So. What I thought as I watched ‘The Bells of St John’.

This isn’t so much a review as a stream of consciousness  with very occasional moments of discussion and/or rants. If you haven’t seen ‘The Bells of St John’ – which I do recommend you do; despite the skepticism, I did like the episode – this probably won’t make much sense.

(First of all, a minor rant; I was deceived and disappointed by the title of this episode. Yes, I knew the episode was going to be about WiFi, but I was very much hoping that there were going to be some actual churchbells in the episode, rather like the ‘Oranges and Lemons say the bells of St Clements’ nursery rhyme. Maybe all the churches in London would come to life and ring out, or something!

Instead, we get a phone ringing in the Tardis, which happens to have a label saying ‘St John’s Ambulance’. That is not a bell. That is a ringing phone, that is cheating, that is false advertising and I want my money back.

Only I didn’t actually pay for this episode, unless you count the tv licence, but it’s the principle of the thing.

Now that I’ve got that joke rant out of the way, let’s get down to business.)

Continue reading “So. What I thought as I watched ‘The Bells of St John’.”

So. About Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’…

…looking back on it now, I’ve realised that I didn’t really like Ariel all that much.

Oh, I liked pretending to be her when I was playing. I liked colouring her in and drawing her. I liked singing along with her. I liked dressing up as her – my sister and I once went to a fancy dress party as Ariel and Belle, though for the life of me I can’t remember which of us was dressed up as which princess. It was quite a while back.

Yes, I liked doing all that…but still, I didn’t like Ariel herself, as a person, all that much.

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So. Some of the questions Mum and I asked each other when we got back from seeing Stoker.

If you haven’t seen Stoker yet, this touches upon several plot points that you might not want me to spoil for you. If you have seen the film, feel free to puzzle along with us!

Continue reading “So. Some of the questions Mum and I asked each other when we got back from seeing Stoker.”

So. Does Neverwhere hold up as a radio drama?

Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere is possibly my favorite story of girl with a murdered family on the run, boy encounters girl on pavement, boy blows off date with fiancee to help girl, boy conceals girl from the terrifying duo hunting her, boy helps girl get in touch with crazy magnificent bastard, boy gets completely screwed over as a result and falls between the cracks to another London beneath London, ever.

Okay, that requires a bit more context… Continue reading “So. Does Neverwhere hold up as a radio drama?”

So. St Patrick’s Day, and a trip down memory lane.

When I was nine, my year at school had to do a presentation during assembly on Ireland. As preparation we girls were asked to bring in any Irish objects that we might have, so that we could talk about them.

I mentioned it at suppertime that evening, then forgot about it.

A few days before the assembly, my teacher took me aside and told me that she was disappointed.

“Why, miss?” I asked.

“Honestly, I thought you’d make more of an effort than this.”

“Why?”

“Well, since your mother is Irish, I’d thought you would have a lot of things to bring in for the assembly.”

Looking back, I can think of several remarks:

‘Miss, I love and admire you, but do you know what you’re saying?’

‘Just because my mother is Irish and my sister and I are half Irish, you think we have objects that immediately display our nationality just lying around the house?’

‘We don’t need things from Ireland that you can touch and display, because our mother is with us every day, because we go to see our grandpa many times during the year.’

‘Ireland isn’t a strange, different country to me – it’s a place I’ve been visiting since before I could walk. It’s where my family lives, where my grandmother is buried.’

‘You know what we do have around our house, Miss? Photographs. Photographs of our grandpa and grandma and great aunt and cousins. They’re Ireland, to us. They’re not the sort of thing you’re looking to show off in an assembly.’

‘How can you ask me to explain all this in front of the school, when it’s not what you want from me?’

I said none of those things, because I was nine years old and wasn’t even aware that I was thinking most of it. I was just sick with shame at having disappointed my favourite teacher…with an under current of what I now know was utter indignation.

When I went home that evening I rooted out a cuddly lamb – with a shamrock stitched on its side – that mum had bought for me when I was about six in Cork Airport. The next morning I placed it on the table among the objects the rest of the class had brought in. My teacher was disappointed again, I think, but said nothing.

I don’t remember what I said in the assembly.

Games that would never get made but which I think would be brilliant, HA!!!

What with the popularity of the God of War franchise, and the release of its most recent game God of War: Ascension

…which is a weird sort of name, come to think of it, considering that I don’t think any of the characters actually ascended in this game, if by ascending you mean going straight to heaven without having to die first.

Which I always do.

Anyway, since this is Greek mythology they’d really have to descend to get to their equivalent of heaven – unless they’ve pleased the gods big time and get to eat ambrosia and become gods themselves and laze around on Olympus all day. Then again, Kratos will do both of those in his own time in games to come, or games that have already come, and oh lord prequels are annoying sometimes so let’s just call it God Of War: Thing That Didn’t Happen.

What the characters did do, incidentally, was either get killed, or kill a lot of people and then get killed. Good to know Kratos hasn’t changed his modus operandi. Or never changed it or no! Bad prequel, bad!

…anywho, getting back on track; with the release of God of War: Thing That Didn’t Happen, I’ve been considering other mythologies that game companies could use as material when creating new and interesting products for the consumer market. Such as Ōkami , which I shall be covering in another post, which does a masterful job of adapting Japanese legends into a gorgeous action, platform, and puzzle solving game. Dante’s Inferno, which will have yet another post to itself, does a…less than masterly job of adapting what is essentially a self-insert fanfiction about the Christian religion, but the results are still interesting. Games like Ragnarok and its ilk and Too Human owe various amounts of debt to Norse mythology, and games like Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy and PowerSlave/Exhumed/Seireki 1999: Pharaoh no Fukkatsu  have their roots in, you guessed it, Egyptian mythology.

That being said, that last pantheon has been rather neglected for a while, so for your pleasure and entertainment, let me imagine a game based on a certain chapter of Egyptian mythology that’s particularly insane, violent and crazy awesome. Which would certainly never work as a real game of any sort, because of reasons.

Continue reading “Games that would never get made but which I think would be brilliant, HA!!!”

So. Hannibal the tv series, huh?

Warning: If you haven’t read Hannibal by Thomas Harris, you might want to skip the parts in bold, as they discuss at length some of the messed up stuff that occurs within the book.

So, there was Thomas Harris, fresh off the moderate success of Black Sunday – wherein terrorists plot to blow up a Super Bowl – and with a college career of covering the police beat for the Waco Tribune-Herald behind him, when he made the fateful decision to write a tale of two serial killers and the poor sucker that has to try and stop their shenanigans. Who could have guessed that one of those characters would go on to become a pop cultural icon for the ages?

It’s not that the other two aren’t memorable, but there’s just something about Hannibal Lecter that captures the imagination. Plus the gurney straightjacket mask combo is just so easy to parody.

And now NBC is on the edge of releasing a new series based on the relationship between Lecter and the man who put him away, Will Graham, in what will hopefully not be too reminiscent of Dexter.

Continue reading “So. Hannibal the tv series, huh?”

So. Snow White and the Huntsman. And some dwarves.

You know, this one was probably just as stupid as Prometheus. I think the reason why I DIDN’T love it is A: It didn’t have all that many clever moments to atone for the stupidity, and B: I went in frankly not expecting much, and not much is what I got.

At least I wasn’t disappointed.

(Spoilers from here-on, be warned.)

Continue reading “So. Snow White and the Huntsman. And some dwarves.”

So. At least a bit of what I thought about Stoker…

Stoker begins as a dark haired girl gets out from a car, crosses a road awash with heat haze, and intensely observes something on the other side. How and why India Stoker ends up there proves to be a dark, sumptuous and rather strange viewing experience, leaving you wondering how exactly you should feel about what you’ve just witnessed.

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