Monday, March 20, 2006

28 Days Later

After my success with film last week I thought I was on a roll. I thought finally I can discern good films. But I was wrong. Boy was I wrong.

28 Days Later has a couple of great aspects, I love the post-apocoliptic thing - a fantastic premise for a film - man wakes up in an empty city. It also interestingly raises a question about whether we have a responsibility to carry on the human race, and at what cost.

However, thats where the film stopped being good. They should have died. Many times throughout the film something that should have been inescapable happened. I know this is Hollywood, but it needent happen so many times.

The whole film was too implausable. If others had survived in different countries, surely the army would have been able to communicate.

On channel 4 they showed both endings, the alternative available on the DVD, and both were equally as bad! Quite an achievement to write two equally poor endings to a poor film. Don't watch this film.

I watched it on my PVR last night, and after it had finished I turned over and caught the end of "The Hole." Now there is a good film. Should have been called the perfect crime...... although I think the making of "28 Days Later" was criminal.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Saw [2004]

What a fantastic film week! Yesterday it was Memento, today "Saw."

On recommendation from a night out with some film buffs about 2 weeks ago I got a copy of this film, and sat down to watch last night. Wasn't expecting much, especially after just having watched Memento (you can't have 2 good films in a row...) , and to be honest I was a little scared it would be a blood-fest, which is not what I wanted.

But it wasn't. If you can watch past the first scene, the gore doesn't get a lot worse than that - it's not a very graphic film.


Another fantastic story, a serial killer who doesn't actually kill anyone. Well worth a watch, another fantastic ending - about 5 minutes from the end I thought we were going to have a Hollywood hero ending, but it all turned out well ;)

Thursday, March 16, 2006



A friend from my previous work recommended this film, and I'd been meaning to see it for quite some time. So I finally got round to it - and it's fantastic.

On many levels an excellent film, from the storyline it's something unusual and the storytelling system tops it off nicely. I was worried for the first few minutes that I wouldn't get it, but what a fantastic film it turned out to be. And the ending, the icing on the cake, a fantastic way to finish a confused story.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

XBMC puzzle solved

So, I (partly) figured out the problem, with the help of the good folks at ukha_d. It is *something* to do with the PC I was using for a media server. It doesnt appear to play nice with the XBMC software - I still haven't figured out why.

But swapping the drive into my desktop and sharing from there worked 100%. Even using a usb-ide adaptor and USB 1.1 from the kitchen pc with a network share worked 100%.

So the problem lies squarely with the fileserver machine. Investigation required ;)

Monday, March 06, 2006

New toy: XBOX

The lack of responsiveness from my Showcenter remote control, and the general '80s look of the GUI, together with the constant "XMBC does this" "XMBC does that" chat on ukha_d have prompted me to take the plunge and buy an XBOX. £65 delivered from amazon marketplace, with a controller, and a DVD Remote kit - not bad.

Anyhoo, it arrived today, so I spent the evening (or part of it) setting it up. For no good reason, other than 'just because' I decided to softmod it, rather than bothering with a chip. Now, I have never done anything like this before, and I have to say the documentation is the poorest and most disparate I have ever seen.

I followed the manual at : which sets it all out in a fairly sensible way. Except it didn't work. The bit where you have to hot swap the drive didnt work, it stayed locked for me. But a quick google showed an alternative - rip a track from a CD to the Hard Drive, and begin playing it. Pause playback, and then swap the drive. Apparently works 100% of the time.

With that completed I now had EvoX dashboard installed on my XBOX. Installing XBMC was simply a matter of copying (FTP) across the files from the distro - I followed the second part of the instructions from here to do that part.

Pictures and music 100%. Video not working. Very disappointing. Posting to ukha_d for advice....