Posts from July 2005

Jul 05

The Fantastic Four

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 373 views

We went to see Fantastic Four yesterday and…it was pretty good! Really! It was fine. Underrated even! I’ll leave Pete or one of those, you know, film people to talk about it as a movie, and I’m going to talk a bit about its relationship to the Fantastic Four comics.

My first thought is that the film has been pretty fickle with its source material – this is not one for the purists, with its Sue-and-Doom relationship and metal-Doom and whatnot. Not that it matters: as we discussed in the pub after (those of us who cared, that is), this revisionism was sort of necessary. The FF’s actual origin involves them going into space not to save the world’s children but to BEAT THE RUSSKIES. Also Doctor Doom’s on-panel first battle with the team involves him tricking them back in time to find Blackbeard’s treasure, a frankly excellent motivation but perhaps not one to build a film around.

Anyway, I then realised that the film is actually very faithful to the comics – it just depends which comics you mean. The origin sequences and characterisations are much more like Jim Lee’s 1996 re-imagining of the FF for Heroes Reborn, and the metal Doom echoes the mutated Van Damme from Ultimate FF. The film has magpied from the various versions and origins of the team to leave a Fantastic Four who are probably as screenworthy as they’ll ever be.

Watching the movie some things seem intensely familiar, but something’s missing: the sense of grandeur that Kirby brought to the comics. This is very much Stan Lee’s Fantastic Four, full of squabbles and soap. You could form a checklist: Thing and Torch practical jokes, check. Thing and Torch fight, check. “I’m a monster”, check. Reed being nerdy instead of romancing Sue, check. Thing leaves the FF and comes back ten minutes later – YES!! And even better – Thing turns back to Ben temporarily, O fanboy heaven! Basically the meat-and-potatoes stuff that makes the FF the FF is all here, you need never read one of their comics after this. The Kirby gravy isn’t there, though – the micro-dimensions, planet-eaters, time platforms and great refuges that offset the bits of human business, replaced with a stock villain and an underwhelming fight. If there is a second film, that’s the one thing I’d change.

Jul 05

my dinner snack w.ned

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 358 views

(and emsk and stev!e ch!ck) wz v.nice, w.plenty of top rockchat, and they said they enjoyed their sandwiches, which is good bcz i suggested we go to angel’s cheap and languid courtyard cafe, even though i (afterwards) recalled i had the second worst cup of coffee of my life their once BUT

my greek salad was anti-rockist to say the least viz: brie is not feta — where are the olives? — should this have a DRESSING huh?

The Fantastic 3-Iron

Do You SeePost a comment • 368 views

There are two films out there which feature invisible characters. One is the Fantastic Four which I have not seen yet:the other is 3-Iron, a Korean oddity from Kim Ki-Duk. An oddity because it starts of as a deadpan silent movie, then turns into a bit of a crime films, and pokes out the other end as a romance. So what about the invisibility?

Well its not real invisibility. It is standing behind people. Now standing behind people, outside if their field of vision, is practical invisibility. The invisibility we all can do. 3-Iron makes it graceful, if silly. However there is a point near the end of the film where the lead character seems to notice the camera, and then invents true movie invisibility. There are sequences where he appears to be standing behind the camera, hiding from us. An odd thing to do in a movie about you, but like I said, this is an odd film.

And, against the odds, an enjoyable one. And while the Fantastic Four go and show off their powers left right and centre, it is nice to see a more realistic Korean superhero: with the power to stand behind people, and hit golf balls at ’em.

Another Day, Another Planet

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 1,398 views

GOSH WOW massive great planet found on edge…of…solar…syzzzzzzzzz…

Even the BBC, keen sponsor of new planets (“Quaoar Blimey!”) is struggling to seem interested in this “great discovery”.

Rap Poetry Chaucer Yawn

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 339 views

This should not be a BBC News story. Does this Canadian bloke, Baba Brinkman, really think that he is the first person to think of turning Chaucer into a rap?

This is COURSEWORK, not ART.

Cultural Imperialism (in a good way)

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 334 views

sistrah becky heard a dancehall toaster* on a hackney pirate station doing an um hommage to Cräzy Frøg, complete with many excellent jungle-style samples etc…

APB to the knowledgeable – is this available on record (or whatever you pop kids collect these days)?

*warning: possibly completely incorrect nomenclature… she listens all the time but she is not actually compiling nerdy footnotes plz thnkyou

Jul 05

On The (Open) Sauce

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 1,152 views

The Worlds First Open Source Beer Recipe

Except for all those ones in beermaking books. And the ones on the back of the tubs from Boots, they were pretty open source, in as much as they were not secret, or copyrighted or anything.
Indeed this article is a wonderful example of using new jargon on an old idea and making it sound all new again. Open Source Beer. Served in Microsoft Pint glasses though…

And more importantly, a great new dance blog

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 561 views

In which some of THEE best writers on music, electronic beat oriented or otherwise — Jess Harvell, Tim Finney, Ronan Fitzgerald, Brian Mackro, Ethan Padgett, Vahid Fozi (correct me if that is not your last name, Vahid!), Andy Kellman, Phil Sherburne among others — share wisdom, knowledge and brilliant writing in equal measure:

House is a Feeling

Check it out.

Ned’s ego slosh fest alert about a new column

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 538 views

First installment up on Stylus Magazine, called Scraping the Barrel. All thoughts, abuse, etc. welcomed.

Vanishing Pubs

Pumpkin Publog1 comment • 679 views

CAMRA have pub preservation officers in their local groups. Just a note that the one in North London has been doing a pretty bad job of it lately. Three pubs of my acquaintance have closed down, or even knocked down in the last couple of months. But then it strikes me that CAMRA would not mind at all, as these are pubs which CAMRA themselves do not care for.

Start with the biggest surprise. The Crown on New Oxford Street, currently shut. Is it for renovation? Doesn’t look like it. The Crown was a Sam Smith’s pub, and I don’t think CAMRA like them. Not sure, but they like the action of a pump wot you don’t get in Smith’s pubs. The Crown was by no means their best pub, and the Lousy is very near, so it is no great loss. Except it had a rather spacious outside area, on the triangle at the end of Shaftesbury Avenue which was nice for a summer pint of Fatman.

Still, a few doors down The Old Crown, which always looked newer, has been completely gutted. A Pub/Bar on three floors it rocked a bit of Art Deco styling and was definitely on the bar end of Trendy. Still a niceish place though, and with an unusual interior. But unusual does not equal horse brasses and Victoriana, so why would CAMRA care. Looks like this is being refurbed into something else mind.

But the biggest shock was coming down York Way and seeing that the Waterside Inn WAS NOT THERE. You could see all the way to Kings Cross basin. There was a hole where the pub used to be. Now, don’t get me wrong, the Waterside Inn was a wretched pub, all late eighties red brick, boxy lack of charm and the odd faux beam inside. BUT it was absolutely emblematic of its age. If you wanted to describe an original eighties pub, you could not do better than the Waterside Inn. It was the first pub in Britain to have a Pizza Hut INSIDE IT (A terrible idea, but let us honour lousy ideas). A nice terrace by the canal was spoiled by horrible beer. But the place was seminal. Possibly too seminal to be one of the nearest pubs to Kings Cross when the Eurostar rocks in. But it did not deserve to DIE. Its like CTRL chased it on to a platform and, well you know…

Where were CAMRA then eh? I’ll tell you. Drinking in The Wenlock Arms slapping their backs at some tasty Robinson’s brew. Which is nice work if you can get it but not what a Pub Preservations Officer should be doing I wager.