In the wake of the Oscars, I started buying nominated films I really wanted to see. Up in the Air was the first of these, and more are to come. While I was at it, I snapped up Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are and a few more Asian cinema releases, including Return to the 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Election and Invisible Target. Plus, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, and the 3rd Doctor's Dalek War (that's Frontier in Space and Planet of the Daleks). I guess I can't blame all that on the Oscars.
DVDs: Kung Fu Friday's selection was Legend of the Black Scorpion (oh those silly North American release titles!) AKA The Banquet, which is Hamlet retold as a Tang Dynasty wuxia picture. It looks gorgeous, and for a Hamlet geek like me, full of interesting notions and re-interpretations. It doesn't really follow the structure or final fate of the characters in the play, and is more the Gertrude story, but it nonetheless pays homage to a great many scenes and lines. And, I mean, burrowing snow ninjas? I'll for sure make mention of it on Hyperion to a Satyr. The DVD includes a strong commentary track as well as interviews with cast and crew. A good package that sheds light on the production and on its links to Shakespeare.
Had an hour and a half to burn, so I watched Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (I keep wanting to say Earth-2). There are some excellent superhero fight scenes in there, and the film is nerdgasmic in the way it presents a lot of new Earth-3 characters. Owlman's cred just went up, frankly. But all it's really doing is making me miss Justice League Unlimited! Gah!!! As for extras, I can no longer justify the expense of the 2-disc versions of these DC animated movies. There's just too much redundancy and I don't need to pay more just to get one relatively short documentary about the original source material, not when they also saddle me with episodes I already own, and the same previews of the other animated movies.
Trades: I've been reading Brian Wood's Northlanders in trade form (and not very many monthlies at all since Christmas, it seems) and volume 2 was a jarring experience for me. After volume 1, I thought we were following that Romanized Viking, but no, each arc seems to be about different characters and events. No problem, I just wasn't expecting it. "The Cross and the Hammer" features a Viking investigator after a disturbed Celtic vigilante through the Irish countryside. CSI Vikings, if you will. Some great art from Ryan Kelly, but the story falls apart at the very end with a cheesy twist I won't reveal here.
Twits: Wes Anderson has joined my Twitter? Sometimes the Internet is so surreal.
Gaming: For work this week, I had to organize and run some video game Olympics as part of our year-long competition between various student groups and schools. The events included everything from Halo Team Slayer and Rock Band to Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Duck Hunt. From the first, we wanted games in every major genre and consoles from across the entire history of gaming. There was a Minesweeper challenge, a Miss Pac-Man arcade machine, and both Ninja Ropes and Stair Dismount on an iPhone. Fun was had by all, with the Med School winning their 4th event this year, well on their way to beating the undefeated Engineering school. Second and third places went to the Athletics team and the improv league respectively. Six other teams ranks below that. French readers can learn more HERE.
Hyperion to a Satyr entries this week include:
Act I Scene 3 according to Hamlet 2000