review Archive

  • <p>What happens when you face an opponent who read my last post and is standing in front of you in Straight Parrying or, to a much lesser extent, Iron Gate? What do you do?</p>
<p>Meyer is not particularly clear on this point but, as he says, he gives a range of examples from which the reader is supposed to deduce the principles at work, many of which will be familiar from the section on the longsword or from other schools of rapier play. He says in general that “ you should not go out more than a hand’s breadth to  […]</p>

    Meyer’s Rapier: Attacking the Straight Parry

    What happens when you face an opponent who read my last post and is standing in front of you in Straight Parrying or, to a much lesser extent, Iron Gate? What do you do?

    Meyer is not particularly clear on this point but, as he says, he gives a range of examples from which the reader is supposed to deduce the principles at work, many of which will be familiar from the section on the longsword or from other schools of rapier play. He says in general that “ you should not go out more than a hand’s breadth to […]

  • <p><strong>Title</strong>: The Aegean Bronze Age<br />
<strong>Author</strong>: Oliver Dickinson<br />
<strong>Paperback</strong>: 364 pages<br />
<strong>Publisher</strong>: Cambridge University Press (1994)<br />
<strong>Language</strong>: English</p>
<p>This is a much-needed summary of current evidence and scholarship on an amazing period of eastern Mediterranean history from around 3000 – 1000 BC. Although it is now fifteen years old, it outlines the recent revolution in ideas about the period and show how the (still depressingly scant) archaeological evidence has put nail after nail in the coffin of Arthur Evans and the historians of his age. Dickinson brings to life a vibrant civilisation which traded widely  […]</p>

    Review: The Aegean Bronze Age

    Title: The Aegean Bronze Age
    Author: Oliver Dickinson
    Paperback: 364 pages
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press (1994)
    Language: English

    This is a much-needed summary of current evidence and scholarship on an amazing period of eastern Mediterranean history from around 3000 – 1000 BC. Although it is now fifteen years old, it outlines the recent revolution in ideas about the period and show how the (still depressingly scant) archaeological evidence has put nail after nail in the coffin of Arthur Evans and the historians of his age. Dickinson brings to life a vibrant civilisation which traded widely […]

  • <p>Why is Tora Tora Tora such a good film and Pearl Harbour a steaming pile of turd? Surely Michael Bay is merely a symptom and not a cause.</p>
<p>I recently watched both movies again … well, watched one and raged at the other for 40 minutes before turning it off. It’s not so much the two film’s difference in treatment of the same event (and, in fact, many of the same characters and incidents) as the difference in tone and approach to story telling which intrigues me.</p>
<p>A friend of mine lays the blame for the difference between the two  […]</p>

    Hollywood Sucks Ass

    Why is Tora Tora Tora such a good film and Pearl Harbour a steaming pile of turd? Surely Michael Bay is merely a symptom and not a cause.

    I recently watched both movies again … well, watched one and raged at the other for 40 minutes before turning it off. It’s not so much the two film’s difference in treatment of the same event (and, in fact, many of the same characters and incidents) as the difference in tone and approach to story telling which intrigues me.

    A friend of mine lays the blame for the difference between the two […]

  • The Abbey Festival (10-11 July 2010) was huge! Rumour has it that 18,000 people went through the gates before 3pm on Saturday. The spectacles and demonstrations that I saw were fabulous. There was falconry, archery, jousting, seminar talks, a couple of very interesting weapons demonstrations, stalls (selling medieval hot dogs? hmmm…) and lots of practical hands-on activities in the encampments. All of this was brilliant fun.

    The Abbey Festival 2010

    The Abbey Festival (10-11 July 2010) was huge! Rumour has it that 18,000 people went through the gates before 3pm on Saturday. The spectacles and demonstrations that I saw were fabulous. There was falconry, archery, jousting, seminar talks, a couple of very interesting weapons demonstrations, stalls (selling medieval hot dogs? hmmm…) and lots of practical hands-on activities in the encampments. All of this was brilliant fun.
  • <p><br />
Each year, History Alive (June 12-13, 2010) gathers re-enactor groups from around Brisbane to one place at one time to show off. The groups involved span pretty close to the entire timeline of human history from the Near East of about 2000 BC to the very recent past. As well as being loud, colourful and a great day out, it gives a very clear snapshot of the state of living history groups in Queensland.</p>
<p>The first people I encountered on the day was Contact Front, the Vietnam re-enactment group, walking through around the site in skirmish line in silence and  […]</p>

    History Alive 2010


    Each year, History Alive (June 12-13, 2010) gathers re-enactor groups from around Brisbane to one place at one time to show off. The groups involved span pretty close to the entire timeline of human history from the Near East of about 2000 BC to the very recent past. As well as being loud, colourful and a great day out, it gives a very clear snapshot of the state of living history groups in Queensland.

    The first people I encountered on the day was Contact Front, the Vietnam re-enactment group, walking through around the site in skirmish line in silence and […]

  • <p><strong>Title: </strong>Zombie Myths of Australian Military History<br />
<strong>Author</strong>: Craig Stockings (editor)<br />
<strong>Paperback</strong>: 288 pages<br />
<strong>Publisher</strong>: University of New South Wales Press (2010)<br />
<strong>Language</strong>: English</p>
<p>A fascinating look at the difference between received ideas and facts. It covers ten major historical myths across 200 years from the original settlement of the country by Europeans to our recent involvements in Southeast Asia and East Timor. It strives to show the reasons or circumstances which created and have sustained each zombie myth until it gained a life of it own and needs no more prompting. In many cases, the  […]</p>

    Review: Australian Zombie Myths

    Title: Zombie Myths of Australian Military History
    Author: Craig Stockings (editor)
    Paperback: 288 pages
    Publisher: University of New South Wales Press (2010)
    Language: English

    A fascinating look at the difference between received ideas and facts. It covers ten major historical myths across 200 years from the original settlement of the country by Europeans to our recent involvements in Southeast Asia and East Timor. It strives to show the reasons or circumstances which created and have sustained each zombie myth until it gained a life of it own and needs no more prompting. In many cases, the […]

  • <p>I just realised that it’s Sunday and I’m two days late in posting. The schedule may be meaningless and self-imposed but it quietens the stabby-stabby thoughts. And to get it out of the way: Christmas was great. Kathi and I spend it alone and reconnecting with each other. It’s been a very valuable time for both of us.</p>
<p>Now to television and the best sci-fi show you’ll never see: Defying Gravity. This show is just plain awesome, not least for being targetted at adults rather than teens, but also for not being a <em>Star Trek</em> clone. This last point is  […]</p>

    For Your Listening Pleasure

    I just realised that it’s Sunday and I’m two days late in posting. The schedule may be meaningless and self-imposed but it quietens the stabby-stabby thoughts. And to get it out of the way: Christmas was great. Kathi and I spend it alone and reconnecting with each other. It’s been a very valuable time for both of us.

    Now to television and the best sci-fi show you’ll never see: Defying Gravity. This show is just plain awesome, not least for being targetted at adults rather than teens, but also for not being a Star Trek clone. This last point is […]

  • <p>I’ve been watching. And with watching come thinking. Which leads inexorably to blogging.</p>
<p><strong>Paranormal Activity</strong>: This is a standout. Shot for US$15,000 and somehow managing to get a cinema release, this film is scary as hell, despite suffering from too much Blair Witch handycam camera work, precisely because of the low budget. Apparently, the filmmakers decided that because they had such a small budget they had to suggest the horror rather than spend their cash on special effects and such to show the horror. The film has nothing new to say but it is very, very creepy. I expect  […]</p>

    TV and Movie Roundup

    I’ve been watching. And with watching come thinking. Which leads inexorably to blogging.

    Paranormal Activity: This is a standout. Shot for US$15,000 and somehow managing to get a cinema release, this film is scary as hell, despite suffering from too much Blair Witch handycam camera work, precisely because of the low budget. Apparently, the filmmakers decided that because they had such a small budget they had to suggest the horror rather than spend their cash on special effects and such to show the horror. The film has nothing new to say but it is very, very creepy. I expect […]

  • <p>Given the glowing reviews and praise this film have been receiving, anyone who does not follow suit appears as a curmudgeon. So, I feel the need to explain a couple of things before I launch into my review.</p>
<p>First, I liked the film. I liked it very much and expect to see great things from this director. Second, it has only gathered such marvellous reviews because all the other current offerings, especially any other recent sci-fi, are sooooo bad. The vast fields of crap to which we (particularly sci-fi) fans have become accustomed to putting up with means that anything  […]</p>

    District 9: Not Bad

    Given the glowing reviews and praise this film have been receiving, anyone who does not follow suit appears as a curmudgeon. So, I feel the need to explain a couple of things before I launch into my review.

    First, I liked the film. I liked it very much and expect to see great things from this director. Second, it has only gathered such marvellous reviews because all the other current offerings, especially any other recent sci-fi, are sooooo bad. The vast fields of crap to which we (particularly sci-fi) fans have become accustomed to putting up with means that anything […]

  • <p>You know how it is, you’re sitting in the cinema watching a film and dying to go to the loo. Do you go now and miss the rest of what could be the pivotal or even the only good scene in the film? Do you wait just that little bit longer? Either way your enjoyment of the film is shot for good.</p>
<p>Never fear! Here’s the site for you. RunPee lists all the points in various films that you can dduck out to the bathroom without missing anything significant.</p>
<p>The site has an added benefit. The list of three minute  […]</p>

    Public Server Announcement: Peeing in Public

    You know how it is, you’re sitting in the cinema watching a film and dying to go to the loo. Do you go now and miss the rest of what could be the pivotal or even the only good scene in the film? Do you wait just that little bit longer? Either way your enjoyment of the film is shot for good.

    Never fear! Here’s the site for you. RunPee lists all the points in various films that you can dduck out to the bathroom without missing anything significant.

    The site has an added benefit. The list of three minute […]

  • <p>Last night, I saw a great movie on <strong>Fox</strong>. And by great I mean Uwe Boll great rather than ‘contains actual greatness or even a redeeming feature’ great.</p>
<p>Doomsday (2008) is another laugh-a-minute horror movie from writer/director Neil Marshall, who’s responsible for such masterpieces as Dog Soldiers and The Descent. This time the incomparable Marshall takes on the post-apocalypse sub-genre with typical style to create a melange of every 1980s post-apocalypse and viral terror film that decade produced. Unless you count the way these allusions are skilfully blended into 113 minutes of implausible and often gratuitous violence, it’s really  […]</p>

    Doomsday – Bwahahahaha!

    Last night, I saw a great movie on Fox. And by great I mean Uwe Boll great rather than ‘contains actual greatness or even a redeeming feature’ great.

    Doomsday (2008) is another laugh-a-minute horror movie from writer/director Neil Marshall, who’s responsible for such masterpieces as Dog Soldiers and The Descent. This time the incomparable Marshall takes on the post-apocalypse sub-genre with typical style to create a melange of every 1980s post-apocalypse and viral terror film that decade produced. Unless you count the way these allusions are skilfully blended into 113 minutes of implausible and often gratuitous violence, it’s really […]

  • <p></p>
<p>Saturday, Peter Ball and I saw Nouvelle Vague at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Wow! Does the awesomeness ever stop! If you ever get a chance to see these guys, do it. </p>
<p>For those who don’t know, Nouvelle Vague are a French band who take punk and new wave songs (early 1980) and re-interpret them as bossa nova, the dominant hip style of the French new wave (early 1960s). “New Wave” in French is “nouvelle vague.” Geddit?</p>
<p>Among the classics that got the bossa nova treatment were:</p>
<ul>
<li><strong>Love Will Tear Us Apart</strong> (Joy Division)</li>
<li><strong>Guns Of Brixton</strong> (The Clash)</li>
<li><strong>Making Plans For </strong></li></ul> […]

    Nouvelle Vague in Concert

    Saturday, Peter Ball and I saw Nouvelle Vague at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Wow! Does the awesomeness ever stop! If you ever get a chance to see these guys, do it.

    For those who don’t know, Nouvelle Vague are a French band who take punk and new wave songs (early 1980) and re-interpret them as bossa nova, the dominant hip style of the French new wave (early 1960s). “New Wave” in French is “nouvelle vague.” Geddit?

    Among the classics that got the bossa nova treatment were:

    • Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division)
    • Guns Of Brixton (The Clash)
    • Making Plans For
    […]
  • <p>I’ve started watching 2006 BBC series Life on Mars and I’m currently up to episode four of the first season. What a hoot! This is an OK cop show spiced up by the motifs of time travel and 1970s racist, sexist, and most other -ists British culture.</p>
<p>(<strong>Note</strong>: this is not the crap 2008 US re-make.)</p>
<p>The overview, for those who have been living under a rock for the last couple of years is this:</p>
<blockquote><p>
After being involved in a car accident in 2006, DCI Sam Tyler wakes up to find himself in 1973, the era of ‘Sweeney’ </p></blockquote> […]

    Life on Mars

    I’ve started watching 2006 BBC series Life on Mars and I’m currently up to episode four of the first season. What a hoot! This is an OK cop show spiced up by the motifs of time travel and 1970s racist, sexist, and most other -ists British culture.

    (Note: this is not the crap 2008 US re-make.)

    The overview, for those who have been living under a rock for the last couple of years is this:

    After being involved in a car accident in 2006, DCI Sam Tyler wakes up to find himself in 1973, the era of ‘Sweeney’

    […]
  • <p>Way back on 16 October, I went to the opening night of Queensland Theatre Company’s latest production of The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde. And earnest it was – serious in intention, purpose and effort. </p>
<p>The acting was superb. None of the actors can be faulted. Their performances hit the mark every time. Bryan Proberts playing John Worthing is the very model of a modern aristocratic prat. There has no been a role that I’ve seen that he has not excelled in. Likewise, the performances of Paul Bishop (Algy) and Francesca Savige (Cecily) are a joy to behold. […]</p>

    The Importance of Being Ernest

    Way back on 16 October, I went to the opening night of Queensland Theatre Company’s latest production of The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde. And earnest it was – serious in intention, purpose and effort.

    The acting was superb. None of the actors can be faulted. Their performances hit the mark every time. Bryan Proberts playing John Worthing is the very model of a modern aristocratic prat. There has no been a role that I’ve seen that he has not excelled in. Likewise, the performances of Paul Bishop (Algy) and Francesca Savige (Cecily) are a joy to behold. […]

  • <p>Not only have I heard the call, I’ve seen it as well. I’m not talking about the soon-to-be-released and almost certainly straight-to-video movie Cthulhu but the wonderful, magical adaptation of the original story by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society called, unsurprisingly, The Call of Cthulhu.</p>
<p>The guys who made this understand not only the structure and aesthetics of silent movies but understand silent horror movies! A very rare treat indeed! This movie looks exactly like a film one would see at the cinema in the 1930s and from the style I’d even set the fictional production date at about 1931-1934  […]</p>

    I’ve Heard the Call of Cthulhu!

    Not only have I heard the call, I’ve seen it as well. I’m not talking about the soon-to-be-released and almost certainly straight-to-video movie Cthulhu but the wonderful, magical adaptation of the original story by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society called, unsurprisingly, The Call of Cthulhu.

    The guys who made this understand not only the structure and aesthetics of silent movies but understand silent horror movies! A very rare treat indeed! This movie looks exactly like a film one would see at the cinema in the 1930s and from the style I’d even set the fictional production date at about 1931-1934 […]