"Hey guess what - Ben Affleck is the new Batman!" "Ergh" "You don't like Affleck? You've never forgiven him for Gigli?" "Affleck's fine, it's Batman" "Batman?" "Batman" "You don't like the caped crusader?" "Nope" "Why?" "A privileged millionnaire who punishes poor people. A nocturnal David Cameron."
As director Neill Blomkamp says in the foreword, this book offers a "peek behind the curtain" of the film's journey to the big screen. He discusses his influences and thinking behind the making of the film - and we get to see some of the 3,000 pieces of concept art that were made even before anyone walked onto a set.
The depiction of Liberace's Las Vegas spectaculars are particularly well done; perfectly capturing the showmanship that made him the world's highest paid entertainer. In the modern age of motion capture and CGI, it is not often that one is baffled by special effects, but the footage of Douglas shredding up the piano keys with a virtuosic Boogey-Woogey is jaw-dropping.
I don't think anyone seriously denies that welfare reform of some sort is necessary, whether to reduce waste and fraud, to re-establish proper incentive for the unemployed to look for work, or to help restore order to public finances. Around these basic points there's consensus. The question is, however, reforms at what cost, and to whom?
Frankly, I've always been a bit scathing of these big screen action men - the Jason Bournes, James Bonds, Austin Powers (baby!) of this world, most recently the Jeremy Renners. After a while, they all seem to stop smiling in photos, like they've started believing they are actually secret agents in real life, not grown men fighting for mirror-space of a morning, and getting their hair professionally blow-waved.