Tag Archives: Watchmen

Hello… Goodbye…

Right! I’m back. I’ve been writing, watching stuff, reading stuff, entertaining visitors and wondering why the very expensive moisturiser I just put on my face has turned it blue, but now I’m here and ready to write!

So, I saw Watchmen. At bloody last. I’ve only been waiting since I was 16, so it was a fairly exciting moment, although I still have a sneaky suspicion the forthcoming Star Trek movie will be more of a revelation (I’ve been a fan of Bruce Greenwood since he appeared in this long-forgotten TV series in 1984, so the fact that he’s playing Captain Christopher Pike is pretty momentous if you ask me). (Gratuitous Pike photo below!)

pike

Back to Zack Snyder’s new baby: I’m happy to say that Watchmen was really good – not perfect, by any means, but I think any issues I had with it will be smoothed out by the extra footage on the DVD release. Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach was the best thing about it (seriously, the guy IS Rorschach – it’s creepy at times), closely followed by Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s take on the Comedian, who is an absolute bastard (as he should be). Poor wig aside, I was very surprised by Matthew Goode as Ozymandias: surely the dullest character in the novel, and given quite short shrift in the movie, but he was strangely compelling. Plus you have to love any film where at one point there are three giant blue penises on screen but you’re still following the plot. Bravo!

They also changed the ending, and I preferred it. That probably entitles me to get lynched by rabid Alan Moore fans, but I don’t care.

I might have loved Watchmen but I’m no longer in love with Heroes. I sat down to watch the latest episode last night and realised halfway through that I had no idea what was going on because I was staring out of my lounge window instead. Okay, so, dull episode. Except that that happened last week, and the week before, and the week before that…

I think Heroes and I are finally calling it quits, and it KILLS me to give up on a show, but when watching it is a chore you have to cut your losses. At least Lost is still going strong in that crazy, time-travelling universe it’s built for itself (you know, the one you can’t follow if you so much as miss one episode), and Medium, Chuck, House, CSI, Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica, Leverage and all the other shows I watch are still keeping me entertained.

I would write something here about Dollhouse, but SFX blogger Narin Bahar did the job for me here – it’s like she read my mind. I’m giving the show a few more episodes because I REFUSE TO GIVE UP ON IT, DAMMIT, but I keep finding myself staring out of my lounge window like I did with Heroes. There are squirrels out there who have far more personality than Eliza Dushku’s Echo, even though she has a different personality every week. And that’s bloody worrying…

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Linkage Pimpage

This isn’t something I normally do, but I thought I’d shamelessly pimp a few things I’ve done recently…

First up is my reaction to yesterday’s preview of Watchmen on the SFX website. Zack Snyder and Dave Gibbons did a little Q&A, there were cupcakes with bloody smiley faces on them (I’m still sulking that I couldn’t sneak a few out to eat at my leisure/flog on eBay, but they were too squishy for my bag) and we saw nearly half an hour of footage.

My excitement levels for this movie have now reached critical mass: the moment I saw Apollonia Vanova’s Silhouette recreate this famous World War Two photograph in the opening credits…

famous-kiss

…only with a woman, and in beautiful, visceral slow-motion, I knew this was going to be something special. I have the same butterfly-filled, nervous feeling in my tummy about Watchmen that I had about the first Lord of the Rings movie in the months leading up to its release; that this is going to be big and mysterious and beautiful and cinema might never be the same. I might be projecting my love of the novel onto the movie, but from what I saw yesterday I have a feeling I won’t  be disappointed. (Also? Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian. See previous post.)

Next up is this interview with Neil Gaiman, again for SFX, about The Graveyard Book. In case the release has passed you by, the book’s about a boy who grows up in a graveyard (think The Jungle Book, but with ghosts raising Mowgli) and it’s utterly, utterly wonderful. The only thing that annoys me about it is that Neil waited until now to publish it – why couldn’t he have written for me as a child? *sulks*

And finally, here’s this simple piece for the MSN website. Don’t be fooled by my kind words about True Blood, because I really don’t like the show – however, a lot of people I know seem to, and it’s been renewed for a second season, so I suppose I should give it a chance…

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Watching The Watchmen A Little Too Intently For It To Be Healthy…

I was going to write a nice long blog entry tonight. It’s about time, really, as I’ve been a bit rubbish of late.

Then I made the mistake of checking out the new posters for Watchmen. I took one look at this image of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian and I’m afraid my critical faculties have just gone for a burton.

jdm-watchmen-poster

I burnt my dinner while I was staring at it, too. Darn.

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Lots Of Little Delights (And A Few Big Ones)

It’s summer in London, it’s too damn HOT and I’m miserable… but life is still good.

For starters, I’m working on DVD & Blu-ray Review for the next month and their offices are air-conditioned, unlike my sweltering flat. Plus there’s always somebody to go to lunch with; indeed, there seems to be a never-ending stream of staff members or fellow freelancers to chat with over coffee.

I’m also lucky enough to work on the same floor as my pal Vanessa, and on the floor above my other pal-in-crime Gillen, and it’s so nice going into work each morning knowing you can mess about with your mates when you get a few minutes of downtime. (Particularly if one of them has just come back from the San Diego Comic-Con with lots of interesting tales. Hmm. I may have to go myself next year…)

I’ve been getting lots of work too – which I’m very thankful for – and will be sub-editing on both DVD & Blu-ray Review and The Times until the last day of September. (Good news for my bank loan repayments!) Of course, being me, I’ve also booked a two-day trip to Venice for my birthday on 1 October. (Bad news for my bank loan repayments…) It’ll be worth it, though; sitting with a cup of coffee in St Mark’s Square on the day I turn 37 seems like a good trade-off for all the hard work I’ve been doing.

And hell, I’ll be 37. I’ll need something to cheer me up.

There are other little ways in which life is good, too:

1. The steaming hot hell of a London Underground train being offset by the cool breeze blasting through the door at the end of the carriage, particularly if you know exactly where to stand to get the full effect (which you tend to learn after four years of commuting).

2. The comedic joy of hearing Missy Elliott’s bolshy and disturbing ‘Get Ur Freak On’ on your iPod being followed by ‘Knights Of The Round Table’ from Monty Python And The Holy Grail. Sometimes iPod Shuffle has a terrific sense of humour.

3. The fact that the song used in the Watchmen trailer, the Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning’, has apparently moved into the top 40 songs being downloaded from iTunes (and, yes, I contributed to its rise through the charts).

4. The sight of grown men wearing t-shirts featuring stormtroopers, AT-ATs or Muppets, or slogans such as “I’m what Willis was talkin’ about”, and nobody looking at them twice. How wonderful it is to live in a society in which popular culture is so… well, popular. Imagine someone in the 1940s wearing a t-shirt with a cartoon character on it! Bet you can’t…

5. While I’m working at Future Publishing I’m using a freelance desk next to a lovely girl named Louise, who is possibly the nicest person I’ve ever met. Yesterday I looked up and she was holding something over the partition separating our desks – a little WALL-E figure with a sign she’d made saying, “Hello!” It was so unexpected and so funny that I’ve now made it my mission to bring in a toy every day and do the same back to her. Today she looked up and I was waving a mouse at her wearing a sign that said, “Boo!” There was much giggling.

6. Um, yeah. I’ll be 37 in October. I’m acting my age.

7. Which explains why I had a huge and serious conversation last week on the topic of which Sesame Street character would destroy New York if it had the chance. The answer?

Don’t say you never learn anything on this blog. Bet you thought it would be Oscar the Grouch, huh?

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It’s Good To Be A Geek…

This week has been the best week to be a geek since God invented Geekdom.

First off there was the new trailer for Watchmen, which is so amazing that I can’t even watch it a second time in case my head explodes with glee. I would post the link here but WordPress seems to have lost the ability to let me paste one on this page (and there was me thinking that WordPress would be more reliable than Blogger…), so if you want to see it, cut and paste this into your browser: http://www.watchmenmovie.co.uk/intl/uk/.

It looks so perfect I could cry: The Comedian and Rorschach are incredible, Dr Manhattan is spot-on and oh, how beautiful is that palace on Mars? It’s going to be a long, long wait until March…

Then, on a different note (or two), there was Joss Whedon’s wonderful Dr Horrible’s Singalong Blog, which unfortunately has been and gone (unless you’re in the USA and you can download it from iTunes, which we can’t seem to do from little old Blighty). Starring Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day and Nathan Fillion, it was a daft superhero musical which made me howl with laughter several times (particularly at the words “Balls”, “Penis” and “Poo”, which says a lot about my psyche, I fear). If you missed it and you can figure out how to download it legally (because if you download it illegally Joss Whedon loses money, so please don’t do that or he’ll hate you forever), watch it. It’s great!

Next came the first character poster for the new Star Trek movie:

I don’t know what you think, but I’m loving Zachary Quinto’s Spock, though I’m sad that Kirk isn’t wearing his yellow shirt (nice that they coloured them all in the correct colours, though). This and Watchmen are my two most looked-forward to films of 2009; I’ll be having palpitations in the cinema come March with Watchmen and who knows if I’ll survive until May for Star Trek? I’ll be a wreck. Mark my words.

And finally in my rota of geek delights… The Dark Knight.

I’m not sure that ‘love’ is a strong enough word to describe what I thought of it. I adored every minute – and there are a lot of them, as it’s very long – and felt it tried its damnedest to be a mainstream movie; kind of like a crime thriller which just so happens to have superheroes in it. Although they’re not really superheroes, to be honest – just f**ked up men having a f**ked up time.

Bale was great, allowing his supporting cast to steal the film away from him while his gadgets did all the work. Heath Ledger is as good as everybody says he is, although if the poor chap hadn’t died nobody would be even mentioning the ‘O’ word because, as we all know, the Academy don’t give a damn about performances in fantasy movies. There was a glimmer of hope a few years ago when Johnny Depp was nominated for Jack Sparrow, but I fear that’s all we’re getting for this century. Which is a shame because Ledger is very, VERY good. Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent is every inch as good, too; his is a genuinely heartbreaking character arc that took me totally by surprise.

Best of all, The Dark Knight makes Gotham City a real, living, breathing city, far more than Christopher Nolan managed in Batman Begins, in which Gotham was always shrouded in night. This Gotham is all skyscrapers gleaming in the sunlight and car-strewn highways. Hell, it’s CHICAGO! (Aside: in Batman Begins they even mention County General Hospital, which any fan of ER will recognise instantly as Chicago’s most interesting medical centre.) It’s so refreshing to have a superhero movie take place in a city that isn’t set among a New York or Los Angeles skyline, and the fact that Batman actually goes to Hong Kong in this really expands the film’s believability.

It’s amazing. It flabbered my gast. Go see it as soon as you can.

Dear lord, it’s good to be a geek this week.

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Pops Head Round Door, Waves, Then Runs Away Again…

Why hello y’all! Yes, I’m still here, just swamped. I have features to write and reviews to churn out and all sorts of other bits and pieces to do (including the much-postponed ‘putting my bedroom back together after the decorators left’ business) and thus my blog has been neglected. But I’m off for the next two weeks and, once I get a handle on all the work, I shall be back to bore you entertain you as if I never left!

Tomorrow I’m taking a day off to visit the ‘Psycho Buildings’ exhibit at the Hayward Gallery on the South Bank, and then I’m going to rewatch Batman Begins in preparation for seeing The Dark Knight on Friday. I’m also dying to see WALL-E (though I know I’ll cry because he’ll be sooooo damn cute I’ll want to take him home with me) and I am re-reading Watchmen for the THIRD time while I wait for the movie to come out next March (why is it taking so long, dammit?).

However, the fact that I spent Thursday night chatting to artist Dave Gibbons helps make the wait more bearable. What a nice chap. And thankfully, I resisted the urge to throw my arms around him and tell him how his yellow smiley face is, like, the best thing ever.

Phew.

But isn’t it just, like, the best thing ever?

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Day 27: The Attenborough Years

In answer to a couple of comments on my last entry…

Yes, I saw the Jonathan Ross documentary on Steve Ditko and I loved it, especially the sight of Jonathan and Neil Gaiman giggling like schoolkids outside Ditko’s office at the end. Hilarious! They’re both so famous themselves and, especially in Neil’s case, have a huge following, and seeing them reduced to fanboy squealing (“He gave us comics!”) was a joy. What a great programme.

And I’m still reeling from the thought of Jeffrey Dean Morgan possibly wearing a leather codpiece in Watchmen. It’s been months and I am, as yet, unable to believe it’ll really happen. If they change his costume I’m going to be seriously miffed…

Meanwhile, I’m still stuck in the house, currently cat-less (though I’m sure it won’t be long now) and inundated with work. Today I wrote 2,000 words and have another 3,000 to write by Monday. It’s marvellous to be busy, because not only am I (just about!) making up for not being able to get into an office to work, but I’m able to take my mind off being housebound. That said, I keep gazing wistfully out of my window at the planes heading to and from Heathrow Airport, and if I’m lucky enough to get fixed by Christmas – which isn’t looking likely, but who knows – I’m bloody spending it in New York. I’ve never been and oh my god wouldn’t it be the best way to celebrate my new freedom?

In fact, I’m going to go to Times Square and yell “Hello New York!” like Hiro in Heroes.

Yup. It’s a date. Watch this space…

I also treated myself to the ENTIRE David Attenborough back catalogue on DVD, although I probably shouldn’t have, but the call of the wild was too strong. Now I have every major show he’s ever done, from Life On Earth to Planet Earth, and I’m expecting to know a rather impressive amount of random crap about animals very soon. Once I’ve watched them all, you can ask me anything. Go on! I’ll know the answer! I’ve already watched the first episode of Life On Earth and I now know that there are no fossils at the bottom of the Grand Canyon (where the rocks are two thousand million years old) but there are on the shores of Lake Superior, where the rocks are the same age but are flinty, not sandstoney, and therefore hold the fossils better – and that the fossils in question are responsible for providing our planet with oxygen.

Ta-daaaaa!

Wonder what I’ll learn in episode two?

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