Virginia Woolf Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery

Whilst I’m not a huge fan of Virginia Woolf, this was a really interesting little exhibition and I actually found out a lot about her and her life from it. Probably like a lot of people, I knew snippets about her, but didn’t have the stuff to connect all the dots, and this exhibition was really useful from that perspective. Also going along with a friend who knew a lot more than I did helped a great deal.

It’s left me tentatively wanting to read more of her work, although I’m still not entirely sure where to start with that. Orlando is the only one I know slightly and that’s really only because of the film, which was excellent of course. Perhaps I’ll start simple, and watch the film again first.

Film: The Edge of Tomorrow

I thought that Tom Cruise’s last film, Oblivion, wasn’t too bad, and I’d enjoyed the trailers for this film so I thought I’d better get along to see it before it left the cinema. Actually, I thought it was very good. It wasn’t pretentious, it lived up to expectations and it left me at the end of the film knowing exactly where we’d got to and not to expect anything else.

I really liked it. I thought it was well constructed, with some nice surprises and a good clear story.

Film: Jack Ryan – Shadow Recruit

I really liked “The Hunt for Red October”. The two subsequent Jack Ryan films weren’t so good though. I think that this version is the second re-boot of these stories in film. Chris Pine seems like quite a good choice for the central character. It wasn’t a bad film either. Not amazing, not terrible by any standards. I think it’s interesting to see Chris Pine involved in his second re-booted film series. Firstly Star Trek, which has been an amazing restart, and now this franchise. I wonder if the Jack Ryan films will take off again?

Either way, it’ll be interesting to see if it gets another film, and if they decide to re-make any of the previous films.

Watching Godzilla

I had high hopes for this film, and they weren’t unfounded. I thought it was amazing. A really excellent film which took plenty of time to get going and tell its story. It didn’t decide to just be a block buster and use too many special effects, it was concerned with characters and the plot and allowing the story to unfold at its own pace. It was well worth going along with the ride.

I hope that they make another, in fact, I hope that they make loads more of them.

Journey to the far side of the sun …

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I remember this film although not very well, and as a big Gerry Anderson fan I thought I’d give it a try. It’s a very leisurely film with so many Gerry Anderson touches I almost thought I was watching UFO or Space 1999, and of course there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

Anyway, overall the film didn’t really live up to either my recollections or my expectations. There’s nothing wrong with it as film of its time, but it isn’t really a classic, not in my book anyway.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

I always think that the middle film is the difficult one. I thought that about the Lord of The Rings trilogy and I expected the middle film in the Hobbit to be difficult, but, I must admit that it was really rather good. If I had any complaints it would be that at some points the special effects looked a little too game-like. Aside from that I really enjoyed it. The 3D wasn’t bad either, it didn’t encroach on the story and it was quite subtle too.

So, overall I thought it was really good. I’m looking forward to the next and final part, and then I’ll have to get all the extended versions and try to watch them in a whole day!

The last of the Cornetto Trilogy

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I’ve enjoyed the previous films in the trilogy. I thought that Shaun of the Dead was excellent and Hot Fuzz was inspired if a little dark, so I was looking forward to The World’s End quite a bit. However, having now seen it I’m not sure it was the climax of the trilogy I was looking for.

In many ways it had all of the elements that should make it brilliant, but it seemed slow to start and a little artificial where the previous films had flowed. I think it got there in the end, and overall I did enjoy it, but it didn’t make me laugh out load as the previous two had done.

Still, it was fun, and I’m sure that’s what they wanted it to be.

The Forbidden Planet

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I’ve loved this film for years and years, and I’ve only just got a copy of it at last. It’s amazing to think that it was made in 1956. The story still leaves me with questions, and the concepts are as relevant today as they were then.

The design and art are incredible, and I’d love to be able to walk around the krell machines to see them better.

May the 4th be with you

Well, it’s May the 4th and of course you have to celebrate, and it looks like lots of people have. Certainly from a quick look at Instragram plenty of people have had some fun today.

Anyway, for the first time ever I watched the three original movies back to back. It was great. Like them or not they are a phenomenon in their own right. It also made me realise just how much better the first three are over the later movies, and it makes me hope that the new film(s) will be of a high standard.

Cloud Atlas

I didn’t know what to expect with this film at all. I think I’d seen a trailer or something, but that was about it, and I knew it was a long film. So I came to it with no expectations really and nothing that I wanted to get out of it. That was a good thing I think.

With that in mind I have to say that I was really impressed with the film although I’m still not entirely sure what it was about. That’s not to say that the story isn’t a gripping one, it is. But to a degree I couldn’t tell you exactly what the film was trying to say. I have a couple of thoughts about it, but I’ll keep them to myself in case you go to see it.

Overall I thought it was a great movie though. Superb performances by all, and some really interesting ideas and concepts, several of which could have been explored as films in their own right.

So it’s left me with lots of questions too, and I’m finding myself drawn to read the book now. I might just give it a go. If I do I’ll let you know if I get more of a sense of what the story is about.

Cloud Atlas (Enhanced Edition) (Enhanced Edition) - David Mitchell