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I knew pretty much what to expect after reading the Wikipedia entry...but I still wasn't ready for The Boondock Saints. This is an uncompromisingly brutal vigilante flick, with an oddly Japanese revenge-movie feel to it and plenty of Irish Catholic flavor stirred into the mix. There are some very good performances in this movie, but if you have an aversion to bloody violence it is not for you. I can easily understand how The Boondock Saints caused so much of a flap, and also why it's become a cult favorite.

Lileks to the contrary, we still have need of the all-purpose suck descriptor, FAIL. Particularly for disappointing pieces of crap like The Five Fists of Science. Inflicted on the world by Matt Fraction and Steve Sanders with an assist from Image Comics, this had so much potential - a steampunk graphic novel with Tesla, Edison, Marconi, J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie? Guaranteed win, yes? Unfortunately, the authors choose to warp Morgan and Carnegie out of all recognizability by making them out to be a couple of Silver Age versions of a moonbat's Dick Cheney - you know, rich white guys secretly worshiping the Dark Powers. This was gilding the lily - both Carnegie and Morgan were complex, fascinating characters without throwing in that pseudo-Lovecraftian bullshit, and Carnegie in particular would have been all over the notion of using Tesla's mechanical man to make war too horrible for the Western Powers to contemplate. That's not what we get, though, and more's the pity. Not only that, the art isn't very good. Not Recommended. :(

You can see from the first volume of the Oldboy manga where Chan-wook Park started making changes for the movie version, because it's not nearly as creepy and violent as the movie. Maybe that'll change as I get further into the series, but we'll see. Or not; the Dark Horse translation is riddled with lots of very tiny onomatopoeia boxes which are damn near impossible for me to read even with my bifocals.

Off Armageddon Reef is starting out slow and jerky, with occasional flares of action. I'm wondering if this is going to turn out to be the first book in a series.

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