Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sir Peter Jackson

My hero, Peter Jackson is to get a knighthood.

Peter Jackson is to receive a knighthood from his native New Zealand.

The director, whose acclaimed Lord Of The Rings trilogy won 17 Oscars, has been named in the country's New Year Honours list.

Jackson, 48, has been handed the title for his "services to film", The Hollywood Reporter reveals.

New Zealand knights and dames are sanctioned by Queen Elizabeth II, the Commonwealth nation's official head of state.

Jackson is currently working on The Hobbit, a two-part prequel to the J.R.R. Tolkien saga, with Mexican director Guillermo del Toro.

In no small way, the DVD extras on the LOTR box set showing all the aspects for the films creation sowed the seeds that would eventually lead me to have a go at trying to make a career in films!

Congratulation, Sir Peter!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Seen in London - Human Trafficking

I came across the cardboard box lying next to a bus stop in Stoke Newington. I can offer no explanation for it.

I guess you really can buy anything nowadays! lol

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Christmas!

To all my friends, and everyone in the Blogosphere! I hope you have a good one, whatever you get up to! :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Snow and snowmen

Its been snowing heavy in Harrogate, and therefore the local citizens have taken the opportunity to do something we dont get to do often in this country.........and thats make Snowmen! lol

There was this brilliant snowman just across the road from my front door, and my brother and his boys made some too. A snowMan, a snowArcher and a snowDalek to be precise! lol

Ah, winter! :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Highly important new trailer for new Robin Hood film

If you remember, I did a day on Ridley Scotts new Robin Hood film.

Anyway the trailer is out now, and its a right good rollicking yarn, so cant wait to see it!

Best thing is though, I am in it! lol Granted you wouldnt be able to tell its me, but I know it is! lol So helpfully below I have posted a screen cap to show my big moment*

* Hopes to God that Ridley has some better close-ups of the thone, or Im screwed!

Kick-Ass Red Band Widget

Quite possibly the coolest thing on the internet at the moment! lol. Seek parental permission before viewing ;)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Super Mario bacteria

If you could engineer bio-luminescent bacteria to glow certain colors, don't try to tell me you wouldn't try to create Mario's iconic Super Mario Bros sprite.

Let's say you were a member of a team that entered the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM), and were given the task of creating art with biological components - specifically, luminescent bacterial cultures. What would you do?

If you were a member of the team from the nanobiology laboratories at the University of Osaka, apparently you would shape said bacteria into the iconic sprite of the world's most famous plumber, as seen here. The bacteria are genetically engineered to "express fluorescent proteins and carotenoid pigments to create works of art," which is fancy science talk for "They make the bacteria glow pretty colors."

The New Scientist has some more of the pieces, and while some of them are mind-blowingly gorgeous and impressive (I'm particular to the photo of Albert Einstein), none of them are Mario. So clearly, the Osakans win.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Steward of The Valley

I did a day yesterday on an educational programme for the new ciriculum for kids wanting to do sport and leisure as a career. It was a fun day and we got to film at the stadium of premier league football team Charlton Athletic, who play at The Valley.

Its always nice to get to go behind the scenes at big stadiums, and this was no different. It looks like an excellent little programme, and we had a few very keen teenage actors running around doing sporty things all day long.

And best of all, they asked me to be in it (in the background) as a football steward. So cue orange jacket and my chance to continue my unbroken streak of appearing in everything I have ever worked on! Nice! :)


After the screening for Rubins there was drinks in a bar in Leicester Square. Outside, in the middle of Leicester Square is a small fun fair.

So happy film crew + alcohol + fun fair = big kids at play. This is me and my flatmates Quinney and Nicky :D

Name in Lights

The screeing of Reuniting The Rubins was a unqualified success, or at least I think so.

It was great to see all my old friends from the film, and the Odeon, Leicester Square was packed. Most of the cast attended, including James Callis and Honor Blackman. And both seemed to enjoy it.

The audience Oooo'd and Ahhhh'd in all the right places, and Yoav and Jonathan got a resounding round of auplause that lasted for ages. Keep your eyes peeled in 2010, and I hope you enjoy the film (and the locations! lol) as much as I did. And is it wrong that I think my name looks rather good on a 40 foot screen! ;)

PS. Mr Callis may just steal this film! What a fucking legend! lol

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


(C) By Harry Wallop, Consumer Affairs Editor, The Guardian

The Ultramarinum Marine watch, made by Swiss company Horus, promises to give its owners "the power of time". By pressing a button, the company promises, "the owner can play with the seconds, minutes and hours and make them follow the pace of his or her choice, then return to current time at any point."

The idea is that millionaires can enjoy the illusion of being in a slower or faster world, by making their watch faster or slower. If they are sunbathing and want to pretend the world has stopped moving, they can even stop the time. When they need to return to the real world – or find out the correct time – they push a button and the watch returns to normal.

Gadget experts are amused if a little bit confused by the watch, whose design has been inspired by the 1920s steam yacht SS Delphine.
Kat Hannaford, the contributing editor of Gizmodo, said: "This is clearly aimed at yachtsmen. But there are few places where accurate time is more important than when you are at sea and you need to know the time of the tides and the setting of the sun.
"And I am guessing anyone who has £400,000 to spend on watch is probably glued to their Blackberry all day anyway. The watch is going to appeal to owners of super yachts that never leave their moorings in the Monte Carlo harbour, rather than true sailors."

The watch face is made of teak, titanium and the mechanism inside the watch includes 45 rubies. It is water resistant to 100 meters and shockproof. The strap is made of canvas and leather.
The speeding up and slowing down mechanism is controlled by "a marine tourbillion function".

The founder of Horus, Andre Grossmann, who designed the £410,000 luxury item, defended a watch that didn't tell the correct time.
He said: "It took four years to create this breathtaking time-piece. We used avant-garde materials and revolutionary technologies to create a watch with a time-control system. I am really pleased to be able to offer people the possibility of controlling time. That, for me, is the very essence of true luxury. What could be more precious than time?"

Anyone won over by the Ultramarinum Marine watch can buy it from one of Horus's three shops situated in Montreux Switzerland, Monaco and Abu Dhabi.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

What colour is the universe?

Beige, it seems! lol

What color is the universe? More precisely, if the entire sky were smeared out, what color would the final mix be? This whimsical question came up when trying to determine what stars are commonplace in nearby galaxies. The answer, depicted above, is a conditionally perceived shade of beige. To determine this, astronomers computationally averaged the light emitted by one of the largest sample of galaxies yet analyzed: the 200,000 galaxies of the 2dF survey. The resulting cosmic spectrum has some emission in all parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, but a single perceived composite color. This color has become much less blue over the past 10 billion years, indicating that redder stars are becoming more prevalent. In a contest to better name the color, notable entries included skyvory, univeige, and the winner: cosmic latte.

Avatar natural history programme

Avatar finally hits our screens (and our eyes) in just over a week. There have been some amazing promos and trailers for it, but this one is just brilliant.

Narrated by Sigorney Weaver is the style of a real nature programme, this promo is brillaint, and looks amazing! I so cant wait for this! IMAX and 3D - Hell YEah!


Sunday, December 06, 2009

Save Our Squirrels

I have bought a new car. Or a new one to me. Its my brothers old car and its in great nick!

Its a 1999 Peurgeot 406 estate 1.8L. But more importantly, it has electric wing mirrors! An invention of extreme importance! lol. And it is so big that I could actually lie down flat in the boot ;)

But the great thing is that as it used to be the family car of a Yorkshreman with two young boys who like the ourdoors, it means I inherit the causes that they support from the sickers on the car. So I am now supporting the National Trust, the Cubs, Leeds Rhinos rugby league,! A most worthy cause, I'm sure you'll agree! lol.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Rubins cast & crew screening at the Odeon, Leicester Square.

Reuniting the Rubins is getting its cast and crew screening in December. I can't wait to see it on the big screen.

And the great thing is that the producer Jonathan has swung one of his super deals and only bloody got it at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London. The most prestigious cinema in the country, and one where some of the premiers of the biggest films in the world have taken place!

Ok granted its at 11am on a Sunday, but thats not the point! lol

I invited my parents to come, to finally show that what I'm upto has not been a total failed experiment ;) But unfortunately they cant make it, being that weekend is one of only 2 times in the next 2 months they couldn't make it. Oh well, such is life. Next one then!

But one bright cloud is that I can get pissed with all my old friends from the shoot and not worry about parental disapproval lol. There's enough of that anyway! lol Can't wait for this. Should be a blast :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Christmas is coming in London

Some random pics of the Christmas displays on Oxford Street and Carnaby Street. Plus some travelling Hare Krishna.

Seen in London - Jimmy Carr

Forgive the blurry pic, but cant take surepticious pics of celebrities very easily lol. But I stood next to Jimmy Carr, the comedian on the Tube home. I told him he rocked (which he does) as he got off. He smiled and said thanks lol

Already seen Michael McIntyre in London, so just need to see Bill Bailey and I've seen all my favourite comedians since I've been down here. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009


I have joined (reluctantly) the latest online fad - Twatter, sorry I mean Twitter. ;)

Lord knows how prolific I will be, but should you have a burning urge to follow my inane ramblings then my account is under MartinWWalker.

Friday, November 20, 2009

My top 10 films from the past decade

I recently was asked to do a list of my top ten films from the past decade for another website I follow. As I spent so much time on it, I might as well post it here too! :)

So a best 10 films of the decade, eh? That's a pickle of a noodle-scratcher and no mistake.

Going through all my old films made me realise that nearly all my favourite all-time films are from the 90's or before.

But there have been some doozies since 2000, including my all time favourite film(s). So here goes.........

1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001 - 2003). Director Peter Jackson

But surely that's three films? No its fucking not, its one film split into 3 regardless of how its been released.

It should be noted that this is my favourite book. My Dad used to read it to my when I was a youngling. Peter Jacksons version is a real high-point in film making in my opinion. The perfect mix of art house and big budget Hollywood. Quality acting, production design, and killer writing. Proof that fanboys will accept changes to lore if it is done with care and respect.

Visually stimulating, acting of award quality by a note perfect cast. And one rabid LOTR fanboys favourite film(s) ever. In no small way the DVD extras showing every aspect of the production sowed the seeds that would eventually 7 years later lead me to quit my steady government job and try and make it in the film world. I hope one day to meet PJ and personally thank him.

2. A History of Violence (2005). Director David Cronenberg

Cronenberg and Viggo! That's boner inducing stuff straight away. Throw in Maria Bello being ridiculously sexy in a cheer leaders outfit, and some of the roughest screen sex ever with the staircase scene. Add remarkable actors as real bad guys (Ed Harris and William Hurt) and this is a mind-searing film.

Following Viggos everyman who becomes a tv hero after killing (most brutally) two thugs who try to hold up his diner, we see how his new found celebrity brings his house of cards crashing down. Mobsters from Philly turn up saying Viggo is not a small town diner owner, but Joey Cusack a mob hitman who disappeared years ago after barbed-wiring Ed Harris face.

I love the slow burn as Viggos family goes off the rails. His slightly bullied son goes berserk on the local jock dickhead, and Maria Bello starts to get turned on by by the idea of Viggo the mobster. Viggo is the perfect actor. He can play sensitive or psycho, and can flip between the two. The showdown at William Hurts house is brutal yet real. And the final scene at the family dinner table is just PERFECT. Cronenberg at his very best, and securing Viggos place as the thinking mans Hard Bastard. A role he re-visited with Cronenberg in the also excellent Eastern Promises.

3. Dawn of the Dead (2004). Director Zack Synder.

Ok, i'm a an unashamed zombie freak. So colour me very surprised that this film makes it into, not only the positively though-of category, but my top 10 of the decade. This film is my trump card whenever anyone moans at a remake of a popular film. I now have to say "Wait and see", because Dawn was sooooo good as a film. Believe me, I was the most vocal hater when this was first announced. Romero's Dawn in my favourite Horror of all time. I was proper scarred as kid by it when I got to see the uncut (and banned in the UK) version. Month long nightmares has a way of burning a film into your psyche. This remake had so much to live upto.

So it didn't. It took the basic premise of hiding in a shopping mall as the world ends in a zombie Apocalypse then built its own story around it. I had no real problem with fast zombies (although I'm sure they wouldn't still be sprinting after a few months of rotting). I just went with the director, and from the very opening of the film he scared the shit out of me. The opening with the little girl, then the whole neighbourhood having gone to shit was damn powerful stuff. And it never really let up from there. The scenes in the mall were brilliant, with always good Mekhi Phifer and Ving Rhames both having strong arcs. And some brilliant set pieces including the underground carpark and the final escape on the converted buses. Dawn 04 does not try to replace Dawn 78, so it can sit happily next to it as the two best zombie films ever made. And both set in a shopping mall and have the same name. Who would have though it.

4. 28 Days later (2002). Director Danny Boyle

The film that rebooted Zombies for the new millennium. Dawn 04 most certainly owes 28 Days Later a big hug.

The film opens with a scene that is legend making, both in terms of visual impact, but also in terms of the large hairy ones Danny Boyle must have to have even attempted to shut down London for filming. Atmospheric and eerie, 28 Days is a visual masterpiece. From out n out (fast) zombie film, it morphs into darker film that touches on the real violence that exists in the human soul. At the end the audience wonders for a while who the real blood crazed monster is, those infected outside or Cillian Murphys character as he goes from victim to executioner of the squad of soldiers gone bad, led by Christopher Eccleston. A genuine modern horror classic.

5. X Men (2000). Director Bryan Singer

Absolute proof, along with LOTR that just because its big budget fantasy, sci-fi, or comic book, it doesn't have to be unintelligent, or peddling to lowest common denominator. Are you listening Michael Bay and Transformers?

From a killer opening set in a concentration camp (in a comic book movie?!), X Men is another parable on the human condition, namely our bigotry and intolerance to each other. Throw in some brilliant action from Wolverine and co, and this is a summer blockbuster with balls and brains. And Hollywood - if you want some hokie dialogue reading, give it to a couple of Shakespearean actors to read. Worked a charm in LOTR as well.

6. City of God (2002). Directed Fernando Meirelles

Its fucking Shakespeare, man. Shakespeare in the Brazilian slums as we follow the Prince as he murders and schemes his way to the top, then his inevitable fall from there. And with a suitable body count to match. I put off watching this for ages until Empire magazine (which I follow) put it as their best film of the year. Not best foreign film, but best film. Full. Stop.

And they weren't wrong. All the more impressive when you realise the director was working with actual street kids and gang members, and loads of it was improvised on the spot. It is a searing film and I was left speechless by the end.

7. Downfall {Der Untergang} (2004). Director Oliver Hirschbiegel

Perhaps the films that stick with you the most are the ones you had low expectations, or even had no expectations at all (before the internet I came across both The Matrix and Shawshank totally blind, with no prior knowledge of either other than the writing on the video boxes). I didn't know much about this other than it was a German attempt to show a very human portrayal of Uncle Adolf.

And he was a human. He can't have been the pantomime villain that all other portrayals showed him as.

So we have this richly plotted film, impeccably acted by all (including Goebels and his wife). But front and centre is a blistering performance by Bruno Ganz as Hitler. Showing him in turns mad, bad, deranged, weak, tender, and always a fucked-up Human Being. I think the German nation needed to show Adolf themselves as a final chapter of coming to terms with the national shame that was WW2.

8. Almost Famous (2000). Director Cameron Crowe

Surely one of the nicest films ever made. A love letter to music, innocence (and waiting to lose it), and Rock n Roll.

Another pitch perfect ensemble, but real stand out turns from Philip Seymore Hoffman, Frances MacDormand, and Billy Crudup. Newcomer Patrick Fugit shines with wide-eyed innocence as we follow his attempts to interview B list rockers Stillwater while he follows them on a tour of the country. Apart from likable characters the film has some set pieces that are some of the best ever committed to film. The LSD party following into the bus trip set to Tiny Dancer are pure film poetry, and who didn't want to be young Patrick as the hot-as-hell groupies The Band Aids take his virginity ("Lets de-flower the virgin").

The film swings from high comedy (Russel's phonecall with Frances' pissed-off Mum) and real patios (Kate Hudson OD'ing on Qualudes), and sometimes in the same scene (the plane journey). I just love this film!

9. Ratatouille (2007). Director Brad Bird

I had to have one PIXAR on here. And I have debated WALL:E, The Incredible's, and even Up to go here, but in the end I keep coming back to Ratatouille.

A perfect little, follow your dreams regardless story, Ratatouille is beauty personified - which is saying something for a film starring a garbage eating rodent. But the animation, especially on the fur (watch it as it gets wet) is just fucking gawjus! There is brilliant comedy, genuinely earned emotions, a love story, and a couple of cool baddies in Skinner (Ian Holm) and Anton Ego the food critic aka The Grim Eater (Peter O' Toole). The thing that consistently raises Ratatouille over the other ridiculously brilliant PIXAR fare of the last decade is one scene alone. The one-eyed colonel happens to think this is one of the great movie scenes, full stop. It is the scene where Anton Ego finally tastes the Ratatouille dish that has been sent out to him. His flashback to his childhood and a mothers loving touch is pure movie magic, and I remember clapping the screen as it played it. Its shit like that that makes me a movie fan.

God bless PIXAR. Long may they continue to be the gold standard that ALL other film makers are held against. Animation be damned! These fuckers are all about STORY. The future of films at Disney is in safe hands with Lassiter at the helm.

10. Intolerable Cruelty (2003). Directors Joel & Ethan Coen

Go on, laugh it up Fuzzballs! This one surely will get the blood boiling, but this is my favourite Coens film. I love the Coens with Fargo, Millers Crossing and Hudsucker Proxy beings favs of mine, but Intolerable Cruelty is just about my favourite comedy of all time.

The very defination of screwball comedy, it is the chemistry between George Clooney and Catherine Zeta Jones that makes this film zing. He showed (to me) what brilliant comedy chops he has, and she has never looked more gorgeous. Fantastic zany support (well what did you expect? Its a Coens), with the always watchable Edwward Herrmann and Geoffrey Rush (the Colonels favourite actor). Wonderful scenes like the court room (Heinz, the Baron Krauss von Espy) and Wheezy Joe just leave me giggling like I'm watching Airplane! or something. And the cross, double cross, triple cross of who's marrying who and what for just make this film a joy from start to finish. Go Coens!

And thats my list. Hope you all like it. Honorable mention must go out to:

Memento (2001) Christopher Nolan,

Shaun of the Dead (2004) Edgar Wright,

Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) Kevin Smith,

Atonement (2007) Joe Wright,

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) Gore Verbinski