Sep 19, 2014

[Movies] Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)

So I'm still back-tracking all the different DC Universe Animated Movies that I've watched over the years and adding them to the Geeky Guide accordingly. There's a weird gap where I wasn't all that consistent with posting reviews for them despite having seen them all. But I have to admit, a lot of the older ones were a lot better than many of the more recent releases.

Batman: Under the Red Hood was one of the many direct-to-video movies that seemed to make an effort to follow fairly recent comic book stories.  Admittedly I've had rather mixed feelings about this since I haven't been all that enthusiastic about the direction the main comics have taken, including the Batman family.

But to be fair, this story - whether from the comics or as an animated movie, wasn't all that bad. So things really boiled down to actual execution and how they brought the Batman to life. And this also marks another Batman feature that seemed to experiment with voice talents for many of the iconic roles.

Sep 18, 2014

[TV] Falling Skies: Season 3

As I mentioned on my personal blog last week, I don't fully understand why I continue to watch Falling Skies. It's not like I've found the story to be all that compelling. I think in certain ways I just watch because there's so little science fiction television out there. Thus there's the misguided logic that if I support mediocre shows like this one, it might help encourage networks to create better ones. But I don't think this strategy is working out thus far.

Falling Skies has dragged on for a while and has been going in pretty strange directions. It was campy enough to try and believe that a history teacher was proving to be an excellent military strategist because of his knowledge of historical battles. But some of the shifts in the first two seasons have really pushed the limits of good taste - or even just logic.

What started as a meager effort of a resistance group to survive an alien occupation has shifted to a rather serious effort to actually rid the planet of the invaders. And this third season tried to up the ante further by giving our human rebels something more to work with. But of course, not everything is as it seems.

Sep 17, 2014

[Games] Guillotine

During our recent trip to Singapore, Tobie and I finally picked up our copy of Guillotine, a rather cheeky card game that we had first played thanks to other gaming friends. A humorous game set around the time of the French revolution may not immediately seem like a good idea, but the resulting game was downright brilliant. Many thanks to our friends at Paradigm Infinitum for finally stocking a copy of this game.

Guillotine is one of those nicely simple games where the rules are easy enough to pick up however the strategy takes a bit more time. And a lot of the best games seem to be like that - the ones that are easily shared with new players and thus replay value becomes pretty high. And beyond that fact, it's a rather fun game as a whole with a clever pun in its tagline.

Sep 16, 2014

[Books] Doctor Who: Scales of Injustice (Monster Collection Edition)

I've been enjoying my little journey through the various Doctors thanks to the re-releases of key Doctor Who  novels. And while I'm still committed to eventually watching all of the Classic serials prior to the 2005 reboot of the series, I know I have quite a long way to go. The somewhat curated collection of Doctor Who books known as the Monster Collection has been a nice way to jump from Doctor to Doctor as he faces many different iconic foes.

Scales of Injustice has him once again facing the dreaded Silurians, the highly intelligent descendants of the dinosaurs that hid away underground in order to escape the cataclysm that destroyed most life on the surface. And a race of intelligent dinosaur descendants is certainly quite a fascinating idea - it's no wonder the new Who writers made sure to bring them back eventually.

Of course this novel still takes place in the classic era with our dapper, Earth-bound Third Doctor once again trying to find a way to deal with the Earth Reptiles. And he's certainly a very distinct incarnation of the Doctor - one that has a lot of flair and style added into the mix of things. And of course he has a car.

Sep 15, 2014

[Movies] RoboCop (2014)

RoboCop was a pretty iconic movie for its period. Almost everything that RoboCop had to say was worth turning into a nerd quote or could appear on a T-shirt or something. And like most things born in the 1980's, a lot of fans have a rather fierce loyalty to the franchise in its original form.

RoboCop as a remake was a little unexpected and one that admittedly I was rather prepared to hate right off the bat. You know how it is - the original movie may not have been perfect, but the combination of its bold concept combined with its often campy aesthetics sort of paid off and made an amazing franchise. And now we had some CGI monstrosity threatening to change the RoboCop image entirely.

Upon finally watching it, one has to concede that it's not actually a bad movie. As is the case with many remakes, you just sort of wish they had tried to explore the movie concept on its own without necessarily digging up some older IP to appropriate in order to tell the story. This could have been a different story entirely with a similar premise of the dangers of augmentation technology and without the need for the "RoboCop" branding.

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