Off Season!

Lately I have been skipping the blogging scene, not for lack of interest but rather for lack of time. I am only able to zip through the latest posts and leave some quick incoherent remarks on some of your pages. What strikes me particularly about KBW at this time is the extraordinary number of election posts on the aggeregator every day I know elections only come every 5 years but seriously we should have more interesting stuff  (especially now that Mwalimu Xs has taken his maneno of pale pale on hiatus) maybe thats why I am not feeling the Christmas vibe yet which should be kicking in about now.

I don’t mind peeps debating political issues in all the media including their blogs but what I can absolutely not stand are all those email forwards going around (some of them with viruses!) masquarading as support for so and so but inactual fact are just hate mail and slander. I don’t get how I am supposed to make an informed choice when someone just decides to send scandalous allegations, doctored docuements and photoshoped pictures to mudsling someone they don’t agree with. My position on this is to delete all such emails without opening, I absolutely NEVER forward such emails.

The Election fever has also had a major impact on the TV  with almost all the stations competing to bring us live footage of every launch and relaunch of campaigns, manifestos and all that. Add onto that the various discussion programs, call in shows and debates daily on TV which incidentally feature the same old ‘experts’ and ‘political commentators’ and you realize that there is very little option on TV. I have tried to keep myself busy with movies and reading a book here and there cos every time I switch on the TV all I get is people argueing and news fo people fighting over petty issues which is depressing! Don’t get me wrong I know it is important for people to be informed in order to make a wise decision but for me I have had more than enough of it to know that the real issues have been totally forgotten and what matters today are just regional politics and I am not likely to be easily swayed by all those promises being bandied around. (Feel free to call me a sceptic but I have to see to believe! I have been dissappointed before.)

On less depressing matters I have managed to get two movies I have been eagerly awaiting. I missed their theatrical release earlier in the year and I had to wait for the DVD release in October. I don’t buy those bootleg – camera copy- 9 in one DVD’s sold in the streets for movies which I consider to be keepers since for me there is no point in investing in a good home theatre system then resorting to watch grainy poor pictures and extremely poor sound.

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Since I watched Sin City I have been hooked to Frank Millers stories and was very sad when the movie run ended before I could watch it on the big screen. When I watched in on DVD I wasn’t dissappointed at all, some critics have said that the director sacrificied the characterization in favour of the special effects but for me I say its all good because when you are watching a movie adapted from a graphic novel what you want is the action. The story however was also very powerful as well, I particulary liked the Spartan one liners which made what should be a very dark and gory movie actually quite funny as well like when the Spartans are asked to lay down their weapons by the Persians and Leonidas tell to “Come and get them”. The movie doesn’t have a fairy tell happy ending but that is because it is actually based on true tale.

The effects were out of this world I couldn’t get over how fit all the men looked with all those tight abs and prominent 6 packs. Having been shot almost entirely againist a Blue screen the backgrounds were all computer generated which helped give the movie an ancient look and appeal. The relentless battle scenes especially the slow motion sword fights were a delight to watch I don’t normally like excess violence but this one was done in an artistic and it was almost like a vicious dance.

I wouldn’t hesitate watching this movie over and over again and it has me eagerly awaiting Sin City 2 which is due for release next year.

Die Hard 4.0 – Live Free or Die Hard.

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I have been waiting to watch this movie since EGM reviewed it earlier in the year being a big fan of John Mclane since the days of the first Die Hard at the na Nakatomi plaza. The brutal violence coupled with the witty humour of Bruce Willis definatly provides a pleasant mix that will leave even non actions movie fans quite happy. I was surprissed when I heard that Bruce was going to reprise the role and don the dirty vest once again after so much years and this made me quite sceptical since I couldn’t believe  that he could still pull of an intense action role. I was pleasantly surprised however by the great reviews the movie got and after watching it I can confirm it is one hell of a cracker.

I am also keenly watching my mailbox for two more movies that I have already ordered, the first I have already watched Pirates of the Caribean 3 but being a total fan I just wanted to complete my collection and have all three. The second is The Bourne Ultimatum which is due for DVD release on Dec. 10 so I have to wait a bit longer but since it doesn’t look like I will be able to catch it in the theatres before the run closes.

As I mentioned earlier the state of local TV is quite boring and may remain so until after elections so I decided to make a long delayed move and get DSTV for my digs albeit only the compact package but with the current offer its quite a good dea and after evaluating what GTV has to offer which is not much apart from Premier League Football which is always much better to watch in a pub despite the loud Arsenal fans who have colonized them so  I don’t have to suffer flipping channels in the evening to look for one that doesn’t have a talk show. Maybe when the Champions league seasons heats up, Formula one, Tennis and Euro 2008 start next year I may be tempted to switch to the premium package.

So with all these movies plus 33 new channels and the blog pals who are not on the campaign trail I just might be able to survive this Holiday/Campaign period without dying of boredom.

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The Book or the Movie?

The Bourne Ultimatum is finally out in movie theatres in Nairobi. I haven’t watched the movie yet although I intend to at the first opportunity I get. What has been interesting though is the inevitable debate on whether the movie is better than the book. This debate I guess has been going on since the first movie adaptations of popular books began. Many literature purists will always argue that books are always more superior to movies but this is often said with a hint of superiority complex cos it is often argued that reading is a more intellectual activity that just following an already packaged movie. I wont play down the importance of reading books (which I wholeheartedly support) but I also think that in many cases the movie can be better than the book and may also lead to more people appreciating and understanding the book.

The following is just a sample of some my thoughts on some of the movies that I have in my DVD collection that I have read also read the book from which they were adapted.

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  • The Godfather – by Mario Puzo, This is one of the most facinating novels that I read while still in high school the story was so well written and I do believe that this is one of the greatest novels ever written. In this case I valued the book more than the movie, I had to watch the movie a couple of times before I really appreciated it but the movie also added value because whenever you think of Don Corleone Marlon Brando immediately comes to mind. 

    Book ♥♥♥♥♥ / Movie ♥♥♥♥

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  • Jurrasic Park -by Michael Chrichton; For this one I first watched the movie before I read the book, I was so enthralled by the movie that I quickly went out looking for the book and quickly went through all the other Michael Crichton books as well, the book was definately more detailed and helped explain much more than the movie, the other Crichton movie adaptations apart from The Lost World and Disclosure such as Time Line, Congo, Sphere were much less interesting than the books. I guess the tech aspects are too detailed for a good cinema experience.

Book ♥♥♥♥♥ / Movie ♥♥♥♥

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  • The Bourne Identity/Supremacy by Robert Ludlum; Ludlums books are extremely detailed and intricate and I doubt any movie producer can be able to accurately depict all the things that occur in the books but the Bourne movies are definately a very good attempt to dramatize the books and for that I will give them a goood score but the books are definately better.

 

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  • The Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King; I am a loyal Stephen King Fan and I believe he is the greatest story writer and his characters are always believable unfortunately most of the screen adaptations of Stephen King novels almost always disappoint cos they don’t give enough time to the character development which is always key in the books (before they start being haunted or hacked) Of the older movies I can only reccomend Christine as a good attempt. As for The  Shawshank Redemption which is actually an adaptation of the short novella Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption from his Four Seasons compilation I can trully say that the Movie surpassed the book, I rated Shawshank as one of the greatest movies ever made but the book is also excellent so I give them all top marks. The other two stories in Four Seasons, The Body was also made into a pretty good movie – Stand by Me but Apt Pupil was not good at all.

Book ♥♥♥♥♥ / Movie ♥♥♥♥♥

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  • The Constant Gardener by John Le Carre; I only bought the book because it was set in Kenya but after I started reading it I found it quite captivating. I watched the movie after reading the book and in my view the movie script stayed very true to the movie. It is difficult to decide which was better but I will have to back the book since it was much more detailed.

Book♥♥♥♥ / Movie ♥♥♥

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  • The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien; I first heard of the Lord of the Rings when The Fellowship of the Ring movie came out I watched the movie first on Video and loved it this inspired me to get the book to read. In the case of the LOTR I will admit that the books at first are definately hard to read but after watching the movie I found it much easier to understand the book but overall I prefer the movie to the book and the 12 disc DVD boxset is the pride of my DVD collection

Book ♥♥♥♥ / Movie ♥♥♥♥♥

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  • Queen of the the Damned by Anne Rice; I am a fan of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches series which I have read most of however with the movies only Interview with a Vampire starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt was really a good movie, Queen of the damned which was Aaliyahs last movie before her untimely death was not a great movie however the redeeming feature was the excellent visual effects on the scary stuff which I totally loved but overall the book was much much better

Book ♥♥♥♥ / Movie ♥♥

Onto other stuff, I lost my Motorolla SLVR phone fortunately I had just upgraded to another phone but I still needed the second phone for my Safaricom line which I just use for calling only I think murphys law must have come to play to deny me the bragging rights of having two high end phones. Talking of phones multichoice/KBC is launching Mobile TV in Kenya it figures just when I had upgraded my phone with all the features I thought I would ever need! See story here.

ps. Gollum kinda reminds me of this fella.

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Live Weekend

Quite a hectic Madaraka day weekend I had. Its been a while since I enjoyed 3 whole days of no-work pressure. It was also time for me to travel downtown (not upcountry like most folks) to spend some time with the folks. I was also able to catch up with several friends as well including one very senior blogger who we grew up with. There were several highlights of the weekend but I will only talk about two of them.

Sawa Sawa Concert.


Despite a very busy schedule on Saturday I was able to drag my self to the Aboretum to catch a glimpse of the Sawa Sawa festival that featured among others Jazz Maestro – Hugh Masekela and Roots Reggae icon – Burning Spear. As can be expected for any free concert in the city the whole area around Aboretum was jam packed with people up to State House Road and therefore despite my enthusiasm and that of my posse we were not able to see much of what was going on stage but I generally liked the atmosphere which was largely peaceful and lively. I had my doubts initally especially after the rowdy scenes that have been experienced in reggae concerts in the past. I was able to pick a few nice CD’s of local music to enjoy including Eric Wainainas Twende Twende. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay long and was not able to see the fellow who brought us out there i.e. Hugh cos we had advance tickets for our next assignment.

Pirates of the Caribean – At Worlds End.


At long last after 7 days of anticipation since it opened I was able to watch Pirates 3 over at Nu-Metro we arrived just in time to grab popcorn and drinks and sink into our seats to watch this years mega blockbuster. I had to admit the massive expectations that were heaped on this movie were impossible to surmount but it not deter my desire to lap it up. The movie of the year finally opened and I sat back to enjoy the ride.

Enjoy I did! Captain Jack Sparrow and the rest of the Pirates cast did not disappoint it would take a massive effort to match the levels reached by Curse of the Black Pearl and Dead Mans Chest but at Worlds end matched them in quite a number of levels. There some issues I had with the overall movie but I’m dead certain I will watch it again and again, I believe it is the small and suttle things that you don’t notice at the first screening that make for a great collectors movie. I already have DVD’s of th first 2 and I am pretty sure as soon as P3 is available on www.amazon.co.uk I will be one of the first buyers.

Parts I liked

  • What is a pirate movie without elaborate sword fights and canon fights – some critics have said the action scenes were too long but I say there were just what the fans wanted
  • The wisecracks were there in plenty as usual and Captain Jack Sparrow was Hillarious as usual my only complain was that there was not as much of him as I would have wanted and I think he did not take as much rum as required.
  • Keira Knightely was as ravishing as usual this time the sexiness was more overt as she gave us generous glimpses of her lovely thighs in the Singapore scene and in the last scene just before Will turner goes on his 10 year voyage on the BT – sorry! 🙂 on the Flying Dutchman.
  • For me the movie was a fitting conclusion to the Pirates of the Caribean Trilogy and I hope Disney lets it remain a Trilogy they can make more money by using the movies popularity to sell tickets to its Disneyland rides.

Parts that didn’t quite click.

  • The movie took too long to introduce Captain Jack and the first sight we saw of him was a humongous nose. It is standard to introduce the main character in the first 5 minutes but I belive it took almost 20 minutes before we saw Jack but when he appeared he took over.
  • Very very long over 2.5 hours is quite long for an adventure movie
  • Admiral James Norrington deserved a more fitting demise considering his role in the development of the plot.
  • What happened to Calypso? Surely that thread deserved a more fitting end

The biggest mystery in the whole movie is: Where was Keira hiding that big fat shotgun that she pulled out from under her clothes? -Just a thought 🙂

Tagged Again

What is it with tagging these days I had barely recovered from the first tag then Ichiena went ahead and tagged me to do a podcast and before I had finished figuring this out Aegeus decides to tag me to show what I have on my Home Desk. I will have you know that I do not have a home desk all I have is a dining table which of course doubles as a desk when I dont want to drag my laptop to the couch or the bed. But since this is much easier than the Podcast I will jump ahead and heed Methus Tag and give you a glimpse of what a bloggers desk in shaggs looks like.

My Trusty Toshiba Laptop, my Motorolla Cellphone – important for connecting to the internet, My DJ box – with my ancient CD collection, My PDA – in case I forget what I am actually supposed to be doing, My FHM magazine – for those much needed creative breaks and most important of all My COOKIE JAR – Bliss.

You Savvy??

I guess May 25th is Approaching faster than I had expected. The big movie season is already upon us I have already watched Spiderman 3 and it was quite good acutally despite my initial reservations but it did have one or 2 uhh? moments. The big movie for me this season is bound to be Pirates of the Caribean: At World End. I have been waiting eagerly for this one since I watched Dead Mans Chest. I know that eagerly anticipated movies often tend to disappoint but who can deny the enduring swash buckling charm of Captain Jack Sparrow and the delicate tomboyish beauty of Ms Elizabeth Swan?
I probably may not watch it opening weekend but I shall be trooping to watch it as soon as I can meanwhile I have temporarily redecorated my house for the upcoming Pirates season. I shall be I shall be returning to Middle Earth soon.

I am not saying anything about todays game