I haven’t updated properly in a while, my feet are ok again but still having an issue with them getting too cold for reasons I don’t now.
After much procrastination I finally got around to seeing the new adaption of Stephen King’s It! and it isn’t too bad and is a bit a slow burner but that is to be expected as it is a long book to begin with, even if it is being split into two films. Of course there are the inevitable comparison with the 1990 TV movie version with Tim Curry and there are differences along the way. The most obvious difference is when little Georgie encounters Pennywise and in this version we see Pennywise bite off Georgie’s arm and he gets dragged under the sewer and his body is never found… unlike the book and original in which the mutilated corpse of Georgie is found. This difference means that the a sequence at the end doesn’t quite work properly. There are a few differences on the visions that the children see as well (I think I am purely relying here on my memory of watching it on TV around 1992) and there is an uneasy element of child abuse in the girl’s storyline I don’t recall from the original, but it may have gone over my head at 9 years old. Pennywise is well played by Bill Skarsgard and gets the mix of sinister and playfulness perfectly well, though I think giving him scary clown make-up as opposed to clown make up was a bit of a mistake as it deliberately makes him look scary and defeats the point of him tempting children away from their fears. I’ll post a separate post about the film, but in a nutshell it is a good slow burning film and the director cleverly minimises the use of Pennywise and has a good number of jump scares particularly the bathroom scene at the end. The cast are very well cast and how the group comes together is expertly handled and they accurately portray a group of outcast teens. The story has been relocated timewise to the 1980s, no doubt so part two will be set in contemporary times to the production, which is a reflection of the book having the adult section set in then contemporary times.
Of course there were the trailers for upcoming films only two of which bought up any interest for me: Geostorm which looks entertaining enough but has shades of the Day After Tomorrow about it and a hint that it could also be Gravitron: The Movie (fans of Cybermen stories will get that reference) and Happy Death Day which from the trailers looks like Groundhog Day as a slasher movie. I have no interest in the Torture Porn movie that is Jigsaw, which is yet another instalment in the Saw series, a film series which seems to have had more instalments then the Halloween and Friday the 13th franchises. Then there is a Bad Moms Christmas which looks pure foul-mouthed, unfunny drivel.
Thanks to activities on Twitter, well down to @DoctorWhoNovels polls, I have revisited some of the ‘gems’ from the original Doctor Who novels which ran between 1991 and 2006 and published by Virgin Publishing and later BBC Books. Also this was partially inspired by a few chats with writers Trever Baxendale and Gary Russell, the later particularly critical about the awful covers the BBC Range started off with.
Cat’s Cradle: Warhead as you can tell from the cover answers the question that has been on every Who fans mind ever since 1987… what would Ace look like if she were played by a transvestite? Well there is the answer, ah well at least it was painted by person rather then the nonsense from Black Sheep.
Placebo Effect is a bit of a fan-pleaser in the story is about the Foamasi vs the Wirrn (or the Wirrrn as Russell calls them here in reference to Ian Marter’s The Ark in Space novelisation) and the cover with the shadow of a Wirrn cast over a medal looked good, until Gary Russell pointed it that the design of the medal and the claws make it look like the cover features the silhouette of Bugs Bunny…. Now I can’t unsee it now I’ve seen it.
Dying in the Sun actually doesn’t have that bad a cover in my opinion, I’ve started reading it and its okay so far, not great but not terrible either. There is a bit of 1950s Hollywood movie cliché in the opening chapter with Polly being propositioned by a potential film producer. The biggest flaw I can label it with is that it shouldn’t be a Second Doctor story, or at least not set that early in his era. It’s set before the arrival of Jamie who arrived in the Highanders and therefore the Doctor has only recently regenerated… so how does the Doctor have a friend in Hollywood who knows him in that body as there is a lack of time for the 2nd Doctor to have met him and it isn’t even a time-travel problem of the Doctor meeting him before their first meeting, plus Ben and Polly don’t know him… so therefore he must have met the first Doctor, I wonder if it was originally pitched as a first Doctor story.
I recently went to a Mike Yorke gig at the New Hampton Inn in Wolverhampton which had a faint air of the Harp about it. It has that amused feeling of not having being redecorated since the 1970s and there is plenty of stained glass inside including Lounge, Bar and Smoke Room plates. Mike was a tiny bit out of practice but there were only one or two slip ups. There were guests appearances by Linda Cruz and a chap who we are referring to as Keith Guitar as his name was Keith and had a guitar on his jumper. Nice atmosphere but seemingly lacking in a carpark, so parking on the street was a necessity. It looks like these gigs are going to be fortnightly which is nice. I think I need to go shopping for some new water proofs and daisy-roots for my trip to the Yorkshire Pennines, seems like there are a few events at the Pub I am staying at too which is nice. Sid’s Café and the nearby Brewery are definitely on my Yorkshire Bucket list.
I’ll do a separate post for my next bit.