Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Movie Review: Zootropolis

This weekend was the weekend that Social Media seemed to go (more) insane over a Comic Book Movie and whether it was right/wrong to like/dislike it. On one level the response to Batman v Superman has been fascinating, and on another it's been eye-wateringly stupid. I look forward now to months of pointless, circular arguments raging about it, lit only by the buring of Strawmen, illuminating nothing and no-one. Thankfully, I haven't seen it, so you are spared my thoughts on it for now. Instead, we took the kids (including the teenager, who preferred this to the chance to see BvS, go figure!) to see Disney's latest offering, Zootropolis

Monday, March 21, 2016

Games Round-Up, March 2016 Edition

One of the continuing entertainments of our house is the gaming shelf, which continues to provide entertainment for the long, wet afternoons of the winter, and consequently keeps providing more opportunities to spend money on board games. Hooray! Not helping is the recent discovery of a local games club, too, which seems full of freindly gamers of all ages at a convient time, even if we're not managing to get there every week. But still, more games, which is a win for us. Our main criteria is currently games that all of us can play (Robert with help, obviously) with a decent replayability factor, and I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that two of the three games I'm about to talk about are co-operative, even if the other really, really, isn't. So, here we go.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Movie Review: Hail, Caesar!

I think it's safe to say I'm a pretty die-hard fan of the Coen Brothers and a new film from them is always a cause for celebration. I love then in part because they seem to pretty much do what they want, moving from blood-soaked dramas, to light comedy, and picking up all sorts of other genres to play in along the way. They've had occasional misfires for sure - although I don't always agree with critical consensus about which films those misfires actually are - but even the Intolerable Cruelty's of this world I've found interesting and entertaining. This year we are back with farce after the excellent Inside Llwellyn Davis, alighting on the Hollywood of 1951, in Hail, Caesar! 

Friday, March 11, 2016

DVD of the Week: Sicario

Sometimes you can see the shape of a film in the first ten or twenty minutes, as it sets out its characters and central themes and you go "oh, right it's that story". It goes back to the old idea that there are only a few sorts of tales (actually that hasn't gone around the web for a while, so we're probably due an out break of "Disney Princesses as Joseph Campell Archetypes" or something) but is also rooted in the viewers familiarity with story structure. Sometimes, however, a film can pivot from one to the other, leaving you excited or breathless, or just confused. I was left wondering about this after watching Sicario, which goes somewhere unexpected in it's third act and I'm still not totally sure what I think of that. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

TV Review: Deutschland '83

I was 10 years old in 1983. It seems hard to believe these days - especially if you're of a younger generation - but back then we didn't worry so much about global warming or post-capitalism or many of the things that we worry about now, but instead worried about the last flowering of the Cold War, of Nuclear Armaggeddon just around the corner. The inevitability of this conflict seeped into any vision of the future you cared to mention; even ones that weren't blasted landscapes assumed, as a matter of course, that some sort of nuclear exchange would happen, because a future where we decided not to launch the missiles just seemed so outlandish. So it's been a fascinating journey back to that time whilst watching Deutschland '83

Friday, March 4, 2016

DVD of the Week: Chappie

Neill Blomkamp burst onto the conciousness of the average cinema going geek (like me) with the all-round excellent District 9, a smart, well designed movie that started as a thinly veiled allegory for apartheid-era South Africa and turned into a roaring, battle-suit driven action film. It's the sort of movie that gets you excited not only because it's damn good, but because as the breakout movie of a new talent you can't wait to see what they do next. What he did next, of course, was the dissapointing Elysium, which layered on the heavy-handed allegory and really struggled to be any sort of coherent thing in the end. Expectations corrected, he now has a third film, Chappie, about a police robot acheiving sentience. So, how does that fare? 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Box Set Blues: Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries

We like a good procedural cop show in our house, even if they're increasingly all the same. One is a cop, one isn't, but has a wacky side skill! They Fight Crime!. Gruesome murder, red herrings, it's usually the second character you're introduced to, job done. The joy, then, is the casts rapport, the quality of the gimmick and how much you enjoy spending time the company of the show. We've watched quite a few, and generally enjoy them, and they make a nice relaxing hour before bed sort of show for us, so we've usually got one on the go, and keep an eye out for more. Our most recent obsession has, surprisingly, not been set in modern-day America, but rather 1920s Australia, Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries.