Thursday 31 December 2009

Graphic Novel: Green Arrow - Year One

The origins of The Emerald Archer are retold in this very good graphic novel.

Oliver Queen is a Playboy Millionaire chasing thrills and over indulging in wine & women when he hears an interesting business proposition from long time associate Hackett.

Our Hero ends up marooned on a remote island and is forced to survive using his skills as an Archer.

A potential rescue uncovers whats really happening on the island and Queen must overcome his own Demons to save himself and others.

Excellent atmospheric artwork and an action packed story make this an excellent starting point for anyone with an interest in the character.

A while back there were rumours of a Green Arrow movie, lets hope that happens.

Rick's Rating: 70%

Saturday 19 December 2009

Film: Law Abiding Citizen

Gerard Butler takes on "The System" after the murder of his wife and daughter.

Other reviews have heaped praise on this one but unfortunately I can't do that.

What starts out as a very entertaining and serious drama with shocks and speeches (see the courtroom scene) that make you really get behind this guy descends into an almost Pink Panther (see ridiculous disguises) type unbelievable adventure.

Don't get me wrong, this is very enjoyable in parts and, if you can ignore Butler's dodgy accent, the performances are pretty good.

Excellent first half let down by a script that doesn't quite know where to go and a rather silly anti-climactic ending.

Rick's Rating: 51%

Friday 18 December 2009

Book: The Shell Game by Steve Alten

This is the second Steve Alten book I have read (see review of The Loch elsewhere here) and he is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.
In a change from his usual subjects he tackles the very real problems of diminishing oil reserves and the truth behind 9/11 in this fictional tale peppered with very relevant real life quotes from some very notable people.
The story of Ace Futrell, a former American Football player, carrying out his wife's final wishes to expose the truth behind Iraq war, 9/11 and the oil crisis is secondary to the facts that Mr Alten uses within it.
For that reason the book suffers, there isn't really a lot here that hasn't been (or could better be) covered by a documentary and for anyone interested in the subjects I'd recommend A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash, The Corporation and Loose Change, all well worth seeking out.
The story it'self is still enjoyable as we join Ace on his mission to Saudi Arabia where he meets some very unsavoury characters but back in the U.S.A it's all a bit confusing with too many characters all of which seem to have an ulterior motive.
To sum up, this is excellent if you have an interest in any of the subjects covered but as a stand alone fictional novel it doesn't quite seem able to decide which type of story it is.
Rick's Rating: 61%

Wednesday 9 December 2009

DVD: Star Trek

This all new version of the adventures of the USS Enterprise ticks all the right boxes.

Starting with a spectacular space shoot out the action doesn't let up as we then move on to join Kirk and Spock as young guys trying to find their way.

The story, a slightly confusing time travel tale, eventually brings them together as they and the crew, including new portrayals of all the old favourites, set off to do battle with a foe from Spock's future, an unrecognisable Eric Bana.

Future Spock is of course played by the indomitable Leonard Nimoy and he adds a fantastic nostalgic feeling to the film while being completely relevant to the story.

Zachary Quinto (Heroes) is also great as young Spock and the chemistry between him and Kirk (Chris Pine) is every bit as good as the original pairing of Nimoy & Shatner.

Amazing action scenes, good script, and great performances make this a serious contender for Film Of The Year although a few points are lost for the time travel confusion.

Rick's Rating: 90%