Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dan Dare movie: Sam Worthington confirms role

The original 1950s and 60s Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future

According to, and others, Sam Worthington, whose recent films include "Terminator: Salvation", "Avatar" and "Clash of the Titans", today confirmed he will be appearing in a feature film based on Frank Hampson's classic sci-fi comic strip creation "Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future". The actor hasn't as yet confirmed what role he will be playing in the new film, but I think it will be very surprising if it's not the title character.

Although Dan Dare first appeared in the Eagle comic 60 years ago almost to the day (April 14th, 1950 in fact), amazingly this new Dan Dare movie will be the first ever appearance of the famous spaceman on the "big screen". So far he has only ever appeared in comic strip stories, computer games, TV adverts and a CGI cartoon TV series.

The 2007/2008 Virgin Comics version of Dan Dare

It seems that the film will be based on the 2007/2008 Virgin Comics reboot of the character by Garth Ennis and Gary Erskine (pictured above), rather than being based directly on the 1950s and 60s original (pictured top). Perhaps not entirely ideal for Dan Dare purists, but better than nothing I suppose. One thing is for sure, this film has an awful lot to live up to - Dan Dare is considered to be one of the world's best ever comic strips by industry professionals and genre fans alike.

To find out all about Dan Dare, visit my sites at, and

(See also here)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

2010 Oscar Winners

Following on from my post in February about this year's Oscar nominees, the winners were announced on Sunday just gone and I'm happy to say that James Cameron's "Avatar" won three awards, Disney/Pixar's "Up" won two awards and "Star Trek" won one.

Sadly for me though, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "The Princess and the Frog" didn't win any of the awards they were nominated for.

The biggest winner at this year's awards was the Iraq War film "The Hurt Locker" with 6 Oscars, including the first ever Best Director award for a woman, Kathryn Bigelow. Many congratulations to her! You can read full details of who won what here:

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Sony fix PS3 problem, 24 hours later

Sony say they have now fixed the worldwide PlayStation 3 problem. So that was a nice PS3-free 24 hours for most of the world then!

I was absolutely right - it was caused by PS3's wrongly thinking this year was a leap year, and then crashing when they discovered it wasn't February 29th after connecting to the PlayStation Network yesterday. Double Triple Doh!!!

Give me a job testing your products Sony, I'll make sure you never suffer such an incredibly embarrasing system failure again! (I've been an IT professional since 1985, which was before the world wide web and all modern digital technology, including PlayStations, were invented. And I'm only 42!)

Anyway, apparently you can all now safely switch on your PS3's and connect to the PlayStation Network, and the bug should go away automatically. If it doesn't, you will be able to reset your system clocks yourselves now, and that will fix everything.

Personally, I'd suggest selling your PS3 and getting yourslf a Nintendo Wii instead - Super Mario Galaxy 2 is due out this year, which will be the best game ever, for sure.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Sony helps Toyota to wreck confidence in Japanese reliability

For as long as I can remember, Japanese products were always amongst the highest quality and most reliable items that money could buy. Not any more though.

Following hot on the heels of the Toyota worldwide "safety" recall scandal comes today's (slightly less serious - nobody's died yet) news that fellow Japanese industrial giant Sony has also managed to unleash a major product failure catastrophe upon the world.

Every single original "fat" version of their flagship PlayStation 3 games console failed to work properly today, all over the world. Apparently the newer slim model seems to be fine, but since most of the millions of PS3's sold so far are of the larger variety, that's not a lot of help. No-one anywhere with the original model can connect to the PlayStation Network, no games any of those people have ever downloaded from the network will work, and no disc-based games with trophy functionality (i.e. most games) will work either. Oops.

It seems a calendar bug of some sort in the firmware might be the cause of this rather epic system failure, because the problem only started today, March 1st. Is it some sort of leap year screw-up I wonder? It isn't a leap year this year of course, but perhaps part of the PS3 firmware thinks it's February 29th today resulting in an unresolvable conflict elsewhere in the system. When I used to work in IT for big blue-chip corporations complex programming errors like that would slip through testing unnoticed from time to time, because not too many people would think to test for the relevant erroneous scenarios in advance of them actually happening.

Anyway, if you've got one of those original PS3's and you haven't recently switched it on and gone online, DON'T!!!

Keep checking the official US PlayStation blog (using your computer, not your PS3) and wait until Sony announce that they have fixed the bug!

Maybe now's a good time to buy one of the unaffected slim models: