Link List

Back from holiday and ready to rock n’ roll. I hope you enjoy this week’s link list. I’ve got some great videos for you today, especially.


Art of the Day

Cool phone book art

The Film Yap

A good site for recent film reviews, well written and personal enough to be useful.

Dr Web M.D

If in doubt, you’re gonna die, apparently.

The Nicholas Cage Cake Song

This is without doubt the crackiest thing I’ve ever seen. EPIC. And very well animated too.

20 Pregnancy Pointers to Live By

Are you pregnant? Planning to be? Then you could do worse than check out this advice. It’s both educational and hilarious :p

Motivation of the Day

The Art Inside Your Eyes

I find these just stunning. Just shows how beautiful even the smallest details are.

Holmes vs Holmes

The classic series of Sherlock Holmes vs the Robert Downey jr Movie Sherlock Holmes. In chibi! Let the adorable battle begin.

And Speaking of Holmes…

If you haven’t seen the new 3-part BBC series yet, I encourage you to try and find it online (or look out for repeats). It’s set in modern times, written and managed by Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatis – who do some great Doctor who episodes – and stars benedict cumberbatch (who did a stunning main role in the Stephen hawking biography/drama) and martin freeman of office fame. funny, clever and vastly entertaining – it’s my newest fandom 😀

Here’s a funny clip from episode 3 featuring Watson and Sherlock

The Climbing Excavator

That’s…..That’s just scary looking.

Music of the Day

Kate Nash – Don’t You Want to Share the Guilt?

I got Kate Nash’s new album ‘my best friend is you’ recently. I’ve really gottento like her and I’m hooked. I just love the feel and the lyrics of her music. So here you go, this if one of my favourite songs form the new album, played live. Enjoy 😉

Most Unpopular urban dictionary enteries

I challenge you to start using these as standard vocab form now on. Though truly, most of these are awful. lol

The Princess Bride….with Cats.

So bad it’s good.

Dog Art

With a razor and some coloured dye, you too can turn your dog into a monstrosity.

Shopping Spree

Doctor Who: 11 Doctors box Set

ooh someone buy this me! Anyone…? lol

Craft Corner

Simple Steampunk jewellery tutorial

Quote of the Day

Marge, you being a cop makes you the man – which makes me the woman; and I have no interest in that, besides occasionally wearing the underwear, which (as we discussed) is strictly a comfort thing. – Homer Simpson


23/08/2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Inglourious Basterds Review

Inglourious Basterds

Genre: War Drama

Date: 2009

Director/Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Synopsis (by IMDB):

In Nazi occupied France, young Jewish refugee Shosanna Dreyfus witnesses the slaughter of her family by Colonel Hans Landa. Narrowly escaping with her life, she plots her revenge several years later when German war hero Fredrick Zoller takes a rapid interest in her and arranges an illustrious movie premiere at the theater she now runs. With the promise of every major Nazi officer in attendance, the event catches the attention of the “Basterds”, a group of Jewish-American guerilla soldiers led by the ruthless Lt. Aldo Raine. As the relentless executioners advance and the conspiring young girl’s plans are set in motion, their paths will cross for a fateful evening that will shake the very annals of history

DT’s Rating: 6.5/10

The Review:

There’s a problem when you’re an established cult-gone-famous director like Quentin Tarantino is that your audience will always approach your films with a set of expectations. For me, my expectations with the great writer/director was: excellent script (especially where one-on-one dialogue is concerned); comic book/cult references; top notch dark comedy; silly/exciting action; brutal violence ; larger-than-life characters firmly grounded in reality; and,most of all, great enjoyable quality. A film director can either embrace these expectations and make the same film again and again, or they can try and break away from them. To me, Tarantino tried to do both with dubious success in this film, somehow presenting some expectations but not realising them beyond half-hearted and shallow gimmicks, and yet relying on previous popularity without actually presenting a fully finished film. In short, it was disappointing but yet had such potential.

Granted, it did well. A lot of critics rave about it, which is what attracted me to it (as well as it being from one of my favourite film writers), so to give it such a low rating is difficult for me, because the film is tricky. It’s not incredibly bad. It has good moments. It has some quality. But, and here’s the clincher, it’s not enjoyable. It sets up goalposts that you expect – since Tarantino is so highly regarded – and yet it falls just a little short.Let me break it down, if you will, and hopefully I can explain myself better.

The expectations.Like I said I approached the film with certain expectations as I’m sure any Tarantino fan will do, so I’d like to demonstrate how the film lived up to them:

Excellent Script (esp in dialouge)

First and foremost, we have the script. Now Tarantino is a good writer, no doubt about it, and the plot of Inglourious Basterds has some great bits. For example, how it is rooted down in reality through the ground-level machinations of various groups of characters, and how these all weave together to meet in the middle for the end, that’s fine. I especially liked little touches like how a simple hand gesture can reveal a spy. And the dialogue between characters who are ‘relaxing’, such as in the pub (think pulp fiction) or, more importantly, the ‘casual’ exchange in the beginning of the film when the Nazi Jew Hunter is subtly interrogating the dairy farmer are all well done. This is written by a man with an ear for how people really talk, and an appreciation for layering up subtlety to layer up tension at a torturous pace. While I personally didn’t mind the dialogue scenes taking a long time (after all, they were there for tension and it worked), for the film as a whole it made it too long – a problem that was further exacerbated by the fact that most of these were in subtitles. (yet again, being quite a fan of subtitled films, I didn’t mind, but the people I watched it with were fast losing the will to live. It made an already laborious process that required utmost concentration even more tedious). Individual pockets of the script were, admittedly, excellent. But, and this is a big but, the script overall didn’t work. Characterisation wasn’t properly realised beyond a few flashes and what they revealed immediately in the dialogue. For a film that, in the trailers, boasted to be a violent action/revenge film, there was precious little action. for example, the Basterds themselves were practically cameos and served very little purpose at all, which was dissapointing, as they had so much potential to be fascinating. Most of all, the script was dull, and you didn’t much care whether the plan succeeded or failed or indeed if any of the characters lived or died.

Comic Book / Cult Devices

This was the perfect example of Tarantino trying to live up to audience expectations of him, but falling short. Little comic book touches were added in – for example the occasional titling of names of characters in a  dramatic panel-style clip. there were little flashes of half-scenes meant to flash an important bit of info at the audience without going into detail – eg goebbles relentlessly shagging his secret girlfriend, or one of the basterds getting flogged. And finally little sketchy names and arrows to point out important nazis in the cinema. While these are fine  little devices that Tarantino practically pioneered, in this film they appear without context, without necessity, without particular origionality, and so come across as shallow crowd pleasers. the rest of the film, (unlike how these devices were brilliantly used in killbill), is not sculpted in mood to allow them without them looking foreign and ridiculous.

Top Notch Dark Comedy

That, my friends, is the funniest thing in the film. The ONLY funniest thing.

I realise that a lot of the humor was dark, and subtle mockeries of nationalities, but for it’s potential it fell very short of Tarantino’s previous ability to weave humor throughout dark films. Again the trailer and film didn’t match up. The trailer showed a film that had it tongue so firmly wedged in it’s cheek that hilarity was supposedly inevitable, and it the very least it would be fun. The real film? Not so much.

Silly/Exciting Action

Action? What Action? Again the trailer led us to believe a completely different thing to this film. There’s a couple of massacres. Which aren’t exciting. I think that this is the reason why the film falls flat again. The trailer lets you believe that you’ll follow around the basterds in their quest to kill nazis…in reality they have about 15 mins screen time in a 2 1/2 hour film. And they don’t do much while they’re there. In fact, it makes me wonder why they’re in the film at all. and when your title characters seem to be purposeless and dull, you know you have some real problems.

Brutal Violence

There was some gore. Especially at the end. I suppose it looked realistic. And the violence, when it happened, was no-frills and gory, again real. That’s not a bad thing, but again it is all done without excitement, and to characters which you don’t give a damn about (read: all of them).

Larger than life good characters that are firmly grounded in reality.

The more I think about it, the more I relaise what gets my goat with this film. I found that come the final curtain I knew next to nothing about the characters but for the superficial appearances, that i didn’t know most fo tehri names and even found some hard to recognise (eg – what? 2 basterds just got murdered?! And I don’t realise this until someone steps over and blatantly tells me that they’re basterds? and that guy was the british spy? granted, shaving off his moustache threw me off, but you could have developed his character a bit before you killed him off. jesus…). I admit that Tarantino focuses on the here and now, which usually works. for example in Killbill the bride’s backstory is only gradually revealed (in the wrong order), but at least she does have a backstory. In Pulp fiction it’s more or less the same. but in these films at least there is character development. in Inglorious basterds the only character development is shown with sosanna the jewish girl who escaped at the beginning, and that is thin. Landa is the one I liked most, but only because he got all the best dialogue. I couldn’t give two hoots about the basterds, and had difficulty recognising them as standing out from the background characters. there was no development or fleshing out of them like the killbill gang. Even Brad Pitt, the leader, has nothing two him. keen eyes would notice that he has a scar from a hanging, but we never learn about what that was from. All we know of him is that he has a retarded accent (sorry, but seriously, was it that bad and clichéd on purpose or can brad pitt just not do accents?) and that is where is characterisation ends. It is hard to like or hate any of the characters, and you don’t know who’s even the main characters you should root for. The film is full of cardboard cut-outs made apparently only to support the decent dialogue and little else.

There is something worse in film than inadvertently hating the main characters, and that is to not give a damn about any of them. And I did not give a damn.

And that was what most disappointed me from a writer who is brilliant at making memorable characters.

Great, enjoyable quality.

Because of all the reasons above the quality just consistently wasn’t there. you could see potential for quality, but it never quite added up together, as if someone had tried to complete a puzzle when they had halves of two different jigsaws.

The potential was certainly there, and if anything that makes you more bitter that it wasn’t realised.

In conclusion, the film was disappointing to me, yet still – from an educational point of view for a wannabe writer – it gave some little gems to pay attention to and learn from. the films strength was in it’s one-to-one dialouge: the little scenes where tension was eked out over a long period of casual and real talking, making it very sinister and real, and here is where the  jew-hunter Colonel Landa was in his element and supported the film…but as for an enjoyable piece of cinema, it falls short. For fans, you really should watch it, because only you can decide if, like me, you find it a disappointment, or like many others, you find it one of the best films of 2009. Apparently there is no middle ground.

For me, it was the weakest of his films (I have seen so far), so:


20/08/2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Brb, yo.

Holiday Time!

Howdy everyone. Just to let you know that I’m off on holiday for a week, so I won’t be updating the blog during that time.

But fear not, procrastinators, I’ll be back soon with more awesome randomness 😉

Hope you have a great week!

07/08/2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Picture Passion – ‘Look at me! I’m a moving target!’

Happy Wednesday! I’ve got some good pictures and gifs up for you this week, they certianly entertained me, so I hope they’ll put a cheer on your workday. Plenty of pandas in thsi post for panda fans too :p

astronomica by larry carlson

astronomica by larry carlson

04/08/2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Monday Link List

Merry Monday, and have a happy week 😉

Art of the Day

Phillip Straub

Lovely fantasy illustrations – many are positively glowing

What Should I Read Next

It’s summer and many people have some freetime, so it’s the perfect time to get reading. If you’re a bit stumped, thsi nifty app suggests books in lines with your tastes

Now This is How You Ask Someone Out.

Awww….he’s a keeper.


Just memorizing.

Anti-gay Rights Activists Caught Being Gay

I’m a big supporter of gay rights, so this makes me smug. That’ll learn ’em! Hypocrisy hardly helps their case.

Motivation of the Day

8 Most Bizarre Patron Saints

Patron saints are pretty cool – there’s one for every occasion. Some are crazier than others.

25 Best rage Guy Comics

An amusing eulogy to a meme.


All Hail the Rave Toilet!

Well, if you’re going to do the whole making-a-mess/vandalism thing, it might as well be AWESOME

Chris’ Compendium of Free Online Roleplaying Games

The ultimate form of procrastination!

Music of the Day

100 Best Sci-fi Short stories/Novellas/Novelettes

Still stuck for something to read? check this out.

Stupid Test Answers

From stupid to epic to WTF? I love ’em! If I was a teacher I’d be glad of ’em. At least some of the teachers marking on this list have a sense of humor.

Epic Paper Art is Epic

I especially love Lane Twitchell’s Peaceable Kingdom (Evening Land)

Craft Corner

Make a Paper Gift Topper

I think these look so neat and designer when they’re done. a great way to add some vava-voom to a present.

Shopping Spree

The Carrotbox

a great store for rings. They’ve got lots of colourful choices, and the site itself is friendly and amusing too.

Quote of the Day

Facts are meaningless – you could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true! – Homer Simpson

02/08/2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Review: Toy Story 3

Name: Toy Story 3 (2010)

Company: Pixar

Rating: U

Dt’s Rating:  8.5/10

-The Review-

Finally, after over a decade, we get a conclusion to millions of teenagers, young adults, and tweens favourite childhood film – Toy Story. Being one of the generation that were young enough to appreciate Toy Story when it first came out (but old enough to actually remember it), this film is a special treat. As soon as it begins you’re pulled back into the brightly coloured plastic world. the Style is the same  (though the humans look slightly less terrifying now. Thank god for that), the characters are the same, and the spirit is pretty much the same.

However there is a big difference in the theme of the story which we saw hints at with Toy Story 2, which makes me think that while this is definitely a kid’s film, it was designed mainly to appeal to the kids (now young adults) and parents of the original generation of watchers. Essentially Toy Story 3 is a touching film about moving on, growing up, family and loss – but with all these things said I was happily surprised that it wasn’t as depressing as people seemed to make it out. As Andy grows upthe toys are left not played with, and have to choose where their loyalties lie – with Andy or with the opportunity for a new life where they can be ‘reborn’ in a way and played with all over again by new people. The risks are high too, though, with the risk of unhappiness at a wrong decision, and even toy death at the hands of the trash.

Speaking of the latter, a genuinely touching and extremely emotionally well handled scene is done about confronting death, which is far far better than the usual disney-esque ‘omg he shot Bambi’s mother let’s traumatise kids forever’ type of melodrama, but I won’t say anymore for risk of giving spoilers. All of the difficult issues present are subtly handled in a mature and very real way, which is what really impressed me about the film. It’s so easy to over-egg the pudding, as they say, but Toy Story 3 never does that, but similarly doesn’t shirk away from the very real issues and drama of these rejected toys lives.

Now, that all said, we return to the very important element – fun. Even with big (and let’s face it, quite heartbreaking to think about) issues, Toy Story 3 is still a very fun film. The jokes are clever and hilarious, the characters are as brilliant as ever and the animation is ingenious and eye-catching. There is everything here that you loved about the first 2 toy story films, and the new characters just add to it very nicely. Perhaps, because  of juggling genuinely scary or serious drama and issues into a kid’s story that is full of jokes as well, they aren’t as much of a laugh-a-minute as the other films, but the quality of the jokes are still great.

Finally, the ending (without spoilers). Toy Story 3 was made as an ending to the series, and the film itself is all about endings and new beginnings. The film does a brilliant job of knowing its audience. Andy is 17 and leaving for college, so it’ll emotionally appeal to the original watchers who are facing that position now, or did so recently. The toys reflect this too, the toys in a way taking the role of parents and those left behind, as well as having their own unique take on it, obviously – yet again the subtle parallels with the experience of loss and death there too. Essentially the issue of moving on and whether it’s right to try and be happy anew after sharing so much of your life with someone. All heavy stuff when you look deep into it, but the film, as ever, deals with it very nicely and without melodrama. The ending – which is happy by the way, so don’t worry – is perfectly done and very touching.

All in all I loved it. While I don’t know if it’s a film I’d watch again and again and again, it still is a very well thought out and well executed end to a wonderful series, and it goes out with the smile it deserves.

So I give it a very well earned 8.5/10

29/07/2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Wacky Wednesay Picture Passion

It’s my favourite blogging day of the week – Wednesday! Hopefully I’ll entertain you with some more nifty pictures for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

P.s – special thanks to i found the site and it’s a great collection of random pictures, so many of these are from there this week 😉

by false-prophetess

28/07/2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Older Posts Newer Posts

We’re now on Facebook!

May 2018
« Sep    

Join 2 other followers