I got to see the movie Battleship (2012) on TV the other week. I’d eschewed it on first release because it looked dumb on so many levels. And I wasn’t disappointed. The dumbness was monolithic. I suppose any story that’s been squeezed out of a game is going to have problems. Add the inevitable studio requirements… More Stories of aliens versus us are really commenting on our own dark side
News that Terry Brooks’ Sword of Shannara books are going to be made into a TV series for US distribution, in New Zealand, set alarm bells ringing in my mind. Plus side is that, twenty years on from Hercules: the legendary journeys, Auckland will once again be venue for a major US TV production. That’s excellent.… More Essential writing skills: how to avoid being ‘derivative’ at all cost
As the end credits rolled up on The Hobbit: Battle Of Five Armies, I said ‘well, that’s 144 minutes of my life I won’t get back.’ That followed the 169 minutes I lost with the first one (my wife said ‘it felt like out-takes from The Lord of The Rings’) and the 161 minutes I… More Why I felt let down by The Hobbit movies
If Russell Crowe had put what he’s reported to have said yesterday about Gallipoli in a history paper I was marking, I’d have given him an F. The interview, on Australia’s Seven Network, included Crowe’s suggestion that the landing by Australian forces on 25 April 1915 – part of a wider landing on the peninsula – was the… More I give Russell Crowe an F in Gallipoli history
Long-time readers of this blog know that I am something of a fan of J. R. R. Tolkien. A lot of a fan, actually. And the more I look at what he wrote, the more impressed I get. Take his settings. More often than not, and especially in The Lord Of The Rings, he’s telling… More Essential writing skills: using weather to create a mood
H. R. Geiger passed away this year, aged 74. Probably best known as designer of the icky thing that exploded out of John Hurt’s stomach in Alien (1980). When it comes to spooky haunted house stories – which is what that movie really was – Geiger’s Alien has to take first price for scare factor.… More Tell me – have all the best sci-fi ideas been used?
It’s almost a cliche these days to say that modern fantasy writers all stand in J R R Tolkien’s shadow. Or George R R Martin’s. But it’s true. Obviously, having two middle names beginning with R is a pre-requisite for greatness in the genre. And it was Tolkien who really defined the field for so many author… More Essential writing skills: it’s OK to write square mountain ranges