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Feigning normality since 1973

September 18, 2008

Space: 1899

Filed in: TV & Movies.

Having somewhat of a lackluster month blogwise, so here's a Youtube video!

Posted at 6:30 PM | Comments (1)

September 17, 2008

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Filed in: TV & Movies.

Much as when I went to see The Clone Wars, I opted to go to see Hellboy II on the weekend at the Ascot in Upper Hutt. And the same thing happened - there were unsupervised children constantly running up and down the stairs and chattering loudly during the movie.

As to the movie itself, it's a worthy successor to the first Hellboy movie. It's no Dark Knight, of course, because Hellboy is not about deep plots and symbolism, it's about Hellboy beating the tar out of things, but there was enough plot there to be fairly engaging and it even mostly made sense.

Of course, the area the film really wins in is character design and realisation, and the increasingly blurring line between CGI and physical effects. The creatures, and there are many, are all unique and well characterised. The behind-the-scenes features on the inevitable DVD should be quite interesting.

Johann Krauss is the coolest German ever. Can we keep him? Assuming there's a Hellboy 3 (and hopefully there will be!) of course.

Posted at 8:17 PM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2008

Kylie X

Filed in: Music.

So, here's the sequence of events: Kylie Minogue is doing a concert in Auckland. Naturally tickets sold out in 19 minutes and a second show was promptly announced.

Questions to ponder:

  • If the first show sold out in 19 minutes, why didn't tickets for the second concert sell out as quickly?
  • Wasn't it convenient how quickly and easily a second concert was arranged? You'd think the Vector Arena would be heavily booked in advance.

Of course, this appears to be quite common. Gee, you'd think the promoters would figure it out and put on two concerts to begin with...

Posted at 6:11 PM | Comments (1)

September 6, 2008

The Judoon Song

Filed in: Doctor Who.

Via TARDIS Television:

Posted at 11:12 AM | Comments (1)

September 4, 2008

Google Chrome

Filed in: Internet.

Current topic de jour is Google's new web browser. While I'm waiting for my extensions to upgrade themselves so I can switch to Firefox 3 without half of them being disabled, I thought I'd give it a try. The first thing I noticed was that it was blindingly fast. Firefox 3 is faster than Firefox 2, but Chrome is faster again. Impressively so.

But the main reason I'd switch to it is the whole separate-process-per-tab model. Too often I've had Firefox totally crash because I've opened a tab to a poorly-coded site. With Chrome, this is apparently no longer a problem - you only lose the tab containing the badly behaved site.

However I suspect they'll have more converts from Internet Explorer in the short term, as Chrome doesn't yet support extensions (I can't surf the web without some of them!). It's also only available for Windows at the moment. No doubt both issues will be addressed. I think this is going to signal another leap forward in web browser technology (are Microsoft so far behind at this point that they won't be able to catch up?)

The Google Webmaster suggestions group has been flooded with suggestions for Google Chrome - the group's supposed to be for suggestions about Google Webmaster Tools and says so clearly at the top - way to fail at simple comprehension, people.

You can get Chrome from the Google Chrome page. It's still in beta at the moment.

Posted at 8:44 PM | Comments (3)

August 29, 2008

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Filed in: TV & Movies.

I made the mistake of going to see this movie on a weekend, and thus my enjoyment was spoiled a bit by children literally running around the cinema and making noise. That aside, I did enjoy it, oh yes. The fact that the characters had different voices didn't bug me either.

The Clone Wars started out as the pilot to a TV series, and as the story goes, Lucas liked it so much he decided it deserved to be a movie. I'm not sure what relationship it has with the animated Clone Wars series, which I've never seen (I don't think it has even played in New Zealand) but apparently there's a CGI TV series on the way.

Now, while the prequels weren't that great, The Clone Wars isn't written by Lucas, so the characterisation and dialogue is a lot better! Although admittedly the plot is wafer thin, with more of an emphasis on battles and lightsaber fights.

Original character Ahsoka, a youngling assigned as Padawan to Anakin was a cool addition and had great chemistry with Anakin. The only problem for me being the fore-knowledge of what happens in Revenge of the Sith. Meh. Disturbingly when she first appeared, someone in the theatre wolf-whistled despite the fact she's depicted as being about 12.

Admiral Yularen creeped me out in an uncanny valley way for some reason. I'm not sure why, as he wasn't any more realistic-looking than any of the other characters. He didn't get much screen time anyway.

One fun movie.

Posted at 7:59 AM | Comments (1)

August 25, 2008

Doctor Who and the City of Death

Filed in: Doctor Who, TSV Online.

So, last time I made noises about putting a "coming soon" tag on the last novelisation to curb the "are you going to put City of Death online?" emails. In the end, I did, and got "when are you going to put City of Death online?" emails instead. Hehehehehe!

Doctor Who and the City of Death is the last of the TSV novelisations to go online, so all the holes left by the Target novelisation range have been (unofficially) filled. It's written by Wellington fan David Lawrence, who's a long-time contributor to TSV and has has most recently been writing a series of articles on the BBC eighth Doctor novels. He's also working on a commentary for the novelisation, which will go online at a later date.

In addition to getting the last novelisation up, I've been slowly working my way back through the archive, converting issues to the new site scheme. While I've been doing so, I've also been cleaning things as necessary - mostly making the cover images a tad bigger, putting in fancy quotes (‘’ instead of ''), tidying up some of the formatting, and so on.

Previously: TSV 59
See also: comments by Paul and Jamas

Posted at 9:44 PM | Comments (1)

August 21, 2008

Tiny Plastic Chairs of Rassilon

Filed in: Doctor Who.

So partway into Invasion of Time, there's these tiny green plastic chairs:
[plastic chairs]

Why are they there? Can you see any self-respecting Time Lord actually sitting in one of those?

Can it be... actual physical evidence of Time Tots?

(Thanks go to Jeff for pointing those out...)

Posted at 12:10 AM | Comments (2)

August 18, 2008

TSV 59

Filed in: Doctor Who, TSV Online.

TSV 59 - the first issue of the new millennium to go up (unless you're pedantic and insist the millennium started with 2001). It has one of my favourite TSV covers - a Curse of Fatal Death piece inspired by the cover of the Five Doctors novelisation.

Peter Adamson puts in two great articles: the first on Cyber-conversion (in the new series it's just "Scoop, splat, off you go") and the second on the much maligned Greatest Show in the Galaxy, plus he and Alistair Hughes view Revenge of the Cybermen for Beyond the Sofa. There's also part one of a lengthy interview with Andrew Pixley, he who did the archives in Doctor Who Magazine, which also includes a postscript update to some of what was originally said.

On the reviews front, this is the first issue to have reviews of Big Finish audios, starting with Sirens of Time, Phantasmagoria, and Whispers of Terror. Amazing that those have been going for 8 years now - longer than the Virgin New Adventures did - although as Paul mentions in the editorial, it'd still be nice to have the TV series back anyway... Oh, wait, we do!

Also added on the site recently is an index of the comic strips we have up, in series chronological order. The latest addition, of course, being Alistair Hughes' Our Final Battlefield.

Previously: TSV 58
See also: Paul, Jamas.

Posted at 9:21 PM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2008

Time's Champion Review

Filed in: Doctor Who.

You can order Time's Champion from here, although currently the first edition is sold out and they're contemplating a second...

Time's Champion, as previously mentioned is Craig Hinton's last Doctor Who book, completed by Chris McKeon and published with the proceeds going to charity. It's a direct sequel to Craig's previous sixth Doctor and Mel books, The Quantum Archangel and Millennial Rites and, as you'd expect from one of his books, is chock full of continuity references to many many television stories as well as Virgin and BBC novels. It's also a little over 400 pages, well deserving of the label 'epic', so I'm sure had it been published as part of the BBC books range, it would have been severely cut.

As a random piece of trivia - this is the first time Mel's appeared on the cover of a book (and it's one cracking cover!) since Millennial Rites and Head Games back in 1995...

Anyway, as the story starts, the Doctor and Mel are attending Benton's 70th birthday party in 2008, along with a couple of returning characters from The Quantum Archangel. In 1908, George McKenzie-Trench is attempting to work on his latest book, Time's Champion, while in 9908 another George McKenzie-Trench is working on a computer supervirus to defend his world against an impending attack by the Cybermen.

I'm going to try to avoid spoilers and keep things vague for the rest of this review, but just in case, I'm hiding it under a cut anyway.

Continue reading "Time's Champion Review"

Posted at 12:40 PM | Comments (3)

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