Sunday, 28 July 2013

Mad Drew: Beyond Coffeedome

Mad Drew: Beyond Coffeedome
Mad Drew: Beyond Coffeedome 

   This’ll be a pretty quick review as I’ve not really a lot to say about this book. Basically if you don’t like office humour, it’s not for you and if you do them you’ll probably find a few things to laugh about.
   Personally, I like office humour (even though I’ve never worked in an office) and while I didn’t particularly love or hate this book, it served its purpose. It was a quick, light read and delivered a good amount of laughs.

   The characters in the book come from the author’s webcomic, Toothpaste for Dinner. It’s not a comic I’m familiar with, nor have I ever read the magazine (.NET) that the comic is published in. Had I been more familiar with the comic I might have enjoyed this a little more as it took me a little too long to get used to Drew’s style of writing which is improperly punctuated and jumps back and forth between ideas without warning.

   If you’re a fan of the comic you’ll probably enjoy this but I can’t really recommend it personally. If you stumble upon it though, it’s worth reading a few paragraphs. You’ll get a few laughs. 


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The Casual Vacancy: guest review by Jordanaan

100th post
Today marks tales from iDEATH's 100th post and also, it's first guest post. 
Yes today marks the iDEATH debut of my fiancee Jordanaan with her review of J.K. Rowling's first non-potter novel The Casual Vacancy.
If you like her review be sure to check out her blog at

A huge thanks to Jordanaan for writing this post and as ever a big thanks to all of you out there who read the site.

The casual vacancy
The Casual Vacancy
J.K. Rowling

"When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war.
Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils... Pagford is not what it first seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?"

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Superman: Red Son

Superman: Red Son
Superman: Red Son
 Mark Millar, Dave Johnson, Kilian Plunkett, Andrew Robinson & Walden Wong

"In the intriguing SUPERMAN: RED SON, the classic myth of the Man of Steel is reimagined and reinvented as the infamous rocket ship crash-lands in the fields of the Ukraine. Raised in Russia, Superman grows to become the Soviet Union's greatest weapon as the world is transformed into a communist state opposed only by the crumbling capitalistic America and its President Lex Luthor."

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Monsters University

Monsters University
Monsters University
Dir. Dan Scanlon
 "A look at the relationship between Mike and Sulley during their days at Monsters University -- when they weren't necessarily the best of friends."

Friday, 12 July 2013

The Road to Oz

The Road to Oz - L. Frank Baum
The Road to Oz 
L. Frank Baum
"Dorothy and her friends follow the enchanted road to Oz and arrive in time for Ozma's birthday party."

Monday, 8 July 2013

The Perfect Fool

The Perfect Fool - Stewart Lee
The Perfect Fool
Stewart Lee
“The Perfect Fool” charts the progress of a collection of misfits, spread across the wide open spaces of Arizona and the narrow streets of South London, all unwittingly caught up in a quest for the Holy Grail."

Friday, 5 July 2013

Despicable Me 2

Despicable Me 2
Despicable Me 2
Dir. Pierre Coffin & Chris Renaud

I honestly expected to like Despicable Me more than I did. It seemed like a film perfect for my interests, I’ve always been more interested in the super villains that grace the pages of comic books than the heroes, by and large they’re the more interesting characters. So an animated film that puts super villains in the main roles should have been perfect for me. Unfortunately I found the film very disappointing and the sequel, sadly, isn’t much different.

Despicable Me is most certainly a kids film, there’s not a lot for adults here, which is fine. The problem though is that it treats kids like idiots.
In an age where companies like Pixar show us time and time again how you can produce animation that appeals to children and adults alike and do so intelligently with a strong influence on story and character, it’s sad to still see companies like Illumination Entertainment taking the low road and going with the dumb humour and loud noises to get laughs. 

 “Look, it’s dressed as a maid, isn’t that great?”

Good humour should come naturally from a situation but here it seems as if the story was written around the jokes and the jokes just aren’t funny. It feels as if one of the writers has said, “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if we stuck Gru in a dress?” and then desperately tried to find a situation where they could make it happen.
Too many moments of this film are simply sticking one of the minions in a funny outfit and pointing at it “Look, it’s dressed as a maid, isn’t that great?”, “Look they’re dressed like the village people, the YMCA is funny right? Right?”

This is made all the more painful by the fact that there is some genuinely funny stuff in this movie. The overly manly origin story of the villainous El Macho is absolutely brilliant. The three kids are great too and I’d give credit to both films for giving us Agnes, the youngest of the kids, who is one of the most spot on depictions of a child that age that I’ve ever seen in any film, not just animated ones.
There’s a moment in this film where she is practising her lines for a school assembly and goes from being completely charming and natural to stiff and robotic as she recites the lines in perfect monotone. It’s hilarious because it’s relatable, it’s true to life.

Gru and the Kids

These moments hint at what this film could have been. It could have been intelligently written with a mix of the obvious and the subtle, not simply throwing the minions at the screen and letting them yelp for twenty minutes in a vain attempt at humour.

It’s by no means awful. Like I said, there are a few very good moments and there are some touching ones too, the visuals are great and kids will still love it. It just feels lazy, a potentially good film (and series) wasted by going for the lowest common denominator, a trend which seems set to continue with the release of “Minions” next year…

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Reality Hunger

reality hunger
Reality Hunger
David Shields
 "Reality Hunger questions every assumption we ever made about art, the novel, journalism, poetry, film, TV, rap, stand-up, graffiti, sampling, plagiarism, writing, and reading. In seeking to tear up the old culture in search of something new and more authentic, it is the most vital book of the new century."