All 12 entries tagged Review

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November 24, 2007

Blood and no Bollocks

Movie image
Title:
Beowulf
Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

Before going I really wasn’t sure that I’d like this animated movie. I remember seeing an animated version of Lord of the Rings years ago and wasn’t impressed, hence my reserve.

Another reason for being uncertain was that I’d also heard the Beowulf story at a proper adult story telling at one of the MAC adult storytelling evenings a few years ago and really enjoyed it. So, I wondered whether this movie would live up to my hopes.

I needn’t have worried, the movie works well – it is after all a bloody good story that has lasted over 1,000 years.

Its a 12A rated film and I wouldn’t recommend that any younger children see it as there is blood and gore in abundance, limbs being ripped off, bodies torn in half, heads chewed, eyes stabbed and a heart ripped pulsing from the chest of a dragon.

Beowulf likes getting his kit off but, like Kenny Everett: “Its all done in the best possible taste” : just as the ‘camera’ scans down his naked body Wiglaf walks into shot and hides the money shot. Beowulf is THE archetypal Alpha Male but also a big show off and the film portrays this well. There is some wenching and bawdy songs are sung.

At only 114 minutes Beowulf is quite short but the advantage is that there aren’t any boring sub-plots or irrelevant diversions.

If you are after laughs then this isn’t for you but if like many you didn’t read English at Oxford and have only really heard of Beowulf as a name then go and see it.

Summary:Action, adventure, myth, blood and no bollocks.


November 07, 2007

It makes me wriggle

Music front cover
Title:
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
Artist:
The Flaming Lips
ASIN:
B000068PQ0
Rating:
5 out of 5 stars

Okay, so this isn’t new (2002) but as I am about to buy my first iPod-type device and will be deciding which of my music collection to burn I thought of this – I love it.

Why? Because I really like the mellowness of the sound, the slightly techno voice which has a bit of a Yes-like, Geddy Lee quality, the vocals are a bit melancholic and spacey. It’s Sci-fi music and it just makes me wriggle.

Favourite tracks:
Flight Test
Do you Realize??
In the Morning of the Magicians
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt1
Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell


November 04, 2007

Books I read this Summer 07

Book front cover
Title:
The Night Watch
Author:
Sergei Lukyanenko
ISBN:
0099489929
Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

I was reminded by Lee that I hadn’t reviewed any books lately. This is partly because I haven’t read many but one I can recommend is this book by Sergei Lukyanenko.

Night Watch is the first of 4 books translated from Russian and tells the story of the suppressed conflict between the forces of light and dark from the perspective of the ‘police’ who monitor the vampires and other creatures of the dark who live amongst us. It is a supernatural thriller but doesn’t come across as silly. It may not be art but it is a good read. I’ve never read this type of stuff before but enjoyed it and will read the next ones as they come out in paperback. The next in the series is The Day Watch, then The Twilight Watch, then The Last Patrol.

Night Watch was made into a film in 2004 more… and Day Watch has just finished production, I think.


March 05, 2007

Books I Read in China 2007

MDW (see my blog) bought me this for my birthday – don’t ask, a Gentleman never tells – I’m trying to become a half decent archer you see AND I am now in China, so it seemed an appropriate book to bring. It has the added advantage for the traveller of being small/short at only 100 pages. I just finished it this morning in Beijing.

If you are interested in mysticism, Tai Chi or in Buddhist philosophy, or would like to know how to improve your sporting concentration and performance than this could be for you. Suprisingly for me, the book was written by a German, between the wars, and translated into English in 1953.

If you are an archer looking for some practical tips then you may find this frustrating. However, when I think about some of the top archers I’ve seen/know then perhaps there is something in it, even though they may not recognise the lessons of Herr Doktor Herrigel’s Zen Master, they do practice some of the art.


December 28, 2006

Books I read this Winter 06

Book front cover
Title:
The Queen of the South
Author:
Arturo Perez-Reverte
ISBN:
0330413147
Rating:
5 out of 5 stars

I really liked this, I read it over the space of a few days – every time I went into the room I’d left the book in, I picked it up and started reading.

In my ignorance I hadn’t realised that Perez-Reverte wrote more serious novels than the Captain Alatriste books one of which I reviewed in the Summer.

That Teresa – what a woman! What balls! I’ll certainly give his other books a go and can recommend this but you may wish to acquaint yourself with some Spanish invective – what does pinche mean?

Finally, I don’t think I’d like to visit Sinaloa – a bit too dangerous- and when you are sitting on the beach next Summer just imagine what they’re carrying in those speedboats.


Books I read this Winter 06

Book front cover
Title:
Oracle Night
Author:
Paul Auster
ISBN:
0571216978
Rating:
3 out of 5 stars

Well, I finally managed to finish this after many months of trying. Looking back, it probably deserved a more dedication on my part. Certainly, I believe from what others I know have said about the author it should be worthwhile. Nevertheless I felt is was a bit too slow for the first 90% and none of the characters was particularly engaging.. and then the end just rushed up in the last 20 pages and is gone, leaving me unsatisfied. Overall, interesting to read from a structural point of view I guess (for me at least as an untrained reader) but I didn’t gain anything deeper from it.


October 20, 2006

Books I read this Summer(06)

Book front cover
Title:
Saving Fish From Drowning
Author:
Amy Tan
ISBN:
0007216165
Rating:
3 out of 5 stars

I hadn’t read The Joy Luck Club so didn’t really know what to expect when MDW passed me this after I’d finished the books I’d taken on Holiday (see Places I’d Rather Be). Well, I enjoyed it mostly. I thought the main story was a bit predictable but the humour level was kept up throughout; the cave episode was hilarious. Although the end dragged on a little it wasn’t enough to ruin the experience.


Books I read this Summer – Smith

Book front cover
Title:
On Beauty
Author:
Zadie Smith
ISBN:
014101945X
Rating:
1 out of 5 stars

I didn’t manage to get past the first 30 pages before I got to the Lifes too Short stage. It just didn’t engage me in the slightest and the story just didn’t move on fast enough for my liking.

Of course, this could’ve been because I was sat on the tarmac at Athens airport with fuel gushing out of the aircraft’s wing, fire trucks zooming up and no air-con because all the engines were shut down as a precaution .. but I do feel that a good book should’ve been able to keep my attention through all of this.


October 18, 2006

Books I read this Summer(06) – Lewycka

Book front cover
Title:
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
Author:
Marina Lewycka
ISBN:
0141020520
Rating:
3 out of 5 stars

Was this the Captain Corelli of 2006? – amongst my fellow engineers I know I wasn’t the only one to read this. Perhaps it had something to do with the title. Sorry, but there really aren’t (m)any tractors in the story but there is a heavily modified Roller – hey! that is the tractor!

Funny, but in a rather disquieting fashion, not quite sure what sense of humour The Times reviewer has.


Books I read this Summer(06) – Perez–Reverte

Book front cover
Title:
Purity of Blood: The Adventures of Captain Alatriste (Adventures of Capt Alatriste 2)
Author:
Arturo Perez-Reverte
ISBN:
0753821192
Rating:
3 out of 5 stars

If you want a quick read with plenty of sword-play and clear goodies and baddies this could be for you. Captain Alatriste is still the main player but the narrator is who you are likely to be rooting for.
_“How easily he scales the high wall of stone
spurred on by his youth”_
I’ll read the next one when its translated – hopefully while on a plane somewhere.


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