Friday, 21 June 2013

Halfway there...

The summer solstice is a great mid-point to stop and take a look back to see how far the garden has progressed this year (despite the weather) and a chance to take stock and think ahead for the next six months and solidify plans for next year.

This week the air of change has blown through. Finally, a revolution afoot, heralded with thunderously close heat and everything blooming at once. The new patio is down and suddenly, in one brave sweep, a new garden pattern starts to emerge, a new scheme, new possibilities for next year. The flowerbed shaped a bit like Africa is gone. The willow stayed. The pond will have to wait till winter. A new spot for the geraniums, hostas, bell flowers and pasque flower will be created. A new perspective and a reminiscing over the last fifteen years, here's where the kids played, sand pit and bark pit, here was their summerhouse, the big, homemade BBQ used to be there, do you remember those evenings out on the old patio, bats flying under the parasol late into the twilight....

Looking back and looking forward to new ideas. Pond, green house, rock garden....dreams and ideas all now, in this midsummer heat, halfway there.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Man of Steel Film Review

Man of Steel 3D (12A)
Director: Zack Snyder
Website: Man of Steel 

The latest Superman movie is a film in three parts. The story of how Superman (Henry Cavill) was born on Krypton during the imminent destruction of the planet and the steps his father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) took to save him, the story of Clark Kent growing up on Earth (Earth parents played by Kevin Costner and Diane Lane) and discovering his superpowers and then the story of how a good movie can become a slave to CGI and special effects trickery.
A modern Superman poses the problem of how does a thoroughly nice superhero who minds his manners, appeal to an audience growing up on first-person shooting console games while there is the constant background TV noise of yet another conflict and yet another country reduced to rubble by war? The short answer is a big chunk of the movie is spent on Superman and his evil counterpart from Krypton, General Zod (Michael Shannon), having a brawl that levels several blocks of a city with a blatant disregard for human life, in what becomes the most tiresome bit of special effects I have seen for a long time. It is a shame that no one took a firmer hand when editing because the rest of the movie is a visual delight.
Gorgeous, detailed imagining of the planet Krypton, lovingly framed super wide shots of a mid-west America and a fantastic cast means there is tons to love about this movie not least of all the return of a strong female lead in the form of Amy Adams as Lois Lane the gutsy reporter from the Daily Planet. Superman was always the thinking woman's favourite Superhero. The pants over tights combo might have been replaced by an ergonomic unitard this time but the movie remains faithful to the idea that Superman is still an all-round good guy working on our behalf. There is a delightful nod to a sequel with the placement of a LexCorp tanker in one scene (the only product placement I did notice) and of course, the introduction of the Daily Planet team, headed up by Lawrence Fishburne as Perry White.

Watch Man of Steel because you wanted to be Lois Lane when you grew up, because the summer needs a Superhero and because of the beautiful art direction:- four out of five stars.