House M.D. 6.04 Instant Karma (2009, Medical Black Comedy Drama TV) – 7/10 review

Hugh Laurie: Dr. Gregory House
Lisa Edelstein: Dr. Lisa Cuddy
Omar Epps: Dr. Eric Foreman
Robert Sean Leonard: Dr. James Wilson
Jennifer Morrison: Dr. Allison Cameron
Jesse Spencer: Dr. Robert Chase
Creator: David Shore
Olivia Wilde: Thirteen
Lee Tergesen: Mr. Randall
Tanner Maguire: Jack Randall
Producer: Marcy G. Kaplan
Producer: Sara Hess
Co-Executive Producer: Greg Yaitanes
Executive Producer: Thomas L. Moran
Writer: Thomas L. Moran
Director: Greg Yaitanes

House M.D. 6.04 Instant Karma (2009)

With seventeen previous doctors having been unable to diagnose or treat his dying son, a billionaire insists that House take his case (despite House not having a medical licence, remember). House performs his usual diagnostic procedures and sets about taking the boy to the precipice of death before miraculously – oh… Perhaps money can’t buy everything.

7/10

In the House versus patient-of-the-week, versus Thirteen and versus Foreman / Chase, the result is two-one to House (I’m not saying which one he loses). While the shenanigans weren’t as funny or cunning as they have been and the medicine was, as usual, not terribly convincing, the balance of the episode made this feel largely sure-footed and House’s volunteering to deliver bad news is a welcome nod to his rehabilitation (no psychiatrist again this week). The Foreman / Chase storyline from last week spilled over convincingly and the pair acted it well, consistently and believably. Oddly, or perhaps brilliantly, Wilson only appears at the end and he brings a subtle, subconscious sense of relief to the climax of the episode which may not have been as effective if he had appeared all the way through.

This House M.D. episode contains unpleasant medical scene.

Links

House M.D. 6.04 Instant Karma (2009, Medical Black Comedy Drama TV) – 7/10 review

Hugh Laurie: Dr. Gregory House
Lisa Edelstein: Dr. Lisa Cuddy
Omar Epps: Dr. Eric Foreman
Robert Sean Leonard: Dr. James Wilson
Jennifer Morrison: Dr. Allison Cameron
Jesse Spencer: Dr. Robert Chase
Creator: David Shore
Olivia Wilde: Thirteen
Lee Tergesen: Mr. Randall
Tanner Maguire: Jack Randall
Producer: Marcy G. Kaplan
Producer: Sara Hess
Co-Executive Producer: Greg Yaitanes
Executive Producer: Thomas L. Moran
Writer: Thomas L. Moran
Director: Greg Yaitanes

House M.D. 6.04 Instant Karma (2009)

With seventeen previous doctors having been unable to diagnose or treat his dying son, a billionaire insists that House take his case (despite House not having a medical licence, remember). House performs his usual diagnostic procedures and sets about taking the boy to the precipice of death before miraculously – oh… Perhaps money can’t buy everything.

7/10

In the House versus patient-of-the-week, versus Thirteen and versus Foreman / Chase, the result is two-one to House (I’m not saying which one he loses). While the shenanigans weren’t as funny or cunning as they have been and the medicine was, as usual, not terribly convincing, the balance of the episode made this feel largely sure-footed and House’s volunteering to deliver bad news is a welcome nod to his rehabilitation (no psychiatrist again this week). The Foreman / Chase storyline from last week spilled over convincingly and the pair acted it well, consistently and believably. Oddly, or perhaps brilliantly, Wilson only appears at the end and he brings a subtle, subconscious sense of relief to the climax of the episode which may not have been as effective if he had appeared all the way through.

This House M.D. episode contains unpleasant medical scene.

Links

Surf’s Up (2007, Surfing Game, 360) – 7/10 review

Surf’s Up (2007)

7/10

This is a legitimately good game; a simple but playable surfing game with just about none of the usual problems associated with movie games. It provides single-minded gameplay, lots of achievable goals, straight-forward controls and clean graphics. I had trouble performing tricks inside a wave tube (I was pressing the buttons simultaneously or too quickly!) but, aside from that, everything was clear and highly playable.

This game contains mild aggression.

Classified 3+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 3 or over.

House M.D. 6.01 Broken (2009, Medical Black Comedy Drama TV) – 7/10 review

Hugh Laurie: Dr. Gregory House
Robert Sean Leonard: Dr. James Wilson
Franka Potente: Lydia
Lin-Manuel Miranda: Alvie
Megan Dodds: Dr. Beasley
Derek Richardson: Steve "Freedom Master"
Curtis Armstrong: Richter
Andrew Harrison Leeds: Dr. Medina
Andre Braugher: Dr. Darryl Nolan
Creator: David Shore
Writer: Russel Friend
Writer: Garrett Lerner
Writer: David Foster
Writer: David Shore
Director: Katie Jacobs

House M.D. 6.01 Broken (2009)

Having come through the Vicodin addiction, House moves to a psychiatric ward to deal with his deeper, non-physical issues. He thinks that he should be able to leave and has to start scheming to make sure it happens.

7/10

While the Franka Potente character conception absolutely never convinces (SPOILER House insults her, steals her car, nearly kills a dude then they have an affair, hmm), this is, nevertheless, an engrossing return. It’s well-acted by all, especially Franka Potente who manages to get us to accept her ridiculous actions, and Andre Braugher who I usually find intensely irritating but he’s great here. Katie Jacobs directs skilfully and manipulatively. Cleverly, it actually sticks very closely to the House formula of being wrong a lot, taking someone to the brink of death then pulling out miraculous results with acute observational skills and mental agility but they apply this formula to several different characters, including House, instead of just a single patient. I appreciate the writing team taking a little longer than usual (this is a feature-length episode) to reset everything back to normal and, applaudably, we’re not quite there yet. I look forward to next week’s episode.

This House M.D. episode contains adult dialogue and violence and a sex scene.

Links

State of Fear (2004, Conspiracy Techno-Thriller Book) – 7/10 review

Writer: Michael Crichton

State of Fear (2004)

A wealthy environmental investor is killed when his Ferrari plunges off a cliff. With his funding up in the air, his lawyer finds himself at the centre of a ideological storm wherein his understanding of global warming will be irrevocably challenged.

7/10

Interesting global warming-themed thriller whose thought-provoking core resonates rather more successfully than the thriller part entertains. In fact, the thriller part seems quite poorly written with the breathless pace of those sections allowing important story details to be too easily skipped and sequences ending abruptly.

This Michael Crichton book contains sexual swear words, adult dialogue and violence, an extremely unpleasant scene of cannibalism.

Decoding the Heavens (2008, Archaeology Epic Book) – 7/10 review

Author: Jo Marchant

Decoding the Heavens (2008)

"In 1900 a group of sponge divers blown off course in the Meditteranean discovered an Ancient Greek shipwreck dating from around 70 BC. Lying unnoticed for months amongst their hard-won haul was what appeared to be a formless lump of corroded rock. It turned out to be the most stunning scientific artefact we have from antiquity. For more than a century this ‘Antikythera mechanism‘ puzzled academics. It was ancient clockwork, unmatched in complexity for a thousand years – but what was it for? Now, more than 2,000 years after the device was lost at sea, scientists have pieced together its intricate works and revealed its secrets." (from flyleaf)

7/10

This archaeological history looking at the discovery and understanding of a technology that wasn’t thought to exist is written more like a novel or movie biography than a textbook and is remarkably readable. Marchant goes through each key person chronologically as they come under the irresistible spell of the Antikythera mechanism and each dedicate their resources to revealing and adding their name to it’s history. By the end of the book, the stunning, out-of-time nature of the Antikythera mechanism will stir the intellect (had mankind really made no technological progress in the 2,000 years before the 20th century?) and it’s near-magic hold over those directly involved will be entirely understandable.

Sunshine (2007, Science Fiction Horror Movie) – 7/10 review

Director: Daniel Boyle
Writer: Alex Garland
Producer: Andrew MacDonald
Rose Byrne: Cassie
Cliff Curtis: Searle
Chris Evans: Mace
Troy Garity: Harvey
Cillian Murphy: Capa
Hiroyuki Sanada: Kaneda
Mark Strong: Pinbacker
Benedict Wong: Trey
Michelle Yeoh: Corazon

Sunshine (2007)

The Sun has stopped. Seven years after a previous mission failed to create a new star, a second mission, Icarus II, is closing in on delivering it’s payload when the distress beacon of Icarus I is picked up.

7/10

This is generally a superior science-fiction but the appearance of a SPOILER horror movie monster (apparently not eating for seven years gives you superhuman strength) for the last section does weaken the experience considerably. If it had stuck with the mission-gone-wrong template and continued to stick with the difficult decisions and how the crew resolves their dilemmas, the whole might have been more satisfying. Nevertheless, it is a visually wonderful film with perfect pacing, solid thrills, committed performances (Chris Evans is outstanding) and a lot of convincing science fiction. Unusually, the entire film replays over the end credits; It might have been cool if they had been the eight minutes talked about early in the film with the success or failure of the mission only apparent if you sat through them.

This movie contains sexual swear words and brief graphic violence, gory and unpleasant scenes.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.