Sunday, December 05, 2010

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Battlestar Galactica: "Daybreak" - And finally we get to the end. It's ... fairly impressive. The defining moments have to be Tyrol's reaction when he finds out what Tory did and the climax of the Opera House dream and how it plays out in reality. I found I really didn't like the flashbacks to Caprica. The characters have moved so far beyond, it felt like paging through a yearbook of pain. Once they reached their new home, the whole thing wrapped up nicely. I was actually unimpressed by the "angels" having to explain what happened to Hera and the rest. As for Kara... what the heck? All-in-all, though, I found it to be a fairly satisfying end to what turned out to be a pretty incredible series. Definitely not your old Battlestar.
  • Battlestar Galactica: "The Plan" - If you haven't seen the series, there is no way at all you'd ever be able to understand what was happening in this movie. The events are all the same as the series, but from the Cylon point of view, as we see the parallel developments of two of the Cavil models of Cylon, one on Caprica and one on Galactica. As the Cavils realize that the final five have not learned the lesson Cavil wanted to teach them, one of the Cavils becomes more determined than ever to wipe out humanity while the other realizes that the Cylons have made a terrible mistake. This movie is supported by the wonderful acting of Dean Stockwell, who is a master at his craft. A nice finish to the series, but I'm not sure how much it really adds to the mythos.

This week's movie was First Men in the Moon by Mark Gatiss. On the day of the moon landing in 1969, a young boy meets a very old man who claims to have already traveled to the moon, and has proof in the form of kinematographic recordings that he shows to the boy. This is a low budget movie with Mark Gatiss playing Professor Cavor, the inventor of Cavorite, in a role that was clearly made for him. Rory Kinnear plays Julius Bedford, both as a young man and as the old man in the 1969 framing sequence. The acting is solid, and helps to sell a goofy premise with sometimes dodgy special effects. Overall, a fun little tribute to Well's original.

This week's comic book related review is Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon. This is a partly text, partly comic novel from the creator of one of my favorite webcomics, Digger. Danny is a young dragon who hasn't yet mastered fire. Danny is going to school and dealing with the normal problems of youth with his best friend, an Iguana named Wendell. Where Wendell is studious and careful, Danny is a bit of a wild slacker. For a report on the oceans, Danny decides to go on a bit of an adventure, and takes Wendell along. This is a great all ages book, with plenty of humor and even a little bit of education snuck in along with the silliness and fun. Definitely recommended.

My book this week was Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold. I bought the Webscription of this book the instant I knew it was available. That meant I was able to read it before it came out, and I was able to read it in sections, as the chapters were released. And I loved it. Every word made me happy, right up until the last three words. Those last three words (of the main book) actually made me cry. That's something that only an incredible series with years of history and wonderful moments (and tons of rereading) could make happen. It was a true spearpoint moment, made powerful by the long spear shaft of history in this series. Anyone who has read the series will understand. But, the book itself... Miles Vorkosigan is sent to investigate a fishy situation on a planet of people who fear death so much that they have themselves frozen for later revival. Miles gets up to his usual antics, involving the locals and solving multiple problems (both his business and other people's business) as he goes along. The characters are wonderful, the situations unique and fantastic. And Miles is the perfect hero for this story. I highly recommend the entire series, and I'm eagerly awaiting the next book... which will be about Miles cousin, Ivan.