Archive for March, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon

March 31, 2010

Rousing. Like ET in some ways.

I rose from my seat, slow, deliberate. I moved outside, my head in a fog and can hardly remember my walk from the theatre to the train station, except for seeing a billboard high above the Hollywood city streets with a young man riding atop a dragon as they burst through a circle of fire with the title scrawled above it How to Train Your Dragon.

It’s true. I have an affinity for fantasy, but a very grounded fantasy. Rules have to exist as do emotions. Simply because you carry a sword and wear a loin cloth doesn’t mean I’m automatically going to love you. In fact, I love fantasy so much, it has to work even harder to impress me. I feel that I can continue now with this review with absolute sincerity.

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Mother

March 31, 2010

That's some strong medicine.

Joon-ho Bong, the Korean writer and director, likes to write about inadequate people finding themselves in situations they aren’t exactly clever enough to figure out, which makes the journey for the audience that much more enjoyable and that much more tragic in the end, because we might be able to see a way out they cannot.

In his film Memories of Murder, we follow a group of incompetent back water Detectives as they try to find a rapist-serial killer before the next victim is taken down. In The Host a family of dunces bands together to save the youngest daughter from a bio-chemically created monster. In both instances (both great movies, by the way) Joon-ho tells his stories with a healthy dose of biting satire, ever growing dread and a cinematic eye rarely found in America. With his newest thriller Mother, Joon-ho continues his steady climb as one of the best International directors by following the same guidlines.

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The Ghost Writer

March 31, 2010

Even he thinks it's a bit of a stretch.

Ghost writers are rarely thanked for their work and quickly forgotten. I have a friend that does this as a profession. They do the work, their job, and disappear to work on the next project. Shifting from one patient to the next, like Doctors, uninvolved emotionally; they are out for themselves, which is not a bad thing. Such is the case of the character played by Ewan McGregor (who does a really fine job here), who is simply referred to as The Ghost on IMDB.com, in Roman Polanski’s newest bit of cinematic story trickery The Ghost Writer. In fact, at one point when our hero is asked which side he’s on, he simply says his own.

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The Simulacra

March 31, 2010

This cover is not an English cover, and makes no sense. See the link below.

An old book written by Philip K. Dick and newly finished by me The Simulacra continues Dick’s trend on taking an egg batter to my brain and firmly stirring. While there are several characters in this sprawling 230 page novel, it’s not about the characters. As in most of his stories, the subject matter is more the environment and how characters are paddle balled around until the reader is left flummoxed that it all somehow makes sense and manages to sit at the bottom of your soul for days, making you not only wonder how many drugs Dick took, but also very afraid of how close each of his books seems on the verge of happening in the real world. If not in a literal sense, certainly a figurative sense.

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