Reviews Published

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy 2013!

To quote Abba:

Happy new year

Happy new year

May we all have a vision now and then

Of a world where every neighbour is a friend

Happy new year

Happy new year

May we all have our hopes, our will to try

If we don't we might as well lay down and die

You and I

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Hobbit - 3D High Frame - My Precious?

I'm glad I've seen The Hobbit. And I'm glad I've seen it in the much-talked-about 3D high frame rate (Mr Google assures me it's 48 frames). Visually, it's a feast of intricate images, colours and super-realistic special effects. The scene in which Bilbo and Gollum hold their riddle duel is worth suffering all the rolling heads that surround it.

Plotwise, however, I felt the run time of almost three hours could have, should have, been cut to about one-and-three-quarters. No, I'm not a Tolkien purist. I don't care about the extra material from other notes, I don't care about diversions from the way the book's written. I do care about being entertained, though, and lengthy battle scenes can only hold my interest for, oh, about thirty seconds.

World-creating-wise, I loved the Shire. Although nothing really happened there, and it took a long time for the nothing really to happen, I could have watched it over and over again. In fact, I could have happily watched three hours of The Hobbit - An Alternative To The Journey, in which Bilbo stays and home and bakes cookies.

Still, it's a must-see. To quote another reviewer: "You'll leave with a smile, even if you spent a good portion of the past three hours yawning."

And, speaking as a visitor to the lovely Welligton, correction, The Middle Of Middle Earth, I loved how the city dressed up to celebrate the premiere.

Conveyer belt at Wellington's airport

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Latest Bond Movie

The latest Bond movie... what was it called... Google to the rescue... oh, yes, of course. Skyfall. Not a very memorable title, not truly descriptive of the contents, but I guess it was ok. A lot of things about the movie were ok. Ok in a good way. Just not overwhelmingly wow.

Not as suave and glitzy as Cassino Royale, but much, much better than Quantum of Solace.

PS I liked the new Q.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Novel About My Wife

So, what do I say about a book that had me spellbound all the way through, made me read late into the night, until I reached the last pages, realised there's no more, then flung the book across the lounge in disappointment? No, not because the book was finished - because the book was finished without resolution.

I understand the author's intent all right: the reader is in the head of the narrator, a guy who's trying to get to know his now dead wife. He's left it too late, should have paid her more attention when she was alive, now he's going to learn nothing, nah-nah-nah-NAH-nah!

I get that. Punish the character all you like. But don't punish the reader. What have I done to deserve it?

compelling characters + beautiful writing - satisfying ending = a book I cannot recommend