"When naughty George and Harold hypnotise their headteacher, they
accidentally create the greatest superhero in the history of their
school -- Captain Underpants! His true identity is so secret that
HE doesn't know who he is... but he's fighting for truth,
and all things pre-shrunk and cottony!"
Tomorrow's outmoded artefacts today. From the makers of TV Go Home
comes a comic spoof of the consumer-product catalogues that arrive like
an unwanted rash from newpapers and magazines. Modelled on those
catalogues that are so welcome as they spill unwanted from your weekend
newspapers in a magfall of bizarre information, this is a celebration of
triumphantly useless and inappropriate consumer choices.
"The inhabitants of the Popcorn Islands lead a peaceful and comfortable
existence - that is, until pirates attack Captain Foster's ship on its
way to America and steal half the popcorn harvest. So Lucy, Hermione and
Sam offer to accompany the captain and his dog Biscuit on the next trip
to keep a lookout for danger. But danger is exactly what they run into!
Now the pirates aren't just after more popcorn ...they want new
recruits too! Will three children - and one small dog - defeat the
greediest gang of grub-guzzling pirates ever to sail the high seas? It's
going to be an EXPLOSIVE adventure!"
Was in Glasgow yesterday for shopping and jumped into HMV, as part of their continued downfall/relocation/adjustment period they're getting rid of a lot of stock and reducing it to clear. I of course gravitated toward the book racks and came away with a handful of titles with ridiculous low prices. I was like a kid in a candy store and picked up the books bellow. A lot of these were already reduced beforehand but I got six books with a total RRP of £55.95 for £2.94
Unnovations - Charlie Brooker
This is a re-release of the book that started off Charlie Brooker's career. He started out writing a website called TV Go Home, a fake TV guide. Unnovations collects the advertisements for fake products that lined its pages.
Reality Hunger - David Shields
This book proposes to be an investigation into the concept of the ownership of ideas and plagiarism. From my initial glances it seems to consist of short snippets of text and quotes working towards the completion of the writers thoughts. should be interesting,
The popcorn pirates - Alexander McCall Smith
This is a book about an island where you can plant popcorn and grow popcorn trees....then pirates come. There was no way I wasn't picking this up.
The Perfect Fool - Stewart Lee
I consider Stewart Lee to be one of the most intelligent comedians around. His stand up is just brilliant, hillarious, smart of tightly written. I'd no idea he'd written a novel and if it's half as well written as his comedy material it should be a treat.
Stone Junction - Jim Dodge
No idea what this is, I pretty much bought it because there's a skeleton on the cover. It's apparently a cult classic and has a bunch of weird and wonderful characters so it should be good.
Awkward Situations For Men - Danny Wallace
Not 100% what this is, I think it's a collection of Wallace's newspaper articles but I'm not certain. It's certainly presented in a short article format so I think I'm probably right. His articles are always fun to read so this should be a good one. Jordanaan's already started it and she's been enjoying it a lot,
It should be fairly obvious too long time readers of this blog that I'm a huge Sonic the Hedgehog fan. Since I was a little kid and got my hands on the first game for the Sega Megadrive I've been absolutely hooked. Over the years I've built up a fairly impressive Sonic collection and it only makes sense that every now and then, reviews or articles dealing with the blue blur make their way into my blog.
This post is designed to be your one stop shop for all things Sonic related here on tales from iDEATH. Whenever I post anything to do with the hedgehog with attitude I'll link it in one of the sections below. I'll continue to update this page as and when I upload new Sonic stuff so be sure to check back regularly.
Hope you enjoy,
Sonic Cartoons, episode by episode
Easily one of my most popular segments here on the blog are my cartoon reviews where I list my thoughts on every single episode of a given series. So far, Sonic has starred in four different cartoons and a movie so obviously they were high on my list to review.
And with the recent announcement of Sonic Boom and the Sony Pictures Sonic movie, there's sure to be more to come.
This book started off really strongly. I love a circus
story, especially one with a sinister edge and this one had sinister in droves.
The creepy clowns, tattooed giantess, battle scarred ringmaster and the
mysterious creature called the Null. I was hooked and devoured the first two
hundred pages almost immediately.
The problems started around the halfway point however and
the book quickly ran out of steam. It fell into the wizard of oz format, the
characters making a journey, bumping into interesting character after
interesting character until they reach their goal. I’ve no problems with that
format but here it simply didn’t work. The journey is supposed to lead the
characters and the reader to the interesting part of the book, we all want to
get to the emerald city. Here, it felt as if the journey was taking us away
from the interesting part. As much as I wanted to learn what the palace of
laughter was and wanted the characters to get there, I felt my time in the Circus
Oscuro was all too brief. I wanted them to go back and have more adventures in
the circus itself.
The characters that they meet aren’t even all that
interesting and more than once I found myself wishing they would go and I could
just get on with the next chapter.
I also had trouble placing the book. At first I thought it
was set in a pseudo-Victorian era but later into the novel there are some hints
that it’s a more modern world. A little more time could have been dedicated to
fleshing out the world and giving the reader a decent grounding.
There was a lot of good things in this book though, don’t
get me wrong. The main characters were fun and I cared about them, the circus
stuff was great and the hints of the mythology surrounding the angels was
interesting, making me want to learn more about their world. The book is the
first in a trilogy and while I didn’t fully enjoy this book, I’d still consider
reading the next in the series just to learn a bit more info about all of these
I’d recommend giving this one a go if you stumble across it.
It’s decent with some good moments, I wouldn’t urge you to seek it out though.
It is no easy task to fill a novel with an entire cast of
unlikable characters and still grip the reader yet that’s what the Great Gatsby
manages to pull off flawlessly.
Each character is introduced to us as a glamorous
aspirational character but these layers are quickly and bluntly peeled away
revealing the black hearts and moral ineptitude of the characters true self.
Tom constantly cheats on his wife Daisy, Daisy herself is
selfish and materialistic going so far as to treat her own child as a
too is selfish and then, there’s Gatsby.
Gatsby, the richest and seemingly most perfect man who has
ever walked the earth is revealed as a criminal and an obsessive.
The only character with any real positive traits is nick
Caraway, out narrator, but even Nick grates on the reader as he is so small a
personality, so willing to be used, taken advantage of that you just want to
grab him by the shoulders and lead him away from these vile people.
The moment when the group are arguing over Daisy and
Gatsby’s relationship and Nick suddenly realises it’s his birthday is
simultaneously one of the most heart breaking and infuriating passages I’ve
ever read. He does nothing for himself, pouring every minute of his time into
providing for the wants and needs of these people. He constantly gives, and
they do nothing but take.
The main focus of the novel is of course Gatsby, the image
obsessed and Daisy obsessed. He is desperate to think of himself and Daisy as
star crossed lovers when in fact he knows nothing about the woman. She is
little more than a status symbol, an object. The bauble at the top of his
tower. The final part of his climb from poverty to majesty.
The disgust Fitzgerald feels for these people is evident in
every delicately written paragraph. The wealthy lounge around all day, the most
important decision of their day whether to take drinks on the veranda or go to
a five star hotel in town. Meanwhile, the dirt stained poor of New York are forced to drag out their days in Valley of Ashes, the slag heap that bridges the
divide between the City and the Egg. Watched constantly by the ever present
eyes of Dr Eckleburg.
The Great Gatsby is a wonderful novel, exposing the corrupt
heart of a post war America,
lavishing in excess and selfishness. The prose is steeped in symbolism and is a
delight to read. The characters well realised and perfectly presented. I
struggle to find anything to say about this novel that hasn’t been said a
hundred times before. It’s a must read.
The Great Gatsby
Dir: Baz Luhrmann
I had trepidations entering this film. The Great Gatsby has
a history of being a very difficult novel to adapt. Characters are miscast,
signs misinterpreted, points missed. Add that to my general dislike of Baz Luhrmann’s
previous films and….well I was worried.
I was pleasantly surprised however. The film turned out to
be very good, the glitz and glamour of the East egg and the pomp and ceremony
of the West were captured perfectly but the point of the novel was not missed
and the selfish corrupt heart of the egg and its inhabitants is equally on
The whole cast is great, Leonardo DiCaprio steals the show
as the eponymous party host and manages to brilliantly convey completely
separate emotions with his dialogue and facial expressions. Tobey Maguire is
loveable as Nick Caraway and brings a touch of humour to the role. Carey
Mulligan is great as Daisy, managing to give her hints of likeability while not
taking away from the character as a bauble. The whole cast feel realistic,
there are not simply horrible people, each one has at least some shred of like
ability, however small.
I was also pleasantly surprised to see Amitabh Bachchan in
the role of Wolfsheim. His appearance may be lost on the majority of western
filmgoers unaware with Bollywood stardom. But those who understand how insanely
well known he is, will understand how wonderfully appropriate it is that Gatsby
would be on first name terms with arguably the most famous man in the world.
The film was far from flawless of course, I’m not a Gatsby
obsessive and I’m sure the obsessives will find fault in the plot itself. For
me though, the majority of the faults lay much more on the surface. The film,
like all of Luhrmann’s films, keeps moving constantly. At times it’s as if the
entire 20’s is locked in a seizure. Nothing anstay still for a moment and,
while this is fairly appropriate for Gatsby’s parties, when played out on a
fifteen foot screen, the whole film becomes almost unwatchable.
Then, there’s the horrible glossiness of it all. The whole
film looks photoshopped beyond belief. For a while, I sort of liked it. The
unbearably fake style of the film reflecting the shallow nature of the wealthy
Egg. But then, the valley of ashes and New
York City, two places ground in reality and poverty,
are both smudged with this filter too. It would have been much better had these
locations been grittier, truer to life instead of looking as if they’d been
captured for a cosmo photo shoot.
And then there’s Jay-Z. His involvement was by far the most
annoying thing about the film, the rap music and jazz era covers of modern pop
songs were, I suppose, intended to lend the film a sense of timelessness, but
instead, were cheesy and made certain scenes laughable. It’s hard to take the
tenseness of Tom attending Gatsby’s party seriously when you’re forced to
listen to Beyonce singing Back to Black.
Faults aside, I still found the film very enjoyable and a
decent adaptation of the novel. I would of course, encourage you to read the
novel before you see it if you’ve never read it but once you’ve read the book
you should find the film very enjoyable.
“Nosferatu” is a dark, edgy tale inspired by the film of the same name.
This modern spin on the timeless horror story follows Tommy and her
roommate Elle as the nefarious vampire Count Orlok draws them into his
obsession with death and disease. Old-world magic combines with
technology and terror alerts when Orlok, the Nosferatu, pays our shores a
fortnightly Sonic The Comic turns twenty this year. Published by Egmont Fleetway, the series, which ran from
1993 to 2002, was originally conceived as more of a Sega comic. The book
featuring a lead strip featuring Sonic but also backup strips featuring other
Sega titles like Golden Axe, Shinobi, Wonder Boy and Streets of Rage. Over
time, the focus shifted further in the direction of Sonic eventually dropping
all other strips entirely (with the notable exception of Decap Attack, a strip
initially used to advertise a now little known game but which evolved into
something of a pet project for writer and artist Nigel Kitching).
STC was my first introduction to comics, I first picked it
up at issue 101, just missing out on the issue widely considered to be the best
in the series….*sigh*. Nonetheless, I was hooked and bought every issue from
then on up until the series’ cancellation. I have many fond memories of the
series, of taking my copies to school and reading them on my lunch break,
re-enacting scenes with m friends and of my first tastes of freedom as a child
when I was allowed to go into town by myself to buy it from the newsagent. The
series has been with me my whole life and means a lot to me. But my love of STC
is not only nostalgia talking, it was a genuinely great comic.