Terry Pratchett is well-known in the world of genre writing mostly for his Discworld series. However, in the decades he’s been active, Pratchett has written several different stories outside of the Discworld. The latest is Dodger, a historical fantasy with all the charm of Discworld and none of the thousands of pages of background a new Discworld reader might need.
Neil Gaiman’s new novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane is ostensibly his first novel for adults in eight years. Though, to my mind, I don’t classify it strictly as such. I think the point of view was the issue — told through the eyes of a man remembering what life was like when he was a seven-year-old boy. Never let it be said that Gaiman makes things easy for his readers. (And that’s a good thing.)
It was a good book. Just, hard to explain in one short teaser paragraph. Here — read on.
Superman is arguably the American superhero: an immigrant from another land (in this case, another planet), raised in a small town by honest people with a strong value system, eventually grows up, moves to the big city, and makes a difference while succeeding in his career and never forgetting where he came from.
So, to tell the story of Superman, you need a big movie. And with Man of Steel, we certainly got that.
It’s just… maybe there’s such a thing as too big.
This review contains spoilers for Monsters, Inc.
I’ve seen Monsters, Inc. exactly once. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite Pixar film — that honor lies with The Incredibles, but, with the exception of what I felt was somewhat overly-action-oriented storytelling in the climax, I did like MI.
Now, twelve years later, I have a six-year-old daughter who’s just the right age to be seeing Monsters University. So I did what any parent who doesn’t want to be trapped in the house on a Friday night and doesn’t want to pay a babysitter should do: take my kid to the movies and end up spending…
…well, actually, probably more money than my babysitter would’ve charged.
Her rates are very reasonable.
Anyway, Monsters University.
In this age of smartphones, tablets, personal electronic devices, and connected TV, it’s nice to see children reading a book or two every now and then. Maybe the book is on an electronic device, but at least it’s a book, right?
My daughter is six. She’s very bright. I determined that she was old enough for me to read her one of my very favorite books growing up, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. We finally finished it last week.
Despite the furor over the reboot universe and the sci-fi landscape’s love for the later iterations of Star Trek, there’s still something about The Original Series that keeps bringing people back. And one way they come back is with fan films.
One such venture is Star Trek Continues, produced by Farragut Films and DracoGen Strategic Investments. It aims to pick up, in their words, “right where the original left off” with their first episode, “Pilgrim of Eternity”.
Ask people to name the first Edgar Allan Poe reference off the top of their heads and they’ll probably quoth The Raven and say “nevermore”. Poe was a well-known American poet and writer, but it’s still not known exactly what caused his death in 1849 at age 40.
The film The Raven attempts to explain that. Whether it succeeds or not depends upon just how much of your disbelief you’re willing to suspend.
So, as if you didn’t know, I’m a huge Star Trek fan. It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that I was going to see Star Trek Into Darkness on opening weekend. Since my birthday was the same weekend as the opening, it was like J.J. Abrams himself gave me a present.
It’s really difficult to write a non-spoilery review of the film, but I’m going to try. There will be minor ones, but I won’t reveal any major plot points. Still, if you’re concerned about spoilers, don’t read this review until you’ve seen the film.
Oh, and — go see the film. It’s good.
This review contains spoilers for much of the Discworld series prior to Going Postal.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger Discworld fan than me in my neighborhood. Probably in my zip code. Maybe in my county. So when I found Going Postal on Netflix, my head asplode. Because there was another live-action Pratchett miniseries for me to watch.
I’m sure many readers remember the kids’ novel The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. I read it several dozen times, including in fifth grade when we had to do it for class (even though I’d read it before at least twice). It’s a great book, and I’ll be writing a review of it after my daughter and I finish reading it aloud.
However, there was also a filmed version released in 1969 from MGM. I went looking for it recently so that I could show it to my daughter when we finished the book, but it wasn’t on Netflix. I found a copy, though, and watched it. Just for nostalgia’s sake.
And it held up.