This is not how I wanted to start the week.

Sincere apologies to those of you who have been checking the site since Friday. I didn't post a comic last week due to the fact that I was recovering somewhat from the Thanksgiving holiday but also because Henry was sick and decided to toss his cookies all over me and we were left to manage a sick child over the weekend.

Then, on Sunday night, I sit down at my computer to work on Monday's comic and, well... my scanner crapped out on me.

I guess I'm not totally surprised. I own a HP ScanJet 2200c that worked SWIMMINGLY with Windows XP but was choked to death by Vista's persnickety peripheral acceptance parameters. I was able to patch it with some advice I found online. But in examining this recent failure, learned that it wasn't a fail-safe method. The scanner would still be prone to crashes and I think that's what happened here.

So, tonight after work I will be going to Best Buy or Office Max or someplace that sells cheap scanners so I can get caught up. My friend Brandon J. Carr suggested a WACOM Cintiq as a scanner replacement. That's a tempting offer, but last I checked, I hadn't won the lottery. So it's low-tech for now. Relatively low-tech, I suppose. In the meantime, you'll have to be patient with me. I promise to have a new comic for you on Tuesday!

I suppose since I don't have a comic to blog about, I can tell you about the two movies I saw this weekend.

I went to see Transporter 3 Wednesday night and went with Cami to see Australia on Saturday night. I hadn't seen the first two Transporter movies, but there was something about the trailers for the third one that made me want to check it out. I knew it was going to be cheesy. I didn't know it was going to be so boring!

I fell asleep in this movie. That... shouldn't be happening in an action movie, should it?

I'll give credit to the stunt coordinators and to Jason Statham. I felt like they put together a few interesting sequences. But the plot was impossible to follow and they gave WAY too many lines to the girl played by Natalya Rudakova, who was impossible to understand.

That girl has so many freckles, she looks like she was shot in the face with a freckle gun.

By the way, you're going to hear me drop that zinger a lot. You'll probably hear it again if you listen to The Triple Feature tonight. Why? Because I thought it was clever when I thought of it and I'm clinging to it like a dog to a bone.

Anyway... the plot? Who cares? The action? So-so. It ends okay, but not before you can recover from the TRULY IDIOTIC sequence involving The Transporter crashing his car into a lake and resurfacing it with a bag from inside his trunk that he inflates with THE AIR FROM HIS TIRES! By that logic, shouldn't the car be able to drive across the surface of the water and not sink? Ugh.

Yeah. Don't waste your money on this one. Not even if you're in it for a cheap laugh.

As for Australia, both Cami and I had high hopes for this coming in, but we left disappointed. I guess we had hoped that Baz Luhrman had gotten things out of his system with Moulin Rouge. But the fact is, there are enough farcical elements and screwball antics in the first act, you don't trust the picture when it tries to deliver an emotional blow.
I appreciate the scope of the film. It truly is epic and serves as a great calling card for the Australia Board of Tourism. But there's no shape to the thing. It can't make up it's mind if the main story is about Nicole Kidman's character fighting evil cattle barons, her romance with Hugh Jackman's Drover or her growing affection for a half-breed Aboriginal boy played by Brandon Walter. Toss in the Japanese bombing of Darwin at the onset of World War II and you've got more than you can deal with.

Luhrman's tale is bookended with information about Australia's practice of taking half-white/half-Aboriginal children away from their families to be led into a life of servitude. The called them The Lost Generations. So, in some respect, you expect the film to be about their struggle. But their story is a fractional element of the tale, you wonder why he bothered?

I was also turned off by the main villain of the piece, Fletcher, played by David Wenham. Why is it that all of Luhrman's villains are the sniveling, mustache-twirling sort? I don't hate them because they're evil. I hate them because they are annoying and cliched.

I was also particularly annoyed by everyone's insistence on calling Hugh Jackman's character "The Drover." A drover is the Australian equivalent of a cowboy. Someone who herds animals across long distances. Jackman's character is meant to be so adept at the practice, he's simply known as "THE" Drover. That's kind of bad-ass, until Nicole Kidman's character calls him Mr. Drover and everyone else in the film shouts his name over and over again - DROVER! DROVER!

That would be like shooting an American Western and naming your lead "Cowboy." It's generic and silly.

Let's not even go into Luhrman's repeated parallels in the story to The Wizard of Oz. He keeps ramming it down our throats when then connection is tenuous at best.

Ultimately Australia did a good job of displaying the magic and enormity of the Northern Territory, but I cared very little for the stories of the people in the midst of it. It felt bloated and sloppy. I thought the movie could have ended at any number of points and I would have been satisfied. But at 2 hours and 45 minutes, it drags on and on and on. A true epic shouldn't feel like a chore. It should feel like it's presenting you a world you never want to leave. A place you want to know more about. Luhrman's vision gets you only half way there.

That does it for my blogging. Hopefully that's enough to tide you over in the absence of an actual comic. Again, apologies for the technical snafu. Let's just blame Microsoft and call it a day, huh?

Be sure to tune into The Triple Feature tonight at 9:00 PM CST over at TalkShoe.com and expect a new comic here tomorrow.

Thanks again!

↓ Transcript
Tom's scanner crapped out at the last minute. So instead of enjoying a new comic, he talks about Australia and Transporter 3 instead.