Mixed media, Sunday 14 December 2014

Foxglove Summer: No, Ben Aaronovitch, no! That’s not how to end a book. After a relaxed, methodical build-up over the course of the story (befitting the rural setting of this episode), the five-page finale was a “wait, what?” moment. Surely there’s another chapter, the publisher just forgot to include it? (I seem to remember that Broken Homes ended with a similarly short wrap-up, and that I wasn’t particularly satisfied with it, either.) Also, the way DI Nightingale was only reachable by telephone throughout the book made me think that the actor who plays him was tied up on another project, and unavailable for filming. Overall: I used to enjoy this series, but I keep being annoyed by the endings.

Recently watched films:

  • The Maze Runner: Thrilling YA adventure, so long as you’re willing to suspend disbelief for long enough. Specifically: that a group of amnesiac teen boys on a desert island (or whatever) would form that kind of stable, functional, even idyllic society. (See also: ) Also, one of the key points of a story like this is finding our why they’re in the maze, and what it’s for. You have to suspend your disbelief over that, too.
  • The Wolf of Wall Street: Watched this with Mum & Dad, and Fiona. I’d expected it to be more Wall Street and less Scarface. It’s not. Some great performances, and some wonderful physical comedy, but it goes on for far too long.
  • Jack Reacher: Decent vigilante action film, so long as you don’t think too carefully about the ludicrousness of its premise. Having watched three Tom Cruise movies this year (Oblivion, Edge of Tomorrow, and this one), he still reliably delivers that hero persona.
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 1:
  • Lucy: Just…no. That Morgan Freeman’s professor character’s crackpot evidence-free theories would be getting knowing laughs and nods from an apparently respectable audience in a huge auditorium; no. That he would be living it large in a fancy hotel in the middle of Paris, room service all the way; no. That the criminals would go from apparently not knowing what is in the suitcase to having full-blown plans in place for transporting it, to staging an impromptu all-out war in a city on the other side of the world; no. That Lucy would go from party-hard student to a monotone, emotionless, transhuman sociopath with no steps in between; no. The only evidence of a sympathetic human relationship in the film comes in a single shot where police captain Del Rio (hiding behind cover) briefly asks one of his shot and wounded officers how he is doing, and the officer gives him a so-so hand wave. That’s all. The gun-play action scenes are mediocre; the car chases full of less-than-seamless CGI. Just…no.

Netflix in the Netherlands doesn’t have Continuum season 2 yet, so I’ve been watching it on my trips to Edinburgh. It’s better than the first season, with the interweaving storylines evolving nicely.

Listening to a lot of: Seeds by TV on the Radio (touring in February – might try in and catch them); Sonic Highways by the Foo Fighters; and La Roux (concert in Paradiso last Wednesday; gig report to follow).

Still playing a lot of Elite.