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Tuesday, June 15

Can You Say Ultra-Shiny New Laptop?

I can!

My Dad popped up to London (or is it across? I'll go with up) yesterday, to see me, and more importantly (ahem) to bring me my new laptop that he'd picked up last time he was in Hong Kong.

It's a beast! It's got a better spec than my current desktop computer, and has the same size monitor (15") to boot. It was quite rightfully described in the review I read of it as "a blue behemoth", since it is both big and, erm, blue.

To be honest, I didn't do too much with it yesterday whilst he was here, since the football was on the TV at the time. Admittedly, it was only Denmark and Italy, but it was football nonetheless. I stand by my proud record of having seen all 8 games so far, and most of the action in each. There's been a few missed minutes here and there, but I'm not doing too bad...

After the football, we went to The Holly Bush in Hampstead for some dinner. I have to say that the food in there is exceptional, and worth every penny. Added to this is the fact that the pub is a great place, full of classic pub characters, and you have a perfect environment to spend an evening.

We were chatting away about anything and everything, mostly centred around my move to Germany this September. My Dad was / is worried about the logistics of the whole thing, and also about the sheer amount of planning that is going to be involved on my part.

Amongst other things, I need to:

That was yesterday evening. You'd have thought that I'd have done a couple of those today, or at least made a start on them.

*hangs head in shame*

Erm, no, no I haven't done any of them. As I write this, I can feel myself becoming both guilty and angry with myself for not kicking my ass into gear and doing these things that without doubt need doing.

On the plus side today, I managed to watch a DVD that I'd got through the post from my new rental company (Mailbox Movies, much more reliable than ScreenSelect). I'd been wanting desperately to see Spun for ages, and I still can't believe that I didn't go to see it in the cinema, just as I didn't watch Thirteen there either.

Never mind though, because it was absolutely fantastic. I read a review of it in DVD Review last month, where it got slated, but I was instantly hooked. It's the directorial debut of Jonas Akerlund, who has previously directed a shitload of music videos, including the seminal Smack My Bitch Up by Prodigy, as well as Ray of Light by Madonna. The constant use of lightning-fast cuts and awkward camera angles belies this past form here, but in my view it manages to translate to the bigger screen well.

The story is a relatively uninventive Drug Culture tale, but it is saved by the characterisation and the performances by the actors, Mickey Rourke in particular. He is The Cook, the guy who provides the other characters with their Meth, whilst engaging in various other nefarious activities. Somehow he lifts this character away from the stereotype which it so easily could have become, instead portraying an almost insane man that has very little care for the outside world, other than for a "tight ass".

What particularly grabbed me about the film was the short, manic, second or two that followed every occasion (and there were a lot) where a character snorted some of Cook's meth. This would usually consist of a close-up of one eye, but also with some frenetic camera and head-shaking, backed by some whizzing sound effects. You'd think this would get annoying, but it portrayed nicely on screen the instant hit and buzz that comes with doing the meth.

As I mentioned above, the camerawork was snappy, with some fantastic angles found at various points throughout. My personal favourite was the close-ups of the engine of Ross' car as he drove about. He was usually high each time he drove, and the quick revolution of engine parts showed his brain buzzing as the chemicals hit it from every angle.

I could probably go on and on, but as my last film review got slated somewhat, I'll stop here. I don't think I've included spoilers this time, but you never know. If you haven't seen it yet, go rent it and while away a couple of hours!

The rest of my day has been spent watching football on the TV, and updating my laptop with the various things that Microsoft considers "critical" to the operation of Windows. Roll on SP2! And yes, I realise that this has been quite a boring day. Better luck tomorrow, perhaps.

Come to think of it, tomorrow should be pretty cool, because I'll be going to that Blogger's MeetUp in the evening. I'm quite looking forward to that, if only to meet Reynold, a paramedic who blogs the events of each of his shifts. He writes so clearly, and speaks with such distance from any deaths he witnesses that I want to ask him how he can do it without getting emotionally involved somewhat.


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