Saturday, 9 November 2013

Funk Custard : The Wolverine, 6music on Saturday mornings and the increasing obsolescence of the idiot box

Comic book movies have no respect for comic plotlines, and decent radio (with it's kid sidekick the internet) is making broadcast tv very disposable

Life really is minuses and pluses. Sometimes you have to be ready to take all the pluses that fall your way and ignore the minuses as soon as possible.

Example, last night finally caught up with The Wolverine (extended cut). Supposedly based on Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's classic berserker rippin Nippon Noir tale of the X-Men's Wolverine in Japan. The new movie was a crushing disappointment, almost as bad as the previous Wolverine effort. It prompted the increasingly familiar comic book fan reaction :

"How did they screw THAT story up?"

What should've been Robert Mitchum in The Yakuza with adamantium claws is another junevile superpowers drama with a take on the character than can only be described as adolescent. So he's indestructible now? FFS. Among the dramatic misssteps right from the off is Japanese prison camp guard as sympathtic character and icy cold Yakuza daughter Mariko, the love of Logan's life, is now a skinny model with all the intensity of frozen saki.

And two seconds watching the lame fight scenes show the ripping fury of the original tale has been largely ignored.

Positives? The principals are all good, with standouts from Rila Fukushima as Yukio and Svetlana Khodchenkova as Viper. I would hope to see both again in better movies. Hugh Jackman is ok again as Logan but we never seem to see him go the full red eye that this role needs. What hurts particularly is this movie was all great potential, James Mangold is a good director and last I heard the Chris (Usual Suspects, Day of the Gun) McQuarrie script was nailing the original property. Who knows what happened but it seems a long way from a Chris McQuarrie screenplay.

For all the great respect shown to these comic characters in this modern golden era of comics films there is next to none for the storytelling in the original material. We've seen real classic tales like the Dark Pheonix (X Men 3), Galactus (in Rise of the Silver Surfer) the Elektra saga (in Daredevil/Elektra) and most recently Garth Ennis's great Extremis (Iron Man 3) all butchered by Hollywood screenwriters so far. Will I be alive to see those classic story-lines adapted properly? I doubt it.

So next morning walking up after that was grim but, look around and the pluses this morning are there. Just happen to be stuck in sorting the Exmoor house and the brand new Hughie Morgan Saturday morning show is on. I can't lie and say I've been a fan of his band, or himself before ('interesting' character obviously) but I'm there now for this show. This is what Saturday mornings have needed for years, just the right amount of attitude and swagger to kick a slow Saturday's arse right into gear. I'm almost tempted to say this is the best thing to happen to my generation at this time of the week since since TISWAS - it just swaps custard for Funk.
And he's got Harry Shearer on next week. I really must catch up with Le Show in the meantime.

I could rattle on about any number of 6 music shows, Stuart and Maconie, Tom Ravenscroft and LL are just my personal favourites, but these days you just take them as a given. They are all great and an indicator that having the radio on is much better company that an attention grabbing tv blaring moronic adverts every ten minutes.  If even the Hughie Long show is a must listen then that goggle box in the corner really is becoming a relic.

This may be a sign of the times. I haven't replaced the tv in this place and I'm not sorry. Were once the tv had our whole attention, now we are most likely to be primarily messing with laptops and Ipads and the idiot box which needs to be muted every time an ad break comes on (increasing the volume of ads I think is banned in the US I think) is just a painful distraction. Radio, 6 music at least,  is much more more likely a nice background mood generator. Even setting aside the actual quality of the stuff presented to us these days by tv broadcasters the future of radio as a support to our online activity must be looking very bright.

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