Life, off! Pi….

Life of Pi was released on the 21st of November, 2012. So I’m doing very well with current news! I watched Life of Pi for the first time a few weeks back at the beginning of March, and had heard all the hype about it when the Oscars came around. Saw the Oscars and was very thankful it didn’t win best film. I managed to create a reputation for myself for extremely disliking this film before I had even seen it. I was saying that people were only being amazed by it because of its stupidly good visual effects, when really the film wasn’t that great at all. I didn’t want to watch the film, but when it came on (not in 3D, just good old fashioned 2D for me) I felt I had to go and see it just so that I could justify my reasons for hating it so much.

I liked seeing Rafe Spall in an Australian accent though, that was thoroughly amusing every time he came on screen. It also had not too long a runtime, 120 minutes of film, (with another 7 minutes of credits) and I didn’t feel too much like it was dragging on. I wasn’t that bored, it was an alright film. Some films go on for way too long and just have no need to be that long, but this was fine, it managed to get a fairly long runtime in and not be bad.

MPC-PI2

At the Oscars it took four awards, Directing, Cinematography, Score and Visual Effects. Visual Effects I’m not as surprised it won than the others. It was pretty spectacular. The animation and visual effects on the Tiger definitely a highlight of the film, every hair seemed to have been animated separately, but as a part of a whole, the detail was all there. At least they didn’t have to work with a real Tiger, but then again, acting with nothing, where there should be a Tiger, must have been a challenge.

The visual effects being such a major part of the film however, I still feel it overwhelmed audiences too much and got in the way of the story itself. If in some way you could have the same story, but without using all the special effects I don’t think it would have been considered for Best Picture, and so I disagree with it having that nomination.

Other parts of the film annoyed me though, and I know you can have artistic licensing, but there comes a point where it becomes just bending reality just too much. Or as the film industry put it, “We couldn’t make it the difficult way, so we cheated and made it easy.” When Pi is shown the voracious nature of Tigers, and the goat is left for the Tiger to kill and eat, the Tiger manages to somehow pull the Goat through the bars of its enclosure which you can clearly see a goat won’t fit through in one piece. The camera cuts away, so you don’t see the act, then cuts back and the goat is through the bars and in the Tigers mouth, that definitely broke the realism.

life-of-pi2

In the sinking ship scene, when Pi was in the water filled compartment opening a hatch into an air filled compartment (you could tell because of the air bubbles rushing past him) the differential pressure would have been impossible to overcome. Unless of course the hatch opened into the air filled room, but it doesn’t, you clearly see Pi having to pull the hatch open (I think I remember this correctly, tried to find a video of the scene, but can’t, correct me if I’m wrong though).

Another minor point, call me pedantic but hey, only a handful of people will even have read this! As I was saying, another minor point, at one point you see the ocean completely flat and calm. I can tell you, the likelihood of this happening, is so unbelievably minute, it would probably quite literally never happen in a million million years. A lake, maybe. An ocean? Never. Although some people would probably argue that it’s just a metaphor for something, but instead for me, it just took me out of the film, and broke the realism again.

Overall, and the amount of times I start a conclusion with the word ‘Overall’ is too annoying, the film is alright. Definitely in the top 50% of films I’ve seen this last year, but it wasn’t amazing. Again, I’ll say the visual effects were great, but detracted from the story for me and just made it feel not as authentic. And visual effects will always do that, the more real things you use in a film the better it will be, and I hope I will always believe that. I don’t want to give it a score out of 10, so instead here’s a number 9, god knows what that’s out of though.

Playstation 4 late showing….

It feels as though the moment has passed now, almost like when you think of a good come back against someone about 30 seconds after they’ve just done you.  But I’m going to post about it anyway. What on Earth were Sony doing when they did that whole Playstation 4 thing!? Oh no wait, sorry, oh my God! The Playstation 4 looks like totes amazeballs like, the share button, like oh my god, I cannot believe it. I’m going to upload like a million videos to YouTube of me and my mates, like I’m going to be so famous.

God, all they’ve done is shown the controller for the console and already it has gotten me completely pissed off. What the hell do they think they are doing!? Can’t they see that this is just going to have and Inverse Midas effect? i.e.: Everything turning to shit. So begins the social media way of the consoles. I pray that Microsoft see some sense and avoid it with the Xbox 720.

Sony-PS4-Controller-Prototype-570x340

The prototype, personally, I prefer it

So basically Sony were showing off the new Playstation 4, and they didn’t even show the console! What? Is it too good for our eyes? Or is it so ugly you don’t want to show it at all, not until we get it into our homes in an unmarked white box, open it up and find an ugly mass of black plastic and chrome. As if a child has thrown some black play-doh at the floor and a Sony designer has seen it and thought it was a work of art. I digress… They may not have shown the console because they didn’t see it as important, focusing more on the game play and graphics thinking that will impress us, well, yeah I’m impressed. But you missed your point. Unless they just want to drag it out to increase interest, I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

The controller that they showed us had the usual, wireless, dual shock, x 0 triangle square; up down left right, all the buttons. But wait, there’s new buttons and different things. There’s a small touch screen area right in the middle. And to accommodate this display the controller has taken on a…well sort of rectangular shape. It looks a bit odd, I’m sure we will all get used to it, but I don’t think I will ever get used to the other addition they’ve made. Before that though, why on earth have they added this touch screen? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it I say. But then again, multinationals like to say “if it ain’t broke, break it.”

SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT INC. PLAYSTATION 4

The share button will allow players to instantly share their game play online with their friends. How this will work I don’t really know, but it will probably be rubbish. The last thing we need online is a whole load of amateurs with instant and easy access to posting videos online. But hopefully the way of the world will beat them back down, as no one watches these rubbish wanabe online celebs, and the people who actually put proper effort into creating videos will not be detremented too much.

The last thing that has been added that I can remember, seems to be a flashing LED light at the back of the controller, something to do with the console knowing where the controller is, and also they thought they need to break it some more, I mean come on, they clearly thought “we can make this shitter, hmmm, make it more natural to hold? No. How about a light on the back? Perfect!” Yes, I know, it’s shit.

The real controller

The real controller

I always thought that with the next generation of consoles they would focus more on game play instead of graphics. Although 8GB RAM is pretty cool. I just hope it doesn’t just look good, it needs to play good, without that you’ve got nothing. So there’s a lot riding on this. I look forward seeing videos of game play appearing on YouTube.

The Sound of Clouds…

There we go, a nice catchy title to fool you all into thinking this could be an interesting bit on what clouds sound like. Well here we go, err, I don’t know what they sound like. What were you expecting? No what this is really about is Soundcloud, of course though if you recognised the logo then you already knew that. This is the website where people upload their ‘sounds’ and that seems to be about it really.

Now you may be thinking that I’m obviously writing this because Soundcloud have asked me to and so I can advertise them. I can one hundred percent ensure you, that there is no way that’s true. For one, why on earth would they come to me of all people, on a blog that gets minimal traffic, and someone who would write in the blog about how there is no way it would be conceivable that they would have asked me to do this. Wait I’ve really confused myself there, it’s like a paradox. On!

Gobbledegook

I Soundcloud tracks…what?

I joined Soundcloud not that long ago, thought, ‘hey, I like music, let’s try out something other than YouTube.’ Because the thing with YouTube, see here I am damning YouTube so they haven’t asked me to write this (let’s get over this, no one has asked me to write this, I am doing it on my own whim) …done? Yes. The thing with YouTube is that music people uploaded either has a boring video which is a bore and doesn’t compliment the music, or it is just a black screen, which doesn’t work on a video sharing site. So Soundcloud is better because it is just music, or rather ‘sounds’ as they call them, which you can have in the background. This works pretty well, makes life a bit more simple.

But I’ve found that it just seems to be just like all these other social networking sites, people trying to make others care about them. This kind of relates back to the name of this blog page thing. They only want others to listen to their own music, and it seems at any cost. Already I have had 2 people start following me and I haven’t uploaded anything! They are clearly just following me so I will get a little notification and they hope I will follow them back and listen to their music. Which also, kind of works, I listen to one song maybe and see if I like it, more often than not I will just listen to 30 seconds and think, ‘shit,’ and move on. Yeah maybe that’s being unfair, but well life’s not fair.

Annoyingly i don’t have time to upload anything there because I’m deep into exams, why you ask? Well have a look in the About section. But it’s pretty obvious anyway, probably the first thing that popped into your head. Yeah so all I’ve been doing on Soundcloud has been looking around. And it doesn’t really seem that well laid out, and when I say laid out I mean, structured. It’s difficult to straight away dive in and try to find the kind of music you want to.

Professionals have it easy

It’s clearly a struggle for musicians with limited funds to get anywhere on it, using  a microphone on their phone to perhaps record guitar and vocals doesn’t come off as overly professional, but could have just as much skill as someone who has used professional software and professional kit to produce, mix and master their track. I for one prefer to hear the more garagy sounds anyway, maybe I need to join some other site called http://www.soundcloudbutmoregaragydemolikestuffthatilike.co.uk or whatever.

If you are interested, and this is shameful, but a friend of mine, who records using not much at all has a profile, has a Soundcloud profile, go and add some plays to some of his tracks, I will be forever grateful. Click here. That’ll do…

Only 2 weeks tops….

It seems we have recently become inundated with new household names over this past summer of sport. When i say ‘we’ i’m referring to us Brits, i have no idea what it’s like in other countries, i guess it would just be the equivalent kind of thing. But it just seems like sport is the big thing to be writing about now, it will get the papers selling and it will get scepticism at the other end of the scale. I know even writing this i feel incredibly hypocritical but it just annoys me the amount of stuff about the Olympics there is, and now even I am using it, but partly because i can’t think of anything else and it’s about time to do another post. It makes me feel ashamed but the Olympics sell. Well, you would have thought so, but many business in the UK are flailing due to the London Games, but that’s a whole other story, all I’ll say is if you want to know about that and can be bothered listening to a radio thing, then here‘s a link to the Jeremy Vine show in which he covered the topic quickly, don’t knwo if it’s available everywhere though, if not then sorry about that. I digress…

Anyway, back to my point, how long will these new household names will last? Will we forget about them by next year or will they continue to be well known and stay in the limelight. Well I guess a lot of that depends on what happens in the media…again!

Here are some of the new names which i have heard being used a lot more than they should be, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Victoria Pendleton, Bradley Wiggins, and not so much Rebecca Adlington. Fair enough it’s the Olympics and it’s only every 4 years, and yes fair enough Bradley Wiggins was the first Brit to win the Tour de France for 1000 years, and i don’t mind the media picking up on it either, maybe a little annoyed, but it’s their job and if they didn’t do that then I don’t think people would be overly happy. But then again thinking on the opposite end of the scale there probably are lots of people who aren’t getting a look into just because their sport isn’t popular and they aren’t winning even though they have made it to compete in the Olympics. But then again, if the media focussed on everything it would just be too much for us, so it’s just the way the world works really. So yeah it’s not that which annoys me, what does annoy me is that everyone wants to talk about it now (being hypocritical again, kind of).

I see on social media sites every night people showing their – what they call – support for the athletes. How posting a status update containing an athletes name is support i have no idea. The thing is doing these updates doesn’t make a single god damn difference, nothing is going to come of it…what?…you say your socialising?…oh i’m sorry i must have accidentally mistaken it for arseholery. Not everybody cares what you think about sport on the TV, some people might even want to watch it later and you ruined it for them. “MO FAHAR YOU LEG-END!!” That seriously is quote from one of my “friends” on facebook, their need to tell the world of what most people who care already know is so great that they clearly forgot that the caps lock key was on, and that his name is clearly not Fahar.

Jessica Ennis, New household name, how long will it last? Well how long do the Olympics last?

At this moment in time these people are the big names, and i can forsee many a breakfast TV show appearance and guest appearances for the next 2 weeks tops, before they are quickly swept under the carpet, and the next big event sweeps over the top. So what i guess i’m saying is, actually i have no idea what i’m saying, maybe something along the lines of people pretend they care about it just to show that they do, when really they will just forget about them in a couple of weeks and carry on with their normal lives, i dunno, it’s difficult to get my brain on paper. You try and figure it out. I reckon this enigma will be harder to crack than ‘The’ Enigma code.

The global phenomenon of sharing….

I have recently made the decision to include sharing buttons at the end of each new post. It has been a hard decision to make, but i felt it was necessary to continue this and making it easier to get out to the people who want to be got out to. Let me explain why it has been a difficult decision:

I’m not a fan of facebook, i have always been a little bit dubious about it, and especially now over the past year it had really taken hold and that’s something which i want back. Free time. As a child i could get by without the internet no problem, it was a luxury. Nowadays it seems to be a necessity, what with it now being a right to have access to the internet, and the fact that so much is done on it now, job applications, events, general keeping in contact with people. It has become the next level of communication. With that came advertisements, but i’ll leave that for now, don’t want to stray to far from my point. Getting back to the facebook point, I admire those who have easy access to it, but choose not to use it, they may also have a profile, which is empty. Good on them, good on you, you’ve done what i could not, and managed to keep you life normal and you can do what you want without this overshadowing dark mass. I wish i could do that, i try but i fail.

I don’t like the way we are now bombarded by people sharing things that they like (no one really cares what you are doing, they just want to see things, and then make themselves known, everyone only cares about themselves online), and the fact that there seems to be a facebook like/share button on all the websites with high traffic, as if prompting you to do so, and to be ‘social.’ I think i can decide for myself thanks, if i want to copy and paste the url then I will, i’m not so lazy that all i can only be bothered to click a little button. It really annoys me. And this is one of the reasons i’ve regretted adding it into my own blog, i’m being very hippo-critical.

There are some people who are really terrible with making websites, even when they are given a simple template to fill, (like in wordpress) they fail to get house colour schemes correct, and just generally seem to have no idea how to make a page look neat and good, (you’ll see them from time to time, and usually they post blogs about what an amazing time they have had doing something somewhere). I’m not saying mine isn’t like that, i’m not a webpage designer, but i’ve tried to make it have some form of continuity. At the end of some blog posts i’ve seen there has been every single kind of share button activated at the bottom, which just looks a complete mess, and no one wants to see that. I don’t want to be one of those people.

Sharing

I’ve seen worse, this is just a quick example of too many buttons.

Funnily enough as i’ve reached the end of this post, i think i’ve changed my mind, i’ve persuaded myself against doing what i’ve already done. By having it here i am going against everything i’ve just said, and why should i do that just because i want to find people, people can get by without it. So if your reading this, then there won’t be any share buttons at the bottom, it is not hard to copy and paste the url, if you really want to. The majority of people don’t anyway so there seems to be no point whatsoever in including these, unless i can be persuaded otherwise?

The 2nd Law….

Right so the album cover art for Muse’s next album ‘The 2nd Law’ came out today. I don’t know what i think of it really, but after some quick research i’ve found out what it is, apparently. If you don’t want to know and feel it spoils the magic (magic? come on this ain’t a Harry Potter blog), then i’d say skip the rest of this paragraph to avoid the ultimate reveal!……, Okay, it seems to have come from some ‘Laboratory of Neuro Imaging,’ so I could only assume it’s something to do with mapping the neurones which fire in the brain. Or something like that. With the bit at the bottom being the brain stem maybe? Depending on the orientation that could be quite likely. They are definitely keeping up with making the album cover look interesting and colourful, well, ever since ‘The Resistance’ on the colourful front.

The 2nd Law

The fact that the track listing is already out, is a bit ehhh, well i’d prefer it if the track listing was only announced the day the album comes out, keep up the suspense. But it’s understandable seeing as they want to try and get as much hype as possible and get as many sales as possible, and also the tracks were accidentally leaked aswell. I shan’t name them incase you don’t want to know, and it’s probably a good idea seeing as the majority of you won’t care, but i will say that i’m happy with the number of tracks. Finally something which is worth the money i will buy it for.

Now, the first single that’s been released, is the one which has been made into the Olympic official song, although I thought Elbow also has a ‘The’ Olympic song. I guess you can have more than one, yeah, no problem there. But i never would have thought Muse would agree to do a song for the Olympics, their lyrics and style just seem to be more anti government and all that, instead of supporting things like the Olympics. But they can do what they want, I’m just surprised. But i wish it would stop being played on the radio and called the Olympic song, it’s just another Muse song to me. As for what i think of it, not dissimilar to United States of Eurasia. And i’ve only heard it once, I don’t want to get bored of it yet, not until i’ve heard the whole album. I look forward to hearing the style of the second single though, it was announced in the NME, and it shall be named, or is named, ‘Madness.’

Matt Bellamy In The StudioThis may appear to go slightly off topic, but never fear, it is linked. When Coldplay released ‘Viva la Vida or Death and all that,’ i thought ‘hmm this is a bit different, i guess there are some good songs there though.’ So i was a bit dubious before Mylo Xyloto was released, the name itself being more different. And when I heard they had collaborated with Rhianna (shudder) i choose not to buy the album. I don’t want to fund her to create poor music. So it seems Coldplay have turned to the side of more Pop tunes, whereas I liked them before. Perhaps the changing music scene is changing everyone too much. To get to the point, I hope the same hasn’t happened with Muse. The Resistance could be the equivalent of Viva la V, with ‘The 2nd Law’ being the weird changing one which makes me second guess my loyalty to one of my favourite bands. The clip of one of their songs used on the album trailer I believe was using Dubstep elements, and I’m definitly not a fan of that. Only time will tell i guess, if i like the new album, or if i’ll change allegiances.

Here‘s a youtube link to the current single ‘Survival,’ maybe i should have mentioned the song name earlier, ah well. Apologies for the lengthyness, but then again, i suppose it’ll only be the one person reading this whose time i wasted, or didn’t waste, “It’s not a waste of time if you enjoy the time you waste.”…..