Sunday, March 21, 2010


Reading my way through a Warhammer 40K omnibus right now, and I'll be dropping my thoughts on that (3 novels) when I've finished 'em all as one big whole.

Meantime, I've managed to catch some movies. (and here are my thoughts, if you are interested.)


Good western. Gunfights are realistic - they happen and end in a flash. (Yes, the real gunfight at O.K. Corral only lasted something like 30~40 seconds, I remember Jack Palance telling me on Ripley's Believe It or Not, if I recall correctly.) I enjoyed the teaming of both the characters and actors (Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen.)

I am interested in reading the original series of novels by Robert B. Parker. The plot is simple enough - two hired lawman try to bring in a crooked rancher, and things get complicated when they both fall for the new widower in town, Allie French (played by Renee Zellweger.) I had a hard time buying that Allie's affections were worth the trouble the characters went through (frankly, she wasn't a likable character to me.)

Planet Hulk

The Hulk is supposed to be marooned on a planet teaming with non-intelligent life. The Avengers have made the decision for the safety of Earth and the Hulk. But the Hulk smashes the spacecraft's controls, and lands on a planet in the finest sword-n-planet tradition - strange alien creatures, gladiatorial combat, and all the trappings.

Good adaptation of the graphic novel but a lot has been jettisoned for streamlining (and happy endings.) This was not unexpected. The "making of" documentary mentioned that they kept much of the story taking place in the arena as the plot's "spine". For me, that was a detriment. I wanted them out of the arena and exploring the planet more.

It Might Get Loud

This documentary is about three rock icons and how the electric guitar and other musical forces shaped their musical development. Jimmy Page, the Edge and Jack White. Regardless of how you feel about their music, it is a very interesting look at three different guitar players. Being a "white boy bluesman" myself, I found Jack White's story of most interest (also, I already knew plenty about Page and the Edge.) I thought the stylistic choices of the three men was ironic when they all played slide together on "In My Time of Dying". Edge wore his slide on his middle finger, Page on the ring finger and White on the pinky. Perfect serendipitous dovetailing.

Fun and interesting; if you have even a single rock'n'roll bone in your body, check this one out.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

Another DC Universe direct-to-DVD feature. I think this is my favorite. Expectations are turned upside down as Lex Luthor, last survivor of his world's Justice League, arrives on Earth to seek assistance from the Justice League. On his world, the evil counterparts to the JL are a crime syndicate who answer to no one and now threaten to take absolute control. Good visuals, good story. So far with these movies, I've been enjoying the rotating voice casts, but I admit I am so used to Clancy Brown voicing Lex Luthor that Chris Noth's turn here left me a little cold. Still - that's more about me than his performance.

All in all, a good batch of movies I'm glad to say.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Quick read post

tired and a bit busy lately, but figured it was March so I should put up something...

Slaine: The Exile by Steven Savile

I was unaware of the history of Slaine when I bought this novel. Slaine is a series and character of the 2000AD British comic company.

I was hoping for lots of Celtic bloody head-bashing. What I read was a very disjointed tale with not nearly enough action to make up for the faults. I have gathered from another review that this novel pulls in years worth of Slaine comic tidbits, characters and plots. I believe the aim was an episodic novel, but it just didn't seem to pull together. Subplots and side characters came and went. The entire second act left me scratching my head as Slaine went from bloodthirsty berserker to a rover, including time as a mercenary caravan guard (ok) to a farmer (say what?) completely dropping his desire for vengeance until well into the third act.

The third act perked up a bit, with the arrival of Ukko, the untrustworthy dwarf sidekick. The plot threads started to gel and the story found direction.. and then the novel just ended!

So, I am curious to read the sequel novel, because of the cliffhanger and growing potential, but I won't rush to read it.