This Week in Geek (14-20/09/09)


All DVDs: In the wake of Inglorious Week, I got my hands on a Dirty Dozen/Dirty Dozen 2 two-fer and a nice special edition of Black Hawk Down. A rare Coppola purchase: The Conversation. Because Born to Fight: Chocolate, an ass-kicking chick movie by the Ong-Bak gang. And I was gonna wait for them to be collected together before buying the 2009 Doctor Who specials, but the fact The Next Doctor came with Doctor Who at the Proms (which I haven't seen yet) made me give up on the plan. I got both released specials.


Trades: As mentioned earlier in the week, I was reading Jack Kirby's Losers Omnibus this week and of course, I finished it not long after writing the article. The Losers themselves are pretty much ciphers (as Neil Gaiman's introduction - Gaiman of all people! - points out), but there's lots to love in guest creations like Mile-a-Minute Jones, Ivan and Panama Fattie. Most surprising thing about the strip: How unapologetically violent it is. War is hell and Kirby doesn't shy away from massacring his characters in the dozens (not gory, of course).

DVDs: Because Life on Mars and Hot Fuzz both made ample mention of 1971's Get Carter, I had to see it for myself. Michael Caine stars as Jack Carter who returns to his hometown of Newcastle to investigate the death of his brother. Caine is Mr. Cool for about half the picture, then he discovers the truth and FLIPS OUT. It's an incredible performance. Director Mike Hodges uses the locations to give the thriller a lot of truth, while still doing a few arty things, including two of the best edited sex scenes I've ever seen. The DVD includes a very good commentary track with Hodges, Caine and their d.p., all separately interviewed.

Kung Fu Fridays was our chance to see Tsui Hark (Once Upon a Time in China)'s latest masterpiece, Seven Swords. This is a dense, dense film that rewards multiple viewings, in part because it was more than 4 hours long before being cut down to its 2h30 length (the Asian cut). Having to edit it down so much makes some bits harder to follow, but I think it mostly benefits. It takes on an elliptical bent that's a lot more interesting than a more chronological telling might have been. Action scenes by my favorite action direction, Lau Kar-Leung, and villains that steal every scene they are in. I'm happy there's talk of a sequel (I even heard one actor say FIVE sequels) because it ends with lots of room for it. This is/could be China's Lord of the Rings (I was often reminded of The Two Towers, in fact). The DVD includes a conversational commentary between expert Bey Logan and director Tsui Hark, and a second disc with more than 3 hours of interviews and behind the scenes material. I was disappointed that the deleted and extended scenes were all fight scenes, given how much character material was cut out, but maybe some of it will be folded in the prequels/sequels to come.
Geeky job functions: One of my major projects every year at work is organizing and running an Amazing Race event on campus. This year's was probably the biggest, with the most participants and challenges. As usual, the teams were a lot faster than predicted, which just added to MY logistical challenges. In the end, the Medical School won hands down, with Athletics second and Engineering third. This was only the first of 8 competitions this year between student groups, so we'll see if the Med School can keep the momentum with their heavy study schedule and take the Cup away from Engineering's undefeated über-team. As for me, I'm never running multiple challenges in different parts of the campus ever again. Lucky to have survived at all given that I had a sudden pressure drop a few hours earlier, which meant dizziness and vomiting. Yay! Meh, once you put me on a stage and put a microphone in my hands, the show must go on and I just dish it out.

Hyperion to a Satyr
entries this week include:
Act I Scene 2 - The Wedding Banquet according to Kevin Kline

New Unauthorized Doctor Who CCG cards: 16 cards, finishing up on The Romans.

Someone Else's Post Letter to Playboy of the Week
Though I usually give it up to a blog post, I have to draw attention to my good friend Bauble's letter in Playboy this month. For him to get this honor is extremely appropriate (he has an autographed picture of Hugh Hefner on his mantle), but not as appropriate as a letter in Amazing Spider-Man would be (he has a complete Spider-collection from Amazing Fantasy on up). And he's been trying for a long time too. Nyah nyah!


Doctor Mi said...

I'm sure Bauble reads Playboy just for the interviews (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). He must collect Amazing Spidey just for the speech bubbles, too!

He could also add Frank Zappa to his list (Interview appeared May 1993 in Playboy, he died December of same year).

Siskoid said...

Bauble DOES read the articles, but I think he likes the cartoons too.


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