Narnia. I enjoyed it. A little too schmaltzy, a little too Christian, but overall worked pretty well.
Read J. Michael Straczynski's Rising Stars. I hadn't really consumed much from him other than B5, from which I found that his ideas rather outstripped his writing ability. I was pleasantly surprised to find this graphic novel intelligent, non-formulaic, and equal to the task it sets for itself.

In a lot of ways this feels like an ensemble Miracleman, particularly as a modern look at superheroes and their relationship with society. It's the story of 113 individuals in the womb when a meteor hits a small town, all of whom get superpowers. It's the story of their entire lives and the world as they interact with it. The human relationships are very well drawn, and the exploration of social impact is very interesting. I wasn't deeply satisfied with JMS's conclusion, but I would still recommend it as a worthwhile read.

I should probably get around to reading Midnight Nation now...
Friday I went to lunch and Mirrormask with [ profile] new_man, then joined [ profile] liamstliam et al for Serenity.

Mirrormask: A lot of people have missed the central element of this film, which is of course juggling. I liked that. As for its other attributes, I found the plot to be a bit of a letdown in that it set up ideas that it never really explored. There were many opportunities to showcase artful encounters with weird things though, and those sequences were for the most part very well executed. It was a fun little movie, nothing earthshaking but worthwhile.

Serenity: I'd already seen it in preview, and the differences were minor (mainly color cleanup, which does help highlight the superb cinematography). I enjoyed it quite a bit, but it was not without some notable flaws.
Also, after several months gap I read the second half of Mothers and Daughters, bringing me to Cerebus #200.

I conclude that Victor Davis Dave Sim is:
a) A bitter man who could use some therapy
b) Full of provocative ideas
c) Unable to discern a bundle of facts from a line of reasoning
d) Quite good at knowing what will interest his audience
e) Very aware of just how much cookie to give his audience so they read the other stuff he wants to write
Finally got around to watching Primer yesterday. Weird, demanding little low-budget indie film. It's really one of those cases where I can't say any more without possibly impacting your experience. I don't know that I was as impressed as those who recommended it to me, but it's interesting and worth watching.
Just read Roger Zelazny's Creatures of Light and Darkness. It was good, but a little more disjoint than it could have been. The overall effect was a bundle of very interesting bits and pieces, which almost flowed smoothly into an excellent whole. I'd say it was a near thing at being a great book, and as it is it's a quite good book.

The thing that really interested me is how many evocative ideas he put into it. There are the Masters of Temporal Fugue (short-range time travel) who fight duels in paradoxical loops backwards and forwards; the Steel General, who when his whole body has been replaced piecemeal by robotics wears a ring of his original flesh; the non-diest, non-sectarian priest, who recites the Possibly Proper Death Litany*; one scrier reading the living entrails of another, with the latter rising up to argue the former's interpretation; half-human, half-machine oracles that can continue to analyze the future so long as they receive stimulation; the teleporter, who presumes an infinite universe must contain anything he can visualize, and may teleport anywhere he can envision. This last idea is only briefly touched upon here, but is essentially the basis for the Amber series. One wonders what he would have come up with if he'd gone down more of these paths...

In any case, I think I need to read more of Zelazny's early work. I had read the first half of Amber a while back, and enjoyed it, but it wasn't until I read the most excellent Lord of Light that I got really interested in him, and unfortunately the next thing I read was the later Amber quintet, which I found deeply unsatisfying.

*"Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness. Conversely..."
[ profile] tpau and I finally got around to seeing Batman Begins, since it was playing at the Framingham Premium Cinema, for which we had a gift card (which I've had for about a year, but this is the first time they showed anything we wanted to see). Total cost of film: $1. And they say cinema's getting more expensive.

It was alright )



November 2011

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