Sup. As the title suggests, in this post I will talk about my favorite stuff from various forms of media.
CONAN THE BARBARIAN: 9.5/10. This kid's village gets raided. The bastards burn everything and kill his parents and sell him into slavery. But he gets super buff from all the slave labor and grows up and turns into Arnold Schwarzenegger. He pwns some at gladiator fighting then gets free and gets revenge. No other movie hero comes close to Conan's level of pure badassery. And the soundtrack magnifies the epicness of every moment. Great blood sprays also.
This music video provides a perfect illustration of the movie's awesomeness.
HARD BOILED and THE KILLER: BOTH 9/10. Already blogged The Killer . Hard Boiled is kind of like that but slightly moar epic.
THE BLOOD OF HEROES: 8.5/10. This is the Conan the Barbarian of underdog sports movies. Some dudes and dudettes wander around this post-apocalyptic wasteland pwning at jugging. It's a sport that's like rugby with weapons. And the goal is to jam a dog skull on a stick. This movie isn't nearly as epic as Conan but it has the same type of badassery. The heroes (and the movie itself) grimly and single-mindedly focus on jugging. Fuck farming, rebuilding civilization, etc. The movie doesn't even explain what the fuck happened to the world. It doesn't matter.
A BOMB BUILT IN HELL, by Andrew Vachss: 9/10. Remember ? Unlike The Quick, this book has exactly the type of badassery I like to see. It's got a rarely seen completely evil hitman protagonist. He does not fall in love and protect a target. Instead, he struggles to find meaning in his work. He's like, why bother killing people for money when I'm already rich? Perhaps a political assassination will be more fulfulling? Nah, nothin ever changes.
the head plans the hands kill the heart only pumps blood
READY, OKAY! by Adam Cadre: 9/10. This book combines a couple of my favorite things: Teen drama and extreme violence. And the narrator is a hilariously sarcastic dude.
DEATHWORLD 2, by Harry Harrison: 9/10. This badass outlaw d00d gets captured by a crazy moralizing wuss who's trying to citizen's arrest him or something. Then their ship crash lands on a barbaric planet where a bunch of tribes each have a monopoly on some crude technology. It's like a DEATHWORLD. But they were on a deadly world to begin with so it's DEATHWORLD 2. Anyway, this dude pwns everyone with his superior skillz and strength and scientific knowledge. And he demonstrates that his flexible ethics work better than the loser's stubborn objective morality. It's like The Sea Wolf except Harry Harrison is like, "Fuck you, Jack London, I'm makin the awesome d00d pwn everyone's face instead of losing to a civilized pussy."
I should note that I'm a principled d00d myself and I don't agree with all the hero's beliefs and actions. His plan to help one clan conquer the world is horrible. But whatever. His individual badassery is pretty badass.
A FIRE UPON THE DEEP and A DEEPNESS IN THE SKY, by Vernor Vinge: BOTH 9/10. Mindblowingly epic future shit. Already blogged , along with the disappointing sequel Children of the Sky. Hopefully Vinge will redeem the series with a Blood of Heroes crossover in the fourth book. Like, due to Ravna and the childrens' idiocy, they fail to build a technological civilization in time to stop the Blight fleet. They get nuked back to the stone age, leaving only a few survivors in a wasteland strewn with dog skulls to play jugger with. Or the dogs could play jugger with human skulls.
NOBLE HOUSE, by James Clavell: 8.5/10. Epic business drama and crime and Cold War spy shit in 1963 Hong Kong. Pretty sure this is the longest book I've ever read. It certainly deserves a moar substantial blog treatment. In the spirit of Clavellian epicness, I'll read all six of his Asian Saga books before blogging them in a single longass post.
PLANET OF ADVENTURE series, by Jack Vance: 8.5/10.
Again, an awesomely skilled d00d crash lands on a strange planet. A planetof ADVENTURE! There are various aliens there, each with a bunch of human followers that've been bred to resemble them. Like, the tall skinny Dirdir have tall skinny human servants. Hehe.
Our hero meets a couple other outcasts and they adventure around trying to get back to Earth. Four books.
There are a number of common elements in most of Vance's sci-fi books. Like,
- Bizarre cultures with ridiculous customs, religions, etiquette, etc.
- Stagnant societies with no technological progress or social change for hundreds of years
- An usually intelligent/freethinking protagonist who shakes things up or is a wandering adventurer
- An implausible mix of high and low technology
- Very eloquent and polite dialogue, even in hostile situations
The Planet of Adventure series has all of these. Some highlights:
- Hero argues with a corrupt priest about which coin to use in an obviously rigged coin toss
- Flying "rafts" carry swordsmen into battle
- The Emblem Men: People who wear emblems and pass them down through the generations. They consider the emblems to be the real people. The d00ds wearing em are like vehicles.
Many Vance books are perhaps equally deserving of an 8.5/10 rating and a spot on this favorites list. I chose this series because it reminds me of an RPG. Especially when the hero's party has to to repeatedly slaughter Dirdir to take their money and save up for a spaceship. Fuckin , in in a book that predates RPGs. That's awesome.
THE GOOD SHEPHERD, by C.S. Forester: 8.5/10. An American ship protects a convoy from U-boat attacks in WW2. Noteworthy for its very detailed and realistic-seeming depiction of ship vs. sub combat.
THE SHIP, by C.S. Forester: 8/10. Moar well-described WW2 naval action. But this time the book goes a little overboard in beating the reader over the head with how fuckin heroic every single member of the crew is.
SPARTACUS: 9/10. Gladiator leads an epic slave revolt. Extremely graphic violence. Decapitations, severed limbs, gallons of blood gushing in slow motion. Also hilarious swearing, oftening involving the phrases "Jupiter's cock" and "cock in ass." For instance,
BREAKING BAD: 9/10. Nerdy science teacher and idiot junkie sidekick pwn at selling meth. Fun times. Except for the inevitable fail and misery and violence and increasing badness requried. Why can't you just make meth without having to murder people and dissolve bodies in acid?
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS: 8.5/10. High school girl is murdered, then her friends are blackmailed/trolled by anonymous text messages from someone who knows them very well. Is it the dead girl's ghost? Or the blind girl they accidentally blinded? Or someone else? Perhaps a lengthy investigation is in order, filled with crazy twists and turns and tons of red herrings. I'll blog this in moar detail later.
DANCE ACADEMY: 8.5/10. Teenage girl goes to ballet school and makes friends and dates boys and learns shit. Good mix of realism and bs feelgoodness.
SCHOOL RUMBLE: 9/10. ZOMG high school love triangle: Cheerful dumb girl likes a laid-back smart guy. Bumbling idiot guy likes her. Epic silliness ensues.
SCHOOL DAYS: 8.5/10. A darker HS love triangle. Starts out very lighthearted and ends like a Shakespearean tragedy.
ELFEN LIED: 8.5/10. Chick with telekiwhatsit powers escapes from a lab and rips lots of heads off. The best anime violence I've seen. Also, nifty time jumps in the story. First it seems like, fuck you, lab d00ds, imprisoning this poor girl. You deserve decapitation! Then later some backstory is revealed and it's like, holy shit, the telekiwhatsit chicks are really fuckin dangerous, they need to be stopped at any cost.