Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Favorite Science Fiction Films

I just came across a hub by bloggerdollar in which he gives his 10 favorite sci-fi films. I don't have mine listed quite so neatly, but really enjoyed reading his list. I thought readers here might also enjoy having a look at 10 Science Fiction Movies Every Sci-Fi Fan Should Watch.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mystery Science Theater

I've lived in Asia so long that I don't miss much from my younger days in the States anymore. But sometimes I stumble across something like this that reminds me that there are things that I do miss....

Lyrics | - Mystery Science Theater 3000 lyrics

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Modern Retelling

A few weeks ago, a friend loaned me a copy of Beauty, Robin McKinley's modern retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast. It took me a while to get to it (I was in the middle of Le Morte D'Arthur at the time), but I started earlier this week, and finished it today.

The story of Beauty and the Beast isn't a particular favorite with me, but I really enjoyed McKinley's version. I liked the twist on Beauty's character. She was likable, and that made her story move along nicely. The Beast was sympathetic from the beginning, and that made the story kind of fun too.

I enjoyed several things about the book, but probably what I liked best was that it was more about Beauty's transformation as much as it was about the Beast's, and I thought that added an important dimension to the tale.

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Friday, April 09, 2010

Princess of Mars, the movie

I borrowed Princess of Mars, along with a pile of other DVDs, from a friend over the weekend. I hadn't heard anything about the movie, but like the Burroughs book, so thought it would be fun to watch.

Man, was I ever wrong.

This is not a fun movie. The adaptation is bad, and the acting is pretty atrocious. The sets are not good, and everything about it just pretty much screams "bad."

I am usually a big fan of seeing how a text from an earlier period can be adapted to suit our modern sensibilities. This is especially true for sci-fi flicks, as the science can be dated pretty quickly. That was, of course, the case with this story. That was the one thing that was perhaps done reasonably well, in that the explanation for why we find life on Mars like that depicted in the film was reasonable enough (well, relatively speaking). But the handling of it took the mythopoeic vision completely out of the story, and left us with... well, nothing, really.

It's sad, because I have a pretty high tolerance level for attempts at re-imagining a text into a context more suitable for modern audiences. But this one just doesn't cut it, and was not an enjoyable film on any level, for me.

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Monday, April 05, 2010

Star Trek

I finally watched the newest Star Trek movie over the weekend. I know, I know... it isn't very new, is it? I heard from a number of friends that it was really good, but somehow wasn't very motivated to watch it a the time. I am glad, though, that someone loaned me the DVD this past weekend and I finally caught this one.

The movie was actually much better than I expected. I liked the games the film played with time, with our cultural memories of the whole Star Trek tradition — the whole works. I don't think this one is as good as some of the earliest Star Trek movies, but it was still lots of fun. Really, I shouldn't have waited this long to see it.

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Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Door

I recently stumbled across an old short story by E. B. White, entitled "The Door," in an anthology I was reading. I was impressed by the piece for its clever use of language, and the complexity of the ideas addressed in a very short space.

The story is basically a set of musings on a lab rat, entertained by an individual who finds himself frightfully similar to said rat. It is really masterfully handled, and touches on a myriad of interconnected ideas in a very short space. What an amazing piece of writing.

You can read the full text here. It will only take a few minutes, and I think you'll find it very worth your time.

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