There were blowings-ups. And killer robots. And post-apocalyptic nonsense. And Christian Bale in a Messianic fury. And several inconsistencies which we are supposed to blithely ignore. It was fine. And noisy.
Star Trek: Rebooting a Series Which Has Seen More Reboots Than the Beta Version of Windows Vistasince when was Jim a beatnik?
It was nowhere near as bad as I had feared. That is not to say that it was good. It was distinctly JJ Abrams-y. There were a few too many conversations in extreme profile close-up and a few too much cool shit for the sake of being cool. Christopher Pine is too pretty, too young, and not Kirkian enough for my tastes. There was no need for the clumsy and unnecessary love story (hmmm... have I said this before?) But Karl Urban was the epitome of the good doctor, and Zachary Quinto didn't make me want to strangle him. We will ignore the wretched plot holes and the facial tattoos on the Romulans. Also, the occasional stilted lines of dialog and stiff deliveries were easy to dismiss, as that is par for the course with Star Trek. All in all, it was not the worst of the lot. That honor, of course, belongs to Star Trek IV: The Journey Home. Neither is it the best of them - Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country tie for that in my book. It was solid, if blinding, thanks to Abrams' irritating adoration of the lens flare. I will save my gripes about the look of the bridge and the uniforms for someone who wants to tune out my ranting. I will probably watch it again on DVD, if only to point out the glaring discrepancies to my companion, who is not a Trek fan per se, and who is uncaring but patient as the day is long.
thaaaaat's more like it.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
I always knew Lizzie Bennett had it in her. Any story is improved with muskets and katanas.
The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America
This is an interesting examination of the cultural divide that occurred in post-war America between adults and adolescents, who for the first time were being recognized as something apart from either children or grown-ups. There were the first stirrings of the generational gap that would fully evidence itself by the late 1960's, and the outcry over true crime comics and, shortly thereafter, the newly fledged genre of music called rock and roll, presaged the unrest by more than a decade. Also, there were some cool full-color repros of old horror and true crime comic covers.
It might be mere coincidence that Steve Earle released an album of covers of songs written by the late Townes Van Zandt just weeks after Earle's son (and Van Zandt's namesake) Justin Townes Earle released his own sophomore effort. It might just be chance that there are echoes of Van Zandt's yearning outlaw country voice in the younger Earle's writing, which also recalls Hank Williams and a pinch of Bob Wills. It might be happenstance that both these albums were recommended to me in roundabout ways - one through an independent online music subscription service, the other the daily sale offering from a huge online music merchant. But all of a sudden, I am listening to a lot of serious country and western music written earnestly and unironically, and I am loving every minute of it. Sometimes there is an honesty in country music that is unparalleled in any other type; the lyrics cut through the bullshit to the heart of the matter in short order. The chorus in this song says what I haven't been able to spit out for the last month and a half:
And my favorite Townes Van Zandt song, which is one I have known all my life, is the rest of what I would say were I less of a coward:
All the rest is just the usual stuff. Go listen to that Justin Townes Earle song again. It's real good.