Saturday, December 31, 2011

Media Consumed: June 2011

Books Read
*American Vampire, Vol. 2   by   Various
*EC Archives: Tales from the Crypt, Vol. 1   by   William Gaines & Al Feldstein
Robopocalypse   by   Daniel Wilson
+ The Boardinghouse   by   Vern Harden

* = denotes graphic novel or comic book collection

+ = denotes a play.

During the spring and summer, I just don't read as much as I do in the fall and winter. Two of the books I read were comic book collections and one was a play.

DC sent me American Vampire, Vol. 2 to read. I didn't think I was going to like it, but I did. It's not your traditional vampire story, but isn't like the ribbons and lace version of vampires from the Twilight universe.

I read EC Archives: Tales from the Crypt, Vol. 1 out of curiosity. The visuals in those old EC comics are just amazing. The stories are also good ones. They can be frightening, but nothing that happens in the story just happens for the sake of shock or gore.

Robopocalypse was a book I picked up because it's going to be the next movie that Stephen Spielberg directs. The story is basically a more streamlined version of Terminator told in the form of an oral history.

The Boardinghouse was a play I was in that never happened. The Board of Directors for the organization cancelled it two weeks before we were to open.

Movies Watched
Into the Wild
The Tingler
13 Frightened Girls
X-Men First Class
13 Ghosts
Thirteen Ghosts
Super 8
The Old Dark House (William Castle version)
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights
Green Lantern
Mr. Sardonicus

I was on a William Castle binge this summer. Castle was the poor man's version of Hitchcock. Castle made his name and fortune in the business by being a showman first and foremost. Even though all of his movies were extremely profitable and Castle was a master of many great filmmaking techniques, his showmanship kept him from getting the respect he needed and wanted from his peers and the critics. Some of his films are cheesy, but all of them are entertaining. There's an innocence in his "horror" movies that's missing in almost all major horror movies made from the mid-1970s onward.  The Tingler, 13 Frightened Girls, 13 Ghosts, Homicidal, Strait-Jacket, and Mr. Sardonicus.

Into the Wild was an interesting movie based upon a true story. However, the movie seemed to make the story's protagonist Christopher McCandless more of a hero than he actually was. For such a free-spirited person who had a seemingly high intellect, how he died (of starvation in the wilderness when there was plenty of opportunities for him to leave) is almost absurd. The movie makes it appear that McCandless had no way of leaving his self-imposed solitude whereas in real life that wasn't the case.

X-Men: First Class was a surprisingly entertaining movie despite the fact that it had very little to do with the comics on which it was based.

Super 8 is one of the best movies of 2011. It's kind of a combination of E.T. and The Goonies. It's the best Spielbergian, non-Spielberg movie I've seen.

Green Lantern was kind of a let down. The movie is an average superhero movie, but it had the potential to be so much more. It's an example of what happens when studio execs decide to make a superhero movie and not let the director and writer do their job.

I watched Tron because it's been years since I last watched it. It's a good movie, but there are elements that don't hold up well.

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