This Week in Geek (28/06-04/07/10)


This is the week I complete my Dragon Dynasty collection, with purchases not only of the newly released Return of the One-Armed Swordsman, but of DVDs I didn't have before, i.e. Royal Tramp I & II and even, yes, I admit it, Jackie Chan's Robin B Hood. Call me loyal to the brand. I also got The Road, in part because of my interest in the novel, but also based on its trailer.


DVDs: Spy fiction on television. Recently, I've been cycling through a number of different shows on DVD and though they're all in the same genre, they couldn't be more different if they tried. There's Mission Impossible, of course, there's Spooks (see below) and then there's Chuck. Never caught it on tv, but other bloggers of note have recommended it often enough that I grabbed the first season. (Michael May, I think you're responsible.) Wow. I loved it and promptly ordered Season 2. Chuck sits somewhere between geeky sitcom and Roger Moore's version of James Bond, but it's also a touching romantic comedy. I laughed out loud at least once per episode, and one must see the glory that is Adam Baldwin headbutting a punch to believe it. The DVD includes stars and writers discussing their favorite bits, a look at their audition tapes and how the cast was assembled, outtakes, and some fun web shorts. I haven't played the totally unrelated Madden NFL 09 Demo, but it's on there too. Cross-promotional marketing, eh?

Spooks (AKA MI-5 in my region) is a completely different animal. I just flipped Series 6, which takes the show into a different space by creating one whole story told in 10 chapters. As the conspiracy is revealed, it becomes a taut thriller that puts "24" to shame. The new cast members are excellent, and here's hoping none of them become as underutilized as Zaf was. (When I said Zaf should be used more, I didn't mean as a MacGuffin, folks.) Extras include commentaries for the first two eps and interviews with location managers and stars of the show. A 20-minute behind-the-scenes featurette and Miranda Raison's video diary are the highlights.

Kung Fu Fridays this week featured Five Element Ninjas, a Chang Cheh gorefest in the 5 Venoms' style (Lo Meng co-stars and get the DVD's only meaningful featurette - a present day interview). The film is low on plot and high on fights, as a Chinese martial arts alliance is massacred by an order of ninjas who based their tricks on various elements. It's up to the lone survivor to learn new tricks and avenge his school. It's a little silly, more than a little homoerotic, and incredibly bloody (in that orange kind of way). In short, a great showcase of classic martial arts pictures made by Shaw Brothers studios in the 70s. Recommended with a big side of popcorn.

RPGs: Like a bad boyfriend overlapping girls, I'm starting a new campaign before my old one has ended. Usually, there's a loss of momentum between games, which I've avoided this time, even if it means a little more work as I juggle two games. The new one is Savage Worlds' Evernight, and so far as my players know, it's just a regular, even cliched sword & sorcery RPG. Our first game focused primarily on role-playing as we got to know not only the characters, but the players. I have to say my two new guys are working out great. The first big fight took a little longer than normal because we were still getting used to the Savage Worlds engine, and there's definitely room for improvement for all of us. Me, with figuring bonuses and penalties and them, with team work. Still, great fun.

The game that's ENDING is our first Doctor Who RPG series. The finale was tonight, a culmination of the Big Arc(TM) set in Ancient Egypt with the history of humanity on the line. There was no way to beat this year's Doctor Who finale, of course, and while there was a good finish full of reveals and letting players choose more or less their fates, it fell a little short of the mark in its pacing. My fault for leaving it a little too open and for splitting the villain duties between two characters. Ah well. See you guys for the Christmas special!

New Unauthorized Doctor Who CCG cards: 18 new cards from The Unicorn and the Wasp. Some pretty funky ones too.

Hyperion to a Satyr entries this week include:
I.v.The Ghost's Tale


Radagast said...

Good to see you join the Chuck wagon! If you like S2 you should really enjoy S3. These guys really know how to take a concept and run with it.

Siskoid said...

Chuck Wagon. Hehehe.


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