Over the last year or two I was introduced to the solid piece of TV entertainment that is Burn Notice. The show is set in Miami and features Michael Westen, a former CIA spy who was “burned” by the Agency. He spends each season getting closer to the truth about why he was burned, and also manages to help people.
The opening credits are endlessly quotable, and the show has given us such memorable lines like “Chuck Finlay is forever”.
Anyway, on to the reason for this post. The recently completed season 5 gave me an additional reason to watch the show, namely Michael’s new CIA handler Agent Pierce as played by Lauren Stamile. I kind of liked her in a vague way to start with but by the middle of the season I was watching out for her and hoping she would be in the episode.
Therefore Lauren is the first recipient of my occasional “I Like Her, She’s Pretty” award.
Recently I watched the movie Apollo 18 on DVD and I thought I’d write up my thoughts about it.
The movie is made in the style of The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield as a documentary that has been put together from some recovered footage. In this case the footage is from a secret Department of Defense Apollo mission to the moon in 1974.
Most of the footage is made up of video camera images from inside the lunar module and 16 mm camera footage that the astronauts take when outside on the lunar surface. There has obviously been a lot of effort from the filmmakers to get the footage to be as authentically 1970s looking as possible. Their efforts have paid off as it looks indistinguishable from the actual Apollo footage dropped in here and there.
The story itself is faily slight. The astronauts have been sent up to the moon supposedly to set up some Cold War monitoring equipment. While there they discover some footprints that lead them to a Soviet lunar lander and a dead cosmonaut. Strange things happen such as the American flag disappearing and the lunar rover being flipped over.
Basically it transpires tha some moon rocks are not rocks at all but nasty little creatures that manage to infect one of the astronauts. Will the other astronaut make it home?
Visually the recreation of the moon and the hardware is impressive. The moon looks suitably grey and it’s nice to see the Russian lander look much like the the actual one that was developed in the 1960s and revealed years after the space race was over.
Allow me a little nitpicking though. We hear sounds such as the one that accompanies the charging of the astronaut’s strobe light. (Although perhaps we’ll ignore that as he may have had it wired into his suit.) Also the astronaut runs from danger at one point. In all the Apollo footage I’ve seen the astronauts had to “bunny hop” to get around. And without giving too much away the 16mm footage appeared to be destroyed at the end of the movie. So how did the documentary makers get their hands on it?
In summary a technically interesting little movie that’s worth a look but I doubt I’d want to watch it often.
For the last year or two I’ve been posting the occasional piece of book related news to my blog, Books What I Like. Now I have this WordPress thing up and running perhaps it makes sense to post things here.
So here’s my first piece of book news. Gerald Seymour’s next novel has been listed for publication on Amazon UK. It’s titled The Innocents, although the blurb seems to imply it might be called The Graveyard Team.
Based on the blurb the book appears to focus on the fight against organised crime.
The book is due for publication on 5 July 2012 by Hodder and will in fact be the fourth Seymour novel to be published by Hodder since 2009.
All Seymour’s novels are high quality and mark my reading highlight of the year, but 2011’s A Deniable Death was outstanding even by his standards and will be a tough one to follow.
You can read the blurb on Gerald Seymour – The Art of Danger.
March update. Now the title seems to be Outsiders. Time will tell.
Here is my first blog post to the new blog thing. I’ll have to think about using this blog instead of my other blogger blog Momentary Bursts of Enthusiasm.