December 2022 Entries - Falcon's Blog

Happy New Year: 2022 Review!

Greetings and welcome to the last blog update of the year! 2022 will undoubtedly be remembered as a historic year for the turbulent events that transpired within these past twelve months. From the outbreak of conflict in Europe on a scale not seen since the harrowing days of the Second World War to the public assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, it is safe to suggest that the year won’t be fading from our minds too soon. In Britain alone, Number 10 saw three Prime Ministers enter its famous door in quick succession of each other as one premiership flamed out after the other. Of course, the most striking and profound change was the end of the modern Elizabethan Age with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and the ascension of her son Charles to the throne which commenced the Carolean era.

While all these important events were unfolding, I busied myself by delving into many great television shows, films, games and books to keep myself entertained. There was a lot of excellent content that I indulged in throughout the year and I have listed some of the best I experienced and reviewed during this time below.

Television Show of the Year: The Prisoner

It was certainly tough to choose my television show of the year after watching a lot of gripping series but I believe ‘The Prisoner’, the cult hit from the sixties, stands out the most to me. I was intrigued by the unusual premise of this show and its colourful strangeness years before I had even seen a clip of it. Like a lot of my first impressions of cultural works, I was introduced to the series when it was spoofed in a classic ‘Simpsons’ episode. The plot revolves around an unidentified British spy who wakes up in a mysterious society known as the Village after being gassed and knocked unconscious in his home. Relegated to the moniker of Number 6, the protagonist tries to escape the Village after it becomes clear the authorities there want to extract highly sensitive information from him that he must protect at all costs.

Book of the Year: Doctor Sleep

It is always difficult for authors to build on top of a much beloved work and carrying on from a novel as highly acclaimed as ‘The Shining’ must have been a daunting task for King but he did it admirably. Many decades after the first book was published, ‘Doctor Sleep’ follows a now adult Danny Torrance, who works in a hospital, as he is haunted by the same spectre of alcoholism that his father Jack fought against and lost to. With the help of copious amounts of alcohol, Danny is able to supress his unique talent of the ‘Shining‘ which so troubled him and his mother, Wendy, at the Overlook Hotel in his childhood. He may have learned to overpower the ghosts but there is a new evil named the True Knot that Danny must face and save the gifted young Abra Stone from.

Happy New Year 2022 - 2023!

Game of the Year: Tomb Raider: Legend

‘Tomb Raider: Legend’ is a game from 2006 which saw Lara Croft return to her well renowned gaming series ten years after her first outing in the original PlayStation days. It is the first entry in the ‘Legend’ trilogy which also consists of ‘Anniversary’, a remastering of the trailblazing 1996 title, and 2008’s ‘Underworld’. I certainly enjoyed this game which has a good mix of action and puzzles to solve, as one would rightfully expect from a Lara Croft game, but it doesn’t have much of a complex plot or well fleshed out supporting characters. This is particularly the case for its one dimensional villains who I found to be unfortunately quite forgettable. On the other hand, Keeley Hawes’ performance as Lara Croft is of note as she brings a lot of fun to the role and captures the essence of the character nicely.

Film of the Year: The Founder

This biographical film from 2016 is a must watch in my opinion as it follows businessman Ray Kroc as he transforms McDonalds from a small restaurant in San Bernadino into a corporate juggernaut that conquered the world through the revolutionary idea of fast food. The film has a great cast that is comprised of Michael Keaton, who displays a level of smarm and sleaze that is reminiscent of his earlier Beetlejuice role, as well as Nick Offerman and John Caroll Lynch among its main talent. It is a fascinating if ultimately bleak movie to watch as the audience is all too aware that the hardworking and innovative McDonalds brothers are going to be slowly pushed out of their rightful success by the crafty and ambitious Kroc. ‘The Founder’ greatly succeeds in making the audience sympathetic towards the struggling Ray Kroc at the beginning and turning him into a loathsome character by the end of the movie.

Did you have any favourite media yourself that you watched, read or played these last several months? If so, feel free to leave your highlights or recommendations in the comments. While I’d like to give an optimistic appraisal of the coming year and be more uplifting, I believe we are in for a troublesome period ahead to put it mildly which even the most apolitical of laymen should be able to see at this point. Nonetheless, I am hopeful that 2023 will be a good year on a personal level regardless of what is going on in the world at large and I’ll be back to blogging in January with my usual reviews. Have a Happy New Year and all the best for 2023!

Quote of the Day

My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people don't know.

Sherlock Holmes

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Written by Falcon, Saturday 31 December 2022

Merry Christmas 2022!

Greetings, its Christmas Eve once again and as usual I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas! I hope you take it easy tomorrow and enjoy the festivities with plenty of eating and drinking sprinkled in during the day. I believe there was a strong Write Wise challenge this year to celebrate the season which is always something I look forward to. I certainly had fun writing ‘Festive Fright!’ and returning to ‘Dark Legacy’ with Alan and Adele taking centre stage once more. My next update will be on the 31st December 2022 as we bid farewell to one year and welcome in another but in the meantime, have a Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas 2022!

Quote of the Day

Midnight. Merry Christmas, Holmes.

Dr John Watson

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Written by Falcon, Saturday 24 December 2022

Space Force

Greetings, ‘Space Force’ is a Netflix original sitcom that ran for two seasons from 2020 to 2022. With a total of 17 episodes before its cancellation, the series is an easy and, in my opinion, an enjoyable watch. It was created by Steve Carrell and Greg Daniels and is based upon the most recent military arm of America, the United States Space Force, which was brought into creation by President Donald Trump in December 2019. The show has a sizeable cast of established actors and actresses such as Steve Carrell, John Malkovich, Lisa Kudrow and rising personalities including Tawny Newson, Jimmy O. Yang, Diana Silvers and Ben Schwartz. The music was conducted by Carter Burwell who is known for his numerous collaborations with the Coen brothers.

The plot begins with Mark Naird, an Air Force Lieutenant General, who is recently granted the rank of full four star general. With his new position, Mark believes and hopes that he will be promoted to the role of Chief of Staff of the Air Force. This turns out to be untrue. In a shocking moment for Mark, he is taken aback when he is declared the first Chief of Operations of the United States Space Force. As the most recent military wing with no accomplishments behind it to garner a reputation, the Space Force and, by extension, Mark are not taken seriously by the other arms and they are often belittled by them. Naird and his family who were contented with their lives are forced to relocate to Wild Horse in Colorado due to the new job as that is where the Space Force headquarters is based. One year after the hiring and there isn’t much going well for anyone in the Naird family. Erin, Mark’s teenage daughter, misses her old friends and hasn’t been able to adjust to her new life at all while Maggie, Mark’s wife, has been locked up in prison for a crime that is never explained.

Space Force

Mark continues to press on ahead with his role despite his struggles which include trying to be a good single parent since Maggie has been sentenced to a few decades behind bars and his lack of respect from his colleagues in other divisions. To show politicians and the general public that Space Force is not a waste of tax payer’s money, Mark decides to launch a satellite named the Epsilon 6 into space. There are numerous setbacks with the satellite and a few politicians have been invited to watch the launch in person. With a deadline fast approaching, Mark is pushed into a corner and goes against the trusted advice of his scientists, including his main confidant Dr Adrian Mallory, when he commits to launching the satellite. Despite some concerns of making an embarrassment out of Space Force in front of the gathered politicians, the Epsilon 6 successfully makes its journey in to orbit. Mark and Adrian celebrate that night but come to realise a situation of dire political ramifications is on the horizon when a Chinese space craft is caught intentionally dismantling the Epsilon 6 and there are calls within the US government to retaliate.

Even though the series had an initially mixed reception before a much better rated second season came to the streaming site, I enjoyed this show from start to finish. This could easily have went on for a few more series in my opinion and it is unfortunate that it concluded on a cliff-hanger as I would have liked to have seen how it was going to be handled. Saying this though, the first season also ended on another cliff-hanger and the plot points were resolved off screen and addressed in the opening of the second series so it may have been anti-climactic. The characters are well fleshed out and easy to root for, this was the case for even some of the characters who were specifically designed to be somewhat annoying, as ‘Space Force’ balanced light humour and heart superbly. I would encourage you to watch this if you are looking for an easy going comedy.



Special Effects=6/10


Quote of the Day

We've got a computer. It's going to do lots of magical things, like make Harry Crane seem important.

Roger Sterling

Mad Men

Written by Falcon, Tuesday 13 December 2022