2016 is coming… To start it in a good mood and escape from dreary Polish political reality, let’s see what the New Year will bring us :).
Ola: The silver screen looks Marvelous, with Deadpool coming to cinemas in February, Captain America: Civil War in May, X-Men: Apocalypse in May, and Doctor Strange in November.
Deadpool looks promising. I wouldn’t have given one grosz for Ryan Reynolds before (ill-fated Green Lantern!), but if the movie delivers what the trailer promised it can be a really decent movie. Irreverent, disgustingly funny and full of black humor, if they don’t botch the story, it can really be a pleasant surprise. Take a look at this trailer:
Ola: We wish you a very bookish Christmas! 🙂 It’s a family time in Poland, but there’s to hope you’ll also find some time to rest, read and enjoy the spring weather! 🙂 If you don’t celebrate Christmas, then happy Sol Invictus, or any other great festival on the occasion of the season change!
Piotrek: Merry Christmas to everyone it applies to 😉 Have fun, be with your family, enjoy some books and/or other genre media. To everyone else – all the best for your seasonal occasions. The crucial thing is – share the spirit of goodwill, don’t take anything too seriously, if liberal atheists like us can enjoy traditional Christmas, I hope everyone else can at least benevolently ignore it…
There is some Christmas cheer in everybody:
Video-quote from excellent Batman: The Animated Series, Christmas is a great time for a sentimental re-watch, and this is a great series!
First, a confession: I am a fan of the original trilogy. More of a fan that even I expected, but that’ll probably become evident soon enough. I enjoy the world, the characters, the myth that underlines it all and binds it together. I will scoff at some of the story devices, at oversimplified psychology, and so on, but parts IV, V and VI of Star Wars have a special place in my heart.
With that in mind I can jump to a short and almost-spoiler-free review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens :).
Pros: the deference to the original trilogy.
Cons: the deference to the original trilogy.
This is a Star Wars weekend, coinciding with pre-Christmas preparations and a dash of fight for democracy. So – a silva rerum post again, no time for a thorough review. Christmas preparations – nothing to write about, but I will brag a little – I bake a bit 🙂 some of the traditional Christmas cakes are my domain. I’m also my family’s authority on geeky gifts, so choosing perfect books and games for all the kids and some adults is my job. So even with my gifts being bought long ago, I still spend lots of time helping others. It’s fun 🙂
The second installment in Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard sequence, Red Seas Under Red Skies, poses something of a conundrum to me. It’s like Ocean’s Eleven once again – if you saw the movie you know it was made with one thing in mind, and one thing only: fun. Sheer, flamboyant and infectious fun. The movie was illogical, flimsy, with a few really lame jokes, and at times utterly dumb, but if you were in for a ride, you didn’t mind that too much. You just enjoyed it till it lasted.
Lynch’s book is exactly the same. The plot defies logic and treats rational thinking as its greatest enemy. It thrives on old clichés, reusing tropes and ideas from a hundred works of popular culture – from heist movies through Pirates of Caribbean to swashbuckling romances of The Three Musketeers’ provenience. Theft, love and betrayal, numerous fights, confidence games, and ambushes, peppered with a bit of social justice and justification. It written with verve and panache, with enough flair and confidence to almost convince you to its point of view. Almost.
“Patrick O’Brian with dragons, and it works like a charm”, Chicago Tribune apparently wrote about Novik’s Temeraire series. That’s certainly the plan. Sometimes it comes close. Sometimes – not really. Ladies and gentlemen – I give you In His Majesty’s Service, collected edition of books 1,2 & 3 of the famous “Hornblower on a dragon” series. Books based on idea so awesome, Peter Jackson wanted to film it.
I’ve read the omnibus, but I’ll score each book individually, I judge them very differently.
I’ve been called out to write a review of The Broken Sword. I accepted the challenge, although without much enthusiasm. You see, I’m not a fan of Moorcock, whether he fawns over Anderson’s book or not. For me his prose is the epitome of good intentions paving the road to hell. Or maybe a slightly less dramatic, but very accurate saying: when your best just isn’t good enough…
And the same can be said for Poul Anderson’s The Broken Sword. If I read it when I first read Tolkien… If I haven’t read Nordic sagas before… If I wasn’t allergic to the word ‘quoth’ and ‘fey’ or to overconfident writers who write their afterword as if they were Metatrons giving us heathens the word of God… If cows could fly. Then I might have liked it. But as none of these things happened, I must admit I found Anderson’s work artificial and boring. I know, I know, The Ultimate Fantasies series, Fantasy masterworks, a classic, one of the founding stones of modern fantasy, blah, blah, blah.