What’s New?

I’ve been going back to the well of favorites recently.  Between the passing of Roger Moore and Adam West, my lowered expectations over Wonder Woman and The Mummy having been met, and the unfortunate writing choices revealed in the new Darth Vader prequel comic from Marvel, I feel like fandom has kicked me in the teeth the last few weeks.  What else can one do but go back to the well and reinvigorate the old enthusiasm?  I thought I’d share some of what I’m doing.

On the book front, I’m primarily still working through the audio version of George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones.

I started strong on this one, but I started taking it slower, in more bite-sized chunks as I did with the Disney biography a while back.  There are a lot of details in here that I either didn’t know or had not really been able to reconcile for whatever reason.  I’m learning a great deal.  I hope to be finished with it and review it either today or tomorrow, but we’ll see how it goes.

In print, I’m currently reading four other books.  The one that has most of my attention is Uptight & Off Center by Sharon Heller, PhD.

This book has been most enlightening in regards to sensory processing disorder.  As you might imagine, it’s caused my other primary reads at the moment to be somewhat backburnered as I try to sort myself out with this new information.

Beyond this, I’ve been nibbling at Michael R. Evans’ Inventing Eleanor to get my Medieval history fix, and my goofy Gothic horror fix has been provided by James Malcolm Rymer’s Varney, The Vampire.  In between all of this, I’m still trying to piece together my research as I make my way through The Appendices of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.  No matter how crazy or full life may get, I refuse to half-ass my way through this book.  It just wouldn’t be right.

  

I got new bifocals over the weekend, the progressive HD lenses, not the lined version.  It had to happen.  It was a struggle to read, and that’s just unacceptable in my world.  The good news is I didn’t have nearly the adjustment period I thought I’d have.  It’s really helped, and it’s awesome to be able to read again.

Recent movies have really left a bad taste in my mouth, so I’ve been cleansing the palette with some older stuff.  For my Disney project, I’ve recently acquired the new Blu-ray editions of Bambi and its new sequel.  I’m leery of Bambi II.  Disney’s had a hit or miss track record when it comes to these things, but the Disney Movie Club offered me a rather good deal when I bought them together, so there it is.  I figure it has to be a great deal better than some of the live action remakes they’ve got lined up.  That’s my hope anyway.  I’ll get to the sequel sooner or later.  Right now, my focus isn’t on Bambi.  I’m not there yet.  Next on that project list is Fantasia.  Not that I really need to watch any of these in order.  It’s just that Fantasia is my personal favorite of the Disney classics.  And with Fantasia comes all that wonderful music!  When I finally unleash this particular post, I have so much to say.

  

Admittedly, I’ve been focused more on monsters lately, so Disney’s taken a bit of a backseat.  I’ve been thinking about the Universal Monsters in particular, and somewhere along the lines I went backwards into the silent era and German expressionism.  I picked up a new Blu-ray edition of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, which has been newly transferred to 4K from the original negatives.

I’m really impressed with the releases from KINO International.  They’re the ones who released the complete version of Metropolis, to my everlasting delight, so I’ve also acquired their Blu-ray releases of two of my other silent faves, The Phantom of the Opera and Nosferatu.  And now you see where the German expressionism connection comes into play.  Dr. Caligari set the standard for this.  It’s not my favorite of the silent films in terms of story, but I’ve always been fascinated by the visual aesthetic.  As is often the case, the more exposure I have to this film, the more I appreciate it.  I watched the Blu-ray version just last night, and it’s truly beautiful.  I need to do some more digging on this one before I can properly do a write-up, but that’s ok.  Nothing but time…  In the meantime, my creative side has been pushing me into this idea that I could reboot the classic monsters into a cohesive universe far better than Universal’s doing.  Ordinarily I’d call that hubris, but seriously… have you seen The Mummy?  Yeah, I can do better.  I can do better in my sleep, provided I can fall asleep in the first place.  I have no real time for such projects, but I’m betting with the right motivation (i.e., if Universal paid me), I could certainly drop everything and make time.  Yeah… that’ll happen…  *rolls eyes*  Part of me says I should do it anyway.  It’s not like I can do worse, and pretty much all of the monsters’ source materials are in the public domain.  I wouldn’t have to change a thing, either.

Other than that, with the recent passing of Roger Moore, I’ve been wanting to dive back into the 007 films.  The problem is that the next up is Diamonds Are Forever, which is probably my least favorite of the entire series, perhaps tied with A View To a Kill.  It’s a bit of a snag, you see, and combined with all the other irons in the fire, I’ve just not gotten there yet.  Soon.  Or so I keep telling myself.  I swear, there are simply not enough hours in the day!

And that’s pretty much my world at the moment.  What are you doing lately?

 

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