Friday, 20 September 2013

singapore grand prix

I was away yesterday attending a job interview, so there was no post because of that, rather than me lapsing again!

Singapore Grand Prix this weekend.

Unfortunately, Singapore is usual one of the really dull races.  It has some novelty appeal in that they hold it at night under great big lights.  So far they've been lucky with the weather (artificial lights would be particularly bad if there was spray) and it's been a dry race.

The real problem with the track is that it's a street circuit.  Street circuits have something of an appeal if you're at the track as you can get really close to the cars and the noise echoes around the buildings, but in terms of a race they're often quite dull.  The problem is that roads are very different to circuits.

Circuits are generally a lot wider than roads and the corners and bends are much more organically shaped - following contours in the terrain or avoiding obstacles, etc., whereas streets are about taking you to somewhere as quickly and directly as possible.

It's also a very long, slow lap and therefore the whole race often rubs up against the two hour limit.

I think you can tell I'm not really looking forward to it.  The BBC is only showing highlights, but I'll probably listen to it on the radio (if they're covering it).

Otherwise its' the last weekend before my landlord returns, so I will probably try to finish off stuff.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

starship troopers: invasion

Invasion is actually the fourth film in the Starship Troopers series.

It is a "canon" in the sense that it follows on from the events of the previous films and even includes some of the characters; however, there's a notable difference in that it is a CG film.

When I started watching I wasn't sure it was canon.  It used the costumes and equipment from the previous films, as well as the bug designs, but that didn't necessarily mean it fit properly into that same universe.  It also even included the Marauder suits, which appeared in the third film (one of the weird things with me getting so far behind with reviews is that I have watched this, but it was on TV, so it is a lower priority for me to write about, and there are now about 20 things I've rented and not blogged about!).

The marauder suits are the films finally incorporating the proper mobile infantry concept that is actually key to the original books.  Indeed, the concept of powered suits was actually invented by Heinlein for the original book and it was always a bit odd that it wasn't included in the original film.

I mean, I understand why they took all the troopers out of the suits - expense, difficulty identified with people covered up in suits, reduced threat from the bugs - but they could have had them in it a little bit, like at the end or in a lab or something.

Anyway, this CG film is actually Japanese.  I actually think it was made by the same group that put together the Appleseed CG films, but I'm not totally certain on that.  It looks about similar to the second of the Appleseed films, so certainly better than the first of those, but not quite in the realms of so real you can't tell it from reality.

It's also a bit odd in that it was filmed in English.  I mean, it was filmed in Japan by a Japanese Director, but many of the actors were American and spoke English and the VAs spoke English.  This works okay, but felt a little odd if I'm totally honest, but I'm not sure why.

The film itself is okay.  It continues quite a lot of the tongue in cheek over the top aspects, but manages to stay this side of pastiche.  The plot is a bit hokey, though, and twists itself in a couple of knots.

The real question though is whether being filmed in CG really adds anything.  I'm not sure it does, tbh.  I mean, I guess it means they were able to produce a bigger film than they otherwise might be able to?  However, it also makes it more of a niche product, which limits the degree to which they can distribute it.

Monday, 16 September 2013

landlord away

My landlord has gone away on holiday for about a week and a half.

This is good timing and bad.

The good part is that it means I can get into the shed.  I've a lot of stuff I need to get rid of in there, both from a space point of view, but also from a getting some cash point of view.

He's basically blocked in all my stuff in a corner, which is staggeringly annoying if I want to get something out, but I mean, it's his shed, I shouldn't really expect to have easy access, should I?

I'm particularly expecting to sell a lot of the figures I've collected.  I think these were one of my madder moments from the recent years.  They take up quite a lot of room and I don't actually have anywhere to put them.  Unfortunately they also lose value quite quickly - once a series is a few years old, people don't want the figures.  In fact, they don't sell all that well even if they're a current series, in my experience.

Still, I've so many of them I should do okay with getting a bit of money, which I sorely need.

I'm struggling with the finances quite badly.  I'm just about living within my means, but I really need to see about getting something done in terms of a loan to replace the credit card debt.  The payments for the cards are killing me and obviously being credit cards you're mainly just paying off interest, rather than the debt itself.

It's not so good in that it's a bit late - I had thought he was going away last week, which would have worked a lot better from a timing point of view.  It also means the weather is now proper autumn, so it's been raining a lot, making it difficult to do some of the stuff I want to / need to.  So, for example, giving the car a clean will be a bit of a trick shot.