Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What to do when you have nothing to do

So I have been reading and watching movies and old tv shows.

We set up a new rental account at the Family Video. Not Blockbuster. So Family Video, still one of those old mom-and-pop type video stores, has some amazing deals--we are getting half price for a month. Videos are like a quarter.

So I rent some crap. Didn't think it was crap.This movie was utterly horrible. It was pretty and had a lot of potential, about a Chosen One in a fantasy world. Right up my alley. But the execution was horrific. Boring. You know when a movie is
really boring? when you keep pressing Display on the DVD remote to see how much left you have to endure. Even the kung fu wasn't enough to keep this one going.

Here's one I never watched before.When I was a young teenager, I wasn't allowed to watch Rated R movies--I am glad now that I didn't as I think it was the right decision and do it to my own kids. So I never watched the Nightmare on Elm Street series, only seen bits and pieces on cable. I have to admit, Wes Craven can make a movie without much there. I can't believe this flick spawned five or more sequels, with Freddy vs Jason, and a fanboy craze. It's okay. You have to watch it from that early-80s mindset, and it's okay. I'll probably go through the series now.

We really enjoyed this movie in the Butcher household. It's fun. It's like a modern-day Indiana Jones (without the aliens). I'll admit, I don't much care for Nicholas Cage, but this is just a fun movie. Well worth watching. Somehow, the amazing part of these National Treasure movies is that you want to believe all this stuff is possible.

I watched two more Star Trek: The Original Series episodes through watched "Charlie X," billed as the second episode of season one. This is another of those "cerebral" episodes that Roddenberry was so fond of. A teenage castaway was given ultimate powers from some super alien race, a race that in all my Star Trek trivial knowledge I have never heard from again. The Thasians were never heard from again. (Ripe for a new novel, if you ask me.) He's basically a Q character, like the Squire of Gothos. It was good, but a bit long. This must have been the first episode with Kirk beating Spock in 3D chess. Charlie does manage to destroy an entire cargo vessel, the Antares, before Kirk knows anything. I was especially intrigued by Yeoman Janice Rand, played by Grace Lee Whitney. I wondered why her character didn't last--she was in a few episodes, but never became a regular. I looked her up on and she eventually becomes a communications officer under Captain Sulu.

I then skipped around and watched episode six of season one, "Mudd's Women." Now these were both two episodes that I had never seen before. "Mudd's Women" was boring. I can't believe they thought Mudd was charismatic enough to be the one recurring original series "antagonist" that they brough back into another episode later. This was a boring, pointless episode. I suppose one of the only things interesting about it is the fact that the characters don't all have to be in Starfleet. No one dies in this episode, no "red shirts."

And through my Netflix Watch Now, I managed to get through all 17 episodes of the classic Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Fabulous. Absolutely fabulous. An obvious precursor and inspiration for The X-Files. This was a series that must simply have suffered from its era. Made in 1974-1975, the effects when they ahd to do them were laughable. I laughed heartily at that one Lizard-Man thing. It was due to die in the U.S., same as the early Doctor Who never took off amongst the general American public because of some of the effects. Americans sometimes can't suspend belief--they have to be dazzled by special effects. Kolchak is incredible, and superbly acted by Darren McGavin.

And I have read a few old comics:
House of Mystery (DC) #266 from March 1979
Super Powers (DC) #1, 2 from 1984, where it says plots by Jack Kirby but I don't know how much he actually put into it. Fun reading, but little else.
Secret Origins (DC) #37 featuring the Legion of Substitute Heroes and Doctor Light. This was more of a funny comic than a real origin issue. I am interested in Doctor Light since the awesome reboot of the character in DC's Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer in that his ineptness and stupidity was brough about by a spell under the authorization of the Justice League.

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