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Tuesday, August 4, 2015 - 18:25

I just don't get enough reading done.

It's a horrid, vile and uncomfortable truth I have had to accept since I devoured the first three Expanse books, acquired the fourth part and have barely managed to get past the second chapter due to various intervening delays.  It was, however, whilst driving around and quickly getting bored of my playlists (not an easy task given I still quite like them) that I suddenly decided to start forking out for audiobooks.  And lo, I was saved!  Once more the wonders of science fiction were renewed in my mind's eye as I drift through the countryside with parcels for the internet shoppers of Northern England.

This first review is something of a compilation of books: The Lost Fleet series by John G. Hemry, under the pen name of Jack Cambell, beginning with Dauntless, follwoed sequentially by Fearless, Courageous, Valiant, Relentless and ending the story ark with Victorious, under thel narrative stylings of Christian Rummel...

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Saturday, July 18, 2015 - 18:12

You know when you leave the cinema and there's that uncomfortable silence as folks are still trying to sum up how they actually feel about the movie that just paid to go and see?

Didn't happen this time - it was clear that this pile of garbage was fired out of someones nose with all the force and beligerence of an elephant with a cold.

The Minions Movie left me ffeling not just a little betrayed, but actually sort of inclined toward not caring about the protagonists by no small margin.  Perhaps its because I actually kept finding myself wishing to understand what the three malformed half-wits were trying to convey (which in previous movies had never been a problem, oddly), or perhaps it was because at one point I was actually hoping that ANY of the background characters or even the villains of the piece would take a more proactive role, or perhaps it was as simple as watching a mildly boring kids film that just didn't have the creative panache that Despicable Me...

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Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 02:28

I haven't written a scathing review in a while.  Most of the stuff I've been watching lately, when I've had the chance, has been relatively quite good, and this has pleased me no end.  But then I saw the trailers for Jupiter Ascending and I saw that the Wachowskis had put their name to it, both as writers, producers and as directors... and I instinctively knew that this was it; their moment of reckoning, so to speak.

To date, in my opinion, the Wachowskis have made maybe 1.5 good movies.  Everything else has fallen far short of the mark, and given the amount of money that was being sunk in to this particular film, not to mention the amount of name dropping involved, this was going to be a defining film for them.

If I needed to sum up in one sentence my thoughts on this science fiction action / adventure romp, it'd go something a little along the lines of,

'Who do I get those two hours of my life back, you thieving, useless fucks.'

...

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Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 14:23

So, my review of episode six can be pretty much summed up with a single, telling picture.  A little something that the props department handed to Jim Caviezel and said, 'Bet you you can't look casual carrying one of these puppies...' 

...

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 14:28

'It's time we had a talk, you and I.'

And at last, it looks like Finch is getting back in to the game, especially given the final words of the episode.
And it's about damned time, too.

This episode, like some before it, flicks between two seperate times, one is of course the present day and the new number that the Machine has produced in order for the gang to go save or hinder (but we'll get back to that later) while the other starts October 13th, 2001, with Harold Finch and Nathan Ingrams (Brett Cullen) in the development stages of the machine, and when I say development imagine a young child to teenager witht he powers of a God and the urge to go and fire it up some.  It may also be worth noting that due to the implementation of the Gregorian Calendar (the one we use today) this day technically does not exist in the countries of Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain during the Year 1582 AD.  Surely the irony isn't lost on the writers...
...

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Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 15:38

The Brotherhood are mentioned int he first episode and one can't be sur if they're about to become a new bunch of players or a simple agitation, either way, they're back for a second round, and it's not every day that Elias suggests caution around elements of the underworld.
The episode opens with three very heavily armed goons walking in to a secured building and then, without warning, gunshots and yelling kick up - Samaritan coldly refutes it as irrelevent.  So be it. That's Samaritan for you, but then it forces me to ask a new question: what is Samaritan's goal?  It's important to understand that, working on the assumption that an A.I. isn't motivated by things such as happiness or duty, Samaritan has an objective - an endgame that isn't simply it's own personal survival, so what is it?  World domination?  Control over all of the resources it can muster?  Then what?  What does it want / need?  Which would then usher the question, 'Why...

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Saturday, October 11, 2014 - 12:37

Once more unto the void we go, threshing our way through the terrible and unforgiving storyline that is The Expanse universe.  And what a ride this book has been.
Which actually makes me really sad because, at the time of writing this review, specifically mid October, I am going to have to wait over half a year for the next installment to arrive in paperback!  I know, I could fork out those extra couple of quid for the hardback, but I've got all the previous volumes in the paper and I ran out of space on the bookshelves months ago.  Plus, I'm not a massive fan of hardback simply for conservational reasons - which makes me a massive hypocrite when it comes to the subject of roleplaying game rule books, but then again, paperback editions of a rulebook don't last long (how many copies of Cyberpunk 2020 did you go through?  My last copy doesn't have a front and rear cover and I'm pretty certain there's pages missing from either end to boot).

But I...

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Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 12:22

Is it just me, or does an episode early in the series that gets you chuckling throughout usher portents of doom for later in the series?  And since I don't think there was a good 5 minutes where I didn't give a little guffaw I'm wondering how much of a kicking there's going to be involved later on in the storyline.  Plus, this was an episode that let Detective Lional Fusco (Kevin Chapman) out to play somewhat, and it's about time, too!

Opening with a chase, Detectives Riley (John Reese) and Fusco are in hot pursuit, on foot, of a chap who looks entirely frightened.  Fusco remains with the perp as he dashes out across a road and nearly gets wiped out by a car and continues in to a park.  John, on the other hand, boards a tour bus and gains access to the top floor.  The perp sprints through the park in amongst a crowd of people, Fusco really trying his best to keep up with the spry runner.
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Friday, October 3, 2014 - 13:07

It's entirely likely that you didn't see this movie turn up on your radar.  I utterly missed this one - I didn't hear about it, didn't catach a glimpse of any of the media surrounding it, not even a whiff from the cracking cast that appears in it.  And then there's a thoroughly vicious selection of reviews culminating in an IMDB score of 6.3 out of 10 and a Metacritic score of 42%.  And you know what? I think I know why.

Ever watched one of those films where you see the popular group of like minded individuals do a bunch of stuff because they want to preserve some form of nostalgia or a traditional ritual that's bordering on the controversial?  And the way the film is told, you feel as though you want to side with them because you get this thoroughly poignant arguement which tugs on all the necessary heart strings?  And then it turns out that what you've been slowly rooting for is actually a monstrous and hideous thing that should be abolished by the...

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Thursday, October 2, 2014 - 13:10

The season premier promised us that we were going to be on a bit of a rollercoaster this series, and the second episode has shown us the first hill to climb before the drop in to uncertain high veolcity hijinks, except that the hill is covered in private military contractors, crazy mathematical problems and a chase to acquire a prize that only the winner will truly appreciate.

We open in the dark, Finch carefully welding away when his phone alerts him to a text message.  Perplexed, Finch goes to his 'late night snack' only to find out that Reese has just pulled a number and has put him in to the same diner as the mark.  Finch, somewhat disgruntled at the fact that Reese has thrown him in to field work by duplicitous means (something of a hoist for his own petard), is unconvinced that he should be getting involved with the Machine's machinations and more trying to stay in role and obfuscated from Samaritan's panopticonic gaze, argues that there would be no point...

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