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Thursday, 13 December 2012

Superman The Movie Review

This is going to be a controversial review. I have not read the comics and I will not be judging this film on the comics or the comics on this film. I won't however be viewing it in complete objectivity. A man is the some of his memories, a reviewer even more so.

First lets tackle the elephant in the room: Superman's use of time travel.
I could very easily rip this to shreds. You probably know why. To time travel Superman spins the earth backwards. This would result in, at best, global confusion, at worst, earthquakes, tsunamis, massive death and destruction. To spin the Earth backwards, Superman flies through the atmosphere really fast, in the opposite direction to its spin, which would just be the most badass butterfly flapping its wings to create thousands of hurricanes. I could rage at this but to do so would be to ignore a few things.

Here's why the time travel works:

1. On Krypton, the Kryptonians talk about humanity and call themselves humans. This might be an interesting implication on the idea that just as the humans and Kryptonians evolved reasonably similar bodies despite the vastly different circumstances, so we might have evolved similar speech and names. This idea is however contradicted by the idea that when teaching Kal-el, the holographic Jor-el refers to knowing about many worlds and races, including what we humans call ourselves. It seems particularly odd that the Kryptonians would be so aware of what us primitives call ourselves and be so willing to acknowledge that when they themselves are called the same thing. It'd be like finding a bunch of monkeys in the Amazon calling themselves humans, you would want to refer to them as something different. Therefore the film is using a translation convention.

2. The timetravel is foreshadowed. Not only does Jor-el declare ominously that Kal-el is forbidden to interfere in human history several times but on Krypton while preparing to launch his son away from the planet, Jor-el talks about Einstein's Theory of Relativity, the only possible explanation for why it apparently takes Kal-el three years to reach Earth (confirmed by Lex Luther) yet Jor-el's hologram says he'll be dead by many thousands of years by the time Kal-el hears the message.

3. The film never bothers to explain anything as I'll talk about later.

4. There is enough time after Superman goes back in time and rescues Lois for him to leave a note for his past self to go back in time and rescue Lois even if his future self has done just that. We aren't watching the creating of a paradox, we're watching the creation of a stable ontological paradox, only it isn't really ontological since we're watching the beginning of it, even if in future timelines Superman was just given a note by his future self to go back in time and save Lois instead of deciding to go back in time after he'd found Lois dead.

5. Because of the above four points what actually happens is that Superman flies faster than the speed of light, using the slingshot effect to help achieve this, you know like in that Star Trek movie with the whales. Only because there's no convenient Vulcan to explain to the audience that Superman is going back in time, the Director decided to just show Superman flying in the opposite direction of Earth to alter its spin to show time travel because sometimes breaking the laws of physics is easier than writing exposition.

Right now that we've got that out of the way lets get into the meat of the review.

Superman is a fantastic actor, the way he manages to portray a punchable clumsy harmless buffoon is amazing and those glasses really do help. The over-sized glasses make his face look doughy and his eyes so small they're struggling to see. I'm not being facetious either, Christopher Reeve does a sterling performance but so does Superman in-universe.  Clark Kent is the person you'd least expect to be Superman and he's such a loser. I honestly wonder why Superman is willing to play such a dormouse in his secret identity. It's not even like Batman where the secret identity is just supposed to throw people off the scent. Superman's secret identity is supposed to be his private life, the life where he can relax, enjoy himself and fall in love. Yet he chooses to make Clark an un-charismatic bumbling klutz.

All the actors in Superman are amazing and I think I saw Ian Chesterton on Krypton. The effects are largely good too though I did not enjoy the dodgy cross fade between a falling Clark and a flying Superman. That was just wrong.

The biggest problem I have with the film is the script. I am fond of Joseph Campbell's theory of the Monomyth and the Hero of a Thousand Faces. I like the classic narrative arch of the hero from nowhere who through many trials earns the right to take on the big bad and save the day. It happens a lot in Superhero movies. Superman is one of the exceptions. It's not David versus Goliath, it's Goliath versus David. The super strong, nigh invulnerable champion versus quick witted, prepared, intelligent but otherwise completely outmatched new guy.

There is a reason you don't give the Doctor or Batman a gun unless they're really outmatched and that's  because they are so confident and have such a history that if they actually had a significant advantage there would be no conflict. Superman is what happens if you cybernised the Doctor or gave the Batman a healing factor. It's an interesting idea but it needs a villain who can turn the strengths into weaknesses, make nigh invulnerability a curse. Lex Luthor could be that villain and I do love his underdog spirit but Kryptonite is his greatest weakness as well as Superman's. It's basically a massive cheat to have something so powerful yet so vulnerable. A magic bullet to take out the hero and give the villains a chance but one that is harmless enough that all it takes is for the nearest person to pull the Kryptonite off him. If Lex wanted to kill Superman he should have found a way to fire him into a black hole or the heart of the sun.

Another problem with the writing, one that can't just be attributed to my own preference of story telling is that nothing is explained. Oh we get some info dump at the beginning but the closest we get to explanations about Superman's powers are that he's got dense molecules and gets his power from the sun. That's not good enough. His powers aren't even consistent, they handwave it by saying that Superman's still discovering his powers but he goes from being slightly better than Captain America to being able to turn back time just by flying. Which is just ridiculous by the way because it never mentions how he flies. If it's by utilizing the power of the sun then that is stupid because A. The only possible way the timetravel could work would be by flying faster than the speed of light so how the fuck is he still getting power and don't say he has reserves of energy because flying closer to the speed of light requires an exponential amount of energy the closer you get. And B. How is he utilizing this solar power? Is he farting a jetstream or something because I don't see any sign of propulsion.

I did not like this film. The acting was great, the cinematography was good and the effects were surprisingly good but the script makes me want to weep. And this is the Superman Origin Story that was deemed so good we're only just now getting a new one now? I just hope Christopher Nolan gives us some explanation of why the smug tight wearer with the retarded private life can defy the laws of physics.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Batman Review

Starring Michael Keaton as Batman and Jack Nicholson as the Joker. This is what you get when you mix Batman Begins with the Dark Knight. A story about the two enemies. The emo rich kid that is Bruce Wayne and the insane mobster that is The Joker.

Better than Batman Begins but not as good The Dark Knight, Batman is the only Tim Burton thing I've seen and all the worse for it. Dark, dingy and downright panto in places. The film is slow at first and I really miss Michael Caine and Gary Oldman as Alfred and Jim Gordon. Surprisingly the one person I don't miss is Heath Ledger because while I found his portrayal as a diabolus ex machina interesting Jack Nicholson gives the Joker humanity, giving us his complete story. Michael Keaton has no chin but is otherwise better than Bale in every way.

Batman does the fantasy approach to the less mundane parts of the story with barely a lampshade to explain how Bruce Wayne has so many wonderful toys. This is very much a story where the audience is supposed to either be familiar with the comics or character or just generally be capable of working out that since Jack Napier works for Axis Chemicals and Bruce Wayne is rich enough to have a butler, that's how they get such wonderful toys. Part of me hates this since I do so love exposition but the assumption that the audience can connect the dots is marvelous in an age where fans pick apart lines of dialogue for hidden meanings that just aren't there.

My one major gripe with this film is how 80s it is. When the Joker and the gang raid the museum they look ridiculous in their baggy clothes, dancing to their boombox and dear god the rap music is atrocious. I wouldn't mind something by Eminem or even 50cent  but Prince just sounds like a whiny love struck fool.

Overall it's a good film but its time period lets it down.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

The Mummy Review

With an opening scene lifted from Bram Stoker's Dracula, the mummy is quite obviously a homage to classic horror.

The introduction to the hero and the starscream seems based on the fact that we, the audience, already know that Brenden Fraser is the hero. Something which I'd like to criticise but can't seeing as the trailers and movie poster tell you as much. I like Brenden Fraser, he's a good actor and I enjoyed him in George of the Jungle and Bedazzled, he's even one of the few american actors I could see playing the Doctor but he's not what I would call Hollywood handsome, being a tad neanderthalic in the face department and so it's somewhat of a surprise to see him playing the hero in such a big movie (by my standards). He is very good in the role, adding just enough humour to the trope of the hero to avoid it becoming stale.

Evelyn is introduced as the love interest by being the first woman to have a full scene. That scene in particular is ridiculous because it sets up three things: 1. She's smart 2. She's got incredible balance to keep herself upright on that ladder for so long 3. The film does not give the tiniest fig about reality and runs on 'Rule of Cool' I mean how else could Evelyn falling knock over one bookshelf let alone two? Rachel Weisz plays Evelyn, someone I'd last seen in Constantine and I would say on the basis of that there's been some typecasting going on. I think in Constantine she had deeper concepts and serious acting to deal with but this film is so much better because it is so much more fun.

John Hannah plays Evelyn's Brother and the comic relief in a comedic film but for some reason I kept confusing him with Peter Capaldi, presumably because of Peter's role as another British comic relief actor in Local hero.

Special mention goes to Corey Johnson but only because it was nice to see Henry Van Statten mauled by zombies.

The mummy himself is like a cross between Dracula and Lord Voldemort only he's far less hammy in his acting, doesn't look ridiculous and it's possible to handwave the whole thing as sufficiently advanced science so I prefer it.

The story is predictable but enjoyable. I would rule this a 'Meh!' but it's just too good to be judged as such.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Farsh-nuke is dead

I've given up on NaNoWriMo under the realisation that I'm just retelling the same shit over and over. The Farsh-nuke is dead. His existence revoked. The characters and the universe he inspired may live on but he's just too much of a mary sue to be written well by me. If someone wants to take over writing the character then I've got the collected works here including an up to the minute save of the latest unfinished NaNoWriMo. If someone makes money off it then we can work out a commission nearer the time. (Yes, I'm actually that arrogant to think a better writer than me might both want to write with the Farsh-nuke and be able to make money off the character.)

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Casino Royale Review

This is an odd instance where I actually read the book a few years before seeing the film and here's the thing I remember thinking the book was a bit limp. I mean this Bond was too busy falling in love and playing baccarat to be badass. The book actually ends with Bond resolving not to be like the other cold agents but to keep to his own morality and keep his distance with women to prevent falling into such traps.

The film was badass. No doubt about it Daniel Craig is a far better Bond than the one I saw in the book but I found myself unable to keep myself from playing spot the difference between the film and the book. That iconic shot that everyone claims was from Doctor No but actually happened by accident was in the book, only it happened later and Bond merely imagined it when he was recovering after the torture.

Here's the thing Casino Royale is a distinctly 'Meh!' book and Casino Royale is definitely a great film but the book does every important thing about the film better. Bond's vulnerability, romance, resolve to overcome his weaknesses, the central romance and the main plot. Each individual thing the film does brilliantly the book does better yet the book is still a worse book than the film is a film.

This seems like such a contradiction but here's what I think is happening, books can without a doubt present concepts and ideas in a stronger, more potent fashion but Bond is a filmic phenomenon. Bond needs to be told in film. Casino Royale is a better book than it is a film but as a book it's weak while as a film, flawed by the adaptation process and a needless sequel hook it may be, it's still stronger.

Oh and when Daniel Craig finally hangs up the tux, he's got my vote to play Sam Vimes.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Analysing Comic Book Film Sequels

So yesterday I watched Spider-man 2 and I said was going to post an article on this very subject. Sorry, I'm late.

I have reviewed 5 film sequels to date and these are what I will be using as my sample materials. They are as follows:
Spiderman/Spider-man 2
Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer
Iron Man/Iron Man 2
Batman Begins/The Dark Knight
Hell Boy/Hell Boy II The Golden Army

It has been said that superhero films tend to follow a three arch structure of Origin/Attempted Retirement/Evil Twin and to be honest I only know about that from but based on what I've seen with the aforementioned films, it's pretty damned correct. In Spider-man 2 Peter plays the trope straight, trying to quit before going back to being a hero. Fantastic Four Rise Of The Silver Surfer has Reed Richards and Susan Storm considering quitting to settle down and have a family. Iron Man 2 has the government trying to make Tony quit being Iron Man, Tony on the verge of death and his friend become an evil twin Iron Man. The Dark Knight has Batman preparing to give up the cowl now that the white knight Harvey Dent is making such an impact. Hell Boy II The Golden Army just subverts it all to hell by having the story be more of a filler episode about a temporary love interest for the quirky sidekick.

Spiderman was really the first of the modern trilogies so it was his series that played the tropes straightest. Peter Parker is a loser in life, develops a super power, learns that with great power comes great responsibility and now he can get it on with his secret crush because he's not himself. In the sequel everyone but his boss finds out who he is by the end but now his best friend doesn't just want to kill Spiderman but him 2.

Fantastic Four ignores the tropes, having the characters have press created superhero identities but be generally famous.

Iron Man loves to play with the tropes because Tony Stark is basically Bruce Wayne, only he created the Iron Man suit, well firstly because he had to so he could escape some terrorists but mainly just because he could. The Superheroing was accidental, less 'I shall become the criminals worst nightmare' and more 'Hey this is cool and I'm sorry but did you just use my tech to hurt innocents because I really don't like that and now I can kick your arse.' The real difference though beyond 'I'm a hero because it's cool' is at the end of the first film when Tony Stark does admit that he is Iron Man, dealing with the consequences of that in the second film.

Batman in Christopher Nolan's trilogy is the deconstruction of the trope to an extent. Batman exists to police the unpoliceable area so when Harvey Dent turns up, of course Batman thinks he can step down. Only because this is a deconstruction, the same thing that means Batman could retire is the very reason he never can because what does a balanced system do when the other side gets it's shit together? It summons bigger fish, namely the lunatic sadist's lunatic sadist The Joker.

Hell Boy can't do the give up the cowl thing because he is the cowl. There is no secret identity, just his and it is 'supposed' to be secret while not really being very secret at all, although they do leave the BPRD at the end of the second film.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Spider-man 2 Review

Spiderman was the first superhero film I reviewed so it's only right and appropriate that of all the superhero films I could have decided to review so long after my initial run of superhero film reviews, its sequel is the one I should choose to review, however unplanned such a decision was.

Since my reviews started out as just being facebook status updates about my opinion of a film and Spiderman was one of the very earliest, I am afraid I did not quite do it justice. So if you'll permit me I'll do a little retro review of the earlier film.

At the time I said Spiderman was the perfect antidote to Chronicle, which I'd earlier deemed rather good even if I'd felt wrong for sympathizing with the eventual antagonist. This says a lot about the two films respectively and indeed about me:

Spiderman is the tale of a smart kid who gains super powers and learns that with great powers comes great responsibility.

Chronicle is the tale of a smart kid who learns that with great powers comes great insanity.

I am not Peter Parker.

Spiderman is a moral film with a definite good and a definite evil which sees the main character conflicted because people aren't that simple. It has a message that is a knowing compromise but is just uplifting enough to counteract against the slightly disturbing implications of siding with the main character in Chronicle.

Spider-man 2 brings up again just how unlike Peter Parker I am. (well aside from the issues with hyphens in names) Peter in this film is cultivating the impression that he is brilliant but lazy due to his double life as Spiderman leaving him less time for homework and chasing girls. I am lucky if I even I think I am brilliant but lazy but for Peter this reputation just won't do, so with the added inconvenience of his super powers mysteriously vanishing now and again he decides to quit.

This movie for me brings up issues which I'd like to talk about now but two issues I've singled out for their own posts at are Writing Villains Effectively and Analysing Comic Book Film Sequels. They should be up within a day.

This is the film where everybody figures out who Spiderman is and I like that because I hate the Status Quo Is God trope. I want Merlin to tell Arthur he's a badass wizard. I want the Doctor to reveal that his name is Slartibartfast, he is half human and he was The Other. I loved that Tony Stark told everyone he was Iron Man. In this film everybody finds out, the public, the bad guy, his best friend, his almost girlfriend. The only person who doesn't find out gives us something far better, J Jonah Jameson admits Spiderman is a hero and he wants him back, even if it's for less than a minute.

Everyone in this film is badass and funny. This is quite simply sublime and for those saying the car throwing scene is a plot hole, I'll remind you that Harry only added the not hurting Peter bit after Doc Ock had stalked off.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Highlander Review

Good things first:

1. Remirez

2. Original concept

3. Macloed looks a bit like comic Constantine in the early present day parts

4. The line 'What Kept you?' during the final fight is quite badass.

Bad things:

All of it.

The first part of the story would be utterly confusing and bizarre if I hadn't seen The Spoony One rip into the sequels because it isn't even just a cold open where they don't explain what the fuck is going on but before that there's a bizarre wrestling screne with confusing flashbacks.

The guy who plays Macloed has an incredibly tall forehead which is just odd, he's clearly not Scottish yet Sean Connery's playing an Egyption Spaniad.

The effects are appallingly bad and I'm a classic Doctor Who fan,

The rules make no god damn sense. Why are they immortal? Why can they be killed by decapitation? WTF is the quickening? The only explanation we get is the implication that immortals can absorb the lifeforce of animals but if that's the case why does it send electrics nuts and blow out windows?

This movie makes Twilight and Jaws The Revenge look good.

This film is shit. There is no other valid interpretation. Now I'm going to look it up on tvtropes to see if I can find some answers.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Jumper Review

So Darth Vader discovers he can teleport and decides to live a life of travelling, free from consequences but Nick Fury decides he and his kind should be taken down and killed.

This is a fun film but the bad guys really don't seem to make any sense. Sure some agency would have developed to monitor and keep track of jumpers but the fact that they have no sense of morality is really stupid. Fortunately though casting Samuel L Jackson as the bad guy means you don't really care because he's just awesome, although the talcum powder hair is a bit ridiculous.

The rules for the jumpers, while simple, seem forgotten at times as on quite a few occasions the rule of only being able to jump somewhere you've been before is seemingly broken as the characters jump places they wouldn't conceivably get to by more conventional methods. Hanging off big ben's clock face and sitting on the sphinx's head being just two instances. These though can be fairly legitimately handwaved as the characters only need to get there once, possibly through some combination of jumping, parkour and mountaineering.

For fans of the Skulduggery Pleasant series there's a rather nice little accidental gag as Kristen Stewart meets the titular character and one is reminded of the twilight parody where the female lead must choose between the dangerous and exciting older vampire and the safe and boring teleporter.

A seriously fun if slightly stupid film, I'd highly encourage you to watch it.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Serenity Review

So this is why people like Josh Whedon and why Nathon Fillion is a complete badass? I went into this thinking that for some reason Mal was going to hit the deck during a heroic speech and so expected a downer ending but instead this was an amazing completely badass story about idealism through cynicism. This movie needs a sequel because this does for space opera what Avengers Assemble does for superhero movies, makes it personal, about the characters and entirely full of win. Plus (!SPOILERS!) the moment Serenity turns up to take on the alliance with a whole heck of Reavers beats every single badsass moment in every super hero movie I've seen. It'd be like the Doctor bringing the dalek empire in as cavalry. You cannot beat that.

Monday, 5 November 2012

An American Werewolf In London Review

A romantic comedy with werewolves, like the incredible hulk but more british, cynical and horrifying.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Shutter Island Review

What is it about Leonardo Dicaprio and the women he loves fucking him up? First there was Juliet, then there was that posh bint from Titanic, the insane one from Inception and now Dolores.

Watchmen Review

I'll say first that I am reviewing the film and I have not read the comic.

Watchmen is like many things I like, a contradictory thing.
It is what I feared and expected it to be. An overhyped, overclever somewhat slow treatise on the gritty realism of such unrealistic superheroes that amounts to huge amounts of narm. There's a blue naked guy walking around who can travel through time, teleport and manipulate matter using some kind of telekinesis. There is literally no reason for the gritty realism treatment. All it does is highlight how fucked up the film is. (Though granted that may be the point, seeing as this is based off the comic which deconstructed superheroes).

It is also on the other hand, once the plot gets moving, a nice somewhat rompy deconstruction of the Superhero genre.

Rorsach and the OwlGuy (Quite ashamed I don't know his name since he's one of the two people I actually liked) are like what would happen if Batman went through a Star Trek teleporter and was split into his two identities.
   Rorsach is Batman as the great detective, seeming like a gross parody of seventies, Gene Hunt, Dirty Harry and Jack Bauer. The ultimate dirty cop with no morals but a sense for justice, a supremely unlikeable guy.
   OwlGuy is a badass normal human being, who just happens to dress up as an Owl to fight crime. You don't even get the sense that being a vigilante makes him a mad man like   the Batman is frequently portrayed as in such gritty deconstructions because OwlGuy's not the first superhero so it's less 'I am become justice' than 'This is really cool and I get to help people'

Doctor Manhattan is a nice deconstruction of Superman in that I hate him because he's out of touch with reality but I think I'm supposed to hate him.

Laurie's cool and while I don't think the film needed the back story between her mother and the comedian, it was nice to see her portrayed as a main character, with her own important sub plot. Something fairly ironic considering Doctor Peter Coogan on The Major Spoilers Podcasts  pointed out that by analysing the comics, Laurie isn't a main character or important.

Ozymandias is a nice anti-villain because ultimately he is no worse than Rorsach or any of the other supers, only instead of believing in some retarded sense of justice when the fate of the world's at stake he actually has the balls to try and save it, despite the costs.

As for the ending, well obviously I went into this film knowing how it was going to end and that Ozymandia was the villain, although I like the fact that the adaptation changed the ending slightly to one that makes more sense. It's a better deconstruction of the comics universe than I think even the comic managed.
   In the DC Universe, the answer to the question 'Who watches the Watchmen?' is 'Superman' because Superman is one hero who could never go bad and even if he did Batman could probably take him eventually. (Though that bit's informed from the Dark Knight Returns, not that I've actually read that yet.)
   In the Watchmen Universe the answer to that question, thanks to Ozymandias, is 'Doctor Manhattan' because the human race has corrupted him and made him see the world like Rorsach and the Comedian so firing nukes is not a good idea because if the world's going to blow itself to pieces, Dr Manhattan will give it a warning shot first.

Regarding the whole thing about Rorsach's journal and the truth getting out, I think that it doesn't matter because the point still stands that the supers were complicit in the deaths of millions and Dr Manhattan is still out there, equally complicit. A nuclear deterrent doesn't have to be fired once people understand the consequences of its firing. The ending of Watchmen is Hiroshima, a horrible dreadful thing that shouldn't have happened but one that eventually led to people knowing where the line was and that death on such scale could only lead to mutual annihilation. For a movie all about the cold war that is an appropriate way to end it.

Also I can now safely say that Bloodheat, This Book is full of Spider's and Thud are nice deconstructions of Watchmen and are all so much better. Thud deals with the question of 'Who watches the watchmen?' for the Discworld universe. This Book Is Full Of Spiders is all about an enemy that wants to create a humanity, like that in Watchmen and neatly deconstructs the ending. Bloodheat is just Watchmen for Doctor Who, you'll have to read it to find out how but suffice to say Ozymandias has nothing on the Doctor.

I don't think I'll read the comic after watching this, I daren't think what Watchmen would be like if Alan Moore had even more time for navel gazing.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

DareDevil Review

DareDevil makes me think watching this having so recently seen the Dark Knight is a good thing. The movie seems like a very clever deconstruction. I mean The Dark Knight's central themes are how everyone's one bad day away from evil. Batman can't work as effectively since everybody knows he won't kill even the Joker, Harvey Dent goes from a pillar of justice to vengence seeker because his girlfrie
nd got killed and the Joker gloated. Those two plot strands are resolved by the Batman taking the rap for Harvey Dent, neatly turning the hero into a villain without much heartache. In DareDevil however Matt Murdock is kind of like Dexter only as he's a lawyer he just picks off the bad guys that cheat the system, that changes however when his girlfriend gets killed and the big bad does some gloating, resulting in the Kingpin going to prison and Matt Murdock being recognised as a hero. Plus this guy is like batman only he's got an actual good guy job, doesn't need tons of macguffinous tech and he's got a cool well explained superpower.

My three favourite living writers

Okay I really want to talk about Discworld (particularly the Nightwatch Books because Sam Vimes is just awesome), Rivers Of London and This Book Is Full Of Spiders but none of my friends know them. Go search them out, bask in their glory and magnificence then talk to me about it because Terry Pratchett, Ben Aaranovitch and David Wong are IMHO the best writers around at the moment. Dated: 25th of October

The Dark Knight Review

So okay it was good, not great, the depth is a little lacking and I would have preferred more humour or temporal shenanigans but that's not even me nit picking, that's me saying it wasn't my kind of film but despite being a dark gritty romancy tale of the dark messiah, it was good. I liked it and there is not a single negative thing I can think of about it, just reasons why it isn't a great film in my opinion. I suppose what I am cautiously saying through my double speak is believe the hype. Dated: 23rd of October

The Traveler, Volume 1 Review

Finally a comic I genuinely like. (well a comic that isn't the Beano or Doctor Who anyway) It's a nice time travel story featuring a hero who has time control powers and to be honest I had the entire thing spoiled for me by Major Spoilers but this is definitely worth a read, even if the ending is a bit dodge but maybe that'll be retconned. Plus the love interest is fit, which is always nice. Dated 23rd of October

V For Vendetta Review

November the Fifth is a British holiday that celebrates the day the world didn't change, V For Vendetta is the sequel that deconstructs Guy Fawkes night and turns it on its head. Wonderful, beautiful, amazing. Dated: 21st of October

X-Men First Class Review

The best superhero movie I've seen. It's got comedy, depth, character development, mythology gags, evil that's both gleefully hammy and understandably realistic, origin stories and mass manipulation masters with xanatos gambits. James McAvoy is brilliant as Professor X. Dated: 20th of October

Fantastic Four Rise Of The Silver Surfer Review

A truly brilliant film, only The Avengers films top it. The villain was unexplained but big enough to not need an explanation, the silver surfer was badass and at the end when Johnny Storm does a Peter Petrelli and absorbs the other supers powers he was like the Green Lantern or Superman but because of the build up and the way the powers originated and were explained, it makes perfect sense. I'd kind of like to see a what if story line where Johnny maintained the others powers because when the origin is explained like that it makes the superhero far more believable. It's not "I found a magic ring", "I was born on a superplanet, now destroyed" or even god forbid "I have money, motivation and am slightly insane", it's "I was in space for an experiment, got caught by a freak storm, went aroiund in a superhero gang for a bit, got genetically altered by a sufficiently advanced alien and now I'm a DC badass" Dated: 20th of October

Why Quantum Teleportation is still awesome even with the unfortunate implications

I've just realized that even with the fax method of quantum teleportation it's still a good idea because then you could just leave your laundry on the telepad, stroll over to the laundrette and if there's a space free teleport it to you. Plus can you imagine how delightfully weird it would be if you did accidentally teleport yourself? Turning up to your own funeral like a ghost, paedophiles could 
be both given a sentence of execution and a life sentence. Then there's the whole issue of whether somebody whose just stepped out of the teleporter is really an adult anymore since they have essentially just been born an adult. Of course once we've got Quantum teleportation, the technology's only going to improve so what if one day cloning technology using Quantum teleportation technology becomes a thing? Practically we could have replicators like in star trek or clone armies. Dated: 16th of October

A word on equality

It is really disquieting to me how many of my favourite shows are prejudiced against the disabled, those who aren't heterosexual, women and coloured people. (I do not know the politically correct way to say that last one, my apologies) I realize there's no great conspiracy going on and that the shows aren't deliberately placing the focus on white straight men out of any sadistic hate for what they
 might conceivably deem as lesser demographics but when so many films and tv series fail the Bechdel test, kill off or send insane the gay, lesbian and bisexual characters, treat disability as something worse than death and utterly debilitating or flat out refuse to cast non-white characters in leading rolls I am left somewhat sickened by the industry I consider to be the greatest of the mediums. Dated: 15th of October

Fantastic Four Review

3 superheroes with amazing gimmicky super powers and one protohulk. The villain was cool and I like how none of the heroes twigged that he was given powers at the same time as them but as enjoyable as it all was there was no depth to it. (And I realise that it's odd for me to be saying that but even the Green Lantern had the whole conquering fear thing) This is not as bad as a 'Meh!' because it was good, it just wasn't anything more than good. Oh and for the record I would have Mister Fantastic's powers of the bunch because I am one lazy sob so it would be handy to turn off the light without crossing the room. Dated: 15th of October

The Avengers #1 The Coming Of The Avengers Review

I am two minds about whether to love this or hate this. Practically every line is exposition and hammy if its possible for anything written down to be hammy. The Hulk is actually intelligent and not just a living bomb Bruce Banner slips into when his life is in danger, indeed Bruce never turns up at all which is a bit weird since the Hulk joins the aveng
ers without the other guy getting a look in. The way the Avengers form is rather delightfully farcical. Loki just wants to use the Hulk to lure Thor into fighting him but can only do that by stopping the hulk's friends from contacting the Fantastic Four and so Iron Man, Ant Man and the Wasp hear as well, by which time the Fantastic Four get the message anyway and go 'Kid, we're busy but turns out you don't need us because four other super heroes have decided to team up and help you'. This is so completely ridiculous. Dated: 15th of October

Red Dwarf Series X Episode 1 Review

Red Dwarf was amazing, I loved how Lister tried to bring up himself, it was I think the first time anyone has looked at the implications of becoming your own dad via timetravel. Dated: 14th of October

Batman Incorporated Review

Issue One of Batman Incorporated, surprisingly decent. Batman and catwoman fighting together, a little sexual tension and being badass. Plus Batman's not the groaning self righteous emo Christian Bale portrays him as. Dated: 13th of October

Batman Incorporated issue 2 was a bit predictable and stupid. Mr Unknown is dead. No wait, Mr Unknown is alive. Oh no, he's dead again. Nope it turns out he's actually alive and now Batman of Japan. And all through out it you have Lord Death man, a man who cannot die. It really annoys me how the immortal guys are always the villains, just imagine the good one geek could do if they knew they couldn't die, they could take up the most dangerous sports and become absolutely pro at them, become a real life batman without tons of money, just sheer skill. Dated: 14th of October

Batman Incorporated, started well if dull then got mindfuck bizarre and confusing, not the good kind either. Dated: 21st of October

Hellboy II The Golden Army Review

A distinctly 'Meh!' if good movie, not because it's bad, because it isn't but it feels like filler episode of a tv series, just another hero turns up, bad shit happens and the the hero saves the day story. Films should never be filler episodes, they need to have impact and import, the game changing episodes where everything you know gets turned upside down and this isn't one of those, this is the filler episode where the comedy sidekick gets a temporary love interest that nearly dooms everyone. Dated: 13th of October

This Book Is Full Of Spiders: Seriously Dude, Don't Touch It Review

This Book Is Full Of Spiders Dude, Seriously Don't Touch It is the sequel to David Wong's John Dies At The End and even though I am only a quarter of the way through it I can safely say that this is amazing. It's like the happening and a zombie movie mixed together but the happening is people getting eaten alive by things they can't see and the zombies are bizarre spiders that live in your head, controlling you and it's funny, I mean obviously that's not but while being a creepy weird shit invasion story it is also a sort of sitcom about deadbeat characters who are the only hope for mankind and are kind of shit at it as you or I would be. Dated: 11th of October

David Wong, god damn David Wong, that is one genius of a writer. This Book Is Full Of Spiders Dude, Seriously Don't Touch It is not something I think I can adequately describe, it's like what I imagine Watchmen is, based on how comic book readers talk about it, with hushed tones of reverence and slightly annoying exuberant enthusiasm. Although I don't know if I can really compare it to Watchmen ye
t because I half think Watchmen is a steaming pile of fan wanky crap, just like how I can't really compare David Wong to Shakespeare because despite how much virtually every literature expert worth their salt considers him a genius I find his plays dull and pointless. David Wong is deep and meaningful, posing questions on the nature of human existence and why we're all such jerkasses to each other (with cracked articles online showing the research behind all this navel gazing) but it's also unafraid to play in the shallows with jokes about popular culture and the zombie horror genre, the characters are real people with darkness in their pasts but it never seems angsty or preachy because they are so thoroughly likable. And I've still qot the final quarter of the book left to read. Dated: 12th of October

I have now finished reading This Book Is Full Of Spiders Dude, Seriously Don't Touch It and this ending is perfect, absolutely perfect. From now on Watchmen is not a valid argument because This Book trumps it, like literally it no shit flat
 explains why Watchmen has a shitty ending and does it right. More seriously This Book is better than all of Douglas Adams work put together and absolutely wipes the floor with every single Discworld novel. Just go buy it right now and read it. Dated: 12th of October

Batman: Year One Review

Imagine if Batman Begins had Robert Pattinson in the lead role and instead of Ra's Al Guul and the Scarecrow or the bat mobile we got cat woman and a stolen bicycle. This makes batman someone I'd like to punch, the story boring and the villains decidedly two dimensional. The only thing that this gets even vaguely right is the explanation for how batman can summon a load of bats but even that is handled poorly. Dated: 11th of October

Hellboy Review

 Like a cross between Constantine, Captain Americ and The Hulk only better. Dated: 9th of October 

Constantine Review

Fantastic cinematography, interesting use of mythology, a nice character arch and Keanu Reeves actually didn't suck, sure I could see it played better by an older actor but he did all right. The story plays out like a more serious John Dies @ The End in terms of style and concept but unfortunately lacks the punch of the aforesaid book, both in terms of humour and substance though the consistency of the story telling carries weight. I am frankly amazed DC put out anything this good considering the films I've seen so far. Dated: 8th of October

Vertigo Review

 A complete mindfuck of a film. Dated: 8th of October

My thoughts on The Big Bang Theory tv show

To all concerned I do not like The Big Bang Theory. I loathe it. That show has caused so many jibes in recent times but that's okay because it's only a comedy show. No. No it is not okay because it is a comedy show that derives humour from jokes at nerd's expense. You know what that's more usually called? Bullying. Yes, it isn't out of the same intention but it is basically the same thing to the same target so don't make jokes about it around me, especially not to me. Dated: 8th of October

The Green Lantern Review

The Green Lantern is bizarrely the best dc film I've seen so far because yeah the origin story reads macguffin all over and the villain is profoundly shit but it actually has a better sense of logic about it than Batman or Superman and of the three (Hal Jordon, Batman and Superman) I prefer Hal Jordan. He's not as moody or fucked up as Batman nor as irritatingly faultless as Superman. Plus the whole green will power being able to do anything thing isn't that far away from the green nothingness of the Farsh-nuke series so yeah here's hoping they make a sequel or something. Dated: 7th of October

Merlin series 5 episode 1 Arthur's Bane Part 1 Review

Merlin, bloody good stuff but man that alien thing was creepy. Dated: 7th of October

Judge Dredd - Day Of Chaos - Eve Of Destruction Part 10 Review

Now this is more like it. It's clearly the middle part of the story but there's a little bit of plot, a little bit of spectacle and a little bit of character development, the art style is really nice, the writing is spot on and because the Dredd series is ostensibly a future police series you can drop right in and know what's happening. Plus, weird zombie outbreak with hints of cloning. Cool. Considering the whole magazine is £2.35 and there's still 4 comics left to go I'd say this was a wise investment but I'll know more once I read the rest. Dated: 7th of October

Super Dinosaur #9 Review

Super Dinosaur number 9 by Image Comics, only 3$ it's a nice comic with cool action sequences and signs of a cool ongoing plot despite being a middle episode, makes me want to catch up on the series and may I reiterate it's about a super dinosaur, that is just awesome. There's a squid dude, dinosaur dudes and shark dudes not to mention human dudes and an amazing level of technology. The writing isn't the best but it's fun and badass. Dated: 6th of October

Superman Returns Review

Superman Returns: Some nice badass moments and Lex Luthor was fun and cool but Superman was so dull, irritating and annoying, not to mention a complete pushover once he's kryptonited up. I mean seriously this guy has one overly exploited weakness and he never thinks to maybe develop a resistance to it or at least train himself up to be a badass normal in the event of his one weakness being exploited? Dated 6th of October

Batman Begins Review

Batman Begins: Like a shitty tennant story there are plot holes aplenty, boring character development and and silly concepts but when the main guy starts saving lives and kicking the bad guy's arse you kind of enjoy it. Not awful but not good either. Dated: 4th of October

Batman Night Of The Owls Review

Batman Night of the Owls is not even an episode, just a brief excerpt and yeah I was sa bit confused but it was allright. Dated: 4th of October

A chilling thought

I have just had a terrifying thought, I think I might like to see a Doctor Who reboot. Ideally running parallel to the main series because well fuck with the main series of Doctor Who and the whovians will hunt you down but it might be nice to reset things so we can see the Doctor's origins and sort out the kinks of continuity. Dated: 4th of October

Writer's Block and Motivation

Writer's Block is a big deal for writers. It is very important to note that early on because while some of what I say may sound flippant I am very much aware of how much of a problem writer's block is. 

What is writer's block? Writer's block generally comes in two forms. The first form comes when you are trying to write but nothing comes to mind, like you stare at the blank page and suddenly every idea you've ever had just vanishes. The second form is when you have no shortage of ideas but can't decide which one of the many should go on the page.

I do not get writer's block, strictly speaking anyway. It certainly isn't a problem for me as it is for others I know but I will get onto that later. When I get writer's block, it is generally both in quick succession after booting up the computer and loading celtx, open office or focus writer. The type 1 dissipates when I turn on some music and type 2 is resolved by knowing in advance what I am going to write, once in the flow of things the writer's block ceases to be an issue.

There is a difference between the way I write and the way writers with writer's block tend to write. Most writers who experience writer's block tend to be driven and well motivated people. These are people who can go to the gym or give up stuff because they have an abundance of will power or are just very experienced at working to a schedule. These are organized and collected individuals. I envy them greatly because I am not. I am that peculier kind of nerd who is interested in everything but only really has time to play minecraft, watch lets plays and listen to podcasts. I am an apathetic individual who does things on whims and vague feelings of appropriateness, writing is pretty much the only productive thing I do and that's arguable.

I think that certainly I can learn a lot of things from motivated people and that maybe those struggling with writer's block can learn something from me. When I write it is after a drastic amount of procrastination. Only the procrastination isn't really procrastination since for me writing is a reactionary process. I watch something awesome like Doctor Who and my imagination just fizzes with ideas. Scenes and images start playing out in my head and what I'm seeing is so awesome I feel the urge to get it down so other people can experience it. In its raw form that is just fanfic and utterly unpublishable but there's still potential locked up in that, potential that when left to simmer in the back of my mind during procrastion starts to build the framework of a plot. Once I have the framework I can write without succumbing to writer's block, just as having a shopping list can stop you buying loads of crap at Asda. That's not to say though that that's easy or that's always how I write. If I want to write something well, I'll often stop after I've run out of framework or realised there's a bit missing. If quality isn't so much of a factor, such as in NaNoWriMo the framework construction process will still go on but it will be less of a train track and more of a road map. There to guide the plot but not overly necessary to get to the destination.

My advice then to combat writer's block is get a framework and know where your plot's heading but not be afraid to take a back road if the way ahead is obstrucrted or still under construction. Dated: 4th of October

Why I will not be reviewing Doctor Who

The moment someone tries to criticize Doctor Who for its logical flaws: :facepalm: This is a fifty year old show that has spawned so many spin off books magazines comics and podcasts. You cannot stop it, only force it underground to be controlled by the fans. It is illogical and stupid. The continuity makes no sense and it always gets something wrong. That doesn't matter though because this is a s
how held together by badass and good intentions. Yes there's plot holes and shitty special effects, Atlantis has been destroyed three times and Skaro is heading the same way but each Doctor gets a moment to say something great about the human race and give a great badass boast to the monster of the week. You cannot nitpick that into oblivion because the Doctor always wins Dated: 4th of October

Marvel Avengers Assemble Review

How do I feel about The Avengers? Well it's nice not to be dissappointed. Dated: 2nd of October

The Avengers has made the hulk awesome, Mark Ruffalo helped Dated: 3rd of October

My thoughts on the great Marvel/DC debate

I would just like to say that I think Marvel and and DC are not like most geek rivalries: Dandy/Beano, Xbox/Playstation, Apple/Microsoft. There is a difference. DC are superheroes. 
Marvel are badasses. DC have Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Flash and the Green Lantern. Marvel have Thor, Captain America, Iron man, The Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Nick Fury. 

The DC superheroes each ha
ve a central concept, you have the super powered alien, the vigilante crime fighter, the under sea king, the amazonian warrior woman, the guy who runs really fast and the guy with a superpowered psychic ring.

Marvel's character's are less superpowered powered. Captain America's the super soldier propaganda styled hero who lacks any overt superpower. Ironman's the genius with a suit that lets him fly and fight. The Hulk is a scientist with a formidable split personality. Hawkeye is really good with a bow and arrow. Black Widow is a former soviet spy working for SHIELD and Nick Fury a spy working for SHIELD, oh and Thor's the norse god of thunder.

That's three badass normals, a guy with a suit, a hulk, a god and a badass superhero with no actual superpowers beyond olympian fitness and mild regeneration compared to five themed superheroes and a badass normal with enough tech to make him a themed superhero.

I think on the basis of this that I am strongly a Marvel guy because Badass Normals or close to are always so much more interesting IMHO. Dated: 2nd of October

Captain America: The First Avenger Review

Captain America, the most Meta of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I loved Howard Stark and prefer Domic Cooper's performance to Robert Downey Junior. This surprised me the most and the death of Bucky Barnes really shocked me but this is by far the most ludicrous movie in the MCU because of the Captain's miracle super soldier juice. It really seems to me that they'd have done far better if they just gave Steve Rogers a work out montage and left out the super soldier serum crap because it really isn't needed. What makes him super is his heroic personality, the serum just acts as an effective get fit quick solution. Dated: 1st of October

North by Northwest Review

North by Northwest, surely every James Bond fans secret dream, getting whisked off into a world of espionage and femme fatales. I could easily see this adapted into a Doctor Who episode. A truly enjoyable film. So this is why people like Hitchcock. Dated: 1st of October

Thor Review

Thor. I must admit I went into this expecting great things, I loved Thor's portrayal in the Douglas Adams books and the typical messiah metaphors associated with superheroes are so much more justified when you're dealing with actual gods. It did not disappoint. The absolute highlight of the boxset so far. Loki is also incidentally as has been said many times before a magnificent bad guy. I cannot wait to read up on the tropes of this as well since analyzing fictions featuring mythology is something I am rather good at. Dated: 30th September

The Angels Take Manhattan Review

The Angels Take Manhattan was magnificent! Sheer Beauty and Subversion. Moffat you magnificent bastard you have simultaneously killed off and given happy endings to the best companions ever. I salute you sir! Dated: 29th September.

Iron Man 2 Review

Iron Man 2. It's a fairly common plot. The great heroic badass finds out he's gonna die and goes off the rails as he prepares for the end. Steven Moffat has given us this trope twice recently with Doctor Who and Sherlock, even Harry Potter did it and well all of them did it better than Iron Man 2 with Sherlock being the best by far. No method of avoiding the coming death has been as contrived as Tony Stark inventing a new element with little to no explanation. Sure Harry Potter and Doctor Who had magic wands and Applied Phlebotinum but at least they didn't claim to create a new element using a hologram and a mini hadron collider if that's what that even was. That said the breakdown of Tony Stark was interesting to see and far more badass than anything else on the list. Dated: 29th September

The Incredible Hulk Review

The Incredible Hulk is a good movie with lots of badass moments but is less a superhero movie than it is a monster movie. Dated: 28th September.

Iron Man review

Ironman is awesome. He's an anti-authoritarian capitalistic James Bond. Great start to the Avengers boxset. Dated: 28th September


Okay so Peer Pressure has finally worked, well that and three awesome superhero films. I now own Batman Year One deluxe edition. Batman the new 52 Night of The Owls combo-pack and Doctor Who The Dalek Project featuring my second favourite Doctor. Dated 28th September


Spiderman, the perfect antidote to Chronicle. Dated 26th September


I watched Chronicle, every bit as good as everyone said and that is a very big deal coming from me. Is it wrong that I identified most with Andrew? Dated: 26th September

Local Hero

A film with more plot than Withnail and I but lacks its charm, comedy and building sensation of things happenning. Local Hero is distinctly bland with barely any conflict. Dated: 25th September
I have not seen nearly enough films. Dated 24th September