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"If there's one thing I've learned, it's never to be the first one to stick your hand into a viscous material."

 .:[ Darkly Dreaming ]:.Posted: 23:27 on Sunday, 08 July 2007 
State: entertained  Music: Vendetta 

Well, i've just been watching Dexter over on FX; the trailers that have been running for the last week or so grabbed my attention and, since my television viewing has dropped off to zilch after the highly enjoyable season finale of Doctor Who (okay, i found the resolution just a teeny bit corny, but it was still an emotional moment), i made a note to watch it. And since the Boss is at work, she wanted it recorded so our trusty LiteOn DVD recorder got a bit of a work-out too.

Dexter surprised me. After years of formula-based American television with very few really outstanding moments, this actually delivered on the hype the trailers built up; Dexter Morgan himself is, considering the fact that he's a serial killer and somewhat sociopathic with nothing but fake emotions, actually a likeable character in a way that must have been incredibly difficult to pull off. Dexter's world is very dark too, we're presented with a good view of it, warts and all, from the charming persona he portrays at work for the Miami police department (where, ironically, only one person even has a hint there's something odd about Dexter) to the brother trying to get his step sister a break to the killer talking to his prey in a reasoned but very chilling way. And then doing what serial killers do.

Absolutely riveting stuff, especially the little twist at the end of the first episode that will certainly have me watching next week to see where things go. Well worth a watch.

 .:[ Tootling past... ]:.Posted: 16:42 on Sunday, 22 July 2007 
State: flustered  Music: Thrust 

i've had quite a busy week, built two PCs from the empty case upwards, rebuilt my own machine (again, that's the second reinstall of Windows i've done in the last six months!) so i've finally cleared the 1GHz mark for CPU grunt and got a few other odds and ends to do as well; been on my own this week watching the house whilst everyone else is on holiday, so it's been very quiet but on the plus side it means i've not been disturbed whilst dismantling stuff. On the other hand, it does mean i've got close to naff all to actually talk about (Dexter was good last week and i'm looking forward to tonight's installment) so i'm just "checking in" as such - if i think of something more exciting, i'll let you all know!

 .:[ Yippee-ki-yay ]:.Posted: 19:21 on Saturday, 28 July 2007 
State: happy  Music: none 

Yay, now i have something to write about; last night the Boss and i had a night to ourselves, a Chinese meal followed by the cinema. And, if the topic of this post doesn't give things away, we went to see Die Hard 4.0. The ongoing adventures of John McClane have always been personal favourites of mine and, despite him being older, more battle scarred, folically challenged and without a vest for once, it was almost as though he'd never been away! The plots of the baddies are still over-the-top and McClane himself is still the everyman who survives more on his wit (and it's still sharp) and luck rather than any real attempt at planning.

Willis is on great form as McClane (and ever since Unbreakable i've felt he was hideously underrated as an actor) and, since the story revolves around computers (hence the 4.0 of the title, a pun on software version numbers), a sidekick is introduced in the form of grey hat hacker Matt Farrell. Granted, it's all "Hollywood Computing" where everybody is using an intuitive graphical interface that responds instantly to any given task, whizzes windows around with transparencies and other laughable things that Microsoft can only dream of (and yes i did laugh when i noticed that Farrell's handle was just his surname with 1337 5p34k transpositions) but it manages to fit within the larger than life action in a way that real Windows or Linux boxen wouldn't have; belief will already be well and truly suspended by the time the very smart "you killed a helicopter" line is delivered.

In short, this is a total no-brainer of a Hollywood blockbuster action film, is a total popcorn shifter, has some unintentional laughs buried in there with the deliberate ones if you're aware of computers and how they do (or more to the point don't) work and well worth the price of admission, especially if you enjoyed the others in the series. And if you haven't seen the others, you don't need that back knowledge to recognise the set pieces but it's one hell of an excuse to go shopping for the DVD!

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