Thursday, 29 September 2016

Flavours of the Month: September 2016...

Gore, gaming, horror rock, and the boys from the little rouge one - what's been setting the tone of my September 2016?

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A Bay of Blood (Blu-Ray) - the first time I saw this movie (several years ago in a somewhat grainy copy on the Horror Channel), I didn't quite jive with it. I appreciated its importance to the foundation of the slasher genre (two kills in the flick were even pinched for Friday the 13th Part II), but at the time I wasn't so keen on it. Fast forward a few years (and a lot of Italian flicks and Bava movies) later, and I liked it a hell of a lot more. The plot is still over-complicated (the various allegiances and vendettas between different combinations of characters is confusing, to say the least), but the themes of the script are joyfully vicious.

Captain America: Civil War (Blu-Ray) - read my thoughts on it HERE.

Dara O'Brien's Go 8 Bit - a new show to Dave all about videogames with famous people battling it out at the controller. The 'spin the stage' shtick (which happens about five times an episode) is already old and grating, and I could do without the unnecessary (even a tad smug) bits of 'political commentary' that crop up from time-to-time in the VT packages, but other than that it's a bit of fun. It could use some finessing, and each episode is perhaps a bit overlong in an hour slot, but I'll keep on with it. Naturally, with different guests on each week, that greatly affects your enjoyment of each episode one way or the other.

Fear The Walking Dead: Season 2B - some key problems continue unfixed here (e.g. rushed character arcs, and huge in-world inconsistencies and gaps in logic like how much 'zombie blood' camouflage is needed), and there's no doubt that Season 2 is decidedly overlong at 15 episodes, but thus far 2B has been much better than 2A. Still, the whole raison detre for the show - to allow the audience to see the initial downfall of society - has been completely lost. They have skipped over so much in a mad rush to become what is now just 'The Walking Dead: Mexico' (like some sort of CSI spin off). There's much work to be done here, some characters are compelling, while others inspire no real interest (or flat-out annoy you), and you can't escape the feeling that this is a show in search of a purpose after it abandoned its USP by the end of Season 1's six-episode run.

The Bloodstained Butterfly (Blu-Ray) - see a full review HERE.

National Treasure - Channel 4's four-part drama starring Robbie Coltrane and Julie Walters, in which an ageing comedian is accused of historical abuse. Reflecting the various cases linked to Operation Yewtree in the UK, it proves to be a dark yet compelling mystery told from the perspective of the accused and his family. We're half-way through it so far and both episodes that have aired have been gripping from start-to-finish and are very well written - numerous actions and lines of dialogue can be read in more than one way, lending a sense of mystery and doubt that further bolster the already enthralling premise.

Red Dwarf XI - the eagerly awaited return of the small rouge one. It's been four years since Red Dwarf X, so it's a good thing they shot two series back-to-back (so that's 2017 taken care of). The first episode was a little bit wobbly - too much story to try and cram into a single episode? - and it felt like everyone was trying to get back into the swing of things, we as an audience included, but there were numerous laugh-out-loud gags. "Samsara", the second episode, on the other hand fares better and feels much more like classic episodes (I laughed all the way through it). It opens with Lister and Rimmer bickering in their bunk room, involves them all getting stuck on a crashed ship with an intriguing sci-fi premise behind it, and the additional characters are fewer in number and weaved into the episode far more smoothly that in last week's series premiere episode "Twentica". It felt like everyone involved was getting back into the groove again, so hopefully the series continues onwards and upwards. As a big fan of the show it's great to have it back on the telly.

Matinee (Blu-Ray) - full review coming soon.


The Cure "Disintegration"

Le Matos "Turbo Kid" Soundtrack

Misfits "Walk Among Us", "Earth A.D.", "Static Age", "The Devil's Rain"

Green Day "Revolution Radio"
- the second single off the upcoming album. Both new tracks (the other being "Bang Bang") have been rather good. They feel energised, vital, and relevant. The "Uno/Dos/Tres" triple album experiment, Green Day's last release, was one album's worth of solid tracks spread out over three albums with a lot of filler in-between. Before that "21st Century Breakdown" was pretty good, but was just doing the same thing that "American Idiot" did so well, so came off a bit 'been there, done that'. Thus far, however, "Revolution Radio" feels as if they've sunk their teeth into the 2010s and have something new to sing about. I'm looking forward to the new album.

Jimmy Buffet "Turning Around" - this song is featured in the 1985 John Candy film "Summer Rental", which was a favourite from my childhood years. I recently re-watched it for the first time in a long time and with the wave of nostalgia came this song.

Rob Zombie "The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser"


Character Profiles - I've been getting my next book planned out of late (it has become quite the complex project with much work still to do before writing can begin in earnest), and this month has seen a lot of work on profiling the various characters who will feature in the story. You might not use all of the information on-the-page in the final book, but in order to keep your head straight on who they all are - and what defines them - you need to do this ground work. I've also been doing likewise for another project that I'm working on - but more about that one as-and-when.

The Walking Dead - Volume 26: A Call To Arms - the latest trade paperback. When the 'Whisperers' storyline got going I wasn't all that into it, but gradually I've been warming up to it, and this 26th volume throws in a new (but already established in the overall TWD story) element to ramp up the intrigue.

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