Archive for December 18th, 2008

18th December
2008
written by Steph
fieldwork

This is a book I had heard snippets of good things about in the big old book blog world.  I was sufficiently intrigued by the good press it had received that when I saw a cheap copy at the local used book store, I decided to give it a whirl. That being said, I wasn’t entirely sure just what exactly Fieldwork was going to be about exactly.  I had garnered from the back cover that it was about a man who moves to Thailand with his girlfriend, and that it would involve the jungle, anthropologists, missionaries, murder, and was supposed to be Spooky.  Ultimately, I suppose all of these things are true, although I didn’t find anything all that creepy about the book, and I’m not sure that I would really call it a “thriller” either.  Like The Basic Eight, which I read earlier this year, this is another one of those so-called “mysteries” where you know within the first 30 pages who has done the crime (& the time!), and the aim of the rest of the novel is to piece together the back story.  It’s not so much a whodunit? as it is a whydunit?.  Stephen King wrote a piece in Entertainment Weekly about how he thought the book had been given a really boring cover that belied the book’s true awesomeness.  I didn’t have a problem with the cover, but I would be ok if someone thought the cover of Fieldwork was boring and consequently concluded that it was boring, because sometimes it really was! (more…)
18th December
2008
written by Tony
1990

1990

Okay. So, apparently everyone thinks Kurosawa is a genius. The best Japanese director ever. Don't get me wrong, it's not that he's necessarily bad at what he does, it's just that what he does tends to leave me high and dry, especially in the case of this particular film. I've seen Seven Samurai, even liked most of it (God, it is long), but as films go it wasn't transcendental or even really all that remarkable. Now wait, before you crucify me, let me explain. It is a good film, and it is deserving of the heaps of praise lauded upon it over the last 50 years. However, it's a good film for reasons that don't really play into my viewing enjoyment. It was the inspiration for The Magnificent Seven, and it is often cited as the first film to use the plot device of gathering heroes to fight a battle. It was an enormous success when it was released in Japan and is one of the few Japanese films to gain wide recognition in the west. On and on and on, the innovation and the power and the glory. (more…)