Monday, June 21, 2004

Monday Movie/Book Reports

In the true spirity of being "over entertained," I watched three movies and read an entire book (start to finish) last weekend. My thoughts on each:

Pitch Black: Okay, so I'd seen this one already - back in '99 and in the theatre. Pitch Black loses something in the transfer away from the movie screen - mostly the creepiness of the sound effects, I think. It isn't hardly as scary when the 'sonar sounds' that the creatures make aren't all around you and loud in a dark theatre with a big screen, etc. JK made an excellent comment that it is basically a ripoff of 'Alien,' which is true in many ways. It isn't an especially original picture - but it is entertaining in a way that most ripoffs aren't.

Born Into Brothels: Good. Depressing and yet, sorta uplifting too. Sad in a lot of ways, but you really find yourself pulling for these kids. What makes it so sad is the realization at the end that no matter how much good you do, it isn't always enough. I wish there was something more I could do. So much pain and suffering and sadness in the world. :-(

Control Room: Fantastic documentary on Al Jazeera and its coverage of the Iraq War last year. Does an excellent job of portraying the many issues that surround their coverage of the war, the coverage of the major American media outlets, the censorship and military control over the media and the "message" they want to put out, and our reasons for going to war in the first place. Rummy's little speeches about how Al Jazeera says things that aren't true and that they deny all of the evidence against Iraq and all that jazz was priceless. Doesn't paint him in a particularly good light (as if anyone thought of him positively anymore - do they?). Very good film. Highly recommended.

Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live: A good, if not great book. Don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't what I read. I inhaled it - read all 600 pages in two days. Very interesting history of the show, but sometimes it focused too much on all the petty conflicts when what I would have liked were backstage stories about particularly famous skits...their genesis, etc. I mean, there was some of that...but not as much as I would have liked. Still, it was a very interesting read.

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