Well I finally saw it. It’s my first 3D experience and I have to say I’m in agreement with the BBC’s Mark Kermode: the 3D didn’t really add anything. I think BFI’s iMAX cinema missed a trick here by spoiling the impact with 3D trailers. I suspect many people went to Avatar like myself wanting to be stunned by the 3D effect but Cameron’s 3D thunder was stolen somewhat by the trailer for Alice in Wonderland. Anyway, after the initial novelty of an increased sense of perspective wears off I couldn’t really say it was better than the 2D equivalent.


What about the digimation or  CGI or whatever you want to call it? Well, I’d have to say we have reached a watershed here. Remember when the tedious Star Wars: Phantom Menace came out? Most agreed at the time the digimation was poor and wouldn’t stand the test of time. Remember how in the battle scenes, limbs were stiff when bodies tumbled (it must be one of the hardest things to render as a digital animator — the flailing of legs)? Well, Cameron’s got it just right, you are totally convinced by the so-called ‘realD’ especially during battle scenes. I think it’s fair to say gobs were smacked and as for the time test . . well, we’ll see.

I won’t comment too much on the dialogue or plot. The former is not as bad as many have said. Of course it’s a long way from Leone style film-Haiku or Gilliam’s near-poetry and at times I swear I heard a coupla lines lifted straight from Predator (“Remember Afghanistan? I’m trying to forget it”) but I suspect Cameron could easily write a Blade Runner if he wanted to. Lets face it though, if Avatar had included runimations about “sea beams off Orion” then quite frankly he wouldn’t have the world’s bggest-grossing film on his hands. Yes, the plot is perfunctory (ten times better than Phantom Menace though) and serves largley as a vehicle to get you into his fabulous world. To all those who see it as a diatribe against US military aggression I suggest you watch it again and during the scene when the Na’Vi tree is felled remember the Buddhist statues of Bamyan that the Taleban blew up for sheer spite.

And how would sir like his pond cooked?

Getting a table at elBulli, the most impossible-to-get-into restaurant in the world just got even more tricky.

I’ve never been to elBulli but Newshour’s very own gastro-adventurer Fuchsia Dunlop was there just last October . . . she managed to snarfle out this menu which makes for fascinating reading.

It’s a mischevious list by the way, I’m told that spherical olives are actually olive shaped morsels which are made from olive products that “explode in the mouth”.


Haiti: Problems put in Perspective

It’s been a mad few days in the World Service Newsroom. As you can imagine when a major disaster hits it’s all hands to the pump. Unless you’re Anderson Cooper of course, in which case it’s to the Bat-chopper Robin! Read more

Apple start to bite

I just tried to install the WordPress 2 app for the iPod touch. I’m running 2.2.1 of the iPiod touch OS and itunes tells me I need a newer version of the iPod touch software. I go to iTunes and update and it tells me the current version is 3.1.2 for £2.99.


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Do You Have a Problem?

That perhaps no one else can solve?

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Rediscovered track of the month: Jan ‘10

A great song whch at the time meshed just right with the whole Oasis vibe. I always thought she was more a Liam girl than a  Damon one.