Sunday 29 January 2012


2000 AD (2000)
[#9 in 100 Films in a Year 2012]

DVD Extras

Audio commentary by Bey Logan and Gordon Chan on 2000 AD
Logan is an incredibly prolific commentator -- according to Wikipedia, he's recorded 123 to date! -- and I can rather see why even from just this, the first half of a single commentary. He's amiable and knowledgeable, and quite good at drawing out more information from his co-commentator, the film's director. Makes me appreciate/understand more about a film I didn't hugely enjoy.


Six issues read today...

All Star Western #3 by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti & Moritat

Funny issue, this one: the story from the first two is wrapped up quickly, but with bits apparently left hanging, then it picks up a new thing... which isn't new because it was in the beginning of #1 (I think, because I don't really remember it). Moritat's apparently scratchy, chunky, basic art is surprisingly detailed, which is wonderful, especially in action scenes. Plus it really suits the grimy, gritty tone of the book. But overall, it feels like it needs to get going on a proper meaty story, like the first issue seemed to promise, and if/when it does I'll enjoy it even more.

Elsewhere, the Gray/Palmiotti-penned Jordi Bernet-drawn back-up strip El Diablo comes to a conclusion even limper than its opening. Ho hum. Many they need to look to 2000 AD for a lesson in storytelling in 6-8 page chunks.

Batman: The Dark Knight #3 & #4 by David Finch & Paul Jenkins

Still by far the worst Batman book going. Finch & Jenkins seem to tell a well-paced story... until it stops suddenly with the end of the issue. The plot (by both creators) seems to be constructed around shoehorning in cameos at every turn, as if someone's tried to craft the ultimate Batman story and failed miserably by doing far, far too much. Jenkins (writing) attempts to add some emotional depth to proceedings in #4, but he doesn't seem to have the chops to pull it off. Finch's art is fine, occasionally great, when depicting superhero antics, but his human faces range from not-great to nasty.

So I'm sticking it out to the end of this arc, but I'm quite looking forward to dropping it. Sadly, based on the schedule for collected editions, that won't be until #9! And I doubt DC will follow me in ditching it -- the fact there are currently four Batman-starring books suggests they like having one every week. Though with Batman Incorporated returning in a few months, maybe they'll ditch this at the next round of changes.

Batwoman #3, #4 & #5 by J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman

The absolutely stunning artwork alone would make this worth reading, but it's also backed up by an engrossing story featuring detailed and plausible characters. Surely one of the best books of the New 52, probably current mainstream comics full stop. It's technically the end of the current arc here, but there's a lot of story to go forward. It's changing artist next issue for some reason, so I hope that doesn't effect it too badly.

Definitely considering getting the collected edition of this story, especially if it's oversized, just to see the art again and appreciate it even more fully. Plus that collection will include #0, which I missed. It's out in June (in the US at least).

this week on 100 Films

2 new reviews were posted to 100 Films in a Year this week, and they were...

Battle Los Angeles (2011)
There is an even better film tucked away inside Battle Los Angeles. One brief dialogue scene discusses the similarities between the human soldiers and alien grunts, but the intriguing idea that they’re intelligent beings following orders just like us is sadly not built upon. There are obvious parallels with the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, but aside from the audience spotting shots that are reminiscent of news footage, the threads aren’t drawn out or commented on.

Ironclad (2011)
There are stretches some may find dull — there’s little new to be done with the whole Recruiting The Team bit, and once John gets the castle under siege and everyone’s twiddling thumbs and eating horses some viewers will be doing one of the two as well — but there are regular bursts of sword-swinging violence that achieve the film’s primary aims of creating a Hollywood-esque historical action movie on British soil

More next Sunday.