Saturday, May 17, 2008

Iron Man

Iron Man shows yet again what a superhero movie can be if taken seriously and given over to talented people who actually care about making a good movie instead of a merchandising extravaganza.

Everyone from the top down on screen in this film gets it right, from Robert Downey, Jr.'s cocky and personable Tony Stark to Faran Tahir's villainous Raza.

One of the things that I was worried about going into this film was whether or not the action and the characters would mesh well or if it would end up as two halves that never quite meet.

This is a really smooth movie and doesn't fall prey to the sins of most superhero films. There is no real camp, the progression of the character makes sense and is believable. There is no real forced love story. No one is hamming up their roles. The action and special effects are well done and believable (even the CGI is better done in this film than in many others of the type).

Jon Favreau has done an excellent job of bringing this film together with a kick-ass cast.

Tony Stark is not Bruce Wayne in this film, nor should he have been. If the proposed JJ Abrahms/Tom Cruise version had been made that is probably what we would have gotten. Instead Downey makes Tony a unique character rather than the standard millionaire playboy with lots of technology. He has all the technology because he built it, not because he bought it.

I also liked the subtle nods to the comic book fans such as the obvious S.H.I.E.L.D. references, as well as the terrorists belonging to the Ten Rings which would seem to foreshadow both Hydra and the Mandarin (the logo of the ten rings in the back of the terrorist base looked quite a bit like the Hydra logo and the Mandarin does wear those ten rings).

Excellent film.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Read and Owned

Saw this at Brenna's Livejournal:

These are the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you've read, italicize the ones you own. The ones you both own and have read, do both.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales

The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys

The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons
The Inferno

The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces

A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter

Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences

White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Coppeld

The Three Musketeers

I believe that is 36 owned and 37 read.
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