Sunday, June 09, 2013

A Sunday Review

This week's movie was Swiss Family Robinson (1960). A rather goofy Disney movie, based on a fairly goofy book which was sort-of based on Robinson Crusoe. I read the book a long time ago and barely remember it. The movie wasn't too bad. It's Disney so you know there's not going to be anything too bad. And there's lot of ridiculous humor bits and a badly-thought out romantic rivalry. Not something I would want to watch more than once, but ok for a movie night.

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • May 1st
  • Aquaman #19 - Confusing. I'm not sure which plot point to focus on, if any. This is very much a set up issue, not a story issue.
  • Earth 2 #12 - That's got a kind of satisfying ending, but a good cliffhanger into the next issue as well. I do wonder what Kendra will be getting up to alone.
  • World's Finest #12 - When you're dealing with that particular baddie, yeah, expect the worst. Now that Karen and Helena know that, it's going to be hammer time.
  • Sesame Street #1 - The first story is the same one in the FCBD edition. Way too much Elmo. I would prefer there to be NO Elmo. But I guess this generation actually prefers that impostor. At least Super Grover didn't get entirely shown up. I did enjoy the Oscar the Grouch story. The Cookie Monster story depressed me with the whole "sometimes food" canard. And Bert and Ernie story was strange, but worked ok.

My library book this week was The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett. A failed wizard ends up with a job as a guide for Discworld's first ever tourist. I've avoided getting into Discworld for the usual reasons... I was afraid of how time-consuming it would be, and I enjoyed the idea that there was a fantastic realm out there waiting for me to dip into it. So I have finally taken the plunge. After considerable consideration, I decided to start with the first published book and read the series in published order. This is to avoid all the complicated nonsense of trying to figure out what books belong to what area of the world and all that. I'll just read them in order, then nothing else should bother me. I was warned that the first book is not as good as later books. This surprises me now that I've read the first book, because I really did enjoy it. I was a little put off by the strange ending, but it all followed one bit after another, so I wasn't disappointed, just thought it was an odd way to end the book. I'll be reading the next book soon, and moving on from there. I think I'll be enjoying Discworld.

Fortean Times #299
Fortean Times #299 (May 2013). The cover seems to be leprechaun Beatles, if I'm getting the reference, which I might not be. In any case, the cover story talks about a leprechaun hunt by a whole bunch of children in Liverpool in 1964 and the potential sources of the outbreak. Lots of very British stuff in this one.

Another article is about Elvis. I don't really want to go there. Let's just say it's a paternity story and it's fairly interesting and leave it at that. Buy the magazine if you want to read it (heck, buy the magazine anyway, it's a fascinating collection of stuff and nonsense).

Third main article is about Dr. E. J. Dinwall, who investigated the paranormal from a skeptical standpoint and rarely allowed his photograph to be taken so he could remain anonymous. He and contemporary Harry Price didn't get along too well, but both investigated some of the same folks. It's a strange introduction to someone I'd never heard of, with the promise of a bit more saucy piece in next month's issue.

Strangedays starts with the discovery of Richard III under a car park, moves on to whale vomit and gold nuggets, and continues to foreign language syndrome. It also covers strange things falling from the skies, foolish cops and foolish criminals, and a set of follow-ups. Archaeology is about an ancient figure on a mountainside discovered via Google Earth and a winged seahorse brooch that apparently has a curse on it. Classical Corner is about ancient codes and secret messages. Ghostwatch is about how the Enfield poltergeist was covered by the BBC in a recent broadcast.

Alien Zoo covers echidnas from New Guinea showing up where they ought not to have in Australia and a similar case of an elephant species surviving longer than originally thought in China. UFO Files has a great picture of a UFO-shaped office building that fell on a car. Oops. Konspiracy Korner is about pedophiles and rumors of prime ministers being involved in it. Fortean Dictionary looks at Ancient Astronaut theories, and giggles a lot.

The Forum starts off with an article on crop circles that has a lovely theory regarding testing weapon systems. The second article is about science's dirty secret that replication of certain scientific studies sees the results literally seem to fade away. A very strange phenomenon, if true. Certainly a potential paper for some enterprizing scientist someday.

Reviews starts with a book about how the Hebrew bible killed off worship of earlier gods, which gets a high score for its scholarship. Some other good reviews, alway fun to read. A great letter in the letters column talks about how Fortean Times is passed around at a church and the congregation believes it supports their faith. Go figure. Fortean Traveller visits Santorini aka Thera and checks out its connections with Atlantis and vampires. Illustrated Police News has the story of a female errand boy caught stealing twice and eventually sentenced to prison for it. Fun stuff, almost worthy of being a TV series.


Bill D. said...

Swiss Family Robinson works a lot better when you're a kid between the ages of 6 and 10, when riding ostriches, fighting pirates, and living in that tree house looks like the most amazing life ever.

Eric TF Bat said...

I found The Colour of Magic so clumsily written that I barely made it through, but then I read The Light Fantastic and fell out of my chair laughing several times. Not sure why they had such a disparate effect, given that they were obviously written as a single book and split up on the theory that nobody wanted a 500 page fantasy novel. (This was back when George RR Martin still hadn't killed his first interesting character.)

You have some glorious reading ahead of you!