Monday, 30 November 2015

Doctor Who 9.11

It's another episode by Steven "I've got this great High Concept" Moffat. I'm beginning to treat his episodes with "oh dear".

We have this "neat idea" of the Doctor in his own nightmare, which somehow includes a large block of more than diamond he decides to punch through. Okay, we can see how this plays out from a generic point of view (although having read Mauritz by Jonathon Morris, I was suspecting it from early on).

Where it fails is thinking about how it began. How did the Doctor first get summoned there? He would have dived down and not found any skulls at all. Nor one attached to the machine. And there wouldn't have been any dry clothes to put on (not that I'm sure how the room 'resets' to having clothes in it anyway). And it may also have wider implications about free will if the Doctor does exactly the same things over and over again...

Still, we get a grand performance from Peter Capaldi, who has to hold his own against a monster with obvious large rubber claws. And, of course, the obligatory cameo by Jenna Coleman. (And I'm not the only one having trouble in believing in her death.)

And all this is a set up for "surprise, he's on Gallifrey!", which again I think most of us suspected. Okay, I didn't get the fact he was in the confession disc (which was One Neat Trick), but there he is.

Next week: Oh, this isn't going to be good...


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Sunday, 29 November 2015

Ultimate 7

Another comic that I Kickstartered. It’s sci-fi about a group of warriors brought together to fight a Big Bad.

The story slowly unfolds, are we start with Jenny who then becomes the main character who is out to pick up the others. Which involves getting into a story that lasts an issue or two before finally they get the new companion to come with them.

This is three volumes, of four issues each. However, the last issue is super long, which makes me wonder if the story was supposed to be balanced more? Or the writer just thought a massive story was the way to go? Either way, I could have gotted to the big story quicker because the little vignettes didn’t really grab me.

Overall… I’m not sure I would have picked this up had I known the story.


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Saturday, 28 November 2015

Nightmare on 2nd Street

Fred’s back… and his other parts are wanting out into the world, and there’s a nice young body he wants.

Our… hero isn’t the right word. He’s not heroic at all. Main character? He’s a very sweaty young man who has strange dreams of Fred. Eventually killings start to happen, and the main character is right there, only it’s not really him doing it. Finally, Fred does get out, and the lines between reality and dream get confused, and the main character’s not-quite-girlfriend confronts him and… not really Love Conquers All, but close.

Again, this isn’t the Freddy of later movies, and indeed is very different to the original movie in that we have Fred trying to get out and about… and this movie is more about the slow descent into madness of the main character (whose name I have no clue at this point) as he gets possessed. Which can be an interesting aspect to explore, but I think already the audience is all about ‘bring on Fred!’ so that’s not really much of a focus.

A rather scattered movie that has weird images and not really getting to a solid point.


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Friday, 27 November 2015

Hamish MacBeth Act I

One of the many sets I picked up was for Hamish Macbeth, and now I've at least seen season one.

This is part Scottish soap drama, part Scottish crime drama. I'm emphasising the Scottish part, because this series definitely does. Everyone puts on their accent, and we get a slew of Scottish place names, so we can check off authenticity. The crime part... is rather light. And in some ways nearly incidental. Of the five adventures in season one, there's really only about one case that is an actual case and involves investigation. The rest of the time, it's just casually strolling along, and if there's a crime, we get put that in the mix. Elsewise, it's soap because it's all about the characters and what they are doing day to day, and we are only lucky the pub isn't in Albert Square. And what's with ending seasons on marriage proposals?

We have Robert Carlyle in the lead, and doesn't he look young? There are also other people, and I recognise none of them. Decent performances, even if the stories aren't really stretching the imagination.

As I mentioned, there are only five episodes, because this is a British series, so I'll give the next season a go as well.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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Thursday, 19 November 2015

Lankhmar: Sword and Deviltry

This is the precursor of Sword and Sorcery as we think of it today, and... I've never read it. So let's remedy that.

In this first book, we get origin stories, first of Fafhrd, the barbarian, who is unlike other barbarians (in that he's interested in society outside his own). And then the Grey Mouser, who is unlike other wizards (in that he is not very good, and turns to the dark side easily). When they finally meet up, they are immediate friends... and then get pushed together for vengeance.

Throughout this book, I could constantly feel Discworld peeking over my shoulder going "I got that bit... and that bit... and nicked that other bit." This is clearly a heavy influence. However, there is one aspect that wasn't so familiar... this was just to damn serious. Good on Fritz Leiber for being earnest, but this is just bordering on the grim dark current fantasy retellings. I think this is more due to "modern sensibilities" that I wanted it to be funnier, but certainly it could lighten up.

Still, it's decent enough, although I'm not sure how the rest of the series is going to be called Lankhmar when they just left it...


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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Kumutoto Stream

Local artist Kedron Parker created this: “I have created a site-specific sound installation at the top of Woodward Street in Wellington, on a popular walking route used by workers to access office buildings on the Terrace. The tunnel itself is tiled, bleak and bunker-like, and runs underground, directly beneath the Terrace. The soundscape in the tunnel imagines the area in its natural state, before development – just over 150 years ago – to evoke the experience of walking along the former Kumutoto Stream. Although it is not well known, Kumutoto Stream was an important feature of the area’s natural and social history. Today, it is buried under cement, but still flows to Wellington Harbour and supports fish in its pipes. I myself used to commute along the route of the stream, and I’ve found the tunnel to be a point of transition. Emerging onto the Terrace, I find myself entering a cement world that feels disconnected from its past, disconnected from nature, and makes me feel disconnected too. By creating a soundscape in the tunnel, it is my hope to awaken passers-by to the contrast between then and now, and the danger of how our built environments can rob us of our own vitality.”


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Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Getting Back in TIme

Released on the day of the future, it’s the documentary that I helped to Kickstart Back In Time.

This covers the making of the movies, and goes into some detail covering them. And then it goes into the fans and the impact the movie has had. (And we get to see a little too much of the fans dressing up.) We even have interviews with surviving actors, although they aren’t really giving away any new anecdotes we couldn’t have guessed.

We even get Michael J Fox appearing, and he’s looking well considering. (Better than doing that Jimmy Kimmel skit.) There’s obviously a lot of love for this movie trilogy, and that comes through clearly.

It’s a nice movie, but ultimately feels like any other documentary.


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Monday, 16 November 2015

Doctor Who 9.09

It's hard to tell what Mark is ripping off more. Event Horizon? The monsters from Amnesia? Found footage movies? Probably half a dozen other things that will come to me over time...

I'm with the Doctor that this is just silly. I didn't realise it was a one-parter (unless it's going to be followed up later on), and thought it was a padded two parter that could have been one. But since this was a oner, what does that say about this?

The sleep monsters look silly. At least in Amnesia, they twisted the mouth. Here's it's just a big kump of grey with the chin fallen off. And I couldn't make out how they were consuming anyone, because the lighting and camera work is just as wonky.

Speaking of camera, let's talk about that. Firstly, why don't they have helmet cams? Why doesn't any future insertion team have helmet cams? (Apparently Chopra does have helmet cam?) We have the technology today! But yes, I picked up on Clara cam before the Doctor mentioned it. But the whole dust thing becoming organic and can see, no that doesn't work. Let alone the gimmick of the episode being a trick to get people to watching. (And boy, is that 'don't watch' ready to be made fun of. Was that a 'gimme' Mark?)

I'm sure there is a lot more I want to complain about... but it's slipping from my mind already. It's just that good.

Next week: I don't even know what to make of that. Other than it doesn't actually look exciting.


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Sunday, 15 November 2015

Desert Bus for Hope 9!

Yes, it's Desert Bus time again! What is Desert Bus? Watch on!

Check out the Desert Bus site. And the Desert Bus Twitch Stream.

...which should be live exactly as this post goes live, but this is LRR, so give it some time...

No item from me this year. :(


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Saturday, 14 November 2015

Friday the 4th

Yay, the final chapter! There will never be another Jason movie!

We get two groups of people. A mother with teen daughter and wee precocious child. And a group of teenagegs coming in for party and the sex and the alcohol. Jason, not being dead enough in the last movie, wakes up when the doctor and nurse nearly have sex near him, kills them, then returns to his stomping grounds and proceeds to kill everyone because they are there. Seriously, the basic premise of the movies aren't 'we are being irresponsible', it's 'you're on my territory biatch!'

And so this is just another 'slasher movie in which people are put together for some bad reason and then killed'. Sex is becoming slightly more involved to provoke Jason, but not really. And Jason seems to now have fully developed teleportation powers to get everywhere at once. Still, at least at the end, which does play on the origin story of Jason, so yay!, they don't stop with one slash of the machete but really go to town. And there's certainly no sign of any possible follow up movie, despite the creepy look on the kid's face.

It's not really a franchise, just a continual slashing which happens to be put together in different movies. Still, with this over, there'll never be another franchise with unkillable monster in it ever again...


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Friday, 13 November 2015

Because Specter

Well, we now have a reason for everything that happens in the Bond universe. It's all Because Spectre! At least, that's what this movie would suddenly have us believe.

Bond is on the trail of a random someone, and ends up finding a huge conspiracy group. Which, it seems, is responsible for all the previous movies, and is connected to them in a way that is totally bullshit. Anyway, there are a few women involved, and lots of explosions, so that's Bond, right?

My main problem with this movie: tension. As in there is very little of it. Even in the middle of action scenes, it's like the music is only half-hearted and the pace isn't trying to pick it up, and just... meh, they are middling along.

And then there's Spectre itself, the organisation almost nearly irrelevant to be honest. This could easily have been another Big Villain behind it all, and there you are. (Tomorrow Never Dies comes to mind for some reason.)

It's all just blah. Not even Moriarty can save it.


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Thursday, 12 November 2015

Paranarmal Activity Ghast Dimension

This is more of a direct sequel to the third film, with the kids having an impact in this movie. But once again we get another family in a house… how new.

As mentioned, family in a house, with young kid being slowly taken over by evil. Or Satan. Or some generic demon. It’s never made clear. In the mean time, the dad and brother find a camera that looks like it came from Fatal Frame, and other than being able to once see spooky things, otherwise doesn’t pay off in the slightest. Other cameras do pick up Evil Vision, so we can see what the family members can’t. A priest turns up, and tries to help, and eventually… the movie ends as all these do.

I will say the effects look a lot better. The evil reverse dripping is great, and the doorway is simply and nicely transitioned. There are actors in this too… and the effects are good.

Yeah, another movie, and I don’t see this franchise disappearing just yet.


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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

La Walk

I went to see this in 3D, because there will be lots of shots from the top of the two towers, so let’s enjoy… not as impressive as I hoped.

This is the story of Philippe Petit, a tighrope walker from France. Seeing the two towers in construction, he is struck with the idea of walking a rope from one tower to the other. We follow him as he gets the dream, and strikes out on the idea. He gathers a group of conspirators, they go to America, and slowly put it together. And then there’s the Walk, and there’s no skimping on that.

I often saw Joseph Gordon-Levitt as JGL rather than as Philippe, but that’s fine. We get a fair bit of him talking to the audience, but in definite cut away shots. I would have liked to see that as part of the scene. And Ben Kingsley is in this! Did not know, but that’s fine. Otherwise there are a lot of fine French actors I know nothing about.

But the scenery should be a star, especially in 3D. I didn’t feel the depth, so that was disappointing. Mostly this was a post conversion (I haven’t checked) so that would explain that.

Decent movie, nice pay off with the actual Walk.


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Tuesday, 10 November 2015


Maui nearly became immortal if it wasn't for than Fantail...

Tania is a white Maori, who considers herself Maori if others don't. For example, the Regional Manager for the Horizon service station she works at, although he himself would be Maori, although he doesn't think he is. Anyway, she's spending her time at the graveyard shift, and worrying about her brother Pi. Pi goes off with 'bad friends' and gets into bad ways, and then comes to the confrontation with Tania...

This stars Sophie Henderson... and it's written by her too. This is very much a character piece, and it's well done. Although the set up is simple, we get more than enough to get engaged with what's going on, and when the ending happens... I won't say more.

So yeah, NZ films... go watch!

We also saw a short... and you can too!


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Monday, 9 November 2015

Doctor Who 9.08

Ye gods, they say never let the Doctor talk, and it's obvious why. The scenery won't survive.

This episode declines rapidly. We start with a mental confrontation (of course Clara can beat Bonnie, she's Special!), and a plane blowing up. Then the Doctor confronts some policemen... are they supposed to be Zygons? How did the Zygons get those officers there at that time? If not, they're just weird. And ultimately useless anyway. But then they reach the Black Archive, and it's talking, talking, talking all the way...

Hey, you want to know is Osgood is human or Zygon? Easy, the shapeshifters shapeshift clothing whenever they morph, so simply see if she can take a layer of clothes off. Or how about if she drinks Skarasen milk? Oh wait, that doesn't seem to be a thing any more (as Richard pointed out).

And then the ending... which is basically the end of Time of the Doctor again... so what was the point? Have we progressed anything? Has this story changed the nature of the universe or Earth or Human/Zygon relationships or... clearly not, if this is the 15th time, and clearly not as the end of the episode is in the same place as the beginning of the previous. Talk about your reset button.

So we could have skipped the entire two episodes? We should do that next time.

Next time: Didn't we just do a base under siege?


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Sunday, 8 November 2015


I didn't know about this book, but once I found out, of course I picked up the Terrahawks novelisation.

This is mostly a novelisation of a couple of episodes of Terrahawks, in particular Expect the Unexpected Part 1 and 2 and Happy Madeday. This is a pretty much straight forward novelisation, with only minor expansion on what's going on. We get descriptions of the various things unfolding as craft fly off, and a bit more about Tiger's thoughts, but not much else.

One part that fails is Hiro, he of the Spacehawk. On screen, he has an over the top Japanese accent, in particular he often says "Exactry". Except in this book the author writes it as "Exactly", so the point is lost. Which is worse when a character points hangs on him not being able to pronounce it correctly! And this is supposed to be a second edition, and yet it's clear it wasn't given a refined editor pass, as there are quite a few typos that stood to me while reading.

On the whole... just watch the episodes again.


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Saturday, 7 November 2015

Friday the 3th

Okay... this lot I will admit I was starting to get onside with Jason killing... but as this is the third movie in the 1980s... the 3D!!!!!

At some point you just have to start blaming people for coming anywhere near the place where there was mass murder and the murderer is still around. This time, a group of kids head up to a holiday cabin for some relaxing, and unfortunately Jason is around and back to his slasher ways. Some of these people are reasonable, but most are slowly moving in the 'annoying prat' range and yeah, come on Jason! This also sees the start of Jason in a hockey mask, previously used by another kid in a prank. Pro-tip: stay away from barns.

Now we are already devolving into generic slasher territory. After a five minute repeat of the previous movie's end (similar to what the last movie did), we get a new shot of Jason getting up and taking the machete used on him for himself. Machete... hockey mask... we got us an icon!

Now, they do try to have some kind of character growth, but that is quickly thrown away when the people get near Jason. It's like the movie wants to be a slasher, but isn't quite ready to commit. And there's a hint at the end that the mother might still be around?

Still, next time, we have the Final Chapter... yep, that'll be it.


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Friday, 6 November 2015

Lois & Clark 1

I think I saw about three episodes of this when it first screened, so there's a lot to catch up with. It's the New Adventures of Superman!

We start with Clark turning up in Metropolis and eventually landing a gig at the Daily Planet. There are a few accidents and such happening, and so a mysterious savior also appears at the same time. (It's all right, all he needs to do it take off his glasses... the pilot makes a moment of it, but doesn't really sell it right.) And from then on the action is on... and by action, for the first season, we get a number of science used for evil devices and the odd bad guy plotting to do bad things. There's no sign of any other super powered thing, so it feels very banal.

There are a few episodes that go into the history of Superman, with the arrival of Kryptonite, and an egg thing that spends an episode giving backstory (with David Warner as Jor-El). But that's about it.

Dean Cain is fine as the man of steel, Teri Hatcher is a little too whiny in about... every appearance. Tracey Scoggins is a great Cat Grant (given the movies never refer to her, does this mean the new Supergirl series is set in this universe?). Lane Smith is great as Perry White, and we have Michael Landes as Jimmy Olsen who comes across as... wet. Then there is John Shea as Lex Luthor, oh he seems to be having fun... and smoking a lot of cigars.

One moment I like about the pilot is that at the end Superman turns up in Lex's place and basically says "You're the bad guy, but I can't touch you currently, but I do have my eye on you." No long term mystery is played out, straight to being the bad guy. And their dynamic means I don't believe the end moment of the first season at all.

Three more seasons, let's hope some more super action takes place.


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Thursday, 5 November 2015

The Failnix Incident

Hey, let's set up an elaborate conspiracy involving aliens around an incident that happened in the past... what is this, Doctor Who?

Back in 1997 there were lights over Phoenix... so let's take footage from that, and set up a story which follows four men who went missing. At last the airforce are explaining what's going on, and yes, it's basically aliens. Which are now running around on the world and are about to hit major urban centres so everyone will know about them.

This features shaky cam... a lot of shaky cam, because it's also found footage. There are also backlit people delivering secrets and reaction shots of family members who just want to know what happened. The disappearance of one of them is apparently the longest ever missing person case... which is straight up rubbish, but they make the point often, so I'm also going to refer to it. Amidst all this is repeated footage of the lights themselves (which are just a diversionary tactic from the real alien craft, donchano?). Just because the 1997 footage is bad quality doesn't mean we need the rest of it to be also horrendous (but of course it is, and it does add a touch of realism... and nausea while watching it).

They tried, but didn't succeed.


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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Love a lantula

Take Volcano, and mix it with Arachnoquake, what do you get? Did you say a movie no-one wants to see? Well, here it is!

Steve Gutenberg is a has been actor that was famous in the past, but now ends up in terrible movies trying to reclaim that past… his character is, I mean, his character. As is standard for disaster flicks, we have our “hero” trying to get to his family (son in this case), who is mixed up in stupid activities of his own. This movie gets very metatextual, but that doesn’t make it good. We get cameo from Sharknado dude, we get people dressed up in various costumes dying in laughingly ironic ways, and lots of running and jumping from explosions. Now, the movie does try to take itself seriously, but that includes saying the word “Lavalantula” with a straight face, which I just cannot take.

Check out the actors in this. Aside from Steve Guttenberg, we got Michael Winslow, Marion Ramsey, Carlos Bernard, Danny Woodburn, and a slew of others I’m sure I recognised. Even the spiders look like they were brought out of New Reckoning.

This wants to be meta and funny as well as serious… and you get what you’d expect considering this is SyFy.


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Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Gerhard Richter - Painting

Gerhard Richter is a famous painter... although I can't say I've heard of him before. Still, this is about him, painting. Yep. This is Gerhard Richter - Painting.

Aside from some insert clips of earlier, we are basically with Richter in 2009 as he prepares various exhibitions. In particular, we see him in the painting process, the full process where we see him picking paint and painting it on, and using squeegees. Although he isn't entirely comfortable with being filmed while painting, which I can understand when the camera is about a foot from you. We also go to different exhibitions and see his art in place.

As I said, he is a famous painter, so I'm sure there are people really wanting to see the genius at work. However, for me... his art isn't really something that speaks to me, so I was just watching someone put paint on a canvas, which is, to me, about as exciting as it sounds.

I do like documentaries, but can't say I'm going to come back to this one.


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Monday, 2 November 2015

Doctor Who 9.07

Yep, it is a sequel. I didn't know that it was going to be that explicit a sequel, but there you go.

We start with the return of everyone's loved character, Osgood. Wait... is she loved? Or is she just a natural fan attractor because of how her character was set up to worship the Doctor? Either way, she's around... and I vaguely remember her. Then we get a running joke with the Doctor calling Clara which pays off as... actually, it doesn't pay off, and we can only hope they never mention it again. But fortunately there are Zygons! Who now have amazing powers of telepathy or something? And can contradict previous establish canonical history because it makes the story better? Um... sure. (Except that it doesn't.)

Tell me... are the kids enjoying this? I know I seem to keep going on about who are these episodes for, but in this case, are the kids at the edges of their seats wondering who will turn out to be a Zygon next? Perhaps their parents will turn on them, capture and duplicate them! That's great television, that is!

And then the big twist of Clara already is a Zygon named Bonnie (that's what it sounded like to me). Ohh... gasp? Of shock? Admittedly it is about the only interesting thing to be done with her character this season. You know what would have actually entertained me? If some of the Zygons turned up looking like the past Doctors! That would have been great! Never gonna happen of course, and that would bring about comments about field lasers.

Despite the broad world spanning nature of this, it still feels budget and that they filmed in at a farm next door (which they probably did). I can't bring myself to care about these characters, and so their being under threat doesn't bother me. And since we never saw the missile hit the plane, we already know how that's going to go long before we see the trailer for next week.

Next week: What's in the box? What's in the box?


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Sunday, 1 November 2015

The Hungry Games

I had this book read to me, and it’s definitely better than one (cynical and jaded) might think. Note: This post will talk about all three books in one go, so spoilers beware.

Katniss is just a young girl that is incapable of recognising love. So her worst nightmare comes true when she is put into an awkward position where that is the central premise around her survival. Oh, and she’s also in an arena in which other young kids are trying to kill you, but that’s secondary.

After surviving that… how unfortunate for the love angle to keep going on, and… yep, she’s back in another arena. Wow, that’s unlikely. Fortunately, after that, she’s able to be with her true love… which, it turns out, is herself, but at least she’s not in another arena. Oh wait. And then it goes all dark as people die. There’s no happy ending here.

Okay, I’ll give that these are interesting characters, but a basic set up of this story is that Katniss is not in touch with her emotions, and angsts about every death she’s even semi-responsible for. Hey, she’s a young adult!

Still, the journey was more interesting than the arrival, and, I’m gonna say it, I think Snow won in the end.

A good set of books.


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