26 Aug 2012

A Wanderlust through IronSkies to Treasure island

I have a confession to make. I like gaming!
Due to a slightly addictive personality I have resisted buying any new games for about two and a half years.

And then I succumbed to my own rich desires when I saw that  Fallout, New Vegas was on special for $40.

Once it was in there was no reading, watching, writing or blogging as I adventure through the post apocalyptic wastes of Nevada. Of course when I say adventure I mean scream like a frightened tween as I run from pretty much everything I meet.

But of course not being a 22 year old virgin who lives in his mothers basement (for the record I live in someone else's mothers basement) I have only played sparingly.

But I have neglected to write in my blog (I know I am rubbish) for a bit so I am doing three quick reviews today.

Iron Sky 2012

Here is a synopsis:

There are Nazis on the moon!

Yeah I am done.

This is a small Finnish production who raised some of their money through Facebook and other social media sites. A friend of mine contributed to their on line petition to help get it off the computer and onto the big screen

Given that they did raise a lot of money for the production of the film I was really impressed by the production quality. I could see that they had cleverly used closed sets and CGI when appropriate to make this film work. And I think it did. The space battle was much more impressive than I expected from this movie.

There were some really genuinely hilarious parts and the rest of the movie was fine. It was not ground breaking or edgy but it delivered a fun story. Basically if you are excited by the thought the premise of Nazi's hiding on the moon since the 40's then you will probably not be disappointed.

I had a fun time watching it on the big screen 5.5 Monkeys.

 Wanderlust 2012

This was the first choice we made yesterday for a DVD to watch when my partner and I were not feeling that flash.


George and Linda Gergenblatt (Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston) have to leave their lives in New York and live with Georges offensive brother Rick (Ken Marino) in Atlanta. On the way down they end up at Elysium a crazy commune full of happy welcoming hippies. There they are surprised to find a place of peace away from their failures and terrible relatives.

Ensue hippy hyjinx

I am not a massive fan of Jennifer Aniston. Sure I fancied her in the 90's when we were both younger in a more innocent time, but now I am simply not interested in watching her in another romantic comedy.
I  do however enjoy Paul Rudd as a comedic actor and Ken Marino and David Wain (the director) were behind Role Models so I thought I would give it a go.

It was funny, and awkward and very awkward. Paul Rudd trying to psyche himself up for sex by talking dirty to himself in a mirror for a ages was great. Jennifer Aniston gave a good performance as Linda the lost wife, still trying to find herself. I was worried I would just see Rachel again, which you kinda do with Jennifer Aniston, but not to any level where she became annoying. 

I felt for the character George as he watched his wife drink the coolade. I looked at my partner and wondered if she would succumb to the lure of an alternative lifestyle if we were put into a similar position? Maybe but her love of fashion might save me. I suspect she would agree with me that she might be the weakest link in the chain, but her passion for city life, fashion and hygiene would win out.

It was a funny movie to watch when you are paying your debt to Bacchus, and had us all laughing.

6 monkeys

Treasure Island 

This is a made for TV movie with Eddie Izzard as LongJohn Silver. This my choice for yesterday and I chose it for all my usual reasons; a great story, good actors and PIRATES!

I don't think any synopsis I write will do justice to Robert Louis Stevenson's work so I am just going to write about the movie.

This version is a departure from the traditional narrative in it's depiction of the characters. Dr Livesey is a terrible coward and the Squire is just a self absorbed scoundrel. But there was a sense of accuracy about the characters, while not the men that Stevenson wrote of, they may more historically accurate.

Eddie Izzard steals every scene as LongJohn. I think one of the elements of the storeys success is that LongJohn Silver is such a complicated character; murderer, thief, rogue, but a charming man who exhibits a surprising humanity towards Jim and the others. Donald Sutherlands cameo as Captain Flint was good, and Toby Regbo was good as young Jim Hawkins. I liked Philip Glenister in the TV show Life on Mars and he gives a good performance of Captain Smollet. Elijah Wood played a good Ben Gunn, it was a surprising choice but I thought it worked.

It was engaging, funny and full of adventure. I thought the ending was weak which was highly disappointing when I had enjoyed everything up to that moment. It has inspired me to go an reread this and other old classics for fun. 

6 swash buckling monkeys from me.

14 Aug 2012

It's not Porn!

I do not think grammer  is wonderful, but it is nessesary.  I once went to a letter writing course through work. Now I have completed pretty much all of the "learnings" that my department can offer, however these courses are mandatory so a colleague and I went along. It was possibly the best course that I have ever been on. Admitedly a loony came and sat next to me, as always. But it was informative and fun. 

The reason I am bringing this up is because in my post about 50 Shades of Grey I recomended  Midnight Riot. I may have inadvertantly inferred that it was erotic literiture. 
Well it's not. 

I would like to apologise toanyone who ran out and brought it on that premise. You may have been disapointed with the lack of steamy licenciousness/ But hopefully not with the story.

So what it it about?
 Peter Grant is a young policeman in the London met. He is ambitious, intelligent and doomed to a life of paperwork. But while working a murder case in Covent gardern his life is changed after he finds an eyewitness to the crime. But Peters problem is that the witness is also dead.  Peters encounter with the ghost also introduces him to Inspector Nightingale and the world of paranormal investigation. 
Ensue mysterious hyjinks.
I liked this book very much.  I was reading this while I was meant to be reading Fifity shades of Grey.  But this was more fun, and the writing is considerably better
Ben Aaronovitch the author has done extensive research into police procedure and also research into jazz, mythology and African English culture. The character Peter Grant is African and this aspect of the narrative is well written into the story. I used to live in South London and I had quite a few Nigerians as neighbors, and reading about his mum brought back fond memories of Elephant and Castle for me.
The characters are believable and the story is well told.  Ben Aaronovitch is a highly experienced writer who mainly writes teleplays. He is well known for writing Doctor Who stories, and this is his first book. But it is a good one. He balances Peters (and our) introduction to this paranormal London with the mysteries this London contain without losing pace with the investigation.

You could make some comparisons to Jim Butchers  Dresden files but I think this book is much better.  While both being about urban fantasy, Aaronovitch has created a more plausible and likeable character and world.

If  you think this might be your sort of thing then try it.
Eight magical Monkeys