Ramblings: Misadventures of a Social Dipstick

August 17, 2008

Oi… Sometimes I wonder why I leave the house. Every time I do, it becomes increasingly apparent that I have no idea how to communicate with other people, let alone make friends. The fact that I have any friends at all is a no small miracle.

However, I have picked up on one conversational… thingy that can be employed during lulls in the talking: ask about the Wiggles.

I know, it sound ridiculous. But when you’re in your late teens/early twenties, the Wiggles are such a random thing to talk about that everyone’s got something to say, and everyone’s opinions are going to be a bit different, and before you know it, BAM! Instant discussion. About the Wiggles. It’s surprisingly effective.

So… yeah. That’s all I’ve got.

Cheers,

WK

P.S. I’m on Twitter now. If you’re interested, username is “Bronzethumb”.

Ramblings: Clowns to the left of me, 19th century French novelists to the right

August 11, 2008

Studying has ruined me for any kind of “ism”. Year 9 and 10 Science completely ruined creationism for me. Year 11 and 12 ruined postmodernism (though to be fair, that subject was never very interesting to begin with). The autumn semester at Uni shot to bits any appreciation I had for classicism. And now I’m studying realism, and writing a critical essay on how it relates to Madame Bovary, and I feel like banging my head against the desk until I’m too concussed to write.

Disestablishmentarianism, watch out.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ramblings: Uh… stuff happens?

August 3, 2008

University started back a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I really like Uni. I mean, aside from the ‘having to do assignments’ bit, I get to spend a few hours a week talking to a bunch of people who love writing and know their stuff. And the people in my classes are just plain cool. Not to mention that the UniBar, a cafe and a good make-your-own-sandwich place are only five minutes away at the most.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review: The Dark Knight

July 22, 2008

THE DARK KNIGHT
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writers: Christopher Nolan and
Jonathan Nolan (story by David S. Goyer; Batman created by Bob Kane)
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Morgan Freeman

My Rating: 10 out of 10

The Dark Knight is one of the most perfectly perfect films I have ever seen. Admittedly it’s only in the last few years that I’ve started expanding my film horizons and watching the kind of movies that fall into the category of “masterpiece” (it’s been about eight months since I watched The Godfather for the first time) but I’m confident that others will agree with me when I say that despite being both a sequel and a comic book movie, The Dark Knight really is a masterpiece of modern film.

The story picks up almost a year after the events of Batman Begins, with Gotham City fighting a war on crime. Bruce Wayne (Bale) is doing his best to wipe out the mob in the guise of Batman, helped by bulter/confidant Alfred (Caine), Detective Gordon (Oldman) and love interest Rachel Dawes. When the new DA, Harvey Dent (Eckhart), starts making some headway on the crime problem through legal channels, Bruce believes it might be time to hang up the cowl and let Dent become the city’s protector. But everything starts going to hell when the Joker (Ledger) launches a campaign of terror and chaos against Gotham.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review: “Journey’s End” (Doctor Who, series 4, episode 13)

July 14, 2008

“JOURNEY’S END” (DOCTOR WHO, SERIES 4, EPISODE 13)
Reviewed: July 14th, 2008
Director: Graeme Harper
Writer: Russell T Davies
Starring: David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Freema Agyeman, John Barrowman, Elizabeth Sladen, Billie Piper, Julian Bleach, and Nicholas Briggs

My Rating: 4 out of 10

“Journey’s End” is more of what we got with “The Stolen Earth”, no more and no less. The problem is that “The Stolen Earth” was more than a little bit rubbish, and the stench doesn’t get better with time. Russell T Davis doesn’t fix the problems that cropped up in the previous episode and because of this – and in spite of every other aspect of the episode being top-notch – the writing turns what should’ve been a great series finale into a steaming pile of dung.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Hancock

July 14, 2008

HANCOCK
Reviewed: 14th July, 2008 (i.e. late)
Director:
Peter Berg
Writers: Vincent Ngo and Vince Gilligan
Starring: Will Smith, Jason Bateman, Charlize Theron, Eddie Marsan

My Rating: 6 out of 10

Hancock is a hard film to review because it’s a hard film to get a handle on. There’s a lot of good elements to it, such as the performances and the special effects, but the film suffers from a kind of schizophrenia that makes it hard to define, hard to review, and ultimately hard to like.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Get Smart

July 5, 2008

GET SMART
Reviewed: 5th July, 2008
Director: Peter Segal
Writers: Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember (characters created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry)
Starring: Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin, Terence Stamp

My Rating: 7 out of 10

I was surprised at how much I liked Get Smart. I had been expecting a slapstick comedy with guns involved, but the film proved to be something more akin to the Bond films of Pierce Brosnan’s era, only they’d been played for laughs as much as for excitement.

The film follows Maxwell Smart (Carrell), the top analyst for spy agency CONTROL, who wants to be a field agent. He gets his chance when the evil KAOS organisation kills most of CONTROL’s agents, forcing the Chief (Arkin) to promote Max and partner him with the mysterious Agent 99 (Hathaway). What follows is a spy romp across Russia and the US as Max and 99 take on the forces of KAOS and its nefarious leader Siegfried (Stamp).

Read the rest of this entry »

Review: “The Stolen Earth” (Doctor Who, series 4, episode 12)

June 27, 2008

“THE STOLEN EARTH” (DOCTOR WHO, SERIES 4, EPISODE 12)
Reviewed:
29th June, 2008
Director:
Graeme Harper
Writer: Russell T. Davies
Starring: David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Freema Agyeman, John Barrowman, Elizabeth Sladen, Billie Piper, Julian Bleach, and Nicholas Briggs

My Rating: 7 out of 10

WARNING: SOME SPOILERS AHEAD. I’LL TRY TO KEEP ‘EM TO A MINIMUM, BUT IF YOU DON’T WANNA KNOW WHO/WHAT THE VILLAIN IS, STOP READING NOW.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review: The Incredible Hulk

June 19, 2008

THE INCREDIBLE HULK
Reviewed: June 19th, 2008
Director:
Louis Leterrier
Writers: Zak Penn, Edward Norton (uncredited)
Starring:
Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, and William Hurt

My Rating: 7 out of 10

I’ll preface my review with a confession: I liked the first Hulk movie. It wasn’t perfect by a long shot, with a far-too-convoluted plot and too much time with a whiney Eric Bana. But Ang Lee had a terrific visual style and brought out a lot of interesting ideas and character points. It has it merits, but it wasn’t a film meant for franchise. The Incredible Hulk most certainly is. Leterrier has stripped away some of the heaver elements of Ang Lee’s interpretation to create a lean, action-packed film that stays closer to the tone of the Hulk comics and TV series. If you’re looking for a deep dramatic film then look elsewhere, but if you want a blockbuster popcorn action flick that makes a decent attempt to be serious, The Incredible Hulk is right up your alley.

The film follows Bruce Banner (Norton), a mild-mannered scientist who, thanks to an overdose of gamma radiation, transforms into the giant monstrous Hulk whenever he’s angry or stressed. For five years Bruce has been a fugitive, on the run and pursued by General “Thunderbolt” Ross (Hurt), who wants to turn the Hulk into a military weapon. Close to a cure for his condition, Bruce returns to America to find ex-girlfriend Betty Ross (Tyler) – who happens to be General Ross’ daughter – and faces off against Emil Blonsky (Roth), an ageing commando whose obsession with the Hulk’s power slowly turns him into an Abomination.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ramblings: A Mars Bar saved my life

June 4, 2008

No joke.

I went into Woolworths yesterday to pick up some groceries. No big deal. And while I was there I bought a Mars Bar because I was hungry and it was a while until dinner time. Once I was in my car I unwrapped the bar and started eating it, holding it in my mouth while I slowly started the car and drove towards the carpark exit. Now, I’m driving really slowly because I’m eating a Mars Bar no-handed while driving. I swear to God, I was being really safe.

I get to the exit. This is an “exit only” bit, so there should be no cars coming in from this place. Yet when I’m about twenty metres from the exit some dickweed speeds around the corner, up the exit and past me, missing me by centimetres.

And all I can think of is the fact that if I hadn’t been eating my Mars Bar and subsequently driving very slowly out of the carpark, there’d have been a head-on collision instead of a near miss.

There. Just felt like relaying a story. That is all.