Culture Consumed 8

Here is the culture I have consumed since the last list. As ever these posts totally rip off the segement of the same name in the Galactic Suburbia podcast. Some mild spoilers below.

Insurgent – Part two of the Divergent series. Viewed as part of my #OneFilmPerWeek project that requires me to go see at least one film in the cinema every week. Insurgent was better than the first film, Divergent. It was alright. Nothing special.

The Art Of Being Normal – Lisa Williamson. This came up in the “Readers also bought…” page on the Geek Girl page on Amazon or iBooks. It’s a really good story about teenagers with gender issues. Focuses on David who is a girl in a boy’s body. Has a twist that I didn’t see coming. I enjoyed it. Aimed at Young Adult (YA) audience. But good stories are good stories. Age categories like YA should be ignored by readers.

Still Alice – Film about a relatively young university professor, played brilliantly by Julianne Moore, who gets early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. It’s a very poignant story. I liked it a lot. Julianne Moore won the 2015 Oscar for her performance. Kristen Stewart was great in it too.

Bête – Adam Roberts. A near future novel in which very easily administered brain implants are developed that give animals the ability of rational thought, or the appearance of it. Animals just have to injest the small devices. Once in the animals mouth or throat the device implants itself and inserts filiments into the nervours system. Animal rights activists seize on this and use them on farm animals such as dairy cows. Laws are passed forbidding the killing of these sentient animals. Farming collapses, as do other industries. Bête is like a post apocalypse novel without any major apocalypse happening. Follows the life of a displaced farmer as he travels England eking out a living. I liked it.

Blade Runner: The Final Cut – The British Film Institute released a fresh print of Blade Runner: The Final Cut to cinemas. I’d never seen it on the big screen. So I had to go. It’s still a brilliant film. Looked great up on the big screen to.

Only Ever Yours – Louise O’Neill. Another YA focused dystopian future novel. It was recommend on Twitter by someone. It’s certainly dystopian! No spoilers, but you should read this. It won the Bookseller YA Novel of the year 2015. The end shocked me!

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 – Another film captured in the #OneFilmPerWeek net. There wasn’t anything else I fancied the weekend I saw this. The trailer was amusing. Pretty standard stuff. Main character is a hard person to like in many situations during the film. Was mildly entertaining on the whole.

Othergirl – Nicole Burnstein. What’s a girl to do if her best friend turns out to be a super hero? There may be a whole canon of books that cover this area. But I don’t know of it. I liked this. Interesting take on the super hero story. Started a #OneBookPerWeek project to accompany the #OneFilmPerWeek project around the time I was reading this. As a vehicle to force me to read more, and to read outside my usual areas.

The Girl With All The Gifts – M. R. Carey. Decided to read this as it was one of the six nominees for the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award. As was Station Eleven that I read earlier this year and loved. The Girl With All The Gifts deserves to be on the Clarke list alongside Station Eleven. It’s great. Can’t say much without spoilers. But recommend you read it.

While We’re Young – Film about a couple in their early forties who befriend another couple in their mid-twenties. Seems to be an opportunity to relive their youth. But is all as it seems… I liked this a lot. Has a Woody Allen vibe to it. Which is a good thing.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August – Claire North. Another Clarke Award nominee. Novel about a man who is reborn again after he dies. With all his memories from the life he’s just led. Not reincarnated after he dies. But reborn at the same time in the past. Same birthday. He discovers that he’s not the only person like this. Book covers the first fifteen of his lives. It starts slowly, but picks up and is a great idea and is very well executed. Has good plot twists and turns. Good writing too. Read it.

Avengers Age of Ultron – Caught in the #OneFilmPerWeek net. Pretty standard fare. Kept thinking of other films as scenes unfolded. It’s well done. Nothing stellar. Cinema was very full. So it, and films of same ilk, have the virtue of making my local Omniplex financially viable! It was maybe a bit long. There will be sequels 🙂

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