Monday, August 25, 2014

Tales of Trenzalore

Despite the cool cast and premise I don't have it in me to pay much further attention to SyFy's "Battledogs", so instead you get a semi-spoilery book review of "Tales of Trenzalore: The Eleventh Doctor's Last Stand". Aren't you lucky?

I'm actually MOST excited about the "Eighth" Season of Doctor Who which premiered two days ago... but you may not have seen it yet. Thus... this.

It's four short stories about the town called Christmas on the planet Trenzalore: a low-tech land of perpetual snow and darkness with pleasant inhabitants. (Not unlike Canada, really.) Trenzalore has been under siege for nine centuries, yet remains steadfastly defended from alien invaders by an alien invader called the Doctor.

Each anecdote is worthwhile, quick jaunts in the impossible life of the 1500-year-old Time Lord forced by conscience and circumstance to defend everyone with his wits. In these specific cases, defending them with the added hobbling of a wooden leg, encroaching bodily decrepitude, and a Truth Field that demands total honesty.

Justin Richard's 'Let it Snow' provides a heart-warming story of frozen Martians and avalanche. 'The Dreaming' by Mark Morris offers the mental menace of the Mara. Paul Finch brings an explosive tale of tundra and plastic bullies in 'Strangers in The Outland'. My favourite was 'An Apple A Day' by George Mann. It features the carnivorous avocado known as the Krynoid, whose origin story 'The Seeds of Doom' from 1976 was, for me, most memorably horrifying.

Second item of good news for me: George Mann is the author of 'Engines of War', a Doctor Who novel I ordered a month ago sight unseen. I'm pretty much bound to love it!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

38th Birthday- All The Present I Need

Life is so full of hurry and hustle 
Sometimes I think it's passing us by 
The days are like hours, hours like minutes 
I'm caught up in it till I look in your eyes 
And to my surprise I find there is a heaven 
Timeless and real, making me feel 
Free and alive 

You touch me, you kiss me, and time has no meaning 
I'm on a rocket to some other zone 
Baby, you thrill me - whatever you're doing 
Don't think of stopping until we are light-years away 
All alone, cause I want to keep this 
Treasure for my very own 
Your talent for love 

Lyrics by Lorraine Feather (?)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

R.I.P. Robin Williams

Alien, madman, genie, father, robot, drunken sailor, clown, human wreckage, king of the moon.

When my wife told me last night that we lost Robin Williams, the news felt like a quick punch in the chest.

He's been in our entertainment lives since we first became mesmerized by dancing colours on screens. He was the soul of my 52nd & 89th favourite movies (Disney's Aladdin & Bicentennial Man). As a dramatic actor, he showed me about being human. As a comic, he taught us that everything was mockable- "Humour. Ark! Ark! What a concept."

We're going to miss him, and this is going to hurt for a while. Shazbot.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

I've been looking forward to the Guardians of the Galaxy movie all year. and yesterday I found nothing to disappoint! High praise, really, whenever I get my hopes up about such events they tend to collapse pretty easily. (I'm looking at you, Disney's John Carter. Not literally looking at you, that would require watching you again.)

The characters are splendid. Our villains are creeps of the first order, our heroes are a fun bunch of ne'er-do-wells, who deep, deep, DEEP down, would rather be Er-Do-Wells. Excellent renderings & voices of the horrible/adorable Groot and Rocket (first seen in broad Xandarian triple-daylight) make it very easy to buy into their brand of hyper-reality. Drax, Gamora, and Star-Lord are awesome, just totally spot-on. This is very much the sort of all-outer-space all-the-time action I was wishing for with the live-action Green Lantern movie. (I don't want every comment I make to be bashing something else, but GOTG has quickly become one of my hundred favourites. Sorry, Speed Racer, my former #100, you're probably back on the second-stringers list...)

The sense of humour, way-groovy soundtrack, and whiz-bang big-badda-booms make for an utterly ideal summer flick to enjoy with friends. A cynical heart in just the right place. Maybe you should see it twice before you buy the Blu-Ray! Just sayin'.

I'd like to think the takeaway here is twofold: "Nobody is 100% a dick." and "Life's giving us a chance to give a shit."