Saturday, February 17, 2007

I didn't read many Books this week, which will make for a short update.
  1. The Dark Tower, Book 2: The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King. I continue to read this series. I had read the first two volumes before, but it was a long time ago, and I only remembered a few, very specific details. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  2. Showcase Presents: Superman, vol. 2 by various. More weird, wild comics from Silver Age DC. I would almost believe the writers were on drugs.
  3. The Cartoon History of the Modern World, Part 1: From Columbus to the U.S. Constitution by Larry Gonick. Gonick seems to have staked out territory nobody else is mining: using comics to tell history. It's remarkably effective. It's helped by the fact that he has a sense of humor & isn't afraid to use it, but the simple fact of the matter is that the combination of words & pictures can be a very powerful educational tool.
  4. The Fountain by Darren Aronofsky & Kent Williams. This made me want to see the movie. (Checked out of the library.)

And now for Movies
  • The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival: Shorts Blocks 1-3, Cthulhu! and
  • Dead Birds, a very effective ghost story set during the Civil War. Very creepy.
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon.
  • Plan 9 from Outer Space. I think somebody should make a prequel about the previous 8 plans.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Cheesy movie, but great songs. This and the previous two films were the offerings at Steve's 2006 Halloween Horror Movie fest.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Killer Shrews. Slow-moving, a sloppy script, drunken characters, and "killer shrews" that are clearly frisky, playful dogs with carpet samples taped to their backs. What more could you ask?
  • Casino Royale. I cannot remember the last time I saw a James Bond movie in the theater, but I am very glad I broke my streak with this one. It was great. Not just a good Bond movie, a good movie, period.
  • Arrested Development, Season 2. So very funny. So very awful. I wish I'd watched this show when it first aired.
  • Little Miss Sunshine. I liked this, but I don't know that it deserves an Oscar nomination.
  • The Sting. It had been something like 25 years since I had last seen this. Very satisfying movie.
  • MST3K: Santa Claus. Words cannot describe how strange this movie is.
  • MST3K: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.
  • Stranger than Fiction. I really enjoyed this, particularly the ending. (Which I won't give away, so I guess that's all I have to say.)
  • City of Angels. This was okay, but I prefer Wings of Desire, the movie of which this is a remake (even though it's been 20 years since I saw the original).
  • A Prairie Home Companion. Rather fitting that Altman's final film is about Death.
  • MST3K: Godzilla vs. Megalon.
  • The Fantastic Four. Not Art by any means, but entertaining enough. And there was a moment that I found very touching: Ben is out in public for the first time after the transformation, and his fiance has come to the edge of the crowd that surrounds him. She looks at him sadly, takes off her engagement ring, and places it on the ground. But he can't pick it up because his fingers are now too big to get a grip on it.
  • Love Actually. This was one of the first movies Teena & I saw together. Very sweet and, in places, heartbreaking.
  • Kung Fu Hustle. This movie always puts a big, stupid grin on my face. And it makes me want to play Feng Shui.

And that finishes off the movies I saw in 2006. I'm nearly caught up.

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