Saturday, August 29, 2009

183. District 9

No title was ever won in August. Fact. Only the hopelessly deluded, BN politicians, and smurfs would think otherwise.

Moving on, this past week has seen the release of the Best Film of the Summer, and judging from that underwhelming Avatar trailer, quite possibly the Best Film of the Year (though the likes of upcoming releases like Where the Wild Things Are and Moon may yet have a say). Neill Blomkamp's District 9 represents all that is grand and wondrous about genre film-making, and how it magical it can be if done right.

With a modest US30m budget, a little known director and an unknown cast, District 9 towers above all other so-called tentpole blockbusters that have been released this summer (excluding the latest Potter and Michael Mann's Public Enemies). It goes to show how a little money and a lot of guts and imagination can take you a long way, and shows how the opposite is true with crapfests like the latest offerings from Bay and McG.

Remember watching the first Matrix? Or experiencing Robocop and The Children of Men for the first time? All three are based in the sci-fi genre, but what made them great was it was so much more than the guns, robots and futuristic setting on display. What sets these films apart from turds like the first two Star Wars prequels and the latest Transformers and Terminator sequels is the fact that they draw you in make you care for what's going on, and make you not want to grit your teeth through another awesome, but ultimately hollow and stupid explosion and special effects set-piece. The effects in those former films (though mind-blowingly awesome) are just incidental to the story, and not the centrepiece. They are there because they serve the main plot and characters, and not the other way round.

Now going to the cinema should be for experiences like . It shouldn't be spending two hours in the dark thinking what the fuck you're doing there and wishing you'd never made the journey in the first place.

Watching District 9 was like discovering once again that there are truly great summer films, only if you wish to look hard enough, and keep an open mind about it.

One last thing, what's the deal with G.I. Joe? They pretty much screwed the entire Snake-Eyes/Scarlet/Storm Shadow dynamic that was so cool in the comics. A very big fuck-you to Stephen Sommers for that.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Top in August

Who else would it be but Arsenal.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

182. My Brilliant Season Predictions

This season, English clubs will be playing for domestic titles only. The EPL should go to Chelsea, unless SAF finds a way to sort Man U out with the preening one's absence. Liverpool are still a striker and creative midfielder short, and Arse will be up there challenging, but unlikely to finish strongly. Man City are unlikely to break into the Big 4 this season, their midfield currently lacks balance, and the likes of Wright Philips and Ireland are not exactly world class.

For Europe, it has to be Barca, and potentially Madrid, if they can sort themselves out in defence and midfield. They have all the right ingredients, mind, but the Pellegrini will have a handful in balancing and pleasing all his attacking forces, especially the once golden, now olden Raul. Guti leaving will be the best thing for them. If I were the coach, my formation for them would be a 4-3-3 as follows:


Sergio Ramos

Xabi Alonso


But hey, I'm just a guy whose sole experience in managing is through playing Football Manager (winning the Champions League 7 times in a row mind)

Watch this space

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

181. The True Measure of a Man

And I'm not talking inches here.

So, what is it? The size of his bank account? The status achieved through his career? A natural leader that people look up to and admire? The car he drives? Being constant unlike the moon? Being the greatest person in the world before the eyes of his children?

Probably all that, depending on where you sit.

I knew a guy once, during my uni days. A pretty decent guy, but oft to much unnecessary brooding and wandering about, lost within his thoughts. You could tell that he was never really present, always that somewhere else...probably in that distant landscape existing in his mind...anyway, this guy, in one of his more lucid moments, shared with me his view on the true worth of a man.

You see, he had lost a casual friend he knew during our uni days, a guy he occasionally jammed with, and who was apparently a killer guitarist. Now his friend unfortunately succumbed to diabetes, and though he did not know him or count him as one of his closest, he was still utterly devastated, as devastated as anyone could be. And for the first time in his life, he told me, he felt closer to death than ever before. It was as if this dark shadow fell without warning or reason, a doom that made him realise how insignificant he was in the grand scheme of things. And for a waking moment in his life, he said, he felt the presence can one put it? Divinity. He felt closer to that divine Creator of all things glorious and terrible. And he knew like never before of his own mortality, and of the true worth of things.

And in that moment, he truly believed that the true measure of a man was, as he put it, the memory that he left behind...of how he would be remembered, probably a compatriot, not faultless, but someone who tried his best, and knew how to have a good time, and believed and would strive to achieve something wonderful in his life, to make a beautiful thing out of it, who would sing with a careless abandon, and constantly seek places where honey could be found.

Now, this man, as fallible as he is, and susceptible to a great many weaknesses, would always take the true path when it came to him, no matter how hard it would be, as he knew there could be no other. And it would give him comfort in the cold of night, even as there would be moments of restlessness before he slept. But during his slumber, there would be a blissful peace, for his conscience, and his soul, would be glad in the knowledge that the path he took would bring him closer to home whence the cold of that inevitable winter comes.

That's how he remembers his departed friend. And that's how he would want to be remembered.