Saturday, 23 November 2013

Widescreen Dystopia (Film reviews)

Ender's Game (12A)
Director: Gavin Hood

A bleak sci-fi imaging of a world after a war with big alien bugs (Formics). Kids are taught to play computer games and then go fight the enemy. The film follows the fortunes of Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) as he trains to join the International Military. A sobering and thoughtful imagining of a possible future for warfare as Ender tries to square the circle of what's being asked of him and what he's becoming aware of.
(Five out of five stars)

Thor: The Dark World 3D (12A)
Director: Alan Taylor

Epic mayhem from the comic world. The special effects and panoramic visuals make up for the sketchy characters and plot. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) steals the scenes, again, from Thor (Chris Hemsworth) but it is the cinematography that steal the show.
(Three out of five stars)

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (12A)
Director: Francis Lawrence

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) finds herself propelled into a deadly new game as her success turns her into a symbol of hope for those in the oppressed districts of Panem. Now President Snow (Donald Sutherland) wants to destroy her in the Quarter Quell arena and crush any revolution before it has a chance to catch hold...
Action packed sequel with a solid cast including the hard drinking Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), supercool stylist Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) and heart-of-gold Effie Trinket ( Elizabeth Banks). Lavish special effects, scary dystopian world view and graphic fight scenes are the order of the day although the slow pace of the first half means we do not get much time to get to grips with the nine tributes introduced halfway through. But the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Gale (Liam Hemsworth) gets more complicated and the movie builds steadily on the first instalment of the book trilogy. Can't wait for the final part.

(Four out of five stars)

Friday, 22 November 2013

Winter winds...

It seems that Autumn was blown away by the St Jude storm and the blowsy days of mellow sun and crisp leaves underfoot have been replaced with winter winds. As such, work in the garden has stalled and I am kicking myself for not getting the pond in or the new wild cherry tree planted or the spring bulbs relocated or the grass cut to a more respectable length...

Winter winds have bought the hail and rain with them.

One benefit it that the change in temperature has bought in more birds into the garden. Jay, magpie, blackbird, thrush, wren, robin and the usual crowd of blue tits and great tits are now visiting the bird table more often and I have great fun leaving out a few hazelnuts for the squirrels to frantically try and  bury all over the garden.

I need to brush up on my action shots! 

Nothing beats the winter weather quite like a bit of bird watching with slice of cake
and nice cup of tea.

Victoria sponge with vanilla and raspberry.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday

There's a young song thrush visiting the bird table over the last few days...

So far it's learnt that spots aren't always great camouflage...

That it can creep me out by just staring..... 

And that yes, I really will let it eat the bird food....