Wednesday 30 September 2015

Flavours of the Month: September 2015...

Spies who love themselves, irate hoteliers, and chaos under the sea, are just some of the vibes of my September 2015...

Click "READ MORE" below for this month's looks, sounds, vibes & flavours...


Archer: Season 1, 2, and 3 - one of those shows that I was aware of, but never got around to ... until now that is. It took a few episodes to settle into the style and feel of it, but now consider me just a little bit enraptured.

Fast and Furious 7 - mini review of the film HERE.

Fawlty Towers - it's 40 years since this classic British sitcom first aired (for a total of twelve episodes, six for each of the two series, which came with a four-year break in-between), and I realised that I'd never watched them all. I'd seen various bits over the years and you get the impression you've seen it - but I hadn't. Fortunately, Gold were showing all the episodes so I was able to catch up. Favourite episode? I'd probably opt for "The Psychiatrist".

Avengers: Age of Ultron - mini review of the film HERE.


Alice In Chains "Black Gives Way To Blue"

Nine Inch Nails "Ghosts I-IV"

Foo Fighters
- a jaunt through all eight of their studio albums.


"My Dark Places" by James Ellroy - a deeply intimate and revealing autobiography/true crime investigation from the 'Demon Dog of Crime Fiction', in which he recounts the murder of his own mother, his subsequent life, and his cold case investigation into the matter. Fascinating and dark in equal measure.

"Utilitarianism" - I cut together the last film in the latest series of educational films (called "Ethical Theory II"), and have generally been doing some of the final tasks to help get the project completed.

BioShock 2 - another 'late catch up' bit of cheap gaming. I played the original when it first came out, and "Infinite" a while ago, but never gave this particular entry a spin. I've heard very mixed things about it - some of which are unfairly overt in their criticism (let's not forget that BioShock wasn't without fault). However, while I've had plenty of entertainment out of BioShock 2, it's certainly a mixed bag. On the up side you don't return to previous levels like you did in BS1, but on the down side the sense of repetition moves over to the numerous times you - as a Big Daddy - must defend a Little Sister as she gathers Adam from a body. Frankly, six times a level (twice a piece for three Little Sisters, whose BD's you also have to kill every time) is too many. It's fun and brings something new to the table, but it's overused and relied upon to stretch the playtime out. Design wise the game is still strong, although being that we've already been to Rapture, the sense of wonder is diminished second-time-out (whereas BioShock Infinite's new setting gave us new wonder). Considering the key creative minds (e.g. Ken Levine) behind BioShock weren't there for BS2 it's no surprise that the game is weaker by comparison (faults of the first still taken into account), but even though, BioShock 2 has offered up plenty of fun.

Story wise the world of Rapture remains rich, although certain themes are very familiar from the first game, and the sense of morality is a bit strange at times (e.g. 'saving' Gil). I never got annoyed at the game except for one instance during the finale when you simply get spammed with enemies. Frankly, it was ridiculous (to the point where I was backed into a corner and physically couldn't move for all the damn Brutes thundering about in front of me), and I've always disliked spamming the player with enemies as a way of giving the illusion of a 'big fight'. All said and done though I'm glad I gave BioShock 2 a shot. It's not without flaws, and inherently lacks originality, but it was a pleasure to return to the richly realised world of Rapture.

"How Mr Snuffles III and Others Met Their Maker" - so I accidentally wrote a new book, as you do, and it's now available through Amazon and Smashwords (and their respective expanded distribution networks) for eBook and Paperback print formats. More info on the book HERE.

The Walking Dead: Volume 24: "Life and Death" by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard et al
- I'm a little bit on the fence about these 'Whisperers', but their modus operandi and reason for being seems to be making a bit more sense now, so we'll see how it goes.

"Sin City: Vol.6 Booze, Broads, & Bullets" by Frank Miller

"Sin City: Vol.5 Family Values" by Frank Miller

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