This Week in Geek (24-30/03/14)


Two DVDs this week: The Grandmaster (Wong Kar-Wai woot!) and Off the Record with Gerry Conway (Kickstarter woot! the back cover quote from comics scribe Conway is "Harlan Ellison said I should be crucified", which is hilarious).


DVDs: So I "flipped" Columbo Season 2 (1972-73), featuring 8 more TV movies with the frumpy sleuth. It's pretty much just like Season 1 except that Columbo goes up against a different host of rich a-holes who commit murder and think they can get away with it. Columbo is really classist, y'know? He couldn't be any more blue collar, and he never solves murders committed by anyone even remotely close to his income bracket. I've got the entire series in a boxed set, so I'm waiting for the day he has to solve a murder committed by someone who isn't filthy rich or filthy famous. Not sure it'll ever happen. Hm. Notable guest-stars include Leonard Nimoy, John Cassavetes, Dean Stockwell, Martin Landau, Dabney Coleman, Honor Blackman, Julie Newmar, and Pat Morita in a tiny role as the "house boy"!

The Adventures of Aquaman on DVD represent more than for hours of the cartoon show that made the King of the Seven Seas a household name. And while mildly amusing the same way Filmation's Super-Friends is - with interchangeable monsters and aliens in addition to recurring villains - these 36 10-minute tales are pretty slim in content. I often drifted off, looked at my computer screen, then realized I'd just missed some episode's resolution! They come quick. I was surprised to see Mera had such a big role, especially early on, though it's Aqualad and Tusky who get to be in each and every episode. People, people... Topo > Tusky, so where was he? Even if they lack depth (ha ha), it's still kind of fun to see Aquaman hurl water balls or act like he's the Flash, spinning up a water spout, and you've got some true blue comics writers of the day submitting scripts, like Bob Haney,  George Kashdan and Mort Weisinger! The DVD includes a retrospective featurette in the company of today's comics pros (and others) on the importance and influence of the series.

Audio: More Big Finish Lost Stories starring the 6th Doctor and Peri? Ok, I'll oblige. The Macros is kind of an odd duck, written (and rewritten/adapted) by B-movie star Ingrid Pitt and her life partner Tony Rudlin. Odd, because though it's nominally about the Philadelphia Experiment (the WWII mystery about a lost carrier reputed to be conducting invisibility experiments), it also has this strange plot about a micro-universe to which the TARDIS is drawn, and the courtly machinations of that world. An invasion from within? One wonders if Pitt wrote the part of the vile President Osloo for herself, though the part is played by Linda Marlowe here (Pitt would pass away a few months after the CD's release, so that wasn't the issue). Despite a strange feeling the writers used The Time Monster as a template (Pitt's first Doctor Who appearance), and the terrible, terrible American accents on display, it's not a bad story. The villains are properly delicious, the sound design is fairly evocative, and the stars are, as usual, excellent. Hopefully, this is the last time Peri has to sing, but I don't hold it against the story.

Hyperion to a Satyr posts this week:
IV.vii. Ophelia's Death - Classics Illustrated


snell said...

" I'm waiting for the day he has to solve a murder committed by someone who isn't filthy rich or filthy famous."

Nah, you see, us lower-class folk haven't the wherewithal or deviousness to come up with elaborate murder schemes and cover-ups. Nope, our murders our straight-forward and don't require Columbo-level sleuthing...

chiasaur11 said...

The legendary Raymond Chandler made a point that the toughest murders for the cops to figure out are usually the people who just haul off and shoot someone.

And even then, you don't look good when you solve it.

Better to go with the wannabe criminal masterminds. Easier to deal with, more fun, and more stylish.


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