Random stuff on Life, the Universe and Science Fiction


30 Day Film Challenge: Day 6 – A Film That Reminds You of Somewhere

I’ve never been a huge fan of anime but this film and the company in which I watched it became a big part of my university life. It was the film we watched at my first meeting of the Durham University Science Fiction and Fantasy Society. I later went on to be on the society exec and spent almost every Wednesday evening in Elvet Riverside, Lecture Theatre 142 (ER142) watching a film and an episode of a TV show. This film reminds me of that room and all the hours of fun watching scifi that I spent there.

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 5 – A Film That Reminds You Of Someone

This was the first film I went to see at the cinema with the woman who is now my fiancée. Any time I see it or see the DVD in a shop, I’m reminded of that evening and I smile.

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 4 – A Film You Watch To Make You Feel Down

I don’t really watch films deliberately to feel down, but this is a harrowing tale if ever I saw one. Absolutely fantastic film.


30 Day Film Challenge: Day 3 – A Film You Watch To Feel Good

I picked this film up on DVD from my local library shortly after it came out in 2000. I watched it on our computer (the only DVD player in the house at the time) three times in the week I had it out and then it was one of the first DVDs I bought when we got our Playstation 2. I absolutely love it. A charming and quirky Australian comedy about the community surrounding the Radio Telescope in the small town of Parkes, New South Wales, that was thrust into the forefront of world events when it was chosen as the southern hemisphere’s prime receiving station for the Apollo 11 mission. Of course, not everything goes quite to plan. Sam Neill shines as he leads a fantastic local cast accompanied by American Patrick Warburton. The soundtrack is also great, full of contemporary music, and one of the few CDs I’ve ever actually bought.  If you’ve not seen this film, I’d check it out.

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 2 – Your Least Favourite Film

Why, just why…. This film was little more than an excuse for Mike Myers to see how many rude jokes and obvious innuendos he could fit in to a single movie. It also to me started the trend of crap spoofs that, rather than intelligently send up the originals, just use the framework to make bad jokes and get a few cheap laughs (Scary Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans etc. etc.). You’ll have to wait till Day 18 and my favourite comedy for an example of the right way to make a spoof film. Obviously, the films that have followed Austin Powers’ pattern have got progressively worse and worse, but to my mind, this one kicked it off and I really, really hate it.

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 1 – Your Favourite Film

I’m a few days behind my twitter friends @mekster and @amezzeray on this but it looked fun. Basically the aim is to post about a film each day in 30 different categories (see the bottom of this post). First up is My Favourite Film:

Just the best film ever. One of the most fantastic villains ever invented pitted against the noble crew of the USS Enterprise-E. If you are a fan of Star Trek or just a general science fiction fan and you’ve not seen this, go watch it now. Resistance is Futile.


List for the challenge
Day 1 – Your Favorite Film
Day 2 – Your Least Favorite Film
Day 3 – A Film You Watch to Feel Good
Day 4 – A Film You Watch to Feel Down
Day 5 – A Film That Reminds You of Someone
Day 6 – A Film That Reminds You of Somewhere
Day 7 – A Film That Reminds You of Your Past
Day 8 – The Film You Can Quote Best
Day 9 – A Film With Your Favorite Actor (Male)
Day 10 – A Film With Your Favorite Actor (Female)
Day 11 – A Film By Your Favorite Director
Day 12 – A Film By Your Least Favorite Director
Day 13 – A Guilty Pleasure
Day 14 – The Film That No One Expected You To Like
Day 15 – The Film That Depicts Your Life
Day 16 – A Film You Used to Love, But Now Hate
Day 17 – Your Favorite Drama Film
Day 18 – Your Favorite Comedy Film
Day 19 – Your Favorite Action Film
Day 20 – Your Favorite Romantic Film
Day 21 – Your Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film
Day 22 – Your Favorite Horror Film
Day 23 – Your Favorite Thriller/Mystery Film
Day 24 – Your Favorite Animated or Children’s Film
Day 25 – Your Favorite Documentary Film
Day 26 – Your Favorite Foreign Language Film
Day 27 – Your Favorite Independent Film
Day 28 – The Most Obscure Film You’ve Ever Seen
Day 29 – Your Favorite Film As a Kid
Day 30 – Your Favorite Film This Time Last Year

The King’s Speech

Today I saw what is definitely an early contender for the best film of 2011.

For those who are unaware of the story, The King’s Speech stars Colin Firth as Prince Albert, Duke of York. As the second son of King George V, Albert, or Bertie to his family, is not first in line to the throne. Nevertheless, he still has many public duties to perform but is held back by a serious speech impediment that caused him to stammer badly whenever speaking and especially in public. After a dreadful experience at his closing speech of the Empire Exhibition in 1925, Albert sought the help of Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue.

The film follows the relationship between Albert and Logue through the death of George V, the ascension to the throne of Albert’s brother, Edward VIII, and his eventual abdication leaving Albert as King of a country leading up to war. Now King George VI (Albert considered too Germanic to be used as a Regnal name), he must bring his people together in uncertain times and support them through the war.

Colin Firth is fantastic in a performance that has rightly been pegged for all kinds of awards and shows us vividly all the struggles of growing up in a family as unusual as Albert’s, and what that can do to a person. All the while he is struggling to live up to the expectations of  a family, an institution, a Country and an Empire.

Firth is expertly backed up by Geoffrey Rush, with his usual brilliance, as Logue and Helena Bonham Carter in a role that’s really proved to me that I’d under-rated her as a serious actress, as Elizabeth, Albert’s wife.

Also of note among a stellar cast are Guy Pierce as Edward VIII, Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill and Derek Jacobi as the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The writing in this movie is great. There’s quite a bit of banter between the leads and there are some really hilarious scenes which I really wasn’t expecting considering the seriousness of much of the subject matter.

Overall it’s a fantastic movie and easy to recommend to anyone. I expect it to win lots of Awards in February.

God Save the King!