August 2011 Archives
August 31, 2011
August 28, 2011
Somehow I managed to avoid spoilers for Super 8. Not just detailed spoilers but completely what the film was about. I didn't watch a trailer, read a review or even see a poster. Quite deliberately. An amazing feat don't you think given the fact that it was out in the USA about a month before the UK. All I knew was that it was written and directed by JJ Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg. And I thought Lost was amazing. That was enough.
I'm sure my ignorance helped increase my enjoyment because the film managed to surprise me.
To say I enjoyed it is an understatement, I grinned from beginning to end, apart from when I was jumping out of my skin. It's like a classic Spielberg film except that the climax is cranked up to 21st Century standards and there are lots of lens-flares. The heroes are the kids, the bad guys are the adults (sort of), there's teenage angst and troubled parents and a moral, there's almost teenage love and homemade zombie films. And of course it's Science Fiction, but I didn't know why when I started watching the film, so I won't say now. But it's cool.
The film is clearly an homage to Spielberg, but you also feel that there's an autobiographical element, with the love of making films highlighted by the kids joyous film making using a Super 8 camera. In fact the film is infused with love and joy, right down to the end of the credits. I don't think it's just a nostalgic trip either, I reckon the kids of today will love it too.
Tremendous fun. Loved it.
August 15, 2011
August 14, 2011
August 11, 2011
Clarke stood on the dunes, watching the party coalesce on the beach. Over the horizon, and the grey swell of the ocean, lay Africa. Beyond their borders. Outside. Lands of suffering. A knot formed in his stomach just at the thought. He shifted his focus, tried to relax, and scanned the crowd for the familiar gait of his brother, longing to catch a glimpse of his face, but from a distance he couldn't quite resolve the features of the crowd. The wind blew hard off the sea, flicking his hair around his eyes and making the task more difficult. The exhibits, consumer products whose trails constituted art, stood on pedestals on the beach, the crowds floating between them.
August 9, 2011
Bricks by Leon Jenner is full of interesting promise on the outside. The cover is a beautiful wrap around ink style drawing, the blurb talked of meta-physical uncertainty, the size was thin and presumably punchy?
The story starts with a first person narrative of a brick layer, explaining why he was a brick layer and then implying that he is more than a brick layer, talking of earlier lives, of the Romans invading Britain.
Unfortunately there's no plot to speak of, the book is instead a first person wandering metaphysical waffle. Is the bricklayer a Druid who saw off the Romans? Did he get slaughtered in a Roman invasion? By the end I wasn't sure and didn't care. The metaphysical meandering left me bored, the occasionally thrown in word from physics (like quantum) felt forced and I was left longing for something to actually happen.
Maybe I missed something? Maybe I didn't get the deeper meaning or appreciate the bricklayers musings?
Don't know, but unfortunately I didn't enjoy it.