movie scores update

scoring the movies
This post is essentially a tiny little bit of blog-housekeeping, mostly for my benefit... so feel free to ignore this entirely.

I've been threatening for some time now to go through and update all my movie review scores. In the 9 years, 6 months, 2 days from my first movie review to the most recent one I've been ranking movies out of 10, and it's become unmistakably apparent that my scores are very heavily weighted to the upper end of the scale (I think there are literally about two movies that were rated 4, and less than ten that were 5's).

So I've just gone through all 248 movie reviews and re-ranked them all on a 1 to 5 scale. Okay, technically it ended up being a -1 to 5 scale to accommodate the lower end of reviews, but like I said, there were only a handful of those outliers.

Part of the reason it took me so long to finally get around to it was that I didn't want to suddenly introduce half points, but eventually I settled on just taking five away from all the numbers, 10 becomes 5, 9 becomes 4... 5 becomes 0 and 4 becomes -1.

But that was it, other than adjusting the numbers (and the occasional spelling mistake or typo... I can't spell "definitely" right to save myself), I didn't change any of the ratings.

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wonderwalls street art saturday

wonderwalls port adelaide - signagewonderwalls port adelaide - etam cru
Let's start with the most important stuff first... I'm down one annoying set of neighbours! The people who followed me here from the old place are gone. I suspected as much on Friday when I got home and what appeared to be a moving van was parked outside the apartment, but they seemed to be unloading rather than loading. But this afternoon as Ma was leaving, the door opened and this shirtless, gorgeous young blonde guy stepped out. I was so gob-smacked I didn't even have the presence of mind to do the "new neighbour head nod" thing. So thanks very much Rental Agreement, God of Housing... you did pretty damn well!

Hopefully they (I'm guessing the girl who he was opening to door for is his girlfriend... but you never know) turn out to be the respectful, quiet kind of neighbours.

Also, and the reasons why will become apparent shortly, if they're not already apparent from the images at the top of the post, but I'm decidedly sunburned. Only down my forearms really, I had the presence of mind to actually wear a hat, but I am very pink of skin in spots.

wonderwalls port adelaide - beastman orbwonderwalls port adelaide - beastman print
The shopping portion of the day was reasonably painless... I was running a little behind this morning, which isn't really all that surprising, given that I was up until about 1:45 this morning (sadly not because I was doing anything exciting like having great sex or playing video games).

But when Ma arrived we headed off to the supermarket for all of the usualness, which this week seemed to consist predominately of fruit and veg... and nothing specifically exotic for Australia Day, because m'eh.

Then we headed back here and I showed Ma some of the research I'd been doing on the family tree... she's going to dig up some bits and pieces she has that I should be able to add to the tree or clear up details here and there.

wonderwalls port adelaide - gemma o'brienwonderwalls port adelaide - guido van helten
I needed to grab a new screen protector for my phone, although I really wish I could remember (or find the left over ones that I'm sure I have somewhere) what the brand was of the one I used to have, it was essentially perfect in just about every way, no bubbles, it never peeled away until very recently and while I scratched the living daylights out of it with my thumbnail it held up very well.

We stopped off at Arndale and headed into Big W to take a look. I was hoping they may also still have the Lego cases in stock. Mine is still okay, but a year of pulling it in and out of my pocket has rubbed the Lego branding off the back of all of the studs, and it could just do with a general freshen up. But unfortunately they didn't have any.

Also, it always baffles me that they have to advertise that screen protectors are transparent... like that's some kind of fucking surprise. And that they often find several different ways to say the same thing on what looks like different versions of the exact same item.

wonderwalls port adelaide - kab101wonderwalls port adelaide - love nurse
Then we headed down to Port Adelaide for the Wonderwalls Street Art Festival!

We started out at the old Flour Mill to pick up a map of all the locations and check out the little art show they had there, along with the giant Guido Van Helten piece of the two faces in the previous pair of images.

The artworks were possibly just that little bit too spread out to really park in one spot and wander around to them all, but we did end up doing most of the central ones in one long wander.

wonderwalls port adelaide - order 55wonderwalls port adelaide - smug one
And of all the pieces, including my favourite one (the guy with his face covered in the military jacket at the top of the post), I think the greatest revelations was the piece on the right, by Smug One, all the way from Scotland (although I think he was originally from here).

But seriously, the fact that that amazing piece of art came out of a spray can blows my mind. Doubly so, because as one of the comments on the Instagram version of that image said, Smug claims that it's "just copying a picture, anyone can do it".

Yeah, I'm going to go with "no". He's clearly a wizard of some sort.

wonderwalls port adelaide - joshua smith part onewonderwalls port adelaide - joshua smith part two
Then we circled around to the collection of artists working on the fence surrounding that seemingly wasted bit of space down by the Port Adelaide lighthouse, and specifically to see my buddy Josh and his daring young girl on the flying... well, hoop I guess, or could you still call it a trapeze?

We chatted for a bit, helped him get one of his giant stencils in place and then headed off to check out some more artwork and then have some lunch.

Lunch was fairly by the numbers... we've been to the same cafe a couple of times before I think but I remember it being somewhat better than that. Or at least not seeming so pedestrian.

wonderwalls port adelaide - askew one and elliot francis stewartwonderwalls port adelaide - sainer and bezt (detail)
We definitely saved the most gigantic pieces for last.

I'd seen a number of pictures of the Sainer and Bezt (Etam Cru) piece online last night, but it wasn't until I saw the seven story military man that I fell completely and absolutely in love with it. I'd seen bits of it peeking between other buildings as we wandered around, but seeing it in the flesh and seeing just how incredibly ENORMOUS it is on the side of the abandoned former Department of Marine and Harbors Building.

The flip side of the building by Askew One and Elliot Francis Stewart was amazing too... and I actually loved that we caught it unfinished. Actually I always love that... seeing street art mostly finished, with some work still to do and then wandering back later and seeing how it's changed now that it's complete.

wonderwalls port adelaide - treaswonderwalls port adelaide - blocks
It was also great to see so many people out and about looking at the artworks...

Some were people you would, I guess, expect to see at something like that, but others were just regular folks out to see the art. Which is good, I always enjoy seeing people either experiencing street art for the first time, or finally understanding that there's a gigantic difference between the ugly little scribbled tags that mess up public spaces, and these absolutely amazing pieces of art.

That was pretty much it for the day really... which was good because by that point we were pretty much buggered from all the wandering around.

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photo friday: rabbit reprise

follow the white rabbit - hatterfollow the white rabbit - rowboat

follow the white rabbit - flamingofollow the white rabbit - tea
I was right... this week was The Bananas.

We finished a major project... kind of. Let's say we finished it in principal, but there were a half a billion little things that either didn't get taken care of or were new and exciting things that broke once we launched.

And finally moving over to the new system means that the majority of my work is now in a completely new system that I haven't had a lot of experience in... whereas I've been using the old system my entire time here. So that's a whole adjustment thing... and I hate floundering around not knowing what the hell I'm doing.

I did have a little bit of a minor meltdown on Thursday when we launched and everybody else had gone to the stupid launch event and I was just a wee bit overwhelmed. Fortunately it didn't last long, and although the last few days haven't been easy, we've all managed to both keep a sense of humour as well as the majority of whatever sanity we had at the beginning of the week.

Of course, H-San has also taken to playing "Everything is Awesome" from The Lego Movie at high volume from his office at both opportune and also completely random moments. It also helps that I pretty much know all the words. However, when he decided to play "Let it go" from Frozen, I closed his office door on him. There are lines.

Some time back, Sugarmonkey at work recommended the Saga comic book series to me, and I finally got around to picking up the graphic novels on New Years Eve. I started ready them a couple of days ago, and I fucking LOVE them! It's not really surprising, since I loved the last thing that Sugarmonkey recommended by Brian K Vaughan, Y: The Last Man... which is completely different to Saga, but equally weird and brilliant.

I've continued digging through my family tree thanks to Ancestory.com.au... I thought I mentioned it last week, I know I tweeted about it recently, but maybe I only mentioned it a while back. But I've so far managed to go back as far as a number of my 7th great grandparents (all on Ma's side of the family), and have found myself back in about 1640. I have no idea how accurate some of the records I'm seeing that far back are, but I did give up on one particular family branch when I noticed that the particular ancestor's mother died three years before he was born. I think maybe there's a boo boo in there somewhere. But I've found Ashursts and Athertons, Boyds and Cundleys, Foggs, Gerrards, Gorses, Hills, Hunters and Longbottoms, Marshalls and Peningtons, Pierpoints and Rimmers, Stephensons, Twists, Whitehouses, Worsleys and Yates. Sadly that's all on my grandmother's side, my grandfather's side falls away pretty damn quickly thanks to child born out of wedlock.

I think I've potentially run out of family tree branches, at least when it comes to people in my direct bloodline... without digging into siblings and their partners and suchlike.

One thing that doesn't surprise me in the least, although at the same time is slightly interesting is that from what I saw, my bloodline a) bred a fucking hell of a lot and b) didn't move out of the same half dozen villages until the early 1700's in one branch where the line suddenly relocates from Scotland.

Anyway...

I've had a few too many late nights this week, so I should take myself off to bed.

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movies: into the woods

into the woods
How do you get Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, Prince Charming, The Big Bad Wolf, Jack (of the Beanstalk variety) and the quintessential fairy tale witch all into one story?

With a magical curse that must be broken before midnight by the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn and the slipper as pure as gold. And then you send them all Into The Woods.

I will say right off the bat that there's just something weird about the Sondheim style... there's a discordance to a lot of the music that isn't always necessarily bad, but it does stand out and can be a little off-putting and distracting at times. I also feel like this movie and Sweeney Todd essentially have the same musical beats a lot of the time, especially in regards to a lot of the incidental/minor stuff.

However, while this did have a degree of that "singing when you should be speaking" thing that tends to irk me about "modern (non-Disney) musicals", it was much less annoying here, in part I think because of the repetition of lyric beats (and can we just pause here to underline how much I absolutely DO NOT know about music, so I'm going to be making up words left, right and centre) it really worked.

One of the things that does tend to be a problem in this kind of musical, for me anyway, is the lack of actual "songs". More so that because there's so much singing and sing-speaking and falling in and out of songs, I come away from the movie without being about to really distil or remember a beginning to end song properly. There are a couple, but I more remember that there's just a beanstalk load full of singing mostly. And they're not things that you walk away singing to yourself (the only thing I can, once again, think to compare it to are Disney animated musicals... Frozen most recently... there's no equivalent to "Let it go" or "Do you wanna build a snowman")... sure I've got the "Into the Woods" snippet rolling around in my head, but that's literally just the one line.

And it's not necessarily a criticism, more of an observation.

I also knew it was a "dark" story going in... again, the comparison comes back to Sweeney Todd... even though it's fairy tales and you expect it to be all light and fluffy and Disney (and I know, it's released by Disney... so that's just confusing right there)... but it's definitely not that.

As they say at the end of the opening song... "Into the woods, then out of the woods, and home before it's dark!"... and you know then that it's going to get pretty damn dark before they find their way out of the wood.

That was actually one of the things I really liked about the story... they use a lot of the really nasty, horrible things (even though this Disney version did... tidy up the story a little by having some of the characters die off-screen) that happen in the original versions of the fairy tales. Characters get blinded, toes are cut off, the wolf is really damn creepy... and that's while they're mostly still sticking to the pure fairy tales in the first two thirds of the movie. The last third is where the stories "fall apart" from the tales you're used to and things get much weirder.

It's also something of a strange cast. Good, and to a one they handle their singing duties brilliantly, but it's a strange collection of actors.

Just from the movie poster along there's Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, James Corden, Emily Blunt, Tracey Ullman, Johnny Depp and Chris Pine.

And I'd just like to publicly apologise to Pine because I just assumed, given the deep, booming and over the top nature of his voice that he'd been dubbed... but if the internet is to believed, it's all him. And it's impressive.

Actually the Agony number Pine has with the very beautiful and blonde Billy Magnussen, as the unfortunately named The Other Prince, was one of my favourite sequences... it's so incredibly over the top and broad and comic. Plus, Magnussen in tight black leather and Pine in somewhat revealing velvet trying to out-Prince each other.

Corden and Blunt are really the emotional thread that runs through the whole story as the childless (and nameless) Baker and his Wife, and they're incredibly sweet together. And Streep is glorious as the witch.

I will say that Lilla Crawford who plays Riding Hood skates just on the line of being overly precocious and annoying... combing that with the fact that Depp is playing the Big Bad Wolf, and I was kind of rooting for the wolf. But there is a degree of humour she brings to her first scene that keeps it on that line and doesn't crossing it to much.

Having read some of the trivia online about the movie it said that Mackenzie Mauzy's Rapunzel subplot was re-written... and they seem to have re-written it mostly out of existence, or at least it felt that way... it's one of the few storylines that really just fizzles out and doesn't properly connect back to the rest of the story.

It is a good looking movie though... from the costumes to the sets to the overall cinematography from Dion Beebe who also shot, amongst other things, the two previous musicals directed by Rob Marshall.

While it does have it's flaws and foibles, its a good musical overall with a decent sense of humour and an emotional undercurrent.

yani's rating: 3 wishes out of 5

following the rabbit saturday shopping

follow the white rabbit by espionage gallery - signfollow the white rabbit by espionage gallery - pondering rabbit
Today mostly revolved around the Follow the White Rabbit art show put on by Espionage Gallery on the island in the Rymill Park.

And it really couldn't have been in a better spot... I didn't even realise that there's a statue of Alice that sits on the hill at the top of the park, and she kept a watchful eye over the exhibition.

Plus the weather was much more conducive to looking at art, especially given that the island is well shaded with big trees.

follow the white rabbit by espionage gallery - alicefollow the white rabbit by espionage gallery - eat me drink me
We started off the day with the usual supermarket wanderings... although I somehow managed to forget to pick up my wallet before we left the house both times. I still had some cash on me, but once that was gone, I was skint.

We also finally got around to taking some of our Christmas goodies to our regular check-out girlie. And essentially the look on her face when Ma gave them to her was more than enough.

Somehow we also got talking about the Fringe while we were at her register, and I really should have little cards printed up that say "you can ask me about the Fringe, but you do so at your own risk, because once I get started you may not be able to shut me the hell up". But she wrote down a couple of my suggestions (Gravity and Other Myths and Sound and Fury), so if nothing else, maybe I've sold another couple of tickets to acts I really love.

follow the white rabbit by espionage gallery - the bridge to wonderlandfollow the white rabbit by espionage gallery - her majesty
Once we'd come back and done the usual unpacking (and I still forgot to pick up my wallet), we headed out to Rymill Park for the exhibition.

Because Espionage worked in conjunction with Splash Adelaide to set up the exhibition, a little like the Ghibli exhibition, there were all manner of other stalls around the lake, and most of them fitting in with the Alice theme, including what I can only describe as a Mad Hatter stall (I wish I'd gotten a good photo of the "hatter", he was definitely a sight to see).


The island looked great... it's not a huge space, but the tree trunks were full of artwork and there was a table all set for the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.

Now, I will admit that Alice isn't really in, as they say, my wheelhouse. When I finally got around to reading the book a few years back (around the time I got my first iPhone actually), and she is the MOST annoying character I've read in a good long while.

And a little like the last Alice inspired show, the fact that Alice is a story about a girl, and most of the additional characters are either women or else animals doesn't always lead to artwork that appeals to me.

But then I saw the artwork by Tsunami Hee Ja...

a very happy unvalentine's day to you (detail) by tsumani hee ja
Sure, they're anthropomorphic boys, but they're boys...

Plus it's an artist that was on my list since I saw her Catwoman work at the Batman show last year... and I will admit that I was especially taken with the March Hare in the middle for some reason.

So now it's mine and I'll be picking it up tomorrow.

follow the white rabbit by espionage gallery - pink and purple chessfollow the white rabbit by espionage gallery - one wonky flamingo
There were also all manner of chess pieces with little numbers spread around the island... I couldn't work out what in the world they were for, but it turned out to be something to do with Chesslife, who also had a range of chess sets laid out with all the other stalls.

I'm not sure they'd thought out their plan all that well. You found a queen (they were all queen pieces), took it to them, they recorded the number and then you could either take the queen or rehide it for someone else to find.

So, it was hide and seek, but your prize was essentially the plastic chess piece. Weird, but I found one anyway, and now it's sitting on my "black and white" shelf with all my other black and white things.

follow the white rabbit by espionage gallery - a very alice dressfollow the white rabbit by espionage gallery - rymill rowboats
Once we'd finished in Wonderland, we had a mostly fruitless wander up Rundle Street, and then up the Mall.

It's very odd, it seems that no where has their post-Christmas stock of Lego sets on the shelves. I don't know if the sets just aren't out yet or what, but it's very, very meagre pickings everywhere I've looked.

Anyway, once we'd had a wander, we headed back to Rundle Street to have some lunch at Burger Theory and check out the Burger of the Month... the Jambalaya Burger chock full of Cajun spices.

follow the white rabbit by espionage gallery - a little bit alice, a little bit heathersfollow the white rabbit by espionage gallery - no flamingo mallets in this game
As always, the BotM was delicious, but it made me think about (and miss) the pulled pork bun that they used to do at Pearl's Diner before it closed. I fucking LOVED that bun.

Once we were done we wandered back past the exhibition again... I don't know if they're going to get the extraordinary numbers they got to the Ghibli exhibition (partly because I feel like there wasn't as much social media chatter about the exhibition beforehand, but also because it's the middle of January and there are a ton of other things to go and do, whereas last time it was July, which is something of a quiet time of year). But I look forward to being surprised when I go and pick up my artwork tomorrow.

But I can't wait until the next one!

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photo friday: bayside colours

bayside 58ablue 30

yellow 42bayside 58b

bayside 58cblue and white stripes
First off, can we just talk about the Oscars for a second. Now normally I don't give two hoots about the Academy Awards, for a while now it's been predominantly made up of a) movies that I have absolutely no interest in (those are usually the ones that end up winning) or b) movies I've already seen.

But the nominations came out today, and there was a glaring omission in the Best Animated Feature Film. There was no Lego Movie. I don't necessarily disagree with any of the other nominations, even The Song of the Sea, which I hadn't heard of until today, has a good pedigree, since I enjoyed The Secret of Kells quite a lot. Maybe The Tale of Princess Kaguya is a little overhyped (I will put the caveat out there that I wasn't 100% when we saw the movie, but like a lot of Ghibli movies, I did find myself falling asleep). And The Boxtrolls was on my top movie list this year, plus HTTYD2 got an honourable mention.

It's the total omission of The Lego Movie that I don't understand. Although as the movie's director, Phil Lord, said on Twitter earlier today:
He's right, but it does reinforce my view that the Oscars are essentially inconsequential... at least as far as I'm concerned.

Work is all manner of Crazy Town at present...we're nearing the launch date of the major project we've been working on since before I came back, and there's slightly more work than there is time left and it's making everyone a tiny bit nuts. Unfortunately a lot of the stuff that's left are things that we're relying on other, external people to do, so that's always a little bit more stressful.

Fortunately my main task isn't part of that project, so while my direct stresses are a lot lower than the rest of The Nut House, there was something in the air, especially earlier this week, that just put everyone, myself included on edge.

Especially because I had a couple of people requesting a large number of jobs, a number of which were annoying, and one of which made NO sense as written.

So, yeah, I might have had a tiny meltdown a couple of times. Fortunately things calmed down for me around Wednesday.

Next week is going to be... interesting to say the least. Next week's Friday post could very well just be a random assortment of vowel sounds and animal noises.

I also had my first chiro appointment of the year this morning... and while I'd been fine over the Christmas break for the most part, it was still good to have the tune up, even if it did leave me a little bit winded. And I've been getting her to check my elbow each time I've gone in, since she helped me get it in the right place, and continued to ensure it wasn't out of whack since. But today when she checked it, she pronounced it pretty much all better and not in need of a cracking. Which is definitely a relief because having her crack my elbow was always a slightly nerve-wracking thing.

But yay for something that has actually stopped being busted on my body.

Speaking of "on my body" (and a somewhat TMI conversation at that)... I'm not completely convinced about the Andrew Christian underwear I wore today.

As I said last week I think, I bought a bunch of underwear, most of which ended up being jockstraps... but there was one pair of trunks. Turned out when I looked at them more closely, while they were in fact trunks, they just happened to be trunks without a front pouch. They were interesting to wear, except I couldn't every quite forget that... and excuse the TMI... my junk was just hanging out the front of my underwear. I think they may get moved to the "weekend" underwear category.

On a completely unrelated topic... tomorrow is Espionage Gallery's Follow The White Rabbit show in Rymill Park from 10am til 6pm... come along and check out the Alice in Wonderland inspired goodness.

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lego chima legend beast lion

lego chima legend beast lion - the last boxlego chima legend beast lion - laval and the lion
Up until a couple of weeks before Christmas I'd actually forgotten that the Lego Chima Legend Beast Lion set was waiting for me under Ma's tree, but then I was moving some things around on my bookcase and suddenly remembered (thanks brain for spoiling that semi-surprise).

The set has been sitting on my shelf since Christmas waiting to be put together, and I felt inspired this morning.

I also decided to try sticking a large sheet of coloured card to the wall behind the little table I use to put these sets together. I'm not completely sure how well it worked overall, I think it might have thrown the colour off a little. But it was an interesting experiment.

lego chima legend beast lion - the usual suspectslego chima legend beast lion - knolling the living daylights out of this thing
I kind of took the knolling to a whole different level this time around...although as always, it's not until I'm finished that I remember that I should have done it the other way around so that the picture looks right...

lego chima legend beast lion - laval and his giant ass swordlego chima legend beast lion - what do you call a legless lion
This set comes with the Laval minifigure, and like all the rest of the figures he comes with a gigantically oversized weapon (and a transparent blue shield).

In a lot of ways the build for the lion wasn't all that different from the build on the wolf... although interestingly the ball and socket joints are reversed from the wolf.

lego chima legend beast lion - back legslego chima legend beast lion - big butch front legs
And the sets also show off the differences between the wolf and lion body shapes when it comes to the legs... the wolf has much less beefy legs, whereas the lion's front legs especially are quite chunky towards the shoulder.

I also like the "armour" details on the shoulders, both with the grey bricks and the discs.

lego chima legend beast lion - four cute little tootsieslego chima legend beast lion - headless lion ready for pouncing
Other than the fact that the wolf has stickers on his feet, the two sets have exactly the same design for the feet, which makes sense.

I will say that I found it much harder to get this model to balance properly on all four paws. But I did like like this pose, even though the model was still headless, because it felt very cat/lion-y.

lego chima legend beast lion - alas poor lion, i knew him lavallego chima legend beast lion - big strong kitty, ready for hunting
I'm not sure exactly what my issue is with the head build on this model, but something just doesn't feel right... maybe it's the square nose, maybe it's the way the mane sits, I'm not sure. I will admit that it looks slightly better once it's on the rest of the model, especially with the whole crouching cat pose.

lego chima legend beast eagle - perching proudlego chima legend beast wolf - finished modellego chima legend beast gorilla - gorilla smashlego chima legend beast crocodile - cragger and the beast
Click above to see the posts for the other four sets

But five sets later, this is the end of the Lego Chima Legend Beast sets, they've been fun to build and I hope they come up with some other designs... I'd especially love to see a rhino, a bat, a tiger (yeah, I know, it would be pretty much the same as the lion and the wolf, but I have a tiger thing) and a mammoth.

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