Thursday, 31 March 2011

Digital Rights Rears it’s Head …

Hmmm …

This is going to be quick, but I thought I’d flag up a news item or two, for you.

As you’ve probably guessed, I like films.

But one who’s aware of the various legal issues.

Now, I’ve said before, that I think the various forms of copyright law in the UK are bloody weird … !

If not out and out silly: effectively, you can’t legally back up DVD’s, for example, nor copy them across to an MP3 player.

»»•««

So, lets talk, briefly, about the Digital Economy Act quickly, shall we … ?

The act went through it’s second reading, just before the election, last year: and — in theory — allows ISP’s to cut off connections, if they’re shown to be using file-sharing sites.

It’s been challenged by both British Telecom and TalkTalk: mostly, I think, because the policing role involved means they have to cut off paying customers. On top of that … It also means that cutting off people who’ve had their Wifi signal hijacked: wrongly prosecuted, in other words …

Given that it was a piece of legislation introduced by the previous Labour government … ?

I’m none too surprised that this piece of news cropped up: basically … ?

It seems the Coalition government is trying something similar.

Personally … ?

Somehow I think that’ll stick, either …

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The Daily Teaser …

You know, I’ve got to admit, I had a bit of a late night, last night.

And, no, it’s not what you think, either … !

Blimey, I’m glad I caught that, I almost put know, there.

At ANY rate, thew reason for the late night … ?

Was I was posting about the film I, Movie Night Adrain, Kevin D and Tootles Sarah, managed to see the night before!

Kick Ass, just in case you’re wondering.

And I’ve got to confess, it was rather entertaining …

Foul-mouthed …

But entertaining … !

Lets get moving on, shall we … ? Before I start doing me Hit Girl impersonation …


»»•««

Hang on, let me grab another cuppa …

»»•««

Oh, that’s better

Now where was …

Oh, yeah … !

»»•««

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Kaiju, Debbi, and newcomer, Becky — officially my youngest commentor, bless her — all putting in they answers: with Kaiju and Debbi scoring 5 out of 5, and Becky 4, it also saw Kaiju admitting Eraserhead* was a personal favourite, Becky suddenly realising she’d got the first two questions in the wrong order, and Debbi happily admitting she’s planning to repost the Kick Ass trailer.

Lets see how they — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we … ?

Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video

Q1) 31st March, 1998, saw the Netscape corporation release its web browser under an open-source license: how is that browser now known … ?

Q2) 31st March, 1949, saw which British dominion become the 10th Province of Canada … ?

Q3) 31st March, 1930, saw the Motion Picture Production Code go into force, in Hollywood: what did Hollywood nickname this code … ?

Q4) 31st March, 1921, saw the initial founding of which Commonwealth countries airforce … ?

Q5) And finally … 31st March, 1910, saw six north Staffordshire towns join together to form which English town … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 30th March, 1858, saw Hymen Lipman patent pencils with attached erasers: in which David Lynch film does a character have a dream featuring someone making this sort of pencil … ?
A1) Eraserhead.

Q2) 30th March, 1296, saw Edward 1st of England, sack which town, as part of his war against Scotland … ?
Q2) Berwick Upon Tweed.

Q3) 30th March, 1962, saw the birth of the Reverend Stanley Kirk Burrell: how is he better known … ?
A3) The notorious large-trouser-wearing … MC Hammer.

Q4) 30th March, 2002, saw the death of HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother: how old was she when she died … ?
A4) 101.

Q5) And finally … 30th March, 1853, saw the birth of which Dutch artist … ?
Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll catch you later, after I’ve left you with this clip …




* Kaiju, Debbi, I would frankly love to try talking Kevin and Adrian to sitting down with both this, and some of Lynch’s other work. But, Lordy, they’re hard to persuade, they really are … ! And Becky, I think you’ve GOT to catch this … !


Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Kick-Ass: Blood, Guts and Swearing …

*Parental Advisory: Explicit Content*

Hmmm …

That was something to hear: I’ve got the TV on in the background.

Just so you know, I’ve got a BBC 4 documentary on, in the background, called Time To Remember: they’ve just covered the abdication crisis

Hmmm …

Nice to actually hear Edward 8th’s speech …

»»•««

Lets get moving on, shall we … ?

Yes, lets …

Now you’ve probably noticed it’s Wednesday, haven’t you … ?

And probably worked out, of course, that yesterday was Tuesday.

And no, that doesn’t mean that Ruby was hanging around.

It’s gotten to be something of a regular thing, now, that me, Movie Night Adrian and Kevin D all get together to catch a film.

Joined, last night, by Kevin’s wife, Tootles Sarah, and Kevin D’s copy of something he wanted to share with me and Adrian.

The 2010, Matthew Vaughan directed comic book adaption that is Kick Ass.

Which is …

Hmmm …

Actually quite colourful … !!

»»•««

Actually, that’s possibly understating it …

Kick Ass tells the story of every-day teen, Dave Lizewski — played by Aaron Johnson — who decides to emulate his heroes by donning a costumes and fighting crime. Starting with a pair of local muggers.

And who finds his super-hero alter-ego, Kick Ass, really taking off, after becoming involved in a fight with some local drug-dealers that gets filmed … and posted to YouTube.

Which is when his rather geeky attempts at fighting crime get complicated. By the simple fact he’s not the only person in New York to be wearing a strange costume.


»»•««

Hmmmm …

Now, I’ve got to confess, I’m actually quite impressed — although with some reservations — with Kick Ass.

As you can probably tell from that clip, the character of Hit Girl — played by Chloë Moretz — is an absolutely foul-mouthed and emotionally damaged character.

But also the one character that — going by the Wikipedia and IMDb entries about the film —has had the most positive fan reaction: including several positive comments from Adrian, himself. Usually, that’s a good sign a film maker has a hit on their hands!

Actually, I think I can understand that: Hit Girl’s possibly one of the stronger female character’s I’ve seen in genre fiction, ranking up there with River Song, Servalan and — relevantly, I think — Tiffany Aching, in Terry Pratchett’s Chalk arc of Discworld novels*.

Saying that … ?

I’m also very aware that her language is what some of us will consider to be … …

Vernacular, to say the least.

Several uses of the F word along with one use of the M word …

And one use of of the C word, as well.

I know at least one person I know who — at a guess — would definitely object: I’d love to see his reaction to the question I’ve put on Facebook about it …

At any rate, I can see why Kick Ass got the 15 rating it did!

Kevin D even admitted that that one word is usually enough to justify an 18: I can’t say I’m surprised, there, actually.

Especially considering it triggered a post-film natter that went in all sorts of directions: all the way from the sort of language that justifies various ratings, all the way through to the fact various countries gun-laws allow children of all sorts of ages to own seriously nasty weaponryº.

»»•««

Phew … !

However …

However, I think that’s where I’m going to leave things.

As Debbi was just reminding me, it is getting late, over here … !

Before I do, though … ?

Well …

I’ll let Kevin and Adrian add their comments in, later, as and when.

But will tell you I felt Kick Ass justified this:

★★★☆


Actor

Rôle

Aaron Johnson

Dave Lizewski/Kick-Ass

Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Red Mist

Nicolas Cage

Damon Macready/Big Daddy

Chloë Moretz

Mindy Macready/Hit-Girl

Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Chris D'Amico/Red Mist

Mark Strong

Frank D'Amico









* They, along with The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, are the only entries in the Discworld to be aimed specifically at younger readers.

º Both Adrian, Kevin and Sarah made the very good point that several items in an average family kitchen can be lethal: but that still leaves me uncomfortable. After all, here in the UK, children as young as 10 can apply for shotgun licenses. And Brenda Spencer, the girl who committed the I Don’t Like Monday shootings, was given a gun for Christmas, just over a month before shooting her way to notoriety back in 1979. At the age of 16.

The Daily Teaser …

Oooooh …

That’s good!

Kettle, Day two, and my word, that tea’s good, first thing in the morning … !

Yes, I know, that’s possibly a bit sad, but there you go …

Lets get moving on, shall we … ?

Before I tell the the hoary “I’ve got a MacBook” joke*.

»»•««

Teaser was nicely busy. And one that saw me double checking my answer: quite how I thought ‘Inge’ was a female name, I’m blowed if I know. It saw Debbi, a welcomed back Kaiju, and newcomer, Serendipity, putting in their answers, and scoring 5 out of 5. It also saw fellow blogger, Serendipity, officially becoming my most easterly commentor, as she’s in Mumbaiª! And it seems it’s also saw Debbi’s husband’s birthday! Pass on my best, please, Debbi … !

Now …

Lets see how they — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we … ? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video


Q1) 30th March, 1858, saw Hymen Lipman patent pencils with attached erasers: in which David Lynch film does a character have a dream featuring someone making this sort of pencil … ?

Q2) 30th March, 1296, saw Edward 1st of England, sack which town, as part of his war against Scotland … ?

Q3) 30th March, 1962, saw the birth of the Reverend Stanley Kirk Burrell: how is he better known … ?

Q4) 30th March, 2002, saw the death of HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother: how old was she when she died … ?

Q5) And finally … 30th March, 1853, saw the birth of which Dutch artist … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 29th March, 2004, saw which European country become the first place on Earth to ban smoking in the workplace … ?
A1) The Republic of Ireland.

Q2) 29th March, 1942, saw what’s considered to be the first successful bombing of a German city, by RAF Bomber Command: which German city … ?
Q2) Lübeck.

Q3) 29th March, 1981, saw the 1st ever London Marathon: name either the male or female athletes who won that first Marathon.
A3) American, Dick Beardsley and Norwegian, Inge Simonsen (Men), and the UK’s Joyce Smith (Woman)

Q4) 29th March, 2008, saw 35 countries and 370 cities join what for the first time: Earth Hour, Mars Week or Venus Day … ?
A4) Earth Hour.

Q5) And finally 29th March, 1943, saw the birth of musician, Vangelis: which British Prime Minister does he share his birthday with … ?
A5) John Major.
Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll catch you later … ! After I leave you with birthday boy, Eric Clapton’s cut of Crossroads





* Guaranteed to fall flat on its face, in three out of four social gatherings …

ª Which I’m told is a beautiful part of the world: although I’ve never been …

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The Daily Teaser …

Ye-HAR

It’s now official!

I have … … … …

A New Kettle … !

Mostly because mine went home about a week ago: it was only yesterday I was able to replace it.

OK, granted, it’s nothing fancy.

It doesn’t sing, dance, paint, or recite Shakespeare’s sonnets, in Klingon.

But it does do one thing, rather well.

It boils water.

All you need from a kettle, in other words.

And I’ve got to admit …

It’s nice to be able to make a cuppa with-out having to boil a saucepan of water for ten minutes … !

Isn’t it just … !

Lets get moving on, shall we … ?

Yes, I think we should … !

»»•««

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi managing to put in her answers: and bagging 5 out of 5.

Let’s see how she — and you — do with today’s questions, shall we … ? Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video

Q1) 29th March, 2004, saw which European country become the first place on Earth to ban smoking in the workplace … ?

Q2) 29th March, 1942, saw what’s considered to be the first successful bombing of a German city, by RAF Bomber Command: which German city … ?

Q3) 29th March, 1981, saw the 1st ever London Marathon: name either the male or female athletes who won that first Marathon.

Q4) 29th March, 2008, saw 35 countries and 370 cities join what for the first time: Earth Hour, Mars Week or Venus Day … ?

Q5) And finally 29th March, 1943, saw the birth of musician, Vangelis: which British Prime Minister does he share his birthday with … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 28th March, 1959, saw the State Council of the People's Republic of China dissolve which country’s government … ?
A1) Tibet’s.

Q2) 28th March, 1921, saw the birth of actor, Dirk Bogarde: in which series of comedies did he play Dr Simon Sparrow … ?
Q2) The Dr In The House series.

Q3) 28th March, 1965, saw Dr Martin Luther King leading 25000 protestors to the state capital of Alabama: what’s the name of that capital … ?
A3) Montgomery.

Q4) 28th March, 1987, saw the death of Patrick Troughton: in which 1976 film did he play Father Brennan … ?
A4) The Omen.

Q5) And finally … that same day — 28th March, 2987 — saw the death of which former singing nun … ?
A5) Baroness Maria von Trapp.
Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll catch you later.

Monday, 28 March 2011

The Daily Teaser …

You know, I think — THINK — the switch to BST has caught up with me: that … and I forgot to put my alarm on, again …

I hate that, when it happens … !

If nothing else …

Well, if nothing else, I now Jude had a smile on his face, yesterday … !

»»•««

Hmmm …

I’ll have to see if that’s on the BBC’s news site, later: the Beeb’s news channel has just run a piece on the formal opening, today, on the UK Space Agency.

I’m gonna keep me fingers crossed that that takes off: because, according to Lord Drayson, one of the men who announced it, they’ll “need a compelling business case” for each mission …

»»•««

Lets get moving on, shall we … ?

Yes, lets … !

Yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi putting in her answers. Along with scoring 6 out of 6, she also managed to let everyone know how she figured out yesterday’s Q2.

Lets see how she — and you — do with today’s questions: here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video

Q1) 28th March, 1959, saw the State Council of the People's Republic of China dissolve which country’s government … ?

Q2) 28th March, 1921, saw the birth of actor, Dirk Bogarde: in which series of comedies did he play Dr Simon Sparrow … ?

Q3) 28th March, 1965, saw Dr Martin Luther King leading 25000 protestors to the state capital of Alabama: what’s the name of that capital … ?

Q4) 28th March, 1987, saw the death of Patrick Troughton: in which 1976 film did he play Father Brennan … ?

Q5) And finally … that same day — 28th March, 2987 — saw the death of which former singing nun … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 27th March, 2000, saw the death of singer/songwriter, band leader and actor, Ian Dury: what was the name of his first UK No. 1, with The Blockheads … ?
A1) Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick.

Q2) 27th March saw Russian citizens vote in the first multi-party Soviet Elections: in which year of the 1980s … ?
Q2) 1989.

Q3) 27th March, 1958, saw Nikita Khrushchev names as Premier — or Chairman of the Council of Ministers, if you’re being picky — of the USSR: which other title did he hold … ?
A3) First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union: Коммунистическая Партия Советского Союза, Kommunisticheskaya Partiya Sovetskogo Soyuza, in Russian.

Q4) 27th March, 1309, saw Pope Clement 5th excommunicate which Italian city-state … ?
A4) Venice. (I’m can’t find a reference as to why he did this, but I know the Papacy moved to Avignon, around this time: it MAY be because the Venetians were fiddling the Church travel expenses … )

Q5) 27th March, 1998, saw the US Food and Drug Administration approve the use of which drug … ?
A5) Viagra: originally design as a way of improving blood circulation, it was only a few weeks later that one of its side effects became better known …

Q6) And finally … 27th March, 1935, saw the birth of English actor, Julian Glover: in which Bond film did he play Aristotle Kristatos … ?
A6) For Your Eyes Only.
Enjoy those, everyone: I’ll catch you all, later …

Sunday, 27 March 2011

The Haunting In Connecticut: Blood, Guts and fluffy bits …

Hmmm …

Isn’t it funny how these thing’s work out, sometimes … ?

Bless, I’ve got to confess, Movie Night Adrian and I managed to — rather sleepily, in Adrian’s case — managed to catch a movie, last night.

He’d been pulling his pointy thing, all of yesterday: and no, it’s not QUITE what you’re thinking, he does field archery, in his spare time …

At any rate … ? The pair of us managed to get together to catch a film, last night: minus Kevin D, bless him, who was in London. At that at the TUC protest, in case your asking: the peaceful daytime one, rather than the riot it degenerated into, later.

Although I’ve got to admit, I was hoping someone would chuck a custard pie at Bob Crowe: not that I don’t like the RMT, but its leader really needs a sense of humour …

»»›•‹««

Lets get back to what I was telling you about, shall I … ?

Yes, I’m thinking I should, shouldn’t I …

At ANY rate, last night saw myself and Movie Night Adrian — at my place — watching the 2009 horror film, The Haunting of Connecticut.

Had to make sure of the spelling, there: Debbi, Kaiju, Meredith, SAY something … !

Seemingly based on a true story, The Haunting in Connecticut sees Virginia Madsen and Martin Donovan as Sarah and Peter, the parents of cancer-stricken teen, Matt, deciding that they have to rent a property that’s nearer the hospital where Matt is being given both chemotherapy, and experimental treatment.

Of course, the Virginia Madsen character, Sarah, doesn’t think to ask why the house she eventually ends up renting for the family is available so cheaply. It’s only as the film progresses they realise that some of the uncanny noises and strange smells aren’t necessarily due to the age of the place …

And the strange hallucinations Matt seems to be suffering … ?

Aren’t down to the chemotherapy …

»»›•‹««

Now, one thing I do know … ?

Is that seeing Virginia Madsen as Sarah, at the start of The Haunting of Connecticut had me wondering where on Earth I’d seen her before.

Until, of course, I realised I’d seen her in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, as a defecting police-woman from an especially xenophobic culture that selectively wipe the memories of its members, when they’ve had outside contact.

It wasn’t until I read her Wikipedia entry that I realised she’d played Princess Irulan, in the David Lynch version of Dune, back in 1984!

I do tend to let these thing’s slid past, don’t I … ?

»»›•‹««

At any rate …

At any rate, I know that myself and Adrian had … well …

Various impression’s of The Haunting In Connecticut.

I know I, personally found it to be entertaining, if a touch predictable. There’s an gag Eddie Murphy came up, not long after the release of the original Amityville Horror: that effertively says that if, when the estate agent is showing you around a house, a hideous, demonic, disembodied voice from the pits of hell comes out of nowhere and yells “GET OUT”, in a way that freezes the very marrow in your bones, and causes your bladder to immediately empty itself … signing the tenancy agreement if not a good idea. Not unless that estate agent is really good.

I’m also very aware Adrian — while he found it just as entertaining, perhaps — found The Haunting In Connecticut a touch reminiscent of Poltergeist.

Like I say, Entertaining …

I’ll leave you there, I think.

But … ?

Not without these …


Paul: Watcher ★★☆☆
Adrian: Nice ☆☆☆

Overall: ½☆☆