Monthly Archives: February 2010

Bat For Lashes covers Radiohead

I’m not really a big Bat For Lashes fan, but this is a nice cover of the great Radiohead song “All I Need”.YouTube – Bat for lashes All I need Radiohead.

Bat For Lashes covers Radiohead

I’m not really a big Bat For Lashes fan, but this is a nice cover of the great Radiohead song “All I Need”.

YouTube – Bat for lashes All I need Radiohead.

Book Review: Under the Dome

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While the classics The Shining and Salem’s Lot are two of my favorites, much of Stephen King’s more recent output has left me a little underwhelmed.  King’s latest release, Under the Dome, doesn’t really do much to reverse this trend for me.

The novel tells the story of a small town that becomes quite suddenly encased beneath a giant invisible dome.  Of course, it’s a mystery as to exactly what the dome is and how it got there.  The sudden appearance (installation? dropping?) of the dome is quite gruesome, as many animals, vehicles, and even people find their collective parts on different sides of the walls.

The tension of the story builds as the inhabitants of the town realize that they’re on their own.  While government agents are working on breaking through the dome, they have no control over what’s going on inside.  This leaves room for someone to step up to a leadership role, and in this case, naturally the corrupt and power hungry are perfectly happy to assume the position. Big Jim Rennie, the town’s Second Selectman, is a used car salesman/politician with a very strong agenda: have every one do every thing his way.  

Big Jim thinks himself righteous, and considers all of his actions to be God’s work.  The problem with his philosophy is that his actions include running the largest meth lab on the East Coast, among other crimes.  Rennie is arrogant, holier-than-thou, and delusional, and I’m not sure I have ever despised a character in a book more than Big Jim Rennie.  If that was King’s goal, then I’ll have to toast his success here.

The novel is very long (1000+ pages), and much of it is spent describing many, many citizens of the town.  It’s great to feel like a town in a book is established and has a history, where the various people have lives that matter, but King’s ongoing descriptions and histories become excessive.  It gets to the point where reading more and more about how someone used to drive a tractor or has a pointy head feels like a chore.  There were times where I felt I had read chapters and chapters of words without the story moving forward. The book isn’t altogether unenjoyable, but is far too long for the story being told.  I’ll definitely be looking for something that can manage a good story in a shorter length for my next read.

Book Review: Under the Dome

While the classics The Shining and Salem’s Lot are two of my favorites, much of Stephen King’s more recent output has left me a little underwhelmed.  King’s latest release, Under the Dome, doesn’t really do much to reverse this trend for me.

The novel tells the story of a small town that becomes quite suddenly encased beneath a giant invisible dome.  Of course, it’s a mystery as to exactly what the dome is and how it got there.  The sudden appearance (installation? dropping?) of the dome is quite gruesome, as many animals, vehicles, and even people find their collective parts on different sides of the walls.

The tension of the story builds as the inhabitants of the town realize that they’re on their own.  While government agents are working on breaking through the dome, they have no control over what’s going on inside.  This leaves room for someone to step up to a leadership role, and in this case, naturally the corrupt and power hungry are perfectly happy to assume the position.

Big Jim Rennie, the town’s Second Selectman, is a used car salesman/politician with a very strong agenda: have every one do every thing his way.  Big Jim thinks himself righteous, and considers all of his actions to be God’s work.  The problem with his philosophy is that his actions include running the largest meth lab on the East Coast, among other crimes.  Rennie is arrogant, holier-than-thou, and delusional, and I’m not sure I have ever despised a character in a book more than Big Jim Rennie.  If that was King’s goal, then I’ll have to toast his success here.

The novel is very long (1000+ pages), and much of it is spent describing many, many citizens of the town.  It’s great to feel like a town in a book is established and has a history, where the various people have lives that matter, but King’s ongoing descriptions and histories become excessive.  It gets to the point where reading more and more about how someone used to drive a tractor or has a pointy head feels like a chore.  There were times where I felt I had read chapters and chapters of words without the story moving forward.

The book isn’t altogether unenjoyable, but is far too long for the story being told.  I’ll definitely be looking for something that can manage a good story in a shorter length for my next read.

‘Giving Up the Gun (HD)’ Video – Vampire Weekend – AOL Music

Vodpod videos no longer available. more about “Givining Up The Gun“, posted with vodpod

X10: Splinter Cell: Conviction hands-on

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Joystiq gives a hands-on report of the Splinter Cell: Conviction demo.  I’ve really been looking forward to this game, and am glad it finally has a solid (?) release date.Their comments sound promising, even with the noted negative of the melodramatic dialogue in the cut scenes.  Sadly, this problem plagues so many video games that I’m kind of used to it.

There you are, old Sam Fisher, minding your own business at some unknown cafe when the waiter brings you a cell phone and Bluetooth earpiece, compliments of the caller. It’s Grim, it’s Third Echelon, and it’s the end of his vacation. Some thugs have managed to upset his vacation — now we know why he’s always carrying 12 rounds and a pistol.

X10: Splinter Cell: Conviction hands-on.

Super Quick Movie Reviews #7

Today’s update is a little overdue, but I managed to see some great films over the past couple of weeks.  Here are my thoughts:The Hurt Locker – I really enjoyed this movie and hate that I had to wait so long to see it.  I’d love for Kathryn Bigelow to win the Best Direction Oscar for this.  The way she builds and uses tension in the story is amazing.

Princess Mononoke – All of Miyazaki’s films are great, but I have to admit I liked Howl’s Moving Castle a bit more than this one.La Vie en Rose – While I thought this was a bit too long, Marion Cotillard is really amazing in it.Raging Bull – One of those movies that I should have already seen, but never did.  I have to admit that I didn’t feel really invested in the movie until the scene where Jake’s anger and paranoia boil over, as he accuses Joey (Joe Pesci) of sleeping with his wife.  This scene is brilliant and I was sucked into the story from this point forward.Big Fan – I liked this more than I thought I would.  Robert Siegel, formerly Sr Editor of The Onion, writes and directs a nice, original dark comedy.Nosferatu – I watched the original 1922 silent version by Murnau.  This film really is an amazing feat for it’s time.  It’s very interesting how well they were able to convey such fear and intensity without spoken dialogue.  Plus, Max Schreck is perfect.Taxi Driver – Another film I should have already seen.  It’s interesting to compare this one to Raging Bull and other Scorsese films.  This one has a more subdued feel, but still conveys the same amount of emotion in the story.  One of the things that stuck out the most to me was De Niro’s famous “You talkin’ to me?” scene.  This has become everyone’s “go to” De Niro impression, always becoming comically excessive and overblown.  Seeing the actual scene in the movie really surprised me, as it’s not excessive and ridiculous at all, and is a very simple and honest statement about Travis Bickle’s state of mind.Updated 2/15More Film Reviews