Category Archives: Blog

Game of Thrones Seasons 1 to 6 recap

Game of Thrones season 7 is back on air tomorrow night on HBO and will be downloaded by most of the planet an hour later. (Not me, I hasten to add.) I was toying with rewatching seasons 1 to 6 but I am currently in the middle of rewatching all of Twin Peaks so just don’t have the time. Thankfully there are a lot of people on the internet who do have the time and have compiled a handy recap.

So without further ado, here is everything that happened:

Into the Unknown – Exhibition at the Barbican

I saw ‘Into the Unknown – A Journey through science fiction’ a couple of weeks ago. If you like science fiction and are in London, I highly recommend it. It consists of quite an eclectic group of science fiction artefacts, pictures, installations, models and videos. Here is the blurb:

“The genre-defining exhibition of art, design, film and literature.

From the 19th century cabinet of curiosities, to the vastness of space. Through future cities, into the inner landscapes of human perception.

Uncover the mysterious lands of Jules Verne and Ray Harryhausen where Science Fiction narratives first took root. Venture on an odyssey into our solar system, with vintage artwork promoting Soviet visions of space alongside immersive work by Soda_Jerk. Visit a gallery of aliens, and stand alongside iconic spacesuits from a galaxy of blockbusters including Star Trek and Interstellar.

Imagine dystopian worlds with Margaret Atwood and 28 Days Later. Then, with nowhere left to explore but human consciousness, delve deep and experience the transformation and mutation of the body through the eyes of Jack Kirby and Ex Machina.

Curated by historian and writer Patrick Gyger, this festival-style exhibition consists of more than 800 works, many of which have never been seen in the UK before. Continuing across the Centre, it includes artwork from Isaac Julien, Larissa Sansour and Conrad Shawcross, and an installation from the creators of Black Mirror.”

I struggled a bit to find a common theme at ‘Into the Unknown’ but maybe there wasn’t one. Just lots of science fiction goodness.

The main room has a huge smorgasbord of stuff – old magazines, video clips, models, props, outfits, books, comics and more. I really enjoyed it and even spotted a couple of books I hadn’t read. There is an interactive bit from the Martian, which was quite fun and some superb models from Harryhausen and designs based on the awesome HR Giger. Near the end are the spacesuits used in films like Star Trek and Sunshine.

The exhibition continues elsewhere but they were a bit hit and miss for me. In the Pit, there is a kind of robotic arm that moves around shining a light. It was kind of cool – more like an art installation that looked scifi-ish than anything else. There was a short film in another room that was ok. In the entrance/exit there is an installation by Black Mirror which is intriguing if you haven’t seen the show – if you have, then it just makes you want to rewatch them all again.

On the whole, I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Into the Unknown’ and would recommend it. The main room is the best bit and although it feels a bit random, the stuff on display is great.

Here are some more pics. Enjoy.

 

Rakka – Neill Blomkamp’s short starring Sigourney Weaver

Director Neill Blomkamp (District 9) has started something called Oat Studios, which is a creative venture focusing on monsters, aliens, and general weirdness. Which sounds bloody great to me. His idea is to create short experimental films and be funded by people online rather than go through the studio system or crowdfunding. The first such offering is called Rakka and it stars the always superb Sigourney Weaver. I won’t give too much away as you can watch the 20-minute film below. Basically, aliens invade and they are really, really mean. Sigourney is trying to kick their alien asses and let’s face it, she has a history of success in this kind of endeavour. Blomkamp’s Alien 5 is officially not going to happen, so this is a great way to fill that Sigourney/Alien shaped hole.

I am a big fan of Blomkamp, especially District 9, and Rakka has a similar feel to that film. I also think it is an interesting experiment that he is trying with his Oats studio creation and want to support in my own minor way. Rather than simply do a Kickstarter or go to a Hollywood studio, he is hoping people will be interested enough to fund further work. Have a look at what is happening and a way to contribute yourself on Steam by clicking on this link.

Without further ado, here is Rakka. (Warning: it is a tad violent and not for kids.)

Cooperworld

I am thinking of developing the story of Cooperworld into a novel. It can go places. If I do, it will probably be quite different in tone but the essential idea will be the same. I won’t give too much away but thought I would use this ideal opportunity to plug it. If you like sci-fi and stuff like the Matrix, you might find it fun. The most important thing is that you buy a copy to find out and find out for yourself. It is currently going for a pittance – which is cheap in anyone’s reality.

Here is the blurb:

In the near future, AI research is strictly controlled by paranoid governments. When a renowned Artificial Intelligence expert illegally decides to create digital life in a simulated universe, he doesn’t at first realise the implications of what he has done. Implications not just for him, but for everyone.

For US customers:

For UK customers:

The Dark Tower official trailer

I wrote relatively recently about the Dark Tower book and how good it was. As I said in my review, the Gunslinger was damned enjoyable and I wanted to read it before the film came out. I’ll be honest though, I thought it was going to be a series of films but now it just looks like a one-off movie. Which is a shame but what are you going to do? The casting is great though –  I am a big fan of both Elba and McConaughey and can easily imagine them in the roles. I seriously doubt that I will read the next six books in the Dark Tower series before this comes out in August, so the film had better be good.

I think the Dark Tower official trailer looks great but then trailers nearly always do these days. See what you think…

Thor Ragnarok looks like a Guardians of the Galaxy crossover

The last two Thor movies have been ok. Not great but entertaining none the less. Ragnarok seems like it is going in a very different direction and looks like it could be a shitload of fun. Fewer plotlines about people being tricked by Loki the Trickster and more space adventure goodness. In fact, as the trailer went on I was fully expecting one of the Guardians of the Galaxy to pop in and say something witty. I will be surprised if that doesn’t happen in the Ragnarok at some point.

I think this looks great but that could just be I have been in a long excitement build up to Guardians 2 and this feels like a crossover. Plus – Led Zeppelin. Zeppelin rule. Enjoy.

 

 

Justice League official trailer

I’m a very forgiving soul so I am allowing myself to get fairly excited about both a DC film and a Zack Snyder film. I enjoyed Watchmen and I waited till the extended BluRay version of Batman vs Superman came out and enjoyed the hell out of that too. So bollocks, I am looking forward to Justice League.

Suicide Squad was crap, so I won’t go full on “Star Wars” excited yet. DC have yet to find their feet. I know trailers mean bugger all these days, so for what it is worth, here is the Justice League official trailer. I think it looks great! Woohoo DC!

Kong: Skull Island trailer is great!

My favorite trailer of all time was Mad Max but this new Kong: Skull Island trailer is definitely up there. It starts off pretty standard lay for a great trailer but then just keeps going in what almost feels like an overload of fun. I was going to post the new Alien Covenant trailer today but I think it would be sad indeed if anyone missed this one, so I might as well post it. There is also quite an enjoyable Kong 360 video out there if you are lucky enough to have VR.  Kong has to be pretty big if the much rumored Godzilla crossover is going to happen and this doesn’t disappoint. He’s huge predictably angry.

I am suddenly quite excited to see this now. Check it out:

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword trailer 2

I was fairly curious about this film as the first trailer seemed quite fun and King Arthur is generally an enjoyable legend. As a science fiction fan I am also obviously into fantasy, swords and magic etc, because that is just the way the universe works.

The best film about Arthur is Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Special Edition), followed by John Boorman’s Excalibur, but there is certainly room for more. I even enjoyed Clive Owen as Arthur. Some of Guy Ritchie’s films are better than others but they are all pretty watchable.

So this is King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’s second trailer and this one uses Led Zeppelin’s music. Zeppelin rule, so it is a better trailer than the first. I remember reading a couple of years ago that this film was the first of a series but I guess the studio is hedging its bets on that front. Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) stars and it comes out 12th May 2017. Here’s the trailer:

The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger

I am a bit late to the party with Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. So late in fact, that he finished the series and then went back and rewrote book one – The Gunslinger – to make it fit in better.

The Gunslinger and the whole Dark Tower series is set in a post apocalyptic world. It is also, as you may have guessed from the title, the cover, and everything ever mentioned about it, a Western. But with magic and weird shit going on. The setting is pretty unique and with a lot of scope for adventure and shenanigans.

The first book is basically the story of the eponymous Gunslinger as he chases a magic man across a desert and through some hills. In fact the story can be summed up by the awesome opening line:

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

Obviously more happens than this or it would be a tad dull. Which It most definitely is not. The characters, especially Roland Deschain (the gunslinger), are pretty cool. I did find they lacked a bit of depth but this is possibly to create mystery and allow for revelation later on. King described the series as a mixture of Sergio Leone’s ‘Man with no name’ trilogy mixed with Lord of the Rings and Arthurian legends. Which is a damn fine mix.

As you can see from the picture above and may have read in the news, this is soon going to be a movie with Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey – which is a superb bit of casting although I had Clint Eastwood in my head when I read it, for obvious reasons. Elba will be great in the role though.

I have waffled enough! I liked the Gunslinger a lot and have already bought the next one in the series. Stephen King has finished the series and they all got good reviews, so there is none of the concern you may get when launching into an epic series that is still underway (I’m looking at you, Game of Thrones). Enjoy.

You can get it on Amazon here: