Like the new digs?

In case you wonder why things have been so quiet around here (as I'm sure many of you have, it's like the new "Who shot JR?": "Why is lowbrowculture.com so quiet?"), well, here's your answer.

Well, for one, I've moved to a new host. One that will hopefully beat my last host's record of 50% uptime. One that has already beat my last host's record of 50K download speed.

More noticeably, I've redecorated. The new design is tidier and cleaner. And finally gives me a way to work Rodney Dangerfield into the design of the site.

So will all this mean more posts around here?

Probably not.

Mahir sues Borat →

"I'm trying to find USA publisher, and I hope I can receive good offer from Hollywood and play my own life and share with my fans, Julia Roberts, Spielberg, David Bowie, or others, this movie."

An Open Letter to Bank of Ireland

Hi guys,

I'm feeling pretty dumb about losing my wallet, especially when I'm 90% sure it just dropped out of my pocket while I was taking a dump in McDonalds. But seriously, who the fuck thought it would be a good idea to have "Cry Me a River" in the hold music for your 'emergency helpline'? Can we fire them? Please?

Regards, etc.

(I'm so glad I had my phone on speakerphone so my girlfriend could hear this shit, at least someone knows I'm not making this shit up.)

Anyway, other stuff I need to get replaced:

  1. Credit Card

  2. Laser Card

  3. Cineworld Card "There's a €16 replacement fee, but I'll waive that because you've been a member for 2 years."

  4. Library Card

  5. Driver's License

Update: Crisis over. A couple of days after I lost my wallet, I got a very panicked phone call from my very panicked mother who had just received a visit from the Gardai asking if I lived there. Someone found my wallet in McDonalds and handed it in (but not before making off with the money in it; they even swiped the four US dollar bills(?!!)). The Gardai found my address because of my Driving License.

I'm a little disappointed now though. The few days of being without an identity (and financially fluid) were kind of liberating.

District 13 Dubbing

Before you press "play" on your new District 13 DVD, make sure you turn on the English dubbing. For one, playing it with subtitles will fool noone; the movie is thick as pigshit in any language.

But mostly you're only getting half the value for money with the subtitles, because the dubbing is easily more entertaining than the movie itself. Bizarrely incongruous with the rest of the movie and the rest of the cast, the main character and his sister have thick, Colin Farrell-esque Oirish accents that had me laughing my ass off every time they spoke.

Worth the price of the DVD alone.

Horrorthon 2006

**[The Host (Gwoemul)

Giant mutated monster terrorizes a bunch of Asian people. A layabout father's daughter is taken by the monster and he vows to rescue her. Seriously, there's very little more to the movie than that - if you didn't like the sound of "giant mutated monster", there's really not much more to this movie for you. Which is why I was so surprised to see this movie sold out. The movie itself is slick, and the monster effects are really well done (except towards the end, where rather than simulate fire, they seemed to hand-animate that sucker). The whole way through, I felt like I was watching some Charlie White (specifically "Fleming House").

Frostbite (Frostbiten)

Swedish movie about vampires terrorising a town in Sweden where it's night for months at a time. Great premise for a movie, and one of the movies I was most looking forward to on this year's program. Unfortunately, it never lived up to its promise. The story was very much one of throwing everything into the screenplay and seeing what stuck. A lot didn't stick. Still though, they stole the premise from 30 Days of Night, now they're stealing it back - David Slade (Hard Candy) is set to direct a movie of that comic.

Demons

I love this movie. and it was great to see it on the big screen.

The Lost

Not nearly as horrific as it thought it was. But still one of the highlights of the festival for me.

Masters of Horror: Brad Anderson's Sounds Like

Masters of Horror: Takashi Miike's Imprint

Andrew Deane (executive producer of Masters of Horror) came out and introduced these. He was a funny guy, and full of anecdotes about getting these made. 'Sounds Like' is familiar ground for Brad Anderson (The Machinist, Session 9): a man on the verge of collapse. Is there something "spooky" happening, or is he going insane? (he's going insane). But it's technically very impressive. They had the foley guy working overtime on this one. Before the screening of 'Imprint', Andrew Deane told us that "even people who worked on this episode have trouble watching it". This was the episode that Showtime (the guys who produced the show) refused to screen. Now, confession time - I think Takashi Miike is horribly overrated. I grimace more during an episode of E.R. than most of his movies. My disappointment wasn't helped by scenery-chewing Billy Drago.

Night of the Living Dead

I never fail to fall asleep during this movie. From when Ben throws the flaming chair outside to the moment when Barbara finally snaps out of her catatonic state, you'll find me catching Zs. This was no different. Still though, I mostly just wanted to make sure I had good seats for the Surprise Movie. (More sacrilege: I think I prefer the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead).

See No Evil (Surprise film)

This film's title is also serves as a handy warning for anyone thinking of going to see this movie. It's god-awful in a way that only WWF/WWE-produced movies can be.

Pan's Labyrinth

The audience for Pan's Labyrinth was roughly 50% typical arthouse nerds and 50% horrorthon nerds who had been there for almost three days straight and were fully charged on fizzy drinks and sugary sweets (and, in most cases, booze), so it was interesting to see the interplay between the two. When the movie started, all the horrorthon nerds starting whooping and clapping (because that's what you do during horrorthon, whoop and clap), and the arthouse nerds sat in reverence. Still though - good film. A lot less fantasy than the trailers and previews made out. But still really good.

Cruel Jaws

Wholesale cheapo ripoff of Jaws. And enjoyably so. This film was so stupid, it actually encouraged audience participation - chants of "Hogan! Hogan! Hogan!" when main character (and Hulk Hogan lookalike), Richard Dew appeared on screen.

Cello

So, so sick of Asian horror at this stage. Cello was like the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

Poltergeist

Like Demons, I love this movie and it was great to see it on the big screen. The 70mm print was awesome - lots of details I missed from watching it on dirty VHS copies. A great way to end the festival.

After Poltergeist, we were told that they've already started organising Horrorthon 2007 and the word is that Dario Argento might be in attendance, which would mean a triple-bill of Suspiria, Inferno and Mother of Tears is looking likely.

I can't wait.

Rush Limbaugh is a total jackass →

Michael J. Fox appears in an ad for Democratic party. Limbaugh accuses Fox of exaggerating his parkinsons - "He is moving around and shaking, and it is purely an act ... This is really shameless of Michael J Fox,"

RIP Lik-Sang.com

Lik-Sang announced yesterday that they were shutting up shop because of the weight and volume of the lawsuits being thrown at them by Sony. Sony claimed that Lik-Sang weren't offering consumers the kind of safe, quality hardware that the consumers were used to (read: Sony wanted complete control over each region's retail channels). This is just the latest in a long line of dumb, half-assed or just plain mean-spirited moves that Sony has pulled that makes me hope that, for the good of the industry, Sony is no longer the market leader when we reach the next generation of videogames.

The Lik-Sang news bums me out for a whole bunch of reasons. Mainly because I really, really liked Lik-Sang. They're one of the few online shops that I've had 100% satisfaction with, always going above and beyond the basics of shipping me out the things I want - usually throwing in free stickers, coupons off next purchases, lanyards etc. When I bought my DS Lite from them, they packed in so much extra stuff, it felt like all my Christmases had come at once. In May.

But I'm also bummed out because it means that it's even more difficult for me to get a hold of decent games while they're still relevant. For example: Okami is an awesome game. With a narrative similar to Zelda and a visual style all its own, it has been frequently used to support the idea that videogames can be art. But I wouldn't know about that because, despite having been released in Japan in April of 2006, it won't be hitting our shores until February 2007 (and given that its developers just folded, a European release might even be on the cards).

Today, when my copy of Daigasso! Band Brothers arrived from Lik-Sang, it hammered it home for me - this was the last time this wonderful shop would help me get my hands on some wonderful games.

For European gamers, the short end of the stick just got even shorter.

Horrorthon 2006 →

Picked up my tickets for this year's Horrorthon. I've usually gone to one or two showings each year, but this is the first year I've been interested enough to buy a full festival ticket. Highlights for me are

I've added this year's program to Google Calendar and upcoming.org.

Anyone else going?

Xtorrent Public Beta

Might I suggest that all Mac users reading this hurry to their nearest browser and download the public beta of Xtorrent, the new application from David Watanabe who also wrote Acquisition, Inquisitor and NewsFire (my favourite RSS reader).

Things I love about Xtorrent

  • It's solid. Oh so solid. Stupid Bitrocket would crap out on me if I so much as looked at it funny

  • In-application searching and downloading. Which translates into: no more fucking around on dodgy sites with equally dodgy ads ("HORNY GIRLS IN ballyfermot ARE WAITING FOR YOU") looking for the latest episode of Lost.

  • Upload and download rate limiting! You have no idea how much I've wanted this - it's one thing limiting uploads, but when you're sharing a network with a bunch of people, you don't want to saturate the download connection.

  • It's so freakin' pretty I swear, David Watanabe is like the Zinedine Zidane of the Mac software development world. Everything he does has beauty, elegance and style. And he'll floor you with one headbutt if you say anything mean about his mother.

(note to self: link to the thing you're blogging about, dummy)