Sunday, August 13, 2006

Executive Koala

As you can probably tell, it's been quite a while since I last did a blog post. And this may well be my last blog post.

...Ah had you didn't I? Actually, this could be my last blog post here. Yes, the oft-rumoured, much off-put transition to the new blog should be happening soon. But I digress. This post isn't about moving blogs. It's about Executive Koala.

But before I get into that, I feel I should give a big shout-out to caffeine and, to a lesser extent, Starbucks. Normally I'm a die-hard Gloria Jeans man when it comes to coffee, however GJ's aren't about at around 10:30 at night in the Brisbane CBD. Starbucks in the Myer Centre are however, and their drink sizing structure includes Venti (or extra-extra-extra-large if you like): 600ml of caffeinated goodness. With so much chemical stimulant running through my veins (I'm not talking about anything other than the caffeine here), I was ready for the Executive Koala (EK from now on) experience.

The BIFF guy who introduced the film said EK defied explanation. After watching it, I tend to agree, but I will try my best to give you an idea. Part comedy, drama, splatterhouse, musical, psycho-thriller, detective story and chop-socky flick (and not in equal measure), EK isn't afraid to mix up it's genres. Primarily though, I would have to say EK is a comedy. The humour was usually visual and very farcical - which made the translation to English audiences very well in my opinion. There were still a few moments that a more Japanese sense of humour would appreciate more, but I think the audience was in the right mindset, and everyone laughed out-loud at all the right bits. Oh, did I mention that the main character Keiichi is a giant koala who wears a suit and tie and works for a pickle distribution company? His boss is a giant rabbit, and the guy behind the counter at the local Lawson's (a Japanese 7-11) is a giant frog. This is of course, perfectly normal to everyone else in the film who is human. I thought this film was great, and voted as such on my BIFF card.

I'm not privileged to have seen any of Kawasaki Minoru's other films, but I gather that they are just as bizarre, and just as funny. Maybe some more will show up at the next BIFF? I would be very surprised if we don't see EK showing up on SBS within a year or so as one of their cult movie specials. So if you're interested, I'd say keep an eye out at the foreign-film section of the local video store or keep checking the SBS section of the TV guide.

Until next time...when I hope to see you from the new blog...

Posted: 11:08 AM

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Monday, June 19, 2006

The New Beast

The Beast. That's the term I've used to refer to each of my new computers (they get progressively less beastly as time goes on). As you may have worked out, I have a (mostly) new Beast, and I'm writing this post using it. Two Saturdays ago I drove out to Umart at Milton (with Kirsten in tow, acting as moral support/carrier-of-stuff) to pick up the components of my new machine.

For the technically-minded (and who don't already know) these are the specs of my new machine:
It's not top of the line, but it's not too shabby either, and it's about 4 or 5 times more powerful than my previous machine. And since it was too difficult (or I'm too lazy) to snap photos of my machine, here's some manufacturer's shots of what it looks like:

Soprano case
Soprano case

I'm not too into the whole case-modding scene. That said I do have one extra cosmetic addition I want to make. Though you can't really tell from the pics above, the front has two blue LEDs (one flashes red when there is HDD activity), the Blue Orb II has a blue LED in it which gives a fair amount of blueish light to the internals, and I have a 4-port USB hub that also lights up with a blue LED. I intend to give the inside an even stronger blue lighting effect by adding a case light (might be a neon, might be LED). Can you tell I like blue?

So there you have it, another post confirming my geekiness and being of little-to-no interest to the vast majority of this blog's readers. I love it :)

Posted: 6:46 PM

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Monday, June 05, 2006

The Last Stand

Sunday night, Kirsten and I finally got around to using our Gold Class movie (and food!) vouchers. What did we see? Perhaps it's not suprising to know that I was the one who suggested seeing X-Men: The Last Stand. I was hanging out for it, and there's not much else showing in Gold Class at the moment - The Da Vinci Code we've already seen, and neither of us cared much about seeing Poseidon. So - onto the review.

First things first: was it better than the last one? No. But it's not a bad movie. I really enjoyed The Last Stand, or X:TLS as I shall refer to it from here on in to save my fingers some typing time. One criticism I had heard about X:TLS, was that it did not have the depth on the previous two films, and that is probably a valid comment. Not that there was much room for depth - the action in this flick comes thick and fast. You can only do so much exposition and plot development during an action scene, and when the movie hardly stops there's not a lot of room for it. That said, the story wasn't at all terrible, and the action sequences were pretty darn good. I think my favourite sequences was the truck ambush - it was put together extremely well and looked great on screen.

I mentioned Ian McKellan in my Da Vinci Code review, and once again, he's brilliant here. I love McKellans portrayals of villans, they're always so much depth to them, and Magneto is no exception. I'm also a fan of Patrick Stewart and unfortunately here, he had not much to do as Professor Charles Xavier. Perhaps that's because of Halle Berry. There were plenty of write-ups about how she would only be in X:TLS if her role as Storm was expanded for the movie. Well, that was pretty obvious after watching it, but I didn't have any major issue with it. There were a whole bunch of lesser known characters introduced (as well as some more major ones that had smaller roles), and plenty of fan moments thrown in for good measure. My particular favourite was Iceman finally becoming an ice man like he is in the comics. I also quite enjoyed the score for the film as well, and I found it more memorable than the scores for the first two X-Men movies.

Finally, for those that haven't seen X:TLS (or have and are seeing it again but missed it the first time round), make sure you stay right until the final credit has rolled. There's one last little scene waiting for you.

It's only a few days till another movie that I've been hanging out for comes out, which I'll be seeing (and reviewing of course) just after my birthday this week. Look, up in the sky...
Oops. I should check my dates more thoroughly next time. Superman Returns does not start until June 29 in Australia. Oh well...

Posted: 9:59 PM

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