This Week in Geek (10-16/05/10)


I changed roommates recently, which meant one Xbox 360 went out and another came in. Seeing as I'm a big GTA fan and don't mind starting any of the stories over, but just lost downloadable content like The Lost and the Damned, I though it might be worth it if I just got Episodes from Liberty City in disc form. That way, it goes where I go, just like the other GTAs. And I hadn't yet played The Ballad of Gay Tony. So now I am. It's a hoot! (Why DON'T I work at a club in real life? WHY?) The other purchase of the week is a bundle of three new Classic Doctor Who releases. The 3rd Doctor's two Peladon stories (The Curse of... and The Monster of...) and the 4th's The Masque of Mandragora (which I've been wanting to see again for a while).


DVDs: Having finished watching the new Battlestar Galactica, the task is now to "flip" the various boxed sets, i.e. experience all their extra features. So that's Season 1 down! The set includes the initial mini-series and the 13 episodes of the first season, light but informative (but not spoiler-free!) commentary tracks (some are podcasts done on the week of transmission), almost an hour's worth of deleted scenes (all of them relevant and interesting), featurettes on many aspects of the show (they do include clips from the old show), a more promotional making of, and some design sketches. It's a very nice package, and it's the kind of thing I would have wanted to see on those over-priced Star Trek boxed sets. The comparison with Trek is an obvious one even as to the show's look and content because showrunner Ronald D. Moore used to write for Trek, especially DS9, and is known for having thrown his arms up in the air after briefly joining Voyager's writing staff. BSG, in many ways, is Voyager done right (a lost fleet looking for "home"), though it has more in common with DS9 (war, religion, politics, prophecy, infiltrators, shades of gray), but stripped of all the Trek conventions DS9 was stuck with. BSG is gritty, and real, and messy, and harsh. There is nothing but gray in this series, and sometimes I don't know whether to feel more sympathy for the human "heroes" or for the Cylon "villains". The mini was good and had interesting twists on the original series, but I found the series to be much better, throwing us into the deep end with "33" and never letting go. Reliving the entire series by going through the commentaries isn't painful at all.

Good Gun Fu films are rare, and even when my own Kung Fu Fridays showed was LOOKED like a Gun Fu film, it rarely was. We instead discovered some excellent police thrillers, but no Gun Fu. John Woo's The Killer changed all that this week. Though it does at times suffer from eightiesitis (but would we realize how bloody it is if everyone wasn't dressed in white?), this is where began many of Woo's trademarks (slow-mo, ballistic ballet, doves, etc.). It's a "heroic bloodshed" film, so yeah, it feels like a greek tragedy. I'm a bit disappointed in Dragon Dynasty's extra though. No commentary track, and a Q&A with terrible sound and no subtitles, which really doesn't help us understand what Woo is saying. And what's that piece about Hard Boiled doing there? That leaves a good, contemporary interview with the filmmaker and a tour of the locations as the real meat of the release.

Hyperion to a Satyr entries this week include:
Act I Scene 4 - Kline '90



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