A previous Two The Write Thing
Two The Write Thing
June 18th to July 18th 1997
Welcome, lovely readers, to another edition of Two The Write Thing. Following AP2's registration with most of those international page-search things - oh, and our outrageously prominent appearance on teletext's famous Digitiser - the readership has jumped to over twenty. Slightly more, in fact, than the number of pages in total, which means you could all get together and read the whole thing in one go.
A point to note is that from now on, anyone who doesn't sign their last name will be treated in the same way as people who used only their initials when writing to AP and be given a ridiculous and humiliating label of our devising. Placing yourself geographically would also be to everyone's advantage, as AP2 doesn't print e-mail addresses.
And now, you.
"YOU MUST LISTEN TO IAN"
Are you up late, spending those long, dark hours on IRC? Okay, so your fingers are satisfied, but what about your ears? Do they have any such stimulation? No? Then I urge you to tune into TALK RADIO this very minute, for Tuesday to Friday, 1am until 5:30, is possibly the greatest radiophonic experience ever. You must listen to Ian Collins and the Creatures of the Night, or forever live in wonder.
1053/1089 AM/MW - YOU MUST TUNE IN, not only because I "was" on it on the 17th of June last year, but because it is great. And just think, you too could "be" on it, just by phoning them up for a chat.
Thank you for your time. Nice to see you're no longer replacing people's geographical presence with the word "e-mail."
James Caygill, Northampton. Or thereabouts
One of seven e-mails James has sent us in the last few days, including four in one evening. ("You realise I have eight months of e-mails to send," read the last one.) God forgive us for what we have unleashed unto this earth. (But "no longer"? We never did, James.)
"WHAT HAPPENED TO SPODLAND"
It's good to have you back. By the way, does anyone know what happened to Spodland?
Craig Howard, The Hidden, Camden
"KNEE AND A DAMNING PHILTRUM"
What do you mean, Matthew Garrett? What do you mean when you say "it's not C-Monster any more"? C-Monster is the rock around which civilisation is built (never you mind why civilisation needs to be built around a rock, it just does, that's all). Are you suggesting that he's now The Artist Formally Known As C-Monster? Well, that's just tafkac. Are you suggesting that he's gone all trendily abbreviated and become C-Mon? Which would lead to all manner of potentially embarrassing confusion.
I call upon a whole elite squad of transferred epithets to aim an accusing finger, an angry eye, a scoffing tonsil, a brooding knee and a damning philtrum at you. I am prevented from savaging you further only by the prickly feeling that I may have got the wrong end of the stick entirely.
K Clarke (retired), Wolverhampton
"MY HUMBLE POP"
Dear Arithmetic Progression The Second,
Once again I humbly request mailing of your glory to my humble pop account. Only then shall my life be complete. Then and when Chaos Engine 2 comes through the post from Special Reserve, natch.
Gareth Charles, Shrewsbury
Right-o. (We sent the page that says, "758." Ho ho! We're flint-hearted, we are.)
"THE VERSION OF NO"
Hello J Nash,
It was a surprise to me that you have sent the whole magazine, because that cost you more postage, but I like it!
Sweeping my fears away, the version of No Second Prize you have sent me runs fine on my A4000! Thank you VERY much and have a good time!
With BEST regards,
Gerhard Kozuscheck, München, Germany
"ESSEX TIM CANT ESSEX"
Still no JFK I notice. Or is there? Or IS there? Etc. Etc. Etc.
I wish I didn't live in Essex.
Tim Cant, Essex
There would have been an appearance of the JFK anniversary mug by now, but we've run out of space. (This is why the painstakingly- compiled Marathon pictures are missing.) Rest assured, readers, that plans are being drawn up to awkwardly and with expensively prolonged back-breaking labour transfer some of the larger files elsewhere. For you.
"SOMEONE HAS TO QUAKE"
2 The Write Thing,
Just thought I'd write to support Stuart's title for your letters page - after all, someone has to.
Quake IS good. Especially if you're a techy type who can fiddle around with the game code. Which reminds me - if anyone who knows Quake-C is reading, how about a Gravity Power conversion? Don't scoff, I've heard of an add-on which turns Quake into a racing game.
Sam Skipsey, Deepest Norfolk
"BUTTER ON THE CAM CORRUPTION"
As so much controversy and confusion has been raging within these pages recently regarding the World's Biggest Selling Amiga Games Magazine issue, I feel I should, once and for all, nail the "Joker Factor" nail with a big hammer, kind of thing, revelation, metaphor. Whatever.
Attached to this e-mail is a scan of that German, soi-desant World's Biggest Etc Etc showing its self-styled "cover." It is unlikely that AP2's readers can see this, for reasons of copyright. AP2 must be wary of incurring the wrath of the mantis-like Joker Verlag (the Germans are probably a bit touchy right now anyway, as the Post Office, in its Great British Achievements design series, has seen to it that the stamp of precisely that value needed to send a letter to Germany sports a picture of a Lancaster bomber). Nevertheless, you, Two, can see this scan and are able to nod in confirmation when I say that, with its "Erotik auf CD" special and its Bruce Sterling interview and its other stuff, Amiga Joker is no out-and-out games magazine.
Yes, I would be the first to admit that much of AMIGA POWER's raison d'etre was to allow Cam to go on photoshoots, get hold of big guns and play around in helicopters - but there was always a thin spread of games-butter on the Cam-corruption-bread. Joker, on the other hand, could be seen as merely a games-heavy version of Amiga Format. With jokes.
Its usurping of AP's World's Biggest Blah Blah, then, starts to look epileptically shaky. Put bluntly; AP was robbed.
I'm sure that, when faced with this new evidence, Future Publishing will immediately re-open the magazine and give it a proper spine and everything.
P Mason, Wolverhampton
We've also just learned that AJ outsold AMIGA POWER not by the thousands of copies we thought, but by about seven. This just goes to show something, although no one's quite sure what.
"THE ANSWER IS PROBABLY LYING"
I was just wondering what happened to everyone, like Linda and Cam and Stuart and all. And what about the old YS bods? Still in touch?
Anyway, the answer is probably lying in the Mighty Beings bitty, so this e-mail is likely to be pointless in the extreme.
Rory the Git
If memory serves, the only late-stage YS bod who didn't move to AP (and thus appear in the Pre-Credits Revelatory Biographical Subsequences section you're thinking of) is Andy Ounsted. After spells as Art Ed of Amstrad Action, ST Format and PC Gamer, he's now in charge of all the bits Art Eds don't do - for example, the ad cards and promotional brochures for new magazines. Without monthly deadlines (hurrah!) he's been able to concentrate on his crap bike and recently passed a test which means he can ride a significantly crapper one. Or something.
"MARGINALLY BETTER THAN ("MICHAEL JACKSON" - Ed)"
AP2 is quite entertaining; a strange thing really since the original stank. Still, it was marginally better than ("Michael Jackson" - Ed). Just.
"A QUOTE FROM STEWART"
I was just having a look through the Daily Telegraph's computer supplement (PC supplement, more like) only to come across a feature about "Zombie Computers." Closer inspection revealed a quote from "Stewart" Campbell. Which was nice.
James Caygill, Northampton
Stuart writes: Damn the eyes of that idiot O'Brien, who doubtless also included his heavily-edited and fluffy version of my original quote and not the much funnier one I actually gave him.
"BOTH LUNGS COLLAPSE CHRIST"
I have stumbled across this site completely by accident and it is without a doubt the only web site I have ever found in the slightest bit interesting.
It's AP. Grin.
It's 2. Chuckle.
It's AP and it's 2. Laugh.
It's AP2. Laugh so hard both lungs collapse.
Christ, I've got a poor sense of humour.
It really brightened my afternoon to find this. I shall peruse it while continuing with the exceptionally pointless task I have been set on my work placement.
The user support office is closed today for staff training and it is my job to sit here and tell people, "I'm sorry, user support is closed at the moment, if you have a problem please notify us by e-mail." AAhhhhhrrrgggg. Hnnnnggghhhh.
Great stuff. Apart from one small thing. I don't suppose you'd consider doing a regular feature on modems would you ?
"THE TIME OF THE ANDERSON"
In what may have been a bizarre coincidence, or more likely a cunning in-joke, around the time of the Anderson debacle, Amiga Shopper reviewed a program that cunningly encrypted files inside pictures, thus fooling Men in Black everywhere. Beside this review was a screenshot. In this screenshot was a picture of the watertower from the start of Animaniacs. The secret, quite clearly, was hidden in the watertower.
Matthew Garrett. From Omagh. In Northern Ireland. Which is wet and cold. And ugly. And empty
A cunning in-joke? In a magazine dedicated to the deepest technical secrets of the machine? The sighting of (undoubtedly) our picture is another fleeting glimmer of hope that a happy ending to the N For Nobody saga can yet be reached, however. Although the bit where Jonathan Anderson was fired was good.
(Look, what IS all this stuff about a "secret in the watertower"? - Stuart.)
"LEAVE OUT PRESUMABLY"
"By dint of great effort we have traced this list to AP60's news feature, Things Our Lawyers Told Us To Leave Out."
Presumably this great effort was e-mailing me to ask what I was talking about?
James Caygill, Northampton
"LAWSUITS HEH HOW"
AP2 is the coolest thing to browse during my worryingly undefined (and usually truncated) lunchtime! I was just reading about those ridiculous lawsuits - heh - how can you copyright a flower? Where does it end? Copyrighting grass? The sky? Anyway, that's enough question marks for now. They're probably grammatically incorrect anyway Sigh.
Richard Franks, Glasgow
Annoyingly, you didn't mention copyrighting colours, because someone has. (The yellow in a business logo, to be exact. Civilisation, eh?)
"TWO - TWO + TWO"
I have reeeeaded your steeeeeeeeeeeeeeenking leeetle AP2, I must waarn you eeevil leeetle peeples that I, Carlos the Jackal! have neev'r seen such foul steeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenking work in my entire exeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeestance.
1. On the point of "Two/2 the Write/Wraught Thing/Groovy Thang" type debate, I should remind the world at large that '2' is in fact a DIGIT. Therefore, it can only exist in a mathematical context, such as "1+1=2", or "8192/4096=2", or "sqrt(X^2 + Y^2) = 2 -2 + 2 / 2 * 2 behind those orange bushes 2".
Two. NASH, YOU MUST MEET WITH THE RIM GREAPER. Once again, the cunning being has opted to exist only in a plane of prose, cleverly attributing all his work to a small Japanese Manga character with average shoulders. At least we, your idolizing fanbase have not been fobbed off with a minertore of the Martian from the Bugs Bunny cartoons. Or something equally ridiculous. ("Glass" - Ed) it if it moves. (Hang on - "minertore"? - Ed.)
3. Workbench has no connection with our fathers, or THE DARK LORD HIMSELF. However, you must be told the following: In the Amiga's (no connection with APTwo of course, that would just be silly) early days, the hardware designers got bored and made an object of incredible uselessness - the surfboard. In a parallel universe, the Amiga software designers made an equally lacking-in-reason object-of-no-desire. It was Workbench. Thusly, as surfers of the sea, people of little technical knowledge pretend to perform complex tasks, while in reality they are just piddling about doing nothing of any importance.
You may stroke my kettle, but beware! It has stung 23 people already.
Stuart 'Kyzer' Caie (or S "K" Caie, I forget which)
But J Nash really does only exist in a world of prose.
"STEVE MCGILL FOR AGES"
Hi guys, just came across AP2 and it looks really good. Keep up the good subversion!
I've been trying to get in touch with Steve McGill for ages but every e-mail address I have for him bounces back - if you're in touch with the Disappearing One, could you ask him to drop me a line? (We worked together many moons ago.)
We too were told "Steve McGill has been deactivated." Lawks. This turned out to be yet another failure of THe INterNETTM, though, as he lives still, and rang AP2 recently to relate the amusing tale of how, when both men worked at Team 17, ex-AF lunkhead Marcus Dyson sent a congratulatory memo around the whole of said company upon seeing the 98% mark awarded to Alien Breed 3D 2 in the final issue of AP, only to have to embarrassingly circulate a second, retractory, one mere hours later on actually reading the text of the review and discovering, too late, that the mark was a funny joke.
"AND NOW MY WHOLE PERCEPTION"
I've recently downloaded the archive version and now my whole perception of the AP writers has changed. For example:
Linda - Someone who wasn't anything to do with AP for me (I got her last issue before she fell ill) yet she's written a beautiful acrostic and admitted that she would've gone back. A wonderful gal.
Tim Norris - You know how in AP65 Reader Millington said Tim would've been AP were it not for Stuart? I deny this vehemently. Tim created the best caption ever and that's all to me. I didn't really like him. Sorry. If anyone, Cam and J Nash were AP - perhaps they were Stuart and Tim for the younger set.
JD - Someone who, along with Rich, connected AP and YS for me. Yet fails to even write an original piece for AP2 (the one thing he has is from AP15 or something) and it emerges that he forced AP to go against his principles. But he printed my letters about Paramount in PC Gamer so that's okay.
And I've just realised the one difference between a guestbook and a letters page - you can edit a letters page.
I give up,
Ben Hall, RAF Bruggen
We liked Linda's acrostic too, Ben, though in fact the quote on gentleman editor Jonathan Davies's page was added by Dave Green as a tie-in to the definition of "Nnnnnngh." Guestbooks aren't edited? Ye gods and little fishes.
Oh, and JN has taken to using "Stuart and Tim for the younger set" at every opportunity, so thanks a lot.
(Sob. - Stuart.)
"TRUSTY WOODEN COMPUTER TABLE"
Greetings Stuart Campbell (aka Chas|z),
Just a small note to enquire if you are still making use of my trusty wooden computer table. Blast from the past memory test eh?
Kenny Hannah, Queensferry Microwave Division
We feel like the Pinkerton Detective Agency.
Stuart writes: Hi Kenny! No! Microwaves, eh?
"CHEST AND WITH MORE STARVING"
Hello, "AP2" (or whatever),
Just before this letter was written, I had another one, much better than this one will ever be, on my computer. It's just that these cr*ppy PCs crash every once in a while and it was all lost. Not to mention my nervous breakdown and subsequent amnesia which made my brain forget all its contents.
With that off my chest, and with more starving children in the world we live in dying RIGHT NOW AND AS WE SPEAK, time is right to get down to business.
This is not meant to be an extensive letter. This wasn't even meant to be a letter at all. But I welcome you back into my heart as laconically as you ever were.
Incidentally, ever considered doing AP2 (or whatever) on paper? It could be published monthly by, I don't know, Future Publishing. And it might talk about late computers. And even bring a disk of some sort attached to it. Think about it. It might work.
Pedro Pinto, Portugal. (That's that country right next to Spain and which has lovely beaches and landscapes and - (That's enough. - Ghostly hypothetical Ed)
Egad. We're a global concern. (Hang on - "Ghostly hypothetical Ed"? - Ed.)
"AMUSINGLY FOR ALL THE USELESS"
In the language section why no "It's X - but on the Amiga" as used so amusingly for all the useless Doom clones everyone made back then?
Neil Currie, Clydebank
This error has been corrected. Good work, citizen.
"FAX ME YOUR AP2"
It was by complete chance I stumbled across AP2 while looking at some YS stuff. It was a dream come true (literally) - edited by the best writers in the WHOLE WORLD it is the best site, magazine, THING ever. Shame I'm not on the hated-by-AP-internet yet. (I'm on work experience so don't tell anyone I sent this.) You're all the BEST IN THE WORLD... EVER!! people. I love you all, but still wish AP hadn't closed. Keep on writing... FOREVER!! HA! HA! HA! and tell me where your next incarnation will be, would you. And maybe fax me your AP2 pages if you would be so kind.
Felix Shardlow, Chichester
"I KNEW WHERE YOU KNOW"
I never read AMIGA POWER first-hand but my friend Alex did and he used to bring it to school. (He even had a letter or two published, one of which - the one featuring Mr Lucky Bags - was about me because, you see, I was the boy who purchased said bag O' Luck.)
Even though I was not a regular reader I was still unhappy when AP died (although not as unhappy as Alex, he literally sobbed) because I have fond memories of laughing in the school library, like a madman would laugh at the cold body of his victim, at the "Doom with real people" feature and also feeling proud that you appreciated the Coen brothers and Sam Raimi and Michael Caine even though I already knew they were fantastic before i'd even heard of AMIGA POWER and it was like "sure sure, these AMIGA POWER people are telling the truth." Do you have any idea what I'm talking about? I knew where "You know - fer kids" was from even before Lewis did and he was saying it for ages, the fool. Ha ha ah ahah aha!
I'm now in the process of printing almost every page of AP2 for Alex because he threatened to do things to me if i didn't.
Everything Alex says is taken from a mixture of AMIGA POWER and Fist Of Fun.
Lewis is a friend who's now cool and doesn't hang around with us any more. Do you watch The Simpsons?
NO BEN, NO.
Paul Wright, Abbots Langley
PS - It sounds like i have an unhealthy obsession with my friend Alex. I don't. And anyone who says I do is lying.
PPS - I'm going to Penrith next Sunday. You know, Penrith?
How on earth would AP2 - but on paper work?
"PLEASE CHANGE THIS"
How about game reviews in your most mighty of webpages? After the death of AP, there has been a lack of trustworthy video game coverage. Please change this.
Stuart writes: Actually, I think we've been making a fundamentally huge mistake all along vis-a-vis the honest marking thing. I reckon that, maybe, the reason terrible games still sell and no one appears to pay any attention to reviews is that crap games sell to people who don't read games magazines. They've just heard of FIFA or whatever, so they buy the game without making any attempt to find out what the mags think of it. Now, our, and maybe your, initial reaction might be "The idiots, how can they possibly expect to buy good games if they don't solicit critical opinion first?" but (a) how can you blame them, given the empirically poor quality of the available publications? (Exactly where would one go these days for reliable buying information on Playstation games?), and (b) they're probably blissfully ignorant of what a turkey they've bought anyway. You're unlikely to appreciate fully how dire FIFA 97/64 is if you've never even heard of ISS 64, after all. You'll just think that its failings are the way things are. How many AP readers bought Rise Of The Robots, do you think? (If anyones answers question A with "Oh come on, Official Playstation Magazine isn't too bad", incidentally, I'll come round and personally sandpaper them to death.)
What this suggests to my hopelessly idealistic mind is that there's still, therefore, a gap in the market for an intelligent, mainstream games magazine which the ordinary punterin the street would possibly buy, as well as dedicated games fans. Why, for Cliff's sake, shouldn't the games lover be served by a publication of the quality of Empire, Select, FHM, Total Football etc? The dream is rather scuppered by the ridiculous multiplicity of formats we're still afflicted with, though. (Any normal person still has trouble understanding that Saturn CDs won't run on the Playstation - and quite right too - which would put the imaginary mag up against a big fat wall from the word go.) So it looks like everything's destined to remain a big pile of shit for the forseeable future after all.
And while I'm on the subject, if my cretinously stupid £6,000 PC tries to tell me ONE MORE TIME that it "doesn't have enough memory to complete this operation" while I'm typing, despite the fact that I've got 40Mb of RAM and the only program I've got open is this bog-standard notepad, I'm finally going to crack and disassemble the stupid fucking bastard fucking fucking bastard useless fucking bastard thing with my 2lb lump hammer. Still, at least it's not an Amiga, eh viewers?
J Nash writes: Actually, I think I'll wait until Stuart's calmed down a bit, thanks.
"LAUGHTER AS HE WHINES"
I've been getting some really amusing anti-Amiga mail from a friend who keeps asking me to help him with his PC internet stuff. (Bit cut here due to no one caring. - Ed.)
So, I tell you all - get one of your PC-owning friends on-line then (Another bit cut. - Ed.)
Laugh as they fail (Etc etc etc. - Ed)
Thunderous laughter as he whines about M-IRC being better (This isn't going to improve, is it? - Ed.)
LOAD A PNG (It looks as though he's changing the subject, though, readers. Phew - Ed.)
ONLY on a PC. You too could have this much fun and more if (Sorry, everyone. Sorry. - Ed.)
James Caygill, Northampton
"YOUR ETHIC IT'S A CODE"
I have been spending a prodigious amount of time on the AP2 site. Does it ever end? Your style amuses me. I appreciate your ethic (it's a code I follow every day) and really wish that subs to AMIGA POWER didn't cost £120 here in the US, as I would have subscribed when my local shop stopped carrying it at the time of issue 45.
Don't buy Rise Of The Robots.
"I WRITE THIS I AM"
While I write this, I am "downloading" the archive thing for the third time, in the vain hope that this one might work. Damn this infernal machine. I do hope that J Nash's story ends up being finished, as it really had me riveted.
Bye now, don't go away.
J Nash writes: Phew, that's better. So what does everyone else think about games mags? Ought AP2 to carry reviews? (Wasn't this a Digitiser Hot Topic? Except the AP2 angle, obviously.)
Oh, and thanks, Richard, presuming you do mean It's A Time Of Darkness, of course, and not the tale of Jonathan Anderson or something. I hope to have some news about a new one (of it) soon.
"IT'S DEAD AND ROLF HARRIS"
If you hold a guinea-fowl really still, REALLY STILL, you could pretend it's DEAD. And Rolf Harris would come over to cheer you up with some mouth sounds and that, and you could see the expression change on his face from his really serious one to a happy one when he sees it chirping a few minutes later.
You WOULD get on Animal Hospital if you pulled THAT stunt, I can tell you.
Steve Anderson, Cardiff
"ATHEISTS I HAVE NO SCANNER"
In a staggering coincidence matched only by the fact that the person advertising a complete collection of AMIGA POWERs in issue 65 lived just down the road from where I had no less than thirteen years before and happily sent me issues 1-64 including Subs Letters and postcards, except number five, during the last week I spent a pleasant few hours removing AP house ads from copies of Amiga Format before banishing them to the underworld. (The copies of Amiga Format, that is. Not the AP ads. That would be silly.) This includes the Four Cyclists movie poster.
Unfortunately, in one of those instances that makes you feel that if there is a god, he despises atheists, I have no scanner. And have just had my last day at school until September. Pff.
And around one out of ten still ranks in the region of "a rather large number of links that do not, as yet, work." However, the situation now seems much improved.
Interestingly, having been using Dejanews (the Newsgroup Historian Of Champions. Certainly a provider of strange information - for example, you were once mentioned in rec.cooking.fast-food or something like that due to your comments on McDonald's) (I mentioned them in passing a couple of times when everyone else was using the Mick And Mack and McDonaldland games as an excuse for a pathetic soft-target pop at the evil mega-global corporation, espousing the unpopular theory that, basically, Chicken McNuggets were actually quite nice. - Stuart) I have discovered that out of the 12 (count 'em!) responses that the AP2 announcements generated, only one was negative. And contained several charming errors.
But anyway. I depart for bed.
Matthew Garrett, Omagh
It's true - the AP2 newsgroup trailers were met surprisingly cordially, especially by our old chums Vulcan Software. (In fact, the only spot of whining, childish hatemongering came from a chap who couldn't get the page to work with a text-only browser written in 1986.) There'll be a page containing all the trailers (including the original one-a-day set of sixteen that eventually we decided would just get us killed) once this space problem's been sorted out.
Your cataloguing talk reminds us: a couple of people have written in to say that, after reading the House Ad page and learning that hardly any of AP's ads were archived because technically that was the responsibility of the mag they appeared in, they've torn up their old Amiga Formats and Games Masters in order that we can have our jokes back and add them to AP2. This is immensely touching. We love you all.
"BATMAN AND ROBIN"
Imagine, if you will, a piece of writing so turgidly lacking in even the faint patina of wit or style it grasps for the weakest jokes to attempt to supply it with an aura of joie de vivre, but only succeeds in making it appear increasingly desperate and hollow.
Enough about anything I've ever written, let's talk about Batman And Robin.
I've had the pleasure of seeing some truly reprehensible slices of entertainment this year, but this... this is a hollow-eyed abomination, dripping ichor from all its advanced-capitalist-encrusted orifices.
Its greatest success? Actually managing to continue the pattern of the films' merits decreasing exponentially. After Batman Forever I had my doubts that such a thing was possible, but Mr Schumacher has excelled himself. The bastard.
Of course, You have to feel sorry for Uma and Arnie, who actually give the insipid rabbit-toss of the lines their overacted best. I can count on the fingers of my right hand the number of times I actually enjoyed myself. I almost walked out. (And I never have done that.) Only the hope Uma would raise her eyebrows kept me secured in my seat. She didn't, and all the baddies were dispatched with the minimum of flair whatsoever. Buffoons.
As empty-brained as Kula Shaker on Mogadon and as dull as Bristol Zoo if they removed the masturbating monkeys.
The only saving grace? The rather humorous describing of Alicia Silverstone by Cheesecake as "reassuringly chubby."
Bremstrahlung X Jones
"BATMAN AND ROBIN"
Avoid Batman And Robin like the plague. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid. For sure, the worst film I have seen this year.
Matthew Garrett (who's jolly annoyed at having just spent money to see this)
JN writes: In fact, I found Batman And Robin a significant improvement on Batman Forever. (The film, you'll recall, that became popularly known as Batman (Jackboot Stamping On A Human Face) Forever and is perhaps best summed up by Stuart's comment as AP left the cinema, "I genuinely haven't felt this bad since my dog died.") To list Batman And Robin's uncontestable errors would be howlingly tedious, but everyone involved's contempt for humanity, so prominent in the third movie, is here half-hearted, and reciprocally, therefore, I can't be bothered getting angry at it.
Additionally, I liked three things. Mr Freeze steals diamonds because they power his life-support suit, thus neatly justifying the age-old characters-shaped-like-carrots-desire-only-vegetables idiocy, Poison Ivy says "Curses!" at the end, and the Alfred sub-plot is (jarringly) touching and assured. The fact the film has rekindled Warners' interest in the cartoon, leading to a second movie and a third series is also pleasing.
(Fans of the show will be amused to note perhaps the single critically approved aspect of Batman And Robin - the reinvention of Mr Freeze as a sympathetically-motivated figure of personal tragedy - is nicked uncredited from the episode Heart Of Ice, though with the intelligent handling jettisoned. The 22-minute, sixty thousand dollar cartoon won the first of the show's string of Emmy awards, establishing Warner Bros' enviable reputation for treating television cartoons as a legitimate medium. The 134-minute, seventy-six million dollar live-action film reportedly made a test audience cheer when someone shouted "Joel Schumacher must die" until the director ran out in tears.)
I would in no way advise you to see Batman And Robin. It did, however, leave me feeling merely slightly glum, which by the standards of Batman films is a triumph.
Stuart writes: Here JN, in his endearingly innocent way, has fallen for the old politician's trick of leaking apocalyptically awful news, in order to make the announcement of the real, merely hideously terrible, news seem less traumatic.Batman (Jackboot Stamping On A Human Face) Forever was possibly the worst thing ever in the history of all things, so B&R being a merely diabolically useless film (and here I'm guessing) will naturally appear less offensive. By this mark, presumably all Joel Schumacher would have to do to guarantee huge receipts and massive critical acclaim for Batman 6 would be to make Batman 5 a 12-hour epic featuring Dudley Moore (as Batman) standing in a corner picking his nose for the entire duration of the movie. Actually, no, that still wouldn't be as bad as Batman Forever.
AND ANOTHER THING...
Oh no! I've just remembered. Gunship 2000 - Stirling Albion nil.
WHERE THE HELL IS YS2!!!
Captain Boris McWibbleton
Still, at least it was just eight months' work, eh, readers?
Balggard? A simple typographical error in the rendition of blaggard, a "mildly amusing" form of pronunciation that my seven-year-old cousin used on occasion three years ago.
Matthew Garrett, Omagh
Interestingly, the actual word is "blackguard" - it's the pronunciation (which your cousin had exemplarily accurate) that has generally, though incorrectly, become the spelling.
WE ARE WITH YOU. THE TRUTH MUST BE HEARD... ALWAYS.
Except nobody cares what's on the INTeRNeT anyway.
Ah, but James Stewart would be a worthy candidate.
Ben Hall, RAF Bruggen
BOB'S MEMORY SHOULD NOT BE LOST TO THE WINDS OF TIME! INCLUDE BOB IN YOUR "GOOD" WEB SITE.
Alex Smyth, Sheffield
We're bored of capital letters now.
Sam Skipsey, Deepest Norfolk
PS - Sorry.
I love it.
Gareth Charles, Shrewsbury
Oh no! We must have accidentally and with expensively prolonged back-breaking labour sent the entire archive version instead. The irony of this is just sickening.
You have written. We have written back. With hilarious consequences. So the trend may continue, address your letters to
or Two The Write Thing, spontaneous note fans. Remember a last name and home town, eh?
Farewell to your big faces until next time.
Another Two The Write Thing