Christian Bale plays an emotionless government enforcer. His job is to kill those guilty of ‘sense’ crimes. You see, in the future, to avoid wars (which are based on anger, jealousy, excessive attachment, etc), the government bans emotion, and issues a compulsory drug (Prozium) to stop anyone feeling. The premise is a bit silly, but if you go with it you’ll enjoy this Matrix-meets-1984 movie. There are enough original concepts (e.g. ‘the gun katars’, the use of Yeats, etc) that I can see why this a bit of a cult scifi film. It’s entirely predictable, and the child actors steal the show a bit, but Sean Bean puts in a star turn and it’s an all British affair, so I give it 7.5 out of 10!
Norwegian mountains. Kids on a snow-boarding holiday. A lost treasure. And Nazi zombies. What more could you want from a horror film? Well, a decision on whether it’s a comedy/spoof or it’s genuinely intended to frighten would have been nice. Dead Snow gets caught between the two, unfortunately, and doesn’t completely deliver on either. For all that, there are things to recommend it: better than usual characterisation and dialogue during the set-up, a decent building of tension, some entertaining set-pieces, and some laugh out loud lines. Things that really should have been better: the rationale for why the Nazis are still ‘animated’, a consistency on the strength of the zombies (they go from superhumanly fast to pathetically slow and weak), and fewer ‘silly’ deaths. Overall, it’s a 6.5 out of 10. Dale and Tucker versus Evil is a far better film in the genre.
HorrorCon 2015, 17 -18 Jan, Rotherham/Sheffield: special guests, lectures, Cosplay and market, http://horrorconventions.co.uk/index.html
DestinyQuest Infinite is here! It’s currently in beta version, so free up until January 2015. Get it while you can is my advice. Enjoy.
Hesitantly, I will say that this is a good film. But you have to tough it out to the last third… which will obviously be too much for some. The problem is that the first half of the movie is very formulaic and we just don’t identify with/sympathise with/care about the lead character. There’s nothing to like about the kid called ‘Ender’. This is a major problem – and no fault of the actor in question. It’s just poor script-writing.
However, once the larger storyline starts moving along, a sinister theme is introduced. That Ender might be on the ‘wrong’ side. He is being manipulated by maniacs looking to perpetrate a genocide of the type they say was inflicted upon humankind in the past.
The film DOES get there in the end. But I’m not sure every viewer is going to get there. I’d give it a respectable 6.5 out of 10. (There is one other problem, though, and that is that the original story was written by Orson Scott Card – a very controversial figure who is regularly accused of homophobia and is therefore boycotted by many.)
I’ll be signing books from 11 am on Saturday 29 Nov for Waterstones Manchester Arndale. The whole trilogy too: Empire of the Saviours, Gateway of the Saviours and Tithe of the Saviours. Ideal xmas presents, doorstops… or even books to read on a dark winter evening. Hurrah! Hope to see you there.
In other news, progress on ‘The Book of Orm’ continues apace for Kristell Ink. It’s a fantasy collection – which should be published in April 2015. And Ollie the artist is doing the book cover. He’s gonna do a balrog! You heard it here first.
So the ticketed event for Waterstones Nottingham on 18 Oct ’14 is definitely going ahead. I’ll be giving a talk on the history of fantasy (and current trends), the inimitable Tom Lloyd will give a reading from the stellar Moon’s Artifice, I’ll do a reading from Empire of the Saviours, there will be a Q&A, books signed, wine and much merriment. Hurrah! Starts 7pm, tickets available by phoning the store. Oh stop moaning.