This Week in Geek (31/08-6/09/09)


Couple of so-called "serious" books this week, on of which I will start reading right away, yes, abandoning my Doctor Who readings for it: Douglas Coupland's Generation A. I'm a big Coupland fan, and he had me at the Vonnegut quotation on the dust jacket. The other novel I got this week is Chuck Palahniuk's Pygmy, which has martial arts moves on the back cover. Plugs right into my recent obsessions.


DVDs: As I've said before, I'm a fan on Michael Palin's travelogues, or "journeys" as he calls them, and the one that eluded me was Full Circle, in which he takes more than 9 months to circumnavigate the Pacific Rim, from Alaska southwestward until he reached Alaska again. I think I like these because 1) I like to experience different cultures, but not travel myself and 2) they're this humorous and awkward Englishman's eye view of the world, filled with idiosyncrasies like bath plugs and toilets (it's not British unless you see the loo). Best bits are in Asia, and I felt America got short shrift (he skips Central America entirely, for example), though there's a revealing visit of the US-Mexico border. The DVD also includes an interview with Palin, and some deleted sequences, including a Pythonesque visit with Eric Idle in L.A.

Kung Fu Friday came, and My Young Auntie ("the comic tour de force of Hong Kong cinema") was my choice of viewing. At times, this is an outright bizarre movie with its mishmash of Chinese and American culture, and clash of styles. We kept comparing it to Grease, and it seemed like they were always going to break out into song. At one point, they do, and Gordon Liu's musical number has to be seen to be believed. But of course, there's great action as well. This was directed by Lau Kar-Lung, my favorite action director, and never mind choreographing 8-16 moves in a single shot: He himself performs more than 30 in a single shot in the climax of the movie! And a lovely, staid performance by Kara Hui in the lead role, and still beautiful in the included contemporary interview. The DVD also has a commentary by critics, which I always find less informative than those of Dragon Dynasty's resident expert, Bey Logan, seeing as they're not clear on details and are even contradicted by other included material.

Books: Tragedy Day is a Doctor Who New Adventure by Gareth Roberts, and it's one of his thoroughly entertaining kitchen sink novels. By that I mean it's over-stuffed with crazy ideas, characters and details. You have a secret cult trying to turn a planet into a sitcom, super-powerful monk geomancers, celebrity androids with memory implants, killer dance floors, monstrous sea elephants that excrete everything they eat immediately so they're always hungry, and assassin (both human and spider-like) after the Doctor for something he might have done back in his first incarnation. Loads of fun, with good roles for all three regulars.

Hyperion to a Satyr entries this week include:
Act I Scene 2 - The Wedding Banquet according to the BBC

Someone Else's Post of the Week
Step right up and take Bully's Radioactive Quiz. It could yield important information.


Bill D. said...

Did not know there was a new Coupland novel. I'll have to look for that.

Siskoid said...

I git it in hardcover as soon as it came out.

Colin said...

Oh, please tell me we'll see Ernie 'Eight Legs' McCartney in the next Relative Dimensions set...


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