Tv blabs, movie blabs, book blabs. Lots of blab, but no flab.

Friday, January 6


The thing about new Blogger toys is sometimes I don't realise I've started something. I had no idea that moderating comments meant that they would all be lumped in cyber-hell until I discovered where they ended up. Thanks to the curiosity of Lisa Rullsenberg I discovered that comments were being published, but not appearing under any posts.

I have rectified the problem and switched off the moderation function. How annoying that Blogger stopped sending me the comment emails (which would make sense because I would know that I had comments waiting to be 'moderated').

Well all is better and the comments should be up and running now.

No wonder I was feeling like no one was reading this!

Wednesday, January 4

Pop Ups

I just discovered a pop-up widow appeared when I loaded my blog.

Has this been happening for long?

I'll have to work out what is causing it. Grrr.

Monday, January 2

The Movie, The Book and My Thoughts

I have always enjoyed reading, but as a child growing didn't actually read many books. It wasn't until I was in my third year of university that I really started devouring books (not "actually", cause the paper cuts would be painful). So, I had never read the famous children's series, The Chronicles of Narnia. Of course, I saw the BBC TV mini-series on ABC as a kid and was enthralled by it. I remember making sure I was home to see it each week. I found the Witch terribly scary and the idea of getting turned into stone quite horrifying.

Fast forward a decade or so and I'd still not managed to read the books. I have so many books sitting on my shelves unread and even more in the bookshop waiting to be put on my shelves that the thought of starting a thousand page series rather put me off. That was until I found out that the movie based on the second volume was being released. I then made it my mission to have at least read the first two books before seeing the film.

Early in December I pick up a one-volume edition of the series and crack the cover. For me, The Magicians Nephew wasn't anything special. Sure, it had some great visuals with the 7ft Queen rampaging through London and the creation of Narnia itself is wonderfully described, but I found the two children to be rather irritating and didn't really find much to like in either of them. I had to force myself to read the book hoping that it would get better and my perseverance would be rewarded. The final few chapters were worth it. I liked the animals and their treatment of the funny Humans.

The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (TLTWATW) didn't grab me at the start either. I found the children to be rather simple. I think perhaps I approached the books with an exceedingly high expectation resulting in my being over critical of the story. Even though it is wonderfully imaginative and stimulating I felt it lacked the depth I've come to expect from children's books published today. I think I would like to re-read TLTWATW without the pressure I put upon myself to read it before the film's release and allow myself to get caught up in the wonder of Narnia.

After a rough start with the books I admit to being a little dubious about the filmic adaptation of TLTWATW. Could the book that I felt was a little light on plot be translated into an engaging film? My answer would be yes. Mostly.

Director Andrew Adamson's previous credits are the two Shrek animated films. Both are wonderful (the second film less so) twists on traditional fairy tales that delighted audiences and thrilled studio executives. Stepping from CGI based animation into a huge live-action, CGI-heavy movie was a natural step, if not a massive leap.

The first half of TLTWATW crawls along at a rather slow pace. The text is liberally translated to screen and the film suffers at time from lengthy dialogue scenes. All of it important dialogue for the story, but not presented with a building sense of urgency. The children seem to unwittingly walk into most of the situations they find themselves in, and hardly make any sort of decision for themselves.

The film picks up pace as the children start to be hunted by the White Witch, played with great menace by Tilda Swinton. The chase across the frozen lake was a great addition.

The overlapping of some major events and the hastening of some of the chase sequences from book to screen certainly added in making the second half of the movie very enjoyable. The masters at WETA Workshop have worked their wonders again creating a vast array of creatures that will hopefully stand the test of time.

The final battle is epic on a smaller scale than we have become used to. The film beefs this part of the story up a great deal and really runs with the battle, although it never goes so far as to put off the younger viewers.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe is a solid fantasy film that will delight younger audiences and provide quite good entertainment for accompanying parents.

Sunday, January 1

Double the Buffy

Happy New Year!

How appropriate that my first post for 2006 be about my favourite of TV shows.

Buffy is back on TV. It seems that Seven are quite attached to the show and have rerun it over the Summer for the past few years. This week sees double the fun with two (that's right, TWO) eps aired back to back. Or maybe back to front, cause other wise the second ep would be backwards and that would be confusing. Anyway, the two eps are 'Reptile Boy' then 'Halloween'.

'Reptile Boy' isn't the best of eps. Although it does give Cordelia some great lines when trying to convince Buffy to go to the party. 'Halloween' is one of my favourite eps from the show. All the characters shine and the actors have a lot of fun. Xander gets to be the macho hero for once, Willow gets sexy for the first time, Cordelia is her usual self to pronounce the other's changes more, Buffy proves she's crap at accents, and Giles gets to scream like a little girl when Willow walks through a wall. Fun!

Returning to TV Sunday night, of Jan 8, is the highlight of last Summer, Carnivale. If you didn't get to see the last series, go to your local video shop and hire it, or even better, go buy it! It's the weirdest, most confronting TV series you'll see. It comes from HBO in the USA (otherwise known as "the land of sex and swearing", rather like our SBS) and really is a milestone in TV drama. Naturally it was cancelled after its second season.

Saturday, December 31

Goodbye Uncle Enyos

The man who always appeared to be serious or sad passed away on Boxing Day.

We know Vincent Schialvella because he played Uncle Enyos to Jenny Calendar. A well known character actor he guest starred in numerous TV shows including Buffy, The X-Files, Star Trek: TNG; performed voices in Hey Arnold!, Family Guy, and Batman TV series. In his 57 years, he appeared and voiced nearly 100 movies, TV movies and video games. He died from lung cancer.

Thursday, November 10

Mostly Crap

I'm browsing Bloglines for the first time in ages and I'm wading through hundreds of news headlines from Yahoo, Ain't It Cool News, Joblo's Movie Emporium, Rotten Tomatoes and the cream of the crop, People Magazine (the US entertainment mag, not the Aussie porno...).

I have it in there because it occasionally has articles that are interesting to me. The problem is I have to wade through mounds of crap about Madonna's new song pissing off Rabbis, Brad's family liking Angelina, Uma's break-up with Ethan, Paris' break-up with herself, and Jennifer Garner's Affleck-spawn. I just don't care.

Now if any of these people decided to find their talent and involve themselves in an interesting and unique project, I DO want to hear about that. But you don't go to People Magazine for actual info.

However... As I'm slowly getting back in the loop of my movie and TV news I was interested to discover that a new Bond has been announced, by his Mum! Daniel Craig (someone who is selfish enough to have two first names) doesn't strike me as a Bond. He seems more like a second rate Bond villain. That's just my first impression. The only thing I've seen him in is Tomb Raider 2, which disguised actors with talent behind a crap script and appalling direction.

The other titbit I gleaned is that the new eps of the second season of Desperate Housewives aren't doing so well. Apparently it's lost its freshness. The main character's aren't in any scenes together and the menace has gone out of the plot. I wondered how long the secrets would keep going, but I didn't foresee them getting tired at the start of the second season! Sounds like whomever was in charge last year isn't as invested any more. It's happened before, and sounds like it's happened again.

Tuesday, November 8

Return to Transmission

After a few weeks of non-blogging I return with news of what some of our old favs from Buffy and Angel are doing in TV land.

TV Week interviewed Joss and reports his opinions of each actor. A pretty poor excuse for an article really, but it does tell us where we'll be able to see the actors next.

In summary:
Alyson Hannigan is starring in the sitcom How I Met Your Mother.
David Boreanaz is FBI agent Seeley Booth (possibly one of the stupidest names...ever!) in the procedural Bones.
Charisma Carpenter has a reoccurring role on Veronica Mars as Kendall Casablancas.
Nick Brendon is a funny chef in Kitchen Confidential. Glad to see he's back on track and out of rehab.
And finally,
James Marsters is back what he does best: playing the bad guy. Except this time the small town he terrorises is called, well, Smallville. He plays Professor Fine, aka Brainiac.
And Mr Whedon himself is going to make an appearance on Veronica Mars as a rental-car manager.

I've no idea whether any of these shows are likely to see the light of day here. Smallville disappeared during its second season because Nine thought prime-time Saturday night was a good time to air a show struggling for ratings. Dolts.

Tuesday, October 18

Be Watching

On Sunday night at 6:30pm

SBS is airing a doco called "Down Under" about Aussies working in Cirque Du Soleil. Sounds interesting:
This documentary series, presented by Richard Snashall introduces us to Anita Nelving, an Australian from the Hills district of Sydney who now resides in Montreal after joining Cirque du Soleil at its headquarters in Singapore. Anita takes us on a tour of Cirque du Soleil's headquarters where 2000 people work, and where every piece of costume is individually made and dyed. We also meet Martina Howard, an Australian expatriate who works as a performing artist with the circus.

Thursday, October 13

Spoiler Free

Now, I've done my best to leave out any spoilers. I do mention a couple of plot points, but nothing that gives anything away other than setting up where things are at. I will hopefully get my other post out soon.

Serenity is Joss Whedon’s first big trip into the cinema. He’s visited before with the scripts for Toy Story, Alien 4 and Titan A.E. but this is his first go in the directors chair. Serenity picks up 6 months after the last episode of Firefly. Mal and the crew are still finding it difficult to get work, legitimate and not-so legitimate. River is as vague as always and Simon seems even more protective of her.

The film opens with an introduction that zips along; revisiting and revising some of the history of the show, and quickly setting up the universe for those unfamiliar or new. The introduction of The Operative who has been sent to retrieve River is deftly handled and Chiwetel Ejiofor instantly establishes himself as a worthy foe for the Serenity crew.

All the original TV cast are back in their roles, but sadly the format of a film doesn’t allow enough time for all of them to have meaty roles. Mal and River are the focus, with Simon, Zoe, Wash, Jayne and Kaylee as general crew and support. Inara has barely an introduction which may confuse the uninitiated. Book appears, but is sadly not around enough.

Serenity herself has had a facelift. Some major redesigns of the cargo bay make it much colder. There seems to be no extra living quarters behind the medical bay that were used on so much in the show, and there a few extra little rooms here and there. I like most of the changes, but I think overall the ship felt colder and not as homely.

Joss’ direction has the film speeding along. The crew run from fight to fight or away from The Operative. In essence this is a chase film that spans a few worlds and the action is what keeps it all going. After Buffy and Angel Joss knows how to film a fight scene and River is the star of the biggest ones. Mal is also in usual form: getting his arse kicked numerous times.

I did feel in some of the dialogue heavy scenes that the editing was a little TV-like. Cutting back and forth between people’s faces a lot rather than using an interestingly framed master shot. There were a lot of these types of shots, but I think old habits die hard, and it’s understandable for a TV-like element to inhabit this film.

As is typical of Whedon’s work, the surprises are good, and the shocks are like being hit with a sledgehammer. If you know Firefly, expect to be shaken to your core by what happens. For those unfamiliar, don’t get too comfortable in your seat because this is a wild ride that doesn’t wait around for anyone who’s fallen behind.

An excellent send off for the series. An excellent stand-alone product. A new glimmer of hope that quality sci-fi is still possible.

Tuesday, October 4

That's Me! Clever AND Dangerous...

I got an interesting result:

You scored as River Tam. The Fugitive. You are clever and dangerous, which is a nasty combination. The fact you are crazy too just adds to your charm. They did bad things to you, but you know their secrets. They will regret how they made you.

River Tam - 81%
Zoe Alleyne Washburne - 69%
Simon Tam - 56%
Hoban 'Wash' Washburne - 50%
The Operative - 50%
Capt. Mal Reynolds - 44%
Inara Serra - 38%
Kaylee Frye - 38%
Shepherd Derrial Book - 38%
Jayne Cobb - 25%

Which Serenity character are you?
I am kinda glad that I relate the least with Jayne.

Found via One Dog Said To Another.

Monday, October 3

It's Not Too Bad

It's certainly no Titanic, but $10.1mil isn't that bad.

Box Office Mojo has Serenity at #2 in the opening weekend's box office, only losing out to Flightplan.

Honestly, I don't think anyone expected the BDM to make a killing. It's a solid film that will hopefully sustain.

In it's first day of release here in Oz Serenity made $280, 763 which put it in 5th place behind the other school holiday releases.

No Pressure. Really.

While doing some research for my much anticipated Serenity post, I discovered that the Firefly DVDs are currently #3 at Amazon!

Which is bloody shiny if you ask me.

It is currently in front of Batman Begins, Star Wars (the last middle one), even Lost and Desperate Housewives!

I intend to write two Serenity posts. One for those who haven't seen Firefly or wish to remain spoiler free, and another that is an in-depth look. Both will be clearly marked.

Not that I feel any pressure about writing these...!

I am going to see the BDM again tomorrow. Cheap Tuesdays rule!

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