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Messages - Greg M.

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1
Announcements / Re: 2000 AD - The Ultimate Collection
« on: 21 November, 2017, 08:55:07 pm »
Journey to Hell is great, you philistines!  ;) Carlos's double-page spreads are absolutely glorious - I've said this many times, but it's easy to forget just how good he is at evoking a nightmarish ambience in his stories. Give him the chance to draw some zombies or skellingtons, and the man's in his infernal element - to wit, the 'Desert of the Living Dead' spread, which is as evocative as it gets.

Not having the spreads in colour is indeed a huge disincentive to purchase, however.

2
Film & TV / Re: Red Dwarf XII
« on: 16 November, 2017, 10:13:24 pm »
I enjoyed Skipper - but it wasn't quite what I expected. For a series that's made so many callbacks to previous ones, I found it really odd that when the subject of a parallel universe where Rimmer wasn't a smeghead came up, no-one mentioned Ace Rimmer. It seemed too obvious not to be dealt with in some way.  (Even the episode title seemed like a reference.) Overall though, the first half of the episode was great, the second half good.

Series verdict - an odd one. Ambitious, inconsistent, heavily indebted to its own continuity, but its best outweighed its worst. Back half superior to front half, but worth it for Mechocracy alone, which is probably the best of the Dave era.

Scene of the season - it's got to be this, hasn't it? I have watched this one scene a ridiculous number of times now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3MU0g5UJtI

3
General / Re: Forthcoming Thrills 2017
« on: 15 November, 2017, 09:27:10 pm »
Anyone know what Von Hoffman's Invasion is?  Presumably something from another IPC/Fleetway stablemate.

From Jet (and later Buster) - wicked scientist with enlarging gas. Big ants and what have you.

4
Books & Comics / Re: The PARAGON comic thread
« on: 12 November, 2017, 07:17:23 pm »
Stephen is of course a tough act to follow, but it looks like Dunk! is doing an excellent job. Looking forward to this story.

5
Music / Re: Couple of Iron Maiden related questions.
« on: 12 November, 2017, 06:59:15 pm »
Given that I have been reappraising them and have even listened to The X Factor and Virtual XI properly for the first time (it’s only taken 20 odd years) and actually they are not that bad once you get used to Blaze Bayley not being Bruce Dickinson.

So my questions are:

1. Is it worth getting Bruce Dickinson’s solo albums? I bought Tattooed Millionaire when it came out but thought it was only alright.

Accident of Birth, The Chemical Wedding (both with Adrian Smith) and Tyranny of Souls are all absolutely brilliant. For many people, The Chemical Wedding is one of the highpoints of Bruce's career - I personally lean towards Accident, which is one of my favourite records and far superior to anything Maiden were doing at the time. Skunkworks isn't quite as good, but is far better than it's given credit for - songs like Solar Confinement and Inertia are excellent. Balls to Picasso's not bad, though Tears of the Dragon massively outshines everything else on the album.

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2. What about Maiden’s live albums? I have Live after Death but haven’t listened to it in years as I have it only on vinyl and have no means of playing it. As I understand it Rock in Rio has a cracking version of Sign of the Cross with Bruce on vocals( a song I have only just become aware of.)

They undoubtedly have too many live albums, but I do like Maiden England, with its heavy focus on Seventh Son-era material.

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3. What about other Maiden solo albums / members playing in other bands e.g. Adrian Smith in  Psycho Hotel?

Psycho Motel is sort of all right, not amazing. Adrian's ASAP project is not great. Steve Harris's British Lion are interesting - their existing album is not well produced, and I don't think the singer's a great fit, but I saw them live a while back and they had more fire about them, and played some good (as yet unreleased) songs which I felt were better than the stuff on the debut.

6
Film & TV / Re: Red Dwarf XII
« on: 12 November, 2017, 03:09:53 pm »
it was also poignant in a way I don't think we have seen on Red Dwarf before.

Red Dwarf at its best has always had an emotional undercurrent, centred on Lister's loneliness, something that was much more prevalent in Series 1 & 2. For that reason, I'm never that keen on the show introducing other living humans to Lister's 3-million-years-on universe - it detracts from one of the core concepts of the series. Of course, complaining about that after Series 8 is pointless - that ship has sailed.

7
Film & TV / Re: Red Dwarf XII
« on: 11 November, 2017, 12:54:10 pm »
I enjoyed M-Corp - a solid episode, with a good central concept and an oddly melancholic vibe to it. The fan-pleasing ending, though calculated, was worthy of the cheers it received from the audience.

Interesting to consider the running order - if this happened on Lister's birthday, then either this episode happens just before 'Cured' (in which it had been around a year since his last birthday) or a year has passed since the start of the series.

8
Other Reviews / Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« on: 08 November, 2017, 07:32:39 pm »
6. I always felt that Bad Company II was good but not in the league of Bad Company...

7. I was wrong (again!)

Popular opinion seems to agree with what you originally thought - that BCII is good, but BCI is the standout - but for years I've been arguing that BCII is at least as good as BCI, and in my opinion, superior. The art's even better - wilder, more exotic. The characters are more interesting - sorry Thrax, much as I love you, De Racine and Protoid have you beat - and their frequently grand guignol fates have even greater impact. It's cleverer, weirder, has a better plot (has a plot full stop), and wears its influences less obviously on its sleeve (or rather, it's influences are much less conventional for a war comic than BCI, which, wonderful though it is, is in obvious debt at times to 'Apocalypse Now'.) And the ending is up there with Song of the Surfer, Revere and Killing Time as the very best 2000AD's ever seen.

9
Film & TV / Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« on: 04 November, 2017, 11:38:21 am »
The Tripods

I think the first series starts very well and ends very well, but flags in the middle - all that hanging about at the Chateau Ricordeau gets a bit tiresome. Highpoints for me: the episode in Paris, and that weird bit in the woods with the crazies who've constructed a kind of rustic Tripod idol. Lowpoints: the guy playing Henry can't act.

Haven't seen series 2 in an age, but I indeed remember it being mad and extremely camp. It is a shame they never got a third series though, to cap it all off (and kill Henry.)

10
Film & TV / Re: Red Dwarf XII
« on: 02 November, 2017, 10:11:59 pm »
From the ridiculous to the sublime - 'Mechocracy' turns out to be the best episode of Season XI or XII to date. Brilliant stuff - well-written, well-played and very funny at points, with each of the main cast getting a chance to shine and an extremely unexpected, well-timed and very welcome guest appearance. What a turnaround from last week!

11
General / Re: 15 reasons not to bother with CBR anymore
« on: 27 October, 2017, 01:05:57 pm »
Mind you, does that mean what I think it means? 

I'm afraid so - virtually every piece of CBR clickbait now seems to revolve around the subject. (Generally as regards superheroes rather than your good self, of course.)

12
General / Re: 15 reasons not to bother with CBR anymore
« on: 27 October, 2017, 09:08:25 am »
Official CBR response to your post:

8 times Tjm86 bumped uglies with the forum (and 7 times it wanted him to!)

Yeah, you're right, CBR is an absolute joke these days. Most of the decent writers decamped to Atomic Junk Shop. Think Brian Cronin of Comics Should Be Good might still be on CBR - he'd be about the only decent thing left on the site if so.

13
Film & TV / Re: Red Dwarf XII
« on: 26 October, 2017, 10:10:05 pm »
I dunno if I'd go quite as far as Dark Jimbo - 'Timewave' wasn't as protractedly and consistently awful as something like two-part crapfest 'Pete' from Season 8 - but it was the weakest episode of the Dave era thus far. There were a few good bits - the Kryten-reversing throwaway gag amused me, and I did laugh at Rimmer's line "Protected as I am under Space Corp Directive 381286 - Kryten, shut up." Unfortunately, the rubbish unfunny bits outweighed the good, and the ending in particular was genuinely terrible. The episode almost managed to salvage something with the Rimmer stuff, but we weren't really getting anything we hadn't had before and better in, say, 'Terrorform'.

14
Prog / Re: Prog 2054 - Me & My Shadow
« on: 26 October, 2017, 09:43:11 am »
I can't remember much about Revere so I may have the wrong end of the stick but why assume Revere wasn't just recruited into IP after the events in his own strip?

'Revere' ends with humanity - including the central character and the world itself - absorbed into a primal gestalt male-female yin-yang entity (which, if you like, can be seen as analogous to Revere and his lost love, Chloe McKiernan.) The cosmic entity then contemplates the possibility of starting existence over again and decides to do so. It is the most perfect ending to any 2000AD story, and is, in my opinion, best left untouched. Obviously I have no knowledge of how the current Indigo Prime series will deploy the character, but it's hard not to have concerns.

15
Film & TV / Re: Red Dwarf XII
« on: 22 October, 2017, 10:28:27 am »
For me there's always an inverse law at work with Red Dwarf - the bigger the guest cast, the less I enjoy the episode.

Your favourite episode is 'Marooned'.

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