Monday, 29 November 2010

My perfect home cinema setup:

TV: Sony KDL-40EX503
Speakers: B&W 685 Theatre (+ B&W ASW610 subwoofer)
Amplifier: Onkyo TX-SR608
CD Player: Audiolab 8200CD
Blu-ray Player: Sony BDP-S570
HDMI Cables: QED Profile HDMI
Remote Control: Logitech Harmony One
Speaker Stands: Partington ANSA 60
Speaker Cables: Chord Company Carnival Silver
Mains Cable: Merlin Tarantula MK6
Conditioner: Lindy 6-way
Equipment Rack: Hi Fi Racks Podium
Subwoofer Isolator: Auralex SubDude(HD)
Cable TV: Virgin Media V+

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The only thing I like about the second to last image are those shoes! The outfit—not so much…

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Album Reviews:

AWWBLOT: And What Will be Left of Them?:

I saw this young indie band at ‘The Railway’—a small pub near my old university. They instantly caught my interest and I found myself grinning throughout the set. I spoke to the two lead singers after the show and they said that they knew Los Campesinos!—or, at least, that one of them was related to them? That was, coincidently, the first band they reminded me of—the second Blink-182. The same youth-energy, the male and female lead singers voices play off each other (I think enjoying male and female duo’s is becoming a habit for me—X, Wussy, the xx and, now that I’m mentioning it, Los Campesinos!). I think the lyrics (and the song-writing) could be a bit more focused/tight. A−

Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy:

Not as soulful as ‘The College Dropout’, not as meticulous as ‘Late Registration’—but certainly hard as nails. I love the flow of the album—I like the melodies and the rhymes are clever and descriptive—most of all, though, I’m glad West is finally standing up to his ego. He’s taken some time off and he’s learning that intelligence and narcissism don’t necessarily go hand in hand. He’s also decided to focus on songform (even if it’s still too stylistic)—more so than on his previous two efforts. My favourite tracks are the final five, starting from ‘Runaway’ (although I love the riff on ‘Devil in a New Dress’). I’m just glad he’s back. A

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Like my end-of-year film list I’m going to attempt a best of album list and fill it in as I go along (this is only in the name of fun, for me—it’s mostly how they will appear on the list, successively, not the exact scores):

6. The Roots: How I Got Over
7. Elizabeth Cook: Welder
8. Vampire Weekend: Contra
9. Johnny Cash: American VI: Ain’t No Grave
10. M.I.A.: Maya

12. Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Fantasy
14. Nicki Minaj: Pink Friday
15. Girl Talk: All Day

22. Arcade Fire: The Suburbs

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Jesus Christ I think I’m gonna shit my pants when the deluxe version of this CD comes out..! :p

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

TV Reviews:

The Royle Family: What makes this so hilarious is the great situation acting. Just now—while watching the show to critique—Ricky Tomlinson, removing wallpaper, wipes the sweat from his armpit, smells it, and then uses it to wipe his face. All seemingly natural. All seamlessly hilarious. How could watching people in a room be so entertaining? A

Sunday, 24 October 2010

So, technically, I fall into this because I blog?
TV Reviews:

The Middle: Malcolm in the Middle, duh. **

Reaper: Some great back-and-forths between the three protagonists—as the character interactions are where the show shines. The plot, on the otherhand, is where the show falls apart. Ray Wise almost makes me want to give this an A−. Worth a good watch if you like sit-on-the-sofa-and-eat-crisps TV shows. B+

Modern Family: New generation of awkward humour—not funny. *

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Game Reviews:

Minecraft: I haven’t played a game this addictive in a while. Such a simple concept—the sun goes up,the sun goes down and you build things in between. Almost like Dungeon Keeper in the way that you become emphatically pleased with what you create (you should Youtube some of the videos people have made). If only there was a little more substance to the game—somehow it seems a little bit frivolous. There’s sure as hell enough style. A−

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

God—I’m so angry with these dolts panning the Sennheiser CX 300-II’s. They are some of the best headphones you can buy—price a non factor. The bass isn’t too loud—you just have been listening to bad headphones so long you don’t even know what accurate sounding headphones sound like! When tested, they are far superior to the in-ear iPod headphones—almost better than the Klipsch Image X10i’s (and they are £230-ish!). God—it’s like people liking Radiohead. They have listened to shit for so long when they hear something like the Beatles they feel angry at themselves for not realising Radiohead are shit sooner—but won’t admit it… *phew rant over! :p

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Vlogger Reviews:

spricket24: Mad, but not obnoxious, fun but not dumb—spricket actually has some very interesting topics which she infuses with stoner-like (funnier because she’s a girl—and not actually a stoner) goof-ball antics. A−

SpoonyOne (The Spoony Experiment): A very likable, intelligent person who—although has some disagreeable reviews—conjures some interesting insights. He is always ranting but they are so coherent that they become active thought. He definitely deserved that award. A−

JamesNintendoNerd (AVGN): I like this guy so much I want to give him an A+ for just being an all-round awesome guy. Smart—but never too smart—his maturity helps him to think about his movies with detail. The scripted, faux-plot movies are never cringe-worthy and always immensely fun to watch. His familiarity on camera is a natural-born gift. A

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

TV Reviews:

This Is England ‘86: I’m so glad to see this again—even though the plot may be a bit sketchy—it translates onto TV as well as I’d hoped. Same as before, it encapsulates the raw emotion and under-dramatic moments of British kids. A four part series? What?! A−

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

I think I will start my movie end-of-year list, now, and fill it in as I go along:

1. The Social Network
2. Last Train Home
4. Inception
8. The American
9. Salt

12. Monsters
13. Exit Through the Gift Shop
16. Easy A

I still have yet to watch ‘Putty Hill’, ‘Restrepo’, ‘I am Love’ and a few others—including ‘Vengeance’.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Film Reviews:

Toy Story 3: As always, the animation and characters are superb but the plot is where the film lacks a little. It feels like we’re just going through the motions—in the first two films there are more genuine moments (especially the first) but here they seem a little tried. I wish they had made the film a little more serious—like the first—it seems too obviously targeted to kids. One moment I liked was when the baby turned on the bear and pushed him in the dumpster. There was some character emotion. The rest of the film feels a bit flimsy on this level. Oh—I like when Mr. Potato Head was a taco :p. 3 Stars

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

TV Reviews:

The Dudesons: Dud

Samurai Champloo: Nice animation—that has some great characterizations. If I’m nit-picking, it is plagued by bad timing—I would much prefer the animators to attempt a more mature output rather than trying to stylize cliche anime techniques (though they do the cliches well). A−
I just tried the B&W Zeppelin in the Salisbury Waitrose. The Zeppelin got 5 out 5 stars and a Best Buy from WhatHi-Fi? so I thought it nessesary to test it! I have to admit I enjoyed the sound. It was a nice, clean, smooth soundstage that was obviously of professional standards. One thing I didn’t like was the over-bearing bass. It was not, just, that it was over-bearing but that it didn’t sound very good. The bass was flat, muffled and dumb-sounding. I have read online that there is a bass setting you can fiddle with—and that changing the location of the Zeppelin can affect the sound dramatically. I really want to try this out—to see if I can create a better sound—as the treble and mids were outstanding for an iPod dock (even if it is £400).

Note: The Zeppelin’s rating (from WhatHi-Fi?) has now decreased to 4 stars. I find 4 stars a more precise rating—it is a well crafted piece of hardware but it lacks in reach. The bass is too strong, the treble and mids are not as dynamic and as smart as I thought they would be and it sounds dumb at high volumes. Not something I would like to spend 400 pounds on, at any rate.

Friday, 13 August 2010

TV Reviews:

Samurai Jack: Impressive animation that focuses more on style (of which it consumes everything else) than on substance. ***

Mystery Science Theatre 3000: An idea that sounds as if it shouldn’t work—but it does. The simplest of shows—hillarious and true. The guys comedy is not stonerish and doesn’t become monotonous but encapsulates the style of the films they mock. A−

Monday, 9 August 2010

Film Reviews:

Inception: I know I’m a bit late on this one. What a movie! I was actually surprised how much I appreciated this movie. I haven’t seen a film this genuinely interesting since, perhaps, the Dark Knight. Nolan produces an original and intelligent plot—twisted with great cinematography and direction. The actors and actresses produce a smart action movie and keep the movie rolling through—rather than, say, the Matrix which incessantly tries to focus on every piece of ingenuity it had to offer. A brilliant movie I will certainly be excited to own on DVD (or is that Blu-Ray now?). 4 Stars

Saturday, 7 August 2010

TV Reviews:

Samantha Who: Who (I had to do that)? Bad acting, in combination with, poor direction and a dreary, uninteresting plot leads to one of the worst popular shows on air. They somehow find an array of stars to perform cameos—do these people really watch this show? I can understand the women—women have a tendency to dismiss poor quality if it focuses on the lives of women. That is sexiest, I know, but it’s true. Hay—I like Sex and the City (not the films). B−

Friday, 6 August 2010

I know I can’t speak about the new Kanye West album (as I haven’t heard it)—but from the single ‘Power’ I don’t think it’s gonna be all that good. It seems he hasn’t learnt that his fist two cd’s were great and the second two a little wack. He’s still arrogant as shit—which I wouldn’t ordinarily have a problem with (at least he knows he’s a star—most are dumb enough to assume they are)—but it affects his music tremendously. I’m so dissapointed in Kanye—the only good thing about the song is the bass line which runs, intermittently, for about 10 seconds of the song. :/ I’m sure the album will still make an A−.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

TV Reviews:

Phineas and Ferb: A less hyper-active, slightly more entertaining, TV show for kids. **

Friday, 30 July 2010

TV Reviews:

TNA iMPACT!: I don’t have to tell you how stupid wrestling is. I do, mildly, enjoy the action though. *
My Sennheiser CX 300-II in-ear headphones, I’ve just bought, have just arrived. My first impressions are that they are uncomfortable. I am definitely biased in saying that in-ear headphones are irritating as hell. The problem isn’t the three different sized earcups they give you—it’s the fact that they go right into your ear and you can often hear earwax squishing around, which is horrible. I am a very clean person—against advice, I clean my ears with earbuds everyday. The fact that these headphones remind me of earwax freaks me out. I guess they are more comfortable that over-ear headphones.

Right, now for the audio quality. I’ve been told to let them ‘run in’ i.e. by turning the volume up to full and letting them run overnight—with some heavy ass bass from Lil Wayne’s ‘Tha Carter III’. On first listen the bass in nice—focused but not over-powering (I hate that). Problem is, I have had several ear grommets in my lifetime so my right ear is all but at 50% volume so the bass is wasted on that ear. That being said, the headphones do a remarkable job of creating an immersive atmosphere—bass is omni-directional but I was surprised how these headphones created that effect (whether that’s to do with the headphones or the human brain—I don’t know). The treble and mids are effective enough—one thing I can say is that these blow the iPod headphones out of the water!

I’m letting them run in for a while and I’ll report back with the results.

RESULTS: I realised the reason why i was having comfort-ability issues was because I had odd sized earcups on! Oops! ;p Well, as far as they stand now—I would still say they need some getting used to but, like anything new, I’m sure this will happen with time. The bass is incredible! I think they, even, sound better than my on-ear Pioneer headphones (which were roughly the same price). The trebles are loud enough and never too sharp—almost—but perfectly leveled. The bass is independent from the treble and middle but deep, loud and driving. Another thing I love about these headphones is the noise cancellation. If I open a cupboard, say, and close it again I can hardly hear it! I mean, I can hear it—but it’s muffled and I can see how easily this will transcend to a noisy bus or high-street (my two biggest problems). One minor annoyance is the noise that comes from speaker wire interference. When the wire rubs against my clothes it causes an in-ear ruffle that kinda sucks—but I’m getting used to it. I am thoroughly excited by these headphones and can’t wait to try them out in the real world. Also, the ‘running in’ seemed to help calm the trebles and mellow the bass—which is nice.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

My greatest TV shows of the decade list:

1. The Sopranos
2. 60 Minutes
3. Late Show with David Letterman
4. The Simpsons
5. Saturday Night Live
6. Today
7. Friends
8. ER
9. Nightline
10. Law & Order

11. Sesame Street
12. Fraiser
13. The X-Files
14. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
15. The Oprah Winfrey Show
16. The Wire
17. Mad Men
18. The Royle Family
19. Freaks and Geeks
20. The West Wing
21. Six Feet Under
22. Desperate Housewives
23. The Office (UK)
24. Arrested Development
25. Lost
26. Sex and the City
27. Scrubs
28. Breaking Bad
29. The Daily Show
30. 30 Rock
31. Curb Your Enthusiasm
32. Southpark
33. Rome
34. Harry Hill’s TV Burp
35. Malcolm in the Middle
36. True Blood
37. Futurama
38. The OC
39. Misfits
40. This is England ‘86
41. Top Gear
42. Peep Show
43. My Name is Earl
44. Survivor
45. 24
46. The Big Bang Theory
47. Pop/American Idol
48. Spongebob Squarepants
49. The Jeremy Kyle Show
50. QI
51. MythBusters
52. Spaced
53. Glenn Martin, DDS
54. Little Britain
55. The Shield
56. Doctor Who
57. Samurai Champloo
58. Wonder Showzen

Need to wiggle some around!
Just a quick video to show the effects of a raw food diet (this guy seems a bit of a perv :p):

TV Shows:

The Jeremy Kyle Show: I don’t know how they find so many idiots for this show. Jeremy Kyle holds just the right amount of ‘chav’ about him, and talks in the right way, to harness the grateast cocktail of enterainment and solution. It makes me cringe—but it’s always interesting to see the tension between each relationship. Oh, and I hate that goddamn fox sponser advert. A−

Monday, 19 July 2010

Film Reviews:

Cat Woman: Gyurgh, Halle Berry is so bad in this film! There’s a scene where two armed guards chase her through some, very exspensive looking, pipes and they start shooting at her—hitting all the pipes, obviously. I really don’t think I can say more about this movie, without laughing. 1 Star
So looking forward to this!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

TV Reviews:

Monk: Not very interesting at all—but at least it doesn't fall into the trap of over-dramatic acting like so many shows of recent memory. **

Heartbeat: Though the show has changed cast too many times that I care to remember—the basis of the show remains the same. A midly enjoyable post prime-time slot-filler that always make me smile. A−

Ghost Whispserer: Man, she's got big boobs. Dud

Banzai: Hilarious—a great show to watch, late at night, with a beer. It's one of those shows, like Takeshi's Castle (funny how they're both Japanese), that you need to be in the right mood for—but boy, when you are, it's heaven! My favourite game is the hand-shaking guy—or it that too cliche? A−

Thursday, 15 July 2010

God-damnit, when is there going to be a flac version of Maya (M.I.A.) online?! :S :( :p

Friday, 9 July 2010

TV Reviews:

Midsomer Murders: A staple of summer broadcasting (how appropriate)—Midsomer Murders is genuinely good at consistently making interesting plots. John Nettles is cast well and so is his side-kick Jason Hughes. The direction could be a little more direct/exciting—but it has created a nice little niche for itself and I think it's quite happy staying there. A−

Dexter's Laboratory: Haha, I watched this with my brother—it's actually quite good (at least, the characterizations). I almost want to call this and A− (or am I drunk? :p) ***

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Game Reviews:

International Cricket 2010: This game has good game mechanics but some prior knowledge of the sport is required. The graphics are nice and clean with the poorly rendered crowd being the only flaw. If you enjoy cricket and/or can play long enough to learn how to use the different aspects of the game—you will enjoy this. A−
TV Reviews:

Accidentally on Purpose: Fails on an acting level where How I Met Your mother succeeded. B−

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Album Reviews:

LCD Soundsystem: This Is Happening:

I never really liked LCD Soundsystem all that much—Murphy has swapped hipster allocations with tuneful expression here—he just doesn't take it that far. You can hear this, especially, on the track ‘All I Want’— the main riff could be slightly catchier—reminiscent of The Strokes ‘Is This It’. I can't decide whether I like the longer songs or would have preferred more of shorter length (definitely quicker paced). I do like the general sonics though—they're not too douchey (although, they could have been smarter). A−

Elizabeth Cook: Welder:

Great songwriting here—some great lyrics too. Intelligent subjects matters, which—in my opinion—are hindered only by her voice. She has a great voice—don't get me wrong—it just seems a little bit childish. But hay—I'm nit-picking. A

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

TV Reviews:

Smallville: When it first aired it had some impact, but after character additions it has become over-dramatic and droll. Too much camera panning and scene hogging. I'd rather have intelligent story-lines and a faster tempo, thanks. B

Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Dud

Saturday, 26 June 2010

TV Reviews:

The I.T. Crowd: I want this show to be better than it is—but it lacks that spark of intelligence. Some of the jokes are funny but most of them leave me feeling they could have done more with the characters. I still like this show—if only for what could be. A−
Album Reviews:

Dixie Chicks: Wide Open Spaces:

I like the musical and instrumental talent that is obvious here. What annoys me is the haste to create catchy hooks over intelligent songs—I wish they had taken more time—a slightly slower, more serious endeavor. Like I said, I do like the general vibe and they have great voices and some great talent too—if only they were brave enough to roll with it. ** (‘Wide Open Spaces’, ‘Give It Up or Let Me Go’)

Paolo Nutini: These Streets:


Friday, 25 June 2010

Holy shit—this guy is good! :p

Album Reviews:

Eminem: Recovery:

After the abysmal Relapse I had serious doubts whether Eminem could pull himself back to form. It may not be the smartest of his CD's but he's back with a vengeance—keeping the beats simple and hard—it has allowed him to gain his confidence back. Often, with his older work, he doesn't seem to face some of his issues head-on—here, at least, he admits them (if only for himself) and wants to change. A−

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Film Reviews:

Johnny English: A complete waste of time—this movie is poor in every-which-way. 1.5 Stars

Murder on the Orient Express: I hate this Poaro—his timing is so bad! The plot is too obvious and dull. Some of the character interactions are quite nice, though, and the cast is quite impressive too (shit Poaros aside). 3 Stars

Friday, 18 June 2010

Gotta love Seinfeld/guess what I'm doing tonight…?

I just bought the Anime version of Metropolis on DVD from Amazon—it's going to take two days—I can't wait!

Metropolis (Anime): This is the kind of animation that just doesn't feel like an animation when you watch it. A beautifully told story—which has great character development. I always feel so upset for the robot girl I'm almost embarrassed—as it's an animation—although saying that I also cared about the girl in Spirited Away and that didn't bother me? 4 Stars
My greatest horror movies of all time list:

1. King Kong
2. Repulsion
3. The Bride of Frankenstein
4. Alien
5. Psycho
6. Frankenstein
7. Jaws
8. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
9. Nosferatu
10. Peeping Tom

11. Rosemary's Baby
12. Exotica
13. Dracula
14. Halloween
15. The Evil Dead
16. Dawn of the Dead
17. The Shining
18. The Exorcist
19. The Blair Witch Project
20. Silence of the Lambs
21. Carrie
22. The Descent
23. Aliens
24. The Wicker Man
25. The Night of the Living Dead
26. The Devil's Rejects

I need to get ‘Don't Look Now’, ‘The Last House on the Left’ and ‘Let the Right One In’ in here—‘Devil's Rejects’ should be 27th…
Game Reviews:

Mappy: What I love about this game is it's infuriating addictiveness. I can seriously play this game for hours at a time and get so annoyed when I die—it is such a well paced game—it's a personal favourite of mine. A lot of people say the music gets tiring but I love it. It is a simple game, though. A−

Film Reviews:

Crash: The characters are so beautifully created they transcend all hatred and cliches when in the face of racism, sexism and ignorance. The way the story unfolds itself is also pretty good—subtle—playing on the emotions of each character rather than the suspense. Smart, but doesn't outreach itself ever. 4 Stars

Fargo: I don't know why it has taken me so long to see this movie. It's probably one of the best films I have ever seen—definitely one of the best of the 90's. Hilarious and tragic at the same time—the film kind of creeps up on you and then, suddenly, you're sucked in. I need to get this on DVD… 4 Stars

Thursday, 17 June 2010

TV Reviews:

Everybody Loves Raymond: An impressive cast—each member of the family has a strong role in the show. What lacks here are the jokes—they're usually pretty immature and short—leaving me feeling like this isn't very good as a comedy. What I do like is the interaction between the characters—this is where the show shines. A−

Friday, 11 June 2010

Film Reviews:

Starship Troopers: I, admittedly, liked this as a teen. God knows why. The intended humour behind the film is, probably, the best aspect of the film. The characters are lazy, the plot almost irrelevant (it could have easily been a pure action film) and the dialogue dumb as hell. One word I will never forget: ‘MEDIIIIC!!!’. 2 Stars

Spiderman 2: This movie is so much better than it's predecessor it's almost blinding. Finally the saga decides to follow the man behind the mask rather than creating a pure action flick. There is also less emotional overkill than the first and the film flows in a real and intelligent manor. 4 Stars

The Bourne Identity: It's filmed well for an action movie. Matt Damon plays his part well and the movie does what it needs to do. It could be a little more mature though—have a more intelligent back-story—but, as I said, it is enough. 3 Stars

Thursday, 10 June 2010

The most disappointing film series series: Back to the Future

Back to the Future. 3.5 Stars

Back to the Future II. 3 Stars

Back to the Future III. 2 Stars
I think I should do an update on my raw food diet (plus I haven't done a regular post in a while). I have been doing a raw food diet now for almost 3 months. I have had the occasional cooked meal (plus the occasional slip-up!). What I have learned, so far, from eating raw foods is that they make you feel happier. A lot happier. You know that feeling you had as a child—that feeling of free-rolling happiness with some background apprehension? That's how I feel—all the time! Every time I have a cooked meal, processed chocolate or junk food I feel lethargic, I often get a headache (which I never used to and I rarely get headaches anyway), my mood becomes more unstable and I generally feel unwell. I have also lost almost 6 and a half kilograms. I'm not so bothered about the weight—it's the realization that most of the fat on my body is made up of deposits of starchy carbohydrates and processed fats. I can imagine people thinking that I am too skinny (I am now 63.7 kg/10.03 stone/140.4 lbs) but in reality they are too fat! I don't mean this in any superior or malevolent way—remember I don't care about my weight. I believe that people are meant to be a lot thinner than they are—only carrying a small amount of (natural) fat—not all these left-over carbohydrates. My veins stick out more, my ribs protrude and my skin is becoming tighter to my muscles, but also, my skin is becoming clearer, my breath fresher, I sweat less, I have more energy, i am less stressed and I come home after a 12 hour shift feeling full of energy—now who can say that?
Film Reviews:

The Simpsons Movie: Like everyone who saw the trailer, I was a little apprehensive at first. I thought the plot would be stale and I have it ingrained in my mind that TV series rarely transcend well onto the big screen. Surprisingly, it actually turned out to be a pretty good movie—a lot of the jokes were obvious but a lot of them were fresh and funny too. The animation kept the story running smoothly and helped the show transcend to film. I thought the story was a little uninspired. But hay, it was still pretty good. 3 Stars

Salem's Lot: I always remember that scene where the kid floats up to the window and asks to come in—it is terrifying! I quite like this adaptation, though it is a little dull—there hardly seems to be any atmospheric terror during the day (some of the direction could have been better) but then isn't this a vampire movie? 2.5 Stars
Album Reviews:

The Rolling Stones: Exile on Main Street (Deluxe Edition):

I was really excited when I heard about this re-issue but I also had a nagging sense of apprehension—what if they remastered it and it sounded worse, lost it's atmosphere or they changed the tracks from the originals? I can safely say that the re-issue has been superbly re-mastered and the bonus tracks (of which, I was also apprehensive of) are some of the best tracks I have heard in years. How many of them were performed by the artists now and how much it has been professionally produced I don't know. A+
I feel bad for posting three Youtube videos in a row—but fuck it.

TV Reviews:

Everwood: Based on some common mining-town cliches, Everwood is not a bad show. It's not a great show either. While having a good cast they never seem to act anything more than appropriately. The plot seems good on paper but lack of intelligent direction renders the show a little futile. ***

Monday, 7 June 2010

TV Reviews:

Gilmore Girls: The characters always seem to talk as if they are in a novel—unnaturally. There is a nice connection between the characters but the plot never really goes anywhere beyond their basic day-to-day lives and it's boring. Probably a show women would prefer over men. B+

Fraiser: Clever and funny at the same time? Seinfeld springs to mind and then there's Frasier. There seems to be a love hate relationship from the general public—some people call it dull. I think they're out of their minds. Sometimes the cast focus too much on character development rather than the individual scenes or jokes. A+

Bones: I hate to say it (well, no, he was underrated in Buffy) but David Boreanaz is quite the lead. Emily Deschanel, on the other-hand, is a bad actress. Just another high contrast, flashing images, slow-mo CSI rip-off. *

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Film Reviews:

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King: While I thoroughly enjoyed the first installment to the series the second and, especially, the third are a little trite. Return of the King is more action-sequence based leaving the other scenes seeming necessary only for the completion of the plot. It's almost as if they ran out of steam and are just going with the flow. It's still fun to watch though. 3.5 Stars

Kindergarten Cop: I am always surprised by this movie as it should be a lot worse then it is. The film is actually enjoyable, for the most part, due to the impressive scene arrangement. Surprisingly, Schwarzenegger is not too bad either. 3 Stars

Friday, 4 June 2010

This is one thing I miss about Japan so much—clean streets! :p

Thursday, 3 June 2010

TV Reviews:

Burn Notice: Bad acting (especially Jeffrey Donovan), poor plot, poor direction—you get the picture. It's dumb and it's loud but it's still no fun. B−

The King of Queens: I don't know why but I really dislike Kevin James (it may be that he seems so lazy). There are some funny jokes but they seem half baked. B+
Album Reviews:

Nas & Damian Marley: Distant Relatives:

What I like about this album is that the music is mostly reggae which allows a refreshing take on rap. Damian seems to give most of the melodies (taking inspirational verses every so often) leaving Nas to juxtapose his street-poet flow over the top. I heard about this collaboration last year (I assumed it, even, before that) and I was thoroughly excited as I like both artists. I think they could have been smarter with this—Marley with his melodies and Nas with his rhymes—they seem a little lazy. I do like the general vibe though. A−

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Film Reviews:

After Hours: I first saw this movie when I was in my early teens and I was so frustrated because I forgot the name of the film. One of the most well crafted and experimental comedies I have ever seen. The film almost plays like an exaggerated twilight episode and some of the scenes are really visually exciting. It does feel a little hodge-podge though—there are a lot of ideas floating around and I don't think they knew how to tie it all together. 4 Stars

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

I need to find the first part—but here's the second part to Terry Pratchett's Going Postal:

TV Reviews:


Sunday, 30 May 2010

Film Reviews:

Spiderman: Enjoyable and a good cast but lacks in dynamics. The story is faithfully told, which is a plus, but seems a little unfocused at times. 2.5 Stars

Terry Pratchett's Going Postal: I really enjoy the Pratchett adaptations and I am excited each time a new one is released. This Sky funded installment to the series has a fluid tempo and the characters are beautifully cast. Nice CGI effects help to fluff out the action sequences. One of the best TV adaptations I have seen in a long time. It could be a little bit more serious though. 3.5 Stars

The Mask: The moments where Jim Carrey is the Mask are often funny, and more-than-often entertaining. Once the mask has been taken off, though, you are watching a really bad movie. 3 Stars

Gladiator: While this film has a high-end production value (although it's pretty murky looking) it lacks a little on the character side—there's too much focus on the interactions between characters and it overloads on emotional overkill (is the love story really necessary?).The acting is often poor and I feel the movie lacks any real social or political messages—which it craves. The fight scenes are impressive (probably the most worth-while parts of the movie) but the rest of the film drawls on and feels kind of pointless. Worst of all—the film panders to idiots. 2 Stars

Saturday, 29 May 2010

TV Reviews:

Doctor Who: This show tends to keep itself lighthearted to avoid being over-dramatic. I like the to-the-point plots and the acting ability of the cast is impressive enough (especially David Tennant—who shines). A−

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Film Reviews:

American Movie: What can I say? Every single second is funny and it's not boring like most documentaries. 4 Stars

Monday, 24 May 2010

TV Reviews:

Freddy's Nightmares: Although the series pertains a level of cheesiness—it only carries across from the movies. The amount of effort that goes into each episode is surprising—although Freddy rarely attacks his victim there are some good plots and atmospheric pressure. There are parts which may just be too camp for the good of anyone. A−

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Film Reviews:

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure: I like the characters the two play but I dislike the story-line. Or, at least, how it pans out. A large portion of the film drags on—are all these scenes necessary? Just to hear them play air guitar is enough for me though. 3 Stars

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Everything about this film sucks. The characters are lazy, the plot menial and (above all) it has bad pacing which makes it difficult to understand. 2 Stars

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Game Reviews:

Final Fantasy XIII: The graphics are the only thing keeping this above sea level—they're very impressive. The game-play systems they employ are just a new take on old systems which stray from usability. The story and characters are trite and the camera is irritating—the designers are clearly focused on the girls of the game (as all Japanese game designers are, nowadays). Oh yeah, did I mention the soundtrack sucks? ***

PaRappa the Rapper: The only rhythm based game I enjoy, it is very hard and always fun. Even now the drawings still enthrall me and the tunes aren't half that bad either (for a game). I find most rhythm based games dull (Guitar Hero included) so it's nice to have, at least, one that I like. A−

Monday, 17 May 2010

Film Reviews:

The 40-Year-Old Virgin: This is the only film with Steve Carell that I actually like. I usually find his characters overly obnoxious and irritating—but I like the character he plays here (he is believable). A film which focuses more on the story-line than the one-liners (a lot like There's Something About Mary). It's still a little too immature for my tastes. 3.5 Stars

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Film Reviews:

Spaceballs: I'll admit—this movie is a guilty pleasure of mine. I find a lot of it funny—but it's too slow and unoriginal. It is one of those films you can enjoy with a beer, even though it's bad—like Die Hard. 2.5 Stars

Let the Right One In: Beautifully shot, a great cast of unknowns, deep characters and a truly horrifying atmosphere make this one of the best vampire movies around. There's just something so weird about a blonde, Swedish kid (who's friends with a vampire). 3.5 Stars

Friday, 14 May 2010

Album Reviews:

MGMT: Congratulations:

I actually liked there first CD—well, at least, a couple of tracks. They encompass everything I hate about hipsters and indie music. Oracular Spectacular (***) did have an atmosphere; which was actually quite nice. This EP is really, really bad. Period. It's grinding too which only adds to the excruciating pain. Not catchy in anyway, poor melodies, lyrics and riffs all round. DO NOT BUY! C+

Monday, 10 May 2010

Film Reviews:

Silent Hill: I watched this movie, before bed, because I wasn't tired. Anyone who watches this film will know how poor it is. Everything about it is so obviously bad. There are so many times I want to punch Radha Mitchell you could make a drinking game out of it. You know, if the actors could act as if they were real human beings it might not have been so bad. But then again, the direction lets it down too. 1.5 Stars

Sunday, 9 May 2010

I've just finished reading the third installment of the Akira series. What a book! Thinking back to the movie, it seems more obvious now that Katsuhiro Otomo wanted us to be intrigued into reading his books—and boy is it worth it! Compared to most graphic novels I've read the direction is of a much greater level. The plot is something I must take seriously (not just find fun). Obviously, it has to do with the length—6 books at roughly four hundred pages a piece. Everything from the drawings to the dialogue are just marvelous. The plot really fills out—the movie takes major events from each book to make a synopsis—more characters are introduced and the atmosphere reaches new heights, even the film didn't brink. A+

Saturday, 8 May 2010

TV Reviews:

Dragonball Z: Although I can see why people may dislike the time consuming dialogue between characters—it develops the plot thoroughly. The epic battle sequences are interchanged with moments of humour which brings a much fuller feel to the characters. A−

Friday, 7 May 2010

Game Reviews:

Pokemon (Red/Blue): You know, more than ten years later, this is one of the greatest games of all time. Perhaps the greatest Gameboy game of the last generation. Beautiful level designs that (although may be tedious to trek over) stay fresh for a long time. A great story which, may seem childish on the surface, turns into a highly interactive plot via the game-play. I rarely get hooked to things which have a collectible aspect but I have to admit I have all the cards and thoroughly enjoyed the whole encapsulating experience of this game. Even the music. A+

Advance Wars: Here's another great Gameboy game which I first played on my little brothers handset. I instantly liked the game—the graphics and fluid pacing really sucked me into the battle sequences. It's incredibly easy to understand yet still has a sufficient difficulty level (hard yet not annoyingly so). You've seen this kind of turn-based squared movement system before but the way they animate this game allows a new experience. A
Film Reviews:

Drag Me to Hell: One of the best horrors I have seen in years. Every aspect of this movie is great—a nice balance of shock and comedy, great characters and development, great direction, great effects. Perhaps not the most original storyline but they film it in such a way that it is truly brilliant. This is horror as it should be. 3 Stars

Paranormal Activity: A big part of me refused to enjoy this movie. On the surface the plot and the acting seems superficial. I did enjoy the horror aspect of the film and it truly is scary. It was still a little cheesy but if you looked at the horror alone you're surprised by how effective it is. One thing I can praise this movie for is the lack of a high budget cast and special effects. Back to basics. 3.5 Stars

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Game Reviews:Dungeon Keeper: One of my favourites when I was a kid (and still is)—a beautiful game design with an array of highly crafted monsters. Perfect level designs and a superb gradient of difficulty. I always prefer games with a simple game-play system over the more difficult RPG and D & D style games. One of the most underrated games of all time. A+
Album Reviews:

Johnny Cash: American VI: Ain't No Grave:

Usually when I think of Johnny Cash I think of a series of great singles tied to a bunch of filler tracks. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a calmer, wiser Cash with this album. Not so many obvious singles here but a full, rich, intelligent outgoing which I'm sure will go unnoticed by many (dude to lack of singles herein). A

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Game Reviews:

Eve Online: A few different people recommended this game and (as always) it was a poor decision to check it out. One of the most boring games I have eve played in recent history. You basically fly around space (which takes forever and is very easy to get lost in) and gather items you don't care about. The game system is thoroughly difficult to understand and the quests are dull. ***

World of Warcraft: The greatest MMORPG ever made? Possibly. What I like about the game is the game-play, the leveling system and the enormous beautifully designed world. What I dislike is sitting around for days on end futilely leveling up just to use that sword you found which has a fire bonus. MMORPGs have added the most heinous aspect to gaming in all of gaming history—prescription payment. I am absolutely against this form of payment as this system taunts the gamer into spending cash just to get that nice suit of armor. That aside, the quests and character interactions are substantial. A+

Deus Ex: A personal favourite of mine—I've completed it several times and it hasn't become dull. A brilliant storyline and a stark, to the point, game system—Deus Ex is one of the greatest games ever made. Obvious AI flaws in most games would confuse and irritate me but in Dues Ex they are easy to ignore. Also the characters look like they have received a millenniums worth of botox in one sitting. A+
Dungeons and Dragons Online: Although I enjoy the familiarities to WOW and the basic game-play design the fact that you are capped at level 4 doesn't make this a very good free game. I like the character system (it kinda reminds me of Diablo) and I like the world designs. The game gets tiring easily, though, as most of the dungeons you encounter are very similar. In WOW I enjoyed leveling up (although the pressure to do so was excruciatingly annoying)—in DDO it's a little more tedious. If you compare this to WOW (as, I'm sure, you will) it will hold up on the basic game-play but fall short to the shear expansiveness of WOW. A-
TV Reviews:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: I loved this series when it began (although I was young and didn't really catch onto the craze). Watching it now I still see a lot of great elements in it. Great characters, timing, plot development, it's funny, a nice love story (blah!) and some great dialogue too. It was ranked 41st greatest show on TV guide's top 50 and it's obvious to see why. A+

Firefly: I was a little apprehensive of this show. No one follows up a show like Buffy with a greater show and the cast on the box covers look like B grade actors. I have finally weaned myself into it and I have to admit it's not at all bad. Joss Whedon carries over a lot of the elements from Buffy, such as—the nice direction, good characters and plot development. There isn't the same timing here which made Buffy great and the cast are nowhere near the same level as Buffy's. A−

Monday, 3 May 2010

Nice jacket.

Film Reviews:

Back to the Future: What can I say? Everybody, young and old, loves this film and it's easy to see why. A great dynamic between the two protagonists who may act ‘a little too eighties’, for me, sometimes but they do it with such humour. An obviously great idea which is tied to an equally great plot creates a timeless family classic. 3.5 Stars

Sunday, 2 May 2010

TV Reviews:

Harry Hill's TV Burp: Probably my favourite show on air, at the moment. Although I used to find Harry Hill a little irritating—he's matured. Great production and hilarious jokes at a high consistency. It also has the rare quality of actually deserving an award. A

Peep Show: I really like this show—especially when it first aired. The whole first person conversation idea is a huge success. The characters are subtly great and the story-lines are always hilarious. If it wasn't for this show David Mitchell would have never been catapulted to stardom in UK and he's one of our funniest people. A−

QI: The only game show I can watch, on British TV, till the end. Stephen Fry is a smart guy (I loved his documentary on the U.S.A.) and one of my favourite celebrities. The fact that he can get easily distracted muppets to listen to what he has to say (and remain interested) is proof that this show is worth watching. Although the interesting facts the show relies upon is a bit of a weak idea it just holds it together. Also, I was surprised to find out he is gay. A−

Saturday, 1 May 2010

I think I've figured out which settings are best on the Xbox 360 (HDMI). Expanded is the superior display reference and source is the correct colour space. Choosing source will allow the Xbox to choose which colour mode is appropriate (I'm sure they would know over anyone else). Setting expanded makes black true black and white true white (0–255). A lot of people complained that it was too dark but I have a setting on my TV called black level which I set to high which corrects it. Expanded make a highly more dynamic image and is definitely worth setting. Finally, I have set my resolution to 720p as with all other resolutions the screen displays a pink hue whenever I open the dashboard system—I don't want to break my screen! :p Also, the Xbox is native 720p anyway so I assume it is correct.

Edit: I really want to use the optimal setting as the res is 1360 x 768p. It's not my exact res but at least it's better than 720p. Problem is it disables important display settings on my TV so I don't know what to set?! >:-( :p

Friday, 30 April 2010

I've been having some trouble over which settings to use on my Xbox 360, regarding HD. Firstly my HDTV is native 768p so technically if I set my Xbox to 720p it will be scaled up but if I set it to 768p it will be scaled down because most Xbox games are set at 720p anyway? I have tested 768p and 1080p resolution so far and 1080p looks incredibly better—which I don't understand as my TV is 768p native? I haven't tested 720p yet (d'oh!). Then there are the colour settings—apparently YCbCr709 is the best because it displays blacks at 0 instead of 16 which is RGB default. I need to test this further. Then there are three other colour settings—standard, intermediate and expanded. Expanded produces deeper blacks and contrast and I admit this is the superior setting (imo). I just which a major publication explained this in detail as all I could find on the net were highly varied opinions from the usual internet dregs. :p
The most underrated bands and albums of all time:

1. New York Dolls
2. X
3. Latin Playboys
4. LL Cool J: Mama Said Knock You Out
5. Tabu Ley Rochereau
6. Television
7. Wussy
8. Youssou N'Dour
9. DeBarge: In a Special Way
10. Drive-By Truckers
I'm going to attempt a list of the most overrated bands of all time (I'm sure I'll have to make lots of revisions!):

1. Radiohead
2. U2
3. Oasis
4. Blur
5. The Smiths
6. Guns N' Roses
7. Black Sabbath
8. Primal Scream
9. Queen
10. The Verve

11. Massive Attack
12. Red Hot Chili Peppers
13. Coldplay
14. AC/DC
15. Metallica
16. The Eagles
17. The Band
18. Santana
19. Smashing Pumpkins
20. Pink Floyd
21. Pearl Jam
22. Gorillaz
23. Muse
24. The Dave Matthews Band
25. Elton John
26. Kiss
27. Manic Street Preachers

Thursday, 29 April 2010

TV Reviews:

Hollyoaks: This is an average at best soap with high-end production. While I prefer the more real life situations I dislike most of the characters and the acting is, more often then not, poor. The camera work creates a sheen which takes away from the characters interactions. *

Coronation Street: Some great characters who are truly believable. The camera work is good and direction is consistent. Although the plots are becoming increasingly unbelievable they balance the show well by only having one or two main plots running at one time—allowing funnier, minor plots to fill the cracks. A−

The Wire: The greatest show to have aired since the end of The Sopranos. I love every aspect of this show—the characters, the plot, the direction, the script. I can safely say this is the last show I ever OD'd on and I doubt another will come anytime soon. My favourite season is the forth when they follow the lives of the schoolchildren. A+

Battlestar Galactica: A mass of special effects and shaky camera. *

The OC: While I did enjoy this when it first aired it a part of me now dislikes it. I think the character development is great—they tie in the emotional overkill with some solid performances. The story-lines, on the other hand, are often on the brink of stupidity. I guess, teens in this situation might do that but isn't it really just about a bunch of rich kids? A−

The Big Bang Theory: This is probably the first show aimed at teens, in the last couple of years, that has any kind of potential. Although the show is stifled by canned laughter the characters are great and the cast is not bad either—I especially like Sheldon. It might get more attention if the jokes were a little more varied. A−

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: I don't get why people like this show. The police are portrayed as celebrities posing as cops. The plots are highly unbelievable (I'm sure, to make them hard to figure out) and the cast are highly irritating. They split the show into three—realizing that three have a better chance than one. They were wrong. **

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

We've just installed the new TV my mum bought a few days ago. It's a LG 42LH2000 and I am so excited about this TV as the quality is great and it's 42"!! :D :p After a couple of hours going over the settings I think I've come to a final conclusion, as follows:

Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Picture Mode: Expert1
Backlight: 79
Contrast: 89
Brightness: 52
Sharpness (H & V): 53
Colour: 53
Tint: R1

Dynamic Contrast: Medium
Noise Reduction: Medium
Gamma: Medium
Real Cinema: On
Colour Gamut: Wide
Edge Enhancer: High
Colour Filter: Off
Colour Temperature: Medium

SRS TruSurround XT: On

When I use the standard Standard setting it seem to make the image ‘pop’ more—the sharpness is higher and also the colour—but it hurts my eyes and the colour is too bright so I think following the wizard is important.
Film Reviews:

Reservoir Dogs: What I like most about this movie is the cast. The dialogue is weak and even the storyline is dull. If you imagined different actors in the same film I guarantee you wouldn't like it. I mean, it's not without it's merits. The infamous ear scene is quite climactic, if a little overrated. You can tell how talented Tarentino is but all his ideas are applied poorly. 2.5 Stars
TV Reviews:

Lost: This show actually grabbed my attention pretty strongly, when it first started. Whether that was due to the shows aggressive marketing ploy or on the shows own merits I am still undecided. Some nice characters and a great cast. The erratic plot has always put me off and I didn't continue watching after the first series. A−
Game Reviews:

Final Fantasy VIII: What a turd of a game. Nearly every aspect of this game is really, really bad. The card game—bad. The characters—bad. The storyline and script—bad. The battle systems—bad. The only thing holding this back from being a dud is that it still holds some of the elements which made other Final Fantasy games great. *
Drive-By Truckers' latest single—Birthday Boy—from the album ‘The Big To-Do’.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Album Reviews:

Drive-By Truckers: The Big To-Do:

I've always loved this band for their consistency but the songs here fall flat. This outgoing seems more like a celebration rather than a depressing forecast—although it still runs along the same themes as before. It's such a shocker—but they had to wear down at some point. *** (‘Birthday Boy’, ‘Eyes Like Glue’)
Film Reviews:

21 Grams: A slightly hodgepodge arrangement of moments which are obviously meant to look new-age artistic. I do like the story and I like the cast too but there is something weirdly off-putting about it. 3 Stars

Saturday, 24 April 2010

I've been an avid fan of Spoony for some time now and I just found this whole scenario hilarious.

Friday, 23 April 2010

TV Reviews:

The Ricky Gervais Show: At first I was apprehensive. The only good thing to come from Ricky Gervais (well, ever) was the Office and since then he's ridden on the wave of pretentious hype he was awarded by critics. The Extras thing was terribly unfunny (how on earth he got so many stars is beyond me) and his live act is a bit ‘meh’. So here we are, his first good show in years and it's actually gratifyingly good. The artist is good and the idea is simple, original and often hilarious. I will have to see how this pans out as, in the long run, the idea may only take it so far. A−
I didn't know whether to make this a blog post or just to keep it on Facebook—but as not so many people read this I am much less likely to offend someone (as I know a lot of my friends do this). Have you seen these girls going out to the club/pub/whatever wearing these nerd glasses? I'm no killjoy and, at first, I thought it was kinda funny. It has become a MEGA cliche and it's, almost, starting to irritate me! So if anyone does read this—just remember—leave those fucking glasses at home! Thank you. :p

Friday, 16 April 2010

I saw this film the other day and I think it's really important that people see it. It's about how meat and other foods are produced (primarily in America but I presume it occurs in other countries too). It's really, truly, eye-opening:

Food, INC (watch it via ZShare as there's a time limit with the Megavideo one :p)

Film Reviews:

Full Metal Jacket: One of Kubrick's worst (which is surprising). The film is too short to gain any great depth or character development (although the message is still clear). Kubrick is often too clinical for his own good. I don't mean this is an aesthetic sense—more plot related. A good film which I really enjoy every-time I see it. It would loose points if it weren't for Kubrick's patented cinematography. 2.5 Stars

Akira: One of my favourite mangas as a teenager (obviously) —although it has lost some of it's charm it's still impressive. What's disappointing is the compression of the books (which I've read) into the film, as a lot of the plot is lost and rushed. If only he'd added more key elements to the story, from the books, for the average viewer may find this plot rushed and unimportant. It's as if he made this film for avid fans as a testimony. I have the remastered version which is well worth the purchase. 3.5 Stars

I figure I haven't done a post on here in a while—I've been real busy with my music! Here are some things that I think are cool: