Sunday, May 15, 2011

Matt's Week in Dork! (5/8/11-5/14/11)

This week was actually pretty light in respect to dorkiness.  I watched a few movies, saw a bit of TV and did a painfully little amount of reading.  So, first up, the movies. 

The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader:  Like Prince Caspian before it, the more heavy handed and obvious Christian allegory is toned down a touch from the first film.  Though this film isn’t nearly as dark or violent as Caspian.  Dawn Treader feels more like a classic Disney cartoon made live action.  The colors are vivid, the tone slightly uneven, but the overall effect enjoyable.  This series of films is perhaps a touch goofy, but then so were the books.  But they’re probably good family entertainment.

Black Death:  With shades of The Wicker Man, this Medieval thriller is pretty good, if not especially amazing.  A good cast, excellent sets and locations, and a couple fun twists keep you watching.  Kind of like an extra brutal episode of Cadfael, but with more creepy pagans.

Pirate Radio:  A fun, mostly harmless movie that celebrates Rock & Roll, Pop, and the people who helped bring it to the masses.  Battling against governmental prigs who can’t handle people enjoying themselves, a bunch of DJs live their strange and magical life on the sea.  Lots of great music, plenty of good humored ribbing, and solid performances from a nice ensemble cast.  If you enjoy the music of the 60s, check this movie out.

Pretty in Pink:  Oh, my f’ing goodness I don’t know much about this movie, as I couldn’t focus on anything but my intense desire to choke Jon Cryer.  Class warfare.  Awkward attempted romance.  Jon Cryer’s aggressively aggravating behavior.  Ugh.  Double ugh.  Having now watched most of the Brat Pack movies, this is by far the most annoying.  I might have been able to get past its other problems without Cryer.  But with him.  Yikes.  The parody version of his character from Not Another Teen Movie was FAR less awful.

Chris Tucker told me to dial it down a notch.
Doctor Who: The Ark:  A very cool William Hartnell episode finds the Doctor and friends on a space ship carrying the last remnants of a dying Earth toward a new home.  Some creepy ideas and a cool twist at the end of episode 2 make it a lot of fun.  Good sets and cool visuals.  I think this might take its place as one of my favorite Hartnell stories.

Policewomen:  “You just learned a lesson, girl.  Nobody gives a s&%* what happens to a Volkswagen.” Fantastic 70s exploitation.  Awful acting, condescending attitudes (maybe those women CAN do more than make sandwiches…Maybe), silly plot, and a good deal of skin.  It’s extremely goofy and on occasion quite brutal.  A must for fans of low budget 70s schlock.

As far as the reading goes, I made it a bit further in an advanced reader copy of a book I’m not going to mention until I finish and am able to write a review.  I will give you two quick hints.  It’s about robots, and it’s not very well written.  And I started (re)reading the re-launched Conan comic series from Dark Horse.  I’m going to read it through, starting with “Volume 0” and going up to the recently released tenth volume.  I’m doing this in part to curb my frustration/disappointment with everything I see about the new Conan film coming later this summer.  Short of reading Howard’s actual stories, reading this particular set of comics is experiencing Conan as I feel he should be.  Volume 0, Born on the Battlefield, is an awesome telling of Conan’s youth.  It’s brutal but vibrant, and seems to be a fitting back story for the brooding Cimmerian.  Forget what you think you know about Conan, from the movies, from TV, from pop culture.  Read Robert E. Howard or Read Kurt Busiek’s comics if you want to see him as he really is.

I did pick up Jane McGonigal's new(ish) book, which looks pretty good.  But I'm not sure when I'm going to get around to reading it.  Hopefully soon.  In the meantime, if you haven't read Everything Bad is Good For You, by Steven Johnson, do so. 


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