Category: TV

The growing power of the Idiot’s Lantern…

Batman at 75: Gotham City on Film I – Ill Met By Moonlight in the 20th Century

Batman's Gotham City on film

Batman's Gotham City on film

The tale of a paved and cracked actor. As Gotham turns one of the most the famous fictional cities into a television character, the first part of a look at how Batman’s city that has fared on screen, From the Manhattan of the 1940s to the nadir of 1990s excess…

“GOTHAM CITY… CITY OF JUSTICE, A CITY OF LOVE, A CITY OF PEACE, FOR EVERYONE OF US…” IS HOW R KELLY SERENEDED GOTHAM CITY ON THE TIE-IN ALBUM FOR 1997’S BATMAN AND ROBIN. One of the greatest mis-readings in popular music for one of the stupendously misguided films in cash cow history.

A jump to the comics may help. “I’ve forgotten what Gotham feels like… Night after night, hopelessness just tries to beat down anything good”.

That’s more like it. An optimistic analysis from the primary coloured, long-livid and original Green Lantern Alan Scott on a rare occasion he worked with the Dark Knight (Ed Brubaker’s Made of Wood).

From Green Lantern, through Catwoman, Gotham Central, all the spin-offs, contagions, earthquakes, Scott Snyder’s skilful rebooting as a City of Owls in the New 52 through to Lego:Batman, Arkham Origins and the expansive animated portrayals… Gotham has probably been detailed more than any other fictional city. Since it replaced New York as the Caped Crusader’s hometown in the 1940s it’s become a character in its own right, a definitive part of the myth of the Batman.

But on the big and small screens it’s a different story. Continue reading “Batman at 75: Gotham City on Film I – Ill Met By Moonlight in the 20th Century”

Doctor Who and the halfway point of Series 8

Doctor Who Half Face Man and Series 8

Doctor Who Half Face Man and Series 8

A quick stop and listen now Dr Who series 8 has reached the fixed point of half-season. Spoilers for the six broadcast episodes are guaranteed, but no conspiracy and little speculation – just as look at how The Twelfth’s bedding in… 

NO JOKE, BUT IT’S ALREADY A SERIES OF TWO HALVES.

Moffat has clearly settled on the direction for his period of showrunning

The overall impression is that it’s an outstanding series so far, but for all the great direction, cinematography and music and fine acting there are non-sequiturs and narrative glitches abounding.  The Dalek that wants to fix itself, who rates the destruction of Daleks as exclusive to killing humans, the chalk that disappears, the writing that appears, Cousin It in the bed, why Orson walked into a restaurant in full garb to beckon a girl he didn’t know and didn’t pick something up from the kitchen…

SHUT UP!

There’s no point picking on these.  Steven Moffat has clearly settled on the direction for his period of showrunning, and this series is its golden age – Like early Hinchcliffe and Key to Time Williams… It simply doesn’t matter if it makes sense.  I can see why. An irascible and hard-working writer-producer, he’s endured criticism. So you may as well pile up the plot-holes as it’s impossible to torpedo an absence of logic..  In any event, picking plot holes in a work of fiction, especially one with such a broad format, built on impossibility… Is a  thankless task isn’t it?

Strands of Time and Space

Searching for logic here is pointless

Away from that, there have been three strands to what’s certainly been an involving series.
Continue reading “Doctor Who and the halfway point of Series 8”

Batman at 75: Hot off the press… The Freshly Minted Batman #1 REVIEWED!

Batman #1 Joker

Joker alone Batman 1 1940

jokerside badge

On Comic Book Day, a Jokerside exclusive! After a soaring debut in the pages of Detective Comics #27 the comical Caped Crusader and his still inexplicable Boy Wonder have won their own spin-off title. In a packed first edition they take on three rogues across four rip-roaring tales – but do they, and the comic itself, have the Bat-durability to make it solo?

IN THIS FIRST ISSUE, BILL FINGER AND BOB KANE WISELY KICK OFF BY REPEATING THE AVENGING HERO’S ORIGIN STORY AS REVEALED IN DETECTIVE COMICS #33 A FEW MONTHS AGO: THE LEGEND OF THE BATMAN AND HOW HE CAME TO BE! This two-page summary concisely shows how Batman was borne of the tragedy of random crime, honing himself in science and physical feats to become, thanks to the timely arrival of a bat through the window, the “Avenger of evil, the Batman”.

Four Tales, Four Colour

In the four stories that follow, the Dynamic Duo battle three enemies each with a hook as outlandish as the last, with plots ranging from a jewel heist framed as an Agatha Christie-style mystery to homicidal clown mania. First and foremost is the debut of that deadly clown, a grim jester known only as the Joker whose statement of intent is immediately made clear when he makes a sinister ‘return’ before the book is even done. On the way to that rematch Batman and the Boy Wonder meet a debutante lady jewel thief you could only hope to find in a Caped Crusader comic, the Cat; which animal will prove to be the predator? And in between there’s just about time to thwart one returning rogue, surely a criminal set for arch-villain status. Professor Hugo Strange escapes and soon brings a band of mutant monsters to town. Strong stuff true believers! Continue reading “Batman at 75: Hot off the press… The Freshly Minted Batman #1 REVIEWED!”

Doctor Who: Five ways that Steven Moffat has remade the Fifth Doctor

Doctor Who and the 1980s

 11D 1980s

Yes, that’s right. I just suggested that Who supremo Steven Moffat is repositioning the show to repeat its 1970s heyday.  But what if he’s already recreated the 1980s with the Eleventh Doctor!? Actually, what if he’s simply recreated one specific story from 1983?

MATT SMITH’S PREMATURE EXIT LAST CHRISTMAS BROUGHT THE BIGGEST SHAKE-UP OF STEVEN MOFFAT’S TENURE AS NEW WHO SHOW RUNNER. While he’d changed companions, TARDIS interior (twice) and theme tune (twice) the incoming Twelfth Doctor (yeah, we CAN call him that) is the real deal – the chance to break or ensure his legacy as show runner after some incredible peaks and some unfortunate troughs.

Moff-Pros

A prestigious warm-up for this year’s Rebel Time Lord

On the definite plus side, some of the greatest stories of New Who have fallen under his stewardship! Even after Deep Breath, The Eleventh Hour remains the greatest regeneration story ever told. For me, Matt Smith is the greatest actor to grace the role in the modern era and whisper it, can easily throw his fez up with the classics. In 2013, the 50th anniversary year was a sparse but triumphant year. The customary special not only fused modern and classic Who, but creating the perfect warm-up for a different kind of Doctor in the process. The War Doctor, in the regal form of John Hurt, was a rather prestigious warm-up for the Rebel Time Lord hitting our screens this autumn. Continue reading “Doctor Who: Five ways that Steven Moffat has remade the Fifth Doctor”

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