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Whanell’s Invisible Man Was Not Just Empty Space

Invisible Man' stands out from the crowd

Leigh Whanell’s cast and crew did it!

I happen to be a monster movie fan. But not by any means a film/horror expert. The latest movie that wowed me in all the right places was The Invisible Man (2020).

Besides that recent 2018 Wolfman, I did not think that we would be getting an awesome monster flick any time soon. The Mummy for me was bland, but maybe I am just to hung up on Brendan Fraser and Arnold Vosloo.

Anyway, the film itself without me travelling heavily into plot, is loosely a remake and mostly a re-imagining. Cecilia (Elizabeth Moss) seeks to escape her abusive controlling husband, Adrian (Oliver J-Cohen) an expert in the field of optics.

A twist on the original 1933 film by flipping the character perspective on itself.

The focus in 2020 is more on the fear, manipulation and less on the invisible scientist. Agoraphobia and toxic masculinity a big focus and likely influenced by recent movements. By the same respect they put a modern twist on the invisible potion idea too. Which I have seen somewhere before and is an extension of existing optical technology. This focus on female concerns in a controlling relationship is brilliant.

Personally, I always liked the originals take on the change of personality due to the effects of the invisibility potion. A distinct descent into madness, with added comedy. Suitably light-hearted and with a monologue brought to life by Rains amazingly smooth vocal tone.

The original film being a near perfect translation of the text, perfected by Claude Rains performance, weirdly also starts in the middle of the books story. But also dripping in suspense and intrigue. Bar the screaming – Una O’Connor. Rains Famous now for Lawrence of Arabia and Robin Hood, he was virtually unknown at the time.

So it suprised me that Moss really shines through in this film. It has great development. The way the fear and suspense grab you through the supporting characters experiences only heightens the trauma and paranoia of the protagonist, keeping a lot of the films focus essentially on her. One of my favourite parts is actually an interaction with her childhood friend’s daughter.

Moss really goes through what anyone could describe as literally psychological hell. You can mend broken relationships, but some modern stigmas are life ending and often madness inducing. Controlling relationships tend to have such an effect on victims that even when they think they are in control they are in fact not- which is perfected here.

Being a good horror though it really takes you for a rollercoaster ride along with her. They also lull you into a relaxing sense of calm and understanding before they rip the floor out from underneath you. Something which the soundtrack and score really help to nail home. Many have found it hard to not admire the directors daring filmmaking.

I watch horror frequently. Play it frequently. Yet, this film was the one that made me actually jump and kept me on the edge of my seat, particularly towards the latter acts.

After all these years of films rehashing ideas. This is fresh, yet familiar.  Familiar enough to hit home to an audience in 2020 and gripping enough to give fans of the golden age a fresh take.

So no real plot spoilers. No juicy details. Just an honest thought. A horror fan that enjoyed a film and wants to tell the rest of the world. Go and watch the new Invisible Man.

Then go watch the original and see the amazing Claude Rains have a good ol time. If that will not grab you then maybe the legendary work of John P. Fulton’s optical painting and travel mats will. The sheer magic of the cinematography and direction will leave you more startled than the Thief of Bagdad.

Hz

Here we go gathering nuts and may, on a cold and frosty morning

Reference List

Lee, B., 2020. The Invisible Man Review – Elisabeth Moss Brings Murky Thriller To Life. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/feb/25/the-invisible-man-review-elisabeth-moss [Accessed 10 April 2020].

The Invisible Man. 1933. [film] Directed by J. Whale. Universal Studios.

Griffiths, D., 2020. Invisible Man Promotional Poster. [image] Available at: https://www.thephuketnews.com/invisible-man-stands-out-from-the-crowd-75271.php [Accessed 10 April 2020].

Nugent, J., 2020. The Invisible Man. [online] Empire. Available at: <https://www.empireonline.com/movies/reviews/the-invisible-man/&gt; [Accessed 13 April 2020].

Newman, K., 2000. The Invisible Man. [online] Empire. Available at: <https://www.empireonline.com/movies/reviews/invisible-man-review/&gt; [Accessed 13 April 2020].

Hall, M., 1933. Claude Rains Makes His Film Debut In A Version Of H.G. Wells’s Novel, “The Invisible Man.”. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: <https://www.nytimes.com/1933/11/18/archives/claude-rains-makes-his-film-debut-in-a-version-of-hg-wellss-novel.html&gt; [Accessed 13 April 2020].

Featured

Announcement: Baking Codex

Egg and bacon pie. One of my dads favourites.

I love to cook and started at school. I wanted to be able to feed myself the awesome food my family cooked me. I already write and bake, so why not combine them. I will over time make a short recipe codex.

This is way to increase my happiness in life and for others.

Also it is:

  • A chance for me to learn and grow.
  • Maybe I can bring you some joy.
  • Save you some pain.
  • Find you a good recipe.
  • Extract good advice from the idiot that made all the mistakes

Yes I have forgot butter and baking powder..

Other points:

  • I wish for it to be concise and easy to follow.
  • I will expand if I had trouble with the recipe.
  • I will state where I got the recipe and credit where required.

I do not aim for this to be extensive, I will be adding to it as I go along.

I will update through my blog, but it will be a section on my website

Haiiro.

Fruit scones rock, get that clotted cream out!

Baking Codex Update 3 Cheese Scone Loaf

Happy Easter Everyone!

The world is certainly a little crazy at the moment. As such I have been taking the time to get things done around the house, gardening, spring cleaning etc. I have been baking but mostly just for myself, I do however have a small thing for you.

Remember the cheese scone recipe? Well how about a whole loaf?

Yeah tasty right? Less work too! See below for a small adaptation to my current recipe

EXTRA EXTRA

Fancy a replacement for your bread or just something to go with a nice soup or stew?

Use the cheese scone recipe above and form one 3 – 4cm thick round and have a super tasty scone loaf. Seriously it was amazing with sausages for lunch and a beef stew for dinner.

The one pictured included;

  • 2 tsp of dry crispy onion
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • A pinch of black pepper.

As always available as a permanent page on my website, at the end of Cheese Scones.

Besides that, what else have I been up too?

Well I have been working on Shortbread still and it is not quite where I want it, so will take a little longer, I think.

But my girl has been making Apple Hot Cross Buns – using wholemeal flour and cinnamon. She also made Mini Egg Cookies. It is Easter after all!

Take care out there everyone and most of all stay inside as much as you can!

Haiiro

Baking Codex Update 2 Cheese Scones

Good Morning all.

Weather is getting a little warmer and everyone is isolating as much as possible. Very typical, Why not have a nice warming cheesy treat to give you that bright sunny feeling?

Cheese scones are just great, unless you can not have lactose. I probably eat way too many of these things. But why not enjoy a good thing.

Besides that what else have I been up too? Well I have been working on shortbread, an orange sponge and pies too.

I update through my blog, but it will always be a section on my website

Haiiro


CHEESE SCONES

Makes 6 Large or 12 Small Scones


In my eyes a classic savory treat. Few things hit me like the warmth of a buttery cheese scone. But if you are throwing scones, you are doing it wrong!

[Ingredients]

  • 55g (1.9 oz) unsalted butter – chilled and diced
  • 230g (8oz) plain flour + more for sifting
  • 2 tsp baking powder (T)
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper corns
  • 50g (1.7oz) mature chedder cheese
  • 110ml milk
  • YOU CAN ALSO ADD:
  • 1 tsp parsley or chives
  • 1 tbsp of fine grated parsian cheese

Glazing – Just Milk… what? You could do the egg/butter milk if you want.


[Method]

  • Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F/Gas 7 and grease a baking sheet on a tray.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and bicarbonate. Then add the sugar. (T)
  • Add butter and rub with your fingertips until you have fine crumbs. Ensure no large lumps of butter remain, shake the bowl gently to reveal them. (T)
  • Stir in the any herbs, the pepper and half the cheese. Add the milk gradually until the dough just binds.

  • Now carefully bring (mix) it together then transfer your dough to a floured surface.
  • Form 1 20cm(8inch) round 2cm(3/4inch) thick and use a cookie cutter around 7cm(3inch) in diameter. You can use a smaller cutter for more dinky scones.

  • Place the cuts on the baking sheet, 5cm(2inch) apart and brush the top with milk .
  • Bake for 8 – 11 mins until lightly browned.
  • Rest them on the tray for several minutes then cool on wire rack

BEST SERVED WARM AND FULL OF BUTTERY GOODNESS

T FOR TIPS

  • Ensure there are no large lumps of butter left in the flour when rubbing. Shake the bowl gently to reveal them.
  • Baking powder levels in cheese scone recipes vary. I have seen as little as 1tsp and as many as 4 tsp.
  • Sifting flour 2 -3 times and letting the flour falls for at least 15cm (6inch) will get plent of air in – Be careful though.
  • Well risen scones require a sharp knife or cutter and strong downward motions when cutting. No twisting and compressing ensures a good rise.
  • Don’t handle the dough too long. Get it formed and cut  before it gets tough.

THE CANID SAYS

Cheese scones rock, they will always win me over. Add extra cheese if you wish and by all means eat them weekly for maximum enjoyment of life.

All kidding aside I really love making them and the recipe is just born from years of trial and error to get the lightest most balanced recipe. I first use Bero, hence me mentioning it. You really can not go wrong with that book!

Reference: This recipe is losely based on many recipes and outings. Bero though have a really good one!

Baking Codex Update

Good Morning all.

Time for a morning snack with your tea or coffee right? Water and fruit juice is fine as well, whatever gets you going! I have updated my baking codex to now include fruit scones. This is easily one of my favourite things in the world especially with clotted cream and jam.

I update through my blog, but it will always be a section on my website

I – Scones and Biscuits


FRUIT SCONES

Makes 8 Scones


Here is a recipe from a book I come back to again and again.

[Ingredients]

  • 60g / 2oz unsalted butter – chilled and diced
  • 175ml /6fl oz Butter Milk + Glaze
  • 250g White bread flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp currents
  • OR YOU CAN ADD INSTEAD:
  • 40g glacier cherries, chopped

Glazing – 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp butter milk.

[Method]

  • Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F/Gas 7 and grease a baking sheet.
  • Beat egg and 1 tbsp buttermilk together and set aside.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and bicarbornate. Then add the sugar. (T)
  • Add butter and rub with your fingertips until you have fine crumbs. Ensure no large lumps of butter remain, shake the bowl gently to reveal them. (T)
  • Stir in your fruit, then add the buttermilk tossing with a fork until crumbs bind together into dough.
  • Now transfer your dough to a floured surface.
  • Cut your dough in half and form 2 15cm(6inch) rounds and cut each round into 4 with a sharp knife.
  • You can also form 1 20cm(8inch) round 2cm(3/4inch) thick and use a cookie cutter around 7cm(3inch) in diameter.
  • Place the cuts on the baking sheet, 5cm(2inch) apart and brush the top with glaze.
  • Bake for 11-15 mins until lightly browned.
  • Rest them on the tray for several minutes then cool on wire rack

T FOR TIPS AND TIPPLES

  • Ensure there are no large lumps of butter left in the flour when rubbing. Shake the bowl gently to reveal them.
  • Sifting flour 2 -3 times and letting the flour falls for at least 15cm(6inch) will get plent of air in – Be careful though.
  • Well risen scones require a sharp knife or cutter and strong downward motions when cutting.
  • Be sure not to handle the dough too long. Get it formed and cut before it gets tough.
  • If using a cutter be sure the scones are shaped well and not too thick otherwise they may mutate and lose shape.

THE CANID SAYS

My thoughts on scones are quite simple like the recipe. They are easy to make and were one of my first outings in a kitchen as a kid along with biscuits. The reason I favourite this recipe over many others is the balance seems to be just right. You can add a little more fruit if you wish and the glaze gives one of the best finishes I have ever seen. I have used it on other things, just don’t spread it on a pie as it tends to catch over longer cooking times – Hindsight.

Reference: Bretherton, C. (2011). Illustrated step-by-step baking. London: DK Pub., pp. Pg 114-117.

Haiiro.

Pen Saga I

Other Writers Shall Be Your Armour

Image from History.com

If writers were a knight, the pen would be our sword. Our identity as writers a shield and our journals our steed. Then the armour is the strength and wisdom of other writers.

Starting out as a writer can be daunting. But unlike most professions the knowledge and experience can be had for very little if not for free. Yes, writers understand the solitary nature of the work well. Which is why most will offer advice and guidance to fledglings and experts alike.

A great source of advice as a fledgling writer is your favourite writers. Reading their work will help improve your writing. It may give inspiration for styling and sentence structure. This has been useful for developing a style, but also for experimenting with new ones I have found. Besides the work they publish. Many writers connect with others online. I reccomend reading even just one different article or blog post a day. A different view of anything can provide more than you know.

Writers on social media feeds and their communities are huge resources at your disposal. Allowing you to network and learn more than you could imagine. Motivational twitter posts, reminders on common facts and famous tips. You would be surprised how much reading the words, “Just keep Writing” can change your daily outlook! How when broken down into a daily allowance, something can be finished and quickly. Even will a full-time day job like I have. Never be afraid to reach out to someone either!

What would motivation be without mentioning events like NaNoWriMo or prompts to write stories. Challenges where you write books in given time frames or start a story based off a paragraph or sentence. There are whole communities and forums dedicated to providing that kick up the butt to write creatively. Maybe you hit a wall or fancied improving your skills. NaNoWriMo might have been just the reason you needed to start that novel.

I should mention Podcasts as well. Write Along is a nice one I found thanks to already following a writer I like. Consistent daily goals being the best advice I have heard in years for anything. A page a day keeps the publisher at bay.

Thing is, these different outlets will be often varied in professional background. The advice of a screenwriter is just as important as a novelist or a blogger. I myself have a background in forensics and one of my favourite mentors is not even a writer. If anything, this diversity, it adds layers to your knowledge. Just like the layers in the armour. The breadth of the community’s wisdom will bring all your plates of information together nicely.

How you view writing will greatly affect your motivation to do it. Consider it as a goal in manageable form, take the advice, try routines and practices. Get what works for you and find your drive. But remember to take breaks. The breaks themselves adding the much-needed clarity to a piece. Giving the mind time to process what was done and recharge the flow meter.

That would be my advice. Unplug and go experience the world if you can because you won’t find inspiration in a blank page.

Haiiro

Curating My Game Collection Was Cathartic, But Liberating

Gaming has seen a resurgence of collecting in the past two decades. Recently I have been having internal battles over it.

No longer did staring at boxes and rows of games yield any joy for me. The drive to collect was dwindling. Joy was still found in playing and expanding my knowledge on the subject. Otherwise I would not have enjoyed my writing submissions this year. But learning about obscure Game Boy games aside, I also have other hobbies. Varied interests can be important for the mind, even if just for burnout.

I never got into collecting hard and fast. It is a practice I have followed for years. This resulted in years of collecting and offloading. A endless cycle of inventory. By the end of 15 years of it though. I have lots of games, but no drive to enjoy them. Picking up titles a boring exercise to me now.

The thing is, the above is just one part of several wholes. It made me feel burned out on the ownership. Changes in my life are also a influence too. So, paring down or curating the space in my life and mind was needed.

Some places suggested objectively looking at what was not wanted. What you have finished and will definitely not go back to. Others said to make a game out of it. The same way the hunt of collecting is fun. Reverse the variables to your advantage. Some say put it away and take a long break. Sadly, none of that did cut it. Even after paring down my Playstation collections, it never looked right to me anymore.

The best advice I heard came from the CU Podcasts, Ian Ferguson. Found in a YouTube segment.

“Once you let a few rare games tumble from your collection, it’s real easy to watch the rest go” Not limiting your choice to cheap titles, but also setting aside the games you have actual legitimate nostalgic value too.

Thing is, this advice ‘for me’ was really good. As he mentions, cornerstones of collections and holy grails tend to keep sets together. Once they go, you realise how much of the rest is unnecessary to you. The advice is coming from someone who knows the field well. But what worked for one will not always work for another. Life is unprecedented like that.

Figuring out what your most loved games or franchises are is easy. Then just set aside everything else. I did not limit that to just games either. The Legend of Dragoon was the first corner stone and after a few weeks I had barely noticed it was gone. In fact, nearly all the RPG’s went quickly. After all, when will there be time for 60+ hour titles in the coming future?

At times though it was really hard and drawn out, like a battle of attrition. This is the catharsis to which I am referring here. The internal battle you may have with yourself while you go through the process. You might change your mind, get angry at doing it or really emotional over letting something go. I never would have imagined a need to purge emotional tension over video games.

Yet after about 6 months it was over. I was left with was shelves of pure joy. But that was not the only thing, for me owning and collecting so many systems is something, I just find less joy in. After all space and time are finite and with more focus choices are easier. I kept SEGA, Game Boy and NES because they were bought with a curated mind.

A lot of people do talk about regret with these things. I do not miss a single RPG, I have hours of memories. Rather than regret, feelings of the burden being lifted was all I felt. Liberating myself in the process.

By doing this I have given myself more energy to focus on new games, experiences and writing. Such as my trips to Scotland or Manchester Comicon back in summer. Summer is that thing in England we see once a century.

There is definitely no wrong way to clear up your gaming clutter or one way to collect. I will likely still pickup games for my two childhood systems and hunt MGS trinkets. The decisions will however be quite informed by my need to own, rather than just play. With that in mind, I am off to deliver some pizza to Peter Englert!

Keep on, Keeping On!

Haiiro

About the Author

Jason Hamilton (Haiirocyon) is a freelance writer and forensic science graduate based in Cumbria, UK. He is rather wacky and really wanted to have an online name just like the kids in 2001. Remember when anonymity was a thing?

Was also one of those kids!

Open the Tome

The archive of my mind

Welcome to my blog. I wished for a space to discuss what might be on my mind regarding gaming and its pop culture. On the blog:

  • I wish to discuss topics I am interested in and hopefully develop myself further as a writer. What fun is writing if no one reads it? Though writing for yourself is fine!
  • I want to bring an interesting story or topic I am passionate about to you once a month.

As well as my passion in gaming. I also want a place to document my journey as a fledgling writer. I keep finding many avenues of advice that keep pressing me to improve. So keep your eye out for a post once a month related to that.

Speaking of writing, at this time I have 3 guest posts. Where you ask?

With Yokoi the Kid, over at: https://yokoikids.wordpress.com/tag/jason-hamilton/ . You should go and check the group out if you are into Game Boy. It was my writing for them which inspired me to chase this dream.

In 2 weeks I will be discussing what it was like to curate my game collection and what I realised about my hobby in in the process.

I would say please forgive the cobwebs and dust. However it is an archive so, they can stay if they want. Till next time.

Haiiro