Not only is it a festive time of year again, but it's naturally time for a new year, and not only a new year but a whole new decade. I'm not thrilled about folk calling them the "teenies" though. "Twenty-Ten" will do just fine.
Anyway, I've been doing these flavours of the month since the middle of the year, and I think I'll try and stick to doing them as it's a nice little way to record what has been, well, flavouring each and every month for me. So without further ado - December 2009.
Call of Duty, the franchise, and the COD:MW2 soundtrack:
I've been on a right old COD fest of late. They're relatively quick to play, so COD4 got a dust-off for a quick bash so I could see the story flow from that to Modern Warfare 2 smoothly, and I also fancied getting another play-through out of World At War, which although far better than Treyarch's COD3, it really does feel like a videogame. Meanwhile, COD4 and MW2 both feel like action movies that you control, and the latter is more like an action movie experience than anything else. Here's hoping that Treyarch take all this on board, as well as get themselves out of WW2.
The soundtrack for MW2 however, is just ruddy excellent, and I've been particularly enjoying "Flyby" and "Ghost's Fate", which are both superb pieces of music - one a blood-rushing dose of driving action, the other a tragic and operatic piece.
Bo Selecta DVD out-takes:
In a bit of a lull, and in need of something to do while scoffing lunch, I fished out my Bo Selecta DVD box set and gave the gag reels another spin - ruddy funny alright.
More James Cameron, and exposure to 3D:
As I've blogged about extensively a couple of weeks ago, I got to check out Avatar in 3D, and it was spiffing. Go and read my long-winded and impassioned thoughts on the flick a few posts back. Not only that, but his excellent documentary Ghosts of the Abyss.
BBC Writersroom Covering letter:
Not only did I make the final touches to "Zero", but I've been microscopically composing the covering letter that'll join the script when I submit it to the BBC Writersroom. Here's hoping the good people there will see what I see in this script that always makes me laugh, and always makes me feel good. A script that speaks about the swathes of average British just-twenty-somethings that are out there.
2002 reminiscing (Mutant, Nightmare At Noon, Mutant website, Igo Kantor Q&A):
Over at Homepage of the Dead, someone brought up the low budget action/horror/thriller flick Nightmare At Noon - which is a semi-sort-of-remake of the 1984 horror movie Mutant. This reminded me of the website I constructed for Mutant, way back in 2002 when I was a youthful 18 year old. Also, as previously blogged about this month, there was a Q&A with Mutant producer Igo Kantor, and a few posts back you'll find it - have a read, it's really quite interesting.
Festive season - lights, decs, shopping, cards, presents, food:
This month has naturally been a time of putting up Xmas decorations, stocking the cupboards to the brim with food, buying up presents, and chewing on Rennie's like they were going out of fashion. Weather wise it's certainly been bloody cold, and we had a considerable stretch of heavily icy weather, and even a dusting of snow. Plus, I only had two Xmas cards to do - being in a generation which is all over Facebook and the internet, there's little point these days. Will the trend die out, or really drop in numbers, in the future? Quite possibly.
Thinking about a new script:
As is often the way, when I'm approaching the end of one project, I often strike upon a great idea for the next one. This time around it's been in the final sessions of wrapping up "Zero". Indeed, this new idea is based on an old one I had years ago, but never got around to. Now I feel I've got a good idea to run with and structure the whole thing upon. I guess it'll tread some similar ground to "Zero", but will be about people a couple of years younger and will be centred around one main theme - in this case, modern manhood.
The ideas were flowing thick and fast, and I've got a good many spiffing ideas jotted down to get started on. So once "Zero" has been submitted, and "IAZM3" has been edited and finally laid to rest, I'll get cracking on this new script.
District 9, Iron Man, Inglourious Basterds, and Monsters VS Aliens on DVD:
It's been a good month for DVDs, combining new releases, cheap purchases, and Xmas presents. Taking full advantage of the festive season, when you can be a total glutton and not feel (too) guilty about it, I've been pouring over the DVDs of the above movies. District 9's featurettes cover a lot of ground, and Iron Man's feature-length making of leaves no stone unturned.
Inglourious Basterds' features are a bit on the light side, but many (albeit generally short in length) provide interesting viewing - a 30 minute Q&A with Tarantino & Pitt, the full length (but obviously short) Nation's Pride in-movie-movie, and various other little things (such as QT's camera angel, and the Hi Sally's) provide plenty of fun. It's just a shame that there wasn't more - especially on a 2-discer.
Similarly with Monsters VS Aliens, the features are a bit on the sparse side, but you do get a few tidbits of interesting info, even if the main featurettes on disc one smell a bit like a promotional video for Intel and 3D tech in general ... it is rather funny to see the Dreamworks folk banging on about 3D, comparing it in stature to the invention of sound in film ... ... get real. It worked great in Avatar as a device of immersion, but is it at all necessary? It's a parlour trick in general, a bit of fun on the side, a little treat for the right film, but it's certainly no leap forward ... at the very least, it won't be for a very long time, and even then, yeah ... it's just not gonna be the big bru-ha-ha that some are hoping for.
It's all about the story and the characters, that's what's important. So do away with all these feckin' remakes, will ya? And how about making more lower budgetted flicks rather than so many giant-budget stinkers like Transformers 2?
Anyway, Bob's Big Break, on disc two, is a fun little short - and the old-school red & blue 3D glasses do actually work fairly okay. Nothing like 'Real-D' of course, but still...
I Am Zombie Man 3:
Prepping, prop gathering, shot planning, shooting and the beginning of the editing process ... December is most certainly a month that tastes like IAZM3 ... and so will January, as the edit will hopefully be completed sometime in the coming few weeks.
I Love You, Man:
Further to the DVD bonanza, I've been watching a borrowed DVD of I Love You, Man - and it's still as funny and enjoyable as it was when I first saw it. The DVD content isn't bad either. Not as extensive as the typical Apatow movie will get on DVD, but it's plenty all the same.
And I think that about brings this month's flavour drive to a close.
Happy New Year 2010, folks!