This Week in Geek (13-19/06/11)


Movies: Went to see Super 8 last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. More Stand By Me than Cloverfield, the film is about a group of kids in the late 70s filming their own zombie movie who see something they shouldn't have. Soon, their small town is attacked by a mysterious alien creature and only they have all the clues to resolve the situation. At the heart of it all is a strong, even touching family drama, and natural character-based comedy coming off the kids. I felt it lost something towards the end when much of the mystery is revealed, turning to action and the hero father trope, but it got me back right at the end with its quick grace note. Stick around for a few seconds at the end because after the first few cards, the kids' entire homemade film is shown. Don't be stuck standing at the theater doors for a few minutes like the chumps *I* saw it with. (Why are people in such a rush to exit a theater anyway?)

DVDs: As you know, I flipped Chased by Dinosaurs this week. My other project, and I'm surprised I got through it in time for this post, was the complete Larry Sanders Show boxed set. All six seasons are included, of course, and though I ran through 'em marathon-style, it never becomes stale. The last season is much darker than the rest, getting us there very naturally and without you feeling like it's a different show. My only complaint, really, is that there are no subtitles. They make up for it through the huge number of extras (put together some 10 years after the show aired). There are deleted scenes, outtakes and the odd commentary track. And then there are loads of interviews and "personal visits" with the show's stars and guest-stars. These visits are extremely raw and largely unedited as Shandling attempts to capture real life and real relationships. They tend to be at once awkward and touching, unbearably slow and unbearably honest. The making of, like many of the features, has an off-the-cuff feel that is perfect for a "behinds the scene" type show.

Books: I also finished Paul Auster's Leviathan, a novel about a novelist who feels the burden of writing a sort of apologia for another writer who has died in an explosion of his own making, and was potentially responsible for a number of terrorist attacks across the U.S.A. Auster's confidential style creates a an imminently readable flow and as the narrator attempts to tell the whole story, piecing it together from hearsay as much as first-hand experience, we realize the Leviathan of the novel is the story itself, too large to truly be understood. And that in fact, no human story can ever be complete or understood, not even by those who lived it. You will never have all the pieces of any given puzzle. A strong theme, an easy literate style... I've now read all of Auster's books to this point (1992) and I should really look into getting more.

Hyperion to a Satyr posts this week:
II.ii. The Players - Tennant (2009)
II.ii. The Players - Classics Illustrated
Other Hamlets: Gilligan's Island Revisited


Austin Gorton said...

Stick around for a few seconds at the end because after the first few cards, the kids' entire homemade film is shown.

I enjoyed the film as a whole (and was glad that, like you said, it was more Stand By Me than Cloverfield), but I would seriously have paid just to see the kids' homemade film.


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