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[sticky post] Irish tea party

Here is our president Michael D. Higgins the Magnificent, laying the smackdown on a tea partier about healthcare in the US and the situation in Israel in 2010.

It is a thing of BEAUTY and I am absolutely awed. Saint George striking the Dragon wouldn't have done better.


I watched my shiny blu-ray version of the Clash of the Titans yesterday, a bit apprehensive if it would hold up to my rather good memories.

The short answer is that it is actually a lot better than it was in the cinemas. I couldn't have realised how much the 3D destroyed the entire movie, really. I loved it then, but I had a few reservations about the acting - Worthington looked bored throughout and Neeson wooden and cheesy - None of that this time round, it's well acted all round. I thought the characters were cardboard; insofar as this is an action movie, they are quite well fleshed out and I was sad when they died. I thought then it was a shade too long and there were pacing issues, in fact it must have been the 3D tiring me out midfilm as this time I thought the story was tight, with no let-up, and that it was too short, if anything. I wanted the monsters to go on. The whole Medusa sequence could have been longer in fact. Pj though could use lessons in how we got ALL the background info, mad fight scenes and a number of important deaths in what felt like about 6 minutes.

The CGI holds up incredibly well, with the exception of Medusa who clearly looks ...not "human" textured, the rest is just about perfect. Now CGI in blu-ray always gets found out. Not this time round. Suspension of disbelief is total here, and it's visually stunning, and really exciting. Where in the cinema I had tought the Kraken's scenes were short and disappointing, this time I found them well paced, timed and quite scary in their own way, showing a great sense of proportions and how massive it is, and all through looking real. Pegasus + wings is still seamless aside from 2 very short shots flying.

I learned in the extras that everything outdoors was done on location and not in studios (and none of it is identifiable in the film, and is clearly not New Zealand), and that the actors more or less did all their stunts, got scratches, bruises and the best time of their life; A lot of the action was done with wires, chinese style, and none with CGI people doing ludicrous computer stunts. Neeson's make-up artist is a japanese and it's vey visible in his outfit and hairdo..very fetching. Most of the gods subplot was cut out also; while it improved the pacing and made for a sweeter ending, the initial plot with a lot more of Apollo rebelling would have been fun, and the other extremely shiny Gods with their terrific costumes more or less got completely binned. I didn't learn but all the actors did learn (except Neeson and Cunningham, obviously), that it rains in Wales every day in Midsummer.

All in all, dumb action movie though it is, in the greatest tradition of the old B italian mythological capers we french got fed throughout the Seventies, it probably is one of the best, if not the best, action movie I've ever seen. And it made me clearly realise the very damaging effect 3D can have on anything half decent, and really put me off it for good. I can see why Leterrier was incensed at having been forced to release the film that way, and it is quite clear that little piece of producing greed probably demolished the reputation of that film forever. A shame really. As Christmas day epic family fare, it should have been a future classic.

This has to be the funniest shit I read this year.


Enjoy!!!! and join the facebook group if you're facebook inclined

The provisional government


Paddy, Not Patty

to the people of the New World.

Each and every year millions of Irish, Irish-ish and amateur alcoholics are needlessly distracted from their Holy Tradition of drinking themselves into a stupor in the name of Saint Patrick, a Roman Briton slave holding the dubious honour of bringing Christianity to an island that would use it as another convenient excuse to blatter the hell out of each other for centuries.

The source of this terrible distraction?

An onslaught of half-hearted, dyed-green references to St. Patrick's Day as St. Patty's Day.

It gnaws at them. It riles them up. It makes them want to fight… you know, more than usual.

(it goes on and on like that)


For those without a fb account.....some guy named Hugh Casey made this:

the cheapest trailer in the world

This is a short youtube creation of a trailer for the Silmarillion - the book. It's only a juxtaposition of images on a choir music, half of the story is missing, and yet, it's just all kinds of Awesome*.
My god but as action and adventure goes, did Tolkien deliver. Makes the forthcoming Clash of the Titans wanly pale in comparison.

*might not be if you don't know the story, I'd like a feedback on this actually.

Eurovision monday

This is Ireland's entry for this year.

Now, you would think we really really really could not afford to win this year, but -
Here they come and dust out Niamh Kavanagh, who won it already in 93. This gives me pause. Coupled with the government's massive efforts right now to boost tourism (which has gone down the proverbial drain and rightly so - there's only so much piss you can take out of foreigners after all before they cop on to the fact you are an overpriced overwet and overboring country) - anyway, coupled with this fact, I am inclined to think we are going for the win this year.

The song below is typical eurovision ballad fare which bores me to tears*, but the woman can truly sing, has won it before, and the ingredients are there to woo continental romantics.
Hmmmm. There's even the little flutey bit required to get 12's, though worryingly Johnny Logan is not in the line-up.

*the type of crap Ran thinks is brilliant.


Alice in Wonderland review

There are some light spoilers therein. Nothing that ten minutes into the movie won't have you have them figured out.

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7/10. 6 if I wasn't a fantasy fan

Movie thoughts.

Alice in Wonderland by Tim Burton is coming out in Ireland on Sunday. I so want to watch it! A reasonably awful review is not going to deter me.

Leap year (romantic comedy set in Ireland directed by non-irish people) is to be avoided at all costs apparently. This is unfortunate, as I have a fair crush on Matthew Goode, but even he says it's a pile of shite.

As I was going through my imdb account, I came across this review of  Hank Williams First nation I had written in 2006 and forgotten about. (I went through a lot of native movies at the time (real ones), and tell the truth, most of them if not all are really really good and worthy).
Anyway, I didn't know I could actually write something that made sense at all, and reading it with a fresh eye, it actually made me want to watch it. (I know I did before duh :P)
It's still on my hd, so I'll watch it tonight.

Anyway, in the hope you will want to give a bit of money to the cause yourself, here is my review:

Bittersweet feel good movie, 14 September 2006

The name Hank Williams added to a native movie made it a certainty I was going to watch this.

Adelard Fox, his wife and his 2 grandkids live on the rez. Uncle Martin gets in his head to go down to Nashville, TN, to make sure Hank Williams Sr. is truly dead. Adelard asks his grandson Jacob to go with Uncle to make sure things go smoothly on the trip. Meanwhile, Sarah the granddaughter, who has a crush on Larcis, and Huey, who is in love with Sarah are still stuck home on the rez, and all live their teenage lives as best they can.

The script is very light and basic, nothing much happens, and if you've seen Dreamkeepers, you will find some similarities. The film is pretty short, which sometimes is a relief in this era of overlong monsters, and very lighthearted (I found a fair few funny bits). May I add it never drags nor is it boring, and is very carefully and pleasantly edited.

While one might think there isn't much to it, it manages to deal with a lot of the problems currently faced out there, but in very delicate and low key way. It's not thrown in your face at all. Yet it is there, for all to see: parents missing, drug abuse, white father who didn't adapt, illiteracy, patronising whites, family ties stronger than anything, religion, polar difference in sense of humour ...... it's amazing the numbers of subjects being broached, sometimes with no more than a sentence, or even a simple look or sigh. Although it's absolutely not a depressing or dark movie. The main characters are all happy people that anyone would look up to.

The acting was quite simply amazing. I finally discovered Gordon Tootoosis for what he is, probably one of the best actors out there. The man has a charisma and a presence rarely encountered in the last 40 years of cinema. I was hanging onto his every word and look. His performance is Oscar worthy, and like Graham Greene, he is ludicrously underrated*. I found a genius there. He carries the film entirely, and makes it what it is. Stacy Da Silva, who plays Sarah, is another talent in the making. She is utterly pretty, normal, and fabulously believable. Look out for her last scene. Breathtaking! Big mention to Bernard Starlight too (Huey).

Why are these people stuck playing "indians" most of the time? These 3 have more talent than all of Hollywood put together!

Tough I don't wish to spoil, I found the last sentence in the "buffalo tracks" poem in the end to be worth a whole book. It may make you stop and think for a while. Quite bittersweet.

All in all, a light movie with a fairly unoriginal script, a lot of feeling of deja-vu, but with a very delicately put message, a good bit of hope, and peerless acting. Completely adequate for the whole family too. Oh, and amazing soundtrack! (if you like country)

6/10 +1.5 for acting (with all due props to the directing and editing that show it off) +0.5 for first movie

total: 8/10.

I'm definitely looking forward to more movies by Aaron Sorensen. May they all be as fresh and as touching as this one.

*added by me today: I forgot to also mention Wes Studi, Eric Schweig, Gary Farmer and Sheila Tousey.  I must be seriously biased towards native actors, else they must have some sort of super acting gene.