This Week in Geek (26/07-2/08/09)


As my side-bar reveals, I've finally succumbed to Firefly's charms, though I'm taking it slow as there aren't a lot of episodes. In any case, before I get to that inevitable end, I did want to grab the Serenity feature film, and with Battlestar Galactica 4.5 also among this week's purchases, I'm completing that series as well. On the UK front, got me Torchwood Series 3 (Children of Earth) and Life on Mars Series 1 with John "The Master" Simm (saw the first couple episodes on the internet and was charmed). From Hong Kong, more stuff put out by Dragon Dynasty: Above the Law, Shanghai Express and Born to Fight. From France, we have Léon the Professional. And from the DC Universe, Green Lantern: First Flight.

Wow, and me with my vacation over.


Books: Read a couple Doctor Who books this week, including Peacemaker, a Ten/Martha adventure in the Old West by James Swallow. Perfectly serviceable - the period is well rendered, the villains fairly memorable, and the regulars are recognizable - but suffers perhaps from being too much like some of the tv episodes. I was frequently reminded of Family of Blood and, especially, 42. But being derivative has the side-effect of feeling like an authentic piece of the whole, I suppose. Nice idea with the Doctor fighting living weapons though.

Since Quick Reads are essentially short novellas, I also made small work of Revenge of the Judoon by Terrance Dicks. Dicks did pretty well with the shorter format back when he was writing all those Target novelizations, and pleased me with his Quick Reads Cyberman story, Made of Steel. But wow, is this a failure! The simple plot has the Judoon descend on the Edwardian era and grab Balmoral castle with the King inside it, and though it has a cute explanation of why the teleport a hospital all the way to the Moon in Smith and Jones, it feels incomplete. There are many scenes that long to be developped. Seeing as there isn't room for such development, they should have been scrapped entirely because they do nothing to support the story. Disappointing and forgettable.

DVD: Been hosting Kung Fu Fridays now for more than a month and still no Bruce Lee? I remedied that this week with Enter the Dragon, which I don't think I'd ever completely seen. On the whole, the film is a terrible mash-up the likes of which I haven't seen since the 70s Godzilla movies. It's a James Bond rip-off with blaxploitation and martial arts thrown in. The sound mix is horrendous, the dialogue scenes' editing sluggish in a porn movie kind of way, and characters are shuffled on and off the screen with nary a pay-off. However, it does have some beautiful stuff in it. The location work is tremendous, Bruce Lee is electric and intense (you might say the film works so long as he is onscreen, and stops working as soon as you cut to the person he's speaking to), and the martial arts sequences Lee is involved in are excellent and show off his prowess. The climax in the hall of mirrors is particularly impressive. The DVD includes a somewhat sparse commentary track with the producer, with occasional (and sometimes inaudible) bits over the phone by the scriptwriter who has a lot to answer for, but doesn't. There's an interview about Bruce with his widow, a featurette from the time, and an excellent vintage interview with Bruce Lee. A bit of backyard training footage and some production notes (which are frankly the most informative feature on the disc) complete the package.

Hyperion to a Satyr, entries this week include:
Act I Scene 1 according to Hamlet 2000

New Unauthorized Doctor Who CCG cards: Lots. Let's see, first I finished the Masters of War expansion. That took 32 cards, including 13 from the Sarah Jane Adventures episode, The Warriors of Kudlak. The rest are from all over the place. You can even open a Virtual booster pack or the Silurian starter pack and see what you get. My first card was a Martha Jones, yay! But I wasn't content with just finishing the set, I also put up all 13 Premium cards from the Torchwood Archives 2.0, one from each episode of Series 2. Phew! On with Adventures in History, a set that will include cards from The Fires of Pompeii, The Romans, The Time Meddler, Black Orchid, and other historical stories.
Someone Else's Post of the Week
Paul Cornell's blog has undergone a transformation lately, not just graphically, but with a lighter tone that's less about professional happenings and more about having fun with blogging. I applaud it. Check out Uses for a Spare Tom Baker Head for a good example. I've got one of those spare heads too. Very useful.


snell said... might say the film works so long as [Bruce Lee] is onscreen, and stops working as soon as you cut to the person he's speaking to...

Sadly, that's true of almost every Bruce Lee movie. But man, does the camera love him, or what?

De said...

I cannot to get your take on Children of Earth. I just watched it this weekend and it was easily one of the most disturbing things I'd ever seen.

Martin Léger said...

Léon the Professional is da bomb!


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