A good trap targets someone’s inquisitiveness, curiosity and desires…
When one is after a drummer this is a challenge.
On a side note the Koala Road first appeared about this time last year here.
I thought doing a Thanksgiving theme considering the holiday would be a good idea, but in the end I really didn’t get into my selection. Nothing against the films themselves, perhaps I wasn’t in the mood or perhaps it was a sore spot I wasn’t aware of, Considering I haven’t really had the option for several years perhaps it’s something I’m no longer familiar with.
The first on my list, John Hughes’ Planes, Trains and Automobiles, is a buddy film starring Steve Martin and the late John Candy featuring a race to bet back home for the holidays as Murphy’s Law has a field day with them. Starting with flights being canceled due to the snow, trains breaking down and after that anything else that can possibly go wrong while at the same time two completely opposite personalities being stuck together all the way.
I’ve never been the biggest fan of John Hughes’s work but this is different enough that it’s not really an issue. Martin and Candy have pretty good chemistry with Martin playing one of the ultimate tightness and Candy playing a genuinely nice but annoying salt of the earth type. Watching the two bang heads together is half the fun watching how they react to the latest bit of bad luck is the takes care of the rest.
You’re expected to love your family… liking them is optional. Jodie Foster‘s Home For the Holidays is an ensemble piece ably led by Holly Hunter. Hunter plays a divorce single mother who is having a horrible day. On the day she is heading out to visit her Parents in Baltimore for Thanksgiving she is fired from her job and her daughter wants to stay (and have sex with) boyfriend which leaves her alone for a weekend with her eccentric mob of a family. Mostly the story serves as a way to tie together a series of vignettes of human interaction and showing off all of the outrageous cast members for all they were worth. Special credit goes to a very young Robert Downey Jr as her younger gay brother.
This is an adaptation of the series, Allias by Micheal Bendis about a cynical, bitter and hard drinking ex-superhero making a living as a private investigator. I can’t say I was much of a fan of the original comic, (some people liked it a lot of my friends hated it, personally I thought it was competent but I didn’t particularly care for the way they retconned her into the continuity of the Marvel universe.) so I can’t really couldn’t judge it as an adaptation of said comic but I can say that this is one of the best examples of how the genre can be taken seriously and go into the market with the assumption that all of the people who are watching this are grownups.
All in all, as far as the Marvel cinematic universe is concerned, this works just fine with Jessica Jones only being part of the “community for about as long as anyone else in the setting and hadn’t crossed anybody’s radar. That is until she accidentally encounters a mysterious mind controlling psychopath called Kilgrave who kidnaps her for several months destroying her life complete. A year later she making ends meet as a private investigator in New York suffering from severe ptsd, depression and alcoholism. And to make things worse Kilgrave is back
From here we start with a seat gripping cat and mouse game between Jessica and her former abuser. A situation where due to Kilgrave’s powers, nobody can be trusted and everybody is a potential victim.
Krysten Ritter plays Jessica Jones as a terribly damaged young woman who is tough enough to survive what she’s going for but at this point she’s still taking it one day at a time. While she still has friends she is still pushing them away to minimize the risk of being hurt again.
David Tennent is great as Kilgrave. I knew Tennent could do bad not just from the edge his version of the Doctor has but also from his brief but riveting performance as Barty Crouch Jr. In Harry Potter and the Cauldron of Fire and his Hamlet while not technically evil is very much an insufferable jerk. His Kilgrave, is a hedonistic sadist who, if he is to be believed, does not know he’s doing anything wrong. To a slight extent I found him scarier in the beginning of the series in a less is more kind of way where he is almost more of a terrifying concept than a concept, but Tennant’s performance, deceptively charming at one moment than breaking down in a temper tantrum ordering crowds to commit suicide the next, is what really makes this work and as we get to know the character and what he is capable of feel almost lucky that he is only motivated by his own self gratification.
All in all this one is the top of my list for best entries of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I liked the supporting cast especially Mike Colter as Luke Cage and Rachel Taylor as Jessica’s best friend Trish. My only problem with it was the darkness of this story came a little close to the edge of my personal sketch and I got a little tired of a handful of characters being designated victims but all in all this was sixteen hours well spent. (Yes I know it was only thirteen episodes, I’m including commute time to the friend’s apartment. )
Well I finally got to do what I got my zoo membership for… Drawing Gorillas!
The first time I went was a nice Saturday and it was packed and while I’m not going to begrudge people the right to go to the zoo I have trouble getting into my zone if there’s more than ten people around. The second time I tried the last hour of the day… Regrettably the flaw in that plan is thatit turns out we’re not the only hominid species that takes quitting time seriously.
Finally I chose a weekday and it was nicely dead and I got plenty of Gorilla sketches and probably could have gotten more. I had a few with the Orangutans as well but they didn’t come out quite as well. They were moving around too much. Two of them came up to see just what I was doing… even tapping the glass to get my attention!
DUNE is a local group of indie cartoonists and illustrators who gather at Cafe Racer every third Tuesday where over the evening everybody does a page of art then you put down three dollars and it gets printed in the group’s monthly zine.
I’d known about it for over a year but due to have very busy Tuesday evenings I’d either continually forgotten about it or wasn’t able to do it but last month I remembered it.
So it was a nice bunch of artists, many of whom I knew. And after a half hour of brainstorming I started work inspired by the Danse Macabre sketch I’d done that day featuring Bonnie Jackson (or at least another little girl who looks a lot like her) I finished it in two hours. It came out pretty well considering I realized after the fact that this was not a 24 hour comics marathon and this wasn’t a race against the clock (much) and the cheap pen I was using started dying halfway through.
Anyway I just got the original back so see what you think. (Sorry that it kind of comes off as a really late Halloween piece.)
This week’s selection was adventures on the high seas during the napolianic wars
I’ve never actually read any of the Hornblower Novels and my only real exposure to them were though the BBC series of miniseries. And indirectly the Honor Harrington series that is essentially Hornblower in space. As for Peck, while I’m certainly aware of his reputation, the only thing I saw him in was John Huston’s Moby Dick as Captain Ahab, which I always thought he was terribly miscast for. Because of that first impression I’m ashamed to admit I never want out of my way to see any other of his films.
The film is a collection of bits from three of the novels starting with a mission to support a deranged revolutionary against the Spanish who were allies of Napoleon only for the Spanish to turn against Napoleon so Hornblower fight the man he was allied with just a day before. From there more missions occur against the french with Hornblower’s forbidden romance with Lady Barbara Wellesey the sister of Lord Wellington. (Their significant others die ,so they are brought together in the end.)
This was a perfectly solid film. Peck’s performance was very good (though the character’s habitual clearing of his throat got old very quickly) The nautical scenes were very well done (and I can’t help wondering it was model work and how much of it was actually filming the actual ships at sea.
On the otposite extreme was Peter Weir’s Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World staring Russel Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey and Paul Bethany as his friend and ship’s surgeon Dr. Stephen Maturin.
Based on the Aubrey-Maturin series of historical novels by Patrick O’Brian. Master and Commander tell’s the story of the crew of the aging HMS Surprise in a deadly cat and mouse game against a superior and advaned French Ship.
It is interesting comparing this with the Hornblower film. While Hornblower portrays a much more romanticized version of the period. While Master and Comander acts like a realistic snapshot. While Hornblower certainly does not deny that naval battles will have casualties Master and Commander shows it as a meat grinder.
If I had any problem with it was that this was primarily Aubrey (Russel Crowe’s ) film with Mautren’s role only coming into his own halfway through the film.
Otherwise this film was amazing and had me gripping my seat in interest all the way through. (The Galapagos Islands make a great cameo, iguanas and all)