Thursday, January 31, 2008

My gaming history (P.1)

Having written about my favourite five games of all time a few weeks ago it was a trip down memory and got me thinking about all the different systems I've owned over the years. Thinking about it now it is actually quite a big list consoles and computers I have owned and played down the years. I think I will split this topic into a few posts over the next few days. So let's get started...

For me it starts a good few years ago now, I'd say 1990 would be the year I got my first computer, the Commodore 64. Obviously, it was meant for more than simply playing games but I was young and I supposed I didn't really appreciate what else it was capable of. I do remember trying to program a bouncing ball to appear on screen in QBASIC I presume but I never got it to work. Funny now considering my current occupation. The C64 offered me two ways to play games - cartridge and tape. The only cartridge I had was the one that came with the system and had Flimbo's Quest, Klaxx, Fiendish Freddy's Big Top O'Fun and International Soccer. The first game Flimbo's Quest was probably the best game on the system and had very advanced sound and graphics for it's time. Another advantage the game has was that it was on the cartridge which meant it didn't have to load up.

I had the external tape deck for the C64 and a whole bunch of games, some good but if I remember the majority were quite poor. The thought of loading games now is funny. You put the tape in, run it from the command line and wait (and hope) for it to load. It was actually quite unreliable really but at the time we all knew no different. Of the games on tape the one I remember most fondly was a game called Turican 2. I don't remember a whole lot about it other than you were some kind of super solider with a massive laser weapon and the ability to turn into a kind of buzz saw and roll around. I do remember you faced off against a giant, screen filling fish at some point. Weird.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

M&Ms macro

As I wrote last week I attended my first photography class last week and we were given some homework to do. This consisted of taking a number of photographs that met some simple criteria. My favourite of the bunch was taking a macro shot of any object we wanted. Of the four photos we had to take (fill in flash, before and after white balance shots) the macro shot is by far my favourite. I had built a home made lighting studio (instructions care of and this was my first time to really see if it worked. I have to say I'm more than impressed with the result, which you can see below. I have no idea why I choose M&Ms but it worked. I think they give a nice mix of colours plus the fact that anyone looking at the photo will know the actual size of the sweets so will appreciate the zoom factor.

Paradise or not...

The game Burnout Paradise was released on the Xbox 360 last week and I am very tempted to pick it up. I find this quite strange because usually I am not a fan of racing games. In fact the last racer that I really enjoyed was Mario Kart on the N64 and before that on the SNES. Actually, I tell a lie as the DS version of Mario Kart is pretty nifty too. So what is it about this racer that has me thinking I should buy it?

It is the new style of play that it offers. An open world city with over 250 miles of road to drive around, coupled with multiple game modes. The best of which is a mode where you will be chased by a number of cars and the longer you survive the more points you score. That to me sounds like it would be an amazing game to take online on Live. I have played the demo but was left slightly disappointed as the demo only offered a tiny portion of the city with most of the events locked. It was a good taster but not enough to say whether the game would be worth it or not. In the end I doubt I will get it as I still have COD4 and Pro Evo to occupy my gaming time. If I get too tempted I'll try to remember that someone pointed out that many of the fun features in this game are likely to be present in some for in GTA IV, a game that I will purchase.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Challenge - Update 6 (E & F's)

With just the 34 movies to report on from the letter E and a further 58 from F I'll include both in this update. It seems a rather small number doesn't it? Obviously the one film to truly stand out is The Empire Strikes Back. The best of the Star Wars series and it is a true masterpiece. Is it a co-incidence that George Lucas didn't direct the best of the series? Another film from my list is Event Horizon which really was a scary movie when I first saw it. In fact, I think it is still the only horror movie I've found to be genuinely scary. There really isn't anything to mention from the F category except perhaps The Fifth Element which is one of my guilty pleasures.

There are some terrible movies from this category such as Eyes Wide Shut. I just found this movie so terribly boring. But the prize goes to eXistenZ as worst movie here and it will be hard to find a worse movie. The film is even worse than the title would have you imagine.

Current count: 411

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Challenge – Update 5 (D’s)

The 'D' movies have provided me with sixty-eight movies, which is just one shy of my favourite number. This category throws up another famous movie franchise Die Hard. I really love these movies bar of course the misstep that was Die Hard 2. My favourite movie amongst this lot has to be Donnie Darko. This movie just came out of no where to totally blow my mind. What was it about? A far too long and complicated answer is needed to for that and at the end of it even I wouldn't be sure what the hell happened. All you need to know is that if you haven't seen it, then you need to see it. Now. Go on, do it now.

It is just as easy to pick out this section's turkey in the horribly misshapen form of Dreamcatcher. If I'm honest with myself I only went to the cinema to see this because they were playing a short animated Matrix movie in the build up to the Matrix sequels. I also thought a film with Morgan Freeman and aliens would be good. Wrong!!

Films to see: Dog Day Afternoon

Current count: 319

Photography course - Night 1

I started a beginners course in digital photography last night. I have to say I was thoroughly pleased with the first night. I had looked at the topics covered in each week and it had looked like the first week would be overly basic but it the lecturer had plenty of useful information to pass on. Each successive week looks like it will get more interesting and I'm particularly looking forward to the topic of night shooting. The goal of last night was to get us comfortable with some of the many features on modern digital compact cameras. There was explanations on what the camera is doing in the background when choosing the scene settings such as Portrait or Kids & Pets, which are options on the Canon series of compacts.

I've always enjoyed taking photographs and last year I started to get very interested in the idea of photography. I found this course on the internet ( and had heard positive things about it from I was initially a little put off by the unprofessional looking website but the positive feedback and the course descriptions gave me enough confidence to choose this course. I have a plan in mind, which is to start with this beginners course that is aimed at people using digital compact cameras. If I like that I will continue on and do the intermediate level that again is for compact cameras. Again if I like that I will move onto the advanced course and it is this course that sounds really interesting. The only thing is that you need a dSLR to enroll in this particular course. Due to the cost of a dSLR I didn't want to splash out and do that course immediately. I thought maybe I would get board with the whole photography craze so it would be a waste of EUR400-EUR500 on a camera I wouldn't get any use out of. Now if I complete the first two courses and want to continue on it will be much easier to justify the outlay.

Looking forward to next weeks session but I've got to get my homework done before then. I thought I'd left things such as homework behind when I finished college but I guess I brought this on myself. Should be fun.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Missing Mass Effect

It has been a little over three weeks since I finished Mass Effect on the Xbox 360. I got the game a month before Christmas. The reason I got it then was I expected to get at least a couple of games over Christmas and I knew ME would be the type of game that would require dedication and time. The timing worked well as I got totally immersed in Bioware's universe and it was the only game in the 360's drive from the day I bought it until it was completed. According to the game's save file it took 35.5 hours to complete. When I say completed, I mean I have gone once through the game as a virtuous character. I do intend to play it through as a renegade, which should make for some interesting changes.

I took the long way around and did all the side quests I could find before continuing on the main story line. Bar some repetition with the look of many planets and the some missions I thoroughly enjoyed the game. So when I finished it I expected to jump back into it to continue on building up my character and make the opposite choices to those that I had made previously. This didn't happen though as a little game called Call of Duty 4 came into my possession. The point of all this is that I am looking around for mention downloadable content (DLC) for the game and coming up empty handed.

An article on IGN guessed that it would be very soon but I'd like to find a concrete date and some details. I hope that they make the DLC worthwhile with new missions and planets to explore. Also more time aboard the Citadel would be welcome but I do not expect them to further the main storyline. This would be risky as some people will not buy any extra content and will therefore miss out on the evolving storyline. These people would cry foul and rightly so. If the DLC gets announced and all that is there is new weapon and armour upgrades or other superficial stuff I will be extremely disappointed. I doubt that will happen though. After the team put so much work into creating such a large and complex universe why would they want to bring down the name with sub-par DLC. I expect we will have to pay for the pleasure but as long as the content is there that will be fine by me. Much like the issue over the iPod Touch 1.1.3 firmware upgrade.

The release of any DLC will renew my interest in playing the game but it will also allow me the opportunity to earn some of the Achievements I missed first time around. I know Achievements don't mean much really but they are nice to earn and being a perfectionist I like to get as many as possible.

So for now ME will lay dormant, waiting impatiently for some new content to arrive. Hurry up Bioware.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Those Oscar nominations

The Oscar nominations went out today. I'd like to write up some of my thoughts on the nominations but due to releasing schedules between the US and Ireland some of the contenders have yet to open here. There Will Be Blood, Juno, Sweeney Todd and In The Valley of Elah have not yet been released. I was actually due to see No Country for Old Men tonight but alas that was not to be. I'll see it tomorrow hopefully. So unfortunately I won't be able to comment as fully as I'd like. Maybe I'll see some more contenders before the actual ceremony (if there is one).

Best Film
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

I've only seen Michael Clayton and I am actually surprised it got as many nominations as it did. It was a good story, well acted and had a superb ending but I felt it was slow and rather dull at times. I expect to see Old Country... and There Will... soon enough. Best director is a similar story as all the directors of the best film nominations got nominated themselves.

Best Actor
George Clooney
Daniel-Day Lewis
Johnny Deep
Tommy Lee Jones
Viggo Mortensen

I've seen two of these performances Clooney and Mortensen. I did like Clooney's turn as Michael Clayton, he is still a likeable character even though he was playing a character who wasn't really all that likeable. Mortensen though deserves to be given the Oscar. He was tremedous as the Russian mob guy. The accent, the presence and the charm. In fact, he should be given it just for the naked bath house scene alone. Talk about acting above and beyond the call of duty.

Unfortunately there really is no point in continuing as I have yet to see any of the films where the best actresses have been nominated. It appears that Ellen Page has come a long way from X-Men III. Best supporting actor / actress is the same again.

In a more technical category I expect Transformers to get the award for special effects. They really deserve recognition for bringing CGI images up to near photo realistic quality. Not to disparage Pirates III as I did leave the cinema thinking, 'wow' they are very impressive effects. Particularly the facial animation on Davy Jones but most of those effects were pioneered last year. I would have liked to have seen some recognition for The Bourne Ultimatum. I know some people will say it is merely an action movie but that is to do it a massive disservice. Not only did it bring a quality franchise to a very satisfying conclusion but it ended it on a high note. I feel that director Paul Greengrass should have been nominated for best director. He certainly put his own distinctive look on the franchise upon taking over from Doug Liman. He carried this look over to the third movie and perfected it. Nobody does shaky-cam like Greengrass. Also his narrative instincts were shown to superb by taking the risk of splitting the chronology of Supremacy and Ultimatum, then trusting the audience to figure it out for themselves. That is enough ranting about that oversight.

Another other film I expected to get some nominations was American Gangster. I really enjoyed the movie but I felt that it didn't quite have the quality to be win best picture but I did expect it to be nominated. I've just realised that Zodiac has also been shown no love by the Academy. It was similar to Michael Clayton in that it has been described as dull but it was the subject matter that really grabs you. The attention to detail in the movie is astounding and the acting was also of the highest quality. Although I had some reservations about Jake Gyllenhaal, not his performance so much but rather his presence in the role. I think the movie should at least have been given some writing nominations.

One thing I would really like to see is our release schedules come more inline with those in the US. We get the big blockbusters the same day but it would be nice to start seeing the smaller more award friendly movies be the same.

The Challenge – Update 4 (C’s)

Another letter has fallen by the wayside and it has yielded another 79 movies to add to the growing list. The thing that has immediately struck me about this selection of movies is how none of them are standing out as obvious classics. I know Chinatown is in there but it is so long since I've seen it I would like to revisit it again before agreeing with with the general consensus on that one. The one I will pick as my favourite is City of God. It is a truly brilliant film with a terrifying villain all the more so given the young age of the character, indeed all the characters bar the sympathetic bus driver.

Other films of note include Collateral (more Cruise quality), Con Air (I like a good action movie) and Casino Royale. At the other end of the spectrum I'll give a shout out to Conan the Destroyer. What a boring movie that was.

A special mention to The Count of Monte Cristo. Sometimes a film comes along that surpasses all expectations. I had none for this movie but it is a great little movie and I always recommend it to people. So if you haven't seen it make sure you do. This is the Kevin Reynolds version to be exact.

Films to see: The Contender

Current count: 251

Sunday, January 20, 2008

LOST is back

Just saw an ad on Sky One for Lost series four. It is back on our screens on the 3rd of Febuary. I hope that RTE2 get it soon as watching on Sky wouldn't suit me. RTE2 is actually pretty good when it comes to getting the best shows from the US quickly.

I can't believe this is year 4 already. I really enjoyed the last series, especially the series finale. I really would like to see some answers given tin this series but I don't hold out much hope of that. The one good thing is that they apparently have a finite number of episodes now to wrap it up. That should me it should start to go somewhere with a more recognisable plan. Hopefully.

I just wonder how the writers strike is going to effect the show. Just look at the situation that Heroes finds itself in.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cristiano Ronaldo

I didn't see the highlights of the match yet but judging from the time of both goals it looks like Reading put up a good fight. Cristiano Ronaldo got another goal today, bringing his total goals to an incredible 17 in just 18 games in the Premier League.

That is an amazing statistic but when you consider that he is not a striker but a winger then it is even more remarkable. He does get praise in the press but I don't think enough is being made of his contribution. While typing this I just saw Ronaldo's on TV3 and it was another cool finish. He really is on white hot form. If he can continue I think he will break the record set by Alan Shearer of 31 league goals.

Apperances - 25
Goals - 23

Friday, January 18, 2008

Popped the HD cherry

Was playing some Call of Duty 4 a little earlier and after being sniped yet again I decided to give it a break (after another promotion though).

So I switch off and switch over to the TV. I see that Star Trek: Insurrection is on Sky One but at the top of the screen is a message that they are broadcasting in HD. It is the first movie I've watched in HD on the new TV and it looked pretty damn great.

Shame about the movie though, one of the worst of the Next Generation series.

The Challenge – Update 3 (B’s)

Another letter down and just twenty-four letters left to go. The letter B has provided me with another 88 movies to add to my list. If the current rate keeps up I won’t need to go through the whole alphabet to find my 1001 movies.

So you ask, has the letter B provided any interesting movies? It has thrown up a total of five franchise movies – Batman, Bourne, Blade, Beverly Hills Cop and Back to the Future. So of the best movies there excluding those franchise movies include The Big Lebowski (my favourite Coen Brothers movie, yet to see No Country for Old Men), Boogie Nights (the best P.T.A. movie too) and Breathless but for far less artistic reasons than the previous two movies.

An interesting movie here for me is The Boys from Brazil. It isn’t that this is a good film by any means but it took me ages to get a chance to see it. I had heard the gist of the story and was fascinated but the film was a big let down. Although, it does feature 1980’s superstar Steve Guttenburg.

Films to see: Blood Simple, Born on the Fourth of July

Current count: 172

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Challenge – Update 2 (A’s)

So here we are again for another update on the (stupid?) challenge I set myself. I have now finished going through the movies starting with the letter A. I came up with the surprisingly low number of 67 movies that I seen from this section. The list that I am using looks to be very comprehensive though. I just expected a higher number. It is possible that I’m looking through titles that just don’t spark a memory for me but if that is the case I would say the number is very few indeed.

It would be very hard to pick a favourite movie from this section as it contains the Alien quadrology (is that a word yet?) and Air Force One. It also has a few animated films that I saw as a child. Who else remembers Fievel? There is also the vastly overrated film All The Presidents Men. At least in my opinion.

It is funny that one of the movies listed here, Paul Hogan’s Almost An Angel is in this list. It's funny because the person in work who says you can’t see 1001 movies has this film listed as the worst of all time. Anyway, now it is onto the letter B.

Films to see: Amadeus

Current count: 84

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Blogger Widget. Sweet.

I've just installed the Blogger Widget on my MacBook and I'm trying it out now. So this post really has nothing that interesting to say really.

I'm getting to like Apple more and more as I find cool stuff like this. Provided of course this post shows up in a moment when I check it.

The Challenge – Update 1 (#)

This is the first update on my challenge to identify 1001 movies that I’ve seen. So from the symbols section of the list on Boxoffice Mojo I have seen seventeen movies. There are actually far less movies than I would have expected to appear in this section, which is good because it makes the first update rather easy. Of the seventeen movies listed here I can pick an easy favourite - 12 Monkeys. A science fiction movie and a true classic of the genre, starring Bruce Willis and Madeleine Stowe. I saw this in the cinema with a friend and I still remember that when we emerged from the cinema we were just both stunned by it. I still watch it whenever it pops up on TV.

Other notables movies include 3:10 to Yuma, 300 and 28 Days Later. At the other end of the scale is 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag – a dire Joe Pecsi film.

Films to see: 25th Hour

Current count: 17

iPod Touch update reaction

I've downloaded and installed the firmware and software upgrade. I've had a little time to mess around with the new applications and I'm more than happy. In fact, I absolutely love it.

Mail works superbly and is so easy to set up. I set up my Gmail account (easily) and it automatically imported other settings for other accounts I have associated with my Gmail account. It is just simplicity itself, like a lot of Apple products really.

Maps is another great addition. I know that it is just Google Maps but to see it working on the iPod is amazing. The screen clarity makes it so easy to identify places down at street level. I found my house easily enough and adding pins and placemarks is well integrated.

The other three apps - Weather, Stocks and Notes are all fine but I'm not sure how much use I will give them. Still, they are nice to have. Possibly my favourite addition is the ability to rearrange the home screen. By pressing on an icon and holding it all the icons will start to shake (a very cool graphical touch) and you can now drag them around the screen. Another neat touch is the ability to add webpage bookmarks directly to the home screen. They look great as they take a snapshot of the page and place it on an icon. You can have mulitple pages now which is good.

All in all it is $20 very well spent. I'm going back to play with my iPod again.

iPod Touch gets an update

The news that interested me from Mac World '08 the most is the news that the firmware is moving to version 1.1.3. The big additions to the Touch are:

  • Mail
  • Maps
  • Stocks
  • Notes
  • Weather
The controversial issue is that Apple are charging $20 for the privilege! This is the first time I heard of the consumer being charged for a firmware update. To pay or not to pay, that is the question.

The answer? Well, I'm downloading it right now. Sounds like a great update to me, especially to get e-mail on the Touch. I hope it works out well. I'll post something further when I've had a chance to mess with the new features.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Top 5 video games ever

Everyone likes a good list and it seems I'm no different. While thinking about a list of films I want to see this year I began thinking of what games I was interested in this year too. I had intended to write something on that but then I got to thinking about what my favourite games of all time are.

The five games below could probably change if I were to do the list again. As with most lists it is hard to narrow it down and they generally change if you think too hard. So here is my top five of all time.

Streets of Rage II - Megadrive

This game just never got old for me. Myself and my friend must have spend a huge chunk of our youth beating up thousands upon thousands of punks thrown at us by the villainous Kingpin. For it's time the graphics were pushing boundaries on the Megadrive and as for the music that has gone down has the best to grace the system. While some may deride it as simply a side scrolling beat'em up it had a very sophisticated control system. Every character had their own unique moves and plenty of them. To top is all off it was and is a fantastic two player experience. In fact, I only recently downloaded this for XBLA.

Pro Evolution Soccer (all iterations)
This choice includes a multitude of games and I'm including all the different versions of Pro Evo even the original International Superstar Soccer from the SNES (although maybe not the N64 version). I've had versions on the PSOne, PS2 and the Xbox 360.

Always the far better alternative to the FIFA series the game always improves upon itself year on year. Since the 360 version I've been able to take the game online and that has only improved the thrills it provides.

Gears of War - Xbox 360
I'm including this game as it was the first game to convince me that a new generation of gaming had arrived. It was time to upgrade from the PS2 to 360. Nothing from the launch games on the 360 made me think WOW until I saw this game. Then thankfully when I got the console and the game, the gameplay lived up to the hype.

A newer game like COD4 will probably surpass it but the one thing it won't have is that wow factor, the first taste of a new generation of games. Plus it was my first experience of online gameplay, which is fantastic.

Super Mario World - SNES
Sonic was good sorry scratch that it was great and the other Mario games were good. However, it is Super Mario World that brought the platform game to a totally different level. It had fantastic graphics, which have stood the test of time, great sound and world beating gameplay.

Plus it was a challenge, if memory serves it had 99 levels. With those frust. The addition of Yoshi and a caped flying super Mario added some brand new gameplay dynamics. It remains the one game from that period that I still go back to and play the odd time.

Gunstar Heroes - Megadrive
This game my strike some as a strange choice and if I thought hard enough I could probably think of a better game from my gaming history. However, if you've ever played this game you will probably understand. It is (just) a side scrolling shoot'em-up but to label it like that is to do it a disservice as it was bursting with originality.

It had a brilliant two player co-op with both players combing for some wonderful attack moves. Also it wasn't only a shooter but attacks included beat'em-up style moves too. I think this game also pushed the graphical capabilities of the Megadrive to the absolute limit. The game was so addictive I remember one near all night session with a close friend, only to fail at the very last moment.

Honourable Mentions
  • NBA Jam (Megadrive) - great two player game.
  • GTA: Vice City (PS2) - so violent it was funny.
  • Worms (PSOne) - hours upon hours of multiplayer fun.
  • Super Mario All-Stars (SNES) - quantity and quality.
  • Mario Kart (SNES) - so, so, so much fun.

The Challenge

At the office Christmas party a book entitled "1001 movies to see before you die" was presented as a Kris Kindle present. This sparked a conversation at our table about whether or not it was possible to see 1001 movies in your life without sitting down and watching one movie after another, but rather watching them at a reasonable rate.

Now I contend that 1001 movies is not an unreasonable number of movies to see in ones lifetime. Especially considering that 73 years is considered to be the average lifespan of an Irish male. So I've gotten it into my mind to try to prove myself correct.

I don't know what is compelling me to do this as it could be a big undertaking and I'll probably get fed up long before even the halfway point. Is there any rational for this? I suppose I'm interested to see roughly how many movies I have seen or I'm just dedicating some creative juices to the wrong task. To start this I have to lay some rules.

Firstly, I need to find a comprehensive list of movies that are out there. To this end I'm going to enlist the help of a popular online box office website called This site contains a listing of over 9,000 movies, arranged helpfully in alphabetical order. I like this list for two reasons. One it has enough movies to help me reach the magical number and secondly it contains movies released at the US box office. The latter point would make me believe I'm looking at a list of fairly mainstream movies, which I am not ashamed to admit is my meat and drink.

It will be interesting to go through the list and to try to remember something about the movie such as whether I saw it, my opinion of it, the cast or any interesting trivia. I will probably find myself looking up the bible ( quite a lot.

I realise that this could turn into a rather large list, well potentially a list 1001 entries long. That kind of list is just too long to go into detail in this blog. So I intend to write periodic updates on this. I will be keeping a list of movies I've seen and I will link to it but I doubt anyone will be interested. In fact I doubt anyone has any interest in this blog at all. Anyway, I'll continue on with this madness until I get bored, forget about it entirely or finish it. For those movies I come across that I do find interesting I'm sure I'll talk about them in my updates.

I'm just thinking now to myself what is it exactly that I want to gain from this. Firstly, that I'm right about the amount of movies the average person can consume in their life. Secondly, it will give me a chance to get a list together of movies that I haven't seen but that I really should get around to. I'll have to remind myself to post about those movies that I need to see at the end of all this.

I will be starting off with the film titles starting with a number or symbol, the list of these is here. The actual list of movies can be found here.

Monday, January 14, 2008

My 2008 movie hit list

So 2008 is here, which means there is a whole bunch of new movies for me to look forward to. Below is a quick list just off the top of my head of what I am most excited about. I'm sure I've forgotten some movies and there will be others operating under the radar that will explode onto the scene I'm sure. I wasn't overly impressed with the movies in 2007 but I'm hopeful for this year. Mainly due to the first two movies below.

The Dark Knight - This is a sequel to one of my favourite movies of all time. The whole team is back which is a big thing for me. Bale is the perfect Bruce wayne and Batman plus the support actors are all excellent - Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman. Plus the addition of Maggie Gyllenhaal at the expense of Katie Holmes is a masterstroke in my opinion. I haven't really seen a picture of Aaron Eckhart in the role of Harvey Dent but surely anyone with such a square jaw as Eckhart is tailor made for a role in a comic book movie. The promotional material so far has just continued to raise the excitement level and I'm confident that Christopher Nolan can pull it off. Oh yeah and Heath Ledger looks great as the Joker.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - First off it's an Indiana Jones movie. Speilberg, Lucas and Ford reunited. Do you need another reason to see this movie? Nope, thought not.

Iron Man - I know very little about the character but from the trailer Robert Downey Jr looks cool in the role. Will it be the first superhero movie where the alterego is more interesting than the superhero? It has a great cast including Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeff Bridges.

Incredible Hulk - Ed Norton as the Hulk? Wow, I have to see that. I can't make up my mind on Ang Lee's Hulk. Sometimes I think that 'yeah, I did like it' and other times I'm think 'actually it was rather ponderous and missed a great opportunity for some thoroughly enjoyable Hulk demoltion sequences'. I would be that there will be far more Hulk action sequences in this version, why else would they feel the need to do a reboot?

Cloverfield - Can this movie live up to the fantastic teasers? I certainly hope so and an advance review that I perused suggested that it will and more. I just hope I don't get motion sickness from the shaky camera.

Star Trek XI - JJ Abrams meets Star Trek, sounds good to me. I wouldn't really consider myself to be a big Star Trek fanboy but I do enjoy the series, especially Deep Space 9. A prequel to the whole franchise is a good idea and the casting of Zachary Quinto (Sylar from Heroes) is genius. Although the casting of Simon Pegg is a strange one though.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - A new David Fincher movie is always something to look forward to in my opinion. This really is the only reason it is on my list as I know next to nothing about the movie apart for a very rough concept of what the movie might be about.

The Happening - Nobody knows anything about this new M. Night Shyamalan movie but the poster looks great. Again this is another movie making my list based purely on a 'name' director. If this is another Lady in the Water then he won't be on my list again simply based on name alone.

Bond 22 - Casino Royale was good, really good and with Marc Foster on board as director this should be great too. I really hope the rumour that they pick up immediately the end of the previous movie is true.

No Country for Old Men - I'm not one of these Coen Brothers fanboys but this film is supposed to be a modern day classic. The trailer looks very good and the reviews have been glowing. It is out here very soon so this will be one of the first from this list that I will get to see.

Hancock - After seeing I Am Legend, I'm looking forward to Will Smith's next movie and the trailer for this looks cool. It looks like a comedy, action, superhero and drama mash up. Sounds promising and looks it too. Plus it has that great back story of what the original title was, "Tonight, He Comes" and all that that entails.

Speed Racer - I am not a fan of the source material but I'm really interested to see what the Wachowski Brothers can come up with. They are saying that they will raise the bar for visual effects but don't they always say that? The trailer does look spectaular though but I'm not convinced that I will like the acting style. It looks to be straight from the original cartoon, which is I'm sure what they are aiming for. I will say that Matthew Fox seems to be perfect in the role of Racer X. Anyway, it can't be any worse than The Matrix: Revolutions (worst movie ever!).

Valkyrie - Forget the private life of Tom Cruise (it is irrelevant in my opinion) and just think of his professional career. The man is almost a guarantee of quality and this is shaping up to be no different. A top quality supporting cast plus it is directed by Bryan Singer!

X-Files 2 - Yes I'm an X-Files fan. A big fan but even I'm amazed a new movie has been greenlit since the TV show is off air for six years. What I'm really intersted in here is where they are going with this. Will Mulder and Scully still be on the run? Remember they are no longer part of the FBI. Or will it disregard the final season and go for a one off storyline? Also will Agent Dogett be in the movie? It will also be great to see David Duchovny back on the big screen. After his wonderful turn as Hank Moody in the excellent Californication and hopefully, a successful X-Files 2 he can get his career back in high gear.

Some honourable mentions.
Jumper - Looks like a good solid action/sci-fi movie.
Vantage Point - A (hopefully) intelligent action movie.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army - I liked the first movie so I'm looking forward to seeing more of these characters.
Wanted - I saw the preview the other night at I Am Legend and it looked like good solid action fun.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Some new kit

Yesterday I finally took the plunge and bought the Xbox 360 Messenger Kit. I had thought about getting it a number of times but had never gone through with it. However, now that I'm really getting into the Master League in PES2008 I wanted to do some editing.

Normally I wouldn't bother with editing the game as I always plan on getting the next iteration of the game. It would be a lot of work which would be gone to waste by the following release. However, I suspect I won't be updating the title this year so now I want everything to be perfect. I'm a bit of a perfectionist that way.

Anyway, this is all off the point. I had just wanted to say how cool I think the Messenger Kit is. It is perfectly designed with a nice, clear and full QWERTY keyboard layout. The buttons are nicely spaced and you can get a decent typing speed going. I had concerns that it would add too much weight to the already slightly heaving 360 controller but it is incredibly light. You can play a game iwht the keyboard attached without any noticeable difference. The keyboard also detaches very easily so the impact on gameplay is negligible as you can just snap it off. Also the keys lights up which is a cool feature.

All in all it is almost good enough for me to enable MS Messenger on my 360! But nothing is that good.

And so it starts...

So, I decided the other day to start up a blog and here I am making my first post. I have no real master plan as to what I want to blog to become. I thik I am going to cover mainly the things that entertain me.

So what entertains me you ask? Mainly film, football and video games (mainly Xbox 360 these days). So I see most of my posts detailing how these things are affecting me and prompting me to post about it here on the web.

For now that is all I have to say. I have to go now and check out the HTML editing options on this site. I shall return.

p.s. if your wondering, my name is my Gamertag on Xbox Live.