Monthly Archives: August 2008

Movie Review – Dark Knight

Yesterday I saw Dark Knight, the latest movie in the Batman franchise. I must admit that I watched Batman as a kid on TV but I haven’t seen the series of movies recently.

Of course, this movie has been very heavily promoted and has been at the top of the Box Office charts for weeks. Events outside of the Bat Universe with the death of Heath Ledger (playing The Joker) soon after he finished filming the movie meant that many people would be focused on his performance. Indeed, some people like me would ask the question: “If Heath Ledger had been alive for the screening of this movie, would he still win the awards and accolades based purely on his performance?”

Indeed, I asked that question during Erk Pod Round Table 7 and I have asked several people who had seen the movie the same question. Most people I’d spoken to had answered the question by answering that dead or alive, Heath would indeed deserve the spoils of his efforts of starring in the movie.

So to answer that question first now having seen the movie for myself, the answer from me is indeed “yes”. If you didn’t know better, you’d think that Ledger was the star of the movie and that the movie would be “The Joker” movie with Batman as a support player. This is very much the case.

That’s not to say that Batman (played by Christian Bale) should be buried in the Bat Cemetery after his performance. In a lot of other movies and in different circumstances, I might be raving about Bale’s performance. I could imagine that it would be more difficult to play Batman and mild mannered Bruce Wayne which are two very different type of characters compared to someone playing the one character in the movie.

What really impressed me apart from Ledger’s performance was the special efforts and the general filming of the movie. The amount of effort that would have went into making the city look like the fictional Gotham City in itself was amazing. Then add the costumes and the earth shattering special efforts and you have a very visually pleasing movie, especially in a cinema environment.

The story was solid and you did not need an indepth knowledge of the Bat Universe. However if you are a Bat fanboy, you might have some complaints about the story and the acting. I’ll leave that opinion to a fanboy. Having said that though, I didn’t like the look of the Batmobile. The movie was super long at 152 minutes and could probably have been finished at a couple of points prior to the end of the movie quite easily. However, there is enough action and the story moves on so much that viewers will be happy with the way that the movie moves on.

Overall it was an excellent movie in every regard and an enjoyable experience that most people will enjoy. I give the movie 9 Batmobiles out of 10.



Filed under Movie Reviews

Erk’s Movie Marathon & Reviews

Further to Erk Pod episode 135, Erk had some free movie tickets to use up by today and the only day I could use them was Saturday. And to make things worse, I could not use them on a session starting after 5pm.

My first movie that I saw was Dark Knight at 10.15am. When I say the 10.15 session of Dark Knight, of course that is when the ads and the previews started. When you combine a series of ads plus the length of Dark Knight, it’s a long time in a dark room!

The next movie was the 1.30pm session of The Bank Job which I saw after lunch. It’s lucky that the cinema that I saw the movies in had a shopping centre attached to it so I can get a decent lunch! Somewhat ironically, one of the previews was the next movie I was going to see, Tropic Thunder.

The final movie that I saw was the 4.15pm session of Tropic Thunder which I saw with Erk Pod panelist Big Jay. It was a long day but I saw three excellent movies which I will talk about in separate posts. I don’t think that I could have sat through another movie or two, though.

Movies on my to watch list based on the previews were Step Brothers, Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, Eagle Eye and finally Mirrors.

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Further information about travel mentioned in Erk Pod 135

Further to the discussion that Erk & Drue had in episode 135 of Erk Pod about travel between Sydney and Melbourne, I will add some details that we didn’t make during the discussion.

Drue mentioned the discounts that RailCorp employees receive for train travel. In general, we get free government travel (train, bus & ferry) within the State of NSW and pay full fare from the state borders. This is throughout the entire year. While on leave, we can elect to get free travel within NSW for partner or family (conditions apply). Or we can get a point to point pass for interstate travel while on leave for ourselves and partner or family (again, conditions apply) and all we’d have to pay is sleeping berth and meal charges. As an example in 1997, I did a trip Sydney – Perth – Adelaide – Melbourne – Sydney and all I had to pay was about $400 for sleeping berths that I used on the Adelaide – Perth – Adelaide and Adelaide – Melbourne sectors. If I sat up all the way (which I don’t recommend on that trip), the cost would have been $0.

Here in Australia in terms of air travel, we have 1 “full fare” airline on the domestic sector in the form of QANTAS. QANTAS serves most of the main intercapital and major regional routes between state capitals in addition to the International section of the airline. While they do offer discount fares, they are not regarded as a budget airline. On most of the same routes as QANTAS plus selected other routes, discount airlines Virgin Blue and Jetstar (an offshoot of QANTAS) also operate.  Then there are several regional airlines that operate regional services including Skywest, Rex and QANTASlink.

Also, there are bus services as well. In some areas, rail operators such as CountryLink run bus services to link with their train services. These are usually in areas where train services once existed but no longer have trains serving them. The most well known long distance bus operator is Greyhound Australia but there are several other operators as well.

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Erk Pod Maxi episode 135 – Show Notes. “Bunny Alert!”

[Right click to download episode]

Erk Pod Maxi episode 135 – 72 minutes

Welcome to episode 135 of Erk Pod with Erk and Drue back together in the Erk Pod studio for a regular weekly episode. In this episode:

  • Welcome to Erk Pod Bunny Pod!
  • Time to Bunny Alert
  • Fireworks for Obama
  • Time to Bunny Alert
  • The UK can’t escape from Obama
  • Reminding Bunny who the host and the co-host are
  • Drue’s going away on a jet plane Falcon
  • Bunny plays some theme music during set up
  • What will Bunny be like when Obama becomes President?
  • Bunny Wreck!
  • How has Drue’s week been?
  • A couple of funny Erk work stories
  • Erk gets confused about ships and boats
  • See concrete and stop, Erk!
  • What is Twitter?
  • What time is it in Chicago and SLO, Bunny?
  • “What are you doing?”
  • Erk’s “How many steps did you take today” multiple guess quiz for Drue
  • Cannabis FAIL in Bulgaria
  • How do you want the Round Table episodes spaced out? All at once or once a day? Email with feedback if you haven’t done so.
  • The biggest Lego model in history
  • Reflecting on childhood playthings like Lego and electronic kits
  • Road trip to the Meccano Set!
  • Canadian airline’s ploy to save coin
  • Airlines charging for luggage
  • Drue’s never flown!
  • Comparing prices and modes of transport between Sydney and Melbourne
  • Up and down, left and right, north and south, east and west
  • Check out Marnie’s new blog and the Bergan Blue website if you want a better looking and functional website than the one we were looking at
  • New railway podcast: “The Great Train podcast” with former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer
  • What to do if you get shot at while in a classroom at school
  • It’s always easier to give whale saving tips a week after a whale dies!
  • Letters to Mx
  • Facebook: The Movie
  • Erk’s orange jacket
  • Message from Vanya
  • Erk’s movie marathon: Dark Knight, The Bank Job, Tropic Thunder
  • Do you want to be in a TV commercial for $10 000?
  • Final episode of Erk to the Diary Room summed up in a couple of sentences
  • Erk & Drue have been watching BBUK
  • Awareness of visually impaired people after Mikey (who is blind) enters the BBUK House
  • Media strike today by Fairfax Media
  • My Double Trouble books have arrived! Guess where they came from?
  • What are we going to do for episode 150 in 15 episodes time?
  • Goodnight interweb!

Sources: Anastacia the Erk Pod Bunny, News Limited


Filed under Drue, EP Bunny, Erk Pod Maxi & Round Table, Facebook, General, Interweb, Show Notes, Twitter

Work Photos, 26/27 August 2008

More work photos! Enjoy!

Above 2 photos – I have just driven this train down from Carlingford to the terminal of the shuttle service at Clyde. The first photo was taken in the day time and the second photo was taken about an hour and a half later in the dark.

Above – A petrol train hauled by Pacific National locomotive 8005 passes my train at Clyde.

Above – A petrol tanker passes my train at Clyde.

Above – New station sign and platforms at Revesby. This station will have 4 platforms and trains will be able to terminate here from the city. This is in conjunction with the project to build two more tracks between Beverly Hills and Revesby. The far platform is fenced off for now but built at the same time but the track is due to be added later.

Above – A CountryLink Xplorer train arrives at Campbelltown on its journey from Canberra to Sydney.

Above 5 photos – The Xplorer carriage pictured here has been painted into an updated CountryLink colour scheme. This carriage was at the back of the Canberra – Sydney Xplorer train. This is the second colour scheme that the Xplorer trains have had. The first colour scheme can be seen on the first photo of this series on the front carriage of the train.


Filed under Photo Stories, Work

Green Level

Just in case you aren’t sure, you are now on the green level. This photo was taken at the multi level car park at Lidcombee that I often use.

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Updated Guests & Ideas pages

After the Round Table last weekend, I have updated the Guests and Ideas pages. On the Guests page is a complete list of guests/panelists that have appeared on Erk Pod. On the Ideas page, there is a wish list as well as a list of American states and other countries that guests/panelists have appeared from on Erk Pod.

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Filed under Erk Pod Maxi & Round Table