31 January 2012

Laneway Festival 30 Jan 2012

Laneway Festival @ Silo Park: FEIST, THE HORRORS, GOTYE, LAURA MARLING, PAJAMA CLUB, SBTRKT (Live), SHAYNE P CARTER, WASHED OUT, TWIN SHADOW, ANNA CALVI, M83, CULTS, GIRLS, EMA, YUCK, TORO Y MOI, WU LYF, GLASSER, OPOSSOM, THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART, AUSTRA, TRANSISTORS

Awesome day/night. The new venue was great - there are a few issues that need to be ironed out, but it was much better than Aotea Square.

Mobile Photos:

Great day for Laneway at Silo Park



Austra - highlight of the festival. She was amazing! ♥


Glasser



 Laura Marling's music is beautiful



Looking to the CBD



Twin Shadow



Yuck



 The Horrors 



M83 - another highlight. Absolutely amazing ♥



Gotye

28 January 2012

The Dresden Dolls 27 Jan 2012

I've been a fan of The Dresden Dolls for years, and seeing them live was brilliant! All that passion - and awesome guest stars.... Richard O'Brien, complete with some Rocky Horror singing!! Bliss :)

Setlist:
1. Cosmic Dancer (T. Rex cover)
2. Sex Changes
3. Missed Me
4. Modern Moonlight
5. Gravity
6. Mandy Goes to Med School
7. Mrs. O
8. Ultima Esperanza
9. The Mouse and the Model
10. (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!) (Beastie Boys cover)
11. Delilah
12. Astronaut (A Short History of Nearly Nothing) (Amanda Palmer song)
13. Dirty Business
14. Boston
15. Coin-Operated Boy
16. Bad Habit
17. The Mercy Seat (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds cover)
18. Half Jack
19. Girl Anachronism

Encore:
20. Sing
21. War Pigs (Black Sabbath cover)

Encore 2:
22. Mein Herr (John Kander & Fred Ebb cover)
23. Truce

Mobile photos:

Amanda and Brian



Amanda Palmer joins us on the mezzanine level!



Richard O'Brien centre stage

25 January 2012

I want..

... Legoship of the Ring!

These little cuties are being released for real.

I admit a slight fascination with Lego minifigures (series 1 - 6; series 6 was just released last week here). And this set would fit in nicely with the *few* figures I own already...

23 January 2012

Laneway 2012

I'm super-excited for the Auckland Laneway Festival, 30th January!

Here is a helpful little guide I made for myself. I thought I'd share it here. It's missing a few NZ artists (Shane P Carter, Pajama Club). It's a basic note on each artist; their albums are numbered below. (Thanks wikipedia!!)

Links: Laneway Auckland, NZ   |   Venue and Map   |   Playing Times

~*ANNA CALVI*~
English musician who plays in the band of the same name.
1. Anna Calvi

~*AUSTRA*~
Canadian electronic band from Toronto, Ontario, formed in 2009.
3 Members:
Katie Stelmanis (vocals, keyboards)
her former Galaxy bandmate Maya Postepski (drums)
former Spiral Beach bassist Dorian Wolf
1. Austra

~*CULTS*~
Indie pop band from Manhattan, New York, 2010.
Members:
Madeline Follin – vocals
Brian Oblivion – vocals, guitar, percussion
Live Members:
Gabriel Rodriguez – aux, guitar
Marc Deriso – drums
Nathan Aguilar – bass guitar
1. Cults

~*EMA*~
Erika M. Anderson (EMA) is a singer/songwriter from South Dakota.
1. Little Sketches on Tape 2010
2. Past Life Martyred Saints 2011

~*FEIST*~
Leslie Feist, known professionally as Feist, is a Canadian singer-songwriter.
1. 1999: Monarch (Lay Your Jewelled Head Down)
2. 2004: Let It Die
3. 2006: Open Season
4. 2007: The Reminder
5. 2011: Metals

~*GIRLS*~
Indie rock band from San Francisco, California
2 Main Members:
Christopher Owens, the main writer and lead singer
Chet "JR" White, who plays bass and produces
1. Album 2009
2. Father, Son, Holy Ghost 2011

~*GLASSER*~
Cameron Mesirow, USA (LA, NY). Mesirow's stage name was inspired by "a midnight vision of a figure hovering over water".
1. Ring 2010

~*GOYTE*~
Wouter "Wally" De Backer (born 21 May 1980), also known professionally by his stage name Gotye, is an Australian-Belgian multi-instrumental musician and singer-songwriter. The name "Gotye" is derived from "Gaultier" (or "Gautier" or "Gauthier"), the French translation of "Wouter".
1. Boardface (2003)
2. Like Drawing Blood (2006)
3. Making Mirrors (2011)

~*HORRORS*~
English band formed in Southend on Sea in 2005
5 Members:
Faris Badwan - vocals; formerly known as Faris Rotter.
Joshua Hayward - guitar; formerly Joshua Von Grimm or Joshua Third.
Tom Cowan - synthesizer, bass (on Strange House); formerly known as Tomethy Furse.
Rhys Webb - bass, organs (on Strange House); formerly known as Spider Webb.
Joe Spurgeon - drums; formerly known as Coffin Joe.
1. Strange House
2. Primary Colours
3. Skying

~*LAURA MARLING*~
Laura Beatrice Marling (born 1 February 1990) is an English folk musician from Eversley, Hampshire.
1. Alas, I Cannot Swim (2008)
2. I Speak Because I Can (2010)
3. A Creature I Don't Know (2011)

Laura Marling also has recorded various songs such as "Soulless Child", "Candlelight", "Karma", "Mexico" and "Nature of Dust" (all of which can be heard on YouTube but are not yet for sale) as well as "She's Changed" (of which a live version is for sale, but not a pre-recorded version) and "Such a Shame" (which is neither for sale nor available on YouTube).

~*M83*~
Musical act by French musician Anthony Gonzalez. It is named after a spiral galaxy, Messier 83. The band was founded in 2001 by Gonzalez and former member Nicolas Fromageau in Antibes, France.
5 Members:
Anthony Gonzalez
Yann Gonzalez
Morgan Kibby
Loïc Maurin
Jordan Lawlor
1. M83 2001
2. Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts 2003
3. Before the Dawn Heals Us 2005
4. Digital Shades Vol. 1 2007
5. Saturdays = Youth 2008
6. Hurry Up, We're Dreaming 2011

~*OPOSSOM*~ (NZ)
Kody Nielson (born Carl Kody Nielson 9 May 1982) is a producer, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is the former lead singer and producer of the band The Mint Chicks and producer of Bic Runga's fourth studio album Belle[1]. His current project is Opossom, a psych pop group based in Auckland New Zealand.

~*PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART*~
Indie pop band from New York City
4 Members:
Kip Berman – vocals and guitar
Peggy Wang – keyboards and vocals
Alex Naidus – bass
Kurt Feldman – drums
1. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
2. Belong

~*SBTRKT*~
(Pronounced as "subtract") is the stage name of Aaron Jerome, a musician and producer from London, United Kingdom. SBTRKT began his career as a DJ in the east London club "Plastic People". SBTRKT refers also to the musical duo of Jerome and his frequent collaborator Sampha
1. SBTRKT (2011)

~*TORO Y MOI*~
Chazwick Bundick better known by his stage name Toro Y Moi, is an American recording artist and producer. His music has taken on many forms since he began recording, but he is often identified with the chillwave movement of summer 2010. As of 2011, his sound has struck out toward progressive rock, especially in a live setting.
1. Causers of This (January 2010)
2. Underneath the Pine (February 2011)

~*TRANSISTORS*~ (NZ)
The band is comprised of drummer/singer Olly Crawford-Ellis, guitarist/singer James Harding and bassist Colin Roxburgh. They play short catchy songs with an emphasis on super high energy that is powered by insanely fast drumming and loud guitars. The band’s sound blends 60s garage, 70s power pop and punk and 80s hardcore and alternative rock.
1. Shortwave

~*TWIN SHADOW*~
Twin Shadow is the stage name of American musician George Lewis Jr. USA (NY). Lewis was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Florida.
1. Forget (2010)
2. untitled (first half of 2012)

~*WASHED OUT*~
Stage name of the American chillwave musician Ernest Greene (born in 1983, Perry, Georgia).
1. Within and Without 2011

~*YUCK*~
Indie rock band that originated in London, England.
4 Members:
Daniel Blumberg
Max Bloom
Mariko Doi
Jonny Rogoff
1. Yuck 2011

16 January 2012

Golden Globes 2012!

Here are the nominations, and winners (in bold), for the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards!

TV Series, Drama
American Horror Story
Boardwalk Empire
Boss
Game of Thrones
Homeland

Actor In A TV Series, Drama
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Kelsey Grammar, Boss
Jeremy Irons, The Borgias
Damian Lewis, Homeland

Actress In A TV Series, Drama
Claire Danes, Homeland
Mireille Enos, The Killing
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Madeleine Stowe, Revenge
Callie Thorne, Necessary Roughness

TV Series, Comedy
New Girl
Enlightened
Episodes
Glee
Modern Family

Actor In A TV Series, Comedy
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
David Duchovny, Californication
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Thomas Jane, Hung
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

Actress In A TV Series, Comedy
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Laura Dern, Enlightened
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Laura Linney, The Big C

Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
Cinema Verite
Downton Abbey
The Hour
Mildred Pierce
Too Big to Fail

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for TV
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Idris Elba, Luther
William Hurt, Too Big to Fail
Bill Nighy, Page Eight
Dominic West, The Hour

Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for TV
Romola Garai, The Hour
Diane Lane, Cinema Verite
Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey
Emily Watson, Appropriate Adult
Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail
Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce
Tim Robbins, Cinema Verite
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Sofía Vergara, Modern Family
Evan Rachel Wood, Mildred Pierce

Motion Picture, Drama
The Descendants
The Help
Hugo
The Ides Of March
Moneyball
Warhorse

Actor In A Motion Picture, Drama
George Clooney, The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Ryan Gosling, The Ides Of March
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Actress In A Motion Picture, Drama
Viola Davis, The Help
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton, We Need To Talk About Kevin
Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs

Motion Picture, Comedy
50/50
The Artist
Bridesmaids
Midnight In Paris
My Week With Marilyn

Actor In A Motion Picture, Comedy
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Brendan Gleeson, The Guard
Owen Wilson, Midnight In Paris
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50
Ryan Gosling, Crazy, Stupid, Love

Actress In A Motion Picture, Comedy
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Jodie Foster, Carnage
Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Kate Winslet, Carnage

Supporting Actor In A Motion Picture
Albert Brooks, Drive
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method

Supporting Actress In A Motion Picture
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Best Director
Martin Scorcese, Hugo
George Clooney, The Ides of March
Michel Hazanvicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Woody Allen, Midnight In Paris

13 January 2012

Friday 13th

Unfortunately, I will not be 'celebrating' Friday 13th by watching scary movies. I am however flying to Christchurch to see my good friends.

I thought I would add a quick note here that I have updated my 'Small Screen' aka TV page with shows and their statuses. The links is at the top of the page there... or here (aren't I helpful?!)

I know this page is going to help me remember (I watch too many shows), but maybe it will help a couple of like-minded readers out there :)

12 January 2012

The 50 Big Films of 2012

I love me some films - this list is from flicks.co.nz. For many reasons, these films are a 'don't miss list'. After reading through it, I want to see almost every film on this list! I'm going to cross out those I get to see.

Updated 10 October 2012
In no particular order, with NZ opening dates:

Hugo, January 12. Genre: Family fantasy
Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Chloë Moretz, Sacha Baron Cohen
Don’t Miss Because: It’s Martin Scorsese doing a family film. Who thought they’d see that happen? Based on the much-loved book The Invention of Hugo Cabaret, the movie has a whimsical sense of adventure, accompanied by a truly delicious use of 3D and a couple of sincere nods to early cinema. This may help you prepare.

War Horse, January 12, Genre: War
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Emily Watson
Don’t Miss Because: War Horse is a combination of two things Spielberg excels at: World War spectacle (Saving Private Ryan) and getting us to adore seemingly vulnerable creatures to eye-dribbling levels (E.T.). It seems like a typical Steven Spielberg film, and that’s ‘cause it is. And that’s just fine by us.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, January 19. Genre: Mystery thriller
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Starring: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy
Don’t Miss Because: Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight), Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises), Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes), Benedict Cumberbatch (TV’s Sherlock), John Hurt (Alien), Ciarán Hinds (There Will Be Blood), Toby Jones (Captain America) and Stephen Graham (Snatch). How can you not be excited?

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, January 26. Genre: Thriller
Director: David Fincher
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer
Don’t Miss Because: The Millennium trilogy is awesome. David Fincher is awesome. That’s two times the awesome. Adding to that, Rooney Mara gives a performance that has been turning a number of critical heads, with some placing her embodiment of complex lead Lisbeth above and beyond Noomi Papace’s original incarnation. A bold statement indeed.

Young Adult, January 26. Genre: Comedy drama
Director: Jason Reitman
Starring: Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Oswald Patton
Don’t Miss Because: The last time director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody teamed up, they made Juno. And Juno was rad. They now shift from a coming-of-age story to a never-did-age tale, with Charlize Theron playing the grotty young adult who failed to grow beyond her high-school hey-days.

The Descendants, January 26. Genre: Drama
Director: Alexander Payne
Starring: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Judy Greer
Don’t Miss Because: Old Georgie could be on track for his first leading role Oscar. Even if not, we're sure he had a great time filming this drama in balmy Hawaii, wearing his favourite collection of Hawaiian shirts and practicing his ukelele skills. Plus, few directors tread the bittersweet comedy drama line as adeptly as Alexander Payne (Sideways, About Schmidt, Election).

Like Crazy, February 2. Genre: Romance
Director: Drake Doremus
Starring: Felicity Jones, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence
Don’t Miss Because: Much like last year’s Blue Valentine, this quiet indie film is a brutally honest look at how a tender romance can bloom into beauty and contort into misery. Critically adored at the Sundance Film Festival, this is a love story told with a sometimes sweet, sometimes severe simplicity.

Chronicle, February 2. Genre: Superhero found-footage thriller
Director: Josh Trank
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly, Dane DeHaan
Don’t Miss Because: The trailer sold it to us. Sure, we’re getting pretty oversaturated with the gimmicky use of found-footage (Apollo 18), but this indie film about cheeky mutating adolescents has made us believers again. Plus, if we had cell-phone cameras and telekinesis at that age, we’d fully be pulling the same pranks.

The Artist, February 9. Genre: Silent movie
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Starring: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, Malcolm McDowell
Don’t Miss Because: This French black and white silent film has been munching on the critical praise like a kid in a candy mausoleum. Though cautious thinkers may wonder if its extreme retro style is merely an attention-seeking gimmick, rest assured that there’s an intention behind its madness, with an elegant beauty to match.

The Ides of March, February 16. Genre: Dramedy
Director: George Clooney
Starring: George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Don’t Miss Because: George Clooney is so darn good at telling us what sucks about American politics (see Goodnight and Good Luck). As an Oscar-winking film, it’s ticking all the right boxes: stellar cast, intricate plot, rock-solid direction, all wrapped up in a governmental conspiracy. Prepare for more back-stabbings than a bed of knives.

Moneyball, February 16. Genre: Sports drama
Director: Bennett Miller
Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Don’t Miss Because: Although we’re not really a baseball-loving nation (let alone fantasy baseball), there are many enticing things about this true-story sports drama. The critical praise has been staggering, the acting talent serves quantity and quality and the script has been fine-tuned by screenwriting masters Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) and Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List).

Shame, February 23. Genre: Sexually-charged drama
Director: Steve McQueen
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, Amy Hargreaves
Don’t Miss Because: Michael Fassbender gives an award-winning performance as a compulsive sex addict in this drama from Steve McQueen (not THAT Steven McQueen, the dude who directed the excellent Hunger). This isn’t your light-hearted Tiger-Woodsian sex addiction either; this is a sad, gruelling and exhausting dependence that impedes our protagonist’s ability to function normally.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, February 23. Genre: Drama
Director: Stephen Daldry
Starring: Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Viola Davis
Don’t Miss Because: It’s a tender story about one boy’s love for his late father, and the lengths he’ll travel to show it. With heavy references to 9/11 and a young protagonist that may test your patience, the film has polarised critics; some love it, some ‘meh’ it. It’s intriguing, and a film you have to determine for yourself.

We Need To Talk About Kevin, March 1. Genre: Thriller
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller, John C. Reilly
Don’t Miss Because: The award-winning direction (British Independent Film Awards 2011) and Tilda Swinton’s Oscar-worthy performance should be reason enough to jot this grim drama on your must-see list. Adding the ever-increasingly excellent John C. Reilly to the mix as well as a musical backdrop by Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood doesn’t hurt either.

The Grey, March 1. Genre: Survivalist Action Thriller
Director: Joe Carnahan
Starring: Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, James Badge
Don’t Miss Because: It’s Liam Neeson in the Alaskan snow being hunted down by a pack of wolves and that just sounds plain awesome.

The Sitter, March 1. Genre: Comedy
Director: David Gordon Green
Starring: Jonah Hill, Sam Rockwell, JB Smoove
Don’t Miss Because: It looks stupidly funny. Stupid probably being the key word there… The film has Jonah Hill staring as a guy who is – but really shouldn’t be - babysitting some kids. Sure, it sounds G-rated but believe us it’s not. With Pineapple Express director David Gordon Green behind it how could it be? Like that film, it’s foul-mouthed, drug obsessed, actiony and likely to be very funny.

My Week With Marilyn, March 8. Genre: Period drama
Director: Simon Curtis
Starring: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kennetg Branagh
Don’t Miss Because: Michelle Williams won’t give up her hunt for an Oscar, and she’s willing to impersonate the hell out of another actress to do it. Any obvious physical differences between Williams and Monroe are eradicated by her freakish performance. When it comes to impersonation, you needn’t the body of an icon; you need to embody them.

John Carter, March 8. Genre: Sci-fi-adventure
Director: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Hayden-Church
Don’t Miss Because: Disney has poured the big bucks into this sci-fi fantasy adventure, at times being accused of folly. But they’re right to believe in the film as it marks the live-action debut of famed Pixar director Andrew Stanton, the man who was in charge of Finding Nemo and WALL-E. Visually the film’s sure to astound and Stanton’s pedigree suggests that the importance of story won’t have been forgotten.

Martha Marcy May Marlene, March 15. Genre: Drama
Director: Sean Durkin
Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson, John Hawkes
Don’t Miss Because: Apparently there’s a talented Olsen sister, and she’s not a twin. That’s got to get you a little curious. This small film has been quite the buzz generator. After leaving an abusive cult, a mentally broken woman (Elizabeth Olsen) tries to re-assimilate with her family, but painful memories hold her back.

The Devil's Double, March 15. Genre: True-Story Drama
Director: Lee Tamahori
Starring: Dominic Cooper, Ludivine Sagnier, Raad Rawi
Don’t Miss Because: Our very own Lee Tamahori directs this ruthless based-on-truth tale set in late ‘80s Bagdad. Dominic Cooper (Tony Starks’ father in Captain America) plays a duel role: one as Saddam Hussein’s sadistic sex-crazed son Uday and the other as an unfortunate Iraqi army lieutenant ordered to be his body double.

Two Little Boys, March 15. Genre: Kiwi comedy
Director: Robert Sarkies
Starring: Bret McKenzie, Hamish Blake, Maaka Pohatu
Don’t Miss Because: Flight of the Conchord’s Bret McKenzie and Hamish and Andy’s Hamish Blake pair up in the Kiwi black-comedy as best buds Nige and Deano, caught up in the accidental death of a Scandinavian soccer star brought on by a policeman, a ginger cat and a hot meat pie. Curious yet?

The Hunger Games, March 22. Genre: Action thriller
Director: Gary Ross
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson
Don’t Miss Because: It’s based on Suzanne Collins’ much appreciated novel about a futuristic world where two dozen teenagers are rounded up to fight to the death, all in the name of televised entertainment. It also stars young Oscar-nominee and current Hollywood head-turner Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique from X-Men: First Class).

Attack the Block, March 29. Genre: Sci-fi
Director: Joe Cornish
Starring: Nick Frost, Jodie Whittaker, Luke Treadaway
Don’t Miss Because: Having been pushed around last year’s release schedule like an unloved ginger, hope still remains that this time the acclaimed British indie will actually get shown on a New Zealand cinema screen… This sci-fi action flick is about a street gang on a South London council estate battling it out with invading aliens and was the break-out hit of last year’s SXSW festival before going on to conquer many ‘Best Of 2011’ lists.

Carnage, March undated. Genre: Comedy
Director: Roman Polanski
Starring: Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Christoph Waltz
Don’t Miss Because: Roman Polanski takes four incredible actors/actresses, puts them in a room and shakes it up like an ADHD kid holding a snow globe. Based on the hit play God of Carnage, Polanski’s take is bound to have the same level of humour, and he’s no stranger to one-room films (Death and the Maiden).

The Pirates! Band of Misfits, April 5. Genre: Family comedy
Director: Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt
Starring: Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, David Tennant
Don’t Miss Because: Aside from being the year’s best excuse to bust out your Pirate impressions it’s also practically guaranteed to be a winner. Aardman Animations rarely muck things up and Pirates returns the studio to its dazzling hand animated plasticine roots after the CGI of their recent festive hit Arthur Christmas.

The Avengers, April 25. Genre: Superhero action
Director: Joss Whedon
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson
Don’t Miss Because: This will be the first superhero collaboration to have actually worked, at least that’s what we’re hoping for. Given Marvel’s current track record and beloved comic geek Joss Whedon helming the director’s chair and writer’s pen, they’ve made optimists out of us all.

A Dangerous Method, April 26. Genre: Period drama
Director: David Cronenberg
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley
Don’t Miss Because: David Cronenberg is superb at telling messed-up stories about messed-up people, or at least people who are about to get messed-up (The Fly, 1996’s Crash). Michael Fassbender’s looks set to further his current winning streak (Inglourious Basterds, Jane Eyre, X-Men: First Class, Shame). And Viggo doing Freud? Uhh… hell yes!

Dark Shadows, May 10. Genre: Spooky soap opera
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloe Moretz
Don’t Miss Because: The pairing of Tim Burton with cult gothic-horror TV series Dark Shadows is as fitting as a goth in a skin-paling convention. A powerful wealthy man, played by Johnny Depp, is turned into a vampire and buried. Jumping from the 16th Century to 1972, he escapes to find his once-thriving establishment in dismay.

The Five-Year Engagement, May 17. Genre: Romantic Comedy
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Starring: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Alison Brie
Don’t Miss Because: The romantic comedy genre often gets a bum rep for peddling predictability and delivering cheesy schmaltz, but this looks different. This actually looks – wait for it – very funny. Co-written by star Jason Segel and director Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) the pair look to have injected some much need vitality and, more importantly, comedy into the stagnating genre.

Men In Black 3, May 24. Genre: Sci-fi action-comedy
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Jemaine Clement
Don’t Miss Because: This third outing for the MIBs involves a time travel plot so mind-boggling that production has been halted numerous times to allow the writers to sort it all out. Have they succeeded? We’re looking forward to finding out…

The Dictator, May 31. Genre: Comedy
Director: Larry Charles
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Megan Fox, John C Reilly
Don’t Miss Because: It’s likely to be the funniest film of the year. Adapted from the romance novel written by Saddam Hussein (yes, that Saddam Hussein) by some of the top writers from sitcom classic Seinfeld, and starring the fearless Sacha Baron Cohen, you can be sure that The Dictator will be wildly askew, mercilessly offensive, contagiously funny and devastatingly intelligent.

Rock of Ages, May 31. Genre: Musical comedy
Director: Adam Shankman
Starring: Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough, Russell Brand
Don’t Miss Because: It will be good fun. Sure, the story sounds plenty hokey but it’s a musical and we’re pretty sure that’s being hokey is the number one rule for musicals. So forget things like plot and well-rounded characters and just enjoy the clichéd characters rocking along the film’s clichéd plotline to a rocking soundtrack of glam rock classics. Afterall, it’s the music that’s the most important part of a musical and that’s where Rock Of Ages shines.

Prometheus, June 7. Genre: Sci-fi
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: (Flicks seem to have confused 'Bad Teacher' with 'Prometheus' here LOL - will post when they correct it, though I do know it stars Charlize Theron and Noomi Rapace)

Jack the Giant Killer, June 14. Genre: Fantasy adventure
Director: Bryan Singer
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor
Don’t Miss Because: This is a revision of the classic fairy tale seen through X-Men director Bryan Singer’s retinas. The trailer promises a more adventurous fairy tale adaptation than the likes of the woefully tame Red Riding Hood. Plus, there’s gonna be a giant tearing shiz up. In 3D.

Brave, June 21. Genre: Family adventure
Director: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson
Don’t Miss Because: After Pixar’s misstep with Cars 2, they’re ready to remind the movie world why they are considered to be the top of the animated medium. The unique Scottish styling is exposed in full force, from the rich accents to the gorgeous jaw-collapsing vistas. Brave looks to be Pixar’s return to form.

Snow White and the Huntsman, June 21. Genre: Fantasy adventure
Director: Rupert Sanders
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron
Don’t Miss Because: Fairy tale remakes are going to be inescapable this year, and this is the one we’re giving the just made up Flicks Fairy Tale Seal of Approval too. More a reimagining than a straight reboot, here the classic tale’s tropes have been infused with a dark realism and some fierce swordsmanship. The first released picture showed star Kristen Stewart in full steel body armour brandishing a mighty sword proving that despite its namesake, this ain’t gonna be no fairy tale…

The Amazing Spider-Man, June 28. Genre: Superhero action
Director: Marc Webb
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans
Don’t Miss Because: Like it or not, emo-Spider-Man is the Spider-Man 2.0 that’s here to stay for the next long while so you may as well get on-board early with it…

Ted, July 12. Genre: Comedy
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Starring: Mila Kunis, Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane (voice)
Don’t Miss Because: This is the directorial feature debut of Seth MacFarlane, animated comedy honcho (Family Guy, American Dad) and freakishly talented voice actor. Voyaging into the realm of live-action, Ted is a comedy about a man (Mark Wahlberg) and his teddy bear (voiced by you-know-who) who comes to life after a childhood wish.

The Dark Knight Rises, July 19. Genre: Superhero action
Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy
Don’t Miss Because: Christopher Nolan’s final instalment in his Batman trilogy is arguably the biggest release of the year, and is definitely the most anticipated. The trailer is incredible, showing that the mumbling, near indecipherable villain Bane is both, a suitably badass opponent for Gotham’s caped crusader and a menacing enough follow-on from Heath Ledger’s definitive Joker. Let’s put it this way, if we could only see one film this year, it would be this one.

Rivals, August 9. Genre: Comedy
Director: Jay Roach
Starring: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudekis
Don’t Miss Because: The idea of pitting two of this generations funniest man-childs against each other is an inspired one. Pitting them against each other in the juvenile world of politics and electioneering borders close to comedic genius. And that’s exactly what Jay Roach, the director of Austin Powers, has done. If you’re looking for a laugh this year, then this one gets our vote.

The Bourne Legacy, August 16. Genre: Action
Director: Tony Gilroy
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz
Don’t Miss Because: It represents another bold move by the Bourne franchise in its aggressive targeting of its super spy rival, the Bond series. Here, the filmmakers have taken a leaf out of the 007 handbook, by controversially replacing aging series star Mat Damon with spry young action-man Jeremy Renner (who is also being groomed to take over from Tom Cruise on Mission: Impossible). Is Bourne bigger than Damon? Only one way to find out…

Total Recall, August 23. Genre: Sci-fi
Director: Len Wiseman
Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston
Don’t Miss Because: Unlike Arnie’s stupidly fun yet stupidly stupid version, this retelling promises to be more faithful to Philip K. Dick’s short story. Expect an intelligent plot, a fully realised sci-fi world and the return of the infamous tri-boob hooker.

The Expendables 2, August 23. Genre: Action
Director: Simon West
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris
Don’t Miss Because: It stars practically every action hero of the '80s, '90s and today. The first one may have been a bit of a fizzer, but for the sequel the ante’s been raised and even more action stars have been enlisted, including perennial tough guy Chuck Norris. You’ve really got to give it up to writer, conceptualiser and star Sly Stallone for turning every action fans dream into one bullet ridden, explosion heavy, reality.

Neighbourhood Watch, September 20. Genre: Comedy
Director: Akiva Schaffer
Starring: Vince Vaughan, Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill
Don’t Miss Because: Vince Vaughan and Ben Stiller are a terrific comedy combo and this sci-fi laughfest from writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg promises to be ripe with Stiller’s snappy one liners and Vaughan’s fast talking snark. It’s about a group of dudes who start a neighbourhood watch group in order to get some 'guy time' away from their wives only to discover that aliens are about to attack Earth. And as they're the ones watching the neighbourhood, it's up to them to stop the attack.

Savages, October 4. Genre: Crime thriller
Director: Oliver Stone
Starring: Blake Lively, Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch
Don’t Miss Because: It’s Oliver Stone doing something that doesn’t involve 9/11, American politics or the stock market. Two marijuana agriculturalists must face the Mexican Baja Cartel who kidnaps their shared girlfriend. A glut of A-listers fill the cast list: Blake Lively (The Town), Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek.

Frankenweenie, October 4. Genre: Animated Fantasy
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara
Don’t Miss Because: No-one does cartoonish macabre better than spider-haired director Tim Burton. Here he returns to the world of stop motion animation for this Frankenstein-inspired tale about a boy who reanimates the corpse of his beloved dog. Fans of Burton’s trademark kooky ghoulishness will not want to miss this one.

Gangster Squad, November 1. Genre: Crime
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Sean Penn
Don’t Miss Because: Round here we love a good gangster flick and this one from the director of the cult-fave Zombieland sounds like it’s going to be exceptionally good. Set at the height of the mafia’s power in the 1940s and starring Time Magazine’s ‘Coolest Person of the Year’ Ryan Gosling, the increasingly vital Emma Stone and the always on form Sean Penn, we’re expecting The Gangster Squad to be a hit – cinematically of course...

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, November 15. Genre: Romantic horror
Director: Bill Condon
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
Don’t Miss Because: Whether you’re a lover or a hater, you should be excited (for one reason or another) about the last entry into the Twilight Saga. Similar to last year’s The Deathly Hallows Pt 2, this conclusion marks the end of a wildly successful film franchise.

Skyfall, November 22. Genre: Action
Director: Sam Mendes
Starring: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench
Don’t Miss Because: This 23rd film in the franchise will largely ignore the intertwined plot of Bond’s last two outings and instead be a focused, stand-alone adventure that will see Britain’s super-spy blowing things up in exotic locales, pausing only for the occasional martini with a classy broad or to deliver a devastating quip…

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, December 14. Genre: Epic fantasy adventure
Director: Peter Jackson
Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis
Don’t Miss Because: Sir Pete’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy was such a towering achievement, the epic to end all epics, that having the chance to return to Middle earth under his careful custodianship is a real cinematic privilege. With Martin Freeman bringing his affable everyman shtick to author JRR Tolkien’s briskly paced, high-spirited adventure this is one journey we are very much looking forward too. Also, dragons.

07 January 2012

Time Management Games

Yes, I looove time management games. Time Management games are games in which you perform a series of tasks or processes as quickly as possible e.g. manage/cook/serve at a restaurant, stock/run a supermarket, babysit, manage a hotel, build/decorate houses. When I finish a TMG I love, I Google trying to find more like it. Also, when I say 'finish', I mean get the gold/expert score on every single level!

I thought I would start this post for a couple of reasons: to remind myself which ones I liked and didn't like, and to help others out there, that may stumble on this post.

First off, so far I like the games that involve food and food preparation. If anyone has any suggestions for me within this branch of time management games, or out of it, please comment! (Ed: I've branched out some - building games are fun too).

My love started with Cake Mania, and the sequels. And as I have a PC, that is the platform I am most concerned with. I will only be posting names and a bit of info - NOT the games themselves (unless there is a link to a free web version, or a trial).

My absolute favourites so far are: 'Youda Sushi Chef' and the 'Delicious' series (the more recent games in series are usually better due to additions in options, levels, decorations etc.)


Games I've played/reviewed (click the link to open the review):
  1. Stand O'Food series
  2. Youda Sushi Chef 
  3. Cake Mania series
  4. Build-A-Lot series
  5. Youda Fisherman
  6. Vampires vs Zombies
  7. Haunted Domains
  8. Burger Bustle: Ellie's Organics
  9. Royal Envoy
  10. Royal Envoy 2
  11. Happy Chef
  12. Stone Age Cafe
  13. My Kingdom for the Princess 3
  14. Daycare Nightmare
  15. Northern Tale
  16. Fairy Godmother Tycoon
  17. Paradise Pet Salon
  18. Campgrounds
  19. Alice's Tea Cup Madness
  20. Youda Jewel Shop
  21. Pet Store Panic
  22. Sweet Kingdom: Enchanted Princess
  23. New Yankee in King Arthur's Court  
  24. TV Farm 2 
  25. A Gnome's Home: The Great Crystal Crusade
  26. Bistro Boulevard 
  27. Spooky Mall
  28. Happy Chef 2
  29. Burger Bustle
  30. Build-a-lot: Mysteries
  31. Royal Envoy: Campaign for the Crown
  32. Campgrounds: The Endorus Expedition
  33. Youda Sushi Chef 2
  34. Emily's Delicious Series 
  35. Delicious 10: Emily's New Beginning 
  36. Delicious 1 (Deluxe)
  37. Delicious 3: Emily's Tea Garden 
  38. Delicious 9: Emily's Honeymoon Cruise
  39. Delicious 11: Emily's Home Sweet Home
  40. Coming Soon!

Games to Play (my wish list, updated May 2015): In Bloom! Valentine's EditionGardenscapes Super PackRory's Restaurant - Winter Rush, Youda Surivor (1 and; 2), Monument Builders: Eiffel Tower, Kingdom Chronicles Collector's Edition, My Kingdom for the Princess 1 and 2, Virtual City 2: Paradise Resort.

01 January 2012

Concerts Rocked [2012]

27 Jan: The Dresden Dolls @ Powerstation [My Night]
30 Jan: Laneway Festival @ Silo Park (FEIST, THE HORRORS, GOTYE, LAURA MARLING, PAJAMA CLUB, SBTRKT (Live), SHAYNE P CARTER, WASHED OUT, TWIN SHADOW, ANNA CALVI, M83, CULTS, GIRLS, EMA, YUCK, TORO Y MOI, WU LYF, GLASSER, OPOSSOM, THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART, AUSTRA, TRANSISTORS) [My Day]
29 Feb: Death Cab For Cutie @ Wellington Town Hall (flying down for the gig!) [My Night]
08 Mar: Ryan Adams @ Civic Theatre [Review] [My Night]
29 Apr: City and Colour @ The Auckland Town Hall [My Night]
10 May: Kaiser Chiefs @ Powerstation [My Night]
28 May: Florence and the Machine @ Vector Arena [Review] [My Night]
02 Nov: Mumford and Sons @ Vector [Review] [My Night]
06 Nov: Radiohead @ Vector!!!!! [Review] [My Night]
10 Nov: Coldplay @ Mt Smart [Review] [My Night]
03 Dec: Regina Spektor @ Town Hall [Review] [My Night]

Movies Seen [2012]

My movie consumption was lower than what it used to be, but it seems to be on the rise again...

(Ed: 2012 = 39 movies)

2011 = 52 (!!! big increase) 2010=35; 2009= 39; 2008=35; 2007 = 31; 2006 = 23; 2005 = 56

...I still try to keep track by posting them here!

03 Jan: Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol
10 Jan: The Adventures of Tin Tin 3D
23 Jan: Julia's Eyes
25 Jan: The Descendants
07 Feb: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (USA)
20 Feb: Shame
27 Feb: We Need To Talk About Kevin
07 Mar: John Carter
11 Mar: A Cat In Paris
16 Mar: Underworld 4 (Awakenings) 3D
17 Mar: Hugo 3D
20 Mar: Headhunters
21 Mar: 21 Jump Street
22 Mar: The Hunger Games
23 Apr: The Most Fun You Can Have Dying
09 May: Dark Shadows (and for freeee!)
21 May: The Avengers 3D
29 Jun: Prometheus 3D
02 Jul: The Door
15 Jul: Ted
18 Jul: Magic Mike

NZFF
20 Jul: The Hunt
24 Jul: Le Tableau
24 Jul: Your Sister's Sister
24 Jul: Cabin In The Woods
25 Jul: Side by Side (doco)
25 Jul: Moonrise Kingdom
25 Jul: Room 237 (The Shining doco)
26 Jul: Beasts of the Southern Wild
28 Jul: Amour
02 Aug: West of Memphis
03 Aug: Holy Motors
03 Aug: No
05 Aug: Blackmail (live cinema at the Civic)

27 Jul: The Dark Knight Rises
22 Aug: Take this Waltz
04 Oct: Resident Evil: Retribution (3D)
14 Dec: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2.
18 Dec: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 3D (Part 1)

(On the down-low: Killer Elite, Midnight in Paris, Cedar Rapids, Catfish, I Love You Phillip Morris, The Trip, Kung Fu Panda 2, 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy', This Means War, A Monster in Paris, Taken 2)

Books Read [2011]

30 Books Read in 2011

15-Jan: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5), by J.K. Rowling
31-Jan: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4), by J.K. Rowling
13-Feb: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6), by J.K. Rowling
20-Feb: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7), by J.K. Rowling
23-Feb: Beat the Reaper (Peter Brown #1), by Josh Bazell
27-Feb: The Sky Is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson
3-Mar: Jubilee, by Eliza Graham
8-Mar: Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver
10-Mar: If I Stay (If I Stay, #1), by Gayle Forman
13-Mar: Flirt (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #18), by Laurell K. Hamilton
7-Apr: A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, #2), by Kresley Cole
5-May: Bullet (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #19), by Laurell K. Hamilton
14-May: No Rest for the Wicked (Immortals After Dark, #3), by Kresley Cole
21-May: Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night (Immortals After Dark, #4), by Kresley Cole
31-May: Vampires: A Bite-Sized History, by Judyth A. McLeod
18-Jun: Dark Needs at Night's Edge (Immortals After Dark, #5), by Kresley Cole
21-Jun: Dark Desires After Dusk (Immortals After Dark, #6), by Kresley Cole
12-Jul: Kiss of a Demon King (Immortals After Dark, #7), by Kresley Cole
21-Jul: Deep Kiss of Winter (Includes: Immortals After Dark, #8; Alien Huntress, #4.5), by Kresley Cole
23-Jul: Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Immortals After Dark #9), by Kresley Cole
27-Jul: Demon from the Dark (Immortals After Dark, #10), by Kresley Cole
5-Aug: One Day, by David Nicholls
6-Aug: The Warlord Wants Forever (Immortals After Dark, #1), by Kresley Cole
6-Aug: The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1), by Suzanne Collins
8-Aug: Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark, #11), by Kresley Cole
19-Aug: Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, by Vicki Myron
18-Oct: Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
24-Oct: The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
12-Nov: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1), by George R.R. Martin
11-Dec: A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2), by George R.R. Martin