My belated Road to the Oscars continues with my purchase of The Hurt Locker, and there's also the definitely non-Oscary Hard Gun by the Tony Jaa crew which is going into the Kung Fu pile. But the most important purchases are both by-products of my improv troupe's latest tour: 1) The first two seasons of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which we watched a few episodes of one night on the basis that there's a lot of improv in there, and 2) The Breakfast Club, since we did a riff on it in one of our shows and have been pining to see it again since then. Sadly, I think I had the Anthony Michael Hall role.
DVDs: On Kung Fu Friday, we watched the King Hu classic, Come Drink With Me, a very early Shaw Brothers action epic (1966) that can veritably be called the precursor of the kung fu explosion, drunken heroes, ass-kicking heroines, and maybe even a lot of anime. King Hu impresses with his beautiful art design and willingness to experiment. Though effects are primitive, there's an energy and inventiveness there, and the use of percussive Japanese-style music adds a lot to the choreographies. It made Cheng Pei-Pei a star, but it's really Yueh Hua's "Drunken Cat" who charmed us as the hero who acts the fool. The DVD includes a commentary track with Pei-Pei and expert Bey Logan, and the various people interviewed for the features all speak English, which is a plus for those who are lukewarm about subtitles.
I also watched and flipped Doctor Who's Waters of Mars. With the 11th Doctor premiering next weekend, I'm calling another Doctor Who Week and will be talking about Waters (and hopefully The End of Time) during the week. Here, I'll only say that Waters, while better than the similarly bleak Voyage of the Damned, still has some important tonal and logic problems. Some high points, but I think they get flattened out not only by the episode's problems, but by the how it was followed up in the next two specials. The DVD includes the full 60-minute Doctor Who Confidential, a fair making of feature that shows you how everyone was fond of Gadget (except the fans, of course).
Hyperion to a Satyr entries this week include:
The Banquet - Hamlet as Wuxia