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Guardians of the Galaxy the Sandpit review


Yesterday I had to visit my doctor for myself and to take my son as well so once we were finished visiting the sawbones I gave in to my son’s repeated pleading and we went to see “Guardians of the Galaxy” and you know what? I it wasn’t a bad movie at all it both engaged and entertained us both which isn’t too bad from where I was sitting:

Marvel Studios’ new superhero film Guardians of the Galaxy is a smart, funny, self-aware bubblegum movie; like the recent X-Men film Days of Future Past, it features a retro playlist indicating an increasing possibility that middle youth, as well as actual youth, is an important target audience.

Chris Pratt (from TV’s Parks and Recreation) plays the Han-Solo-ish intergalactic freebooter Peter Quill, whose cynicism masks an inner hurt: he was abducted from Earth as a little kid just after his mom had died of cancer – a classic touch of comic-book fantasy, alchemising pain into superheroism – and always carries around the old-fashioned Sony Walkman with a mixtape his mother made for him. (A very prominent British producer once told me pop soundtrack riches like these induce stunned awe in indie film-makers – only the big studios can pay the staggering copyright fees.)

Quill has found himself in possession of a mysterious orb that certain ruthlessly villainous parties would like to have, and this compels him to team up with a ragtag crew of space adventurers whose story takes place in surroundings made to look like classic photorealist sci-fi paperback covers. There is a huge Tolkienian creature in the shape of a tree called Groot (played in motion-capture by Vin Diesel), the enormous musclebound, oddly coloured hombre Drax (Dave Bautista), a strangely beautiful female alien with the off-puttingly biblical name of Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Rocket, a cunning little talking raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper, with hints of Nathan Lane’s Timon from The Lion King and the meerkat in the TV advert who says “simples”.


The makers of this film managed to get the right mix of outrageous action with believable and likable characters. Its not at all  deep and meaningful, instead its a roller-coaster ride of colour and movement with a quite satisfactory conclusion. My boy loved the film almost as much as he loved having the bragging rights engendered by seeing it in the first day of its release. Me? Well at least I did not retreat to the land of nod as I did for the Lego Movie so I rate it as a good four on the five star Sandpit scale and that means you won’t regret paying yer money for the seat if you are accompanying a small person for a day out .

Cheers Comrades

The million hit Blog


If you are reading this it means that the hit counter for the Sandpit has ticked over the one million hits milestone  which is worthy of note in anyone’s  language, more so in the case of this blog because for most of its existence there has been a sustained campaign to harass and denigrate yours truly and the other authors who post here.


I started blogging on a whim mainly because I needed to register with Blogger to comment on an Anti Andrew Bolt  blog, I have  changed the name and the platform on which this blog is published several times until I settled upon the current title and I am  very happy to n0w share this blog with three other regular contributors who ad greatly to the diversity of  the posts published here. The heart of blogging is not so much the posts themselves but rather it is the comment threads that those posts inspire and over the years we have had some very lively discussion threads that have given their participants lots of fun.


You see fun is what this blog is all about. Even when we have covered the most serious issues I like to think that we can do so with enough levity to keep it friendly.


So in the style of an awards night I have to offer a very sincere thank you, firstly to my fellow authors Ray Dixon (and his alter ego SockPuppet),  GD and to  Leon Bertrand, further I want to thank our readers for coming back on a regular basis to enjoy the musings on this page especially those of you who disagree with what I and the other authors write because without that disagreement we would not have the lively arguments in the comment threads. I also want to thank my wife and family for putting up with this sometimes grumpy blogger on a daily basis and last but not least I want to thank our family dog Bonnie for reminding me on a regular basis that I am only human and that nothing is more important than “walkies “

Cheers to all of our Comrades



Half a million page views at the Sandpit

I know that statistical miles stones are really meaningless but that does not stop you feeling pretty good when you reach them. Well if you keep an eye on the hit counter at the bottom of the page some time today I expect that you will see the counter tick over t0 the magical “500,000” mark . That is pretty good for a modest blog written as a bit of fun .

Thanks very much to all of those who take the time to read what I and my friends put up  here and a special thanks to all of those who take the time to comment and argue with what is on this web-page. Commentary and argument is the life blood of blogging and long may it keep pumping at the Sandpit.

Cheers Comrades


It took me five  attempts and a minor argument (with my beautiful wife) to buy the tickets online but eventually I succeeded so after driving for nearly an hour, purchasing and smuggling in some food, we  found ourselves sitting down in a cinema waiting for the feature to start.

definitely worth seeing in 3-D

Of course as others have noted there is a definite political bias but it is much more about corporate greed than a critique of any particular government and even  I can actually appreciate where that is coming from. Lots of things in the plot are rather dodgy like just how the individuals ‘plug into” their avatars no matter how distant they are from them but  this is a fantastic ride and the best thing is to just go with it and not think too deeply about just what it means. Essentially what Cameron has done here is to take the Gaia concept and cranked it up  to eleven until the connection between living things is more physical, rather  than just metaphysical and I am sure that the Greenies are going to love it for that. The aging hippies are going to love the painting of the indigenous natives  as noble savages and they will love the pseudo mysticism and   feel vindicated in their support for the similar causes in the real world.

I had never seen a film in 3-D before and I was pleasantly surprised how well it worked and how quickly you just go with it . The Movie was of course James Cameron’s “Avatar” and despite the politics of the plot I found myself liking it very much. I loved the look of the environment , the seamlessness of the CGI elements and the live action, the acting and the sound design. As a roller-coaster ride there is none better and when it comes down to it isn’t that just what we all want in a cinema experience?

Cheers Comrades


Its not about climate change

In a previous post i opined that Richard Branson may be having second thoughts about his commitment to the warminists faith, really i should have realised that the only god that Branson worships is Mammon.

Virgin Galactic’s space tourism flights will also give scientists a better understanding of climate change, founder Sir Richard Branson said today.

He announced that his spaceships, due to start launching tourists in 2011, will carry monitoring instruments to measure the atmosphere at high altitudes.

They will gather data on levels of greenhouse gases such as CO2 in relatively understudied regions of the Earth’s atmosphere, such as the upper stratosphere, mesosphere and lower thermosphere.

Virgin Galactic
The Virgin Galactic will be launched from mothership the ‘White Knight’ to take tourists into space. It will support the rocket called SpaceShipTwo, which will separate at 52,000ft taking passengers into suborbit

The company would collaborate with The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which produces environmental data, including weather forecasts and climate information.

The NOAA makes most of its measurements at a maximum altitude of 5miles or around 25,000ft.  But the first phase of Virgin Galactic will see Space Ship Two carry six passengers and two pilots up to 68miles for sub-orbital flights.

Sir Richard announced the initiative during a video message to thousands of space industry delegates at the 59th International Astronautical Congress being held in Glasgow this week.

He said: ‘To my mind there is no greater or more immediate challenge than that posed by climate change.

‘It’s therefore more than fitting that the very first science to be conducted on board our new vehicles may be specifically directed at increasing our understanding and knowledge of the atmosphere and from there, to better inform our decisions as to the most effective ways of dealing with climate change.’

I really think that even the most ardent Warminista should join me in saying that Branson has no interest in gathering scientific data on the flights of this machine (and I say this an enthusiast for space travel) he is saying this to assuage the green guilt and to offset the negative publicity that this enterprise will generate against  his carefully cultivated green credentials.
Not buying the bollocks Comrades

They are among us….

Edgar Mitchell was the Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 14

Edgar Mitchell was the Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 14

Aliens have contacted humans several times but governments have hidden the truth for 60 years, the sixth man to walk on the moon has claimed.

Apollo 14 astronaut Dr Edgar Mitchell, said he was aware of many UFO visits to Earth during his career with NASA but each one was covered up.

Dr Mitchell, 77, said during a radio interview that sources at the space agency who had had contact with aliens described the beings as ‘little people who look strange to us.’

He said supposedly real-life ET’s were similar to the traditional image of a small frame, large eyes and head.

Chillingly, he claimed our technology is ‘not nearly as sophisticated’ as theirs and “had they been hostile”, he warned ‘we would be been gone by now’.

Dr Mitchell, along with with Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard, holds the record for the longest ever moon walk, at nine hours and 17 minutes following their 1971 mission.

Personally I love a good conspiracy theory story when it comes to fiction and the Roswell UFO story just won’t die. Heck I even loved the TV series “Roswell” which although far from perfect worked for me. I don’t actually believe any of it though. Now I am sure that this must be proof positive for some of my readers because Mitchell is after all a scientist…

Cheers Comrades


I just love this sort of stuff…

It is the first time a spacecraft has successfully landed at one of the planet’s polar regions. The last attempt in 1999 failed, adding to Mars’s reputation as the Bermuda Triangle of the solar system. Half of all robotic probes sent to explore the Red Planet have failed or vanished, sometimes without a trace. Only five out of 11 previous attempts to land have succeeded.

Stunning new pictures of Mars as probe records bleak polar region

in picture or click to enlarge
May they live long and prosper in this enterprise Comrades
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