April 26th, 2010

breaking bad


Centurion is a new film by Neil Marshall, who directed Dog Soldiers and The Descent. It's about the Ninth Legion having their arses kicked by the Picts. It's a very simple film, with a ridiculously cheesy script. But if you liked the Romans v Germanic barbarians battle in Gladiator, which I did, you will probably enjoy this. The film consists of about 30% Romans being tortured and massacred by Picts and about 69% Romans running away from Picts. The remaining 1% is an extremely low budget attempt to render Roman politics (General in sweaty armour, to Agricola in a tent, 'I am a soldier; I leave the politics to you.' and that's about it)

The actors are a great bunch - Dominic West, Michael Fassbinder, Bernard Hill, David Morrissey, JJ Feild, Noel Clarke (Mickey from Dr Who) - and the fighting and dying is well directed, if you like that camera style where clots of mud and blood go flying across the screen in high definition. Really it's just handsome men fighting for about an hour and a half.

I had to laugh, because while they are struggling through Scotland, getting picked off by the Picts, they get word that Roman military policy has changed, and sure enough, when they come over the last hill - oh noes - would you know it, there's a big bloody wall in the way. That Hadrian! This gives you some idea of the level at which this film operates but if you want to see Dominic West with his top off fighting a Pictish warrior queen this is a great film.
breaking bad

Better than it sounds

vilakins and astrogirl and others did some fun quiz things, based on the TV tropes section 'Better than it sounds', which gives deceptive précis of well known TV shows and films. Anyway, I think they have taken all the best ones from TV Tropes, but I wanted to do the quiz too, so I made some up.

Here are some descriptions of well known films and TV shows. Can you identify them - helpful hint: none are Mad Men or Breaking Bad. The answers are in comments in case you would like to play.

  1. Insurance claims adjuster struggles with an inadequate filing system and increasingly bizarre tattoos (identified by kalypso_v)

  2. Small township seeks incorporation into the wider legislative oversight of the neighbouring democratic state (parental advisory - strong language) (identified by kalypso_v)

  3. The principle trade of an old and impoverished seaport is in plant alkaloids. This trade is monitored obsessively, via handheld voice transmitters. (identified by kalypso_v)

  4. An irritable political interrogator investigates and belittles the understanding of those who are trying to learn (identified by mraltariel)

  5. Those who recycle the detritus of a recently bombed city live lives of desperation, futility and loathing - with hilarious consequences! (identified by splodgenoodles)

  6. A man confused by changes in gender roles attempts to reconnect with his wife by setting fire to an office block and killing Europeans (identified by splodgenoodles)

  7. When the world is plunged into war, a band of ancient warriors makes a lonely stand at the edge of the sea (identified by splodgenoodles)

  8. An entity half formed of living metal descends from the sky to converse with an intelligent mollusc (identified by wwhyte)

  9. Dwarfed by huge apparatus of unknown function, he is stalked by a remorseless predator. As his body is attacked he can not die but mutates against his will into distorted and inhuman forms. (identified by altariel)

ETA - that was quick