25th Hour

Caught Spike Lee’s new movie – or ‘joint’ as he insists on calling them (a word that has rather different connotations to me). 25th Hour was pretty damned fine – Edward Norton is a drug pusher who is going to jail the next day and spending his last 24 hours with his friends – or supposed friends – his girlfriend (or did she betray him to the Feds?), his father and exploring post 9-11 New York. A haunting opening is beautifully filmed – an opening sequence of the sort we’ve seen so many times before. A montage of the most filmed city on Earth which slowly and cleverly segues and shades from close-ups to panoramic shots… Except shining up from the skyline of Manhattan are the two ghostly pillars of light from Ground Zero; architectural phantoms linking earth to sky. Ground Zero itself is brought into Norton’s final tour of his home city in the most understated and subtle manner. Instead of hitting us with this gaping wound directly it is brought in from the side in a very simple sequence which resonated with power; it was hard not to feel very emotional. 25th Hour was as much a homage to his home city by Lee as it was a beautifully shot tale of life, trust, hope and the taking of responsibility for one’s actions. Excellent.

The lovely Kate at Titan sent me a copy of the latest Mike Mignola’s Hellboy title (thanks, Kate, you‘re lovely). This collection, BPRD (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence, Hellboy’s old employers) has some fine short stories which, in the big red guy’s absence, let the other characters have a chance to expand, such as the excellent Abe Sapien and Roger the Homunculus. How can you not love this stuff??? Check out the wonderful, mythical, Gothic world of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy before Ron Perlman struts his stuff in the movie adaptation. I’ve posted reviews of most of the collected editions on the Alien Online and the new BPRD review will be up once Uncle Ariel calms down from the (well-earned) high of his success in mortal combat with antiquated plumbing (well done that man, now settle down on your repaired throne with some good reading) – see his blog for the full, epic struggle.