Archive for December, 2009

The Future of Cinema

Posted in Film Reviews on 2009/12/28 by sturgeonmusic

“You are not in Kansas anymore… you are on Pandora.”

Its a film that’s taken 15 years to make. Its a film that has a budget of 237 million dollars. And its a film that director James Cameron will be remembered for forever. A film to rival the Star Wars legacy? Possibly.. It certainly comes very close.

If you haven’t seen it yet, in all its 3D or indeed 2D glory, watch this trailer before I ramble on –

Firstly, wow – at least I’m hoping that’s what you’re all thinking! This extended trailer gave you a run down of the story, and shows some of those money shots, but it still does not do the cinema experience justice. Most cinemas are using ‘RealD’ glasses, and if there’s any film worth seeing in 3D it id without a doubt this.

For me, it was my first 3D experience – and it wasn’t even at the IMAX. The living planet of Pandora literally comes alive in front of you, and when the action kicks in it is like nothing I’ve experienced before. The film also clocks in at around the 3 hour mark, so you certainly get your moneys worth. Though not once does it feel like some parts are merely filling space to get the length up, every part of the film works in terms of the story and entertainment.

Whilst the sci-fi ‘geeks’ will love it there is still something for every film lover included, a love story, plenty of action, moments of horror and humor to keep everyone hooked. Cameron has really nailed it with this film, not to mention each frame of its colorful world took 12 hours to render – and it shows in the final cut.

Film of the year? I’d say so – and what an exciting way to end 2009, sequels are rumored to be in process – so there’s certainly an exciting and positive future for the cinema industry. Go see it – now!

Winter Wonderland?

Posted in Features on 2009/12/23 by sturgeonmusic

The past two days have been probably the most eventful for a very long time in my home town of Reading, and its all down to the white stuff. A storm hit us on Monday around 2 o’clock that would literally shut down our roads, strand people in car parks and then force them to take up to a 3 hour hike back home.

Here’s my ‘day in the life’ of those events –

We started in town, parking at a smaller car park near the Oracle. Thinking nothing of the weather the christmas shopping began, with the local radio broadcasts telling everyone “not to worry – it wont settle!” – this was a massive miss-calculation. People were unaware that outside a storm was brewing, one of the worst the County has seen for at least 10 years.

At first it was picturesque, making everyone happy at the thought of a white christmas, accompanied by their shopping trips. Soon it had layered the town center with several inches, by this point people began to realize that heading home was a good option, though everyone doing this at once was not.

As the shops began to close, people rushed to their cars and once finally reached, it became apparent that this storm was hear to stay – and that we were not getting out any time soon. I spoke to a parking attendant, who informed me that there was at least a2 hour wait to leave the multistory. Additionally (and this is about the only good thing the higher authorities did to help all day) they offered a complimentary 24 hour stay, meaning the car would be safe but we had a hefty walk ahead of us.

Millets certainly had their work cut out for them, wellies and gloves were all gone in a matter of minutes as people began to make their way home. Our journey also began there, and for those of you who don’t know Reading – then involved a 3 hour long walk up hills and along main roads.

It was a knackering adventure, and thanks to my Mother neither of us went cold! Below are a few photos taken along the way –

So after all this, we finally go home – and bear in mind that this is a condensed plot version, the whole day would take much longer to explain. But its lead me to think, wow we need to re-think our lives – our society is dependent on cars that when roads are closed down due to snow, lives simply stop.

Its also an eye opener for our County Council, they did absolutely nothing to prepare the roads for such a down poor, and they knew it was coming. Whilst walking home there was no sign of this either, with no grit lorries out to give the people stranded some extra grip. So maybe next time guys, be more prepared?

Top 5 of 2009!

Posted in Features on 2009/12/20 by sturgeonmusic

It’s certainly been an eventful year, with plenty of films, star stories, music artists and controversy to talk about. So without further or do, here’s my top 5 categories of 2009 –

Number 5 – Great Television

Whether we like it or not, this year has given us some great television. It could be reality based, comedy or the ad-breaks in between them – there’s no denying that we’ve had our fair share of visual treats on our home screens. Here’s my top 5 moments from our armchair entertainment system –

Number 5 : ‘Jedward’ – The X-factor marmite captured the nation with their ‘so bad its funny’ live shows.

Number 4 : I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out Of Here!

Number 3 : Outnumbered – Those naughty kids gave some serious laughs.

Number 2 : Question Time – The BNP Interview (controversy at its most brutal)

Number 1 : The Cadbury Adverts

Number 4 – Gaming

With the birth of the next generation consoles a few years ago, this year was no exception for delivering great games on all of the platforms. Action, Adventure and all out fun – being a geek never felt this rewarding!

Number 5 : Little Big Planet – Sure it was released last year, but it’s still going as strong as ever.

Number 4 : The Sims 3 – The feel good game returned with a next gen look.

Number 3 : Farmville – The Facebook sensation that controls lives!

Number 2 : Assasins Creed 2

Number 1 : Call Of Duty – Modern Warfare 2

Number 3 – Celebrity Moments

We lost some great personalities this year, and there have also been some individuals that have ruled the tabloid media. Our culture is obsessed with celebrity lives and gossip, so there’s no way I could miss this one out.

Number 5 : Whitney Houston’s return live on X Factor – oh my!

Number 4 : Pete and Katie’s break up

Number 3 : Jade Goody’s battle with Cancer.

Number 2 : Heath Ledger’s death – it truly shocked the world.

Number 1 : Michael Jackson’s return & death – We lost a music god and the world will always remember him.

Number 2 – Music

There’s always fresh ideas, new artists, songs and controversial moments that get firmly stuck in your head all year round – this year has seen the arrival of many.

Number 5 : Kings Of Leon’s Reading Festival Performance – A great band, but an inevitable outburst at everyone’s love for ‘Sex On Fire’.

Number 4 : Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journeys return to the charts!

Number 3 : The RnB revolution – It’s everywhere, love it or hate it.

Number 2 : Florence and the Machine

Number 1 : Lady Gaga – She’s ruled the charts this year, with the tabloids, the outfits and the songwriting skills, she is the complete ‘star’ package.

Number 1 – The Movies

New directors, HD, 3D, Megan Fox… The cinemas have been bustling with entertainment this year, and in all genres. Some have flopped, some have triumphed and some never made it all –

Number 5 : Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus – The name says it all, so so bad that it becomes amazing, in a shit way.

Number 4 : Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen – Megax Fox & Robots… again = very happy geeks

Number 3 : Where The Wild Things Are – The beloved children’s book with a Spike Jonze twist.

Number 2 : District 9 – The underground hit that turned Sci-Fi movies on their head, a truly amazing experience.

Number 1 : Avatar – This film will truly change cinema forever.

So there we have it, my top 5 of 2009! – Merry Christmas & a very Happy New Year bloggers!

Escapism Cinema

Posted in Film Reviews on 2009/12/16 by sturgeonmusic

I watched Spike Jonze’s new film ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ this morning, and I have to say I was blown away. I had high hopes considering I’d read the book during my childhood, and this certainly does it justice.

It’s full to the brim with all the stylistic camera work used by Spike in his music videos, and features a soundtrack of fairly unknown writers. Not to mention the actors, few have starred in any blockbuster films – so there’s a real element of freshness here.

It’s also the reason for this blogs title – it truly is a piece of escapism, once you enter the ‘wild things’ domain you really do feel in a completely different world. This isn’t done by expensive CGI, but by the locations and the simplistic character design. The wild things themselves are also strong personalities, they form a tribe and everyone has their place (no doubt you will pick your favorite – The Bull’s mine!)

Lead character Max is also very loveable, after running away from home due to feeling lost and lonely he finds a boat and travels to the far away land of the wild things. You never discover their origin, where the location is or indeed if he has dreamed the whole adventure – but by the end of the film you don’t really care.

This is a true feel good film that’s full of emotion, adventure and truly amazing visuals. I’d suggest you go see it asap – even if you haven’t read the book, this film will connect to you on various different levels.

Documentary – Live!

Posted in Features on 2009/12/15 by sturgeonmusic

Hi all, as mentioned in a previous post my groups Photojournalism documentary is now online!

The below link is the video located on exposureroom. In addition, our official project website is linked below, hope your enjoy the video – we are certainly very proud!

http://www.exposureroom.com/winchesterhomeless

http://fcl-docu-photojourno.yolasite.com/

Rage Against the X-Factor?

Posted in Features on 2009/12/11 by sturgeonmusic

It’s usually a force fed, X-Factor winner, cover song that makes it to the Christmas number one spot each year, but 2009 could very well be a turning point. An internet phenomenon has surged through social networking sites and has nearly 607,000 followers- Rage Against The Machine for Christmas Number One.

Certainly a good way to shit all over Simon Cowell (if that’s what you want to do), but its also a great use of the song ‘Killing in the Name’ – “F*** you I won’t do what you tell me”. Rallying the cause are Tracy and Jon Morter, who in addition to making the group have not forgotten charity. http://www.justgiving.com/ratm4xmas was set up to raise money just as the normal X-Factor single does every Christmas, so the principle remains the same.

Not only is it going against the system and changing what the media (in some ways) want us to buy, but it also perhaps the most inventive way to gain support for such an idea – via Facebook. This links to yesterday’s post about Farmville, the social networking site is now the most powerful force on the internet – so where better to start a revolution?

Sure.. I watch the X-Factor if its on, but I never pay too much attention to those who win the competition, besides Leona Lewis – few have made it big. So why not change the system around? Try something new and show the corporate giants that the audience they serve can’t be controlled? (wow… RATM really do get you pumped up!)

Search for the group on Facebook now or visit the ‘justgiving’ website link shown above, if you feel like – lets make a change this December 14th. It will surely give the big boys a shock!

Internet Addicts!

Posted in Features on 2009/12/10 by sturgeonmusic

Firstly a Merry Christmas to you all!! Secondly apologies for my lack of blogging lately but its been a hectic few weeks – my main Photojournalism project is now finished however, and you can check it out by pasting the link below into your browser!

http://fcl-docu-photojourno.yolasite.com/

The video has not yet been uploaded, but I will write a full blog for the project once this is done.

And now, to today’s blog post –

I’m sure you will all recognize this, even if you don’t play it – Farmville is the new internet sensation, and its not something you have to buy, install and then sign up to either. It runs totally off your Facebook account, which has got me thinking / realizing how fast technology is shifting.

Is it the end of our lives? I wouldn’t say so just yet, and although I am addicted to this game (yes I’m ashamed to admit it) I still don’t let it conflict with my daily routine. I imagine there are some people out there that do pause their life until the strawberry’s are fully grown in 4 hours time though. There’s even a community within a community, by this I mean a Facebook group made to meet people who play Farmville. Is this too much?

Some of you may agree so, who wants to spend their lives on a game and make friends with people they will probably never meet? And I have to say I agree with this statement, but there is also some good to this. We can all worry about the prospect of spending too much time on the internet but it never did much harm to me (I say that as I blog..) – so maybe its a good thing that youngsters are finding free ways to occupy themselves online, and socialize with their friends at the same time.

It’s just a thought, a point that can be explored in more detail – but I believe it should be recognized, things such as Facebook certainly rule the world and the applications that come with it will also have a distinct effect. Farmville is just one of these, but it happens to be one of the most popular.

Check it out at http://www.farmville.com