About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

21 June 2008

Movie: Son of Man

In "A Prayer for Owen Meany" Irving recounts the story of Owen Meany, a boy whose "father" claims is born of a virgin mother - and basically concludes that we would reject the family as lunatics. Son of Man takes a slightly different line - it tells the story of Jesus, if it were to take place in modern Africa - in the country of Judea, ruled by the dictator Herod, and later conquered by an occupying force (who claim to want to enforce democratic rule), and off course the local anti-herod forces, who later cosy up to the occupying forces. In this world, Jesus is born, grows up, and later leads a non-violent passive resistance movement against the occupying forces.

If it were not for the fact that Jesus performs a fwe miracles (healing a sick child, raising a man from the dead and an excorcism) - the story would have been a political drama - and in my opinion, far better. In fact, on the whole, the story is about African strife and the need to stop it - because it is fueled by selfish greed at the top of the chain who whip up their supporters to do their bidding.

Filmed quite a bit in the Cape Town townships, it is amazingly stylish and brilliantly told and filmed - with song and dance. It is the best South African movie I have seen since Tsotsi, and is definitely worth watching. A great pity, that there were only two people (including myself) watching it ...

19 June 2008

Movie: The Incredible Hulk

Most superhero movies feature a social outcast (usually a brilliant nerd/geek type person) who gets incredible superhuman powers and then step out to save the world, especially their love interest. The Hulk is somewhat different - yes, a scientist ends up getting superhuman powers, but
a) does not actually want the power
b) does not really save good guys from the bad guys
c) loses his intellectual capacity to the point that he can't actually speak

Off course every movie has a bad guy, but it is not really clear who we should treat as the bad guy - the career focussed general who wants his "property" back or the eventual bad guy - the soldier who wants to get the power so that he can be an even better soldier. The fact is, the bad guy is not really the focus of the movie - but rather the pain of being a superhero, and trying to accept the cards that have been dealt. It is a much darker movie, and although many cliches remain (the lover that can't really be with the hero, the big fight scene) it is different.

This movie is certainly not the best superhero movie made (that honour still rests with Batman Begins); but it is a good superhero movie - particularly because it is different. So different that there is no scene after the credits. :(

17 June 2008

Seether Home Coming Tour

It has been a long time since I have watched Seether live - more than 2 years in fact (first Coke Fest). So I was eager to see them live in their current home coming tour - but seems not eager enough to get a standing (i.e. golden circle ticket). This was the first time I have been to a rock concert sitting down - and while the view was damn good (and definitely less tiring), it was certainly not as exciting. That said, the venue (Standard Bank Arena) was quite well organised, and the event flowed very smoothly.

Support Act: My Epic

It was a horrible act - simply because the mixing at the sound deck was so horrible. You could not hear the singer, so it is very difficult to judge their music. On the show front, they had a very energetic bass guitarist; but there was nothing special.

Support Act: 12th Avenue

12th Avenue proved that the sound guys knew how to mix - and of the three support acts, they were certainly my favourite. I have seen them before, and they have certainly improved since then. The music was good (although not exactly in the same genre as Seether), and they had a great show. The singer is also very good - maybe another Parlatones/Prime Circle in the making?

Support Act: Stealing Love Jones

I saw this band at last year's coke fest, and I commented that I would love to see a full gig from them. Well it has been a year, and although they have some cool songs, they did not seem too special. In fact, apart from being fronted by a woman, they did not strike me as anything different. Their music was good though, but again not really of the same genre as Seether. In fact, it was too poppy ...


Seether proved once again why they are an international band - they were a class above the rest of the support acts. When I saw them last, I commented that Seether did not seem to have much in the way of a "show" - it was very laid back, stand up and sing delivery. No longer! The band is a lot more energetic, a lot more interaction with the crowd - all in all, a much better show.

They played the whole spectrum - songs from the Saron Gas days (such as 69 Tea, Gasoline), Karma and Effect and the latest album. If I had a criticism, it is that they did not play too many songs from the new album - but it was a 90 minute set, so not much to complain really.

Also very commendable was how the line-up was arranged - how the old songs and the new songs were mixed together. It was a truly rocking show.

Hiking in the Magaliesberg

I have driven past the Magaliesberg a number of times now (on my way to Gabarone) - and it has not struck me as a particularly beautiful place - after all, it is mostly yellow. On Sunday, I hiked up the mountain with some "locals" and I must confess - I was completey wrong. The Magaliesberg, one of the oldest mountains in the world, is also quite beautiful.

Off course it also has to do with where you go hiking in the Magaliesberg - it is a sizable mountain range; and the location (near Rustenberg) had a surprising amount of greenery and water - and the small water falls and rock pools were beautiful! We did not go to the highest point on Sunday, and apart from the path to the river bed, we did not follow any hiking trails (there were none) - so there is a lot of scope for exploring and hiking. I think I will return many times ...