Wednesday, April 24

Film: Abigail Click for more info

Abigail is a great film, and gets the basics right in the way a lot of great films do. It's fun, jumpy, pacey and keeps its audience in gripping suspense throughout most of it. The characters are almost caricatures of the usual, but the film is self aware enough to own that and all the other tropes and plot devices it uses to great effect.

The scares are enough - you probably won't have too much trouble sleeping after watching this - but it's really the simple things that keeps the film going. The plot, script and production are all to high enough standard to not get in the way of all the fun.

The ending may falter a little but in the context of the film you really can't expect it to get to the end without taking a little breather. Overall though, Abigail was great and gets a strong recommendation from me.

Monday, April 22

Book: Strange Dogs, James S. A. Corey Click for more info

In what can only be described as "what it says on the time", Strange Dogs was definitely strange. The Expanse, as a series, tends to oscillate between the vanilla (space, war, politics) to the fantastical (ancient aliens, warping of physics, "magic") in way that suits its brand of modern sci-fi, and Strange Dogs firmly falls into the latter end of that spectrum.

Characterisation is better than the other novellas, and so this is also one of the better novellas. It may have been slightly on the longer, labouring, side but that didn't stop me from turning its pages.

If this is how the remaining novellas will turn out to be then I look forward to not having to write them off like I was planning to.

Wednesday, April 17

Film: Monkey Man Click for more info

It could have been something much better, but instead Monkey Man saves its best moves for a single set piece, with a second pulling up the rear. In total it's about 30 minutes worth of high octane entertainment costing 90 minutes of some pretty dire dross. It's almost as if the film was designed around those few scenes.

It's a shame because in another life this could have been the other John Wick. Instead I couldn't help but feel a little cheated by the whole thing. Perhaps one to leave for a home viewing then.

Monday, April 15

Book: Babylon's Ashes, James S. A. Corey Click for more info

Is it really only book 6? I guess that's a testament to the pacing of this series, as it really does feel like a lot more has happened. And yet ironically this volume was quite flat in terms of any major wider plot development. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, given the events of the previous book. So maybe a reset then, before the final act?

I suppose just like it is for the characters in the book, Babylon's Ashes is a comfort. We spend time with characters old, seeing them interact in new situations but in the equally old ways. It was all very familiar and safe and low effort, and although I didn't mind it here (with its 700+ pages) I do hope the next novel will bring something else to the table.

Thursday, April 11

Film: Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire Click for more info

Is it possible for a monster movie to jump the shark? Well I do admit that while I was preparing myself for something ridiculous, what I found was actually not... and somewhat quite fitting in the trajectory that has been the previous films in the series.

I will say that this is largely a Kong movie, with Godzilla pretty much playing second fiddle to the story (of what little there is). But you would come here for the fights and set pieces, and of these things The New Empire does not disappoint.

So not a complete waste of time but hardly a classic. You'll probably already know if you want to watch this.