What have I been up to in the mean time? The answer is not a lot, I have been visiting my local watering holes and catching up on idle chit-chat with Tom and Mike and putting the world too rights. I popped into the Cock Hotel and greatly enjoyed the wide selection of Real Ales, they had my favourite Holden’s beer on which is the Special Bitter. The beer is a tawny coloured ale with a smooth moreish Malty taste, which is an awkward thing when the beer is 5.1% and you have your motor with you.
I have been following the WordPress Daily Prompts and Livejournal Writer’s Block questions to help develope my writing skills and focus on topics, curiously enough it is perfect bar based activity if you wind up on your own with a full pint.
After a small break I am back on my cinema visiting antics, my hiatus has mainly been due to a lack of films grabbing my interest and/or being on at practical times for me. I made my last trip to see the final entry to the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay Part Two, which aside from it illustrating how little happens in Part One it provides a reasonable close to the story. It starts pretty well but it suffers from a few elements frequently overused, on no less then three occasions the storyline uses “Katniss is dead, no she’s not” as a plot point and then it all goes a bit Terry Nation: The film has a bunch of rebels (who call themselves rebels) entering an abandoned city filled with booby traps, using tunnels to access the city’s focal point during which they are attacked by mutants who are people who are the result of war and experimentation fall out with a noble sacrifice and a man being dragged from a ledge into a mutant filled pool. The final confrontation between President Snow and Katniss is very well written and oozes tension but is sold a bit short for my liking, I believe that Snow is telling the truth. The final twist is a bit obvious and the love triangle is wrapped up fairly quickly long before the end, but overall the film ends satisfactory if a bit too twee. The death of Philip Seymour Hoffmann during production affects the climax as well with his character’s final contributions being done by the useful plot device of a letter, however for such a lady Macbeth type character it does seem a bit of a come down.
There are at least three films I am definitely seeing in the new few weeks: Bridge of Spies, The Lady in the Van and Victor Frankenstein all of which seem pretty entertaining in different ways.
Music wise I have picked up myself a few things from HMV namely Wynton Marsalis’ self titled debut album on Columbia Records which was produced by Herbie Hancock and a previously unreleased concert by Tubby Hayes from 1958. While there I added three Bond films to my blu-ray collection: the two best ones and From Russia with Love which along with Thunderball is one I have never seen, I think the remake of Thunderball called “Never Say Never Again” has put me off the later.
And more news, I am now officially published in a Charity anthology about British Sci-Fi. My article is on the overlooked Cold Lazarus which was the final work of the late great Dennis Potter. Details of the book can be found here:http://watchingbooks.weebly.com/you-and-who-else.html
Good day, the Sandman has left the building.