Category Archives: Review

I saw The Road

On Monday night I was lucky enough to score a plus one to the press screening of The Road, based on the incredible Cormac McCarthy book I read earlier on this year. Love having friends in high places at film magazines.

I wrote a (what I consider rather good) little review of the film and was about to hit ‘publish’ when I realised that there is probably an embargo on it and I just didn’t read the sign that said so at the screening. Damnnit.

SO… expect desperation, desolate landscapes of a seemingly dead world, a gun-toting cannibalistic underclass striving for survival in the cruelest ways imaginable and little hope or happiness (if you’ve read the book, you’ll understand).

Out on 8th January 2010 in the UK, whet your appetite with the HD trailer below:

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Today I got Google Wave

Google Wave

Thanks to a small amount of pleading with an ex-colleague, my geekery dreams came true this morning when I opened up my inbox and discovered an invite to Google Wave.

YAY!

For those not familiar, in short, Google Wave is a new service which combines the techy goodness of email, IM and wiki. It allows users to create collaborative documents online which can be added to and amended, in real time, by others. All participants in each Wave (think of it like a group of people on an email list) can collaborate, edit, change and add to the Wave, and they can see exactly what other people are doing on the Wave, as they do it.  A playback feature allows participants to view the changes in the exact order that they occurred over the course of the Wave to view how it has changed over time. All very handy. On top of this, Google is also integrating tons of useful gadgets that will add new mechanics, services and magic to the Wave, such as a real time translation service, excellent for communicating with people who may not speak the same first language as you.

The downside? Hardly anyone I know has a Google Wave invite just now. Access is still by invite only, presumably as Google is still fine tuning (it does seem a tiny bit buggy and there appears to be a small and vaguely irksome time lapse on typing/displaying of text) so trying it out and testing its full potential is, at the moment, somewhat limited. However, I can see how it can become quickly addictive, waiting and watching as other participants in your Wave type, as well as incredibly useful for both business and personal uses. Need to be able to work on something with people in different locations (at home, different offices, clients, contractors and so on)? google Wave is perfect. Arranging a get together with a group of friends scattered across the country (or even world)? Google Wave is perfect. I could go on…

Surely Microsoft is quaking in its shiny little boots at the launch of Google Wave – I see it as a far superior and advanced successor to Outlook – though I would imagine that Microsoft (and any other key email platform for that matter) will either be launching their own collaborative email mechanic in the not-too-distant future, or else planning to integrate with Google Wave in one way or another. Only time will tell.

For now, beg, borrow or steal yourself a Google Wave invite and have a play!

And here ends my slight rant/love affair with Google Wave.


More Post-it Note Love

Post-it Note Stories

Stella Was A Diver loves Post-it Notes and here is the latest Post-it innovation, Post-it Note Stories, a blog of stories created entirely on Post-it notes.

How many more times can I use the name ‘Post-it Notes’ in this post…?


Culture Vulture: Matthew Bourne’s Dorian Grey @ Sadler’s Wells

Dorian Grey

I admit it. I like modern ballet.

I LOVE Matthew Bourne productions. His most recent is no exception.

Now showing at Sadler’s Wells, the classic tale of Dorian Grey has been given a modern day meedja twist, turning it into a social comment on vanity and the trappings of celebrity culture.

Many of the reviews have slated the music but, hey I liked it. With a small amount of classical thrown in for good measure (from Romeo & Juliet no less), the electro-tinged score is both unsettling and achingly cool and with a minimal, black and white, constantly revolving and changing set, a cast full of beautiful people and a storyline based on modelling, photography and modern culture tied into the fascination of celebrity.

I can sum up Dorian Grey as this; if the media industry made a ballet, this would be it.

More info here…


A nice way to spend a Sunday eve

Jeremy Warmsley + Stricken City: The Lock Tavern, London – 25/02/2009

A pink emu helped shelter the band from freak rain showers

A pink emu helped shelter the band from freak rain showers

Although Jeremy Warmsley was the official “headliner” for Sunday night’s Kicker Conspiracy show, I have decided to shun his a schitzophrenic mug for this rather pretty Stricken City one. Main reason? I think they deserve it more.

Each JW song is a segmented mish mash of genres, occasionally slipping into dull singer-songwriter territory with only the odd flash of brilliance to perk it up. More brilliance, less dullness and a bit of continuity would have secured Sir Warmsley photographic billing here.

Stricken City, on the other hand, are very much a well formed band without split personality tendancies (we think). Leading lady Rebekah Raa sheds her crutches to lead Stricken City into a short but marshamallow sweet set, with newbie ‘Pull The House Down’ a clear standout and somewhat predictably ending on recent acclaimed single ‘Lost Art’. Whilst tonight they don’t literally pull the house down, Stricken City should definitely be on everyone’s 2009 radar.

As the title suggests, a splendid way to spend a rainy Sunday eveing in January.


In Review: Frost/Nixon

Frost/Nixon

Whilst I don’t claim to have much interest in politics, and my knowledge of US politics is very limited to say the least, I left the cinema after Frost/Nixon knowing that I had just seen a very good film.

Perhaps it is the “real life” nature of the story, based on actual events. Maybe its the appealingly kitsch 70’s setting, or even the many intelligent humourous quips scattered throughout the film. Whichever way, I would highly recommend that people go and see Frost/Nixon even if, like me, they have little interest in politics.

Will it win an Oscar, of which it has been nominated for five? If it doesn’t we’ll surely see Oscargate…


Still in love?

The Stills: Cargo, London – 25/11/08

Aren't we cute?!

Aren't we cute?!

NOSTALGIA ALERT!: Way back in my uni days, I stumbled across a little know Canadian band with whom I feel instantly in love with. I bought their first EP the day it was released, then the first album. I saw them multiple times, witnessed their first ever UK encore at Manchester’s Night & Day Cafe. I even met them (lovely guys!) whilst rummaging around beaten leather jackets and old Levi 501s at Reading Festival circa 2004. Then they released their second album. I hated it. I fell out of love.

Fast forward 4 years and, lo and behold, my old flames are back. And not only that, they are playing a gig a mere stones throw from my place of work. So I buy tickets and take my old uni housemate along for kicks.

THE ACTUAL REVIEW: So, how do my long lost loves compare to those early days? As I walk into Cargo my heart lifts. There they are, hanging out in the bar! On to the gig and as the first song kicks in my heart sinks. I hate it. I am also completely unconvinced by the band’s apparent attempt to be more rock ‘n’ roll, swearing, thrashy guitars and the like. It seems contrived. They are just too sweet and endearing to pull it off. Luckily, by song number three (Panic) I am starting to be convinced. By the epic drums of song four (name unknown – sorry guys!) I am hooked once again. Stand outs include Roobios, Still In Love Song and Hands On Fire and the only low point is Destroyer, the song that turned me off in the first place.

So, am I still in love with the Stills? Most definitely.