Monday, 2 September 2013

A much-needed break, some film watching and a welcome return to writing

An enforced break from blogging and writing for a while to relax a little and take in some great outdoors. It's been fun and much-needed. After a difficult period in my life I feel that I am slowly clambering over the obstacles that litter my path ahead.

Yesterday it was the first wedding anniversary that I have spent alone. An immensly difficult day and one in which I found no comfort within the four walls of home. So I took off to the coast again for some relaxation. I'm not entirely sure how relaxed I was in the end but it was great to see something different.

inception_ver3Before I left I took the opportunity to download some new music.
I'd always wanted to listen more to Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen so I picked up a couple of albums from iTunes. I'd also been impressed with Hans Zimmer's soundtracks over the years so grabbed his Inception album. I have to be honest it was the Inception album that featured most during the day. A staggering piece of work beautifully rounded off with the eye-opening album finale Time. I haven't actually seen Inception so don't have any concept of the work within the film. I think I may rectify this situation soon.

Over the last couple of weeks I've sat down to a few new films. Largely for entertainment of course but also to get a feel for contemporary takes on presenting and retelling sinister and ghostly tales from old.

Last week I watched the retelling of The Woman in Black. A fine and deliberately pedestrian period piece with Daniel Radcliffe in the lead role. A role he handles well and a story that unfolds very nicely. Some of the scenes in the old house are genuinely shocking. Largely predictable and stereotypical of the genre (yes, there's dolls everywhere) but well executed. I enjoyed the film right down to the twist in the closing scenes. Worth a watch.

More recently I watched The Wolfman. Another retelling of an old classic. I confess I never saw the original so have nothing for comparison but on its own two feet this film is pretty average at best. At least for me it is. Considering the very high standard of leading actors on display - Sir Anthony Hopkins &  Benicio del Toro I felt that neither were particularly stretched. Something of a portfolio piece at best. Hopkins it has to be said never really left first gear. He didn't need to. Yes his role didn't require it, his character was a quiet and foreboding man with a dark past, but given the calibre of his acting over the years I really wanted to see just a little more.
Del Toro is a fine, fine actor. I've enjoyed a number of his roles, not least his portrayal of Che Guevara. This particular role was far beneath him.
A film about Werewolves in a film market already saturated by such nonsense really needed to stand out. This one didn't. Not for me. The settings and photography were excellent but the plot thin and the characters, well, they become werewolves and kill people. Shallow and pointless.
From a research perspective I took away a lot.

Now I want to return to writing. With a fresh perspective and a spring in my fingers I hope to churn out some strong work.

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