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Messages - SmallBlueThing(Reborn)

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Film & TV / Re: Avengers - Infinity War
« on: 28 April, 2018, 07:47:13 PM »
All reservations I have about this one, are probably entirely down to the cinema I saw it in and the audience I saw it with. You know how one of the complaints about 3D is that it's "projected darker" than the 2D equivalent? Well, this seemed to be projected for 3D despite seeing it in 2D. Great swathes of the film were a murk of greys and muted colours, which meant I couldn't work out what the sneck was going on, and even daylight scenes were darker than you'd expect. Even Wakanda seemed more a drizzly day on the Isle of Wight.
The audience found EVERY joke hilarious. I mean, really hilarious- meaning every line of dialogue following a gag was lost. Then halfway through they all decided to go and empty their bowels/ fill up again with nachos- five at a time.
As for the movie- no spoilers- it really did feel like the culmination of a decade of careful world building. Bearing in mind my kids (and by extension quite a lot of the audience) had never consciously known a time when these films didn't exist, there was a sense of great importance about the events playing out. Did it disappoint? Only in small, nerdy bits that anyone not versed in these characters would never even consider.

I will be going back to see it on a better screen one night this week, buying the dvd on release day, and watching it now and again for the rest of my life, probably.

Minor, yet joyous, spoiler: Groot providing the handle of Thor's new axe. Perfect.


Prog / Re: Prog 2078: Agent of Destruction!
« on: 25 April, 2018, 11:35:35 AM »
The prog powers on, with absolutely no complaints from me about four fifths of the stories. Dredd completes one of those little tales that you just know will resonate for the next year or so and eventually lead to something mahoosive- though it seems odd for something as potentially explosive as the living relative of Bad Bob Booth being introduced in a strip written by someone other than JW. Maybe Tharg is gently seeding the ground for when the big man finally decides to take the Long Walk from scripting. If so, I hope it's a premature act, because I want to be reading Wagner Dredds for years to come.

Jaegir told a visceral, fast-paced tale that seemed to be over too quickly- which is infinitely preferably to one dragging on forever (more of which in a bit), and went a long way to cementing this as a worthy (perhaps, shhh, superior) follow-up to Rogue Trooper, after decades of rubbish faffing around in that corner of toothiverse. As always, Simon Coleby and Len O'Grady worked together better than any prog art team since Andy Clarke and Dylan Teague, in my book.

I absolutely bloody love Sinister Dexter, so more is always a joy. The current run has even made me re-evaluate the work of Mr Yeowell, whose work I've not been particularly enamored with these last few decades since Zenith finished. I want SiniDex in the prog, on a weekly basis, til the end of time.

Strontium Dog was just blissful. I have nothing else to say, except I will reread this often, and buy it in oversized hardback should such a thing ever become available.

The only downer for me is Anderson- in which I am completely lost. I can't tell who is speaking, I can't remember who anyone is, or why they are where they are doing whatever they are doing. After rereading the first four episodes in an attempt to get on top of it, I did think perhaps it was an art problem- there were quite a few panels in which the composition or colouring seemed to actively work against the story being told, and once I'd figured that out I was better inclined towards the strip as a whole. Now though, with the change of artists, it has gotten completely incomprehensible. And I know there's nothing wrong with Collins and Robinson's storytelling nous. I can only lay the blame at the door of the writer and Tharg. It looks pretty- even more so these last couple of weeks, but doesn't seem to make any immediate sense. This is what I was referring to earlier about things dragging on. Too much to hope for a speedy rounding-up and for the next one by Emma Beeby to be a little more... straightforward?

Letters page always a treat- especially so as it features a Squaxx more senior even than most of us here, which gave me a huge grin and caused me to mutter "fair play to you sir" under my breath. It may be twenty years away, but I hope the prog is still around and printed on paper in weekly installments, when I'm seventy.

Astonishing cover by Carlos, too. Has he ever done anything dodgy? Man's an utter genius.


Prog / Re: Prog 2075 - In the Field of Battle
« on: 06 April, 2018, 01:45:46 PM »
After long weeks of wishing everything would.. just... end, the junping-on prog delivered longed-for quality thrills and that has thankfully been continued in the progs since.
Just about every strip is of high quality at the moment, with only Anderson letting it down somewhat by being a bit incomprehensible. I may well give the previous episodes a reread before next week to see if I can make sense of it though, because it all looks very pretty.

Top Thrills for me are SiniDex and Jaegir. SiniDex because I have a deep and powerful love for the world, the characters, the puns and not enough is said about how it's definitely in the top ten percent of all 2000AD series, ever.  Jaegir has ratcheted up a notch this time as well, with Simon Coleby as always giving us 110% and there being something extra in the storytelling this time, that has hooked me more than previous outings.

Strontium Dog is blissful too- Wagner and Ezquerra doing what they do best. Yes, Carlos's art looks different to how it has been at times (and I'm speaking as someone who passionately loved his Wilderlands stuff, where the enthusiasm for- amongst other things- Kai's Powertools shone like a glorious nova) but literally anything The Master wishes to do is absolutely fine by me. And those designs! Is it possible to fetishize artwork? If so, that's what I'm doing.
Dredd was lovely, a clean one-off of the kind we too-seldom get these days. Anyone picking up a prog for the first time in thirty years would recognise it and feel satisfied not too much has changed.

Top proggage. Can't wait for next week.


Other Reviews / Re: Outlier
« on: 05 April, 2018, 04:49:22 PM »
Inspired by this thread, I've spent the last couple of hours rereading the whole of Outlier in the floppies. And we'll, wasn't that just a whole different experience to how I remembered it in the prog! Maybe I'm just a bit more attuned to this kind of large-scale galactic war sci-fi currently, but that held up so well.
As I remember, in instalments, it became a chore to remember who was who and what they were doing- but here, it all flowed beautifully and the art really shone. Appreciated the downbeat ending, and the whole set-up greatly appealed. Even the "armourogami" droids didn't seem so silly this time out.
Yeah, my Thrill-Circuits have re-evaluated Outlier and recategorised it as a "Top Thrill".

Books & Comics / Re: Whats everyone reading?
« on: 03 April, 2018, 06:38:06 PM »
I'd agree with the love for Black Hammer, wholeheartedly. Waiting for the spin-offs and likewise inpatient for the next volume when it finally arrives.

Novelishly, I'm becoming a little enwrapped in Alastair Reynolds's Revelation Space series of books and short stories. But also have the very interesting Themis Files series on the go- Sleeping Giants was a fun, light and quick read, and Waking God's is prepped for cracking open tomorrow while herself is at work.
In addition, I recently finished the first Noumenon novel, just in time for the sequel, Noumenon Infinity, to hit hardback in the next few months. That's worth a read of your tastes are, like mine, for hard Sci-fi.

Off Topic / Re: Life is sometimes sort of okay because...
« on: 28 March, 2018, 11:47:02 AM »
Why thank you, Mr Huff. Now all I need is a start date...

Off Topic / Re: Life is sometimes sort of okay because...
« on: 24 March, 2018, 11:27:03 AM »
Yes, a season four is looking more unlikely all the time, but, as with the movies, if we only end up with a trilogy, I guess that'll be fine. As long as they end season three with a proper ending (which they say they will), I'll be happy.

Another thing that is sort of okay: I got a new job. Same as the old job, but a better company. Go me.

Off Topic / Re: Life is sometimes sort of okay because...
« on: 23 March, 2018, 08:05:13 PM »
Because my kids and I have finally found time to start watching Ash Vs Evil Dead season two, and tonight we cracked open a large bag of popcorn and did episodes 1-3.

Oh my giddy aunt! It's even better than season one! And episode two, specifically the morgue scene, has to go down as one of the best and funniest/ most disgusting things I've ever seen in a TV show. The three of us were actually crying with laughter. And the cliffhanger to episode three came from completely left field and again, left us agape.
There is literally nothing wrong with this show, it is almost too perfect.

News / Re: Michael Fleisher
« on: 15 March, 2018, 03:15:52 PM »
As a big fan of Marvel's Conan series, I found a new appreciation for Fleisher in reading Savage Sword (and less so, his work on the colour monthly after Roy Thomas left). Sad to hear he's died, and 75 is too young these days.
Plus, I liked Junker when I read it a few years ago.

Film & TV / Re: Black Panther - Please add your review
« on: 23 February, 2018, 08:23:10 PM »
Just out of seeing this with my wife (only her second Marvel movie after Homecoming), my kids (keeping up the tradition- we've seen everything at the pics bar GotG2), my second-youngest stepson and his mate.
Everyone- including my wife- loved it to bits. I had a full bladder going in (late parking) and wasn't relishing the idea of 2.25 hours of crossing my legs, but it just flew. Great cast, a witty and at times thoughtful script, really nice action set pieces and nothing extraneous on screen.
We all walked out grinning and amazed that, yet again, Marvel Studios keep on getting better and more assured.
I really thought Black Panther was going to be the one to break the streak- both creatively and, in the light of Trump's America, financially. I'm really, really glad I obviously don't know squat.

I have something in my eye.
That has warmed the heart of my cockles this unpleasant day. That's is, and very much welcome aboard!

General / Re: Best strips of 2017
« on: 15 February, 2018, 06:34:05 PM »
1. HOPE... For the Future
2. Brink
3. Sinister Dexter

Film & TV / Re: The Last Jedi - Forum Opinion
« on: 30 January, 2018, 03:51:21 PM »
4/5 for me. Sufficiently different from other ones to be fresh, and I enjoyed all the ways and lengths they went to in their attempt to pull the rug out from under viewers' expectations.
I'm liking this sequel trilogy a lot. And much more importantly, my kids love it.

General / Re: Things that went over your head...
« on: 22 January, 2018, 12:08:11 PM »
And reading this, I've just this second realised that when Fink says "pizen", he is probably saying "pye-zen" and not "pizzen", as I have been reading the whole of my damn life.

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 19 January, 2018, 12:31:11 PM »
The new one, not the old one. This is Texas Chainsaw 8, and an attempt to tell Mr Face's origin story- which I'm sure has been done at least once before, probably twice.
This time, however, it largely works. It's a good story, with a central narrative question ("which one of these kids is Leatherface?") that successfully twists and turns a bit throughout the ninety minute running time.
Doesn't feel like any of the other films in the series, at times more resembling The Devil's Rejects, but benefits from a strong cast, some nice shooting, and some joyful grue.
It could be argued that only the first ten minutes and the last fifteen are necessary, but I think that's disingenuous to the story they were trying to tell. For the most part it works very well, and the end while being predictable, is satisfying, and the only time it reverts to type.
Top half of the franchise then, better than some, but obviously not in the same league as Hooper's two originals. As if that were possible.

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