Entry for June 13, 2008: Everybody’s Kung-Fu Fightin’!

On Tuesday, 3 June 2008, I met fellow SUNY-Binghamton alumnus Cliff Y. for lunch near where I work and where he lives in Framingham, Massachusetts. I hadn't seen him since the birth of his son Timmy a year ago! We ate burritos at Boloco, which Cliff hadn't been to before. I later had lunch with co-worker Ken G. at Fresh City, but I think I like Boloco or Big Fresh more.

On Saturday, June 7, Janice and I walked up to the Needham Business Association street fair. We browsed among the community organizations and vendors' booths and ate at Stone Hearth Pizza. The summer heat had moved in, so we finally installed our living-room air conditioner. We also watched The Amazing Screw-On Head, a quirky steampunk cartoon from Mike Mignola, the artist behind Disney's Atlantis and the Hellboy franchise.

I also caught up on superhero soap Smallville's latest season finale, time-travel drama Doctor Who, and BBC America's anachronistic (but enjoyable) Robin Hood. As Spectacular Spider-Man winds down at the end of its first season, I've been enjoying this animated series' fast pace and sharp characterization. I also recently watched Comic Books Unbound, a special on Starz that recounted the history numerous live-action superhero adaptations. I was familiar with most of the material in the documentary, but the previews of upcoming films were noteworthy.

On Sunday, after a brief stint in City of Heroes (most of my supergroup was offline), Janice and I met Thomas K.Y. and Sara F. & Josh C. at the Showcase Cinemas in North Attleboro, Mass. Thomas told us a little about his recent trip to Turkey with his parents, and Sara and Josh chatted about World of Warcraft and the buzz around the release of Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition.

After enduring previews for childish (rather than child-friendly) movies, we screened Kung-Fu Panda, which starred Jack Black as the portly panda, Dustin Hoffman as a lemur-like teacher, Angelina Jolie as a tiger, Lucy Liu as a snake, Michael Clarke Duncan as a rhinoceros, Ian McShane as an evil leopard, and James Hong as a funny duck.

The computer-animated comedy featured some nice martial arts choreography and even some old-school 2-D animation. While Dreamworks isn't as refined as Pixar, it does do broad comedy well. Kung-Fu Panda, which was rated PG for violence, was entertaining, and I’d rate it about a 7 out of 10, or a B.

After the movie, we browsed through Video Stop and Borders before having dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse. We talked about upcoming genre movies (Incredible Hulk is next) and comic book adaptations. Thomas then hung out for a while at Janice's and my place before heading home for the night.

In the coming weeks, I'll try to get back to comic books, my impressions of D&D4e as my "Vanished Lands: Gusorin Confederation" campaign starts up, and more movie reviews!