This Week in Geek (23-29/11/15)


A number of comic book-related TV shows on DVD this week: Arrow Season 3, and the first seasons of The Flash, Gotham and iZombie.


At the movies: Spotlight is a procedural journalism story in the style of All the Presidents Men, about the Boston Globe's investigative team that uncovered the Catholic Church's cover-up of hundreds of its priests' molesting children. While the crimes are horrific, the film retains an intellectual feel that keeps it from dipping into melodrama; it wasn't the kind of thing during which I would well up, except at the very end when a particular "fact card" came up and gut-punchingly brought the whole thing home (no spoilers). With a lot of verisimilitude, no glamorizing, pretty great naturalistic - even anti-filmic - performances from all involved, Spotlight is the kind of film that somehow makes phone calls and paperwork exciting and fills you with apprehension. I think "award" season is well and truly launched.

DVDs: Thinking of seeing Mockingjay Part 2 next week, so I watched Part 1 again, this time on DVD, to ready myself. While I wasn't a big fan of the first two Hunger Games films, Mockinjay really did resonate with me. As a media person, I really liked the war of propaganda waged between the rebels of Sector 13 and the Capitol, even if I can't stand the abbreviation "propo" - but this young adult novels all have such terrible naming conventions. Still can't stand Peta, so it's good he becomes a kind of villain. Nice musical interlude in the middle. I guess what I actually dislike about the Hunger Games is... the Hunger Games. Take the Games out of the equation, and you've got my attention! The DVD includes a director and producer commentary track, a few forgettable deleted scenes, and (ugh) a sneak peak at the similar film Insurgent.

Wondering what I thought about The X-Files Season 8? Scroll through the last four weeks of daily reviews on this very blog for the particulars. But given that the middle seasons often felt either like well-trodden ground or failed experiments, the controversial changing of the guard actually does wonders for the program. The introduction of Doggett and Reyes, and the twin mysteries of Scully's pregnancy and Mulder's abduction, all help to create a narrative cohesiveness to the season. No season of the X-Files has felt more like a serial. The DVD includes a good making of, commentary tracks on select episodes, deleted scenes with optional commentary, effect sequences with commentary, all of Fox's promo spots, character profiles originally available on European releases, and a DVD-ROM game I have no time to play now.



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