This Week in Geek (7-13/09/09)

Buys'n'Gifts

Kung Fu Fridays related stuff: DVDs of all three Once Upon a Time in China, Iron Monkey, and The Magnificent Butcher. But there's also what looks like a bootleg VCR version of Dance of the Drunk Mantis that a couple of guys from the office got me in a thrift store. It promises "Karate & Marshal Arts".

Doctor Who related DVDs: The Deadly Assassin (is there any other kind?), Image of the Fendahl and Delta and the Bannermen.

Just drama: The Corner (by the makers of The Wire), and because I found them at a good price, the last three seasons of The West Wing, which I was holding out on because the quality dropped after Aaron Sorkin's departure, even though I did like the Alan Alda/Jimmy Smits election stuff.

"Accomplishments"

At the movies: I very rarely go to the movies, but we made an outing out of Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. Two basic impressions: 1) I wasn't expecting it to play out so much in subtitles (not a problem for me, especially since my mother tongue is French, the main language spoken in the film, with German second and English a distant third); and 2) Christoph Waltz steals the show. This is the Joker performance of 2009. I can understand the Oscar buzz. I'm not a big war film buff, so I didn't get Tarantino's usual references (in fact, I rarely do), but he's created something immensely entertaining once again. I won't spoil the ending, but I turned to my roommate who was a History major and asked "But what about History?" Quoth he: "FUCK History!" I think this may turn out to be an Inglourious Week.

DVDs: Watched the original UK mini-series State of Play this week, a purchase branching out of my liking John Simm in Life on Mars so much. It's a tight thriller/detective story in the style of All the President's Men, with some pretty great performances from the all-star cast. From a few exchanges in this, I can now safely say I see it when people want to cast Bill Nighy in the role of Doctor Who. Two of the six episodes on the DVD have satisfying commentary tracks. I'd have loved to see this reporting team in another series and have no real interest in the US version.
 




Kung Fu Friday sent us to Thailand this week for Born to Fight, starring Dan Chupong, a member of Tony Jaa's Ong-Bak crew. This thing KILLED! Plot's pretty ridiculous (Die Hard in a Thai village turns into Mighty Ducks with a single, driving tune), but the last 40 minutes totally rock as various athletes turn their sports into martial arts techniques and go up against a Burmese army. It's all pretty cool, sometimes genuinely touching and surprisingly patriotic. The DVD includes the usual strong commentary track from expert Bey Logan, as well as an hour-long documentary (heavy on interviews, slim on "making of") and a 5-minute introduction to the featured athletes in the guise of "behind the scenes footage". Move of the Week: The Axe of Thor!

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

New Unauthorized Doctor Who CCG cards: 8, just the start of The Romans, with more to come through the week.

Someone Else's Post of the Week
A shorty but a goody, as Trusty Plink Stick shows us the Timeliest Factory Error Ever!

2 comments:

Toby'c said...

I gotta stand up for the American version of State of Play. While it's not better than the original - actually, I can't think of any aspect in which it isn't inferior - on its own terms, it's as effective as any recent political thriller, and I don't think the shift from London to Washington or from TV to film did any damage.

Siskoid said...

For me, it's gonna be about Russell Crowe's participation. I am definitely not a fan.

 

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