Sunday, November 1, 2009

a sort of fly-by post...

taking a brief blogging break between writing blog post -- hah! -- for ebooks blog and working on the brandy-new context chapter for the thesis; i promised two highly intelligent professors that i could summarize approximately 200 years of irish history in something under 20-25 pages. hm. perhaps this was not a good idea? too late now!

but i have "in a nutshell" thoughts about a few recently watched/read things that i thought i'd toss up here for your amusement.

1. terry pratchett, unseen academicals. i posted a review of this earlier from the blog and i'm pleased to support pretty much everything that ms. jericho wrote. academicals is awesome. while i agree wholeheartedly with the idea that pratchett is, at his best, a whip-smart social commentator, i really don't think this is the best way to read his books. in fact, i think it might rank with the worst ways to read them -- right up there with trying to read them back-to-front or through a reversing mirror. going into a discworld novel looking for comment on earthly events is really not a good idea. the best discworld novels -- jingo, maskerade, the truth, thief of time -- are so clever and slick at making their points that, honestly, it's just better to take a deep breath, get some tea, and enjoy the lunacy. academicals is like that, too; the ending is great -- pratchett back in his proper form again after the somewhat leaden thud! and overly polemical monstrous regiment which is fun until you start to realise you've been hit over the head with the same damn joke 15 times and you're starting to get sore. my only piece of advice with academicals is keep your eye on nutt, glenda, and the patrician. keeping your eye on the patrician is always good advice, by the way. :)

2. iron man. i had a whole extra-ranty-goodness post all ready to go about the waste of space iron man turned out to be...and i just don't have the heart to go through with it. it wasn't that bad -- but it wasn't that good, either. i was thinking about it while walking to class the other day and i figure they could have done the film an immeasurable amount of good by doing a couple of simple things:
  1. fire gwyneth paltrow. the woman is a black hole and not in a fun way. she comes on screen -- and the scene turns up its toes and dies because it knows nothing is going to happen. at all. ever.
  2. give jeff bridges more to do. the man can be brilliant, but you need to give him something to work with
  3. decide who your villain is.
  4. oh, and please don't nick scenes directly from anime series (i'm thinking of vision of escaflowne here) 'cause, y'know, some of us have seen them.
3. the cave. i got this for halloween 'cause...well, i could. and it took me a minute to remember why on earth i thought it was a good idea -- it's because cole hauser is in it. and, on the whole, it wasn't a bad flick. predictable -- as all 'b' grade horror movies are -- but fun. the monster was -- okay. too obviously influenced by the alien in its first scenes but, on the whole, how is a creature designer going to step out from under that as a shadow? and the designer did go on to do the underworld films and those are really quite nice, so we'll forgive a momentary early slip. ;)

okay, back to describing the central importance of the rising of the united irishmen in 1798 to the later generations of irish republican nationalists. i'm considering setting up a macro to automatically fill in "Irish Republican nationalists" because, wow, am i tired of typing it!

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