Sunday, September 18, 2011

Best of the Week Mid-September

Best Movie I Saw: Now that summer is ending and Netflix is super-expensive and quickly shrinking my portfolio, I have decided to get back to using it again.  Over the last few weeks I've been watching a movie a week on Neflix and most have been pretty good.  My two newest additions to my personal library has been Paul  and Super.
Much like how Shaun of the Dead was a love-letter to Zombie films, and Hot Fuzz was dedicated to the buddy-cop flicks of the 1980s, this one was an homage to the two types of films: The early films of Steven Spielberg and the alien movies of the 1980s.  This had many shout-outs to some classic movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Aliens and (of course) E.T.  Paul is a silly alien movie, but if you're looking for something funny you could do much worse.

Both Paul and Super are "comic book movies", but neither have ever been comic books, but they will both be loved by people that enjoy that genre.  Paul even had the beginning and ending of the movie take place at the comic book Mecca that is San Diego's Comicon.  While Super takes a concept that is becoming popular of someone with no training, or powers deciding to become a superhero for all the wrong reasons.  The thing that makes Super different is its realistic violence.  Rainn Wilson stars as a guy that has some serious problems, and after a traumatic event decides to become a Batman type of superhero but with literally no means or skill.  It leads to some pretty sick outcomes, but you should not expect anything else from a writer-director that got started with the Troma studio. 
Best TV Show I Saw: Since I cannot think of anything off the top of my head that I've seen lately, I can only assume the best thing I saw on TV was the return of the NFL.  I'm so happy you're back football.  I missed you.
Best Thing I Read:  Once again I'm on a reading kick.  This week the best thing I read though was easily the newest collection of Locke & Key entitled Keys to the Kingdom.   Joe Hill continues the story of the Locke kids and their struggle against the Dark Lady.  This issue really was probably the best one yet since the stakes get even higher especially with the latest cliff-hanger where this story ends.  The highlight though (besides the amazing conclusion) was the one chapter showing the month of February where each page correlated to one day of the 28 days that hath February.  I'm surprised no one has ever done this in a comic book before since comic books have 30 pages normally.  In the thousands of comics I've read in my life I can't believe I never thought of that and no one else had done it either.

I also read: No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy.  I guess he's not a writer for me.  I read The Road a few years ago and I know that people love it, but I didn't get it.  I thought it was a badly written post-apocalyptic story that I've read hundreds of times before.  No Country was a little better, but I really do not like his writing style.  McCarthy writes in a very simplistic was that must be nice for people that don't read much, but there is no description.  McCarthy just writes "He did this and He did that...."  it gets very repetitious and I found it boring.  Then he also chooses to not write with any quotation marks when his characters are talking.  It makes for a confusing read at times when you're not sure who is speaking or if it is dialogue or just narration.
The story itself is fine and I really liked the ending of the book which was different than the movie.  But the writing style was such a turn off that I've basically decided no matter how good people say any of this other books may be, I will just figure like his other books, it's just not for me.

Best Thing I Heard:  Aubrey did a great thing the other day.  She bought tickets to the band The National.  We both were pretty huge fans of their previous CD and especially the song Fake Empire.   We saw that the band was going to be playing The Beacon Theater in December and before going to that show we figured we should have their most recent CD, High Violet, which was released last year.  We listened to the CD on a road-trip this weekend about 3 times.  It is surprisingly great.  I am not good about explaining style of music, but lately I'm most interested in music that has songs that build.  Songs that start slow or deconstructed that build up until they reach an apex of sound.  Other bands that I love that seem to have this style are Muse, Radiohead, Airborne Toxic Event and Secret Machines Songs like this one really make me happy and now I'm even more excited for this show in December.  As always:  My recommendation is to play this VERY LOUD:

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