Friday, February 5, 2016

Games Review: Fallout 4

So since christmas I've been conciously trying to cut back on a lot of my commitments in order to focus on a plan "to do less things better". This is mostly driven by an ambition to finish off my proffesional exams by the end of 2016, which will involve a fair bit of work, and needs to be one of my main focuses. So in some ways it's ironic that I've found 69 hours in the last two and a bit months to play through Fallout 4. In my own defense, it's largely been in small sessions in and around other things, something that the game is surprisingly good for, but still, that feels like a lot of time to spend in a ruined post-apocalyptic Boston, especially given how much I've still got left to do. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

DVD of the Week: Song of the Sea

Sometimes you'd be forgiven for thinking that there were only two schools of animated movie in the world, those from Japan, and those from Hollywood. Both are pretty diverse, to be fair, and it's certainly not a slight on them, but they both have evolved into distinctive visual styles that are so familiar they almost define what an animated movie should look like. Which is nonesense, of course, as the occasional breakthrough features from across the globe prove, even if they often have to fight their way out of both the "foreign language" and "animation" boxes to get there. One recent success is the Irish feature Song of the Sea, which wound up as our tea-time viewing this Sunday .

Friday, January 29, 2016

DVD of the Week: Insurgent

As the Hunger Games series winds to a close, the powers that by over in Hollywood continue to hunt around for a big-ticket replacement franchise, with a lot of casualties on the way. As a card-carrying member of "really not the Target Audience" I haven't watched too many of them, but I was entertained enough by Divergent to watch the sequel, Insurgent, as our saturday night movie this week. As is the way we do things now, apparently, it is to be followed up by an adaptation of the third book, Ascendant, split into two parts, so you can pay twice to find out how it all ends. But first, we have to maintain enough interest to get us that far. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Book Review: SPQR

After some dailliances with "mere fiction" recently, I seem to be solidly back on a History kick at the moment. This is partly due to some of the books I got for Xmas, which included some cheery looking tomes on the Ardennes Offensive of 1944 and the Stalinist Purges  of 1937, happy reminders of what a great time the 20th Century was. But that is something to look forward to, as whats really kicked off this run is Mary Beards' excellent SPQR, which covers the Roman Empire from what I found to be a novel and interesting perspective. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Games Review: Colt Express

So, our attempt to own and play all the Boardgames in the world continues. It has been, and remains, a main source of family entertainment around the house, and with Robert approaching 6 there there is always new games we can try him with. Z has also found a local games club, which we've only managed to get to once (dammit) but looks to be a fun group with lots of opportunity to make me buy new games. Which is pretty cool, it has to be said. So today we'll catch up with one of our recent aquisitions, Colt Express which has had multiple run outs recently.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

DVD of the Week: Jurassic World

So this week, for movie night, we watched Die Hard, in honour of Alan Rickman and his general awesomeness. Which was cool, because it's a great film, and it's been many years since I last saw it, and we let Ewan stay up with us and watch it too, as part of an ongoing project to expand his cultural education. We also took Robert to see The Force Awakens, which he really enjoyed, applauding the appearance of X-wings, covering his eyes at Kylo Ren and yelling "No Way!!" at that moment.  All very successful. And for anyone keeping score, then yes, thats a 13-year-old watching an 18-rated movie* and a 5-year-old at a 12A. Don't tell my mum! So I'm going to take this post to go back and catch up a movie we watched over the Xmas break; Jurassic World. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

DVD of the Week: Kingsman: The Secret Service

Early Spring seems to be the time when Hollywood drops a supposedly "edgy" and "growed up" comic action movie on the eager public who have suffered through the post-xmas rush of Oscar Fodder. This year we have Deadpool, and in past years we've had Watchman and Kick-Ass in the same slot. They tend to do pretty well, too, and I'm not going to claim that I haven't enjoyed all or part of these films. Last years was Kingsman: The Secret Service, which seemed a little divisive, some seemingly repelled by it, others entraced, and that divide seemed to break down in unpredictible ways, too. But with a lot of talent both in front of, and behind the camera, I was largely expecting to enjoy it. And i did - with reservations.