Friday, October 31, 2008

Exciting TV times!

I was avoiding the news a bit recently, because the whole recession thing is getting me down...
But now there’s so much showbiz news going on! Has the world of entertainment every been so exciting??? Who will host Countdown??? Ben Fogle is being eaten by a flesh-eating bug... And the whole Brand/Ross thing is so exciting! And now Brand has quiet the BBC! Personally, I think it’s been blown out of proportion, and Brand/Ross were just being stupid, we’re all only human. But c’mon, the girl it’s all about it a ‘Satanic Slut’! How upset can her grand-dad, Andrew Sachs get...?
But it does raise one big issue – Jonathan Ross. I used to love his show but now it’s so tired, boring, unfunny – and pretty much the only jokes are about him wasting the license fee payers’ money. Great, thanks Jonathan. (Similarly, Brucie on Strictly Come Dancing seems to find the credit crunch hilarious each week.)
But the thing is, JR gets huge ratings – but then, what do ratings count for on the BBC? They don’t bring in any advertising money. So will the BBC get rid of one of their most (allegedly) popular stars...?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Secret Invasion 7

Is Secret Invasion so lacking that even the Editor isn't reading it? Black Widow's real name is Natalia is it? Right, cos I thought it was Natasha.
A chum of mine says that Natalia is actually a posh Russian version of Natasha. So do we credit the creators with intelligence or just feel like it's yet more sloppiness.
I know which one I'm opting for


I'm starting to understand Heroes season three a lot more now... I was worried the season was a bit too sprawling, but they're actually reining it in a little by focusing on a different villain each ep - the bank raid guys in 3, black hole guy in 5 and Doyle in 6. so not so bad...

In the meantime, Entertainment Weekly, my fave mag in the world, is giving the show astonishingly bad press with a really cruel cover pretty much putting the semi-final nail in the show's coffin. A tad unfair I think. I mean, picking, for instance, on the over-the-topness of the ep 5 black hole power - well he was only there for one episode so what's the prob? Tim Kring must be pissed off.

Well anyway, I happen to know that the Villains arc really builds to a huge climax with a load of shocks on the way.

I must say though - is this the show that Tim Kring dreamed up? When I first heard the show's pitch it sounded a bit more laidback than it is. Y'know, a bunch of normal people with powers. It sounds fun and lowkey - but it's just become this huge rollercoaster that has to be topped each week. Hard to keep that up.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bad and Wrong

Some people like football... Some people like politics... I like reality TV... I always feel the need to apolgise for it, but I just find a lot of it fascinating, you just imagine what you'd do in the situation - and of course you can just veg out and not use your brain much to watch it...
One of the shows I watch is America's Next Top Model. I kind of got bored of it recently, it was getting very samey, but I've been catching up with the 10th season ('cycle') on Youtube, and woah, it's great reality TV - mainly because the contestants are so shameless and lacking in self-awareness.
Look at it this way. How would you want to be remembered if you were on TV? Because in ANTM, 'Fatima' seems to want to be famous for being the one who was vaginally circumcised. Yes, I'm not joking. This is how she introduces herself, this is her sob story, and this is what she wants to bring to America's attention. (Fatima is in the picture above - I don't think you can tell that she's been circumsised)
And then we have Marvita. How does she introduce herself? 'I'm Marvita and I was molested and abused.' In ANTM, to be molested and abused seems to be almost an essential quality. The more tears, the better. And every other sentence Marvita says has the key words 'I'm in therapy'. But honestly, is that really how you want to be remembered on national TV?
Over on my beloved Project Runway, a similar thing is happening, sort of. We're near the final, and suddenly the contestants are in tears because a family member has just died, and they want to win for them.
It's just cheap, cheap, cheap. Yes, of course all these things are tragic and horrible and upsetting - but I wonder how much of it all is genuine and how much of the tears we are supposed to believe (because call me a cynic, but if every ANTM contestant has been molested and if every Project Runway contestant is upset over a dead relative - well I'm sure at least one of them is lying - and that is very very naughty). It just cheapens it for people who really suffer.
And I'm not even going to talk about the utterly mental screaming that takes place every time Tyra Banks appears - its fucking ridiculous.
But I still love it all.

Horror movies...

Quarantine just appeared on It's the remake of the AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME spanish horror movie REC... The remake isn't so bad so far... But give me REC any time.
I just started becoming a downloader by the way... Spent about 6 hours trying to download Quarantine last night and it didn't work ha ha...
Tonight I went to see Fears of the Dark - which I didn't know much about, but it looked interesting. Its a series of animated horror stories...
I wouldn't recommend it whatsoever... The stories are a bit lame and lacking... It's interesting to see Charles Burns animations on the big screen, but the animation of it all is very odd...
It's only the last story that really starts to get going... It's just about a man who finds shelter from the snow in a spooky house - it's more about the stylish animation here rather than the story - but it decides to finish just as it's getting really good!
All in all, a very damp squib indeed...
Oh and a note to the film's producers - if you're gonna subtitle a film (Fears is French), then using white subtitles on a mostly black and very white film is a BAD IDEA. If you're struggling to enjoy a film, not being able to read what's going on ain't gonna help (and in fact, I did actually give up at one point.)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Speaking of good comics...

I was in Forbidden Planet a year or so ago and I saw this book on the shelf... There was something about it, it just drew me to it. It was the third book of a series, and I couldn't find the first two, so I didn't buy it. Luckily my friend had heard me going on about it, so for Christmas he got me the first book... And I soon had to buy the remaining four books - it was that good.
The series was The Sentinels by New Yorker Rich Bernatovech and artist Luciano Vecchio.
If you like good old stories and charaters like Alpha Flight... y'know, good old-fashioned story-telling, then you'll love this. It's got a superb cast of characters who evolve and grow, and I really can't recommend it highly enough.
The reason I'm writing this is because I received the fifth book in the series today, direct from Rich. It's an Anthology book and it is so beautifully put together, it just knocks the socks off any competition on the shelves. For an 'indie' comic, the production values are so impressive, it's just gorgeous. Glossy colour pages!!!
And these two guys are ones to watch, believe me. I've seen some of their upcoming projects.
Rich is probably gonna be pissed off at me for saying this (and if he is I'll remove this, don't worry Rich!!) but he mentioned he wished he was a bit disappointed by the sales of the new Anthology - and personally, I think that is a travesty, it really deserves a huge audience.
So honestly, check it out - - treat yourself for Christmas, you really won't regret it. If you're looking for something that gives you that old-fashioned comic-reading buzz - and personally i'm always looking for that - then give it a go...

My life in comics!

I copied Rol on this...

Do you remember your first comic/series?
I guess it would have been Beano or Nutty really.
But US-wise, I think it was Peter Parker… I quite liked it, but wasn’t blown away. It was issue 77, he fought the Gladiator. So then I tried again with some Byrne FFs (253 and 254) – didn’t understand them.
I persevered though and I think the next Peter Parker storyline totally grabbed me – Spidey versus Doc Ock with the Black Cat in hospital (I was so worried for Felicia lol) - and I soon became the addict I am now.

Favourite regular series right now?
Well I only consider myself to be buying a handful of titles on a regular basis… I enjoy Powers, but it’s not as good as it used to be… I really like Walking Dead, but Kirkman doesn’t half mess it up sometimes. He’s really dragged the last few issues out…
I guess the prize has to go to Fantastic Four. I love Millar’s writing, Hitch’s art is beautiful – it’s an engaging, exciting read… I can’t believe everyone’s seems to think it’s so average. It’s art, it’s a classic in the making.

Comic book character you only recently discovered/started reading?
Hmm, I dunno. I guess I read a lot more manga now. Death Note etc.
Oh wait, hang on - update! - I just bought the first two BRPD trades. I'm not a fan of Hellboy at all (as much as I love Mignola), but the supporting characters seem really interesting, esp Johan Struass (who looked shit in the 2nd movie)

If you could draw/write one character who would it be?
Without a shadow of a single doubt, Crazy Jane.
It would have been Rogue if they hadn’t made her so generic, confusing and boring over the past 15 years or so.

Are you a fan of the big multi-issue crossover extravaganzas?
I’ve actually got nothing against them. I loved Secret Wars… Civil War was a bit stupid but I loved the outcome – The Initiative.
The writing is letting down the current stuff. Final Crisis is uneventful and confusing. Secret Invasion could be amazing, but they forgot to do anything with it.
Nah, I don’t mind them, as long as they’re done well. But when are they ever done well?

Last comic book series that you dropped and why?
I guess it’d have to be the X-books, but I’ve been in and out of them for a while now. They just lack Claremont’s vision – as confusing as it was.

Favourite character?
There are so many… Vision, Valkyrie, er, lots more…
But I think at the end of the day, it’s probably Daredevil (even though I’m not reading it any more because I find the current series boring, and I’m also bored of the continuous Matt Murdock-revealed-to-be-Daredevil-in-the-press stuff).

Are you a DC or a Marvel fan?
Marvel, all the way. I just grew up on them. I like the more down to Earth nature of the characters. I will never ever for the life of me understand certain DC characters – like the JSA for instance. I don’t know who they are or why they’re still around etc etc etc.

Is Watchmen the movie going to be as good as the comic book?
I really, really want it to be… But they never are, are they. The trailer is stunning. But I’m just not gonna hold my breath.

Favourite comic book movie?
X2 comes close, but really it has to be Superman 2.

Worst comic book movie?
Oh, Batman and Robin… I almost walked out of the cinema. Although having said that, when I catch it on Channel Five I get strangely drawn in.

Character you’d like to see in a movie?
Alpha Flight!!!

Series that you’d like to see on TV?
Invisibles, Invisibles, Invisibles!!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Boys

Does anyone read The Boys?
I've been reading the first couple of trades...
It's a good read, but far from perfect. It just tries too hard to shock, I think. I don't want to think of Dardevil having HIV or most of my superheroes all being 'poofs'. And it's kinda weird, because it comes across as homophobic, but they they do a really earnest gay storyline which just doesn't come across as well as I think they wanted it to.
They use the 'c' word waaaaaaay too much.
We're promised that Frenchie and Mother's Milk are really cool and have exciting origins, but there's barely any sign of it yet.
And sometimes the humour doesn't quite work - it's as if it's a teenage boy is writing it and wants his mates to laugh at the crude jokes. I did cringe a bit in places - but they just about pull it off, so to speak. I must say, I did laugh at the Tek-Guy hero who fantasised about his team-mate's arse hehe
The art is a bit amateurish in places - almost small press-y.
So all in all, it's no Preacher, but it's entertaining enough.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Heroes ep 4

Just seen Heroes s3, ep 4...
No huge spoilers, don't worry...
Wow, great, back on track after a disappointing 3rd ep (a boring bank heist and Claire and her mom in a low budget showdown).
What the show excels in is it’s ‘wow moments’, and boy we get more than enough in this episode.
Mohinder isn’t so bad in this ep - in fact I don’t mind him at all. Milo does some great stuff as Peter. Great to see Nathan fly again - yay! But it’s a bit jarring that Tracy would just carry on with her business right after what she tries to do (lol it’ll make sense when you see it).
Re Tracy - I can’t wait til we meet the third twin - Barbara. I hope they write this well - it has real potential... but sometimes the Niki/Ali Larter stuff can be a bit confusing - a bit like they are making it up as they go along... Personally, i'd looove the Ali Larter stuff to be all test tube humans, or that all of the personalities are transferable into each body (so Tracy would also be Niki, Gina, Jessica etc), but I don't think they're doing that.
I wanna know how Daphne can run in high heels though. (Also not sure she's recognisable enough yet to change her look so drastically)
And why would the psychic Haitian be able to stop Peter’s physical powers (healing) - and why would (spoiler here so finish reading now lol) Future Peter die from being shot?
(OKay, one more spoiler to follow)
Daphne and Matt? Together? Wtf? Come on!!! No way.