Saturday, January 05, 2008

My Week In Media

Thanks to that gutter-press layabout Craig McGill, I've just been tagged with this My Week In Media meme that's apparently doing the rounds.

(And don't you just hate people who use words like "meme" and "trope"? It's like the phrase "tour de force" - nobody says that shit in real life except on the back of a book blurb. Tossers!).

Anyway, since I'm never too busy with work to waste a morning on pointless displacement activity, I'm all over it like atopic dermatitis.

DVDs

Been working my way through the stack I got for Christmas, including:

THE BOURNE TRILOGY: I've always said action movies don't have to treat the audience like fucking idiots, and the success of the Bourne movies proves it. Rock solid entertainment. I wish they'd kept in more of ULTIMATUM's missing scenes showing the backstabbing backroom politics at Langley, though.

28 WEEKS LATER: Even better than the original. In most horror movies, things go wrong because the characters act like idiots. In this movie, everything goes wrong because the characters try to do the decent, human thing. That is some bleak shit. You really, really want these people to live. Doyle is a stand-up guy.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END: An incoherent mess. Just fucking awful. Seriously, what were they even thinking? They could have cured cancer with the amount of money this must have cost, but it didn't occur to them to come up with an actual story first?

BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT: A smart new cut in a crystal-clear print, correcting (most of) the myriad annoying little continuity glitches which always made me suspect that Ridley Scott cared far more about "creating a world" (i.e "making pretty pictures") than actually telling a story. Seriously, he designs every magazine on sale in the street vendors' stalls, but he can't find a matching wig for Joanna Cassidy's stunt double or keep track of how many replicants are supposed to be in his story? Priorities, dude. Still, a bloody great film all round, now even better.

DANGEROUS DAYS: MAKING BLADE RUNNER: Simply one of the best documentaries I have ever seen. It weighs in at a staggering three and a half hours, yet every moment is pure gold dust for a BLADE RUNNER nerd like me. You get the very clear impression that Harrison Ford would have dearly loved to punch Ridley Scott's lights out. Funniest moment: Roy Batty's death scene. Rutger Hauer releases the white dove... which is so rain-soaked it's too heavy to fly, so it just sort of waddles off sadly. Poetry.

BOOKS

THE RELIGION by Tim Willocks: a ballsy, bloody, rollicking historical adventure novel about a worldly mercenary hired to snatch a bastard child from the jaws of the invading Turks during the Siege of Malta in 1565. Brutal, philosophical and compelling.

THE FBI: A COMPREHENSIVE REFERENCE GUIDE: Dipping into this one for reference for an OGN I'm writing.

COMICS

BUFFY SEASON EIGHT # 10: Picked it up yesterday from First Age Comics in Lancaster; haven't read it yet.

TV

30 ROCK skipped a week, so it's pretty much just been BBC News, Al Jazeera English and kid's stuff for me. Although I did introduce my four-year old daughter to the joys of BEN 10. Gotta love that Jack-Kirby-by-way-of-Mike-Mignola-by-way-of-Dave-Johnson production design.

CINEMA

I wish! Having two pre-school kids makes it hard to get out of an evening, although I'd probably give I AM LEGEND a go if there's nothing else on. Very much looking forward to NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN though, kids be damned.

ONLINE

Usual morning trawl through my Safari toolbar faves: BBC News, Reuters, AICN, Slashfilm, Engadget, Variety, plus RSS feeds from Alex Epstein, Stephen Gallagher, John August and John Rogers, and the occasional dip into the Straight To Hell HELLBLAZER message board and the V forum to see what's going on in the comics world, although I do miss their old giant comics thread.

No wonder I never seem to get any work done.

Right, I'm now going to tag Antony Johnston, Alex Epstein, Brian K. Vaughan and Jason Aaron with this thing. Let's see if they bite.