Friday, December 30, 2011

Pop Pop! As in Pop Culture.

I don't really have the fodder for a full post at the moment, so here's a list of some of the books/games/movies/TV shows I've watched over the last few days. Warning: there is a LOT.
I saw the (Americanized) Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was better than I was expecting, to be honest. Not that I was expecting something horrible, but when you realize that you're watching an adaptation of an adaptation, then you prepare yourself for the worst. And on the same note, I was surprised that the pacing felt very novel-like, in terms of subplot developments. For the origins to still shine through after these layers is somewhat surprising.

I read Snuff, the latest Terry Pratchett book. Admittedly, it's not a series highlights or anything. There's no particularly memorable new characters. (Although Vimes' son is developing a distinct personality) But at this point, I will, gratefully, read anything Pratchett signs his name to that isn't too obvious a cash grab. (Nanny Ogg's Cookbook, I'm looking at you.)

I watched a few episodes of Samurai Jack, as I was a little too old to see it the first time round. (Not that that stopped me with other "kids" shows at the time--I've seen most episodes of Recess, for example.) Jack is an odd duck--essentially, the high concept is "samurai warrior fights in sci-future." And so far, that's pretty much it. It's a children's cartoon that's essentially an action movie. There's little witty banter, character development, or even plot. But it's an action movie from a period when the phrase wasn't synonymous with "loud and dumb"--it's all done pretty well.

And I watched the first episode of Gargoyles. The Friday Quotation below explains the general gist of the show. What's also notable about it is that it had a rather wide swathe of Star Trek people voice characters. The main one was Jonathan Frake as series villain David Xanatos, but there were also repeat characters played by Marina Sirtis (Troi/Demona), Michael Dorn (Worf/Coldstone & Taurus), Kate Mulgrew (Janeway/Titania), Brent Spiner (Data/Puck), and Nichelle Nichols (Uhara, Diane Maza). And for another sci-fi connection, John Rhys-Davies from Sliders/Lord of the Rings played Macbeth--yes, the Shakespeare Macbeth. And now I've forgotten my point. Save that this show is awesome.

And I've been playing Skyrim, the latest game in the Elder Scrolls series. For the most part, it's more of a refinement than a deviation, and it's not really unique in any obvious way. But I think it does a much better job (better than Oblivion, at least) at depicting a interesting game world, complete with civil war factions, counter factions within the factions, wizard rivalries, city politics, and so forth. The problem, for me, is that it always feels as if you're interacting with this world from the outside, rather than actually being a part of it. But I imagine any game starts to feel like that once you're north of the.... 40 hour mark. (I went with 40 hours, after much inner debate; the truth is somewhere far, far north of that mark. Think Santa Clause territory.)
And there's more. Much more. Video game books, tv shows, books, web comics. But we'll let that hold it for now.

Later Days.

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