Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm Not Dead Yet!

In case anyone was wondering where I've been, never fear!  I have not died nor even give up on this blog.  Actually, I've just been very busy, what with starting the school year and getting a new job.  Thankfully, one of the virtues of comics is the relatively short time-span it takes to read them fits really well into a busy schedule, so I've got plenty of books lined up to review, and I intend to take the weekend to write and schedule their posting.  I hope to get at least one a week up and keep up with the news too.  And there's also my Twitter feed, which gets (slightly) more attention.

See you all around, same bat place, different bat time!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Stuff!

Book Blogger Hop

It's been a crazy week for me personally, and it's only going to get crazier from here, so I'm afraid that the Scott Pilgrim movie review is all that's happening around here (though I have plenty in the works!)  Part of the craziness involved going to a pretty great flea market, which means cheap back issues!!  Even though I make it a point not to review single issues or anything not available as a trade paperback, I still think any bibliophile can get behind the joy of tracking down a book you've been looking for or making a new discovery-- both of which I did!

Anyway, this week's Hop question is:


Alas, not really, no.  I tend to prefer ambient noise to actual structured music in the background when I read.  I'm not sure if it's a concentration thing-- it doesn't really seem to matter how loud the "background" noise is, I can still pay more attention when I read with jackhammers going next to my window.  That said, I can't read in total silence either-- it's just too oppressive-- so that's usually when I turn to music.  I try to match the genre of the music to the genre of the story, but I try not to play songs with too many vocals.  For sci-fi and/or action stories, I will put on my "Pierre Henry" station on Pandora, which gets me a sort of early-techno, somewhat jazzy selection;  my "Love Is Blue" station is good for romance.  But if nothing else fits, the Beatles are the perfect standby (though I may have to be picky about the era-- not all books that fit a "Please Please Me" song fit an "Abbey Road song), even though they're just full of vocals!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


At the risk of turning this place into a Scott Pilgrim blog, I feel like I owe the world my review of the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which I was lucky enough to catch an advanced screening of last Wednesday!

My gut reaction right after I saw the movie was memorialized with the tweet: "...WOW.  My brain asplode," as well as the next day's, "My eyes are still jangling from last night..."  And that holds, because the Director of Photography is Bill Pope, and he did The Matrix and the live-action Speed Racer, which should tell you a thing or two about the visuals (especially if you saw Speed Racer).  Namely, that they were perfect for the material.  Scott Pilgrim is a romantic comedy video game, which means that skimping on the visuals would spell disaster, but the film delivered.  If you've ever played an old-school NES game, you will have a nerdgasm when Scott "gets a life" and when Gideon, Ramona's 7th evil ex, pulls a pixelated sword out of thin air.  And I believe this is the first movie in history where when a bad guy is defeated, they explode into a pile of coins (even if it's not always enough to even pay for the bus).

Combining all six volumes of the comic into one movie meant that there was never a dull moment, whether Scott is practicing with his band or fighting Ramona's evil exes or ordering coffee from his barista sister (the marvelous Anna Kendrick who didn't get enough screentime but had some of the best lines).  I loved that they preserved the comics' intro captions whenever a new character is introduced-- it was not only a nice nod to the comics, but it also helped to keep track of the many characters.  Obviously some changes were made to the plot to keep it under 5 hours, but the bulk of the story was kept and it was a perfectly coherent story in its own right.

All of the actors were perfectly cast for their characters-- even my initial doubts about Brandon Routh as the vegan-mystic Todd Ingram (Evil Ex #3) and Kieran Culkin as Scott's snarky gay roommate Wallace Wells were completely demolished.  Wallace, who is my favorite character in the comics, remained so for the movie-- nothing's funnier than watching him text gossip about Scott all around Toronto in his sleep.  And as an Arrested Development fan, there was a particular glee in watching Michael Cera and Mae Whitman (Evil Ex #4!) battle it out.

Do yourself a big favor and see this movie.  It's funny and quirky and possibly the first film really of our "Millennial" generation.  Scott Pilgrim vs. The World will be released in theaters in the US on August 13th.
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