Wednesday, November 30, 2011

media update: November

Oh my god, if today was a woman I would kick her in the fupa. It has been one of the most frustrating work days I've ever had in my LIFE, and I'm not entirely sure how I've managed to keep from bursting into tears yet. I think I'll recuperate tonight with my American Horror Story backlog and a big glass of wine. Too bad the XBOX is at G's, because I'd love to bust some headshots in a bandit or two right about now. Yay catharsis.

But on the plus side, thanks to this entry, I managed to complete NaNoJoMo! 30 entries in 30 days, booooooy! Sure, I did a lot of padding with lists and whatnot, but whatever. I don't think I'll ever do it again, but it was fun.

Anyway, asterisks denote something I particularly enjoyed or found especially worthy of my time; your mileage may vary.


1. The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor* by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga: I decided not to give this a proper review because I don't know when or if this particular character will appear on the show, so I don't want to spoil anything. But if you're a fan of the graphic novels, you're sure to enjoy this as well. Some of the writing is a bit stiff, but overall it was a good "potato chip" book, in that I kept telling myself I'd stop at a particular point and then say "nah, one more chapter".

2. 11/22/63* by Stephen King: Jake Epping is an English teacher living in Maine. One night, his friend Al tells him that there's a portal to the past in back of his diner. Al's been using it to go back and buy beef at 1958 prices, but now that he's terminally ill, he wants Jake to use the portal to go back in time and prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Jake, understandably, thinks Al has lost his mind, but it turns out that Al's telling the truth. Jake decides to go back in time, not only to stop the assassination but to change the sad fate of one of his GED students. But a burgeoning romance with a lovely young librarian and the reluctance of the past to be changed will test Jake in ways he can't even begin to imagine.

Not too many people can top Stephen King at his best, and although 11/22/63 isn't remotely scary, it's an example of King at the top of his game. I had a few minor quibbles, like how the phrase "the past is obdurate" pops up about eight hundred times, but this sprawling behemoth of a book kept me captivated until the end. And oh, that final chapter.


1. God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales* by Penn Jillette: The famous magician talks about atheism and what it means to him, as well as interspersing anecdotes about his career. He's not particularly nice to agnostics; he basically calls us spineless pussies who can't commit. Despite that, I loved this book. He makes some great points, and he's really funny; one chapter in which he visits a gay bathhouse made me laugh so hard I was gasping for breath.

2. Try This by Danyelle Freeman: This guide to ethnic cuisine is triple X-rated food porn, although the author comes across as really unlikeable. (And it's not just me; there's a review on Amazon that's so scathing I gotta assume they have personal beef with Ms. Freeman.) Tip o' the hat to the book designer, because the cover, which shows the flags of different countries made out of their signature foods, is awesome.


1. 20th Century Boys* vol. 17 by Naoki Urasawa

2. Highschool of the Dead vol. 4 by Daisuke Sato and Shouji Sato

3. A Bride's Story vol. 2 by Kaoru Mori

4. Kamisama Kiss vol. 5 by Julietta Suzuki

5. Chew vol. 4 by John Layman and Rob Guillory

6. Batwoman: Elegy* by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III: Okay, did everybody know Batwoman is a lesbian but me? At any rate, this has absolutely gorgeous color and artwork...which it should, since J.H. Williams III worked on Alan Moore's Promethea, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that had some museum quality art in it.

7. We Were There* vol. 13 by Yuuki Obata: This volume actually HURT to read. If you've been following this series from the beginning, I highly recommend having tissues at the ready.

8. Black Bird vol. 11 by Kanako Sakurakoji

9. The Death-Ray by Daniel Clowes

10. iZombie: uVampire by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred

11. Rin-Ne vol. 7 by Rumiko Takahashi

12. Hark! A Vagrant* by Kate Beaton


1. Horrible Bosses*: Driven to the brink of despair by their awful bosses, three friends hatch a scheme to take care of the problem. Very funny and raunchy, and Jennifer Aniston steals the show as a predatory dentist with a supremely filthy mouth.

2. Captain America: During WWII, scrawny Steve Rogers dreams of joining the army and fighting for his country, but he keeps getting rejected. He finally gets his chance when a secret research project turns him into Captain America, the only superhero who's so squeaky clean that he makes Superman look like a debauched libertine. Still, it's a fun popcorn flick, and it nicely sets the stage for the upcoming Avengers movie.

3. Fast Five: Achingly gorgeous Paul Walker and emo beefcake Vin Diesel return for more fast cars and delightful 'splosions, and this time, they're being chased by a federal agent (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) who's determined to stop their shenanigans. Much better than it ought to be, thanks to some fun action and an awesome car chase near the end of the movie.

4. Cars 2: Well, I suppose even Pixar can fuck up once in a while.

5. Batman: Year One*: Bruce Wayne assumes the Batman identity in this excellent animated adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel. There's also a really good Catwoman short (penned by Paul Dini!) on the DVD, so this is well worth checking out for comic book fans.

6. Green Lantern: Test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) becomes a Green Lantern, which is sort of like an alien cop devoted to protecting the universe. It's pretty dumb, and the special effects are underwhelming, but I have to give it credit for something. We had the disc paused to make lunch, and I said to G, "God, one thing that has always bugged me about superhero movies is [spoiler]." And then shortly after we restarted the movie, they addressed that exact issue, so props for that at least.

7. Super 8*: Six young friends are shooting a homemade zombie movie when they accidentally catch a train crash on tape. It turns out that there's much more to the crash, and it could completely devastate their entire town. I thought it fell apart a little at the end, but I really enjoyed it, and I don't remember the last time I saw such natural child actors in a movie. Their dialogue and interactions are absolutely spot on.

8. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: In this completely unnecessary sequel, Captain Jack Sparrow is searching for the Fountain of Youth. I saw this less than a week ago and can barely remember a thing about it, so there's a glowing endorsement for you.


1. "You're the Best Around" (South Park version) by Joe Esposito

2. "Push It" by Jessie and the Toy Boys: When G and I went disco bowling, they played this song (and #3) and I knew it would be a worthy addition to my iTunes "Cleanin'" playlist. I had no idea what this one was called, though, so I had to Google "dick like Marlon Brando" because those were the only lyrics I could remember. So that was a fun addition to my browsing history.

3. "Sexy and I Know It" by LMFAO

4. "Carry On My Wayward Son" by Kansas

5. "Something Sweet" by The Allies

6. "Why Do Good Girls Like Bad Boys?" by Angel and the Reruns

7. "Girls Like Me" by Bonnie Hayes and the Wild Combo

8. "Someday, Someway" by Marshall Crenshaw

9. "Eaten by the Monster of Love" by Sparks

10. "Mini-Skirted" by Sparks