Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Primeval: Episode 10 - I'm not as keen on the future monsters, but it was an intense episode with Connor under extreme stress finally admitting to Abby what had been obvious since the first time they met... then being Connor again and wimping out. I really like this show. I'm excited to finish the second series and watch the third as it airs for the first time.
  • Ghost Hunters International: "A Call For Help" - Denmark! My ancestral home! An island fort, but no great history tales since the intro was done by Danish paranormal investigators and not staff. Not impressed with their evidence. They then go back to Peru, downtown Lima. The goal of this investigation is to reassure the family, and they do a pretty good job explaining away the "ghosts" in the house. I particularly like the cats on the roof explanation of "things that go bump in the night". Overall an ok episode.
  • Numb3rs: "Jacked" - Getting used to watching this on-line. Good episode... intense. I'm proud of myself for figuring out a key element before it was revealed, and mentioning it to Eric just before the reveal. HA!
  • Primeval: Episode 11 - You don't dump girlfriends via text message. You just don't. I liked this one. Macra terror!

Comics this week:
  • Justice Society of America #22 - Nice Ross artwork mixed in there. Otherwise, not much for me in this book.
  • Green Lantern #36 - Enter the Blue Lanterns. I'm still waiting for the purple lantern dudes.
  • Justice League of America #28 - I have enough trouble keeping the current members of the JLA straight. Add in a bunch of nobodies from another universe, even with nametags, and I'm less than impressed.
  • Sir Apropos of Nothing #3 - What a goofy book. Not sure what I think of the main character, except that I don't really like him.
  • Northlanders #3 - Why didn't he finish it then? Worry for his daughter?
  • Doctor Who: The Forgotten #5 - But... but... what... no... that's not right... hey... what?
  • Usagi Yojimbo #116 - A bitter little tale. Seems that Gen has a heart after all (but of course, we readers already knew that).

My library book this week was The Road by Cormac McCarthy. This is another book I picked up to read because of Unshelved's Book Club, and I have to say that the description of the book in the comic is spot on. Do not read this if you aren't up for a very depressing read. While I found it to be a very good book, I almost wish I hadn't read it because it really pulled me down emotionally. Between Agatha Christie's book (see the next paragraph) and this one, it was a downer of a week for reading.

Agatha Christie this week was Unfinished Portrait, written in 1934 under the pen name Mary Westmacott. I think Christie poured all her depression and rage and negative emotions into the Westmacott books. They don't have near the same humor as her mysteries. They are still tightly written, giving just the details you really need to appreciate the characters and understand the situation, but they are so depressing! This novel is a story within a story. It's told mostly in flashbacks and tells how a woman came to want to commit suicide in a lonely spot far from home. The themes of divorce, lost chances, and failure to understand other people practically scream out at the reader.

On a related note, as I read this book at the PBS pledge drive, I reached a passage that mystified me. A character "explained the working of the geyser to an awe-striken Celia who had never met such a thing before." Ok, so what's a geyser? I guessed that it meant "shower", but that didn't seem quite right. So I asked my anglophile friends at the pledge drive, and one of them e-mailed me the answer the next day: "A geyser is a device to heat the water. Instead of a hot water tank which heats the water and then when the tap is turned on delivers the hot water, you turn the tap on and it is heated in a chamber on its way to you." Mystery solved!

This week's movie was Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Very funny, with a lot of the humor of the books. But a bit disjointed in such a way to go over the heads of a normal audience. It was more intricate than I was expecting. It held together, but you had to pay attention. And it was a very dark movie, as well. I mean in filmography, not in tone. Our TV set-up almost couldn't handle it with just a little ambient light. It was a fun movie. Glad we Netflix'ed it. But I'm equally glad I didn't see it in a theatre.