Archive for September, 2010

Gamer, a brief movie review

Gerard Butler launched into mainstream cinema with 300, although not his debut it certainly highlighted his ability to take the lead as an alpha male. Not only did this spurn many day dreams for many men as leaders fighting the good fight against and evil oppressor but it also spurned many day dreams of a very different kind for many female admirers.

A few Rom-coms later and Mr Butler again took the role of the alpha male in The Gamer.  I wonder if in looking back he wishes he hadn’t. While his performance isn’t bad the movie is.  In 15* years since the similar themed Running Man there seems to have been a leap in technology but a dearth in means of putting the potential pitfalls of that technology into film. Where Arnie’s run out as the lead back in 1987 saw the plot unfold to the backdrop of a ruthless television show The Gamer falls against the backdrop of online gaming, but both were created to solve the problem of a prison system collapsing under the strain modern tyrannise world.

My main problem with The Gamer is how far it stretches into a cliché ridden tale. A bit more subtlety regarding the creation of supporting cast would have added a lot more merit the story as a whole.   I could go into details of each and everyone of the disastrous characters that I mean but I don’t think a further 100 words of negativity would be worth reading, instead I’ll summarise in saying watch the running man again and forget that this was ever made, I bet Gerard Butler has.


Lasagna. One of the best things to come out the oven


Arguably one of the greatest food creations ever, rich light creamy sauce combined with deep rich meat ragu wonderfully complex in flavor.  Well it is if it’s created right. When it’s not its woeful, as I rediscovered while staying in a hotel at Heathrow recently.

Ok I’ll admit it in my student days living in the UK there were times when I would sample the offerings from a Findus 99p microwaveable version, by putting it between thick slices of bread you get a cheap hot sandwich that age 18 didn’t seem to bad, but those days are gone, thankfully.

I was so disappointed in what the hotel had given me (all £18 of it) I went decided to put together my version again, which is based heavily on a Delia Smith recipe with a few tweaks.  When it’s made correctly its awesome, the problem is that it’s a time intensive process.  At 6 hours to make you need to have decided you want it for dinner at breakfast time.  Unfortunately I have to be honest and say that this incarnation was not the best, too much chopped tomatoes made the whole thing to moist and ultimately not as presentable as it should be.  Still tasted awesome though!

Xbox live movie streaming

With me announcing my desire to buy a Bluray player I thought I would point out that I have been watching a lot more movies recently via Xbox live market place.  It’s a really good set up when your are too lazy or hung-over to get off your arse and rent a movie you can lie on your couch and pick one, download, watch and all legally.   The big drawback for me is that I live in Canada and the selection on marketplace is criminally small in comparison to what is available in the US or the UK (or so I’m told I’ve not seen the UK selection).

I’m sure there will be logic and reason behind it, probably something to do with the agreements with studios but it’s really frustrating.   Larger selection, improved options, better service, happier customer,.

Surround sound….




Starting to build a home cinema setup

I plan on buying a Bluray player in the not so distant future.  I’ve been eyeing up surround sound systems and Bluray players for a while, mainly because the house I bought has surround sound wired in already just no system and I have a HD TV but no Bluray player.

So it’s a tale of 2 purchases, I think I will opt for the surround sound first, the logic being;

  • I have bare wires hanging out my walls were the last guy had his system and they are crying out for some speakers
  • I had a very cheap and basic ‘home cinema in a box’ style surround sound system a few years ago and even a cheap one added a lot to movies
  • I don’t have a stereo in the room it’ s going into so hey presto 2 birds with one stone (courtesy of an iPod input)

I have set myself a budget of $1000 and think that should be plenty, looking at reviews there seem to be loads of good gear just of over that price range so I’ll start the bargain hunt and purchase when I see one pop into range.

The second purchase, the Bluray player is likely to be a PS3.  I’ve never bothered with one till now as I have an Xbox, but Microsoft’s decision to back the wrong horse in the format wars no leaves me thinking I will be jumping ship. Ok it could be said that I will be hedging my bets as I will still own an Xbox, well I will once I get it back from being sent away to be fixed.  Again.  But I’m not going to be buying games for both, so if PS3 is better that the Xbox may start gathering dust.

I have looked at other Bluray players but I don’t see a point in buying one when for a relatively small amount more I can buy a PS3.  The only down side I have found at the moment is that the PS3 doesn’t upscale DVDs where other players do.  Seems a small price to pay being that purchases from now on will be in the Blu ray format.

Lots of decisions and reading to go….

From Paris with love movie review (brief)

From Paris with love starring John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. What can I say, well originally I thought I would skip this movie when I saw its title on a flight, then when I was told it wasn’t a romantic comedy  I thought I’d give it a whirl. That was my first mistake.

My thoughts on the movie where;

“Wow that movie sucked”

The little nod to Pulp Fiction by John Travolta only goes to show how far from grace he has fallen once more.

Skip it.

The dreams have started again…..

It’s that time of year, I’ve gone too long without getting up earlier than I would for work, stumbling through the motions of making coffee and then heading up the mountains for some snowboarding.

If you’ve never tried skiing or snowboarding follow the Nike advice and just do it.  Maybe you won’t like it.  Its possible, but you owe it to yourself to try it at least once.  It’s not just about falling over on something slippy and being cold, it’s about being outdoors with your friends, having agood time, pushing your comfort zone mentally and physically or maybe none of the above.  Maybe its just about the apres.

Anyway, I had my first snowboarding dream a couple of nights ago which shows my mind is already clicking back to it even though we are technically still in summer. I’m trying hard not to read too much into the fact I was caught in an avalanche and promptly woke up. 

Hopefully thats not a sign of things to come……

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