Great Treasures at Gametraders – July 2012

It has been a while since we have given an update on our favourite store, so here are some of the goodies that are available this month!!

TRADING CARD GAMES

Gametraders Blacktown is your one-stop shop for Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Vanguard and Magic: The Gathering.   The store is even holding weekly competitions for each of these games.   The Yu-Gi-Oh comps have been running the longest, with a special month long-competition occurring in store for the month of August, with special prizes available at the end in addition to the regular weekly prizes.   Magic and Pokemon tournaments have recently started, with Vanguard also set to commence this Saturday.   Feel free to write to Revenge of the Film Nerds, or talk to the friendly staff at Gametraders, for more details.

Continue reading

Gametraders Blacktown Cosplay Event – 27th May 2012

Another fun day at Gametraders, with their most recent cosplay event in full swing.   Staff and customers alike dressed as their favorite anime and pop culture icons.   Publicity was running amok too, with old and new friends dedicated to the spread of geek culture meeting and swapping details.   In this respect, I give a shout out to Problem Child Productions, Project Ouroboros and Duchess Sakura Cosplay!

Continue reading

Harry Potter: Rock Cakes

Yet another Harry Potter influenced post, this time influenced by the mention of Rock Cakes when Harry and Ron first have tea with Hagrid at his hut in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”. However unlike Hagrid’s, these ones are guaranteed NOT to nearly break your teeth!

Rock Cakes

2 cups self raising flour

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

90g butter

1/3 cup caster sugar

1 cup sultanas

2 tablespoons mixed peel (you can replace this with sultanas  if you are not a mixed peel fan)

1 lightly beaten egg

1/2 cup of milk

1) Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Sift flour and cinnamon together in a large bowl and rub in butter. stir in sugar and fruit

2) add beaten egg then enough milk to give a moist but firm consistency

3) place 2 level tablespoon portions of mixture on a lightly greased baking tray about 5 cm apart. Sprinkle with extra sugar if you wish.

4) bake in oven for about 15 minutes or until browned, loosen cakes and cool on trays.

 

 

 

Great Treasures at Gametraders – 15th December 2011

Replica Weapons

Last week, Gametraders Blacktown got in some lovely new replica weapons in from Global Gear.   As can be seen above, we got some lovely hand-made Katanas, masonic style swords, and we even got The Bride’s blades from Kill Bill.   Not pictures here but also worth having a look at from Global Gear are some impressive bronzed statuettes of Aliens versing Predators!

Continue reading

Harry Potter: The Exhibition – A Review by Film Nerd

During the weekend just passed, Bride of Film Nerd and I left the muggle world for a few short hours and found ourselves at the Powerhouse Museum enjoying Harry Potter: The Exhibition.   Like many similar events held at the Powerhouse in the past, this exhibit allowed the general public to enjoy viewing props and costumes that were used in the filming of this popular film franchise.   So now we are reporting back on the experience, and if one thing is for certain, it is that if you are a fan, you should certainly make an effort to attend!!

Continue reading

Great Treasures at Gametraders – 26.10.11

Welcome to the new weekly segment of Revenge of the Film Nerds, where I share with you new stock available at Gametraders Blacktown that has me excited, curious, or just generally interested.   There is a lot to share, so I will jump straight into it!

 

Harry Potter wands

Who wouldn’t want one of these exquisitely crafted replicas from the block-busting film series.   With both Halloween and the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 just around the corner, this would be great for any kid, big or small, especially if planning to attend a cosplay event in the near future.

Continue reading

Pottermore is live

A number of months ago, J.K. Rowling caused a bit of a media frenzy indicating she had an announcement to make.   Many thought it would be new Harry Potter books, a prospect equally loved and loathed by fans.

However, the announcement was the advent of Pottermore, an online interactive Harry Potter experience that would expand the Potter world, with new material from Rowling herself, and the opportunity for fans to help expand the Harry Potter universe.   Those that managed to “follow the owl” have been given early access to Pottermore, which opens for general public registration in October.   I was lucky enough to follow said owl and find a pre-registration quill, and I went online with  999 999 others today….

Continue reading

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – A Review by Film Nerd

Director: David Yates

Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, John Hurt, Jason Isaacs, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch, Helen McCrory, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, David Thewlis, Julie Waters, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright, Natalia Tena, Michael Gambon, Gary Oldman, Ciaràn Hinds, Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent

Synopsis: The final chapter in the popular series of eight films that began ten years ago, based on the Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling.   This is the final battle for Hogwarts, and the time when Harry must face his final confrontation with the evil Lord Voldemort.

Given that this franchise has been with us since 2001, it is almost with a sense of disbelief that with this film, it draws to a close.   The film proves a thrilling conclusion, providing fantastic action sequences and special effects, some great character moments and, for those that have not read the books, a few unexpected surprises along the way.   If there is one complaint I can level against the film, it is that it is too short.   The 130 minutes pass very quickly, and not a minute of it seems wasted.

The films have certainly come away since the original Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.   The quality of the special effects are amazing, truly taking advantage of advances in technology in the intervening period.   More significant, however, is the improvement in the performance of the three leads.   Watson’s performances have been of high calibre for many films now, leaving the boys behind, however Grint and Radcliffe have both had substantial acting experiences themselves outside of the Potter franchise, and the benefit of these project shows.   Radcliffe gives a very commanding performance, leading no doubt that this young man is capable of the extreme responsibility on his shoulders.

Fans of the novels may be somewhat disappointed.   Always the price of an adaptation like this is that some of the finer details get left out.   Those fans, myself included, would argue extra time could have been added to this running time to highlight some of these elements more clearly.   This in the end is a minor criticism, given that the film does succeed in giving screen time to almost every single significant character from previous films, both living and dead.   The fact that most of these characters have been played by some of the most brilliant actors in the UK today is an added treat.   They each manage to shine despite many getting scant time on-screen.

In the end, this is the classic battle of good against evil, that addresses thematic concerns as the nature of evil, dealing with loss, and not being too quick to judge others.   Some may question some of the choices made in adapting the novel, but apart from this the film delivers everything one could demand for the final instalment of a beloved story.

4 stars out of 5.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 on IMDB

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 on Rotten Tomatoes

Trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NYt1qirBWg]

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 – A Review by Film Nerd

For details of cast and crew, and links to IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, and the trailer for this film, please see the review already posted by Urban Fantasist;

UrbanFantasist’s Review

It is with pleasure that I write this review, especially in reflection to the original goals of this blog.   As this film has the potential to be reviewed by at least three different contributors.   As linked above, Urban Fantasist has already provided a fantastic review of the film, and Bride of Film Nerd has promised to follow-up with her own very shortly.   I am also left with a dilemma though.   Urban Fantasist’s review I found to be absolutely spot on, so my challenge is to provide my own comment more specific to my own interests, without covering too much of the same ground and just being repetitive.

Here it goes.   From the absolute outset of this film, a very different tone is established immediately.   In the promotional interviews for ever Potter film from Chamber of Secrets onwards, the claim was made that each film was darker than the last.   Though this proved never a false statement, in the case of The Deathly Hallows, it could not be more apt.   No potter film before this has started on such a drastic note.   It makes it very clear that this is not another year at Hogwarts, that this is war and the odds could not be mounted higher against our lead three protagonists.   All this was achieved before even the Potter logo appearing on-screen.   In a way, i was reminded of how the pre-credits sequence in Bond takes you out of the real world and right smack bang in the middle of the action of the film.   Viewing it was perhaps even a little uncomfortable, but at the same time it is clear that this is what director Yates is aiming for.

This is evident as this is overall a film with comparatively little levity.   Yates chose to prepare the audience early, and I certainly found his methods effective.   He further illustrates what is at stake by an early interlude between Ginny and Harry.   In discussing why a wedding was held at a time like this, Harry rightfully points out that maybe preserving moments like those was one of the most important things they can do.    As an audience member who has seen it to the end, I am inclined to agree with him, given the prices that were paid over the 2 and half hours of this film.    Just as Urban Fantasist did, I cried, at an identical point to which I cried during the book.   At the risk of being beaten up later, even Bride of Film Nerd, who mocked my reaction to Toy Story 3, was affected by the emotion of the moment.

A quick note should be written on what has improved overall with this film.   The lead three actors have all grown into their roles,  and their ability to convey the emotions of each is now at an admirably high level of talent.   Special note I feel should be made of Tom Felton’s performance as Draco.   He really became an acting force in the last film, and though given less to do overall in Part 1, he provides a nuanced performance that makes a three-dimensional character of what had initially been a two-dimensional villain.   The pacing of the film was just what was needed.   We know all the real action is yet to occur in Part 2, so this is in many respects a long preamble, but at no point does it become boring, and I could easily have kept sitting past the end credits for them to start playing the next instalment for me then and there.   The pacing is in itself a huge improvement on the book, which often lagged during the events shown here.   The other improvement was in the CGI.   The house-elves return in this film, the creatures that had previously been incredibly fake, especially in an era of Peter Jackson’s Gollum.    This is no longer the case, with the elves being absolutely amazing, not only gaving softened and life-like facial features, but now blending pretty much seamlessly with the external environment and with the actors.   I am especially glad for this as without these improvements, some of the scenes with the house-elves would not have had anywhere near the same impact.

Urban Fantasist finished her review with a comment concerning what an absolutely wild Potter fan she is.   I should perhaps add to my review that I was also an established Potter fan prior to this film, however I could never compete with my colleagues level of obsession.   I only actually read Deathly Hallows once, much less than any other book in the series, and I had forgotten a  surprising amount.   I do feel though that this extra knowledge did make the film viewing experience richer for me, and there were a few things extra I would have liked to have seen.   Looking dispassionately at what was cut though, it is easy to see how it would have adversely affected the pacing of the film, while adding comparatively little.   I also feel enough information was available for the uninitiated to enjoy.    In the end, the main thing that stops mew giving this 5 stars is because I am petulant and want to see the finale to the series right now!!

4 stars (out of a possible 5)


Horatio Hornblower: “Loyalty” and “Duty” – A Review by Film Nerd

Director: Andrew Grieve

Cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Robert Lindsay, Paul McGann, Lorcan Cranitch, Julia Sawalha, Tony Haygarth, Paul Copley, Sean Gilder, Greg Wise, Christian Coulson, Ron Cook, Jonathan Coy

Synopsis: Hornblower is languishing on a Lieutenant’s half-pay during peace with France, the peace having been declared before his promotion to Commander could be confirmed by the admiralty.   In his cheap lodgings, he has won the heart of his landlady’s daughter.   He come across Lieutenant Bush at this time, just as Admiral Pellew gives Hornblower a secret mission to France, promoting him to Commander in the process.   He takes command of the Hotspur, bringing Bush along as his First Lieutenant.

A review by Film Nerd.

As with the last two-part story, I have opted to review these two television movies together, even though the two-story arc is less well-defined then in the last case.   What connects the two is Hornblower’s relationship with Maria Mason (Julia Sawalha, previously seen in the TV series Press Gang, and as Lydia in the BBC’s definitive Pride and Prejudice miniseries).   He meets her when he is languishing on half-pay, barely able to make his rent.   It is a relationship the defines Hornblower in the next few books of the series, a bond forged more out of obligation than affection.   Sadly, given the demise of the series, the relationship was not explored further than this point.

In showing the fleet during peace time, the success of the franchise is once again apparent in shedding light onto the concerns of officers serving in His Majesty’s navy in this time period.   We soon get back into the real action though, with Hornblower getting a command, much due to the good graces of Admiral Pellew.   The joy of these current stories are getting to delve into Hornblower’s loyalty to both superior and inferior officer’s, as we finally get to also see his relationship with Lieutenant Bush in full bloom.

And yet, I still haven’t even got around to any of the missions Hornblower is sent on here, which is really half the fun.   Suffice it to say that the peace does not last long, and we get action on the high seas galore, with traitor’s in our favourite Commander’s own crew that come back to haunt us, cowardly midshipmen (former young Tom Riddle, Coulson), an uneasy alliance with a French Royalist Major (Wise), and also being stuck right in the middle of major international political intrigue.

This is certainly the series at its peak, with Hornblower finally in command, and perhaps the saddest point for it to end.   It is fortunate we have the Gregory Peck film to follow this up for, even though it is based 15 years after the point here observed, it is just enough of a stepping stone to keep the storyline somewhat continuous.

4.5 stars (out of a possible 5)

Horatio Hornblower: Loyalty on IMDB

Horatio Hornblower: Loyalty on Rotten Tomatoes

Horatio Hornblower: Duty on IMDB

Horatio Hornblower: Duty on Rotten Tomatoes

Trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEEUDLr9uUw]