Film of the Week premiere

You may have noticed how momentously I failed at maintaining with any degree of accuracy the sidebar widget previously entitled: Last Film I Watched. It’s still possible to find that information out should you be so inclined (the list is organised monthly with a brief caption summary to review the film – hopefully useful), and the link is still in the sidebar, and also here.

However, to cater for my rapid watching habits (and poor organisational skills) I have now dubbed the sidebar widget Film of the Week, with the intention of updating it more regularly and with more significance. Afterall, poor films don’t deserve to have their posters on the Alien homepage surely??! Hope you like…

It’s good to be back

“Well, it’s good to be back!”

The words that begin Iron Man 2, and an appropriate opener to this post; my return to the world wide web after a three week absence in Morocco.

I kept up my viewing schedule (more or less), and you’ll note a massive extension to the ‘last watched‘ section. I’m thinking of adding a TV series listing too, as much as a record for me as for recommendations to you guys. Watched so many now it’s getting ridiculous. Might never happen though…

Here’s an extract from a sporadic diary I kept of the trip, hope you enjoy it.

Did you know that 9 or 10 seater people carriers are massively under-marketed? In reality, they can hold 12 Moroccans, 4 Tourists and a Crazy man. We found this out the hard way this morning after setting off up the ludicrously steep hill from Legzira (or El Gzira, depending on the map), back to the main road. Our initial hope was that a gran taxi would drive by on its way to Tiznit with a spare couple of seats – in hindsight that was perhaps a little wishful – but instead, “oh frabjous day, calloo callay”, a bus drove by. We jumped on and paid the 16 dirhums to reach Tiznit, but a short distance beyond Mirleft, the bus ground to a halt, and after a half hour wait during which the driver and a few randomers attempted to fix it, we decided it was probably quicker to bail and flag another lift. Next up, a gran taxi drew up, allowed us aboard and promptly began cramming the people carrier with as many passengers as it is physically possible to fit…and continued to do so in to the realms of physically impossible to fit.

Anyway, so we’re all aboard a sardine can with wheels, sweating profusely and barely conscious in the intense dense heat of the midday sun, compounded by the hot stench and sticky sauna sweatiness caused by so many in such a tiny space. We progress about a mile or so, and then the gran taxi breaks down too. Bail take two. Further loitering in the road to hail another transport. And what eventually comes along? Another bus, packed with the people from the first bus who take one look at us and burst out laughing. Understandably really; I’d have laughed too at the cocky westerners who didn’t have the patience to wait like the others, and amidst far more hassle travelled absolutely no further…I would have laughed, if I wasn’t one of them!

Three buses, two break downs, one supposedly 45 minute journey – a pretty unique experience.

From Morocco

Hi all, sorry I‘ve been neglecting to blog recently – I’m currently on a brief break in Morocco! Will be sure to send some updates through soon though.

In the meantime, be sure to keep up with film news and review over at the smellofnapalm.com

Macbook Quick Fix

Thought I would share a solution to a problem I recently encountered with my Macbook. The issue I had was that the disc drive (or superdrive, as they call it) wouldn’t hold CDs. It would accept them for about ten seconds and then eject them again. I trawled forums for a quite a while and most of them seemed pretty negative, suggesting that the drive would need to be replaced etc., until I found the following advice and it worked.

Open System Preferences, under the CDs and DVDs pane, change a couple of the options as to how the computer should react when you put in a disc.

And that’s it. A ridiculously easy fix, but it worked for me. Hopefully, something this simple will work for you too! Of course, there’s no guarantee, but good luck!

Alien Variety up for an Award

Ok, I admit it. So if I write the heading like that it sounds much more prestigious than it really is – hell, I’m still pleased.

Basically, yours truly has been recognised in some capacity as a prize winner. Yup, The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama have deemed him worth up to £500 (it could be less). So what was this financial bounty for?! What has he done to deserve it? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure. I’ll receive the official letter by the beginning of next week. The prize awarded is called The Davis Scholarship. Anyway, I thought I’d boast about it here… your humble blogger does do more than just watching films!

Attack of the Clones. Ahem, Dust Mites.

In other news, if you’ve seen my tweets you may have noticed I’ve been moaning quite consistently about my allergies. I’d hate to be labeled a hypochondriac, (a title my mother unfairly gave me some years ago), but I’ve been seriously suffering from some snotty symptoms. Sibilance excluded. They call it hay fever, they call it a cold, they even call it the flu – who’s they, the wizards? – I call it: Dust Mites.

For those of you that don’t know about these greedy little bastards. Watch this video. I swear to God, they are clamouring in my nostrils, plaguing me, rowing my nasal canal. It’s not acceptable. I’ve literally sneezed ’til I’ve bled this week. Several times. If there are any doctors out there…confirm or deny…please!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47CIdUld8eQ[/youtube]

Broadening my range.

So I decided I’d expand upon the range of reviews I’ve been writing. In the past I have written for a few other sites, beginning back in 2001 with Ciao. I don’t write for them any more, but I trawled through some of my older reviews and picked out a few I actually quite like.

You may not know, in fact, you probably don’t, but I’ve been a fairly avid gamer in the past and I still park myself in front of my xbox far more than is constructive. At least I took a step back from WoW. Less said about that the better. (Shamefully I still miss it…) That said, I think I’m fairly qualified to review video games, which is the next area I’m going to start posting in. I’m pretty picky, and the chances are I’ll only review a game if I think it’s a) phenomenally good, or b) mind numbingly awful…everything in between get’s glossed over.

(The first few will inevitably be quite old, think of them more as examples of analytical writing than relevant critiques of new releases – although that’s not to say if I’ve captured your interest, don’t check out the game.) Enjoy.

Robin Hood and More

Not blogged for a while and this is a bit of a cheat, but I have been busy! Check out my latest review of Robin Hood over at The Smell Of Napalm.

There’s a tonne of stuff worth taking a look at – great reviews from independent writers, features, competitions etc. There’s also a lot going on behind the scenes. Hoping to get some news updates on to the site and a complete redesign in the not too distant future. (I’m working on it…!)

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