Monday, February 25, 2013

DVD Of the Week: Berberian Sound Studio

Some movies are made for immediate reaction. I loved (Marvel) Avengers Assemble for instance, it's impact overwhelming any limitations in it and left me walking out the cinema communing with my inner 8-year-old geek. I didn't need to see more than 20 minutes of Transformers 2 to know I would rather gnaw my own arm off, 127 Hours-style, than watch the rest. Simple, immediate reactions. Other films need longer to work through, to get past that initial reaction and parse something deeper. One of those films is Berberian Sound Studio.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Movie Review: Wreck-it Ralph

So, on Wednesday we had babysitters, which meant we were free to go to the cinema. Free from the kids, we naturally ended up seeing Wreck-it Ralph, mostly because a lot of the more "Grown Up" films we wanted to see were on at inconvenient times, would have finished really late, or have just passed on into that never-land between cinema and DVD release. The irony is not lost on me. In fact, we nearly missed this too, due to being stuck in match-night traffic around Elland Road Football ground, but at least that way we missed most of the adverts!

Monday, February 18, 2013

DVD of the Week: Brave

Anecdotally, Pixar's magic aura seems to have been punctured in the last couple of years. There was definitely a time they could do no wrong in the critical eye, but no matter how good Toy Story 3 was - and it was - it also seemed to mark a shift away from audacious concept films about cute robots or old men with death-wishes, and into safer, more well-traveled territory. Cars 2 became the first Pixar film I could recall that critics got their teeth into, and the announcement of more sequels (well Monsters University is a prequel, but you get the point) had left me wondering if some of the magic was gone. And then Brave opened to middling reviews, and I didn't even rush to see, finally catching it this weekend.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thinking: Kids vs Violent Gaming

Some times I feel sorry for Ewan, our eldest. He's 11 soon, and is now very much sat in one of those strange childhood "dead zones" - not a teenager, with all the teenage market to play with, and certainly no longer a child, easily amused by simpler things. I got through this odd time by becoming a voracious reader; raiding my Dad's shelves for thrillers and science fiction, but Ewan is a different generation and far more interested in games and movies as his primary source of entertainment. Which is problematic, in many ways, for him, and by extension me. 
Waaaaaagh! Orks Luv Violent Gamez!

Monday, February 11, 2013

DVD of the Week: Looper

One of things I love about some films is that sense that you more you think about a film, the more you get out of it. So at first viewing it may chug along happily, but you can wake up the following day with thoughts about this scene, or that dialog, which unlocks more things in your head about it, and eventually you sort of pin your wife in a corner of the kitchen talking to her with a mad gleam in your eye until she threatens you with a frying pan and tells you you're never watching Inception ever, ever again.OK, that may be a bit too specific an example.But anyway, you know that quality a film can have? Well, Looper is pretty much the opposite of that.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Games Review: X-Wing Miniatures

One of the nice things about having kids is that as they get old you can attempt to inflict your interests on them, and sometimes they stick. Other times they don't, because to them you are old and stuffy and don't really know anything, but thankfully one of things that Ewan (10, going on 15) does enjoy is board- and war-gaming. Its one of the reasons I can justify buying miniatures to paint. It also meant that for Christmas he got the X-Wing Miniatures Games and we've played a good few times since.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

DVD of the Week: Magic Mike

Sometimes you end up watching films with some strange subject matters. Take Magic Mike, a movie set in the world of Male Strippers in Tampa, Florida, and a film whose marketing strongly emphasized the fact. I've no problem with movies about Male Strippers (in Tampa, or anywhere, really) but its not a subject matter that I'm in any way drawn to. Magic Mike, however, is directed by the prolific and diverse Steven Soderburgh, so on the list it went, and this week I found myself settling in with a bottle of win to watch it with Z, who was surprisingly attentive throughout...