Sword-swinging fantasy, gut toting goons, the pleasures of world domination, and more...
Click "READ MORE" below for January 2015's looks, sounds, vibes & flavours...
Game of Thrones Seasons 3 & 4 - barging my way through this superb fantasy series I've learned one thing above all: if your surname is Stark, you're gonna have a bad time. Thinking about it, there's very few characters who don't end up having a bad time at some point ... and I thought The Walking Dead was brutal! Favourite bit of the entire show? Honestly ... it has to be when Arya and The Hound remark on the notion of naming your sword ... just thinking about that moment makes me crack up laughing, not to do a disservice to the rest of the show of course (because it's ruddy great), but yeah, as daft as it is, that was my favourite bit thus far.
Guardians of the Galaxy (Blu-Ray) - thoughts here.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Blu-Ray) - another year, another epic journey through 10 hours of extensively illuminating bonus features.
Dead Snow 2 (Blu-Ray) - thoughts here.
The Lord of the Rings: Extended Editions (DVD) - It's been several years since I watched these, and considering that I'd just completed the Hobbit trilogy over Christmas, it was time for a re-visit. "The Fellowship of the Ring" is the best all-round movie of the three, but "The Two Towers" contains my favourite chunk of the entire trilogy (the Battle for Helm's Deep). That said, the second entry also contains my least favourite chunk of the entire trilogy - most of the stuff with the Ents which, when cutting away from the heart-pounding stakes of Helm's Deep, comes as a wet blanket (until the Ents get their arse-kicking roots into gear that is). "The Return of the King" is, in some ways, overly long at four hours in the extended cut - yes, the climb up Mount Doom will be a struggle, but by that point it's frustrating to see them fall over or pass out one too many times. The third is definitely the big action spectacle, and the plot does somewhat suffer, but I view the three films as one long story - so it's only natural to climax in grand fashion. I'm also perfectly fine with the multiple endings that usually catch so much flack - when you've been through so much with these characters you want to see what happens to them afterwards, not just for them to be written away with a two sentence title card or something!
Black Dynamite Season 2 - seeing as the first three episodes concern an absurdist take on slavery, 'Black Jaws', and a spoof of The Warriors, things got off to an excellent start. However, I wasn't keen on the double-length musical episode that capped off the season. I think I enjoyed it more than the first season because I binge viewed it over a few days and, despite a couple of wobbly episodes that didn't float my boat, I'd welcome a third season. What's more, it's got me in the mood to re-watch the original movie.
Sin City 2 (Blu-Ray) - a second spin for Rodriguez/Miller's second stab at the world of (Ba)Sin City. The first time I went in with softened expectations and enjoyed it, and the second time round I was viewing it more on its own merits. A mere three weeks since I'd first watched it and I was already well up for seeing it again - it's a good flick. It deserved to do better at the box office and, frankly, it was judged too harshly. Same again? What else do you expect - it's a sequel set in the same universe with many of the same characters! We get more of what we want and it's one of the most entertaining and stylish flicks of 2014. Even the newly written stories hold up better upon second viewing, and I think it was a wise idea to have the central story "A Dame To Kill For" as the uninterrupted core of the movie.
Alice Cooper "Pretties For You", "Easy Action", "Love It To Death", "Killer", and "School's Out"
The 69 Eyes "X"
Robert Rodriguez ft. Steven Tyler "Skin City"
The Black Angels "Passover", "Directions To See A Ghost", "Phosphene Dream", and "Indigo Meadow"
VIBES & FLAVOURS:
Chuck Palahniuk "Beautiful You" - the latest from the author of Fight Club tackles female empowerment and chick lit, and all through CP's deviously idiosyncratic outlook on life. A breezy and enjoyable read, if not one of his stand out stories, but it certainly improves on one aspect of his previous book "Doomed" - he gets to the point quicker in this one. My only real problem with "Doomed" was how long it took to reveal something in a scene; oftentimes I'd know where things were heading two or three pages before it finally got there, thus sapping some of the pace from the storytelling. Not so with "Beautiful You", which rarely wastes time.
"Celebrityville" - this month I reached the end of the story, and then started on doing some of the additional tasks relating to getting a book finished up, such as working on the cover art etc. During February I'll be doing polishing work on it, but quite soon it'll be available - info on how you can get your hands on a copy as-and-when. Click HERE for more information about the book.