This Week in Geek (1-7/03/10)


Got a couple films in a bargain bin to give out at the Oscars, but am keeping The Apartment for myself. Ironically, it's the only Oscar winner in the lot.


Blog: This is my 2500th post. HALFWAY TO 5000! WHOOOOOOOO!!! Cough.

DVDs: Kung Fu Friday was all about Chocolate by Thai director Prachya Pinkaew (or as we almost have to call it, the Tony Jaa crew). In the first half-hour, we have a touching story about an autistic girl called Zen, growing up with a mother who has cancer. Zen's idiot savant talent lies in reproducing movement, and after quite a few kung fu movies in her system, she's ready to take on the Thai underworld, the transgender squad and the Yakuza. There are some great bits of homage to Bruce Lee's The Big Boss, to Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung, and to Tony Jaa of course, as JeeJa Yanin (Zen) reproduces their styles, but at its heart, Chocolate remains a sweet, if bloody, family drama. The DVD offers only a 9-minute featurette that includes the trailer, so not much.

I also flipped Lord of War, a recommendation from my brother. I liked it, and it had some outstanding imagery, but I'm always a bit iffy about films that make heavy use of narration. On the one hand, this gave us a pretty complete picture of the international arms trade. On the other, Nicholas Cage delivers it in a soporific tone that just isn't very interesting. Still, the film is worthy in a Traffic kind of way. Through its commentary and making of, we get good insight into its production, and a short documentary on the real life arms trade adds some poignancy. Deleted scenes, photos and gun stats round out the special edition.

RPGs: Finally - FINALLY! - started the Doctor Who RPG campaign I've been talking about since last summer. Our story runs parallel to the 9th Doctor's adventures and features the Shepherd, another Time Lord who has escaped the Time War. I'm using the shadow of the Time War pretty heavily in the first "season" too, and so we've seen the Autons and other creatures who've lost their world because of those events. Not meaningfully into the big arc yet, the first three "episodes" follow the usual New Who scheme of present day/past/future stories to introduce the companions to the world of Who. The best improvisational bit still has to be when, in Renaissance Venice, one player pulled out an mp3 player and they all sang a "counter-resonnance sound wave" to beat the sound-based monsters to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody. And there's even a hint about the series arc in there. It says a lot about the ease and flexibility of Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space that I managed to prep and play three entirely different adventures in six days. Good times still to come.

New Unauthorized Doctor Who CCG cards: 9 new cards. Finished the few I wanted to craft from The War Games.

Hyperion to a Satyr entries this week include:
Act I Scene 3 according to Kline


Diabolu Frank said...

I adore The Apartment. One of Wilder's best, and supposedly up for a doomed-to-inferiority remake.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Have you checked out RED CLIFF for Kung Fu Fridays??? The last hour of that movie will explode your head. Wear a turban.

Siskoid said...

Red Cliff is on my list to see (John Woo, how could it not). Just haven't gotten my hands on it yet.


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