Friday, 29 June 2007

Fopp closes

Can't say I didn't see this one coming.

From the Fopp website....

"It is with great regret that we announce the closure of Fopp.

Our store chain is profitable, well regarded and loved by our loyal customers and staff. However we have failed to gain the necessary support from major stakeholders, suppliers and their credit insurers to generate sufficient working capital to run our expanding business.

We would like to thank staff and customers for their support over the past 25 years.

Any outstanding website orders have now been cancelled and will not be fulfilled or charged."

It's a genuine shame that a chain store that had such a great, simple pricing structure, that encouraged people to investigate the back catalogues of classic artists has shut down. While the shop assistants have my complete sympathy, the top bosses have only themselves to blame. David Pryde, the MD, is something of a retail genius, but buying the Music Zone stores was a step waaaaaay too far.

Richard Branson failed in an 11th-hour attempt to save the chain, but the Tottenham Court Road and Covent Garden stores are pretty good retail real estate, so I wouldn't be surprised if HMV snapped them up.


Thursday, 28 June 2007

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Chris Benoit and family found dead

I'm having serious trouble making sense of this.

WWE wrestler Chris Benoit (40), his wife Nancy (43) and their son Daniel (7) have been found dead in their home in Atlanta, Georgia.

Police are treating their deaths as a "double-murder suicide".

Investigators believe that Benoit killed his son and wife over the course of the weekend before committing suicide.

I'm having serious difficulty processing the fact that a guy that I liked and admired could be capable of such horror.


Sunday, 24 June 2007

Crazy theremin jam

Friday, 22 June 2007

Fopp plot thickens

After the day of 'cash only' Fopp has today closed all its stores for a 'stock take'.

My bet? The chain won't last another week.

Dramatic chipmunk

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Fopp to close?

It certainly looks as though Fopp is in trouble.

Several stores are only taking cash transactions today. The stores are claiming it's a 'card authorisation problem' but I smell a rat.

I, like plenty of people, thought the purchase of Music Zone was a step too far for the chain. Looks like they're having serious liquidity problems.

Be a real shame if they can't pull out of the shit though.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Film Review: Rise Of The Silver Surfer

A nude scene with Jessica Alba; the introduction of Galactus; the marvellous Michael Chiklis reprising his role as The Thing; the first big screen appearance of The Silver Surfer; and the resurrection of Dr Doom. Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer should be the best comic book film of all time.

It isn’t.

However, that’s not to say it’s as awful as the first film. Not much could be. For a start, The Silver Surfer is a bad ass. Doug Jones’s grace and elegance ensures that the Surfer looks perfectly otherworldly. Laurence Fishburne’s voice, however – not quite at his Morpheus worst, but close enough – makes you wish the casting team had given him the blue pill and told him to fuck off.

Elsewhere, the Ben Grimm / Johnny Storm duelling is spot-on and Ioan Gruffudd appears much more relaxed as Reed Richards than he did in the first film. Letting the group down, though, is Susan Storm. Two years on from Sin City and still nobody can induce boredom and boners with the same conviction as Jessica Alba.

It’s fair to say that Alba is slightly less execrable than in FF1, which is certainly more than can be said for Julian McMahon. He might play a good plastic surgeon on a cable TV show, but he fucking blows as Dr Doom. If there’s to be a third film, I can only hope they leave the mask on and hire in a new actor.

Although, given the shabby treatment that Doom received in both movies, perhaps McMahon is the perfect man to play him. Far from one of the planet’s most intelligent men, with an army of Doombots at his disposal and significant powers of sorcery, Doom is eliminated from this film’s proceedings by a crane. Whilst it’s a step up from the fire hydrant that brought about his demise in the first film, it’s still a pathetic ending for one of the Marvel universe’s most deadly villains.

This being a 2007 Marvel film, Rise Of The Silver Surfer, of course, has its own dance scene. If Spider-Man 3’s dance scene was like being stabbed in the balls, then Rise Of The Silver Surfer’s is like being kicked in them: unpleasant and agonising, but at least the pain subsides.

The biggest problem fanboys will have with the movie is that the audience never gets to see Galactus. It’s a shame, because, ever since The Day After Tomorrow, it’s hard for an audience to feel threatened by a cloud formation. But, considering they can’t even get Sue Storm’s blue eyes right, we should probably be grateful that the special effects guys didn’t attempt the planet eater in all his purple helmeted glory.

At times it feels like an extended trailer for the almost-certainly-in-develo
pment Silver Surfer solo film. What should curb anyone’s enthusiasm about such a project is this movie’s concluding revelation that the Surfer could have halted Galactus at any point in his destruction of eight planets.

But, as sympathetic accounts of an accomplice in the greatest serial genocide in movie history go, Rise Of The Silver Surfer isn’t all that bad.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Late Night Special

Friday, 15 June 2007

The Pain Of Ptwang

"The Pain of Ptwang is dedicated to raising the awareness of the plight of the Ptwangers.

We will not rest until the world knows this story. Just remember as you read this children are dying in the shanty towns of diseases that are preventable. Every minute a new case of Flange Finger is diagnosed, every day three Ptwangers will die of Flange Lung.

The silence must end now."

Find out about the people of Ptwang here

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Tessa Rocks!

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Church gets cross with Sony over Resistance

The Church of England has gotten itself into a tizzy over the Playstation 3 game Resistance: Fall Of Man - a game that was released in March.

The CoE reckon that Sony did not obtain permission to use the interior of Manchester Cathedral in the game that sees the player battle aliens who are invading Earth.

From the BBC, "The Bishop of Manchester, the Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch, described the decision to feature the city's cathedral as "highly irresponsible" - especially in the light of Manchester's history of gun crime.

"It is well known that Manchester has a gun crime problem," he said.

"For a global manufacturer to re-create one of our great cathedrals with photo-realistic quality and then encourage people to have guns battles in the building is beyond belief and highly irresponsible.

"Here in Manchester we do all we can to support communities through our parish clergy. We know the reality of gun crime and the devastating effects it can have on lives. It is not a trivial matter."

Now, it seems that Nigel McCulloch has rather missed the point that it's a computer game and erm... you shoot aliens. Admittedly, it's been a little while since I've visited Manchester, but I'd be very surprised if that's the "reality of gun crime" in the area.