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Last night I got to go watch a preview of the new film [“Monsters”] courtesy of a friend giving me a ticket she won via [FFWD] (thanks all round!). Simply, wow. I was very impressed, my expectations were quite low, the concept sounded interesting though: “Six years after Earth has suffered an alien invasion a cynical journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border”.
I was very afraid a good idea would have been spoiled by bad execution. This was not a problem. The film was put together really well, especially given the tiny budget of $15,000. They didn’t use cheesy special effects just nice little things, such as playing low resolution TV reports instead of going into the action (and also had some cool effects too). This actually meant you get to “feel” the characters better. Some sci-fi fans might be disappointed (especially if you are expecting a gun tooting film) and I heard one or two in the audience say quite loudly “I can’t believe I just watched a romance”. I’d say that it was what sci-fi was supposed to be (well what I like anyway biggrin.gif). There was something more to it and I loved the parallels with the US/Mexico border issues now.. but add some real aliens in there, not just the illegal kind.
There was thing I noticed as strange the space-craft they showed was taking off not breaking up… oh well, mistakes happen.
In short I came out thinking this was a bit of Cloverfield meets District 9, but that would be wrong – some links could easily be made to both. The monsters have the Cloverfield sort of feel about them. Comparisons with District 9 are more obvious, especially the social issues being explored through alien interaction.
Overall this is probably the best sci-fi movie over seen in quite a while.

Converting Video for the Ipod on a linuxbox

After my flights to and from Puerto Rico the other day I decided it was about time I put a few other video clips onto my ipod (I’ve watched Master & Commander way too many times on it). The problem is how the heck did I convert them in the first place. I actually have this awful feeling it was quite a few years back and I used an evil Windows program todo it! Well, how do you do it in Linux… simply really install ffmpeg (and a few related things), in Ubuntu it should be as easy as:

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

.. but just in case [read here]. Then its just about running said task and waiting for the processing to finish. Simples. Oh run something like:

ffmpeg -i Input.avi -f mp4 -acodec libfaac -ar 44100 -ab 128 -vcodec mpeg4 -maxrate 2000 -b 1500 -qmin 3 -qmax 5 -bufsize 4096 -g 300 -s 320×240 -r 30000/1001 outfile.mp4

IYA2009 Trailer…

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 has a trailer… so be prepared…

Zombie Strippers!

I knew the day would come.. and it finally has! Zombie Strippers! I love the plot: As a secret virus capable of turning people into zombies is released into a Nebraska strip club, the club strippers struggle whether to accept the trendy transformation. biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif It is going to be one of those films I can tell. Oh and it even has a porn star in it! Catch the trailer below (or at:

In the Shadow of the Moon

Last night we went to see “In the Shadow of the Moon”. This is documentary follows the American side of the space race and has some fantastic images and video of the early space age. It also has interviews from many of the Apollo astronauts which was worth seeing alone. It was a nicely put together visualisation of a story most of us know pretty well. If you want to see a good movie at the moment and not have it dumbed down or full of inaccuracies then go watch this. More info at []

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

When my girlfirend told me the film was going to be about a guy who kills people to find the best perfume I was thinking New York guns and chasses. Then we sit down in the cinema and she goes “you know this is a period drama, right?” …. my response “WHAT” which she followed with “and that its set in France”… well lets just say I was not happy, though I had popcorn and minstrels so I was happy!
Anyway the film wasn’t bad, I dont actually mind period films, not that lovey uped drama crap, but stuff with battles. This film was plain and simply odd and actually rather interesting. It wasn’t particularly grumesome or anything but the fish market got my stomach going…
The speil for the film is:
“Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born in the stench of eighteenth century Paris, develops a superior olfactory sense, which he uses to create the world’s finest perfumes. His work, however, takes a dark turn as he tries to preserve scents in the search for the ultimate perfume.”
I would actually recommend it as an interesting and indeed entertaining watch but I can’t put my finger on it, there was something odd about it

The Family Man

I rented this last night and wasn’t so convinced by the cover… it looks like a typical Nicolas Cage cover! I do normally like his films so this didn’t really put me off though I was a bit concerned it would just be him being tight cast to make some money.. oh and here are a few covers..


Anyway back to the family man… it was actually a pretty good film. It was a little bit of a girly film, in that there was only 1 gun during the whole film. Without letting too much out of the bag. Guy makes a decision, guy becomes rich but no personal life. Guy gets glimpse of what life would have been like if he made the decision another way. Some funny moments and quite heart warming.

The Da Vinci Code Film

I think the first words that came to mind whilst seeing this was cool. The film was pretty good and had some rather artistic effects that worked well. I personally haven’t read the da vinci code and have no real intension to do so. Taking it as just a film and not comparing this to how good the book is or whatever I have to say that the film was rather enjoyable. I am sure there will be some people out there who watched it going “no no no no, thats not how it goes in the book”. As a film it was good, I was well entertained! 🙂 [Watch it].

Mission Impossible 3

Worth watching? Probably yes, it is entertaining. Would I watch it again? nope. It is a good film but it also goes on way too long.. I won’t say more and spoil it. Some good entertainment but drags on too long.

Forget Silent Hill, welcome to Centralia

I went to see [Silent Hill] last night, it was damn good, though very distrubing. I also couldn’t believe it was only a 15 as some of the scenes were very (and I do mean very) graphic! It was not hugely scary, in fact I was a little disapointed on that asepct, but in every other way it was a really good film. Full of action, great creatures that are played by actors. I hear that hardly any cgi was used, if any with the odd creatures… which is cool.

Anyway I mentioned Centralia, Pennsylvania. Now this is where a lot of the film inspiration (since Silent Hill was a game long before a film) comes from. It is almost a ghost town in the US where a huge underground fire burning. This sounds very similar to the film and is really quite odd. I suggest you take a look at [] which has some really interesting stuff and pics and, oh, of course there is always [wiki]