Archive by Author

Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’

13 Jul

There have been a lot of announcements lately about Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit and I feel it’s not getting enough attention!

This could be because The Hobbit has been too long in the making. It’s been a good few years, with Peter Jackson dropping out, Del Toro taking the reins and then relinquishing them again. Yet the films are now in full flow and over the past few weeks, exciting images have been released!

The cast was actually announced a few months back, and was exciting at the time, but again, I feel lacked the excitement it deserved. As ever with Jackson, the actors involved are a lot more exciting if you’re British, with some wonderful cult actors like Aidan Turner of Being Human fame featuring heavily. Fancy seeing Aidan as a dwarf? Well now you can.

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Bon Iver’s ‘Bon Iver’ – A Review

21 Jun

Bon Iver‘s first album was a triumph. At least that’s what the crazy A.I. from Portal claimed in her final song. That’s right. She wasn’t taking about the epic events of the game. She was referring to the ground-breaking debut album by Justin Vernon, oddly entitled For Emma, Long Ago. The album was a somber and beautiful as the title implies, and the sequel has been highly anticipated by humans and robots alike.

The majority of the new album, Bon Iver, isn’t a disappointment. The first few bars of opening track Perth will send shivers down spines. Simplistic and haunting guitar. Images of teenagers lying in darkened rooms with lava-lamps a-glow spring to mind. There’s a little experimentation in the first couple of tracks, but after a few listens, fans of the previous album will settle in nicely. Vernon’s voice floats around beautifully whilst the instruments meander along, carrying him where ever he’s planning to go. Holocene really sets the album on it’s path, and really emphasises why Vernon has a band behind him now, rather than locking himself away in the mountains alone this time.

This album really would be wonderful, if not for the final track. Beth/Rest is an anomaly on this outing. It has hints of the classic Bon Iver sound, but sounds out of it’s time. More like something that would be found on a Phil Collins album than should be bring what is a five star album to a close. Ignore the final track, and Vernon may have just released a contender for album of the year.

City and Colour’s ‘Little Hell’ – A Review

7 Jun

Dallas Green is a beautiful man. Not necessarily physically (though there are several woman who will surely vouch for him in that respect), but with his musical skill and soaring, majestic vocals, he makes many a man and woman envy and love him at the same time.

Recently Dallas Green was on the verge of selling out the Royal Albert Hall. There were only one or two seats not occupied by awe-inspired individuals who, from the wealth of tattoos and piercings on show, had a solid background in the heavier side of alternative music. Yet they were in one of the country’s most prestigious venues to enjoy one of hardcore’s heroes venting his folk and country desires. Something that many would argue has brought him more success and recognition than his time in Alexisonfire ever could have.

Today saw the released of Dallas Green’s third solo album, under his usual guise of City and Colour. The audience at the Royal Albert Hall were given a sneak preview of some of the songs from the morbidly titled Little Hell, something that’s not always received warmly, but this proved to be the exception. The taster did exactly that, wetted appetites with over a month before the album’s release.
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Doctor Who and the Mystery of Amelia Pond

2 Jun

Geeks are an impatient lot. We spend our time desperately willing time to speed up so that we can enjoy the next installment of whichever franchise has tickled our fancy that week, and the past few days has been no exception to that. Last Saturday saw BBC1 air an episode of Doctor Who with one of the biggest cliff-hangers the series has ever seen.

For those who don’t know (and needless to say, spoiler alert!), the Doctor’s companion, Amelia Pond was revealed as being a ‘ganger’. A flesh duplicate of the original person, normally controlled remotely by that individual. In Amelia’s case, she is currently being held in some form of hospital, pregnant. And she’s about to give birth. The Doctor vaporizes her ganger, and we’re left wondering when on earth (and in space!) the switch was made.

So, a few theories. Not because I necessarily think they’re correct, but because it’s impossible to resist speculation. Needless to say, there are people out there in the wealth of the internet who have beaten me to this article, credit shall be given where due!
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TV’s Just Not Geeky Anymore…

31 May

Last week Smallville ended. Not big news for the majority of people, but for the fans it was an epic final episode that was an appropriate ending to a series which had taken us on a bit of a roller coaster ride over the course of ten seasons. Yet sadly, with the end of Smallville, comes the end of geeky television…

Ten years ago, we were inundated. The likes of Startrek Voyager and Stargate-SG1 graced our screens. It was the sort of television that made your Mum ask ‘What’s this rubbish?’ Girlfriends didn’t get it (in the unlikely event that you had one) and you noticed Dad’s watching out of the corner of their eye. Being a fan of such programs granted exclusive access to a club of geeks and losers. And it was great.

The reason I bring this up is, and I never thought I’d utter these words, it’s just not the same anymore. Geekiness has become hip. It’s become cool. Smallville was the final season that was for the geeks. They didn’t fear dropping in obscure references to characters from the DC universe. It’s the final standard-bearer for the Buffy era of television.
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OK. I’ll Say It. I’m Glad the Playstation Network Broke

16 May

Much to the amusement of Xbox owners, us PS3 loyalists have been subject to a rather strange situation recently. The Playstation Network decided to break. I’m told this was because of some nasty men who stole lots of information and therefore meant that we couldn’t use any of the online services.

The reason I’m mentioning this is because I want to point out a couple of things. Firstly, who cared? There have been a lot of people who have been ranting and raving about what a disgrace it is that this has happened in the first place. Well, as they say, s*** happens. It could have happened to Microsoft, it could have happened to the British government. But it didn’t. It happened to Sony. But we could just as easily be laughing at all Xbox owners right now. And you know what, I’m glad we’re not, because it would actually have affected them…

I have always campaigned that the Xbox is a social console and that the Playstation is a solitary being. Everyone I know who owns an Xbox plays online. Most likely because they pay for their online use and so probably feel obliged to use it. Over on the Playstation’s side of the fence, our online usage comes as standard. A nice thing, but it does mean that a lot of people aren’t really that bothered about playing online. The last time I played online was when Uncharted 2 came out. Other than not being able to use the store and iPlayer, the downtime really didn’t affect me. In fact, I’m rather glad it did go down…

A terrible thing to say? Hear me out. For most PS3 owners, it gave them an excuse to play their single player games that they had been distracted from due to Call of Duty and… are there any other multi-player games that people online? Guess there aren’t… On top of that, we get a welcome back package! Free games people! Free games! In exchange for what? Not being able to play Call of Duty for a month? I’m cool with that…