Saturday, 13 February 2016

Friday the 10th

This is the one most people remember. Jason! In! SPAAAAACE!

In sort of present day, Jason gets frozen, and is resurrected in the future. Due to people having sex, he comes back to "life" and starts a new killing spree. Then is stopped by an android. Then he becomes an android. And killing continues!

While the trope of Jason being activated by sex is common, having watched the movies they didn't really do that too much. But suddenly this movie feels like it's playing to tropes and so Jason is up when sex happens. And then we get Terminator Jason, so it's not taking itself even slightly seriously.

Amusingly, this features Lexa Doig and Lisa Ryder as a human and a robot, and later they would both be in Andromeda with their roles reversed.

This is fun, but more Jason mocking itself than an actual entry in the series.


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Friday, 12 February 2016

Assignment 5

This is, of course, the only one not written by PJ Hammond. As is clearly evident from how the opening title card is modified as it scrolls upwards.

In this we are replaying Nine Little Indians, which is not revealing anything unknown. The time aspect is because Muldoon is replicating the house from 30 years ago, Time can replay the events from back then and change them to wipe out humanity... which would stop the events to change time from happening... but then there are quite a few issues I have with this episode.

It is also clear that the episode was swapped back and forth between the writers. One obvious example is that Howard is creeping about the place, with close up shots on his squeaking shoes... but nothing comes of that. Build up with no pay off. And the events of the last episode come largely out of nowhere. And S&S are just observers for most of that episode.

It's not a bad story, but doesn't feel like proper S&S, because PJ was too busy to write another episode at the time. The other writers introduce some new items, and go for obvious romantic angle between them. We could say it is the parts S&S are playing, Cavendish, but it feels more pandering to the fans. One thing I will give them, we get a neat change of how their teleportation works.

No doubt if the series had continued there would have been other writers involved. And if Big Finish have taught up anything, it's that that wouldn't necessarily be a good thing.


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Thursday, 11 February 2016

Peggy Carter

While Agents isn't happening, we have the stand in of Agent Peggy Carter, spin off of Captain America and prequel to Agents, of a sort.

Peggy Carter is an agent of SSR, a woman in a man's world, trying to prove she is more than capable. And in the first series, it was that plus a lot of strangeness that lead to Peggy beating people up. Because she is a bruiser character, more brawn than brains (although she has to be brains as well). However, in the second series, it feels more about being a woman in a man's world, and less about other aspect. There are other aspects also on display, but the supernatual side feels more confused. Or maybe I'm just not paying as much attention because it's less interesting.

Either way, this second series doesn't feel as exciting or engaging as the first one. Did they put everything into the first one? Or is this just a fizzle until we get a third? Either way, I'm not eagerly awaiting like last time.


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Wednesday, 10 February 2016


It’s a weird house story that decides to become a supernatural story, but trips and falls over its own feet.

An author and family moves into a murder house, because the author thinks it’ll be a great book. He finds a projector and film canisters that shows previous murders, and he starts getting spooked. Not helped by strange sounds and odd scares. Eventually, they decide to leave, but too late, and then oops!

Around halfway through the movie, it decides to up the supernatural flavour. Up to that point, it’s decent, a jump scare or two that got me, but then we must have ghosts. Which are represented by ghost children appearing behind the author but disappearing before he can see them… at which point, I’m wondering ‘who’s this supposed to scare?’. It’s not scaring the character, because he doesn’t see them. It’s not scaring the audience because we just start expecting it and so impact is gone. And from then on, I’m just annoyed and confused by what the movie is trying to do. And the solution as to who did the murders don’t make the slightest bit of sense when you consider the strength needed…

Just no. I gather there’s a sequel (in that I suppose they’re trying to set up a franchise with the concept), but I’m not feeling it.


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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Steve Jobes

Is this a biopic? Is this a docudrama? Is this just three connected bits relating to one man? Yep, I'd say the latter.

The set up is three different press conferences, although we don't get the conferences themselves, but the build up to. Which feature the same group of people and very similar problems and dramatic beats. So... it is sort of just one story told three times with some character advances.

The character pieces are such that it's obvious that Aaron Sorkin wrote it, with lots of fast paced, high tension moments, but hardly any plot. Which is largely common Sorkin screenplay. Still enjoyable and watchable, but don't expect much to actually happen.

The various actors are fine with a constant performance from Michael Fassbender, and solid work from Kate Winslet. The others feel more like frequent cameos. The production values are fine, as it is easy for present day to replicate the past.

Decent movie, and it movies along well enough for two hours, but I wouldn't say this is a great look into the mind of Mr Jobs.


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Monday, 8 February 2016


It’s a horror action comedy… and actually manages to blend those elements together well!

We’re in a bar (so nicely limited set again), when a chap bursts in and announces monsters are on the way. And then it’s on, as the people in the bar try to survive and actually make a stand against the monsters. People die, but not all, so that’s good, right?

An unusual element straight out of the gate is when it introduces someone, we get a still shot, and information displayed as to name, job… and life expectancy. The movie is perfectly aware of the tropes, so when the kid is introduced, we are assured that he will live a long and healthy life. And the hero is going to be here for the movie… who then quickly dies and is replaced by the heroine.

So that makes it decent. The monster costumes… are a little basic (bad mask and tattered clothes), and the quick cuts are a little too quick to work out what exactly is going on, but the movie is having fun and brings us along for the ride.

Worth checking out.


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Sunday, 7 February 2016

Behind Closed Doors

I saw this on sale, and was interested. It's a book about someone who grew up (and left) the Exclusive Brethren, the NZ branch.

This follows Ngaire Thomas, who was born into the EB, and had a rather reasonable childhood (in so far as an exclusivity based community has). As she became a young woman, she conflicted more with EB priests and their guidelines (they aren't rules). She even married an EB man because she was part of that lifestyle, but still tried to have her own life. Until she (and family) was evicted and she had to start anew in the outside.

While I'm sure the EB would deny any and all charges, they do come across a lot better than they could have been portrayed. This is a story I've come across before, a very insular community, run basically as a cult of personality, while a woman tries to be herself.

From this, it sounds like the EB is imploding. Bon voyage, is all I can say.


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