Viewing posts tagged reviews

Potterless

I can scarcely believe I'm doing this...



Saw the Potterocalypse.  Well crafted.  I've had worse afternoons in the cinema.

One of the most interesting things about the films is how much better they are than the books.  That goes for all of them.  This last is no exception.

Rowling is a poor novelist but Kloves is an excellent adaptor.  It's quite amazing how he streamlines the windy, pompous, digression-ridden plots so that audiences can follow them without flowcharts. 

Also, the films have always made Harry easier to like than the books, partly because Radcliffe is naturally likeable and partly because cinema can't give us what Rowling insists on foisting upon readers: unfettered access to Harry's every self-obsessed, uncharitable, weak-willed, petulant thought.  Again, in this latest film, Kloves helps mightily by snipping out acres of Potterian sulking and obsessing over irrelevancies, like the ancient and brief moral failures of mentors, etc.. 

Harry's wobbles over loyalty to his dead headmaster go on for faaaaaar toooooo loooooong in the book... and yet, in the film, even after all the set-up from the last film, we get only the briefest ...

Veto Axons

This is a round-up of my Timelash II stuff on Series 3... well, those bits of it that I haven't already posted elsewhere.  The 'Smith and Jones' bit is a tweaked version of something from the old site.  There's nothing about Axons in here, I just found myself amused by the anagram.


The Runaway Bride

The Doctor cold-bloodedly kills the Racnoss children... and the episode tries to have its cake and eat it by both giving the Doctor 'no choice' and implying that he 'went too far'. The probably unintentional implication is that neocon logic is unpalatable but inescapable, that we need people who will ruthlessly kill on a massive scale in order to protect us from the forces of unreasoning hostility.

We're a long way from "massive weapons of destruction" being a lie from a politician with an evil, greedy alien baby inside him. 



Smith and Jones

Russell reuses many of the ideas and techniques that made ‘Rose’ work as an introductory tale. There is a frenetic opening scene which introduces Martha, her family situation and her workplace. As in ‘Rose’, the new companion meets the Doctor at work and, as in ‘Rose ...

Trouble & Strife

Just brought myself to watch the Neil Gaiman one. 

Shit. 

Bunch of tricks.  Everything, from the mail-cube to the supposedly scary goings-on in the TARDIS corridors turned out to be a trick of some kind.

In line with Gaiman's usual style, it was a load of cynical and calculated pandering to his market's baser instincts (fanwank) while also patronising them. 

The makeshift lashup junk-TARDIS was like the writer was patting the old show on the head and going "awww, bless". 

Such condescension would be obnoxious but justifiable if Gaiman's episode had expanded and fulfilled and outclassed the best of the old show.  But it didn't.  It was meaningless and equivocal as a compliment.  It was like someone who claimed to love me giving me a Jeffrey Archer paperback as a birthday gift. However warm the inscription, it'd be obvious that the gift-giver didn't really know or care about me at all.

It was vacuous and superficial, which was all the worse because it toyed listlessly and disinterestedly with concepts (rejectamenta, reclamation, reconstruction) which are potentially oneiric, semiotically rich and thematically charged.  Gaiman used them as ...

Troughtonite Revisionism

I reposted my Hartnell stuff from Timelash II pretty much as it originally appeared. I've rejigged the following Troughton stuff a fair bit, however, so you'd better read it all over again very carefully, in case you miss a syllable of my searing insight and sage wisdom.


'The Underwater Menace'

I could easily tear this story to pieces, yes? And feed the pieces to my pet octopus, yes??? But this story has sense of humour! I too have sense of humour!!!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!

Look, if you think this story is any more silly than any other Doctor Who story... well, it isn't.

Look at the amount of thought that went into the costumes and sets. Polly spends a lot of the story with a detail from a doric column on her head! Look at the detail in which Atlantean society is depicted. There's a throne room, a temple, a lab, a hospital, a market... there are priests and acolytes, beggers and traders, slaves and workers, guards and orderlies... there are intimations of popular dislike for the forces of the state... Look at the variations in the personalities. Look at the ...

Hartnellical Materialism

Gallibase has relaunched 'Timelash' as a story-per-day affair. Along with others, I've managed a review (ranging from a terse comment to a bloated essay) for every story. It goes without saying, I don't have a girlfriend.

Anyway. Today, we got to 'The Tenth Planet' and so I thought I might post my comments here - or the more interesting ones anyway (everything being relative) - and make it a regular thing every time we finish with a Doctor. Basically, I'm very bored.

As you will see, my view of the Hartnell era is much influenced by the work of V. Gordon Childe, Walter Benjamin, historical materialism in general, the wobbly 'permanent arms economy' theory, William Morris, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Edward Said and lots of thinly veiled class hatred. There's also some stuff in here that might remind you of the About Time books... but, with all due respect to Miles and Wood, I'd already thought of it all before I read them. When I mention something that I got from them, I acknowledge it.


'An Unearthly Child'

It's been said before but its true: the first episode is amazing, the other three are disappointing... but only by ...

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