Thursday, 26 November 2015

Lankhmar: Swords Against Death

Join Fafhrd and Grey Mouser as they have divers adventures!\

When we left them, they were leaving Lankhmar, with no intention of ever going back. Within mere moments they decide to go back because... that's where the plot is? What follows then is various adventures, with the two of them having exciting times. Well, sometimes. Often is one of them or the other having the adventure. With, it has to be said, a favouritism towards the Mouser. Not that Fafhrd doesn't get a story or two, but the focus is clear.

If this is what the rest of the books are like, I might not bother blogging them. I can't say there was any particular adventure that stood out. These days, these are very familiar stories, although here is where a lot of them started. There are still a few new ones and twists I couldn't see coming, but still... and there are more than one story where I felt the Lovecraft influence in there.

Definitely going to continue with this, we'll see if it ends up here.


Read more!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

It's a Festival of Magic!

Because they were giving away tickets, me and some family members when to a matinee performance of Chuck Jones and Company, a part of the World Festival of Magic "NZ"!

We got just over an hour of magic, family friendly stuff, with Chuck Jones being the performer of the day. There were a lot of classic bits (swords into boxes and switching people), and I spotted how some of them worked... although there are many that I have no idea about.

Still... the main point was that I had fun, as did the others in the audience. (It was at the Riley Center at the Wellington High School. Which wasn't even half way fill.)

I'm not sure about the actual price of tickets (yay free!), but hey, if you've got kids, this is a good outing.


Read more!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Beyond the Hills

If I was watching these on Netflix, I'm sure the suggestion algorithm would be very confused. This is a Romanian drama Beyond the Hills.

Voichita is now at a monastery (nunnery? they are all women except for the leading father), and her friend Alina turns up, wanting to be with her. (I'm not sure how clear that relationship is supposed to be.) But Voichita is wanting to stay there, and yet is drawn by Alina to leave. Then Alina starts causing problems, and the movie takes a strange turn to deal with Alina seemingly being possessed. (Again, I'm not clear on whether or now she's faking this.) And then, in the last half hour (this over 2 1/2 hours) it takes another twist, and ends on... I'm not entirely sure.

While I obviously am not exactly au fait with the plot, and wondered if I could stick it out, it did start to grow on me and I wanted to see what happened. Partly because the direction of the movie kept changing. And I wasn't sure which character I was supposed to side with.

Ultimately, this is probably a good movie, I'm not the one to get it properly though.


Read more!

Monday, 23 November 2015

Doctor Who 9.10

I have no idea if the big thing in this episode was well known to those that watch trailers and read magazines and such...and I'm still not sure if I believe it actually happened.

The initial mystery is provoking enough, and then there's the padding about trying to find the missing street. But just before she turns I thought "Maisie Williams is in this isn't she?" and there she is. And my investment starting dropping. Then Clara takes the clock, and I thought (thinking back to an earlier episode) "this is what the Doctor needs to solve that particular problem". And then...

Um... I'm going to go ahead and say "what a stupid death". Clara opens herself to death to save... just who the hell is Rigsy anyway? Can't remember him, but I presume this is a character we saw last season, and yet he clearly made no impression on me. If they do stick with her death, I will give the series an actual impact, but it didn't feel like much of an end scene. And Clara didn't even make it to the end of the series? Huh.

Then that is all overshadowed by the Doctor being teleported away by what it seems is the Time Lords. All over companion leavings end up with the Doctor looking sober and then the credits. Not here. Just another reason to find this suspicious.

No doubt Clara and Maisie (she changes name, so why should I bother to remember it) will be back, so we'll just wait for that.

Next week: After the build up from the end of this episode... they jump into a slow paced character piece. Let's see if that's as bad as it sounds.


Read more!

Sunday, 22 November 2015


Okay Neal, I'll give you this opportunity. It's a fairly recent book, so I can't say I'm coming in with too much knowledge about something, so yeah, this should work.

This book is... exposition and world building. There are some activities that happen in this book, which centres around Zula getting kidnapped and taken hostage, but, to be honest, this is just an excuse to go somewhere and deliver more exposition. Which means that when something "exciting" does happen, there is absolutely no tension whatsoever. And to really get places, he brings in around a dozen or so characters. So when the big finale happens, he pops around to different characters, popping back in time to explain events, and... again... tension is dissolved before it ever gets a chance to go.

That's it. I'm done. All his books are just world building with a veneer of characters. You want to world build? Fine, but don't pretend events are happening. Just go with it.

Unless someone can point me to a story of his which isn't basically this, I'm not listening to any more audiobooks of his works.


Read more!

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Nightmare on 1st Street

A new franchise, with the man with the claws. Which we get to see how he makes!

I was surprised by how quickly this gets into it. No real set up of developing how the character came to be, just in with going after a (young - as in the script not as in actor) woman. She wakes up, gets with her friends, find out they are having similar nightmares… and then she gets killed. Rather brutally. This is no happy charming Freddy with the quips, this is Fred, kill ya dead! And the parents are idiots “just sleep, it’ll be fine”. With others dying, Nancy gets the idea to pull Fred out of dreamspace, but fails. However, she does deal with Fred, and puts an end to him… with the next scene being so out of place that it’s obviously a dream, and Fred is still around.

This is more about the reaction to Fred killing than the dream kills we get later. We also eventually do get a backstory, but very limited to ‘he’s a bad man, we killed him’, and there’s no hint as to how he became a dream monster. There are odd moments of Christian imagery, which would suggest Fred is a demon, but nothing is made of that.

An unusual movie that is more about the outside perspective of killings… but that won’t last.


Read more!

Friday, 20 November 2015

Lois and Clark 2

Back with the blue tights. Here we are, with more of the same?

Okay there are some changes. Lex (who obviously isn't dead) does come back for one episode, is now bald (as long as you don't look too hard for the bald cap seam), and is rather pathetic. Instead, the main threat of the season is Intergang, a gang of criminals, as you would expect from the name. Which means this season is more of the same of bog standard low level threats with no real menace.

Oh, and this is the season with HG Wells in it. Although I think there's one with Jack the Ripper, so he might be back?

Dead Cain is still good, although when dressed in the blue tights, he has a constant habit of standing with arms crossed, which makes me think he's trying to hide part of the costume (unlike hiding his face, which seems to have a sun tan now). Teri Hatcher... I'm going to say it. She's not good. Why were we so enamoured of her back then? And then there's Michael Landis... by which I mean, there's no Michael Landis, as we have a new Jimmy, played by Justin Whalin. And we also lost Tracey Scoggins... so no characters worth watching there.

And at the end of the season, they were clearly sure of another one, as they end on a cliffhanger involving yet again Lois and marriage.


Read more!