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Showing posts from December, 2012

Movie: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I read J. R. R. Tolkien's book 'The Hobbit' many, many years ago now and found it to be a much more accessible than The Lord of the Rings Trilogy of books. I have a vague memory of the story which tells how Bilbo Baggins came to acquire the one ring, whilst on a journey with Gandalf the Grey and a troupe of dwarves, to face off with the villain of the book, Smaug the Dragon.

Director, Peter Jackson's version of the story has been expanded into three films of which The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first. (to be followed by The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Dec 2013) and The Hobbit: There and Back Again (Jul 2014)).

Warning: What follows isn't so much a review of the film, rather it's my thoughts after seeing the film. There could be spoilers ahead. Don't read if you haven't at least read the book and don't want any major plot points revealed before you've seen the film.

Back to the film...

Unlike the individual films in The Lord of th…

It's Time We Armed School Children

Not to make light of a tragic situation with the Newtown shooting incident or to discount the unnecessary loss of lives. However any incident that involves guns and innocent people being shot seems to spark debate online about gun control and, increasingly, mental health.

Clearly there is a mental health issue at stake. No rational person resorts to violence of any kind to resolve their issues. There's no real debate there other than what needs to be done to make it easier for anyone to get the help they need - before we see the next Newtown.

The gun control issue is a whole other discussion. Would disarming civilians or at least applying much stricter gun laws solve the problem?

In Australia, we have much stricter gun laws than the USA, and even had a gun amnesty where thousands of guns were handed in to police, it hasn't stopped supposedly outlaw motorcycle gangs from shooting each other (or not as the case may be - as they appear to have lousy aim). That problem appears to…

Online Distribution Killed Music and Other Dying Pleasures

I'm of the generation whose first experience of buying the latest music was to purchase 45 rpm 'singles' - having been born at the very beginning of the 1970's. Other formats were around of course, LP's, 12 inch singles and audio cassettes but 45s were the cheapest to buy for someone whose main source of income was parental pocket money.

All of these formats were popular up until the mid to late nineteen eighties where music distribution transitioned onto Compact Discs.

As clunky as it all was, buying your favorite singles and then eventually recording them onto a compilation audio tape was quite an enjoyable pass time.

Not only that but if you had a favorite musical artist you'd buy all their singles, not just for the featured song but also for the possible gem of a 'B-side' that didn't appear on their LP Album (which you also bought). The real fans even bought the extended 12 inch singles in which the artist usually took a great song and ruined i…

Disney's Song of the South - the Classic that Never Happened

Recently I listened to a Kevin Smith smodcast in which he mentioned Disney's Song of the South as being the film that Disney treats like it never happened. (Sorry don't remember the exact show but his comment was a brief, one sentence aside to another discussion).

A few days later one of my Social Network Friends posts a link to a new book, Who’s Afraid of the Song of the South? And Other Forbidden Disney Stories by Jim Korkis, as well as a link to the entire movie posted to YouTube (embeded below). If you have the time it's well worth watching.



I'd never seen the full film so I spent my some of my morning watching it on YouTube. I had become curious as to why the film had been largely pushed to the side by Disney since its last theatrical and home video release in 1986.

Apparently in a post 1986 world, the film, which was originally released in 1946, is now 'culturally insensitive' and even considered racist by some people.

After watching the film it's ac…

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