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Update, reading, watching and a rant. [Apr. 16th, 2006|08:42 pm]
dalekboy
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[mood |soreheadachey but I'll live]

Still headachey. Going to have more acupuncture and a visit to the chiropractor next week. Headaches have improved, but still pretty constant. It's the first thing that's ever laid me so low that I can't drive. Also means I'm not reading LJ, barely touching email. My majority of net/computer time is based around putting up the latest skeletor_hordak. (Thank God I've got several weeks worth saved up!)
So if I've been even worse at writing back over the last few weeks, you know why.

BTW, please don't write expressing sympathy, I'm giving an update, not looking for "poor little Danny" posts. I know and appreciate that many of you will hope I get better soon, that's enough. If you want to do comment, comment on anything below the cut that strikes a chord :)

What I have done recently is a bit of reading and a bit of watching. Some of it is related to my next Fandom is My Life article, some is just for me. So here's a quick rundown...

Batman - Hush
Great stuff. Builds nicely becomes more full-on and amazing. I have to thank ozraptor4 for getting me onto this. He fiendishly bought me a Hush Batman Figure, I researched the story and grew interested. All the Bat-Villains get a slight rework, though the Riddler, my fav, initially got a raw deal. But they made up for that by the end.

Doctor Who - Beginning Boxed set.
Much better boxed set than the new series one. I found myself very sad that Jacqueline Hill isn't with us to do commentaries and interviews. Just finding myself lost in the magic of the original series again.
As an aside, I also find myself hoping that since they've seen fit to bring back one old companion, the new production team will do a story with William Russell in Season 3. I like the idea of a very old, sad and lonely Ian Chesterton being reinvigorated and given a new zest for life when he meets the new Doctor.

Triplanetary
First novel in the Lensman series by E.E. 'Doc' Smith. It was a hard start, and the melodramatic natural of it all can get a bit tiring, but it's got some cool ideas. The point at which it won me over wasn't the huge battles, weird alien tech or any of the stuff, it was the work politics at a munitions factory. That political aspect was really well written and thought out, with a believable finale. All up, I've enjoyed the book, but do find it hard to get back into between reads.
Oh, and 'Doc' Smith can't write women for shit. Most of them spend their time doe-eyed for some hunk, or fainting. But still an interesting bit of sf history.

Smallville - Season 3
Yes, yes, yes... I'm very far behind. Smallville is good fun. The show improved immediately once it stopped trying to be Buffy. But to be honest, every time Lana Lang appears on screen with those big puppy dog eyes, or opens her mouth, I want to kick the fucking bitch to death. I do think the production team made a mistake with the direction they took her. She's meant to be Clark Kent's love interest, but the audience can't help but hate the whiny, self-serving cunt! Every time she appears on screen, I have to restrain myself from screaming abuse at her.
Aside from that, it's a good watch for what it is. It always works best when Lex Luthor has a good sized part in a story.

Funky Squad Annual
The TV show was a little too spot-on in its piss-take of 70's cop shows for a general audience to appreciate. The annual is a lovingly hysterical piss-take of 70's annuals, right down to the crap pics, stories and puzzles.

Battlestar Galactica
seanwilliams kindly loaned me season two after semi relative Simon York kindly loaned me season one. Needless to say, I will eventually buy the boxed sets of both. Like the new series of Doctor Who, New Battlestar is a brilliant revamp of a TV series. I don't believe in watching something just because it's SF. If it's not well written, thought-out, or at least interesting, I can't be bothered with it. BG is great television! Sean summed it up best when he said "It's about how war fucks people up."

Nick Fury's Howling Commandos
Really cool idea. A commando force of the weird, forgotten monsters of the Marvel universe, with a few new ones tossed in. If they call for an airstrike, it'll be by dragon. There's a lycanthrope called Warwolf who doesn't use the moon but Mars as his change trigger. There's an Egyptian mummy who's a snob, because he's royalty and everyone else isn't. There's a zombie who hates George Romero because people always think he's going to eat them. It's even got a talking gorilla.
The first, six issue story sees Merlin returning to the world and deciding to bring back magic, simply because he doesn't get all this science stuff, and in a world of magic, he kicks arse. We end up with battles involving all sorts of mythological creatures and... it's actually kind of disappointing. I think the first story may have done better if it had been a four parter. It feels messy and like not much happens even though lots of cool stuff happens. If it weren't for some of the genuinely enjoyable characters, it'd be a write-off.

Masters of Horror
I've seen the first four episodes of this. When I next see mondyboy I'll be giving him a CD of this anthology tv series. They took 13 horror directors and gave them each an episode to do. Directors like Tobe Hooper, Dario Argento, Joe Dante, John Carpenter... people with a track record. Every episode so far has been based on a short story, the first being a Joe R Lansdale one. Episodes one and four stand out. The series doesn't pull any punches (we actually see the half eaten corpse of a child in one episode, as it's being eaten) but so far any nudity or gore has been very much a part of the story. Another series I will be buying.

Spiderman - Evolve or Die
An enjoyable read. There are aspects of it I find poorly thought out, but over all, it kept me turning the page.

Supernatural
First, an aside. Someone tried to do a brand new Nightstalker series, and it sucked. They made Kolchak young, effectively gave him a team to work with, established the ideas of a crap mythos... Nightstalker was about one man against the creatures of the night. The new Nightstalker was an X-Files wannabe.
Supernatural is much closer in feel to the original Nightstalker, with a good mix of humour and frights. Like Nightstalker, the writers do their research and find interesting things to base a story on. To quote the creator, he wanted a series that was "Google-worthy". Their creatures and ideas are based on existing urban legends and myths from a broad cultural base, given their own twists. Highly enjoyable so far. If it continues to maintain the level of writing and ideas, I'll be buying this one, too. It may not be brilliant, but it's enjoyable.

--------------------------------------------

And finally, I caught the last few minutes of a show called Animal Planet today. They gave us a potted history of Bugs Bunny and then I learned they were counting down great movie animals, and that Bugs was number 3. Cool. I kept watching and number two was Mickey Mouse. Another good choice. Both Bugs and Mickey have had a pretty heavy impact, directly and indirectly, on tv and cinema. Then they said they'd reveal who #1 was after the break.
I sat there, wracking my brain, trying to figure who it could be. Which animal performer was able to beat out Bugs and Mickey? Rin Tin Tin? Lassie? Snoopy?

It was fucking Toto! The mangy mutt from the Wizard of Oz. He had one major film that most of the modern day audience might watch.
The dog's actual name was Terry and they mentioned one other film he did, Bright Eyes with Shirley Temple. Now that's a pretty big deal as well. Temple was a big star sixty years ago!. And in actual fact, Terry had a film career and had done 13 films by the time he died. But let's face it, who fucking cares?! He's not that big! He's not that important!

Here's a dollar you stupid bastards, buy a clue!

Cheers,
Danny

PS Still playing with my Sonic Screwdriver

PPS My net connection is weird. It'll be somewhere between 12 hours and 4 days before I can see the new Doctor Who! Arrrgh!

PPPS Special thanks to gutter_monkey for my new icon. You rock dude!
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: cheshirenoir
2006-04-16 01:14 pm (UTC)
Once you have read the Lensman series I can highly reccommend "Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers" which mercilesly takes the piss out of Doc Smith. (It's more "Skylark" than "Lensman" but meh. It's still appropriate)

Harry Harrison showing why he is one of the only comedic SF writers worth a damn.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2006-04-16 02:00 pm (UTC)
I've already read Star Smashers and loved it :)
Which says a lot for Harrison's writing and comedy. I found it a great and funny read, without ever having seen the source material :)
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[User Picture]From: transcendancing
2006-04-16 04:05 pm (UTC)
New Dr Who, and BSG rock my happy socks!


I'm REALLY enjoying them!

Let me know what you think of Ep 18 season 2 :)
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2006-04-16 11:49 pm (UTC)
Really good. A surprising and interesting direction to take things (he said, avoiding the merest hint of a spoiler *grin*)
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[User Picture]From: transcendancing
2006-04-17 01:31 am (UTC)
I'm aiming to see 19 and 20 today :P
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[User Picture]From: harveystoat
2006-04-16 04:08 pm (UTC)
My love for that Funky Squad annual is nearly carnal.

Verity Svenson- Hart.

It's the hyphen that does it. :-)
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2006-04-16 11:52 pm (UTC)
I like the girl in the 'how to turn your house into a funky disco' and 'how to have a funky bedroon' sections. In every photo she has just the right amount of awkwardness.

And I love Poncho's poetry...
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[User Picture]From: harveystoat
2006-04-17 04:26 pm (UTC)
"I see you stripped bare,
Across a cyanide stare,
You shall burn, my pretty,
Feel the whip, bitch."

Yeah, he's the tongue- less patron saint of leather. :-)
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[User Picture]From: mortonhall
2006-04-16 09:46 pm (UTC)
watched the new Dr Who last night. Enjoyable, but perhaps not the strongest episode ever made :)
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2006-04-16 11:47 pm (UTC)
Just watched it. As we got to the resolution, I was thinking the same thing, enjoyable but not brilliant. Then the ending made me cry *sniff*
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[User Picture]From: kaths
2006-04-16 10:37 pm (UTC)
Interesting that you're enjoying Supernatural. I watched about four or five episodes, and got quickly bored with it. The stuff with the father was the most interesting part of it, but that usually took place in the last 2 minutes of each episode.
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[User Picture]From: mortonhall
2006-04-16 10:47 pm (UTC)
we're still perserving with it. Not sure why - we're still watching Numbers too but that's just because any series that has Maths as a major component needs everyone's support. Yay for the maths geek!
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[User Picture]From: kaths
2006-04-16 10:51 pm (UTC)
Ditto with Numbers :)

I think sometimes the way they shoehorn Charlie into it is a bit of a stretch (eg using him to calculate the most likely targets of an attack - basic policing commonsense is all you need), plus a lot of the time there's no way he has enough data considering all the variables, but yeah, yay for the maths geek :)
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2006-04-17 12:01 am (UTC)
I just don't get around to watching tv most of the time. Mythbusters and South Park is it. Mainly because I watch so little that I forget there are other things on.

I looked at the premise for Numbers and thought, 'this concept is good for between six and a dozen episodes, then they'll be seriously stretching'.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2006-04-16 11:59 pm (UTC)
All up I've seen five episodes of Supernatural. My first was the Bloody Mary episode, which I thought was a great piece of TV horror/cool rip-off of The Ring. I've since gone back to watch the first few eps.

So far I've found the writing consistent. Not brilliant but good enough. What I think I enjoy most is that it's a series about the supernatural that has actually done research and (as far as I've seen) hasn't just gone with bloody vampires and werewolves.

It's not yet a series I'd go back and rewatch, but it's certainly better than most recent horror fare.
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[User Picture]From: smofbabe
2006-04-17 03:19 am (UTC)
The point at which it won me over wasn't the huge battles, weird alien tech or any of the stuff, it was the work politics at a munitions factory.

My favorite part of the Lensman series is the swearing: "Great balls of Kronos!" and the like.

Spiffy new icon, btw.
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[User Picture]From: strangedave
2006-04-18 05:34 pm (UTC)
Doc Smith is do bad at writing women, and especially romance, that sometimes it is just HILARIOUS. Especially when he gets all sexy in later books. Though there is a romantic scene in one of the Skylark books that is awesomely bad - something about looking at the radiation given off by a disintegrating copper fuel rod and telling her the radiation and copper match her eyes and hair.

Apparently he was going to collaborate on Skylark with a little old lady who would write the romance scenes, but she died early on in the collaboration and he figured "hey, it doesn't seem that hard when she did it, I bet I could do that on my own". Boy was he wrong.

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