Friday, January 23, 2015

Movie Rankings 2014

1) The Grand Budapest Hotel ****1/2
2) Interstellar         ****
3) Dallas Buyers Club         ****
4) Her                 ****
5) The Imitation Game ****
6) Whiplash                 ****
7) Snowpiercer         ****
8) The Lego Movie ****
9) Lucy         ***1/2
10) Kill the Messenger         ***1/2
11) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ***1/2
12) The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies  ***
13) Predestination         ***
14) The Wolf of Wall Street ***
15) Penguins of Madagascar         ***
16) Exodus: Gods and Kings ***
17) The Rover         ***
18) A Million Ways to Die in the West **1/2
19) Force Majeure         **1/2
20) Inside Llewyn Davis **
21) Divergent                 *1/2
22) 47 Ronin                 1/2

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Movie Rankings 2013

1)  ZERO DARK THIRTY   ****1/2
2)  RUSH  ****1/2
3)  FILTH  ****
5)  ANCHORMAN 2   ****
6)  GRAVITY  ****
7)  IRON MAN 3  ****
10)  THE RAILWAY MAN ***1/2
11)  CLOUD ATLAS   ***1/2
12)  WORLD'S END, THE   ***1/2
13)  DESPICABLE ME 2  ***1/2
14)  WAY WAY BACK, THE  ***1/2
15)  THE IMPOSSIBLE  ***1/2
19)  ELYSIUM  ***
20)  NOW YOU SEE ME  ***
23)  WE STEAL SECRETS  **1/2
24)  LOVELACE  **1/2
25)  WORLD WAR Z  **1/2
26)  CROODS, THE  **

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Move Rankings 2012

1) Beasts of the Southern Wild   *****
2) Moonrise Kingdom   ****1/2
3) Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy  ****
4) Argo    ****
5) Seven Psychopaths  ****
6) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ****
7) Hugo  ****
8) The Avengers  *** 1/2
9) On the Road  ***1/2
10) Prometheus   ***1/2
11) Lawless   ***1/2
12) The Rum Diary   ***1/2
13) The Dictator   ***1/2
14) The Muppets  ***1/2
15) The Dark Knight Rises   ***
16) Skyfall   ***
17) Arbitrage    ***
18) Polisse  ***
19) Not Suitable For Children  ***
20) Margin Call   ***
21) The Master  ***
22) Killing Them Softly  ***
23) Samsara  ***
24) This Must Be The Place ** 1/2
25) Men In Black 3   **1/2
26) Ruby Sparks   **1/2
27) Dr Seuss' The Lorax   **1/2
28) Shame  **
29) Any Questions For Ben?    *

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Movie Rankings 2011

2) SKIN I LIVE IN, THE  ****
3) CARS 2  ****
5) CONTAGION  ****
6) SOURCE CODE  ***1/2
8) TRUE GRIT  ***1/2
9) PAUL  ***1/2
10) HUNTER, THE  ***1/2
11) GUARD, THE  ***
13) 127 HOURS  ***
14) SENNA  ***
16) CATFISH  **1/2
17) TREE OF LIFE *1/2

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Movie Rankings 2010

1) Inception                           ****1/2
2) Scott Pilgrim vs the World  ****1/2
3) Up In The Air                     ****1/2
4) The Social Network            ****
5) The King's Speech              ****
6) The Hurt Locker                ****
7) The Road                          ****
8) Animal Kingdom                ****
9) Boy                                   ***1/2
10) Kick-Ass                          ***1/2
11) The Men Who Stare At Goats ***1/2
12) The Town                        ***1/2
13) Robin Hood                     ***1/2
14) Tron 3D                          ***
15) City Island                       ***
16) Love and Other Drugs      ***
17) Red Hill                           **1/2
18) Invictus                           **1/2
19) Monsters                         **
20) I'm Still Here                    1/2

Movie Rankings 2009

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Kids Are Not My Mates

I don’t want to be friends with my kids. I want to be their Dad and their confidante and their teacher of life lessons and their geeky example to rebel against. But not their mate or their buddy or their pal.

Why other Dads call their kids ‘mate’ or ‘buddy’ or ‘pal’ is a complete mystery to me. Sure my three-year-old sometimes calls me his ‘best friend’, but then on other occasions his brother is also his best friend, and on others so too is his Mum, his teddy bear, the next-door neighbour’s cat and the stink beetles we pull off the lime tree every weekend.

When I call someone ‘mate’ it’s because I don’t know their name. I’m either attempting to be casual and non-threatening or I want to be deliberately threatening, such as in, ’Hey mate. Get your hands off my girlfriend’.

If I’m going to threaten my kids (with the naughty corner and its ‘comfy chair’ for those of you familiar with Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisition) you can bet I’ll be using their name and possibly their middle and surnames too.

Why any father would think that calling his son ‘mate’ will improve their relationship is just as strange. Surely a toddler is no more likely to brush his teeth or go to bed just because his friend is telling him to instead of a father figure such as their actual father commanding it.

Any why do male children get the ‘buddy’ treatment and not girls? I hear plenty of Dads in the playground calling their male children by a matey nickname but never have I heard a girl being called ‘mate’ by their father let alone ‘sheila’ (unless it’s her name), ‘gal’, ‘chick’ or even ‘girl’, though Dads will often call their dog ‘girl’.

Imagine the damage being done to a girl’s confidence knowing that in the esteem of her father she ranks third in the friendship stakes behind the family heir and the family pet.

One Dad I know even calls his son ‘Mister’ as if elevating him to premature adulthood will somehow speed his self-esteem and his physical and emotional development. At least he calls his daughter ‘Miss’, although all he’s probably doing there is reinforcing sexual stereotypes.

Why not let kids be kids and call them by their own name no matter what the situation? Let them find their own identity in the world and work out who their friends really are rather than confuse the issue with meaningless labels that speak more of the father’s insecurity than their kids’.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Hawaii Part 2 - Lavaing the Big Island

Flying into Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii is one of the more interesting aircraft descents this planet has to offer. It’s not quite up there with descending into the old Hong Kong airport or skipping over the Andes and into Santiago but it’s close.

If you choose the right side of the plane on a good day you get a great view of 5000m high volcanoes and a patch work quilt of old lava flows including the one you land on which is only 30 years old.

That novelty was lost on the kids who began screaming for food the moment we landed...

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Friday, October 08, 2010

Hawaii Part 1 - What Not to do in Oahu

As travel destinations, the Hawaiian islands of Oahu and Hawai’i (also known as the Big Island) offer unique delights and an interesting use of apostrophes, but the experience of travelling with two small kids is as about as rewarding as being caught in a lava flow.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Movie Rankings 2009

1.    Avatar ****1/2
2.    Moon ****1/2
3.    A Serious Man ****
4.    The Wrestler ****
5.    The Reader ****
6.    District 9 ****
7.    The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus ***1/2
8.    Mary & Max ***1/2
9.    Milk ***1/2
10.  Star Trek ***1/2
11.  Samson & Delilah ***1/2
12.  The Informant ***1/2
13.  Bruno ***1/2
14.  Changeling ***1/2
15.  Disgrace ***1/2
16.  Public Enemies ***
17.  Looking for Eric ***
18.  The Girlfriend Experience **1/2
19.  Gran Torino *1/2

Movie Rankings 2008

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Friday, May 08, 2009

i-Don't Care

There is no real difference between an Apple Macintosh and a Microsoft PC.

There, I’ve said it. May the cool young t-shirt clad things of the Mac world throw their twittering i-phones at me in disgust. I don’t care. May the tweed wearing, goggle-eyed PC aficionados threaten me with their Bill Gates dolls. I still don’t care.

I used PCs for years. I have recently been using a Mac. I’m yet to notice a genuine difference and I have no preference. What may sound like blasphemy to you is pretty obvious to me.

PCs have black or cream functional cubic shaped boxes. Macs have rounded corners and are any colour or even transparent. Woohoo.

PCs accept DVDs on a tray. Macs have a slot in the side. Yeehar.

PC mouses have a wheel in the middle and buttons. Mac mouses have pressure sensitive pads and a strangely erotic nipple in the middle. Big deal.

PC icons are clear and precise. Mac icons are funky and cartoonish. So what?

PC applications minimise and maximise in business-like fashion. Mac applications minimise and maximise dynamically. Yawn.

One of these computers may be fractionally faster than the other at processing binary digits through electronic circuits, but at the end of the day I don’t care what computer I’m using as long as I can send emails, write documents and browse the internet. If one computer can do this a thousandth of a second faster then why would I even notice? I’m not designing space shuttles or modelling the weather.

Whatever the computer looks like on the other side of the screen or inside makes not one iota of difference to whether my boss gets his report on time. If I’m playing a game at home no aliens are getting blasted more efficiently, no cars will drive faster and no Sonics, Marios, pedestrians or prostitutes will react any differently to my inexpert use of a keyboard, mouse, joystick or fake-guitar no matter who makes it.

The differences between PCs and Macs are a triumph of marketing, not of engineering. Marketing is after-all about perception. Cleverly, Apple have managed to position the Mac as the computer of choice for anyone young enough to have never seen a Commodore 64. Apple have seen their profits soar in line with an increasingly affluent Generation Y that have embraced the i-pod, the i-phone and the i-wank to accompany their Mac.

Yet millions of people still successfully use PCs every day. If Macs were really that much better then everyone would be using them.

So face it, the choice between a Mac and a PC is about as pointless as the choice between a Commodore and a Falcon. There’s no difference between them either.

Get over it.

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