Shiny Shelf

Archive for 2010

By Jim Smith on 29 September 2010 Comments Off

To call something “charming” is often to patronise it; but ‘Bella’ is charming. It charms you, with its warmth & its performances.

By Lance Parkin on 27 September 2010 2 COMMENTS

‘Undercovers’ is like a sexy, action-packed ‘Alias’. Which is a bit like saying something’s like a dinosaury ‘Jurassic Park’.

By Mark Clapham on 23 September 2010 Comments Off

I think the rise and fall of the WildStorm Universe titles (cancelled as of December 2010) tells us something about the role that novelty, rebellion and that nebulous, ‘Wizard’ magazine-backed idea of ‘Hotness’ plays in the comics industry.

By Stephen Lavington on 22 September 2010 Comments Off

AMC’s ‘Rubicon’ is an espionage thriller that manages to feel weightier than the escapist fare of ‘24’ or ‘Burn Notice’.

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By Mags L Halliday on 20 September 2010 1 COMMENT

It might not be a superhero film, but ‘Tamara Drewe’ is a great example of how to adapt a comic book to the screen.

By Mags L Halliday on 17 September 2010 Comments Off

The third series of ‘Merlin’ has started with grim spectacle, aside from the odd slapstick scene that’s escaped from a different tone meeting.

By Alex Fitch on 15 September 2010 Comments Off

Dawn of the dead meets La Haine as the living dead attack those with a killer instinct in a rough district of Paris.

By Jim Smith on 10 September 2010 Comments Off

Let me be clear from the off, this is a very high quality comic. It’s very well written and exceptionally well drawn.

By Matthew Badham on 09 September 2010 2 COMMENTS

Comics would be in a healthier state if more fans took a chance on something new. If you agree, then you could do worse than pick up ‘Elephantmen’…

By Jim Smith on 07 September 2010 Comments Off

One of those things that, while you’re watching it, you can’t help but be deeply suspicious of the reaction the production is trying to evoke.

By Mark Clapham on 04 September 2010 Comments Off

Comics love arbitrary numbering milestones, and if there’s one advantage of a weekly publication schedule it’s that those big numbers roll around four times as fast as they do for US monthlies.

By Mags L Halliday on 31 August 2010 3 COMMENTS

I don’t know about you, but I never expect good things from a film with Clive Owen in it.

By Sarah Jane Vespertine on 26 August 2010 3 COMMENTS

Oh, thank you Maverick Films for ‘Army of the Dead’. I have to say, having watched it once, I went straight back to the start and watched it all over again, as much from a sense of disbelief at what I’d witnessed as to enjoy the story.

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By Alex Fitch on 25 August 2010 4 COMMENTS

Suitably for a film about faith, I can only recommend this movie based on my own convictions. I believe it’s an entertaining, unnerving and in some respects, challenging film. However the aspects I admired about the film may also be qualities that put other people off from watching it…

By Jim Smith on 23 August 2010 2 COMMENTS

The speed and severity of the decline in the popularity of the films of Charles Chaplin is one of the more interesting wrinkles in the history of popular perception of films

By Alex Fitch on 20 August 2010 1 COMMENT

You know that a film’s viral marketing is working when worries about its content making you feel sick make you avoid watching it!

By Stephen Lavington on 11 August 2010 Comments Off

Hey kids, you liked ‘Shaun of the Dead’ right? A bunch of British comic actors play goofy slackers adrift in the middle of a zombie outbreak and resident in the suburbs and the local pub in a narrative awash with cultural references and geeky self-awareness – great stuff! The makers of ‘FAQ…’ certainly thought so [...]

By Jim Smith on 09 August 2010 1 COMMENT

The renaissance in both the quality and the number of war comics which have been available in recent years owes a great deal to the work of Garth Ennis, who has almost single handedly revived the genre.

By Alex Fitch on 06 August 2010 1 COMMENT

A risible B movie that is the nadir of this year’s 80s themed cinema…

By Stephen Lavington on 05 August 2010 Comments Off

As with ‘The Hurt Locker’ it is far from trendy to knock ‘Moon’.

By Jim Smith on 04 August 2010 1 COMMENT

The Beatles’ first movie is 46 years old this month and very cheap on DVD. It’s time for an arbitrary celebration.

By Stephen Lavington on 29 July 2010 Comments Off

‘Inception’ is not a film without flaws. It is a spiritual successor to ‘The Matrix’, with all the positives and negatives that implies.

By Jim Smith on 28 July 2010 2 COMMENTS

I thought I’d like ‘Sherlock’, because I like both Sherlock Holmes apocrypha and Steven Moffat scripts, but I didn’t think it possible it would surprise me. Thrillingly, I was both right on the first count and very, very wrong on the second.

By Mark Clapham on 23 July 2010 Comments Off

Now into its ninth and penultimate season, belated showing on E4 in the UK, ‘Smallville’ is definitely not fresh produce.

By Stephen Lavington on 22 July 2010 Comments Off

Yes, fine, it’s not actually about Iron Man, who doesn’t personally appear within its pages, but then ‘Invincible Mandarin Annual’ just sounds a bit silly.

By Jim Smith on 20 July 2010 2 COMMENTS

The first real consequence of Marvel’s acquisition of the Marvelman character (assuming that the death of The Sentry, a Marvelman like character if ever there was one, doesn’t count) is the first issue of this six issue series reprinting stories from the 1950s.

By Scott Harrison on 19 July 2010 1 COMMENT

Ask any fan of 1960s spy show ‘The Avengers’ and they’ll all tell you the same thing – series four was the point where it started to go seriously bonkers.

By Julio Angel Ortiz on 15 July 2010 1 COMMENT

‘Toy Story 3′ is, at its core, a somewhat solemn tale wrapped up in Pixar’s usual computer animation finesse and an above-average script.

By Stephen Lavington on 13 July 2010 Comments Off

Timothy Olyphant is back in his comfort zone as Manichean, hair-trigger-temper Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens in ‘Justified’ (various timeslots, Five USA).

By Mark Clapham on 12 July 2010 Comments Off

‘The Crazies’ is a good example of a modern Hollywood remake of a cult independent movie, in that it’s slicker and more focused than the original, but a lot less interesting.

By Julio Angel Ortiz on 09 July 2010 Comments Off

The roots for ‘COA’s’ story are admirable: the Orwellian nightmare of ‘1984′ and the Kurt Vonnegut short story ‘Harrison Bergeron’. The problem here is the execution.

By Mags L Halliday on 08 July 2010 Comments Off

ITV1’s new drama is one ‘Identity’ that should have remained a secret.

By Bruce Kent on 06 July 2010 5 COMMENTS

The iPad makes e-comics a more viable proposition, but print comics aren’t dead just yet.

By Mark Clapham on 05 July 2010 Comments Off

A few weeks old this one, but worth a mention now you can read the whole first issue for free online. It’s a new series from writer David Hine, who is doing a lot of DC stuff lately, and artist Shaky Kane, who has a bit of a cult following.
‘The Bulletproof Coffin’ is a remarkable [...]

By Jim Smith on 02 July 2010 Comments Off

‘Detective Comics’ #866 marks the return of Denny O’Neil to Batman comics, and it’s cracking stuff.

By Lance Parkin on 01 July 2010 Comments Off

‘Superman’ #700 marks the launch of a new direction for Superman, under the aegis of J. Michael Straczynski, who’s kept himself busy, but is probably still best known as the creator of Babylon 5.

By Shiny Shelf on 29 June 2010 11 COMMENTS

So, ‘The Big Bang’ went off and there’s no more ‘Doctor Who’ until Christmas. Luckily, we’re here with a recommendation list of ten old ‘Who’ stories (well, not exactly ten, but we’ll get to that later) that are worth watching to help the next six months pass a bit quicker.

By Mark Clapham on 28 June 2010 Comments Off

Superhero team books are a big part of Marvel and DC’s publishing schedules, but does their style of storytelling stand up when taken out of the weekly churn of periodical publishing?

By Mags L Halliday on 25 June 2010 Comments Off

BBC4’s fatherhood season includes one of the channel’s drama biopics, this time on John Lennon.

By Jonn Elledge on 24 June 2010 2 COMMENTS

‘Doctor Who’ the series, like Doctor Who the character, has a tricky habit of regenerating, with producers and other creative types moving on. The current season, which ends this Saturday, marks the first time the show has made that transition since its 2005 relaunch – and even by the standards of such jumps this was a risky one.

By Shiny Shelf on 23 June 2010 19 COMMENTS

We’d like you to vote for pre-2005 ‘Doctor Who’ stories worth catching up with in the long gap between the end of this season and Christmas. Details inside!

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By Stephen Lavington on 22 June 2010 Comments Off

‘Sons of Anarchy’ takes a bold step in solving the perennial puzzle of how to create high stakes drama where power-plays can lead to life or death in the heavily regulated and policed, relatively safe setting of contemporary America.
The majority of shows faced with this problem take the obvious approach and choose their characters from [...]

By Jim Smith on 21 June 2010 1 COMMENT

Paul Levitz’s first issue of ‘Adventure Comics’ invokes the Silver Age and has a charm, directness and clarity that most DCU books simply don’t.

By Jim Smith on 18 June 2010 1 COMMENT

Sherlock Holmes’ fame and appeal began because of, and fundamentally remains sustained by, the popularity and readability of the stories written by his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

By Eddie Robson on 17 June 2010 2 COMMENTS

Something different this Thursday – our first webcomic. Younger Looking Flesh was written by Eddie Robson and drawn by Ant Mercer, both of the Lancaster creative mafia.
There’s not a huge amount to say about the creative process. It’s about zombies and it’s only two pages long. Just read it. Click here.

By Sarah Jane Vespertine on 15 June 2010 3 COMMENTS

‘Painkiller Jane’. Insert your own pain-related pun here.

By Mark Clapham on 14 June 2010 Comments Off

Writer Paul Levitz revisits the future of ‘Batman Beyond’ in a story that, in spite of being set in a dystopia, provides an upbeat and refreshing alternative to most of DC’s current books.

By Timothy Waastermann on 14 June 2010 1 COMMENT

Let’s face facts. There are a lot of TV shows and films where the best bit is the title sequence.

By Mags L Halliday on 11 June 2010 Comments Off

Scotland Yard DCI Harker is on a break in Whitby when a mystery novelist, Agatha Fletcher, is murdered at his hotel. Reluctantly, he calls in Critchley, his DS, to solve the murder…

By Stephen Lavington on 10 June 2010 4 COMMENTS

‘Pulse’ delivers high-quality genre stuff, though exactly which genre is hard to pin down. It’s a medical drama that’s also a dark conspiracy thriller that’s also a chilling supernatural horror show that also dabbles in great gouts of Grand Guignol.