What I’m Consuming

I never meant for almost a year to pass since my last “What I’m Consuming post. I know the conversation around here is mostly video games, but I enjoy the occasional discussion of other forms of entertainment, and I feel bad that it’s taken me so long to get back to these posts. I enjoy the discussion and hearing what you guys are watching/reading/listening to. This one could get long. I won’t let that happen again.

First, this summer was supposed to be lousy with exciting blockbusters. It turned out to be a giant turd of a summer for me, movie-wise. With the exception of Star Trek and District 9, I think I caught them all. I’ve seen X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Terminator: Salvation, Transformers 2, Harry Potter: Half-Blood Prince, and G.I. Joe in the theater. To put in perspective how bad this summer was, G.I. Joe was my favorite movie of the lot. That says a lot, both for G.I. Joe and the rest of the movies. Wolverine didn’t impress, Terminator: Salvation was okay but nothing special, Harry Potter made no sense to me (it was my first HP movie, having still never read the books) and Transformers 2 was an unholy abomination that most likely ushered in the beginning of the apocalypse. It was so terrible I don’t have the vocabulary to sufficiently eviscerate its awfulness. On a positive note, I also got to see Up and “9” and loved them both. But it was kinda dusty in the theater where we saw Up. My eyes kept watering.

Through a combination of DVDs, cable, Netflix on the 360 and the ShowBox app, I also finally was able to enjoy some movies I’ve missed in the past, filling some gaps in my movie reperotire. These included Anchorman: Legend of Ron Burgundy (had some hilarious moments), Matrix Revolutions (confusing, frustrating and ultimately buzz killing), Young Frankenstein (haven’t laughed this hard in a while), and No Country for Old Men (A must see, friend-oh).

Also, through the power of Netflix, I’ve been on a documentary binge. I mentioned Confessions of a Superhero earlier, but the wife and I have also watched Bigger, Stronger, Faster (a sad commentary on the state of sports) , The King of Kong (which Nat mentioned earlier and I think is one of the best documentaries ever) and Man on Wire (not as good as King of Kong, but still interesting. I got dizzy and sick to my stomach watching him lie down on the wire between the twin towers).

I’ve also continued down my educational path of the Sci-Fi classics, this time finishing up Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (still holds up exceptionally well, but I could help but hear Ford’s Deckard in my mind as I read it), Snow Crash (with the exception of one section, I really enjoyed this one), and Ringworld (whether this was an inspiration to Halo or not, it was still an exceptional read). I also gave Codex a read (nothing special, but has a gamer slant which was enjoyable) and I got my first taste of Pratchett with The Color of Magic (I am deifnitely looking forward to the next one). Now I’m in the thick of Dune, a book I wish I would have read years ago. And when my eyes are too tired to read I play a little game with my new animal jam codes!

Music-wise, I haven’t been listening to a whole lot of new stuff. I’m still digging on No More Kings and I’ve been dabbling in the nerd-core, mostly listening to MC Frontalot. (Here’s “Final Boss” by Frontalot, a favorite of mine. I think it gets played at the end of Penny Arcade’s first game on XBLA)

Phew, that’s a lot. What have you been consuming?

Comments

  1. Here we go.

    TV
    Eureka on Hulu and Deep Space 9 via Netflix. Other than that, not a blessed thing and it’s been wonderful.

    Books
    This has been a huge summer for me and reading. I’ve done two books a week.
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Meh. Whatever.
    The Lightning Thief: Yeah, now this was some good youth lit. Maybe not as good as some, but the theme was great.
    Green Lantern: Rebirth: this was an excellent tale that tells of the return of Hal Jordan to the Lantern Corps. It was the first Lantern book I’ve read and it was exceptional. This led to…
    Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War Vol 1 and 2: Fast paced. Action packed. Amazing.
    Astro City, Vol. 3 Family Album: Once again, the Astro City books offer an incredible comic universe that is derivative, but entirely original.
    Child 44: This book about one man’s realization of who he is in 1950’s Stalinist Russia was an amazing surprise. I look forward to reading the sequel.
    Genesis by Bernard Becket: My sci-fi read of the year. An incredible look at humanity. To say any more would spoil it. There is one word that will cause you to read the page over and over.
    Script and Scribble: The History of Handwriting: An interesting book that provided a few laughs.
    The Shadow of the Wind: No words can describe how…it may be the best fiction book I’ve ever read. Gothic noir in 1950’s Barcelona that has a monster, lost love, spies, book collectors, incredible plot twists, and all wrapped up with wonderful lines of dialogue and quotable sentences. This is one of those books that spread by word of mouth and now the author is internationally known. Incredibly wonderful.

    There were MANY other titles I’ve read. My general rule of thumb has been to get it on my Kindle if it’s cheaper. It’s been interesting reading on that. I’m a librarian on goodreads, an exceptional book library and social service. I’ve gotten so many recommendations that way. Most of the books I’ve mentioned I’ve got reviewed there.

    Movies
    There were some many I’ve wanted to see, but I only squelched out Watchmen (uh…yeah, too literal), Monster vs. Aliens (a few laughs but only one-watch worthy), and Up (Only Pixar can move me in films any–Squirrel! More, laughing one minute and bawling the next.)

  2. It makes me very sad that you missed Star Trek and District 9. Those movies would have saved the summer for you. Of the ones you watched, G.I. Joe is definitely the highlight. I’ve heard that Up was a bit of a tear-jerker, so I skipped it.

    Being home a lot recently allowed me to consume a lot of non-game related media. Too much to mention here, so I’ll just list the better ones:

    Books: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I know, I know, I should’ve read this one long ago. I’m making up for it now.

    TV: Dead Like Me. My brother recommended long ago. Thanks to Netflix, I sat through the two excellent seasons and the one terrible follow-up movie.

    Music: System of a Down. Lots of it. I kinda like getting angry while listening to it on the road.

    Comics: Everything Batman-related. I have The Long Halloween, Year One, The Dark Knight Returns, The Killing Joke, Hush and Batman R.I.P under my belt. Next, I need Death in the Family.

  3. @Nat
    Another DS9 fan? Awesome. That was my favorite Trek series.

  4. @Will–Oh crap. How could I forget seeing Star Trek? Awesome flick.

    I’ve been watching DS9 via Netflix and it has replaced Voyager as my favorite series for sure.

    The Long Halloween is great. Be sure to read the followup, Dark Victory.

    Dead Like Me is incredible, but the movie is dead to me.

  5. 9 came out already? Yeesh, I’d better get cracking.

    I’ve been reading Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential and Nasty Bits (a collection of essays) and both books are making me hungry and wishing I could cook better..

    DS9 is also my favourite Trek series. It starts off weak but the Dominion War is where the rest of the Trek series should have taken their cues.

  6. @Nat – Genesis and Shadow of the Wind are now on my list. Being set in Barcelona intrigues me.

    Will – unless you’re allergic to tears, don’t miss out on Up. It has some seriously awesome moments. And I will see ST and D9, it will just take time.

    @Brock – 9 did kinda sneak up on me, but I’ve been waiting for so long I was ready when 9/9/09 rolled around.

    I love No Reservations, so I should definitely check out AB’s books.

  7. @Tony—You can get through Genesis in one sitting. It’s that short and that good.

Leave a Reply