peck72: (Beast Boy Smiley)

Films, Books, & Events of 2010

Films

Avatar                                                                                     7.5/10

Sherlock Holmes                                                                8.5/10

The Wolfman                                                                        5.5/10

Kick Ass                                                                                 8/10

Clash of the Titans (in 3D)                                                 4/10

Iron Man 2                                                                              7/10

Robin Hood                                                                           7.5/10

Toy Story 3                                                                             8/10

Inception                                                                                8/10

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World                                                8.5/10

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part One)          7.5/10

 

Books

William Wilberforce: A hero for humanity by Kevin Belmonte

The Red Tree by Caitlin R Kiernan

Dune by Frank Herbert

The men who stare at goats by Jon Ronson

The stars my destination by Alfred Bester

The Tears of my Soul by Sokreaksa S. Himm

House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds

Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar

I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett

Hemingways Chair by Michael Palin

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

Events

Magical Mystery Tour in Liverpool

Plays

Anthony and Cleopatra at The Courtyard Theatre, Stratford Upon Avon

Much Ado about Nothing in the Open Air in Chester Grosvenor Park

Concerts

None

Trips Abroad

Iceland -  Reykjavik – March

Italy, Lebanon & Syria – July/August

Belgium - Brussels& Bruges – September/October


I've been meaning to post his for about the last week and am finally getting round to it tonight. Each year I try and keep a track of the films, books, etc I read/watch just for my own curiosity and over the last couple of years I've been pretty consistent with the numbers.
Sherlock Holmes and Scott Pilgrim get joint top score for this years films but I think that Scott Pilgrim comes out just ahead because it really was a wonderfully quirky and fun film (not that Sherlock wasn't quirky and fun, just not quite as much and it didn't have
Mary Elizabeth Winstead either)
I have to say though that I am disappointed with the number of books I read each year, I really ought to be reading more. I think though that I can lay the blame firmly at the door of the amount of tv I watch instead and until I'm prepared to cull some shows from the 'must watch' list I'm going to be sticking at just breaking double figures. I could say I'll try harder this year but it would be hollow words.
The Magical Mystery Tour was with my sister in law for her birthday weekend and was good fun in spite of seeing some of the heaviest rain in ages which curtailed some of the getting on and off the coach.
I'm disappointed in myself that I didn't get to see any live music this year. I came close to going to see the Kodo drummers at the Phil in Liverpool but it somehow never quite happened.

I did very well travel wise this year, visiting 5 capital cities that I've never been to before (Reykjavik, Rome, Beirut, Damascus and Brussels). I've wanted to go to Iceland for as long as I can remember and it was as wonderful and beautiful as I'd hoped with some incredibly breathtaking scenery. My favourite place that we visited was Thingvellir, the ancient site of the Icelandic parliament and where you can see the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates slowly pulling away from each other (by about 2cm a year). We didn't have time to travel and see a glacier so we'll have to go back again. We nearly got to stay longer though as two weeks after we came home the volcano erupted and the ash cloud brought all air traffic to a halt. So close, so close . . .
At the height of summer I got to travel around Lebanon and Syria taking photo's for the OM workers based out there for them to use in publicity for their work. It was a great time, meeting a number of great people and getting to travel around a beautiful country and take photo's (my favourite pass time). It also meant that I was able to experience the hottest temperature of my life with 42 degrees C in Damascus. Which means that, with the extreme cold here in the UK last month, I've probably experienced a temperature range of over 50 degrees in the last year.

Away from the lists, 2010 was always going to be an up and down year. On the upside, I gained a beautiful little nephew who is now 11 months old and is a hairsbreadth away from walking. On the downside we lost my wife's mother to cancer in May and her loss is going to cast shadows through the family for some time to come. My last memory of her is always going to be her smiling and waving her arms wildly in the air
when Anna and I arrived at the family farm, as she was being wheeled around the garden by her husband. Within 24 hours of this, she had gone.

Looking forward to 2011, there is something coming in March (probably) that could be a really big thing this year and I will bring more news as and when I can. As to the rest of the year, I really don't know what's going to happen, so I'll just have to wait and see.

peck72: (Cyborg smiley)
I'm not really sure how I've not heard of these before but now I've seen them my life is complete, enjoy ;)



peck72: (Cyborg smiley)
I'm not really sure how I've not heard of these before but now I've seen them my life is complete, enjoy ;)



peck72: (dino head)
Another load of pics for you, not quite as old as the last lot but several weeks in the posting none the less.


I don't go to London very often, but when I do It's always something I enjoy.

On another note, Film 4 has been running a season of Studio Ghibili films these last few weeks and they are just the most sublimely beautiful films around. Prior to this I had only seen the most recent ones 'Spirited Away' and 'Howls Moving Castle', both of which are brilliant, and so thought that maybe it would be a case of them being the polished masterpieces and these earlier ones on Film 4 the slightly rougher works in progress.

 I don't think I could have been more wrong.

So far I've watched 'Kiki's Delivery Service', 'Princess Mononoke' and 'My Neighbour Totoro', and they are all wonderfully beautiful works of art. They are near perfect examples of what childrens films should be. There tends to be a very sedate pacing to them, they don't rush from one set piece to the next set piece, but without the narrative sagging at all. Totoro and Kiki have a very innocent sweetness to them that could have very easily have become sacharrine sweet and distasteful if mis-handled but here it plays perfectly. Mononoke plays to an older age range with a much larger canvas and a deeper story that doesn't pull many punches. They really need to be seen to be appreciated.

I can't wait to see the four recorded films I have left to see.
peck72: (serenity)
Time caught up with me last time before I got to say that I also managed to see 'V for Vendetta' last week. I wasn't sure how good this film would be as comic adaptations are notoriously unpredictable (for every X-men there is a Catwoman) and, most worrying of all, Alan Moore (the comics writer and the man responsible, in part at least, for this) had asked for his name to be removed from the project altogether.
The general buzz had been encouraging though so I still had high hopes (I'm a cinema half full kinda guy) and so was relieved to discover it is as good as it promised to be. The tone and feel of the film is perfect and the perfomances wonderful. The effects were excellent and the explosions need to be seen on the big screen to be fully appreciated. Having been brought up with the 'Benny Hill Show' , I laughed outloud at the satirical tv show aping it,  produced by Stephen Fry's character (an excellent performance by Fry) especially in the context of what he was risking by doing it (I think he knew the probable consequences but was playing them down to Evey). The only part of the film that didn't quite work for me, was the ending. Considering the content, I understand why the release was delayed and am actually slightly surprised it got released at all, especially since it includes attacks on the Tube. It really would have been a shame not to have got to see this film.

Times up again, nearly time to go to wonderful sleep, and I havn't even lamented the fact that my intent to write one story a month has somewhat stalled. Oh well, maybe next time.
peck72: (Good music)

This caught my attention and since I've just watched 'The Matrix' again it seemed kind of appropriate.

 

SF meme )


Interesting to see how many of the (so-called) influential films I've seen and of them, how many I'd still lilke to own. but then I always was greedy ;>

On to home news, Anna and I are about to be offered the (red?) right hand of friendship at church as we have been accepted into membership.

Hmm, guess this means I'm about to become a Baptist! So far in my christian lilfe I've been non-denominational, with my church's being of an independant nature. Not that it really makes any difference but it feels a little . . . odd? Really not sure why though and it's definitly not in a bad way. I guess it's not something I'd ever really given a great deal of thought to.

Finished Neil Gaimans 'Anansi Boys' last night and have to say . . . Anansi boys review )



Now I've finished 'Anansi Boys' though, I really, really want to tell stories again. I just havn't had an original idea since about sometime in '97 and it was even longer ago that I sat down and told a group of kids a story (the best time I had doing that was telling watered down Sandman stories at a bible week in Scotland. Me and the kids had a blast). I am going to have to do something about this, I'm just not sure what? (Suggestions on a post card to . . .)

peck72: (Default)
This has been a busy week.

Thursday I travelled into Manchester for a reading and signing from Neil Gaiman.

    Signing details )

Yesterday, liverpool )

An finally today . . .Friends )

BTW, hope you like the new icons. Whole seconds of preparation of them ;>

peck72: (Default)
First, a little amusement.

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

A focused advisor whose actions are dictated by almost pure logic, you believe in exploring the fascinating possibilities around you.
Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

Spock is a character in the Star Trek universe. His biography is available at Nimoy.com. (Actually, it isn't. It just goes to one of those annoying ads link sites, but then cut and paste is as cut and paste does)



Wouldn't have said I was like him myself but then if the internet says it it must be true ;)

I really ought to update this much more regularly than I do. Because if I did, I wouldn't need to cram in that we've recently


  • been up to Edinburgh for the week, where we went to Roslyn Chapel  (made famous once again thanks to 'The Da Vinci Code')  and to an exhibition of photographs by  Henri Cartier Bresson who is the photographer that I most admire and who's work I love the most. We also met up with Anna's sister, Elspeth who's living there, and oh yes, Anna was there working at the Christian Resources Exhibition

  • had two blow-outs of tyres on Anna's car (only damage done was to the tyres, thankfully)
  • been to see 'Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-rabbit', which is an absolutely, hysterically, wonderful film which should be seen by everyone at their first opportunity (as well as their second, third and fourth)

  • also been to see Tim Burton's 'The Corpse Bride', which is a beautiful piece of stop motion animation, with a great line up of voice talent (Christopher Lee is his usual excellently scary self) and a good fairy tale story, although the songs tend to hamper the flow in places.

  • recieved my copy of 'To Charles Fort, with  love' by Caitlin.R.Kiernan from Subterranean Press. All I need to do now though is to finish Alec Guiness's biography and I can start it. Have to say that I am really enjoying the biography, even if it does seem to overstress some areas of his life (ie. his homosexuality, not a problem in itself but when it is mentioned and alluded to several times in practically every chapter then I think that the author is trying to make his point too heavy handedly) and skip past others (his work for Ealing studios is covered in a couple of paragraphs). It is encouraging to know that someone as talented as him was at times troubled with self doubt and was a very human person. It does give hope to the rest of us.
  • had numerous people round for a meal or staying with us, and this coming week we have Anna's god-daughter (and her parents) staying with us. The house has been made safe to a two and a half year old (hopefully) and my vasectomy appointment has been pencilled in for the start of November.
Also www.mediafiend.co.uk is begining to take shape. Well, we've got a couple of pages up that work (mostly) but ut's a start considering how long we've had the name. So if you want to go see the webcomics I read on a regular basis then the page is there.



peck72: (Default)

Hmm, I had intended to post about both Terry Pratchett's "Thud" and Joss Wheedon's "Serenity". But the more I think about them, the more I think I'm going to have to re-read and re-watch them both respectivly to be able to give them a proper review.


In, shorthand though, "Thud" is classic Terry Pratchett. May contain spoilers )


As for "Serenity" though, this really is a must see film. Very definitly spoilers )
It is definitly the best film I've seen this year and I really hope there will be sequels or a new series. By the end of the film I was definitly in agreement with Mal though,


"I will get very choked up. Honestly. There might even be tears."

And because these are just too much fun to miss

<a href="http://monster.namedecoder.com">
<img src="http://monster.namedecoder.com/webimages/beast-PAULSMITH.png"
width="240" height="180"
alt="Poisonous Anthropologist-Upsetting Livestock-Snatching Monster from the Isolated Twisted Hills"
border="0"></a>



<a href="http://cyborg.namedecoder.com">
<img src="http://cyborg.namedecoder.com/webimages/edox-PAULSMITH.png"
width="240" height="180"
alt="Positronic Artificial Unit Limited to Sabotage, Masterful Infiltration and Thorough Harm"
border="0"></a>



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