If you’re in the United States, you’re probably enjoying a four-day
Thanksgiving vacation, either celebrating or lamenting the arrival and survival
of English pilgrims in the New World. There’s bound to be turkey, sports,
dry leaves on the ground, and endless family squabbles.
Bored to tears? Same here.
Here are a few Revolutionary things you can really enjoy this Thanksgiving
TV: The Cartoon Network is showing their yearly Iron
Giant day-after-Thanksgiving marathon (if you figure out the link, let me
know), and the Disney Channel is showing a marathon of Kim Possible leading
up to the first feature-length Kim
Possible movie. The Iron Giant was one of the best and most underrated films
of 1999, criminally buried under Star Wars and Matrix hype and the inevitable
box-office backlash of an animated movie that lacks singing cute animals. So
never mind all that; tune in and watch. When you’ve seen it once or twice,
try Kim Possible on the Disney Channel. Everything else I’ve seen on the
Disney Channel is garbage, but Kim Possible is terrific and funny-- part spy
spoof, part first-season Buffy but without the angst and blood.
DVD: The extended edition DVD of The
Two Towers matches the brilliance of the extended Fellowship of the Ring:
It manages the seemingly impossible feat of improving the movie by making it
longer. People who were irritated with Faramir being so unsympathetic or with
the ents getting too little face time will love their new scenes; but for my
money, Miranda Otto’s Eowyn and the computer-generated Gollum still steal
the movie. Look for interviews with the writers, director, and producers explaining
the liberties they took with the book, and some they almost took.
X2: X-Men United is
also just out on DVD. It earned a place as one of the best superhero movies
ever, putting the X-Men rightfully in a league with Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man
on the page and on the screen; grab the disc to see how.
Movies: There are no good sci-fi or fantasy movies in theatres now.
Sorry. If you’re forced out of the house, celebrate mediocrity with Timeline,
Gothika, or The Matrix Revolutions. Otherwise wait for The Return of the King.
Books: Stephen King gears up for the grand finale of the Dark Tower
series with book 5 of 7, The
Wolves of Calla. The gunslinger Roland and his friends continue their quest
through Midworld, battling brigands and other nasty threats as they seek to
save the Dark Tower and set the universes right. I haven't read it yet but it
sounds like this is one for the old-time fans, full of links tying the Dark
Tower series to King's other work.
Comics: The main event this season is Justice League vs. Avengers.
We’ve been waiting 20 years for this showdown between the ubergroups of
the DC and Marvel universes, and reading it will make you feel like you’re
nine again. It features battles royale between about, oh, 7,800 superheroes;
for a highlight, look for the duel between Batman and The Punisher in issue
#1. (But don’t look too hard; it doesn’t even take place on panel.)
Two of the miniseries’ four issues are now out.
Anime: Did I mention there are about 29 hours of extras on the Two
Towers DVD? I ain’t got time for anime.
Videogame: Getting impatient for the movie? Try EA Games’ videogame
adaptation of The Lord of
the Rings: The Return of the King. Chock full of action and sword-slinging,
arrow-shooting carnage, the ROTK game weaves together three storylines toward
the big finish at Mount Doom: Gandalf rushing to the defense of Minas Tirith;
Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli walking the Paths of the Dead to summon the aid
of an undead army; and Frodo and Sam escaping Osgiliath and facing the orcs
of Cirith Ungol and the monstrous Shelob as they sneak into Mordor with the
RPG: I own my own game company. Buy Godlike
and keep food on my kids’ table. (What, you thought I was going to recommend somebody else?)
And if all that doesn’t work, eat more turkey. Even those cranky relatives can’t
bug you in a tryptophan-induced coma.