Friday 29 June 2012


How I Met Your Mother
7x19 The Broath
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]


Cars 2 (2011)
[#51 in 100 Films in a Year 2012]

Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation (2011)
[#50a in 100 Films in a Year 2012]


The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 2009 by Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill
3: Let It Come Down
Minions of the Moon Chapter Three: Saviours

The final part of Century begins with Orlando. S/he's been an increasingly big presence in the books -- a lot of background material in Black Dossier, then one of the three leads throughout Century -- but this is the first time the focus has really moved from Mina (and Allan). It remains odd, but his/her increased presence has kind of earnt it.

It also contributes towards his/her character arc. Indeed, if there's one thing I'd note about Century's contribution to the series, it's the focus on character. All three leads undergo significant emotional changes throughout this series, more so than in previous ones I'd say, a lot of it focusing on their varied experiences of immortality. Those seeking an action/adventure book with pop-culture super-beings could probably care less, but despite being that on the surface, LoEG has never been about that -- the much-hated film proved that.

That's not to say the final chapter isn't without incident. I won't go spoiling stuff in case anyone who hasn't read it yet reads this, but the involvement of Harry Potter has received some press attention so there's no point trying to hide it. The stuff at Hogwarts is brilliant, though I'd argue Moore could occasionally do with remembering he's rendering a comic, not a storyboard -- there's a stream of panels that mirror each other very nicely, but putting them in blocks of three (rather than two or four) mucks this up slightly, in my opinion. Maybe he and O'Neill were trying to avoid making it too heavy-handed, but it's a deliberate parallel and the layout obscures it.

Then there's the Big Climax. Two things: firstly, it's good to see Allan turn up again here. He's barely in 2009. That said, when he does turn up his limited page-time is put to good use, with a particularly dramatic mini-arc. No spoilers on the end of it though. That said, I imagine this is quite possibly the end of the ongoing adventures of the League -- Moore has discussed doing other stories in already-established backstory, which is a grand idea because there are so many asides that could be more deeply explored there (and it might placate those who never liked the series' move into the 20th Century). Plus, having tackled the biggest franchise in modern media with the climax to this volume, perhaps it's a wise idea to not keep moving on. That said, there's an unresolved note at the end of this story -- I'm sure we all want to know what that's about!

Secondly (I got distracted there, but this is indeed "secondly"), the person who turns up at the climax of the climax to defeat the villain is genius. Well done on that one, Mr Moore. I loved it.

After three years of waiting and saving-up volumes of Century, I thought it was worth the wait. It's a different kind of story to previous League instalments, and certainly moves at a different pace. But hey, it's presented differently -- three long segments instead of six regular-sized ones, and, compared to most current comics, it comes out at nearly 11 issues of material. Can't sniff at that. But I can understand some of the objections to the series moving away from the style of the first two volumes, because that was great, but Moore and O'Neill are pushing the concept in interesting directions, and that's exciting and entertaining in its own way. You can always re-read the first two after all.

But it really will be interesting to see where they go next, whether that's back into the old style or increasingly pushing on.


Review: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
by Edward Champion (from Reluctant Habits)

I'm not especially excited for The Amazing Spider-Man, but I'm not desperate for it to be a failure in the way some fans of Raimi's previous trilogy seem to be. Considering Spider-Man was a huge superhero success, and the first film fullstop to have a $100m+ opening weekend, this one's looking surprisingly overshadowed, tucked between The Avengers (which has already claimed the first $200m+ opening) and The Dark Knight Rises (more likely to challenge that number, though without 3D is unlikely to do so).

Either way, this slagging off is a good read, entertainingly highlighting a myriad of problems with the film. It makes it sound, like I've heard in some other reviews, "fine" -- not bad per se, just uninspired (especially compared to Raimi's first) and consequently uexciting.

Collection Count

Collection Count tracks my DVD/Blu-ray collection via a number of statistics every week.

There should have been more this week (even with four titles turning up this morning), but TheHut have been typically tardy in sending out a recent order for several titles. Still, this morning's delivery is quite a boost -- though lower still than it might've been, because I finally got round to removing a couple of DVD box sets.

Number of titles in collection: 1,498 [up 3]
Of which DVDs: 1,156 [down 1]
Of which Blu-rays: 342 [up 4]

Number of discs in collection: 3,713 [up 8]
Number of films in collection: 1,582 [up 1]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 5,579 [up 47]

See you next week, faithful reader.