Another week gone by. I must give another quick plug to it’s your turn a really good online board-gaming environment. I tend to make one or two chess moves a day in games I’m playing with friends, and it’s a nice way to play chess and stay in touch! You’ll find a link on the left, but if you can’t be bothered to go that far, click here instead.

Caught a couple of DVDs this weekend – Unbreakable and This Dish. I was a bit disappointed with Unbreakable – after all the hype about ‘this year’s Six Sense’ I was expecting a similarly engaging and suprising film. The film itself is fine, I guess. Bruce Willis continues to impress me as a versitle and talented actor, and as usual Samuel L. Jackson is the man. Also a familar face by way of Robin Wright (Princess Buttercup – of the Princess bridge – and also in Forrest Gump) who I didn’t place until I looked on imdb just now. Just as Laurence Fishbourne will always be Morpheus, so Robin Wright will always be Princess Buttercup). ANYWAY, the point is the alleged twist is pants – not because you can see it coming, but you don’t actually care! Nothing wrong with the acting, but the script drastically fails to engage and build up the tension. The DVD itself is also naff – the only extras are the subtitles and other languages.

The Dish is a different story altogether. First of all the DVD is fantastic – hours and hours of material. Everything you could possibly want to know about Apollo 11 and the moon landing – flight plans NASA’s archive footage.. the whole bamboozle. Plus the now standard commentaries (I didn’t have the DVD long enough to check these out), cast and crew biogs, and a few interviews for good measure.
The film itself is great. It’s a sweet and gentle movie, about a bunch of radio astronomers who become part of the NASA team maintaining contact with Apollo 11. Sam Neill gives a superb performance, although my favorite sub-plot was between Janine (Eliza Szonert – from Neighbours apparantly) and Glenn (Tom Long). I really enjoyed it, and would consider buying the DVD for the historical/educational value alone.

Finally – played a PSOne game – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Pleasingly faithful to the book, and seemingly heavily inspired by the film (the sets look like the film, as do the avatars, and the voices & music also sound like the film). Anyway, it’s a thid-person perspective 3D game (like Tomb Raider, although a less impressive graphics engine) where you explore Hogwarts, learning spells solving puzzles, attending classes and so on. They also have some great sub-games – like Quidditch and a mine-cart type game from Gringotts.
It’s extremely easy (I’d finished over 80% of the game in about 6 hours), and with infinite continues when you die (itself no mean feat – the game goes out of it’s way to give you more energy!). The controls are dead-simple, although some co-ordination is required with some of the spells – I guess it’s really aimed at Potterphiles, ie pre-teens.
All this said, I really enjoyed it, and I’m sure any 10 year old would love it, even if it hasn’t got the long-lasting appeal of, say, Sypro. Worth hiring.. might be worth buying if it comes out in a budget range.