Very busy few weeks back to back, as tends to be the case at this time of year. Spent a week up in Scotland visiting the parentals. Saw the Falkirk Wheel (which didn't seem to overly impress me, though I did get a bottle of 'Wheel Ale' for The Boy there), visited the (possible) site of the Battle of Bannockburn (which did overly impress me - plus I got ambushed and cuddled by a pair of Northern Inuit doggies who were super lovely!), went on a ghost tour as part of Tamfest (Halloween) and visited a museum full of old toys (including pregnancy Barbie which is just as messed up as it sounds).
Also started reading The Talon of Horus, which I'm enjoying but it very much seems to suffer from 'origin story syndrome'. Hoping it will pick up or the next book will be a bit more meaty.
Spent this weekend in Leicester visiting luckykaa for one of our semi-regular meetups and for me to hand over the food/booze I picked up in Scotland.
Concluded our Disney movie/Cult movie Cultural Exchange Programme by watching Moon (which was awesome, and I am utterly in love with the soundtrack. Clint Mansell is very underrated!) and Tangled (Flynn Rider...I would).
Had haggis for lunch. Haven't had haggis since Burns Night in 2013 so it was nice to revisit it. Suggested that we serve it with cheesy mashed potatoes, which tasted awesome and went really well with the haggis.
Next up was the Leicester firework display!
Met up with Alex & Sarah there - was awesome to see them again. There was a stage with lots of random performances (including a giant dancing hamster) and some good choice of tunes during the firework display itself (War of the Worlds, Blade Runner, Star Wars and...The Good, the Bad and the Ugly). Instead of Guy Fawkes, they burned an effigy of Darth Vader. Not sure how I feel about that. Bonfire generated a LOT of smoke so we found a small hill that meant we didn't get assaulted by the smoke and gave us a good view of both the bonfire and the firework display.
Spent an unusually long time queuing up for candy floss. But it was freshly made (so still warm) and most people had left by the time we had our candy floss. So the four of us had a nice walk back into town sharing candy floss and lighting sparklers. That was a really nice end to the day :)
Today Neil and I saw Spectre. It was...pretty bad, if I'm honest. Further thoughts are under the cut, spoilers aplenty.
What the actual FUCK is happening to this franchise? It seems to be regressing back to the corny silliness of the Roger Moore era.
I agree with hils that the misogyny is still incredibly rife in these films. The sex scene with Monica Bellucci was painful to watch (pinning a woman to a wall and initiating sex with her while she's so afraid for her life that she's in tears? Yeah...that shower scene in Skyfall was bad enough, but that's just...gross) and my massive problem with Madeleine was just how utterly useless she was. The film fails the Bechdel Test and the Sexy Lamp Test big time. I'm just fed up with the trope of female characters who stamp their feet about how they don't need to be looked after and can take care of themselves...then fail spectacularly to look after themselves for the entire film. Vesper and even what's-her-name from Quantum of Solace all had some agency and their own motivations. Madeleine was quite literally just there to look hot. Come on, guys. It's the 21st fucking century! You can do so much better than this!
Another big problem was including Blofeld. The Daniel Craig Bond films seemed to be doing a pretty good job of doing their own thing, forming their own style and bringing Bond into the 21st Century despite being a franchise that (right up until Brosnon) was still very much a relic of the 1960s. Blofeld in Spectre would have worked much better if they'd kept him as someone original instead of trying to bring back all the Bond lore.
So yeah...while this wasn't as bad as Quantum of Solace, it was still pretty bad.