Mission Impossible 3…

I went to see Mission Impossible 3 last night. My thoughts are:

Shaking the camera so you can’t see what’s going on does not make everything more exiting! It makes it hard to watch the film without having an epileptic attack!

The film went on and on. I guess it ran for about 2 hours and 10 minutes. This is really a 1 hour 30 minute film, max. Why does hollywood insist on making overly long films these days. I wasn’t as boring as Lord of the Rings 2 or Matrix 2, but it was close!

The Ethan Hunt character is so uninteresting, and a little thick if you ask me. It’s all just so run of the mill. I found myself not caring if he lived or died. In contrast, Mat Damon’s character in The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy has some interest value.

MI3 is like James Bond without the humour and style, so what’s the point?



Disaster Recovery, Solaris and Inside Man…

I’ve just started another disaster recovery test week. I’ve got to install/recover the whole of the production environment, including 10g RAC in Tru64, Cold-Failover Cluster Infratructure on Linux and Application Servers. As a result, might get a little quiet over the next week…

As well as testing some FC5 stuff, see previous post, I installed Solaris 10 on x86-32 at the weekend. It was pretty straight forward, but it took forever to complete. I ended up leaving it over night. I don’t know if this was because it’s just slow, or whether it was an issue with VMware Server. Once it had finished I started thinking about an Oracle installation, then I noticed that 10g is not available for Solaris 10 on x86-32, just x86-64. Bummer! I might end up writing a Solaris operating system installation document, just so I don’t feel like I’ve wasted the time ๐Ÿ™‚

On Saturday night I went to see The Inside Man. I thought it was a cool film, but it’s one of those films that twists and turns constantly. If you like heist films, then you’ll probably dig it, but avoid reading any reviews that mention content, because it would be really easy to ruin the film…




I went to see AEON FLUX at the cinema last night. It was quite a stylish film, in a kitch kinda way, but it was pretty rubbish.

Charize Theron was totally not right for the part. Aeon is supposed to be a highly trained assasin, but Theron looks weak and moves like she’s never done a days exercise in her life. She’s gangly, like a foal. On occasion, when stationary, she looks kinda iconic, but when she moves she looks like a slob whose had liposuction.

In my opinion, they should have used someone like Jennifer Garner, a babe who looks like she can kick your ass.

In my opinion, you would be better saving your cinema money and putting in towards the price of the animated series!



Underworld – Evolution…

As mentioned in my previous post, I went to see Underworld – Evolution last night. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, but that’s not always a bad thing. Vampires, werewolves and Kate Beckinsale rolled together into a single film. Works for me every time. If you liked the first film then I guess you will enjoy this one also. If not, then try something else ๐Ÿ™‚



King Kong and the last of the Christmas parties…

I went to to see King Kong on Friday night. Considering it was 3 hours long, it went by in a flash. I was a little worried I’d get bored senseless, like I was during LOTR – The Two Towers, but it wasn’t a problem. In my opinion, it’s well worth a visit to the big screen.

I had a couple of Christmas events this weekend. First was the Karate Club Christmas party on Saturday night. Lots of food and quite a bit of dancing. It was a great laugh and I got home at about 03:00, so I was a bit knackered for the second event, which was Sunday lunch with some friends I won’t get to see at Christmas. That marks the end of the planned Christmas parties for this year, so it’s back normal eating in an attempt to reduce my current girth ๐Ÿ™‚



Ong Bak

I watched a martial arts movie called Ong Bak last night that stared a guy called Tony Jaa (Panom Yeerum). The film was low budget and the English dubbing was terrible, but the fighting sequences were amazing.

This guy is a serious talent. He’s a Muay Thai guy, so there is plenty of shin kicks, shin blocks elbow strikes, but there is also plenty of flashy movie stuff. It’s especially amazing when you consider that the fighting scenes are done without CGI or wire-work.

I always go on about how Jet Li is the most complete martial artist I’ve seen, but I think Tony Jaa can do some stuff that would make Jet Li weep! If he’s managed and promoted correctly I think he could eclipse Bruce Lee! Did I really say that?



Unleashed and on the net again…

I went out this morning and bought a new wireless ADSL router, so I’m back on the internet from home. I guess this means I should do some work ๐Ÿ™‚

I went to the cinema last night and watched the new Jet Li film Unleashed. Now I think Jet Li is possibly the most complete martial artist that ever lived, but let’s face it, most martial arts films are really poor. The new breed of artistic high-budget films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero and House of the Flying Daggers are great, but they’re more spectacle than martial arts. Unleashed is different. It’s perfect!

The story:
It was written by Robert Mark Kamen and Luc Besson. It’s very different to anything else I’ve seen and works really well. Bart (Bob Hoskins) is a debt collection and general gangland type. He systematically brutalizes Danny (Jet Li) from a young age until he is capable of nothing more than responding to instructions like a dog, even wearing a collar. Bart uses Danny as the ultimate weapon against debtors who don’t pay, because when the collar is taken off his passive nature is replaced by complete rage. But is there more to Danny than violence?

The acting:
Morgan Freeman is always great, but Bob Hoskins has returned to form in a big way. It’s like a flashback to the days of “The Long Good Friday”. Jet Li is totally believable as his character Danny. The other characters do their jobs well also! It’s set in Scotland so there are some very “regular” British characters in the film. I like this, but I don’t know how it will translate for the rest of the world who seem to assume that everyone over here talks like Hugh Grant ๐Ÿ™‚

The action sequences:
These were directed by Yuen Woo Ping, so I shouldn’t need to say anything, but I will.

The fight scenes are gritty, dirty, brutal and show Jet Li at his best. The combination of power, technique and uncontrollable rage is truly a sight to behold. I came away thinking, if Jet Li and God had a fight, God would lose! In my opinion, that’s what a martial arts film is all about.

I love this film! I will definitely go to see it at the cinema again and I will buy it on DVD as soon as I can.



3 Films, no insights…

I watched three films over the weekend, two at the cinema and one on DVD. I hate it when people give away the stories in reviews so I’m not going to say anything much, just observations and gripes ๐Ÿ™‚

The Island
If you take a bunch of ideas from films released over the course of my lifetime and pile them all together they form a new and fresh idea, right? Wrong! I sat through the film thinking, this is just like that bit in… Even so, I thought it was fairly neat.

My biggest gripes were:

  • The film makes heavy use of the, “if I shake the camera you’ll think something exciting is happening”, technique. This can get more than a little tedious.
  • Ewan McGregor struggles to do anything but his normal Scottish accent. He didn’t sound English in Star Wars and he doesn’t sound American in this film. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s an OK actor, but let him speak in his normal voice!
  • If Scarlet Johansen’s top lip grows any more it may start to affect her breathing. If this is a natural feature, fine, but if it’s surgically “enhanced” then it’s a mistake. It’s started to take on a life of it’s own.

Overall it was an OK film, but not on my list of things to watch again.

The Skeleton Key
If you’ve seen the trailer for this film you pretty much know what it’s about. There’s really not a great deal more to it that what you see in the trailer. It’s not really a scary film, but it’s not really a thriller either. The film is all about Hoodoo, which like the magic of Voodoo without the religion, apparently…

I’m not quite sure where I would place it, but I liked it. OK, I’m a little shallow and the fact I like Kate Hudson added to my enjoyment. I’m sure I’ll end up seeing it again some time. By the way, John Hurt is really cool in it.

Hide and Seek (on DVD)
OK, I’ll start off by saying I’m a rabid De Niro fan. Even when he’s rubbish I think he’s great ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, I’m quickly becoming a fan of Dakota Fanning. She’s been cool in everything I’ve seen her in. Let’s hope she goes from being a great child actress to a great adult actress. Add Famke Jannsen into the mix and you’ve won me over before the film even starts.

The advertising would lead you to believe it’s a horror film, but I don’t think it is. There are a couple of suspense bits and a couple of “make you jump” bits, but I wouldn’t call it horror. I enjoyed the film, but there’s not much you can say without ruining it, so I’ll leave it there ๐Ÿ™‚

Of course, the biggest single flaw in the film was that Famke Jannsen didn’t do any cool DR Jean Grey/Phoenix stuff. I can’t wait for X-Men III!

More meaningless and totally uninsightful film reviews to come…



New article, weird experience and film review…

New article
I wrote a quick how-to article about Renaming or Moving Oracle Files in response to a forum thread. Nothing new and exciting here for those in the know, but it might help some of the newer people.

Weird experience
I had a bit of an weird experience last night. I finished quite a tough Karate class and didn’t feel particularly like socializing so I went to the cinema on my own to watch “The Descent”. I’d been meaning to see it for a couple of weeks, but never got round to it. I was feeling pretty thirsty so I bought one of those stupidly large cups (more like buckets) of diet Coke. I sat down to watch the film and started drinking at a pace. Within about ten minutes of the film starting I had the shakes bigtime! I was shivering uncontrollably and felt really bad. I guess the fact I was so tired and had just downed a bucket of ice-cold diet coke had caused my core temperature to drop quite quickly.

I wasn’t totally sure what to do, my judgment was a little off as you can imagine, but fortunately my natural reaction was to start using Ujjayi breath. This is a special type of loud breathing (like Darth Vader) used in Ashtanga Yoga to help generate heat. Sounds a bit dumb, but within five minutes I was feeling a lot better. So much so I was able to watch the film…

Film review – The Descent
Take a bunch of athletic and overly adventurous young women with an assortment of issues and send them caving. Next, have them make some stupid decisions and for good measure throw in some subterranean predators.

Unknown to me I’ve become claustrophobic in my old age. I can’t remember really having a problem with this before, but there are several scenes where people are in really confined spaces that made me want to freak out. I know these scenes were included to increase the tension, but they were by far the scariest bits of the film for me!

There are the usual gore and “make you jump” scenes that you would expect from a horror film. Several of the latter made everyone in the cinema scream, then bust out laughing.

Despite the unfortunate episode at the start of the film I really enjoyed it. It’s not a high budget film, so don’t expect perfect effects, but it’s a significant step forward compared the director’s previous film “Dog Soldiers”. I liked that too, but it is a seriously low budget film ๐Ÿ™‚



Note to self. If you’re ever invited to go caving make a polite excuse and run for your life!

It’s clobbering time!

I went to see “The Fantastic 4” at the cinema over the weekend. I though it was pretty cool, but it did suffer from the usual problem of spending half the film telling you how they became superheros. Why anyone would want to make Jessica Alba invisible is beyond me ๐Ÿ™‚

I think I’m going to buy my one nephew (3.5 years old) a “Thing” action figure if I see one. Just before the film was released in the UK he saw a picture of Thing in a magazine and the following exchange happened.

James: What’s that?
Me: It’s a man called Thing.
James: What’s wrong with his skin? Is he poorly?
Me: No.
James: Is he made of rock?
Me: Yes.
James: Why has he got big boots on?
Me: Because he’s got big feet.
James: Why? …. Repeat to infinity.

Still makes me laugh thinking of the thought process. Kids brains are cool!

On the subject of James, while I was visiting him this weekend he took my Ganesha figure that I always carry in my pocket and hid it in one of his wellington boots. Needless to say that got found after I left, so I’m without him for a whole week. He’s been with me for a few months now, so I’m feeling a little lost without him.