Desks & Movies

I can't tell you why, but my level of blogging so far this year has been terrible.  I could have a guess at why mind you...  things like the new role, while not keeping busy to begin with have been occupying my mind. Daughter's broken wrist has also added an extra layer of "helping out" that I have to get involved with. Not that I mind - far from it, but it is just one more little task that takes up unvaluable blogging time. (yes - unvaluable)

People say you shouldn't bother blogging unless you've got something worthwhile to say.  Poppycock.  If that were really the case would Dr Johnson ever have completed the dictionary ? or would Samuel Pepys have written his now famous diaries?? I think not. So I couldn't really give a fig if it's interesting, far more important to me is that it's here at all.  It is, when all is said and done, my vent, my pressure valve, the place where I can jot down whatever happens to be passing for a thought through the cluster of nurons I have come to know as my brain.

With that in mind, here's my next little project that's helping me achieve three things at once. 1) More focused work environment. 2) Better ergonomics. 3) Weight-loss as is appropriate for this time of year.  This is all coming from reading this article on Lifehacker. For those of you that don't read Lifehacker - you really should. It's full of interesting stuff and you'll wonder how you missed it.

So a desk you stand up at helps you burn more calories - I'm all for this.  Here's what I'm working with today:

So the challenge is how to raise it up by about 12" safely.  I happen to know a bloke who's a bit handy in the woodworking department and he's come up with two possible options.  Number 1. Feet that are commercially available from the likes of B&Q. A quick trip will tell me if that fits or not. Number 2, is build some custom supports from oak or with an oak vaneer to match the desk.  

What I'm after is something that's temporary enough so as not to damage the desk should I ever what to switch it back to normal desk mode, but then permanent enough to be strong and stable and a bit of a faff to disassemble so that I stick to the regime while in raised desk mode. Needless to say that for the time being, the hunt continues...

Onwards now then and "Two out of three ain't bad" (as the song goes) but in this context it refers to the number of movies I managed to watch from the list of three I mentioned previously. I had tried to do all three, but sleep was calling my name like a game of hide and seek.. "Coming - ready or not"

The upshot of this is that I'll share my thoughts on both "The Other Guys" and "Scott Pilgrim vs The World" with you as briefly as I'm able.... hmm, so apologies in advance if this is lengthy. Stick with it. It's worth it.... Honest.

The Other Guys

Will Ferrell. He's a funny one and I don't necessarily mean funny haha. I can't decide if I like him or not. He's made a couple of really great movies and a couple of real spanners as well, so he's sort of balancing in the middle there somewhere. Sometimes his humour is fantastically observed and very witty. He sparks off of John C. Reilly in "Stepbrothers" and "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" both of which are must see American comedy, and his comedy drama skills look good in both "Stranger Than Fiction", "Elf" and (perhaps more comedy than drama) "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy". And then there's the "also ran's" in the shape of "Blades of Glory" & "Semi-Pro" neither of which cut the proverbial mustard.

Strangely, even though in this list there are clearly five good verses two bad, I still seem to have a mental image of him being generally bad - so I must be doing him a dis-service. Which brings us to "The Other Guys". It's trying to be a buddy/cop/comedy movie - and sort of is - but not in the "Beverly Hills Cop" sense or even the "Lethal Weapon" sense. It is perhaps slightly more mature "Stepbrothers" in the police force, only without John C. Reilly and instead with the excellent all-rounder, Mark Wahlberg. In the end I found it was Wahlberg who kept me watching just to see what he'd do next. Will, while still very funny and consistent, continued to deliver the "Will Ferrell comedy actor" role. Overall 7/10

Scott Pilgrim vs The World

Now here's a movie with a pedigree. This has all the pointers to be awesome. If you loved "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz" then SPvTW should be right up your street. I say that, but of course, it rather depends on what you loved about the other two movies. For example, if it was Simon Pegg's or Nick Frost's acting that kept you glued then you might be onto a loser. However, if it's the writing and the witty script that got you - and if you are of the 80's/90's video game generation, and if you enjoy a comic book look of a movie .... (see "Tank Girl", "Hulk" (2003 not "The Incredible Hulk" from 2008), "The Mask" (1994), "V for Vendetta" (2006) and the list just goes on and on and on...).  If you can manage to tick those boxes, Scott Pilgrim (or "The 7 exes film", as I recently heard it referred to) will make your day.

I surprised myself by really enjoying it. Very nicely put together, for which we must thank the writer/director Mr Edgar Wright (he of Shaun and Fuzz fame). Some excellent effects keep the comic-strip genre alive and I now have a tiny crush on Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Ramona Flowers) about 15 years too late. Overall 8.5/10

I do have huge concerns about Miss Winstead's next project though - which is a rework of "The Thing". For those of you unfamiliar, "The Thing from Another World" was made in 1951 and based on John W. Campbell's short story "Who Goes There?". It's a great story and a good movie for the 50's. However, when John Carpenter got hold of it and made "The Thing" in 1982 he took it to a whole other level. 

For my money - it's done and is perfect. It doesn't need a remake. The studios are chasing old money again after some slight success with remakes such as "Nightmare on Elmstreet" and "Halloween". As much as I can't wait to see Miss Winstead, I just hope they don't balls-up the movie.

So that's it for today. I will be watching "The Girl who played with fire" and "The Hole" and probably "Salt" in the not too distant future. Hopefully the gap between writings won't be as long this time. Take care.


This post originally appeared here: Posterous