Sunday, August 24, 2008

a week off

Finally, some time off work. The plan has been mostly just to do as little as possible which has meant doing some of the obvious things, like video games and olympics watching, but I've managed to get some other stuff done too. I went for a walk from Edale up Mam Tor on the Monday, which was very wet and a disturbing reminder of how unfit I am at the moment but very enjoyable. Had a good view of several kestrels hunting from the top of the ridge.
Zak's sister is staying with us at the moment which makes the apartment feel pretty small. So on Tuesday I went to help my dad clear out the carpet from the spare room and leave the car there to save having to find somewhere to park it every day in Manchester. On Wednesday Crystal and I met Zak for lunch at the Manchester City Art Gallery. It was full of kids for some summer event but I broke off to go and see a new exibition and Crystal spent some time looking at paintings. I left her there and went home to watch Election 2. That is an excellent film. It's got some pretty nasty bits in it but overall is a bit less ott than the first film and less shocking. It is still a good look at the triads in a pretty unglamourous light and confirms Johnny To as someone to watch. Which is nice because when looking at the Cornerhouse web site I saw that another film of his, Mad Detective, was on this weekend.
Mad Detective was a really interesting film about Bun, a mad detective. He may be psychic or he may just be mad. Unlike the average film in this genre it doesn't shy away from the fact that Bun really has no grasp on reality, whatever his talents might actually be, and is a real danger to those around him. Bun's visions are brilliantly realised and the acting quality throughout is superb. Films like this, and the Election series, show just how good Hong Kong film making can be.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Nearly two months since the last post. Been very busy with work, not feeling too good about that but things look set to get better. Bt then they always do and yet seem to manage to get worse. I've taken a week off work, which I really need. Hoping to get out for some walking, as well as doing some writing and other stuff. Didn't do my gr-sf piece last week which is bad, but this past week has been pretty disrupted as Zak's sister is staying with us now.
Went to see Wall-e and Batman recently. Wall-e was very good, as good as most other pixar films. The robot does look a bit rubbish in the pictures but when you see him animated it's a completely different story. The animation is gorgeous. The only thing wrong with the film is when the humans get involved. They aren't that engaging and that kind of spoiled it a bit for me. But, it's a kids film and it has a message and that needs humans, not a peculiar romance between to robots.
Batman is also excellent. Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker has gotten a lot of comment and it is a great performance. It evokes the best of the best comics; Dark Knight Returns, Long Halloween, Arkham Asylum and creates a serious film out what could have been just another action film.