Monthly Archives: August 2011

28 posts

No? No! NOO!!!!!: Lucas Screws with Star Wars, And Its Fans, Again

By now I’m sure that everyone knows that Lucas has, once again, decided to mangle The Original Trilogy for its September 16 Blu-Ray release. We have this scene: described as “Krayt Dragon Call” but sounds more like a hair metal rock scream. Maybe that’s why Sir Alec hated being in […]

Movie Review: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

Everything seems right about the setup. In a refreshing change from the norm, Sally is the kind of character who does not falter at reaching or peering into dark places. She seems to be intelligent and adventurous, never giving a thought to the possibility of monsters. This causes us much anxiety on her behalf, as we know something is lurking before she does.

The Woman in White, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford

Collins’ strong suit is suspense tinged with bafflement. When it works, you’re reeling from the last twist in the plot, and wondering where it’ll go next. When it doesn’t, you’re still trying to work out whose will has just been overturned by the return of the mysterious stranger who looks exactly like the missing heiress whose marriage records…and so the next twist is rather a moot point.

Anne Boleyn, at Shakespeare’s Globe, London

Despite the subject matter, and the evident success of the play, the particular style of performance the Globe encourages seemed to throw the play off kilter a few times. There was too much “playing at naughtiness”, an easy iconoclasm feeding off the sense that jokes about sex are risky and daring in a play about the Renaissance in Shakespeare’s “own” theatre.

Video Game Review: El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron

El Shaddai is absolutely gorgeous. Each level of the tower of the Fallen contains unique and often totally surreal and psychedelic art design; from neon framed skylines, to impressionist landscapes of floating terrain, and an industrialized highway resembling the love-child of Tron and Blade Runner. Topping it off is just an impeccable use of cel-shading and filters that bring the often insane level architecture and world design to its perverse life.

Movie Review: Fright Night

Discerning “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fans will have noticed Fright Night’s screenplay is written by Marti Noxon, who penned some of the best episodes of the WB show. Who better to take on a screenplay about a solo teenager combating vampires? Noxon’s screenplay is witty, gory, and fast-paced. Cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe, who also did memorable work on The Others, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and The Road, made Vegas, a city of lights and constant motion, seem remarkably cold and foreboding.

Book Review: Carthage Must Be Destroyed by Richard Miles

Carthage, however, was not merely conquered by Rome. As the title of Miles’ book asserts, Carthage was destroyed. In three brutal wars, Carthage’s military power was annihilated by the legions of the Roman Republic. The city was ransacked and burned, down to its foundations. The people of Carthage were massacred or enslaved. The literature of the city was put to the torch. Not a stone was left upon a stone.

Butley, at the Duchess Theatre, London

Where West’s incarnation as Detective McNulty was part of a sprawling, panoramic vision of a social and political system in crisis, Butley hones in on one man frenetically working his own destruction in an academic office. Gestures are made towards student radicalism and changing mores, but Butley’s existential battle is conducted on viciously hand-to-hand terms.