Monday, 2 March 2009


3x14 A Clear and Present Danger
See here for my thoughts on this episode.

Law & Order: UK
1x02 Unloved
Apparently the first episode did very well in the ratings (don't have figures, just overheard it on TV) and this is a strong episode, so it deserves to continue.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Watchmen (aka Watchmen Motion Comics)
Chapter I At Midnight, All the Agents... [2nd watch]
Chapter II Absent Friends
Chapter III The Judge of All the Earth
See here for my thoughts on these episodes.


Done in 60 Seconds Finalists
Connected to their forthcoming film awards, Empire have run a competition in which readers recreate a famous film in 60 seconds. These are the five finalists -- you can view them, vote on them, and the winner wins... well, an Empire Film Award, I presume.

They're all pretty good, in my opinion; so much so that I honestly can't remember which I voted for any more. It was probably Seven though, so I've embedded it (and/or all of them) below...


The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges (translated by James E. Ibury)
A sci-fi/fantasy short story, about a universe in the form of a vast library that contains all possible 410-page books, brought to my attention courtesy of a classmate's poem that may or may not reference it. It seems to be a moderately seminal work, based on the contents of its Wikipedia entry.
You can read it for yourself at the link above -- it's really not very long, but it is very interesting. I wonder if it played any conscious part in inspiring the Doctor Who two-parter Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead...?


The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry
Chapter One: I
The basics -- a very, very good place to start. I know so much more about iambic pentameter than I used to.


7 Things That Must Be In Ghostbusters 3 by James White
(from Total Film)
Apparently it's actually happening, so here's Total Film's thoughts on what it must include. Hardly all essential, and the most obvious one is the hardest to nail: it just has to be good.

BBC receives almost 250 complaints over 'all-black' EastEnders by Leigh Holmwood
"the first episode of EastEnders to feature an all-black cast in its 24-year history... A BBC spokesman said 239 complaints had been received from viewers, with 57 received before it aired and 183 after the broadcast. It is understood that most of the complaints were from people who felt it was "inappropriate" for the BBC to have shown an episode featuring an all-black cast."
Speaks for itself, really.

David Tennant's curtailed Hamlet will rise from the grave by Tim Walker
"the entire cast of the RSC production are preparing to make a film version of the play in June to record for posterity his portrayal, which was described by some as the greatest Hamlet of his generation... Oliver Ford Davies, [who played Polonius]: "We are intending to film it over two or three weeks in June. It won't be a full feature film as there isn't time but it will certainly be more than just the filming of the stage.""
Hurrah! It was fantastic, so this is great news.

Dark Visions: Watchmen and Leave Her to Heaven by Anthony Lane
(from The New Yorker)
Positively scathing review. I think this guy may feel rather bitter about something...

Who Watches the Watches - Cool Watchmen T-Shirt
(from Live For Films)
Title says it all: a very cool shirt. (See pic above.)

Zack Snyder and Dave Gibbons talk Watchmen Black Freighter and Motion Comic DVDs by Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Interesting interview about how these projects came into being, as well as the tie-in video game that's on its way. There seems to be a certain amount of "it's going to happen anyway, so just like it or lump it" about at least two of those -- in this respect, Snyder and Gibbons are both pleasantly honest.

Heroes 3x14: A Clear and Present Danger

Heroes returns with Volume Four, Fugitives. Why not just call it Season Four, hm? Bloody US TV silliness.

Still, the main thing is, it's a helluva lot better than before! This episode contained as much incident as half a dozen episodes would've in the old-style Heroes and, with the exception of the odd unsubtle misstep (orange jumpsuits), it was all good, exciting, intriguing stuff.

But it's probably come too late -- the show's phenomenon status is well and truly shot on both sides of the Atlantic, with falling ratings over there and very little promotion for this new run over here (so little, in fact, that I skipped this ep on broadcast to watch L&O:UK, and only remembered the show was even on when I checked this evening's listings); plus tie-in making-of series Heroes Unmasked has apparently been cancelled.

It's all a shame, because if they'd pulled this kinda quality out of the bag for season two -- or even the start of season three -- it might've been enough to save the show's status. Now it's got to rebuild its popularity, and that's a big ask.

Watchmen Motion Comics: Chapters I - III

Putting off plans to continue watching one animated comic in order to watch another here, but for a good reason: with the live action Watchmen movie out next Friday, I thought it was time to reacquaint myself with the graphic novel... though in a somewhat different medium. And with the final chapter of this adaptation released just last week (in the US, where I have my fully-paid-up-and-legal-thank-you-very-much subscription from; in the UK soon, one would hope), it seemed a reasonable time to be getting on with it. So, chapters one to three today, and hopefully the rest before The Big Day...

It's actually a rather good adaptation, in my opinion; the best analogy is probably that it's an audiobook for graphic novels, although it goes beyond that. The animation (all based off the original art) is surprisingly animated, almost enough that you could genuinely get away with labelling it "The Animated Series", and it has sound effects and a full, original music score to back this up.

The main thing that lets it down is having one voice artist do every character -- his women aren't especially feminine and are all bit indistinguishable, and while he has a good array of male voices there are times when the on screen speech bubbles are required to be certain who's speaking. But still: throw in just one female voice artist and an additional bloke, animate the mouths and remove the speech bubbles, and I swear this would pass as simply Watchmen: The Animated Series, not the rather more clunky (and plain odd) Motion Comics.

For those who are interested, the Watchmen Motion Comics are currently available on iTunes (£20.99 for the series, £1.89 per episode (there're 12)), and are released on R1 DVD and US Blu-ray on 3rd March and R2 DVD (no Blu-ray planned) as an online exclusive on 9th March. At just £8 from the major retailers, the DVD is considerably cheaper than iTunes.