Monday, March 25, 2013

DVD of the Week: Beasts of the Southern Wild

Sometimes there are films that I like despite the fact that they are probably rubbish. Films where the acting is wooden, the direction is functional and the script is turgid, but somehow has that magic of cinema that works regardless. Highlander springs to mind, and a crueler person than I could also say something like Star Wars. Actually genre flicks in general, maybe, but I digress. On the other side of the coin are the crafted masterworks that leave me cold; cinema as art, or cinema as social commentary, which often seems to produce films I can appreciate, rather than enjoy. My ideal film, therefore, would probably fit somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, mixing craft with warmth and spectacle.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Book Review: Existence

Its starting to look like Science Fiction has lost any faith in the future. The more I've read around the genre in the last few months, the more it seems that the whole idea of looking up, or looking out, has completely gone out of fashion. Manned Spaceflight is pointless and inefficient, Einstein says FTL travel is impossible, and 30 years of SETI gazing at the heavens and no sign of Alien Civilizations. Well, that's it, we may as well accept we're all stuck on this rock forever, and concentrate on stories about uploading ourselves to digital Nerd-heaven or playing about in Retro-Futurist Zeppelins. I don't know about the rest of you but I find this all faintly depressing.

On the plus side, this gave us a book as good as Existence.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Box Set Blues: 30 Rock

No "Movie of the Week" this weekend, because we watched Skyfall, which we'd seen (and reviewed) before. This time we let Ewan stay up and watch it, because he's been pestering us to, and he really enjoyed it as well, not least because 12A rated modern action movies are still pretty new to him, so come with that added frisson of excitement from watching a "Grown Up" movie. If you can call Bond "grown up". Anyway, what we have also been watching a lot of, filling our need for the odd, just-before-bed sitcom, is 30 Rock.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thinking: Is there anything you can't Crowd-fund? And should you?

Well the somewhat epic success of the Veronica Mars Kickstarter seems to have started a debate on the internet on what sort of project should be up on Kickstarter in the first place. Is it right that projects on this scale should be there? Can't the people involved fund it themselves? Why don't the backers get a share in any profits? What the hell is a "Veronica Mars" anyway? Well, started a debate in the sense that there has been a lot of commentary on it from sites that have failed to notice the exact same debate going on over in Gaming circles.

Kickstarter: Making Nerds Bankrupt since 2009

Monday, March 11, 2013

DVD of the Week: Argo

When we got the envelope from lovefilm this week it had in it the Total Recall remake, and Z waved it at my accusingly. "What the hell did we rent this for?" she cried. "I don't remember adding it!" was the best excuse I could come up with, because I didn't; I can only guess that I got a little click happy on one of my sprees of adding to the films list. We ended up watching Total Remake on Saturday afternoon, figuring it's 12A rating would make it fine for Ewan to watch, and mostly it was, although the 3-breasted woman was, perhaps, inappropriate for the rating. Total Remake is a wholly unremarkable, pedestrian film with the odd flash of wanting to be moodier and clever but without any real clue how to manage that in between action sequences that you've seen a dozen times before. Thankfully, that evening, we got to watch Argo, and the weekend's viewing was saved. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Book Review: Rivers of London

There is nothing like feeling late to the party. I'm quite used to it with films, as we don't get to the cinema very often and consume a large amount of TV via the medium of the Box Set, but I like to think I'm moderately up to date with books and authors that I would like. So when my Mum, of all people, passed me a copy of Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London, because I would like it, I was slightly skeptical. After all, surely I'd have heard it mentioned by now. And then I mentioned them on twitter, and a bunch of people relied to say that yes, it was brilliant, and how come I hadn't read it already?

So yeah, another party, still late.

Monday, March 4, 2013

SF Weekender Post-Con-Review-Round-Up-Thing

So, this weekend we headed to North Wales for the SF Weekender. We went last year, when it was the SFX Weekender, but this year it was without the "X" after Future Publishing apparently decided that big media cons weren't the sort of thing it wanted to do anymore, and the organizers of previous years carried on without them, and their fancy "X". Overall it was a good weekend, but not all roses, as we shall see.