Friday, February 27, 2009

Weekend Plans of the Nerd Kind (Feb. 27th - March 1st)

The Changeling and Robin-B-Hood. That's quite a double-feature, I know. But eclectic is how I roll, baby.

Was going to see Caroline in 3D this weekend, but the wife and I went last night, in case it wasn't playing on the digital screen at our local multiplex anymore...and to avoid the tyranny of teenagers, since we went to the late show on a school night. Loved every second of that movie. Henry Selick puts almost equal care into the story as he does the animation, and the two feed off each other, strengthening the other, creating one of the most vivid and imaginative worlds that I've ever seen in a movie. Seriously, it's better than Nightmare. It's that good.

See it in 3D if you can. It's going to be visual feast one way or the other, but the 3D isn't just a gimmick in this film. It truly does enrich the experience.

GAMES: Can't stop playing Dawn of War II. Completed the single-player earlier this week on Sergeant (normal difficulty) and, thanks to a bug, didn't get the achievements for completing the game. Not a big annoyance, really - but, man, I felt like I earned that shit. I'm playing it on the next level of difficulty, which is incredibly, surprisingly difficult for it being only the third of four difficulty levels. The earliest missions on Captain are as hard as the final missions on Sergeant, and you are severely punished for any errors in strategy or timing.

Still need to finish GTA IV: The Lost and the Damned. I've been stuck on the same mission for several days now (can't remember the name - but it's the diamond exchange gone wrong from the original GTA IV), and haven't had much desire to get back to it. That'll probably change after having my ass handed to me repeatedly in Dawn of War II as the game gets harder. And I'll probably end up cycling back and forth between ass handings from each game until I hurl my mouse or game controller at the nearest available cat.

Lastly, still debating about picking up Street Fighter IV. Never been a huge fan of Capcom's fighters - except the Marvel vs. Capcom games - but something in my gut tells me I'd dig this game. I hear they kept the Japanese dialog - something I almost consider mandatory now from Japanese games - as an option, and the sheer amount of gameplay options and unlockables will keep you coming back for more and more. Might pick it up if I'm out today.

BOOKS: I've got a shitload of comics to read. Want to re-read Watchman before it comes out, and my wife, who gets mad props for this, got me the last two Hellboy graphic novels and the entire Bone series for Christmas.

I devour comics too quickly. I'm a fast reader by nature, and tend to focus on the dialog balloons and little else as I race through the story, wanting to know what happens next. To combat this, I'm reading a single issue a day, savoring each panel, until I run out of graphic novels (I always wait for the trade paperback collections - cheaper, better quality, and no ads).

I'm starting with Watchmen, and today will be issue three of twelve. It's never been my favorite story. That's not to say it isn't good, it's just not for me, if that makes sense. Though, if I remember right, it does present a cure for erectile dysfunction in superheroes, which, I must say, is quite rad. It's been five or six years since I last read it, and I wanted the story to be fresh in my mind when I go see the movie next weekend.

On that note, I still haven't made my mind up about Zack Snyder or his adaptation of Watchmen. I think he could grow into quite an excellent teller of sci-fi/fantasy stories, once he calms down a little and learns how to make the quiet moments as rich, dynamic, and enjoyable as his POW! BANG! BIFF! scenes that make for great trailers. Besides Billy Crudup (Big Fish and Almost Famous - two of my favorite movies) and Rorschach, I think everyone in the cast looks too young, too thin, and too pretty.

Also reading Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep. I'm surprised I've never read any of his work, being such a fan of stories from or set in the 30's/40's. I'm also surprised that I'm reading this book right now, while I'm working on a script heavily influenced by film noir. When working on a story, I try to avoid reading or watching anything that remotely resembles what I'm working on. I want a clean slate and fresh prospective when working in heavily established genres, but when I looked through my stack of unread books on Wednesday, after finishing the Republic Commando series, this was the book that called out to me.

I'm about seventy pages in and I'm loving every word of it. The mystery itself is a little too convoluted but this man can write dialog. There's already been a dozens lines that were so good that I'm pissed I didn't come up with them, which, from my point of view, is the highest compliment I can give.

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That's it, people. Have a good weekend.

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