Unfortunately the Malicious Software Removal Tool won’t get rid of it. And it is occasionally useful for messaging and video conferencing. I just don’t want it hogging resources all the bloody time. Note to Microsoft; don’t annoy us Northerners. You wouldn’t like us when we’re angry. Continue reading
While Pete Travis’ (Vantage Point) bloodily excessive re-boot of Judge Dredd exorcises the horror of Danny Cannon’s 1992 Stallone pantomime, it simply doesn’t re-boot energetically enough despite an Alex Garland (Ex Machina) script.
In a post-nuclear Mega City One, the 800m citizens sprawl across an area from Boston to DC that looks all too close to present day Jo’berg (where it was filmed); the police are now the Judges; cop, magistrate and summary executioner in one, a cold elite of ruthless killers, in a city teetering on the edge of lawlessness.
If the Judge Dredd comic strip provided the model for Robocop and the Terminator, then this movie Dredd comes off a poor third behind any number of movie tough guys. Worse still, the script – police going into a locked-down tower block after the drug gangs – comes off a poor second to The Raid, District 13 and any number of knock-off’s. Continue reading
Team Building used to consist of everyone piling into a room, death by PowerPoint from our Glorious Leaders and thinly veiled threats of what would happen if we didn’t shut up, get on with it and meet the expected Mission Impossible revenue/savings/productivity/overtime targets.
These days we have to be more inclusive.
How do you balance a productive day of activities to encourage collaboration, discipline and commitment to shared values, with some element of fun that will suit everyone? And how, without a three-line whip and the threat of penalties for die-hard opters-out, do you avoid ritually humiliating one or several members of staff with an experience akin to a mandatory fourth-grade cross-country run in your underpants? Continue reading
Sam Taylor-Johnson steers this knowingly hilarious, better than expected Mills and Bondage, adapted from the terrible E L James “best-seller” – somebody still needs to explain that to me – down a surprising feminist path.
Two surprises; it’s not the anticipated exploitation movie, being rather coy about the S&M; and it’s not flat-out terrible; plus a revelation – Dakota Johnson as leading lady Anastasia Steele rises above the material and will be the next Jennifer Lawrence. Continue reading
Imagine BBC’s Ghormenghast without the colour, or Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow without… pretty much everything; it’s the UKIP Magic Show; this is English magic. None of your foreign thaumaturgy here, thank you.
While Adult Fantasy is in vogue, semi-respectable and from a long tradition of folk tales, Strange & Norrell (“purveyors of fine cheeses to the gentry”) is struggling to make the crossover to the mainstream audience. Continue reading
BBC Radio 4, Front Row Hay Festival debate: “Do we publish too many books?”
Podcast Fri, 29 May 2015, duration 29 mins
From the Hay Literary Festival, BBC Radio 4’s arts show Front Row asks the question “Do we publish too many books?” In a lively panel discussion, Samira Ahmed heads a panel of publishers, journalists and authors: Philip Jones editor of the trade journal The Bookseller, Crystal Mahey-Morgan Digital Sales and Marketing Director at Zed Books, Alexandra Pringle, the group editor in chief of Bloomsbury and Ali Sparks author of 41 books for children. Continue reading
On arriving, Caleb finds his prize is in fact to run the Turing Test on Nathan’s ground breaking artificial intelligence, to discover if it is truly a sentient being. Not an easy task; the AI is the alluring android-shaped Ava; former programming prodigy Nathan, the Mozart of the Internet, is a manipulative sociopath; and Caleb himself may not be quite the innocent he appears.
Screen writer Alex Garland’s directorial début is a chilly, tense, claustrophobic sci-fi drama of subtle performances concerning the moral and ethical questions of creation, conciousness and free-will. From the very first power-cut in Nathan’s total-surveillance bunker, you know that this is not going to end well… Continue reading
We will soon be implementing a tougher security standard for encrypting passwords within the our events database. It should occur invisibly behind the scenes and I won’t bore you with the technical stuff, but if we do have any glitches, I’m going to honestly advise this is going on and quietly iron those out. Everybody loves a bit of improved security.
Madame de Barra is a curiosity – a widowed woman gardener in seventeenth century France with the drive to make her visions a reality. When the unhappy gardening genius le Notre engages her to create a cutting-edge new al fresco ballroom for the King, it’s fairly obvious how it will all end.
Directed by, co-written by and featuring Alan Rickman as the bored and pointless seventeenth century French King, trapped inside a suffocating cage and wanting only the one woman he can’t have, it’s a deceptively tranquil take on ageing, loss and love. Continue reading