This Week in Geek (26/01-01/02/09)


A few DVD buys this week, including Primeval - The Complete First and Second Seasons. British television had to do SOMEthing with all that Walking with Dinosaurs technology, and this is clearly it. Fresh off the Golden Globes and a friend's high recommendation, I also got HBO's John Adams mini-series. And in the Cops category, both Supercop (mmm, Michelle Yeoh) and Robocop (mmm, Peter Weller).


DVDs: Flipped 30Rock Season 1, relatively light fare for me, but pleasant nonetheless. I love me some neo-con Alec Baldwin. The DVD features a blooper reel, some deleted scenes, behind the scenes tours by members of the cast, bits from Kenneth's hallway talk show, and a number of "Makin' It Happen" 10-second webisodes (the premise is hilarious). The big disappointment, however, is the half dozen commentary tracks. First, they're included on the last disc with repeats of the episodes instead of as a separate track on the episode itself. Not only does this seem wasteful, but the commented versions don't have available subtitles, which I like to have during the track. Tine Fey's is good, and a couple actors have fun with it, but avoid Lorne Michaels & Son's. They hardly say a word and are content to chuckle here or name an actor there. The hell?!

I hadn't seen An American Werewolf in London since I was in college (at least!), so it made some fun Friday night viewing. John Woodvine, the girl from Logan's Run, and, uhm, two guys who haven't had huge acting careers. Move over, Scream, this is the real genesis of the horror movie that's seen other horror movies. The tone is all over the place on this baby, and that's what made it a cult classic. Overall, though there are some scares and enough gore, it falls in the comedy category for me. Why, Landis' background porno and the car accidents in the climax alone... The commentary track is by the two male leads, Naughton and Dunne, and it's pleasant. The DVD also holds interviews with both Landis and award-winning make-up man Rick Baker, some outtakes (sadly without sound) and behind the scenes footage at the make-up workshop. Under Recommendations, an Easter Egg will give you Lon Chaney's Wolf-Man trailer.

Finally, Doctor Who: Four to Doomsday. Peter Davison's first filmed story as the 5th Doctor (it was shown second) shows that he's still searching for the character, but it's a lot better than I expected from its reputation (and my very dim memory of it). It has a lot of big SF ideas (for once), and surprisingly high production values. In the story, the TARDIS lands aboard a generational ship that is home to various cultures from Earth's past, a ship now returning there for an invasion. In addition to the usual galleries and commentaries, the DVD has a half-hour of Davison's first recording day outtakes, a tv interview in which he makes a super-thick chocolate milkshake and an odd "video" of the theme music and credit sequence looping back on itself a couple times. If it wasn't my very favorite (sue me), I would complain. Bare bones, but no more than this story actually deserved.

Reality tv: Hell's Kitchen has started again, so I just had to turn it into a pool at Reality TV Bites Ass.

New Unauthorized Doctor Who CCG cards: Some 26, mostly from The Invisible Enemy, K9's first story.

Someone Else's Post of the Week
In the wake of Final Crisis, let me point you towards Comic Coverage, where Mark teaches you and I how to write like Grant Morrison. It works!


rob! said...

Yeah, I found the 30 Rock commentaries to be surprisingly dull, considering the cast. It might have been better to have them all together on 1 or 2 episodes then everyone doing their own.

That said, I still laugh the shows, even though I've seen them all a dozen times already.

"I want buy a plane...clear, like Wonder Woman's."

Colin said...

Is it worth guessing, then that Four to Doomsday will be next up for the card game?

Siskoid said...

I have to space out the Tennants a bit, so it'll either be 42 or Space Pirates followed by 42 and then Four to Doomsday. Definitely on the docket though.

Toby'c said...

Four to Doomsday lost all credibility with me the minute Tegan started talking to a 35,000-year-old Aborigine in his own language.

Siskoid said...

Hahaha! Only THEN, eh?

Toby'c said...

Well, obviously there were plenty of holes in the later episodes - I guess what I'm saying is a story can only lose all credibility once - after that point you either turn it off or (more commonly in my case) you just go with it. (Another example for me would be the scene in "The Chase" where a Dalek is plainly visible in the background of the haunted house episode before they'd actually arrived).

Seriously, though, the idiocy of that scene cannot be overstated. Even if the guy had been abducted as recently as 200 years ago there would have been several hundred languages in use across the country, the majority of which did not survive to the 1980s. And that's not going into the question of why his dialogue wasn't simply translated by the TARDIS - it's not like it's never had to deal with older languages (case in point: the second episode).

Siskoid said...

It's pretty easy to play nitpicker with Doctor Who, but I prefer to see that as part of the charm. Not to defend Four to Doomsday, of course.


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