Thursday, 17 September 2009

At The Pictures - The Thing

One of the local cineplexes have been doing a season of ‘classic’ films every Tuesday, showing them on cleaned up digital prints. They showed The Thing which is one of those horror films that everyone goes on about. I’d not seen it before so thought “what better way to see it than on the big screen?” and off I went, with only a minor hiccup on the way – the lock to my front door started acting up so I was actually locked inside the house for a short while and couldn’t leave! Got to the cinema just in time really. My 'party' got three of the last 5 or so tickets so we managed to squeeze in to the heaving cinema.

The film itself was great. The opening scene is amazing, and the paranoia of the whole things is just brilliant. It’s the special effects that obviously stand out though. The model work looks a little shonky now I guess, but no more than CGI does after only a couple of years. I loved the inventiveness of the alien’s mutations. Special mention as well to some great lines of dialogue – “I don’t want to spend all winter tied to this fucking couch!” is a classic.

I think the whole concept of showing older films in the cinema is brilliant. More of it please! It’s great to see stuff ‘as intended’. I saw Double Indemnity earlier this year which was great, and year before last I saw It’s A Wonderful Life in the run-up to Christmas. Perfection!

Urgh, I’ve just read that there are plans for some kind of prequel/remake of The Thing to be set in the Norwegian camp. URGH. Why bother?

Monday, 14 September 2009

The Pizza Slice - La Vita

La Vita is a new-ish Pizzeria opposite Cardiff Castle. It used to be Café Europa which was my favourite place in town to have a cup of tea and a sit-down. In between it became Dirty Sue’s Café, which looked really rubbish so I never went in. Anyway, it’s now La Vita and they’ve exposed some of the old stone walling that Dirty Sue decided to cover in boring white plaster board, so they won plus points for that straight away. I opted for the ‘Gianni’ pizza, which is a mozzarella and cherry tomato pizza that’s finished with Parma ham, rocket, and parmesan cheese once it’s done cooking in the oven. Actually I can’t remember now if the Parma ham was cooked in the oven or not, I don’t think it was… whatever, it was really nice. You could tell that the ingredients were good quality, and I think that the simplest pizzas often offer the best results. I sampled a section of my friend’s pepperoni one which was nice and had a good level of heat, and my ladyfriend had some spinnachy pizza which I also sampled and enjoyed. The restaurant doesn’t have a ‘proper’ wood-burning oven so you don’t get that amazing slight charring to the base, but most restaurants don’t have a proper pizza oven anyway so you can’t really complain. The base was good as it was anyway. It’s nice being in family run places as well isn’t it? And the chef man gave us some free limoncello as well, which was nice – the last time I tried limoncello I didn’t really like it, but this was good. Had a little chat with the chef and he seems like a nice chap, the best of luck to them basically.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

At The Pictures - District 9

District 9 was... alright I suppose. A film of 2 halves really. I really liked the first section, which is done in a fake documentary style and is sort of like a body-horror of sorts with a bit of conspiracy theory thrown in. But then as the film progresses they ditch the documentary angle and just go for a pretty straight actioner. The effects were really impressive, given the relatively small budget especially, but yes, by the end I did just feel a bit like I was watching someone play a computer game. A lot of fuss has been made that the depiction of the Nigerians was a bit racist, what with them being more-or-less the only black characters in the film and they weren’t really portrayed positively. I’m not sure I agree with that, but I did think it ridiculous that they were subtitled despite the fact they spoke in perfectly clear English.

Nice seeing a film that isn’t based on a book/comic/game/remake/reboot/re-imagining/sequel/prequel/theme park ride/whatever (though it is adapted from the director’s previous short film so umm, what’s my point again?)

Trailers – arrived a little later than planned so only saw two trailers. The first was Sorority Row which is just a generic looking horror/slasher. I guess today’s ‘demographic’ for that sort of thing would only have been about 6 years old when I Know What You Did Last Summer came out. The other trailer was for Whiteout, which is based on a comic and stars Kate Beckinsale. I think it’s about some US Marshall investigating a murder up in Alaska or something. It looked like it could either be ‘not bad’ or ‘utter pants’. Couldn’t quite tell.

Afterthought - The main character in District 9 reminded me a bit of Murray from Flight Of The Conchords.