Monday, June 28, 2010

Movie: Toy Story 3

So, the movie was not all it was hyped up to be. However, that doesn't mean what you think it does. I liked it. It is one of my favorite Pixar movies. In terms of quality I put it behind Ratatoui and Up. So it wasn't a life changing experience. It hasn't and won't be floating in my head for days making me view the world in a profoundly different light.

But that does mean I'm putting it ahead of Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc, the Incredibles, Wall-E etc. All of which are masterpieces. I can think of *NO* other trilogy that goes from Strong, Stronger, Strongest. This movie successfully wraps up the series. It answers questions that anyone seriously pondering the ending of Toy Story 2 can do, it helps children deal with unanticipated questions, and is actually a spiritual thing without being preachy.

I cannot recommend seeing it enough and as usual it is absolutely light years ahead of anything else that is out there. Why Pixar doesn't win best picture each year I simply don't know. A few movies can compete, but when it comes consistently to hitting it out of the park, no other studio even comes close.

Movie: Splice

This movie is more frightening because it is going to happen. Please understand, it is not a question of "might happen" but WILL happen. It might be a year or five years. It might even be five centuries but sooner or later someone is going to start splicing human genes with animals and this movie does an excellent job of showing the result.

OK....partially. The super superior combo that is the 'monster' in this is not the likely creation. No, instead the part of the movie that is the most accurate is the extremely human child hood of the 'creature' growing up, and the monstrous way that the scientists that created her treated her.

This movie is definitely worth watching, if for no other reason that to understand that sometimes there really *IS* a reason to grab pitch fork and torches, but not for the 'monster' but for the real monsters that make them. And they will.

Forever Odd by Dean Koontz

I listened to this as an audio book on the way back from St. Augustine. I liked it. It wasn't quite as good or original as the first book in the series, "Odd Thomas" but it was still fun to read. The thing that made the first Odd Thomas book so fun was the curious cast of characters in the small California town "Pico Mundo" (which means Small World) as well as the odd quirky nature of the protagonist.

The sequel has the supporting cast only in a small part of it, with most of the book being a conflict between Odd and the villain and her henchmen. Koontz does an excellent job creating a believable story, villain and plot. All of the things that happen fall well within the parameters of the rules set up by the story, keeping the level of the super natural exceptionally light. I liked it, but without the unusual setting and human element, it felt a lot more like another book of his that I read that was extremely sparsely populated because it was the end of the world.

I have come to the conclusion that I like Koontz books that take place in places with lots of people in them. Those that in sparse areas are enjoyable reads, but not quite as exceptional.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Review: Movie - The A-Team

Mindless mind candy that has no mind.

They fly a tank. Let me repeat that. They fly a tank.

And yet unlike so many remakes of late, this one captures the spirit of the original better than most I have seen. GI Joe didn't really FEEL like GI Joe. Transformers....kind of felt like transformers.

THIS? This felt like the A-Team. The origin idea is often tired but since they never showed it in the original show, it was quite welcome for me in this case. They show how the team assembled, and their first mission and how they got screwed over by the government. Moreover, the way they transferred the old Vietnam War origin to the Desert Storm origin worked quite well.