First, let me apologise for my lack of posts in the last 6 months.  For those not in the know, just before Christmas I had a major football injury:  a broken shoulder, two broken ribs, and a collapsed lung.  I did say it was “major”!   The result was that for quite some time I was unable to work at full speed.  A second factor was that Jo has changed jobs.  She’s on less money now, but is far happier.  The result this time is that I have been working to bring some money into the household.   The net result has been a lack of time/inspiration to write new posts.  Thankfully, work is now almost back on track and a recent question from a friend has set my mind working …

I have many interests.  Too many.  I like Football.  And I like Guitars.  And I like Wargaming.  And I like Guitars. And I like football.  And I like “Aussie Rules Football”:  I ‘support’ Port Adelaide – for no other reason than when I first started watching they played really exciting passing football rather than the hoof-ball some played.

I like watching some TV programmes.  Current programmes include “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” (mainly because I find Mr. Nutterbutter hilarious, but maybe that’s just my weird sense of humour), “Have I Got News For You”, and obviously some programmes relating to football/Aussie Rules.  Older programmes include many ‘whodunnit’ types (thanks to Jo’s ‘murder-mystery’ fetish) such as “Lewis” (not “Inspector Morse”, as I know them by heart as they are repeated so much), “Midsummer Murders” etc. etc.  But nothing earlier than c.1985.

Did I mention that I like Guitars and Football?

You get the picture.  I have too many hobbies/interests and too little time.

Strangely, there is one genre of entertainment that I simply am not interested in.  This is the film industry.  It’s hard to explain but I simply can’t build up enough interest to watch a film any more.  The last film I saw was “The Lego Movie”, mainly because Owen wanted to see it.  To be honest, it wasn’t too bad and had some funny moments.  Maybe this is where I have a problem?  It seems to me that the vast majority of innovation and imagination takes place in the specific genre of “Kids’ Animation”.  Maybe this is because alongside the “kids’ jokes” there are also “adult jokes” (not that type – get your minds out of the gutter!)  Having said that, most of the successful animated films have prompted too many sequels in an attempt to cash in.  (“Despicable ME 37”:  soon coming to a cinema near you!)

The majority of films advertised at the moment appear to be “Romcoms”, “Horror”, “Superheroes”, “Episode 15 in a Major Franchise” (think ‘Jurassic Park’ or ‘Star Wars’), or “remakes of older classics'”.  “Romcoms” are awful, predictable fare full of stereotypical “heroes” and “heroines”.  And talking about stereotypical, modern “Horror” films appear to be simply ‘gore-fests’, with the huge supply of fake blood compensating for the lack of a decent plot or dialogue.

As for the current obsession with “Superheroes”, they make my skin crawl.  Let’s take a recent addition to the genre.  “Batman versus Superman”.  That is not a contest.  In ‘reality’, everything depends upon the mindset of Superman.  Batman is a “superhero” who is simply a bloke well-versed in the arts of self-defence supported by an impressive list of gadgets.  Hardly “Superman”.  On the other hand, “Superman” is, well, “Superman”:  an extra-terrestrial with x-ray vision, who can fly, and whose only weakness is “Kryptonite” – and really crap dialogue.  If Superman was really fighting Batman and wanted him done away with, he’d simply take the bat up to space and throw him out!  Ridiculous.

I don’t think I need to say much about the major franchises, such as ‘Star Wars’, as even people who are ‘addicted’ to these are beginning to find them disappointing.

And the problem with the remakes of older classics is that the ‘older classics’ usually have superior actors underpinning them, whereas in the remakes the actors are not of the same calibre.  In addition, to make the remake ‘valid’ there are usually new twists which in the context of the original don’t make sense and ruin the suspension of belief.  Think the remake of ‘The Italian Job’.  The original (British) movie was made in 1979 and the remake (US) in 2003.  Simply not of the same calibre.   Finally, the older films are set in a different world.  Think of the changes that have taken place over the last 30 years.  I’m not a massive fan of the film (it was mildly amusing), but the first ‘Austin Powers’ movie says it all.  To my mind the whole film is a device to illustrate the ways in which ‘Western’ Society has changed since the 1960s. The remake doesn’t usually make sense.  Or at least, taht’s my opinion.

Why am I going on about films?  A friend recently asked whether I would like to see one of my books made into a film.  I’m unsure.  Possibly my favourite book(s) of all time was ‘The Lord of the Rings’.  I would describe the films as ‘spectacular’, the acting as ‘good-great’, and the settings superb.  I would, however, describe the liberties taken with the script as ‘awful’.  There are so many aspects of the film, where there are major changes to the storyline of the book, that I don’t understand.

With that in mind, would I want one of my books being dramatised?  Belisarius having a fight with his foster-son and his wife after their affair?  Aetius having a long-lasting friendship with Attila broken by a woman coming between them?  Attila capturing Rome and being driven out by a horde of angels descending at the word of Pope Leo I?  Who knows what liberties would be taken.

Having said that, think of the money!  Oh, think of the money!!  And I think of the money all the time, simply because I have none!

Alms for the poor anyone?