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August 2014

My GoodReads review of Hatchet Job by Mark Kermode

Reblogged from my GoodReads list:

More a collection of columns loosely connected by Kermode’s overall thesis that film criticism (if not high-calibre criticism in general) is still necessary in this age of media democratisation. I mean I’m obviously sympathetic to that, being a writer on music and film myself and a blogger (on and off) of some 13 years’ standing. I think you have to be on board with that notion to get what he’s doing. Moreover, his structure allows him to meander around and away from the topic at hand to sometimes completely irrelevant places. But his style is fluid and fun for the most part, and some of his apparently scattershot musings do make more sense at the end.

My Letterboxd review of Airplane!

Something new I want to try here, seeing as it’s Blog Day (3108, get it?): reblogging stuff I post on other sites. I’m starting with my Letterboxd review of Airplane!, which also happens to be my 100th logged movie watch for this year:

The casual racism and misogyny are impossible to ignore in this day and age, even if the film comes at everything from a sardonic angle. But considering it was made at a time when the Black and White Minstrel Show was only a few years off the air, and virulently racist and sexist ‘comics’ like Bernard Manning were packing them in, Airplane! could almost be seen as progressive. Take its context as a given and it’s easier to look past the jokes they’d never make today and revel in its anarchic, puntastic spirit.

Weeknotes #677

My review of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For went up last Sunday evening, and it’s been mostly a quiet week since then. Just the one press screening for me, on Thursday morning, and catching up on my Afloat contributions after putting the paper to bed on Wednesday. Here and there I’m brain-dumping bits for future reviews and whatnot. (Oh, and reading: I finished [one book](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1826048.Notes) and started [another](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19488308-hatchet-job).) Sometimes you need to let things steep for a while before they’re ready, y’know?

Weeknotes #676

Only one published-elsewhere thing from me this week — my Thumped review of Into the Storm — but I attended three press screenings (two on Wednesday and another on Thursday), and I’ll be writing up one of them (the new Sin City movie) over the weekend, because it’s out on Monday (yeah, weird, I know).

Other than that, it was a slow week, capped off by a Friday where everything seemed to go wrong for me. Feck it, I’ve got pear cider in the fridge for later; not the one I wanted, mind, but some is better than none.


SummerSlam and the death of Superman

Dolph Ziggler and The Miz made a good fist of transcending their lowly mid-card status with a heated opener for the Intercontinental Championship at SummerSlam 2014. Still, it was a match that, while plenty entertaining and well put together by two able grapplers who have good in-ring chemistry and can really go, only made me think of those great IC Title matches of SummerSlams past, those proper storytelling feud-settlers preceded by weeks of build-up; Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart vs Mr Perfect is still the apex of that kind of match for me. This, while good, was nothing of the sort, especially with a finish that more-or-less came out of nowhere. (Ziggler’s the new IC Champ, by the way.)


Dwarf In A Crate

From this Quietus review by the ineffable Mr Agreeable of Future Days, a new book on the history of Krautrock, comes this choice paragraph:

Popol Vuh, soundtracker to the f***ing movies of Herzog! Well, there was a f***ing cinematic genius, as anyone whose slept through one of his f***ing movies will tell you – immortal classics steeped in one-finger drone music such as Dwarf In A Crate, The Man Who Mistook Himself For A Character, Straspulia (Or The Glass Hammer), The Enigma That Wasn’t, Slide Slowly Through Mud, The Wrath Of Paying Audiences, Plosnek, Bosnek and Nonek (A Trilogy) or his unmade sci-fi movie Spacewaster, all of them starring Klaus f***ing Kinski as a c***!

If this blog is for anything, it’s for posting gems like that.

Weeknotes #675

I’m typing these up at the end of a tiring week. I’m looking forward to taking a day off this weekend to decompress a little, maybe watch some TV or movies, or listen to music, just for the pleasure of it, like.

Monday saw my latest piece for Burning Ambulance go online, a review of the debut from Irish post-metal band Raum Kingdom, as well as my newest film review for Thumped, my take on The Congress.

Meanwhile, I was deep in the word mines till Wednesday afternoon. On Wednesday night I ventured out (despite my 6am start that morning) to see Earth play at Whelan’s, with local psych-rockers Wild Rocket supporting. I’ve missed all of Earth’s previous visits — and I interviewed them last month! — so it was about damn time I saw them, and I was not disappointed. I got home some time after midnight slightly spaced out and bleary-eyed, but it was worth it.


Weeknotes #667-674

So here’s the thing. I had a month’s worth of weeknotes almost ready to go at the end of week 671, and then promptly forgot about them as life got in the way. But here I am now, a couple of weeks later, putting my thoughts back together.

Late June and most of July was a time of ups and downs, but mostly ups in fairness. I attended by first film premiere, for one (more on that later). And the last full week of July was especially busy: two film reviews written up, and two quick phoners in the can (again, more in a bit).

What’s more, I’ve started cycling to the office in town via the Royal Canal, now that the upgraded towpath between Castleknock and Ashtown is finally open. We’ve been blessed with some nice sunny days (some of them a bit too nice) so I’ve been making the most of it, cheered by the sight of swan families and dragonflies. Good for the aul’ well-being in more ways than one.