So I missed last week; I was sick, then I was tired, then I was busy, then I was busy eating turkey, then I was sick of eating turkey, and then the week was gone. Have no fear though, I’m back, and barring any type of mass emergency I should be back on the weekly schedule. Not that anyone is reading…
So in the throes of illness I did get some serious movie watching done;
- I finally got a chance to sit down and make my way through Inglorious Bastards (**** ½ out of 5 Stars). I’m going to say this now, so prepare thyself, Tarintino has not made a masterpiece yet. I stress the word yet. I love the dialogue of Reservoir Dogs (**** ½ out of 5 Stars), the story telling of Pulp Fiction (**** out of 5 Stars), the cast of Jackie Brown (**** out of 5 Stars), the style of both Kill Bill volumes (Vol. 1 **** ½ out of 5 Stars & Vol. 2 **** out of 5 Stars), and the direction of Death Proof (**** out of 5 Stars). All of these movies are tremendous; I just don’t think Mr. Tarintino has hit it just right. I can watch his films again and again and appreciate what he’s done, marvel at the music choices, his ability to pull very powerful and unique performances out of actors, but I’m always left wanting just a bit more. As for The Bastards’ tale it was everything I thought it was going to be; bloody, funny, intense, and chock full of quotable moments. Make no mistake about it, Brad Pitt is the man, he has an uncanny ability to be both completely invested in a character to the point he disappears into it, but all the while remaining positively impish humor wise. One other thing I will say, this movie had the BEST use of a David Bowie song I’d seen in a LONG time. It was a tremendous movie that I will enjoy again and again.
- As I sat there in between bathroom sojourns I also had the opportunity to sit down and digest J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek (**** ½ out of 5 Stars). I was blown away. Understand, I was mentally set to hate this movie, or at the least to be “meh” about it. I was wrong, so very VERY wrong. The cast was pitch perfect, I enjoyed the story, and the effects were top notch. My only small and nit picky complaint is two fold; not enough Simon Pegg & Eric Bana’s Nero. The fact was Scotty just wasn’t in the movie enough and that was disappointing. As for Bana, I dig him as an actor, but I just wasn’t feeling him the villain, it felt forced. If this is going to be the new tone set for the Trek franchise then I’m on board.
- Dead Alive (*** ½ out of 5 Stars). I am that guy. I now know it. For the longest time in Duluth while being a part of the Piedmont crew I was routinely chided for not having seen this little early Peter Jackson diddy. I finally sat down and watched it. The reality is I just wasn’t that impressed, it was good, just not as good as it had been built up to be. Over the top gore and slapstick can only take you so far unless your movie is starring Bruce Campbell.
- And finally I finished Season 1 of Batman The Brave & The Bold (***** out of 5 Stars), GLORIOUS! There was one episode I hadn’t seen “Trial Of The Demon”, and it put the season from pretty damn good to over the top GREAT! Any episode that revolves around Jason Blood (The Demon), Sherlock Holmes, & Batman trying desperately to stop Gentleman Jim Craddock (The Gentleman Ghost) from making a deal with a devil to become immortal is just crazy enough to be sublime. If you don’t enjoy the “anything can happen, AND WILL” vibe of the Silver Age then this show isn’t for you, but if you can dig it, then start watching this show, it’s wonderful. On a side note I did get to also watch the Season 2 premier episode. They were able to squeeze in Captain Marvel, homage to Deathrace 2000, & Black Manta into a single episode. This show is just a pure distillation of FUN!
I also got caught up on some comics in the last week or so. I used to go issue by issue in my reviews and thoughts, but I decided today to instead go by publisher;
- Marvel – Dark Reign is heading towards its culmination in The Siege. Osborne’s little cabal is falling apart at the seams. It’s about time. My only problem is the whole idea of this group falling apart the way it is feels sort of forced, not wrong, just as if it’s happening at an accelerated pace. I’m looking forward to the villains finally getting their comeuppance, as it’s long overdue. I’m digging Mighty Avengers and it’s Hank Pym-centric arcs, The Initiative might be the best Avengers title of the bunch, & as per usual the New Avengers & the Dark Avengers plod along at a Bendis pace. Speaking of plodding, what has happened to Brubaker’s Captain America? It has ground down to a decompression halt. I’m still enjoying it; I’m just not chomping at the bit every month to read it. Jonathon Hickman’s Secret Warriors & Fantastic Four have both been real hidden gems. Another pleasant surprise is Jason Aaron’s transition to Daredevil after Brubaker’s (see a theme hear, In Ed We Trust!) incredible run. The idea of Matt Murdock as head of the Hand is very interesting. Matt Fraction has won me over both on Invincible Iron Man, which just ended World’s Most Wanted with a GREAT finale, & Uncanny X-Men where he has took the best of all previous runs and mish mashed them into something very entertaining. I’m missing Captain Britain & MI13, and now Agents Of Atlas is being relegated to back up in The Incredible Hercules, which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just that that is a GREAT book. The one consistency in Marvel is the D.n.A. cosmic corner; Nova, Guardians Of The Galaxy, and any assorted tie-ins. I’m very interested in where this rift in time and space post War Of Kings is going, especially with Quasar finding the “end of the rainbow” in the rift, that end of the rainbow? CTHULHU AVENGERS! SO crazy an idea that it’s brilliant.
- DC – Blackest Night. WOW! I know that certain Internet pundits, Chris Sims (who for the record is awesome and everyone should be visiting The ISB dot com daily as well as listening to the War Rocket Ajax podcast) for instance, are in a constant state of Geoff Johns hate, but they have lost their damn minds. Johns has put together a crossover of epic proportions while allowing all the subsidiary tie-ins and “Blackest Night” banner issues feel organic to their own titles. And after issue 5 I dropped a “HOLY CRAP!” reminiscent to my reaction after the Johns penned Sinestro Corps War one-shot that had that infamous last page assemblage of evil. I for one would buy a book of just Atrocious & Larfleez doing horrible things, as I find both to be insanely entertaining. As for the other stuff Johns has going I’m enjoying his Superman: Secret Origins & Flash: Rebirth, but I’m not blown away. I’ve so far steered clear of the new team on JSA, but I’m going to sit down and give them a shot. Batman & Robin by Grant Morrison is a book without peer; it’s simply brilliant on a monthly basis. Detective Comics is as close to reaching that mark though as anything else out there. J.H. Williams & Greg Rucka have done the impossible, they’ve fleshed the new Batwoman out into a character I care about. Not only that, but Williams art and page layouts are breathtaking. Teen Titans has become unreadable and that’s just sad as I dig the characters. Justice League is a mess, but I’m hoping James Robinson’s tenure will turn the book around, especially since his Superman books (without Superman really being in them) have been damn fun. I’m also enjoying The Doom Patrol (The Metal Men back-up feature is wonderful) & Magog, but that’s mainly due to Keith Giffen writing both.
- Indy stuff you should be reading:
o Atomic Robo – It’s a science robot version of Hellboy, and there ain’t NOTHIN’ wrong with that.
o Hellboy & B.P.R.D. – both continue to chug along as must reads monthly.
o Phonogram – It’s really hard to explain this book, but trust me, if you like music then you should be reading this.
Wow, that’s a lotta stuff, you could even call it
- Thanksgiving was super fun, and the food was amazing. I had forgotten how much I love pumpkin pie.
- WAVES OF MERCURY!
- Anthony “You Say You Needa Food Saver?” J. hooked up your truly in true Bro-In-Law fashion with a food saver. Now I can continue to fill the deep freeze.
- No Venture Brothers last Sunday night hurt me, hurt me deep. Season 4 has been just crazy good.
- I’m so glad Mighty Mike didn’t die in Florida on his honeymoon.
- Last weekend I put some sweet Wargames Factory Zombies together. They’ve been added to the pile of stuff that needs painted.
- I’m a week away from 34. It’s sort of weird. On a side note Kung Fu Birthday this Saturday is either going to be spectacular or a spectacular failure, either way I win. Mainly due to Thai Peanut Chicken Rollups.
- Vikings Vs. Saints, didn’t I call this at the beginning of the football season? I’m sticking with Vikings Vs. Patriots in the Superbowl even after the Saints destroyed the Pats last night. I just don’t see anyone in the AFC who can hang with the Vikes or the Saints. I’m not sold on Indy, they’ve been damn lucky, and eventually luck runs out.
Well I think that’s all I got…