Video Reviews

To Catch a Predator - Why Don't You Take a Seat? by Allison James

Many popular US shows have a UK equivalent, regardless of which is the original. Both have a different version of Whose Line is it Anyway, Britain has Dirty Sanchez to US' Jackass (though the latter is more popular here, being the original). US has had pilots of Red Dwarf and Top Gear that have been poor compared to the original UK series and failed, and an Americanised version of the British The Office which is better than the original. Finally, there are the likes of Wheel of Fortune, which is still running in America, though was sadly cancelled in UK long ago. I don't know which country's version of that came first.But recently I've been watching an American show online of which there doesn't seem to be any British equivalent - Dateline: To Catch a Predator. And while I'm a massive fan of the general dry satirical comedy of any British comic, I don't know if it'd be the same without the voice of the presenter, Chris Hansen.I find it enjoyable and hilarious to watch To Catch a Predator, and I think it's mostly him that makes it so. Seeing people that go around wanting to shag youngsters brought to justice is all well and good and certainly no joke, believe me. There are some guys that are "ill", who I can feel sorry for, but for the most part (and mainly when they go through the pathetic excuses - "We were just gonna talk", "I always have these condoms", "I was drunk/high when I set this date up") it's great to see them gone from the planet for a good few years.But, come on. Just seeing perverts thrown behind bars wouldn't be the same with that voice that you could distinguish in a crowd from a mile away. From the "Why don't you take a seat?" to the "you're free to leave any time", with the "I have the transcript", "I'm Chris Hansen", "You wanna try again?" and everything else in between, he's the only person I know who can be deadly hilarious and deadly serious 100% simultaneously. How the paedophiles can resist laughing, I don't know. (Yes, that was joking!)It's also fun to think what Hansen is like when off-camera and in casual mode. Does he really have that elocution? No idea. It's like imagining Joe Pasquale in social settings, though if I had to spend any extended time in the hearing radius of that squeaky voice I'd chop my own ears off.I don't really have much to say, other than I kinda wish there was more To Catch a Predator. Since I've been watching it quite a bit over the last few days, and I still have an odd desire to blog, I thought it'd be worth doing. Have to stop writing now, footage of a guy that's being caught a second time by the show is being shown and I sure as hell don't want to miss him taking a seat.

A Day At Norwich by Allison James

Well, not a day really. Five hours or so.But earlier today, me and a friend (same one as from the "Falsettoing like Matthew Bellamy" musing) went to Norwich, the nearest legit city to here. We went to watch Iron Man 2, so I'll discuss that first.

It was generally a fairly decent film. Certainly enjoyable, just a bit naff and with a slightly crap story behind it. But the effects used were brilliantly done, the fight scenes were well thought out and great to watch, and some of the humour, mostly by Downey Jr himself, was very funny.

The downside was the price. The ticket itself cost £7.10. It goes up by about 50p a year. Extortionate in itself, but then I got the slush puppy. That was a further £4.50. Money grabbing bastards.

The other main thing we did, after Iron Man 2, was wander down to the mall. I went into Game Station and got myself five old gems of games. Matt, being highly opinionated, basically slandered all the old games as rubbish because of their age. It pissed me off but at the same time an inner part of me smiled at his elitist ignorance. I will, on occasion, get a game that's only been out a week or so, but I don't see the point in doing it constantly when I can... well, today's finds bring up a good example. I got a copy of The Getaway on PS2. It'll provide me with a few hours' entertainment and I'll have fun with it. It cost 98p.

The other games I got were True Crime: Streets of LA, Wild Wild Racing (incidentally the first PS2 game I ever played), and WipEout Fusion, all for PS2, and Virtua Tennis 3 for PS3 (an odd choice, but I remember having fun with the demo, so what the hey).

Anyway, I reckon it's time to enjoy this more-than-acceptable stack of games, while Matt is likely at home playing one drivelly shooter that cost him four times as much as my pile did in total (£10.96!).

One last note - happy birthday, Greyson!

DVD Review - Tim Vine: So I Said To This Bloke... by Allison James

Yesterday morning, me and my mother went to Diss to go to some shops and also for me to see my dentist for a biannual checkup. The dentist was first, in which I met a girl I'd not seen in years. It's always an odd feeling, knowing that a decade ago I was standing outside her garden gate showing off my Dragonite Pokémon card to her (Dragonite was her favourite Pokémon... jeez, talk about selective memory). The checkup went fine then we headed to the shops. I got some throat lozenges from a chemist (see previous blog entry) then a load of stuff at Morrisons.One thing I like about Morrisons is their cheap entertainment. Yesterday, I got Rocket Science for £1, Avatar for £5 (as part of a shopping deal, will probably review this later), and the one I'm going to talk about as I've already watched it - Tim Vine: So I Said To This Bloke... . It's a stand up comedy from a comic well-known for cheap, groan-worthy rapid-fire puns.

As funny as the stand-up was, its 65 minute duration felt more like three hours. Ten-second puns really don't do well so consecutively - Vine is funnier when he's co-hosting shows or similar (he's a frequent Dictionary Corner resident on Countdown) and hence isn't the centre of attention.

One thing I disliked about it was the amount of songs. He's not a singer; I won't pick on him for that though (again, see last blog entry). None of the songs were actual, singable, proper songs though... well, excluding one, "Alarm Bells", which I've seen him perform before but which is actually rather funny so eeh.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcFd5j1cios]

Other songs included one in which he was allergic to choruses, so he'd sing about the allergy in the verses then cough, splutter and look very ill in the choruses, and one about his trusty metronome, which was actually enjoyable for about twenty seconds... then the song just repeated and, with the joke behind the song, sped up.

There were a couple of hugely tedious gags in the show. The worst was called Pen Behind The Ear. In it, Vine attempted to throw a pen, backwards, at around shoulder height and land it behind his ear (and have it stay there). To do this, he had a tube of around 20 pens. He finally managed it after having failed with all the pens four full times, each requiring him to bend over, pick them all up, and put them in the tube. All of this was to a monotonous "Pen Behind The Ear" chant. You could hear the audience's laughs slowly dying down with every refill, and the resulting cheer when he FINALLY managed it more one of relief than admiration.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pwbQvJDFzQ]

But, in general, it was enjoyable to watch. Certainly worth the £2. It would just have been better in small doses - even Vine himself continuously joked about what he was putting his audience through, and indeed one of his very first jokes notified the crowd of the level of regret they might start suffering very, very quickly.