Sunday, October 19, 2008

Stuff I'm Enjoying Currently

"The Yiddish Policemen's Union" by Michael Chabon: This has been sitting on my to-read pile for over a year. I finally cracked it open on Yom Kippur (yes!) and am thoroughly enjoying my trip through it. Chabon uses language the way a spider uses silk, weaving gorgeous word pictures that seem to float in midair (and which trap you within) -- and he'd never write a metaphor as lame as that one.

"Gurren Lagann": This recent Japanese animated giant roboot series from Gainax (the studio founded by fans, which created the apocalyptic Evangelion and the epically silly Gunbuster) made headlines in the anime world this past year when ADV picked up the American license, started publicizing it, and then lost the license. Bandai USA picked it up and rushed out the entire series on DVD, subtitled, before it started putting out the dubbed version. We're about halfway through the series, and are delighted with the story (by turns slapsticky and deeply touching), the sharply-drawn characters, and the fluid animation. It truly bucks the stereotype of giant robot anime as filled with barely-moving humans talking up a storm as robots slug it out.

"Lego Batman: The Video Game": This is a nice counterpart to the crepuscular version of the character in "The Dark Knight": A silly, snarky, fun Batman and Robin who punch Lego villians until they fall apart. (You can even head to the Batcave and punch out Alfred, if you feel he's been serving that tuna cassarole once too often.)

"True Blood": Much more pulpy and tongue in cheek than we were led to believe by the pre-show publicity, which painted it as a sober meditation on what would happen if vampires tried to "mainstream" with mortals.

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