Movies and Books

Thursday, September 21st, 2017 08:58 pm
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[personal profile] bearshorty

Movies

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

I wanted to see this for a while but Bear wanted to see it too and for us to see it together. We finally got time one afternoon during his vacation and watched it. Overall, I liked it. It was fun to be back in Harry Potter world. My favorite part was the magic. In Harry Potter we see a school and a lot of kid magic. We do occasionally see grow up magic but not that much of it and in a context of war. Here, the magic was pretty grand in scale. And I liked seeing what the beasts looked like as well.

The plot worked for me too and did the characters. Jacob is such a sweetie. Newt was a bit strange, especially for a hero, but I suppose he had to be. I didn't really buy his 'romance'with Tina and I didn't feel it was really necessary either. But I did like his pretty sympathetic approach to the main threat. I knew that Johnny Depp would show up as Grindelwald, so that wasn't too much of a surprise but it always amuses me to no end in movies or TV when the bad guy is being led away by guys and those guys have to pause in front of a hero so the two characters could exchange words. Takes me out of the moment every time this staging.

Looking forward to more.

Sing

It was on Netflix and I wanted something light weight, so I checked it out. This was such a sweet movie. Just so pleasant and fun. It avoided the embarrassing cliches like when Meena's family thought she got in the show but she just started working backstage. She was just asked to sing later, without much more family drama. And all the characters really mean well too. Except the mouse - he was sleezy. I liked the songs, I was rooting for all the characters. It was just very nice and enjoyable.




Books

Obelisk Gate by N.K.Jemissin

There are trilogies where three books can be just separate books. The Leckie trilogy felt like that with the second book - like it was an aside to a grander plot, perhaps because it is not about grand plot per se. And there are trilogies where it is really one giant book, like Lord of the Rings. This trilogy, the Broken Earth trilogy, is like that. This book was a direct continuation of the previous one and I feel like you really need to read the previous one.

One advantage of the second book of the trilogy is that one's brain doesn't have to adjust to the worldbuilding. You already understand it so it is much easier to just get into the book. And this book started to provide some of the answers, so it actually felt much easier on the brain. The pieces are coming together and they do make sense. We get more perspectives too. Last book was Essun at various points of her life. This book we get Essun and Nassun, and Hoa, and Schama and get much wider background into this world. I think I ended up enjoying this book more because the plot is starting to become clearer.

Stranger Than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer

I was in a Glee fandom for a while, mostly reading Klaine fic. A few people posted about this book and I was curious how much the book would reflect Chris Colfer's world about working in a TV industry since this book is about a famous TV actor going on a road trip with four of his fans.

It is not well written in terms of writing style. It is awkward at times. He overuses italics, the characters are a bit cliche. They all get into elite universities, of course. And have secrets. The kids are a bit naive. He used "The actor" or other descriptions as a noun which I can't stand in writing. (The actor walked toward... or The actor thought about). I read better written fanfic. I don't think this books would be published without extensive editing if the author didn't have name recognition.

That said, I still read this book in a day and liked the characters enough. I could guess the plot from about the middle of the book - the foreshadowing wasn't that disguised. This is a YA that is aimed at a much younger audience and some other YAs I have read. It was entertaining enough.

Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit

I wanted to read this for a while. I read the main essay online before when someone on my flist linked it and this finally came through my library e-hold. I did enjoy the essays, especially the Grandmother Spider one. It feels like a good continuation of some themes I read in "Geek Feminism" book this summer. I'm also working though "Better Angels of Our Nature" by Steven Pinker and it is fascinating to read one book through another since Pinker shows how violence and our ideas of what is acceptable in society in regards to violence changed and Solnit highlights how a lot of violence is gendered. She proves Pinker's point in a way because it is only now, in our age, society is starting to become horrified at gendered violence and to say that it is not ok, to start to have a language for it. So as hard as the essays are to read sometimes, they were well written and certainly interesting. It is a short book and a good collection of essays.

My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg

This book was on my wish list and Marianna gave it to me for my birthday in the beginning of June. I have been reading it on and off for the last 3.5 month and was finally done with it the other day.

I was mostly interested in her biography/autobiography - she grew up just a few blocks away from where I lived when I came to US and not too far from where I live now. But I also enjoyed learning about the procedure of the Supreme Court and some close views of various opinions and dissents. I think her writing style surprised me the most - it is very commonsensical and straightforward. Very logical. Her opinions are very easy to follow. And I don't think it's because I studied medieval law and I'm used to some legal language.

It was an interesting book but it does get a bit sluggish around the middle - the first half was a quicker read.

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