night. That was a silly movie!

Like most good kids' movies it works on a lot of levels. On one hand, there's some silly gags and jokes that will work if you haven't even heard of Batman. Mainly it's a good natured satire of Batman, with a pile of romantic comedy tropes thrown in for good measure.

But for the fans, there was a whole load of references and in-jokes. Unlike a lot of comedies, it doesn't labour on the references. In fact they fly past at an epic rate. So we get a bunch of lego adaptation of scenes from every live action Batman, shooting with about half a second between each. A whole laod of villains shot through in about the same time. Lots of shots in the batcave where we see a lot of mementoes and the like. No idea what they all were. To get all the references you'd need to watch again. Ideally in slow motion.

Definitely a good film for fans!
luckykaa: (Wolf)
It was my last [livejournal.com profile] flickums weekend until December :(

But it was a fun weekend!

Started off well. Got to the station with plenty of time to catch my train. Manchester has many stations. This was the wrong one. And the next available train looked packed and uncomfortable. I decided I could afford to splash out the extra on a first class upgrade, and get the train that arrived 2 minutes later. Arrived at Chez Flickums, and collapsed in front of the 80's-tastic "The Worst Witch" - which has those wonderful 1980's kids TV production values (i.e. it looked cheap as well and used Chroma-key a lot). Also watched Sky Captain. Sort of. Flickums was plying me with wine and had some alcohol herself. Stuff happened. Angelina Jolie showed up and the plane turned into a submarine. Yeah. Wasn't really paying attention.

Saturday did a quick bit of car shopping. I wanted to see if the convertible mini appealed to me and to flickums, but I think it's a little too small and impractical. Bought ingredients and spent the rest of the day watching Police Squad. Until it was firework time!

Sheffield had its big After Dark display! We got there nice and early and had the opportunity to wander around and eat toffee apples and candyfloss and then we got a space right by the fence so we could see the bonfire being lit! Sadly, no guy. On the plus side, no crimes against geek (Leicester burned Darth Vader last year)!  Really wish I'd brought gloves and a hat though. Flickums offered to buy me a tea to warm me up. I negotiated this to a hot chocolate. I suggested we go for the queue that appeared to be a place that specialised in drinks rather than the burger van that also did drinks.

I chose poorly.

Or well.

I'm not sure. We were stuck in the queue for the best part of an hour, listening to the overly perky radio people say a few things that were incomprehensible because there was an echo. On the other hand, they had additional flavour syrups and the gingerbread squirt was absolutely delicious.

Fireworks were fun and funky! Fireworks are always nice to watch.

Getting home was an adventure in itself. Logistics of this sort of thing are tricky. Everyone wants to leave at once but there are very few trams. But we got home eventually.

Sunday was a day of relaxation and pumpkin cooking. I feel pumpkins should not just be used as lanterns! So I roasted some and made pumpkin pie out of some more, while flick played Final Fantasy X. Not sure about the roast. pumpkin. I think it was a bit bland and flavourless. It seems more there as a means to soak up flavours.

Pie was a great success though. Pumpkin pie has nutmeg and cinnamon and allspice and sugar and eggs and cream, so tastes of nutmeg and cinnamon and allspice and sugar and eggs and cream. I don't think the pumpkin really contributes to the flavour but the final result is very nice!

Also watched WestWorld. One of the better serious 70's SciFi films. 70's sci fi has a tendency to take itself too seriously, be rather slow paced and talky, and end rather abruptly. Westword does end rather abruptly, but on the more positive side, it does allow for a few funny moments. It's a little slow paced but not as slow as something like the Andromeda Strain, and there's some good solid tension in the relentless pursuit which is emphasised by the absense of music and just the quiet.

Then it was time to go home. This made me sad. And while there was an attempted coup by the tram, to prevent me from leaving by not turning up, I did get to the train on time thanks to Flickums being highly organised and having a Taxi summoning device.

Another month to Flickums. *sigh* :(
luckykaa: (Wolf)
Friday:

[livejournal.com profile] flickums came. We went to the pub and played cineplexity. Once again Flickums whuppedmy arse completely by knowing about films. Ordered nice beer, and tasty food. It's a bit of a hipster pub so the food is well presented but not as good as the solid hearty fare of the Metropolitan. Also trendy pubs have this weird thing where the pile the food up. We returned home and went for a spooky halowe'en weekend thing of watching Ghostwatch. Kind of an odd bit of TV history in that it seemed a little undecided about whether it was a hoax or a drama. It was quite clever in a lot of ways and while the acting was somewhat mixed, I can understand why some people were taking in. And as flickums pointed out it does predate things like Blair Witch.Much hilarity was had by repeated mention of a "Glory Hole".

Saturday:

Finally resolverd the Ikea Wardrobe saga. I will probably go into more details in a later post. However, managed to hire a van for 2 hours from Hertz 247. Marginally cheaper than a full day from Easirent, and they do cover fuel costs.Since I have no car this did involve the epic trip from one end of the tram network to the other, which takes a while. On the positive side, this did mean I could return the wrong wardrobe, and there was no quibble at all about a refund. Celebrated by eating meatballs, then took the epic tram journey home. Hertz Ikea Van rental is pretty good when it works but Hertz seems to have a slightly odd issue with believing I am who I say I am (They sorted it over the phone so no real issue). Everything beign automated does make things fairly efficient. Type in the code, check the damage report is correct, and then you're free to go. Wish they had reversing sensors though. Fortunately a chap with a flat cap saw us out.

Went up to Huddersfield to see Cat and Frodo. Train was a little packed but we got seats. And were really pleased to get out at Huddersfield since this is where all the football supporters got on. Was an offer to get a taxi back woth Frodo but that was a miscommunication somewhere along the lines about finishing times. Still, we had directions by taxi. Although the house was hard to find due to some rather odd numbering scheme. Still, we found the place. Cat and Frodo's daughter seemed to take a shine to me. Ordered Pizza, but they forgot Flickums's.  Frodo ran an RPG for us. RPG was based on Fallout. We all died horribly! It was a lot of fun though. Involved much running around and avoiding being killed by gribbly monsters.

Sunday:

After a busy Saturday we just wanted to spend lots of time sleeping. That was fun. Eventually dragged ourselves out of bed an into Didsbury village where we acquired cheese fro baking, and then went to see Dr. Strange. Kind of enjoyed it. It's decent Marvel fare. Bongledooch is good, as ever, and there's plenty of action. So we saw that, went to the arcade and played lots of games invloving shooting. Apparently pirates had machine guns. Who'd have thought?

Returned home and watched Bram Stoker's Dracula. A film that I had a certain level of trepidation about; mainly because of Keanu Reeves playing Jonathan Harker. Actually it's not so terrible. Even though Keanu constantly looks like Ted "Theodore" Logan, and while - bless him - he tries to do a British accent it isn't exactly great, at least Jonathan Harker isn't actually all that significant a character after the Castle Dracula part. And it is a fairly faithful adaptation of the book (apart from the slightly odd reincarnation thing). Plus gorgeous costume (oscar winning) and set design (oscar nominated).

Sadly, as ever, I needed to send Flickums home at this point. But I get to see her again next weekend :)
luckykaa: (Wolf)
Another visit to Sheffield. It was a nice day, so we went to Haddon Hall, where parts of The Princess Bride was filmed.

We had a go at the "have a go" archery. I think I probably won on points. [livejournal.com profile] flickums won on getting closest to the middle. Civic duty done, in case of outbreak of war with France, we went into the castle. It was a nice place. I think I'll buy it. The kitchen does require 400-500 years of modernisation, but the roaring log fireplace and extremly long narrow room were definite attractions.

After that we went to bakewell. We bought a tart.

I have never seen so many sweet shops in such close proximity. Also tea shops. Also a dog day out!

There was also some sort of event on. We saw morris dancers and there was a craft fayre, and bunting, and lots of people in costume.

We bought a bakewell tart. Still remains to be eaten! I was told it was better than Mr. Kipling's. Then the lady said she hopes I wasn't Mr. Kipling. I assured her I was from the noble house of Battenburg and therefore the sworn enemy of Kipling.

Movie watched:

Wargames; l because it's one of my favourites and it was a long time since Flick had seen it. It's very 80's but still a good film.

After Earth; Because flickums lost a bet. It really isn't a good film. It isn't even a particulatrly good bad film. It doesn't have the action that dumb films tend to have, or the ridiculousness that cash-ins tend to have. It's slow and a bit dull. It could actually have been an okay film. The idea that a kid has to go on a jounrney on his own across dangerous territory isn't an original plot idea but it's failry solid. The special effects are fine (set design was a little shoddy perhaps), and some of the scenery shots are really nice. But Shamalamadingdong insists on being artsy and isn't very good at it.

The Breakfast Club; Because I hadn't seen it. This follows Jennifer from Wargames, having gone a little nutty after almost causing World War 3. Okay. That's not the plot. It's about an 80's tastic bunch of kids stuck in detention, but it's better than it sounds.

And then there was Independence Day: Resurgence.

There's no way anyone will accuse Roland Emmerich of trying to be artsy. Or of lacking pace. And while the film is really pretty damn mindless and the premise is pretty daft, there's plenty of action. It was nice to see how the world has changed after almost being wiped out by alien invaders, and pretty cool that so many of the cast from the origial return (including Brent Spiner, and the guy who plays Jeff Goldblum's dad). I knew what to expect. I turned my damn brain off and just enjoyed it!
luckykaa: (Wolf)
Another weekend of fun and frolics with [livejournal.com profile] flickums.

Had spent the night at the parents'. So drove home at a snail's pace through traffic on the M25 and M1. Still, at least the Dartford crossing is less insane than it was. Arrived before flickums so couldp pick her up from the station, and we had the chance to eat pizza and watch X-Men: Days of Future Past.

We went to the fair on Saturday. Decided not to try the hang from a bar for 2 minutes challenge. Watched some other people do it. 2 minutes is a very long time! Had a go at a shooting range. I suspect corks are too light to knock a ring off a bottle. Went to a different shooting range and shot sweets off a shelf instead. Much more successful. Tried "The claaaw" to win a cuddly toy but it dropped the prize. Flick won me a prize though. It was a prize every time, and she won me a dragon.

We went on the dodgems. We went on the scary caterpillar roller coaster. One or the other of us may have been too wussy to go on the spinny thing.

We saw X-Men Apolcalypse. That was fun.

Sunday I ran my Spirit of The Century game. I really need to come up with more of a plot next time I run a game. And understand how the mechanics work. It was all a bit chaotic. Still, people had fun.

Flick had found Sky High in a charity shop so we watched that. It's a funny film. Not a must-see by any means but funny and doesn't take itself remotely seriously. Well worth the 99p.

Monday we went to Warhammer World. Flick seemed excited I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I was also a little uncertain if I was in the right place when we seemed to be heading through an industrial estate. It seems to be lots of Warhammer gaming tables and shops selling warhammer stuff. Also a nice restautrant/bar called Bugman's Bar. I had a lot of fun reading the descriptions in the menu. "A feast worthy of the Dwarf Kings of Old!". Was given a taster game with a staff member reffing for us. Fun although the set-up did seem highly luck based.

And then flickums had to go home. Which is something I really hate about this.

We need to live closer together :(
luckykaa: (Wolf)
Left quite late. [livejournal.com profile] flickums is apparently still under the delusion that I'm some sort of neat freak and wanted time to clean up. Then her train was cancelled. Then the train was loitering outside Sheffield forever. Ended up diverting to the station to pick her up, where I found the station at exactly the same time as flickums found me.

Saturday involved books. Part 1 was a trip to Sheffield Space Centre. I picked up yet another RPG book for a game that I'll never get round to running. It does involve skyships and swashbuckling though, and flickums hard sold me into buying it. Flick picked up the War Of The Worlds rulebook she was musing over for the past month or so. Then there was a book swap. This meant ditching some of my surplus books and acquiring a similar number of other books. There was a very large pile of books left afterwards. Also there was cake.

Finished the evening by going to see Captain America: Civil War. Started off as aprt of Team Cap. Felt that Tony was actually being the more measured, reasonable one this time. Disappointed by the lack of Peggy Carters.

Sunday we played Lego Indy then went to the pub for Sunday lunch.Then it was time for another Bad Movie Night. Flickums keeps vetoing my suggestions on the grounds that they're terrible. I still can't understand her logic. So, we saw The A-Team and Team America (thus combining into the ultimate jingoistic film, "The A-Team America"). The A-Team is a ridiculous film. Diverges from the original in that people actually get shot!

Monday was Bank Holiday, and involved playing board games. Finally unboxed Concept. Had a go at Wizard Of Oz Munchkin. Sadly there were three of us. It's a 4 player game. It ends too quickly with 3 players and never ends with 5 or more. Followed up with "Hey! That's my fish", which is a nice simple strategy game; then a game of Eight Minute Empire: Legends, which was enjoyable although not really the sort of game I really go for.

Finished up with Roast beef and Bride of Chaotica - one of the best Voyager episodes, or at least something that should appeal to a fan of classic Black and White sci-fi serials. Kate Mulgrew really seemed to be loving this one.

As ever, the weekend came to an end. Why must that always happen!?
luckykaa: (TV)
Visited [livejournal.com profile] flickums for the long long weekend. Holly the evil satnav tried her best to get me stuck in traffic but I arrived there eventually. We spent most of the weekend watching movies. Many of them bad, most deliberatley chosen for that reason.

Thursday:

The Fifth Element
: I love this film! So quotable. So gorgeous. So funny. Soi much action! Mila Jovovich with orange hair, kicking ass!

Friday:

Zootropolis.
Disney's latest. So we have a rabbit voiced by Snow White from OUAT, who is the first rabbit ever to graduate from Police Academy. Despite finishing top of her class she gets put on traffic duty. She insists on being put on the missing animals case, and gets given 48 hours to solve it. She finds a con artist fox that she previously encountered ight have information and sets off to solve the case. This was really good. The jokes were perhaps a little predictable, and the plot was not that original - 48 hours combined with a couple of other buddy cop movies - but the main character was adorable. ("Ooh, ah, you probably didn't know, but a bunny can call another bunny 'cute', but when other animals do it, that's a little..."), but the animal society was really nicely thought out and the voice acting talent was great.

Star Trek Tribbles: Double tribbles. Trouble With Tribbles is still funny but it's a little heavy handed with the humour. Fortunately Kirk is po-faced enough that he does make a good straight man. DS9's followup "Trials and Tribbleations" is a lot more subtle with the humour, and throws in a lot of fan service, taking advantage of Dax having been around back then. We finally learn who it was throwning the tribbles at kirk.

Saturday:

Supernatural.
Two episodes. Both silly ones. One about a lucky rabbit's foot, the other about a wishing well. Poor Ted Raimi. His characters can never catch a break. I felt sorry of the teddy bear with existential angst.

Bad Movie Marathon

Started with Flash Gordon. It's daft and campy and almost too self-aware to quite qualify as a bad movie. The special effects may be crappy but the actual creativity in the design is fantastic!

Followed up with The Three Musketeers. Pretty certain Dumas didn't have fleets of airships in the original story. Although several of the plot elements are, surprisingly, fairly accurate to the source material. Still convinced that Miulady De Winter should be a cat, though.

Finally, Masters Of The Universe! A terrible film, amusingly starring Tom Paris and Monica from Friends. I seem to have offended a few people by saying how bad it is. But it has nothing to do with the series! No Prince Adam, no Orko, the characters do not look similar to their cartoon counterparts. Change the character and place names, and nobody would realise it was based on the toy range.

Sunday:

Did role playing in the afternoon. Then followed up with an episode of MST3K. We went for "Time Chasers". A 1994 movie, made in 1990, that looks like it was made in 1982. It's about the world's most unattractive leading man, who builds a time machine in his plane, using a commodore 64 (which seems to be PC compatible). He tricks a blonde reporter and a representative of the evil company to come along so he can show off his technology and get funding (because self funding time travel is, apparently, difficult). He takes them to the future, then the reporter falls for him so they go back in time, to check out the 1950's, then go into the future again where it's turned into a dystopia. MST3K clearly cut a chunk out of this section because it's not all that well explained (and to be fair to the film the plot is at least mostly coherent). So they try to convince the head of Evil Company™. to not destroy the future. Evil Boss refuses and tries to have them arrested. Ugly Time Travel geek runs heroically escapes from cosmically inept security.

Ugly computer nerd and blonde reporter go back in time to try to convince himself not to give the demonstration in the first place. Evil Boss armed with a copy of the software, takes off after Ugly computer nerd, and shoots him down. And to be honest this part of the film isn't so bad. Anyway, after some running around the recent past, they escape back to the American revolution where they have a final showdown.

Forbidden Planet: An impressive film for its day. A lot of it still stands up pretty well. Special effects look a little dated, but not all that bad. The animated monster (animated by Disney Animator Joshua Medeor) still looks fantastic. Everyone loves Robbie The Robot. And, like Flash Gordon, you really get a feel that this is an alien world. Something that Star Wars never quite managed.

Monday:

Batman V Superman. Meh. I don't hate it. I can see that there was a definite effort here to make something worthy and thoughtful. The problem is I found it dull. I couldn't really work out what the film was really about except for a bunch of vague excuses to have Batman and Superman in conflict. The film is too grim even for my tastes. There's no levity and not a lot of character development. Lots of plot threads that don't really get a good payoff, and a feel that Snyder wants to turn Superman into the X-Men.
luckykaa: (Travel)

Took a while to got Flick out of bed. Apparently some jerk was keeping her awake by snoring. Ooops.

But I needed to get her out of bed because we were off to Munich for the Bavarian film studios. Had trouble working out the best ticket. €74 each seemed a little much. As it turned out there was a cheaper option; €30. Return. For both of us. Including Munich public transport. We had to get the slower train but since that was 1h 50 rather than 1h 30 it seemed worth the saving. And the train to Munich has a pretty view of the mountains and of picturesque Bavarian villages.

Since yesterday was so warm, I decided I'd just borrow a hoodie from [livejournal.com profile] flickums. By the time we got to the studios, it was sleeting and my coat was in another country. Still, we made it there. And we appeared to be in a fairly non-descript set of studio buildings. Was this even the right place? Eventually we found the entrance. Turns out that the tour is in German only. The English language tour is a summer only thing.

Worried that it might be a bit of a washout, we decided to sign up for the tour anyway. We'd come this far after all. As it turned out it was really good. Our guide - Michi was the guide for the Enlgish tour as well, so he spoke English and was kind enough to give us an English summary of what he said. The studios are used for a range of different show types, incuding the 24 hour shopping channel. So we saw part of that being filmed. More interesting was the set for some German soap opera (Sturm Der Liebe). The tour involved one of the guests being the receptionist reading from the autocue, and cutting between filmed footage I gather in reality, the filmed footage would also be recorded live.

Another section had a bunch of movie props from Big Game (a fairly obscure Finnish movie, but it did star Samual L Jackson), and I got a photo of myself in Air Force One. We also saw the set for Das Boot. A lot of it was fitting from a real German submarine. The director apparently was very keen on realism so tried to make the actors as miserable as possible.

Other fun interactive elements were me giving a weather forecast, and a film on a train set, with a moving scenery background (I was the moving background operator).

Finished the day meeting with a German friend of Flick's. Nice chap. A lead programmer with BMW. We swapped horror stories about big companies and bad projects. We went to a German beer hall and had beer (well, I did; Flick doesn't drink) and tasty steak in pepper sauce.

Caught a train home and arrived back at a sensible time.

luckykaa: (cortina)
I have the lonely goatherd song from the sound of music stuck in my head! Damn you Rogers and Hammerstein for your catchy songs!

It was a nice sunny day, we decided to do the Sound of Music tour today rather than the planned Flick's birthday thing. They have minivans with 7 passengers, but I expect they have a big bus during peak tourist season.

Our guide was a Spanish man named Antonio. So we drove around town, saw the lke that Maria and the children fell into, went to the gazebo where a 22 year old sang how she was 16, going on 17, took a photo of the wrong yellow house... We didn't get close enough to the Von Trapp house (and I'm not sure if it was the actual house or the movie prop) to get a good pic of that one. We did see some nice views of the Alps though. Not the Hil Maria twirled on, because that was miles away and in another country. Tour finished at Mondsee where we see the church where Maria was married.

Antonio was lovely. He was very talkative, and pointed out all the key locations for the sound of music as well as other sites of interest, including Doppler's birthplace, and took our photos, and stopped the one person who wasn't part of couple frm beinglonely.

Finished the day at a nice restaurant where they provided hefty Austrian luberjack sized protions of pork. Also two beers! Yum.
luckykaa: (Wolf)
I've never really done Valenties Day before. Last year I had a pleasant day with Flickums' German counterpart (both of us were several hundred kms away from our significant others), but this year I wanted to spend it with [livejournal.com profile] flickums! So she came down for the weekend. We spent a lot of the weekend snuggling and cooking,

Friday, she arrived. I cooked steak (really good steak from a friendly local butcher), and potato wedges. Then we got an early night because she'd been up since 4 and I hadn't managed much sleep.

Saturday I made pie. Then there was more snuggling. And we played video games. Wii boxing and Wii bowling. I really feel I should get some more games for that console. Went to the local "trade-It" to see if they had anoything else. Nothing worth buying. I did end up adding to the PS2/PS3 pile though. Then we went to Leicester Roleplay guild. There was one (big) game of D&D this week, and we were given adolescent dragon characters. Flick called her sapphire dragon "Blue", and inspired by Jurassic World, I followed the pattern with "Delta". I like my dragon already. Might have to play that game again.

Sunday we got up very late. Had brunch. Went to the cinema. Failed to see a film. Came back and I introduced Flick to Mission: impossible  Except I found getting hold of an episode rather hard. Ended up watching the pilot, which was fine, but I'd rather have gone for something a little further in once the series had hit its stride.

We had a candlelit dinner. Flick arranged the starter (tomato soup with lots of nice extras) and the dessert (chocolate mousse), which was really good, although quite overpowering with the chocolate. I did roast venison and braised cabbage. It consider it a hugely successful dinner.

Finally managed to see Deadpool on a second attempt. Which was exciting, silly, fourth wall breaking (and 16th wall breaking) and generally lots and lots of fun. Opening credits are excellent. I lost geek points because flickums had to explain the post credits bit to me.
luckykaa: (Exterminate)
Saw The Force Awakens last weekend. I enjoyed it.

Non spoilery technical stuff - It was in Dolby 3D - the version with shiny glasses. It's better than the previous version with horizontal and vertical polarisation, because it handles head tilting a lot better. Downside is it doesn't handle 2D very well. One of the lenses sees nothing at all. It was bit distracting when they switched from 3D trailers back to 2D ads. Also since when have they been showing ads after trailers? Technically though it gives really awesome 3D.

Anyway - there will be many spoilers here so here's a cut.

SPOILER ALERT! )
luckykaa: (Wolf)
Another trip to Sheffield to see Flickums. Was so excited I forgot my trousers!

And my washbag.

I did notice my bag felt a little light.

This was a pre-christmas weekend for myself and [livejournal.com profile] flickums. Spent the weekend watching Christmas tat and Star Wars related tat. And eating turkey.

I drove down to Sheffield. Holly (My satnav) did particularly well, having told me there was a 108 minute delay on the main route, and suggested I took a slightly different route that would only add about 20 minutes (and much less sitting in traffic). Flickums was held up by evil traffic of doom in the city centre, which gave me a chance to pick up needed toiletries. Started off with the exchange of gifts. I received a Raspbery Pi, The Last Of Us, An Orphan Cat T-shirt, and a Jurassic Tea mug. Made a promise to myself not to play with any of them until Christmas. I also received a mystery gift from Nova, but will keep that one until Christmas day. Gifts I gave flickums seemed to go down well despite my taking up more and more of her wall and shelf space. Flickums made stew. A somewhat soupy stew, which we declared was stewp!

Fridays movies: It's A Trap (Family Guy Return of the Jedi). The "Pie Fighters" joke sort of broke me.

Saturday, we watched movies. I played Mass Effect to see what it was like. Looks cool but don't know if I'd get into it. Flickums cooked a Sunday roast (except for the spuds. I did the spuds). Day was mostly spent watchingmovies and snuggling. We didn't leave the house once.

Saturdays Movies:
The Nightmare Before Christmas. The best Hallowe'en/Christmas crossover movie ever! And the songs are still great. I love animation, and this looks absolutely glorious in HD!
Bernard and The Genie. Time has not been that kind to this, to be honest. Still a really sweet funny Christmas special.
Supernatural Christmas special. Yes, where they get fudging tied to the chairs! Oh Fudge!
Die Hard: One of my favourite stealth Christmas movies. Actually there were a few bits i hadn't noticed before. Like weasel-guy was actually cokehead weasel-guy. I have only ever seen it on TV, so I imagine the BBC snipped that bit.

Sunday was more snuggling and movie watching. Fanboys - because it's mandatory viewing. Oh god it's so funny!!! And so many cameos. Also saw some of the Nostalgia Critic Star Wars reviews.

Then we saw Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens! In Imax! I was doubly delighted that they used Dolby 3D rather than the now rather old-fashioned horizontal/vertical polarisation. Dichroic filters FTW! Yes I am a nerd!  Really rather enjoyed it. Still need to ponder views, but I thought it was a lot of fun.

We then had tasty foods at a nearby restaurant, and frothed about Star Wars. And ate more tasty foods. Wanted to watch Free Enterprise to complement Fanboys, although that is really much more a Trekkie show than a Star Wars show. Still, ran out of time. Maybe next time.

Then I had to go home. Booo :(

Why do I always have to go home after seeing flickums?
luckykaa: (Wolf)

[livejournal.com profile] flickums seems to think my taste in movies is terminally downbeat. Since my favourites include jolly films like Terminator, and the permanently nighttime Dark City, and I just enjoyed Mockinjay part 2; she may have a point.

It's not all doom and gloom though. Here are the happy films I like.

The Fifth Element.  A double fudge sundae of a film. Everything about it is gorgeous from the futuristic New York to the Jean Paul Gautier's costume design. And it's so much fun!

The Karate Kid. One of tge 1980sest stories of triumph of the underdog.  And source of some of the essential references.  Wax on, wax off.

The Princess Bride.  Truly a story of true love. Miracle Max and Valerie are a perfect couple.  Don't see Buttercup and Westley working out though.

How To Train Your Dragon - Not only is it an awesome kids movie,  but it has one of the best movie soundtracks of the decade.

Flash Gordon - "Gordon's alive!!!" "Flash! I love you but we only have 14 hours to save the Earth!", and other great lines. Plus, that thumping Queen soundtrack including Brian May playing the wedding march!

So it's not all doom and gloom!  Just mostly that way.

luckykaa: (Wolf)
There are many franchises where I like the supporting cast more than the protagonist. This is becoming one of them.

While I miss Desmond Llewelyn, I love the geekiness of new Q. Froma  Q perspective, this is a geeky tech guy in the department who has to cover up for an agent who he trusts absolutely (I presume genre savviness is part of his nerd credentials), while treading the tightrope of not letting M get wind of what he's up to while the lunatic dumps a multi-million pound prototype car in the Tiber. He goes out of his way to track down Bond in the alpine health resort - a place where he does a much better piece of spywork by actually fitting in when ordering a drink. Further spy skills are shown as he carefully evades the Spectre operatives without having to steal a plane cause millions of euros worth of damage and just draw attention to himself.

Moneypenny is still just a sidekick, although that is an upgrade from her role in previous films. She's clearly the person who actually keeps the department running.

I miss the previous M. Judi Dench was awesome. Latest M is pretty cool though.

It seems the only reason Bond knows he's right is because he's James Bond and he's always right. And we know he's going to win. He's James Bond. He always wins. He's really not the most interesting character.
luckykaa: (Exterminate)
I saw The Martian twice. The first time in 2D, because there was an unidentified "technical fault". I felt I was missing a lot by seeing it in 2D. But I had a free ticket so I saw it in 3D.

It's a great film. Go and see it if you haven't yet. Ideally in 3D.

I don't say that about all films.

One of the 3D trailers was MockingJay. I found the backgrounds jarring. They looked like early 3D games. The main parts of the image are in 3D but the details aren't and the details are what matter. So we have a building in the background that looks like a photograph. Walls that may have an angle but they are perfectly flat and smooth. There's a scene in a ballroom or something and it's clear that a bit more effort has been made to get lamps at a different depth but they look like cardboard cutouts rather than real things.

The Martian was filmed in 3D. 3D cameras that capture the extra information themselves. As we pan across the Mars habitat's desk, we see a Rubik's cube and juggling balls and pens and equipment. All of it has depth and texture. But it's not jsut that. The Hermes corridors flows past us as we follow an astronaut through the ship. A 2D television screen blends smoothly into a 3D live press conference. Ridley Scott uses that extra dimension to impress us. And the shots of Mars are stunning!

Seeing it a second time I could focus on other aspects. The music. The music is an important part of the film. Much of it is Disco! Tied into the plot in a charming way.

More movies on their way this winter. Spectre is the next one. MockingJay after that, and I hear there's another installment of that cheesy 70's space movie.
luckykaa: (Exterminate)
This is not going to be a thrilling entry. Will write about the movie later.

Actually managing to see The Martian was a lot harder than I expected.

Three cinemas are about the same distance from me. I decided that the 18:15 showing was the most convenient. 2D because generally I don't like 3D. I set my SatNav. It decided that the cinema was actually down a road that could not be driven down, presumably because that was the closest road to the physical location of the cinema.

Drove round to the other side. That was quite some way away because of Leicester's road layout. By that time I was 15 minutes late. Decided that may be too late to catch the start of the actual movie. So I drove down to the city centre. Found somewhere to park, and went in. Quite expensive. It's Showcase's X-Plus screen or something. I was expecting it to be good.

3D didn't seem to be all that striking. In fact everything looked very flat. And there were some shots that looke dlike they were made for 3D. I took my glasses off. No double image. After a while I looked around. Several other people had taken their glasses off (there were only about a dozen people there). I found this a bit distracting. More to the point, I realised I wanted to see it in 3D! It was clearly made with 3D in mind! And I'd paid extra for it. I hate complaining.

When complaining, I was a bit concerned I might not get a decent refund. I'm not good at confrontation. Fortunately another customer heard me complain and she had my back. She really took no prisoners. End result was I got a full refund and a free entry ticket.

What I found strange though, is that of the dozen or so people in there, only 5 of us were there waiting for the manager. Did the rest of the viewers simply not notice? Or do people not complain?
luckykaa: (Wolf)
Another fun weekend with [livejournal.com profile] flickums.

Did part 3 of the cultural exchange. Flickums showed me Hercules. I think that was my favourite of the films so far. Less girly, and the animation nerd in me loves the Gerald Scarfe character designs, the absolutely brillant use of colour, and the sassy Gospel singers, and James Woods was brilliant as Hades! I showed her Dark City. This was the Director's Cut. The version where the nature of the city and of the strangers is revealed slowly. It makes it a very different film.

Downed a bottle of Rioja while watching Hercules. That was probably a mistake. It meant I didn't sleep that well. Was very tired the next day. But flickums wanted to know what I was like when drunk and Rioja is very nice.

We went to The National Space Centre. Kinda fun for space nerds. I'm a space nerd, so I had fun. The planetarium show was a nice thing about where all matter in the universe came from (narrated by Andy Serkis). Upstairs they had a show of Le Voyage dans la Lune - The classic George Melias silent movie where they fire the capsule into the moon's eye. Also two genuine full sized rockets (still a little peeved that the British Rocket programme ended. Black Arrow was cool!).

Flickums made chocolate brownies. They're a little squidgy but very tasty.
They were made with black cherries in kirsch. I still have the syrup (Perhaps that will be poured onto a future batch of waffles).

Also managed to show some "Look Around You" - which went down well, and Star Fleet - which apparently hasn't aged well.Perhaps it appeals more to those of us who were 5 when it was first on.

Now I need me-time again. This makes me very conflicted because I also want more flickums-time. Silly brain.

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