Sunday, January 06, 2013

A Sunday Review

Recommendations are always welcome. Pop a note into the comments if you can think of a movie/TV show/book/comic you think I might enjoy.

This week's movie was Miracle (2004). The movie is about the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team that pulled off a major upset and took down the Soviet Union. The movie focuses on Herb Brooks, the coach of the team, and how he motivated them to become a team and to win against the odds. While it covers many of the players, the real focus is on the training... intense training that forged the group into a single unit. Despite an almost hands-off approach at times, the movie had its moments. When the team walks onto the ice for the game I felt chills up and down. The Miracle on Ice was more than just a hockey game, and this is a completely accurate portrayal of the time. The movie put the game into the context of what was happening in the world at the time, including the eventual boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics. And the portrayal of the era was spookily accurate. Heck, I had flashbacks to my youth seeing the hairstyles alone. Definitely worth watching.

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • Nov 28th
  • Aquaman #14 - Wow, the tale of an older king of Atlantis is one that, frankly, I really loved. Add in Aquaman's brother, whose face isn't really seen and it gets even more cool. Add in Vulko and we have a tale I want to reread a couple more times.
  • Batman Beyond Unlimited #10 - Movement in all three stories, but still jolting to read them in a row. This is a fun anthology.
  • Superman Family Adventures #7 - Awesome Aquaman action figure attack! Wahoo!
  • MacGyver: Fugitive Gaunlet #2 - The storytelling in the artwork is still the weakness of this book, although it seems to have improved a little from the last issue.
  • Peanuts V2 #4 - While the new stories aren't as good as the originals mostly, they aren't bad at all. In fact they are pretty good overall.
  • Arrow #1 - I've been watching the show with Eric, sort of. Not paying too much attention to it despite the lovely yummy villain. This comic is more of the same.
  • Ozopolis #3 - Fantastic artwork and a creative way of looking at the world of Oz makes this book worth hunting down.
  • DC Nation #2 - Well, it's got some good stuff and some other stuff. There's something frenetic about the whole book that makes me feel like I'm reading too slow or something.
  • Dec 5th
  • Doctor Who V3 #3 - Very very cool cliffhanger. Having Amy wander around alone seems a bit dangerous, but I think that's Rory's point.
  • Earth 2 #7 - There's Michael! I'm not sure I like this Hawkgirl, but then I never liked the Hawks much. Eh, still wait and see on this book.
  • World's Finest #7 - The existence of these two in the nuDCU just serve to remind me that we aren't in the real DCU anymore.
  • Smallville Season 11 #8 - Reading through the episode capsules in the back of the book I was reminded why I stopped watching the show. The comic is ok, but I'm definitely lukewarm on it.
  • Dec 12th
  • Green Lantern Corps #15 - Never liked Guy in the first place, can't feel much pity for his situation now.
  • Green Lantern: The Animated Series #9 - Don't cross the beams!
  • Saucer Country #10 - That's a sort of conclusion, I guess. I'm not entirely sure where it's going but we'll keep getting it to see where it leads.
  • Age of Bronze #32 - Oh, I missed this book. I hope Eric can get another issue out soon. And I wish the digital versions were available for PC or Android so I could indulge.
  • Spongebob Comics #15 - More of the same. No Mermaid Man. Not the best issue ever.
  • Masks #1 - This appeared in my DCBS shipment without me ordering it. A nice first issue by Dynamite that brings together some pulp heroes. Art is Alex Ross and fantastic. Story is decent as well. It was nice of them to provide it.

My library book this week was The Alpine Advocate by Mary Daheim. Recommended by Granny Gjovaag, I really enjoyed this book. Even more now that I work at a small newspaper (though not as small as the Advocate!). The mystery is all put together nicely so the pieces fit. The cast of characters is bewildering, as the main character herself notes at times, but we have guides through it in the form of timely commentary from other characters. I did not figure out the real culprit, but came close to a "duh" when it was revealed, which is the sign of a pretty decent mystery novel. The setting, not so far from my old stomping grounds in a place that was real once, makes it even more appealing to me. Definitely recommended, and I'll be seeking out the other books in the series.

Fortean Times #280
Fortean Times #280 (November 2011). Ah, it's the old Shakespeare question on the cover. I wasn't hoping for much from the article, but it covers the various sides of the debate very nicely and gives the author's own view, which I tend to agree with as well, that Shakespeare was a real guy who "wrote" the plays in a collaborative environment with other writers and actors... thus meaning that there is no single author to them, but rather a cast of many anonymous folks who contributed. Your mileage may vary, of course.

The usual weirdness in Strangedays didn't throw out anything super special, though it seems strange to me that no one noticed the Pantheon's light show before. The infamous underwater Millenium Falcon is also reported in this issue's Strangedays. Science had a piece on GPS jamming that's a little frightening, if you think through the implications. Archaeology had a depressing article on the destruction of ancient earthworks along with a possible solution to a mystery about a pharaoh. Classical Corner is about references to ancient music. Ghostwatch continues with divining rods and ends with a nice warning about trusting in such things.

The UFO section is double the usual size with quite a bit of fun. Another British Ministry of Defense cache of documents had been released and an article sums up the information in them. The more regular UFO feature has sightings that feature people being overwhelmed by what might be very unusual weather events, but still so unusual they are reported as UFO encounters.

There's a neat article on the Eureka machine of 1845, that created Latin verse with the turn of a crank. There's also another biblical piece on Jewish prophets and Forteana. It's actually pretty impressive how many of the events in the Old Testament could be called Fortean. And, again, I love these sort of articles that examine ancient texts in a different way. There's an article in the Forum on the 27 Club, which is morbid to say the least.

The reviews include a very rare zero rating for a book about UFOs that's described as being a "one-sided presentation of questionable evidence". None of the other books made my reading list, but it's actually delightful to read a scathing review now and again. Good letters as is often the case. Overall, another good read.