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Eric D. Peterson RSS Feed (Excelsior, MN)

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Smallville: Season 9
Smallville: Season 9
DVD ~ Tom Welling
Price: $11.99
50 used & new from $7.22

89 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Season 9 is one of the best for Smallville!!!, June 8, 2010
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This review is from: Smallville: Season 9 (DVD)
It's hard to believe that this show has gone on for 9 years, but the writing and the acting just keep getting better. Just like the last season, Clark Kent is one step closer to his destiny as Superman. The big overarching plot this season was the threat of the Kandorians, led by Major Zod. Smallville fans will recognize the name, if not the rank, of the big bad guy. That's because he's a clone of the evil traitor who tried to overthrow Krypton around the time Kal-El (Clark) was born. So he's going to be the worst villian in Kryptonian history, maybe. It's the reoccuring Smallville theme of destiny and fate. If you are destined to do something, do you do it or make your own destiny? Clark has been told since season 1 that he is destined to be this great hero and champion and symbol of hope. Most of the main plots of every season are about Clark finding out about his destiny and what he does to either embrace it or fight against it. So it is with the bad guys. Lex Luthor is destined to be Superman's arch-enemy. So even though we saw 5-6 seasons of Lex trying to overcome his dark nature and maintain some kind of friendship with Clark, we knew he was eventually going to be bad. Same with Davis Bloome, aka Doomsday. He was trying to fight his nature of being the ultimate destroyer. But ultimately, he, too, had to succomb to his destiny. In this season, it is Zod. This "Major Zod" has not made all the bad choices that "General Zod" did back on Krypton. But we know what he is to become. Will he make the same choices or will he change his fate?

The main highlights for me were the so-called "filler" episodes that focused more on Lois and Clark's budding relationship than on the threat of the Kandorians. What I like about the writing is the continual shout-outs to fans of Superman, comics, and TV/Movies. Like the "Resident Evil" episode (#3 Rabid), the "What a Woman Wants" episode (#4 Echo), "the Game" episode (#5 Roulette), the "He said/She said" episode (#6 Crossfire), and the "Big" episode (#12 Warrior). For comic book fans, they converted an old Hawkeye story for Green Arrow (#10 Disciple) and brought Metallo, Silver Banshee, and the JSA all into the Smallville story.

Something must be said about the black costume. Clark has embraced his heroic destiny by saving people, just not openly. So he is no longer the "Red-Blue Blur", just "the Blur". The Black costume represents his keeping to the shadows. When he finally reveals himself to the world as "Superman", he will likely change his costume into the red, blue, and gold costume we are familiar with. He's close, but not quite there yet.

As with any long running show, there are elements that some people don't like. Some people dislike the unique elements where Smallville differs from regular Superman lore. They want the show to move faster towards the classic tales that we know and love. Others dislike rehashing the old Superman mythos and want Smallville to remain true to the unique stories they created and not cave to pressure to become "the Adventures of Superman" or "Lois and Clark". I think Season 9 balances those two viewpoints well. Fans of the show will enjoy most, if not all of it. And if you haven't watched Smallville before, go back and watch all previous 8 seasons. It is well-worth the investment of time and money.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 3, 2010 11:36 AM PST

Robin Hood: The Movie '91
Robin Hood: The Movie '91
DVD ~ Patrick Bergin
Price: $6.39
72 used & new from $0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Robin Hood Movie of its Generation, June 20, 2008
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This review is from: Robin Hood: The Movie '91 (DVD)
This version of Robin Hood is by far the best and most realistic of the 1980s versions. It goes back to the classic Saxon vs Norman tale that we remember from the old Errol Flynn version. Instead of Prince John as the main villian, we have the noble Baron Brian DeGuerre, Robin's old friend. The interesting twist of the story and why it is so realistic compared to the others is the fact that at first, Robin is not waging some kind of guerilla war against the Norman overlords. No, he is just surviving as an outlaw. The reason he gives to the poor is to prevent them from selling him out. His motivations and his decisions are based in the gritty realism of this medieval world. Also of note, is Uma Thurman's protrayal of Marion, DeGuerre's niece. She is not the victim or prize that the previous Marion's have been. She, well, watch the movie and see for yourself. Like the mini-series Invanhoe, this movie shows more of how the medieval world really was without the whole modern perspective of "free men" and social equality being thrown in. The ending is a little trite, but overall the movie is a great adventure escape. Patrick Bergin is a charming Robin Hood and does a great job in the title role. Not quite the classic that the Errol Flynn version was, but much better than the Kevin Cosner version.

Human Weapon: Season 1
Human Weapon: Season 1
DVD ~ Jason Chambers
Price: $19.99
19 used & new from $11.59

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Part History, Part Competition, March 30, 2008
This review is from: Human Weapon: Season 1 (DVD)
This show is awesome! The formula is simple, each week, Jason and Bill go and learn about a new martial art from the people who really know. As one would expect from the History channel, not only do they learn about each fighting style, but also the history behind each style and how it fits into the history and culture of the people who developed it. As Jason and Bill learn various moves from a particular style, they show a 3-dimension demonstration of how each move works. These computer graphics really illustrate the power and skill of each martial art. Then at the end of each episode, either Bill or Jason have to go up against a real master in their art to see how well they learned. Simple, but awesome! I can't wait for the next season of Human Weapon.

Swords of Eveningstar (Forgotten Realms: The Knights of Myth Drannor, Book 1) (Bk. 1)
Swords of Eveningstar (Forgotten Realms: The Knights of Myth Drannor, Book 1) (Bk. 1)
by Ed Greenwood
Edition: Hardcover
47 used & new from $0.01

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the Way I Remember It, October 16, 2007
I waited a long time for this book. And this series. Once upon a time, I discovered the Forgotten Realms. Not from the Dungeons and Dragons game, but from the novels. The Realms, as we fans call it, is a vast and magical place, full of wonderful stories of heroes, villians, and magic. Ed Greenwood wrote a book entitled Spellfire. In that book, amidst the overall plot he describes a group of young, experienced adventurers who more often than naught rescue the young heroine and her boyfriend. These are the KNIGHTS OF MYTH DRANNOR. They are a fun-loving band and have wonderful adventures while doing what is right. The whole time I read that book, I was like, I want more. More Knights. More Fun. Who are these guys? Where did they come from? Why are they so experienced? This book and the two that follow will answer those questions.

Without going into too many details and thereby ruin the book for you, let me just say, this book starts out with five friends who want to be adventurers to get out of their boring lives. One of them, a young ranger to be, Florin Falconhand, gets more time in the limelight, because he is the coolest of them. (Just being honest) The five friends, in their search for adventure, get embroiled in a series of plots against the kingdom of Cormyr and ultimately save the day. Was that a spoiler? No, because why would you want to read a book that ends badly. This is not a Shakespearan tradegy. This is a fun, good time fantasy novel. That is not to say that everything goes well and all our heroes emerge unscathed, but the good guys win. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Now for a brief message on style. As other reviewers have noted, Ed Greenwood has an interesting story-telling style. At times, it feels like he is telling four or five stories at once. He switches between them frequently, often at seemingly random times. It is his way of creating drama, of captivating your attention as a reader, but it can be confusing at times. Take it slow, enjoy the ride, and all the pieces will eventually fall into place. For fans of the Forgotten Realms, Ed will include many cameos from the "movers and the shakers" of the Forgotten Realms. As the original creator of many of these characters, he likes to show how seemingly inconsequential events have earth-shaking impacts in the world of Forgotten Realms. There is some Deux ex Machina at times(which means he uses his super-powerful wizards and kings to rescue or move the plot along without regard for his main characters) but overall, you get the sense of suspense and drama that make for great fantasy.

I loved this book and I am getting the next one right away. There is not a lot of fun fantasy for adults anymore. Everything has to be so dramatic and tension filled that it chokes the life out of much of the genre. This is not like that. This is fantasy the way I remember it, back when I first opened that first Forgotten Realms book. I hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as I did.

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