Surely the televisual event of the year. The BBC have a monster hit on their hands with the rebooted Robot Wars format. Technology has really advanced since the early series of this show. There is now something called Hardox (Hardened Steel) which is tougher titanium. Motors are smaller and more powerful, etc. And all this means that the destructive power of the garden-shed built combatants is a thing to fear indeed. The plucky Dara O’Briain presenting literally had to duck for cover as a six-inch piece of flying metal embedded itself in the arena’s saftey walls. And the show format has been updated so that each robot gets a proper crack at qualifying but has to survive a good number of rounds to get through. Last night’s star was Carbide, which utterly dismantled this quite credible machine called Nuts. None of that is a spoiler – knowing the outcome cannot dent your enjoyment. If you haven’t seen it yet, you simply must check out BBCi, cos this thing is bigger than Pokemon Go. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p03h7rmg/robot-wars-episode-1
So I’m now announcing that the follow-up to the troll-infested Book of Orm is an actual thing and gonna be released around Dec 2016 or Jan 2017. It’s called the Book of Angels, and contains a good number of the universe’s secrets. I’ve got 7 stories in the collection, and there’s also a tale each from Matt White (doing a follow-up to his tale in the first book), Sammy HK Smith (of Kristell Ink fame), Andrew Coulthard (of Eibonvale Press fame), Caimh McDonnell (famous stand-up comedian) and Mike Bowman (soon to be famous too). Please, please, please, if you haven’t yet done so, go pick up a copy of Orm to aid the cause (and to keep the trolls well supplied with goat-meat)!
The first hour of the new Ghostbusters is funny. Really funny. There are some spooky moments. There is good characterisation and plenty of clever intertextuality. Themes of friendship and desire are set up… and then promptly disappear in the second half (which is a mish-mash of poorly designed battles and special FX). This film has clearly been re-written (over and over) and tinkered with by those who think a big bang is more important than old-fashioned coherence and well constructed moral dilemmas. The tempo really flags and the lack of meaning of the end really sees the viewer switch off. So it’s far from a perfect movie. Is it worth seeing? Just about. However, for my money it’s not as good as the original – and the cameos of the original cast are ‘awkward’. Score from me: 7 out of 10. Maybe wait for Star Trek Beyond instead.
I’m submitting Empire of the Saviours and a thesis on the sub-genres of fantasy to Huddersfield University, init. May as well. I’ll be a Doctor of Metaphysical Fantasy, or some such! The worst part was the References/Bibliography section – more than five pages. So flaming fiddly and finickety.
– For too long my kind has been misunderstood and shunned, simply because we are different from you (also you’re probably a little bit scared of us, which is as it should be!).
– For too long our name has been taken in vain and used to describe those who are rude and cowardly (it’s mainly the cowardly bit we have an issue with here)!
– For too long you have misrepresented us. We do NOT eat humans (well, not much anyway). And our hygiene is just as good as the cows and goats with which you consort. Yet you never invite us to any of your parties.
This mistreatment must end. It MUST. It makes many trolls so angry that they lose control of their tempers and go on a rampage, but that is YOUR fault.
I appeal to you therefore to get ejukatid about us trolls. Do the following things at once:
1. Choose a human who can read and have them obtain a copy of our sacred text The Book of Orm.
2. Then make them (maybe entice them with goat meat) begin to spread the word about how nice trolls are, and how all humans (even the less tasty ones) should stop avoiding us. They can spread the word by writing a review on amazon if they don’t have war drums they can play.
3. Then force them (maybe entice them with even more goat meat, especially if you can get hold those dispicable Billy Goats Gruff) to choose another person who can read so that they too can obtain a copy of The Book of Orm.
4. Send this message to other humans – cos all these words took a lot of effort and have given me a headache.
You must do this as otherwise the trolls will get angry and start rampaging, and that will be your fault, puny human!
Pierce Brosnan as an international terrorist? Milla Jovovich as a US security officer he’s hellbent on killing (along with a million New Yorkers)? Gotta be worth a look, right? Right. It’s all a bit of a romp as the plot to blow up The Big Apple is slowly revealed. Everyone runs around London shooting and betraying each other during the first half of the movie and then we swap to Times Square for the big countdown/showdown. That’s the plot. And it works if you’re in the market for an old-fashioned spy caper (in the mould of The Fourth Protocol). Sure, it’s very corny in places, especially when fudging the love interest bit, but it’s got enough production quality and tempo to mean its worth the 1.5hrs to watch it. The media critics hated it, but I’d give it a harmless 7 out of 10. Hurrah for Netflix!
Refreshing image of the day
The poet laureate
Carol Ann Duffy
Struggling with her bags of groceries in Didsbury
With no rhyme but lots of reason