You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2009.

Once again, Lost knocks it out of the park this week. What’s impressing me more than anything is their pacing this season; there’s no way there’s going to be a season-long drag back to the island for the Oceanic 6, and it looks like the time-jumping is over with, at least for the time being. But it’s not without its down side. Inconsistencies are starting to appear from time to time. Spoilers follow, of course.

The most concerning is the events concerning Rousseau and Jin. It’s hard to believe that Rousseau would ever forget the mysterious Korean man who they saved from the water, who vanished into thin air in front of her, and was present at the murder of her boyfriend and Alex’s father. Yet, though I haven’t researched it myself, the internet seems to indicate they have met in previous seasons and she gave no sign of recognition. Perhaps this will be explained.

Very interesting last night was the appearance of the smoke monster and its clear association with a temple we’ve never seen before; a character says it’s “just a security system protecting that temple”. Apparently, this was the origin of the “disease” which “killed off” Rousseau’s team. It was clear that her boyfriend, after entering the temple in pursuit of his abducted teammate, had undergone some kind of change. He unquestionably tried to kill Rousseau, and his unborn daughter, but had the poor luck of a misfire which allowed Rousseau to kill him first. Rousseau clearly believed this was an infectious disease of some sort, as she was convinced Jin was also a carrier, and he barely escaped from her without being shot. Yet there’s no evidence to indicate this was the case. Was it a disease, was it the Others, or even the Dharma Initiative (can’t remember if they were still active at that time) performing some kind of brainwashing? Answers to this will be forthcoming I expect; answers about Rousseau’s lack of recognition for Jin are as well, I hope.

Christian appears again, and we see how Locke made it off the island; apparently, Charlotte is dead and they’re bouncing around in time because Locke didn’t follow instructions correctly. He was told he had to move the island; Ben doing it wasn’t good enough. Christian indicates a distrust of Ben that could mean anything or nothing in this scene, but was interesting nonetheless. Presumably, with Locke knocking the equipment back into alignment the rest of the islanders should be spared from having their brains come out their nose.

Charlotte’s death was anticipated, but I’m still wondering who she was. It’s going to play a key. Born and raised on the island… for awhile I was going with the idea that she was Annie, Ben’s childhood friend, but lack of revelation about a name change and the important role Annie will eventually play, according to the creators, seems to take that off the table. The identity of her parents will be a big reveal, I expect. We should find out soon, as Faraday will be warning the child-Charlotte before long if the flashes are indeed stopping or, at least, slowing.

Off-island, little happened other than the usual distrust of Ben and the fracturing of the O6. Here’s the other bit to me that smacked of deus ex machina – while it came as little surprise that Eloise Hawking is Faraday’s mother, her abrupt reversal of the requirements to get off the island is hard to swallow. Outside Ben & Locke’s body, we’ve gone from requiring Sayid, Kate, Aaron, Jack, Hurley and Sun, to saying that having just Jack and Sun and the previously-unmentioned Desmond will “have to do”? I hope it’s not that simply glossed over. My hope or bet is that their recent contact or reasonable proximity may pull the rest of the O6 into whatever Mrs. Hawking is doing regardless of their current whereabouts in the LA area. Or maybe having the unique Desmond show up changes the formulae. Of course, it’s not like that’s the last we’ll see of 4 of the core cast, so something will change soon. We’ll see next week, I expect, and I’ll be thinking about it until we do.

I have finally read Alan Moore’s superb graphic novel, The Watchmen. Here’s just a few quick thoughts. I won’t be bothering with a plot summary. It came out over 20 years ago, go to Wikipedia if you need one.

A terrifically involving story, the novel is less about its plot, but more about the way it’s executed. It’s not exactly a superhero story, though certainly at least one character fully qualifies as a superhero. It’s more about superhero comics than it is about superheroes. In a clever twist, superhero comics don’t really exist in the Watchman world; they have been replaced by pirate comics, since this world actually has superheroes. And the pirate comic within the comic was awesome, by the way.

Powerful writing abounds. Right around the time it was initially published was during my most active period as a comic book fan, but my 12-year-old self wasn’t aware of it, since I was a Marvel reader deeply immersed in the world of Secret Wars, and I paid little heed to the DC universe or publications. I’d lament that this caused me to overlook The Watchmen at the time, but I really don’t think I would have been capable of fully appreciating it, anyways. The appendices, flushing out the backstory, were an especially great touch, as it gave a lot more word-space than a graphic novel can usually afford.

I was especially impressed with the 6th issue of the book. The backstory of Rorschach is an existentialist nightmare, some of the bleakest writing I’ve ever read, and it moved me in a way that no graphic novel has ever done in the past.

I’m greatly anticipating the film, though I do have some worries. The trailer captures many of the action sequences beautifully, but the novel was not about action sequences, and it doesn’t end with a big sequence, but rather more of an intellectual debate in an unlikely location, not long after an intellectual debate in an even more unlikely location. Zach Snyder isn’t exactly known for subtlety, but if he handles the material properly, he’s certainly capable of making the film that the novel deserves. I just worry that it’ll disappoint fans of adaptations like 300 if he stays faithful to the source. And I find it a little depressing that the incredibly beautiful Carla Gugino was cast as the mother of a character who was, in the novel, about exactly her age, while Silk Spectre 2 was cast to an actress in her early 20s. Hollywood, I guess, and I do expect that at least Carla will be more a flashback character.

There’s a matter of some irritation about Alan Moore’s attitude towards the film; Moore has indicated that he thinks it shouldn’t be adapted to film, and any adaptation would insult the source. Sorry, dude, get over yourself. While From Hell did kind of suck, V for Vendetta was a very worthy adaptation of its source. Give it a chance. I hate it when artists or fans of a piece of art from one medium refuse to acknowledge that it can be done justice in another. It smacks of arrogance, of believing that your form of artistic expression is superiour to another. Christopher Tolkein is a prime example; I know that movies rarely-to-never do justice to a great book, but Jackson’s Lord of the Rings adaptation was a very long way away from suckage, and I’d like to think that J.R.R. would have enjoyed it. The Godfather was a better film than a novel. It can happen, and I do think that comic books, as pre-made storyboards, have more potential to be adapted to great film than many others. Sin City, anyone?

A final note is that, I have to say, the clear imitation of the first season of Heroes makes me quite depressed about the series. I mean, the first season kicked ass and got us all hooked, and it’s now clear to me that they borrowed very heavily from Moore; the watchmaker parallel makes it very clear, and the whole concept of eradicating a significant portion of New York’s population in the interest of all humankind was too close to ignore. I guess maybe that’s why Heroes has had so much trouble since Nathan flew Peter into the clouds; the writers weren’t sure who to copy next. Last week’s episode indicates they’re turning to X-Men for their source material; I can accept borderline plagiarism if, at least, it makes for some entertaining television.

Glad to have finally read this modern masterpiece, and I strongly encourage anyone with even a little interest in this genre to read it immediately if they haven’t already.

UPDATE: Having read some more about Moore’s objections to the film, I can see my initial reading mis-represented him as having a blanket objection to film adaptations of his work. Further reading shows me that his concerns are specific to the film – largely the choice of Snyder as director – and have also arisen through his conflicts with the studio over V for Vendetta. My apologies.

Okay, I’m not much of a football fan, nor do I really know much about the game. But that game kicked ass. Exciting plays and a lead that swung back and forth enough to keep me glued to the TV, especially the last few minutes. The Boss rocked, as well.

The Office episode that came after was outstanding. Both hard to watch at times – Michael’s roast – and then sublimely funny.

Excellent episode of Big Love tonight, if you’re a fan; confirmation about the compound and the “Prophet” like we haven’t really seen since the beginning, terrific subplot with the future 4th wife.

Some good Superbowl ads – all seen online instead of their proper HD glory thanks to the CRTC – but not as many as in years past. Blame the economy. The Hulu ad pwned all. Weird to see no presence at all from the big gaming/computer companies – nothing about PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo, Apple, Microsoft. Are they all hurting so bad they couldn’t afford 30 seconds?

latest books