Friday, September 03, 2010

In Review

We haven't been so very lucky with movies lately, but we seem to be doing better with books.

Inception

Just last week, we headed to the theater to see the at-least-somewhat acclaimed Inception. I had read some great comments about this flick, but with all apologies and due respect to Lorna who is at least ten times smarter than me, to put it mildly I didn't care for it. To me and my tiny, it was nothing but endless rounds of chases and shootouts camouflaged in an esoteric scifi sort of plot. Did I mention that I hate chases and shootouts?

Verdict = Epic Fail


A Single Man

Then we watched A Single Man on video (yes, I know they're DVDs now, but please give me a break because I still also call any sort of video recording a tape, even though tape died a slow and agonizing death a longtime ago). Single Man starring Colin Firth, whom I like very much, centers around a gay professor in the early sixties before gay meant what it does now and before consciousnesses were raised (except for the rabid evangelical who stopped following me when I posted a slideshow of my gay daughter's wedding. The nerve of a father not to stone his gay offspring. ) In Single Man, George Falconer played by Firth, an English professor tragically lost his partner and contemplated ending his own life.

Without the plot overdoing social commentary, I was able to empathize with the frustration of being gay in the closetted sixties, at least in the early part of the decade. With its subdued, somewhat reticent script, it seems to be the type of film that critics would love. Indeed, Firth garnered a spot in the race for best actor.

Although I don't dislike all slow-paced films, this one was a little too halting for my taste. Nevertheless, I didn't hate it. I think it's worth watching.

Verdict = A Somewhat Grudging Pass


The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Here's where I can begin to raise both my thumbs. First, Thesha read the book and recommended it to Cuppa who in turn read it couldn't stop raving about it. I confess that this mystery set in Sweden in 2002 by the now deceased Steig Larsson also grabbed this old curmudgeon and forced him to read in a way that he seldom does anymore. What fun to delve so happily into a book again.

The plot centers around a financial reporter and a young female computer whiz and hacker. They are brought together in a most interesting way to solve an odd and longtime unsolved case. This is not your run-of-the-mill detective novel (although I am quite happy with lots of those), and I think it would appeal to all sorts of readers.

My only nitpickerish complaints might be that (i) it does begin a bit slowly, and (ii) does tend to get a little Ludlumesesque or even worse Grishamesque towards the end. But don't let that stop you because I was quite eager to pick up the second in the trilogy and Cuppa was just as eager to move on to book three. Please don't let the trilogy aspect throw you off because each volume stands on its own. If there had never been a second Girl With novel, I would have been quite chuffed just have read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Verdict = Six Thumbs Up
(two each from AC, Cuppa and Thesha)

16 comments:

KGMom said...

I have not seen any of the flicks you mention--but you know I love the movies, and enjoyed your reviews.
As of now, I have not yet succumbed to the dragon tattoo virus (or whatever it is).

Ginger said...

Thanks for the reviews, AC. I love it when people (with good taste) give me good cues for choice-making in the viewing/reading department.

Jinksy said...

Six thumbs are enough to get me looking for a copy of the book...

Kila said...

Thanks for the reviews!

Diana said...

The girl with the dragon tattoos sounds very familiar. Did they make a movie out of it? Perhaps I saw it at the library. Love Di ♥

Lorna said...

"Inception", while I think it was wonderful, may have a few flaws I overlooked.

"A Single Man" is on my weekend watch list, and btw, I cherish your daughter's wedding slides.

"TGWTDT" and its follow-ups just leave me gasping for breath. One of my friends has seen the Swedish movie version and rated it highly.

Have a great long weekend!

Anvilcloud said...

Yes Di, as per Lorna's comments, there is a movie version. I wonder if I should watch it before I finish the trilogy. I love The Lynley books for example but am most disappointed with how the tv series cast the characters.

Lorna, I am glad that we seem to agree on the book, at least. Have a good long weekend.

Ginnie said...

Thanks for the critique. I will want to read the book first and then see "The tattoo" one. I love to compare the written word with the movie.

Donna said...

None of them sound good to me...I'm a PBS kinda gal with some adventure...fantasy...historical mixed in.
That must have been Some Kinda' Preacher! Too bad he forgot about the true meaning of love and spirit....
Happy weekend Ac...
hughugs

Bernie said...

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was an excellent book AC, loved it but haven't seen the movie....Hugs

Garnetrose said...

What? A man who does not love car chases and shootouts? What a find!!! LOL I have not see any of the movies but did enjoy reading about them. My daughter read the Girl with The Dragon Tattoo and said if I can muddle through the first four chapters, it is a good read and I intend to start it as soon as I get done with the one I am reading now.

daylily (Queenmothermamaw) said...

I saw and liked The Single Man. Love the three books about Lizbeth and Sweden. Didn't know the movie was out yet. I have it on order from Netflix. Don't think I will bother with Inception.
QMM

Anvilcloud said...

I hope you like subtitles QMM.

Mara said...

Cinema? Wow, can't remember the last time I went.

I've seen the books by Steig Larssson, but have never felt the urge to pick any of them up and put them in my basket. Perhaps I will give it a go.

Pearl said...

haven't read or seen any of those although I can relate to the video thing. I say 'back to the house' no matter how long we're in condo and 'kitchen table' for duning table, no matter how many years we haven't had a table in the kitchen.

simplycol.com said...

"Inception".. haven't seen it yet and now that I know it is mostly chases and shootouts, I probably won't.

"A Single Man".. I enjoyed the film but found the ending sad.

"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo".. is the next on my pile of "books to read". Am excited!