Saturday, December 31, 2005
Find out what happens when an assortment of horror villain icons get the Christmas spirit. So funny.
Codename V Makes Another List
In which V turns her list-making attention to the world of popular music.

I keep intending to post a lot more, but... well, it's the holidays. But now, just for you, I'm going to list the five best songs of 2005. Isn't that awesome? Yes, yes it is.

1. The Killers - Mr. Brightside
So obvious.

2. Gwen Stefani - What You Waiting For
A great song from a great album. I almost went with Hollaback Girl instead, but this song is more of a favorite. Gwen was going to put out a second solo album in 2006, but she decided to have a baby instead. Personally, I think solo albums are way cooler than babies.

3. Depeche Mode - John The Revelator
From their new album Playing the Angel. I don't think anyone has heard this song besides me, which is a real shame. DM is an awesome band, and the new album is their best in years. You can actually dance to this track, if you're the dancing sort. I am not really the dancing sort.

4. Kanye West - Gold Digger
I credit this song with restoring my faith in rap music. I always liked rap, back in the day when it was Run-DMC and Kool Moe Dee and Sir Mix-A-Lot. SIR MIX-A-LOT, PEOPLE. When it was all about how Run-DMC didn't do drugs, and you had to fight for your right to party, and I like big butts and I cannot lie, say up jumped the boogie to the rhythm of the boogie the beat. But then sometime in the 90s it turned into all that gang war bitches and ho's stuff, and chronic and Puff Daddy. Incidentally, Puff Daddy is the devil. This is a scientific fact.

But then here comes Kanye West, who raps about, like, Jesus and college and stuff. Granted, I've only heard a few of his songs, so maybe somewhere in there he gets all gangsta. But from what I've heard, he's pretty positive and he's got a good creative sound. It's been a while since I was able to appreciate rap on an actual musical level. Gold Digger has a nice contagious sound, and he manages to call his woman a total ho without ever directly saying "my bitch is a ho". I like that. Bonus points to guest vocal Jamie Foxx for actually being able to sing. I still don't want to see Ray, though.

5. Snow Patrol - Run

What a beautiful song. Haunting, melodic... just a beautiful song. Pity about the rest of their album...

While I'm at it, I feel I should at least mention that I think the absolute WORST song of the year (perhaps the worst song of this generation) is...

The Black Eyed Peas - My Humps
Proof that there is no god. Proof that mankind will never be redeemed. Proof that the world is populated by jackasses with absolutely no taste or good sense, who will buy just about anything. I just can't get my head around the massive popularity of this song. If I have to listen to Fergie bragging about her Lovely Lady Lumps once more, I think I'll feel compelled towards homicide.

Fergie's lady lumps have sprung a leak.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Codename V must agree!
In which M has made a point so completely true and valid that V feels compelled to reinforce it.

In Ring of the Nibbelung, I really have to say, the Queen of Iceland was 150% badass. BAD. ASS. The Queen of Iceland was more badass than Lara Croft and Tank Girl put together, and coming from me that's saying a lot. I would like to be the Queen of Iceland when I grow up.
Codename M makes a list!

Codename M Makes a similar list

Firstly, V did not ‘cave in’ to a tradition to make a list, she’s been itching to do this! I hope she does more ‘cos I love all that stuff. I would like to include The Machinist but I can’t just duplicate V’s list even though she cheated and did it first..

Matching V’s 5 top films of 2005, not in any particular order! :

Sin City

Have to utterly agree with this. One of a kind film, very bold and experimental and pulled it off masterfully. It truly is a comic book brought to life – yes comic books are like that these days! I’d love to see similarly experimental adaptations so faithful to the source for books like Preacher and Hellblazer – oops too late on that one!

Batman Begins

A really admirable attempt with some failings (in my opinion) already mentioned on this blog. Definitely the king of Batman films and shows some of the darkness of the character which will hopefully be expanded on.

The Descent

Very decent, low budget horror film. Excellent photography, good acting and characterisation, plenty of subtext themes simmering violently between all the (entirely female) characters. Long before the supposed ‘monsters’ appear the tension this film generates is huge and a credit to a talented low budget filmmaker.

History of Violence

Maybe the only truly ‘adult’ film released to cinemas this year. Cinema goers were left whooping it up like it was Rocky when it actually more resembled Last House on the Left. I do think it had failings in the way it portrayed unrealistic violence - kind of a quandary for this film and the point it was supposed to be making as I saw it. It was OK.

Ring of the Nibbelung

Lastly I give you a great treat! A TV movie! Made in 2004 but crippled for release to 2005 and even then retitled on TV and DVD at best.
OK, this is an epic saga based on a 1000+ year old Norse saga that inspired Wagner’s opera.It involves dragons, Vikings, Pagan gods…
Due to legal wrangles with Lord of The Rings etc. you will most likely see this as the crappily titled ‘Sword of Xantan’, even though it had the ring title first by about 1000 years…
This film is a European co-production, which usually means it’s crap. In this case though we have an absolute stunning jewel. It had a relatively large TV budget and a cast including Max Von Sydow and Julian Sands as relatively minor characters.

Quite stunning and as much fun and entertainment to see as any of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Kristanna Loken (T3) is exceptional as the badass queen of Iceland equalling any man with her double edged battle axe! The fights are brutal and not ‘Errol Flynn’ style in this film!
This is truly a film I wish I had seen in the cinema and should be released as such.

Codename V Makes a List
In which V caves into that age-old tradition of making best and/or worst-of lists at the end of the year.

I'm going to start with films. I may or may not do music and television as well, depending on how lazy I am this week. M is probably going to do a list as well, and there will likely be a bit of overlap. So, let us begin.

Codename V's Top 5 Films of '05

1. Sin City
Hands-down, my favorite film this year. This film had it all - a great plot, great acting, and some of the most innovative and brilliant visuals I've seen in a long time. Based on Frank Miller's graphic novels, this really was like watching the pages of a comic book come to life on screen. Given that I ink comics, maybe I was a little more impressed than the average person - but I have seen very few film adaptations of comic books that were true in tone and style to the original source material. Sin City did not disappoint. Visuals aside, this was a good noir story. I've seen this a few times this year, and I just don't get tired of it.

2. The Machinist
This Christian Bale film technically was released on the festival circuit in early 2004, but it was this year's DVD release that made it accessible to the masses. Bale plays a man haunted by insomnia - as well as by a horrible secret. His physical body wastes away (Bale dropped down to around 120 pounds to play the role), mirroring his mental and emotional trauma. Creepy and atmospheric, this film is full of twists and turns and hidden clues that keep you guessing until the very end. Tragic and fascinating, this one is highly recommended. Beware: sharp attention span required.

3. Batman Begins
It is Batman, what more can be said? Director Christopher Nolan finally does this superhero some big-screen justice. The Batman franchise of the 80s-90s was cartoonish and camp, desperate to remind the audience at all times that Batman was straight from the pages of a comic book. It was gaudy and garish and dominated by hammy overacting. But we true fans know that there's a deeper story to be told here, and Nolan tells it for us. For the first time we see the human side to the character. We see the tragedy behind the hero, how an angry boy becomes a heroic man. Critics have praised this for showing Batman in a more realistic light, and while there are still a lot of points which call for some suspension of disbelief, I have to side with the critics. Batman is unique in that he doesn't have "powers". No radioactive spider-bites for Bruce Wayne. He's just a man with some really swanky gadgets, and the drive to make a difference.

I could go on all day about Batman, and unless I cut this short right now, I probably WILL go on all day...

4. Haute Tension
Known in America as High Tension, this film is also from last year sometime but didn't get a US release until this summer. The French version is the one you should watch, as it's my understanding that the US version was edited down and dubbed over (ugh!). Haute Tension is notable for its sheer brutality. It's been a long time since I've seen a film this violent, and I certainly didn't expect it from the French film industry (as I associate French films with whimsical romances and comedies - see also Amelie, Les Visiteurs). As is the case with most horror films, this is full of gaping plot holes. But it's a fun ride, if you can overlook the occasional lapse in logic - and if you can stomach a lot of blood. I mean, a LOT of blood.

5. Narnia
Yes, I know that's not actually the correct title. But who really wants to type the whole thing out? This was just awesome. The kids all did a good job, particularly the younger two. The effects were great - the CGI wasn't cheesy or cheap-looking. In short, they totally didn't screw up my favorite book from childhood. They totally rocked it. It was EPIC. Epic and AWESOME. Everyone should see Narnia. Twice.
Another Obituary
Spencer Tracy, a Black Moor Goldfish, died last night of apparently natural causes. It is unclear as to whether he succumbed to the same mysterious ailment which yesterday took the life of his companion, or if he simply perished from grief.
Monday, December 26, 2005
Katharine Hepburn, a Pearl-Scale Goldfish of indeterminate age, was found dead in her home this morning. The cause of death is unknown, although a source close to Ms. Hepburn notes that the deceased "pooped a lot, maybe too much."

Hepburn is survived by her companion of four days, Spencer Tracy. Investigators say that Mr. Tracy has been unresponsive to questions, however he is not a suspect at this time. He remains alone at their shared home, under observation.

Mr. Tracy, alone in his grief.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Friday Fish Blogging
Codename V's family got a little larger today, in the form of an early Christmas present from my mom. I'd like you all to meet Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.

Spencer's the black bug-eyed one. Also, I don't know if you can tell from this photo, but Katharine Hepburn poops ALL THE TIME. Seriously, though... they're very playful, and are soothing to look at. Ms. Hepburn is very elegant when she's not pooping, and both of them keep staring at me. I wonder what fish think about?
This post has been brought to you by the number seven
So I've been asked to answer another of those blog-question thingies. And to be honest, I freakin' love doing these things. I love answering questions, or taking surveys, or whatever. Because, you know, I really want to win that car. So here goes.

Seven Things To Do Before I Die

1. See Machu Picchu.
2. Hiking in the Australian Outback.
3. At least a partial journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway.
4. The Louvre.
5. Visit Rome.
6. Go diving in one of those big cages and feed a shark.
7. Master the Origami Leonard Nimoy Head.

Seven Things I Cannot Do

1. Make an origami facsimile of Leonard Nimoy's head.
2. Whistle.
3. Calculus.
4. Roller skating.
5. Find an exit to the -1 world on the original Super Mario Brothers.
6. Run in high heels.
7. Make people pee themselves using only the diabolical powers of my mind.

Seven Things That Attract Me To Blogging

1. Is almost a suitable substitute for not being able to make people pee themselves.
2. I like to share weird things with people.
3. I'm a natural smartass.
4. I have to do something with my otherwise useless BA in Communications (concentration in film).
5. It gives me something to do until it's time to watch Beverly Hills, 90210.
6. Provides an outlet for mankind's existential angst.
7. It's free.

Seven Things I Say Most Often

1. Dude.
2. And could I get that without the chicken?
3. DUDE.
4. Kids these days...
5. WTF?
6. Are you serious?
7. That's pretty awesome.

Seven Books That I Love

1. Perfume - Patrick Suskind
2. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
3. The Stranger - Albert Camus
4. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
5. The Talisman - Stephen King & Peter Straub
6. V For Vendetta - Alan Moore
7. Naked Lunch - William S. Burroughs

Seven Movies That I Watch Over And Over Again

1. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
2. Amelie
3. The Lost Boys
4. Tron
5. Emma
6. Until the End of the World
7. My Neighbor Totoro

Seven People That I Want To Join In Too

Are you serious? I don't KNOW seven people. For reals. Anyone who sees this and feels like they want to play, go ahead and have at it. I don't know if this is M's kind of thing, but maybe he'll fill one out, too.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Compare and contrast...
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, we can expose ourselves to all kinds of weirdness from all over the world. This afternoon, while looking for a Christmas gift for my dad, I stumbled across this woman's website. It was a collection of her personal artwork, mostly pencil drawings. Now, far be it from me to criticize anyone's art. But...

Well, let's just say I had a good laugh. I toyed with the idea of posting a link here, because this stuff has to be seen to be believed. But I can't do that. This person is clearly very proud of her art, and she's very obviously worked hard at it and put in a lot of effort. And for that, I applaud her. So I don't want to send people over to laugh at her creations, even if they are a bit ridiculous.

Even so, one portrait in particular really stood out, and so I figured it would be reasonable of me to share that with y'all without giving away the person's name or URL.

This was labelled "Johnny Depp"

Image Hosted by

Johnny Depp, people. JOHNNY DEPP. I look at this, and I can only see Borat.

Image Hosted by

For reference purposes, this is what Johnny Depp actually looks like. Enjoy.
Behold, the Creepy Elvis Banana
Okay, so Something Awful is pretty amusing overall. But they have this recurring feature called Fashion SWAT where they show pictures of horrible fashion and mock it cruelly. I was looking at their Halloween-themed one, and it was pretty hilarious overall.

But then there's THIS. The creepy Elvis Banana. I haven't the words.
No-one wants the Hallmark Channel
Imagine that.

Hallmark Channel Attracting Little Interest (Reuters)

If they can't sell it, it will be yanked off the TV. This is a tragic development for the three dozen people who will have to do without reruns of Touched By An Angel.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Late Friday Baddie: the “War against Terror”

Yesterday the British justice system voted against legally considering evidence obtained by torture, very much against the British government’s wishes - which is already stating it will ignore the ruling in their ‘Real world' “War against Terror”.

Torture. Let’s get this straight, the UK government is ridiculing the law and condoning obtaining evidence by physical torture, as in medieval ‘witch’ trials, with the justification of a single crime (9/11), while terrorising us all with the threat of allowing torture in our legal system.

I’ll just mention the fact that uncharged prisoners are already moved to Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan and Iraq ‘detention’ camps and possibly former soviet installations in eastern Europe by the US to avoid their own human rights laws. When a country’s government starts evading it’s own laws and embracing the opportunity to torture in states it has always vilified as enemies for this very reason, is something not quite right?

The totalitarian world of ‘1984’ seems almost quaint these days.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
You know it's a slow day when THIS is considered "news"...
Pete Doherty Arrested on Drug Suspicion (AP)

Pete Doherty does drugs? NO WAY?! Since when??