What marketing idiot (née liar) first suggested highlighting the ‘fact’ that low-energy light bulbs last longer than old-fashioned, incandescent ones? If they’re that good, how come I’ve had five blow in the last two months? And it’s not like those are the only ones I’ve had to replace over the past few years either. On Saturday evening the latest of these failed, the Omicron 40W über-bulb-monster I had in my lounge. In doing so it took out the trip-switch too, leaving me to grope around in the dark for ages for a 5A fuse; (thanks to the amazing ability of rechargeable batteries not to actually hold their charge, my torch went flat after about a minute of use.) I’m sure the Omicron is less than two years old and it cost nearly £20 too. It’s all very well making changes to your lifestyle in an effort to ‘save the planet’, but now I’ve got to go and spend about £60 on five stupid light-bulbs. That would have bought well over 100 in the ‘old days’. What a rip-off. No wonder they’re called low-energy bulbs, because they never bloody work! In a spookily similar way, this film features modern technology that does us no good at all too.
2006 – Certificate: Not Rated – USA
Hollywood remakes of Japanese horrors get a bad press, which isn’t always fair; but some film snobs like to trash them anyway, out of principle. This one was no exception. It’s true, most of the characters in it are somewhat one-dimensional and don’t always act very logically; and being a film about technology it’s aged very quickly too; it’s all pre-Smartphone era stuff. Worst still, the plot has more big holes in it than an undersized fishnet bodystocking on an elephant; (steady on, don’t get too excited about that thought). However, the acting’s okay and the special effects fine. I actually really liked it. It’s genuinely sinister, the cinematography and sound is great and the ending suitably apocalyptic. The car crash works really well too. The overall tone of the film is its best feature though, dark, disturbing, increasingly isolating and ultimately offering little real hope; the very ending reminded me of the ending of “The Terminator”. If you can get into this and overlook its weaker elements, you’ll probably really enjoy it. I don’t get the creeps from watching films very often, but I did from this one. (Memo to self: don’t watch spooky films with headphones on, in a dark room with just an eerie green light bulb, low-energy of course, for company.) When I went to the toilet after watching it, I did feel a little uncomfortable with my back to the door; I’d have hated to be grabbed by one of those dead people things when answering the call of nature. I haven’t watched the two follow ups or the original Japanese version yet, but I will at some point.
Recommended for people who like creepy films. Boo!
1 cat, no chainsaws or decapitations. The cat looked and sounded pretty gross though, having been locked in a cupboard for ages, poor thing. :-(
Top badass moment? Just because you’re on the run, escaping from unearthly, inhuman ‘dead things’ and you’ve just seen you’re best friend suddenly turn into a cloud of ash, that’s no reason to neglect dental hygiene. It was good to see reluctant hero Mattie grab her toothpaste and toothbrush from the bathroom as she made her escape. Taking the advice your dentist gives you seriously, is badass. Imagine having to deal with a bad toothache at the same time the world is facing Armageddon; that would really suck.
I’ve bought myself a new camera. It’s a Samsung ST200F. It’s a hideous purple colour, (because they were out of stock of the black ones.) It’s got a 16 megapixel resolution, which is a lot because one mega of anything is a lot, so 16 must be an awful lot. It’s got a memory card in it that allows me to store 3,403 pictures on it, if I take them all at the camera’s maximum resolution, or 97,346 if I take them at its minimum. I doubt if I’ve taken more than 5,000 photos in my entire life, which means if I continue to take photos at the same rate in future, I could use the same memory card to store all the photos I take between now and when I’m 954 years old. I can’t help thinking that even if I live that long, both the camera and the memory card will have stopped functioning by then. Or to put it another way, I’d have to take 16-17 photos an hour for a whole year (assuming I had eight hours sleep a night) to fill the memory card in that time. I’m not sure even my lounge is worthy of that much study. Anyway, this is the first ‘bit of technology’ I’ve bought for a couple of years, so it’s all very exciting; and when I work out why I might want to take advantage of one of its functions and upload my photos into a cloud, I’ll let you know. It also has a setting called Beauty Shot, which apparently improves the appearance of someone by automatically removing blemishes from them. I don’t know why it doesn’t just go the whole way and simply provide you with a picture of a professional model, superimposed on a background of your choice. Still, I can’t wait to test this function’s capabilities on myself, that’ll give it a real workout; I hope it doesn’t break it. It sounds a lot cheaper and a lot less hassle than conventional plastic surgery. I ought to point out that I’ve only bought this camera as I broke my old one when I dropped it on the ground and a tiny bit of plastic snapped off it. I did this the same day I was walking backwards in front of a load of people and fell over a huge boulder that had been pulled out of a river and left there. It’s quite hard to appear nonchalant and casual when you’ve just been dumped on your ass like that in front of 30 people, but I think I got away with it…. Like my life, this film features a plot with a technological edge to it too.
1999 – Certificate: 12 – USA
So, at long last, here’s a romantic comedy that ‘real men’ can watch, because it’s really a tough, no-nonsense science fiction movie. Well, sort of. It hasn’t got any aliens in it, or spaceships, but it does have a couple of big explosions and a dodgy CGI aeroplane. I’ve always like Alicia Silverstone too, because she’s a great actress, honestly. It has nothing to do with what she looked like in her Batgirl costume two years before. No, really it doesn’t. I do have to admit that I did kind of enjoy this film. To be sure, it’s entirely unrealistic, stupid and unbelievable, but it is quite funny in places and the background to the entirely predictable plot is really quite fun and certainly different. The supporting cast does a great job as well. They could have done a lot more with the interesting ‘trapped underground for 35 years’ scenario, but I guess that’s what happens when you let romance get in the way of a perfectly good sci-fi story. However, it’s all very watchable, easy on the brain and well made too. An effortless way to spend 99 minutes.
Recommended for fans of extreme cinema who want to push the boundaries of romantic comedy to its limits. Or maybe not.
No cats, decapitations or chainsaws.
Top badass moment? As a bit of a dance-floor diva myself, (honestly, please don’t assume I’m lying), Adam’s dancing in the nightclub deserves some respect. Being able to do that after living your whole life in a hole in the ground with just your parents for company, has to be badass. In fact being able to do almost anything after growing up in those circumstances is probably badass.