Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I've just noticed that Channel 4's 11:25 showing of The Simpsons runs until noon. How many advert breaks have they shoved in there to make a 22-minute show last upwards of 33 minutes?


Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Worm

Chris tagged me, so...

One book that changed your life:
I'm not sure it changed my life, but reading Wuthering Heights at school made me realise that "proper" books could be just as fun as the trashy scifi and fantasy stuff I'd been reading until then.

One book you've read more than once:
There's a fair few, actually. I always mean to read Lord of the Rings once a year, but it's actually been about twice in a decade.

One book you would want on a desert island:
Presumably something like The Dummies' Guide to Escaping Desert Islands...

One book that made you laugh:
The first Hitchhiker's, the first few Discworld books. There are a few too many to limit to just "one".

One book that made you cry:
Um, nothing.

One book you wish you had written:
The Bible, clearly.

One book you wish had never been written:
The DaVinci Code. Not because it's particularly bad in itself (I've not read it and have no desire to, but people I trust quite like it), but because of the juggernaut of stupidity that followed in its wake.

One book you are currently reading:
I'm in between books at the moment, but I've got an ever-growing stack of novels in the bedroom. Rad told me to read The Algebraist, so that'll be next.

One book you have been meaning to read:
Apart from the stack, I've always wanted to read the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

Tag five people:
I'm so out of touch with the world, I don't know anyone. Let's try Rad, Nagl, Tony and Liam.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Quickie Film Reviews: R-Point

Film Four showed Korean spookfest R-Point last night (or early this morning). It's quite clearly a post-Ringu film in terms of style, right down to a Sadako clone wandering about, although the narrative, with talk of old burial grounds and curses, is a bit more traditional than the post-Hiroshima psychic teenager shenanigans of the Japanese film.

It's also something of a disappointment, but on the plus side, it's only such a let down because the opening two-thirds of the film are exceptionally well done, with a couple of nicely-paced shocks and some clever and quite subtle moments (well, I saw them as subtle, but I suppose they might seem obvious if one were to take certain portions of the script literally). Sadly, the creators seem to have run out of ideas by the end of the film (aside from one bit dealing with the fate of the lead character, which again seemed subtle and somewhat heartbreaking to me, but might in fact have been patently obvious), resorting instead to erratic storytelling and bursts of random violence. The "rules" of the curse are also somewhat inconsistent, particularly in comparison to the stark simplicity of something like the aforementioned Ringu; I'm still not sure why certain stuff does and doesn't happen to certain characters. Similarly, fairly important chunks of the script seem to be missing, like what exactly Sergeant Jing is up to; I get the feeling that either the original script was a bit shaky, or more likely the English translation is somewhat haphazard.

Still, the first hour or so made the film highly entertaining, even if the climax wasn't up to the same standard. R-Point isn't as good an entry in the "squaddies against the paranormal" genre as either Predator or Dog Soldiers (where's that sequel, Pertwee?), but it's definitely worth a look, and it's better than The Keep, or that one with the haunted submarine that no one watched.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


I surprised myself by actually liking tapas, although the quality of the restaurant has a great deal to do with that. Obviously, bits of tentacle and things in shells are never going to be favourites of mine, but on the whole I quite like the concept.


You can't go twenty feet before finding some poncey bar that serves "tapas". It's apparently the in thing. But: (a) although I like some good Spanish-style cookerery, I might like a change now and then, so the opportunity to have something that's not tapas would be nice. (b) a third of a sausage and a dribble of tomato sauce in a tiny dish is not tapas. Especially at six quid for one of those tiny dishes.