Sunday, July 7, 2013

Matt’s Week in Dork! (6/30/13-7/6/13)

    Not an especially grand week, but not a bad one.  Another enjoyable viewing of a classic film on the big screen.  And some other general fun.  To avoid repetition, I will not talk about the weather.

King Eagle:  “You are so kind; but unfortunately we are the evil brothers of Tai Shan, not the benign brothers.”  The opening credits aren’t finished before the second fight starts.  Some petty squabblers wake the dragon and pay the piper.  ’Lone ranger’ King Eagle doesn’t care about you.  He doesn’t care about anyone.  But some people can’t let still waters rest.  They just keep poking until he kills them all.  Assassins and warriors in the know won’t help.  They know what’s up.  Overall, it’s nothing to write home about, but a perfectly adequate Shaw Bros. movie if you’re looking for one to watch.

Godzilla:  Another day, another trip to the Alamo Drafthouse.  This time to see the original Godzilla (no Raymond Burr).  Had a great time.  The movie is an interesting glimpse into the post-War mindset of Japan.  I found little bits especially effecting, like the guy who just didn’t want to evacuate again.  It’s a good flick that takes its subject quite seriously.  Later movies would get pretty crazy, generally moving away from the whole ‘shadow of the bomb’ thing.  But this first one is quite a thing.

The Lone Ranger:  Who would have guessed this film would become one of my favorite of the year.  Yes, I’ve been a Johnny Depp fan for some time, and I’ve liked several of Gor Verbinski’s movies.  But I have never been a Lone Ranger fan and thought the movie looked dreadful.  But it’s all kinds of surreal fun, with a very dark and strange sense of humor and plenty of exciting stunts.  It’s a bit overlong, and does go off the rails (before literally getting back on them) at one point.  The cast does a fine job.  Depp isn’t doing one of his Tim Burton performances.  Yes, it’s weird.  But not annoying and stupid like his work with Burton.  All that crazy stuff with the horse and the rabbits?  Bonkers.  But bonkers funny.  It’s clear America wasn’t looking forward to this film, and I sure as heck wasn’t.  However, it’s pretty danged fun and well worth a watch.  Much better than other summer action fare, like Iron Man 3, White House Down, Man of Steel and some others.

Ghidorah The Three-Headed Monster:  All kinds of crazy is descending on Japan, and the worst of it is Ghidorah, a giant, three headed, golden dragon with erratic space lightening shooting every which way.  He’s so danged powerful, it takes the heroic Mothra, the cantankerous Godzilla, and …Rodan to drive him off.  In the meantime, a pretty young princess is possessed, a plucky reporter is on the job, and a dull cop is ready to save the day.  This is full-on crazy Kaiju action, but like a lot of these movies, it spends a good deal of time building to the action, getting to know a few characters and letting the tension mount.  This is on the better end of the Toho monster movie spectrum, though I do miss Anguirus.  It just doesn’t feel right to fight Ghidorah without him.

     I finished up Scrivener's Moon, the last book in Philip Reeve's new Traction City trilogy.  Good stuff.

Drive Angry:  “I want you to holster that iron god-killer and say ‘thank you.’”  That this movie hasn’t been embraced by the general public is beyond me.  It’s a world of bent genius.  Just amazing.  Boobs, guns, cars, explosions, and cussing like drunken sailors.  Nic Cage looks like he’s having a blast.  Amber Heard is surprisingly fun as the feisty chick he’s traveling with.  But William Fichtner is the real standout as Hell’s accountant.  Just a heck of a lot of fun.  Awesome.

Red:  “Moldova sucks!”  A darned funny, stupid, and action packed movie about a bunch of ex-government sanctioned action heroes being pulled back into the fire.  Everyone seems to be having the time of their lives, gleefully spouting mad-bastard dialog and blazing away with heavy weapons.  Honestly, if nothing else, it’s worth checking out just to see Helen Mirren wearing a classy dress, firing a huge machine gun.  Whatever the case, the movie isn’t going to change the world, but it’s a lot of stupid fun.

Doctor Who: The Reign of Terror:  Trying to drop off Barbara and Ian, the Doctor and companions end up in the past of France, and plenty of trouble.  The French Revolution is not a time period I’m especially interested in, and the story doesn’t have a lot of new to say about it.  Not one of the more interesting Hartnell tales.  The animated sequence is pretty well done, and I hope they do more for the episodes where the video is missing.

    So, for the first time in a good deal of years I decided to read the Bible.  Perhaps one might think it an odd thing for an atheist, but it is an important work of literature if nothing else.  And so far, I would have to say, not much else.  Working my way through Genesis, it’s such a hodge-podge of messy old wives tales that it’s hard to pull out a narrative.  There are some interesting images, but it’s all so vague.  Reminds me of reading Gilgamesh.  The idea that people would think this stuff was anything but the mythology of Bronze Age savages is beyond me, but people believe in homeopathy and crystals.  So who knows?


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