This Week in Geek (5-11/10/09)


Nope. Nothing. I have failed as a consumer.


It only took me another week to get through Carolynn's copy of Rome Season 2, which ends properly despite their being a film follow-up in the works. If I ever buy this series for myself, it'll be for the Pullo and Vorenus, two of my favorite buddy teams of all time. As for the rest, well, having read quite a bit of Shakespeare, I sort of knew where everything was headed. If Season 1 ended with Julius Caesar, Season 2 ended with Anthony and Cleopatra. Still, the mix of theatrics, history and fiction got me well involved. No love for New Octavian though.

Looking at my unwatched DVD shelf, I noticed I still had the BBC presentation of Julius Caesar. Perfect! I could compare. With Rome so firmly in mind, I could see where the series took some of its inspiration, or decided to go another way (the deaths of Cassius and Brutus, for example). These studio-bound productions have all the length, but necessarily look artificial. That's less true of Julius Ceasar though, with its huge, deep sets filled with people, and faked exteriors that sometimes pass for real. Despite having just seen many of these characters live and breathe thanks to HBO, I believed this cast of actors as well, to their credit.

Took my time, but finally watched Green Lantern: First Flight, the direct-to-dvd movie starring Hal Jordan. It thankfully doesn't spend too much time on his basic origin (which New Frontier handled aptly), but is rather an intergalactic police story and Sinestro's fall from grace. It's got good action, some twists you don't see coming, and a fearless redesign of many of the characters, especially the aliens. Are there any plans to continue any of these franchises (Wonder Woman and GL specifically)? I do find the extras package on these DVDs disappointing however. There's a promo feature on Blackest Night and a preview of the next DVD, Public Enemies (do I REALLY want to see a Jeff Loeb story brought to life?), and then all the making ofs of the other DVDs. I guess they didn't have key Justice League episodes to throw in this time. My question: Why all the repeated material? Let's have a little more in the way of exclusives, guys.

Kung Fu Friday brought us Police Story, Jackie Chan's edgiest and therefore best movie ever. There are plenty of laughs and cartoon violence, but at one point, Jackie loses it and you wonder if you haven't underestimated him as an actor all this time. There are some great set pieces in there, and more glass shattering than any 10 Hollywood action movies put together. The DVD includes a fun and interesting commentary by expert Bey Logan and Rush Hour director Brett Ratner (who very much admits he stole a lot from this film), deleted/alternate scenes (including more outtakes), and interviews with Ratner, Jackie and members of his stunt team.

Hyperion to a Satyr entries this week include:
Act I Scene 2 - Enter Hamlet according to Branagh

New Unauthorized Doctor Who CCG cards: 12 new cards from Black Orchid.

Someone Else's Post of the Week
Another series you should be paying attention to (and it doesn't take long to do so) is Michael May's 31 Monsters of Halloween. It helps get you in the spirit of the season every day!


mwb said...

I definitely agree about Green Lantern: First Flight and the Wonder Woman releases. I netflixed them recently and was pleasantly surprised.

At first I rolled my eyes a tiny bit at Sinestro as the villain since I'm suffering a bit of overload after the Sinestro Corp event recently. But still it worked.

Of course, both DVDs made me long again for the Justice League series.

abc said...

The blu-ray edition of First Flight has all the extras, including a bunch of Justice League episodes. Worth the extra few bucks...

Siskoid said...

I haven't converted to Blu-Ray yet, and I don't particularly the strong-arming tactic of keeping extras off the DVD releases.

Michael May said...

Yippee! Thanks for the link!


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