This Week in Geek (28/12/09-3/01/10)


Though I am expecting a few post-Christmas packages (from myself), the only thing I actually braved the stores for was my new PC. The last one was at least 5 years old and needed a fan aimed at its innards for it not to shut down unexpectedly. It worked most of the time, but I was FREEZING! As for gifts, downstairs neighbor and Kung Fu Fridays regular El Chalif contributed a movie for that very event - The White Dragon. I'll schedule it for February, thanks!


Movies: I don't often go to the cinema, but January 1st brought me out to see Sherlock Holmes. For something that recast the detective as an action hero, I thought it was very true to the original stories, within an accepted twist. Great fun, in part because the big Frenchman is from my region (go Southeastern New Brunswick!). It's also given me an idea for a post, which I'll reveal in due course.

DVDs: Though it'd been a part of Kung Fu Fridays before Christmas, only on my return from the holidays could I "flip" Tony Jaa's The Protector. Dragon Dynasty's release features both the international and the American cut, the former superior in almost every way - 25 more minutes, attention paid to Thai culture, more comedy, and Madame Rose restored to being a transsexual villainess. The story makes more sense and is better paced, but don't expect even the international cut to make COMPLETE sense. Do expect it to rock your world with its action though. The DVD includes plenty of material, from interviews to commentaries to a discussion of all 5 takes of the 4-minute "going up the restaurant" scene. It also includes three short action films that were part of the Take On Tony Jaa contest, and I must say they're in order of quality.

Been a while since I flipped a classic Doctor Who DVD, so I went for Mawdryn Undead, starring the 5th Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan, and for the first time, Turlough. It's a nonsense story about immortal creatures seeking death, with the Brigadier guest-starring in two time zones and the Black Guardian planting a murderous companion on the TARDIS. It's still one of the better Turlough stories, and definitely benefits from the enhanced CGI option. The DVD includes the usual commentaries and making ofs, plus deleted scenes (more like trims), outtakes, and a fictional interview with the Brig. The Black Guardian trilogy is the height of the 5th Doctor's tenure in the role, in my opinion, so the best is yet to come.

In more modern Who, I finally watched the 2nd series of Sarah Jane Adventures, a show that has gotten a bit better in its second season. The kids are older and new recurring characters like Rani (a suspicious name, that) and her family bring a new energy. Once again, the Trickster episode is the best (and most adult), but there's really no Invasion of the Bane-style stinker. More links to the main Doctor Who series certainly don't hurt, and I don't think I'm spoiling anything by mentioning and appearance by the Brigadier. As with Series 1's, the DVD has little in the way of extras, mostly just promotional stuff like brief Blue Peter interviews and photos. Answer the easy quiz on disc 3 and get the 5-minute Red Nose Day mini-episode.

Big Finish Doctor Who audios: I listened to Scott Alan Woodard's The Juggernauts, a 6th Doctor/Mel story that features Davros trying to turn the Mechanoids into Daleks 2.0. There are things to like here, such as Mel doing quite well on her own and even a little romance, and Terry Molloy is as good here as he was in the previous Davros story. But the buck stops there, sadly. The Mechanoids have VERY limited vocabulary - surely ill-fitting for an audio! - and the plot doesn't really come together. A disappointing cobbling of past continuity elements even if the stars are on point.

Hyperion to a Satyr entries this week include:
Act I Scene 2 - Ghost Stories according to Kline

New Unauthorized Doctor Who CCG cards: Finished Relative Dimensions 5, 9 cards including the new Australian version of K-9, Judi Dench as an older Romana and watch out, spoilers from The End of Time. Next up, I start work on a whole new full-length set called Dreams of Gallifrey:
Neglected Post of the Week
Visitors have said they like the What If? feature, and certainly, most of the proper Marvel entries have gotten comment support. But what about the DC What If? I once talked about: What If... The Kryptonians All Came to Earth?


Prof. Sci-Fi said...

I'll bite on the DC What If. This reminds me a lot of Red Son, in that Superman is actually the "bad" guy. I don't have a problem with this--at least for awhile. It's interesting to contemplate what repercussions would occur from a "bad" Superman. Interestingly enough, while the results are similar between this comic and Red Son, the motives are different. So I think there's a lot to be said for motives and circumstances when dealing with "alternative" Supermen. I guess we saw that after he died as well.

But I do think you're point is well taken--playing with the Superman origins story is a bad move. The whole house of cards falls.

It's def. an interesting story.

Siskoid said...

One of the Elseworlds Annuals also goes back to this premise, this time making Kal-El a costumed rebel against the Kryptonian regime (joining him is Batman).

Prof. Sci-Fi said...

So Kal-El eventually followed his father and fought the Kryptonians? Just wanted to check, because I thought you said that Jor-El fought the Kryptonians and Lara raised Kal-El to be one of the bad guys.

Siskoid said...

I'm now talking about a whole OTHER story, which was told in Adventures of Superman Annual #something, when all the DC Annuals that year were Elseworlds.

The revisited the concept, not the timeline.

Prof. Sci-Fi said...

Oh, ok. My bad.

Playing with the origin myth, it would seem, definitely throws a wrench into the Batman storyline--simply because of their close relationship.

I did dig Batman's new accessory in Red Son.

De said...

I hope to read your thoughts on The End of Time soon. Geronimo!

Austin Gorton said...

Glad to hear you liked Holmes. I also thought it was surprisingly Holmesian despite the action movie trappings (which weren't as bad as the trailers had led me to believe they'd be).


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