Monthly Wrap Up: March 2013

March has mostly been good to me. Actually, it’s been a great month. For the first time in months, I’ve been able to let go of some of the tension and stress that’s kept me on my feet. Thinking about it more, it’s not too strange that it has made me feel uneasy. A lot of extra freedom and strength has come my way. It’s been so long since I had either, and now that I have both I hardly know what to do with it all.

Right now I’m slowly coming to terms with it all. I’m becoming more confident in myself, my capabilities, and that direction that I’m setting myself in is a good one. I’m lucky. I know what needs to be done, and how to do it. Things should turn out okay in the coming months.

Let’s get on looking at what’s kept me busy and happy during March.

MOVIES

Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn part 1, Breaking Dawn part 2, Star Wars: Episode One, Star Wars: Episode Two, Cool As Ice, The Avengers, Django Unchained, Once Upon A Time In The West, Sound City, Life of Pi, Argo, Les Miserables, 12 Angry Men, Silver Linings Playbook

Funny, it felt like I’d seen a lot more movies lately before I put them all down. Just 17 of them in total.

I know, all those Twilight movies must be sticking out in this list. You can thank the guys at Rifftrax for that one. Without them, I’d have never made it through the first movie. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to watch all of them if it wasn’t for them. Just like MST3K allowed me to sit through a lot of really, really bad movies, Rifftrax allowed me to get through all of Twilight and actually enjoy myself watching them. I’ll never understand how Twilight turned into such a popular thing as it has, and now that I’ve seen the movies I’ve come to the conclusion that I never want to understand. Still, Rifftrax was the highlight of my month. They really offer a fantastic service.

And yes, Rifftrax is also the reason I got through the Star Wars prequels and the infamous Cool As Ice movie starring Vanilla Ice. Cool As Ice features my favorite line from Rifftrax as well. When Vanilla Ice sneaks out of the girl’s bedroom and runs away as the sprinklers go off: “Go ninja! Go ninja! Go! Shoo! Get outta here!”

The best movie I saw this month is easily 12 Angry Men though. It’s been a while since I saw such a powerful movie, and I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started watching it. It didn’t take long before I was sold on the idea and from that moment the movie had my undivided attention.

Also, I still can’t believe I went on being a fan of Sergio Leone’s work without having seen Once Upon A Time In the West. I kinda felt ashamed of myself when I realized I hadn’t seen it yet and made to change that fact as soon as possible. No regrets there.

Books

The Hunger Games, Conan: Black Circle, Foundation

Second month in a row where I didn’t read as much as I wanted to. And no, this time I don’t feel like I made up for it with quality either. Unless you consider The Hunger Games high-caliber writing, which I realize quite a few people do.

I don’t.

In fact, I hated it. And I’m pretty sure I’ve made that point pretty clear on this blog in the past.

At least Asimov’s Foundation more than made up for The Hunger Games. It’s been on my to-read list since forever now, and I can’t stress how much I enjoyed this book enough. Although, to be completely honest here, I cheated.

I didn’t really read Foundation.

Perhaps listened is the better word here. I listened to an audiobook version of the novel. Which is a first for me, I’ve never listened to audiobooks before. There’s no real special reason why I picked Foundation to be the first audiobook I listened to. But I don’t regret it. I feel it’s a very good way to pick up the pace with reading again. Right now I’m considering buying a cheap MP3 player for audiobooks specifically.

This doesn’t mean I’m going to go full audiobook or anything. That’d just be stupid. I love the act of reading too much to do something like that. Same as how I enjoy reading on my eReader just as much as I still enjoy reading from physical books. If anything, the variety in choice of reading methods enriches it all the more.

COMICSSuperman Red Son, The Killing Joke, Batman: Year One, Allstar Superman, Superior Spider-Man 1-6, The Walking Dead 1-12, Guardians of the Galaxy 1

Gavin and Ted are two cool guys. They have a podcast where they talk about comics a lot. I already knew Gavin from the KGBcast and I like the dude, so I decided to listen to him and Ted talk about comics. This then made me want to read more comics again. I mean, I’ve always wanted to read more comics, but it made me more conscious of my desire to do so.

So this month I actually have multiple comics to talk about here.

First thing I read was the amazing Superman novel, Red Son. It’s one of those what-if stories that might as well have come forward in the form of fan fiction since it’s far removed from canon. And despite that, I’d rank it above almost everything from the Superman canon. Superman lands in Soviet Russia and makes a gigantic impact to the country, and the world, during the cold war. Lex Luthor becomes an American hero as he tries to create Superman detergents.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of Superman. Before this, the only major Superman thing I read was his death and return. And I’ll admit, I still rate that story very, very highly. This was something else altogether though. I loved every bit of it.

After that, I read The Killing Joke for the first time. Between then and now, I’ve read it four times. Such a short work, but man, it packs one hell of a punch.

Batman Year One was quite good as well. It was cool to finally read it in comic book form myself.

I wish I could be as positive about Allstar Superman. As much as I loved the story and a lot of the way it unfolded, there were a lot of problems I had with it. The artstyle was just odd and often felt like it wasn’t consistent with the tone of the story itself. The characters acted weirdly detached and illogical. Most of the time it felt like they did things just for the sake of moving the plot a certain direction. Like they had a thing they wanted to do, but then they got their skulls bashed in with an idiot ball. It’s a shame, because the more I read of the comic, the more I really wanted to like it.

Peter Parker’s dead. Long live the Superior Spider-Man, Doc Ock. If you haven’t been paying attention to comics, yes, that is a thing that’s currently being played out. Doc Ock switched bodies with Peter Parker before dying. Now Peter Parker’s dead. Doc Ock, given a new shot at life in a new body, vows to be a better version of Spider-Man than Peter Parker ever was.

The idea itself is really good, but I’m not entirely sure of the direction the story is going right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a giant struggle going on behind the scenes that are causing this weird back-and-forth that’s happening with the quality of this series. Every once in a while a lifeline gets thrown to assure readers things can, and probably will, revert things back to the status quo as they always have. While every now and again something happens that cuts this story loose and placing it further from things ever being the same again.

Whenever Superior Spider-Man cuts loose and does the bold thing, it’s absolutely fantastic. Whenever that lifeline pops up, it’s a mess. If they’re going for this kind of story, they really should just go all out.

I might have mentioned that I tried to watch The Walking Dead TV series some time ago. And that I didn’t like it very much. Since I was reading more comics anyway, I figured I might as well read the original comic book version. Everything I didn’t like about the show is not in the comics. And the comics are pretty much exactly what I wanted from the show. Funny how that goes.

TV
Arrow, RAW/Smackdown

I haven’t really kept up with a lot of TV series. Well, besides Arrow. And I realize that I’d sound like a broken record if I’d talk about how this series has still been improving and has become my favorite action series going on right now. So I’ll shut up now and say none of those things.

One thing I could bring up is that I’m what’s going on in the WWE now and that I watch RAW and Smackdown weekly now. Although that’s not really anything new either.

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