Thursday, January 31, 2008

In a Boyle Sort of Mood

I find myself these days gathering together a large number of Danny Boyle films around me in the wake of my watching 28 Days Later and Sunshine. For that matter, the two most recent books I've read have been The Beach and The Coma by Alex Garland, screenwriter of both of those films. I'm not sure, exactly, what about those movies and books is speaking to my particular frame of mind, but they seem to be giving me some comfort.

Boyle is a filmmaker I've always followed (his 'trilogy' of films with Ewan McGregor, John Hodge and Andrew MacDonald being my faves) so rounding out the collection is feeling pretty good right now. I've never had a copy of Trainspotting and The Beach and Millions are nice additions to the collection. I also picked up 28 Days Later a couple of weeks ago, I think. At this point, with the exception of some of the smaller works they've done, I think Shallow Grave is the only one I've yet to grab (unfortunate seeing as it's one of my all-time faves from Boyle and co.). I'm pretty sure the DVDs I've seen of it are all fullscreen with no features, so I'm in no hurry to grab one of those. If anybody knows of a nice widescreen copy, feel free to let me know where I can grab one.

On the Garland front, I enjoyed The Beach immensely and feel confident that it won't help my opinion of the film, which I didn't enjoy too much the first time, anyway. The Coma I read the same night I finished The Beach and am still sort of trying to unclench my mind. I loved it as a story but its Kafkaesque elements leave your brain a bit twisted at the end. I'm kind of cruising for something new, now. I'm thinking of trying out The Tesseract but I'm not all that interested in South East Asia, so I'm not sure how much I'll like it.

I hear he wrote teleplay for the BBC in the late '90s based on that book. I should look into whether or not it was ever produced.



Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sick Day...But Not All Bad

I'm off work today on yet another sick day. Man, everyone and their dog has come down with either a flu, a cold, or both at some point and time. We're operating short at work because there is a minimum of 2 people off sick every day (plus the few people off on holidays and the like, but never mind them).

Anyway, as much as I hated staying home yet again, things weren't all bad today. I did pop off for a bit with the family on a shopping trip which I was able to shanghai briefly to grab some new comics! I haven't bought any comics in about three months and I was really starting to chomp at the bit. I was particularly down because I was concerned that I would miss the final two issues of Howard the Duck, the final issue of Starlord, the beginning of Angel: After the Fall (which I have genuinely missed the boat on), and the new Courtney Crumrin book which the family has been awaiting for some months now.

So, with new reading material may come new review material (for those of you who bother to read them when I do them) but not until tomorrow at the earliest. I'm off to my brothers to install some software on his Macbook for him so he can do something with Garage Band. As tech support goes, it could be worse.



Thursday, January 17, 2008

Perfect Playlist

Have you ever hit random on your CD player, iPod or MP3 player and what came out was just the perfect mix or blend of tunes to fit your particular mood?

That's sort of happened to me today and has been running pretty consistent since I left the house this afternoon to the tune of John Mayer's 'Why, Georgia'. I take my iPod with me to work to zone out on my coffee breaks and lunch hour, or occasionally just to avoid talking to some people when I'd rather just be reading, and every time I turned it on it was not only a perfectly timed track but also one that I wouldn't have thought of on my own.

Normally this would seem a pretty trivial thing, but I was feeling kind of down today and it helped create a nice sort of balance for methat helped get me through an otherwise difficult 9 hours.

That said, I'm gonna head back to watch some more Galactica commentary.



Monday, January 14, 2008

Settling Down

It's been kind of nice around the Jozic HQ as of late, partially because things have settled down somewhat since Jen got her snazzy new job, and partly because I've managed to get back in the habit of reading for pleasure and I've also been catching up on my backlog of DVDs I should be watching.

One of the books that I've picked up is Frank Espinosa's Rocketo. If you've never heard about this book, I would seriously reccomend checking it out. It's a great sci-fi adventure story with heroes, monsters, myth, mystery all beautifully packaged in a spiffy trade that is one of the nicest book designs I've seen in a while.

I've also finally read Warren Ellis' and Colleen Doran's Orbiter, which was a long time coming, I'll tell you. Something about watching Sunshine the other night just got me in the mood for a story like this one and the Ellis/Doran team did not disappoint. The only slightly off moment in the story was the abruptness of the ending, but I think I can let that slide in light of the sheer excellence of the rest of the 90 odd pages of the book. Again, if you haven't seen this one yet, go find it at your local comic shop or at the library. It is definitely worth it.

Novel-wise, I took a little break from Chrichton's Next due to lack of plot 250 pages into the story, and picked up Alex Garland's The Beach, again, based on the mad love I have going on for his film, Sunshine. I didn't like the movie too much when I saw it, but his writing style is pretty fluid and Nick Hornby gave him a rave review (and you all should know of my love for Nick) so I figured I'd give it the old college try. I'll probably go back and try to get a bit further along with Next today or tomorrow, but I doubt it'll be too productive.

On the DVD front, I caught the aforementioned Sunshine with my brother in a double bill rental with Eagle vs. Shark. Both were fabulous and I suggest you all go out and find them, of course. Sunshine was a little bit 2001, a little bit Alien and a bit of Solaris (all influences Boyle mentions in the commentary) and Eagle vs. Shark is Napolean Dynamite if it was from New Zealand, a romantic comedy, and as good as Eagle vs. Shark.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usThe Turtles buzz I mentioned a post or two ago continues as I finish up Season 4 of the new animated series. It's not the best cartoon that ever was, or anything, but there are definitely a lot of things that set it apart from other Saturday morning shows. There's a strong desire to stick to the original lore of the comics, it's light-hearted but characters do die (off-camera and bloodless, sure, but their dead, Jim...pushing up daisies) and they try and keep a running continuity/plotline instead of just doing one-off episodes which I respect and admire.

Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures has also been fun. An underrated show that includes George Segal and Robert Patrick among its voice actors. I'm one of the poeple who absolutely adore the original series and really enjoyed the 'update' it got in the '90s with this show. I have the original DVDs but am waiting patiently to see if they will ever release The Real Adventures. They probably won't, but if you can get Punky Brewster on DVD, you never know.

And with that, I say adieu.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Little Embarrassed

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I recently read the first hardcover collection of All-Star Superman and have to admit that it is probably some of the best Superman stories I have ever read in my life. I also have to admit that looking at the cover, which is a repro of the first issue's cover (which I own and have looked at many times), I never noticed that Supes was sitting on a cloud looking down over Metropolis. For some crazy reason, I thought he was sitting on a mountain somewhere, relaxing for a spell in-between crime-busting and galaxy saving activities. I've always loved the cover by Frank Quitely, but have to say I'm just a bit embarrassed that I never caught that before.

It's possible that I was thinking of this old Superman cover by Dan Jurgens. I mean, it's Supes on a mountain with snow. I can't think of any other valid explanation for it.

That being said, I can't wait for HC collection #2. For whatever reason I stopped buying these after the first issue and it's nice to be able to get a chance to read these for the first time.



Monday, January 07, 2008

Samurai Tourist

As anyone who has kept up with the blog must know, I am a big fan of Stan Sakai's very cool Usagi Yojimbo comic book. For the last little while, I have been working my way through the collected books and finally reading the series in chronological order rather than in the piecemeal fashion I have in the past. The last book I read (Book 8, I think) featured the Ninja Turtles/Usagi cross-over story which I vaguely remembered from back in the day when I was a huge Eastman/Laird Turtles fan and still find pretty entertaining now despite the hackneyed plot contrivances used to bring the two properties together.

Flash forward to last night when I decided to pop in Simon's TMNT Season 4 DVDs and the episode, "Samurai Tourist".

On Boxing Day I bought the TMNT CGI movie for Simon (dirt cheap, I might add) and watched the audio commentary for it about 4 or 5 days ago. It kind of got me in a Turtle sort of mood and, lacking any actual comic books that I have easy access to, I popped in the series DVDs to get my fix. Two episodes in there's a rhino with his horn cut off who looks remarkably like Gen walking around Manhattan. I know I shouldn't have been surprised because Usagi has made prior appearances on the show, but it was a surprise so I got a smidge excited.

The episode was not all that great, all things considered, but it was still a neat-o little guest-shot that I stumbled into and it sort of made my night.

Doesn't speak much for how I spend my nights, does it?

Anyway, thanks to the Usagi Yojimbo Dojo for the pic of the cute little bugger to the right, and with that I'll sign off for the night.