Free Horror Comic Book Halloween Special

Free Horror Comic Book Halloween Special

Here’s a free horror comic book pdf I did back in 2006 called New Year’s Eve.

It’s black and white, four pages and all-silent and about 2mb in size.

Enjoy and have a happy Halloween!

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posted by JP at 10:56 am  

London Morning 2010

London Morning 2010




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posted by JP at 3:56 pm  

Film Review: Jackboots on Whitehall

Film Review: Jackboots on Whitehall

The premise of a “Team America World Police” film meets a Brit Word War 2 flick grabbed me instantly the minute I saw the poster for Jackboots on Whitehall.

It affirms the fact that, when you’re looking to kill a couple of hours in between meetings by visiting the cinema, a high-concept film will capture your attention enough to fork over the cost of a ticket.

I did have my doubts about this one too before watching it: there weren’t any quotes on the poster – not necessarily a bad thing, but surely a comedy would have made someone laugh enough to throw it a couple of lines of praise.

The doubts were firmly offset by the stellar voice cast: Ewan McGregor, Timothy Spall and Dominic West (West ironically plays a full blown caricature of a Yank solider, which is a great and hugely entertaining contrast to his subtle work as an American cop in The Wire).

Walking into the cinema I was hoping for something along the lines of Blackadder or something balls- to-the-wall crazy and inventive like Team America.

What you get instead with Jackboots on Whitehall is something not juvenile enough to be funny even at a puerile level (and let’s face it, if you head to a movie with action man figures as a cast you really do want puerile) and not satirical enough to keep your attention (if you happen to read The Guardian and like The Thick of It).

You get the feeling that the film’s producers have spent so much time on the detail and animation of the action figures (which look gorgeous) that they’ve taken their eye off the comedy ball, hoping that the novelty of an action figure Winston Churchill spouting one liners would be enough to sustain the film.

The film’s script does flow well – it’s well constructed – but the scenes themselves aren’t as inventive as they could have been. You sit there hoping that the next scene will show you something truly crazy, but it doesn’t.

It’s a stark contrast to Adam and Joe’s toy movies – which used Star Wars figures and soft plush toys to actually make smart comments about popular TV shows. The animation in their shows consisted of little more than shaking the figures to indicate motion, but it was the smart observations that made their use of figures in place of actors like Geroge Clooney and Jennifer Aniston even more funny.

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posted by JP at 2:54 pm  

Film Retrospective: The Lost Boys

Film Retrospective: The Lost Boys

The benefit of being in London is that you get cinemas showing films you always wish you had seen on the big screen but were too young to have done so when said film was first released.

VHS tapes from the Radio Rentals store formed the bulk of my film education growing up and having DVD ownership of those titles now would almost seem to negate the need to see them in a cinema.

And yet, over the years I’ve come to understand that seeing a film on the big screen, IS the only way to truly appreciate it. All the audio and visual subtleties are, inexplicably, enhanced by being in a darkened room filled with you and fifty other people staring at time-ravaged cut of a flick stretched out over a 24 foot screen.

You still SEE the same film, but are delivered a completely NEW experience of that film that makes you feel like you’re watching it again for the first time.

So, first up, what’s new about The Lost Boys?

Well, for starters, it sets up the vampires really well. The sweeping aerial shots at the opening really give the viewer that thrill of flying and being in the air – and if you’re a teenager watching this film, that feeling of freedom you’re always after.

The main characters are set-up super fast without the painful exposition that most vampire flicks are today and without the need to dwell on an incident that happened in the past.

Observe:

“A family of three move down to a seaside town after the mother’s divorce. The two brothers have little time to adjust to their new surroundings and argue who gets which room as one is subsequently turned into a vampire. The brothers then have to deal with restoring his humanity by discovering and killing the head vampire.”

What I like about The Lost Boys is that the plot moves along at breakneck speed – no introspection, navel-gazing or self-referential comments – just a normal bunch of folk thrown into an extraordinary story.

The film depicts the need to fit in to a group when you’re a teenager. The need to ride a motorcycle, wear a leather jacket and sunglasses during the day is essential if you’re going to get to hang out with that mysterious girl.

It also touches on the relationship between brothers: they can be annoying but damn it, they can be useful counsel when you don’t want your mum finding out something.

The vampires are slowly revealed with effectiveness. Unlike with most vampire films nowadays, the film’s villains and they’re fully blown vampire forms are gradually revealed, keeping you guessing and keeping you interested in them.   

The ending is blackly comical and is a huge gamble given how much you have invested in the film by the time it ends. But the whole audience chimed in with the line when it came time and roared with laughter shortly after.

A hugely enjoyable experience.

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posted by JP at 4:43 pm  

Film Review: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Film Review: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

The first Wall Street film brought to light the workings and ambitions of those curious folk known as traders to a world which, until the film’s release, had seen them represented by little more characterisation than a pin stripe shirt while shouting the maxim “buy low, sell high.”

According to Oliver Stone, the film’s director, the first film also inadvertently inspired a number of people to become brokers – a group inspired rather than warned off the “greed is good” world view of the film’s villain, Gordon Gecko.

With Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, director Stone returns with Gecko to explore the collapse of the global banking system, its impact on society’s future and who, if anyone, profits.

It’s a big subject to explore and unlike the first film, which focused on dissecting the culture and values of brokers, there are several groups in play when it comes to the credit crunch.

There are house buyers, who mortgage and remortgage to afford multiple homes and expensive DIY, there are brokers who repackage and sell debt knowing that defaults are likely, there are banks who reach out for government bail outs and then there are also pioneering companies who need capital to continue work on projects that might better mankind.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps tries to be a very through essay on the credit crunch by tackling all of the above. Kudos has to be given for trying to fit in as much pertinent detail as possible.

The trouble with the film though is with the way the plot has been constructed:  Gecko’s release from prison, his desire for reconciling with his daughter through her broker boyfriend, who happens to be seeking revenge on a competitor who also happened to put Gecko in jail, well, it’s just too clunky.

When I was watching the film I got annoyed with the way the film kept poorly transitioning between scenes aimed at explaining or dramatising the collapse of the banking system and those scenes aimed at keeping the central plot moving forward.

The two strands of plot and analysis seem completely distinct – as opposed to the first film, where the audience were steered through the temptation, corruption and downfall that working to a “greed is good” maxim can bring about.

When you leave Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, you get the feeling that you’ve been presented with an important and relevant message, but you’re not sure what that message is.

The incongruity between the plot and the film’s central theme make it hard to unravel and enjoy, unlike the first film.

On the acting front, it’s fun to see Gecko return; Shia LaBeouf tries to look serious by, well, scrunching his eyes, but never comes across as genuinely determined as Charlie Sheen did in the first; Carey Mulligan, who did a stunning job in An Education is merely required to weep on cue.

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posted by JP at 10:26 pm