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Mike S

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Everything posted by Mike S

  1. We are going to see this next week and I, for one, am very much looking forward to it.
  2. Men (2022) This was quite the scene. Alex Garland's third film as director is quite the departure from the brilliant sci-fi of Ex Machina and the nice looking, but not my bag, Annihilation. This is a horror film that, I think, is an allegorical tale of misogyny and/or grief but to tell the story it runs through a whole grab bag of horror tropes - folk horror, body horror, a dash of cosmic horror, and a generous serving of home invasion and final girl. Superficially, it is the story of Harper, a young woman (played brilliant by Jessie Buckley) whose husband commits suicide after she tells him that their marriage is no longer working. To recover from the trauma she rents a lovely old manor house in the Cotswolds for a couple of weeks. Once there she encounters a range of strange and usually quietly aggressive village folk (all played by Rory Kinnear with some characters being much more successful than others), who increasingly intrude into her life/mind along with the pagan Green Man symbology she encounters in the local church. This, to put it mildly, all escalates towards one of the most unusual scenes I've seen in a film in many a year. It is trippy, unsettling, occasionally extremely visceral, always intriguing, and I've not been able to get it out of my head since watching it yesterday afternoon. It's going to take a few more viewings to unpack further as, after the first viewing, I'm unsure just how strong some of the elements are as there is not a great deal to Harper's backstory which might explain the manifestations she encounters or how deeply she embraces the Green Man and it's meaning. Maybe there doesn't need to be one as it is could be a broader tale using Harper as a representation of the suffering of many women. 4/5
  3. Second series of 'From the Oasthouse' coming in September: https://podcastingtoday.co.uk/alan-partridge-is-back-with-a-new-series-from-the-oasthouse/
  4. This is very true. I am up to about 195 hours now and have still not completed my first playthrough. I am being very thorough though and have also been restricting use of most of the assistive features as I prefer to solo FROM games. That said, I am very much in the endgame now and have started to use spirt summons on bosses as there seems to be a lot of them in relatively rapid succession.
  5. Elden Ring is your only way forward. That said, if you really want to play Horizon then I would suggest playing before Elden Ring as I played it for a week prior to the release of ER and have zero motivation to return to it as, after playing ER for months and months, Horizon just feels boringly formulaic, although it is very pretty. Don't miss Returnal's Ascension DLC if you've not played that either as it is brilliant.
  6. Mike S

    Apple TV +

    Whilst you have the sub I#d recommend the first season of Ted Lasso and, even better, both seasons of Trying for some warmly sweet comedy. The After Party is great, Slow Horses is fine, first season of The Morning Show was good, and CODA is essential. I wanted to like The Essex Serpent as the book was great but Clare Danes ridiculously over acting, constantly gurning, facial expressions has killed it for me. The new dinosaur thing is like one of the BBC dino specials but with much, much better CGI and seems fine based on the couple of episodes I have watched so far.
  7. I presume you are referring to the scene for which the costume department dressed Hackman's character entirely incorrectly?
  8. I just started watching this last night after seeing it recommended by Amazon (perhaps unsurprisingly). Brolin makes for a fantastic aged cowboy, the Wyoming vistas are incredible, there is a great oddness going on and I like it so far so shall push on. It's slow watching but very intriguing (2 episodes in)...
  9. Sad news. The Ocean logo in magazine ads or on cassette boxes in my local game shop, and at home, are such a strong childhood memory. RIP.
  10. Ha! There he is! Look at his sticky up hairs!
  11. Aah, right. I know of Cheshire Brewhouse as a local bottle shop used to get them in until they fell out with the owner so I had a few a long time ago. I actually met said owner/brewer (his name is Shane) at a tasting event at a local beer festival 5 or 6 years ago and, as there were only four of us in attendance, we were subjected to an awful lot of him talking/asking questions (he was a guest BTW not the brewer hosting the event). He was such a boorish, tedious, arrogant dickhead that I made a quiet promise to myself then that I'd never touch his beer in the future and have been quite happy to do so. He did have a very sweet little dog though - one which had regular base fur but then seemed to have an additional finer layer of longer hairs that stuck out perpendicular to it's body as if it was permanently subjected to a static charge. Very pleasing hound, unlike it's owner. That he became as Covid conspiracist makes it even easier to have no sympathy for the closure of his brewery. Sucks to lose your one local brewer though. We still have a fair few, small, local trad brewers around here as well as all the modern beers up the road in Manc...
  12. I'm not especially mad on Pressure Drop myself but that might be a location/exposure thing as we don't see it on tap too often up here. I'm near Manc so we drink CW and Track more than anything and they are both plenty fine. Trillium are a cut above many though and are probably my second favourite hazy US beer folk after Monkish. You will taste plenty of good beers there for sure. People spend £10 a can to import because it is considerably cheaper than flying to Massachusetts, or Vermont, or NYC. or L.A., or wherever, to try the beer. Whether the beers they get for their £10 are definitively 'better' tasting than locally sourced beer is another matter. Sometimes they very much aren't, sometimes they very much are, but I imagine many are also buying those sorts of beers as those sorts of breweries are still perceived to be the pioneers. It's always interesting to see what is being made over in the States (or wherever).
  13. Are these all breweries that are going under? Of those I only know Beatnik and they have made mostly awful beers and have an overpriced, gaudy, taproom in Manc that is never even a consideration when on a night out. Locally, they are also competing against a couple of world class brewers and a good handful of very good breweries so they may not have been in the best place. Which Cheshire brewery? I live in Cheshire and most of the rural breweries are pretty dull/traditional but that's the sort of gear that has always had a (local) market of sorts so I'd be surprised to see any of those fail. Not heard of Fallen or Exe. I think the problem is that, following the success of a modest handful of UK breweries, a whole extra fuck ton of breweries have started up in the last three or four years with many of them are aping the (well proven) NEIPA style but without a huge amount of diffraction from those UK brewers that have already copied and mastered the style to a very successful degree. It takes an awful lot of good can presentation, word of mouth, or a solid recommendation from trusted bar/bottle shop folk to encourage me to spend £3-4 on a half of hazy IPA by a brewery I've not heard of when there will be at least half a dozen beers by constantly great breweries that I know on the shelf/taps. I think we are seeing stagnation as too many people try to make the same thing as that same thing sells. The outlier breweries that are doing their own thing, and those that have been around for a while and who are making consistent quality beer, will be fine but I'd probably not miss 80% (being kind) of UK 'craft' breweries.
  14. Sunn are playing their first show since February 2020 at Fabric in London next month and it’s a one off in support of an exhibition of Savage Pencil’s artwork for them. Tickets are quite expensive but it will be a rare duo show and, as such, essential.
  15. I got to a bit where I just could not get past a few awkwardly placed enemies so stopped playing (and that was relatively early on) which was a shame as it is very good. Just that one really tricky placement killed it for me but, until then, it had not been too hard. I might try again later actually...
  16. Aah, right, gotcha. If you can make it a bit further downtown either for a walkabout with the family or on an after hours sneak then Crown Alley in Chelsea (IIRC) is an excellent bar with a fantastic range of beers from New York and surrounding States. They had a few Hill Farmtead's on draught when we visited a few years ago which was great as they really are a believe the hype brewery. As for Finback, you should come down to Manchester in a couple of weeks as Cloudwater will have a few Finback (plus OH and Evil Twin NYC) kegs on!
  17. Yep, easy to drink is the best description. I very much enjoy the big hoppy, hazy, beers but sometimes it is very, very pleasing to drink something that isn't screaming all it's hops and sugar and, instead, just sip on something clean and balanced and with that soft bitterness. I have gotten into lager a bit more over the years as a counter balance to the hop forward beers but even contemporary West Coast IPAs act as nice changes of pace. Definitely need to find me some Pliny again and, yeah, a pint or two over at the source would be very pleasing indeed.
  18. That Pliny was a pretty fair price really given the relative expense of shipping bottles from the US. Cheaper than a flight to San Francisco for sure... As for the US beers being way better than we have here, I suspect your friend is suffering from a degree of kidology. WhenOH, Treehouse, Trillium, Monkish, whoever et al's hazy are good they really can be better than anyone but we now have plenty of breweries in the UK that are consistently making very good beers in that hazy, hoppy, style that the US pioneered. When spending a tenner or more for a can, plus it being a bit rarer over here, the hype can take over the taste buds, I suspect you'll find the OH beers to be very enjoyable indeed but whether that its the same at ten quid for a cab compared to $5 is another matter. Be sure to visit Finback too as they make, for me, the best beer I've had out of NYC.
  19. It was pretty much the first of the modern 'West Coast' IPA's and, as a style definer, was hugely influential so that always makes it a beer that is sought out. That was twenty odd years ago though and tastes/styles have certainly changed. When I tried this a few years back, I found it a little underwhelming at first but, really, it is just quite a lot softer and less aggressive than modern high ABV IPA styles. One of those small US beer importers had some bottles a few weeks ago but they sold out in seconds so I missed out. Pretty fairly priced too at £12 or so..
  20. That sentence (from the review) is the only thing that has made me at all interested in this as I cannot be bothered with the whole retro cool (with a crank) hype for a machine that I would use for a week (if that) before consigning to the back of a cupboard. A haunted beermat is a whole other matter though..
  21. The main basis is to be an 'edgy' contrarian. See also, why isn't it exactly like a Nintendo game, ad nauseum... It is a spectacular looking game.
  22. It was free on PS+ on release. It was also boring as hell.
  23. You could maybe try making a map? Or just remembering where you've been as they are not that extensive and there are a few bits of loot down there (and one of the hardest bosses I have encountered so far).. I thought they were great.
  24. If you are complaining about/being annoyed by wandering in circles and being killed by things then this may not be the game for you? As, that is where all the fun is in these games. I don't really think unbalancing the game with so many runes is the best way to enjoy the game either.
  25. I thought it was excellent for it’s hint of a Bloodborne vibe. Plus, lots of dangerous things…
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