Pop culture catch-up

Right, it turns out that I actually haven't done one of these pop culture consumption posts in a few weeks now. This Monday was a public holiday in South Africa so I was taking a much-needed break from work and blogging (in case you were wondering where I was), and the weekend before, my usual Sunday evening writing time was taken up by a Kelly Clarkson concert.

Film

Anyway, it turns that I owe you guys a number of film reviews. Apart from still having to write my review for The Road, in the past few weeks I've also seen vampire sci-fi flick Daybreakers and Leonardo DiCaprio-Martin Scorsese psychological thriller Shutter Island. Full length reviews will of course be appearing here soon, but both films don't quite fully capitalise on their potential. Daybreakers is easily one of the best vampire movies made in recent years, but it seems to get emotionally distilled by trying to be too much for too many people. Shutter Island, meanwhile, seems to meander for a good portion of its running time, trying to appear more complicated and loaded with issues that it really is. The film is however redeemed by some tasty ambiguity right at its conclusion.


As I said, this weekend was a 3-day one in South Africa, and I spent it down the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast with friends, flailing about in the sea, lying in the sun, playing board games, braaing (barbecuing), drinking and watching DVDs. Film favourites revisited include Alien and 12 Monkeys. Being geeky types (well, some of us more than others), it made sense to also watch Star Wars-themed comedy Fanboys, which is just alright - stronger in concept than execution as it presents the story of a group of twentysomething Star Wars geeks who try to break into George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch in 1998 so that their terminally ill friend can watch Episode I months before its cinema release. There are several cult-sci-fi cameos, including Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams and William Shatner, and even My Name is Earl's Ethan Suplee masquerading as Harry Knowles.


Mostly though, watching the film I found myself yelling "I am Kristen Bell in this movie," usually followed by "Stupid boys! He doesn't deserve her!" You see in Fanboys, the Veronica Mars actress plays Zoe, a comic book store employee who has had a crush on Windows (Jay Baruchel), one of the dorkiest of the Star Wars geeks. Only he and his male friends have no romantic interest at all in this pretty, sweater-wearing brunette, having only seen her as "one of the guys" for several years.

Then again, perhaps I was just that extra bit more sensitive because I was drinking on Sunday evening and at a certain point, before getting dizzy and before my short memory goes, my usual behavioural and emotional inhibitors pleasantly evaporate. So there was loud DVD commentary, drunken tweets, suggestive SMSes and, if there had been a man around who I was in a relationship with, I would have expected to be taken advantage of, given that in that state I typically want to be seduced by someone I like (and trust) a lot. Ah, that optimal state of drunkenness: happily and naughtily tipsy without going so far that you black out or have a hangover the next day.


Gaming

Speaking of the long weekend down the coast, it did give me time to devote some serious thought to my next Dungeons & Dragons character once our group completes our current campaign and begins a new 4th Edition game. Although I am still vacillating between playing a warlock or sorcerer, either class works well with the character concept, which takes contemporary teen cliches and transplants them to a pseudo-medieval fantasy setting. In fact, I'm so excited about the character I'm actually writing her back story as a piece of fiction - and proper fiction writing is something I haven't done in years. Once it's ready I'll definitely post the piece up here as an introduction to someone who couldn't be more different from Herkon, the much admired, hard hitting and pious paladin - even if they're both charismatic half-elves.

Reading

This weekend I finished Charlaine Harris's Dead Until Dark, the vampire-romance-murder-mystery that went on to become Season 1 of TV series True Blood. I must say that I'm really looking forward to reading the later books in the series, where I don't know the twists, because the first Sookie Stackhouse book is in essence the first 12 episodes of the show. Many of the series' most memorably moments are lifted directly from the book - including THAT scene, where Bill climbs out of the earth and takes Sookie right then and there in the cemetery dirt. The only significant differences between the first book and first TV season is that in the book there's no Tara, Lafayette has a much smaller role, Jason doesn't become a V addict and, erm, Elvis Presley hangs around as a retarded, cat killing vampire who likes to be called Bubba.

Television

I have finally started Season 4.5 of Battlestar Galactica, AKA, the very final season of this highly acclaimed sci-fi show. Although steering clear of spoilers, I've heard very mixed things about this final chapter in the saga. However, damn, whatever problems do develop in the final series, they certainly are absent in the intense opening episodes. With beloved characters shifting allegiances and dying unexpectedly, I couldn't resist devouring 4 episodes back to back in a single evening.


So, now I open the blog comments to you. What pop culture has kept you, or is currently keeping you, entertained?

Comments

Dante said…
Drunk, Horny and alone. Everyone has been there. Which reminds me, I must still check Fanboys.
joanna said…
Fanboys is the best movie ever, it made me laugh till I cried. You must know, my favourite line is: Harry Knowles: You are only as strong as your weakest link...
[walks up to Eric]
Harry Knowles: Hello weakest link.
Pfangirl said…
Dante, I think you'll enjoy Fanboys. P.S. You really need to work on your drunken tweeting after Saturday evening's lame attempts at controversy ;)

Joanna, thanks for commenting. The film did have some very funny lines; I'll definitely give the filmmakers that.

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