Sunday, 31 May 2015

Pacific Pearl

I was away for most of the past two weeks. Where? On a cruise! Two full days sailing, then around some islands (which I'll detail in the next posts), and then two days back. Weee!

On board, I had my own room with a port hole, up on deck 10. That was largely fine, until on the way back when the waves got quite high, and I was... needing a little medical help to get through. I was mostly alright, but the pills helped.

There are two restaurants you can eat at, one where you sit down at a table with others and have a proper meal from a menu, the other being the buffet. I went to the buffet for each meal so I could control what I had better. Beyond that, you are paying for everything (the only free drinks were water, bad tea and bad coffee and juice in the morning). Any drinks, you pay. Any food at any other place, you pay. And think cafe prices.

There were also shows every night. Most of them were fine, a couple... were rather weak, and the only reason I watched was because I didn't have anything else to do at the time. Otherwise, the main activity I attended was the quiz events, which I mainly hooked up with another couple, and... well... I won a fair bit of tat so yay?

Would I cruise again? Not keen on it, but not completely against it. Maybe a one way trip so I could fly back and not have that bad weather?

Pictures of the ship are available.


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Saturday, 30 May 2015

SIR: Viper

Another Knight Rider inspired series, and they have a car with powers. But it doesn't talk. And the powers are that it changes into a slightly different car. Oh the times the guy gets away because he changes the car he’s in and they never suspect a thing...

But aside from that, it really did come off as a lesser Knight Rider, with similar crime of the week adventures, and always a chance to show off the Viper car changing its shell. (It’s like the obligatory transformation sequence in magical girl anime shows.)

It almost died after one season, but came back for three more. The hell? I'm not sure if I ever saw more than the first one, and thought that was the end of it. Guess after all this, I have yet more to see and remember.


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Friday, 29 May 2015

SIR: Strange Luck

Want a show with a gimmick? How about the guy has lots of coincidences happen around him? Usually useful ones? A show where the guy doesn't pay for coffee because he can lucky get a scratch ticket to payout within a few picks.

Such is Strange Luck, a one season show that had odd adventures every week where Chance (yes, that was his name) Harper had things go his way because that was his ability, even if it didn't seem so at the time. One episode started with that riddle 'a frogman is found dead in the woods'. Another one had his chance powers transfer to his friend. And the last episode ended with tying into the X-Files!

As much as I remember this series fondly, and desperately want to see it again.., it's not available on DVD! Inconceivable!


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Thursday, 28 May 2015

SIR: Seven Days

Again another show in which missed the pilot. But the basic idea is that when catastrophe hits, this exclusive team needs to find out what happened, then send the (lone reckless horny) pilot dude back in a device which goes back seven days who can then spill the beans and stop it from happening.

Often, they only just got there in time, because you need tension. And yes, there was the obligatory evil twin episode (the bad part of the good guy being split off when travelling back in time badly once). This even lasted three seasons.

However, there were some basic problems I had with the show that were never addressed. If the pilot goes back through time… what happens to his past self? The team is always surprised whenever the pilot contacts them, so what happened to the pilot self that was supposed to be with them? Did he disappear and they never noticed? Does he integrate his selves? Never explained. And neither is what happens to the travel device, which is a one-shot deal and gets wrecked. There’s the one device they have that they will send him back if needed, but what about the ruins? And although they never did this, I totally expected an episode where he had to go back more than once, chaining his way backwards through time. An obvious trick they missed.

And there's now another (completely unrelated) series now called 7 Days, so no-one remembers this one.


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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

SIR: Starman

No, not the David Bowie song... although that may have been an unacknowledged source? Anyway, this follows on from the movie starring Jeff Bridges, although this one starred Robert Hays. The baby that was created in the end of the film has grown up to mid teens, and Starman returns to be his father and search for the missing mother.

Which means they are on the run, going from town to town, trying to avoid the authorities who want their hands on some alien works. With how the Starman creates his body, they could easily recast, and we also have the return of the magic balls, although these ones are reusable.

Another one series shot, but it contained some good character moments.


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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

SIR: Riptide

Now what if we had a Knight Rider type show where the vehicle was the gimmick, only this one doesn't talk. And is a boat. An ordinary boat. So, really, a crime of the week show set near a marina that conveniently has the bad guys going out on a boat so the good guys can chase after him. (And this was ripped off in the Simpsons.)

One thing I particularly remember was that there were three people (okay, guys) in the main team. Two jock types and a nerd type with technical skills. And yes, they were all appreciated in their way, even if the nerd guy was the butt of a joke or two. One incident in particular I remember (and I'm sure it's from this show, and even in the opening titles, but not in the ones I found) was that they came to a fence with a locked gate. The jocks scale the fence on either side of the gate, while the nerd guy picks the lock, and they end up on the other side at the same time, with a shared look of 'oh, we could have gone that way'. A brilliant way to show off the core characteristics.

Another series without the full DVDs available.


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Monday, 25 May 2015

SIR: Quantum Leap

Jump around to anywhere in (recent) history and have an adventure around an individual life. This is a different way to sort of do an anthology series, ie a show with different characters and basically different leads each episode. Except there’s the continual presence of Sam and Al to provide meta-commentary on what should be happening and to help make it happen.

When this series came out, the future with the Leaping device was set in 1999, with techno glow everywhere. When the novelisation came out (written much later), going into the lead up to the pilot, they explain the outfits away as being 'ironic' and not at all the style at the time.

However, by the last season, the writers had given up on the 'everyman' scenario, and seeing how many famous people they could interact with. Then we hit the final episode, which ended up being one of the best ways to send out a series ever.


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Sunday, 24 May 2015

SIR: Man from Atlantis

Patrick Duffy is a man... and man with memory loss. He can survive in the ocean, swimming happily, and can survive great pressure. Oh, and there’s a large man who wants him for his own evil purposes. But that's all right, because there's a female scientist with her own ship (which Patrick ends up taking command of in the second season for some reason) to help him out.

Most adventures are 'bad things are happening in the sea, send the Man from Atlantis in to solve them'. Although there was also a notable twin episode, where his identical brother (maybe with a moustache?) is a cowboy in a town and goes around shooting people. (And sometimes encounters goofy monsters.) While he gets a few clues, the man never gets back to Atlantis during the course of the series.

And there was also a comic book that ran for a dozen issues, so check those out too.


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Saturday, 23 May 2015

SIR: Knight Rider

Another one everyone remembers! Again, basically a detective/crime of the week series, but with a talking car! A sleek looking talking car! That’s has more personality than any of the other characters! Who wouldn't watch! (Not to mention Bonnie, rrrrr.)

This show even pulled the evil twin trope twice! Evil Michael… and Evil Kitt! Otherwise, the episodes seemed to be a checklist of the car’s powers. Hyperboost, check. Seat eject, check. Someone trying to steal it and Kitt defending himself with hilarious results, check.

I have also seen Knight Rider 2000. And Team Knight Rider. And the Knight Rider reboot, which didn't have a talking car, so what's even the point?


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Friday, 22 May 2015

SIR: Greatest American Hero

Now a lot of people remember this. And they even made three seasons of it! Aliens turn up and give a superhero suit to Random Good Guy, and he also gets an FBI helper. Together, and with Good Guy's fiancee, they have random wacky adventures!

The main gimmick, aside from the supersuit, was that Ralph had no idea how to use the suit properly, because they lost the operating manual (in a later episode, the aliens come back, and give them a new manual… and they lose that one too!). So while he had flying, it was flailing flying, and heat vision that worked in the wrong direction and... yeah, this was not serious.

And yet it did tackle serious issues. Ralph is a high school teacher of (elderly) teen youths, and gets caught up in their problems. And he tackles the imminent threat of war breaking out. That said, the best remembered episode is the one where he fights an alien from space and gets magnetised. And second the one where Bill gets possessed by a ghost lady.

Great series, it is on DVD, and one of them comes with the theme song built in!


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Thursday, 21 May 2015

SIR: Early Edition

While this isn't very actiony, it does have a solid gimmick behind it. Gary gets the paper in the morning every day... except it's for the next day! WHAT???? And so he goes through and turns around hard luck stories, and, more actiony, stops crimes from before they are happening.

Gary is played by Kyle Chandler, and he has a white friend played by Fisher Stevens. And filling in for the token characters, we have Marissa Clark, played by Shanésia Davis-Williams, who is female, black and blind. She beats out Georgi La Forge for combining tokenisms!

One scene I recall is Gary getting himself some money (because he doesn't have a job, but he does have a cat - it comes with the paper) by going to the TAB. He has to be careful about how much he bets (one episode he meets someone who took advantage to get wealth and finds out what happens in that case), but by the end of the scene all the other punters are waiting for him to bet and then place the same bet!

This lasted four seasons, and I'm not sure how many of those I saw. I definitely started strong with watching it, but over time, it couldn't sustain me.


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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

SIR: Automan

I missed the pilot episode of this show, and remember my dad trying to describe it to me. That didn't come across well. I thought Automan was this blocky computer CGI guy, with a sprite called Dot on a stick... That wasn't quite true.

In many ways, this is simply a detective series with the spin that the computer guy has access to a 'cool' dude to help him out. And there's the Autocar, and Autoplane (which I think was a helicopter) and probably even an Autoboat, but I don’t remember that.

Again, this only lasted for a season, with only 13 episodes made. Why do I remember these one-shot series? Endless repeats, I'm guessing.


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Tuesday, 19 May 2015


From what I remember, this show was set on some random planet, and Ark II was... basically a van that a team of three people drove around in having adventures. Like a more serious Lost in Space. Except this one had a jetpack! I totally remember the jetpack, and that the terrain was essentially a desert environment... and that's about it.

And yet when I look at the wiki page, this was in fact Earth. Huh.

It was quite fun, and I do remember making sure I tried to catch all the episodes. It even lasted for three years! (Although only one season - with endless repeats.) And yet, this isn’t currently available on DVD, huh.


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Monday, 18 May 2015

SIR: Shows I Remember

These are shows I remember, back from the 1980s and 1990s (okay, some late 1970s). This is more of the shows that were gimmick based, actiony or sci-fi in some way (and they all happen to be American so there is that). While some of these are remembered fondly... a lot of these are less worthy of memory space. I saw these when I was a kid, and something about them stayed in my memory.

Some of these shows I'm sure you've heard of. Others... you might not have. And for good reason, in many cases. But before I get into it, some quick shots of shows I'm not going to talk about.

MANTIS: This show was about a disabled person who used a powersuit to solve crimes. I saw one episode, and it was not good.

Six Million Dollar Man: This is too well known. And I remember the episode where there was a twig that represented a force field that Steve had to jump over... but that's about it. Not a lot of other memories associated with this.

Psi Factor: I want to talk about this, but not in this series. It was... weird. And not very well done. And only one season (three or four), with Matt Frewer in it, got released on DVD.

X-Files: Of course I can talk about the X-Files, but... that deserves more time as well.


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Sunday, 17 May 2015

Avenge Grime

Ah, Asylum, how we've been waiting for your latest effort. Title evoking a current block buster? Yep, that's them. And yet, at least they are willing to go with female lead heroes unlike certain studios. At least the title is obvious, Avengers, because of course, and Grimm, because of what they are ripping off.

Rumpelstilkskin attacks Snow White's kingdom and escapes with her into another world, our world. Her fellow Princesses (who all have Princess Powers, because this is ripping off super heroes) follow her, along with Red who is after the Wolf. On our world, Rumpy is now mayor of a corrupted city, so the princesses need to band together to Avenge their world (yep, they actually say that).

And yet, because this is the Asylum, don't expect greatness playing this out. The princesses are never actually properly introduced, and it's only by inference that we get they are Snow White, Rapunzel, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, and yes their powers are related to their stories (the one it took me the most to click on was Cinderella's powers of transformation). While I don't recognise any of the leading ladies, as the leading men we have Casper Van Dien smarming his way as Rumpy, and Lou Ferrigno as - yes, Lou is in this movie. He's still looking good, but why isn't another studio trying to get him in for more than a brief cameo instead of what he's doing here?

As ever... why am I watching these movies?


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Saturday, 16 May 2015


When the movie has three names in its title, Extinction. Jurassic. Predators., you aren't expecting gold. However, you might be expecting dinosaurs.

This is one of those movies where everyone knows what's coming going in, so get on with it. As it happens, the group of disposable people are going into the Amazon to look for illegal tree logging and break down. And immediately get lost. They wander around for a while, hear some strange noises, and it's over half the movie later before we get to the actual dinosaurs. Which, some credit to the CGI team, looked like a puppet. Not real, but like they had an actual puppet there. And then there's a scene where the dinosaur is in close threatening three of them, they are all looking in different directions, the shadows aren't working properly, and they aren't reacting to a real presence, so there goes that idea. And it was a slog to get to that point.

As you can guess, I'm not recommending this movie. It's obvious why the producers wanted to get a movie out with 'Jurassic' in the title, Even Asylum can do better than this.


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Friday, 15 May 2015


Hey, another James Wan movie? Certainly seen a few of those recently. And this one is getting familiar territory of contacting spirits in a spooky house.

While we get the spooky house, we also get the aftermath as we open with a police detective investigating a house where a number of bodies were found and one survivor. We jump back and forth in the narrative, and there were actually a few decent scares (although jump scares are pretty much all this movie has in the scares realm). At first there's the typical 'strange things are happening, but the main cast don't notice', but quickly it becomes different as the cast do notice and actually have strange things happening in front of them (and they stupidly decide to stick around, although there's a reason they could be doing that - but spoilers). Even in the detective plot, things start coming unnatural... and this is the first time where I'd actually like to see a sequel to see where the hell they think the plot is going beyond evil unleashed.

So yeah, this movie is a lot better than the usual fare, although recently (and we are only talking the past year), horror movies have been getting a lot better in setting the tone and being actually scary. (At least, the decent ones are, there are still a huge pile at the bottom of the bucket.) With having the events front and center and not just with the audience in the know, it works a lot better.

Perhaps they are finally starting to get the formula right? (And one that doesn't involve redoing Japanese or Korean horror movies?)


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Thursday, 14 May 2015

Eagly Ey

Just what we need, another Shia LaBeouf movie. While he isn't going "no no no no no no", we do get all his other typical traits in this.

Joe Random Guy and Jane Random Person are 'activated', which means they are jerked around by a voice on the end of a phone who tells them what to do, and manipulates trains, planes and automobiles in order to get the big plan done. This includes somehow taking over things I'm fairly sure don't have remote control capability. Now, I'm going to have to give some spoilers here, because this gets pretty stupid. Her (the voice) big plan is to get these two to rob an armoured truck and get a briefcase, which turns out to have injectors so they survive a trip in an airplane cargo hold... which is only needed because the main plan of them just flying didn't work, so just as well the voice had this big back up plan going. And then once there, they are to deactivate a program so the voice can kill people... which sounds nasty, but gets worse when you realise that the voice shouldn't even be able to enact a plan to overcome the first plan, because that's all in the aid of the first plan which isn't supposed to be able to happen! (That doesn't make more sense if I filled in those gaps.)

We do get a good range of cast. Rosario Dawson, Billy Bob Thornton, Michael Chiklis, an early Anthony Mackie and even William Sadler. And Julianne Moore as the uncredited voice of the computer!

It's slick, but it uses that to try to hide the problems with the plot. Meh.


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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Repo! Repo! Repo!

I've heard of the Genetic Opera, but didn't get around to watching it. Until now.

Singing all the while, GeneCo offers people organs but basically owns their lives. The Repo Man comes to take the organs back when they can't pay, but that's all right, because he's humanised by having a daughter. That becomes a pawn in a power play between the Repo Man and the lead of GeneCo Rotti Largo. Everything comes to a head at the Opera and many secrets are revealed.

I'm not entirely convinced by the singing. Singing dialogue is not the same as actually singing lyrics. There are songs, but often they are twisted into servicing the plot that it's a stretch to make them work. Not even Anthony Head (who's here because of Buffy) can pull off some of those songs. But Sarah Brightman proves her pipes. We also get Paris Hilton who is in this, but let's pay more attention to Paul Sorvino and Alexa PenaVega, who give decent performances.

Definitely an experience.


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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Ded Selence

Hey, it's a horror movie from James Wan, never seen that before. This one is about a puppet... no, not that one, although it is also called Billy.

A couple get a surprise puppet in the mail, and it's no surprise what happens next, the woman gets killed. Because of course she does. The guy wants to know what's going on and traces the puppet back to his home town, and there to the story of Mary Shaw and her dolls. And from there it's the inevitable downing of characters until the bitter end.

So this is nearly a good movie. The main horror gimmick, aside from the puppet, is that sound fades away until all you hear is your own breathing. That deadened sounds makes for a great atmosphere (and reinforces my point about not needing a music track to make a film good), however that's about the extent of it. Otherwise, it's any creepy horror with frighting killer that you care to name.

Probably the most notable actor involved in this is Donnie Wahlberg, although not playing Eric Matthews. Ryan Kwanten gives a good performance as Jamie, and Michael Fairman and Bob Gunton turn in nice roles, although Michael should have had a lot more screen time. The puppets just aren't that creepy to me, and the killer figure gets a bit more creepy in the Unrated version, but otherwise isn't anything much.

Not a terrible entry, but nothing to stand out either.


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Monday, 11 May 2015


Oh SyFy... when I saw that, I went "of course". This matches the kind of 'quickly churned out' product that they consume rapidly.

Take The Day After Tomorrow and scale it down to... a town. And half the running time (which is a bonus over that movie). A meteorite turns up, breaks in half, and one half causes ice to appear everywhere, flash freezing lots of places into CGI frozen-ness. After being whittled down to a few, the main cast find that the other half is the magical balancing side, and thus all that's needed it to bring them together to solve everything.

It looks like a lot of these actors have appeared in a fair few things, so they are working a lot. So this probably just fits in as 'another job for a while' without being anything special. And while they are competent performances, no-one stands out. The production itself... has a lot of CGI snow and ice, so yeah.

Another disposable movie.


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Sunday, 10 May 2015


I was looking forward to this film. A lot of people panned it, but it looked mildly amusing, so I was willing to give it a go.

Mortdecai is a British Lord and upper class twat. He gets by by being an art expert and undercover agent for MI5, and having a gorgeous wife. And by lucking out with getting through things. And having a brutal manservant. There's a painting everyone is after, and there are twists and turns and resolutions and heists and...

Oh gods, I can't even be bothered. This movie was panned, and deservedly so. I wanted to like this movie and it made sure it did everything it could to make sure I didn't. We can start with Johnny Depp and Gwyneth Paltrow, but they are the obvious targets. And certainly not funny. And that's the problem, this movie wants to be funny, but it's not. Ewan McGregor should be happy he's not in it that much. Olivia Munn deserves better than be groped by Depp. Paul Bettany is decent, but I'm just thinking how much I want to see him in Marvel properties.

Oh, and looking through the trivia page, we get "Not screened in advance for critics." Says it all really.


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Saturday, 9 May 2015

"Comedy" Roasts

I've now seen two Comedy Central roasts, which makes me an expert of them! And... no sir, I don't like them.

The basic format is there is the roastee who is positioned, an mc to introduce the roasters (and get the first jabs in), the roasters have a go and then the roastee gets the final word. However... what's missing is the actual roasting of the roastee. What actually happens is that the various people come on, attack the mc, attack each other, throw maybe one jibe the roastee's way, and then say how wonderful that person is. Er... what?

And the people... I haven't heard of most of them. A lot of them seem to be professional roasters who do these shows and are otherwise unknown. And when they are just reading from notes, that's not even slightly indicating professionalism.

Yeah, I've seen two... and I think that's enough.


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Friday, 8 May 2015

Saga of the Alan Moore Thing

I've heard lots of praising stories about Swamp Thing as done by Alan Moore. Fortunately, they recently collected his run of comics into seven volumes, and I've read them. [Oh, and there are Swamp Thing movies to add to the superhero movie pile.]

Certainly Alan Moore takes the comic in his usual non-standard route, recreating his origin and bringing in far more adult ideas, as well as introducing us to new and old characters (and created John Constantine... so now I have Hellblazer to read). Then he goes into off-planet stories...

And that's where he loses me. Yes, I'm taking a stand against Alan Moore's story telling (not that he cares about what I think of his work), and not liking it. The story goes meandering, and never really gets a decent footing again before his run is over.

This might be blasphemy, but maybe, just maybe, his work is overrated.


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Thursday, 7 May 2015

Hawk the... Noooo!

I saw the movie. That was enough. It even got Rifftrax'd. There was no threat of it happening again. Everyone was happy. And then this happens:


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Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Brokened Ages

With Part 2 out, of course I needed to play it, what with being a backer (with my name in the list) and all. And, of course, I whipped through Part 1 again to remind myself of the world and where I was. (I hadn't played it again since I first got it.)

With the climax of Part 1 blowing the world wide open (and I think playing Shay's part first before Vella makes Part 1 better), we get to explore some of what that means... and there are still surprises to be unveiled even in the beginning here. (And we also get to see how many puzzles were set up in Part 1). There is more cross-over between the two stories, and you definitely need to move back and forth between the two to make progress.

And I did make progress. A lot of progress. And a lot of hitting my head against the wall. I could see what I had to do, but couldn't quite work out what I needed to do to get there... but I made my way through, and solved a lot of it.

But then... I just hit a point. I couldn't work out what was going on, and so, yes, I went to a walkthrough. And found the solutions were nothing I would have come with without reaching the end of my tether. In one case, I had to do nothing, which there was no indication that that's what I had to do. And in another case, I had to give a character item A, but only after showing item B. I did item A before I even got B, and so had no reason to try item A again!

So yeah, that let an annoying taste in my mouth. By the end, it was more "I finally got there" than "yay, I dids it all!" And I only have 2/3 of the achievements. Most of the remaining you aren't going to get on a first run through because they rely on getting the puzzles right first time. And one for doing the entire game in under an hour?

Overall, a good game, glad I got it, but the logic goes a bit too off the rails at the end.


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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Shh Secret Rooms

Remember New Century Handbook? Well, the full series is now ongoing as a Patreon (support that and other stuff), and the first part of season two is complete.

Called Secret Rooms, it focuses on some of the Cartographers mentioned in the Handbook and their adventures. With towns that aren't the same as home. And homes that aren't the same as normal.

Next up is Tiger's Eye, then Arlington, and then Steam Heart.

And although Patreon is supporting, these episodes are available to listen to for free, so have at it!


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Monday, 4 May 2015

Adventures in MineCraft Modding

My basic play of MineCraft is vanilla. I certainly don't have any increase in the items available, although they would be helpful. There's a whole range of addons you can get, to help with crafting, flying and killing. However, there are a few I've added just to make my life easier.

Forge: Start with this one. Pretty much all mods rely on this package, and once installed and up and running, it's very easy to add in more mods over time.

Chicken Bones: This is another base mod that other mods are built on. However, the default mod had a problem I encountered when used with the next mod whereby redstone caused the server to crash. The author has updated it, but you need to use the latest build, not the default one.

Not Enough Items: With the above mod, this is one of the most useful mods for me. NEI accesses the items available, and a) can show what block you are looking at (very useful when mining) and b) can show all the items and the associated recipes to create them. Which makes it much easier than switching over to the web and looking it up, which would otherwise be the normal option.

LiteLoader: When mods aren't Forge, they seem to be based on LiteLoader. Fortunately, there's a version of LiteLoader for Forge, so you can combine them!

Voxel Map: This uses LiteLoader. This displays a map in the upper corner, which is handy. But more usefully it allows for waypoints to be added, so you can navigate your way around. So often I could so easily be lost, but with this, I'm able to go anywhere and make my way back.

Now if only I had somewhere interesting to go. In the world I'm in, there are Plains and Forests and Ocean... and that's it. No desert or anything. No villages or temples. But at least two ocean temples though. And the Endermen aren't dropping ender pearls. And no sign of blazes in the Nether... man, this world sucks.


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Sunday, 3 May 2015

Batman V Robman

It's another animated movie, which is far lighter in tone than the current live action DC movies, despite that it features more murder and near patricide.

Following the New 52 plot, there's a new villain in town, and he's owl based. (I wonder if this was in some way a dig at the Watchmen comic.) He's willing to do what Batman doesn't, and Robin approves. (This version of Robin is Batman's son Damien.) This leads to a clash between Batman and Robin, and the idea of the title, although you always get the feeling that Batman is just toying with Robin when they are fighting and he isn't really trying. Anyway, the villain is connected with the Court of Owls, and they want Bruce Wayne on their side, and they don't like Batman. By swaying Robin away from him, they set up a situation where they can get everything they want. Will Batman be able to get... yes, of course, he's Batman, but what will be sacrificed along the way?

I'm not going to talk about the production, which is the usual DC high standard, because the plot annoyed me so. At no point is the Batman/Robin relationship really in doubt. We know good will out in the end, and Robin just isn't presented as the evil he would need to be to sell this. And what happens in the other side of the plot (and the end talked about below) is just cliched and at no time surprised me with what was going on.

I can't recommend this, I can only hope the comic is worth reading.

One spoiler I want to talk about, but I'll hide it away from the main page: Near the end, the villain of the piece kills the Court of Owls. As in completely wipes them out. This is the elite of Gotham, the high society, gone just like that... that might leave a bit of a power vacuum, but this is never addressed. What? Mass murder of the most important people, and it's barely a footnote? That's stupid, and I hope the comic did it far better.


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Saturday, 2 May 2015

The MAGIC Pudding

The Magic Pudding is an Australian childrens book from back in the day that I recall trying to read when I was a young'un. I'm not sure why I had so much trouble with it, but I think I gave it a few goes, but couldn't get through it. Perhaps it just didn't make sense? This is a bit of a nonsense story, but the audio book definitely helped getting through it.

Bunyip Bluegum sets out to see the world, and encounters Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff, and their pudding Albert. This is a sentient, even moving, pudding, with its own opinions (which comes down to "I want to run away" and "eat more of me"). Being magic, eating it doesn't diminish it. Most of the adventures they then go through involve being pudding owners and encountering two pudding thieves. And then the end of the book comes, so they finish adventuring. (Really, that's how that works.)

Having it read to me meant that the sudden changes to songs, and the rather alliterative names didn't give me any problems. And made it a bit more enjoyable, although the repetitive nature of the 'encounter pudding thieves, defeat pudding thieves' made the plot wear thin quickly.

Still, fun enough.


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Friday, 1 May 2015

Nick Shield: Agent of F.U.R.Y.

I must be coming to the end of superhero movies some time! However, it's time to dip back to 1998, and the time of the Hoff!

Hydra is up to its old tricks, so Nick Fury is reactivated out of retirement, and immediately gets into battle with them. After a tangle with Hydra getting their hands on Zola, Nick is left poisoned, so that's another ticking clock. Hydra itself is under the command of Baron Von Strucker's daughter Andrea, in an amazingly over the top and campy performance. What it comes down to is that Nick must find Hydra HQ and Andrea so he can get blood for a cure, while Contessa Valentina de Allegro Fontaine stops a virus being unleashed in Manhatten. With like three people on Shield side in each team, because that makes it more exciting, and all battles taking place in dressed up abandoned warehouses.

Clearly a made for TV movie, this is cheesy action at its best. Whereby best means 'extra cheese'. The dialogue is over the top, but so is the acting, so that fits. Hoff is fine as Fury (although I feel the cigars he smokes/chews are a little smaller than they should be), and Sandra Hess and Lisa Rinna get fine roles that even later aren't often given to women. There's also a slew of other names: Garry Chalk, Tom McBeath, Ron Canada...

On the other hand, don't seek this out unless you are trying to see all those damn superhero movies...


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