Saturday, October 13, 2007

Media (update)

I just finished the last episode of Deadwood. It's one of those Firefly like series that seems to have gone away in its prime, although three seasons is a decent run. I really love this show. I would post this entire blog entry in Deadwood speak if I had any skill at writing. The final episode was a bit like what I heard reported about The Sopranos, which I'm still a season behind watching. At the very end, Hearst, the bad guy, is about to be mobbed, stabbed, shot, arrested, and turned on by every main character and group in town. Instead, he's allowed to ride off, the town having been raped by him, these tough people giving in to his every demand with occasional resistance to show they have limits, or at least lack the discipline to take punishment without someone doing something out of frustration. It was probably a realistic portrayal, but not very satisfying.

I also finished season one of Heroes. People in the dealer's room at Conquest San Francisco were raving about it, so I gave it a shot. It's excellent stuff, with some weaknesses in its structure. There are many parallel story lines, some more compelling than others. Several characters are fun to watch, especially the time travelling Japanese nerd, Hiro. He's endearing and truly heroic. The problem is you then have to watch several interspersed stories of less than heroic people, or reluctant heroes, or even anti-heroes. It slows things down, but the writing is well done and avoids falling into stereotypes. I personally despise "capes," as the comic book superheroes are called. Heroes avoids any cape like behavior, yet you do feel for those who rise to the occasion.

I watched Gamers, an independent mockumentary about a group of guys trying to break the record for the longest consecutive time playing "DND." If you're a gamer and you enjoy comedies like Office Space, you'll probably find it pretty funny. A friend gave me a copy. Otherwise I wouldn't have heard of it (check out the link).

Not very exciting is what I watch when I'm sick: Lord of the Rings extended editions. Usually one movie a night. Watching it with a two-year old isn't recommended. They understand neither the battle sequences nor the dialogue. It also teaches them to walk around the house pretending to be a troll. Cute the first time. I skip over all the Frodo and Sam scenes when watching Return of the King. That particular story gets old after a while.

I was watching the other night and thought, as I lie there all sickly from flu/plague, if there is a God, and I'm a Buddhist for gods sake so I don't think this way very often, I hope he's Gandalf as played by Ian McKellan. My mother is probably hoping for Charlton Heston. Maybe we all get what works best in our own minds.

Pippin: I didn't think it would end this way.
Gandalf: End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path... One that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass... And then you see it.
Pippin: What? Gandalf?... See what?
Gandalf: White shores... and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.
Pippin: [smiling] Well, that isn't so bad.
Gandalf: [softly] No... No it isn't.

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