Archive for October, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Posted in Stuff on October 31, 2008 by thebigsmoke

This posting is just an excuse to share this awesome picture. I don’t even care too much about Halloween.


I have a cold

Posted in Comics, Film, Stuff on October 26, 2008 by thebigsmoke

This past weekend, I’ve been suffering from a cold so disgusting I did a test on myself and I am now 94.3% snot. I haven’t soiled this much Kleenex since I was 14 and managed to score a copy of Playboy with pictures of Pamela Anderson on the centre pages. In my last hours before I liquify, I’ve been lying in my bedroom, reading and watching stuff, trying to absorb as much Earth culture as possible.

I watched Alien Vs. Predator – okay, I didn’t say the best Earth culture – and found Alexa Woods (played by Sanaa Lathan) wholly unattractive. The shield and spear made from alien body parts probably didn’t help much, but she was clearly supposed to be eye candy, and, well, 20th Century Fox, I want you to know your casting agents failed you. By pure coincidence, I recently read the first Batman Vs. Predator comic book. It was written by Dave Gibbons way back in 1991 and featured pencils and inks from the then relatively uknown Andy and Adam Kubert. I was expecting it to be a bit of fun, but actually I was seriously impressed. Now I can’t stop thinking of possible match ups I’d like to see. Blade Vs. Alien? Riddick Vs. Alien? Predator Vs. Diabetes?

I’ve also been reading lots of The Spirit (both Will Eisner’s original series and Darwyn Cooke’s notable DC revamp), which is making me slowly more and more depressed about the upcoming movie. Possibly as depressed as I am about the upcoming Watchmen movie, which is a Sylvia Plath while writing The Bell Jar level of depression. You probably already know that, following the success of the Sin City movie, Frank Miller has been given the green light to write and direct the Spirit movie. Judging from the trailer, Miller has decided to adopt a similar approach to the one Warren Beatty took with Dick Tracy. What I don’t understand, though, is why Miller has decided to strain The Spirit through Sin City and produce a bizarre, hybrid piece of shit. What’s with making it black and white? That’s not what’s needed, is it?

Hmmm, what else? Oh, yeah, I watched Chocolate. Not the Johnny Depp movie; that was Chocolat. Chocolate is a Thai martial arts film about an autisitic girl who learns martial arts from watching Ong Bak over and over. I’ve been excited about it for ages and wanted to watch it with Erin, but she decided she couldn’t wait and watched it without me (I will never forgive you, Erin). Thailand is the only country producing proper martial arts films anymore and Chocolate is a cinematic masterpiece.

I thought about putting a picture in this entry, but then I thought to hell with it, I don’t need pictures. Real men fill their blogs with big blocks of text like this one.

Justice League: New Frontier

Posted in Comics on October 25, 2008 by thebigsmoke

Er… I think it’s overrated. I’m glad I didn’t shell out for the Absolute edition now.

DJ Z-Trip: ‘The Obama Mix’

Posted in Music on October 17, 2008 by thebigsmoke

I got an email from DJ Z-Trip yesterday (he and I are tight), letting me know he’s just uploaded a new mix to his site. It’s called ‘The Obama Mix’ and you can download it here.

DJ Z-Trip’s idealistic politics often interfere with his music, but it’s forgivable when his mixes are this much fun.

Beware the silent assassin

Posted in Stuff on October 15, 2008 by thebigsmoke

I saw recently that Diabetes UK has launched a hard-hitting new campaign. Now, I understand perfectly the importance of raising awareness of diabetes and the danger it presents, but was there genuinely a need to represent diabetes as a hovering, killer shade? This has to be one of the most terrifying public awareness advertisements I have ever seen. I thought diabetes was a fairly common disorder that with early detection could be managed with diet and drugs, but no, apparently it’s more like being stalked by your own private Dementor.

I can only assume the posters were designed by the same people responsible for promoting Saw. I wonder if this ridiculous approach will catch on. You never know, the British Heart Foundation could be preparing a series of ads starring the chest-burster from Alien at this very moment.


Posted in Television on October 12, 2008 by thebigsmoke

Earlier this week I took a swipe at Californication’s title sequence. I want to go on record saying that, in stark contrast, the title sequence to Dexter is one of the finest to ever grace our screens. I’m three seasons in and it still makes me smile.

I am not sure at what point I decided that Dexter was working for me as a kind of American Psycho substitute, but the realisation took the shine off it a little. I had even read the first two Jeff Lindsay novels – on which the TV show is based – in a vain effort to feed my inner psychopath. I have the third one on a shelf, but the terrible reviews have so far put me off reading it. Alas, Dexter Morgan is no Patrick Bateman, but the show continues to entertain with its latest season. The producers made the wise decision to cut ties with the books and go it alone. I love the concept, the Miami setting and the high production values.

Oh, and I think I’m maybe a tiny little bit in love with Rita.

Comic Book Round-Up

Posted in Comics on October 11, 2008 by thebigsmoke

I really enjoyed producing my last comic book round-up, so I thought I’d do the same again with my latest purchases.

Final Crisis: Revelations 3 (of 5)
By Greg Rucka and Philip Tan

Let us take a moment to consider how Philip Tan has lovingly rendered Batwoman’s breasts stretching out her tight, shiny PVC costume on the cover of this Final Crisis spin-off.


Action Comics 870
By Geoff Johns and Gary Frank

I am running out of hyperbole for this title, but honestly, it is as good as I keep saying it is. The latest issue is great, but I think the first five pages of this in particular are absolutely beautiful. It is very rare to find a comic book that shows such an exquisite understanding of its subjects, so you’re just going to have to put up with my geekgasms for the time being.

Superman 680
By James Robinson and Renato Guedes

A comic about a flying dog was exactly what I wanted to read, so this latest issue of Superman was a godsend. I didn’t bother with the rest of the ‘Coming of Atlas’ arc, but when I saw that cover, I picked the motherfucker up. Krypto needs his own title, like right now. What do we have to do to make it happen?!

Green Lantern 35
By Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis

In this issue, Hal Jordan and Sinestro fly to Oa where Jordan meets the Guardians of the Galaxy… for the first time… and… Zzzz…

Green Lantern Corps 29
By Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason

If you have read this comic, have you noticed how Guy Gardner just isn’t as much fun now he is no longer a complete dick?

And another thing, maybe I’m some kind of sexist, but what exactly was the point in making half the Guardians of the Galaxy female? I was perfectly okay with them all being male and the bald-headed females sort of freak me out.

Fantastic Four 560
By Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch

“Well, let’s start with the good news. The good news is that the Earth didn’t die in the early part of the twenty-first century. It actually survived another five hundred years, thanks to the efforts of Doctor Reed Richards. But when the end times came, it was worse than we imagined.”

Like Action Comics, this is another title I currently love to rave about. It’s head and shoulders above the average comic book fare, full of epic events and huge plot twists.

The New Avengers 45
By Brian Bendis and Jim Cheung

Well, fuck, I just ruined the whole House of M saga for myself. I knew I should have read it before getting into Secret Invasion.

Avengers/Invaders 5 (of 12)
By Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, Steve Sadowski and Patrick Berkenkotter

Avengers/Invaders is another Jim Krueger and Alex Ross collaboration that leaves me sort of cold. I actually would quite like for this to end soon and I know it’s still got another seven issues to go. It annoys me because I love retro, nostalgic comic books, but unfortunately this is a boring read.

Kick-Ass 4
By Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.

Thanks to numerous reprints, I just recently managed to jump on board with Kick-Ass, one of the most ridiculously successful indie titles for some time.

If you don’t know what Kick-Ass is all about, you will do in about a year, when it becomes a Matthew Vaughn-directed blockbuster. Yep, somehow, after only four issues, this comic has already been adapted and filming has begun. I admit I could see with the first couple of issues that it would make a good movie, but wow, I guess the success of Wanted means Millar can pretty much wipe his arse on a piece of A4 and he’ll get a movie deal out of it.

Honestly, though, this is a very readable title with lots of humorous, knowing flourishes. I look forward to the movie adaptation. And the movie version of Millar’s arse wipe once casting is complete (Tom Cruise is a shoe-in for the lead).

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