This week in STUFF: I’ve fallen and I can’t get up
January 22, 2010 2 Comments
If you recall, my laptop exploded/melted/disintegrated/got eaten by bears, and sad as the case may be I’m still without my own personal computer. Mostly this has made it hard to do anything but laze around and waste time; I did however remember to write this post this week. As usual, the Mario Let’s Play continues to go up at a haphazard pace, and Speakable Evil episode the sixth went up last week. ONTO THE REVIEWS, movies abound and a few other things as well.
Day Watch – Part two of the Night Watch trilogy (which in Adams-esque fashion has four books in it), a modern fantasy thriller set in sombre post-USSR Russia. Engrossing stuff, with a flavour wholly unique (thanks to the marriage of Russian writing and American fantasy-horror tropes), and a sinister, suffocating tension that forces you to read to the very end to unravel the myriad mysteries of the massive game of chess between Dark and Light, the Day Watch and the Night Watch. Plenty of ethical philosophising, too. I’m sort of describing the trilogy (so far) in general, but Day Watch is even better than the first book, focusing mostly on characters in the Day Watch, their part in the game and their views on the morality of the Others. For a more in-depth review, I urge you to check out Vyperchild’s blog: he has also reviewed the first and the third book. Oh, and I have to mention, the volumes of this series I have read have awful photographic covers that would make me not want to read these books had Bradley not urged me to. *****
Inglourious Basterds – Tarantino’s masterful black comedy/gruesome action movie about dem dirty Nazis that’s just plain good. See Speakable Evil Episode 6 for more on it. *****
Being John Malkovich – Fairly old movie I’ve finally checked out. To say it’s strange is a little bit of an understatement, but for some reason I really like this, for lack of a better description, metaphysical and likely allegorical drama, comedy and love story. Our ‘protagonist’ finds a tunnel in his workplace which transports him into the mind of John Malkovich (the real actor), and for fifteen minutes he get’s to ‘be’ John Malkovich, to sense through his senses. It only gets more weird and tangled from there, though the movie surprisingly provides many answers and strays from being too vague, despite its surreal nature. Should be watched if only for its uniqueness; especially since Hollywood right now is a dry well when it comes to creativity. *****
IDW’s new Transformers On-Going is pretty nifty. It’s also pretty expensive. There’s the Transformers, then there’s Transformers: Bumblebee and next week starts Transformers: The Last Stand of the Wreckers. That’s three on-goings for the one story at a $3.99 cover price. But, honestly, the read is well worth it and I’d even recommend it to a non-Transfan. It basically follows the (typical, really, but anyway) story of the Autobots and the Humans coming to tension and odds after Megatron is beaten (back in All Hail Megatron) and expelled from the Earth. It’s basic GOVERNMENT IS EVIL, POOR ALIEMS fare, but it’s a really good read. Bumblebee is great and we see a Hotrod that I’m not sure we’ve seen before. Plus, Optimus Prime will do good to BLOW YOUR MIND in the very first issue. It might be a bit hard to backtrack at this stage, but I recommend you have a look.
Death at a Funeral – Funny, though sometimes idiotic and disgusting, British comedy set entirely at a father’s funeral. Helped by good actors, which I can’t say for the remake. See Speakable Evil Episode 6 for more on it. ***
The Colour of Magic/The Light Fantastic (Films) – Sky One adaptation of the first two books in Terry Pratchett’s nutty fantasy humour series, Discworld. Long and partially (not overly) lacking in the humour that makes the books work, but strings together a compelling narrative and manages to entertain, as well as be faithful and clever with the source material. I’ll leave it at that, because I’m fairly certain me and Bradley will do an in-depth review on the movies and their book counterparts. ****
Doctor Who: The End of Time Part 2 – Satisfying and simultaneously unsatisfying conclusion to Russel T. Davies’, and and especially David Tennant’s, run on the wacky British sci-fi series Doctor Who. See Speakable Evil Episode 6 for more on it. ***
Tropic Thunder – Take that, popular opinion! Besides a few funny moments (like the opening trailers) and clever lines, this movie is too long, too loud and obnoxious, and too much like the Hollywood crap it parodies (I’m really bearing down hard on these Hollywood folks today). Despite its star-studded cast (what the frack was up with Tom Cruise; I swear he probably just wandered onto the set and they put him in a costume and recorded his insanity), I relegate this to the ‘just another American comedy’ pile. See Speakable Evil Episode 6 for more on it. *
MY LAPTOP IS STILL BROKEN.
SAFEER, YOU FORGOT ABOUT PRINCE WILLIAM.
The Rating System:
* crap; in all likelihood, avoid
** meh; not quite worth your time
*** decent; nothing or not much new
**** good; polished, solid, give it a chance
***** great; among the best of its kind