Wednesday 28 April 2010

Flavours of the Month: April 2010...

Continuing on from the end of March, I finished off the DVD for Tremors: The Series - it was an enjoyable show, if a bit under-funded, and you do miss Burt Gummer in the last couple of episodes (presumably off filming Tremors 4 at the time), but yeah - it's a fun show for the Tremors franchise fans.

In full-on Tremors mode I toured through the four movies again - the original is a classic with perfect pacing and brilliant lines of dialogue, the second is a riotous action-packed romp, the third is weak on the production front but affords us plenty of quality Burt Gummer fun and returns us to Perfection all these years later. Tremors 4, meanwhile, was a flick I didn't like at all the first time around, but six years later giving it a second chance I do like it. It is a bit of a let down in some respects, but the production value is great (and kicks the ass of Tremors 3 in that respect) and on its own terms it's actually pretty good. I do hope that Tremors 5 does happen ... I'm eagerly awaiting a new slice of Burt Gummer action!

Other viewing experiences this month have included The Mist (ruddy good monster movie Stephen King adaptation, which has gotten me in the mood for Alan Wake, oddly enough, and The Walking Dead, which is being brought to us by Darabont) ... then Funny People (enjoyed it more on its own terms this time around, and the DVD is plenty enjoyable), then Poultrygeist (gory Troma fun - although from the making-of I'm still astonished they're this disorganised and prone to production-haulting bickering after 35 years of filmmaking) ... *gasps for air* ... and then, plucked from my DVD shelf and blown-free of dust, the Soderbergh movie Full Frontal, and all-over-the-place Japanese zombie movie Wild Zero.

I watched Full Frontal as part of my film degree when we were discussing the Dogme 95 Manifesto (we also watched Festen), and Soderbergh's flick while initially slow to get going, and only vaguely living up to the Dogme 95 mindset, is actually quite an intriguing movie. The first twenty minutes bored the pants off me, but then I found myself getting quite into it ... so it was fun to have a bit of a nostalgia trip back to 2002/2003.

I finished off Assassin's Creed 2, which was ruddy good fun ... aside from a few niggles - including all those annoying NPCs carrying boxes, or playing guitars and getting in your way, or that your Villa chest can only carry about 55,000 florins but I can lug about 650,000+ just fine on my person ... silly, silly, silly. However, as I said, aside from a few dodgy little things here and there (including some small, but undercooked gameplay mechanics or the odd mission - such as "CTF"), it was a ruddy fun game - and a breath of fresh air into my sandbox gaming, being that you're yomping around 15th Century Italy.

Naturally, being a Brit, there's also been a lot of General Election based chit-chat, and I've found myself exhausted by it all quite quickly (as have friends of mine who are interested in politics - cue endless and fruitless political arguments between us all, which we all decided were more annoying than anything productive - best to remain friends, you know?) ... anyway, I've found myself utterly turned off by BBC News and Sky News - their obsession with the three leaders and nothing else (*ahem* what about the hundreds of constituencies and local issues up and down the nation?!) ... indeed, Sky News' coverage of their hosted debate was ludicrous and nothing short of masturbatory ... ... the "meeja narrative" has also been extremely evident in the last couple of weeks. How about reporting FACTS, rather than the opinions of the 24 hour news channels? The constant re-framing (or "spinning") of what's actually going on - into some warped, non-sensical hodge-podge of time wasting - has been a total turn off. As such I'm sticking with newspapers and blogs, because 24 hours news is (mostly) just pathetic and self-involved (and it has been for a very long time).

Finally, I got to check out In The Shadow of the Moon on telly the other day, and it was a really compelling examination of how mankind got to the moon, and the men who took us all there. Fascinating stuff. If only mankind still did things as boundary-pushing as that these days...

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