Culture consumed since the last list on 23rd August.
Trainwreck – I’d never seen Amy Schumer in her Comedy Central TV show. So I went in to this not knowing what she was like. Both she and the film as a whole were really good. Funny, poignant, mostly well written and acted. Maybe a bit too much monologuing in places. I rated it 8/10.
How To Write Everything – David Quantick. A short, funny book from a writer who has lots of experience of writing. Having written in most areas professionally, including for The Thick Of It and Veep television shows. The book contains good advice, and some great anecdotes. I liked the one about how long it can be when a TV script is sent to producers until the time the writers hear anything back. In one case a writing pair waited a year and then sent a one year birthday card to the script, care off the producers. Brilliant.
The Long Mars – Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. I liked this more than The Long War. But it still seemed to be an exercise in world building at times. It all went a bit Midwich Cuckoos alike in later parts of the book. Knowing that won’t detract from the book. Now I’ve read The Long Utopia (see below) that story line makes more sense.
Paper Towns – I really enjoyed this. It’s a good Young Adult story. It has good music, comedy, a road trip, lots of coming of age within the group, pathos, and a believable real world ending. Rated it 8/10.
Irrational Man – New Woody Allen film. He wrote and directed and it stars Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey and Jamie Blackley. I love Woody Allen’s work, especially the early funny stuff 😉 So I’m predisposed to like his films. Even taking that bias into account I have to say that this was a magical film. It doesn’t tread any new ground for Allen. Other films like Match Point (which is also brilliant) deal with much the same ideas. But so what. Good stories are good stories. And this is a good story. Plus no one writes existential angst dialogue like Woody Allen. This was a good script that was well interpreted and acted by the cast. The locations were beautiful, and the cinematography, lighting and colour hue of the sets was great. As usual with Woody Allen films the jazz, piano and orchestral soundtrack was great too. Definitely a 9/10 rating. Came close to giving it the maximum!
The Long Utopia – Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. The fourth book in The Long Earth Series. I enjoyed this one the most from the four published so far. It has less world building and more story and character interaction. Plus some threads woven in the previous books come together here in a nice, fulfilling tapestry in the last few chapters. With some surprises and a few outcomes that made my eyes smart a little. Looking forward to the conclusion of the series in June next year when The Long Cosmos is published.