Posts tagged “Christmas

The Mouse on the Moon / Computer Games


The Mouse on the Moon  -  Front DVD Cover  -  US Release

The natives are growing restless in the tiny country of Grand Fenwick! There’s no indoor plumbing, no money to pay for it and no one’s had a hot bath in ages!  Facing a winter without warm water, the conniving Prime Minister (Ron Moody, “Oliver!”) convinces the U.S. Government to give him a million-dollar grant by promising to use it for Grand Fenwick’s Space Program.  There’s just one pesky problem: Grand Fenwick doesn’t have a space program!  But when a local crackpot professor discovers that the region’s wine makes radical rocket fuel, the little nation determines to blast its way into the space race… and land on the moon before the U.S., Russia or anyone else!  Get ready for a spoof on space travel and political plotting that’s so funny, it’ll have you howling at the moon!  Full of “hilarious slapstick moments” (Boxoffice), this lunar laugh-riot is a “delightful farce” (The Film Daily) that’s out of this world!

1963 –  Certificate: Not Rated  –  British Film
8.5 out of 10

My computer’s graphics card broke last week, which meant I had to buy a new one.  So Cactus World said goodbye to its old Foxconn NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS and hello to the Asus NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760, which despite its marginally less impressive name is actually a lot more powerful.  Consequently I can’t afford to eat this month, but if I ever find any time to play games, I’m sure I’ll experience an enhanced level of optical pleasure (and hopefully do a bit better too.)  I have tried it out on one game, “BattleZone II: Combat Commander” and it was very good.  (BZ2 is one of my all-time, favourite games).  The alien scum had no chance.  Then again, BZ2 was released in 1999, so a pencil and paper ought to be able to provide good graphics for it.  BZ2 is one of only nine games I can honestly say I’ve ever managed to play all the way through, (even though I own around 90).  The others are “BattleZone”, “Myst”, “Riven”, “Star Trek: Voyager: Elite Force”, “Star Trek: Borg”, “Star Trek: Starfleet Academy”, “Star Trek: The Next Generation: Klingon Honor Guard” and “The Longest Journey”. I must be the only person who’s still trying to finish “Carmaageddon II: Carpocalypse Now” and “Resident Evil” (as in the first Resident Evil game).  What can I say?  I’m hopeless at computer games and I like to explore the places I visit and not just go around killing everything.  At the rate I’m going I probably won’t even unwrap my pre-ordered copy of “LEGO Batman 3” until around the year 2145.  I think my oldest game is a 1990 ‘big box’ copy of “MegaTraveller 1: The Zhodani Conspiracy”. I haven’t actually got around to playing it yet, but it comes on a number of 5.25” floppy discs.  However, this film is even older than that… and me.

If I’d tried to come up with a list of my favourite films when I was young, this one would have been in it. In fact I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the two films that stick in my mind the most from when I was little.  (The other is “The Great Escape”, mainly because it always seemed to be on the TV every single Christmas.)  When I got older and DVDs came along, it was one of the very first ones I bought and I think the first one I got from Amazon via its US site.  This was back in 1993, when the idea of buying things like that from abroad still seemed a bit risky and weird.  Sadly it’s not been released on Blu-ray yet, so I still have my non-anamorphic flipper disc, with the widescreen version on one side and a horrible pan-and-scan one on the other.  The part where Bernard Cribbins tries to do what looks like The Twist in the café, only to find that the jukebox seemingly just plays music that would be more at home in barrel organ, has become a long-term memory that’s stuck in my mind for many years.  I don’t know why; it’s funny how random things like that happen.  Ed Bishop has a small part in it as an American Astronaut.  (He later went on to become the commander of SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organization) in “UFO”, where he got to drive around in a cool-looking car and hang out with attractive women in silver hotpants, who wore purple wigs and worked on the Moon.)  With its political satire and caricature of the British Empire, “The Mouse on the Moon” is still pretty funny.  But more importantly it’s part of my childhood.  It reminds me of when I was young, my parents were both alive and life felt far simpler.  A wonderful film.

It doesn’t really have much of a soundtrack. A few bits of incidental music but that’s about it.

Movie Weather Forecast. Nothing to report.  I’d watched it before I decided to record the weather, so I’ve nothing much to say, although anecdotally I think it was pretty good, warm and sunny.

The trailer’s actually quite fun, although it wasn’t easy to find a decent copy online, despite there being one on the DVD itself.

Recommend for politicians, astronauts and twitchers.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment? Grand Fenwick manages to use its locally produced wine to power a space rocket.  I guess that’s pretty badass, although if you ask me it looks even more like a criminal waste of good alcohol.  It must have been an excellent vintage.  Perhaps it’s something for Richard Branson to look into, after the very sad new this week about Virgin Galactic.

The Mouse on the Moon at IMDB (6.5 /10)
The Mouse on the Moon at Wikipedia
The Mouse on the Moon trailer on YouTube

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It’s Another New Year, Again


Like just about everywhere else (on Earth anyway that also uses the Gregorian calendar, so in galactic terms that’s hardly anywhere at all really), New Year has arrived in Cactus World. I can’t say it looks or feels much different to last year, but listen, I’m a reasonable person, I’m willing to give it a few days before writing it off totally.

I’ve not been out much recently, (only once in the last ten days in fact, to the corner shop). I’m starting to resemble Matthew Malone from the slightly obscure (but actually rather funny) 90’s sit-com Game On. Then again, I have been rather busy reading my huge pile of four Christmas cards that I’ve received; that’s three more than I sent too. (As an aside, I’ve been rather struck by the fact that my mum, who died just over two years ago, got more cards than I did, even before allowing for the Royal Mail’s fairly useless redirection service.) Of course, my huge pile of two Christmas presents has been a bit of an issue too, in terms of the mess that’s resulted from their opening totally blocking the route to my front door. It’s amazing how much wrapping paper it takes to wrap a bar of (vegan) chocolate and some novelty plasters (with words like “bam”, “ouch” and “aaargh” written on them).

I should really be asleep at the moment, as it’s the middle of the night. Unfortunately, when I went to bed I found I couldn’t sleep. This is a noteworthy incident as generally I can sleep anywhere at any time, almost instantly. (Somewhat in the fashion of this dog). However, tonight, as soon as I turned off the light, (ha, that rhymes), my mind was filled with the dread of having to return to work next week having done hardly any of the things I was going to “catch up with” over the Christmas break. Having gone to bed, I stupidly laid there in the dark and started to think through the consequences of this failure to its logical conclusion, which started with letting everyone down, followed by redundancy, bankruptcy, living in a cardboard box under the bridge by the river and finally suicide. So I decided to get up and order some food to be delivered instead.

On a lighter note, I have watched a lot of DVDs recently. I’d like to be able to say that the 143 minutes of “The Sacrifice”, Andrey Tarkovskiy’s final film and epic tale of belief and philosophical, religious bargaining was my favourite; or perhaps that classic of cool Blu-ray special effects, heart-rending tragedy and sexy badass villains (by which I mean Catwoman rather than the Penguin) that is Batman Returns; or even perhaps even the depressing, mind-fuck comedy of near art-classic “Synecdoche, New York”. However, the one I liked most was “Bring It On”. I’ve always had a keen interest in cheerleading, honest; and it’s got a vampire slayer and Spiderman‘s girlfriend in it too.

Oh yes, the last two gigs I saw last year were totally awesome!

I’m really tired now…

Right now I’m listening to “Wow” by Cinerama.