Well, at least I got some socializing done. And some sleep. Considering I started Son of Frankenstein on Friday night (these reviews are in order of viewing), you can see the week was a bit wonky. Still Saturday was nice and restful. Even got some reading done.
Muppet Treasure Island: The gang is all here for this fun adaptation of the classic story. The songs aren’t great, and the humor doesn’t always work. But, overall, it’s a good watch, and quite enjoyable for Muppet fans.
Bride of Frankenstein: A surprisingly good follow-up, this time we find another crazy scientist trying to unlock the secret of life. He hopes to exploit the monster and his creator in a quest to make a female. Nice sets and some very cool bits. The end is shockingly abrupt, though.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: I Accuse My Parents: What feels like an extra long educational short, or what in the 80s would be an After School Special, this cheesy 50s movie is all about the evils of non-traditional parents. Mom has interests outside the home? Evil. Dad doesn’t spend all day at his 9 to 5? Evil. Oh, sure, they make the parents genuinely bad. Mom’s a drunk, and Dad’s a …well, an A-hole. But, it doesn’t seem to actually be what’s at the root of our heroic sociopath’s problems. And when all is said and done, I don’t feel bad for him at all. Joel and the bots give the film the treatment, and with good cause. A good, but not great episode.
Son of Frankenstein: This third film in Universal’s Frankenstein series is surprisingly good. While the Dracula films became extremely formulaic and kind of dull, these films actually do interesting things. The cast for Son of Frankenstein is fantastic, but the real stand out is Lionel Atwill playing the one armed inspector, Krogh. He starts off as an almost surreal, perhaps humorous character, but becomes something much more as the movie goes on. And Bela Lugosi, creates quite the villainous cur as Ygor. A good addition to the series, for sure.
The Gost of Frankenstein: Though not as good as Son, this fourth movie in Universal’s series is still pretty good. The vile Ygor is up to his old dirty deeds again. Will the descendant of Frankenstein be able to redeem his family name? Or will snooping Ralph Bellamy ruin everything? The climax is pretty crazy.
House of Frankenstein: Another surprisingly good film in the Frankenstein series. This series is far better than the Dracula films. The combination of the various monsters is again obviously a gimmick, but somehow it all works fairly well.
Stargate SG1: Season 10: Another overall excellent season. The last few years of this show are certainly the best. One odd thing, though. As the show gets closer to the end, it seems less and less concerned with all the major issues. Most of the final episodes don’t even involve much about the Ori or the Goa’uld. And those that do, fell somewhat restrained. I’m not sure if this is because the movies were already in the works (I have yet to see them, at the time of this writing), and the big finale was planned for that. I’m not sure. So, while a good season, it’s end is something of a let down. Not that it’s bad. It simply isn’t the grand ending a ten year series demands. Perhaps I’ll feel different after watching The Ark of Truth and Continuum.
Stargate: The Ark of Truth: OK, so this is the finale the series didn’t have. Finally wrapping up the major arc of the last couple seasons, it also feels generally like a solid send-off for the show. I could have dealt without the return of a certain old menace, but I guess it worked for the story. I was simply never a fan of said menace in the first place. The images of Teal’c rising up to go kill himself some more gods were pretty cool. That guy is a brutal fist of reason. Anyhow, if you’ve watched the regular run of the show, check this out for a proper conclusion.
|Teal'c The God-Killer|
Stargate: Continuum: Kind of a second send-off for the SG-1 team, this movie is a great deal of fun, largely thanks to the awesomeness of Ba’al, my favorite of all the Goa’uld from the series. His final master plan kicks some serious butt and puts not only SG-1, but everything they’ve ever accomplished on the line. Where The Ark of Truth capped the final few seasons of the show, Continuum sort of takes the early seasons, and fully resolves some of those left over issues.
In between, I watched a few episodes of the fourth season of The Sarah Jane Adventures. These feel a bit more poignant, especially the stories that deal with loss (like Death of the Doctor), now that she’s gone. The show remains a great deal of fun, and I’m glad Elizabeth Sladen had this show to bow out on. She certainly left us wanting more.
I also started Ken Burns’ series on Prohibition. So far, so good. Kind of interesting seeing the various movements that came together at such a key time in American history to create such a misguided moral misadventure. And it’s interesting to see similar trends in today’s world. There are certainly parallels between the religious minded moral crusaders who think they know best about not only how we as Americans should live, but who really counts as American in the first place.
I’ve been reading a bunch, but haven’t finished anything this week. Still stuck in this classic science fiction kick, which is OK by me. And it’s nice reading a bunch of fiction. I’d kind of drifted away from novels for the last couple of years and it’s fun to read some again.
That said, all this classic science fiction, and some of the other reading I’ve been doing has gotten me to thinking about how my whole ‘return to gaming’ kind of got sidetracked. I mean, the big issue remains scheduling. In this day and age, with the kinds of hours people work, doing something like a weekly game seems almost impossible. But, I’m not beat. This will happen.