Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Sunday Review

The Wiz Live - Is it ironic or something that I waited quite some time and watched this one on DVR? Ahem. It was fun, and interesting, and loads better than the movie. Since I've never seen a proper stage production of The Wiz, I don't really have anything except the movie to compare it to. As a result, I can just say it was good, but not fantastic.

As a version of The Wizard of Oz, I didn't like all the changes, but found some to be excellent. There are a few songs I really love from the movie, but nobody can sing "You Can't Win" like Michael Jackson. And "Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News" was amazing in the movie and just passable in this version. But otherwise, I think I liked this version's songs, mostly.

The acting wasn't too bad, except for the guy playing the guardian at the gate. Ug. Aunt Em was probably the best of the lot... she looked comfortable, while everyone else seemed a tiny bit stressed... although the Lion wasn't too bad.

I admit that I've probably seen far too many versions of The Wizard of Oz to judge even this fairly, but when it comes right down to it, I liked it.

The Room Two by Fireproof Games - I went ahead and purchased this one because I enjoyed the first one so much. At $2, it wasn't a hard choice. This edition is MUCH darker and spookier than the original game, including two "rooms" that made me more than a little squeamish. There's also much more of the occult in this one, although it is along the same lines as the first game: fake occult there for flavor and Lovecraftian horror. This one didn't feel quite as tight as the first one... I kept thinking there must be more puzzles to solve in each chapter and found myself disappointed when I moved on. Again, I played it twice, both times without the hints. I got hopelessly stuck only twice. Overall, I liked it about as much as the first one, which means I really liked it.

But I'm not sure I like it quite enough to buy the third one for a couple of reasons: 1) The third installment is $5 in the iOS app store, 2) I've seen a good amount of the game thanks to Adi, so it won't be quite as much mystery, 3) I have a first-gen iPad Mini, and the game apparently doesn't run well on it. To be totally honest with myself, number 3 is the killer. If I thought my tablet could handle it, I'd already have bought it. But the uncertainty mixed with the other two reasons is just enough to keep me away. Barely. I've hovered over the "buy" button more than once since I finished the second installment (I definitely don't like it enough to buy a new iPad mini to play it).

Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold - I purchased the eArc edition almost as soon as it was available, but savored it as long as possible. This is the 17th book in the Vorkosigan saga, according to Amazon. It takes place three years after the end of Cryoburn, and this is very much a romance and a story about people working out how their relationships ought to work. There is almost no antics or major adventures... this is all characters working themselves out. As such, I suspect there are a lot of people who will find it disappointing. I didn't. It was like a particularly excellent review of the entire series at times, mixed in with a bit of plot. If you haven't read many/most of the rest of the series, this one will make utterly no sense to you, I think. But for fans of the series, it's a lovely bookend.

Saving the Sammi by Frank Tuttle - A novella featuring Mage Meralda and Mug of Tirlin, characters seen in All the Paths of Shadow and All the Turns of Light. In this entirely-too-short story, Meralda must rescue a family lost in an airship using new magic she's not yet perfected. The story is nice and solid, Mug is still one of the most unique characters ever introduced in fantasy fiction and the "technology" is also lovely. A good little story.

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • Nov 4th
  • Harley Quinn & Power Girl #5 - Harley channeling the Joker is frightening. And that moustache! All-in-all, this is just a really strange book.
  • Green Lantern #46 - Does this mean this plotline is over and we can move on to something more interesting?
  • Scooby-Doo Team-Up #13 - So... did it happen or not? And if it did, will there be any long-term effects on Scooby? There are some nice twists in this one. Lots of fun, and only natural to team-up the Scooby gang with DC's various ghost heroes.
  • Doctor Strange #2 - This is really very creepy. And continues to be strange.
  • This Damned Band #4 - This book gets more and more ridiculous. After the cliffhanger from the previous issue, we get armed men threatening the band while more scary events are still happening.
  • Legend of Oz: The Wicked West #2 - I know there are some new bits in this issue, but overall I'm recognizing the story a little better. I still want to dig out Eric's copies of the original series to grep the two, but it's been long enough it's interesting.
  • UFOlogy #6 - Such a strange book, but I think I understand the gist of it. I need to pull all the issues out and reread.
  • Doctor Who 8th #1 - This issue almost makes me want to listen to all the Big Finish stories. That said, fun little done-in-one with a nice set-up for further mysteries. Fun stuff.
  • Doctor Who 11th #2.2 - Absalom Daak is always a fun appearance, but you add in this Squire character and Alice, who really is awesome, and you have something of a riot. The story is still a little opaque, but I'm sure it'll clear up.


Anonymous said...

You should totally try out the Big Finish 8th Doctor stories, especially those with companion Lucie Miller (starting with "Blood of the Daleks"). BF often does specials--you should check them out.