Sunday, June 30, 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 Newsies (1992). It's quite a goofy musical. Good characters, although many of them are little more than stereotypes. Fairly true to the era in the bravado and the style, at least as we perceive it more than 100 years later. I like the strength of the boys. Overall, a decent little movie.

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • May 8th
  • Justice League of America #3 - Potential here, but I'm forgetting why we bought this title in the first place.
  • Green Lantern Corps #20 - I started to read this then realized that it happens after the regular Green Lantern book, so I went and found it to read first. That's the one advantage of getting all our monthly books in one package.
  • Green Lantern #20 - And so, in a massive series of flashbacks and fights, the whole Green Lantern saga finally ends. I hope. I'd be fine to end with this book and never read Green Lantern again, but it continues on.
  • Green Lantern Corps #20 - Mostly ok. A little abrupt for a fight, but then... it's Guy. Liked the "appearance" of Aquaman.
  • Smallville Season 11 #13 - Ah, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle. And the Legion. This appears to be a bit of a break from the regular storyline.
  • The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West Ongoing #7 - This is the first time I've ever considered Mombi to be a scary character. Wow.
  • The Legend of Oz: Scarecrow #1 - Well, that's not very Ozzy in some ways, and extremely true to Oz in others. Basically, the origin story of the Scarecrow. Yikes.
  • Spongebob Comics #20 - No Mermaid Man, so I'm not that impressed.
  • May 15th
  • JSA Liberty Files: The Whistling Skill #6 - We finally get to see other members of the society. I guess that's how it all ties in? Still, a very confusingly written and drawn book.
  • Green Lantern: The Animated Series #13 - Fairly predictable story, but hey, any time Lobo is involved it's a little more silly than usual.
  • Fables #129 - Good riddance to bad rubbish. Pity about the wolf, though.

My library book this week was The Alpine Decoy by Mary Daheim. After a new nurse comes to live and work in Alpine, a murder makes some of the isolated residents wonder if she's brought the big city with her. I think Emma is right when she notes that Alpine has the highest per capita murder rate in the state. I need to tally up the murders in the first three books, but there were two more in Alpine in this one alone. That's a seriously giant homicide rate. Anyway, good story as usual, fun to read along. I love the little "reporter" bits and wonder how long before that will feel old to me. A pretty good tale, looking forward to the next one. If you want to start the Alpine series, I strongly recommend starting at the first book, The Alpine Advocate.

Fortean Times #300
Fortean Times #300 (Special 2013). Of course the 300th issue is a special, and of course it's about the non-apocalypse of 2012! The cover story is a collection of four articles about the event, including: coping strategies for failed prophets, people who keep predicting the end despite always being wrong, how "New Age" beliefs actually promote destruction and what happened in Bugarach, the so-called ground-zero of the apocalypse where people were supposedly going to a sacred mountain to ride out the event. It's all pretty funny and thought-provoking as well. There's a genuine attempt to understand why people keep predicting the end of the world and why people keep believing those predictions.

Another main article focuses on dog actors and how they took over the stage in the early 1800s, particularly Newfoundland breeds. The final main article revisits Dr. Dingwall and his role as the "British Kinsey" in investigating sex and psychology. Not much for me to say about it, really. Get the magazine if you want to know more.

Strangedays starts with the welcome news that Julia Pastrana's body was returned to her home in Mexico. She was one of the most famous if not the most famous "bearded lady" and likely suffered from hypertrichosis. After her death in 1860 she was embalmed and exhibited, but now she's been properly laid to rest.

Strangedays continues with another case of possible spontaneous human combustion, this one in Oklahoma, again involving a person who was described as a heavy drinker and heavy smoker. Funny how those two factors are usually mentioned with that sort of death. There's also a little coverage of the Russian meteorite, crocodiles on the Thames, and life-saving canines. Another fascinating piece is about squirrel kings... a variant on rat kings, which are gruesome enough as it is.

Science is about the act of jump-starting the dead, from Paracelsus to modern defibrillators. Ghostwatch is about a conference on parapsychology with lots of information from all around the world. Konspiracy Korner tackles ritual satanic abuse. Ug. Archaeology has some good pieces on a bronze age discovery in Dartmoor, a previously unknown temple in Peru and Ramesses III's connection to the Screaming Mummy. Classical Corner is about the history of horses as food. Alien Zoo is about an identification of a dragon from a drawing of it hundreds of years later and an octopus that hasn't yet been "discovered" by science, but is well-known online.

The UFO Casebook takes the 300th case in a bunch of different UFO databases to give a sort of broad overview of UFO sightings. Blasts from the Past finds an owlish coincidence, or maybe not, by combing through old newspapers. The Forum starts with an article about finding Fortean events in otherwise normal biographies. The second article is either absolutely bonkers or being sarcastic on a level I don't recognize. Reviews are lovely, again. The review of the TV Series "Defying Gravity" makes me want to find it and watch. Letters were interesting, and a thought-provoking "it happened to me..." gives anecdotal evidence that our eyes can deceive us. Good issue, overall.