Books


VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: The Lorax (2012)

Clio: 2.8/5 stars, 5.4/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 5.6/10.
Native ratings: 4.1/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

Based on the Dr. Suess book. Very generic. Too many songs. It’d probably be more enjoyable for a young kid, but didn’t have nearly as much to offer to adults.

Worth it to be able to visually explore a CGI instance of a Seuss-inspired world. For a lot of these Seuss movies, that’s really the sole point: Seeing what it looks like a grander scale.

Worth it, but I’d like more.

Directed by:
Chris Renaud (Despicable Me) and Kyle Balda.
written by: Ken Daurio (Despicable Me, Horton Hears A Who, College Road Trip, The Santa Clause 2).

Starring Danny DeVito (Taxi, Penguin in Batman Returns, Twins, The War Of The Roses, Man On The Moon, Mars Attacks!, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia) as The Lorax.
Ed Helms (Andy Bernard in The Office, The Hangover movies, 3 eps of Arrested Development, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay) as The Once-ler.
Zac Efron (Anakin Skywalker in Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III, 17 Again, High School Musical, 1 ep of Firefly) as Ted.
Taylor Swift (the singer) as Audrey.
Betty White as Grammy Norma.
Rob Riggle (P.O.T.N. in NTSF:SD:SUV, 4 eps of American Dad, The Hangover, Step Brothers, Human Giant, Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby) as Mr. O’Hare.
Jenny Slate (2 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of Ugly Americans, Saturday Night Live) as Ted’s Mom.
Nasim Pedrad (87 eps of Saturday Night Live, The Dictator, 7 eps of Allen Gregory) as Once-ler’s Mom.
Elmarie Wendel (Mrs. Dubcek in 3rd Rock From The Sun, 1 ep of American Dad, 5 eps of General Hospital) as Aunt Grizelda.
Danny Cooksey (5 eps of Invader Zim, Kung Fu Panda, 2 eps of G.I. Joe Renegades, Tiny Toon Adventures, Terminator 2, Static Shock, Dave The Barbarian) as Brett / Chet.
Stephen Tobolowsky (Bob Bishop in Heroes, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Boxboarders!, Buried) as Uncle Ubb.
Chris Renaud (he’s the director of The Lorax, Despicable Me) as Forest Animals.

 

Christie: Agreed. Liked it, but too many songs.

 

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1482459/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Cloud Atlas (2012)

4.6/5 stars, 9/10 from both of us.
Native rating: 3.7/10 stars Netflix, 8.0/10 IMDB.

I don’t normally like the movies of several different unrelated/barely-related lives, but then, this isn’t that. Everything is connected. The editing and execution was magnificent. They said this book could never be made into a movie, but they were wrong.

Six stories in six different periods of time, all linked, all being told simultaneously. And it’s actually pretty easy to follow, with the exception of the future-English spoken in the post-apocalypstic one. I’m sure I didn’t realize all the linkages between different stories, but it was absolutely watchable and not a scattered mess like some thought it was going to be. It was quite interesting!

Basically, Wachowski siblings FTW! As always!

It actually took me a few seconds to realize which characters were Tom Hanks… And Halle Berry as the male asian doctor was one of the most deceptive makeup jobs in the movie. Basically, each actor was several characters. David Lynch probably really liked this movie.

Carolyn: “I felt like I felt with Benjamin Button, a wholesome love-conquers-all feel, but then also revolution, going against the norm, speaking/fighting for what’s right, not accepting the status quo. It was a good movie.”

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1371111/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: TV: SHOWS: REVIEW: Dirk Gently (2012) (UK)

5/5 stars from both of us. Clint: 9/10, Carolyn: 8/10.  [7.7/10 on IMDB]

… The only Douglas Adams book I ever actually read was a Dirk Gently novel I read in 1987ish, not that I remember books I read in the 80s the way I remember movies watched in the 80s.

Anyway, it was nice to be reminded just what the hell that was all about.

I wish the British didn’t have such tiny series. Waiting 2 yrs after a series pilot to get just three more episodes is a bum rap. Do 26 of these, please! And that’s the problem I have with British TV. You can barely spend as much time on a series you love as a series you hate, because by the time you’ve watched enough episodes to really know the difference, it’s over anyway.

But yeah…. Complaints aside, this was awesome. Dirk Gently is kind of an asshole anti-hero, and the relationship between him and his reluctant partner has a really good on-screen [non-sexual] chemistry.

[Carolyn netflix/imdb ratings for each ep: #1:4.6/8, #2:4/8, #3:4.2/8]

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2303367

Read on for today’s interesting stories. (more…)

I got the Marvel “1602” graphic novel for Christmas this year. It is Neil Gaiman’s first comic series in a while. He was just about to start a project, then 911 happened. He didn’t want any planes, skyscrapers, or guns. So he moved all the Marvel characters to England/Europe in 1602.

The result is very interesting. Nick Fury, Dr. Strange, Dr. Doom, The X-Men (headed by Carlos Javier), The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man (who has no powers as Peter Parquagh), even Uatu The Watcher is featured in this. And The Watchers interfere, for once! It’s rare, but when all of creation is threatened, they interfere so that they still have something for watch.

It’s 8 comic books converted into a hardback grahpic novel. Excellent artwork — I really think digital painting has vastly improved the quality of comics, though purists will always disagree. I’m sorry, but old comics look amateur compared to today. Digital painting, gradients, and such, vastly improve how cool everything looks.

The story is decent. I read the first of 8 parts one night, then read all 7 parts in a row when my prescription kept me up all night. It took about 5 hours to read it all.

Good stuff. My comic reading has been on hold for years. A nice side-effect of pneumonia is not being able to sleep, getting bored, and wanting something light to read that wont give you a headache.

This was just what the doctor ordered. (more…)

Literature Vs. Film
People often repeat the fallacy that “film is a passive medium”. The statement is usually elaborated like this: “When I read a story in a book, I have to use my imagination to conjure up what the characters look like, the sound of their voices, the appearance of their surroundings, the house, the landscape. When I see a movie, those things are all nailed down for me, so I don’t feel as involved.” What the person is describing are the most obvious aspects of a given story, that is, its physical properties. They are, in fact, the least interesting and least important components of a story. I do not read books in order to imagine the physical appearance of things.

Conversely, there are things which are typically spelled out in a book, but which must be imagined in a film. These are the intangibles, the important stuff; what are the characters thinking and feeling? Novelists have the advantage of being very explicit about the internal experience, and they indulge it, often to the detriment of the reader’s power to infer. Good writers are the ones who maneuver around this pitfall. A book’s ability to describe thoughts and feelings is a liability, not an advantage, if used to declaim its themes rather than evoke the desired consciousness in the reader.”
-Peter Chung, The State of Visual Narrative In Film And Comics (which I linked to before) (more…)

FANTASY ANTHOLOGY SERIES: Thieves’ World. Robert Lynn Aspirin JUST died, and it reminded me of how much I absolutely LOVED this fantasy-anthology-series growing up as a kid. I have the original printing of the first 10 or so books. And now they are going to maybe make movies?!?!?! That would be SO awesome.

I never actually read any Aspirin, other than his contributions to the Thieves’ World books (Which were comprised of stories written by many authors, the only other name I remember being Diane Duane,I think.)

But Thieves’ World stuck in my mind growing up… a LOT. Though it was hard to get a hold of the “final” book(s).

It was like a mature Middle Earth. It was where I first heard of anti-rape devices being vaginally implanted, which, when raped, would close sharp teeth onto the invading penis, cutting it off. That haunted me in 8th grade, hehehe.

I remember the “Vulgar Unicorn”, which was an awesome name for a tavern… And I remember some of the characters names, such as Shadowspawn, Enas Yorl, etc. I really don’t remember much, come to think of it. But it was so freakin’ awesome at the time that I read it (middle school!)

(more…)

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