Tag Archives: London

Fast and Furious 6 – The Explodening?

Oh, “Fast & Furious 6” – I knew that your Superbowl teaser trailer wouldn’t let me down.  Go watch it here.  You’ll know it when you see it – it’s the one where everything is (A) blowing up (B) about to blow up or (C) is newly recovering from having recently been explodified.

Tank!  Tank!   Tank!

Tank! Tank! Tank!

The word “AmazeBananas”, which I’ve just coined in reaction to this teaser, is the only possible response to it.  Well, that and ‘remember when they just used to nick the odd DVD player or six – talk about changing your career trajectory’.  The “Fast and Furious” crew, having stolen and wrecked most of downtown Rio in the last movie (spoilers!) armed with only a couple of muscle cars and some comedy bickering, have now graduated to the world stage.  Witness the trailer, which zips from London to Ibiza and thence Germany with nary a breath taken between awesome car stunts and shots of the cast looking super-buff.  We’re through the looking glass, people – it’s heist time, global style.

Vehicles flipping? But I thought this was a Merchant Ivory film?

Vehicles flipping? But I thought this was a Merchant Ivory film?

Expect stunts, more stunts, some gratuitous booty shaking which reminds you that the import tuner scene doesn’t exactly pass feminist analysis with flying colours, Vin and Mr The Rock buff-bonding in a wholly non-homoerotic fashion (clothes-line!), European locations (oh, hai there, London Village!) and the most ludicrous, trailer-capping action sequence that I’ve seen since the train job  in, oh, “Fast Five“.  Cargo plane – that’s all I’m saying.

London, shortly before a visit from Vin Diesel and The Rock rendered it a smoking hole in the ground.

London, pictured shortly before a visit from Vin Diesel and The Rock rendered it a smoking hole in the ground.

 

Cars with ramp attachments - seems legit...

Cars with ramp attachments – seems legit…

The gang's all here(ish).

The gang’s all here(ish).

By the looks of things, the only way to ramp up the seemingly inevitable seventh entry in the series is to set it on Mars (Don’t give Justin Lin any ideas).

Want now.  Is it May yet?

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“Star Trek Into Darkness” gets a new poster

Ominous, much?

Ominous, much?  Image via Paramount Pictures

As we wait for either the nine-minute IMAX prologue playing before selected screenings of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey“, the astute folk at Paramount have elected to steal a march on the marketing for next summer’s “Star Trek” sequel by releasing every geek-centric blockbuster’s must-have item, the enigmatic teaser poster.

Putting on my modish great-coat and a fashionably directional long scarf in the manner of all the best consulting detectives, I note that the poster seems to feature putative “Star Trek Into Darkness” villain, Benedict Cumberbatch, who is of course playing classic “Trek” baddie Gary Mitchell/Khan/Keyser Soze (delete as likely) in the J.J. Abrams directed sequel.

And that scene of urban mass destruction, the hallmark of all contemporary bad guys who seek to threaten our very way of life via the medium of terrorist action – could it be London?  As Empire magazine‘s post on the teaser poster intimated, the background scenery seems to have the ‘Gherkin’ building prominently featured.

England’s capital?  Being destroyed in a summer blockbuster?  Such a thing has never happened before…

A trailer for this must-see geek fest is due before the end of 2012 – I don’t know about you, but I already have my popcorn ready for that one…

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Jess done good!

Jessica Ennis, winning Heptathlon Gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games, picture via Independent.co.uk

This is I why I don’t follow sports – the anxiety that I feel when I watch them.

Picture the scene, if you will – my city (normally a buzzing hive of incident and Saturday night shenanigans) is silent as the proverbial grave as local Heptathlete Jessica Ennis continues her two day campaign to win an Olympic Gold medal.  You can’t turn a corner in Sheffield without seeing an image of our favourite daughter, particularly in the run-up to London 2012.  Witness the front of our local branch of department store John Lewis:

Image of John Lewis Sheffield via Telegraph.co.uk

So, no pressure then?

Her first day of competition on Friday had gone really well – two personal bests in the 100m hurdles and 200m race later in the day – but Saturday saw the Javelin throw,  the heptathlon event which has traditionally stymied her in past competitions.  Add into the mix strong competition from Nataliya Dobrynska and Tatyana Chernova and nobody was going to call this event over and done.

I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I found her final event, the 800m race, impossible to watch – barring a disaster, she would comfortably win the race but I’ve long held the belief that by merely watching a UK athlete compete on the world stage, I somehow act as a jinx and cause all manner of problems.

Andy Murray won his Wimbledon semi-final because of talent, grit and being the best guy on the day?  No, friend – he won because I couldn’t bear the watch the final couple of sets and took Hagrid for his evening walk, leaving behind Mrs Rolling Eyeballs to sit on the edge of the sofa and watch the drama unfold.  By comparison, I was there for every set of the Wimbledon final and we know how that turned out.

Another pic of Jess? Oh, go on, then…

This time, though, I had to stick around and see Jess Ennis win this thing – and win she did.  I normally remain studiously indifferent to sport as I have a typically male response to the drama on display in games and matches – it’s one of the few stereotypically male characteristics that I do possess – and the elation that we felt in our house as Jess fell behind the main runners in the 800m before pushing herself forwards to win the event and win her gold medal was possibly only slightly less than I imagine she felt.

True, we weren’t utterly exhausted and hadn’t spent all of our lives working towards this glorious, shining moment as Jess had, but you get the point – we were with her all the way and overjoyed when she crossed the line.

She was brilliant and, for a quiet second that I probably won’t tell anybody about again, I was actually proud to be British on what has become known in the UK as ‘Super Saturday’ (Six Gold medals for Brit athletes! In a day? Inconceivable!).  I distrust patriotism quite a bit – it usually acts a smoke-screen for much less desirable qualities – but watching the Steel City Siren smash personal bests and grab Gold in such splendid fashion made me delighted to be from this comparatively small island.   Good on you, Jess – you did brilliantly and made everybody in Sheffield proud.  And given what a bunch of grumpy Yorkshire gits we normally are, that’s almost as amazing as Olympic Gold.

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Run To The Hills!

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Tired of Olympic hype?  Try living in the UK.  Your humble (and normally quite reasonable) blogger has had it up to his Musketeer-style chin beard with all things sporting after a year or so of relentless build-up to London 2012 and would happily go into suspended animation until the whole thing is over.

Go Jess!

As a dyed-in-the-wool, adopted Sheffielder, I obviously wish Jessica Ennis well in her heptathlon campaign but I really would rather ignore the vast majority of the Olympics – a feat made quite challenging by the approximately 906 channels being devoted by the BBC to the imminent hostilities  glorious sporting spectacle about to unfurl.

To distract those of you who can’t get that excited by athletes doing things slightly more quickly than they did them previously, take in the joyful image above of Iron Maiden‘s mascot Eddie, as originally found on the Metal Hammer website.

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Child in Time

 

Now that’s a rock star – Jon Lord, Deep Purple mainstay, who passed away on 16 July 2012.

It would be remiss of any blogger who loves rock music to not mention the passing of Deep Purple‘s keyboard player and all-round suave dude, Jon Lord, who died yesterday at 71 years old having fought a valiant battle against cancer.

He co-wrote Purple’s defining tune Smoke on the Water“, did time with David Coverdale in Whitesnake and composed classical work in his later years.  To hear him at his best, check out this vintage tv footage of Purple’s “Child in Time”.

 

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This Week In Pint-Sized, Rockstar Follies…

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Oh, Axl, must we go down this road again?

The maxim would have it that time heals all wounds but clearly that slice of home-spun wisdom hasn’t reached the lead singer of what currently passes for Guns N Roses, as this week Axl Rose Forced Fans To Remove Slash T-Shirts at their London 02 Arena show.

Not content with starting gigs several hours late, writing his former band mates out of history in lengthy online screeds, storming off stage regularly and generally behaving like the kind of caricature that you could chuckle at if his behaviour wasn’t so pitiable, he’s now telling fans what they can wear when they’ve spent £56.25 to see his current backing band plow dutifully through the back catalogue and the absurdly overblown sonic mulch which was Chinese Democracy“.

Being as charitable and equitable as Rose now seems unable to be, one might argue that the act of wearing a Slash shirt to a gig where the former G’N’R guitarist is now persona-non-grata could be construed as an act of minor, passive aggressive trolling.  But the point would be somewhat hard to sustain – Slash is, whether Axl chooses to acknowledge it not, an integral part of the Guns story and has carried himself with far more dignity than the defacto protector of the G’N’R legacy cares to.

How about that new Slash record, by the way?  Really looking forward to what Slash, Myles and the boys have cooked up this time…

 

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Olympic Property Boom

I'm guessing Iron Man was busy. Or not real.

Missiles stationed on top of flats – UK News – MSN News UK.

Well, it’s one way to deal with those annoying drunk first-years who were seemingly born without volume control when alighting from their cab at 1:00am.

Having noticed the amount of armed police in London whenever I’ve been travelling through the more tourist-packed areas of the city, it doesn’t come as much surprise to learn that the London 2012 organisers are making it clear that any potential terror threats are going to met with an appropriate counter response.

This underlines to me one of the most undeniable truths about the forthcoming Olympics – if you had anywhere else to go whilst the Games are on, why the hell would you want to stay in the Capital?  It’s going to be a nightmare to move around, the normal tensions of city living are going to be ramped up 200% and on top of that, the top of your apartment building could end up looking like a “Call of Duty” level objective.

No thanks!

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