Okay. So. Game of Thrones. Just this Tuesday I was telling you all how I was not going to buy Game of Thrones. But then I found myself in Target...and it was just 35 bucks on Blu Ray...and I just bought it on impulse. And the next thing I know it's Wednesday night and I've completed 10 hours of television in just two days. The show blew me away. I can't believe I'm on the bandwagon with the rest of America, but there you have it.
And when I bought Game of Thrones, I saw that they were selling seasons of The Wire for just $16.99 a pop. And the next thing I know I've watched 13 hours of that show by Saturday night, a whole season devoured.
And then The Wife and I finally checked out BBC's Sherlock on Netflix Instant. So much dang television this week. But I still managed to watch a few movies and read a few comics.
Plus, March 5th-11th was the Korean Blogathon and the good folks over a cineAWESOME! have been chowing down on a whole mess of great flicks. I'm just a genre fanboy who's seen the basics from Korea: Park Chan-Wook's Vengeance Trilogy, Save The Green Planet, I Saw The Devil, and The Host. But I did manage to review The Good The Bad The Weird last Monday and for next week I just posted my review for The Warrior's Way. Two Weird Korean Westerns well worth your time.
TV OF THE WEEK!
Game of Thrones Season 1: Yes, I am Johnny Come Lately with this show (and the George R.R. Martin series) but I'm totally here now. I was hooked from the first episode...that cliffhanger, oh boy. I guess this hits me in the same fashion that The Lord Of The Rings did, here's a big budget bit of populist entertainment that totally takes the fantasy world absolutely seriously--and doesn't seem to drop the ball. And, as most folks love pointing out, it's a great character show with actors being given large, juicy parts. I love Peter Dinkledge and Sean Beam, but have they ever been better? I know Jason Momoa certainly hasn't and his Khal Drogo completely washes the sour taste of Conan out of my mouth. But I also love the newcomers like Emilia Clarke and the Stark kids, so much of the show's success rests on them. Good luck.
Sherlock Season 1: So, here's another show Geeks of the World seem to be going ga-ga for, but I find it a touch harder with Sherlock to jump on the bandwagon. Don't get me wrong. I really enjoyed these three little episodes...but it's just three little episodes. Apparently the next three are absolutely amazing, but based on these shows I kinda just had fun. As a Sherlock lover it's surprisingly enjoyable to see Holmes work his cell phone logic in the modern world...in the same way it was surprisingly enjoyable to see Basil Rathbone's Holmes smash Nazis. And yeah, the new Moriarty had me chuckling it up and The Wife was howling during his performance. She's definitely the big fan, here.
The Walking Dead Season 2 "Judge Jury Executioner": Oh man, this ain't the comics no more is it? I'm still not totally in love with this show, but Dale's confrontation with the rest of the group had my heart pounding more than any other moment of the show so far. Jeffrey DeMunn finally gets his moment to shine in this show and he knocked it out of the park. But the ending also feels like a bit of a moral do-over for these folks who were going down a real dark path...a little too easy from a script standpoint.
Justified Season 3 "Watching The Detectives": OKAY. SPOILERS. GOT IT? GOOD. So at the end of last week's episode Quarels snatched up Winona's ex Gary from a hotel bar, and at the start of this episode he & Duffy drive him over to her front porch and shoot him dead. Goodbye, William Ragsdale. A sad end for the asshole. It's all a setup for Raylan to take the fall and even though most of this episode is Stephen Toblowsky's G-Man douchebag and Season 1's Vasquez (glad to see him back) hot on his tucas, not for one second was I worried for Olyphant. That man has got it under control. Who doesn't have it under control is Quarels; he's quickly loosing his mind, popping Oxy, ignoring his family, and running straight for Mykelti Williamson's Limehouse. The season is well on it's way to another explosive climax. But where's Boyd? Where's Dickie? And remember Carla Gugino's Not-Karen Sisco?
The Wire Season 1: So where Justified is this fun, movie-movie kinda cop show The Wire feels depressingly real or at least as real as any fictional television show can be. I grew up a huge fan of Homicide: Life On The Street and this feels like David Simon's newspaperman vision turned up to 11 on the horrorshow streets of Baltimore, a town I've only witnessed from the safety of the Harbor and the Comic Con convention center. The first season starts off as a solid cop program but it wasn't until the last four episodes where I was absolutely hooked. Dominic West has never-ever been as good as he is here as McNulty but what impresses me so much is how engrossing The Street stories are--no, not the Idris Alba stuff (although, he's pretty dang awesome), but the Bubbles and Johnny Weeks story and the poor bastard D'Angelo. And Omar! He only has a few moments on screen, but he's a monster criminal and it's sick how much I love seeing him do dirty deeds...and whistle the Farmer and the Dell. But it's cool cuz he's Barack Obama's favorite Wire character and that makes everything all right, right?
MOVIES OF THE WEEK!
The Good The Bad The Weird: An excellent entry into the Weird Western genre, this Korean actioner obviously takes its cues from the classic The Good The Bad and The Ugly, but also manages to create something unique of its own. After a rousing train robbery, three desperadoes find themselves on the hunt for the same lost treasure--but so is The Ghost Market Gang and the entire Japanese Army!!! And what does it all have to do with the serial killer known as The Finger Chopper? One badass shoot 'em up leads into another climaxing with a triumphant explosion fest. If I had one complaint it would be that the emoriffic Bad (aka Byung-hun Lee's Storm Shadow) gets more screentime than the cool & collected Good, his story is classically vague but Woo-sung Jung is too cool to be the lesser of the three leads. Read more ramblings over at cineAWESOME!
GI Joe The Rise of Cobra: This is a terrible movie. It gets everything wrong about what made the original cartoon fun. And I wasn't even looking for an accurate depiction of the Joes or Cobra. I was just looking for some fun. I mean, yer telling me Cobra Commander's real name is Rex. And that The Baroness is his mind controlled sister who's just upset cuz she dated Duke once?!?!?!?!?!? Horrible. Snake Eyes and that little mouth of his? WHY? A cryin' shame that Snake is placed in the background while Mr. Tatum's meat-head acting takes front and center. I'd rather have John Cena leading the Yo Joes. Marlon Waynes! Stay outta my movies! (except Ladykillers, cuz I want that donut money!) And the worst use of Flashbacks I've seen in a long, long, long time. And then you have the cringe inducing dialogue. Knowing is Half The Battle and I know that I want to punch all you filmmakers in the face. Yuck, yuck, yuck. And, yeah, I cannot believe I want to see a sequel after this--I must really love The Rock.
Natural City: A highly derivative Korean science fiction flick set in a Blade Runner future with lots of rain, neon, cyborgs, prostitutes, and not-Starship Starship Troopers. Yoo Ji-tae's copper R is an unlikable wanker who mopes about the plot with his dying 'droid and prostitute wannabe girlfriend. There are some stunning visuals and an entertaining severed limb springing forth here and there, but I found myself loosing interest rather quickly, but thankfully I didn't care. But you wanna know what my co-dork thought? Check out his review over at cineAWESOME!
This Means War: Such a mediocre movie-movie, still I managed to find fun within the ridiculous Love You, Bro! bickering between Chris Pine and Tom Hardy's Jack Ryan wannabes and as they tranqed and Kung Fued their way into Reese Witherspoon's heart I kept hoping they would figure it out all ready and start making out with each other. Feels like the thrill is gone with Witherspoon, it's time for her to shuffle outta Hollywood, but Pine/Hardy are ready to take their place amongst the Walk of Fame. One question though, why the hell did no one in this film question Pine's FDR moniker? Weird.
John Carter: Not bad. It was okay. But it definitely feels fifty or twenty years too late for the screen adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs pulp hero. Honestly, I still think the Princess of Mars story would make for a kickass animated film and I'd still be willing to fork out fifteen bucks for that version. As is, Taylor Kitsch is not as horrible a choice as Carter that I once thought and the Tharks are pretty cool CGI creations...not as cool as Woola though. I want to snuggle up to that slobbery beast. I wish the world building was handled a little smoother in the first fifteen minutes, just start off with Carter in Arizona and don't worry about Barsoom civil war. Nothing to get worked up about here, Cater has finally been given his due and it didn't suck and that's good enough, I guess.
COMICS OF THE WEEK!
Low Moon by Jason: After devouring I Killed Adolf Hitler and The Last Musketeer, I had to have more of that Jason crazy. Rushed over to Big Planet Comics and snatched up a few more recommendations. Low Moon is a short story collection involving two pathetics stealing and murdering their way towards each other in "&", a what-if Groundhog's Day and The Postman Always Rings Twice were an "Early Film Noir", and a seriously sad domestic alien abduction story that nearly broke my heart. No one does weirdo-sweet-and-sad quite like Jason.
Athos In America by Jason: Another amazing collection of short comics from the mad Norwegian known as Jason. Inside you'll find surreal interpretations of Vincent Price's The Fly, a mashup of The Brain That Wouldn't Die and Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf, a prequel to his Athos vs Ming Last Musketeer, a seriously demented prison escape, and a kidnap sequel to Low Moon's "&" saga. Athos in America, like all of Jason's works, is a real hoot and every couple of panels I was turning to my wife, "You gotta read this." Seriously, if you've been avoiding Jason's work cuz you thought his cute little animals were a little too independent-comic-quirky than get over yourself and dive into the bonkers.