Cloud harvest

Sailing the Solent
I love a good cloud formation and over the last year or two I’ve taken a few photos – admittedly not enough – of a few of them with. I began using my iPhone 3GS then 4S and now am using my HTC Titan with its 8MP camera and F2.2 lens. The iPhone images bleed the light and give a more ‘romantic’ look but I prefer the fuller image from the HTC Titan.
I’m hoping for a new camera in time for my holidays later in the year but between now and then I’ll be updating my cloud harvest via Flickr every now and again.

Created in thy image

These are my thoughts on Ridley Scott’s movie Prometheus which is set in the same universe as Alien, a movie he directed over 30 years ago. Be warned – there be spoilers ahead.

Movies that make you think? Sadly modern movie-making is almost exclusively in the hands of those that feel a blockbuster experience shouldn’t be allowed room for a free-thinking audience. It’s all about those bums on seats. So when a movie like Prometheus comes along, I have to go see it on the big screen. And so I did.

Things I liked, on reflection, about Prometheus? The movies ambition; the themes of faith and scientific discovery and the idea of big things come from small beginnings. I also like that the movie didn’t try to recapture the tension of the original Alien movie. I believe it would have been a waste of time to sit through another ‘Alien’ experience. Those who wanted Ridley Scott to right the wrongs, of the lesser movies in the franchise, by making such a movie obviously don’t think outside the box much.

The other theme I believe should get more of a mention is the subject of female infertility. It’s a topic that is very rarely broached in movies but has to be one of the most important subjects in any woman’s lifetime. The ability to reproduce is often taken for granted and for a woman not to have the option to carry a new life to term needs far more understanding and compassion than you can ever imagine.

Noomi Rapace’s Elizabeth Shaw represents a strong female role-model that has to struggle with, not only her faith, but that she will never have the experience of giving birth to children of her own. My hope for any sequel of Prometheus will be that Ridley Scott develops Elizabeth Shaw’s struggle with both her faith and her own infertility. I believe – hinted at during the scene where David is watching the dreams of Shaw – that there could be a rich character there in Elizabeth Shaw. Her continued involvement and relationship with David in future movies could also be very engaging.

Much has been made of the weak script and, bar Rapace and Fassbender, the characterisation is rather poor. I agree to a point but a longer movie – Ridley’s first cut was 2hrs 27mins – and maybe a directors cut could reintroduce some of what is missing from the movies shallow points. I’m not saying it would improve the overall experience but it could make the experience a little fuller with regards to the characters of the supporting cast.

If my recommendation means anything, then I highly suggest you go see it before you listen to others make up your mind for you.

Three from the E3 hype

While E3 is big on gamers minds this week, I’ve kept my distance from the hype. E3 is all about the stirring as much hype in your product as possible – it is what it is. And although I’ve been away celebrating a family birthday, a few gaming nuggets have impressed me.

I’m happy to see that Assassin’s Creed 3 historical backdrop – the American revolution – is looking lively. It’s a period of history I enjoy when played out in fiction. OK the naval combat has been exaggerated for the game design. For anyone who has done any sailing will know that no sail ship, even from that period of history, can respond that quickly from port to starboard. I do like how it looks but can imagine it’s not a big part of the game and has to be better than the tower defence mini-game in the last outing.

I admit I’ve enjoyed the Halo universe of games but hadn’t been concerned with what Halo 4 would be dishing up. The first gameplay video from 343 Industries shown at E3 has some nice reworkings of combat which I kinda like. The new villain of the piece feels fresh too.

I like Naughty Dog. The Uncharted series of games has been the only reason I’ve turned on my PS3 over the last few years. For that reason alone I should thank them. 2013 looks to be the next time I boot my PS3 up. If I’m lucky The Last of Us could still possibly work its way into the end of 2012.

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