Cuba Street Carnival Parade – 2009

February 24, 2009 at 11:55 pm | Posted in Event Review | 1 Comment
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Another two years another Parade!

February 21, 2009 by

Event Hanger

Paper Hanger Blog
New Zealand

The Parade was bigger this time – at least it took longer to go by!The Cuba Street Carnival is a biannual event and seems to get bigger everyother year.

The Parade began with some rollerbladers/rollerskaters – just to warm thr crowd up, or maybe they got bored waiting in the marshalling area and went for a spin. Then it was a bathroom; a convoy of two: a man in a smoking jacket on a commode and a women in a towel in a washbasin. This couple really did get the crowd going. Then the New Zealand Army Band came along and the Parade began for real. The Band got several rounds of applause – they played well and often marched in a most unmilitary way!

Second up was a small group of young women who might have been cheerleaders out of uniform – no pompoms – who resembled a sportwear add. Oh well, some of the younger members of the crowd enjoyed the poses.

After that, things became bit of a blur: belly dancers, bohda in a lotus flower, scenes from some opera (actually the Tarrant Dance Studio / Footnote), women in bad taste 70’s lycra, a Chinese Dragon (Wellington Chinese Sports and Cultural Centre), pole dancing (!! – two poles), samba dancers, a flying saucer (Kazaam Blam), body paint models (nice surfing theme), skeletons, various dancers, a circus float and some wind theme float from a power company. Well done to the support team that pushed the broken down Bedford truck most of the way.

The samba dancers were the best, the Parade really needs more of these groups. I remember four, there may have been more, but they didn’t stand out. The Tauranga Samba crowd look very well organised (costumes and choreography), they were loud, and looked like they were enjoying themselves. The Pineapple themed group had great costumes and float. The samba group – Wellington Batucada – that choose deep sea fish are to be congratulated – great costumes, great choreography, and great story : the dancers as orange roughy fish were constantly menanced by deepsea predators, that had huge teeth. They were loud too. There was technology themed samba group who wore black T-shorts with a digital graphic display on their chests – they were loud and their displayed confirmed it. The displays pulsed up and down with the music. I think Pump Dance were the pick of the other dancers – in terms of energy.

So roll on 2011, and maybe there will be more samba groups.



Casino Royale

February 3, 2009 at 1:21 am | Posted in DVD Review, Film Review | Leave a comment
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Having watched the sequel, first, I managed to get hold of Casino Royale and finally see the introduction of Daniel Craig as James Bond.

Warning: plot elements revealed

January 31, 2009 by

Film Hanger

Paper Hanger Blog
New Zealand

I was disappointed, I felt the major tension builder – the card game was badly handled. The result was that the film was a like one of the old Bob-Hope-and-Bing-Crosby Road-film; only no humour – just action and thuggery. The action scenes were very well done – John Woo has had a big impact in terms of raising the bar in this area. The run up a crane-arm chase segment is so amazing that it is totally unbelievable – the athleticism and skill required reduces the action scenes to choreography for gymnasts. It was like watching the Cirque de Soleil!

The film introduces us to Bond and explains the way he is, but that is useful only if you have seen most of the other Bond films. Otherwise, there are these odd moments when the film seems to pause, before moving on for no reason – the Aston Martin, the Martini, the dinner jacket, and so on.

I read the book when I was younger, and this turned out to be a drawback. Vesper Lynd (played by Eva Green), in the book, works for M16. The concept of sending a Treasury official along to handle the money side of things is so contrived as to be implausible, and against printed reality that I momentarily dropped out of ‘sit back and enjoy’ mode.

Also, in the book, Le Chiffre (ably played by Mads Mikkelsen) plays baccarat – not Texas Holdem. The protracted poker game just did not build and hold tension. I felt the game was pretty much ignored and the audience was expected to take it all on trust.

The film is has a very fast pace, and feels like one long chase. There is no end as such, because the film is just part one, and transitions smoothly into part two – Quantum of Solace.

Daniel Craig play Bond very well; I never believed that spies lived the high life and occassional shot someone. Craig’s bond is gritty; he runs, gets wounds bigger than will be covered by a bandaid, gets dirty – much more believeable.


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