Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Grudge 2

One of the year’s most anticipated movies, for me, has been The Grudge 2. The Grudge (2004) was a remake of a Japanese horror movie, Ju-on: The Grudge (2003). Remakes, at best, can be ill-advised, and at worst, a really dumb stupid idiotic idea, but in this case the remake was ‘remade’ by the original Japanese director (Takashi Shimizu), and the result was one of the most chilling movies I’ve ever seen.

It was the awesome use of sound that was chiefly responsible for conveying terror in The Grudge. When I walked out of the cinema after watching that first movie, I had that ghastly ‘creaking’ sound stuck in my head, and over many subsequent weeks the sound remained there. It made me feel sick and disturbed, but I loved it!

The idea behind The Grudge is borrowed from ancient Japanese mythology, and can be summed up thus - “when somebody dies in the grip of intense rage, a curse is left behind”. In this case the curse was borne of a double murder/suicide in a suburban family home. (It still amazes me how the filmmakers managed to turn such a normal, plain-looking house into such a creepy location.)

Anyway, the first Grudge was excellent and I’ve watched it many times, so when I heard there was going to be a sequel, you can bet I was hyped for it.

Only one character from the original makes it into the sequel – Sarah Michelle Geller’s character. Everybody else is new. The movie begins when two mean schoolgirls take a third schoolgirl (who they take great pleasure in making fun of) to the original Grudge house, which was not quite successully burnt down by 'Buffy'. When the two play a cruel trick on the third by making her stand in The Closet and close her eyes, that’s where the frights and blue faces and long black hair and everything else get started.

You know ‘jump scenes’ in movies, where you know there is a big scare coming, but not exactly when - the director is laughing his ass off as he aims to shred your nerves, and make you jump out of your seat and straight up through the roof? In most horror movies there may be a dozen of those, tops. Well, in The Grudge 2, almost the entire movie is made up of those jump scenes. And in the theatre where I saw it, they really had the sound cranked up, so these were rather effective.

That ‘creaking’ sound is back again, of course, but this time, along with the original sound, there are some new variations. The audio department really had some fun with this one. Ha! Ha! Hats off to them! They did a superb job!

This sequel has been mercilessly trashed by critics, from what I gather, and I could see why. The story seems to take a back seat, and what takes over are scenes every five minutes where either the scary small blue boy peeks out from under a table (or from behind a door), or the scary tall thin blue woman with long black hair pops out of somebody’s collar (or their coffee cup) - either option accompanied by a bowel-loosening one million decibel creaking sound blasting out of the theatre speakers, absolutely guaranteed to make you achieve lift-off from your theatre seat.

Be that as it may, I enjoyed the movie, although not quite as much as the original. (By that I mean the American original – the Japanese is the original original, and shamefully enough, I still have not seen that one. ... *falls on sword*)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb

Tonight, just for fun, I read about the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb. I had heard of the Daisycutter, a bomb that was first used in Vietnam to clear a space in the thick jungle for a helicopter to land, then more recently used in Afghanistan to blow up terrorist caves, and to generally scare the fuck out of people there. Well, that bomb caused big damage. The blast radius was anywhere between 300 and 900 feet, or about 100 to 300 metres. If you saw that bomb coming down, you would have to run pretty damn fast to escape the blast radius, don't you agree?
Anyway, I found out that there is a bigger bomb than the Daisycutter, and it is called the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, or MOAB, also known as the *Mother Of All Bombs*. The blast radius of this motherfucker is around one mile in every direction. If you thought you had to run fast to escape the blast radius of the Daisycutter, then forget about it in this case - just lie down and pray to your god; your ass is grass with this bastard. In fact, when they showed a video of a MOAB test explosion to a group of people, they all believed they were watching footage of a nuclear blast.
The MOAB: far more effective than the Daisycutter at inspiring psychological terror.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine

I tried to start a review of this movie, but I can't write anything. (Correction: I can write plenty of things, but I hate every single one.)
The movie was excellent. It has zoomed into my Top Ten for the year.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Dungeons and Dragons

Readers with an interest in games (from paper & dice Dungeons and Dragons to modern computer and videogames) will appreciate this excellent interview with Ian Livingstone by the BBC's Owen Bennett-Jones. In the second part of the interview, Bennett-Jones hits him with the type of questions often used by people who believe gaming to be one of the great evils of our times. Livingstone's replies are smart and insightful, and often very funny.

Ian Livingstone interview (it starts after a short news briefing)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Ad Uses Sex To Sell Product

I am disgusted at this jeans company using sex to sell their product? This billboard ad is offensive - it features a young woman in a sexualised pose, with a lollypop. Why have sexy people in ads? It inflames lust and encourages dissatisfaction with one's body shape. Let's have ugly people, going to the toilet, or hair in curlers (or both at the same time), with puffed up face following night of heavy drinking, or along those lines.
View more of these disgusting good-looking people here (not the tattooed photographer guy - he is an ugly motherfucker. Get your filthy hands off her, you sleazy junkie!):

Offensive Sexploitation Lolita Jeans Ad With Sleazy Junkie Photographer

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I didn't go to the movies today. The school holidays started this week and during these times the cinemas are packed, the ticket lines go out to the street, and it's a scene that I prefer to stay well clear of. There's mostly school holiday fare there anyway, so it's no big deal. Who wants to see Garfield 2 anyway?
Last week I did go to the movies but didn't write about it here. I saw Miami Vice and it was so long and mostly a snorefest that I didn't feel like writing about it. The only cool part was the big shoot-out action scene near the end, so if you go see it, take your alarm clock and set it for about 80 minutes into the movie so you can wake up and watch the big shoot-out, and listen to the excellent gun sounds. The audio department here gets my congratulations, as does Mr Michael Mann for his direction of the shoot-out. Alas, the movie was a sad step down in quality from his other fine work, such as Heat and Collateral.
If anybody wondered why I haven't been writing much here lately (besides the usual excuses of laziness, anxiety and depression) it is because I quit the cigs nine days ago. It's the third time I've tried to quit, the other two times I never made it past the first seven days, but those times I wasn't really serious about it.
Anyway, I'll get back to writing in here. One problem I had was the belief that I couldn't write anything without cigarettes. (Some readers might point out that I couldn't write anything even with cigarettes. Haw!) But, since I still have beer, it just might be possible.