Jul. 28th, 2018

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Mama Mia...againThe first Mama Mia movie was fun. I found this one maudlin, though the songs were well done. It got me in the feels, several times, as, indeed, it was trying to do, but so OTT that I disliked my emotions being manipulated. The performances were good, the set pieces excellent. Pity that the character of 'Fernando' was dropped in with all the subtlety of a clog in order to get the one song in. So what did I like about it? Well, as usual, the three dads, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgard and Colin Firth, played it perfectly and Julie Walters and Christine Baranski reprised their characters beautifully, but if you were expecting another tour de force from Meryl Streep, forget it, except in flashback and a cameo at the end. This was mainly the younger actors taking over. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) wants to know how her three dads met her mum, so cue the younger versions of Donna (Lily James), Harry (Hugh Skinner), Sam (Jeremy Irvine), and Bill (Josh Dylan) with young Rosie (Alexa Davies) and Young Tanya (Jessica Keenan Wynne). Kudos to Lily James and Amanda Seyfried (presuming they did their own singing). And, yes, I did spot Benny Andersson as the piano player in the cafe scene.

It's set five years on from the last movie and things have changed in a big way. Sophie is reopening the hotel after renovations and has some good news to relay to husband, Sky (Dominic Cooper). Guests are gathering for the grand party, but Donna has left a big hole in everyone's lives. Enter Grandma (Cher!).

And how about the songs? Well, it was obvious they couldn't have all the same ones again (though they did duplicate the obvious one) so there were some that I wasn't familiar with, only having a passing acquaintance with Abba. They all worked well, on screen, though. And if it handn'r been for the excessive tear-jerking I might have given this five stars. As it is, maybe three and a half. Worth watching, but I won't be rushing out to buy the DVD.
jacey: (Default)

Freeze-Frame revolutionSunday is one of the workers on the gate-setting 'ship' (hollowed out asteroid) the Eriophora along with thousands of other 'pieces of meat' i.e. the crew who are in sleep-storage, only being revived for a couple of hours once every few thousand years when Chimp – the AI in charge - thinks he might need a bit of human insight into a problem. The mission is set to last for millennia, and it does, without an end in sight. Surely if humans were going to appear through one of the new gates and take them all back to Earth, they would have done it by now. Does Earth even exist any more? Are Eriophora's meat that last humans in the galaxy? What happens when someone realises that Chimp has extinguished 3,000 of the 30,000 on board? Lian thinks it's about time that the humans took over from the AI that could so easily wipe any one of them out at a moment's notice, but even when Sunday is convinced, how do you organize a revolution when you are only away for one day in every few thousand years, and your co-conspirators awake time may not coincide with yours?

Hard science fiction that occasionally left me boggled, but eventually delivered a very human story.
Long novella length. Review copy from Netgalley

jacey: (Default)

Steam Pump JumpAnother of Jodi Taylor's shorts. This comes firmly after An Argumentation of Historians. Max is still confined to her hospital bed, recovering from her usual collection of injuries, but she still finds time to interfere in everyone's lives, this time via Markham. Peterson is struggling with another bereavement and Max thinks he needs distracting, maybe Miss Lingoss can help, but since all her focus is on the steam pump demonstration that they've travelled back in time to see, it's not very likely unless Markham can come up with something on the spur of the moment. What could possibly go wrong? Markham is one of my favourite characters in the Chronicles of St Mary's. I'm really enjoying his development. Jodi Taylor's books are buy-on-sight for me and this does not disappoint.

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