Sunday, April 29, 2007

Continued fine weather

Yesterday's outing was to Kinlochleven. Despite a lot of hanging around the West Highlands with scruffy climbers about 15 years ago, I had never begun a walk here. My companions were set on a Corbett nearby, while I took the chance to ascend Sgurr Eilde Mor. And very fine it was too. Not a lot of wildlife, other than two ptarmigan and a large party of wrinklies. Despite the hill's name, there were no deer.

The Cobbler from the shelter stone

Emptying my camera of images, I found this from a couple of weeks ago. The bright hazy day made it hard to tell if the picture was any good at the time. And I felt oddly disinclined to blog afterwards.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gay Rumsfeldian surrealism

That's the opinion of one of Prospect's reviewers about 300. A neat summary, indeed.

The writer points out that basing a film on a graphic novel is to distance the work rather too much from reality. I wonder if this is why--other than some eye candy--I didn't much like Sin City either.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Questions at tea time

Why are there always 11 fig rolls in a packet? And why that cardboard tray? Are they all produced in the same factory?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Bad one, eh?

I've got electricians in the flat at the moment. They are bemoaning the state of the wiring and the actions of previous workmen. "Shockin' this, Andy!" Not literally, I hope. As I only rent the flat I think this is genuine and not just to convince me to shell out lots of money.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A poor effort

My reactions to Sunshine went through several phases. Firstly: Danny Boyle has made another film, isn't that great? Then I read some reviews and they were very mixed. I formed an opinion that I would hate it, as it was based on some pseudo-scientific bullshit. In the event, I didn't mind the bad science much, but it was a poor film. I couldn't get over how badly told the story was, with lots of trendy action shots that were so blurry you couldn't see what had happened. And here's a tip: if you set your film in an unfamiliar environment, try to put in some establishing shots that explain where the different scenes of the action are, rather than just confusing the hell out of the viewers. And yes, I'm thinking of that long model shot in 2001 that perfectly sets up the situation on the Discovery. There are lots of references to Alien, 2001, and Solaris, but nothing emerges that isn't done better in one of those films.

Some nice visual effects, but not enough to save the day.

Make sure you don't confuse this with the rather fine film of the same name that I discussed a wee while back.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Come and get them!

I rather enjoyed 300 last night. Some fantastic images, and some ridiculous distorted history. One aspect that I see some others have picked up on is the portrayal of Xerces the drag queen with his painted eyebrows and lots of bling. Nothing wrong with that in itself, but we do end up with Thermopylae being seen as a clash of two gay stereotypes. Given the film's avoidance of some of the other habits of Spartans, this seemed odd.

The Spartans were a bunch of asocial nutters who happened to do something useful in 480BC. This could have made an interesting film. Trying to cast them as saviours of freedom is a bit of a sick joke. The War Nerd says it better though.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

My Saturday

I'd been grumbling a lot about not getting a chance to do much walking in the West. What with living in Edinburgh and the weather frequently being better in the East, I've pretty much mined out everything along the A9, but have plenty to explore along the A82. However with lengthening days and high pressure forecast over the weekend, it seemed stupid not to do something yesterday.

I took the train to Tyndrum (that's Tyndrum Lower, for the anoraks among you), and attacked the Ben Lui group. This is another instance where in my previous walking life I've mysteriously omitted to visit to these excellent hills. I chose Oss and Dubhcraig as the somewhat easier pairing, but these hills seem to have a scale that is not only measured in meters, and it was no pushover. Ben Lui tended to dominate the whole day, blocking the end of the glen in a rather Alpine fashion that few British mountains can emulate. The picture above is from Ben Oss. The high pressure haze meant that few more distant hills could be seen, which is a pity, but it was sunny for virtually the whole day, and that's not common, you know.

An hour or so before the train arrived was pleasantly spent in the Real Food Cafe in Tyndrum. And no, I'm not writing a gazeteer of West Highland eateries.