Saturday, February 19, 2005

Okay, so I never did update movies & games last week. So this week I'll do so before I start on books.

Movies & DVDs
  • Real Women Have Curves. (Checked out of the library.)
  • Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks. This is the adventure that made me really start to pay attention to Sylvester McCoy's portrayal of the Doctor. He now rivals Tom Baker as my favorite actor in the role. But Sophie Aldred as Ace is the best companion ever.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Atomic Brain. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  • MST3K: Red Zone Cuba. Oh man, this was an incomprehensible movie. (Teena.)
  • MST3K: The Sidehackers. A thoroughly unpleasant movie; thank goodness for the jokes. (Teena.)
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. Teena & I finally got around to seeing this. It's basically just a bigger, longer version of the TV show, which suited us just fine. Very silly.
  • Doctor Who: Tomb of the Cybermen. This was part of Michael's 2nd Doctor Who marathon. I prefer the early design for Cybermen (as seen in this adventure). The later design makes them too robotic; they're supposed to by cyborgs, and it's much more believable with the early design.
  • Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space. Jon Pertwee's first adventure as the Doctor.
  • Doctor Who: Pyramids of Mars. Classic Tom Baker adventure.
  • Master of the Flying Guillotine. This was part of Steve's Kung Fu Birthday celebration. It's an early 70's kung fu movie that has to be seen to be believed. There's not much plot (and what there is is put on hold by a long tournament sequence in the middle of the movie), but it's got some great fight scenes & some laughable special effects.
  • Five Deadly Venoms. The plot missing from the previous movie seems to have found its way into this one. It's got way too much plot (and way too little action) for a kung fu movie. There's only one fight scene, and while it's pretty good, it's at the very end of the movie, and it's just not worth sitting through all the exposition & plot contrivances that led up to it.
  • MST3K: The Wild World of Batwoman. Oh boy, is this a strange movie. It's practically incomprehensible, it includes clips from at least two other movies (one of which has also been given the MST3K treatment), and the performances are just strange. Very funny jokes, though.
  • Daredevil. Teena & I watched this earlier today. I liked it when it came out, but watching it again made me realize that it is a very cheesy movie, and not actually all that good.

It's been long enough since I updated that I can't remember all the things I wanted to say.

In the Wednesday group, we finished up Steve's first Transhuman Space story, and we didn't destroy Singapore in the process. Since then we have begun Bryan's Middle Earth campaign, and that's going pretty well.

In the Monday group, we've begun the second of Michael's Infinite Worlds adventures, and we're working to stop time-travelling Nazis from invading 3rd century Rome.

We began the World's Largest Dungeon about a month ago (and the 2nd session will be tomorrow) with a group of 11 players, which proved to be just too unwieldy, so Steve broke us into two smaller groups.

The last HeroQuest game was a lot of fun. I ended up using one of my character's traits in an unorthodox way. Our characters were in the spirit realm and encountered a group of bees. We didn't have anything to placate them, but my character is honey-tongued, so I figured in the spiritual realm that might be more than metaphorical. I was right and talked our way past them. Unfortunately, we didn't take any of their honey with us because shortly after that we encountered a bear. My honeyed tongue came to the rescue again, but in a bit more direct manner: I ended up french-kissing the bear. (I am very happy I did well on that roll. If I hadn't, I may have ended up mute.) Later in the session, I managed to win at a contest where I was entirely overmatched. It was all due to some lucky rolls (and juditious use of Hero Points). This is highly unusual since normally I roll terribly.

As for computer games, I finished Myst IV: Revelation a while back (after Teena did, and with quite a few hints from her). As always, an absolutely beautiful game. I still haven't finished Pikmin; the final boss battle doesn't interest me all that much. I've picked up a used copy of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and while I haven't had much of a chance to play it yet, I really like what I've seen so far.

And now on to Books I've finished since last week.
  1. Metropolis by Osamu Tezuka. This is one of Tezuka's earlier works, and it's not as good as his later comics. Still pretty good, though. (Library.)
  2. Ultimate Spider-Man, vol. 5 by Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley, & Trevor Hairsine. I seem to have run out of things to say about this series. But it's great, and I'm eagerly awaiting the 6th volume.
  3. Tom Strong, Book 3 by Alan Moore, Chris Sprouse, et al. One of the things I love about Alan Moore's writing is how he can tell you a lot about a character with just the right bit of dialogue. Admittedly, "Mostly I just dress for the weather is all," doesn't sound like much out of context. But in the book, it says quite a bit about the person who said it.
  4. The Quest for Aberzen, Book 1: To the Death by Marc N'Guessan & Christophe Gibelin. (Library.)
  5. Same Difference & Other Stories by Derek Kirk Kim. The title story of this collection is excellent, and most of the others are also very good. (Library.)
  6. One Piece, vol. 5: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Eiichiro Oda. (Amazon really needs to pay closer attention to the way manga show up. Trying to find a link for this book, the closest I could get was a search that yeiled 85 results, most of which were Japanese, French, & German editions of this series. I could not find the English edition of this volume.) This is my favorite manga being published in Shonen Jump. It's a very silly story of pirates.
  7. Shaman King, vol. 4: The Oversoul by Hiroyuki Takei. (I did manage to find a link to this manga, but not by what would seem to be the most obvious search of the title & author's name. I ended having to follow links from other books.) This is my second favorite manga from Shonen Jump, although I have some problems with the idea that the next great spiritual leader will be determined through a tournament in which all the contenders beat the tar out of each other.
  8. B.P.R.D.: Plague of Frogs by Mike Mignola & Guy Davis. Mignola has had Hellboy leave the Bureau for Paranormal Research & Defense, but there are plenty of people left there, including Abe Sapien. This story gives some hints at where Abe came from.
  9. Less than Heroes by David Yurkovich. (Library.)
  10. Ultimate Fantstic Four by Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Millar, & Adam Kubert. Marvel's Ultimate universe expands, adding new versions of the first family of Marvel Comics. (Thanks for the gift, Teena.)
  11. Lazarus Jack by Mark Ricketts & Horacio Domingues. (Library.)
  12. The Magic of Aria by Brian Holguin & Jay Anacleto. The cover copy for this book compares it to Neil Gaiman's Sandman, which is a shame because it raises expectations too high. (Library.)
  13. Jimmy Olsen Adventures, vol. 2 by Jack Kirby. Man, the world in Kirby's head may not have more than a passing resemblance to our own, but I'm glad he documented as much of it as he did. Strange, wonderful stuff, unlike anything else in comics (despite many attempts to recreate Kirby's magic).

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