The Golden Compass

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Garbage. I’d heard from various reports that this movie wasn’t good, so my expectations were already lowered, but still it completely underwhelmed. It had none of the dread of the book. None of the ominous thick sense of foreboding. It was by the numbers, over-lit, over clean, overly orchestrated garbage. What a shame. The book is amazing. The book evokes real emotion. I don’t remember precisely, but in the book I feel we follow Lyra fairly exclusively. It is the world from her point of her view. And so- it is a world full of mystery, intrigue, deception, and also …

The West Wing

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I got done a few days ago watching my way through the whole of the West Wing. That’s 7 seasons, 22-24 episodes per season, 45-ish minutes per episode, so some 160 episodes, some 100-odd hours of TV. That’s a lot of TV time. Imagine if I’d been writing all that time?! Anyway- I really enjoyed it. It was like being with the crew of the Next Generation’s Enterprise again. The West Wing is the ship, the staff are the crew, and the adventures come to them in the same way the Enterprise went to the adventures. Politics, action, even military …

Into the Wild

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I first heard about the book ‘Into the Wild’ from my Global Issues teacher, when I was taking a Gap Year in a US high school back in 1999. She said I reminded her of the main character- Christopher McCandless. At the time I didn’t know what that meant. I didn’t know anything about Christopher McCandless. I wondered why she compared me to him, generally I thought it was a positive thing- she said he was a bright young guy who sucked the marrow out of life- but there was an edge to it that I didn’t quite understand. I …

There Will Be Blood

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A movie about a psycho. A psycho so badly damaged/deranged/lunatic that he can’t love anything, can’t value anything, and drives everyone and everything away from him. It’s hard to say much more because to say much more infers the ending. When dealing with such a bastard- is there any hope of salvation? Of atonement or forgiveness? Well, I won’t say. But I’ll go so far as to say that both atonement and forgiveness pre-suppose contrition. And in this man we see no contrition. We see only black madness staring back out at us. We see someone so afraid of failure, …

The Shop Around the Corner

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What a great movie. James Stewart is just so darn likable. Affable. Put-upon but bearing up. Gets riled if he has to. Talks straight, shoots from the hip, sticks up for himself. Gives the bad guy a bloody nose. But also sensitive. He’s a willowy guy- not so strong to look at, but he works hard, and he sticks to it, and he makes it come out right. I’m trying to think of our modern day equivalent. I suppose Tom Hanks has pulled it off in the past. In You’ve Got Mail, the remake, he was perhaps a bit show-offish. …

Harry Potter- The Deathly Hallows

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I’m definitely feeling mixed about the end of Harry Potter. It didn’t go the way I wanted it to, and hoped it would. But is it still something I can love? Can I forgive it, or explain it away, or just learn to see things a different way? I wanted Voldemort to have redemption. I felt pity for him. I suppose I believe- though Rowling says it’s Harry’s choices that differentiate him from Voldemort- that Voldemort never really had a choice. Or if he did, it was rather a choice between: a- Stop expecting any kind of attention, love, or …

Life on Mars

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Just finished the season 2 finale of the UK TV show- Life on Mars. Completely took me by surprise by being totally kick-ass. I did not expect any of that. From the way it was, and had been, I hadn’t expected anything as ballsy, powerful, or moving as that to round it off. At the end, and he’s standing there, and the camera’s revovling around him, I was on the edge of my seat going – “Come on! Do it! Go Sam!” Suffice it to say, it rocked, and did not disappoint. Also, what excellent music. I read on Wikipedia …