Preacher is absolutely one of my favorite comic series. Seeing a TV adaptation get made can be exciting and scary. After having watched the first episode, I’m feeling pretty good right now, and can’t wait to watch the rest of the season. The casting so far is fantastic, and the tone feels right. I haven’t read the comics since they originally came out, so I don’t exactly remember all of the twists and turns of the story, and how faithful the TV series is, but right now I’m just enjoying the ride.
I can’t say that the first season of Wayward Pines was particularly great, but it did have a pretty neat twist in the middle that I didn’t see coming, and it was fun to watch for the most part (along with my wife). Season 2 just started, and it’s introducing quite a new setup – still following what happened last season, but skipping ahead a year or two, and introducing some new characters. It’s too early to compare yet, but I hope it’ll again be fun and slightly cheesy.
This is one of those shows that I’ve been wanting to check out for what seems like forever (well, since last year). I didn’t really know what it was about, but had heard that it was pretty good, and with the second season just coming out, I figured I’d finally give it a try. I watched the first episode over the weekend and I definitely liked what it sets up. I haven’t watched a good mystery series in quite a while, so I think it’s going be fun to watch this over the coming weeks.
This show caught me completely by surprise. I hadn’t heard anything about it, and just saw it pop up on Netflix on Friday (it’s a new Netflix Original series), and wow, this show is fantastic so far. I’m only 2 episodes in, but each was so damn funny, and I just love how crazy and meta it gets. I’ve seen Maria Bamford pop up here and there over the years, but have never seen her stand-up, but now I’m thinking I need to.
It’s such a shame that they had to cast the movie the way that they did. This could have been just a big dumb fun adventure movie with a cool world to see, but the fact that the main characters are all white just kept annoying me the whole time. I’m sure they justified the casting by saying it’s a fantasy movie, but when you base your world completely and entirely on Egyptian mythology, architecture, and culture, you can’t help but expect to see actors that actually look like they may be Egyptians, especially in this day and age. I did like the world it’s in – I think ancient Egypt is an awesome setting – and there is a lot of fun stuff to see, but I wish they would have done things differently. Proyas’s Dark City is a movie I really loved, and I definitely want to see him do something like that again.
I’ve just discovered my new favorite TV series. Urasawa Naoki no Manben is a documentary series on NHK Educational that follows Naoki Urasawa – my favorite mangaka – as he interviews various manga creators. What’s especially interesting here is that the cameras follow the person over 4 days, as they are working on pages, and so the “interview” is basically Urasawa and the guest commenting as you (and them) watch the artist in action. Even if you can’t understand all of the Japanese, it’s fascinating to see these pages getting made, and all of the care and attention that goes into them. The episode I watched is with Kengo Hanazawa, the creator of I Am A Hero (a series I’ve recently been reading obsessively), and I was mesmerized watching him addressing issues like trying to give a creature more realism through the depiction of its muscles, or for the expression on a character during a pivotal scene. I can’t recommend this series enough, especially if you have any love for sequential art.
Along with the manga series, I’ve also started watching the anime adaptation that was done in 1999-2000, with 39 episodes (originally on TV, and then through OVA releases). I’ve only watched the first few episodes, but it’s really well done, and they do a great job of adapting the manga stories. Also, it’s not done in order, so for example I’d never read the story for the first episode, but I knew the story of the second episode. I’m really looking forward to watching the entires thing.
While I wait for the final volume of Naoki Urasawa’s Billy Bat to begin serialization this summer, I decided to explore his Master Keaton series. I’d read a couple of chapters a while back, and it hadn’t really grabbed me at the time, but this time, after reading the first few chapters, I started really appreciating the character and the types of stories that are told. At first I think I was disappointed because I wanted something that was more ongoing, like with Monster or Billy Bat, but now I really appreciate that each chapter is a self-contained story, and I’m digging the investigative nature of the series – along with the historical aspects (Keaton is an archeological professor at heart, but also works as an investigator for Lloyd’s of London). I’ve read the first 3 volumes of the original series, as well as the first few chapters of the Master Keaton Remaster series, which takes place 20 years later. Great stuff.
After getting back into Ghost in the Shell recently through the Arise series and the new movie, I wanted to go back and re-watch the original Mamoru Oshii film. It’s always interesting for me to re-visit these movies that I watched so many times back in the day, but haven’t watched in years (in this case, surely 10-15 years or more). Even though I go in not really remembering the story, everything feels so familiar as I watch it, specifically certain scenes and imagery. I can say that this movie still really holds up, and I really enjoyed it, both for the story and the fantastic animation – there’s also a sequence that lasts of a few minutes of just scenes from the city with that haunting Kenji Kawai music that’s just fantastic. Looking forward to re-watching Innocence as well.
I got this game as part of the current Humble Eye Candy Bundle (ends in 3 days), and boy am I digging it. The idea is that it’s an RPG that plays around with RPG eras, and so you’ll be playing with it looking like an NES-era Zelda game, but then you’ll also experience a Gameboy-like look, and at the point where I’m at right now it’s become beautifully 3D. There are also some fun parodies, like a mini game that feels like something straight out of a Layton game. I’m a few hours in, and still really enjoying this.