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busy, busy, busy

Sunday, May 30, 2004

I saw 'The Day After Tomorrow' yesterday. It was quite entertaining, if not particularly good. Of course, I went into it expecting reality and fact to be stretched pretty thin, and I wasn't displeased. If there's any genre of film I love more than hoplessly bad science fiction, it's "science-based" distaster fiction. I think I can safely say this is the best[worst] disaster film made to date. I mean, in the midst of the world's climate being thrown back to the ice age in less than one week, we see one of our heroes attacked by wolves. In New York City. Aboard a cargo ship. Parked in front of the New York public library.

It will happen, if we don't stop driving cars. Beware the wolves of global warming!

Speaking of disaster movies, I finally watched my precious copy of 'The Return of the King' this weekend. It's really not too bad, especially for the few things Peter Jackson and Co. got right. I think my main problem with the film (aside from the atrocious adaptation) is the pacing and editing. It simply moves too damn fast, and the constant back-and-forth scene changes make me feel like I'm watching someone else channel-surf. A prime example:

The charge of the Rohirrim. The scene is beautiful and flawless, until, just as the riders begin tearing the shit out of the orcs, we abruptly move inside the city to see Pippin tell Gandalf that Denethor has gone bonkers. Then--BOOM--back to the battle, and just as quickly we are sent to some other part of the film. And the entire damn film is just like that. It's enough to make me scream.

Could I have done better? Yes.


I have put my ultimate reading endeavor on hold for the time being. I have quite the backlog of unread books waiting for me. Some I'm particularly impatient to break open:

"Dhalgren" by Samuel Delany
"The Scar" by China Mieville
"Concrete Island" by J.G. Ballard
"Cryptonomicon" by Neal Stephenson
The Gormenghast novels by Mervyn Peake

In addition, Neil Gaiman is now on my must-read list. I'm not sure why I've never read his stuff before now, but after checking out reviews, reading bits and pieces in various bookstores, and, most importantly, seeing Mac's fascination with his work unfold before my eyes, I decided to go for it. As soon as I finish Vonnegut's "Galapagos," I'm hitting Gaiman's "American Gods."


  • I read Gaiman's "Neverwhere" first -- it's shorter and served as a good introduction. But you won't have any trouble at all with "American Gods." I'm hooked; Gaiman can really write. And he knows America much, much better than his American-born contemporaries.

    I read "Concrete Island" in one sitting. Vintage Ballard. "Galapagos" was the first Vonnegut book I ever read. I'd probably enjoy it more now.

    By Blogger Mac, at 5/30/2004 05:20:00 PM  

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