This Week in Geek (10-16/08/09)


Nah. Nothin'.


DVDs: As promised, finished Serenity, the film sequel to the aborted tv series Firefly. All told, a pretty satisfying follow-up and finale to the tale begun three years earlier with epic happenings and cool revelations that would normally have happened at the end of Season 2. It's hard to judge a movie like this that essentially "finishes" a tv series. Was it comprehensible to audiences that hadn't seen Firefly? I think it works, though it does push you into the deep end. Perhaps it's best compared to similar sequels to television series, like the Star Trek movies. If I do, then I have to say that it was better than most Star Trek movies, the Wild Bunch vibe making everything a lot more suspenseful than open-ended franchises tend to produce. The special edition DVD includes two commentary tracks (Whedon, and Whedon and cast - both fun), lots of deleted/extended scenes, outtakes, featurettes, making ofs and interviews.

My Hong Kong movie of the week was Dragon Heat, a Daniel Lee-directed "heroic bloodshed" film about a team of Interpol agents going up against an equally expert team of mercenaries. There are probably too many characters (fifteen!), especially since they almost all get a back story, but the frenetic editing style Hong Kong movies are known for actually makes it all comprehensible. Still, before the pieces fall together, there's a certain amount of adjustment on the part of the audience. Fun to see someone like Michael Biehn show up in an Asian film, but it creates an uncomfortable mix of Chinese and English. Despite its flaws, there are a lot of relationships to watch out for, and Sammo Hung's big fight at the end alone is worth the price of admission. The DVD includes a really artsy making of, interviews with some of the stars, including Biehn on the differences between Hong Kong and Hollywood, and a deleted fight sequence that features a hilarious fake baby.

Trades: As you should know from last Friday, I also read the Devil Dinosaur Omnibus this week. What can I say that I didn't already in that post? Nothing really. It said it all.

Books: Since the last few Doctor Who New Adventures I read were all part of the same arc, and No Future was its finale AND written by my personal man crush Paul Cornell, how could I not fly through it this week? Granted, it has the worst cover of any Doctor Who book ever, but the insides are pretty great, especially for a Who nerd like me. It's 1976, an era which combines punk rock with UNIT, with old foes coming out of the woodwork, and Cornell bringing closure not only to the Alternate History cycle, but to the enmity between Ace and his beloved creation, Bernice Summerfield. What I found most remarkable is that a few pages before any kind of revelation, I was thinking "oh my God, THIS is what's happening, isn't it?" and then it was. A superbly executed high wire act between surprise and predictability.

Gaming: Finished the storyline on The Lost and Damned, but it ain't over until I hit a hunnert percent.

Hyperion to a Satyr
entries this week include:
Act I Scene 1 according to Classic Illustrated
Act I Scene 1 according to French Rock Opera

New Unauthorized Doctor Who CCG cards: 22, most from Fires of Pompeii. Also found out I'm 2 cards away from having made 3000 cards (not counting the jokey Rejects). What will that 3000th card be? I don't know yet.

Someone Else's Post of the Week
My friend Elyse trolls the baking blogs and found this for me at Cake Wrecks: Doctor Who-related cakes!
And because last week was Dinosaur Week, here's an entire blog dinosaur lovers should put on their list: Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs - A Daily Dose of Mesozoic Megafauna. Why, the title alone...


Colin said...

Good to see you liked No Future. It gets a lot of bad press, but, like you, I love Paul Cornell's writing too much to dislike it.

Siskoid said...

I, for one, am not afraid of continuity. In fact, who reads these things if not the hardcore Whovians?

Jeremy Patrick said...

On the subject of Serenity, I was wondering the same thing you were about how it would be received by people who had never scene the show. I bought it for my brother for Christmas, and after leaving it sitting on the shelf for two years he finally watched it and loved it--now he's going to go back and watch the t.v. series, which must be a bit of an odd viewing experience (I imagine, anyway).

Martin Léger said...

I saw Serenity first(haven't seen firefly yet). I really liked the pacing, it shot you directly into the film, and all the characters are heavily stereotyped so in fact the supposed missing character development wasn't a problem at all.

Really enjoyed it, maybe not to the full extent but still, I would recommend it to anyone.


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