Friday, July 31

Book: The Martian, Andy Weir Click for more info

Oh man, what a great book. I don't even know where to start with it. Is it that it's so well written and accessible? So engaging, without ever being cheap? That it almost reads like a screen play? Or perhaps that it's ultimately a nerd fantasy without being patronising about it? Well really it's all of these things and more; if anything I would suggest it's weakest point is in its characterisation, but the whole thing was otherwise so much fun I didn't even notice.

At its core, The Martian is a book of puzzles and answers, as Watney the protagonist and namesake of the book deals with the oh so unlucky situation he finds himself in. And if I'm making that sound flippant it's only because Watney himself does in such an effective and charismatic way. And the to and fro-ing doesn't end there - written in both the first person (via mission logs) and the third, the book almost tricks you into falling into a relationship with both the characters and the plot. It's pretty thrilling stuff. That and the level of research that's gone into it makes for a very comfortable read. The science in the book is both solid and fun.

I could gush on, but there's really no point. The book is free to distribute so there's no excuse not to read it really. Definitely recommended.

Tuesday, July 28

Film: Ant-Man Click for more info

Of course the biggest flaw of this movie is that Edgar Wright didn't get to complete it. I'm already certain that it would have been a far superior film - albeit perhaps only for some.

What we actually get is a middling okayish affair, enjoyable while it lasts but otherwise largely forgettable. Ant-Man as a hero worked though so who knows - maybe those with the power will be willing to take a bigger bet next time?

Recommended for those invested in the Marvel filmography.

Tuesday, July 21

Film: Terminator Genisys Click for more info

Opinions are funny things. By nature they're subjective, but I think most people have a handle on that. That's not to say they're random either - part of forming a relationship with someone for example is getting to know their opinions without them having to spell them out. Another example of their predictability are the correlations that form from them.

Take films for example. I'm the first to say that I have a pretty run of the mill and aligned taste in movies. Yes, there are are outliers (I'm going to love anything with Deepika Padukone in it, for example), but even these are not really that surprising. But on the whole I usually agree with critical reviews, and I tend to use Empire's star system to decide what to watch as I find it to be pretty aligned with my likes.

Which brings us to Terminator Genisys. If there was ever a film that had been universally panned it was this, the fifth film in the franchise. Apparently it was an unimaginative, nonsensical cash in which no one should have watched. But my friends and I did, because, well, Terminator.

And I actually rather liked it. To contrast with other recent sequels and cash-ins, I liked it more than Jurassic World and even preferred it to Mad Max. I found the film to be fun, clever, engaging and, basically, extremely enjoyable. It's exactly what I expected actually which I think is a credit to its producers.

Anyway you'll probably already know if you'll enjoy Terminator Genisys or not. For those who think they will, I recommend it.