Sunday, October 28, 2012

Copy Fail: Vodafone

Read this copy and tell me what you think the answer is...

It's down isn't it? The first thing you think of is down. Even if they were trying to be contrary, trying to go somewhere unexpected, it's not unexpected. It's not clever, funny, or memorable, and you probably wouldn't even notice the 'unexpected' answer because the advertising front of a newspaper is an inconvenience that distracts you from the headlines. Once you turn the page, where do your eyes go? 


And being voted the best is quite a big deal too. What a way to crap on your own parade.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

David Goes to Barcelona: Day One

Recently I took my first ever trip to Barcelona, and Spain in fact, in celebration of my friends Droz's 30th birthday. It started characteristically well for me, I arrived to a torrential rain storm and was soaked just going from the plane to the shuttle bus.

Then I found that my mobile (not that most sophisticated grant you) wasn’t picking up a signal. I was supposed to phone ahead to say when I was on my way to Placa Catalunya. Managing to find the bus there, I ended up begging other people on the bus to use their mobile phones. Fortunately, my friend Chris had just happened to have gone to the bus stop at the same time to wait for me, so all was saved.

Our accommodation was not far from the town centre, a B&B that was essentially someone’s flat. It had one of those old fashioned wood panelled elevators, which we used frequently.

After a wet first evening waiting around and then trying to find a restaurant that didn’t exist, we got things going on the next day by visiting Park Guell, an elaborate hillside park designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, displaying his full frothy style.

From these scenes its clear that Gaudi has a thing for cake and sand castles.

And that all manufacturers of ornaments for gold fish bowls have taken their lead from him.
There is, uniquely, an escalator route upto Guell. Shame we didn’t find it until we started on the way back.

After a rather disgusting lunch at an appalling café (fortunately the only culinary disaster of the weekend) we went over to the Sagrada Família, Gaudi’s rather staggering cathedral. One side is quite abstract...

The other more gothic, if it does appear to be melting. The Cathedral has never been finished (and there’s much debate as to whether it should be finished). This is something or a recurring there for cathedrals in Barcelona, of which there are many. All the good ones have taken at least 100 hundred years to get completed.

We were sadly unable to go into the cathedral due to huge queues. We then decided to go to the Picasso museum. Following much walking around in circles, we found that we could get in because of large queues. We spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the sculptures and odd pieces of art along the harbour.

After much wandering about in the evening, we enjoyed a really good meal of tapas and the got badly ripped off at a Ramplas bar. More to follow…


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Comic Book Villain of the Week

Crime Man

A man made of crime perhaps? Little is known about Crime Man, although he does have a very intimidating C on his top, so we can assume his crimes are not covert in nature.

He was a one time villain of Captain Marvel Jnr, a character himself who seems oddly superfluous. The point of Captain Marvel was that he was a young boy who had the power to change into a super-powered grown-up, so why would you have a child version?

Still, look at that beard. Definitely a dangerous fellow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Saturday, October 06, 2012

September Film Highlights

Read the 50 Word blog if you can; I work very hard on it.

Dredd (2012) Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Wood Harris, Lena Headey. Dir: Pete Travis

Dredd 50 Word Film Review
Judge (jury & executioner) Dredd is trapped with a rookie in an office-block, hunted by a gang. Tightly-woven actioneering with plenty of violence and thrills, if few surprises. Hardly thought-provoking, but successfully showcases potential for future franchising. Urban manages to avoid sounding silly, but distinguishing between judges is a problem.


God Told Me To (1976) Tony Lo Bianco, Deborah Raffin, Sandy Dennis, Sylvia Sidney, Sam Levene. Dir: Larry Cohen.
God Told Me To 50 Word Film Review

A Catholic policeman is distressed when several spree-killers claim God told them to kill. Makes The Omen seem like a skip through the park. The rough edges to this trippy horror actually work for it, creating an off-balance vision of religion and divinity which is psychedelic, mind-bending and very disturbing.


The Trial (1962) Anthony Perkins, Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, Akim Tamiroff, Elsa Martinelli. Dir: Orson Welles.
The Trial 50 Word Film Review

A man is arrested but without being told the reason. The surreal, black comedy of Kafka’s tale gives Welles plenty of opportunity to display his visual showmanship, transforming a ruined railway station into a decaying symbol of inertia, and self-consuming corruption. But like Josef’s case, it goes nowhere slowly.


Rebecca (1940) Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, Judith Anderson, George Sanders, Nigel Bruce, C. Aubrey Smith, Gladys Cooper. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock.
Rebecca Hitchcock 50 Word Film Review

A young girl marries a wealthy older man, but the shadow of his first wife hangs over her. Whatever battles Hitch and Selznick fought were ultimately worth it. It’s more Hollywood than Hitchcock, but this beautiful gothic melodrama is full of the master’s touches. Performances are pitch perfect.


Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) Bela Lugosi, Sidney Fox, Leon Ames, Bert Roach, Brandon Hurst. Dir: Robert Florey.
Murders in the Rue Morgue

A sideshow doctor wishes to combine the blood of his gorilla with a compatible female. Florey and cameraman Freund are an expressionistic dream team; every frame is exquisitely composed (even the monkey’s well handled). Surprisingly macabre, studio mandated cuts leave sections a bit choppy, and the support characters are rubbish.


The Bat (1959) Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead, Gavin Gordon, John Sutton, Lenita Lane. Dir: Crane Wilbur.
The Bat 50 Word Film Review

A fortune may be hidden in an old mansion and it’s sought by the a killer known as The Bat. Ropey old mystery play transferred to the screen with little imagination and a great deal of clumsy exposition. Very silly, very dated, and the twist is nicked from Agatha Christie.


Edge of Sanity (1989) Anthony Perkins, Glynis Barber, Sarah Maur-Thorp, David Lodge, Ben Cole. Dir: Gerard Kikoine.
Edge of Sanity 50 Word Film Review
When Jekyll becomes Hyde, long supressed desires are awakened. Takes the sexual undertones to their zenith, while relating the tale to Jack the Ripper, though that’s oddly incidental. Psychology’s rather simple and ultimately the story has nowhere to go but silly, and that’s in addition to gigglesome Ken-Russell-esque sauce and flamboyance.