Sunday, October 07, 2012

This Week in Geek (1-7/10/12)


I bought the new UNIT Sourcebook for the Doctor Who RPG in .pdf format. No, it's not gonna stop me from making my own versions of the UNIT era characters as per this blog's practices, just now they'll have access to a bunch of more military-minded Traits!


DVDs: Castle Season 4's better moments deal with Becket getting shot the previous year, and it's nice to see the various relationships evolving even though this is primarily a murder mystery show. Castle's daughter in growing up, after all, Becket's traumatized, and we lost the captain last season. The new captain is a hardass played by Penny "Kasidy Yates" Johnson (and if that doesn't tickle my DS9 fandom bone enough, Michael Dorn is a recurring character too!) who doesn't much care for Castle, which changes the dynamic too. Though the show is up to its fourth season, it's still finding new stories to tell, and even has fun breaking with its format (structurally as in "Cuffed", partnering Castle with a different cop played by Fillion's old Firefly pal Adam Baldwin, and even producing a 1940s film noir episode). The DVD includes commentary on three key episodes, several deleted scenes, funny bloopers, a couple of featurettes (the anatomy of a stunt, and the contribution of the Bowman family to the show), and more than an hour with the Thrilling Adventure Hour, a "radio show" podcast played before an audience Fillion regularly contributes to (with Molly Quinn guest-starring and also doing a making of). This last bit is only marginally connected to the show, but fun and entertaining nonetheless.

Destroy All Monsters (1968) is Toho's 20th monster film and Godzilla's 9th, and is meant as a celebration of the genre. It succeeds both as "check your brain at the door" entertaining and "look at all the cool models" technical achievement. The two major sources of disappointment, for me at least, were that the plot was essential Invasion of Astro-Monster's without the more interesting characters (there's nary a motivation for the aliens), and that Mothra never cocoons to become a biewtiful butterfly. Boo. Still, 11 monsters (though two are barely seen due to the suits being in bad shape), some of them rampaging in non-Japanese locations like New York, Moscow and Paris, and King Ghidorah getting violently trounced... it's still a lot of fun. Godzilla looks great, as do Anguirus, Rodan and Manda. As usual, I could do without Minilla (the baby Godzilla). So a fun flick, I just wish there was more meat to it. The DVD includes the Japanese original track, plus both the American and vastly inferior International English dub, an informative experts' commentary, a strange collection of Japanese trailers (not all giant monster films), and an exhaustive gallery of production stills, production art, posters, and other promotional items, as well as three different trailers, including one in French.

RPGs: This morning, role-played a new session/movie of Hong Kong Action Theater entitled "Kumite: Dark Arena", a classic "fighters from all styles kidnapped and forced to fight in the ring" pure martial arts movie, with liberal use of the soundtracks from like films as Bloodsport and Dead or Alive, and to keep the various fighters alive in the players' minds, almost all of them played by real life action stars, from JCVD to Michelle Yeoh, Gina Carano and Jason Statham. Basically adapted from GURPS Martial Arts Adventures' "Dark Arena", taking all the investigation stuff and collapsing it into different pre-opening sequence scenes that make use of them all, I very much distilled everything that was cool about the scenario in as short a time as possible. It was also a chance to play with "preferred styles", power blocks I made up to cover cohesive styles. Worked well, I think. For all the results, check out the Joy Luck Studios website's poster and review of this fictional film.

Hyperion to a Satyr posts this week:
III.iii. The Confessional - French Rock Opera
III.iii. The Confessional - Spider-Hamlet

Your Daily Splash Page this week features a splash from every DC title, alphabetically, from Black Lightning to Blackhawk.


idiotbrigade said...

I really liked the preferred styles blocks actually. come some free time, I should do one up for Louie just with his base skills so I have a few options I can fiddle around with before any additional modifiers.

Siskoid said...

The pro wrestling one was probably my favorite to craft.