Entry for February 03, 2009: The big game (and trailers)

Friends, I hope you've had a good fortnight. I've been too busy with work, plumbing problems, and various games to blog lately, but here's an update on the latter topic. This past weekend, I watched the Super Bowl, as much for the expensive commercials as for the football championship.

I thought the game itself was dramatically close, marred only by the number of penalties against both the Arizona Cardinals and the victorious Pittsburgh Steelers. Bruce Springstein's halftime performance was good, if a bit safe, as all the classic rock picks have been after Janet Jackson's controversial "wardrobe malfunction."

The movie previews were short but entertaining. I'm not a big automotive buff, so I'll pass on Fast and the Furious 4. Da Vinci Code prequel/sequel Angels and Demons might be OK for fans of Dan Brown's bestselling conspiracy novels. Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen and G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra look like typical big-budget action movies, with little of the character charm of the cartoons they're based on. Speaking of adaptations of comic books, superhero movies were less prominent than last year, with only X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Watchmen representing the subgenre so far.

By contrast, computer-animated Monsters vs. Aliens and Up looked like quirky comedies in the tradition of this past year's Kung-Fu Panda and Wall-E. While the latest Oscar nominations kept animation in its ghetto, I hope to catch the stop-motion fantasy Coraline in the next few weeks. I'm cautiously optimistic about the cinematic reboot of classic science fiction Star Trek, but less so about the previews of Race to Witch Mountain and Land of the Lost, yet more attempts to cash in on intellectual properties from the late 1960s/early '70s.

On the other hand, Jack Black's Year One reminded me favorably of Mel Brooks' History of the World, Part I (Janice and I enjoyed PBS's Make 'Em Laugh documentary about U.S. comedy). We'll see if Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince can live up to that franchise.

Coming soon: RPG notes!

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