This is just a quick post to say that I am not shirking my Blogging responsibilities, in fact the reason nothing has been posted recently is because I have been devoting my time to writing a very long post which I will probably have to split into sections as it currently runs onto 8 sides of A4.

Last night I watched the first episode of Utopia recorded from Channel 4. I am a big comic (sorry Graphic Novel!) fan and also spotted quite a few familiar and much liked faces in the cast when the long trailer was on over Christmas. I really enjoyed it. From a style point of view I loved the fact that they tried to get yellow into every scene and then after the torture scene they switched to red as the primary focus colour. The two bad guys are very similar to those in Neil Gaiman’s and China Mieville’s written work in that they are all the more sinister by virtue of being relatively normal, if not a little geeky, looking. The acting was good and the plot so far very interesting. It reminded me a little of watching early episodes of Misfits. I hope it delivers on the same level.

That said I have found the recent series of Misfits to be rather disappointing. The storylines have not been as strong and the characters not as well written as before. The loss of all the original cast members is also disappointing.

Film-wise I have enjoyed Man On a Ledge and Men In Black 3. I was not expecting great things from MIB3 but I have to say I thought it was excellent. I have also seen Iron Lady. Meryl Streep totally deserves her Oscar for her portrayal of the Milk Snatcher, however I found the biggest trick that the film makers pulled was to humanize a much hated public figure. If the film had just been the story of an old women going batty and talking to her dead husband then I wouldn’t have watched it – but it is this element of the film that is the most captivating and poignant. I also saw Legion but it was awful and I won’t waste time trying to think of anything good to say about it.

I am also a third of the way through watching the biopic Carlos about the famous terrorist The Jackal. The film is subtitled and the camera lingers a little too long at times on private parts, but the story is good. It is hard though to discriminate between fact and fiction. I am not sure how involved he was with all the terrorist attacks in the film. If you liked the Che Guevara biopic then I would recommend this to you. It seemed to me like it was intended to be watched as a whole since the end of Part 1 has Carols on a tram with a group of tooled-up friends just about to start a mission and then wham! It ends. Very odd.

In terms of music I am so pleased to have got the new No Doubt album for Crimbo. I love the band and I am glad that they have moved away from the R&B stuff of Rock Steady and Stefani’s old stuff. I also got the new Slash album which contains some killer tracks and is reminiscent of Guns ‘N Roses in places. Myles Kennedy’s vocals are really powerful and I willbe listening to this album a lot more than Slash’s previous album of collaborations. I have also been listening to a lot of remastered Depeche Mode stuff which is the subject of the uber-post I am working on.

Gaming-wise I have only played 1 hour of Assassin’s Creed 3 so far, so nothing to report there, apart from my X-box apathy! I have almost completed Binary Domain (Sega) which is an interesting take on an Asimov/Dick future where robots are everywhere and skin-jobs (to use a Battlestar phrase) walk amongst humans thinking they are human. It is an FPS with a strong if linear storyline. Gameplay gets little boring at times, and most of the bosses with the exception of the end-of-game boss are easy to defeat on normal difficulty. The voice acting is entertaining with some funny dialogue at times. At other times I was telling NPC’s to shut up as they were getting on my nerves.

I am reading PKD’s Second Variety short story collection, which is excellent in an old-fashioned way. Second Variety is very close to the idea proposed in Terminator and pre-dates it. Discuss.

I am also reading Murakami’s 1Q84 – very good so far – I am about half way through book one of the trilogy. Here is a link to save me the bother of describing it.

I am going to watch Brick now, which I got on Blu Ray for Crimbo. This is what I had to say about it in 2007 on Amazon (not the best review I have ever written, probably why only 3 out of 10 people found it helpful LOL!):

3 of 10 people found the following review helpful

5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, 8 May 2007

By M. O. HAYNES “hobbyist author” (UK) – See all my reviews

This review is from: Brick [DVD] (DVD)

This film is so so good and I don’t really know why. Well, I have an idea it was something to do with the brilliant script, the great performances from people I had never seen before (which helped suspend reality completely), the imaginative cinematography and sound.
It conjured up an atmosphere similar to how I felt when I watched that weird film with the brother of that kid out of Home Alone, you know the one like Catcher in the Rye where he runs off from school to the big city… no I can’t remember what it’s called, it’s no good. Anyway suffice to say that I loved the way you never saw any of the characters in a lesson and the main character only went to school once to be berated by the Principle.

I had absolutely no idea what this film was going to be about but liked the trailer I saw on another DVD. Usually this is a bit of a gamble but it paid off big time this time.

As a final note, some people are going to hate this film because even though the dialogue is unreally crafted and fake sounding in its cleverness (a little like Tarantino I guess) what action there is realistic and there’s no loud bangs or crashes. Also there are no strong female characters as such which may alienate female viewers.