Friday, June 27, 2008

... I'm happy again...

... just singin' and dancin' in the rain!

A comment specifically designed to naff off all the people who are bewildered by my choice of 'Singin' in the Rain' in my top 10.

Let's consider lists for a moment. What good are they? Do we ever learn anything useful from lists? There are, for example, two types of people in the World, those who divide people into two types of people, and those who don't. A list is just a list (a sigh is just a sigh). The fundamental things of life apply in funny ways. A list might be interesting, even if it means nothing. So, I stand by my list, and I repeat it, for those who missed it: My top ten films of all time are as follows:
1) Singin' in the Rain
2) Casablanca
3) Some Like it Hot
4) This is Spinal Tap
5) A Matter of Life and Death
6) The Empire Strikes Back
7) A Canterbury Tale
8) One Million Years BC
9) Ferris Bueller's Day Off
10) The Magnificent Seven

Now let's see what you made of that.

Oh, and, Zing, by the way.

(Just getting some business out of the way)

Hrothgar - I may well write an Alpha Legion novel set in 40K. Sounds like a good idea. 'The Lightning Tower' and Graham's counter-piece are now available as an audiobook. The next Gaunt's Ghosts omnibus will be out very soon.

Big - (back on topic). Yes, I do tend to take the first three Star Wars films as one gulp, although 'Empire' is still the best. 'The Magnificent Seven' may well be a poor remake of 'The Seven Samurai' (which is a fantastic movie), but 'The Magnificent Seven' is an epic all of its own. Just the relationship between Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner is worth the ticket price, alone. Brynner's iconic role as the man in black was so cool and memorable that it lasted through to movies like 'West World'. Besides that, you've got James Coburn being totally Mkvenner with his knife, Charles Bronson defending the little kids, and Robert Vaughn sliding his lip down the stucco wall as he dies. The film is, in so many ways, a total win. And the answer to the secret question is Brad Dexter. You're right, 'The Magnificent Seven' takes me back to the time I first saw it, pre-'The Seven Samurai'. But it rocks, and it has one of the best soundtracks of any movie, ever. I defy anyone to remain unstirrred when they hear it. This film makes it into the top ten by dint of soundtrack alone, but if it wasn't the soundtrack, there'd be another equally valid reason, probably Steve McQueen saying, "So far, so good."

I think that covers one of my choices.

Rob - Thank you for stepping in. 'Singin' in the Rain' is absolutely the best 'bad day' movie of all time. I agree that there might have been more Kurasawa on my list, but that would be very blinkered. I think you would all agree that my top ten is rounded, if nothing else. Oh, yes I might have two Powell and Pressburger films on there, but it's POWELL and PRESSBURGER for crying out loud.

Jackwraith - You can Scooby Doo all you like, but my list stands. 'Blade Runner' is a fabulous film, and, like 'Pulp Fiction', it would definitely make my Top TWENTY, alongside 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind', 'Conan the Barbarian', 'Adam's Rib', 'Born Yesterday', 'Glengarry Glenross', 'Twelve Angry Men' and 'Raise the Titanic' (just kidding about the last one).

Hurrah for the Hussar - If we're on TV series, then 'Band of Brothers' is an absolute winner. I watch it regularly to get in the mood, and I still think that Damien Lewis would make a great Gaunt.

Tom - Thank you for your staunch defence, and your appreciation of the odds I'm up against. 'Singin' in the Rain' stays on my list despite all the nay-sayers.

Someone e-mailed me privately to remind me of the wonderfulness of 'The Godfather'. It would make my 100, because it's properly good, but pay attention to the films in the Top 10.

Big - Thanks for your multi-genre top 10. 'Braveheart'? Despite the historical inaccuracies, 'Braveheart'? 'It's a Wonderful Life' makes my top 20, but I would list 'Them!' and 'The Incredible Shrinking Man' before I'd get to 'Invaders from Mars'. 'Zulu' and 'Wild Geese' are cracking films, but I don't think they'd be up there in my top 20, maybe my top 30. What about 'Deliverence'? Or 'Duel'?

Or 'Jaws'?

Nik just suggested 'Purple Rain'. You've got to give her full marks for nostalgia and Apollonia.

Okay, let's get down to this properly.

First of all, because I didn't give it, my genre specific top ten list:
1) When Harry Met Sally
2) Steel Magnolias
3) Pretty Woman
4) Singin' in the Rain

... oh, not romcom genre specific, then. Okay, sci-fi (ish):
1) Empire Strikes Back
2) Alien
3) Aliens
4) Terminator
5) Beneath the Planet of the Apes
6) Blade Runner
7) Close Encounters...
8) Mad Max II
9) The Innocents
10) Moon Zero Two

Let's get down to the ten on the list. Number 1: 'Singin' in the Rain'.

Any film in which Donald O'Connor runs up a wall is tops with me. This film stands out as a benchmark between the times when people could do this shit and when CGI learned to do this shit. It's packed with fabulous tunes and the most amusing story. Cyd Charisse is but a walk-on, with her million dollar legs. People don't have these skills any more, and we won't see a film like this ever again. The 'Make Em Laugh' routine is one of the most extraordinary things ever put on film. And yes, the film is a rainy day pleasure. Nik and I watch it with the girls every Christmas eve, it's part of our routine. If you haven't seen 'Singin' in the Rain', see it. If you've got kids, watch it with them. And really watch it. Look at what they're doing. Nobody can do that any more. I repeat NO BODY can do that any more.

Number 2: 'Casablanca'.

The perfect film. In filmic terms, it's like 'Hamlet', so many lines have been quoted from it that you forget what the original was like. For example, "the usual suspects". The script of Casablance is so tight and so well-delivered that the film hangs together in the most amazing way. On top of that, you've got Bogie, Ingrid Bergman (the most beautiful woman in the world), Claude Raines, Sidney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre (in a bit part). It's like all the wonderfulness of Hollywood collided in one place at the same time. I defy anybody to sneer at this film.

Number 3: 'Some Like it Hot'.

A film in which Tony Curtis manages to be more beautiful than Marilyn Monroe. We've got a black and white film in a colour era about cross-dressing with Tony and Jack playing the most wonderful dames. It's a pantomime. Marilyn was never sexier than in this film. She got the fuzzy end of the lollipop. Tony doing Carey Grant on the beach is priceless, and the line, "I'll say, I've had three ponies drown under me" is legendary. Billy Wilder never made a better film, and he made some damn good films. George Raft flicks the coin in the most sinister way, playing upon his movie stereotype. I've been to the hotel in Coranado where it was filmed, and it looks just the same today as it did when they pretended it was Florida. This film has to be on everybody's top ten.

Number 4: 'This is Spinal Tap'.

"In here, there's a little man, but in here, there's nothing. What I want is big bread." If that wasn't enough, 'This is Spinal Tap' has so much clever written all over it that my dad, bless him, thought it was a documentary. This is the most quotable movie of all time, beating out, even, 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail', which lurks, affectionately, up in my mid-twenties. We may have the knights who say 'ni', but we do have "Fire and ice", and "Don't even look at that". I dare you to diss this film.

Number 5: 'A Matter of Life and Death'.

Powell and Pressburger. David Niven. Life and Death. Beautifully shot and wonderfully staged, this film has all sorts of goodies waiting for the viewer. The splits between heaven and Earth are wonderful enough, but the moment when the table tennis match freezes in time is one of the greatest moments in cinema. Second only to that, is the moment when David Niven wakes up on the beach, meets the boy playing panpipes, thinks he's gone to heaven, and then looks up as the Mosquito (was it a Mosquito?) thunders overhead: a moment of pure brilliance.

Number 6: 'The Empire Strikes Back'.

Despite the arse about face structure of 'The Empire Strikes Back', it's by far and away the best of the Star Wars films. Who cares if the baddies win in the end? We've had walkers and Hoth and Bespin, and Bobba Fett, and the best asteroid chase in the history of asteroid chases. 'Star Wars' was fantastic and 'Return of the Jedi' was great, but 'The Empire Strikes Back' was the masterpiece in the middle of the trilogy. The Hoth sequence alone is the dog's.

Number 7: 'A Canterbury Tale'.

Yes, another Powell and Pressburger film. I apologise, ( 'The life and death of Colonel Blimp' is right up there too). Powell and Pressburger could do things with cinema that other people could only dream about. A propoganda movie made in black and white, and centred around Canterbury, a recognisable Canterbury, this film is absolutely fantastic. Cameron Diaz was not the first girl to get sticky stuff in her hair. For the first 45 minutes of this movie, you'll wonder why you bothered, and what's going on. Stay with it. It is the most uplifting and celebratory film you've ever seen. If it doesn't bring a tear to your eyes, then you've been watching something else. And where else would you see a boy on the top of a hay cart out of a first floor window, or Bren carriers churning around the landscape?

Number 8: 'One Million Years BC'.

I don't have to defend this. It should be on everybody's list. Ray Harryhausen's dinosaurs win it for me, but then you have to include the wonderful, weird soundtrack that haunts the non-vocal exploits of the Cromagnon and Neanderthal protagonists. Oh, plus, it has Raquel Welch in a suede bikini. Good times.

Number 9: 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'.

This is just a good film that makes you feel happy. "Bueller? Bueller?" I defy you not to laugh at that. Or at "Something D-O-O economics." The sequence in the art gallery just makes you smile. The street dancing is just wonderful. The flip up shades. And there's Alan Ruck.

Number 10: 'The Magnificent Seven'.

I think we've covered this earlier.

Sleep tight.


big said...

big steals first post

Belfast Rory said...

Hey Dan, long time lurker first time here.
Just a quick question,
Would it not be awesome if the Gaunts Ghosts series were in graphic novel format? Could that happen? Will it happen??
Ok thats three questions but you get the point. Thanks :)

Hrothgar said...

"I love you."
"I know."
That alone puts Empire up there for me.
Also, what about Anchors Aweigh? Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. Plus you get to see Gene dance with a cartoon mouse in a cartoon undersea kingdom. That's pretty awesome.
Beneath the Planet of the Apes. Nice.

Turain said...

Damien Lewis as Ibram Gaunt... I can imagine it. After all, HBO is making a TV series about the "A Song of Ice and Fire", so it's not impossible that they could pick up Gaunt's Ghosts, or the Horus Heresy. One book = one season, which in the Ghosts case would be... 11 seasons so far... maybe 15 with the Victory arc? It would beat Stargate by being the longest sci-fi series ever.

Totally agree on "Empire Strikes Back", for the truth that comes out "I am your father!". Hoth and Bespin were great, but those 4 words marked the whole movie for me.

theydrilledholesinmydamnteeth said...

I don't share the view that a film can be raised to the ranks of truly great movies based on just the soundtrack... If that were so then a film like 'The Mission' would be up at the top.

What about Apocalypse Now? It's nigh perfect in my opinion, and avoids being too political, which it could easily have become had it not been so well crafted.

People will sneer, or look down their noses, at me for suggesting this just because it's classed as a 'comic movie', but I thought Batman Begins was breathtakingly good. It's up there with the greats in my opinion.

Have you watched the Duellists? It's certainly in my top 5. It's shamefully under watched and under rated.

I'm not sure if it would be in my Top 10 but I love 'Ghost Dog'. It's one of those not-so-well-known gems that you stumble on every now and then. You'd not be sorry if you checked it out!

big said...

Damn i was gonna put the Duelists in my top 10,great film that Harvey keitel and Carradine shoulda mentioned it at least!

Rory said...

OH MY GOD! did anyone see doctor who?

This has been the Best series yet..

That episode was Astounding.


Rob said...

That's so weird Big... I was thinking about The Duelists this morning while I watched several of the duels in Barry Lyndon. (Yes, Barry Lyndon is so long you can spend time thinking about other movies while watching it. Not to say I didn't like it, but it's over three hours...)

People being able to actually do things vs. special effects allowing people to do things is one of the reasons I love Hong Kong action movies so much. If anyone out there hasn't seen it, go find Hard Boiled and watch John Woo and Chow Yun-Fat tear up a Hong Kong hospital floor-by-floor.

Recently I've been captivated by There Will Be Blood, which I've been loaning around the office. We interns have taken to greeting each other with bits of Plainview dialogue, it being the quotable film that it is.

"I drink your milkshake Rob, I drink it up!"
"You're a bastard from a basket, Stan. A bastard from a basket"

cor said...

i watched doctor who the episode was great.
(spoiler warning)

cant believe they managed to keep the fact that David Tennant was leaving a secret im really gutted because i didn't think anyone could do better then Christopher Ecclesten and Tennant did in my opinion cant wait till next week to find out who the new doctor will be

Nik said...

Rory and Cor - you see, I'm not convinced that David Tennant is going. Wouldn't the BBC have hyped up whoever was playing the Doctor next, over the second half of this series? This stuff never stays a secret... does it? No, really, it never does.

You forget how often Russell T has played with us since taking the reigns of Doctor Who. He's, no doubt, playing with us now. This will be the first time that the Doctor will regenerate with, essentially the same body. You can't honestly tell me this hasn't been considered by Russell T. He loves a drammatic moment and he enjoys a good joke. So, I say, Tennant will be back next week with... oh, I don't know... blue contact lenses, or some such.

Hastatus said...

I'd agree with that. He'll either come back as him self, or regenerate into someone else, and nearly die, so having to regenerate again, at the end of the last episode. He will then regenerate back into Tennant. But I think it'll be the first of those two. We'd have heard if there was going to be a new doctor. But I do have a feeling someone else is going to die...

Personally I haven't really seen many films, but I do love Gladiator. Its strange, but really more than just a mass killing film.

And I see the next Gaunt books going to be out next May! I want it to be May now... Out of interest, how many books will there be in the new cycle of books?

And I'm still trying to persuade my Dad to take me to Games Day, so that I can buy Titanicus, and lots of new Space Marines.

Nik said...

Hastatus's dad - You could do worse than bring Hastatus to Games Day. It might look scary, but actually it's about a bunch of bright, enthusiastic people being creative. It's quite the cultural experience.

big said...

Definately Dr who was the nuts ,dont know how there gonna get around the ReGen thing though,if Tennants gone that would be one of the best kept secrets in tv.Theirs usally lots of dialogue from the bad guys but this week they took the sensible approach and just shot the DR.Glad to see the return of Davros but wasnt Dalek Khan just brilliant as "the mad Dalek"
I think each of us have our own fav DR from our own times,Dave Tennant has been our fav in a long time and is my eldest daughters DR
she got quite emo at the whole thing.

Rory said...

Tennent comes back, hes signed for another session. BUT i have a feeling the old doctors will come back. Wikipedia says - "As the Dalek master plan goes into action, the Doctor and the TARDIS face total annihilation. Earth's only hope of defeating Davros is a secret army of companions, known as the "Children of Time", but it is prophesied that one of them will face death"

So! do i sense mr Tom baker? I THINK SO!

Big - it was a bloody good episode, ive never felt so much for a TV show before and like your daughter i shouted and ranted about the ending for about 2 hours, because i dont think i can last another week of waiting!

now, we just need to wait for Xhalax to come and post about shes angry that dalek They didnt get out in time. hehehe :)

it was beautiful.

cor said...

I know Tennants suppose to be signed on for another series but hes said himself that he wants to keep the public guessing as to when he will leave so who knows maybe hes leaving and theyve said hes signed on for the specials and fifth series to keep us guessing or maybe hes staying guess well find out next week.

The mad Dalek was mint the cryptic messages have had me guessing we know one of the companions is likely to die and my moneys on Donna or Rose.

Id love to see a Dan Abnett episode of Dr Who it would be the nuts

BigWill said...

I just listened to your interview on 40k Radio.
I loved it especially the Eisenhorn stuff.
I always thought Eisenhorn and Ravenor should duke it out.
I always thought Eisenhorn would follow the path of Quixos,I cannot wait to see what you come up with.
And short stories about the whole gang,nothing short of awesome.
I finally get to find out what happened with Will Tallowhand that shook Ravenor and his team so badly.

A quick Heresy Question.
Do you see Dies Irae as an Imperator titan with the castle on top,or more like a Warmonger bristling with guns?

Dukeleto said...

Sorry to hijack the blog with more Who commentary, but did anyone else spot the significant shot of the Doctors hand in "the Stolen Earth"?

Makes me think we could be in for a Buffy/Faith style situation where there are 2 Doctors in the SAME timeline for a while. "The Doctors Daughter" has already shown he can be cloned (sort of)

So we could get a new Doctor AND Tennant back (with or without his memories/feelings for Rose) of course sooner or later one of them would have to die permanently.

@Drilled - Batman Begins was indeed breathtaking, but it's slightly hamstrung by a lack of really iconic baddies. Of course The Dark Knight doesn't look like it will have that problem :D
I love Ghost Dog too.

Rory said...

My moneys on Donna. i dont like her. i just dont, she irritates the hell out of me. its Horrible.

Dukeleto said...

@Rory - Donna actually irritates me MUCH less than I thort she would. I can't stand Catherine Tate, her comedy show is just one unpleasant character after another, shouting.
In Who tho, she's a much more balanced character, and the gags about her shouting all the time are all the funnier because she doesn't!

Xhalax said...

In no order

1. The Sound of Music (Musical)
2. The Lion King (Disney)
3. Battle Royale (Foreign)
4. Platoon (War)
5. Hot Fuzz (Comedy)
6. House of Flying Daggers (Martial Arts)
7. Aliens (Action)
8. Gone with the Wind (Romance/Period drama)
9. The Empire Strikes Back (Sci-fi)
10. Usual Suspects (Thriller….kinda)

Happy now(?)

Doctor Who just made me annoyed. Good episode, no where near the best (The one set on Midnight a few weeks ago and the Stone Angels are far superior and don’t cock everything up).

Got the Auido book.

Now stop bugging me, I’m too busy playing Crisis Core.

big said...

Yep happy now!

big said...

I think i gonna have to watch Singing in the Rain again..

F**king lion king!?!

But u made up for with Platoon,Aliens and the Usual Suspects .All 3 were bad ass.

Rory said...

oi! the Lion king was a fucking ace film!!

and yes. i agree, she is better than i thought. but i still want to headbutt her untill she stops talking. :)

Lordy said...

Big - I don't do lists. Mainly because I can never make up my mind. So I'm afraid I don't really have an answer for you.

*Spoilers coming - might want to skip*
About the new Doctor Who, am I the only one who was disappointed? There was no practically no build up, several missed cliff-hanger opportunities and everyone was just thrown in at once. Fair enough the directer wanted to get everyone in, but all I watch is Doctor Who. I didn't like Torchwood, and I've never seen the Sarah Jane Chronicles - there was a sudden deluge of characters all thrust upon me at once, only half of whom I recognised.

I would have drawn it out a lot more - have the Dalek's first 'Exterminate' as the cliff-hanger at the end of the episode (because who doesn't love Exterminate) and then been able to avoid the cheesy - and incredibly obvious running scene. Why Rose failed to be pinpoint accurate that time alone we'll never know.

On Donna - I really dislike her. I think she's bossy, arrogant (not bad qualities in themselves) but also pretty damn clueless. She may not have Rose's 'Big Dumb Blonde Smile' face, but at least Bille Piper is hot (Ok, so I'm shallow. Sue me). I think she's too old to do the part properly - keeps ordering the Doctor around and trying to enforce her moral code on him - he's been doing this for over 900 years, I think he knows what he's up to, even if he wasn't a genious.
*End Spoilers*

Woah...that was longer than I thought it'd be.

In other news - I can't believe no-one here has commented on the announcement of Diablo III. It's only one of the most awaited games, and it's gone completely unspotted it seems.

Lordy out.

Nik said...

All this Doctor Who and no one has mentioned the wonderful Bernard Cribbins. I was so chuffed to see him! When I was a kid, watching the films at the Saturday morning cinema club, he was my favourite assistant - him, and the very dashing Roy Castle.

Whatever happened to male assistants?

Chilon said...

Hi Dan,

New here and therefore first comment; I can't say that I agree with your list but neither do I disagree. Fantastic movies all of them except a couple I have not seen yet.
I was just curious how come there isn't even one Monty Python movie in your list or one of Ingmar Bergman.
Also, it would be interesting to post a list of your top 10 worst movies of all time. (What I mean is not b-movies,c-movies...but movies that you expected them quite good but ended up a total failure).

P.S.1: Any news on the short stories Inquisition book?
P.S.2: I'm begging for a Harlon Nayl trilogy in the future.

Hurrah for the Hussar said...

Dan absolutely right, I'd charge Germans if Damien Lewis asked me. And I can picture Gaunt having that pause-before-shooting as in the 'Crossroads' episode, pick up the box set people-its speilberg produced grey-red gloriousness

Lordy too right, D3 ftw, you know it'll be awesome-if the trailer('s) are anything to go by so far.
I'm a big old WOW(World Of Warcraft)player, clocking up 4 70's (Rogue called Tona!)and Xhalax mentioned Crysis Core so I know these are prevalent.
Dan is there any game you're addicted to at the moment? Or should I ask nik? :)

Mob said...

Hi Dan,
I really enjoyed your 40K radio podcast, both for the sweet info you gave us and for the opportunity to hear you talk about your work; you have a great radio voice! I wondered if you'd considered doing something like a Wordballoon show?

Come to think of it, a Black Library podcast would be awesome...

big said...

Nik -was he the voice of the Wombles.....The Wombles OMyG!

Loved the scene with the vailiant though she was really Rockin an Rollin,reminded me of the last stand of the Thunderchild in War of the Worlds.Fleet actions always get me .I would love to c Dan write a fleet book (or 3)and have a Thunderchild moment,mind u saying that Titannicus is shaping up, and what are they if not
land battleships!

Now im just finishing Ravenor and i have truly taken to him,so i dont want any one to think i am being prejudice when i say i think Eisenhorn would take him ,he would just find a way.Sure u put them in a room i think Rave would come out on top,But Gregor always seemed proactive and Rave reactive.Any takers on a vs Conversation!

Top 10 worst films will definately follow!

Paul said...

I was recently felled by the shattering realisation that I'd love to see Hugh Laurie as Gaunt.

In full on brooding, steely-eyed "Greg House in a bad mood" mode, of course. Hopefully enough to dispel any comparisons with Lt. George...

Nik said...

Hurrah - Write and play wargames! Come on, Hurrah, even Dan couldn't manage that. He does take a look at most of this kind of stuff, but daren't get addicted or he'd never get any work done, and then where would you lot be?

Big - Bernard Cribbins, fine actor that he is, was the voice of the Wombles. I missed out on that treat, being on the old side, and BTW weren't they ahead of their time! I did catch them on Top of the Pops once or twice, though. 'Wombling Christmas' any one?

Leo said...

I can't believe no one has mentioned Flash Gordon. What a performance by Brian Blessed. And right at the end, when the Hawkmen take to the air and spell out 'thank you Flash'. That is the pinnacle of cheesiness.

Big said...

I swear to god Brian blesseds character in that film is the personification of me!
"The flying Viking" or
"Russ with Wings"
The Scene when their boarding the Ajax (which i called one of the ships in my BFG fleet)is undoutably
one of my favorites ,with lines like
"im alrite e just winged me"
And music from Queen u cant get beter cheese anywhere!

Just a quike one for Graham Mcneil i dont actually post on his sight
but a couple of months back i said i wasnt sure he could pull off the fall of Prospero or writing space wolves(even though Fulgrim was amazing) him being an ultramarine man an all,Thing is i have just read Sigmar....And i take back what i said
Graham if ur reading this,i have been with the Wolves since Russ was just an Imperial Commander and bruva ur gonna be the nuts!

core said...

Dan your interview on 40k radio was great can’t wait for the Eisehorn vs Ravenor inquisitor stuff and the dual prospero thing with you doing one perspective and Graham doing the other sounds awesome.

Jack said...

"All this Doctor Who and no one has mentioned the wonderful Bernard Cribbins. I was so chuffed to see him!"

My girlfriend and myself are pretty much the American president and vice president of the "Wilf is AWESOME" club (mind you we're the only two members of the club at the moment.) Wilf fighting Daleks with a paint gun=gold. Bernard Cribbins manages to steal every episode of Doctor Who he's in.

Pack_master said...

Whoa, so much Doctor Who... my bro would be happy to read this, me, on the other hand... in germany, it will start this wekend, I think. season 27 or so. Aeons ago there was some Dr Who on TV here, but...

NHZ said...

I'm going to have second xhalax's listing of "Hot Fuzz." If anyone here hasn't seen it, go see it. It might be the best satire movie the aforemention--and excellent--Spinal Tap.

Glad to see that "Blood Pact" finally has a date attached. And I'm amazed, thrilled, and other words as well that it's coming out in May. It will make one hell of a graduation present from me to myself.

I just finished Legion yesterday, and it was excellent. Not that I expect anything less from you, Dan. Hurtado Bronzi seem to have a little bit of Corbecism in him. :)

big said...

"Its still Closure"

Fan tastic ,im ready for the next 3 ....bring it on!

the-seventh-son said...

i finished Fulgrim last week and i have to say i thought it was the best book out of the first 5, i found it a lot more personal, and i loved the way he was slowly corrupted but i'm still wprried by the severe lack of Night Lords... being the legion i have I demand answers!

i cant wait for May, or Games Day... Dan i will have to buy you a pint to say thank you for all your wonderful books at some point, im about 95% sure I will go

Ross said...

Bernard Cribbins rules - no Dalek can stand against an elderly gentleman with a paintball gun.

@ The Seventh Son - read 'Lords of the Night' by Simon Spurrier - that should set you right.

I might be flogging a dead horse here, but I would have to put 'Gettysburg' into my film Top 10.
As a movie adaption of a novel it is excellent ('The Killer Angels' by Michael Shaara, if anyone is interested), and while it may be over four hours long it is quite possibly the most heart wrenching war film ever. When the three divisions step off into the open ground, and you just get the long shot of Brigadier General Garnett leading his brigade out into the attack your heart catches in your mouth. Or when Colonel Chamberlain screams 'Bayonets!' before the 20th Maine's charge down the Little Round Top. Or when the Iron Brigade marches past General Reynolds to the tune of 'Paddy's Handcart'. Or whenever the Confederates raise that terrifying rebel yell.
An awesome film, awesome.

Somethingonthestaff said...

Have you ever seen "The Crow?" Brandon Lee's untimely death raised the movie to classic status for me. The scene between the Crow and Mr. Gideon is incredible.
"Fight Club" is one of the rare instances where the film version of the a story surpasses the original novel.
"The Fountain" is a superb story, even if most people don't get it.
Someday I'll get my Red Baron story optioned, or at least into graphic novel form. The Germans went and made a terrible movie about the Red Baron (who do they think they are?)"Flyboys" didn't help the WWI aviation genre either.
Has a film maker never approached you about writing a script? Marvel is churning out movies, they'd do well to talk to you.

narrativium said...

I was going to avoid this site for a bit, as people are very free with their spoiler-talk here and I wish it was Saturday evening as much as the next Whovian, but my copy of Transmissions just arrived in the post and Abnett's got a good Fifth Doctor story in there which I've just enjoyed, so thanks Dan!

Rob said...


I know how you feel about the Who talk. Watched my first episode a few weeks ago and, well...

It's not that it was bad, in fact I liked it, I just got the sense that I was 45 years and 750 episodes behind.

Pack_master said...


Gettysburg is one hell of a film, I can watch it all day (well, it takes that long anyway ;) ).
The "Bajonets!"-order is one of the coolest and most desperate movie scenes I have ever seen. Oh, and don't forget the ultra-cool and yet disarmingly human acting of Sam Elliott.

Oh, be aware that we germans feel just like you. I have not read a single crtitic on the movie that hasn't teared it to pieces. (and I don't talk about the "professional" critics, but the good ones, coming from people that care: cinema-visitors)

Gekogeek said...

Can't believe that no one has mentioned The Shawshank Redemption... easily in my top 3.

big said...

Shawshank was a bloody good film
Would i be write in saying it was based on a Stephen king novel!and if so it was a helluva prison movie from a horror writer!

Fav scene when he locks himself in the wardens office and plays classical music.Priceless

Dju said...

@Gekogeek : Hey, I for one did mention The Shawshank Redemption, you bet I did ! Good short story, excellent movie, I might want to add towards somethingonthestaff and big.
When the comparison novel-movie came up, I started thinking : The Name of the Rose. Hard call in this case : the historical chapters slow the action a whole lot, but the whole enigma is still better in the book.

Nik said...

Somethingonthestaff: Marvel have been talking to Dan so hard that... I guess I'll let him tell you himself.

There are, as it happens, always possibilities of movie scripts, but they always seem to be somewhere over the horizon. Movie making is a slow old business, but writing a script for one is never far from Dan's thoughts.

Rob - you mean you're not 45?!

Toymachine said...

...Where does one begin?

Dan, your right about everything when it comes to films! ...and everything else!!!


Pack_master said...

BL is really into dramatics. Just don't show GD Germany on their website concerning author visits...

Xhalax said...

Big - It was a short stroy rather than an novel....and you used the wrong 'right'

big said...

Oh Xhalax nice of u to take an intrest,Finished ur game yet...

Why Lion King !?!
Fav line when the Hyenas say "MUFFAASSA"

Liam said...

Hi dan, just a quick question, were you watching Revelation of the Daleks before you created some characters in the Eisenhorn books (if you were you would know who i am talking about)?



Liam said...

In addition, my top 1 films are as follows (also in no particular order
1) A Bridge Too Far (War)
2) Platoon (War)
3) Resevoir Dogs (Crime Thriller)
4) Kelly's Heroes - 'It's in der Bank' - that's for you Xhalax (War)
5) Zulu (War)
6) The Great Escape (War)
7) Dog Soldiers (Horror Comedy)
8) Empire Strikes Back (Sc-Fi)
9 Pirates of the Carribean - Curse of the Black Pearl (Action Comedy)
10) The Usual Suspects (Crime Thriller)

big said...

Went out last night and had a beer with a couple of my old army pals
and i raised a toast to all those serving abroad in various conflicts and especially to our Jesse who hasnt blogged in a while becuse off these commitements!

So Jesse keep ur Powder dry and ur head down mate and we will hear from u soon,God bless.

Nik said...

Big - I hope we're all thinking about Jesse. We heard from him recently and he seems to be in good spirits. Happy 4th of July.

one day gingers will rule the earth said...

There's absolutely no way I can list my top 10 films. It's a physical impossibility.

Oh alright then...

1. The Breakfast club
2. Miller's Crossing
3. Seven Samurai
4. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance
5. Indiana Jones(all of them)
6. Blue Velvet
7. The Empire Strikes back
8. Menace II society
(Heartbraking stuff)
9. Hotel Rwanda
10.Dead Presidents

Erm... am I going to be lynched for toting films from within the last 20 years?

Pack_master said...

'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' - whew, and I thought I was the only one knowing that one. Funny one, yep.

Hmmm, a list... fine. Here's mine. No real order approved, because simply you can't do that with the kind of movies I like ;)

1) The Hunt for Red October (Anti-War/Thriller)
2) Underworld + Underworld: Evolution (Genre)
3) The Empire Strikes Back (Fantasy - definetly NOT Sci-Fi)
4) Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country (Sci-Fi)
5) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Action-Comedy)
6) Gettysburg
7) LotR - The Two Towers

Damn, I seem not to be able to make a longer list... such a shame. There are many movies that I can watch often and over and over again, but real master pieces are rare.

'The Hunt for Red October' - here's an example of a good book AND a good movie. They're both thrilling from beginnig to the end.
'Underworld' - well, I'm much into vampires and werewolves and such... and hey, Kate Beckinsale... *cough*
And don't forget a wonderful Bill Nighy.
'The Empire Strikes Back' - I think all's been said ;)
'Star Trek VI' - a stunning movie. Thrilling, funny and klingons quoting Shakespear. What do you want? This movie is just great, andn othing else.
'Indy 3' - Ford and Connery in one movie. That should be reason enough. But it's funny to the end, charming, and thrilling.
'Gettysburg' - well, as said, a very good documentary. Your really fell the pain and the mud.
'LotR - The Two Towers' - best of the three. Just that simple.

Hastatus said...

The last Doctor Who! It was amazing!

I won't say too much for now though, in case anyone hasn't seen it yet...

Nik said...

Hastatus - I'm afraid that you and I are going to have to agree to disagree about Who. More later.

Dukeleto said...

Bah! I'm so glad Russell T Davies is leaving, that Who was AWFUL.
All 3 cliffhangers from last week were total red herrings in finest 50s weekly serial style.

So I was right about 2 Doctors, revolving around the clone hand (or 3, perhaps?) but they did it in absolutely the least cool and satisfying way possible.

I swear old Who didn't have this tendency to have massive, world changing apocalyptic events all the time.

The Doctor and the alien threats were secret, and usually remained so, sure it's less likely such a secret could be kept in the information age, but still... The occasional bit of subtlety or intrigue would be nice.

The only bit I liked really was the way Rose's disappointment echoed the feelings of the audience at the conclusion. Excellent performance from Piper, just a shame she's presumably not coming back again!

Dan I've been looking at The Vermin Stars again, any chance you could convince Mark Harrison to do some 40K art? Maybe something involving the Adepta Sororitas and the Primuls? It would rock.

Hastatus said...

Hmmm... Maybe you're right actually...

I found it good at the time, as a lot happened, but afterwards I didn't quite feel it had stood up to expectations.

And the sadest part, strangely, was probably when the doctor was talking to Dona's grandfather as he left.

I'd say last years finale was the best still.

Nik said...

Duke - Russell T Davies is a showman who likes a joke. I for one am more than happy to call him a hero, simply on the basis that he brought Who back to our screens, and gave us two wonderful versions of him. This was his Journey's End, and I respect the fact that he is bowing out now.

Moffat wrote some of my favourite episodes, certainly of the last two series, and I'm looking forward to what he will do. R T D has given him a clean slate, in a final act of generosity, so good for him.

I'd like to see smaller stories with better realised ideas. So much fiction in all genres and all media seems to rely on a premise rather than a beautifully structured, fully realised idea, without the flaws and gaping holes that are so often glossed over.

Let's have something a little less showy and a little more clever. After all, isn't that what Doctor Who was always about. You could never accuse R T D of lacking flair, but the threat was so real, back in the day, that the special effects didn't matter very much then. Scare the pants off us, Moffat, have us hiding behind the sofa, and do it with your own particular brand of panache.

Dukeleto said...

Ah you've a more charitable view of his contribution than I, Nik!
Sure he deserves all credit for bringing it back, and for casting 2 excellent Doctors, but he's pushed it in a daft direction, and while I agree he has flair, it's been at the expense of the fundamentals.

I also have to take issue with the continual pushing of an agenda, with which I agree wholeheartedly, but for which Doctor Who is probably counterproductive as a vehicle.

Moffat has definitely been the most consistent writer, and the most faithful to the old show. I also think he's written the cleverest plots, I think it's maybe a shame that there's such an entirely clean slate. The next series could've benefited from running with the better elements of this last one. (Like the return of Rose)

Dukeleto said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dukeleto said...

oh and in case I didn't criticise enough yet, it was very convenient that Donna was thrown behind a console with the self destruct lever for the entire Dalek race on it :p

I suppose I should be grateful that they didn't use the bloody sonic screwdriver.

big said...

Then we are all agreed that next years show needs me as the star !

I can see it now..

Me in a winged helm,spartan style leather pants leaving just a little to the imagination (the ladies love that shit),Loins fully girded and an axe .....or 2!
My character would impress the audience every week by not only my sheer presence and the fact im on the show,but with amazing feats of strength
Such as throwing the Tardis around
and catching it in a playfull manor
Wrestling Daleks and Cybermen,perhaps even the Beast in his lair (although the DR would have to go first with me shouting encouragement from somewhere nearby)
Raising the occasional eyebrow like the Rock when the Slevine break wind.
Every show i could counsel the DR with deep wisdom and solve his crisis of the heart by taking his female companions of his hands....
a different one every week naturally .
With my new character the new title of the show could be

"Big and Who?"

U know it makes sense

No really

Dukeleto said...

Aaargh Big did you have to? I'm feeling fragile this morning. (besides, that sounds more like T. Davies' style!)

Qa said...

"I was recently felled by the shattering realisation that I'd love to see Hugh Laurie as Gaunt.

In full on brooding, steely-eyed "Greg House in a bad mood" mode, of course. Hopefully enough to dispel any comparisons with Lt. George..."

Personally i think Hugh would be better as Zygmunt Molotch. he would probably do that eugenic-enhanced, superintelligent madman justice. after that, i prolly would have said Larkin. It was mentioned in one of the first books that he had a face/build that made him a good bait(dunno what words were used, but unnasuming/puny-looking might have been a part of that).

Hugh has a face that can look very puny at times, until he shines through with that slasher smile and those dark eyes, which could be used on both larkin and zygmunt imo :)

one day gingers will rule the earth said...

You know, I've tried on a few occasions to put my finger on what it was that bugged me about the Dr Who revival and for the life of me have came up trumps each time.

Was it Billie Piper who -while admittedly giving a great performance on the whole - is being given some pretty cheesy dialogue to ham up what could have otherwise been an endearing, modern day cockney sidekick?

Is it the Doctor's current incarnation and his overbearing enthusiasm for all things human, despite the fact that they're really a bit crap most of the time?

Is it the fact that scabby chavs, unsatisfied housewives and other unlikely types are suddenly being reincarnated as super soldiers and science heroes without legitimate explanation?

Is it the fact that almost all of the adventures have revolved around the planet Earth and its inhabitants in some way or another?

I don't know.

All I know is that I was a huge Who fan and I don't think that the series has translated effectively into modern society.

I think it's been targeted at younger viewers, (forget the 12 and PG ratings on the DVD collections. What about the plethora of children's merchandise?).

I remember being shit-scared of Dr Who as a wee yin and not just because of the special effects.

I don't know about you, but I think the show's controllers need to take a look back at the vintage stuff and stop wasting the prodigious talent of Mr Tennant.

I'm very tired and I'm rambling quite a bit, so apologies to any die-hard fans of the new show.


Rob said...


Indeed I'm not 45, unless you're counting in cynicism years.

I fear that my not quite "getting" Who has less to do with age and more with the crippling disadvantage of being an American. The mythology of the show is well developed and I don't have all the background to figure out what's going on. (Dalek? What's a Dalek? Oh, it's a robot... oh wait... not quite I guess.)

Ross said...

I have to say I actually quite liked the ending to 'Who..' the other day, mind you, I'm a sucker for anything like that!

But there is a bright/dark future, much has been said of Stephen Moffat taking over the reigns from Russell T. Davies and now that he has a clean slate, we can maybe see some of the darker ideas coming through (Moffat was responsible for the crap-your-pants-scary 'Blink' remember). A return to more 'old-school' Who perhaps?

cor said...

Some bits of who were good the confrontation between Davros and the doctor was imo brilliant but the whole regeneration thing did seem a bit forced and convenient that he was able to use the hand and the three doctors and doctor donna was just silly but hey donna is gone so not all bad :)

big said...

Dan-Braveheart....mmmmm i think i had only just watched it at the time and thats the problem ,the jock in me had come out!

Now Jaws was a film that apart from scareing the shit out of me when i was a kid was a fantastic film with many a moment .Would take that over BH in my top ten.

Its A Wonderful Life, we have the same tradition on chrimbo eve with that one! That and a film called Family man with Nik Cage are great
reminders of the things that are most important .

Your Sci Fi list is near enough the same as mine,but i have never seen The innocents,Moon 0 2,and close Encounters was cool but top 20 for me!
Invaders from Mars, my personal favorite but i think were in the same place there ,Them ,The Day the Earth Stood Still ,War of the Worlds etc all classics
Do you remember that TV series called "The Invaders"?

Zulu ,Wild Geese "Julius Limbani's alive?!",Blood diamond, Dogs of War and Tears of The Sun all to do with the West and Africa.Wild Geese
And Tears of the Sun are very close to my heart.

Francis Fords Dracula was the best Dracula of all time.Even against the old ones i'm afraid.

Angels with Dirty Faces,cmon that speaks for itself,Cagney as Rocky Sullivan!that film has spawned many others made around the moralities of the street .The mordern greats included!

Cmon now Guys Eisenhorn VS Ravenor
Any takers

The Gerg said...

Yes Big, I will quite happily take the E vs R bait thankyou!

May have mentioned before I love both these series and am very much looking forward to the next, now for me I personally think Ravenor would have a damn good chance vs old Eisy, hes way more powerful in the old mind bullets jiggery pokery. But on the other hand Eisenhorn has been around for over 200 years after the last Ravenor book and for most of those has been playing round with daemonhosts and the like so will have some nasty surprises if they meet.

The only thing thats a wild card is Nayl.. if he comes back and is involved who will he side with? having been Eisenhorns 'man' first then ravenors?

It'll be epic whatever happens.

Oh and I also love tears of the sun, Bruce Willis with shaved head is always awesome.


Lordy said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one left disappointed by the series ending. I'm not going to go into it - because I did that last week - but most of my points have been said already.

Only good thing I saw from it was Donna leaving.

one day gingers will rule the earth said...

Eisenhorn vs. Ravenor

I have a lot of love for old Gideon, but an insomniac couldn't get up early enough in the morning to catch the old boy out. I think his sheer bloody-mindedness and grim resolve will get him through just about any situation. That and his Daemonhost shenanigans!!

Anyone else going to Games Day this year? Beeline for the black library stall.

Apparently they're pre-releasing a book about a region of space called the Sabbat Worlds, or some such thing...

the-seventh-son said...

i think that the R vs E is a hard one but that Eisenhorn would win, i think that Ravenor wouldnt be abale to kill him out of two much respect and it would have to show how much Eiseonhorn has fallen from grace

i think the best film of all time is the Godfather! then Apoc Now and then Alien because they are awesome

oh and it was my birthday yesterday and i feel so old, (i'm 19 now!)

Nik said...

7th - and a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you. Oh to be 19 again...

Fireward said...

Wildernaut - I so love it. I'm really eeking out my Titanicus. Any ideas when BL will open the floor for some inquisitorial short stories?