First teaser trailer for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland! Looks fantastic! Check it out!

Review - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Saturday night was a magical night at the movies; right off the bat you knew there was going to be something different about the 6th Harry Potter film. The tone for the film was set instantly and instilled in the audience that this film was going to be dark and also bring something new to the epic saga that the HP films have become. The obvious focus on romantic teen urges was established early on, with Harry’s stumbling albeit successful attempts to flirt with a muggle waitress. With this little bit of fun, littered with some joyful bantering between Dumbledore and Harry the movie jumped forward. Saying this I quite liked the pace of the film, yes those who have not read the books may miss out on the smaller details that were alluded to, although this is the case with all the films. Jim Broadbent’s addition to the cast as Professor Slughorn was magnificent; when announced I was surprised, but expected something different to what was delivered – but nonetheless brilliant. Kudos to Broadbent for his continued eagerness to dip into his bottomless pit of talent.

Michael Gambdon finally delivered a Dumbledore that I had no issue with. I have always found his delivery of the role to be too forceful, loud and temper mental. Whereas in this film he finally found the stride that Richard Harris had come into so readily in the first and second films and as a result he shone brightly in the film that required Dumbledore’s presence and figure to be gloriously understated. The main cast of Radcliffe, Grint and Watson have grown as actors in leaps and bounds over the course of the films and with this film it is obvious that they are no longer the unknown child actors that they were almost 10 years ago. Watson in particular has grown since the previous film – her slight looks and expressions regarding the love interest between her and Ron were incredibly expressive within the 3 seconds that they were apparent on screen. Despite the dark tone to the film it was by far the funniest of the saga so far – the cast were finally allowed to stretch their comedic wings, Radcliffe a little underplayed but shone through in the funeral scene with Hagrid and Slughorn but Grint clearly stole the scenes that he was allowed with his comedic timing.

The supporting cast was both rewarding and disappointing, with Robbie Coltrane pushed even more to the sidelines to the point where he was awarded next to no screen time, whereas I had hoped that they would start to boost his inclusion more considering his smaller role in the final book. On the other hand Alan Rickman was finally rewarded with much deserved screen time that has been missing in the past few films. Looking a little bigger around the stomach, Snape oozed his way into the crucial points of the story with ease – particularly effective in the bathroom scene with Draco and surprisingly expressive in the final scenes with Dumbledore. I had hoped for slightly more in the confrontation with Harry, I felt that particular speech required more grandeur than it received. The end in general felt anticlimactic to a point and was very much like the end of a Star Wars movie; it was a prelude to a larger journey. This was emphasized by the removal of the final fight so that the end of this film did not feel repetitive with the end of the final film. This was the only moment in the film that made me pause and think less of the film as a whole, otherwise I felt that the film was well balanced for the most part with the exception of towards the end where as a result of removing that final fight scene all other characters seemed pushed aside in favour of Potter, Dumbledore, Snape and Malfoy. I certainly look forward to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts One and Two wholeheartedly.

I'm so embarrassed. I wish everybody else was dead!

I have been reading up on what Futurama’s renewal means for the series as well as my hopes that the show will once again reach its height that it ended on with its 4th Season all those years ago. Let me state that I do not include the 4 DVD movies that were released within the ‘seasons’ of the show, despite their separation into episode for tv distribution. Out of these 4 movies I can honestly say that they were a disappointment, Bender’s Big Score was the only one that I felt hit the mark – and it felt like it took a while for the cast to find their feet again in the roles. The others were rather disappointing, The Beast With a Billion Backs was average, Bender’s Game was absolutely dreadful – honestly who thought that retelling the first half of the film slightly differently was a good idea? Beyond the Green Yonder was a step in the right direction however and once again provided an ending to Futurama.

With the announcement that there was going to be a 5th Season I was quite excited despite what the movies had brought into the Futurama universe. Episodic format suits the series and the writers were obviously stretched to create a feature-length story that held the same punch that the original series did.

On to the crux of the matter and the reason behind this post; the renewal. When announced at ComiCon09 that there would be another season, all involved were thrilled;

Katey Sagal commented that "To me, Futurama was one of the smartest written shows that I've ever participated in, so I thought that was a no-brainer that this has to come back. And we've all said goodbye, I can't tell you how many times we've all said goodbye to each other (laughs), but we keep coming back for more, which is fantastic." And Billy West said that he considers himself lucky that the show was coming back and that he would have been a fan of the show even if he had not been involved.

And on this point the question of whether or not he will be involved has been raised. When announced it was stated that all the original cast were returning, and the show was to be aired on Comedy Central (rather than FOX) with a reduced budget and writing staff. And it seems that this reduced budget has affected the salaries of the cast, Comedy Central have issued a casting call for the main cast after being unable to meet the demands placed on them by the cast. Most notably the roles apparently up for grabs are those currently (or previously?) held by Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio and Billy West. For those who are unaware Sagal voices Leela, DiMaggio voices Bender and has also become noticed in his role as Marcus Fenix in the Gears of War games. Lastly, Billy West provides his enormous talent to voice Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Zoidberg, Zapp Brannigan and countless supporting characters.

I’m sorry but on these cast members alone it seems odd that after fighting for the show’s renewal for so long only to replace the cast seems pointless and will definitely lose its audience – no matter how good the writing may be. I am sincerely hoping that the problem resolves with a result that means that no actors will be replaced and the show will not diminish as a result of squabblings over money.


I am seriously contemplating getting an iphone at the moment and came across this random article on the web about using your old iphones as a server farm =p Oh and also an R2 USB hub!

Nerdy? Yes. Awesome? Yes.


I recently completed building the website for this year’s SYMPOSIA. For those of you who are unaware SYMPOSA is a design conference similar to AGIDEAS and SEMI-PERMANENT that is held in Wagga Wagga NSW. It is in its 6th Year. I am pretty happy with how the site worked out – I learnt a bit about streamlining the way I make flash sites which will definitely assist in my portfolio site which is currently at the stage of a functioning template awaiting content.

Ooh and linkage to the SYMPOSIA site here.


Bill Nighy has jokingly commented in the past that he is the only British actor not to appear in the Harry Potter films, but this will no longer be the case! Nighy has stated that he is very interested in appearing the one of the films on numorous occasions in the past and will now have the opportunity as he has been cast in The Deathly Hallows as a yet unnamed character. The smart money is on Rufus Scrimegour however, Director David Yates has commented in the past that if the character was to be included he would imagine noone but Nighy in the role. I admit that it is very easy to imagine him with a lion's mane-type hair style dressed up in the wizards get-up.

IGN's Top 25? Boo.

IGN.com have come up with a 'Top 25' list (link) of Harry Potter characters and i must say that i am very disappointed with the list. It may be personal preference, but i really do not think that the titular character is the general public's favourite character. I honestly do not think that if there was a poll that the popular opinion would lead the the Top 5 playing out as they have it;

1. Harry Potter
2. Hermione Granger
3. Ron Weasley
4. Albus Dumbldore
5. Severus Snape

I think that a couple of those characters would make the Top 5, and all would probably be in the Top 10(ish) but really? I think they missed quite a few characters i.e. Dobby, Kreacher, Hedwig (not a huge character but people were attached to her), where are Mr and Mrs Weasley? and i am postive that Fred and George would reach the Top 7 rather than No. 11 and Hagrid would definately be in the Top 5, not No. 9. There are people in there that really shouldn't be;

25. Gilderoy Lockhart
Come on, he was a nothing character, appeared in 2 books (very briefly in 1) and was so vain and irritating that you disliked his character from the get go and if the quality of a written character is how they have judged the Top 25 then it is plausible, but i doubt this is the case.

22. Sybil Trelawny
A very brief character - featuring only due to her Prophet role and a obviously so - plays no other role in the books.

16. Cho Chang
The role of Harry's first love, but after she played out this part throughtout The Goblet of Fire and The Order of the Phoenix she disappeared and was mentioned from time to time as a reminder of 'oh yeh, Harry had a girlfriend!'

12. Dolores Umbridge
I agree with her inclusion, but her ranking confuses me, i feel it should be far lower.

As i said this may be a matter of personal opinion so i may as well finish off with my own Top 10 and as you can see i favour the supporting cast rather than the main;

1. Rubeus Hagrid
I am very sad about his dwindling appearances in the films, he was such a huge part (no pun intended) of the books that he deserves far more screen time than he is currently receiving. Especially when Robbie Coltrane's portrayal of him is the most loyal to the books - in fact he is the character from the books, you don't see Coltrane when you look at him at all. Hopefully he will feature more in The Half Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows, Part One and Part Two. I am hoping for that spectacular motorbike sequence at the beginning of the final book to be included in the film - it would be nicely reminiscent of the first film.

2. Dobby
Fred & George Weasley
4. Sirius Black
5. Ron Weasley
6. Severus Snape
7. Neville Longbottom
Hermione Granger
9. Harry Potter
Minerva McGonagall

As you can see Harry is way down on the list, but i will comment that he was a very well written character and props. to J.K.Rowling for capturing those angsty teen moments which make Harry oh so irritating to read about.

Ryan Reynolds is Hal Jordan

A few days ago it was announced that WB had narrowed their choices for the role of the Green Lantern down to 3 actors; Justin Timberlake, Bradley Cooper and Ryan Reynolds. After reading this I thought the chances of Reynolds actually landing the role was rather small, especially with Marvel/20th Century Fox building a solo Deadpool movie in which he would play the titular character. It has been announced however that Reynolds has in fact landed the role, which will be more a popular film for him compared to Deadpool. He has proven with Blade 3 and Wolverine that he is definitely a man who can be an action star if need be, which and it is fantastic to see that he is being given the opportunities to do so. Hopefully the film is a success, WB’s previous superhero hits include Batman Begins and the The Dark Knight, but Superman Returns wasn’t the success they were hoping for and have had recent legal issues with the rights to the Superman franchise and now have a deadline (2011) to begin production on a new film.


I have been catching up on 2 years worth of Las Vegas episodes that I have missed out on since the end of the 3rd Season, they’ve been good so far but I was absolutely stoked to see a guest appearance by everyone’s favourite under-advertised Ghostbuster – Ernie Hudson! And I must say he’s looking good given the 20 years since the original Ghostbusters was released – bodes very well for the upcoming Ghostbusters 3, hopefully Harold Ramis, Dan Akyroyd and Bill Murray can hold up as well – Bill may be showing his age but I have faith that he will shine as brightly as usual.

Into the Blizzard

A recent article on ign.com provided an insight into what Blizzard Entertainment Headquarters looks like from the inside and the studio looks awesome. I would really like to work somewhere like this one day but the only downside to working for such a company is that unless you are a number in a corporation – not making a comment on Blizzard, but rather on large successful corporations. I noticed that the entrance sign to the studio is very reminiscent of the entrance sign for Pixar Studios.

The halls of the studio are adorned by artworks by the Blizzard team, which has always been of a majestic quality and look amazing on such a scale. Just the very hallways are so very inspirational just imagine what it’s like to be wandering those halls every day and be constantly inspired, especially in this case because they would be seeing work related to what they are working on. Another bonus is of course the beach volleyball setup that they have, all these things are very superficial of course when compared to the need for those people that you are working for and with to be decent human beings and involve you in at least their working lives. Hopefully I can find a very nice job at the end of the year, whatever the job may be.

nb. all images are obviously sourced and the property of ign.com


I cannot believe the heights that the arrogance of Michael Bay will soar to, nay - strive to. In a recent interview with The Early Show Transformers star Megan Fox commented that she still does not understand the latest film 100% and that full comprehension of the film is accessible only to geniuses. Unfortunately for her Michael Bay heard about this and jumped into defensive mode/unnecessary anger much like he did when he discovered that Terminator Salvation was going to feature giant robots – because giant robots were his thing, because it is his original idea and all! *sarcasm for those who didn’t get it =p*

Bay stated to the Wall Street Journal;

"Well, that's Megan Fox for you. She says some very ridiculous things because she's 23 years old and she still has a lot of growing to do. You roll your eyes when you see statements like that and think, "Okay Megan, you can do whatever you want. I got it." But I 100% disagree with her. Nick Cage wasn't a big actor when I cast him, nor was Ben Affleck before I put him in "Armageddon." Shia LaBeouf wasn't a big movie star before he did "Transformers"-and then he exploded. Not to mention Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, from "Bad Boys." Nobody in the world knew about Megan Fox until I found her and put her in "Transformers." I like to think that I've had some luck in building actors' careers with my films."

And when I read this I must say I felt a sudden rush of anger and disbelief. In one brief statement he claims responsibility for the careers of Nicolas Cage, Will Smith, Martin Lawrence and Ben Affleck. I mean come on, when people think of these actors and their early roles that gained them fame they don’t think of Michael Bay films – action heavy, light on story. Especially Will Smith, yes Bad Boys was a success for him, but not really a career defining moment – that title remains with The Fresh Prince of Bel air and Men in Black. And the comment that Shia LaBeouf wasn’t a big movie star before Transformers holds little merit. Yes it did have a major impact on his career but he already had other films being released in 2008 that would have done the job ala Indiana Jones and Eagle Eye and Disturbia did attract some attention as well. Speilberg has been keeping an eye on the young actor’s career since Holes back in 2003 and it should be noted that he also appeared alongside Will Smith in I, Robot as well. All these things being said and my anger being set aside I will say this about Bay; he can most definitely direct action but he should leave the rest of it to someone else who appreciates a more delicate approach to film making.

nb. the image above makes me shudder, i wonder what a filmmaker of Spielberg's caliber see's in Bay.

Review – The Proposal

Myself, Liz and another couple went and saw The Proposal last night, which I class as yet another typical Sandra Bullock film with the addition of Ryan Reynolds providing comedic backup. The story was typical of the genre and the majority of the ‘twists’ were predictable – it would have been a nice difference if Bullock’s character rejected Reynolds’ at the end, but that is not what the audience is looking for.

Bullock provided her usual performance, which was decent as per usual. It would be nice to see her stretch into a weaker role with a character that was not as headstrong or alpha ‘male’ as such. The roles that she undertakes are generally the same or similar and it is not like she is unattractive and would not be able to perform in a more feminine role. Reynolds’ performance was not as headstrong as he has appeared in other films and a result of this was a noticeable reduction in his comedic applications throughout. The nature of his humour relies upon sarcasm and his performance does benefit from this reduction, although if the producers wanted the film to be more of a comedy than it was the writer’s should have provided Reynolds with more material. The few special effects that were evident in the film, such as the dog and eagle sequence were poorly and obviously executed with much room left for improvement.

Overall the film wasn’t too bad, an above average romantic comedy that still suffers from the fault of including a wedding that seems to drag films down to a point. The lead actors performances were adequate for the medium but in no way near their personal bests.

Story – 5
Lead Cast Performance – 6.5
Supporting Cast Performance – 6
Special Effects – 2.5
Audio – 5



Chris Landreth recently visited Wagga Wagga to give a talk on his short films and his most recent short, The Spine. His talk was enlightening and most definitely one the most interesting talks I have been to in the past several years. He covered topics from how he began using Maya (as a bug tester/reporter) right up until the release of his current short. He spoke of the state of the industry and how he feels about CGI in film, a view that I agree with whole-heartedly. He stated that he felt that just because there is the ability to superimpose the director’s wishes into the film’s environment does not mean that it should be done. Whether it is through adding additional background crowds or sky replacements, also whether it is a blockbuster or a smaller low budget film this is regardless. Landreth noted that this is particularly the case with the lower budget films.

His films you can judge for yourself by following this link;


His use of psycho realism is something that intrigues me that I would not mind investigating myself – I personally prefer Ryan to The Spine, this may be due to that I have seen Ryan a number of times but on initial viewing The Spine does not hold the same resonance that Ryan did.

Review - Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Revenge of the Fallen delivered what Michael Bay promised – big robots, big action, big movie. None of these factors create a good film however, which is something that I feel that Transformers provided. Unlike the first film, which was well balanced between the Transformers, the Humans and the action this sequel suffers from a lack of humanity. The film focused on the Transformers and their role on Earth and what had happened in the past 2 years since the end of the first film – hunting down the remaining Decepticons and apparently some new ones as well, with the help of some new Autobots that have also arrived on Earth. Unfortunately the film focuses on these new supporting Autobots more than the previous films support crew (with the exception of Bumblebee) that were barely provided with 5 lines between them.

The failings of this film was that there seemed to be no real thought in regards to the need for breathing room in the film. There were very little low points, constant eye-candy involving majestic special effects in ridiculous fight sequences. Even the few quiet moments during the film were not without incident; the quietest portion of the film was the college sequence which was riddled with transformer(esque) events as well as a meeting with Optimus. It really felt like the human characters could not exist without a transformer holding their hand. I thought the Shia LeBeouf’s acting was noteworthy – displaying the promise that Steven Spielberg has stated that drew him to the young star and it was nice to see Hugo Weaving have the chance to deliver more lines as the imposing Megatron. The Transformer battles were stronger than before, but unbalanced in comparison to the first film – Megatron was near invincible when attacked by all the Autobots in the first film but in this he was pressed to defeat Optimus Prime when he was one of 3 Decepticons fighting him at the one time. On that note the Fallen was pathetic, when compared to the presence demanded by Megatron in the first film he was nothing. Even compared to the combined Transformer that appeared briefly he held no presence. A very action heavy film which was left lacking in the story department.

Story – 6.5
Lead Cast Performance – 7
Supporting Cast Performance – 8

Special Effects – 9.5

Audio – 9


Nathan Fillion = Hal Jordan?

Stumbled across this fan-made trailer for the proposed Green Lantern film today - incorporating elements from the Matrix, Dragonball Evolution, Star Trek, Fantastic Four and a heap of other films. Possibly one of the best fan-made trailers that i have seen to date, its worth a watch - you can really imagine Fillion as the Green Lantern after watching this.