Super Memories

Tuesday, March 28, 2006 | 1:16 pm

Lots of cred to mate Mkae's Soon To Be Classics who drew my attention to the little Superman montage video that centres the Year of Superman page.

That music, those scenes carry some strong memories. I watched George Reeve for years as a kid, and was all caught up in the mythology of his death when I heard snippets about it at school (thought he could fly etc). [img]

Mkae made the comment about that final scene in the montage, the one he says was criticized for "breaking the fourth wall" (the invisible wall between the audience and the stage, where suspension of disbelief is maintained). That triggered a very strong family memory of seeing the movie in the theatre when I was 9. Mum and dad and my then 6 year old sister were at the Village Cinema in Parramatta (a little unusual since most of the family movie occasions I can recall where at the drive-in movies—just simpler to not have to worry about the kids making noise when they are locked up in the car!).

In that final scene I was getting ready to leave, not really paying attention, when my sister burst into tears. Through blubbering breaths she explained to my perplexed parents that it was because "Superman smiled at me". God, what a great memory to uncover.

The only other family movie memory I have clearly that I think predates that is E.T.. I distinctly remember going to tears when you see ET lying all white and near-death by the sewer drains.

Personally, I am a little apprehensive about the upcoming Superman Returns movie only because of it having a new Superman face. But the high-def trailer gives me chills. It is beautifully put together, from the haunting trumpet score over the Kent letterbox, through the Brando-esque voice-over, and to the almost reverential depiction of iconic scenes, including the great silhouette of the world's most recognizable his cow-lick.

I suppose, I am older and more cynical than that 9 year old kid who watched a man fly, and god knows my sister is less likely to cry this time. But I am going to try and give it the benefit of the doubt when I go to see it, because I think Superman has earned it.

Speaking of heroes, I am loving the Batman Begins soundtrack. Another Hans Zimmer success. Orchestral moodiness at it's best.

Movies You've Never Seen (and likely never will) Pt.1

Sunday, March 19, 2006 | 9:34 pm

The Hard Word (2002)
Rating: ¤¤¤½ –one star for each of the leads, and a little extra for keeping it interesting.

An Aussie/UK production doing occasional rotation on IFC this month, features Guy Pearce (L.A Confidential, Memento), Rachel Griffiths (Six Feet Under) and Joel Edgerton (King Arthur, Revenge of the Sith) in a crime movie that has wit and dark humour, but with an underlying hint of despair. Three brothers-in-crime, Dale (Pearce), Shane (Edgerton) and Mal trust noone but each other, and with good reason. Released from prison to do a job for a crooked lawyer and a bunch of crooked cops, they are promptly setup and sent back by Frank, the lawyer who is boning Dale's wife (Griffiths). The lawyer tells them they have one way out, to do one more big job down in Victoria, which turns out to be robbing the bookies in town for the Melbourne Cup, Australia's pre-eminent horse race of the year. Frank brings in some dubious muscle (our lads are not big on guns, although Shane has a very short temper and the ability to sniff out a lie), and with them being set up to be knocked off, things get bloody and the boys are on the run.

The movie has some odd moments in it, primarily related to the lads ill-fated attempts with women. Shane's hook-up with the prison psychiatrist, is oddly sweet for the angry bloke, but leads to nothing, almost as if the rest ended up on the cutting room floor. And Mal's infatuation with a drunken race-goer looks like it will go the distance, but takes a sad twist. Strange character moments for a crime movie, which is usually more caught up in ever-twisting plots than people.

In the end, it is this concentration on character and the dark edge that sets this one apart a from its slicker cousins, like Lock, Stock or Layer Cake. Our three crims are obviously flawed, and not exactly razor-sharp thinkers, but are shown as canny street-operators who have enough heart and character to make you care about their perils. Even the prison scenes in this movie have an unusual humanity to them, avoiding the "big mean men doing mean things to each other" stereotype. In the end, the bad guys are those with power, and lacking in scruples: bad cops, uber-slick lawyers, and the slutty wife who is short on emotion, but not on schemes.

Worth a viewing, see what you think.     

Like the sound of this? Try the somewhat lighter Two Hands with Heath Ledger and Bryan Brown.

"The hard word" is a slang expression for putting the squeeze on soemone.

Apple's New Wooden Keyboard

I present into evidence, the greatest proof of a slow Sunday ever photographed.

Yep. I cleaned my keyboard.

I was really just trying to get some miscellaneous foodstuffs out of the Apple wireless keyboard, which is white keys in clear perspex - thus once something is in there, you just can't ignore it. But once you start popping out a few keys, it's like geek-crack. You just can't stop.

This post really just to see if I put them all back in the right order.

Homer Homage, now with extra ranting

Sunday, March 12, 2006 | 5:58 pm

Here's a cute video homage to The Simpsons that is quite cleverly done, even if the steering wheel is on the wrong side of Marge's car. :)

While on the eternal topic of television, did anyone catch the Dinner For Five episode with Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane? He talked about censorship of Family Guy episodes, with the most revealing fact being that they have been 're-censored'. Episodes passed for network airing only two years ago were re-examined due to some change in the show's status (syndication?) or FCC rules, and this time around they were censored! Funniest part is that McFarlane notes that most of the censorship was to remove poop jokes and pixelate Peter's arse. THEY ARE CARTOON ARSES PEOPLE! It's a mass of beige/yellow with a curvey black line down the middle! It's not like you run the risk of accidentally seeing something unmentionable! But, as we have recently seen via the unfortunate Danes, it seems cartoons may be the greatest threat to world peace since the A-Bomb.

McFarlane laid the blame squarely at conservative reactionaries who were given voice in the post Janet Jackson Superbowl TV climate. For me, one more reason to dislike another Jackson. A pollie will do anything to capture the "family vote".

So if we can't trust the goverment bodies to remain unswayed by political pressure, who do we turn to? Fear not! As you can see here, at least you can trust the corporations to set a standard and maintain it. And for the good lawayers involved with the TV, movie and recording industries, the 'standard' is fear-mongering by sueing 13 year olds for piracy, while two-thirds of Asia gets away with it on a slightly larger scale — but they have 'favoured trading status' to protect them. Apparently lawsuits are now being aimed at Ebayers who do not clear their iPods before selling them, as well as all manner of lobbying being performed to try and sway the courts into re-examining whether copying your purchased CD to any digitla media is really "fair-use".

Lawyers and corporations, what a perfect match - like devils and hell. As it was so succinctly put in this article about Apple's push to video distibution via iTunes, why should the networks and cable companies try to innovate and compete, when they can just "flounder first, sue later."

This psuedo-political rant brought to you by caffeine, one of Brookie's Cookies, and a Sunday afternoon bad attitude.

What A Bunch Of Knobs

Wednesday, March 01, 2006 | 12:32 am

A Bunch Of Knobs
Originally uploaded by juzzyp.
You can thank Target construct-it-yourself furniture for this cheap joke.