This Week in Geek (17-23/12/07)


After getting pissed at my comics store, I decided to order some of what I was looking for through Amazon, and an early arrival was Jeff Smith's Lovely Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil hardcover, and Showcase Presents: Sgt. Rock (YES!) and Teen Titans vol.2 (give 'im one for me, Aqualad!). More to come during Christmas week.

Amazon also kindly sent me the Blade Runner Anniversary Edition DVD, which I've been moaning about since this blog began (at least!). For 60-some bucks you get: 5 versions of the film, 9 hours of extras, a metal replica of the origami unicorn, a toy flying car, plenty of pictures, and a holographic paper weight, all in a handy little valise. It's a beautiful package, and I only had to wait 25 years for it!
As for gifts, it's two days from Christmas still, but my friend Carolynn gave me something already. Here, I'll open it live on the blog. You ready? - rip, rip, rip - oh, it's both volumes of An Evening with Kevin Smith! I'm not sure what kind of stand-up he does, but I'm practically a Kevin Smith DVD completist, so cool! Thanks Carolynn, I'll try to get you something nice by the time I see you again.


As heralded last week, I flipped The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, an Australian indie film about drag queens I remember seeing in theaters. It's still pretty fun, and I guess is of interest to geeks by virtue of the three transvestites being General Zod, Elrond and that guy from Memento! Also has the distinction of having won an Oscar for outstanding achievement in costumes on stuff all bought in a Dollar Store.

Next up, on the advice of Readers Like You, the twin release The Night Stalker / The Night Strangler, two tv movies that are effectively the two first episode of the Kolchak series. Not at all what I was expecting (I was a Kolchak virgin), maybe because I was confusing it with Dark Shadows (same producer, after all), but I really enjoyed both and ordered the series on the spot. I've always liked Darren McGavin when I've seen him, but never really thought of him as a lead. Well, he's really entertaining as Kolchak, both movies having quite a bit of wit about them.

When my half-brother Sly came over the other night to watch a movie, the revolving finger of fate fell on Apocalypse Now (which meant, that by my rules, I had to flip it before moving on). Well, no problem. Watched both Apocalypse Now AND Redux along with some very interesting extras. I really wish the documentary Hearts of Darkness had been included as a third disc too. I'll be the first to admit I'm not a Coppola fan, or rather I wasn't. I know I've never been able to sit through The Godfather and that I hated his take on Dracula. But you know, I've always liked Apocalypse Now anyway. But I'm open to revising my opinion. Films that meander and that are largely improvised appeal to me now more than they used to, and seeing Apocalypse this week has really made my appreciation for it grow. And here I thought Redux was going to be an ordeal. Really time for me to take a look back at Conrad too. Craziest thing I heard on the commentary: If not for Star Wars, George Lucas would have directed this movie. Brrr. A chilling thought.

Comics! Jeff Smith's take on Shazam is as charming as I heard it was, making what's happening with the Marvel Family in the actual DC Universe all the more tragic and wrong-headed. This is something I would gladly give kids to read, which is a bit rare for commercial American comics (as opposed to the French - well, Belgian, bandes dessinées of my youth). I love what he's added to the Captain Marvel mythos (Tawky Tawny as a djinn, the split personality, the tiny tot Mary, limits on the magic word), though yeah, I rather thought Mr. Mind should have been more like his old, silly self. And what are those? Angels from Neon Genesis Evangelion? Still, this screams to become a series or series of minis. Shazam!

Oh and I also borrowed a stack of comics, including all of the Sinestro Corps War. Fun stuff. The stuff with the Rainbow Lanterns is just the kind of mythic stuff I like to read, so these might be series I'd have to start picking up. It makes me think of the many Parliaments at the end of Mark Millar's Swamp Thing run. Loved that idea too.

Hadn't listened to a Big Finish Doctor Who audio in a long time, and because I was making Unauthorized Doctor Who CCG cards based on non-canon material like the novels and audios, and wanted to make a card for Zagreus, a sort of evil identity the 8th Doctor takes on, well, that's the disc I popped in. I didn't know very much about it, of course, though I'd heard it was a disappointment. Agreed, it's not everything an anniversary (Doctor Who's 40th, and Big Finish's 50th release) could be, but it does star every Doctor Who actor in the stable, if not as their characters. It's a crazy Alice in Wonderland runaround for most of three discs, and a lot of technobabble besides, but that last chapter is worth the listen. Charley comes off as a prototype for Rose Tyler, and I wouldn't be surprised if RTD took some of his cues from it (came out Nov 2003). Oh, and the card? Here's how it came out:
It's one of eight crafted for my Relative Dimensions 3 set this week.

So next week is Christmas week, huh? Maybe I should go shop for presents...


De said...

One project I hope to have finished by the end of 2008 is to get my laserdisc copy of Hearts of Darkness authored onto DVD.

Speaking of DVD, the Blade Runner set is just awesome! Hopefully, there will be some time in my immediate future to watch the Ridley Scott Final Cut at the very least.

It's not too likely that I'll be jumping back online after work today so I wanted to say Merry Christmas to you.

Siskoid said...

Thanks De!

The only reason I haven't touched Blade Runner yet is that I sorta promised my roommate I'd wait for him, and well, it's Christmas after all.

Anonymous said...

I was totally addicted to Kolchak when it was first on, I never missed it.
I was so thrilled with the DVD TV box set come out.

I like the odd combination of a loser character with a kind of noir wit and style to him plunked into the horror genre. It somehow worked.

And keep in mind the man behind it a lot of it (David Chase) would later do the Sopranos!

And another thumbs up Smith's Shazam. I felt it was really well, done but I'd so like to see it as a regular series by him.


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