REVISITING…”How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love ‘Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice'”

batman v superman

So, I fucking hated “Man of Steel” (MoS, henceforth). I loved the trailers so much. Particularly the Costner voice-over version (Damn you, Costner and all your manly, melancholy sucking me in!). I was genuinely excited to see this new Superman. I didn’t hate “Superman Returns”, but it fell a little flat – essentially being Superman II, with a bit of Superman (I saw both as a boy in the cinema, and the impact – particularly of the first – was significant). Loved the homage to those films: the music, Marlon’s voiceover. But the script, the cast…well…

So, a new Superman seemed like a good thing. Boy, how wrong I was!

Regardless, there was something in the trailer for “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice” (BSDJ, henceforth) – again with the damn trailer – that made me, what, hopeful? Kinda. Affleck looked right, as both Wayne and Batman. Wonder Woman was a real possibility after all these years in the shadow of Lynda Carter. Still, I never went to see it. Shit reviews. Other things on. Too much better stuff to watch.

Finally, it came to…heh! I was about to say DVD, but, of course, I streamed it (I should stress I watched both the theatrical and the Extended Edition, which was, in fact, better re: clarity around certain story/plot points). Silly old bugger! So, yes, it finally came out for home viewing, and I took the plunge. Twice, in fact. And guess what? It’s not that bad. And here’s why (oh, and SPOILERS AHEAD)… Continue reading

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REVISITING… “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”: Dawn, Redux

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (henceforth BTVS) has been ‘family viewing’ for myself, my wife, and my two daughters since it first aired. Back in the days of ‘appointment TV’ we would gather around the television (well, the computer monitor, as I was illegally downloading episodes to keep up – sorry, but I do own all the DVD sets and quite a bit of merchandise, so…). Later, it was the series we would pull out every 2 years or so and watch ‘Best ofs’, or a particular season. Then, maybe 4 years ago, we stopped.

We were sated. We were more than sated, we were oozing BTVS from every pore like a family of overeaters at a buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. Watching BTVS had become painful and a little sad.

So, when in late 2015 we decided to give it another go, from Season One to Seven, without skipping an episode, we went in tentatively, completely prepared to pull out before the end of “Welcome to the Hellmouth”, pretend nothing had happened, and move along.

However, to our surprise, it was an absolute joy again. Our BTVS hearts were emptier than we realised, and we were indeed ready to have them filled once more. There have been laughs, and tears, and there have been surprises as well, things we never felt even after so many viewings. Chief amongst them was our unexpected love of Dawn. Yup, you heard that right. Dawn. She’s actually pretty great. And before you walk away, shaking your head and muttering, “They’re lost to us.”, let me explain. Continue reading

REVIEW: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” – Torn in two

Firstly…SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS!!! And LOTS of them! Okay, got that? Good. Let’s move on.

I’m depressed. Not a lot. But a bit. I’m definitely down. It’s been about 15 hours since the credits rolled on the midnight screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the funk is still there.

Bad movie, you ask? No, not at all. In fact, while it borrowed heavily from the original (in order to assure my generation of fans that we were in safe hands, I suspect), and while there were some story issues, it was a resounding success, both as a stand alone film and as a new start for a film series torn apart by the taint of ‘the prequels’.

So why am I depressed? Well I’ll tell you… Continue reading

Armada BOOK REVIEW: the difficult second novel

‘Armada’ is Ernest Cline’s long awaited second novel, following the critical and commercial success of the wonderful ‘Willy Wonka meets The Matrix’ romp, “Ready Player One” (probably my favourite book that year – henceforth ‘RP1’). It tells the story of Zack Lightman, a high school kid whose life revolves around playing video games, making pop culture references with his friends, and working in the dream teenage boy job: a video game store run by a guy who’d rather just play games than actually work. Raised by his mother after his father died in an industrial accident, Lightman lives an otherwise comfortable life in middle America – that is, until an alien space ship arrives and turns Lightman’s life upside down – or right side up, really – and he is drawn into a conspiracy of alien invasion and secret government agendas.

Continue reading