Monday, 28 December 2009

Avatar - an appreciation


James Cameron's Avatar is that rare thing - a genuine must-see movie. The film is too long; the plot is trite with political correctness knee-jerk; the acting barely adequate. But for all that Avatar is a triumph of the imagination. The depiction of the Na'vi's planet Pandora is worth the price of admission.
I was surprised the 3D technology wasn't milked harder. There are no oohs or aahs from the audience; no ducking at flames shooting outwards from the screen. But this is a mark of Cameron's mastery of the technology. He never lets it overwhelm his film.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Men and sex

Have a look at the video of the 'Everything a man does he does to get laid' debate held by the Intelligence Squared debating forum in front of a live audience in London earlier this month. Some good points were made by both sides - and eventually the motion was lost.
It was interesting that nearly 600 smart people thought enough of the subject to show up for the event - especially as tickets are not cheap. Like so much these days the argument focused on whether or not evolution had hot-wired men to replicate their genes at the expense of all else.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Bob Dylan cost me £10 ($16)

I was so struck by Bob Dylan's 'Must be Santa' that I put a tenner on the old boy at my local betting shop to top the UK's Christmas singles chart. I got odds of 66-1 so it was always an outsider. It never received any radio airtime and disappeared without trace.
I stumbled across the song taken from his recent Christmas album while doing a bit of internet digging following a first-rate TV documentary Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound, which aired first in October on PBS.

Proof Americans get irony (obscenity warning)

I watch plenty of videos on the internet but there are all too few that I return to to re-live my original enjoyment. Natalie Portman's Saturday Night Live rap (here uncensored) is one such that continues to amuse.
It has been said that the Americans did satire as well as the Brits but that irony in which the speaker poked fun at him or herself at the same was beyond them. I'm not not sure that's ever been really true. This still makes me smile after more than a dozen viewings. That's enough words; just take a look.

Friday, 18 December 2009

THE DA VINCI MACHINE - a short story by GC

I had cleared the garden shed of its obvious junk; warped doors, broken furniture, an ancient refrigerator, and a particularly nasty gas stove.
A bonfire and several trips to the local recycling centre kept me occupied over the weekend. The physical exertion helped numb the pain of Suzy leaving me.
That summer Sunday evening I’d had enough in all sorts of ways. I was just about to call it a night when I found a canvas curtain covering the far wall at the back of the now otherwise empty shed. It was hanging as though to conceal what disappointingly proved to be a stack of timber.

The couple of dozen planks had holes drilled in a variety of numbers and sizes. If I hadn’t been so tired I might have thrown the wood, which was painted in a black gloss, on the bonfire there and then.