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Bullshit & Ignorance

August 23, 2010

A few recommendations

The Expendables

I went to see The Expendables last night with a friend. As mentioned previously, I was looking forward to seeing it and I wasn’t disappointed. It had everything you’d want from an action film: An uncomplicated, largely implausible story that packs in as many clichés as possible. It makes sure that plot twists are kept to predictable kinks, more than actual twists as no one wants a complex story getting in the way of the punchy one-liners, wince-inducing violence and huge, largely unnecessary explosions.

If you don’t like action films, don’t see this film; It really is that simple. If you enjoy letting your brain go into standby while you ooh-and-ah at the special effects and superbly choreographed fight scenes, and have a chuckle at a never ending stream of one-liners, then go for it.

Mickey Rourke and Dolph Lundgren have relatively small parts, but both performances stood out for me. I thoroughly enjoyed it – Rumour has it that there is already a sequel in the pipeline, too.

Cage The Elephant

I picked up Cage The Elephant’s self titled album shortly after I heard their track ‘Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked’ on the game Borderlands. If you’re into guitar-driven music, these fellas might be worth a listen. I for one have enjoyed their music, particularly the tracks ‘In One Ear’ and ‘Back Stabbin’ Betty’.,

Also…

As August draws to a close, and September creeps ever nearer, the weather here in good old Blighty has been steadily deteriorating. A week or so ago some colleagues and I stopped into one of those ubiquitous £1 shops and snagged us some bargain umbrellas for, well, £1 shockingly. With our bargain umbrellas close at hand, we were confident of protection from the elements. Of course, having bought protection from the elements, it never actually rained when any of us needed to be out – until today that is.

Let me put it this way – There’s a reason that they only cost a pound. The lightest breeze turned the fuckers inside out, at which point they lost whatever structural integrity they may have had and wound up flapping around uselessly. I guess I stayed marginally drier than I would have if I’d been caught out in that sudden downpour without it, but not a great deal. In the ten minutes I was out in the rain, the umbrella was so badly damaged by the wind that it is now sat, a tangled mess of broken and bent metal struts, in my bin.

August 19, 2010

Stand your ground and fight

For the last few days, I’ve found myself listening to Motörhead – Heroes over and over again. I have no real explanation for my sudden obsession with this song; I’ve owned the Motörizer album since it came out, I’ve heard it plenty before, but for some reason it’s been stuck with me all this week.

Bike related stuff

As previously mentioned, my morning commute currently involves some cycling – The bike I ride is a lightweight hybrid, much more suited to road riding than anything else. I also own a mountain bike, which has front and rear suspension, huge knobbly tires and all the usual things you’d expect for a bike designed for use on rough terrain. On Tuesday evening, just as I set out home on my bike, my chain started jumping and slipping in a rather alarming fashion. I pulled the bike off the road and took a look. I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but somehow, one of the gears on the rear cassette (that’s the spindle of cogs on the back wheel in case you were wondering) had lost one tooth entirely, and another was badly bent, so much so that the cog itself had started to tear. The immediate effect of that was that it was making it impossible for me to use half of my gears, which made the ride home slower than usual.

Plans were set in motion to get a replacement the following day, but in the mean time I had to ride my other bike yesterday. It has to be said, that if you get used to riding a bike set up for roads, switching to riding a bike that really isn’t is a bit of a shock to the system. I think I described it to a friend as being like trying to cycle through jelly. Soft suspension and huge knobbly tires are fantastic for riding down the sides of mountains and all, but they make a real meal out of a largely flat road. With the new parts fitted to my road bike, this morning’s ride was a real pleasure by comparison.

Films!

On Sunday evening, I will be going to the cinema with a friend to watch The Expendables. I fully expect it to be a ridiculous story, packed with highly unlikely scenarios which stretch the suspension of disbelief to the point it becomes unrecognisable. Written and directed by, and starring Sylvester Stalone the film boasts a cast containing some, no scratch that – most of the biggest action movie stars of the last 30 years. Sly himself of course, relative new-kids Jet Li and Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Micky Rourke and even Arnie and Bruce Willis put in appearances. I’m sure it will be entirely over the top and very silly. I really hope so.

Other stuff

Following a conversation on IM, I have been trying to come up with an emo emoticon for the moments where words alone just don’t cut it. My best effort thus far has been //.( Do feel free to share some alternatives. If they’re any good, I’ll steal them and claim all the credit for myself.

August 3, 2010

There are no wombats in this post

I’ve seen a couple of new films recently, one of which I have had half an eye on since March this year, the other I was more dreading than anything once I heard about it.

Predators

Let me cut straight to the chase with this one: It was far from a cinematic classic but was an enjoyable and entertaining film. It followed a familiar formula (at least for fans of the original). It’s set in a jungle (albeit on an alien world this time) and features Predators doing what they do best. The suspense builds quite well, the cast do an adequate job of portraying the band of clichés that make up the human contingent, and the plot manages to keep the action moving along without being too obvious about where it’s going next.

There were a couple of times where the film seemed to start to take the story somewhere, then go no further with it. I’m not sure if that was a result of hack and slash editing post-production, or if the screenwriter simply started ideas and never finished them.

Also, Topher Grace has a fairly sizeable part in the movie, which was fine except that I was constantly expecting Red to pop up and call him a Dumbass (if you don’t know what I mean by that, you should watch a few episodes of That 70s Show. You really should, it’s very funny.)

All in all, for fans of the Predator franchise, Predators is a return to form. It’s by no means a great movie, but it’s enjoyable and a vast improvement on the two AvP travesties.

The A-Team

Okay, so, when I first heard rumours that there was going to be an A-Team movie, I was initially thrilled. The A-Team on the big screen sounded like a great idea. The delight was short lived however when it dawned on me that of course that was going to mean fresh casting for an old classic. I was further doubtful when very early rumours linked George Clooney and his mob of clowns to project – I had visions of the A-Team movie basically just being Oceans 16 or whatever number they’re onto now. Thankfully that turned out not to be the case.

Once I saw the cast I was somewhat reassured but remained sceptical that anyone could follow in Mr. T’s shoes as B.A. Baracus. I pity the fool who has to follow on from him etc. etc.

Remarkably, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson filled the role with surprising ease and my fears were allayed very early on in the movie. I suspect it was no accident that B.A. was introduced early in proceedings, initially only from the back and with plenty of laughs to warm the audience to him.

Beyond that, the film has most of what you’d expect from the A-Team, really. Plenty of laughs, plenty of action and all with slick production. Well worth a watch.

And Finally

I lied about the wombat.

Wombat