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Penny Glen’s Rants
The Generation Game
Part 6: A Downloadable Future?  & New Films to Watch or Avoid
Another of Penny’s information packed overview of the new films, again making the rest of us  mortals think we know nothing about films. But first pondering on downloads and the future.
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Download Only Future?

We’re getting closer to that high tech, flying cars and Nexus 6 Replicants future all the time that Sci-Fi fiction writers are always warning us about. There is one thing I am a little worried about though. It’s getting to the point where I’m questioning the future of film and music. The charts these days are download charts for music, Netflix and LoveFilm are allowing films to be streamed and all the while forgetting about the tangible discs that are still available in stores. I unfortunately believe that the future will be downloadable only, and this is not too futuristic a thought my friends. The Playstation Vita, the latest in a generation of handheld consoles came out not that long ago and specialises in downloadable content directly from Sony’s Playstation Network.

Certainly everything would be easier in digital form right? No muss, no fuss? I for one though would miss the joy of holding a disc in my hands. Being a natural collector/hoarder I like things I can see – which is why I like to shop in stores and not online. You ultimately have to know what you’re looking for and it’s very difficult to browse using a computer.

I guess I am the last generation to know what buying a CD from the charts felt like. It’s weird; my generation was the first to do some things and the last to do others (VHS – DVD – Blu-ray) so I’m a bit of a pioneer I guess. I enjoy holding a new film in my hand or a new book and having the pleasure of that new book smell or tearing off the cellophane to reveal a shiny disc inside.

Yet, as I’ve said before – newer things are not necessarily better. Take C.G.I. as my time honoured example. Unless used properly and with a purely artistic viewpoint, films often turn out disastrous – whereas the beautiful, puppeteered animatronic of the Alien queen is still as beautiful and effective as the day she was created. Appreciate the art and the things we still have guys and there are still those out there that believe in quality over quantity – and individuality over popularised rubbish. Continue to buy things that you can hold and try to experience a marriage of the technologies instead of just latching onto the newest thing.
I have spoken!

New Films Out to Watch or Avoid

· The Woman in Black
A lot of people thought Daniel Radcliffe couldn’t get away from Harry Potter like the Skywalker/Mark Hamill curse. They unfortunately thought right but Mr. Potter does give it a bloody good try. This is an old ghost story with new special effects and it’s only a 12. No violence and no swears make this a vehicle purely to make you jump and scare the bejeezus out of you. If you want a good scare ride and not much else, have a watch... but if you (like me) want something more than a scary lady with a vendetta it’s something to see anyway. The only thing I really didn’t like about it was the ending because of the dual interpretations. You’ll see what I mean, but it’s worth a watch on a dark, spooky Saturday night.

· The Grey
Liam Neeson really likes to be chased huh? This time not by Belgian mercenaries, drug dealers or sex traffickers but by wolves in the wilderness. His plane goes down and he takes charge of a small group of his survivors to hopefully lead them to safety. What I really liked about this film was that it had the right focus that you normally don’t see. Yes, these guys are being chased by wolves and probably look like the wolf version of KFC on legs...but this is a study of what people do when faced with death. Do you fight until your last breath or do you give up? What would you do? Truthfully it does drag in places because the survivors don’t have much to say to each other but it’s worth a viewing nonetheless.

· The Iron Lady
A good biopic but for me, only to be watched to admire the Iron Lady of acting as well as the Prime Minister. We love Meryl Streep and she is great for all intents and purposes. The story leaves a lot to be desired and I know that a few people in Britain weren’t really big fans of Maggie Thatcher but give it a chance guys.

· Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
If I could have one wish I would want to live forever. Oh and for Robert Downey Jr.  and Jude Law to present the Oscars together. Their chemistry and bromance cannot be denied and it is a pleasure to watch in their second Sherlock adventure – this time against the biggest bad guy of them all: Moriarty. The laughs and the awesomeness continue and it really makes you ok with the fact that an American plays one of the most famous Englishmen of all time.

· The Vow
Based on a true story, Rom-com veteran Rachel McAdams and up and coming new guy Channing Tatum star in a story about love against the odds. Meh, even writing that it sounded bad to me. Ok, these two people are married, they get into a car crash, the wife goes into a coma and when she wakes up...she has no clue who her husband is. Certain heart breaking moments ensue as is the norm, but to be honest it didn’t have the touching moments that fifty first dates had – largely down to Drew Barrymore. It’s alright, for lack of a better word.

· Jack and Jill
A vehicle for Adam Sandler now that Eddie Murphy has left the multiple personality building. Adam Sandler is himself and his rather hairy, heavyset sister. Hilarity commences. Or at least I think it did. See only for Al Pacino doing his ‘Dunka Chino’ advert. Utter monstrosity though.

· Carnage
An interesting black comedy with Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster and John C Reilly. Two couples must come together to have ‘the talk’ when their sons have been found to be fighting at school. They try to talk, but somehow end up being kids themselves and delve into the inevitable downward spiral of immaturity. Worth it for a watch, but there is a lot of dialogue so it might not be everyone’s cuppa.

· War Horse
Steven Spielberg directs as a guy falls for a horse (yeah, really) and the film follows him and the horsey through the trials and tribulations of working on a farm and oh, the Great War when the horse is selected for the Army riders in the cavalry. Okay, the guy doesn’t exactly fall for a horse, but you know what Spielberg is famous for doing. Youngsters and their friendships with an opposite e.g. horsey, aliens, dog and yes – a shark. The film has a certain quality about it, but I just couldn’t love it as much as I probably should have done. Perhaps it was the subject matter, perhaps it was the boy himself – but all in all have a watch if you fancy a cry or a good period drama.

· Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Tom Cruise in more of his secret agent capers with Simon Pegg and my beloved Jeremy Renner. See for a good night in and not much to think about. Oh and Cruise dangles off of the tallest building in the world. He actually did.

· The Darkest Hour
Aliens have come to enslave the earth again and they are....demonic lights coming from the sky. We will be saved by...Emille Hirsch? I think not. In all seriousness I respect filmmakers who try to do something a little different and although this didn’t improve the overall quality of the film it still gave another element to the whole alien invasion idea. What if they were invisible? OO, scary...

· The Descendants
George Clooney and Alexander Payne (Sideways director) bring you this heartwarming story of a father getting to know his kids in unusual circumstances. I still think the Cloon stole the BAFTA from Michael Fassbender but this is still a good film, rather deservedly so. Watch for a little bit of brilliance.

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