Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Media Consumed: March 2011

Books Read
Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?     By: Michael Benson
Suddenly In the Depths of the Forest     By:  Amos Oz
*+Something Under the Bed Is Drooling     By: Bill Watterson
The Adventures of Sir Gwain the True     By:  Gerald Morris
+The Dark Tower-The Gunslinger: The Journey Begins     By: Robin Furth, et al.
American Lightning     By:  Howard Blum
5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth     By: The Oatmeal
+Asterios Polyp     By:  David Mazzucchelli
+The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone By     By:  Robert Kirkman, Tom Moore, et al.
Just the Right Size     By:  Nicola Davis, et al.
I Will Make of Thee a Great Nation     By:  Val Greenwood
+The Walking Dead, Vol. 2: Miles Behind Us     By:  Robert Kirkman, Tom Moore, et al.
Danse Macabre     By:  Stephen King
Drive! Zits Sketchbook #14     By:  Jerry Scott & Jim Borgman

* = denotes a previously read worl
+ = denotes a graphic novel, TPB, or collection of comic strips

The two books I enjoyed reading most in March were both by Stephen King.  The Dark Tower-The Gunslinger: The Journey Begins is the next chapter in the series of graphic novels/TPBs being published that are adapted Stephen King's Dark Tower saga into an illustrated form. I really need to read the regular books and I intend to, but until then, I'll keep whetting my appetite with this series of graphic novels.

The other book I enjoyed most was King's Danse Macabre. It's basically a treatise on horror fiction in literature and film that King adapted from a series of lectures he delivered (in the 1970s I believe). King is just a great writer in general, but I've found that the stuff I enjoy most from him is his non-fiction and his non-horror writings. Danse Macabre is all about horror, but it's a massive tome of non-fiction. I learned a lot about the genre. I know a lot of it can by crap, but now I feel I have a more thorough sharper stick to help me wade through the crap and fight off the piranhas.

Other recommendations from this month are The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone By and 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth.  I picked up Days Gone By after having previously watched the entire first season (6 episodes) of the tv show on AMC as it aired. Even though the show can be incredibly gory, the show was some amazing tv because it was a show about the characters and their journey to survive and not just about zombies and some cliche plot. The first couple episodes of the tv show seem to have used this first graphic novel in the series as a storyboard.  As for 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth, it's a book that's kind of gross, bizarre, outlandish, and naughty. But if you can scavenge through some of the garbage you'll find some amazing gems: such as some of the best grammar instruction guides I've ever seen or the reason you need to know more about Nikola Tesla.

Movies Watched
The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Piranha (1980)
The Forbidden Kingdom
Touching Home
Panic In Year Zero
Battle Los Angeles
Piranha 3-D
Romancing the Stone
The Maze
The Last Lovecraft
Titanic II
The Expendables
Flash Gordon

Roger Corman's original Piranha was a joy to watch. Low budget and all, it's vastly superior to the 2010 remake.

Touching Home is a great little semi-autobiographical movie made by two twin brothers. It stars Ed Harris in one of the finer performances of his career.

Rango is a bizarre cartoon. It's a modern Western told with mostly animated lizards.

Battle Los Angeles was a thoroughly enjoyable, mind-candy action movie.

The Maze is a low-budget horror flick that I enjoyed because of the corn mazes my family and I used to visit.

Paul was a major disappointment.

The Last Lovecraft is another low-budget picture. It's an action comedy that is hilarious and is even more enjoyable if you know anything about H.P. Lovecraft.

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