Thursday, December 31, 2009

Breaking Down the Aughts :: Ten People, Places and Things I'm Thankful to Have Encountered Over the Last Ten Years.

And here they are, in no particular order.

The Realization of Bubba Ho-Tep ::

This is what happens when one of my favorite ic
ons [The Big E], and one of my favorite actors [Bruce Campbell], and one of my favorite authors [Joe Lansdale] is put into a blender by an alchemist from the House of Coscarelli and turned into pure cinema gold. Hands down, my favorite movie of The Aughts.

Case Closed ::

I'll admit the previews for TNT's The Closer, with the fiddle-dee-dee approach of Kyra Sedgewick's Deputy Chief Brenda Lee Johnson,
didn't do much for me. Luckily, I still tuned in and found one of the best ensemble pieces to come down the pike since ... I don't know when. Solid mysteries, solid twists, and a solid lead character is usually enough to hook me, but it's the secondary characters that truly fleshes this out and keeps bringing me back for more -- and I still hold out hopes for a Provenza and Flynn spin-off series.

Pegg, Wright, Frost & Associates ::

Spaced, Shaun of the Dead
, Hot Fuzz and counting...

If You're Looking for Me, You Better
Check Under the Sea, Mailbox-Head ::

Of the first wave of Adult Swim cartoons, it was the minimalist absurdity of Captain Murphy, Marco, Sparks, Debbie, Stormy, Hesh, and Dr. Quinn stuck at the bottom of the ocean in Sea Lab 2021
that made me laugh the hardest.

A New Dirty Harry for the C.S.I. Generation ::

I back-door'd into Jeff Lindsey's Dexter Morg
an novels after being exposed to a couple episodes of Showtime's fantastic series, Dexter. The first novel was a new and different take on the serial killer, the second not so much, and the third needs to be retconned out of existence as soon as possible before I even think about cracking open the fourth. [... Robo-Doakes? Seriously. Robo-Doakes.] The TV series fared better, though the second season suffered, I think, mightily from the impending writer's strike come to pass. But from what I've heard the 3rd season is back on track, and firmly anchored by Michael C. Hall as the P.D. lab rat by day, avenging serial killer by night, I'm eager to get back into the blood-soaked crime scenes, so to speak.

The Quite Spectacular Spider-Man ::

Not only is this animated adaptation of old web-head nearly note perfect in tone and execution
, it also strikes a perfect balance of staying true to the source material and contemporaneity that one can only watch and boggle at the action, drama and intrigue with a huge smile on your face as the [yes it even has an] obnoxious theme song gets stuck in your head. And after you've absorbed the first two seasons of episodes, that split time equally with Peter Parker and his alter-ego, you, like me, won't give a shit about Spider-Man 4 [which had a steep hill to climb after Debacle-Man 3 already] but will be more concerned about the fate of Season 3, which, being a Sony product, is currently up in the air after Marvel's sale to Disney. Regardless, it was awesome to see Gwen Stacey again, alive and well and whose fate, hopefully, isn't cast in bedrock, meaning, also hopefully, the series writers won't throw her under the bus when they get tired of her like their predecessors did.

Welcome to Dog River, Saskatchewan.
Population: Around 500 ::

Maybe its the fact that the title town and province are almost an anagram of Holstein, Nebraska, [Population: Around 100] is wh
y I love this show so much, but even if you're not rural in your roots the hick humor and hayseed buffoonery of small town life as portrayed by the Caknuckle-headed denizens in Corner Gas is pretty damned funny.

The Three Faces of Andy Serkis ::

The British Invasion via BBC America ::

Life on Ma

ire in the Blood



Black B

Dr. Wh

Fighting Crime with Ed Brubaker ::

As the decade progressed and my stack of monthly slicks from the old comic shop whittled down to almost nothing as both major companies made some monumentally stupid decisions, decisions equivalent to jamming your car into reverse at 80mph, destroying your transmission, and turning your only means of transportation into a giant paper-weight of grinding gears going nowhere fast as the engine slowly devours itself, there was one author who seemed immune and continued to draw my readership: Ed Brubaker. And from his revamp of Catwoman [with Darwn Cooke], to Gotham Central [with Greg Rucka and Michael Lark], to his incredible run on Captain America [with Steve Epting], where Steve Roger's death was way, way more than a cheap gimmick to boost sales, and the resurection of Bucky Barnes is anything but hackneyed, nobody did it better. And if that wasn't enough, his Criminal series is just as good, and I've just started going through his Daredevil trades and am happy to report everything this guy touches seems to turn to gold.

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