Sunday, May 12, 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.

TV this week:
  • Doctor Who: "Nightmare in Silver" - I do not find (SPOILER ALERT!)(END SPOILER) scary. After watching this, I still don't. This was a Gaiman story, with the whole internal debate thing going, which reminded by of Tegan's battles in Kinda. It was also mildly annoying that, in the end, it was the obvious inaccessible plot device that saved the day. I didn't figure out (SPOILER ALERT!)(END SPOILER), but the reveal was pretty good. Overall, not as good as last week's episode, but not too bad.
  • Downton Abbey: Season 1, Episode 5, UK version - Wow, I don't know who has it worst in this episode. I love how Bates and Anna turned the tables on Thomas and O'Brien. And more great acting between Dame Maggie Smith and Harriet Jones, Prime Minister. In fact, the conclusion to the bit between Violet and Isobel was simply fantastic. Smith does an incredible job of displaying her emotions through her eyes. The subplot with the cook was also very well done. And I see Mary's life as a train headed for a blown-up bridge. She's not going to like her future.

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • Apr 10th
  • Green Lantern Corps #19 - Nice little trick there. But I'm still trying to figure out when this series of annoying crossovers will finally be over. Is there another one after this?
  • Saucer Country #14 - Um. Wow. Ok, this is a series I'm going to have to go back and read from the start. Then maybe all the threads will pull together and I'll figure out what happened.
  • Doctor Who Classics #2 - That was a really silly story.
  • NFL Rush Zone #1 (Seahawks variant) - Pretty much as bad as I was afraid it was going to be. All books about licensed sports teams tend to have some of these same failings, and this one is not good. It's not a book I will be seeking out.
  • The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West Ongoing #6 - I've enjoyed this book from the start. Solid art, good reimagining of the stories. This one surprised me by being even better than the ones before it. I'm really liking this very strange version of Oz.
  • Mind Mgmt #1 - Very interesting premise. This is another #1 for $1 we picked up from Dark Horse Comics. I can't decide if I want to spend time and money to find more issues to read or not, but I did enjoy the book.
  • Spongebob Comics #19 - Great Mermaid Man story! The various costumes were a hoot.
  • Snow Angel - I don't recall ordering this, but it was definitely on my order. And it's very cute. A bit strange, but cute. I actually think I enjoyed the rhyming tale at the end more than the main feature, but not by a lot.

Fortean Times #295
Fortean Times #295 (January 2013). Steampunk! Now, there's an appealing cover! Let's just have variations on this cover for me for the next few issues... no? Oh well. At least I'm finally into 2013 by the US edition's cover dates (in the UK this is Dec 2012). The cover story examines the origins of steampunk, both as a genre and as a style. I love the aesthetics and have often thought of combining the Victorian steampunk with elements of either Egyptian or Mezoamerican hieroglyphics to create an amalgam. I think my steampunk stories would be set in a world where both those cultures had survived in secret to rival the Victorian England domination. But I digress into fantasy that I'll probably never write, so back to the magazine.

Another article in this issue is the second part of the Hexham heads examination and another one on a guy who has been researching the heads and other Fortean subjects for a long time.

Strangedays starts with a meteorite statue that was stolen by the Nazis and a giant eyeball found on a beach in Florida. One beautiful story was about a squid hunt in which a prize was to be awarded to the fisherman who caught the biggest squid... but the only squid captured was just one centimeter long, due to poor weather during the competition (compared to 61 cm the previous year).

The 2012 Watch is just so ridiculous, pointing people to a website of utter silliness, that it's hard to even read the summary of it. Oh, yeah, and some predictions supposedly by Mother Shipton (1488-1561) whose papa was the devil... only the predictions, that believers said referred to 2012, were fakes dreamed up in the 1800s.

The Science section has some Lamarckian experimentation and opposing research by Darwin believers in the Soviet Union back in the day that indicate domestication of wild animals may be a quicker process than originally thought. Ghostwatch has a bit about horror writers being haunted for real. Alien Zoo revisits the Tasmanian wolf/tiger again. Archaeology is about ancient rock art... the oldest rock art. Classical Corner is about Saturnalia. Konspiracy Korner asks why we like conspiracy theories. Among several other stories, the UFO Files has some really disturbing pictures of animal mutilations. Blasts from the Past has tales of stone rains, even inside homes. Random Dictionary is about weird weather. Illustrated Police News is about Vincent De Groof, the flying (or rather, falling) man.

The Forum starts with an exasperated look at the British media's coverage of the Essex Lion and continues with more about out-of-place big cats in the British Isles. Some high ratings in the reviews, including a Doctor Who book "The Doctor's Monsters" that got a 9 out of 10. There's a movie called "Cockneys vs Zombies" that actually gets a 7 out of 10 rating and sounds like a fun popcorn movie. The letters are ok this month. And "it happened to me..." featured a story about Dennis Hopper experiencing a UFO while stoned. Yeah, whatever. Fun issue.