Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm enjoying the new Terminator series

Scary RobotTerminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles takes place immediately after the events of Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Lena Headey plays Sarah Connor, Thomas Dekker is her son John, the soon-to-be saviour of humankind.

In the pilot episode, John's laying low in a school in New Mexico, in 1999, when a new teacher reveals himself to be a terminator sent back in time to kill him.

Luckily the weird girl in his class also reveals herself to be a terminator (they're all over the place in this series) sent to replace the T-Arnie model destroyed at the end of the 2nd movie. This terminator, Cameron, is played straightfaced, by the awesome Summer Glau (NB: this photo is absolutely not from the series).

Forget Terminator 3: The Terminatrix (or whatever it was called), that didn't happen. Because what the T-Summer does, is transport Sarah & John 7 years into the future (thus, avoiding for the time being, Sarah's death from cancer that was reported in T3), to 2006.

The game's still the same, protect John from a legion of robots sent back to eliminate him, and try to find the origins of Skynet (now a prototype chess playing computer called The Turk).

CameronIt's violent, it's funny & it captures the same atmosphere as T2 - plenty of juxtaposing the petite Ms Glau with all manner of mechanical objects, and the same sort of humour is derived as the benign terminator learns to pass as human. It's worth watching the series just for the magnificently perfunctory "grief counselling" Cameron suffers after being the last "person" to speak (surreally) to a suicidal student. Emo, she's not.

There are also some nice nods to the earlier films, for instance, Cameron patrols LA in police uniform, rayban aviators (in the dead of night) and a motorbike. Sarah quips "Somewhere there's a naked policeman bleeding in an alley".

Oh, and that guy that always stuck me as a martian in Beverly Hills 90210 - Brian Austin Green, is also in it - he's Kyle Reese's brother (John's uncle).

Glau's a trained ballerina & one episode has her undercover at a ballet school. Later, a character muses that once machines learn to appreciate art, they may not feel the need to wipe out humanity - and cut to: Cameron alone in her room practising her ballet moves in the mirror.

Smart, violent, funny, and not unimportantly, a talented & attractive cast.

Series 2 has just been commissioned. Yay.

More Summer Glau photos (SFW) for your entertainment.

summer glau terminator - Google Image Search

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lookout Daniel Radcliffe

I've yet to see a film featuring Sienna Millar, so I'm not qualified to comment on her acting talents. But I can put 2 & 2 together & divine that Ms Miller has top class talents in other areas.

Consider - if you happen to be a young, presentable actor, and especially if you're British, it's probably only a matter of time before Sienna will get around to you.

SO look out Daniel! (Or perhaps more likely, Rupert Grint.)

Rhys Ifans throws phone tantrum after Sienna split -

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Dark is Rising - now a major film!

Actually, given it jettisons most of the original plot & changes everything else, it's more like the "major" film that they made out of The Wizard of Earthsea. A steaming heap, in other words.

The Seeker (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Why do they bother?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Winter Harvest

Hanging nutsWinter Harvest has commenced. That’s the harvest of 4 of the macadamia trees that are ready in the middle of the year. In Winter, in fact. There’s another harvest later in the year, we call that one the “Not the Winter Harvest”.

Some macadamia trees drop their nuts. These are the Winter Harvest trees. The nuts on the other trees hang tight until Not Winter.

Last year, we harvested 49.9kg from all 4 Winter Harvest trees. That seemed like a lot at the time. This weekend, we harvested 62.5kg from two of the trees (not counting some 20kg of windfalls picked earlier in the month). That was two trailer loads (ok, small trailer). We only had time for two of the trees because as soon as they’re picked they have to be run through the smelly & noisy de-husking machine, or the husks will taint the nuts.

De-husking is a long & tedious task. My arms hurt today from hours & hours of cajoling & wrestling nuts through a tiny opening. But there’s something satisfying about the 6 sacks hanging in the drying room now. They’ll hang for 3 months, before being given a bit of a booster drying through the ovens (very low temperature). I expect them, at that stage, to weigh about 45kg.

Harvesting any kind of home grown produce is satisfying, Mrs Llew managed to find time this weekend to finish picking the granny smiths, about 5 20 litre buckets full, she’s given a fair few away, and stewed & frozen what she’s kept. We enjoyed apple crumble the other night, first apple crumble in decades for me.

We’ve also now got a pantry well stocked with quince jam, quince paste, quince & apple jelly, crab-apple jelly. Mrs Llew bought herself a stainless steel preserving pan which sits proudly on the stove top (because we don’t have a cupboard big enough to put it away.)

I remember my mum doing all this stuff when I was a kid (she still does, actually), but I was still staggered at how much sugar goes into preserves... I can see we'll be buying it by the sackload next year.

Aside from processing our own produce, the other old worldey sort of thing we do is make our own stock – in fact, there is a large stainless steel stock pot sitting proudly beside the preserving pan, every few weeks I simmer the collection of chicken carcasses that we keep in the freezer, along with whatever else I can find to chuck in – leeks, celery, herbs , carrots, onions, salt & pepper. I simmer the whole lot for a day or two, before straining the stock off (the sludge gets fed to the dog, by now any chicken bones are the consistency of chalk.)

The stock will set to the consistency of jelly. We freeze it for later.