Archive for Nov, 2013

Movie Review: The Hunger Games Catching Fire

Saw this one the night it came out – so much hype around it! I’ve let it stew for a week to make sure I was giving it fair thought.

Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson
Francis Lawrence (Constantine, I am Legend)
Rating: M

After all the excitement that came along with the wonderfully realised film adaptation of the first Hunger Games book (to which I gave a glowing review last year), I find myself in a weird position regarding its sequel. The end-of-year blockbuster has done little to change my opinion that Catching Fire is the weakest of the three chapters in Suzanne Collins‘ young adult novel trilogy story-wise, but Catching Fire the movie is so cleverly made, so effectively acted and so tonally spot-on that I am forced to admit, with some degree of surprise, that it is every bit as good as its predecessor.

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Mega Ultra Blast Cast Ep.12

It’s all coming together, slowly… Sorry for the massive delay in getting this up.


The Mega Ultra Blast Cast comes to you from Japan, sort of, for Episode Twelve. This episode was recorded at about one in the morning on the third-last day of our Japan trip, over a week ago, from our hotel room while we were consuming alcohol. Shane, Delaney and I discuss our impressions and highlights from the trip, including all our wonderful food and drink experiences, before we move on to discussing our favourite Japanese game franchises. So, so sorry about the poor general quality of this episode.

If you feel so inclined, go for a run, take a scenic drive or just curl up on the couch and play some games while you listen to the slightly intoxicated opinions of three tired but happy Australian tourists in the land of the rising sun.

You can play the whole thing right off this page if that floats your boat:



Or you can go to the Soundcloud site/app and listen from there:

(Follow the link and then click the download tab)

As always if you enjoy what you hear please share the cast with your friends – Cheers!

When it rains, it torrents

So if it isn’t already apparent, I should probably take this opportunity to point out that this November has been a pretty barren month for Vagrant Rant. Aside from an all-out assault on my free time by a number of work commitments, there has been one primary reason for this: I have just returned from a 10-day trip to Japan with my Mega Ultra Blast Cast colleagues. And it was awesome.

Just about as soon as I touched down in Sydney once more, however, I had to hit the ground running with even more work commitments, even though there is a veritable feast of content to write about right now. This puts me in a bit of a pickle, as I highly doubt I will be able to cover everything I was planning to around this time of year. Here’s what I would love to do in the next couple of weeks, in a perfect world:

  1. Write up my many, many thoughts on the excessive quirkiness, wonderful culture of respect and otherworldy efficiency of Japan, based on my brief experience there;
  2. Write a handful of proper album reviews for the first time in a very long while, potentially focusing on the recently released Linkin Park remix album, two Capsule albums and perhaps more;
  3. Post a terribly low quality episode of the Mega Ultra Blast Cast that we recorded in our hotel room late in our trip, while a little, erm, under the influence;
  4. Write a proper review of the much-anticipated Hunger Games sequelCatching Fire, which releases in Australia very soon and has big shoes to fill;
  5. Do decent justice to the two next-generation gaming consoles, the Xbox One and the PS4, launching in a matter of days, with some first-up impressions and coverage.

There’s definitely a lot of exciting stuff and I am not terribly optimistic about getting it all done before my Best of 2013 series gets up and running. I will try my best and if even half of it happens | will be a happy man. In the meantime, here is roughly what the rest of my year looks like in terms of movies and games, more or less in order of release:

Need less to say, “I am keen” doesn’t quite cut it here.