Friday, 30 October 2009

Girl Number 9: can YOU save her (

It came to my attention that there was a web-thriller which started tonight, and is running for 6 episodes as far as I am aware. Coming out tonight (30th October) and then coming out 2nd November until 6th November inclusive. Therefore at 9pm tonight, when the first 5 minutes episode came out, I decided to have a looksie.

First of all, I don't have a particular bad network connection or particularly bad laptop but it was only after 30 seconds of stuttering and lag, I noticed that there was a HD button in the top corner, which said it was on. I figured I don't really need HD for my laptop, turned it off and it worked fine...just a little warning in case anyone else gets that problem.

Now the first think I can say about the actual “webisode” (and don't get me wrong they do warn before that it is for viewers 15+ only) is that the first 3 lines of dialogue dropped the each line. Now I'm no prude, I just don't see the point in swearing for the sake know...swearing I guess.

Now I must admit though, after saying ^ that...I did quite enjoy the first episode, it set the scene nicely, I enjoyed the dialogue, and I'm hoping it gets better. It's a great little “cat and mouse” idea, drawing from movies such as Saw and Untraceable, but setting them in a more...realistic atmosphere

The cast are pretty good though and include Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones – Torchwood), Tracy-Ann Oberman (Doctor Who, Eastenders) and Joe Absolom (Doc Martin, Personal Affars).

There's a “play-along” gaming element to the show, which...doesn't seem to have much going for it at the moment (either it's not playing yet; or I don't know what I'm doing!)

Definitely worth a watch, and I hope that the ending is as good as the beginning, the potential storyline is pretty exciting...expect to hear my final views about this on November the 6th. Until then, catch up and watch the episodes yourself at

Much Love

J.W. Wells & Co. - Supernatural Consultants, Paranormal Engineers, Practical Metaphysicians -- A Review of the Tom Holt Series

Not had an update in nearly a week, I apologise for that, I have been busy and then ill! To all my loyal followers and to anyone else who has looked though, today you are in for a treat for I am going to talk to you about one of my favorite authors, and my absolute favorite series of books within the fantasy genre!

Tom Holt is an ex-lawyer turned fantasy writer, who took his writing pro in 1995, he specialises in historical novels, and fantasy novels which incorporate various tales of mythology. There seems to be a special emphasis in his books on Roman and Greek mythology, but even though there are hints of it in the series I am going to talk to you about, it is more Wizardry, Fey, Goblins, well I could keep going but it's proper comic-fantasy!

The series of books I am going to talk about are the J.W Wells & Co series, which incorporate currently (I think) 6 books, however I am yet to read the 6th and I think 4, and 5 I will leave for another time, as they are more like spin offs from the original 3 (and it'd make this post last ages!)

Book 1: The Portable Door

I was introduced to Tom Holt via this book, and boy am I glad about it. Sometimes the best books you get are the ones you stumble across, and this is exactly what happened with me. I had received a book token as a gift, and the book I actually bought with it was Vernon God Little. I happened to be out with my mum at the time, and when I got back to her she said “I've already got that one” so I quickly went back to change it, and came out with this book, totally at random.

So what can I tell you about this opening book? Our hero...or massive loser...depending on your vantage point, is Paul Carpenter, who goes for a job interview for a firm who are looking to hire 2 clerks. At the interview he notices how everyone is better then him, and he also notices a not too attractive female picking her nose with the end of her biro...Paul falls in love.

Surprisingly, both he, and the "attractive" female (Sophie) get the job at J.W.Wells & Co. and get to chronologically ordering bits of paper, running through other pieces of paper circling anything they think might be a bauxite know general admin.

However all is not as it seems, for one afternoon they get locked in the building by accident, and end up being attacked by a horde of Goblins, they are shown the company letterhead, “J.W. Wells & Co. - Supernatural Consultants, Paranormal Engineers, Practical Metaphysicians”, and the boardmembers include some of the greatest in their fields, including the Contessa Judith di Castel'Bianco; Queen of the Fey.  And Paul, and Sophie...wizards, of course!

Well from here on in, things all get a little bit fun, and a little bit sticky. Paul has these weird dreams, there's a sword stuck in a stone, The Acme Portable Door turns up in Paul's desk draw (stick it to any wall, open it up and go where ever your heart desires), the CEO (J. Wells) has been missing for a long time now, and what's it all got to do with Gilbert and Sullivan. And (as with all offices) the stationary keeps going missing; where is that pesky stapler!

Book 2: In Your Dreams

It's time for Paul and Sophie to move around the company a bit, going into the different areas to see what they would be best suited to specialise in. Paul, well he gets lumped with “Pest” control, or how it's better known as: Heroism. Sophie, entertainment, and she gets whisked away to the Hollywood branch of J.W.Wells (and swiftly breaks up with Paul...poor sod)

It seems though that Paul...doesn't exactly have the aptitude for Heroism, and when his boss disappears, it is down to Benny Shumway, a dwarf – and the company accountant, to teach him the ropes. Paul does become a dragon slayer though...well he tripped and sat on a dragon's windpipe until it choked to death...but it's he had all the tools with him to really get it if he wanted to...

But things aren't all as they seem in the world of paranormal consultancy, and when Paul's hero boss jumps through the window of his apartment, cut and bleeding, and demanding coffee (not just any coffee, but at least half a mug of coffee grindings), and warning Paul not to sleep things start to go pear shaped.

But what has Paul's Great Uncle Ernie got to do with this, and what's up with the Bank of the Dead. And his old School friend Melzie is working at the firm now, and seems to take an unhealthy liking to Paul (in that a talking to him). Can The Contessa really be trusted, and what is so scary about sleeping, and dreaming?

And what is it that truly makes a hero...?

Book 3: Earth, Air, Fire and Custard

Dennis Tanner, Paul's frankly horrible boss has only gone and done the unthinkable this time. He's gone and offered Paul a promotion, a promotion that even ups his holiday entitlement from zero to something...unbelievable...there must be a catch right?! Apart from obviously working with a bunch of psychotic board members who's only goals in life seem to be to try and get Paul killed.

In this final book of the 3 series you are kept on your toes throughout, unable to tell at any point who is on the side of good, and who is on the side of evil. What is it with the empty place that Paul keeps finding himself in if he takes on too much pastries though, and can the 4th element really be Custard?

I don't want to give too much of this book away, it's intricate and can be difficult to follow from time to time. We find out more about the real love story behind our Sophie and Paul, and more about Paul's heroism.

This is a good read, and wraps up the three stories brilliantly! Oh and I should really let you know that quixotic means “caught up in the romance of noble deeds and the pursuit of unreachable goals; idealistic without regard to practicality”...that should save you having to hunt out a dictionary when you hit that part.


All in all, Tom Holt is a light read, fun read. He mocks, and parodies myths and legends brilliantly, and his books will make you snort out loud on a train. There are clear influences from other fantasy novels (Paul Carpenter seems closely mirrored on The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy's Arthur Dent), but these aren't just any other novel, nor are they just any other fantasy novel. This is a 3 book journy into the life of an ordinary man, who wants an ordinary life, but instead...gets wrapped up in a life of carnage, chaos, and unreliable parents.

WELL WORTH A READ – do it, you wont regret it! :o)

Much Love


Thursday, 22 October 2009

SOLID GOLD: Spandau Ballet (The Reformation Tour)

SWEEEEEEEEEET! Went to the o2 last night in god ol' London town, with my Sis to watch day 2 of Spandau Ballet's 3 nights at the o2. Thought I'd just let you guys know what I thought:

Despite being the youngest people there (by a minimum of a decade), I really enjoyed this concert, and I mean REALLY enjoyed it – I spent the whole night throwing shapes like it was still 1985. The concert started with a big screen in front of the stage, and projected onto it was video clips of Spandau Ballet in their hayday, all spliced together, with music then towards the end the band name was projected onto the top, and a light shone onto the screen making it translucent, and there the boys were behind the screen, posing, all shone up with spot was wonderful!

Now, I was too excited at this point, and thinking back now I can't remember what song they started with. I think it was “To cut a long story short”, followed by “The Freeze”...but I could well be wrong.

What can I say about the boys then, Tony Hadley looks smart, all suited and booted, and boy can he sing still. He has got an absolutely fabulous voice, and great energy. The Kemp's looked to be enjoying themselves, all of them grinning, jigging about on stage! The saxophonist still blows great as well, oh and the drummer....he was definitely drumming (although there was a dodgy drum solo during Gold...pure dodge...).

About 3 years ago I saw Tony Hadley with my (now-ex) girlfriend. Where did I see him, I hear you ask. He was playing at the Darlington Civic Centre, a venue which holds maybe 500 the very most. So it was no surprise to me at all, to see Tony getting a bit emotional in the middle of the gig...he even had a bit of a cry!

They played all their classics as far as I can remember, apart from Musclebound, and songs like Lifeline, Communication, Chant No. 2, To Cut a Long Story Short flowed out of them so easily, you wouldn't have believed that they had been away for so long now.

But the true test of character comes from your big songs...and BOY were they big. True was just so very good (I almost did a little cry, but held it together!!!), and Through the Barricades was just emotional. Sung, performed and played with true depth and feeling, it was great. At the encore, Gary and Martin Kemp came out a little more suitably attired (Gary in a Denim Vest Jacket, Martin in a Leather Vest Jacket), and Gold was just AWESOME! Truly, truly AWESOME.

The concert was being recorded (presumably all three days are) – DVD is due for release on November 30th...if you like live music DVDs I'd say it'll probably be a must have...the concert was incredible, and incredible fun!

Oh and if you're reading this and you happen to be the woman who turned round and shhhh'd me and my sister because we were singing to loud...don't be such a misery guts all your life!

Tony Hadley at one point in the conert said “London, it's good to be home”, I say Tony, it's good to have you back, you have been missed!

Muchos Lovos


Fantasy Movie Rundown: Part 1 - The Princess Bride (or Never judge a book by it's cover, or a movie by it's title)

OK, before we start, I am no movie critic ok, I know what I like, and can have a chat about it, but don't be expecting bloody Roger Ebert ok!  I have decided that I will pepper throughout this blog at varying points (i.e. when I can be bothered) some of my personal insites into some movies that I really enjoy.  So we are starting fantasy - with The Princess Bride.

Why oh why has it taken me 23 years of my life before watching this film [before anyone says anything I know it was released in 1987, so technically 22 years of my life, as the 1st year doesn't count, because the film hadn't been released yet...but if you spotted that you're lamer then me]?! I'll tell you why though, there was a problem with the title of the film that just didn't sit well with me. Now I have no problem with the word “The”...but stick the words “Princess” and “Bride” after that, and what you have on your hands is a snoozefest. Boy have I learned to never judge a film by it's title.

I decided to give the film a watch after hearing it talked about briefly on the “Geek Syndicate” podcast (I will blog about these guys another time – they rawk!). They happened to mention that there was some pretty decent swordplay in it...and as soon as I heard the word sword, my ears pricked up! And boy oh boy was I not disappointed on that front!

I'm going to TRY and not give too much away in this post, in case there is anyone reading who hasn't seen the movie. However there may be spoilers in this post, so if you REALLY don't want to know too much about the movie, it might be worth giving this one a miss.

Ok, admittedly you have to get over the polystyrene rocks, and the wobbly swords (I don't know a lot about swords...maybe they really are that wobbly in real life), but all in all this is a great film. I don't want to go into too much detail about the story line, but essentially it is about an old man who is reading a story to his sick Grandson. The story is what makes the basis of the film (and the bits where they cut back to the bedroom where he is reading to his Grandson are actually a bit annoying). Our Princess to be, gets kidnapped by a trio of crooks, Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) – a sword wielding Spaniard, possibly the best Sword-fighter in the lands..., Fezzik (Andre the Giant) – a big...strong...giant man, and Vizzini (Wallace Shawn – the voice of the Dinosaur in Toy Story...!). They are chased down by our hero, Westley (Carey Elwes – I especially like the bit where he chops off his foot with a hacksaw...oh wait wrong film!!). Now there is a lot more to the story then this, with twists and turns all over the shop, but like I said before – I don't want to give too much of the game away!

Well what can I tell you about this movie then (I hear you scream). There is an awesome, awesome, kick-ass scene where Carey Elwes and Mandy Patinkin (who is on a search for the 6 fingered man who killed his father so he can look him in the eye and say “hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father...prepare to die!”) duke it out fencing stylee! I mean this is just beautiful choreography, however the swords are a bit wobbly (this could be the style of sword – they're pokey ones, not slashy ones...or just poor props) but it is great, great fun! It all starts with Mandy saying “You seem a decent fellow, I hate to have to kill you”, Carey retorts “You seem like a decent fellow, I hate to die”...the sword fight starts off fairly understated...but builds up wonderfully, including between the legs parries, backflips, and behind the back thrusts! It is pure fencing too, on rocky, terrain...keep an eye on Carey Elwes legs...I can't get over his stance, it is amazing how he moves!

There is pure comedy in this film as well, some really funny parts...and words of wisdom too (“you be careful, people in masks can't be trusted”...were truer words ever spoken?!). And Christopher Guest towards the end of the film is brillo. Mandy dispatches a few of his bodyguards, and gives him a line of dialogue, and they face off against each other...Christopher Guest readies his sword, then turns round and hightails it out of there!

Wallace Shawn was great too, although you will never want to hear the word inconceivable spoken by another person! He has introduced me to the two classic blunders though...saying to Carey “You fell victim to one of the classic blunders the most famous being never start a land war in Asia, but the only slightly less well know is never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line”! So remember that guys...don't trust the Sicilian's! (*Said without prejudice...*)

Add on top of this, eel infested water, rodents of unusual size, the fireswamp (with it's lightning sand!), the pit of dispair, and pirates, well you've got the makings of a corking film in my books!

WATCH THIS is a must see, great, great fun.

Oh and look out for ROUS's – although, I don't think they exist... ;o)

Much Love!


Monday, 19 October 2009

Save Cocoon! Final Fantasy XIII Excitement

Firstly I want to say a huge thanks for all your encouraging words - and for anyone who is following me already!  Hopefully you won't be disappointed with your decision!! :oDDDD

I have been a huge fan of Final Fantasy for years - I can still remember falling in love with Aeries and Tifa in FFVII.  I have clocked up over 100 hours on Final Fantasy XII [don't flame! I know you can complete it faster then that - I just love to explore and become fully involved in the world], and if I ever were to meet a perfect woman I think it would be Yuna (FFX, FFX-2).  So when recently I spotted a preview of Final Fantasy XIII on the interweb - I couldn't help but grin (Especially since I was watching it at work...shhhh - don't tell my boss!).

Since seeing the preview I have done a bit of research into the game itself - what the general storyline will be...that kind of thing.  If you don't want to know - don't read on, but I am going to briefly summerise what I have so far found out...this is your spoiler alert

It seems that Final Fantasy XIII is split into two worlds, a floating mechanical world (Space Colony) called Cocoon, and a place outside of this area called Pulse.  Anyone who comes into contact with Pulse, a dangerous place which the people of Cocoon are afraid of, are believed to be part of a plot to invade Cocoon.  These people are banished from Cocoon by it's holy government and army.

In Cocoon, people are protected by "crystals", these crystals can make machines, and living creatures, and even created Cocoon itself.  The crystals allow them to live a peaceful life.  Pulse is a dangerous place where inhabitants live in fear of Monster attacks.

The crystals have chosen our protagonist (Lightning) to bring an end to the world.

End of Story Line Spoiler

So what are my views after watching the video preview?

The opening shot is simple, yet beautiful – a huge dome rising up from a lake, with fireworks lighting up the inside. Trademark FF choral music is playing in the background, and a quote...simple, yet spoken so softly, with such meaning, depth and pain:

“When I couldn't see a future and I was afraid, when the future was clear, and it hurt to see; I just close my eyes and lose myself in happier days”

And then a kiss – the choral music gets louder, two beautiful people (M and F) on what can be described as a floating motorcycle, kiss, and in the background fireworks fly...

This is when straight away I knew – not thought, but knew the next 6 minutes of my life will not be wasted!

The battle system, well from what I can see looks closer to final fantasy XII then any of the other games. There are something called “Paradigm Shifts”...this already excites me, new stuff in the battle system always does! Plus I couldn't help but laugh when one of the characters did what I would assume to be some kind of “fire” magika – but the animation on it harked back to classic street fighter powerballs! Oh AND there's some dude with a 'fro who TOTALLY fights using a car, with flaming least that's what it looks like!!  The monsters look great, similar but different in style to the XII monsters, but there's some really awesome looking things in the world to get your swords stuck into!

The CGI scenes as usual look stunning.  They are typically detailed, with every strand of hair waving in the wind.  All of the characters look amazing.  One of the women who I'm assuming is "evil" looks amazing - like a mixture between a dominatrix and a secretary!  But as usual it's just the awesome amount of detail that is put in that I cannot believe.  Every strand of hair, every bead on a necklace, bracelets...the lasersightings on tens of guns as they all aim while the guys shouts down all the guys pointing them at him.  And the airbattles, I just can't put into words!

I have tried not to overexcite myself in the buildup to Final Fantasy XIII being released.  I am currently taking the last year of my legal studies, and am assuming the release date is in March.  I truely believe that buying a PS3 (or Xbox 360) right before my finals would be a terrible...TERRIBLE idea, especially with the release of this game on the horizon.  So unfortunately I'm going to have to wait until the summer before I can get all this gear.  Looking at the video preview as well has made me decide that the only way to play this game will be to play it in HD (which'll mean buying a HD TV to go with all the rest of it!).  After seeing this preview though, I can't help but feel the jangling of excitement in my tummy!

Hope that this has been of some use to someone - somewhere...If you're interested in the video preview it can be found on The Times website:

It's definately worth having a looksie - however it could be UK only (I don't know) - so if anyone is reading this across the pond you may need to YouTube it!

Excited?  Yes I am!! :o)

Ciao for now!

Muchos Lovos

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Opening Gambit...!

Horsey to A3! Maveric of me I know!

Ok, I don't have a chessboard with me, nor am I an avid chess player particularly, but off the top of my head I think (and hope) that's a valid move, and therefore should have the chess fans onside immediately!

I've been thinking for a while how I should go about opening this blog, starting it off...that kind of thing - what should my opening gambit be.  So I've thought to myself, "What is the point of my blog?", "What do I want to achieve?", and "Will anyone even see the sodding thing anyway?!".

I have decided it's fairly unlikely that there's going to be a huge amount of traffic to this blog, so I decided not to get too bogged down in the formalities - and just go with what comes to mind.

So what is the point of this blog? - well if you are reading this now (and you are in fact not me) - that is a good question to pose.  Quite simply I am a geek - not in the traditional sense, I don't own a thick pair of glasses, or a pocket protector.  I do not constantly have a calculator in my pocket to settle calculus based arguments, and nor do I particularly remember a lot of the calculus that I did learn back during my A-Levels.  However I will soon be holding 2 degrees and 2 postgraduate qualification, love all things comic, fantasy, and sci-fi, and just last night played a game (during a power cut mind you) with a couple of friends to see if we could name (taking it in turns) Marvel and DC superheroes/vilains starting with A and ending with Z.  We got stuck on Q, Y and Z (now I've had time to think about it though Quicksand, Yellow Claw and Zarek would have all been fine!)

For too long though has "Geekdom" been seen as a bad thing! I am in my early 20s at the moment, and finally celebrating my Geek.  So what is the point of this blog?  It is to celebrate all things geek!!

I have not fully decided what my first major post will be as of yet - but I have been party to the Final Fantasy XIII video preview recently - so I may have a bit of chat about that.  I would like to review movies, talk about comics and generally have fun, inform people about things that interest me (and hopefully you - the reader!).

This will not be a blog which takes itself too seriously - but an informal chat to anyone who is interested in the kind of things that excite me.

I will be more then welcome to take any kind of recommendations from anyone about what I should be reading, watching or generally what is happening in the world of geek.  I'll have a look and maybe scribble a few words regarding my thoughts and feelings on this blog.

If you think this kind of thing may interest you - subscribe - we could have fun! :o)

Muchos Lovos to you all!