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30 Jun 2015 | Leave a Comment

Geektown Radio : UK Film, TV News & Air Date Info!

Geektown Radio : UK Film, TV News & Air Date Info!

Dan Licht

Dan Licht

It’s a beautiful day outside, but we still decided to come in and record another show just for you! So here we are with episode 24, and a great 2 part interview with Dan Licht, the man behind the music for the brilliant Dexter, Jason Momoa’s The Red Road, and the superb Dishonored and recently announced Dishonored 2 video games!

Dan is one of the most prolific and eclectic musicians in the film, television, video game and advertising industry. His first major feature film, Columbia Pictures’ “Children of the Night,” was subsequently followed by a series of dark films, including Dimension Films first ever feature film, “Children of the Corn II.” Notably, Dan was chosen for Clive Barker’s third “Hellraiser” installment, Miramax and Dimension Films’ “Hellraiser: Bloodline.”

In this weeks show:

  • We take a look at the tv shows & games which have been taking up our time over the last week, including Batman: Arkham KnightNo Offence, & Humans.
  • The latest TV News, with lots of comic book stuff this week, including an update on Gotham and Agents of SHIELD.
  • An interview with composer Dan Licht, the man behind the music for Dexter, The Red Road and the Dishonored game franchise.
  • As usual, all the latest air date updates, and a look forward to tv in the next 7 days.

Geektown Radio : Episode 24

If you want to take a listen to the latest episode, just click the link below, and if you like it, you can click here to subscribe to Geektown Radio on iTunes or click here for the RSS feed.

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24 Jun 2015 | Leave a Comment

The heyday of the Western is over, but the genre has never completely gone away. Part of its continued reinvigoration is the adoption of very American iconography by non-American filmmakers – the Italian spaghetti Westerns of the ’60s and ’70s, Australia’s The Proposition and The Rover, Denmark’s The Salvation. Slow West, John Maclean’s debut, is an unmistakably British film, despite being set in the West and shot in New Zealand (Scotland plays herself). As with those other examples, fidelity to the geographical settings is never as important as what an outside voice can say with the genre. Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee) has left Scotland for America to reunite with a lost love, but finds himself ill-equipped for survival, teaming up with Silas Selleck (Michael Fassbender), who may or may not be trustworthy. The story is at first disjointed and episodic but what emerges is a more character- than plot-driven film, one that resonates beyond its short running time.

It’s not an easy film to read – there are moments of buddy comedy, black comedy, shocking violence, serious drama and peaceful scenery. At times it treats its characters with a Coen brothers-style meanness, but on the whole it’s sincere. The music is sometimes a little too jovial for what we’re seeing on screen, or maybe that’s the point. Fassbender isn’t playing to or against type – his accent is a little muddled (the character is Irish-Canadian), he doesn’t say much, and you get the sense that he’s a tough guy only because he can act like a tough guy. It’s his voice-over that drives the film, which is strange but ultimately fitting. The rest of the cast are unfamiliar faces so you never know who’s important, who’s good or who’s bad.

Every frame is visually rich, and Maclean and cinematographer Robbie Ryan make interesting use of split-diopter shots (when the frame is split in half, the foreground in focus in one half and the middleground in focus in the other). It’s an unusual technique but one that adds to the film’s sense of surreality – the flashbacks to Scotland arrive unannounced, taking on the quality of dream sequences, and the low budget means the massacring of Native Americans takes place just off camera. It builds to a sense of there being two Wests – the idealised, romanticised one that Jay believes in and has read about, and the reality that Silas has experienced. It’s never completely clear which one we’re being shown, just as the characters can never resolve that conflict in themselves.

8/10 – A Western full of offbeat choices, it’s well worth seeing for the final shoot-out alone.
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23 Jun 2015 | Leave a Comment

Geektown Radio : UK Film, TV News & Air Date Info!

Geektown Radio : UK Film, TV News & Air Date Info!

This week is episode 23, and it’s another Chris show, as Amanda is currently somewhere in a muddy field listening to bands and eating falafel burgers, and Adam is off up a mountain… or somewhere in a desert… or in a cave… one of those adventurey things he likes to do anyway! So this week, as Chris has managed to watch it, we have an in depth dissection of the Game Of Thrones Finale – WARNING – SPOILERS… There’s also all the latest UK TV News and updates you’ve come to know and love. 😉

In this weeks show:

  • We take a look at the tv shows & games which have been taking up our time over the last week, including Kerbal Space Program, Batman: Arkham Knight, Orange Is The New Black and Dark Matter.
  • An in depth dissection of the Game Of Thrones Finale – WARNING – SPOILERS
  • The TV & Film news from the last week, including Top Gear’s new host, the new Spiderman casting & director, and Hannibal’s cancellation.
  • As usual, all the latest air date updates, and a look forward to tv in the next 7 days.

Geektown Radio : Episode 23

If you want to take a listen to the latest episode, just click the link below, and if you like it, you can click here to subscribe to Geektown Radio on iTunes or click here for the RSS feed.

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19 Jun 2015 | Leave a Comment

Booq Taipan Shock

Booq Taipan Shock

Taipan Shock inside

Taipan Shock inside

I’ve recently been sent another product for a Geek Test, and this time it’s the ‘Booq Taipan Shock‘ bag. It’s a lightweight laptop backpack designed to carry any MacBook or PCs up to 16.4 inches. First impressions – it looks really nice; The design is very pleasing to the eye, and it feels well made, durable, and of a high quality.

Once you start to open it up, you can see 5 compartments.

The front pocket is just about big enough for a 7 inch tablet (although it’s rather accessible for something that valuable… I’ll come back to that…).

Inside, there is the laptop pocket which goes against your back. It’s well padded and looks like it would provide a good amount of protection to any computer in there. Then there’s the main compartment, which has a mesh pocket on one side, and there are a few other zipped pockets and some pen holder pockets, so you’re not short of spaces to squirrel away your stuff!

Back on the outside, there are 2 side pockets, which can be zipped totally shut, but are a little too small to take a decent sized bottle which is a bit irritating.

The pack is weights in at 962g, so pretty lightweight, and is easy and comfortable to wear. It also has a sternum strap for added stability, and is water-repellent, so not going to totally soak the contents at the first sign of rain.

One final nice little addition is their Terralinq ‘lost and found’ system. Every bag has a unique serial number on the back. So if you ever lose your bag and some kind soul wants to get it back to you, they just need to go onto a website, punch in the the number and some contact details, and you and your bag can be reunited. Terralinq is a lovely idea, even if it does rather rely on the kindness of strangers, but at least it gives some chance of getting your bag back!

Generally, the Booq Taipan Shock is a really nicely styled, well build, practical bag… There is one issue I have though, but it’s not specific to the this backpack…

Ever since seeing the excellent Riutbag at The Gadget Show this year, I don’t understand why anyone makes backpacks with zips on the outside anymore (not this sort of urban commuter bag anyway)… The idea of zips on the outside so they’re ‘accessible’ now seems so silly to me, as they only people they’re ‘accessible’ to is everyone but the person wearing the bag… Sarah Giblin’s ingeniously simple solution to this with the Riutbag has rather ruined every other backpack for me now…

Link to the Booq Taipan Shock on Amazon

8/10 – A little pricey, but a nicely styled, well build, practical bag
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18 Jun 2015 | Leave a Comment

Milano Calibre 9

Milano Calibre 9

Fernando Di Leo’s Milano Calibro 9 (Caliber 9 in English) begins in gloriously over-the-top fashion with Rocco’s (Mario Adorf) henchmen rounding up and torturing three people to find out where some stolen money has gone. Cut to a cave and the three are tied together with a stick of dynamite. The bad guys laugh as the cave explodes. The rest of the film can’t quite live up to that initial promise of craziness but it’s still fun, and the ending is fantastic. When career criminal Ugo Ugo Piazza (Gastone Moschin) gets out of prison four years later, he finds himself in Rocco’s sights as the only one who could have stolen the money. There’s also the Police Commissioner (Frank Wolff) who wants to exploit Piazza to nail the elusive The Americano.

It’s not exactly a groundbreaking story – it’s basically Piazza going around waiting for Rocco to keep showing up and cause trouble, and attempts to inject pathos and romance with a blind old man and dancer love interest Nelly (Barbara Bouchet) respectively fall flat – but every other scene is charged with a violently masculine energy that could explode at any moment. The use of framing to show the power dynamics between the characters – low angles, handheld, and zooms – is masterful. (And if that kind of thing is important to you, the influence of Di Leo’s style on that of Scorsese, say, is hard to question.)

The sets and lighting are undeniably cheap, but a ’70s Italian cheapness that only increases in charm with age. There are some fascinating traces of the past, not only in the interior design, the urban landscapes and music but in its politics. Inspector Mercuri (Luigi Pistilli) is an outspoken socialist. He questions the efficacy of the prison system and asks the Commissioner why they don’t pursue bankers and businessmen with the same enthusiasm he has for The Americano. It’s a little shoehorned in, but serves as a nice reminder that exploitation filmmakers can be socially conscious too. Interestingly, Lionel Stander who plays The Americano was blacklisted from Hollywood for being a Communist to the extent that he had relocated to Italy by this period, also popping up in Once Upon a Time in the West.

This new Blu-Ray and DVD release from Arrow has a typically excellent transfer and a nice collection of special features, including featurettes on the making of this film, on Di Leo, and on Giorgio Scerbanenco who wrote the novel the film was based on.

7/10 – A trashy crime thriller that feels authentically ’70s.
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18 Jun 2015 | Leave a Comment

These days, you can’t throw a rock in a electrical store without hitting a stack of inexpensive bluetooth speakers… and then probably getting asked to leave by security… I was sent a couple of these to test out, so here is what I thought…

Divoom Airbeat-10

Divoom Airbeat 10 Bluetooth Portable Speaker

Divoom Airbeat-10 Bluetooth Portable Speaker

Divoom Airbeat 10

Divoom Airbeat 10

The smaller of the 2 speakers I given for review is the Divoom Airbeat-10.

The interesting thing about this little guy is it’s weather proof/water resistant, so you can use it in the shower or outside without worry, and it comes with a built-in mic, so it can work as a hands-free speakerphone.

It has 2 mounting options. The first is a suction cup, which is impressively strong when attached to a shower tiled wall. The second is a bike mount, so you can use it whilst you ride along, either to chat without having to have your phone out of your pocket… or to annoy everyone in the surrounding countryside by blasting your music out of it… Adding and removing the attachments is as simple as screwing them into the back with your hand, making it easy to switch between the different mounts.

Charging is done via standard micro USB (charging cable included), and a full charge will last around 6hrs, with a recharge taking around 2.5hrs.

Pairing was simple, and worked well with all the phones we tried, and sound-wise, it packs out an impressive noise given it’s small size. Sure, there are better speakers out there, but the Airbeat-10 is perfectly listenable, and has the added advantage of the rugged build and water resistance. The unit currently retails at £25 to £30.

Divoom Airbeat-10 on Amazon

8/10 – Rugged, versatile, and easy to use.

Divoom Voombox ONGO

Divoom Voombox Ongo

Divoom Voombox Ongo

Similar to the Airbeat 10, the Voombox ONGO is a weather proof/water resistant, bluetooth speaker, but a dual speaker set up rather than single. Also like it’s smaller counterpart, it comes with a bike mount, and has a mic, so will work as a speakerphone allowing you to answer calls. What you don’t have with this speaker is the suction cup option, I think mainly due to the fact it wouldn’t support it. Weighing in at 406g (over 250g more than it’s little brother), it’s still very portable, but heaver than you’d think looking at it. The sound quality is again fine, but nothing special over the smaller Airbeat 10.

Charging is done via standard micro USB (charging cable included), and a full charge will last around 8hrs.

The speaker currently retails at £35 to £50, but in all honesty, out of the two I’d probably go for the Airbeat 10. It’s smaller, and has comparative sound quality. The Voombox ONGO doesn’t really have enough going for it over it’s smaller cousin to make up for the extra cash.

7/10 – Good, but the Airbeat 10 beats it.

Divoom Voombox ONGO on Amazon

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