Thursday, August 27, 2009


I've been listening to a lot of David Bowie this last week. The reasons for this are two-fold:

1. I realised that I'd left a hell of a lot of Bowie songs off my iTunes, so I spent one night last week rectifying that. Suffice to say I now have (almost) his complete oeuvre on my iPhone, including the albums that die-hard Bowie fans, and even the great man himself, I believe, only speak of in hushed tones - Never Let Me Down and Tonight. I am enjoying them both GREATLY.

Look - apart from two episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and a little wobble where I listened to six tracks by other artists, my iTunes 'recently played' list proves that I've only listened to David Bowie over the last few days.

2. I was flicking around on the iTunes music store last Wednesday when I discovered that a David Bowie VH1 Storytellers live concert recorded in 1999 had been released at the beginning of July. I was on the verge of downloading it via the wiffys straight to my iPhone when I discovered that the physical version of the album came with a DVD of the concert, so I headed down to HMV in Hammersmith where I purchased it from an assistant who appeared to be suffering from some sort of disorder because they wouldn't look me in the eye or talk to me. Hmmm.

A quality version of Drive-in Saturday. I defy you not to laugh during the first 45 seconds where he reveals how Moot the Hoople turned this song down and in revenge he got very drunk and shaved his eyebrows off. Yes, you read that correctly.

So did I tell you I'm a really big David Bowie fan (not literally, mind)? I wasn't always, though. I used to hate his music back when I was a kid, although I had a begrudging, albeit well-hidden, respect for Modern Love. It was only sometime around the late 90s that I finally 'got' his stuff. Shortly after I got my first CD player I went on a bit of a mad spending spree buying loads of CDs, not only because they were something of a novelty, but also because - and this is going to sound very pretentious - I wanted to expand my musical horizons. And so, one day, I ended up buying The Singles Collection, one of the many David Bowie greatest hits compilations available, and one which I chose because it was dirt cheap in Kingston's now defunct Tower Records store.

It all goes a bit fuzzy after that, but the gist of it is that I suddenly developed into the Bowie uber-nerd, buying every studio album (multiple times, in those instances when special editions were released) and live album I could get my hands on in the space of just a few months. I read biographies and interviews, watched documentaries, concert films, Labyrinth, and The Man Who Fell to Earth. And in 2002, I finally got to see him play live.

It was around late september 2002 when Bowie was out and about promoting his Heathen album that it was announced he was going to play one show at the Hammersmith Apollo. Upon hearing this I went nuts (just one of many occasions over the years when my incredibly tolerant work colleagues probably began thinking about buying up some tranq darts) because not only is the Apollo one of my favourite gig venues and conveniently located close to work, it's also the place where Bowie spectacularly killed off Ziggy Stardust in 1973.

I had to go.

Getting tickets, however, was another matter. They weren't going on sale via traditional means, and so I tried entering competitions online and on the radio in an effort to get my hands on some, failing at every attempt. However, on the Friday before the gig (which was on a Wednesday), just as I was about to abandon all hope, it was announced that tickets would go on sale the very next day at 9 am - and the only way to get them was to buy them in person from the Hammersmith Apollo box office.

I was determined to get them, and so I resolved to queue over night outside the Apollo. I had never queued over night for anything before, and never have since, but I wanted these tickets more than anything. A load of us had arranged to go for a drink after work that Friday evening, and although I attended I made my excuses and left early. I was home by about quarter to eight that evening, and in bed by nine. I'd set my alarm for a little after midnight and, amusingly, as I was still living at Sparky Ma and Pa's at the time, I remember Big Bro and I passing like ships in the night as he was going to bed and I was heading out the door.

I drove to Hammersmith, and was at the Apollo around 1 am, where I tagged on to the end of the queue. At some point someone walked along the line and gave me a number - around 275, I think - that meant I could've wandered off and come back later, but I didn't want to risk losing my place. I'd taken a random Star Trek novel that I'd grabbed from the office with me, and some work, but I ended up not really touching either; instead, I got chatting to some of the people around me. Despite the fact that I was wearing a jacket and a waterproof, it was cold, and a lovely, slightly hippy-ish couple in the queue directly behind me lent me a blanket and a pillow while they retreated to the warmth of their camper van. I struck up a conversation with the guy in front of me, who worked in the Ealing branch of HMV and looked remarkably like Wayne Coyne from The Flaming Lips if memory serves me correctly; he'd kind of accidently managed to buy tickets for a forthcoming Bowie gig in New York, but wasn't quite sure if he'd actually be able to afford the flights and accommodation. We talked until the first rays of sunlight peeked over the Hammersmith flyover, and as the queue finally started edging forward he mentioned that I should go see his band play at a pub in a couple of weeks. By that time we were at the doors of the Apollo and before I knew it we'd been directed to different ticket booths; I never got his name, or the name of the pub where he was playing.

What I did get, though, was two tickets to see David Bowie at the Hammersmith Apollo. Securing them safely in a zipped pocket, I walked back to my car in a bit of a daze, and was home just before 11 am that morning.

The next few days passed so slowly it was untrue, but eventually Wednesday, 2nd October arrived, and Yazzle Dazzle and I fronted up to the Apollo. Out of interest, we stopped a tout and asked how much he'd give us for our tickets; not that we would ever have given any thought to actually selling them, but let's just say we would've been properly quids in if we'd done it.

The gig was amazing; an incredibly relaxed and vibrant-looking Bowie played for almost three hours. The crowd loved it; we had seats in the circle, but everyone was on their feet throughout, including Roger Taylor from Queen, who was dressed in a tuxedo with a white scarf draped across his shoulders (funny, though, I don't recall seeing him sitting outside the Hammersmith Apollo at 2 am the previous Saturday morning). To this day that gig ranks as one of the best concerts I've ever seen.

Although these were the days before I had a camera phone, at least one person was good enough to get a snippet of the incredible Hammersmith Apollo gig.

Around this time I was also writing a lot of scripts for ideas I'd had for comic books, and I kid you not, I even started writing one about Ziggy Stardust. It struck me that there was a very strong narrative to a lot of Bowie's songs, and I thought it would be interesting to try and tie some of them together. I wrote 108 pages of script for what I envisaged would end up as something like a 300 page-long graphic novel. Comics pal Grum even did some character design sketches. I don't know quite what I thought would happen with it - would I ever be able to send the script to David Bowie himself? Probably not, but as a writing exercise it was a very valuable experience; it remains the second longest piece of fiction I've ever written after my novel. To this day I still think the plot is sound, and although five years have passed since I last looked at it, I often think that I'd like to go back and finish it one day.

The first page of my Ziggy Stardust comics script.

In November 2003 I got the chance to see Bowie play live again as part of his A Reality Tour. This time he was playing at Wembley Arena, a venue not known for being particularly warm and intimate. On this occasion, though, that vast arena was transformed. I have never been to such a large concert where the entire crowd - and I mean literally *everyone* - is on their feet singing along from the very first song. That song was Life on Mars, and I distinctly remember us giving a visibly humbled Bowie several full minutes of applause before he got a chance to move on to the next song.

Not actually from the Wembley show, but you get the gist of it.

Like the Hammersmith gig, the Reality Tour show remains one of the best concerts I've ever been to. I remember coming out of the arena that night and giving serious thought to trying to get tickets for the second Wembley show the very next day - something I regret not doing now. Bowie had to abandon the tour due to ill-health the following summer, and hasn't toured since. After producing such an incredible musical legacy over the years I guess he's perfectly entitled not to head out on the road again, but for purely selfish reasons I'd love to see him play just once more (if only for Big Bro's sake - he's never seen Bowie play live, and after seeing the Reality Tour DVD deeply regretted not taking me up on my offer of getting him a ticket). Until that time, should it ever happen, I'll just have to make do with listening to all those songs I just put on my iTunes - even the ones off Never Let Me Down.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In homage, Part V

Drawn 26/10/95 - 27/10/95. I was always slightly fascinated by the idea of how Starfleet would recover the Enterprise's saucer section from the surface of Veridian III (because in 1995 I had *nothing* else to occupy my thoughts), and loved the idea of some greasy wideboy turning up with his grotty old pick-up truck to tow it away. I'm still rather pleased with how the truck turned out. On the other hand, I'm slightly disturbed by Captain Picard's rather prominent, um, 'package'

Drawn 26/10/95. As an original series fan, I couldn't face life with the knowledge that Captain Kirk was dead, so I did what any nerd would do and came up with a plausible way in which the old boy could live on. My answer? As a game show host. Yeeeeeeeees… (for anyone who's not familiar with the UK game show The Generation Game, click HERE. That should get you up to speed with what's going on here…).

Any-hoo, this is the denouement of my little stroll down memory lane. Back in the day, I'd actually planned on drawing some more ridiculous illustrations for each of the Star Trek movies that followed Generations, but in the end I simply couldn't be bothered.

Wait - was that a collective sigh of relief I heard? RUDE!

Monday, August 24, 2009

In homage, Part IV

Drawn 21/10/95 - 22/10/95. Counselor Troi is breathalysed as part of the investigation into the destruction of the Enterprise. I don't know why I made Troi's head so massively out of scale here; I've met Marina Sirtis and she has a perfectly normal, rather lovely shaped head. On the plus side I did give her awesomely perky tits and a stunning hourglass figure, so I think it all evens out in the end. Rather less forgiveable, though, is the shocking lack of a correct sense of scale; that registration number should be waaaaaaaaay bigger than it is here. I hang my head in shame.

Drawn 22/10/95 - 23/10/95. A couple of months before I drew this it was announced that Worf was joining the cast of Deep Space Nine, so I decided to fill in a gap in the continuity. I'd always thought of Riker as something of a jock, so I adjusted his costume here to resemble an American Football uniform, and had him chucking a ball at the departing, overly emotional Worf (another blatant disregard of Star Trek lore on my part - *everyone* knows Klingons don't have tear ducts). None of this explains why Captain Picard appears to be groping his own arse, though, but if it keeps him happy, so be it - make it so, you pervert!

Next: An epic finale!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

In homage, Part III

Drawn 10/10/95 - 14/10/95. So this drawing was influenced by two factors, the first being that there were all these stories that William Shatner and Patrick Stewart hated each other (not true), and the second being the Star Trek fans' ultimate wet dream that the two Enterprise crews should end up in battle against each other to decide once and for all which was the best. A ridiculous idea, I think you'll agree.

Kirk would kick Picard's ass every time.

Drawn 1/10/95. I think this speaks for itself. Note the addition of two Klingon weapons - a bat'leth and a d'k tahg knife. I'm nothing if not thoroughly nerdy.

Next: the aftermath of the Enterprise crash!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

In homage, Part II

Drawn 17-10-95 - 21/10/95. The moment every Star Trek fan had been having impure thoughts about waiting for: Captains Kirk and Picard meet! And they rode horses. Hmmm. Anyway, the horse that Kirk is riding here has a rather mischievous look on its face, and I can't remember why. Also, I'm not totally sure, but Picard might be in silhouette in the background because I was still trying to get the hang of drawing a fairly decent Patrick Stewart and it was just easier to colour him in.

Drawn 22/10/95. Ha ha ha - it's a joke about lady drivers! Because those *never* go out of fashion…

Next: An epic confrontation!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

In homage, Part I

Over the weekend, for reasons so long and complex I shan't bother to go into them here, I spent rather a lot of time thinking about the past. This ultimately led to me sitting on the floor on Sunday afternoon, routing through a load of old folders when I would've actually preferred to be doing something more productive like reading a book or taking a nap; I'm right into taking naps at the weekend these days. Anyway, so there I was, searching through some dusty old folders. I was actually looking for something specific, and after a while I found it: an old pink cardboard folder containing a series of photocopied pages.

Fourteen years ago, when I was in Sixth Form college, I decided to create a very personal gift as an 18th birthday present for a friend of mine. At the time we were both into Star Trek (yes, I know, I never grew *out* of Star Trek); this was, of course, around the time when DS9 and Voyager were both on the telly, and the same year in which Star Trek Generations had hit UK cinema screens. I was also doing my A-Level graphical communication project on the topic of starship design evolution in Star Trek, much to the chagrin of my teachers who would shake their heads at me as if to say I was taking leave of my senses until, of course, I claimed the school's very first A grade in the subject - but that's another story.

Any-hoo, as part of my friend's birthday gift, I decided to draw her a series of comedic illustrations (this was also around the time I still harboured a desire to be a cartoonist) based on Star Trek Generations, and the folder I was looking for at the weekend contained the last surviving photocopies of those original drawings (for all I know the originals don't exist anymore). And I thought "who could I inflict these upon for shits and giggles?"

That's where you come in, dear reader.

So here you have it - the first installment of my childlike scribblings from 1995!

(BTW, if you're not too familiar with Star Trek Generations you might want to watch the film to help you get the most out of what's coming your way over the course of the next few days; alternatively, I will be captioning each illustration in a wry, possibly somewhat derogatory fashion. Of course, if you don't care, which is more than likely, that's fine too!)


This is the title page. It explains what this nonsense is all about. Note the UK spelling of 'generalizations.' If I used that I'd work I'd probably be fired.

Drawn 1/10/95. This is based on a sequence that was cut from the final film where Soran tortures Geordi with a probe that stops his heart. I thought it would be funnier if he showed him some holiday photos. Hmmm. On the plus side, I think you'll agree I totally nailed the look of Malcolm McDowell. I also seem to recall feeling distinctly uncomfortable drawing Geordi's massive nipples and moobs.

Drawn 14/10/95. The comedy here is that, in the series, I always thought Dr. Crusher had ridiculously massive shoulder pads, and paid far too much attention to her tricorder when her patients might be violently bleeding out on the biobed. Nice womanly hips on Geordi.

Next: Two captains meet!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Book rant

I've not had a good rant here for a while, and seeing as Marcosy has once again been harassing me for not having written anything for a few days (I swear he's not happy unless there's a new post at least once a day), I thought I'd go with this (also because it's been swirling around in my brain for a while so I think it's probably wise to get it out before my head explodes).

A few weeks back Sparky Ma and I decided to head out on one of our infamous shopping expeditions to Kingston. I didn't actually need to buy anything, but I know it makes Sparky Ma happy when I do spend unnecessarily, so I thought I'd put together a list of a few books I liked the sound of. I didn't particularly need any new books, because my book stack was already pretty big, and I'm reading a rather epic novel as it is, but I like buying books, so I figured rather than buy them as and when I needed them from Amazon (where they're cheaper, I might add), I'd buy them in a shop and get a nice carrier bag to keep Sparky Ma happy.

From a rather large list, I whittled it down to three books I wanted to buy:

And so, bright and early one Saturday morning, off we trotted. Well, actually, we drove - but you get the gist.

There are two dedicated bookshops in Kingston: Waterstones and Borders. I hit-up Waterstones first. Neither King Dork nor A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius were anywhere to be found, but as both are two years old I didn't necessarily find this terribly surprising; disappointing, yes, surprising, no. I was trained from a very young age to be prepared for disappointment while shopping; not once did I burst into tears when the toy shop didn't have the Thunder Punch He-Man figure I so desperately wanted.

Where was I? Ah yes - two down, one to go. I soon found myself looking on the alphabetically-arranged shelves for a copy of Tomas, and after hunting high and low (like A-Ha) I found it. I grabbed it and looked down at it … only to find that someone had spilt blue ink all across the cover at some point before it was put on the shelf. I looked back at the shelf thinking I'd just grab a different copy, only to discover that this was the sole copy of Tomas in the shop.

So let's get this straight: this was the one and only copy in this shop of a very recently released, critically-acclaimed novel … and it was covered in ink.

This is the point where you'd think I should've rushed up to a member of staff and asked for some money off, but I don't do that with books. Books are something I cherish. I always look for the most perfect copy of a book before buying it. Of course, it's then totally my decision if I want to break the spine, sneeze in it, or hurl ink across the cover, but at the moment of purchase it has to be *perfect.*

I put the book back on the shelf and stormed off, thinking I'd just get it in Borders. If a member of Waterstones' staff had been nearby and I'd just happened to be wearing a cape I would've been tempted to swoosh it dramatically across my shoulder before shouting theatrically "I SHALL TAKE MY CUSTOM ELSEWHERE!" while also noting with something approaching disgust that it's just plain weird that Waterstones, the book-selling division of the HMV chain, now sells Nintendo DS consoles and the top 10 DVDs.

Cut to Borders.

In Borders I headed straight for the 'E's. That's the alphabetical listing of the bookshelves, I should add, and not any illegal uppers that might have been on offer. After locating 'Eggers, Dave' I clapped my hands together like a special when I saw there were three copies of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius on the shelf. Sparky Ma always taught me to choose a copy from the back, so I slid the first two books forward and reached for the one at the rear. Holding it in my hands, though, I noticed that all the corners were a bit mashed up, so I popped it back and took the next one. This one looked like it'd been chewed by a dog, so I put that one down as well, ultimately violating Sparky Ma's golden rule of not taking the first one on the shelf by taking the first one on the shelf. That one had a torn back cover and dirt on it. WTF?!

I put that one back and decided that I'd just go find Tomas instead (King Dork wasn't available here, either). Unfortunately, the only thing awaiting me at the 'P's was crushing disappointing: there was not one copy of Tomas on the shelf. Outrageous. I decided to console myself by looking at the graphic novels; Borders in Kingston has one of the best graphic novel sections I know.

The graphic novel section, however, appeared to have been hit by a bomb. Books were lying everywhere like little wounded paper soldiers. Some were on the floor, others, shoved haphazardly on the shelves with no apparent consideration for a) the condition of the book, or b) any sense of order. I looked around in desperate hope that I might see one of those annoying children you find every now and again in book shops - you know, the ones that decide they're going to pull all the books off the shelf and then put them back in a prettier fashion using the colour of the spine to make a rainbow pattern or something. That sort of thing usually winds me up something chronic, but here that kid could be a hero!

There were no children available, however, so instead I just stormed out. Again. Oh, but not before using Borders' free wi-fi to order both Tomas and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius from Amazon using my iPhone. Both books turned up in pristine condition a couple of days later, and I saved myself £5.59 in the process.

So this is what's erking me. I was really well up for spending more than I needed to buy these books, purely because I wanted the experience of buying them in a real bookshop. But no. It seems the only thing you can buy in a book shop these days that doesn't look like it's been trashed by a wild animal is a DVD of Twilight or the latest Katie Price 'opus.' Ugh. Yes, yes, I know we're in the midst of a recession and the shops probably don't want to hold too much older stock (i.e. anything that the ink has actually had time to dry on, aside from Waterstones' sole copy of Tomas) and they're facing increased competition from online sellers like Amazon, but the impression I get these days is that they just want to make some excuses before rolling over and dying.

I love buying books in shops - I've discovered so many books and authors I love simply by browsing the shelfs - but if bookshops aren't going to offer the choice or justify their higher prices with a decent, passionate service then quite frankly they deserve to go the way of the dinosaurs, the dodo, and Woolworths.

I discovered recently that Borders are closing about five of their UK stores including their flagship Oxford Street branch. And while I'll miss that towering edifice of books in central London, to be quite honest the last time I went in there it looked like a shanty town. Thank god the Kingston branch isn't closing because I love that shop. Of course, I loved it more when it stayed open late and I could stroll in around eight o'clock, buy a book, then start reading it over a coffee in the in-store Starbucks (hint hint); it closes at seven now, meaning that by the time I get there after work I'm just about in time to see them locking the doors.

What I'm getting at, then, is that I want to see these shops working harder for my money, particularly at this time. It's kind of like training a dog, I suppose; if they work harder, I'll reward them by giving them a chocolate drop my money. If they don't, I'll quite happily give it to the Amazonians.

Rant over. Now, if you'll excuse me I have a large stack of books I need to get through.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

G.I. Joe: Rise of … WTF?!

I've just gotten back from seeing the movie G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra and I feel compelled to write this while it's still fresh in my mind.

Because lord knows I shall be doing anything and everything to erase it from my brain as soon as I hit 'Publish Post,' including bashing my face against the wall until I break through into next door's living room and get to greet my delightful lady neighbour with a bloodied face and a jaunty wink before passing out.

I can't say I was terribly enthusiastic about seeing this film, but as I had fond memories of owning the toys when I was a kid (known over here in Britland as Action Force, because we were obviously ill-equipped to deal with having to give our action figures American accents) I thought I'd give it a whirl. I subsequently roped in an unsuspecting Willowc to accompany me because, well, she made me see The Spirit so quite frankly she was asking for it.

So I won't beat around the bush: it genuinely was like a live-action version of Team America, only with all the songs, naughty language, and humour sucked out of it. It was really po-faced. I mean *really.* It took itself so seriously it wasn't funny. Literally. Which is a bit of a shame, because if it had some songs monosyllabic star Channing Tatum could've shown off his wicked dance steps; I've seen the trailer for Step-Up, I know he's got some killer moves. So yes, anyway, it was very serious. Even the most ridiculous lines were delivered with earnest conviction by the cast – with the exception of anything that spilled out of dear ol' Channing's mouth, of course; he simply mumbled, frowned, and went a bit cross-eyed with all the effort he was putting in. Bless. Give him a gold star, a pat on the head and send him on his way.

At least he looks like the freakin' doll.

As if the tone wasn't bad enough, the acting was universally horrific. Everyone - and I mean everyone - involved should be utterly ashamed of themselves. I've seen more convincing performances when I recite Star Trek lines to myself in the bathroom mirror in kindergarten nativity plays.

I shan't dwell on Channing Tatum's performance, because unless there was a dance number halfway through the film I wasn't really expecting too much from him. Sienna Miller, on the other hand…

Oh, Sienna - why? You've been forging such an interesting career for yourself and your perky breasts with such diverse roles in … that film … and the … other one … but here! Here, any vestige of talent just flew, FLEW out the window as you concentrated so hard on talking with a crappy American accent. At least I think it was supposed to be American … And what was up with the way you walked? It looked like you had either a club foot or crapped yourself. Or maybe it was trapped wind. May I suggest pavanamuktasana (that's wind-removing pose to you and me)?

I do hope she didn't follow through. That outfit is rather snug.

On the plus side, a scene in which she was in a car that exploded did give me the opportunity to utter the phrase 'burnt Sienna' to Willowc. HI-larity ensued, let me tell you.

Despite the appalling accent and lack of any discernable talent, the producers appear to have spent all their money on Sienna and some truly dreadful visual effects, and thus the rest of the cast was comprised of whoever they could get for what little money they had left.

Channing, of course, is like the poor man's Josh Hartnett, which I'm sure will please Josh Hartnett until I say that Josh Hartnett is also a poor man's Josh Hartnett. As I already mentioned, without an opportunity to break into dance, or any meaningful dialogue to advance whatever seemed to pass as a plot, Channing was left to mumble his way through the script somewhat incoherently. I don't know, maybe his mum wasn't around to help him with the big words. I'm pretty sure the only line he uttered that I understood was "WOO-HOO!" but maybe it was the visual aspect rather than the aural one that led me to understand that; I suppose they could've put him on a rollercoaster and green-screened a different background in later while his eyes lit up like a special on a day trip to the seaside.

Elsewhere, the head of G.I. Joe was played by Dennis Quaid, who I've always thought of as the poor man's Harrison Ford. Here he managed to wear a beret and still deliver lines of dialogue despite the fact that in some scenes I began to suspect that he might be in the midst of having a stroke or something.

Overheard on set: "What the hell did you sign me up for? I'm dressed like one of the Village People, and I can't feel the right-hand side of my body." TRUFAX.

Other than that, there was one of the Wayan brothers (I'm too depressed to go onto the IMDB to find out exactly which one) whose sole direction in the film appears to have been to "do it like Eddie Murphy would do it." Why they didn't just put him in a fat suit and pop a dress on him I don't know. And in the 'REALLY SHOULD KNOW BETTER' category we have Christopher Ecclescake, who after gurning his way through a season of Doctor Who put on possibly the worst Scottish accident I've ever heard for his role as … oh, I don't know, some pantomime villain or something here, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, to whom I'd just like to say: Jesus Christ, man, you were in Third Rock From the Sun for crying out loud - have some f**king sense!

And don't get me started on Jonathan Pryce. Tut. I'm disappointed in you, Sir.

About the only person I felt sorry for was Ray Park as Snake Eyes (I had that action figure!). Poor Ray Park; every movie he's in he has his face covered by extensive makeup or costume. He must be developing something of a complex. Surely he knows they only want him because he can bust some serious judo-chop moves? He doesn't even get to talk in this movie. Does he realise he's effectively just one step up from a prop?

And so we come to the architect of this tragic affair - James Tiberius Ki- Oh, wait, I was reciting Star Trek dialogue again there, wasn't I? Oops. Right, so Stephen Sommers - WHY?! I really want to like your films. Deep Rising was fun. The Mummy was fun too. The Mummy Returns sucked, quite frankly, and Van Helsing was a mess saved only by Hugh Jackman's laughably ridiculous hat and Kate Beckinsale's heaving bosum. But I just don't understand why Hollywood keeps giving you millions of dollars to go off and make ridiculous, vacuous movies.

Quite frankly, I'm pretty sure I could make a reasonable film if someone gave me a bag of cash - even one, like G.I. Joe, that focuses on a beloved plastic figure.

Hollywood: I'm awaiting your call.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Three photos for you to marvel at and make insightful comments about!

Photo the first: Super Lucky Cat!
Super Lucky Cat was in a trampy all you can eat Chinese buffet in Shepherds Bush, and was freakin' massive. It made me smile. I want it.

Photo the second: A massive chopper!
It's not often you see a helicopter being wheeled through the streets of Hammersmith, so today was clearly my luck day. Maybe Super Lucky Cat had something to do with it?

Photo the third: My third nipple!
OK, so it's not actually a third nipple - it's a freakish-looking insect bite I appear to have suffered during the Wedding Day 7k on Friday. But it's massive, and looks a bit nipplish. I'm half expecting a kitten or some other infantile creature to try suckling on it at some point. That'll be an interesting experience.