Friday, February 26, 2016

DVD of (last) Week: Spy

Movie Comedy feels like it's in a wierd place at the moment. It's easy to look back and claim it's worse now, mostly because most of the unfunny dross of earlier ages are easily forgotten, but at the same time I rarely see a trailer for a big-budget comedy and even crack a smile. There are some great comedy movies coming from various animation houses, where every joke has to be carefully crafted years in advance, the dominant live action form seems to be the matey, semi-improvisational form that really doesn't work for me. Oddly, what has worked for me is the Paul Feig/Melissa McCarthy combination, from Bridesmaids, to The Heat, and now Spy

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

DVD of the Week: Crimson Peak

So I was planning on writing up "Spy" last week in a quiet moment between bouts of half-term childcare, but instead I felt it better to come down with a stinking headcold, and yeah, that didn't happen. So I'll try and do that later this week, and this time talk about this saturdays viewing, the Guillermo del Toro helmed Crimson Peak. Expectations were high, because it's del Toro, and he's the sort of director that makes consistantly fascinating film with massive attention to detail, that then not enough people go on to watch. This time we are promised a period-set ghost story, with all the trappings. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Movie Review: Deadpool

So with a rare chance to get out to the cinema - on Valentines Day, no less - then going to see a "grown up" movie was one the cards. Given it's Oscar season, there was quite few on offer, but Z wanted to see Deadpool, and thats a grown up romantic movie for a night out, right? Right? Aside from good early reviews and promising trailer, I can't say that I have been itching to see it based on the property alone; Deadpool isn't a character that has ever grabbed me, and I think I've mentally filed him away other hyper-violent 90s creations whose fans are always a little bit too enthusiastic about the "blood and swearing" element of the character. Which I admit is narrow-minded of me, and I guess it's a credit to the marketting around the movie that it got me past that hurdle in the first place. Z, to her credit, just watched the trailers and though "Yes, I want to see that." And I'm glad we did. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Box Set Blues: Show Me a Hero

One of the nice things about HBO (and my extension, Sky Atlantic, who has all it's content in the UK) is that it's invested in quality television across a wide variety of taste. It's got a juggernaut in Game of Thrones, of course, but it's also got a bunch of other stuff from dumb and loud to social realist, all with solid production values and talent. It's clearly a concious decision to keep on board a diverse platform, and keep on low-viewership creators as prestige signings, so it can point to them as proof of it's upmarket credentials. One of these, I've always felt, is David Simon, most famous for The Wire, the show everyone watched on DVD, but more recently Treme, which no-one really watched at all (despite it being pretty good). His latest show for HBO was a 6-part drama about social housing in Yonkers; Show Me a Hero

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

DVD of the Week: Tomorrowland

Before I get onto this weeks film, a quick bonus recommendation. We also settled in with Future Shock! The Story of 2000AD, which is a documentary covering the long and (mostly) glorious history of the Galaxy's Greatest Comic from it's inception in 1977 to today. In places it's a bit of a helicopter view, and can't quite decide if its explaining for newcomers or existing fans, but it's full of the actual people behind key moments in the comic's history, speaking for themselves. It's interesting and engaging, and I really enjoyed it, so yeah, go watch that if you've ever picked up a copy of 2000AD in your life. Which of course you should have. So on with the main review, for Tomorrowland: A World Beyond

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 .