Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: "The Wild Brood" - A gang of orcs comes to Crystal Cove and is promptly accused of a crime. I love Fred's cluelessness and Velma's genius. I also enjoyed the nonchalance that most people greeted the orcs with. Fun episode.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: "Where Walks Aphrodite" - The entire town is suddenly lovestruck, and only Scooby seems to be immune. The fact that they remember everything might be important later. Seeing the girls show interest in the guys' interests was actually somewhat thrilling. Maybe there is hope after all.

  • Doctor Who: "The Rebel Flesh" - Standard siege episode in many ways, although the Doctor almost manages to defuse the problem before it starts. I think I'll have to wait on the next episode to make a real judgment, but I'm liking it so far.

This week's movie was Young Indiana Jones: My First Adventure (Egypt + Tangiers 1908). This is the mangled re-edit of the original TV series. This takes the pilot episode, minus the second half, and marries it to an unaired episode from the third season. It's a serious pity, as apparently the original first two episodes worked together really well. The new second half was filmed years later than the first part, so Corey Carrier, who plays Indiana, has grown up considerably and looks completely different even though the second adventure supposedly takes place immediately after the first. The edit between the two episodes was badly done, and it was quite a jolt to suddenly see an older Indiana. In addition, the framing sequences with Very Old Indy are gone.

Ok, so now that I've gone over all the negatives, let's get to the positives. The stories were good, well-written and mostly well-acted. The characters were great, and the filming was incredible. The locations were amazing. I can see why this show got critical acclaim. I'm looking forward to watching the rest of it with hubby-Eric, even in mangled form.

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • April 6th
  • Brightest Day #23 - Aquaman comes back again, and Mera, Jackson, and Lorena even make cameos. Not too bad for a penultimate issue.
  • JLA 80-Page Giant 2011 - Everyone goes to Dante's Hell, with nice commentary on their personalities. Nifty.
  • JSA All-Stars #17 - A superpowered man pleads with the JSA to believe that they've just lost their memories of him. I'm not sure what to think about this... I suspect a lot depends on the payoff.
  • Batman Beyond #4 - A issue that sort of focuses on Terry's computer expert friend. New bits and pieces, and what I found to be an impressive piece of continuity with the current DCU. Nice.
  • Doctor Who Classics Series 4 #3 - A solid little done-in-one story that I hadn't read before. Very fun.
  • Royal Historian of Oz #4 - Scraps is a lot of things, but terrifyingly creepy ought not to be one of them. I have to wonder who is delivering the letters, though. I'm starting to really get into this book.
  • Ozma of Oz #5 - Ooooh, I'd forgotten all about the hammering man! Great fun, as the procession goes to meet with the Nome King. I like the design of the Nomes, and the cover makes them seem like minions from that recent movie.
  • Usagi Yojimbo #136 - Man, almost as soon as the problem was stated I knew who the guilty parties were. I was thrown off a little for a time, but the cliffhanger was not unexpected. Only question now is what Usagi will do.
  • April 13th
  • Birds of Prey #11 - A twisted love story as Huntress is on the job. I was a little startled by the whole set up in this one, and by the conclusion. Wow. That's heavy stuff for a comic.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold #6 - J'onn asks Batman to help him perfect his deduction skills. All very cute and clever, even if the cover gives away what's going to happen.
  • Northlanders #39 - I'm not really sure how I feel about this one, just a little confused perhaps. I suppose I ought to reread the first parts to understand this issue.
  • Oz/Wonderland Chronicles #4 - Ah. So, is it over then, or will there be more of these books coming out? And, if so, perhaps I should wait until we have all of them before reading so I can keep track of what's happening, maybe?
  • Spongebob Comics #2 - Huh. No Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. Bleah. Maybe next issue.
  • April 20th
  • Green Lantern #65 - Well, I wouldn't have been expecting that, except for the cover of Green Lantern Corps. Still, the bit with Hal and Guy was sort of fun.
  • Green Lantern Corps #59 - This cover gave away too much. I like John's uniform. It's going to be an interesting ride with them in this situation. I wonder if it'll have a good ending, or go out with a pop instead of a bang?
  • Justice League of America #56 - More Eclipso, more Doomsday, more yawns.
  • Power Girl #23 - A cute little story with lots of little cute bits. Did I mention it was cute?
  • Zatanna #12 - A villain who can make time go backwards attacks a bunch of merpeople? Hmmm, almost Aquaman-y, but it's Zatanna that saves the day. Interesting stuff those merfolk were saying, though. Bluff, or something else?
  • Young Justice #3 - I like that Aqualad is the voice of reason, I don't like that he went along anyway and I really don't like what happened then.
  • Tiny Titans #39 - It was very... pink.
  • Fables #104 - Great way to start the issue, and totally fell for it. The rest wasn't bad, either.
  • DMZ #64 - Things are definitely winding up, but I'm not sure how exactly this can end up good. And what has Roth got up his sleeve?
  • Doctor Who: Fairytale Life #1 - A significant part of me doesn't buy that the Doctor would be that careless. He acts careless, true, but it seems unlike him to be that bad. Then again, this incarnation isn't exactly the most stable.
  • Soldier Zero #7 - I felt like this book was about five pages too short. Definitely ended too quickly, and I don't know whether that's good or bad.

My Kindle book this week was Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know by Hamilton Wright Mabie, a Kindle freebie. I actually got this before I got my Kindle, when I first tried out Kindle for PC. I finally finished reading it this week. It's a fairly standard collection of fairy tales, most of them were familiar to me. There were a handful I hadn't read before. There are no illustrations in this version, just the text, but I enjoyed reading more than a few stories I knew only from other adaptations in a different style. It could have been better, just adding a more useful table of contents and some images would have improved it dramatically, but for the price it really is a bargain.

Fortean Times #275
Fortean Times #275 (June 2011). This issue arrived on Monday, meaning I'm completely caught up with FT for now. The back cover was showing this time, with a not-too-bad ad. Kind of a spooky cover, featuring a jeweled skeleton. The cover article is all about the tradition of taking the bones of purported saints and posing and decorating them. It's a rather disturbing tradition that thankfully died out over 100 years ago. I admit that the whole thing gave me ideas for stories, which is one good reason to read this magazine. This article has the best final quote of any article I've read in ages.

Strangedays covers a lot of topics, ranging from tsunami survivors in Japan to dead folks being ticketed in their cars. The Cornish apparition may have been more convincing with a second picture taken from the same spot that shows nothing there. There's also a report of a woman who literally has no fear because she lacks an amygdala. A fascinating article proposes that Christopher Columbus was actually a Polish prince (!) and makes a fairly good case for it.

The Science article looks at how newspapers tend to misreport science stories, focusing on a tick-borne disease that was "invading" Britain. Ghostwatch is about celebrity ghost hunts and how pointless they are as serious research. Mythconceptions debunks drunk elephants while Strangedays has a report of drunk elephants... in different circumstances, though. Archaeology has some nice 2400 year old soup for us, while Classical Corner talks about the lives of ancient writers. Police News tells us about the Jumping Ghost of Peckham, which is one of those totally awesome just plain bizarre stories from the 1870s.

Another article is about Andy Kaufman, and the more I read and learn about him, the more interested I am in him. I remember him on Taxi well, because I watched that a lot as a kid for some reason. Latka was one of my favorite characters, and I think that would really annoy Kaufman. The article discusses Kaufman as the traditional Trickster, a role he fits almost too well. Two more articles round out this issue with information on Holy Wells and Water and a more thorough explanation of the Trunko debunking, including all three newly rediscovered photos.

The forum is up for more debunking, with a discussion of whether or not Constantine the Great ever really saw a vision from God that inspired him. The second forum article points out that crop circles existed before the pranksters who admitted to making them. And a third article rips apart the author of the precognitive dreams article from issue #273, accusing him of cherry-picking his data (oooh, writer-fight!). The reviews are pretty good, although one rating is missing sending my OCD side into tizzy fits. Letters are good, and the simulacra is the dirtiest one I've see in many ways (oh, your minds are in the gutter!). Another great issue, and now that I'm completely caught up, it'll be another four weeks before the next one. WAH!


Michael Jones said...

I'd be interested in learning more about the tsunami survivors and tickets if you'd care to enlighten me.
cheers, MichaelSensei

Tegan said...

I'm trying to encourage you to buy the magazine, else I'd give a lot more information.

However, if you go to the subscription link (click the cover picture) you can reach the page at Zinio. They let you view three or so pages for free. You can probably read those articles without any trouble.

Tegan said...

The Tsunami survivor stories are on page 4, and the ticketing stories on page 10.

Nathan said...

Now I have to wonder if Scooby has been neutered.