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Friday, November 30, 2012


29/11/2012 - 09:09
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This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dark nights, black clouds and ducks....

I feel crap.


No really, I do. This is a bout of full blown man flu going on here, and I might actually die. Possibly.


It's at times like this that I have to turn to the comfortable things in life. Comfort food, comfort sofa, comfort TV and comfort wine.... If it gets much worse I may have to take some comfort drugs and who knows where that might end. Mrs G has some sympathy, but man flu is never as bad as we men make out - naturally.


Winter has well and truly arrived. It's dark before 4pm, it's cold enough to freeze the wotsits off a brass monkey, and it's been pouring cats and dogs (none of which I've ever really understood, but I get the drift - basically, a lot!)


The comfort food had to be something exceptionally spicy. I'm a big believer in killing off the bugs with hot and burning foods with peppers and garlic and all that in it. We stumped for a firm favourite (well I'd cooked it once before so knew it was a winner) with extra chilies, from the stoke chef's cookbook - I keep promising myself to cook a load more of his efforts, but I just need to put a bit more planning into that plan.


He's not about at the moment, and in fact I've barely seen anything of him since we've left London due to lack of foresight on someone's part. What's particularly odd about that situation is that there are still some of the more expensive members of the team in situ for no apparent reason. I predict bad things, but for the time being - IIWII.


Comfort sofa is easy - but that's because a few years ago we bought a ridiculous sofa. Too big and so way too comfortable. It's not uncommon for people to fall asleep on it purely because its that comfortable. We love it, but it is too big.


Comfort TV has been that terrible ITV stuff about so called celebrities in a jungle in Australia. I don't actually care about any of it, but it's easy watching. The only other thing that's as simple to deal with is Coronation Street (which as I've said before) is some of the best written comedy on the box. Aside from that its the devouring of movies - which always makes me feel a little better.


Comfort wine = nearest bottle of red.


None of this is very sophisticated, but I'm too damn knackered to care. As Max headroom once said: Come sweet slumber, enshroud me I thy purple cloak. Just rolling back to the comforting TV for a moment.... I always find this makes me feel better too:



a poem by Queenie*


When the night is dark,

And the dogs go 'bark';

When the clouds are black,

And the ducks go 'quack';

When the sky is blue,

And the cows go 'mooo';

Think of lovely Queenie,

She'll be thinking of you.


(* William Shakespeare helped with the title)


Laters All

Beware the snuffles - they lead to manflu.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Does Size Matter ?

Don’t ever let it be said that you can’t learn some bloody useless information from me. If nothing else, when the afternoon film rolls around on boxing day, this will give you something to blather on about during the opening sequence.

Those of you that know me, will know about my film obsession. I try not to make too big a thing about it because one could easily become a frightful bore, (what do you mean “become”? - Ed) but it's still there nevertheless. I mention it to try and explain away the incredulity of the following post - to be fair I can hardly believe I've written myself, but here's how it came about:

In the course of my movie watching I see Film Studio logos a lot... An awful lot. While they're interesting the first time, they tend to go unnoticed (and certainly uncommented upon) in subsequent appearances. That is until one of them changes. It might only be a minor change but when you notice it, it's like the proverbial sore thumb for the next two or three outings, until it becomes the new norm.

For example, when 20th Century Fox became part of the Newscorp Corporation (1981-84), I'm sure like me, all you ever noticed under the glare of the famous searchlights was the "A News Corporation Company" sign at the bottom of the screen... (Or perhaps you didn't and I'm just a cinema weirdo)

Anyway, this weekend I realised that another one of them had had a fairly minor change recently, and what caught my attention was the size of the logo. This got me to thinking how big would these arduous logos be if they were ever rendered in real life - and is size important? :-) I was always told its what you do with it that matters, although luckily this has never been an issue..... Moving on...

To correctly answer the question, some research was required. Here for your delectation and amazement are the results. The rules (as defined by me) are measurement of Logo Text size is the score. So, in no particular order....

DreamWorks SKG Animation - The boy on the moon.

So it turns out that DreamWorks logo features the son of the artist that painted the original artwork for the sign. The young man sat on the edge of a crescent moon fishing is an image of William Hunt, son of Robert Hunt. Safe to assume then, that as a young boy he is probably about 5 feet tall which gives us a logo size of 3 feet (give or take)

However, he's clearly sat in the crescent of THE moon, and as we know the moon is 3,474km in diameter so perhaps it could be that William is depicted as being 768Km tall, thus giving us a total logo size of 983Km or 610 miles.

Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen (yes, thats what SKG stands for) had a pretty good shot at the title with a logo that big.

Worth noting that Dreamworks is now owned by Paramount Pictures, however Dreamworks Animation is still independent, so that’s the logo I’ve used here.


And here's the clip:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) - Roaring Lion

Lions aren't very big in the grand scheme of logos. Average shoulder height of a fully grown male african Lion is up to 123cm (4 ft). MGM have changed the logo a few times, all with basically the same theme and they've had four named lions (and probably a couple of unnamed ones) who are respectively Slats, Jackie, Tanner and Leo. But then as the logo says this is "Art for art's Sake" so the casual observer shouldn't read anything of importance into it I suppose.

Anyway, all that aside, a 4ft Lion, gives MGM a total logo size of 5ft 8in (1.75m)


and here's all the MGM Logos rolled into one convenient clip:

20th Century Fox - Searchlights

Emil Kosa Junior created the original 20th Century Pictures logo in 1933. Two years later they became 20th Century Fox through a merger with the Fox Film Company and Pictures became Fox. Emil Kosa was a well known Matte Artist and examples of his work can be found in such movie greats as The Sound of Music, Cleopatra, The Fantastic Voyage, and probably most famously the Planet of the Apes - spoiler alert - see that Statue of Liberty?, That's a painting that is.

Luckily, the logo is easily scaled based on Searchlight technology. For military use initially (but also for public events, and Grand openings - and no doubt lighting up studio logo's) two companies together, Sperry and General Electric, manufactured Carbon Arc Searchlights right around the time the 20th Century Fox logo got going. While Movie Arc Lights were 24 inch diameter, it's a fair assumption to make, that the larger version are what are imagined in the logo. They have a 60" diameter, originally cost $60,000 each and have an effective beam length of 5.6 miles. Impressive stuff eh?

Right then. So a 60" diameter light translates into a total logo size of 12.16 meters


And the now obligatory collection:

Paramount Pictures Mountain

Paramount Pictures have a mountain of a logo - known as “The Majestic Mountain”. The story goes that it started life as a doodle drawn by W.W.Hodkinson during a meeting with Adolph Zukor (the founder) and is loosely based on the “Ben Lomond Mountain” in Utah (which incidentally is 2,960m high). However, Paramount went on to film a live action version of a mountain widely believed to be “Artesonraju” in Peru (which stands at 6,025m).

Of course nowadays, everyone’s logo’s are digital representations, but for the purposes of the exercise and to be favorable we’ll go with the Peruvian version of events.

Interestingly, the stars around the logo were originally there to represent the 24 film stars that were contractually signed up to Paramount at the time. This changed to 22 in 1974, but I can’t find any reference as to why - probably just aesthetics.

Regardless - given a little bit of measuring and maths, Paramount score a TLS of 7.23Km.


And the whole range of Paramount logo's….

The Warner Bros Shield

A tricky one this - not much to go on, in the way of scaling. There have been hundereds of different versions of this logo, but I’m going to go with the Warner Bros / New Line Cinema version because at least here there is something.

This version of the logo is animated and transitions from the standard WB Shield that you’ll have seen many times, into the NewLine Cinema logo (A Frame of film with the sprocket holes at an angle across the right hand corner). This is our reference point. The sprocket holes on the New Line logo are represented as being square - thus directing us to CinemaScope film. Interestingly, CineScope sprocket holes were originally referred to as “Fox Holes” because all CineScope films were made by 20th Century Fox.

A single “Fox Hole” is a mere 1.85mm in height, thus giving us a film strip which is 15.91mm in length. Following back through the animation, this translates to the downward edge of the “B” in the logo, giving us a Total Logo Size for Warner Bros. a piddling 22.02mm... Hmm, those clouds must be water vapor from a cup of tea!

Wbnl1 Wbnl2
and the show reel…

Columbia Pictures and that woman with the Torch

So this woman with the torch is the personification of America, known as “Columbia”. She was given the elbow by much of the US in 1920 when that other woman came along (The Statue of Liberty). Essentially, she is America’s version of Britannia - another goddess we don’t hear much of nowadays....

As for who actually modeled for the logo - well there’s a long list of names, among them, Claudia Dell, Amelia Batchler, Jane Bartholomew and Annette Bening. The current model is Jenny Joseph, who stood for Michael Deas when the digital rendition was made in 1993. However, he says that the face is a composite and not that of Jenny Joseph.

To the maths... The average height of an american woman is 1.76m, thus the Columbia logo has a TLS of 0.76m


In all her glory:

Universal Pictures

And it's here that we appear to have a clear winner. Appropriately so, given that this year marks their 100th anniversary.

From Tangier all the way down North Africa to Grand Lahou is a distance of 2,117 miles (3,407Km)


So scaling up (and excluding subsidiary text) this gives Universal Studios a whopping Total Logo Size of 4,543Km (2,822 miles). Insane!


All the Universal logos:

Does Size Matter?

The reults then - as follows:

1st: Universal Studios (4,543 million mm)

2nd: DreamWorks Animation (983 million mm)

3rd: Paramount (7.23 million mm)

4th: 20th Century Fox (12,160 mm)

5th: M.G.M. (1,750 mm)

6th: Columbia (760 mm)

7th: Warner Bros. (22.02 mm)

Well, there you go then - I’m sure that’s wasted 10 minutes of your life that you’ll never get back, but does it really mean anything? Is there any relationship between logo size and Film Production??

Nope - it's utterly meaningless... unless you know otherwise.... :-)
Time I found something else to worry about.
Ta Ra.

P.S. - With thanks to the internets, wikipedia and my memory for finding all this guff. #KeepItFree

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Friday, November 23, 2012

Up and Coming...

The old blog has been a bit neglected of late, so I've managed to scrape together a spare seven minutes and pull something at least a tiny bit interesting together. I've settled on a post that I wrote last year (about the same time) but updated for this year. In short, it's all about next years cinema and the delights (and a sprinkling of stinkers) that await us. Last year I did a full 12 months worth, but this year I’m including trailers, and for the most part that means the first three months so far.

Now, this is by no means an exhaustive list (which lets face it, would be exhausting) but more a list of what appear to be the one’s to watch and a nod to the one’s to miss over the  first quarter of 2013.  Depending on where you live, some of these might already be showing in your local cineplex, but I’ve based the list on releases scheduled for the UK.

So, without further ado - let's get on with it and see what we've got in January, February and March....

First of all, the must-see stuff...

Lincoln - Spielbergs biopic of the famous American president with Daniel-Day Lewis in the lead.
Dir: Steven Spielberg - Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Day-Lewis.
Age Rating: TBC    Runtime: 149 mins      

What Richard Did - Irish drama with exceptional performances from a group of young friends when Richard did something
Dir: Lenny Abrahamson - Starring: Jack Reynor, Roisin Murphy, Sam Keeley.
Age Rating: 15    Runtime: 88 mins     

Quartet - Comedy Drama at a home for retired opera singers...
Dir: Dustin Hoffman - Starring: Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Billy Connolly.
Age Rating: 12A    Runtime: 98 mins     

The Impossible - Fact based drama telling the story of a family caught in the 2004 Tsunami.
Dir: Juan Antonio Bayona - Starring: Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, Geraldine Chaplin.
Age Rating: 12A    Runtime: 114 mins     

Gangster Squad - Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling fight the East coast mafia in West coast Los Angeles during the 1940’s and 50’s
Dir: Ruben Fleischer - Starring: Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Sean Penn.
Age Rating: 15    Runtime: 113 mins     

Zero Dark Thirty - tells the story of the hunt for Isama bin Laden. With Kathryn Bigelow in the chair, expect great stuff.
Dir: Kathryn Bigelow - Starring: Joel Edgerton, Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong.
Age Rating: TBC     

And then the stuff I can gladly miss....

May I Kill U? - Alleged comedy in which Kevin Bishop breaks out from the small screen as a bicycle cop 
Texas Chainsaw 3D - More of the gruesome Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, now with added 3D - which we really don’t need.
V/H/S - Horror about a group of misfits stealing videotape and finding more than they bargained for

And so onwards to....

and things start ramping up. There’a a whole bunch of things to see. I’ve dramatically trimmed the list though. First the must sees...

A Good Day To Die Hard (Die Hard 5) - Needs No introduction, guaranteed fun on a stick.
Dir: John Moore - Starring: Bruce Willis, Patrick Stewart, Sebastian Koch.
Age Rating: TBC     

Cloud Atlas - Bit of an epic story from the Wachowski’s (“The Matrix”). Complex and riveting
Dir: Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski - Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving.
Age Rating: 15    Runtime: 172 mins     

Bullhead - Cattle farming at it’s finest. Really?? Actually looks interesting. Think “Drive” with cows in the Netherlands.
Dir: Michael R. Roskam - Starring: Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeroen Perceval.
Age Rating: TBC    Runtime: 124 mins    Language: Dutch

Flight - Airline pilot Denzel Washington saves a flight from disaster, and then the fun begins. In particular - John Goodman.
Dir: Robert Zemeckis - Starring: Denzel Washington, Kelly Reilly, Don Cheadle.
Age Rating: 15    Runtime: 138 mins     

The Iceman - The true story of Richard Kuklinski, the notorious contract killer and family man. 
Dir: Ariel Vromen - Starring: Michael Shannon, Ray Liotta, David Schwimmer
Age Rating: TBC     

I Give It a Year - Weddings - British Comedy - Sounds a bit four weddings, but actually it isn’t....  It does look pretty funny in a crude sort of way though.
Dir: Dan Mazer - Starring: Anna Faris, Rose Byrne, Simon Baker.
Age Rating: TBC     

Warm Bodies - Comedy Zombie Drama Romance...  If you can believe that.
Dir: Jonathan Levine - Starring: Analeigh Tipton, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich.
Age Rating: TBC     

Wreck-It Ralph - John C.Reilly plays a video game character who’s not happy being a bad guy. Innovative kids comedy (no doubt with adult humor) and of course geek!
Dir: Rich Moore - Starring: Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, John C. Reilly.
Age Rating: TBC     

Notables to watch out for ..

  • Terrence Stamp Singing in Song for Marion
  • Emma Thompson’s witchery in Beautiful Creatures
  • John Simm in Michael Winterbottom’s Everyday
  • Guillermo Del Toro’s Horror movie Mama
  • Barbara Streisand & Seth Rogen’s Comedy Road Trip movie The Guilt Trip
  • Bullet to the head with Sly Stallone back from the 80’s with Walter Hill in charge

And February’s must misses...

  • All Stars - Dance movie.... Pah!
  • Movie 43 - Ensemble Comedy....  Meh.
  • Run for Your Wife - Danny Dyer in a romantic comedy??  Do me a favor.

Marching onwards to March.... (see what I did there?)

Gotta go and see...

Oz: The Great and Powerful - The back story to The Wizard of Oz. How a small time circus magician had to fight a witch. For no other reason that the cinema history, I will have to see this.
Dir: Sam Raimi - Starring: Mila Kunis, James Franco, Rachel Weisz.
Age Rating: TBC 

Broken City - Wahlberg is on fire, and Crowe’s accent is still fascinating. Thriller/Drama
Dir: Allen Hughes - Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe.
Age Rating: TBC     

The Paperboy - Zac Efron & Nicole Kidman. John Cusack’s character looks stunningly different to his usual brooding roles. Deep South thriller.
Dir: Lee Daniels - Starring: Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman.
Age Rating: TBC    Runtime: 107 mins 

Jack the Giant Killer (or Slayer) - Ewan McGregor is always interesting. What bothers me about this is that usually the fairy tale reboots are a load of old tosh. This looks a bit more promising though. I think I’ll need to give it a watch.
Dir: Bryan Singer - Starring: Ewan McGregor, Bill Nighy, Stanley Tucci.
Age Rating: TBC  

Stoker - Another Psychological Thriller. Mia Wasikowska looks disturbing.
Dir: Chan-wook Park - Starring: Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, Dermot Mulroney.
Age Rating: TBC

Vinyl - British (welsh) comedy with Phil Daniels on fine form.
Dir: Sara Sugarman - Starring: Keith Allen, Jamie Blackley, Phil Daniels.
Age Rating: TBC     

The Host - Intersting SciFi/Alien Invasion movie. Apart from it coming from the pen of the Twilight Saga’s author, it could be interesting.
Dir: Andrew Niccol - Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Jake Abel, Max Irons.
Age Rating: TBC    


  • Fire with Fire - There’s just never enough Bruce Willis . Witness Protection, here comes the bad guy action movie.
  • Robot & Frank - Anti tech retiree Frank Langella gets a Robot and gets into trouble.
  • The Look of Love - The Porn Baron, Paul Raymond with Imogen Poots, Anna Friel and Stephen Fry.
  • Side Effects (also known as The Bitter Pill) - Jude Law in a Drug conspiracy
  • Trashed - Jeremy Irons narrates and stars in an ecological disaster documentary
  • Welcome to the Punch - James McAvoy, David Morrissey and Mark Strong are some of the best current british actors and all three of them in one place has to be promising. Action/Crime type thing.
  • About Time - Richard Curtis doe SciFi comedy. Expect Bill Nighy and a pregnant Rachel McAdams.
  • The Croods - Family adventure fun from Dreamworks Animation
  • Citadel - It’s Frodo in a Horror Movie...
  • Compliance - Dark Psychological Thriller
  • Trance - Danny Boyle has James McAvoy recovering a lost painting - sounds boring - bound not to be.

And not bothered about...

  • Identity Thief - although possibly a couple of giggles in here, I can wait for the DVD
  • The Bay - Mysterious stuff in the water and another bloody “found footage” film
  • Good Vibrations - Dylan Moran tells the Terri Hooley Story. Expect great soundtrack though.
  • Jadoo - Comedy chef brothers with Tom Mison
  • Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters - Yet again another old fairy tale rebooted. Forgetting about Jack the Giant Killer for a moment, I’ve yet to see one of these efforts work out to be any good, so I’ll wait for the DVD.
  • Cuban Fury - Nick Frost and Chris ODowd (who I enjoy watching) dancing about.
  • John Dies at the End - Drug addled insanity, and we know the ending
  • G.I.Joe: Retaliation - Warmongering action type stuff with Channing Tatum
  • 21 and Over - Feels like a younger version of the Hangover.

So that’s it for the beginning of the year. Some reasonably cool stuff. If I had to pick one from each month I’d have these 3:

Enjoy until next time.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Where is Golfyball?


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