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Blade Runner: The Final Cut

If only you could see what I've seen with your eyesHere's a thing: at the time of writing, there's a fair to middling chance that your local multiplex will be showing the new Ridley Scott film, American Gangster. Go see it, and watch out for an early scene while the story's still in the late 1960s, in which Denzel Washington nips out to a phone box to make the first call to his Asian drug contact. Behind him, in several shots, we can see a large billboard clear as day. Unfortunately, I can't tell you exactly what the billboard was advertising, because I couldn't see past the SODDING ENORMOUS INTERNET ADDRESS AT THE BOTTOM OF IT.

Just to reiterate: late 1960s.

But that's Scott for you: a perfectionist.

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St Pancras International

London Waterloo International Station, 13/11/2007 18:42. Just being dismantled after the last departure. We couldn't not do it, could we? Consider the following:

- our plan to save the planet by not using planes in 2007 is still holding up halfway through November, even though I currently have the sort of job where I can be asked if I'm available to go out to New Zealand on Friday. (This actually happened.)

- we've already spent a large proportion of this year travelling around by train, specifically on our Grand Tour of Europe in the Spring.

- the London departure point for the Eurostar rail service to Paris and Brussels moved on November 14th from Waterloo to the newly-refurbished St Pancras International station, at the same time going carbon neutral and converting to a high speed rail link.

- The Belated Birthday Girl's birthday is on November 14th.

We couldn't not do it, could we?

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REPOST: The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen

The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Collect the set! Clockwise from top left: Captain Nemo (1867), Miss Mina Murray (1897), Allan Quatermain (1888), Edward Hyde (1886), Hawley Griffin (1897), Dr Henry Jekyll (1886). Originally posted on The Unpleasant Lair Of Spank The Monkey 24/05/2000.

A lot has happened in the intervening seven and a half years, so here's a quick recap for you. Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill eventually finished the first volume of League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen comics discussed below, and completed a second volume featuring the same team battling the aliens from War Of The Worlds. The movie version of LOEG was released, and was astonishingly shit. (As was the movie version of From Hell: hear Moore talk about both of them to Stewart Lee in an entertaining 12.8Mb MP3 interview.) I got told off on my letters page by Gloriana on 19/11/2001 for misusing the term 'slash fiction'. The 'long-delayed pornographic saga' I mention at one point, Lost Girls, finally saw the light of day in 2006 and was subsequently reviewed here.

But the main reason for this repost is the imminent arrival of new LOEG material from Moore and O'Neill. The Black Dossier is an original graphic novel, rather than a collection of previously published comics: it takes the story of the League forwards into the 1950s, and backwards into their previously untold history. Rumour has it that copyright issues, similar to those that bedevilled Lost Girls, may prevent its sale in the UK (or is it something more sinister?): but based on my experiences with that earlier work, I believe that Amazon US should be willing to ship it regardless. And I'm not just saying that because I'm on commission. Honestly.

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Simian Substitute Site for November 2007: Happy Monkey Drinks

Happy Monkey Drinks As you can imagine, things are a little busy here at the moment. We're just one day away from the end of the London Film Festival, and hopefully this year's coverage has been to your liking. After two weeks of daily updates (with, unusually, a few days of proper paid work in the middle of them), I think I'm entitled to a short period of collapse. So things will probably be a little slow around here during November. Normal service will be resumed shortly.

(Having said that, there's one thing I've got in the pipeline: think of it as a late postscript to Europe By Train, scheduled for mid-November. You may want to take a guess at what that might involve.)

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