Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Battlestar Galactica: "Water" - I'm impressed that this version of the show actually tackles some of the realities of what a fleet fleeing through space might have to deal with. I admit, I don't remember much of the original show, but I don't recall any episode dealing with difficulties with the water supply.
  • Numb3rs: "Magic Show" - On the one hand, I like how cynical Charlie is, on the other hand, where's his sense of wonder? Yeah, it turned out he was pretty much right on the money, but still. He goes a bit far in his distaste of magic.
  • Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives: "Doin' Their Own Thing" - Wow. Those are some strange dishes. Nothing I would go out of my way for, but I'd love to try them.
  • Battlestar Galactica: "Bastille Day" - Apollo meets Apollo! Richard Hatch played a good part in this one, and I was happy to see that the functional aspects of the fleet are still being explored. I think I'd love to see the original series again, but after watching these I'm bound to be disappointed.
  • Heroes: "Villains" - Some nice backstory to fill in the origins of many characters. The revelations about Nathan and Peter's father was particularly good. The ending was even better. For the first time in ages, I care about what happens next.
  • Battlestar Galactica: "Act of Contrition" - Intense episode. Heck, this entire series so far has been incredibly intense. This is the final episode on this disc... and it ends in one heckuva cliffhanger.
  • Ghost Hunters: "All Access" - Another "interview" show, not my favorite. It was cool to see bits of the pilot episode, but otherwise this one was mostly a miss unless you like highlight reels.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: "Rise of the Blue Beetle!" - Ok, this is one REALLY cool cartoon. It's stylish, funny, and features some great heroes. This one had Green Arrow and Blue Beetle facing off against the Clock King and Kanjar Ro. I'm particularly looking forward to the third episode.
  • Smallville: "Abyss" - I liked this episode better than the last few. It had lots of flaws, not the least of which would be what happened to (SPOILER ALERT!)(END SPOILER), but the last few moments almost made up for it. Yes, it was telegraphed, but it was still nicely done. I'm still eager to see this show end, but at least the quality has improved slightly.
  • Numb3rs: "Charlie Don't Surf" - Another mystery, another one solved through math and good solid detective work. Lots of sadness here, with the father rightly saying that no parent should outlive his child. Seeing Charlie wearing a wetsuit backwards was fun.

This week's movie was Iron Man. Well, THAT was cool. I have low expectations for superhero movies, and thus I'm usually pleased with the result. This one... just seeing Iron Man in action was worth getting it from Netflix. Add in an excellent Pepper Potts and pretty darn good Tony Stark, and this turned out to be a great movie overall. And that last bit after the credits was enough to make me giggle. The movie started with a great deal of intensity, and kept the key points of the Iron Man origin. From a comic fan's point of view, this was a solid movie as well. Looking forward to seeing more. Marvel makes the best superhero movies, I only wish they'd make an Aquaman movie that good.

My library book this week was The Sharing Knife: Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold. This is the first book is a new series by Bujold, first published in 2006. It's part of my continuing investigation of Bujold's non-Vorkosigan works. I enjoyed the Chalion series, and wasn't sure what to expect from this series. As usual, it wasn't what I expected. True, she picks up the characters' lives after major events happen to them, but then she takes them in unexpected directions. And in this book, I swear she thinks of the worst possible thing that could happen to a character and pretty much does it. What she doesn't do is change the rules for her characters. Yeah, I enjoyed it. No, not as much as my favorite Miles trilogy (Memory, Komarr, A Civil Campaign) but definitely worth a read.

Agatha Christie this week was The Murder at the Vicarage from 1930, the first Miss Marple mystery. As is usual, I managed to connect some dots, but I didn't get the entire picture until Miss Marple announced who the murderer was. Annoying, but about what I'm beginning to expect from Christie books. I can see I've got to just open my brain wide open in order to start solving these mysteries. Even then, I'm not convinced I'll ever get one of the Poirot or Marple tales.

I received a review copy of Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 from Fantagraphics and dug in. I've not read any Love and Rockets before, no Penny Century, no Ti-Girls. I wasn't entirely sure what I was getting into. I've read a little bit of Hernandez Bros stuff before and was not overly impressed. If anything, I came into reading this book with low expectations. And that was partly borne out. I discovered that anything with Gilbert Hernandez as the name in the table of contents didn't do much for me. But the two Jaime Hernandez works, namely the superhero pastiche, were certainly more to my liking. Clearly I'm a superhero snob. So I guess, if you've got my tastes, check the book out, but skip the middle stuff. If you aren't hampered by my tastes, check the whole thing out.