I don’t play games as much as I used to, but I’m going to start including games here as well as tv and film because screentime.
Monument Valley 2 iphone app
This is even more beautiful than the first game. It’s very easy, which makes it difficult to go through it slowly and properly savour it, but I still love it. It’s just the most relaxing and beautifully designed game – from the music to the Escher-esque illustrations to the colour.
Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3DS
Finally finished this after playing it off and on for a while. I don’t really like games with a time limit because I prefer taking my time to wander about and work things out, especially in a more open game like Zelda. As a time limit is half of the point of Majora’s Mask, I should hate this game, and, at times, I did, especially when I’d finally work out how to do something but didn’t have enough time to finish so would have to go back in time to do that whole section again. But, this is really great. I like the character transformation aspect as it adds an extra dimension to the puzzles and figuring out which masks were really key to collect. When I wanted to play but without the clock-watching stress, I would look through a walk-through before I started the section to have a rough idea of what I needed to do. I know it’s not the ‘thing to do’ but I don’t give a shit – I still enjoyed playing it (sometimes more) when I used a walk-through. Really wish I had Switch so I could play Breath of the Wild.
The Handmaid’s Tale series, All4
The series still isn’t finished yet but I’m loving it. It’s such a good adaptation – it changes things from the book to suit the medium of tv better but retains the feel and themes of the book perfectly. The only tiny gripe I have is that the commander is quite a bit younger than I see him, but that’s really nit-picking.
Orange is the New Black (season 5) series, Netflix
As Piper is the least interesting character in OITNB, the fact they spend little time on her this series helps, but it felt a little bloated overall, like the whole thing needed to be condensed into fewer, tighter episodes. Saying that, there were some great moments and episodes in there too, but the bloat made the series feel just okay, not great.
Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) film
I was expecting this to be fairly terrible, but was hoping for the good kind of terrible, especially as I’m always here for Goldblum. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much just terrible in a boring way that even Goldblum couldn’t save.
House of Cards (seasons 1-5) series, Netflix
I love a good fourth-wall break, so it’s no surprise that I loved this. Kevin Spacey is excellent, especially his simple Spacey-head-tilt fourth-wall breaking and understated quiet rage. Some of season 4’s plot points are bit too ridiculous, but season 5 brings it right back and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes next.
The Dispossession (2017) film, cinema
This is a documentary about social housing, and the mess policy and greed has made of it. What’s really great is that it centers the people who live in social housing, and doesn’t fall into the trap of talking about them instead of with them. It packs a lot of factual information and stats in as well as personal stories but it doesn’t ever feel too much. Unfortunately, given the topic and the political situation, there’s very little hope – you come away with the impression that there will be no happy endings for the people involved. At my screening there was a Q & A afterwards with the director, an academic involved with the film, our local councillor involved in housing, a local housing charity, and a youth project. Really interesting discussion applying what was in the film to the local area. Do check out the film if it screens somewhere near you.
A Cure for Wellness (2016) film
Beautifully shot and crafted from a cinematography point of view, but let down by the writing. This would have been a much better film if it had stuck to creepy realism rather than [spoiler]. The ‘twist’ is also something that you can see a mile away, as are most of the plot points, so what could have been an interesting film was just kind of ordinary blah. Shame, as the visuals are really great.