Sunday, 14 March 2010

TV3 Plus 1 - delayed second broadcast available on Freeview

There are lots of good things about Freeview, and one of the less well known ones is the option to watch TV3s time-delayed broadcast on  TV3 Plus 1. Here identical broadcasts are made an hour after the initial one, so if for example, you want to watch the six o'clock news but are busy until seven you can watch it then. I don't know why the channel doesn't make this excellent feature more widely know. It's  especially handy on Saturday nights when the few decent shows broadcast across our screens tend to all be scheduled for 7.30! On our television set TV3 Plus 1 is on channel 29; on yours it may be different. I'm not technically enough minded to give you any more information other than this.

Also not well known is TV3s broadcast of the 6 o'clock news on Radio Pacific which is broadcast on both AM and FM frequencies.

I've attempted to find this information on the TV3 website, but found it completely impenetrable.  If you have better information let me know!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

The 27 dresses of a long-suffering bridesmaid

27 dresses (2008) is a movie of pure escapism, something you could fall asleep in front of without any worries about the characters or the storyline - nothing (irredeemably) bad happens.  Having said that, it is entertaining in its way and I was glad I turned the television on when I did.  It was a pleasant way to while away an evening when I was feeling flat, and left me with some nice images and a good feeling.

Katherine Heigl is very beautiful and winsome as Jane, the seemingly eternal bridesmaid. Her collection of bridesmaids dresses in itself provides an amusing commentary about weddings and wedding gear - dress-ups are fun and the costume designer must have enjoyed putting this very mixed collection together!

Jane is burning with love for her boss, played by Edward Burns, who finds her indispensable as his ever-obliging personal assistant without noticing her obvious devotion. Enter her sister, played by Malin Akerman, and things hot up immediately - but not for Jane. James Marsden, as cynical wedding reporter Kevin Doyle, is perhaps the most believable character and his style and freshness kept me interested in watching. Yes, the conclusion is predictable, but for a bit of time out, this is a safe and pleasantly goofy choice.

Book shop link for interested NZ viewers:
 27 Dresses

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Oh, those ads!

The New Zealand Film Archive has a website of favourite advertisements, dating from the 1960s to the 90s. Looking back over some of the most popular ones can bring on a stiff dose of nostalgia: remember Fluffy the cat? But of course you do!

For those of you who have never been to New Zealand, you'll find a unique slice of history and more than a passing glance at some local sights. Here you can see a little of what some of our small towns are like: this one is Paeroa. Charming, isn't it? Okay, so maybe we've progressed a bit since then, but I hope not too much!

As the archive hasn't yet caught up with more recent advertisements, I've included this one of the Pukekos from another source, and yes, the feet are real, just as nature intended them to be - this is a wetland bird.

And to make it clear we're not completely parochial, remember this one for Old Spice?

So there's a lot to be said for the art of the thirty second movie - enjoy!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

"In the shadow of the Moon" ~ an extraordinary documentary

This 2007 documentary is one of the best I've seen. It chronicles the American venture of getting astronauts on the Moon and is all the more remarkable in that it contains no reconstructed footage: all of it was shot during the space missions just as you see it. The footage is awe-inspiring and the sound track and editing match this quality.

The contemporary commentary is provided by the astronauts themselves, many years older now and certainly their faces have aged, but all showed a mental alertness and emotional candour that amazed me. For me this exemplifies the maturity one would look for in those of advanced age which I haven't often seen. In conversational language they describe their backgrounds as aeroplane test pilots, their preparation for the space missions, and the thoughts and emotions each experienced during them.

What made this documentary truly memorable for me was what the astronauts said about how the space flights affected their world views: for each it was a transformational experience, both in how much more they appreciated 'the good Earth' and how they felt about universal and spiritual truths. For each this took a different form. These were unlooked for and what the astronauts say about them are no trite recitations. In a world that struggles for any sense of purpose, this kind of testimony is important.

What was sad, as well as sobering, was the observation that the magical blues, whites and subtle colours of Earth as seen from outer space are no longer clean, but increasing discoloured by pollution - shame on us all. Animals and the natural world haven't created this, people have, and politicians and business people continue to dispute 'climate change' as a reason for putting on the brakes. Climate change be blowed - isn't the mess we've made so far enough reason, or do we meekly accept the fate of an existence in a rubbish tip rather than fighting for the survival of our living breathing paradise?

Here is the film trailer:

Further details of the film can be found on this IMDB webpage
And in case you can't easily find the link there to other people's reviews here they are.

Later Note: