Monday, May 21, 2007

I'm finally reading Albion's Seed. Interesting material, reads very much as the summary of an entire school's worth of research, rather than the product of the sort of solitary hero-historian stance you usually encounter in Civil War history. I suppose that's due to the statistics-heavy cultural/demographic nature of the material, which is inherently dense and intensive on the sort of heavy-duty archive gruntwork for which grad students & doctoral candidates employed en mass are best suited. The author is quite harsh on late-Nineteenth and early-Twentieth colonial-history revisionists, especially those who campaigned against the notion of Virginia being led by "distressed cavaliers", and he directly dings some of them for having pushed their thesis without actually having done the heavy lifting in English archives that would have disproved the revisionist argument that the Virginian founders were plebian and commercial pretenders to gentility.

Also started reading the first volume of the Del Rey re-translation of Parasyte. Excessively literal in places, I suppose to compensate for the very, very loose translation of the old Tokyo-Pop version. Still a lot of fun, teeth-grindingly literal sound effects and all.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Wow, Spiderman 3 was bad. Like, walk-out-in-the-middle bad. I didn't bother to look up any reviews because the second movie had been so good, but I should have remembered the sequel half-life rule. The chances of a good second sequel following a good first sequel is vanishingly small... It was as if they couldn't find a decent script, and just took the first three off of the top of the pile, dropped them into a blender, and poured a glassful of the results into a mug. It was about twenty minutes too long, was full of logic flaws & deus ex machina, and was over-crowded with villains. It certainly didn't help that the writers included almost every bad idea ever inflicted on the Spiderman comic, though they managed to resist the Gwen Stacy clone thing. I guess they needed to hold something really bad in reserve for the inevitable direct-to-video fourth movie.

Oh, and Stan Lee? Go home, and stop inserting yourself into Marvel franchise material. I know it's the only thing left to you after the suits bounced you out of control oh so many years ago, but I'm tired of seeing, and worse, hearing from you.