Articles Trash Culture Bolt Thrower #4: Commands & Colors: Ancients, The Resurrectionist, Conan, Sucker Punch, Super 8, Avadon
 

Bolt Thrower #4: Commands & Colors: Ancients, The Resurrectionist, Conan, Sucker Punch, Super 8, Avadon Bolt Thrower #4: Commands & Colors: Ancients, The Resurrectionist, Conan, Sucker Punch, Super 8, Avadon Hot

ccaYou know the drill by now. Some feeble pun or other on the multiple meaning of the phrase “Bolt Thrower”. I really can’t be bothered today, so let’s get down to it.

Games

There are several games that I’ve reviewed twice, but I’ve made history this week by giving Commands & Colors: Ancients a third going over. The reason for revisiting it is partly because I thought the upcoming Playdek version for iOS made the game of above-average interest for the NoHighScores crowd and partly because I’ve never satisfactorily managed to articulate my feelings on the small fly in the otherwise delightful ointment that this game presents. Which is basically that the system engine is just better suited to simpler games, but you kind of need to detail it more in a review and that’s proved hard. Not sure if I’ve done any better this time. Anyway, it offers a delightfully smooth path into being a conflict simulation while remaining a demanding, thrilling ride. It’s very good, just stopped from greatness by a few too many rules and a bit too much seriousness bolted on to a fairly light framework.

Books

I have been reading a book called The Resurrectionist, which is the tale of a surgeon's apprentice in Victorian London, and his fall from polite society into vice and, eventually, shocking crime. It’s a strange and curious book which seems to have attracted a lot of opprobrium from other reviewers who have slated it for weak characters, a dull plot and for advertising itself as a gothic horror when it’s nothing of the sort. I do not agree. Most characters are, I agree, one-dimensional, but the protagonist is most certainly not. Indeed I would argue that the thin manner in which they’ve been drawn is symptomatic of his disinterest in them, of his distance from the rest of humanity. You may gather from this that the main character is largely unsympathetic, which he is, and personally I think that’s what is putting people off the book. It may not be a classic gothic horror, but the setting is certainly gothic and the subject matter is fairly horrible. The plot is very slow burning, certainly, but it is not dull by any stretch, and its leisurely unfolding leaves the author plenty of room to deploy his most potent weapon: an atmosphere so claustrophobic, strangling and dense that you could practically slice it into wedges and serve it at a dinner party. I found it a startlingly well-crafted exercise in word-craft, in setting, and most of all in illustrating how few steps there can be between polite society and barbarism.

TV & Film

Since last time I’ve been making a dedicated effort to try and catch up with some of the higher-profile films I missed at the cinema over the last year or two. First up was Super 8, which I enjoyed thoroughly while watching and then almost instantly forgot. Only a couple of weeks after watching it I can quite literally no longer recall what was good about it. I remember thinking the child cast did extremely well and being impressed by the loving manner in which the ‘70s setting was re-created and also wondering why Spielberg didn’t direct it himself since his fingerprints were all over it. But beyond that, no, in recollection it seemed a pretty pointless, schmaltzy film that idly recycled ideas and concepts we’ve seen a hundred times before elsewhere.

Then it was some action films, both of which had bombed critically but which I was interested enough to watch anyway. I went into my viewing of the 2011 remake of Conan the Barbarian with the lowest possible expectations and came away moderately impressed. It’s nothing special but it does what it says on the tin: action scenes are frequent, well choreographed and drenched in plenty of gore and the cast generally take the whole thing with the correct tongue-in-cheek attitude. Except, sadly, for the lead who threatens to ruin the whole thing with a glowering attempt at being serious. So, fun while it lasted but not something I’d watch again, in stark contrast to the original which actually seems to improve with repeat viewings. Sadly the same cannot be said for the next film which was Sucker Punch. I am left wondering how a film that has so many fantastic ingredients could be so utterly, irredeemably awful. Not only is it soul-suckingly boring - a quite inexcusable crime for a film so packed with action and visual effects - but the mildly erotic elements just come across as being creepy and exploitative. It joined the select few films that I’ve been unable to watch all the way through: after about 70 minutes I forwarded on to see if the ending would improve it at all. It didn’t. Avoid.

Video games

I have been tired and ill of late, and going to bed early to read rather than sitting up to play computer games. One thing I have spent some time with is the iOS version of Spiderweb Software’s RPG Avadon: The Black Fortress. It’s very, very old school: gameplay is reminiscent of pre-Baldur’s Gate RPG’s. You wander round big areas on an isomorphic map, getting lost, fulfilling quests, killing monsters and collecting items. For the most part this no longer grabs me as being particularly entertaining and the interface is not brilliant either which doesn’t help. But it’s just about held my interest with one redeeming factor, which is a well-judged and pervasive sense of moral confusion. Gone are usual black-and-white, good versus bad plots typical of fantasy settings. Instead there’s a real sense that the cause for which you are working is unpleasantly oppressive, if necessarily so, and that your enemies frequently have understandable and occasionally noble motivations. There are elements of this in even the smallest side quests in the game, and it changes what would otherwise be a fairly forgettable and dated title into something engaging and playable.

Also, I have an Xbox 360 now. So this section may expand in future.

Music

It has been a time of discovering new music for me. Unfortunately most of it has been music that lots and lots of other people have already discovered and so is likely to be of minimal interest to you all. Kanye West, for example. I mean obviously I’d heard his stuff before and dismissed most of it as light pop hip-hop, but then I heard My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy with its big, complex, bombastic sound so unlike the usual stripped down soul samples of other hip-hop and was reasonably impressed: the skit at the end of Blame Game was hilarious. I also heard Florence + The Machine for the first time - genuinely the first ever time - and thought her latest album, Ceremonials was quite fantastic, managing the impossible feat of being simultaneously very modern and very retro. For my money, however, the rest of the albums to completely overshadowed by the enormous, exhilarating Remain Nameless with its unbelievably lascivious  bass line and divisive lyrical interpretations: is it about casual sex, or God? Within 48 hours I’d gone from never having heard it before to it being one of my top 3 most played tracks of all time on Last fm as I just sat and listened to it on endless repeat.

I did uncover one relatively obscure band as well, though, Welsh folk-pop duo Paper Aeroplanes. Their material ranges from bouncy up-tempo love songs to more sombre and reflective material. The former is largely forgettable, but they’re at their best at the moodier end of the spectrum: I’ve been particularly haunted by Save It and Same Mistakes, both from their recent EP We Are Ghosts. But the stand out thing about Paper Aeroplanes is not the songs, nor the fingerpicking guitar, but the singer Sarah Howells and her extraordinary ability to rapidly switch around her impressive vocal range to wring every possible ounce of emotion out of her lyrics. I discovered that she’s also worked with a number of trance DJs and producers and picked up some of that material too, figuring that sort of voice would work extremely well in that environment and haven’t been at all disappointed. I used to listen to a lot of trance, back in the days when a good night out consisted of popping a few pills and hitting the dance floor for five hours straight, and cheesy as it might be, it was great to hear some again. I got a particular rush out of Skies on Fire which, to bring us full circle, turned out to be a remix of a Paper Aeroplanes track. I think I prefer the trance version.

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Comments (33)
  • avatarThirstyMan

    100% right on Sucker Punch.

    At WBC last year I had to listen to Mark Walker, from LocknLoad, whitter on about how great the movie was and we mere mortals just 'didn't get' the piss take of geekdom. Fuck that! It's and out and out terrible film ....

    Message to 14 year olds...get a proper porno if you want to have a wank and not this shite.

    After that, I had no respect for the guy and refused to buy anymore of his products. Mental maybe...but that's the way I am!!

  • avatarAncient_of_MuMu

    Sometimes when I buy presents for people I like to swing for the fence, going for either the best or worst present they will receive. Last Christmas I bought my wife tickets to see Florence + the Machine in concert (which is this Sunday) and she hadn't even heard them. When bewildered as to what I had done, I played her one track and she said it was the best present she had received for a couple of years.

    That being said while I regard Lungs as the best of 2009, I find Ceremonials to be a weak album. The songs in Ceremonials, taken and played separately are generally quite good, probably better than most of the tracks in Lungs, but together they just blend into one gooey mass lacking in substance, and I tune out by the end of it.

  • avatarrepoman

    Absolutely correct about Super 8 as well. Nice enough while watching it. Forgotten 2 seconds after it's over.

  • avatarThirstyMan

    I think that Super 8 movie is like those monsters in Dr Who. When you turn away from them, you instantly forget they were ever there.

    Bit like trying to remember what happened in a Bond movie 2s after it finishes.

  • avatarSaMoKo

    The difference is that Bond movies are at least entertaining and distracting while I watch them, while Super 8 just kind of made me want to skip to the end. Such a bland movie. I kind of like the Bond movies. I know exactly what I'm getting into when I walk into the theatre and they rarely fail to deliver on it.

  • avatardragonstout

    I've never understood the love for the Commands & Colors system. The impression I've always gotten is that people love it because they get to roll dice and kills things, and it is kind of like a wargame. I find the entire system super plodding and static feeling; every troop feels like it's a statue you have to animate or something. Totally lacking in excitement, drama, or immersion for me. That said, Commands & Colors: Ancients was by far the most tolerable version to me (never tried Battle Cry).

    Quote:
    I am left wondering how a film that has so many fantastic ingredients could be so utterly, irredeemably awful.

    "So many fantastic ingredients"? Like, which ingredients are those? I'm always completely surprised I see anyone say that they saw it (and invariably follow that with "and it was horrible"); how could you have been surprised by what you got? Anyway, there's a two-word answer to your question: Zach Snyder. That's the only ingredient you're going to taste in anything he's involved in.

  • avatarMattDP

    Fantastic ingredients as in guns, swords, orcs, samurai robots, a dragon, sexy girls, gangsters, nazi zombies, mechs and more besides. I don't understand how it's possible to throw all the into a film and make it boring. If I had those ingredients and that budget, hell, I reckon even I could make a passably exciting film. I didn't expect it to be good after the general critical reaction: I had hoped that, much like Conan, it would at least be entertaining. I was wrong.

    Snyder is interesting. I actually quite like 300, although everything else he's done has been poor. I can't help but draw parallels with Paul Verhoeven - both directors who made dreadful films with strong exploitive elements that they tried to justify with feeble attempts at art-house justifications that made their films sound deep when they were in fact totally trite.

  • avatardragonstout

    Zach Snyder makes art-house justifications? Fuuuuuuck. I did like his Dawn of the Dead remake, though. Nearly walked out of the theater 15 minutes into 300.

    Comparing him to Paul Verhoeven??!? I actually haven't seen Showgirls. But Robocop, Starship Troopers, and especially Total Recall...I'd never call his films deep, but they're fun, funny, over-the-top satires that take the piss out of the million more serious movies made contemporaneously and then do them one better. Total Recall, especially, saw in a theater recently in a double bill with Starship Troopers and it had one of the best audience reactions I've ever seen in a theater.

    I've never understood the whole "people said it was terrible, but I thought it would be entertaining": I don't know about you, but I don't go around telling people that entertaining movies are terrible, and I don't think critics often do either.

  • avatarSuperflyTNT

    300 was fucking brilliant. I cannot envision how anyone can't like it; it's almost the perfect movie. It has blood by the gallon, nakedness, and an interesting and engaging story.

    There was a WALL OF BODIES. How can you hate that?

  • avatarBullwinkle

    Super 8 never really got where it could have, but the kids were fantastic, especially in their scenes together. The banter between the boys was spot on, particularly with the short blond kid.

    I really liked Avadon. But then I like turn-based, party-based western RPGs.

  • avatarBearn

    I have to agree with super that 300 was an amazing movie. It also had one of the best narratives in a movie that i haven't seen since the movie Fallen with DW. Everything ties in at the end and the narrator just comes to life without you even noticing it was headed that way.

    I only really liked Conan for Stephen Lang. He's one of those underrated character actors that most see but never really appreciate. He does some phenominal civil war stuff and i highly recommend Gods and Generals. His portrail of "Stonewall" Jackson is just about the best i have ever seen. The battle of Fredericksburg is one that will make you realise just how badly the north was getting clobbered in the beginning of the war.

  • avatarMsample

    I must admit I don’t find CC Ancients to be that complex…then again I used to play ASL and OCS . Sure, it's maybe more complex than Battle Cry or Memoir 44, but I find that it also models combat a bit more believably than the other Borg games as well - not saying it's a simulation mind you, but I am not willing to invest the time or effort in learning GBoH.

    While it is true there are a lot of unit types, 90% of what you need to know is on the player reference cards. If you only play once in a blue moon, I can see it being hard to grasp. But if you say play a half dozen games, switching sides in three different scenarios, you can probably absorb enough that a lot becomes second nature.

    Finally, never understood some people's hate for stickering blocks. I know some people just do one side and lay them flat . To me its no worse than punching and sorting a 1200 counter wargame. I can sticker a module during the course of a football game or F1 race .

    Stephen Lang - it was only recently that I discovered that he played Ike Clanton in Tombstone .

  • avatarMattLoter

    300 is dead up one of the worst movies ever made. It's gay porn for super manly closet cases but it's not even hot.

    Also, the fact that it tried to pretend it's based even remotely on historical reality makes it even worse.

  • avatarMichael Barnes

    Why didn't someone tell me we were bagging on/ Zack Snyder? I love to bag on Zack Snyder!

    He's every bit as much of a hack as Uwe Boll. There's incompetent, hilariously awful shit in every movie he's made past Dawn of the Dead, and that was an utterly boring, workmanlike, and uninspired movie if ever there were one.

    300 is garbage. When I first watched it, I thought it seemed like it was pretty good. But when I thought about what I had watched, it occured to me that ne'er has an emptier, more pointless film ever been made. If it had been played outwardly as gay camp (instead of closeted homoeroticism) then at least it'd have the distinction of being the gayest Hollywood comic book movie ever made. The screenplay is an utter joke- it's all either posturing or yelling.

    It is the absolute epitome of the lowest common denominator ethos in entertainment. I _knew_ it would have traction with those dudebros that wear the Oakleys on the back of their heads, the Under Armor and all that. Football jocks. Infantry. Rednecks. And it is pretty funny that they all fell in love with such a homoerotic movie.

    Watchmen is the Heaven's Gate of comic book movies. Except that Heaven's Gate is a better film. utterly laughable. It's like a 13 year old made a Watchmen movie. And didn't get it.

    Sucker Punch speaks for itself. I can't believe people would allow a director to shit in their eyes for two hours like that.

    Unless Superman outperforms Avengers or Dark Knight, Snyder is through. He's already put himself in the same position that M. Night Shymalan was in years ago, with a couple of successes and lots of expectation, terms like "visionary" getting thrown around. And he simply can not deliver. He's a shitty, z-grade filmmaker with not a single lick of "vision" whatsoever, making heartless vanity projects enabled by producers willing to throw money at him, all while he smirks and likely sits in his trailer at night wondering how the hell he's going to make it through the next shoot day.

    So what if 300 and Watchmen were "just like the comics". Those comics made for shitty movies.

    Anyway, I'll raise a toast the day I hear that Snyder's next film is going to be some straight-to-DVD thing or something on SyFy channel. Somebody needs to run that hack out of town.

  • avatarInfinityMax

    I liked 300 a lot. I thought it was bad-ass. And I don't wear Under Armor or play football. I don't even own a pair of sunglasses, since I can't wear them with my spectacles. I was Navy, and I studied nuclear engineering to run the power plant on submarines. I may live in Texas, but I wasn't born here, and I'm not a redneck.

    Honestly, I'm not even sure where all the accusation of man-love are coming from. Is it just because the Spartans didn't wear a lot of clothes?

    Conan was fun. I thought it was dialed exactly right, for a Conan movie - violence and action and sorcery, and it didn't even pretend to take itself seriously. I liked it more than the Arnold version.

    I'm still avoiding Sucker Punch. I haven't read one remotely positive review of it. When even the nerds hated it, I'm out.

  • avatarSuperflyTNT

    It's because Mike and Loter couldn't help but get a little wood looking at Gerard Butler's abs, Matt. That's where the claims of homoeroticism come from. Me, I was in it for the blood and guts. If I want homoeroticism, I'll just get naked in a mirror and wank away until I skywrite my name on my belly. Watching 300 didn't do that for me. It was an awesome story (fuck reality, I watch movies because I want AWESOME, not reality) and it had a neat motion-comic look to it.

    Conan sucked. I watched it pre-vertigo and still dry heaved just a little bit. The movie was wank. That was NOT Conan, not a bit. It wasn't even Kull. It was the equivalent of the Highlander TV series versus the original Highlander movie. A punk-ass spinoff with a weenie cast, weenie acting, a weenie story, and it S H A T upon Robert Howard.

    But I am a Howard superfan, so maybe I'm a bit biased.

  • avatarMichael Barnes

    Awesome story? Really? Dang man, standards be LOW!

    I didn't think anyone watched that Conan movie...sort of released, then vanished.

    A bunch of hunky, ripped men in tight, cock-accentuating panties standing around and admiring each other's oiled muscles with nary a woman in sight in naturally homoerotic. And historically, the Spartans were all about (ahem) cementing their "brotherhood" with their fellow soldiers by- yes- having sex with each other. All of this, plus this weird kind of xenophobic homophobia (witness the bad guy- an evil, brown-skinned queen if ever there were one) throughout makes it all pretty spurious.

    And pretty much in line with Frank Miller's political attitudes, apparently.

    As for blood and guts, there's PLENTY of movies with better blood that ISN'T all CG. As for swords, I can point you to any number of better sword movies. But what I _can't_ do is to direct you to a more homoerotic mainstream action movie.

  • avatarjeb  - re:
    Michael Barnes wrote:
    But what I _can't_ do is to direct you to a more homoerotic mainstream action movie.

    TOP GUN.

  • avatarBearn

    You know with how you guys throw around the word Homoerotic you would think there's some phobia going on around here?

    If you are going to go down that path why not trash movies like Predator, Aliens or Rambo? All of which had "built" action stars in them who at various points were in states of undress. Does that make them automatically bad movies? I would hope not since they are all very good movies.

    Was it historicaly accurate? No, but it gave you a good idea of how rough Spartan life really was and why Sparta was so feared in that time period.

  • avatarSuperflyTNT

    Sure you can, Mike. Sure you can. :)

    The movie was awesome.

    http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2007/300.php

    It did almost 500 million dollars worldwide in ticket sales, and another quarter million in DVD sales. It seems to me that it couldn't be that bad.

    But, let's look to another shitty action flick, since you're keen on pointing out what a bad film it is...

    http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2011/SUCKP.php

    Sucker Punch, which is loaded with explosions and vaginas galore did a whopping 90 mil in the box office. 7 mil in DVD.

    So apparently most people like poncy male wankfests starring ripped-abbydudes who stroll around in Spartan underoos, if money talks and bullshit walks.

    Mike, we know you are SO into obscura and whatnot, but just because you don't like a film doesn't make it bad. And I know you are a film-school guy, bona-fide and know your shit. But, not everyone is into arthouse shit, and not everyone doesn't like big sexy dudes cutting the balls off of Xerxes' bitch-boys.

    300 was awesome, and almost a billion dollars in sales backs up my statement.

  • avatardragonstout

    Holy shit, are you fucking kidding me Superfly, did you just bring in box office numbers to prove quality in full seriousness? So is Monopoly the best board game of all time?

    Homoeroticism is *not* my problem with the movie. Complete inability to do anything without the sensibilities of a 13-year-old boy (and yes, these sensibilities are still present in a hojillion grown men too) who thinks Maxim photoshoots are the hawtest thing evar and that Xtreme comics are grown-up because they're really dark and stuff, so c'mon guys, take my comics seriously! And whose overriding vision boils down to two words: "bad-ass".

    Seriously, the reason "13-year-old" keeps coming up every time anyone discusses Snyder is because there's this constant feeling like he just discovered boobs and his parents just started letting him see R-rated violence or something; there's definitely no feeling of real sex or real violence, they're sex and violence and "seriousness" as filtered through watching movies and reading comics and wanting to show that he's grown up now.

    It should not surprise anyone that his grand plan for Superman is to make him dark and gritty. 'Cause y'know, that really gets to the heart of what Superman's about.

  • avatarSuperflyTNT

    So, what is a better measure?

    Let's take a step back for a moment and really boil this down.

    What is a movie?

    ENTERTAINMENT.

    If people are entertained, the movie's quality is shown; it does what it set out to do.

    If it makes more money than the GDP of SMALL ISLAND NATIONS...? Yeah, it's REALLY entertaining.

    I know you guys are all about "meaningful bullshit" but for the other 99% of us, a movie is something to watch to kill 2 hours, and if it makes you go "FUCK YEAH!", and makes you want to watch it again? Yeah, that's a quality film.

  • avatardragonstout

    I repeat, Pete - so Monopoly is the best board game ever by a wide margin?

  • avatarInfinityMax

    OK, I'm going to stop arguing. If it makes you all feel better about yourselves, you're more than welcome to like anything you want. I won't call you a closet fag or an adolescent or anything.

  • avatarSpace Ghost

    Monopoly isn't the best board game, but it is surely a good board game; not to mention an influential one

  • avatarSuperflyTNT

    I'm with Matt. You wankers are way too worked up over a movie that none of you have a stake in.

    But, I am NOT with Matt in the sense that I love to argue. So...

    Monopoly is NOT, in my opinion, the best game of all time. But, it is ENTERTAINING. And it is a QUALITY PRODUCT.

    I never said 300 was the best game ever. Never implied it. But it is an outstanding, entertaining film to watch, and 750 billion dollars worth of people agree, just as Monopoly is an outstanding, entertaining game, which God only knows how many dollars of people would agree.

    Is it so hard to understand that just because some comic book/film snobs look at film as an "artistic medium that shall not be shat upon with mainstream CGI bullshit" like, the rest of the world is more like "Yeah, that movie fucking RAWKED! People got all kinds of chopped up into gibblybits and there was some awesome special effects!! HOOAH!"

    Don't get all poncy with me, because you can't win. It's an award-nominated and widely acclaimed film.

    Look to Rotten Tomatoes, man. 59% of the poncy ass film dickhead critics liked it, but alas, amazingly, 90 fucking percent of the AUDIENCE like it (and there's like over a million fucking ratings.

    So, TAKE IT IN THE FACE, as Donnell Rawlings would say. :)

  • avatarDair

    300 was fine, but not great. I enjoyed it the first time, but didn't really enjoy it much when I flipped to it on the TV a second time. It is very much surface entertainment and its shallowness shows through under any scrutiny. I will say that the movie shoehorned in one of the dumbest things ever. Theron was not in the comic and was completely worthless in the movie. The dumbest part, he was too stupid not to carry traitor-proving gold coins from Persia ON HIS PERSON! Why! He can't spend them in the city, so why would he carry them? Bury those fuckers and dig them up when the Persians take over. That one thing was so stupid, that it nearly ruined the rest of my enjoyment in the film.

  • avatardragonstout

    The rest of the world are fucking idiots. There, I said it.

    I mean, honestly, this isn't even remotely worth arguing or talking about, and the only reason I add a comment now is because I need to clear up that I wasn't trying to diss Monopoly. But if you're going to claim that box office is an objective measure of quality, then Monopoly is not just a good game, it is *the best*. Remind me what the point of you writing reviews is, Pete, if we can easily tell how good something is by how much money it made? I thought you'd at least moved on to the barely less idiotic idea that Rottentomatoes scores or IMDB rankings are an objective measure of quality.

  • avatarJonJacob

    300 is an awesome comic. Yes, it may be homophobic, but I don't give a shit. Moore does but that's his cross to bear, the art in his books rarely approaches this level (League, From Hell and A Small Killing being the only ones even close). The book is Miler's most beautiful work. His lines are gorgeous, his level of abstraction is just right and the colours are definitely Lyn Varley's finest work ever. No comparison. The widescreen format is amazing and really helps the stunning vista's pop right off the page. I can just look through that book over and over again.

    The movie captures some of this but so what? I have the comic, superior in every way to the film. The best parts of the film are just re-makes of what I already saw. They're pointless, and the added scenes are awful. All the crap back in Sparta is pointless, it was implied in the book and that was a much better approach. Being compared directly to the comic does not bode well for the movie. The book is meant to be a book and when you try to put it into another medium at least do me the favour of making it worth my time to check out both. I don't need to re-experience my favorite comic as a movie any more then I need to re-experience my favorite movie as a comic. They're wasting my time. Not that 300 is my favorite comic but I do think it is one of the best looking comics. Right up there with the Al Williamson Flash Gordon's or Kirby's 4th World, and as Bad as Miller's writing has become it's still better then either of those examples. He used to be a fun rip off of Hammett and now he's a bad rip off of himself. However I'd argue that Miller's art is so much richer then anyone else working today that he more then makes up for it and when you add in Lynn Varley's amazing colour work the book can still stand side by side with the Invisibles or whatever fucking book you want to throw at it.

    Snyder's Watchmen is the biggest waste of time I've ever seen. A shitty coles notes version of the comic that basically says to you: "Hey, comics suck, wouldn't it be cool to see the exact same fucking thing panel for panel on a big screen... with all the wordy bits removed of course because reading.. hell that's worse then comics" ....It's just brutal. Look, you want to be inspired by a comic fine. But for Gods sake don't try to re-create it. Using a comic as a story board is the worst idea available to film makers and it will ruin movies if people buy into it.

    It's an insult to both mediums.

    His "my god the zombies are fast" movie is ok I guess. He doesn't have any fame yet so there no opportunity to let his ego or vision get in the way of re-telling a story we already know. It, like his other films, has no reason to exist.

    ... I haven't seen Sucker Punch but at least it's his own film and will stand on it's on merit's. Everything before is just an exercise, like Thompson learning to type by re-typing out Hemingway's books. Maybe good for him but a waste of time for me.

  • avatarMichael Barnes

    A few points since it's too early for a Friday Freakout:

    - No one here, as far as I can see, said that "homoerotic" is a negative quality. If you're inferring that from anything I or anyone else said...you're bringing the negative connotation to it. The punchline is when folks that are homophobic (whether overtly so or not) flip over movies like this...or professional wrestling. Or Top Gun. Or the music of Queen.

    - I could care less about how obscure something is. What I care about is if it's good. Doesn't matter if one person likes it or five million. Good is good.

    - If ticket sales and revenue are the measures of what is "great", then we are truly, deeply, and woefully fucked as a culture.

    - Zack Snyder sucks.

    - Monopoly rocks.

  • avatarShellhead

    McDonald's sells so many burgers that it must be a four-star restaurant in the Michelin Guide. Right?

  • avatarSuperflyTNT

    Whatever. I'm sure glad I can enjoy low-brow shit, and I'm even more glad that I don't need to beat shit to death with straw men to get people to think I'm right.

    750 million dollars since 2007 = movie that a fuckload of people like. You can't refute that. You can't even BEGIN to refute that. I fucking DOUBLE DOG DARE your ass to try. Please.

    Oh, and Shellhead, don't be a dick. You're usually better than that. I never said that more money = more quality. That was all Andy. What I said was "Something that makes a lot of money is viewed by a lot of people as something that has quality enough to spend that money on." And what better judge of the entertainment value of an entertainment product is there than "units sold"?

  • avatardragonstout  - re:
    JonJacob wrote:
    Moore does but that's his cross to bear, the art in his books rarely approaches this level (League, From Hell and A Small Killing being the only ones even close).

    Miller's art in 300 is really damn nice. I have to add Promethea and Swamp Thing to the top of the list of Moore comics with absolutely stunning art, though (John Totleben is easily one of the 5 best horror artists ever to work in comics, right up there with Graham Ingels, Charles Burns, and Al Columbia, all of whom can draw things to creep you right the fuck out). Moore has rarely worked with less than very good collaborators.

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