Thursday, September 09, 2004

Back Again

I’ve had a bit of a wasted week last week and haven’t had the time or inclination to blog. Partly it’s because my Other Half is working on an assignment for her degree and partly it’s been due to a very restless baby. Anyway, nothing has been done for days and it was only Sunday that I managed to shake it off and get back to training. Boy, did it make a world of difference- one good, long row later and I felt back to normal. Totally re-energised. So here I am a few days later with two 10,000m rows under my belt already this week. Hopefully I’ll be able to get in another tomorrow- looks like this is my new standard. The days of struggling to do 2,000m seem so far distant, thank goodness.

With the weekend marking the end of my torpor on Monday I got to slip out to the cinema and saw Chronicles of Riddick. Great movie with some fantastic action scenes. It’s not much like Pitch Black, it’s on a totally different scale altogether, but if you enjoyed that film you’ll be sure to like this one too. It is a superb sci-fi movie, though very grand compared with Pitch Black and with a totally different look. While one of the things I liked about Pitch Black was the feel that things hadn’t changed that much (the character Johns’ carried a pretty neat pump action), Chronicles is very much more futuristic looking- though that’s not exactly a bad point. Riddick is a great character and while he’s not quite as menacing as in the first movie he still steals the show. This guy is one of the coolest sci-fi characters since, well, Han Solo. It is absolutely crammed to the gills with action, really stuffed full. A very entertaining film and a great way to spend the evening. Again, it’s one to catch on the big screen if possible; but I’ll definitely be adding this to my DVD collection when it’s released.

Last night I took my Dad to the cinema and we watched The Bourne Supremacy- I was a fan of Identity and this sequel is as good as, if not better than, the original. One of the plus points for me was the anti-Bond feel of the movie- no flashy cars, no trick gadgets, just a clever spy flick. One of the things I really enjoyed was the look of the film, there are a few scenes were you’d be forgiven for thinking you were watching a ‘70s film; Bourne drives an older model BMW, the city scenes are very grey and the colour seems quite muted at times- it really tops off the whole atmosphere of the film. At first I wasn’t impressed by the casting of Matt Damon as Jason Bourne as I’m not a fan but in this film I realised the advantage of using him, he’s pretty much the antithesis of Bond. He’s not a handsome, suave sophisticated international agent; he’s a grey man, a nobody, a figure in the crowd. Perfect for a CIA hitman; Damon is convincing as the very efficient and deadly Bourne. The fight sequences in both films are very well executed and have a genuine feel to them- there are no flashy martial arts, just grim efficiency. Damon is a fairly blank canvas, but that seems to be the point, Bourne is a tightly wound cold-blooded killer. I really enjoyed this film and am looking forward to the final part of the trilogy. Bond may have been the spy to beat, but with Bourne on the scene, he’s very much in danger of becoming an Austin Powers figure. XXX with Vin Diesel tried to re-do Bond for the modern generation, but it’s Bourne who has set the new standard for spy movies. Again, one I’m looking forward to seeing again and again on DVD.

While I’ve been gone Bush has surged ahead in the polls to a double digit lead (which can hopefully be maintained until election day), Kerry’s campaign is in full disintegration (Kerry himself seems to be coming apart at the seams) and the Beslan school massacre took place. I watched the latter live on BBC for a few hours on Friday and words can’t describe the sheer horror of it. These people- these Muslim terrorists for almost every media outlet seems afraid to call them what they are- must be exterminated, eradicated from the face of the planet. If they can not only conceive of this, but actually go through with it and deliberately murder so many children then they have no place in our world. This cannot stand.

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