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Friday, October 23, 2015

Comic Cuts - 23 October 2015

The week has sailed past without making much of an impact. With Mel back from the US, we had a lazy weekend trying to catch up on some TV... and we've been playing catch-up over the whole week. I'm also playing catch-up with a whole load of DVDs that have started to pile up, so I've been watching an odd mix of films. The last few I've watched have been Death Of A President (2006, dir. Gabriel Range), which was a gripping docudrama set around the fictional assassination of George W. Bush; Mordecai (2015, dir. David Koepp), which was a missed opportunity made worse by Johnny Depp trying to channel Terry-Thomas; Monsters: Dark Continent (2014, dir. Tom Green), which was harrowing in its war scenes, but there was nothing new, and the addition of alien invaders added nothing of substance; 3 Days To Kill (2014, dir. McG), which was, I suspect, meant to be a heart-warming tale of an assassin reconnecting with his estranged daughter, but which actually left me feeling bored; Super (2010, dir. James Gunn), which was a bit like a low-budget Kick-Ass with more violence and a few laughs... I need to see it again to figure out if I actually like it or not; and 2046 (2004, dir. Wong Kar-Wai), which I watched and then immediately had to read the summary for on Wikipedia just to get the storyline straight in my head. Beautiful, elegant and the sort of film where you see something and spend the next five minutes wondering whether it's significant or not. Why are we watching their shoes? Is that symbolic of something? Why is it always Christmas Eve?

Anyway, between that lot and a box set of Lie To Me season one (seen before, but Tim Roth is always worth watching again) I seem to have spent my entire week looking at a screen.

The most entertaining movie experience of the week was actually something I heard. I decided to break the back of the James Hadley Chase cover gallery without realising quite how many different covers we were talking about. I had about 90-100 in place when we started. I've just counted up the finished total: 344 – by a long-shot the most comprehensive cover gallery I've managed to date.

While I've been working on all these covers, I've been listening to a handful of newly discovered podcasts. The best of these has been The Secret History of Hollywood, narrated by a guy called Adam Roche. It has had only a handful of episodes but they're incredibly long and detailed. I've listened to the three-part biography of Alfred Hitchcock, which runs for an astonishing 19 hours and 40 minutes. I've also listened to "A Universe of Horrors" (about Universal horror stars Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, the Wolfman and the Mummy), a mere 7 hours, and Basil Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes outings, which is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it 2hrs 20mins.

The research that has gone into them is amazing. Adam Roche also runs another classic movies podcast, Attaboy Clarence, which I've yet to explore but which I'll be taking a look at shortly.

My other new favourite is the Adam Buxton Podcast. Buxton we've followed since the days of the Adam and Joe Show on Channel 4. He's always entertaining, whether its on radio (his 6Music shows Adam & Joe and Big Mix Tape are classics), on TV (it was tragic that BUG didn't last longer), or online (check out his YouTube channel); he recently co-wrote a sitcom pilot (The Cloud) with Graham Linehan, which will hopefully develop into a series.

Today's random scans are a number of editions of the same book, which I happen to be reading at the moment.


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