The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Guy Ritchie — maker of the two recent steampunky Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey, Jr. — gives us a great spy-fi comedy adventure this summer that dieselpunk fans ought to be interested in.

Although the The Man from U.N.C.L.E., based on the 1960s television series of the same name, takes place in the post-dieselpunk era, it contains many of the genre’s tropes and themes: spies, unrepentant Nazis in a plot against the two superpowers, missing nuclear weapons, speedboats, helicopters, industrial decors reminiscent of Thunderbirds and dashing Space Age costumes.

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Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 may seem like the umptieth Disney movie, especially the umptieth digitally animated one. Considering it’s by the team of Frozen, people may expect something along those lines. Nothing could be further from the truth. Big Hero 6 is one of the best things released by Disney since well, quite a while.

This Marvel/Disney collaboration is proof that both companies should work together more often. The film is not only a magnificent feat when it comes to animation, but also has the same kind of imaginative storytelling and feel of adventure that Marvel movies have become famous for in the last decade.

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Property of a Lady Faire

Property of a Lady Faire

Simon R. Green returns with his latest, and seventh, installment in the Secret History series. One of the quintessential three in the same major plotline and setting (the other two being Ghost Finders and the Nightside).

Just like in many other books, characters from other settings play a part in this one. I shan’t divulge who exactly, as that would be spoilers. But I will tell you that Nightside fans won’t be disappointed.

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FACTS Ghent Belgium
The author at FACTS in Ghent, Belgium, October 19 (ert Van den Wyngaert)

The past edition was a major anniversary for FACTS as the convention was celebrating it’s 20th anniversary. Their website and on site brochure promised a lot of fun, ranging from workshops to lectures, meet and greet with famous people from movie and art industry, a cosplay competition, gaming area, etc, …

In short: plenty of things to see and do and if you had spare cash to in your wallet: a wide variety of vendors to spend said money. Continue reading “FACTS”

Spirits from Beyond

Spirits from Beyond

Ghost Finders has never been my favorite series of Simon R. Green, but with this fourth volume in the series, Spirits from Beyond, the series really picks up. Green delivers with this excellent work of classic, good-old ghost-hunter fun that we’ve come to love from the genre without the book becoming a cliché.

The characters are finally fully developed as their own people in this issue, with their own personalities and problems, and the plot keeps on thickening, providing answers here and there but overall leaving the reader with more questions without becoming annoying.

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Folding Reality

Folding Reality

Today we have a quirky novella by Mit Sandru: Folding Reality.

Mike, an insurance salesman, is having a very bad day. For some reason, every time he folds a piece of paper — whether it’s a map, a dollar or take-out menu — he finds himself transported to another (usually unfriendly) place and time. He ends up in Jerusalem where he somehow prevents the crucifixion of Christ — and gets nailed to a cross himself!

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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

If you expect a high explosives, action-packed, gunfire and combat scenes everywhere kind of movie — the likes of which Hollywood puts out every week — then you’ll be sorely disappointed with this. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is as far from the bog-standard, no-thoughts action film as it can be.

It’s a movie that takes its time for things to evolve, the plot to unfold and characters to develop. For the best, because this is one of the strongest espionage movies, possibly the strongest, I have seen in years.

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Two Hours With Marilyn

My Week With Marilyn

My Week with Marilyn was released a while ago, but we didn’t have a chance to see it here in the Low Countries until a couple of weeks ago.

The film is a wonderful and nostalgic adventure for the likes of us who would rather the Golden Age of Hollywood never ended.

Michelle Williams is spectacular in the role of Monroe. The looks, costumes and makeup are fabulous. The entire “feel” of Marilyn is that of an escape from the visual effects extravaganzas of modern-day film making in favor of character and drama.

In this sense, it’s almost on par with The King’s Speech, although the plot is secondary here to experience. Story-wise, My Week With Marilyn is pretty predictable, but it’s touching all the same.

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J. Edgar Falls Short

J. Edgar

J. Edgar, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was released in the United States late last year, but we didn’t have a chance to see it here in Europe until last week.

The biopic about the former FBI director, directed by Clint Eastwood, is a great history piece but ultimately disappoints because there isn’t much of a storyline.

DiCaprio absolute submerges himself in the role and excels as “the most powerful man in America.” The costumes, the décor, the lighting all enforce a sense of nostalgia that should appeal to dieselpunk enthusiasts. The movie shows a lot of history, from the anarchist hysteria of the early twentieth century to the 1930s war on Crime to fears of communist subversion in the 1950s and 60s.

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