Category Archives: Film/TV

Just as things started to get interesting…

Syfy in the US decides to kill Caprica after one season.

Not frakking happy. Frak.

Maybe art is imitating reality too closely.

Or that in today’s world of instant gratification, not many people appreciate stories that take more than one episode to resolve.

Syfy, y’all should just change the name of the channel now and stop kidding us sci-fi fans.

Here’s hoping that Battlestar: Blood & Stone won’t suffer the same fate as Caprica after one season.

1429hrs

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Church politics

First up, let me get this off my chest.

I didn’t really think Channel Ten’s new series Offspring was going to be any good. But I’m being pleasantly surprised week-in, week-out. The storyline is a bit surreal (ala Scrubs) but I’m warming up to the characters quite nicely.

I can relate quite a lot to the lead character, Nina. Apart from the part where the character is a girl and has no “dangly-bits” down there while I am a guy who has “dangly-bits”. The BS and internal questioning that goes on in Nina’s mind is quite similar at times to what goes on in my head.

And… Nina is hot which therefore means Asher Keddie (the actress playing Nina) is hot. I loved Asher Keddie’s work in the award winning pay-TV series Love My Way. On another note: Aussie drama deserves support.

Quite glad that Ten have picked up the series for another season. Should be interesting to hear how the story will continue to pan out.

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I don’t ordinarily want to discuss church politics here on this blog of mine. Every church and denomination has it. The Roman Catholics, autocephalous Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Reconstructionists and NonDenoms (among the many “options” that are available in Christianity) all have power blocs (or individuals) within them that vie for earthly power under the guise of “spiritual leadership”. No matter how many people may try to tell you otherwise.

But I have heard rumors of words spoken in hushed tones by one or two people about why I’ve no longer been attending EMP for the last few months (funny how words get spoken when persons aren’t around). And that it may be raised at the next Local Conference (which as I understand it will be in about three Sunday’s time). And yes, I did know that person was fishing for information at Janet & Bill’s reception when he asked me why he hadn’t seen me at EMP for a while and I gave an answer that withheld quite a lot of what was going on inside my mind.

Sure the theological side of things has been a factor (EMP=evangelical;  Me=Anglo-Catholic evangelical). That’s been blogged about enough on here. Save it to also say that church politics have also played a part. In workplace terms, the last couple of years have seen me have a church equivalent of the opposite of “employee engagement”.

  • Has it played a part at times of the lack of sleep I’ve had? Yes.
  • Has it played a part in me swearing a lot at God in prayer time? Definitely yes.
  • Has it played a part in the borderline suicidal tendencies I had late last year? I would have to say yes (alongside other matters).
  • Has it played a part in the mild levels of recurrent depression that I’ve had since about 2008 when the first inklings of this major bout of church bullshit raised itself? Yes.
  • Has it played a part in me distancing myself more and more from participating in activities at EMP? Yes.
  • Have I raised this matter and sought counsel with others after lunchtime Mass at St. John’s? Too many times with a few priests and laypersons that I trust and who have seen this happen way too often in too many local churches.
  • Has it played a part in my missing services late last year and early this year when I was still a regular congregation member at EMP? Yes.
  • Has it played a part in my nearly leaving the faith entirely? Yes, there’s been one clear time this year when I really considered abandoning the faith entirely.

I will have to attend the Local Conference (technically, I’m still part of the LCEC until a new one gets elected). It will probably be my swansong Local Conference at EMP. If this matter does get raised in a few weeks time, there will be a response on my part. It may sound harsh to a lot of people there. I won’t be pulling any punches.

Am I an idealist? Yes, though there is also a pragmatist in me too.

Do I accept the imperfection of humanity, especially the imperfections of those in the Church? Yes. Knowing full well that, to use St. Paul’s words in his first letter to St. Timothy, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of which I am the worst.(emphasis mine)

Does it hurt to have to sever a lot of the connection with EMP? You are damn f****ng right about that.

Do I still pray for EMP? You betcha, now more than ever.

+1803hrs

Happiness

Yes.

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations is back on the air again. Well, season 7 is on the Travel Channel at least.

Sucks to have to be at work when it’s usually screening on Discovery Travel & Living Australia/NZ (channel 646 on AUSTAR & FOXTEL). But there are ways around that little obstacle of screening time…

Incidentally, Bourdain’s new book Medium Raw is a riot to read. Though if you disdain profanity, look away, look away. If you do like reading little vignettes about the food and restaurant industry, then this is the book for you. The same if you have read his two previous foodie memoirs, Kitchen Confidential and A Cook’s Tour, you’ll probably like (if not love) this one too.

Watching Bourdain is so much better than watching Masterchef Australia. Unfortunately, I have to suffer through it (and miss Spicks & Specks on ABC) because my parents watch it almost every damn night of the week. And on Masterchef Australia, give me the original UK version anyday (on Lifestyle Food). Heck, even dad, who watches the Australian version, still prefers the UK version.

Time to watch more Bourdain before heading to sleep tonight.

2213hrs

Adam

I watched a rather good film this afternoon/evening.

I’m a sucker for rom-com’s and this one was a good one. With one twist. One of the lead characters has Aspergers. It reminded me at times of another one of my favorite films, Lars and the Real Girl.

Adam is the name of the film in question. It received a prize (the Alfred P. Sloan Prize) at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. You can probably guess that I tend to watch independent cinema on DVD rather than mainstream cinema releases (in cinema or on DVD).

Rose Byrne & Hugh Dancy had great chemistry on-screen imho and heck, I’m supportive of Aussie actors (like Rose) who make it into the US film scene (whether in Hollywood or on the indie circuit). Heck, Rose was very much the pretty girl next door of most guy’s dreams.

Hugh Dancy, as the the title character Adam, played the lead role very well. Those people out in the general population who are generally shy (like myself) certainly can empathize with his character in social situations (though our social ineptitude is definitely not as severe as those who have Aspergers).

The ending wasn’t typical of the typical Hollywood rom-com which was good, but it was a little bittersweet. You couldn’t help but root for the guy and feel bad for him throughout the film.

Out of 10 (where 10 is the highest), I’d give Adam probably an 8. The storyline is good, it’s well acted, the lead characters have a believable chemistry on screen, the cinematography is gorgeous and the soundtrack fits just right with the story. By way of comparison, Saving Face ranks about 7.5 for me (the storyline there is one that I can certainly empathise with at certain points) and Hitch rates about a 6 (given the ending is as what one would typically expect and the acting is relatively good though cheesy like heck at times).

If you can find it on DVD, it’s a recommended flick to watch from me.

+ 2158hrs

Eurovision 2010

Ordinary Time 9 – Monday

OK, the kitsch and the schlager are over for another year. And yes, I called it. Deutschland, Deutschland, über alles. Lena’s track has been embedded in my brain ever since I first heard it a couple of weeks ago (even though Anna Bergendahl’s track has been in my head for a lot longer).

This year was surprisingly stronger than previous years that I have followed. The quality of the performances exceeded the kitsch that Eurovision is known for.

Turkey ended up winning the SBS Eurovision poll (no surprises, there’s a fairly large Turkish-origin population here in Oz) but damn, maNga were one helluva act. Loved the panel beating influence too with the hot chick. Random, but it worked with the rest of the song. But God help you if you have epilepsy. The amount of strobe lighting used in the Turkish performance would probably have triggered an episode for those who were unfortunate enough to not look away in time.

Was disappointed that the Irish entry didn’t poll higher (they came 23rd out of 25 entries). The same went for Iceland who were well in the bottom half of the final vote (19th of 25 entries). Hera Björk and her euro-trance number obviously didn’t have a certain Je Ne Sais Quoi with the European audience.

Azerbaijan surprised me. I suspect that Safura appealed to voters who were erm… more visual. The same for Armenia’s Eva Rivas (if that push-up bra were any higher, we would have had a free show when she was erm… bouncing across the Eurovision stage) though her voice was better than Safura’s IMHO. The Armenian song choice (“Apricot Stone”), while reflecting their cultural heritage was just all over the place lyrically. Kitschy to the max. Azerbaijan at number 5 and Armenia at number 7.

Was nice to see the Georgian entry (Sofia Nizharadze with “Shine”) crack the top 10 at number 9 and even more surprising to see them get douze points from Russia. Sofia has a huuuuuge voice that was pretty much on fire for most of the track. She’s a pretty lass too.

Belgium put in a strong entry this year. It was nice and simple: Tom Dice with “Me and My Guitar”. And literally, it was only him and his guitar on stage. His vocals sounded very strong too. Didn’t detect too many nerves from him at all and his vocals were pretty much in tune for the entire track. Pity he and Belgium ended up finishing 6th.

The Ukrainian entry (Alyosha with “Sweet People”) was sung with a lot of verve and panache given that it was more of a rock-influenced number. But she looked like she could have been an extra in one of those “Twilight” movies.

Denmark started off with a flurry in the voting but trailed in the end to come 4th. Sharnee and N evergreen’s song (“In A Moment Like This”) reminded me the most of ABBA’s “Waterloo”. Kitschy but with a chorus that you’ll remember for months to come. Definitely would sound good on adult contemporary hit radio format stations.

The Romanian entry, Paula Seling and Ovi with “Playing With Fire” (ended up at number 3) was another catchy number and I loved Paula’s Eartha Kitt-inspired black catsuit. Rrrrreeeoooowww!!!

Cyprus had one helluva entry that was John Mayer-ish in feel and sound. Loved it. Douze points from me. Hell I would have given douze points to a number of entries. Pity they ended up at number 21. =(

Milan Stankovic’s entry for Serbia was just plain fun to watch. That Serbian blonde bowler-hat fringe somehow worked wonders for him. Ovo je Balkan!

The Russian entry had me reaching for the vodka bottle to ease the pain. But then I realized I had to be at work today. There went that idea. Honestly, it may have been as painful as a root canal sans anesthetic. If there was ever a case of bloc/political voting at this year’s Eurovision, it was for Russia. I don’t know how many times I heard the crowd booing when Russia ended up with huit points, dix points or douze points. I was too. They shouldn’t have ended up at 11th position. Hell, I would have preferred the UK to be at 11th spot than Russia. And speaking of the UK…

Well, at least they didn’t end up with nul points (they ended up with a lowly 10 points). But I laughed my ass off when Belarus got 12 points from some country to lift them from being the wooden spooners to second last just after Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang (the SBS commentary team) were saying how there was a chance this year that the UK might actually escape being last. I guess the UK can avoid hosting Eurovision for yet another year. Well done.

But Norge… o.m.g. At Melodi Grand Prix 2010, Didrik Solli-Tangen was damn near perfect in his execution of his entry. But on the big night itself, he sounded so out of tune for about 70% of the song. At least he finished strongly.

And Norway (well to be more correct NRK, the state broadcaster) put on one helluva show. Tusen takk Norge for et fantastisk show!

I’m already looking forward to next year’s Eurovision in Germany. Deutschland, Deutschland, über alles. Wir sehen uns in Deutschland!

Yes, my German is very rusty!!!

2030hrs