General Post, Insignificant In Its Scope
Just a post on stuff I have been reading, watching, listening to etc. I signed out a copy of the Golden Voyage of Sinbad from work a couple of days ago. I have only ever seen it in clips so I figured it was time to see it all the way through. I liked it quite a bit. Interesting that Tom Baker, who plays the villainous wizard of the piece, landed the role of the Fourth Doctor (as in Doctor Who) because of his performance in this piece and Patrick Troughton, the Second Doctor, plays the good wizard in 1977's Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. If you are a fan of stop-motion and Ray Harryhausen's work then this is a definite must if you haven't seen it before.
I like stop-motion, it is time consuming and laborious but the pay-off has always been worth it. I know George Lucas hates it, but I think Lucas needs an aenema when it comes to effects. Digital is smoother and slicker but it just lacks soul. My Dad loves Photoshop and Illustrator, tries to convince me that it is everybit as good as working in paint. (cheaper, too) But painting is often the kind of visceral experience that can never be had on a computer. You are immediately and intimately connected to your medium - it is dirty and hands on. there is an element of craft to the old ways. Same is true about stop-motion, in my opinion.
I also signed out a copy of Robert Fripp's Let the Power Fall. He was still using his analog Frippertronics system at this point. Fripp switched to digital later on for his Soundscapes projects. I like Soundscapes and don't criticize Fripp for ditching the analog system in favour of it, but Frippertronics has a sound that his digital rig just can't touch. One section of his performances was recorded at Robson Square in Vancouver.
I finished Ian Rankin's Knots and Crosses a few days ago. He's a good writer, which makes up for some the unoriginal points in the plot - pretty easy to guess who the killer is. However, his characters are engaging and he gets the reader to care about what happens to them. I started his fifth novel The Black Book (couldn't find any of the others proceeding it) the day after finishing Knots and Crosses. I also have a book on sword smithing that I intend to re-read along with Anna Politkovskaya's A Dirty War.
As for Battlestar Galactica's two hour premiere on Space last weekend... I liked it a lot. I missed the two part series finale for Season 2 but was able to read the synopsis posted on Wikipedia. I had cooled off on the series as a result of episode 2.16 "Sacrifice". I know the change was made because Paul Campbell was leaving the series as he would not commit to a five year contract, but having been romantically been stabbed in the back a few times... I also really dislike the character of Kat, who was becoming more prominent and found the episode "Downloaded" (and I had really wanted to see a Cylon point of view episode) to be a bit of a dissapointment upon review.
I like how BSG is turning the real world "War on Terror" on its head, placing our protagonists into refugee camps with little amenities and lots of civil abuses in the name of order and turning them into suicide bombers and terrorists fighting against the Cylon occupation force. It isn't 100% analogous with Israel/Palestine or America/Iraq/Afghanistan, but it is close enough.
Other than BSG, I have been getting into Supernatural. I had ignored the show because I figured it would be recycled Joss Whedon-ish style stuff as filtered through a couple of pretty boys - a sort of ultra-violent Hardy Boys. But I have been pleasantly surprised and find myself enjoying the show. It is very dark and serious the way a show dealing with this sort of subject matter ought to be and the fights don't involve any eastern martial arts so far as I have seen. And judging by the choice of music from episode to episode (Blue Oyster Cult, the Chambers Brothers, Rush, Quiet Riot, The Rolling Stones, etc) this isn't a show strictly targeting tail end Y Gen's and the iGeneration.
Doctor Who is spottier than the previous season with Chris Eccleston. I think Tennant is fine but I wasn't so enamoured with some of the scripts. Case in point, New Earth. I liked the episode except for the conclusion - the Doctor's "cure-all" was a bit too much Deus ex machina. I like this week's episode ("Tooth and Claw") for the most part, except for the kung-fu monks of Scottish/English origin. Huh? I also had Chris Haddock's new show Intelligence tapped for me, but as of yet I have not been able to watch it.
Ah television... the substitute friend for when all your friends get hitched, have kids and/or move away. I had a life once, really.