Films, books and a little bit of musings

Today’s blog post is a mix of different things. Film, books, and general musings. Well i wouldn’t have musings in the blog name if there wasnt musing…..

So films and cinema. Well now we’ve got past 50 Shades of Grey and all that, the rest of the year looks strong for the fans of action, spy, fantasy and horror movies. The month of April kicks off with a bang. Fast and Furious 7 hits the big screen. The seventh installment that never looked like being finished due to the tragic death of Paul Walker, but with the use of his brothers standing in together with CGI, the action movie was completed and no doubt a perfect tribute to the talent who left us so tragically early.

The Woman in Gold features Dame Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds in a film based on the true story of Maria Altmann. Maria Altman (played by Helen Mirren) was an elderly holocaust survivor who with her young lawyer Randol Schoenberg (Reynolds) fought the government of Austria to reclaim a painting of her aunt that was confiscated by the Nazis.

John Wick is an action film that features Keanu Reeves in the lead role as a former hitman who looks to get revenge for the death for the death of his dog Daisy, a gift given to him posthumously by his deceased wife to help him cope as Russian criminals take his car. The film also features Willem Dafoe, John Leguizamo and Ian McShane in what looks to be a great action film with Reeves on top form.

April closes with an appearance of a Marvel film. The one that many have been excited over as Avengers:Age of Ultron finally hits UK cinema. The film sees a post S.H.I.E.L.D scenario and an attempt to bridge peace by Tony Stark, which doesn’t turn out well and relies upon the Avengers to sort out the mess of Ultron hellbent on destroying humanity.

Not forgetting the Re release of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner:The Final Cut which will please fans of the cult film featuring Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer. Some films deserve to be seen on the big screen and that is one of them. It will also hopefully open it up to a whole new audience who may never have seen the movie.

May is personally one that I am looking forward to. On May 8th, Spooks:The Greater Good is released in the cinema. Having been a fan of the tv series, I had hoped but never expected more Spooks related releases but I was glad to read that a film was being made. The story sees Harry Pearce resign following the escape of a major terrorist and the film follows the investigation and attempt to prevent an imminent attack on London. It is one I look forward to going to see in just over a months time. Fans of Matthew McFadyen, who played Tom in the series, will have to watch the film to see if he makes an appearance in the movie as so far there is no news on an appearance from the star.

Tom Hardy fans have the release of the fourth Mad Max installment to look forward to. Mad Max: Fury Road is the first Mad Max film in thirty years. I have yet to watch all of the previous threes…Some comments will be coming my way from certain people no doubt ha ha.

June looks a scorcher of a month for movies. Comedy movie Spy opens up the month followed by the fourth installment of the Jurassic Park saga. Jurassic World which has been over a decade in the making, sees dinosaurs back on the big screen and causing mayhem once again. Jurassic World is set in the park that John Hammond had hoped for back in Jurassic Park.

Arnie is back as Terminator:Genysis is released in the cinema. This is the fifth film of the Terminator Series but by all accounts a retconned sequel. Whilst I look forward to the film, having seen the trailer, it does remind me of Terminator Two, but will have to wait and see how the film pans out. Then of course its the film many of us have been looking forward to, its banana time and the movie Minions finally hits the screen in their own big movie.

Cinema goes old school in August as Guy Ritchie brings Man From U.N.C.L.E to the big screen. Ritchie has kept it set in the time it was done compared to the recent ways of setting things in the modern era. Originally set to feature Tom Cruise, the film sees Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer take the roles that were made famous by Robert Vaughn (recently of The Hustle) and David McCallum (NCIS).

October sees a horror release from Guillermo Del Toro in the form of Crimson Peak. Set in Cumbria in the 19th century it features Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Hunnam. Described as a gothic horror. It looks to be a dark and bloody horror film.

Then of course late October, Bond is back in his latest outing title Spectre. It seems an age since Skyfall, but having seen the trailer, Im quite excited for the new Bond film. I hope though the theme song for the movie is a bit more easy to listen to than Adele’s Skyfall track.

Then just in time for Christmas, the arrival of the latest Star Wars outing. Episode VII: The Force awakens. When Disney acquired the rights to the Franchise, I initially hesitated at the idea, but then when JJ Abrams was getting involved, all was good and the teaser trailer looked good. Rumours that the release date was being brought forward to a summer release have yet to be confirmed.

The other day I bought The Colour of Magic. The first of the late Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. It has been a long time since I read the Discworld novels. Hooked on the wit and wisdom writing of the fantasy writer. My introduction to the Discworld series was through my good friend David Stone, more commonly known in his writing capacity as David Grimstone during our days at school. You can check his work at blokecalleddave.wordpress.com. My Discworld collection is slightly lacking as I have concentrated on other things. It’s also down to having space. I don’t have enough space. I personally would love to have my own massive library to hold the books I have (there are many I still have to get).

A while back I added some crime novels to my kindle. I was trying to get a feel of how to write one as I had one that I started writing. The first one was 48 Hours: A City of London Thriller, by an author named. J Jackson Bentley. Some of it may have been a bit far-fetched and maybe not wholly accurate to how things are done, but it had me hooked from beginning to end. The story involves a man being threatened with death if he doesn’t pay £250,000 within 48 hours. The story follows twists and turns and just when you think you have it sussed, something else happens. It is still free as I write so if you have a kindle, looking for a crime novel and something for free, you wont go wrong in adding this to your collection.

I came across another one called A Reason To Kill by Michael Kerr. It’s the first book of the DCI Matt Barnes series. It’s about a Detective whose job seems to be his life and in this first one, he finds himself trying to bring down a Mafia group in London. It had me gripped all the way through. Afterwards I had sent the author a message saying how good it was and discussed the story I was trying to write. I cheekily sent him what I had written so far and he came back with some positive feedback. It is a plan to rewrite it and hopefully it will progress further from there.

My mobile phone contract is up at the end of May and I have been pondering where to go next or what to do next. There have been many factors recently that have lead me to look towards giffgaff. It runs off the o2 network but the tariffs or goodybags represent better value for what I have now. It would mean no new phone although there are other options that giffgaff do in new phones. If I was to get a new phone it would be the Iphone 5S. Ive still time to think about it as I look around the options, which were first going to the o2 Simplicity sim only deal. A shiny new phone would be nice but Giff Gaff means saving money and I guess I could buy a new sim free handset later on at some point.

Last night housemate Peter, decided to find the worst film to watch on Netflix, his choice was Batman:The Movie. This was the 1966 version featuring Adam West, Burt Ward, Cesar Romero, Frank Gorshin, Burgess Meredith and Lee Merriweather. It was based on the tv series and comes at the end of the first series. It’s not until you watch it that you realise how far it is from the Tim Burton offerings which saw Jack Nicholson play the Joker. If there seems a huge distance between the 66 version of Batman and the Tim Burton version, then there would seem to be light years from between the Adam West and Christian Bale Batman which also saw the late Heath Ledger’s epic performance as The Joker. I hadn’t watched it in years, but Im not sure I could stomach it again for many years to come.

I will though settle back into watching Season Three of The House of Cards. Initially I was never sure about it having seen the original UK version featuring the late Ian Richardson as the infamous Francis Urquhart. I gave it a go though and thoroughly enjoyed it. The elements of the original story were there along with the infamous quote, but with the American political system being different to the UK system, it enabled the story to be enlarged and taken in different directions. It will be interesting to see where it goes from Season Three and whether that is it, or whether a fourth season will bring closure on what is a great televisual feast. It is a book that I also must acquire and read together with To Play The King and The Final Cut. Ive still to start on Game of Thrones, I guess that will be my next viewing as I start from the first season.

Jeremy Clarkson – The rights, the wrongs and the BBC

There has been a varied amount going down this last week, so today I thought I’d share a blog post or two to share my thoughts and opinions. Some you may agree with, some you may not. Would be interesting to hear what you think either way.

Jeremy Clarkson was in trouble this week following a ‘fracas’ with a producer, There has been great support for the outspoken presenter who likes to say what he thinks and most of it tends to be what people are thinking. There was a petition that quickly spread gaining signatures left right and centre together with anti BBC rhetoric. There has of course also been mixed stories about what exactly happened and was behind the incident. I personally dont mind Jeremy Clarkson, but sometimes there has to be a line. You really cant go round punching people you work with because in reality it isnt going to end well regardless of who you are. Some people might say the bloke deserved it, but on the other side, the bloke could have been in the wrong place at the wrong time to feel the wrath of Clarkson.  There is talk of him getting sacked and there is talk of him walking before he does. One opinion is that if Clarkson went, then Top Gear could continue. Not sure I can agree with that to be honest. Whilst some programmes have gone on to be successful without one of the main people, Have I Got News For You for example, I would find it very difficult to see how Clarkson could be replaced. I doubt very much it would work as there is a certain banter and connection that helps to create the show. Throwing a new person in wouldn’t work. What is the first word that people think of when Top Gear is mentioned? Clarkson is likely to be that.

Whilst what Clarkson is alleged to have done is unacceptable, it does seem that the fallout is one that relates to the BBC trying to make up for the Jimmy Saville fall out. With the disgusting behaviour of the once looked up to star, the BBC failed to act and deal with a big name because of the fallout. It seems now with Clarkson getting into trouble and with the popularity that he holds amongst the nation, the BBC have decided that they will show how big they are and finally take action. Frankly the BBC have screwed up even more by making it seem that Clarkson is doomed. Of course whilst you can’t really condone thumping another colleague, the BBC have now placed themselves in a lose lose situation. Clarkson leaves Top Gear, a vast income from selling Top Gear disappears as without him, the interest will no doubt wane and likely that the programme will face the axe. The BBC then find themselves in a position to find a programme that they can make that will have the same interest to make up for that large loss, which they may just ease without the large salary that they would be paying Jeremy Clarkson.

Random days

Given when I woke up this morning, with the sun shining and the weather looking great, I left it too late to take a trip to London, so where next? Having taken Daisy for a walk, I walked into town, still undecided on what to do. I then opted to jump on the 9 to Canterbury. Thing is I didn’t really want to hang around in Canterbury, not because I didn’t want to be there, but I wanted to go somewhere different. So what did I do? I got off the 9 walked along and got on the first bus I saw. It turned out to be the bus to Deal. Normally I would venture out by train, but today it was the bus as the choice of transport.

After a scenic route to Deal I took myself for a walk round, I hadn’t been here to visit the whole place for quite a while so enjoyed walking about and visiting different streets not necessarily remembering whereabouts I was going. What I did know is that as long I could see the beach I was fine. I was tempted to take a walk on the pier but being only March and not as warm as a May or June day, I opted not to. Next time I will take a trip. I remember visiting the cafe at the end of the pier a few times. Given that it was in the late 80’s I imagine it’s probably changed quite a bit.

This may come across as a bit strange, but in a way Deal reminds me of Broadstairs. They both have their charms and they both seem to carry on as normal when other places have their troubles but Deal and Broadstairs always managed to get through the not so good times. As I walked around it was good to see whilst it was busy with shoppers, the cafe’s bars and restaurants were all busy themselves.

I will definitely make another visit, just next time I will give myself a bit more time. I recommend if you haven’t done so, you should take a visit yourself, you wont regret it.