Saturday 31 July 2010

Flavours of the Month: July 2010...

July has been a generally muggy month interspersed with spells of fresh cool, and power cuts. It has also been a month of - By Any Means 2: Sydney to Tokyo - which I gave a second viewing on DVD, and which was a good step up from the slightly disappointing first By Any Means.

A few weeks back I got into the ruddy thrilling first season of Prison Break, and I've now caught up on the other three seasons. Season Two was a strong follow-up, even if it did tail off a smidge in the last episodes, Season Three was the weakest (clearly affected by the Writer's Strike at the time) and often drew out small events to fill entire episodes, and finally Season Four, was back to the usual thrilling form ... but once again it tailed off a bit in the final third once there was yet another double-cross and things took yet another detour to drag everything out again ... and while the ending is a smidge unsatisfying in more than one respect, it was still an affecting finish to a bloody good and rather enjoyable show.

I finally caught up on the latest Splinter Cell game ("Conviction"), which seemed to encourage you to not be able to sneak around and just get you into a firefight, and while I wasn't always following the plot, I always enjoy a bit of Sam Fisher shadowy goings on. At least the "Deniable Ops" portion allowed for classic stealth gameplay in "Hunter Mode".

I've also been thoroughly getting into The Walking Dead, in anticipation of the October premiere of the TV adaptation. I've done the first three "Volumes" (or "Trades") and while Volume Two was a bit hit and miss, Volumes One and especially Three have been tip top zombie fun ... but the dialogue could use some improvement at this stage to rid itself of too much exposition and on-the-nose bluntness. Good lord though, with all the snippets of info coming out regarding the TV adaptation (including a leaked trailer from Comic-Con), it's been an absolute zed-head nerdgasm!

Musically it's been a bit of everything, but a late entry would have to be the Alan Wake soundtrack - specifically the licensed tracks featured in the game (the full orchestral soundtrack comes out in August). Particular tracks would be "Young Men Dead" by The Black Angels, "Up Jumped The Devil" by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, "Haunted" by Poe, "War" by Poets of the Fall" and "In Dreams" by Roy Orbison. Alan Wake is such a well crafted game and as such the music chosen to play throughout is inspired and really supports and extends the overall tone and feel of the game.

I've also been having a Blade Runner kick with a return to the 5-disc DVD. It's one of those films that you like more, and think higher of, each time you watch it.

Finally, I've been cracking on with final touches to Summer Road. I'm looking forward to getting it finished and sent off to the BBC Writersroom. I've been working on this for seemingly ages now. Actual writing has taken place over three months in spare time, and before that I was slowly piecing everything together in the form of notes.

I'm really looking forward to getting onto Allen Bridge as well, for which I've got some considerable notes mapped out including entire scenes, and being that it's a totally different vibe (and genre) to Summer Road, it will come as a welcome change of pace for my writing - that said, I'm really quite proud of Summer Road ... I've invested a lot of time and self into it, and I think that is reflected in the almost-final (at the time of writing) product.

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