Sunday 29 July 2012


London 2012 Olympics
Day Two
Mainly tennis again, even if lots of it was rained off (proper Wimbledon!), but also Team GB's first medal at the end of the women's road race and some success (including Rebecca Addlington's bronze, of course) in the swimming.
[Watch loads of live coverage from the BBC.]


Batman #11 by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo

The epic Court of Owls storyline comes to a close with a stonking big fight and a debrief-ish chat between Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson.

It's a pretty exciting finale, but the downside comes in a number of plot threads left dangling. I suppose that's the nature of serialised never-ending comics -- the Court are a great villain, but to create a truly memorable, enduring enemy in this medium, they have to be able to resurface and pose a threat again and again. That's what Snyder leaves us with here: a collection of possible answers, but none of them definite, so they can always be returned to. Not wholly satisfying, then.

The final part of backup strip The Fall of the House of Wayne (written by Snyder & James Tynion IV, drawn by Rafael Albuquerque) is also a kind of epilogue to the main story. I didn't get as much out of it as I did last issue's, again because it's deliberately inconclusive.

"Great but not perfect," might be the best summary of this ending. It'd be a great story to see on film, actually, because it's atmospheric and exciting, playing on all of Batman's various strengths as a franchise, but an adaptation would surely have the cojones to round it off, to make it a self-contained experience. It would be better for it.

this week on 100 Films

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

Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
the story is built on slow suspense and mystery: who is Komoko? What happened to him? How does Macreedy know? And what does Macreedy want? Sturges happily lets this mull and build over the best part of an hour, before suddenly darting past the reveals as if they’re unimportant. I’m not saying they need to be sign-posted with dramatic camera angles, weighty overacting and thudding “dun-dun-DUN!” music, but they’re shoved in here as if they’re immaterial; a bit of bookkeeping before the all-action climax.
Read more here.

The Saint in New York (1938)
As the Saint, Louis Hayward makes for an appealing hero. He’s cocksure, a James Bond character, so justifiably confident of his own abilities and plan that he has every right to believe he’ll be OK. (Indeed, this is certainly readable as a proto-Bond movie.) The downside is there’s no sense of jeopardy or danger, which I suppose is a shortcoming; but instead there’s a kind of comic inevitability to the villains believing they could ever beat the Saint.
Read more here.

Also new-to-new-blog this week were...

M (1931)
Fritz Lang's proto-noir serial killer thriller. It's an exceptional film and I encourage you to see it wholeheartedly.

Wallander: Before the Frost and other stories
Reviews of the Swedish Wallander movies Before the Frost, Mastermind, The Secret, and The Revenge.

More next Sunday.


London 2012 Olympics
Day One
Day One, and I've already watched more coverage than I expected! Tennis, of course, but also some of the cycling, fencing, swimming and volleyball. Discovering random stuff -- I suppose that's half the point.
[Watch loads of live coverage from the BBC.]

1x03 Episode Three