Wednesday, 19 February 2014

First Among Equels

Easy there, my fellow spellcheckers. Or indeed spell-checkers; I'm never sure. I stand by the oddly-formed third word of the title and here's why. I have before me a shiny new issue of Total Film magazine, the 'no telly allowed' sister publication to geek periodical SFX. You may have seen SFX in the newsagent perhaps, nestled on the shelf somewhere between White Dwarf and Kerrang!, below FHM and above Total Carp.

Did you know that there are over eight different carp magazines in my local newsagent? Not eight copies of Total Carp, not eight fishing magazines. Eight different carp magazines. If I was a lazy writer I'd have written that last sentence thus: Eight. Different Carp. Magazines. But I'm not so I didn't, and neither should you.

Total Carp, Carp Fishing, Carp Angler, You And Your Carp, What Carp? Carpistry, Carpy Diem and The World According To Carp. I may have made some of these up, but I assure you that there are indeed many, many magazines devoted purely to pictures of what looks like the same man in a flat cap (there's another one: Carp & Caps) holding the same ugly green fish out to the camera like the mighty hunter he is.

But I diverse. Total Film. It's about film. Totally. There's an article on pages 84 to 90 about the forthcoming 300: Rise Of An Empire starring Eva Green, which I want to say a couple of things about. OK, three things, but one is really just to say: Eva Green's eyebrows - what's up with them? I mean, really? I honestly believe she's down in casting directors' special little notebooks as #1 on the 'really low, really straight eyebrowed actress' list. But hey, everybody's got ta have a USP, and I'm guessing that's hers. Fair play to her. Too long have we been pigeon-holed, labouring under the yoke of the plucked and arched brow. Cast down your tweezers and burn your wax strips. Say it long and loud, we're proud to be browed.

Ahem. Sorry. Sorry Eva. What I actually want to say is this. Movie titles that go Something: Rise Of Something Else are rubbish. The film might be great, but the formula X:RiseOfY is lazy, lazy lazy. See also G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans ("Ooo look! It's Michael Sheen as Tony Blerewolf!"), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Rubbish I say.

And just where is the Silver Surfer rising from, exactly? He's from outer space. Rise of the Mole Man, yes, I'll give you that. Even Rise of the Sub-Mariner. But I would have thought that Scorching Hot High Orbital Entry of the Silver Surfer would have been more spatially accurate. Shame on you, Fantastic Four sequel. For your rubbish title yes, but more importantly for the embarrassing and somewhat creepy scene of Mr Fantastic dancing with his long stretchy arms snaking around the ladies, second only to Spider-Man 3's similarly cringey shots of naughty, greasy haired enVenomed Peter Parker skanking around a night club floor in his evil black symbiotic togs. Superheroes should not dance, not even the Batusi.

Secondly, lastly, whateverly, and this is the point I intended to make briefly and succinctly some paragraphs ago, the article on 300: Rise Of An Empire: contains the following quote from director Noam Murro, "Its not really a prequel, it's not really a sequel, it's a side-quel". By which he means that this film depicts events that take place at the same time as the original Zack Snyder (insert Mark Kermode impression here) movie 300, and indeed the Frank Miller comic of the same name. Not to mention the actual bloody historic events themselves.

So surely that makes it an equel?

That's what I'm calling it. Films that take place contemporaneously as other films in the series. Equels. Obviously.

That's mine now. I thought of it first and thus own it. I don't even need to Google the word 'equel' to be sure I was first.

Oh OK, I will, but I'm sure I'm OK.
It appears I'm in the clear.