Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Smallville: "Infamous" - Oh joy. Water girl again. Just a few minutes into the episode I can tell that the cosmic reset button is going to be hit. More joy. Total cringey episode.
  • Numb3rs: "12:01 AM" - This was a very disturbing episode. It's true, the convict clearly deserved his fate. But it was equally clear that justice hadn't been served in at least one sense. The side plots were funny... but Larry is going to have to pay for bringing in those ringers, I think.
  • Food Detectives: "Smells Delicious" - The test they did proved that smell is closely linked to taste. The fried food segment didn't completely settle the question. The cutting board story went pretty much the way I expected it to, though.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: "Trials of the Demon!" - Golden Age Flash! Pumpkin stealing! Gentleman Jim makes a good Victorian villain. Fun episode.
  • Smallville: "Turbulence" - Poor Chloe. Looking forward to seeing what they do to Zatanna next episode.
  • Ghost Hunters: "Star Island" - An island and a castle? Cool locations! The island looked pretty primitive, and the investigators were clearly very cold. The EVP was cute. The debunking on the stairs was nicely done. The rest seemed natural rather than supernatural. The castle was just an awesome place. Not sure about the ghost horse, but it would be an interesting experience to have a ghost horse breathing over your shoulder, I guess.

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic book shipment that arrived this week, of books originally released March 4th and 11th:
  • Green Lantern Corps #34 - More of a set-up issue than anything else. My respect for Soranik has dropped even further.
  • Supergirl #4 - Another nearly incomprehensible issue. Streaky was ok, particularly at the end.
  • Captain Britain and MI13 #11 - If I liked vampire stories more, I'm sure I'd be enjoying this storyline more. It's not bad, I just have less interest than I want for a book like this.
  • Northlanders #15 - Did I miss an issue? While his story seems to flow evenly from the last issue, what happened with Brigid? How could she have gone from where she was in the last issue to where she is in this one?
  • DMZ #40 - So, Matty figures out how to deal? Maybe. I thought this series couldn't last, but there is still a lot of story in there to tell.
  • Wonderful Wizard of Oz #4 - What is there to say about this that hasn't already been said? It's a very faithful adaptation of the book, and I'm looking forward to seeing some of the lesser known bits showing up in later issues.
  • Doctor Who Classics Series 2 #4 - I remembered the first story, but had forgotten the second one. These are pretty good tales from a good era of storytelling in Doctor Who history.
  • Sir Apropos of Nothing #5 - Final issue, I think I can say it ends well.
  • PS238 #38 - Nom Nom NOM! Loved it. Loved the entire issue. Want more. NUTMEG! NUTMEG!
I also received a DC Comics Preview that is intended to fill in for the misprints in the last issue of Previews Magazine that totally messed up DC's section. I also got a Marvel Young Guns '09 Sketchbook which had some nice art in it, but not many characters I cared about.

This week's movie was Night at the Museum. I've sort of wanted to see this one since it came out. The idea of a museum coming to life strikes a chord with the little kid in me. And, as it turns out, the movie wasn't half bad. It had a few sour notes, but overall it was a good little adventure with fun characters and exciting bits of action. One thing that amuses me immensely is the sequel... what could they do with all of the Smithsonian to play in? This is not heavy fare, if you need a light movie, watch this one.

My library book this week was Voices by Ursula K Le Guin. This is the second book in the Annuals of the Western Shore series, and while it's not a direct follow-up, it does include Orrec and Gry in the story... as secondary characters. The main character is a girl who has lived her entire life in an occupied city, trying to exist and grow under an oppressive reign that considers books to be demonic tools. Naturally, as an avid reader I found the story compelling as well as distressing. The ultimate conclusion was not entirely satisfying in the Le Guin way of not being satisfying, but it was right. Now I'm looking forward to the next volume of this series.

Agatha Christie this week was Three Act Tragedy from 1935, the first of two mystery novels she published that year. Tired of waiting for my new library system to find this book for me, I went to KCLS and was able to download a copy using the library card that I offered to turn in when we moved, but the librarian said to keep. There are distinct disadvantages to reading a book on the computer, not the least of which is the eyestrain issue, but at least I can read some of the books that I had trouble getting through Interlibrary Loan. Anyway, turning back to the book itself, I was surprised to find that this one features Mr Satterthwaite as the observer and point-of-view character. But instead of Harlequin, we get Poirot! I'm not sure I like this, as Mr Satterthwaite seemed to me to belong to the supernatural stories over the plain mysteries, but the two seem to get along pretty nicely. Again I was completely fooled by the ending, although as usual it was tightly written enough to make perfect sense once I re-examined the facts.

A note on DRM. I do not like DRM and don't like reading any file that restricts me to using a poorly written program like Adobe Digital Editions to be able to read it. I have this general feeling that if I buy a media file, I ought to be able to use it on any computer or device I own. This particular DRM doesn't allow that... HOWEVER, this particular DRM is on a library book. I don't have any intention of keeping this book, and I didn't pay for it. So I really don't have any issue reading this book or any other I check out with this DRM on it. I wish that the program they've chosen to force me to use with this file was actually designed with readers in mind, but I can live with it for the simple joy of not having to deal with Interlibrary Loan to read some of these books.