Posts from date: February 2009
After all of the hype and expectation, the winners of this year's Oscars were announced in the early hours of this morning in Hollywood. Slumdog Millionaire lead the British invasion and swept the board winning eight Oscars including Best Film and Best Director for Danny Boyle. As anticipated, Kate Winslet picked up the award for Best Actress and Heath Ledger's family picked up a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his brilliant portrayal of the Joker in the Dark Knight.
Surprisingly, Sean Penn won Best Actor for his portrayal of Harvey Milk and unsurprisingly Benjamin Button won the gong for Best Make Up.
My wife and I took a trip last night to our local multiplex last night and watched the new Wood Allen film, Vicky Christina Barcelona. Penelope Cruz's character only appears half way through the film but she steals the show and definitely deserves this year's Best Supporting Actress award. A really enjoyable movie with a good cast and well worth £8 of anyone's money (Javier Barden is excellent in the male lead and a world away from his chilling portrayal of Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men, a role he won Best Supporting Actor for in '08).
So, in keeping with the spirit of the occasion, my top five movies from last year are, in reverse order....
5 Frost / Nixon Frank Langella is great as Robert Nixon, Michael Sheen gets better as the film evolves
4 Wall-E Loved it. Made me laugh and my wife cry!
3 Slumdog Millionaire Great score and cinematography
2 The Dark Knight The best comic book movie ever (though I can't wait for Watchmen..)
1 The Wrestler Rourke is back, and how... Raging Bull with choke holds and Spandex.!
Friday marked the release of one of the most anticipated games for this next generation of consoles; Street Fighter IV. Based on the 1991 release, Street Fighter II, and incorporating new 3D rendered backgrounds, this new iteration promises to be the best fighting game for....well, since 1991.
One of our members, the Wagbat, threw an early hat into the ring today when he claimed "Street Fighter is the greatest multiplayer franchise of all time". This started a huge debate and therefore required a blog and a pole. Personally I would love to disagree with Waggy-Waggy-Woo out of principle. However, the usual suspects (Mario Kart, Goldeneye, Call of Duty, Left for Dead) don't quite reach the levels of this staple from our past, and now, once again, our present. Leave your thoughts below if you think we're wrong or have missed any huge franchises past or present.
My first winter in London and we have the best (or worst depending on how pessimistic you are) snow storm in almost 20 years. Growing up in Washington D.C., I am used to the city shutting down at the thought of snow so I was not too shocked when the public transportation took a vacation. After a 2 hour ‘adventure’ into work that included a snow angel outside my tube station I managed to make it into work. To get all ‘Media-y’ on you, this is a perfect time to do an underground take over because the dwell time is amazing. While my face was plunged into a strangers armpit I was able read a surprising amount of tube ads. Maybe the new thing is to plan outdoor advertising according to the weather???
At lunch time Matt and I decided to venture out into the wilderness of Bloomsbury Square to build Frosty the Snowman. Armed with glasses, eyeballs, a nose, and buttons fashioned out of junk lying around our desks. In order to get into the park we have to hop a fence (with encouragement from the local park authority). We instantly start rolling snow into two enormous spheres which make the bottom and middle of frosty then with a quick construction he is built. Our snowman even attracted the likes of several girls who were not in Uni that day. Matt and I were very proud of Frosty and even had pictures taken with him and an assortment of other people in the park…see picture below.
Belated New Years Resolution - start expanding personal list of websites that I frequent on a regular basis......on 06/02/2009
I don't usually deviate from this pattern unless an interesting news story requires additional investigation or if Hayley has once again lured me to the Office website to tempt me with their dazzling array of half price shoes (It's a stiletto/wedge/sandal/boot/kitten heel wonderland)
However, I've recently become a bit of a fan of WE7.com. This site has had a lot of media coverage since its launch last year. The brainchild of Peter Gabriel, We7.com offers a free advertising-funded music streaming service which has music from four major record companies and hundreds of independent indie labels.
My favourite elemenent is the unsigned artists area, where anyone can upload their music for others to download and review, with the best artists actually recieving royalties for their work.
Since discovering We7.com the site has become a bit of a regular in my list, although I now seem to think I wield the god-like power of Simon Cowell over all these new artists.
Tim Jones once released a single (apparently particularly popular in Wales)....anyone vote that we upload this as a trial?
I'm not sure about anyone else out there but I think the best snow related story I have heard over the past week is most definitely about the penguins at London Zoo.
Although in the wild they normally thrive in sub zero Antarctic conditions, for these three little Rockhopper penguins who normally live a life of luxury (captivity?) in the zoo's enclosure- this week they got to inspect something that they have never seen before -SNOW! Rockhopper penguins are known for their inquisitive and feisty nature and I for one am glad that they are such nosey creatures because it provided us all with the cutest picture of the year so far. Who's with me?