Monthly archives: November 2012

Daily Blog 11/30/2012

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B Movie Night: Big Guns

Tony Arzenta is an ice cool mob hitman, but he wants to retire so he can see his son grow up. Of course, his bosses have a very different idea of what retirement should involve. When it’s his wife and child who die instead of him, the only option is vengeance.

This is low key Italian revenge thriller from the early 70s. The colours are muted, until we get into the mob bigshots’ offices and apartments, which are almost always done out in dubious and over the top reds and blacks. The plot proceeds steadily from set piece to set piece, with bursts of violence and a couple of good car chases.

Compared to previous B-movies, it’s easy to think of this as a “real” film. There’s obviously a budget, and the actors are recognisable, even if only from other Euro-mob films of the period. The dubbing isn’t even that bad.

Big Guns is from thr Big Guns Collection, which came from the States but is region free.

Daily Blog 11/29/2012

  • It is like the biggest and the best toy for a kid! And though we once showed some photos of this we have some more today. The unique museum in St. Petersburg does not leave anyone indifferent. The Grand Model of Russia is a miniture with the area of 800 square meters, more than two kilometers of railways, fourty control computers, thirty buttons launching interactive scenes.

    tags: russia miniature modelrailway

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Daily Blog 11/27/2012

  • The so-called “Tunnel of Love” is located in a place called Klevan, the Rivne region, Ukraine. In a warm season green leaves appear on the trees, they form a fairy-tale green tunnel around the section of the railway one kilometer long.

    tags: russia

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Projects I’ll probably never finish- Bulletproof Poets

I start a lot more projects than I ever finish, all too often running out of time or motivation, or finding that they just don’t work. The annual overreaction to some idiot burning a poppy reminded me of Bulletproof Poets.

The Bulletproof Poets are an indie rock band with a political edge. They’re just on the verge of success*, touring like mad bastards and developing all the rock ‘n roll quirks that destroy bands. Everything looks rosy, until they release a single entitled Piss on the Cenotaph. That’s when the death threats, and the deaths, begin.

This was going to be mostly about the presentation. I wanted to do it as a comic-cum-fake-scrapbook, adding depth to the graphic narrative of the final interview by adding in reviews, gossip column pieces etc. It was going to be square format, so it could be packaged to look like a special 7″ or a CD. A version did get made, but all it was was thumbnails on post-it notes. They were scanned and put up on Spinneyhead some time during the Jurassic, but having moved servers, house and PC several times since then, I can’t lay my hands easily on either the originals or the scans. No doubt some of the themes and ideas will make it into other tales, but it’s unlikely that Bulletproof Poets will ever exist as originally intended.

Snippets– The title was originally going to be Ballad of the Bullet Proof Poet, and came from a song by Dogs D’amour. For a while it was a title without a story. Piss on the Cenotaph wasn’t a song title I came up with, I stole it from someone else, I never really knew what the lyrics would be. I like to imagine they’d be something damning about the way governments fail to honour the fallen by sending ever more troops off to die for pointless causes. But the singer/songwriter character was going to be portrayed as an arrogant tosser, so he would probably have thrown in some stuff about service personnel being idiots for falling for the lies over and over.

*Success being defined as the point where the hipsters at the NME stop saying your band are the next big thing and start convincing themselves that they never liked your music, not even a little bit.

B Movie Night- Deathrow Gameshow

The Running Man meets Police Squad.

Deathrow Gameshow is the camp shadow of Arnie’s murder-as-television-show action movie. Set in (then) present day Los Angeles its satire on the cheapening effect of celebrity culture quickly veers off into gurning performances and Zucker/Abrahams style sight puns.

Chuck Toedan is the host of Live Or Die, the gameshow where death row inmates get the chance to win a stay of execution- or on screen death. Shallow and sociopathic, Toedan is finally beginning to feel the strain. So, when he- and secretly buxom morality campaigner Gloria Sternvirgin- are trapped in his office by a mafia hitman it’s all too much for him, and he has to do what he does best one last time before getting out.

This is a silly little film, which can’t decide just what it wants to be- OTT satire or just a goofy farce with an odd premise. It would have benefited from further work on the script, and a bigger budget, but as it stands it’s a clunky but entertaining little piece.

This is another film from the region 1 Rare Cult Cinema DVD I got recently.

Daily Blog 11/19/2012 1

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

B Movie Night- Almost Hollywood

A low budget film with a bit of T&A about low budget films full of T&A.

Straight to Video films specialises in softcore skinflicks “erotic thrillers”, all of which seem to be filmed on the same bedroom set. But when the producer is thrown out by his wife for playing casting couch with one of his starlets, his life falls apart. The starlet is slaughtered on-set and her replacement is making ridiculous demands.

Sadly, the film has production values at the same level- possibly lower- as the films it mocks. The acting (and/or the script) is wooden, the jokes flat and the tension in the supposed thriller is non-existent.

There are boobs, I guess.

Not a great film, then, but it is only one of twelve films on the Rare Cult Cinema DVD and, at the price you can get the collection, it’s not a great waste of money. (The disc is Region 1, so make sure you have a player that can read it.)

Daily Blog 11/17/2012

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A wander around Gorton

Cherub power!

I thought it was time to have a better look around the new neighbourhood. There’s some interesting bits to be found.

Lady Liberty

Yes, that is Lady Liberty in someone’s back garden. There’s another statue in the same garden, which looks like a gorilla with a crash helmet on, but it’s hard to get a picture of it.

Gorton weir

Shortly after taking this photo I saw a Kingfisher flitting around the stream. It moved too fast to get a photo of it, though.



I think both these shops are still trading, it was just too early in the day for them to be open.

Memories fade

Gorton wood path

And that’s just a random little wander. There’s a fair amount more to be discovered yet.

Daily Blog 11/15/2012

  • It has even been claimed that this is the original sense of the word: supposedly, in the 1920s a blockbuster was ‘a movie whose long line of customers could not be contained on a single city block’. But with Google Books and online newspaper archives it’s easy to disprove this etymology: blockbuster does not appear before 1942 and then it referred to a bomb which was so big it could destroy a whole city block.

    tags: WW2 weapons

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Let’s means test our MPs

Whilst discussing the upcoming Police Commissioner elections, Harry and I came up with a concept that might make our elected representatives more representative.

Let’s means test our MPs.

It’s been suggested that the proportion of millionaires in the Commons is in the region of 100 times greater than that of the rest of the country. And it doesn’t seem that much is being done to fix that. There are ways to get into politics, but generally you need to have come from money to make the most of them.

Really, a millionaire doesn’t need the, relatively, paltry wage being an MP brings in. So let’s stop paying them. Let’s make the basic wage higher for our politicians, but do a means test on them before they receive it. If their net worth is over a certain amount, they don’t get paid. The money saved can go toward paying interns rather than expecting them to fund themselves.

Obviously, oversight of MPs outside earnings and interests would have to be especially strict, and punishment for not declaring them suitably harsh. But run properly, it might get more diversity into the Commons.

Who should be my Police Commissioner?

There is no-one called Gordon (first or last name) standing in Manchester’s Police Commissioner election. And, more seriously, we have received no information about the vote beyond polling cards.

Choose my PCC will tell you who’s standing in your area. The Greater Manchester page lists five candidates, one from each of the three main parties, a Lib Dem and an independent. Their official statements are predictably banal but luckily Matt Gallagher for the Lib Dems, Tony Lloyd for Labour and Michael Winstanley for the Conservatives each have their own PCC pages, which I shall be perusing. Steven Woolfe, the UKIP candidate, directs you to the UKIP northwest site. The independent candidate doesn’t have a site, but you can email him any questions at

Voting for Police Commissioners is on the 15th.