Tag: Jokerside

Captain’s Orders: Jokerside’s Five Year Mission

Captains Orders March 2016

Captains Orders March 2016Now that’s a real iPad… The orders have been opened at the allotted time.

Full transcript below…

Jokerside Captains Orders

The Full transcript:

“Space… To write about the final frontier.

These are the archives of Jokerside, its five year mission to explore pop culture horizons. To seek out new shows and old anniversaries. To boldy mash Jokertoons and longreads with a smirk as no one has before.”

It’s Jokerside’s third and a half birthday, and that means the Captain’s orders have unlocked. Had to find them first of course, carefully concealed in the irradiated core of the warp engine, parcel taped under a bulkhead alongside a Walther PPK, a French dictionary and a spare T-101 hand. Yes, the order is passed:

Jokerside’s Five Year Mission will end in 18 months.

That means a year and a half to soak up the near 200 articles on Jokerside crossing pop-culture. There’s plenty more to come. The long awaited conclusion to Jokerside’s series on James Bond, Halloween, Doctor Who villains, the Marvel and DC cinematic universes just for starters. They’re all lurking in neighbouring star systems.

2016 year will bring special salutes to giants of science-fiction, some fun and off-centre looks at the Star Trek franchise for its golden anniversary and finally, the arrival of the original Star Wars trilogy – starting this April. Expect more comics, more videogames – coz times they always are a-changing. Myths and legends and a bold future will all be covered as Jokerside aims at the second star to the right and straight on until September 2017.

All that and far more before Jokerside completes its cycle. And that gives its just enough time for a spot of Doctor Who Series 10.

And what then? Mothballed in dry-dock for decommissioning or perhaps an upgrade? Back to the wild frontier or feet up on the Admiral’s desk? Time will tell.

Keep your eyes posted. Remember.

Live long-read and prosper.

Jokerside Top 10 Posts of the Year: 2015

Jokerside best posts 2015

Jokerside best posts 2015

The results are in – which posts from the Jokerside were the most read in 2015? From dystopia to horror to platformers to clowns, there was something for everyone…

  1. Waterworld at 20: We need to Parley about Mariner (July 2015)

The Mariner sinks - Waterworld at 20One of the single shots from the Dystopia series, there was no way Jokerside could ignore the 20th anniversary of Waterworld. A huge reaching addition to big budget future-set blockbusters, it’s as much of a dramatic disaster as it is a flop. It made money and has lots to teach modern disaster cinema. Still notorious 20 years on, it’s impossible to overlook the sparing desolation, the beautiful filming, solid retro effects and fine sense of humour in what’s proved to be quite the influential film. Jokerside came to praise…

“Waterworld may never escape its reputation, but it’s never going to disappear. There’s a dash of Snake Pliskin, a helluva lot of Max but essentially it’s a pirate film. Eight years later Pirates of the Caribbean would pull a neat trick on the two Kevs, taking set-pieces and settings from Waterworld while hitting many of the narrative beats of Prince of Thieves. And that’s a real anomaly at the pirate box office, a very successful one. As dystopia has risen again to remind us that it’s still around sunken cities and post-apocalyptic action will continue to grace the big screen.

And really, for all the criticism, let’s not forget that the three Universal Studios are still running Waterworld attractions to this day. And inventive side-effect from an inventive film. Never forget Waterworld’s last line: “It’s more than that” – and so it is.” Read more

If you liked that in 2015: Stay tuned this winter as the Dystopia Series draws to a halt on The Planet of the Apes. Ka-boom…

  1. Doctor Who: Silence – Fooling you twice the same way (Whovember #11 Alpha) (March 2015)

The Eleventh Doctor and the Silence that must fallA surge into the top ten for just one of the Eleventh Doctor retrospectives. The New Series restructure has pushed the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors near the top of the pile in terms of stories. While the Doctor’s 51st birthday saw Jokerside revisit the Tenth Doctor’s tendency to meet historical celebrities.

The Eleventh Doctor’s tortured and twisted tales demanded a three apart retrospective as Jokerside took on the nefarious overlapping plots of the Silence. Quite possibly the biggest mixed bag in Doctor Who. The first part took a look at the prolonged plans of the Silents that didn’t involve their memory averse high priests the Silents. The summary, mid-way through makes it sound all rather exciting, while capturing some flaws that were never solved…

“Of course the something that abducted the TARDIS and blew it up, destroying the universe in the process, isn’t uncovered. The Silence, whatever it is, is still out there. But this Doctor, like his successor, are in no great rush to find out what could have easily accomplished this horror show. Narratively this is a far stronger force than the Pandorica Alliance; the greatest threat he’s ever faced. But then again, it’s a whole new universe and there’s an Egyptian Goddess lose on the Orient Express that’s far more appealing (or possibly not, as it’s contradicted by Series Eight). The Silence are off the hook and would need a Plan B, if they could possibly realise they failed what with it being a wholly new universe and everything… Fortunately, that night aboard the TARDIS, the Doctor’s companions are providing the Silence with just such a second chance…” Read more

If you liked that in 2015: Stay tuned for Jokerside’s customary celebration of Doctor Who in November 2016. And first, this March we’ll be taking a look at the episode that saw showrunner Steven Moffat make Who history…

  1. Super Mario Bros. the Movie! Dystopia hits the Mushroom Kingdom (September 2015)

Super Mario Bros at 30 - MarioAnother one-shot in the series of Dystopia, the 30th anniversary of gaming icon Super Mario’s first solo adventure was the perfect time to revisit his sole Hollywood outing. Another film mired by, it was unfortunate to kick-start videogame big screen adaptations. It’s flawed certainly, but the creativity and ambition behind a film that’s almost never shown and fairly difficult to get hold of should trigger mass-reappraisal. At the very least it remains a vivid lesson.

“The terrible tone issues don’t affect Super Mario Bros. cult status, but they do lessen the chance of a brightening reappraisal. Hollywood’s infatuation with videogames comes not just from their inherent merchandising, but also their in-built audience and huge money earning (as well as surely a wary glimpse at its parallel and media rival). Few chances to merge the two have managed to fulfil the potential and that sadly started here. Ultimately Super Mario Bros. manages to do a disservice to itself and the game franchise while being immensely watchable and on occasion visually stunning. Its greatest injustice is that such a glorious adventure ended with the opposite legacy: two decades later an increasing raft of videogame adaptations are now expected to fail, following standard formulas with the need to break ground being felt less and less.” Read more

If you liked that in 2015: Stay tuned for Jokerside’s widening look at videogames – particularly a special glimpse at James Bond on consoles coming soon…
Continue reading “Jokerside Top 10 Posts of the Year: 2015”

Post 101: 100 Jokerside Moments (51 – 100)

Jokerside 100

TO MARK JOKERSIDE‘S SECOND AND A HALF ANNIVERSARY AND 100th POST….  What better way than the second part of the 100 things of note that have happened in film, TV and music during Jokerside’s lifetime? The great, the good and the sad…

Still wearing that party hat?

51. Universal Horror

It may have taken Disney/Marvel rubbing their noses in it, and they may not have got Dracula Untold exactly right, but at last the great sleeping Universal Studios has woken from the depths of the Black Lagoon. And there’s always Blu-Rays of the classic James Whale Frankenstein films until they nail that huge coffin.

52. Cucumber, Banana, Tofu

Regardless of the massive entertaining quality of Cucumber, this is the commissioning, cross platform public service and high concept budgeting that Channel 4 was born to make. And if the sadly under-watched Cucumber made us realise anything, it’s how great it is to have Russell T Davies’ writing back on air.

53. Lego

Just when it couldn’t get more world-conquering, there’s a public competition and an official Doctor Who set is announced for release in 2015. (See 58)

54. Return of the Gothic

The last 12 months may have seen Jokerside glimpse at contemporary adaptations of Dracula and Frankenstein, but things look set to get a lot busier. Dracula Untold did the business to modestly kick-start the Universal franchise while American and British broadcasters aren’t alone in commissioning multiple adaptations of gothic classics. Just keep an eye on the re-energised drama of ITV in the UK…

55. New talent on Doctor Who

Doctor Who’s Eighth series may have been enjoyable but it wasn’t an unmitigated success, scuppered by the cloyingly pointless Clara dating arc and a Doctor who didn’t even feel compelled to be in a Doctor Who story. But there was much promise behind the camera with the very welcome Ben Wheatley and Douglas MacKinnon, and on scripting duties, including Peter ‘Kill the Moon’ Harness and Jamie ‘Mummy on the Orient Express/Flatline’ Mathieson.. As Moffat’s tenure inevitably draws to a close, there’s hope they’ll form the new guard…

56. Constantine on the page

Only a few swam at speed after DC Comic’s ambitious reboot. Was there ever any doubt hat Liverpool’s most famous wizard would become a key player in DC’s agenda (See 10).

57. The First World War

2014’s commemorations one hundred years after the Great War saw a social and cultural response that complimented a generation. Whoever first thought of those roses around the Tower of London roses deserves an Honour.

58. Travellers’ Tales

Plodding away for over a decade on their Lego videogame franchises, the English software house’s consistent quality is admirable. And really, without those original Star Wars comedy cut scenes there wouldn’t have been the all-conquering The Lego Movie last year (see 53).

59. Channel Five

The Desmond tenure turned a significant profit and saved Big Brother, still in Jokerside’s reckoning, the king/queen/both of reality TV. But Five has now become the first UK terrestrial channel owned by an American mass-media company. That’s huge, but what it will mean for British broadcasting remains to be seen.

60. Winter keeps coming

It may lead the pack when it comes to comfort viewing, but Game of Thrones, the show where nothing really happens and no-one seems to mind, hasn’t let us down at doing just that.

61. The Fab Films

50 years since the release of The Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night last summer kick-started a retrospective of their diverse and underrated filmic oeuvre (See 62). Watch for more of that on Jokerside in 2015.

62. And the Fab songs

And of course, that meant the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s first single in October 2012. A single that would start a revolution in the head (See 61).

63. 60 years of Rock ‘n’ Roll

And last summer, the 60th anniversary of Bill Haley and the Comets’ Rock Around the Clock. Rock had been around before, but this pushed it mainstream and it hasn’t taken a holiday since.

64. Wonder Woman

(See 96) It came with criticism, but it wasn’t quite as rude a welcome as Aquaman received. Gal Gadot looks the business as Wonder Woman. And pointing out the similarities between an Amazonian goddess and a Greek warrior princess? Well, duh?

65. Netflix

Netflix arrived in Castle Jokerside for Arrested Development fourth season and hasn’t left. Sod the films, their approach to original programming is refreshing and welcome. Conventional channels have even less reason to be complacent.

66. Seven Spools

Jokerside’s fiction sister-site launched in late 2014. Stories to divide the year sevenly are waiting for you right here

67. Videogames just not slowing down

In a short period of time videogames have supplanted other forms of media, drawing headlines for the sheer devotion and money they engender. Nowhere near maturity, they need support and creative input to flourish into an important and life-changing part of life; from education to philanthropy.

68. Wine

Fuelling Jokerside since 2012. May Bacchus be praised!

69. Bowie wins a Brit

Unbelievably and incredibly well deserved: Bowie became the oldest ever recipient of the Best Male Solo Artist Brit in 2014. He didn’t turn up of course, managing to annoy the Scots by proxy. After all, he didn’t even turn up for the Olympics. One day…

70. DC’s creative split

No, not on the page but in motion. Splitting their universes into the cinematic and televisual is bold and allows creative freedom that can only reward the fans. All Terran and alien fingers crossed that it pans out.

71. Birdman

Not perfect, an acquired taste, but certainly stunning. It rightly ruled the Oscars while reminding us that a film industry without Michael Keaton acting crazy isn’t worth having (not to mention Ed Norton…). Keaton’ll be back at the Oscars one day soon…

72. W1A

She’s had a tough few years has Auntie Beeb, and it’s not getting easier – but she’s still up for taking the piss out of herself. (see 74)

73. Coincidence

It’s bloody everywhere.

74. The BBC

Oh yes, Britain’s wonderful, unique, flawed state broadcaster. Doomed to be criticised no matter what she does, but she keeps on going, and Jokerside wouldn’t have that any other way. (See 72)

75. DC animation

Sadly, the rather good Beware the Batman fell after just one series in the Dark Knight’s 75th anniversary year (see 97), meaning no regular animated Batman for the first time in 21 years. Fortunately DC’s ambitious animated films were there to keep the ball rolling. Jokerside watches repeats of the brilliant The Brave and the Bold to fill the gap. Continue reading “Post 101: 100 Jokerside Moments (51 – 100)”

Post 100: 100 Jokerside Moments (1 – 50)

Jokerside 100

TODAY ISN’T JUST THE IDES OF MARCH. OR MOTHERING SUNDAY IN THE UK. IT ALSO MARKS JOKERSIDE’S SECOND AND A HALF ANNIVERSARY. HORRAY! And as if that isn’t enough – this is post number 100! To celebrate, here’s a list of 100 things of note that have happened in film, TV and music during Jokerside’s lifetime …

Somebody fetch a party hat.

  1. Post-Olympics London

The world’s international city continued to flourish, a hotbed of life, art and opportunity even during strained times. Jokerside’s Ed-in-Chief re-emerged there in January 2013 and quickly regained his Sam Johnson.

  1. NT Live

The National Theatre isn’t alone in exporting its wares marvellously to remote big screens. Though it fell before Jokerside, Danny Boyle’s sublime Frankenstein (with the two Sherlocks) is still touring.

  1. Blogging

Continues to diversify and grow, the faster than a bullet cure for writers’ block.

  1. Marvel raising their game

Disney brought the bucks to support the ambition. Phase Two proved bolder, bigger and more-conquering.

  1. Big budget TV

The switch to high-budget TV continued, dragging talent from stage and screen with it. Among some inevitable dross, television is often where events now happen.

  1. Graham Linehan

Aside from anything else? Collaboration that yields Count Arthur Strong and the imminent The Cloud with Adam Buxton is enough cause to celebrate.

  1. Multiplicity

In general, brilliant. But when it comes to Multiversity… Morrison. Event. DC Comics. It just works.

  1. Hannibal

Bryan Fuller finally cracks it and manages to improve Harris… So far. This could prove the definitive version, though I long for a better adaptation of Red Dragon

  1. The failure of Eco-sci-fi

Oblivion, Elysium, After Earth – 2013’s misjudged attempt to reboot the dominant science-fiction genre collapsed and we got Star Wars back as a reward.

  1. Constantine on TV

It stumbled, and then took four episodes before NBC’s take on the Scouse mage became brilliant and compulsive. Surely: #SaveConstantine.

  1. Neil Armstrong

The first human to step on a foreign body, 20 July 1969. Lost to us, 25 August 2012.

  1. Penny Dreadful

Logan, Mendes et al put the gothic and gore back on television, unleashing prime-time Timothy Dalton on an unsuspecting audience.

  1. Twitter

Now the benchmark for communication, news delivery and news reporting, and so far just about retaining its simple brilliance.

  1. Return of the star ship show

It had been years, but Ascension put the star ship show back on television. When will Star Trek pop back up? Surely not long…

  1. Diversifying Dracula

From Victorian sop to feral Izzard to Luke Evans’ anti-hero to Penny Dreadful’s unseen: The count is in rude health.

Continue reading “Post 100: 100 Jokerside Moments (1 – 50)”

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