Sunday, September 05, 2010

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Battlestar Galactica: "Razor/Razor Flashbacks" - We watched the extended version on the DVD first. Most of the Razor Flashbacks are integrated into the extended movie, so we saw those in context. Then we watched the flashbacks alone. Only three of them weren't in the movie in their entirety, the first two and the last half of the last one. But the movie made perfect sense without them in there. The whole thing was pretty impressive. I hate Cain with a passion, but at least this story made it easier to understand her. Overall, a good movie, but I'll be glad to get back to the regular episodes.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: "The Grasp of the Gnome" - RenFair! A RenFair infested with pirates. Velma: "Is it me, or are pirates basically just hoboes with earrings?" More dramatics between Velma and Scooby over Shaggy, but it's all the same. Still some movement in the overall Mister E plotline as well. I can't believe I'm enjoying this show.
  • History Detectives: "WB Cartoons; Galvez Papers; Mussolini's Dagger" - The cartoon cells story was rather incredible. Finding the list of names of the women who worked in the color department was just awesome. I've often wondered about the people who colored original DC comics back in the 40s. The manumission documents and the story of why the governor signed them was a great story, and fits Who Do You Think You Are? as much as History Detectives. The last story is a repeat.

This week's movie was The Cat Returns from Studio Ghibli. I came into this with no expectations, and was pleasantly surprised. The story concerns a girl who saves the prince of the cats from an untimely death, and gets rewards that she doesn't expect or want. The voice casting is incredible, and the story is just tight enough to carry the movie along. The animation is as fantastic as every Studio Ghibli film, and even the DVD extras were amusing. So, overall, definitely a good movie for an evening watch.

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic book shipment that arrived this week, of books originally released August 18th and 25th:
  • Brightest Day #8 - No Aquaman. Not much interest. Really, I am a one-note fan. I would say I'm pathetic, but that would be redundant, now, wouldn't it?
  • Green Lantern Corps #51 - Eh. I want to enjoy this, and I think the plot is getting nicely intricate, but it's still just the same old superheroes in space thing.
  • Justice Society of America #42 - Wow. Kyle's mixed up relationships in an endless fight scene. Just what I don't want to read.
  • Power Girl #15 - Well, I'm kind of enjoying this. I wish the old team were on it because it was actually fun then, but if you have to make it dramatic, they are working on some good plots here.
  • DC Universe Legacies #4 - An interesting look at the superhero glory years from the perspective of a police officer, and I love the Aquaman and Aqualad content, of course. Good cliffhanger, even. But the backup story... that was just fantastic.
  • Batman Beyond #3 - Bruce is getting senile in his old age if he thinks Terry can keep up that pace. As for the rest, I'm enjoying seeing how the remainder of the Bat-verse fits into the future.
  • Tiny Titans #31 - Needs more Aqualad.
  • Doctor Who Ongoing #14 - This whole story could've been compressed by at least three issues and would have been better and more interesting. I usually hate decompressed storytelling in comics, and this is an example of the kind I hate.
  • True Story, Swear to God #13 - There's at least one page I would consider TMI, but I do love how he "describes" the headaches, because I've had those, frequently, from a completely different source. I also love how the first page plays on the readers' expectations, especially those of us who have followed Tom and Lily in real life and have an idea of some events that may be on the way.
  • Usagi Yojimbo 1 for $1 - Nice! I know I have this in a trade somewhere, but reading a reprint of the original appearance just is cool. I think I ought to find someone to give it to who might appreciate it.

  • Action Comics #892 - Nice show of Lex's utter disregard for life.
  • Justice League of America #48 - Yay! A resolution! And the back-up story sets up even more fun for the future! Yay!
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold #20 - Big Barda, Scott Free, and the Female Furies always make for an entertaining story, if cringeworthy from a property damage perspective. I'm a little surprised that the second story is the first half of the story from issue #18. What's up with that?
  • Usagi Yojimbo #131 - After last issue's cliffhanger, I was pleased to see how well Usagi and Kato handle themselves. The big with the cut off hand, and Usagi grabbing the sword from it, was nicely handled. I love the ending. Romance is so sweet.

My library book this week was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. We, as a society, owe Henrietta Lacks a huge debt. Her cells were the first human cells successfully cultured, and for a long time the only cells that could be cultured. Because of her cells, many diseases were cured that ravaged people for generations. But for many years no one had a clue about the woman who the original cells were taken from, or her family. Skloot was determined to tell the missing part of the story, and the result is this book. This is not a textbook, although you will learn a bit about the history of science. This is a biography, but it's more about the entire Lacks family and the fact that the children of arguably the most important person in modern medical history cannot afford health insurance. The descriptions in the book are repeated punches in the gut, both the history and the story of how the book was written. I found it well worth reading, and once I'd passed the halfway point I couldn't put it down until I got to the "where are they now" section. If you want spoilers, you can see what has happened because of this book, though without reading the book you may not understand the significance. So my conclusion: definitely worth reading, probably worth buying.


Bill D. said...

Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated became my favorite show this summer after Doctor Who ended. Never saw that coming. My only problem is that the DVR keeps not recording it, so I have to catch up using On Demand. The gnome one hasn't made it up yet, so the last one I saw was the one with Daphne and the band.