Monday, June 13, 2011

1942 Vs. Saving Private Ryan

* = 'Ello Gorgeous...

This weekend was a cluster ‘f’ of nothing. Seriously. I really got very little of substance accomplished beyond a two-hour death march of bush trimming, vine snipping, and weed pulling on Saturday. The rest of my time I just watched stuff on the DVR, so I could write about it today;

- The Backwoods (*** out of 5) – It had Gary Oldman

in it so I felt required by Nerd Law to watch it. What was it you ask? Well this little flick was a pseudo-horror flick set in the Basque region of Spain in the late 1970’s. The basic premise is two English couples head into this backwoods region and in the process we are treated to their intense relationship issues. In the interim the always-awesome Oldman and his wishy-washy pal find an inbred girl chained in an abandoned house. They free her, and her familial captors come a callin’. It’s not gory, there aren’t a lot of ‘gotcha’ scares, but it’s got a building intensity. The main issue I had is none of the characters are all that sympathetic and beyond Oldman not that memorable. So I’m happy I watched it, but I don’t think I’d sit through it again.

- Whip It (*** ½ out of 5)Cassandra & I had had this on the DVR for quiet some time, we just had never found the time to sit down and watch it. So last night we did. I’ll tell you what I can’t lie I laughed. I thought it was a decent flick. It’s got some heart to it, the acting is good, the laughs are there, and while it’s a bit paint by the numbers in story it’s still fun. Oh and Heidi if you haven’t seen this it’s RIGHT up your alley.

- Mysterious Island (** out of 5) – I wanted to like this, for gawd’s sake Patrick Stewart is Captain Nemo in it, but alas it just wasn’t that good. It’s a Sci-Fi channel special, meaning hack writing and cringe worthy CGI. I’m really surprised that no one has really touched this story since Harryhausen in the late 1970’s. The story itself, the Stephenson tale, is fantastic. It just seems that no one knows how to just let it be what it is.

- My Year Without Sex (**** out of 5) – This one was something I’d DVRed off of IFC because I’d read a few stellar reviews. They were right. The premise is simply, a healthy family suddenly almost loses the mother after a brain blood clot. The husband and wife are told that she could have another if there is too much strain. Their sex life goes to pasture. After that goes so does their role as parents, spouses, and productive members of the work force. It’s funny, sad, and heartwarming in spots. It really is a nice film about relationships, family, and what love and sex have to do with it. It’s well written, well directed, and exceptionally well acted by virtual unknowns.

- Doctor Who {Modern} 1st half of Season 6 (***** out of 5)HOLY CRAP! We were two episodes back in the current iteration of our favorite Doctor. We’d caught the first half of the “Rebel Flesh” two parter and Saturday night we sat down and finished the first half of the season with “The Almost People” & “A Good Man Goes To War”. And again all I can say is HOLY CRAP! I know some Whovians read this so I’ll be as spoiler free as possible. This first half of the season we see a threat that has been around now in the background for three seasons, we get a pirate story, Neil Gaiman gives us a delightful look into the relationship between The Doctor & The TARDIS, Amy Pond being unlikable, multiple Doctors, mysteries involving Astronauts, Sontaran nurses, people in walls, protoplasmic sentient flesh revolting, Rory as The Last Centurion
having one of the most BADASS lines in the history of TV, & a team up for the ages. In the end The Doctor has one of his greatest triumphs and team ups followed rapidly by a defeat that sets the tone for the second half of this season. Which is kicking off with the next episode at the end of the summer entitled “Let’s Kill Hitler”.

Oh and we FINALLY find out just who and what River Song is. The end of the summer can’t come fast enough. If you’re not watching Doctor Who then I’m sorry for you and your fun quotient.

- Doctor Who {Old School} ‘The Unearthly Child’ (***** out of 5) – This was the VERY first episode of Doctor Who. It’s from, I believe, 1963. And believe it or not it holds up. It’s engaging, it’s got some humor, some great sci-fi, and it is the foundation to what is the best Sci-Fi series in the history of television. I’m going to be going through my library of Who in a somewhat chronological episode order and reviewing them. I really want to spend some quality time with the series, because I’ve found that it really brings me some serious joy. So I started at the beginning. It’s funny; The Doctor is almost a supporting character in this first set of serials, it’s really four half hour episodes. We are introduced to The Doctor’s granddaughter Susan, and her two meddling schoolteachers Barbara & Ian. I’m not much for Barbara or Ian as companions go to begin with. Thus far in fact I find myself not caring too much. Susan Foreman, The Doctor’s granddaughter, is this strange girl who is much more than she appears while being the viewers point of reference. Oh The Doctor, The Doctor is an old curmudgeon, distrustful of humanity, smarmy, and even manipulative. By the end of this serial though he has some begrudging respect of Barbara & Ian, I really don’t, and even is a tad less protective of Susan. Face it, this is the starting point of it all & it has CAVEMEN! What’s not to like?

- Doctor Who {Old School} ‘The Edge Of Destruction' (*** out of 5) – So I skipped ‘The Daleks’, because it’s like 7 parts, to instead watch what is the third serial in the chronological run. Overall I wasn’t as blown away here. The Doctor’s relationship with the companions has changed a tad as he actually seems to enjoy bedeviling them in a fun way, he seems much more in control, and Susan has started to completely emerge into her own. I’m not big on the premise of the ‘bottle episodes’ where they don’t really go anywhere, I am however fascinated by the idea that already in the third serial we get to see the TARDIS being a pseudo-living thing, something that was elaborated on in the first half of Nu-Who Season 6 in the brilliant Gaiman penned episode, ‘The Doctor’s Wife’. We, as viewers, do get to see The Doctor somewhat humbled by being forced to apologize. Really this episode is just sort of a placeholder for me to get to ‘The Daleks’ and beyond.

In addition to this massive intake of pop culture crap I also finished Brian Lumley’s first Primal Lands book, The House Of Cthulhu (*** out of 5). As I stated last week the premise and the attempt are sound; to mix Clark Ashton Smith’s strange vibes, Lovecraft’s dread, and the sword & sorcery mastery of Robert E. Howard, it’s just the final execution can’t hold up to the weight of it’s ambition. I like Lumley, in fact I like his work a lot, but this one is more miss than hit. Perhaps as I dig deeper into his Primal Lands series I’ll find this simply this to be a stumbling start to something wonderful. I have high hopes.

Holy man I only have a limited amount of time to smack you with some…


- I got 10 minis completed on Sunday, with a crap ton more almost done. I figure if I spend some time this week off and on I can have thirty painted and ready to finish when he get home on Sunday.
- Getting old really sucks.
- Terraclips has got me obsessed with the possibility of a full three-dimension city on my D&D table,

OR an old school city being used as a stationing point during a Sci-Fi Skirmish in my Basement.
- F’ you Labron.
- I only have two parts of ‘The Daleks’ left.

And with that, I’m ready to go home.

“The lunatic is on the grass.
The lunatic is on the grass.
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs.
Got to keep the loonies on the path.

The lunatic is in the hall.
The lunatics are in my hall.
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paper boy brings more.

And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.

The lunatic is in my head.
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You re-arrange me 'til I'm sane.
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There's someone in my head but it's not me.

And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear.
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.

’I can't think of anything to say except...
I think it's marvelous! HaHaHa!’"

* = Oh Gary!

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