Friday, 28 February 2014

Flavours of the Month: February 2014...


Top Gear Series 21

Lost Season 3
- the second tour through Lost continues. Season 3 is arguably stronger than the second season with a tighter narrative and a more compelling cast of additional characters. The scope of the island expanded, the mysteries grew deeper (while also giving more meat to chew on), and one of my favourite characters became a regular - Desmond.

The Money Pit (DVD) - one of those flicks I used to watch constantly as a kid (I was obsessed with all the house falling apart hijinks), but now I'm able to appreciate the wider story and certain jokes that flew over my head all those years ago.

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The Walking Dead Season 4B - a welcome return. Scott Gimple's time as showrunner so far has been a joy to watch, with season four producing a consistently good-to-great string of episodes. Only five more left in the season and I can't wait to see where they go from here.

Inside No.9 - the new Steve Pemberton/Reece Shearsmith black comedy series. The first episode took some getting into initially (the majority of it takes place inside a cupboard), but the twist ending impressed - the second episode was superb (a dialogue-free crime caper) - and the third episode was just downright creepy. Indeed, each episode (all taking place inside a different "Number 9" home) brings an intelligent and unforeseen twist to the close. The fourth episode had a very interesting central idea, but overall it didn't click as well as the other episodes for me.

Alien Resurrection (DVD) - I really enjoyed this movie when I was a teenager, but in the cold light of adulthood it's a decidedly weak affair. The visuals and stylistic approach are good, and there's some interesting ideas scattered throughout, but the over-reliance on under-cutting humour is ill-fitting, and the pacing/plot is at times downright bizarre. The story is, sadly, uninspiring, filled with exposition dumps before descending into 'run around a spaceship and escape before the countdown clock reaches zero' set pieces (although the underwater sequence is a stand-out segment). They should have left it alone after Alien 3.

The 'Burbs (DVD) - another one of my favourites from my formative years, and one of the earliest films to introduce horror genre ideas to me. That creepy underbelly of suburban life, that suspicion of sadistic dealings happening in your neighbour's basement, it all wedged in my mind and inspired a life-long love of the horror genre. I remember being transfixed by the scene where Tom Hanks channel-hops through various horror movies - particularly of the scene from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. At the time I had no idea what that particular film was, but I knew that I desperately wanted to see it (and it's now one of my favourites).

Crank 1 & 2

Machete Kills (DVD)
- thoughts on it here.

Women In Prison Triple Feature (DVD)
- Chained Heat, Red Heat, and Jungle Warriors.


Foo Fighters

Various Mix CDs
- for years I've been putting together CDs featuring a mixture of tracks from whatever I was listening to at the time. Revisiting the first twenty-odd of these as I work has been a kind of aural history of a considerable portion of my life. I travel back to certain moments with certain tracks, and I can recall the lay of the land so-to-speak at the time I originally burned-off these discs.

Robbi Robb "In Time"

Mike Patton "Social Club"
- one of the pieces from the soundtrack to Crank 2.


"Sleb" - the 2014 Screenwriter's Goldmine script competition has rolled around and I'm submitting my most recent screenplay. With a little bit of distance from it I've been able to go back and add in a few new ideas and tweaks that have made for some nice improvements. I've got other plans for "Sleb" as well, which I'll talk more about soon.

"The Racket" - for the last couple of months I've been chipping away at this short-form documentary (as editor/sound designer/script editor) and it's come out really well. This month it's been about completing the edit and the various odd little jobs that crop up at the end of every project. The film will be heading out to various film festivals in due course - so info on that sort of stuff as-and-when.

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