Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Captain Is Back On Deck

My apologies, gentle geeky conservative faithful readers. It has been many months since my last post, and it turns out some of you still are clicking on whatever link brings you to this site on a daily basis. I am flattered and touched and moved and deeply perplexed (how many times can one read a fairly simple review of the comic where Stephanie Brown takes up the mantle of Batgirl?) Regardless I have felt the call back to STB this fine snow-covered Sunday morning.

I have moved to the city (Brooklyn) and got an actual job (Manhattan) and all of a sudden find myself to be, at least on the surface, a fully functioning, society-contributing, money-making cog in the machine (but a cool machine, like a ginormous Swatch or the Ghostbusters' ghost-trap-box thing.) Alright, explanation portion done, lets do a minimalist round-up of some of the pop/culture I've missed.

Star Trek: Finally saw the J.J.Abrams movie last night. Was never a Trekkie, wasn't even super interested in the movie, but heard good things so I checked it out. Not entirely sure whether it was amazingly well-written or if my biochemistry was somehow inexplicably altered for those couple hours, but I experienced about 8 intense, 10 minute long sobbing sessions throughout the movie. No joke. Was crying before the titles flashed across the scene, and by the time the end credits showed up I was just a red faced, dehydrated, human-shaped mound of snot sitting on a couch. Loved it. Haven't felt so much emotion since that whole birth thing.

Inglorious Basterds: Also saw yesterday. Am disappointed I was more effected by Star Trek, but I thought it was great nonetheless. Perfect amount of humor, gore wasn't nearly as ubiquitous or disquieting (or satisfying) as I anticipated, and even Brad Pitt grew on me after his first scene (though he definitely doesn't deserve first billing on this film.) The women were the best characters, and the "JewHunter" was amazing actor as well, though plotwise, the final third's developments still mystify me a bit. Solid though, and really well done. Would be ok with Quentin getting some awards for it.

Dollhouse: Ending. Shocker. Quality has absolutely improved though, I can't deny that. Summer Glau had a very strong two-part guest starrage (though, yet a-fucking-gain, she was an eccentric brilliant socially-inept hard-to-understand genius) and obviously Alan Tudyk is still solid. Unfortunately, Eliza has remained wooden and incapable of actual acting, and the writers still rest the majority of the story on her shoulders. This show should be about Victor instead! Enver Gojak (?-dont feel like looking it up) is unbelievable. Everyone else is flat and fairly uninteresting.

Blackest Night: Solid, and expectedly brutal. Dragging out waaay too long, also as expected. The next big crossover series are already being solicited, and me and my wallet are both getting rather tired. Do love having those promotional rings though ha.

Doctor Who: Waters of Mars was pretty solid. Far far better than The Next Doctor and the one with the Bionic Woman actress (who is basically Britain's Eliza Dushku.) However, could not be more excited for the Xmas day special, followed by the New Years final David Tennant episode. Catherine Tate returns!! My favorite companion. Hope she gets some real screen time, and that the DoctorDonna comes back to the Universe. Not as excited for Matt Smith but definitely interested (especially for whichever episode Alex Kingston shows up in.)

Bat-books: Kinda boring at the moment, to be honest. Love that Red Robin has his own title, identity and mission (Tim Drake's my favorite hero, if you've never read this blog before) but Yost has been trying too hard to make the stories as intricate and batman-detective-y as possible. I want some more emotion, some more personal stuff. Also the occasional closure would be lovely. As for the other titles, you'd think Dick Grayson as Batman and Damien Psycho Wayne as Robin would be full of writing opportunities, such a major (and temporary) shake up of the most established title in comic books, and yet they seem to be doing the same crap; gang wars, super-villain blowing up Arkham Asylum and using all lesser villains as an army against Batman & Gotham (Tony Daniel is very overrated) and freaky Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely collaborations (Red Hood and Scarlet blew, R.I.P. and Final Crisis blew and were seriously disturbing, and yet they've given him the "Return of Bruce Wayne" storyline. Rather pissed about it.)

(500) Days of Summer: Lovely. Thought it would be boring/formulaic. Wasn't. Very glad Joseph Gordon-Levitt was main character. Love him. he always picks great stuff (BrickBrickBrickBrickBrick) and is about time he got some awards. Also I'm rather sick to death of the whole I'm-A-Deschanel-Look-How-Cute-And-Eccentric-I-Am.

30 Rock: Not what it used to be. Tina Fey is overexposed and has like zero warmth. Actually like Parks and Recreation more. (Hunting episode was great.)

X-Men: Still not sure about all this Utopia/Nation X thing. Matt Fraction is completely great on Iron Man and then nearly intolerable at times on X-Men. X-Necrosha, completely by surprise, is far more satisfying so far. But one things true in all X-titles: I miss Storm. They've got every mutant every written, basically, at their disposal, living on the same island, and they just use the same characters over and over. Know you can't squeeze every one in, but pick some new shit. I mean, Dazzler? Really? X-Factor's pretty solid, and outside that whole San-Fran shiny world, but unfortunately still feels a bit slow. The forced noir thing drags it down, but i'll admit, I've waited many years to see Rictor and Shatterstar get together (even tracked down the couple old issues of X-Force years ago where a writer occasionally described them as "more than just friends") so I could do with some more storyline for them (plus isn't Shattybuns the son of Longshot and Dazzler? That would be a nice loose end to confront.) Also Jubilee is coming back! Huzzah!

Merlin: Though frustratingly formulaic, I really like this show, and it's somehow gotten better. Absolutely ready for a change in the status quo, but there's something very comforting about this weekly British myth-bastardizing show...and it's not just watching Giles with a crown.

Obama: Kind of checked out of the whole following-politics-closely thing in past months. (Not just cause I can't listen to Rush during work hours, but cause it was painful to read Drudge Report every day.) However, I am getting back into it, because it is a whole lotta fun to watch Obama stepping on his toes and deteriorating. (Im talking pre-empting Charlie Brown Xmas, predicting bankrupt govt if Obamacare doesn't pass, expensive date nights, bowing to every dictator/king he finds, angry unpopular speech at Copenhagen while Chavez gets standing O...funny shit.)

Dexter: Pretty fucking disturbed by the finale. Not as crazy about this season as everyone else--thought the Lithgow thing was drawn out, not so interesting, though definitely creepy, and ending was just horrible. Don't think it was necessary to the evolution of the show, don't think it was fair/cool to the audience (or Julie Benz) and actually makes Dexter look like a huge chump (all he did this season was fuck things up every week.) Obviously not a feel-good family drama, but does it absolutely have to be so brutal? Actually made me have trouble going to sleep, which is a first.

Can't think of anything else at the moment, except for the last book I read which was completely fantastic. Called To Rule The Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World by Arthur Hermann. Highly recommend it. Learned so much cool information, great stories, incredibly well written. Going back to fiction now, but still navy/nautical Napoleonic times; a series in fact recommended by Herman at the back of the book for people who have already read Patrick O'Brian and CS Forester at least twice each (guilty) by Richard Woodman. Will let you know.

Hopefully I'll be back soon. But either way, thanks for typing me into your url bar for all those weeks of nothing. Have a lovely Sunday.

-Captain Elias

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