Monday, May 20, 2013

Some weekend catch-up - movies, TV and comics

If you follow me on social media that is not this blog, you might have heard I had a touch of the food poisoning over the weekend.  A bad salad or pizza, I think.  Worst greek salad I've ever eaten, but it seemed fresh, so what do I know?

Well, I know what it feels like to get kicked in the stomach from my karate days, and this felt sort of like that, going on and on for quite a while.  So, I want to thank Jamie for the 2:30 AM run to Walgreen's to grab me some OTC meds and being a great help to me over the course of the weekend.  For a dialysis patient, it seems like the last year she's been taking care of me more than me of her.

I was sidelined from a planned viewing of Star Trek: Into Darkness, but I did catch a few movies over the weekend on cable and DVD.

Manhattan Melodrama with Myrna Loy, Clark Gable and William Powell was actually very, very good.  Thanks to Paul, who handed me that DVD on Friday.  Some 30's-era moral-minded civics lessons wrapped up with gangsterism and Myrna Loy in some great hats and dresses.  The title is dated, so don't expect organ music and fainting.  It's a bit more of a personal drama sort of movie.

The Campaign with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis was probably released at the wrong time, when we were in the middle of election season and everyone was so deadly serious about politics.  It's a lightweight movie in the Semi-Pro or Step Brothers model.  But it's pretty funny stuff, if pretty blue.  Speaking of, though it's two GOP candidates, I think you could have done this with any two candidates, aside from a few points.

Chicago, starring what's-her-name and that Catherine Zeta-Person.  I like it, but I think I probably like the play that the movie is based on more than the movie itself.  Great music, interesting concepts, terrific costuming (Fosse!) and choreography (FOSSE!), and I think you can give the director an editor a thumbs-up on the translation.  But credit where it's due.

Watched some TV, including the season finale of Saturday Night Live* and the exit of some of the better male performers of the last decade.  I'm going to miss all those guys.  But a fresh crop of new faces is always a good thing (and a chance for a new sensibility).

Also watched the first episode of North America, a slickly produced Discovery nature series, the kind of thing that's always a little cheesy, always a bit saccharine, always a bit weepy, but always reminds you:  you are a tiny ape-thing living in a fancy wood-cave.  You are part of the space rock, and it's bigger than you in ways your monkey brain will never quite get.

And, then I watched this week's episode of Mad Men.

Holy crap.

Read a few trades.

Grant Morrison's Happy.  Which seemed like a short story or one-off stretched over a thin membrane, but it basically works.  Wish I hadn't been fighting food poisoning when I read it.

Superman Beyond was a disappointment.  It seemed like the writers weren't that familiar with (a) Superman, (b) the world of Batman Beyond and (c) what it would mean to push the future of the DCU a few decades out (stealing money with digital sticks pointed at iPhones?  Really?).

a scad of comics.

Apparently all i'm getting pulled as floppies these days are pulp-centric comics from Dynamite and Moonstone.  Read some good Shadow from Roberson and Wagner, a mediocre take on a character called Black Bat, and a baffling comic that went by the name Captain Midnight but could have been called "generic people do generic team-up superheroing with no context!".  Truly awful.

Anyway, by 8:00 tonight my stomach was back to fighting condition.

I owe Jamie big time for letting me rot on the sofa, while also taking care of me all weekend.

*as a guy who is fascinated with Kanye West, I was not disappointed.  He managed to contain himself, but they were smart not to let the feed roll too long after he stopped performing.

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