Tuesday, 30 April 2013

And I'm so over it

Okay, it not really a secret that I love me a movie. So on Thursday I dragged myself out and braved what I knew would be a packed cinema (I know it's no good for the industry, but I do love it when we have the theatre almost to ourselves) to see Ironman 3 on the day of release. And it was packed, heaving in fact.

The film was great and two hours flew by. Even the kid was brilliant, although in part that might have been because practically all of his scenes were with Robert Downey Jr.

So you ask, your title, what are you over?

Robert Downey Jr? No, no, no. Is that even possible? Not for me at any rate. I find him a joy to watch these days--to be honest I always have, I thought his Chaplin was brilliant--he fills the screen with his delivery and larger than life persona. I can think of nobody better suited to play Tony Stark. And Ironman isn't even my favourite role of his, that honour goes to Sherlock Holmes.

If it's not the actor, then it must be superhero films in general? After all there has been such a glut of them of late and there is no indication that they are slowing down. Hmm, let's have a quick look down my favourite films of the last few years: Sherlock Holmes (both of them), Avengers Ensemble, Thor, Green Lantern, Ironman 3, Captain America... Are you seeing a theme here? Yep I love a man in Lycra.  And as we look forward to the coming months which films are on my must-see list? The Lone Ranger and Thor 2. Even the Avengers sequel in 2015 is penciled into my diary--it'd be in pen but I don't know the exact release date. Since I first picked up a Spiderman comic I've loved superheroes, and that feeling was only cemented by watching Dean Cain & Terri Hatcher in Lois & Clark - The New Adventures of Superman. I think I'll be a comic book geek in some form or another to my dying day.

Not superheroes that I'm over then. I'll put you out of your misery.

It's 3D. Why does everything have to be in 3D? I'll confess I'm probably biased, I can't watch 3D. The images never look right to me and I find myself with a headache that verges on a migraine before half an hour has gone by. I will always go to the 2D version of the film, if I can't then I'll wait for the DVD. No way am I spending a tenner to have a sick inducing headache.

The problem with 3D as I see it, certainly in these big blockbuster films, is that it is all so predictable. Even in 2D those scenes when a 3D effect is coming are obvious. The trailer for The Lone Ranger had these moments in spades, so much so that I leant over to my companion and started a litany of 'That's 3D' to what felt like every clip. Unfortunately those moments are even more apparent in the trailers when you don't have the flow of the story to distract you from the arrow shooting toward your head, or the derailed train flying out of the screen. All fun and games for a 15 minutes film at Legoland but not for 2 hours.

These films are fast paced, full of witty dialogue, stunning special effects and action sequence after action sequence. They don't need the novelty value that 3D offers.

Hollywood, give me a crossbow and arrows or a derailed train if they are necessary for the story, not just so you can show off your clever new toy.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Monday, 1 April 2013

From the heart

If you include an autistic person's family, autism touches the lives of over two million people every day.

April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day and I’m taking part in RJ’s month long blog hop to promote this.

The theme of this year’s blog hop is Prejudice. 

photo credit: alles-schlumpf via photopin cc

I have to admit that my heart fell a little when I saw that I would be expected to write on this subject. Luckily for me it is something that I never experienced, if I have been the victim of prejudice then I’ve never been ‘aware’ of this fact, or it was such a fleeting event at the time that the memory of it no longer resonates with me. Not a flicker. And no amount of dredging the deep dark recesses of my mind helped reveal any—I did find a few coins, a very sticky, fluff-covered sweet, one odd sock and a wheel off a toy car that had been thrown away years ago. Nope, that was the time I moved the sofa—anyway, no prejudice.

Of course I was thinking on too epic a scale, of words ending in ‘ism’ and great injustices. And me, even in the scheme of this blog hop, I am an insignificant thing—most of you probably skipped over my name without even seeing it—so it is no surprise that the world at large would give me nary a glance.

Prejudice - preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience; dislike, hostility, or unjust behaviour deriving from preconceived and unfounded opinions.

That is the definition of prejudice according to the oxforddictionaries.com. And the first of those definitions is something all of us have been on the receiving end of at some point and, I hasten to add, something we have all been guilty of too. You start to form opinions and beliefs about somebody from the first point one of your senses registers them. Strangers on the bus, make that a fat stranger eating a pie, first thought for most people would be ‘fat bastard get on a diet’, no matter that the stranger eats porridge every morning for breakfast, that their alarm clock hadn’t gone off and they were running late for work, that this was the first pie they had eaten in a whole year, that their weight was due to a thyroid condition… I could go on but I think I’ve made my point, the person is a stranger to you, you know nothing about them so how can you make any sort of judgement.

How many times have you put a face to the voice of someone you’ve only ever spoken to on the phone only to meet them in person and have your ‘preconceived opinion’ altered by the reality. On the internet it can appear to be even worse often with nothing to go on but a person’s words, but here is where you would probably get the best chance of finding out my true self without the rest of your senses bringing to bear.

You can’t judge me on my race or sex, my height or my hair colour because in all fairness you don’t know. You can judge me on the fact that I am an author of m/m romance—and many out there do—without even picking up a copy of my books, or even one of my more esteemed colleagues tomes. The books are there for all to see, they are fact. You may make a judgement based on that fact and your own misguided perceptions, and that would take you into the second category 

You are reading my words, they are integral to me and show a part of me that anyone looking from the outside in will never see, unless they too chose to read my words. Even if every word I have ever written on the internet is untrue that will reveal something about me, that I’m a liar. Every word we write exposes something about us whether we want to or not; that comment posted in the heat of debate might not completely reflect our true opinion but it shows that sometimes we are quick to anger without giving the issues due care and attention. 

The process of putting words down on paper might come from the brain, but I’m a great believer that the words themselves, they come from the heart.

If you would like to read some of my words—and yes, I do feel I put my heart and soul into my stories, which is why you only get one a year—then leave a comment below to win a book from my backlist (excluding the anthology because that isn’t mine to give).

See who else is taking part in the blog hop by stopping over at RJ's blog.