Thursday, 31 December 2015

The Knights and Knaves of Swords

Here we go, with the last book. And Neil is back! Although I did wonder if his intro was meant for the sixth book, because it could have easily worked for that.

We have four stories. The first is Fafhrd dealing with a random goddess. Then the Mouser gets a go. Then they both deal with old age. Finally… it’s back to being about the Mouser as he goes underground, and we get a bit of a hit parade of the previous stories as Fritz takes us around his favourite settings.

And shows, and I’m going to go ahead and say this, Fritz is a pervert. He spends an unhealthy amount of time talking about very young women (barely teens in some cases), and lovingly describes their bodies with focus on their breasts. No, Fritz, just no.

Overall, not a bad wee series, and as is pointed out, one of the defining set of stories. But I feel like I’m glad it’s over.


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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Harry Price: Ghost Fraud

This was a TV movie about Harry Price, a ghost hunter from back in the day specialising in psychical research. In particular, this is one case that brings him back into the ghost fold.

He was a ghost debunker, then gave into fraud because it was more pleasing. But then an incident happened that made him give up the job. But now, a politician's wife is in trouble, so he is brought in to find out what's going on. And, of course, there's an actual ghostly presence, and Harry has to struggle with his own skepticism to help solve the problem.

Rafe Spall plays Harry Price, and does a decent job. But he could largely be anyone, there's no real need for this is be about Harry at all. The rest of the cast are also decent, but... it just feel like a special story. Why was this movie made? What point is being told? Why Harry Price? I just don't get the meaning of any of this.

Although I am reminded of another British production from earlier in the year... but I'll talk about that next week.


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Tuesday, 29 December 2015

The Live of Superman Deaths

A documentary that came out this year was one that was crowd funded, but not by me. It was about that movie that Kevin Smith got anecdotes about, The Spider That Ate Superman.

And this is largely about that movie. We get the slow start to it, then it gets handed off to Tim Burton and Nicholas Cage. There's some discussion about the content of the movie, and we see some bad video test of Cage wandering around in various suits. Eventually, they do address the death of the movie, but that's only about five minutes, and can basically be summed up with "money".

It isn't surprising that this is mainly face to face interviews, although there are some sections animated. What is surprising is the number of big names they get, Jon Peters, Kevin Smith, Tim Burton (but not Nicholas Cage).

To be honest, there doesn't feel like there's enough to this to make a full documentary, although this is over ninety minutes. The movie got killed before it could be fully developed, so they are making a lot out of a little. It feels thin.

It's nice to know the answer around this movie now, but I can't say we needed this full of an explanation.


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Monday, 28 December 2015

Doctor Who 9.Xmas

I don't know what's worse here. That it's another Moffat mess of a script, or that it's a Komedy Kristmas Karol! Either way: Kringe!

Hey, it's River Song... who gone from "Spoilers" to the stupidest woman in the universe who can't recognise the man she loves and treats the Doctor as just 'this guy I know' rather than loving him, which she still does... uh, what? Moffat, did you even read the earlier parts of the script when doing the latter parts? I know you don't care about continuity, but this is going too far. At least now with the passing on of the sonic we can never worry about her in the series again... yeah?

Not that it isn't nice to Alex Kingston again, and she could probably pull off her own spin-off series (this isn't an actual thing that's happening, is it?), but we don't need her to continually pop up in this show. How much does Moffat plan on just drudging up the past? (Speaking of drudging up the past, I thought we were past the sonic shades!)

So, this was supposed to be a Christmas romp? But it's going to take more than Matt Lucas to make this amusing.

Next time: Oh, there was no next time. Hey ho, time to wait for another eight/nine months I guess.


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Sunday, 27 December 2015

Gril Genuis

This is a classic web series, and I finally got around to dealing with it when a Kickstarter for the next volume of stories (or whatever they are) about to begin. So I went and picked up all the previous compiled volumes.

This is one of those stories that try to twist the usual paradigm by having a female engineer/mad mechanic genius. Oh, and she’s really stacked. And has two different guys after her.

Aside from that, there are mecha and flying vehicles and a carnival and Jaegers… and a partially sentient castle. It really is quite involved, although at times it feels somewhat padded and I just wanted to yell ‘get on with it’, but the writers had to keep throwing in one obstacle after another. it was frustrating, not a chance to show off the characters overcoming a problem.

I can definitely see why people like this. Heck, I like this, and will hopefully remember to pay attention. However, I just hope they pick up the pace this time.


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Saturday, 26 December 2015

Friday the 7th

Is this just more of the same? Or more of the same?

Jason is released from the lake because of a young woman with psychic powers. Yep, the movie is going there. Fortunately, there are a group of uninhibited youngsters around so Jason can get his killing on. But it’s not until her mother is killed that the woman snaps and starts psychicking Jason around, and totally defeats him. Yep, there’s no way he’s coming back from this. He’s been shot, killed, and tied to a large rock. Being pulled under the water by a dead man is the final capping moment.

Hey, we finally get Kane Hodder as Jason! He’s the one often cited as the Jason to go to, but it takes until movie seven before he takes on the role. But otherwise this is typical Jason, with lots of killing, and him teleporting around the place (even worse for one particular scene). And now we have psychic powers. Well, why not? We are already in supernatural territory with Jason, so let’s throw magic into the mix. It’s not like we’re going to get any more realistic.

However, what we do have is Freddy taking more of the lead.


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Friday, 25 December 2015

Hamish MacBeth Act 3

Given the events of season 2, it’s less soap opera now, although there’s still some.Instead, we basically ramp up the comedy.

Even the crimes are lessened and it’s more just people doing things in villages. Two episodes are around competitions with a nearby village, and the final one is more of a climatic battle involving someone with comedy bad luck versus others running after them. There are a few more character moments, but by and large it’s middling of the road stuff.

Instead of Robert, I’m going to talk about Ralph Riach, who plays TV John (so called because he was the first to own a TV in the village). He’s a great character, and is basically Hamish MacBeth’s mentor figure. He has a lot of fun in the series, and this series is worth watching just for him alone.

Not a bad series overall, but nothing spectacular either.


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Thursday, 24 December 2015

Swords and Ice Magic

Huh. The previous audiobooks have had Neil Gaiman do an intro thing each time. But not here. Schedule not line up? Nothing to say? Anyway, we’re straight in.

I do like the initial stories, in which we have a personification of Death taking personal interest in some killings, and in particular two particular heroes. This is quite fun, and it’s a pity it isn’t going on longer. It’s very clear from this were the early version of Discworld Death came from, which is basically a copy of this.

However we hit the main story with over half the book about the events of getting to and being on Rime Island. And dealing with two gods that are familiar from our world. And that’s about the only interesting aspect of it. Otherwise, it just feels long. And once again the Grey Mouser is the one to save everyone, with Fafhrd also being around.

(I wonder if I only prefer Fafhrd because I played Nanoc?)

At least this is a shorter book, and now only one left.


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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Masons Lane

Masons Lane in Wellington has been under going renovations for the past few months, but is now open for business... the business of walking from The Terrace to Lambton Quay. Here's me walking through it, taking a look at what they've done.


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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The Force Awakedness

Oh, considering there severe amount of paranoia about Star Wars spoilers, I will put my entire review in the tags so it won't show up on the front page. Especially as I do want to refer to particular elements.

Also, go check out Peter's blog for another review!

Okay, cards on the table, I'm not a huge SW nerd. I don't care about how great it is, the prequels didn't offend me, and my childhood was not ruined. I don't rewatch the movies every month, and could probably only quote the main popular lines. For me, seeing this was largely a box ticking exercise so that I could engage with other people who were super excited about seeing it.

All that aside, I enjoyed it, even though it was basically a rewrite of A New Hope. Yes, I said it, and I doubt I will be the only one. The characters and beats are largely cut up and repasted around new characters, and we get a lot of moments that feel familiar. Hey, it's a desert planet. And a forest planet. And a cantina. And Han Solo has to get a droid to the resistance. And the planet the resistance is on is under threat of a big death beam unless x-wings shoot the right spot... Really?

That aside, this movie feels slow to start. It takes ages to actually engage the wider aspects of the universe, and some of the action sequences feel like they are there because this is where we have an action sequence. The character beats are... there. The characters are well written, but the surprises weren't surprising. When Kylo Ren takes off his mask... there you go. It's almost treated as a big moment, but since this is the first movie to feature him, seeing him unmasked isn't something that means anything. It's not like he's Luke under the mask or anything. And we can tell there is some connection between Luke and Rey, I'm just waiting to find out she's his daughter. (People may already know, whatever.)

And there are the people who came back, but let's talk about Han Solo. Geez, Harrison Ford looks really old (unsurprisingly), but Han comes across as super old and barely able to get about. JJ tries to shoot him in exciting action sequences but they just look like a doddering old man is wandering around on set. And his big moment at the end... again, I wasn't surprised, and was expecting something along those lines. Next movie Luke's turn?

So that's it. It's back, and we've got a new take on the franchise to be excited about.



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Monday, 21 December 2015

The Fenal Gals

Tim pointed this one out. It's a meta horror comedy where the cast knows they are in a horror movie!

The daughter of an actress who was in a horror movie and she's invited to an anniversary screening. A fire breaks out in the cinema and her and her friends end up inside the movie. So while they have to survive the killer, the daughter gets a chance to get to know her mother (in a character).

And the point of the movie is the mother/daughter connection. The movie completely changes tone when that happens, which makes it feel forced and from another movie entirely. While the rest of the movie is being very meta with the characters trying to use their future/movie knowledge... and not succeeding very well, because this is a horror movie, and it's also trying for comedy with the meta aspect. To be honest... it tries too hard, and can't really pull it off properly. It's too busy going "woo, look at us, wink wink wink" to actually take itself seriously enough to pull the scenes off with suitable care. The movie is trying to sell us on meta only by telling us it is, not actually showing us.

I'm sure I should know the actors are known from somewhere, but nothing I can think of. The effects are decent, with a mixture of practical and CGI.

It's a neat idea, and check the trailer out, but not quite there.


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Sunday, 20 December 2015

Dodpol Kills the Mavrel Universe

This is a comic that exists because people wanted it. I know because the opening text for each of the four issues keep going on about it. While I’m no Deadpool fan (I barely know who he is), this is often cited as a series to read, so let’s go for it.

And it is largely as it says on the tin. Deadpool goes around and kills lots of Marvel characters. Because of his regeneration factor (which works to bring him back from being almost disintegrated, although Wolverine’s doesn’t?) he can’t be put off by traps and such. In fact, more than one death is because “aha, you forgot to take my regeneration into account!”. Ultimately, it just feels rather depressing. Deadpool mets character, Deadpool kills character, rinse repeat. Nothing meaningful happens, and it’s just an exercise in pandering.

So why is this liked? I have no idea… let’s turn to the web. “It’s fun.” “The kills are fun.” But it’s not considered the best Deadpool story. Here we go “Worth picking up and reading, buy only if you’re a Deadpool fan”.

Close… I would qualify the whole thing as “only if you’re a Deadpool fan”.


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Saturday, 19 December 2015

Nightmare on 3st Street

He’s back, and this time he gets more backstory!

The rest of the children of Elm Street are having bad dreams, and are institutionalised together. Which means that after they deal with Freddy there will never be another movie? No, of course not. But in this case, Nancy, from the first movie, comes back (even though we saw her taken by Fred at the end) and helps them. Although not until after a few more of them die, and the hospital authorities deny anything strange is happening. But by the power of god, in this case holy water, Freddy is dealt with… until the final scene. So nothing gets resolved, although we do get that Freddy is the bastard son of a 100 maniacs.

It’s getting harder to claim that the Freddy movies are more about how the people react to death, but I think I can swing it for this one. There are ‘ironic’ deaths (the guy who creates puppets is puppeteered to death), but they are shortish sequences, so we can focus on the impact and on how people are living with this threat over them. However, the comedy Freddy is coming…

And this movie is about people claiming back their power in their dreams… but even that doesn’t really work, and it’s an outside influence that saves them. So really… you can’t help yourself.

Yay! Positive messages from Freddy Kruger!


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Friday, 18 December 2015

Lois & Clark 3

This season took me a longer time to get through, I just found it hard to push through the middle.

Because in the middle of this season, we get the wedding of L and C. Which, of course, has to go wrong, because Lois is a clone, and then she gets memory loss and forgets who she loves and Lex Luthor is back, and... it just drags out over too many episodes. Then the last few episodes bring in another arc with a possible wedding happening, until we hit the cliffhanger with the pair being broken up (and I'm sure will never come together again in the next season, this is a twist for ever for L&C).

We keep the same cast as last season, with John Shea suddenly having hair again. What's up with that? But we do get a superhero this season... which is in a computer virtual reality program, so that's not interesting. But they do bring in Baron Sunday, but also bring in other gimmicks such as Lois gets Clark's powers and there's a Superboy... eh.

One more season to go if I can get through it.


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Thursday, 17 December 2015

The Swords of Lankhmar

One common thread with these books so far is that while the series is called Lankhmar, very few of the stories are set there. There might be a short vignette in the city, but otherwise Fafhrd and Mouser are off and away to distant lands.

So it didn’t surprise me when this story starts on a ship not in Lankhmar. This is a story of rats, and we have this rat problem for a while. Eventually, we, and the rats, get to Lankhmar, which does make this more of a Lankhmar story than others, but even then we have Fafhrd out and about. Meaning, once again, the bulk of the story is about the Mouser. Admit it Fritz, we know who you prefer.

One thing I have been meaning to say is that I love the language used in these books. It isn’t cod-medieval, but there is still distinct terms used that definitely give it a feel of an age before. This adds a richness to the narrative, and probably one of the main reasons I’m still listening.

However, just two books to go.


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Wednesday, 16 December 2015


Ah, it's that classic of all Christmas stories... where anti-Santa comes to terrify everyone!

It's always a fun time when the relatives come, and when the aunt and her family come to stay for a few days, Max has one tease too much and tears up his letter to Santa... and calls the other Santa. Which, if you know titles, is Krampus. He's all about the presents and the snow and bringing families together... in terror. Oh, how heartwarming! By which I mean the heart is sped up by adrenaline from the cute monster attacks. Yeah, this is clearly heading for a happy ending.

And the ending is tricky. It nearly sticks the landing, then goes into a nose dive, before touching down properly. The story plays out well, and doesn't respect anyone in terms of going after both the likeable and unlikeable. And it speaks to good construction that characters can go from the latter to the former. And we get some good performances, even from the kids, but I'm giving best performance to Krista Stadler with second to Conchata Ferrell.

And this was made in New Zealand. Not by an NZ company, but locations were here. And they got a Screen Production Grant, of course. And, as you'd then expect, Weta was involved. The effects were decent, and as for Krampus himself... very nearly, but then they stay far too long on his face, and... just looks like a non-articulated mask that got stuck in a stupid pose.

This is a comedy/horror and it tracks the line far better than You're Next. Check it out for a different take this holiday get-together.


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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Teom Omerica

Hey, remember that classic parody movie which featured puppet sex and by the guys behind South Park? Yeah, that’s a thing I remember.

America is the only one who can police the world, so wherever terrorists strike they are there, blowing things up, and not giving a damn what foreigners (ie locals) think. Get it? That’s the joke!

A new member joins who can Acting, and he goes undercover to find out what the terrorists want. But it goes to hell, as these things do, and then there’s puppet sex. Eventually, the Actingers get together against Team America with the support of Kim Jong Il, and Team America must somehow get themselves together enough to overcome them all.

Okay, so that’s the joke… but you know what? When I first saw it, I can’t remember laughing that hard, but I enjoyed it. Now? Not so much. It just feels tired. Can’t say I laughed at anything, and the puppet sex just felt like a one trick pony that was over the first time.

And the worst thing is… I’m not sure how many Americans would consider this parody any more.


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Monday, 14 December 2015

The Great Gadsby

Aw shame.

I remember watching McPhail and Gadsby when I was young. I can't say I understood a lot of then at the time, and my political awareness hasn't really increased a lot since then, but there were a few bits I got. And otherwise it was funny comedy and neat songs.

Bye Jon!


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Sunday, 13 December 2015

The Maize Runnur

Another set of audio books. This will spoil the main three books. While I did have Kill Order to listen to, it was so boring I couldn’t get through it.

Thomas wakes up in a maze, and it’s a test by Big Pharma! Well, close, it’s all about the brain and finding a cure to a disease that was “accidentally” released. (That was the one really interesting note in the entire set of books, and I just ruined it for you.) Fortunately, as he is a Marty Stu, he can get everyone out of the maze… and into the next set of trials. Which involves him hooking up with another young woman who wants him because of aforementioned Marty Ste-ness. Then in the last book… absolutely fuck all happens. Seriously, they just wander around for a while, then are saved. There are some action sequences for the movie, but nothing of import happens. Not even an exciting unrevealed test or anything.

Can you guess I wasn’t impressed with these books? Yeah, no, as the kids don’t say, this is just nothing. As soon as I clicked on Thomas being special (ie self-insertion author avatar) I stopped caring about anything that happened to him, which, considering he is the main protagonist, is a major failing of the book.

I haven’t seen the movie, but surely Hollywood wouldn’t allow it to be as dull as this?


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Saturday, 12 December 2015

Friday the 6th

Okay, have we reached definite supernatural status for Jason then? Lightning brings him back to life, that’s gotta be official weird right?

Anyway, as mentioned, Jason’s back. And, for some reason, people have rebranded the camp into a kids camp, and so we finally get Jason killing kids. Yeah, right. But the councillors are fair game, and yep, they die. Tommy’s back, and wanting to confront Jason (and is responsible for bringing him back), but how many people will die before the final showdown? But at least Jason’s dead now, right? After all, when a supernatural creature is brought to life, he can be easily killed, yeah?

This is just a repeat of all the other films. Nothing of note really happens, just people dying. Even the Tommy focus doesn’t help, as so little is made of it comparatively. The film wants to see people die, so there we are.

But Jason is back, so yeah, still more to come.


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Friday, 11 December 2015

Hamish MacBeth Act 2

The soap opera continues. As does the crime, which gets played up for laughs in this season.

Following on from the last season, Hamish has to deal with the harshest of realities, loving two women, but unable to be with both of them. So we start here with him with one of them, but pining for the other. This can’t really go on, but it takes a few episodes before it takes a rather dark turn. Then we get an episode of him dealing with this, which also has high comedy in it, because nothing helps trauma more than discordant tone. But we are staying light hearted for the last episode, although again darkness rears its head at the end.

Robert Carlyle continues to give a good performance, and I find myself wondering (as I have also been watching David Tennant in Jessica Jones), what would he have been like as the Doctor? He would have had to quit smoking, for a start, but I think he would have done well. Well, back then. These days, he seems to be playing more the insane scientist (which you think would make him more appropriate, and yet not).

One more season, let’s see how the tone plays out.


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Thursday, 10 December 2015

Lankhmar: Swords Against Wizardry

Book four has four stories in them, which shows the books are settling down to longer tales.

The first one is basically a small prologue to the second story. And the second story is the pair climbing a mountain… and that’s largely about it. There is a minor point where they get to have sex with two beautiful women (of course), but mostly it’s the climb.

The third story is largely a filler, but does fit nicely. While the payoff isn’t entirely out of nowhere, being a shorter story it doesn’t hang around long enough to be annoying. And shows that Fritz is perfectly happy with strong female characters, which you wouldn’t expect in this setting.

But then there’s the fourth story. Which is a political tale that incidentally happens to have Fafhrd and Grey Mouser in it. They are kept apart for a long time, although Fritz does avoid the “oh, they just missed each other, and one went out that door as the other was coming in this”, but it does mean they have a lesser role in what’s going on. Again the final moment can be seen coming from a while away, so this story isn’t rated high for me.

Three books to go!


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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

House of 1000 Doors: Family Secrets

Huge backlog of HOG games, not helped by Steam sales, so let’s get into this one. Which has trading cards, for some reason, although I can’t imagine anyone caring enough to want to get them.

We are Random J Female Writer who is invited to a seance, only to encounter her Grandmother Margaret Fox (of the cracking toe knuckles fame) who wants to be vindicated so sends you to a house that appears randomly. Of course, you go, and then get caught up in a series of puzzles that occasionally have HOG parts, but otherwise feature annoying inventory puzzles. The story is rather basic, and really is only there to connect four separate smaller stories. At least the bonus chapter (which all collectors edition seem to have) is more personally connected with the main character.

I will say that I like the hint system, in that you aren’t penalised for using it (no badges/achievements), and no penalty for bad clicking. Which means you can click spam your way through the HOG parts, but I prefer that over continual annoying smackdowns because I clicked one pixel to the left of what it wanted. However, the HOG are annoying in that the list of items only lists eight, even if there are more than eight (which there are), but only the displayed eight can be clicked. So although the tenth item might be a pen, you need to clear two other items away before you can pick it up. The mini games are all right, but there were a few I was like “nope, don’t care”, and again there’s the nice handy skip option, so that’s good.

A fun game overall, and it took me six hours to get through, but it has room for improvements.


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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Flagging a point

For those not in New Zealand (or don't watch Last Week Tonight), we are currently referrenduming a new flag. There are five alternatives we are voting on, and later on it will go head to head with the current flag.

And then lose.

Because math.

First off, let's consider how the voting for a new flag will go, and we're going to be fairly basic with assumptions. They'll be wrong, but easy to follow. We know some people are not voting, either they are angrily posting to Twitter or don't care or whatever. But let's say 80% of people vote for a flag. They are ranked 1 to 5, so let's be simple and say each flag gets 20% of the votes.

Which gives us 20% vote for no flag, and each other flag get (80*20) 16% of the population. Let's pick one of them, and put it up against the current flag. People will vote (including people who didn't previous vote) for the current flag if they don't want a change, or don't want the provided option. Which gives 16% of people wanting the alternative... and 84% of people wanting the current flag / not that flag.

So it's not going to play out exactly with those percentages, but we can see the obvious that the current flag is pretty much going to be around for a while longer.

Is there an alternative? We could vote for "should we change" at the same time, but people might change their mind depending on what the winning alternative is.

Instead, we could go with "Rank the six flags (current and five alternatives)". Then the simple majority vote would win, either current or some alternative. Done.


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Monday, 7 December 2015

Doctor Who 9.12

RTD usually closes out the season with a big spectacular event and a more personal emotional ending. Moffat usually goes for just the former, and here he is going for the latter.

It's all about the Doctor and Clara and what the Doctor will do to save her. I thought I knew what was up with "Clara" turning up in the beginning... and got that entirely wrong, I will admit. Although this does leave us with Clara and Ashildr with a TARDIS... yay? I'm sure Big Finish are already having plans, let alone many, many fanfic writers...

Anyway, the lengths the Doctor goes to. Which makes it no surprise that he indeed turns out to be the hybrid (or at least part of it), because as soon as you talk about standing on the ruins on Gallifrey, there's only one man who will go that far. And Moffat decides that memory erasure is the best way to proceed with that... which isn't even slightly emotionally wrecking like with Donna (maybe because I don't care about Clara anywhere near as much?). Oh, and yeah, Gallifrey's back, but don't ask how. And just what monsters are they supposed to be that everyone hates? I don't get that.

Really, what I'm saying is that this is an attempt at an emotional ending... and it's a fizzler. Moffat can do great stuff (watching the recent Jekyll and Hyde series makes me want to go back and rewatch Jekyll). But not here...

Next time: Comedy Christmas! Ho oh no!


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Sunday, 6 December 2015


When I was a kid, I had a comic which had a few stories in it that constantly featured a Grand Vizier trying to dispose a Caliph. One constant line of dialogue was “I want to be the Caliph instead of the Caliph”. I’m not sure it was a translation problem, but I never understood that as a kid. (Whereas I did finally click on it being “I want to the new Caliph instead of the person who is currently in that role.”)

I finally got around to seeking out what this was recently, and found out about Iznogoud, and, of course, had to grab and read them all. There are nine compilation books (I think the one I had was book 9), and… it seems there was an animated series and even a movie. Huh.

What shows up immediately is the terrible tendency for puns. Far worse than Asterix. We start with Iznogoud himself, and lots of the others do have pun names more in French, and pleny of people have just some Arabic’d version of real world people or job (which I’m looking at the translater more for this).

Definitely fun, but don’t overdulge if you have low tolerance for puns.


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Saturday, 5 December 2015

Friday the 5th

Why let a franchise go? Let’s bring it back? Okay, I will applaud the sense of continuity this series has, but that time line is gotta be messed up.

Tommy, the kid in the previous movie, is back (they even got the same actor for an opening scene), but now he’s an older teen, and is shipped off the an institute… which is right beside Crystal Lake. So it shouldn’t be too surprising when random murders start happening, and Jason is back. But is he? You won’t believe the final revelation! Because it’s rather stupid. But at least is an explanation. But then they have another twist, which everyone was expecting from the start, also because Freddy 2 was out this same year with the same idea.

As I said, I do like the continuity. There is no real need for it, but there we go. One definite change in this over the previous movies: not a single character (and I’m going to include the kid here) is likeable. Let’s just kill them all.

As a new beginning this is more of a filler movie.


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Friday, 4 December 2015

Jessica Jones (3/3)

Right then, let's wrap this up with the final episodes.

And there are still spoilers.

I have to say it still feels like it's padded out. There's a continual cycle of capture and release... what is this, episode three of Doctor Who? Jessica is still hunting down Kilgrave, and he's still using others to protect himself from her... which is exactly what was happening in the earlier episodes, so what's the point? At least Daredevil had the sense of progression through mini-bosses before the final encounter. (And speaking of DD, we have an actual connection with that series in the last episode.) The very last episode builds and climaxes as you'd expect... which gives it a sense of anti-climax, a sense of "is that it?". Overall, it could have done a lot more with this series.

And in the other character realm, we get Mike Colter as Luke Cage, who I thought was last seen in Thor? Although not specifically named as such, so I guess they can still get away with being in the movie continuity. Still, good performance, and I look forward to him being in more. And we get Rachael Taylor as Tricia Walker, whom I failed to pick up as a burgeoning Hellcat, but the series didn't go out of its way to flag that either. (And speaking of likealook, she reminded me of Rosamund Pike.) And I have to mention Carrie-Anne Moss... and there, I just did.

I think not knowing the character didn't help, as it watching over a week, but ultimately this series could have been a far tighter group of smaller episodes.


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Thursday, 3 December 2015

Lankhmar: Swords in the Mist

Okay, so let's talk about the third book. Instead of various adventures, there's basically just four here.

The first one is quite good. Nice supernatural set up, and it builds nicely... then it just ends, as if everything (including the author) just runs out of energy. Pity, I thought it would have had more to go.

The next one is a longer piece, and has a lovely build up, and a wonderful pay off. Seriously, everything came together well in this one.

The third one, under the sea, is meh, and forgettable.

Then the fourth one... the story didn't mean much to me, but it did have an unusual aspect. It was set on Earth. Because they can just wander across dimensions. But I'm not sure why. There was nothing in particular about Earth that needed to be set there, and could easily have taken place in the normal universe. Indeed, with the magic around, that would have made more sense. And then it dragged on a bit too much.

In all, started well, ended blah.


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Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Jessica Jones (2/3)

More episodes down, but still around a third to go.

Note: there will be spoilers.

So, at the end of this next batch I watched... they progressed about one step! They spend some time with the main good girl and bad boy together, but nothing really happens, and then we get a reenactment of the intention of the previous episodes, only this time it works. And capturing the bad guy works about as well as you'd expect. Which is why I say they've gone forward only about one step as one new piece of information is gained (and I think people were already figuring that out anyway).

This series is feeling long. In some ways, I think watching it spaced out over some days might be hampering it. I always wonder when a show does get all episodes released as this does, do the makers intend it to be watched gradually or binge watched? With Daredevil, I did binge, and it worked pretty well. With this, I don't have the time for that, however this does mean I have time to think about episodes, and get annoyed about them. Such as I have here. That's not good.

Obviously I have to talk about David Tennant at some point. He's clearly ready to get into the role of the bad guy, and he gets to be all kinds of charismatic as he does so, which is nice. Okay, yes, one is reminded of his more dark moments as the Doctor, but this is clearly a distinct character.


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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Jessica Jones (1/3)

It's another Netflix Marvel TV series... thing, so let's binge! Only a bit slower than Daredevil. I went into this... knowing basically nothing about her (and getting her a little confused with Jessica Drew).

Oh, and there will probably be spoilers.

What we have is Jessica Jones, a PI that deals with creating spouses cases. And then a person from her past resurfaces, and... while I'm not belittling rape stories in any way, this basically becomes a 'getting back at the person who raped me' story, to the extent of there feels like there isn't anything else in the series. And that's a hell of a thing to hang the entire first season on. (At least I assume the full first season will be about that, I have only seen a third, but it seems to be.) Oh, and this is all done with superpowers, so it isn't physical rape, but mental rape. And it's just about a chap who can make people do whatever he wants, as long as he can talk to them.

We nearly get a swing to the good guys in the fifth episode, but due a plot point you'd think a private detective would think of, that can't happen yet, because it is only the fifth episode. This is as far as I've seen, so hopefully this will pick up on the cheeriness at some point. And no doubt we'll get a full origin story for the superpowers involved sooner or later.

In this, we have Krysten Ritter in the lead role... who looks so like Eliza Dushku I had to keep reminding myself she isn't. She isn't doing a bad job, but I don't really have a feel for her character beyond "has powers", "is a private eye", and "doesn't like the bad guy".

Perhaps if I knew more about the character before hand?


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