Last Week Roundup: Films, Writing, Stuff

I’ve been meaning to return to the habit of scribbling film reviews, and and a couple of night’s of crappy sleep has fried my brain to a vexing degree, which provides me with an opportunity. The brain may as well be offline, and while I’m loath to not write anything at all, I suspect any fiction will be largely comprised of fictitious terms and make less sense than usual. So what else has been going on… here are a couple of TV/film reviews, plus a wrap up of what I was writing and thinking about last week.

The Mandalorian (season three)

I’m deeply invested in the ongoing story of Baby Yoda and Mister Shiny Helmet, and despite them horribly curtailing Grogu’s training with Luke Skywalker in an attempt to make The Book of Boba Fett worth watching (didn’t work), I am very happy to see them reunited and doing things. If I weren’t so in love with them, and with Bo Katan and much of the rest of the cast I’d be spending more time complaining about the very bad pacing, wildly swinging tone and subject matter of the series. I’m not convinced the Star Wars team have much of a plan about how to do a TV show, and certainly haven’t spent enough time deciding what this show or story is. It’s a testament to the loveability of the characters and especially the Mandalorians that they survive the showrunners. Seeing Mandalore, and watching the scattered Mandalorians get back together is wonderful. I care so much more for some of these characters than I do for those in any other fiction. Not an episode has gone by without my exclaiming that the Mandalorians are all nuts. I’ll even forgive the appallingly named “mythosaur”. If you don’t like Star Wars, you will hate this beyond reason. I however am thrilled to watch Grogu’s growth and his relationship with Mando. Moff Gideon has been wonderfully wicked, and we’ve had some of the very best action scenes in the skies, space, hand-to-hand and against monsters that we’ve ever had in Star Wars. Certainly kicks the crap out of most of the stuff in the films. The final episode had me both tense and in near-tears, and despite an ultimate victory I’m going to miss Grogu’s yes/no space perambulator.

The Three Musketeers (Part 1): D’Artagnan

I love a good swashbuckler, and we really don’t get enough of them until yet another musketeer film comes out. It’s important to note that this is part one, and you wouldn’t know that until it pops up in the opening credits. It does have a proper ending though, so even if part two never appears at our local Cineworld I won’t feel too robbed. If you’re seen any decent version of Dumas’ story you’ll be on very comfortable ground here (Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds has been my best education in this): a bunch of very stab-happy nobles and randoms form the sulky, petulant King’s Musketeers. They’re busy saving the queen from a plot to expose her fondness for the naughty Brit, Buckingham who is involved in the increasingly violent Protestant movement in La Rochelle (a place I only know anything about from our secondary school French text books all being based there, for reasons). History, etc. The men are typically creepy sex pests with added sword skills, though only one of them ever fires a musket I think. The exception is Porthos who is bi/pan/something or other and seems far less likely to shove his hand up a random lass’s skirt. That’s nice, I guess. Anyway. The sword fights are great, the whole thing is lush and looks wonderful. It definitely assumes a fair degree of knowledge of the story, which is fair enough for a French production. The absolute stand out performance is Eva Green as Milady (the cat from Dogtanian), she’s absolutely on fire and having a whale of a time in truly splendid costume too. Well worth watching.

Last week I wrote a bunch of stuff:

Film Reviews

This is a fairly massive dump of short movie reviews. If you’re even vaguely interested to know what I thought of Renfield, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, John Wick 4, The Super Mario Bros Movie, Ant-Man 3: Quantumania, 65, Assassin Club, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Cocaine Bear and Little Eggs: An African Rescue, hit the link and find out.

Short Stories

All lamentably written first thing in the morning as part of my (now) ongoing Daily Stories Project, and consequently both unplanned and unedited. These three new ones now bumping the total up to 54 entries! First up, The Drowning Pool, about a young fellow of royal blood who must soon bond with a monster. It’s a version of a story that I keep musing over and hasn’t yet found a more complete expression – it will doubtless return in another form in due course. Next up, Wreathed in Shadow, which I rather like. It is simply the journey of a pair of magicians through several elemental realms. All of these stories are vaguely personal, since they’re the eruptions of barely conscious thought, but this one contains a little more character neuroticism, and has some ideas I think are cool (and as far as possible are not nicked directly from The Night Watch novels by Sergei Lukyanenko). Lastly, Pretty Little Monsters. Friday brainfog saw my eyes alight on the spine of a book and steal part of the title as inspiration. I really like the idea of chimeras and mad scientists, even when they’re sort of trying to make the world a better place.

Have a read but do please excuse the spelling and grammar: they are all written between 8-9am and yeah, I’m not truly awake until I’ve had coffee afterwards.

Mental Health Track

Far less interesting than the other things, and very much a personal indulgence as I try to take some measure of responsibility for the interior of my skull and whatever that meaty black box inside is up to. The daily updates range widely from musing on whatever I’ve woken up fretting about to some of the dreams I have, with added conscious narrative. Mental health is a good thing to keep an eye on whether it’s good or bad. Your taste for reading these may vary depending on just how much self-indulgence and off-the-cuff philosophising about theory of mind you can handle. MHT 004, MHT 005, MHT 006, MHT 007, MHT 008, MHT 009, MHT 010