Archive for » February, 2015 «

The Kingsmen: A review

The trailer for this film made it look like it was going to be very funny so I went with my usual group of friends to see it.

kingsmanThe film started off in the manner I expected, at least until someone was chopped in half. Then it went back to the silly gentleman spy movie I was expecting for the most part (there was quite a bit of swearing but not masses). I laughed a fair bit and was generally entertained. The film really didn’t take itself seriously and there was even some funny product placement.

This is sort of when the film took a turn I hadn’t quite expected. Colin Firth walked into a church, the bad guy trialled his destruction machine. Then there was a scene filled with violence and mayhem that might have been watchable had it cut away sooner or been a little less obvious with the sick violence of it as well as about a tenth of the length. By the time I was a third of the way through the scene I wasn’t really watching anymore and was hoping it would stop, by the time I was two-thirds through the scene I was sitting in disbelief and starting to motion to my friends that I wasn’t comfortable. As it was we were starting to discuss leaving when it finally stopped.

Kingsman-The-Secret-ServiceWe honestly hoped this was a one off and would go back to the gentleman spy spoof the trailer made us expect, but it wasn’t entirely and there were a few more distasteful scenes later as well, although they tried to make the gross violence funny. I actually wish I had left and never finished it, or even better, never bothered to see it, and I think there’s only about five films I’ve ever watched I wish I’d never seen.

It felt a lot like the film was going for the cheap shock of violence and gross fights to surprise the audience because the makers couldn’t be bothered to do so with the story and characters instead. And given who was involved in making it (something I didn’t realise until after) I’m not that surprised. They’re other films have the same feel.

In short I don’t recommend anyone seeing this, it was quite simply, disgusting.

The Contaminants: A Review

This book was given to me by the author, Devin K. Smyth, in return for my review of it.

The ContaminantsThe cover of this book is very simple and works with the story which initially pulled me into reading something I would normally be a little wary of. It’s in first person present tense which is never something I find easy to read but the author did a good job of sucking me into the story quickly enough that it didn’t seem to matter.

The pacing is quite fast without masses of description, which for the most part is a good thing, especially as it’s a dystopian sort of book. A few times I’d have liked a bit more information, especially given the strange new tech. I found myself confused occasionally and unsure what something was or what it did as the characters just started using it. Sometimes this gave a sort of Deus Ex Machina feel to the plot, but it was only a slight niggle.

I liked the two kids, although I felt they were very similar and a lot of the adults were too, but I was definitely engaged enough to care.

All in all I was suitably entertained and would read more about these characters and the world they find themselves in even with the few imperfections.

Tough Start to the Year

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve blogged very little so far this year. I’ve found myself rather overwhelmed. At the start of the year one of the most special members of my family passed away, my Grandma. She was almost 80, had diabetes and a few other health issues so in general terms she did quite well, but I was comfortably assured in my belief that she was going to be around as long as I wanted and needed her to be. Rationally of course I knew life and death wasn’t like that, but some people should live a lot longer than they do.

I’ve found it very difficult to write since she died and I’m still struggling a little, but I thought I’d share a poem I wrote for her recently. I think I’m going to call it But Not Yet.

Your front door was always open,
With a hug that warmed the heart.
One day we’ll be with you again,
But not yet.

You cooked a roast like no one else,
And for afters, ice-cream and flake.
One day we’ll get to taste it again,
But not yet.

You wanted to hear about our dreams,
And were always full of encouragement.
One day we’ll get to share them again,
But not yet.

You were always there to listen.
When we were troubled, you called us pet.
One day we’ll get to talk to you again,
But not yet.

You had a smile that lit up your eyes,
And a laugh we’ll never forget.
One day we’ll get to see you again.
But not yet.