Friday, June 30, 2006

More titles announced for FrightFest 2006

The Host - this year's closing movie

With weekend passes due to go on sale tomorrow morning, FrightFest have just confirmed five more titles for this year's event in August.

Adrift (Dir: Hans Horn) - rather misleadingly christened Open Water 2 in other territories, this German thriller is about a weekend cruise on a luxurious party yacht that goes horribly wrong for a group of old high-school friends.

The Host (Dir: Bong Joon-ho) - A mutant emerges from Seoul's Han River and focuses its attention on attacking people. This big budget Korean monster movie will close the festival.

The Lost (Dir: Chris Sivertson) - based on the Jack Ketchum novel, this one focuses on a cop and his ex-partner determined to catch a teenage killer who murdered two young women four years earlier.

Puritan (Dir: Hadi Hajaig) - a Victorian inspired modern day supernatural film noir, set against the backdrop of Whitechapel, mediums and the work of supposed pagan architect Nicholas Hawksmoore. Stars Nick Moran and Brighton resident Ralph Brown.

Re-cycle (Dir: Pang Brothers) - the most ambitious film to date from the brothers behind The Eye, this one follows a female novelist who finds herself in another world when she starts writing her latest book about spirits.

In addition to these films there will also be a screening of the documentary Earthlings: Ugly Bags Of Mostly Water (something to do with the Klingon language, apparently...) and the Thursday night will feature a pre-festival screening of Chris Smith's Severance followed by a Q&A with the director and members of the cast.

Full details can be found at and I'll report back on my day out in London joining the 'sleepy queue' for my tickets early next week.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Movie Haiku - Fearless

Dir: Ronny Yu

Cast: Jet Li, Dong Yong, Shido Nakamura, Nathan Jones

Wushu master doc

for Li's last martial arts flick

inspires a nation

soulmining rating: ***

Movie Haiku - Ultraviolet

Dir: Kurt Wimmer

Cast: Milla Jovovich, Cameron Bright, Nick Chinlund, William Fichtner

Milla's bare midriff

not enough to save this turd

worst film of the year?

soulmining rating: *

Monday, June 26, 2006

A little glimpse of Sunshine

Sunshine cast (l-r): Chris Evans, Hiroyuki Sanada, Cliff Curtis, Michelle Yeoh, Benedict Wong, Rose Byrne and Cillian Murphy

I've been following the progress of Danny Boyle's new movie Sunshine for some time now. If you check out the film's lovely website you'll see that they've now posted an exclusive first look at the film which mixes some early footage with an introduction by Danny Boyle. The film is currently in post-production and is due to open worldwide in March 2007.

In other Sunshine news, I managed to pick up this cap (left) off eBay the other week for only 99 pence (plus £1 p&p) - according to Gia these caps were especially made for Danny Boyle, Andrew MacDonald and Alex Garland to give out to the crew as Christmas presents. Cool!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tony Jaa returns in Warrior King

Tony Jaa's new movie Warrior King (aka Tom Yum Goong) finally gets a UK release next month and thanks to my chums at The Associates you can see some footage from the film...

"Opening at cinemas nationwide on 28th July, WARRIOR KING is the return to the big screen of Ong-Bak's Tony Jaa. The action is even more jaw-dropping than his first movie and WARRIOR KING also boasts a return to the kind of mega stunt that used to kick off every Bond movie in such rousing fashion in the days before computer effects stopped us all saying "Did you see that" in the pub afterwards. The day of the Hollywood stuntman may be almost over but the Thais are stepping in again to give us a much-needed dose of reality. So the mantra is 'real people doing real things' without wires, camera trickery, computers, stunt doubles, etc. And it's true, one amazing Tony Jaa sequence really is a 4 minute single take!"

Click on the links below to take a closer look at the action:

High Res:

Medium Res:

Low Res:

I've got the Thai DVD release of the film and it's great fun - the four minute fight scene in a four-storey restaurant really has to be seen to be believed!

A Day in the Life (Part 2)

So here's the second part of my working day... Sorry if it bores you to death!!

14:50 – Write this week’s show times onto the white board.

14:54 – Decide to post this rambling nonsense anyway and log on to Blogger. Part 1 will cover the first three hours from 11:45 to 14:45 and I’ll post Part 2 covering 14:45 to 17:45 just before I finish work.

15:05 – Goal! Dash out to the back office to see the replay. Portugal 1 Mexico 0.

15:10 – Bloke phones up to ask about The Kooks gig. It’s sold out.

15:17 – Still editing my post on Blogger.

15:23 – Penalty! We all dash out to the back office to watch Simao score from the penalty spot. Portugal 2 Mexico 0.

15:26 – Bloke phones up to change his address details on our database.

15:29 – Goal! It’s now Portugal 2 Mexico 1. Stevie B is pissed off because he’s just transferred Pauletta into his Channel 4 team – having seen the team sheet on The Guardian website - and he’s not playing after all. Oh dear!

15:36 – I offer to make a round of hot drinks. “I thought you were never gonna ask,” says Darren. “Can you make it wishy-washy?” asks Dom.

15:48 – I want to post something about the new Warrior King movie so I’m busy downloading images and links from The Associates website.

15:52 – There’s a mad woman talking to herself in a very loud voice at the front counter.

15:53 – Darren complains about the ‘bits’ floating in his cup of tea.

15:59 – Bugger! I can’t seem to upload any images onto my blog at the moment.

16:03 – Reply to Karen’s email regarding show times for the Shell Connections performances.

16:08 – Mmmmm, tea! Mmmmm, doughnuts!

16:10 – Lady phones to ask about the prices for Jerry Springer: The Opera.

16:13 – Penalty! The Mexican player hoofs it over the bar so the score remains the same.

16:14 – Lady phones up to book tickets for the Lostprophets gig. Guess what? It’s sold out.

16:16 – Serve a couple at the counter who want to know the price of tickets for the Circa show.

16:18 – Red card! Mexico’s Perez gets sent off for falling down in the penalty area.

16:24 – Bloke phones up in a panic as he’s just realised that he ordered too many tickets. I agree to change his booking as he only called five minutes ago.

16:27 – Complete my Warrior King post then decide to change the posting time so that it will appear at the top of the page.

16:36 – Check in on Kelly’s blog again, then head over to the BBC’s website.

16:37 – Realise that Darren has not touched the cup of tea that I made for him. Darren accuses Dom of drawing pictures of Pocohontas in his notebook.

16:44 – Check my external emails. Have just received a very interesting email from Adam Mason, the director of Broken, who has obviously been Googling his film and found my recent post.

16:48 – Darren is overheard saying to a customer, “If I can bring a little bit of joy into someone’s day then I’m happy,” which makes us all crack up laughing. A couple come in looking for the new Duke Of York’s cinema programme, but we haven’t had our delivery yet.

16:54 – I reserve some Jerry Springer:The Opera tickets for a bloke who is swapping five tickets for six.

17:15 – Check on the final scores in this afternoon’s World Cup games then catch up with some emails.

17:16 – Serve a bloke at the counter who’s buying two tickets for The Automatic, then have another toilet break.

17:22 – Sell a pair of tickets for Kate Rusby to a fella on the phone.

17:36 – Check out more of my regular websites before ending up on the FrightFest forum.

17:40 – Christina at the Concorde phones me for the final sales figure for their John Cale concert tonight.

Don't worry, I shan't be repeating this project tomorrow!

A Day In The Life (Part 1)

"Ooh, it's like the Poosday Drinks Project without hot beverages. Although there are some hot beverages in it. You know what I mean. Can anyone join in?"

Okay, I'm only posting this because Kelly is doing the same on her blog today (go on, have a look)... I wasn't actually going to post this at all, but then she told everyone to click over to my site and take a look. So, erm, apologies... this could be the most boring post ever!

Please note: It is a very quiet day in our office today.

11:45 – Bring in goalkeeper Ricardo in place of Cech in my Channel 4 World Cup Fantasy Football team. I am in 15th position in our league (out of 17 people). This is a personal disaster.

11:49 – Bloke at counter wants to leave some flyers. It’s not an event that we’re selling tickets for (grrr!) but there’s space on the rack so I tell him it’s okay.

11:56 – Predict tomorrow’s World Cup scores on the CD Wow website. I won a £2 voucher for predicting that England would draw 2-2 with Sweden last night.

11:58 – Lady phones up to book eight tickets for Suspiciously Elvis.

12:05 – The mail has arrived. We have a fan letter addressed to (actor) Colin Baker at the Theatre Royal. Darren gives it to me and asks me to open it. I refuse. Hey, just because I opened some fan mail addressed to Ian Ogilvy at the Theatre Royal last week… We were thinking of writing a ‘fake’ reply to the sender, but that would have been very cruel of us.

12:06 – Young lady phones up to book for Dylan Moran. Tough luck, he’s sold out.

12:07 – The following conversation takes place...
Dom: What’s that smell?
Darren: Offal.
Phil: Yes, it’s an ‘offal’ (awful) smell.

12:09Fools Gold by The Stone Roses is playing on the radio. Darren suggests that we should have a ‘Madchester’ party in the office and get Bez in to shake his maracas.

12:15 – Order the new Nouvelle Vague CD Bande A Part from HMV’s website. £9.99 delivered seems a good price for the Ltd Edition version. Their debut album was my favourite album of 2004 so I’m really looking forward to hearing their new set of cover versions.

12:22 – Lady phones to order two Beverley Knight tickets. Decides she’ll come in when I tell her about our transaction fees.

12:30 – Toilet break. Hey, this isn’t 24 you know.

12:32 – Darren opens the letter addressed to Colin Baker. We can’t believe it – it’s from the same couple who wrote to Ian Ogilvy last week! They are obviously serial autograph hunters. Darren says we should send them a picture of Tom Baker instead.

12:34 – Darren does a little dance because he’s going to Berlin tomorrow.

12:36 – Polly makes hot drinks for everyone. This is my third coffee of the day. I’m starting to feel hungry now but have no food to hand.

12:39 – I order the Thai movie Art Of The Devil 2 on DVD from Play’s website for £11.99. Curse the lure of internet shopping.

12:41 – Get up to serve bloke at counter but he’s “just looking thanks”.

12:43 – Darren is being inordinately happy today. Dom let’s his chair down and Darren calls him a tosser.

12:47 – Bloke phones up to enquire about the Strawberry Social event at Brighton Racecourse. He doesn’t want to book a ticket though, he wants to set up a stall there. I can’t help him.

12:49 – My attempt to make toast is thwarted when I realise that we have no butter left. I am going to have to go to Tesco…

12:51 – Serve a couple at the counter who are booking tickets for Grumpy Old Women.

12:54 – Decide to go to the bank as I only have 91 pence in my pocket plus I need to pay back the £30 I borrowed over the weekend.

13:00 – Bump into my friend Kristy who I haven’t seen since August when she had a major falling out with my friend Gary.

13:06 – Buy some Utterly Butterly and a bag of doughnuts in Tesco. Manage to avoid the weird girl who always has really random conversations with me when she’s on the tills.

13:11 – Finally make my toast but unfortunately my coffee is now very lukewarm.

13:15 – Young girl phones up to find out what time Dylan Moran will finish on Sunday night.

13:20 – Check Kelly’s blog and post a comment. Feel a bit guilty as she’s told everyone to read my posts about my working day – and I haven’t posted anything. Rather concerned that my colleagues will read it and realise how little work I’ve been doing today. Not that it’s a busy day… no-one has much to do. Hmmm, do I post this or not?

13:22 – Finish my toast and coffee.

13:23 – Tell more people at the counter that Dylan Moran is sold out.

13:27 – Some bloke walks past, swears and kicks the bicycle that is chained up outside the office.

13:29 – Darren lets down Dom’s chair as he walks past, so I get up and let down Darren’s chair – he calls me a tosser. I do a little dance.

13:32 – Postie comes in to collect today’s outgoing mail.

13:33 – Bloke comes in to book tickets for Will Self at the Old Market. Tell him to go to the Old Market.

13:36 – Lady phones up to book eight tickets for the Whippersnapper Circus.

13:43 – Darren crouches down behind me attempting to let down my seat but I catch him. He goes over to hassle Dom instead who tells him to “f*** off”.

13:48 – Bloke comes in to buy nine tickets for The Automatic gig which has just gone on sale today.

13:49 – Bloke phones up to enquire about the Midsummer Night’s Dream performance at Preston Manor.

13:53 – I’ve volunteered for Ops, the weekly meeting where all departments get together to discuss the forthcoming week’s events and review the events just gone. Get briefed by Stevie B and pick up our latest sales reports.

13:55 – Young lady comes in to enquire about The Vagina Monologues. Direct her over to the Theatre Royal.

13:58 – Walk round to the Dome with Jody discussing the volume of the seagulls outside. She signs us both in at stage door, has a mental block and forgets who I am.

14:05 – Ops meeting starts. There’s 20 of us in attendance, people from programming, marketing, technical, facilities, bars, marketing, security plus all the duty managers. I am the only person from the Box Office.

14:23 – Discuss the likely protests at Jerry Springer: The Opera following the protesters who were handing out leaflets at the weekend. I suggest infiltrating their group so that we’ll know their plans in advance. Is Jack Bauer available?

14:27 – Ops meeting finishes.

14:31 – Back in the office, time for another loo break.

14:33 - Read The Fiver daily email from The Guardian’s website.

14:40 – Lady phones up to enquire about Keane tickets – tell her to call the Brighton Centre.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Movie Haiku - The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift

Dir: Justin Lin

Cast: Lucas Black, Bow Wow, Nathalie Kelley, Sonny Chiba

Short skirts, banging tunes

car porn on streets of Japan

hey, there's Vin Diesel!

soulmining rating: ***

Movie Haiku - Hard Candy

Dir: David Slade

Cast: Patrick Wilson, Ellen Page, Sandra Oh, Jennifer Holmes

They meet in chatroom

she's fourteen, he's thirty-two

guys will cross their legs

soulmining rating: *****

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ghost Of Mae Nak Review

Siwat Chotchaicharin as Mak in Ghost Of Mae Nak

I've been meaning to write a review of Ghost Of Mae Nak ever since I saw the film at the BKKIFF back in February. It's a Thai language movie but was written and directed by a British guy, Mark Duffield, who was kind enough to talk to me about the making of the film last Autumn. Apparently Tartan have picked up the UK distribution rights so it should get a release here at some point in the near future.

You can read my full review on Eat My Brains here.

You can read my original movie haiku for the film here.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Number Two

Watching the original Jackass movie on the big screen has got to be one of the funniest cinema experiences I've ever had, I've never heard an audience laugh and wince quite so much (not even during House Of The Dead, although for completely different reasons...)

Now they're back with Jackass: Number Two. Oh yes!

It's not due to open in the UK until 13th October, but you can see the trailer by clicking here.

Oooooh, that bit pulling teeth... now that's gotta hurt!!

Toronto After Dark

There's a new genre film festival on the block as Toronto After Dark launches this year, running from 20th - 24th October. No confirmed details as yet, but Todd from Twitch is the Programming Director so it's sure to be a stellar line up. Now, if only I had a spare £500 so I could jet over to Canada for the week...

Play It Cool in June

At long last I've found some new CDs to buy! And there's a Record Fair in Brighton this Sunday so no doubt I'll be buying a load more then! Hurrah! Here's what I've been listening to this month...
  • The Upper Room - Other People's Problems (Sony BMG)
  • Scritti Politti - White Bread Black Beer (Rough Trade)
  • Snow Patrol - Eyes Open (Polydor)
  • Tegan And Sara - So Jealous (Sanctuary)
  • Feeder - The Singles (Echo)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Collingswood Story finally comes to DVD

Stephanie Dees as Rebecca

Anchor Bay have announced the DVD release of The Collingswood Story for 3rd July, and thanks to my friends at The Associates you can have a quick peek at the film...

"Hailed by Shivers Magazine as 'the spookiest low budget horror film since The Blair Witch Project,' THE COLLINGSWOOD STORY is an atmospheric supernatural chiller that has already become a word of mouth hit amongst horror fans thanks to its many successful festival screenings, including a well received showing at London's FrightFest in 2005."

Click on the link below for a taste:

High Res:

Medium Res:

Low Res:

To read my review of the film click here.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Movie Haiku - Thank You For Smoking

Dir: Jason Reitman

Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Maria Bello, Cameron Bright, William H. Macy

Cigarettes are cool

but Vermont's cheese can kill you

Eckhart's outstanding

soulmining rating: ***

Monday, June 12, 2006

Forty Winks

Who's the knackered ginger chap?

I must wish a happy 40th birthday to Justin today. A load of us met up in the pub on Saturday night to help him celebrate this 'staggering' age and get very drunk. After kicking-out time at the Druids a few of us were still keen to keep drinking, so Gary ended up leading us to VaVaVoom (the gay bar next door to Revenge) where some of us (me, Andy and Gary) danced around like loons to the video jukebox and some of us (erm, birthday boy Justin) fell asleep on the sofa. Many happy returns mate!

Me, Andy and Gary throw a few shapes to, erm, Paul Weller...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Tokyo Drift?

Yes, I will be going to see The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift at the cinema next week... why do you ask?

Friday, June 09, 2006

FrightFest 2006 - First details announced!

FrightFest returns to London's Odeon West End over the August Bank Holiday weekend for four days of terror-soaked movies and as always, I will be there to cover the festivities. Friday will begin with three classic Hammer films - Countess Dracula, The Hound Of The Baskervilles and Twins Of Evil - before the festival launches its programme of premieres and new releases. Films confirmed so far include:

Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon (Dir: Scott Glosserman) - part documentary, part slasher flick, following the life of newcomer psycho killer and soon-to-be horror icon, Leslie Vernon.

Broken (Dir: Adam Mason) - Mason's latest sees a sociopath stalking a young mother in the woods. His first film The 13th Sign was awful, and I walked out of his second film Dust, so I'm not overly confident about this one... but advance word so far is positive.

Frostbite (Dir: Anders Banke) - the first vampire horror/comedy from Sweden.

Grimm Love (Dir: Martin Weisz) - inspired by a real life story, this controversial German shocker examines the psyche of a cannibal who met his willing victim over the internet... and then ate him.

H6: Diary Of A Serial Killer (Dir: Martin Garrido Baron) - last year it was zombies, this year it seems to be serial killers... this one's a bleak Spanish film following a serial killer who's just been released after 25 years in prison.

Isolation (Dir: Billy O'Brien) - Alien with cows? Nightmarish experiments on an Irish farm produce mutant cows...

The Living And The Dead (Dir: Simon Rumley) - a trippy family drama from a new British director... I might well end up in the bar during this one, just a hunch.

See No Evil (Dir: Gregory Dark) - this gory horror from WWE Films concerns a psychopath holed up in a rotting old hotel, played by wrestler Kane.

Sheitan (Dir: Kim Chapiron) - French flick following a group of teens who encounter a shepherd who's into satanic rituals. Stars Vincent Cassell, so can't be all bad!

Snoop Dogg's Hood Of Horror (Dir: Stacy Title) - anthology movie hosted by Snoop, from the director of The Last Supper. Reported to be very funny, this probably has the late night Saturday slot already sewn up.

Snuff Movie (Dir: Bernard Rose) - the Candyman director should be on hand to introduce this thought provoking movie on the nature of horror films.

Them (Dir: David Moreau & Xavier Palud) - a French thriller about a couple living in an isolated house in Bucharest... but of course they're not alone!

There are more films still to be announced, with The Breed, Day Watch, Pathfinder, Pan's Labyrinth and The Return all mooted (and a couple of Asian shockers too, I hope), plus the usual mix of trailers, shorts and guest appearances. For full details check out

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A slow news day

My best mate Dave (left) got back from Thailand yesterday after seven months away. As it was my day off I offered to go up to Gatwick to meet him... a nice idea until I realised that it meant being there for 7am! Despite the jetlag he really made me laugh, telling me he'd managed to drink ten small bottles of red wine during the flight to Doha, had lost his wallet (which he then found in his back pocket while we were on the coach... typical Dave) and somehow managed to keep hold of his excess duty free cigarettes when customs had searched his bags! Welcome home Dave!

I bumped into Jamie when I went to see The Omen remake yesterday lunchtime so we got our tickets and sat together. What I didn't know was that in the twelve months since I last saw Jamie he's renounced all his vices (sex, drugs and booze) and become a born-again christian. Which meant I had to listen to him earnestly tell me how the world is going to Hell, how all of the story (The Omen) is written in the scriptures, and how the Antichrist is coming but Jesus will return to save us all... Next week: One of Brighton's boy racers attempts to educate me on the proper method of 'drifting' as I attempt to watch The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift.

Blah blah blah World Cup blah blah blah Wayne Rooney... oh please, just shut up now! Don't get me wrong, I can't wait for the actual football to start, but all this build up and minute by minute speculation... enough! Another thing I hate... the fact that every single advert on telly has to have a football theme. And just how many times can record companies repackage the same old football songs onto compilation CDs? And cars with England flags on them, they're sh*t too.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Movie Haiku - The Omen

Dir: John Moore

Cast: Julia Stiles, Liev Schreiber, Mia Farrow, David Thewlis

Antichrist returns

cash in on 6/6/06

kid pulls a mean stare

soulmining rating: ***

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Movie Haiku - Poseidon

Dir: Wolfgang Petersen

Cast: Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, Emmy Rossum

It's a rollover

some die, some climb to safety

all get very wet

soulmining rating: ***

Monday, June 05, 2006

Zero 7 at the Dome

Sunday night found me at the Dome looking after the guest list for Zero 7, but I managed to get in to watch most of their performance once that had been taken care of. As a live act the core duo of Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker were bolstered by four other musicians, plus guest vocalists Sia and Jose Gonzalez who both sang on current album The Garden. I haven't heard the latest album yet but these new songs certainly sounded a little more rocky and uptempo than their previous work, and the contrast in vocal styles worked well. Earlier tracks were less in evidence, perhaps in part due to the different vocalists (Sophie Barker, Tina Dico and Morez) employed, which was a bit of a shame. Still, Sia - who's contributed on all three albums - was at least able to perform Destiny and Distractions from Simple Things which pleased the audience, and encored with Feels Like Home from When It Falls. It's just a shame she opted to try a spot of African dancing rather than taking the crowd's suggestion to "do the Crouch"!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

June Live

With Brighton Festival finally over for another year and the World Cup almost upon us, the live entertainment scene for June seems quite threadbare by comparison! Still, looking ahead we're already selling tickets for Lostprophets, The Kooks, Sparks, Imogen Heap and Boy Kill Boy, so there's some shows to look forward to later in the year. Anyway, here's my pick of what's on around town this month:

01/06 - Tonight sees Hot Chip down at the Concorde who I last saw down there supporting Soulwax, whilst over at Brighton Centre you can see the poptastic Girls Aloud.

04/06 - At last I can get to see Zero 7 as they return to the Dome (I missed their previous two gigs here) on tour to promote the release of their new album The Garden. Jose Gonzalez and Sia will be joining the band to provide vocals.

14/06 - I came so close yesterday to getting a ticket for the special acoustic performance by Foo Fighters at London's Victoria Apollo, but it sold out immediately. Might try and get a return though, as I haven't seen them live since the Phoenix festival in 1996.

18/06 - Rock legends The Who are playing a gig at Brighton Centre as a warm up for their Summer stadium shows.

25/06 - A bit of comedy tonight as Dylan Moran returns to the Dome with his latest stand up show Like Totally... I'm going to be working on that one, otherwise I'd probably be down at the Concorde where Regina Spektor (who's worked with The White Stripes) is playing.

Contracts & Celebrations

Yesterday was a day to celebrate...

First of all in the afternoon Everton unveiled striker Andrew Johnson as their record £8.6 million new signing.

Then just before I finished work came the news that I've finally been offered a permanent contract (along with Dom and Darren) from 1st September which will mean greater job security, more money and more benefits.

And finally in the evening I received a phonecall with the happy news that Stephen & Caroline are now the proud parents of baby Sophie Louise! Very many congratulations to them!