Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Iron Chef America: "Batali vs Bartolotta" - Yay! Batali! And a very interesting ingredient as well. Not to mention a challenger who is nearly as fun to watch as Batali himself. This was a good one.
  • Classic Doctor Who: "Invasion of Time" Parts 5 & 6 - Enter the potato-heads! Didn't like these two episodes as much as the previous two. Yeah, fun inside the TARDIS, but it was mostly running around and not much else. Par for the course for classic Doctor Who, I guess. No Classic Who on PBS for awhile, it's pledge month.
  • The Next Food Network Star: "Star Quality" - Here we go again! I don't expect that my favorite will ever make it to the final, but I sure had hopes that the one I like least is knocked out in the first round. Unfortunately, fashion lady stays in while unfunny comic leaves. Not an auspicious start for the show.
  • Ghost Hunters: "Widow's Watch" - Sometimes I think I learn more about human psychology from this show than anything else. I'm fascinated by the way people fool themselves, but more delighted when they figure something out. The experiment with the broken fan was a great way to show how external noises/malfunctioning electronics can seem like the supernatural. The less said about the second place, the better. Total losers.
  • Have I Got News For You: "Alexander Armstrong, Michael McIntyre, and Clare Balding" - Ah, I enjoyed this one. I guess I've recovered from the Brian Blessed episode. Lots of laughing during this one, and I liked Clare a lot.
  • Doctor Who: "Forest of the Dead" Originally listed as "River's Run" - Thanks to the original title, and a bit of foreshadowing in the first episode, I actually managed to figure this one out. Well, most of it. Well, part of it. Well, enough to make me happy. There were still a lot of surprises, and I was literally on the edge of my seat for most of the episode. As for what she whispered to him.... WHOA. I hope we see more of River in the future...or the past.
Comics this week:
  • Trinity #1 - Hrm. It's a start. Not horrible, but not really engaging to me, either.
  • Detective Comics #845 - Another done-in-one, and a good one at that. Gotham is not a place I'd want to live.
  • Justice Society of America #16 - Not enough Ma Hunkel. But this is promising. Who wants to bet it all ends with a nasty fight, though? A power like that just won't fit into the DC Universe.
  • Justice League Unlimited #46 - Hrm. A Green Lantern story. I've never been a fan of the cosmic tales, so this wasn't a good send-off for the book in my opinion.
  • Jonah Hex #32 - I knew who was going to end up dead at the end of the story. Still, it worked. Not my favorite book, but it's Hex.
  • Invincible Iron Man #2 - Nice cliffhanger.
  • Noble Causes #34 - Want to go back to the days of Liz and Race. I feel like that plot never finished, and I'm just not confident that this will lead back to that.
  • Witchblade #118 - Yikes. Conclusion to one tale, but lots of plot threads for future ones. This book isn't half bad.
  • Red Sonja #34 - Oooh, that's a twist I wasn't really expecting. That actually would explain a lot about Sonja.
  • Doctor Who Classics #7 - Better than I remembered it. And it's never looked so good.
This week's library movie was Superman - Doomsday. I hate the voices. Hate them. Worst voice casting ever. Ok, maybe not... the problem is that I liked the voices from the old series. Even after all these years, I would have preferred them to reprise their roles. It took a full half hour into the movie before I started to accept the new voices. As for the movie itself, I prefer the comic book version of the story. This was weak on plot and substance, and felt like it could have been done in half the time without losing anything of value. The fights were long, dramatic, and boring (which is a neat trick). I don't really recommend this one.

My library book this week was Fugitives of Chaos by John C Wright. Five children, five different ways of looking at the world, and all of them are right. The true genius of this series is the way it takes those opposing viewpoints and makes them work together. The whole sex and Grendel thing is more than a little disturbing, but it doesn't overpower the rest of the story. This book ends on a more dramatic cliffhanger than the first book, but I knew it was a trilogy going into reading it. So far, a pretty good read.

This week's Agatha Christie book was Murder on the Links (aka The Girl with the Anxious Eyes) from 1923. This is her third book, and the second Poirot novel. I'm really liking Poirot more and more. I can see why these books took off so well. They are written in an easygoing style, fun to read, and you always find yourself guessing along with the characters. Once again I didn't figure it out, so I'm 0-3 on Agatha Christie mysteries (although I was really close with the last book). I'm still trying to pull together a list of complete Christie works, and it's not nearly as easy as I hoped thanks to the odd publishing history of her stories (lots of alternate titles!). But I'm getting closer. Now the only problem is getting the books from the library in good time. Luckily, I have a library system that is likely to have most, if not all, her books.

Fortean Times #237 arrived on the 5th, and I already devoured it *burp*. This is the only magazine that I read cover to cover every time I get one, skipping only the ads (though I tend to giggle at them). This month the cover article was on Crystal Skulls (gee, I wonder why?). I really enjoyed the article on haunted lighthouses. I want to move into one someday. A lighthouse. The "haunted" bit isn't required. Moving on, I really enjoyed Rupert Sheldrake's letter about skepticism, and I think it successfully sums up my own opinion on the subject. The full page comic was missing, and the issue seemed to end abruptly, but it was a good issue that yielded three more books from the reviews that I put on hold at the library. And I've still got two books from the last Fortean Times on hold to read!