Sunday, 29 March 2009

End In Dreams

Anyone up for a robot apocalypse?

The past couple of nights I have had some strange and vivid dreams. I can't go into too much detail but they involved Universal Studios, sheep, mysterious test labs and a playful puppy. I don't know what it is. When I came in after my work meal / drinks on Friday I was apparently babbling about some sort of judgement. If some sort of time travelling prophet of the apocalypse came to warn me about a catastrophic day of judgement that only my actions could prevent then I am truly sorry. Actually I guess if that was the case then I owe everyone some sort of apology. But then again if we're all about to die a fiery death then there won't really be anyone around to blame me. I guess it all works out in the end.



Tuesday, 24 March 2009

States of Jersey Zombie Chipmunk Ryan Reynolds Mystery

The front page of yesterday's J.E.P carried a story about some crazy ass murder nurse investigation that never happened way back when. I won't make any comment on this. Frankly I don't have a clue and I was too distracted by the stunning conclusion of A Double Shot of Love (see yesterday's blog) to pay full attention to much else. What I did notice about the story was its source. Information taken from a senator's blog.

My question to the JEP is why haven't you called me? I have a blog too and a far more entertaining one at that (Go here and compare if you like). Syvret hasn't got an ounce of Steveitude. Why are you going to him for news? I've got film reviews, mystery stories and SAM TANNAHILL. He hasn't even mentioned Ryan Reynolds. Yes some of my stuff isn't so Jersey specific but I'm probably a more respected politician than he is. I could do Jersey stuff. How about this?

The states of Jersey have zombie chipmunks. I saw one. He smiled and then waved at me.

Yes I made it up but it probably has more truth to it than much of the stuff Syvret has made claims about.

Basically by revealing all these important facts in a blog rather than in the states of Jersey Syvret comes across as one of the Internet crackpot conspiracy theorists that I so adore. Plus he does it in a totally boring way. In the words of The Pussycat Dolls,



Monday, 23 March 2009

Make Mine A Double

For the past god knows how many weeks I haven't had much time or emotion to give out. I have been cold and withholding and I am sorry. It's just that I've had to save my love. Save everything I have for sunday nights. Save it all for the Ikki Twins. For MTV's A Double Shot of Love.

Double Shot is one of the type of crass reality TV shows that MTV is famous for TAKEN TO THE EXTREME! 12 hot lesbians and 12 buff guys competing for the love of a pair of bisexual twins. I of course use the words 'hot' and 'buff' in the loosest of terms, it was actually very slim pickings for the sexy (and kind of skanky) twins. Each week there were crazy challenges to win dates with the twins (Of course being able to stand in the sun on one leg covered in a sticky liquid and licking icing off a statue are really sensible way to find your true love) and at the end of the show they would eliminate those who had failed to prove worthy of their love. There was fighting and back stabbing and plenty of people who seemed to just want to be on TV no matter how much humiliation they would have to endure to do so. There was even a guy who decided that he would try and nail one of the lesbians instead of the twins. Last night it all came to an end in a STUNNING finale. I won't ruin it for you but it certainly made for a satisfying two and a half hours (Yes, really) of television.

It's easy to be cynical about these sort of things. I have to admit at times even I was doubtful of the worthiness of the experiment. But being bitter and cynical is the easy choice and if Love Actually taught us anything it's that love is a crazy ass motherfucking thing. Maybe a series of increasingly confusing and wacky challenges intercut with a whole lot of making out is the way to find the 'one'? Maybe this show presents everyone's struggle to find love just in a compressed microcosm? Maybe the people the twins found on this show are the ones they're going to spend the rest of their lives with? I'd sure like to think so.

Be good to each other.



Sunday, 8 March 2009

Who Reviews The Watchmen?

I've had a couple of days to process, I've listened to some Dylan, I think I'm finally ready to articulate my feelings about Watchmen.

So without further adieu *SPOILER ALERT*

As a film it requires you as an audience member to think. I have seen very few films that either require or entice this level of engagement. Adrian Veidt and his television screens I think are central to readings of both the film and the text. He talks about watching the unconnected images on the screens and finding a truth behind them. Both the book and the film function in this manner. Chronologically they are all over the place. The audience rather than the author sort events into a story they can comprehend. The audience plays an even greater role as a sort of moral judge. The origins of Watchmen comes from the black and white world of early super-hero comics, a universe flipped on its head by Moore to create a world with nothing but grey areas. It is interesting to note that Moore initially wanted to write the novel using the pre-existing stable of Charlton characters which include current DC mainstays The Question (Rorschach), Blue Beetle (Nite-Owl) and Captain Atom (Dr Manhattan). This suggests that maybe the characters themselves weren't as important as the conflicting philosophies that the story would play out. Unlike pretty much every other super-hero film to date there is no central character or viewpoint. Any sort of morality is once again imposed by the viewer.

This idea of constructing single meaning from a diverse number of sources is even more prevalent for those who have read the graphic novel. I found myself not only considering the film's narrative but comparing it with the narrative of its source material. In this case reading the source material gives a further layer of meaning forcing the viewer to consider what Snyder is implying by choosing to leave certain signs and signifiers on the cutting room floor. Yes, there has to be changes to serve the medium and keep the film at a watchable length but there's other more interesting choices made along the way. Thankfully the film isn't as loyal to its source as Snyder's 300. It is an all the more interesting piece for taking departures from the original narrative.

Of course I have some gripes. I think every comic afficianado (read Geek) will. The loss of so much of the 'original Minutemen' source material diminishes the detective conspiracy aspect of the plot somewhat. However, I also feel this opens up the story by not having Rorschach as such a dominating presence. There is also the reworked ending which I have to say I feel was pretty well done and was probably a necessity (Though I will miss The Island of Dr Moreau-esque goings on). At the same time though it has to be said that it swings dangerously close to the ending of The Dark Knight in its debate on the role of hero and villain though in many ways it answers the question posed by Nolan and his cohorts. I was sad to see The Black Freighter and the news stand interaction go but at the same time this is probably the part that is most tied into the comic form. I look forward to seeing what Snyder does with it on the promised DVD.

What I haven't mentioned is some of the successful changes made in the move to film. The way the costumes parody those that have come before is quite ingenious. You might not notice it on first watch but Ozymandias' nipple suit is very similar to Clooney's Batman nipple suit in the much maligned Batman & Robin. The movie Silk Spectre costume is even more sexually exploitative than that of the comic and again recalls visions of the (terrible) movie versions of Catwoman and Elektra. There is also the opening sequence where Snyder presents images made up of large chunks of the graphic novels back story to the soundtrack of 'The Times They Are-A Changin'. The sheer amount of information communicated through music and image sans dialogue is astonishing.

Some of the promotion of Watchmen is misleading suggesting it is just another generic super-hero film. Heed this warning, if that's what you expect and, worse, what you desire than you will be disappointed. Snyder's work in expanding the action sequences is admirable but still these are the least exciting parts of the narrative. It is the character's interactions that matter and by keeping these integral to the film is how Snyder's adaptation ultimately succeeds. It doesn't matter how beautifully you film the thing it has to have the same heart and this certainly does. It's big, it's epic and it's different to anything you will have seen before. Go and watch it.

That's that. I won't mention the blue swinging penis but it's totally there if that's your thing... Tannahill. Also maybe it isn't the best idea to go and see this thing if you're a bit tipsy heading toward drunk town. It was all a little too much for Ben and Adam.



Thursday, 5 March 2009

You're trapped in here with me

I am really very excited about going to see Watchmen tomorrow. If you want to know why you should be excited check out my article in this month's issue of Gallery. For free in all good places or available online here. Pages 55 and 56. I'm also delighted that I managed to get the phrase 'munching the proverbial rug' into the article. If you fancy exploring the rest of the issue there's plenty of stuff about getting married in Jersey. Do I hear wedding bells? I hope so, otherwise that ringing sound is a bit confusing.

The pic is from the episode of The Simpsons Alan Moore guest starred in. Though Alan might not be into it I would totally read / watch Watchmen Babies.

'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'



Monday, 2 March 2009

Sim Grant 2009-2009

We were doing well for a while there weren't we? Yes the blog has come to a grinding halt and that is because Nic and I have gotten back into The Sims. I am maybe a little rusty. I set-up my house as an 8 man party house with hot tubs and music and a swimming pool and... things didn't go so well. In less than 24 hours we lost our first housemate. After house maid and the only one without a job Pablo managed to set the cooker on fire the heroic and very old Grant ran in to save the day. He probably should have waited for the fire department. As it turns out Grant is not fire proof and he did a quick and grizzly death. Now his urn is blocking up the kitchen getting in everyone's way and bringing everyone down. Shame on you Grant. Now if only I can stop them pissing themselves.