The Week Reviewed

Last week was the week I didn’t go and see The Road. I was weak – I was sure I wouldn’t enjoy it! – so I bottled out and went to see a dumb SF actioner (Daybreakers) instead.

This week is the week I DID see The Road.


I’m sorry! it’s a really fine film, I’m sure it is. It’s had great reviews. The cast are great. It’s beautifully shot. It’s based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy, who wrote No Country for Old Men, which I adored when the Coen Brothers made it as a movie. 

But for me, movies like The Road don’t tell a story; they wallow a story.  The world is shit – wallow! Men can’t look after their sons properly – wallow! Being miserable is really miserable – wallow!

My hatred of the film was so intense I didn’t stay to the end. Does that mean I’m not entitled to sneer at it? Does it hell!

Sneer! Sneer! Sneer!

I lost the will to live when the pretty Mom gave up and walked away from her son, into the cold night, to die. Um,  stick around Mom, your kid needs you! But I knew she was doing that to allow the manly man with the ridiculous beard to try and fail to look after his boyish son (known as ‘the boy’). Wallow!

This is film as posh literature; it’s story with the juice and heart and passion and suspense and humour and sexiness  drained out of it.  Mad Max is my idea of an apocalypse movie; The Road is just a wallow.

My mood of despair was heightened by the fact I saw this film as the second in a double bill of apocalypse movies. The first was The Book of Eli, in which Denzel Washington is fantastic, but where the cameraman ran out of coloured film (it’s grey grey grey!) and the crux of the story is that everyone desperately wants and will kill to possess a King James Bible. Why?  There must be other Bibles left; and if the world has ended, there are much better books to own.  Like, The Great Big Book of which Plants Not to Eat Because They’ll Kill You.


This is not a film critique; it is a rant.  I have ranted. Enough. Calm now.

And what do you think about that business with Amazon!!!!!!

That was the buzz story of the week, and I ranted as much as the next writer. The issue is not how much e-books should sell for; the issue is that Amazon stopping selling books by writers who need the income from those books to feed their kids. Or if they don’t have kids, to spend on porn or booze or wild parties, or whatever it is single people spend their money on. 

That’s my second rant of this blog: Mellow, Palmer, Mellow!

As a treat, I rented the box set of the TV series Fringe, which I was assured is a brilliant piece of work about paranormal stuff. Right up my street, something to fill my days now that I’m up to date on Supernatural.

Sigh.  Am I missing something? I thought it was awful; an X-Files rip off  with some of the most ridiculously bogus exposition I’ve ever heard. The high concept is that a looney called Walter (rescued from a mental institution by our female FBI hero) has single-handedly almost invented many many monstrous devices, which nastier people than he have perfected. So every time he sees an amazing thing – like the man who acts as his own power grid – Walter explains how he worked on an top-secret and evil experiment to create this very thing, all those years ago. Oh, and Walter has some form of dementia, and much hilarity is gleaned from that.

All in all it’s just -

Sorry, I lack the energy to even rant on this.

And yet, rants aside, this was an adorable week for me.  I wrote tons, I made new friends on that wondrous internet device, and I had the joy of hosting Lilith Saintcrow’s SFF Song of the Week, which had me hooting with laughter.  I’ve seen family, friends, and I read a wondrous graphic novel – Switchblade Honey by that genius Warren Ellis, of whom, more will be said on this very site in the near future.  I wrote a blog for Orbit with the sweetly talented Robert Jackson Bennett, whose book Mr. Shivers is fine literature AND tells a story. And I was given the recording dates and a delivery deadline for my radio drama Art of Deception; and for writers, deadlines are like heroin.  SUCH a rush of energy. 

But in future, I will follow my instincts: life’s too short to watch soul-less movies.

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