Saturday, March 07, 2009

Reviews of things recently experienced...

Felt it was about time to throw some geeky talk up about some things read, watched, or listened to lately. There's some good, some bad, and there are better reviews than mine out there, but if I can warn you away from, or turn you on to something then cool!

Watchmen and Watchmen related products: There's a merchandizing blitz to go along with the movie. A lot of it is lame or makes no sense (the yellow keychains showing the doomsday clock with the blood drop on it...what? Completely inapplicable iconography). I have picked up the six inch DC Direct action figure set, and they are pretty well done, if you like the character designs from the film. The hovering Dr. Manhattan and the Golden Age Silk Spectre are the jewels of the line though.

There's a number of decent reprints of the original comic as well, which I am glad to see. My reader copy is about to fall apart, I may need a new one. So how do I feel about the film? I'm not going to rehash the story, but I give it a B+. I think it's a decent adaptation of the comic, with tweaks appropriate to film versus comics. It does make a couple of big missteps, but is visually stunning and has some really good performances from Jackie Earle Haley and Billy Crudup. They're actors I generally like anyway, but they truly bring their characters to the screen from the page. Now, I hear a lot of bad press on Matthew Goode's performance as Adrian Veidt- a character who is probably the most changed from the comic. I'm going to earn the eternal enmity of Alan Moore and many of his fans when I say I like the screen version of Veidt better than his print counterpart. As the world's smartest man, I really enjoyed the less obvious physical prowess, and I think his performance demonstrated someone far removed from normal human emotion and thought, and perhaps in his own way as detached as Dr. Manhattan.

The movie is brutal, even when it doesn't necessarily need to be, and on one occasion when it shouldn't have been. Then there's one of the most laughable sex scenes ever captured on film. Usually though, the movie is well on. It's not a flavor for everyone, and it asks you to pay a lot of attention to background details if you aren't as intimately familiar as I am with the source material. I am definitely looking forward to the extended cut, but was not as impressed by this film as The Dark Knight or even Iron Man. Cool though.

IDW comics is running the new GI Joe comic- one main title by Chuck Dixon, then two miniseries, one of which is by Larry Hama. Hama's work is supposed to be a lead in to Dixon's title (the origin of this re-booted Joe team). Yet, the tone and circumstances are so incredibly different they might as well be two different companies. If you can only go with one though, I have to recommend Hama's “Origins.” Dixon's work on Joe has always been lackluster to me (he took over GI Joe: Reloaded for Devil's Due Comics with issue ten, and rode it in like Slim Pickens ), and his work here is no different. I am sticking through the arc hoping it plays better whole than in parts. Hama's Origins is a solid read and a neat refurbishing of his original characters.

I am three episodes from the end of Battlestar Galactica. I pray to all that is holy they don't botch the end, because right now I am hooked up to my gills. I will give more when they do finish up, but even now, this show has given me the four best years of TV I have ever seen.

My good friend Eric recommended Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles to me. I had been reluctant to tune in, but you know what? It's groovy. What really sells me on the show is the idea that killing John Connor is only aspect of SkyNet's time travelling shenanigans. Stockpiling supplies, advancing multiple lines of AI so any one can evolve into the mainframe which actually causes Judgement Day- really neat thinking. Also, the writers have a slavish devotion to the first two films, and manage to completely erase the third! We'll see how the fourth plays out. I don't know if Lena Headey fills Linda Hamilton's shoes completely, but she's pretty good in her own right. She carries guns real good.

Watched M. Night Shymalan's Lady in the Water the other day, and got turned on to the end credit music, a little indy band called Whisper in the Noise. They do these very ethereal deliberate songs, and are really worth checking out.

Oh, before I go- one more gratuitous shot of Carla Gugino. She doesn't shy away from dangerous roles, and makes any movie she's in dramatically more watchable.

No comments: