CIGARETTES AND WHISKEY AND WILD, WILD WOMEN: Reviews of comics and movies and TV.Comics
v. 4.2. I don't know why this is "volume four, part two" rather than something sane like, say, "volume five." Nonetheless, I loved this manga book. (Manga = cheap. You should read it!) It's really funny. The Golden Age sci-fi wonder at the beauty of the universe is still brilliantly combined with a 21st-century disillusionment about human perfectibility. (Wherever you go, there you
are.) And in this volume, we seem to be set up for a three-way final conflict between Christianity or something close to it; a vague and emotional secular humanism based on a Christian-derived understanding of "compassion" (she said, unsympathetically); and a ferocious, attractive, driven desire to become God through technological conquest of nature. I'm really loving this series. This book is the best since Planetes
v. 1. Go read it now! Character-rich, sweet, funny, philosophically intriguing, just lovely.Lex Luthor: Man of Steel
, issue 1. Oh, how many ways did this issue suck. I... I really wanted to like this, you know? I'm not much for DC Comics. I don't know why. For whatever reason, I've never yet read a Batman comic that grabbed me, let alone Superman (why? why is he here? why isn't he incredibly creepy?). The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
is pretty much the closest I ever got to enjoying Superman comics. So I accept that I'm not the target audience here.
Still--I thought it sounded neat. Superman as creepy alien overlord, Lex Luthor as fierce representative of all that is best and worst in humankind. So I picked it up.
Oh lordy. Here's an inventory:
a) too many captions. Why? Why??? WHY???? It is not hard to just not write
a daggone caption! Are these people paid by the word? If so, could they consider Top Ramen as a dining option, just for my sake?
b) LL comes across as weirdly condescending in scenes where I think he's supposed to be Connecting with The Little People (= his janitor). I really hated him in these scenes.
c) Ooh, a female! This is a great opportunity to draw someone with man hands, creepily exposed cleavage, a rear end that somehow finds its way into every picture, and no brains. GROWL.
d) LL has these forehead-wrinkles that... just... no human has ever had. He's vaguely Klingon here. And not the cool, "Trouble with Tribbles" Klingons, but the lobsterhead "Woof!--I mean, Worf!" Klingons.
e) Oh and there's no plot. If there had been a plot, I might have considered picking up later issues anyway
, because hey, price of an ice cream cone really. But there are just hints and insinuations that if I stick around long enough there might be a plot later. Therefore, no.
Wow. I loathed this comic. Three dollars I could have spent on, like, an ice cream cone! Or slapping myself in the face; or having a mime follow me around pretending to be in a glass box, or a chewed-on My Little Pony. GRRRR.Movies
: The Castle
. Australian libertarian flick (Australibertarian?) about eminent domain and why it's evil. This is a manipulative, cheesy, incredibly effective film. I loved it. It's about a family whose house is gonna get taken so the government can do some corporately-approved thing, I forget what. It's sweet and it goes for cheap laughs and I adored it anyway. Just a real heartwarmer. Play it for all your lefty friends.Galaxy Quest
: I saw this because Alan Rickman is in it; but he's not the reason it's good. Basically, if you ever loved Star Trek: The Original Series
, you will adore this movie. It's an homage/parody that hits every single cliche, every single opportunity for loving mockery. It isn't mean-spirited, and it doesn't misunderstand or fail to care about the reasons people love space opera in the first place. It's engaging, fluffy, and utterly pleasing.Ripley's Game
: Based on the same sociopathic Patricia Highsmith character as The Talented Mr. Ripley
. Ripley in this film is played by John Malkovich, whom I liked a lot--I think this is the first time I'd experienced him and his gentle, chalky, dissociated voice--and the wonderful Lena Headey is also in it. Nonetheless, it felt a lot more standard-issue than TTMR
. That might just be because it hit on fewer of my personal obsessions than that other movie, which is a lot more concerned with homoeroticism, loss of identity, and what it means to be American. I liked this, but could have lived without seeing it. Uzumaki
. Live-action movie version of the uber-creepy Japanese killer-spirals horror comic. A pretty good movie. The leading girl (Kirie) was great, and looked freakishly like her comics equivalent; her best friend (Shiho) was also fun; some of the minor characters were great (the snail-boy, the freaky father). The special effects didn't start seeming dumb until the very end, which, for me, is a big thing in horror movies. I do think this idea worked a lot better in the comics, though. It's a very visual idea, and those visuals can't really convey the same sense of surreality when they have to be somehow faked through SFX. Maybe that's why some of the most horrifying moments came via the soundtrack (for example, the noise the kiln makes). Anyway, this was a good movie, but really only worth seeing if you already liked the comics. The comics, on the other hand, I'd recommend to any horror fan.Television
: Just saw the first Netflix
disc of "Absolutely Fabulous." Just watched it twice, actually. For about one and a half episode, I thought this was pretty lame. I hate fat jokes, and thought Edina's actress was overacting (which is true really--I mean, I know it's supposed to be overdone, but there's OTT and then there's just kinda embarrassing--but once you get used to her it's fine). But I'm now thoroughly in love with Patsy Stone, and I could watch this more or less endlessly. This show brings out all my dykiest impulses. Purrrrrr. Champers, darling?