Four Dead In Ohio – a pleasant discovery

The good kind of FB advertising

Whilst I write up my Dead Space 2 review for BeefJack, here’s some gentle music blogging to ease us in to the week.

During the last two months I have become a fan of London based psychedelic rock band Four Dead In Ohio (Facebook here and Myspace here). All because of a Facebook Ad popping up when I was in a good mood.

See, I get that people often ignore ads on Facebook and other webpages. And when you consider some of the dodgy deals that often get advertised or less than legitimate service providers, it’s healthy for your computer and your wallet to ignore most of them.

However when I saw the FB ad for Four Dead In Ohio, seeing that it was a band, I was like, “Hmmmm, with a name like that, mebbie I should take a look.” And that was one mouse click that I haven’t regretted.

I just love their sound. I’m not a music critic, I can’t give you a review of any of their tracks, but I can say that if you’re after some fresh sounding psychedelic rock, it may be worth giving them a look. And I can definitely say that I am glad I’ve got them on my MP3 player. Wish I could see them live.

Sadly, they did have a music video up on their MySpace page before Christmas for one of their tracks, but it’s not there anymore 😦

Battlestar Galactica: What I didn’t notice before

There's plenty I didn't notice before, but I did notice her revealing outfits.

With being given the complete DVD box set of the new Battlestar Galactica for Christmas, it was inevitable that I would eventually begin to watch it. While I’ll be missing out on getting a daily fix of this whilst I play onDead Space 2, I’ve already watched all of season 1 and am part way through season 2.

I’d already watched seasons 1-4 before (have yet to ever watch season 5). So I’m rewatching them in order to jog my memory as it’s been a while since I’ve seen any episodes from it.

Of course this means that I’ve been noticing things that I didn’t when I watched the first 4 seasons the first time round. I never realised how crazy Dr. Gaius Baltar was when I first watched it. Or the religious overtones. Or the foreshadowing.

Maybe I didn’t notice things because of all that knitting I did when I watched it the first time round. This scarf is one thing I remember knitting whilst watching one season…

Moment of Distraction #3

Dead Space 2, yummy

This weekend will see me working on my Dead Space 2 review for BeefJack. I’ll have most of this evening free to play it, most of Saturday (I’m off to a party with Paul, though we won’t be out late ), but Sunday…

I’ll be transferring my place of play from home to my parents-in-laws-to-be’s house. I suppose it’s a testament of how cool they can be, as they’re fine with me taking over a TV for a day so that I can continue playing the game. And this won’t be the first game that I’ve had to take over their living room for.

So, along with the usual baggage one takes for staying over night somewhere, I’ll be dragging Paul and mine’s Xbox 360 with us as well. Okay, I say drag, but actually it’ll be safely secured in a bag.

But where’s the “distraction” in all of this? I ask, “Have you ever tried playing a survival horror game in front of older family members?” I suspect most will answer “No” to that.

Here’s to having your pants scared off >_<

Granddad would never talk about it

My late Granddad

Due to it being Holocaust Memorial Day today, I’d like to spend a moment talking about my Granddad.

He served as a mechanic in the RAF during World War 2. He didn’t have to. He wasn’t conscripted. He joined up under-age and was an Irish boy living in Cornwall.

When he was still alive and before he became very ill, he’d sometimes talk about the war and his role as an aeroplane mechanic. He mentioned how he retrieved the bodies of pilots when going out to plane wrecks. He talked about dodging going to Sunday service by pretending he was a Catholic. He talked about meeting Granny.

Yet, there was one thing that he would never talk about. And that was the concentration camp he went to help “liberate” at the end of World War 2. My family only knew of his role, because of old family friends mentioning it. My family doesn’t know which camp it was, but some day I plan to get a copy of his service records from the RAF in order to find out.

Of course these records would not really tell me what he saw at the camp. No second hand account can.

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust launched a series of “Untold Stories” this month to show that the blight of genocide still continues today. Be it in memories or new abuses of human rights and new genocides. Here is the trailer:

The Green Hornet has changed my mind about the 12A BBFC rating

I did enjoy watching the Green Hornet but...

I went and saw the new Green Hornet film last night. While not the best film of its genre in the world, it wasn’t too terrible and was thus mildly amusing for the basis of a Wednesday evening outing.

Yet the film has a 12A rating from the BBFC. So, children under the age of 12 can see the film when accompanied by an adult. However, there is so much violence in the film, tonnes of references to alcohol and a strong reference to drugs. How does that make the film suitable for kids under 12 to watch? In my opinion it doesn’t make it suitable for them to watch.

Part of the problem with the 12A rating is that a parent or guardian must know a significant amount about the content of a film in order to make the call as to whether it is suitable for their child to watch. And the content of 12A films varies widely, especially when you look at the main film that started it all.

It's all your fault, Peter Parker...

I remember how the release of the first Spider-Man film prompted the rolling out of the 12A rating back in 2002. Many local authorities allowed cinemas and cinema chains to release the film with a PG rating, which went against the BBFC’s recommendations that it should have a 12 rating. Spider-Man missed the boat for 12A rating on its original release, and so The Bourne Identity was the first film to receive the rating.

While videogames’ and their rating systems, mainly the PEGI system (that the UKIE is in charge of dealing with in the UK), have been going out of their way in recent years to explain to consumers the content in games that denote the specific age ratings that particular titles get, the BBFC have not. While all videogame boxes using PEGI will have symbols that show why the game has the rating, no similar system is in place for things classified by the BBFC.

Sure parents want to be able to decide whether or not their child should see a particular film. However, I think that it is time that the BBFC steers cinemas into properly stating with film descriptions that are on view at cinemas, why a film has the age rating it does. This doesn’t seem to happen at the moment and how can parents make an informed choice about what to allow their kids to watch a 12A film if they don’t have all the necessary information to make the necessary choices.

There have been plenty of films since 2002, but especially in the last few years, that have been far more violent than the first Spider-Man film, (the BBFC would rate Spider-Man as a 12A if it were re-released in cinemas today).

Scenes of a sadistic nature...

Films such as The Dark Knight and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 both had 12A ratings when released in cinemas. Both of these films had moments of extreme violence and themes of a sadistic nature in places. But where was the information in our cinemas to let parents know that these films contained such content? A number and a letter don’t seem to be enough.

I know from when I watched the latest Harry Potter that there were many parents there afterwards who regretted letting their children see the film. Sure, they could have walked out and asked for a refund during the film, but that wouldn’t have undone what they had seen.

At first, when I started this blog post I wanted to say that the 12A rating should be scrapped. Now however, I believe that it can still be used, but that plain English descriptions of the contents of individual films should be put up at cinemas and on their websites to describe why a film has been classified 12A rather than PG or 15.