This month: Love & Mercy (the film based on Beach Boys) ~ The Shadow Rises (indie book) ~ The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, aged 81 (book)
Love & Mercy
The film takes you into the world of Brian Wilson using clever effects that immerse you in his world.
This is not the story of the Beach Boys but focuses on Brian’s life. The action is split with two eras of his life: an intense creative period when he is a young man and an older vulnerable version. The splits are quick but not jerky. Some time-slip films can feel disjointed and make the viewer lose track of the plot. But there are two distinct story lines with each time zone. Both versions played expertly by Paul Dano and John Cusack.
There are moments that are uncomfortable to watch as the techniques and action show his spiral into mental health battles. I thought the subject was expertly handled and created a range of emotions: awe to horror and from humour to disgust.
His creative genius is displayed in a wonderfully raw state as we see glimpses of his process. Against this we see his demise as only observers can, watching in sock and helplessness. Later he falls into the plays of an utterly sinister character as his fame is exploited.
Brian was an integral part of making the film, allowing access to raw recordings as well as personal information.
It is an honest biopic with some of the music woven into the story but not used to dominate the factual content. A stunning film.
The Shadow Rises by K. S. Marsden
This is an indie published story, the first of three linked books. I bought it on a special deal in eBook form.
The first page gripped me, I was eager to follow the journey of the protagonist Hunter – a witch hunter. The beginning is action-packed and takes the characters along the traditional good versus evil plot-line to an inevitable grand battle.
The story is predictable in places and the characters are lacking in depth, but it is still an enjoyable read. You don’t have to read the next book as there is a conclusion but you may want to find out ‘what happens next…’.
For you if you are a fan of modern supernatural tales.
The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81 by J. B. Morrison
This was one of those stories that enticed me straight away. It is quirky. And I love quirky.
The title tells you what it’s all about but there ae some gentle twists along the way as we follow Frank; injured by a milk float, he judders through a recovery.
We learn about his past, is present and are shown his thoughts on his future. Don’t think you won’t relate to the character because he is 81 years of age. The story eloquently brings him to life as a normal human being, just like you; with the same fears and worries, regardless of his age.
It made me laugh out loud. It also made me sad. It is a perfectly balanced read. Highly recommended.
~~~~~ that’s it for this month…. Next month: comic specials!!