The Cult going hot Down Under

If my tickets at the back of the room are any indication, The Cult are selling tickets for their Australian tour hand over fist. Ouch, but yay. I wonder if those empty days after the Sydney and Melbourne gigs might not become second gigs in those cities, if the sales are indeed running that hot…

Meanwhile, I believe Sydney duo The Black Ryder are playing the support. Here’s a lovely clip by them:

Alice in Underland, er, Wonderland

johnny depp as mad hatter in Alice in Wonderland

First impressions of Tim Burton’s addition to the Alice in Wonderland canon: it’s pretty darn cool.

A few of us saw it in 3D and agreed the extra dimension was pretty much overkill and at times a little distracting, except for the absolutely stunning end credits.

I have studiously ignored reviews and comments about the movie — I usually do when I know I want to see something, and I’ve managed to stay blissfully ignorant, except for a few comments about the film not being particularly well received (critically), and Johnny Depp’s portrayal of the Mad Hatter being panned.

This isn’t Alice in Wonderland as I remember it, but I’m not a purist; I don’t have much affection for the original story or film versions since. It’s just a fine yarn to me, and so Burton’s monkeying around with it hasn’t raised my hackles. But I can see why it might rub some up the wrong way.

I enjoyed Depp’s very edgy Hatter, and the “almost 20” Alice played with suitable innocuousness by Mia Wasikowska, and Helena Bonham Carter (the bobble-headed Red Queen) is always a delight. The critters were fine, Alan Rickman adding a lovely dourness to the grub, and the Cheshire cat’s coming and going was a lot of fun.

Burton seems to have had a foot in two camps, unable to completely let go his love of the Gothic (eg the whimsical White Queen’s necromantic tendencies (played sweetly by Anne Hathaway)), but still conforming to the fact that this was a Disney film; I’m not sure it straddles both audiences well.

But there are some absolutely gorgeous “sets”: twisted bare trees, soft light through dust and fog, a ruined chess-set battlefield and final battle sequence between a dragon-like Jabberwocky and Alice that was just lovely (the scene reminded me a lot of a striking piece of fantasy art by the wonderful Clyde Caldwell).

I don’t think I needed to see Alice in 3D and I don’t think it’s something I need on my shelf — it skated a little thin for my liking — but I enjoyed it for its darkly tinted escapism, which sometimes is just the ticket.

Here’s a trailer.

Also, in the theatre there was a poster for a new Tron movie: not a remake, but a sequel, I’m told. Here’s a trailer for that: it looks flash and the sound, even through my wee PC speakers, sounded pretty hot.

The Cult to tour Australia!

It’s official – 1980s super rockers The Cult are hitting Australia for the first time in 15 years. Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy are in the swing. I’ve been miffed about missing them in New Orleans by a few days a couple of years back when they were touring their latest album, Born Into This. A highlight of my time at The Courier-Mail was getting to do a phone interview with Astbury, so seeing the band – one of my favourites – is going to be a hoot. Tickets are on sale on March 19!

Here’s a clip of classic single She Sells Sanctuary to get you in the mood for the May tour!

in, out and gargoyles

gargoyles moves into mount waverley

It’s been a quiet around the blog’s coffee pot lately due to the pot having been moved about 8km, and then being abandoned while we enjoyed a road trip to Newcastle – up by the Hume, back by the Princes. But we have internet, new bookshelves, a garage the car can get into and, of course, the coffee pot plugged in. Hurray! Very happy to report everything fits and the gargoyles are feeling right at home, though the cats are still enjoying – or not – the new experiences of the bigger, brighter accommodations (below: Smudge, finding a cupboard to explore!). So far, the Mount Waverley eateries have proven to be brilliant, so that’s a good sign! We just have the book shelves to populate and a few bits and bobs to tidy up before life returns to normal – whatever that means. Watch this space 🙂

cat explores cupboard