Five Cool Things and Game of Thrones: Season 7

Cool things I discovered this week include La La Land, Catwoman comics, and a new Game of Thrones trailer.
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I work from home which has all kinds of advantages.  One being that I don't have a boss with prying eyes constantly checking out what I've got pulled up on my screen.  Nerd that I am what I've got pulled up on one of my screens is usually a comic book.  Whenever I need a short break I pull one up and read a few pages.  Day after day, week after week I've been able to read quite a few comics.  Got two read this week which is nice because the movie watching took a bit of a hit.  But I found some cool things to talk about so let's get to it.

Phenomena

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After watching The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, I wanted to see some more Dario Argento films. Phenomena (also known as Creepers) was made in 1985 (which generally places it in second-tier Argento territory) and stars Jennifer Connelly as a teenaged girl who can communicate with bugs.  She teams up with insect expert Donald Pleasance to catch a serial killer. The plot is pretty ridiculous and they don’t do a whole lot with the whole talking to bugs things, but it's got good Argento visuals and a couple of truly creepy scenes.  That’s pretty much all I need in this kind of thing.

La La Land

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In a word: delightful.  Damien Chazelle’s throwback to the old Hollywood musicals is beautifully crafted, marvelously acted, and constructed like a flaky, sweet confectioner’s delight.  Emma Stone is sublime in her Oscar-winning role, and it cemented my fandom of Ryan Gosling.

Girls (comic book)

Girls_issue_1_(comic_book_cover).jpgAfter pissing off nearly everyone in his small town with a drunken rant, Ethan nearly runs over a beautiful, wounded, naked woman coming out of a cornfield. Being too drunk to drive to the hospital one town over, he takes her home, patches her up, and gets seduced. 

In the morning she’s laid several large eggs which hatch into adult-sized clones of herself all of which proceed to seduce the rest of the townsmen while then attacking all the women.  Meanwhile, the town is encased in a giant, inescapable bubble which seems to be eminated from a giant sperm monster that eats the women and kills the men.

The Luna Brothers limited series is a wild, weird, fantastic comic book.  I immediately liked the overall concept of the story for the first book or so.  I was less than knocked out by the art and writing.  There were too many characters who were often hard to tell apart.  It spends too much time trying to develop back stories and relationships when all I wanted to hear was more about the crazy naked ladies and the killer sperm.  But then somewhere around book three, it started getting really interesting, and I became more engrossed in the characters than the nutty, space horror happening around them.  It does some really interesting things with gender politics and has a lot of fun with its far-out concept.

Zodiac

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David Fincher’s meticulously researched drama about the infamous California serial killer from the early '70s is more about obsession than the gory murders, but it's a gripping film all the same.  Even though it mostly sticks to the true facts of the case and anyone with a passing knowledge of the Zodiac murderer knows he was never caught, Fincher still manages to make a thrilling mystery.  There is a scene down in a basement that is utterly chilling even though while watching it I knew exactly what the outcome would be. 

I'd not seen it since it first came out but I've randomly listened to or read several things about the real killer over the last couple of weeks which seemed like an omen to watch the film again.  I'm glad I did as I liked it better this time than the last.

Catwoman

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This was my first attempt at reading a solo Catwoman comic.  I know the character through the old TV series and both the Tim Burton and the Christopher Nolan movies, but there, she’s always been more of a sideline character.  Ditto when she’s appeared in a few Batman comics that I’ve read.

Here, she finally takes center stage and she’s kind of great.  Kind of.  It is really well done, but not mind blowing.  The art is really good, sometimes quite stylish, but it rarely rises to the level where I’d want to frame a print.  The stories are well written with lots of humor, action, and it is occasionally quite moving.  I really enjoyed reading it, but it lacks that certain something to elevate it to classic status.

I rather randomly picked up a few issues. As it turns out Catwoman’s solo comics can get rather confusing as there are a few varieties.  For the record, I read issues #63-77 of the recent non New 52 Catwoman run, if that makes any sense.  It's the run that was originally written by Ed Brubaker (who I love).  My comics were written by Will Pfeifer (who I’ve never heard of).

Really, it all confuses the heck out of me. I feel like these weekly posts are my regular attempts to make sense of all the comic book heroes and their many incarnations.  One day I’ll figure it all out, I’m sure.  Until then I’ll be going back to the beginning of this series.

Game of Thrones

They’ve released the second trailer for Season 7 of Game of Thrones and it's filled with all kinds of good stuff.

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