My life for the last two weeks has been mainly typing, typing and more typing, followed by some stress, a Doctor’s appointment, a minor foot injury that’s not in a hurry to go away quickly, and a general sense of disbelief that I’m well over 100,000 words into the novel. I’m not quite at the “light at the end of the tunnel”, but I can at least smell the air coming in from the other exit. I’ve still got an awful lot of work to do, and I’m still having to conceptualise certain sections of the story, but it’s going well. I’m being a little too slapdash at certain points in my working methods- the next one of these that I do, I’ve got to be much more organised. No way in hell am I stopping with this one…
Last week’s Who? Well, it had some decent moments, but was otherwise a bit of a runaround disappointment. The cascade of “WTF” moments shows no sign of stopping.
For sheer, unadulterated ludicrousness, however, look no further than X-MEN 3. If it was a stand-alone movie, it’d be a mediocre, overcrowded superhero flick with plenty of spectacle but little else. Coming on the heel of X2, however, this is a real mess- bland, unengaging, and on the verge of turning into a Chekov play with the number of people staring moodily out of windows. It’s a typical example of a studio setting a date for a Blockbuster, hiring a journeyman director who’ll meet deadline, and ending up with product that’ll get a nice opening weekend but will piss off most of the fandom who liked the first two movies. Not only is it horribly overcrowded (winged character Angel- a major player in the trailer- gets a grand total of about four lines), it’s also incredibly daftly thought out with major lapses of logic, continuity (It goes from golden sunset to pitch black instantly) and reason. On top of everything else, they totally screw up the potential of the ‘Dark Phoenix’ saga, instead turning Jean Grey into a witchy zombie-like sex kitten who spends most of her time standing around looking moody. And that’s not even mentioning Vinnie Jones, or the fact that Halle Berry makes a dull superhero- AGAIN! It’s as much of a misguided mess as ALIEN 3, but without any of that film’s ambition or reach. A big, big shame.
I have a habit of having themed dreams- I once went through an entire phase of dreaming up versions of Star Wars: Episode III (pre-release) that were a hell of a lot more interesting than what we got (In one, there was a scarred, half-burned Anakin with a wiry, Akira-style prosthesis on his arm, and in another, all the TIE Fighter pilots were exact clones- but were played by Robbie Coltrane…). Well, I’ve recently been going through variations of the TV series Lost in my sleep- last week there was one where (after a brief interlude involving me having to clear up the drunken mess caused by the drummer from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers), I was actually on the mysterious island, out in the cold, wearing a bathrobe (for unknown reasons) watching new people arrive in the middle of the night by bus (yes, I know it’s an island. Who said it had to be logical). The buses started unloading, and people were getting out looking very confused- and among them were my old school friends Heidi, Dave and Viv, and I was in the process of trying to bring them up to speed with what the hell was going on when I woke up. My dreams tend to be incredibly vivid to the extent that even when they’re mind-blastingly weird (one bit of the dream above- Charlie and Claire from the show encounter this alien technology-style metal tentacle that swoops over both of them and, for some reason, doubles as a shower) I’ll wake up genuinely confused as to whether or not they happenned. Although, in the case of the one which involved me accidentally finding a book all about Eighties TV series Airwolf co-written by the star Jan-Michael Vincent which was half-biography and half a collection of- I kid you not- “Erotic Stories” about the show- I was actually quite glad that it didn’t happen. Although I would have loved to have shown my Airwolf-loving friend Tris if it had…
Anyway, I mention it because I saw the season 2 climax for Lost this week- and a really interesting mix. Part frustrating, part amazing, part annoying, part incredible. They didn’t quite manage as tense and rip-roaring a time as last year’s pirate-ship, dynamite-shifting, hatch-blowing action, but a hell of a lot of answers came our way (along with plenty of new questions), and lots of examples of what Lost does best- tying up new revelations with stuff that’s already happened. It gives the show a very novelish feel, and it is best appreciated in one go, so I’m looking forward to the DVD release.
Another DVD experiece I’m undergoing is Firefly- having missed the boat previously, and being entertained but slightly underwhelmed by Serenity, it’s interesting to try and get an idea of why people have getting quite so orgasmically excited about the show. To be honest, it’s great fun, but I’m not at all suprised that it didn’t last long as it’s an utterly bizarre mash-up of different genres- like someone took Deadwood, Blade Runner and Blake’s 7 and threw them into a bag. For me, it plays best when it’s not overdosing on the Western iconography and having its heroes wielding space-age six-shooters and experiencing traditional bar brawls, and instead just concentrates on being a gritty, earthy space saga. There are moments which feel overdone- the violence sometimes feels very out of place in what’s a good-natured romp for 90% of the time (in one episode today, there were people dying via bleeding from every orofice- not the nicest sight). The characterisation’s great fun, and it would have been nice to see it at least get a full season (the rather dull looking Invasion managed it before it kicked the bucket), but half the problems I had with the movie are still there, and it does feel like it’s missing the iconic central concept that Buffy had driving it. It’s fun, but it really wasn’t the Second Coming.
Lots to do. A week to go, and then I’m on holiday in Cornwall. I don’t know if I’m going to get the book finished by then, but I’m going to have a damn good try.