Monday, 9 March 2009


Law & Order: UK
1x03 Vice
A rather good episode, though it's somewhat worrying how 'rape victims' in dramas are almost always faking it. I'm sure it seems like a good twist to the writers, but it does little to support real life rape cases (in which it is already near impossible to earn a conviction).
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Orangutan Diary
2x02 Episode 2 [1st half]
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]


The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories by Tim Burton

This falls into Poetry as much as Fiction: its a selection of narrative poems by film director Tim Burton, of varying length and able to be slotted into the nonsense tradition. All are written poetically, though one would describe his observance of form as lax at best -- even when he seems to be fitting a loose style, he frequently breaks it. While that's theoretically fine, most of the pieces read very rhythmically; some of his breaks actually support the rhythm, others shatter it.

My personal favourite was Anchor Baby -- it has a couple of serious flaws, but is otherwise brilliant. Stain Boy was also good. The titular tale is possibly the darkest of the lot, belying (as many do) the child-like nursery-rhyme style of the Burton's verse. But then, most of the best children's tales are, in their original form, surprisingly dark.

Perhaps the biggest flaw is Burton's tendency to repeat himself; not just with plots (they almost exclusively concern children who are born with some bizarre deformity and so remain outsiders -- working through his own childhood, perhaps?) but concepts. For example, there are two pieces about people afflicted by being pin cushions. Others are brief to the point of pointlessness, the prime offender being Jimmy, the Hideous Penguin Boy.

The whole text can be read online for free here. I have no idea if this is a legal copy or not.


The Making of a Poem by Mark Strand & Eavan Boland
The Sonnet (p.55-58)
Blank Verse (p.101-112)
The Heroic Couplet (p.121-134)
IV: Open Forms - Overview (p.259-260)
Another selection of randomised tidbits from this mighty tome. Theoretically in the name of essay writing, but it's actually very interesting -- brief enough to not be boring (unlike its introductions!), but detailed enough to be informative. Also simply explains the rules of writing various poetic forms, which is extremely handy.


3D TV by Christmas, hints Sky by James Sherwood
(from Register Hardware)

Watchmen Inspired Cocktails
(from Isotope)

Watchmen Takes Top Spot At US Box Office by Chris Hewitt
(from Empire)
I know I reported on this yesterday, but here a few interesting comments:
"Critics of the movie have suggested that the figure [$55.7 million] is something of a disappointment, pointing out that it’s significantly less than the $70 million 300 opened to in the same spot two years ago. But let’s put it all in a little perspective... Although 300 was, like Watchmen, based on a cult comic book, it benefited from a strong marketing campaign which contained an already iconic catchphrase... and a clear delineation of the film’s unique visual style and simple plot: 300 guys versus the world.
"Watchmen’s marketing, although bold and effective, had a harder job of conveying the intricacies of a convoluted plot and multiple characters to an audience that, for the most part, wouldn’t have heard of the source material... Despite that, and despite reviews which ranged from wildly positive to dismissive... it’s the second-highest opening of all time for a DC property, ahead of Batman Begins, Superman Returns and Swamp Thing."
Beating films of that size (if we ignore Swamp Thing, anyway) is certainly nothing to be sniffed at. It's also the biggest opening of 2009 so far and was the top film internationally this weekend ($27.5 million).


TR Non-Review Review: Watchmen
There's a review-ish thing of the film here, but the art's the thing -- in the style of classic, noir-ish movie posters. Sumptuous.