My Favorite Things: Discworld, Arcade-Inspired Cinema, and Classic Sci-Fi (again?)

Hey there! You’ve stumbled across My Favorite Things, a weekly column where we talk up top notch speculative content. This week, we bring you an underrated action movie masterpiece, a fabulous Terry Pratchett novel (but which one?), and a cult classic sci-fi television show. Wait a minute… one of these has already appeared on My Favorite Things! I guess that makes it a favorite among favorites.

Carey’s Favorite Thing is… V: The Original Miniseries!

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My favorite thing this month came from the 80s: V: the Original Miniseries (1983). I was in second grade then–too young to watch it. But my classmates and I gabbed about it over our He-Man lunchboxes and PBJ sandwiches. The miniseries was followed by V: The Final Battle (1984), then the shortlived V: The Series. I’ve heard people say they can’t get into the “old” V because of the outdated special effects, but my feeling is V retells an important and compelling story (the Holocaust), and that keeps it relevant. (The messy 2009 update doesn’t come close.) The Original Miniseries also stars a true female heroine: the scientist Juliet Parrish (Faye Grant). It’s Julie who organizes the resistance, who risks her life to try to save a fellow colleague. It’s Julie that the group defers to–when Mike Donovan (Marc Singer) is captured and brought to Julie for questioning, no one usurps her authority.  They look to Julie to take the lead. Talk about refreshing. She definitely belongs on some Top Ten Heroine lists. Now I’m off to find a copy of V: The Final Battle and see what else holds up.

Nancy’s Favorite Thing is… Scott Pilgrim vs. The World!

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My current fav is actually an old fav. I recently re-watched one of my favorite movies, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and was reminded of why I love it so much. Scott Pilgrim is often described as being like a musical, only instead of breaking out into songs, the characters break out into fight scenes, and the ones presented here are some of the best I’ve seen. In the film, bass player, Scott Pilgrim falls in love with the mysterious Ramona Flowers, but to prove his worthiness, he must defeat her seven evil exes. Edgar Wright is a crazy-talented director, with a crisp style of editing, wonderful attention to detail, and a clear love for the genre (classic arcade games). This is also one of the rare films where every role is perfectly cast, down to the smallest walk-ons. Oh, and the soundtrack is killer too. I’m so glad I ended up rewatching Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and know that it will continue to be a movie that I will watch again and again.

Casey’s Favorite Thing is… Thief of Time!

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I really loved Terry Pratchett’s Thief of Time. This particular volume catches us up with Susan Sto-Helit, Death’s granddaughter (long story). Susan is easily one of Pratchett’s best characters. She’s a teacher who has Certain Ideas about the molding of young minds, a wry sense of humor, and a grim determination to assist her grandfather in his frequent quests to keep humanity alive and well. She’s also frequently bothered by a raven named Quoth and his companion, the Death of Rats. This book, as with all Discworld volumes, is slyly philosophical and peppered with Pratchett’s particular blend of humor. A quote:

“What precisely was it you wanted, madam? [Susan] said. “It’s only that I’ve left the class doing algebra, and they get restless when they’ve finished.”

“Algebra?” said Madam Frout, perforce staring at her own bosom, which no one else had ever done. “But that’s far too difficult for seven-year-olds!”

“Yes, but I didn’t tell them that and so far they haven’t found out,” said Susan.


What did you fall in love with this week? Please let us know!

5 Comments

  • Sherry Peters July 29, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Carey, Another lover of “V” the original! For all the reasons you mentioned. The new one just did not come close!

    Reply
    • Shara White July 29, 2016 at 12:39 pm

      I never saw the original, but I got bored with the new one, which is a shame, because the I adored the two leading ladies!

      Reply
      • Sherry Peters July 29, 2016 at 4:29 pm

        They had a great cast for the new one, but they tried to make it into a police/FBI show, which made it just like every other show, not to mention removing everything that was meaningful about the characters and…I could go on for hours. It is too bad, because I’d had high hopes for the new one because of the casting.

        Reply
        • Shara White July 29, 2016 at 7:31 pm

          I hear you. I actually don’t mind the procedural element (it worked surprisingly well for LUCIFER), but it’s definitely overdone, and you need a deft hand writing it. Nothing about V’s remake was deft or subtle.

          Reply
  • careymballard August 16, 2016 at 12:45 am

    Hi Sherry! I thought the new one was okay… but it went in too many different directions and introduced too many story elements in the name of “cool.” No cohesive storyline. The first one is by far the better version even with all the outdated special FX.

    Reply

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