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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in angriest's LiveJournal:

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    Monday, January 31st, 2011
    4:13 pm
    What were the best animated films of 2010?
    The next episode of my podcast is going to be dedicated to recent animated films, and with that in mind I want to find out people's opinions on animation in the past 12 months.

    First: please leave a comment with your favourite animated films from the past year. You can rank as many as you want, or just mention your one favourite. I'll tally them all in a method of spurious scientific accuracy to try and come up with a Top 5 or 10 of the year. To jog your memory, the animated films released theatrically in Australia in 2010 were:
    • Beauty and the Beast 3D
    • Despicable Me
    • Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance
    • Fantastic Mr Fox
    • How to Train your Dragon
    • The Illusionist
    • King of Thorns
    • Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole
    • Megamind
    • The Princess and the Frog
    • Shrek Forever After
    • Summer Wars
    • Tangled
    • Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue
    • Toy Story 1 and 2 in 3D
    • Toy Story 3
    Now a few of these are technically 2009 movies (The Princess and the Frog, Fantastic Mr Fox), but were only released in Australia in early 2010. Additionally, Tangled was actually released here in January 2011, but was released in the USA in 2010, so I've included it here. There are almost certainly one or two minor animated films that I've missed - feel free to put in a write-in vote.

    Second: I'd love it if you wanted to give me a one to three sentence review of any of these films - what you loved, what you hated, special observations, etc. Please note I will probably read the more interesting ones out on the podcast, so tell me if you don't want your name included.

    All comments and responses will be screened to preserve a pointless sense of mystery and allure.


    Monday, January 24th, 2011
    1:47 pm
    More on Season 18.
    I've finished watching "The Leisure Hive", and have now started watching "Meglos". One of the bits I've jotted down is this:

    The surreality of an English accountant being held prisoner by space pirates is nothing compared to Meglos himself. He is the last of the Zolfa Thurans, and a diabolical genius, and has a grand master plan to take over the universe. He is also a cactus.

    Just to clarify: he is not a humanoid alien with arms, legs and a head covered in little spiny thorns. He is a talking cactus. A relatively inanimate object. He sits in the middle of his gleaming white control room like an angry but talkative houseplant. He doesn’t seem to have a mouth, so goodness knows how he actually talks. Goodness knows how he does anything, unless he has secret telekinetic powers that we never get to see.

    The very concept of making the villain a talking, evil cactus is so deeply odd, and completely ridiculous, that one can’t imagine it was done for any reason other than to win a bet. It brings to mind images of John Flanagan and Andrew McCullough sitting drunk in a study, one writer daring the other to type ‘talking cactus’ and mail the script off to the BBC.

    It's certainly a much pacier, more entertaining story by far.
    Thursday, January 20th, 2011
    11:23 pm
    Movies for 2011, Part #2.
    I watch a lot of movies each year. How do I watch so many? Basically there are three elements in play. Firstly, Sonia and I will often watch a movie in the evening - it's cheaper than going out, less exhausting if one of you has MS and less stressful if one of you (OK, me) is generally awkward about social situations and will do anything to avoid going where there are other people he might not know. Secondly, I tend to watch movies over a couple of evenings late at night in bed. Finally, I convert DVDs to video formats that I can watch on my Sony PSP and then watch movies on public transport to and from work. I may not do this third one as much this year since I'm finding this third method means I read far fewer books.

    16 January

    A pleasing yet unexceptional Walt Disney animated feature. It has a solid story, a good sense of humour and is about the most Pixar-esque film Walt Disney Animation Studios has produced. (7/10)

    16 January
    Red Sonja
    A ridiculous sword and sorcery epic, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger is the best actor. Let's ponder that one for a moment. Yes, Bridgette Nielsen is that bad as Red Sonja. Silly, slight, but lots of fun if you're aware of how silly, slight and badly acted it is. (3/10)

    17 January
    Masters of the Universe
    A similarly ridiculous epic, this time directed by a guy who'd never directed a film before - but did design rollercoasters for a living. Strangely, when they made this film no one told the designers or Frank Langella that it was a cheap cash-in of an action figure line, and they instead produced wonderful sets and props, and a genuinely good performance by Langella as Skeletor. (5/10)

    18 January
    Jaws 2
    Nowhere near as good as Jaws. It's embarrassing: people are an inch away from being eaten by a great white shark, and it feels boring. Roy Scheider performs with dignity, but it's a sinking ship he's standing on. (3/10)

    19 January
    I finally caught up with this one nearly two years late. Absolutely stunning. Laugh-out loud funny, clever, inventive, and occassionally quite genuinely emotional and touching. But mostly laugh-out-loud funny. (8/10)

    20 January
    Deep Blue Sea

    This is the problem with Jaws: see one great shark-based thriller, and suddenly I have a hankering to watch anything with a shark in it. This is a bad film, but for the most part it's a knowingly bad film. It's worth watching just for Samuel L. Jackson's one big scene. (4/10)
    Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
    10:43 pm
    Season 18
    BBC Video have finally released "Meglos", oddly one of my favourite Doctor Who stories, and it made me realise that Season 18 is finally complete on DVD. I have an enormous affection for Season 18, because while my first memory of Doctor Who is Romana being hassled by Daleks in "Destiny of the Daleks", Season 18 was the earliest point at which I was actively and obsessively watching the series. So I've been watching the whole season, episode by episode, late at night. I've also been writing copious notes and then expanding on them early in the morning or when I've just returned home from work. I've been writing stuff like this for a while now. It means I can throw something up onto a blog in the middle of the day in the space of 2 1/2 minutes, because everything's been pre-written.

    So my Season 18 thoughts may get blogged, or I may wait and fanzine them if they're lengthy enough. Tonight I was writing about "The Leisure Hive". For example:

    The design of the Argolins is relatively unusual for Doctor Who. Basically, before the advent of inexpensive computer generated images (CGI) there were two approaches to representing aliens in science fiction television: the Doctor Who approach, and the Star Trek approach. The Doctor Who approach is to make your aliens genuinely alien. You create them using complicated rubber masks, elaborate costumes or even rudimentary puppetry. The Star Trek approach is to use prosthetic make-up to turn a human actor into something a little less human, but still not so different that you lose the actor’s face. The Star Trek approach allows for a more engaging performance. The Doctor Who approach allows for a more engaging imagination. The Star Trek approach results in the Klingons. The Doctor Who approach results in the Daleks.

    The reason I bring this comparison up is because the Argolins look as if they belong in Star Trek. They don’t look like proper Doctor Who aliens. Now Doctor Who does experiment with human-like aliens from time to time – the Drahvins in “Galaxy 4”, for example, or the Badger-haired Peladonians in “The Monster of Peladon” – but it experiments with them rarely enough that when they do pop up they still seem oddly out of place. Consider, for example, that the main villain of the preceding serial was a minotaur, and the villain of the subsequent one will be a talking cactus.

    Anyone else have fond memories of Season 18? (To save time for the non-obsessive, it was Tom Baker's last year, wrote out Romana and K9, wrote in Adric, Nyssa and Tegan, and featured the stories "The Leisure Hive", "Meglos", "Full Circle", "State of Decay", "Warriors' Gate", "The Keeper of Traken" and "Logopolis".
    Sunday, January 16th, 2011
    1:25 am
    Movies for 2011, Part #1.
    OK, this year I'm not just going to list films, I'm going to endeavour to at least briefly review each of them and give them a score. The scores are for people without enough time to read three sentences: remember, in the tradition of Edge (the greatest magazine on the planet), an average score is 5/10. A really good film would be 7/10. A masterful one 9/10. A movie rated 10/10 would be among the greatest movies ever made.
    1 January
    The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    There are a few shaky moments, and an overriding desire by the filmmakers to be more like Tolkien and less like Lewis, but overall I still really dig The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It's got a solid, appealing cast, particularly James MacAvoy as Mr Tumnus and Tilda Swinton as the White Witch. Conversely, William Moseley (Peter) is oddly dreadful. (6/10)

    2 January
    This Ivan Reitman comedy hits a lot of appealing notes for me. First of all, it has a cast full of actors I always tend to enjoy: Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Dunn, Ving Rhames and Frank Langella. Secondly, it's got a nice light-hearted screenplay that's tight, effective and uncomplicated. Finally, it's based around the US Presidency, which is almost always a guarantee of making an interesting story. (7/10)

    2 January
    Close to Home
    This is an exceptional low-budget drama from Israel, which follows two 18 year-old women as they undertake conscripted work for Jerusalem's border security. It has a very political edge lurking around the background (what film about Israel and Palestine could avoid it?), but at its heart this is a stunningly well-written and acted film about realistic women in a profoundly affecting environment. (8/10)

    3 January
    The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
    This was the second time I had watched Prince Caspian, and while I enjoyed it considerably more the second time than the first, it remains a bizarre string of poor choices and creative mistakes. Check out the oddly misplaced and boring castle battle, or the momentary re-appearance by Tilda Swinton - both promise so much and deliver so little. (5/10)

    4 January
    Jurassic Park
    This is an exceptional example of carefully lining up a massive row of dominos for an hour, and then flicking the first one over at the 60 minute mark. It is a near-faultless action blockbuster, with inventive action sequences, appealing characters and brilliant visual effects. Thanks to a clever combination of animatronic puppets and CGI, the visual effects of this movie are still yet to date that much. Plus it has Bob Peck in it, who - if he were still alive today - would be about as famous to moviegoers and acclaimed by critics as Anthony Hopkins or Ian McKellen. (9/10)

    5 January
    Shaun of the Dead
    Every time I watch this combination of Romero-style zombie action, parody of the same, and British romantic comedy, I am surprised all over again at how remarkably effective it all is. I particularly love how, despite its ridiculous premise and mostly ridiculous tone, it still finds moments of genuine emotion and confronting horror. (8/10)

    6 January
    Walt Disney Animation's 50th feature-length animation has a big legacy to live up to, and I was overjoyed to find that it more than matches most of its predecessors. A smart script is combined with good voice acting, great characters and the best CGI interpretation of tradional cel-animated character design and movement I have ever seen. This is the best childrens film I have seen since... well, since The Princess and the Frog, actually. (9/10)

    7 January
    Withnail & I
    Quite simply one of the most quotable movies ever written, combined with career-best performances from Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann and Richard Griffiths. If you have never seen this movie, you should track it down as soon as humanly possible, correct your unintentionally embarrassing oversight, and I shall prepare myself to forgive you. (10/10)

    8 January
    Morning Glory
    All of the ingredients of this film are exceptional, except for the screenplay. Sadly this drags the whole affair down beneath mediocrity and into that awful region where the film becomes kind of boring. Rachel McAdams and Harrison Ford are great. Sadly the screenplay doesn't seem to know it wants the story to be about, and so their performances suffer. Diane Keaton has it even worse. Either half her material was left on the cutting room floor, or she really isn't being too choosy with her material any more. (4/10)

    8 January
    Knight and Day
    Less effective the second-time around, but still enjoyable. Part of the appeal the first time around was uncertainty over a particular character's allegiances. Once those allegiances are known, the movie suddenly becomes a whole lot less complicated and accordingly less intriguing. (6/10)

    14 January
    Conan the Destroyer
    More fun that Conan the Barbarian, but an inferior film at the same time. It is what it is: a fairly silly fantasy B-movie that does what you'd expect it to do. That's never a bad thing. This was Grace Jones' first big onscreen role, and I do enjoy watching her wide-eyed glares and bizarre scenery-chewing antics. (5/10)

    15 January
    Quite simply one of the absolute best motion pictures ever made. Tight, effective, restrained, frightening, funny, and just about every other adjective and accolade I could write. No matter how many times I see it, it never gets boring. At its centre, Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw deliver wonderful performances in beautifully-written characters. Shaw's delivery of Quint's Indianapolis speech is one of the best monologues in the history of cinema. (10/10)
    Friday, January 7th, 2011
    4:42 pm
    Where to find me online.
    I didn't posted to this Livejournal much last year, all things considered. I will probably post to it even less in 2011. I am still writing away online, however, so if you want to see what I'm doing or thinking, check out:
    • Eiga: Asian Cinema, for my news and reviews on Asian cinema (primarily Hong Kong and China, but also Japan and South Korea, and occasionally Thailand, Indonesia and other nations).
    • Bad Film Diaries, my movie podcast. 14 episodes available so far, a 15th due some time this weekend.
    • The Angriest, my original blog from way back in the way back day, now regenerated and restarted from the beginning. This is where I'll be posting the most I suspect. At the moment it's got a review of a 1976 children's TV show about Aztecs on it, because that is the way I roll.
    • Twitter.
    Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
    9:57 am
    Movie viewing in 2010
    Boring statistics really, for my own interest.
    Read more...Collapse )
    Monday, January 3rd, 2011
    10:51 pm
    Movies for 2010, Part #38.
    28 December

    30 December
    Gamera: Guardian of the Universe

    A full analysis of what I watched this year, with comparisons to 2009 and pretty nerd graphs, will come in a day or two.
    Tuesday, December 28th, 2010
    10:32 am
    Movies for 2010, Part #37.
    19 December
    Solomon Kane

    20 December
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    Home Alone

    21 December
    Tron Legacy

    22 December
    Love Actually

    23 December
    The Muppet Christmas Carol

    24 December

    25 December

    26 December
    The King's Speech

    27 December
    Monday, December 27th, 2010
    11:40 pm
    Inception revisited.
    Watched Inception on blu-ray tonight, still love it, had a new thought. Or maybe an old thought and I simply forgot I'd had it. Anyway...
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    Saturday, December 18th, 2010
    9:58 pm
    Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010
    10:35 am
    Design Blog | The best movie posters of 2010, Part II: Referencing the Past, or Just Rather Clever
    Another bunch of large images below the cut: movie posters from 2010 that impressed me with their sense of retro-cool, or that deliberately riffed off earlier works of poster art.
    Read more...Collapse )
    Monday, November 22nd, 2010
    4:19 pm
    Design Blog | The best movie posters of 2010, Part I: Blockbusters
    Seven fairly big movie posters under the cut, with notes about why I like them. Oftentimes design and art is a personal thing: what one person responds to positively, another will be unimpressed. These are the posters for some of the bigger studio pictures this year that caught my eye.
    Read more...Collapse )
    Sunday, November 21st, 2010
    1:40 pm
    Movies for 2010, Part #35
    16 November
    Jackass 3D

    17 November
    Dante's Peak

    19 November
    Pulp Fiction

    20 November
    Dark City

    One big note this week: the director's cut of Dark City is, like the best director's cuts, a massive improvement over the 1998 original.

    Sunday, November 14th, 2010
    11:17 pm
    Movies for 2010, Part #34.
    6 November
    Rob Roy

    7 November
    Patriot Games

    9 November
    Hard Rain
    Clear and Present Danger

    10 November
    Wyatt Earp

    11 November

    13 November
    Adventures in Babysitting
    The Sum of All Fears

    14 November
    Bodyguards and Assassins
    Friday, November 5th, 2010
    8:15 pm
    Movies for 2010, Part #33.
    Been a while, so to save you from scrolling I've put everything I've watched from 12 October to 2 November under a cut.
    Read more...Collapse )
    Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
    10:49 pm
    Movies for 2010, Part #32.
    26 September
    Back to the Future

    27 September
    Back to the Future Part II

    28 September
    The Restless
    Back to the Future Part III
    The Quick and the Dead

    29 September

    30 September
    The Addams Family

    1 October
    Addams Family Values

    3 October
    Ghostbusters II

    4 October

    6 October
    The Warrior and the Wolf
    Sherlock Holmes

    9 October
    Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny

    10 October
    Iron Man 2

    11 October
    Bad Santa
    Friday, October 1st, 2010
    7:02 pm
    An all-time childhood favourite.
    Yes, more Sesame Street. And why not? It's brilliant stuff.

    Sunday, September 26th, 2010
    2:54 pm
    Movies for 2010, Part #31.
    16 September
    The Beach

    18 September

    19 September
    E.T. the Extraterrestrial

    21 September
    Survive Style 5+

    22 September
    Crossing Hennessy
    Angels & Demons

    23 September

    24 September
    In the Dust of Stars

    25 September

    26 September
    Quantum of Solace

    Saturday, September 25th, 2010
    12:13 am
    Takalani Sesame
    While we're talking Sesame Street, the South African edition of the series - Takalani Sesame - is famous and widely acclaimed for Kami, a HIV positive Muppet. Here she is with one of Sesame Street's highest profile guest stars.

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