Sunday 9 December 2012


The Amazing Spider-Man #699 by Dan Slott & Humberto Ramos

Explanations! Great if you've been reading ASM for years, I'm sure, but it's a little thumb-twiddly otherwise -- it's all prelude to whatever's coming next issue.

Extermination #3 & #4 by Simon Spurrier, Jeffrey Edwards & V Ken Marion

This is such fun, especially if you're a fan of Batman and/or Superman, which two of the main characters are delightfully unsubtle riffs on. Which is fine, because you could never do this in a licensed story. It's also generally witty and clever too, even if the art is occasionally scruffy.

Revival #3 by Tim Seeley & Mike Norton

Continues to slow burn, but still great.

this week on 100 Films

The 100 Films Advent Calendar continues apace, with seven new reviews published to 100 Films in a Year this week...

Chatroom (2010)

Chatroom is born of trying to find a viable way of depicting the world of online chatrooms on film... presumably presenting the online world in a filmic way was a necessary aside for wanting to set a story in that world. Sadly, the actual tale being told isn’t up to all that much.

Read more here.

The Expendables (2010)

What you do get is a film that revels in its action-movie-ness. I mean, most of the characters have great (read: daft) action movie names: Barney Ross, Lee Christmas, Yin Yang, Toll Road, Hale Caesar, Paine… How is that not a film aware of its own absurdity? How can you not enjoy that, even a little?

Read more here.

The Keep (1983)

it’s really good; a film that is genuinely creepy, with an effective sense of foreboding and mystery… for about half an hour or so. [...] Events become convoluted and borderline nonsensical, and whatever thematic points the film has to make about evil and belief get lost in the mix.

Read more here.

The Last Airbender (2010)

The plot pings back and forth between locations and characters, basing itself in a heavy mythology that isn’t adequately explained. Chunks of it seem to be missing, conveyed through clunky voiceover rather than on-screen action. The first rule of screenwriting is Show Don’t Tell, but Shyamalan does exactly the opposite.

Read more here.

M (British version) (1931/1932)

Let’s establish one thing right away: this is unquestionably an inferior version of Fritz Lang’s masterpiece, M. Never mind that it’s an old, unrestored, thoroughly battered print; it’s the conscious changes that — unavoidably — lessen the film.

Read more here.

Predators (2010)

it’s not an entirely stock plot merely peppered with gunfights. Rodriguez and co have made the effort to push the mythology in new directions; ones which seem to build naturally out of other Predator media, even though those aren’t specifically mentioned.

Read more here.

The Sum of All Fears (2002)

it’s a solid little thriller. A bit plodding at times, but engrossing enough... There’s A Big Twist in the middle that would easily have been one of the best bits about the film, had they not blown it in the trailers. Even still, it’s a bit audacious

Read more here.

If that wasn't enough, also new to the new blog were...

Predator (1987)

Let’s not pretend here: although the series have become intrinsically linked, Predator is Alien’s poorer cousin. Not that it’s a bad film — it’s an entertaining war flick that turns into a sci-fi/action/horror skirmish thingy — but it doesn’t have the same finesse that imbues Alien and its sequel.

Read more here.

Predator 2 (1990)

the action is moved from a jungle to the concrete jungle (see what they did there?) of LA... the vastly different settings and setups mean that, even with the involvement of the same sneaky alien hunter, the films have a vastly different feel too. It’s just a shame Predator 2’s “urban jungle” concept is so poorly executed

Read more here.

Another seven (hopefully!) next Sunday.