Shiny Shelf

Archive for 2004

By Mark Clapham on 15 September 2004 Comments Off

Sometimes the good stuff really does win out…

By Mark Clapham on 11 September 2004 Comments Off

It’s been a while since Shiny Shelf has reviewed ‘Six Feet Under’, Alan Ball’s HBO drama set in an LA funeral home. After a second season dip, this has consistently been one of the best shows on TV…

By Stephen Lavington on 11 September 2004 Comments Off

I’ve got to be careful what I say about Vin Diesel after the whole ‘xXx’ debacle…

By Mark Clapham on 10 September 2004 Comments Off

There are loose adaptations and there are faithful adaptations, and then there’s ‘Hellboy’, a film that seems to just rip Mike Mignola’s comic off the page and glue it on to the screen…

By Mark Clapham on 25 August 2004 Comments Off

IDW is a comics publisher best known for licensed books based on unusually hard-edged properties (‘The Shield’, ‘Silent Hill’) and printing 200 titles a month by Steve Niles…

By Stephen Lavington on 25 August 2004 Comments Off

It’s taken me a while to summon up the energy to write about this film, a piece of soul-sapping Hollywood mediocrity that verges on the awful…

By J Clive Matthews on 19 August 2004 Comments Off

This is the original film version of ‘Cabaret’, in as much as it is based on the play that was based on the book on which the Liza Minelli musical classic was itself based.

By J Clive Matthews on 19 August 2004 Comments Off

Ingmar Bergman’s first film in colour, dating from 1964, is pretty much as unlike his most famous, 1957’s ‘The Seventh Seal’, as it is possible to get.

By Stephen Lavington on 18 August 2004 Comments Off

The second outing for cinema’s most deadly amnesiac (aside from Jackie Chan in ‘Who Am I?’) and, entertaining though it is, the character is already settling into formula conventions as comfortable as any seen in a Bond film.

By Jim Smith on 17 August 2004 Comments Off

Death in comic books isn’t often impressive or affecting. It’s rarely even noticeable and it’s so innately reversible, defeatable and manipulatable that it doesn’t have any meaning at all.

By J Clive Matthews on 15 August 2004 Comments Off

This is your typical story of boy meets girl; boy forcibly snogs girl in front of her boyfriend; boy is beated by police; boy sets girl up in an elaborate sting operation which leaves her being forced into prostitution…

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By J Clive Matthews on 15 August 2004 Comments Off

This is the 1955 Laurence Olivier version, the supposed classic directed by and starring the supposedly best Shakespearian actor of the twentieth century. Looking at it today, it is practically unwatchable rubbish.

By J Clive Matthews on 15 August 2004 Comments Off

The Friedmans, a respectable middle-class family from Long Island, tear themselves apart when the father and youngest son are accused of systematically abusing schoolchildren during evening computer lessons.

By Mark Clapham on 15 August 2004 Comments Off

Hulk #75 finally answers the question of who is the mouth on the monitor screen manipulating events to try and get hold of the Hulk’s blood. The answer will underwhelm you…

By Jim Smith on 15 August 2004 Comments Off

I’m not one of the those people who derides ’spandex’. I love The Flash. I love Golden Age heroes. I have no difficulty looking at pages of people wearing big collars and capes. This, however, I have a problem with.

By Eddie Robson on 30 July 2004 Comments Off

I’ve only just been able to catch up with the most recent ‘X-Statix’ storyline, and to my great delight the title is back to its old self…

By Jon de Burgh Miller on 24 July 2004 Comments Off

The success of ‘Spy Kids’ and the mainstream credibility of the ‘Harry Potter’ films heralded a resurgence in the kids scifi/fantasy adventure genre…

By Mark Clapham on 21 July 2004 Comments Off

Anyone expecting an Eddie Campbell ‘Batman’ comic set in historic London to have a ‘From Hell’ level of intensity and complexity is going to be a bit disappointed by ‘The Order of the Beasts’…

By Mark Clapham on 21 July 2004 Comments Off

Sam Raimi’s first ‘Spider-Man’ movie was an almost perfect comic book movie. The sequel removes that niggling ‘almost’…

By Mark Clapham on 18 July 2004 Comments Off

Chris Carter’s ‘Millennium’ is extraordinarily bleak, preoccupied with the nature of evil in its most extreme forms…

By Stephen Lavington on 11 July 2004 Comments Off

The most criminally overlooked film of the year is now on the verge of a DVD release, and none of the magic is lost from a story that works just as well on TV as it does at the cinema.

By Eddie Robson on 10 July 2004 Comments Off

Traditionally, science programmes feature contributions from actual scientists. ‘Time Machine’ does not follow tradition…

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By Mark Clapham on 07 July 2004 Comments Off

Jake Arnott’s debut novel ‘The Long Firm’ has the unusual distinction of having TV cameras present before it was even signed to a publisher…

By Mark Clapham on 07 July 2004 Comments Off

After the cliffhanger ending to the first volume, and all the sound and thunder of the Jim Lee ‘Coup D’etat’ issue, ‘Sleeper’ returns for its second ’season’ with an issue that is just deliriously great…

By Jim Smith on 29 June 2004 Comments Off

Robert Morales wrote ‘The Truth: Red, White and Black’ one of the very best mini-series of recent years and in it he demonstrated an ability to use Captain America in a complex, intelligent way.

By Mark Clapham on 25 June 2004 Comments Off

‘The Mighty Boosh’ is cheap, and some of the ideas fall flat, but the great comic moments in the show are so good, and so inventive, that they’re well worth the wait…

By Jon de Burgh Miller on 16 June 2004 Comments Off

Last night, digital TV live streaming came of age, and it’s all thanks to Big Brother…

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By Stephen Lavington on 11 June 2004 Comments Off

In a desperate PR campaign this rather mediocre attempt at a 1970s style disaster movie tried to style itself as a dire warning to contemporary society. However…

By Mark Clapham on 07 June 2004 Comments Off

The final season of ‘The X-Files’ comes to DVD, completing collections on groaning DVD shelves across the country…

By Mags L Halliday on 07 June 2004 Comments Off

I’m not sure what Marvel promise the big writers to take up the core X-Men team, but whatever it is, it’s worth it…

By Stephen Lavington on 03 June 2004 Comments Off

The first volume in Titan’s series of reprinted James Bond comic strips (originally published in the Daily Express newspaper) dealt with one novel length story and one of Fleming’s better short stories.

By Jim Smith on 02 June 2004 Comments Off

You know the film that ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ isn’t?

By Mark Clapham on 30 May 2004 Comments Off

A decade ago, writer Jed Mercurio created hospital drama ‘Cardiac Arrest’ under the pseudonym John Macure…

By Jim Smith on 27 May 2004 Comments Off

“DA FUG!”
‘Seaguy’ is by Grant Morrison, and that means something. What it means is that it’s the work of one of the mere two writers in the whole history of comics who can even begin to be argued to be writers of the first rank full stop. It’s the work of someone about whom using [...]

By Mark Clapham on 23 May 2004 Comments Off

‘Resist or Serve’ is exactly the kind of console game you’d expect to be released under the ‘X-Files’ brand in 2004 – a survival horror title in the ‘Resident Evil’ mould…

By Mark Clapham on 14 May 2004 Comments Off

It’s a good year for zombies. There’s ‘Shaun of the Dead’, the ‘Dawn of the Dead’ remake, a stumbling mob of forthcoming ‘Resident Evil’ games – and then there’s this comic, which has both a trade paperback and a new issue out this week…

By Stephen Lavington on 12 May 2004 Comments Off

For the first half this is a rip-roaring, rollicking, righteous fantasy swashbuckler – exactly as one would expect from the director of The Mummy.

By Stephen Lavington on 09 May 2004 Comments Off

The visual dimension is polished and professional as any other Tarantino flick and the cast put in a universally fine ensemble performance, but the likelihood is that most viewers will be disappointed by ‘Volume Two’…

By Eddie Robson on 09 May 2004 Comments Off

This is the least gothic vampire comic I’ve ever seen. In fact, it’s also the least vampire-related vampire comic I’ve ever seen.

By Jim Smith on 05 May 2004 Comments Off

I’m not sure what I expected a Brian Azzarello ‘Superman’ comic to be like, but I didn’t expect it to be like this.

By Mark Clapham on 30 April 2004 Comments Off

Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada returns to writing and drawing comics with this five-issue mini-series…

By Jon de Burgh Miller on 29 April 2004 Comments Off

Even the studio name, 88MPH, firmly roots the Ghotsbusters comic as a product of 80s kids grown-up, the latest in a long trend of properties to have been revitalised, with differing degrees of success, for a new millenium…

By Mark Clapham on 29 April 2004 Comments Off

‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ is a film about memory, and it uses every weapon in the digital cinematic arsenal to bring to life its characters dreams and recollections…

By Mark Clapham on 24 April 2004 Comments Off

Lots of discs from the last month or so: ‘X-Files’ season eight, the complete ‘Firefly’, ‘Roswell’ season one, ‘Buffy’ season seven…

By Mark Clapham on 24 April 2004 Comments Off

An undead Mexican wrestler? It’s hard to see how a concept that good could go wrong. Unfortunately, it’s such a good concept that it’s even harder to do it full justice…

By Mark Clapham on 23 April 2004 Comments Off

It’s time to spin the ‘Wheel of Rucka’ again. Will this highly variable writer deliver a good comic or a very, very bad one?

By Mark Clapham on 20 April 2004 Comments Off

A year ago, Image published artist Neil Vokes’ Parliament of Justice, a strangely moody and morally complex expressionist vigilante story written by Michael Avon Oeming…

By Jim Smith on 20 April 2004 Comments Off

I haven’t read any Trollope – not even ‘The Pallisers’ – and ‘He Knew Was Right’ (serialised October 1868 – May 1869, published in book form May 1869) is apparently far from typical of the author’s work.

By Eddie Robson on 17 April 2004 Comments Off

We haven’t seen a British film like this since ‘Trainspotting’…

By Mags L Halliday on 17 April 2004 Comments Off

‘Zat?ichi’ is the sort of Japanese film which Tarantino would weep to make. There’s revenge, splatters of blood, violent sword fights in serene gardens and a musical finale.

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