17-23April2011 :: This Week
- picked up the iPad 2 (and a whole lot of books for the Kindle)
- been reading Bram Stoker's Dracula, and pleasantly surprised; I was expecting something more stodgy and Victorian, but it's a reasonably modern mystery tale, and its storytelling, using diary entries and letters between the main characters, seems delightfully postmodern; the one thing that makes the reading difficult is that the mysterious elements are all things we know of vampires today, which means the mystery is artificial, really.
- bought Stromae's Cheese; have looped through it a few times; delightful French pop-house.
- bought Pharoahe Monch's WAR (We Are Renegades); it's a huge improvement over his last effort, with solid rapping right through and decent production effort gone into the beats and some of the samples; a lot of it is fairly bare musically, but Pharoahe's vocals are strong enough to carry it.
- downloaded Blaqstarr's The Mixtape; worth a listen, with some great samples and some superb musical guests; tracks with MIA and Mos Def are excellent; much of the rap and singing throughout is pretty average though, so I'm be thinking twice about paying for a new Blaqstarr album.
- watched Laurel Canyon (imdb); for much of the movie, nothing really happens, and I wouldn't have continued save that it was on; the main characters are just drifters, and while the film explores the idea of the main couple (Christian Bale and Kate Beckinsale) as young adults trying to find their own identity independent of their parents, the entertainment value mostly just comes from Frances McDormand as Bale's mother; the film does close strongly though, with its protagonists finally reacting, and getting the catharthis they need.
- finished reading Lukyanenko's Night Watch; a good read, with, as noted last week, a fascinating constructed world; it's also an excellent post-Soviet Russian text, with lots of exploration of the new social systems being experimented with in Russia after the fall on the Soviet system, and of the powerless in Moscow.
- watched Sucker Punch (imdb); went in with fairly low expectations, but my curiosity got the better of me; I know what a Zack Snyder film looks and sounds and feels like, and it lives up to those expectations, so is reasonably entertaining; on the surface level, it's admittedly not very good — it drags too much in places, and the action sequences are just set pieces, feeling like excuses for the hot-chicks-with-guns premise; it does, however, deliver on that front, and it feels more fun than sexy, so in that sense is an exploitation flick, sure, but can't really be called misogynistic; in addition, while the various set pieces are something of a mish-mash, they're a great dive through alt-geek culture, and feel coherent viewed through the lens of that specific subculture; one thing occurred to me while watching it too, which is that it's a Video Game Movie, and watched in that context is actually quite clever, capturing the storytelling of video games far better than, say, last year's Scott Pilgrim, with its integration of video game elements; there's probably a big difference just in 80s gaming vs 90s/00s gaming, but I think Sucker Punch better uses the storytelling elements, from the sequential levels, the quests with clear load points and end goals that tidily close the level, the progression from the first-person to the squad gaming, and the closing exploration (if clunky) of control and the inclusion of the viewer as player as storyteller; all told, it's a film with a narrow target audience, but (in itself; the marketing is a bit confused) has no pretensions to wider appeal, and for that, it should be considered a success.
- wrote more of Raphaël's story; with a long weekend off work I'm taking the opportunity to get through the closing chapters of the 21st century story; having a great time telling its final climactic scenes, though I'm having to pace myself so as not to rush them overmuch; writing the ending is also particularly challenging because I'm finding a number of things falling into place and I have to be careful that they don't read too deus ex machina; I suspect one of the major tasks in stitching the two stories together will be to make sure they appropriately inform each other.
- 11September-5November2011 :: These (Riding) Weeks (05Nov2011)
- 21August-10September2011 :: These (Running) Weeks (17Sep2011)
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- 24July-6August2011 :: These (Early Spring) Weeks (13Aug2011)
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- 26June-2July2011 :: This (Cordless) Week (04Jul2011)
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In which I read and watch and listen, and wonder about genre
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In which I consume hours of media in a short amount of time, and rediscover television
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- 1-6January2008 :: This Week (06Jan2008)
- Recent Media Consumption (30Dec2007)
In which I consume, to varying degrees, various media
- Recent Consumption (12Aug2006)
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