Friday 29 July 2011

Why can't I be like other men? Why must I have FEELINGS?

It's 11:33pm on a clammy Friday evening in July and as I type it's getting near that time the beering starts and I congratulate myself on wasting another week on my aimless path from birth to death
It is an achievement, too, as no matter how sick I've been in the past I usually work through it, to the point that the only genuine sick day I've ever taken in my life (the others being your basic skiving days taken off for music festivals, metal gigs, or wanting to play Grand Theft Auto) was when I had the flu and couldn't actually stand up, and even my boss knew I was ill on that occasion because it was payday I was taking off. It could be a Catholic guilt thing, but I have long adhered to a better theory - there's no point taking time off if you're too sick to enjoy having time off and you're much better off in work when you're sick because you'd be miserable there anyway so you may at least get paid for having a lousy day.
It might be a Catholic thing, all the same. I am vaguely aware there are other theological outlooks like Protestantbyterianism and witchcraft and such, but I can't speak for them.

Anyway, after a few false starts - the last few posts on this blog, apparently - it's back to work I go - that's the short version of this post. After physiotherapy, I have been weaning myself back into using my hands not by large amounts of pornography but through Lego Star Wars, two elements about which I normally could not give a hoot in combination make for a laid back gaming experience impossible to dislike, but I've platinumed the shit out of that so it's work time again.
I gots me a few strips owed to people, a graphic novel to finish, and a stack of probably horrible American television shows stockpiled to watch on the pc whilst I doodle, including Rescue Me, which I cannot stop watching even though it is a show which the makers scheduled to run at a time when it could best take advantage of the ten year anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Classy.

Anyhoo, if I owe you a strip, it'll appear in the near future. Meanwhile, I gots to get my drink and my Scooby Doo on.

Sunday 17 July 2011

and now I'm Ann Coulter - as you may have noticed, I'm coming slightly unhinged

Rather than review Al Ewing's entertaining pastiche of pulp noir (particularly Jerry Aherne's Survivalist series) in Death Got No Mercy - a book I bought on the basis of it having a cover which features a man fighting a bear - I thought I'd let the work speak for itself:

The three punches took less than a second to throw, and he felt one of the bear's ribs go with the last one...

He'd killed a bunch of folks, sure - but there came a time even that wasn't much consolation.

Cade had never killed a woman - though he'd been accused of it - but he wouldn't have a problem if the circumstances came up.

Cade wasn't in the habit of trusting people who nailed him to the middle of the street.

(page 88 - Cade beats a man to death with his own jawbone)

"Can't have a king with no bling, a ruler without a jeweller. You want loyalty - be royalty."

"Down here a man's leadership skills can be a matter of life and dinner."

He never knew San Francisco had such a thriving banking community.

"I'd like to know if you're serious about being deleterious. Eat someone for me."

Cade had killed his first man at age eight. He knew how easy it was once you'd started, kid or no kid.

(Page 111: Cade kills and eats a man raw)

(Page 112: he kills and eats someone else)

Cade figured as long as he was wishing, he'd like a pony.

Twelve hours without killing someone. Cade figured it could be done.

Cade was a lot of things, but happy wasn't one of them.

Cade wasn't a man troubled overmuch by fashion.

He figured he could sit through an episode of Rules of Engagement if he had to.

There'd never been a time he hadn't wanted to kill anything that moved.

Cade shook his head. He wasn't a man to hold back much when it came to killing, it had to be said.

But Cade was sick and tired of feeling things.

When he was in the mood for it, Cade could be a real stone cold son of a bitch.

Some inner gear slipped and snapped, the jagged metal teeth of it tearing at the workings of his soul, damaging them beyond any repair.

It was as if the time spent beating his only child gave him strength.

It was clear, in other words, that this was a problem Cade would have to solve himself, despite being all of eight years old.

If he was lucky, he was about to murder the city of San Francisco once and for all.

He was a man who'd shot his own conscience in the face so he could murder easier when it came time to.

He'd seen enough of San Francisco , and he had a strong feeling San Francisco had seen enough of him, given that he'd killed about ninety-eight per cent of it with his own two hands.

Monday 11 July 2011

WHY? Why is it always the best people... that gotta take time out of their day to see dumbasses get buried?

The Nine Lives of Chloe King answers the oft-posed question: Why didn't that Catwoman movie get its own tv series?

Answer: because it would have been fucking awful.

Basically it's MTV's Teen Wolf but with a girl and not as enjoyable. The girl is played by the actress who played a teenage succubus in axed supernatural drama The Gates - a show about well-known monsters living in a gated community, a concept pretty much ripped off from Monster High. You'd think that being based on a line of children's dolls would be a show's biggest problem, but I'm going to go ahead and suggest that using a fifteen year old actress as part of the eye candy contingent in your show aimed at 25-30 year olds runs a close second - seriously, I have no idea why they thought they needed to go there when Rhona Mitra - who is not what you would call shy - is in the cast. Anyway, that still-teenage actress is in this now, and it's not a step up.

I'd sooner be blog-Tweeting about Teen Wolf, actually. Because that would mean I was watching Teen Wolf instead of this. MTV's Teen Wolf is not perfect by any means, but it is much better than it has any right to be.

Unlike Chloe King. This show is bad, but I do like that they've cast a redhead in the lead role. That's progress for you.

I am pretty sure the list of shows about someone who is secretly a cat people is a lineage of failure.

The Catwoman movie, Dark Angel, Birds of Prey - although in BoP I liked how Huntress would do something athletic and this would mean her cat powers were in action, so she'd kick someone or cartwheel and there'd be this "RREOW!" sound effect like a tiger growling. Oh hey, and all female-centric, I notice. Has there ever been a show about a dude with cat powers apart from Manimal?

I guess tv execs just know better than to try and top Manimal.

Manimal does not show up as a real word in my browser's spell check. FAIL.

Oh dear. We are being shown that she has cat people powers by the actress jumping off a small box onto the ground.

The parkour in this is not as good as that seen in CBBC's MI: High. It actually looks like a Youtube video of someone spoofing parkour videos by being bad at parkour.


I do not advocate violence against women, so when I say "the girl in this show needs to be punched in the face" I am merely being colourful in how I voice my disdain for the unlikeable character she plays.

The girl in this show needs to be punched in the face.

Well that was certainly an hour long drama in the fantasy genre made by ABC.

It occurs that since she dies in the first episode's opening scene, this show is technically about the EIGHT lives of Chloe King.

I usually like bad television, what's going on here? I'm actually happy that's over.

Thursday 7 July 2011

Don't gimme any of that Doctor Doom jive

Thoughts on XIII: The Series based on the pilot:
Stuart Townsend, of whom I always say that he has never - even by accident - starred in anything that was good, and who was fired from playing the part of Aragorn so he starred in Queen of Darkness instead? Safe to say he does not make good career choices, does Stu, but I'm inclined to give the man the benefit of the doubt as he might be a common factor in many terrible shows, but he's never stood out as being the worst thing about any of them. He could have raped nuns onscreen for two solid hours and still wouldn't have been LXG's biggest problem.

There is some clumsy exposition in this show:
"My sister - the former President of the United States--"
"You're the head of national security and--"
"You're the head of the CIA, George--"

So a 20 something man at the peak of physical health has "a heart attack" while in an empty room and nobody performs an autopsy, yet they can still diagnose death by cardiac arrest?
Interesting approach to logic, XIII: the Series.
I mean, even if they just called it a heart attack on paper, why did they go through the ruse of dosing him with magic heart attack medicine (like what Hannibal Smith got in that A-team film) just to fake a heart attack that no-one is ever going to physically examine him to diagnose?

A telephone media file just infodumps what the writers can't be bothered telling you in organic ways: "and nine months later he was elected president, and this guy has a terminal illness" stuff like that.

Wasn't this guy just shot in the chest with a high-powered rifle? Only he's pretty spritely.

That is not a bullet wound, that is clearly a smear of jam.

"they recruited you to stop a conspiracy that would have taken down the entire government--" Words spoken in this show by an actual human being. No lie.

"This is an Irish Cladh ring" and immediately pipe music starts playing. Classy - reminds me of that episode of Murder She Wrote where a Native American actor appears onscreen so the background music changes to this "om pom-pom-pom, om pom-pom-pom" war drums-type thing, even though the character he was playing wasn't a Native American or anything.

God this actress is one unconvincing martial artist. She's literally just waving her hands in front of the camera at one point.

Well, at least her stunt double is making an effort.

Townsend drawing on his Irish genetic heritage of drunken wife beating to make this scene look convincing, I think - if you look closely at his lips during the fight you can see he's mouthing stuff like "yer a huuuure!" and "Ah gave yeh everythin!"

Always wondered why casting directors don't just cast stunt people instead of using actors with no onscreen presence or charisma. I mean, what have you got to lose by casting a stunt double in place of an actor you already know to be bad? Chuck Norris got his stuntmen buddies parts on Walker: Texas Ranger and it made not a jot of difference to the quality of the show.

Wow but that is some really bad No Sale what would happen if a man hit a woman in the face with a length of metal pipe. (SPOILER ALERT: nothing at all)

I think the lesson here is that you direct for television by turning the camera on and then leaving the set.

I have to admit, if I was sneaking into the Whitehouse, I'd do it by punching a guard right in the guts while he was right in the middle of a conversation with another guard on the radio. I mean, that's just common sense.

"He is the link to an operation so dark no-one in Washington knows its purpose" and that would be why they were questioning him when he was in jail. Sarcasm, of course. They were not questioning him at all, even though we saw the guy jailed for several months (or at least several months in tv montage time).

The episode ends with an angsty voice-over that hasn't appeared until the final moments of the show - nice storytelling consistency, Bruh.

And night vision is represented by Photoshop's Neon Glow filter. Hilarious.

All in all, Stuart seems to have picked another winner, but once again, he's not the show's main problem - that would be how dumb, unengaging and arbitrarily derivative it is. He's actually good in it. Not got huge presence, but he's solid, though he needs to work on keeping his accent in check.