The Guard with Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle is the offering created by John McDonagh and it’s clear to see the family humour is genetic as his brother made the excellent In Bruges, another Irish dominated comedy.
The story in brief is about Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson), a grumpy police officer who patrols a small Irish town. Investigating a murder he discovers it is linked to a drug ring being chased by FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle).
The story is told in the usual Irish fashion of lots of cursing and lots of drink with hilarity so commonplace it appears to be more a component of life than oddity. This story, while not overly complex, has enough turns to keep the viewer interested and enough insanity to keep everyone smiling. While the action in this movie is not of the realistic variety it serves to propel the storyline along with an excellent dry humour that is a joy to behold. The Irishness of the movie adds to the charm and for the Australian ear the accents are not difficult to understand. Don Cheadle holds his own against the brilliance of Breedan Gleeson.
If you want a funny story that is well crafted, intelligent, wry and enjoyable you will find all of this and more in The Guard.
8.5/10 and worth every bit of your time!
Halfway through the vampire edit and it is going well. So far I have done only a little tweaking and cleaning up with the story moving along nicely. Unfortunately I have come to a conclusion that will make more problems for me but the purpose of an edit is to ensure the story works. This one does but I realise that there is a distinct lack of sexual tension, something not required in every story but sex and the vampire myth have been old bedfellows for a very long time.
From the succubus to the incubus we like our demons gorgeous, powerful and sexual, so realising this has had me reassess this aspect of the story. It is not a huge matter of changing everything–more pumping up what is there–for while it is not erotica (there is more enough of that done poorly without me adding to it) the readers of certain genres have expectations. If the author does not meet them in some way then the book fails to reach the audience.
I have always preferred to let the story take me where ever it may and sex or lack of was determined by the plot. However, unlike the other fantasy worlds where I could take the lead, the vampire is a well documented and sexually explored territory. The Elf is one where I chose her level of sexuality and the demon was one where his sexuality was very evident—I knew this from the start. So now I backtrack and hope I get it right because nothing is worse than something contrived out of duty rather than passion. I strongly believe this is the correct path and hope that will be enough to inspire me into some sensual moments.
As one who creates universes there are times that I find myself devoid of every emotion—positive and negative. Sometimes I dip into a despair so bleak that I can’t be arsed to even tend to day to day decisions. While I can intellectually assess these times as those when I need to dip into the well spring of inspiration, emotionally I simply drift until I bump into something. Sometimes it only lasts a day, sometimes it can last a week, this time it was brought on by ending the first Mr. Smith.
While I am happy with the initial draft of Mr. Smith and have written copious notes on how to make it better, I am watching it from afar as it is supposed to gel in my mind. Unfortunately all it does is depress me and I cannot work out why. I put it aside to do another edit of the vampire book and yet it dogs my mind at every turn. I have tried watching movies, reading other books, and yet all I feel is this empty dread.
I keep these moods to myself and while I know others notice and know me well enough to leave me alone, there are times I wish I could be a little less me and little more like everyone else. It used to be that though you couldn’t see my demons, at least I could. Now they’ve decided to hide and I find I’m lost without their driving force—it might be angst but at least it got me out of bed in the morning.
For me editing starts as a mechanical process. At least for the Vampiris Series as there is are histories attached to each chapter. I stopped the histories after part two believing that the audience would want to read only the story in the final part of the book. When I sent it to Tom for a look he vetoed the idea. He felt it looked like I had given up and had nothing more to say. Far from it, I could rave on for a few years, after all I did create the damn world! Right now I am in the middle of the Vampire Story and this is the most difficult one as Vampires are attached to a very particular and unforgiving genre, so I have to get my Gothic right!
So now I have to look over and organise all the histories for each book, some cross over because not all readers will read all books so I have tried to incorporate the relevant ones to each story. After doing that I then have to go through each chapter and history to ensure the storyline makes sense. Now you would think after two edits that would be a pointless task but no, there are always things that slip through the cracks due to my mind filling in the blanks. Every time I do an edit I have to approach the story as a new reader so I am constantly asking myself how does the reader know this? Did I tell them or am I assuming facts not related.I envy those who can edit with carefree abandon, I have very little confidence in this area.
Finally there is the line editing of the story itself where I try to ride the grammar pony without falling off. This will take weeks and weeks of work due to the gaps between each edit. To keep fresh eyes then I need to be refreshed and I do that by exposure to other work, mine and others. Editing is painful for me as I tend to second guess myself and when it comes to vampires their victims are not the only ones bleeding for them.
We are all familiar with the halfalogue as it has been the telecommunication bane since the portability of phones. The half listened conversations we are all subject to against our will as our attention is dragged into lives we’d rather not know about. At least not while watching a movie, sitting in the doctors, eating dinner and until hand held video phones are the norm we will be locked into hearing the other half of lives we are not invested in.
When we were given the opportunity for portable communication the world jumped at the chance for in most instances it can be a useful lifesaving tool. However, the halfalogue consequence brings us into worlds without our permission. This tyranny forces you from your own life and makes you subject to the opinions and problems of other lives. For the conversationalist it means losing their expectation of privacy, but if you are going to complain about the sexual prowess of your lover in the middle of a supermarket aisle then you reap what you sow. It also demands our attention by the fact that a half heard conversation is never resolved with our minds filling in endless possibilities as you partake in a life not your own.
I am an avid eavesdropper of the halfalogue and I have to admit I adore hearing about other worlds, opinions, complaints, because I often fill in the blanks based on the facial expressions of the speaker. Unfortunately, there is always the downside of hearing about tragedy and heartbreak and though you are a peripheral being to their world if you invest in the listening then you can be subject to the emotions. Suddenly you are aware of the cancer battle of strangers, the suicides of youth and the grief of elderly left alone. The halfalogue allows us to dabble in lives we have no business being in while the speaker invites us to join when they forsake privacy for the immediate gratification of information.
So until phones either show us the speaker, allowing the casual observer to view the full conversation, or go the other way and reduce the entire structure into a personal experience, halfalogues will continue to plague us in places we should and should not be speaking.
The idiots on the box have struck again! This time their influence was so astounding that even my Dogue didn’t have to the opportunity to fart her disapproval. The PR industry is one of snake oil, hokum, sometimes sheer brilliance, but most often it obscures lies with fear and low expectation of the intelligence of the consumer. Then again there is always the asshattery of the body that approves such nonsense.
The Zombie apocalypse has nothing on the plague they are anticipating from touching money that other people have touched or from household items manhandled by dirty children but far more frightening than the expert manipulations of the experts is the reverberation coming back from the community when it tries to emulate the sex sells scenario.
Why is Scharnelle shaking her many chins? Because this time it is a regional hardware store attempting to get more business that decided the only way to get the blokes to pay the higher prices of their hammers is to put a girl in a bikini in the advert. Now this girl doesn’t have a line to say, in fact she hasn’t got a thing to do except wear a safety jacket and look bored while the camera enjoys her curves. The blokes watching the ads are probably enjoying a girl in a bikini, but unless she is going to be behind the counter serving them it is unlikely they will spend the extra lolly on their stuff.
How someone bright enough to establish a business, have knowledge of the bazillion items a hardware would stock, decided a girl in a safety jacket and bikini was going to sell more nails is beyond even my Dogue who suggested that perhaps she was a girl friend using the exposure to obtain some modelling work. Since the commercial was targeting an obscure regional area made up of miners and those working vast stations she might be dreaming. Then again, she might also be the next body decorating Joe’s Septic clearance because even sewage needs tending.
Brought to you by Scharnelle, the discerning Dogue.